Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 2: What Comes After

I had imagined this moment before, believe it or not. I mean, who didn’t imagine how they would die? Or what would happen afterwards? I looked over at my mom who was in the driver’s seat next to me. Blood was running down her face and getting on her scarf that I had bought her for Christmas five years ago. For some reason, all I could think about was how jarring red was when placed next to the pale flower pattern of the scarf. I tried to speak but it seemed my throat wasn’t letting me.

Outside I hear screeches as cars came to a halt and people beheld the sight in front of them. How did this happen? I focus on my lap which is crushed by the dashboard. I try moving, but I’m pinned. My own blood drips onto my leggings. To my right, the door has been caved in. From a truck was it? Our tiny hatchback didn’t stand a chance.

Pain was ringing through my body as wildly as my ears were. It suddenly came crashing in and I felt everything. My legs were being crushed. My mind was disorientated, and it was harder and harder to force the black away from the edges of my vision. My arms seemed to weigh a ton.

A hand gingerly touched mine and I followed it up to where my mom was sadly smiling at me. The smile held a lot of emotions for me. It was “I love you”, “I’m proud of you”, and “It’ll be ok” all wrapped into one. It was the last thing I saw before the blackness won.

It was surprising. I was still thinking in the pitch blackness. It made me think I was just passed out. Maybe I was in a coma. Maybe the light that was gradual growing was a hospital light. But the light didn’t stop growing. It became unbearably bright. It seemed to never grow until it finally receded, and a different darkness replaced it. Light was filtering through my eyelids, soft and inviting. When I finally blinked my heavy eyelids away, a sea of seats filled with various people and animals greeted me. I was in a movie theater, I realized. A big one at that; the sea of seats stretched impossibly back. Even with the lights on, I couldn’t see the end.

Applause erupted, making me jump. Everyone who was able was standing and clapping for me. At least, I assumed it was me. I was the only one standing at the front.
I looked at the closest row to me. The nearest person smiled and waved me over to the seat right next to him. He was wearing very beach appropriate clothes, swim trunks and a simple white shirt, which were at odds with my sweater, leggings, and snow boots. “What’s going on? Who are you?” I asked him. His smile was reassuring, almost like he understood how I felt.

“Hi Lia. My name is Anthony. Welcome to what happens after.” He gestured around him to the movie theater.

“So this is the afterlife?”

“Sure, if you want to call it that. I don’t know it’s actual name.”

I stared at him in confusion. “Shouldn’t you be the all-knowing guide who tells me what’s next?”

“Oh, I can tell you what’s next, but I’m certainly not all-knowing. I am you after all.”

“What do you mean?”

“I… we…,” he glanced around the room, “are the old reincarnations of you. When I died, my soul was reborn into you. And now that you have died, your soul is about to find a new animal or person to be born into.”

I looked around the room. It was filled with different people and various animals. Next to Anthony sat a German Shepard. Next to the dog was standing a Mexican woman wearing business like clothing. Next to her was a man in a military uniform.

“All of you are my… past lives?” Anthony nodded.

“That’s… incredible! Oh my gosh, that’s so cool!” I laughed in disbelief and stared around at the people and animals that had been me throughout all eternity. The experiences that they all must have led must be incredible. Every year must be represented in this room. This seemingly never-ending room. That if she chose, she could get information about what it was like to live in any given time. “What do we do now that our actual life is over?”

“We sit, and we watch as our soul is reborn again. We watch them live just as all of use watched you live your life.”

I turned towards the dark screen. “That’s it? That’s all we do?”
“Well, we talk about the new life. We bet and give theories on what we think their decision will be. Like I for one was happy that you chose to live in Maryland. Being from Asia, I had never seen snow until your life. Come on, sit. The next life should be starting soon.”

The lights started dimming as I sat next to Anthony. It was crazy to think that this is what my life was leading to. I was slightly saddened that there wasn’t more. That I couldn’t fly or snap my fingers and get to explore the rest of the world. I suppose it was better than nothing. Not that I could imagine what being nothing would feel like.


