Friday, November 30, 2012

Goodbye, old friend.

I'm sure it's no news by now that Multiply is finally abandoning it's social network features (blog, video, photos, etc.) and is now going to shift their focus in maximizing their e-commerce potential. Well, it's no secret that most local online shops are hosting their websites at Multiply even before Facebook came into popularity. This is really a good strategic move for the company, but that would mean sad news for those who have enjoyed the site as their own personal space through the years -- me included. :(

I've had my account in Multiply way back high school, and is my oldest existing blog to date since Friendster's site relaunch. Maybe the blog posts I've made in the earlier years of my blog their somehow give me the creeps (LOL), but I cannot deny that I saw how I've grown during that span of time till now.

Haha! The whole theme screams 'emo'! LOL.
That was my site theme all those years. The emo madness is at its peak during those times that I made my account and I happily hopped on the bandwagon. Haha, each person can be a little silly one time in their lives (I'm still silly now). Hot pink, and Black. Plus skulls as wallpaper. Definitely not girly at all. >.<

Through those years, I've made quite a handful of posts. Some in english, some in tagalog. And some, both. Though when I read them now, it amazes me how long I've held on to something that I already lost for a long time. Like my former Friendster blog, which I often call my hate blog, there's just so much negative energy (stress, pain, loneliness, and the likes) embedded in their. 

Here's one example: 

Just click the image to zoom if you want to read. Excuse some of the grammatical errors. :)
See what I mean? I wanted to delete the posts, but I can't bring myself to do it. Well, maybe it's for the best that the site is deleting these old files. XD It pains me to think of how I lived my life before. It really sucks, but at least it helped to be stronger and livelier than I was before.

One thing I learned is that brooding over the past and things that are way out of reach is a really tiring way to live. From now on, I vow to make this blog a more cheerful one. :)) With that said, I need to fill this with things that makes me happy.

Btw, this is the last day that you can back up all the files you have on the site. I'm currently downloading them whilst I write this. Here's to a more cheerful and positive view of life.

But nevertheless, goodbye old friend! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Quick Thought: Should I arrange a giveaway?

I got into thinking that I haven't done anything special in this blog that actually involves my followers, ever. And since I am receiving these things, and Christmas AND my birthday (30th of dec) is nearing, I am thinking of having a GIVEAWAY for my dear readers. I'm still in the process of figuring out the details and (hopefully) finding some sponsors who would be kind enough to help me, but I'll let you know. If I won't be able to find any, I am still willing to buy them with my own money. What's a little spending for all the support I've been receiving through these past months? Plus I'm thinking of including some of these bookmarks that I've received in there! I just want to show you guys that I am really, really grateful  for everything. I'm just a bit nervous that I'll be shunned and nobody would join it. Lololol. But nevertheless, expect some great news in the coming days. I'll let you know if everything is settled.


A random picture I took way back January 2010.

Let me know what you think in the comment box below. 

Should I arrange a giveaway? 
If I will, would join it?

A Parcel Arrived! Thank You, Booktique!

A parcel arrived on our doorstep yesterday! I'm so looking forward for this one, and I'm pretty glad that I finally got it. That was fast! :)


Unopened parcel. I just figured I wanted to take a shot before opening it. >.<


And it contains this! :) They sent me one of their best selling items: the Paris and London bookmarks! It's a set of vintage style bookmarks which features several European sceneries. This pack contains 30 different bookmarks! (Click here for more info about this product.)


This is the collection of designs featured in all of the bookmarks. Click the image to zoom. :)


And these are some of my favorite designs in the bunch. I'm in a sore need of bookmarks and these could not have been more perfect. This would really go well with my recently purchased vintage style Parisian notebook which I still haven't talked about, but will in a future post.

Again, thank you, Booktique! :) 

Still on the process of saving some money to buy some merchandise included in my wish list. So I'm hoping to transact with these folks again in the future. Love love love their shop.
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A QUICK THOUGHT!

I got into thinking that I haven't done anything special in this blog that actually involves my followers, ever. And since I am receiving these things, and Christmas AND my birthday (30th of dec) is nearing, I am thinking of having a GIVEAWAY for my dear readers. I'm still in the process of figuring out the details and (hopefully) finding some sponsors who would be kind enough to help me, but I'll let you know. If I won't be able to find any, I am still willing to buy them with my own money. What's a little spending for all the support I've been receiving through these past months? Plus I'm thinking of including some of these bookmarks in there! I just want to show you guys that I am really, really grateful  for everything. I'm just a bit nervous that I'll be shunned and nobody would join it. Lololol. But nevertheless, expect some great news in the coming days. I'll let you know if everything is settled.

Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Should I arrange a giveaway? If I will, would join it?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recent Haul: Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I can't help but like the French title of this book than the English one. It's been eons since my last book haul post. But yep, you read it right: I just bought a copy of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

I always say that I am always short on cash.... and when I find books that I really want but can't have at the moment, I tend to make a list in my memory to buy this first before that. But when I have some extra and I don't really plan on buying, every little list disappears into thin air for I find myself grabbing the first thing that caught my attention. Haha. So much for planning.

Well, I was doing nothing in the office but sit for hours and then "le petit prince" suddenly crossed my mind (for some reason). Weird, but the exact french title was the one I typed when I researched it on Google. Thus, the title of this post.

I've heard so many things about this so called "children's book for adults". And I have doubts on whether to purchase it because one does not simply want a children's book when it involves money. But it turns out: this is more than that. I once read at a site that "There are a few stories which in some way, in some degree, change the world forever for their readers. This is one." And with the raves circulating this piece of novella, I think I should really give it a try. Besides, I really, really want that Le Petit Prince Desk Calendar/Planner for myself but I'm afraid it won't get its deserved appreciation and love if I get it without reading the book first. XD

One quote that caught me:
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
White (225 Php) and Black (175 Php)
I stopped by National Bookstore (my favorite place!) a while ago to get a copy -- and I found two versions. The white one is the cover that I've known for years and has a glossy, full-colored finish. The black one however, which I've just seen recently, is much bigger and cheaper than the other, fully-colored, but the pages were ordinary grade paper (?). I also noticed that some of the drawings in the glossy one are not colored. 

It's placed in the YA shelf for some reason and the place is really jam packed with high school students at that time pointing and blabbering about the chick lits they've read on the shelf. I wanted to say "a little silence please" or just outright "shut up!" because I really can't concentrate on my decision making. Haha. Good thing nothing came out of my mouth. They must think me weird because I've been flipping through and staring at these two copies for a really, really long time back there.


In the end, I spent another 50Php just for the glossy pages. Haha. >.< 
#perksofbeingabooknerd


You must think I'm making a big deal out of it but it really is. Hehe. I had a hard time deciding which one to buy, mind you. Another reason why I chose this is because the drawing look very much alive in the glossy pages of the white version. And the colors richer and fuller, too. Since the drawings/paintings in there are pretty much an integral part of the reading experience, I figured I should choose quality over where I could save some dough (here comes my Holden withdrawal again). :))

This is considerably short of course because it is a novella, so I guess I will finish this before the massive A Dance with Dragons, and will, most probably, complete my 2012 reading challenge -- not bad. I hope it won't disappoint because I really have high hopes for this book. 
_______________________________________
For more information regarding this book, see its Goodreads and Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Booktastic Christmas Wishlist!

Upon looking at a certain book blog, I stumbled upon one interesting shop -- it is called BOOKTIQUE. If you're a book lover as much as I am, you'll definitely understand why I was so giddy when I saw this.


 Booktique is an online store hosted on Facebook that offers merchandise and whatnots that a book lover won't resist having their hands on. Basically a boutique for book lovers, they sell several book-themed items and what's pretty amazing is that they offer customized items, too. :)

Some of their products
They offer a wide range of products: from mugs to necklaces and book lockets, bags, and even book-themed shirts! I was really really glad about all of it. And it is very timely because I am meaning to get myself some awesome Christmas/birthday gifts. XD

The lineup of their products is pretty interesting. So, I decided to make a Christmas wishlist (all from BOOKTIQUE!) :

#1. ASOIAF Book Lockets

If you're closely following my blog, you can probably see that I am a huge A Song of Ice and Fire fan girl -- so much, it's bordering on addiction. LOL. That's why I am pretty thrilled when I saw these in their shop. I wasn't able to see it at first, good thing they are very accommodating and they answered my queries immediately. Thank you, guys!

#2. 'Read' Necklace


They offer unique designs, but I prefer this one. Simple, straightforward -- the word 'read' front and center. It just gives off importance and emphasis to the word for me.  =)

#3 Book tote


My sentiments exactly. XD And yep, they do have these! I've been meaning to find another because my old one ( it says "are you still using plastic?") was quite worn out now since I had it way back in first year college. And this is a perfect addition to my closet. The design was chic, too. And have I mentioned already, they also do customized designs for bags, too!

