light up the shining night stars

Look at the stars. See yourself in them.

Welcome aboard — June 2, 2016

Welcome aboard

HELLO!

Here you have a blog which was made in the beginning of 2016. It was to be a book blog but the blogger digresses a little (read: a LOT). There are now posts about bullet journalling, music, blogging tips, writing and lifestyle here besides books. The blogger could have decided to stick to one topic and blog about that but she tends to rebel against boxes and tries to do everything (and fail at half of them) (she needs to get some sense).

Stay and have a look around. Treat this blog like a carnival. You just might like it.

 

10 books with best-friends-to-lovers themes — August 15, 2017

10 books with best-friends-to-lovers themes

Best-friends-to-lovers

Hey all!

The Broke and The Bookish are finally back from hiatus!

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The topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is 10 book recommendations for ______ (our choice). Now, English is a hard language. (Says the person who knows English better than her mother tongue) I wanted to recommend books to readers looking for books with best-friends-to-lovers storylines. I did not know (and was too lazy to figure out) how to phrase that to match the topic exactly. 😅

Anyway! For the past few months, I’ve been on a romance-reading streak. If I had to pick one storyline theme which would almost always hook me in, it would be best-friends-to-lovers. Therefore, here I am to share a few of my favourites with the theme.

 

[1] Searching for Beautiful by Jennifer Probst

searching for beautiful

I cannot say HOW MUCH I adored this book! This was my first book by the author, and after this I read the rest of the series by her as well. And as I expected, I pretty much loved them too. (Reviews coming soon)

Gen and Wolfe’s relationship progress/growth was so beautiful to see. Also I really liked Wolfe. He’s such a sweetheart!

You can read my detailed review here.

 

[2] Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen

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Lila Wilder is a shy nerd and she’s done being that. She wants to be sexy and desired for a change. She recruits her playboy best friend Beck to help her since he’s her best bet on getting the transformation right. But as she starts to show off and change, Beck falls for her. She’s still the same in personality, though, so that’s good.

 

[3] Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Love rosie

Firstly, when I read the book (more than 5 years back) it was called Where Rainbows End. Years later when the movie came out, it was named Love, Rosie and they changed the book’s name as well??? Um hello, I AM NOT AMUSED. I hate when book covers are changed when movies are made. And I hate it even more when they change the book’s NAME itself. The movie wasn’t nice enough, anyway. #thebookisbetter

Onto the story. This was my first book by the author and I ADORED it.

The story is narrated through notes, letters, postcards and online chats. The writing format isn’t the usual, and I LOVED it. We’re taken over 40 years through these, starting with notes passed in class and birthday invites. I really liked reading their relationship growing through written correspondence.

 

[4] Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.

Sincerely

I liked the relationship between  Arizona and Carter while they were platonic. I liked the chemistry between them after they moved out of the platonic category. But the transition was VERY sudden. That’s one tiny thing which put me off. One minute they were just best friends and the next minute—BOOM—sexual attraction. Um, okay?

I liked Arizona the most. I loved her character, how she got a degree before understanding what she actually wants to do in life (be a cook). She actually snuck into lessons at an academy as she couldn’t afford them! #yasgirl

 

[5] The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

The boyfriend app

This was such a cute YA book! I LOVED the MC and how badass she was. She’s also a coding geek, so I obviously loved that. Except she’s WAY more into coding (and is a genius) than I am. #myinspiration

I do plan on writing a whole review soon, so look out for that.

Her romance with a fellow geek was SO ADORABLE. There was the usual teen awkwardness, doubt and angst, but I loved that she went for the best friend instead of the hot guy like the norm (not that she ever even considered the hot guy).

 

[6] Leo by Mia Sheridan

Leo

Evie and Leo met in foster care when they were kids and through the flashbacks, we see how their relationship went from friends to more than. I adored the flashbacks and young Leo. ❤

And another thing I liked about this book was Evie. She worked two small jobs for a living and she does it unapologetically, seeing no shame. She’s fine as long as she’s happy and I love that.

 

[7] Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

queens of geek

Taylor and Jamie are best friends, and both of them want to be more but are afraid of ruining the relationship they have by confessing to the other. THEY ARE SO ADORABLE. I loved seeing them finally confess and get together.

 

[8] Swear on this life by Renee Carlino

swear-on-this-life

First of all, a brilliant story.

We start with Emiline reading a well praised book by a J. Colby. The shock? It’s her own story. The characters are EXACTLY like her and her childhood best friend Jase. She then goes to find the author, who is, obviously, Jase.

Click here to read my review.

 

[9] The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer

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This story is about movie star Kendall and her best friend Payton. (Hello diverse read)

I absolutely adored reading this story, especially since it was my first lesbian romance read. The transition from best friends to lovers was as awkward and beautiful as I expected, and I really liked it.

 

[10] Here’s to Falling by Christine Zolendz

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This heartbreaking story is about Charlie and Jase. We see their tragic childhoods, where only they were the good parts of life, then the falling out and meet years later. Honestly, I couldn’t write a proper review when I read it and still can’t. (I also really want to reread this book now.)

 


Aand that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!

Do you like best-friends-to-lovers themed books? Which are your favorite? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned? Also, if you’ve published a Top Ten Tuesday do comment the link so I can check it out!

Internet famous || everything was perfect… except the guy (the irony) — August 13, 2017

Internet famous || everything was perfect… except the guy (the irony)

internet famous.jpgTitle: Internet Famous

Author: Danika Stone

Genre: YA contemporary

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I first heard of the book through twitter when a book blogger I follow tweeted while reading it. It sounded like a book I would totally love, so the second I could get my hands on it, I read it.

It’s been about two weeks since I read it, and I don’t remember a lot (blame finals) but I shall try to give a proper review.

Here’s a list form, simply because:

  1. Madi.

I LOVED her! She was so relatable and I had absolutely no problem in diving into her and the story. She’s a shy girl who has a (really popular) blog on tumblr which is basically surrounded around rewatches of movies. Throughout the book we see her watching films, live-tweeting along with all her followers while watching the movie, and also giving a review on her blog later. She takes online classes and spends a lot of her time around the schedule of her younger sister Sarah, who has special needs (not named in the book).

2. Sarah

Sarah is someone who needs routine. Madi picks her up from school at the same time, standing in the same place, she and Madi watch TV at a certain time at night, and such. Since there’s only Madi who seems to care, a lot of her routine includes Madi following it. I really liked her character and how her diagnosis (?) was deliberately not pointed out. I hated that their parents didn’t care for Sarah.

3. Madi and Sarah’s relationship

Almost all the time Madi is thinking about Sarah, but in the moments where we see them leaning on each other emotionally—especially Madi taking comfort from Sarah, were my favourites. I absolutely LOVED them being sisters and any moment between them :’)

4. The blogging life

I’ve never read about rewatches, so this was interesting. As in every book centering around bloggers, we have problems related to fame. Madi has a stalker. And she suspects the person to be one of her followers. This includes the “danger” part of the story.

The part I loved most, and this might seem small, of her as a blogger was how she communicated with her followers, and circumvented around the needy and loud follower. It was interesting to read about when she finally met a lot of hem face-to-face.

5. The romance

When she was feeling low one day, Madi decides to text a follower of hers and vent. She quickly makes a bond with Laurent and later agrees to meet up with a lot of her followers for a gathered rewatch. There’s romance between her and Laurent and it’s seen online to everyone after that, the way they tweet and converse. It does become a problem with favouritism and such, at one point.

I liked their story, but I wasn’t overly attached to it. Their dates were cute and it was all nice, but something held me back from liking it. The next point will tell you what.

6. Laurent

He was TOO. DARN. PERFECT.

This was what I had a major problem with, throughout the book. Laurent was COMPLETELY PERFECT. It felt unreal. Not only was he the best gentleman ever, he cared for Madi so much, was always there, he was tall and handsome. He also did NOT have any life problem. NADA.

And as if the looks weren’t enough? HE WAS FRENCH. All that French accent and cuteness and hotness and… stahp. Enough.

Usually in books like this, where I relate a lot, I love the romantic interest. I have found the one book where I didn’t.

 

Overall

I would have been in love with the book, if not for Laurent. Somehow, with him being too perfect, I couldn’t love the book much since the romance keeps popping up.

