The Bronze Horseman || a history lesson with romance

the bronze horseman by paullina simmons

Title: The Bronze Horseman
Author: Paullina Simmons
Genre: Historical Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Book #1 of The Bronze Horseman series

This book found its way into my TBR* because of Instagram. I followed @sissireads for romance recommendations and beautiful pictures and quickly caught wind of her UNDYING LOVE for this series. As far as I remember, she owns 75 or so editions of this book!

If a book is SO LOVED, it definitely deserves a chance to be read. Although it’s been in my TBR for a year, I picked it up only now with the added incentive through reading challenges.

This book fits into 2 of my challenges: #StartOnYourShelfathon and 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge. Click here to know more about them.

*To Be Read list

THE PLOT

The book takes place in war-torn Leningrad, Soviet Union. Tatiana, a young 17 year old girl finds the love of her life by chance while sitting on a bench and eating ice cream. Alexander Belov, a handsome soldier, is also besotted with her.

But love isn’t that simple when you’re in Soviet Union and Hitler is coming after your country. And it becomes even more complicated because Tatiana’s sister is in love with the same man.

MY REVIEW

This book took me a LONG time to read. I used to read a lot back in school but don’t have the time now. It was only after my internship was paused and we went into precautionary quarantine that I got the time to really read this.

The Bronze Horseman is a romance at the core, but it also has a ton of history and politics.

The politics part is brought in because Alexander and Tatiana have many conversations talking about their country, their leaders and their situations. That was pretty interesting to read because I got to know a lot more.

I also really liked the amount of history brought in. It was VERY detailed in the book, and the author spent time on describing small losses and victories as well.

My history lessons in school barely mentioned Russia and, in fact, any other countries in focus other than India. So reading books like this one teaches a ton.

Through Tatiana and her family, we get a very detailed look into the lives of civilians during the war. At some point, it was less romance and more war-focused.

It comes through that the author cares a lot about getting the history right and has used this book to teach readers something about the place she’s from.

As for the romance.. I’m conflicted. I liked the romance sometimes, but the story kept going in circles. The love triangle between Alexander, Tatiana, and Tatiana’s sister Dasha was dragged on way too long.

It might be because I’m a nerd but I preferred the small details of war and history than the romance.

Another thing I noticed was that Alexander is problematic. He is portrayed to be this alpha-male who cares for Tatiana a lot. But multiple times his actions were not healthy. The more times I noticed it, the less I liked him.

Alexander has a temper, is unyielding when he wants something, is persuasive, and is controlling. He is also a hero. The perfect soldier who succeeds in every mission he sets out for.

To contrast, Tatiana is an innocent girl who is believed to be young and fragile but is actually a strong woman in will. She is stubborn, will put herself through hell for people she cares about, and has a habit of giving things away to the less fortunate.

Their dynamic is one I’ve seen many times in romance books. They need each other to balance out. Alexander is there to protect her and is the only person who actually prioritizes her, and she is the only one who sees the real him.

The highlight of the book is the plot overall. This is a huge book and it has the story to justify it. It contains A TON, and it’s worthy of 900 pages. The story from start to finish is quite captivating.

I was actually dreading reading the next book after this because book 2 is another 500 pages. But surprisingly, as I finished this book, I couldn’t wait to get to the next one. The story is good and keeps you interested. I want to know how it all ends.

OVERALL

I actually quite liked the book, despite not liking the romance. I was in it for the history and information. But, that DID get old after a while and I basically skimmed the last bits of the book.

This is not a book to just pick up, because you need time and patience for it.

Would recommend: if you’re into history and have the time and patience for this book.

Would not recommend: if you don’t like long books, details, and problematic heroes. Also if repetition really annoys you.

I rate this book..

3/5 stars

www wednesday @ the wordy habitat, all the bookish updates, currently reading, mini book reviews, books to read next.

WWW Wednesday // 18 March 2020

HELLO Y’ALL!

I’m officially just sitting home with no work and no college for the foreseeable future. Yes I am struggling because I need a purpose to my days and suddenly having all plans cancelled is not great.

BUT.

The silver lining is that I finally have time to read! And I’ve actually been burying myself into books for the last few days. I may catch up to my original reading challenge of 150 books for 2020. Let’s see.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m not reading anything currently as a paperback or ebook. I’m in-between books. I finished a book just this morning and haven’t picked up another yet.

On the audiobook front, I’m still reading Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. As I’m not commuting, there’s no real use for an audiobook for me.

But I am planning on finishing it soon. Time to start doodling and listen to audiobooks while in quarantine.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

I have a proper list after so long! I read quite a bit.

I FINALLY finished The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons last weekend. That huge book was a long and wild. There were a ton of elements to it. It had been on my list for a long time. I’m glad I finally got to it.

It was pretty good. While it was very long and sometimes irritating, it was quite nice. I’m looking forward to read the next book because I gotta know how it all ends.

Right after that, I needed a pick-me-up. Especially with the news nowadays, and sitting at home all day, I needed a happy book.

My book club decided to read Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn and IT WAS SO GOOD. I stayed up until 3am and read it in one sitting. It was so nice. The book was actually quite comforting.

The next book isn’t one that I finished. After seeing it around a lot, I picked up The Upside of Falling by Alex Light. I read until 17% then gave up. It wasn’t good. There wasn’t a lot of content, and the beginning was simply glossed over with a dismal plot. As it didn’t interest me at all, I gave up on it.

After that, I went down back to random romance book haha. It’s been a while since I read books with the secret-baby trope. Don’t ask me why I went back to it, I just did.

The next book that I read was Surprise Baby for Christmas by Harmony Knight. I actually did not like it. It was so sub-par. My only takeaway from it is that there exists something called a cryptic pregnancy. I never knew that existed.

The last one is Her Sicilian Baby Revelation by Michelle Smart. This one was actually not bad. I wish there was some more focus on the struggles the female lead and her son went through, though. Their tragic accident and recovery part was kind of glossed over but I would have liked more focus on that.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

No clue. I’m just picking up random books.

Over the next few days, I am planning on reading the sequel of The Bronze Horseman called Tatiana & Alexander. It’s smaller than the first book so it should be done faster.

