Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Announcement

When Blog and Book Collide is temporarily unavailable. For the meantime, some of the reviews here are transferred in a new blog. Please try to visit Blotted Pages for the updates about blog author's bookish world and reviews.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Rank of a Fan

When do you consider yourself a top-list fan of a certain author? Is it only when you’ve read already almost all of his/her works? Is it when you know the personal life of the said author? Or is it only when you know everything about him/her?

I’d been pondering about those questions even before. I, myself, am a dedicated fan of Orson Scott Card. However, I don’t think my addiction over his intelligence when it comes to his works is necessarily served as an excuse to read his works. Believe me, no matter how deep my admiration on him as an author, I judge his books through a rational evaluation. Yes, there are books of his that I don’t really like. But, should it tend my admiration over him to descend? Certainly not! As a reader, I barely count the books that haven’t made me well, those ones instead that let me scream because of their awesomeness.

Some author produces countless of works. Some works may be collaborated with other authors but it should not pressure us to buy all of them even if he/she is listed as our favorite author. As a reader, we should be wise on picking books. When a new book from our favorite author pop up, first we should do is take a glimpse. Read the synopsis/blurb of the book. Second, absorb the plot if it’ll make you. Third, take heed from others’ judgment without spoiling yourself. Fourth is, decide whether to give the book a shot or not. Those are the steps to make a wise pick because no matter how genius the author is when he jumps doing a different genre that you feel awkward trying to, you’ll feel sorry still for yourself at the end.

Knowing about the personal life of an author is just one of the effects of our admiration for them. Contrary, it is not a healthy idea to go over their personal lives when the author actually keeps it private. We should always bear in mind that authors are human and thus they need privacy as well. However, if the information is given, grab the opportunity of its existence.

Perhaps, counting yourself as a top-fan list of your favorite author doesn’t count on how many of his/her books you’ve read. It’s not as well based on how many information we know about the author.  It’s by heart when you love an author and it’s a personal consideration if you rank yourself among the others. Competing with other fans is disease and should be ceased. Befriend them and consider them your brothers instead! It’s you who determine your rank.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: A walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

A Walk to Remember
Nicholas Sparks
Four-star Rating


I'm Rollie... and now leaping over my bounded forte?

Romance is the least among the genres that I craved to try. Instead, I stumbled upon reading this love story book. A risk indeed to read a different genre especially when it exempts among the genres you always thinks about. Thus, it doesn't just take twenty gulps to risk for it but takes time and sweat to decide the dilemma whether to give it a shot or not. Lately, I decided to widen my braced genres and I thought this book is worth the risk to try. So as a love story as this title represents, I'm afraid that the further words I will emancipate may loosen up the tightness of the statement I previously, in my reviews, professed.

The life of Landon Carter during 1958 has been brought back by his memories.

Landon is sixteen-year-old senior high student of Beaufort High School, North Carolina. Being a son of congressman, who he rarely see in their house in a year, is normal. Being with his friends Eric and Margaret are even normal for him, for he used to be with them since grade school. But being the Student Body President is another thing, while signing up for Drama Class is definitely not his thing.
Jamie Sullivan is surely the last girl in the world Landon wanted to marry but absolutely not the last girl to ask as a date for the school's homecoming. As Landon's world becomes closer to Jamie's, he'll find a plan he never thought fated for him.

I was sure then before I tried that I wouldn't like this book, though I was in the mood to read this kind of book. The moment I fixed my eyes onto the surface of the first page of the book's prologue, my feet as if set foot onto the world of what I was reading. I became the main character himself. Marvelous really it is to say how amazing the approach of the main character's perspective to me as a reader. Truly effective. A perfect thing to add up is that the perspective used in the story is from guy's character, considering that it gives perfect justice to how a guy thinks, utters, and acts.

The story composes of just simple elements: The typical story of ugly duckling that turns into swan; typical story of a jerk guy who fell in love to the swan; and a typical story of a man who'll do anything for love. The magic of how it turned out to be good is the summation of all those factors. Moreover, Spark really used the overused concepts perfectly during the shifting of events, which of course a positive move for the book to become better.

I'm told that the movie is way better than the book. Granted, for I am one of those unfortunates who haven't watched the movie yet. Yes, I did not itch to watch the movie the moment it had been shown in cinemas nor did I eagerly wait for it in movie cable channels. But I'm very much glad, for I think that choosing to read first the book over watching the movie is one way or another, a smart decision.

