Reality Check [It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover review]

What did I think of this book?
I think this is the most emotional, honest and heartbreaking book Colleen Hoover has ever written yet. There’s too much emotion I could feel at the same time: fear, elation, hope, expectancy, sadness, empathy… that I did not even cry a single tear. And I always cry from her books.
It also inspired me to write a well thought out article blog post about the main topic ingrained with the book’s plot.
It Ends With Us is a story of a woman, Lily, who fell in love twice in her life. First, was with a homeless guy (Atlas is his name) she helped when she was only 15 (he was 18 then), and how they both saved each other’s lives in more than one way. But then life happened, and they had to part ways, with an open promise. Many years later, Lily fell in love again, this time with a neurosurgeon Ryle. With the typical Colleen Hoover fashion, I fell in love with both Lily and Ryle together. They were amazing and fun to read. Their interactions were so quirky and easy and just right, ya know? And then of course Atlas came back to the picture.
All was right in the world with Ryle and Lily and somehow in the beginning of the book I was led to believe one of their major problems is Ryle’s commitment issues…and when they were past that, I thought well, I don’t know what else is gonna happen next. And then one night he slapped her without thinking after she laughed at him when he burned his hand. Fifteen seconds. That was what it takes for everything to change. You see, Lily grew up with an abusive father to her mom, never to her though, but still. They both worked it out then everything fell back to their normal routine, as if nothing happened. The mess just swiftly swept under the rug.
Meanwhile, in the deepest recesses of my entire being, I was freaking out. Fear just gripped my heart, yet I couldn’t stop reading because I was glued, I had to know what happened next. All the time I was chanting Lily to leave the relationship after it happened the second time. The first time it happened, I was internally screaming for them to talk about it, dig deep and be honest about everything, let it all out, as they have the habit of “Naked Truths”, talking about things with all honesty.
But eventually, I got Colleen’s message. It’s easy to say to someone who is experiencing domestic violence to leave their partners, fight for their lives, they’re being martyrs and stupid… But when you’re in the situation yourself.. What happens when you really do love the person and the ‘abuse’ just happens so rarely? The good should always top the bad moments, right? It should be okay, it’s part of marriage… Compromise, understanding, FORGIVENESS.
YET, HOWEVER, DESPITE the thousand good, heck even great, out-of-this-world moments, they quickly go out the window when an abuse happens.
The book played with my head a lot last night. Suddenly, I questioned a lot about marriage. Boundaries. I know, I don’t know how I escalated so far to talking about marriage already. In all honesty, marriage and having a family of my own is in my dreams for myself in the future, but now I’m … wow, that’s a lot of work and trust!
As a Christian, forgiveness is a value I value in my life. In the Bible, when Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive? Jesus said “seventy times seven”, some versions would say seventy-seven times. His point is, don’t count. Forgive, forgive, forgive.
But trust is a different thing. Yes, we can learn to trust another person again, but it takes time. Forgiveness takes time too. Sometimes, saying NO is even harder than saying YES. Sometimes, we just have to brave enough and bold enough to make the right decision. Because it doesn’t mean that what feels good, is the right thing to do.
And so I end with a praise to Colleen Hoover for bravely putting together this story, with not just another bawl your eyes out romance story that yes, you can learn one or two lessons from. BUT, a BOOK, with a message behind it, to inspire many of us, to be BRAVE, to SPEAK out, to ‘act justly, love mercy and walk humbly’.

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Roald Dahl’s 100th Year Celebratory Blog tour!!!