Since the ending gave me a high, I initially rated it a 4.5 (on the high) but after thinking on it, I changed my rating to 3.5. Guess it’s a good thing I write reviews quite late—I can provide a coherent, well-thought point of view.

three-and-a-half-stars

 

The Gravity of Us || numb guy + over-feeling girl + a baby = a very interesting story — August 11, 2017

The Gravity of Us || numb guy + over-feeling girl + a baby = a very interesting story

the gravity of usTitle: The Gravity of Us

Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

Genre: Adult Romance

Status: Book 4 of Elementals series but can be read as a standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

This was a VERY different book. What felt different?

  • the writing style
  • the main characters

Let me dive in into more detail.

The Plot

Lucille “Lucy” is living with her boyfriend, managing a florist business along with her sister, Mary, and she meets Graham when dropping off flowers to a funeral. Coincidentally, the funeral is of Graham’s father.

We’re given a small backstory on both the characters before either of them meet. Graham’s story with his wife and their child; Lucy’s sister’s cancer recovery and how she supported her, and also a teeny bit about her boyfriend.

Graham and Lucy are brought together by their individual concerns about Graham’s daughter, Talon. Lucy cares about Talon as she finds out that her eldest sister Lyric is Talon’s mother; and once Lyric bails on Talon and Graham at the hospital when Talon was in a bad condition, Lucy decides to help.

Slowly, slowly, Lucy and Graham bond.

The Characters

Graham is apathetic, unfeeling, and basically does not (want to) have emotions. He’s also a brilliant writer, whose books are very popular. His backstory is also quite captivating, and how it affects him later in life hit me in the heart. Despite all of this, what made me fall in love with the book was his relationship with his daughter Talon. He made so much effort right from the beginning to care for Talon, even though he totally expects himself to become like his own father and basically fail. I melted every single time he was brought back to life through caring for Talon. This might be a romance story, but Graham and Talon were a HUGE part of why the story is captivating.

“..And she’ not eating much. I’m not sure what to do, so I was going to try kangaroo care.”

“What’s kangaroo care?”

“It’s when the parent and the child have skin-to-skin contact to form a bond. It works best for mothers, I believe, though the nurses told me I should try it, which seems pointless,” he grumbled as the crying continued. He held her as if she was a football and swayed frantically, almost as if he was falling apart from not being able to calm her.

That was when I started loving Graham.

Lucy is the exact opposite. If Graham was monochromatic, Lucy was all the colours flashing, at the same time, on high intensity. She felt so much and never shied away from her feelings. She’s a herb-loving hippie woman and she was just perfect for Graham. What I loved most about Lucy was that she was loyal. She stuck through with Graham and Talon, didn’t even consider NOT helping when she found out about Talon, cared for those she loved without asking for anything and she fell in love unapologetically.

The Romance

Together, they were PERFECT.

I loved that the relationship growth was slow, and I fell in love with them as a couple a bit more every single time they became a little closer.

“Love doesn’t push things away. Love doesn’t suffocate. It makes the world bloom. She taught me that. She taught me how love works.”

Overall

A book I FELL into and I stayed there. I was slightly disoriented after finishing it because I didn’t want to leave. There were so many small tiny things that, together, makes you want to grab this book and absorb it into yourself. Absolutely loved it.

I haven’t read the other books in this series, but after reading this one I’m definitely going to try them out.

Sometimes when your heart wanted a full-length novel, the world only gave you a novella, and sometimes when you wanted forever you only had those few seconds of now. And all I could do, all anyone could ever do, was make each moment count.

five-stars

 

Have you read this book? Have you read any other books by Brittainy C. Cherry? I would honestly LOVE to read more books with such main characters, who are the complete opposite and fit together like two halves of a whole. Have you read any other books like this? Do let me know in the comments!

Orphan Black season 1: review and discussion — August 8, 2017

Orphan Black season 1: review and discussion

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I’ll be honest, it’s been a wee while since I watched it. And by wee I mean more than two months. I have actually binged four seasons, and am waiting for the fifth to finish so I can binge that as well.

I’ll be talking only about season 1, though, because it’ll be easier to avoid any spoilers. And plus, I love season 1 SO MUCH more than the others.

What is the show all about?

We start off with a woman called Sarah witnessing another woman’s suicide by jumping in front of a running train. And if that wasn’t shocking enough, the other woman looked EXACTLY like Sarah.

long lost twins?

Sarah steals Beth’s purse and investigates. Beth’s ID could TOTALLY pass for her, and after talking to her foster brother (and awesome sidekick) Felix, she decides that she has to check out Beth’s life.

Now, Sarah’s only goal is to get some money and get away to a nice life with her daughter Kira and Felix. So when she looks into Beth’s accounts, she finds that Beth was sitting on a huge lump of money. Sarah decides to impersonate Beth by dying her hair, watching videos to get how Beth acts and quickly puts things in motion at the bank.

But it can’t be that simple.

Later, she finds out that Beth is actually a cop who is on suspension due to unreasonable civilian shooting. Oh and Sarah’s ex-boyfriend returns looking to make Sarah payback for the drugs she stole from him to sell. On top of that, Beth’s husband Paul returns home and starts being suspicious. If all of this wasn’t enough, she finds more women who look exactly like her.

She learns from them that all of them are clones as part of an illegal experiment, and things get messier when someone starts killing them off.

So the basic concept is..

Cloning. There is a LOT of biology and science facts, lots of new information we learn as viewers about DNA and genes. The women also try to find out who actually made them and this leads us into a pool of so much more science and theories.

But the show is also about identity. It revolves all these women who look exactly like each other and are only different by the world they lived/live in. It’s about owning yourself and being individual even with other versions of YOU running around.

My reaction to season 1

I think it’s BRILLIANT.

  • I loved the idea of cloning and versions of one person in different settings. It’s almost like parallel universe lives, in the same world.
  • I also loved the science. It was so interesting to listen about all these topics that I wouldn’t have bothered to read on otherwise. Quite a few times I went online to find out more about the theories and how it all works. It fed the nerd in me.
  • It also had a danger element with the killings, which added the action factor into the show. When they find out the identity of the killer? It’s even better.
  • The interactions between the clones was SO FUN to watch. It’s like long lost sisters meeting each other, forming bonds and becoming family. There comes a point when you’re really unsure who to trust, but you can always count on your sister clones.

Tatiana Maslany is one BRILLIANT AF actress. She plays half the main cast. Every time I see her listed in the cast list, or an award nomination, it’s so different when you see it written like, “Tatitana Maslany as Sarah/Allison/Cosima/Beth…..etc.” The way she tries to keep the characters distinct and how we KNOW which character is really on screen even when one clone is impersonating another—brilliant. I can’t stop saying that word.

My take on the characters:

  • Sarah grew up in the foster care system and her life is mostly in the shady parts of town. She absolutely LOVES her daughter, and pretty much doesn’t think of anyone else. On occasion, Felix, but not very often. One thing that bothered me about her was how she treated Felix throughout the seasons. He’s always there for her, but she doesn’t give him some slack when he wants time of his own. Every time there’s a problem, she drags Felix into it and expects him to leave all else and help.
  • Felix is the BEST. SIDEKICK. EVER. He’s always there for Sarah, and later for other clones as well. It’s like he’s the honorary member of the Clone Club. He’s badass, fun, loyal, caring and everything awesome. I absolutely loved him.
  • Allison is the soccer mom version of Sarah. Honestly, the hair, makeup and mannerisms are so different in acting that I might have realised she’s a clone only a few minutes later, if they hadn’t said it themselves. She’s a mom of two, living in the suburbs with her picture-perfect, white-picket-fence family. On the surface, she seems as a simple person, with only one face. But as we go, we find out so many layers to her character. I don’t love her, but she’s interesting to follow.
  • Cosima is probably my most favourite clone. It’s a tie between her and another clone (spoiler so I’m not saying the name). She is a genius and I love her nerdiness, science mind and how she’s damn good at what she knows and does.

You might like the show if you love

  • science stuff
  • interesting theories and conspiracies
  • shows that have a LOT going on
  • and getting hooked into shows with new ideas

 

Now for the actual discussion part (INCLUDES SPOILERS):

If you don’t wish to be spoiled, stop reading here or skip this whole section and go to the overall below.

I liked Paul! But I also didn’t? I’m someone who loves a romantic aspect in every story I read/see and he gave me that so yeah. I don’t think I particularly like him for anything other than how he refused to betray Sarah and fell in love with her. But as the seasons went on, I started hating him. Especially in season 3. I was so done with his character. I’m glad he died.

