Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Twenty Three: 5 Things I Learned in 2014

A big 'Yey!' for me for I just turned 23

It's amazing how convenient having a birthday that's only one-day shy from when the calendar finally turns to another page. Like writing a birthday post and look-back-to-the-amazing-year post. Like this!

Honestly speaking, 2015 has been a great year for me. So much changes, adventures, and memories. Going through them one by one would be pretty damning. I'm just really, really thankful for all the blessings that I don't even know if I deserve.

Considering that I had a really roller coaster-y 2013, this year was a total upgrade! So instead, I am starting a new annual (hopefully) tradition... and that is: for me to at least list down the important things that I learned during the year that passed.

Here are some of the important things that I learned during 2014:

1. That stereotyping can only get you so far.
Who says being an introvert and being a bit friendly are mutually exclusive? Sometimes, I feel that labeling all things in our life limits the possibilities that we're willing to try and experience. I used to think that being more talkative than my normal self, sharing my innermost thoughts, and letting myself at least open up to other people would go against my nature. But it took actually doing those things to realize that I can actually enjoy them and feel happy about it.

2. That stepping out of your comfort zone ain't as bad as you imagined it.
Out-of-town trips. Scuba diving even if I can't swim. Setting up the Christmas table on our own.  Trying out new food that I won't even taste in the past for the life of me. Yay! This has been a year of firsts, and stepping out of my comfort zone -- and the thrill of it all made me realize that I've been missing out so much at life in the past. I've been relatively adventurous this past year and that made it memorable and worth it. Sometimes, it takes trying out something for the first time, no matter how terrifying it may seem, to realize that you'll definitely love it. Screw "I can't do it", it's time for "I'm not really sure but I'll try anyway."

3. That bridges burnt can still be fixed if you will it.
I've had the mistake of pushing some of the dear people in my life away. It took one friend to outright tell me that I've been pretty self-centered in the past and that I don't always know how to appreciate the care that others are putting my way. It was sad, and I realized it the hard way. But I did learn, too, that it was never too late to fix this kind of problem. I may have burnt some bridges, but it's possible to start rebuilding those that I so selfishly destroyed. It takes so much work, but in the process, I realized that these people deserved the effort. Some people are meant to stay in your life, and it's up to you to make them.

4. That making mistakes is okay as long as you learn from it.
This year, I learned that wanting to make mistakes is not really a bad thing. Lol. It was weird, I know, but it was pretty liberating. And although this year, I've made some pretty stupid decisions and did some really spontaneous, in-the-moment choices... I can say that it made my year fun and worthwhile. Some of this, I know, were pretty embarrassing... but it was unforgettable and what's important is that I learned from it. ;)

5. That things don't always have to be perfect and that's perfectly fine.
I've been sheltered my whole life. Well, maybe not the don't-know-the-suffering-of-the-real-world type of 'sheltered'. But at least, I think that I've been relatively well-off than others. Anyway, I've been pretty idealist in the past and the recent turn of events from the last two years taught me to not always expect these plans to all go smoothly. Things happen that disrupt the normal flow. Sometimes. things happen when you least expect it - whether it be good or a bad thing. And that the best thing to do is just go with it and not stress about all the little things that ruined your perfect little plan. Stressing over the planned details takes the fun out of a supposedly-perfect little thing. As I said in the past, there are times when you just simply realize that, no, it doesn't always have to be perfect.

It's been a bliss. And hopefully, 2015 will be too. I hope that these things will make me a better person than I am today in the future. It has been a great 2014 and may the coming year be an even greater one. Yey! :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My 2014 in Books

Before posting a dramatic look-back-of-the-year-that-passed post (just a joke on the 'dramatic'), here's a thing that gets me really excited to talk about, every freakin' time: my year in books!
This has been a pretty busy year for me, and an even busier last quarter at that. And honestly, it was pretty hard balancing work and my personal life AND my hobbies with the meager time I have. But I vow to never, ever let my work swallow everything I am and everything I want so I still try, even if the trying was pretty hard.

This year, I've pledged to read 15 books - an upgrade from last year's pledged 10. And though I managed to complete almost 3/4 of this challenge in the first half of the year, I admit that finishing the rest was a last-minute effort.

But still, but still... being done with the challenge is still one of the cherries on top of my year. I've been doing this for the last couple of years -- this year, my fourth -- and completed 3 challenges already, it has become some sort of a tradition. And I know next year won't be complete without it, as is this year.

The Books I've Read This Year

Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth | Insurgent (Divergent, #2) by Veronica Roth | Delirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami | Free Four (Divergent, #1.5) by Veronica Roth | The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith | Tangled by Emma Chase | Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer Smith | Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami | Hana (Delirium, #1.5) by Lauren Oliver | Annabel (Delirium, #0.5) by Lauren Oliver | The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer Smith

This year was less adventurous, less diverse compared to last year. I stuck with YA, mostly, with a little sprinkle of my usual tripping, i.e. magical realism. And examining it, I find it really weird that I stuck with only 7 authors. Most of the books I've read this year are from series of books. (i.e., Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver, Divergent Series by Veronica Roth). I also discovered new and cool authors whose works led me to a reading rampage (Rainbow Rowell and Jennifer Smith). But of course, there are also the serious kind... the kind that made me worship internal dialogues and deep thinking -- the kind that made me love reading in the first place, when my mind is in this haywire state and I can't comprehend a thing -- only few authors can bring me to that level, to that state, and Haruki Murakami is certainly included in it.

The books I've read this year included short stories/novellas so I'm pretty surprised that I have a higher page count this year. It's probably thanks to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which was the longest book (and most interesting!) book I've read this year. Also, 7 out of the 15 books I've read this year are from my 2014 Reading List. Lol. Not as bad as I thought it would be, I guess.  

I was pretty disappointed with myself because I wasn't able to keep my promise to review all the books that I'll be reading this year. But I can still make the effort. Lol. It would be totally crazy if I write reviews and all when what I ought to be doing (*ehem* policy manuals *ehem*) for work are still not finished. Priorities first, so I guess that would have to wait.

But anyway, for a more "year in review" feel, here are my top picks-of-sorts:

5 Books That Made My Year
(in particular order)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Dangerous Women and A World of Ice and Fire are on my TBR list next year, and are just sitting idly on my shelf. 2015 is going to be a pretty interesting year, that's for sure. I sure miss having that dose of the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, a world that I learned to love with all my heart. *eyes twinkling because of excitement*

I'll probably be posting another Reading List for 2015 in the coming days, so watch out. 

