I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo

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When I first read the tile, it’s the popular Thai movie “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” that immediately popped into my mid. Oh, I so love that movie! Reading the plot which involves korean dramas and lots of it solidified my intention to read the book. So I did.

I am a certified korean-anything addict (you can also include japan-anything in the list). I am addicted to anything korean or japan. Dramas, music, culture, food, etc. Thus coming across a novel which does not only portray a Korean character but also revolves around the Korean drama scene in a way hooked me up!

The novel is actually not what I expected. It revolves around Desi Lee, a Korean American girl whose life is ruled by RULES, by precision, by steps. Everything can be achieved if it’s taken into perspective as an experiment. Identify the problem. Create steps and rules. Problem solved. That’s why falling in love, which she was the only thing she was never good at, also must have some rules to follow to achieve success, right? This is where K-drama comes in. After a random and unexpected day where she got to sit with her father in their living room binging K-drama and binging some more on her own after, she analyzed everything she has seen so far. Then came up with “THE K-DRAMA STEPS TO TRUE LOVE to win her current object of interest – Luca Drakos.

There were 24 rules in total. Some I agree with, some I don’t. But over all, it was pretty hilarious. K-drama fans can totally relate. There were a lot of K-drama references scattered across the novel. It brings back the feeling when you were watching those kdramas which makes it nostalgic. Desi Lee is a calculating character but will drive you crazy buy how ridiculous some of her plans are just to follow the steps.

In the end, Maureen leaves us the lesson that true love cannot be controlled. It is not achieved through meticulous steps and definitely not through crazy ideas. True love is built by interaction, by communication, by trust.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is a funny and feel good read. Best for KDrama lovers!

 

Tangled by Emma Chase

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I am going through my phase of being under sensual novel frustration again. Under Her, as much as I don’t want to admit, opened up again my desire to read something sensual. Tangled by Emma Chase .was the latest one I’ve read.

So i’m really a bad girl in a good girl’s clothing. I am a closet girl hiding all her desire to explore the wild side – including sex. This is where the internal conflict starts though. It’s because I’m also trying hard not to, being a Christian and all and wanting to be worthy of God’s grace but I always fall time and time again but that’s a story for another time. Let’s get back to Tangled.

The book is about Drew Evans and Kate Brooks. I just love it so much when I like the names of the characters. It makes reading the novel more palatable for me. Drew Evans and Kate Brooks are just perfect for me. The story is about a douchebag, fuck boy, egoistic Drew Evans whose world turned upside down when he met Kate Brooks, the powerful, hot, . There’s really no much substance and lesson learned as I assume having a lesson learned is not the purpose of the book. It’s an easy read if you’re looking for a quickie.

What strikes me the most in the book was the way the characters are described and characterized. The characterization is awful, so sexist, so…… But maybe this is just the ways characters of novels of this genre works. I have read a few and yeah, mostly are worshiping the guy that does such dickward things and the helpless girl, even though described as strong, will one day cave in to the wiles and charm of the guy, and they will live happily ever after. The worst part is I still keep reading similar novels time to time. I can’t seem to keep my hands off of them if i tried.

Tangled is steamy but I don’t see much difference in the other novels of the same genre. Also, I was kinda annoyed about how it was kept being asked how the reader would get the drift, how the reader would know what to expect, how the reader should get this or that. I swear though that if a guy does to me even a fraction of what Drew did to get Kate back, I would be head over heels it’s not funny.

If you have nothing to do and is looking for a novel to pass time with and get you hot, then Tangled is for you.

Perfect by Maia Mayor

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Now, to all those expecting this is a book review, sorry to disappoint, but this slam poetry deserves its own post.

I’ve gotten into slam poetry after reading Slammed by Coleen Hoover. It re-introduced me to the beautiful word of poetry and I’ve been a follower ever since. It introduced me to poets like Olivia Gatwood, Neil Hilborn, Sandra Benaim, Maia Mayor, and many talented others.

However, across the poems I have viewed so far, Perfect by Maia Mayor resonated with me the most. The first time I heard it, I could not unheard it and I needed it to be replayed again and again so badly. That is how bad it hit home. It’s like Maia is describing my entire existence in under four minutes.

