Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013 in Books

We're barely 3 hours before the new year breaks in, and I just wanna say that it has been such a wonderful year for my reading life. :)

I've been setting a pretty low book count with regards to my reading challenges because of time constraints. This year, I vowed to read at least 10 books -- and I'm so glad I did it, and more.

There were a bunch of recurring authors, specifically John Green and David Levithan. Well, John Green is always a staple in my reading choices so that comes with no surprise. But, Levithan -- I was so glad that I decided to pick up one of his books. "Everyday" broke me in all these unexpected places. Definitely trying out more of his works next year. As for Sara Craven, that was merely a random pick. I liked the first book I read, so I decided to pick up another. Besides, these books were just a few pages away so I finished fast. There were also revelations like Lang Leav's Love & Misadventure. I am so glad that poetry is not at all dead. :)) Also, one of the highlights of my reading experience this year is picking up Mario Puzo's The Godfather. It was a revelation in its own, and I was really surprised that I liked it so much because I am not really into this type of genre. This has been a pretty adventurous year! :3

The Books I've Read This Year 

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer | The Forced Bride by Sara Craven | The Virgin's Wedding Night by Sara Craven | Everyday by David Levithan | The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan | Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav | Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan | Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan | Coraline by Neil Gaiman | It Had to Be You: The Gossip Girl Prequel by Cecily von Ziegesar | Sabriel by Garth Nix | 5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai | The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | The Godfather by Mario Puzo 


You can click the link for a review-of-sorts of the books. Most of these, I've read after October. Why it turns out I've been too lazy writing reviews and got really busy catching up. Haha. Pardon me, but I hope I could finish filling up the gaps at least this January if my schedule permits me to do so.


Based on my stats, I've read a total of 4,187 pages this year. Yey. It was a far cry from 2012, because of the gigantic books from the ASOIAF series... but it was fulfilling all the same. There's this certain thrill of knowing you completed something. Now I know why it's really important to put goals in everything you do - it pushes you.


 I figured I should post a Top Pick of sorts, so here goes:

5 Books That Made My Year
(in particular order)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Everyday by David Levithan
5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai
The Espressologist by Kristina Springer


I definitely missed reading Haruki Murakami this year, and George R.R. Martin's absence in my system is pretty noticeable. I would be doing some re-reads especially when the Game of Thrones Season 4 is coming this May 2014. 

Well this has been fun. :3
I'll probably post a wish list of the books that I wanna read this 2014 in the coming days so watch out.
In the mean time, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Twenty Two

Source

Maybe it's the detachment to something you've grown so used to. Maybe it's looking back and realizing how many times you've screwed up when you shouldn't have, as if seeing reason for the first time. Or maybe, it's the fact that a year has just passed and you don't know if you made it worth it or you just let it pass by, wasted.

It's all these negative things creeping in your mind, shadowing the good old times. And perhaps, they're stronger than ever today.

The thing is... so many things have happened. And I'm not exaggerating if I say that I have one hell of a roller coaster ride this year, even going so far as say that I've had a few more turns more than others.

Graduating. Passing the board. Getting a job. But then... losing someone so precious forever. And drastically changing the way I live my life.

This has been the worst, and yet the best year of my life. And I know I'm supposed to understand why it's all been too confusing at times, but there are moments when I don't - and somehow, that takes all the fun in a perfectly good day.

But I now I truly understood that "life is not a wish-granting factory" and that things don't always come easy. And that this is one of those moments when you just simply realize that, no it doesn't always have to be perfect. Because learning to live with all these struggles is one way of making your life a little more closer to perfect than before.

I don't exactly feel old, just not young enough to dwell on the things that I enjoy before. This all feels a little new. There ups and downs... but I'm definitely loving this new life. And it scares me, and thrills me all at the same time.



I am seriously having the urge to post Taylor Swift's 22. But no. Just no.

Book: The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Source
Plot:
What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?
With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma 
and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers. (via Goodreads)

One of the young adult books I've read this year that has a definitely catchy and unique premise. The idea of Espressology was quite interesting, I wonder if it's possible. I grew up only drinking instant coffee on a daily basis, and I've just been recently discovering the experience of drinking "real" coffee and this seems like the perfect book to read. Well for starters, I've been searching for coffee-themed books or books where coffee plays an important role in the plot to end my 2013 reading adventure. Two books came up, The Espressologist and Coffeehouse Angel. But since the latter contains supernatural elements, naturally I would pick this -- and I was so glad I did.

This was such a light read. Years spent on reading books with very heavy drama (Norwegian Wood, in particular), complicated story lines (ahem, ASOIAF), and depressing themes probably tired me -- not that I don't like them anymore. Maybe I just needed a little time to break the monotony. That's why reading this felt like a breath of fresh air. The story was almost cute. There were little issues regarding character development, especially with the main character Jane. The second half of the book was pretty promising but I guess it didn't actually maximized the potential where it can go. And maybe, dealing with the problem at the latter part of the book and the ending scene felt a little fast-tracked for my taste. This little book is not perfect, but I think what's more important is that it entertained me. I stayed awake until I guess 3 am to finish this book in one sitting. But it's okay, because I got to sleep with a smile on my face. :)

I am in love with coffee shops even before I started visiting one. I don't know, they just seem so romantic, so quiet...feels like a pretty fitting place to write... or better yet, meet someone special. I've always had this illusion of reading a book in the far corner of a coffee shop, sipping a cup of joe.... and suddenly someone would talk to me because of the book I'm reading. Hah! Seems like a pretty cliche setting, but that's just me being dreamy. #excusemeforthat

All in all, this heightened my love and respect for coffee and coffee shops. This, for me, is a perfect book to read and to keep you occupied in the holidays. It's fun! Definitely recommended. :))

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! (And a perfect holiday gift from BBC) #SherlockLives

Why, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! 

Source

And with the festive mood and everything, BBC gives us the perfect gift to warm up the holidays and keep the anticipation to the highest level. And of course, with all the canonical references from the source material, the writers of BBC Sherlock prove once again that they know what they're doing. 7 minutes...and that's all it took to capture everyone again (not that they ever failed to anyway).

Watch the video below, and enjoy!

Rejoice, because #SherlockLives! Many Happy Returns!


