Movie Review: Rentaneko (Rent-a-Cat)


Rentaneko (Rent a Cat) | Year: 2012
Director: Naoko Ogigami | Writer: Naoko Ogigami
Genre: Drama, Family | Duration: 1 hr 40 mins
Starring: Mikako Ichikawa, Reiko Kusamura, Ken Mitsuishi
Rating: 2 1/2 Cups of Coffee

"Let this cat fill a hole in your heart" 

Sayoko rents out cats to help lonely people fill up the emptiness in their heart. She walks along the banks of the river with a megaphone promoting her service and her animals in a hand cart. It turns out that Sayoko is lonely too, ever since the death of her grandmother. All she has left is her cats. However, one day a young man shows up from Sayoko's past. He follows her home and suddenly her life seems completely to fall apart.

My Review

My first opinion is this movie is adorable as it has lots of cute "neko"-cats and a beautiful lead actress, though her sense of fashion is a bit off. As its core, Rent-a-Cat is about loneliness and how to fill up the hole in one's heart. The main character of this movie, Sayoko, portrayed by Mikako Ichikawa, repeatedly wonders along the river banks - it's so beautiful, I wish I can walk along such a river bank as well! Pulling a cart full of her cute cats, she's offering cat rental to lonely people. 

I like Sayoko so much. Though she is an awkward looking girl with a dream of getting married soon and has her honeymoon in Hawaii, she is definitely an adorable person in character and has a definite good heart not only towards animals, but towards people around her as well. "Let this cat fill the hole in your heart", is the nicest suggestion to the each of the people renting her cat. And she is also protective of her cats until the extend of doing the thorough inspection of the cat-renters because she though "Some jerks like to abuse little animals". 

It's so fascinating that the director plays a lot with the beautiful color tones and picturesque settings. I feels like I wish I can be a part of the beautiful settings. Sayoko's house though it looks less spacey, it is so beautiful that I wish I have a house like that but with no cats of course. However, I think that this movie's weak point is the delivery of it's emotional aspect left a small impact on me. Definitely, it has some humors but it fails to make me laugh. Normally, for this kind of movie, with its deep message I'm expecting myself to cry a bucket or two, but it failed terribly. I don't even shed a tear. Moreover, the movie's repetitive nature on the whole makes the movie less fun and less emotional than expected. The ending is confusing. I was like "What? That's it?". I really hope that it would end differently i.e Sayoko getting married with the boy from the past and off the go to Hawaii for honeymoon. Well, that's my kind of ending which never happened in this movie. 

All in all, it's adorable and cute but it's boring. Highly recommended for those who love cats. You might love this movie too. 

The Biggest Book Sale in the World!


If you are wondering where in the world you can find the biggest book sale ever? It is not in Canada. Not in United States of America either. In United Kingdom? is a wrong answer as well. The answer is in Malaysia!! It's the Big Bad Wolf  Sale!  I've been enjoying this event for three consecutive years already and it was such an amazing experience. 

This year BBW2012 is taking place at Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC) and is offering the readers 75-95% super discounts on 3 million books. It's super cheap and yes I'm telling you the truth. So, those who haven't get the opportunity to go there yet, make time and clear up you schedule for this monstrous event. During the first three days, they opened the book sale 63 hours non stop. I was there up until 2 in the morning, can you believe it? And they're opening for a straight 60 hours this coming weekend. Amazing!! 

These are some pictures I snapped during the visit to BBW2012. Sorry for the low resolution images. Blame the Blackberry's camera.

the entrance: this year citizens don't have to queue

can see this car right before entering the hall. it's cool!

sea of citizens howling for the books

citizens queuing to pay for the books. I was in the queue for almost an hour. pfft!!

If you're wondering what I got from the wolf's nest this year. I'll let you know in another post. I've got 22 books in total and it cost me not more than RM200. What a bargain!! 

WWW Wednesdays Dec. 5

A fun weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. This meme gives opportunity to  readers to share our current reading, books we recently finished and books we're going to read next.

What are you currently reading?
I'm juggling between "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom which I'm reading on my new baby Kindle Touch (well it's cool to have one!) and a physical book "The Passage" by Justin Cronin. So far, I really enjoy this two books.  