Helena was AWESOME. I LOVED seeing her on-screen with her complex personality. It’s a tie between her and Cosima for my favourite clone. I really loved her interactions, how she’s almost like a child, but can turn into a badass killer when needed. Throughout the seasons, I always loved watching her.

I did NOT like Siobhan, Sarah and Felix’s foster mom. I always felt like she has some hidden agenda. Always.

Donnie was dumb? Like, I never liked his character. Maybe he’s suitable for Allison but honestly, I just felt like he was dumb. And very gullible.

Dr. Leekie (is that how to spell his name?) was freaky. With his evolutionism and stuff. So weird.

I liked Cosima and Delphine’s romance! It was nice to see. They’re probably my most favourite couple of the show. But then, I didn’t like them that much either. The romance really takes a backseat in this show.

 

Overall

I absolutely loved it. I DEFINITELY recommend it to everyone. It’s not that popular, and I’m quite surprised! I think it should be popular.

To be honest, my interest started waning as the seasons went. Too much was added in and it became so complex and out of hand. I’m kinda glad the show is ending after season 5. But season 1 will always be gold.

 

Have you watched the show? If not, would you? Are you a science nerd? Do you know anymore shows with really cool storylines? 

 

August bullet journal set up — August 6, 2017

August bullet journal set up

august bujo setup.png

Hey y’all!

If you’ve been following my posts the last month, you might know that I finished my finals only on 24th of July. Well guess what? My next semester’s classes start TOMORROW. In short, I had only two weeks of vacation.

Since this is a new academic year with me finally moving into my department, and I figured settling in would be hectic, I went for very simple spreads. Knowing how I am, I expect I wouldn’t even do dailies a few times because I wouldn’t have the time for it.

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I am really happy with the way my habit trackers banner turned out.

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I saw a few nice banners on Pinterest and tried out one. (Speaking of, my username there is iridescencey in case you’re interested to look through my boards *wink*) (why am I winking) (moving on)

Inspite of the busy schedule, I am determined to keep up with my trackers. Especially my mood tracker. The last month was mostly “relaxed” for me, and I want to see how classes affects my moods.

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Last month, my mood tracker was in the form of a feather. This time, I simply picked up my pen and started drawing. I ended up with a snake of triangles (I don’t know what else to call it lol). The page does have quite some empty space so I’m planning to doodle around it throughout the month.

 

And that’s it for my August set up! I’m not committing myself to any more spreads as I’m not sure of my schedule.

 

What do you think of my bullet journal? How’s your August looking? Any new beginnings? Are you going back to school this month? Are you keeping a planner or a bullet journal? 

Love at the Italian lake || just a normal love story? — August 3, 2017

Love at the Italian lake || just a normal love story?

love at the italian lake.jpgTitle: Love at the Italian lake

Author: Darcie Boleyn

Genre: Romance

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

On the shores of Lake Garda, a beautiful romance unfolds. But is it only for summer? Don’t miss this gorgeous, heart-warming novel from Darcie Boleyn, bestselling author of 2017 smash-hit Summer at Conwenna Cove.

Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.

When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.

But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

When I read the synopsis, I guessed that this book would have the usual elements as other similar romance books I’ve read. And I was right.

The Plot

Sophia has been leading a boring and exhausting life. She catches her boyfriend cheating and takes this change to change her life completely, meaning she quits her job as well. All she wants is to be happy. She splurges on good clothes (for once) with help from her mom and sister-in-law and heads to Italy on a holiday/visit to her grandmother’s. She’s taking it as a time out to figure out what to do next.

Italy? ✓
Pizza? ✓
Gelato? ✓
Handsome man who bumped into you? ✓
A family secret? ✓
Absolutely no clue what to do in life? ✓✓✓✓

I was excited for this book because it’s set in Italy, and I love  Italy because of Love and Gelato. I have to say, though, the highlights on the city wasn’t as much. And the pizza and gelato was mentioned only once each. I’m a foodie lover, so I’m a disappointed about that.

 

What I liked:

  • The pace of the relationship. Sophia and Joe took time to grow closer and there was no rush. It’s very believable. And practical.
  • People in their 30s being clueless about life. Finally one book where adults don’t have their careers and futures completely planned out. We can change directions later. It’s totally cool and we don’t have to figure everything out at our “prime” (And it made me feel better about myself.)

What I didn’t like:

This is going to be a bigger list, so brace yourselves.

  • The “family issue” on Sophia’s side was way overdone. I get that the secret is life changing, but it doesn’t affect Sophia so much for her to react that bad. She literally cried! I was totally put off by the way the problem was exaggerated and I didn’t like Sophia’s reaction to it, mostly.
  • Joe was too perfect. Please tell me, would you not be suspicious if a guy you’re on a “summer fling” with offers to go shopping with you and says “we can do whatever you want, we’ll go wherever you want, I’ll come with you”. He’s kind, charming, really good looking, very thoughtful and so much more. I never saw anything to his personality except his love for photography. Speaking of..

Sophia wondered how he was so perfectly thoughtful.

You’re not alone in that.

  • Now that I think of it, I didn’t get Sophia’s and Joe’s personalities much. The small likes and dislikes, quirks etc that make up a person? I didn’t notice any of that.
  • Joe had only one flaw, and that was putting off communication. Sophia spoke to him very freely and he listens. But when she offers to listen, he simply says “let’s not ruin the good time we’re having”. Probably never would be a good time, if you see that way. Even after the 50% mark of the book, his life/past was still vague. I hardly knew anything about him. And this is even though the book is in dual POV, so we can’t blame it on the fact that we were clueless because Sophia was clueless. This irritated me so much, because I didn’t at all know Joe!
  • Also the “secret” on Joe’s side was very predictable once we were given two sentences on it. The amount of hush hush on that was exaggerated because, hello, we live in the 21st century. And they’re in their 30s i.e. they’re matured enough. Why was he so afraid of telling Sophia earlier, I don’t know.
  • Oh and Sophia’s decision to never get into another relationship because she got cheated on by her ex-boyfriend? Whom she didn’t even love or have a connection with or honestly care about? She declares no-love-zone for that? *sigh* No.
  • Also, for as much as Sophia and Joe decided to “see where this goes” i.e. have a summer fling, they didn’t sleep together? They simply went on dates and that’s basically dating?? (Oh yeah, speaking of, there are no sexually explicit scenes in the book. So if you want a book like that, here’s one)
  • The first kiss was so abrupt and out of place? I sat there with an indifferent expression through it. I felt nothing.

 

Overall

I didn’t like the book. It’s a normal love story with nothing very special. It was just okay. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t enamoured by it either.

two-stars

P.S. this is part of a blog tour. The following shows all the stops in the tour:

Love at the Italian Lake Blog Tour Header (4).png

 

July Wrap-up (I binged a lot + I’m now obsessed with slime) — August 1, 2017

July Wrap-up (I binged a lot + I’m now obsessed with slime)

JULY WRAP-UP.png

Okay, HOW. Someone tell me how has this month also gone by quickly? I’m done with my semester 2 finals, am on a short holiday before the next semester begins a week later (yes my “vacations” are pretty much non-existent) and I have done absolutely nothing this semester.

I saw this post on bookfangeek on Instagram, and it is completely relatable:

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The more I get into college, the more I feel like I don’t do anything? All my time goes in college classes, work and travelling. *sigh*

Aanyway, this post isn’t about me ranting about doing absolutely nothing in life.

 

Book reviews I published in July:

Other posts:

june wrap-up

book blogger insider

10 advantages of reading as a hobby

5 books I loved but haven't reviewed

5 books I loved but haven't reviewed (1)

a year of bullet journalling

Favourite songs of the month

TV shows I watched:

I had binged three seasons of Game of Thrones in the holidays between semesters 1 and 2, so I continued bingeing from 4. I’m in season 6 right now, and yes I have to watch fast because season 7 is amazing (I’ve heard).

I also binge-watched Riverdale, finally. I LOVED it. I can’t wait for season 2! Jughead is definitely my favourite character.

 

What I “discovered” this month

This is a new section I’m adding this month, under which I’m talking about any new blogs, youtube channels, authors, whatever else I “discovered”. As in, I’m newly introduced to.

