"I used to think that somewhere along the line, I'd find the key to that perfect life...and once I had it, everyday would be golden and easy, and ever
"I used to think that somewhere along the line, I'd find the key to that perfect life...and once I had it, everyday would be golden and easy, and everything would fit. But life isn't like that. There are only perfect, glowing moments, like this one, and then there are the everyday moments that weave them together into a shimmering path that can always be seen, even in the dark."
This book made me want to bake, eat, AND dance! :) I love how this book is not just about a girl with weight problems losing all the pounds, but reallThis book made me want to bake, eat, AND dance! :) I love how this book is not just about a girl with weight problems losing all the pounds, but really more about how she saw herself, and what she was capable of when she stopped caring about what other people thought and more about how she felt when she does something she really loves. Such a great read - and I think it's time to join those dance classes again. :)...more
Reading JUST FOR THE RECORD feels like watching the rain fall from your window. You try to make sense of the drops on your window, discerning a patterReading JUST FOR THE RECORD feels like watching the rain fall from your window. You try to make sense of the drops on your window, discerning a pattern and beyond that, you can see that the rain is pouring steadily, enveloping everything a sad blanket, sort of. Somewhere in the middle, it feels like the sun was starting to shine, and you just want for the characters, particularly Rhys and Isaiah, to find their way. And when you get to the end, it's like seeing the rain clouds gather again, and you know that it will pour, and instead of resisting, we just sit and wait for it to happen. Because things will happen, and it's only a matter of time.
Perhaps I made that comparison because I read this during a rainy weekend, but still, there's something beautiful and sad about JUST FOR THE RECORD that the pink cover doesn't really convey. These characters left a mark on me like the way I have started caring for characters in TV shows or books that I follow. I really enjoyed this, just as much as I enjoyed Six's YA story, After the Moment. It's been a while since I was lost in something as beautifully written as this, and I look forward to whatever Six writes if only to drown in her words (and feels). :D
I’ve been seeing this story in the #buqoYA twitter feed during the time the stories were being written, and I thought this was such a cute title. I loI’ve been seeing this story in the #buqoYA twitter feed during the time the stories were being written, and I thought this was such a cute title. I love sticky notes, too, and I was really curious on how this item would fit in the Nate and Tanya’s love story.
This is a short, short story, but despite its length, I was really convinced that Nate and Tanya were truly best friends, with the way they knew each other and the history they had together. I think that is the most challenging about writing friends-turned-lovers stories – building on their history and making the readers believe that they are meant to be even from the start (except writing that trope for YA is a bit easier because the characters are younger). I liked their back story, which was simple, and how Tanya truly loved Nate as her best friend and not just a guy she liked.
Once Upon a Sticky Note had both the sweet and the complications, as this bundle is all about. Don’t worry, the ending is more sweet than complicated. :P My only wish for this story is that it was a little bit longer, if only to flesh out their characters and their stories more. Nevertheless, this is a very sweet and cute YA story that you should not miss. :)...more
I first heard about Jamie Tworkowski from my friend Isa, after she shared with me this quote:
Don't get me wrong. It's not that i don't like love. i lo
I first heard about Jamie Tworkowski from my friend Isa, after she shared with me this quote:
Don't get me wrong. It's not that i don't like love. i love love - i think it's the best thing that happens on the planet. It's the biggest dream inside me. But i bought a lie somewhere along the way. i bought the lie that says i'm not alive if i'm not in love. i bought the lie that says if i love someone but then they stop loving me or they start loving someone else, then i must have no value or power or worth. i bought the lie that says if i'm not in love, then i'm as good as dead.
I had no idea who he was until then, until I found out that he is the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), "...an American non-profit organization that aims to to present hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and thoughts of suicide while also investing directly into treatment and recovery." ((Source: Wikipedia)) I found out about TWLOHA back in college, I think, because some of my favorite bands (Switchfoot, Anberlin, Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz, etc) support the organization. That's the most that I knew about Jamie and TWLOHA, and I was vaguely aware that there was a book coming out. When I received an email from the publicist asking if I wanted to review the book, I immediately said yes because if most of the book contained nuggets of wisdom like that quote that Isa shared to me last time, then I definitely want to read this book.
If You Feel Too Much is, at its core, a collection of Jamie Tworkowski's blog entries through the years. The topics range from work, family, friendships, romance, love, addiction, depression, self-injury, and brokenness. That's a lot to digest, but since these came from blog entries, they're really easy to read. If you're reading this as a memoir with a chronology of events, you might get a bit disappointed because some of the chapters feel a little bit disjointed, and sometimes some of them seemed to carry the same thought. Some of them may even be seem too short, but that's easy to overlook because the everything here is full of heart. More than being readable, this book is super relatable. It doesn't matter if the context of the entry is different - there's some sort of universal truth that makes the reader connect to the things you read in this book.
