How to Find Love in a Bookstore by Veronica Henry (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

“The enchanting story of a book shop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart. Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers–a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive. There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the book shop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage–she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings”

MY BOOK REVIEW:

Magical.

Yup, that’s the word for it alright.
Its a simple and heartwarming story about a small town community in which it tells such different stories about its residents and how they are being connected together by an old fashioned bookstore especially by its owner.

I would also like to point out that as a reader, I was entirely and magically pulled into the story by the writer’s captivating words. A highly recommended novel for all the bookworms (and soon to be readers) out there!

And below this, is a collection of some quotes that I’ve highlighted while I was reading this novel. I hope you’re going to like it as much as I did.

“a town without a book shop was a town without a heart.”

“All the diamonds in the world are nothing in comparison. Books are more precious than jewels.”

“A great cookery writer can make you see the dish, smell it, taste it, with no need for a photograph.”

“Only happy people don’t try and make other people feel bad.”

“Brilliant musicians were brilliant because they practiced, not just because they had talent.”

“Reading gave her comfort.”

“There’s a book for everyone, even if they don’t think there is. A book that reaches in and grabs your soul.”

“The great thing about a book shop was nobody thought it was odd if you lingered for ages.”

“life was complicated, that love sprang from nowhere sometimes, and that forbidden love wasn’t always something to be ashamed of.”

“That’s the trouble with books. You can never choose your favorite. It changes depending on your mood.”

“Thank God for cooking, she thought. Cooking never let her down.”

“So that was why people read. Because books explained things: how you thought, and how you behaved, and made you realise you were not alone in doing what you did or feeling what you felt.”

Well that’s it for now. Till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

 

 

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Book Review)

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Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

-A Summary From Goodreads.com

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

This famous young adult novel is one of the most heartwarming stories that I’ve ever read. A story that actually left a mark on me that also kept me wanting for more of Eleanor and Park. And ever since I’ve noticed this book by the time it was published, and made it into one of the most popular stand-alone books; I’ve always been intrigued into reading this one since I’ve already read Ms. Rainbow Rowell’s first book entitled ‘Attachments’. Although I did enjoy reading the first one, but her second book is something that has turned into a favorite of mine.

I must say, the whole story is really intriguing. Moreover, I was kinda surprised when I’ve read the summary of the story for it was mentioned that Park is a Half-Korean and Half-American teenager. I guess it was really something that I’ve never encountered before, and it’s one of the reasons that I’ve decided to read this book.

About the setting of the story, it was during the 80’s. A generation that I’m not familiar with. So while the author was describing the young adult life of Eleanor and Park. Reading it was also getting an idea of what it’s like to live during those times; which made me realized on how those days were much more simpler than I thought, and quite different from our generation. However, even though that I was too late to experience it. I’m still proud to be born in the late 80’s.

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The story of Eleanor and Park is a story about first love. Something that many of its readers can truly relate themselves into. These two main characters are not only opposite on the outside, but also as to who they really are. Including the kind of family that they both have. Eleanor leads a life that is so full of sadness. For the kind of family that she has is truly a wreck, and she just tends to feel that there is no end to all of the agonies that she is going through. Whereas to Park, he leads a simple and beautiful life; it’s not perfect but it’s something that one could truly be grateful for. And he always has the love and support of his very own family. Two opposite young adults who’ve found each other so that they could also learn from one another.

Reading this book is like a wake-up call to me especially on the part about Eleanor. It made me realize on how bless I ‘am in so many different ways. For I have a good family, that I’ve been able to go to a good school, and then to have a good job after that. It is really something that I’m so grateful beyond words; which also makes me a bit emotional whenever I look back to all of the struggles, and sacrifices that both of my parents have made for their kids, in order for them to have a good life.

While reading all those things that were described about Eleanor and her life, I’ve felt so sad for her that it made me pray and wish that something like that shouldn’t actually happen to any person. But if it is, then I hope that person could go through life as bravely as she did. And also, I think Eleanor wouldn’t have been so strong if it weren’t for Park. For he is the one great miracle in her life. His love for her has made her strong and brave to face everything that she is going through. And in a way, you could say that Park had truly saved Eleanor.

