Review: Before We Were Strangers

Hi, Flamingos!

I trust that everyone is well and having a great start of the week! Mine pretty much starts out the same, no exciting news or happenings to look forward to. Given that my career is in events, this 9-hour job is just exhausting everything in me.

Honestly, if I didn’t need the money, I would rather just lounge around the house and spend my days reading. But oh well, I’m not privileged with such good life but in the future, I’m sure I’ll have all the time in the world to read ’til my heart’s content! I’m planning to launch my small business soon; it will be a side business until its fully ready to hold up on its own and increase the income to match my basic necessities.

Moving forward, a review is here! I finished Before We Were Strangers by Reneè Carlino, just last night. When I was around 10-years old, my mom didn’t have enough money to buy me brand new books and here in the Philippines, book sales consist mostly of medical and religious books but for fiction–it focuses highly on Adult Fiction. My mom loves to read, and I believe I got that from her; so to satisfy my hungry baby mind then, I dived into the works of fiction. My childhood consisted of Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon, hence the love for crimes and mystery.

Now that I’m earning my own money, and have a few ones to spare for books, I am finally able to buy more YA. However, my respect and appreciation for Adult Fiction had not faded completely. Earlier this year, I fell in love with Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan –it was a great start to accustom myself with adult fiction again.

I never would have known about Before We Were Strangers if it weren’t for GabbyReads youtube channel. She’d talked about the book constantly and how she loved it so much. I finally gave in, and got an ebook of the novel.

23309634-1940816173.jpg

Title: Before We Were Strangers

Author: Reneè Carlino

Publication Date: August 18, 2015

Publisher: Atria Books

Pages: 320 pages

Format: epub / ebook

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M

Weren’t we though? Timeless? Nothing could change what we’d had all those years before, even the idea of what might’ve been lingered between us.

A plus - Flamingo 2

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

You can’t re-create the first time you promised to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice.

BA2A6956-922B-46D0-BE95-078DB8A3BF08

• I loved the backstory of Matt and Grace. It was refreshing and bold, yet it flashes an invisible sign of proceed with caution or love at your own risk.
• ‎Before We Were Strangers is a well-written story about a love once lost, only to be found years later and realize nothing’s changed at all.
• ‎I loved the certainty of Matt towards Grace. His feelings have been direct and simple, no going around the bush. He’s loved her from the start and that was that.
• ‎I loved that it didn’t revolve around why the relationship didn’t work out the first time, or in the reasons why they grew apart in the past. Rather, it focused on the good things, the positive and the negatives of their past.
• ‎I love the simplicity of their relationship. It makes it so natural and relatable.
• ‎The emotions and actions of these characters felt real; they weren’t exaggerated or stretched out too thinly.
• ‎All the characters were memorable, despite having a few of them. They left an impact and a lasting memory in my head.

53DD6725-F9A2-407C-83C4-558EDC039A9D

• I didn’t so much enjoy too much discussion of their sex life. At some point, it felt as if all they did was that and that the relationship revolved around the excitement of touching and making love to each other. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are couples who see sex as an important component of their relationship. All I’m saying is, I would’ve liked to get more of their mushy couple activities, though there had been a lot of that too–in short I’m just asking for more.

EC090CC7-8301-42F0-9836-9166FEEEBB8C

• I rated the book 4.5 because of some things that didn’t sit comfortably with me. One of them being, the deceit was handled all too easily. It caused strings of events to occur (and almost destroyed your life), and yet the book still managed to give it enough emphasis.
• ‎There were so many overwhelming happenings towards the last five or so chapters, and it felt a bit abrupt. It felt as if the author chose to speed things up, instead of increasing the length of the book at least another two chapters to cover and make the situation more reality-based. I would have loved to see more of their family’s new lives, how the characters adjusted.
• ‎Lastly, what ended the marriage of Matt–the very reason behind this, it makes my blood boil. It’s never okay, and you can never expect anyone to get over or forgive such a serious matter just because they apologized for it. I could just never accept and learn to understand that kind of betrayal and the reasons why some people do it. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand this (I haven’t figured out how to write spoilers, then have them appear as a button for people’s option to read it or not.)

☆☆☆☆

All in all, it was such a great book. I am glad to be able to carry these characters, their experiences and their lives inside my heart for the rest of time.

I related a lot with Grace during their senior year at college. Having first fall in love, dealing with friends and first relationships, the reality of adult life where money is a necessity. Though all these, I’ve not gone through during my college days but just a year ago. It was hard dealing with excitement and moving forward in the relationship with caution, so as not to overdo or smother my partner. I can definitely see mysely recommending this continuously to a lot of people in the future.

☆☆☆☆
I’m sorry if that was quite long, guess I just have a lot of things to share that occurred over the weekend. Anyway, please don’t forget to visit and support my bookstagram account: @reeyuhbeegale, I will highly appreciate it. Also, I’ll be hosting an international giveaway soon as I reach 300 followers on Instagram!

Don’t hesitate to leave me some comments, I don’t bite! Watch out for an upcoming PH Blog Tour here at Reading Flamingo, for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, towards the end of October.
QOTD: Do you have a “the one that got away” moment in your life? Do you still think about it until today?

With love,

cropped-img_1055.jpg

Abi, the Flamingo

Advertisements

Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Hiya, Flamingos!

I hope you’re all well and feeling the fall vibe! It’s already windy here and somehow the air breeze is cool, symbolizing that December is near. I wasn’t super busy with work today, and powered through a book. Today marks the first review under my new handle, Reading Flamingo, together with new graphics and designs.

