BOOK: The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon


GOODREADS: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. My family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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Do not mistake me for being a realist or cold hearted. I’m not. I like reading love stories and happy endings. BUT christ, SPARE ME LOVE AT FIRST SIGHTS or INSTALOVE. Who believes in those shit? You meet a stalker and you let him hold you in the hand, not even an hour after bumping into the guy? Jeez. Call it attraction instead! Now that! – that’s possible! Lust too. You don’t just decide to spend the whole day and let that person tag a long.

But that’s not love! Love is knowing the person inside and out, loving all the flaws, all the horrible things and dark secrets the other person has – something you’ll discover, observe and experience through time. It’s not answering questions all day, having conversations with a stranger and trusting your whole life with that person so quickly!

We all have moments! The feeling of endorphins rising up, the feeling of excitement in getting to know someone, the jitters of ‘new’ love. but moments? moments pass. That’s not love.

How about the character of Natasha? Now her – she’s cold-hearted and so unattached with everything, every emotion and everyone else. She doesn’t believe in anything or anyone except Science. She relies on science to explain everything that’s been happening around her.

And Daniel? Gad. Sure, he is sweet and says all the right things a guy can say at the right time. But don’t you think he’s too much? He’s too emotional and passionate and he practically associates everything with fate and heart and feelings. HAHA. probably exactly how a poet should be characterized. But I wouldn’t want to date someone like him.

And let me just mention the Atty. He actually thinks he met Hannah too late? WHO DOES THAT? If you fuckin love your wife and kids, where would you even find the time to fall in love with someone else? What does he mean by he met hannah too late? Does it mean he regrets his life with his family? WHY? WHY? Stupid men who thinks they have multiple hearts, thinking they can love several women at the same time. just, assholes. Why don’t you just spend the time nurturing your relationship with your family? Make yourself deserving of your family!

What I do liked about this book is that there are snippets of chapters where you learn about trivial things such as Why Korean – American families typically own Black Hair Care stores in New York, Dark Matter, the grandfather paradox, the theory of multiverses and Scientific experiments too.

PLUS, Daniel’s monologue when he finally told Natasha that the Atty couldn’t do anything? It’s the best!

The book also tackles the struggles and the issues of undocumented immigrants, broken dreams, cultural diversions, parent’s expectations, hope, fate and relationships between family members.

  • COPACETIC – in excellent order
  • MUTABLE – liable to change
  • ERUDITE – showing great knowledge
  • Where did all those feelings go? People spend their whole lives looking for love. But how can you trust somethings that can end as suddenly as it begins?
  • All your future histories can be destroyed in a single moment.
  • Are we really supposed to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives?
  • Sometimes the truth can hurt more than you expect.
  • She smiles so big that I know that whatever happens will be worth it.
  • Who are we if not a product of our parents and their histories?
  • It’s not up to you to help other people fit you into a box.
  • Growing up and seeing your parent’s flaws is like losing your religion.
  • You are never out of options.
  • We think we want all the time in the world with the people we love, but maybe what we need is the opposite. Just a finite amount of time, so we still think the other person is interesting.
  • Some people exist in your life to make it better. Some people exist to make it worse.
  • They have a sense that the length of a day is mutable, and you can never see the end from the beginning. They have a sense that love changes all things all the time.

Overall, story narration is ‘kay. I like reading short chapters too. I just didn’t like the wholeness of the story. I would not recommend reading this book but I’d give Nicola Yoon another chance. I’m open to reading Everything, Everything. ❤

BOOK: Take the Lead by Betsy Myers


GOODREADS: “Why is it that some people challenge us and motivate us to rise to our best abilities, while others seem to drain our energy and spirit? What is that particular quality certain people have that causes those around them to engage fully and feel connected?”

SEVEN CORE IDEAS

  • We all skin our knees. What count is how we pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes and move forward.

  1. AUTHENTICITY
  • People who are authentic don’t feel the need to exaggerate their story to make themselves look better, or treat others poorly so they come out in top. People begin to be leaders at that moment when decide for themselves how to be.
  • Genuine leadership is what emerges when we are fully and freely ourselves.
  • People trust us when we are genuine – when we show up, not as who we think we should be, not who our parents and teachers, colleagues and bosses say we should be, but as who we really are.
  • We are each born with our own internal compass, an innate sense that tells us if the direction we’re heading feels right. The most important feedback is that which comes from ourselves. Part of living an authentic life is learning to trust that internal compass.
  • It is the duty of a leader to ensure that people are in the right seats – and on the right bus.
  • We continue discovering new things about ourselves throughout our lives and careers, and sometimes a situation that felt right for us at one point starts feeling like it’s no longer a fit. Sometimes we need to be open to a change in plans and give ourselves permission to change direction.
  • We each have the power to determine or change our roles in both our personal and professional lives.

2. CONNECTION

  • Sometimes when people are unhappy at work, it’s because they are in an environment where they don’t feel connected. They don’t feel they belong there, that their contribution matters or that they are valued as part of the team.
  • No matter how good you are at your work, if you don’t have good relationships with your colleagues, it may not have the impact or support it should.
  • Conversations are opportunities to learn more about the person, share something about yourselves and discover things we may have in common.
  • A shared sense of story brings about a shared sense of purpose, and it is from there that the force for a true movement is born.
  • We walk through so many other people’s lives and often don’t know the lasting impact we have.
  • The two keys for genuine conversation are the curiosity to ask questions about the other person and the generosity to share something about yourself.
  • Look for opportunities for people to meet informally, share personal stories and build relationships.

