Diary ng Panget (Diary ng Panget #1) by HaveYouSeenThisGirL: A Book Review

diaryngpangetDiary ng Panget ( Diary of an Ugly ). This romantic-comedy novel became so successfully phenomenal that it was eventually adapted for a movie in 2014. In fact, the said movie   did well at the box office and redounded its main casts, Nadine Lustre and James Reid to fame. However, it is just the way around when I checked the feedback of the readers here on Goodreads. Most of them gave it  1  out of 5 stars. Most of their reasons are : first, The concept of the story is  “ obviously tweenie boppe-rish  ” and “ immature” as two  of the  readers put it; second, it is out of reality; third,  it  could symbolize the poor literacy in the Philippines as another reader put it; and finally , the part  they cringed at  is that it is  tattered with poor English grammar.

The concept of the story is said to be “ obviously tweenie boppe-rish” ( or for teenyboppers)  and “ immature” , for the character of Eya appears  to be like a teen-ager. The readers  in their  twenties who  gave it a go or  just the teen-aged  readers who claim to be “mature’    may  expect  her to act her age since she is  in college. In other words, at her age, she is expected to be mature and responsible  as what young adults usually do. How do the readers find her so? The way she speaks? Well,  who knows when and how a person should be  mature at her/his age?

The concept of the story is said to be out of reality. The readers must not have known that this is fiction. If  they do, they should not have read it  in the first place. Kung makapag-comment naman, parang hindi nag-aral ng literature in high school.  In short, this is the pigment of the author’s imagination. On the contrary, sometimes fiction can be drawn based on an author’s personal experiences and observations. Therefore, the concept of the story can happen in real life. So if you are ugly,  you can  choose to have a romantic life.

This book  is said to be symbolizing the poor literacy in the Philippines. Maybe because of   the noticeable  parts that raised the brows of the “grammarian” readers and  thus made them  not giving it a quarter of one star : It  is tattered with  some  English grammar mistakes. For instance,  the author must not  make uncountable nouns countable such as “advices” instead of  “ advice”, “ luggages” instead of  “luggage”, “jewelries” instead of “ jewelry”. Also,  she must  not forget the past tense form whenever she refers to something that happened in the past. Furthermore, she should be careful  about using the words she wants to use in describing situation since we have this” word territory” or ‘polysemy “ in English language. For instance, she  should not be confused about the difference between “ invicible” and “invisible”  when Eya describes herself that  you-know-who ignores her as though she cannot be seen  since she is not much of a good look. Invicible means unconquerable , so  invisible is the accurate word , and I believe this is what Eya means to say. Therefore, the revoltingly   conspicuous grammatical mistakes  must be the primary vortex of the readers’  negative opinions of this book .

On the contrary, dear readers, tell it  to the marines! Put the blame on the publisher taken possession of capitalism. It should have helped the author  be guided by a proof-reader. Look at  the credible  publisher of Bob Ong. If you still remember his book Stainless Longganisa,  there is a part that mentions about his publisher   who was always  sending him messages whenever   his proof-reader  found some mistakes in his writings.  As a  matter of fact, don’t  forget  the fact that the author was still 18  when she wrote it. Besides, she is not that typical of a brilliant writer who knows how to write  as efficiently and fluently  as  a  professional  writer who have obtained a Master’s  Degree in Creative Writing.

Admittedly, I even revolted at it  when I  thought of the same ideas above. I am not typical of a reader at my 20’s who is not supposed to read such genre. My friends even you might find me” baduy” ( of bad taste )  . I am no  longer a teen-ager to read it.  But as one of my friends on Goodreads put it, I have this reading horizon. In other words, I read any kinds of books . Besides, it just so happened that I did not read such  YA in my teen-age life. Now I have this regression or recidivistic habit. Gee!  Kinikilig pa rin ako (laughs)

So in the end, I gave it 3 stars because  not only that  I was giddy and I giggled and laughed  my head off , but I also  want to disabuse the readers of their comment that it does not make sense.

The book makes sense. Do you know why? Forget the negative comments above.  Forget being such an intellectual and intelligentsia.  Do not be a hypocrite. The author  educates us all along about   some moral lessons as usual whenever you read a book.

