Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Crazy Idea of a Story Hits My Mind

Few months ago, I think after or before December 2010, I was sitting in front on my laptop scrolling through Facebook. I was just so bored that time and want to sleep. Since my desk is directly beside my window, I tend to always look outside. I can see my community and the a mountain range far from me.

I was just imagining this then it hits me. IT was just flashes of photos of events. Like that my brain is uploading photos. It is a battle of human vs ???. Then afterwards, I realized that the photos are like an ending of a story. I didn't bother to think about it a lot of times, but whenever I'm bored, the story is actually growing. More flashes of images and the beginning also hits me.

I don't know what that meant. A novel idea? I don't thin so, but what if it is? I'm not sure if I'm going to write it. I'm not good at that skill/talent. It was just a sort of entertainment for me while I'm bored.

I really don't know what it meant.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Trailer

The trailer is so...intense! I need to watch this. So here's the trailer for you!


Becoming Jane: Jane Austen's Life


This is not a review. This post is mainly about things I want to say about Jane Austen's life, the movie and the inspiration.

So yeah, I recently watched Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway (my crush actually, HA!) and James McAvoy. The movie mostly revolved in the love life of Ms. Austen with Tom Lefroy.

I am very proud of Jane Austen, though we not share the same ethnicity, I'm still proud of her. She define love that it should have affection. Yes that's true. Mostly now, there are many couples who only explore the bodies and not the real feelings for each other. Feelings is what we need to fuel our relationships. Not the body of our mate.

Soon, she fell in love with a lawyer with bad reputation, Tom Lefroy. Anna and James have real chemistry in this movie. They should do more movies together. Back to Ms. Austen, after so much years of no love, she first felt it with Tom. They became so much in love but struggles are always on their way.

Jane sacrifices so much, even love. She knew that Tom supports his family and with her, he will not be able to do it at the same time. Though Tom said that he can still support them, Jane leaves him broken hearted.

I actually have tears in my eyes when I was watching the part when she sacrificed. She is willing to give up all. That's one thing I learned from her, to sacrifice if needed and not just think about yourself.

After several years, they met again but Tom already have a daughter. But even though, they show that they still love each other.

I recommend you to watch it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins



Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.



I will say that I like Catching fire more than The Hunger Games because of several reasons. But for some reason, I didn't feel the tense in my nerves during the action scenes. Unlike when I'm reading the The Hunger Games which actually brought goosebumps and etc to me.


We dig much deeper to the personality of Katniss in this book. We see several characteristics of her that we didn't saw in the previous novel. Sometimes, I'm irritated that Katniss always want to be informed. Yes, that's not bad because they should be in a plan. But when she realized she was not informed of a plan. She got easily angry and doesn't accept any explanations. That's the only thing I don't want about Katniss personality. We should learn that some people sacrifice trust for our good. Yeah man! :) 


I know you knew this. The book is more on story, less dialog. Well, it's necessary because the book is like an action scenes. And you cannot describe it by dialog. Though you can, narrating it is much better. One of the consequences of more story-less dialog is that we can't see the other characters. We depend on how they interact to our main character to know their personality. BUT, in this book, Collins still give us the basic personalities of the other characters. We see the true Gale. How dedicated and brave he is. We see Haymitch that even being a drunkard still have strong will in life. 


One of the reason why I really love this is the writing style of events. Not the style of narration but the style of the events. For example, you see a pen today, then in the future you realized that, that pen plays a great role for your survival. Those kinds of things. Clues are everywhere and they were used during the game. I like those kinds of novel which you realized something helpful from the past.


Again, one thing I didn't like is the redundancy of some sentences in consecutive paragraphs. I don't see this as a spoiler but of you so then don't this sentence. There are these sentences "...I need to save Peeta..." "...my dying wish to save him..." that is always repeated. It's not bad to repeat them but the problem is, in consecutive paragraphs you can see them. For me, the redundancy is hard to ignore. I kind of like "again?" when I see repeating sentences. BUT that's for me. I know some of you didn't even noticed that, but if you do, you just ignored it. :)


So even there are things I don't like about the book, it's still better than the first novel. But for me just little a percentage. 