Book: The Virgin's Wedding Night by Sara Craven

Source
Plot:
A bride for the taking Harriet Flint must marry before she's twenty-five if she is to claim her inheritance. She turns to sexy Roan Zandros, who agrees to a marriage in name only.
Their marriage vows exchanged, Roan reveals he is a billionaire whose every demand is granted.
Harriet realizes that Roan has every intention of claiming his inexperienced bride.
via Goodreads

Cliche as this may seem but this book will definitely stick with me. It's been almost a day since I finished this but my mind still kept going back to that final scene of realization, acceptance, and most of all reunion. Of course there's the obligatory love scene as a romance book should have, but the character development was awesome especially with the main protagonist, Harriet Flint, which came off as a convention-bending lass with a passionate heart. Also, it's not hard to fall head over heels with the male protagonist, Roan Zandros. I love how everything unraveled beautifully at the end.

I can't say the title was misleading...but it definitely wasn't its strongest part. Don't let it get to you because this book is more than all of that. This book is kinda sweet and all.. and coming from me, that itself says something.

I've overlooked this genre since forever. But after reading this, I realized how much I missed reading light and romantic story lines. Definitely trying out others of this kind. Any suggestion? :)

Quotable Quote:
"He has never understood that sometimes real love requires one to let the beloved go. Probably he never will." ~ Roan Zandros

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Uncertain

Source
She was there, sitting at the bench, arms stretched,  hands resting at her sides. He sat beside her, and did the same. Her hands twitched at the slightest moment of contact but she didn't move.

And neither did he. He kept it that way, aware of each other's soft breaths against the cold wind that brushed their skin. They settled to watch and marvel at the night sky.

He looked at her. She's smiling still gazing at the wide horizon and he wondered if anyone ever looked that beautiful in the soft light of the moon.

Feeling his gaze, she turned to him and saw something in those eyes -- eyes that she grew too used to in the past few months. It's coming, she said to herself. She knew that he would ask something that has been bothering him - both of them, for months now. She wanted to take a deep breath, but is too aware of his presence to even do anything.

"What are we doing?", he asked. Seeing him getting this serious felt weird and confirming all at the same time. It took a moment to answer, but she said it anyway. "I don't know," said she, thinking how those three words are the only thing that can perfectly reflect what she's feeling at that moment.

He looked at her still, and in that very instant, it felt like time somehow stopped. He wished for that moment to freeze, for him to just hold that gaze forever, swim in the ocean of her eyes....but he can't.

After what seems like forever, he broke his gaze and looked up again. She did the same.

Those words hurt, he thought, but uncertainty is better than nothing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Something clicked, and they smiled. This is the start of something wonderful. And both are aware of that.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Book: It Had To Be You (Gossip Girl #0.5) by Cecily von Ziegesar

This is my first book review after a very long time... and since I'm on vacation mode right now (not for long), I've been concentrating my attention to light reads only for I don't really want to burden my mind with complicated feelings and whatever. This book, I happen to find at BookSale at an affordable price considering it was hard bound and looked quite new. So instinctively, I bought it. And after moments of sitting in the corner, most probably due to boredom, I finished it. So here are my thoughts:

Source
Plot:
Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where my friends and I live in luxe Fifth Avenue apartments and attend Manhattan's most exclusive private schools. We're smart, we've inherited classic good looks, we wear fantastic clothes, and we know how to party. We can't help it-we were born this way.
Our story begins with three inseparable, completely gorgeous fifteen-year-olds, Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, and Nate Archibald. Blair's loved Nate and his glittering green eyes since she was in Bonpoint onesies. Too bad Nate wishes Blair's beautiful best friend, Serena, was the one with the crush. And Serena has a secret she's keeping from them both. Hmmm, something tells me these best friends may not be as close as we thought. . . .
How do I know all this? Because I know everything-and lucky for you, I can't keep a secret. So sit back while I untangle this messy little tale and tell you how it all began.
Admit it, you're already falling for me.
You know you love me.
Gossip Girl (
via Goodreads)
I've been too corrupted by the Gossip Girl TV series to even imagine a somehow different back story than what was put on air. I mean... I was so obsessed with the series that for me, Serena would always be Blake and Blair would always be Leighton, same with all the other characters. They were all etched to me so deeply that it was really confusing when the descriptions with the book don't match what I actually have in mind.

I know that it was a bad way to start, and definitely a bad way to read a literary piece. The book should come first before the TV series, not the product before the source material. But I just wanted you to know that I operated under that condition and so this review-of-sorts would probably be really influenced by an existing idea of things and happenings.

First off...this is a prequel, supposedly the happening before the first book, Gossip Girl, right before Serena left for boarding school. I love back stories, so I admit that was one of the reasons that made me buy this one. It was pretty thick for a GG book, so I immediately wondered what's the deal with this and wasn't really expecting to be disappointed.

Maybe disappointed was not the exact word...but I just get this feeling that I wasted my time reading this one hell of hard back book when I should've used my time reading something else. And take note, books don't get that a lot from me.

I mean, every page seems dragging and the events are too shallow for my taste to even care about. Like there's one character, Jenny (if you're familiar with her)...spent almost all of her screentime (if that ever make sense) caring and talking too much about her boobs. Did you hear that? Her freakin' boobs. It gets on my nerves. It was really hard imagining them to be 15 or 14 and all.

And how each label and brand of each detail of whatever a character is wearing was somehow required to be mentioned irks me off -- but I guess that's necessary.

I also hate how almost all character seemed too easy to hate on. Vanessa, Blair (can you believe that?).... and don't even get me started on Nate. I swear, this book almost obliterated any turn-on characteristic of Nate in my head, except of course his perfect face. That part sucks almost as much as the plot do.


"He was becoming a poet and Serena was becoming his muse."
And when I encountered Dan... I thought there's still a glimmer of hope.. because you know, he was a writer and all...but he just ended up like a creepy stalker obsessed with Serena and all that. His poems are great tho.

But above all that... you know what's the best part of this whole book is? It's Serena. Flat out Serena, alone. I love how she's all layered. And I love how she has read these novels. And how carefree  and effortlessly beautiful she is. Plus the way that she always puts the happiness of others above hers. She was the center of the whole thing, and with her the story progresses and it made sense. And the fact that I can somehow relate to her made her grew on me more. 

