if we were having tea header image

if we were having tea… // 21-7-19

Happy Sunday everyone!

I first saw this post over at Cotton Candy Book Witch, and I loved the idea. I’ve since seen it in many other blogs, sometimes with the coffee version. I want to get back into posting casual posts talking about life and other things, and this is the perfect way to do it.

Since I’m going to turn this into a series of posts, I spent way too much time deciding whether to go for the tea or the coffee version. I like both unbiased, but I feel more relaxed and chatty when having tea so I went with that. I usually only drink coffee for the taste (caffeine doesn’t work on me) and it wouldn’t be my drink of choice to have during a casual chat.

If we were having tea… I’d tell you that I’m currently sick. I have a cold and throat infection, and I seem to be on track for getting these every month. I didn’t go to college yesterday, preferring to stay and home and recuperate because I have many important dates coming up. I can’t afford to be sick and unable to talk.

If we were having tea… I would talk about having breakfast out this morning. I woke up early and went on a breakfast date with my mum to the nearby club restaurant. It was really nice. We sat outside with trees around us, birds chirping and butterflies flying around. The sounds from the dining hall (where many other people were sitting) were muted, making up the perfect ambiance.

If we were having tea… you would hear me talk about doing better at blogging after several months. For the past few months I had posted only 5 times and there was a month when I posted nothing, too. But this month I’ve managed to post more and I’m happy with my content. My blog is getting more views as well.

If we were having tea… I would talk about loving the Youngblood album by 5 Seconds of Summer. I had heard only Youngblood (the song) from it before, and found it okay then, but now I’m LOVING it. My favourite songs are If Walls Could Talk, Youngblood and Ghost of You. Ghost of You sounds like a song which would totally fit in with One Tree Hill‘s soundtrack. In fact, the first time I heard it, I actually had One Tree Hill scenes running in my head. It brought back nostalgia because I used to love OTH.

If we were having tea… I would say that I did a test to check my thyroid recently. My TSH levels are at an all time low. It was 0.01 last time I tested (Oct 2018) but now the result shows <0.008 which means it was so less that they couldn’t calculate accurately. In my worry for my autoimmune disorder and my swelling which I spoke about in my last life update, I neglected thyroid and it shows. Sigh.

If we were having tea… you might have noticed that the swelling on my throat has gone down significantly. That’s because I went back to homeopathic medicine (which I trust and which works for me). After only a month of taking the meds, the swelling has gone down enough that I wear my hair up in a bun again, not trying to hide it. Alopathy/”English” doctors told me that there are no medicines and I HAVE to do a surgery, which will leave me with a long scar. I didn’t want to go for surgery in a hurry just yet, so I tried homeopathy again and I’m so glad. Even my friends around me notice the difference.

If we were having tea… I wouldn’t talk about Kdramas and that’s because I have stopped watching them. Not only them, I haven’t watched anything in a long time. I don’t have the mood to sit and passively watch something. I have many shows lined up but don’t feel like watching them just yet. And I’m not sad about it. It means I have time to spend on better things, so that’s good.

If we were having tea… I would talk about being nervous for the upcoming month. My friends and I have placements, meaning companies will come to recruit almost-graduates. We will have a bunch of tests and interviews for every company. I’m nervous because my GPA is not good enough for really good jobs, and I’m still unsure of my skill sheet. Will what I know so far be enough? My batchmates are all studying and doing courses, practicing coding, and doing a bunch of stuff to upskill themselves while I seem to be stuck worrying about my health half the time. I know that I’m good in some things, but not enough and not at all of what’s expected.

If we were having tea… I’d say that I have taken out more time this month to blog hop and work a little on my blog besides posting. I’ve visited so many blogs recently, and commented a lot. I forgot how nice it feels to read blogs. One night when I had to study but didn’t feel like, I adopted a quiz-read blog-repeat routine and it truly helped! I would take a quiz for a topic that I needed to know for next day’s test for around 20 minutes, and take a break for 10 minutes visiting blogs, and move on to another study topic. I should do things like this more often.

If we were having tea… I’d mention that my aunt came to visit us. She arrived last month and is staying until tomorrow afternoon. It’s really nice to have her around because I really like her, and my mum has company to go out and stuff. But it’s also not that great because she talks a LOT. Meaning, she doesn’t ever stop. And I hate that. It gives me a headache. I feel bad for this but I’m glad I have college so I don’t have to listen to her all day. I’m a quiet person who doesn’t like to talk all the time. I need peace and space.

If we were having tea… you would have found out that I’m feeling discouraged about Instagram. My stats are at an all-time low, and my engagement is almost nothing. I went back to my posts till the beginning of this year and noticed that my stats and engagement have been going down since then, no matter my theme and content. It discourages me that no matter what I do, it’s not liked by people. I’m even considering giving up but I love bookstagram too much. I don’t know what to do anymore.

If we were having tea… I would say that I took a cheat day from my gluten-free diet yesterday! My best friend’s birthday was yesterday hence I planned to take my cheat day so we could celebrate together. I had a couple small pieces of cake and pizza with my best friends.

What would you tell me if we were having tea (or coffee) right now?

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Thank You, Next // Book Tag

Oh hey look at me posting so soon again!

Me being irregular at blogging is kinda a joke I make at this point, but I do think I’m putting my time away from blogging to good use (mostly). Especially recently, so I’m not too disappointed.

One of the ways to easily get back into blogging is to do blogging tags. I’ve noticed this from my blogging slump times. Tags are always really fun. I’ve had quite a few tags bookmarked from a while so I thought this is the perfect time to do some of them.

I saw this tag at Bookmark Your Thoughts and immediately bookmarked it. Okay, let’s get to it!

[1] NAME A BOOK THAT YOU SAID THANK YOU, NEXT TO (I.E. DNF’D – DID NOT FINISH)

open book with tabs

More Than Words by Mia Sheridan.

I really liked Mia Sheridan at one point. And I mean, REALLY liked. Her books broke my heart and I kept going back because I like books that break me completely. She captures sadness, grief and loneliness so well in words.

But no matter what, the plot does matter. More Than Words is about two kids who fell in love and got separated. Years later, the male lead is a singer/rockstar/celebrity who has been all over and done tons of stupid things. He meets the girl again at a low point and her “freshness” and “innocence” rekindles his music.

I am so done with these brooding, sad male leads who are seen as man-whores, do drugs and are reckless who chase the fresh, almost naive, innocent female leads who don’t care about money but aren’t at a very happy place and aren’t confident in themselves.

Honestly, so done with that plotline. So I just had to stop reading it. Thank you, next.

[2] NAME A BOOK THAT TAUGHT YOU LOVE (I.E. YOU LOVED)

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden!

I absolutely LOVED the Winternight trilogy! It has been so long since I read such a good fantasy book who’s plot, characters AND the world drew me in completely. I DROWNED into the first book and berated myself for not reading it sooner.

[3] NAME A BOOK THAT TAUGHT YOU PATIENCE

A Court of WIngs and Ruin

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas.

I’ll confess, I didn’t like A Court of Thorns and Roses (book 1). I was totally into Throne of Glass then but I just couldn’t like ACOTAR. But when there was SO MUCH HYPE in the online book community about A Court of Mist and Fury (book 2), I decided to give it a chance.

ACOMAF became by favourite book. It was THAT GOOD. I was so surprised that I would like it so much when I disliked ACOTAR. I was looking forward to A Court of Wings and Ruin (book 3) so much. I even pre-ordered the book, and the cover is super pretty. But the story? Ugh. It was truly a test of my patience.

I hated ACOWAR, y’all. All my characters were acting so different. The reason I loved ACOMAF was because of the characters and all of them were acting so stupid in book 3! It was horrendous. The only reason I read it all was because of my love for ACOMAF and in hope that it would redeem itself. No such luck, though.

[4] NAME A BOOK THAT TAUGHT YOU PAIN

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews.

I was looking forward to Cait’s, aka PaperFury‘s, debut novel so much. I had been following her for over a year by then and loved her writing snippets and blogging style.

Her debut exceeded all my expectations. It also absolutely B R O K E me. Remember when I said I love books that break me? It’s true. I almost felt physical pain in my heart while reading this book. I also almost sobbed multiple times. I had to work hard to hold myself back from outright crying in public once.

[5] NAME A BOOK THAT YOU LOVED AT THE TIME OF READING BUT IN HINDSIGHT YOU DO NOT LIKE AS MUCH ANYMORE BUT WHICH YOU STILL LEARNED SOME OTHER QUALITY FROM

Until Lilly cover

Until Lilly by Aurora Rose Reynolds.

I have no clue why but I really got into the secret-baby romance trope after reading a book that had it and was looking for other books with the trope. Until Lilly was the first one that I found.

I know why I loved it the first time I read it. I was concentrating on the playout of the secret-baby trope romance. It was done really well, in my opinion. I still think that. It had a villain, misunderstandings, two adorable kids, and even some danger. It seemed perfect. I liked it even more after my second read, when I came back after reading a few more books having the same trope.

The third time I read it was after reading a few more romance novels, and especially after finding out what unhealthy relationships are. I learnt what “problematic” stuff in stories, and real life, are. And that was when I realized that Until Lilly actually has a problematic relationship in the forefront. The male lead orders the female lead around, and she goes along with it after a small fight because she’s so in love with him. It was kinda disturbing, especially since I liked the book.

