The Mid-Autumn Festival Tag

mid

Hi guys, it’s that time of the month again for book tag! I was tagged to do this one by Puput @ Sparkling Letters in November, but only get to it now 😅 As I live in Indonesia, we don’t have 4 seasons. We only have rainy and summer. But then again it’s been raining a lot lately (to be exact, since beginning of 2016), and I heard it rains a lot during autumn, so I think it’s perfect to do the tag now 🍂 If we have autumn, I’m pretty sure it will be my favorite season. The weather seems cold, but not cold enough that I have to wear 7 layers of clothes. Not to mention the overall brown/golden hues are gorgeous! Autumn aesthetics are always my favorite🍁

🍂Reunion of Family🍂

Name A Book with Family Goals

I would totally answer The Weasleys, but since I’m trying to avoid the obvious and give other answer, I’m going to answer Song-Covey family from Lara Jean series. But that is also Puput’s answer, so I’ll just answer Finch family from To Kill A Mockingbird! That book is amazing, and I know why people has Atticus in such high regard. He’s like the ultimate father goals? Even though Scout is a girl, he loved her equally with Jem. He even let her play outside like Jem. Jem and Scout have realistic brother sister dynamics, and all of them really respect Calpurnia, even regard her as one of their own. I refuse to read and acknowledge Go Set A Watchman because I know it will dissapoint me🙈

🌕Full Moon🌕

Name A Book with A Werewolf

The first book that come to mind is Remus Lupin, so yeah, it’s the obvious answer of Harry Potter. But then I want to answer something different from the obvious, so my answer is the Dark Guardian series. It’s about werewolf pack who live inside national park, and all of them live a normal life nearby as park ranger or hiking guide. I think I’m already too old for this series, but when I re-read it, I’m surprised that I still like them! The story was easy to read- typical teenage contemporary with werewolf power mixed in- and the depiction of the park was so beautiful and vivid.

🎂Mooncakes🎂

Name A Kind of Food in A Book That You Wish was Real

I never eat Persian food, so I don’t know which food is real or not. But we all can agree that food in The Wrath and The Dawn are so delicious, and Renee Ahdieh talent’s with words made them very vivid when you’re reading, resulting in immediate hunger and need for food😹

🐇Rabbit🐇

Name Your Favorite Creature from A Book

giphy1

I really want to answer Phoenix, but keeping up with “no HP” theme, I’m going to answer Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. We’ll I’ve read the book, but I really love chesire in the movie! Those eyes, those shades of blue, that smile… It’s adorable!💙

🍁Change🍁

A Character that Makes a Significant Change to the Plot Since He/She Did Something too Many Times

Zeus from Percy Jackson (and Greek Mythology in general). It seems like he never get the memo that a) Hera is a jealous person and b) his mood swings create a lot of trouble because he keeps having an affair and create helluva trouble with his Godly mood swing. Not to mention he refuse to take responsibilites for all his action? Like, k Zeus. Thanks.

🏮Lanterns🏮

Name A Toy or Game in A Book that You Liked to Read About

giphy2

I don’t really understand what this question actually refers to, so I’m just going to answer some “toys” I want to know more about like the time turner from HP (eventually, we’ll have to use a HP answer); like how it came to be and how to made it.

🍁Autumn🍁

Name A Book Which You Feel is the Best to Read in Autumn

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I mean, it’s about ghost and mainly set in the graveyard, and each chapter is about a year later in Halloween. If that doesn’t scream autumn, I don’t know what does.

🎊Festival🎊

Name Your Favorite Festival in A Book

tumblr_mu55vcqucz1sn21e9o1_500

The Warlord’s Ball from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It just sounds… magical? A whole town parade, dancing with different partners the whole way wearing mask being incognito under the 2 moons of Loramendi? It sounds amazing. (bonus point if you know what show that is!)

tasya

Book Aesthetics // 2016 Favorites

Can you believe we are at the end of March now? Because I can’t. 2016 has come and go, I think it’s a pretty mediocre reading year. There are so many dissapointing books, most of them are because of the hype, but there are some good surprises too. Even though I already posted my yearly wrap-up, I decided to pay a tribute for my 2016 faves by creating some aesthetics for them. I’m not exactly imaginative and visual person, so this aesthetics have 99% chance of being sucks, but this is how I see and imagine the books in my head, so enjoy!

