I am a little late to the party but I have only just finished this book sometime last month.

@freestocks

{photo by: @freestocks}

 

The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett

“What if you had said yes …? Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. What happens next will determine the rest of their lives. We follow three different versions of their future – together, and apart – as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day. The Versions of Us is an outstanding debut novel about the choices we make and the different paths that our lives might follow. What if one small decision could change the rest of your life?”

I was intrigued with the beginning, but very soon I got caught in the web of confusion as the story broke out in three different versions. As I progressed into the book, it got harder and harder to keep track of which version I was in, or even how the versions started out. A number of times I got the versions mixed up in my head. I must admit I was frustrated at some points of the book. Only because I couldn’t remember correctly what happened in the last chapter(s).

I didn’t think I’d like this book much because of how difficult it was to read & relate. What I wasn’t aware of was how deep I got sucked in, attaching my soul to the characters in every version of the story. My soul was split into Horcruxes, I’m sure of it.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster ride for me – it made me smiled, it made me angry, it made me throw my hands up out of sheer disgust with the ways of the universe. And these things in the book, they happen in real life. With joy comes sorrow. Happiness that doesn’t last, contentment mistaken for happiness. The amount of betrayal and lies laced in the everybody’s lives hurt me more than I expect. At certain points it became too painful to read. But what surprised me most is how much I actually sobbed (so loud as well) as I completed the book. It surprised me because like I mentioned, these are things that happen, things that you expect. Or maybe I’m this big cry baby so everything makes me cry anyway. And what I think Laura Barnett so wonderfully reminds us at the end is that love will always find you. And once found, love will always stay. Love doesn’t always conquer everything, but love will always stay, until the end of time.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Allow me to share with you a couple of my favourite quotes from the book:

“…he is old enough now to know happiness for what it is: brief and fleeting, not a state to strive for, to seek to live in, but to catch when it comes, and to hold on to for as long as you can.”

“What would my life have been without you?”

And to the last quote, my friends, I will say:

Everything & nothing.

 

 

Disclaimer: The book link above is a Book Depository affiliate link. If you buy books using any of the links I have provided, I will receive a 5% commission. That said, any profits made from this blog/post will be reinvested into the future of this blog, of course. Thank you!

 

 

Toodles. ♥

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Last half hour of 2015.

Another year coming to a close. I’m starting to get flashbacks of myself around this time of every year, sprawled in some corner typing out the epilogue of my year and end up being overwhelmed with everything.

It happens every single year.

Instead of going out there, partying, & getting drunk in the real world, I snuggle into my spot, accompanied by my favourite mug of steaming hot tea (or coffee), and attempt to summarise my year.

And I get terrible writers’ block.

And I get clouded by all the emotions and events that took place over the entire year.

And I start over.

Only to realise that I am left with a minute to midnight, or completely gone past midnight.

Not always successful, but at least I tried. And this year, I am trying again.

 

Just like every year, I’ve had my fair share of trials and tribulations. This year has indeed been a wild roller coaster ride, & I’m not entirely sure how best to word it. While most friends I know went through their quarter life crises, I was just so busy with life that I basically didn’t have time for a personal crisis. In fact, I found clarity in such uncertainty, it basically opened up my heart, mind & soul to so many possibilities.

Let’s list it:

