Sunday, April 8, 2018

#HobonichiBookClubPH - Week 1 of Turtles All the Way Down

So, I am making this a thing. John Green's Turtles All the Way Down (TATWD) was selected as book of the month of our Hobonichi Book Club PH... and being the nerd that I am (and since I'm feeling a little bit extra), here I am making a whole post out of it. (Partly to keep this blog running, and partly because YEY I am trying out a different medium after a long while.)

If you haven't heard about this book before, click HERE for the blurb. As I've read, this is John's most personal book to date mostly because this book was partly inspired by his own experiences dealing with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Aza, the book's main protagonist, also suffers from such.

John has always been a treat to read. With all the metaphors, witty and/or nerdy characters, straight-forward-but-damn-right statements, and the introspective and real look at how a teenager's mind works. I'm always caught up with how uniquely he expresses these characters. Like they matter - because they do.

Anyway, enough John Green love.

Here's my entry for Week 1 of TATWD (Chapter 1 to 6).
Prompt: a drawing or a painting of turtles on your Hobonichi.

As I am still a beginner in watercolor painting, I used AhmadArt's tutorial for this underwater scene.
I used one particular quote by Davis which really captured my attention:
At the end, when walking was work, we sat on a bench looking down at the river, which was running low, and she told me that beauty was mostly a matter of attention."The river is beautiful because you are looking at it," she said.
Note: I unconsciously wrote "was" instead of "is". (Pardon.) 😂

I read this book last year but still was not able to post a review-of-sorts. I figured this is the perfect opportunity to look back and formally record my thoughts on it. This is the first time I explored using post-it commentaries instead of live-tweeting my reactions for this book so the spur-of-the-moment thoughts and memories are still well- preserved in my copy. 

Quick thoughts on Chapters 1 to 6:
  • "You're not anxious?" I am amazed at Aza's support system. Her mother. Her bestfriend, Daisy. They always make it a point to check on Aza: any change in behavior, or if she's feeling anxious. They make it a point to be sensitive about her condition. If all, or even half, of the people who have person/s with mental health condition/s in their circle are this sensitive AND supportive, how beautiful a place our world would be?
  • Aza's father's penchant to take picture of "leafless branches dividing up the sky." There's something beautiful in looking at "split-apart skies". I also tend to take pictures of this kind when I have the chance.
  • "I still can't believe he left us." This particular scene when her mother said this and she thought: "She said it like it was a decision, like he'd been mowing the lawn that day and thought, I think I'll fall down dead now." THIS. This is one of the things I like about John's writing. The way it rips you up in the most simplest ways and in the most unexpected of moments. Statements that are not very dramatic, but clear and simple enough you can't deny the pain. This angst-y line, for some reason, hurt me like hell. 
  • "Welcome to the future, Holmesy." Ah, the sweet bliss of social media stalking. I was laughing while I was reading about how Aza and Daisy find and track things in the internet. This TOTALLY reflects how people can dig up dirt in the modern world. Talk about research skills. 😂
  • Davis' blog! Davis' entries are my favorite -- because they are sensitive and lyrical and emotional. That's also the reason why I used it in my drawing. This totally brings back memories. I used to own a Tumblr back in the days where I would just pour out every little emotional things: poems, prose, quotes, reblogged relateable illustrations and screencaps. That one hell hole where no one knows you and no one gives a damn. It's just you and your creations, your emotions. Ah, the good old days.

Materials used: (1) Hobonichi Weeks (2) Prang Oval-8 Watercolor Palette (3) Tombow Fudenusoke Hard Tip (4) Uni Pin Fine Line 0.3 (5) Monami Essenti Soft Highlighter in Grey (6) Sakura Gelly Roll Pen in White

Any way, that was quite fun. Looking forward to Week 2 for this book. 

#Bookworm 2018

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