Cycling, tentacles and anchors

Friend sent me tons of black market free epubs to read because I asked for it. I promised myself that I’ll squeeze in fiction in between academic readings, no matter what. It’s like drugs except I haven’t taken one yet. Hehe. When I leaf through pages, it’s like I’m transported to a different world—sometimes it better, other times they’re too dark and terrifying. Or I get too attached with one of the characters and I suddenly become them for sometime in real life. Experts call it “experience-taking.” Sorry, on high. But hey, it’s a good kind of high, so why not?

Speaking of being high or the feeling of being different for some unexplainable reason, I noticed that the books I’ve finished recently have interconnected themes on slight drug use, depression, peer pressure, maintaining a decent public image and becoming true to yourself, I dunno why. I’d hazard a guess—random selection, yes? No. Not really. Titles and book blurbs were quite intriguing so I succumbed to reading the first few lines. A few more hours and I’m halfway through the ebook. And then, I’m done. Wow.

Ebooks were emailed second week of August. Before the month ended, I began Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook. By the first week of September, I finished Silver Linings and tried reading Jay Asher’s dark young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why. Last week, I began Ned Vizzini’s It’s A Kind of Funny Story. Right after lunch today, I finished Vizzini’s semi-autobiographical piece. Of the three, Vizzini’s was my favorite. Thoughts on each are written below.

Cycling
The main character in Matthew Quick’s novel is Pat Peoples and he just got out of the mental hospital. The reason why he got in there wasn’t really explained in detail until the story’s near end. All we know is that his memory of the recent past was quite addled, his family and close friends would not mention his wife Nikki or anything related to her. During his time in the hospital, he developed this theory that his life is one big movie which will have its “silver lining” and happy ending—him and Nikki ending apart-time and finally getting back together. While waiting for this grand reunion, Pat busies himself with self-improvement: regular jogging and fitness exercises, reading the books Nikki has in her English Literature syllabus and regular therapy sessions with Dr. Cliff Patel. His whole life will take a different turn as soon as his friends, Ronnie and Veronica, introduce him to Tiffany. Together, they attempt to cope with their issues—on themselves, their families and friends, and ultimately, the failed relationships they’re trying to recover from.

I felt that Pat is highly optimistic—he works hard to create a better version of himself so he’ll not be a burden to his family and friends, which is good. And then of course, he’s too positive that he and his wife will get back together after everything that happened, which is way overboard. He’s thinking way too much, except that his form of mind cycling was too optimistic and rosy. The reality he faces in the end hurt him so much, but I guess that’s really how it should be. At least he gets his happy ending, although quite different from what he’s expecting.

Personally, I liked the movie adaptation more than the book version. The book was light and dark at the same time and it is entertaining too. The movie, on the other hand, was something I enjoyed especially the way they created Tiffany’s and Pat’s father’s character. They gave more tension and emotion to the whole story. Plus, the silver lining in the end has more kilig than the book’s. But that’s just me talking.

3 out of 5.

Tentacles
Tentacles are like dementors in Harry Potter-speak, they suck happiness out of you. They can be things, events, places and even people in your life. Anyway, in Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, we get to see how tentacles did bad things for Hannah Baker and eventually pushed her to take her own life. Before she died, she mailed a box containing seven cassette tapes that narrate how thirteen people played a role in her tragic end. In the story, Clay Jensen receives the set of tapes and for the rest of the night, he listens to Hannah’s haunting story.

The eyes were quite creepy. (From angelasanxiouslife.blogspot.com)
The pacing of the story was a bit slow at first but by the time the third story is being told, it began to pique my interest. I feel half-half for the central characters, Clay and Hannah—there’s a part in me that feels bad for them being caught in a pressured teen environment and then of course, a part of me says that they’re slightly responsible for the bad choices they make. I guess the story wasn’t design to side with any of the characters given that each of them had their own share of mistakes and false judgments.

In the end, the whole story speaks volumes on how bullying and peer pressure negatively affect a person, especially the younger ones. On one hand, bullies feel cool if they get to berate other people because it makes them feel better. We get mad because they make other kids unhappy and unconfident with themselves. They grow up feeling inferior just because they’re way too fat or skinny or uncool for the kids in their block.

But think about the other side of it. Bullies might also be victims in this situation. They were either bullied when they were in a different place so they try to exact revenge on other kids they think they’re way better or they don’t feel enough love and care from those they expect it to come from. It is a vicious cycle of hurt and revenge. The sad thing is, a lot of kids cannot handle these tentacles so they resort to taking matters in their own hands—they scar themselves or worse, they take their own lives.

