2022 Reads

2022 comfort and adventure.

Reading has always been a part of me, a hobby, and it intensified when my father gifted me a Kindle in 2019. The onset of the pandemic in 2020 helped me resort to reading more as a comfort to the anxiety-induced situation during the health crisis. The last two years have been good still–reading wise and this year has led me to good practices and disciplines in terms of reading because I am twice as involved and dedicated to reading; and it does not feel like a chore, because it really isn’t. It is a comfort and an adventure.

My only goal this year was to read 25 books, 60% higher than my goal in 2021 because I don’t want the pressure. Keeping count is not even a must in terms of reading; it just feels good to note everything, jot it down, and see how we improve. Numbers do not equate anything to readings, actually; it is just a measure of discipline for me. I’m sure I’ve read more than the ones I put on the list –academic articles, research, and other academic materials for my post-graduate studies, magazines even, and other blog posts; but I will only include here those books/novels I’ve read and able to take an adventure with.

Here’s the list of the books I’ve read in 2022 and some notes:

1 and 2: Priest and Midnight Mass by Sierra Simone

Okay, you don’t get to judge me, okay? These books are steamy and sinful. Hehe the writing is good and the books are unputdownable.

3. The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

I’d be honest. I didn’t like the book and I should have dnf-ed it, but I powered through and I still didn’t like it after that. Maybe you’ll find it amusing or interesting, maybe it wasn’t just my cup of tea.

4. Before the Coffee Gets Cold (#1) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

5. Too Late by Colleen Hoover

6. The Unhoneymooner by Christina Lauren

7. Verity by Colleen Hoover

Oh the twist of this book! One of my best reads this year.

8. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

9. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

10. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

11. A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1) by Judith McNaught

12. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Now I know why this book is a bit controversial. This may be where every plot like this stemmed.

13. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

14. A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King

This is what I bought from my Amazon credits and get me through difficulties during my travel to Bacolod this year. Haha! I remember not sleeping for two nights because of a rambunctious and inconsiderate roommate. So, there, it was a kind of memorable book because it soothed me and comforted me.

15. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

16. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia

17. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

18. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

Kind of Verity and Rebecca vibe.

19. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Worth the hype.

20. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Not worth the hype. At least for me.

21. Dekada ’70 by Lualhati Bautista

22. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig

23. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

24. Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

25. Normal People by Sally Rooney

26. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

27. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

28. Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

29. Rock Paper Scissor by Alice Feeney

You’d love the twist!

30. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

31. My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood

32. Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

Don’t read this at night, please.

33. The Viscount Without Virtue by Katherine Grant

34. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

35. The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn

36. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

37. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster

I grew up watching Judie Abbott, the Japanese animated series. That was usually 9 or 10 in the morning on weekdays, which I look forward to seeing whenever classes are suspended. That series was based on this book. But reflecting on it, it was kind of creepy, right?

38. Book Lovers by Emily Henry

39. The Wedding Date by Jasmin Guillory

40. The Housemaid by Freida McFadden


41. Dusk by F. Sionil José

42. Daisy Jones & The Six

43. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

44. Maybe Someday (Maybe #1) by Colleen Hoover

45. Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa? by Lualhati Bautista

46. Maybe Now (Maybe #2) by Colleen Hoover

47. Maybe Not (Maybe #3) by Colleen Hoover

48. The HatingGame by Sally Thorne

49. Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

Downright hilarious!

50. Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher

51. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

52. Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

53. Ain’t That a Mother: Postpartum, Palsy and Everything in Between by Adiba Nelson

54. It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

55. The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

56. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

57. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

58. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

59. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry

60. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

61. Dear Girls by Ali Wong

From the target of 25 books for the year, I raised it to 40 books and was able to finish the goal last July 28, 2022; and I kept going. It was a win for me to keep the discipline of reading at bay. This 2023, I wish to read more, but no pressure!

