2017 LOOKBACK

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2017 was not THE year. I guess no year ever was yet.  It was not the year where #DreamsFulfilled happened which was my goal hashtag for 2017. It was not the year where I was able to achieve much or save much. It was actually a year that I lost a chunk of my savings. It was the year that was almost. I almost grasp my dream but then i was pulled back down by gravity. Almost, almost. But almost is never enough. However, for everything that 2017 was not, it still was a good year.

It was the year where I finally took a step forward (even if I went back and forth throughout the year). A step forward change. A step forward to becoming peace with myself. A step forward my goals. It was a step forward. It is a small step but it’s already a lot.

2017 was the year I bought my netbook and even though it runs in Celeron, i am still proud of myself that I was able to buy a working netbook. It’s a great milestone for me since I never spend money much (but I keep on losing it for some reason, prolly is food lol). But I bought my netbook in cash! It cost me Php13,000 which is a lot for me already.

2017 was also the year that I was able to read the most books. I have read around 170 books in total which was more that the number of books I have read all my life. It was a good year to get in touch with discovering my like for reading, writing, novels, and poetry. I discovered great authors and poets! ­čÖé

It was also the year where I started to really make effort in taking care of my physical appearance. I am not pretty nor did I became pretty after making effort. haha. But 2017 is the year where I started making effort in making me decent. haha. Before last year, I think I only bought clothes for myself around 5 times for my whole 23 years of existence. I never did like shopping. But last year, there’s a huge improvement. I spent money on clothes! Even though mostly are just tops, that’s a great achievement for me already. I also started spending money on beauty products, not make up per se, but like the products that will make your face clearer (though I haven’t found the right products for me yet). I will keep in trying stuff though til I found the one. I also purchased underarm laser diode treatment which helped me save a lot of tiring trips to the salon. It was also the year that I finally decided to get braces! and the year where I did a major change in my hair when I decided to have it digitally permed.

2017 was a year that my savings run stale. My savings were not much to begin with but last year it ran stale and most of the time I was dipping into my savings to cover my expenses. I got a lot of expenses. The netbook, the braces, all those clothes, the beauty products, the failed plane tickets, the failed unfortunate ForEx scam, etc. However, 2017 also taught me that saving is good but it does not have to be the only thing you do. 2017 taught me that it’s okay to spend as long as you enjoy what you bought and it will give you much more than its face value.

ONE IMPORTANT LESSON that 2017 taught me is that NOTHING COMES EASY. This lesson cost me a lot to learn, literally. So i was very into the easy, quick rich scheme. Like be a millionaire overnight type of thing. I lost money before investing in ventures or platforms that might make me more money but it was not until I lost Php 10,000 (approx $200) that woke me up from this belief. So I attended this Forex seminar. I was interested in learning Forex so this opportunity was hard to pass up. The speaker was good, really good that it convinced me to invest $10k right on the spot but then after the seminar, I checked the reviews and boom! I got dragged down to reality that I just lost my $10k to a scam. This time, I really learned my lesson “In life, what you really want will never come easy.”┬áYou must work hard and smart for the things you like to achieve.

2017 was a year of learning, of trying out new things, of downfall, of being able to let go. It was also the year of being able to dream, of trusting God, of taking a step forward. 2017 is an almost year. Hope 2018 will be THE YEAR!

 

2017 Book Summary List

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2017 has been a year with books by my side especially for the first three quarters of the yeaer. It’s like I am on an automatic mode wherein after finishing one book, I need to jump on the next one already. So presenting you guys the list of all the books I have read completely this year. This is literally just a list but if you have any questions or would like to ask anything re a specific book on the list, please feel free to contact me. I’ll probably do another post though of the books that were memorable to me for the year. ­čÖé

