Tag Archives: book review

Fangirling Fangirl

Reading really does inspire writing. After months of not posting anything here, I thought I’d do a little entry just to get my mind out of the Technical Training program I am currently slogging my way through.

I’m currently reading – yes reading – Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. To anyone and everyone who has ever written or read FanFiction, I suggest you read Fangirl. I’m just on Chapter 5 and already I love this book. It’s a very light read, nothing fancy, nothing earth shattering, but amidst the sinkhole that is my existence right now, it’s a golden rope ladder that the Literature gods have sent down to give me hope.

Hello, Simon and Baz? Hit closer to home, why don’t you.

To say that I relate to the main character, Cath, is an understatement. It’s like looking at my younger self and cringing at all the self-conscious things I knew I did before. I want to take her up in my arms and tell her everything will be ok, that people won’t hurt her if she doesn’t let them. But I know she’d hate that, just like I’d roll my eyes at anyone who would have said the same to me back then. I’m still at the beginning stages of the book, and already it has gotten me typing away at my computer, itching to start writing again.

Alas, my work has kept me away from the Muses and drained whatever drive I have to create. Right now, I’m in Bataan doing the rounds as a Management Trainee and cramming all the knowledge I can into my already tired brain. At times like these, I cling to the old reliables when it comes to stress-management. TV Shows, reading… and beer. The last one is a new favorite. Who knew that a bitter malt drink made from fermented beans would calm me down?

I’m probably exaggerating my experience just to entertain myself. It’s really not all that bad. My current beau lives in Bataan and works in the same plant as I do so we finally get to see each other everyday. Downside? It’s perpetual #sepanx whenever I DON’T get to see him (working hours, after dinner, weekends, etc.). I can’t imagine how it’ll feel going back to Manila and having to settle for seeing him 1x or 2x a month. LDR, folks, it’s a killer.

It feels good to write again. Watching words come out on screen feels like coming home. I’m back to 15 year old me, carefree and bursting with ideas. Why do we write?, asked a Professor in Fangirl. To express ourselves, to explore new worlds, to hear the sound of our own voice? According to Cath… to disappear.

Advertisements

Unspoken Feelings and Untold Dangers – The Lynburn Legacy and Me – Book Review (2&3/50)

I hope you all bear with me as I’m doing my reviews a little off-sequence.

I found out about The Lynburn Legacy while I was doing research about one of my favorite authors, Sarah Rees Brennan. During the early 2000’s she was known as Maya, one of my favorite fanfiction writers. Since publishing her first book, The Demon’s Lexicon, she has gone on to pen numerous others – leaving her fanfiction writing behind.

The Lynburn Legacy is her 3rd saga following The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy and The Bane Chronicles.

The first book is Unspoken. It is about a young and vivacious journalist-to-be, Kami, who finds out that her imaginary friend isn’t so imaginary after all. Jared, the voice inside her head that has accompanied her growing up, suddenly appears at her school; his emergence coinciding with the return of the town’s most prominent family, the Lynburns. Needless to say, confusion is awry as Kami struggles to make sense of everything, especially who (or what) the Lynburns are.

Though I am not one for YA romance novels, I was intrigued by the new spin on mind-reading that this book introduces. No Bella Swan-like antics here. I was hooked from the start, itching to know the secret of the Lynburns. What’s up with the creepy decor? Is Ash, Jared’s cousin, really who he appears to be? Is Angela, Kami’s devastatingly beautiful but hopelessly lazy bestfriend, the best supporting character ever? Will they ever get around to actually studying? These questions, and more, plagued me and so I just had to finish the book.

While this may not be Brennan’s strongest writing, it’s a fun romp none-the-less. Compared with her Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy, though, I found this book a little on the dragging side. We were intentionally being kept in the dark for so much of the book to the point that there were times where I  was getting annoyed already. Being, admittedly, not a romance kind of gal, I had no interest in the love triangle. I was more into the dynamics among the supporting characters than the Ash-Kami-Jared thing. And knowing how well Sarah can pen a romance, I was sort of disappointed.

