The Fault in our Stars: Movie Review

NOW A BOOK, SOON A MOVIE. Ansel Elgort (Carrie reboot and Shailene Woodley (Divergent) snag the lead roles for the movie adaptation of this John Greene book.

NOW A BOOK, SOON A MOVIE. Ansel Elgort (Carrie reboot and Shailene Woodley (Divergent) snag the lead roles for the movie adaptation of this John Greene book.

Pain deserves to be felt. A statement that is totally applicable to The Fault in Our Stars but it was a pain that I was glad to endure for its 126-minute run.

Its one thing to subject yourself to a movie with one sick person in it, but its pretty much torture to sign up for a film with two sick lead characters. This is the reason why I steer clear of Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations (because somebody always dies) but after I read The Fault in our Stars by bestselling author John Green, I knew I couldn’t stay away from this film. I simply had to know how the movie versions of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters measured up to their literary counterparts.

Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), is a 17 year old suffering from thyroid cancer, whose existence revolves around getting medication, watching reality shows and obsessing over the ending (or non ending) of her favorite book, The Imperial Affliction, written by reclusive author Peter van Houten. She meets the charming one legged cancer survivor Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) in one of the support groups her mother forces her to go to and there begins their epic love story limited only by their numbered days on Earth.

I must say that adapting this book for the big screen was pretty tall order for director Josh Boone, not only because the material was so heavy but because of the hype and the rabid following of this novel. I can think of at least 20 people that I know of that couldn’t help yapping about how good the book was before I even cracked the first page (I agreed with them wholeheartedly afterwards). Luckily, the filmmakers actually did a good job with it.

There is no shortage of quotable quotes in this movie and it was no wonder that the script followed the book almost exactly to the letter. Still, it wouldn’t have been as effective if they had not cast the right people for the right parts. I think they did, for everyone but Isaac, because despite saying the same words as his literary counterpart, movie Isaac (Nat Wolff) always seemed a beat short of everybody else, emotion wise, acting wise. I always thought of Isaac as somewhat spunkier than Wolff’s characterization.

On the other hand, Shailene Woodley as Hazel was awesome. As an actress, she has an uncanny ability to establish a unique chemistry with her co-stars that allows her to connect the characters better. She did this with Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now, and now Ansel Elgort in The Fault in our Stars. Its uncanny because she stars with both actors in the Divergent franchise as siblings (with Elgort) and nemesis (with Teller) and it didn’t seem weird watching them play different roles. There is a certain level of comfort in seeing them together in various roles. Woodley is definitely an actress to watch out for. As for Elgort as Augustus Waters, who has captured the hearts of women and teens the world over in the books, he did a pretty decent job portraying the iconic character, which was pretty difficult because Mr. Waters is totally swoon worthy.

I liked the great soundtrack that the film used (credit to Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott for the score). The selection of songs that were cool and hip countered the rather sad atmosphere that the subject of death always provides. I realize that for these young adult novel adaptations, I always watch out for excellent music (like The Perks of being a Wallflower) because it dictates the tone of the movie and for the most park, its what makes or breaks them.

The Fault in our Stars was a beautiful book with beautiful words that got readers to think about their own mortality. Watching the movie was not as thought provoking as reading the literature but it still managed to evoke the same feelings of happiness and heartbreak. It felt real on another level and that could be counted as a success for the big screen adaptation.

All in all, the movie was an even mix of sweetness, innocence, sadness, hope and love. Its a love story but its also about family, and coping, surviving, and dying.  Despite revolving around death, it was able to evoke something positive out of the sadness as it was tempered with a message filled with meaning, that everybody gets a fair shot at their own infinity like Hazel and Augustus but it is up to them to reach out and grab it. I must admit that real teens don’t communicate as philosophically as these two, but at least the movie shows the reality of what its like to deal with disease and one’s own mortality. And also there’s the peace with the closure. Personally, that makes the film a great big okay on my book. Okay?

V <3 V: A Life and Style Diary

vern

Dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.

Famous words from hotel heiress and fashion icon Paris Hilton that young fashionistas the world over took to heart. Sisters Vern and Verniece Enciso pushed the envelope further and started V <3 V, a lifestyle blog that seeks to guide their readers on how to be hip and trendy, all while maintaining a certain sophistication that seeks to showcase the wearer’s personal style and preference.

