Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

It’s been awhile since I picked up a contemporary YA novel, my last being All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (which, by the way, I will never stop mentioning because it’s one of my favorite YAs ever), and I’ll be frank: I picked up Our Chemical Hearts because of the attractiveness of its minimalistic, white cover, not minding the blurb at the back. I know that could be dicey, especially if you’re a bookworm with a tight budget like me, but could you blame me? With a title like Our Chemical Hearts, who wouldn’t be curious?

After finally reading the blurb, I started the book with much gusto. The story is told in the point of view of Henry Page, a hopeless romantic writer who has never been in love – until Grace Town. Now, before you go all “not another one of those cliche, cheesy romances”, it isn’t. I’ve read my fair share of those John Green-esque novels, so I could tell this one would be special.

Henry reminds me of Calvin from Ruby Sparks and Tom of 500 Days of Summer. He is an honest, hilarious, witty, sweet, and a well-developed protagonist who, from time to time, breaks the fourth wall. I enjoyed reading his narration – poetic, and at the same time as innocent as a boy in love, though a bit obsessive and idealistic. I feel for him, though. Everyone’s had crazy phases in love.

Meanwhile, Grace Town is your Manic Pixie Dream Girl who wears oversized boys’ clothing and walks around with a cane. I can’t say much about Grace, because she’s intended to be a mystery all throughout the book. She’s kind of like Cassidy from The Beginning of Everything or Alaska from Looking for Alaska, only less annoying because I couldn’t stand both female leads. Anyway, you’ll either love or hate Grace, but you’ll appreciate her character as the story advances.

Even the secondary characters, Henry’s best friends Murray and Lola, Henry’s parents, and Henry’s older sister (the best secondary character imo) Sadie, were more than just interesting. They were characters with solid personalities that just stick to you, you know? Henry’s friendship with his besties felt real, and not fabricated for the sake of having the “Supportive Bestfriend” trope. Heck, I could write a whole page about the characters, but I’d rather you find out yourself.

What I really, really like about the book is its brutal honesty. The narrative was on point: teenager becomes delusional after falling in love with the girl of his “dreams”, and it shows. Everytime Grace appears in his line of sight, Henry’s character lights up, and when she’s gone, you could feel it dying out.  I loved that the adults were also very realistic – Sadie to be specific. My favorite part of the book was when she explained that love was just a chemical reaction (hence, the title).

Our Chemical Hearts is about all types of love  as much as it is about friendship and family. Anyway, if you want your heart to swell (the good kind), I’d recommend getting this book. It’s as real as real gets, it’s got the right mix of funny and heartbreaking, it’s serious when it needs to be, and it’s definitely worth the read.

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Hello, 2017

2017 just started, and I already did the dumbest thing.

So, I used to have a main Tumblr account (stormheist), which I started way back in 2012. In that blog, I documented my life as a promising (not so much) student: I shared professors and mountain-loads of homework, college-sucks, thesis-will-be-the-death-of-me rants–you know, the usual things an average college student would rant about. That was until I decided it was high time I stopped talking about myself, and start pursuing the real love of my life: writing.

And because I had experienced one of my biggest heartbreaks in college, of course I wrote poetry–day and night–about it (we’ve all done this at some point). At first, I was just ranting through poetry. The way a forlorn, love-struck youngster would. Suddenly, my blog was being followed and liked by people from all walks of life; some even called themselves fans. I started accepting poetry requests because it felt good to make people happy and let them know they are not alone. My blog was my pride and joy, and I received a lot of love from it.

And I just accidentally deleted it, because I’m a clumsy idiot. Everything. Years’ worth of memories, poetry, and artworks. More than a hundred poems with hundreds of likes and reblogs – gone just like that. Even as I write this down, I feel devastated. I can feel tears welling-up because there were a lot of stuff in there that I wasn’t able to save (stupidity #2). Most of my writings there? No backup (I know right *rolls eyes*). They were never written on paper, and never saved on the computer because I wrote on the spot.

Welcome to the digital age where we tend to take our creations for granted. 

Thankfully, I managed to save some because I transferred a few of my best ones to a different account (though very, very few), so I’m not entirely empty-handed at least. What I feel bad about the most though is that I won’t be able to read the messages I got there anymore. The college memories and rants I wrote about. I won’t be able to read how my younger self described the world back then, which sucks. But. . . 

