Monday, June 8, 2015

REVIEW: I WAS HERE BY GAYLE FORMAN.

Title: I Was Here
Series:  Stand Alone
Author: Gayle Forman
Edition: Paperback (International Edition)
Publication: January 27, 2015 by Viking Juvenile
Source: Gifted
Pages: 270
Genre: Contemporary, Suicide, Romance, Mental Health
Trailer: to follow

Synopsis:

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

Forman knows her geography. I learned during her Manila stay that she travels a lot and that remarkably showed in her novels. I adored Just One Day and Just One Year so knowing she has a new novel coming up made me cheer. Her previous books toured me around the world and I Was Here toured me as well, though just in the US, it was still lovely for my heart full of wanderlust nonetheless.

I Was Here didn't appeal to me as much as I wanted to. It didn't leave a mark, it didn't tickle my tearducts, it didn't make me feel anything. It was an okay story, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. It was probably because I didn't fully connect to anything in it: the plot, characters (though am swooning over Ben) or even the progress of the story. It would have worked for me if there were glimpses of Meg's side but her death appeared to be the bridge to the romance which didn't make sense to the entirety of the story. Don't get me wrong, I adored that part of I Was Here, but I couldn't see the connection of it to how or why Meg died. I mean, I was after the grief or pain or loss but I guess, I Was Here touched the unfamiliar side of losing someone which was its downfall in my opinion.

Cody's path in the story was so pretentious to me. It was absurd to be confronting such dangerous people and I honestly couldn't wrap my mind around it. Cody was different in both good and bad ways but the bad weighs heavier than the good. I know she loved Meg so bad but her guilt pushed her to find answers no one in the right set of mind would go for. I couldn't connect to her, to her grief or even to her loss. Or maybe, I couldn't connect to anything about this book at all.

I Was Here was such a let-down book for me. I've read a few emotionally invested story this year but this one was just underwhelming. What's worse is this is the first Forman book I didn't like.

Thank you, Dianne of Oops, I Read a Book Again! for my paperback copy!

"I was reminded just why God wants us to forgive. Not simply because it’s the key to a better world, but because of what it does for ourselves. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us. Christ forgave us. He forgave our sins. That was his gift. But by allowing us to forgive each other, he opened us up to that divine love. The article had it right. Forgiveness: It’s a miracle drug. It’s God’s miracle drug."
"Sometimes you don’t even need to be in the same room for the damage to be done."
"But by the way he's looking at everything in the room but me, I think he knows that he didn't really explain why. And by the way I'm looking at everything in the room but him, I know that I don't really need him to."

Monday, June 1, 2015

THE BOOKAHOLIC BLURBS TURNS 3!!


Today (well technically and officially last May 27), this blog reached another milestone and that is its 3rd birthday!

Truth be told, I have been neglecting a lot of things lately. Not only the blog but books/reading in general. Also my laundry. :) But seriously, I've been preoccupied with LIFE that everything is overwhelming I couldn't focus. I had to lie-low on reading/blogging because time has been a bitch to me. Last year it was because I was so freaking addicted to Clash of Clans (I stopped playing) and this year, building Gundams for my #TheGuardiansoftheLibrary army took a huge part on this life slump (I will stop building soon). The worst part of it all is I lost the motivation to blog and read. I nearly deleted the blog. I was suddenly back on this never ending loop of not wanting/wanting to do blogging. It felt too chore-y to me -- again. I lost the capacity to enjoy what I do and it came to a point I question the very reason why I started blogging. I also question my personal life choices because apparently, I suck at it, too. I wanted to just.. STOP. Stop doing whatever sucky stuff I do, stop feeling bad for so many things, just STOP altogether at once. Nothing makes sense in my life these past few months so I stopped buying books, I stopped reading, I stopped Instagramming, Tweeting, I stopped talking to friends. The only good thing that came out of it was I realized I don't want unnecessary things in my life anymore. I mean, I will always be bookish but I would only buy those titles I really, REALLY want. I realized I don't need any of it and the hoarding phase is now over. Surprisingly, am so okay with it. It somehow made the load lighter.

This is my third year blogging and what have I learned? A lot. But enumerating them would eat up this post so let me just thank you all for putting up with me. I've gained a few followers since last year on the blog (from 340 last year to 364 on GFC) and on Facebook (from 501 last year to 700+), lost a lot on IG (from 1780 to 1703) and Twitter (from 940 down to 916) but my page views kept going up. Am totes okay with these numbers so thank you guys for waiting for me to get back up and start posting whatever. Thank you for all the private messages asking if am okay and thank you for missing me screaming on Twitter. It means the world to me. Am slowly getting back (almost done with I Was Here, yay!) and I have two reviews I haven't drafted yet but will get to, soon. Thank you so, SO much for not leaving me. I owe you one, guys.

Thank you also to my bookish friends who have given me the energy I needed to even come up with an anniversary post. You know who you are (but Kai, am looking at you!). Thank you to Harpercollins International and National Bookstore. If it weren't for you guys, I would have given this up.

Everything will go back to normal but just on an even slower pace this time. Am going to take all the time I need so I could enjoy it like how I once did to give decent blog posts. I got my dream job and started working last April as a Software Analyst and that's what I seriously need to focus on. Aside from that, there are other adult stuff which requires my attention like getting my own house and pursuing traveling so the blog will have to go a few notch lower on my priority list. I also have to mend this freaking broken heart.

For everything that you guys are and everything that you do, thank you, thank you, thank youuuuuuu!!