032215: E. Lockhart in Manila

Hi there, everyone! It has been more than three months since I last posted something in here, and I am extremely embarrassed about it. Sure I had been really busy the past semester with all the i-just-transferred-to-another-school-and-still-kind-of-adjusting thing that I didn’t bother writing about the recent book signing events that I had attended, but I’m glad I’m writing something now. So last Sunday, my Fangirls family (Jhed wasn’t around, though) and I went to see E. Lockhart. *throws confetti*. I did actually plan on going there exactly three hours before the registration (seven hours before the event). I was expecting a high number of readers because of all the hype with her latest novel We Were Liars, which even won an award on Goodreads just recently. But when I arrived six minutes past seven, the line was barely visible from the vehicle I was riding in, and I almost did a happy dance, but of course I didn’t. (I was beaming, though.)


avid readers waiting for Emily to arrive (an hour or so before the event)


Emily listening intently to a fan’s question

For those of you who are not familiar with the author, Emily Jenkins, who sometimes uses the pen name E. Lockhart, is an American writer of children’s picture books, young adult novels, and adult fiction. She is known best for the Ruby Oliver quartet and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. (from Wikipedia)


signing pass number 80 and my wonderful original cover of Frankie and of course, We Were Liars

A lot of people had asked me about where I did get that rare edition since all NBS had to offer was the latest edition of Frankie with the red cover, which I really really hate, by the way. I told them about my lucky day three years ago. I was just roaming around the bookstores, without any plan of getting anything (’cause I was broke) and then this area near the cashier with a big SALE sign caught my attention. There it was sitting  together with other books from unrelated genres. That time I was already a big fan of John and Hank and was into watching their videos. On one of his videos, John recommended this book and so I ran to the cashier before I changed my mind. I read Frankie several months after buying it, and I liked it. That was not one of those books that easily made it to my ‘favorites’ shelf, but it was wonderful. It was the first book that introduced me to the idea of panopticon. The author was a feminist and I find it really really cool.


free bookmark yayy and that ‘woof’ was kind of hard to decipher (ps it’s a Basset Hound)



We Were Liars has to be one of the best books I have read this year and is definitely one of my all-time favorite YA books. It took me a long time before getting myself a copy because it’s slightly pricey for a paperback, but after reading it, I realized it was really worth every single peso I spent on it. I didn’t see the end coming. I started it the night before the signing and finished it the next morning. I tried keeping my cool. Thank God I was able to. OKAY READER. READ. IT. NOW. MY GAT.GAT GAT. *ugly sobs*



Out of all the authors who visited, her interview was by far my favorite. Her enthusiasm and humor will absolutely make you like her. She’s got awesome writing tips, too. She got us all laughing with her jokes and sarcastic side comments. Another thing is that she’s into torturing her characters, and whether we admit it or not, books that made us do an ugly sob will always have a special place in our hearts. (or it’s only me? Lol) On an average, a standalone has more or less than 60 000 words. Her writing tip got me thinking. She used email as an example. Imagine writing an email to a friend. It will only take you an hour, maximum. On an average, notice that it’s about 500 words. In a week, excluding weekends, that’ll get you 2500 words. In a month, you’ll have 10 000 words. After six months, you’ll have 60 000 — a novel. Sure, writing the draft is the most difficult part and you’ll most likely to edit it about 700 times, but what’s important is, you already have something, and it’s the first real step. She told us not to stop writing, and no matter how many times I’ve heard that same line before from different authors, that tip really got everyone in the event thinking. Maybe sometimes we just need to hear something like that, in my case, at least. (I’m not really into writing, though)


Jas really has a thing for wacky poses



“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.” ― Louis L’Amour, Matagorda/The First Fast Draw

112314: Marie Lu in Manila

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 DSC_1063 DSC_1064 yay

Last November 23, 2014, my friends and I got the chance to meet Marie Lu. Yes, reader. You read that right. Marie Lu. As in the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend Trilogy. She visited the Philippines to meet us, sign our books and promote the first book of her new dystopian series, The Young Elites. Oh my, she’s  incredibly nice, not to mention how beautiful she looked. I couldn’t help but act starstruck when I met her. Don’t laugh at me, okay? Lol. You can’t blame me. That wonderful soul who put that beautiful story into printed words was right in front of my eyes(!!!) Super cool beans. But what really made my day super awesome was the fact that I got to see my friends again. Reader, do you see that girl on the bottom-left photo? That’s Rochelle. We’ve been online friends for quite a few years and we’ve created this alliance that’s so close to that of biological siblings’. How cool is that? Anyway, that’s the second time we got to hang out and thank God it was longer than the first time (the first time was during the Manila International Book Fair, which I totally forgot to write about). I missed her. Hi, twin! By any chance, if you’re reading this right now, I’m sending you all the love from here. Lol. On the bottom right photo are the Fangirls. They’re like my soul sisters. There was never a day they didn’t fill my group chat with hundreds and hundreds of messages, and I am more than willing to back read every single message or emoji on that thread. I have this profound admiration to these people not just because of their love of books but because they’re interesting and nice. I learn so much from them. If there’s one thing that I really am grateful of this year, despite everything that has happened, it’s my new found friendship with these people. We’ve got this bond so tight that not even the strongest of storms can ruin. Why am I so cheesy? 