#4 Catcher in the Rye Tee


Can't get over the fact that I could actually wear that quirky, eye-catching (yet absolutely beautiful in my eyes) design of its book cover. Wee, isn't it cute? I love this shirt ever since I saw one of my favorite book bloggers wearing it in one of his posts. I was so glad to discover that Booktique is selling one. I might want a customized ASOIAF T-shirt in the future. Again, they DO CUSTOMIZED DESIGNS.

#5. Book Lover Series Mug


The design of this cup is really pretty. Too bad I don't have someone to share it with. XD But I'm still planning to get one of these mugs. =) I can almost imagine myself drinking coffee in this mug while reading my favorite book  beside a window. Quite cozy, and special. :)

Well, that's that! I'm gonna have to cut back on my spending in the coming days to buy at least 2 of these. Plus, there are still those loads of book titles that I've been meaning to buy this Christmas holiday. Oh, golly wow. Where's money when I really need it? Hehe. I hope there's somebody who reads this now who (for some reason) might want to give one of those to me for Christmas, or perhaps, my birthday. Haha. Just joking. But it's not really that bad to hope, right? :P

Anyways, please visit their Facebook page by clicking HERE for more details or if you want to purchase one of those items for yourself or for a loved one.

Yuletide is coming, why not also spread your love for books? This will definitely bring smiles on your book worm friends' faces (ahem!). And it is quite timely now because in the spirit of Christmas, BOOKTIQUE IS OFFERING A HARD-TO-MISS PROMO!


Definitely a steal, eh? So what are you waiting for? Celebrate a booktastic Christmas -- with Booktique. :)
_____________
Images posted in this blog post belongs to Booktique.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanks to When In Manila x Barenaked!

Lady luck has been on my side these past few days.. and I'm REALLY THANKFUL for I won the recent Barenaked Giveaway hosted by When in Manila. I just learned about this giveaway at Ate Glenn's blog, Gencified... but never did it crossed my mind that I could somehow win it. So glad! 

See this post to learn more about the salon. :)
A screen shot as a memorabilia. LOL. :D
As you probably know, I am based in Cavite and traveling wasn't really a big part of my life so picking these up was really a hard thing to do. Hehe. Their branches, one in Taytay and one in Fairview were places which I'm not really familiar with -- total stranger, actually. I don't have someone to accompany me that time so I was forced to go alone.

I went to SM Fairview alone... and it was really a nerve wracking experience. I was always dozing off when commuting, but during that time, my eyes were really wide awake. Travelling on the metro is really a hassle for me, maybe it's because of the environment.

I travelled for four hours to SM Fairview and stayed in the mall for only 30 minutes because I was really paranoid that I won't be home before 11 pm. Lol. >.< When I went to redeem the prize and gave my school ID to the ladies at the counter, they were really surprised that I came all the way from Cavite. Hehe, I never really considered going to Taytay because I don't have any idea where it is and besides I forgot that they have a branch there. My mind was somehow just focused on Fairview when I read their store description. Haha. In any case, they're a really very nice group of ladies and I'm looking forward to visiting them again if ever I would come back there. Travelling home took another 4 hours, so it's a total of 8 hours to and fro.

So this is what I've got:


I was one of the five When in Manila fans who received this FREE underarm whitening kit. XP


The kit includes:
1. Barenaked Underarm Whitening Cream
2. Barenaked Healing Cream
3. Barenaked Kojic Soap
4. Barenaked Anti-Perspirant with Whitening


I am no stranger to Kojic Soaps, but this one seems to be a little stronger than the one I've used in the past. But it takes time to get used to it I guess. On a brighter note, I luuuurve the smell of the whitening cream. Hehe. I'm looking forward to positive results so that I can give my UA more exposure. LOL.

Anyways, I almost forgot! Thanks to Miss Ethel Merioles of LifestyleManila.com for posting this giveaway at When in Manila. :))

This bag contains more than just this underarm kit -- it also contains a memory of an experience that would surely make me smile every time I remember it.

____________________________________________
To check out Barenaked Sugaring Salon's Facebook page, click here
Also, click here to check out Miss Ethel's blog at LifestyleManila.com.
Be a fan of an awesome community of bloggers at When in Manila! Click here to check out their site.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quick Update: Of papers and pink keys.

