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[Blog Challenge] Local

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

– The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

We have this weekly blog challenge at work and the theme for this week is something local.
For the past weeks, a perya (a carnival, loosely translated) has been visiting our sleepy little town. I grew up with the almost contant visits of the fleeting band of lights, sounds, and rides that certain memories of my childhood have been marked by the presence of this magical and bright occurence.

Carnival is a kind of syncretic, ritualised pageantry which displays a particular perspective. It is a brief moment in which life escapes its official furrows and enacts utopian freedom.
-“In Theory Bakhtin: Carnival against Capital, Carnival against Power,” Andrew Robinson

Of course, I’ll be using this opportunity to quote Bakhtin. 😉

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REACT: Throne of Glass TV Series

Unpopular Opinion: I hate the Throne of Glass series with passion. I just hate how it started really strong, very empowering to girls, and then we regressed to a reverse harem situation. Celaena, the protagonist, hops from one boy to another and it’s practically a James Bond situation. It is the worst.

Maybe you could argue that she is being feminist about being sex positive and going after the boys she like, and there’s nothing wrong with going after what you want. But every book is dedicated to one boy that could be shipped with Celaena until the next book tears that ship down. It feels like we’re building one relationship up only to tear it down at the following book in the series and it’s so counterproductive. I hate it so much.

And now we’re having a TV Series adaptation of it. Great.

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Life Update: The Things I Learned as a Literature Graduate

It has been a long while since I last updated this thing, and one of my last updates was even a promise of updating this blog more often.

Well. This is the excuse post.

The long while I was gone, I struggled with the kinds of passion I have in my life: my love for books, literature, and idk life? The reason why I made this blog in the first place is to create a portfolio of how I am as a reader, informed by the things I learn as I slowly get my degree in Literature and from my passion as a romance reader.

Ultimately, I was doing this blog to someday become an editor for some big publishing house and for the books, really.

And here’s the thing. Sometimes, passion leads us to the greatest things we thought we would never experience or have. But there are times it would just leave you uninspired and broken, and that is a risk of following passion. 

So, before going into an unannounced hiatus, I was struggling with my last year in the university. It was a challenging year, so to speak, and practically left no time for me to read for pleasure and review said imaginary-almost-impossible books. It was well worth it, though.

Now, I’m an Anglo-American Literature degree holder! My dream come true! One of the greatest time of life, to be real honest.

A few weeks after graduation, life was all peachy and everything seemed brimming with endless possibilities. After all, I just finished my dream course. I was feeling invincible. Until my dream job happened.

So yes, for a brief while, I was an editorial assistant for a local publishing house. It was all so surreal until it morphed into a nightmare I just want to wake up from. Someday, I’ll be able to have the guts to tell the story. And so, that’s the second reason why I haven’t been updating in a long while.

And since we’re updating each other, here’s a thing I’m working on: Writing.

I have never truly embraced or identified with being a writer. Mostly because I am not confident enough with my abilities. But then an opportunity opened up, and though I am deathly afraid of failing yet again, I am hoping that things would work out.

So, now what? 

Besides the writing thing I have going on, I plan to revive this blog, yes. But also to start reviewing Philippine books as well. If there was one good thing that came out with my brief stint as an editorial assistant, it was the discovery of how much I love Philippine Romance in English. And I’m really excited for this project!

Maybe the things that lead me some horrible experiences gave me this tiny but growing love for local books. Maybe it’s not all bad. We’ll just have to wait and see, eh?

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Clara’s 2013 in the Wraps + Top 5 Books of 2013

Joyeux nouveau annee~! 😀 ¡Feliz año nuevo! 😀 Happy New Year~! 😀

2013 had been a wonderful year for me. Although it did start off as an extension of my ~*gloomy and depressive*~ days, it picked up midyear into probably one of the best times of my life. And for that, 2013 will always be a memorable year for me.