  • Be strong despite that life is unfair. Eya lost both her parents when she was still young, but she never gives up on her life. She remains tough, cheerful, and positive. So, do dare it is out of reality!
  • Believe in yourself. No matter how much you lack of your physical appearance , do not ever underestimate yourself.  It is not about the physical beauty. It is about  the inner beauty that radiates on the outside.
  • There are some quotes which could awake you to what is LOVE. Ponder over them , and you will bring back to your senses. ^^

Finally, the author, Denny, has the potential to be a good writer.  You have to hand it to her.  How come she is able to write such story which young teen-agers can relate to?  I was even  moved.  Hehehe

I have been reviewing  books since I took an active part in Goodreads in 2013. The longer I am into this passion, the more I come to the realization that books of any   genre  could be good reads. There are books that  do not placate you, so you could decide against giving it 1 star which means you did not like it. However, as I always put it , 1 star does not necessarily mean the book is a crap  contrary to what  Virginia Woolf  put, “Books are the mirrors of the soul.

Denny, the real name of the author , wants to be a writer. She hopes to  produce a novel which she can call her  masterpiece someday, so  this book will be the springboard for  her dream.  I hope that she has taken the negative comments above as constructive criticism.

P.S

A piece of advice: Denny, just be careful with the consistencies of your plots. For instance, I was confused when Eya  is not able to speak English  as fluently as Lory and Chad. Eya is expected to be smart since she is  a scholar of the academy.  Keep it up! ^_^

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it.)

Advertisements

Every Day by David Levithan: A Book Review

every-day-coverThe concept of the story is what I had thought of before.  How if you were given a chance , or you had this special ability or power to transfer into  a body of a certain person just to know how it feels like to be in that body as well as  to understand the life  that person has? .  ( You may come up with the  idea that this situation is sorta  parasitical entity in paranormal psychology or a Dybbuk in Jewish mythology.)  What a bizarre thought! But just the heck of  fun, just in a day or for good , whose that  person would you like to possess and why? Whee, I can read your mind!

The question above is what the concept of the story is all about.  A as in A, with capital A, is a man who  has never had this permanent body is like a soul  which  transfers from one body of a different person , of  different gender to another  since he was born. The drama turns when he   has an awakening moment in a day with   Rhiannon, the woman  he   falls for out of the blue,  possessing  the body of her boyfriend, Justin. Thereby, Rhiannon has intimate relationship with A  when she finds out his  unimaginable situation. However,  this fantasy will test the mettle of their relationship. That is! A very outlandish story !

In the beginning, I read it  giddily like a teenager back in my high-school life when I was fond of reading pocketbooks or chit lits. (If you are Filipino born in the 90’s , I guess you get what I meant to say. ^^) I enjoyed every page   written with beautifully lyrical and poetic lines as if I was just reading a romantic poem. However, this   impact vanished  as the story centers around the two main characters trying to understand  and get connected to each other  with different aspects of life: one lives  in the reality while the other one in a fantasy. Correspondingly, I lost that romantic feeling  taken that I am turning to my 30’s next year. Hmp! In short, in Filipino, hindi na ako naiinog.( I  was no longer giddy.)  What a spoiling plot! Nevertheless, I liked its ending as what I had predicted: It is more realistic to let someone  go than let  a situation that never clings to the reality unless such thing really exists.

On the other hand, the book is OK because it   has good intentions. It teaches us  two moral lessons.

First,  since we are all different beholders having no ideas of what  we see in the world, notably of understanding the people around us, we should not be judgmental  and prejudiced toward them. It is like what  the cliché  goes that we can understand a person if we were in his/ her shoes.

Through A, being described as an empty man, having no permanent body and a family he can live with, we learn to understand  those different kinds of people he takes  possession of , such as of  a blind girl, a suicidal teen-ager, an obese man, a slut, a mean woman, a depressed girl, an actor with a perfect life, et al . At the end, we come to ourselves that there is a reason why life should go on.

Second, after reading it, it also occurred to me   that in the context of psychology, if you had this bizarre thought of transferring to  a different body,  you may  not be  completely satisfied  in a sense that physically, you want to have a beautiful body , so that you could have a good-looking boyfriend or girlfriend; in a sense that  emotionally, you want to fill up that empty feeling; in a sense that socially, you want to have self-belongingness; in a sense that mentally or intellectually, you want to be smart or howsoever ; and many , many reasons  more.

In the story, apparently, the only thing A  wants is to be as emotionally  complete and normal as people.

Therefore, the novel  has got to deal with what is reality and with what is fantasy.  Not that I know of! @_@

Just for the heck of fun, I wish I were in the  body of the famous Filipino fashion designer, Francis Libiran, or of  the best-selling author and notorious atheist, Sam Harris. Wheeee! ^_____^

Rating: 2/ 5 stars ( It’s ok. )

9 Books in September 2015

September was the month when I was quite busy, so I did not have enough time to read and read and read.  Although it’s been my habit to read anytime and anywhere, my  bod can’t abide by my mental desire.  Besides, I don’t want to appear to be derelict in my job.