3. RESPECT

  • Making the effort to notice – opening your eyes and seeing the people around you, taking the time to talk with them and become conscious of what’s going on in their lives.
  • People want to feel that their voice matters. Effective leadership takes the time and care to listen and make sure people feel truly heard.
  • Respect means being willing to listen and let others have their voice, even when it might be inconvenient, difficult or painful to do so. This doesn’t mean we have to agree with another’s decision. It simply means being willing to listen & appreciate people for their unique perspective.
  • You have to listen and gain their trust before you can even have a conversation. You can disagree honorably once you have trust in the relationship.
  • Sometimes sharing an observation or a bit of feedback can be tremendously helpful.
  • The way we communicate and frame an issue and our awareness of the timing and context, can make all the difference in how we are heard and what results we get.
  • It’s not about ego and it’s not about who had the idea in the first place, it’s thinking strategically about who is the best person to get the job done.

4. CLARITY

  • Every organization must have a larger purpose and part of any leader’s success is the ability to communicate that purpose with vivid clarity so that it can be passed from person to person within the organization.
  • As important as what we did were the things we chose not to do
  • Less is more: instead of trying to do a bunch of different things everyday, do one thing at a time.
  • What makes a leader effective is the ability to help people become clear about which tasks are essential to the goal.
  • Informed people feel secure. People will pull together, if they all understand what’s going on and what’s at stake.
  • The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right.
  • It is easy to make assumptions about other people’s expectations, about what matters to them or what makes them feel appreciated. The only reliable way to gain that clarity is to ask.
  • Leadership is not about having all the answers, it is about asking the questions. The clarity comes from listening to the people in the field.

5. COLLABORATION

  • Effective leadership is about inclusion. People feel they are integral part of the larger process.
  • An effective leader then clearly communicates that decision is out to the troops, including what the decision is, why it was made, and what it means to the organization and to each individual involved.
  • A key ingredient in creating true collaboration is becoming aware of our assumptions and learning to challenge them.
  • If you aren’t willing to hear another point of view, how do you grow?

6. LEARNING

  • My curiosity fueled my life long learning.
  • The capacity to engage others – which is all about listening. Second, hard work and discipline and determination to keep at it and keep showing up.
  • Leaders learn is to get outside the bubble of their own experience or comfort zone and discover what is happening in the lives of people around them.
  • Effective leaders believe that their people have valuable perspective, insights and information.
  • Every leader should be willing to sit down with his team and ask them, what are we doing right? what are we doing wrong? what behaviors need to change?

7. COURAGE

  • Leaders are not necessarily fearless, but they are people who have learned how to confront and push through their fears.
  • Courage is about pushing through our fears.
  • We gain strength, and courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. We must do that which we think we cannot.
  • It is when we push through our fear t stretch and grow that we gain confidence.
  • The greatest act of courage is to follow your heart and do the right thing even if it isn’t popular.
  • Sometimes you have to make decisions not everyone is going to be comfortable with. You have to focus on what you are trying to accomplish, with as much respect and care as you can for everyone involve. But you can’t let that stop you from what needs to be done. Leadership takes courage – but courage without being reckless.
  • Courage is a matter of speaking up and giving voice to an uncomfortable truth.
  • Often, once you summon the courage to take this step, it turns out to open up wonderful new possibilities that otherwise might have remained closed or hidden.

BOOK: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher


GOODREADS: Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him. But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.

HOLY SHIT. If you are looking for something like Gone Girl, this is it. It’s on some next level shit. I couldn’t put it down. Once I’ve decided to take a rest from reading, the end of the chapter just reels you back in.

The plot twists is mind blowing! like, HOW? I started this book with pity for Thursday for being stuck in a polygamist marriage then I moved on to annoyance of how she ever willingly said yes to this agreement and somehow understanding of how it turned her to be a stalker and quite obsessed with the other wives.

But then, here comes Seth with his charming antics and very sweet gestures only to be lured to his other personality as what Thursday believed him to be, – a man living with so much lies with a temper. Throw in a bitter ex-wife with her four inch heels, a successful job and a poise and class to match, a practiced liar and an opportunist, who finds herself in a situation to take revenge on the slut that ruined her marriage.

  • That’s how women are, right? Always wondering about each other – curiosity and spite curdling together in little emotional puddles. If you wonder too hard, you’ll get everything wrong.
  • No one tries that hard to keep their husband unless they’ve already lost him.
  • The truth is that the heart’s desire is a mere current against the tide of nurture and nature. You can spend your whole life swimming against it and eventually you’ll get tired and the current of genes and upbringing will put you under.
  • You don’t have to give up something you love just because other people disapprove.
  • That’s what love is about right? Working with what your partner came with.
  • A relationship can withstand almost any trial if the sex was good.
  • It’s amazing how once you open a door for something, there’s o going back. All you can do is brace yourself as you get sucked in.
  • We’re all just waiting for someone to stand behind us, aren’t we? Even if it’s just one person, it gives you strength.
  • I was overcame with love – pressing, pressing, pressing my feelings down to accommodate him. Isn’t that what we do as women?
  • Women are stuck in a cycle of insecurity perpetuated by the way men treat them and we are constantly fighting to prove to them our value.
  • We see each other often, but no one really knows what’s happening behind everyone’s eyes.
  • We busy ourselves trying not to be lonely, trying to find purpose in careers, and lovers and children, but any moment, those feelings we work so hard to possess could easily be taken from us.

