Books, Personal

Halfway through 2017, and here are the books I’ve read

At the beginning of this year, I set my Goodreads Challenge to 35 books, and now that we’re halfway through the year, I’ve also read half the number of the books I needed to read. Yey!

So here are the list of books I’ve read this year, my ratings, and comments for each. (Note: Synopsis are from Goodreads, and there might be some spoilers here and there.)

1. Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Genre: Young-Adult

Synopsis: When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

My comments: First things first, this book is such a cliff-hanger! And if you’ve happened to read Just One Day (the first book in this series), then prepare your heart because you won’t get any closure from this book. And even if I hated the first book, I still tried to read this, hoping to gain some insight on what really happen to Willem. And I’m glad I did, I liked this better than the first.

P.S. This book will make you want to read the next book.

My ratings: 3 out of 5 stars

2. Just One Night by Gayle Forman

Genre: Young-Adult

Synopsis: Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.

My comments: Too short for a book! But finally! The much awaited ending, where all loose ends and your questions finally get answered. 🙂

My ratings: 3 out of 5

3. The Crown by Kiera Cass

Genre: Young-Adult / Dystopia

Synopsis: When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

My comments: I admit, the Selection series is one of my favorite book series I’d read. I just feel so many emotions whenever I read this series, and I get totally lost in their world. The Crown is the 5th book in the series, and I have to reread The Heir (4th book) to remember the story. For some reason, the story of Eadlyn isn’t such as remarkable as the story of her mother, America. I keep on forgetting who’s who, unlike with America-Maxon-Aspen that I still remember their story by heart. Anyway, I’d like the ending that Eadlyn made a stand on who she really wants at the end. It just heartbreaking that my bet never wins. I’m team Aspen before, and team Kyle here. 🙁

My ratings: 3 out of 5

4. The Siren by Kiera Cass

Genre: Young-Adult / Fantasy

Synopsis: “You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…” The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now

My comments: I read this because I like so much how Kiera Cass write in the Selection and I’m hoping she writes as good in her other books. She didn’t disappoint in this book. The Siren will give you a new way of looking at mermaids and how they live their lives. This book will make you feel how it is like to live for such a long time, and yet really not live because you’re not allowed to fall in love with humans. A unique concept, with a happy ending. 🙂

My ratings: 4 out of 5

5. Never Never (Part 1) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Genre: Young-Adult / Mystery

Synopsis: Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. Complete strangers since this morning. He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

My comments:  This book is so mind boggling! I thought I’ll die of curiosity and excitement while reading this. It has a really nice, unique plot, better than your mystery thriller books, that I couldn’t even thought of writing or coming up with this idea. Kudos to writers of this.

My ratings: 5 out of 5

6. Never Never (Part 2) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Genre: Young-Adult / Mystery

Synopsis: Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can’t imagine, beckons to be found.

My comments:  Cliffhanger. More questions than answers.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

7. Never Never (Part 3) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Genre: Young-Adult / Mystery

Synopsis: Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

My comments:  Looking back now, I wonder why I gave this 4 stars when I could have given it 3. These series has such an antic-climactic ending, I don’t even know why they end it that way. The authors could have come up with any outrageous reasons of why the characters are loosing their memories, and the readers would have gobbled it up without questions. And yet, they choose a reason that didn’t quite make sense, or nor even possible to happen in a readers’ playful imagination. The ending regarding their kid is quite funny, though the reason why it still continue to happen still didn’t make sense.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

8. I Woke Up Dead At The Mall by Judy Sheehan

Genre: Young-Adult / Fantasy

Synopsis: Sarah has woken up dead at the Mall of America—where the universe sends teens who are murdered—and with the help of her death coach, she must learn to move on or she could meet a fate totally worse than death: becoming a mall walker.

My comments:  I love this one. It’s a light read and not all too dramatic, but it will still make you think about the importance of life and what-ifs about afterlife.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

9. How to Avoid Jerks and Jerkettes by Bo Sanchez

Genre: Self-help

Synopsis: Many marriages end up broken today. Or they stay together, but are miserable together. Is there a way to make marriage beautiful forever? Bestselling author and international speaker Bo Sanchez believes there is. In this book, you’ll learn:

  • 8 Red Lights that tell you the person you’re dating is a jerk
  • The one thing that is more important than compatibility
  • 6 Wrong Reasons to push through with the marriage
  • The 3 Steps to Attract the Right Person into your life and so much more!
    Warning: Some of the stuff you’ll learn here will be tough. It won’t be easy to swallow. But a little pain today is better than a lot of pain tomorrow.

My comments: Must read!!! A lot of times, we think we already know all there is to know about love, and knowing and finding the right one. But after reading this, I was like, there’s still a lot to know. This book will actually save you from unnecessary heartbreaks! I wish I’ve read this way way back before, it might have save me from unnecessary pains (chus. just kidding). But read this! You’ll really learn a lot. I feel like I’m now more equipped and less afraid of making the wrong decision.