Most of the reads I dabbled in are more on poems by Lewis Carrol and Edgar Allan Poe, some Roald Dahl’s short stories, a memoir, and a non-fiction:

  1. Taste by Roald Dahl ( 1 star ): I promised to read Roald Dahl’s short stories .  Unfortunately, I got on the wrong foot; I did not like it much. Maybe, I want to read something  as morally  adhering as his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Nevertheless, I  have proven that he has these skills in  twisting a short story as what readers and fans of his put.

2. Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol ( 5 stars ) A poetic short story beyond my imagination and understanding because of its Shakespearean-like  style of writing. Lewiss Carrol created  the words  students in this generation may not be familiar with. Cool! I love this kind of story.  ^__^3. The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe ( 5 stars ) Another poem by Edgar Allan Poe that impressed me  because of its onomatopoeic content.  I enjoy reading   poems with imaginative sounds. Clang! Clang! Clang!

4. Love is a Fallacy by Max Shulman ( 4 stars ) I was impressed by how Max Shulman wrote a story using the  different kinds of illogical fallacies. It’s WOW! I love LOGIC 101. As a matter of fact, it has been adapted for a movie. Ooh la-la!

5. Man from the South by Roald Dahl ( 3 stars ) My third short story by Roald Dahl. At this point, he  has knocked me dead. I loved how he made this suspenseful and full of intense. However, I was disappointed at the ending.  Sorta leaving a reader hanging in the air. Just that!

6. Jungle of No Mercy : A Memoir of a Japanese Soldier  by Hiroyuki Mizuguchi( 5 stars ) The author’s spectering  experiences make it an easy read. In addition, it  has something to do with Filipino life during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, so I can relate to the author’s accounts. I doubt if it could be adapted  for a movie as sensational and critically acclaimed as Heneral Luna.  ^_^

7. The Soldier by Roald Dahl ( 2 stars ) Its outlandish story could be impressive had Dahl not written it with sprawling plot. In the end, I got lost. What was it? May be  I have gotta read it again!

8. My Lady Love, My Dove by Roald Dahl ( 2 stars ) My fourth short story by Dahl that made me stop my reading marathon. (sighs) Ok, taken that he is indeed skillful in writing stories but  I guess I am no longer a child or teen-ager to buy this story . Hmmm… I’ll take it into account next time. @_@

9.The Republic by Plato ( 5 stars ) The first book  of the Philosophy Book Club which  I joined recently . Whoa! Upon reading it, I was like a Greek scholar in the past boggled at the philosophical topics discussed by Plato.  Nonetheless, I  enjoyed ;and at the same time, was challenged by the wide-range  contents. I can do it more! The next book for the month of October is The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. @_@

So far I have read three books which  I will be posting next month. I am more passionate about reading this month. Also, I am raring to finish the books on my currently-reading-shelf which for sure have been collecting dust bunnies . Gee!

Happy Reading, buddies! ^__^

 

 

The Martian by Andy Weir : A Book Review

martianThe best-seller and awarded the Goodreads  Choice 2014 Winner   and   which is said to have done well  at the box office since  October 02, 2015  is indeed  WORTH READING. I  repeat it is WORTH READING.

If you have not read it yet and  have been curious about why it is such a big  talk in the Goodreads universe, I would like you to bear in mind  first some reminders before you prep it- but not necessarily that you take  them; I know you would still give it a try at any cost  out of idle curiosity.

You should be ready that reading it requires  a  paucity of MATH and other  branches of science such as CHEMISTRY, ASTRONOMY, ENGINEERING, PHYSICS , BOTANY, to name a few unless you majored in one of them. Otherwise, you might end up in a   moment of epistaxis  and cerebral hemorrhage. In other words, the   novel  is strewn with  technical words. Therefore, make sure that you have internet connection  at your disposal to Google some words beyond your imagination. In doing so can help you understand the story more clearly.

The concept of the story is very new to me, for it  may be my second Sci-Fi. The last  one was the Contact by Carl Sagan. I had enjoyed it at first since I was not completely familiar with all stuff in the universe. However, I lost my interest   in its book cover edition; I was very choosy then. (Uh-oh! Beggars cannot be choosers.) Then, I could  no longer get around to it.

