MAY WRAP UP WOOP WOOP

OKAY I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ME THIS MONTH BUT I READ 7 BOOKS?!?! see, if you know me at all you know that I am a very slow reader. I wish I weren’t but it’s true and I usually am surprised to even have read 3 books in a month and when I just checked my goodreads to write up this blog post it occurred to me that I’ve 7 books this month and just woah.

The first book I read this month was The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon which I 17199504gave a 4.5 stars because I loved it! I mean, it does have the typical YA dystopian trope of a teenage girl who is the only one who can save the world and stuff but honestly the writing was amazing and the world itself was pretty unique I mean CLAIRVOYANTS. I haven’t read a dystopian since divergent like three years ago because honestly most of them aren’t worth the hype but boi this one though.

Then, I read Elantris by Brandon Sanderson which was such an interesting fantasy read. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book and I completely understand what all the hype is about. The world building and the writing definitely captures you from the very first page. I also read The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer which I surprisingly gave 5 stars. I say surprisingly because I’d never seen this book on bookstagram and I 20696422honestly picked it up because the synopsis intrigued me and I have to admit I haven’t done that with a book since I became a part of the book community on social media. It was my first 5 star read in ages and honestly such a devastating story but also such a realistic portrayal of mental illness and grief.

And after that I just read two 5 star books in a row and I cannot stop thinking about 25909375these two books. They have consumed my life, I’m constantly recommending them to people. I already have reviews for both of them on this blog so I’m not going to say anything about them on this post other than THEY ARE FABULOUS. The books are Wing Jones by Katherine Webber and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

The other two books I read were The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Beloved by Toni Morrison. The Night Circus is one of my all time favorites so it was a reread for me and I still loved it just as much as I did the first time. And I read Beloved, because it is assigned reading for school and my final is coming up in two weeks. Keeping that in mind, I really doubt I can keep up this kind of miracle reading speed in june considering I have exams but then it is Ramadan and I am home a lot so who knows.

I’m currently reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh which I am loving! So excited to read more of it. I also started the audiobook for The Inexpicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz which I might possibly love more than Ari and Dante?!?! *shock* *gasp* although I don’t know yet so we’ll see.

and as always, here are my favorite bookstagram pictures I posted this month:

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Well, that’s all folks! *takes bite of carrot*

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WING JONES BY KATHERINE WEBBER REVIEW

Rating: 5/5 stars

Wing Jones is easily already one of my favorite contemporaries ever. Honestly, it 25909375deserves to be applauded just for how inclusive and diverse it is. The story itself, is one of those that broke my heart at times but honestly just left me feeling so full. Also, I cried for the first time reading a book in years, so that’s saying something.

Now for those of you who don’t know, Wing Jones is a magical realism/contemporary novel that follows a fifteen year old girl named Wing who is Chinese-African American and she’s sort of always sort of been in the shadow of her ‘perfect’ athletic brother, Marcus. She never really complains, but she’s always felt like she doesn’t have that special thing that he does or even the life that he does and it just sort of seems very out of reach for her. And then, a tragedy strikes her life and she turns to running.

It does have a lot to do with her figuring herself out but at the same time it’s one of those books where family plays a major role. Not to mention, the writing is absolutely breathtaking. I love how the author has written about such heavy topics in a way that doesn’t drag you down. You don’t trudge through the book, instead you fly.

SPOILERS

I’d already heard so many great things about this book even before I started it. But I was just expecting a heartwarming contemporary novel that would probably make me smile but also make me a little sad. I was not expecting to connect with the character of Wing as much as I did and I think that really added to how much I enjoyed the book.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the back and forth chatter between Granny Dee and LauLau. There was just something so oddly comforting in it – I mean I know that they’re27835606 almost always arguing but it’s very clear that they care immensely about each other.

