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.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

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

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

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?

Becoming || inspires hope for change

becoming book cover

Title: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
Genre: Autobiography

Goodreads

Becoming, since it’s release, has been praised to the stars by just about everyone. All the readers I follow posted about it, and it was my book club’s pick sometime last year. I didn’t have the time to read it then, though. I finally picked up the book in November, but did not have the time or patience for a non-fiction.

In order to motivate myself to finish it this year, I chose Becoming as the book for a prompt in the Popsugar Reading Challenge and also included it in #StartOnYouRShelfathon. And it worked! I finished the book as my second read of the year. We’re off to a good start.

MY REVIEW

Once I was actually in the mood to read this book, which was so a few days back, I couldn’t stop reading it. Although it’s an autobiography, Michelle Obama’s life has been very interesting that it almost feels as if I’m reading fiction. She has written her story so beautifully, showing how she was brought up and what made her into who she is today.

Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.

Becoming is a brilliant book that sends a message of hope, change, and power in resilience. It was inspiring and motivating.

How Michelle Obama was portrayed in the media is such a contrast to how she is in the book. She, along with her husband and family, are humanized and broken down to the small quirks that makes them. She speaks about her struggles, her fears, and her weakness plainly. There was no hiding, but instead she owned every part of her story.

In my opinion, a major reason that this book resonates with people across the world is how Michelle openly talks about her struggles which many others are going through as well. She talks about the struggles of being a woman, being Black in a predominantly White country, being a woman in male-dominated field, being a working mother, and being the wife to a politician.

Confidence, I’d learned then, sometimes needs to be called from within. I’ve repeated the same words to myself many times now, through many climbs.

Am I good enough? Yes I am.

It was wonderful to read her thoughts and feelings on everything, especially the negative ones. In the end, she overcame all of that and stood strong. Michelle Obama learned how to adapt and use her resources to help other people. She recognizes all her privileges, from the people in her life to the power she has, and works to make changes in the US.

Through Michelle Obama, we also get insight into Barack Obama as more than the former US President. We see him as a passionate person, a fact-guy, as a husband, and as a father. It was interesting to see their relationship from the start and the issues they went through as he climbed the political ladder.

The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”

I was most curious to read about the Obama family’s time in the White House and I was not disappointed. A major portion of the book took place during those 8 years, and Michelle spoke about everything. We read about the staff, the rooms, and multiple small quirks of living there. Their life changed drastically the day Barack Obama became the President-Elect, and Michelle showed the overwhelming changes in the book.

Being the First Lady is very much different to being the President. The role doesn’t have all the hard power of the President, nor does it give the platform to talk about the same issues. But being First Lady does give power due to the image. Reading about Michelle Obama’s journey in the role was intriguing and inspiring.

A First Lady’s power is a curious thing—as soft and undefined as the role itself. And yet I was learning to harness it.

One thing that Michelle Obama counted on for several years was the support from her girl friends. The power of female friendships is not spoken about much, in fiction or non-fiction, and it was really nice to see Michelle talk about it multiple times.

OVERALL

I should stop talking because there is SO MUCH in the book that I loved and several more quotes that I want to add. I can probably talk for an hour about this book.

But all I’ll say is, read this book if you haven’t yet. It’s a wonderful and inspiring story that drives home one thing: you are worth it, you can make changes in this world as well.

There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.

Michelle Obama

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

Have you read Becoming? Do you have favourite quotes from the book?

My First First Love // Kdrama review

A coming-of-age Korean drama featuring young adults chasing their dreams and finding love.

When My First First Love was released on Netflix, it was heavily advertised and pushed on almost everyone’s feed. There were so many people watching it and commenting on it.

WHAT IS THE DRAMA ABOUT?

The drama primarily follows 5 people who are stepping into their adult lives.

Yun Tae-o has been living independently in his grandfather’s house, and enjoys the life of a bachelor. One day three of his friends, end up crashing in his place and ask that he allow them to stay for a while. Unable to say no to them, he reluctantly agrees for the time-being.

The three friends include: Han Song-i, Tae-o’s best friend and his old crush; O Ga-rin, a very old friend whom Tae-o hasn’t spoken to in years; and Choe Hun, Tae-o’s close friend from school.

The last main character is So Do-hyeon, Tae-o’s closest friend in college.

The drama follows these characters as they find themselves, chase their dreams and fall in love.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE DRAMA

I started the drama only after Netflix released both seasons. While marketed as two seasons, the drama is like any other with 16 episodes. In fact, there wasn’t even a cliffhanger or a break in between the seasons. The plot flowed through continuously. I assume it was split just as a strategy, and nothing to do with the plot of the drama.

all the characters of the drama

My First First Love is a wholly character-driven drama. We don’t have a very specific plot going on, other than following the ups and downs of the main characters.

The lack of any specific plot-line means that there’s no true point to the Kdrama, which annoyed me. I binged all 16 episodes in a short span of days, and the drama didn’t leave much of an impression on me. It’s quite underwhelming.

The drama is very slow-paced. I’m not someone who is good with slow paces, so this was another negative for me. The drama had 16 episodes, but the content of the drama was very little. In the end, I was just wondering how they managed to buff it up to 16 episodes because the content was not much.

my first first love characters hanging out

What makes the drama actually fun to watch were all the hilarious moments peppered in. Since the drama is slow paced, there’s enough room for funny scenes to make the viewers laugh. It was nice to watch the interactions between the characters with them dissing each other or acting like kids.