As you know, I finished up with my finals and I have been spending the last week looking through social media. Here’s what I found:

[1]

So first up, is Brooklyn and Bailey. My best friend DJ told me to check out Grace VanderWaal, a young teen who won America’s Got Talent. I’m not in America, so excuse me if I don’t follow some of the shows. Anyway, I did check out her songs (she’s really good!) and I saw one video of her performing in VidCon. She was introduced on stage by twins and I wanted to know more about the twins. They looked like YouTubers. I perused the comments until I got their names and watched a bunch of their videos. I mainly like their vlogs, but I’m not sure of all the content so I’m not subscribing to them just yet.

[2]

Through twitter I found LilyCReads and checked out her videos. I really like the way she talks and somehow her profanity use makes her videos all the more interesting. She’s definitely someone I could see being friends with, if we met in real life. I watched a bunch of her videos as well, and I subscribed to her channel.

[3]

I’ve also caught an obsession for slimes. All the slimes I’ve seen previously are the ones used for pranks i.e. they look ugly and are very sticky. But I saw one video on Instagram’s explore tab of someone playing with slime. Nice looking slime.

I have never known of slimes as something to play with as an anxiety/stress reliever. I have never before heard of slimes in different colours looking PRETTY. I have never before heard of SCENTED slimes.

I. AM. SOLD. My favourite slimes are the butter slimes, followed by ones with beads in them. 😍

I now follow a bunch of slime accounts/shops on Instagram. I can’t afford the shipping to buy them, but I’m going with the “if you can’t play with it, watch someone do the same” analogy. The satisfaction of watching those videos 😍

Here are some of my favourite slime accounts:

I’ve also been irritating DJ by sending him the best slime videos I see. Who else am I going to share my enthusiasm with if not my best friends? Also, I used to share with Hema but she HATES slimes so I let her off.

 

And that’s pretty much it for this month!

How was YOUR July? Anything notable happen? What new things did you “discover”? Do you watch BrooklynandBailey and LilyCReads on YouTube? Do you love or hate slimes? Let me know below! Also, if you’ve done a wrap-up, do comment the link so I can check it out!

Searching for beautiful || it was SO DARN CHARMING — July 29, 2017

Searching for beautiful || it was SO DARN CHARMING

searching for beautiful.jpgTitle: Searching for Beautiful

Author: Jennifer Probst

Genre: Adult contemporary romance

Status: Book 3 of Searching For series, but can be read as a standalone

Goodreads || Amazon


Synopsis:

Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.

When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.

Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

(Yes, I’m still in my romance-reading streak.)

I wanted to read a story about best friends who become lovers, and Goodreads showed me a list including this.

The Plot

Genevieve is a surgeon-in-training, about to marry her boss. The book starts with her panicking right before her wedding. Just normal wedding jitters? She doesn’t think so. On a whim, listening to her gut, she jumps out the window in her wedding dress, planning to run. Coincidentally, her best friend Wolfe was smoking just near where she landed. He helps her in running away and takes her to a holiday place to recoup and recover before dealing with the aftermath.

But, there’s that chemistry bubbling up between them. This is a romance story, after all. They fall in love.

The plot is mostly about Gen getting over her ex-fiance. She felt suffocated and trapped in that relationship, and without her realising he slowly began dominating her life and cutting off any connections that may make her realise that this isn’t right. I loved reading a book where the abuse was mental, not physical (at least, hadn’t been by the time she ran away) and the character’s recovery from it. She slowly started SEEING what exactly that douche was doing. The book portrayed abuse which doesn’t seem harmful to anyone because of the abuser’s smartness.

The Characters

  • I really liked reading from Gen‘s POV. She was a character you could easily get into.
  • Wolfe was charming. He’s exactly the guy you wouldn’t assume to be how he is. He also has a dark past, but it wasn’t thrown into the reader’s face. All the issues were appropriately addressed and handled. I basically loved Wolfe. I might want to clone him into real life. Just a teeny bit. I LOVED how much he loved his adoptive family and was this big SWEETHEART.
  • All of Gen’s friends (who were featured in the previous books of this series, I presume) were really cool. I really liked the group dynamic.
  • Wolfe’s fam were THE BEST EVER. They are so supportive and loving and just amazing ❤
  • David, Gen’s fiance, was very well written. I absolutely hated him as a person. He deserved worse.

The Romance

It wasn’t insta-love, obviously. But it was also not “I broke up with my fiance a minute back and now I want you”. Wolfe loved her for a while but from Gen’s side, it was slow. And I’m really damn glad about the pace of the relationship. If Gen and Wolfe started dating within a short time of the wedding disaster, I would have negatively criticised it.

Also, the chemistry between them. I could almost FEEL it. They totally fit and were perfect ❤

Overall

A light enough read, not too heavy for the heart. It’s one of those books I would read in the morning while sitting in the balcony with a drink. It gives you the feels and makes you feel really happy by the end. If you like romance, I say go for this!

I quite want to read the other books of this series. I might, a while later.

five-stars

 

 

Favourite songs of the month — July 27, 2017

Favourite songs of the month

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Aand it’s time to talk about music again!

I did a post last month on 8 songs I’ve listened to on repeat recently and I thought I’d do another one this month along the same lines. While we’re at it, might as well make a monthly meme of it since I really want to share the music I love with y’all.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

[1] Brother by Kodaline

The DAY I published the post I mentioned above, Kodaline dropped this GORGEOUS new song. I love almost all songs by Kodaline, and became so hyper when I saw that they brought out a new song.

I cried when I saw the music video. And I played it again. And I cried again. And so on. For the next week, whenever I heard the song came up on my playlist, I remembered the video and became emotional. IT’S SO TOUCHING. The music, the lyrics, the video, the FEELS. </3

If you haven’t listened to it yet, DO IT NOW PLEASE THANKS.

[2] War of Hearts (acoustic) by Ruelle

I’m Shadowhunters trash. Although I don’t watch the tv show anymore (they have deviated SO MUCH from the books I disown it), the one good thing it did was introduce me to Ruelle and her music. I love pretty much all her music, and when she brought out the acoustic version of War of Hearts, I listened to it on repeat the whole day. Incidentally, she dropped this the day before Brother so I didn’t listen to it as much since Brother took over my playlist.

She also dropped FOUR singles soon after. It was heavenly to get new music with her angelic—yet haunting—voice.

 

[3] Mansion by NF

I got introduced to NF by one of my friends who shared a fairly recent song called How could you leave us. When I said I liked it, he told me to listen to Mansion (which is quite old), and I really liked this! I don’t usually prefer songs with rap but this one is really good. The lyrics, the emotion, the voice were all perfect. Add to that teeny bits of singing by Fluerie, and the song got stuck in my head.

 

[4] Secrets and lies by Ruelle

Among the four songs she dropped, I love Secrets and lies the best. I had to share this.

 

[5] Perfect Places by Lorde

Lorde’s whole new album Melodrama is a gift to this world, and I listened to the whole album ON REPEAT while studying for most of my finals. But once I started tapering off to other songs, Perfect Places was STILL in my current favs playlist.

 

[6] Bloom by The Paper Kites

I’ve actually had this song amongst all my songs for a long time. Possibly close to two years. But you know the best part of having songs that are nice which you aren’t obsessed with? Later when they appear on shuffle, and if you’re in the right mood, you rediscover that song and fall in love again. I’m quite famous for “discovering” new songs that are already in my playlists.

This is such a chilled, feel-good song. It’s perfect for sunsets, blogging or simply for playing in the background when you’re doing small work.

 

[7] I wear speedos (Despacito parody) by Mikey Bustos

One of my friends got me to listen to this, and I can’t get enough of it! It’s so funny, and once you listen to it, you possibly might not get it out of your head.

The lyrics are perfect, the music video is perfect, and he’s done it so well! I shared this with my close friends, and I HAVE to share this with you too. Watch it. Trust me, you’ll love it. This deserves way more views than it’s got right now.

 

 

And that’s it for this month!

Have you listened to any of these before? Which of these do you love as well? What are YOUR favourite songs of the month? Let me know below, so if I haven’t already, I’ll check ’em out! I’m always looking for new music.

5 MORE books I loved but haven’t reviewed (because I couldn’t NOT talk about these gems) — July 25, 2017

5 MORE books I loved but haven’t reviewed (because I couldn’t NOT talk about these gems)

5 books I loved but haven't reviewed (1).png

I’m finally done with all my finals! My last lab final was YESTERDAY and I’m feeling so great right now. FREEEDOM! (For a small bit, anyway)

I did a post on 5 books I loved but haven’t reviewed last week, but it was actually supposed to be about TEN books. It became into a loong post, so I thought I’d do a part 2 with the other five books, which is this post.