65C4559F-732A-45AA-B2DB-5887DD59E27A

442FC90A-CCA2-4DCE-99E4-95BD5CAA9703

I get all worked up when I have to talk about gender roles, equality and the importance of having your own opinion even if you’re a woman. If you’re interested to know about my thoughts on Moxie, then read on, flamingo!

F05E6883-4B3C-476B-9A38-48E372C6E687

Title: MOXIE

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Pages: 330

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Publication: September 19, 2017

Format: EPUB

Goodreads Synopsis:

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution. 

A - Flamingo

Actual rating: 3.50 stars

 

“MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK.”

I personally consider myself as a feminist; I have a lot of opinions and perspective that are not exactly traditionally in-lined. I’ve been raised in a Christian household, my mom and my extended relatives are active in Church; but at an early age, I had this sense and urge to always form my own opinions – not just to follow what others say.

 

A5B2EF0D-2D76-4612-B926-7BE69992EDC3
When I was still in high school, I thought being a feminist meant that I NEVER have to rely on a man’s effort and strength. I would scream and let the boys have it when they would offer to carry my rock heavy backpack, or when they would let me inside the car first before them – I never accepted any help because I thought I was being looked down as woman, too weak to do anything. Apparently, I wasn’t being feministic, I wasn’t fighting for gender equality – what I was, was being mean. I didn’t realize it until I was in my last year of high school and was choosing which college to go to. Truth be told (and mind you, I never told anyone about this), I went to an exclusive school for girls, partly because I wanted to exercise women empowerment, but half of it was just because I easily get distracted with boys and boy drama.
Okayyy, back to what I was originally saying. I loved college, it was the best years of my life! I didn’t have friends, I gained SISTERS – sisters who share the same advocacy and campaign as mine. We had school campaign movements which heavily focused on women’s rights, two most memorable were:
1. BRING BACK OUR GIRLS – our rally against the group of men who kidnapped 276 Nigerian girls from their boarding school to become sex slaves and wives to Boko Haram’s group. This was done to send a message to the Nigerian government; our school went ahead and spearheaded this “noise barrage” within the vicinity of our school, encouraging civilians and other universities nearby to be aware.
2. One Billion Rising (Annual Dance Mob) – yearly, my school invited and encouraged the student body (from preschool to college) and the faculty / administration to dance. This activity was done to promote women rights; I believe this had been covered by various local newspapers and international ones.
Both events I participated in wholeheartedly, and my four years in college taught me the true meaning behind feminism. It’s not about being the stronger gender or being too independent, but rather, fighting for equality and to abandon the traditional gender roles. Promote that what men can do, women are just as capable and vice-versa.
Men belong to the kitchen as much as women; women has a place in politics as much as men.

0E020BE5-C198-4FD1-BD42-108891F4E781
The first ever feminist book I’ve ever read was V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram; and in all honesty, if I am to do a comparison, I say I love Kelly Oram’s duology so much more than Moxie. I enjoyed Moxie, it was definitely feministic and it made me realize a lot more, but it lacked on the angst in my opinion.
Another claimed “feminist” YA novel is Shut Out. It’s not nearly as good as Moxie or V is for Virgin – it was actually a misrepresentation of what it means to be a feminist. Shut Out focuses heavily on how a lot of men are only after sex, and that one of the means to control them is to withhold or deny them of it [despite being in a relationship]. To me that book wants more of women’s control or edge over men; first of it’s not fair to hold a human nature over someone’s head to gain control, and second, that’s not at all feminism.
Moxie, on the other hand, was just about the right mix and start-up to call upon the spark on women to fight when they are in the minority or given unfair treatment.

BA2A6956-922B-46D0-BE95-078DB8A3BF08• I love ALL issues of Moxie! They were so cute and nostalgic, and revolutionary.
• I love the idea that Moxie wasn’t spearheaded by anyone (I honestly thought this would tackle the idea of being nice girl to being bossy). Not having a leader made everything more personal and relatable; the best description for it is one that’s found in the book: Moxie doesn’t belong to just one person. It belongs to every girl who wants to be a part of it.
• It balanced on friendships (sisterhood), family relationships and personal relationships.
• It was feministic because the girls weren’t man-hating, they understood that there are existing guys who don’t act like douches.
• The minority group of guys who have respect for women were represented through Seth, and it’s a good inclusion in a book that claims to be focused on feminism – again, feminism is about equality.
• It was good and clear what the girls of the East Rockport High School were fighting for. The initiatives and the campaigns were simple, yet they were very relatable and valid.
• It didn’t go overboard on showcasing their stand against the school’s rules, just enough to be noticeable and to call out that the girls will no longer turn a blind-eye on the misogynistic traditions within ERHS.

08B8FF7B-9DA9-4BF5-BDF4-71585FC014C7

 

EC090CC7-8301-42F0-9836-9166FEEEBB8C• The acts of sexual harassment brought up in certain scenes of this book were taken lightly. I understood that it was trying to highlight the lack of fairness within the school system [of a sexist school] but I wasn’t a fan of how the issues were handled in the book. To me, it seemed like they were just dismissed and used as a point of unity for all these girls to fight back.

 

936CA210-1A6D-4F5D-87E0-2E7B16476C0C
Honestly, I related to Moxie in such a personal level. Viv and I have a lot in common, we’re both raised by single parents (who, at some point, questioned the new partner of her hardworking and loving mother) – though my mom wasn’t nearly as cool and hip as Viv’s. I’ve had too many encounters with boys whose thoughts swirl into lust and hormones almost 24/7; but eventually, I landed to a sweet simple man, with an ambition and instilled respect to women (or any person for that matter).
Reading this book brought back memories, and looking back to my college days, I wish I could’ve done more. I wish I had enough courage to start a movement as important and direct as Moxie. There are still a lot of misogyny in this world, and I never believe that it will really be gone but I am hoping that in the future, someone will be as brave as Viv and all the girls of ERHS to stand and fight back. I don’t believe that the view in terms of gender and equality will ever be fully different from how it’s been all these centuries, but at least it gives a chance for both men and women to be more open and accepting.

