Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Where She Went: The Aftermath

People have different views about the past. Some people say that it should never be the basis for someone's life either in the past or in the future. Others take the belief that it plays an important role of what a particular person experiences or will experience - its role is what others termed as history.

In this book of Gayle Forman's, the sequel of If I Stay, the past is one of the elements that a reader must hold on to. Albeit the first book is narrated by our lovely cellist, Mia Hall, this book the second is impeccably told by our rock star-turned-super star, Adam Wilde. He is here to share with us the aftermath of the Hall Family accident.


Having been familiar with a feminine way of narrating, I got surprised when I got to read Adam's side, his point of view. Of course, it might seem biased if a reader just wants to see the side of the character he or she likes. However, this book, Where She Went gives Adam the chance to reveal what happened after Mia chose to stay.

Three years have passed. Adam got a fantabulous-it-may-seem way of life - holding concerts, having interviews, getting anything he wants. Mia, on the other hand, made a name also in the music industry through Juilliard. Yes, they may seem successful in their career but haven't you tried to ask, what happened to both of them especially to Mia as the title says, Where SHE Went?


Liz had been right when she told Adam that it would be hard for Mia to stay where she used to live, so knowing that she made it to Juilliard, she decided to take a new journey with music, with her cello. Three years have passed where the least possible ways of communicating with her became impossible. Adam was left hanging, questioning about what had happened to them. 

Until one day, Adam got to watch a recital in New York. Surprisingly, he watched Mia Hall perform again. It caught him off guard when she even asked a staff to call him to talk to him (it's as if nothing happened in three years). Then they talked, went to different places in New York, until Adam couldn't take it anymore and confronted Mia about the past.

She knew everything that happened of course. From the accident until the day she woke up but these things that she saw couldn't easily be understood. She did get mad because Adam let her stay. 

Adam was in shock when he heard about that. It's like the pain that he's been dealing with for three years managed to go away. 

Where did Mia go? She went somewhere where memories of her past would create good things through her music - a place where no one would treat her like a person who always wants a free pass. 


When I'm in the midst of reading this book, the only question in my mind is this: What is it about music that it can bind people as one or tear them apart? 

After reading it, I realized that it's not music which made everything okay or not. I was enlightened that it's still the choices, it's still Mia's and Adam's that make them or break them.

This book teaches us to give importance to the choices we are making. It shows us that sometimes life requires us to take risks. Also, it conveys that there is a kind of love that deserves to be rekindled.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

If I Stay : A Story of Family, Love, Loss, and Hope

        Once upon a time, there was a family of four. There was the rock star-turned-to-a-teacher Denny, the cool Kat, the cellist Mia, and the cute Teddy. On a frigid morning, they decided to go somewhere until a heartbreaking road accident happened. 

           This is the beginning of the story...

    Mia Hall woke up seeing everything that happened after the accident. She knew that instant that her parents are DOA. She saw her body being lifted by the team of paramedics. She hoped that her little brother, Teddy would survive.

         Once upon a time, there was girl named Mia Hall and a boy called Adam Wilde. 

           This is the beginning of their love story...

       Mia is a typical girl whose passion in music is evident as she plays her cello. She always wants to do solo practice. A boy named Adam used to watch her practice. Adam is a rock star type of guy who plays guitar and leads the band called Shooting Star. 

      One day, Adam invited Mia to one of a kind classical music concert in which her favorite cellist, Yo-Yo Ma would perform. This began their knock-me-off-my-feet-but-cool type of relationship.

        Once upon a time, Teddy couldn't hold anymore and joined his parents to where they're supposed to go. A lot of family members and friends tried to visit her and encouraged her to live. As Mia witnessed all these poignant events, she heard a lot of things. Some of which, "This girl would be an orphan." or this, "This is up to you now." 

       This is the beginning of Mia's moment to choose: to be with Denny, Kat, and Teddy or to stay...

       To be with her family: Gramps said, "It's okay if you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us. It's okay if you want to stop fighting."

       To stay: Adam said, "If you stay, I'll do whatever you want. I'll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I'll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would just be too painful, that maybe it'd be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I'd do it. I can lose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go. If you stay."

           Mia chose to stay. 


          If I Stay novel is definitely a book that deserves to be read over and over again not because its message is hard to decipher but because it teaches us to love what we do, to value what we have, and to fight for the ones we love.





Friday, March 31, 2017

Looking Back: Christian Grey and Tobias Eaton

     Christian Grey - a successful businessman, a dominant, a handsome lad, and a mysterious guy

      Tobias Eaton (Four) -  a faction transfer, a courageous Dauntless instructor, a handsome lad, also a mysterious guy

      What makes these lads mysterious? Do they really have something in common?

        From a point of view of a reader, he or she will simply say, "These books are nice. They have different themes; one is about romance and the other one is of dystopian kind." From my point of view, on the other hand, these books have relevance when it comes to the notable characters, Christian and Tobias.