I hate how some of the characters never really grew out of their shells. They're just that. Maybe it's just because it was a prequel...and it came out way after the first book was published, so I guess people never really expected much, they just wanted to know the story, and how it all started.

I've read Gossip Girl (#1), and then I've read this. Maybe that wasn't a great idea after all. This book was never meant to be a stand alone read. I've read the first book, and I never really liked it that much. Maybe this is not really my cup of tea. Or maybe I'm just not really in the mood.

I rated it 2 stars at Goodreads. I would've given it a 1.....if not for Serena. (I absolutely loved the TV show, though.)

Quotable Quote:
“Who has time to make up stories when the truth is so much more interesting? ~ Gossip Girl 
"You parted my Red Sea!" ~ Serena van der Woodsen *don't even get me started on this totally inappropriate remark. >.<*

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I think I just got my heart broken today.

How was it possible to feel so happy, excited, and in love and at the same time so heartbroken, sorry, confused, and scared? 
It's called life, babycakes. Get used it to it.
~ The Gossip Girl Prequel: It Had To Be You, Cecily von Ziegesar

It took seeing him again to realize that the feeling probably never did go away. She was so excited to see him, and when she did....she felt how wonderful it is to set eyes on someone again, and feel sure, if just in that moment. Everything made sense, and maybe, just maybe she thought, it could work out okay this time.

But when he started talking about this other girl and all that, everything just fell to pieces. That was not what she expected at all, and definitely not what she wanted to hear. She spent the next few hours saying that's she's happy for him, that she'll support him -- smiling... when everything inside her feels like they're crumbling away. Like someone hit her in the chest and left a gaping hole in it. She felt so empty, so hollow... she wasn't even sure why she was there at that moment. Why did she ever do that to herself again?

She let someone in, and broke her - again. The signs were obvious, but still she refused to see. And thinking back, she realized how naive she's been holding on to that little glimmer of hope when the odds are really not in her favor in the first place.

There's no going back now, she thought. Not that she could, anyway.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The day I got my first license.

Too many backlogs.

But anyways... it would seem really weird to not share it here.

The thing is.... I finally got that much-coveted three-letter extension to my name. Yup, I am already a CPA, i.e. a Certified Public Accountant. Too much days have passed, and my mind is still in a haze as to all the changes that's been happening in my life. Sure I can't quite feel it as of now, but I know that I would definitely realize the weight of all these responsibilities in the coming days now that I am a certified professional now.

I used to wonder not a long time ago if it would seem really weird to maintain this blog and all these social media accounts and publish all my weird thoughts and fangirling for all the internet to see if ever I became a licensed CPA. Would it lessen my professional-worth? (Because you know, all the image and stuff.) Should I get a pseudo-name or something? (Weird stuff going on in my head right now) And if people would search my name at Google, would they raise their eyebrow on everything that they would see? I know I'm over-thinking things, but I'm just a little concerned (not that I shared anything sensitive to be embarrassed about).

But it dawned on me that this is that generation -- where sharing things is a norm, and that sharing is okay. Society now accepts the individuality that each people projects, and most often that not, appreciate it and don't judge. We just need to be a lot more sensitive and careful about it. :)) And I hope I would do just that.

But I digress.

I know that this post is supposed to be joyful and thankful in tone -- it should be, actually...but somehow, I have this feeling that the happiness or the joy I am feeling is a little bit incomplete compared to how I imagined it to be (probably, losing my mom contributes so much to this feeling -_- ) so I find it really hard to be that happy about this. But despite everything, I feel really really blessed and thankful that I am one of those people who got through that test.

October 21st. 10:00 AM.
Riza O. Ponciano, CPA.

And last October 31st, I signed my first ever job contract. I am now hired by a relatively known audit firm as an IT Audit Associate, and I feel really excited to start working and discover how wonderful this field is. I'll start on the 18th. :))

I've been on vacation for a week now, reading books here and there, so I guess the next remaining week before my first day would be devoted to working on my employment requirements and stuff. I'll also be shopping for business attires in the coming days, but I'll keep you updated. I've been eyeing this place for nice pieces whose prices are quite the steal. I'm so excited.

On a slightly different note, I'm trying to finish these books so I could publish some reviews in the coming days. I thought vacation would just be all about books, books, and books -- but it turns out, I was wrong. >.< So just stand by, I'll keep you posted. I have three book reviews, pending, and another one (requested) for a novella. And I do hope I could finish my 2013 reading challenge this year, no matter how small it is compared to others. :3

That would be all. Ciao! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Still Alive and Kicking at the End of the Race :)

Hola, people! It's been a day since I've been back but there's so much to share, so much to start working on (catching up on book reviews and reading backlogs, *ehem*), and so much to think about that it felt really hard to organize my thoughts and post one entry that would make sense.

But hey, I figured I really really need this... so no matter how incomprehensible it may seem here it is. :)

First off, I just want to say that I'm so relieved and glad that it's all over. (I've undergone an almost-four months of review, plus recently took the board, if you don't know) It's been a tough first month, and another even tougher 3 months -- I am just so thankful that I still came out alive and kicking at the end of the race.

Too many things happened. I experienced the most pressuring time of my life. And one person so dear to my heart (my only MAMA) passed away. That moment was the sole lowest point of my life. And looking back, I am just so amazed at how much will power I was able to summon in order to just decide to keep going and take that first step of restoring my drive, even without that one person that supported me all my life.

I thought they were just bluffing or exaggerating things when they say that the review was one hell of a process. But having experienced everything there is, I guess they're right. I might even say that they sugar-coated these things to make it seem less...horrible.

Many times have I crumbled. Sobbing uncontrollably just because someone knocked over the tumbler that my mother gave me (it broke, you see). Tearing up at the slightest problems I can't easily answer while reviewing. And thinking hopelessly negative whenever things don't turn out as planned.

But through out these times, I learned that you just have to control what you think. And by controlling what you think, you control what you feel. Being hurt, maybe, we could never control them at times. But being affected -- it is always a choice.


Throughout those three months, I operated under the philosophy that I CAN DO IT. That there's a greater reason behind everything. And that there's no sense moping around and being an emotional mess that everyone expects me to be at that point. I needed to act and get going because whether I like it or not, things are moving on -- life IS moving on - FAST. And I needed to catch up.