One of my favorite things about the entire book had to be Wing’s relationship with Eliza. I also just generally love the character of Eliza, she just always seemed so incredibly genuine and not to the point that it was unrealistic. It felt so natural and not like an instant friendship, and getting to see how running became more than just a way for Wing to escape all the chaos that was happening in her life and it gave her a feeling of belonging among the team and with Eliza. It was just so comforting because Wing was finding her place in the world and it wasn’t a place as Marcus’ little sister.

On the romantic aspect of this book – I was really worried that the story would shift to focus on Wing and Aaron as a whole but that didn’t happen. I mean, I loved them together and I was rooting for it since the beginning and when they finally kissed I actually squealed. But I’m so glad that it didn’t all happen at once.

But honestly, the writing. Oh gosh the writing in this book is beautiful, and of course it’s very heavy on metaphors and imagery because it is after all magical realism. It’s nice to see how Wing sees the world: a world where her lioness and her dragon show up when she needs them, and the boy she likes has a laugh like a dozen bumblebees and where when she runs she feels like she’s flying.

All I can really say is just go and pick up this book, because it will make you feel full and you will hurt and you will heal with Wing and her family.

“The clouds have risen, out of my reach, but now I can see the stars and they wink down at me like they’re saying “You go, girl” and I tilt my head back and smile up at them, and I hope that from way up there my smile looks like a bright shiny star winking back at them.”

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STATION ELEVEN BY EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL REVIEW

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Rating: 5/5 stars

I could not give this book any less than 5 stars, and to be honest I think it deserves an even higher rating. I’ve honestly never read a book like this and I think when you come across those kind of books you either hate it or you love it. And it’s obviously clear which way it went for me.

I can’t really say too much about this book in a non spoiler way because I think it’s just one of those books that you should go in to without knowing anything that’s going to happen.  That is what I did, I mean I’d been hearing nothing but praise for it all over booktube and when I saw it in the library I didn’t even think to glance at the synopsis. But for those of you who are interested, here it is:23593321

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

ON TO THE SPOILERS

So I was hooked from the very beginning, I mean the book starts with the death of Arthur and that’s such an interesting way to start off a story so props to Emily St. John Mandel. And speaking of Arthur, it’s very interesting how we get to know him because he’s dead before the story even begins but we still get snippets of his life and although, obviously his death wasn’t the cause of the Georgia flu, it really was what sparked a chain of events. It’s one of those books that make you think of that because throughout everything that happens, Arthur is always at the center of the story, he’s connected to everyone else in one way or another and that just blows my mind.

And because of Arthur, and his ex-wives and especially seeing how his first marriage ended – it was just a really interesting look at fame. I mean from an outside perspective, simply knowing why he left Miranda, would’ve made me hate him but oddly enough I thought he was incredibly human.

I also really really like the character of Jeevan. I really enjoyed following him and how he prepares to deal with ultimately the end of the world that we know. And it was really interesting to see how the flu affected Kirsten’s life because we first see her as this devastated child actor and then we see her travelling with the symphony.

The writing is also incredible. There are so many quotes that will stick with me for a long time. My favorite being: “Hell is the absence of the people you long for.”

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Shameful February Wrap up

So I’m sure you all remember what I said about reading more this year and not stressing myself out and posting more on my blog, WELL I’VE SCREWED UP ALREADY. But we mustn’t lose hope, guys. The truth is I’ve been really swamped with school and only actually finished ONE BOOK this month. Shameful, I know, I swear I’ll do better.

And I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on the blog but in addition to reading more, I also made the resolution to watch 100 movies this year. It sounds crazy but I really love movies and haven’t been watching as many as I would like to these past few years. So while I only finished reading one book this month, I did watch three movies (still not a lot, I know but) YAY ME. So on to the stuff I’ve been reading and watching this month:


1. Books

So the one book that I DID finish was With Malice by Eileen Cook for which productive lil me wrote and posted a review for which I will link: here. It wasn’t the best book I’d ever read but it wasn’t awful either, it was a fun ride.