I actually have two blog posts on this. One is my review after reading it the second time, and another is me explaining in-depth on why I changed my rating from 5 to 3.

So what did I learn from this book? Just because something is done well doesn’t mean the book is all-good.

[6] NAME A BOOK THAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY TALKING TO (I.E. HAVE THE HOTS FOR)

Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen.

I feel like all I’ve been doing recently is talking about this book haha. I just love it so much!

It’s such an adorable book. It has really nice characters, adorable relationship development, and the fake dating trope in the forefront! Indirectly, it also has hate-to-love and best-friends-to-lovers trope.

I wrote a whole detailed review so click here to know more!

[7] NAME A BOOK THAT GON’ LAST – THE BOOK OF YOU – THE BOOK THAT HELPED YOU LOVE YOURSELF A LITTLE MORE

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

I know that I don’t talk much about WDMR but it actually made a lot of impact on me. That was the first time that I saw many people in the online book community LOVE Indian characters. Indirectly, I felt loved because Dimple is literally me with very few changes in personality. I related to her so much. If she is loved so much, I can be too, right?

It was after WDMR that I changed my online alias name to my real name. I used to go by Iridescence. I’m so glad WDMR helped me start going by Sumedha, though. It helped me become confident with my true identity online.

I TAG..

Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader | AJ @ A Petite Slice of Life
Mel @ Cotton Candy Book Witch | and anyone else who wants to do this tag!


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What is a book that taught you pain? Do you like books that make you happy or books that break your heart? Or do you like thought-provoking books?

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My Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors // Top Ten Tuesday

We all have authors whom we love and trust, so much that we’d buy their books without a second thought.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is “Auto-Buy Authors”. I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in so long because none of the topics seemed to interest me. I’m glad I can finally get back into it!

Without further ado, let’s get to my auto-buy authors!


[1] CASSANDRA CLARE

I’ve been a total Cassie Clare fan since 10th grade when I first read The Mortal Instruments series. Ever since then, I’ve read almost every book that she’s released. I actually picked up The Red Scrolls of Magic recently without even reading the synopsis. I just knew it was about Magnus and I went ahead to read it.

Favourite books by Cassandra Clare: The Dark Artifices trilogy.

[2] CHRISTINA LAUREN

Christina Lauren is a duo of authors who write under one pen name. I’ve been their fan since reading their book Roomies, followed by Autoboyography. I loved both of those books but made the connection that they were written by the same authors only later. Once I realized, I went on a little reading spree and read a bunch of their books.

Favourite books by Christina Lauren: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, The Unhoneymooners.

[3] MARIE LU

My first Marie Lu books were the Legend trilogy in 10th grade, which was about 6 years back. The books were on sale on Amazon and I bought them impulsively. I was so excited to read them because they were in the dystopia genre, but couldn’t read for a while as the books got delivered in reverse order!

I think I fell in love with Legend about two chapters in. Not kidding. Ever since then, it’s only been uphill. I can count on Marie Lu for great books.

Favourite books by Marie Lu: Warcross, Legend trilogy.

[4] SOPHIE KINSELLA

I’ve been an avid Sophie Kinsella fan since reading the Shopaholic series. I think I read those books during… gosh, 9th grade?! I went to the library and randomly picked up The Confessions of a Shopaholic from the romance section. I didn’t even check what section I was in, to be honest. I used to randomly pick up books then.

The auto-buy thing actually happened, though. When I went to the bookstore at the beginning of this year, I saw My Not So Perfect Life on display and immediately bought it. I didn’t even read the synopsis. I just added it to my buying pile.

Favourite books by Sophie Kinsella: I’ve Got Your Number, My Not So Perfect Life.

[5] PENNY REID

OKAY SO. PENNY REID IS AWESOME. I absolutely ADORE her books! The first book of hers that I read was Neanderthal Seeks Human. And it was SO GOOD that after I finished it, I started rereading it immediately.

After that, I devoured the rest of the series within a week. Now, whenever I’m in need of a good romance, I get one of her books that I haven’t read yet and it never fails to make me happy.

Favourite books by Penny Reid: Neanderthal Seeks Human, Dating-ish

[6] ANGIE THOMAS

Both of Angie Thomas’s books which are currently out have had a LOT of hype. And all of that is deserving. I LOVED The Hate U Give. It made so much impact on me.

After On The Come Up released, I randomly visited the bookstore when waiting for someone. I saw the book on display and I immediately bought it. I wasn’t even planning on buying anything that day! But I couldn’t help myself and I’m glad I bought it because it was really good.

Favourite books by Angie Thomas*: The Hate U Give, On The Come Up

*yes I know only 2 books by her are out but I love them both!

[7] HELEN HOANG

The Kiss Quotient had a lot of love in the online book community when it came out, but I somehow never picked it up for a while. One day it was free on Kindle (!!!!) and I was so lucky that I grabbed it in time. I started reading it the next day and LOVED IT. The Kiss Quotient is honestly one of a kind.

I read The Bride Test as well, recently, and it was so good. Helen Hoang is definitely an auto-buy author.

Favourite book by Helen Hoang: The Kiss Quotient.

[8] CASEY MCQUISTON

Okay okay, I KNOW that she has only one book out, but that book was enough to put her on this list! Red, White and Royal Blue was SO GOOD. I CANNOT EVEN. It has a lot of hype and it is completely deserving of all the love. I will buy her next book without a second thought.

Favourite book by Casey McQuiston: Red, White and Royal Blue.

[9] MARIANA ZAPATA

The first book of Zapata’s that I read was From Lukov, With Love. I found it on the New Adult new releases page on Goodreads and picked it up only because it follows Figure Skaters. I was super intrigued about that. But within no time, fell in love with the characters.

After that, I read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me which is her most popular book, AND IT BLEW ME AWAY SLOWLY. I did not even realize when I got so invested in the book but at one point I look up, and realized that I was a goner.

I also read Dear Aaron and Wait For It, which are both spin offs from the above two books and really them too. Mariana Zapata is really good at slow burn romances.

Favourite books by Mariana Zapata: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, From Lukov, With Love.

[10] ALEXA MARTIN

I read my first Alexa Martin book only a month or so back but I’m already a huge fan. Her books are so engaging. Awesome plots, strong characters, and hilarious dialogues make the perfect romance books.

My favourite books by Alexa Martin: Fumbled, Intercepted.


And those were my ten auto-buy authors!

P.S. some honourary mentions whom I forgot before: V.E. Schwab who is QUEEN, and Alice Osman whose books are a gift to us all.

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Who are your auto-buy authors? Or most favourite authors? If you’ve also done this week’s TTT, put your link the comments!

Fake It Till You Break || all my favourite tropes

fake it till you break it book cover.

Title: Fake It Till You Break It
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone book

Goodreads

I had been looking forward to this book since the beginning of this year. I was checking out upcoming releases and this sounded SO GOOD. Not gonna lie, I had a lot of expectations. Mainly, I wanted a super cute and adorable book with the hate-to-love trope. It’s one of my most favourite romance tropes, and I’m always looking for books with it.

THE PLOT

Mia and Jake have known each other for all their lives, and have been pushed together for most of it. Their moms decided that they would be perfect for each other and hatch matchmaking plans everyday. Mia and Jake hate spending time with each other, especially because of their moms who expect them to fall in love any second.

After the latest cute boy is scared away by her mum, Mia has had enough. She suggests that she and Jake fake date for a while and stage an epic heartbreak. Their moms will stop pushing them together if they realize that Mia and Jake will not work, right?

Just like any other fake dating plan, though, once these two truly spend time together they realize that they don’t actually hate each other. If their moms didn’t push them together forcefully, they could have been friends. And maybe even more?

WHAT I LOVED

Um, basically everything??

  • Mia and Jake were awesome. I loved them. They’re typical teenagers with their own problems. I connected with Jake a little more emotionally but liked them both equally. Other than the romance part, we also saw them try to figure out their future plans. Typical teenage things, and it made me nostalgic. I miss being in that position, considering different options and having a dream.
  • Mia is such a mood. Seriously, though. She’s very bubbly, cannot run for her life, is quite dramatic, loves Kdramas (like me!), and has lots of ideas in her head. Her dream is to be on stage, part of a theatre group, but she’s unsure of her voice for singing parts. She’s confident and not shy, but she also has vulnerabilities. I loved reading through her perspective. It was truly a ride.

Maybe this was how I was going to die. When I had so much unfinished business. I still needed to go to college. I still needed to meet Lee Jong-suk, my Korean Love.

Mia, after running to find Jake, so their cover won’t be blown.
  • Jake is Mia’s complete opposite and is so endearing. I totally see why their moms pushed them together. Jake is much more mellow and thoughtful. He is a talented singer and songwriter but he hasn’t tried performing ever since his brother, the other half of the “Adler brothers” duo, suddenly left one day. Jake is really hurt by that and he doesn’t to leave his mum, biologically his aunt, and go. I’m really glad we had chapters from his perspective as well.
  • Mia and Jake’s relationship was so adorable. When they finally did “pretend” to date, they realized that they don’t hate each other as much as they thought. Since they grew up together, they’re also kind of best friends because they know everything about each other.

We haven’t been friends for nearly ten years, but today it felt like we never stopped. And I was glad some things never changed.