Real life has no undo button, the same way Tumblr doesn’t have one once you delete your account. Mistakes are fatal, but you can’t blame yourself for accidents. Take everything as a lesson. It’s all a matter of perspective. 

What now? Well, I’ve decided to stop sulking about it and just suck it up–own up to my mistake and start anew. Like my mom always said every time I complained about having my works plagiarized: “They can only copy, but you will never run out of creativity, and you will never run out of what you write.”

So I’m sticking by that. I will never run out of this “magic”. I will keep moving forward. I will keep writing. Poems way, way better than the ones I accidentally deleted. 

Lesson learned: read instructions.

Ichiba Japanese Market Experience in Newport City

I’ve heard so much about Ichiba Japanese Market. Thankfully, we got to try it for my brother’s birthday last September (super late post, I know!). Upon arriving at the restaurant, the Japanese girl inside me couldn’t help feeling ecstatic! As you can see, the interior boasts of a traditional and authentic Japanese market. Not that I’ve already been in Japan, but that’s how I felt while dining here. The ambiance is amazing!

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Found My Dream House in Coffee Project!

Coffee Project is exactly how I imagine my future house would be; every corner is just aesthetically pleasing to the eyes! Cozy, hipster-y, and full of flowers (fake ones, of course). I love discovering gems like this, especially if they serve good coffee. PS: This won’t be a review, just a photo dump thingy lol. I shall let the pictures do the talking for me! ❤

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Welcoming September—Better Late Than Never

I know. It’s not exactly a “Welcoming September” post, considering we’re already on the third week. It’s just that life has been moving so quickly lately, but I decided that I need to take a few minutes to update ya’ll about what’s been going on.

✓ ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: CAMERA

Lol, not sure if this is considered an achievement, buuuut I finally saved enough to buy a Fujifilm XA-2 camera (yeah, just when they released the XA-3), and now I’m too broke for a beach trip. Still, I really love how the photos are turning out, so yay for quality photos on the blog! And yay for making more memories! I’m now more excited than ever to share with you my dilly-dallies and adventures.

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5 Reasons Why We Are Loving Dearberry

Every time we have sleepovers, my best friend and I always have our silly little makeup sessions — something we’ve been doing since we both started exploring the fascinating world of cosmetics. Back then we only knew how to use black eyeliners (hello, My Chemical Romance days).

I called her up to introduce her to Dearberry, a Korean makeup brand set to launch in the Philippines soon. If you haven’t read about my experience during Dearberry’s blogger party yet, you can just C L I C K  H E R E.

Since the products included in the loot bag were limited, we opted for a cutesy natural makeup look. By the way, I also tried this look myself, but I asked my best friend to model for me instead because she looks a bit Korean! Anyway, here are the products we used for this look, and what we liked most about them. ❤

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Dearberry Philippines Blogger Launch

DISCLAIMER: I’m no makeup artist, much less a makeup professional. In fact, if I were to rate my makeup skills, I’d say it’s about 6 over 10, because I can’t do eyebrows (lol). One thing’s for sure, though; I can proudly and confidently say is that I’m one hot-blooded makeup junkie! Growing up as an artist (since I draw and paint as well) with a passion for art and beauty, it’s not surprising that I would eventually be interested in makeup. For me, makeup isn’t only for hiding imperfections and looking pretty on photos. Makeup is an art form — a canvas for self-expression, a creative outlet.

Much to my surprise, I was contacted by Dearberry Philippines last week to join their product launch for bloggers and vloggers. Frankly, Dearberry was a brand I’d never heard of prior to the event. I already had a hunch that it was a Korean brand, based on the name, so I was more than interested to attend. The event was held at Oakwood Premier Joy Nostalg in Ortigas last Saturday, September 3rd. It was the first ever event I got invited to since starting this blog, so I had mixed feelings all morning. With high hopes, and a bit of nervousness somewhere in the pit of my stomach, I said yes.

Little did I know, it was going to be one of the best decisions I’ll make in my life (not even kidding!), because not only did it pave the way to new and exciting opportunities for me and this blog, the event also introduced me to a newfound love!

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