Let’s take a look at the verses. Here is also a link to the poem: PERFECT by MAIA MAYOR

Is there something wrong with you?
A lose screw or two that loses you’re ability to function?
Why…are you always so tired.
You’re life is uninspired and small. All you do is sprawl on the couch with outstretch limbs like a sloth in slow motion.
Where is your devotion to succeed Maia?
Did it drift out your window with a smoke from your weed? Do I have to force feed you discipline til you finally concede I cook and I clean and I don’t stop til the soles of my feet bleed
But I’m fine…
I’m perfect.
Be perfect Maia. Be perfect like me.

Stop wearing those god-awful ripped pants and that lipstick like a whore with double D implants.
You only get one chance. Stop acting like a cat with 9 lives left. Stop committing youself to songs and stories and spoken slam bullshit in a world where degrees and PhDs impede the need for poetry.
And stop chewing on your nails.
No wonder you never attracted any males.
Why do you do thhat? Do you like the taste?
Are they sweet?
You can’t eat sweets Maia. You’re ruining your teeth like you’re ruining your life.
My teeth are perfect.
Clean and pristine. They glean like a golden halo above my perfectly conditioned head.
I don’t need sugar Maia. I am above sugar.
Why are you down here Maia? Why are down here when you need to be up here. Up here with the ones with promising career, who listen when information goes in one ear and doesn’t come out the other.
You’ll never be up here Maia. You act as if the act of listening is a crime or you would have hear me, the six hundred and sixty sixth time I told you to stop chewing on your nails. stop chewing on your nails like a goddamn piece of trash. You can’t be trash Maia.
You have to be perfect. Be perfect like me.

I get up at 5 in the morning everyday. I start my day the same way, worried that I’ll collapse as my bones start to decay from cleaning up your scraps. Why is your room such a mess? The clothes go in the hamper Maia. Not displayed on your bed like your lack of morals. Not littered on the floor collecting more dust than my withered expectations. You disregard my rules in a stubborn contempt in a substandard attempt at teenage rebellion. But you can’t be a rebel Maia. You can’t be interesting enough. you need to obey and say yes and okay. you need to do it with a smile on your less than average face. You need to try harder Maia. Make it wider Maia. Why don”t you know how to smile?
You disappoint me Maia. You never appreciate what I do for you. You never try to be a winner and you never eat your dinner. You never eat the dinner I consistently provide for you as I constantly remind you of the life I set aside for you. That meal doesnt pay for itself. I don’t care if it’s ideal. Stop telling me how you feel. You need to eat it. Eat it all. Eat it at a reasonable time with a glass of milk. You need milk Maia. You need calcium like you need a catalyst for growth. You’ll never grow to be tall. Be tall like me, I drink my milk Maia, drink your fucking milk.
Be tall. Be perfect. Be perfect like me.

You need to pay more attention Maia. Stop the daydreaming Maia. Stop staring at the ceiling as if you’re one redeeming quality lies hidden in the plaster. You need to organize your life, your life is a disaster just like your room. Just like your teeth. Just like your future which will soon come to an end if you don’t put down that pen. You need to stop writing Maia. Your life is not a book.
Don’t give me that look Maia. I’m just trying to help you. I’m just trying to love you. I’m just trying to love you. You have to let me love you so you can be perfect. Be perfect like me.

The poem is a direct reflection of the thoughts of my mother when talking about me, or so my feelings tell me. This is one of the major reasons why I feel that I am not good enough and never will be.

You see, I graduated with honors at the top university in my country. I didn’t like my degree though. I just graduated for the sake of getting out of the system which is sooo wrong. Just so wrong. Don’t follow me.

And now, I am working in a less than stellar (but mind you, stressful) job – call center – which is like looked down upon by most. Every time I go home, there’s always THE SPEECH. “You’re asleep again?” “Haven’t you just slept a while ago? You might not be able to sleep at night already.””Why are you always so tired?” “You can’t even do your own laundry. I am not your maid.” So yeah, I am guilty of being such a lazy ass. I wanna scream “Why can’t you understand that now that I’m working at night? Of course my body will feel tired than average. Why can’t you let me sleep as much as I like on my days off? Don’t you know how hard it is to sleep during the day?”But of course, these are all just in my head.