Two years after the blog became a hit on the internet, Summit Media has taken on the cudgels of bringing the Encisos’ unique style to the Filipina fashionista, printing a compilation of V <3 V’s best tips on a variety of lifestyle topics like fashion, travel, beauty, music and wellness into a life and lifestyle diary.

The book is compact and easy to read. It serves as a cheat sheet for Pinays who want to be fashionable but are cautious about committing fashion faux pas.

The layout is fun and chic, and Vern and Verniece’s take on what’s trendy and what’s not reads like refreshing suggestions to their readers. In presenting the same fashion pieces in multiple ways, they are able to provide options, giving their audience a peek at the possibilities for basic items of clothing and accessories.

Because the sisters, despite looking alike, have different interests and styles, they are able to relate to different types of readers.

The Enciso sisters made sure that most of the recommended items and accessories featured in the book can easily be bought from the mall. For Pinays on a budget, similar items can be acquired from the local tiangge, giving them the power to look their best given the limitations of their own budgets.

Of course, an entire section is devoted to make up and hairstyles for various occasions where the sisters provide step by step instructions on how to achieve certain looks to give readers that much needed boost of confidence when going to the mall, partying with friends and even going to a job interview. The best thing about these tips are the fact that they were acquired through years of trial and error so they are presented in a practical and understandable way.

The Encisos travel a lot and their book serves as a travel journal of sorts, filled with magnificent photos that encourages readers to pack up their bags and head out to their next destination.

Its ironic that these young girls would have a section entitled Life 101 in which they share thoughts about their journey so far, but despite their youth, the insight that these two sisters share with their readers would no doubt relate to anyone who has ever had their heart broken, their dreams dashed, or found inspiration in the little things.

V <3 V is a book that every young Filipina should have. It inspires confidence and gives budding fashionistas the tools that they need to be stars they were born to be. Girl power all the way.

The Voice of Reason: A VIP Pass to Enlightenment Book Review

voice_of_reasonI was the happiest person when I finally scored Chael Sonnen’s book, The Voice of Reason: A VIP Pass to Enlightenment which was originally released in 2012. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of this trash talking genius of an MMA fighter and I wanted to see for myself what he had to say about a variety of topics that may or may not be related to one or the other. I knew I was in for a good time when I turned the page and a foreword by Jesus Christ welcomed me in the opening pages. Curious though that JC sounded a lot like a strong jawed pro-division wrestler from Oregon who dabbles at commentating for Fox during his off training schedule.

The Voice of Reason is designed to be a “self help book” using the Chael P. Sonnen (P stands for Perfection, according to the guy) method of self improvement and through the course of the book, readers will be exposed to Chael’s views on the UFC, politics, the environment, social media, endangered species, his childhood and family, his fans, Santa Claus, walkout songs, the best movies, and the difference between the wrestling and martial arts (in which he articulately slams various martial arts in the world in true Chael fashion). While airing his views like an authority on everything, readers can sense that this is done tongue in cheek, with a sense of self awareness and self depreciating humor that only the most confident of people can pull off. And there is no doubt that Chael P. is a confident man.

From the first page up to the last, this book swings for the fences. Actually, Chael advises the readers to have a pen ready to take notes on nuggets of wisdom he drops throughout the literature. At first I thought he was joking, what with his signature arrogant tone, but pretty soon, I did find myself noting pages and quotes that got to me because there was a lot of food for thought involved.

There was no dull moment in this book, which I finished in two sittings. I actually had to reluctantly put it down the first night because I had to go to work the next day but all I could think about at the office was getting back to the book when I got home (Chael would probably tell me that I’m a pathetic loser with no life). I liked it a lot because it was so honest — like a friend calling you on your bullcrap the moment you think of something stupid.