I honestly admire Spark for writing down the solid description of Jamie Sullivan, yet unknowingly behind her image is a great mystery. That despite of the best answer a normal person could offer to the reason of her action, there is still hidden truth behind it that alters the nearest possibility.

The greatest thing I liked about this book is the profound messages of the story beyond what are written, though some are already given. I liked how faith works at Jamie, that even though everything has been taken from her, she dignifies how her faith still remains. I was also touched at how simply a very kind person could turn the people oppositely to what they were. There is even presence of the true effects of love, which it leads the in love human to think either sane or insane. And the story, in a way, emphasizes how humans should give attention, importance and deeper understanding on the things that surround them not until it's too late. And the best of all is how faith can bring out the miracle to the surface out of the deepest pit.

I admit that there were many times the book led me on the verge of tears. For I reckon that this book, no matter how cold-hearted I am, is no wonder a heart-moving one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Review: Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card

Shadow Puppets
Orson Scott Card

4-star Rating


If you are unaware that I'm a dedicated fan of Ender's Game, much less Ender's Shadow; count yourself as one of those I am not really close to. However, if you liked this series without knowing that I do as well, well then, consider yourself as one of those I'm planning to chat with like no end

Bean-or better yet Jullian Delphiki is cute no more. The theoretical effects of Anton's Key are gradually revealing. From a small child Bean, now he's growing to be like a giant. Contrary to the physical growth, the genius-ness is still in him without any change... and the enemy is still acting around

It starts with a doubtful move. Peter Wiggins decides to rescue Achilles from being a prisoner of China to use his knowledge for personal--Hegemony--purposes. His freedom has become a threat to Bean's and Petra's life. So as Petra and Bean try to escape from the deadly monster Achilles, would they able to escape from him successfully... or will they able to stop Hegemony’s insanity over using Achilles

Bean embraces me back as once I again I read another book from his series. Frankly, my excitement over this book has subsided since it was already, as if, decade before I able to continue reading Bean's journey. However, even millennium is nothing if the author himself knows how to bring back the hype that has been lost in you through doing great with his book. The moment I read the first ten pages, I'd been as if brought back to the day I read the prequel book of this title. Then I came across with a philosophy: The quality of story to how would it make you depends not on reading interval of books of a certain series, rather depends on how brilliant and creative the author is at making his books worth praising

Finally, Orson Scott Card has break through the glass of risk. On my part, it's really hard to get over a character when it seemed stricken your preference deeply. And of course, on the other hand, this book started to expose what the main character should go through gradually as he gets older. A risk indeed when apparently followers have deeply fallen into the previous Bean's image. Unfortunately, I did find the transition very rough, for I finished the prequel with him as still a kid and I did open this book with him as a young man. Figuratively, Bean as I said is an image of bravery and justice. Eventually, this book opposed my philosophy but I prefer to think of it as part of his sudden maturity

The story might just be about warring of different countries. But to root out what's behind it, there are many things that push it to go through... War is the effect of fear to become inferior among nations. War is the effect of culture differences. And war is the effect of people who are greedy of power and superiority above all nations

As I was expecting before, Petra played a deeper role in this series. However, as this series go further, other characters are being put onto a spotlight as well. Thus it tends to cover up the space Bean should have. But, I'm glad that somehow Bean's shown ups are greatly impressive, for every time he shows up he always did think maturely and act sensibly

If I consider Ender's Shadow as a butt-stapler, called Shadow of the Hegemon as political knowledge starter, I believe that it is rational to say that this book is a Goosebumps-spelling reminder. Yes, all the books of this series--the ones I read so far--are considerably great. But to point out what book among them made my hair stood perfectly, I think this is the one. Because honestly speaking, the moment this book evoked my excitement as I went onwards, all I did was to drop my jaw and be amazed. Though everything has gone mature, their intelligence is still irreplaceable and the clever twists are still unimaginable.

I consider that this book is partly a revelation and a conclusion. First, this book reveals who is the real intelligent because Card magnificently bomb my face up that their gifts have still limitations. And I admire him for it just suggests how still imperfect they are and how still human they are. Lastly, this is a great spoiler but as I said everything has gone mature and everything will end up through Bean's mind and hand. And I'm glad how I found a lesson in this book: sometimes, we must change and kill for everybody’s peace. Brutal but true.