And I want to read some book, ANY book, from my physical shelf. Maybe Frankly in Love by David Yoon? Just, any of them haha.

And that’s it for this week’s bookish updates!

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Tell me about your bookish updates! What are you currently reading? What did you read recently?

Book Design Tag

Books can be SUPER PRETTY and make you cover buy.

They can also be so creative. The book designs, especially nowadays, are BRILLIANT. Designers come up with such good designs, I get heart eyes.

I found this tag at A Little Haze Book Blog and thought it would be fun to do!


1. A book you bought primarily (or completely) because of the cover.

the crown by kiera cass

The Crown by Kiera Cass. I didn’t even want to read this book because The Heir (it’s immediate prequel) was SO BAD. But. It’s so pretty. So of course I bought it.

2. A book you want to buy that has a beautiful cover

six of crows collector's edition

Since I already own the Six of Crows collector’s edition, I’m going to say Crooked Kindgom collector’s edition! These editions are way too beautiful.

3. Your favourite series design

the selection series

The Selection series by Kiera Cass. All the books look way too good. The dresses, especially.

4. Dust jacket: a book with a beautiful dust jacket, or something unexpected under the jacket

I’m not a huge hardcover follower, so I’m actually not sure. I’m going to say.. A Darker Shade of Magic collector’s edition.

5. Naked hardback: a gorgeous book with no dust jacket

Going with Six of Crows again!

6. A beautiful paperback

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore cover

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan! When I noticed it in the bookstore last year, I was struck by how beautiful it looks!

7. A nonfiction book with a lovely cover

I’m not a non-fiction person so I don’t keep track of this genre. Skipping this one!

8. A book with great endpapers

Okay I don’t pay much attention to this too. But I did see endpapers of The Shadowhunter’s Codex once and LOVED IT. So I’ll choose that.

9. Spine: a book that looks just as gorgeous spine-out as it does face-out

circe by madeline miller

Circe by Madeline Miller! It’s very catchy showing the spine on my shelf 🙂

10. Tag some friends!

YOU! Only if you want to do this too, of course.


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top ten tuesday header image

10 Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence

It’s the age of the internet and that means fans can follow and interact (!!!) with celebrities. For readers, those celebrities are called authors.

There are many authors whom I follow as well. I follow partly for new book news but mostly to know the authors behind the scenes. Like what are they annoyed with today or memes that they find funny. Just fun things!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence and this week’s topic is Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence. Let’s get to it!

[1] Rick Riordan

I’ve been following him since the time I joined Twitter, and I totally enjoy his tweets. Especially recently, since he posts updates about a new PJ adaptation (FINGERS CROSSED WE GET ONE!).

[2] V. E. Schwab

She is an ABSOLUTE QUEEN and its fun to follow her both on Twitter and Instagram. Schwab is hilarious, especially with her tweets. Also, most of her tweets are SUPER RELATABLE.

[3] Kiera Cass

She is HILARIOUS. I love following her on both Twitter and Instagram. Her Instagram user name is so cool.

One of the recent highlights was when there was a line in P.S. I Still Love You (Sequel of To All The Boys) that was VERY SIMILAR to a very popular line from her book The One. Everyone started tweeted her about it and she had NO CLUE because she doesn’t watch movies. It was so funny.

[4] Hank Green

Hank Green’s tweets on Twitter are crack. me. up. He also tweets about relevant things that are happening in the world currently.

[5] James Breakwell

HIS ACCOUNT IS MY FAVOURITE.

His tweets are almost ALWAYS funny, and they’re all about his family. His young daughters are such ICONS and it’s so cool to see random life updates through his tweets.

I’ve shown his account to multiple IRL* friends actually.

*In Real Life

I mean.. seriously. I love the 5 year old. (He always refers to them by their ages)

[6] Penny Reid

Considering some of my favourite romance books are written by her, its obvious that she would be just as awesome as a person. Or as a Twitter account.

She also responds and interacts with her fans a TON.

[7] Tahereh Mafi

Her Instagram account is GORGEOUS. First of all, love her fashion and her style. It’s not my style, but I do admire her for having a very distinctive style. Another thing I love is getting glimpses of her CUTE daughter.

View this post on Instagram

never enough words to describe

A post shared by tahereh mafi (@tahereh) on

View this post on Instagram

imagine me hits shelves next month

A post shared by tahereh mafi (@tahereh) on

There are so many more pictures showing off her style that I want to show but then this post will just become an ode to her Instagram.

[8] Adam Silvera

I’ve been following his Twitter WAY before I even read his books. His personality is so cool and it shows through his tweets.

He also frequently gushes about other books and shares what he’s reading/loving.

[9] R. F. Kuang

She’s the author of The Poppy War, but it doesn’t seem like it in her Twitter feed because she talks about all life things more than book things.

One of her tweets became popular and found it’s way into my feed, which was how I started following her. It actually took me a few seconds to realize that she’s the author haha.

Sharing my FAVOURITE tweet thread by her lol.

I actually BURST OUT LAUGHING when I read the first tweet. And I was in public.

[10] Alexa Martin

I’ve spoken about her and her books several times in my posts, especially in the recommendation lists. So, of course, I had to find her online and follow her.


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Who are your favourite people to follow on social media? Tell me below!

Love From A to Z || READ. THIS.

love from a to z by S.K. Ali

Title: Love From A to Z
Author: S.K. Ali
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

This book had been on my TBR* for a LONG TIME. Although I had heard really good things about it, I just was never in the mood to get it and read it. Thankfully, that changed recently.

When I got an audiobook subscription, I started going through all the book available and this caught my eye. Since 2020 so far has been reading backlist books, I thought I will tackle this as well. And that was a very good decision.

*To Be Read list

THE PLOT

Adam and Zayneb record their lives in their “marvels and oddities” journals. Although they got the idea in different ways, it’s how they see their lives.

Fate decided to push them together. They come across each other in the London airport waiting for the same flight, and then met each other again through family in Doha.

This book is a love story through and through. But it is made of so much more.

MY REVIEW

THIS. BOOK.

I shouldn’t have waited so long to read it. It’s so damn good.

Love From A to Z is the love story of Adam and Zayneb, who live in different countries and have entirely different plans for life. Their lives are very different, and yet they feel pulled towards each other.