What did you recently finished reading?
The latest book that I finished reading is a John Grisham's novel with the title "The Litigators". Well, I'm not so impressed with this book actually. Working out on the review at the momment. 

What do you think you'll read next?
For quiet so long, I've been wanting to read the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. Now I've all six books on my Kindle. So, the first book of the series would be next on my reading list.  

Wishlist: December 2, 2012


Title: Quran and Cricket | Author: Farish A. Noor
Publisher: Silverfish Publications
Genre: Travelog, Culture, History
Format: Paperback, 290 Pages
First Published: 2009

This is the book that only Farish A. Noor will attempt and can write. -Publisher

Almost a decade after 9/11, the media is still wrapped up in the good Muslim-bad Muslim cliche, and we are no closer to winning the War against Terror. Dr Farish A. Noor: academic, political scientist, activist and traveller extraordinaire, lives, eats, sleeps, prays with and interviews students (and others), in the 'jihad factory' madrasahs from Patani to Pakistan, and comes away dazed and confused. With strains of Pink Floyd in his head, he penetrates the deepest sanctums of Islamic orthodoxy, walks with Islamic guerrillas of Patani after dark, sips tea with Kalasnikov-wielding drug lords of Pakistan, and interviews monsters to try to make sense of it all.


Title: Body 2 Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology 
Author: Jerome Kugan, Phang Khee Teik
Publisher: Matahari Books Publications
Genre: Anthology, Social | Format: Paperback, 240 Pages
First Published: August 1, 2009

The first of its kind. 

A compilation of original creative writings on the gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and transvestites of the country. Long denied voice in the mainstream, the queers of Malaysia are boldly and fabulously represented in 23 stories, fiction and non-fiction. From coming out to changing home, breaking up to breaking down, changing sex to changing heart, the stories are different from anything you may have read in or about Malaysia. Recognize your friend, family members, or even yourself in the stories. by turns poignant, lustful, tragic and hilarious, this book is a testament to the rainbow mosaic that makes up Malaysian society.   

Harry Potter Book Vs. Movie

I stumbled upon this picture while randomly browsing the net and I love Snape!! He's a hero.

Teaser: Airframe by Michael Crichton

A fun weekly meme Hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading where readers share the teaser sentences from their current reads. Now I'm reading a Sci-Fi Thriller by Michael Crichton, "Airframe". This is the first time me reading a novel this author so I don't really know what to expect from this book. I just hope that it will be a good read. Since it is about airplain I really hope this will bring me sky high.

The Teaser

"He knows the aircraft didn't come within five hundred feet of the Pacific Ocean. Everybody'd be dead if it did. The incident happened at thirty seven thousand feet. At most the sircraft dropped three of four thousand feet. That's bad enough." -pg. 215

News: Weekly Top 5 Fiction Best-Sellers

I'm sharing with you guys this week's top 5 fiction best-sellers as compiled by Malaysian local bookstore, MPH Bookstores. Well, it's good to know what Malaysian are buying for their shelves and maybe I can put several to mine as well. Well here are the list!!

05. "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach | Literary Fiction

It is about baseball. Well, not my cup of tea I would say. But I believe that this kind of story might be inspiring and there will be a lot of lesson to be learned. To be honest, I hate the cover. #nottoread 

04. "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien | Fantasy, Adventures

This book had been first published decades ago I guess. But still, it is a great read and it will be on the big screen soon! I am so excited about it. My friend gave this book to me but I haven't get the chance to read it yet. But, I will read it soon before going to the cinema. #bookIown #toberead #movietiein

03. "The Sins of the Father" by Jefftey Archer | Historical, Thriller

Book Two of "The Clifton Chronicles" series. I have the first book, "Only Time Will Tell" on my shelf waiting to be read. #wishlist

02. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James | Adult, Erotic

I am well aware that this series is so popular. But, I'm just not interested. #nottoread

01. "The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling | Mystery, Adult Fiction

With the huge success of Harry Potter books, Rowling had set the bar very high. I was really addicted to Harry Potter series, and because of the series I started to be a bookworm. Despite of some bad words for this books I think I would like to read this book. Harry Potter was super great and Rowling is popular. I guess that's why this book is at the top of the list. #toberead 

Source: New Straits Times
Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Review: Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Title: Change of Heart | Author: Jodi Picoult 
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton UK
Genre: Family Drama, General Fiction, Thriller
Format: Paperback, 461 Pages
Date Finished: October 2, 2012
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 3 Cups of Coffee

"Your daughter needs a new heart. The only match comes from a murderer. What would you do?" 