This is all so confusing! There’s way too many plot twist and mind games! I LOVE THE BOOK. This reminds me of Verity by CHoover. ❤ ❤

BOOK: Risk to Succeed by Ricky Cohen (Essential Lessons for Discovering your Unique Talents & Finding Success)


GOODREADS: From Ricky Cohen, educator, entrepreneur, and renowned CEO of The Conway Organization, comes an inspiring new business parable for our unprecedented times. It is the story of a young elephant named Bella who is not content to move with the herd. She longs to venture out on her own. Searching. Exploring. Making her way in the world. Soon she forms an unlikely friendship with a colorful butterfly named Cee, who teaches Bella the importance of taking risks and other essential lessons–timeless “laws of the jungle” that you can apply to every aspect of your life:

Absolutely no idea that this book is a parable!! And okay, first I thought it’s going to be boring. I don’t have anything against an elephant but really? An elephant and a butterfly? C’mon! Right? But to my surprise, I finished the book in 2 hours! (But hey, even if it was only 105 pages in total, still!)

  • The power of the mind has replaced physical strength and is quickly replacing natural resources as the world’s currency – the most resilient tool to ensure influence and success.
  • Your will establishes your reality. A will-driven reality will be even greater than the dream within which it was conceived.

THE FOUNDATION

  1. Commitment – The noteworthy things in life demands an ever growing, reative and intense commitment.
  2. ‘I come first’ – Life is about putting yourself first and putting your overwhelming efforts into, and your focus on, your well being and success.. When you have a true love of self and focus primarily on your own needs, you will have greater ability to give to others.
  3. The world was created for me – Empowering yourself wth this perspective each morning will provide you with a competitive advantage over those around you.
  4. I am unconditionally great – Whether you accomplish heroically or minimally, whether you excel as a student or business person or are somewhat average – or even if you fail, you are unconditionally great. I am great, simply because I am. Greatness doesn’t mean perfection, but it does mean an unparalleled and extraordinary existence.

THE PARABLE

  • Life begins with courage. The courage to question and the courage to look inside – are the first steps to reveal your unique place in the jungle.
  • Life’s direction comes when you reveal your passion, acknowledge your strengths and understand your needs.
  • We must bring on the new day and all of its opportunities. We don’t wait for the day to come upon us.

REVEALING YOUR PASSION

  1. If you could choose to pursue any career at all, what would it be? If you didn’t have to worry about what anyone expected of you? If you were guaranteed all the food and protection you would ever need? If you could venture to a place no one has before or do what no one has, what would you choose to do?
  2. When you imagine yourself living true to your passion, how does that make you feel? Are you inspired? Do you feel empowered, proud and energized? Are you afraid to fail and at the same time, afraid you may succeed?
  3. The Mirror Test – Describe your desired path in front of a mirror and describe how a day in that life would look and feel. Watch intently on your tone, body and facial expression.
  4. What would make you excited to get up in the morning, have you impatien to begin your day? What would raise your spirit if there was no one to please, no demands, no worries?

ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR STRENGTHS

  1. Identify your natural strengths, the skills that come easily to you and may not come as easily to others.
  2. You’ve been given certain strengths, natural skills, and capabilities to enable your true interests to be realized.

IDENTIFYING YOUR NEEDS

  1. You must listen to the voices inside of you and describe the environment that words best for you.
  2. Are there certain situations you will avoid at all costs and others you look forward to attempting?

SEE AND KNOW

  • Reaching intellectually and emotionally stretching your mind and imagination, allows you to see and understand things that you’ve never envisioned before.
  • Taking risks enables life’s journey and possibilities. At times, you will be afraid at the point of crying. Fairly often, you will doubt all that you had begun to do and be angry at those who encouraged you. When this happens, don’t get discouraged. Know that you are on the right course and that you have begun to build your life. If you fail, If you can’t reach or stretch – if you can’ create the tensions, fear and anxiety of growth in your life – you will shut the door to the best opportunities of your life.
  • Many beings spend their lifetimes all over this planer having never truly succeeded, having never ventured beyond themselves to become themselves.
  • True hell is about watching what was – versus what could have been – with no ability to change it.

EXECUTE

  • Put together a timeline of success – an action plan that lists in detail your immediate goals.
  • Connect with a success partner – someone who understands you well, be your mentor and your conscience.
  • Dedicate at least five hours a week to living what you want most. Life will reward your courage and perseverance an the balance will shift in the direction of what you were truly built to do.

SHED AND SAVE

  • Code of Liberation – When you fail, forgive yourself quickly. Shed the pain and the guilt attached to the failure, shed the experience from your mind, and save the lessons to use in building something greater than before.
  • Fail in front of all whom you love and become free. A public figure forces you to stand unprotected, in front of every creature and to understand that the only thing to be afraid of in life is the failure to try, not the failure of trying.

LEARN TO LEARN

  • Learn to anticipate bumps and shifts in the direction of things. The nly way to do that is to constantly learn and grow through new ideas. You must read things that challenge and expand all that you know.
  • When you learn something new everyday, you’ll be open, wondrous, curious. You’ll be where you need to be when a curve ball comes your way.

JUSTICE

  • A creature must reach out, find other creatures in pain and do something to help remove that pain.
  • It’s essential in life to find a way to give to others and the one who benefits most is the giver. You must be involved in something outside your career that will enrich he lives of others. The more you give to others, the more you give to yourself.

