Saturday Selects #24: Valentine’s Day

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss a topic outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today the topic is Valentine’s Day.

What’s the day mean to you? Maybe it’s been full of memories? Or perhaps you can’t wait for the calendar to say it’s the 15th of the month? To me, the day means next to nothing. I worked in a grocery store in an upper middle class suburb for a long time. And every year around this time the store would be full of men buying their girlfriends or wives or mothers roses, chocolate, chocolate covered strawberries, and cards. And I just don’t see the reasoning behind it.

I mean, is there anything less romantic than flowers that are going to die in a week? How does buying chocolate or flowers prove you care about or love someone? And why are we so enamored with going out of our way to show it on one day of the year? It’s ridiculous.

I think the whole thing is a game. A game people in relationships play to set the stage for the coming months. They know how superficial the entire thing is, but they partake anyway.

Most of the holidays and non-holidays we celebrate make no sense to me, but Valentine’s Day is right at the top. Not really because I’m interested in telling people what they should or should not be celebrating, but because society as a whole has been trained to believe that Valentine’s Day is about showing how much you love someone. But it isn’t. That’s something that should happen every single day.

What’s your take on the day we celebrate every February 14?

You Part 2 (poem)

You part 2
That smile of yours
Is just not fair
Stuck to the floor
I’d stop and stare

And also your eyes
I’d just get lost in
I’d reach new highs
I’d never been

Can’t forget your height
The size of a kid
But with more might
And simply perfect

Last but not least
Your sarcasm leads the way
I wish I could keep
Everything you say


This is a companion poem to this one. The first is meant to tell a story. This one is meant to tell you about the girl.

You (poem)

You

You used to not know me
And I not you
But that changed quickly
It was then me and you

But that wasn’t the case
No, not really
It was more of a chase
And I couldn’t see

That I’d never catch you
You were too fast
I was just a fool
Who could only finish last

I was done chasin’
What I thought could be
I made my declaration
And you spoke honestly

My worst nightmare
Had finally come true
I could only stare
At the person I thought was you


On this day in 2014 I published Amazon’s List 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

15 Reasons to Read This Post!

Photo Credit: Leah’s Thoughts

You guys know that I rarely deviate from my books/writing/reading posts. Well, I’m about to. But I promise it’ll be fun. And interesting. So, unless you’re really new around this side of the blogging neighborhood then you likely saw my Liebster Award post from this past Saturday. If not, you can read it here. Anyway, I felt that my readers/followers enjoyed learning a bit more about the guy behind the blog as I listed out 15 random facts about myself. Some having to do with writing and some not. Well since I like you guys so much I figured why not just go ahead and tell y’all even more about myself? Here come 15 more random facts about me. Hope you like.

1. I may have fallen in love yesterday. She took me by surprise and now I don’t know what’s going on! It’s scary. Love is scary.

2. I have a really obnoxious laugh. Like whenever it gets out in public someone always looks at me like…what the heck are you doing? But it’s me. 🙂

3. I want to be able to travel the world someday. The Sistine Chapel. Pyramids of Giza. Stonehenge. Anywhere in Rome. Statue of Liberty. And so many more places. Someone with a lot of frequent flyer miles should loan me a few. Or all of them.

4. I cried when I got the author proof of my first book last year.

5. I come from a rather large Mexican family. Four brothers and three sisters. John. Brandon. Marc. Michael. Christina. Adrianna. Brandi. I’ve also been led to believe that there are others out there, though I’ve never met any more. Eh. We’re Mexican after all.

6. I share the exact same name as one of my brothers and my dad. It’s funny because we all go by something different. Our full name is John Raymond Guillen. My dad is Ray. My brother is John. And I’m JohnRaymond. But only family calls me that, so you guys can’t. Unless you’re the person who I may have fallen in love with yesterday. Then you can call me anything you like.

7. I have a weird double standard that I didn’t realize existed until fairly recently. When I’m around any guy friends I speak pretty vulgarly. Is that a word? But when I’m around a girl friend I won’t even say damn. And I would NEVER EVER EVER cuss at a girl. Nope. I’d hit a guy who did that in front of me.

8. I hate wearing jeans. With a passion. I have to wear them for my job but I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I wore them somewhere else. It’s cause I can’t find any that fit right. My brother and I seem to share the same problem. They’re just too tight. Probably why I never wear pants once I’m home. Or a shirt.

9. I had an iPhone 4 for more than two years and never had a single problem with it. I’ve since switched to a Samsung Galaxy S4 and the screen went out after about six months and I got a free replacement. And the replacement phone doesn’t lock when I’m not using it. But I’m not going back to Apple! I refuse.

10. I routinely cry while reading books. I’ve cried while reading my own and I always knew what was going to happen. Call me a baby.

11. I don’t talk to a single person from my high school graduating class from 2010. It’s sad. I met some great people in high school. Their loss.

12. I don’t dance. At all. My sister got married about a month ago and I didn’t dance. I wish I could. But I can’t. I have no rhythm. Or anything. I’ve vowed to make a fool of myself at my wedding and never again. You can’t change it!

