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

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

Monthly Wrap-Up: Misfit March

collagemars

Fact: I am in love with strangeness.

I am forever fascinated with all things weird mostly because I believe it is everywhere, in everyone.  Sometimes we’re so blinded by our mundane everydays that we fail to see an outrageously simple reality: There’s no one else like you in the world. All the sappy self-help books in the planet would tell you that despite all our similarities, every single one of us is unique.  These days I’ve been finding myself pausing a lot and just mulling over the gravity of that fact and letting it play carousels inside my head.

What makes you weird makes you extraordinary. Hot damn.

For March I have read six wonderful books featuring characters with varying levels of quirk; people who are, in many ways, different from the society or the world they live or grew up in, whether they meant to or not. People who never seemed to fit in or belong anywhere besides the shell of their own selves. People who have stories that transcend the bizaare, the macabre, the wildest of imaginations. People who defied to be forgotten by becoming one-of-a-kind—in good ways, in bad ways, in OMGWTF ways.

You and I, we are all misfits just wanting to find our places under the sun. Some of us find it in the hollows of the high school hierarchy, or a house full of strangers, or in the pursuit of possessing things. Some find it in letters from the future, or an imagined memory of a jungle several oceans away, or even just a place to safely dream of freedom.

Me? I find it in between the pages of books. Continue reading

A farewell to Angst

9917945Perfect is the fifth book I’ve read from Ellen Hopkins and if I’m going to be really honest, this is probably going to be my last.

No, the story didn’t suck. The characters were okay. The plot was fast-paced and the drama is, in classic Ellen Hopkin universe, irreverently honest.

I’ve always liked Ellen Hopkins because she approaches dark themes so headstrong and heartwrenching.Raw and brutal–that’s how I’d describe the way she tackles issues that most writers will not dare touch with a ten-feet pole. I liked that her stories always stand on the precipice of danger and how they always leave me distraught and disturbed. You see, it’s extremely important to me as a reader to be part of the world inside a book, but Perfect and its characters left me feeling somewhat cold and disconnected, and it’s not because I didn’t believe them–I just chose not to believe what they believe in. Continue reading

The one voyage that mattered

13642663I picked up Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early because it was the book of the month for January at my local Goodreads Book Club. I’ve been a lurker there for several years and this is the first time that I managed to actually follow through a read-along even if I still have a long way to go in actually participating in the discussion. I’m so glad I did, because honestly no book could’ve opened the year better than this. It’s five-stars fantastic.

Navigating Early introduced me to two of the most unforgettable literary characters I’ve read in a while: Jack, the aloof new boy at school, and Early, the eccentric loner. Both of them are so removed from the world they live in that they eventually were drawn towards each other, forming perhaps one of the most unexpected, yet extremely life-affirming friendships ever. Continue reading