This has been fun!
Thanks for always sticking by.
Thanks for reading this annual update. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Oh, life.

Through the roofs to rock bottom. Oh, life.

It's just sad to realize how much of my self-esteem depends on what I hear other people say about me. Whether it be bad, or imaginary bad... it's all the same. Some remarks always poke a hole no matter how high a wall I put from others, from all the judging, for all the endless mind games.

People don't always mean what they say, and even with that knowledge, I still let some things affect me when they're not even concrete enough to warrant my care. I don't have to give a shit about everything, but I still do. And it's heartbreaking how it can ruin a perfectly good day, a perfectly good mood.

It's hard. And it sucks.

And I wish I could get over this stupid inferiority complex, if just a little.

Note to self: Grow up.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Just sayin'.

And so I speak like a high school student -- a fangirling, nerd little girl.

But whatever. What I really want to be doing right now is to separate my online, personal, and professional life from each other. And I don't really know why that is really hard to do, but I guess, this is just me adjusting with everything. I know it's been a year, but I still have so much to go, so much to work on.

I don't really think that what I want and what I do in my spare time determines the worth of my work and undermines the quality of my outputs and what I deliver to clients. 

They want to get outputs done. And maybe this is childish, but... I just want to have fun.

Maybe work is a statement of my values and all, and maybe it is indeed personal but it sure is not my life.

I just have so many thoughts right now, I can't even.

Rambling 101

I get this really weird feeling of attachment to the idea that I am a total depressive. I’ve been researching things on how to at least address it – but deep in my heart I feel like I’m too stubborn to let go. I mean, I’m not willing to – so why the hell bother, right?

This serves as a bookmark. #.
Anyway, I spent the whole morning searching about “dreams”. Somehow, one thing led to another and I found myself researching about “psychoanalysis” which led me to “Freud” and ultimately to all the bizarre cases he published that formed the foundation of the current practice today.

I kept on reading them, and at the end of the day, I realized that scrutinizing and analyzing a thing to pieces makes it more complicated than it already is. Maybe there are really things that need to be left alone, things that are meant to stay where they are. I don’t think deciphering my feelings and thoughts right at this moment is the best course of action – because at the end of the day, managing it is more important for me to function properly.

Those dark clouds aren’t going anywhere, at least in the foreseeable future. What’s important is how I figure out a way to live with it.

Anyway, weird realizations are weird. O.O

Saturday, November 22, 2014

#BookHaul: ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Oh what a great, great Sunday it is! Aside from me waking up relatively earlier than usual, doing my laundry (!), and generally just feeling really good today... I accidentally visited a book sale at my love, National Book Store, on my way to the coffee shop.

I got curious and all, so I decided to stop by. Goodness, I never imagined I was in for a surprise.

More (!!!).
I first spotted Tonya Hurley's ghostgirl for freaking 99 php only! I was so happy when I saw this because finally, finally I would be able to purchase something that's been bothering me since I saw it first came out -- and on sale, at that!

And because of a really good find, I decided to dig in more in hopes of finding another gem in the pile. After scouring and looking like an idiot bending over the racks for a very long time, I accidentally saw a familar-looking cover -- and when I held it up, it turned out to be Ransom Riggs' Hollow City!!! Oh. My. Freakin. Gawd.  I immediately decided to check the price (because, you know, the chances of finding a book like this in an actual sale is pretty slim and the chances that it was just misplaced was pretty high) -- and what stunned me was the price, it was also on sale, at freaking 75 php only!

This is MY day. And I am loving it.
I don't know what it is with NBS Davao, I seem to always find something interesting at a bargain. But hey, not that I am complaining -- because t's pretty fun.

And now, what really puzzles me is the fact that Hollow City is cheaper than ghostgirl. Lol. But yeah, I am a really happy kid right now. And it just gave me more of a motivation to actually finish what I need to be doing right now. Haha. 

If only I have more time. *sigh* But we gotta settle sometimes. And hope that everything would have their proper time. And I am rambling uselessly again. What the hell.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

One post before the holiday seasons kicks off (or it already has?). Anyway, leisure reading has been my escape with all the daily grind at work these past few days.. .and somehow, I picked up the first interesting thing I saw in the pile of e-books saved in my Note 3 - which lead me to another Jennifer Smith! Here yah!

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. 
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met. 
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too. (Via Goodreads)
There's a really romantic thing about love separated by distance but still struggling through. I know the premise is too good to be true...but, who doesn't like a little "romance" in their lives every once in a while, right?

First off, reading this piece was a breeze. Although there were instances in the middle when things got a little dragging... that very same weakness makes every meeting of the two main characters all the more electrifying. Smith managed to build anticipation which makes those meeting more special.

However, since this book somewhat focuses on the geographical locations of the two, I expected that the descriptions would also take you to where those characters were. But this books somehow fails on that department. I loved the alternate first POVs, though.

I know I have a penchant for all things depressing so it makes sense that my favorite part of the whole narrative (all subplots included) is when Owen and his father struggle to get on with their lives despite the gaping hole that losing his mother left. There's always this familiar pain of being left behind, that I swear there were instances when I hold my breath because of all the throbbing and the tightening of the chest that's happening. This kind of subplot hits home, so it's been a rather painful experience reading it.

But anyway, besides all that, this novel is light as light can be. Set in several countries, several places, this demonstrates that no matter how far away we are from each other, there's always this something that connects us from each other if the bond we've formed is special enough.

That one faithful encounter was magnified... which left me wondering if something like that could really happen in real life. I hope so. 

Recommended! :)

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
Because that's what happened when you were with someone like that: the world shrank to just the right size. It molded itself to fit only the two of you, and nothing more. 
Maybe it was possible that you could take someone out of their life and drop them in the middle of another place entirely and they could seem like someone completely different. But even if that were the case, she thought, it wasn't really that they had changed -- it was just the backdrop, the circumstances, the cast of characters. Just because you painted a house didn't mean the furniture inside was any different. It had to be the same with people. Deep down, at the very core, they'd still be the same no matter where they were, wouldn't they? 
"You can't know the answer until you ask the question."
But there's no such thing as completely fresh start. Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every beginning comes at the cost of an ending. 
...and it struck her as the truest form of kindness, the most basic sort of love: to be worried about the one who was worrying about you. 
When there was nothing but space between you, everything felt like a leap. 
He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time.

