Thursday, September 22, 2011

Delirium

by Lauren Oliver

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love--the deliria--blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold.

Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: she falls in love. 

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Another novel in a Dystopian setting, I discovered this book at GoodReads.com and was encouraged by a friend (same friend who introduced Divergent to me). I was actually supposed to read this first but Divergent begged me first. Its been sitting in my folders for weeks and I guess I started reading it at a very unfortunate time which is the night before a very major exam in Trigonometry. Results are not out yet but I'm positive I've flunked it because my head is full of the described deliria above. 

Magdalena "Lena" Haloway, had accepted long before the fate that awaits her, even anticipates it. Her Aunt Carol is cured and so is her older sister Rachel, though there's a big issue about her mother's treatment. She always goes by the rules, in fear of being infected with the disease. She'd been promised of security, happiness and a painless life. She doesn't want to end up like the Invalids, and so she's been living her life perfect, bound by the new American law. 

However, Alex came in the story. He turned her whole world upside down, pretty much what Amor Deliria Nervosa does to most of us. He showed her the real wonders and happiness that life and love can bring. But that doesn't end there, being with Alex brought about doubts and secrets were revealed. And soon, they'll find themselves fighting for love, the thing Lena learned to despise throughout her life.

This is a very good read with a very intriguing plot. I admire Lauren Oliver's creativity in this one. Her ideas of the Laws and books made the society real. She even enumerated the disease's symptoms in detail. Her characters seemed to breathe out of the book itself and I can't help thinking about them all day long.

At first, one might say that this is a fight against what one once believed in. Otherwise a battle to dodge the laws restricting them to a wonderful thing called love. But in the end, I discovered that it's neither of the two. The question all along is how far will you go and how much will you risk for love?

Love nonexistent seemed to be unbearable for me and I assume for all. This novel made the perfect plot to make it otherwise. The vivid descriptions are good and the characters are complex unlike teen novels nowadays. The ending was quite a blast and during the few minutes of pondering the story, it was a disappointment. But then, thanks to Google, I discovered that it was actually a trilogy and I jumped for joy! I really thought that it's a stand-alone novel which would make the ending simply the end, though would still be great. But knowing that we're still up for more is really great. Altogether, I love this book and I seriously hope to love the sequels. 

I can't wait to see what happens to Pandemonium.Will love fail them? Or is it worth it? Because “Love: It will kill you and save you, both.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Divergent

One Choice
Decides Your Friends

One Choice
Defines Your Beliefs

One Choice
Determines Your Loyalties---Forever

One Choice
Can Transform You


This 489 pages book just published last May 3, 2011 by Veronica Roth was recommended by a friend. I was supposed to read something else before this but earlier this day (or I could say yesterday since it just turned 12AM here in RP) but as I scan my ebooks, the title calls out to me, begging to be read. I started it midmorning. The setting of the story is a Dystopian Chicago where people are divided by their factions, namely Amity- home for those who eliminates aggression and seeks peace, Erudite- home for those of great knowledge and despises ignorance, Abnegation- detests selfishness and rejoices in selflessness, Candor- relishes honesty and rules our lies and Dauntless- revels in courage and reviles cowardice. When I started it, The Hunger Games trilogy came up in my mind, though I haven't really started that series. Maybe because the settings are both in a Dystopia but as I go on, that's where the similarities end.

By the fourth chapter, I have to stop because I've got my PE class (bowling) to attend to and I really need to submit something at the University. However, on my way home I stopped at Robinsons Galleria at spent hours at Bestsellers continuing the book. I was so into it that I wasn't fully aware of the time. I then have to go home and just finished the book approximately an hour ago because that's how good it is!

Anyway, back to the story, our heroine, Beatrice 'Tris' Prior is born an Abnegation and she somehow feels the need to be herself and stop pretending who she's not. This is a common theme in the YA novels at the present time though for some reason I didn't thought of it as a cliche in this novel as what I thought of others. She was given the choice, as every sixteen-year-olds in their society was. However, the act of choosing had been made harder when she discovered than she's something more that these factions could hold. But she had to choose, and in the end her choice is Dauntless. In here, she met friends, enemies. She felt at home. She had faced her fears and overcome them. She had met Four.

Now, Four certainly is a character to love. (Who wouldn't?) But there are characters that I totally hate. And won't be mentioning them. After series of tests and fights, they were to discover that (borrowing Caleb's words) something big is happening. And the Divergents has a great role. Along the way, Tris learned the art of sacrifice for the greater good, even if it means the lives of loved ones or even hers. But the best thing is discovering who she really is and her real purpose.