It has been so hard. Physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Sometimes, there are more bad than than good times. But I prefer to always highlight the good in order to function as planned.

I'm just really, really thankful that I have friends who encourage me, text me randomly in the middle of the night just to say that I can definitely do it and that they have faith in me. Friends that I can share my feelings with no matter how corny, or insignificant they may be. Friends that accompany me in my random fangirling moments to reduce all those stress we've been having.

Also, a family that supports and understands that I needed to prioritize things over the other. That have the patience not to demand my presence even when I've been absent for weeks or months in our house. And a family that don't know how I really appreciate the random calls they've been making about the most trivial things that's been going on in their lives.

And for having a God -- that is always there with me in times of need and in times of comfort. A God that hears my prayers, hears my cries no matter how subdued they may be. A God that makes me feel that everyday's another day to hope for the best and watch out for all the exciting things He has in store for me.

And would I ever forget, my online friends, especially my Blogger friends who stayed with me until I got back. Sorry for the lack of updates. You always deserve a space in here, you know that.

Everyone, I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK! :3

The past months have been the hardest times of my life. But I know that at the end of the day, when I look back, I know that those same moments are the moments where I would stand proud, and say that "I get past that."

The result of the exam has been delayed for some reason, but I know that whatever it may be.... this whole experience is still worth it. :)

Seize the day! :)

(Image via Tumblr)
Watch out for some surprise! 
I am thinking of cooking up a simple giveaway for my readers to give back. :))
In the coming days.... :3

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Yet another angel has flown

Sometimes it's really hard to comprehend the belief that all things happen according to a single, master plan.

That you've lost something, you've lost someone, according to that plan.

That you're hurting according to that plan.

It seems really unfair sometimes that a person seems insignificant enough to be another thing's casualty just because it is by design.

And I wonder if people just hold on to that promise in hope of something better.

Perhaps, it's better to hold onto something, anything, that none at all.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Can you spot my name? :3

And here's a little something to close my week!

I know it's just a quiz, and it's no big deal to others... But sometimes, you need little things like this to help you function more properly and eagerly.

 I really thank the Lord because he's still giving me so much despite me kind-of wavering. And for ALWAYS, not failing, reminding me that I need not worry because he got my back. Thanks, bro! :)

You, Version 2.0: The PwC Preparation for Work Day Experience

I recently attended PwC Philippines' (Isla Lipana & Co.) Preparation for Work Day last Saturday at San Beda College - Manila. 

Honestly, I was a little hesitant at first because everyone who're supposed to come with me backed out and we have this quiz in MS on Monday. But then... It dawned on me that attending even little things like this is like building the first blocks of my career... Not to sound so futuristic or whatever, but I sincerely believed that every minute spent on it would be worth it. I really wanted to invest in my future, and passing up a chance like this would really feel weird. Because hey, it's not everyday that a big firm like PwC would invite you to attend their talk, right? And besides, a few hours off in my review time won't hurt.



Knowing how socially awkward and isolated I can be, it was a bit nerve-wracking coming to that event alone. But I managed, guys!I am so proud of myself for opening up and meeting a new friend. Which is also one important thing that I learned during the talk. "Be friendly, and everything falls into place." And it did! :)


Things were discussed: regarding the proper CV, how to handle an interview, proper attire, the importance of networking... and such. It was so much fun and believable listening to people who actually encounter these kinds of things on a daily basis versus me just browsing the internet for tips and what-nots in applying for a job.


It's bottomless pizza, everybody. >.< For a moment there, I hate my stomach for being full so fast.  Honestly, why do you always fail me when I need you? Tsk tsk tsk. :3
(c) PwC Philippines

During break, we got the chance to mingle with everyone including the staffs of PwC. They were so accommodating and very eager to answer our questions. I was honestly very shy to approach even anyone, luckily I have such a talkative companion. But later, after downing a slice and a half of pizza, I thought to myself: "What the hell. I need to do this." And I did. :)

Later on, I found myself talking to Ms. Pam, PwC's HR Director. And then, I even talked to Ma'am Emy, who is an actual PARTNER at the firm. >.<

Congratulations, self! We did it!

Okay. A first real picture of me ever since I started the review. Haha. No comment. Hello, eyebags. :3

Well, overall it was really a very enjoyable and worthwhile event. I was able to talk to some associates, and they were able to share bits of their experiences with us. It was really something that adds up to that motivation to succeed. With all the pressures of the nearing board exam, motivation and will is really something that you should hold onto to survive. Yes, even those little things matter. And sometimes, those little things have the most impact.


Why hello, Advisory. :3 Someday.... In my dream firm. #ihope

It's amazing how a few hours could somehow significantly affect your purpose. I can definitely say it was worth skipping some review time.

Thank you, PwC for that awesome experience!

xxx

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Moving on...

This is the first time that I'm actually publishing something a bit more in depth about this but I figured I needed it.

It's been more than 2 months, but it still feels weird and painful at the same time.

It hurts me to face the fact that words don't really come easy just when you need them. I've always wanted to share this, but somehow, anything I say or write isn't enough. The sad realization is that sharing something so dear to you, so close to you is like exposing a part of you that you could never afford to put out in the open. 

So far, I've been failing all my expectations -- how I would react, how I would go on, and how I would handle this kind of situation -- but since my expectations were built from years of exposures to novels and made up stories, I guess it's natural.

I've always imagined that my world would come to a sudden stop when I experience something like this, but honestly -- today -- for the first time in my life, I'm glad that I didn't live up to my expectations.

What's with all the big deal? Well here's the thing.

My mother just passed away, so suddenly, last June 17, 2013.

And as much as it hurts me to remind myself of that single fact that change my life during these past few months, I have to accept it. And one way of accepting it, I guess, is finally acknowledging it in the open (which I haven't really done outright in Facebook for all to see).

Since this blog is a personal space, I know it deserves better than random bits of fangirling and stuff -- but real emotions and stories rather.