 Staying in line for more than three hours before the registration and waiting for another four hours for the signing was no joke, but with them everything was bearable. I missed them. That was a day filled with stories, laughter, inside jokes, food trip, picture-taking and book discussion. Of course crushing on cute author pictures on random books inside the bookstore was a must too! Lol. After the event, we went to Ayala Triangle to watch the light and sound festival. It was awesome. I wish I had recorded at least a few seconds of it, but I was too absorbed by how magical it all was. (Plus I was with my friends so I was deeply happy to do anything.) I can’t wait for our Christmas party!!! Until next time, reader! DFTBA!

Friends are the best anti-depressants; with only positive effects, no side-effects. ― Piyush Kaviraj

When My World Goes Crazy, You’re Right There to Save Me

I think I look like this gif this very moment.


I’ve been wanting to write something about turning 20 since less than a month ago I just did. Bruh enough with that and let me share this post with you. Readers, embrace yourselves because I think I haven’t done this before. Let me tell you a few things that I love about my best(est) friend in the entire world. You’ve read it right. Few, because if I list down here all the things that make her my favorite friend in the whole world, it would take forever. She’s super duper cool beans and I know this is severely cheesy and maybe she would give me a pinch the next time she sees me, but whatever.

  • She believes in me. When I’m having a rough time, she’s the one who never fails to encourage me to never, never, never give up. She’s like my number one fan. Lol. When I’m starting to doubt myself, she’s always there to remind me of the things that I often overlook. She believes in me so much that when times like that come, I want to believe in myself too. Also, if there’s someone who never gets tired reading whatever I write (even though sometimes I believe they’re not of great significance), it’s she.


  • She’s brutally honest. When I am singing and she doesn’t like it one bit, she would say it directly. Lmao.


  • She doesn’t tolerate my being a mean bitch at times. She’d say it until I realize it myself and feel guilty about it. (I can’t help it sometimes, though, especially when you-know-who is being extra rude to me.)4
  • She inspires me to become a better person. I mean, there are so many reasons why I aspire to be better, but she has so much goodness in her heart that makes me restore my faith in humanity. Need I say more?


  • She listens and doesn’t judge. No matter how pointless, endless and oh-so-dramatic my stories are, she was and will always be there. There was never a time when she wasn’t there for her friends. I can attest to that.


  • She makes time for me and shows it in her own little ways, which I truly appreciate, by the way.


  • She respects my silence. Sometimes you don’t need a life-changing advice, just someone who would listen.


  • We’re like sisters, just with different parents.


  • She is always ready to go for an adventure.


  • She’s one of the most selfless people I know. The Abnegation compound would love to adopt her. She is so kind that you just want to hug her until she sort of deflates in your arms. Lol.


  •  AND LASTLY… Brad, have I told you lately you’re my best friend?


The title comes from Tim McGraw’s song, “My Best Friend”.


There’s something about Sundays that make me feel so alone and lonely. It’s always been that way. At this very moment, I’m all by myself inside this room. They all went out. I couldn’t get myself to go with them so I decided to stay here. I also hate that someone’s radio is playing outside and all I hear is the sound of this gloomy music that gives me this depressing feeling. There’s all these things in school that just seem to pile up and I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s plain hard to look at things positively when you know it all boils down to one thing — it’s not going to be okay. God knows how hard I am trying. It’s difficult to see things as they are not. It’s not easy to fight when the fight isn’t fair. I hate how day by day I’m getting worse, over-thinking things, getting all these horrible thoughts locked up inside of me. I want someone to talk to and I’m grateful for Tina for always, always, always being there. Chui’s presence means a lot to me, too. They don’t know it but they’re the ones who keep me going. I know they love me but I hate to bother them because I know they’ve got enough things to mind to. I don’t know why I always feel like I annoy them, especially Chui. I always think that maybe she’s getting tired of me, that’s why I can’t tell her everything. I appreciate it when they try to make me feel better, but we all know that when someone already feels this bad, not even the longest motivational quote there is can make her feel like everything’s going to be okay. I am so pathetic. I don’t want to be that person who needs help, though I’m not saying it’s wrong to need a hand once in a while. I’m too young to feel this unhappy. I’m just tired of feeling like I’m not good enough, that I’ll never be good enough. I’m trying of crying all the time over the same thing. I’m tired. I just want to rest. A little less pain would do.