Stupidity is contagious — Chael P. Sonnen

Chael the Author speaks with confidence and intelligence, and uses layman’s language that meatheads and intellectuals alike could understand. His sharp wit and acerbic humor is obvious in the way that he writes and the words flow so naturally that readers sit up and take notice of the logic behind his views. They also understand that behind the mean street language is a peek at the wheels turning behind Uncle Chael’s head. What’s great about this book is that it doesn’t care who it would offend. Heck, there were plenty of times that I believed that some of the topics were included in the book just to get a rise out of a certain group of people — Democrats, for one, Brazilians, for another — and Chael doesn’t stop his rapid fire attacks. He doesn’t hold anything back, much like he never stops when trash talking an opponent for an upcoming fight. What’s good about it is that  he backs his argument with facts and puts his Sociology degree to good use, as well as his keen observations about Society in general (i.e. The Turkey Corollary) to prove that he is indeed coming from somewhere and not just randomly shooting his mouth.

Chael contradicts himself plenty of times. He even called attention to it a couple of times in the book, but then he makes an argument and again, one can’t help but be amazed at his logic. But the best part about the book were the parts where he talks about the sport that he loves, his profession and his family because his sincerity shines through. Its as if a mask is lifted and readers are treated to brief moments of vulnerability that he rarely shows as his UFC persona. The Voice of Reason gave him a voice to speak out about people who influenced him growing up — his father, his coaches, his idols — and gave readers a chance to understand what motivates Chael Sonnen, the athlete.

The book also gave Chael an opportunity to answer issues that has plagued his career (TRT) and even the money laundering case that effectively put an end to his political aspirations as early as his 20s. The book gave readers a unique inside look at a fighter’s psyche and its not just about machismo and an endless flow of testosterone that is the UFC — what happens pre fight, during training, the traveling (I got a kick about the focus mitts) and the names he called his cornermen, which belied his high respect and regard for the people who work with him and train with him. He describes the heartbreak after a loss to Anderson Silva — I’ve seen that fight a couple of times and it was indeed heartbreaking because it was only because of a brief lapse in Chael’s concentration –some hilarious experience by C.B. Dolloway, some cracks about Silva and Machida’s BFF relationship, and a whole lot more.

All in all, at first glance, it would seem that the book was written with the single-minded objective to offend everybody. True, Chael might come off as abrasive and offensive at times because he uses harsh words and talks tough, but The Voice of Reason, for all its sass and bluster, is a true representation of the author — smart as a whip, funny,  a consummate professional, with strengths and weaknesses just like a regular person. It was a great read that really encouraged me to take a closer look at how I see things. Thank you, Uncle Chael. I’m hoping that there will be a next book. On a side note, no matter what you’re going through, I’ll be rooting for you :D

Guardians of the Galaxy: Movie Review

guardian-of-the-galaxy-poster1I aaaaaaaahhhhym… hooked on a feeling — and its a good one.

Honestly, I have never heard of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy until about a year or so ago when Marvel Studios decided to greenlight a movie starring a band of unlikely heroes destined to save the galaxy from one of  Thanos’s allies, Ronan the Accuser. After an extensive marketing drive and a super cool trailer, it easily became one of the movies I was most looking forward to see in 2014 and man, this movie did not disappoint.

Peter Quill aka Starlord (Chris Pratt), a petty thief affiliated with a band of space pirates called the Ravagers,  finds himself in a pickle when he steals an orb with one of the infinity stones, a weapon so strong that it gives the bearer the power to destroy an entire planet with just one contact. Unsure of what the orb contains and with Ronan the Accuser’s lackeys hot on his tail, Starlord crosses paths with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Thanos’s favorite daughter/assassin, bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a genetically modified trigger happy raccoon, and his sidekick, a tree like humanoid named Groot (Vin Diesel). After they all get arrested and incarcerated by the Nova Corps, they stage a daring escape with the help of Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista aka Batista), who thirsts for vengeance against Ronan (Lee Pace), who wants the orb for himself to eradicate the entire Xandarian race. Now, the band of five misfits must find in themselves the courage to save the planet and prove that they are more than the losers the galaxy has pictured them to be.

I must say that Guardians of the Galaxy has immediately catapulted to my second favorite Marvel movie after The Avengers. The trailer promised a fun and entertaining watch but director James Gunn (who ironically won a Razzie as worst director in star studded ensemble Movie 43) was able to achieve so much more. It was really a challenge to make people care about characters that they are not familiar with and Gunn managed to do that and balance the exposure of these five strong characters and give the audience moments to connect with each one of them. Its really hard to handle an ensemble cast and somehow, Gunn was able to pull it off marvelously.

