Stargirl

“She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school. In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was… She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

– Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

You know the type of stories that take hold of your hand and pull you right in? It is as if it is saying, “Yes, yes, I know who you are. Come in, come in, settle down, make yourself comfortable.” And as soon as you start, it’s as if you were there all along, all cozied up. Stargirl is that type of story. As soon as I knocked on its door, I just couldn’t stop. Just one more chapter. The character of Stargirl is one my favorite characters. She’s always out there, being our inner us. Dancing in the rain during school hours, singing Happy Birthday songs during lunch hour, cheering for the opposite team during games or even caring when someone from the opposite team gets hurt. She shows that she is just a human being. Her caring nature shines through so much that she does not see that there are “social rules” that everyone follows. To be honest, she reminds me of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. Luna also didn’t have a lot of friends because everyone thought that she was so out there, but those that took the time to understand her, became some of her closest and dearest friends.

I have a love and hate relationship with Leo, the male protagonist in this story. He supports Stargirl when they are to themselves but abandons her when his peers isolate him from everything. Although I do feel sorry for him when Stargirl leaves; he realizes too late of what really mattered. But, as the years passed by, he seems to have picked up some of Stargirl’s quirks such as dropping a quarter in the street, walking in the rain without an umbrella, reading the newspaper all over, etc. But in the end he knows that he is not alone and that just like he did not forget about her, she did not forget about him.  Because a day before his birthday, he received a gift-wrapped package in the mail. It was a porcupine necktie.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 

“He would have told me the story of the Sixth Borough, from the voice in the can at the end to the beginning, from ‘I love you’ to ‘Once upon a time…’ We would have been safe.”

-Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

This book was a great read as well as a great journey. I wasn’t able to finish it in one sitting, or two or three for that matter. The words are dense and heavy. The thought processes are constant and ongoing. Sometimes, there’s too much to take in. I found myself going back and forth between sentences trying to keep up with their thoughts. But that’s what I kind of like about this book. It tells it how it is, how Oscar, grandma, and The Renter are thinking, even if they’re rambling. I liked the pictures residing in between the pages, the story of the sixth borough, the can with the voice inside that said “I Love You”, the need to stop inventing, and burying all your love and regrets six feet underground. Although the key had nothing to do with Oscar’s father, I loved how his connection to it helped Oscar come to terms with his father’s death. It wasn’t something I was quite expecting 😊.

Aside

Tsundoku 

(n.; Japanese) the act of buying a book and leaving it unread, often piled together with other unread books. 

Going through this phase right now. Except for the fact that my pile is full of wanted books that I’ve wanted to read for a long time. But I’m running out of time to finish them before the semester starts again 😞

Currently I’m finishing “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “The Night Circus” off on the side. But I’m wondering if I should ditch the latter and adopt “In the time of the Butterflies” (which I’ve already read) instead. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be unfair to it. I’ve only started the book so let me see how far I can be reeled in. If not, there’s always the unwanted pile, or in its case, back to the library.

The Kite Runner

For you, a thousand times over.  – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner. It is my first time reading this book, and I wondered why it took me so long to pick it up and start reading it. In all honesty, I guess I just wasn’t ready. It was not just for this book. I wasn’t ready to start reading for myself again. You know, the type of reading where you are curled up in your favorite place with a book in hand. The type of reading where you just read without taking a break except for eating and going to the bathroom.

I guess college kind of ruined that for me. I read because I had to. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be of much use in lectures and I wouldn’t be able to complete my assignments. It got really bad when I had 5 classes together and I was reading 4-5 different books each night, constantly trying to get through pages and pages of reading. That really killed my interest for reading books for entertainment. But I won’t say I regretted having to read those books back to back because I learned how to manage my time well. As an English major, I really learned how to read in between the lines. Now sometimes, even though I don’t try to, I start analyzing the book as I read it. And sometimes I stop myself and ask,  ‘What in the world am I doing? Just read.’.

So, this is the first book that I’ve picked up for reading for fun. And what a book it is. It’s about love, friendship, family, hatred, the inner mind. It made me smile. It made me cry. Khaled Hosseini did a marvelous job. Not only did he capture the moment of which he writes, but he also captures the reader’s attention so well that the reader can’t help but to absorb every little detail of this captivating story. I have to say, my most favorite character is Hassan. His friendliness, his loyalty, his personality really touched my heart. If I am ever blessed with such friends as him, I wouldn’t give them up for the world. And Amir, he’s okay. Although there were some things that I disliked about him, I understand that he was just a kid at that time and so his feeling are understandable. I know that if he was told about the secret, he would have protected Hassan with his life. In all, this book is an awesome read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good book to read (or re-read).