Published by Penguin Group
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His books are in every childhood!
They will inspire you for a love for READING.
Even adults read them.
Read and Watch. Many of his books were made into movies! Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach!
Creative. Imaginative.
Let’s be real, they’re FAMOUS!
Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.
There are lessons to be learned. Always.
Never gets old.
All time favorite children’s classics!
For the GOOD!
The Roald Dahl Literary Estate (charity) vision says “We believe in doing good things” That’s why ten percent of all Roald Dahl income goes to our charity partners. How AMAZING is that?
The author himself is a legend! Literarily, he’s the “world’s number ONE storyteller”
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My ADVICE: If you haven’t read any of his books YET, do yourself a favor and DO IT!
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2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, the author of beloved stories such as Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The BFG. Two of Roald Dahl’s most popular novels, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, were written while Roald Dahl lived in the U.S. and were inspired by American culture—finding success here first before going on to become global bestsellers.
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ABOUT ROALD DAHL
Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. In 1951, Roald Dahl met his future wife, the American actress Patricia Neal, who starred in films including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Hud, for which she won an Oscar. After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 and wrote two of his best-known novels, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the U.S.
In September 1964, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published initially in the U.S. with the U.K. following a few years later. It would go on to become one of the most famous and best-known of Roald’s stories. The idea for the story grew out of his own well-documented love of chocolate and his school-day memories of acting as a taster for a famous chocolate factory. These first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.
Today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and have sold more than 200 million books. With more than 40 million Roald Dahl books in print in the U.S. alone, Dahl is considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time and his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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For more information, please visit www.roalddahl.com/usa
Follow along on social media with #RoaldDahl100:
Facebook.com/RoaldDahl
Twitter.com/roald_dahl (#RoaldDahl100)
Youtube.com/officialroalddahl
Pinterest.com/roalddahl
Instagram: @roald_dahl (#RoaldDahl100)

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>>MOVING FORWARD >>

lovely picture isn’t it? Seriously Australia’s sky view is always so amazing. this was taken in Kiama, NSW, Australia (an hour away from Sydney)
…………………Hey guys! It’s Jenna here again! I woke up this morning just feeling so grateful to God about where I am today. For those of you who don’t know, (well, I’m not entirely sure if I’ve shared this part of my life on my blog) my Dad passed away 5 years ago, and after that loss came a series of loss after loss. Financial, business, my Mom (she’s alive! But it’s a whole lot of story of craziness), failures in my dreams (career,etc) everything I could possibly just hold on to life. Add some life threatening life threats and haters on the side. Dang! That was like three years of nonstop live action! (I laugh about it now but..) One thing remained, and it’s God.
…………………Despite all the trust issues all those things have created in my life, I have chosen to MOVE FORWARD with my life. Yes, my past cannot be changed. All those things did happen, and I’ve learned to accept them. But the FUTURE is still ahead. The PRESENT is here. I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. The best is yet to come. Rivers of living water are gonna flow. Blessings have followed and will follow me all the days of my life.
…………………It’s honestly a lot of CHANGING MINDSETS. Choosing to remain positive everyday, and to hold on to HOPE that I profess that God is real, and He is in control, and though bad things might not go away, but HE will pull me through.
…………………For anyone out there stumbling upon this post and you’re still reading it up to this point. This is not an accident why you’re here. (Technically and physically in the world!) If you’re feeling down and troubled and have lost all hope. It’s not all lost! “But Jenna, you don’t understand…I’ve lost everything..I’ve failed, I’ve been abused.. I’ve been….” You’re right, I will never understand fully what you might be feeling now. But I do know that from HERE ON forward, the CHOICE is yours. Do you want to keep on looking back at your past? And let it DEFINE who YOU ARE now? Or are you choosing to MOVE FORWARD and be VICTORS over your ruined past and CREATE new and amazing and beautiful and wonderful and positive memories that will create a fresh new LEGACY for you and your offsprings in the future?
…………………I believe YOU can. and YOU will. For God is with you, and He is for you and not against you. I will be praying for you my dear friend. You are not alone. Remember that.
xoxo
Jenna

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One Day.