Maybe I really needed some light romance in my reading life just to purge out all the negative energy and my strange fixation to everything depressing. This was fun, anyway. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014


Constantly balancing in this tight rope of emotions.
This string, my lifeline.
One wrong step, one wrong move – and everything will be through.

Standing there at the end of it all.
My only grasp on reality.
Ready to shake it, ready to blow as hard as you can.

The only chance at salvation, that one shot of despair.

And I swear, I can almost feel the air of death brushing my cheek.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

#BookHaul: Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

It’s been a while since I posted something decent and I am honestly feeling a lot guilty about it than necessary. There were so many books opened and left unfinished. There were so many books bought and piled to gather dust. Looking at my bookshelf breaks my heart. And when I realize all the idles time I spent spacing out doing unnecessary things… that snaps the heck out of me. I’ve been too burned out to even do the things I love on my spare time. Too busy that I am losing something that makes who I am. I reflect through the books I read. I (even) used to think that I AM the books I’m reading. I don’t just choose randomly (well, almost). Because I don’t want to look back and realize that I’ve wasted my time in something that didn’t really matter. Because I want every reading experience to be worth it. Is it weird to want something like that?

Anyway, the whole point of this is that, no matter how hard it is to admit, I’ve been losing that side of me that I deeply love. I’m morphing into someone I don’t know if I even like in the first place. There’s this constant nagging feeling that I am changing and, as of today, I am not even sure if it’s for the better.

So much for all the drama.

No matter the backlogs, here’s a post to at least keep THE feeling. A new book haul!

We’ve been too busy in the past few months, and certain glimpse of breaks feel a lot special than they actually are. Strolling in the mall has become a past time and a breather. I decided to the visit the nearby local book store to buy some supplies… and to my (pleasant) surprise, there’s a sale going on. I naturally dug in, and what the heck, what I found was a pretty interesting and special thing.


To even find a David Levithan book in a pile of books on sale is soooo beyond me... that even without looking at the price tag, I immediately tucked it in. And it only costs freaking 99 pesos to boot! Good heavens!

Though I’ve read a considerable number of books in his name (thanks for breaking my heart to a million pieces, Everyday), this is (to my surprise, too) my first physical Levithan book. And I am so happy right now, I can’t even. You know that feeling when you almost can’t even? Yeah. Yeah, I know.

The book blurb says:

Evan is alone.
His best only friend, Ariel, is gone.
Evan is feels responsible.
And in her wake, Evan is left with nothing a guilty conscience and never-ending insomnia.
But then, while walking to school one morning, Evan finds an envelope in his path. Inside is a photograph. Of nothing, Except the spot where he is standing.
The next day, Evan finds another envelope. In the exact same spot as before. Inside is another photograph. Of him. Looking at the photo from the day before.
Evan’s not sure what to think. Is Ariel back? Are these photographs her way of tormenting him for reminding him of what he did to her? Or worse – has someone else found out what he did and is toying with him as punishment? Either way, he will not be able to sleep rest until he finds out who is responsible.
As the cryptic photos keep surfacing, Evan’s paranoia amplifies, and the feeling that he never really knew Ariel at all starts to paralyze dominate his life thoughts. Will he uncover the truth before he loses his mind his grasp on reality?
With Every You, Every Me, David Levithan and Jonathan Farmer have crafted a psychologically daring photographic novel about friendships won and lost, told through the eyes of a tortured teen struggling to live with a friend-shaped hole in his life – and with the idea that each of us can know someone only in our own specific, and singular, way.

Okay. That does it. In case you’re wondering, yeah, those strikedthrough words are intentional – which, in my opinion, will somehow make the whole reading experience pretty cool. Imagine reading complete trains of thoughts. That even if the words were not said, it is still being filtered… we still choose what we think and what shall go in our minds even before we let it out. That’s pretty, darn realistic right? Honestly I am really excited.

“I am not in love with you.” No. Not that, stupid.
I started skimming through it. And since this a photographic novel, something about it creeps me out. Especially when it is being instilled in your mind that the girl in the pictures is already dead. I don’t know if it’s just me, but looking at pictures of dead people spooks the hell out of me. Anyway, everything is good so far. And I am pretty dang excited. (I said it again, I know)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

After Dark

I hate this. This track-stopping, hard-to-describe feeling. I hate feeling happy only to be slapped in the face by the reality that I’ve been trying so hard to run away from. It’s as if whenever I’m walking, it shows: like a mark, a stain. People look at me and they see that. Why does pain always have to be so apparent? Maybe it’s not, but it feels like it is. At this moment, it is. All the hurt, the disappointments, the imperfections in my life – all screaming and struggling to go out. I am exploding in on myself again, and there’s no one but me who can hear the pieces falling to the floor, no one but me to pick the splinters as it curse through my veins and pierce through flesh and bones. There’s this hollow thud to where my heart used to be. I used to be too eager to feel, too eager to experience things. I should’ve known that when I asked for everything, it comes with EVERY THING.

The silent screams are deafening. Does it always have to be this way?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Note to Self: You don't really need to always try so hard.

Don't turn in on yourself. It's one of the most significant ingredients to self-destruction.

Focus on the good. Ignore the bad.

Stop the habit of comparing yourself to others. Stop trying to always live up to other's expectations, and stop setting too high of an expectation for yourself. 

You don't need to always test how much you can take before you break. Because, as hard as it may seem to swallow, you don't really need to always try so hard.

via Pinterest

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wake me up when September ends!

Well, not really. Haha. I'm too busy to sleep like that.

Anyways, HELLO FROM THE DURIAN CAPTIAL OF THE PHILIPPINES! I'm currently staying at Davao for an engagement. This is my first (relatively) long term out-of-town trip so I'm pretty psyched!

It's already been two weeks since me and my team mates arrived here, actually. I am honestly looking for a decent picture to include in this post to at least give y'guys a good glimpse of living here... but I can't find anything usable. Lol. It's not the city per se, but it's just me not exploring the beauty that is Davao enough yet (I insist on the "yet", because I believe that there is still hope. Lol.). We've been to different restaurants and cafes here and there -- and believe me, the food here is to die for! But I'll leave that to another post. Hehe. Honestly though, I find the idea of living here for good too enticing because of how at home I am feeling right now, it's scary -- maybe a major part of this is because I am enjoying eating and restaurant hopping more than ever. There's so much goodness yet to be discovered, but sadly, there's too little time.