The screen started lightening. Everyone around me started applauding as a doctor with blue scrubs came into focus, and my new life began. A life of watching someone else live while I watched on the sidelines. I shouldn’t complain. I could have had a worse person to sit next to.

Project for the year

Hello all!

It has been quite awhile since I've been on here. I've recently decided to give myself a writing challenge for the year. For 2018, I plan on writing something once a week. It can be anything, from a short story to just how I'm feeling. I want to be able to just put these somewhere. I don't want them to be just for me and my boyfriend's eyes, so I've decided to post them on here. Probably not the writings about my feelings, but the short stories of course.

And if no one is reading this, or if only my boyfriend is reading this, that's okay. It just feels nice to have it on the internet.

Enjoy, whoever you are.

Love,
Akiko

Monday, December 28, 2015

REVIEW: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
My Rating: 4 Stars

"Sometimes the best way to find out what you're supposed to do is by doing the thing you're not supposed to do." 


Synopsis (From Goodreads): 


Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.


A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate,Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

Review (Spoiler free): 

I was pretty much forced into reading this book by someone who regarded this as an awesome book. I think that was partly why my expectations were higher than someone who dove in with no knowledge. I was told by my best friend and by one of my favorite BookTubers that if I was looking for a quick, cute, and fun read, this is what I should read. While it was cute at times, it was not quick. No offense Christine, but this did not live up to the expectation you gave me. I found that I could not get through this as fast as I wanted to. But all of this in mind, I still liked the story. I enjoyed the fact there was a story after her travels that showed a realistic life of a struggling college student. Though there were many aspects of the travels that I was like "Wait what, what just happened?", I definitely liked this book as a whole. It wasn't until the end that I started seriously fangirling over the characters and on what was going to happen next. I recommend this book, but not highly recommend. It's not on Fangirl's level.


Spoiler Discussions:  

Ok, Allyson... or Lulu... or whatever you want to be called. It's time we have a little talk. After waking up alone after a night of sex with someone that you've only know for, like, less than a couple days, it is not smart to go running through the streets of Paris while cars are going about their business. USE THE SIDEWALK! It is there for a reason! Geez, you almost get killed and here we are. The readers that are yelling at you like we're watching a dramatic TV show to get out of the way before you die! Also, did you not look for a note? And also, on a side note, if I were you and was hanging around Paris with a hottie like Willem, I. Would. Tell. Him. My. Name. It's common sense when you have sex with someone else after all. There are seriously so many bones that I have to pick with you. For instance, did you have a condom? And what if Willem had an STD? You know those aren't pretty right? But I guess since you are stained, it's all cute-sy. *sarcasm intended*
Two: I'm glad that after Allyson calls for help and flies home, we get to see how she adapts to college life. I wasn't expecting Allyson to wake up with Willem not there and I was not expecting us to read about events in Allyson's normal life, without hiding behind Lulu. I was very happy with her relationship with Dee. His character was very different. They way he explained why he altered his personality for friends was refreshing. After he said to Allyson that he wasn't changing anything, but he was just showing different sides of his personality, the ones that the other wanted to see, I realized we all did that. Dee was the great voice or reality.

At the time that I read this book, about six months ago, this was the second book I had read of Gayle Forman. At the moment that I am writing this review, I have read the second book in this series along with the novella. I adored the novella; it was a perfect way to end the story and I enjoyed it more than Just One Day and Just One Year. But even after reading 3 1/2 of her books, I'm not completely sold on Gayle Forman. I'm not in love with her, though I feel like I should be. I definitely do not hate her as an author, but I also don't feel blown away by her.
How about you? Do you like Gayle Forman?

Write you later, 
         Akiko <3

Sunday, June 21, 2015

REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 5 Stars

"In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google)."