Well, for a start I just have to say that my application for an internship in a certain company was finally accepted. I'm not really sure how far I should be saying so I'll just leave some of the information vague. :)

I've been working for almost 4 days now. And as much as I enjoy it, I'm still adjusting to the new environment. I'm usually meek and timid, but I am still trying to change that... because I really really think that talking with my superior (even at random) would really help me and is necessary.

It's my first week, so it's still mostly clerical works -- like filing and typing. I enjoy them, but I hope I could do accounting work in the future. I'm quite excited for that. :)

One thing I discover about myself is I'm not really fit for things done repeatedly (for lack of a better word). I tend to feel sleepy, or sometimes bored, but of course, because the job requires it, I still have to do it. Spontaneity is not really my cup of tea. Yes I do have a wide range of interests -- books, films, fashion, or even makeup, but all of these are products of years exposure and such. So it really surprised me to realize that I'm not fit for repetitive jobs. I guess I want to challenge myself once in a while. It sounds ironic but I can't help it. XD

Well, so much for that. I still enjoy it though. And I hope I grow accustomed to everything soon. I still have almost one and a half month to go, 200+ hours to finish. I hope this internship would be worthwhile.

Here's a picture of something I found at work:

A Pink Hello Kitty keyboard! Yup, that's the keyboard I am currently using on my computer at work. 
How about you? How's your week?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another Book for my Christmas Wish List!

I want, I want, I want! >.<

I was strolling through National Bookstore before heading home from my internship interview....I moved on to one of my favorite shelf: YA... and then, I SAW THIS!

This is David Levithan's Everyday. Okay, so don't judge me...but I never read any of his works, but I've been hearing absolutely good things. Well, I'm not big on love stories, but this seriously got me. 

Everyday by David Levithan cover // source

Goodreads Plot:

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. 
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day. (Source)
Is this from Everyday? If it is, then it's absolutely perfect! // source
Isn't that dope or what? I seriously want this for Christmas, I really do.  >.<

BtL feature at Blogs ng Pinoy! :)

Simple gesture that made me happy.... I recently requested for my blog to appear at the Blogs ng Pinoy directory and I've been approved! Though it was just a simple thing, it's the first time that a whole post is dedicated to my blog...so I'm making a big deal out of it. :) #LOL

Screenshot of the Feature Post
Click here to view it! If you're a pinoy and you're a blogger, I recommend you go follow blogsngpinoy.com and request for your blog to be added in their growing community too. I guess this could also increase the traffic in your blog plus you could also find fellow Filipino bloggers there -- so, what are you waiting for? Go do it. :)

Punky Pugs First Giveaway!

Well, Sophie of Punky Pugs is having her very first blog giveaway! Only 5 months of blogging and she has already reached 312 followers.... amazing right? And to show her gratitude to her dear followers, she is giving away several prized items for girly fashionistas like her.

Source
The Giveaway includes:

- No7 'So smooth' base coat
- No7 'Stay Perfect' nail varnish
- Barry M 'Fuchsia' nail paint
- Barry M 'Emerald Green' nail paint
- 2x 'Colour' Lipgloss
- MUA lipstick
- MUA eyeshadow
- Primark Beauty sultry eye lashes
- Moustache ring
- 2x L'oreal youth code luminizer samples
- Crystal Glaze face mask
- Pack of 10 mini '17' lip glosses
- St Tropez 'Post Tan' Shower Gel
- TRESemme Root boosting spray

Quite the catch if you would win, right? Well you could also join too, just click HERE to join. This giveaway will run for about 3 1/2 weeks, and would end at November 30. What are you waiting for, join now. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Surprised at how fast I finished it? I was quite surprised myself. I don't know if it's the adrenaline of wanting to finish my 2012 reading challenge, or this book felt just like a breeze.... but nevertheless, I am now writing another book post. And now, it features The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky //  Source
Plot:
Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. via Goodreads
Well for a start, I must say that I am a big fan of YA. I love it, and I don't think I am anywhere near in outgrowing it. But I honestly think that Perks did not sit well with me. I like the book, but compared to other YA books that I've read, it placed in the latter part of my list. 'Coming-of-age' is one interesting thing to read about, but I think I've seen better. That is not to say that this is not a good book. Well in fact, it is -- but I think it's a just a matter of perspective.

