Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Upon reading this book, I felt that Nicholas Sparks wanted to venture out into the ever-so-popular (a.k.a) cliche world of teen romance. My intuition was further proven as the truth when I found out that, in the legacy of The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, a movie version of this book is about to be released soon.

Starring Miley Cyrus.

Now, if that doesn't prove my point, I don't know what will.

His other novels have had mature characters and stories with depth. This has none of it. But don't get me wrong, reading it was not exactly a waste of time. The plot just felt a little too childish and outright predictable for my taste. If it wasn't for some great supporting characters (the Dad, younger brother Jamie), it would have been a dreadful read.

However, in true Nicholas Sparks's fashion, the ending was a tearjerker and as with everything connected with death and dying, it did manage to expel a few mists from my lacrimal glands. Of course it didn't matter if I had foreseen the plot conclusion miles away, the characters felt bad and so did I.

End Rant: With this novel, I realized that I hate Miley Cyrus am over the whole hormone-induced teen love plot lines. They tend to be cheesy and irritating and I kept seeing various Disney stars portraying the characters in my head. I just hope his other works don't disappoint me as I have downloaded quite a few of them. I doubt they will, though. Oh crap, hello Old Age.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Books I have on Stanza as of this date. Still open to book suggestions and am now willing to divulge information on secret source. Just leave a comment below and I'll do my best to get back to you.

(In alphabetical order)
  • 19 Minutes by Jodie Picoult
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
  • Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
  • Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
  • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
  • The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho
  • Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
  • For One More Day by Mitch Albom
  • The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
  • Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks
  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
  • Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    • The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory 
      • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
      • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
        • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
        • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
        • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
        • Under the Dome by Stephen King
        • Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen
        • Wicked. The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
        Seven down, loads to go. Am now perusing Under The Dome by Stephen King and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. And yes, I tend to read multiple books at the same time depending on my mood. :) Ah, bliss.

        Wednesday, January 20, 2010

        Sunday, January 17, 2010

        From the first digital turn of the page (courtesy of Stanza), I was engrossed in fine ways of the English court and the constant pursuit of power of the Boleyn family. However, I never thought that it would transcend all  that I expected from it. From the wicked ways of the court, to the highly graphic exploitations of feminine ways of the time to witchcraft, incest and homosexuality, the book could not be more packed with controversial details of medieval England. And the fact that this is a historical novel, meaning most of it are anchored on actual events made me the more inclined to race through the pages. After reading the last paragraph of this enchanting tale, I quickly went to my computer to watch the movie version I knew existed.

        It was beyond disappointing. It was like watching another story not related with the much  captivating novel of Philippa Gregory. So much was taken out, and though that was expected from a novel turned movie franchise, I felt as if they removed important plot lines and added ones with little deliberation.

        Plot changes, edits, scene reshuffling I can forgive, but not major characterization flaws. What happened to the seducing, manipulative and selfish Anne? Movie-version-Anne was almost a kind and humble queen much like who reigned before her.

        The King was apologetic, Mary and Anne's mother was a caring one,  George was a loving brother who was not capable of incest and was definitely not gay and Mary looked almost like a saint. Where were the spite, the  competition between sisters, the cruelty of the people and the many mind games of the court? Every one of the characters, except for the feared Uncle was a legitimate Mary Sue, a complete contradiction to the literary version I grew to love.

        End Rant: Although reading The Other Boleyn Girl filled me with much interest about the Tudors, King Henry's 6 wives and the monarchy that reigned after their times, the movie did nothing of that sort. If the novel was exactly like its film version, I wouldn't have bothered reading it.

        Friday, January 15, 2010

        After reading threads after threads of raves and praises about the epicness of this once-in-a-lifetime-movie-you-should-dare-not-miss, I had pretty high expectations as we claimed our free sodas and headed to the D-Cinema at SM Megamall. 3D screening + 3D glasses + free soda for 250 php/person, not a bad deal considering we braced for a more expensive fee. We made it a point to watch the movie on a weekday, in the middle of the day to avoid lines and crowds, and did we avoid them. There were less than 30 people in the cinema in the at the 12:15nn showing. It was hilarious, creepier actually.

        So how was it watching a 3D feature at the Mega? And most importantly, how was the movie?