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This novel also tells us that everything that we do, and happens in our life has a perfect reason; especially to all those people that we’ve already met, and will also meet along the way. The purpose might be unclear. But in such perfect time. Everything else will truly make sense to us. And that is something that we really have to believe in.

It is a very unforgettable story and something that I would really like to share to anyone I know who still haven’t read this wonderful novel. Thank you.

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry (Book Review)

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The title character of The Little Prince is a pure and innocent traveler from outer space whom the narrator encounters in the Sahara desert. Before the little prince lands on Earth, Saint-Exupéry contrasts the prince’s childlike character with different adult characters by having the prince hop from one neighboring planet to another. On each planet, the prince meets a different type of adult and reveals that character’s frivolities and weaknesses. Once on Earth, however, the little prince becomes a student as well as a teacher. From his friend the fox, the little prince learns what love entails, and in turn he passes on those lessons to the narrator.

The little prince has few of the glaring flaws evident in the other characters, and he is immediately shown to be a character of high caliber by his ability to recognize the narrator’s Drawing Number One as a picture of a boa constrictor that has eaten a snake. Nevertheless, the prince’s fear as he prepares to be sent back to his planet by snakebite shows that he is susceptible to the same emotions as the rest of us. Most notably, the prince is bound by his love for the rose he has left on his home planet. His constant questioning also indicates that one’s search for answers can be more important than the answers themselves.

-A Summary from SparkNotes.com

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

A beautiful thought that was shared by the fox to the little prince.

I don’t know why that it took me so long to read such a great story. For who would have thought that such a small book could give such very profound wisdom’s to its readers. And I was so caught up into it that I’ve finished reading this in just one sitting.

The thing is that, I’m already a bit familiar of the story of “The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry”. Back then in high school, this book was actually assigned to us in our class for reading and further discussion. But at that time, I wasn’t always that present in our classes, which also made me missed it when my English teacher was already discussing this. And so by the time that I got back, all I did was just read the summary so that I could catch up to all that I’ve missed. Plus, you know what they say; one can never appreciate something if one is in such a hurry.

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So I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m really going to read it again; not the summary, but the whole story itself. For as an avid reader, this is definitely a must-read. But as the years went by, I still haven’t got the chance to. Then ten years later, while I was making a list of books to read for this year. I’ve decided to include this one. It is because of the upcoming animated film adaptation. Moreover, I also wanted to own an actual copy. And it was just recently, while I was waiting, and wondering around a bookstore that I’ve finally decided to really buy it, for I was also thinking that it was finally the perfect time to read it.

Then last weekend, I went out to visit my parents. So I bought this book with me. And without me knowing it, I was totally drowned into the whole story of an old pilot meeting the little prince in the middle of nowhere in the Sahara desert.

As I’ve written earlier, it is indeed a small book, and such a short story. But it’s much more meaningful, and so full of wisdom. At first glance, you might think that this is a children’s book, but I don’t think so. For even at the beginning of the story, you can really comprehend the first lesson that the narrator really wants its readers to understand about the grown-ups.

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Moreover, I know that there have been tons of reviews that have been written about The Little Prince. But, I still want to share my very own views and thoughts about the book; and there are about five of them; personal insights that I’ve learned while and after reading this.

And here are the following:

The first thing that I’ve learned while reading the book is that grown-ups tends to get so busy about the hustle and bustles of living in order to survive, that they also tend to forget the simple pleasures of “Living a Meaningful and Wonderful Life”. I’m not talking about the idea of getting rich, or being so successful in one’s career or business. I’m talking about stopping for one moment, and to take it all in. You know the idea about doing the little things that you love other than your work; spending more quality time to your family, your friends, and of course to yourself; then picking some cheat days just so that you could also enjoy the pleasures of eating; traveling into such unknown places, and a whole lot more.

The second insight is that the grown-ups sometimes do not fully comprehend the deeper meaning of things, and can be a bit narrow-minded. For there was actually a thought that was mentioned in the book that when you’ll mentioned a house to a person. All that he would ask is the price of the house, or the location itself, and will just say that it’s a fine house. But how can he know that when he didn’t even ask about how it really looks like, the surroundings, the atmosphere that really goes into it. For such one is caught up into the world of figures, and materialism.