It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “One day…” from people.
“One day, I’m gonna graduate”
“One day, I’ll be fit again”
“One day, I’ll own a house”
“One day, I will go to that place”
“One day, it’s gonna be me up there”
It’s not wrong to say so. In all honesty, I probably say at least one “One Day” statement every day. It actually promotes hope in people. At least it does to me. But then again, I’m a pretty optimistic person. Thinking about it, I find that there is also a downside in saying that phrase over and over again. Don’t take me as an expert on this topic, I am just merely sharing my opinion (disclaimer right there ha!).
“One Day” is like a crutch we use to excuse ourselves to facing what is in front of us. It can make us or break us. As I said, it’s not wrong to say that phrase but if we find ourselves saying it all the time, then I guess that’s when we have to stop and think and reflect on how are we actually doing. Reflecting on our life is not as cheesy as it sounds. It is actually really helpful. In fact, I recently found myself doing a ‘retreat’ jaunt by myself. I went out of town and booked myself an overnight stay at the cheapest but nice hotel I found online. I did not necessarily went out to tour myself in the area. I just basically went introvert and stayed in the hotel, ate a nice fancy dinner by myself, read my Bible, wrote on my journal, watched TV, bonded with myself, took a long nap, slept the whole night in a big king-sized bed…ALL BY MYSELF. I thought it was weird at first, until the next day when I’ve never felt so refreshed and so ready for more. Anyway, the whole point of me describing that is that reflecting on where we are in life is a really great opportunity to discover more about ourselves.
I was talking to my best friend (one of my bestfriends in life actually..when you’re a friendly person like me, you’ll get why I have many best friends, I just can’t have one. haha!) earlier today about what we’re doing in our lives. She’s having a dilemma of the typical “quarter-century years old” question– “What am I doing in my life?”. At one point (many points ) of our lives, we’ll find ourselves asking this question. I told her “well, what is your ‘IT’?” By “IT” I meant her “gifts”, the thing that motivates her, uplifts her mood and gives her energy, and this something/s that imbues her. I would like to describe it as the gift God has given to us, and by using it/them, we are fulfilling our purpose in life (other than following Jesus and building His Kingdom, but that’s another post to tell). It can be singing for some, or dancing, or acting, or teaching, designing houses, building structures, creating art, writing stories, administrating or organizing, it could be anything! I guess that’s where our inner statements of “One day” comes from. Because somewhere deep down inside each of us lies the potential of what could be. Our dreams and desires… Our hope for the future.
So, what was the bad thing again? Denying ourselves the chance to dig down deep and open this opportunity to explore what is hidden inside. Because we say, we are busy… I have to do the laundry first, buy the groceries, cook, tend the kids, go to work, finish this project, I need to settle for this job because it pays the bills. There’s no time for that now because because BECAUSE!
Now of course I don’t condone not working and paying our bills and other necessities in life, because we are all adults after all (and it can suck at times when we need to do adult stuff like taxes, ugh.). What I’m saying is that, I’m encouraging each of us that there’s no time like the present. If we don’t do it now, we might never do it ever! We might just end up procrastinating and sending off all those opportunities flying in the air like blowing off a dandelion flower…
If you needed a sign to take a step, maybe this is it. It’s time. It’s time to take that step to fulfilling your purpose in life. It’s time to take that one more step closing the gap between today and your “One Day.”

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announcement

Top Ten Reasons You Should Read Roald Dahl’s Books . 10 His books are in every childhood! 9 They will inspire you for a love for READING. 8 Even adults read them. 7 Read and Watch. Many of his books were made into movies! Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach! 6 Creative. […]
HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I can’t believe 2014 has come and gone like a snap in a box! Anyway, I wish everyone a happy happy new year, and I pray everyone enjoyed their holidays and that this year will bring you happiness and contentment and just.. full of love! Anyway, […]

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OH, hello!