CEE THE BUTTERFLY

  • Believe in life, always. Life is overwhelmingly goood. It is overwhelmingly kind and generous. Be thrilled about what life has given to you and confident about what it has in store for you.
  • Smile. There will be tears in life but try to smile your way through your tears whenever you can.
  • Retire Never. Never stop challenging life in each of the key areas. Life is about living, not retiring. Never stop expressing your uniqueness. Never stop revealing your excellence and chasing it – whatever it is and wherever it takes you. Live fully and intensely – until you die.

 

Basically, cee accompanies bella through her self discovery and teaching her basic life lessons along the way. There’s way too many things we can learn from cee the butterfly and I’m glad I didn’t close the book just yet at the start of the parable.

I just hope I can learn and put this to practice!

EVERYDAY: Big Bad Wolf 2020


I have been meaning to go for the longest time! The BBW already visited the Philippines for a total of 5 times, even going all the way to Davao and Cebu. But this is my first time. ❤

It’s really good that they are fostering the habit of reading by allowing people to purchase books for a much lower price compared to established bookstores.

The Sale ran from February 14 until 24 and is open 24 hours. Imagine that! We went to the BBW Sale on its last day, Feb 24 around 2:00 pm and we finished about 4:30 pm. Also, they don’t have an entrance fee! 🙂

They have different sections such as; Business/Economics, Romance, Young Adult, Coloring Book,Activity Books, Religion, Self-Help, Crime/Thriller, Graphic Novel and Science Fiction.

I chose 11 books but we only bought 7! It’s also nice to set a specific budget because it can be a bit overwhelming! The 11 books that we chose:

  • World’s Greatest Idea
  • Secret Religions
  • 12 years a slave
  • Quench your own thirst
  • Risk to Succeed
  • Take the lead
  • Edge
  • Things I wish I’d known
  • The wisdom of Groundhog Day
  • How we got to Now
  • Likeable Business

From the books that I’ve seen, the prices are at Php 190, 230 and 290 only. What a catch! And Tip? To help you sort and filter, search for the books first. There are hundreds of reviews for each book available on the web.

The husband ended up buying Secret Religions, World’s Greatest Idea and 12 years a Slave.

I, on the other hand did not really look into YA and Fiction since I can look them up online and download them. Instead, I focused on Self Help, Business books I can keep eventually. I bought Edge, Quench your own thirst, Risk to Succeed and Take the Lead.

I’m so happy. Hope to be able to attend the succeeding BBW Sale here in Manila. Thank you hubby for taking me. ❤

BOOK: Normal People by Sally Rooney


GOODREADS: At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. 

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Reading the book was quite exhausting. The love story of Marianne and Connell was tiring but the book carefully dissects the character of both. Communication in a world full of judgement and people acting cool and the contest between who can care less and invests no feelings in the relationship is lonely. Both of them obviously have feelings toward another but not being able to tell it directly makes them go in continuous circle.

Both characters have complex personalities but the way they think is so raw and real and exactly what happens every single day. But as you continue to read the book, you’ll watch how the characters develop and learn more about themselves, embrace them and finally be comfortable in their own skin (without having to think about what other people would think)

  • Don’t delude yourself. I have nothing to learn from you.
  • Everyone has to pretend not to notice that their social lives are arranged hierarchically, with certain people at the top, some jostling at mid-level, and others lower down.
  • ‘People in school don’t lie her, do they? So I suppose you were afraid of what they would say about you, if they found out.’
  • It’s easy for them to have opinions, and to express them with confidence. They don’t worry about appearing ignorant or conceited.
  • He knew then that the secret for which he had sacrificed his own happiness and the happiness f another person had been trivial all along, and worthless. He and Marianne could have walked down the school corridors hand in hand, and with what consequence? Nothing really. No one cared.
  • I suppose I didn’t want you to think I was damaged or something.
  • There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
  • Is the world such an evil place, that love should be indistinguishable?
  • Life is the thing you bring with you inside your own head.
  • She feels pleasurably crushed under the weight of his power over her, the vast ecstatic depth of her will to please him.
  • She is an abyss that he can reach into, an empty space for him to fill.
  • I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I cared what people thought of me.

What they have now, they can never have back again.. But for her the pain of  loneliness will be nothing to the pain that she used to feel, of being unworthy. He brought her goodness like a gift and now it belongs to her. Meanwhile his life opens out before him in all directions at once. They’ve done a lot of good for each other. Really, she thinks really. People can really change one another.

‘You should go’. she says. I’ll always be here. You know that.

BOOK: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


GOODREADS: Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge. KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend. LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it. MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him. None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

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Three individuals with absolutely different personalities, status, friends and life comes together to plot a revenge. And if you’re in High School and hated the cool crowd wanting revenge, then this is for you. Although revenge is not encouraged, I understand where all the girls are coming from. However, I feel so bad for those on the receiving end. I think, they all just need communication. (well, for Alex). The book gives us 3 POV too. The writing is cohesive unlike what I have expected when there are 2 authors.

 

Honestly, I wasn’t inclined to finish the book. The story did not resonate to me so much that I’d feel the need to follow the lives of these three girls. But of all the three, I think I’m more of a Lilia. I was quite disappointed though. I love her Summer Trilogy and is still one of my favorites so I had pretty high expectation. I think I would have enjoyed this if it were a movie, not a book.

BOOK: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


GOODREADS: A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. As he sits by the pond behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A book run by imagination. Quite not sure which part may be a product of the boy’s imagination or a reality in another world. Author takes us to a world filled with adventures, fantasy, magic, monsters, shadows, shape shifters, creatures and powerful beings.

As young as he was, he encountered 3 powerful generations of Hempstocks bound to protect him from the world he has no idea of. He encountered monsters in the form of a human being, creatures he was not aware of and through this process, he slowly overcomes his fears.