What I LOVED about this book was the unique twist on the mind-reading trope. Sarah wrote it in such a way that I wanted a not-so-imaginary friend of my very own. Issues with privacy aside, I would love to have someone who is there for me 24/7 and could relate 100% to what I’m feeling. And, of course, I’d reciprocate that support as well .Why can’t we all have mysterious mental links?

Unspoken’s sequel, Untold, follows the gang after a confrontation with one of the  heads of the Lynburn clan turned Sorry-in-the-Vale on its head. Since I don’t want to give too much away about the reveal in Book 1, I’ll just go on and talk about my feelings as I read this book.

Again, I wasn’t too sold on the whole romance angle – at least not the main romance. There’s a surprising secondary relationship in bloom that I ❤ so much. I’m trying not to post spoilers, so forgive my cryptic-ness.

Unlike Unspoken, Untold didn’t really keep me on the edge of my seat. For a lot of the book, I was quite bored, to be honest. Echoing the sentiments of other readers, I found the book to have too much brooding and angst and not enough action (something I enjoyed in Book 1). I’d say this book suffered from the ills of 2nd books, having the middle book just be a sort of introduction to the final action in the last installment, with little merit on its own.

But Sarah did hook me in the end with a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. Suffice it to say, I’ll be staying tuned to the 3 and final installment of the Lynburn Legacy.

Happy New Year! Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Book Review (1/50)

Happy New Year everyone! I wanted to kickstart 2014 with a new pet project and that is my “50 books in a year with accompanying review” project. Very self-explanatory title, I think. So, I thought to begin with the book that I started reading the day after Christmas and just finished roughly 5 hours ago. I don’t usually read that slowly (the book is only 200+ pages) but I wanted to savor the book very much.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (4/5 RATING)

I first heard about the book through a FullyBooked email newsletter (yes, those things are actually helpful!). The reason I wanted to read it was solely based on the fact that it was written by Mindy Kaling. She’s a brilliant writer/actor/comedian/awesome person who I learned about through her show The Mindy Project, though most people might know her from her stint on The Office (US).

I love The Mindy Project. Adore, obsessively watch, follow, like, approve, recommend, all that good stuff. It’s super funny and romantic at the same time. I love it for so many reasons that I won’t list them here because this is a book review and not a show review. You should still go watch it when it airs again!

The book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, is an autobiography of sorts. It regales the readers with Mindy’s experiences growing up as the child of immigrant parents and a struggling writer. No tear-jerking stories here, though, as every short anecdote is filled with the patent Mindy humor. From realizing she loved comedy more than having a clique, to finding herself in college and moving to NYC with her bestfriends, Mindy talks about her funny/awkward/life-changing experiences amidst other “listicles” that make you want to hang out with Ms. Kaling, maybe forever.

I devoured every single page of this book. Not only because it’s a lighthearted, witty and easy read but also because I saw so much of myself in Mindy (and so much of Mindy in me. I hope she doesn’t mind me talking about her like we’re BFFs. I hope she doesn’t mind me wishing for us to become BFFs). I’m not a comedy writer or a child of immigrants, but I feel like I relate to her on almost every level. We’re both a little quirky, a little awkward and a lot just plain confused at a lot of things. I also do Irish exits a lot and contemplate about how my funeral should be arranged.

Aside from our many similarities, I also enjoyed the book because it chronicles how Mindy pursued her passion for comedy and slowly (but surely) made her way to where she wanted to be, not too famous but just famous enough to be important. I found myself exclaiming, “You Go Girl!”, in my head many times throughout the book. She knew what she wanted and she went for it – awkward silences and social norms aside.

One part that I absolutely loved was a brief chapter about how she was treated by stylists. Now that she was somebody, Hollywood was determined to make her fit into the actress mold – a very small one where it’s a requisite that you’re a size zero-one. Mindy was having none of that. She embraced her own body and made Hollywood accept her for who she is, a real woman. Couture gowns made in only sample sizes? Nope, she’s having none of THAT. It’s very uplifting to read about someone like me navigate the waters of the world.

People 2011 – Mindy with fellow comedien Ellie Kemper

This is a book female teens and twenteens should go and read. Mindy is a role model for ambitious young women who want to carve out a little place in the world for themselves.