A trip around Europe. [L Reviews: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson]

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About the book

We join Virginia Blackstone,a 17- year-old  who recently lost her aunt due to Cancer. She  found out that her aunt passed away because of a letter addressed to her, it had instructions that at first she herself did not understand. Later on, she received 13 blue envelopes that assigned her to different tasks to be done at different countries in Europe. Her aunt also wanted her to go on this journey by herself and without any form of communication with anyone back home. Despite her doubts, she had the courage to follow her deceased aunt’s instructions and in the end she made friends and even family.

Twist of fate

Rarely do I have this attraction to a book,it was like it was screaming my name every time I entered the bookstore. (Or maybe I am getting sick!O_O) I think bibliophiles get my drift?

What caught my attention was the plot of the novel itself. It was a round-trip ticket to Europe without applying for a Schengen visa. I can instantly go back to the Philippines whenever I want and fly to London or be in Copenhagen the next hour. It was a thrill having Ginny and her Aunt Peg as my tour guide through Europe via this book.

A Special Bond

This book also shows the special relationship of an aunt to her niece and how it is important to love every single family member you have in your life because you will never know when will be the last time you will talk to them. Unless you are like Ginny who has a cool aunt who made 13 letters that would take her with her in spirit.

Where are they?

Fiction is a work of the mind, but as I read through this book I couldn’t help but think: Can a 17 years old girl do all these things by herself?  Maybe it is just one of the cultural differences Filipinos have from Americans. I mean who would allow their daughter to go around Europe by herself without proper updates on her whereabouts? I don’t think such parents exists! But come to think of it, it’s fiction so anything can happen.

I think reality can hit the sidelines when writing a novel but sometimes it can also be a way for people to think that you did not work on your writings well enough.

The YA version of the movie Eurotrip

Like I said earlier, the book will take readers on a journey around Europe with it’s main character Ginny. If you are a travel junkie and a YA lover, I do suggest you read this book. This is a good read with a stress-free plot.

 

♥L

 

 

 

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Reading Challenges, anyone? {Updated: January 24,2017}

Reading has been part of my life since I was taught to read when I was in kindergarten. My mother purchased a whole set of children’s picture book to encourage me and my sister to read aloud and read as many as possible. It is probably due to my mom being a wide reader herself. She wanted to pass her hobby to her two little girls and she did not fail on that life goal.

I am not a person who has those new year’s resolution but I do set one year-long goal for myself every year.This year my goal is to read more than the past few years.

Ever since I focused on finishing Dentistry I had to set aside this hobby of mine. I still read a book or two every year but I know that it is not enough.

With that long overdue goal done, (I am patiently waiting for the DLE results as I write this) I have all the time to focus on myself and my pastimes. It also help lessen the stress and the anxiety of waiting for the results. It’s like my brain’s stress ball.

Research her and research there

So I was looking around the inter webs and on facebook for tips and what to put on my to-be-read book pile, when I encountered an article about reading challenges.

Reading Challenges, what’s that?

Basically, a reading challenge can be classified into two (based on my observation.)

One form has reading prompts and the other tracks down how many books you have read throughout the year.

I have tried the latter challenge last year but did not hit my goal of reading 24 books in a year because “dentistry is calling” .

This year I want to try out the reading challenges with prompts. I think it will help me in making up my mind on what book to read next.

Reading Challenges I will participate in

Bookbed’s Reading Challenge

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I told myself to read more local books this year and I know this will help me in my mini goal leading to my year long goal of reading more. 🙂

I hope you can join us as well and use #BookbedReadsPHLit so that we know you are participating.

Currently reading:—-

Finished:

[x] Any book by a Filipino author: Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

 

PopSugar Reading Challenge

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Finished reading:

——-

Currently Reading:

A book involving travel: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

So with all of these challenges, I think I can reach my reading goal. 🙂 Will you join me in facing this challenges?

Comment down below if you will and what you think about reading challenges.  If you have book suggestions, don’t be shy to tell me. 🙂

’til next post!

♥L

 

 

 

Engaging but “Dying Hope”. (L reviews#12)

For my first review after months of hiatus, I was challenged by my fellow writer in #YAI2017 to review her award winning piece. The title of this novel is “Dying Hope”.