Clay had several opportunities to save Hannah from misery but it’s either Hannah pushed him away or he was too shy to help out. On both accounts, Clay felt bad. When he finally finished the tapes, I guess he found the courage to ease his guilt by befriending another school loner, Skye. It might not be much but I guess finding real friends will be good anchors than having none.

3.5 out of 5.

Anchors
The story was about Craig Gilner, an above average student who’s suffering from clinical depression. He smokes pot and lies on his bed all night thinking of every school requirement he’ll have to do to pass the time—he ends up not accomplishing anything at all. He calls this cycling. Everything that puts him down and makes him sad are called tentacles while those that makes him happy are called anchors. He’s waiting for that one, big, positive Shift in his life—that one event that will set things in place and make him better but it doesn’t come. Tired of everything, he plans to take his own life. Problem is, he can’t so he checked himself at the hospital and the next thing he knew, he’s headed to Six North. In a span of five days in the hospital’s adult psychiatric ward, Craig’s confronts the sources of his anxiety, regains his appetite for food, renews his passion for art and finds a better recourse in life.

As said, Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story was relatively better among the three. The conflicts and themes in the story were also serious as it deals with high school life, peer pressure, pot sessions, depression and suicide. But what makes it light and easily understandable was the way it was written. There are times when the author dulls the narration but overall, it was an enjoyable read. I guess it helped that the author was checked in a psychiatric ward for a short time as it lent truthfulness in the way it was written.

4 out of 5.

I think, more than sucking the happiness we have, the tentacles are there to challenge us. It pushes us to be better and more positive versions of ourselves. Pat and Tiffany had a lot of tentacles before they finally overcame them and found anchors to ground them. Hannah tried to get rid of her own tentacles but it soon ate her up. Clay wasn’t her anchor; it should have been the friendship and care he’ll be giving her but it was too late to save her. Craig found his by drawing brain maps and the strong relationship he had with this family and friends.


We also have ours; we just have to take the time to find them. Books and reading can be one that’s why it seems I can’t put it out for long. It keeps me grounded and sane. I had enough to fuel me for the hellweeks ahead. Time for some papers to be written for now. Haha! I hope you’ll also find time to read these too. Aja! \m/

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felix felicis: Cycling, tentacles and anchors

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cycling, tentacles and anchors

Friend sent me tons of black market free epubs to read because I asked for it. I promised myself that I’ll squeeze in fiction in between academic readings, no matter what. It’s like drugs except I haven’t taken one yet. Hehe. When I leaf through pages, it’s like I’m transported to a different world—sometimes it better, other times they’re too dark and terrifying. Or I get too attached with one of the characters and I suddenly become them for sometime in real life. Experts call it “experience-taking.” Sorry, on high. But hey, it’s a good kind of high, so why not?

Speaking of being high or the feeling of being different for some unexplainable reason, I noticed that the books I’ve finished recently have interconnected themes on slight drug use, depression, peer pressure, maintaining a decent public image and becoming true to yourself, I dunno why. I’d hazard a guess—random selection, yes? No. Not really. Titles and book blurbs were quite intriguing so I succumbed to reading the first few lines. A few more hours and I’m halfway through the ebook. And then, I’m done. Wow.

Ebooks were emailed second week of August. Before the month ended, I began Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook. By the first week of September, I finished Silver Linings and tried reading Jay Asher’s dark young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why. Last week, I began Ned Vizzini’s It’s A Kind of Funny Story. Right after lunch today, I finished Vizzini’s semi-autobiographical piece. Of the three, Vizzini’s was my favorite. Thoughts on each are written below.

Cycling
The main character in Matthew Quick’s novel is Pat Peoples and he just got out of the mental hospital. The reason why he got in there wasn’t really explained in detail until the story’s near end. All we know is that his memory of the recent past was quite addled, his family and close friends would not mention his wife Nikki or anything related to her. During his time in the hospital, he developed this theory that his life is one big movie which will have its “silver lining” and happy ending—him and Nikki ending apart-time and finally getting back together. While waiting for this grand reunion, Pat busies himself with self-improvement: regular jogging and fitness exercises, reading the books Nikki has in her English Literature syllabus and regular therapy sessions with Dr. Cliff Patel. His whole life will take a different turn as soon as his friends, Ronnie and Veronica, introduce him to Tiffany. Together, they attempt to cope with their issues—on themselves, their families and friends, and ultimately, the failed relationships they’re trying to recover from.

I felt that Pat is highly optimistic—he works hard to create a better version of himself so he’ll not be a burden to his family and friends, which is good. And then of course, he’s too positive that he and his wife will get back together after everything that happened, which is way overboard. He’s thinking way too much, except that his form of mind cycling was too optimistic and rosy. The reality he faces in the end hurt him so much, but I guess that’s really how it should be. At least he gets his happy ending, although quite different from what he’s expecting.