An astronaut is stranded on Mars when it just happens  that he is not able to leave it with his other crews in the midst of the sandstorm. In order to survive the red  planet, he will use his vast knowledge of Botany and Engineering as well as his wide training   and experience in Astronomy. Each day is perilous for Mark as if he walks with a tight rope.

Admittedly, I was close to demoting it to 3 stars ( Not that bad. I still liked it ) for the three  reasons:

  • I did not like the writing style, let alone its prose. It is brusque in context despite the fact that it is  pregnant with jargon. ( But I know there is nothing wrong  with brusque language ; it could still be an art. Probably, it is not my cup of tea. I am more used to   classic writings  just the like of award-winning writers’. You know what I meant to say.  ^^)  Nevertheless, in the end, I realized that  Andy Weir’s intention is to  voice  what  a devastating   life of an astronaut   stuck on such  barren and dreary planet is like . ( If I am not mistaken!)
  • Although I enjoyed the parts in the beginning, of how Mark Wanty sorts  his dilemma out, the longer he describes his some problems , the  more I find them a pain in the ass. In short, they were taxing me too.
  • The plot of the story is  banal and typical of other there-should-be-on-the-rescue-scenes science fictions.

On the other hand, I can’t forbear from lavishing praise on it:

  • Indeed, it is spell-binding. Every page is so enthralling that I could no longer recognize the people around me, that I was not aware of  them, of  my environment at all. (laughs)
  • I liked its ending. It does not need to show that Mark Wanty will have a tear-jerking hero’s welcome as soon as he is back on Earth. The last   breath-taking scene of how he gets aboard and his final journal  are enough to bring a thousand words. Weir might have been aware that readers are already familiar with that schematic denouement.
  • I learned a whole lot about science. In fact, I feel like studying Astronomy. (blushing) I am now very interested in studying the heavenly bodies. All the things about Cosmo, NASA, space exploration, thingamabob. Wow! What an interesting field!
  • The theme is very purely scientific. It focuses just on Mars probe. As far as we know, Mars has been the favorite hobbyhorse among scientists in the  hypothesis that whether there is a  high chance to live on this planet or not.
  • It is very scientifically detailed. Obviously, Andy Weir researched about Mars and NASA thoroughly, especially the problems on Mars Mark Wanty has to sort out such as on how to produce water and oxygen , plant , repair the machines , blah blah blah . Wow, I was impressed. Kudos to him! ^_^
  • Despite its typically there-should-be-on-the-rescue-scenes story, the epistolary writing riddled with technical words did the justice. So, I can’t say that there is nothing new to it. Rather, I highly recommend it to everyone, notably to  students who have been taught the Creationism.

Upon reading it, I would like to conclude that:

  • The book awkwardly suggests that China has hidden ambition to compete with the USA in the field of space exploration. The good thing is that China has  not given Andy Weir a brunt of criticism nor even declared him persona non grata yet. Perhaps Weir also suggests that China has the capacity to keep up with the modern technology despite the world’s stereotype about made-in-China products.
  • The book suggests the perpetual debate among  theists and atheists whether God exists or not.
  • The book suggests that sometimes NASA or science itself has limitations; scientific analyses could be invalid, but nothing is impossible.
  • The book suggests that we, the world, at any cost, is raring to spend billions of dollars on space exploration. (Paradoxically, there is a widespread famine in some parts of the world.)
  • The book suggests that we could be optimistic in a dire situation. ( I doubt it. ) Probably yes, since we have the survival instinct. But gee, if I were Mark Watney, probably no! since I am not that as genius as he is.( laughs)
  • The book suggests that we should use our “common sense” as well as need to be knowledgeable about science at all times if the need rises.
  • The book suggests that a human being has a basic instinct to help one another out as what Mark Watney exemplifies at the end of the book  :

“If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re ,massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side.”

Well, no doubt it has received   positive  feedback, so the British magazine site ,The Guardian , should put it on the new  pedestal of 1001 Best Novels of All Time.

Since I am done with it, I am all systems go for its movie adaptation, especially the actor who leads the role of Mark Watney  is  one of my favorite Hollywood actors, Matt Damon. 13 13 13 ^_^

Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it.)

Wasted by Gerry Alanguilan: A Book Review

wastedblog__97037_07e64de2-de48-4b14-ad47-79826a0475cc_grande

“Why are you doing this  to us? “, said the bride  held hostage by Eric, along with her groom inside the car.

“ Why ? Because I hate you.

I hate weddings. I hate flowers.  I hate dashing grooms and  blushing brides.

I hate birthdays and cakes, candies, choc-nut bars and pin the tail on the donkey games. I hate spaghetti.