Coming to the romances, there is quite a few of it in the drama. The main romance plot contained a love triangle. Now, I’m not a fan of love triangles AT ALL but I can admit that it was done well here. The love triangle became cumbersome afterwards though, because it was dragged on for longer than necessary.

Choe Hun and O Ga Rin

My favourite was the romance between Choe Hun and O Ga-rin. It was super cute and pure. I absolutely loved watching them fall in love and continue to support each other through the drama.

Since the drama is basically about the characters, let’s move on to talking about them.

THE CHARACTERS

yun tae-o

Yun Tae-o is the son of a wealthy real-estate owner. Nicknamed famously as “The First Love” by girls in his college, Tae-o is known for his boy-ish charm. He has tons of friends, is always upbeat and carries around a positive energy.

Tae-o was my favourite in the beginning, simply because he is very charming. But as the drama went on and I started critically analyzing the characters, Tae-o fell short.

Considering that this drama’s only point is the characters, they could have worked more on crafting them. Tae-o had no depth, and no layers like a normal person would. He was very surface-level, with his crushes and antics. He didn’t have a dream or a passion, and made no effort to find one.

Season 2 did a little better on fledging Tae-o’s character, but it still fell short compared to other characters.

Han Song-i

Han Song-i is an architecture student in college. After her father died her mother ran away leaving Song-i alone. When her house is foreclosed, Song-i is forced to seek Tae-o’s help.

Throughout the drama, Song-i is featured more than the others. It clearly felt like she was given more thought to during creation of the drama than other characters. We talk about her past, her relationships, her feelings, and even see quite a bit of her journey as an architecture student.

Song-i was definitely nice to follow, but personally I was disappointed that the other characters weren’t given as much attention as her.

Choe Hun

Choe Hun is a dreamer. Coming from a wealthy family who want him to choose a sensible career, he breaks the chain and chooses to pursue becoming a musical actor.

We see his struggles with auditions and his family’s reaction to his dreams through the drama. It was really nice to see a character whole-heartedly pursuing his dreams no matter what is thrown in his way, or how much people discourage him. It was quite inspiring.

O Ga-rin

O Ga-rin had the best plot in the show, in my opinion. Her mother is very protective, and coddles Ga-rin to the point that Ga-rin has no freedom. In order to live her life and find her passion, Ga-rin escapes from her mother and seeks asylum at Tae-o’s home.

As the show progresses, we watch as Ga-rin learns how people live and interact in the world, and tastes new food! Since she has lived away from people and normalcy all her life, it takes her quite some time to learn how to live with everyone else. I found that process very endearing.

As Ga-rin learns about new things, she also exposes herself to many possible dreams. I really liked her plot, especially in season 2, and how the drama ended for her.

Seo Do-hyeon

Seo Do-hyeon, Tae-o’s friend from college, is a serious person. He is nicknamed as the dependable “Last Love” by girls in college. Do-hyeon cares about academics and setting up for a dependable career than dating or goofing around like other college students.

Do-hyeon was hard to understand, as the show progressed. There was so much potential to him, with his layers and ambitions, but he was under-developed. Justice wasn’t done to his character, which was really disappointing. At some points, it felt like his character existed just to add plot and complexity to other characters’ lives.

THE MUSIC

The soundtrack throughout the drama was one of the highlights, for me. During some scenes, I cared more about the music than what was going on with the characters. Whoever was in charge of the music for the drama really nailed it.

The following are my favourite songs from the soundtrack.

I especially love the last song above. It makes me upbeat and feel like I can handle anything in life.

I’ve only shared 4 songs, but the whole OST is great.

OVERALL

The drama did well on portraying young adults and their struggles with hopes and dreams, while also dealing with emotions and relationships. It’s not a drama that I would rewatch because it’s not up my street, but I can see how it can be liked by many others.

It’s a good drama to chill and watch, or even binge when you’re in the mood for something light-hearted. There are places where the drama fell short, but it’s a good watch if you’re not looking for an engrossing plot.

Have you seen My First First Love? Do you prefer chill shows to watch or ones with captivating plots?

Wilder Girls || gory and creepy

Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

When this book was released, it became a huge hit in the Bookstagram community. Everywhere I saw, people were reading or talking about this book. This cover was shown to me so many times that I didn’t even have to add it to my TBR, it was just imprinted in my head.

It took me a while to pick it up since I wasn’t in the mood for YA. But the second I wanted to, I read this one. And it’s safe to say that I went in with HUGE expectations.

SYNOPSIS

The book is set on Raxter Island, which has been taken over by a disease called “The Tox”. It has affected the entire island including the trees, the animals, and even the people. Ever since it hit, the island has been put on quarantine.

The girls in Raxter School, a boarding school which has now turned into a weird hell, have scales on their body, bones sticking out, and other weird body parts which have developed because of the Tox. They were told that a solution will be found, and to just hold on, but it’s been 18 months. They stay locked up in the school, only a few wandering out for supplies.

Hetty, Byatt and Reese are a tight knit group. When Byatt goes missing, Hetty vows that she will find her. In the process, she discovers so much more that she was looking for.

MY REVIEW

Let’s do this in parts.

