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HELLO!

Here you have a blog made in the beginning 2016. It was to be a book blog initially but now there are posts about bullet journalling, music, blogging tips, lifestyle and more.

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

NOTE: this blog was previously called light up the shining night stars

 

The Belles || what a brilliant concept

the bellesTitle: The Belles

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Genre: Fantasy

Category: Young Adult

Status: Book 1 of The Belles

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Okay so WOW. I don’t know what I expected going into the book but I did not expect THIS.

I’ve seen the hype about this book around and since I prefer reading a book when it’s NOT totally hyped up, I waited a while before picking it up. And I loved it.

The Plot

In this world, everything revolves around beauty. There are “Belles” who control beauty—as in, they can literally change the features of a person and make them look different. More beautiful. The process does cause some pain for the person being transformed and depletes the energy of the Belles, but it’s the main thing. The laws and trends are more around beauty than anything else.

We follow Camellia Beauregard as she is shown to the public and competes to be the best Belle, who will serve the royal family.

But the world is not as innocent as it seems, even for the Belles. As she continues to work, she uncovers secrets that the kingdom has tried to keep from the Belles and also about the royal family. She learns more about where she comes from and who she is supposed to be. It all conflicts with who she WANTS to be and wants to believe in.

The Characters

Camilla is headstrong, competitive and tries to stand out from her sisters. I liked how she kept trying to figure out what’s going on, try to get answers and go against the ignorant path that has been laid out for her. She also has really good bonds with her sisters.

The royal family were written PERFECTLY. Especially the younger princess, who is cruel and makes everyone around her revolve around what she wants, including the Belle. The queen is slightly better but not much.

The supporting characters were pretty good but other than the Belles, the princess and Camilla’s love interest, the others aren’t that important. And to be honest, I didn’t feel the love interest to be that important as well because the main plot is the secrets.

The World Building

ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. The description given about the world and the Belles in the beginning was so good! I fell in love with the world.

Throughout the novel we find out more and more about the world. We see taglines about beauty laws and regulation, beauty trends and much more. While I do feel like we don’t know everything about the world, it isn’t easy to cover more AND focus on the plot.

Overall

The whole concept of a world revolving around beauty in a higher scale is BRILLIANT. The author has taken the current underlying things about beauty and kicked it into high gear, forming a whole new world with it. Totally recommended if you want to read a whole new type of fantasy!

four-stars

The Name of the Wind // magic, mystery and epic fantasy

the name of the wind.jpgTitle: The Name of the Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Genre: Fantasy

Category: Young Adult

Status: Book 1 of The Kingkiller Chronicles

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

My best friend DJ had been persuading me for A YEAR to read this book because it’s his favourite. The thing is, it never seemed like something I would like and my TBR is filled with books I’d prefer to read more. Finally he lent me his copy and because I have a paperback copy, I read it.

The Plot

We read the story of Kote, who is currently living as an innkeeper in a small unpopular town, but he is actually much more. “Kvothe” is the most known person in the kingdom, with pretty much everyone knowing of his heroic tales.

A storykeeper finally finds him and gets him to tell his story. So begins Kvothe’s narration of his life. It’s a VERY eventful life.

I’ll admit, it seemed interesting in the beginning but on the whole I’m not a fan. I don’t really like books where the plot is mostly told in flashbacks. Not only that, this book also tells the flashback stories in ORDER. Which means I read the story of Kvothe from when he was a kid to his late teens.

IMG_20180324_211235_645

The Characters

To be honest, only Kvothe really matters. There’s his friend in the current day and also his first love back when he was in University, but I didn’t find them that important.

I liked Kvothe. He is determined to learn and get ahead, find the people who killed his family and rest of the caravan when he was a young boy and get revenge. But it’s a LONG road.

BUT. I wasn’t very interested in him. He’s nice but I wouldn’t go out of my way to say that he’s a really good character.

Overall

I’ll admit, I didn’t get attached to the book and I’m disappointed because DJ has been singing praises ever since he found out that I read books. I just didn’t get the urge to pick up the book and continue reading or to read it all night. It was okay.

I haven’t read the second book in the series yet and I’m not sure I’ll be reading anytime soon. Not only because of the hundred other books in my TBR, but also since I’m currently in a book slump.

three-and-a-half-stars

Favourite songs of the month

The K drama obsession has taken over my playlist as well. This month I’ve been almost completely listening to Korean songs and it’s all from the shows I’ve watched.

I’ve binged 4 K dramas completely and I’ve got over 40 Korean songs in my playlist now. There are quite a few I want to mention in this post so let’s get started.

Best Luck by Chen (EXO)

Lucid Dream by Monogram

Maze by Kim Nayoung

In The Illusion by INKII ft. Basick

Come to me by Lee Jong-suk

 

And that’s it for April! I had to narrow it down a LOT to only mention these many. The over 40 songs I have are NOT including Uncontrollably Fond‘s soundtrack, which I haven’t checked out yet.

Which songs did you listen to on repeat in April? Do you already have any favourites in May? Do you listen to Korean songs as well? Let me know below!