Books That Made Me Ugly Cry

I think I should pin down the books that made me cry and proved I’m not dead inside

It is the second to the last of 2022 and before I made the final list of all the books I’ve read to cap off the year, I think I should pin down the books that made me cry and proved I’m not dead inside.

Words have a way through me and before I knew it, I was crying so hard and all resonated with me. So, here are some of the books I (mostly) read this year that made me ~ugly~ cry (in no particular order):

1. Meet Me In Paradise by Libby Hubscher

With all my abandonment issues, there is this fear or anxiety of losing a loved one and this book just flared up all of those. Haha! If you have a sister and you are close to her, this is a nicer book to read. It is sweet, entertaining, sad, happy, and lonely all at the same time. Plus, breathtaking vacation views that you can duly imagine through how the book was written.

The right decision is not always the easy decision.

Meet Me in Paradise, Lubby Hubscher

If you are looking for a heart-wrenching read and want to have your own breathtaking vacation in the comfort of your seat, read Meet Me In Paradise. But, I can’t promise you that you won’t shed a tear.

2. Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Oh, you know this. This book is probably on all bookstands and it does not disappoint. If you play tennis or enthusiast of the sport, for sure you’d love this good read, though it is not a pre-requisite. But surely, if you have a father or a father figure, you surely will let those tears roll.

I was just ‘chill’ reading the book, but not until in the middle of it or towards 80% of it, I turned crying. You get to appreciate people more by the end of the book, especially those who are truly dear to you.

Some reminders when we get so competitive:

And we don’t cry when we lose, but we also don’t gloat when we win.

Carrie Soto Is Back, Tayloy Jenkins Reid

And something to ponder on in this world of ours:

One of the great injustices of this triggered world we live in is that women are considered to be depleting with age and men are somehow deepening.

Carrie Soto Is Back, Taylor Jenkins Reid

3. Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Another one from Taylor Jenkins Reid–who is one of my favorite authors who I discovered this year through her book Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. If you want to get passed a reading slump, you may read this Evidence of the Affair–it is less than 100 pages and consists of letters that are “evidence” of an affair. Though it is short, I can’t guarantee that you won’t cry, ugly-cry at that, in the end.

4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

I have admired Madeline Miller for her creativity and it is evident in the book, The Song of Achilles. Incredibly good, actually! It was painful, lonely, and happy all at the same time. Plus, if you are like me that have an interest in Greek mythology or any ancient Greek folklore, this book gets a +1. And, get ready with your tissues!

5. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

If you are a reader, I guess you always come across Tuesdays With Morrie in some of the book recommendations. Well, there is a reason why–it’s that good. I read this book, hmmm, probably, 10-11 years ago (?) and I’ve read it thrice between those years, because when you are losing hope about life, it is a good book to read to appreciate life better. It breaks me every time–a good kind of break, if I may add. Do you need some pushing? Read this one by Mitch Albom.

Being with a team and somehow leading, this is what I always put in mind:

If you’re trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you’re trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.”

Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

Someone asked by what is the purpose of life (seriously) and this one gets to me as if I have only read the book yesterday:

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

6. Before the Coffee Gets Cold (#1) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

I have always been curious about this book and then I found myself buying it from Amazon in a jiff. I am a fan of Haruki Murakami and he is a tough act to follow for Japanese authors — well, at least to me. I did remember, it was January 2022 when I first set my hands on Before the Coffee Gets Cold, and I finished it in a day because it is that good and I bawled my eyes out.

What if there is a cafe that brings us back to before? What if we can witness the things we wanted to then? How would it make a difference in our lives at the present?

7. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

If I were to be asked what book changed me, my way of life, and my reading, it is The Art of Racing in the Rain for me. I was 17 or 18 when I read this book which I got from Powerbooks (think the bookstore closed down branches in the Philippines). I was mourning the death of our dog then, and the book was torture for me, really, but it was also life-changing all the same.