THE GOOD

This book is unique. I have never come across a story like this in YA, and it was very interesting to read. The Tox is an unknown thing, and no one knows what it is, how it actually came to Raxter, or how to get rid of it. They’re just hanging on and living with it.

Reading the book will put you in that world. The writing is highly detailed and eerie. Sometimes, I could barely handle it because I was so grossed out with the descriptions. The author hold back from exactly detailing everything related to the Tox. I was slightly nauseous a couple times as well*. The writing also sets the creepy vibe well. This is not a happy book. It’s one meant to creep you out.

The characters and the relationships were nice. We focus more on Hetty, Byatt and Reese. The complex relationships between these three was nice to see. They’re super close and will always have each other’s backs.

*note: don’t read when eating, or right after eating.

THE OKAY

I feel like the characters were sometimes underdeveloped. Since we read through Hetty, we know a lot about her and she’s a full-fledged character. I can’t say the same for Byatt and Reese, and we barely think about others if not Tox-related. The characters could have been worked on much more. Byatt especially confused me. I always felt like I’m reading a surface-level version of her. There was no clear depth.

The plot, overall, was quite unimpressive. The book spends so long describing the Tox and it’s effects on everyone, and how daily life has become since the quarantine. But it never pays off. It’s as if the author thought of this situation and somehow constructed a plot around it, but the plot was never the main focus. It didn’t feel like there was a point to it.

THE BAD

I’m someone who is ALWAYS up for romance, no matter the genre. So when I saw the hints of romance in this book, I was ecstatic at first. But a while later, I wish it didn’t exist.

The romance felt like a needless addition to the plot, and at times it took attention completely away from the main plot*. The timing of the romance scenes was very inconvenient as well. I just could not go with it. I wish there was no romance at all.

*if there’s actually a main plot.

The book got pretty boring about halfway. By that point, all the Tox descriptions and intrigue was waning. I needed some actual plot, but none was forthcoming. I actually had to pause reading it, read another book, and then get back to it. By the 80% point, I was speed-reading so I could be done with the book faster.

But the book’s ending was NOT satisfying. I really hated the way the book rushed through to provide some form of an ending. But it doesn’t actually end as well.. It was an open ending! There’s still so much mystery around the Tox and what happens to the three girls. We still barely know anything. It’s like the author gave us clues and told “figure it out yourself.” To have sat through an entire book, that was highly underwhelming.

OVERALL

I was highly disappointed. For the amount of hype going around, this book is not worth it. Sure, the concept of the Tox, and the descriptions and vibe were cool. It was very different than the usual YA books we get. But I still would have liked a proper plot and some form of definitive ending.

Considering that the book was about the Tox, the least it could have done was leave me with no questions about it. But I still don’t exactly know what the Tox is.

Would recommend: if you’re looking for a unique YA with creepy vibes.

Would not recommend: if you can’t handle descriptive gore, and like proper endings.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars

Heads You Win || highly captivating read

heads you win cover page

Title: Heads You Win
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Genre: Fiction
Series info: Standalone book

Goodreads

I’m a HUGE fan of Jeffrey Archer’s books. Back when I frequented the library near me, I took the opportunity to gorge on every Archer novel that they had. (Except short stories, because I don’t like short stories haha) And I loved every single one of them. My favourite Archer book is Kane and Abel, which was brilliant.

When I saw Heads You Win on sale on Flipkart recently, with an unbelievable discount, I grabbed it immediately. The synopsis didn’t matter to me, but it did make me more excited to read the book.

SYNOPSIS

Heads You Win starts in Leningrad, Russia with our main character Alex Karpenko. Alex is a young boy in school with high ambitions. When his father is murdered by the KGB for forming a worker’s union, Alex and his mother flee Russia in a ship with the help of Alex’s uncle. When they are about to flee, they’re given the option of hiding in the ship to USA or Britain. Alex flips a coin, which makes the decision for them.

As the reader, we don’t know what the coin chose. From the time Alex flips the coin, we follow both paths. We get to see what Alex’s life would be like if they went to Britain, and if they went to USA. And in each path, Alex and his mother wonder multiple times what would have happened if they chose to go into the other ship’s crate.

The book spans thirty years, and follows both lives of Alex. But which is the real one? Is there a winner?

MY REVIEW

The book was very captivating. Once I started the book, I oblivious to my surroundings. Even my mum laughed at just how out of it was while reading. Right from the first sentence, the book caught me in it’s world and didn’t let go. After a very long, I finished a general fiction book very fast. I read it in two sittings.

Jeffrey Archer’s writing has always made his books great for me. No matter the characters or the plot, he manages to grab my attention. This book was a little extra special because we get almost two different stories, and both are good enough to have a book of their own. Archer weaves two very interesting lives with politics, family, intrigue and plot twists.

The book showed the USA life as “Alex” and the Britain life as “Sasha”, just so the readers can understand which alternate life we’re reading about. Both Alex and Sasha’s lives were thrilling to read. It was interesting to read how the same person’s life turns out when they’re given different opportunities. The most interesting part was the end. After thirty years, how different are their lives? And is Alex’s biggest ambition the same no matter what life he leads?

As a reader, you can either simply enjoy the book and it’s thrilling plot, or you can wonder about hidden meanings. Until I finished the book, I simply enjoyed it. But after turning the last page, all I could think about was the hidden meaning. Does your entire fate depend on a single choice? Will it vary very much, or will you flourish the same either way? Will your life end differently based on that one choice?