  • This book includes THREE of my favourite romance tropes. There’s fake dating, hate-to-love, AND best-friends-to-lovers. Because in a roundabout way, Mia and Jake are best friends, which we see later. This book literally has everything you want.
  • I loved the plot. There were hilarious parts, swoon-worthy parts, and even sad parts! I had a smile on my face for most of the book. And since I read it in one sitting, my cheeks were hurting by the time I finished.

Even though I put him through all of that, he still came to sort of give me his blessing and—Oh my God, he was the Second Lead Syndrome. My had suddenly officially turned into a K-drama.

OVERALL

Fake It Till You Break It was definitely worth the wait. I honestly cannot believe it doesn’t have more hype. It EXCEEDED my expectation.

If you’re looking for a Young Adult book that will put a semi-permanent smile on your face and leave you happy, pick this one up. If you just want some cute afternoon chill-time reading, pick this up. If you’re looking for a vacation read, PICK THIS UP.

I will not stop pushing this onto people now.

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

What are your favourite tropes? Hint: if a book has it, you will pick it up no matter what.

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The Winternight Trilogy // review + discussion with Teenu

The Winternight trilogy is, in my opinion, one of a kind.

I read the trilogy over a month or so, taking a break during my finals, and IT. WAS. AWESOME. I considered doing individual review for each book, but I don’t think I can now that I’ve read it all. There’s just so much to talk about!

Since I can’t do a proper review, but I still want to talk about it, I thought I’d switch things up! My friend Teenu, whom I know bookstagram and Bangalore’s bookstagrammer/book club, also read the trilogy around the same time. Today, I am here with a discussion post, where basically Teenu and I talk about the trilogy, giving you our opinions, our favourite parts, and much more.

Before moving on to the discussion, do follow Teenu on Instagram and Twitter! I love her book reviews and she gives really good book recommendations.

Warning: this post contains spoilers for all three books of the trilogy!

Note: For ease for reading, I’m putting my side of the conversation on the left and Teenu’s on the right.

Another note: our actual conversation was very messy haha. We kept jumping topics and revisiting later. I took some creative liberty to section the chats for better reading.

Sumedha: Hi Teenu!

Teenu: Hey youuu

Sumedha: Are you up for discussing the Winternight trilogy now?

Teenu: Yes yes

First, we spoke a about the overall plot.

Sumedha:
What’d you think of the plot? For all three books?

Teenu:
I think they have used the folklore brilliantly and mixed it with fantasy
I was reading about morozko and saw that the winter king is a popular character in Russian folkstories

Sumedha:
Is it? I’ve not read any Russian folklores before!
And I definitely agree with that! I especially loved that it was introduced well in book 1. We started off with minimal references to magical stuff and slowly, by the end, it was completely magical. I didn’t feel overwhelmed with information.

Teenu:
Even I haven’t, actually was searching for some good fanfictions/fanarts. Then saw some old movies dating back to 1960s and stuff titled Morozko

Sumedha:
Whoa so cool. I’ll have to read up about it sometime.

Teenu:
Yes they built up the plot so well.
So that’s the good thing about this book, it picks up lot of myths, beliefs and then peppered it with magic and built a beautiful world around it

Sumedha:
Haha yeah. It was awesome that between the war of Bear and Morozko, Vasya just became a whole new side then brought everyone together in time. They even walked together after Sasha died, when she was lost in grief. That was game changing.
Yeah! And by the end of book 3 it was more like magic was peppered with normalcy 😂

Teenu:
I didn’t see that coming at All! It was refreshing to see that
I know right 😝
Steady growth towards magic and you feel it’s normal

Sumedha:
Same! I did wonder in book 1, how a normal-ish girl became so important and how she has so much influence. But soon, we see that it’s more because of her personality than her powers.
Because we always read books with “the chosen one” trope and about characters who have a lot of power from the start, but learn how to use it later. Vasya accomplished everything by being who she is and not through what she’s been given.

Teenu:
That’s why she made such an impact with the winter king also right. It’s not like he hasn’t had other snow maiden wearing the necklace but Vasya was different

Sumedha:
Yep. I didn’t see it at that point, though. I actually understood it through Konstantin’s point of view.
He hates her. He talks about how she isn’t pretty but her actions and energy catch eyes.
It was through his eyes that I fully understood Vasya’s charm.

Teenu:
It’s also refreshing to read about a female protagonist who isn’t the ‘pretty one’. Her character is what made her so powerful

Sumedha:
Yeah! She is “pretty” through her personality.
It was great.

Teenu:
I also like the part where Morozko teaches her how to use a sword/knife

Sumedha:
Yes! She felt so empowered by just knowing how to wield a weapon.

Teenu:
And the triology ended in perfect way too
Not too rushed, characters not behaving OTT, you are happy after reading it.

Sumedha:
OTT?

Teenu:
Over the top🙈

Sumedha:
Ohh 😂
The ending was really perfect. None of the characters broke character for an epilogue.

And a lot about the characters.

Teenu:
Every character got the time to leave an impact on the readers mind
For example when we first meet Morozko’s brother we hate him and then towards the end you can’t help but warm up towards him
All the characters are layered and complex

Sumedha:
Yes!
I was so surprised by how the Bear turned out.
I loved that the monster isn’t completely evil. I’ve never seen that done in fantasy before, with magical creatures. And we also see how Bear and Vasya bond over chaos and madness.

Teenu:
Yes! Especially when he was instrumental in making Morozko forget about Vasya in the first place
Yes…grey characters are the best and that’s what makes this series so different from others

Sumedha:
Agreed! Morozko is supposed to be a bad person. All the stories surrounding him portrayed him bad (in that world), but he changed. Even though he deals with the dead, we like him almost from the start.

Sumedha:
It was surprising, to see Morozko, Bear and Vasya throughout. Morozko is considered bad and evil but he helps Vasya and is soft in heart. Vasya is a stubborn and headstrong girl who is good and powerful but she can also become mad due to magic. Bear mourned a human priest when he actually enjoys chaos and destruction.

Teenu:
That’s the beauty of this series tbh! Every character surprises you when you least expect them to. Even the side characters like Olga, Sasha etc etc. When Vasya gets trapped in the alternate world, the witches do help her when they didn’t want to

Teenu:
And Konstantin has to be a very well written character

Sumedha:
Honestly, I thought Konstantin was weird for the most part. Because his intentions in his own mind are unclear. He’s a well written character but his mind was so muddy. He preached for God but partnered up with the devil for power and a following. He hated but also wanted Vasya. Right from the start, his weird obsession with Vasya set him as a different character whom you can’t predict.

Teenu:
Yes he became a hypocrite and paid for his deeds. He called her a witch coz he was having unhealthy obsession with Vasya and did so much nonsense because of that

Sumedha:
Yep. While the plot is amazing, the characters made it so much better. At times I was confused whether the books are plot-driven or character-driven. I usually classify books into one or the other, and find that I like more character-driven books. But this was both.

Teenu:
💯
It’s very difficult to make even side characters significant and in this book almost everyone had a significant role to play
Like in book 1 when Vasya’s father sacrificed himself to save her
Even her stupid stepmother died coz she was lame
She was one big bitch and psycho

Sumedha:
Exactly. Always some characters get lost or aren’t fully formed. But in this trilogy, even Dmitrii was given focus and thought.
Omg her stepmum 🤦🏽‍♀ I completely forgot about her.
I think book 1 was quite different from books 2 and 3, wouldn’t you agree
Because book 1 had a least a sense of normalcy. Somewhat. Vasya still dealt with humane problems such as being a woman in the society etc.

Teenu:
Yes yes. It was like planting a seed and then the magical story kicked off from second book
Third had the maximum amount of magic

Sumedha:
Also, I was so sad when Sasha left in book 1. It happened pretty soon but I was already attached to him. Alokshya grew on me, though. He’s different from Sasha but he loved and believed in Vasya. It was awesome that we got to see Sasha again, but I hated that we never saw or heard of Alokshya.

Teenu:
I agree. Sasha luckily played a role in helping Vasya and he was a true brother to her.
I almost thought we will get to know about Alokshya also but well, let’s assume he’s happily living at their home

Of course, we HAD to talk about the romance.

Teenu:
I mean when Morozko says come in Vasya, it’s cold. swoon. Even when he wants to compel her to protect him he can’t help but fall for her and the way he sacrificed his freedom for her life, it’s just beautifully done. I love their relationship in the books. The way it progresses. I loved you, as I could
It was so painful 😭so happy bear brought him back to life

Sumedha:
When Vasya whispered back “I loved you as I could too”? I had feels. But the relationship was done so well. Morozko liked her but Vasya didn’t until later. And she stood up for her lack of feelings, she didn’t cave under his love. I loved that. She grew to love him on her own.

Teenu:
Yes and I literally blushed when I read the bath house scene. I felt it was very well written. The relationship graph progressed well. Vasya being Vasya and morozko learning to accept the strong woman he fell in love with

Sumedha:
I blushed too! When she flipped them over and said “don’t give me orders”?! Oh. My. Lord.

Teenu:
I swearrr ❤ and morozko accepting her fiesty nature!

Some world-building appreciation ❤

Sumedha:
It was so cool how Arden built the magical world. Even the immortals did not know the complete vastness of their world but it didn’t seem like the wasn’t formed properly (to us). Usually in other books I would get annoyed because the author can spend more time and build the world properly but here, the limitlessness was part of the charm.