  1. The Player – Denise Grover Swank
  2. The Gambler – Denise Grover Swank
  3. Where Love Finds You – Marilyn Grey
  4. You’ve Got a Way With Me – Joanne Sawyer
  5. Let it Snow – John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
  6. Full Package – Lauren Blakely
  7. What’s Left of Us – Amanda Maxlyn
  8. The Billionaire Playboy – Christina Tetreault
  9. The Billionaire Princess – Christina Tetreault
  10. The Billionaire’s Best Friend – Christina Tetreault
  11. Bidding on the Billionaire – Christina Tetreault
  12. More than a Billionaire – Christina Tetreault
  13. My Hope Next Door – Tammy L. Gray
  14. Please, Boss: A Bad Boy Office Romance – Juliana Conners
  15. Something to Talk About – Elle James and Delilah Devlin
  16. Hello – Jamie Lee Scott
  17. Style – Jamie Lee Scott
  18. Mine – Jamie Lee Scott
  19. Laurel Heights Novels (Books 1-3) – Kate Perry
  20. What a Girl Wants – Kate Perry
  21. That Kind of Girl – Kate Perry
  22. Rules of Engagement – Kate Perry
  23. Some Boys – Patty Blount
  24. Millionaires of New York – Sandi Lynn
  25. The Negotiation – Sandi Lynn
  26. Forever Blank – Sandi Lynn
  27. Bossy – J.L. Beck
  28. Sleeping with the Opposition – J.K. Coi
  29. In Bed with the Competition – J.K. Coi
  30. In Bed with the Boss – Eden PRoctor
  31. It Must Be Love: A Mustang Prairie Romance – N.D. Jackson
  32. Lessons in Love – Emma Lee-Potter
  33. Forever Bluegrass Series (Books 1-5) – Kathleen Brooks
  34. Choose Me – Adele Hart
  35. Irresistible in Love – Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully
  36. Romancing the Fangirl – Ginny Sterling
  37. Then Came You: A Bradford Sisters Novella by Becky Wade
  38. Swinging at Love – Kendra C. Highley
  39. Five Ways to Fall – K.A. Tucker
  40. Down from the Clouds – Marilyn Grey
  41. Ten Tiny Breaths – K.A. Tucker
  42. A Lot Like Love – Kate Perry
  43. In her Wake – K.A. Tucker
  44. One Tiny Lie – K.A. Tucker
  45. He Will be my Ruin – K.A. Tucker
  46. Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
  47. Walking Disaster – Jamie McGuire
  48. Sweet Nothing – Jamie Mcguire and Teresa Mummert
  49. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
  50. Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
  51. My (not so) Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella
  52. One Paris Summer – Denise Grover Swank
  53. Can You Keep a Secret – Sophie Kinsella
  54. I’ve Got Your Number – Sophie Kinsella
  55. The Undomestic Goddess – Sophie Kinsella
  56. The Single Girl’s To-Do List – Lindsey Kelk
  57. Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
  58. Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins
  59. Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins
  60. Just One Day – Gayle Forman
  61. Meant To Be – Lauren Morill
  62. Better Off Friends – Elizabeth Eulberg
  63. On the Fence – Kasie West
  64. The Trouble With Flirting – Claire LaZebnik
  65. MY Life Next Door – Huntley Fitzpatrick
  66. Open Road Summer – Emery Lord
  67. Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles
  68. Something Beautiful – Jamie McGuire
  69. Too Hot to Handle – Tessa Bailey
  70. Adorkable – Cookie O’Gorman
  71. Ninja Girl – Cookie O’Gorman
  72. Someone Like You – Sarah Dessen
  73. Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett
  74. Operation Prom Date – Cindi Madsen
  75. A Boy Like You – Ginger Scott
  76. A Girl Like Me – Ginger Scott
  77. Cinderella Screwed Me Over – Cindi Madsen
  78. Because of Low – Abbi Glines
  79. Rules of a Rebel and a Shy Girl – JEssica Sorensen
  80. Pushing the Limits – Katie McGarry
  81. #famous – Jilly Gagnon
  82. Fallen Crest Series – Tijan
  83. Four Doors Down Series – Emma Doherty
  84. Confess – Colleen Hoover
  85. Slammed Series (Books 1-3) – Colleen Hoover
  86. Ugly Love – Colleen Hoover
  87. Hopeless and Losing Hope – Colleen Hoover
  88. Finding Cinderella – Colleen Hoover
  89. Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover
  90. Maybe Not – Colleen Hoover
  91. It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover
  92. Too Late – Colleen Hoover
  93. Eliza and Her Monsters – Zappia Francesca
  94. When IT’s Real – Erin Watt
  95. The Names They Gave Us – Emery Lord
  96. This Lullaby – Sarah Dessen
  97. The Anatomical Shape of Heart – Jenn Bennett
  98. November 9 Colleen Hoover
  99. Wallbanger – Alice Clayton
  100. Geekerella – Ashley Poston
  101. Girl out of the Water – Laura Silverman
  102. One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
  103. The Impossible Vastness of Us – Samantha Young
  104. Catching Jordan – Miranda Kenneally
  105. Defending Taylor –┬áMiranda Kenneally
  106. Jesse’s Girl –┬áMiranda Kenneally
  107. Racing Savannah –┬áMiranda Kenneally
  108. Stealing Parker –┬áMiranda Kenneally
  109. Things I Can’t Forget –┬áMiranda Kenneally
  110. Breathe, Annie,┬á Breathe –┬áMiranda Kenneally
  111. Coming Up for Air –┬áMiranda Kenneally
  112. Glitter & Sparkle – Shari L. Tapscott
  113. Shine & Shimmer – Sharie L. Tapscott
  114. Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
  115. Ready to Wed – Cindi Madsen
  116. The Lonely Hearts Club – Elizabeth Eulberg
  117. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality
  118. PRom and Prejudice – Elizabeth Eulberg
  119. Changes in LAtitudes – Jen Malone
  120. Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum
  121. What to Say Next – Julie Buxbaum
  122. The Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West
  123. Just the Essentials – Shari L. Tapscott
  124. Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven
  125. All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
  126. Sean Grisworld’s Head – Lindsey Leavitt
  127. Sincerely, CArter – Whitney G.
  128. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
  129. P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han
  130. Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han
  131. I Believe in a Thing Called Love – Maurene Goo
  132. The Bad Boy Bargain – Kendra C. Highley
  133. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
  134. Kissing Max Holden – Katy Upperman
  135. The Distance Between Us – Kasie West
  136. By Your Side – Kasie West
  137. P.S. I Like You – Kasie West
  138. The Hating Game – Sally Thone
  139. Playing the Player – Lisa Brown Players
  140. Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys – Kate Brian
  141. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
  142. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
  143. I See London, I See France – Sarah Mlynowski
  144. Am I Normal Yet? – Holly Bourne
  145. How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne
  146. The Heartbreakers Series – Ali Novak
  147. My Life with the Walter boys – Ali Novak
  148. Taming the Rebel – Dawn Klehr
  149. A Midsummer’s Nightmare – Kody Keplinger
  150. Under Her – Samantha Towle
  151. The Rules of Persuasion – Amity Hope
  152. The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
  153. Tangled – Emma Chase
  154. A Map of Wrecked Girls – Jessica Taylor
  155. Warcross – Marie Lu
  156. ┬áBreaking the Rules of Revenge – Samantha Bohrman
  157. The Big F – Maggie Ann MArtin
  158. Speakeasy, Speak Love – McKelle George
  159. Beautiful Secret – Christina Lauren
  160. The Fix Up – Kendall Ryan
  161. Without Merit – Colleen Hoover
  162. The MacGregor Brides – Nora Roberts
  163. A Scottish Lor for Christmas – Lauren Smith
  164. Saving It – Monica Murphy
  165. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume
  166. Just One of the Boys – Kate Rooper

