Thursday, July 30, 2015

DISCLAIMER by RENÉE KNIGHT

Catherine Ravenscroft was dumbfounded to find her long-kept, dark secret exposed in The Perfect Stranger, a book she didn’t know existed. She was even more unnerved when copies landed in the hands of her husband and son. Who did it and why it surfaced when she thought it was just her left who knew about it kept on getting in the way of her life. She was bound to face her past one way or another in order to put an end to her nightmare even if it meant jeopardizing her relationship with her family.
The act of keeping the secret a secret has almost become bigger than the secret itself. – Catherine Ravenscroft

A thought-provoking and heart-wrenching suspense is what Disclaimer is.

It literally gave me the nerves. It was good like that. There was something rather eerie about the writing that made my heart thump as the anticipation grew. The darkness and weight of the story also lured me in deeper.

What a sad story – it was just heartbreaking to experience through words the tragedy of two families broken by secrets and further destroyed by revelations. I couldn’t consider it a common real-life scenario, but still it hit home and became relatable for me.

It is extraordinary how much strength anger gives one. – Stephen Brigstocke

Truth be told, it was a bit of a struggle for me at first because I couldn’t find the connection between what seemed to be two separate stories. I couldn’t get a hold of where the story was headed and what it was about. Disclaimer was told at different intersecting and overlapping time frames matched with alternating character points of view, most of which were Catherine’s and Stephen’s. It was easy to think that to confuse was one of the intentions of this novel.

You have to be cruel to be kind. – Stephen Brigstocke

This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy such complexity. Though the play on the shifting time frames and character perspectives was very tricky, this was also one main reason this book had been way more intriguing and thrilling, as it really stimulated my mind to make my own assumption of what was going to happen and further focus on every event on the book. It just made me not want to miss any detail. Gripping!

The big twist in the end was a jaw dropper. I couldn’t believe how the characters were reversed and the plot turned upside down. What a twist! I also loved the little revelations along the chapters, which were real page turners as well. Because this book was, I think, intentionally slow-paced, they helped keep the momentum going. There goes the reason suspense will always come first before romance in my heart over and over again.

Basically, Disclaimer teaches us that our secrets can haunt us forever. And the truth, especially the uncomfortable and ugly ones, it will always have a way of coming out to catch up with us, so either act on it or let it trap you forever.

Are you done reading this book? What are your thoughts? I’d like to know them! Feel free to share them below!

Monday, July 20, 2015

THE WKND SPECIAL Vol. 3

Two days ago, the July post-birthday hurrah with the college mates took place at Nuvali Park, Sta. Rosa. This month couldn’t have ended without any celebration with them, almost obligatory because, hey, we’ve been doing these for several years already.
So, uhm, we were just four (Justine, Yvonne, Jerome and me), but it almost felt like we brought a whole bus with us because we were just so loud, too loud actually that some people at the restaurant turned their heads to us while we were eating and talking and the driver scolded us while laughing so hard because of some gross stories. LOL!
It was an afternoon of much-enjoyed carb meals at Buffalo’s Wings N’ Things, conyo comedy over late lunch, discussions of realizations from immature days back in college, strip walks, picnic on the grass sans the food (because we were already full), people-watching/judging (come on, don’t act the saint LOL), Yvonne’s camera moments while making fun of us, heart-to-hearts re: family matters, and frappes for a chill nightcap.
We all went home with pained jaws, ripped side lips and sweaty underarms in exchange for a dose of good old belly laughs, enough to get us through the days ahead until the next weekend social.

Happy birthday to us – Jusz, Yvonne, Jonas, Paul, and Joanah! July people are such balls of fun!

xx


Photos by Justine Dador, Yvonne Prudente and your truly!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

THIS GIRL by COLLEEN HOOVER

At long last, after all the drama that struck Lake and Will’s young love, they were finally able to tie the knot to officially seal their relationship. Relishing their much-awaited honeymoon, Lake asked Will to take her down memory lane to all their turning points and the unknowns, the good and the bad, that transpired from their first meeting to the days that led them in their honeymoon hotel room.
If I took every romantic poem, every book, every song, and every movie I've ever read, heard or seen and extracted the breathtaking moments, somehow bottling them up, they would pale in comparison to this moment. – Will Cooper

I have nothing but good things to say about This Girl.

Seeing that all the flashbacks were once again taken from Will’s point of view, This Girl easily became a no brainer, surefire hit for me. I think it was also because of this that I had found the scenes and emotions to be more intense. It was always ever so easy for me to relate to and feel for his character.

I have to say that of the three books in this series, this one has got to be my absolute favorite. It has such a cute retelling of Lake and Will’s tale. There were no heartaches anymore. It was hopeful instead, even during the moments of sad reminiscences.  Instead of taking away all the excitement, the mere fact that I already know there was a happily-ever-after for the leading characters only made it all the more inviting and stimulating for me. Knowing just how they get to that beautiful end, with this kind of story, was where the fun was at surely.

The only thing that can break the unbreakable is the unthinkable. – Will Cooper

The poems! Of course there were the poems again! Hearts were all over the place the whole time I was reading, and I couldn’t remember how many times I swooned and melted with them. It was nice falling in love once more with the poems from previous books while also encountering new ones which were either just as mesmerizing or better. Of all the poems, I realized there were two that just struck me right through the heart. Schooled and Because of You are the two heart-melting, second-chance-giving, love-winning pieces. Who could reject love after reading/hearing these two? I bet none.

A perfect closer to the story of Will and Lake, This Girl is but a lovely and enjoyable reading companion, especially during the past rainy days when cozying up under thick blankets with a hot chocolate feels about the only right thing to do.

