Crash & Burn
As I crashed, they burn.
A Reader, Foodie & a Couch Potato. Part time Bibliophile,
Part time Otaku, Part time Traveler, Part tme Photographer

Warm Bodies

by Isaac Marion

Movie Tagline: Cold Body, Warm Heart

R is Dead. Has been for maybe years or months, he can’t remember exactly. Died because of the Plague. He has no memories from his Living Days. Julie is alive. R was supposed to eat Julie. That’s just how it’s supposed to be, but he doesn’t. R did something that has never been done before.

He changed. He fell in love.

This is a new take on William Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet.

This book is surprisingly sweet! Isaac Marion created the unexpected hero in this Romance Novel, shelved as a YA Read, though for me I think it’s an Adult Inspiring Romantic Comedy about a Zombie who fell in love with a girl. It’s a comedy that has it’s own moments too. I only learned about this because of the Movie Trailer I happened to stumble upon in IMDB and my love for Teresa Palmer.

Though I thought the ending was a bit rushed, I admired Marion’s style of storytelling. Kudos to him on this first Novel. For someone who says he never went to College, he has a lot of brains to be able to construct such ideas and write with such flowery words.

I just loved how he created R, his thoughts that he can’t seem to put into words, which made this light read book somehow inspiring. A must read for Young and not so young adults.

I will definitely watch the Movie too.

I can’t believe what I’m seeing when I watched it. I can’t seem to understand why the author of the book, Seth Grahame-Smith, decided that he had to change the storyline for the screenplay of the film version. He’d gone too far away from the book, I think. Still, with a good imagination, he was able to make another story out of it that is as interesting as the book, though it is more fictional, but with a little disappointment.

In the book, Seth artistically inserted all the Vampire stories to what really happened in Abraham Lincoln’s history, as a boy until he grows up as a Lawyer and the President of the United States, until his dying day. All the characters in the book, though some only played a small part, are important in defining Abe as a person and a Hunter. The events and characters gave an in depth explanation why he hated vampires.

While I strained my eyes with the 3D glasses, I keep on waiting for characters like Jack Armstrong and Anne Rutledge to come out, and wondering who the hell is Will Johnson? Where did Adam and Vadoma came from?  While Henry seems more agile, he has a different stand regarding the war and slavery. The movie version has a totally different storyline. 


In the book Henry urged Abe to run for office to support the war. No Adam or Vadoma. Jack Barts is not that hard to kill, he died with one swing of Abe’s ax when he was 16 and in fact his first vampire kill. Mary and Abe had 4 sons. Mary had suffered extreme depression from the death of their first son Eddie, in losing Willie, and witnessing Abe’s assassination was the last straw.

The film version may be as entertaining in a different kind of way, because of the overflowing gore and great 3D effects, but easier to understand for the simple minds. The cinematography and fight scenes were great, as expected from the Director, that would make TWILIGHT a cartoon show. 


Though,  I expected more from the story and was given loads of gore, blood squirting and galloping horses instead, I was a little disappointed. I probably expected a lot since the screenplay was written by the same person who wrote the book. But like what Suzanne Collins did in Hunger Games movie adaptation, the book was way better. They sort of killed the story of the book, actually I think Seth outdid Suzanne in killing their own book. By giving us a rushed less talk more violence screenplay, that will  make the ones who haven’t read the book clueless and us who actually loved the book a wee bit disappointed.

The end scene in the film is interesting but I would’ve loved it if they did the same ending in the book. Whereas Abe became an immortal, not because Henry was lonely, but to continue what they had started. It’s not just about vampires. It’s about Abe’s dream, every man will be free. He was there in the crowd when Martin Luther King Jr was on the stage. Every man, regardless of color is free.

As a sucker for action films, yes I enjoyed the movie. However also as a reader, I can’t take out the fact that it is based on a novel that I read prior to watching the film, it would’ve have been far better if he stayed on the same story line as what he did in the book. I should’ve read it after seeing the movie, like I did with Percy Jackson, so as not to be disappointed. As for Seth as a writer, I still admire his talent in comedy and will still read his works. I might actually read his first best seller Pride and Prejudice And Zombies. 

Looking for Alaska

By John Green

Released June 2005

“I go to seek the Great Perhaps”

I had a Eureka moment.

It’s been months since I have been searching for male authors that I will liked, and I have tried other works and no one made me awestruck as I was with John Green’s writing and brilliant mind. Ransom Riggs has talent too even though what he wrote was considered paranormal genre, I still think he can’t be compared with Mr Green’s witty wordplay.