As many of you know, I feel slightly indifferent when it comes to reading Filipino/ Tagalog books. I know that I should blame myself for this lack of interest in Filipiniana books. I am trying my best to change my preference and open up to reading more from local authors next year.

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About the book:

Dying Hope is a Tagalog novel by Rhisa A. Rey or thesoullessvampire on Wattpad. It follows the story of a writer named Hope.

Hope is the opposite of her given name, she was already giving up on herself and everything that she loves. That is until she met a boy named Luke who will change the way she looks at her life.

Enticing plot

I could say, this book is one of those masterpieces that make me lean to reading more Filipino novels. For someone who is just starting to appreciate and read Tagalog books, I didn’t find myself lost in the middle of this book because of how deep the Filipino words were.

From the first line of the epilogue I knew it was going to be a great reading journey, and it was.

What I like the most in it is the way the author was able to take me with Hope and Luke. The way she wrote about how the characters felt in all given situations is excellent.

Another plus on my list is the way thesoullessvampire was able to establish God into her story without it spoiling the plot and making it into a bible-ish story rather than a novel.

Confounding Taglish

I am a little disturbed by the way some of the sentences are constructed in what we Filipinos call Taglish ( a mixture of both english and tagalog words in one sentence). I am not a fan of it.

Another issue that I want to point out is the sudden shift of point of view from Hope to Luke. There are instances where the POV shifts from one person to the other in the middle of the chapter and that for me is slightly confusing as a reader.

A well-deserve win

I mentioned earlier that this literary treasure won awards. It won second place on ProjectNY Battle/ Nayink’s Novel writing contest 2016 and it also won on Watty Awards 2016.

I must say, this book truly deserve the recognition. It will surely win more hearts when the book launches on December 17, 2016.

I am honored to write a review for this book by Rhisa A. Rey and I hope to read more from her soon. I know I will, when her #YAI2017 story comes out.;P

Best of luck, my YAI batchmate! 😀

And to you my readers, I hope you grab a copy of her book because sometimes we need a little read that would help us realize that life is worth living.

♥L

 

Chinatown Courtship

I am still busy with reviewing for my December exams and I couldn’t update every day or weekly on my blog but the good news is: my writing buzz is still on. 🙂

I am sharing this to you now and I hope you take a chance on reading this.

Do tell me what you think of my story through a comment here or on wattpad.com 😀

Without further a-do here it is:

china court

About the story:

Jake meets Lin ,a unique Filipino- Chinese girl, at the busy streets of Binondo Manila and instantly falls in love with her. Join him as he faces the challenges to have a chance and a place in Lin’s heart.

Excerpt from Part 1:

Walking around Binondo, Manila was a past time I developed after my summer internship shift ended. I enjoyed the mixture of different architectural structures in the area and it always felt like I am transported to Europe and China at the same time.

The people you see in the area were also a mixture cultures, at one side of the district are Filipinos chatting madly in either Tagalog or Visayan. At the next corner, you hear Mandarin, Fukien or Cantonese speaking Chinese high school girls walking behind you.

This is what I like at this part of the city. It’s never the same every day, there will always be peculiar or special about this place.

Here is the direct link to my story: Chinatown Courtship on wattpad.com

‘Til next post

♥L

Let me tell you about the boy from Nepal (L reviews#11)

About the book:

In this novel, we follow Johannan an orphan boy who seeks a god in China that can help him with his fiancée’s blindness. His adventure starts when he found said god and he agreed to give Johannan the cure to Ayushi’s ,his love’s, blindness as long as he follows all the tasks that is given to him. 

Exciting Chinese Adventure

The novel is composed of short but very colorful chapters. Chapters that will make you not want to put the book down. It is filled with different scenarios and descriptive words that make you want to go to provincial China to see for yourself what Johannan is in. 
The characters, specially Johannan is someone you would want to be part of your hiking group if ever he is from our time. 

I do not want to narrate more of what happens in the book because I do not want to spoil anyone of you about what transpired in the story. 😄 Plus it is a book series and this is the first book of said series, so I do not want to judge it too early.

Missing in the forests

What I did not find entertaining or amusing is that the novel lacks a sense of suspense in some situations that the main character was put in. As usual, I found myself lost in some instances but I do know it is my short-attention span that should be blamed for that. 

There are times in the novel that Johannan was relatable and there are times where I could not understand why he put himself into such a fuss for a solution that can just be put aside because love is past that simple dilemma. 