I hate Christmas and Christmas songs.

I hate cupid. I hate red hearts and red shirts and red shoes.

I hate ninja turtles and Archie and the little mermaid and beauty and the beast. I hate Sleepless in Seattle and Forest Gump.I hate Garfield and Snoopy and Ziggy, Mickey Mouse , Goofy and Donald Duck, Sesame Street and Jollibee Mascots.

I hate walks in the park, dates, and beach outings. I hate Michael Bolton and Whitney Houston and Ariel Rivera songs. They sing about Love…about SACRIFICE…yet they don’t know what the Hell they’re talking about.

I HATE roller coaster rides, double movie seats, motels and strawberry flavored condoms. I HATE  smiles and kisses, whispered sweet nothings, hands held tight, embraces and sex.

I HATE joy!

I HATE laughter!

I…

I HATE LOVE.

And I HATE you because you are HAPPY.

And I am not.”

Which of those things  in the lines above  you HATE most?

If you are a sensible person- let us say a pragmatic person- you might find the lines above  “corny” or  OA ( overacting) . Eric, the man in the story, is almost exaggerated. He almost hates the world. He even involves  the people like Ariel Rivera and Michael Bolton and inanimate things who have nothing to do with his “pathetic” life. Probably, you  might say that you feel like knocking the living daylight of him. Well, I cannot blame you if you have no background in psychology. If you do, probably, you do not apply it to your understanding the people just the like of Eric. (snickering) Do I sound affected? Not that! I just want to sympathize with Eric; I am a student of  Psychology. @_@

Eric , a musician, is  broken-hearted. He cannot accept the fact that his girlfriend, Jenny, breaks up with him, for she finds another man. For Eric, Jenny is the only woman he will love forever. He believes that Jenny thinks the same way. They both promise to stay together, to have a happy family once they tie the knot. In the end, all his dreams turn out to be a castle in the air. Eventually, he becomes extremely obsessed about her. He has manic depression ( based on my psychological analysis). He becomes ill-tempered and   psychopath at the same time. He projects his anger to the people around him. Probably, he has high degree of paranoia and hallucination.  He even becomes a misanthropist. No wonder the lines above on how he hates the world around him perfectly bespeak   his internal thinking. Therefore, he becomes a sociopath.

In other perspective, I therefore believe that Eric is an epitome of an idealistic and “Emo” person.  A person is said to be idealistic when he or she wants to live according to his/ her own standard far from the realistic universe. Actually, the idea is associated with the utopian feelings.

 Emo , on the other hand, is a slang for being extremely emotional referring to people   who are usually said to be unable to deal with realistic situations befall them. Usually, most of  “Emos” are said to be   broken-hearted.  As a matter of fact, the word Emo is a style of rock music characterized by expressive, often confessional, lyrics. It originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement of Washington, D.C., where it was known as “emotional hardcore” or “emocore” and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace. * In this generation, it is now the stereotype that when someone has this rock-style outfit , he/ she may be an Emo.( I don’t think so.)

Upon reading this, I could subjectively conclude that an emo or an idealistic person could/ may be

  1. prone to depression
  2. a misanthropist
  3. a misogynist
  4. suicidal
  5. psychopathic
  6. a major offender.
  7. a man with higher degree of paranoia and hallucination.

I have watched  dramas and movies with such  common theme  on the idealistic revenge of a man dumped by his girlfriend. However, I believe that  Gerry’s  story is original. In fact, Gerry wrote it in the 1990’s. Or Gerry may have  drawn the impression from the other books written in the 1980’s. Who knows?  But  I  surmise that the story could reflect in his personality. ( Who am I to judge him? )

Another  good thing about the comic book  is that it deals not just with  the love story of a psychopath but also with the socio-political aspects. Obviously, there are some parts Eric projects  his grievances to the government and society. Therefore, you may conclude that what centers around the story is  the pursuit of JUSTICE.

I usually enjoy reading animation comics just the like of Doraemon written and illustrated by the manga writing team Fujiko Fujio, but when I joined The Graphic Novel Club on Goodreads,  I came to the realization that comics are not different from other books. They could  have sense-All books have sense! The best examples are Gerry Alanguilan’s.

Dear me, forgive my ignorance. Little did I know that there is such a world-class comics writer and illustrator just the like of Gerry Alanguilan. Hmmm… Hooray! I am gonna hunt his Elmer, Rodski Patotski: ang Dalagang Baby, and Underpass: A Summit Media Graphic Anthology.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emo

Rating: 5/ 5 stars ( It’s amazing!)