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quickly inserting a Pinterest graphic here because I made one 😛

Let’s dive in.

 

[1] A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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If you’ve been in the book community for a while, you WOULD have heard of ACOMAF. If not, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? GO CHECK OUT THE BOOK, LIKE, RIGHT NOW. (Not kidding. Btw this is the second book in the trilogy so please check out A Court of Thorns and Roses first)

There are about a gazillion reviews on ACOMAF out there. Most of those contain one or more of the following:

  1. Extreme flailing over anything and everything in the book
  2. Mostly about Rhysand, though, because OH MY WORD, RHYSAND MY BAE ❤
  3. Also the awesomeness of The Inner Circle/The Court of Dreams
  4. ALL THE ROMANCE AND SMUT
  5. Rhysand purring, talking, walking, flying, BREATHING
  6. Badass female characters
  7. FEMINISM
  8. Also, did I mention Rhysand??
  9. Oh and the reviews most likely contain a lot of sentences in all caps.
  10. BECAUSE NORMAL SIZE DOESN’T DO JUSTICE

Before I try to climb out of this post and shout in your face about this book, I shall stop.

I took the easy way out and decided that there are already enough reviews out in the world, and I might as well keep myself (relatively) sane by not even trying to write the review. #sorrynotsorry

[2] All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

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This is not one of those books that leave you extremely happy and hopeful by the end. This is not those 5 stars.

This book gets 5 stars because it TOTALLY and COMPLETELY WRUNG my heart out and left me hanging as a speechless ball of sadness.

  • This book is about two people. Two very inspiring people. They’re what the common people of the world went through during World War 2.
  • First, we’ve got Marie-Laure who is blind. Her relationship with her father and how she went about in life was so inspiring. I LOVED reading from her POV. She lived in France, before moving later when the Nazis took over Paris.
  • Then we’ve got Werner from Germany. He is really good with machines and can pick apart and fix things. This intelligence takes him far in the Hitler Youth and later he diverges.
  • For a LOT of the book, we get the story in 2 parts—that of Marie-Laure and that of Werner. Their individual journeys from when they were kids is shown.
  • Only very later, through every single decision and consequence, they meet. I DID ask myself why did the author drag the backstory so much. But later I realised that every small thing from their backstory matters.
  • This is not a love story. This is a story about two people from two countries and war. This is a story about those small things that common people went through. This is a story about those very short moments of happiness that some managed to have.

If you didn’t gather, I am VERY passionate about this book. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write a proper review, because I want to talk about EVERYTHING (including spoilers). I really want to reread this book soon, because even though it seems boring for a long while, when everything comes together it is a BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE. And I think this is one of those books that don’t lose their charm through rereads.

[3] Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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First, can I take a paragraph to talk about the absolute AMAZING GEM that Lady of Midnight is? I had a VERY hard time choosing between LoM and LoS to talk about here. I haven’t reviewed both. Because HOW. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PUT MY FEELINGS INTO BOXES? LoM was bloomin’ amazing. But somehow, LoS TOPPED IT.

*calls bestie* Hem, save my heart plis I’M DYING.

^ that was legit me. When I could get away from the book for about two minutes, I frantically texted and sent voice notes to both my best friends GUSHING about anything and everything in the book. That book was LIT.

It’s got

  • Julian effing Blackthorn.
  • HE IS A BLOOMIN’ GENIUS.
  • Emma who is badass and sarcastic, but she was also quite annoying in LoS with her hot-and-cold signals to Julian.
  • THEN THERE’S JULIAN. His plans, schemes, and everything he devised?? I. WAS. AWED.
  • We got to see Magnus and Alec’s kids! WE GOT THEM FAM. I don’t need anything else!
  • MARK BLACKTHORN. That cinnamon roll ❤ Whyyy was he so cute and charming and the BEST EVER.
  • I started REALLY LOVING Kit Herondale in this book. Obviously, we got to see way more of him in this book and YAS I LIKE. My favourite was interactions between him and Ty.
  • And of course, we’re not done talking about everything PRECIOUS in this book without talking about..
  • TY BLACKTHORN. I would totally claim him if I wasn’t shipping him with Kit so much. HE IS SUCH A CUTIE PATOOTIE I WANT HIM. I absolutely loved reading all of his parts.
  • Also, #hellyes to proper autism representation.

This book left me in pieces by the end. All the highs, lows, twists and everything… and then we get THAT ending. Whoa. Name me speechless.

 

[4] Leo by Mia Sheridan

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I don’t think I’ve mentioned a romance book until now. I usually review all the romance books that I love. I probably COULD review this one as well but.. I just don’t feel like.

Have you ever read a book and not wanted to talk about it so that no one will argue or say something against it? That’s me with this book. If I go on Goodreads and see the reviews, I probably would find a few reviews that would change my view-point. Even if I read the book again critically and I made observations, I might not like it that much. But I DON’T WANT TO.

It’s not very special but this book left me feeling so good in the end. Leo was my first Mia Sheridan book, and one of the first adult romances I read and I simply don’t want to ruin that feel I got. I am sentimental about this book, and I don’t deny it. I don’t know why I’m so reserved on it, but I am.

Here’s what the book is basically about:

  • Evie and Leo met in foster care when they were kids, and they connected immediately. They fell in love and made promises about always being together against the world, as you do.
  • But then, Leo gets adopted in their teens and they’re ripped apart. For all the new promises made about writing letters, calling and keeping in touch regularly, Evie never got contacted by Leo again.
  • Years later, a stranger named Jake appears and claims to be Leo’s friend. He says that on his deathbed, Leo made Jake promise to check up on Evie.
  • Cue sexy attraction and love. Also slight suspicion because why did Leo never call???

There was a twist in the end, and I figured it out a couple chapters in advance but OH MY GOSH. I really liked the story, okay?? okay. That’s it.

 

[5] Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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I read this book for the first time in my early teens. That was before I knew Goodreads and the internet book community. I simply saw it in the library and picked it up. It remains to be one of my all-time favourite books. Until now, I’ve reread the book and watched the movie multiple times. In fact, this was the first book-to-screen adaptation I’d seen, and the one which made me believe that books are always better than the movie.

The charm of the book wasn’t there in the movie. Even though this book is actually small, there was SO much cut out in the movie that it could as well be a different story. I quite hated the movie. There was HARDLY ANY RESEMBLANCE.

  • The book is about Ella who, as a baby, was given the “gift” of obedience. Whatever someone tells her to do, she HAS to do it, or she doesn’t feel well.
  • This fact is kept secret, though. Only her she, her mother, and another person know.
  • Her life becomes even more hellish when her other dies and a step-mother and two stepsisters are added into the mix.
  • One day, in the cemetery, she meets the young Prince and they become friends.
  • Ella is sent to a boarding school (for young girls) and we get those shenanigans.
  • Also, there’s this really nice friend Ella makes.
  • What I loved most was how the book wasn’t about ONE thing. It wasn’t only about the curse, or the Prince. It was them plus her determination to not let the curse stop her from anything and how she went on to live her life.
  • There is a moral in this story disguised under curses, fairies and ogres. It’s that nothing can stop you if you have the determination to push through it.

I think this is the perfect book for kids and pre-teens. Maybe older peeps might not love it as much, but since I’m already in love with it, I don’t mind reading it even now.

 

 

Aand I think I’ve written mini-reviews for all of these. This post has become longer than the last one I wrote! So I’m gonna quickly stop now and enjoy some freedom from exams (by reading books, of course). Adios, peeps!

 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Are there any books that you have LOVED but haven’t reviewed? What are your all-time favourite books? Let me know in the comments!

 

Present perfect || short review because I can’t be bothered for more — July 22, 2017

Present perfect || short review because I can’t be bothered for more

22887477Title: Present perfect

Author: Alison G. Bailey

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Status: first book of the Perfect series but can be read as Standalone

Goodreads || Amazon || book depository


Synopsis:

“I’ve been unsure about many things in my life except for one thing, that I have always loved him. Every single minute of every single day that I have been on this earth, my heart has belonged to him. It has never been a question, never a doubt. The love had taken on many different forms over the years, but it had always been a constant.

Everyone has their definition of love. There have been countless songs sung about it. A gazillion books, articles, and poems written about it. There are experts on love who will tell you how to get it, keep it, and get over it.