Overall, 

The book is a good weekend read and a good break from the intense book reading that is usually a signature in such novels that fall in the same genre. I can’t compare it to Harry Potter but I do see similarities in their stories but of course HP is hard to beat. I do think this book will be a great read for those who loved the HP franchise but do not expect too much from it. 

I am thankful that I was given a chance to discover and read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I hope you take time to purchase and read this book. 😄 

A digital copy of this novel was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 

If you are also interested on my thoughts about your book,I am open to giving my time to review your masterpiece once I step out of my short haitus to focus on my career.  Drop an email at lucilledemesa@gmail.com

‘Til next post

❤️L


Bookbed Dugtungan (L Blogs#14)

Do you have this little urge to write a story but don’t know where to start or do you want to practice your writing skills this month?

I got the right activity for you!

If you are a regular reader of my little blog you all know that I am contributing and sharing short stories,book reviews and article(s) (singular for now because I only have one posted but I hope to contribute more) on bookbed.

I am very excited to share this activity the bookbed editorial team made for everyone and I want to invite anyone interested in joining me (yes I signed up!)  and other bookbed storytellers on this project.

What project/activity?

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The activity is called Dugtungan. Basically , the end result may be a short story, novelette or novel that is co-written by everyone who joined in on the fun.

More Information and how to register for Dugtungan here.

I wanted to share this because sharing is caring . ahaha.

Joking aside, I want to share this great idea of an activity because it is a great way for aspiring writers to practice and enhance their writing skills, and gain a little more confidence when it comes to their new found or old flame with writing. 🙂

I hope you join me and the bookbed community in such a great collaboration. 😀

See you soon or read you soon. 😀

♥L

SATURDAY BOOKSTORE BARGAIN AND SUNDAY FAMILY DAY ENSEMBLE (L Blogs #7, Vlogs #6 & Reviews #9)

Hey Everyone its a new week and I have a lot of things to tell you. 😀

SATURDAY BOOKSTORE BARGAIN

My friend woke me up by calling me to say she will drop by and hangout at my place that day. I asked her to come over because I have this stuffed animal that I have to give her as a late Christmas, valentines day and whatever holiday gift. I fixed myself in just 30 minutes because I thought she was already near my house when she called. I then got another call from her that she will be bringing lunch for the two of us and that I had to provide the rice. So I cooked it while waiting for her but she arrived a few minutes before the rice cooked and knowing her she is probably hungry from her work and the trip to my house. She was patient enough to wait for the rice to cook.

We talked about life and everything in between and then my boyfriend called and arrived and we had this Magic Sing Concert. It was nice. We had fun but the highlight of her visit would probably her thrift store haul. She actually was happy about her purchases and the saving power that comes with these kind of activities.

After our visit to the thrift store we said our goodbyes and me and my boyfriend had our alone time. As usual we headed to our usual “date” place. SM. We actually have no plans that day. We did planned on a swimming escapade but dear old “red tide” got the best of me. At the mall I requested to go to Watsons and National Bookstore.

At Watsons I purchased a BB cream but what made me happy is what I bought at National Bookstore.

I got these three babies for 99 PHP each. I was particularly happy about the Amy Tan Book. The Dan Brown Inferno book is actually my boyfriend’s but he said I can keep it and give it to him after I read it already. The third book is entitled Under Fishbone Clouds, judging from the cover you won’t think of it as a Chinese related novel set in the time on the Mao Communist Era of China. That is the reason why I purchased that novel. I had this curiosity about their culture since, I don’t know, grade school?  So this is another book to add to my knowledge about what other people know about Chinese culture.

My Saturday was full of fun, laughs and of course bargain hunt escapades; I am fairly myhappy with that.

MY SUNDAY

IWHITE BB.HOLIC BB CREAM REVIEW

I saw and purchased at Watson’s this new product from iWhite Korea. It is called the iWhite BB.Holic everyday BB cream. I wasn’t exactly in the mood to buy a BB cream but I am a sucker for new products and I wanted to test it out myself.

This is for anyone out there who is curious about this product but hesitant to try it for themselves. :))) Well look no further I am here to give my thoughts about this product.

GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

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Not so cute right? I expected more from the packaging.But what can I complain about? It is still presentable but unlike the other products they have I don’t think this product will catch my eyes in the drugstore. Maybe it’s the name that would make you want to purchase it. I don’t know I am no marketing or advertising genius. This is a 4ml packaging and it is separated in 2 ml each. I guess it’s because its for everyday and you will only use let’s say 2ml of the product each day.

HOW THE PRODUCT APPLIES AND FEELS ON MY FACE

The product has two shades: light and beige, I got mine in beige. I only put a pea size amount on my fingers and applied and blended it in on my face. At first I didn’t notice that there is this great scent coming from the product. I can’t say if its fruity or floral scent, I have to recheck again.

The coverage is actually good and it can actually stand alone because it covered my flaws/ acne marks or you can use a powder foundation or setting powder to go with it. I opt to use my powder foundation because I felt it was a little bit oily for my face but maybe it’s the korean “dewy” effect that they are promoting.  It did not cake up and that is a big plus for me. 🙂

After a few hours of having it on my face, I noticed my face got a bit oilier than usual. I suspected it was from the BB cream because I did not put anything else new on my face besides that.

TIME TEST VLOG

I actually made a video using this product and here it is. I time tested it for everyone but I don’t think 4 hours is enough for a true verdict.

This video is actually a makeup tutorial of some sort. This is basically my everyday and go-to make-up look minus the red lip color. I think it is perfect for the hot humid weather we have here in the Philippines. It a very light and easy makeup routine for anyone and specially beginners.

If you watched the video, you saw at the end there was a comparison of before and after we went out and I think there wasn’t any significant difference. Mind you, it was actually very hot last sunday and I was sweating and we were actually at the mall doing some grocery shopping and you all know how intense grocery shopping can be sometimes.

I think I will have a separate review on the  menow kissproof lipstick because it actually deserves to be reviewed. XD I actually just used that lipstick shade/product that morning and it impressed me a lot.

GOING BACK TO BBHOLIC…..

  • The product is very affordable for only 24.50 PHP but I believe they have not put out a tube or larger packaging for this product.
  • If you have oily face I do not think this product is right for you.
  • It last for a decent amount of time.
  • The packaging is pretty messy if you have left over product.

SUNDAY ENSEMBLE

I just wanted to share my outfit ensemble last Sunday because I think it looks nice and it would help those larger ladies, like me, to find some style inspiration. 😀

  •  Top is  from the thrift store: 100PHP
  • inner garment/ gray tank top from Daiso: 88 PHP
  • Leggings/Jeggings from Payless Shoestore (I forgot the brand name; it’s at the socks section) : around 700PHP
  • Sandals are from CLN(Celine) : I can’t remember the price but I think we got it for less than 1000 PHP
  • Watch is from Swatch a gift/ pasalubong from my mother. 😀

 

I hope you all had a great and fun weekend. 😀 I surely did.

‘Til next post

♥L

P.S. I have a little project for my site and I can’t wait to show it to all of you but I have to contain myself. Check on my instagram for a quick peek. 😉

 

 

“Interesting may not be for everybody” (L Reviews #8)

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Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting

Author:  Holly Bourne

Genre: Young Adult Fiction; English

About:

In this book we meet Bre, a teenager who has an ambition of being a famous writer. The problem is that her works are always rejected by the publishers, they deemed it too dramatic or even suicidal. Bre’s student life was something everyone never wished for, she only had one friend and she was invisible in a school full of spoiled rich kids. She did have Mr. Fellows’ class to look forward to, she was advised by him to be a little bit more interesting and “commercial” because that is what publishers like. It was something she was not happy to hear about but she took that advice and together with Holdo’s, her only friend, idea of making a blog. She started a journey of transforming herself to be more interesting and wrote about it on her blog which was later on called the manifesto on how to be interesting. This transformation came with gaining new set of friends, falling in love, making someone happy but it also came with losing her true friends, getting hurt in love, and did I mention, nearly dying.

Not your usual YA book

This is the first YA book I read since I stopped abstaining from reading a book for a hobby. I always thought of these kind of books as something for light reading or simply a read during a long relaxing weekend/holiday. I never expected it to be that interesting that I had to read it slowly just to make the book last longer.

The way that Holly Bourne, the author, wrote this novel is something out of the ordinary YA books (that I have read as of now) mixed with the typical high school setting and scenarios every book of this genre had a reputation for.

