Plot Twist: This blog isn’t dead yet.

My ability to procrastinate never fails to amaze me. 

I’m so incredibly good at forgetting priorities and even better at getting preoccupied with distractions and I swear on every poet that ever walked the earth that I am not proud of this.  I wish I have words for the intensity of shame I feel whenever I remember how long since I last wrote an entry, how grotesquely behind I am on my list of book reviews to draft, how I’ve somewhat lost my focus in getting through my reading plans for the year. I am my worst critic and I get so ruthless with myself sometimes that I feel unworthy of catching up and stealing the momentum back, of starting all over again.

Before my eyes, the months waltzed by to the tune of techno-grunge apathy, routines in pop ballad rhythm and anthems of neglect. August, September. I sing in high-pitched nothingness and the concerto of regrets wouldn’t stop replaying. October, November. A crisis of forgetfulness. December. Dear 2016, how the hell would I ever be ready for you?

I keep thinking: this blog deserves a better blogger.  Someone who actually writes book reviews instead of someone who writes about excuses for being unable to do so. Someone consistent, no matter how the world infinitely shows no mercy at shattering schedules to chaos, instead of someone who succumbs to assorted whims on a daily basis. Someone who just keeps going, instead of someone who just keeps going away.

But then there are days like this when I also think about how there are bigger, more urgent things than the torture of being a spectator to your own failure. I think:  what this blogs needs most of all is a resurrection.

I try to coax myself out of this self-induced amnesia to recall the heart of a phrase I have written so many years back. I don’t believe in epilogues because I don’t believe in things ending—everything is an introduction.

So even if the pain of self-scorn burns me raw, I return to the madness of the written word to remember why this is the kind of love I will never let go of: because the pages never runs out for a reader who keeps on reading. Because the ever-after is endless.

Because the fiction goes on forever.

 

The Reading Year so far

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So this is equal parts exhilirating and embarrasing because you know, reasons. 

Obviously, the first half of this year has been one big spectacular failure so far when it comes to keeping this blog active and consistent with reviews but the completely ironic silver-lining on this is the fact that I’m doing pretty serious damage on my TBR pile and zooming into my reading list in the speed of light. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little but seriously—2015 can possibly be my most productive year in reading yet. Continue reading

The time it takes to quit on a book

99DaysIf Stephen Chbosky wrote that we accept the love we think we deserve, is that also true for books? Do we read the books we think we deserve?

I don’t have a lot of complicated habits when it comes to reading but I try my damndest to stick with this one commitment: to finish every story that I have started.

Out of respect to the authors who have labored to produce their works, I feel compelled to at least read the book till the last page before I could pronounce any judgment on it. There are moments when some books make me want to yank my own hair out due to intense boredom: when plots seem to unnecessarily drag on for ages and ages and nothing really happens and you realize there are still 9873363820 more pages before you get to the end.  There are times when I stumble on the occasional misfortune of reading crap literature—when the plot is so convoluted and predictable and the characters drive me crazy with either a.) their mediocrity or b.) their stupidity or god forbid, c.) both.

And yet, I struggle through a thousand yawns and yikes just to make it to the epilogue. Mostly, I do this just so I can justify my dislike for the book. I strive through the agony of every chapter because I want to be able to confidently say that I have the right to say it sucked, that I gave it a chance and it didn’t redeem itself, that my patience as a reader is steadfast and that I am not eternally perched on my literary high horse of snootiness. Yup, I am conceited like that.

But what if you just can’t really go on anymore? Continue reading

Monthly Wrap-Up: Atta Girl! April

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If beauty is in the eye of the reader, what is your definition of an excellent heroine?

Is it someone with otherworldly charm that makes her an instant standout among the crowd? Or is it someone with superior intelligence and a natural talent for sass? Would it be someone who is as mysterious and profound as a wallflower? Or would she be fierce and fearless as a fighter? Is it someone with extraordinary kindness of heart or someone with an admirable sense of resilience against hardships? Is she noble and self-sacrificing for the sake of the ones she love or is she bravely pursuing independence because she appreciates her self-worth and her entitlement to freedom?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for years. Hence, I vowed to dedicate at least a month to celebrate the many types of young women in fiction—a hurrah for the heroines, because why not? And so I decided April would be the perfect time for this mission: when summer is at its zenith and the promise of hot heroines can set the whole world on fire.

Seven books later and this is the most important thing I learned: there is no such thing as a perfect heroine. Sometimes they are capable of being stuck-up, annoying, intimidating, conceited, distant, insecure, and unlikeable. But these flaws are important because it makes them real; it makes them representatives of our hurts, our dreams, and our passions. The best heroines are the ones that make us understand that no matter how ugly the world could be, there are still infinite ways of being beautiful, if only we search deeper than what meets the eye. Continue reading

Unreturned Books & Other Heartbreaks

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I. People do not know this, and I wish sometimes they would: that when I give or lend you a book, it means I have chiseled away a secret fragment of my heart and entrusted it in your hands; that when you fail or forget to return it to me, a part of me silently concedes to being incomplete forever. I’m a possessive bitch and I keep a record of things lost and gone. I have an inventory of faulty promises, of people who just suddenly forget to keep in touch for several years, of books that vanish into thin air. Continue reading

Liebster!

la1This is so grotesquely overdue but wonderful bloggers Primrose and Jillian have generously included me in their Liebster award nominations several weeks back and can I just weep in gratefulness because I’m far from worthy of this and asdfghjk why are you guys so kind? Thank you so much for thinking of this humble little blog in spite of its inconsistencies. I’m glad I have this platform to share some of my thoughts on books and reading and most of all, to give a shoutout to the list of book-bloggers I admire and that absolutely includes the both of you!

I’ve been seeing this Liebster stuff everywhere and it feels so encouraging to finally be part of a tradition, that lovely sense of belonging in a community. Whether you are part of this list or not, this is a tribute to all of us who are bound together by our appetite for life and good books.

(Yeah: I am 200% aware of how much I officially suck. Seriously, my procrastination skills and inherent cheesiness are off-the-charts and just ugh how are you guys still so nice to me despite my perpetual non-existence and all-around sappiness?) Continue reading