While the plots were really good, I was intrigued about how the book will end very early. As the book progressed, all I could think about was “which life is the real one?” That was my burning question. I had huge expectations for the end.

But, the ending sorely disappointed me. Until the last two chapters, I kept the two lives straight and wasn’t confused. But the last two chapters threw everything out the window and confused me. It was badly written, and almost as if the intention was to mess with us. I had to read the last part THRICE. And even after that, I’m unclear about what exactly happened.

I’m not alone in the confusion, because I went onto Goodreads and found that everyone is in the same boat as me. The ending ruined the whole book. It was the one thing that I looked forward to and because it messed everything up, it ruined my experience with the book.

And as to my burning question? It wasn’t answered. The book’s title points to the fact that whatever “heads” pointed to, is the real one. But we’re never told which is heads and which is tails.

OVERALL

I’m not sure if I’m glad I read the book, or if I regret it.

Pros:

  • I love it when a book makes me think and wonder for days after I finish it.
  • The storylines were thrilling and I loved reading them.
  • The ending opens up discussion, even if it was bad. It does have a meaning.

Cons:

  • The ending was SO BAD!
  • Kinda feels like the author wasn’t sure what to do, and just wrote a random ending.
  • The book leaves you with a bad experience, just because of the last two chapters.

Would recommend: if you want an engaging read which will make you question and wonder things. Also if you won’t be too bothered with a badly written ending.

Would not recommend: if a book’s ending means a lot to you, and your reading experience.

I rate this book..

3/5 stars

If you had to choose: the plot or the ending? Which matters more to you?

Song of the Crimson Flower || blog tour + review

song of the crimson flower cover

Title: Song of the Crimson Flower
Author: Julie C. Dao
Genre: Fantasy
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | BookDepository

When I got the chance to be a host for the blog tour for this book, I JUMPED on the chance. An Asian-based YA fantasy? I’m sold. I also have Julie C Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns in my TBR, actually. (Don’t ask me why I haven’t gotten to it yet lol) I was super excited to read and review an ARC by this popular author.

SYNOPSIS

Bao is a physician’s apprentice, well on his way to become a kind and skillful physician. But he also has a secret dream, which is to be together with the girl he loves. Lan, the kind, smart and absolutely beautiful daughter of a nobleman holds his heart.

When Bao confesses his feelings to her, she cruelly rejects him. Bao, stinging with hurt and embarrassment, sets off to find the infamous river witch so she can erase his love for Lan. But instead, the river witch places a curse on him which can only be broken by true love.

Lan, dealing with her own heartbreak, decides to help Bao look for the witch in apology so that his curse can be lifted. Their journey to the witch becomes so much more, leading them to the Empress’s party to the rival kingdom Gray City, to new friends, and a great adventure which entirely changes their lives.

MY REVIEW

The biggest charm of this book is the vibe. The writing, the world-building and setting, with the type of characters created a very specific and quite a unique vibe. I immediately picked up on it in the beginning, and it stayed until the very end. The Vietnamese names added to the charm as well.

The thing I liked the most was the character development. Both our main characters, Bao and Lan, go through so much and grow in the story. It’s very clearly seen. We also get to see what changed their thinking, and how they mature in their decisions and in emotional reactions. I’m always pro-character development and hence, I really enjoyed it.

The story was pretty good as well. While I wasn’t overly fond of the plot, it was enjoyable because of the characters. The overall idea was good, but I just couldn’t like the plot all that much, especially in the middle of the book.

But, with all of these good points, I didn’t like the book much. And the reason is the pacing. The pacing felt so off. It was slow, then suddenly very fast, back to slow and draggy, and would pick up pace again. It went like that for the entirety of the book, and I was annoyed. A consistent pace matters so much to a story, especially when it’s fantasy. Because it wasn’t consistent and gave me whiplash, I couldn’t enjoy the book.

OVERALL

The characters were great but the pacing. That just ruined it for me, unfortunately. One thing I’m glad about is that the author kept this as only one book. Perhaps the pacing was so because it’s only one book. Too much story to tell? I’m not sure. But I am glad that the story ended here.

Considering it’s only one book, for fantasy, it’s pretty good. There’s a good story, great characters, and a specific vibe.

If you’re in the mood for fantasy, but don’t have the patience for a series, you can pick this one up.

I rate this book..

3/5 stars

Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the eARC. And huge thanks to Rafael and Erika for allowing me to host a stop on the tour.

AUTHOR BIO

Julie C. Dao (www.juliedao.com) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Julie is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.

Rafe || what a great romance book

Title: Rafe: A Male Buff Nanny
Author: Rebekah Weatherspoon
Genre: Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I was introduced to this book by Olivia @ Stories For Coffee on Instagram. She highly recommended this, saying that every romance lover should read it. I immediately checked it out, and I got hooked in by the synopsis. A book where the traditional male and female roles are reversed, features people of colour, and has cute kids? Count me in!

SYNOPSIS

Rafe is a live-in nanny, and has been in the job stream for several years. He doesn’t look like a traditional nanny, with the beard and tattoos and the size, but he’s a great one. Rafe has a knack for working with kids and likes helping families function. But he’s currently at a stage in his life where he wants his own family, and is considering switching job streams.