And even though I only finished one book this month, I have been reading. I’m about at the winter-finalhalfway point of Winter by Marissa Meyer, the last book in the Lunar Chronicles series, and part of me is wondering if the reason its taking me so long to get through it because of how attached I am to these characters?!? Considering of course, that it isn’t a slow moving book at all, I love it, so that’s probably the case. That being said, it is a very chunky book (823 pages!!!!!) and I have been very busy. If you wanna know about my reading progress: I’m 434 pages in, the spine of this chunky book has been creased, and shit is going down like I’m not kidding Kai just got frikkin married to Laverna and Cinder is being held by her in a cell and like the rest of them are all over the place I don’t know how they’ll get out of this and *breathes* everything is fine, it’s totally fine.

I have also been listening to the audiobook of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. YES WORLD, NUSHU FINALLY GETS THE ACOTAR HYPE. Well, not quite because I’m notcourt-of-thorns-and-roses-sarah-maas1 yet done with it and I realize that most of the hype is for the second book but I’ll get there. It’s by no means a perfect book, I mean the writing doesn’t blow me away but it’s okay. I have about 3 hours (?) left to listen to so I’ll hopefully finish it today so you can look out for a rant on my instagram. So far, Feyre just fought the big hairy bullworm from spongebob but she got an ouchie and shadow boi just helped her out but now she gotta live with shadow boi for a week every month or something  it’s pretty amusing.

2. Movies

So the of the three movies I watched this month, one was a rewatch but shhhh we count rereads in our goodreads challenges, how is this any different?

The first movie I watched was on Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend and it was The mv5bnte4mwvhymutzgfjms00mgm5ltg2mdetztkyytg3nmm0yznhxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyndm1nzq0na-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Matchbreaker. Oh the irony of watching a movie about a guy who breaks couples up on Valentine’s Day amirite? If you have not heard of The Matchbreaker, it’s a super hilarious movie about this guy who gets hired by parents to break up their kid’s relationships, that is those that they don’t approve of. I watched it because I’d seen a French movie about more or less the same thing and really enjoyed that so I wanted to give this a try too. It also was Christina Grimmie’s last movie before she died and seeing her in it and knowing thaedge_of_seventeent she died before the movie even premiered was absolutely heartbreaking but it’s a super fun, lighthearted movie.

The second movie I watched was The Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld and OMG I LOVED IT EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS I THOUGHT I WOULD. Literal perfection. The cast was
hilarious, I laughed out loud so many times. I also cried at the reality of it all. It’s just such a good movie. The cast was amazing, I loved Woody Harrelson’s character, he made me laugh numerous times and just, it’s such an incredible movie. I honestly think everyone should watch it.

The movie I rewatched was The Kings of Summer by the way. Anyone who knows me will be well aware of how much I love and appreciate that movie and I will never get bored of it just as I will never stop appreciating the character of Biaggio.

3. General month wrap up

My bookstagram is looking pretty darn good right now, if I do say so myself. I’m actually really happy with how it looks, if you’d like a little sneak:

I also got 8 new succulents (YES EIGHT) and they’re all still alive an named after book characters: Ezra, Thorne, William, Poppet, Widget, Cress, Jacin and Mik.

AND THE BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE MONTH: I haven’t bought any books at all in February *takes a bow*

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With Malice by Eileen Cook – REVIEW

Before I start this review I feel like I need to address the fact that I haven’t posted on here in ages even though it was one of my new years resolutions to do so AND I AM SORRY OKAY. Moving on to the review:
So I had pretty high hopes for this book, considering Ariel Bissett over on YouTube (whom I love) included it in her favorite books of 2016, it’s been getting a ton of good reviews and the synopsis was hella intriguing. If you have not heard of this book before, I’ll include a little bit of the synopsis here:


“Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.”