Jamie's thoughts focused a lot on reaching out, on being a friend, on opening up to people and offering love. Inversely, he also talked about how if we don't have the strength to reach out and to offer love, then it's okay. We don't have to be strong all the time -- sometimes, we need to be on the receiving end, too. If You Feel Too Much does not just tell its readers that we are not alone, but more importantly, we all have a part to play in this life. As Sierra De Mulder (who was mentioned in the book, too) wrote: your voice is someone's favorite voice, your face is someone's favorite face.
If You Feel Too Muchis all about the pain and beauty and loss and hope that makes up our being human. If you feel too much, too, then this is the book for you. Read it all in one sitting, or read it bit by bit - if only to remind yourself of the truths that we often forget about ourselves.
If you feel too much, don't go.
You are not alone in these places.
Other people feel how you feel.
You are more than just your pain. You are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence.
But of course the newest Sarah Dessen will not escape my grubby hands.
Saint Anything is about Sydney, whose life changed when her older brother PeytBut of course the newest Sarah Dessen will not escape my grubby hands.
Saint Anything is about Sydney, whose life changed when her older brother Peyton was convicted for drunk driving. Everyone loves Peyton, so when he was taken away, it felt as if Sydney's life went with him, especially with how her family was left coping with the loss. Everyone was so concerned about Peyton, but Sydney couldn't help but wonder about the his victim - what about him? Then Sydney meets the Chathams, a family that runs a pizza parlor near her school. They befriend Sydney, and soon, she gets into their world of pizza, the perfect fries, and bands. For the first time ever, Sydney feels that people are finally seeing her.
As with every Sarah Dessen I have read, Saint Anything starts out a bit slow, laying the groundwork for the story to come alive. I have read enough Dessen to know that this was her style, so I was patient, knowing it will all pay off in the end. And it did, as I was introduced to the Chathams. They charmed me, they really did. I loved their family dynamic, and how they were all crazy in a good way. I loved the pizza place, and Layla and Mac's friends from school. The lunch scenes were perfect in so many ways and I looked forward to reading all of that.
Then there's Sydney's mom, who, I must admit, was a bit too much with holding Sydney to a certain standard. But again, it's what mothers do, I think? It wasn't really so surprising. But the real "villain" here wasn't her mom, but that creepy guy who keeps on worming into their story. I suppose it was because I knew about him before I started reading, and that made him creepier. But either way, even if you don't know him before this, I doubt you'd find him less creepy.
In a way, Saint Anything reminds me of my most favorite Sarah Dessen book, The Truth About Forever. There were many similar elements that make it almost a mirror novel, but not too much that they're too similar. Mac is no Wes, but I still really liked him, and I really liked his slow-burn chemistry with Sydney. Bonus points to the Saint reference. :)
I really enjoyed Saint Anything, and if you're a Dessen fan, this does not disappoint. I'm still waiting for a book in the POV of a Dessen boy - it's about time, right? While I'm waiting, I think I'll go and reread her previous books. :)
That was just it. You never knew what lay ahead; the future was one thing that could never be broken, because it had not yet had the chance to be anything. One minute you're walking through a dark woods, alone, and then the landscape shifts, and you see it. Something wondrous and unexpected, almost magical, that you never would have found had you not kept going. Like a new friend who feels like an old one, or a memory you'll never forget. Maybe even a carousel.
I've been wanting to read a Haruki Murakami novel for the longest time, but I can never choose which book to read. Everyone I ask seemed to have too mI've been wanting to read a Haruki Murakami novel for the longest time, but I can never choose which book to read. Everyone I ask seemed to have too many different recommendations, and some of them even hesitate because they know that there were some things in Murakami's books that aren't really my cup of tea. Then someone recommended Murakami's latest book (at least, at that time) then, because I liked collecting train maps. But of course I didn't get a copy, until I borrowed a copy from a friend.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (which I will call Colorless Tsukuru from here on out)is about Tsukuru Tazaki and his four friends - or at least, the story of their friendship, and how they just stopped wanting to be his friend. His friends' abandonment hurt him deeply, and he carried this all the way into his adult life. Then he meets and dates Sarah, who forces him to confront his past for his own peace of mind.
Colorless Tsukuru is a surprisingly easy read. The prose was fluid, and it had some sort of dreamlike quality to it. There was a time when I stopped reading for a long time, but it wasn't because I found it boring - it was just plain busy-ness. But when I picked it up again, I read through it so quickly and found myself so invested in Tsukuru Tazaki that I rooted for him.
There's a lot about Colorless Tsukuru that resonated with me, and made me feel strangely sentimental. It's not just his fascination with trains that got me -- I like train maps and riding trains, but not necessarily how trains work -- but more of Tsukuru's friendships and how he lost them. I think that was what saddened me the most, how there were some things that you just couldn't bring back, and the hard choices that people make for the sake of friendship. There's a lot of sadness and regret here, and when the reason why all that happened was finally revealed, I was even more saddened to realize that it was an even harder situation. As expected, closure isn't really as clean as we all wished it would be.