We’re led to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it and put in front of it that makes it difficult. If you’re smart, you’ll realize this before it’s too late and simplify.”

—————————————————–

Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn’t allow herself to have him.
Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them…but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend? Present Perfect is a story of how past events have present consequences and how perfect your present could be if you stopped fighting and just allowed it to happen.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I ALMOST DNF-ed this book at 70 pages in. It was ENDLESS drama of the guy declaring love, the girl having an inner monologue of “tell him you love him too!” but actually replying “no I can’t do this, I just want to remain friends”.

Can we just NOT have such story arcs anymore please? It gets on my bloody nerves!

I don’t know why I stuck through it, and I have only mild consolation for it. The redeeming quality which made me give it 2.5 and not lesser was the ending (by when I was literally flipping pages without reading much just so I could finish it), and also a side character whom I ADORED. And also the male MC but I got tired of him being too darn patient by the end.

There were also many MANY issues thrown in which weren’t all dealt with completely. Some were given proper attention but there was this one issue which, I felt, was just there for it’s presence and to show that it was represented. No dealing with that issue, no repercussions, NADA. That left me very unsettled.

Overall

Not a book I’d recommend easily. If you want the constant repetition of the same dialogues and situations for MOST of the book, and wouldn’t mind a very irritating lead, go ahead.

two-and-a-half-stars

Touch & Go || ’twas a touch-and-go — July 20, 2017

Touch & Go || ’twas a touch-and-go

22471033Title: Touch & Go

Author: Mira Lyn Kelly

Genre: NA contemporary romance

Status: Second book of the Dare to love trilogy, but can be read as standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Vivacious and successful, Ava Meyers is living her dream life, except for one thing: Ever since childhood, she’s been in love with her best friend . . . and she’s never admitted it. Back then, Sam Farrow was a damaged young man with a tough past. Now he’s supremely confident, super-sexy, and totally untouchable—until the night when Sam pretends to be Ava’s boyfriend to save her from some unwanted attention. In a moment of weakness, Ava finds out that a long friendship is no match for blistering sexual chemistry.

After years of denying his own feelings, Sam finds that one amazing night with Ava isn’t enough to chase away all the pent-up fantasies. So he proposes they spend a few weeks driving each other wild, exhausting their every desire, and then return to their perfect platonic relationship like nothing ever happened. But Sam’s plan has one fatal flaw: the part where they give each other up. Because the more they let go of their inhibitions, the more they’re tempted to never go back.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Read my review of the first book of this trilogy, Truth and Dare, here.

I found this book through “books-like-this” lists on Goodreads, and since I really like best-friends-to-lovers stories, this was right up my alley! I had such high expectations because it sounded SO GOOD in the synopsis. I literally read through the first book in HOURS so I could get to this in time.

But?

I was really disappointed. I finished this in a few hours as well but it was mostly because I expected something great to happen or for it to have a really pretty ending. I did get a HEA, but I wasn’t happy? Why? Why why oh why? I believe I have found another one of the very few best-friends-to-lovers books I did NOT like.

What was actually in the book?

We have Ava and Sam—best of friends and utterly perfect together. Why are they not dating? Some stupid reasons. Which make up the book.

Ava is completely in love with Sam. Sam is the guy who goes through one-nighters like they’re nothing. And she stays his best friend. Because of more stupid reasons (or maybe the same? I don’t care?).

In my review of Truth and Dare, I mentioned that it was very refreshing to read a romance book without dark and depressing pasts. Well, we get that in this book through Sam. I wasn’t happy. Honestly, the whole plot just didn’t call out to me when I actually read the book.

Especially the ending! What was that!! I hated that make-up scene where they FINALLY get together! Oh my gosh. Just, no.

Did I at least like the characters?

  • Ana: not really. I quite liked her before but she failed to charm me in this book. Shame.
  • Sam: I kinda liked him but not as much as I expected I would. (If you ask me to pick, Tyler from the previous book, no doubts)
  • The friends were pretty much the same as in the last book so I’m not gonna bother with that. They were fine. I liked reading further about Maggie and Tyler.

Do I want to talk about the romance?

Thanks for asking! I don’t, in fact.

Short story: I didn’t like it.

So overall..

The whole book felt like a disappointment and I’m sad over it. True to it’s title, it was touch and go for me. Maybe if you went in without expectations it’ll be good? I don’t know?

two-and-a-half-stars

5 books I loved but haven’t reviewed (warning: LOTS of fangirling and all caps sentences) — July 18, 2017

5 books I loved but haven’t reviewed (warning: LOTS of fangirling and all caps sentences)

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Hey y’all! I just got done with my first lab final (which was yesterday) and I felt the inspiration to blog. Only, what to blog, is the question.

Since the peeps over at The Broke and The Bookish have gone on hiatus for their Top Ten Tuesday meme, I have to actually think myself on what to blog?? I only started doing TTTs for a short while now, but it’s great, and so fun to blog about! Therefore, since I’m new, there are YEARS of TTT memes I haven’t done yet. I picked this topic for today.

Fact: this post was actually to contain TEN books, as per the TTT norm. But after I wrote about 5 books, I realised this had turned into a big enough post and stopped. #sorrynotsorry? 

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I DON’T review every book I read, and therefore there are a lot of books I haven’t reviewed. Somehow, I tend to not review quite a few of my faves, simply because I don’t know WHAT TO SAY. HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO PUT ALL THESE FEELINGS INTO COHERENT SENTENCES, PERSON? HOW? THERE ARE TOO MANY FEELS. *true life crisis, right there*

 

[1] Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Seriously though. How do people review this book? (If you have, how, you genius person?)

Here’s a list of everything I had feels over (i.e. reasons why I couldn’t write the review)

  • Cath. I mean, come on. She’s basically me. I related SO BLOOMIN’ MUCH that I simply COULD NOT put her awesomeness, nerdiness, kind sister-ness (I just made up a word because I’m still not coherent enough to write about this book, FORGIVE ME), and fangirl-ness (there you, I made another word).
  • Levi. I MEAN—how. Levi was/is/always will be the guy of my dreams. He doesn’t read? No problem! LISTEN TO ME RANT ABOUT BOOKS. Plus, he didn’t care about Cath’s twin (even though she’s way hotter, apparently). He LOVES CATH. HE WAS PERFECT FOR HER.

(Honestly, though. I wouldn’t mind a guy who doesn’t read books. I wouldn’t have to worry about spoiling him about everything. All I want is someone to rant to about books. Thanks.)

  • Cath’s fam. I loved that her family and all those issues were brought in as well. I would have been SERIOUSLY PUT OFF if there was no family shown. But there was actually a lot of it, and it felt so real, okay? Okay.
  • I’ll stop here, otherwise this will become an actual review.

Gotta say, though, there was ONE tiny little thing I didn’t like about the book. Simon Snow. Cath’s fandom. We were given tiny snippets in between and I could make out neither head nor tail of it? I don’t think they were in order, either? I was one really confused little pumpkin. Plus, the snippet/story in the end? I understood it, but a friend who read the book on my recommendation didn’t. I think she was confused about the whole book, actually. #different_people_different_views

Also, when the author wrote a book on Simon Snow (fandom in this book), I read and LOVED it. It was like reading fanfiction, in book form. 💙

 

[2] Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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Aah we get to this book. *rubs hands together in preparation*

Note: this is book 3 of the Throne of Glass series in case any of y’all didn’t know.

After that BOMBSHELL of a reveal in the end of Crown of Midnight, I could NOT WAIT to get to this book. And boy, was this book the BEST EVER.

Why was this book so great?

  • WE FOUND ROWAN.
  • We get to see Fae, finally. And it’s very exciting.
  • We get a lot of Rowan. THAT MAKES ME HAPPY.
  • ROWAELIN and ALL THE ROMANCE OMG.
  • I cannot tell you how much I love this book because of the huuge parts with Rowan and Aelin. I LOVED seeing their relationship grow from hate/detest to friendship to something more.
  • I was struggling to choose between Dorian and Chaol with Aelin, and then we get Rowan and I threw the other ships out the window. NO THENKS BYE.
  • Also, we get to see Maeve. Gotta say, I enjoy reading about bitchy villain characters. Mostly, I like bitching about them, and Maeve gave me that. (I’m hoping she’s, at least, put to her place by Aelin and crew in the following books)
  • Aelin’s PTSD, depression and sad feelings were fianlly shown in this book. I felt the first two books quite unrealistic because even after going through so much, Aelin seemed fine?? Um, excuse me, whut? But there’s actual dealing with and recovery in this book, and I love that.

