While there were other celebrities who shared their thoughts online, a number of my friends pointed to you as being one of the few worth being read. Your wit was on point and it was concise—which was so refreshing after seeing wordy tirades.
We listened to their tales of how they started writing and the inspiration for their works, answers on how to overcome depression, writer’s block, and other hurdles, and their opinions about literature, writing, and career choices.
While I am sure that I also bought it to be used for an English class, I forget which class. Although I do remember sharing the book with classmates who smiled and laughed while they read the book, specially during those moments when there was a lull in the discussion.
When I was still in college, one of the classes I took was Children’s Literature. Of course, the usual fare for discussion were mostly rhymes, lullabies, riddles, limericks, and fairy tales—literature meant to induce stupor and fantasy in children. Even then, I believed that Never Land has more than one shadow and that Wonderland has a crypt where they pile headless corpses.
I was in my junior year. And I was in a Mythology and Folklore class. Despite being a Christian school, the university didn’t lack for mythology books. But I wanted my own and one that they did not have.
Your book made me curious about that particular verse, causing me to read the whole chapter, and eventually the whole book. But that wasn’t the only effect it had on me. The cavalcade of seraphim and nephilim introduced me to the world of angelology, symbology, and numerous Christian legends. And I thought only the secular world had folklore.
From the outisde, looking in
“Please return the books on the shelves after reading.”
During the ten minutes we were there, I noticed that the silver stand of shelves was unmanned. Posters reminded people of the rules but no lone crew or professional guard to watch over the goings-on. There was an old man who, after finishing flipping through a novel, reminded a couple of the local kids who raided the collection not to bring any of the books home.
Originally, they belonged to Cocoy, a friend-dormmate from college, who collected them because his father made a subscription for him; his collection spanned the years from 1996 t0 2002. He gave them to me when he had to return home after graduating. I stored them in a plastic bin and would’ve been left to oblivion until I raged to look for some personal documents.
Now, the nieces – whenever they visit – flip through them for entertainment or building their vocabulary. It’s great to see that they have found new readers.
That is largely due to the fact that, since I began reading Blood of Olympus—which happened mostly during my supposed bed time—I have been losing so much sleep. Friends couldn’t help but remark on how big my eye bags are. For the record, despite the failure of words, I regret nothing about the experience, which ended just a few hours ago.
Reading Blood of Olympus was a reward in and of itself. I am certain I’m not the first to finish it. And I know I am not the last. But I could not help but hurry to the next chapter. The world in the pages compels me each time I found myself immersed in them.
Undoubtedly, many fans like me would be glad that Percy and Annabeth, Jason and Piper, and Hazel and Frank made it through and are still together as couples. But my relief doesn’t lie with them or the camps or the gods. I am glad that Nico has changed for the better, with emphasis on the work of Will and Reyna. Couldn’t help but give a sigh of woe for the latter though; I really hope that she finds her happiness. She’s just as deserving as the others.
And when I read on how you delivered Calypso from her detention island—all thanks to Leo and Festus—I could not help but be reminded of that scene from Disney’s “Aladdin”, the first time Aladdin and Jasmine rode Carpet around the world. That is how I imagined Leo, Calypso, and Festus would be like. And a song wouldn’t be bad either! Good work on making the ending magical. And for choosing to end with my chosen OTP!
“The Heroes of Olympus” was a great series. Thank you for sharing that world with us.
Is Magnus Chase related to Annabeth? Are theirs the connection for both series? I’m excited to see if you’d answer my questions in the next series.
It was 2006 when I last read anything worth a rave or rant.
School was my biggest motivation to read, hugely because my classes used my favorite books as its references; ergo, I enjoyed the assigned readings. But, because I no longer had assignments, I didn’t feel the need to flip through any book anymore.
The following year, I began my work with a newspaper company. The broadsheet gave me my daily fix of information about local, national, and international current events. That replaced books for the next three years.
While I would be reminded of my love of reading books by seeing high school and college kids and other yuppies reading on trains, I felt frustrated. Yes, I would get a book, finish it, and be okay. And that was what was wrong: after reading a book, I felt okay! Years before, whenever I finished a book, I wouldn’t be okay. I would be devastated, enraged, or inconsolable, even murderous or overjoyed—I would be anything but okay! I was okay because I no longer hungered for more. And I knew that to be a gigantic lie. I needed to be saved.
My savior came in the form of a friend I met online. His name was Patrick, who was a big fan of the Harry Potter series. Interestingly, it wasn’t that series he recommended to me but something else entirely. He introduced me to the world of Rick Riordan, a teen demigod, and the Greek Pantheon. He said I should give The Percy Jackson series a fair try.
Try I did. From the start to finish of The Lightning Thief, I was undeniably hooked. Even before I could finish the current book in the series, I would buy the next. That was how sure I was that I would love what I would read in the future, that the next book would be a hit with me. When I saw it came to life on the big screen, I raged. When I turned the final page of The Last Olympian, I experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms. By then, Patrick— and I as well—was sure that I was, assuredly, back into reading form.
The first title that popped in my head: A Separate Peace by John Knowles.
While some know of it because it was a high school or college reading material, I did not know about until I had already graduated from the university and began working. There I was at the book store, searching for something new to read, when came across the front cover where the words of Aubrey Menen were printed.
“I think it’s the best-written, best-designed, and most moving novel I have read in many years. Beginning with a tiny incident among ordinary boys, it ends by being deep and as big as evil itself.”
It was the last sentence that hooked my curiosity. What incident that started out as ordinary ended as evil? I just had to find out for myself. So I bought it.
As I was reading the tale of boys from a time long gone, I seemed to read about my own set of friends at the time. With the passing of every page, I saw characters from my life in the book. That excited me in the same intensity that it scared me. Even before I reached the most difficult turn in the book, I feared for the characters, as well as my friends.
While I have reread certain chapters and pages, I have not read the book in its entirety for years now. Also, there are certain friends I have not contacted in years.
Somewhere in the back of my head, I know that—somehow—particular scenes in the book and in my life have mirrored each other. Maybe that is why I am hesitant to read it again. Maybe it’s not. When one realizes his potential and capabilities to do good and bad, along with decisions both big and small, sometimes one can’t help but wonder about how well he knows himself.