I think the monsters that started this story is the darkness that lives within all of us, greed. The depicted monster in the story thought she was giving the people what they want – which is MONEY. And what a good way to unleash the evilness than to shower a person with money?

  • Books were safer than other people.
  • Small children believe in themselves to be gods, or some of them do, and they can only be satisfied when the rest of the world goes along with their way of seeing things.
  • Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands. perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.
  • I took so many cues from books. They taught me most of what I knew about what people did., about how to behave. They were my teachers and my advisers.
  • Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true for everybody.
  • Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.
  • Grown ups don’t look like grown ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.
  • ‘It won’t hurt’. Adults only ever said that when it, whatever it happened to be, was going to hurt so much.
  • I couldn’t get you to the ocean. But there was nothing stopping me bringing the ocean to you.
  • Nothing’s ever the same. Be it a second later or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. and people change as much as the ocean.
  • A story only matters, I suspect to the extent that the people in the story change.
  • Different people remember things differently.
  • Did I pass? ‘You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.’

To tell you the truth, I was dragging myself to finish this book as a challenge. It took me about 50 pages before I got hooked.

I have to confess. This is my first Gaiman book. But surely won’t be my last.

BOOK: Regretting you by Colleen Hoover


Goodreads: Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading Coho books. ❤ ever since I saw her post about working on this book, I’ve been reeling to get my hands on this!

The story of Morgan and Clara blends together so well. Two different individuals with two different personalities going through the same loss paired with confusion and lots of heartache. It’s like Coho gave us all three books in one. You’ll see a grieving wife and a sister who’s experiencing the worst betrayal but continues to fall in love and learns to put down her walls. You’ll see a teenage girl who’s grieving for her hero yet finds out one of the most painful secrets. You’ll see how the relationship of a mother and her daughter grows through life experiences.

”Everyone around me seems to have a purpose, yet I feel like I’ve reached the age of thirty four and have absolutely no life outside of Clara and Chris”. From this book, I think I appreciated my mother better. Morgan’s pent up feelings and issues of self doubt felt so painfully real. You’ll see how much mothers sacrifice for their children, putting their dreams and life to a pause or to a complete stop. I wonder if all mothers go through that? feeling like you have no life other than being a mother to your children and a wife to your husband. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong. But like Morgan, that’s one of my fears too. Coho illustrated it so well. I wish every mother knows how important they are and how respected, appreciated and loved they are.

It makes me wonder how a seemingly good husband seems to be perfect one time and hurts you so much without knowing it? How can anyone be perfectly good liars in front of your face? I hate that I liked Chris at first. ‘What if your future wife doesn’t like it?’ ‘ You won’t’.

I love the adoring banter between Miller and his gramps. Gramps is pretty witty himself. ❤ And the way Jonah freakin saves all the watermelon jolly ranchers ever since they were kids? GAH. And the way Miller has been stalking Clara for three years!! I want a promposal, just like that. ❤ ‘One of these days, that girl is gonna notice me. You just wait’. 😀 Plus miller named his truck Nora!!! The character Clara played in the theater. ❤

  • I wonder if humans are the only living creatures who feel hollow inside.
  • Sometimes when we’re alone, he looks at me in a way that makes me feel empty when he looks away.
  • His words jar me.
  • I love it when he smiles, even after all these years of marriage.
  • Sometimes you have to walk away from the fight in order to win it.
  • I guess that happends when you become a mother, though. Your focus is no longer on yourself.
  • Heartbreak builds character.
  • For some reason, sadness in music eases music eases the sadness in my soul. It’s like the worse the heartache in a song is, the better I feel.
  • I’ve believed in you the moment I met you. I believe in myself now that I’ve finally left you.
  • I think it’s time I figure out who I was meant to become before I started living my life for everyone else.
  • Everything you do is epic, Clara.
  • Grown ups might not have their shit figured out nay more than we do. They just wear more convincing masks.
  • I just love you because I can’t help it, and it feels good to love you.
  • Attraction isn’t something that only happens once, with one person. It’s part of what drives humans. Our attraction to each other, to art, to food, to entertainment. Attraction is fun. So when you decide to commit to someone, you aren’t saying, ‘I promise I’ll never be attracted to anyone else’. You’re saying, ‘I promise to commit to you, despite my potential future attraction to other people’.
  • Relationships are hard for that very reason. Your body and your heart don’t stop finding the beauty and the attraction in other people simply because you’ve made a commitment to one person. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re drawn to someone else, it’s up to you to remove yourself from that situation before it becomes too hard to fight.

I ache, I smiled, I teared up, I hurt. One morning when I was with my colleague buying breakfast, she looked at me worried asking if I’m okay because I was tearing up, and I only said, I’m reading. ❤ This is what Colleen does to me.

BOOK: P.S. I still love you by Jenny Han


GOODREADS: Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

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Before Valentine’s Day and the release of the second franchise, I finished reading this as part of my reading challenge. ❤

I understand the hype for the trilogy  and I have not exactly read the third book but I liked the first one better. It’s a pretty easy light read but PK is exhausting and this second installment confirmed that I’m team john. ❤

I am definitely shipping for LJ and John Ambrose Mc Laren!!!! Chemistry between the two is undeniable and simple. It’s easy with him. He’s romantic and ideal and perfect in a sense.

What I didn’t like about the book was One, how confusing LJ was. I hate that she’s hung up on PK but still sends all those mix signals to johnny. And Two, that this PK is always choosing his ex girlfriend Gen. He may not see it as picking his ex over his present and that he’s only there for her as a friend but he’s not fucking considering how his girlfriend would feel. Right? Right? ‘I’m only there for her as a friend’ is total BS.