Teenu:
Yesss. I mean imagine the amount of magic that is there to explore. Wonder if Vasya will go back to her great grandmom. So many timelines and places to explore

Sumedha:
I think she will. That was her plan all along. Also to take Marya with her.

Teenu:
Marya was another sweetheart ❤

Vasya and Sasha deserved some more talking time.

Sumedha:
While I’ve read a lot of reviews on these books, the one thing I don’t see spoken about is how Vasya was a woman not to be bound by society’s expectations and it was okay. A marriage would break her spirit. Nunnery would break her spirit. And in the end, she made a place of her own. She had Morozko but she was still an individual and free. She built a reputation as a capable woman.

Sumedha:
We see a lot of this in books where women are headstrong and brave etc. but no matter what, there will be a love interest who help them. And despite how it’s shown, they do depend on the man for reassurance and support. But Vasya didn’t.
She didn’t need Morozko for herself, she needed him to help her family and Muscovy. But she wanted him.

Teenu:
Yes ❤ that’s why I loved her character so much! She knew herself that she couldn’t be tied down anywhere and she evolved to be this strong woman. I hated her brief fiance so much.
And even when she loved him she didn’t become a love sick girl and leave everything for him and lose her individuality

Sumedha:
Oh my goodness that fiance. I could clearly see parallels with real world men tbh. Can’t have a woman who is better than him at something “for men”.
Yeah! When Midnight came to the revelation that Vasya went after Morozko for Moscow and not as a love sick girl, I was like “duh.”

Teenu:
Oh totally!
Typical toxic masculinity persona

Sumedha:
I also liked that Sasha broke stereotypes. He was a priest but he didn’t stay in the monastery. He advised the king and took strategic decisions and fought for Moscow. He was not condemned for not being confined to one thing as much as Vasya because, after all, he’s a man. But it was seen in him too.
Besides looks, there was similarity between Sasha and Vasya. Both were headstrong, refusing to stick to one thing, and both were brave. But they were so different in their approach. Sasha was calm and strategic while Vasya took risks.

Teenu:
Yes and I did like they could under stand each other so well.
Sasha helped Vasya even knowing that he is putting his life at risk
He was bound to brotherly duties than what was expected of him

Sumedha:
Oh yeah. Priests are supposed to leave their families behind but he didn’t do that.

Both of us cried a little while reading too..

Teenu:
The horse riding competition where Vasya was assaulted, it was very painful to read 🥺

Sumedha:
Oh yes!
And her anguish when Solovoy died, and almost giving up after that.
Honestly I expected more deaths, you know? I’m surprised that we only had one lasting death of a character we like.
Did you read the author’s note? Apparently there was an Aleksandr Peresvet who died in true history.

Teenu:
I loved her horse so much. I cried when he died

Teenu:
I did too. But we got a happy ending so no regrets 😬
Yes I did read it!

Sumedha:
OH MY GOODNESS YES. I don’t usually cry so I didn’t cry there but when he came back to life? I had tears in my eyes.

Teenu:
Yeppp

If you were to pick a favourite book out of the three, which would you pick?

Teenu:
Ooo so tough but maybe the third 😌
Yours?

Sumedha:
For the magic and adventure?

Teenu:
And character growth. I was happy to see Vasya being the true witch she was meant to be. She literally saved the world

Sumedha:
Yes! And it was not done cockily or even through complete fear. Her emotions through it all were perfect. Even exhaustion was shown.

Sumedha:
Okay so, I kinda want to pick book 1 because it was just written too well. And coming-of-age Vasya was done brilliantly. And we get introduced to Morozko then. But book 2 is balanced. Vasya is a boy, has a reputation and there’s magic too. Book 3 brings it all together. Writing-wise I would say book 1. Plot and character-wise, definitely book 3.

Teenu:
You summed it up:)

We also spoke about things we didn’t like.

Sumedha:
The only thing that kinda irked me, though? She didn’t have her periods. It was so weird. I always find this weird in books.

Teenu:
She didn’t right..let’s assume she got them

Sumedha:
Yeah but. It would be a problem when riding horses and stuff?
If she didn’t eat well, we can assume she didn’t cuz of less nutrition in her body. But otherwise?

Teenu:
Yeah and she was constantly riding Solovoy
He’s my favourite literary pet 😭

Sumedha:
Yeah! If not him, she was walking a lot and she even rid on Pozhar.
I don’t know if we can classify him as a pet, though 😂

Teenu:
Magical horse who was kinda pet😝
She was a very active child

Sumedha:
Yeah 😂
Is there anything you didn’t like?

Teenu:
Actually not really🤔
Yes I’m a biased fangirl 🙈

Would you want more books?

Sumedha:
You know what. I actually wouldn’t mind have a book about Alokshya.
It would be a lot more normal, but I want closure about him!
But also, Marya. A book on her, if she grows up with Vasya in the grandmother’s house area, would be awesome.

Teenu:
I do wanna read about Marya. Maybe we will get something in the future?
I heard there is going to be a T.V. adaptation soon
I think that’s the only open end thing left in the book, Alokshya’s story.

Sumedha:
I hope so! But the author spent 7 years on this so maybe she won’t get back to it. We never know.
Really, a TV show?! I did not know this!

Teenu:
Yes I saw somewhere.

Teenu also drew parallels with other books.

Teenu:
It’s weird how I have drawn parallels with so many characters from Game of thrones and even though they are not similar, they have something similar.

Sumedha:
Such as which characters?

Teenu:
Jon snow – Sasha
Arya – Vasya
Konstantin- Jamie
Vasya’s father – Ned
Olga-sansa

Sumedha:
Konstantin and Jamie 🤔
I wouldn’t have thought of that.

Teenu:
Both had golden hair, both were conflicted with what they wanted
Soo😋

Sumedha:
😂😂😂
Nice comparison.

Teenu:
And there were many parallels to Amercian Gods, in that book also they describe about chyerti and the offerings you give to have a sustainable environment

Sumedha:
I haven’t read the book so I don’t know of it 🙈

And we just wrapped up after that!

As you saw, Teenu and I had a LOT of feels over this trilogy. And we basically appreciated everything. We didn’t have anything to complain about!

Thank you so much for joining me in this discussion Teenu! It was awesome talking about the books with you.

Have you read the Winternight trilogy? What’s your opinion on it? Do you agree or disagree with what we said?

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag // 2019

Who else is absolutely NOT ready for the second half of the year? Just me?

First half of 2019 felt long yet short. It’s weird. I knew this was coming, and I could not wait for my 6th semester to end. But I’m also sad that the next semester is coming up so fast, and it is going to be stressful as HECK.

I knew that I won’t be able to read much in the second half of the year so I tried to read a lot in the first half, but I couldn’t! I’m barely ahead of my Goodreads challenge.

I’ve read 85/150 books, which is my Goodreads challenge goal for the year. Fingers crossed that I reach it!

Anyway, let’s get to the tag.


1. BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR?

A very large expanse of sea by tahereh mafi book cover

I finally got around to reading A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi this year and I LOVED IT. I was planning on selling it back to the second hand bookstore before but I cannot bear to part with it now. I’m actually planning on rereading it next year and maybe annotate. (Maybe then I’ll get around to writing a review haha)


2. BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR?

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang! I was looking forward to this so much because I absolutely loved The Kiss Quotient last year. And The Bride Test definitely held up to my expectations.

In the beginning, I didn’t quite like it because I couldn’t get into the vibe and it felt meh compared to The Kiss Quotient. But I quickly grew on to like it.


3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO?

Fake It Till You Break by Jenn P. Nguyen. I’ve been looking forward to this book since the beginning of the year, when I first read about it. Fake dating is one of my favourite tropes and I have a feeling that this book will be really good.


4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?

Blitzed by Alexa Martin book cover

Blitzed by Alexa Martin. I read the first two books of the Playbook series and they blew me away. I liked the characters so damn much. It’s been a while since I read such good romance books. Alexa Martin writes so well and makes her characters strong yet flawed and totally relatable.

Blitzed follows Brynn Larson, whom I saw in books 1 and 2 and LOVED. She is awesome. A whole book about Brynn? Yes please!


5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?

what if it's us book cover

What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. I really expected to like this because its by two really good authors. I picked this book to buy over a Murakami book (who’s works literally everyone has been telling me to read), assuming that I’d like it for sure.

It was really disappointing. Click here to read my review.


6. BIGGEST SURPRISE?

fumbled by alexa martin book cover

Fumbled by Alexa Martin. I was just looking for romance books and this came up somewhere. In a blog post? Goodreads’ “if you liked this book” section? I don’t remember where but I thought I’d give it a try. I had NEVER heard of this book before so I didn’t have many expectations.

It BLEW me away. I loved the characters, I loved the plot, I loved it all. The characters the highlight. I was so surprised.


7. FAVOURITE NEW-TO-YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR?

Red, white and royal blue by Casey McQuiston book cover

Casey McQuiston debuted with Red, White and Royal Blue and has cemented her place in the book community already. This book had so much hype from before the release itself. I read it around two weeks after it released, and I was actually behind because almost everyone had read and loved it by then! And it deserves ALL the love.

Red, White and Blue is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Especially in the New Adult category. I spoke all about it in my review. Click here to read it.


8. NEW FICTIONAL CRUSH?

Nora from Red, White and Royal Blue. I absolutely loved her.


9. NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

on the come up by Angie Thomas book cover

Brie from On The Come Up. I really liked her character overall. She’s very flawed but has ambitions and loves her family. She is a very strong character and I’m all for strong characters in books.


