Blog #3: It’s Hot as Fuck

Hello, everyone! So I just decided that I should probably write here more often and so my posts will now be more informal, and irrelevant, more about what’s going on with my life but of course, I will still post about books and travels, I ain’t gonna abandon those.

To start off, it’s the holidays and it’s not the holidays I can appreciate as basically every mall within 5 miles is closed. Add to that the extremely hot weather, I swear it’s like the earth is getting boiled. Not the best days, obviously. And my house ain’t airconditioned. Yeah, I could have dug myself into a hole and it wouldn’t have gotten hotter.

So as much as it pains me to spend my money on booking a hotel just 1 and a half mile away from our own home, I had to. I just had to. I even used my debit card, not my credit card which could have been the more obvious option but I had to convince myself that this is an actual emergency and not some spoiled reason to go somewhere fancy. I just could not stand the freaking heat for another minute.

So I’m here now – booked at a hotel on some secluded street here in Makati for two days reading Laini Taylor’s, eating the most mediocre nachos I’ve tasted, drinking my happy dose of hot white chocolate mocha and a little bid of vodka on the side.

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And I also get more vain when the room is of minimalistic design. I dig that shit. So here’s an unnecessary selfie with unnecessary make up. Like hello???????? Do hotels hide hunky males in the bathroom for you to do your make up?????

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Sue me. I’m still gonna post my face. Haha.

Blog #2: Do I Ever Grow Up?

I like to think that I have been busy in my actual life that I couldn’t have spare some time to write something and update my blog or to read the books I’ve been waiting ages to read but I had so much free time I might as well have been unemployed.

Blame it on my sudden fascination with TV series. *gasp* TV series over books?! I know. It’s not very conceivable especially for a person such as I who have yet to endure a week without a book from few years past but I finally had. I binged watched Suits and Stranger Things and Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why. Sue me.

I also went on two hikes. They were exhilarating but it still does not erase the fact that I did not read a single thing for two months. Two. Freaking. Months. Damn, yes, people. I am disappointed at myself, too.

Well anyway, let’s stop talking about stupid decisions and get right on with the exciting stuff about my life. Not that anybody cares but keeping a blog makes you think you’re actually important. Hehe.

An ex always has to come back and fuck your life up. That’s right. We think we’re too good for cheating exes but sometimes we’re not. Sometimes emotions are too obstreperous and they get in the way of the healing process. And you do not only have your treacherous emotions to reign in, you also have high blood alcohol content at the moment which was actually a freaking good idea in the first place, wasn’t it? Pretty sure you’re in some deep shit.

This ex is of a girlfriend. Shocking. Not.

And then he asks you if, maybe, you can give the both of you a chance to start again. With his girlfriend on the side. Basically, he is asking you to be his second. That is the most fucked up garbage I’ve heard my entire life but inebriated me laughed it off and just blamed that unreal statement on his innate arrogance and idiocy. And I also said sure.

Yeah, what the fuck, right? But thank god he had a change of hearts after a couple of minutes and he asked me to go out at night, when everybody is asleep and we all know that nothing wholesome or modest happens then so I knew each word he was spouting was the same bullshit over and over again. He’s not exactly contacting me because I was lovely, and nice and he likes me. Nope. He’s in it for the adulterous bullcrap I was supposed to have spotted right on if I wasn’t so drunk.

Almost. I almost fell for it. But I am the amending girl. I don’t show emotions to people who doesn’t deserve a pint of it. He likes to play so I am gonna play his game. if I had anything left, it is my dignity. Why, anyway, do I still have stored feelings for a guy who has never felt sorry for what he did and now asking me to be his option 2? Why? Why is it so hard to ignore what has been when he fucking cheated on me?

He tells me I’m dramatic. Yeah, right. If he had an access to my unending thoughts, he’d know that I am tad more dramatic than he thinks. If he had known half of what I felt about him, he’d cut the bullshit of calling me dramatic and send me to the nearest mental hospital instead.

I’m going to admit it. Only two men has burned me quite deeply. The first guy who took me years to finally forget, and this guy. Which is why I am so fucked up from his annoying ass the past couple of days and I don’t know what to do with the ashes that seem to want to resume burning.