I’m also guilty of the nails biting, the not eating the dinner, the messed up and dirty room, the not being tall enough (coz I only stand 4’9″even at 24. I’m so damn guilty about a lot of things that the poem is talking about that it makes it feel much more intimate. Much more personal to me.

The verse “Why are you down here Maia? Why are down here when you need to be up here. Up here with the ones with promising career, who listen when information goes in one ear and doesn’t come out the other,”  really gets to me. Not only do I hear a similar voice from my mother, but it’s also my voice hunting me with the same thought every damn second. And it’s just so tiring, not to mention futile.

I know it’s not healthy to compare yourself to others but you know you just can’t help it. Call me immature and all those crap but this is still the way I’m feeling. I have failed to convinced myself time and again to not care what other people think especially when the people you call family are the ones making you feel this way the most. It’s like there’s a constant reminder, especially from my mother and younger sister, that I can do much better if only I try. Why am i in the call center? Why am i wasting my smart mind in a job that’s so not needing much brain. Why am i rotting away when my colleagues, high school classmates, cousins, are all soaring high with their careers? Purchasing houses and cars, travelling to all these gorgeous places? DON’T YOU THINK I DON’T FEEL THAT? DON’T YOU THINK IT HAS COME ACROSS MY MIND AND THOUGHT OVER ABOUT IT?

I know that you might say that maybe I am probably not trying hard enough, not working hard enough, not looking hard enough. Enough. Maybe indeed i am. But who are they to judge? It just lowers my about-to-hit-the-floor ego. And it freaking gets me depressed every time. This will then get me into this bad habit of mine watching indecent and inappropriate things which will further make feel guilty (coz i’m a Christian, or so I want to really become one), which will just repeat the cycle on and on. It’s not helping.

It’s hard to fight your battles alone. It’s even harder to change, to fight for life, and for the future when the ones you expect to fight along side is you is fighting against you. Some do succeed even when they’re on their own. But I am not strong enough yet. I just hope the day will come when I’m strong enough, strong enough to overcome all this mind crazies I have.

Perfect is one slam poem I will never get tired of watching. It makes me feel less alone. Hopefully, someday, I hope, when I come across it, it will only serve as a look back of the past I had once, far from the current one I have.

 

 

Under Her by Samantha Towle

under her.jpgIt’s been a really long time since I have read a novel like Under Her, erotic and sexual. And i’m not sure I was up for it over the weekend. Haha. I’m not in any way pure (at least in the mind) but it’s been a while since I last read a genre like this since I’ve only been reading cutesy, teensy novels for quite some time now.

Under Her is a story about Wilder and Morgan Stickford. Wilder is a certified fuckboy, no-strings attached guy, and soon to be CEO of his family’s lingerie business, which is also called Under Her. Morgan Stickford went to the same college as Wilder, had a secret crush for him, but most importantly, she is the newly hired, soon-to-be co-CEO of Wilder. Suddenly, Wilder has this hots for Morgan and turned his character 180 degrees. No more hooking up, no more weekend sex, just a hot, burning desire for Morgan.

Prolly I was not part of the target marker but I didn’t particularly like it. Haha. it was hot, yes. Steamy, yes. Funny, yes. And there’s a lot of fucking going on and swearing going on. The conflict also was like resolved for the sake of it being resolved and ending the story. It felt rushed and with not much substance. Wilder and Morgan’s characters are also all over the place. Maybe I was looking for something more. Maybe. Although if you’r looking for a funny, steamy novel, Under Her might be your choice.

The Rules of Persuasion by Amity Hope

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I had a sad end of the week. News came in that I did not get the job that I really was hoping to get so to lift up my spirits I wanted to read a feel good book.

I decided on reading The Rules of Persuasion by Amity of Hope (I discovered this after reading Taming the Rebel). The Rules of Persuasion is a quick, fun, summer read guaranteed to make you swoon and forget reality even for just a couple of hours.

Like Taming the Rebel, reading The Rules of Persuasion doesn’t require too much brain activity. It’s a good book to read for passing time and you want to go back to the high school cutesy romance feels.