        The Cinema et. al.:
        • First of all, I was disappointed on the 3D glasses they gave to us. The "lenses" on mine were smudged with unidentified prints of mystery and I couldn't wipe them off with a tissue paper. I had to get used to a portion of my vision getting blocked by tiny specks of irritants.
        • I would have opted to sit closer to the screen but since they were occupied already, we settled for a distance which I thought made the screen look smaller than it should, especially with 3D animation on. Some of the details were lost due to the size of the screen. I wish to watch this on IMAX soon.
        • The image quality of the screen and the sounds were average to above average. I just hoped that since the 3D glasses were a bit tinted, they should have brightened up the projection so that the colors would look more vibrant with the lenses on.
        • The cinema chairs were interesting. I thought they would sway and turn to the beat but they merely vibrated in sync with action packed scenes. But it was a nifty feature nonetheless.
        • With all the complaints, don't be misled, I did enjoy the movie and relished the experience with the one I love. *wink*
        • Where do I begin? The movie was all it was hyped up to be. I loved every minute of it. The 2 hours, 45 minutes run time of the film filled up my bladder faster than I would've liked as I had to take a quick run to the toilets, I almost didn't go for fear of missing something spectacular.
        • I thought it brought a refreshing twist to the common storyline of extraterrestrial creatures wreaking havoc and invading our planet. We are the greedy, power-hungry evil aliens this time and that other world is at our mercy.
        • Yes, the story is Pocahontas meets The Smurfs meets Transformers meets Galactica. But it's more than that and James Cameron can certainly engross his audience to the world he has created. Pandora was breathtaking. And again with my IMAX wish. :)
        • Aside from the exquisite graphics and cinematography, I liked the fact that the movie talked about major issues in our society and displayed visual moral teachings on what would happen if humans went too far. Love Mother Nature, yes to interracial/interspecies relationships, believe in God, take care of the planet and many more suble and not to suble lessons to be learned. V.nice.
        • The story may not be the most original of all but it hardly mattered when your senses are bombarded with pleasant and exciting stimuli all through out the film's run time. 

        End Rant: And yes, I think after finally watching the movies, my comments are going to be in one with those in the threads after threads of raves and praises about the epicness of this once-in-a-lifetime-movie-you-should-dare-not-miss.

        Sunday, January 10, 2010

         I never knew I could hate a political ad this much.

        You said it, Batman.

        Saturday, January 9, 2010

        Going straight to the point, I'm so glad that I didn't spend 800php on buying  a hardbound copy of Dan Brown's latest creation. As much as I've grown up reading his action-packed novels, this time, all the hype, I thought,  was too much for the storyline to handle. After reading about the alleged mysteries of the Holy Grail and the possible annihilation of the whole of the city of Vatican, I thought The Lost Symbol centered on a weak subject matter that many people could not care less about.

        Another disappointing part is how half of the book felt like you're reading transcripts from Too much information about people and places not that relevant to the plot. Sometimes, these lectures can go on and on and I found myself scanning the page to find where the litany eventually ended.

        Also, I wouldn't be surprised if creators of iPhone, Blackberry, Twitter and Google paid Dan Brown to feature their products over and over throughout the 100+ chapters the book has to offer. Once or twice is enough, I think. He didn't have to reiterate to the readers that Solomon uses an iPhone and the Director of the Special Operations of the CIA has a Blackberry. We. Dont. Care.

        Now, I must admit, that the author did write a few good twists and unexpected sharp turns. Without them, the book would have failed completely. However, like I've said, the plot was bland and the mighty bomb you're waiting to explode in the end turned out to just be a puff of disappointing smoke.

        End Rant: Dan Brown should be very thankful that he is Dan Brown. Without the fame and the buzz that he received from his past two books, this installment of Robert Langdon's latest adventure, I daresay, would be unnoticed by readers and critics alike.

        Thursday, January 7, 2010

        The dawn of a new era has come. Since installing Stanza on my iPod Touch, I have gathered these great titles and am now perusing each literary worlds one by one. I just finished two books and am now on my third, all read through this wonderful gadget and app I had the luck of discovering. Here's the list of books in my virtual library on Stanza. All of them I got for freeee... *does happy dance*.
        • The Other Boleyn Girl  by Philippa Gregory
        • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
        • Atonement by Ian McEwan
        • Under The Dome by Stephen King
        • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
        • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
        • My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult
        • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
        • New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
        • Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
        • Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
        • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
        • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
        • The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
        • Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks
        • A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
        • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
        • Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
        Now I'm not that of a fan of Nicholas Sparks, much less Stephanie Meyer (Twilight and New Moon read from a borrowed book) but they were there staring at me waiting for me to download them so I didn't let the opportunity pass. From the amount of books I am going to have the luxury of reading, I am sensing a loving and attention-filled relationship with my Touch and Stanza. Hooray for technology!

        Any other great titles worth reading? Suggestions will be greatly appreciated. :)

          Wednesday, January 6, 2010

          Book of the Moment:

          The Last Song
          by Nicholas Sparks
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