if you’re wondering why the blog suddenly took an unannounced hiatus, well, i have two words for you: “work” and “deadlines.” i’m sure most of you are familiar with the two terms and how it can wreak havoc on your social lives–or total lack of one.
for my return to reading and blogging, i figured i should start with a filipino novel–one that has been recommended by many friends and colleagues over the past year: PARA KAY B by mr. ricky lee.
“ALAM mo BA ang ibig sabihin ng “CONJURE”? Isa ka bang Capital S? Me quota ang pag-ibig. Sa bawat limang umiibig ay isa lang ang magiging maligaya. Kasama ka ba sa quota?“
for my non-filipino readers, this is what the above says: “do you know the meaning of “conjure”? are you a capital s? love has a quota. for every five person who loves, only one of them will end up happy. are you part of the quota?“
to tell you the truth, i don’t know what to say about the book. is it because it’s been a while since i last wrote about a book i’ve read? maybe. then again, that didn’t stop me when i started this blog. but i’ve been staring at my screen for two days now and i still have no idea what to write.
i’d love to say that i enjoyed the book, but it took me a week to finish it. which means i didn’t. i did like the book, but the liking didn’t come until the aforementioned two days passed, after i digested everything that i’ve read. so PARA KAY B is something that grows on you. i don’t know if it’s because every single person who recommended the book to me were raving about it, or if it’s because some of the people who gave blurbs were people i highly respect… but i had expectations. and the book didn’t meet it.
i know i keep saying i shouldn’t have high expectations of books i normally wouldn’t pick up, but i can’t help myself.
and after spending two days thinking about why i didn’t like the book came to this realization: i had a hard time connecting with the book’s tone.
PARA KAY B starts of with a serious tone and then becomes conversational; or at least the first three mini love stories did. so it wasn’t until the fourth mini love story that i started to get the hang of reading the book. and by that time, the tone had become much more uniform–it wasn’t too conversational, but it wasn’t that formal either. it was somewhere in the middle. and i finally found the book engaging.
PARA KAY B has an interesting take on five different kinds of love–and how four out of five people will never find true happiness in their relationships. from my understanding, the book’s message is that sometimes a person can (figuratively) blind themselves when it comes to the person they love, and this is why only one out of five people succeeds when falling in love.
but, in my opinion, the book contradicts its claim that “for every five person who loves, only one of them will end up happy.” because out of the five mini love stories it presents, two of them end with a semblance of happiness. that is, if we don’t get into the book’s twist–because aside from completely throwing away the mentioned claim, it also spoils the book for anyone who has yet to read it.
if you want to read it, that is.
so do i recommend the book? for what my opinion is worth, yes, i do. it’s a book that forces you to think. but much like marianne villanueva’s THE LOST LANGUAGE, it’s a book that isn’t for people who just want something light to read. it’s a book you have to give time to, something you have to digest.
but that’s just my opinion. here are a few more from the vast world of the internet to help you decide: knowread/knowrite’s review, kapisanan’s take, and fellow filipino book blogger bookmarked’s reading of the book.