Hiatus Announced

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Surprise!! It’s that time of the year again – that dreadful time of exams – when I have like 6 exams in a month and I need to study like crazy because I’ve been lazy for the entire semester. Please, don’t be like me.

That being said – it’s also hiatus time! Now, I had another hiatus the last time I had my exams in January – February, so you might be used to what it means that I’m on hiatus. I’ll still post – if I manage to schedule some posts – but I won’t be able to reply to your comments or reply very late to them and probably I won’t blog hop at all.

I’m really sorry, but it’s absolutely needed and I think it’s going to be great for me and you both. This month has been tragic as I haven’t felt like blogging a lot or blog hopping because I was dreading these upcoming exams. Anxious me means not-very-productive me. And you probably felt it as my post quality decreased a lot – or so I felt, maybe it was because I didn’t feel like posting. I have no idea how you perceived it. I also didn’t feel like blog hopping a lot, even though I’ve read some of your amazing posts and adored them – I just didn’t have the energy needed to be more active in the community. I’m sorry. I can’t wait to get my summer break and be here with all of you and support you like you absolutely deserve! I promise I’m not ignoring you!

And exams come with another super awful thing and that is not reading anything. It’s so painful, but it’s the only way I can manage to go through my exams and do well on them. Studying is like this monster that’s taking all my energy away and I’m left with absolutely nothing.

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That’s the romanian college culture for you – we don’t study a thing the entire year and then we cram every bit of the subject in a few days. It’s extreme and I don’t recommend it. You might wonder why I’m not studying in advance – and if you do, just go back to that first paragraph that says I’m a lazy ass, you’re welcome!

With that being said, I’ll offically see you again on 30th June – that’s the day I regain my freedom. Until then, I hope you’ll enjoy the posts I scheduled for you, maybe go through some of my old posts (?) – just a little suggestion here, your kind comments keep me going during exams. I love seeing them and they’re charging me with so much positivity.

So, yes, thank you for all your support! And I hope you won’t forget about me! *looks uncomfortably away*

 

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Wish me good luck? PRAY FOR ME?

Tell me that you won’t forget about my existence and my blog?

 

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Blog Tour : Not The Girls You’re Looking For

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Hello, everyone! I’m so happy that I got to be a part of this amazing blog tour organized by Aimee @Aimee, Always, I’m going to use this as an opportunity to thank her for everything! Check out her blog if you haven’t already because she’s absolutely great!

Excerpt

 

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Lulu rubbed her shoulder. She had been dragged—literally– into the bathroom by Lo. A sophomore girl at one of the sinks was attempting to wash off the “UNDERAGE” that had 

been inked across her hand. After a brief tussle with the venue-provided soap, the girl finally gave up hope and shuffled out of the bathroom, defeated. Lo watched her sad exit with narrowed eyes.

Lo muttered her disdain under her breath. A stall opened up and Lo pulled Lulu in with her. She whipped out a travel sized bottle of makeup remover and grabbed for Lulu’s hand. But Lulu yanked away.

“Dude, no.” Lulu’s voice was stern, probably louder than it needed to be. “My mom knows where I am and what I’m doing. She’ll be expecting a hand mark.”

“That’s no fun.” Lo ostentatiously pushed her hands through her hair, which still looked perfectly tousled despite the humidity. As always.

Lulu’s own hair looked like it had gotten into a tussle with a badly behaved house cat. She didn’t know how Lo did it. Nobody did.

Lo took the bottle of eye-makeup remover and tilted it towards a wad of toilet paper, which she in turn put to work against her own hand. The ink across her hand dissolved quickly. There wasn’t a single red mark leftover to show visible evidence of scrubbing. Lo was a pro.

I can’t believe she tried scrubbing. With the soap!” Lo’s voice was a harsh whisper. “And like right at the sinks, in front of everyone. You can see that sink from outside. What an amateur!”

Lulu shrugged. “You could adopt her. Teach her your ways.”

“I don’t babysit.” Lo wiped the residue of the makeup remover with an individually packaged face wipe. Lo was also thorough.