June has survived what no mother should face. twelve years ago, her husband and young daughter were murdered. For the sake of her unborn child, she managed to carry on living. But now she faces losing a second daughter. Claire has a heart defect, and unless they find a donor soon, she will die. When a match is offered, it seems like a miracle. Until June learns that the new heart will come from the man who killed Claire's sister. She thought she would do anything to keep her child alive. But how can she give her daughter the heart of a murderer? - Back Cover

My Review

When I read the synopsis of "Change of Heart", I thought was, "Oh my, here is another germ from Jodi Picoult." When her husband and daughter were murdered, life had been so meaningless for June. But for the sake of her unborn daughter June kept on living with the past shadowing her life. But, like any other books by Picoult, life won't go easy for the mother as the daughter, Claire was diagnosed with a heart defect.  Shay, the murderer, wanted to donate his heart to Claire but the death sentence he was facing didn't permit him to do so. And even that he could do so, will June and Claire accept the heart of a murderer?

As usual, I like how Jodi Picoult tackles some serious and sensitive issues happened in the society and turned it into an interesting reading. In "Change of Heart", she highlighted about organ donation and organ transplant as well as the death sentence. Shay, the murderer, would like to donate his heart to the victim's family which I think that it was a way for him to atone for his crime. Thought he was a convicted murderer, I kind of like Shay's characters partly because I think he's innocent, and I was proven right (partly) about that as towards the end of the story, when he revealed the story (which I don't really know it was true or not) about what had happened during the day when the father and daughter were murdered. June in the other hand was not really a likable character because I think she was an ignorant mother to both Claire and Elizabeth. I kept asking "Why not taking the heart, if it is the only way your daughter could live?" 

Though it is a good read, I have to say that this book is not as enjoyable as some of the previous books I read by the author. The first half of the book was boring and dragging especially reading from Michael's point of view. Partly because most of the time Michael will relate his thought with Christianity and bible, which I am not really familiar with and partly because Michael himself was such a boring character. When Picoult's story suppose to be believable and real, she offered some illogical paranormal events in this book. For examples, Lucius's AIDS was suddenly cured, Shay's brought the dead Robin the raven back to life, and the wine came out from the prison's pipe? Well, I like these kind of Stephen King's paranormal mysteries, but for Picoult's story they didn't blend well. 

Favorite Quotes:
 “Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love? Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy's dying wish?”

Note: This review is linked to Saturday's Situation by Candace's Book Blog

First Malaysian Author Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize


Today I came across an article in NST of Man Booker Prize, the equivalent to  Oscar Award for the writers. To my utter surprise a Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng is one of the six authors who are shorlisted for the prize. This is the historical moment for the Penang born author, as he is the first Malaysian who has been shortlisted for such a great event for authors all around the world! I am so proud mself to be a Malaysian. 

About the Prize 

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade.
Tan Twang Eng has been shortlisted for his novel "The Garden of Evening Mists" which is published in January. This is the second time he is listed for the prize since 2007, when his debut novel "The Gift of Rain" made the Booker longlist. Well, it was such an acknowledgement to a writer to be longlisted in the prize itself, and to be shorlisted together with the Booker Prize Winner, Hillary Mantel, this year, it is such a great accomplishment I would say. Well done Mr Tan!! 

The Booker comes with a £50,000 (RM250,000) prize. Wow! That's a lot. But the most important thing is the sales of the books will increase at every stage of the selection process. In the week of shorlist announcement, sales of Tan's novel shot up from 174 to 950 per cent. Pretty damn impressive!

The Blurb

It's Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan.

Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice 'until the monsoon comes'. Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. 

I think, I a few years back I bought "The Gift of Rain" but I haven't get the opportunity to read it since it had been eaten by termites. So, I have to get both of the book soon. Well, I'm not sure who's gonna win this time!