Let’s do this in a list, because lists make everything better.

  • ZAYNEB.

Zayneb is an angry person. She becomes angry when any injustice occurs and cannot sit quietly, accepting it. Especially when it comes to her religion.

Zayneb got suspended for a week right before spring break from school because of a seemingly threatening note against her Islamophobic teacher. After her suspension, she decides that she will become a new person this spring at Doha. A quieter Zayneb. A softer Zayneb.

  • ADAM.

Adam is studying in London, but he stopped going to classes two months ago. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, the same condition which took his mom away, he has decided to LIVE. He’s on his way home from University and is faced with the decision to tell his family about MS.

  • CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Both Zayneb and Adam go through leaps and bounds in this book. They learn, and they mature. They learn about themselves and find courage to be truly themselves.

Zayneb’s development was especially lovely to see. She wants to become a muter person who will cause less trouble for her parents, but this spring she learns that her experiences aren’t meant to be shushed. I loved that.

  • ISLAM.

This book teaches us so much about the religion, and the beauty of it. I’ll be honest, the only reason I know anything about Christianity is because of books. And I’m super glad that books about Islam are coming up too.

Books have the capability to teach us so much, and this one took the opportunity.

  • ZAYNEB’S AUNT.

I just love her. She’s awesome. I want her as my aunt.

  • MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

As Adam has MS, we learn a lot about it as well. The book has a very raw depiction of living with MS and I almost cried at one point. Although I knew the basics about the condition, this is the first time that I learnt about it in detail.

  • MARVELS AND ODDITIES.

The book is written through their journals. As Adam and Zayneb record the marvels and oddities of their lives, we see how they view life and it’s moments.

It was a new way of writing a book and it was nice. I enjoyed the format.

OVERALL

A really REALLY nice book that I totally recommend. I “read” the book through audiobook and it was well narrated so I would suggest that too. It’s the best narrated book I’ve listened to so far.

I rate this…

4/5 stars

reading challenges updates and goals @ the wordy habitat book blog

February Reading Challenges update + March Goals

Hey guys!

February was a shorter month, even though it was a day longer than usual. This basically means that I read one book less than I originally would.

Okay, I’m totally lying. I’m barely finding the time to read, y’all! I’m using the one missing day as an excuse.

While February was more hectic than usual, I still managed to stay a little consistent in my reading. This was only possible because I started listening to audiobooks during commute. Not always, but enough.

It resulted in me reading three extra books! It’s kind of a lifesaver haha.

Anyway, let’s get to the (disappointing) updates and (hopeful) goals.

GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE

When talking about February goals, I mentioned that if I don’t catch up to my goal in February I would reduce my goal. I was 4 books behind at the time.

Today, I’m giving myself a second chance to catch up to my original goal of 150 books. Why, you ask? Because I’ve been consistently 4 books behind all month.

I just need to fit in 4 reads somewhere so I can catch up. Hopefully, it’ll happen.

I’ve made a new goal now, though. If my pace falls behind by 8 books, I WILL reduce it. No second chances.

As of now, I’ve read 22/150 books, leaving me 3 books behind schedule. The only way I reduced one was by reading a very tiny book. Yes, I cheated, but I had no choice.

SOUTH-ASIAN READING CHALLENGE 2020

Last month, I planned to read two books. But I managed to only finish one of them.

Loveboat, Taipei is done. Stories We Never Tell is still sitting unread on my shelf and will probably be there for a while because I’m NOT finding the time to actually read.

I have no specific book in mind for March. If I can read Stories We Never Tell, it would be good. Actually, I stopped keeping track of this challenge completely. Don’t be surprised if it disappears next month haha.*

*sobs internally at my failure

#StartOnYourShelfathon

Does it count if the shelf is my To-Be-Read shelf? I assume not. *sigh*

The only books that qualifies for this challenge (that I read) are:

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Axiom by Kristofor Hellmeister

March goals are low and now optimistic so I know I can hit them. My goal is to read at least ONE from my physical shelf.

2020 POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE

Someone from my book club who is also doing this challenge has finished 19 of the prompts (!!!!!) and here I am with barely any checked off. *cries internally again*

Prompts I completed in February:

  • A book that’s published in 2020: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
  • A book set in a country beginning with C: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen which is set in China.
  • A book you picked because the title caught your attention: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A book with at least a 4-star rating on Goodreads: The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes
  • A book you meant to read in 2019: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A book that passes the Bechdel test: What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
  • A book by a WOC: Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

I had meant to read Stories We Never Tell for the last prompt, but since I didn’t read it, I switched the book so I can check off the prompt. Fortunately, I managed to check off a few extra prompts using the books I read. Yay!

This brings my total to 11 prompts! Okay that’s way more than I expected haha. Fortunately my February reads fit in with random prompts.

I don’t have specific prompt goals for March, but I’d like to hit at least 3. Let’s see!

A RANDOM UPDATE

I’m not doing any challenge to get to my backlist books (like Beat the Backlist challenge which I had done a few years back). But since I do have an audiobook subscription now, I’m using it to check off old books from my TBR.

This is happening only because I found those books when browsing, and I fortunately don’t have to buy them individually. This is a good opportunity to finish them.

And that’s it for this month!

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Are you participating in any challenges? What’s your status?

top ten tuesday header image

The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Books that leave you with book hangovers are the best books.

They affect you so much that you CANNOT MOVE ON.

And to be honest, I’ve not read many such books. I’m someone who likes to read quick and move on quick. I usually move on to other books soon. Hence, the books that give me a book hangover and grip me for days after finishing them are BRILLIANT.

My standards are pretty high lol.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ The Artsy Reader Girl to talk about books and this post’s topic is The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover.

Edit: I seem to have messed up my dates and picked up last week’s topic. You can see how out of it I am haha. Such a shame because this week’s topic is SO GOOD *cries*

[1] Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer

heads you win book cover

Jeffrey Archer’s books always suck me in and give me a book hangover, although of different levels. The unique thing about this book was that it WASN’T ACTUALLY GOOD??? The ending got me so messed up and I still have a 100 questions.