Next book to review is for Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Being a President of a Book Club in our School

I haven't posted anything for the past days. I'm reading Catching Fire and not done, yet. Due to academic reasons. :)

So I decided to do a book related post instead while I'm still finishing Catching Fire. At least, my blog will be updated.

Last year, our school have its own book club called Book Buddies. It is compose of 25 students from high school and is moderated by 2 librarians. I was voted to be the President. Unexpectedly. I don't know how to run a book club or whatever.

Mostly, we take care of the our school's library. Arrange the books, watch movies based on novels and a lot more. But being a president, it's not always fun. I join the club due to my passion of reading not due to personal interest to take the power of being a president.

I realized soon that not all those people who joined the club have a passion of reading. They mainly join us for grades only. They don't have interest in reading books or discussing them. So I felt hurt. I want them to leave the club soon but I can't because it's already in the middle of the year.

Next year, I'm expected to be the president, again. There will be no voting for new officers of the club. It is stated in the Book Buddies Constitution that when a third year high school was voted to be the president, he or she will took power to the succeeding year. And last year, I was a third year high school, so no chance for me to leave the hatred I feel.

But it's a time for a change now. I will create more book activities like story telling and watching movies of authors. I don't want then watching novel based movies anymore because they don't appreciate the book. It's time for them to realize the life of being an author and that they should never just ignore them.

I will also impost an admission guidelines for next year. If last year, all can enter the club, next year will be different. Only students that have TRUE passion for reading may join the club. I will not waste my last year in high school dealing with those kinds of people. Yes, it is harsh but it's needed.

With the experience, I learned one thing. Though you have the power over them, you can't still be happy.

So if any of who there have an idea for club activities or how the admission should run, please comment below and I will greatly appreciate it.

Thanks, watch out for my Catching Fire review.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Looking for Alaska by John Green


I don't know how to write a review on this kind of book. Well, yes it is a Young Adult but it is like a self-help, philosophical book. So I beg your forgiveness if this post will be much more like a personal understanding of the book's question than a review. :)

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave "the Great Perhaps" even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same




Did I just say book's question? Oh yes, the question the book branded in the reader's mind is: "How do I get out of this labyrinth of suffering!" 


Well, the book is like the other YA books out there. They have the same young characters. Love issues. Her-eyes-attract-me stories. They only differ on the kind of message they want to pass to the readers.


The writing is great. I made some huge laughs at nights that my father will knock angrily on my door saying "Can you shut your big mouth up!" But the jokes were hilarious, how do I will shut my mouth? As I read through the story, I experienced culture shock. I was knew to the real American culture and how they differ from the Philippine culture. Believe me but I never had the desire to read so mature contents. Although I knew about those kind of uhs, but I don't explore further. So I'm a bit shocked on what I'm reading. 


So about the question. The labyrinth is the representation of man's pain. So how do we get rid of that? That is the question that the characters what to find out. Meanwhile, you are also finding out your own answer. 


For me, pain is the result of our own action. Decisions we made can sometimes bring suffering as an add-on to the package. Most times, I make decisions with little thinking; so mostly I need to accept the consequences it brings. I'm making my own labyrinth. Extending it further. I cannot bring back time to change my decisions so I will not experience suffering but I can stop the extension of my labyrinth. How? By making right choices and thinking what would be the consequences might be. By that kind of action, I can walk through the painful labyrinth today and walk with less pain in the future.


I told you I'm not good at reviewing these kinds of books :) Peace! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins



Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

For some reason I don't read romance novels.  Short romance stories is acceptable but a novel, NO!  I'm tired of  they-met-each-other-and-they-are-now-in-a-relationship stories. The romance genre have repeated the concept of falling in love over and over again that it bores me.

Then people are freaking out to share their experience after reading Anna and the French Kiss. Well, I just say "They are girls, it's natural to them to giggle and jerk while reading a SWEET romance novels." Did I said sweet? Is the novel sweet? I still don't want to read it. But I saw the vlog video of John Green about 8 things he loves. He loves Anna and the French Kiss. I think something is going on in this novel.