 

How I Choose My Books Tag

Because obviously everyone is interested in how I choose books to read.* I saw this tag over at Ash’s blog For The Love Of Books Blog and found it super nice so I decided to do it.

I’ve been reading way more books this year and I’m really happy? I’m making such good progress on my Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year. I’ve also been liking more of the books that I read than before so obviously I need to document how I’m doing this. More for myself to refer back later than anything else.

*let’s pretend that’s true for my sake

Find a book on your bookshelves with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

A court of mist and fury

Because this is one of my most favourite books and I LOVE IT. ACOMAF is bae ❤

Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

me and milo the great

The author reached out to me to review this book and the synopsis was very vague, hence making me think that I won’t like it. I’m really glad I gave it a chance, though! I ended up giving it five stars!

Read my review here.

Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

Sad I have to stand up and go to my shelf for this. I’m sitting on the floor and blogging. (I’m very lazy ok.)

IMG_20180218_222212_630.jpg

I found this book through the book blogging community! I saw it on social media and read a few reviews on it. When I read that it’s about a magical carnival, I was immediately interested. In fact, my tweet about it is actually printed in the UK paperback version! I went and bought the book after it released because I’m in it lol.

Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

My best friend had been trying to get me to read The Name of The Wind for over a YEAR and I finally read it when he lent me his copy. First of all, isn’t this version really pretty??

The name of the wind

I thought it was nice but I wasn’t blown away by it. It’s my best friend’s favourite book and I just didn’t like it that much. I rated it 4/5 stars.

Pick a book up that you discovered through booktube/bookstagram/book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

Truthwitch

NO Truthwitch did NOT live up to the hype. I STILL see hype around it and I don’t understand why. I didn’t like the characters, the plot was simply okay and nothing was explained properly. I don’t even know the concepts properly and I’ve read TWO books of the series. I believed in the hype naively and bought both of the books. My biggest regrets and I since then I don’t buy books based on hype online.

Find a book on your shelves with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

Hmm I already spoke about Caraval and Truthwitch.. let’s go with Legend by Marie Lu.

_20171127_130154

Nothing specifically drew me to this book. Back before I knew the book community online, I used to randomly pick books in the library or just buy some. I read the synopsis for Legend on Amazon after I saw that it was on a discount and immediately ordered the whole trilogy. Now I realise that if I didn’t like it, I would have wasted a lot of money but fortunately I really liked it.

What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I don’t have this one on my shelf as I read it from the library.

I found the movie randomly and ended up REALLY liking it. I only realized about a couple years later that it’s a book and then read it. I like the book better lol.

Think of your all-time favorite book(s). When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine which I randomly picked in the library when I was a pre-teen. I will reread it any day and still love it.
  • The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner was also a random pick at the library. It was my first book in the mystery genre and it was the one that got me into the genre.
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass. I don’t like the other books of the series as much, tbh I hate books 4 and 5, but the first book will always be dear to me. I can reread it dozens of times and still like it. Maxerica forever.

 


Tag! You’re it.

Rebecca @ mylifeasasportsfangirl

Marie @ drizzleandhurricanbooks

Lu @ lureads

 

How do you choose your books? Do you pick them randomly, by recommendation or through reviews/talk on the book community? Which book do you regret picking up because of hype? Which underrated book did you love? Tell me in the comments!

While You Were Sleeping // Kdrama review

I am obsessed. Completely obsessed. I wasn’t really interested in watching Korean dramas before but after a LOT of insistence from my friend (thanks Sabs!) I finally agreed to watch it, and I fell in love with it.

I binged this show in two days and did NOTHING else. I don’t think I could have even if I tried because it completely drew me in and I could not stop watching it.

First of all, I am NOT talking about the movie While You Were Sleeping starring Sandra Bullock, neither is this a Korean adaptation of it. While talking about it to my friends, a few thought I was talking about the movie. So I’m putting this out there.

What is the show all about?

The show mainly stars Nam Hong-joo, Jung Jae-chan and Han Woo-tak who have dreams of the future. It all started with Hong-Joo but later the other two it as well. Throughout the show we see them trying to change the future to a better one.

I got into the show right from the beginning because it starts with Hong-joo dreaming about hugging this guy she’s never seen before, and then he shows up in real life. The first two episodes properly get you into the concept of predicting dreams, changing paths and get you attached to the characters.