Ok, I tried my best not to say much and I hope that it would suffice. The book, is awesome, there goes Roth's sleepless nights, earning her fans around the globe. However, the end was unexpected. I was like, "That's it?". *Laughs. But, good strategy because I can hardly wait for Insurgent to come out next year. What I admire about Roth is that she knows WAR. Meaning, it's unlike other books where the outcomes of wars and fights are always expected, always in favor of the protagonist. There is pain, fear, courage, love, passion, selflessness, etc. This is a book made for teens but one that adults would totally love. And the idea of the faction thing had somehow brought back memories of the Houses in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Altogether, a great read and a must!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pottermore

After weeks of waiting, I've finally received my welcome email from Pottermore! Well, it was actually weeks ago that I did, but I've only thought of blogging about like... ten minutes ago! But yeah, I'm very happy. It wouldn't surprise you to know that I actually have two accounts. And please do add me as a friend if you have an account as well, especially the brave and chivalrous Gryffindors which is my house on both accounts.

The site is interesting but it definitely lacks something. Music is number one on the list. Yes, it was interactive but its a bit dull. However, I really don't mind those down sides because we Potterheads should be thankful that Jo did this wonderful thing for us, to keep Harry in our remembrance all the time.

My two accounts are HeartLumos143 and PatronusHazel36 with my wands 12 3/4 Larch with Unicorn Core, Rigid and 10 3/4 Holly with Unicorn Core, Supple respectively. Please do add me up and let's experience the Ultimate Harry Potter experience together. ;)



Ynigma's Can't Get You Out of My Head

Do you ever get bored with your friends? You, might say, "No way! Who would be bored with friends?" I know. Believe me, I know that response. However, Ynigma had been kind of bored last Thursday and we cooked something... I can't pen what sort of thing it is really, but we did something. We just had our Practical Exam in Chem16 and we were the first batch to do the exam giving up almost four hours of break. We were walking at the Science Complex when we suddenly felt like walking at the amphitheater. They were actually joking about walking at the chord of the circular area in there. And out of nothing to do, we decided to imitate the Skins Dance of Can't get you out of my head. Watch below. 


Yeah, our group is really into this Skins generation (with awesome Freddie, crazy Effy, cool-dude Cook and not-so-cool JJ ;) And this dance was really cute although short and we did a very humiliating version of it.


Yes, its humiliating, but those were fun times. Why be ashamed of being happy with friends? I was on the right side most corner. What's not cool is that cars and lot's of people passed by when we did that. And yeah, I suck. We just learned that dance at that exact moment and it's really a cool thing to do. It's so high-school. ;) 

Video is courtesy of Chelsea. Edited by Mei.

-Eu


Friday, September 9, 2011

Friendship For Convenience


Forgive me. I have no idea why am I writing about this: Friendship. Is it because I'm simply finding happiness with my new found friends or I terribly miss my old ones? I don't know. All I know is that right now, I crave for some girlfriend to hug and cry with. Honestly, I've never even done that in my whole life. Yeah, I cried in front of my friends but those are for reasons that have been perfectly laid in front of their eyes. For an instance, when I had this very humiliating incident in my English class back in 3rd year high school, my teacher scolded me for being an arrogant know-it-all and that was just too much for me with everybody witnessing it so I cried. They comforted, just as anybody would do. I have my friends who I call my best friends but they don't know me either. Maybe because I had created this wall between myself and other people. I was never the emotional person of whatever group I belong too. I, actually, am always the comforter, adviser. People usually cry to me, and with that I gained a lot of friends. Ask them, if all the time we spent talking to each other, was half of it about me? Yeah, it might be about me but if it would be, it would only revolve on my opinions to guys and teachers and movies and books. I always wonder how it could be so easy for them to express themselves. My friends would tell me every feeling they had: about their family or how they got angry or hurt or extremely happy. I want to tell them that 'yeah, I've felt that too, that I've also been there but I feel so vulnerable letting someone in inside that wall. As a result, I had the most perfect family in the world in their perspective. They thought I'm strong willed and could stand up to just anybody. But my life isn't like that. Yeah, I'm a happy person. I love a good laugh and I can't imagine a day without laughing. You can also tell on how I describe myself that i'm strong and is really full of enthusiasm but that's only my other side. I have many doubts. I have many fears. I have feelings which I oftentimes don't care to express because I value the friendship that much. I was always the one holding back. I get pissed, I hold back my anger. I got hurt, I hold back the tears. I got stood up, I hold back my annoyance. Once, I tried talking. Letting some a part of me come out of that wall I've built. I thought it worked. I thought they understood but in next to no time things are back to normal. It hurts. Maybe I'm exaggerating it but I never really have known any better so, yeah, it does hurt. Hoping that you could trust somebody only to be completely ignored. And that wasn't the only time. For many times I've tried, but I always find the subject in serious conversations averted to another whole new topic. It feels so sad and depressing at the same time.

This had been in my drafts for weeks now. Yeah, I know. Its full of drama. I can vaguely remember what imposed these thoughts in my mind. (though I know they've been there for a long time). I just felt like I should post this so here I am. I would just like to add a few conclusions here.