Your car goes where your eyes go. Simply another way of saying that which you manifest is before you.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

The book was funny and touching. It is as if it speaks to your core through the living thing–your dog, your best friend.

“Anyare?”: The Collective Mind

Collective Mind is how we can explain it, how we could describe it, and how we can answer the question simply put as “anyare?” or suffice to the wonders of our minds and reactions whether positively or negatively–“wow!”

During my master’s, I read an article written by Dr. Alexander G. Flor, the former dean and a professor in the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). Currently, Dr. Flor sits as a member of my dissertation committee, and my professor too in my two subjects this semester. The article I’m talking about is “Communication, Culture and the Collective Psyche.”

The reason I remembered was during our recent class, timely as it is, Dr. Flor brought up the said article. Since we are in the middle of the post-electoral scene from the recent 2022 National Elections, the article does make sense to at least navigate us through one of the many answers, if not the sole conclusion, to our questions about the said elections–like, of course, “how did IT happen?”

As a development communicator, one of my objectives, as also shared by Dr. Flor in the article, is a development communicator researcher’s biggest ambition–“to understand and explain how a socially beneficial idea assumes a life of its own and spreads throughout society without the benefit of planned and funded campaigns” (Flor 2007, p.99).

Collective Mind is how we can explain it, how we could describe it, and how we can answer the question simply put as “anyare?” or suffice to the wonders of our minds and reactions whether positively or negatively–“wow!”

This Collective Mind refers to the synergy generated through individual minds in the social system (p.106). Thus, our society has its social system and its collectivity has a mind. Communication plays a huge role in this narrative. In fact, socialization by sociologists and acculturation by anthropologists can only be achieved through communication (p.111).

Society refers to a whole comprised of various individuals. Apart from they share the same spatial, they are typically subject to dominant cultural expectations. In a democratic country just like the Philippines, people have invested power to decide, in our recent case, elected officials in the government, through representation. Communication and comprehension of what’s being communicated craft the society we live in; education, and media/digital media play a huge role today that make or even break forms of information and social construction.

Many may point disinformation and misinformation as part of it, the seeds that are planted reap differently than what was expected of many, now as far as the election results go, the minority (I’ll concentrate more on this in another research). Needless to say, communication is an essential element, if not the main key, of politicking. Hence, as communication scholars, and development communicators at that, (in unison with the sociologists, media personnel, and journalists), we all have a crucial role to play. May it be breeding new sources of knowledge or research, but also understanding societal engagement and cultural communication unbiased more importantly, as we try to be.

Collective Mind is how we can simply glue how we came about, the same goes with the People Power I or EDSA 1 in 1986 and People Power II or EDSA 2 in 2001.


Flor, Alexander G. (2007). Communication, Culture and the Collective Psyche. Chapter 10 in Development Communication Praxis, pp.99-114. University of the Philippines Open University Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services. Diliman, Quezon City. ISBN 978-971-767-200-7.

Featured Image from the internet / Pexels.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

“Life is not a problem to be solved. Just remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounded by the people who love you.”

By Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, Translated by Heather Cleary |
⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 out of 5 Stars)

After Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover, timely that I received advanced birthday presents (woohoo!), and the book Ikigai was part of the loot.

Be led by curiosity, and keep busy by doing things that fill you with meaning and happiness.

I had many annotations in the books and I’d like to remember them so I can further explore them via research material that I can also share with everyone. I’d probably tackle some of these things in another post because it is deemed to be highlighted, expounded, and broaden to get more insights and exchange of trajectories.

This book wasn’t hard to finish. It was easy to read and you’d probably make mental notes if some of the things stipulated in the book you find yourself doing already; and if not, you’d probably want to try.

We were always told that life is too short. It’s true. I believe that still. But, reading stories of supercentenarians or those who reached over 110 years old, the longevity of life has something to do with passion, happiness, and the purpose you put into it or you discover. Either or, you may very well comply.