I’ve seen Chris Pratt play supporting roles before GOTG but he really stepped up his game in his his first major break. He put his great comedic timing and charm to good use as the smart alecky Peter Quill, leader of the Guardians, but made sure that he also delivered on the more physical aspects of his role. While Gamora and Drax were great in their respective roles, my favorites were the two purely CGI characters — Rocket the Racoon and Groot. Bradley Cooper’s voice acting had such attitude that he made his character larger than life, even when he is actually the smallest character of the lot. Vin Diesel as Groot had no other line but “I am Groot” but his character was easily the most endearing member of the cast. He was adorable and kind, and that was why audiences loved him. Oh, and leave us not forget Michael Rooker as Yondu. Anyone who has seen Rooker play Merl on The Walking Dead knows that he is not a guy to be messed with as the blue skinned head of the Ravagers, he did everything to uphold his image.

What’s great about GOTG is the balance that filmmakers were able to achieve in the action, drama and comedy aspects of the film. The transition from an action packed moment to one of drama (mostly Groot), or comedy (mostly Rocket or Peter) was so fluid that it did not at all seem forced. The great banter, owing to the smartly written script (James Gunn, Nicole Perlman) surely encouraged a bunch of audience to pick up a GOTG comic book on the way home to learn more of the group’s antics. Not to mention the dramatic parts were so well executed that I’ve read a couple of reviews comparing the film to George Lucas’s iconic Star Wars. My favorite scenes were easily the Nova Fleet locking together to form a protective shield against the Dark Aster, and Groot sacrificing himself to save the group. Those were definitely tearjerkers for me. Yeah, its embarrassing to cry because of a comic book movie but these were great pieces of cinema.

I also loved the soundtrack, which were really iconic songs from the 70s and 80s. I loved it so much that I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this. One thing I didn’t like as much was the limited exposure of Ronan the Accuser. I would have wanted him to be more badass to amp up the impact of the final showdown between him and the Guardians.

All in all, I loved Guardians of the Galaxy because it had heroes that had no great superpowers but had a lot of heart. It was actually the ultimate underdog movie made even cooler by the fact that all of the adventures were taking place in outer space. True, some of the characters had anger management issues but hey, they’re only starting to turn a new leaf and embracing their role as actual heroes. Mainly, I had a lot of fun watching this movie because I felt that the crew had a lot of fun doing the film. It makes me much more excited to see the sequel.

Blindness: Movie Review

Blindness-Movie-PosterAfter watching Denis Villanueve’s take on Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago’s novel The Double with Enemy (starring Jake Gyllenhaal), which I appreciated way after I have watched it compared to when I actually was, I did a bit of research on Saramago and learned that one of the films I missed in 2008 starring Mark Ruffalo, Blindness, was actually adapted from one of his works — a novel of the same name. Of course, I wanted to see if it was just as strange as Enemy. It was, actually, but in a different way.

In an unnamed city somewhere in the world, a man suddenly loses his sight in the middle of traffic, but instead of going dark, he experiences a phenomenon where he is swallowed by light “as if he is swimming in a milky sea.” A bystander offers to drive him home but for far more nefarious reasons. The stranger ends up stealing his car. Later, the man’s wife arrives and takes him to an eye doctor and pretty soon, all of the people who grew in contact with man succumb to the same phenomenon. Soon, the city is swamped by the epidemic called white blindness and all those afflicted are sent to an old mental asylum, including the doctor’s wife, who has not suffered from blindness but pretended to do so to take care of her husband. But being the only person immune to the disease eventually takes its toll on her, and it becomes a challenge far greater than what she signed up for to deal with an entire facility of people who are suddenly plunged into helpless depression, abandoned by government and society because of fear and ignorance.

I must say that this movie was more horrifying than seeing the end of the world because of a zombie apocalypse, because it dealt not with monsters but the monsters within men. Director Fernando Meirelles, did a brilliant job of depicting the desperation and anxiety of a society unsure of what they are dealing with, deprived of one of the most vital parts of their being — sight. As the movie progressed, Meirelles clearly illustrated the difference between the doctor’s wife’s perspective and those of the blind inside the facility, her sacrifice and her ability to process fully the injustice and the inhumane conditions surrounding her because she could see. The chaos and the filth and the lack of compassion was both heartbreaking and disgusting so on that score, the film was able to establish among the audience an affinity for the blind. And because the characters had no names, just titles — doctor, doctor’s wife, girl with the sunglasses (Alice Braga), thief (Don McKellar), King of Ward 3 (Gael Garcia Bernal), man with eyepatch (Danny Glover)it became easier for the viewers to become more involved in the movie because they could just as easily subplant themselves with the characters they believe they could identify with the most.

