Harry Xmas To You

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It was in March 2001 that I discovered and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the first time. From that moment on Harry Potter would become a big part of my life over the next decade. I immersed myself in the books, I fangirled and criticized the movies, I read fanfiction online and admired fan artwork, I bought posters and various memorabilia. On my bed right now is a Prisoner of Azkaban pillow with the faces of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson that I bought when the movie came out. Starting from the fifth book, I pre-ordered each new release months in advance and rushed to the bookstore to pick it up on the day of release. I attended a big release party for Deathly Hallows. I cried all through the two Deathly Hallows movies. Even though time and distance has brought me into new fandoms over the years and I haven’t read the books in a long time, Harry Potter still holds a big, unshakeable piece of my heart.

When I discovered #HarryXmasToYou hashtag on Instagram I was thrilled to have a reason to delve back into the series from the very beginning. I recruited two of my high school best friends, who I went through the biggest phases of my obsession with, to join me and they enthusiastically agreed. This December, 13 years after reading the books for the first time, I am so glad to finally be back at Hogwarts. I’m going to be reading all 7 books and then I’ll marathon the 8 movies. I’m currently on Chamber of Secrets and I’ll be making a post about each post as I go along. Harry Xmas To You!

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Day 9: A Book You Thought You Wouldn’t Like But Ended Up Loving

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I thought that this would be really depressing and it was. It was super super depressing. But I still liked it because Hardy didn’t sugarcoat anything; the themes around marriage, class, and education are really important and Hardy does a good job of writing about it in a harsh but realistic light.

Book Review: A Game of Thrones

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Disclaimer: Beware that this review contains some spoilers for the book and by extension, the first season of the series on HBO.

“In life, the monsters win.”

A hard lesson learned by one of the characters in A Game of Thrones, the first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and also one that I myself as a reader learned. Martin kills the most honest and honorable character in the book! And I thought he was the protagonist of the series. Certainly, his POV was the most prominent in the book, giving readers time to love him, grow frustrated with him, and root for him. Then he just…dies. Oh my heart. But I should have seen it coming. Ned Stark was just too good of a character. There were times during the book that I found myself hoping, wishing, praying that Ned would take the non-honorable route, that he would just take his enemies by the ballsacks and rip them off, excuse my crudeness. Forget honor, integrity, and doing the right thing, he’s in the middle of a war and sometimes the only way to gain the upper hand on your enemy is to be cunning and deceitful. But no, not Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell. He’s a true, honest and merciful man until the end, and his head on a pike is what he gets for it. Hopefully his son Robb won’t follow in his footsteps but I have a feeling that he will. And his death will be no less heartwrenching.

Martin does an amazing job building this world. From the characters to the landscape to the history…he has truly created a world of his own and I am in awe of it. No wonder it can take him up to six years to write one book in this series, the characters are so real and the details are impeccable. There are times when the plot drags and it feels like the character POVs are too many. Jon Arryn’s death, in particular, could have been resolved sooner than it was, in my opinion. But the end, man, the end just brings it all together and leaves you wanting more. After having plowed through 800+ pages already. In this book, Martin brings together the best elements of high fantasy and genre fiction, making Game of Thrones an exciting read that you don’t want to put down.

And of course, I can’t resist talking a little about the now famous (infamous?) HBO series. AGoT has been on my to-read pile for about 2 years now and once the series started I vowed to myself that I would read the books first before I watched the show. Well, I kept that vow despite the many many temptations and I’m glad I did. When I was nearly halfway through the book I watched the first episode of the series. Now that I’m done with the book, I’ve seen 4 episodes. And so far the plot of the series is exactly like the book. Some of the dialogue is even the same. Sure, there are some changes here and there, namely the ages of some of the characters, a few added and subtracted scenes, but nothing too major that I can tell so far. I’m glad I did it this way because now I can watch the show in order to bring to life the story that I’ve read. The show is an enhancing experience, not a substitute for reading the books. At least that’s how I feel about it. Well, that’s pretty much how I feel about any film/TV adaptation of a book because I just love books so much. 

If you haven’t checked out this series yet, it is worth the read and engaging even if you’re not really a Fantasy lover. And it makes watching the show much more fun! *psst there’s more sex in the book than in the show* Just sayin’, lol. Nothing too graphic though. But still, the show isn’t for kiddies and neither is the book.

Her Dark Materials

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Hello! I’m trying out this blog thing. Let’s see how it goes. I’m Kat, an English major at San Jose State University. I lovelovelove books and reading and I’m a hopeless book hoarder. I have a tendency to re-buy books I already have.

Exhibit A:

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I just re-bought the His Dark Materials series even though I already have it. But I saw these at Fully Booked and I couldn’t help myself! First of all, they’re really pretty new colorful covers. Second, they have these new little extras in them. And third, they’re one of my favorite Young Adult series of all time and I really don’t need a reason beyond that. :p

Right now I’m in the Philippines while it’s summer vacation at school. I’m having a great time with my family and catching up with old friends. And I’m also super indulging in my other, more recent, passion: fashion. I didn’t take full outfit shots because there was a lot of people at Bonifacio High Street and I’m not so makapal mukha or uber confident that I can pose in front of all those people. So my friend and I just took these pictures at Seattle’s Best Coffee while waiting for out other friend. I admit, I follow and read a lot of Filipino fashion blogs and I’m not as tall and pretty and light skinned as most fashion bloggers but I do love clothes and make-up. And I love books. And I can’t choose between the two things to blog about so I’m just going to do both.

What you’ll see here on this blog will be a mix between outfit posts, book reviews, books bought posts, and make-up posts. I also have a side hobby of baking so you might see some baking or cooking posts squeezed in. Basically, this blog will just be me. I’m not going to try to specialize and limit my posts. If I do that I’ll probably get bored because I have such a short attention span.

It really is a shame though that I didn’t get to take outfit pictures because I do love this particular outfit, especially the leggings. You can’t see it very well but the leggings I’m wearing have the design of “Starry Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. Not by Picasso, as my friend so hilariously thought. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m obsessed with this painting, and with Van Gogh in general. I have a print of this painting for my apartment wall at SJSU and I have an umbrella that has the design on it as well. Don’t ask me where this obsession comes from, I don’t claim to be a big art expert but there’s something about Van Gogh’s paintings that draws me into them. So when I saw these leggings online I knew I had to have them.

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Top by Papaya, leggings by Black Milk Clothing, watch by Tomato

And of course I can’t resist adding something geeky to my ensemble (not that literally wearing a painting isn’t geeky enough). Love this Star Wars watch face that I found at Tomato.

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I admit, I can barely tell the time on this thing lol. But it’s cute! And You can switch out the watch face onto different colored straps so it’ll always match your outfit. More straps are definitely on my to buy list before I leave the Philippines.

So here was my first post. Til next time!