What I loved about the story

  • Since Jae-chan is a prosecutor, we follow all of the cases he works on. I absolutely LOVED the mystery and thriller aspect it gave to the show. My favourites of it all were the court scenes. They were so intense that it kept me to the edge of my seat, especially in the last few episodes. I didn’t even move when watching the 31st episode* and I felt like I had to work out to get my limbs loosened up.
  • The relationships in this show were BRILLIANT. I adored Hong-joo’s relationship with her mom right from the start. I also really liked the familial, friendship and work-place dynamics that was shown. Not only did I get invested in the characters individually but I also adored their relationships.
while you were sleeping.png
Source: Dramas with a side of kimchi
  • The small details paid to the characters’ personalities and habits was really interesting to watch. Especially in Lee Yoo-bum, a lawyer who covers up the crimes of his clients.
  • The PERFECT soundtrack. Just listening to the songs after the show ended gets me into that mood. In fact, I’m listening to the soundtrack right now. I’m completely and utterly obsessed with the songs. They were perfect for the scenes and accompanied the emotions really well.
  • There were also MANY funny scenes which made me laugh out loud. The day-to-day weirdness of characters and embarrassing moments made the characters more realistic.
  • It made me cry multiple times. The show gave me so many darn feels that I just could NOT hold out against the feels. Stories that make you cry are THE BEST.
  • Okay so THE ROMANCE WAS HELLA ADORABLE. I loved that it was slow paced. There was relationship growth and cute moments and aww moments and just… the romance was everything. I rooted for the couple right from the start. You can’t not love them.
DramaKimch-While-You-Were-Sleeping-8-2.png
Source: Dramas with a side of kimchi

I also want to mention one scene done towards the end of the show. It showed parallel scenes of two different times and it was done SO BLOODY WELL.

*there are 32 episodes totally

The Characters

Nam Hong-joo was a very entertaining character to watch. The character played by Suzy is pretty weird, especially in the beginning, which made her endearing. But as the show goes on we see how she tries to change the bad future which she reads, how she tries to keep her morale up when she’s down and how she pushes through the bad dreams.

while you were sleeping hong joo.jpg
Source: Soompi

While I really like Hong-joo, watching Jung Jae-Chan was the highlight of the show. Lee Jong-suk plays this character SO DAMN WELL that I was blown off by it. Jae-chan is silly, foolish at times and also quite slow in doing his work but he’s determined to bring justice, dig until he finds the truth and is VERY supportive of everyone. I especially loved watching him as a prosecutor at court. He’s really adorable and I might have a slight crush. Just slightly.

while you were sleeping jung jae-chan.jpg
Source: Pinterest

Now, ALLOW ME TO TALK ABOUT MY BAE. Han Woo-tak was the cutest. We don’t immediately recognize him as a main character but he becomes important pretty soon and I just LOVED watching him. There are many layers to his character which we see as the show goes on, and all of it just made me love him more. During the last few episodes every time he came on screen I made a heart and said “bae”. That’s how much I like him. Jung Hae-in played him superbly.

while you were sleeping woo tak
Source: Dramabeans

Now let’s move on to the other really important character who is played by Lee Sang-yeob. Lee Yoo-bum is “the bad guy”. I didn’t like him as a person but I loved his character and the depth to it. Throughout the show we watch him playing on the other side of the law against our main three, being cocky and confident.

As I said before, I loved the tiny details to his character like him rolling bits of paper when he’s thinking, putting aside his watch when consulting with a paying client and scrubbing his hands with soap vigorously when he’s afraid.

while you were sleeping lee yoo bum
Source: Dramabeans

As for the recurring characters, they were played really well as well. I could go on and on talking about the characters of the show but then you’d here all day reading this post.

My favourite songs from the soundtrack

After that talk above about this show having the PERFECT soundtrack, obviously I have to mention some of the songs which I loved the most. After I finished bingeing the show, for about three weeks I was listening to the soundtrack with my #1 favourite changing every few days. All the songs are amazing but the following are the ones I listened to on repeat sometimes.

The above song is sung by Lee Jong-suk who plays Jung Jae-chan in the show! I actually did not make the connection because I kept calling the actor by the show name and not his real name. But since I watched another show with him in it, I figured I should call him by his real name and only then made the connection. Y’all, this song is SO GOOD.

In fact, Suzy who plays Nam Hong-joo is also a singer and she’s contributed a couple tracks to the show as well.


Discussion (INCLUDES SPOILERS)

If you don’t want to get spoiled, click here to skip to the “overall” concluding section.

Okay so now that I’m done with the spoiler-free part of the review, I really want to talk about a few things.

Especially..

Plot Holes

Here are a few things I wish was spoken about or was elaborated:

  1. Jae-chan’s dad’s death was spoken about a lot but what about his mom? How did she die? We never really saw her except in one flashback scene and they never told how she died.
  2. In episode 10 Hong-joo saved a girl at the university from being badly burned. Just like Woo-tak still felt as if he’d been hit when he didn’t after Jae-chan saved him, she also felt as if she was burned even though she wasn’t. Why didn’t she get any dreams about Hong-joo?
  3. Did Mr. Choi never get any dreams about Jae-chan and Hong-joo in those several years? We all know those two were in a lot of trouble but why didn’t he go to save them any of those times before the fire?
  4. On the same note, why did Jae-chan not get any dreams during those 13 years before he met Hong-joo again? How come they started only when they met again?
  5. How did the dreams start for Hong-joo in the first place?
  6. And now for a very important question: why did Jae-chan have blond hair when he was younger??????????? That looked SO BAD. He could have just had black hair!

I’ve been thinking about these ever since I finished the show about three weeks back. Let me know in comments if you have any theories about these!

Also, what about those parallel scenes in episode 31??? The one at the funerals from 13 years back and presently. When Hong-joo and Jae-chan cried. It was done so perfectly just to make us bawl like babies?!