The Rules of Persuasion is about Meg Matthews – good girl turned hot, cool, biker girl – and Luke Prescott – popular, rich, golden boy – and how their two different worlds got entangled by blackmail when Luke caught Meg vandalizing school property and how they made an agreement and created rules to persuade everyone that they are now together. What started out as a fake relationship turned real when both bare each other’s secrets and realized they cannot fight the feeling anymore.

The book is quite simple, not much messy relationship conflict, not too much drama. Just a cute, teenage, romance book you’ll enjoy reading. It’s a quick read too so you can finish it in just a couple of hours.

In a way, the book reminds me that we all struggle. We all have different problems. IT does not matter whether you’re rich or just the average, whether you’re popular or not, we all face difficulties in one way or the other. The gravity may vary but it’s how we confront and cope with these obstacles and people that help us along the way that bring us happiness in the end.

 

 

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

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The Rosie Effect, sequel to the clever The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is still quite intellectually pleasant, although, it did not bring the same ecstatic feeling that I have felt when reading the Rosie Project.

It tells the story of Don and Rosie’s married life in New York and the unexpected news of Rosie’s pregnancy, how secrets build up, their relationship drawing apart, and how their marriage just after a year and few months is now on the brink of ending

The Rosie Effect, compared to the first book, focuses more on Don and his relationship with his surrounding, with his growing circle of friends which is directly affected by his relationship with Rosie. True to the title, the book shows the effect of Rosie in Don’s life – how he interact with his friends, how he cope up with his impending fatherhood, how he cope up with his married life among others.

What I loved about the book was the consistency of the characters and the introduction of new ones. Don is still differently wired. I’ve come to love and appreciate Don and his differently wired personality coz in some ways I am able to relate to him. I have, however, missed the interactions of Rosie and Don. Rosie is still Rosie, Gene is still the “sex addict that he is”(although it was later revealed that it was just a made-up personality). The introduction of George, the rock star, the re-introduction of Dave and his wife, and all the other new characters that served as a reference to Don’s widening social circle. As his circle grows and he sort of has his own set group of friends, his relationship with Rosie (along with the baby) grows apart.

The book also provides insightful learnings. First, the introspection of Don – accepting the judgment of Lydia, his social worker, that he is not suited to be a father, after much contemplation – is one of the saddest truths of life. We mostly accept that we are what others see us, failing to recognize that they don’t really know us. Don, even with all his genius and his problem-solving expertise, was ready to let go of his relationship, of his marriage to Rose, and possible relationship to Bud (Baby Under Develpment) because subconsciously we are wired to readily accept things we pre-conceived we are or will happen. In Don’s case, he knows he is different from others in terms of the emotional aspect. This led him to acknowledging the fact that he definitely is built to spend his life alone. Thus, justifying that the Rosie phase is just a glitch in his otherwise wired life. We think that we are, what we are, what others think we are, because subconsciously, we already accepted the fact that we are what we are.

Two, Don is stupid. Even with his brain and the knowledge that lying is definitely not good in a relationship, he still did it anyways and in much a grander scale (He deceived Lydia by letting Sonia, Dave’s wife, pretend to be Rosie). I’m not a relationship, not by a long mile, as I have zero experience with it. But i do know that in any relationship, honesty and trust is important. Once it is broken, the damage is hard to patch.

Three, change is constant even if we don’t notice it. In The Rosie Effect, the blatant change is the setting of the story. From Melbourne, the story was now set to New York. However, we can also see how Don changes along with it. Yeah, i know that i just said earlier that Don didn’t change and now I’m saying that he changed. Don, for me, did not change because he still has his own distinct and major characteristic – genius and differently wired. But he changed in terms of the social aspect. He became softer in a way that even he fails to recognize. Because he was used to look at things scientifically and due to his own lack of emotion analyzer, he did not immediately recognize that he was already displaying emotions than ever before. Case in point is the lesbian care experiment, when he let the baby crawled on top of him. It was told in a scientific way but then the video that was shown later own showed his happiness that he did not know he felt at that time.

