Sunday, October 24, 2010

Movie Review - (500) Days of Summer

Rating: 10/10

In (500) Days of Summer, Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) reminisces his past relationship with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel).

The story is told in non-linear fashion, which is quite interesting and serves the film well. It's one of the best romantic comedy movies I've watched so far. The characters just seem so "real". (500) Days of Summer is a great, great, great movie with a wonderful soundtrack.

(And, no, I'm not angry at Summer or anything.)

Book Review - R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton

Rating: 8/10

Kinsey Millhone is hired by wealthy Nord Lafferty to "baby-sit" his daughter, Reba, who is being released on parole. It seems like an easy task, especially when Reba turns out to be an obedient bun. But things start to turn around when Alan Beckwith, Reba's former employer, meets up with her once more.

R is for Ricochet didn't sound too exciting when I read the summary, but I was dead wrong. It's actually full of action, romance, and comedy. For one, her landlord Henry is involved in a love triangle with his brother and a widow named Mattie. Kinsey also "gets to know more" of Cheney Phillips, a cop who was born rich. I don't know if this will thrill you, but when the FBI is involved, my ears sort of prick up and want to hear (or, rather, read) more.

(I can't decide if I'll like Reba Lafferty's character or not. Most of the time she's a pain in Kinsey's butt, but in between she's a nice girl.)

Book Review - P is for Peril

Rating: 5/10

Renowned doctor Dowan Purcell has been missing for weeks on end. The police have not been able to uncover any leads. Dowan's ex-wife, Gwen, hires Kinsey to investigate and, hopefully, find him.

P is for Peril didn't entirely satisfy my craving. It's too slow-moving and there's this ridiculous subplot where two brothers - who may or may not be hiding a secret - rent out an office space to Kinsey. Although it is well-known that her novels are witty, Grafton's comedy somehow failed to save the day.

Book Review - D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton

Rating: 8/10

An ex-convict named Alvin Limardo asks private investigator Kinsey Millhone to deliver a check for $ 25,000 to a fifteen year old boy named Tony Gahan. Kinsey readily accepts but when the retainer check given by Limardo to her bounces, she decides to confront the man. It is then revealed that Limardo's real name is John Daggett, a man who is wanted dead by a lot of people. A few days later, Daggett is found dead. Kinsey has no idea what to do - after all, how do you make a dead man pay up?

D is for Deadbeat isn't really exciting in its onset, but the ending is a real shocker. It just further proves that Sue Grafton is one of the greatest American mystery writers.

Book Review - B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton

Rating: 7/10

B is for Burglar is the second installment in Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries. Private eye Kinsey Millhone is hired by Beverly Danzinger to find her sister, Elaine Boldt. According to Beverly, Elaine was last seen leaving her apartment on the way to the airport where she would fly to Boca Raton, Florida. But it seems she disappeared somewhere in between...

B is for Burglar is pretty good (but not that exciting) because of the characters in it. There's Mike (the cute, mohawk-haired, druggie), Julia (Kinsey's "eye" on Florida), and Pat Usher (who trashes Elaine's Florida apartment like crazy). It's also interesting because Kinsey just went out of a very troubling relationship with the suspect in A is for Alibi and here she is seemingly ready to pounce on Jonah Robb, a Santa Teresa cop who is plagued by marital woes... But, still, B is for Burglar is a good read, as good as any Grafton novel is.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Review - T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

 Rating: 10/10

Kinsey Millhone's cranky next-door neighbor Gus Vronsky dislocated his shoulder. His only living relative, a niece from New York, hires a private nurse to take care of him because of the demands of her work. Kinsey is asked to do a background check on the hired help. Everything turned out pretty well... Until her P.I. senses tell her something is terribly wrong.

I couldn't put this book down. T is for Trespass is just what the reviews say it is - terrific. Every frickin' scene made my heart race, especially the one with Henry's pick-up truck (that was the worst). Solana Rojas is one of the smartest crooks in all of the ABC novels I've read.

The humor never let down for a moment. I was laughing really hard at the part where Kinsey visited Gus Vronsky at the hospital and they had this little conversation that showed just how cranky he was.

