28 June 2013

37. Honeymoon in Paris: A Novella

Honeymoon in Paris: A Novella is an "ebook only" prequel to another Jojo Moyes'  novel, The Girl You Left Behind. Honeymoon in Paris is basically the gates, the opening to the wonderful and amazing stories of Sophie Lefevre and Liv Halston, two of the most strong women in the world of literature I know. The prequel, of course, talks about their marriages only and the factors that could make or break it. Sophie's story happened a century before Liv's by the way, in the First World War. 

If you fancy a Parisian honeymoon, you should read this. It's never always what you expect it to be. But the thing is, you never really know who you married once you're into your first few weeks together. Factors should be given priority in order to save a marriage since it no longer revolves around love (only) anymore. At the end of the day, it's the couple's choice that matters. It takes two to tango, after all. 

M x

01 May 2013

36. Perverse

One day, the author of this book left me a message on my book blogs page. He was inquiring if I could do a review about his new book. Since I’ve been really into YA these days, I can’t help but say yes although I honestly don’t know how to write a well-brought-up book review... Hehehe. So here’s my version of a book review for an author. Perverse is my first book to be reviewed. This will always have a spot close to my heart.

All of us go through that special tunnel between being young and vibrant and carefree AND being a full grown adult. It’s always been the other versus another, her against him. Emylene Stipe, a nineteen year old girl, is stuck in the tunnel. She is still on the verge of knowing where she really stood in the world and how to rebel against its uncertainties. Being a teenager is hard enough, but even the most superlative form of that word won’t even be apt when you’re a “second-gen” goth. Her parents, Vandy and Theo, has already exposed so many of the world’s imperfection, thus, Emylene has to decide on how rebel against a family of rebels. She is torn between becoming a civil servant or the uncivil servant.

On an event one midnight summer, Emylene found her first (and only) friend, Nancy Nostradamus. She’s also a “second-gen” goth and her family had their name changed legally. Each year, Goths gather to sort of confirm their legitimacy, to claim their rights so as to protect themselves from the cruelty of those who think Goths are antisocial, attention-seeker and stupid.

Emylene’s parents were the acknowledged leaders of the community; Emylene of course is like their princess and even if that gave her a few special privileges, it also meant having to face through certain expectations a girl her age doesn't think she’s ready enough to handle. The moment she turned 19, she moved to a new place, far enough for her to practice independence but also close enough to go back to their place when tough times come. She got a job at a textile shop located just on the ground floor of her apartment building; she depends on her salary for rent. For fun, she often has dinner with a Greek man whose nose is narrow enough it could probably slice an envelope. His name is Stelio. She thinks he’s very different and she’ll know how different he is very soon...

Things will start to turn upside-down once she purchases and brings home a very interesting painting which will soon be her home for a couple of months... and then the real story unfolds as Lazslo brings her back to the real world full untold mysteries.

Oh my goodness!!! I can really say this book by Larry Rodness is one of my favorites  It’s not just interestingly exciting but very out of the ordinary. It has a very original telltale about the history of Goths, which I’m sure every girl wants to know. If there’s one thing I've learned about the society, it’s how sick it is when it comes to judging a person because of his or her outer appearance. Goths these days aren't that much accepted because non-goths probably think they’re just a flock of attention-seekers who dresses black from head to toe. But what others can’t see on the outside is far more important, there’s more than what meets the eye.

This may be about Goths but there are lots of lessons which you can get when you spare a few hours out of your day in order to read this book... one is, a thing about love. I believe in love so much, in the idea of finding your one true love. In this story, it taught me love too has its limitations. Fate is very tricky, often very deceitful but you should love yourself so much more than the other so that you’ll know what to do in those fraudulent times. You must not let love win when you know it can lead to something that can harm the human race. You must not dwell on what used to be when you know very well that it isn’t what is anymore. Do not be selfish; think about what will happen next. (of course I’m pertaining to the story’s ending which I didn’t really expect... too much for me to handle. Hahaha. If I were Emelyne, I think I’d kill him for doing such thing. Ugh.)

Why you should read this? You’ll enjoy... you can’t find a boring chapter. If you need something that will distract you from the very cruel summer sun here in the Philippines, this would be great choice. You just won’t stop reading until you get to the last page.

PS: Thank you, Larry Rodness, for sending me a copy of this very attention-grabbing book of yours. I enjoyed it a lot. Sorry for the late review. (explanation attached on the message I sent you via book blogs) Please don’t stop writing. Kisses from the PH.