6B93AFE3-2EF2-40CC-91BB-9481E49DC8EB
It’s not the best YA feminist book written, but it’s definitely something. It will ignite your inner girl power, and soon after reading, you’ll be strutting down your own high school hallway with your sisters for life! Unleash the Moxie living within you!

☆☆☆☆

Photos are not mine, except for the speech bubbles which separates the ones I loved and disliked about the book. I will be using them from now on, but the feminist stickers are all from Google. Apologies for the pixelated ones, I am currently blogging on my phone.

So any thoughts on the new blog format?

Also, I am one of the hosts for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao, for the PH Blog Tour, the book came out this October 10th! It’s my first time to be a host, I’m both nervous and excited. Hopefully, this will be the start of many.

Question of the day: Have you read Moxie? What is your stand regarding feminism? 

☆☆☆☆

Last reminders, Flamingos, please do follow my bookstagram! I’ve recently poured efforts and transformed my account officially into a bookstagram. Give it some love? @reeyuhbeegale

With love,

cropped-img_1055.jpg

Abi, the Flamingo.

A New Beginning

Hello, Flamingos!

 

You might be wondering, why does this girl keep on popping up here and there, AT RANDOM TIMES? Well, though I’ve always loved writing and blogging, I struggle with a self-confidence (though people I’m close with will disagree). I am a bit of a perfectionist, and I always want everything in order—done in 101%!

I’m sure you’ve noticed a huge change around here–MAJOR changes, indeed! Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. I actually really changed my space’s title from Written Constellations to Reading Flamingo. To be honest, I was scared because I loved my blog’s title but I had a strong inkling towards this new identity. A few others that changed are,

1. Blog theme (cause I’m actually not good with codes and javascripts and all that jazz, I cannot make ny own theme. Yes, I rely on the “free” themes offered by wordpress)

2. Domain. It is now the same as the title, http://www.readingflamingo.wordpress.com

Don’t worry though, it’s still the same potato (that’s me, the author), with the same content–still about BOOKS and fandoms! Now, I cannot still promise to always post because I still have a job and it’s quite hard to think (or have to hurry) of things I want to write about while constantly looking behind my back to see if my boss (or my nosy co-workers) are creeping up on me. I will try my hardest to post a review and get back to my blogging habits–I will TRY!

Recently, my friend and I have started out a “book club” (which was planned a year ago)! I’ll talk about this more tomorrow, that’s the initial plan–the first official Flamingo content on my “revamped” blog. Are you excited? Me too!

Before I end this post, I just want to acknowledge my boyfriend’s artistic talent and vision for creating my logo! Even if you won’t read this (cause you’re a lazy melon), I still want you to know how thankful I am for your help! It’s one of my inspirations to really keep up with a blogging schedule!

Question of the Day: What are you currently reading?

Wishing you a bookish day!

Potato love,

Rave

Transition

Hi, Cabbages!

I know you’re all too tired to hear [read] my apology for being MIA (Missing In Action, just in case you didn’t know what it stood for) again. However, you’re all so precious to be left without an explanation; so from the bottom of my potato heart, I am truly sorry for not writing.

Please know that I will not be quitting this blog, I want us all to stay a family! I’ve never had any brothers or sisters, which makes everyone in this blog, my siblings. I cannot express how much gratitude I have for all of you, for not giving up on me.

For the most awaited news, as you can see from the title, Written Constellations be going through multiple revisions. I will be revamping my space and making it a new brand. Yes, as much as I would love to retain Written Constellations I can’t anymore. Recently, a revolutionary idea have been unearthed in my mind and with that comes a new brand. Don’t worry, it will still be ALL ABOUT BOOKS! I am still on aboard the nerd train, and I won’t be getting off any time soon (or in my words, NEVER). I hope you’re all excited as much as I am; I’ll be making bookish contents and still share thoughts and opinions about books.

I know what you must be thinking When are you planning to launch the new brand? Whoa, whoa. Hold off your horses, Cabbages (or is that what people usually say? Idk.) I’m just waiting for the artwork that will be used for my “art drop” marketing technique, and afterwards, I’ll be able to apply it all on my blog. My art drop will be around the city here in Philippines (because I’m a Filipina potato), which I’m hoping to spark interest for a lot of people.

If you’re interested to get more in-touched with me, please do leave me a message in the comments below. You can also look stalk me in my social media pages, and we can fangirl over fictional characters!

PS. I am blogging using my phone because my work computer doesn’t have an internet connection (I know, weird). My personal laptop is glitchy, so I’d rather just use my phone.

Stay tuned, Cabbages!

We’ll talk soon.

xo,

Spuds.

A Book Review: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

Hello, Cabbages!

I know what you were thinking–that I won’t be writing AGAIN even if I already said I will. Well, I can’t really blame you, I am one to grow lazier by the minute.

Some life update before we proceed with the actual review, first off, I’m writing this via my laptop and I haven’t touched my laptop for almost 3 months now–LOL. I know, who does  that right? Anyway, second, basing from this post, I assume you’ve figured out that I was able to buy a new book because I finished 3 which was my agreement with Pups. This Sunday I got This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. I haven’t started that one ’cause I’m really not feeling the story yet, though I hope to read it soon. Please let me know if you’ve read by leaving a comment below.