So here's the deal: what I'm gonna be posting below is an excerpt of my first devotion after my mom passed away. Honestly, I clearly remember how conflicted I felt back then whether to open my bible or not. Maybe i was just too scared of the message that I've missed out, and was really afraid to be confronted by some painful realities. But I'm glad i chose to open it. And here it goes:

xxx

July 1, 2013

SCRIPTURE: "The reason I want to be happy is to make you happy. I wrote as I did because I didn't want to visit you and be made to feel bad, when you should make me feel happy. At the time I wrote, I was suffering terribly. My eyes were full of tears, and my heart was broken. But i didn't want to make you feel bad, I only wanted to let you know how much I cared for you." 2 Corinthians 2:34

REFLECTIONS: During the whole time that Paul wrote several letters to different churches, he was suffering terribly. And then I began to wonder... Is this really how someone whose eyes were full of tears and whose heart is broken should sound? how can he sound so cheerful, so full of life, and so eager to continue on and plan ahead all the travels he would go to once his means permits him to do so?

Paul was so overwhelmed with the love of the Lord that he even forgot the pain even for just a short time. Paul was so inspired by the Lord and his faith that the sufferings he is undergoing at that very moment were nothing to him. He is continuing on, planning ahead, looking beyond what was there to what will be. It is because he knows that these pains were all fleeting, all temporary; and eventually his faith will be rewarded because he knows, for certain, that at that right moment, the Lord will take it all away -- everything -- to be replaced by just pure happiness and pride that he has not given up at his most trying times.Because when there is no fear and when one is not afraid, there is nothing to be strong about. "It is only when someone is afraid that he can be brave" [G.R.R.M]. So much depends upon him and he holds so much responsibilities because he has been chosen by the Lord, so he can't afford to give in to weakness. He must be strong and must be able to endure every hardship for others.

Challenges and hurdles would either turn you away from the Lord or bring you closer to Him. ALWAYS CHOOSE THE LATTER. No matter how hard it is to choose that, sometimes. ALWAYS CHOOSE THE LORD. For it is only through Him that everything will be better. And you will be stronger.


PRAYER: Lord, I know that there so much to be thankful about despite everything -- that my family stood strong, that my siblings were not as shaken as as I expected them to be, that my father is still hanging on even though I know he's just holding it together because of us, that I held it together for that long -- but there is just so much pain right now that I can't concentrate on the good and just forget the bad.

Lord, help me mend these bruises. Help me regain that strength -- and because these happenings have somehow drained me, help me restore the life that escaped my heart through everything. Lord God, walking out of that church without Mama was so heartbreaking it was all I could do not to cry. Visiting her grave, before I go to Manila and resume reviewing for the boards, was very painful. To realize that she's just in that patch of dirt forever and that no one that warm would talk to us and hug us and take care of us and no one for us to call Mama anymore was just too much. And even though how hard I try to not show it and just be happy about the fact that she's now in a better place, at your side at her eternal rest, I can't stop it from breaking my heart. Lord God, bring back that 'thing' that went missing in me when Mama was taken away from us. Help me restore myself into something that You deserve as a follower, as a person, as an "ate", and as a daughter, as well as a friend.

It's hard to go on and continue to your normal routine when you clearly know that something is missing and it left a huge hole in your heart that at the moment felt like nothing could ever fill when that one person was gone. But Lord, fill it for me. Fill that void, and bring the ME that I like back again. It's hard thinking about the idea that she just left like that -- that she has not walked away from us and she just lost her grip on life even though she clearly still don't want to.

I take comfort at the thought that it was all according to plan -- all according to Your perfect plan. But sometimes I can't help but ask why that plan can only be accomplished at the expense of someone I love and cherish most in life. I'm so sorry, my Lord, that that thought ever crossed my mind. It was just too painful to see everything that has been laid out and to anticipate everything great that's to happen, but I know that it is what I should do. Have an unquestioning faith. 

Lord, clear my eyes so that I may see. Help me see everything in a good light so that I may not hurt as much I am hurting now. I may not know what those plans are at the moment, but I know for sure that one of it is to make me stronger and tougher to face life as it comes.

Thank You. Forever. Always.

~R

xxx

Well that was heavy, and kind of relieving. To anyone who got this far, I congratulate you. To those who don't, hmm, I understand, that was one long piece afterall.

Written in pure stream of consciousness one day when I decided to open the bible. I'm sorry if ever there are any grammatical or spelling errors.

[unintentional ASOIAF reference. Sorry, I can't help it. >.< ]

xxx

To MAMA.
There are no words for what I'm feeling right now, really.
But I miss you. 
We miss you. More. Each day.
We love you so much.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A little pause.

...for a necessary post to keep my sanity.

A while ago, someone texted me this this:

And then when I've gone over my Facebook notifications, I saw this:


And it seems like the Universe is conspiring to tell me something. :/

Friday, May 24, 2013

Moving Out?

Well, just temporarily. :D

We've been quite busy packing my things and checking if I got all I need in place because I'll be leaving our house to stay in a boarding house near the review center in which I'm enrolled at. See... my formal review sessions would finally start on May 28 (!!!), which means I only have at least 3 days to set my affairs in order . It's basically 1 and a half hour from our home, but with the heavy traffic and stuff, commuting would be really tiresome.

To be honest, I'm quite nervous. It may seem strange because for the whole 5 years of my college life, I was so used to living on my own, away from my family. I was living in the school dormitory all throughout, and my environment has always been like this:

no filter, and no edit
...it was always so cool, roomy, and bright. My school was situated in the upland part of our province so everything was just so simple -- it was not hard to adjust myself with everything. (I'll definitely miss it.)


But now, it's Manila. It's THE city. Well, it's not exactly that bad...but with the environment I've gotten myself so used to...there would be a really drastic change in everything. The roads would be smaller, streets more populated....and the air would not seem fresher because of more vehicles. It may take a while before I get used to it, but I wish I'll enjoy all the figuring out that're waiting for me there. :)

On a slightly darker note...
Look at the pile of books waiting for me to open them:


I feel nauseous just looking at them. Haha. Those are the piles of books that I'm gonna bury my face into for the next 4 months or so. I basically wasted almost 2 months worth of free time because I haven't touched any of them. Instead, I just immersed myself with a series of books, films, and other TV shows. It feels like I've relaxed and enjoyed myself too much. It kinda made me feel guilty but there's no sense in crying over spilled milk... so I just need to concentrate on what's important on the days to come.