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

twatd

There’s no 2016 favorites list will be perfect without me mentioning this book. I just love love love this book, and until now this book remains my favorite series starter ever.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

tsoa

I know some people saw it as problematic, which I will have a separate discussion post about, so we will not go there. I really love the author’s take on Achilles and Patroclus relationship, which has been a debate for thousand of years. I also love how it used Patroclus point of view instead of Achilles, it’s refreshing to see the war and Achilles himself not as the great demigod hero, but as a lover and friend.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I don’t know why, but I feel like this image really represent the book. Ghost/memory Finch and Violet remembering him. Also, that quotes is really my favorite and the one that made me cry in the book. What I love about this book is how it doesn’t have the “love cures mental illness” trope. It might seem that way for Violet, but it doesn’t for Finch. In the end, Finch save Violet but couldn’t safe himself. Even when he’s with Violet, he’s not always happy and still had his ups and downs.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crooked kingdom

The amazing series ender. It’s still feel slow at parts, but overall I love it more than Six of Crows. We know more about the Dregs, not only Kaz and Inej, but also Wylan and Jesper. Also, Grisha cameo!!

Dracula by Bram Stoker

dracula
My favorite classic of 2016! It’s dark and gothic, and the atmosphere is really suspenseful and creepy. Definitely a classic perfect for halloween, and I can see why it’s considered a classic!

tasya

A Peek Into My Bullet Journal + How I Use It

bujo

Bullet journal is one of the biggest trend in 2016 (or was it 2015?). So many people are using it and showcasing their bullet journal, especially on studyblr and pinterest. According to the official website,

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

At first, I was reluctant to follow the trend. I mean, to do more with less sounds good to me, but all the bujo I saw on studyblr and pinterest don’t seem less to me, in fact they seem… more? It must have take more effort and time to create those pretty journals! But I’m in dire need of an agenda or to-do list to start uni, so during Ikea sale, I bought some empty books and in August, I finally started my bujo journey!

Processed with VSCO

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During my first 5 months, I decided to create the layout in advance so it won’t be bothersome. I also decided to use different languages for the dates, so at least I could learn something from my bujo. Now I can mention the name of days in Spanish fluently! The first 2 pictures in the slideshow are my old layout, the new last one is the new one.

Processed with VSCO

I also create a tracker and gratitude pages at the end of each month, as well as some blank pages for things I just want to write down. I switch up some of the trackers each month, but some of them has been a permanent resident, like cleaning my place and eating fruit.

How do I use it

Processed with VSCO

The first page of my bullet journal is for key and yearly calendar. I started this on August, so I figure I just write the calendar until December in case I run out of paper or something. As for the key… they help making the journal easier to understand. By looking on the symbol only, I know what I have for the day, whether it’s event, homework, or just random task like cleaning up.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the beginning of every month, I have a monthly overview page. It has calendar, goals, and motivational quotes to motivate me through the month. If I’m feeling artsy, I will add doodle or picture, but most of the time… that’s it. Again, the format has changed since the first time I use it. I create a simpler one, with many spaces for pictures, doodles, goals, or anything, compared to the old one that only has calendar.

Daily, I just write my daily to do list the night before or early morning when I just wake up. It’s a really cathartic for me, sorting through the buzzing of ‘YOU NEED TO DO THIS TODAY” and actually know what you have to do.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the end of the month, I have some spaces for gratitude journal, tracker, quotes, notes.. basically random stuff. Sometimes they’re unused, but most of the times they are pretty full.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the transition of December 2016 to January 2017, I created some random lists and overviews, and things to do/watch/hear in 2017. You know, the usuall stuff.

And that’s it! Yes I know my photography skills are nonexistent, but I hope amidst the blurry pictures and instant process of VSCO, you got the idea of how my journal look and how it does its work. It’s not pretty, artsy, colorful, etc etc, but it does its job and made my life so much easier!

Your turn: Do you use bullet journal? How do you use it?

tasya

What Is Your Perspective While Reading?

reading-perspective

When reading books, there are usually 2 kinds of point of views: first person and third person. In case you never noticed, let me explain it to you. First person is when we get into the characters head, and it’s usually using the word “I” instead of the name of the characters. Third person, while we can also feel what they feel and know what they are thinking, use the characters name. It’s like we are more of a viewer of the story, but with knowledge of what’s going on with everyone at the same time (kinda useful in real life eh?). If you aren’t clear about it yet, here’s an example:

“Then what do you want form me?”