Did anyone else also bawl when Hong-joo cried while Jae-chan was in the hospital room being recovered because I DID. Even though I love Woo-tak and wished that she chose him just so he’ll be happy, Hong-joo and Jae-chan were meant to be. That scene almost killed me. If he had died I wouldn’t have recovered for a long time.

 

Overall

I definitely recommend this show! In fact I’ve already told quite a few of my friends to watch it (let’s hope they do). Because I loved WYWS so much I got into into Kdramas now. Instead of reading books all my free time I’m now binge-watching Kdramas.

Have you watched While You Were Sleeping? If yes, do tell me your theories related to the wonderings I mentioned in the discussion section. If not, have you watched any other Korean dramas? Which did you love the most? Have you seen any other movie/TV show where the characters dream of the future? Let me know everything in the comments!

Crash and Burn || the plot twists are A+

crash and burn.jpgTitle: Crash and Burn

Author: Lisa Gardner

Genre: Mystery

Category: Young Adult (isn’t really categorized so I’m saying according to what I think)

Status: Book 3 of Tessa Leoni but can be read as a standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Sophie Hannah says it’s ‘the perfect thriller’, now read Sunday Times bestseller Lisa’s Gardner’s compulsive and unputdownable thriller CRASH & BURN. A WOMAN, UNABLE TO REMEMBER THE EVENTS OF A CAR ACCIDENT, JUST WANTS TO KNOW WHERE HER DAUGHTER IS…. If you love Karin Slaughterand Tess Gerritsen, you’ll love Lisa Gardner.

My name is Nicky Frank.

I’m in hospital, afraid. All I can think about is Vero. I have to save her but I can’t find her. She’s just a little girl. The man by my bed tells me we’re married and there is no Vero. He says that six months ago I suffered a brain injury, that I have dramatic mood swings and large gaps in my memory. I get angry and I drink. All of which explains the car crash that put me here.

Now a Sergeant Wyatt Foster has questions about the accident. He has concerns about my husband. And he’s worried about a missing girl. He would like to know what happened to me. So would I.

This is my life. Watch me crash and burn.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

The first time I read a Lisa Gardner book was in 7th grade (I think?). I was in the library and I was checking out the mystery/thriller section. I randomly picked The Other Daughter because it drew me. And I LOVED IT. I even wrote a review about it last year or so because it deserves every good review it can get.

So I was in the bookstore and I took this book the second I saw it, no hesitations. I want to read all of her books in time.

Note: I read this book as a standalone without knowing that it’s part of a series and had no problem, so reading in order isn’t required.

The Plot

Right from the beginning, I was drawn into the book.

The book starts with Nicky driving drunk, thinking about saving Vero, and her car overturns. In a situation where any other person would have died, she managed to get herself out of the car and climbed a ravine to get to the road in her very injured state. All for Vero.

Immediately the police start searching for a child named Vero but they find absolsutely no traces of her.

During the investigation, secrets and mysteries pile up and then are removed layer by layer. And let me tell you, there are a LOT of layers.

Is knowing who you aren’t the same as knowing who you are? Is knowing you’re sick of running the same as knowing how to fight?

Is knowing that you’re tired of forgetting the same as knowing how to remember?

The Characters

The book is written in multiple POVs but it’s mostly through Nicky Frank. And we’re taken on a roller coaster ride. I loved how all the characters were written. Each had depth and they all affected the investigation.

The main highlight was, obviously, Nicky. The author wrote her BRILLIANTLY. She was perfect and it couldn’t have been done better.

I can’t say much without spoilers, sadly.

Overall

I finished the book pretty fast considering college the amount of work I had. Once I was done, I couldn’t stop raving about it!

A friend asked me to tell her the story and I spent a whole day in college narrating it to her. SHE GOT SO INTO IT Y’ALL. I told her exactly how the book went and at this one point we were having lunch and I had just stopped at a twist to have a bite and she yelled at me to finish. She was too into it and she said I HAD to finish before class started because she didn’t think she’d be able to survive class peacefully without knowing.

Even my other friends who heard the story in bits got into it. It’s REALLY good. I totally recommend it to everyone.

five-stars

From Lukov With Love || hate-to-love romance

from lukov with love.jpgTitle: From Lukov With Love

Author: Mariana Zapata

Genre: Romance

Category: New Adult

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Note: Chronologically, this book comes after Dear Aaron, which I found out only while reading Dear Aaron but it does not affect reading this book first in any way.

I was cruising the New Adult new release section on Goodreads when I saw this and it drew me because it’s main character is a figure skater. After I saw the movie Ice Princess, I’ve become interested in stories about figure skaters so I immediately got this book.

The Plot

Jasmine has had a hard time in the figure skating world. After a hard lose in a competition that she was sure she’d win, she switched to pairs skating and was ditched by her partner only after a year together.

She’s almost given up hope, breaking her diet and practicing less while taking up more hours of work. Everyone knows that once you reach a certain age, you’ve aged out of figure skating and the only person who’s still going good is Ivan Lukov, the hottie exception and Jas’s arch nemesis.

