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Casual Consumption No. 2

I posted my first casual consumption entry back in June. A lot has been consumed in the days between June and now so I wouldn’t bother to list everything in one go. That’s ridiculous. And I’m very lazy.

I’ve also been really busy dealing with my mental health in the past months. It’s not something I am vocal about because ~*stigma*~ but I need to vent one way or another. I could draft a post about it, we’ll see.

Movies

There has been a crapton of films I’ve seen in July-August. One of them is Guardians of the Galaxy, which I dearly loved. There’s no reason behind seeing this gem apart from the beautiful homo sapien Chris Pratt.

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I don’t think I need to say more about Guardians. You have probably seen it too. It’s wonderful and very entertaining; it gave me that fuzzy feeling after, the kind that makes you want to see that again because.

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And the highlight of this post: I finally saw What If, which was a fun thing to watch, especially if you are fond of seeing rom-com films and you like Daniel Radcliffe. Honestly, though, watching Ruby Sparks and Harry Potter try not to fall in love with each other was fun to watch so it didn’t matter that it was a romantic comedy and I, at one point, cringed so hard because I am dead inside.

There has been a lot of controversy on the subject of a man and a woman being just friends and it’s fine to be curious about it. But when it’s been asked for so many times, over and over, it’s just exhausting. I say let The Fates decide and let’s not speak of it again.

Overall, it was an easy on the eyes feel good movie and I’m absolutely in love with the so-called bromance between Dan Radcliffe and Adam Driver’s characters that I paid more attention to that over Zoe Kazan and Dan’s.

I was also nagged by my friend to see Lucy. Despite its bad reputation online, I opted to go because I wanted to see how bad it was. It started so great. I remember sitting through the first thirty minutes of it and thought it was a decent enough movie to splurge on until it became a pseudo philosophical slash Darwinian conspiracy theory. It was really bad and that is all I want to say about it.

Television

This season, I’ve lost interest in several favorites like Suits. I don’t even care about it anymore so I stopped watching. I might regret that in the future for now I’m out.

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FX has a new show called You’re The Worst which is becoming one of my favorites. It’s filling the Broad City-shaped hole in my heart and so far it’s wonderful. I’ve seen filler episodes and although they weren’t as funny as, say, the pilot, I’m pretty hooked still. Sometimes as I am watching, I feel like it’s reverse psychology BS (re: relationships) but it’s hella funny so as long as I am not overthinking it, I think I’m good.

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Showtime also has this new exploitative documentary show called 7 Deadly Sins. I was curious about its first episode, Gluttony, so I gave it at go. Directed by Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me), 7 Deadly Sins is an eerie and real life scary show giving the audience a little peek of the modern day interpretation of the seven deadly sins.

So far they’ve tackled gluttony which included a burger joint serving quadruple bypass burgers (!!!) and tall glasses of lard milkshakes; envy in which a man pretends to be in a wheelchair and women who buy real life-looking baby dolls; and lust where modern day beastiality was covered. It’s obscene and sometimes very personal but it’s also very entertaining.

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Doctor Who‘s new series starring the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) just started last week. I’m still waiting for a few more episodes to sort out how I feel about it. For a brief moment, Eleven (Matt Smith) was in the episode and I WAS CRYING. I guess it just needs a bit of getting used to. Like when Nine was replaced by Tennant, and so on.

Books

I was able to finish several books in the time I was out. I was briefly on a Melina Marchetta Madness (July) and was able to insert to the bunch Rainbow Rowell’s most recent novel, Landline. I hope I’ll get to review these before I complete forget how they made me feel haha. For the complete list of books I read during my unofficial hiatus, go here.

I’ve also been re-reading a lot of my old books such as On the Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca (for MMM), The Art of Fielding (because I feel very Affenlight right now), and The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. – I re-read this so I could write a fair review, not to find a specific someone in the book, but my stand on this book remains. Meaning I can’t connect with their world no matter how much I try to.

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I guess the most remarkable read for me right now is Stephanie Perkins’ Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3). Reading Isla brought me back to the nights when I would read a paragraph and stop to breathe, flail, and swoon. There were moments in the book that slightly put me off but that’s okay. That only means my teen brain is ageing?

Speaking of, did I tell you I met Stephanie Perkins during a book signing event? She is a peach!

Projects

bookbed

I’ve mentioned this a while back and now I think I’ve received the go signal to share this with you! I am part of bookbed – a community dreaming to make the Philippines a reading nation. KB Meniado, our Head Cheer Reader, started bookbed in 2010 as a small online bookstore and now on its 4th year, the bookbed community is more passionate as ever to go bigger.