          Let's go back to the queries. 
1. What makes these lads mysterious?
          Christian Grey - If you've read EL James's Fifty Shades Trilogy as well as Grey (book), you probably have noticed that he doesn't want to be touched by anyone (except Anastasia). He wants success. He wants to be the best. He is the master of his fate. He doesn't want someone to control him but he likes to be the one in control. 
       Tobias Eaton (Four) - Going back to Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy as well as Four (book), you perhaps noticed that he changed his name from Tobias to Four. He became a transfer. He became a Dauntless instructor but didn't want to be its leader. He became more courageous than before.
         What makes them mysterious is their past. Most of what they have in the present are results of their past, their history.

2. Do they really have something in common?
           Christian Grey - When he was young, he used to hide whenever his step father arrived home. Why? This man would hit him or hurt him mercilessly. Those dark days haunted him in his dreams (or should I say nightmares). Albeit, he was also motivated to be the best, richest, bravest, and most influential man.
        Tobias Eaton - When he was an Abnegation youngster, he's used to trembling with fear. Why? When his father discovered that he had little possessions (which are not allowed in their faction) from his mother, he would break them and hurt him. His father used to use his belt to hurt the body parts in which no one could notice that he's in pain. He felt that he's only a shame of the family. Those bitter experiences made him decide to transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, a faction in which no one could be coward but courageous. He changed his name into Four because he only had four fears including his harsh father. The only thing he didn't want was to be a Dauntless leader. Why? He didn't want to attend counsel meetings because he would probably meet there the man he hated the most.
           They have something in common. Both of them are successful. Both of them are brave. Both of them are well respected because of what they had in the past.
               No matter how bitter life is, I hope people will still find sweetness to it. In the days of darkness, I hope someone will be there to turn on the light. As a reader, I consider myself lucky to meet Christian and Four. Indeed, I pity them at first. Albeit, I admire them, too. No matter how difficult they've been through, they still find ways to stand up and show people of who they really are, regardless of their past.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Scholastic Warehouse Sale: Book Haul 😊❤📚

One, two, three, sing! 'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la! Calling all the bookworms out there, fa la la la la la la la! Book buffet, discounted books, fa la la fa la la la la la! 'Tis the season to be bookish, fa la la la la la la la la!

Hello there, blogger / reader / friend! I'm so ecstatic (Isn't it obvious?) to share with you what made me feel this way last December 10th. Well, that day, a friend of mine (bookworm, too) and I decided to travel a very long way just to land this warehouse of Scholastic. We've been hearing news and seeing photos posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter about this sale and eventually got a little envious to those who experienced the fun in doing this book haul.

When the big day came, I couldn't believe my eyes seeing a lot of books and a lot of people getting, choosing, and putting books in their boxes (as if they're saying, "These books are mine!). Speaking of boxes, they're for the book buffet that Scholastic offered. 

My friend and I didn't miss the chance to do the book buffet (of course). Aside from having to get a variety of books, we got the books in affordable price! As a matter of fact,the total amount we should pay for 38 books was around Php8,000 but we just paid around Php1,600! Isn't it amazing?

Another thing is that, books there were of quality. Well known authors' books such as Paulo Coelho's, Jerry Spinelli's, Sarah Dessen's, Neil Gaiman's, Leo Tolstoy's, Alexander Dumas's, and more were there!

Will there be next time? Yes! It's actually twice a year that Scholastic Warehouse opens it door for those who want to buy discounted books and do the book buffet. It's every March and December. December 22nd is the last day of the sale. What are you waiting for? Prepare yourselves and follow this map.

Thanks for visiting! Happy reading day to all of you! Some of my books and my bed buddy want to say, Hi! 😊❤📚

Friday, December 2, 2016

Two Books with One Purpose

Two books which don't deserve to be forever stuck in a shelf are Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie and Robin Sharma's The Monk who Sold his Ferrari. 
With the lessons that these books can give, a reader would have had the biggest regret if he couldn't even get the chance to experience reading such wonderful and life changing stories. 

People always say, "We are hitting two birds with one stone." I say, "I'm reading two books with one purpose - to turn an ordinary life to extraordinary one."

Reading books like these is like talking to two friends who have a lot of thoughts to share - thoughts that allow me to realize, learn, and reflect.

Here are some of the quotes that they've shared with me which are worth cogitating:

(Allow me to use acronyms for the two titles and share my thoughts, too)

-start of a dream conversation- 

TWM: "What if today were my last day on earth?" - Mitch Albom

TMWSHF: "What would I do today if it was my last?" - Robin Sharma

Jadis: Starting your day right and spending it with worthwhile activities make your life free from the past and the future. Stop worrying about what happened and what will happen. Live in the present meaningfully.

TWM: "Be compassionate. And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place." - Mitch Albom

TMWSHF: "Compassion and daily acts of kindness make life far richer. Take the time to meditate every morning on the good you will do for others during your day. The sincere words of praise to those who least expect it, the gestures of warmth offered to friends in need, the small tokens of affection to members of your family for no reason at all, all add up to a much more wonderful way to live." - Robin Sharma

Jadis: It takes a compassionate mind and heart to fully understand others. Stop questioning why sad people cry; cheer them up. Stop showing an obvious pity to those who are confused; enlighten them. Stop blaming the wrong; encourage them to do right and be right. 

