Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza

Just when you were ready to bring the relationship to the'next level', that's when the bad news arrives.

He's leaving for greener pastures abroad and is breaking up with you, now!

Then he comes back after a decade, Is ten years enough to get over the love of your life? Erika and Richard, the love team of the century, I could almost hear the anime characters from Daimos shouting off the names.

Don't you just love the cover?!
On the party you were supposed to see your ex (after ten years), there's this cute DJ host, Jerome, who Erika's friends tease her about, and one of her friends conveniently mention to Richard that Erika is dating.

So its basically love team of the century versus this newbie, spur of the moment, and made-up tandem, which ship would you think prevail?

Plaza's prose is so convincing that one minute you're rooting for one guy and then the next its the other guy. You have yourself convincing that it was utter magic when they kissed, and then the next you doubt it was ever meant to happen. Your falling for Jerome on one scene, but then you recognize Richard's plight.

Erika, on the other hand had a late confession, she knew already who she wanted to be with,  From the first time the guy (no spoilers here) told her how he felt, Erika knew what her response to that was and felt liberated for having her feelings returned

Plaza sets up her heroine as someone becoming of an antisocial that Erika needed her bestfriend Lorra, to convince her to attend a barkada's wedding. What is the matter with you Erika? I guess that's what heartbreak does. Apparently she's been caught up in her past to be able to look ahead at the good things that are happening.

For that, Plaza points out the obvious that when girls have their heart broken, we sulk and keep busy with work or some other activity. We bury ourselves so much with the prospect of a flourishing career that we forget of our friends have had a thing with this guy, quit her job, or even found a new one. Not only Erika but her best friend, Lorra as well. Tsk! Tsk! We forget out support group. On that note, Plaza paints a great, crazy, and definitely hilarious set of supporting characters. I felt like I was an invisible member of the clique, Erika's confidant and Lorra's cheerleader, or just Elaine.

In the end, it is with that firmly rooted friendship that makes way for the (two) heroine's happy ever after.

Personal Thoughts / Others: 

Erika's beauty queen assistant, eh?

I just had to point out that I could picture Abbygale Arenas as Erika's assistant.

Plus, if I were Erika, I'd probably given Richard a pretty good beating. Shame on you! Erika could have been there if you only told her about your problem. (Yes, you have your reasons, but communicate! Damn the pride of men.) Don't you think that she was worth it! A love and a girl worth fighting for. Oh well, Erika' story wouldn't be the same if you did anyway.

Would have wanted Erika to end up with Jerome, all those revelations about him (SPOILERS: his mom, his philanthropy, and oh that kiss!).

Also, this book had me wishing that I have seen Quezon Memorial Circle before it is what it is today---roses and all greens. I wish that the government does not equate urbanizing a place with development.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Goodreads Blurb:

All she wants is to get even...

Erika Apostol's quiet and unassuming life gets disrupted when she learns that Richard Javier, the very same person who broke her heart many years ago, is now back in the country. Her world is turned upside down as old feelings she thought were buried resurface to haunt her once more.

Determined to give Richard a dose of his own medicine, Erika finds herself involved in an outrageous plan devised by her friends. They enlist the help of Jerome Gonzales, an attractive and charismatic DJ (with a playboy reputation), to pose as her significant other.

As the plan goes in full swing, Erika discovers Richard's jealous side, and that there's something more to Jerome than meets the eye. Will this grand charade work out the way it should, or will she be left with nothing in the end?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Read: A Scandal in Bohemia

For Doyle's first story about Sherlock Holmes, the ace detective is hired by a king. This tells us of the gravitas and greatness of Holmes. Also, it is interesting to note that the antagonist (?) is a woman, who matches and even surpasses Holmes' wit. Great read :)

A Scandal in Bohemia (Penguin Readers, Level 3)
Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia to recover blackmail evidence, held by the woman whom the king once promised to marry, but who he abandoned for a woman of noble birth.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Read: The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

Book Review:

The reason why I read this book is because of the supposed fact that it will be a movie soon.

If this was a movie, some who will say that is a bit cartoony, as the managed to survive a month in the cold mountains with little sustenance. But, as Ben Payne (the main character) did say, it was all luck, the next time he will go hunting he will probably end up empty handed.

I like Rachel, I like her better than Ashley, maybe that's why the whole love story between Ashley and Ben seemed a bit "I don't know, please don't." But, hey after surviving that horrendous trip together, psychology will tell us that these two have shared a wonderful bond.

I think I would have rated this a bit higher if the women were not all that cardboard one dimensional characters.

As for the movie version, well that's still to be made. I pictured Rosamund Pike as Rachel and Margot Robbie as Ashley, but I think both actress have bowed out. As for Ben, talks are between Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba.

Goodreads Blurb:

From the author of Where the River Ends, comes this page-turning story of love and survival.
On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness-- one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.

Ben, who has broken ribs and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot's dog, are faced with an incredibly harrowing battle to survive. Fortunately, Ben is a medical professional and avid climber (and in a lucky break, has his gear from a climb earlier in the week). With little hope for rescue, he must nurse Ashley back to health and figure out how they are going to get off the mountain, where the temperature hovers in the teens. Meanwhile, Ashley soon realizes that the very private Ben has some serious emotional wounds to heal as well. He explains to Ashley that he is separated from his beloved wife, but in a long standing tradition, he faithfully records messages for her on his voice recorder reflecting on their love affair. As Ashley eavesdrops on Ben's tender words to his estranged wife she comes to fear that when it comes to her own love story, she's just settling. And what's more: she begins to realize that the man she is really attracted to, the man she may love, is Ben.