Nor did the suspense let down. It's just amazing. Makes me want for more Sue Grafton novels. I think I'm getting a little Kinsey-esque myself. :D

(Maybe it's the long jump from N to T but I find Kinsey changed. Oh well.)

Book Review - G is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton

Rating: 9/10

Kinsey Millhone is celebrating her 33rd birthday. Her landlord, Henry Pitts, finally unveiled her renovated apartment. An interesting case about an old woman living in the Mojave Desert all by herself is handed to her. More importantly, she gets included in Tyrone Patty's hitlist. So much for a birthday, eh?

G is for Gumshoe is interesting because Kinsey hooks up with this other private investigator, Robert Dietz, whom she hires as a bodyguard. (It may not make sense to those who have never read the ABC novels...) Also, Sue Grafton's sense of humor, never fails. (I swear I was laughing at the scene where Kinsey accidentally sets off the alarm and Henry comes out of the house with a meat cleaver wearing only his underwear.) There's a lot of mystery going on and everything is just spine-chilling. I got hooked on this one so bad I didn't get to review for an exam. Heh. You probably get the suspense by now. :)

Book Review - F is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton

Rating: 8/10

F is for Fugitive finds private investigator Kinsey Millhone in Floral Beach, a small coastal town where there is no such thing as a "private detective". Seventeen years ago, Bailey Fowler was imprisoned for the murder of Jean Timberlake after he confessed to the crime. But pretty soon, he was able to escape and hasn't been seen since. Now, Bailey is caught and imprisoned again. His father, Royce Fowler, a man dying of pancreatic cancer, hires Kinsey to clear his son's name and find out who really murdered Jean. The trail is seventeen years cold, but Kinsey finds a chilling bend at the end...
I pretty much liked this novel, even if it's not as exciting as L is for Lawless. It's probably because of the setting. It just seems like a nice place to live (without the murder, of course). Sue Grafton did a good job with this. I think it's a perfect plot. :D

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wishlist (>v<)

Because Christmas is almost around the corner (plus my 18th birthday!), I decided to post my wishlist of the 18 books I want to own/read:

1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
2. Extras by Scott Westerfeld - 714 pesos*
3. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
4. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
5. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - 289 pesos*
6. Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan - 289 pesos*
7. The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan - 289 pesos*
8. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan - 289 pesos*
9. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan - 649 pesos*
10. Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher - 399/699 pesos*
11. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - 349/559/758 pesos*
12. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - 559/749 pesos*
13. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - 530 pesos*
14. Graceling by Kristin Cashore - 359/765 pesos*
15. Fire by Kristin Cashore - 499/756 pesos*
16. Going Bovine by Libba Bray - 756 pesos*
17. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton - 699 pesos*
18. The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen - 335 pesos**

* Fully Booked Online ( prices
** National Bookstore Online ( prices

Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Review - The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

Rating: 8/10

It is the 19th century and England is trying to conquer Burma. An eccentric doctor, who proved to be very useful to the military, is asking for a piano tuner because an Erard Grand he had is out of tune. Edgar Drake, an expert in Erards, is called to fulfill this duty. While at first it seemed an incredulous mission, Edgar slowly begins to understand the importance of his task and, in the process, becomes captivated with the lush environment.

I bought The Piano Tuner because 1) it's cheap and 2) it's about a piano. I've always been interested in pianos and even learned how to play one (although I've mostly forgotten about it now). This seemed like a good book to read.

It's more than good, though. It's perfect! Daniel Mason is a talented writer and he has a lot of potential. The characters, the plot, scenery... It's all beautiful and he captured it with words successfully. Burma came alive in this book.

The only thing, I think, that it lacked is a more detailed description of Anthony Carroll. Although perhaps Mason's purpose was to keep him mysterious, I would appreciate a few more details about the doctor's life. Also, his relationship with Khin Myo is somewhat blurred; I can't tell what exactly is going on, if there is one. I'm still in the dark on this one. But putting all that aside, The Piano Tuner is a great book.

Oh yeah. It's going to be made into a movie. Yay!