After finishing the book, I thought about it and went around in circles for DAYS. Although the ending ruined the experience for me, it IS a very good book. And the author made sure I won’t forget it lol. That ending was… something.

Click here to see my full review of the book.

[2] Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Rafe book cover

Okay so you want to know why a fluffy romance book gave me a book hangover?

It’s because this book was AMAZING.

  • GOOD, STRONG, MATURE CHARACTERS.
  • A very nice plot.
  • PROPER REPRESENTATION.
  • No random nonsense or just fluff.
  • It was over all just really well written and
  • It was great to read.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the book after finishing it. I read a couple other books after it, and CAME BACK to reread this book because it wasn’t getting out of my head.

Click here to read my review.

[3] Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood book cover

Okay this one gave me a PROPER HANGOVER.

When I finished reading it, I reread the last part then had to sit with my thoughts for quite a while. Just thinking and processing.

I spent the next one day just thinking about the entirety of this book and having questions. In order to get it all out, I found a random person on Reddit to discuss with lol. That’s how much I needed to talk about it and get it out of my system.

A brilliant book. In fact I did make notes on it for a review but never ended up writing it because my thoughts were never clear enough.

[4] Heartache duet by Jay McLean

heartache & hope book cover

Technically, I got a book hangover by the complete duology. I read books 1 and 2 continuously and hence they gave me a book hangover together.

This is another review that I eventually didn’t end up writing. My thoughts were quite clear but my emotions were ALL OVER THE PLACE. I didn’t trust myself to review clearly and hence I didn’t.

It was part of my best books of 2019 though. That should say enough.

The books deal with many themes but basically they BREAK YOUR HEART. Using realistic and heartbreaking situations, the authors weaved a romance story which is so much more. It has a happy ending but the road to it was brutal.

[5] The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

the poet x book cover

Honestly, the fact that this is on this list shouldn’t even be a surprise.

It’s a brilliant and powerful book. The words, the writing, the story, the representation, the EMOTION—they were all hard-hitting and on-point.

Click here to read my review.

[6] Forever Right Now by Emma Scott

forever right now book cover

Another book that was mentioned in my best of 2019 list that I didn’t review. Because I didn’t know how to.

This book is romance but also involves the struggles of an ex-drug addict in recovery. It’s about second chances, and about family.

I didn’t even see this book affecting me much while reading it. But it subtly made a big impression on me. I didn’t even realize it became one of my best reads until a couple days after finishing it.

The realization came when I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and it had me going back to reread parts multiple times.

If you want a romance book recommendation that is underrated but really good, this is it.

[7] Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

queen of air and darkness book cover

This needs ZERO explanation.

Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices trilogy was TOO DAMN GOOD and the last book gave EVERYONE a book hangover. That’s the truth. Let’s move on.

[8] The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner

the perfect husband book cover

This mystery + thriller book BLEW ME AWAY. I couldn’t stop talking about it to my friend.

Coincidentally, my friend actually referred to this book recently and remembered exact details because I was SO PASSIONATE about this book.

Click here to read my review.

[9] Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Josh & Hazel's guide to not dating book cover

Simply because this book was way too adorable. The characters were perfect, the chemistry was on-point, and the story had me HOOKED.

It also includes my #1 trope which is friends-to-lovers. Christina Lauren wrote this book so well and it’s one of my all-time best romance books. I’ve reread it SO MANY TIMES.

Click here to read my review.

[10] Radio Silence

radio silence book cover

Alice Oseman is popular for a very valid reason. And Radio Silence is her most popular book for a REASON.

I’ve never read a book like Radio Silence before. The plot, the characters, the VIBE—all of it was unique and immersive. After finishing the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had so many feelings.

Click here to read my review.

And those were the last ten books that gave me a book hangover! This week’s prompt was actually fun to do because I got to talk about awesome books lol.

Take my recommendation and go READ THESE.

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What are some books that gave you book hangovers?

Loveboat, Taipei || unpopular opinion alert!

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Title: Loveboat, Taipei
Author: Abigail Hing Wen
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

There’s been a lot of talk about this book since before it’s release. Bloggers who were lucky enough to get an ARC of this praised it a lot. The word got out pretty well, and tons of people got to reading it.

Everything I heard about this book was good. It was only positive. And that’s the reason why I expected it to be really good. I did not expect for it have elements that I really dislike.

But I did.

THE PLOT

Ever is a first generation Chinese-American. And like all Asian parents, they have high dreams for Ever. She’s expected to become a doctor.

But all Ever wants to do is dance. She loves to dance and choreograph dance routines. Her dream is to get into NYU Tisch School of Arts.

During the summer after high school, when she had plans of dancing and other things, her parents suddenly send her to Taipei for a summer programs. They want her to know her culture and learn Mandarin.

But the program nicknamed “Loveboat” is much more than a clean summer program to learn things. And this summer is going to shape Ever’s life in ways she never expected.

MY REVIEW

Let’s do this review in list format because I have MANY POINTS.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • Asian-American life representation.

Life is a lot like that even in Asian countries. Parents sacrifice SO MUCH that us only thinking about doing what makes us happy is almost a crime. I’m literally an engineering student in college and not doing literature because of my parents.

It’s so normal for us. And I love how it’s represented accurately, describing how it is for the kids AND the parents.

  • Complex relationships.

There were so many relationships shown that had layers to them. Between Ever and her romantic interest. Ever and her parents. Ever and her roommate.

There were even second-hand mentions of relationships not explicitly shown in the book. I loved reading all of it because it’s how life is. And the author managed to show just how many different complex relationships exist for just one person.

  • What it’s like to be Asian in America.

As the summer program is full of Asian kids living in other countries, we got a few bits of proper focus on how life is for them. The way they are treated, the almost-normal racist comments. It hit hard, but I feel good knowing that non-Asian readers will understand what it’s like.

  • Dreams and sacrfices.

We know that how we are brought up affects us a lot. It shapes our self-worth, our attitude towards life, and our ambitions and goals. This book really showcased the different types of lives and how parents really affect children.

  • Supporting characters had significance too.

Every supporting character we saw had dreams and goals. They had desires in life. The author showcased so many different scenarios through them. This one group of guys just went around breaking Asian stereotypes and I LOVED IT. Huge points for these things.