So far, neither books of this series has ruined my expectations, slide down my excitement as i was reading, and of course, failed to impress me deeply. So I don't think a question should arise why this book mounted over the hills of other great books in my field of books. Everything is explained and this series really suits me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road
Moira Young
5-star Rating

This is indeed a great book. Special thanks to my friend Maria for letting my eyes get into the pages of this book.

On a midwinter day, when the sun sets low they were born. Lugh, handsome and shines like a sun, was born first; whereas Saba, beautiful like a darkness of night, followed after two hours. The twins lived bonded to each other in an isolated place named Silverlake. As they continue to grow, they realized how much neither of them was worthy to live if either would be separated away from another

And in a sudden, it all happens in a very unprepared day. A sandstorm has visited their place and brisk soldiers have been behind it. Lugh has been taken away and Saba is left behind with a memory of her mother, body of her dead father and, of course, her gawdfowsaken sister—Emily

A month, I think, was consumed before I finished reading this book. A negative word to reason out the period of time objects how I honestly felt towards the book, much less how I rated it. It's not easy to comprehend unlike memorizing one-plus-one-equals-to-two kind compared reading a perspective of an illiterate narrator. Fortunately, I neither did find it annoying nor disgusting. On the contrary, it instead served me as a challenge on how probably would I bite the wrongness of the character's perception. In fact, it dared me more to point out the flaws instead of applying them for myself.

However, I can't figure out any slight knowledge that suits the reason why Saba is illiterate. Speaking up about her isolation? Well, it hadn't bought me enough and I have many thoughts to counteract that weak reasoning. If there's evolution of language and writing, wouldn't it be great and factual to be more futuristic, as this book represents, than leaping back to Stone Age? Lucky for it being the first of the series because it has still a long bloody road to go before the end, and I might find the reason while I'm on my way

The places are amazingly reconstructed. But then, Young has given hints on what places are they at present era. If there is a thing to consider for myself that justifies being a dystopia, I guess it's the unique names that the characters have. In addition, though I don't really like crows, I love how Young associated the main characters journey with a savior crow. Another thing, I was touched at how Saba, being a mean and evil against her little sister, turned a protector and so did Emily towards Saba. Furthermore, Emily as a younger sister never failed to get my attention. Though sometimes unruly, she showed a more fearless persona than Saba

Moira Young did a good job at making Saba's character--hard and potent. No doubt, it lines up among Katniss Everdeen, Beatrice Prior and other female dystopia protagonists. In fact, this book has been compared to Hunger Games of Suzzanne Collins and The Knife of Never Letting Go. To be honest, I'm one of them, unfortunately. I'm very much glad that in a way, my personal view on how would have it ended had failed. To clear things out and at the same time my conclusion: this book is neither just about running; nor just about arena or cage fighting; it's more not less an epic adventure of a lady who was dependent, weak and just a follower who turned to be a strong, independent instigator. Likewise, this is neither Hunger Games nor The Knife of Never Letting Go but just a very mere Blood Red Road.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty
by Libba Bray
Five-star Rating


1895: after seeing her first vision of how her mother dies, Gemma Doyle goes back to Spence to enroll in a proper boarding school in England. Many have changed during the death of her mother, not just her school but also her father… and her frequent having of weird visions.

Gemma in Spence has a hard life at first but with her gladiatorial attitude, she stands to turn her enemies to new friends. And as her new friends try to discover more what’s behind the group called The Order and the death of two mysterious girls who were burned in school, even it’s highly forbidden, they starting to unleash the secrets behind the curtain of mysteries.

A very much thanks to my ever book sponsor Kwesi for letting my hands get on this book. I wouldn’t have the chance to read this if it were not for him. A credit to you, kid!

First strike for first ten pages: I could have considered this book (which is my first time to read a Bray’s book) as one of many that have been influenced by unworthy popularity of some dark novels. However, checking the publishing date, it opposed that understatement.
Many have actually asked me: Why do you hate romances in a novel? But is it really the question to ask? Do I really hate romance in a story? Well, to end it up, I say it depends. There are books that, I called, have lost genre, especially the paranormal books. Why lost genre? Authors nowadays try to insert their stories with romances which, unfortunately, end up dominating the whole story over the showcased genre. However, it would be understandable if the target market of a certain book is girls. But exaggerated declaration of love? Such a vomiting crap! Before I end up discussing irrelevant ideas, let’s connect what I discussed above with this book. Libba Bray has proven one thing: Don’t generalize the paranormal books for having cheesy romances. And that fact pushes me forward to read the second book of this series. Or is it because dark books before the publishing date haven’t been influenced yet by sticky romances?