“It wouldn’t be babysitting. You’d like be her Yoda. Everyone wants to be somebody’s Yoda,” said Lulu.

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Book Aesthetic

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TITLE: Not the Girls You’re Looking For

AUTHOR: Aminah Mae Safi

PUBLISH DATE: June 19th 2018

PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends

SYNOPSIS:

Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.

Debut author Aminah Mae Safi’s honest and smart novel is about how easy it can be to hurt those around you even if —especially if—you love them.

 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35795940-not-the-girls-you-re-looking-for

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250151813

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-the-girls-youre-looking-for-aminah-mae-safi/1126791458?ean=9781250151810#/

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250151810

Audio (Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Girls-Youre-Looking-Aminah-Safi/dp/1250314577/ref=tmm_abk_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Aminah Mae Safi is a Muslim-American writer who explores art, fiction, feminism, and film. She loves Sofia Coppola movies, Bollywood endings, and the Fast and Furious franchise. She’s the winner of the We Need Diverse Books short story contest. Originally raised in Texas, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner, a cat bent on world domination, and another cat who’s just here for the snacks.

Author website: http://www.aminahmae.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16090821.Aminah_Mae_Safi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aminahmae

Instagram: http://instagram.com/aminahmae

Tumblr: http://aminahmae.tumblr.com/

 

GIVEAWAY

  • One signed & personalized copy of NOT THE GIRLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR (US ONLY) – check it out here.

Blog Tour Schedule

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Book Review : Emergency Contact

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★★★★☆

“Loving someone was traumatizing. You never knew what would happen to them out there in the world. Everything precious was also vulnerable.”

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for sending me this e-copy of Emergency Contact! This hadn’t influenced my review or rating in any way.

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Trigger warnings : sexual abuse (flashback), panic attack, mentions of alcohol abuse.

I really liked this book overall, it was a modern tale of love, new-found friendship and making connections.

I’m starting to really adore books that focus on our personas in the virtual world and outside of it. This one focuses on a relationship (at first, it’s more of a friendship) that starts to develop through texting and it was absolutely adorable. Soooo cute. You can hear me screaming from here.

I was a bit hesitant about shipping Penny and Sam at first because Sam had a very strange situation going and he was going through a lot, it wasn’t the best time to start a new relationship (that’s a little bit of an understatement). But as Sam resolved his issues and got his shit together, I started to root more and more for them, because they are hugely supportive of each other, I felt like they really helped one another grow throught the period they knew each other and therefore, they deserved to be together. I SAID IT. They deserve so much happiness.

Penny was a writer, still in college, still trying to discover what she wanted to write and what was her style and figuring out how to do friendships and how to deal with her mom. I loved her connection with Celeste, her mom, it was very complex and a bit annoying, at times. But when Penny started to reveal things about herself, it became so obvious why things between them were that way. Mostly, Penny is very mature and responsible and Celeste is not, she’s more like the fun mom (you can see how that can become tiring very fast). That didn’t use to be a problem, they used to be friends, when Penny started distancing herself from her mother without giving her a reason, their relationship became rather strained and it only went worse after Penny got into college and stopped visiting all that much.

Sam is more of a cool kid, I literary felt at times like I was reading about a cool kid x nerd ship, even Penny felt like this at times. I had mixed feelings about Sam sometimes, I HATED THE WAY HE WROTE HIS TEXTS AT FIRST. Kid, write properly, okay?

I’m kidding. Mostly.

Anyway, Sam grew on me slowly as I started to understand him more. I liked very much how he was the devastated one after his break-up (usually it’s the girl while the guy is super fine and not feeling any pain). I loved how he felt many things and he was vulnerable, this book kind of killed the whole ‘men-have-to-be-strong’/ ‘men-can’t-feel-things’ stereotype. To the hell with it.

I loved the friendships that were formed between the girls, I liked how they didn’t start out very well and then Penny got over her judgmental opinion and started to hang out more with them.