Jas and Ivan have been trading insults for YEARS and they do NOT get along. So one day when his coach reaches out to her asking her to skate pairs with him, she’s shocked. She wants to flat-out refuse but it may be her only chance back into the game.

The Character

If there’s one thing you’ll learn from Jasmine, it’s to ALWAYS get back up after falling. I’ve begun to associate Jasmine with determination because no matter how many times she’s knocked down—figuratively or literally—she still gets back up and tries again. She’s a sore loser but she’s NOT a quitter. She’s got major flaws, I don’t deny that, but she’s also inspiring and that’s what made me like her.

Ivan Lukov is the perfect match for Jasmine. He’s great at figure skating, popular and is the only person who can keep up with Jas on trash-talking. He’s also understanding and really nice.

But the highlight of the book was Jasmine’s family. I absolutely loved all of them and will defend this statement to death. The siblings quarrel, fight and prank but will defend each other to the end. I absolutely loved all scenes involving the fam, including the really funny group chats. If I had a chance to be a part of that family, I would drop everything for it.

The Romance

Zapata is known for her slow burn romances, which is what I learnt after reading other reviews. Now I attest to that as well.

If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you’d probably know that I HATE insta-love romances and I absolutely love romances that take time and have relationship growth. We have that here.

The romance in this book is slow to progress and I absolutely loved it! The relationship between Jas and Ivan went slowly from hate to less hate to friendship and only then even reached like status.

More than anything, I loved their trash talks and insults. It made me laugh out loud multiple times.

Overall

If you like slow-burn romances, you HAVE to read this. Also if you’re interested in reading about figure skaters, this is for you. It’s been a while since I read the book and writing this review is making me want to reread it now.

five-stars

Anything But Books Tag

If you haven’t noticed yet, I talk a lot about books on this blog. It’s pretty much a book blog even though I don’t want to use that label because I do blog about other things. But yet, books dominate.

And just like book talk dominates this blog, book tags dominate the blogging world. You’re more likely to find really good book tags than tags for other niches. Most of the tags I’ve done are about books. This sad imbalance is the reason I decided to pitch in for the other side with my Music Habits Tag.

I saw this tag over at Bookchanted and I knew I had to do it because 1) it’s a nice tag and 2) it’s nice even though it’s not about books. The second point deserves merit, okay.

1. Name a cartoon you love.

Dude sad. I wish this wasn’t the first question. I don’t really watch cartoons? I don’t really like them? So I have to regretfully leave this part without a proper answer.

2. What is your favourite song right now?

I can’t decide! I binge-watched a couple Korean dramas recently and I’m completely in love with their soundtracks! I’ll mention my top three at the moment:

All three are from the kdrama It’s Okay That’s Love which I watched last. This month’s favourite songs post is going to be filled with Korean songs lol.

3. What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

Blogging! I tend to sit for hours and type up a bunch of blog posts and schedule them instead of writing one blog post at a time. I don’t find the right window of time. Scheduling has made my life so much easier.

4. What’s something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Um.. I feel like I’ve spoken about everything on this blog?? This is almost like a diary of me. That too be “surprised” by? Is it valid if I just talk about my love for cute socks instead?

Oh wait I know! I realized this while writing for the next question. I love to explain memes to people around me. I’ve explained to at least half a dozen friends about what millenial, gen Z etc means. They finally understand a little more when I share memes on my personal Instagram story XD

5. What is your favourite unnecessarily favourite thing to learn about?

MEMES. Everything meme culture. I will google things I don’t understand in memes. And it happens often because I’m not in the American society to understand all of them immediately. For example, the recent video of a kid yodeling at Walmart. I don’t understand why it’s so popular?

But other than that? Random things really.

6. What’s something unusual you know how to do?

Does this have to be something learnt? I can make a wave with both my eyebrows. I’m actually really good at waggling them. Sometimes when a friend makes eye contact with me randomly, I make a wave and MOST of them immediately try to do it themselves, fail, then shoot me a disappointed expression. It doesn’t matter if it has happened before, they still try it. It’s very funny.

7. Name something you made in the last year and show us if you can.

I made more lucky stars for my Instagram? I used to be really artsy and craftsy but ever since year 2 of college has started I’ve been swamped with things ALL the time. During the holidays I just read books to make up for the semester. In fact, the number of books after this semester has started (it’s been two and a half months) is probably 1/10th of how many I read over the three week break.

8. What is your most recent personal project?

TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS. For both Instagram and blog. I think I’ve succeeded for my newest theme (to come out in a few days) on Instagram but I haven’t made much progress for the blog. At this point I’m trying to use my Instagram photos for the blog as well, but I’m not very happy with it.

There’s no time, y’all! I am doing a small project for the college, though. Does that count?

9. Tell us something that you think about often.

The uselessness of this way of life and how almost everyone is depressed. Yes I’m a real downer in real life.

10. Give us something that is your favourite but make it oddly specific.

I like cute socks. I really REALLY like them. I’m in love with them. They’re the highlight of my day most days now. I got my mom to buy me a few pairs of cute socks recently (I had coloured but not printed) and now whenever I need a pick up, I look at my socks.

