Diary 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.
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.)