In a perfect world with a perfect me, that's exactly what I would do, but you know how it goes...focus don't always come easy especially to those whose minds always tend to wander on fandoms, books, and other nerdy stuffs like that. But still, I need to try harder. That's all there is... the effort of trying, right?

That goes to say that I will stop or try to avoid (as much as possible) the less important things in my life that's been eating up my time -- which also means that I won't have that much time to blog in the coming days as much as I did in the past. There, I said it. There may be occasional posts about stuff, but please don't expect me to post too often. And I hope that not all of you would leave me by the time I get the hang of things and start blogging regularly again. I hope you'll understand.

The actual board exam would start on October 5 &6 for the first part, and October 12 & 13 for the last. Until then, please pray for me. I'll be praying for all of you too, my dear readers. Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Casting Calls: Hazel has found her Gus!



John Green's latest  heart/ground-breaking YA novel, The Fault in our Stars, is turning into a film, as you all know...and the question is: who will play our beloved characters that seem to hop right out of the pages and drill themselves in our hearts?

It's official, guys! Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters has finally been cast. It's none other than Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, respectively.

Shailene signed in for the role first after auditioning for the part...and after much deliberation, Ansel followed.

I won't comment on the looks, because we all know that Hollywood can do wonders that we can't even begin to fathom. And I strongly believe that it's the protrayal, the acting, that carries the character and not the looks (as evidenced by Jennifer Lawrence's stunning portrayal of Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games movie). Before anyone criticize the choice, let us absorb the fact that they are chosen for a reason and the people behind these choices are individuals that worked in the industry far longer than anyone of us ever would and that they are in a close working relation to the creator himself, John Green. If anyone should have a say in this, it would definitely the author. And if John Green approves, I do to. No complanin'.

Not satisfied? Click here. (Go ahead, click on and see another level of awesomeness unravel.)

On a side note, Shailene would be playing Mary Jane in the recent adaptation of Spiderman, and oh, as the lead female in Divergent (which #loseralert I still haven't read), in which Ansel will be playing his brother. If somehow it feels like it will just get kinda mixed up, don't worry for I'm sure these things will sort themselves out.

I don't feel anything but excitement and thrill for the upcoming adaptation  In the meantime, just DFTBA! :)

How do you feel about this development? Comment up and let's talk! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A book understands.

You know those wee hours in the night when you particularly feel overwhelmed by everything? Those moments when you suddenly feel lonely and you don't know why?

I was somehow having that kind of episode when Nina LaCour's Hold Still came to mind. So I decided to search for the book that I almost forgot existed in my shelf -- turns out I misplaced it so I didn't see it that often.

Hold Still basically revolved around the friendship of two girls named Caitlyn and Ingrid, and is a book that really stayed with me long after I finished reading it. They have this amazing bond, that when Ingrid took her life, Caitlyn was deeply shaken by it. No suicide note, no goodbyes, just the glaring fact that she no longer have the one person who knows and understands her inside out. Things were going downhill, when one day she found Ingrid's well-kept journal under her bed. She started reading it, and begins to understand the inner workings of her best friend's mind that is still much of an enigma to her no matter how close they've become.

Ingrid was clinically depressed and as much as she tried to be normal around Caitlyn, everything haunts her when she's all alone. This has been her one true breather of everything that's been bothering her that she can't even tell her best friend. If you would ask me, reading through her journal was the best part of reading through LaCour's book.

Well, so much for introductions. 

The thing is... I've been feeling a bit shitty about myself these past few days, and there has been a sudden drop of self-esteem going on. I was feeling quite alone, and I don't really have someone to talk to about it and I got this feeling that no one would really understand. So you can only imagine how annoying my days can get.

I'm not clinically depressed, of course -- I just get very lonely sometimes and I need to vent it out. And when I can't, a series of frustrations and stuff happen. Not to be morbid, but I can really relate to Ingrid when I'm having these episodes. The way things can get so confusing, and you are looking for reasons when there's actually none. How sometimes, sadness can be so heavy a burden that you can't get away from it. How sometimes even laughing your heart out hurts so you can't really do anything about it.

I don't really want someone to tell me everything's gonna be alright now because you know, when you're the one in this situation, you feel that there's nothing beyond and all you know is the present and you're actually miserable at the moment. There are time when you just want to soak in all the shittiness of life and find someone, something, that understands. That can mirror what you feel with great clarity. 


And when you see that, it actually makes you feel a little better if not totally alright.

Reading is as much an expression of yourself as writing, I believe. You read what you feel. You read what you relate to. And for those of us who feel this way and can't seem to properly form a coherent view of what we're feeling, it's a really nice thing to see a book character struggling through whatever you're undergoing right now, too. It felt like someone you don't really know understands, and that in itself is a comforting thought. The things I cannot say, the things that I can't figure out -- they can. Isn't it awesome?

Sometimes when you're going through a lot, it pays to just pick up the book that you really relate to at the moment. It may not be as concrete as others prefer, but it is really a comforting feeling to just read away and feel that somebody understands without even explaining yourself in the first place. Right?

or so they say...

xxx
Have you ever experienced this kind of thing? Feel free to comment up and let's talk!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Movie: The Great Gatsby (2013)

I happen to have found a companion (a big "Yey!" for me) and, at last, watched The Great Gatsby last Saturday. I don't usually do review posts for movies that I watched at the actual theater at their actual showing date, but after my last post, I suppose you're expecting me to post a review.

Before starting this, I just want to make it clear that I read the book beforehand, and I can't assure that I would strictly look at it as a film and separate it from the fact that it is, indeed, an adaptation. Even though I read Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby rather in a haste, there are still things that the book got through to me. Well, here it is, crappy and emotion-filled as it is.

"I wish I'd done everything on earth with you..."

Well for a start, I didn't say I'm a Baz Luhrmann fan. I think I may sound like I am, but truly I'm not. I don't hate his works, but I don't exactly love them either. I just said it is interesting, and its is - really. Moulin Rouge was good (I'm biased on the last parts), but bleh, not exactly my taste of grand. Some scenes were too corny for my own liking, and some have awkward execution that it felt weird watching them. I was never a fan of his transitions which is weird for me, because they take me by surprise (especially from heavy to comedic) and not in a good way.