Note: Other books shortlisted for The Booker Prize 2012

  • Hilary Mantel "Bring Up the Bodies"
  • Will Self "Umbrella"
  • Jeet Thayil "Narcopolis"
  • Deborah Levy "Swimming home"
  • Alison Moore "The Lighthouse"

First Impression: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


Title: Mockingjay | Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #3
Genre: YA Fiction, Action, Dystopian
Format: Paperback, 455 Pages
Date Started: June 10, 2012

The Blurb

Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. 

My First Impression 
Advanced Rating: 4 Stars
I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather. -1st line

Now comes to the last part of the "game". Katniss' final battle. Well, at the beginning of the book I found out that Katniss is having a hard time to figure out whose side she should be on. Feeling betrayed by Haymitch and utterly disgusted by what the Capitol had done to District 12, she's trying to figure out what is the best move she should do next. Separated from Peeta but having Gale by her side, I can't wait what will happened in this final part of the Hunger Games. I really think that Katniss' characters is more mature in this final part, so does her sister Prim. I adore them.

Coming Soon: The Kill Order

I just completed the Maze Runner trilogy and it was such a great read. Then, I find out that this one will be coming out soon, I am pretty excited. How it all started will be revealed in this book and I just can't wait to find out more about it. 

Title: The Kill Order | Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #0.5
Genre: YA Fiction, Dystopian, Adventures, Action, Sci-Fi
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
Expected Publication: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press

The Blurb
Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares seared the earth and mankind fell to disease.

The Kill Order is the story of that fall.

A prequel  to The Maze Runner trilogy, The Kill Order has been in the works since the completion of The Maze Runner. The  story of civilization's fall was kept under wraps and is the explication of the events that began this bestselling series.

“The prequel is something that has churned in my mind since before "The Maze Runner" was even complete. It's been hard to keep it a secret! I'm excited to finally share the news and I can't wait for my readers to see how it all began," shared author James Dashner.
 ** Preorder "The Kill Order" now at or visit the James Dashner's  website for the updates.

Feature & Follow Friday #1

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by two awesome book bloggers Parajunkee @ and Alison @ Alison Can Read. This is a medium for us blogger to discover new blogs and to get people to know about our own. It makes our circle of friends even bigger. Well, happy Follow Friday!!


What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaptation of because you think the movie could never live up to the book.  

Some good stories from books turn out so really good on big screen like The Time Traveler's Wife and  Water for Elephants. But some failed to do justice to the books; The Hunger Games is a good example for that.Well, to answer the question, instead of one I would like to list two books that I am nervously anticipating and have pretty high expectation on its consecutive movie adaptation of; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. Both of them are from the YA realm, yes, same like The Hunger Games, but I really hope that these two won't disappoint me like what The Hunger Games did.

Wishlist: April 12, 2012

Seriously I have no idea how to start blogging again. It seems like all my ideas just stuck in my head, couldn't come out into words. I didn't review for almost half of the year, thanks to my working life! and I'm damn sure that my writing is getting rusty. Well, it is rusty. But I am so happy to write again and hopefully I can do it more frequently from now onwards. Maybe, piling up my wish-list would be a brilliant start. Don't you think so? Well, I do.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Divergent Book 2

One choice can transform you or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves and herself while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Note: I've reluctantly rated the first book, Divergent, with two stars. Mixed feeling. Though I like the premise and the setting of the story, but the characters development failed to impress me. The story also was a bit dragging in the beginning but towards the end of Divergent, the story started to catch my interest, the reason why I'm so looking forward for this second installment.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments Book 5

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Note: First of all, the cover is so gorgeous. Second of all, I was so enchanted by City of Bones and currently absorbed with the City of Ashes. Third of all, I have all four books including City of Glass and City of Falling Angels. And fourth of all, I don't see any reason not to have this one as well.

Booking Through Thursday #1

I find out that this is interesting. Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Tribute Books Mama.


What book took you the longest to read, and do you think it was the content or just the length that make it so?

There are several books that took me longer time to finish. But so far the book that took me the longest is World Without End by Ken Follett. It's not because the content as I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it is listed as one of my favorite books, and instead I would love to recommend this book to all historical fiction fans. It was the length that make it so, and I am not a fast reader though.