Faves of TwentyEleven: The Characters

From books, we go to characters! Today is the second day of the Faves of TwentyEleven series hosted by Nomes of inkcrush. :) Characters are my favorite part in a book, and sometimes I think they may even be more important than plot. I believe strong characters can revive an overused or boring plot, so I always pay attention to them. Here are some of the characters that stood out for me in the books I read in 2011. :)

Day Two: The Characters

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Six Impossible Things

Six Impossible Things by Fiona WoodSix Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia
Number of pages: 263
My copy: paperback, borrowed from Chachic

Fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things…

* * *

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood is a loose retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale with a guy as the main character. Dan Cereill’s life just kind of fell apart. His parents split after his dad came out, they lost their family fortune, he moved to a new-old house and transferred to a new school and his mom opened a wedding cake business that was doomed to fail from the start. And then there’s his neighbor, Estelle, who’s caught his eye and his heart from the moment he saw her, but had absolutely no idea that he exists.

Oh what a cute, cute book this was. Despite the dreary set-up of Dan’s new life, his voice was quite the contrary. Dan was sarcastic yet real, and he dealt with his problems with the best way a fourteen-year-old can. The humorous approach makes the entire situation just hilarious instead of pitiful, and at the back of my mind, I just thought that they would eventually get through this. As for how, that was the thing I was supposed to find out in the story. Since this is kind of a retelling of Cinderella, I liked figuring out what character was equivalent to that character in the fairy tale, even if it took me a while to figure out who was who. But even if you know how Cinderella turns out, the events in this story still took me pleasantly by surprise that, well, I just ended up sighing happily by the last page. :)

The writing in Six Impossible Things was fresh and light and so readable that I never had a hard time connecting with Dan. Dan is awkward and dorky but still so lovable that I wanted to adopt him as my little brother or something. I think his may be the first time I will use it but if there was any character that fits the word “adorkable”, it’s Dan. Even if his crush on Estelle kind of qualified as “insta-love”, at least on his side, it was still quite realistically done. Come on, don’t tell me you’ve never had a “crush at first sight” moment with someone! :P It’s not like Dan had diamond wedding rings for Estelle already. Major plus points on how Dan and Estelle’s relationship was developed — it was about ten parts awkward most of the time, but about a hundred parts cute and “aww” inducing.

The other characters surrounding Dan and Estelle were a hoot too. I loved Dan’s mom, in all her Radiohead singing glory (although I’m not really a fan of the band). I loved their friends and the guy who lived in the house behind Dan’s new house and the bully. But most especially, I loved the presence of Howard the dog. Dogs in stories always wins my heart.

Let me repeat what I first said about this book: Six Impossible Things is a cute, cute book. This is a perfect book to read when you want to relax and laugh and feel the feeling of wanting to hug a book when you get to the end. Because that is really what you’d end up wanting to do when you’re done with this. :)

Rating:

Other reviews:
Chachic’s Book Nook
Book Harbinger
Janicu’s Book Blog
The Crooked Shelf

In My Mailbox (18): MIBF (or, okay, not really)

It’s been a very bookish week since I arrived from Europe, and I am definitely not complaining. This week was special for Filipino readers because The First Filipino Reader Conference happened last Wednesday, and it was also the 32nd Manila International Book Fair (it’s still happening at SMX now, so if you haven’t been there, you still have time!). If you missed the ReaderCon, you can read what happened at the @PinoyReaderCon twitter (tweeted by yours truly :) ).

However, despite my two-day attendance at the Book Fair (the most I’ve did since I started attending), I did not get any book from the fair itself! I was supposed to, but I was terribly late yesterday and I was just too tired to look for a book (or beads for jewelry making), and most of what I wanted was gone. So this week’s (and last week, actually) stash includes some books I got from Book Depository, a book I borrowed and a book I bought during but outside the Book Fair. :P

The loot

Oh, and a lot of bookmarks, too, from the ReaderCon.

Anyway, the books:

The books

  1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – yes, I’m jumping into the bandwagon. I got this from National Bookstore in Mall of Asia. I wanted to get the boxed set, but I ran out of them in the Book Fair. I was supposed to get all four books, but man, they’re thick. So I decided to get just the first book for now and I’ll decide later on if I want the others. Again: man, this book is thick. 835 pages!
  2. Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood – borrowed from Chachic! And her personal Aussie library book tour continues. :)
  3. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner – yay paperback! And thanks, Book Depository. :) I had this pre-ordered a few weeks back.
  4. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta – pre-ordered this from Book Depository a few months back, too. :) Thanks to Nomes for the heads up of the paperback edition. Plus, I heard its sequel is coming out soon, so I should bump this up my TBR. :)

Oh, and I also got my blog business cards, which I had printed in a rush just for the ReaderCon. Features Steve Emond‘s drawing, and designed by my lovely friend Jana from Jana Styles. :)

Blog business card!

Talk about taking all the book blogging thing seriously. But hey, this is good for networking, and making friends. :)

I remember those days when I’d go crazy during Book Fair season, but I think I’ve mellowed out. That, and after paying for some Europe bills, I need to be more prudent with my book spending. That, and I really still have too many books in my TBR pile, and I really want to whittle it down further. Is this me maturing as a book hoarder? Gasp.

What did you get in your mailbox this week? :)