Seeing as I've read books like Hold Still and Norwegian Wood (NW sits on the darker side of the spectrum, but the book kept popping in my mind while reading Perks), I've grown accustomed to depression as a theme. Though many speculates that Charlie is suffering from autism, all the time that I was reading it, all I kept saying was "this is one depressed kid". I know that there is something wrong with him, but though most of it is attributed to his experiences as a child, sometimes I seriously get the feeling that it is self inflicted. (Does that even make sense?). He tends to think too fast, which left him confused most of the time. And that makes him panic. I always remember NW in those episodes... where being confused is treated as a place of darkness. And I think that it is one serious symptom of depression.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Catcher in the Rye // Source
As I was searching through the net, I stumbled upon articles which claims that Perks is the next The Catcher in the Rye, or better yet, Perks is the Catcher of the 90's kind of thing. Well I cannot deny the similarities. I admit that Catcher also popped in my mind while reading it, and has been mentioned as one of the books that Charlie has read. And then again, both were included in the 'banned books' list. Themes about teenage angst and sexuality are considerably present in the book. There is also this teacher-figure which guided them both. 

I think most of my friends would not agree with me but I was reading through  most of the book thinking that, somehow, Catcher is better than Perks. Because while Holden is oh-trying-to-be-mature-but-fails, Charlie, on the other hand, is too innocent. I think I was about 2/3 or more in the book when I realized that everything is going somewhere which I haven't felt when I read Catcher. Holden is pure teenage angst, but Charlie managed to be mature at the end of the book. I was really caught off guard by the revelation in the last part of the book. It left me feeling weird, that's why when I finished the book, I was kinda feeling dazed. I even checked the internet if I just read and interpreted it wrong. It really left a mark on me. And that's what's important.

Despite of these, this book has a considerable number of good points still. I think one of its strengths is its presentation. The story all throughout the book was presented in letter-form - Charlie addresses it to a friend, which is supposed to be the readers. It provides for a more accessible format, and is easy to read. Charlie's innocence lets him become too observant and insightful that made the whole story poignant and alive. And most importantly, the book has an ample amount of lines/quotes that would surely be remembered, one is the famous line "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." that you surely have already heard especially with the recent hype from its movie version released earlier. It definitely had its share of highlight marks from me. I am excited to watch the movie though. XD

Still, I would highly recommend this -- especially to YA fans, this is definitely a staple read. Preferably for teenagers, but is still applicable to everyone who wants to live out the happiness and pain brought about by growing up. So, what are you waiting for? Read on! :)

Quotable Quotes:
"Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve." ~ Bill 
"I feel infinite." ~ Charlie 
""It was the kind of kiss that made me know that I was never so happy my whole life." ~ Charlie 
"But because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody." ~ Charlie 
"So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. and we can try to feel okay about them." ~ Charlie *This is my absolute favorite. :)
xxxxx

This has been part of my 2012 Reading Challenge, and is the 14th book that I've read this year. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

My 2012 Reading Challenge Update

It's almost just one and half month shy before the calendar flipped into another year again...and I figured I should post an update post regarding my reading challenge. I've been using Goodreads to keep track of all the books I've read and it's been proving to be extra useful, especially since I also got awesome book recommendations from the site.

I originally planned to read 25 books this year. But as I said in my post last April, I cut back to 15 books. And yeah, I'm still pushing through with that even though my schedule is really packed right now.

13/15! >.<
I'm glad to say that I'm two books shy of completing my challenge to myself. :)) I've been feeling a bit pressured because there's so little time left for two books. It may be a bit long for other people, but I am a very slow reader and had so much things to do because I am now in my last semester in college. The size of the books that I've been reading for the past couple of months should also be considered, i.e. the A Song of Ice and Fire Series. So I guess, you can understand my concern. But I think I could still pull this off. I hope I can.

BTW, these are the books that I've read so far (listed chronologically):


A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
Hold Still - Nina LaCour
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

It occurred to me that I haven't reviewed 5 books in it...but you could still click the link if you want to view the books which I was able to review. I'll probably be making the reviews before this year ends, or perhaps, early January. Also, I just figured that I haven't read much Murakami this year... oh well, I surely miss him. And I am still looking forward to purchasing the paperback edition of 1Q84. I hope I could make enough during my internship this month.

And so...only two books left and it would be complete, and I think I have the perfect books to go with it:


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

Perks is a given as I've already started it, and I'm almost midway. :) The problem is with the other one. You all know that any book in the ASOIAF series is definitely a big one, and A Dance with Dragons is definitely no different. I'm crossing my fingers on this one. I hope I finish it by December because I'm also one more book shy of completing the A Song of Ice and Fire 2012 Reading Challenge hosted by The Lit Bitch. I can do it!