Personally, I liked the movie adaptation more than the book version. The book was light and dark at the same time and it is entertaining too. The movie, on the other hand, was something I enjoyed especially the way they created Tiffany’s and Pat’s father’s character. They gave more tension and emotion to the whole story. Plus, the silver lining in the end has more kilig than the book’s. But that’s just me talking.

3 out of 5.

Tentacles
Tentacles are like dementors in Harry Potter-speak, they suck happiness out of you. They can be things, events, places and even people in your life. Anyway, in Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, we get to see how tentacles did bad things for Hannah Baker and eventually pushed her to take her own life. Before she died, she mailed a box containing seven cassette tapes that narrate how thirteen people played a role in her tragic end. In the story, Clay Jensen receives the set of tapes and for the rest of the night, he listens to Hannah’s haunting story.

The eyes were quite creepy. (From angelasanxiouslife.blogspot.com)
The pacing of the story was a bit slow at first but by the time the third story is being told, it began to pique my interest. I feel half-half for the central characters, Clay and Hannah—there’s a part in me that feels bad for them being caught in a pressured teen environment and then of course, a part of me says that they’re slightly responsible for the bad choices they make. I guess the story wasn’t design to side with any of the characters given that each of them had their own share of mistakes and false judgments.

In the end, the whole story speaks volumes on how bullying and peer pressure negatively affect a person, especially the younger ones. On one hand, bullies feel cool if they get to berate other people because it makes them feel better. We get mad because they make other kids unhappy and unconfident with themselves. They grow up feeling inferior just because they’re way too fat or skinny or uncool for the kids in their block.

But think about the other side of it. Bullies might also be victims in this situation. They were either bullied when they were in a different place so they try to exact revenge on other kids they think they’re way better or they don’t feel enough love and care from those they expect it to come from. It is a vicious cycle of hurt and revenge. The sad thing is, a lot of kids cannot handle these tentacles so they resort to taking matters in their own hands—they scar themselves or worse, they take their own lives.

Clay had several opportunities to save Hannah from misery but it’s either Hannah pushed him away or he was too shy to help out. On both accounts, Clay felt bad. When he finally finished the tapes, I guess he found the courage to ease his guilt by befriending another school loner, Skye. It might not be much but I guess finding real friends will be good anchors than having none.

3.5 out of 5.

Anchors
The story was about Craig Gilner, an above average student who’s suffering from clinical depression. He smokes pot and lies on his bed all night thinking of every school requirement he’ll have to do to pass the time—he ends up not accomplishing anything at all. He calls this cycling. Everything that puts him down and makes him sad are called tentacles while those that makes him happy are called anchors. He’s waiting for that one, big, positive Shift in his life—that one event that will set things in place and make him better but it doesn’t come. Tired of everything, he plans to take his own life. Problem is, he can’t so he checked himself at the hospital and the next thing he knew, he’s headed to Six North. In a span of five days in the hospital’s adult psychiatric ward, Craig’s confronts the sources of his anxiety, regains his appetite for food, renews his passion for art and finds a better recourse in life.

As said, Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story was relatively better among the three. The conflicts and themes in the story were also serious as it deals with high school life, peer pressure, pot sessions, depression and suicide. But what makes it light and easily understandable was the way it was written. There are times when the author dulls the narration but overall, it was an enjoyable read. I guess it helped that the author was checked in a psychiatric ward for a short time as it lent truthfulness in the way it was written.

4 out of 5.

I think, more than sucking the happiness we have, the tentacles are there to challenge us. It pushes us to be better and more positive versions of ourselves. Pat and Tiffany had a lot of tentacles before they finally overcame them and found anchors to ground them. Hannah tried to get rid of her own tentacles but it soon ate her up. Clay wasn’t her anchor; it should have been the friendship and care he’ll be giving her but it was too late to save her. Craig found his by drawing brain maps and the strong relationship he had with this family and friends.


We also have ours; we just have to take the time to find them. Books and reading can be one that’s why it seems I can’t put it out for long. It keeps me grounded and sane. I had enough to fuel me for the hellweeks ahead. Time for some papers to be written for now. Haha! I hope you’ll also find time to read these too. Aja! \m/

Labels: , ,

2 Comments:

At September 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM , Blogger finyapol said...

kalerks nabasa mo na din pala yung thirteen reasons why? hahahah!!

 
At September 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM , Blogger kyemeruth said...

Yiz. Hahaha! Pag nakasakay sa LRT. Hahaha!

 

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