Thankfully, I was sober the last couple of days – no clouded judgment and absolutely no ruining of other people’s relationships. Because I ain’t that person. I am not going to delude myself into believing that he feels more for me.

When he decided to drop the bomb on me and said he had someone else, I did not reduce myself into calling him the cheating bastard, and lying asshole even when he deserved it. I did not ask for forgiveness two months later when he called me. But I was drunk on weekend nights. I was so broken. I thought he was the one for me. Thought it was going to last. Thought he wasn’t capable of lying. But we all are, you know. Capable of lying. I didn’t think I was ever going to stop drinking because I was so messed up. We had a connection (or maybe I was the only one feeling the connection, who knows). We were funny together, we got into debates, I sent him pizzas because he liked them and it made me happy seeing him happy, I supported his decisions when he was looking for work because I knew how it felt to have no one support your decisions, he was the first to know that I passed the board exams and called me his pharmacist and I was teary-eyed… He was there for me. I was there for him.

But all that bullshit are almost two years old. And I am actually glad to believe and know that I am not the same person he left. I’ve grown so much. I may still not be beautiful, but I am more driven, passionate, and smarter in my decisions now.

I am good. I can’t actually be that desperate to allow people to mistreat me, right? Believe me when I say, I have cut off all of the people who always made me feel like I am the second (or maybe third, dude that’s even worse). Nobody deserves such a thing.

So there goes my story. Not interesting and intellectually rich but it will do for a personal blog. Lol. See you all around! :)

Blog #1: What’s up?

My first blog of the year and it’s almost February. So let’s go back and see what has been up.

Firstly, I felt competitive and pompous enough last January 1 that I pledged 150 books for my reading challenge this year. No surprise I am 6 books behind. Haha. I’m gonna amend that though but maybe next week, next month, or whenever my reading slump finally leaves me because it’s been 2 months and I still can’t get the hang back into reading.

Secondly, I went to Palawan last week. El Nido is such a breathtaking place that my phone felt the need to dive into the ocean together with us. It ain’t in a bikini but who’s stopping? Honestly, it dampened my mood a notch or two. I mean, it’s a phone and what am I gonna use to take photos now? There’s nothing I could brag to friends anymore! Lol. Kidding. I love going through photos from my previous travels and those make me happy and now I have almost nothing to take out from my El Nido experience except of course, the actual experience – dinner by the beach, lunch cooked on an island far, far away from the downtown area, the uber clear waters, the snorkeling, and most specially, the people, which when I think back to all of this, isn’t really so bad. Hot men roam around the area day in day out, it was fantastic. Haha, kidding. The locals in El Nido are the real treasure – extremely nice, and have a unique, funny sense of humor.

After I came back to Manila 4 days later, I went straight to the nearest PowerMac and tried to ask for help regarding my phone. I wasn’t holding any hope as I have been advised from the previous PowerMac I went to (I went to 2) that most probably, they’re going to change the whole unit and I will pay 22,000 pesos. Just great, right? But thank heavens, the girl on the counter ‘hard reset-ed’ my handset and it was poof! charging! Man, why did I never thought about it? Well, because you didn’t know shit about hard resetting your phone, stupid. So yeah, my phone’s back to working!!! I swore to the gods that this time, I’m going to take care of my phone more. Famous last words.

Last night, I was on a PUJ and the stupid me decided to pull my phone out from my bag because I can’t wait to download the La La Land playlist. The movie is promising but I still think it’s overrated. Sue me. So while I was searching for it on Spotify, a hand from outside the jeepney through the wide-spaced-barred window tried to pull my phone out of my grasp. Dude, that was freaking scary. Thank god I had a hard grip.

So for the second time, I almost lost my phone. Almost. But no one’s giving up. We’re gonna make it to the end! After all, we only have each other. Lol.

All of that aside, I also would like to talk about myself. The young me always cared what people said about me. I would feel useless, and I self-loath whenever I learn that some people actually hate me.

But the old, more sensible me is a whole new person. I give not one flying fuck anymore what people say about me. It’s just me, my friends, and this world full of wonders to travel to. Life is epic in its own and I like to spend it with good people, and good places.