10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?

the boy who steals houses book cover

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews. This book B R O K E my heart. I don’t usually cry, even for really sad books, but I got tears when reading this one and had to take a break so that I wouldn’t start sobbing. Drews has a way with words which will break you.

Click here to read my review.


11. BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?

Fumbled Love by Lila Rose. This was actually another surprise. I found this on Goodreads when I was searching Fumbled by Alexa Martin in the search bar. I don’t know what made me check out Fumbled Love but I did and I’m really glad.

This book was so damn funny. It had me laughing out loud SO MANY TIMES. I had a permanent smile on my face during the second half of the book. I read it in one sitting. I could not put it down.


12. FAVOURITE BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATION?

I haven’t seen any yet. I’m really looking forward to watching Five Feet Apart though. I’ve heard that it’s really good. Plus, it’s produced and directed by Justin Baldoni*!

*unrelated but he wants to option It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover!!!


12. FAVOURITE REVIEW YOU WROTE THIS YEAR?

An Ember in the Ashes book cover

My review of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I changed the review format and I think it came out really well. I also love that the whole post has a colour scheme.


14. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR?

An Ember in The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir again. It’s super pretty. The back is even prettier but I didn’t take a picture of it.


15. WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

My whole physical TBR plus my anticipated releases lol.

But especially:

  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Origin by Dan Brown
  • Fake It or Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

And that’s the summary of my 2019 reads so far! All I can think about are the books I need to read in the next few months haha. Too many books but I know I’ll barely be able to read with my busiest semester ever coming up.


Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest


What do you think about the books I mentioned above? Have you read any?

July ’19 Bullet Journal Setup

Hey everyone!

Hope y’all have been doing great. It’s been three weeks since I posted and.. I have SO MUCH to post. Anyway, I’ll ramble in another post. Let’s get to July’s spreads!

I had no time to truly spend on making these spreads since I had my exams going on. But I still wanted something different from what I’d been doing for the past few months.

First, I chose a colour as a theme for the monthly spreads. I’ve never done red before so I used it this time.

page 1

This spread is really simple and I spent maybe 2 minutes making it but I actually kinda like it. The red border makes the spread pop.

pages 2 & 3

The true difference in this month’s spreads is the habit tracker. I was not fully paying attention to what I was doing (I was stressing about studying for my next final lol) so I kinda messed it up. But it’s okay.

pages 4 & 5

I wasn’t planning on having a mood tracker this month but because of my moods last month (which I really noticed and tried to not stress and be sad), I thought I’d have it again just to see how things go. I never notice that I’m feeling down for multiple days since I just take it one day at a time. Only when I see myself logging it down do I notice that I’m actually not.. happy? better emotionally? Something.

And as always, I have my simple expense tracker.

That’s it for this month! I have such a hectic (and stressful) month coming up ahead and I am NOT ready. Aaah. I need to start prepping in advance.

Anyway, I’ll see you guys in my next post! Have a great day!

Book Feature // Kitsuneko by C.S. Johnson

Hey y’all!

I’m here with a different type of post today. One of the authors whose books I had reviewed when I was still a blogging newbie has a new book out, and I can’t wait to introduce it to you!

Kitsuneko is a companion novella to Johnson’s The Realms Beyond the Rainbow, a fantasy romance adventure series.

First of all, here’s the BEAUTIFUL cover. I love it.

kitsuneko book cover

Blurb

Trouble is brewing in the realms beyond the rainbow …

Kitsuneko has always done her best to honor her duty. As a young fox-cat changeling, she was conscripted into slavery by King Dario and Queen Arianna of Toulacoeur to serve as the surrogate for Princess Cari, their daughter who was kidnapped seventeen years ago.

But when Kiro, Cari’s younger brother and the heir to the throne, proclaims his love for her, Kitsuneko is torn between her duty to the kingdom and her desire for the virtuous prince. 

And when Kiro’s kisses leave her breathless, Kitsuneko finds herself — and the kingdom — in mortal danger.

For the peace that Toulacoeur enjoys, maintained through the blessing of Kleon, the Unicorn Guardian, is at risk, and to maintain their rule, the king and queen have arranged for Kiro to marry Ariella, a Warlord’s daughter from a tribe of Gryphon Riders.

Can Kitsuneko and Kiro find a way to be together and keep the kingdom’s peace? Or is their love destined to only lead to destruction?

Kitsuneko is A Companion Novella to The Realms Beyond the Rainbow, a fantasy romance adventure from award-winning, genre-hopping author C. S. Johnson.

Release info:

This novella releases TODAY (Saturday, June 15th) so y’all should definitely go ahead and check it out.

Links buy the book | Goodreads |Bookbub

Author bio:

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

Life Update // it’s finals time

Hey everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged freely. It’s been only reviews been review and properly structured posts for a while. Back in 2016, I used to make random posts and just blabber, and it felt so freeing!

Ever since I started thinking about polishing up my blog posts and putting up only good content, I’ve started blogging less since I’m putting more effort into every post. I’ve also stopped posting rambles, which is kinda sad because this is one of my favourite things about blogging.

The whole reason why I refused to highly niche my blog is because I loved the aspect of just posting whatever I want. Whether it is books, bullet journalling, kdramas or even life updates. And I’ll be honest, life updates are very cathartic* to write. I don’t mind the thousand words I sometimes write because it flows effortlessly, and it’s the only type of blog posts which I don’t always structure.

By not writing these posts, I also miss out on cataloguing so much of my life. I sometimes go back and read these personal posts and become nostalgic because I’m pretty much writing down the important things. I want to keep writing so that I can come back and read about these days again.

This post is going to be completely non-structured (meaning, I’m just gonna type and not rearrange later) and I’m just going to talk about what I want to, even if I digress.

*If you haven’t ever written a personal blog post where you’ve just typed without worrying about how it looks etc., I highly suggest you try it at least once. You don’t have to publish it, but just write it.

Random thing #1

First of all, I’m so glad that I’ve FINALLY FIGURED OUT how to properly format using HTML on the Gutenberg WordPress editor. I’ve tried before but I never took out the time to experiment and try a bunch of things that I may want to use.

I sat down to write a review on An Ember in the Ashes the other day and I wanted to try a new reviewing format/structure because I’d been using the same format for a long time. I also wanted to format and play around with colours. I spent almost an hour just playing around and experimenting. It took a long time to write the review but it looks really good and I’m super happy with the result

literally me after I figured out everything I wanted to.

Random thing #2

My favourite colour has officially changed from blue to pink. Blue has been my favourite colour for over three years now. At some point, my wardrobe was 3/4th blue. Everyone around me teased me about it. But for the last few months, I’ve been gradually picking pink over blue. Right now, I’m blindly just going for pinks even if blue is available. I’m especially loving pastel pink, light pink and blush pink.

It’s been a while since I had a change of favourite colour so I think I’ll enjoy this! I got this really cute light pink hat recently and I just want to wear it ALL. THE. TIME. I love it.

Random thing #3

My finals are here! Well, almost. My first exam is on 14th June and even though I have only 6 exams, my uni has stretched the dates so that my last exam is on 3rd July. That’s three weeks of JUST STUDYING. I will be feeling guilty if I do anything else for three weeks. It’s gonna be fun.

shaking head gif

I will most likely be super tired and stressed by the end of it. I also may not be able to blog much, and that’s sad because I just got back to blogging semi-regularly. Sigh.

Random thing #4

My body is giving me SO MANY PROBLEMS. Can it stop already?! At this point, I don’t want to do any tests because with every test, I find out there’s something more wrong with my body. And I’ve done a lot of tests so far.

Let’s put it in a list to make it easier:

  1. Last I checked in Oct 2018, I had mild hyperthyroid. I went for an ultrasound scan for my neck last week for something else and they told me I should probably test again because it looks more. I was taking mild medication so far but guess I’ll have to go on proper meds now. I’ll also have to test again. Argh.
  2. I did a test for immunity and we found out that I have Hashimoto’s disease which is an autoimmune disease/disorder. My result was so comical. The normal range for something was 0-156 and my result was 1.7k. My result was over 10 times the highest normal result. I could not believe my eyes. So yeah, I’ve gone on a strict gluten-free diet* and I’m taking meds for it too.
  3. Recently, a swelling has formed on the side of neck and after doing a bunch of tests**, we’ve found that it’s a cyst. It cannot be cured with medicines and I have to do a surgery. But, because it doesn’t give me pain, it’s purely cosmetic but if I don’t do a surgery then it might keep growing and also could get infected. Infection is bad, obviously. It’s apparently due to a birth defect and the swelling doesn’t appear normally, so I’m one of the lucky few for whom it does! Since I have finals now, we can’t do the surgery but maybe after finals.

*considering I’m not allergic to gluten but that I have to abstain by CHOICE is making this SO HARD. This diet cuts down 70% of foods that I eat. Because I’m Tamilian, it’s slightly easier to bear with at home since our foods are mostly rice items. But I really notice the difference when I’m out with my friends. I just watch them eat. It’s sad. I’m sad. I’m most sad about BHATURA and puri (Indian foods).

**I did an ultrasound scan for the swelling and they told me my thryroid increased. I want to focus at one problem at a time! And take fewer meds! LEAVE ME ALONE *cries*

Those were the three main things. Other than that, I have a bunch of allergies, PCOD and severe eczema which comes and goes. So yeah, I’d like another body please.