M x

26 April 2013

35. Attachments

Whether we admit it or not, it’s obvious that we often judge a book by its cover and that’s exactly what led me to reading another Rainbow Rowell novel. Attachments isn’t like Eleanor and Park. This is a more mature view on love, marriage, family, friendship, and fidelity rolled into one humorous, irresistible piece of literature.

Lincoln is your dreamy kind of guy, tall, broad and handsome. Very masculine. He’s strong-looking. Like the kind of guy you feel standing next to you before you actually see him, because he’s blocking so much ambient light. He’s 28 and very much available. He works for The Courier, IT Department. His job is to read flagged emails. Woah. ALTHOUGH HE DIDN'T LIKE THE IDEA - he feels like he’s invading their privacy - the company’s paying him a lot. LIKE A LOT. And that’s enough for him, until one night, he opens a flagged email from Jennifer to Beth. He didn't send them a warning, he was supposed to, somehow he finds them alluring and he just can’t stop... there’s something about Beth.

Beth is a movie critic. She has broad shoulders, and a high heavy chest. Smallish waist. Widish hips. A soft curve at the small of her back. So pretty. So more than pretty.
It was Beth who saw him first; she was attracted to him physically, so much that she even followed him home once. Hahahaha. WHAT INFATUATION CAN DO. She’s like the normal girl/lady/woman who will do everything just to have a glimpse of her crush, whose day won’t be complete without seeing her crush even just for a single second. I should know, I’ve done that for so many times and I’m pretty sure I’m going to do those crazy stuffs again. Yes to memories!!! Yay!!!

PS: when they first met, she thinks she saw fireworks... and roman candles. OMG FTW OH AND BTW she really isn’t available, she’s living in with a lead guitarist for years now but she just can’t give him (Lincoln) up. She can’t not have some(one)thing to look forward to.
Lincoln, he fell for Beth’s soul. Every time he reads her emails to her co-workers, he feels like he’s getting a sneak peek into who she really is... it’s like buying a ticket to a train, a free passes to the windows of her soul, the doors to her very core.

Attachments is also a light read, one thing I like about Rainbow Rowell actually, you can finish her novels in one seating and you can’t even dare to put it down even for a single minute because that would mean kind of missing a very single part of Lincoln and Beth’s love story. Theirs is a story you wouldn't think will ever get a chance. But love and fate really has their own way of sending two people to a place where they’ll usually reign no matter what. And that’s what happened to them, after everything they've been through, they somehow found their ways back to The Courier where it all started as just a mere twist of luck. 

M x

34. Eleanor and Park

Eleanor, also known as Big Red (she’s apparently a redhead), is the new “new girl” at Park’s school. I’m pretty sure everyone wants a newcomer to be a hottie, a total babe but Eleanor wasn’t that type – not even close. She was the total opposite. She was awkward and big. She wears clothes girls her age won’t even dare, like large men’s shirt + weird long necklaces + scarves around her wrists. Oh my!!! Fashion suicide... but it’s not like she has a choice because she clearly doesn’t have a single one. BECAUSE SHE’S NOT RICH BUT BROKE. Very. And there’s nothing she can do about that. Yet.

She lives in a tiny house, a block away from Park’s, with her siblings, their mother and their stepdad. Well, Eleanor doesn’t really think of him as her stepdad, they really aren’t close, not after what he did to her a year ago.

On her first day on her new school, she had Park as his seatmate on the bus. Again, she didn’t have a choice; nobody wants to sit beside her. Since then they’ve been seatmates.
Park is half Korean, half American. Her father went to Korea during world war; he met Mindy (Park’s mom) there and brought her home with him. Since then, they’ve been madly in love with each other. Park is so into reading and music. Those are the things they have in common.
One day, while Park was reading on the bus, he was so sure Eleanor was reading his comics as well. He didn’t want to be rude so he’d sometimes look up to her before he flips to the next page. And that’s how it all started...

A lot of things could really happen in a 20 or 30 minute ride on the bus. You could either hate the person forever or you could learn to get to know her, sometimes you’d fall in love with her soul and then you’ll get to see her differently. Like Park to Eleanor.
Park is a sweet, Asian kid. He thinks holding Eleanor’s hand is like holding a butterfly or a heartbeat. He doesn’t like Eleanor, he needs her. Eleanor, on the other hand, thinks he lives for Park. She isn’t even sure she still breathes when they’re apart.