Synopsis (From Goodreads): 

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review (Spoiler Free): 

I can not believe it took me so long to read this book. One word can be used to describe Fangirl: Uber-freaking-adorable.
Lately, I've been trying to find more books that are set in college. Mainly because that is where I want to be and because the college dynamic is different, students behave differently, and characters have more freedom. I would say anybody could read this book. I think there are many aspects that relate to different people. It has humor, sarcasm, inspiration, and more. 


Spoiler Discussions: 

One: Cath and Levi's relationship: 
I have to admit that I wanted a little bit more affection between them, but one of the great things about their relationship is the connection outside of the physical. Instead of showing readers kisses and make out sessions, Rainbow Rowell has banter and reading sessions. Both of their relationships with Reagan were particularly funny and creative. It wasn't ordinary and that is what I'm always drawn to. At first, I was scared that Reagan would get in between Cath and Levi, but as you realize that Reagan doesn't really care, it gets better!
Two: How much I despise Nick:
The whole section of Nick taking Cath's writing and not giving her credit astounded me. I wanted to smack him and myself for ever thinking that Nick would be a love-interest. I'm happy he wasn't though because he turned into something that was needed more: a chance for Cath to stand up for herself and not take anymore bullshit. I wanted to punch him again when he had the nerve to plead to Cath about letting him put her name on their work. It shouldn't be a question in the first place! Of course, he didn't even apologize. He just wanted the award that came with the story that they wrote.
Third: College, in general:
It may have seemed like a gigantic betrayal when Wren didn't want to be roommates. But like many situations, this betrayal was a blessing in disguise. If everything had gone according to plan, Cath would have never met Reagan, and in turn never met Levi. I absolutely love that this coming-of-age novel was set in college. Truth be told, it is more realistic this way. I was able to fantasize about college through Fangirl. It made me think what I would do in the Nick situations and  how I'd deal if I was out of my comfort zone.
To anybody reading, I just wanted to say thank you for reading what I had to say. It means a lot to me.

Write you later, 
         Akiko

Monday, February 2, 2015

REVIEW: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
My Rating: 4 Stars

"Do not accept an evil you can change." 

Synopsis (From Goodreads):

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


Review (Spoiler Free): 

There is not much that I can say about this book. It's mostly because I feel like saying anything that is not in the synopsis will spoil you just the tiniest bit. Even if you knew an inkling of what I knew, it would not be ideal. So here is what I'm going to say: the book is different than any other I've read. My advice is to just jump in with no expectations. I loved this book, but don't know if it is everyone's cup of tea. I would recommend it to people who are not afraid of venturing out of their comfort zone. Sorry I can't say anything else!

Spoiler Discussions: 

.... This book, man. So many things to think about and write down. I have to talk about the writing style, THE twist, and anything else that comes to mind.
1) So I feel like most people did not enjoy this book because of the different way E. Lockhart wrote. Sure it did go down to the next line in the middle of the sentence sometimes, and it became annoying at times, but it was refreshing. It made the book fly by even though I felt like I was still retaining a lot of words and information. It was weird how the author was able to do that. I didn't really mind the writing style, but I suppose it's just opinion.
2) The ending was definitely a gigantic shock for me. I did not guess that all of her cousins were actually dead and that Cadence was imagining them. When I read about the dogs, I was sad. When I read about her cousins' funerals, I teared up! My jaw literally dropped, a tear ran down my cheek, and I had to read the page twice because I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Once I processed this peace of information, certain pieces of the book clicked back into my head. When her cousins were allowed to not go to the family meals, when John's father was aimlessly wandering around the island all sad-like and calling John's name, when I realized that no one else talked to Cadence's cousins other than her. It all clicked in. I think it was, by far, the most unbelievable and shocking ending I have ever read.
3) Miscellaneous! I loooved the way the book started. The super long metaphor about her dad "shooting" her when he left was a jaw dropper to open the book. For a second, I thought her dad really had shot her. It made me so worried. I also loved the mystery that every chapter gave. The way we learned about her accident at the same rate that Cady did was great. The map and family tree that was int he beginning of the book was very helpful too. When house names or kid names came up, I would go back to the front to try and get a clearer picture.
To all my peeps that made it this far: tell me what you thought. Did you enjoy the writing style or not? Did you think this book was powerful? A home run? Or not even a single?