My favourite parts are, for sure, the emergency contact idea – I absolutely adored this – it made me want to have an emergency contact as well. Just someone that you call when you need help, when you need someone to talk to, someone that can listen to you and be there for you. YEAH, sounds like the real deal right there. AND the way their relationship developed without much physical contact. I mean, I’m a sucker for tension and angst and not-yet-couples meeting and feeling all the feels, but I enjoyed seeing their relationship and respect for each other grow through their texts, how they managed to disclose so much information through those and be there for each other.

I should probably clarify that Penny and Sam met each other twice (in person) before starting texting, so they knew each other and everything. And they see each other some more while they are texting, so this aspect won’t be completely missing.

Also, to me, Penny’s college experience was hella relatable, the way she had a hard time making connections and feeling all the pressure and the teachers’ expectations and not really knowing how to deal with all of that on top of family and roommates. Yeah. Relatable.

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I would totally recommend this to people who like stories that include special formats (I ADORED THE TEXTS IN THIS ONE AFTER SAM STARTED WRITING LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING), who like soft romances, lots of internal conflicts and unexpected friendships.

Have you read Emergency Contact?

Did you like it? What were your favourite parts? Were there any things you didn’t particularly like?

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Book Review : The Brightsiders

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Thanks to Macmillan International for sending me a review copy of The Brightsiders, this hadn’t influenced my review or rating in any way. 

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The Brightsiders marks my second buddy-read with the amazing Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books and it was a lovely experience as always.

I had some issues getting into this, but I slowly got to love all the characters and root for them to be happy. This book is amazingly diverse, Emmy (our protagonist) is bisexual, Alfie (the love interest) is pansexual, genderqueer and suffers from social anxiety, Ryan (their bandmate) is also bisexual and Korean-American and Emmy’s best friend, Chloe is black and non-binary (uses they/them pronouns).

This book focuses on Emmy as she struggles with being a rock-star and a role-model for many teens, handling the paparazzi and not-so-good headlines, not a very healthy relationship and also awful parents.

I think one of the reasons why it was kind of hard for me to get into this book at first was Emmy’s personality. She’s very impulsive and jumping to decisions without even thinking about the consequences (or thinking about them way too late after everything was already consumed). After her parents got into the picture, it got easier to understand why she was like that.

Her relationship with Alfie (it’s not a spoiler, it’s in the synopsis) was also very impulsive and while I felt some foreshadowing, it felt quite sudden. There wasn’t much backstory on the band, on the friendships between them, we knew that they were friends and that Alfie was very important for Emmy, her greatest support, and that was kind of it. I wanted to see more of their friendships before the ‘benefits’ came into the picture.

But the characters were so lovable, especially Alfie and Chloe and Ryan (so sad that he didn’t appear more) that it was hard not to get past those things. Alfie and Emmy were very sweet and I grew on them as their relationship progressed and reached more depth. They were adorable in some scenes, I especially loved their snaps, they were so silly and yet so suggestive.

I ADORED THE GANG SO MUCH. All their interactions were magical, they had this hugely supportive group and it was literary goals. I want friends like that, who would do anything for me, who believe me and support me and would stand by me. Amazing.

Also, a huge aspect of this book that I absolutely loved were their songs, I loved how Wilde created those characters that weren’t only unapologetically who they were, but they also tried to inspire others to feel comfortable with their sexualities and identities as well. The songs were very powerful and I adored Emmy’s progress in the band, I loved how she earned it in a way.

I loved how it was discussed that we’re not our parents, that we can do better than them, that their mistakes don’t have to be ours as well. Thank God for no freudian shit on here.

And the discussions about bisexuality were amazing, Emmy was super-aware of everything that could make her ‘a bad bisexual’ in the press – especially the stigma about bisexuals sleeping with everyone – I think that’s the worst thing created ever. I never understood what’s the logical reasoning for this stereotype, but it’s bad and everyone should stop thinking this.

The book send some very positive messages about make-up and self-love as well, I loved how self-confidence was a huge part of this and Emmy liked using make-up as a way of feeling more confident, but she didn’t shame people who didn’t wear make-up either.

I would recommend this book to people who like books about celebrities, bands, friendship-to-love and lots of friendship feels in general.

