musings, News

Blog and Life Updates 2018

I thought I should post some news and updates that have been in the works for the last while, especially to thank those who have been patient enough through the rough patches. Some news are more obvious than others, but I promise, they are all positive items, and I’m SO excited to be sharing them with you.

First things first…

NEW blog outlook!

For those of you who have followed this blog for a while now, you may have noticed that the outlook of this entire blog has drastically changed. Over the last month, unfortunately the site was under the construction phase, and I know, it was not a pretty sight.

But, now it’s finally complete and I’m satisfied with the new look and minimalistic way of navigating through the posts, as well as the new homepage. So I wanted to thank you for your patience and I’d love it if you took a look around in your free time ❤

What do you think of the new look? Do you have any recommendations for future renovations?

Personal life updates

This blog has been up for a while now. Yet I’ve been a very sporadic poster over the years and I apologize for that. That brings me to some news about myself, Andge.

  1. I’ve been a student for the longest time, and have been busy studying in my last years of school since this blog was opened. Now, I’ve finally graduated and guess what this means??
    Aside from being unemployed and all that… I can finally put more time into posting fun and exciting materials with all of you. And for that, I am VERY excited and can’t wait to start on some new ideas I have for Down the Rabbit Hole.
  2. This week marks the 1 year work anniversary for the other book hat that I wear in my life. Aside from book blogger, I have been working on and off as a book seller this last year.
    While this has opened numerous doors into the YA and general reading community for me, I want to make clear that this blog is in no way affiliated with any bookstore. I give credit where it’s due but I get no commission for any books purchased, and I’m not being paid for any book recommendations. All reviews are still based on my honest opinions.
    If you’re interested, I would be more than happy to share some of my past and current experiences as a bookseller on this blog! Just let me know 🙂

Last but not least…

NEW blog partner

That’s right.

I’m bringing in an old friend of mine who loves books as much as myself (and reads faster than I do, might I add). I will let him introduce himself in his first post but I am very excited to have him on board.

Together, we hope to bring out some more interesting and fun posts to share with you, as well as be more heavily involved with the blogging community.

Any ideas/types of posts you want to see more of on this blog?

Brand new things are on the horizon for us and I can’t wait to get started!

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book vs movie, musings, YA

Book vs. Movie: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Come on, right? I just had to pit the book and the movie together, especially after the huge amount of hype that came out when it popped up on Netflix in August.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Jenny Han fan. I was fortunate enough to have met her in person, but few actually know that this book is the direct cause for this whole blog. I absolutely ADORED this book so of course I watched the movie on the very first day that it came out.

But first things first, a little dive into the synopsis (for those of you who have absolutely no idea what this book is about).

 


Synopsis:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.


All right, who doesn’t love a cute little synopsis like that? I mean, I even got some of my male friends to watch it with me so that really says something.

Below, I’m going to list out some of the things I loved and didn’t love about both the book and the movie. Pitting them together, which one would win out?

Image result for to all the boys i loved before

Pros for the book:

  • the lush culture of the Song family is very thoroughly explored, pretty much an integral part of the book as much as the central romance
  • steady pacing to get to know all the different characters, particularly the other Song sisters Margot and Kitty
  • understanding more of the backstory behind Peter, one potential love interest, and his ex that causes problems with Lara Jean

Cons for the book:

  • um, I mean, I kind of rated it a 5 star novel so I’m not sure I have too many things to say badly about it

Image result for to all the boys i loved before

Pros for the movie:

  • the casting was really well-done, especially with Lana Condor playing the lead role as Lara Jean, and followed the book quite closely
  • excellent acting really helped embody the heart of certain characters (e.g. Anna Cathart as Kitty)

 

Cons for the movie:

  • fast pacing, particularly near the middle, with months literally flying by in seconds and it feels like we don’t really get to spend much time with Lara Jean and the boys she’s dealing with
  • not a huge focus on the Korean culture and traditions that the Song family holds onto even though their mother died – seemed like it could’ve been any other generic American family except that they look Asian

As the credits were rolling and I was sitting there wondering what just happened, I must admit that I didn’t love the movie as much as I had hoped. My friends (who never read the book before) liked it well enough but there was something in me that just wasn’t satisfied. A cameo of Jenny Han was wonderful, and the chemistry between the leads Lana Condor (Lara Jean) and Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) was tangible, yet my heart wished it was longer and developed a couple things more that the book did really well.

I may be the odd person who can’t say they LOVED the movie, but to me, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before as the book wins. Granted, not much could really displace the love I have for this novel in its own very special place in my heart.

If you want to know just how I felt for this book, check out my review for it as well!

So what do you think? If you watched the movie and read the book, which one did you think was better? Or were they tied as they both did amazing in different ways for the same story?

musings

The Last Time I’ll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza

Have you ever felt that someone is just stuck in your mind long after their last steps have taken them walking out of your life?

Have you struggled with letting go of something that may have been toxic, that may have been a complete and TOTAL mess? I mean, you’re better off now. Right?

Have you found yourself reminiscing over all the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens? Are you stuck there? Or have you convinced yourself that you’re no LONGER there?

the last time i'll write about you -dawn lanuza

The Last Time I’ll Write About You resonated with me for that reason as I happen to know what all that felt like.

Love can be a wonderful experience, an emotional connection that takes us to the highest mountains and fills our heart and lungs with the elixir of life.

And yet, love can also be a very complicated thing. Another entire being that can dictate how we view the world, how we interact with it.

Breakups can be so messy because of this. It leaves us vulnerable. Wanting to close in again. And if you’re the one with the heart broken, anything can remind us of that person. Anything.

Dawn Lanuza pens a series of poems that speak to personal experience of such things. While a little rudimentary in style compared to other poets I’ve been reading lately, I think it’s still a collection worth browsing through.

For some people (including me), writing is cathartic. It’s like we have permission to feel the things we do once we pen it all down from our very cramped hearts onto paper (or a screen). And once it’s out there, it hopefully frees up some space inside the 4 chambers of our hearts to start healing.

For some other people, it’s cathartic to know that someone else understands what and how we feel. That we’re not alone in our feelings. That it is okay to be feeling this way. We’re not broken and weak. We’re just human.

This book reminded me of these things. That it’s okay to find it hard to let go sometimes. That it’s not just me who was dumb enough to hold onto something that was never meant to be.

Maybe it can do the same for you.

What resonated the most with me were these 2 poems that I’ll share with you.

1) sometimes the world around us may be reminders of that person in our life – and that’s okay

THE WORLD IS OUR SOUVENIR

The world remembers
What we try to forget
It’s in the embers
Of the things we left

It’s in the concrete,
The streets we used to tread
In the halls we used to meet
When we had hours to spend

It’s in the book you carried home
In this umbrella we shared
It’s in the stars you wished on
In your skin, your palms,
Your fingers: playing with my hair

It’s in your unmade bed
The wrinkle, the weight
It’s in the distance to the door I traveled
In the silence, partings unsaid.

2) hope that we can love again – and love again BETTER

EPILOGUE

Despite everything
I still thank the universe
For blessing me with you
As my first

If I could love you this much
For this long
– And on my first try –
Then surely,

I could love someone else more
Far better
Far longer.


I hope this finds you well in a moment where you may need the encouragement, the hope, that love can come again. Maybe even in a better form. It took me years to get out of this slump, and years where I denied the fact that it still held my heart captive in some ways.

But the freeing feeling of crying over that last poem showed me that maybe those last dredges are gone, and in the meantime, I have learned a lot more about myself through it all.

So whether you needed this encouragement or not, I ask of you today: what is love? And does it have a place in your future?