Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by JENNIFER NIVEN

It was on the school’s bell tower ledge where Finch and Violet met and somehow saved each other’s lives. As they took on a project together, not only did both wander around Indiana discovering landmarks, they also got to know and discovered truths about each other. From then on, they eventually fell in love forgetting about their brokenness when together. But as everything has a built-in life expectancy, it could only last depending on how much time could spare them.
May your eye go to the Sun, To the wind your soul… You are all the colors in one, at full brightness. –Violet Markey

All The Bright Places was a beautifully written sad love story that made me fall so madly in love and crushed my heart in pieces all at once. It had the elements that would make me stifle a smile one moment and almost shed a tear for another. Attachment to the story happened because it couldn’t be helped. Besides, good books were written to yield that effect.

You have been in every way all that anyone could be… If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. –Virginia Woolf

Finch and Violet, though dysfunctional, were such likable teenage characters. They weren’t in the best place the whole time, both of them, but they managed to make their scene sweet on their own. It would be worth pointing out that Finch is his own kind of romantic as well. I know you’ll understand what I mean when you read this.

Though the narration was candid, casual and light, it always, always had that looming sadness and brokenness. I treaded carefully along the pages bearing those warnings in mind. There were so much emotions going on in the unsaid and unknown. I was always bracing myself for what could happen since I couldn’t tell how it would go between the two central characters up until the ending. It was riveting from start to finish.

We do not remember days, we remember moments. – Cesare Pavese

And since we’re already talking about the ending, I just would like to say how heart-wrenching it was. Decisions were made, and characters had to take and deal with them. It was perfectly timed. Seriously, it hurt and gutted me inside somehow leaving me feeling uneasy and heavy afterwards. I’ve always been uncomfortable reading sad stories, but even then, I was glad I took my time leafing through this novel.

All The Bright Places was left open-ended for the readers to come up with their own version of what should fill in the blanks. There were still questions left unanswered and dots left unconnected. These things and the fact that the story ended the way it did were rather lonely and jarring for me.

I may not be the biggest fan of sad novels, but I will still encourage people to take time to open this one and be enamored by an infectiously heart-melting and heartbreaking love story.

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://nexusmag.co.nz/

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Happy List: Random List #7

With the recently concluded Valentine’s Day, I know everyone’s still high in love and joy. I must admit I’m one of those who still carry all the good vibes from the weekend with them up until this Thursday. It’s so good a feeling! :) This electric happiness is probably what also gave way to me suddenly having an urge to immortalize some cheerful things through writing. Also, while I want to talk about what that took place that solid day, I don't feel like going into so much details as well, so I’ll just use some numbers here to share bits about it.
  1. Valentine’s Day! Thankful as always that it keeps on getting better and better every year! This time it was basically composed of a simple rooftop dinner date with takeouts. Did everything turn out entirely the way it should be? No. Was it less perfect? Definitely not. It was way better
  2. And then, like having intertwined brains, the boyf and I happened to coincidentally surprise each other with homemade desserts, literal sweetness overload as millennials would like to call it
  3. Bouquet of flowers because bouquet of frigging flowers!!! *insert heart-shaped eyes here*
  4. Mom’s cute Valentine gift, a different kind of sweet :)
  5. My social life coming to life in the form of UPLB Feb Fair 2016 where I was able to sing, dance, stroll, and laugh the night away. I got to reunite and catch up with my kapatid, Julie, too. It was like college all over again, this thing that has become our tradition, sort of
  6. Having my appetite back (sans the bloated-ness that resulted from enjoying its being back so much)
  7. Hair treatments/pamper days
  8. Justin Bieber’s recent live performances on YouTube
  9. Three novels I’ve read since January (excited for more)
  10. Random hangouts at home
  11. If we’re talking about checking out something that shocked me, it’s definitely Making A Murderer Season 1

It would be really cool if everyday would feel like Valentine’s Day, so let’s try! :) 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by JANDY NELSON

Twins Jude and Noah lost bearings on their fraternal connection the moment they thought they destroyed each other’s lives. Young and reckless, they did stupid things that distanced themselves from each other with their secrets kept away to just themselves as well. While art would find a way to set them apart and reunite them, so will the revelations of their secrets when they come undone with the help of the new people in their lives.  
When twins are separated, their spirits steal away to find the other.

A story about family, love and the coming of age, I’ll Give You The Sun is an all-in-one heartwarming read that would very well be interesting and insightful for all ages, from teens to young adults to adults. It is in more aspects than one a moving story.

There was that sensitive issue of homosexuality too. It was rather extra sensitive and more complicated since it was taken from a teenager’s point of view. It was a beautiful part and definitely one of the highlights of the novel with a very eye-opening and dramatic storytelling.

Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people. – Jude

I’ll Give You The Sun was so descriptive. It was fascinatingly made up of concrete and abstract at the same time. There were mentions of natural elements, biblical notions, superstitious beliefs, earth colors, and art forms. There was so much of these things that they sometimes felt weird, but they served their purpose well. There were parts left to the imagination while there were also things discussed in utter detail when it comes to representation. They were all a part of the story and were truly connecting with the characters’ back stories.

I would say I enjoyed how this novel was more dramatic than romantic. This one, though it didn’t make me cry, was undeniably good. The emotions felt real, too real actually. A lot of things also happened here that kept the story moving. Though it was sometimes back and forth, but still, it was always moving.

Mothers are the parachutes.

Furthermore, despite having a very specific story, it felt as though it was very easy for any reader to identify with the characters or think of something that may somehow be similar to the plot situation.

For me, what was so amazing about this book was how the narration managed to still be gravely serious and profound while also using the voices of teenagers. This was I guess where the power and depth of the story came from. And now that I think about it, this isn’t the first book I read that used this storytelling approach.  

After reading I’ll Give You The Sun, I realized this is either a reflection or an invitation for reflection for anyone reading to evaluate or re-evaluate how he/she is doing in life, with the family, with the self. There are a lot of lessons to be extracted from Noah, Jude, Brian, Guillermo, and Dianna. Additionally, the point is, this book is an explanation as to why people do what they do, and in every way, how people are given another chance.

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://jandynelson.com/

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