THE HELP

chapters and pages

Yesterday I was able to finish one of the books in my to-be-read pile (which seems to be getting higher each year), it was shelved for two years before I finally got around to reading it. I remember how long it has been because I bought it right after graduation, courtesy of the toga rental fee that mother allowed me to have. I won’t also forget how I squealed with delight when I saw it in the shelf of Booksale; it has been on my list for months and on that day I finally got to take home The Help.

I have a rule that I should read the book first before watching its film adaptation, but this one was an exception. The movie was so good that I just had to buy and read the book. It’s a proof that a movie and a book can co-exist without one being great than the other (because we always tend to say that the one on paper is much better than the one on screen).

Lately, I’ve decided to not let a good book pass without writing about it. Not much of a review, because people will always have different choices and tastes in literature – so, it’s more of a reflection. No summaries here as well, since Google or Goodreads is at your service for that matter. I’ll dwell more on the impact that the words have inflicted on me, along with the thoughts that got stirred up along the way.

If there’s only one word to describe this novel, it would be liberating. There was a simple writing fuel injected between the lines. It’s as if the author and characters are saying that you get to free yourself when you free your words. When you get to write them. When you get to say them out loud or be solidified on paper. The oppression was strong for the women of this story. And I suddenly became thankful for the gift of speech being given to us today, how women nowadays have the privileged to do the things we want to do instead of just being locked up in stereotypes that the society dictates.

It also made me think, how many are still out there not being able to speak for themselves? How many are still being oppressed and not being treated humanely? Just the thought of it makes me weary. With all the trouble going in different places around the globe, plus the political fiasco happening in my own homeland…it challenged me to be mindful of my words. Our freedom of speech has a deeper value, and I don’t want mine to be just wasted away.

More so, I liked the Too Little, Too Late part where Kathryn Stockett wrote about her own experience with their help. Despite the troubles and the history surrounding her own state it is evident that her heart is in it. That she loves the place in all its glory and dirt. It made me wish that someday I can get to write like this for my beloved Philippines too.

I am left with hope that despite the differences, it’s not too late to bridge the gap between us all. We’re going through the last month of the year now but there’s this feeling that pages are now being turned, and a new chapter is about to begin. May our lives turn out to be for the good.

THE LONGEST RIDE

chapters and pages

The last time I read a Nicholas Sparks novel was during my freshman year in college. The university’s library has always been refuge for me, but when I discovered that it also housed a variety of fiction books it became a little bit of heaven. I borrowed books every week and most of it were Sparks’ novels.

It was a two-week marathon of love stories with heartbreaking tragedies; eventually this plot grew familiar that I can already guess who would die or be involved in an accident. The love scenes got too descriptive for me, so after a month I stopped reading his novels. It turned around last week because of much-needed break from all the deep and serious stuff that I’ve been reading. When a colleague/friend offered me to lend her copy of The Longest Ride, I accepted with the thought that giddy or kilig novels can be a good break.

Surprisingly, I liked it! Let’s skip the summary because I’m not good at it and you can always check it online or in Goodreads. I actually missed writing book reviews so I decided to do this again with novels that captured a part of me.

For The Longest Ride, what caught my heart was the way that Sparks was able to stitch the element of art in it. Everything about art seems to get me nowadays. It made me realize that I don’t know much about the classical artists or even the modern ones. It was surprising to know how much money a painting can cost and collecting art can be laborious task to do. But my heart melted when it was used to depict Ira and Ruth’s relationship. (Quotes from the book will follow. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please skip skip skip the images).

The beauty of conversation was also present between Sophia and Luke. In a world that always feels rushed, the characters in this book moves in a slower way. The focus was more on how they started to trust and be honest with one another. It’s also a plus that the love scenes aren’t descriptive. They made love; that’s it. Let’s-move-on-to-the-next-part kind of narrative. (For a person who’s been avoiding these kind of images in her head, this is important. Decided to skip watching the movie adaptation because we all know that Hollywood can twist stories).

When I finished reading the novel, I asked my colleague if I can just buy it from her. I have this weird attachment to the book that I held and read (and eventually liked), that’s why buying my own was only second option. She agreed to give it to me instead! She. Gave. It. To. Me. Oh the joys of being a bookworm!