Another part in the story that shows such narrow-mindedness was also about a Turkish Astronomer who has presented his own discovery in the International Astronomical Congress by wearing a European costume instead of his very own traditional Turkish costume. In order for it be more acceptable to those people in the congress. Well that’s absurd!

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The third one would be about the children. For they are so pure, and innocent; so full of life that they tend to wonder about a lot of things. And as time passes by, it’s either that such simple mindedness could be taken away from them because they’ve already been swallowed into the world of the grown-ups, or they still remain true to their selves for they know of what really matters. And they are still as open-minded even if they’re already exposed to the realities of the world.

The fourth is about traveling. For one should not just travel just so that you could set foot into a place, and pose for a picture; to travel is also a learning experience, and to see a new place for what it is. I’m talking about exploring the food that you usually don’t get to eat from where you live; and observing the people who lives there, especially about their culture, and their way of living. Moreover, a traveler should also know how to take it all in the things that are happening in front of him. For a camera can never fully capture the beauty and wonder to all the things that are happening right before his very eyes. So whenever we are already into that actual experience, we should at least stop for one moment to observe all the things that are happening around us. For that is a wonderful learning experience for a wanderer.

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And the last one is all about taking importance of what really matters.

So what is truly important to us?

Love?

Family?

Successful Career?

Health?

Happiness?

Friendship?

Wealth?

Of course, there are so many things that we really want out of life. But the most important thing that we should ask ourselves is that

“Are we at peace about everything?”

Cause if it is, then that’s when all the things that we want in our life will truly fall into place. Moreover, life is so full of challenges, and one must take the risk to be brave; something that we really need from time to time.

So as I end this blog of mine, and send it into the void, I would also like to point out that to search for what we really want is important. But we should also try to not be so caught up into it, that while we’re so busy looking. We may tend to oversee that all we ever wanted is just right under our noses.

And I’m so glad that I’ve found this book again. For it is definitely worth reading.

Thank you.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell (Book Review)

5e039b15ef40e6b12c185e983aaa471fWell I must say this book has turned out to be a bit of a surprise to me after reading it. Not because of the story itself. It’s just that from the very beginning. I knew that this novel is definitely not going to be my typical cup of tea. But the surprising part is that I’ve finished reading this in just a short period of time.

924163_306541359555670_1911660338_nDon’t get me wrong, it is a nice story, but it’s definitely not one of Rainbow Rowell’s best works. It’s just that as a reader, I didn’t get to feel that connection that I was really looking for into the story. Is it because that I’ve never been in a relationship or I don’t have any idea about this so called MARRIAGE LIFE? I don’t know. So that is why I’m giving it 2.5 ratings in my review on Goodreads.

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Landline is a story about Georgie McCool, a screenwriter in a TV Sitcom. She may seem to be on top of the world with a very nice job. But in her personal life, she is on the verge of losing her 15 years of marriage to her husband Neal. A marriage that has been in trouble for a long time. So when fate gave her the chance fixed things using her old telephone. She had used that opportunity in order to find that one missing piece in her marriage by going through her “time warp” phone conversations with her husband, and also to save the love the she knows that is still there between her and Neal.

752de16cc347bc2d9eade2e7fd1bbd3fReading this book was a very enlightening one. But I just can’t help myself from being irritated to Georgie. I know that it takes to two to build up a marriage, and it takes to two crumble it down. But the thing is, how can a wife prioritize her work over her family? That’s insane! Especially on a very special holiday, it’s no wonder that Neal is losing his patience towards her. So it’s a good thing that during those times that she was away from her family. It gave her the time to reflect from all of her mistakes, and to do things right.

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I may not have found this book very enticing for my taste. But at least I’ve learned something while reading this book. And that is when you’ve found the one. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all the happily ever after that we are looking for. It doesn’t end there; it is actually the beginning of something new into the couple’s lives. There may be tough times, but what’s really important is the strength to hold into; holding into the love and companionship that they have for one another. And when they have it, then it’s enough to fight it and give things a second chance; A chance to really make it through. Not because of their children, but for the love that is worth fighting for.