11. Say the first thing that pops into your mind.

K bro.

This is my signature line and I’m not even sorry 😂


I didn’t really get tagged for this so if you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged!

Do you talk about books significantly more than anything else? Name an oddly specific thing you love. What songs are you loving at the moment? Let me know below!

The Hate U Give || just, wow.

the hate u giveTitle: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Genre: Contemporary

Category: Young Adult

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

If you’ve been in the online book community for even a little while, you’ll know just HOW POPULAR this book is. It was #1 on the NYT Bestseller list for over 50 weeks. And it deserves all the hype.

The Plot

Starr has been living in two worlds—her neighbourhood and the uptown school she goes to. But her life turns upside down when she witnesses her best friend Khalil getting shot by a police officer, without a reason.

Suddenly she has to decide whether to speak up and put herself, and the people close to her, in danger or stay quiet without letting Khalil have justice. Suddenly she’s not so comfortable in her double life.

Right from the start, the book grips you and talks about important things. I never really knew about the discrimination in America until I read THUG. And the ending was superb. The book couldn’t have had a better ending.

The Characters

It was very easy to love the characters. I care about all of them individually.

Starr is relatable and easy to get into. Starr’s family were THE BEST. Her dad is the model father. Her mom is inspiring. Their famaily bonding just warms my heart.

The best part of the characters was the representation, though. And I don’t mean the black rep. I mean how each and every character depicted one type that exist and we saw all of them, and their involvement in the overall picture.

Overall

I’ll be honest, I read the book a long time back. Then I immediately lent it to two people, successively. I couldn’t recommend this book enough. I thought I’d wait to write the review until I got it back, and it’s been a while. Things are a little hazy in my head. But I do remember that I loved it and it deserves all the hype. Hats off to Angie Thomas for writing such a gripping book.

five-stars

10 Books I Loved But Probably Won’t Reread

It’s more likely that if you like a book, you’ll want to reread it at some point later in your life. I go through my day and random things remind me of books, making me want to read them again. But books that I liked but WON’T reread? That’s rare.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read. Now, I know it says WILL never but who knows? One day I might actually brave up to rereading them? I don’t see it happening though.

FYI I rated all of the following books 5/5 stars.

[1] The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

I read this and really liked it because it had a lot of info on things and it was pretty geeky but I also realize that it’s a little far-fetched. I loved it but I’m 99% sure I won’t reread it.

It’s about a computer geek who makes up an app called “The Boyfriend App” for a competition that awards a college scholarship. She desperately needs the funds and jumps on the opportunity. Basically she makes an app that makes a guy fall in love with you when you point your phone at him. Wow, right?

[2] The Partnership by Charlotte Penn Clarke

I read this book for review and really liked it! It’s a really nice New Adult romance set in college that follows two really different people as they help each other overcome something.

What I loved most about the book was that the characters were NOT the usual cliche.

Click here to read my review.

[3] Reason To Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

If I could sum up this trilogy in one word, it would be sad. Right from the start you get that vibe and it stayed with me until the last book. I DEVOURED the books within two days because I just HAD to know what was next.

This book should come with a proper list of trigger warnings because there are a LOT of things that could be triggering. One thing that is prominent is abuse. Emma is hurt by her guardian quite often and she’s not treated well at home.

I wouldn’t mind rereading it but I don’t think I can go through all that heartbreak again and I would just rather not.

[4] The Gravity Of Us by Brittainy C. Cherry

After reading the book, I could NOT stop singing praises about it. It brought together two complete opposites in a slow burn love story that takes time to build up. I loved the pacing and the pairing.

Saying that, I don’t think it’s a book that would hold the same charm when rereading. I don’t want to reread and end up liking it less and so I won’t be picking it up again.

Read my review here.

[5] Eliza & Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Most of the book community has been singing praises of this book after reading it and I’m no different. BUT. I did not like the ending and I really did not like how the story went and I’m just really mad.

I will NOT put myself through that again because I know I’ll get mad again.

Click here to read my review.

[6] All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I really want to reread this! But I mostly won’t. The first half of the book I spent trying to get through because it was SO SLOW. Only later it picked up and after that it was brilliant. I don’t think I can stick through the slow parts again though.

I definitely recommend it if you want to read about WW2 and can stick through slow parts, though.

[7] Burned by P.C. and Kristen Cast

House of Night is the LONGEST series I’ve read. Honestly, even I can’t believe that I stuck through TWELVE books. Especially since now that I look back, the plot wasn’t even that big or intricate.

I was going through my Goodreads read list and saw this rated as 5 stars and I honestly don’t even remember why. It’s the seventh book in the series and I will never read it again. I’m not reading the series again.

[8] Swear On This Life by Reneé Carlino

I read this after reading her book Sweet Thing, which I hated, so I had low expectations. I tried it only because I really liked another one of her books called Before We Were Strangers. I ended up quite liking it!

There’s a lot of backstory and reading that but it’s captivating and kept me interested.

I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it THAT much to reread it. I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much since I know the whole story.

Read my whole review here.