When a Dr. Sloan Copeland is in dire need of a nanny ASAP, and contacts Rafe, he agrees with the idea of working for her for only a year. And he has decided that he will work on getting his own life straight and figuring out things during the time as well. What he wasn’t ready for, was the sizzling attraction to Sloan. And he especially wasn’t ready for it to be reciprocated.

With Rafe living with Sloan and her twin six-year-olds, it doesn’t take long for their chemistry to break down walls and throw out rules. But will they give in and have a future, or will it go up in flames?

MY THOUGHTS

This book was so good, y’all!

First of all, THE CHEMISTRY. I could not get enough of Rafe and Sloan. There was attraction right from the start, and it kept building even though they confessed it and decided to keep things professional. But obviously, that was not meant to last.

Second, the whole plot was really nice. I was hooked onto reading and finding out more right from the start. The romance, Sloan’s issues with her ex-husband, the cute and troublesome twins, and Rafe’s family all brought the plot together very well. I really liked that the plot wasn’t one-dimensional, with the focus on only the romance. There were many other small plot points and anecdotes as well.

What I loved the most was how the two main characters handled their attraction and, later, relationship. It was all done thoughtfully and in a mature manner. I usually see romance plots that are stupid simply to add drama so this was refreshing. I was truly reading about two mature, responsible, and thoughtful adults. Not adults with teenager brains and hormones.

The writing was hella engaging. Right from the first line, I relaxed and dived into the book. In fact, I read the book in ONE sitting. I didn’t feel like taking a break or even looking up. The story had me gripped in that wonderful world and I didn’t want to leave. The writing is the biggest reason why I enjoyed the book so much.

And of course, the twins made the book so much more fun! I absolutely loved reading about Avery and Addison. Smart and troublesome six-year olds with their own personalities and who are not used to just increase the cuteness? Love it.

OVERALL

I absolutely loved the book, and writing this review has made me want to reread it. (That’s bad, I have many books on my TBR that I need to get to.) I loved every single thing about the book, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT for romance lovers. I’d say give it a go even if you’re just meh about romances because it’s a good one.

I can’t wait to read more books from the author, because I need some more of this awesomeness!

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

Long Shot || gives hope & heartbreak

Title: Long Shot
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Genre: Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Book 1 of Hoops series, can be read as a standalone

I came across this book through a review by Kat @ Reading After Ten. She mentioned that this would be a HARD READ, but that it’s also worth it. I was intrigued, so I added it to my TBR. Once I had enough space and time to deal with emotions, I started reading the book. And I totally agree with Kat.

This book was VERY HARD TO READ. I had to take much needed breaks because my heart couldn’t take more. It’s a very graphic book, and it’s definitely not for the light-hearted or readers who may get triggered. Please read the trigger warnings before picking up the book.

Major trigger warnings: domestic abuse, graphic violence and physical abuse, emotional abuse, gaslighting, rape, stalking, being trapped.

Minor (by amount of representation, not importance) trigger warnings: depression, post-partum depression.

SYNOPSIS

The book follows Iris and August from the time they met. August is a rising football player, and Iris is currently dating August’s nemesis Caleb. They have a connection but it doesn’t matter. But the story isn’t just romance. The book follows Iris more than August, and it shows her journey without rose-tinted glasses.

Iris is a victim of domestic abuse. We see how things between her and her boyfriend escalate, and how hard that situation actually is. How not simple it is to get out of such a situation.

Long Shot is about Iris and August’s love story, but it is also about Iris’s experiences and how she fought and came out on the other side.

MY REVIEW

As I said earlier, this book was hard to read. We read through Iris as she experiences abuse by the hands of her boyfriend Caleb, and it is hard to get through.

“Struggle does not make you weak,” she whispers back. “Struggling against those who hold us is what makes us, over time, stronger than they are. Strong enough to fight back. Strong enough to win.”

I have read books where the main character has been through domestic abuse before, but I don’t think I’ve read one as the character is going through it. And, usually, romance books use such plot points to have a damsel-in-distress who is saved by the male lead and given a happily ever after. Long Shot doesn’t do that.

The domestic abuse in this book wasn’t a plot point used to add depth to Iris. It was plainly written to show that even strong women could get into bad relationships and find it hard to leave. It shows that in this chauvinistic world, a woman’s words aren’t always taken seriously.

I saw how hard Iris fought to leave her relationship, and how things escalated the more she fought. It takes a lot of courage to survive in such a relationship, let alone fight back every day.

“Take them back. Your soul is yours. Your heart is yours. Your body is yours. Yours to keep and yours to share.”

The way the author has written all of it—Iris before everything went bad, to majority of the book when Iris was under abuse, to Iris moving on. It was written brilliantly. And it was written with insight. In the author’s note, Kennedy Ryan mentions that she spoke to many women who have been through domestic abuse so that she can portray it right, and I commend that. There were many facets to the situation which I never thought of before.

Iris’s romance with August was like a beacon of light in the darkness. Not just for Iris, but for me too as a reader. I absolutely loved the romance. August and Iris’s chemistry was sizzling right from the start. From the first conversation, I was rooting for them.

“If you were mine, Iris there would be no doubt what position you’d hold in my life. You’d be center. I’d play you at the five.”