“I want to lie beside you and know the weight of your dreams,” he said, brushing his lips against my knuckles. “I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars.” He moved closer and a chorus of songbirds twittered silver melodies.

“I want to measure eternity with your laughter.”

Now, he stood inches from me; his rough hands encircled my waist. “Be my queen and I promise you a life where you will never be bored. I promise you more power than a hundred kings. And I promise you that we will always be equals.”

and

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.

“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.

“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”

(If you can guess which book they are from, comment down below!😜) Both quotes have the same vibes, a lover who’s hesitating and the other half who’s trying to convince the other. But while both felt really deep, we connect deeper on personal level because we are INSIDE the girl’s head, while in the second quote, we are WATCHING the couple.

giphy

Now now, no worries, I’m not going to talk about characters point of view, which one you liked better etc etc. It only serves as background or introduction, and a long one at that😅 What I’m going to talk about today is what is your perspective when you are reading?

No matter what povs im reading, I always become a watcher. I stand in the sidelines and watch the events unfold. Even when it is a first person point of view, I can connect deeper emotionally and physically, but I still can’t put myself as the characters, being in their head and heart. For some reason, you can say that I am a third person point of view, always being invisible and being an all-knowing entity in the stories.

giphy1

While it can get frustrating sometimes because I can’t always connect with the characters, being a watcher the whole time, it also has the good sides. I usually feel more immersed in the world building of the book. Like for example, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is set in Prague. When all hell broke loose, the angels appearing on the bridge etc etc, I can imagine myself there. I can imagine myself watching the angels and people around the bridge, while walking through those cobbledstone paths and touching the ancient buildings.

Pretty awesome huh? Well it also gives me a serious case of wanderlust sooo….

I can’t say which one is better, being in a character’s head or being a watcher. I guess both have advantages and disadvantages, and I think it varies for each reader! I think being a watcher works fine for me this whole time, it saved me a sensible amount of tears because I rarely cried while reading!😂

Your turn: Are you a watcher or the character? Which one do you think is better?

On Growing Up and Letting Go

Saving People, Hunting Things, Family Business // Top 5 Wednesday #12: Fictional Jobs I Want to Have

top

Welcome to another edition of Top 5 Wednesday! Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Samantha and Lainey. You can check the group here for more discussions and topic!

This week topic is fictional jobs I want to have! The fictional characters always seem to have all the dangerous or fun job, so this is the chance for me to write down all the jobs I want to have.

Hunters

tumblr_inline_msdip9y8bd1qz4rgp

Judging from the title, you know this one is coming don’t you? Other that the unhappy, lonely life of a hunter, the other thing is pretty great! You got to work with the winchesters, ride the impala, meet a cute angel in a trenchcoat, king of hell… the list goes on and on. But again, this job comes with the side requirement of prepared 24/7 to clean up the mess the winchesters made!

Grand Maester

giphy

Other than the chance to live in Westeros, I think Grand Maester has the calmest life. Sure, all the Grand Maester has been male and none of them are married, but let’s preted that they allow women. All you do is read book! Have you seen the library of Westeros?? It’s awesome!

Teacher at Hogwarts

1443020364-1

A chance to spend the rest of your life in Hogwarts? Yes please.

Bridesmaid

raw

You know, like in 27 Dresses. Being a bridesmaid sounds really fun, like you’re a HUGE part in ensuring your friend’s wedding going out well! Also, the dresses 😀

Camp Supervisor

00779e5a7ed256a2318809b73a3cbcfc

Again, just like Hogwarts teacher, being a supervisor is a chance to stay all-year round on camp half blood! It’s like the best job ever???On Growing Up and Letting Go

The Slump is Strong Within Me // February Wrap Up & March TBR

wrap-up

As the title of this post suggest… yes, I’m still on a reading slump. I think this is the worst and longest I’ve ever have, starting from December and still going strong. As you will see below, I *seemed* to read a lot this month, but 3 of them are HP novellas, and the rest of them I didn’t enjoy THAT much, even though I should.