PS: To my two best friends: Sorry to annoy you, but I just feel better having you around. Allow me to break down sometimes because you see, I’m not as tough as I look.

Why I Love My Bookish Friends

  • I learn a lot  by listening to them talk about their favorite writers. It’s like you’ve already read that particular writer’s book even though you haven’t just because that friend is so great at describing that person.
  • They know how to listen. I can be annoying at times because of my addiction of books and they’ll just listen to me babbling about a certain book and instead of stopping me, they will just smile. Because they know how it feels like being addicted to something. Like books.
  • I never run out of words when talking to them. Even just talking a single book can consume the whole time being with that person.
  • I can shout to the hallway about a literary character that I love and that friend will shout back. And we won’t give a shit about what others think. I can see the way they stare but we’ll just smile to each other instead.
  • We tell each other which bookstores are on sale on a particular month or date.
  • They’re always willing to discuss.
  • They’re always there to argue about their favorite characters, which is nice because that leads to more discussion.
  • There’s not a book signing event they wouldn’t attend without you.
  • They wouldn’t mind hearing your girly squeals over and over.

This list was actually originally posted on my old tumblog on January 28th, 2012. I just added a few more.

I’m Still Here, But It Hasn’t Been Easy

Right this very moment, I don’t actually have a concrete idea about what I really want to write. So reader, excuse the level of randomness that this post is heading its way to this time. It’s sad that there were several things that happened for the past months that I consider pretty huge, and yet I didn’t have the guts to write about those, out of fear of underplaying those important moments. I wanted to post a whole bunch of pictures and just try to remember every single thing that happened, to be able to go back to that certain point in time when I was actually happy. But I don’t know how. Maybe I’m just scared because I know for a fact that I’m not good enough to write something about that certain event, that I might just lose its meaning, and yet, I want to see my page and be able to see something that reminds me of that day. I’m sure I don’t actually make sense, but whatever. I miss the way I didn’t usually get tired of talking about how my day went, how happy I was with the people who mean so much to me.

I once thought if it’s possible to miss someone you see every single day, and I guess the answer is yes. Because I miss my best friend. I miss how close we were. I miss those days when she used to be my study buddy. I miss how we never kept secrets to each other.  I miss the way everything was so great between the two of us. I miss the way she actually made time for us, her friends. I miss the way I never did hesitate to tell her what’s on my mind. I miss those days when we used to always, always, always have each other. God, I just miss her. And I don’t have the fucking courage to tell her how I really feel because a) I don’t want to be that person who needs someone to depend on, b) I’m afraid she might cut me off completely, especially when someone I loathe is involved, and c) I don’t know, okay? God, I feel miserable.

I still sometimes find myself looking for that girl I used to know, that person who never backed down, that girl who never let anything get in her way, that same old selfless person who never once failed to treat everyone with kindness no matter how much they have wronged her, a.k.a. the old me, circa 2012. Looking back to the old days, I feel stupid to let so much to happen. It felt like I didn’t do my best to take care of things when I actually had the chance to.  I no longer know what would make me happy. I can’t even understand myself most of the time. I try to be better. God, I really am, but bad things still keep on happening. Sometimes I hate the person I’ve become. If only I could get things to the way they once were I would. God, I would. Trust me, reader. There’s nothing I would give to bring back the old me. I’m trying to find and get her back, I really do.

I am trying my hardest to let go of this blanket of bitterness that has been enveloping me since I don’t remember when. So much things had happened and I just grew exhausted of being exhausted, being sad over the same thing and same person every day. I hate to live every day, just merely trying to get everything over with. I’m just tired of being sad.

I just want THIS to be over.

Tears are words that need to be written. — Paulo Coelho

The title is from James Morisson’s song, This Boy.

They Say the Best Love Is Insane

Chui and I watched TFiOS on its first day, as what my movie ticket shows. *throws confetti* Heaven knows how long I waited for that and at first I was afraid that I might be disappointed of it being made into a film. Thank God it’s close to perfection.


The movie was insanely good. Two years had passed and the book still gave me that same feeling I experienced when I first read it — perpetual sadness. It’s mind-blowingly awesome and definitely one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have seen. I’m not even overplaying everything I’m saying here. It’s really good. The casts, the  music, almost everything. Shailene and Ansel were perfect for the roles. There was no trace of the Prior siblings, trust me. AND Ed Sheeran’s song as one of the official soundtracks? God must have favored the Nerdfighters when the whole production team was working on it.