There were times in this movie that I found it hard to watch the scenes — the utter depravity in some of the actions of the film’s villains turned my stomach to knots that I wanted to hurl. And the indifference of the government, the mishandling of the situation and the sheer thought of just sticking people in subhuman conditions, being treated like less than diseased cattle  was equally to blame as the evil inside the walls. Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo were stellar in their roles as the film’s lead characters but the supporting cast were no slackers too, in delivering characters whom audiences can relate to or abhor.

I read somewhere that when this film was released, a group of blind people were so offended by the depiction that they criticized and boycotted the movie as  it damages the image of blind people everywhere, but I don’t really understand how the film put the blind in a bad light, because upon closer analysis, the film was not blaming the blindness or lack of sight per se, but rather then sudden lack of order and control and what this meant to people who are used to it.

All in all, the film was able to deliver the sense of terror, desperation and fear that the book obviously set out to do, but while it touched on the worst of humanity, it was also able to showcase the best of it — an indomitability of the human spirit, kindness, and an appreciation for beauty that needs no sight to reveal. My favorite part about this film was actually the words because they carried a very deep message that was so simple to understand. Truly, nothing beats the combination of a filmmaker who truly understands and appreciates the material and committing to deliver on it with artistry and quality. Ironically, a film that talks about blindness is one that opens the eyes of its audience to reality in today’s society and calls upon them to look inside themselves and their own humanity. A mass of contradictions, but a brilliant, profound and thought provoking film, and one of the best I’ve seen so far. I feel really stupid for not seeing it sooner.

Enemy: Movie Review

Enemy_posterAdam Bell is a boring History Professor at a university absorbed in his quiet life, doing his daily routine over and over without fail. One day, a co-worker recommends that he watch the film When There’s a Will, There’s a Way, in which he sees an actor who looks exactly like him. Intrigued, he researches the background of his supposed doppleganger, and contacts him to meet. But he gets more than what he bargained for when Anthony, the person who looked exactly like him, bullies him into doing something unspeakable, a thing that pushes Adam to the wall.

I must say that the motto for this movie is really Patience is a virtue. Everything progresses very slowly, as if director Denis Villanueve was ensuring that everybody was following the story, and getting into it as much as he was. The artistry in this movie is top notch, and each frame, each transition seemed to be regarded as vital to the movie. And the accompanying music by Daniel Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans just pushed the scenes over the edge. Sure, it takes a while for the story to move along but there was a general sense of foreboding throughout the movie that seemed to be cluing in the audience to be extra observant about the setting and the dialogue lest they miss anything.

In truth, the plot in itself was fairly complicated, and the mystery was made even more intriguing by Villanueve’s presentation. It seemed like he wanted to keep as much to his chest as possible for the longest time so that the great reveal will be worth it, while at the same time dropping hints and clues through the dialogues. Jake Gyllenhaal did a great job playing his two characters because while they looked exactly alike with very very subtle difference in the hairstyle in terms of appearance, there was a marked disparity in the portrayal of Adam and Anthony that seemed equally enigmatic and dangerous.

What’s great about this film is actually the sense of imbalance that audiences will feel throughout, as if the movie was one big puzzle that they had to solve. And while they think they’re making headway, another scene unravels making them doubt earlier conclusions formed about the characters. I don’t know, but there was something very Hitchcock about this movie, making it a cut above the rest of the regular psychological thriller.

All in all, the film was a very interesting watch despite its snail-paced progress. It was mentally stimulating but exhausting to follow but it was just the type of movie that’s even better after audiences see it because there are a lot of nagging questions following the ambiguous ending. Its the type of film that keeps audiences on their toes and at the edge of their seats, either biting on their fingernail of tearing their hair off in frustration, leaving them either overly exhilarated or shocked by the conclusion. It makes audiences ask who was actually the real Enemy? I would not reveal more on this post for fear of spoiling potential viewers but feel free to sound off on the comments section below to see if we interpreted the ending the same way. One thing’s for sure. I am going to read The Double by Jose Saramago, the book in which the film was based just to see if I was on the right track.