 

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Did you read The Brightsiders?  If you did, what were your thoughts about it?

If you didn’t, what are you most excited about from my review?

 

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Mini Book Reviews : Stalking Jack The Ripper & Wintersong

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I haven’t done a mini-reviews post in a while and since two of the most recent books I’ve read have been three stars reads, I’ve figured that it was a good time to do so!

 Stalking Jack The Ripper 

 

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I read this for The Cursed Book Club and sadly, I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I hoped. It was mostly because I’m a huge fan of true crime (even before watching Buzzfeed Unsolved), and Jack The Ripper is a classic. I’m super fascinated by it – is anyone here passionated by the female!Jack The Ripper theory??? I’m into it!

The mystery fell short for me and I had issues with the characters – I couldn’t relate to any of them. Right now I feel so weird about everything (characters, ship, plot) and I kind of want to read the sequel to know I feel.

Also, the feminism was kind of meh in this one.

 

 

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Wintersong 

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I knew what I was getting into when I started Wintersong. It has many mixed reviews and I’d either dislike it or really love it, but mostly this book is split in half for me. I adored the first half of the book and then gradually started to dislike it.

I disliked the fact that it had the ‘losing-my-virginity-made-me-a-woman’ trope, I wish this trope would disappear forever because virginity is a social construct and we have to stop romanticizing it all the time.

Also, Liesl and the Goblin King have a very weird relationship, I don’t even know if it’s insta-love, it’s just not very well developed and I’m not here for it. Not sure if I’ll read the sequel. 

 

 

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I feel like my ratings might have been affected by my mood as well. My exams are coming up in June and I’ve been super stressed and usually feel meh about everything I read in this period. But then again, there were some things that I really didn’t like that probably weren’t affected by my mood.

Like in Stalking Jack The Ripper, the way there are very few female friendships and I always got the feeling that Audrey had an air of superiority whenever she talked of cutting bodies vs dressing up and being interested in marriages.

 

Have you read any of these two books? Did you love them more than I did? 

Let me know in the comments if you think I should give a chance to their sequels. 

 

 

Recommendations : Books Written by Asian Authors

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Happy Asian Pacific Heritage Month!

 

Hello, everyone! I think I haven’t done a recommendations post in a while and since it’s the Asian Pacific Heritage Month, well… I guess it’s high time I talk about books I’ve loved and books that I want to read that have been written by Asian authors. Seriously, so many goood books!!

Let’s jump into this post!

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Books I’ve Read 

 

  1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han – I’m not sure whether I show my love for this series as often as I should, but Jenny Han is a queen of contemporary, in my opinion. Her books are so fluffy and they are books that I reach for when I’m down, when I’m happy, just whenever. Because they are that good. I highly recommend this trilogy and also the Summer trilogy.

I still have to read Burn for Burn, but I’m positive that’s a great series as well.

My review for the series is here (one of my first reviews ever, proceed with caution, also it has spoilers).

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2. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi – this is one of my most recent reads and it was soooo amazing. It talks of relationship in the virtual world, the internet era, but also so many other things like : pregnancy scares, college struggles, family issues. I absolutely loved it!

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3. American Panda by Gloria Chao – what do you mean American Panda didn’t get the award for the most adorable, cutest book in the world??? Besides that, this is highly focused on family, college and it’s super relatable. Totally recommended.

My full review is here (it’s totally spoiler-less and more professional *wink*)

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4. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – this book really messed with my head in the worst kind of ways. There’re so many intricate things about the Lee family, so much mystery and I really liked it, but it was also super heart-breaking.

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5. The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

 

I’m a huge fan of this duology and I just can’t wait to read her latest one because her writing is so beautiful and her characters are lovely. I couldn’t not root for them in The Wrath and the Dawn. I also have reviews for both of these (I’m so resourceful in this post, I hope you notice that) : here and here.

 

6. Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

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If you like poetry, you might enjoy this little book of poems. I really loved it and while I read some more books from Leav, this one remains my favourite.