[9] Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never is actually a trilogy made up of three small books that takes you on a WILD ride. I made the mistake of reading them as they were released and hence was dying in suspense.

It was pretty wild and I really enjoyed it but I didn’t really like the ending much. And I’m pretty sure I won’t enjoy it as much on a reread so I won’t be picking it up again.

[10] How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

I read this recently and I quite liked it, but I didn’t enjoy it all that much. I liked it because of the characters and their lives but I didn’t like the romance very much. It was okay.

I still gave it 5 stars because the plot was REALLY nice.


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Are there any books that you loved but will not reread? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Are you a harsh critic who doles out very few 5 stars or are you easy to please? Let me know everything in the comments! Also do add the link to your TTT if you’ve written one.

Let’s Talk About Love || so ADORABLE

let's talk about love.jpgTitle: Le’ts Talk About Love

Author: Claire Kann

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Category: Young Adult

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Firstly, how beautiful is that cover?! I just love it.

I’ll be honest, it’s been a while since I read the book so I might not remember everything to write a proper review. *shrug*

This is the first book I’ve which has an asexual main character. I know what asexual means but I learnt so much more through this book.

The Plot

The book starts with Alice as her girlfriend breaks up with her due to Alice’s sexuality. Alice’s carefully laid plans for the break are shaken up.

But then she meets Takumi at her workplace and likes him a lot a lot. Their romance doesn’t take off immediately but it’s HELLA CUTE.

The book centers around her romance with Takumi but we also see her relationship with her best friends and her family. 

The Characters

Alice is easy to like. I really liked reading from her point of view and getting to know her. She struggles with relationships because even though she loves snuggles and contact, she’s asexual and it’s not easy. She also feels left out a lot because her two best friends are dating. I really related to her on the academic front though. She doesn’t want to go in the path her parents want her to but she doesn’t want to go against them as well.

Takumi is kinda perfect. He really is! Every time Alice swooned, I swooned. He’s understanding and supportive and nice and just ashfhsdjh. He’s been burned before by his ex so we also see that coming in.

As for Alice’s best friends? I didn’t like them. I’m taking Alice’s side here. They’re good friends but sometimes they forget that Alice exists as well and I felt really bad.

The Romance

Right from the start, it was ADORABLE AF. Alice was awkward around him from the time they met and I couldn’t stop smiling.

It was also paced. There wasn’t insta-love. Alice and Takumi spent time together, then started dating and I just <333

And when Alice’s sexuality came up? I found whatever followed realistic. I can’t say much in fear of spoiling it, but I liked it.

Overall

I know this review has been short but I honestly don’t remember very much. But I do remember that I really liked it and that’s all that matters.

Definitely recommended, especially if you’re interested in reading about an asexual main character

four-stars

April Bullet Journal Setup

Oh look it’s me posting another bullet journal setup after who knows how long! In my defense, I DID mean to post last month’s setup but I was so caught up in IRL* things that I didn’t even have the time and before I knew it, the month was over.

*In real life

I didn’t even bullet journal much in March. Maybe around 5 days? I used my bullet journal to plan other things and note down stuff but actually write to-do lists? Nope. It’s more of a random notebook to write things and track stuff than actually bullet journal. But oh well, whatever works for me, right?

I know I’ll be using just as less this month as well so I made it simple.Only front page and trackers.

I was bored one day and felt like doodling so I spent a little time drawing the font page. It’s the only thing I spent a little time on.

april front page

Last month I switched up my trackers and I really like how it turned out..

march habit trackers

(yes I’m REALLY behind on my commenting game. Really need to up it this month)

So I made almost the same thing for April as well.

april trackers

And that’s it for my April setup! It’s simple, a little colorful and has less things I need to update.

Are you bullet journalling this month? Was your March busy like mine was? Are you expecting your April to be busy or lax? What are your thoughts on tracking habits? Is it a good thing or is it overkill? Let me know in the comments!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe || honestly BLEW me away

the loneliest girl in the universe.jpgTitle: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Author: Lauren James

Genre: Science Fiction

Category: Young Adult

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I’ll admit, it’s been quite a while since I read this book and I don’t remember the minute details. But I really wanted to write a review for it because it deserves every good review it can get. This book is really underrated?? I haven’t heard nearly as much talk about it as it deserves!

The Plot

The book is written in Remy’s POV, who is the last crew member left on a spaceship which is on the way to another galaxy. The journey will take 55 years and years after she becomes the last one, she’s still trying to accept a lifetime of loneliness and having the success of the mission on her shoulders.

Right at this time, she receives a message saying that another spaceship has been launched, which is of better technology, and that it’ll catch up to her in a while. She’ll finally see another human being, someone called J! Soon, they’re emailing back and forth, which takes years to send and Remy starts really liking J.

The book was pretty slow in the beginning but later when it picked up, it blew me away! The twist was A+ and I was exhilarated just reading the last quarter of the book.

The Characters

Remy was written so well! All her fears, worries and anxiety of being alone and not doing a good enough job with the mission, her loneliness and her hopes of seeing another human being—everything was written brilliantly.

When the book ended, I was completely in tune with her feelings and I HAD TEARS. It takes a while but you will become one with Remy and the book will just suck you in.