  • Character growth.

There was so much of it! Characters learned through mistakes, learnt new things, started having different outlooks and became better people by the end. That was lovely to watch.

What I did not like:

  • The middle of the book was dull and uninteresting.

The beginning started off strong. The ending was good. But damn the middle was annoying.

After Ever got to the program, it became all about teenage rebellion and boy crazy thoughts. It felt like a full one eighty from the first few chapters.

It got me so disinterested in the book that I PAUSED listening to it as an audiobook. In order to make myself finish the book, I had to pick it up as an ebook after a week.

This alone ruined the experience for me.

OVERALL

Other than the random boy-crazy rebelling stuff in the middle which threw the entire book off for me, it was really good.

I recommend this book for the Asian-American representation, complex relationships, and character growth.

But if you don’t like ANY of boy crazy random things, you won’t like it much like me.

I rate this book…

3/5 stars

the sunday post header

The Sunday Post // all the updates!

Hey y’all!

It’s been so long since I’ve posted a life update! I think it’s been about three weeks since my last Sunday post but I didn’t even realize it. The days are going by very fast because all my days are FILLED.

To be honest, I don’t know what exactly to update on but I shall just mention whatever I can think of.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

My classes started up again.

Yes, I’m still doing my internship. But college doesn’t revolve around us students with internships.

For the last semester, we have classes 3 days a week—Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Since I have internship Monday to Friday, I was (fortunately) given permission to skip classes for two days. Attendance on Saturdays is still required, though.

So from now on, I’m officially back on the six day week track.

Yesterday was my first day back in college and also for many of my friends. Most of us are doing internships so it was like a reunion after so long. It was so nice!

Everyone asked each other updates and caught up on lives. Since we’re a big group, we don’t text individually with everyone else. Most interactions and updates happen in groups so it was much needed.

We spent time like old times yesterday. My friend and I, who got into the same company, treated the rest of our friends in Taco Bell since we got our first stipend. And we played card games, which is a classic thing that we do.

So yeah, it was pretty fun.

Reading Update

I was off to a very good start at the beginning of this week. Especially since I got an audiobook subscription a while back.

But my reading just.. slowed down a lot. During the week I barely read. And Loveboat, Taipei which I was listening to as an audiobook was not very enjoyable. It put me off and I just stopped listening to it for a while.

In order to finish it, I picked it up as an ebook in the last few days and skimmed the rest of it. While the ending was good, I just did not have a good time reading it overall.

Other than that, I finished no other books. So yeah, I’m pretty sure I will be reducing my reading goal for the year.

Here’s the reading update on The Thing Around Your Neck:

TV Show & Movie update

I watched so many things recently!

Extraordinarily You

I watching this Kdrama a couple weeks back. Binged it during the weekend, actually. It was actually really nice. I liked the complexity of the concept and it’s very different than the stories I’ve seen around the same concept.

Sky Castle

Watched this Kdrama during the week a couple weeks back. It’s 20 episodes long and I was HOOKED the whole time. It’s a brilliant drama in the Dark Academia genre which talks about a ton of things. Complex characters, complex relationships and a very interesting story.

Miss Americana

Watched this on Netflix last weekend. I’ve been a real fan of Taylor Swift only in the last year or so, when she started speaking out on things and became more than a regular singer. This movie brought many things from her life to light. It was nice to watch and learn more about her as a person.

P.S. I Still Love You

This sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was nice but… I didn’t like it all that much. It wasn’t special. There were a ton of cool plotlines from the book that were scrapped. In fact, almost everything other than the love triangle was scrapped. It made the movie seem to have less substance.

I’m excited to watch the third movie, though. It’s less about new romances and more about life and choices. It should be quite nice.

Spinning Out

I watched this series throughout the past week. It’s actually quite small, with only 10 half-hour episodes.

But it packed SO MUCH in those 5 hours. The show is too good, and I have no idea why Netflix cancelled it WITHIN A MONTH of releasing it. That’s such a disappointment.

It’s honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

Random thoughts

I’ve been having small but really good conversations with people recently. Just talking about things and finding out various perspectives. It’s always interesting to see how different people view the same thing.

And I really like conversations where we talk about something in depth, ask each other questions on things and explain perspectives. It helps me understand other people better. I also sometimes learn new things.

So yeah. That’s been the random highlight of last week.


That’s about all I have to say. There have been a ton of small things happening but not interesting enough to share lol.

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How was your week? What did you read or watch?

reading challenges updates and goals @ the wordy habitat book blog

January Reading Challenges update + February goals

Hey y’all!

2020 is the first year where I take on reading challenges/readathons for the first time. I mentioned all the ones I’m participating in last year, and I was hesitant if I’ll be able to truly keep up with them. But I’m trying!

In this post, I’ll go through my updates on every challenge and the goals I have for this month.

GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE

I kept my goal 150 books, same as last year. But I’m already behind on the challenge lol.

Right now, I’m 3 books behind on my challenge with 12/150 books completed. 9 books were read in January. That’s a low number compared to previous years as January is usually the month when I read many books. But this time I didn’t have a full sem break in Jan so the reads went down as well.

My goal this month is to catch up with the challenge. If I don’t catch up by the end of February, I’ll mostly lower my goal. The rest of the year will just be more hectic so if I don’t catch up now, I won’t later.

SOUTH-ASIAN READING CHALLENGE 2020

Started by Fanna, the goal is just to read as many South-Asian books as you can. There are also Books of the Month (BOTM) picked by the hosts every month.

In January, I read one of the BOTMs which was My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma. I almost didn’t read it but managed to squeeze it in at the end of the month.

For February, I’m reading 2 South-Asian books. One is Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen which I’m currently listening to as an audiobook. The other is Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma which I picked up in the bookstore recently.

#StartOnYourShelfathon

In my excitement for this challenge, I made a whole post about what I’d like to read in Janurary. I read three books from that list and stopped following it. I’m a mood reader so I honestly expected it.

Books I read that fit this challenge:

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Books I want to read in February:

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (currently reading!)
  • Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon

2020 POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE

My progress on this challenge is LAUGHABLE. The only reason I got any ticked off was because I read books that fit two challenges.