13. Normal people my age (22) do what on the weekends? Party. Go out. Something other than sitting at home doing nothing. Well I sit at home and do nothing every weekend. Cause I sleep. And read. And occasionally I’ll actually get some writing done. Call me boring. I’ll call you an alcoholic. 🙂

14. I hate when people criticize me for not using my degree a year after graduating. Seriously, get out of my life. I’ll punch you.

15. I went to the gym on Halloween last year in a hot dog costume. Yes, pictures were taken. Yes, I’m more awesome than you.

Yay! So now you know even MORE about me! Are you ready to give me your flyer miles? Say yes. I’ll love you forever.

I usually end every post with a question of some kind. So, tell me what you thought of my randomness. Or tell me something random about yourself. Or hit Like and leave my blog. Whichever you prefer!

A Valentine’s Day Duel: Ron & Hermione vs. Katniss & Peeta

ImageHappy Valentine’s Day! Hopefully you spend the day with someone special. Or, if you’re like me, you can spend it with your books. So, since it is Valentine’s Day I thought it only fitting to discuss two of the most well known literary relationships of the last decade. I’ll give you a hint…there have been a total of ten movies in which these two pairs of lovebirds appear so far, with two more on the way. Any guesses? Ron and Hermione of Harry Potter fame and Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games. Let’s dive right in.

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Ron and Hermione

I am a HUGE fan of the Harry Potter franchise, but I have to admit that I have not read any of the books yet. I know, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I NEED to read them. I will at some point. But that’s not the point of this post. We’re talking about witch on wizard love. I considered including Harry and Ginny in this conversation, but Ginny isn’t quite one of the big three in the series, so Harry gets left out even though every book bears his name on the cover.

I’m sure every person keeping up with the literary world, and probably plenty who don’t, heard J.K. Rowling admit that Harry and Hermione would have been the better couple rather than Hermione and Ron. I tend to agree with her. Again, this is coming from someone who has not read the books, but Ron and Hermione just seem….odd together. One of the images I have in mind as I write this is in Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Ron abandons Harry and Hermione. While he’s gone they share a pleasant moment in which the two are seen dancing even though they’re in the midst of a dire situation. You can’t possibly tell me that Ron would be capable of such a thing. After all, he did abandon them.

Also, Ron isn’t exactly the brightest of the wizards attending Hogwarts. We all know Hermione is a brilliant witch. I can’t be the only one who pictures her with a similarly brilliant wizard. I think Harry fits that mold quite well.

I applaud J.K. Rowling for writing the story as she originally imagined it. But I also applaud her for admitting that she should have done things a little differently.

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Katniss and Peeta

The unlikeliest of partners. I HAVE read all of the books in The Hunger Games series and I’ve seen both movies. So I guess you can go ahead and call me an expert on the matter. Okay, maybe not an expert. BUT I absolutely love the series and not just because my future wife Jennifer Lawrence happens to play Katniss.

The two are thrown together during the first chapter of the first book in the series during the annual Reaping in which one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts is chosen to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games. Katniss’ younger sister is actually chosen but Katniss does the unthinkable and volunteers in her place. She’s the first ever volunteer from her district in the 74 year history of the Games.

The relationship between the two starts off a bit rocky. Katniss is independent and not the most sociable person while Peeta is about as likeable as it gets. The two remain polite with each other until Peeta admits during an interview before the Games are set to begin that he’s got a crush on Katniss. I mean, I don’t blame him. She’s perfect! Katniss doesn’t like being thrown a curve ball and gets a bit upset. Then she goes on to score an 11 out of 12 during her individual showing for the Gamemakers. Peeta then decides that he no longer wants to be trained alongside Katniss because there is only one winner.

Once the Games begin and Katniss is on her own and Peeta is nowhere to be found it is announced that there can be two winners from the same district. Katniss goes on to keep Peeta alive with the help of sponsors and the two ultimately win the Games, but not before they tick off the Capitol in doing so. Katniss put on a show for everyone watching to make out like the two were madly in love. She did it to survive while Peeta wasn’t acting.

The two are forced to act as if they need each other in order to live after the Games, and although they do their best, it may already be too late. They may have inadvertently started a rebellion.

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My Favorite

This actually isn’t all that hard for me to decide. Katniss and Peeta. Hands down. I didn’t go into the second or third books of the series because I refuse to spoil those for any person who reads this who may not have read them. If you have read them then you are well aware of how their relationship evolves over time. But in the first one Katniss is about as upfront as she can be with Peeta under the circumstances. While the cameras were rolling she acted in a manner that kept both of them alive. And as soon as they were out of the limelight she made it known that it wasn’t as real for her as he might have thought. I guess my reasoning for liking their relationship slightly more than Ron and Hermione’s would be because we know what we’re getting from the start. Ron and Hermione take FOREVER to make it happen. (At least in the movies)

So tell me, which would you rather be a part of….Ron and Hermione or Katniss and Peeta?

Just for kicks, which nickname do you like more? The Boy Who Lived or The Girl on Fire?