(Yes this was a rant session. At this point, I can rant for HOURS about my health issues. I needed to rant though.)

Random thing #4

I’m slightly stressed about next semester already. For Indian engineering students, year 4 is CRUCIAL. We get jobs then. We have to write a lot of tests, sit through interviews, and also attend classes, study and write exams. I’ve got to start studying for my exams for the jobs (we have aptitude and technical tests to show how smart we are and… I’m not smart). Aah. I want to scream.

The grind has to start right after exams because interviews start right in the beginning of August. And by beginning, I mean day 1. I’m preparing for the stress by stressing already so I can get used to it. (I’m trying out a new coping method, let me be.)

Random thing #5

I’m finally exercising regularly! I’ve been doing this for a few months now and I can feel the difference. I’ve been taking it slow, though, with small milestones but I’m doing it regularly and that’s all that matters.

Getting a workout in every evening after college was hard in the beginning because I would be super tired from the long day and travel. I also kept evenings as my “chill time” so I would read blogs or watch YouTube while drinking something. But I managed to make it routine and it’s easy now.

At this point, if I don’t go exercising in the evening, I feel off for the rest of the night. It’s weirdly energizing and refreshing too! I’m also glad that I somehow got rid of my self-consciousness which held me back from running in front of people before.

Random thing #6

I’m LOVING Jay Shetty’s podcast called On Purpose with Jay Shetty. I started listening to it on a recommendation from a friend and I immediately liked it. I haven’t been able to take out time regularly to listen to it but the episodes I have listened to, I’ve learned from.

There are always multiple things to learn or take from every single one of his podcast episodes. Even though it’s just audio, I find myself completely engaged in listening and absorbing.

I was dutch braiding my hair and listening to an episode last night as “self-care time” and I LOVED IT. I listened to the podcast at midnight and after that I was so energized and motivated to change my life immediately. To change for the better using what I’ve learnt in just half an hour. I couldn’t sleep so I ended up studying more for my upcoming final.

If you want to become motivated or energized, I definitely suggest listening to his podcast. Especially, listen to an episode which is not an interview because those episodes are solely focused on giving you advice and things to take away and apply immediately.

Okay that’s it.

I just checked the word count for the first time and I’ve written over 1.5k words. Wow. When I stop thinking twice about what I write—whether it’s easily readable, whether it’s attractive and engages the reader—words flow so freely. This is a form for self-care, for me. I needed this.

If you’ve read so far, THANK YOU. You’re the best ❤

Okay now YOU tell me. What’s going on in your life? And don’t hold back from rambling in the comments 🙂

An Ember in the Ashes || a great plot with great characters

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: Fantasy
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Book 1 of the An Ember in the Ashes series

Goodreads

Why did I wait so long to pick up this book?! I’ve had it on my TBR ever since it’s hype first started online and I’ve had the paperback for MONTHS now. Just sitting on my shelf. And yet I didn’t pick it up until a couple days back.

First of all, can we appreciate this GORGEOUS cover? It’s back is even more pretty* but I didn’t really notice it until I actually started reading the book. Even I’m surprised at how the back of the cover slipped my attention.

*I’ll upload a picture sometime later, maybe.

THE PLOT

Laia is a Scholar, and hence she is a slave to the Martians. When her brother is taken by a Mask, one of the deadliest Martian soldiers, for breaking the rules and trespassing, Laia is determined to get her brother out of prison before he dies.

The Resistance, a group of Scholars who are fighting against the Martians, agree to get Laia’s brother out on one condition—she has to spy on the Commandment of the Blackcliff training academy for Masks in return.

Elias is on his last year at Blackcliff, but he plans on deserting the night of his graduation. If he is caught, he will be executed. But it’s a risk he will take for freedom.

But something new happens at the graduation ceremony. Elias, his best friend and two other graduates are chosen as candidates to be the next Emperor. Suddenly, Elias is stuck at Blackliff again, this time for the Trials. If he wins the Trials, he’ll become either the Emperor or the new Emperor’s Blood Shrike. If he fails, he will be executed.

Laia and Elias meet innocuously but their lives become intertwined, and their choices affect the future of the entire Empire.

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.”

MY REVIEW

I LIKED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I read it in TWO sittings, and I read almost 300 out of 448 pages in the second sitting. Once I got hooked into the book, I couldn’t put it down.

The plot was super intriguing. It’s been a long time since I read a YA fantasy book whose plot truly lured me in. Even when the chapters didn’t end on cliffhangers, all I wanted was to find out what happens next.

“There are two kinds of guilt: the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.”

There were also a few fantasy elements thrown in. While I liked the fantasy creatures, I was also disappointed because they were literally thrown in. Jinns, efrits, and whatever else creatures were spoken about and shown but we didn’t get any real introduction on them. The book has ended and I still don’t know much about them.

The characters were A+. This book has a great plot but it felt character driven because of the focus and emphasis on the characters and their actions. I really liked Laia and Elias. I also enjoyed reading about the supporting characters, whether they were good or evil, because each was properly formed and shown. Each character was unique and had depth. They had layers, which I noticed as the book went on.

Also, the character development was so good! Laia grows from a “cowardly” and “weak” character to someone who is brave. I especially loved her growth.

“Once, I’d have wanted that. I’d have wanted someone to tell me what to do, to fix everything. Once, I’d have wanted to be saved.”

I absolutely loved the writing. Sabaa Tahir wrote the book SO DAMN WELL. There were so many great quotes which I marked, and there were scenes that were poignant in meaning and emotion. The book is character-driven but has such an amazing plot that it could be plot-driven too.

OVERALL

I regret not reading this book sooner, and I cannot wait to get the next book. I now understand the hype for this book.

This book is perfect if you’re looking for a good YA fantasy book which has a great plot and great characters.

I rate this book..

4/5 stars

June Bullet Journal Setup

Hey y’all!

We’re officially almost at half of 2019. I cannot wait to be done with June so it’ll mean that I’m almost done with my finals, but I’m also dreading the next academic year.

Anyway! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shown y’all my bullet journal setup. I’ve kept my setup really simple for this month since I only have exams as the main events, and am not planning on concentrating on other things.

First are my monthly front pages. I tried to make “June” a little fancy but it’s just meh. And on the right is my “snapshot” of the month, which I filled out after I took this picture. It’s just so I can see the most important events in one glance.

front pages

And then, I made habit and mood trackers. I’ve kept the style of my habit trackers the same for the last few months, and it still works for me.

I added in a mood tracker after a couple months without it because I had quite a few emotional ups and down last month. I also expect it this month, so I wanted to keep track of it. Sometimes, just knowing that I’m continuously sad and seeing the proof makes me determined to find out the cause and either fix it or deal with it better.

habits and mood trackers

And then, like every month, I have my expense tracker which has not changed in format or style for a long time. It’s arguably the most adult-ish thing I do and also one that I really value.

bujo expenses page

(Excuse the hidden part. It has some things that I can’t share with y’all.)

And that’s it for my setup this month!

Also, I did a bullet journal flip through video for the first time ever. It’s on my Instagram which I’m embedding below so you can watch it!

I’ll be back soon with another post! Have a great week!

Do you have any cool plans for June? Tell me in the comments!

Red, White & Royal Blue || A MUST-READ

red white and royal blue book cover

Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Case McQuiston
Genre: Romance, LGBTQ+
Category: New Adult
Series info: Standalone book
Goodreads

Synopsis:

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH Y’ALL!

I thought I’d start off the month by posting* about an AWESOME book focusing on a gay couple.

This book has been on my TBR for a while, ever since I first saw someone gushing about it. I thought I’d read it after a couple exams but once I saw @zanyanomaly on Instagram gush about it, my last straw of control broke.

I read it when I was supposed to be studying. The next time I looked up after I started the book, I was already through 97%. And I paused reading for several hours because I WASN’T READY FOR IT TO END. I literally had half the last chapter left. Barely 7 minutes of reading. But I didn’t finish it immediately.

I loved it a lot. This is a review-cum-flail post.

*flailing because my mind seems to go into a mess of squealing and babbling about this book which I love so much.

But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable.

The Plot

This book follows the hate-to-love romance between Alex Claremont-Diaz, First Son of America, and Prince Henry, the prince of England.

Okay, that’s all I’ll say because I’m very close to erupting and just smashing my keyboard and I may spoil things.

Reasons I like this book, in short:

  • IT’S SUPER CUTE, OKAY???
  • Seriously, though. It is very cute.
  • THE CHARACTERS, Y’ALL. They’re a gift. I love all of them so much, I want to marry every single one of them. Not joking.

Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.

  • HATE-TO-LOVE ROMANCE. It’s one of my favourite romance tropes and it was done beautifully. I had emotions. Many emotions. Strong ones.
  • THE SETTING. We’re talking about a romance between the First Son of America and the Prince of England. It’s some mad settings.
  • THE FEELINGS, BTA*. I felt literally every emotion that Alex felt. Angst, lust, determination, loneliness, uncertainty—name the emotion and I felt it.
  • THE BANTER. The conversations between the characters made me laugh out loud, swoon, and just genuinely appreciate this book multiple times each.
  • Also, this book is FUNNY AS HECK. We’re talking random bursts of laughter from me, and they mostly caught me off-guard.

Alex laughs so hard he almost falls in a mountain.