Ikigai translates to “the happiness of always being busy.” And not just being literally busy like how we do in our present work, but the craft of moving, of having passion, and following our desires which concludes to happiness is what ikigai means.

Having a purpose in life is so important in Japanese culture that our idea of retirement simply doesn’t exist here.

Dan Buettner, National Geographic

Active Mind, Youthful Body

Japanese gives importance to both mind and body. It is not just eating healthy that is essential but also taking care of one’s mind. In the world that we live in, stress could be part of our daily lives. We approach it in various manners, react to our stressors in a different light, let it consume us, or just simply let it go unacknowledged.

I work with various people with different characters, upbringing, and educational backgrounds. But given the latter, some of them, despite their educational achievement couldn’t guarantee a sound mind to be decisive, assertive, or just simply understand on a deeper level–we are too, at some point. This probably, I think, is a cause of the lack of brain workout.

Just as lack of physical exercise has negative effects on our bodies and mood, a lack of mental exercise is bad for us because it cause our neurons and neural connections to deteroriate–and, as a result, reduces our ability to react to our surroundings.

In other words: constantly use your brain, your mind–and this is not because I am harsh, it was proven by science. This section is what I took note to explore further given related literature and I shall share more on what I know about this one in another blog or article.

Our Ikigai

The authors say that if you haven’t found your ikigai yet, perhaps it is the time to discover it. For me, our life’s longevity cannot just be measured by its literal component–reaching the age of 100 or more–but rather, on how well we lived our lives, our purpose, and how we have contributed/shared and inspired others. Quality over quantity could be the simplest term for this thought, most probably.

It’s impressive to know how the Japanese live their every day–it is full of positivity, finding perfection in the imperfection, eating good food, and being surrounded by friends and loved ones. Not all of us could be fortunate to have all of these attributes in our daily lives, but if we have the chance, we must embrace them, appreciate them, and share them.

The 10 Rules of Ikigai according to Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

  1. Stay active; don’t retire
  2. Take it slow
  3. Don’t fill your stomach
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday
  6. Smile
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your ikigai


You could fight the living, but you could not fight the dead.

By Daphne Du Maurier | ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 out of 5 stars)

Rebecca follows a story of an unnamed woman, referred mostly to in the book as Mrs. De Winter, who married a widower (Mr. Maximillan De Winter). They met in France and later moved to De Winter’s estate in Manderley which was crept by the memories of Rebecca De Winter, the late wife of Maximillan or Maxim/Max De Winter.

If you haven’t read the book and you are inclined to do so, kindly stop here as I might spoil some of the details. Hehe.

I could fight the living, but I could not fight the dead.

The book was said to be first published in 1938 and may be considered a classic. They said that the book is continuously printing and selling, and was impressive. I might have read fast-paced books prior to this to find that the plot of Rebecca is a bit slow for me. At around 50% in the book, I still wait for the twist, though I have already made assumptions on my own while on it.

My earliest assumption is that the house was haunted, but of course, it wasn’t in the book. The Manderley mansion was just full of memories of the late Rebecca because Mrs. Danvers, her personal maid, was fully in owe of her still. But my assumption that Mr. De Winter killed his wife was ought to be true. It was a good twist that a lot might consider gold especially if movies or films of this kind existed or if you haven’t seen one, but I, having been able to see and read some in the past, it was a little predictable to me then.

If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like a scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.

Rebecca was a charmer and surely doesn’t stick to one guy, hence the marital problems she and Mr. De Winter had that led to his motive to do Rebecca wrong. It was later on ruled out as suicide, and so he was able to walk as a free man and be with his new wife then. What was shocking in the end was the fact that Manderley was summoned by a fire, and Mr. De Winter and his new beau were able to not go back there and probably live a new life.

The plot twist was a little bit at the end of the book and then there were a lot of turns–like finding Rebecca’s journal and that she was sick, and Favell, her cousin, contest of Mr. De Winter’s verdict or lack thereof.

The book was okay and probably a source, of one of the sources, for films antics of its kind.