Enemy is still showing in cinemas, and brought to the Philippines by Solar Entertainment.

Why I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books :D

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SEPPIE: n. a fan of betselling American romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

I’ve been a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips since my friend Debby loaned me a copy of Nobody’s Baby But Mine, back when I was in high school. Since then, I’ve read each and every one of her books. Anyways, I’ve read all of her books (except Lucy’s story because personally, I have not yet accepted that she will not be with my beloved Teddy) and loved each and every one of them in various degrees. Some I have read close to 10 times, some once or twice. While some of you regular readers of my blog would be surprised that I love to read romance novels (in contrast for my love for blood and gore in horror and heavy action in film and in real life via MMA), please take note that I am a girl and therefore, its part of my DNA to be partial to these sort of stuff.

Well, since finding out that SEP will be releasing a new book this month entitled Heroes are my Weakness , I got so excited that I decided to spend the entire weekend (yes, the entire weekend) re-reading some of my copies of SEP books. And while I cannot review all of them at once, I decided that I would instead list down why Susan Elizabeth Philips is an author whose books I would buy om the basis of her name alone.

1) Romance and Mischief: One surefire guarantee in a SEP novel is the amount of sweetness (not the cloying kind) and mischief that the characters get into. While there is a certain familiarity in the elements of her writing, she still manages to make it different each time yet evoke the same positive feelings among her readers with every turn of the page. Its always a fun read.

2) Witty dialogue: I don’t know but from the very first time I read SEP, what really struck me was the razor sharp dialogue among the characters. The repartee flows so fluidly that readers would find it hard not to get in the moment and picture themselves witnessing the scenes themselves. Very entertaining and very very sharp. Very very clever. Never a boring moment.

3) Strong characters and a great backstory: One thing all of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ female characters have in common — a strong backbone. Even the ones who never knew this about themselves in the beginning eventually find their inner strength to counter adversities. Take the Widow Snopes (Dream a Little Dream) and Francesca Day-Beaudine (Fancy Pants) — rising to the top despite being plunged to the bottom. Yet, from cleaning toilets to hosting shows or doing something extraordinary, these women have proven their mettle and this sense of empowerment is truly inspiring. In terms of heroes, all of them are super macho, oozing with sex appeal and self assured. Most of them have hero complexes and a strong sense of responsibility which landed them with the heroines in the first place. What I love  about them however, is that despite being initially set in their ways (read: bullheaded), the vulnerability and compassion when they start to develop feelings for our heroines. What’s really cool about SEP characters are they are never portrayed as perfect. Lead characters and secondary characters alike and that is perhaps the reason why there is never a boring plot or subplot in her books. I mean, in real life, who’s perfect, right?

4) A sense of joy: You could tell by the way she writes that SEP writes from something genuine and perhaps, she draws inspiration from her love for her family. There is a joy in reading her writing because no matter how dire or complicated the situation is for the characters, there is always a sense of family in her books that grounds them and connects them with the readers. I don’t know, but I feel happy everytime I read her work and I could sense that she loves what she is doing each time she brings new life to new characters.

5) A “Great Love Story”: In This Heart of Mine, Phoebe asked Kevin to choose between Molly and his beloved Chicago Stars in order for Molly to have a “Great Love Story” to refer to when he forgets anniversaries or when he does something stupid. For Phoebe herself, Dan saved her life. For Daisy, when Alex humbled himself before Sheba. For Dean and Blue, it was the opposite, but it had the same effect. Each one of her characters had their own pivotal moments to prove their love and its not just one big romantic gesture but rather it was what it stood for that matters. And these are the scenes to really look out for in SEP books, it tugs at your heart and feels like a punch in the gut (well, in a good way).

I don’t know if I did justice to my favorite books with this entry but one thing’s for sure. I will continue to read SEP for as long as she could write and continue to recommend her books to anybody I know. Maybe I could do a ranking of my favorites next time which is really tough because I don’t know how I will choose. Like I said, I’m a fan. A big big fan :D