This year had been a year of friendship: ending, beginning and bonds forged stronger than ever. It felt like the end of one of the most dysfunctional friendships I had really come into completion. (It had been a long time coming, so.) It saddens me that a friendship has come to an end, but I learned that people grow, people change. And sometimes, we find ourselves completely different from our younger selves. That our principles and beliefs may lie somewhere different and far from when we younger. Consequently, the friends we had from our younger days will grow into different people, with different sets of values and principles as we do. And then in some inevitable cases, you will find each other at odds. The bitter truth of the world is that sometimes friendships end, not because there are arguments or shortcomings, but people just drift away. Almost as if there are just relationships that are not meant to be.

There are also new beginning this year. New friendships I’ve formed through the internet, imagine that, (and they are the most awesome people ever!) and from the new leg of my life. This year, I finally made the choice to pursue what I really want, my greatest what-if: English Literature. I am still not officially into the program, but I’ve been taking units, as you all know, and you know what? It feels like it’s the best decision I’ve ever made since college started. The classes I’ve been taking are the most wonderful classes ever. A big, big bonus is that the faculties are probably the kindest, most awesome teachers I’ve ever had in my entire collegiate experience. Seriously, follow you dreams, even if they have the biggest chance of you being unemployed after graduation.

Do what you love! Life is too short to waste it on engineering school things you don’t love.

So for next year, I’m really really hoping and praying that I be accepted officially into the program! 

I also started this blog this year! 😀 I actually only started this blog so I can work my way into getting advance review copies of books, but since I’ve neglected this blog for soooooo long, that dream is still kind of stilted. (Although a few authors have come to me for reviews from my GoodReads and tumblr accounts. AND THOSE WERE THE BEST EXPERIENCES EVER!!)

In line with this being my book blog, I’d like to list down my top 5 books of 2013! Yeaaaaah, I had to share my life first before I went down to business.

Clara’s Top 5 of 2013

5. Rock Chick Series by Kristen Ashley

If there is something you have to know about me, it’s that I love a series of books about a group of friends or a family. And the Rock Chick series was  gold mine! Initially, it was very hard to get into. KA’s characters are really crazy and out of this world and it just took so long before I could stomach their craziness. But what really captured me into reading ALL of the books in this series is Lee Nightingale and his hotness. Because, come on let’s be honest here, KA writes the hottest, baddest alpha males in the world of New Adult-landia!

4. Fantasyland Series by Kristen Ashley

Uhmmm, so yeah. This year had definitely been a KA year for me! So since I was only partially into KA reading her Rock Chick series, Fantasyland sunk me in totally. Especially book 2, The Golden Dynasty, which to be honest made me feel like a continuation of my Game of Thrones OTP, Daenerys and Khal Drogo. And I have to say, the Fantasyland series has some really awesome world building. It wasn’t too complex or big like Lord of the Rings. It was simple but it freaking rocked! It is a manifestation that sometimes the right combination of a good writing style, kickass characters, rollercoaster plot and a simple world building can make a impressionable book.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I hated John Green. But mostly because I hated Looking for Alaska. So before the year ends, as I gorged myself into meaningless contemporary romances, I tried to give myself a genre jolt, and boy, what a jolt it had been! I’ll be posting my review of The Fault in Our Stars later this week. But let it be known that I am now a John Green believer. The Fault in Our Stars was flawless.

2. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I read books really fast, so a usual paperback only lasts three hours to me. That’s also why I loved Kristen Ashley’s books because they always take me twice as long to read. I only read The Sea of Tranquility because it was mentioned in More Than This by Jay MacLean, and that decision cost me a heart and half of my soul. The Sea of Tranquility is a magical experience for me. It made me remember why I have a hope in my soul for romance books.

1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park owns my body and soul and possibly my first-born child. Seriously. This book gutted me and gahd, it was a fucking experience. It felt like if Hector of Troy was still alive as Achilles dragged his body around the perimeter of Troy. Reading this book felt exactly like that. It was so noble. I’ll probably make more sense in my review of this book, which I will publish also sometime later this week.

2013 was a wonderful year. I hope all of you guys’s year was as wonderful and fantastic as mine! Let’s all hope 2014 will even be better and lot more awesome than 2013!

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OH HEY! I’M ALIVE!