Four, sometimes, all we need is a little push. Don, on the brink of giving up Rosie, was pushed by his friends, given support by Davie, the Head of his department, and Phil, Rosie’s father to keep trying. Their unending support along with the circumstances that happened allowed Don and Rosie to stay together. Which brings me to the last point.

Five, as Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist goes “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” With deciding not to give up, Don wanted to stay with Rosie and bud more than ever. And sometimes, wanting something so badly is all we need.

 

 

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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This is very……….. brain-stimulating. Clever and witty. Fresh, smart, and highly-engaging novel. One that deviates from my usual teen, cute, novels.

I actually was not able to finish the first chapter when I have tried reading The Rosie Project the first time. Not because it was not interesting. Oh, it is definitely interesting and a whole lot more. But prolly at that time I just want an easy read, no deep complications, no need for the synapses of my brain to exert more effort than they are used to. When I have tried reading it for the second time, given that I have allowed my brain to process my expectations and conditioned it to be able to take a more scientific approach to what I will be reading, I enjoyed it immensely.

The Rosie Project definitely is a whole new world to me. I’ve been the geeky type in elementary and high school but never pursued it in college and have never needed to use my stored knowledge afterwards. I did not expected a novel could combine science, wit, and charm all at the same time and produce such an intellectual piece of art. Praise for Grame Simsion, the Australian author responsible for this masterpiece.

The Rosie Project is about Professor Don Tillman and his Wife project in search for the perfect life partner. Being the kind of person that he is, queer, extremely organized, socially inept, it seemed impossible for him to have a wife at age forty. But then, being the person that he is, he had a brilliant idea to solve the problem, he tackled it the same he would an experiment. He created a set of questionnaire that would determine the compatibility of the person with him. However, an unexpected variable came into the picture, disrupting everything else he has in his perfectly manufactured circle – Rosie. Rosie is the opposite of everything Don is looking for as a partner. She is disorganized. She smokes. She’s a vegetarian. She’s a barmaid. Thus, being stereotypical, deducing from her job, she’s not good with high-level mathematics. The first time they met, Don thought that she was one of the women who has answered his questionnaire and was recommended Gene, her best friend and Head of the Psychology department in their university, upon going through all those who answered. However, he couldn’t be more wrong.

Nevertheless, they continued their meeting in light of a new project that came up – the Father project. Rosie is trying to find her biological father to go ahead and tie the loose ends of her childhood and move on. Don offered to help, given his expertise in genetics, he thought he can definitely be a helping hand. This is where it starts getting crazy. His schedule is thrown off with a lot of unpredictable events. He learned how to mix cocktails, be a waiter, be awesome in collecting DNA illegally and unethically and in some cases, the most gross way. All to help Rosie, which he still couldn’t figure out the reason why he is helping in the first place. He then later learned that Rosie did not even know what the Wife project is. She was, in fact, a PhD Psychology student under Gene, and that’s the reason why they met.

After a series of unethical, illegal, gross cases of getting DNA of people who might or might not be Rosie’s father, and a series of misunderstandings, mostly due to Don’s ability in not being able to comprehend social cues and how to best respond to them, they felt awkward around each other but then was later resolved along with the conclusion of both the Wife and the Father Project.

The premise is simple – opposites attract. It was presented though through a narrative like never before. It was engaging to read and I cannot stop reading. The story was relayed from the point of view of Don and was written with precision of how a character like Don thinks. Even though I did not understand some of the more scientific words and processes, it definitely did not prevent me from enjoying the novel as much as I did.

It also emphasized once again the notion that love moves in mysterious ways. There is no equation that even the most brilliant person can generate predicting who you should spend the rest of your life with coz sometimes even if someone is perfect on paper (like Bianca in the story), you cannot help that your heart will want what it wants ever if your brain opposes to do so.

Also, it’s a reference to the idea that someone out there is a match for you. He or she might not come in the way or form that you expected them to be but you will surely find the one. Maybe not now, maybe later but you will find the one. Even when you have given up all hope in finding that one special person because of how you are perceived to be different by society. As long as you’re open to possibilities, anything can happen. You just need to accept it when you come across it and work towards keeping it.

The Rosie Project is definitely one of the most brilliant novels I have read so far and one that created impact that one will remember. I hope I can see it in the big screen one day.