October Wrap Up and November TBR

  1. THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi // ✰✰✰✰
  2. HELLO ME, IT’S YOU by Hannah Todd // ✰✰✰
  3. ARSENE LUPIN: THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE by Maurice LeBlanc // ✰✰
  4. SHORT STORIES FROM HOGWARTS: HEROISM, HARDSHIPS, AND DANGEROUS HOBBIES by J.K Rowling // ✰✰✰✰✰
  5. SHORT STORIES FROM HOGWARTS: AN INCOMPLETE AND UNRELIABLE GUIDE by J.K Rowling // ✰✰✰✰
  6. SHORT STORIES FROM HOGWARTS OF POWER, POLITICS AND PESKY POLTERGEIST by J.K Rowling // ✰✰✰
  7. THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS by Jason Rekulak {ARC} // ✰✰
  8. WICKED WITCHES by Scott T. Goudsward {ARC} // ✰✰✰✰

October Wrap Up and November TBR

  1. PHANTOM by Susan Kay // Read this book since the beginning of the year, really need to finish it soon.
  2. THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden // Russian retellings with gorgeous prose? I’m in!
  3. NIGHT SHIFT by B.R Myers // Night At The Museum story… except it’s department store and not living mannequins.
  4. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor and DONE DIRT CHEAP by Sarah Nicole Lemon // Read it in February and only need around 20-30% left to finish the book.

October Wrap Up and November TBR

The slump is still on going this month, and while I read more books than January, I can’t really like them or care enough about them to give them 5 stars (they’re only for short stories). It also makes it hard for me to write a review on the blog because tbh, I don’t really remember what I read… Not to mention one of the books that I read triggered my anxiety and I really couldn’t concentrate on anything for the next few days. So yeah.

Valentine’s happened. I don’t really care for it tbh, I don’t do dates (I rarely go to one with mine) so I always saved valentine’s day for my friends, and just give candies to everyone. Another reason why I dislike it is because I don’t like sweet, and valentine’s is like a day of sweets! Enough rambling, my campus had this bind date event for valentine, and I signed up for it just for fun. And guess what? It was fun! It has more like meeting and talking with friends, but I don’t mind. I’m wondering if real-life blind date will be THAT amazing.

October Wrap Up and November TBR

untitled4

More post this month compared to last month, but still wasn’t back on my normal schedule. This month discussion post is whether insta-love is real or is it only in YA? I posted my first edition of Screen Rambles, where I talked about movies I watched last month. For Top 5 Wednesday, I managed to write 2 posts: current non bookish favorite and trends I’m tired of seeing. February is well-known as the month of love, so my valentine’s special this year is the book courtship tag. And finally, some book reviews! I made a mini review for the book I read in January/December and also The Star Touched Queen review.

On Growing Up and Letting Go

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi // When Greek Mythology Meets Indian Culture

27158779The Star Touched Queen

by Roshani Chokshi

Ebook, 325 pages

Published April 26th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

✰✰✰✰

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”

The Star Touched Queen is the type of book that has the potential to be my 2017 favorite, IF I read it at other time of the year. The writing is vivid and rich, filled with Indian mythological creature like Naga and Narasimha. It is a retelling of my favorite greek mythology, the story of Hades and Persephone, but the story is infused with Indian culture. I think the writing is both a strength and weakness, it gives really lush imaginery, but at the same time it’s bordering on purple prose and give too much information.

Our main character, Maya, is strong and intellegent. She loved her father, and even though she’s bitter against the Harem, she still worries about the women when the harem burned. She has a complicated relationship with her father; she loved her father, but at the same time he is the Raja and she knew her duty. When she first met Amar, she didn’t easily trusted him. She always willing to learn, but her intuitive nature, along with her suspicion with Amar and her need to prove herself (as the result of years in harem) proved to be her downfall. But she did not give up and tried to made everything right.

collage
Amar is so much more than the mysterious king. He truly loves Maya, but it’s not the kind of love that shelters and protect Maya. He let her explore her powers and limitations, and treat her as his equal. He respects her wants and decision, and fully support all her decision. He keeps all his promises, and true to his words, his soul remembers’ Maya.

“It is nice to be nice,” said Kamala with a sage nod. “And it is also nice to eat people.”

I really enjoyed the presence of Kamala, she’s sassy and witty, and likes to eat human flesh, but also trustworthy and can be wise when Maya need her guidance. Her presence is constant and essential for Maya throughout her journey, and no matter how hard the circumstance is or how many chance she got to leave Maya, she never did.

The Star Touched Queen is an exquisite retelling of Hades and Persephone, filled with familial interactions, friendship, and of course, man eating horse. The writing can be overwhelming at times, but all in all, it’s a delightful reading experience.