Colleen Hoover did a terrific job at capturing my heart, and I couldn’t be more delighted that this was how she was introduced to me. I would love to open other romantic Hoover books in the future.

Are you done reading this book? What are your thoughts? I’d like to know them! Feel free to share them below!
  
Photo source: https://merrilanil.wordpress.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

THE WKND SPECIAL Vol. 2

Wow, it’s been a long while since the first time I did a post for this series. It’s not to say that my previous weekends were humdrum. (They were anything but that. *winks*) It’s just that I never really had much opportunity to document many of my whereabouts. And when laziness strikes sometimes, it strikes hard and for weeks on end and gives birth to all excuses I can think of to convince myself not to bother posting. But today I’m feeling positive, itching to just type whatever crosses my mind and wanting to let go of some unnecessary tension, so here goes… (Also, I have a few snappies to support and keep this post interesting.)

Technically, weekends start on Saturday. But knowing that I belong to the middle class eight-to-fivers, I consider that critical period from 5PM onwards every Friday to be the start of not minding adult life and embracing social mayhem. Who gets into the same mood?
There was no better way to open the weekend madness habit than a nice buffet. It was unlimited kare-kare and lechon kawali for me at Cabalen ATC last Friday. I shyly tagged along with the boyfriend to join in the birthday dinner of Lola Itang – 79 and still groovy! We occupied about ¾ of the restaurant, so we did what we pleased. We were back and forth the buffet tables, both to munch on or just eye everything that was being served. Chocolate fondue was my nightcap!

His clan is the best anyone could have for a new extended family – warm, welcoming and caring people.

Saturday was for some boyfriend quality day out and late night dinner date. That’s all. Hihi. Bye.
Hahahaha! Look at Queen Elsa, Incredible Hulk and Superman! Aren't they the cutest?!?!
Come Sunday, meeting with the college mates for the June babies’ celebration happened. We didn’t have any grand plan for the day, but a videoke and a cake did the trick. We were mababaw like that! Too bad only Jerome of all the celebrators showed up; we missed Marfi.

It was also the eve of St. Peter’s feast which meant more food for us courtesy of the Maligayas. Thank you for the hospitality!

I would also like to greet all my other dear ones who celebrated their birthday this June – college mates Joanah and Jamie, niece Nicole, cousin Jaycee, and, most importantly, the best dad to ever live, Danilo! We love you, Daddy! Happy birthday, everyone! Hope you all had a blast! :)

Weekends are complete with loved ones.

xx

*Photos by Heidi Dela Cruz, Paul Maunahan and yours truly! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

POINT OF RETREAT by COLLEEN HOOVER

Still very much in love, Will and Lake wholeheartedly took upon themselves the parental responsibilities to their younger siblings while also fitting themselves into unusual living and studying arrangements to make ends meet.  As told through Will’s eyes, a lover from his past surfaced again who would knock on their undisturbed lives and make Lake question everything about the foundation and direction of their relationship. Will would try to piece the perfect answer together to Lake’s ultimate question to win her back.
My heart pounds against my chest. Not because I'm nervous. Not even because I want her worse that I've ever wanted her before. It's pounding against my chest because I realize I've never been so sure about the rest of my life than I am in this moment. This girl is the rest of my life. – Will Cooper

Okay, so let’s be real here. I don’t think there ever really was a complication in the story. It was like the characters just created their own, so there would be something to deal with throughout the rest of the pages. It felt forced. Honestly, I think it was petty and not needing an entire book for a solution. The incident on the last part, though it spiced up things a bit, did not help the story that much and still lacked something.

But in fairness, though this novel quite lost its bearings on plot depth, it still managed to keep its flow at a constant, slow, steady pace which also got me glued on reading. It could get irritating because of how unnecessary some things were, but it would make up for it by keeping some interesting things going. It could get frustrating, just frustrating, without being totally unbearable.

It is also worth pointing out that Point of Retreat at least still managed to keep the cute romantic feel going between the central characters which got me hooked to this series in the first place. The little sweet nothings were just hard to contain, more so were the childish acts of cute quarreling and making up. Colleen Hoover surely knows the way to the heart.

I know how you like to be asked and not told. But I'm not asking you to marry me... I'm telling you to marry me, Lake.. because I can't live without you. – Will Cooper

Sadly, the poems were less present because they had been replaced with journal jottings and musings. But every time this play on words made an appearance, it never failed to awaken the poem lover and romantic in me. I forgot to mention this in my first post for this book series, but I thought, though they may sometimes be too personal and trivial content-wise, they could still strike such a strong impact on the story and the reader. Talk about romanticizing what was already romantic, yes please.

That hospital situation where Will was so devastated and worried felt so real to me. What he went through became a truly relatable moment in which he got all my sympathy. It must have been a hell of an ordeal. How he handled himself through out that part was also worth admiring and would make for an ideal coping mechanism.

Overall, I think that Point of Retreat was still a nice read despite all the off-putting observations I had. It just really lacked any oomph factor, even just a slight one, that could have sealed the book as fascinating at least.

So I'm not about to apologize for loving all these things about you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances behind them.

And no, I don’t need days, or weeks, or months to think about why I love you.

It’s an easy answer for me.

I love you because of you.

Because of

every

single

thing

about you. – Will Cooper

I’m onto This Girl, the last book of this series, now, and I do hope it’s better than this one.

Are you done reading this book? What are your thoughts? I’d like to know them! Feel free to share them below!

Photo source: http://www.goodreads.com/

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