BUT, there’s a lot of things I liked too. I loved that the story line maintained the snail mail. It’s part of the charm of this whole trilogy. The letters of LJ and Johnny. ❤ just ❤ ❤ I love the USO Party  and the dance and dressing up. I can just imagine Johnny in his military uniform stopping in the driveway in his jaguar. GAAAHH. ❤ I love the idea of the pin, of how it symbolizes commitment to a certain girl back in the day. I love the snowball gift of johnny. It reminds you of the moment they shared when they snuck out and played in the snow. ❤ I’m not being bias but shit. I love all the conversations of LJ and Johnny. I don’t mean to exaggerate but literally all of them. ❤ ‘Thank for the save’. – ‘Anytime’ with a big grin on his face as they drive away. ❤ I love how people from Johnny’s school knows about LJ. ❤ I love how Johnny said, ‘Do you want to build a Snowman?’ I love the relationship of the father to his three daughters. I loved the moment he said, ‘It pains me that you didn’t come to me when things were so hard for you at school.’ Sometimes, a parent tries so hard.

SPOILER ALERT: I hate that LJ chose to be with PK. I hate that Johnny was left hanging in the process. I hate that Johnny had to say, ‘Did I even have a shot?’ fuckin breaks my heart.

I also like to commend J.H. of how the relationship was portrayed in the story. It exposes the character’s flaws. The relationship was definitely far from perfect unlike others with all love-love-love. As you read through the book, you can see how the characters learn to be in a relationship and their growth as a person.

Book Highlights: 

  • You only know you can do something if you keep on doing it.
  • People say the absence makes the heart grow fonder. I say proximity makes the heart grow fonder.
  • The thrill of a boy putting his hands on you for the first time.
  • Johnny: That peanut butter chocolate cake you baked was the best I ever ate.
  • It’s the little things, the small efforts, that keep a relationship going.
  • So what would you have asked for if you won? Johnny: Your peanut butter chocolate cake. ❤
  • I deserve to be someone’s number one girl.
  • Stormy Moment: What will I do now that peter’s not my boyfriend anymore? You’ll just do what you did before he was your boyfriend. You’ll go about your day and you will miss him at first but over time, it will ease. It will lessen. All you need is time and you, little one, have all the time in the world.’ It’s true. Stormy’s right.
  • I didn’t know you could miss someone even more acutely when they’re only a few feet away.
  • It can be tough with best friendships. You’re both growing and changing, and it’s hard to grow and change at the same rate.
  • What’s the fun in anything if there aren’t a few roadblocks to spice things up?
  • Stormy: You have to let yourself be fully present in every moment. Just be awake for it.
  • I don’t think a girl ever gets over losing her mom. I’m an adult and it’s completely normal and expected for my mom to be dead but I still feel like an orphan sometimes.
  • When you lose someone and it hurts, that’s when you know the love was real.
  • Jung: the connection between two people that can’t be severed, even when love turns to hate.
  • People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world, they are everything. And then they are not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.
  • I know now that I don’t want to love or be loved in half measures. I want it all, and to have it all, you have to risk it all.
  • Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. Does it hurt? Sometimes. When you are real, you don’t mind being hurt.

Anddd, that’s it!! Can’t wait for Valentines!!! Noah is coming here. ❤

BOOK: Skylarks by Karen Gregory


Goodreads: Keep your head down and don’t borrow trouble is the motto Joni lives by, and so far it’s seen her family through some tough times. It’s not as if she has the power to change anything important anyway. Like Dad’s bad back, or the threat of losing their house. So when Annabel breezes into her life, Joni’s sure they’re destined to clash. Pretty, poised, privileged – the daughter of the richest family in town must have it easy. But sometimes you find a matching spirit where you least expect it. Sometimes love can defy difference. And sometimes life asks you to be bigger and braver 

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It’s refreshing to read something like this. First, this is my first book where the heroine are 2 lesbians. I’ve read a couple of colorful books but it usually features both males. The story also brings me back to a certain point in my life where I was Annabel. The book was really an eye opener.

I appreciate KG’s effort to talk about relevant issues such as poverty, different social classes, political activism and inequality in general. The conversation was not heavy yet you learn something from the daily life and financial struggles and issues that were raised through the character of Joni.

I loved how KG built the relationship of Joni and Annie where it was not rushed. As you go through the chapters, you witness how their relationship grows from acquaintance to colleagues to friends to something mutual to becoming special and until their I-love-yous. Unlike some YAs where they meet and they instantly fell in love. like, what? How did you even? Not . like . that. at. all. The build up was perfect.

Some daily life struggles of Joni:

  • Not wanting to enroll or take another class or attend a seminar because she worries she doesn’t have any smart clothes & it would also mean she needs a decent haircut which would also cost her.
  • Her everyday clothes are old compared to the other students.
  • She has to go to the library really early to do an assignment because her laptop is busted.
  • Worrying about whether her brother can attend the school trip — it would cost them money
  • She checks the price of every single thing and knows them by heart
  • Not being able to shop for your groceries without looking at the price tag
  • It’s a luxury to be able to eat and leave the dishes on the sink because someone is there to clean it up.