I don’t want to break the rating I gave in this book but it is quite normal for a book for having flaws. The first few chapters were really confusing. I was really sad at how the main character had the unexplainable power without any clue of whether she was a witch or a what. And imagine, the mystery lasted past halfway through. Quite slow, isn’t it? And one of the most disappointing things is that the main character showed no interest on knowing what she was or the origin of her power.

Let’s get back to the positive things about this book. The last half makes up for the loss of the first half. I, myself, had decided to give this book with only one star but take a look at how my rating ended. With its flaws? Quite impossible if I were to compare this book from the other books I’ve read before. I very much admit that I’m easily being fed up with eye-bulging twists. Oh yes, to confirm what you’re thinking this book has an extraordinary twist that indeed filled my hunger. The concept is original if I were to ask. I can’t compare it actually to anybody’s book. The ending isn’t exactly as perfect as an ideal book should be but it is enough for a reader to have a logical leap to read the next book.

I can’t promise that all of the reader will actually like this. But there’s always no harm on giving a try. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: Jumper by Steven Gould

Jumper by Steven Gould
Five-star Rating


It all began when David Rice was seventeen years old and was being abused by his father. Then it was immediately followed when he was almost raped after he ran away from their house. He knew it was teleporting, but he preferred to call it jumping and he considered himself from then as … a Jumper.

Though he knows that he will be alone in the street, he is still willing to pursue running away from his alcoholic father. He is determined to find his mother. But how when the world as if turned its back from him and all he can afford to trust is just his ability being a Jumper?

I knew this book before I bought it not because I heard or knew someone has read this but because I already watched the movie version of this book. But I wouldn’t have still picked this one, though I already watched the movie, if I didn’t fall into loving Orson Scott Cards books. However, given the chance that I already watched its movie, it’s another factor for me to pick this up now that I’m already starting to become obsessed of sci-fi books.

My admiration to Steven Gould is new but solid just because of this book. No matter what they say negative about this book will just be nullified from me. But to study the whole story, it just flow as normal as single thread—no twist and no surprise--just plain. Furthermore, I know that Gould wrote this book without making first a pattern or an outline which basically a way of creating a book I commonly dislikes. Well, what I said above is, I think, a suggestion that I totally admired this book with the way of creating a book I mentioned above. So the realization just came to my mind recently that it’s not the way how the author creates a story nor just how an author fills a story with exploding twists and turns that would make a reader like a book to the extent of dreaming over it, but it is how the author really pushes and masters himself harder at becoming a proficient story-teller.

Teleportation is commonly considered by some people to be at the paranormal line since they say that it’s one of the abilities of extra sensory perception that theoretically work of neurons. Since I’m aware of this thing, the first thought that came to my mind when I read this book is why labeled as sci-fi? But because I haven’t read yet the second book, I’m very much hoping I would find an answer from that book. On the other hand, there was still an associate of scientist’s theory on the things like Davy’s unexplainable landing when he’s doing his jumping that opposes this theory. But all of these theoretical sciences have nothing to do with the reason behind his ability to teleport. So still my question, why sci-fi? Nonetheless, the aura of the book is sci-fi.

One reason I admire Gould because despite of being overused of teleportation in novels, Gould still made out a new dress for it by calling it in different name. I also admire at how Gould really creates a very much normal world and put a special human out of it. In movies, once a superhuman fell to the earth, a super enemy would follow him. But it is very much rare for this like of story that even though the whole theme of the book is fantasy, Gould pulled back still the world in it as normal as he could by creating spark between supernatural and deadly terrorists.

It is also admiring that behind of unrealistic ability; Gould stamped it with realistic situations. The question in our dream that “what if we can teleport” has been successfully answered by Gould through this book. Though I understand why this book is one of the most banned books way back then, I still love it the way I love sci-fi books I read before. As what it says, there is more than to know than page 9. And of course there’s nothing makes a book more popular than being banned just because it is just read by mass of people around the globe.