TWM: "So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-sleep, even when they're busy doing things that they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." - Mitch Albom

TMWSHF: "The most noble thing you can do is to give to others. Start focusing on your higher purpose. The quality of your life ultimately comes down to the quality of your contribution." - Robin Sharma

Jadis: Start living out of the box. With the millions or billions of people out there, you get billions of chances to serve others. Helping others in your own little ways means elevating your life's purpose.

-end of conversation-

I would like to thank Mr.Albom and Mr.Sharma for this (dream) conversation. 

I hope that as you read this, you'll get the chance to visit your shelf and find these two inspirational books. If you don't have any of these, don't you dare think twice and visit the nearest bookstores out there! 😊❤📚

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

After You : A Sequel to Remember

          Have you experienced doing empathetic reading? From the word empathy, it's like you're putting yourself in the shoes of the characters or stepping IN the story.

                   If you got any chance to read Jojo Moyes's After You, a sequel to her very own Me Before You, please grab it and do the way of reading I've asked you about a while ago.

            When reading, you could be anything or anyone you want to be. You could be...

She lost the one she loved the most. She joined the Moving On Circle, a support group for those who need to move on, to move forward. She met the daughter of the man (he didn't know) she (she didn't know before,too) loved. She turned down some opportunities for this daugther of her past.

She didn't know what she would exactly do to move on until she  met a man called...

He's the paramedic who brought Louisa to the hospital when she fell off the roof. He's the uncle of Jack, Louisa's co member in Moving On Circle. He's a kind of man who's always willing to listen to Louisa's stories either hilarious or melodramatic. He's THE ONE whom Louisa needs in her life. He who is ready for a long distance relationship just to see his loved one pursue her career.

He who is deserving to be presented as Louisa's man to her parents...

Josie. A wife (of Bernard's), a daughter (of Granddad's), a mother (of Treena and Louisa's), and a grandmother (of Thom's) whose world revolved around her rambunctious family doing all the household chores until she realized that there's something out of her box to experience.

Bernard. A husband (of Josie's), a son-in-law (of Granddad's), a father (of Treena and Louisa's), and a grandfather (of Thom's) who's in charge of working for the family and who's used to be served at home until one day Josie decided to pursue further studies which made him feel confused of what's going on with them.

Every couple (like Josie and Bernard) may have a lot of differences indeed. However, given in-depth understanding and love for each other, they still managed to be together again not because of the ones they love but because of each other.

Being together again with family is also one of the dreams of...

She may be a notorious child. She may be a demanding daughter. She may be a clumsy roommate. She may be described using all the negative words but I guarantee you, this girl has an optimistic heart. She's not a showy type of person but deep inside her, she cares for those who care for her. One instance was when Louisa thought that Lily had no chance to change at all; she would just drink and smoke whenever she liked. Unfortunately, Louisa realized that she's wrong. Up the flat (the roof, particularly), Lily took care of the plants which would beautify the place and would motivate Louisa to visit it fearlessly (she had an accident here, remember?).

Lily's passion in gardening probably came from her grandmother...

She is a mother who grieved for a long time since her son's death. She is a woman who chose to be distant from all the things and people in the past. She is a grandmother who did not feel in despair to be with her granddaughter, Lily, who became the reason for restoring her once-a-not-so-perfect-but-a- hopeful life.

                   I hope you could say, "Nice meeting you, guys!" Imagine what empathetic reading can do for you. It will introduce you to different people and their stories.

                      Since After You is about moving on, let me leave you this line of Louisa's... THE ONLY WAY TO AVOID BEING LEFT BEHIND WAS TO START MOVING.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Every Reader Knows This Well

Aside from your family, is there someone who is very close to you - someone who knows everything about you?

Here comes another page-turner young adult novel by Ms.Nina LaCour and Mr.David Levithan (so formal, eh? Every author deserves this, anyway).

You Know Me Well is a story told in the perspective of a gay named Mark and a lesbian named Katie (she prefers Kate than Katie). Mark is in love with his best friend, Ryan but he can't even admit it to anyone but Kate who is, on the other hand, in love with Violet (Kate's best friend's cousin). From being just seatmates in Calculus class to being friends, Mark and Kate become part of each other's life.

To be honest (not to boast), I read this book for only two days which means that I was totally hooked by the story. I could say that the story is IN nowadays. With the quite sensitive issue these days about same gender relationship, this book shows that when it comes to love, there's no boundary; there's no gender requirement.

As I read the synopsis of this book, I thought that Mark and Kate would be more than just friends. Yes, I'm wrong. However, their love for Ryan and Violet leads them to know each other well.

Remember my question? Mark knows Kate. Kate knows Mark - as simple as that but their friendship is incomparable that they can set aside their personal happiness to be with each other in times of trouble.

This book changes my expectations and leads me to discover what really is happening.Every page is a wonder. Ms.LaCour and Mr.Levithan nailed it!