Most of us have felt being alone. 'All alone in a crowded hall, the hall it is gay, and the waves, they are grand. But my heart is not here at all.' (from Slievenamon) These song lyrics summarize what I always felt in a crowd of friends. I want that wall broken but no one's willful enough, to even try. I love my friends, don't get me wrong. I understand them. But at times I felt like I only exists for their conveniences. You don't need someone to cry first before acting concerned. They care, that much I could tell. But someone's always bound to do more caring that what the other does. I'm tired of being that person. But I am still grateful, because while others have no one for them, I'm being so dramatic here. I'm not the perfect friend. But I do my best. 

I, again would like to share somerthing from ezine about Friendship:

Friendship is a personal relationship shared between each friend for the welfare of other, in other words, it is the relationship of trust, faith and concern for each other feelings. It is a relationship of mutual caring and intimacy among one another. A friend is one who knows you as a person and regards you for what you are and not what he or she is looking in a good friend. Best friend is one who accepts the good as well bad qualities of his friend and also takes an initiative in correcting and mending them. Friendship is a distinctive kind of concern for your friend, it is a relationship of immense faith and love for each other.

Friendship is all about how much you care and understand each other. It is a pure relationship, which would make your friend smile, feel good as to how much you love him and care for him. It is all about talking, listening and building up a strong relationship loyalty among each other. It is string of love which develops gradually with each others involvement. In certain cases friendship may not last for a longer period and might end up or lose its prime importance of love and regard for each other. There are some friendships which might end with unresolved conflicts and tiffs which means that these type of relationship were not so strong that could hold on their own in adversity and bad times. Friendship is not about merry-making and fun it involves equal loyalty from both the partners.

It should be understood that not all friends are best friends. One might come across numerous number of friends in his life but there are very few who will be their during your ups and down. How one should recognize your best friend the one who will understand your strengths and shortcomings and would be with you in all your good and bad phases of life.

A true friendship does not consist of a huge number of friends you keep but it is valued by its worth and capability to hold you and stand by you in all phases of life.That said finding a best friend from among your friends is the hardest task to do.A lot of people say that the best friends automatically come closer from among a group of friends and you will never have to make an extra effort to do find one. That is how the strong bond between true friends is formed. So best of luck in finding or recognizing a true friend !



Not The End


The ringing of the phone was always an annoying sound inside our house. Its loud and impatient sound had always made one of us scrambling to get it, dreading whoever  the caller is (if he or she is someone we wouldn't want to talk to). Though, at times, way back in high school, I would get all excited once the phone rings and I would always be volunteering to get it because it means an hour or so of usual girl talk with my friends. 

Just about an hour ago, the impatient ring of that phone rang inside our little house. I was in front of the laptop reading something from Wattpad and answered the ring. It was my uncle Eric and he's looking for my mom. My mom, apparently annoyed with my uncle for earlier petty reasons was hesitant at first to take the call but was soon talking intently to whoever took the phone from my uncle. I was engrossed with this particular story that I hadn't noticed the shift of mood of their conversation (though I can only one side of it). When my mom hung up, she told me a very grave news. 

My Uncle Boying died earlier this day at 6pm. It was a shock for me. I didn't expect his previous situation will lead to this. In my previous blog post, I recounted that I'm happy I've made the choice of visiting him instead of going to a birthday party. Indeed I am. At least, I've had a moment with him even just for a short time. He is my uncle that I've known all my life but I haven't known at all. I'm glad that I've been there to comfort him, holding his hands and sympathizing. During those times, I always believed that he could make it. He'd been through a lot already and I know he, and we all have undying faith in Him. 

I remember his words of thanks to the Lord while I was holding his hands. I know that death is a sad thing. We have to go through a lot of mourning and adjustments. But I know that he is with our Heavenly Father right now. We may have regrets -my father and sister, even my brother hadn't been there in his sickbed, and I know we are all sad to see him go but he will always be with us and even in the future. 

I want to quote something from an article by Elder Russell M. Nelson on Ensign May 1992 called 'Doors of Death'. (Read full article here.)

Death separates “the spirit and the body [which] are the soul of man.” (D&C 88:15.) That separation evokes pangs of sorrow and shock among those left behind. The hurt is real. Only its intensity varies. Some doors are heavier than others. The sense of tragedy may be related to age. Generally the younger the victim, the greater the grief. Yet even when the elderly or infirm have been afforded merciful relief, their loved ones are rarely ready to let go. The only length of life that seems to satisfy the longings of the human heart is life everlasting.

And that life everlasting is made possible.  I know, all of us had accepted this fact already. My Uncle had lived a great and full life here on earth with his family and all of us. The hurt is real but so is our faith. I know that God will comfort his loved one to help us through the grief and I know that soon we all can be reunited with our Father in Heaven. I'll always remember him as the one who holds my hand, giving comfort as he needs it as well as his unfailing faith.