Celebrating One’s Adult Life with Coming of Age

 

I once gifted this book to a friend of mine when she turned 18, and she told me that she really enjoyed it, so I got curious about the content. Luckily, Summit Books sent me a copy of this book so I was able to read it.

I really enjoyed the short stories included in the book. Most of the authors are familiar to me, and I have read some of their other works. Some of the authors are local celebrities here in the Philippines and it was cool to see another creative aspect of them.

My favorite story from the anthology is Agay Llanera’s Birthday Girl. It’s the story of Laya, who died from an accident on her 18th birthday and was given the chance to relive one day, any day of her choice, and she picked the last day of her dad’s life upon knowing that her dad hasn’t crossed over yet.

One of the things I really liked about the story was the innocence and sincerity of Laya’s father. The story was set during the Martial Law era in the Philippines, although it wasn’t explicitly mentioned. I picked it up early from the story.  To cut this short, her dad was one of the many people who fought for freedom and became one of the casualties so Laya wasn’t able to meet him, and that was her only chance. Laya gave him the chance to write a letter to her mom, who was pregnant with Laya during the time. With that, they all were able to get closure, and Laya helped her dad cross over.

A simple story, with a deep meaning. It made me think about the other Martial Law victims, and their families who haven’t found their own closure, and justice. I met Agay last April but I forgot to mention this to her, I’ll be sure to tell her how much I loved this story the next time we meet!

I also enjoyed the illustrations from the book. Each work comes with an illustration, which looked like they belong to a beautiful creative zine with some indie vibe. This was a pretty good book overall, but I pretty much skipped some of the content because they weren’t just getting into me. I still recommend this book, especially as a gift to people turning 18!

Stacking The Shelves #29 || Reading Locally

Welcome to another episode of me burying myself with the pile of books that I need to read. I haven’t really bought anything from the books I have for you today because I’m sort of saving money for the Romance Class event on February 11!

FOR REVIEW:

Of Heads and Hearts in the Metro by Thessa Lim
All That Darkness Allows by Various Authors
Midnights in Bali by Carla De Guzman
Coming Of Age by Various Authors
Denton Little’s Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin
10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac
Descendants of the Sun Photo Essay Book
Textrovert by Lindsey Summers
Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David
Someday with You by Ines Bautista-Yao
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
Allegedly by  Tiffany D. Jackson
Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto
It Started With Goodbye by Christina June
Chasing Mr. Prefect by Katt Briones

I think I’m having a good balance with hauling local books since 2017 started and I’m really glad about that. I’m also glad that a lot of book bloggers have started to be aware of the Filipino Book Community, especially the authors and their books! I’m really excited to read these bunch!

Thanks to Summit Media, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins International, Penguin Random House International, Kids Can Press, Blink YA Books, Carla De Guzman, Thessa Lim, Clarisse David, Ines Bautista-Yao, and Mia Siegert for the books! <3

How many books have you hauled for the past weeks?

 

 

What Things Mean by Sophia Lee

what things meanWhat Things Mean by Sophia Lee
Publication Date: May 2016 by Scholastic
Source: Finished copy from the Author
Rating:★★★★

Synopsis

FOR OLIVE GUERRERO, DIFFERENT IS MORE THAN JUST A WORD.

What does it mean to be different? 14-year-old Olive is struggling to find out. Everything about her is so different from the rest of her family. She is big-haired, brown skinned, and clumsy in a family of cream-colored beauties who are all popular and Good At Sports. She closely resembles a father she has never known, and about whom her mother never speaks, and no one wants to tell her why. She turns to books and other things in her quest to find answers, and as a way to cope with her loneliness. When she learns the truth about her father, she must decide whether or not she will let the differences in her life define her forever.

A unique coming-of-age story unfolding through dictionary-style chapters, What Things Mean takes a closer look at the things that define a life, and the many ways in which we find meaning.

*Grand Prize Winner, Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

For someone who loves reading books, I barely read books from local authors, because most of the gems go under the radar. When I received an email from the author offering me a book for review, I immediately grabbed the opportunity!

The book was told in a unique manner, each chapter starting with a dictionary entry. It’s like a collection of different mini-stories stringed together, which was really cool. It was easy to read, and a short one so I read it in one sitting.

“I know now that things are always more than what they mean. Things mean different things to people. People are the ones who give meaning to things.”

I love Olive’s voice because it’s very realistic and relatable. Well, one factor is that the book is set in the Philippines. I love the fact that even the smallest things in Philippine culture was incorporated in the book.

Also considering that this book was written by a Filipino, one of the main themes in the book is family, since us lot are very much family-oriented. And yes, I did enjoy the book because of the realistic portrayals of the characters and themes of the story.

The dictionary entries were also quite enjoyable to read, and I’ve discovered new meanings to the words! Overall, this book was just the right one to get me out of my reading slump. It’s very relatable and heartfelt, also enjoyable. One of the best coming of age books I’ve ever read!

GIVEAWAY

inah

Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

fans of the impossible lifeTitle: Fans of the Impossible Life
Author: Kate Scelsa
Publication Date: September 8th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Rating: ★★★
Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

Synopsis

A captivating and profound debut novel about complicated love and the friendships that have the power to transform you forever, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye.

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

First of all, I want to say that I wasn’t actually in the mood when I was reading this book. In case you all don’t know, I’m a moody reader. I tend to put down books because of two reasons: either I’m not in the mood for it, or I have completely lost interest in the book. However, I’m glad to say I didn’t put this book down. Not even once, did I think of reading another book. I knew this book has a great potential, and I’m glad that despite the fact that this book didn’t totally rock my world, I still enjoyed reading it.

I loved the variety in the narrations. The three main characters had different POV narrations which made the book stand out and emphasize the different voices of the characters. Jeremy was written in the first person, Sebby in second, and Mira in third.

“May we live impossibly,” Sebby said when he opened his eyes. “Against all odds. May people look at us and wonder how such jewels can sparkle in the sad desert of the world. May we live the impossible life.”

Jeremy was a bit antisocial and soft-spoken. He’s an artist who became friends with Mira, the nice but funny and sometimes snarky one, and Sebby, the ever funny and charming queer, when they joined the Art Club that he organized with the aid of his teacher, who came off as a pretty cool one, Peter. From there, Jeremy, Mira and Sebby became inseparable. I loved the complexities of their characters, and the way that they balance each other out. It brought a different kind of depth in their friendship.

I loved that this book is very LGBT and sex positive. It also dealt with issues such as identity crisis, substance abuse, depression, bullying, and a lot of other relevant social issues. It makes me really happy when issues like these are tackled in YA books because it raises people’s awareness. Moreover, it raises awareness of young minds.

I was a bit bored in the first parts but I managed to get through and finish the book because of the message it left. It also made me a little confused with some of the situations and scenes in the book. Nonetheless, for me this book is a gem. Even though I gave this book an average rating, this book was a one-of-a-kind coming of age novel  and I do believe that other people would be able to appreciate this more than I did.

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