Ahhhhhh!!!! It feels good to be young and in love...... but it’s another thing when you’re young but (not)free and very much in love. They were young but old enough to know that first love might never work but desperate and very much in love enough to try and work things out. I seriously hope they would eventually find their way back into a love that is innocent and true. My heart aches for Park.

Eleanor and Park is one of those books you’d love to read when it’s raining... because of the ending. (but you’ve gotta figure that out yourself, of course) It’s entertaining, very light but very full. It’s mainly about high school romance, how it starts and how it ends. If you miss your high school sweetheart, you’d want to spend a few hours reading this and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. 


M x

20 April 2013

33. This is What Happy Looks Like

If you want to take a day off from the very cruel summer heat, go to the nearest bookstore and grab this book!!! 

I loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and since this is another Jennifer E. Smith novel, I just had that sudden impulse to find a copy, sit in a corner and just read. 

This is What Happy Looks Like is every teenage girl's dream...
a very popular young actor falls in love with a small town pretty girl (with a twist) + random things = love story. 
It all started when G accidentally sent an email to the wrong address. Apparently, the owner of that address was online so they exchanged emails for a bit. Then the next day, then the next day, then the next... Thing is, E didn't know it was G all along. She doesn't know what his name is, he doesn't know what her name is. 

This book also is like a ticket to a red carpet premiere into the lives of famous movie stars. We have this illusion that being a celebrity is the happiest thing in the world but reading from G's POV proves that there's so many disadvantages as to being the center of the public's eye -- and one is, the word privacy doesn't seem to exist anymore. G, being the most famous movie star, feels like nobody knows the real him except E and that even to his own family, he feels like a stranger.
Apparently, E isn't the typical teenage girl. She knows what her priorities are. She was basically unperturbed by stars in her town until she finds out who exactly her email buddy is. But the fact that she isn't a fan of his made her actions understandable and her character very likable. 

Nothing really serious happened in the whole story. It's just a very cute and sweet love story about two teenagers who, although they live in both ends of the world, found their way towards each other -- all because of an honest mistake. It's very realistic and I bet somewhere out there, this is actually happening. 

"She was thinking of those words they’d sent sailing across the country, each e-mail a kind of poem containing the very best versions of themselves. Maybe seeing him here was nothing more than a simple addendum to a conversation that had been going on for months now. If the time before she’d known him had been a kind of prelude, then maybe this was all just the postscript."

M x 

32. The Time Traveler's Wife

There are things in life that we simply can’t explain, not because we don’t want to but because we just can’t find the exact, appropriate set of words that will give these things such fair dealing. I guess what I’m trying to say is... love is love.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is a story about a little girl’s faith in the most powerful word I know, love. She was just playing in the meadow when a man appeared in the clearing. She was scared but she helped him. He said he’s a time traveler  she didn't know what to do, she didn't know whether to believe him or not but she listened... she listened to what he was saying. The man kept on appearing, always naked; she made it a point to always leave a box full of clothing and food. She was falling in love with the man who was old enough to be her father.

One time, she went to a slumber party. Her friends decided to play on the Ouija board and when it was Clare’s time to ask, the Ouija said his name’s Henry, her husband.
From then on, she’s been waiting for the right moment, the chance to finally meet the man she’ll spend the rest of her life with...

Somehow, right in the middle of an ordinary life, you find yourself a fairy-tale worth sharing. This is Clare’s fairy-tale.  She went through a very overwhelming, crazy roller-coaster ride with Henry and she knew things might go the wrong wabut she didn't care, she chose to step inside and enjoy the ride. She just wants to spend the rest of her life with the man she adores, the man she loves. Theirs is a love that can withstand the test of time.

Love can be very tricky at times. You’ll never know when it'll hit you or how but once it finds its way to you, there’s nothing you can do. The road may be a little rocky, the cliff may be a little too high but the thing is, you just have to take a leap. You just have to have faith in fate. Take a chance. It feels so good to be in love and be loved but if it’ll never work out like Henry and Clare's? Who cares, right? It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved, after all.

“There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.” 

M x

10 April 2013

31. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Again, I've heard very good reviews about the movie so I just had to read it and explore the very core of Charlie's world.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has to be one of those books one could really relate to. It's very realistic, insightful and poignant. 

"So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be."