Looking for Alaska is filled with witty wordplay and internal drama. Its characters are relatable though too smart and sometimes can be childish for their age. Honestly, sometimes we find ourselves being childish over something.

 I personally liked the Colonel here. I think Pudge is a bit of a drama Queen for me and selfish after the accident. I can’t feel him truthfully devastated over a life lost, he’s more concerned of what could’ve been between him and Alaska if she was there, warm and alive the next morning.

This novel was so good it was worth buying the actual book compared to the ebook format. It is a masterpiece therefore should be shared to our friends that are well read. So I did. After reading it, right away I passed it on to a friend. And now I am having a binge of reading all of John Green’s novels.

If you haven’t read this, but already read The Fault in our Stars (so basically you have an idea how crafty Mr Green can be), read this.It won’t disappoint. And let’s all go seek the Great Perhaps!

-       -  The Otaku Artist


Where She Went (If I Stay #2)

By Gayle Forman

Released Date: April 2011


“And then Adam Wilde shows up at the Carnegie Hall on the biggest night of my career, and it felt like more than a coincidence. It felt like a gift. From them. For my first recital ever, they gave me a cello. And for this one, they gave me you.”

As soon as I finished the first book, If I Stay, I hastily started reading this second instalment. I was surprised where the first one ended, I had to know what happened next right away. Though I already have an idea what’s Mia’s decision was after waking up because I read it on the feedback portion in the website Amazon, I was still shocked how it unfolds.

The story picked up 3 years after their separation, based on Adam’s point of view. Like its predecessor, this second book is as dramatic as it was. Written beautifully, showing Adam’s struggles with the aftermath of the accident that took the Hall’s and Mia, though a survivor, from him. What he has become and his life behind the glitters of stardom, and that one fateful night of watching Mia’s recital at the Carnegie Hall. And just like If I Stay, it shows flashbacks on what transpired the moment Mia opens her eyes in the hospital following the accident to Adam’s dark days and to his band’s stardom.

Although it was narrated by a man’s point of view, it was heartfelt. As it was told on the first book, Mia saw Adam cried over a physically abused child on the street, it was clear that he is a very emotional and compassionate man. With his words, expressing his pain, I cried many times. I felt what he felt. Like him at some point of the book, I wanted it to end. He said “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!” and that’s the same thing I felt with all the pain that he’s going through. With all the guilt. With all his baggage.  Though I was also glad the events of one night was written that slow because I was able to understand Mia as well.

I really think Gayle Forman is a talented storyteller and I hope she can come up with new stories as great as this one and the prior. As she is a woman I like how she writes this book manly enough, Adam as a man. She was still successful in making her readers feel moved without dragging them.

You should definitely read this second book after reading If I Stay. I know some of you who read the first one didn’t liked how it ended, you will definitely feel whole and satisfied after reading this. Maybe you’ll even wish for some more stories of Mia and Adam, like I do too.


If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Released date: April 2009


"I’d like to meet someone in my condition. I have some questions, like, what is this state I’m in exactly and how do I get out of it? How do I get back to my body? Do I have to wait for the doctors to wake me up? But there’s no one else like me around. Maybe the rest of them figure out how to get to Hawaii."


"Please don’t die. I can understand why you’d want to, but think about this: If you die, there’s cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school, where everyone puts flowers and candles and notes next to your locker." She wipes away a renegade tear with the back of her hand. "I know you’d hate that kind of thing."


Mia is a talented cellist. Her world is Music, and her family, and Adam. However, a tragic accident on a one fine day changed it all. Now, she has to make a decision. A decision that will break hearts of those she loved either way.

I stumble upon this book while I was in the office bored to death waiting for a call that might not even come in. I was browsing through the Amazon website reading feedbacks about books under the YA category. I am no longer a young adult but recently I enjoyed reading YA novels that are not under Adventure/Fantasy genre. Most of the ones that I have read this year are cheesy and suspenseful, the likes of The Hunger Games and The Hush Hush Saga. If I Stay is different from them. I was rather curious about it after reading feedbacks on the website. It still took me few weeks before I actually had the time to read it because of a couple of books on queue to be read, I still had to put down a few of them due to dragging chapters.

When I finally started reading this, after the first chapter, I know then that I will love this book. There are only few novels that are written in simple prose yet will definitely move you every chapter and this is one of the few. I can’t stop my tears fallig down my cheeks.

