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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-29 18:15
Sophie's World
Sophie's World - Paulette Møller,Jostein Gaarder

An exciting and engaging read for learning about the basics of philosophy especially if you're a philosophy novice. Before I read this book, I had some familiarity with some philosophers and philosophy schools. After reading this book, I began to have a better understanding of some philosophical concepts. 

 

The majority of the book's text focused on the development of each philosophical concept and covers time periods from ancient Greece to 20th century Europe. Fortunately, these passages are written in an accessible way that even philosophy beginners and average readers can understand. However, advanced philosophy students might find some of the explanations to be repetitive or disappointed that there are not a lot of challenging information in the passages. I don't recommend this book to readers who want to read about Eastern philosophies since this book limited to Western concepts.

 

This book is not just about philosophy, but it's a mystery novel about Sophie figuring out who Hilde is and why she is receiving her mail. So Sophie starts learning about philosophy from a mysterious philosopher to figure out who is Hilde. During the first half, I was engrossed in the story and wanted to know who this Hilde is. This sense of mystery was appealing to me and kept me excited. However, the second half was a bit disappointing. The reason was that the mystery of Hilde was solved. I thought that mystery was answered too early. After that part, the exciting and edge of your seat feeling disappears. The reason I kept on going was that I enjoyed reading about the philosophy lessons that Sophie is receiving.

 

After I finished this book, I'm now extremely interested in learning more about philosophy and philosophers.

 

(spoiler show)

     

 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-22 22:38
Reading progress update: I've read 318 out of 518 pages.
Sophie's World - Paulette Møller,Jostein Gaarder

 

I'm over 50% done with this book and I'm surprised with the twist. Sophie and the others are characters in a story read by Hilde. It reminds of the twist with The Lego Movie.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-07 02:27
The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Volume 1
The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Volume 1 - Gamei Hitsuji,himesuz,Hikoki

 

When I first read the summary of this light novel, I was worried that Suimei would be an extremely unlikable character. However, when I started reading the story, my worries were put to rest. While he does have some jerk moments, he is a surprisingly not a horrible character. The volume does go into some details into why he behaves in specific ways like the reason for not telling his friends that he's a magician. The side characters like Suimei's friends were okay. Reiji has a personality similar to the other light novel protagonists, and it was neat to see the differences between Reiji's and Suimei's personalities. Mizuki was a typical sweet girl and is a little underdeveloped compared to the rest of the cast. I admit I couldn't stand Felmenia at first, but later in the book, her personality began to grow on me. I hope to see more development for the rest of the cast.

 

I enjoyed reading about the differences between the magic systems between the worlds, and the techniques used by the characters. Fortunately, it wasn't too tedious to read, and there wasn't a lot of technobabble. The illustrations in this book were neat and helpful for me to understand some parts of the story. 

 

Since I was reading the pre-pub version of the story on the J-Novel Club website, I encountered some typos in the text. Hopefully, those mistakes are corrected before the volume officially goes on sale.

 

Readers who are in the mood for more isekai stories should check this series out.

 

(spoiler show)

 

 

 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-28 05:35
The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Thoughts Part 3
The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Volume 1 - Gamei Hitsuji,himesuz,Hikoki

I read 56% of Chapter 3.

 

This chapter so far has been more action-packed compared to the previous two sections. Reading about the fight between Suimei and Felmenia wasn't too difficult for me. What helped was the accompanying illustrations. I wish there were more, but since this is a light novel, there isn't a lot. It wouldn't be too surprising if there is a manga adaptation of this light novel series. If there isn't one, it should be made because I think a scene like this fight would look very cool. It was nice reading about the differences between the magic system on Earth compared to the one used by Felmenia and the other mages in her world. The magic contract sounds painful and scary.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-28 01:22
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass - Meg Medina

I understood what it's like to dread encountering the bully during middle and high schools and targeted for no reason. I also understood why Piddy didn't ask for help at first. I remember trying to ask the adults help when bullies were harassing me, but it didn't work well for me and made the bullying a bit worse. However, I couldn't connect well with Piddy despite facing some similar situations as her. Part of the reason has to do with Piddy's character not being developed enough and being passive most of the time. For example, Chapter 38 is one of the few times when she gets active, and it's brief. I knew she has dreams of being a vet, a studious student and likes elephants, but for some reasons, her personality didn't click with me. Despite having her name in the title, Yaqui appears in the story a few times in the book. As a result, she is a flat character with little personality. All I knew about Yaqui was that she comes from a rough neighborhood and has a boyfriend. The supporting cast is similarly underdeveloped. 

 

The reason why Yaqui has small appearances in the book is that the story is not solely focused on bullying. While bullying does play a part in this story, most of that is pushed aside during the second act where it focused more on the missing father and romance subplots. Those subplots were really uninteresting for me. The missing dad subplot was melodramatic and ripped out of some soap opera that clashed with the mostly realistic atmosphere of the novel. The romance between Joey and Piddy was underdeveloped and lacked chemistry. Also, those subplots hardly had anything to do with the main conflict of the story. I wish those pages were instead devoted to something like Rob's personal experiences with bullying and compare it with Piddy's. The last part of the book becomes much better than the middle section, but it ends quickly and a little disappointing. Piddy transfers back to her old school and still slightly shaken up from her experiences. I wished it ended there because the passages talking about her return were bittersweet. Then after that part, she receives an acceptance letter from a science magnet school that Piddy wants to go to and celebrates by having a dance party in a salon. I disliked this part because it was extremely cheesy.

 

I'm disappointed to say that I didn't like this book that much. I did want to love this book, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

 

 

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