Books I Could Re-Read FOREVER

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

And the introduction out of the way let’s get started! This weeks topic is BOOKS I CAN RE-READ FOREVER!!!!!!

Do I even need to do this list honestly? You guys know which books I can read forever. If you don’t then you must be new…

Harry Potter Series

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Like Duh! I thought that now I am 25 my mind would have changed and I would find more problems with them or just generally find more flaws that the 7 year old me missed but I recently finished Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone and to be quite honest I enjoyed it more now as an adult as compared to when I was a kid because now I can appreciate how talented J.K. Rowling is (which is why I am a tad bit sad that her Cormoran Strike series didn’t captivate me as much as Harry Potter did) and how much time and creativity that was spent on building the characters, the plot, the world and their interactions. I had many moments where I laughed out loud reading HP and The Philosopher’s Stone and it has made me want to re-read the series all over again (Not Harry Potter and the cursed child though… that book will NEVER be canon in my eyes. OVER MY DEAD BODY WILL I CONSIDER THAT BOOK CANON… Even now I still can rant over the injustice that is that book. Ugh I can’t even… it will only get my blood pressure up). The book was just so good for me (I say book because you never know maybe the later installments I finally find flaws to critique).

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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I really enjoyed this series. I enjoyed it so much I spent over RM 300++ to buy the next series; The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus series, of which I partially regretted because I had realized too late that I did not enjoy Rick’s new writing style and how his newer books lack any consequence and felt so juvenile-ish. With Percy Jackson, yes the books are for middle graders especially the first few but as you read you grow with the characters. The stakes get higher and characters die (not the main characters but you can win them all) so you feel like shit is going to hit the fan any moment. I would definitely re-read if my library stocked these books in order because I swear they don’t have them all and it infuriates me. Why get a book in a series if you’re not going to get the whole series. I don’t understand that logic.

Millenium series

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I am not too sure why I even like re-reading this series. I just kind of do especially the third book (The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest). I haven’t read the newer ones from this other author and I probably won’t not that I didn’t try. I did. It just wasn’t as engaging anymore.

Sabriel, Lirael & Abhorsen

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Yeah they’re from the Old Kingdom Series but I didn’t read Clariel and some other books from the series and have only read these three hahahha. I really like this series because as much as I hate Garth Nix and his huge time jump between books (excluding Lirael and Abhorsen) I quite enjoy reading about different heroines and their differing strengths and weaknesses and their character growth. It is intriguing to see how the environment of said heroines has a huge influence on their power and how they tackle obstacles in their way. Like Sabriel who has been trained to be an Abhorsen is calm, cool and collected and knows her shit whereas Lirael who was an unknowing Abhorsen but was raised as a Clayr is unsure, nervous at first but bloomed to be a resourceful and intelligent heroine. I have heard that Clariel was an Abhorsen who went rogue so yeah all of the heroines are interesting in their own way.

Funny how I don’t say historical romance as books I can re-read forever because I feel that historical romance isn’t the type of book you would call evergreen or timeless because I loved Judith McNaught books when I was younger but now re-reading it again I realized that the books were very problematic. Also, historical romance is the type of book that doesn’t have much nuance and it is like if you read one you have read them all.

And so yeah these are the only books that I can see myself re-reading it forever. I haven’t found any other books that I feel deserves to be on the forever list as of yet but I am still searching.

 

Bookishly Ever After… A Review

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Title: Bookishly Ever After

Author: Isabel Bandeira

Published: 19 January 2016

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads summary

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary.

But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Review

Well I had a whole rant review written for this book but I lost it and I just don’t have enough momentum in me to write another rant review so this review will be concise and short and straight to the point.

I did not enjoy this book at all even though every fibre of my being really wanted to because the protagonist is a book nerd who knits and let us be honest I can insert myself into the plot because all that can also describe me; a book nerd who crochet instead of knits but it is fine we all know crochet is knittings second cousin thrice removed.

The writing was too juvenile for my taste which threw me off from immersing myself in the plot because the main characters age is 16 yet the writing felt more middle grade than anything.