I almost picked Queen of Shadows (book 4) to talk about instead, but I enjoyed HoF way more. QoS had a few characters acting like dumb-heads and I was NOT amused.

 

 

[3] Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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This book contains:

  • GEEKS
  • SupaCon (which is like ComicCon so I. AM. SOLD.)
  • YOUTUBERS. This has got to be the first book I have read which has YouTubers in it. Like, yes, show me more about their lives. Show me behind-the-scenes. Yes.
  • LGBTQA+ representation. #hellyes Also, THE ROMANCE IS SO CUTE AND ADORBS I CAN’T EVEN. (I ship them so hard, you don’t know the half of it)
  • BRILLIANT autism rep. THANK YOU FOR THAT. YES I WANT MORE. (but there isn’t more so I have a few measly tears)
  • TWO CUTE ROMANCES?! We get not ONE dream adorable romance but TWO. I do not have enough feels-capacity. I need to go borrow a friend for this. (“borrow a friend”?? What am I even speaking.)

Are you glad I haven’t written the review? Because I’m pretty sure half the review would contain caps. And you won’t be able to read normal-sized sentences anymore because what are those puny lil letters nah they’re not important. #truelifeissues

 

 

[4] Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Okay so, I’m getting real. I didn’t like the first book much. I didn’t like the second book much either. But I LOVED THE THIRD BOOK SO MUCH I COULD GO TO HELL FOR IT. #nolie

Why do I love this book so much?

  • BECAUSE WARNER. (I don’t want to give away spoilers by saying his first name but I really want to *sobs*)
  • _____ WARNER IS THE BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO ME. (I put the spaces because I called him by his full name in my head and it feels so mundane when I simple say Warner) (I need better life issues)
  • I WANT HIM.
  • Also, Juliette and Warner and all the feels and smut and love and EVERY. SINGLE. THING.
  • Oh, and I cannot forget Juliette’s best friend Kenji. I loved him for two books and liked Warner but then the third book finally showed Warner properly and I rearranged my priorities. (I need better priorities as well)
  • Warner jealous is MY FAVOURITE THING EVER.
  • Warner as a lover is also my favourite thing ever.
  • WARNER IS ALSO MY BAE

(Someone tell me where I can go get a life) (but the fictional life is SO FUN)

 

[5] Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

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In all honesty, I DID plan on writing a review on the book. I had notes and everything in app. BUT, the thought of putting it all into proper words and sentences and order it in a review… I kept procrastinating until it was too late and I just abandoned it.

So what I liked about the book:

  • It’s PLOT
  • The ROMANCE. HI I WANT THAT STORY. I WANT THAT ADORBS STUFF. I WANT THAT FALLING IN LOVE STUFF.
  • Yes, it DOES have a love triangle (which I was also slightly miffed about because WHY)
  • But then.. I started shipping both the pairings?
  • I am supposed to choose between a perfect Prince (who is also a lil rebellious and miffed that some girl had enough guts to leave him standing at the altar when he didn’t have the guts to do the same) and a badass assassin (who wants to kill her and has a secret agenda but then falls in love with her)???
  • Also, did I mention the prince and the assassin become BESTIES?? UM HELLO WHAT IS GOING ON HERE I NEED TO CHOOSE BUT I CAN’T—aargh!
  • But of course there’s also a plot with ancient prophecies and ancestors and hidden stories and whatnot.

Granted, I did not like the MC much but gotta say, she’s got balls to run away like she did.

 

 

Aand I’ve talked in caps enough for today? Ya think? I’ve got another final in two days and I’m gonna go study for that. Ciao, peeps!

 

Are you a book blogger as well? Have you gone through this crisis of to review/to not review? Did you manage to push through and write, or are you like me and avoid it altogether? What are some of YOUR favourite books that, if asked to, you wouldn’t be able to write coherent reviews for? Let me know in the comments!

A year of bullet journalling (a lowdown of everything in my bujo) — July 15, 2017

A year of bullet journalling (a lowdown of everything in my bujo)

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Hey everyone!

It’s been over a YEAR since I started bullet journalling, and I didn’t even realise until a couple weeks back when I was looking through an old bullet journal for some information. Then, I started thinking about any changes it has made in my lifestyle, and how my spreads have evolved. That’s exactly what I’m here to share with y’all (in quite some detail) today.

 

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I got introduced to bullet journals by Boho Berry on YouTube, and I pretty much loved everything she did and tried to copy a lot of her spreads. One thing which wasn’t working for me, as I very quickly realised, was the daily time header. It’s basically a visual representation of where your time is going/has gone on a particular day. I am not someone who has any time-restricted work, therefore most of the tasks I do are either spontaneous or depending on my mood. Therefore, scheduling my time in advance using this time header did NOT work. After that, I tried logging my time at the end of the day, like a tracker to see where my time has gone. I ended up being too lazy to sit and colour, basically, and I didn’t find it very useful. So I stopped doing it after about a week.

Whether it did or not, I ended up REALLY loving planning and making spreads. Being someone who always loves planning, this fed my planner tendencies to a great extent. Especially since the whole planner is made by me, I didn’t find any restriction like I found when I had once tried keeping a regular planner. Plus, the bullet journal is also flexible for creativeness, so I absolutely loved it. I didn’t even think about whether to continue bullet journalling. I bought a new notebook and set up for July quite early.

You can see my complete June bullet journal flip-through here.

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July was the month when I tried everything out. And by that, I mean spreads, headers, mild lettering etc. As for the monthly and daily pages, I kept constant to what was working for me in June. Although, because of the random pattern tryouts and such, the spreads turned out quite mismatched, and now that I’m appreciating themes and colour schemes, the spreads look quite cringey to me.

Since most of this month was also vacation time for me, the majority “work” I had was related to this blog. About 50% of my tasks were blog-related and I kind of loved having a planner to keep my blog sorted. This was also when I was getting prepared for college and the busy schedule which would obviously come with. Therefore, I spent quite a while scheduling posts in advance etc. Having a bullet journal to volley ideas, plan publishing dates etc helped a lot.

Here’s my July bullet journal flipthrough.

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College had begun and I was right, I became almost swamped. This resulted in me thanking myself for scheduling posts for August and doing extensive planning in advance for September (for the blog). Being so busy and cutting back on the number of blog posts also meant I didn’t have time to upload an August bullet journal flip-through, even though I’m quite proud of how my spreads turned out.

I started using a calendar layout in August, and found that this suited to my requirements way better. I also got my first washi tape that month! Way easier for aesthetic purposes.

I thinking I could do a flipthrough of August 2016 spreads now, when I have the time. (What do you think? Would you be interested in seeing my old spreads? Let me know in the comments.)

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I didn’t do any major changes or try new things in September, I pretty much kept to the same as it was a perfect combination of minimalistic, colourful and productive spreads. To be honest, I also didn’t find the time to think about any new things as I was still getting used to the new hectic schedule. August and September were the months when I started writing my blog posts in notebooks/bullet journal when inspiration struck and later typing it up on Sundays. Again, I didn’t do a flipthrough for this month on the blog.

This was when the fact that planning takes up some time hit me. I even made a blog post on it later.

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I finally got a few days off from college this month, and I threw all of my free time into planning in advance for the blog in preparation for my finals, during which I did not plan to blog at all.

In the last weeks of October, I didn’t see the point in making dailies as I didn’t have very much to do every single day, therefore I only made weeklies. Since the everyday section in my weeklies were big enough, it worked pretty well and I saved time by not making daily spreads.

I also tried keeping a section in the weeklies to track expenses but stopped doing it after two weeks since I didn’t require it much. I also didn’t like how the spread looked with that section.

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November was more of exams than anything else. I mostly kept weeklies only and didn’t do any new things.

Literally, as I go through the pages, there’s almost only tasks about studying and exams, with a teeny bit on the blog and personal life. That month was busy busy busy for me.

I also did a post with tips on bullet journalling for people with busy lives after having such a schedule.

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This month’s section was short, as well, in my bullet journal. I did try something new with the monthly tracker, though, taking inspiration from an account on Instagram.

You can see my December bullet journal flip-through here.