There's something about being young and having friends and witnessing the changes that happen to all the people in the group that makes one a little nostalgic, yeah? But if anything, it made me think of my own friendships, and I can't help but utter a little prayer that what happened to Tsukuru and his friends won't happen to my own friendships.
I really enjoyed my first Murakami, and I'm glad that this was the first one. The book lingered with me even after I read it, and sometimes I still sigh a little when I think of Tsukuru Tazaki. I'm still undecided if I will start working on reading Murakami's other books - maybe I will, someday. But now, let me just savor the feeling and the memories of this book.
We truly believed in something back then, and we were the kind of people capable of believing something - with all our hearts. And that kind of hope will never simply vanish.
I heard of Champions by Karren Renz Sena from a fellow book blogger who was tweeting about the book when she was reading it. I notedAlso posted here.
I heard of Champions by Karren Renz Sena from a fellow book blogger who was tweeting about the book when she was reading it. I noted it, seeing as it was published by Shepherd's Voice Publications, a local Catholic publishing house that I used to write for, and it was fiction - something new from them. It took me until after Christmas to get myself a copy, and I decided to read it while I was in the jeepney on the way home, and then I couldn't stop.
Champions is a story of seven men and women who were put together in a team to help retrieve the Sword of Sargatanas, a powerful weapon that is locked up in Cielterra, the stronghold of Cielos, the city closest to Heaven. This sword, when used on the day that the planets aligned, has the capacity to tear open the boundaries between dimensions, and when used on Gate Pandora, will unleash demons and monsters from Hell. These seven men and women - called Champions - are the only hope for this to be stopped, and to retrieve the Sword. One of these Champions is a Human called Gabriel, kidnapped from his life in Earth and brought to a battle that he didn't ask for, but even so, he felt that he somehow belonged. Perhaps this was the link to his past that he has been looking for all along?
Champions was fun. This is your good old fantasy novel with Christian references that is so well-written that I think anyone who just likes fantasy and action will just really sink their teeth into this. Though there were times when it felt like there were too many switches in the POVs as I was placed in the heads of almost all the characters, it was still quite fun, and I think the author did that to lay the foundation for the series. It gave me a bit of insight in every character, but I hope the next books in the series will focus on say, one or two instead of all of them so I'll be able to understand what makes these characters tick. If I were to pick a favorite, I really like the human Gabriel, followed by Solenn who seemed all fire at first but had a big heart inside of her. I would also love to learn more about Matteo, as I always felt affectionate to any group's tech guy. Oh, and I loved the judges - Samson, Gideon, and Deborah. Their banter was so fun. :D
As I said, the world building here was good, and I really liked the idea of how Eden was set to be the most protected place, and how Cielos being the city closest to Heaven, is the one in charge of its protection. This book makes the Bible seem more alive, and I love how the names used here were from the Bible - Samson, Gideon, Deborah, Memorare, Ark of the Covenant, Passover, etc etc. The names don't feel out of place, and even the things that they do - rallying aka worship, prayer and meditation - felt like they just fit right into the story, and not a bit preachy.
I wanted more at the end, especially after the revelations about some characters. I am really glad this is a series, so the next question is: when will the next book be out? Please let it be soon! ...more
I heard about this from my book club friends around two years ago, but it was already out of print so I knew my only chances of reading this was borroI heard about this from my book club friends around two years ago, but it was already out of print so I knew my only chances of reading this was borrowing it from someone. Of course, that plan never materialized because it wasn't such a high priority book for me. Come Komikon 2014, I saw some friends carrying copies of the new editions of The Mythology Class during the book discussions so I made a mental note to get it afterwards. So I did (and was pleasantly surprised that Arnold Arre was there and he drew me when I asked him to sign my copy :D), and told myself I'd read it perhaps during the long December vacation.
But I couldn't wait, so I read it today.
Halfway through reading, I didn't want it to end.
A few hours later, I was done, and now I understand why my friends were raving about this. The Mythology Class is so, so good. I loved all the characters and their quirkiness. I love the idea of a group of kids called on a quest that brings them into the world of Philippine myth and folklore. I loved everything about this, and I felt good chills and part sadness when I reached the end because I really didn't want this to end.
It's so, so, good. :)
Don't forget the stories I've told you. Can you do that for Lolo? For who knows, maybe someday you might find yourself in one of them....more
I think it's just about showing up. I think it's about choosing people when people are just hard to choose. I think it's about saying things we know w
I think it's just about showing up. I think it's about choosing people when people are just hard to choose. I think it's about saying things we know we will regret if we don't say them sooner. Fighting hard for the people who make us feel like they've swept all the oxygen out of the room. I think it's about remembering to commit to the small things. And remembering that love still wins. No matter how much we try to say that something else matters more than it, love still wins.