J was written really well as well. Even though we’re mostly concerned with Remy, J is the only other character we read about a lot and he was perfect. (I can’t say anymore in fear of spoilers.)

Overall

WONDERFUL book that I think everyone who loves YA should DEFINITELY read. There are so many hyped books and I honestly want to see this as one of them. I want to make this one of them. It deserves it.

Stick through the slow beginning and I promise you, you’ll be on the adventure of your life.

four-stars

March Wrap-Up // too many books + While You Were Sleeping obsession

At this point I’m not even surprised at how much time has passed with me doing nothing. March was pretty busy for me. It’s April today and I still feel like it’s March. I hardly found time to blog as I spent time reading and bingeing shows. I usually have my blog posts written in advance but I’m writing this post right before posting so you can see how out of planning I am.

Book reviews I posted:

Number of books read this month: 17

This brings up my total of this year to 70 books! I’m almost half-way to my Reading Challenge of the year y’all!

On the blogging world:

[1]

I found this managize called Unread Magazine and it’s super nice! They publish articles across all topics and they’re really interesting to read. Click here to read the last issue. You can also reach out to them and contribute articles.

[2]

This blog post by Marie on Is Book Blogging Still Relevant? is super insightful and talks about how social media has made it so that most people don’t visit blogs to know about books anymore, they prefer reading on Instagram or Twitter itself.

[3]

I always love Fanni’s Instagram tips and she’s posted another one on How To Take Minimalistic Photos for Instagram which I found really helpful! I definitely suggest seeing her tips if you’re looking for some.

Smol IRL things:

(In Real Life)

[1]

My phone began showing issues with charging and I got worried. It’s only been a year since I got my phone and I quite like the camera so I was hesitant to buy a new phone. After about a week of charging only in one angle, it stopped charging altogether! I tried with my parents’ chargers and it showed that it’s charging but the percentage never went up.

Since my phone’s charger isn’t available in stores except the service centers (which aren’t nearby or are open only select times) and I needed ASAP, I thought I’d have to buy a new phone. But I went to a few mobile accessory stores and tried and one of them had a charger (a rip-off, not original) but it worked! So now my phone charges again and I’m happy.

I even tweeted the updates lol.

[2]

I binged Brooklyn Nine-Nine until a few episodes into season 4 and IT’S SO NICE Y’ALL. It’s really funny and entertaining and the cast is perfect. I’ll continue watching it after season 5 is done airing.

[3]

I watched While You Were Sleeping, a Korean drama, on the insistence of a friend and I FELL IN LOVE. I binge-watched it in two days, not going to college one of the days to finish it, and it’s THE BEST. It’s been a week since I watched it and I’ve made other people start watching it as well. I’m also obsessed with the soundtrack (listening to one of the songs right now!).

I’ll write a whole blog post on it soon.


Other than these small things, my March has been pretty uneventful with a busy college schedule. All I did some days was go to college and do college work at home or study for tests. Oof the tests this month were h e c t i c.

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How was your March? What did you do? Did you binge-watch anything? Did you get obsessed with anything new? Do you have any plans set for April? Let me know everything in the comments!

 

Happily || the Cinderella retelling we’ve all been waiting for

Happily Book CoverTitle: Happily

Author: Chauncey Rogers

Genre: Retellings

Category: Young Adult

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t, 
make it.

Laure is a teenage street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests, if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and survive to tell the tale.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Note: I received an eARC of the book for free from the author in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I love Cinderella and any and all retellings of it. If there’s ANY Cinderella retelling, I’m there. Now that we’ve established that, I would have LOVED to hear this story when I was younger.

The Plot

No fairy godmother. No magic pumpkin. Just one grumpy girl and a glass slipper.

Laure is a thief, stealing to live and staying in an abandoned house. But one day, her plan goes awry and she becomes indebted to Luc, a boy who wants to become a merchant and provide for his family.

At the same time, Cinderella runs away from the ball and the royal family is looking for her. Laure, recognizing how stupid it is for the prince to marry the first girl whose foot fits in the show, also realizes that she can take advantage of it.

The story includes travel, bandits and fighting, slapping a prince, the girl saving the boy (rather than just the other way round) and much more. 

The Characters

Laure has a cynical view of Eclatánt, the place where this is set. All she wants is to have enough money to leave the kingdom for good. She’s clever and she concocts the plan to impersonate Cinderella somehow. I liked her because she’s not a meek girl and does what is required, not hesitating to run into things or talk back to anyone. She takes no nonsense.

Luc a clever optimist. He has the brains to make money out of an opportune situation and has an attitude to get him where he wants to be. He doesn’t spend time thinking negatives and prefers taking action to be at a better position. He’s also really kind to others, which repays later.

As for Prince Carl and Cinderella? We see a little bit of them but they’re not the main protagonists of the story. Laure and Luc’s story is way more interesting, trust me.

Overall

I really liked it! It’s fun, adventurous and interesting. This is one of my favourite retellings partly because it’s completely not what you expect.

Definitely recommend it to everyone!

four-stars