Prompts I completed:

  • Book about a world leader: Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • A book set in Japan: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • A book with more than 20 words in the title: My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
  • A book with a 3 word-title: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

I’m doing the same in February as January. I’m trying to fit all my reads picked for other challenges into prompts for this challenge.

Prompts I’m aiming for in February:

  • A book that’s published in 2020: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (already finished!)
  • A book set in a country beginning with C: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen which is set in China.
  • A book you picked because the title caught your attention: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which was a random buy at the bookstore because of the title.
  • A book by a WOC: Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma

And that’s it! It feels like a lot haha. Let’s hope I can do it all.

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Are you participating in any challenges? What’s your status?

My So-Called Bollywood Life || the book I needed

my so called bollywood life by nisha sharma book cover // book review by Sumedha @ the wordy habitat

Title: My So-Called Bollywood Life
Author: Nisha Sharma
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I picked up this book as part of the South-Asian Reading Challenge, and I was NOT disappointed. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to read it in January but after Kafka On The Shore I needed something light and this was perfect.

THE PLOT

The book stars Vaneeta “Winnie” Mehta—a film enthusiast (particularly Bollywood films), type A Indian student, and dramatic enough to make Bollywood writers proud.

After Winnie is cheated on and dumped by Raj, whom she thought was “the one” because of an astrologer’s prophecy, she sets out to change her destiny in the stars.

Enter: Dev Khanna, a guy Winnie had a spark with in freshman year before starting to date Raj. A guy who, while not matching her true love prophecy, feels more right for her than Raj ever did.

My So-Called Bollywood Life is perfect for readers who like YA. But it’s even more perfect for Bollywood-lovers. Following Winnie’s complicated life about teenage love, future plans, and family dynamics with Indian traditions, this book will transport you into a fun world.

MY REVIEW

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.

I cannot describe just how much I enjoyed this. It has all the Indian elements I ever wanted in a YA setting. As someone who loves YA and barely sees true Indian representation, this warmed my heart so much. I could cry.

All the things I loved:

(pretty much everything lol)

  • Winnie Mehta is awesome. I absolutely loved reading through her perspective. She’s energetic, exuberant, and is very passionate about films. I adored her. ❤
  • EVERYTHING INDIAN. Of course, I have to mention this. Even the few Hindi sentences (smoothly translated in English for everyone else) were a huge addition. I felt included. *cries* The traditions, beliefs, everything was amazing to read about. #relatable

“Kamina, kutta, sala,” she said sweetly when she answered (the phone).

  • Family presence. Winnie’s relationship with her family, especially her dad and grandmom, was so nice to see.
  • It wasn’t just romance. A lot of YA novels tend to sideline everything else in the favour of scenes that contribute to the romance. That didn’t happen here. We saw enough about Winnie’s culture, other relationships, and mostly importantly her drive towards film. She was determined to do anything to get into NYU. The struggle and stress was shown.
  • Winnie and Bridget. These two best friends were adorable to watch and I loved everything about their friendship.
  • The romance. I mean, come on. Of course I’m going to mention this. As the heart of the story, the romance did NOT disappoint. Honestly, it gave me quite a few feels.

“I’m done with romance.”

Nani snorted. “You’re Indian! We live for romance.”

A book is not just made of major plot points, but also the small settings. My So-Called Bollywood Life was chock full of small scenes/parts which make a difference to the reader. From Winnie dreaming about her favourite actor to people belittling Indian beliefs, there were tons of moments that added to the experience.

OVERALL

Thoroughly enjoyed the book, and totally recommend it to all YA lovers.

I did notice that it’s not specifically targeted for Indian readers, as in that the traditions are subtly explained and Hindi terms are translated. So if you want to have a fun and light YA read, you can pick this up without any worries.

I’m so glad I was introduced to this book through the challenge because I doubt I would have come across it otherwise.

I rate this book…

4.5/5 stars

www wednesday @ the wordy habitat, all the bookish updates, currently reading, mini book reviews, books to read next.

WWW Wednesday // 05 Feb 2020

Hey everyone!

Ever since my internship started halfway through January, my reading has significantly gone down. Right now, I’m 4 books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge. This last week, I’ve been reading whenever I can to keep pace.

My goal is to catch up on the challenge in the next two weeks or so. Let’s hope I can do it lol. Otherwise, I might reduce my goal.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What did you recently finish reading?

1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

To be honest, I finished this on 26th which is not in the last 7 days. But I want to talk about it since I didn’t in any post.

I like the author’s style as in Norwegian Wood. The underlying intention of the plot was a good concept as well. But the world-building and the fully developed plot did not make sense. I was confused a lot. After I finished the book, it left no lasting impression on me.

It was honestly disappointing. I expected a lot out of it since it’s a very popular Murakami book that many love, but I didn’t like it. Only after posting my disappointment over it did I find that many others didn’t like it as well.

So yeah, it is a popular book that I didn’t like.

2. My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Read this as part of the South-Asian Reading Challenge after Kafka on the Shore since I wanted an easy feel-good book. It was really nice! Loved all the Indian elements and Bollywood references. The romance was quite nice too. But mainly, I loved the characters.

I’ll post a review on it in a few days, so look out for that!

3. Well Met by Jen DeLuca

When this released, it became super popular amongst romance readers online. The hype made me wary because it can always lead me wrong in the romance genre. There are things that I specifically don’t like.

I finally decided to read it as I already had it on my Kindle. And it was nice!!!! The book was so nice.

Main points: set in a small town, includes a Renaissance Fair(!!) and the romance is hate-to-love. It was so nice to watch the two main characters grow closer through banter and conversations about Shakespeare.

The hype did not lead me wrong here.

4. #TheRealCinderella by Yesenia Vargas

Okay so I’ll be honest. This wasn’t even on my radar.

I got an audiobook subscription few days back, mainly to listen during commute. As I walk for most of my commute duration, I can’t read. Audiobooks never worked for me before but I really wanted to try them again since it’ll help with my commute.

I found this book while perusing the selection available on Storytel. Since it would be my first time listening to an audiobook while commuting, I thought I’d try an easy read to see if I can manage concentrating to the book while on my way.