Write you later, 
         Akiko

Thursday, November 27, 2014

New TV Obsession: Jane the Virgin



Heyyo! Sorrry that I've been AWOL for awhile. But hey, no time like the present right?  This new TV Show has been a recent obsession of mine. I got hooked on it from the very first episode, because of my mom go figure, and I've been looking forward to the weekly episodes ever since. If you haven't seen the show, or you have and forgotten what it is about, then I suggest you go watch from the beginning. In not, here is a quick summary:  So Jane Villanueva was accidentally inseminated in the doctor's office when she went in for a PAP. And yeah. That is basically it. I don't want to tell you too much (I don't want to spoil the show!) so just go watch it!! Honestly, this show just gives me the gigantic feels. If you are not up to date then I suggest you exit out out of the window! For people who are just as effected by this show as me, then welcome :)  Here are some things that make this show awesome: it's humor, it's characters, the music, and of course... the love story. 
1) Michael, Rafael, and Jane the Virgin. For the six episodes leading up to Jane breaking up with Michael, yes that's right this is what I'm leading with, I had a feeling that Jachael were going to come to an end an Jafael were going to become a thing. I absolutely adored Michael though and thought that him and Jane were wonderful together. But... Rafael and Jane gave me more feels than Jachael. Plus, I'm pretty sure that Michael is hiding something pertaining to his brother. My mom insists that he can not be trusted. Michael, not his brother. Like I said before, in the last episode Jane broke up with Michael and Rafael finally made his move and kissed her. It was the perfect ending and rest assured I was squealing the whole time. 
2) Petra and her mother, who I hate. What the heck is up with Petra and her psycho mom??? When we found out the secret that Petra is doing everything she is doing to protect, the fact that her name is Natasha, I was surprised. Her mom, who is freaking crazy, apparently will do everything she can to make sure Petra stays married to Rafael because punching her and filing an assault charge? Really? I whooped in victory at Rafael's sassy-ness though. Taking away the water and air conditioning and power? Oh yeah!
3) Jane's family issues. Jane's father cracks me up. He goes to such great lengths to try and impress Jane, it's hilarious. The whole walking down the stairs super slowly made me laugh so much. Of course,  don't like all of her now extended family. Valeria and Victoria, the evil former stepsisters, are also characters that I wish I could strangle. The way they treated Jane was so awful. And their mom? Ugh, such a b*tch! The botox on her face made her look like a clown in the making. Like always, I have a lot on my mind from this show. I have so many things that I want to talk about, but I don't want to keep on writing this until I'm 25. So I'll leave you with this question. Do you like Jane with Michael or Rafael?

Write you later,
         Akiko

       

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wattpad Spotlight: The Last Virgin Standing

I have decided to start this new thing called Wattpad Spotlight. Every once in awhile, I will do a short review of a book on Wattpad that I think deserves to be looked at. Since it's hard to find really good ones on Watttpad, I've decided to help with that and give some exposure :) Please tell me if you like this, and if I should do more. 

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Title: The Last Virgin Standing 
Author: laughterandjynx (Real name: Tiffany Huynh) 
My Rating: 4 Stars

"It didn't mean anything to me."
"But it meant everything to me." 


Synopsis (From Wattpad): 


Charlotte Summers is the last virgin in her school; a school where taking virginity is a sport. The sport has five main contenders: Tyler Bradshaw, the mysterious bad boy; Alec Jennings, the all-star athlete; Ian Jameson, the cocky rich guy; Beckett Cartwright, the renowned genius; and Lucas Chandler, her best friend. With all these guys determined to win the title of the Virginator, will Charlotte make it out alive with her virginity?