FotorCreated (3)

As you may have remembered, I joined the Emojiathon and this is my 3rd entry for it! I still haven’t done a post about Emojiathon and the books that I plan on reading for that and I don’t think I’ll ever get around to actually writing one, sorry. I’m still getting back to the feeling of blogging and I don’t want to overwhelm myself and feel like this is a responsibility. So this book falls under the category: “Book You Purchased because of its Cover”

book

TITLE: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

AUTHOR: Adele Griffin

DATE PUBLISHED: August 12, 2014

PUBLISHER: Soho Teen

PAGES: 256

Goodreads Summary: Brilliant young artist. Her mysterious death. Fandom that won’t let her go. From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. I conducted interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—and retraced the tumultuous path of Addison’s life. I hope I can shed new light on what really happened the night of July 28. Fully illustrated.

a

MY RATING: 4.00

Love! It’s like strolling along the milky way!

I am not one for reading non-fiction, I rarely venture out to that genre unless it’s for a school project, but since I’m out of College already, I don’t get to ready anymore of that. I also picked this book up during the MIBF 2016–Manila Book International Fair and I’m not going to lie, I did it because of the cover. I appreciate art and I love the drama vibe that surrounds its cover. I saw it in the shelf and I knew I had to get it!

Getting to reading this book wasn’t hard, mainly because it’s not real–basically it’s a faux biography of a fictional “celebrity-like popular” character, so obviously it’s not heavy on the non-fiction elements we usually see in real biographies. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, I gave it a solid 4 out of 5 stars because I connected with it and if you’ve known me, you’ll understand that a connection is a stronger pull on me rather than a fluid plot line.

PLOT:

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was dark and problematic, but at the same way, I was drawn into her. I think the author did such a great job by writing a protagonist who is realistic and full of character. I’ve never read any Adele Griffin book except for this, but I love her writing style. Such a brilliant author for being able to suppress all that emotion in one character and still not bombard or overwhelm the readers at the same time. Her character was written in such a charismatic way and you can’t help but put your attention to her; the entire persona of Addison Stone demands the attention of every reader out there.

This book explores a lot of mental issues and how people don’t necessarily understand them. It made me realize that being mentally unstable or unhealthy can drive you to the brink of exhaustion. It deals heavily on how each and everyone of us have our own battles and monsters to face, and the only we can count on to help us is ourselves. There are haunting points in this book which I felt very appropriate; it was so dark and delicious.

Another aspect I loved about this book is how it was written in a series of interviews with people who have interacted with Addison at some point in her life–both significant and acquaintances were featured. Addison Stone and her different phases in life were narrated through the eyes of these strangers and loved ones, and yet they all have different interpretations on how she was as an individual. It created an impact for me because it’s the truth–no matter how many people we meet in our lives, none of them will know the truth in the core of our individual existence. People form judgments of who we are, both good and bad but we can never trust anyone to tell the truth of our story because that is ours and only us can set the facts straight, unless you are six feet under the ground.

Addison 2

The beauty in the misery in the death of Addison, is that I only regret not meeting her. Most of the books out there, presents some protagonists in the most awful way. I don’t approve of protagonists getting away with their attitude and flaws, just because I have to sympathize with her situation, like I am expected to root for her because “everybody’s out to get her”. In this case, as a reader I am presented with how problematic Addison is. There’s no hiding her dark and wild spirit; it’s almost like I am made to hate her for all the vile things she’s done but because I am exposed to all this, is what actually allows me to empathize with her. I am brought to understand her for why she is what she is.

CHARACTERS:

There were so many characters involved in Addison’s life, and though most of them were significant, I don’t feel the need to discuss all of them. However, I only loved Lucy–the best friend of Addison Stone. I believe she’s the closest to the truth as I’ll ever get to knowing Addison. She’s seen her demons, her flaws and she’s the same old Lucy you’ll see from start to finish. I love her versions of Addison because I was given the privilege to witness the young Addison up until the time before she drowned.

In a lot of times while reading this book, I’ve happen to remember Alaska from Looking For Alaska of John Green. It was actually my favorite John Green book, I loved the drama in that. However, reading this, Alaska suddenly felt unrealistic. Her character was wild and lost and dark, yet she felt flat in comparison with Addison Stone. Alaska was became shallow for me and that’s sad, I’ve loved her since I read the book back in 2013. It just so happen that I now appreciate more of the darkness that surrounds Addison Stone.

FotorCreated (3)

Like I said, this book was written in such an interactive and realistic way that I barely noticed it was fiction. I can’t describe it or review well for you guys, because just like the synopsis in Goodreads, I don’t think it will give justice why this book is beautiful in all its darkness. You have to read it for yourself; trust me, it will be a shame not to have a glimpse of Addison Stone.

There were such great art, and photos to document the life of Addison and they were just so fun to skim through. Also, the model who they got to portray Addison Stone in the book is so stunning and full of charm.

Addison 1

 

FotorCreated (3)

So that’s not a good review, but like I said, I don’t trust myself to give justice to how powerful this book felt for me. I wish a lot more people would give it a go, it deserves to be devoured and not left accumulating dusts on the bookshelves.

I’m still thinking about writing a review for Crazy Rich Asians, or if I missed my “hype” for the book already. But I finished it way before this one, and it was part of my entry to Emojiathon as A Book With Marginal Characters–well it was about the life of rich pure Chinese clans.