So there goes my update. How about you? Did you also sign up for a reading challenge? What are the books you've read so far? Let me know below, and let's talk. :)

xoxo

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book: A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4) by George R.R. Martin

Two months have passed since my last review in the A Song of Ice and Fire Series, and now that I've finally finished the 4th book -- A FEAST FOR CROWS -- I'm gonna be writing another post again. Just like with my previous posts, I don't think I could write this without giving out a thing or two about the story, so just bear with me. You've been warned. :) So without further ado...

A Feast for Crows cover // Source
Plot:
After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors. ~ via Goodreads

The whole of A Feast for Crows (AFFC) was told in the eyes of 11 characters, which were: Aeron "Damphair" Greyjoy, Areo Hotah, Cersei Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Samwell "Sam" Tarly, Arya Stark, Ser Jaime Lannister, Sansa Stark, Asha Greyjoy, Ser Arys Oakheart, Victarion Greyjoy, and Arianne Martell; along with a one-off POV character for the prologue: Pate, a novice at Oldtown. That would total to 12 POV characters, all in all -- same as with the previous book, A Storm of Swords. This somehow deviates to the format of the three preceding books where each of the chapters were titled with character names to indicate whose POV is being used. In AFFC however, some chapters used mere 'titles'. The following titles were used:
  • The Prophet, The Drowned Man: Aeron Greyjoy
  • The Captain of the Guards: Areo Hotah
  • Cat of the Cannals: Arya Stark
  • Alayne: Sansa Stark (this, however, is an identity that Sansa assumed when she arrived at the Vale)
  • The Kraken's Daughter: Asha Greyjoy
  • The Soiled Knight: Ser Arys Oakheart
  • The Iron Captain, The Reaver: Victarion Greyjoy; and
  • The Queenmaker, The Princess in the Tower: Arianne Martell.

There was quite a handful of characters that were added in the already-long-list that the A Song of Ice and Fire Series had. And, as you can see, also a handful of new POVs at that. Characters which were proven to be pretty fascinating were introduced or given a deeper look. And several new places were also introduced which we haven't taken a peek into. And though I hate to say this, there are also existing characters that disappointed me.

It should be noted that fan favorites Jon, Daenerys, and Tyrion's POV were absent during the course of the book. It was because GRRM cut the book in half, only presenting the events in Kings Landing in this one and the other half, in and beyond the Wall as well as in the Free Cities, is to be presented in the next installment which is A Dance with Dragons. I was kinda devastated at first to not see any Tyrion chapters, but in time, I kinda got used to it. Though I must admit, I miss him sorely.

Some of the more interesting characters in this book included Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy, Qyburn, Lady Stoneheart, The Sphinx, and of course (as interesting as ever), Littlefinger . Though the Crow's Eye as well as Qyburn kinda creeps me out, I definitely want to discover more about them. Same goes with Lady Stoneheart, though I won't be going deeper into her because that might spoil a lot of things for the lot of you especially those that haven't read the books up to ASOS yet. Another one is Alleras or better known as The Sphinx was also pretty interesting for me though he received very less exposure in the book. And alas, Littlefinger! He is a genius in his own right. I pretty much think he is the most skilled in this game of thrones that they are all playing. Absolutely brilliant, and more cunning than I originally thought he is. I swear I really like to delve into their heads so much as I've wanted to have a POV of Lord Tywin and Cersei Lanniester (the latter being satisfied in this very book).

The Greyjoys and the Iron Islands were put in the spotlight in this book as three of the twelve POVs were from them: Aeron, Asha, and Victarion Greyjoy. Euron and Victarion left such disturbing images in my mind. LOL. These are queer folks, I must say. And the process of making a Drowned God Priest somehow cracks me up. I have to give it to GRRM in infusing certain modern things in his writings considering that he is working with a medieval fantasy piece. I won't say how, but yeah, read it for yourself. :) GRRM's writing is so convincing that whenever I read a Greyjoy POV, I could almost taste and smell salt -- sea salt. That thing could also be said in the Dornish chapters, which I enjoyed thoroughly. If the Greyjoys chapters bathe in salt and crisp air, the Dornish ones were presented in their full sandy glory. XD I could almost see the desert, and feel the heat. I just love that place. And it was really a treat to finally be able to take a peek at Dorne as it has been mentioned many times during the course of the series. Three out of twelve POVs were told in Dorne: Areo Hotah, Ser Arys Oakheart, and Arianne Martell. I was quite surprised to see a Kingsguard except Jaime having his own POV, and that it is Arys. I used to shun him because I think pretty much everyone in the kingsguard is unimportant except Jaime and Ser Barristan, but I guess I was wrong. I must learn to look twice at the characters in this book as they sometimes have so much part in the whole turn of event than I have imagined. I liked Arianne Martell, I guess, as well as Areo Hotah. The first Dornish chapter was Hotah's and I must say that after reading that, I was quite intrigued. But nothing fascinates me more in Dorne than the Prince of Dorne himself, Doran Martell. I can say that he's a master of his own game, though some things have gone out of his control. I can still remember the goosebumps that the last three words he uttered in the last Dornish chapter have given me.