Review (Spoiler free): 

I had gotten into this book (I don't know if I call it book or story, so book it is) because one of my closest friends. Throughout school, she would always be on her phone, and I always knew that she was on Wattpad, but it wasn't until last Thursday that she got me and my other great friend to read The Last Virgin Standing. When I heard the title, my eyebrows rose up on instinct, I swear. She told me what the book was about and I had read the synopsis afterwards. The premise intrigued me, but the way my friend talked and squealed about it was the main indicator that I should read. And man, I am so happy that I did. 
The 42 chapters flew by! I had started to read the book Thursday afternoon, and finished Saturday morning. I have so many things to talk about, but I don't know which to start with.
First I'll talk about all of the cheesy lines. Now before you completely dismiss this, I must say that the cheesiness was a big part of why I loved the book. There was one character in particular that had the cheesiest pick up lines that made me laugh out loud to myself in class. Not kidding you here. I laughed so hard in 1st period at one point that I accidentally slammed my head on my desk... The five guys who are vying for her virginity have their own loveable aspects of themself that also make you laugh. 
Another amazing thing about this book, is the fact that the ending is something totally unexpected. When it happened, my mind was going through denial, my breathing got heavier, and I started to say "No. No. No." over and over again. And these twists weren't only at the end. There were so many times that my jaw dropped for a good 5 minutes. It even started to hurt. Something that I said to my friends abut the book constantly was "THE FEELS!" It was used anytime I squealed, kicked my feet, and/or groaned from the cutest moments. 
The only reason that my rating for TLVS is 4 stars and not 5 stars is because of the main character and the errors in writing. There were times where I wanted to wring the neck of Charlotte. I didn't hate her, of course! I only mildly became annoyed and frustrated with her. It's obviously a bad sign when the main character is not your favorite person, but I promise it comes in phases. The errors in writing were more of a nuisance and not a full out problem. However, it did become an issue when her errors would get me confused as to what happened or who said what. At those times, I would just have to take a moment and figure out what she meant. 

Small Rant (WARNING: Spoilers!!!!!)": 

*Sigh* I have some more reason of resentment that I want to talk about. This will be short, I promise. 
1) Luke so did not have to die. This was the biggest part that I was in denial about. It was so fricking sad when he died too. Leaving a message for Charlotte right when the crash happened!? And also when he was giving her his version of a blessing for her to happy!? The moment he was being selfless!!! Ugh... this is still a sore topic between me and the other people who have been effected by this mass of emotions. 
Also, did you notice that the cover of the book only has 4 guys behind her and not 5? SNEAKY! Me and my friend have a version of the story that is "The REAL ending of The Last Virgin Standing. The one where Luke lives and we have a happy ending and there are 5 guys on the cover instead of 4 and all 5 guys take a picture with her at Graduation." It's our denial version a.k.a. the REAL VERSION IN OUR HEADS.
2) I wanted her to end up with Alec. No, I do not care that he is a child –which is crazy since I have no idea how he was able to keep this from everybody from their school. Out of Luke and the Top Four, Alec was the sweetest one by far. Well, to me anyways, He took her to the batting cages!! They were the golden couple anytime that she went to his games! It was perfect! And then everyone had to ruin it. Liz, because she brought Maddy to Alec's house. Alec, because he knocked Liz up and didn't tell Charlotte about it. Charlotte, because she couldn't accept that Alec was a dad. Even after it was clear that Charlotte and Alec weren't going to happen, I still held on to that hope. In my dreams, that is how it ended. 
*Sigh, again* I have so much that I wanted to talk about, but I feel like I would be here forever typing it and I really need to finish my homework. If you have any opinions about this book, comment down below please :) Do you like that she ended up with Tyler? Did you want her to end up Luke? OR someone else? Or Alec, like me? 

Write you later,
         Akiko