If you’re wondering, I also didn’t continue on with When Dimple Met Rishi because I’m quite overwhelmed with the Indian language they use there, and unlike the Crazy Rich Asians, ALL unfamiliar words were translated. However, it’s still my most anticipated contemporary read but I’m putting it off for now because I’m craving for some fantasy books which I don’t have much on my shelf.

Please let me know me down below in the comments if you’ve also read this book and your thoughts about it or if you’re participating in the Emojiathon as well! I’d love to hear from all you so do leave me some love! Thank you all for your time and for the support, I know I’m far off from the great reviewers out there, but I’m trying to give my best in discussing the books that I read. It might take some time before I get back to my old blogging style or for me to develop a new one, but I’ll get there. Until my next post, Cabbages!

white-wall

A Book Review: Everything, Everything

Hello, my dearest Cabbages!

The long wait is over, your Potato queen is back! Like I’ve said in my previous post, I was going through some personal struggle and went MIA. I have read a few books during my absence which you will also see in my Goodreads page.

Before I get to the actual part of this post, which is a book review, I’d like to let you in on a deal I recently had with my boyfriend–for the sake of my blog, we’ll call him “Pup” (for no specific reason, just cause I like it and I run this blog so…). A few days ago, Pup said I have too many books in my TBR’s and I still won’t stop buying so officially I was put in a book-buying ban *sobs*. However, we worked out on a deal which is for every 3 books I finish, Pup will buy me 1 book himself.

FotorCreated (3)

Recently, I’ve come across this readathon for June entiled Emojiathon! I know I haven’t uploaded my list for this but I was too preoccupied with the actual reading and didn’t bother anymore to write a post. I’m planning to post a review for each book I’ll be reading during the said readathon and share which category they fall into.

👬 Read a book that is Marginalized.
-Deals with multiple races and color, or sexuality

For this category, I chose EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon.

IMG_0661

*Funny story, I started this book yesterday and down to the last 80 pages by nighttime but because I HATE going to work without a book to read, I was afraid that I’d finish the book even before lunch time (which is bad because I’ll have 5 more hours before going home). What I did was fly through the book at 6 in the morning before getting ready for work! Now I’m done with it, with a brief review at Goodreads.*

GOODREADS PLOT:
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house for seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black — black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

B

Rating: B (3.0)

Enjoyed! Just a few more sparkles here and there.

2-sentence plot summary:
Madeline Whittier have been diagnosed with SCID; a rare disease that makes her allergic to almost everything and prohibits her from going out. Then she met her new neighbor, Olly, who changed her view of the world and gave her courage to risk everything.

IMG_0662

Generally, I enjoyed the book. It was definitely fast-paced, with only 4 significant characters, so you can imagine how short it was, which is 310 pages. It’s actually shorter because there are illustrations on the book which can take up an entire page, while other pages only contained 2-7 sentences. At first I was uncomfortable because I don’t encounter a lot of books in such format, but as I go through it, I barely noticed my discomfort and just grew into it.

Also, I loved how the book highlighted the importance of mother-daughter bond. It touched a soft spot on me because I am close with my mom, and I hated myself when I kept secrets from her–how I use white lies back in college to stay out longer with my friends. I know the disappointments of a mother all too well because I saw my own mother go through it as she witness my failures.

IMG_0660

RAVE REVIEWS:

Plot
I have a few issues at some points in the book, though I like my books to be fast-paced, I don’t want it to be abrupt. There were open-ended matter for me, which is a bit unsettling because it was like they’re not even important to begin with when it fact, it does matter.

The deceit that transpired between Maddy and her mother was not fully addressed. It was like a 1-minute a day kind of disappointment between them. The secret that tore them apart was supposed to be big or monumental and yet it was passed off as if it was a simple thing, like an everyday matter.
There was no closure for their relationship. A lie divided them and in the end, I am still left hanging as to what happened, did they make and up and forgave each other or was there gonna be a grudge for the rest of their lives. If you’re one of the people who’ve read this book, please do let me know if you also felt this way. When trust broken between two people, things will never be the same again, especially a lie as life-changing as this.
Maddy’s life after she found out that she’d been lied to. All her life she’s been sheltered and to discover that your life is about to change, you can’t deal with it easily. I wish this book would have shown the readers a view of Maddy’s life after her discovery, then the whole book would have been more complete because let’s be honest, this book isn’t merely about falling in love, it’s about finding a courage to take risks, to challenge life. Her life afterwards, the new adventures she took, those would have been more important that just jetting off to somewhere for the boy she loves.

Characters:

Olly was the love interest of our sick heroine, Maddy. He was new to town with a dysfunctional family and brooding with teenage angst. However, his character fell flat for me, like he has no substance. I couldn’t relate to him because there’s nothing else that I know about him except that he parkours, he hates the ocean and he loves Math. He felt like a stranger; he could have even passed off as a modern-prince charming, where he’s there to complete the heroine or to drive her to what will change her view of life. He seemed to perfect, too good to be true but in real life, even the most adoring people have flaws–nobody’s perfect unless you’re a fictional character and the author said so.
Maddy was sweet and innocent, much what you’ll expect from someone treated like an infant. I like how she’s smart and loves to read, but her transition from being sheltered to wanting to see the world was unsettling for me. She ventures out to Hawaii with Olly to see a fish, and all the necessary preparations, she was able to get away with. I’m just weirded out how someone who didn’t have any experience with being out in the world, do so well on her first time. Her adventure was too perfect, plus the fact that she registered her own credit card. How is that possible? Wouldn’t her mom have found out immediately if someone registered an emergency credit card under hers. Maddy’s trip to Hawaii and she could’ve meet a lot of people but she wasn’t aloof or uncomfortably shy to interact with them, when during the first meeting with Olly (love interest or not), she was super careful and observant. Lastly, I found it quite unrealistic when a person who’s been sheltered, whose human interaction was limited, found the courage to have sex. She was so researched on how to kiss, and yet having sex came naturally for her character.