 

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Books I Want To Read

 1. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Brown

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This one was almost the pick for The Cursed Book Club this month, I would have loved to read it because (1) the cover is gorgeous, (2) I’ve heard only great things about it, (3) the author seems so amazing (I know this isn’t a valid reason, but she’s so nice to everyone on Twitter, omg).

2. The Reader by Traci Chee

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This one such a great premise and a cool title (I feel acknowledged), I really want to read it soon.

3. Want by Cindy Pon

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I almost feel kind of bad at not having read this one yet considering how many people recommended it to me. Everyone says it’s super interesting and intriguing, so sign me up!!!

4. Anything by Marie Lu

I meaaaan. I owned Warcross for a year (probably) and I still haven’t touched that book mostly due to high expectations. I’ve heard so many amazing things about her series Legend and now I’m a bit intimidated because what if I don’t enjoy it???? I hate my reactions to hyped books.

5. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

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I’ve heard that Maurene Goo’s books are adorable and fluffy and cute and that’s what I need all the time. So, I’m going to read this one soon enough.

 

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What are some of your favourite books written by Asian authors?

Have you read any of those that are on my TBR pile? Which one would you recommend?

 

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ARC Review : The Game Can’t Love You Back

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★★★☆☆

(2.5 stars) 

 I was super excited to read this book when I first got it. I don’t think I talk about it a lot, but I absolutely adore sport romances. I love Zapata’s books, but I read very few sport romances in the young adult genre. Therefore, I was super hyped about this one!

Sadly, I had some serious issues with this one. 

Our two protagonists, Eve and Jamie, are thrown into the same baseball team due to an accident at Eve’s school (her school closes and all her classmates are relocated at Jamie’s school). They are super competitive because each one of them was a huge star in their respective team and now they kind of have to compete for the spotlight and for a sports award as well.

And while they competed for those things, I was there, rooting for absolutely no one. 

I just couldn’t care for any of the two main characters for most part of the book. Eve was okay, I liked her at first, but I also got major ‘one-of-the-boys’/// ‘not-like-the-other-girls’ feelings from her and I just don’t like those things. It’s totally alright to be a tomboy, but at times it felt like she was acting superior to all the other girls who didn’t do sports and were more interested in make-up. There was also this part (near the end) where she was slut-shaming some girls for flirting with Jamie and other players from the baseball team and it was absolutely annoying. For a person who calls herself a feminist calling some girls skanks merely because she was jealous, yeaaaah, not cool.

Jamie was a textbook bad boy and he did some super problematic things throught the book. Besides using the word ‘pussy’ for a guy he considered a coward (or whatever), which is the worst, there was also this time when he was already in love with Eve and couldn’t defend her and her worth as a baseball player when his teammate was calling her undeserving because she was a girl. WHAT???? And no, it’s not enough that in his monologue he got somewhat annoyed at said teammate. I think the decent thing would have been to call out that guy for being sexist.

Another thing that bothered me so much was how this book seemed to go for the narrative that women should give up on their dreams to be with a man and I felt so much anger over it. I mean, why can’t a man give up on his dreams to be with me? Or why can’t they both make some compromises and go for something that’s equally good for both of them? Why should a woman make those sacrifices? I’m not here for this narrative.

 You might wonder why I’m giving it three stars if I criticized the characters so much. Well, that’s because it was still a light read and at times, it was pretty fun! I’m a sucker for the hate-to-love trope/the enemies-to-lovers, so I enjoyed the angst and the tension between the two of them. But it’s totally not my favourite love-to-hate romance, mostly because at times, I thought Jamie went too far (at the beginning) and didn’t think he would be a good love interest for Eve.

Also, I liked Marcella, Eve’s friend a lot, she was really cool. I wish she was more present in this one.

I would recommend this book to those who like sports romances and the enemies-to-lovers trope. I’m certain that there will be people who will love this one so much more than I did!

I want to thank Macmillan International for sending me this review copy, this hadn’t influenced my review or rating in any way. 

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Did you read The Game Can’t Love You Back?  If you did, what did you think of it?

Have you read and enjoyed anything else written by Karole Cozzo?

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