Some of the highlights from the book:

  • We all have less because they always have to keep grabbing at more.
  • What’s the point in always looking at what everyone else wants and wishing you had it? That never stops, does it? Someone’s always going to have a bigger house or a better car or whatever. It’s best not to ‘make waves’.
  • Sometimes I wish the most important part of the day was still those playtime, running and shouting, the playground hot under our feet and our futures not even thought of yet.
  • There’s all these expectations that you will do something incredible but it doesn’t actually matter if you do, because someone else is always more extraordinary than you.
  • Having money doesn’t mean life is easy.
  • Even when everything is about crap as it’s going to get, you still have to roll over and get your feet on the floor.
  • When you love someone, it’s an act of courage. You have to let yourself take chances.
  • Courage will find you in the choices you make, to keep fighting, especially when there’s no guarantees.

Overall, it’s a 3/5 for me. It’s an okay read but it’s not something I will reread willingly. Although I’m thinking if I should pick up her other book, Countless. Should I?

BOOK: 2020 Reading Challenge


Okay! So I read a total of 24 books last year.
With all that is happening last year, and being able to surpass my book count, I’d like to dare myself to follow a reading challenge this year.
2019 Books
I asked one of my colleagues, who also loves reading to choose a book for me. I gave her a list of 25 categories in which she would get to pick what book.
So aside from the books that I personally want to read, I’d like to follow the list below:
1. Book becoming a movie in 2020 – P.S. I still love you by Jenny Han
2. Goodreads Winner in 2019 – The testaments by Margaret Atwood
3. Less than 200 pages – The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
4. By an Author of Color – The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon
5. A love story – Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
6. Title with 5 words or More – Dear Heart, I hate you
7. More than 400 pages – Girl in Pieces by  Kathleen Gasgow
8. Famous Author you’ve never read – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
9. Set in Asia – Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
10. Reread a Childhood Favorite – A light in the Attic
11. Genre you don’t usually read – Carrie by Stephen King
12. A book everyone is talking about – A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin
13. Recommended by a family member – Normal People by Sally Rooney
14. About a Controversial Topic – Forbidden by Tabitha
15. The next book in a series – This Girl by Colleen Hoover
16. Debut Novel – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
17. A book you haven’t read by an author you love – Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
18. With a color in the title  – Will Grayson, Will Grayson
19. A book about politics – Engines of Privilege 
20. By a Local Author – The woman who had two navels by Nick Joaquin
21. With two authors – Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
22. 2020 New Release – American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
23. A Book you saw someone reading – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
24. A Self Improvement book – The Subtle Art of not giving a fck 
Posting this here not only to share but my strategy to actually follow through. 😛
Currently, reading Skylarks now. After, will start with this challenge.
Mind sharing what you are reading now? ❤

BOOK: Truly, Widly, Deeply by Jenny Mclachlan


GOODREADS: Annie is starting college. She can’t wait. No more school, no more uniform, and no one telling her what to do. Freedom matters to Annie. She has cerebral palsy and she’s had to fight hard to get the world to see her for who she truly is. Then she meets Fab. He’s six foot two, Polish and a passionate believer in…well, just about everything, but most of all Annie and good old fashioned romance.

But then Annie finds herself falling for Fab. As things go deeply wrong, Annie realises that love can make you do wild, crazy things, and so she sets out to win his heart with a romantic gesture of truly epic proportions! 

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I have to be honest but I will have to give this book a rating of 2/5 not because of the story or the writing but because it’s a waste of book money or should I say there’s a million other books worthier than your penny. Don’t get me wrong the story is okay. It’s a light read but something I will not reread or recommend.

  • All the best, coolest things in life start with nausea.
  • When I read, my world gets bigger and better.
  • Weird is the new normal.
  • Losing your identity in a relationship is really creepy and controlling idea.
  • Annie Demos, will you be my girl?
  • I’m going to make us some toast, and then we’re going to eat the toast watching endless episodes of friends.
  • That’s what happens in a relationship. You might love it. You might hate it. But you’ll never know if you run away from what you’re feeling.
  • Fight the fear, beautiful girl!
  • Never regret something that makes you smile.
  • Maybe that’s why people swim in icy water or climb mountains. Just so they can experience a mind blowing cup of tea afterwards.
  • When people are determined to tell you that there is something wrong with you, then you have a choice – you can either give in and believe them or you fight them.

And, Holy Shit! I forgot! Have I mentioned that the characters are bookworms too? Like the type who argues on the theme of the story, the characters in the book, the motives of the people in the story, etc.  Plus, they mentioned friends!!!! ❤

I also love the big grand love gesture. ❤ Bringing the person that you love to something that you both share on a personal level? Something uncommon and something that only you two understands? That’s love. ❤

BOOK: A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole


GOODREADS: Nineteen-year-old Cromwell Dean is the rising star of electronic dance music. Thousands of people adore him. But no one knows him. No one sees the color of his heart. Bonnie Farraday lives for music. She lets every note into her heart, and she doesn’t understand how someone as talented as Cromwell can avoid doing the same. He’s hiding from his past, and she knows it. She tries to stay away from him, but something keeps calling her back.

The story, it’s beautiful. I just read Thousand Boy Kisses and thought that Ticole is somehow Coho. I loved it so I decided to test my new adoration and boy was I right! Now I just want to read more Ticole because I know it’ll be worth my time.

I love stories that teaches us something new. And in this book, I learned more about synesthesia. I learned about music and tempo and rhythm and classic music.

