The Responsible ARC Reader

It is always a delight to receive an ARC (Advance Readers Copy) from authors, publishing houses, or just anywhere at all. I mean how are you not going to be happy? One, you can read a fantastic novel before anyone else does, and of course, it is free!

But are ARCs really free or we are missing our responsibilities as readers whenever we get our hands on those “free” books?

To be honest, I did not know the responsibilities that you have as a reader whenever you receive those ARCs until one day, I started receiving one. 

ARCs are not free. You need to pay the author and the publishing house who put that ARC in your hands. Do they need money? Absolutely not. However, they need more than money. They need your time and your honest opinion about the work.

GIVE THEM YOUR TIME

Remember that ARCs give us an opportunity to read a novel before it comes out. As readers, we are responsible for reading an ARC before it actually comes out. The rule I follow is I should finish the novel at least 2 weeks before its release date. Once the actual book is out in the world, ARCs lose their value. 

WHY READ THEM BEFORE THE BOOK COMES OUT?

The primary purpose of ARCs is not to give readers free books. Remember, publishing houses want to sell their products, but do not think of it that way. We have to see that we are helping authors that have given us amazing books in the past and will give us more amazing books in the future. 

So we have to make sure that we have to read ARCs 2 weeks before they come out so we can give them an amazing review. If you don’t like the ARC, that is okay, but give it a review. ARCs do not demand good reviews; what they want is an honest review. Remember, good or bad publicity is still publicity.

If you are like me, someone who always gives good reviews to ARCs, what I do whenever I do not like the ARC is I will give it a review saying who I think is going to like the book. I will not write about how I do not enjoy the book—I will write how others will like it.

It is always fun to receive ARCs, but we have to remember that once we agree to accept those ARCs, we, as readers, now have a big responsibility in our hands.

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The Long Hiatus: What Happened After Graduation

Whenever a day passes by and I don’t have a blog post, my heart breaks a little.

But trust me, my life has been a rollercoaster ride ever since my last semester as a Creative Writing student started. Yes, the semester was very busy, but it started shaking my world a couple of weeks before the semester ended.

I had fallen in love before the semester ended. I wish I could go into details, but it is just too painful. All I can say is it ended badly.

After the semester, I have managed to be a part of a circle of writers, and I have never been happy, because I do have some friends who critique my work, but they critique it as readers, and sometimes I feel like their reviews are not enough.

This summer is also my last summer where I can read without worrying about deadlines and writing due dates.

When it comes to health, I’ve gained a lot of weight, because of my packed schedule as a student. I would be in school the whole day reading works from other students and writing reviews for those works. For me to conserve my time on campus, all my classes had only 15 minutes interval. In other words, after class, I needed to run to the next class.

So from 180lbs, I became 208lbs.

Now, I am very thankful that I am running again every morning, playing tennis with friends, and I am also planning on learning martial arts and archery.

When it comes to friends, I am happy that I can still balance it with my life as a writer, but these past few months, I’ve been scared that my best friends are drifting away from me. One is I am rarely in touch with while the other always manages to cancel our plans last minute whenever we plan to hang out, and if ever we are hanging out, I feel like I am just on the sideline. Her attention is somewhere else. She’s doing something else while she attempts to talk to me on the side. Should I keep trying if that person is making me feel like she no longer wants me around?

This is my last summer as a student. I hope it can be as magical as my other summers. I pray that I can find a glimmer of light that says everything will be okay.

Me After Watching Me Before You: Me Before You Movie Review

Even though Barnes & Noble Americana (where I work) sells tons of copies of Miss Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You every day, I was not expecting a big crowd inside the theater for its opening day. It turns out I was underestimating Emilia Clarke’s and Sam Claflin’s fan base. The theater was almost packed!

For this review, I will focus on 2 things: what I like about the movie. This includes how the movie can stand on its own and the actors. After that, I will talk about what I don’t like the film. I will end this entry with my overall rating of the movie and why I believe it deserves that kind of rating.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE MOVIE

Can The Movie Stand on Its Own?

What I like the most about the film is how solid the story line is. The creators focus on Louisa’s and Will’s love story. All the side stories are beautiful (and we will talk about that later), but the movie wants us to see from the beginning that the main focus is how Louisa and Will will find their different paths where their lives are headed while their hearts intertwine.

The Actors

I wish I could give Emilia Clarke a standing ovation right now. She is the main highlight of that movie. From mother of dragons to a bubbly girl in a small town, Emilia Clarke nails that performance. I believe she is born to play Louisa Clark. Me Before You is not a laugh out loud movie, but Emilia Clarke will put tears in your eyes in many ways. Sam Claflin is a good William Traynor too, and his chemistry with Emilia Clarke is something that I want to see again on TV and/or on the big screen. The growth of his character is visible by the way he talks and interacts to Louisa.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT?

Faithfulness To The Book

I love how the movie focuses on the love story alone, but one of the reasons I actually love the book is the side stories are phenomenal! Treena’s struggle to get on her feet again after having a baby is what I want to see. Mr & Mrs. Traynor have their own struggles too, especially about their relationship, but it is not on the big screen. I love, in the book, how these efforts from other characters make the main love story stronger and more meaningful. I understand that the movie will be more than 8 hours long if it wants to be 100% faithful to the book; those struggles are inside the film, but you need to pay careful attention to know that they are there. In other words, you need to read the book to know they are there! For example, Mrs. Traynor’s problem with Will is he could kill himself any minute. Mr & Mrs. Traynor talk about it in the film really quick, and there is a scene where they focus on Will’s scarred wrist. The scenes are quick, and they can easily be missed, so pay attention carefully if you haven’t read the book and want to get these messages. 

THE RATING

Me Before You deserves a 10/10 rating. The first reason is the film delivers a message about different meanings of life and how one can live boldly. It shows that we can have a colorful life, but life can get stuck sometimes; we can put our life on hold, but we must remember that it needs a second chance. I love how Louisa and Will have different views on life, but they manage to meet each other halfway and fall in love.
Some of the non-readers might not get the subtle hints the movie is giving, but I believe it will still get at least a 7/10 rating from them because the film will really touch your heart in a way that will make you change the way you see the world.

10 out of 10 Stars