Well, look at that. Didn’t imagine that I’ll be able to complete reading 166 plus books this year even if some of them are really nonsense. hahaha.

Just One of the Boys by Leah and Kate Rooper

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I think Crush Entangled has been my go-to book publishers for super, light, almost no depth teensy romance. haha. Just One of the Boys is one of the latest that they have. From the title, I already know that it will be a cliche but I can’t help myself. I am a sucker even if I know that there’s really nothing much to read.

Just One of the Boys is your typical girl dressing up a boy teen romance. It is especially is all over Korean and Japanese drama and manga. The concept is nothing new but I still finished the book anyways. The story is about Alice who’s so crazy about hockey, she took the role of his twin brother who just recently scored a spot to play for the Chicago Falcons. Of course, she fell in love with the jerk-but-soft leader of the team.

I admit there are a lot of loopholes in the book like how the hell did the hockey guys not realized that Alice is impersonating his brother when the real Alexander is doing theater with a broken leg within the same school. Maybe the school is really, really, really wide but i doubt. But I did not have much expectations so it’s okay. haha.

Also, there were some references of Korean drama so I think the authors were trying to reflect Korean drama arcs in the story. The story is a popular theme in K-dramas but as an avid k-drama fan, I think the book lacks in comparison of the best k-dramas out there. It might not be a fair comparison but don’t take it to heart. This is just my opinion.

The book”s pretty much a quick read. Good to read for a past time still but will not really stick out amongst all the books you’re reading.

Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume

are you there god.jpg Just in time for the holidays, I randomly picked up a book to read. By randomly, i mean, I went to Goodreads, checked one of the top books list they have there, and found Are You There God? listed.

Are You There God? is a quick and nice read. Kinda left me hanging a bit and wanting more thought which is not necessarily a bad thing. The book is intended for teens. haha. But is not limited to that age group.

The book is about Margaret (duh?!), an almost 12-yr old kid, and her day-to-day conversation with God about her daily happenings – her family’s move, her new friends, new school, boys, and crushes, religion, and menstruation.

