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

 

 

 

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

 

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

Ramen Weekend (L blogs#10 and Reviews#11)

Last Saturday was a little adventure again for me, my high school best friend and my boyfriend.

That morning my boyfriend and I went to Robinsons Galleria to meet someone but it got cancelled when we were already there…

Growing my own Sea Monkeys

Before the meet-up was cancelled we strolled around the toy store and saw an interesting piece of toy that only costs 50 PhP. It is some kind of kit to grow your own sea monkeys/living creature. I like these kinds of toys, I like how it educates children and I am curious if it does really work or it’s just another bogus toy. It is originally priced at 350 PHP so I guess it works but I would have to try it out.

Erra’s Ramen Review

 

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Hot Ramen on a hot afternoon.

 

This isn’t the first time I visited this ramen joint, I actually went there a few years ago. I went back there because my best friend wanted to try this “internet famous” ramen.

Last time I went there the place was smaller and only had ramen and siomai on their menu. I may be wrong because I was with my boyfriend who sometimes hides tiny details about a place. That Saturday we were given a menu booklet with an assortment of dishes from ramen, side dishes, -silogs and even alcoholic drinks.

We ordered:

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Ramen. I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of mine because I was too hungry to remember that I will take a photo of it. XD

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Tokwa’t Baboy (deep fried Tofu and Pork) and tapsilog (on the far right)

The ramen still tastes the same as the last time I went there. I like it. I am not a ramen expert to say anything about it in detail but for the price of the dish, which was only in the range of 60-90 PHP, it is well worth the price and taste.

 

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She couldn’t stop eating . XD

 

The place isn’t the same as those expensive ramen joints. Do not expect any air-conditioned room, a comfy seat and a place where they hired an interior designer to make the place look classy. The place is in the heart of Ermita/ Malate bar scene. Expect to dine with alot of expats when you decide to eat there. I do remember seeing a Vietnamese family sharing a meal the first time that I visited the restaurant but this time around I saw more expats than locals. It is at the side of the road and is actually the only place that was open in the area on a hot afternoon.

I do advise going there in the afternoon if you are like me who isn’t a fan of being in a crowded place because I assume that the place is jam packed during evenings because that is when the area is very active. If you are a social butterfly, then go ahead and go there in the evening and socialize with a whole lot of different types of people and also nationalities. Like I said, the place is full of expats and the area is actually a tourist hot spot.

I do enjoy the ambiance of this simple eatery. It let’s you socialize and observe what is around you and I guess it’s better than getting stuck in a room where you don’t know what is happening outside or around you.

 

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Empty plates and  no left overs.

 

Overall , the food is a great bargain for when you are craving for ramen and you don’t have enough budget to splurge. I cannot compare it to the other ramen available here in the Philippines because I deem most of the restaurants serving it as unreasonably expensive.

Will I go back again? Yes, for it’s affordable price the taste and the food itself is worth going back to.

Erra’s Ramen is located at Zone 076, 1755 Adriatico St, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

They do not have a website but they do have a facebook account and here it is : Erra’s RAMEN CART

 

How was your weekend? Did you try anything new ?  😀

I hope you enjoyed reading my post and that you also had a meaningful weekend.

♥L

The Booze Stole my Son book review (L reviews#10)

Wow! This is an achievement, it is my 10th review on this blog and I am happy to share this because it is a book review also featured in another blog.

If you follow me on social media I have already mentioned this. Here is my promise…the untouched version of my review. 🙂

A Mother’s Unexpected Inspiration

As the book title suggests, The Booze Stole my Son: Don’t Let it Steal Yours is a literary piece created by a mother who experienced the loss of her son due to alcoholism. She wrote her struggles, realizations, regrets, and thoughts about the disease in the hope of inspiring and educating other people about it.

What I like about this book….

The book is full of emotions, scientific facts, and some bible verses to back up all that the author is describing in her work. It gave light to Alcoholism as a disease and not just a social issue.

What I like most about this book was it gave us a glimpse of how it felt to lose someone you love so unexpectedly but could have been avoided if we took time to be with them. I also like that before and after every chapter there is this letter that the mother addresses to her son and it is relatable to almost everyone who has a mother or generally someone you treat or love as a mother (who doesn’t have one?).

As sad as the whole book may be I will spoil you that you would not want to put the book down in the last few chapters of it because it does have this unexpected happy ending or maybe some thoughts that would make you happy you read the book.

What I did not like are….

I had some urges not to continue reading this book. Probably because I myself have not experienced such great loss and I also have this short attention span but I think it was also due to some “dead” moments in the book. I warn you, some chapters are full of scientific facts and studies that may be too much for some people, like me, to read through. If you are not a believer of the Holy Bible and the scriptures you may not agree with some of the content of this book.

Overall,

I would have never thought of picking this book up if I saw it at an online bookstore or a traditional bookstore and to tell you all the truth I am glad I had the privilege to read and review this book. I never experienced alcoholism at first hand but I know a few of my friends who struggled with a loved one who is afflicted by this disease. As I read through the book I saw a clearer vision of how it is like to live with someone who is an alcoholic. It is harder when this person is someone you treasure, you turn a blind eye and believe in their deceitful lies to cover their illness up. I cannot blame anyone because trust is part of loving someone and this book is a clear example of that, love. It is rare to find such local author and book about this topic maybe because most of us are not proud of saying that I have an alcoholic family member but bless Ms. Au V.for sharing her story and her experience through this book.

I also have this little back story about this certain book and the author….

I actually received , via email , a reviewer’s digital copy from the author herself a few weeks after I finished reading her book. I have already wrote and submitted the review for bookbed as well.

I am posting this review on my blog because she reached out to me, I felt blessed and honored that she choose me and this is my way of saying my thank you. Based on our short email exchange she is a very kind lady and I admire her for sharing her experience to all of us.

I wish to help her and other Filipino authors boost up their reading audience because there is talent all over our small country.

I am not closing my doors to other nationalities’ books (of course I will only understand and read books that are written in English)  I am simply setting my priorities. 🙂 I still love to discover new authors and books from all over the world but like I mentioned I want to help my countrymen and women as well.

I hope to read one Filipiniana book per month and I am actually trying my best to do so. I encourage my fellow Filipino readers to do the same. 😀

Mayroong ibang libro sa bookstores na hindi baduy. You simply have to dig and search deeper. 😀

Have fun reading and I hope you get a copy of this book because it’s worth the read.

’til next post!

♥L

Social Media Update :) (L blogs #9)

hey everyone!

This post is going to be short and , hopefully , sweet (?) (haha)

I have gone back to using facebook for about a week now and I created a fb page for this blog. 🙂

and here it is : https://www.facebook.com/L-Chronicles-200266057007452/

If you want to be the first to know when my next blog post will be just like that page. 🙂

I have blocked myself from using facebook for almost 2 years now because it affected me and my daily life. Need I say addiction that later on turned into depression? There was so many dramas caused by using that social media platform and I had to step away from it and recuperate from such bad vibes it was giving me and my heart. I decided to go back for the sake of this page, to be honest. I want to expand my audience and most people told me to make a facebook page and now I am trying out their advice. I hope it is effective 😀

I hope you get connected with me on facebook. 😀

♥L

 

OH PS. Tonight, a review of a book I read is gonna be published again on Bookbed. I hope you also have time to read it. As usual I will be posting an unedited version of said review and the link to the bookbed article. 😀

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