Well, THE work is the official business of this trip so we really need to set our priorities straight if we want this thing to go smoothly. It's 5:00 am and I am still wide awake... but my brain is too distracted to function and concentrate on what I really should be doing right now (which is to work) -- so I figured that maybe, just maybe, I just need some serious venting out so here I am, writing my thoughts into the void, unsure whether someone or if no one at all might read this. (Long sentences are long.)

I've been researching for perfect spots to explore while I'm here (and, hopefully, if I'll be able to squeeze it in) and I've already found plenty. Woooh. Push for PRODUCTIVITY and EFFICIENCY! I hope I can work on this because I really, really, really want to enjoy this trip as much as I can. Rare opportunities like this pass by, and I have to make the most out of every single one of them. What is life and what is work if it's not meant to be enjoyed, right?

I've been thinking of starting a series called #TravelDiaries to at least document the travels I've been having so far (albeit few). My Baguio trip (from way, way back April) is yet to be documented. Plus this. And all the travels I'll be making because of work (hopefully? Yay!) in the future. We're scheduled for Cebu in the coming days.... and boy am I really excited, too. But first things first: we need to finish our scheduled work. #Pressure Lol.

But really, I am just really glad that I am starting to explore things and see things in a different way. Trying out new things and meeting new people ain't as nerve wracking and scary as it is in the past. I don't know if it's the right way to put it, but I am "maturing"? I can feel something in me changing and I'm not really sure if it's a good thing but all I can say is I am having a blast! So all's well, I guess. I have no regrets choosing this field, especially now that I can feel that this is really helping me personally take down some of my demons -- demons that I have been holding too close to myself all these years, dragging me down. May this go on for a long, loooooong while!

Anyways, I've already tried eating Durian for the first time, thanks for asking. (And Durian Coffee to boot!) :)

Okay! Back to work! Ciao! :*

Sunday, August 24, 2014

And this is how I got through it.

It's no secret that the feelings I harbor for books is no joke -- just because time after time, they help me cope with whatever it is I'm undergoing. Here's one story that I don't know if I've already shared. But I'll share it nonetheless...

Back in 2012 and early 2013, I've been jumping from one book to another. And that includes Norwegian Wood, Hold Still and The Fault in our Stars. I admit that I'm a bit morbid when it comes to my reading choices but whatever. In any case, if you've read all of the three, you'll notice that they have one thing in common -- and it is DEATH. See the connection now, I look back and think about how I responded to these books and it was so real and raw that it also felt like somebody in my life died and I am feeling the book character's pain and loss.

And then it happened. Back in the middle of 2013, my mother died. And I know that this is such a really hard topic to talk about but I'm bringing it up nonetheless just for me to fully express how these books have helped me navigate through life.

These books didn't take the pain away -- no, that's pretty impossible. But what they did was make it bearable. Because even though those three books centered around death and all (TFioS may be a bit different here), what I learned from it as well was that there is still life after the lossThat feeling the pain is inevitable, but that too shall pass.

These books made it a bit bearable, I must admit. Sometimes I look back and I was just left amazed and stunned in awe at how perfect the timing was. I hate to think of it as a premonition-of-sorts of the things to come -- but I just really can't shake the fact that it prepared me. 

Maybe God really wanted me to read those at that exact moment. 
Maybe it's His way of saying that "it's going to be fine". 

I'm not really into the idea that things in life are predetermined and that the path we're taking would eventually lead to a pre-set destination -- but it's things like this that make me sometimes question my thinking.

Some say I've been too busy living my life inside the pages of the books that I'm reading. Sure, as the quote above is saying: "real life should be lived". But what they don't know is that I'm reading my way through each day to equip myself on how I would live my life and how I would react to it. Reading has provided me a deeper insight, a different view of things. Relatively speaking, I don't even know if it is more that what most people who don't even bother to open a book has. But I can say that I'm happy with how everything's going, and how everything has turned out -- how I turned out. And I can't anymore be thankful for the gift of "deep reading" that God has given me. :)

How about you? Do you have any experience that you got through with the help of books? Comment up and let's talk! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#HalfBakedList: Books that stayed with me.

Howdy! It's been a long time. I would like to apologize for being gone for so long. I've been trying to hold it together, to update as much as I can... but something always comes up, and other things seem infinitely more important and more urgent than sitting down in front of my laptop to type my thoughts away. But in any case, I'm still doing fine if you want to know. :) I'm just here to post a random snippet of what I came across today -- just a short update before I lose my drive to share this and/or another thing might catch my attention again.

Soooooo..... after a really exhausting two-day catching up with my long-time friends, I went home and immediately caught sleep. When I woke up, I scanned my Facebook feed and I saw my friend tagging me in her status that goes like this:

10 books were listed, and I was absolutely giddy when I read that. So yeah, naturally I jumped into it. I was a bit guilty because I peeked into my Goodreads account to check out my "read" shelf  before making this list but whatever. Haha. Here're the ten books that hit me right through the kokoro:

#1 - Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
#2 - Hold Still by Nina LaCour
#3 - Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
#4 - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
#5 - Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
#6 - Hard Love by Ellen Wittllinger
#7 - Para Kay B by Ricky Lee
#8 - A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
#9 - The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
#10 - Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Why, someone's a Murakami fan here. >.< Well, guilty as charged. I am an absolute fan and I am not ashamed to admit that every Murakami writing that I've encountered broke me and affected me in all these unexpected places. Something in his prose really attracts me and I find myself absolutely wanting more after every book/story. 

Norwegian Wood and Hold Still were one of the books that I've been skimming from time to time even long after I finished them. They were the books that presented death and its after-effects as real and as close to my heart as possible. See this post for a more in-depth description for this.

Hard Love was a close call as it is one of the earliest books that I've declared as my favorite. The mother-son relationship was the one that caught me off-gurad here. I don't really have a very complicated relationship with my parents back then but I find myself unconsciously crying when I read it because I can totally feel how weird things got and how empty that feeling was.

Para Kay B was the sole book here written in Filipino. It was my favorite local book out of all the ones that I've read. It has its fair share of highlights for all the quotes that hit me right in the heart. I remember undergoing a phase where I always kept it close beside my bed pillow to scan through it every once in a while. It honestly helped me through those pseudo-heartbroken moments I had when I was in college. Lol.