The worthless people who thrive on hating on people could very well do it till they die of unrequited hate. I don’t care. I love life and I’ll treasure it by making worthy memories. :)

October Wrap-up

October Wrap-up

I realized that I spent over 15,000 pesos on books alone from July to September that I pledged to myself that I shall skip the month of October and allot my money on more important (by societal standards) things like food and my savings account so I had no October haul. *weeps in the corner* I hate adult life.

What’s important though is I read 14 books (rather measly but still :D) for the month of October and I will go through all of them and try to summarize them into little snippets of each.

Crooked Kingdom is my first book of October and I couldn’t have had a better start. This book vanquished any favorite YA Fantasy I have ever had and Leigh Bardugo has now set the bar high.

I read An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night in the same month and I know I am very much late for the boat to amazingness but I am totally… well amazed. These two books are very compelling, and it evokes all kinds of emotions. I loved it.

I also read The Sword of Summer, the first installment of the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series and as much as I liked it, Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus are still my favorites from Uncle Rick. I am currently reading Hammer of Thor and I think I am falling in love with a certain argr Loki-mothered character.

I also read some romance books – Tied, PS. I Still Love You, Twisted Palace, Royally Screwed, Since You’ve Been Gone, Punk 57 and Our Chemical Hearts. Out of all the 7, only Punk 57 stood out. I really have an inkling towards dark storylines (I can’t help it) and Punk 57 had that element and it made it distinct, and of its own. It was a beautiful book, I believe I gave it 5 stars. The others were okay, I enjoyed them, with the exception of Twisted Palace and Our Chemical Hearts. The former has a weak and underdeveloped premise, and the latter just annoying.

A Shadow Bright and Burning is quite… mediocre. I didn’t think it was bad but it’s like a portfolio containing different plots from different YA fantasy books – unoriginal.

The Trespasser is a mystery/thriller book and I have high expectations for this genre. Blame it on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth Salander is my main. #LoveLove. The Trespasser was unremarkable as well.

Lastly, Small Great Things. I believe this got mixed feelings from me. It tackled racial discrimination and it tugged my heartstrings at best, I just had a few reservations which hindered me from totally loving it.

Thar you go! I hope I’ll have better days this November (meaning not too much load of work) so I could read all of the books I’ve been wanting to read for days. :D

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Book Review: The Rose & The Dagger

Book Review: The Rose & The Dagger

Synopsis

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

Review

It had a wonderful wrap-up, but I still feel like the story could have appealed to me more. I am a goner for magic so when it was introduced in The Wrath and The Dawn, I was stoked for the second installment; only to be disappointed by how dismal and lacking the magic part is. The role of sorcery in the story wasn’t as essential as I wanted it to be.

Also, the initiatory dragged on longer than need be. Actually, it wasn’t long, it didn’t even really drag on but the actual action was so short-lived that I was left wanting for more.

Be that as it may, I really loved it. I don’t know how this is even possible – to need more of it but to really love it, too – but that’s what it feels! We can both die trying to understand such illogical feelings. Haha.

“No. He was not here to wreak revenge.

For revenge was trifling and hollow.

No. He was not here to retrieve his wife.

For his wife was not a thing to be retrieved.

No. He was not here to negotiate a truce.

For a truce suggested he wished to compromise.

He was here to burn something to the ground.”

I am not normally romantic but I might just gonna die of our boy-king’s uber affection.

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This is on my top 5 favorite fantasy books this year and I would surely recommend it to all lovers of this genre. :D

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Choice Awards 2016: Who I’ve Voted

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It’s that time of the year again for all readers! It’s the opening round for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016. I looked into the nominees and there were genres which I skipped merely because I have not read much from those categories and I’ll leave the voting for those people who read like it’s World War IV tomorrow and were basically able to read everything and got to cover all of the genres. Maniacs, I must say. And I shouldn’t joke about world wars but I lack imagination on similes sooooo… let’s just bear with me. :D

Anyway! Here are my choices!

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I remember reading this book and also remember it tugging all of my heartstrings. It was ugly and beautiful, and so innocent yet equally corrupted.