As the days on the mountains become weeks, their survival become increasingly perilous. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why is virginity so important? the first time i heard of sex as sex

The first time I found out that the way to consummate is through a man driving his shaft through the aperture of the woman's thigh was when I was in High School, over the phone.

Yeah, I was that dense, or maybe not just paying enough attention during Science Class.

I was in second and third year, my friend was appalled at me not knowing that that was the way babies made, or to put it in slang, "kajuk".

It was something a guy friend told my girlfriend. Moments of teasing led the guy to comment "Kajukin kita dyan e," if  remember it exactly. Curios, I asked what kajuk meant, and she in her house and me in mine, went ballistic and told me well what it was. Over the phone.

The telephone line shattered my premonition of innocent lovemaking.  My regards that kissing was sex had gone kaput. Okay, so that's why people need to get naked in the movies.

That friend of mine, eventually had her first kajuk a few years after, with a different guy.

why is it regarded as some prize, to men and women, both.

I never heard my mother say the word virginity, sex. I heard her say love, when she says I love you.

But why is it, we have a belief that being a virgin is sacred.
The best example the bible can give is the so-called wife of Jesus, Mary Magdalene. Who in our first encounter in the New Testament had people throwing rocks at her as her source of income is malicious and scandalous. Like any hero, Jesus came to her rescue, uttering---.

Maybe it was reinforced. My mother did never say those words, but there would be hints here and there. Like when a sex scene is being hsown, they wanted me out of the room, or to cover my eyes. Hints such as wagmong isuka ang bataan, and back when I was little I did not know what that meant instead of course as an allegory to World War II.

Now, in my late twenties, i heard one of my aunts use the wag mong suka ang bataan again. We were in a car, all ladies, my two sisters, my aunt and my mother.

One of my sister, being the only one of us involved in a romantic relationship, was asked if she had given up that part.

KNowing that she had indeed done it, even haunting her then boyfriend with preganancy maybes. (I did not snoop, she was using my phone for Facebook, and she hadn't logged out), I just said, joke lang yun

My mother pissed at my ever makulit na auntie, ordered her to stop it.

Is virginity about love or timing?

I have a guy friends, who does not turn away a girl's invitation on a first date but then afterwards the act, he pulls on a disappearing act.  You wouldn't be hearing from him again.

Women have all the control in sex. They can say no or yes. For example, if the woman says no, and the man is saying yes yes yes, then the act is no longer consensual, making it rape. This is what I am talking about control.

You can always say no, but why do we say yes. Yes to sex, and yes to losing your virginity.
Is it because of love or is it because of your libido?  When you think about it, how can you then trust your instincts if what it is telling you is love or lust?

I asked my bestfriend google, what made it so special. At first, I did not expect any clear answers, but then there were a few.

says one use named KHnofp7 "Virginity, in the classical context, meant simply a person's sense of self." and even put to context why a Van Gogh is more priceless than your neighbour's scribbles.

Read: Don't Forget the Parsley

A great collection of stories about growing up Filipino in a different country. There are so many things to pick up from this book: family life lessons, career lessons, friendships, and litmus tests (which the author is so into).

Truly blessed to have a sneak peek to Lim-Moore's family, which has more memories than hearts can hold.

Alice Kamatis rating: 4 out 5 stars 

Don't Forget the Parsley

Goodreads blurb:

Marie Claire Lim Moore builds on her first memoir, Don’t Forget the Soap, offering more entertaining stories about her family in this follow up. Like her first book, Don’t Forget the Parsley is a collection of anecdotes from different points in Claire’s life: stories from her second-generation immigrant childhood in Vancouver and New York City mix with recent expat experiences in Singapore and Hong Kong where she balances multiple roles as wife and mother, corporate executive and author. Her positively Filipino parents continue to have a big influence on her whether it comes to managing family and career, meeting heads of state and world leaders or simply making new friends. 

From stray observations (everything is funnier at church) and midnight anxieties (if Jessica Simpson gets to go to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, why shouldn’t I?) to life mantras (don’t let perfection hold you back) and litmus tests (would you serve drinks at my mother’s art show?), Claire’s warm and honest storytelling will resonate with readers and leave them smiling.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Read: Russian Roulette by Mike Faricy

Dev Haskell is, as some reviewers did say, misogynistic, but I guess that's how a normal man would think. In a way, he's full of himself, (hell he said he was handsome but I guess his charms did work to the women in the book) which the author refutes with the turnout of events. His curiosity is both a plague and an advantage.

The author's upbeat writing was the only thing that kept me reading. Enjoyable indeed.

Will I be reading other Dev Haskell mysteries, I guess. That's something to think about, but maybe another from the author.

But, I just have to post this question: would you still continue on a case if your client has gone incognito and has admitted to accidentally hurting (no spoilers here) you? Well, if yes, then go ahead read it.

Alice Kamatis rating: 4 stars

Goodreads blurb: 

Russian Roulette is the FIRST novel in the highly entertaining Dev Haskell Private Investigator mystery series. 

Bestselling author Mike Faricy kicks off his mystery series with this humorous, suspenseful tale of intrigue, rank ineptitude, and one night-stands.