I thought that awkward part of his work would be absent in this adaptation, but boy is it still present. Well, not more than MG, but it is still definitely present. I mean transitioning from the 'depressed' Nick to a more sunny version of himself at the start of the narrative? I understand that's what they're trying to convey, but... This is just my opinion, but they could've done it better. Though most of it's parts are awesome, I just couldn't get my mind off that glaring fault (to my eyes). >.<

I loved the party scenes, those in themselves are spectacles and I think no one could've done it better. The book described it to be lavish and so so, and they gave justice to that. But I felt that they've concentrated so much on this in the marketing of the film that when people go to the cinemas to watch the real thing, their expectations would be so high, it would be hard to reach. I mean the parties are only visible on the first part of the film, and the latter part concentrated on drama so I have the sense of imbalance in it. Plus that glaring hip-hop songs whenever the parties came on. I'm not a fan of hip-hop (ever) so it really irked me off whenever I hear them. I mean, hip-hop and 1920's? They just don't jive. I know they're trying to give it a modern feel but they could've chosen other genre with a modern twist in it (hello, modern jazz. haha, biased girl right here). No offense to HipHop, but it's just that it's not really my cup of tea.

"...these things excite me so"

But enough of the bad stuff... the truth is I liked the film. Despite these flaws, it was still a good movie for me because it kept me engaged. I have a short span of attention but it kept me glued. I mean the production is so grandiose, I am left in awe. The clothes, and the jewelries! Daisy's specially. I love how they made use of the music (the above is an exception) with my favorites in the movie's soundtrack used strategically and perfectly to create the ambiance or to emphasize a message. And I definitely loved how they made use of Lana's Young and Beautiful throughout the film.

I was a little unsure if Leonardo DiCaprio would deliver as Gatsby, but boy, he did! I especially loved that angry scene with Joel Edgerton -- the intensity of it all, the desperation, that one time that he let his walls down and expose the vulnerability. So.much.raw.emotions! Plus that part when he was talking to Nick and he is somewhat saying that Daisy would call. That look on his face that shows he's trying to convince himself that everything is still alright even though something inside him screams that it's all over. It broke my heart. I loved him (his performance) in here more than any other film I'd seen him in.

As expected, Carey Mulligan fit Daisy as a glove. She goes right through her, nothing less nothing more. So perfect for the role. I thought that Carey playing her would make her a little bit pleasant in my eyes, but no, not even the charms of Carey could make me hate her less. She's the solid embodiment of the woman that I totally don't want to be. Weak. Driven by emotions. Can't decide on herself, and does not truly know what she wants until it's too late. And tend to choose where it would suit her (well, real life wise, this is indeed practical). I think one of the main reasons why Gatsby didn't appeal that much to me when I read it was because it has a really weak female protagonist, character-wise. If there's anything that Carey did, well, it's to make Daisy seem more human than I imagined her to be. Impeccable acting as always.

Edgerton is in every sense Tom. And Isla is, well, Myrtle. Elizabeth Debicki stole the show as Jordan. She's not exactly how I imagined her, but I really find myself drawn to her whenever she's onscreen - so gorgeous and I love her take in Jordan.

As for Tobey Maguire, well, I'm not an actual fan to begin with. And his character as Nick didn't provide him much material to explore with since Nick is first and foremost a spectator. He's an excellent narrator but I can' stop picturing the Spider Man suit in him all those time. Haha. When Daisy and Nick danced at Gatsby's house, I was like Spiderman mode on and I was remembering that scene from Spiderman 3 where he danced at the disco with Gwen. Lol. But Tobey did gave a decent performance. It's just me that's screwed up. XD 

Lol at this scene. >.<
If there's one thing that really set this adaptation from the others, it's the framing. Nick being morbidly alcoholic and other things made sense and it was a clever move to emphasize that the story is told in his voice, his perspective. I love those parts where somehow Fitzgerald's words are flashing and fading in and out in the screen as the narration continued on. It helped Luhrmann to accomplish the hard task of making a film out of a book that is mainly told through a first person narrator.

Few scenes were cut from the book, especially that funeral scene which was somehow replaced by a number of paparazzi going on and about Gatsby's coffin. It was such a waste because that scene was where I truly felt how Gatsby was so alone and all so superficial, that almost no one came to visit even though every one is going in his parties and wants to meet him when he was alive. It's just hard to realize that people leave and sometimes they leave you when you need them the most.

When you say a book is a classic, even though it has been written and published for quite a while already, the themes and lessons still applies now -- and for that, I can say that The Great Gatsby is truly one hell of a classic (not that it isn't). Sometimes, you build all these pretense as an effort just to get people to like you. No matter how hard you try, you cannot change the past and the best course of action is just to accept it. Sometimes you want to have everything and along the way, you just have to learn to you can't and the world will teach you that sad truth, sometimes the hard way. And to top it off, there would always be people who would only come to you when they need you and come running from you as fast as they appear when they don't anymore. Such sad realities, but they're are as much true as those bright things we experience that we try to remind ourselves everyday -- so we must accept them into our lives and learn and remember them so that we won't go expecting that life is all rainbows and butterflies.

I won't give it a perfect five, but this is still a must-watch. Do give it a try while it lasts. :))

Note: Unlike people who have their true blue mandatory literature classes, reading The Great Gatsby has not been that popular here in the PH because it's not a required reading material. So for a short blurb people, I found this really informative character map :) :

Source
ENJOY! :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book: Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Goodreads Plot:
Thrown to the waves, and to fate, the bottle could have ended up anywhere. Instead, it is found just three weeks after it begins its journey. Theresa Osborne, divorced and the mother of a twelve-year-old son, discovers it during a seaside vacation from her job as a Boston newspaper columnist. Inside is a letter that opens with, "My Dearest Catherine, I miss you my darling, as I always do, but today is particularly hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together...." For Garrett, the message is the only way he knows to express his undying love for a woman he has lost. For Theresa, wary of romance since her husband shattered her trust, the message raises questions that intrigue her. Challenged by the mystery, and driven to find Garrett by emotions she does not fully understand, Theresa begins a search that takes her to a sunlit coastal town and an unexpected confrontation. Brought together either by chance or something more powerful, Theresa and Garrett's lives come together in a tale that resonates with our deepest hopes for finding everlasting love. Shimmering with suspense and emotional intensity, Message in a Bottle takes readers on a hunt for the truth about a man and his memories, and about both the heartbreaking fragility and enormous strength of love. For those who cherished The Notebook and readers waiting to discover the magic of Nicholas Sparks's storytelling, here is an achingly lovely novel of happenstance, desire, and the choices that matter most. [source]


For just a moment she wanted to take everything back. She wanted to tell him that she didn’t mean what she had said, that she still loved him, that it shouldn’t end this way. It would be easy to do that, it would feel so right — But no matter how much she wanted to, she couldn’t force herself to say the words.