My Dark Vanessa

“The longer you get away with something, the more reckless you become, until it’s almost as if you want to get caught.”

By Kate Elizabeth Russell | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 out of 5 stars)
Trigger warning: Sexual Abuse, Rape, Grooming, Pedophilia, Gaslighting, Suicide

January of 2021, my first book to read for the year was Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I know that the book was a controversial classic and that I think every adult should read it at least once. It followed Humbert Humber, a middle-aged man, who was in love with his stepdaughter, Dolores Haze, 12, or who he fondly calls, Lo.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Lolita inspired Russell to create the book My Dark Vanessa. Indeed, the context of the latter revolved around Nabokov’s creation. Though I was able to read Lolita, My Dark Vanessa was still a hard book to finish. It shakes one’s mind like how it should, anyway.

The book followed the story of Vanessa Wye who was once a fifteen-year-old high school student and was groomed by her English teacher, Jacob Strane. The two had a long relationship before Strane committed suicide amid student sexual assault issues thrown at him.

As you go on in the book, you will understand how Strane gaslighted and groomed Vanessa into a person who will just accept sexual abuse and rape. It was hurtful as a reader for Vanessa to blame herself and go after Strane’s defense in terms of her abuse. It was maddening. Anyone at 15 should just be 15 and not in, any manner, be groomed and forced to be adults and be relied on for consent. Strane, on the other hand, may have some psychological problems about his attraction to prepubescent girls. While he may say he loved Vanessa, a major part of their relationship was selfish/self-serving–this was also seen when Vanessa grew up to be an adult of her own right. Strane’s interest deteriorated, leaving him to assault further different students he teach. Again, it was maddening. And I do empathize with Vanessa–all of her trauma, all of the things he made her believe, her life moving forward, her self-blame, and even more.

To be groomed is to be loved and handled like a precious, delicate thing.

Or so how Vanessa was led to believe.

These things can happen, to us and to anybody we know. I hope our society may grow to be more understanding and shy away from victim-blaming. Victims, even suspects, have a lot going on in their heads and shall need professional help to intervene.

People will risk everything for a little bit of something beautiful.

The longer you get away with something, the more reckless you become, until it’s almost as if you want to get caught.

The book made me feel uneasy as it was supposed to be. It was written in a way that may help us understand issues like this. I hope you’ll make time to read this and understand. There are many Vanessa Wye and Lolita out there. Let’s take the time to help.

The Silent Patient

By Alex Michaelides | ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3/5)

Today, mental illness and those who suffer to it have been slowly being looked into, accepted, and helped. More and more people understand and pay attention to it. But still, it is a long battle for society and the people to duly be educated, equipped of knowledge, and to comprehend what people who suffer need and go through.

Mental illness is precisely about a lack of this kind of integration—we end up losing contact with the unacceptable parts of ourselves.

The Silent Patient revolves around the story of Alicia Berenson, a patient who was convicted and placed in a mental institution— The Grove-for his husband’s death, and Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who worked on Alicia’s case.

Gabriel and Alicia Berenson, artists and married aren’t the typical married couple. Gabriel is a famous photographer and Alicia is a painter. Alicia, whose childhood was also tragic, has suffered different emotional winds that she learned to express through her art.

I didn’t want to die. Not yet; not when I hadn’t lived.

Theo, a psychotherapist, like Alicia also suffered a gruesome childhood because of his childhood. And the story has taken a turn on Theo and his issues.

We’re all crazy, I believe, just in different ways.

Like Theo in the story, he had some unexpressed emotions that took a toll on him as he went on with his life.

Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive, and will come forth later, in uglier ways.

Sigmund Frued

There were a lot of things lacking in Alicia’s life, her husband’s trust and belief in her are one. But Alicia could not ever kill her husband like how it panned out. Gabriel was shot point blank and Alicia became the bait to bury in this sin.

