I love sleeping. But what I love more, are books that keep me awake; it means they are that good for me to fight the urge to sleep.
These three books here kept me awake for weeks (or months) and here are my thoughts on them.
The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
I am a fan of the Hunger Games. I feel like a big fan but not that big because I didn’t even know this book came out until it was already a best seller in Kino. Although, I have to justify my fandom by asking my colleague to buy it without even knowing what is it about. And no, Katniss wasn’t there in the book. I only found out what the book was about when I received it and started reading it. It was about the young President Snow and Lucy Gray Baird.
What I love about this book is that it has a musical element in it. In fact, I saw someone on youtube who sang all the songs in the book, and here’s one, The Hanging Tree which was also sung by Katniss Everdeen.
All Hunger Games books are dark and stressful but the addition of music and young love in this one gave little rays of hope and sunlight in its dystopian world. Like a springfield in the middle of a dark winter night.
In all the books especially on this one, there’s always this element of two sides to humanity. The good and the bad. All human beings are naturally good and naturally cruel. It is just a matter of choice on which path we will follow.
“That is the thing with giving your heart. You never wait for someone to ask. You hold it out and hope they want it.”
“I think there’s a natural goodness built into human beings. You know when you’ve stepped across the line into evil, and it’s your life’s challenge to try and stay on the right side of that line.”
“Before need, before love, came trust.”
“For a moment he laughed, forgetting where they were, how depressing the backdrop. For a moment there was just her smile, the musical cadence of her voice, and the hint of flirtation. Then the world exploded.”
“What young brains lack in experience they sometimes make up for in idealism. Nothing seems impossible to them.”
Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
The story or stories, as this seemed like a collection of short stories of different people with lives intertwined by (or in) the coffee shop.
The characters had their chance to travel in time but on the condition that the traveler must be back before their coffee gets cold, plus other minor terms.
This book pulled a lot of heartstrings, and it’s been a while since I last cried while reading a book.
“Water flows from high places to low places. That is the nature of gravity. Emotions also seem to act according to gravity. When I’m the presence of someone with whom you have a bond, and to whom you have entrusted your feelings, it is hard to lie and get away with it. The truth just wants to come flowing out.”
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The title is so intriguing and the story didn’t disappoint. This is one of the best books I have read. The clarity of storytelling is crystal. Every chapter gave me a mini heart attack.
The author created a very strong character. Evelyn was one powerful woman who is aware of her flaws and faults and is not afraid of facing them. All the characters were so alive, that I sometimes thought they were all real. The pictures painted in my mind were so vivid.
The book touched sensitive subjects like gender, sexuality, family and friendship, and most of all, love in all its forms.
After reading the book, I had mixed feelings of sadness and defeat and also of love and beauty. That kind of floating feeling when you are in a Ferris wheel and your heart wants to jump out of your body as it descends.
Quotable quotes: (There’s so many, it could be the entire book).
“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”
“Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy it takes to deny it.”
“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”
“Heartbreak is a loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.”
“You do not know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until somewhat stands behind you and says, “It’s OK, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you.”
“You have to find a job that makes your heart feel big instead of one that makes it feel small.”
“Please never forget that the sun rises and sets with your smile. At least to me it does. You’re the only thing on this planet worth worshipping.”
“My mother raised me to be polite, to be demure. I have long operated under the idea that civility is subservience. But it hasn’t gotten me very far, that type of kindness. The world respects people who think they should be running it.”
“People are messy, and love can be ugly. I’m inclined to always err on the side of compassion.”
“Which is about the cruelest thing you can do to someone you love, give them just enough good to make them stick through a hell of a lot of bad.”
“And it will be the tragedy of my life that I cannot love you enough to make you mine. That you cannot be loved enough to be anyone’s.”