On the other hand, the Brienne chapters for me were pretty boring for the most part as it was almost like pure aimless wandering. The last part redeemed it though. Plus I also like the fact that I got to read some of her flashbacks which, for a girl's point of view, is really cruel. My heart really goes to her. And then there's Sam. I think one of the more emotional moments I've experienced in this book is when Sam is reminiscing or reflecting on his relationship with his father. I don't hate Randyll Tarly as a character, but I truly hate him as a father. The Sam chapters were pretty interesting, but I still find the words that Maester Aemon uttered in the last chapters quite intriguing. I hope those things would go clearer as the book progresses. Arya on the other hand had done wonders to me in this book. Though she is a fan favorite among the ASOIF community, she is not really in my top three faves. But in this book, she has seriously grown on me -- more. She got to explore the world beyond Westeros, and as I've gushed about in one of my recent posts, her emotional reflections. Her chapters were anything but boring and she certainly added action to this book.

It's no secret that I've been a Cersei fan ever since I first read AGOT and watched the HBO adaptation. She has so much potential, so much promise, and it really irks me off to witness her making stupid decisions after the other. As Littlefinger put it: "I always anticipated that she would beggar the realm and destroy herself, but I never expected she would do it quite so fast. It is quite vexing."It really sucks. It turns out that she just appeared very strong on the front, but in reality she is as damaged as everyone else. It is interesting to know that I liked her when she was with Tyrion, or when she was being seen through her little brother's eye, despite his best efforts hating her. And Jaime just brings the worst in her, or its just Cersei only showing her true self to Jaime. Margaery has mirrored my thoughts so well: "you vile, scheming, evil bitch". The disappointment is quite awful. Especially with what she did to Jaime all throughout the book.

And, must I forget, of course Ser Jaime Lannister -- which has taken Tyrion's place in his absence. I can now honestly say that Jaime is indeed my second favorite character in this whole series after Tyrion. I don't know if that may give off the vibe that I have a queer taste for characters, but I really really loved him. I must give my hat to GRRM for making me root for a character that I once despised. His POVs were full of reflections, and I like that in a character. With these series of POVs, he was humanized more to my taste. The wit, the sarcasm. Everything. I always looked forward in his chapters as I was reading the book.

"Dark wings, dark words..."
If truth be told, this is the weakest in the series so far. But when you love something so badly, you will find even the slightest pleasant thing in it. That is not to say that this book is bad. It's just that, for me, this failed as a continuity in a very intense series of happenings that took place in the three previous books of the series. Even typing the words 'fail' hurts, because I so enjoyed the ride that this series have taken me that describing it in that sense felt like betrayal. There is nothing wrong with the writing, as George R.R. Martin still maintained that distinct style and characterization that got me. It's like a basic plot line, in which Game of Thrones (#1) was the introduction, then it got to A Clash of Kings (#2) slowly building up until it reached its climax, which is clearly A Storm of Swords (#3), and as any conventional story telling would suggest, everything after the climax would just slide down until it reached the very end -- but A Feast for Crows is nowhere near the end. There are still 3 more books ahead, and there is still more of the story waiting to be told. The only problem with this one is that it followed ASOS, which (in my opinion) have an almost perfect plotting that even using the word 'action-packed' or 'intense' would feel like an understatement.