What I really liked about this book is that it talks about self- harming and how it affects the lives of the characters in the story. It also talks about it as if it is a normal scene for teens, which I think is true nowadays, and that it is what most teens might actually think of doing when faced with a situation like Bre’s.

The main character is someone that you will become friends with. She is the epitome of the social outcast, the weirdo, and I guess the anxious normal teen sans the cutting part. She wasn’t the super depressed girl but the regular girl you will meet around school who is silent and knows when and where she should talk. Bre has this confident vibe in her personality that I personally like for a teen or someone younger than me should look up to. She wasn’t the typical nerd that is a super outcast that spends her time popping pimples and talks about scientific terms that a normal person can not even pronounce correctly. She is this girl that is smart and strong, that is probably why most popular people do not notice her. She is too smart for them and it was not really considered cool to be friends with a girl like her in this type of books.

What I didn’t like on this book..

It showed self-harming as something so normal and something that should be taken lightly. It did not really show the seriousness of the situation besides the part where the character almost lost her life. Depression was talked about but it was only a small part of the book. I guess it is just me and my stance towards mental illness awareness.

Overall,

This book is a great read. It is not for those who think self-harming and mental illnesses is a joke in this society that we live in. This book gave me an idea about what other people experience when they are in that state and how that behavior affects everyone around them. It helped me open my eyes to what is always under the shade and is not talked about often about these issues. Hopefully I get to read more books concerning these topics because I think it will help everybody understand more about these illnesses.

So what books have you read lately? Does it touch any topic about mental illnesses? How is it different from this book? Would you mind sharing it to me? 😀

♥L

 

 

 

 

Why I read books. (WOLM? #21 and Scribbles#1)

 

I was talking to my friend earlier on viber. We were talking about our high school days and after a while we talked about reading books. We were avid readers back in the days. I told her about my goodreads challenge and that I made a review on my blog about a book I just finished reading. I also shared to her the book I am currently reading.

We were asking question left and right about the books we read and if it’s good or if it’s something we both would read. Then out of the blue I realized something. Why am I reading books? Do others have the same reason like mine when it comes to reading? I then proceeded to share my thoughts with my friend about it and I want to share it to you as well. (Whoever you may be that is reading this post right now.)

I am not a fan of people who do “speed reading”. I look at reading as something you have to put yourself in. I am not an author but I tried my hands and brain on creating a story for NANOWRIMO 2015. It’s not easy to come up with plot twists and building a character. It needs time and also some inspiration. I also had to put in mind my grammar when I was writing and challenging myself. After that month I had a new perspective as a reader. I didn’t want to brag about having read 100 books in a year. I wanted to brag that I put my heart into what the authors made for us to read. I was reading that book that took a person time to conceptualize and think about word per word. Maybe I have not considered that there are ghost writers, editors and publishers. They are still people.

L they get paid doing their job.

I know for a fact that they get paid for doing their job. Aren’t we all paid to do a job we choose and sometimes love to do?

Think of it as a task you did on your job that took months to finish and your boss would simply look at it for 30 seconds and say “hmmm good job.” Isn’t that heartbreaking in your part? It took you months to do and all they did was look at it for 30 seconds. They did not ask questions. They did not even wonder how you did this and that. They did not digest your work.

I look at reading a book as somewhere I could escape in or put myself into. I do not want to be a spectator. I see a whole lot of readers who simply “watch” their books they aren’t putting themselves in the book. After reading the book, reviewing it or telling everyone that its a good read… months later after reading 45 books ask them about that book they read months ago. Do you think they can instantly remember what is it about or what made them want to read that book? I have encountered some people like this. I am disappointed but I have nothing against them. It is their lives anyway.

These are my own opinions. I do believe I am passionate when I learn to love something.

Reading together with writing are my passions. I hope with this drive I can genuinely share to you what charm every book I read has showed me.

I want everyone reading this to take this in mind:

Reading is an adventure. Do not be afraid to immerse yourself in it. Do not be afraid to feel what the characters feel. Do not be a spectator. Take your time to read it because it took time to create such masterpiece. Don’t waste that opportunity by simply speed reading through it. Make yourself comfortable because when you finished that book you will be happier that you are not just “watching” it in your head. You were with them in their adventure. 🙂

see you all tomorrow! 😀

Always remember: Don’t give up on something you love and enjoy doing because that is what makes you who you are.

♥L