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Mystery/Thriller is one of my favorite genres and I am yet to choose one and it is not because I’ve read nothing. I just can’t decide. Nothing stood out among the rest, some were okay, some were better, but not one emerged as distinct or more striking than the rest.

Historical Fiction isn’t really my genre so I skipped that one, too.

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I’m sorry, okay? Please forgive my bias heart, I can’t help it. Truly it was very much subpar from the first and original seven books but the Wizarding world has clutched into my heart so I still loved it and I would still choose it over any Fantasy book. I mean, it’s the first series to ever really made me start reading so no one can’t fault me that. I am so defensive, haha. But yes! I voted for Harry Potter! Take that, people! :D

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I felt so apart from Romance books this year. I especially hate It Ends With Us. That one irritated me like no other book. It sucked ass. I am in the minority, I know, but I just feel  like Colleen Hoover is making a fool out of her readers, manipulating our emotions. It doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t feel very genuine for me anymore. And this is the first Hoover book I did not like. Why am I discussing the one I did not vote for? Hahahaha. I voted for Stuck-Up Suit because it was funny and it’s my first Vi Keeland – Penelope Ward book. I charged into it with not much expectation only to be dedicated with a hilarious and endearing premise and characters.

On Best Science Fiction, Dark Matter was the only book I was able to read. It was agreeable to a degree but I believe there was a vital detail I couldn’t have entirely followed. This was a book on multiverse; Physics at its best, and I love Physics. I love science. I love Schrodinger’s cat. Multiverse excites me so I had quite the expectation so I didn’t vote yet. I’ll probably get back to it some time.

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This book got opposing opinions, I believe. And it was gripping and nerve-racking for me. I was mentally giving directions to Grace and her sister, my mental pom-poms were also put to good use on the end.

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This came as a big surprise to me. The book was unbelievably long but just the same, this is by far my favorite Morgan Matson book. There’s a depth to it – family, friends, and romantic relationships. She got to tackle every one of those and it was delightful. I didn’t like all of her other books. Just thought I gotta mention that. Hehe

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As much as I loved a lot of the nominees under this genre, I didn’t have to second guess myself to choose Crooked Kingdom. I mean, Kaz Brekker? Can you not? It also happened that today, I finally got my copy of the Hardbound Crooked Kingdom with bloody edges. It’s so beautiful. <3

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I only voted in this category because I loved Lester Papadopolous and I got to experience more of Percy Jackson even for just a little bit, and Leo Valdez is coming back to town! So excuse the bias, but I swear the book was good! Nothing less from Uncle Rick. <3

So there you go!

And here are the genres I skipped. Sadly.

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I can’t wait for what others thought about the Choice Awards! :D

Book Review: Small Great Things

Synopsis

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

Review

This is my first Jodi Picoult book and I am feeling irresolute.

There are books that are annoyingly dragging and boring in the beginning and gets exciting and intensive towards the end like Three Dark Crowns.

There are books which are compelling and powerful throughout the story like The Crooked Kingdom Duology.

Then there is Small Great Things which commands your attention upon first read, gets galling and disagreeable in the middle but does enough to redeem itself and finish with a passable but unexceptional ending.

Notwithstanding the 4-5 star reviews, this came as a need-to-read-asap book because of its premise. I didn’t realize how taciturn people really are towards racial discrimination until I finished this book.

“… racism isn’t just about hate…”

“… I didn’t see myself as a racist. Now I realize I am. Not because I hate people of different races but because – intentionally or unintentionally I’ve gotten a boost from the color of my skin, just like Ruth Jefferson suffered a setback because of hers…”

“Passive racism… it’s reading your kid’s fourth-grade curriculum and seeing that only black history covered is slavery, and not questioning why…”

Living in an Asian country, we don’t usually encounter racist remarks, not even come across it on TV.

It becomes significant to read works such as this because it engenders our need to extract the biases, and act more than react on social issues that gravely affect humanity not only on the racism front, but on other issues as well – religion and gender discrimination to name a few.

I gave this book 3 stars because there were a few chapters that did not sit well with me but I’ll skip the specifics and leave them for you to think about. The book did receive a lot of good remarks so it’s very relative. Jodi Picoult has a specific market and I don’t think I am in the population.