ME THROUGHOUT THE BOOK.
  • And there was so much more in the book that I loved.
  • THE QUOTES, Y’ALL. If you can’t tell already from the few ones I’ve already managed to squeeze in, I absolutely loved so many lines from the book. I’ve highlighted many of them. They quietly caught me off-guard with how meaningful and poignant they were.

Sometimes you just jump and hope it’s not a cliff.

*By The Angel (instead of oh my god). I’m trying out the Shadowhunters exclamation. Anyway, it’s unrelated. Let’s move on.

There was one small thing that I didn’t enjoy, sadly. Alex, the main character, is super into politics. And I’ve never been into politics, especially American politics. I tried to keep track of it but at some point, it all just flew over my head. It was VERY hardcore, for me. I started just skipping those paragraphs.

Overall

You should read this book NO MATTER WHAT.

But especially if you want something really cute and will definitely make your heart soar. Read this if you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh out loud and smile wide for a long time. Read this if you just want a book to drown you away from reality.

Five stars

If I could, I would rate this book 11 out of 5 but considering the max is generally considered 5, I’ll rate it 5/5.

Also, last quote because it’s SUPER FUNNY.

An hour later, there are several cartons of Chinese food and a PowerPoint cued up. The first slide says: SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION WITH FOREIGN MONARCHS: A GRAY AREA. Alex wonders if it’s too late to swan dive off the roof.

Make that two last quotes..

“The next slide is titled: ‘Exploring your sexuality: Healthy, but does it have to be with the Prince of England?’ She apologizes for not having time to come up with better titles. Alex actively wishes for the sweet release of death.”

Okay that’s all.


Have you read Red, White & Royal Blue yet?

Kill Me, Heal Me // Kdrama review

It’s official. I have found my new #1 Kdrama. Kill Me, Heal Me has replaced W: Two Worlds as my top Kdrama.

I watched this Korean drama on the recommendation of my friend’s sister, who raved about it. And I’m SO GLAD. I had college going on when I watched this and I binged it every free moment I got. Two episodes in and I loved it already.

I actually watched this several months back and made notes as well, but just never got around to reviewing. Even though it’s been months, I’m STILL hyped about it. In fact, my friends (who also watched it after I raved) and I recommend it to EVERYONE. It’s THE Kdrama to watch if you’re looking for mystery and thriller.

What is the drama about?

This drama has a lot going on and in the centre of it all is Cha Do-hyun, heir to the Seoju group companies and diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. He has five alternate personalities—Perry Park, Ahn Yo-na, Ahn Yo-sub, Shin Se-gi, and Nana. After some coercion from his family, he returns to Korea to start working for the family business. The drama follows Cha Do-hyun as he deals with family, responsibilities, his past and his alters.

The drama also focuses on two other characters—Oh Ri-jin and Oh Ri-on. Oh Ri-jin is a psychiatrist resident who ends up being assigned to Cha Do-Hyun after he returns to Korea. Oh Ri-on, twin brother of Oh Ri-jin and writer under an alias called “Omega”, also becomes interested in Cha Do-hyun’s diagnosis and family.

Cha Do-hyun, Oh Ri-jin and Oh Ri-on’s lives become intertwined in the present, and it brings up the past as well.

Kill Me, Heal Me is thrilling, mysterious and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

My thoughts on the drama

  • Okay so IT WAS BRILLIANT. I got so wrapped into the show that I ignored pretty much everything else those few days. Even now when I think about the story, I get caught up in it in my head.
  • There was never a dull moment. The 20 1-hour episodes were jam-packed with events that kept making me increasingly invested.
Kill Me Heal Me scene
Source: Lee Jin’s drama croner
  • Ji Sung, the actor who played Cha Do-hyun & the alters DESERVES A BIG AWARD. I was completely BLOWN AWAY by his performance and acting skills. I could not stop praising him and being wowed throughout the drama. It was more than the alters’ clothes that made the difference. It was the look in the eye, the gaze, the posture and so much more that makes a person unique. Ji Sung acted as multiple personalities down to the core. It was good that I could recognize which alter is currently on screen without knowing the name, even if they’re wearing different clothes.
  • Oh Ri-jin, the female lead, was easily likeable. She’s strong-willed, smart and puts all her might into her work. She genuinely cares for her patients and is pretty good at what she does.
Kill Me Heal Me scene
Source: Dramabeans
  • Oh Ri-on, the other male lead, was very captivating on screen as well. He is a famous author under the pen name Omega, and is a dutiful brother to Oh Ri-jin.
  • The three main leads commanded the screen with their presence and I didn’t stand a chance of not liking them. Not only did the acting seem seamless, the chemistry between the actors was perfect for the drama. I got immersed into the story and did not think about how this is not real.
  • The plot itself was BLOODY BRILLIANT. I cannot imagine any other show or drama topping this one in mystery. It was just. too. good. I applaud the writers for coming up with this intriguing and captivating story line.
  • There was a twist in almost every episode. First of all, that is HARD to write and orchestrate. And two, they caught me off guard every single time. My friends who watched the drama were the same. We couldn’t stop talking about the twists and the amazing plot.
Kill Me Heal Me scene
Source: UniqueStream
  • The drama also includes SO MANY THINGS. It’s not just multiple personalities or just mystery. It’s way more and we get a lot of focus on each of those things. Let me list out the most prominent topics which we follow:
    1. The multiple personalities, which are highly interesting and intriguing on their own. I had never seen a show on multiple personality disorder before so this was new and amazing.
    2. Cha Do-hyun’s life as an heir/chaebol. The struggles of keeping an image, family politics and business politics being the same thing, fighting for power and inheritance etc.
    3. Romance. I actually REALLY liked this! And it really fit in with the plot.
    4. Mysterious pasts that come together in a way which will leave you speechless.
    5. And comedy! Every Kdrama has a comedic element, and I loved how Kill Me, Heal Me had humorous scenes without ruining the vibe of the show. It felt smooth and natural.
  • I LOVED THE SOUNDTRACK. I will talk more on this later.
  • Initially I felt like 20 episodes were too long for me to make time to binge. I even told my friend that I’ll take a couple weeks. But I finished it in FOUR DAYS. With college and everything. It’s THAT good.
  • I was dreading the ending because I didn’t want the drama to end. And, to be honest, I thought the ending was lackluster. For all the amazingness the drama was, the ending did not live up that. I can name ways in which it could have been better. That is the ONLY complaint I have. A brilliant Kdrama should have an equally brilliant ending.

The Characters

Oh my goodness, I’ve been waiting to talk ALL about the characters. Here we go.

Cha Do-hyun.

kill me heal me cha do hyun
Source: Amino Apps

Cha Do-hyun is the heir to a big and powerful company/business but due to a past unknown to him, he has multiple personality disorder. For the longest, it did not surface, but one day when he was in college, an alter took over him. And it happened again, and again, until he realised something is up.

His plan was to get treated and, at least, be in a compromising/acceptable state with his alters before returning home but gets called back early. He looks for a therapist to see in secret and ends up seeing Oh Ri-jin.

I loved Do-hyun’s journey throughout the drama. The highs, the lows, the struggles, the happiness, the resolve, his acceptance of his condition—all were portrayed damn well. He keeps going around correcting his alters’ actions/wrong doings. He is kind, really nice and somewhat lacking in confidence. He’s also always serious and somber.

Shin Se-gi

kill me heal me shin se gi.png
Source: fanpop.com

Shin Se-gi is one of Cha Do-hyun’s alter personalities, and he is the most prominent one whom we see. He’s the exact opposite of Cha Do-hyun. Se-gi is rude, unapologetic, and bold. He does not hold back from violence and doesn’t care about what people think of him.

Se-gi was really interesting, especially in contrast to Do-hyun. His ultimate goal is to take over Do-hyun completely and not be repressed inside. So, he’s basically against Do-hyun. That was so cool to watch.

(Did I mention what a brilliant actor Ji Sung is? Even if I did, it’s worth repeating. He is SO TALENTED.)

Ahn Yoo-na & Ahn Yoo-sub

These two alters are siblings. I have no clue how this works but after researching a few real stories, it happens in reality as well.

kill me heal me ahn yoo na
Source: dramabeans

Ahn Yoo-na is a teenage girl obsessed with boys. Her top priority is to go after cute boys and fawn over them. It’s so funny, oh my gosh.

kill me heal me ahn yoo sub
Source: dramabeans

Ahn Yoo-sub is the suicidal alter. He’s a depressed teenager and keeps trying to kill himself. He also always keeps to himself. Not introverted but just sad and alone.

Perry Park

kill me heal me perry park
Source: Enjoy Korea with Hui

Perry Park is the most fun alter. He is carefree, would rather drink away his days, is very into fishing and is really fun to hangout with. He is also a genius with bombs which is so funny. Like, if you put all the alters into one body and they take turns controlling the body, it’s a recipe for a funny disaster.

Perry Park has his own issues which is very under-the-surface. I did not consider him as interesting but he grew on me.

Nana

kill me heal me nana
Source: weheartit

Nana is the last alter and she is a young girl. Probably around the age 5. She is always with her teddy bear and draws the bear on paper a lot and writes Nana. She is the young and innocent alter who is stuck at that age.

Oh Ri-jin

kill me heal me oh ri jin
Source: Asian Wiki

Oh Ri-jin is a first year psychiatry resident. My first impression of her was that she is a strong character. She is stubborn, bold and determined. I really liked that she is tenacious and determined to see through any commitment of hers. She’s also really cute.