It was okay that there was teenage love involved, but I think this book would have been better if it focused on Maddy’s actual coming of age and discovery of the world and her identity. But still, it was a very interesting read for me, it kept me awake and intrigued as to what discovery she’ll have next. All in all, I still recommend this to all those who are starting out at reading, it’s very easy to understand and follow through. It’s a great summer contemporary read that you can finish in one-seating.

FotorCreated (3)

So that’s about it, Cabbages. Review’s quite long because you know me, I tend to talk and say a lot. Can anyone actually teach me how to “hide” a spoiler part in this entry? I will highly appreciate it! It was honestly a struggle trying to review Everything, Everything in here because I was tiptoeing on what I say–I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone and I’m hoping I didn’t fail at that miserably. I still owe you all a post about my thoughts regarding the other book I finished, which is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Stay tuned for that post, it will be up soon (I hope, unless I completely forget about it).

I’m starting on a new book: WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon

I’d love for you to be a part of our growing family garden, so do follow Written Constellations for your daily dose of bookish goodness. Also, leave some comment below on your thoughts and ideas, if you’ve read Everything Everything or planning to, I’d love to chat with you!

white-wall

Hiatus + Finding Yourself

Hello, Cabbages!

I believe it’s been over a year (?) since I last written a post here but I definitely missed out. However, some of you might still need an explanation and I’ve come prepared. So if you’re still a solid cabbage, please read on…

 

1. Work

-I’m not sure if most of you will remember or take the time to revisit my old post about getting a new job last November 2016 but that’s the main reason as to why I haven’t been blogging. I am in a marketing and events team, and dealing with a lot of brands and events, it just takes up most of my time. I do read, I just can’t find the time to write down a full-review or any review for that matter because I’m so caught up with making sure everything goes well for my day-job.

 

2. Inability to Find the Right Words

-I know a lot of people, both booktubers and bloggers, are struggling with this and some might say it’s not a valid reason. But actually, it is very valid and acceptable for me. I’ve been an aspiring writer ever since I was young and not being able to find the appropriate words to express my ideas and emotions is just frustrating. I’ll be honest and tell you all that it really brought my confidence down. I didn’t that other people might be interested with what write and that I’m just an average person playing make-believe that my blog is actually a worthy space. I’ve managed to get some writing in, I was helping my boyfriend for his script and screenplay in one of his projects we mean to submit to Cinemalaya–this is a platform to showcase short films and independent films in a month-long celebration in the Philippines.

 

3. Identity

-This to be honest is the major reason of my absence. Coming from working at a bookstore and moving to a corporate job with just having 6 members in a team, to actually being placed in a working environment where there are 21 of us who are all very young. I can’t relate to any of them in such a deep level, it’s always been casual talks and it did hurt my ego. Some might say this is shallow, but I’m the kind of person who likes having a stable friend beside me and knowing that I didn’t have any in my job now, really has got me down. I’ve slowly got over that phase and decided to do my own thing, regardless of how many friends I get or have over the course of my stay with the company. Another contributing factor was that I don’t have much bookish friends to discuss with and this has pulled me away from reading, causing me to develop a severe reading slump which lasted for almost 3-4 months.

 

4. (told you I have come prepared) Magic The Gathering

-I am not sure how many people actually are familiar with MTG (Magic The Gathering) but it’s a card game and it got me hooked for about at least 8 months. Back in my old work, I’ve been going on card hunts and adventures with my boyfriend and his friends. We competed a few times among certain areas in the Philippines. Also, as much as I hate to say this, my money was solely for MTG cards and my basic necessities, that there was no more room for a new book or two. But gladly, this phase is over and we haven’t played for such a long time–meaning, I’ve more reading opportunities.

 

5. Reading Slump

-This is basic, I don’t have to explain it. This lasted for about 4 months.

 

6. Weekend Getaways

-Getting a bit personal here, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with my boyfriend the past year, and to be honest we weren’t being productive to our passions and hobbies. Slowly, we are getting there, beinf understandable of each other’s time. Basically, we are just able to manage our time better now. For those of you who are “interested” or “nosy”, my boyfriend and I have been together for a year now. We still see each other every weekend, from time to time, weekdays too, and we just hang-out doing our own stuff (him with his arts–drawing and inking) and me reading. But though he won’t be reading this (I think), I do want to share my love and appreciation for him in this little space I’ve created for myself. He’s been so patient and supportive with all I was going through and I’m entirely grateful for that.

I think that’s about all the reasons I have. It’s really just a struggle of being lost and finding–building a new and improved Spuds. I’m actually thinking of making some changes here but I’m going to focus on getting back on track first. I have a few tags that I wanted to do, and a few reviews but I’m not going to post up a review for the books I’ve finished before coming back to blogging because that might just pull me down again. I don’t want blogging to be a responsibility but more of wanting to make friends online, talk to people with the same interest as me and to share my thoughts and ideas about the books I read.

I just need everyone to bear with me because I rarely use my laptop anymore because I find it such a hassle to set-up in my room. If you haven’t noticed I’m a very a lazy person. I know that’s so unnatural for someone to don’t use a laptop, but I’m actually more comfortable just using my phone.

Currently I’m reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I used to read a lot of adult books because back then my mom was the only one who owns books, and because I am an avid reader, I would just accompany myself with a Sydney Sheldon or Danielle Steel novel. When I started working, I acquired so many YA books thar I haven’t read and have the space for in my bookshelf; then recently I’ve received recommendations to read Kevin Kwan’s trilogy. Despite being labeled as an adult book, I’ve been LOVING IT. I’m planning on continuing with the series as soon as I get my hands on the physical copies of book 2 & 3.