A Storm of Swords was included here mainly because of all the emotional trauma that I got after i read about all those brutal deaths that befell some of my favorite characters in that series. Just imagine the horror.

The Time Traveler's Wife, I believe, must be included in the list of everyone who have once read it. If this book and its story did not shatter you to pieces... then I don't know what will, you filthy robot.

And last but not the least... Fangirl: where Rainbow Rowell managed to translate my whole persona into words. From all my awkwardess, my strange devotion (love) for fictional characters, to the paranoia and craziness lying underneath, even to my ideals. It was so spot on, it's scary. 

There was a reason why I don't necessarily (and outright-ly) label the things that I post after I read a book as a review. I prefer to call it book thoughts, if that makes sense. It is because I don't necessarily critique them. No, I'm far too inexperienced to do that. I don't look at a book as a technical work waiting to be torn into pieces, to be dissected -- to find its flaws and where in the world did it go wrong. I'm not looking at those tiny specks of dust. 

This is art we're talking about, and like my love, Park Sheridan, has said: "Art is supposed to make you feel something.

I dwell in the feelings that a book brings out of me. These unexpected, drowning emotions that stems out of nowhere -- with just an emphasis of a phrase, the arrangement of the words, how beautiful a thing is described, or even just the right positioning of punctuation marks and the right use of capitalization. It's all these little things at once that make up a good book. A good book for me is something that inspires the person reading it -- inspires him/her to feel. And it is such a very rewarding experience when you find a book like that. Right?

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Everyday by David Levithan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

*Perks was not included in the main top ten just because I don't like the way my mind is going whenever I am reading it. It's scary, but it definitely did spark something in me. :)

I've been tagged. And I've already tagged some of my friends, too. I saw some lists and it was really entertaining to compare with each other. This could also be a good avenue to search for the next book that would give you all the #feeeeeeeeeels. 

How about you? What are the TOP TEN BOOKS THAT STAYED WITH YOU? You can make a post out of it (don't forget to link it to me so I can read it) or you could just outright comment below! In any case, let's talk. :3

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Random Morning Ramblings

It's 5 in the morning... and as to why I'm choosing to blog instead of sleep, I don't even know. But staring at the ceiling far too long than necessary convinced me that maybe, somehow, there's something I need to take out of my chest right now -- before it's too late and the drive to write it down leaves me again, uncertain as to when it would return.

It's takes too much effort to clear my mind these days. I am not loving it, but I am not exactly hating it either. I promised to post as much as I can...but in the end, that "as much as I can" turned out to become "once in a blue moon". Recently, someone mentioned to me that you can't really write [blog] if you are not in the mood.That even though you have too much to say, so much on your head... it takes timing to be able to extract it from your mind and translate it into paper, into words.

"Which is why I’m writing this book. To think. To understand. It just happens to be the way I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I truly comprehend them.” ~ Toru Watanabe, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami [see, rel: That hits home!]

It was a laid out fact. But the mood thing gets me. Writing my thoughts down is supposed to be my nature, it's not supposed to be a struggle.

These past few months have been a continuing effort of coming out of my shell. I did improve, I'd like to believe that. And it is a good thing right? That I'm starting to open up. Started sharing my thoughts, not just vomiting them out through my keyboard to a computer screen. I keep blurting out my thoughts to others, but at the end of the day, there's this bitter taste in my mouth that translates to: "Everything feels so cheap and feeble."

It's hard to properly and fully explain this, but sometimes I think I am loosing the ability to think deeply and reflect. Extroversion is too exhausting. And for people like me, trying to adapt to it and practicing it on a daily basis more than necessary reduces something in me -- that something that years of thinking and keeping my thoughts to myself have taught me.

I can't properly map out my thoughts these days. And since I am not writing as much as I used to, I can't fully comprehend what's in my head -- I can't fully understand myself. I always get this feeling that writing about something makes it more real. Like thoughts translated into something concrete. Talking about it does not have the same effect, though. It doesn't take much to realize that I would always need writing to tame my thoughts and put them in order. It's my sole solid ground when everything feels like it's spinning uncontrollably.

I can see tiny specks of light breaking through my bedroom window now. It's morning. Maybe this is just me needing some sleep.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Because even mistakes are choices you make yourself.

When everything feels too much, most often than not, they actually are. 

It almost seems like I've gotten myself in a bind lately. My mind is spiraling into this total uncontrollable mess -- and I kept on assuming and assuming things that, for some, won't really add up to something even remotely worthy of their attention. My thoughts are in a haywire. Just because I came face to face with the sad fact that I am not doing enough to explore possibilities and all its little corners. I am always like that. And it led me to thinking that maybe, just maybe, I am sheltering myself yet again to the mistakes that I know I'll eventually make.

I've been living such a controlled life ever since. The words I utter, mapped out. The actions I take, calculated. The decisions I make, thought of. I make mistakes, yes. And sure, there were rare moments when I slipped -- but those can't even be considered as major. I don't even know if it's a good thing. Well, normally, yes --- but I fear that in exchange of all those years of me trying my best to be straight as a stick... is the cruel realization that I am missing out so much.

To fall crazy in love, your actions uncontrollable anymore.
To not follow rules and live life with just total abandon.
To make rash, major decisions without thinking of the consequences.
To just outright follow what YOU like without even knowing where it would lead you or to find out if it even leads to somewhere.

I wonder when I started being so afraid to come out of my shell, my little make-believe. I've tried reacting recklessly in certain insignificant situations...and I am only left with regret right after I vomit the words or subconsciously act without thinking.

I've been thinking about all the things that made up my life thus far... and sadly, I can't even make a decent list of the times when I let go and lived my life according to my instincts. I want to be spontaneous. I want to let loose, for once. And yes, I want to make mistakes -- just to break the monotony that's been going on since I can't remember. I am so ready to make mistakes, but still, too afraid to actually start doing them.

This is not even the first time I've felt like this. I am that content teenage girl who's willing to just settle during those times... but now, I don't think this is enough. I want more -- out of myself, and out of my life. And it sucks to demand something that I don't even know how to get... but I keep searching for it all the same.

I am always choosing the right thing... but the real question is, am I choosing wisely?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Especially For YOU.