My ratings: 5 out of 5

10. It End With Us by Colleen Hoover

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

My comments: Hurts so much. And the main character, Lily, made the best decision ever. And I’m glad that the author’s mother made the same decision too. It really make a world of difference to the children involve. It just hurts, to know that there are lots of people going through this, mostly behind close doors, hush whispers, concealed bruises.

Mygash, it still hurts so much when I look back on this story.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

11. E-Squared by Pam Grout

Genre: Self-help / New Age

Synopsis: E-Squared could best be described as a lab manual with simple experiments to prove once and for all that reality is malleable, that consciousness trumps matter, and that you shape your life with your mind. Rather than take it on faith, you are invited to conduct nine 48-hour experiments to prove there really is a positive, loving, totally hip force in the universe. Yes, you read that right. It says prove. The experiments, each of which can be conducted with absolutely no money and very little time expenditure, demonstrate that spiritual principles are as dependable as gravity, as consistent as Newton’s laws of motion. For years, you’ve been hoping and praying that spiritual principles are true. Now, you can know.

My comments: I’m a naturally curious person, so yeah, I admit I ventured and dabbled into this kind of things. But something about this kind of teachings makes me feel off inside. I’m not saying these things are not real, because it is somehow real (as I have proven it, quite scary actually) and not real at the same time. So if I would review it today, I might give it 2 stars because of my personal beliefs; 4 stars objectively. Plus, the anecdotes here are worth reading.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

12. Feeling is the Secret by Neville Goddard

Genre: Self-help / New Age

Synopsis: 1944 by Neville Goddard.

My comments: There’s a time in my life I seek this kinds of books (I know, shame on me). I don’t even know how many New Age stuffs masquerading as Self-help books or Spiritual books I’ve already read in the past. This one is actually an old book by Neville Goddard. His teachings made sense as with all New Age teachings, but I hate how he keep on using Bible verses and twisting the Bible’s meaning to support his teachings on this and on his other books.

My ratings: 1 out of 5

13. My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins, and other best selling authors

Genre: Anthology / Short stories

Synopsis: If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

My comments: This one is a favorite! I got addicted reading this one. It comprises of different short stories from all the popular authors in the market today. Makes you feel like it’s Christmas regardless of the season you’re reading this, and it makes you feel like you wanted to fall in love during Christmas. It’s just really really good, and a refreshing read. This is the kind of book that makes you sigh, and have dreamy eyes, and makes you want to drink holiday lattes after. 🙂

My ratings: 4 out of 5

14. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past. Don’t expect a future.

My comments: This hurts so much. I think all of Colleen Hoover books hurts so much it makes you want to rip your heart out. Happy ending but all of it still effing hurts. I don’t even want to think about her books again. I love her books, but it hurts.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

15. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

Genre: Young Adult

Synopsis: For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist. But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped. Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

My comments: Really nice concept, light-read. I have so much expectation for this book, but there’s something lacking in this. The way this is written is a little bit childish for me. I don’t think the characters are developed that well, and the plot could be even improved more.

My ratings: 3 out of 5

16. Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Genre: Self-help

Synopsis: Filled with concrete techniques to turn passivity into assertiveness. Dr. Susan Jeffers, teaches you how to stop negative thinking patterns and re-educate your mind to think more positively. You will learn: the vital 10-Step Positive Thinking Process; how to risk a little every day; how to turn every decision into a “No-Lose” situation, and much more.

My comments: Must read. If you’ve been wanting to do something and you are afraid to do it, if you’ve been having difficulty in deciding between two paths, if you want to improve the way you view situations, etc., read this.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

17. How to Turn Thoughts into Things by Bo Sanchez

Genre: Self-help

Synopsis: Use the law of harvest to fulfill the desires of your heart.

My comments: I admit I read this because I wanted to see if Bo Sanchez is teaching New Age stuffs. Sorry, Bo. The title is quite misleading. And it turns out it is not at all New Age-y. Good concepts. A must read.

My ratings: 4 out of 5

18. Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

Genre: Non-fiction

Synopsis: Neal Donald Walsch was experiencing a low period in his life when he decided to write a letter to God, venting his frustrations. As he finished his letter, he was moved to continue writing – and out came extraordinary answers to his questions. This is his story

My comments: This book is downright creepy! I started reading this book in hopes that I might learn a thing or two about God. But oh boy, this is really creepy. I think I learn everything that God would not say. This book is a carefully crafted lies, lies, lies. Every point in this book goes against the Bible. And anyone who reads the Bible will know that this isn’t from God. That even from the beginning, the serpent’s go to and catch phrase is ‘you’ll be like God’.

My ratings: 1 out of 5 (I hope there’s a zero rating)


So there, those are the books I’ve read at the half of this year.

Right now, I’m reading Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck (another self-help book, I know I don’t need another self-help book but I couldn’t just help it), and The Problem with Forever by Jennifer Armentrout.

How about you? What have you read so far?

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

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