Saturday, April 16, 2016

Singin' Saturday: I'm From a Star - Alien Huang

Chinese Title: 我來自那顆星
English Title: I'm From a Star
Artist: Alien Huang
Language: Mandarin Chinese

Wdebo's Notes: I've been obsessed with this song and video since it first came out back in December. But since I'm going back to Taiwan this May, I wanted to revist some songs that I've liked to choose what songs I want to sing during karaoke and this is definitely one of them. The song is cute as is the video!

Listen and Love!

Wdebo :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson By: John Green & David Levithan

"'It's been a bit of a crazy day for Will Graysons everywhere'" 
(P. 111)

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green & David Levithan
Amount of Pages: 310
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: April 6, 2010
From: Library
I was not paid for this interview~

Summary (From the back of the book): One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high school stage.

Wdebo's Review: Our names are always seen as something that belongs to and defines us so the idea of someone having the same name and especially being able to meet them is just such a strange little concept. (It even made it as a challenge for GISHWHES). So the concept of the story was very interesting and the fact that it has two superstar authors writing it out just made it a book that I've been meaning to read for ages. Though it was an enjoyable book (especially given that I live in the Chicago suburbs so it made it easier to picture the areas and scenarios), there were parts that I was just not entirely satisfied with.

Both John Green and David Levithan are a couple of authors that I really like and have been reading from since high school. I like how well their styles, though different, blended into a well formed duet of voices. However, though I did relatively enjoy the story there were still some parts that I had to question. As much as I've enjoyed most of the John Green's books, it's not hard to notice how he relies on his one go to character, the male protagonist who pines over the beautiful and pretentious manic pixie dream girl. Though each book's male and female character do differ, they all basically follow the same path and this book is no different. Though Will and Jane's story is similar to other John Green books, I do honestly love John Green's writing and so it's still fun to read even if I can pretty much figure out what will happen from the beginning. There is just something about his writing that makes it enthralling even if all of stories do follow the same pattern.

On the other hand, though I typically do like David Levithan's writing, I was just not feeling the beginning of Naperville Will Grayson's story. It seemed to be trying too hard to capture that angsty teenage voice and just came off as annoying. However, as the story gradually continued he became a slightly more likeable character, which I was happy about, because I would not have liked to dislike a whole half of a book.

I also find it finally how even though the title is the two protagonists' names, the story, especially from the middle onwards seemed to be focusing the most, not the the male leads, but on the ironically named Tiny. Towards the end, it seemed to be Tiny that showed his growth and depth the most. Even the protagonists seem to be side characters to the one man show that is Tiny Cooper. On the plus side, he was a very entertaining character so it was not a con just surprising.

Cafe Cover Chat: The light background is a fun little touch especially since the story is trying to structure and market itself as a fabulous musical. (B+) 

All in all, though there are some issues to the book. It does have some fabulous authors to create a fun little novel to help entertain the readers for a few hours.

Grade: B

Wdebo :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Book Review: Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel By: Meg Cabot

"Things I'm grateful for: 

1. Shooting stars.

2. Lab-engineered diamonds

3. That I'm engaged to be married to Michael Moscovitz" 
(P. 122) 

Title: Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel
Author: Meg Cabot
Amount of Pages: 448
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Geared Towards: Adults/Older Teens
Extra Info: This comes after the 10th Princess Diaries book, Forever Princess. [Review found HERE

Summary (From the Back of the Book): For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity: living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements, Mia's longtime boyfriend, Michael, managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course, Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui. 

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: her grandmother has leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone-especially herself-that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well? 

Wdebo's Review: Princess Diaries is one of the book series I grew up reading along with Harry Potter. I've grown up reading about Mia juggling her life being a princess, rocking it as a friend, and falling in love with Michael. It's been about 7 years since I read Forever Princess so reading Royal Wedding just gave me all of these nostalgic feelings.

As can be seen by the title, the book is about a wedding and more specifically is about Mia and Michael's wedding. My favorite couple from my childhood is finally getting married and that's why I was so excited to read this book! However, even though the book is titled Royal Wedding it just felt like there was a lot of details and talk about planning and getting ready for and all that was going wrong with the process of the wedding but just seemed to skim over the wedding itself. Since it is a princess diaries it makes sense that it does focus on the problems that Mia is met with before everything gets nicely resolved in the end, but I would have liked more specific wedding details! Additionally, as usual, Mia does tend to whine quite a bit in the story, but as someone who has read so many of these books before, it was something I am used to and find oddly comforting.

As usual, each character has a very specific voice and since Meg Cabot has been writing these characters for 10 (and a few extra) books, the voices are very defined. That is something I really love about the Princess Diaries series, all of the characters are so specific, and so every time I read the books I just feel like I'm catching up with old friends once again.

Cafe Cover Chat: The cover is very minimalist and cute but not my favorite (B) 

All in all, as someone who grew up reading the series. I greatly adored it and I'm sure anyone else who loves reading about Mia's life and antics will enjoy it just the same.

Grade: A-

Wdebo :)