I know it has been so long since my last post and most of you must be wondering why I am writing in English instead of Vietnamese. It’s just because I want to change it up a little bit and approach this blog in a different way (at least for this time around) and if this is not something that you enjoy, please don’t feel offended. I’m planning on uploading more book reviews in the next few months since I have been reading quite a few and there are so many good books out there that I don’t want you guys to miss. However, beside that, I also have a lot of other things on my mind lately that I don’t know how to handle; thus, I feel like I can always crawl back to this blog to express my true self.
This summer has been quite a journey for me, especially in the sense that I have a full-time job in a field that I have no interest in. It may seem like I’m such a crying-baby for complaining about everything; however, I have never understood that having a job that you don’t enjoy can be such terrible until now. I have always wondered what it feels like to be in a situation that you have no other option but to stick to a job that drives you crazy; but I never thought that I would be the one who would have to experience it. This summer has also been filled with my attempt to study for the GRE so I can apply for graduate school next year; and the more I study the more I feel like I will never be good enough. But I guess it is a feeling that everyone has to go through and I cannot wait for this to be over. If my GRE score turns out to be decent enough, I will try to come up with a post about the way I tackle it and so on.
I do not know whether it is just me or everybody at the age of 22 is afraid of what the future has to offer. For me, all I can imagine is what is waiting for me at the end of my graduation and I wish I could just be a little more patient with myself. Nevertheless, deep down inside, I know a lot of things will have to change and I am not sure if I can ever be ready for it, for the fact that I have to be somewhat out of my comfort zone. It is funny because even though I have been abandoning this blog for so long, whenever I feel hopeless, this is the only place that I find comfortable expressing all my thoughts. I guess it is because I tend to think that nobody ever reads this, or at least that what my mind expects; therefore, I have some freedom to myself.
Sometimes, I feel like I have wasted my time and energy, not knowing when to hold on to the potential that I used to have with this site. I think I can consider this site to be pretty big back in the day, when Chinese love stories were so popular that everyone would die to be a part of the trend. But while my blog was at its best, I decided to take a step back and started to pursue other things that I was more interested in at the time. And by the time I realized that books were still my top priority (so much that I wanted to do more researches about them in the future), I lost my chance of making this blog even bigger. I think I have lost all the connections in the publishing world that I used to have so much, and that I no longer belong to a community that is continuing to grow. I guess that the result of not being consistent with my content.
I think all my readers have already been tired of reading random things about my personal life or have been disappointing at me for not keeping my promises about uploading more often. But the thing is, I find myself not being able to write a full review in Vietnamese that I want to publish anymore. I used to be so proud of all the work that I have done that now when I have something I want to share, I do not think that it lives up to the expectation of myself and of people that know how well I used to write. And it sucks because what I usually write in English is so academic based that nobody would want to read it. I have tried to upload somewhat of a few English reviews and nobody seems to enjoy it. That is when I know I’m stuck. And people will continue to question this site as something not fully Vietnamese but not fully English either. I am trying my best to find a balance and work on my writing in Vietnamese more so I can produce better content; however, for now, there are some book reviews in English that I really want to share.
Hope everyone enjoys it!!
1. Behind Closed Doors, B.A.Paris (3/5): A friend recommended this one to me and I finished reading it in just a few hours. Putting aside the fact that I was not totally on board with the ending, I think it is a pleasant read, thrilling enough to keep you engaged with every action that the main characters take. However, even though I’m very intrigued with the story of a woman being captivated in her own perfect home, I find it to be sometimes repetitive and I keep wanting to see somewhat of a rescue from the outside that would turn it upside down; but of course, it doesn’t happen accordingly. The ending is definitely a relief to the women that were about to face even more torture, but I guess it doesn’t satisfy me enough as I wish to see more of Esther and how she comes to understand the situation. Beside a few holes in the plot (why would there be a room that cannot be opened from the inside in a house like that? or why the police would let go of a case so easily? or), it is a book that you can pick up and enjoy reading in one sitting.
2. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner (5/5): This is one of those books that I kinda can’t get myself to it. It’s like the more you read, the harder it becomes; it’s like multiples waves of consciousness just hit you over and over again, with characters switching around, telling you thing you don’t even know if it’s true or not. It’s like you laying down one day, trying to get a good night sleep, and then all these people keep waking you up, insisting on telling you their sides of the story; but nobody is revealing anything beside a same old story of death. Is it now my interpretation or somebody else’s? Hmmm no wonder why I could never finish The Sound and the Fury when I was younger. But now that I understand what a challenging read is all about, maybe I can pick it up and give it another chance. After all, Faulkner must have had a Nobel prize for a reason….
3. Shug, Jenny Han (4/5): I have always loved Jenny Han, especially her series “The summer I turned pretty” (I have a review on this blog!) and I picked up this book one day from a book sale believing that it was gonna be as great as the other books from her. And I was right! The book is cute and light and I would choose it over a Popsicle every time. What I like most about this book is how sweet and refreshing it makes you feel after you finish reading it; it is like on a hot summer day and you’ve got yourself a scoop of your favorite ice-cream. It’s not a ground-breaking story as it only focuses on the life of a twelve-year-old but there is something about school girls and boys in a small town that draw you back to how it was back in the day, when all we care about was to know how to flirt the right way or what to do when your hair is not in a perfect ponytail.
4. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe (4/5): Things Fall Apart is the story about the collapse of the main character Okonkwo and of the Ibo culture in the late nineteenth century when the colonists reached the land of his birth. The book within itself is the complexity of the Ibo culture presenting through its deep awareness of the tribe’s justice, the rules, the traditions and also the appreciation of men that are both noble and harmful at the same time. By the end of the book, when the British colonial authorities came and treated the natives as barbarians, and Okonkwo hung himself, Things Fall Apart has eventually broken its own traditions and the ability to change. It is the result of how the combination of self-esteem, boundless love with the homeland and new power can overturn everything.
Also, I have a full review on As I Lay Dying and Things Fall Apart that I have not posted because I think it would be way to long for anybody to read a 14-page review… So that is somewhat of a shorter version 😀