 

It’s good to be back and I hope that I will still receive your warm welcome, so don’t forget to leave a comment or follow me on my social so we can stay connected 24/7 (just kidding, maybe for a few hours). I’m figuring out how to blog using a phone so bear with me.

xo,

Spuds

Catching Up

Hi, Cabbages!

I know it’s been a while since I last posted (an entire month, to be exact). There’s just been a lot of things going on lately, and I haven’t had the time to catch up on any reading.

To be honest, this started out when my boyfriend and I hung out almost everyday, and are inseparable. He lives super far from me, and our weekends doesn’t suffice anymore. And then, he got us both a new phone to enjoy more hightech features together (which I’m using this very moment to post this blog).

Finally, I haven’t read anything lately, because I’m getting ready to leave my work soon. I’m moving to a new one, a much nearer workplace to my house.

Though I am not abandoning Written Constellations altogether, I wish a little more patience and understanding on your side, Cabbages. Just bear with me some more, and once everything’s settled and in order, I’ll pick up right where I left off.

For now, you can constantly catch up on my daily happenings:

Instagram & Snapchat: @reeyuhbeegale

white-wall

Trading Is Off Limits

Hello, Cabbages!

I wasn’t feeling “bloggy” yesterday, plus the fact that I came in late to work and I had to rush work load because I needed to go to a meeting. I had fun getting out of the office though, being able to be free from my monstrous work station. Honestly, I don’t want to work anymore, but oh well…the need for money is just overpowering [maybe, I just need another source of money].

I’m so excited to announce that I am devouring And I Darken pretty quickly than I imagined. It’s probably the pacing of the story, and the knack for violence that keeps me drawn in. I LOVE IT. Ever since I started reading it, my night phone calls with my boyfriend consist of raving about this savage novel. I’m almost to Chapter 30, and I’ll DEFINITELY be posting a review immediately after I finished this [by that I mean, a day or two after I’ve coherently managed my thoughts].

FotorCreated (3)

Alright! Let’s move on to the main purpose of this post, which is to entertain you all with my very awesome [weird] thoughts. Have you heard of Top 5 Wednesday? Well if you haven’t, it’s a weekly book meme created by Lainey, and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes.

TOP 5 CHARACTERS I WOULDN’T WANT TO TRADE PLACES WITH

→ Honestly, most of the time, I envy fictional characters. And because of that, I’ve never had a lot of time to think about the ones I wouldn’t want to be but now that I pondered, there are a lot of choices. *Chill, I only chose the Top 5, this list won’t be including 100++*

5.RADU from And I Darken

9780552573740

Of course I’d love to be beautiful, and to be able to gain people’s trust and adoration just by simply starting a conversation with them. What I don’t want though is to be such a helpless, needy person who can’t as much as punch back. I would like to be able to defend and protect myself; I would hate to be picked on and to be seen as a weakling.

4.CHE from My Sister Rosa

rosa_hc-rev-678x1024

While reading this book, I was filled with so much pity for Che. I can’t imagine myself being around a couple of psychopaths, much less be blood-related to them. I understood the anxiety that maybe I carry the same demonic genes that they do; also the constant worry that my sister has such strong killer instincts might be what actually kills me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy plots like this, I like seeing what goes inside a killer’s mind, but I wouldn’t actually wish to live with one—I’d be like a guinea pig for them.

3.PARKER from Ten Below Zero

22529936

I’ve rarely talked about this book; it was one of those that I found out because of my College friends. I read it but the genre isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be like her simply because she was physically assaulted. She was beaten an inch away from death, and half of her face bears a nasty cut from the assailant, for no particular reason. I’ve never been one to endure extreme physical pain.

2.ANI from Fault Lines

Fault-Line-by-Christa-Desir

She’s one of the coolest characters there is, and her story is one that I can never forget. Fault lines haunt me continuously, and is buried somewhere in my subconscious, shallow enough to resurface at anytime. Ani is a controversial character, whose tragic accident had no conclusion. I don’t want to be her because I can’t fathom the idea of being promiscuous and flirty and have no memory of it the next day. I avoid going to parties, and I don’t drink alcohol because I’m afraid to lose control of my actions and wake up with regret. I have high hopes that I will never have to encounter this, especially because I literally flinch at someone’s touch, even at a simple touch of the shoulder. The only people I’ve let physically close enough are my closest friends, family and my boyfriend.

1.STACY STELLARD from What We Saw

what-we-saw

Similar to the one above, but this one is just more unbearable for me. To be branded as a slut, and have no one believe me, is just detestable. I have too much concern for my body, I want it respected. I don’t want to be Stacy and be sexually abused, and have people not do anything to help me. This is different from being “able to protect myself”, as this is a situation where the victim has no control over what’s happening.

FotorCreated (3)

There you have it, Cabbages, a list of fictional characters who I wouldn’t want to be. Honestly speaking, over the years I’ve learned to truly love myself, and be content with who I am while looking forward to who I will become.

A million thanks, Cabbages for your continuous support! Let’s keep the hype going! Don’t forget to subscribe so you can receive notifications about the happenings in Written Constellations! If you joined this week’s Top 5 Wednesday, kindly place your links down below.

Also, if you’re looking into getting your books free of shipping cost, I suggest you shop at Book Depository!

*IF YOU’VE READ THIS, COMMENT “I SAW YOU AT THE MALL!” TO GET A SURPRISE FROM ME!*

white-wall

 

Bookish Audiophile

HELLO, Cabbages!