God has this elusive way of making you like someone you don’t really like. It’s amazing how He does it with me. Okay so you won’t get confused with how random that thought just came right at you, let me give you a bit of a background about me.
I am the kind of person who likes everybody and I like to think everybody likes me too. Haha! I am kind and sweet, if I do say so myself. Not to brag but it’s just who I am! But I can look like I’m not empathetic when someone gets physically ill, because the nurse in me just pops right out, and I’m on the nurse mode (even though I haven’t really practiced this profession.. )
Anyway, I do like people. I’m laying it out there. But there are just some moments when certain people don’t rub off on me well. Like, I just met them and I have no idea who they are, but I already know I’m not gonna like them. I can sense they have an ‘attitude’, and so far I’ve always been right, 99% of the time. I’d like to think it’s a gift. haha!
God, though, in His awesomeness and loving personality, calls all of us to love one another. I’d like to argue that I love people, but some of them I just don’t like. I don’t hate them, but I don’t particularly like them either. And that’s okay! What I’m saying is, because of our love for people, we will eventually like them.. I don’t know when eventually will come but it will!
That’s where I’m going with this. Since coming to college, there’s this one person I met who is challenging to be with. You know those people who just have different wavelength of thinking than you. And one particular close friend of mine also have a hard time with her, especially since they live in the same house. I know I know, you might be saying she should just move out. But the thing is, we can’t always run when challenges come, right? And in her situation, she prayed about it and felt the Spirit of God tell her to stay.
Recently though, I had the chance of serving alongside this person in a conference, and we’ve been serving together for a week. I didn’t ‘not like’ the situation, but I just took it in as it is. It’s not like I have to hang out with her all the time. But then!!! Remember when I told you God has an elusive way of making you like someone you’re not a fan of? Well, somehow I found myself hangin’ out with this chica during our break times. It was still quite challenging at times, but then suddenly there was a shift in our conversations. And I began to notice the changes in her. I saw how more giving she is in our conversations, how more pastoral she is with people. She cares about the odd one out person. She listens, and she doesn’t argue anymore. I wasn’t looking for changes, yet I saw them. And I began to realize how God is so amazing, because He didn’t only change her, but He changed me through her.
Sometimes in life we can be too caught up with our pre-judgments of people. They’re too popular for me, they’re too smart for me, too talented, too cool, and we let those reasons bound us from reaching out to them. I am so guilty of this a lot of times. As I’d like to say, with some people, I just don’t have a “natural” flow of conversation. And it’s weird for me because I’m usually good at talking with people, even strangers (my friends can attest to this).
I have learned how to challenge myself with reaching out more to people, or even as simple as just starting to engage with them in small talks. I am in no way saying these things because I’m an expert at this- far from it even! But we shall not despise small beginnings, even with that simple “hi” can become deeper than the Mariana trench kind of friendship.
I hope you’re having a lovely day! Thanks for reading.

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Thoughts on Tuesdays

God has this elusive way of making you like someone you don’t really like. It’s amazing how He does it with me. Okay so you won’t get confused with how random that thought just came right at you, let me give you a bit of a background about me. I am the kind […]
This is a weekly meme here on my blog featuring stuffs basically anything under the sun Covering Books There are over 7 billion people in the world today. Different classes, different hobbies, basically everyone’s different. And among the readers out there (as I’m sure there are millions of us who are avid readers), […]
This is a weekly meme here on my blog featuring stuffs basically anything under the sun EBOOKS VS. PAPERBACK I am not entirely sure if this topic is an ongoing debate, like “which comes first,the chicken or the egg?”. That aside, I would just like to share to you my opinion on this subject. […]
This is a weekly meme here on my blog featuring stuffs basically anything under the sun I just saw these awesome book trailers and I thought would share it with you. The first time I learned that publishers do book trailers (early last year), I was really shocked. Then when I saw lots of […]
This is a weekly meme here on my blog featuring stuffs basically anything under the sun Dystopian Love Now, I really don’t know when the dystopian YA genre started, or became popular. But for me, the first dystopian novel I’ve read was Matched by Allie Condie last January 2011. Even if the Hunger […]
Thoughts on Tuesdays is a meme here on my blog that I thought of making. I’ll post anything under the sun. This week I will talk about Book Expo America 2012, and my excitement about it! Even though I live in the Philippines which is very much far away from New York, but when I […]
Thoughts on Tuesdays is a meme here on my blog that I thought of making. I’ll post anything under the sun. So please bear with my craziness and randomness here. Thank you! Endlessly increasing Never decreasing TBR File Is it just me or is my to-be-read (TBR) file keeps on growing […]