By the end of this month, my notebook ran out of pages. I was so glad the timing matched with the new year! There is just something more FRESH about starting new with the new year’s.

 

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My first semester was over, and I had my semester break in Jan. Therefore I had more elaborate and decorative spread this month. I bought a new notebook online which I have reviewed in this blog post.

This month, I tried out having a Gratitude log. I kept it flexible, without dates, so I could write whenever I want and how much ever I wanted without being restricted on space for everyday. I also bought more washi tape and used it quite a lot. I stopped making weekly spread half-through the month as I didn’t require them.

Since the month was basically vacation, I had a lot of free time and filled my bullet journal with loads of things. January takes over about 60 pages in the notebook!

Here’s the flipthrough of January.

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My college started up again a little into that month, but since I had already been through one semester, I was handling the schedules MUCH better. Until February, the main contribution of my bullet journal was towards planning for the blog and also kind of being a diary. Only in semester 2 had I started using it more for assignments and keeping track of college work. I pretty much free-lanced through the first semester with my memory for all of that, but mostly because I only saw my bullet journal at the END of the day, hence making it useless for evolving tasks.

I continued having a gratitude page this month, and tried my hand at themed spreads a couple times. There isn’t much new in February except one thing. I got inspiration to write towards the end of the month. But this was more like two-sentences writing which pop into my head at random times throughout the day. Whenever I got one in my head, I wrote it down in the empty spaces throughout February’s spreads. Essentially turning it into a garbled mess and ruining the aesthetic. But I don’t regret it.

By this time, I had gotten pretty used to having a planner and loved it. It held everything I needed—blog things, college, personal events, some journalling here and there, all the information I might need on a later date and basically a log of my life.

You can see all of my spreads of February here.

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Throughout the time I’ve been bullet journalling, my favourite spread is the tracker. Also known as habit tracker.

I kind of got bored with the traditional tracker, and therefore went in with something new.

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I took this image a few days into the month. The spread took quite a while to set it up but I love the outcome.

There is so much planning on improving blog posts and new ideas in my March spreads. The only other different thing is the French. I decided to download an app and learn French, simply because I was bored and wanted to learn something new. I wrote down a lot of French words and meaning etc.

Towards the end of the month, I had my internal exams and became busy with those and some other stuff so I stopped bullet journalling for the most part. I only kept up with the tracker.

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April was a bit hectic for me, with too-near tests and other college-related events. April spans over only 10 spreads in my bullet journal, and that is counting the miscellaneous lists I wrote. I wrote programming codes and ideas in between here and there, and only that increases the overall count for April. And honestly, I don’t even like my April spreads. The only reason they look sort of nice is because I brush lettered the headings on the days I actually used the bullet journal.

I went back to using the the normal habit tracker, too. I did not have the time to sit down and carefully set up the tracker like in March.

This was when I decided to go on a blogging hiatus. Because I was so darn busy and wanted some time off. Bullet journalling and/or planning DOES take up time. I decided to simply go with my memory since there wasn’t much to remember a lot of the month.

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I made some effort with the monthly spreads in May, and I tried to keep them all in one theme. I had chosen the colour green for the spreads. I also tried out keeping a mood tracker and expense tracker this month. The mood tracker didn’t work out so well. I wasn’t happy having it and didn’t feel the use. The expense tracker, though, finally worked out! I had been wanting to track my expenses for a long time and I got down to in that month with determination.

I also changed the monthly spread to use because I didn’t require a two-page spread anymore, as I had only few events going on.

See the may bullet journal flipthrough here.

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I tried a different habit tracker this month, and it worked out so well! It’s somewhat like what I used in March, but easier to set up and gave a much better visual, for my preferences.

My notebook was coming to an end, and I stupidly used quite some pages writing down a blog post instead of writing it in another book. I didn’t want to break into a new notebook in the middle of a month, and therefore I managed by using sticky notes. I simply stuck sticky notes over the pages where I wrote the blog post, and used one sticky note each day (my days weren’t very eventful). I managed to complete June in the notebook, and I was really glad.

See my June bullet journal setup here.

I tend to use one notebook for six months, I’ve noticed now.

 

Overall

I love using a bullet journal, and it has become a part of my daily life now. My bullet journal contains everything I need in one place. It’s also perfect for me since I don’t like pre-made planners and virtual planners. The bullet journal is so flexible to what you need—you can change everything depending on which stage you are in life and your unique requirements.

I have been so much more productive and on time this past year because of using my bullet journal, and I’ve also made many improvements by noticing my lifestyle through the trackers.

I wholeheartedly recommend using a bullet journal to everyone. At least try. It might just make your days much more productive.

 

Do you use a bullet journal? If so, then how long have you been using it? Do you plan any other way? Or do you not plan at all, and just wing it? Is there anything on which you’d like me to do a blog post? I’d love to know! I just might. Also, do let me know if you’d be interested in seeing flipthroughs of the months I haven’t published in the past year. And if you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments!

Truth or Dare || yess gimme MCs with such camaraderie please — July 13, 2017

Truth or Dare || yess gimme MCs with such camaraderie please

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Title: Truth or Dare

Author: Mira Lyn Kelly

Genre: NA contemporary romance

Status: First book of the Dare to Love trilogy, but can be read as standalone

Goodreads || Amazon 


Synopsis:

In a deliciously sexy twist on the classic game, Mira Lyn Kelly proves that when playing truth or dare—always choose dare.

After her one attempt at commitment ends with the discovery that her fiancé already has a wife and kid, Maggie Lawson vows that the only people she’ll love ’til death do they part will be her friends. Unfortunately that means Maggie letting her bestie rope her into a year-long dating dare: score a new date each month or pay a penalty. Seems doable—until Maggie’s date stands her up, leaving only one option: the sexy stud who just moved in upstairs. The problem? He and Maggie can’t stop fighting—and that’s just the beginning.

His name is Tyler Daniels and the last thing he needs is his neighbor distracting him with her girl-next-door smile and sharp tongue. Tyler’s in Chicago for one reason: to woo back his selfish ex in order to reclaim the child he once thought was his—and that means keeping Maggie out of his bed. A tall order, since Maggie has become a bigger temptation than he ever expected to face. But before they can even consider leaving the past behind, Maggie and Tyler must accept a brand-new dare: real, forever love.

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I was searching for books like Darker Water when I came across Touch and Go, which is the second book of this series and I really liked the premise! But even though it could be read as a standalone, I wanted to read this one first and I’m so glad I did!

The Plot

After a very disastrous mistake is very nearly averted, Maggie doesn’t want to jump into commitments anytime soon. But her best friend wants to put herself out there and convinces Maggie to make a pact with her—to go out with one person every single month for a year, in hopes of finding their “one”.

Right about the same time, Tyler moves into the same building a floor above Maggie’s and they get off to a wrong start, leading to them referring to each other as “Apartment Two” (Maggie) and “Apartment Three” (Tyler). There’s tiny tension, quite a bit of banter and trash talk between them. Then, a jilted date of Maggie’s and Tyler being at the appropriate place and offering himself up to be her date of the month leads to so much more.

What I loved most was the pace of their relationship. The book spans over a YEAR and through that, slowly slowly, Tyler and Maggie get together. They went from arguing neighbours to reluctant friends to lovers and I. LOVED. IT.

The Characters

Maggie was so EASY TO LIKE. And even though there wasn’t something very special about her, I loved her character and she felt new and different. Also, this isn’t a “heavy dark past” book so her issues weren’t the norm, which I see in so many NA books now.

Tyler was a CUTIE-PATOOTIE. His issue in the book was COMPLETELY NEW. I have never read about such a character or issue and I FELL. IN. LOVE. with him. He was perfect. I want him. I ranted to my best friend in those short minutes when I took a break from reading that I want him and how he’s perfect.

The group of friends was #goals. I loved all of them and how they gelled together. PERFECTO.

The Romance

I said it before, and it’s worth saying twice, the pace of the relationship was what I wanted. Too many books with too-soon falling-in-love time period have made me think more critically that the first thing I look for in a book is the relationship growth.

Maggie and Tyler were also really cute with their trash talk banter, having fun insulting each other and stuff. THEY. SO. ADORBS. I SHIP IT.

Overall

Really good book. I finished it in a few hours (partly because I couldn’t wait for the second book which I started an hour after finishing this one). Definitely recommended for those who want friends-to-lovers, really good and light read, and a book that doesn’t rip your heart into pieces with too much sadness.

five-stars