Late. Somehow, I am drowning with all the things that's going on in my mind and my heart and everything. It pays to to stop and think if everything is worth it or if I'm just wasting my feelings away to things that won't really add up to something concrete. Sometimes, it feels like I'm just getting way out of my head and I am over thinking things... but still. Choosing what to think is the easy way out. Being affected is always a choice.

And I know that this thing is unrelated as unrelated can get to what I am saying right now -- but dedicating a song won't be so bad, right? This is for YOU.

Monday, June 23, 2014

2014 Reading Challenge Update!

So much for my 2014 Reading List. Haha. Anyways, I said in my previous post that I'd at least try to post random snippets of everything instead of nothing at all...but as it turns out, even doing that proved a little hard. So I guess, I'll have to make do with this.

Everything is passing me by at full speed right now that it's really hard to imagine how I'll be able to still manage squeezing everything I WANT to do this year. I don't know, life is passing by, experiences and things are passing ME by... but somehow, it feels like I'm suspended in time, stationary. I love to read. I honestly want to read. Those random moments of curling up in bed, late at night, with a book in hand (coffee, optional + the sound of the rain in the background, preferable) still remains one of my warmest & simply happier memories of this year to date. But sometimes, I have to face the fact that being stuck in the fictional worlds that my beloved authors (friends) weave with their words is not really a viable option at the moment. There are far more important things that I have to do, and (pleasure) reading on a daily basis may prove hard to swallow. But still, I make do. You have no choice in the matter, sometimes.

It's a shame that I can't really spend time reading as much as I want to, but mind you, the little times in between that I managed to glance upon a page was really worth it and sometimes, takes the load off a perfectly stressful day. I said it once, and I'll say it once again: reading is some kind of a therapy -- and sometimes, it takes a really bad day to help you realize that. I may be stressed out, sometimes almost pushing myself to the limit, but at least... I have these things here, my friends, that make me smile, cry, and even fall in love when I seriously need a much-deserved break. :D

Half a year has already passed and it really makes me happy that despite THE busy schedule, I was able to accomplish almost 3/4 of my 2014 Reading Challenge.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith | This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith | Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | Annabel by Lauren Oliver | Hana by Lauren Oliver | Delirium by Lauren Oliver | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami |  Free Four by Veronica Roth | Divergent by Veronica Roth | Tangled by Emma Chase | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell |

Earlier this year, I pledged to read 15 books (yep, pretty low book count, but what the hell. haha) And now, as of this date, I already read 12!!! Yeah. So much for that, right? :) Sure, some of it are only novellas (i.e. Annabel, Hana, and Free Four), but it fulfills me seeing everything in their places when I view my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Crossing them out means getting closer and closer to the goal. As you can see, there has been so many recurring authors in there. While it's only normal that Roth and Oliver occupy a bunch of space in here (because they're a series, yeah) -- Rainbow Rowell and Jennifer Smith have been the breakout stars of my 2014 Reading Life thus far. I liked both of their writing voices, and I must say that light reads are certainly a nice deviation to the dark and gloomy plot themes that I've stuck myself into in the past. But of course, artistically speaking, Haruki Murakami trumps over the others and still the one and only king in my heart.

You can click the link (if one is provided) in the list of the books I've read above^ for my review of sorts. It's really embarrassing, because I remember promising to write a review for ALL of the books that I'll be reading this year. That promise still stands, I hope -- 6 more months still to go before the deadline struck true. Don't worry, there's so much in my Drafts folder right now so I guess I may be able to make the cut. Lol. (And boy am I making it sound more serious that it should. Haha,)

So much for all of my random ramblings. I'm sorry to have wasted so much of your time reading all this crap. I just want you to know that I'm very happy and I am writing this post right now because I feel so inspired. I hope this feeling continues, because, promise, this is really something that will keep you going for days no matter how hard. Well, that's about all, I guess. I hope to post another book thought sooner. Ciao!

For book related things this year, you can check out the Bookworm 2014 tag.

Bookworm 2013
Bookworm 2012 (In which you could find reviews of ALL the five books of the ASoIaF series, haha.)
Bookworm 2011

Monday, June 9, 2014

"But certain ones are too important to get lost in all this."

It's been a while since I posted something in this space of mine... and it's certainly much longer since I posted a book quote that pretty much made me stop and think and soak in all the feels that I could get from it. But hey, here I am with another one and it's one that's really random but I can't probably show my love for it any other way.

Here'e something from my current read right now: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

"It hard now," he said, his voice breaking just slightly. "I don't get to recommend books to you all that often. But certain ones are too important to get lost in all this." He waved a  hand vaguely between them, as if to define just exactly what this was. 

"Thanks," Hadley said, folding the book into her arms, hugging it to keep from hugging him. That they were left with only this -- this awkward, prearranged meet-up, this terrible silence -- seemed almost more than she could bear, and the unfairness of it all welled up inside of her. It was his fault, all of it, and yet her hatred for him was the worst kind of love, a tortured longing, a misguided wish that made her heart hammer in her chest. She couldn't ignore the disjointed sensation that they were now two different pieces of two different puzzles, and nothing in the world could make them fit together again.
~ Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight 

For some reason, something tugged that part of me that gets emotional in all these inappropriate places. And now...I'm pretty sure I'm about to cry if I'm emotionally capable of that right now.

It's not the love story per se...  it's something much more.  And just a few pages from this book and I already know that this could offer me something special. Of course, with all the Oliver thing (Oliveh in that British accent of his), this could go on as one of the more romantic YA books that I've read that makes me want to fall in love again as soon as possible -- but I'm guessing I'll be more affected with all the figuring out stuff in the relationship of Hadley and her father. I can't wait. I honestly can't.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

An update on my life so far. :)

Heyaaaaah! Happy Sunday! I can't believe it's been a long time, I know. Things just got a little out of hand... it has been a series of busy days after the other. Work has been occupying a huge chunk of my life right now (not that I'm complaining), so my blog presence is not really so apparent. And the thing is I find it hard to compose a decent blog post nowadays because y'all know how I'm used to writing long ones. I'm trying to figure out a way to save face...and the only thing that came up is to try to get used to posting short, frequent entries. Would you like that? I don't know myself, but I wish it'd work out. :)