Then we have the characters themselves. Every character was a stereotype and all of them fell flat. They were nothing more than their stereotype and they weren’t worth the time to even warrant the need to get to know them better but the character I hated the most was the main protagonist, Phoebe.

I did not like how she has no personality nor wit nor anything she can call her own. She does everything that her favorite book character does. From her archery to how she was going to get her crushs attention. I honestly don’t mind if you use fictional characters characteristics and whatnot as inspiration to improve your own life but literally just following whatever they are doing without putting any forethought into it seems ludicrous. Had Phoebe been younger it would have been more believable but she is 16, so I find a 16 year old following everything she reads from a fictional book highly unlikely if it was from a magazine like Cosmo or whatever that is highly likely but from a fictional book? Really?

Another thing that annoyed me about Phoebe was how she has no character development. At the start of the book she is a shy book nerd out to get the attention of her crush and does so by reading fictional books and copies whatever is in it and at the end she is still a shy book nerd who now just has a boyfriend. She learns nothing from her endeavors.

Also, I did not like how she wants the guy to ask her out because she still believes in romantic gestures yet does nothing more pronounced to hint at her crush that she likes them. Yes, she dresses better, she wears make-up, she plays coy and what not but all that can be misconstrued as being friendly and all that does not warrant on how upset she gets because her crush doesn’t understand how she feels. She gets so upset over it she cuts their friendship, doesn’t explain why or anything and it is wholly unfair to the guy i question because maybe he did like her but is too shy himself to ask her out without a more direct hint.

The romance in this book is also very odd for me. At the start of the book she likes Kris, the schools star athlete but then just because Phoebe’s best friend, Em, says that Dev has a thing for Phoebe suddenly she goes all gung-ho for Dev immediately. I don’t understand why. Like why do you suddenly like Dev? Is he cute? Is he sweet? Is he funny? Is he drop dead gorgeous. You don’t just like somebody who MIGHT have a crush on you for no apparent reason. There must be something even though the reasoning might be very superficial.

Another problem I faced was the pacing of this book. It felt so slow for me. I felt like I was reading nothing because almost everything was just filler. Fillers that did not move the plot forward or create any intimacy between us as the reader towards the characters or heck even enjoyable fillers.

Talking about fillers I have found a bookish pet peeve because of this book and that is fillers in the form of bookception (book inception). Remember I told you that Phoebe gets all her tips and tricks to get Dev’s attention well she writes this all down in her notebook where Phoebe will legit write line by line from the chapter she gets her inspiration from and we get to read it. Yeay! Not!

If I wanted to read another book in this book I would have just picked up another book in real life or heck even contacted the author herself to write this fictional book she put in ‘Bookishly Ever After’ so I can read it myself and so that the plot just focuses on Phoebe and puts in more effort so that I actually care about this girl because at this rate due to the writing and the one dimensional characters I don’t give a shit about Phoebe and whatever she is trying to achieve so what makes you think by including a book within a book that I would care more? Like what are you doing? Are you trying to be meta? Had this bookception been complete slashed off or have half of it cut out would improve the pacing of this book tremendously.

I don’t care about Kaylee whatever and her indecision to choose to pursue music in the city or follow her heart and stay with a potato farmer boy for true love or how Maeve feels betrayed and hurt that she is only used as a pawn by her leprechaun-esque partner/lover.

This book was just a huge disappointment for me and I just can’t even anymore so I will stop here.

*Book was given by the publishers in return for an honest review

Anti-Valentine’s Day Book Tag

Hey ho! Since it is Valentine’s day I decided to do an anti-Valentine’s day book tag (this has nothing to do with me being single for what is now my 7th year… *internally crying at the injustice*). This book tag was created by Maya at Maayasaurus, so do check her channel out.

*also did this book tag on my channel so check it out*

So, how this book tag works is that you answer 6 questions and you pair it with a song that either suits your book or a book that was inspired by the song you chose. My playlist isn’t that different from Maya’s own playlist because my taste in music as well as books isn’t diverse enough apparently and thus….

Let’s start!

A book featuring a toxic or abusive relationship

Song: Love The Way You Lie by Rihanna & Eminem

I chose It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover and Once and Always by Judith McNaught because both these books have very abusive relationships. In Colleen Hoovers book the protagonist knows its a problem and knows it shouldn’t be tolerated whereas in Judith’s book the abusive behavior is tolerated all because the hero has a sad sob story *barfs*.