  • I’ve graduated (beautifully).
  • I fell in love. ♥
  • I’ve gotten myself into a long distance relationship. It’s crazy and I love it.
  • I realised I actually do love my job, I love what I am doing every day, I love my old people. I love being their nurse.
  • I experienced the whole “moving on with the rest of your life starts with goodbye”, again.
  • I have to accept that you can never make other people understand everything you do, neither do you need to justify for it.
  • I may have burnt/scarred some bridges, but only because I know I cannot keep up. I’ve been completely let down by people whom I’ve held so dear, and if I may be completely honest, it has been so absolutely tiring to hold on. What else can I do, but to let go.
  • I made peace with myself – I wrote an entire dissertation on myself, as if I was trying to get to know me all over. It was kinda fun. I don’t think I’ve gotten to the end yet.
  • I allowed myself to cry buckets when I needed to.
  • I pampered myself, love myself loads & never let myself justify the nice things I do for me. Basically bought a lot of nice things for myself.
  • I’ve made big girl’s decisions that I never thought I’d have to make, just yet.
  • I am still queen of procrastination, sadly.
  • I also allowed myself to be a complete antisocial hermit, and spend all the time I needed, to be alone, to bask in the loneliness, to accept that some things you just got to do alone & to learn happiness in that solitude. Before you can brace yourself to face the world again.
  • I have to live with the fact that my LDR is like a constant countdown – always counting down to when we’ll meet; and when we finally do, the back of our minds counting down the days we have left together.
  • I got to travel a fair bit, thanks to the LDR.
  • But I also found home. 🙂
  • I am halfway there, a work in progress to make my dreams come true.

 

A bittersweet, amazing year overall. I have been waiting for this moment to pass for so long, only too excited to rush into 2016. I wouldn’t have made it through without all the wonderful people in my life (near or far) who chose to stay by my side despite my flaws and shortcomings. You know who you are.

& of course, to my amazing best friend & boyfriend half the world away – it is ridiculous because I cannot express just how much joy you have brought into my life, especially even when we are constantly apart. Truly, distance means so little when you mean so much. Here’s to all the adventures we will have together. ♥ I honestly can’t wait.

 

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Happiness comes in the form of a dog.

 

So there you go, 55 minutes past midnight. Never on time.

 

Hello, 2016. I’ve been waiting for ya.

No regrets.

 

Toodles. ♥

*UPDATE: Dear friends, I would love to share some book love with you guys (10% off voucher!) so do drop me a comment with your email and I will send you some love this Valentine’s! :)* 

So, I waited (nearly) forever for this book.

 

 

 

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Lovely, lovely book. It was definitely worth the wait.

 

The words resonate deep within me – some I can relate to, the others I can only imagine. Sentimental and beautiful.

 

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Inspiring and young. Makes me feel like picking up my pen and re-attempt my poetry skills. Reminded me of my younger days – I had a pretty pink notebook that I used to write my heart out in lyrical proses. I hope my mom didn’t throw out the book. It’s like my little secret, all the emotions of a growing child scribbled in rhymes.

 

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There is one particular poem that I am VERY proud of – I wrote it when I was 15? While I remember bits and pieces of it, I can’t remember the whole of it. I was extremely shy back then, to want to show it to anyone. Only one person has ever read it, and she loved it. Jeff has been dying to read it ever since I told him about it, but I only said, “Some day, you will.”. Up until today, I have yet to let him read it. Or anyone else (beside that friend) for that matter.

I promise I will share it. 🙂 Once I recover my little pink notebook.

 

In the mean time, I hope you will be entertained by my feeble works that I will post up once in a while. 😀

 

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav – I highly recommend this book!

Very appropriate for a light bedtime read, or lounge on the couch with a cuppa on a rainy day with some soft music playing in the background. Perfect. ♥

 

I’ve already savoured it twice. Going to devour it again!

 

langleav:</p><br />
<p>izzaa:</p><br />
<p>Of hot tea &amp; poetry.<br /><br />
Highlight of my week is having this book (Love &amp; Misadventure by Lang Leav) arrive at my doorstep on the day I needed it the most. Lang’s poems are A+.</p><br />
<p>Omg A+ thank you so much! xo Lang <br /><br />
…………….</p><br />
<p>Love &amp; Misadventure now available via Amazon or The Book Depositoryfor FREE worldwide shipping and major bookstores including Barnes &amp; Noble, Kinokuniya, Fully Booked, National Book Store, Books Actually, MPH, Periplus, Waterstones, Borders, Indigo/Chapters + more.<br /><br />

Image from Tumblr.