On Growing Up and Letting Go

Review Anthology: Books I Read in January/February

I know this is a book blog and I know how I never post review anymore these past months, but I am in a terrible slump guys. I barely read anything and when I do, I didn’t like them as much as I had to. So here are books that I read in December and January, in form of mini reviews.

DEATHLESS by Catherynne M. Valente

10841809Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories which have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the twentieth century.

Deathless, however, is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever child of the revolution, to Koschei’s beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power. All told, Deathless is a collision of magical history and actual history, of revolution and mythology, of love and death, which will bring Russian myth back to life in a stunning new incarnation.

This book might be the reason of my huge slump. Or maybe it’s Red Rising. All I know is reading a book titled DEATHLESS, with an immortal main character, is not a good idea while planning your grandmother’s funeral. Firstly, it’s definitely because of the whole death(less) thingy going around in this book. The setting was depressing, during Russian Revolution I think? There were many deaths, the world felt very bleak and grey (which is a good thing considering the setting, but bad thing considering my situation at that time), there were war, both in real life and Tsars’ realms, and of course, the suffering of the people. Secondly it’s because of the writing style. It’s gorgeous. It really is. The writing has the fairytale quality that managed to capture the bleakness of Russia and the vibrant life of Koschei’s palace vividly. But it also borders on purple prose and it was hard enough for me to read anything at that time, lest they use purple prose! It disconnects me from the story and characters, while connecting me to the world they are living.

RED RISING by Pierce Brown

18046624The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

Dnf at 44%

I’m so sad that I didn’t enjoy it. But dystopian and I haven’t been best mates for a while now. The thing is, I find the writing in this book to be very choppy and bland. It feels like fragmented sentences at time. It also has a lot of slangs and tech-talk without actually telling us what does those words mean. Like what is the difference between Lambda, Copper, Pixies, and Gamma? What the is a pulseshield? A gravboots? A highgrav? We have no idea how the houses, the system, the whole world work. And don’t tell me it’s because Red Rising is a first book because how can you even finish the first book if you don’t know any meaning from the fancy words? It is also very slow paced and the characters, especially the man, no matter who they are, just sounds very alpha-maleish for me. I’m sorry but I don’t think this book is for me.

THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Deb Loughead

29977282First she blamed herself. Now she doesn’t know who to trust.

When Kit disappeared at a party and was found drowned in the quarry the next day, Clem knew who to point the finger at: herself. She was the last person to see him alive, the last person who could have helped. If she had just kept a closer eye on him instead of her crush, Jake, maybe Kit would still be here. She knows she made a mistake, and wishes she could just forget about it — but Clem’s friend Ellie says she’ll expose Clem’s secret if she doesn’t play along with Ellie’s lies.

Jake seems to have his own difficult secrets, and when he and Clem start to talk, they make a plan to help themselves move on. But when an unexpected discovery at the quarry makes everyone question what they thought they knew, Clem and Jake decide it’s up to them to uncover the truth.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange from honest review

This is a very short and light book for mystery genre. I think it has “plot twist” but it wasn’t that twisted that it felt like no plot twist at all.

I get why the characters felt guitly about Kit’s death, but I can’t say I agree with the way they solve things, especially the ending. I also feel like the characters are just okay-ish, no depth, no personality, nothing. It’s like all that characterize them in this book is the part they play in Kit’s death.

This book also seemed like its aimed to lower YA or middle grade, the writing and plot are simple and I think it tries too hard in using the modern, catchy language. It has no climax or anything, and the ending was very underwhelming.

I like how even though it was simple, it’s sort of interesting that I can finish it in one sitting. I also like how positive her school is? Like they have this support group for Kit’s who’s “challenged”, and even though some are mean to him, it’s like 99% of the students genuinely like him and enjoy spending time with him! It kinda reminds me of WONDER.

If you’re not use to mystery, or just want to read something lighter, this book is definitely for you.

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

25629358It all comes down to this. Oliver, Ethan, and I. Three teens venture into an abandoned lake house one night. Hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding. The other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder…?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece the story together – a story of jealousy, twisted passion and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful faces…

I really don’t know how to rate this book. It has been a month so the shock had worn off, but I still don’t know how to react.