A murder mystery or relationship featuring cheating

Song: It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy

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Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie goes to this category and it fits both the topics because obviously its a murder mystery AND it is about this dude who is a serial cheater who drops dead and a re-investigation ensues years after he dies.

Your favorite non-canonical OTP

Song: 25 Minutes by Michael Learns To Rock

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I feel like Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott from the Cormoran Strike series by J.K. Rowling should be together. They suit each other. They accept each other also Robin was having doubts with her marriage (Career of Evil) and I honestly have no idea why she married that douchebag she calls husband I will never know and ugh Strike get some balls and just gooooooo and get her!!!!!

A bookish guilty pleasure

Song: I Hate You, I Love You by Gnash & Olivia O’Brien

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Yeah you guys know my bookish guilty pleasure is my obsession with historical romance. I know I should diversify my reading. Read something else other than historical romance. Heck even read crime fiction but it is hard. They disappoint me man with historical romance. They’re my safety cocoon they rarely disappoint and if they do its usually just a fluke. It happens.

A book completely devoid of romantic relationships

Song: F*ck You by Lily Allen

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Kill The Father by Sandrone Dazieri was chosen because I don’t think there is any romantic relationships in this book. I honestly can’t remember the specifics of this book just that the ending had me SHOOK!

A book featuring self-love or a fiercely independent protagonist

Song: Till I Collapse by Eminem/ Fighter by Christina Aguilera

Okay for this one I chose three protagonist and I will be far more concise here than in my video.

  1. Sabriel (Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix) – I love how she knows what she wants, she knows how to get it and she is relatively unfazed by her surroundings. Yes, you can say she is bland and say she is generic but for a person who can’t get their shit together *COUGHS*ME*COUGHS* this girl is GOALS!
  2. Lisbeth Salander (Millenium Series by Stieg Larsson) – I love Lisbeth because she is bad ass, a genius, a rebel, misfit and an outcast yet she is also kind, sweet, caring, she got her heart broken in the first book when she realized Mikael didn’t feel for her how she felt for him. She was weak and got sexually assaulted and yet she became strong and got her revenge not only on her perpetrator but everybody that did her wrong. She plays chess with her old caretaker (I forgot the term used in the book) and for me she is so fascinating at how she can be everything yet nothing at the same time. Ya feel me?
  3. Alanna (The Song of the Lionness by Tamora Pierce) – I read this series when I was a teenager and I just rooted for Alanna all the way. She is just this girl who just wanted to be a Knight. That is it. She worked her ass off to be a Knight. She trained and trained and trained. She gave no excuses for herself. Her being smaller than the others didn’t faze her. I also liked how her relationships evolved over time and how it was okay to have more than just one lover in your lifetime. Your first lover doesn’t have to be THE ONE. Like all her relationships didn’t deter her or distract her from her main focus which was to be a BAD-ASS-KNIGHT!!!!!!

The Widow… A Review

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Title: The Widow

Author: Fiona Barton

Published: 14 January 2016

Publisher: Transworld Digital

Source: Library

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads summary

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

Review

Well hello again book that I requested on Netgalley but was rejected. Ha! Laughs on you, I still got to read you anyway. Take that!

Putting my saltiness aside, I found this book okay for my taste. It was average. The plot was predictable and this predictability in my opinion puts the book both in the pros and the cons of said book. I say this because yeah the book is predictable but I get a sense that this isn’t what the author was working at because whilst it was predictable I still found myself not being able to put the book down and this predictability allows us as the reader to engage with the characters present in this book. But again because the book was predictable I couldn’t really immerse myself in the book and just get lost within the mystery of it, if you understand what I mean. Like you can’t lose yourself in a book of which you can predict whats going to happen.

Now, another thing I found a tad bit disappointing was that this book was touted as a psychological thriller rivaling that of the book ‘The Girl on The Train’ but when I read it I found no aspect of this book pertaining to any sort of psychological-thriller-issues-thing. I personally found the book to be a straightforward crime fiction novel.

