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5 Book Worlds to Read About for When You Need an Escape

Go to these places where none of your problems can follow.
IMAGE Romina Russel | zodiacbooks.com, Random House, Scholastic Books

Stress. It's something we all deal with: at school, at work, in life—there's always something to worry about, something weighing on the mind and shoulders. Although it may be tempting to power up your laptop and escape to the realm of Netflix at times like these, reading a book or two can provide the same amount of entertainment and distraction while keeping your brain alert enough to focus when it's time to buckle down. Here are five book series and worlds that provide what we've all been searching for: a place where you may go and none of your problems can follow.

  1. Zodiac by Romina Russell

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This brilliantly intricate intergalactic universe is set far in the distant future; long after the Earth we know now has collapsed. The galaxy is comprised of twelve planets, each based off a separate sign such as Aries or Cancer, and each bringing a different strength, such as military or innovation, to the Zodiac. The planets are each separate worlds in their own right, offering different ways of life to their people and operating under different forms of government.

Within this world, Rho Grace, a 16-year-old girl from House Cancer, is sent reeling when a seemingly natural disaster strikes her home, causing her even more distress when she is suddenly named House Cancer's new leader. When disasters start striking all over the Zodiac, Rho suspects that something, or someone, is hiding behind the darkness in the sky causing the mayhem—but who would believe her?

  1. The Selection by Kiera Cass

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America Singer is a caste Five, three castes up from the bottom. In Illéa, what caste you are determines your social and economic status, what you do, and how fairly you are treated. When America is accepted into The Selection (a televised process very similar to The Bachelor) and given the chance to compete for prince's heart, she agrees, but only to help her family out of financial hardship. There's just one problem: she's already in love—with Aspen, that is, a boy from the caste below hers. America is prepared to join the Selection and stay in just long enough for her family to reap the benefits—but what she isn't prepared for is the charming Prince Maxon.

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

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This goes without saying. Every aspect of this magical world has been thoroughly thought out by none other than J.K. Rowling; from the classes the students take at Hogwarts to the magical plants and creatures and how to handle each one, this world seems so detailed and realistic that it almost seems to coexist with us Muggles (non-magical people). And who's to say that it doesn't? The world has even been expanded on multiple platforms, giving it a rich magical history and fully fleshed out main and minor characters.

Though it is a fairly long series (seven books strong!) every word is well worth the read, and rereading never hurts, either. Harry Potter is always a valid, and effective, escape.

  1. Matched by Ally Condie

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In a dystopian world where everything from who you love to when you die is controlled, art is censored, limited, and all choices are predicted, deception reigns supreme behind the Society's perfectly manufactured façade. When Cassia, the protagonist, is matched with her best friend, she can practically feel the pieces of her life falling into place. But when the wrong boy's face comes up on the screen, Cassia begins to question the Society she has always trusted before.

  1. The Alchemyst: The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

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Subject of a mysterious prophecy, twins Sophie and Josh Newman find their lives turned upside-down when the immortal alchemyst Nicholas Flamel pulls them into a millennia-long battle against the Elder Race, a power-hungry race older than humankind. The secret to Flamel's immortality lies in one place: the Book of Abraham the Mage, which in the wrong hands has the power to destroy the world—a power the Elder Race desperately wants. Myth and magic run rampant in modern day San Francisco, making it the perfect place to read yourself away to.

Want to share your fave books and why you think Candy Girls should read 'em? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Georgia Limcaoco
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Kathreece Quizon 18 hours ago

Today, I am sharing my mother's story. I wish my mother was a constant in my life, like an angel who guards you to sleep and comes right there when you called. But angels come back home too, in heaven where they always belonged, and my mother went back a little early. My mother died when I was 13 years old. My last memory of my mother: Letting go when you are not yet ready is a very cruel thing that one has to ever experience. It is a sudden wave of total sadness and desperation crashing into your very core.

On the 28th of July 2013, we went to a resort in Bataan for the employees’ getaway. My parents own a 7-11 franchise, and it had always been a tradition to give their store clerks a get-together every year. I remember very well the last breakfast I had with my mother. The Sunday morning sky was clear and sunny, and the sea was calm and tranquil as we ate our breakfast on a cottage under the tall palm trees. She shared with us a strange dream she had the other night. She dreamt about an unknown woman holding an ice pick chasing her down on a dimly lit street, then she woke up just before the woman could grab her arm. We never knew what that dream exactly meant and now, I wished I never knew its meaning. After breakfast, my family and our employees decided to take a swim at the beach. The day was nice. The morning air may be chilly but the sun’s kiss on our skins gave us warmth. It was perfect. Everything is fine and the tides are low which made it very enjoyable to swim. We swam a little farther from the shore and we stopped to the point where the water reached our shoulders. We were talking about the good things in life and reminiscing the good old days. Those are the things that I’ve always loved about my family because I never had a meaningless conversation with them.