Charlie needs a friend who'll listen to him and he found his friend in the company of a few paper, a pen, a random address and a mailbox. 

While Charlie isn't really the exact role model, he is such a proof that being different is okay. That you can still make a difference. "We are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose wherever we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them."

We may not be as gifted as Charlie (I also think he's kind of weak, sorry) but I know deep within us is a wallflower. We're just a bit lucky on the guts department. People often sayou can never really understand a person until you walk in their shoes but I beg to disagree because I strongly believe that you can understand someone IF you really try to understand wholeheartedly. There's a big difference between understanding and "just" understanding for the sake of understanding. 

I must say - Stephen Chbosky is a wonderful storyteller. He made sure you can feel every character of the story. It's like you've known the characters all your life and that's one of the reasons why I so like the book. I know it's kind of a sad book but the happiness you feel as you witness a blooming flower is priceless. 

Dear Charlie, 

I am very happy that you've surpassed such an ordeal. Continue to be unconsciously strong and unflinchingly accepting to things you cannot alter. Thank you for the cute mix tapes, the fair share of literature and those little nothings that I wrote in my planner which I can rely on to further my mental wellness. Given the chance, I'd love to be your friend. 

Love always,
M x

30. Safe Haven

I am not really a Nicholas Sparks fan but since I've been reading a lot about how great the movie was, I just had to read the book and figure out why. 

PS: this is my first Nicholas Sparks book. Ever. 
A Walk to Remember is one of my all-time favorite movies but I haven't read the book :( (but I will before the month ends) :) So I really don't have any idea, I don't know what to expect from Sparks.

I like this book, I enjoyed it not because I'm a hopeless romantic (a part of me will always be haha) but because it talks about a woman's courage and strength, a woman's drive to self-preservation, a woman's commitment to happiness.

Apparently, Katie (Erin)'s been through a lot when she was with Kevin, physically and emotionally. After everything she's been through, she deserves just the best. She deserves to be happy. She deserves to be with a man who loves her so much, unconditionally. 

Oh and my goodness... the ending gave me goosebumps for about a solid minute. I didn't see that coming. It's amazing what love can do. 

If you're trapped inside a very unhealthy married life, read this.
If you're scarred and lonely, read this.
If you want to find your way back into love, read this.

M x

02 April 2013

I am getting married. Not.

(c) google images
It's a known fact that I stay up too late, 5 am... 6 am.......  7 am.... it depends. I never sleep before 4 am. I don't know why and I don't know how I can possibly change my troubled body clock. Huhuhu. 

Well anyways, because of this and because of the occasion (yesterday, April 1) a thought crossed my mind... so I grabbed my phone and typed a short text message, sent it to some of my friends and went to bed. I woke up a few hours later... (because Zoe was scheduled for a check-up at 10 am and that's another story haha) Going back, I had a number of unread messages waiting for me when I went home from the clinic. Some were happy and congratulated me, some couldn't believe it, some were curious. 

WHY??? Because what my message was...
" I am very much in love and... I am getting married!!! Details soon. <3"
Hahahahahaha. =)) But you see guys, yesterday was the 1st of April and that means........... APRIL FOOLS DAY!!! Haha. Yeah. As much as I want to be so in love and engaged, I am not. I am so not. And even if I am, there's no way I'm getting married so soon. I believe I'm still too young for that crap, I still have so many things in mind. I still want to be a travel blogger and a food blogger, all at once. Hahahaha.

Again, I am not engaged to be married. Not soon, not in the next 5 years. I am single, not in a relationship. PLUS I have yet to find my way back into love. Again.

To the ones I got fooled, thank you. I wasn't sure it's gonna be believable but you've proven me otherwise. Haha. And I'm sorry, for getting your hopes high. I know you just want me to find someone I'll share forever with and to not be bitter about everything love-related but the thing is, I'm just not ready yet and of course, no matter how mainstream this is, I just haven't found my prince yet. Choz.

I had a good April Fools (minus the very stressful morning) :> How was yours? I hope you had fun fooling around. Til next year!!! 

M x

22 March 2013

29. Have a Little Faith: The Story of a Last Request

Image from goodreads.com

This is my fourth Mitch Albom book and as always, he never disappoints. His simple story telling has this incredible power of drawing his readers into an immersing, emotional experience, a journey of faith which in fact, this book is all about. 