And damn, August was charismatic as heck! I’d have no stipulations to drop everything and fall in love with him. August was the perfect man. I’m glad that the author took time to build his character as well, without just concentrating on Iris.

OVERALL

A romance book which is SO MUCH MORE. If you want to read a well-written book that talks about domestic abuse, pick this one up. All the pain and grief the book will cause you is worth it in the end.

Definitely recommended.

I rate this book..

4/5 stars

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

WWW Wednesday // 9 October 2019

Hey everyone!

I hope y’all have been having a great week so far. I’m having a really chill week because I had Monday and Tuesday off for a festival. I also have tests from Saturday (which I have NOT prepared for), so I’m all ready for the week to turn stressful haha.

Anyway, let’s get to the book talk and updates!

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?

First of all, I think I’m going into a slump. I just don’t know what to read next, and I’m not overly into reading? Once I pick up a book, I do okay. But picking a book is so hard. I also realized that I’m SO BEHIND on newer fantasy books, and I think it’s because I’m straying away from my favourite genre and that’s making me sad.

Random rants aside, I picked up Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake yesterday. I pushed myself to pick it up just so I’d be done with the series. I remember being super mad after finishing book 2 and finding out that it didn’t end. After book 1, the publishers extended the contract with Blake to 4 books. The story dragged on unnecessarily, which annoyed the heck out of me. Ever since then, I’ve not been into the series as much.

I haven’t read much of the book yet, though. I’ll let y’all know my thoughts next week.


What did you recently finish reading?

In the last week I finished SIX BOOKS!!! This can be attributed to the fact that I got a long weekend with three days off. I spent all of Monday only reading because I had bad cramps. I basically laid on bed and distracted myself by reading. Most of my reads were romance books, which are the easiest to read, so there’s also that.

First book that I finished was That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson. I liked the book. But I didn’t like it that much. My main problem with the book is that the story didn’t feel cohesive. There was so much going on, and each part was good, but the several parts didn’t seem to fit together.

The story was mainly about the main character who is adopted, and finds her birth family by coincidence. The main concepts were adoption, regret/guilt, identity, loneliness, and belongingness. The book also highlighted emotional abuse, racism (intentional and unintentional) and mental healing. There was romance and reconciliation. To add to all that, there was even a mystery element with a possible murder.

Now, you might understand why I felt that the book was a poor mesh of several different plots. Some of them were unnecessary, in my opinion. Because there were so many topics to focus on, every topic felt underdeveloped.

I gave the book 3/5 stars.

After that, I decided to read a light-hearted romance book. I had Tomboy by Avery Flynn on my Kindle library already, so I picked that up. It was so good! Tomboy is now my favourite book of The Hartigans series. I wasn’t fond of book 1, and was just okay with book 2. But book 3 totally made me like it. I especially liked the two main characters. The chemistry was really good too. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Rebel by Marie Lu was my next read. To be honest, I was slightly procrastinating reading it. I REALLY wanted to read it, and I’ve been waiting for more about my favourite characters since 9th grade, but it’s also the LAST BOOK. I will never see these characters again. This book is a proper good bye to the characters, and I wasn’t ready for that.

The anticipation finally won, though. The book was beautiful. I needed it. I’m so glad that it exists.

I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

After Rebel, I got on a romance kick. I had lots of time with a long weekend to read books in one sitting. I read three books in the last two days, y’all. That was some intense reading.

Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon was recommended “to all romance lovers” by Olivia @ storiesforcoffee on Instagram, and I immediately gave it a shot. It was SO GOOD, y’all! It was perfect. I loved the story, the romance, the characters, the dialogues, and especially the chemistry. It’s a perfect romance book to read. I really like how the professional aspect of “dating the nanny” thing was handled. It was all done very well. I even liked the supporting characters. I rated it 5/5 stars.

I don’t know why but whenever I need a new book, but also a comfort read, I go for books with babies. And I’ve found the secret-baby trope VERY interesting. I’ve been into the trope for a long time now, so it’s hard for me to find books with it which sound good. I hit gold with The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca. It had the right amount of everything. I liked the characters, loved the chemistry, and was engaged by the danger element. It’s in my favs list now. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.

The book I finished most recently was Finding Tomorrow by Kahlen Aymes. It’s book 2 in a series, although it can be read as a standalone. I read Trading Yesterday (book 1) because it has the secret-baby trope, and that book was SAD. It made me cry, y’all. It had sad, desolate, regret, guilt and more desolate vibes. I did want to read about Jensen, though, so I picked up Finding Tomorrow.

I have to say, the author is really onto destroying my heart by torturing the characters. The first book dealt with leukemia, and this one dealt with domestic abuse. Fun, right? Anyway, I really liked the book. I loved Jensen. I loved the kids. Books with kids are always better, somehow. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

Now, I can’t wait for the next two books. In my version of Finding Tomorrow, the release dates for the next two books are written as July and October 2019 but ?? THE BOOKS AREN’T OUT YET???? I saw the author’s website and only the third book is listed as “coming soon”?! I’m dying here. I need those books.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I have absolutely no clue. I may try to pick up something that’s on my fall TBR, but it all depends on my mood.


And that’s all about my bookish updates!

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

What book are you currently reading? What did you finish reading recently? Tell me in the comments!