Choosing a lover is a lot like choosing a therapist. We need to ask ourselves, is this someone who will be honest with me, listen to criticism, admit making mistakes, and not promise the impossible?


The turned out of events in this book was shockingly revealed, though a little prediction from my end has been concluded before I made it to the final stop.

*Spoiler Alert*

Theo was the killer, because Gabriel was once cheating with his lover. He set it up and use Alicia as bait. Though Alicia was wise and she recognized him even through disguised during the killing. Alicia kept a journal of events and she wrote about this, about it all, about Theo overdosing her that led her to coma.

The journal was then recovered from Alicia’s things and Theo in the end was arrested.

The Kiss Quotient

Two lonely halves found comfort together.

By Helen Hoang | ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3/5)

Stella Lane, an econometrician and has autism was trying to learn how to be good around people, most especially with relationships. Hence, she hired Michael Larsen, an escort, to teach her how. First, to be how good in bed but later on ventured on relationship particulars.

I duly can comprehend with Stella’s situation and how she could be around people in her own right. Given her challenges, it is also difficult to get by being her usual self without bewildering anyone.

My 7th book for 2022

I appreciate the books discussion questions that made it easier to comprehend on what I have read and here are some points:

Philip James, Stella’s co-worker, had expressed his liking to Stella after years of working together and she was suprised that Philip was asked out by an intern. In retrospect, men are the usual initiators. Women are usually at the receiving end. Times are changing, innovating even, when a woman ask a man out nowadays it is not a big deal, it should not be a big deal. We have come to know our abilities, confidence, and times have taught us to be more assertive.

On the other hand, Michael issues with his father – a swindler – had definitely affected his disposition, leaving him insecure about his stature and his abilities that also cost his relationship with others. I comprehend with his mother primarily; giving him the boost he needed, knowing what her child really is deep inside—even with the things he doesn’t even know about himself or doesn’t pay attention to. Michael’s mother played a great part to bring out his confidence and let alone make him try to accept his being to be also acceptable to Stella.

When you love someone, you fight for them in every way you know how.

If you can’t stand being with a woman who’s more successful than you, then leave her alone. She’s better off without you.

If you actually love her, then know the value of that love and make it a promise. That is the only thing she needs from you.

Stella and Michael’s differences are apparent. Love alone is not enough to make a relationship work. It takes patience, friendship, acceptance, and understanding combined. Relationships aren’t about rainbows and butterflies but also being committed to another person to make it work even through the toughest of times.


So be it.

by Colleen Hoover | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars)

The first question I had for myself after I finished the book is, “what the F*** did I just read?” It is so brilliant, creative, thrilling, and terrifying even!

I’ve read some books by Colleen Hoover–I started with It Ends With Us last year and I knew right then and there that she’s one of the best authors to watch for. Of course, there are tons of raves in Kindle Philippines Groups about books she has written and released and part of me also relied on those posts, so I’d be able to relate (somehow, I am not under any pressure of going to what’s trending or to relate, to be understood even), and to travel through words and story settings I craft in my head while I read the book word per word.

Colleen Hoover is so creative, I’m starting to get inspired by her as I also went back to writing after I stopped a few years ago. Definitely, I could say that she’s very good in her craft and really gives! Verity, for one, is one of those books that terrifies you to the core reading it in the middle of the night, making you so uneasy, tearful but you would not stop reading it–that if there additional four hours in a day, you will avail because you want to finish what you started.

In this book, like Lowen, I don’t know what was true anymore–that “fictional” manuscript that Verity wrote and eventually read by Jeremy even way before Lowen discovered it or that letter of Verity addressed to Jeremy stipulating that fact. I was mindblown. The story was so effective that I couldn’t let this day pass without writing about it here.

Verity by Colleen Hoover (I’m using Kindle Paperwhite, which I think 2nd Gen, but I’m not sure. It still works perfectly fine.)

I sympathize with the children–dead and alive–they did not deserve to be in the middle of it all and suffering the chronic setup their family has become.