#TheRealCinderella sounded very much like the movie A Cinderella Story starring Hillary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. I was curious whether the story was an almost literal copy, and it would be an easy read. That’s why I picked it up randomly.

Now that I’ve finished it, I can say that it was pretty much the same as the movie’s plot. Click here for my full review on the book.


What are you currently reading?

It seems to that I’ve gone back to reading multiple books at a time haha. And it’s only because they’re all on different mediums.

1. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Picked this one up in my last bookstore run. I was curious and honestly wanted a small book to read. This caught my eye since it’s short stories.

I’ve read only about two short stories so far, but it’s going good. I’m not a fan of short stories, generally. I want to try though. Let’s hope I enjoy it.

2. Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

This was already on my Kindle and my Kindle was next to me on the couch during my weekend laziness. So I started reading this book.

Not going to lie, I don’t think I’ll like it..? The beginning was kinda weird and I don’t like the characters all that much. I’ll read a bit more and decide whether I want to DNF* it.

*Did Not Finish: book blogger speak for not liking the book enough to abandon it midway.

3. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Quite a few people I follow have been RAVING about this book, especially Fanna. When I saw the title available on Storytel, I had to start it as my next audiobook.

I just started it this morning on my way to work so I’m not going to make any judgements just yet. Let’s see how it goes.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m a mood reader and I pick up books randomly, so I’m not sure. But there are books that I hope to read this month. It could be next week, or it may not be.

1. Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma

Picked this book up on my last bookstore run along with The Thing Around Your Neck. It caught my eye because the author is claimed to be India’s highest selling female author. I’ve never heard of her though, so I thought I’ll give her work a try.

The synopsis clues in that it’s a romance so it should be perfect for February’s South-Asian Reading Challenge prompt which is Mohabbat i.e. love. Keeping in theme with Valentine’s day and all.

2. The Worst Best Man by Mia Rosa

This book has been on my TBR for a while now, ever since I saw it on someone’s blog post. It released just yesterday and I’m super excited to read it.

I also found a romance book club on Instagram called Romancetheque Book Club. It is hosted by @thebibliotheque whom I’ve been following for a long time, and our reading tastes are quite similar. Joining the book club was a no-brainer.

The book pick for February is The Worst Best Man so it’s extra incentive for me to read this book soon.


And that’s it for my bookish updates!

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Tell me about your bookish updates! What are you currently reading? What did you read recently?

The Bluest Eye || a confusing read

The bluest eye by Toni Morrison book review

Title: The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison
Genre: Fiction
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

For the past couple months, I’ve been seeing Toni Morrison mentioned a lot online. Several bookstagrammers and bloggers whom I follow are reading Morrisson’s works. Of course, all of this got me curious about the author and her works.

Right in time, my book club chose The Bluest Eye as our book of the month. That got me motivated to read the book and try the author’s works.

Trigger warnings: racist slurs, bullying, rape, neglect, abuse, humiliation. (Probably more but I can’t remember, so make sure to find out before picking it up)

The Plot

The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s debut novel and has a unique take on racism. Through this novel, the author crafts a situation which causes a young Black girl to desperately want blue eyes.

Showcasing multiple issues such as racism, abuse, and neglect, the book shows how hard life is for a young innocent girl to want blue eyes. Blue eyes, which are usually a feature of white people who are loved and cherished.

The Bluest Eye is definitely not a light read. It’s poignant with a message in every chapter, and has a strong voice as a book.

My Review

First of all, let me say that this book wasn’t easy to read. And this was so because of multiple reasons.

The timeline of the book isn’t linear. The chapters are scattered and it is up to the reader to figure out the timeline after reading most or all of the book. The jumps were very confusing in the beginning that I gave up trying to make sense, and instead just took the book chapter by chapter.

As the chapters were scattered, I was trying to understand what was happening and piece together the timeline. Hence, I couldn’t connect with the characters or feel for them. That was unfortunate, because it would have made much more of an impact on me.

Morrison’s writing is very different than what I’m used to, and the way she spoke about and crafted the situations was something to get used to. That also played a part in the book not being a good read for me.

One thing that quite irritated me was the point of view shown. Some chapters are in first person point of view of a supporting character, not the main one. But most of the book is in third person point of view. The random switching, without sense, was off-putting.

Every chapter in the book had something to show, by itself. I really liked that. Because even if I managed to read just one chapter a day, I’m still getting some meaning out of it.

As The Bluest Eye deals with heavy issues, it’s not an easy book. Morrison doesn’t describe things very graphically, but it’s enough that it makes a lasting impression on you. This played a part in me reading the book very slowly.

Overall

Honestly, I’m not too sure about whether I liked this book or not. I would have liked it a lot more if the chapters weren’t jumbled up. But because of that, I simply could not get lost into the book and was confused for a lot of time.

I will be picking up at least another book by Morrison, though. I want to know why this author is so popular and I don’t think The Bluest Eye did justice.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for a light read. Pick this one up only if you have the time to devote to reading it. It’s a slow but meaningful read.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars

Have you read Toni Morrison’s books? Or, are they on your list?

top ten tuesday header image

Ten Most Recent Additions To My Bookshelf

Hey everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a list about books and we’re overdue for one. And today’s topic is exciting!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt has come in the right time because there have been quite a few additions to my bookshelf recently, and I can’t wait to talk about all of them.

I’m listing my physical additions first and then the ones on my Kindle!

[1] Release by Patrick Ness

I met up with my Bangalore Book Club on Sunday and Sukhaja from Bookish Bulletin* was SO KIND to giveaway** the books that she doesn’t have space for anymore. It went off almost like an auction, with first dibs called on the Whatsapp group.

I managed to nab this book and I’m so happy to finally own a Patrick Ness! I’ve been wanting to read his work for a long time and this will finally push me to it.

*check out her YouTube channel as she has some really good book recs on it!
**P.S. I gave away a couple books as well, so my bookshelf is still kinda balanced haha.

[2] Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma

I went to my favourite bookstore with the other Book Club members and sold back two* of my books for store credit. Of course I had to get new books, and I wanted to go for some new books that I haven’t heard of before.

Stories We Never Tell caught my eye as I was just going around in the bookstore, and the tagline “the most popular female author of India” caught my eye. With the South Asian Reading Challenge going on, I’m definitely trying to read more books by Indian authors and this looked perfect to try.