How about a selfie from us?

Our eyes were still kind of puffy after crying so hard during the movie. We even waited for the credits to finish before we get out of the theatre. Chui was kidding that maybe there’s a part two. Haha! We both had a good cry. It’s not like we planned on bringing the Nile River there. It’s just that we just found ourselves swimming in the pool of our own tears. We watched at SM BF and tried their 32-seat theatre, which they call the Director’s Club. Their La-Z Boy leather couches were overly comfortable. How I wished I had those pampering sofas at home.


There were a few dialogues that were changed and several scenes that were cut, as per usual. It’s totally understandable to do that since it’s quite a long book. But what I can’t comprehend is the fact that John’s cameo made it to the cutting department. That just made me sad. I was waiting for him to appear on screen and wow. I got nothing. Again, it’s sad. But it didn’t make the movie less of a great movie that it was.


I think it’s plain disappointing that majority of the people I know who have read the book only focused on that cigarette metaphor that Augustus never failed to point out. What about water? I see it’s not given enough emphasis. I truly believe that John Green is some sort of a genius to be that amazing. Two drowning teens in a drowning city. Perfectly crafted.

 Okay. ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

PS: Dear best friend, okay? Okay.

The title of this blog post is from Coldplay’s What You Wanted.

School’s Out

Hey loves! After a long, excruciating semester of quizzes, homework, projects, and *insert more paper works here*, school’s finally out! I’ve heard and seen a lot of fun activities to spend the season but haven’t had the chance to experience most of them so while waiting for my summer class (waiting not to come, really), I’m making the most of my break. I hardly noticed that more than a week has passed and yeah, time really goes by so fast without you noticing it, especially when you’re having a great time. Some would probably feel bored just staying at home and having to stand seeing same familiar faces every single day. Not me, I guess. I am having so much fun. So here are some of the few things that have been keeping me enjoy the vacation lately:

  • Read – As of this moment I’m 13 books away from my goal this year, and I’m thinking of updating it once I reached 30 books. It will still depend on how busy I’ll get this coming semesters. Lately I’ve been reading a lot, from children’s books to new adult fiction. But of course I’m still enjoying my dystopian  sci-fi, contemporary romance and a whole lot of young adult fictions. The upper bunk bed serves as my little sanctuary, and seeing chocolate wrappers and whatever food you can name spread on the sheets is pure normalcy. Maybe this is a good kind of laziness I’m in. It’s better to stay on that little nook of mine than to go somewhere in this kind of heat. Plus the news of more of my favorite books will be made into movies just made me even more in a state of euphoria. The other day, John Green announced about the adaptation of Paper Towns and this morning, Rainbow Rowell tweeted about Eleanor and Park’s. I swear I could die that exact moment. There’s just this sense of fulfillment when you see your dearly adored characters came to life. But at the same time, it’s total suicide when the movie wouldn’t do the book justice.  Let’s just hope for the best. *crosses fingers* I’m just happy for my favorite authors they way their families are.
  • Asian romance/comedy marathon – If you’re following me on twitter, you’ll often see me talking about this Taiwanese series I can’t seem to get my mind off. I’ve been lacking sleep recently and rarely as it might get, I’m not even bothered. My sister’s and I’s vacation mostly consists of watching these series until two in the morning. We can afford six hours straight watching intently, like nothing is actually happening around us. Total oblivion. Being the overly cheesy earthlings that we are, we can’t help ourselves from smiling like morons and squealing most of the time. TWITTERPATED. Maybe you’re wondering what series I’m talking about, it’s Devil Beside You. If you wanna go back to your teen days and feel all these butterflies in your system once more, it’s a must-watch. I highly recommend it.
  • Wait – I know this one’s kind of vague, but my sister and I have been waiting for an update from the embassy so we can know if we’re still pushing this trip out of the country.
  • Paint – So my sister and I will be working on this popart portrait painting for my older sister and I’d definitely show it here once we’re done. Too bad I’d left all my painting materials in our old house. It would take some time before I get to visit that place again. All those books covers that I’d been doing last summer were also there. I wonder where I’d get to take my hands on them again.

So that’s pretty much how my vacation is going on. It may sound boring but for me, reading in bed is my kind of party. And I’m not even sorry. *winks* Also, I’m trying to write at least one post a day, no matter how pointless or random it might be. Until next time, reader!

Here’s to a vacation of no regrets! ― Joan Rylen