It’s kinda like a light read if you look at it at first but it will make you think and reflect on things later on. One of the theme it revolves in is religion. The title suggests that God is involve in the story, one way or the other. At first, I thought that the story will be like about struggle and hardship in life and the main character is kinda questioning if God hears, but i was wrong. Although not as heavy as I thought the story would be based on the title alone, Margaret still faced obstacles which might have been big for her already considering her young age. And considering her ‘no religion’status, it made me think if i was not born into Christian parents, would I have been able to come across and believe in God? or if I were given freedom to pick my religion like Margaret, would i pick the religion i am currently in right now? I think it’s not necessary to be in a religious group as long as you have faith and you believe in Jesus.

Second, the story also touches on puberty especially menstruation. I remember it being also one of the hot topics when I was in the twelve-thirteen age group. And like in the story, my group of friends are also comparing who already have the big red. I also became worried if i’m normal or if i have hormonal imbalance when i still haven’t gotten my period even though i’m already in my first year of high school when all my friends already have theirs. I remember the first time i got it, i was so happy and because i was already preparing for it for a long, long time already, i think it went pretty smoothly. haha.

Third,┬ái can definitely relate to Margaret’s experience re peers and growing up. I’ve also went thru the gossips, the jealous stage, the lying, the backstabbing. It’s like the book opened up the reality that these things are really what is happening regardless of the part of the globe you belong in. Spreading gossip about your classmate/schoolmate/person, when in fact, you’re just jealous because they have something that you so desperately wanna have, even if you’re not explicitly stating your desire. I actually hate myself because i’m on the side that’s spreading the gossip.

Fourth, crushes and boys. Boys, boys, boys. It’s like every girl will always have a mutual crush on the cutest/most popular guy in school wherever you are in the world. And there will always be that one girl in your group who has a long, long list of crushes. hahaha. Although at this age, it’s too early to be pro-active or to take any action at all. So it’s all just about teasing, shy crushes, being mad at your friend for telling your crush that you like him, etc.

I like the book. It’s not something that’ll stick with me for a long time but it definitely help me reflect on things this holiday season.

 

 

 

Saving It by Monica Murphy

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You can immediately guess from the title that it’s talking about virginity (or am I just green minded? lol).

Saving It is one of your quick, easy read type of novels. Not much depth. Just cuteness. Well, cuteness and youth-oriented romance are what you’ll expect from Crush book. The premise is your typical best friend/childhood friends turned lovers (which i’m a sucker of, to be honest, no matter how much cliche it is, haha).

The story is about Josh’s search in losing his virginity. He then tapped his best friend Eden for help. Eden, taken aback at first, eventually decided to help Josh find the ‘right’match to achieve his goal. While at first, she did not think anything of Josh, aside from being her best buddy, feelings started to grow until it overflowed. Josh, also, started noticing his own feelings for Eden. There was hiccup, of course, but they got together in the end.

Virginity.┬áBig word. Although, it might not hold much importance in today’s society.┬áIt’s a nice kinda twist that the virginity of the guy was the one with focus on the story, although, in my opinion, there should never be a time limit or time frame of when you should have lost it already, whether you’re a girl or a boy. On a serious note though, the story reflects much of what society’s perception is right now. Society builds and hypes it up wherein if you reach college and you’re still a virgin, you’ll be such a loser, especially if you’re an alpha male or the varsity type like Josh in the story. This is such a sad thought. I am 25 and a virgin and I have no problem with it. Sure, they’ll say i’m missing out on the fun and I’ll be lying if I say I don’t think about sex most of the time, what it feels like, etc. but still, I don’t think that one’s sexual status should define a person. And honestly, call me a prude and all, but I am a firm believer that you should still be a white bride when you walk the aisle.

The story is just fluffy romance, of young ones realizing that the one has been right beside them all along. Of fighting feelings you thought you should not have. Of accepting the said feelings eventually. Of misunderstandings. It’s a story about youth, of the current society, of how society characterizes the youth. It’s a story of love, of friendship, of sex.

Over all, it’s a cute summer afternoon read. Best in the breezy, idle, afternoon break. ­čÖé

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

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I have parked this book for too long. I first downloaded the e-book a month or so ago. I tried to read it back then but then I couldn’t connect with the story so I stopped. Just recently, because of my lack of books to read, I decided to try to read the book again. Surprisingly, I finished and enjoyed it this time.

A Map of Wrecked Girls is a story of survival, sisterhood, love amidst chaos, acceptance, youth, and new beginnings. It’s a story of Henri and Emma, and Alex. After a night of unplanned adventure, they found themselves stranded on an island of who knows where, one companion dead, with no one knowing where they went.