There's so much pressure at work these days. I don't mind most of the time, really. But when I lose the time devoted to doing what I want (ehem, reading), that's when I really lose it. Those were the moments when I really felt burnt out. And I know that escaping into that fictional world (even for just two hours) would make it better. So yeah, I've been jumping from one book to another these past few months and before I knew it,
I've already accomplished almost 3/4 of my 2014 Reading Challenge. Isn't it just rad? Hehe. That surprised me really. Because I've been very busy, and I managed to squeeze this thing in my schedule no matter how jam-packed it is. And since considering I'm a veeeeeery slow reader, I consider it an achievement in it self. Things like this make me keep going --- and I honestly love that feeling. But the downside is that I can't keep up with posting my book thoughts. Haha. But I guess I'll find a way. Don't worry. :)

For the last couple of months, I've had my first out-of-town trip (on my own, meaning without my parents) and I hope I could squeeze it in and tell you all about it. I'm having the best time in my current work right now -- though its keeping me busy and awake most of the time, one thing I can't deny is that it keeps me always pumped up, especially with deadlines. I'm a self-declared couch potato, but i really like it when my adrenaline is on an all-time high because I'm trying to chase a deadline. It's what keeps my mind awake and alert, so no complanin'. :)

I'd like to talk about a lot of things..but I guess, cramming them up in one post would be such an ordeal (for me and for whoever makes the effort to read this boring post, hehe). So I guess I'll just finish this off with a list of what I wanna do (or have or accomplish or anything) for the next months:

  • Get back to writing
  • Keep a journal (AGAIN)
  • Update my scrapbook
  • Go on a trip (AGAIN)
  • Finish my TBR pile 
  • Be a regular at work
  • Excel at work
  • Get a decent (if not excellent) evaluation at work
  • Watch a movie with my siblings
  • Go out more
  • Experience the sun (though I don't really like hanging out with the heat and all)
  • Go to a beach
  • Swim!
  • Reconnect with old friends
  • Talk more
  • Smile more
  • Walk more
  • Eat less (>.<)
  • Commit to wellness
  • Exercise more
  • Write a blog post
  • Update this blog more often
  • Stop obsessing over Facebook or Twitter (srsly, it's ruining my life)
  • Experience life
  • Enjoy more
  • Be POSITIVE all the time
  • Start a savings account
  • Be prudent in spending money
  • Watch what I eat
  • Be a "sunnier" person
  • Stop obsessing over the past
  • Live in the NOW
Haha. Why, that was fun. That was just an unedited, continuous stream of thought. Honestly, I forgot how refreshing it feels to just blurt out everything in writing without a care to the world. Forgive me for all the nonsense. It's time to start doing things. Bye! Here's to more updates in the coming days. :) HAPPY SUMMER! 

Thoughts? COMMENT BELOW and let's talk. :3

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book: Delirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver

I feel really happy because, albeit slowly, I'm beginning to cross out titles after titles in my 2014 Reading List. :) Here's another book that I've been waiting big time to read...and finally, finally, I was able to squeeze it in my schedule. Book thoughts after the jump! :3

"Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't. " (via Goodreads)

Delirium is set in a dystopian world where Love was treated as a disease -- Amor deliria nervosa. And Lena Haloway, our heroine is only days away from undergoing the "procedure" that would rid her completely of this infection.

The book started out a little weak for me. Or maybe, the tone of the writing just didn't appealed to me that much. There were moments when I confuse the Divergent universe with this story for some reason -- with the whole "wall" thing and all. But as the story furthers, I can spot all these poetic undertones that marked Oliver's lines and breaks -- and after a while, I got totally hooked. It blossomed, like the way Lena opened up for that emotion that her whole society condemns.

It was a bit silly...but I really mirror the development of Oliver's writing with the way the story progressed. I guess it won't really be a spoiler if I say outright that, yes, Lena indeed fell madly in love with someone in this book. And as she goes deeper and deeper into that abyss that is love, her words began to have this meaning, this much intricate resonance to them, and I started to feel and grasp her character more. What started out as a damaged, unfeeling girl...lead to the discovery of this sensitive, relateable protagonist. And as the story furthers, the way she tells her story morphs into something beautiful, a sight to behold -- inspired. It's amazing, because even with just the way the narrative was written.... Oliver was able to demonstrate how love can transform a person, and how it can do wonders in someone's outlook in life.

Her bestfriend, Hana Tate -- which (even if her description kinda felt like a clichè perfect YA heroine) still feels like a much more evolved character than her other literary counterparts. There's something fishy with the way she's too good to be true, like there's something really big lying underneath. She came off more as an enigma, and as I get further in, I get the sense that I need to know more about her. There's a Delirium novella titled "Hana", and that might be the answer to some of my questions about her.

Of course, Alex Sheathes -- the very reason Lena changed in the first place. The slow building up of Lena and Alex's attraction to each other was prety interesting. And when it escalated into something beautiful, I swear I can almost feel Alex's eyes bore into Lena's -- literally, like I'm almost witnessing it first hand for some reason. There were things which were a tad bit predictable to his story line....but he was so well written, that Oliver managed to make me fall in love with him, too. (It also helped that I've always imagined the Alex in my head as sort of Alex Pettyfer-ish and the fact that he's quoting e.e. cummings and all. C'mon!). And that scene at the end....ugh, let me just melt into a pool of feels because I can't even begin to fathom the extent of his love for Lena. LET ME HAVE MY OWN ALEX, PLEASE.

These are just some of the things that stroke a chord with me -- but what takes the cake would definitely be about Lena's mother. This storyline was so heartbreaking, not just generally but for the effect that it had on Lena growing up. This part of the story was handled splendidly (and shockingly! I swear I got goosebumps), and I admit that this is really my favorite part of the book besides the book-ender.

I guess the very fact that love is banned and is somehow condemned in their society is what intensified what they feel into something that they feel is worth standing up for. That the greater the resistance for the emotion that kept them going, the more they feel that it is something special and that they wouldn't admit it if it wasn't true because it's too risky and that they should fight for it because it's worth it. Maybe we're too used to the fact that love is a universally acceptable thing (which it is), and that it is far too great an idea that suppressing it would feel like a violation of something innate inside of us. Or maybe it's all those little things all at once.