We all have different traditions, different beliefs BUT WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS WHEN THE WORLD QUIETS TO THE SOUND OF OUR OWN BREATHING: comfort, love and a peaceful heart. This book somehow made me realize that we don't have to be the same, we just have to understand that we're all different. We don't like the same things, we don't dislike the same things but that doesn't make the other less of a person. That, we have to understand... that, we have to respect. We all fear the same thing about death, and that is, being forgotten. It's the blending of the different notes that makes the music. We just have to learn to give and expect nothing in return. 

"Having more does not keep you from wanting more. And if you always want more - to be richer, more beautiful, more well known - you are missing the bigger picture. Happiness will never come." -Albert Lewis

There's so much to learn, so much to know about. And Have a Little Faith might just have exactly what you're looking for. It started with a question and ended with answers. 

So read and feed your soul with sermons by Albert Lewis and Henry Convington. 

PS: "Reb" aka Albert Lewis (Albom's childhood rabbi) wants Albom to give him a eulogy, years before his death, that's the last request. 

M x

16 March 2013

PHOTO DUMP: Before & After"Shock"

Thessa - Nessa - Richelle -Megan
Tita Lynna Birthday Party (5 years ago?)
Change outfit for Thessa's 16th birthday party!!! :)

With Ate Jade :)

At Lolo Boi's Wake
Lola Betty's Birthday (2010)
Mi familia!!! (Aug 2010)
Tres Marias :)
Wynluv's Wedding. 2011.
March 24, 2012
05.26.2012 (Ring a bell, Teng???) HAHAHAHA. =))

Siblings by blood, from another set of parents. 
J-nissi's 16th!!! October 2012
Feb 2013
家族. Family. Familia. Famille. Familje. Familie. Perekond. Perhe. Fanmi. Aile. Keluarga.
Teaghlaigh. Famiglia. Rodzina. Familj. Teulu. Pamilya.

Through thick and thinliterally and figuratively.
I can't wait for the next BIG REUNION. 

M x

15 March 2013

28. For One More Day

For One More Day unmasks the beauty and complexity of the relationship between a mother and her child. It also gives you the chance to ponder on what family really means, to the world and to you, most of all. In just a few hours, you'll come to realize how many stupid times you've failed to express how much you love your mother, how much you've taken her for granted. And just when you've come to your senses? Poof. It's already too late, your mother's not with you anymore.

This is Chick Benetto's story, an ex-baseball player. He got a slap on his face when he got pictures of her only daughter's wedding looking so happy (without him). He felt so shut out and so he decided to just take away his life. He had a near-death experience.
He had one more day with his mother. And that's when the secrets of the past got uncovered. 

It's amazing how one book can change how you feel or how you see life, how you see the ones you love. I love how this book made me love my mother a million times more. I mean sure I'm the "black sheep" of the family and I've done so many stupid things, but that doesn't mean I love my mother any less. If there's one person in this world I love so much, that would definitely be her. And right now, all I want to do is to start on a very clean slate and make it up to her as soon as possible. Nothing's certain, only a mother's love is. There's nothing a mother won't do just to see her children happy. There's nothing a mother won't do just to send her children to school. 

"A child embarrassed by his mother is just a child who hasn't lived long enough."
This one is very true. I believe you'll never really understand something if you're not experiencing it yourself. I am already a mother (single) too and I can really say that I've never seen my mother now the way I've seen her before. I have high respect for her, for the things she's done and is still doing for us. No words can ever express how much I love my mother. I have taken her for granted, I didn't know what I was doing back then. I was so young and so impulsive but I've learned my lessons. Now it's time to give back, to make her feel special, like she's Queen Elizabeth. 

"...when you're looking at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know"
It's truly amazing how a mother loves her child. Like I said, I'm like the "black sheep" of the family but never did my mother make me feel like I'm not worthy of her love. She is the most compassionate person I know, the most patient, the most kind. She never gave up one me... and that's what keeps me going. 

This is a very good read, it will touch your innermost soul. Everybody has a mother. Everybody should read this. Let's all be the daughter or son that every mother deserves. They're supermoms and they deserve nothing but the best kids!!! 

To all the mothers out there, especially mine, we love you. We thank you for the unconditional love you have for us. We are very much proud to have mothers like you.
Nanay, one day, you'll be proud to have a daughter like me. I'll strive to be the best, like you. You are my Wonderwoman. I'll make your dreams come true, that's a promise I'll sure keep. I love you to the moon and back!!! 

M x