I’ve had quite an adventure during the last few days, which I will be sharing in a brief post [whether you like it or not].

A. MIBF (aka Manila International Book Fair)

→ It ran from September 14-18; and my boyfriend accompanied me last Saturday! I only got 3 books, because prior to MIBF, I already bought Furthermore in our local bookstore. I know I should’ve maximized the event because books were on 20% off; I was leaning towards purchasing my books online already to give me ample of time to save money [leading to acquiring more books). I bought Rebel of the Sands, The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone and I got my mom Tipping Point as a gift for her recent job promotion.

B. I SKIPPED WORK yesterday to go to Laguna. I was feeling a bit clingy [like I do all the time], missing my boyfriend [though we spent the entire Saturday together, and we talk everyday] and I couldn’t focus on work so I went to their house in Laguna. I called it an adventure because what you need to understand is this, I live in the City, and I work in the City too— while Laguna is a province in the South.

FotorCreated (3)

I would love to share a lot of things (both bookish and non bookish) that I do or did, but I figured it might not be of public interest. Anyway, I haven’t found any energy in me to publish any “original weekly meme” or other topics to rave about on here + my work is consuming 9 hours of my day [despite me being able to post regularly]. If you still don’t know, I’ve started And I Darken last week, and is currently in Chapter 23 – so that’s a worthy bookish update. HOORAY for reading time! Funny, I actually read on my way to work every day, and I downloaded a PDF of it so I can read it on my laptop while “working”.

On to today’s post: TOP TEN TUESDAY! Yup! That’s a regular meme here on Written Constellations, and though the original creator of this are the lovely bookish ladies from The Broke and the Bookish; I am an active participant! I encourage all of you to join the fun; all you need to do is visit their page and post your picks on any of your social media (Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, Youtube, etc).

FotorCreated (1)

TOP 10 AUDIO BOOKS YOU’D LIKE TO LISTEN TO

→ Okay, because I am possibly the weirdest person you’ll ever meet in this planet, I don’t listen to a lot of Audio books. I used to be able to function well, even if there’s noise in the background, but for the past 3 or 4 years, I started getting annoyed whenever I have to read and there’s too much distraction around. So today, I chose a few titles, which I’d rather listen to than read [for reasons that will be disclosed per book below].

5.LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell

41ihvwdy7gl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

All I have of Rainbow Rowell is Fangirl which I still have to finish; I started it but got stuck at some chapter, and just grew tired of the story that I couldn’t get past 1 page. I need to find the energy to pick it up one of these days. Landline though is [humanities] fiction, and as you all know, I’m not much of an “adult” fiction reader. I think I would enjoy listening to this much more than if I will read it; plus, the book deals with a magical telephone that allowed the main character to speak to herself from the past—that will be cool [if I say so myself] to listen to.

4.THIS ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover

27362503

I’d say I’m a supporter of Hoover, because I enjoyed Hopeless and I loved Maybe Someday. This particular book written by her though deals with heavy topics on abuse, and it’s [humanities] fiction, I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it but I think I’d prefer to listen to it as an audio book.

3.ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Saenz

220px-aristotle_and_dante_discover_the_secrets_of_the_universe_cover

I rarely read diverse books, though I am a supporter of LGBT. I’ve been meaning to pick this up since last year, but I still haven’t because I don’t know if it’s something that I’ll enjoy. This is one book I’ve been eyeing that I haven’t searched any reviews on yet; I want to go in partly blind on this one. I would prefer to finish an audio book of this because I think I will be able to enjoy the adventures more if I’m hearing them like legends told on a campfire.

2.THE GLASS CASTLES by Jeanette Walls

71vbpx0qsml

This is non-fiction; an autobiography of the author about her and her siblings’ experience with their neglecting parents. I’ve never been good in finishing non-fiction or true to life books—probably because most of the time, I prefer depressing/sad non-fiction novels than the happy ones, that I cringe at their sufferings. One of the book blogs I follow mentioned Tiger Tiger: A Memoir and it was compared to this book in Goodreads, that’s how I got interested with The Glass Castles. I heard a sample of its audio book on Goodreads, and the narrator’s voice was soothing and full of emotions that I’ve been compelled to listen to this.

1.MISTBORN TRILOGY by Brandon Sanderson

sanderson-mistborntrilogyuk4

As far as I remember, I made a research about this a few weeks ago and I was quite fascinated by other people’s testimonials that this is one of the BEST books they’ve ever read. Another reason why I rarely read [humanities] fiction is because of their size—and to think; this is a trilogy, DEFINITELY lengthy. I don’t have a lot of free time to dedicate in finishing this, so the only way for me to dive into their world is if I listen to it in audio book. Afterwards, if I like the story, I will definitely purchase it in UK edition, because well…don’t you just adore those breathtaking covers!

FotorCreated (3)

There you have it, Cabbages! My Top Ten Tuesday [which I prefer to do in fives], discussing about books that I would love to listen to in audio book formats. Please let me know down below if you’ve read/listened to any of these titles, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them. Also, if you participated in this week’s TTT, do leave a link of your post as well so I can check it out!

I’d like to give a shout out of LOVE and appreciation to all the bookish Cabbages who continuously support Written Constellations! Thank you for finding the time in visiting and reading my posts! If you’d like to receive a daily dose of bookish goodness, click the follow button or subscribe via email notifications.

If you’re looking to getting your books free of delivery charge, you can use Book Depository!

*Comment “THANKS FOR THE PIZZA” down below to get a surprise from yours truly*

white-wall