  • The idea of time, moving, us being useless to stop it.
  • Even if something makes you hate music, whatever it is can often be the catalyst for your next great work.
  • Manners cost nothing, son. Always be gracious with those who want to help.
  • EASTON to BONNIE: She’s good people. She’s my sister. But she’s more than that. She’s my best friend. Damn, she’s my compass. What the hell is the world without Bonnie? Because I will see you again. Look up, and I will always be there with you. And when it’s your time, I’ll be the one to come and get you.
  • I had made many wishes in my life, but Cromwell had been the wish that I never made.
  • Cromwell Dean was an enigma.
  • And like a forever raging sea, my heart never calmed.
  • Her laughter illuminated the room.
  • She was my silver.
  • Obstacles in life sometimes make you look at the world in ways you never did before.
  • Maybe you’re the guardian angel that has arrived to get her through all this.
  • She walked into my life like a tornado and knocked me on my ass. And I fell in love with her. Not just a little bit either. She became my whole world.
  • Cromwell Dean was my sun.
  • The girl, that with one single smile, still completely illuminated my world.

Let’s give Cromwell’s Father the credit he deserves. Yeah? First, he knew from the start that crom was not his son. But he gave him his unconditional love and unwavering support. He swallowed his pride and asked for the help of the person who got his wife pregnant. It must have been hard for him but for his son, he would do anything to achieve his full potential. Hands down.

And Cromwell? to hate his dad so much and blame him for robbing him off his childhood, lashing out and eventually finding out that your father has been killed? To think about the last things you said? That his father died not knowing that he appreciated all his efforts and that he also loved him back. That must have been difficult, the guilt eating you every single day and later finding out that he was not even your father? Whew.

I have to say that I admire how much Easton and Bonnie loved each other. The sibling love for each other is incomparable. The way they hold on to each other, the way they both get strength from each other and how they look out for each other. Wow. And this is ONE BIG SPOILER: Easton taking his own life and eventually saving the life of his twin sister for having a heart failure is BEYOND HEARTBREAKING. My mind is blown and heart is inconsolable.

The creativity, talent and passion in the whole book is truly felt. The lyrics of the song pierces the heart and stays there. The talent and their love for music is all consuming.

I have to say, now I am more freaking intrigued to read Ticole’s other books. ❤ ❤

BOOK: A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole


GOODREADS: One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.
A  seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation? Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.

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A heartbreaking story of a bestfriend turned to a lover story. It’s not about betrayal or cheating or losing that friendship. It’s more than that. I felt the pain and if I were Rune, I don’t think I would have survived that. :/

  • I always feel better when the light of my life sits beside me and talks to me some.
  • This life, well, it’s just a great big adventure while we have it. An adventure to enjoy and love with all of our heart before we go on to the greatest adventure of all.
  • Not just everyday kisses, but the special ones, the ones where my heart almost burst from my chest.
  • Poppymin! It means MY poppy. For infinity, forever and always. You’re my poppy. I had blinkers on to any other girl. I only saw Poppy. In my world, only she existed.
  • Maybe it was because sometimes all we get are moments. There are no do-overs, whatever happens in a moment defines life – perhaps it is life.
  • Because something so beautiful can never last forever, shouldn’t last forever. It stays for a brief moment in time to remind us how precious life is. Because something so completely perfect and special is destined to fade.
  • Maybe we’re like the cherry blossom, Rune. Like shooting stars. Maybe we loved too much too young and burned so bright that we had to fade out. Extreme beauty, quick death. We had this love long enough to teach us a lesson. To show us how capable of love we truly are.
  • Why does it take a life ending to learn how to cherish each day? Why must we wait until we run out of time to start to accomplish all that we dreamed, when once we had all the time in the world? Why don’t we look at the person we love the most like it’s the last time we will ever see them? Because if we did, life would be so vibrant. Life would be so truly and completely lived.
  • We should strive for all those precious breaths to be taken in as many precious moments we can squeeze in this short time on earth.
  • We all  have people who carry us through the worst times, the saddest times, the times that seem impossible to break free from. In one way or another, whether it’s through the Lord or a loved one or both, when we feel like we can’t walk on anymore, someone swoops in to help us, someone carries us through.
  • Rune gave Poppy her dream to be able to play in one of the biggest stage: I still wanted you to have this. To have known what this dream would feel like. I wanted you to have a chance in the spotlight. A spotlight that, in my opinion you deserve, not as the person I love most in the entire world but as the best cellist. Tonight, you have the stage, poppymin. I just wanted you to have this dream fulfilled. ❤ ❤
  • Poppy gave Rune back his passion to take photographs. She took him to see an exhibit of a famous photographer with pictures that changed the history of the world: A picture of Esther, his wife was included. It reads that even though the picture of his wife didn’t change the world, Esther changed his. ❤ ❤
  • Love was simply the tenacity to make sure that the other half of your heart knew he or she was adored in every way. In every minute of every day.
  • Poppymin, she was my cherry blossom. An unrivaled beauty, limited in its life. A beauty so extreme in its grace that it can’t last. It stays to enrich our lives, then drifts away in the wind. Never forgotten. Because it reminds us we must live. That life is fragile, yet in that fragility, there is strength. There is love. There is purpose. It reminds us that life is short, that our breaths are numbered and our destiny is fixed, regardless of how hard we fight. It reminds us not to waste a single second. Live hard, love harder. Chase dreams, seek adventures – capture moments. Live beautifully.
  • Rune on the Anniversary of Poppy’s death: lighted one thousand lanterns, where there kisses were written – to reach poppy in heaven. — You were enough to last a lifetime.

I love every chapter. I loved the whole book. They are so much in love. They were both pouring their selves to each other. It’s a bit dramatic but god, their acts of love, the theater and the exhibit? ❤ ❤ ❤ my heart on the floor. and the letter of Poppy? Bawling!