This book is a paradox for me to read. On one side, it’s very addictive. I keep turning the pages to see what, why, and how. I stayed up late to finish this book. On the other hand, the more I read, the more I feel sick and disgusted. The character, Oliver and Chloe are just awful, purely psycopath. Being inside Chloe’s head doesn’t help either, it made me anxious that I had to stop reading for a few times. Also, both Oliver and Ashton raised red flags for me, so how can Chloe not seeing it? I guess it’s a good thing this book made me twitchy and uncomfortable, considering the genre, but at some point it just felt too much.

That ending also really creeps me out. What was that even suppose to mean?

I don’t think I will be reading any Abigail Haas book anytime soon. I need time to fully recover.

UPSIDE DOWN by Jaym Gates

27905714Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is an anthology of short stories, poetry, and essays edited by Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates. Over two dozen authors, ranging from NYT-bestsellers and award winners to debut writers, chose a tired trope or cliche to challenge and surprise readers through their work.

Read stories inspired by tropes such as the Chainmaille Bikini, Love at First Sight, Damsels in Distress, Yellow Peril, The Black Man Dies First, The Villain Had a Crappy Childhood, The Singularity Will Cause the Apocalypse, and many more…then discover what these tropes mean to each author to find out what inspired them.

Join Maurice Broaddus, Adam Troy-Castro, Delilah S. Dawson, Shanna Germain, Sara M. Harvey, John Hornor Jacobs, Rahul Kanakia, Alethea Kontis, Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Haralmbi Markov, Sunil Patel, Kat Richardson, Nisi Shawl, Ferrett Steinmetz, Anton Strout, Michael Underwood, Alyssa Wong and many other authors as they take well-worn tropes and cliches and flip them upside down.

I receive this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest review. This does not affect my opinions or whatsoever.

Upside Down is an anthology of stories that contain inverted trope. Blind people who portrayed as physic turns our to be a normal person like us. Damsel in Distress who turned out to be not as in need as we thought she is, and so on. While I enjoyed reading some stories, most of them feel bland to me and I skipped a lot of them. If you expect some kind of creepy stories, because of the cover, I think you will get some, but not as much as you’ll like. So all in all… I didn’t like the stories.

BUT. I do like the essays. The introduction and discussion are amazing! It discuss how harmful trope can be, how to use it, etc. If this book is all about essays instead of stories, I’m sure I would enjoyed it more.

6b9d3-tasya

The Book Courtship Tag

book
Hi guys! So I found this interesting book courtship tag from Fiona @ A Girl Between the Pages ageees ago. I have a lot of old tags on my draft because I love tags, but don’t know when to post them. I think this is really fun to read, so without anyone tagged me I just do it 😀 LWithout further ado, let’s get into the courting process!

Phase 1: Initial Attraction | A book you bought because of the cover

I mean, just look at that cover? It’s the Indonesian edition and honestly it’s just so gorgeous. I love that shade of blue, and the pink colors just really stood out. It’s a shame I didn’t really enjoy the story though.

Phase 2: First Impressions | A book you bought because of the summary

18667945

#Girlboss by Sophia Amaruso. One of my goal this year is to read more non-fiction, and the summary of this book sounds perfect for me. It looks like a great, empowering book for women, but the story fits everyone who’s in need of motivation!

Phase 3: Sweet Talk | A book with great writing

The Book Thief is one of those books that you read and haunted you. It’s just so beautiful, it’s bitter, it makes you cry, laugh and smiles, it’s easy to relate and sympathizes with Liesel and other characters. And Death is an extemely good narrator, the way he narrates feel other worldly, he feels like another entity watching the humans (which he is). It’s one of those books that I easily recommended to people.

Phase 4: First Date | A first book of the series which made you want to pick up the rest

This one is a real winner. The writing, the world building, the atmosphere, the characters… It tells the story of Shahrzad who seeks for revenge after a boy-king killed one girl every dawn, and one of those girls are her bestfriend. This book really makes me can’t wait to read the novellas and the sequel. I enjoyed the novellas (especially The Mirror and The Maze) but a bit dissapointed with The Rose and The Dagger though.

Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls | A book that kept you up all night

Goddess is the only book I stayed up all night to finish it. I just want to read a few chapters, but ended up reading the whole book and can’t keep my eyes open at school the next day. After reading this book, it’s safe to say that I have policies of no reading before go to bed.