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/ Unedited /

Five years today.
To be quite seriously honest, August is the hardest month for this joyful lady (that’s me!). It’s quite hard to remain happy when you live sandwiched between two of the most heartbreaking days of my life (thus far). 8th of August and 27th of August. Those 20 days in between, I choose to wake up each day, pull myself out of bed, go through the busy day, and end it with a cup of tea and journal in my other hand, alone in the living room, reflecting the day’s episode, then close my eyes and sleep- miraculously with a smile on my mouth.
I cannot (not without effort on my part) adequately describe why & how, despite my current state of ‘loving my life’, yet this day, 27th of August, is still discombobulatedly loyal to a melancholic heart. I can only wish and hope that someday, one day, these dates will be replaced by a day much more heartsickeningly beautiful memory.
While I’m glad August is almost over, I’m also glad I’m still in it.
I can, however, genuinely say, that there hasn’t be so much fruit of maturity in my life than the past five years have brought.
Tragedies do come and go. Heart breaks confound us to step on the brakes here and there. But everyday is a choice to move on and let go.
Sometimes, nonetheless, we have to be honest and face days such as this, and let ourselves lose and allow ourselves to shed a tear or heck cry a river, if only to maintain normalcy in this not-so-normal world. It is times like these though that I personally take time to reflect and engage with my inner self. Reflect on the good times, even the bad times. Reflect on the goodness of God and His faithfulness in my life.
Be unapologetic. Live life and not only survive, but thrive. For what is a heart beat if your heart does not beat with the melodies of a beautiful song that is life?

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Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart

How many of you out there can honestly say you’ve never been heart broken? I believe each and every one of us have experienced different kinds of heartbrokenness. Small or large scale, it’s the same thing= our hearts got broken. It can be through a disappointment when you didn’t get the job you wanted, failure because you failed your school degree, broken up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, divorce, or even unrequited love, or it can be as simple us patiently waiting for the day to end so you can go home and eat that delicious lasagna you made last night, only to find out your roommate ate it! (yeah sadly that last one does happen!)
So, Jenna, what’s the point of this post? I am curious to know how everyone deals and get over their broken hearts. I am well aware of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. All of which happens with broken hearts as well. Give or take one or two. I want to share what helped with mine.
Cry. A lot. Then Let it go. photo cred: picsymag
Believe me it helps. Letting it all out and cry out to God. Whine to Him, complain, etc. He will not be shaken, in fact, He’s not surprised at all. At the end, choose to let it go. Let go of the pain and bitterness. Don’t let it soak you up and define you. Don’t let the failure win. Rise above. And it begins with that first decision. Because you do have to decide everyday that you choose to be better.
2. Do things that cheer you up.
For me it’s a lot of things: reading, watching tv series/ youtube videos/ movies, journaling, eating (heck yeah!), and not to sound very spiritual but reading the Bible and spending hours and hours with Jesus. You can do rock climbing, computer games, traveling, singing, take up that dance lessons you’ve always wanted to do!..
3. Socialize
Yep! Don’t lock yourself up and mope around all day. You have friends! Use them! haha. Seriously though, they are there to help you, listen to you, be with you.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Rainbow after the rain. Promise behind the pain. Hold on to HOPE. That it’s gonna be okay. Sure, it is painful now, I will never even begin to understand how much pain you carry in your heart. I have my own, you have yours, everybody carries them differently. But one thing is for sure, it’s not gonna last forever. Trust God that He has a great plan and purpose for you. That it’s gonna be better, and the best is yet to come!
And from the other side of the world, there is a friend who is praying for you.
xoxo,

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Alone time

Walking down the city streets, There’s something about seeing dads hold their little girls that makes my chest tight. Slowly, I feel my heart starting to quench and grow heavy with every breath I take. Almost five years now, but the pain of missing him still lingers in my soul and I feel it in my body… This is one of the three days in the year when I particularly feel this same way I did five years ago. Today is Father’s day. Five years down the track of life and so much in me has changed, so much in my family has changed, so much of the world has changed… I sit here in a lone cafe amongst the semi-busy alley in the city, people and family walking past and here I am, by myself, which ironically I find comforting. I love and thrive in it. It’s very seldom these days that I find myself alone. I take in and enjoy each and every moment of this because it will be a rarity to have it one day. Soon, I feel it in my soul, my Lord speaks to my spirit, I will have my own family, and alone time will seem like a luxury. So while my future luxury is still now an affordable and possible commodity, I shall then enjoy it.
It helps that this coffee is not bad, not bad at all.

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