May I add that it certainly makes a very good gift for Valentine’s (boys, you will melt your ladies’ hearts: try reading it to them).

So what are you waiting for?? Get the book, and enjoy! 🙂

P.S. Personally prefer the paperback vs the E-book. :3 

Toodles. ♥

 

An extra day in the month of February that comes every four years. Have you been taking it for granted? 😉

It had been an amazing date for me, because this year I made it memorable. As you guys may have already know from the previous post, yes, indeed, the boy and I went on to watch one of my favourite musicals of all times – Wicked: The Musical.

 

 

It all started when I was browsing through SophiaAz’s little bookshelf back in her room many years back, when this book of hers caught my eye.

 

 

I was immediately fascinated. And asked if I could borrow the book. It was a rather thick book, and I believe it took me a good long while to finish it.

 

I read it, I was mesmerized by it. It was…a process of getting to know the other side of the story. Let’s face it, we all know the story of “The Wizard of Oz”, how Dorothy came into the Land of Oz and we’ve never once doubt the wickedness of the Wicked Witch of the West, because like every other story, L. Frank Baum had clearly portrayed the protagonists and antagonists. What we never thought of, was the other story – why the Wicked Witch of the West came to exist and how HER story was like. Until Gregory Maguire took his imagination one step further and filled up the voids. For that, I am eternally grateful to him. Because now I know two sides of the story and saw the bigger picture.

 

In life, that’s how things always turn out bitter isn’t it? When people only know one side of the coin and place all blame on the others merely based on assumptions. If people in this world care enough to go that extra mile and find out the truth, or at least take a look at the other side, the world would’ve been a much better place. I personally feel so.

 

Anyway, Wicked: The Musical is not quite exactly how the book was portrayed. The storyline changed, though the theme remained. I actually loved the plot of the musical, and the other thing was the crazy awesome development of characters. It was beautifully played out. And personally, when life gets tough on me, the one and only song that can and will hold me up is “Defying Gravity”. No kidding. Many times, when I hit all time low, or even sometimes when I get extremely anxious and nervous over something that is about to happen – all I needed to do was either listen to the song, sing along, or just play it in my head and believe every single word and rhythm – and that was my secret magic booster to keep me going and snap out of the fear. And it worked, every single time. 😀 It’s that powerful, to me.

 

This is an abridged version, with the original cast, if you have about 5 minutes more to spare to watch this, you might just understand why it impacts me so. 🙂

 

Defying Gravity

 

 

The musical was to start at 730pm, so the boy and I met up early for late lunch at my favourite chicken place in the whole wide world! 😀 Nandos! ♥

 

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Then we went on to collect our tickets (wheeeeeee!) and started to feel really excited cause the highlight of our evening was approaching fast!

 

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And I also couldn’t help being a little vain, LOL. HEE! 😀 Well, yes, that was my outfit for the night.

 

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While we were seated and awaiting the show to begin. The setting of the stage.

 

 

The show was marvelous. Although, I sorta kinda preferred the cast in London, but it’s still as magical. :’) I already started tearing up the minute it begun. I wanted to slap myself, like wtf is wrong with me, the show was barely starting and there I was, all sniffly and pathetic. My favourite scene has always been “Defying Gravity” but even the boy agrees that that has to be his favourite scene too. Hehe. I swear, makes me feel all warm and confident inside. Completely under its spell!

 

I won’t bore you any further with my ravings with this musical; you have to WATCH it, to KNOW it. 😀

 

But! One more thing, I am now in dire need to complete the trilogy (not quite sure if it’s a trilogy but there are three books alright)!

 

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I’m going back home, and search for these two books. And then I’ll be a happy child.

 

 

I think I’ll try defying gravity, and you can’t pull me down.

 

 

How many of us attempt to defy gravity, and remain strong throughout, without letting gravity pull us back down?

 

Toodles. ♥