A few moments later, we heard a panicking call for help from one of our store clerks. It was Rachel. She was struggling to keep her head above water. She was already drowning but the odd thing was, she was only a few feet away from us. At first, we thought she was just playing around until we felt the sand in our toes dissolving like powder. It felt like as if the seafloor submerged deeper. I remembered sighting the shore and it seemed so close yet very far away. We were all panicking at that time. No one knew how to swim except my mother so without having second thoughts she swam towards Rachel and called out to my father, “Yung mga anak mo! Dalhin mo sa pampang yung mga anak mo!” and I never thought I already heard my mother’s last words to my father. I was paddling like a dog, gasping for air, as I say a little prayer to God to take us all back to safety. I felt my father grabbing our swimsuits, trying to lift our bodies so we can breathe even though he was also struggling to keep himself alive. Once I felt my toes touch the ground, there came a veil of relief that covered my whole body. As soon as my father and my sister made it to the shore we started calling out for help. There were no lifeguards on duty at that time, no personnel, nor guards. I saw my mother already floating in her stomach. We sighted a boat sailing nearby, we waved our hands and called for their attention. They almost ignored us because they cannot comprehend what we were trying to relay but the good thing was a passenger in the boat noticed my mother and Rachel in the water.

My mother’s body was laid on the shore. She was unconscious and her whole body was pale as white. My father performed CPR but my mother couldn’t get the water come out of her mouth because the food she ate earlier got stuck in her throat and blocked the passage. A concerned tourist offered his car to deliver my mom in a nearby health center or a clinic of some sort since the hospital was miles away from the beach and she needs immediate care. My father told us to stay in the hotel room and prepare mom’s belongings so that if she wakes up she has fresh clothes to change into. My sister and I finished packing our things and waited for our father to pick us up from the hotel. I was crying and I couldn’t stop myself because I was afraid to lose my mother. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I lose her that day. Moments lasted until we heard a knock on the door and it was my father, crying, and apologizing to us. He hugged me and my sister tightly and saying, “Sorry, anak, sorry hindi na uuwi si mommy, sorry hindi ko nasagip si mommy”. And that was the moment I felt sinking into the ground. I never knew what to feel at first. I was numb because my worries were now actually a reality that I have to live in. I was at shock because I am now one of the kids in those cliche teleseryes who lost a mother at an early age. We went to the health center to settle everything. The clinic was very small and it sure did lack equipment. He told us to stay in the car. I wanted to see my mom, but I know he never wanted us to see her like that. I didn’t know what to feel. I was having high anxiety levels that my stomach is churning and I wanted to vomit. I got off the car and entered the health center to find the restroom. When I was finding my way around, I passed by the emergency room. I saw my mother lying in a foldable bed, lifeless, her hands dangling from the side of the bed, she has violet bruises on her skin, and her body was partially covered with a white towel.

That is when it sunk into me that she’s dead and never coming back. My father asked the others to just commute back to Manila because what we need right now is comfort from our family. The drive back home was one of the most painful memory I had as a kid. My father was in the steering wheel crying his eyes out. We drove from Bataan to Pampanga. We went home to my grandmother’s house, the nearest house that we can call “home” because how are we still going to be “home” without her?

Once we reached Pampanga, we stopped over to the gas station and my father made some calls to our loved ones to tell them that my mother passed away. He then called my aunt to help him arrange for the funeral. We got home and my grandmother hugged us and told us to get some rest. Already tired of crying, I went to sleep for a while. I woke up and for a second, I thought everything that happened the other day was all just a dream. That she was there in Manila, sitting on the couch reading some furniture magazine, waiting for us to go home. But that’s how cruel life is, right? I got up and weirdly, I felt sands in the bed. It was gray, just like the ones on the beach. I thought maybe it was just dirt but it was a fair amount to believe that maybe she visited us before she left. - ?

- The part of how I conquered the grief of her passing is shared in my personal blog. I felt the need to share my story with everyone since she's the woman I look up to. Feel free to visit my personal blog too when you have the time. I love writing my stories. Thank You! link: http://qkathreece.wixsite.com/kathreecequizon/post/breaking-waves

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