Anyone who wants to share their love for reading is welcome to join and contribute. You can email me or join here.

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Saving Francesca

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Synopsis

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that’s pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

Blathering

I got my hands on Saving Francesca in March 2013, shortly after reading Jellicoe Road (review here) – kind of late to the Melina Marchetta party, but I tell you: Melina Marchetta novels are definitely worth it. When I first read Saving Francesca its impact on me wasn’t as unerring as Jellicoe Road probably because I was destroyed by the previous book so much the feeling stayed with me until I come into contact with another that will slay me into tiny pieces and remain catatonic for a couple of weeks (or months, who knows?).

Now that I’ve gone through it again, I stand by what I said when I first read it. It’s not that I didn’t like it or it’s a bad novel. It’s more like — dare I say it — I find it to be the weakest (yes, I’ve said it) of the three I’ve read (almost done with The Piper’s Son and it’s fantastic).

First of all, I do think that Saving Francesca is a great contemporary YA novel. It absolutely has Aha! moments and that’s why I like it. The characters are multifaceted which I found to be one of Melina Marchetta’s strengths. I think Francesca is strongest in her weakest moments that you find yourself rooting for her all the more. And even if she was temporarily lost, her little quirks shone and stayed until she got her momentum back.

Second, I love how Francesca has real people problems. I know how it’s fun to sometimes read something out of the ordinary, something that rarely happens to people like you and me but I realized that nothing beats harsh reality. Days of fighting dragons and going on wicked adventures is incomparable to uncomfortable days and nights waiting for your mother  to overcome depression.

And third, I love how relationships are portrayed in this novel (in all of Melina Marchetta’s novels, actually). I love how it’s not just exploring romantic relationships between two coming-of-age people but also the dynamic of a suddenly dysfunctional household, of group of friends, and  of one’s relationship with the self – Marchetta has covered it all.

Those three would have been enough but there was a nagging feeling inside of me midway through the book that I should know more about Jimmy Hailler. He’s one of those secondary characters that I believe has all the potential to be a primary character. From where I am standing (or sitting), I think he’s got as much vulnerability and profoundness as all of the primary characters in this book. Also, let’s not forget how important his character is in the betterment of Mia.

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Saving Francesca may not be as life changing to me as others might tag it but it is a beguiling story of finding (and saving) yourself. Highly recommended. 4 out 5 stars.

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Time-Out

As I have pointed out in this post 3 days ago, I am on a Melina Marchetta week/month. I am done  rereading On the Jellicoe Road and I am happy to report that the impact is the same. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that nothing changed. I still wept like a baby. I love this book so much. I don’t think that will change as well.

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I’m taking a short break from the Melina Marchetta madness so I can read Rainbow Rowell’s latest novel, Landline. I had a semi-panic attack this afternoon when I heard that local bookstores are already selling copies of it-the official release in the US is dated July 8th-and immediately tracked one close to where I live. Rainbow Rowell is a fangirl and I’ll forever look forward to reading her books. Heck, I’ll even gladly read her grocery list.

Tartt’s The Goldfinch can wait until after I’m done with MMM. I read several 160-character reviews of The Goldfinch on Twitter and some say it’s a difficult read. I was able to read a few pages while waiting at the check out counter and I have to say, it’s quite interesting. I guess it gets tougher as the plot thickens?

It’s only Wednesday but I’m already dreaming of the weekend tucked in bed with a book in my hands and a cup of tea on my bedside table. How are you guys holding up?

 

Elaine Reads: On the Jellicoe Road

There’s a reason why I always go back to Young Adult fiction. When books like Twilight and 50 Shades of Yuck Gray invade the shelves and infiltrate the young minds of our generation, you start to think maybe you’ve outgrown YA. That it is slowly losing its magic on you. That YA is now composed of poorly written smut and that’s just depressing. Then you will come across books like Melina Marchetta’s On the Jellicoe Road. These are the kind books that will remind you just how much you love YA.

I love YA because the very act of reading YA isn’t difficult and frustrating the way I’ve found some of the more grown up books (looking at you, George R.R. Martin) I’ve read recently to be. In YA fiction I find that only the characters and the situations they find themselves in can be difficult and frustrating, but never the act of reading the book itself. If anything, reading YA, for me, feels incredibly fluid and carefree, like letting yourself be taken away by the current if you allow it to.

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And that is exactly how I felt when I read On the Jellicoe Road. I let the current take me away and it was enough to keep me entertained for 5 hours. It’s a new record for me, 5 uninterrupted hours of slumped-on-the-couch reading. I can’t even explain how but I did. The only thing that comes close to a rationale behind this is that the book is so well-written.

Just read it