I started reading Verity a few nights back, for the first five chapters I’m stalling because I’m terrified of what the book might be and I don’t what to check reviews yet in the fear that they will spoil the ending to me. I did try looking though because I frantically do not want to be caught off guard, but that wouldn’t be fair either.

I posted it on my Instagram Stories and a former colleague commented that the book was stressful, it will be so good, and I wouldn’t be able to put it down. It was true. She was right. I couldn’t. I was ready to spend all my Saturday nights finishing it and continued it today, on a Sunday in between checking and packing orders for Happy Shift.

IN HINDSIGHT: One of the best books I’ve read so far. It’s my 6th book for the year 2022 and I’m happy I was able to finish it before I start a new semester in my doctorate. I wish the best for Lowe and Jeremy and their family. I hope life takes them to a different turn, a turn that may be able to let them start a new joyously and fruitfully. I hope wherever Verity is now, she’s at peace. It hasn’t been easy for her no matter what the version of the truth we are talking about. She really needed to be at peace in her own right.

Nothing is harder in a relationship than not respecting the person you’re with.

The reason why Jeremy and Verity ended up the way they did was not because of the tragedies they came their way, but the loss of respect for one another.

I guess being here in her office for a few days will be one way to test my theory. The richer you are, the more creative you’re able to be.

I’d like to believe this theory is true. If you are not worrying about money or earning, your creativity blossoms because you aren’t confined to what was acceptable for others (for them to sell) or to simply worry about what other people might think (whether it is positive or negative).

I’m not interested in speaking about a woman who chose never to speak of me again.

I, too, isn’t interested.

If an attraction is present between two peole, those two people can only be one of two things. Involved or not involved. There is no in-between.

In or out. Yes, there is no in-between.

The Unhoneymooners

“That’s the point of luck: it happens when and where it happens.”

By Christina Lauren | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)

I’m not good at giving book reviews. I’d probably written two or three as requirements in grad school and post-grad, but I’d like to try. Hehe

This book written by Christina Lauren is so charming and it felt like I’ve vacationed in Maui too! The first four chapters of the book was a little boring for me. I was even contemplating if I will proceed to the next book on my reading list, but I persisted to finish it because I want to be a little organize and I wouldn’t be able to stay still knowing I have some like an unfinished business.

Truth be told that first four chapters built up the succeeding chapters of the book and it gotten so interesting that I spent one night reading until 70% of it.

Olive is somehow relatable to me, she was often misunderstood as a pessimist but really she’s just in touch with reality and out of touch with this world’s ideals that could break her, but yes, it pays to be brave too. Her love story with Ethan, a protective sister to Ami, and calling out Dane for being such a jerk are brave and good qualities of Olive in the book. Their big family is also relatable especially for us Filipinos, specifically those closed knit ones.

Like Olive, some of us think we are not ‘lucky.’ I sort of think that too—that it requires a mixture of skills, excellence, and luck all at once to succeed or even just win raffles!

That’s the point of luck: it happens when and where it happens.

That’s the whole point of luck, isn’t?

You have to trust that it’s not fleeting.

I understand how Dane and Ami and Olive and Ethan went through with their respective relationships. That someway, somehow, things could be difficult and quite impossible at the moment.

Nothing is harder in a relationship than not respecting the person you’re with.

IN HINDSIGHT: like I’ve said, if you read the book, it’ll feel that you are also in Maui having the best time and it made me want to book a flight and accommodation as the story goes. The book is a feel-good kind that after you finish it, you’ll feel renewed and refreshed. Yes, it was happy ending for both Olive and Ethan and I guess they both deserve it. Their personality really matches! Though it was usual and predictable, it was cosmic, sweet, and cute.

It’s a total kilig going through the love story of Olive and Ethan; and it was hilarious at some ends there, too. I’m so glad I persisted to finishing the book because it could be one of the best feel-good books I’ve read in the last two years.