Yes, you get psychological issues pertaining to the main character who is Jean Taylor, widow to Glen Taylor; pedophile and child kidnapper extraordinaire but that is where any psychological issues stop. You don’t get any duplicity, split personality or anything relating to those sort of things.

But all that did not come close to me truly disliking the ending. My mind was like WTF. The ending ended with Jean knowing all along where Bella’s (the kidnapped girl) body was and the ending line was that she was not allowed to go to Bella’s funeral and that the psychiatrist and judge agrees it will be too much for her and I am here like…

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Like what????!!!! THAT WAS THE ENDING?! That was just a cheap way out man. CHEAP WAY OUT and it didn’t answer no questions. IT MADE ME HAVE MORE QUESTIONS. Like first of all… FIRST OF ALL…

What happened to Jean after she lead the cops to Bella’s body? Was she incarcerated? Is she in jail? Is she in an asylum? Was she prosecuted???

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This is not a plot twist. I knew Jean knows where the body is. I knew she in some way was in cahoots with Glen because you can see from a mile away she cray but this ending is BS! Like girl! You made me read the whole book making me somewhat interested in the characters and the hint of payoff when it comes to the ending what with your predictable plot and so-so characters because you kept hinting and building up and building up expectation that the ending will leave me SHOOOOOOK and when I finally read the ending you gave me this BS!

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Right, right having said all that there were aspects of the book that I did like such as the relationship between Glen and Jean and how even form early on you as the reader can see all the red flags be poppin up like mushrooms everywhere but because Jean is so blinded by love she just goes on ahead.

For example, when they first started dating he would just order for her doesn’t even bother to ask what she wanted or heck does she even like steak but Jean sees it as him being thoughtful making her try new things.

I really like how the relationship slowly progressed in a sense that you can see how controlling Glen is and how he emotionally and mentally abuses and manipulates Jean until she has to put on this facade to be this perfect wife (which the author totally should have delved deeper into because it if by far the most interesting part of the book) and thus why she was essentially coerced into being in cahoots with Glen.

Another aspect that I liked was the multiple POV’s in this book and the jumping between the past and the present. This allows the reader to follow the investigation as well as follow the characters and how this investigation impacted their own personal life as well as their professional life.

I am surprised at how eloquent my review for this book is on my blog as opposed to the one I posted on YouTube. In the video I just spazzed out and blurted whatever came to mind at first. Anyhoots would appreciate it if you checked out my review on YouTube as well and tell me how I can improve hahahah.

Link to my video.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better

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Title: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better

Author: Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell

Published: 10 January 2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group LLC

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads summary

Anonymous break up stories from men and women, old and young, serious and silly and the cartoons that inspired them. Author and artist Hilary Campbell turns the painful into the hilarious, validating emotions from forgotten middle school tragedies to relationships that ended only hours ago.

Review

I really enjoyed this book and finished it within half an hour. It is really entertaining to read on how people broke up and why.

The stories were short and range from funny, wacky, crazy and just plain stupid and gives an insight on how relationships are in real life. People do crazy shit man for their relationship be it breaking up or attempting to make their partner stay.

And that is pretty much what I have got to say really. It’s short and entertaining. I would definitely recommend it for people who just broke up or is attempting to rise from the dead and conquer their reading slump.

We Were One… A Review

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Title: We Were One (Looking Glass)

Author: Elizabeth Reyes

Publisher: January 2018

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads summary

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.
~Oscar Wilde~

Adoration is not profound enough a word to express the depth of my love for her. From the moment she walked into my life and set my heart and soul on fire, not a day’s gone by that she hasn’t plagued my every thought.

We were each other’s completion. She was everything I wasn’t–the sigh to my roar, the virtue to my sin, the cure to my wounds.

We Were One.

Until the unthinkable happened.

That I’ve survived such a tragedy without having completely lost it, is a mystery in itself. But as my mind starts to blur the lines between reality and my delusional heart, I begin to question everything, including my sanity.

And then the real mystery begins . . . 

Review

Well how do I start this review? It feels like forever since my last one… Do I still know how to even review a book anymore? Lol okay I am just kidding I just usually spout whatever BS is in my mind anyway so here it goes.