This novel was second to the series of spectacular love stories that Nicholas Sparks has brought to us. But among those, this was certainly the most tragic. So much raw, unsaid emotions. It shows how two person, so deeply damaged by love so deep, can be together and how heir love, no matter how strong, can be broken. First chapter, and I found myself finding it hard to contain my emotions and struggle not to cry. For some reasons, I’m relating to Theresa’s character more than I could imagine. The parts where regret and pain are mostly present, I treasured those moments the most. This is a certain tear-jerker.

Laid-back Mode

Hurray for my first Polyvore coordinate! I've been dying to do one for myself but this is just the first time that I had the actual time and attention to visit this amazing site and play with it.

Here's what I came up with:

Laid-back Mode

Laid-back Mode by rzzzp featuring pointed flat shoes

If you're saying "what a bore!" now, well, I don't care because I've been obsessed with black and white thingies ever since I can remember.My wardrobe is almost 60% made up of that color because 1) they're very wearable, 2) they're a classic, and 3) they easily go with absolutely anything!

This ensemble reminded me of EMODA, a Japanese brand, a lot and is one of the first stores to champion the Mode-style. What is Mode-style? Here's a brief snippet from Cheesie (one of my favorite bloggers, which is basically the one who introduced the term and got me addicted to it in the first place):
"It derives from the french word “mode”, which pretty much means fashion/style. But in Japanese it means “high fashion”, and it focuses on simplicity, silhouette and bold designs and one of it’s most distinct characteristics is being monotone (mostly black and white)."
 So that "mode" up there does not only mean "channeling that look". :)

This is something that I definitely would want to wear. I hope someday, I can have the courage to go about the day wearing these. :)

Since I got the hang of it, better expect this kind of post in the coming days. And oh, you can follow me at Polyvore here (of course, the usual username: rzzzp)

Book: Soul Stealer (The Alchemist's Son, #2) by Martin Booth

A quick cross-posted review from my Tumblr.


Goodreads Plot:
In this sequel to "Doctor Illuminatus," siblings Pip and Tim once again come to the aid of Sebastian--a medieval alchemist's son who has awakened from a centuries-long slumber--when Sebastian faces a terrifying evil. [source]

Soul Stealer is the second installment of Martin Booth’s The Alchemist Son series. It accounts the adventures of Pip and Tim together with Sebastian, a 15th century-born whose father is a notable alchemist, as they try to stop the people that targets to use alchemy with evil intent following their summer quest in Doctor Illuminatus, the 1st installment of the series.

Since it’s been years now since I last read Doctor Illuminatus, I can’t really remember the notable features of the story plot besides the fact that they (Pip and Tim) befriended a 15th century-boy who was sleeping (literally) all along in a secret chamber in their newly bought house and how they defended themselves against  Malodor, an alchemist who is in pursuit of perfecting the art of creating a homonculus. But what I can clearly remember was  how fun it is to read the last book. And this feature isn't absent in this sequel at all. All the facts are carefully researched, the exhibition of wittiness and cleverness of the characters at the same time were really entertaining, and the action was not that fast-paced but pretty good. I always find it really fascinating how the three main characters think very fast when trapped in an inescapable circumstance.

This book as well as its prequel (Doctor Illuminatus) kinda reminded of The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Micheal Scott that  I’ve read last year. The same elements as with almost all of the alchemy-related books that I’ve read so far. But still, this is a good book if you want to spend you free time reading one. Very light, but full of thrills. 3 stars.

It's supposed to be part of a trilogy but Booth died of cancer before he even finish the third book. It's a shame the last installment won't ever see the light of the day and we won't know the ending of this tale. It's a real bummer really, but I hope some author picks up the story and finish it at least. #wishfulthinking

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Gatsby? What Gatsby?

With Gatsby's overseas premiere, so much reviews have been published all around the web and they're all keeping me pumped up and excited to watch the movie too. Mark the date, folks! The Great Gatsby is showing here in the Philippines starting May 17th. *grins wide*


All these advertisements really sparked some interest. And the production is so grand, extravagant, if you know what I mean -- really reflects the 1920's vibe that Fitzgerald embedded in his book. From the couture, to the accessories, everything screams and hits you in the face. This is a pretty interesting adaptation, from the looks of it. I've seen Romeo + Juliet! and Moulin Rouge, both Baz Luhrmann creations and I am expecting no less!



Plus, I must admit that the thing that attracted me most and kept me really excited is the cast! All-star if you'll ask me.And though I'm not in the position to judge the casting strictly from the book -- I'd say they nailed it from the vibe (not strictly physical) that I've got since I read The Great Gatsby last year. Middle-aged DiCaprio is looking so awesome with that amazing tan and all those lines, I complain no more. And Joel Edgerton as Tom -- the feels!


And must I forget -- the character that they nailed the most: Daisy Buchanan. It's no secret that I've been a Carey Mulligan fan ever since I saw Never Let Me Go. I've always imagined Carey to be Daisy -- and there they go, fulfilling my wish. I don't care if I hate Daisy Buchanan, the fact that Carey Mulligan plays her is enough for me to love her even despite all the stupidity and selfishness of her character (my opinion only). That voice of hers! Carey is sooo perf for Daisy.

THIS.
Plus, the soundtrack! It got Lana Del Rey and Gotye, need I ask for more? :3

Don't forget to catch it, guys! It'll be an amazing feast in the eyes. 
I still don't have someone to accompany me on Friday, but whatever, I can go for another date with myself. XD

And oh, another #guiltypleasure song. Haha. Not in the soundtrack, but in one of the trailer. I lurve this cover!

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