Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Warm Bodies

Should I mention, yet again, that I am not a fan of dystopian? But here's another dystopian reading and I found myself liking it, yet again.
Warm Bodies sets in a time where a mysterious plague has invaded the world and divided humanity into two categories. The Dead and the Living. This is a dead end world where the Deads eat the Living and the Living live their life constantly training on how to keep themselves save from the Dead Not exactly an ideal life.

R is one of the Deads, also known as Zombie. On his way hunting the Living, he met Julie. While the Deads feed on the Living, instead, R decided to take Julie home. Once they got to know each other, R and Julie decided they want to make a change together. For a better world.

I read this book in order to join my very first book discussion ever. The event is held by @BookClubID and the participants are going to discuss the book together, via twitter, on April. Honestly, I was kind of disappointed when Nic, the admin, picked dystopian for our first genre. Not only I am not a fan of dystopian, I also have an aversion to stories about zombie. It always feel too scifi-ish and too future-ish. I almost decided to skip on the first book discussion. Thank goodness I didn't go with my instinct.

The first thing couldn't escape my attention was the writing. OH MY GOD! Found another author who made it to the list of authors-I-love-for-their-writing, together with Melina Marchetta and Laini Taylor. So very beautiful. I finished the book with so many highlighted passages. To think that I found these beautiful quotes in a story about an ugly world infected by a deadly plague is just overwhelming.

While, in my opinion, Julie's character doesn't really stand out, when I started this book I didn't anticipate that I will have my fangirl-mode turned on during reading. It sounds really absurd to say that I love R, -because he's, you know, a zombie- but I do. Since the story is told from R's point of view, it's expected that R stands out so much. I love that he is a very eloquent narrator, yet with his limited capability to talk, he managed to deliver what he had in mind in just a few syllables. This cheeseball zombie got me all teary a few times.

When together with R, I love Julie. I love that she stands up for herself and not one of those damsels in distress. Because, honestly, I've had enough with those kind of heroines every authors came up with lately. I love how R and Julie struggle together to start a better world. Ah.. This is so The Beatles. (The band is Julie's favorite, by the way)

I'm not one who look for 'messages' in a book, because to me book is there to tell story. But the 'message' in this story is very clear. That we usually fear things we don't understand and mark it as a threat. But if we try to understand, it might not be as bad as we thought. It might even surprise us. Beautiful, isn't it?

If there's one thing I don't really enjoy about this book, it's the setting. No matter how much I enjoy the story and all, I am just not a fan of post-apocalyptic world. The world where R and Julie live that I imagined in my head is really dull. And I hate that.

If you think this story feels familiar, well, that's not surprising. Warm Bodies is a spin-off of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Even by now I'm sure the main character's names, R and Julie, ring a bell, huh?

All in all, I love that I gave this book a try. I love the diction, I love the story, I love the characters. I did enjoy reading this book. I believe this book might appeal even to those who don't usually read dystopian. And imagining Nicholas Hoult as R sure make reading the book even more enjoyable!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden

Callie and Kayden grew up in the same neighborhood with him didn't acknowledge her at all. He was the quarterback and she was a loner. Until one night, Callie saved Kayden from his abusive father.

Months after the incident, they met in college. They got close with each other and the attraction between then was undeniable. However, there's something happened in Callie's past that kept her from trusting people, let alone being in a relationship. While Kayden had secret that made him think that Callie deserved better.

I’ve been reading too many romance novels lately, I wonder if it kinda deadens my excitement towards this particular genre that happens to be my favorite. After a few of unimpressive readings, I had high hopes when I started The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden. But this disappointed me even more.

There is already a long line of books about two people with dark secrets, meet each other, understand each other and fall in love. In order to stand out, please make it interesting?

In the beginning of the story, the author, I think, try to taunt the readers with bits and pieces of Callie and Kayden's dark secrets. I was fine with that. Where's the fun if everything was revealed since the very beginning? However, the story goes on and on, developing the chemistry between Callie and Kayden, focusing too much on their daily interactions and how they were weighing whether or not the relationship is worth it, keeping aside the development of the thing that kept them from being together in the first place. Their "dark secrets".

Callie's secret is obvious, even from the beginning. There's no taunting necessary. The culprit wasn't revealed until near the end of the book when really it was already obvious since the very beginning. In contrast, throughout the book, Kayden is all 'I have a secret I have to tell you but now is not the time' but apparently 'the time' is not until the very end of the book. So yeah, the taunting. It's boring.

Also, some minors. I know Seth and Luke are just sidekicks but I wish there were more about them. Like, what’s the deal with Braiden and Amy? Why mentioned it if there were nothing more to it? Is it just to make it appears as if everyone’s life in this book is a mess? Seth is supposed to play an important role. He’s the first guy Callie shared her secrets with. He keeps mentioning about how much he cares about Callie. But what is it that Seth did that earned Callie’s trust? But there wasn’t even a story about that. He's even kinda forgotten once Kayden got into the picture.

I was kinda bored when reading this; I even think the cliffhanger is where things finally got a little bit exciting. It’s unnecessary, though. Just a way to expand the already dragging story. Had the secrets developed earlier, the story could end in just one book.