I was given this ARC copy by the author herself and I said yes to reviewing this book mostly because I was sold by the cover. It looked professionally done, the fonts matched and it looked nice and legit, you know and then I was told the synopsis and my interest was piqued. So, I gave it a go.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book because I am not a huge fan of contemporary romance (I read anything and everything okay doesn’t mean I have to like them all) maybe because the probability for it to be relatable to my present life is too high and I was not surprised when I didn’t enjoy this book as I hoped I would be.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book and I did somewhat enjoyed it but not up to the standard I was hoping it would and my reasons are as follows…

First, I felt that the writing was too cliche for my taste. Everything was just ‘I love you this’, ‘I love you that’, ‘You are my world’, ‘I can’t live without you’ etc etc etc and for a girl (more like woman I have got to own up to my real age by now) who has been single for so god damned long these words just don’t fly with me anymore which again links back to being relatable to my the present day issue. I just can’t imagine a guy saying this to me and me taking him seriously. Maybe it is just me and my commitment issues, who knows.

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Next, is that I couldn’t relate to the main characters, Nico and Maddie. There was no emotional connection between me and these characters. I felt like I was reading about them and their love story and whatnot but not actually getting to know them at all. There was legit no emotional investment on my part in regards to the characters which in turn lead to no emotional investment to the plot of the book itself. Like I couldn’t care less for the characters. I didn’t care whether they were happy or sad or whatever. My mind was just okay let’s just get this chapter over with.

It did not help that the first half of the book started when the main characters were really young; Nico was 19 and Maddie was 16. With this age gap between me and the characters (I am 25 btw) I just found the petty drama surrounding their relationship just that, petty teenage drama whilst I understood why they acted that way (I was a teenager once too) but I couldn’t relate to it anymore because I felt that all this petty drama didn’t even need to happen had they just have an open communication in their relationship.

For example, there was this one scene where Maddie saw Nico meet up with his Image result for girl calm down gifold fling who was obviously pregnant and she assumed the worst and went completely ballistic. I can relate if she found them in bed together but just talking and doing nothing. Like really? Then she went home cried her eyes out and took some sleeping meds and I find this whole fiasco to be so immature and just plain old stupid.

Another example that made me roll my eyes was this. When the book started Nico was 19 but in the book he talks about how he is a MAN and whatnot and Image result for ugh whatever gifkept bringing it up all the time it started to annoy the shit out of me. Grown ass man MY FAT ASS. Like that’s so cute Nico how you think you’re a man and an adult, now why don’t you go back to the playground where you came from and drink you milkshake like a good little boy. You don’t need to shove it in my face every few pages insisting you are an adult. This doesn’t affect my review of the book either way but I really wanted the description of Nico’s tattoos.

Now, plot wise I felt that it was okay; predictable, had its funny moments, cute moments and the like but there was one problem I had with it in this aspect which was I felt that the drama in the plot was too superficial. Superficial in a way that all the drama was settled easily. Far too easily if you ask me. Nico, gets all hot and bothered by all these (unnecessary?) drama what with the old fling, the meeting of Maddie’s mom and whatnot but the payoff for all that worrying isn’t there. So, whenever I am starting to feel some sort of connection with the characters the lack of payoff throws me off and I am back to square one.

Okay moving on to things I liked about the book.

I really liked how some characters were really open to going to a therapist to help them with their issues especially if they are male characters as I felt that this is a great way to help people see that seeking help isn’t a bad thing and it is better in the long run.

Another thing I really respected was how Nico was a gentleman with Maddie. Yes, he did the dirty on the down low with her but he made sure he didn’t coerce her and that she was of age because if he did the nasty with her when she definitely underage I would so label him as a pedophile regardless of how mature Maddie looked.

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Overall, this book was an okay book for me. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped but I didn’t hate it either. It was more of okay cool type of feeling but if you are a fan of contemporary romance with a dash of sex scenes in the mix I would recommend this book for you to give it a go.

On a side note, I am interested in the next book of which the main character is Nolan. Not because I like Nolan or anything but because I read the excerpt and it opened with a homicide and the true crime fanatic in me was like…. ‘oh…. what is this?’