So I bought my copy and read it. And read it. And read it. And read it. Okay, do the book comes with an adhesive to stick on your hands all day? Yes, it is. Anna and the French Kiss has this spell that when you started reading it, you will not stop. I can still remember the time I finished the book: 5:11AM.

The characters are SO good. You can feel them that they are real and not just written words on a page. Well, though I cannot relate to Anna, or their friend-group, there is this feeling that I enjoy being with their group.  Ms. Perkins created her characters real by not making them perfect. Yes, the characters are not perfect. Let's take for example the guy, Etienne St. Clair. In most novels, this character will have almost all the perfectness in the world. BUT in Anna and the French Kiss, he have crooked teeth, short (poor I'm short too!) and this inability to make decisions. Anna is sometimes so dumb that I want myself to enter the book and knock her head and tell her, why don't you tell him? What are you waiting for? That makes the characters dimensional. Even the minors were given life in the novel. They develop in some ways during the timeline of the story.

I want the setting. Yes, it's also my dream to take my college at American University on Paris. I mean, all in one. One whole world in one city. When you study there, you have the atmosphere that will encourage you to study more. Just walks from your home, you're in Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and Seine river. The city is full of history, art, science and language. Perfectly fitting itself in the novel since the characters are students. 

I now know why the title is Anna and the French Kiss. I wondered if why didn't the author make the French Kiss, French Man? (Oh, St. Clair is not a french) or Anna in France? Well, of course, the kiss was the basis. In the book, the kissings are elaborated so if you don't like those scenes, just skip the pages. SEE, I'm not telling you NOT to read it because of the kissings, just skip the pages, because this book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 

The style of writing also contributed in the character of Anna and her relationship to readers. Ms. Perkins has the ultimate talent for style of writing I ever know, as of now! It feels like Anna is talking to you. It was like a diary, minus the dates and Dear Diary headings. It is like you are listening to her story instead of reading her story. I really adore the writing style! Really Really Really!

I'm kinda sad when I finished the book. Not because I'm not satisfied but because why good stories need to end. This should have a sequel. But I don't think making a sequel to this is good because all the nice happenings, sweetness, flaws and virtues were already given. So let's accept this. Let us leave Anna and Etienne to their new romantic life :)


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Angels and Demons


I just recently watched Angels and Demons. I'm really late because this film was released 2009 and look, it's 2011 now. But anyways, I think it's good to do a review of this movie since I like it.

The movie was about the attacked of an old Vatican enemy, the Illuminati. They kidnapped the four cardinals that is likely to be elected as the new pope and published a threat that they will be killed in the Path of Illumination. The Vatican the turns to Prof. Langdon, a symbol expert, to help them uncover the mystery together with Dr. Vetra. It then turned out that everything was plotted by 'men of God'.

First of all, I'm a Roman Catholic. I really like movies that feature the Vatican City since I like to visit it one day. I didn't take this movie/story as an attack to the religion which I think is good. It actually favors the side of the Catholic Church, but not so much.

You don't need too much brains to understand the movie. That's an advantage since we are not experts in symbols and church history (which makes the Da Vinci Code movie hard to understand). Everything was explained in the movie. When they are talking about a certain topic that you don't know, the characters give you a little background of it.

The computer effects are also great. The movie was not shot from Vatican City but in Sony Studios instead; since the Catholic church don't allow shootings at their facilities anymore. But watching the movie, you will really think that the whole set was shot from the real Vatican. Everything is detailed, the statues, the houses, even the St. Peter's Basilica. Well, I will tell you that my favorite part of the movie was the explosion of the anti-matter bomb. The effects are so real.

Acting of the actors are also great. I would like to commend Ewan McGregor, the camerlengo in the movie, for his acting. He can carry you in the movie. He can make you believe that he's innocent, the good guy which actually not the real him. Very great acting!

Overall, I will say the movie is great. It strengthen my faith to my own religion. It also convinced me to visit Vatican City someday. Which I promise myself I will do.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm BACK

After MONTHS of no communication to my blog due to hectic school schedule, I'm now coming back to book blogging :)

I will start reading again tomorrow. See yah!

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