I find it hard to put down. My eyes are glued to the screen of my iTouch wherein I am reading this off of my iBooks. I know I am punishing myself because of the glare, but I can’t blame myself. I want to know what happens next.

The acceptance process was heartbreaking. To be honest, every chapter was heartbreaking. Or maybe I am such a cry baby, like Adam.

Just when I’m so caught up with Mia’s predicament of staying and waking up or just letting go and die, before I know it the decision was made though I am not sure if she really has a say to it like what the Nurse said or it’s inevitable because of what Adam vowed, and the story ended there. It was a good thing I read the book knowing there’s a second one readily available to be read once I’m done with the first.

Overall, I was right, I loved the book. I was glad I found it online and I am definitely recommending this to my friends. You should read it too.



Mara Dyer’s Website

Author’s website

Author’s Blog

Released date: Sept 2011

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.


There was an edge to his voice that I didn’t like.“My God, you’re like the plague.”

A masterfully crafted, powerfully understated, and epic parable of timeless moral resonance? Why, thank you. That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me,” he said.

“The disease, Noah. Not the book.”

“I’m ignoring that qualification.”

This book left me hanging pretty bad, and yet I loved it. I loved Mara. I loved Daniel, I want to have a brother like him. And most of all, I loved Noah.

I read this book to experience first hand what the fuss was all about when I read it’s review in Amazon. It’s one of the most interesting book that I read in a while, next to The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

The story started out a bit slow but not dragging. I was already halfway reading it but I was still confused as to what is really going on with the heroine, Mara. I was on the edge of my seat, my bed, because I don’t know what will happen to her in the next few pages. I don’t know what her dreams are trying to say about her. I found myself thinking of a possible explanation or diagnosis halfway through. I was asking myself, it seems like it or if it isn’t then what is it?

What I liked:

The story was creatively written. I liked Hodkins’ prose, lyrical, not that complicated. Witty. I have always been a sucker for suspense, psychological thriller and wholesome romance, and this book has both with a little bit of paranormal. The connection between Mara and Noah was lovable and not forced.

The Characters are relatable. Jamie can crack funny and witty lines, so does Mara, although she can have a filthy mouth for a girl her age sometimes. She is not your typical damsel in distress. She may be confused most of the times due to her predicament, she is strong, though not as strong as Katniss was in The Hunger Games Trilogy. Noah Shaw, oh Noah! He is my typical kind of guy, which is one of the few reasons why I fell in-love with this book. Noah was born and raised in England, just my type. God, I love that accent! Who wouldn’t? He can be a jerk sometimes with how he talk and dress. But he can be very sweet, really.

While Mara grew more and more confused with everything that’s shes experiencing every waking day, I was as confused as she was at the same time. With Hodkins’ writing you can feel what she feels. I also liked how Hodkins’ wrote Noah’s part as well. Some small details of his actions are never a small detail. Hodkins successfully shocked me telling Noah’s story towards the end. Explaining that his small gestures has more significant part of the story other than just to make you swoon and fall in love with him.

What I don’t liked:

Hanging questions. I have quite a few. So many unexplained details, unexplored possiblities that were laid out but then forgotten by the author, maybe. Like, what about Jamie? What really happened between Noah and Jamie’s sister? The high Priest? And wtf Jude? (I think the latter will be answered in the next book.) And then probably the same questions running on Mara’s head that were unanswered.

I was also irked when Noah tried to convince Mara to change her mind towards the end of the story. Noah was fighting a lost battle there, Hodkin used too much words just so Noah can make a point. When they really shouldn’t have dwell on that argument and just moved on on the next scene. And the fact that Noah and Mara tried so many times to kiss but never really happened?! And the addition of  the Cinderella Love Story, Noah being freakishly rich, Super. I don’t like it. 

You’ll find yourself feeling how Mara feels. Confused. You’ll have a hard time figuring out what’s real and what’s not as well, as the story progress.

To sum up what I felt about this book. First, the cover. STUNNING! When I read the first few chapters I thought,what a very interesting plot. When Noah Shaw entered the picture, “Oh My God! He is hot!!!” After a few more chapters, as the story unravels, Mara’s unbecoming, I said “oh no! Few pages left?!” And when I finished, I said "WTF?! That’s it?” and that’s actually a good reaction, since I really liked the book. I just can’t wait for the next one to come out! For my questions be answered, for Mara’s sake and mine.

A must read!

-The Otaku Artist

**UPDATE: The title of the 2nd book will be : The Evolution of Mara Dyer.

There’s no official synopsis and no official release date as of yet, as per Michelle Hodkin on her blogger account.