Aurora Rising || kinda disappointing??

aurora rising book cover

Title: Aurora Rising
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Genre: Science Fiction
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Book 1 of Aurora Cycle series

Goodreads

I’ve heard SO MUCH about this book, almost all of them good. The hype went up to a point that I thought this book was the epitome of everything good. I heard that it portrays friendships well. It’s main theme is that a group of mismatched kids are stuck together to go on missions, and they’re required to be heroes. They’re the unlikeliest of heroes.

With all of that, you can assume right that I expected a LOT. And I’m sad to say, that my expectations weren’t met.

SYNOPSIS

Right before his graduation from Aurora Academy, where he’d be able to pick amongst the students for his cadet, Tyler Jones goes out alone into the void to calm his nerves. While there, he finds a lost spaceship from 200 years back and manages to rescue the only surviving passenger, Aurora O’Malley, who is deep asleep in her cryogenic pod.

Tyler is more concerned about the graduation ceremony, though. He gets back to find out that it’s all over and his cadet is made up of students who haven’t been picked by anyone else.

This group will have to get their stuff together and work together, though, because it looks like things with Aurora are much more complicated than they can predict. And they might just have to become heroes because there’s no one else to take over.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

MY REVIEW

I’ll say what you’re thinking. That sounds like an AWESOME concept. A bunch of misfits stuck together who have to save people and become heroes? Whaat.

In reality, though, it wasn’t that glamourous. In fact, I found the camaraderie between the squad members quite forced. That’s supposed to be the best part of the book—watching them interact and become friends. It was okay in some areas, but at times it was just very forced.

For example, they’d be in the middle of a very serious situation and they need to be using their brains to get our ASAP. Instead, they’d volley insults and crack random jokes. It was weird. And highly unrealistic.

CAT B: THIS IS TOTALLY BLOODY SIDEWAYS….
SCARLETT J: I’M AFRAIN I MUST CONCUR WITH MY PUNCHY BUT LEARNED COLLEAGUE.
CAT B: THANKS, ROOMIE.
SCARLETT J: ALL GOOD, GIRL. YOU’VE STILL GOT MY EYELINER BTW.

see what I mean?? They were knee deep in figurative shit and.. they were talking random stuff.

The characters were great, individually. I wasn’t interested in all of them, though. Probably because there was more spotlight on a few of the characters, which meant that we only really got to know them. The others were faded away in the background.

As for the plot, it was actually pretty good. I liked the plot. It was interesting, and perfect for a young adult sci-fi novel. Just the right amount of adventure and cluelessness.

The plot’s awesomeness was brought down a notch by the dialogues though. There was way too much talking and random conversations like what I quoted above. It killed the vibe multiple times and I was FRUSTRATED. So yeah, the writing could have definitely been better.

I loved the world-building. Or in this case, universe-building. I loved the tit-bits we got about all the different races, and how the current political situation is. That was fun to read about. I would have preferred more info, though.

OVERALL

Not very impressed. It was all “meh” towards the end, and I couldn’t wait to finish the book and move on. I am excited for the next book, though. Simply for the one couple I ship.

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 // 2 October 2019

Happy October y’all!

New month, new fall/autumn vibes for most people around the globe while I’ll be having rainy (and gloomy) vibes, and new experiences to have.

I’ve been eyeing WWW Wednesday blogging meme for a while now, but since I usually update my reading on my Sunday Post, I don’t do it. This week, though, I didn’t update on Sunday because I had too many life things to talk about. And hence, I got the perfect time to do this post!

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?

There’s only one book in my currently reading pile, surprisingly, because life has been getting in the way with a LOT of events and deadlines. I’m barely keeping up at this point.

That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson is a book that I picked up in a book fair back in February. Many books from that haul are sitting unread on my shelf and I decided that I’m finishing them by the end of the year. And so, I started with this one.

That Girl From Nowhere is a mystery novel, so I’m quite excited to read it because I haven’t read mystery in SO LONG.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?’ he asks.
‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘I’m from nowhere.’
‘Everyone’s from somewhere,’ he says.
‘Not me,’ I reply silently.

Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she’ll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay…

An emotional story about love, identity and the meaning of family, That Girl From Nowehere is the new novel from the bestselling author of The Ice Cream GirlsThe Woman He Loved Before and My Best Friend’s Girl.


What did you recently finish reading?

Last week saw me finish 3 books.

Hyde & Seek by Layla Frost. I was in the mood for mindless romance so I just picked this one up. It wasn’t great, and I got really annoyed by the male lead multiple times. It was also pretty cliche. The one thing I liked was the friendship squad. They were all really close and supportive and I liked the interactions between them all.

Muffin Top by Avery Flynn. This trilogy by the author focuses on female leads who are not considered conventionally attractive. Muffin Top features a female lead, Lucy, who is “fat” and could care less about it. The male lead, Frankie, goes along with Lucy to her high school reunion as her fake date. Sparks fly as these two truly get to know each other.

I was quite underwhelmed by Muffin Top. I was totally on board with the fat-shaming focus and how it’s hard for curvy women to be considered attractive. I was mostly on-board with the romance. But there was just some aspect missing. I wasn’t in love with the plot or characters, and once I finished the book, I could care less about it.

Educated by Tara Westover. This was the one book from last week which was GOOD. I’ve been reading this book from July, but I was crawling through it because the pace was very slow until 3/4ths of the book. Last week, I was determined to finish it and hence I quickly finished the book. And it made so much of an impact on me.

