Wednesday, March 26, 2014

THE BIG BAD WOLF by JAMES PATTERSON

Because I kind of missed reading a Patterson, I clumsily rummaged through my brother’s pile of books and randomly picked a paperback from the Alex Cross series – The Big Bad Wolf. Having a brother who likes the same author has its upsides, yannow. So happy! J

So here goes the story…

A delicate case comes up while Alex Cross is still in the process of wrapping his head around the job endorsement he got working from the Washington D.C. Police Dept. to the FBI and a family issue regarding his beloved Little Alex. There have been a number of abductions. It is believed the people who disappeared are being sold in the market. A Russian mystery mobstar named Wolf is suspected to be behind all the madness. Apparently, the Wolf has no plans of negotiating and surrendering. Alex and the FBI have to get to him first before he can strike back.
I have always liked Alex Cross because he’s a cop with good character. He has been such an accomplished guy professionally, what with all the criminals and socio/psychopaths he has already put behind bars. I admire the fact that he really is good-natured personally but can also be sneakily genius and ruthless when the need arises. I think James Patterson has done a great job of establishing a strong and relatable personality for the Alex Cross character, hence the series’ success.

As with the plot, I think there was an air of predictability in it, though there were still lots of surprises, one great reveal after another. There were parts where I could just tell it wasn’t what the FBI had been looking for yet. I couldn’t really pinpoint but that was just how I felt about it. I still liked it anyway.

The Big Bad Wolf showed the intricacies every Patterson book has. As a crime mystery case, it was able to play well with its cards. It used every possible hole and means to make the plot more complex than it already was, and that’s kinda cool. J

I especially liked the climax. The chapters close to the end when they got Pasha Sorokin in their hands was where the excitement got really pumped up. Wooooooo! It was when I just had to keep on turning the pages. The Wolf was too sneaky! Haha!

If anything, I wish the novel further discussed Alex’s personal issues. The thing about who gets Little Alex’s custody was brought up, so I think it should’ve been given enough attention in the book. The few chapters were not enough. I felt like it was just talked about in passing.

Bad news: the Wolf hasn’t been captured yet, and I still don’t have the next book, London Bridges. Not cool! Can’t contain being left hanging in the end. Haha!

Overall, I believe he still sealed this book with the classic Patterson signature. Surely, you can never go wrong with James Patterson. J

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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

NORWEGIAN WOOD by HARUKI MURAKAMI

Norwegian Wood is a twisted, sad love story.

Shocked by the sudden death of Kizuki, both Toru (the bestfriend) and Naoko (the girlfriend) took it hard on themselves. Toru realized how much of his life depended on his dear companion. He eventually fell in love with Naoko, but she had to leave and be in a sanatorium because she was sick. While trying to keep his promise of patiently waiting for Naoko to get better, Toru met Midori whose company he truly enjoyed. When it had sunk into him that Naoko chose death over his love, he decided to move on and pursue a relationship with Midori.
Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. – Toru

I am not a fan of serious and sad love stories. I try to avoid novels with such theme as much as possible because sometimes they’re contagious. I get so affected and sad as well. Haha. Surprisingly, though, I enjoyed reading this one. J

Norwegian Wood is definitely not a chick-lit. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not intended to make readers giggle. The characters were not in a good place during the entire story. They were broken and incomplete. They’ve all been struggling for love. There really was no chance for twitterpatting moments.

There were also many accounts of death here, most of which were suicide. Aside from love, this novel also talked about death and how people who were left behind deal with it, suffer from it. At this point, I believe this part is what made the book a deep one.

When your feelings build up and harden and die inside, then you're in big trouble. – Reiko

The characters’ experiences were just so sad and terrible that I sometimes thought it was just too much for their age. Their lives, at such a young age, had been that toxic which only made it more distressing for the readers. You see, if I were in their position, I think I would’ve done crazier things. Haha!

It’s nice that the novel has side stories about other characters. It provided avenues for the readers to understand where the other characters, like Nagasawa, Midori and Reiko, are coming from and why they’re such and such. This provides readers the chance to enjoy and like the other characters more.

You can’t expect thrill once you open this book. Norwegian Wood doesn’t have that kind of kick, none of anything that’ll make you want to flip through the pages faster. It’ll only invite you to go with the flow and just be with the characters, instead. This is not to say that the book is boring or anything like that.

All in all, the book was a serious but still enjoyable one. It somehow taught me that we should not let the sad experiences drag us down. People deserve a chance to move forward, but it doesn’t mean they’ll forget the ones who left.

When you're surrounded by endless possibilities, one of the hardest things you can do is pass them up. – Nagasawa

FYI, guys, this book’s title, Norwegian Wood, is taken from a lovely song of The Beatles from their Rubber Soul album. The song goes like this.

Are you done reading this book? Share your thoughts! 

Photo source: http://thebookstop.wordpress.com
Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY5i4-rWh44

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

LPL Foundation Week: Cheering Competition and HOTSPOT #GrandAlumniHomecoming


“Today is a day for change.”

We knew the moment Ms. A uttered those words that it was our day, that the thing we’ve all been wanting for the longest time is now ours. FINALLY.

We won the championship. CAS Pep Squad is this year’s champion. Just saying it still sends chills right up to my neck. I was not able to watch their performance live (I was late), but I saw a video of it. It was the most beautiful performance of CAS I’ve seen. It was the cleanest – the stunts, the routines and the aura. It did not feel like the kids were nervous at all. They were very confident that it showed in their dance. All there was was positive energy from the kids who were pouring their hearts out. Goosebumps.

I was there when the announcement was made. We, the alumni, were there. We were holding onto our seats, holding hands, getting ready for what was to come. From the second runner-up to the champion, they were called – College of Engineering, College of Allied Medicine and boom College of Arts and Sciences! What followed was frenzy. Everyone from the CAS went to the center of the gym. The pep members, students, professors, and alumni went all bonkers in the middle of it all without a care in the world. We won, and that was all that mattered right then. We won, and we savored every second of it. It was a sweet victory we could taste in our systems. February 22 is a day that would forever mark in our hearts. I am glad I witnessed it; I am lucky I was a part of it. Congratulations, CAS Pep! All for the love of God!

The fun did not end there, though. That night we were also there for HOTSPOT #GrandAlumniHomecoming. This happening, organized by the Alumni Society in cooperation with Palaestra Consortio, was something we were also looking forward too, as it was an event planned when my classmates and I were still volunteers of the org. Kudos to Sarah, Ate Clarize, Liezette, AlumniSoc, Palaestra Consortio, Alumni officers, and volunteers for a job well done!


It was ironically refreshing to see old faces, especially those ates and kuyas from our college. The hellos and how-are-yous were genuine. There were fewer attendees compared to the first homecoming (and we weren’t alumni yet at the time), but it was fun nonetheless because at least majority of them was from our department. That’s how much we love these gatherings. J
The videos shown and photos flashed before us brought nostalgic delight and sentiment. We were such totoys and nenes. We saw how drastically we changed not just physically but in general. We missed the activities, together with all the fun that went with them, we had back then. We were such active, crazy schoolers.
And after watching that promotional video of LPL, I became an even prouder Lycean. The vid talked about the kind of education that LPL offers. It discussed the root of the institution’s mission and vision. It’s a very simple video, but I, as its graduate, believe it covers all the aspects of the wonderful learning and experiences I’ve had in the four years I studied there that I think it will make for a very effective form of promoting its cause and purpose.

I was happy to be back. I had so much fun. It is these events that make Lyceum a place I would always want to come back to.


Photo sources: Jerome Satera
                       AlumniSociety Lpl         

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