Phase 6: Always on my Mind | A book you can’t stop thinking about

Um.. I don’t know… Possibly all my e-arcs I need to read from Netgalley? I need to get to them soon😅

Phase 7: Getting Physical | A book which feels nice

Percy Jackson series feels 100000% nice. It feels familiar. The humour, the action, the characters, the mythology. It’s family. It’s home. I love it so so so much<3

Phase 8: Meeting the Parents | A book you would recommend to your family and friends

Percy Jackson I guess? As much as I love HP, my family and friends won’t want to read it because “why read when you can watch” thing. Percy Jackson only have 2 movies, and the books itself aren’t as huge and intimidating as HP, so yeah, no excuse. Read this book folks.

Phase 9: Thinking About the Future | A book you will re-read A LOT

I don’t really do re-reads.. And if I did, I never managed to finish that book. But I’ve been wanting to re-read The Night Circus for a while though, and it’s been raining a lot which is the perfect mood to read it. Hopefully I could read it soon!

Phase 10: Sharing the Love! | Whom do you tag?

Erika @ Books and Stars and Cloe @ Mornings and Epilogues!

On Growing Up and Letting Go
       

Screen Rambles #1: January

screen

Welcome to the first edition of screen rambles! Screen rambles is a way for me to review, reacts, and basically rambling about everything I watch in the previous month, be it movies or tv shows.

The Great Wall

The Great Wall is a story about 2 foreigners who got trapped in Imperial Chinese effort in keeping out the monster invasion that comes once every 60 years. It has been attacked with severe criticism on whitewashing, but after watching it, I personally can say it’s not white washing (this is coming from an asian, 3rd generation of Chinese). Honestly, the parts white people are cast for are the parts that made for white people. However, it’s definitely a white savior movie, and it’s sad how an independent, fierce female warrior seemed to fall for this handsome foreigner and serves only as a tool for the story.

The thing I like the most is how it’s using Chinese as the main language between the generals, which means around 50% of the movie! The Great Wall only uses English when the foreigners speak between themselves and the translator translating between Chinese and English. We also have a female general and her female troops in the movie, which is rare and I think kinda unrealistic considering how ancient China (and sometimes until now) view women. But really, the general and her troops are so badass, you should see what they’re doing. I kinda hate the fact that their suit are basically anime suit though. Also, there’s Luhan in this movie! I didn’t know it was him at first, but he definitely looked familiar until I googled him😄

Final verdict: It was okay. It could be worse (the actors could wear yellow face) but it’s not exactly recommended by me.

W

This book is about Oh Yeon Joo, who is the daughter of famous webtoon artist, Oh Seong Moo. One day, her father dissapeared mysteriously and Yeon Joo was pulled into the world of W, the webtoon her father created, and ended up helping Kang Cheol, the main character of W.

I really love the idea and concept of this k-drama. It’s a really refreshing change from the normal rags to riches stories existed in most K-drama. But the execution? Unfortunately, not so much.

This drama started out with a bang (hehe), but fizzles out right in the middle. The first 7 episodes have this zippy, fast paced energy full of suspense “IS IT REAL OR NOT” and of course, witty romantic banter. But the second half, while filled with life-threatening situation, aren’t really focused on the action and humanity part, it’s more focused on the romance. I swear it feels like watching a staring contest between Yeon Joo and Kang Cheol! Pining is romantic and give you feels but when you have too much of them in your drama, say like everytime they meet they just keep staring at each other instead of talking, it really delays the story.

While I love Lee Jong Suk, the biggest award must’ve gone to Kim Eui Sung who played dad. His acting is amazing! Watching him turned from an old man who loved his daughter to a killer who killed in cold blood give me chills. Out of topic, but since Han Hyo Joo played Dong Yi before, it made me want to re-watch Dong Yi and in turns, made me want to read The Great Queen Seondeok (aka the best saeguk of ever). And yes, I am aware Dong Yi and The Great Queen Seondeok are set in different era.

I have so many questions about the ending, and I don’t think it actually answers the main question that I have since the first episode: Why and How. Overall, it’s a really interesting k-drama with fresh concept.

Final verdict: If you love K-drama, then you’ll at least like this one. If you hate K-drama, you might want to skip this one because it’s very cliche in terms of romance😅 Honestly, I wished it has more action than romance!😅

Sherlock S4

It didn’t start really well. I felt really underwhelmed with the Six Thatchers. The first half were so good, but the second half was a letdown. It was slow paced, and I hate the thing that happened with Mary. It just felt really rushed. Also, as much as I ship Johnlock, I hate the way Mary is used as a tool to emphazise the relationship of John and Sherlock. Mary Morstan is an independent, fierce, femme fatale that deserves better.