Yes, I am. I was just being my usual neglectful self, abandoning this blog for a whole effing semester.

Yep, I suck.

So, anyway. It’s Christmas break! Or at least the tailend of it, and New Year is looming over our heads, 2013 is bidding us adieu, and well, I really don’t want to leave this blog stagnant so I’m updating now! Yay! 

I will just publish all the reviews I gave on GoodReads, ‘coz I’m really too lazy to make full-blown reviews right now. BUT! I’ll be making a year-end list later (for real!) about the books that marked, shaped and basically made my 2013. :3

And, well, if anyone’s curious why I neglected this book blog for so long, as I’ve probably mentioned in a past post, I am now taking English Literature courses but I am still officially a non-major student. And I am so loving Lit! After wasting five years in Engineering, it finally felt like I could actually accomplish and survive college on my own, not being dependent on others, and totally rock classes! (Ish. I mean, I’m still not a stellar student, but I can fucking sail through classes now on my own! Hurray~!) Engineering school really did a number on me. (Pun not intended.)

 I’m not struggling with my academics or anything, I just got too preoccupied with this big of a change, and well, just being neglectful, really.

Oh! And me and my fanfiction writer friends have been meeting more lately, writing stories and fooling around. Mostly fooling around. I love them. This was the year we all got together, and in just a short time, I made really awesome friends, which I predictably also neglect.

I should really change that aspect of myself next year.

And those are the updates of my life! Blog updates to follow~

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i am the WORST blogger ever!

Seriously, it’s been what? 2 weeks?

I promise I’m alive, though. I was just caught up with school, nope not school extra curricular things, like writing fanfiction. I am so not sorry, but uhmmm maybe a little?

I have legit explanation, though! So please hear me out, before you unfollow me. *sobs*

(Oh! And before I forget. Thank you for following me, y’all! You are all lovely and wonderful people for giving me a chance to speak my mind despite being an absentee blogger for weeks now. *sobs* Thank you so much for following me!!!)

I have recently read The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo, and I was just so SUCKED IN by that series! I swear, it’s not even funny how much that series consumed my life in the two days I’ve spent reading it. (I will be posting a very emotional, very biased review on The Grisha Series soon! Watch out. It’s gonna be epic.)

And so why exactly didn’t I write a review after I read the series?

It’s because I just love that story so much I decided to write a fanfiction about it! Sort of. See, there is this character there–the Darkling–and he’s all sorts of evil and manipulative, which in my book translates to I will love your character to death!

(Because it is my greatest frustration be a manipulative character in real life, too. But sadly, I am too, uhm, not smart (?) to actually pull off that.)

<spoiler alert!>

I just think the Darkling is just one misunderstood character. He is evil, ambitious, and greedy, but I think he just believes that he has the capacity to change the ways of their nation, which he sees is corrupt and unjust. He uses people, and lies to achieve his goals, but I truly believe that he really likes Alina, in the most sincere way he knows.

</spoiler>

Anddd I will stop there before I get too carried away by my love for the Darkling.

In my life, there is this one constant thing that I will love forever and ever, and that is my OTP, SasuSaku. (In the anime Naruto, because once upon a time, I was an otkau. Teehee.) And basically, the reason why I am MIA is because I am trying to infuse the idea of the Grisha in a SasuSaku fanfiction.

Of course, what I wrote pales in comparison to the Grisha series, but I just need to explain how I see the Darkling! So I projected my feels into my OTP.

So, there you go. That’s my explanation.

I promise to write a review real soon! Probably next week, after my second reading of the series. 😀 So I can finish my fanfiction, too. *creys* It’s starting to consume me, to be honest.

Also, I will probably read the Angelfall series next week, too! So watch out, watch out. (I’ve been reading tons of contemporaries, too. But eh. Do y’all want some contemp recs?)

I’m alive and well, and I’ll see y’all next week!:D

 

 

Disclaimer: I do not own The Grisha Series. They all belong to Leigh Bardugo, and I swear to the creator of Beowulf that I do not and will not profit from deriving stories out of her amazing books. Go read that series to add more awesomeness to your lives, though!