Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I was able to read this book over the weekend – a random choice. I haven’t heard about the book before not even did I try to read what the plot is. Anyway, I chanced upon Before I Fall, the debut novel of Lauren Oliver. It was a quick and easy read.

The prologue opened with a line that goes: “They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that’s not how it happened for me.” Then and there I was automatically hooked. The story was told by the main character, Sam Kingston. Everything started with her death.

Her demise flashed right before her eyes and she had to re-live her last day over and over for a week. You know how the Butterfly Effect goes? A principle in chaos theory states that minute differences may, over time lead to an unforeseen consequence. So this is what Sam had to live with (or die with).

Sam and her friends are the typical High School Mean Girls. Yes, they thrive in their popularity, oftentimes at the expense of putting others down. At times, the turn of events reminded me of the movie, Jawbreaker, and how the ‘it’ girls just rule the stage setting all the ‘uncool’ ones on the side.

I guess it painted a vivid picture of how high school was. Some peaked in high school, while some felt it was the worst period of their lives. For those who flourished, well then and good. But there are some who are pushed to the edge and fall.

This brings us to the pivotal character in the story. Juliet Sykes.

Her presence turns the story over and over.

At this point I can’t help but remember a parallel episode in One Tree Hill: With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept. This was the most heart wrenching episode for me. The Jimmy Edwards shooting spree. Jimmy Edwards’ suicide. Some give in to the pressures of high school.

In that episode, a character had something to say which moved me:

Mouth: It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The artists, and the scientists, and the poets…none of them fit in at seventeen. You’re supposed to get past it. Adults, they see kids killing kids and they know its a tragedy because they used to be those kids. The bullies and the beaten and the loners. You’re supposed to get past it. You’re supposed to live long enough to take it back. Just take it all back.

Now going back, the book is really engaging. At times I swore I hated Sam, her friends, their petty lives. However, of all the things the book touched on, friends, family, school, sex and the ‘misunderstood teen,’ I guess the most essential part of this book is how bullying affects people. At one way or another, it scars them and these are things that we can never take back. 

For a first novel, the writing is really good!

Some quotes I like from the book:

“It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It’s never occurred to me before; I’ve never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.”

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.” 

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Random ‘Me Wants’ for the night 01

  1. Driving lesson. I must. 
  2. Swim. Please 25-year old self. Please. This is a disgrace to humanity.
  3. Yoga. A pause, a break. I like the sound of that.
  4. A car. I don’t wanna commute anymore except when I’m on holiday, riding a bus with the wind brushing my hair. That’s it. Not in the metro.
  5. Peace of mind
  6. A less emotional self. Hormones, is this you acting up? Or, is this just the hidden me finally coming to life?
  7. Run. Jog. Whatever. Sweat it, because this bulge I feel when I turn sidewards in bed is not funny anymore.
  8. Time. Less time for work. More time for life.
  9. Puppy to cuddle and hold. 
  10. A solo trip. A much needed me-time I’ve been wanting for so long. 

Ktnxbye. 🙂

Times have changed

Before, you’d have to walk from one office to another to apply for a job. I was able to experience that when I was a fresh graduate.

Then came the company websites where you have to just send your resume via their dropbox.

Of course, there’s Lina of Jobstreet who you’ll forever think of as an actual person who even greets you on your birthday. JobsDB, Monster, all the job opportunity search engines became readily available.

Now, I get interview invites via Facebook. 

Really, do I have to make sure my Facebook profile photo always looks sober and proper? 🙂

Dundundundun!

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

A trilogy in a weeks’s time, considering the amount of work I have to do simultaneous to it, speaks only of one thing —- the book must be really good. And I say yeah! I finished the last book of The Hunger Games trilogy a few hours back and I already miss them. Crazy!

Set in a highly dystopian future, with the country divided in several districts ruled by the Capitol – the Hunger Games was born. Each year, 2 teenagers are drawn from each district as Tributes to outwit, outplay and outlast one another until one Victor emerges. This is a reminder of the grim and gore that rebellion brought about in the Dark Days, most likely to happen should people decide to revolt again.

I guess the beauty of the book is its ability to balance so many sub-stories – the shady politics, the pitfalls of war, the strength of its characters and yeah, the romance. How can a book survive without that, right? 🙂 The stubbornness, indecisiveness of Katniss (the lead female character) makes her endearing. Like her, I was torned siding between Peeta (the baker boy who’s loved her forever) or Gale (the hunter friend who knew her too well). She eventually chose, and I think if I was in her shoes, I’d share that decision with her. Whatever that is 🙂

On a more serious note, the book tackles the cancers of the government, politics and all the cun and deceit. Everyone’s motivated by their own agendas, the only question is, would it benefit a fraction or a greater part of the whole? This is a good practice too, to test your trust. For someone who’s got so much faith in people, I was at a loss on who to rightfully trust. In the end, one thing rings true, no one really is a victor of war. It deprives you of a home. It nabs you of a loved one. It consumes you, in one way or the other. Should you overcome it, it scars you forever.

So if you have some time to spare, go grab the book. It’s a worthy read. Plus, you might wanna read it before it hits the cinemas this March.

Good night! 🙂

Stockingjay

Gel is trying to learn the ins and out of stock exchange. Been watching video clips all day. Speaking on the phone, asking questions from a ‘broker.’ Computing the supposed shell-out. 

While I, on the other side, is busy looking for a Yoga class and reading fast to finish Mockingjay. 

What is useless? Hehe! 🙂

#Please let us be rich!!!

And the decision is

Drum roll!!!!

I will stay 🙂

The company’s looking good. I hope things pan out great for me as well! 🙂

At the end of the day, it’s just work. It’s not the end all or be all of my existence.

Instead of moping or ranting, I’ll just try to make the most out of it.

Get it done.

Get the pay.

Get a life!

Cheers!