I will let y’all know how it is once I’m done!

*yes 4 books disappeared from my shelf in total! I like how I’m managing to keep my number of books constant haha.

The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf - books in picture: Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma, The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Release by Patrick Ness

[3] The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I actually also own Americanah by the same author, which was an old Book of the Month picked by the club but one that I haven’t gotten to yet. I am intrigued by the popularity of Adichie’s works though and definitely will read more. I hadn’t heard of The Thing Around Your Neck before but many fellow book club members have and loved it, so of course I got it.

It’s a pretty thin book so I do think I’ll pick it up sooner, especially since it’s also a collection of short stories.

[4] Six of Crows Collector’s Edition by Leigh Bardugo

I already spoke about this in my life update but if you haven’t read that yet, my awesome-sauce friends gifted me this GORGEOUS edition after seeing it on my wishlist. I was so shocked when I saw it and my reaction is recorded on video for proof. It’s the most beautiful book I own at the moment.

six of crows collector's edition

[5] Circe by Madeline Miller

Another birthday gift that I received, this one from my book club, was Circe. It is a book that most of the members have either read or want to read, so I trust where they’re coming from and am super excited to read it.

Also, doesn’t hurt that this book is gorgeous too haha. I can’t resist pretty books.

circe by madeline miller

[6] Frankly In Love by David Yoon

My book club* did a Secret Santa pool back in December, and this LOVELY book was the gift that I got from my Santa. It’s a book that was on my wishlist but one that I would always pass up for another book, so I’m super glad that my Santa got it for me. I’m definitely going to be reading it soon when I need a YA contemporary kick.

*wow they’re being referenced a LOT today haha

Frankly in love by David Yoon

[7] The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

This book was this month’s Book of the Month pick, and I’m actually already done reading it. It came at the right time since Toni Morrison is rising in popularity and I’ve become intrigued by her works as well.

As I read this book, I was confused by the timeline and the point of the story. We kept shifting focus on characters, and some chapters are in first person while all others are in third person point of view. The author’s intention was to let us read and assemble the timeline ourselves, but it caused a disconnect between me and the characters. I couldn’t truly connect with them because I was trying to grasp the story.

It is a profound story involving themes of racism, sexism, neglect, abuse, and other strong topics. I am still looking forward to read more from the author as I’ve heard her writing is not like this all the time.

[8] My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

As I am taking part in the South Asian Reading Challenge this year, I will be picking up some books for their prompts.

My So-Called Bollywood Life is the backlist book recommended by the hosts for this month’s theme “shuruat” i.e. beginning. The premise sounds interesting and while I may not be able to read it this month itself, I am excited to read it soon.

[9] Us, Again by Elle Maxwell

Recently, I’ve been reading books with strong themes—ones that require concentration and mulling over. This has made me want a light hearted book to offset them and I always turn to romance during these times.

Us, Again is a romance book that I got on impulse off my Goodreads TBR and am currently reading. I’m not enjoying it very much, as the male lead is pushy and slightly problematic, but it’s a book I’m simply reading to pass the time. So, yeah. Hopefully I like it by the end but I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t.

[10] Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

I’m pretty sure this book caught my eye either on Goodreads as someone else was reading it or through a book recommendations blog post. I’m unsure of where exactly, but it sounded really nice and I impulsively got it on my Kindle.

I’m generally quite picky about my paperback and hardback buys but I go all impulsive on ebooks haha.


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What are the most recent additions to your bookshelf? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above?

The coffee book tag — the wordy habitat

The Coffee Book Tag

It’s been a long time since I did any tag, and I’ve been itching for one haha.

I found this tag over at This Splendid Shambles and it looked really nice. Bring on the coffee vibes!

a steaming cup gif

1. Black: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

It’s tough to get into because there are SO MANY BOOKS in the Shadowhunter world now. Not to mention, the original series is quite cringey to read if the reader has grown older. I liked it when I was 15, but really disliked it when I tried to reread at 19.

But whoever did read it and loved it, continued to love the rest of the books. All the Shadowhunter books have hardcore fans who have read every single book (including the novellas) and have as many Shadowhunter merch as they can get.

2. Peppermint mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year

Harry Potter books by JK Rowling.

Okay I never understood why but TONS of Harry Potter readalongs occur during the Winter, especially in December. I’m not a huge HP fan so I’m extra skeptical. Suddenly several people start rereading the books in December for no reason. It doesn’t make sense lol.

3. Hot chocolate: What is your favourite children’s book?

I quite like Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. It’s the one children’s book I can reread even now.

It’s actually a Middle Grade book, but yeah. While the movie starring Anne Hathaway is good, it doesn’t do much justice to the book. The book has a much bigger and more interesting plot with better twists and character development.

4. Double shot of espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish

Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer.

My overall rating of the book isn’t that great because the ending ruined things, but the suspense of the book is amazing. I was gripped from start to finish and my mum laughed at me for being so out of the real world. All of Jeffrey Archer’s books are like that but this was the one I read last. My review talks more about the book in detail.

5. Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is, by far, the most popular classic and the most recommended one. It also has the most pretty versions because, daamn. Some of the versions look SO GOOD. I want them all.

P. S. I was going to say Harry Potter for this as well because those books haunt me everywhere, but decided to not give the same answer for two questions.

6. That hipster coffee shop: Give a book by an indie author a shutout

Penny Reid!

I absolutely LOVE Penny Reid’s books. Her book Neanderthal Seeks Human got me more excited to read the romance genre and explore it. It’s one of the few books I had read back then which had a great plot and had characters.

7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

The hype really did me dirty for this one. Everyone was RAVING about it, that I even got a paperback instead of an ebook. I trusted the hype, and was highly disappointed. I hated it so much that I started annotating m frustration around 50 pages in. Mine is an unpopular opinion, and I don’t understand why most people love it.

8. The perfect blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying

The Selection series by Kiera Cass

I absolutely loved the first book, and liked books 2 and 3 enough. Book 4 was bad but book 5 saved the series just barely. It’s a roller coaster, but I like the series in the end. It’s my go-to when I want to reread a series.


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What would be your answers to these questions?