Educated was a heard read for me. It became harder every time i remembered that it’s a memoir, and everything here is TRUE. And then I would admire the author because she has been through SO MUCH—physically, mentally, and emotionally—and she has managed to find her true self even though there was so much holding her back.

The one thing I can say with certainty is: this book is worth it. This book is worth powering through the slow parts and sticking through the hard parts, even when they were too gruesome and detailed. Knowing Tara Westover’s journey is worth it.


What do you think you will read next?

Probably Rebel by Marie Lu, which released yesterday. I’ve been WAITING for this book, and I have already reread the first three books in preparation to directly dive into Rebel.

After that, I might read Five Dark Fates by Kandare Blake. This is also a new release, and it’s the fourth book in the Three Dark Crowns series. I can’t wait to finish this series lol. Ever since they extended it from two books to four, and the author is hastily dragging on the story, I’m not very interested in it. I just want to know the ending at this point.


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Tell me updates about your reading! What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish? And do leave a link to your WWW post if you’ve posted one 🙂

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10 Books I HAVE To Read This Fall

Hey y’all!

This is probably the first time that I’m posting a TBR on the blog because I usually don’t set TBRs for a specific time. I know I won’t really follow through, since I’m a HUGE mood reader.

That said, I actually do have quite a few books that I HAVE to read this fall. And I’m pretty sure I’ll get to them, hence the confidence to make a TBR.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jana @ The Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is Books on my fall 2019 TBR.


Rebel by Marie Lu

The #1 book on my list is Rebel, because I feel like I’ve been waiting MY WHOLE LIFE for it. Even when this book wasn’t in the works, I was hoping for something more from the series. Champion’s ending left me wanting for more, and I was so sad to see it end there.

I’m super glad that Marie Lu decided to continue the series. I even reread the first three books in preparation for Rebel‘s release. I. AM. READY.

legend trilogy

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

I will be completely honest with you. I do not know what this book is about. Literally have no. clue. Why is it on my “need to read” list then, you ask?

I’m taking part in the Autumn is for Asia read-along on Instagram, and it’s buddy read book for October is The Ghost Bride. I’ve read the buddy read book of September which was The Poppy War. I also finished Girls of Paper and Fire last week, which was one of the other suggested reads. I have faith in the hosts’ picks and I want to read books I’ve not heard of. The fact that it’s written by an Asian author just makes it all the better.


Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao

This book is also on the list for Autumn is for Asia as the buddy read book for November. I am quite excited for this book because I really liked American Panda by the author. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

Even if I didn’t know the author, I’d be sold on this book from the synopsis. It sounds cute, and like it has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. I’m looking forward to finding out!


Educated by Tara Westover

I actually started this book a couple weeks back, but I just don’t have the motivation to continue reading it. The book is good enough that I should be okay with it, but somehow I don’t feel like continuing to read it. Maybe it’s just my mood. I am determined to finish it, though. It’s going to be my start at non-fiction.


Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

I read Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami recently, and I WAS MOVED. It was damn good. But I’ve heard that it’s an anomaly amongst his works. Kafka On The Shore is the kind of book that he usually writes.

I bought Kafka a couple months back after finally caving to the Murakami hype. I want to know why everyone loves him so much. I really need to read it this fall because it’s high time.

haruki murakami books

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I LOVED The Poet X. It was brilliant. I jumped onto the hype train, and I now add to the hype. If you haven’t read The Poet X, you really should.

With The Fire On High is the author’s second book. The Poet X was written in poetry form, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book is written in prose. The synopsis sounds really promising and I’m sure the author has written the book just as well in prose.

I’ve been waiting to be in the right mood for this book, and I’m pretty sure I will be in the next couple months.


Awk-weird by Avery Flynn

My list is never complete without at least one romance book in it. Gotta have some on hand all the time in case I’m in need for a happy dose.

I first saw this book on Nose Stuck In A Book Blog’s Instagram, and of course I had to find out what it’s about. And it sounds PERFECT. This romance is right up my street. I love awkward heroines, unlikely romances and hilarious writing.

I have read Avery Flynn’s books before so I am going in with some confidence.


Faker by Sarah Smith

Nose Stuck In A Book Blog is really a bad influence on me, and also my newest GO-TO PLACE for romance recommendations. Yvette has SUCH. GOOD. TASTE. It also helps that I like a lot of the books that she loves, including my favourites. I usually end up checking out any book that she raves about or recommends.

I noticed Faker on her Instagram, and it caught my eye. My gut said that it could be good so I read the synopsis on Goodreads and it sounds really good. Another new release, added to my TBR.


Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

I am SO EXCITED for this. I read Simon Snow right after it released, and it’s been ages. I’m very excited for Wayward Son to bring back Simon and Baz to me. I SHIP THEM SO MUCH.


That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

This book has been sitting on my shelf since FEBRUARY. I picked it up, along with a bunch of other books, in a book fair. Most of them have been gathering dust in my shelf. I really need to read them, and this is my next pick.

It’s a mystery novel and it actually sounds really good! The second I’m in a mood for mystery, I’m reading this one.


And that was my fall 2019 TBR!

What books are on your list? Do we share any? Tell me in the comments! If you’ve posted your list on your blog, do leave a link!