Despite setbacks, I still enjoyed it nonetheless -- though not like how I enjoyed the previous three. But having this is necessary for the continuity of everything in the ASOIAF series so I'm good with that. Though the previous ones were relatively better, this is still good literature in its own right. And can be said as far better than most fantasy novels that are marketed today. Last words? Alas, winter has finally come. :)

Quotable Quotes:
"All men lie when they are afraid. Some tell many lies, some but a few. Some have only one great lie they tell so often that they almost come to believe it...though some small part of them will always know that it is still a lie, and that will show upon their faces." ~ the kindly man in the House of Black and White 
"...we all deceive ourselves, when we want to believe." ~ Maester Aemon 
"It is being common-born that is dangerous when the great lords play their game of thrones." ~ Septon Meribald 
"In this world the weak are always the victims of the strong." ~ Cersei Lannister 
"Anger was better than tears, better than grief, better than guilt." ~ Arianne Martell 
"Sometimes it is best to study a game before you attempt to play it." ~ Doran Martell

xxxxx

This has been part of my 2012 Reading Challenge. Currently the 13th book I’ve read this year. And part of The Lit Bitch’s A Song of Ice and Fire Reading Challenge. This is the 4th book of the series.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Join Superkape's Christmas Giveaway! :)

Guess what? Superkape is having her first Big Blog Christmas Giveaway!


To join, just check out her post by clicking HERE.

Right Over The Edge. :D

This post is a little overdue considering the hype I've been putting up in it for the last couple of days.  But I know I still need to post this.

In my update post.  I mentioned something about THE academic scholarship I've been working hard to get. And now my friends, I'm pleased to announce that I finally got my final grades for the last semester:


1.50! A GPA of 1.50! Though, of course, I've been wishing to get that, I just can't get over the fact of how exact it is. :D In our school, a GPA of 1.00 to 1.50 would grant you a FULL scholarship -- meaning, you need only pay the miscellaneous expenses in order to be enrolled and that would cover up your whole sem; and a GPA of more than 1.50 up to 1.75 would grant you a PARTIAL scholarship.

1.50, right over the edge. I am just so glad. Thank You, Lord!

I've estimated that there is only a 25% chance that I would get that, and lucky as I am, I got through. :))

I will be enrolling on my last semester as a college student tomorrow, and I know I'm gonna be posting a long emotional post right after I do it. XD *sentimental me strikes again* I am just glad that I could help my parents in my studies like this. This is my own way of saying "Thanks!".

Thursday, November 1, 2012

'A Feast For Crows' Sentiment: Arya's Nostalgia

I am a very slow reader. I tend to linger on every word on every page until meaning dawned on me. And I promised myself that I would finish A Feast for Crows as much as possible during the Halloween vacation that's why I am spending more time than necessary immersed in this book.

I was almost half-way through the book, I think. And just when things are going on smoothly, a conversation in a chapter caught my attention. I know only few, or even none, could relate to me in this matter but I am posting this anyway because emotions are welling up inside me and I can't share my thoughts to someone who would understand me since I only knew a few who are familiar with the ASOIAF series or better yet those who are reading the books.

So here goes... an excerpt of one of Arya's POV chapter in A Feast for Crows:
"Death is not the worst thing," the kindly man replied. "It is His gift to us, an end to want and pain. On the day that we are born the Many-Faced God sends each of us a dark angel to walk through life beside us. When our sins and our sufferings grow too great to be borne, the angels take us by the hand to lead us to the nightlands, where the stars burn ever bright. Those who come to drink from the black cup are looking for their angels. If they are afraid, the candles soothe them. When you smell our candles burning, what does it make you think of, my child?
Winterfell, she might have said. I smell  snow and smoke and pine needles. I smell the stables. I smell Hodor laughing, and Jon and Robb battling in the yard, and Sansa singing about some stupid lady fair. I smell the crypts where the stone king sits, I smell hot bread baking, I smell the godswood. I smell my wolf, I smell her fur, almost as if she were still beside me. "I don't smell anything," she said, to see what he would say.
"You lie," he said, "but you may keep your secrets if you wish, Arya of House Stark."
~ A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4) by George R.R. Martin 
For some reason, this just makes me sad. Arya has always been a fan favorite, and though I don't favor her as much as I favor other characters (i.e. Tyrion and Jaime), she has seriously grown on me. She is a developing character, and her chapters were anything but boring. And throughout the series, I am utterly amazed on how, at such young age (9?), she could handle everything that the world and the game of thrones has thrown on her. She has always been tough, and I applaud her for that. She seldom reveals her sensitive side, and is much much knowledgeable... way beyond her years. But when she becomes nostalgic like this, it always makes me cry. Especially here. So much has happened, and the thoughts she bore of Winterfell seems like long ago. The happy picture of her family, of the place where she and her siblings have grown into, seems so far away. And I know she misses it, more than she shows. I wonder if everything would be right again.

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