I would've given it a 3, but because of how Oliver wrote the ending of this book.....I'm giving it a solid 4. I acted impulsively on Goodeads last time and rated it an outstanding 5 right after I read it -- that's how awesome it was. I swear, that has got to be one of the best, if not the most heartbreaking, book-enders I've read in years. And I would never forget how it broke me in all these familiar places. That scene alone inspired a mini movie in my head that has been playing in my mind ever since I closed it -- and that in itself speaks a great deal. Definitely recommended.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
It's so strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it's taking forever to come. Then it happens and it;s over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed.  
The one good thing about being shy is that nobody bigs you when you want to be left alone. 
"Are you sure that being like everybody else will make you happy?" ~ Alex 
"That's when you really lose people, you know. When the pain passes." ~ Alex
Sometimes, the pain only makes it better, more intense more worth it. 
I guess that's just part of loving people; You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to give them up. 
And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: it's the only thing that can come close to describing what I feel in that moment, the baffling mixture of pain and pleasure and fear and joy, all running sharply through me all at once.
Fast Facts:
Delirium was about to be be turned into a TV series, until Fox rejected and declined to pick up the pilot. Lena was supposed to be played by Emma Roberts, and Hana by Jeanine Mason (SYTYCD, yay!). Anyways, I found clips of the unaired pilot back at PageToPremiere.com: check it out here.
Quick thoughts on those clips: I'm really glad that this show was never picked up. I mean, I totally loved Delirium but there's just something really off about this pilot. The casting of Hana totally deviates from the book and bad acting from almost everyone -- and that's not even the major problem here. I think it's more with regards to the script. The lines felt really cheap  and flat for some reason, like its some sort of a normal teenage chick flick (which it's not). And don't even get me started on how casually they speak of "love". Ugh. The first episode alone covers the entire book 1, so yeah. It's weird. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


"There is only one thing we say to death: NOT TODAY." ~ Syrio Forell, A Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones (or more appropriately, A Song of Ice and Fire series) is one who isn't afraid to show blood. There has been so much deaths, in the books and in the TV series. And though the small screen adaptation have some minor deviations from my beloved and favorite book series, I can say that they've made very death (minor or major) artistically and well executed. Some say that it's too much, but still, these deaths are probably one of the major factors that made the TV show and book series a hit. To hell with fan service! -- this thing is the real deal.

And because Season 4 is just around the corner... HBO made an effort to recount the past deaths that made significant impact to the show for the past 3 seasons. Check out their Beautiful Death tumblr, their "official death-by-death countdown to Game of Thrones Season 4" .

The site includes 30 stunning portraits illustrated by Robert Ball -- interpreting one death per episode. Each portrait includes symbolism and quotes included in the iconic deaths of the show. Brilliant, brilliant interpretations.

Here're my 5 favorites among the bunch: (spoilers ahead)

Jory's death may have been a minor detail, but please....this illustration is just so stunning it just caught my attention right on.

Here's to one of the best episodes the TV show has produced...ever! Blackwater was a mixture of brilliant story telling, great pacing, and just downright amazing script. Epic!

Just seeing the Godswood make me choke up. Ugh, Winterfell.

This is not in the books, so this really caught me off guard. This shot really brought up Joffrey's love for cruelty on a much disturbing level. I never really got a solid take on this while I was reading, but it was very apparent on the show -- and I loved it. Also, I love this illustration.

There goes all our feels, right? This wouldn't be a list of my favorites without the #RedWedding in it. One of the most iconic death scenes the series has produced, if not the best. I know many of us were traumatized, and rewatching this episode may prove too hard because that means we'll undergo the same emotional trauma that we've tried so hard to get over with.

Illustrations c/o Robert Ball / HBO
Well, that's just about it. Who's excited for the Season 4 pilot? Because I totally am! Season 4 would be all about the latter half of A Storm of Swords, which for me was the most action-packed in all the series so far -- and my favorite! If they would follow everything (which I'm sure they would because everything at that point is pivotal to the plot), I know, more deaths are coming. So be prepared, this list of beautiful deaths would continue to grow any moment now. :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Book thoughts, y'all! :) Sorry for my blog backlogs! Gawd, things just got buried in my huge pile of work that I somehow missed posting things in my Drafts folder. 

This is one book that is very close to my heart. And with the recent good news circling the YA Adaptations Heaven (more on that on my next entry), I think I should post this before it's too late! A book with a curious cover art, a catchy book blurb...and one that provided me an even more awesome reading experience. Here's Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. :)
Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor. 
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park. 
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try [via Goodreads]
The premise was somehow ordinary, but what made it special is its own set of characters and how Rowell treated each of them. Awkward, asian kid. Fat, freckled girl, with a disjointed family. C'mon! Who does that? What a unique pairing it was, and this, for me is what brought the heart out of the book and its story. That not only cute girls and heartthrobs fall in love. That awkward teenagers and people with complicated lives do, too. That imperfect people also have a shot at life. Because in the end, all is fair in love and war. (And when did I start quoting things like this? Haha. >.<)
Eleanor & Park by Simini Block / source

It left me brimming with #feeeeeels and I haven't been like this since I read TFioS on a school night last year. It breaks my heart into tiny little pieces, letting them scatter on the floor only to pick them up again and leave me hoping for more. I love witnessing them fall in love -- and I swear, this is one of the cutest thing I've read so far. Ugh. Young love is just so beautiful.

My cheeks were seriously burning all throughout and there were moments when I hate how much this book feels so relateable when there wasn't even anything in my life right now to relate it to. Cliche as it may sound, but this book made me remember the thrill of falling in love for the first time, the nervousness of dipping your toes into something you're not really used to, and even the pain when it feels like all the universe is conspiring to break what you have apart. This book will make you feel things, really.

And I wasn't even expecting the later part of the plot. I mean, I was half-expecting it, but it took actually reading it to realize that all the signs were everywhere and I just haven't been paying that much attention because I was too caught up with everything that's going on between Eleanor and Park's relationship. Books with that kind of theme makes me a bit uncomfortable, but with E&P, all's well because it added something brought about by the thrill of the chase and all the figuring-out stuff. It was genius.

And that ending? Gawd, was that one of the most torturing things I've read... that you just can't do anything but demand a sequel. Srsly.

I love how Rowell was brave enough to talk about REAL issues. It's time to stop living in a world of perfect love stories, feel-good lives and fairy tale endings, it's time to talk about REAL LIVES. And I applaud this book for doing just that. 

Genre-bending. A YA book that crosses borders. Eye-opener. Definitely recommended.

My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
"Holding Eleonor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive." 
"Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something" 
"I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death."


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