Hwang Jung-eum acted and portrayed the character very well. She was perfect for the role.

Oh Ri-on

kill me heal me oh ri on
Source: Amino Apps

Oh Ri-on is Oh Ri-jin’s twin brother and super famous author under the pen name Omega. He writes mystery books so when he has a puzzle, he becomes very intent on solving it.

Oh Ri-on is kind, is a protective and good brother, and a good person in general. He is attentive yet jolly so he is the perfect company. I really liked his character. Park Seo-joon, the actor, was the perfect person for this role. No one else could have executed it better.

What actually captivated me the most about his was his emotion. I really liked how his inner struggles and emotions were shown. He tries to be a happy go-lucky guy but underneath all that, he is so much more. They way he continues on while struggling internally in secret grabbed me.

The Soundtrack

The entire vibe of the drama was matched so well with the music. The music really ENHANCED the scenes and the vibe.

While all of the songs were good for the drama, one particular song stood out.

Auditory Hallucination by Jang Jae-in MADE the drama’s vibe. And I’m not saying this lightly. It was used very often throughout the 20 episodes but IT FIT the drama like no other. I fell absolutely in love with the song. Now, whenever I listen to it, I remember scenes from Kill Me, Heal Me.

Also, apparently, the meaning of the song is taken to be like the title. The rap parts of the song are supposed to convey or mean Kill Me, while the melodious vocal part is to mean Heal Me. And I FELT THAT. Even before I knew the lyrics, I could relate those emotions with the music, and I could relate the emotions and music to the drama.

So yeah, Auditory Hallucinations is hands down my favourite song from the OST.

Overall

GO WATCH IT.

This is one Kdrama which you WILL remember. Not only was it captivating and intriguing, it also portrays multiple personality disorder SO WELL. I actually did some research and watched some videos after I finished Kill Me, Heal Me.

The drama still has a strong impression on me, several months later, and I’m someone who easily forgets stories. So yes, this is a must-watch. I definitely recommend it.

Have you seen Kill Me, Heal Me? Or is it something that you might like? Have you seen multiple/split personality disorder in any other show/drama/movie? Tell me in the comments!

read a ton wrap up header image

Read-A-Ton challenge wrap up

Hi everyone! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted something but I did manage to do a lot life and reading-wise in that time.

In today’s post, I just want to briefly talk about the books I read for a readathon which I participated in last month. #readaton was a week-long readathon where we just read with our own reading goals. It was hosted by @theloneflaneur on Instagram and I was fortunate to have the time then to join in.

I managed to finish 7 books and make progress on another during the readathon. I’m actually really proud of the reading I got done because I had events during that week as well.

Anyway, let’s get to the books!

Until November by Aurora Rose Reynolds

I reread this book in the readathon because I was browsing through my read books and noticed it, but I remembered nothing about it. I was partially in a slump so I thought let’s reread and picked it up. It got me out of my slump, but I ended up hating the book.

Until November has to be the most problematic book by Aurora Rose Reynolds that I’ve read, and I’ve read quite a few. The author specializes in alpha-male and possessive reads, which I can understand. There are many readers who like such romances and I enjoy them too, sometimes.

But I just could NOT like this book. The male lead was just too much. He was very problematic, let November have her way only once, made decisions and forced her to accept them all the time, and more.

I am planning on writing a whole review on this one, but only if I can get to it soon otherwise I’ll forget most of my points.

Homecoming by Rubina Ramesh

This was a short romance set in Kerala, India. I received the book for free on Kindle in return for a review and used the challenge to finish it in time.

The book is about Sanaya and Krish who had a fling a long time back but broke up due to some bad situations. Now, after a decade, Sanaya returns home from the US and faces the memories that she tried to run away from. We watch them as they meet each other and find their ways back to each other.

It was an okay read for me. It was short and not very impressive.

Until Trevor by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Only after reading Until November did I realize that I have read every book from the Until series except Until Trevor. I decided to pick it up on a whim, hoping it’ll give me some satisfaction. And it did!

Until Trevor is probably the least problematic book out of all books by the author that I’ve read. I actually quite enjoyed it! I like Trevor the most out of all the male leads in the series and I probably will reread the book someday.

The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews

I’ve been awaiting this book ever since it was announced because I absolutely loved A Thousand Perfect Notes by Drews. That book broke my heart and I was looking forward to more feels caused by this book. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The Boy Who Steals Houses made me cry, clutch my heart, smile, laugh with tears in my eyes, broke my heart, and put the pieces back together messily. It was too good. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a book that will draw you in completely and play with your heart.

Until June by Aurora Rose Reynolds

I got emboldened by Until Trevor and wanted another romance book to read, and decided to try another by Reynolds. I also have read other books in the Until Him/Her series which I have quite liked so I had high hopes for this one.

While I did like the book in the beginning, it quickly went sour. By the end, I just wanted the book to end. So yeah, unfortunate read.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

I managed to nab The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang last year on Kindle when it was free for a day, and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. The female lead had Asperger’s and I absolutely loved the storyline. I was looking forward to this book and planned on reading it later but one of my friends in real life told me in no uncertain terms that I had to read it NOW.

So I went ahead and read it. And as expected, it blew me away. I fell in love with the characters and their journey. I liked the supporting characters just as much as the main characters. Definitely recommended if you’re looking for a unique romance with autism rep.

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

I picked this one up on a whim because I was in the mood for fluffy YA. I had a little bit of hard time trying to remember characters from book 1 and their stories. This book had a lot of references to book 1 which made me confused and left without some information. It became okay later on but I still felt that the author could have written the book such that new readers can read this without having read Geekerella.

I ended up really liking it in the end! It was adorable and fluffy, which was exactly what I was looking for.

The Lie by C.L. Taylor

This is the last read from the readathon which I didn’t complete but I did make progress on. This is a mystery/thriller book and it was really good! I had never heard of the book before I just picked it up in a book fair which i went to a few months back. I didn’t have high hopes for the book but I was pleasantly surprised and really liked it!

If you’re looking for a slightly dark thriller, check this one out.


And that’s it for my wrap-up! I’ll see y’all in my next post.

What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Tell me in the comments!

Rewind and Play || Indian college adventures

rewind and play book cover

Title: Rewind And Play
Author: Tarun Gautam
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult+
Series info: Single book
Goodreads

Synopsis:

Raghav Diwan is living the American Dream. A successful career, a comfortable and happy married life. One day, he receives an invitation to an evening get-together with his college batchmates. He has not kept in touch with any of them and has no desire to meet them. But the past seems to be calling him. The past wants to reveal something to him. Will he open the door to let the past in? Will he let it change his future? Will he press, rewind and play?

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

When I first saw the synopsis for this book, I was a little confused about what it would actually contain. The title tells that we will be revisiting the main character Raghav’s past, but why? I picked up the book nonetheless and it turned out to be not bad.

The Plot

Raghav has everything—an amazing career that gets him awards, a cool wife and a good home life. All he’s thinking about is meeting his next goal. But one day, because of one problem, it all comes crashing down. Raghav loses his job, his reputation becomes ruined and finding another job seems harder.

In the midst of a storm, Raghav receives an invite from his friends to get together with them for an evening. He doesn’t want to go, because he has nothing to show at the moment. He is at his lowest. But he ends up going and remembering the past reminds him of his roots.

Most of the book is just scenes and memorable events that occurred in Raghav’s four years of college along with his friends. All of them take turns narrating a story, each of which brings a little of that old life back into them.

My Thoughts on the book:

  • The editing should have been better.

It was the sole reason because of which I had a hard time liking the book in the beginning. I actually took out a pen and corrected the mistakes. It didn’t help that the flow of the book wasn’t smooth in the beginning, so I couldn’t immerse myself into the story. The flow actually was jarring when the book would jump back to the past and come back.

  • I stuck through the book and it actually became better.

I finally put my pen down, stopped annotating and let the book go. I got used to the flow and the editing mistakes, or at least I managed to not notice them much, and I ended up enjoying the book a whole lot more.

It took me two days to get properly into the book, but once I did I finished it in a day.

  • I actually really liked the flashback stories.

I’m studying Engineering in India too and the best part about reading an Indian book set in college is that I could REALLY relate. I saw the fun they had in the fun that I have today. I saw my experiences in the story. That made the book a whole lot more enjoyable.

The stories were nothing so outrageous that I would have a hard time believing them. They were interesting but what they meant for the characters made the stories much more meaningful. The group really reminisced and got caught up in their memories, becoming wishful and nostalgic.

I’m a sucker for reminiscing and a good group of friends. In fact, I was with my friends talking about high school just a couple days back. I saw my friends and I in the characters.

  • The characters were really dynamic.

The group of friends were from all over India and all of the cultures and references were brought in. In a subtle way, I saw how every person in the group was important to the group and the different addition they bring to the table.

The friends made mistakes together, were foolish together and grew together. They learned from each other and learned together. I really liked the group.

  • I really liked how the book ended.

With every memory being remembered, the characters felt a piece of their old selves in them surfacing. They remembered that life and who they were at the start. They remembered their roots and sometimes, all it requires for a person to find direction is to find their roots.

The ending put a smile to my face and I ended the book content. All is well that ends well, and it was truly the case with this book.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a book about the Indian college life and are looking for something to relate to, you should pick this up.

Three stars.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.