Let’s talk about survival. I think everyone can agree that the question “What will you do if you’re trapped in an island?” question has come up in discussion, with friends, family, lovers, etc. at least once. But I think no one has ever really thought that it will happen to them.┬áHonestly, if I will ever be stranded in an island, I think I’ll not last for a week. I don’t know the realistic possibilities of what the story had shown for them to survive, but the story was not really focused on that although that is the whole premise of it.

More than romance, the story focused more on sisterhood between Emma and Henri. Henri, being the older sister, is the more outgoing one. The party girl. The wild one. Emma, on the other hand, is the Yes sister. The non-vocal one. The goody-two-shoes type. The book goes back and forth from the present and the past, detailing the events that led Henri to hold a grudge against Emma.

Stranded in the islands for a little over than three months, we see how sisters, at the end of the day, will still have your back. Blood is thicker than water. No matter what argument you have or if you’re not in speaking terms. Although it came close to the ending already, we see that the sisters opened up to each other. They fought, argued, but later on resolved the misunderstanding and miscommunication, and their bond became stronger than ever. You see, I believe that open communication is one of the keys to have a long lasting relationship. People are not psychics to know what the other person is thinking or the reason behind their actions, even if you are the person who supposedly know the other person best.

Love amidst chaos and survival. The romance aspect comes between the budding romance between Alex and Emma. They have known each other for less than 24 hours before they were caught up in survival. But love knows no time. They grew close as Emma became the mediator between Alex and Henri since they couldn’t stand each other. Eventually, they confessed their feelings to each other and despite their main priority which is to survive, they found time to enjoy each other’s company.

A Map for Wrecked Girls also gives a glimpse of the youth today. More than before, I think the youth that we have now are more adventurous to the point of being reckless at times. They are more into survival than doing what is upright and lawful. They’re into popularity, convenience, sex, etc. They are more wild and unrestrained. This needs to be addressed, either thru proper parenting, or proper guidance.

New beginnings. Lastly, the story also shows hope for new beginnings. New beginnings for the wrecked relationship between sisters. New beginnings for Alex, who, at the later part of the book, was disclosed as a small time drug-dealer. There is always hope. This is what the book’s trying to tell I think.

A Map for Wrecked Girls is kinda semi-heavy and even if I did not like it at first. I am glad I took the second chance with it. ahaha. Now I’m recommending it to be read especially those who have sisters. ­čÖé

 

A Scottish Lord for Christmas by Lauren Smith

DISCLAIMER: This post is more about realizations than the book review itself. haha

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What do you do when you’re in a party and you’re bored af? You download the 1st book your limited data plan allows you. lol. That’s how I came to read A Scottish Lord for Christmas.

I thought nothing at first. You know just a random read of a romance from the early 1900s with lords and debutantes and all those. The story is pretty simple and straightforward. You know, just your average pocketbook romance. It’s a story about Rowena, a young girl who just had her debut in the society and Quinn, aka Lord Forres, who’s 10 years older than her. Quinn is a Scottish widower with a young child who went to England to look for his next wife. Enter Rowena, the young debutante who save Quinn’s daughter from falling into the ice cold water. She fell in love madly, deeply, and very fast with this handsome Scottish lord. Within weeks of meeting, they were engaged then married. All the while, Quinn was fighting hard from falling in love with Rowena as he does not want to experience the pain of losing a loved one all over again, and Rowena, fighting to gain her lord’s love fully.

However, what made me enjoy the book is that I can ‘somewhat’ see myself in Rowena. haha. I can identify with Rowena in the sense that she has no prior sexual experience (well, i still don’t have even now) and because of this, i feel the detailed scenes strongly like i’m the one in the situation. lol. I thought to myself that what Rowena experienced on her first will be similar to my reactions. And who wouldn’t fall in love with a lord with an accent? ***swoons***And I love that they got married first before they did the act (yes, i am a prude).

Rowena, in so many levels, just wants to be loved and her love to be reciprocated. Much like the rest of us. Much like me and we are all just trying to be loved back. I am a hopeless romantic which is why I enjoyed the book even with all its cheesiness and oh-so-cliche scenes in glory. hahaha.

Reading the book made me just want to fall in love more. I’m willing to wait but reading all these romance novels is just me torturing myself. ahhahaha. The book is simple, straight-forward, linear. There’s not much deepness going on here. Just a quick, fun read for an afternoon leisure or, in my case, if you’re bored in a party you went to.