The Lying Detective was awesome though. It’s the Sherlock I love, filled with the high energy, sonic speed deduction, dark sarcastic humor, and plot twist that really messing with me. Not to mention the amazing character that is Mrs. Hudson. Sherlock is back, people. And that ending?? Totally didn’t see that coming. (Still hoping for Tom Hiddleston as Sherrinford).

If The Final Problem is the finale of the series, it was very underwhelming. The stakes are very high in this episode, there were lots of deaths and we delve deeper into the Holmes’ brothers past. But the thing is, the ending was very convinient. So all Euros wanted was Sherlock’s love? A hug and that’s it?  It just very anticlimatic.

Final verdict: I am so dissapointed. I waited so long for this one, plus this is ~supposed~ to be the series finale. Yet it doesn’t feel like Sherlock, the plot is not that engaging or complicated, and it feels like queer-baiting, especially with the ending (raising kids together? really?) All the female (or basically everyone?) in this show deserves better.

Descendants of the Sun

This one is a buddy re-watch with Puput 😜 We’ve been planning to do it since last year but only managed to do it this month (life happens guys!). One thing I realised during this re-watch is I don’t find it THAT good anymore…🙈 I mean I still love it, it’s still one of the best, but some scene just bored me and very cringe-y… The action are cool, the romance has some cute moments, but the overall romance is so cheesy I have to paused so many times to prevent too many facepalming😅 THE COUPLES ARE STILL PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER THOUGH. Also, I love Myeong Ju and Dae Yong more than Si Jin and Mo Yeon this time around hehe😍

Final verdict: If you haven’t watch it, go watch it. If you have…. well then go have a re-watch!

La La Land

Everyone was raving about this movie, it gets so many nominations, so despite being not interested, I figure that I should give it a try.  Well… I… didn’t love it. I mean, sure, the old hollywood thingy going on is cool, the chemistry between Emma and Ryan are good, the overall movie is very hopeful, if you know what I’m saying, but in the end, there’s something I couldn’t put my finger on that I didn’t like. Maybe because its a musical? I never been much of a fan of a musical. It also felt too long for me! But that ending though…. 😭😭😭 I’m 80% sure it will be a classic like Grease.

Final verdict: It’s not you, it’s me. I have never been a musical or romantic girl… so yeah.

Suits

Well well well… I finally did it! I watched some episodes of it randomly and really like it, but never actually watch it. Now I’ve done it and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.

I always wanted to be a lawyer and work in tall buildings, but this show just take it to another level. They made law looks so amazing. Not to mention the dynamics between the characters? They’re just so good! I feel bad for Louis though, he’s weird but he’s really good at his job (he’s like Harvey but specialized in finance? He’s as good as Harvey??) so I don’t think his weird-ness is a reason for everyone to discredit him. I wish everyone (LOOKING AT YOU HARVEY DAMN SPECTER) would stop giving him shit. I know he’s not the best person, he can be vile and manipulative, but he would be loyal if people (again, you harvey specter and jessica pearson) would show him some respect and credit for his work!

But damn despite my previous rant about Louis, I really need to give all my hearts to Harvey Specter. Gabriel Macht did such an amazing job with him. He’s like ruthless, yet also caring with his inner circle. And I’m not saying his ruthless because he’s a jerk, he’s just the type of person who will do whatever it takes to win the case. But look how fast he gets protective with Mike! (literally sticking himself out to protect mike? “who did this no you’re not and when i’m done whoever did this won’t be either”? stoned harvey and mike???) My poor bromance feels can’t handle it. I also really like how we can see Harvey’s mood based on his facial expression. It’s so amazing that the actor doesn’t do much than change the way he’s staring and I’m just like “oh shit harvey’s pissed”. Let’s not forget that webisodes where he portrayed clueless. I laughed so hard omg. I do admit that he is a jerk, especially to Louis.

I need to say Jessica is amazing! Gina Torres also did an amazing thing portraying her, she’s the kind of femme fatale I want to be. She navigated the politics by her quick wit and Harvey’s recklessnes. You can also sense how Jessica appreciate Harvey, she’s extremely indulgent to his recklessnes and arrogancies!

Unpopular opinion alert: I don’t want Donna and Harvey becoming a couple! I prefer them as best friends.

Final verdict: GO WATCH IT.

On Growing Up and Letting Go