So I ended up giving this book a 3 stars on Goodreads, maybe 3.5 but I’m really indecisive malice_coverabout it, and that was because despite the fact that I really liked the concept something about the book itself left me feeling a bit eh. I just felt like it was moving a bit slow for me, personally, and the writing was average (nothing special). I also listened to the audiobook and the narrator’s voice was … kinda whiny? Is it just me who thinks that?

But then that’s just my problems with the book, I’m not hating on it because I actually ended up enjoying the story. There was a lot of suspense and I was so frustrated and stressed out for the main character, Jill, because she couldn’t get herself out of this awful situation. It’s sort of like those movies that you watch late at night to give yourself a thrill without having to watch a horror movie.


SPOILERS:

So first off, I feel like Jill handled the whole thing pretty well, I mean I would’ve definitely lost it if I had been in her situation. And it honestly was upsetting for me as a reader to gradually find out things about the “crime” like the knife with her fingerprints on it. I mean, that was just a shock because when you are reading a book from first person, it creates such a personal connection between you and the protagonist and I don’t think a lot of people reading this book would’ve imagined that Jill could have stabbed Simone.

I also really  enjoyed that the story isn’t just told through Jill’s point of view and we get those little snippets from the police interviews, which gives us an idea of what everyone else is thinking about the accident. For example, Simone’s parents. It made me so mad, knowing how mislead they are about their daughter but that just further instilled in my mind how much I dislike Simone. I mean of everything that we’ve been shown about her, I can’t say she’s done anything remotely kind for Jill, instead she trolls her blog, lies to her parents and blames Jill for everything and just bleh.

The book really did show how much the media can manipulate people and change everything about a situation. Like all the stuff on the Justice for Simone blog abut “chilly Jilly”. I think that’s the most interesting part of this story. I brought this book up in my English class the other day regarding how closely memory and identity is associated, so I guess if you choose to analyze this book it is rather fascinating.

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – REVIEW

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Alright, my opinion on this book is actually very interesting considering how many times it changed from when I first heard of it to when I finished reading it. Around the time of this book’s release there were a hella lot of booktubers talking about it because I think it was the book of the month for a few subscription boxes. The synopsis of this book gives us the idea that it’s about triplets who have to fight to the death to see who claims the throne. And there’s also the fact that one of them can control the elements, the other is a poisoner and the third is a naturalist, meaning she can bloom flowers and stuff. It just sounds like a pretty awesome political fantasy right?

I wouldn’t say that the story was completely different from what I expected but it did disappoint a bit. However, I did definitely end up loving it a lot, because this is one of those books that are very character driven and we all know I love me some characters.

I will say that it did move very slowly for about the entire first half or more of the book. A lot of the book is just character introductions and preparation for the big festival where the queens show off their skills. There are also A LOT of side characters which aren’t awful but it just really confused me. I will say that there is also a random love triangle that just sort of happens?!?! I just felt like that was so unnecessary and it all just felt very forced, I don’t think the book needed that at all.

But that’s about all that I really found wrong with the book. I’ve grown so attached to the characters that I keep talking about them to everyone – specifically, Arsinoe, the naturalist queen. I suppose she is my favorite but this book is unique because there is no bad queen or one of the triplets who is particularly despicable all of them seem very genuine and we get to follow each of them at different points in the story so you’re pretty much rooting for all three and that really does add a lot of tension, at least it did for me as a reader because I knew that two of them were going to die. Plus, I don’t think I’ve read a book with a matriarchy before and that was very much appreciated.

All in all, it was a super fun read and I really look forward to the second book because THAT END THOUGH.

SPOILERS INCOMING

So let’s start off by talking about Katherine for a bit. I think in terms of character arc, hers was the most well done, because it’s really hard to see character growth in such a short photo_2017-01-14_21-30-02_burnedamount of time without it seeming ridiculous and in Katherine’s case I think we got to see her slowly grow out of being the weak and easily fooled queen because she grows extremely confident and basically just toughens up. I guess a lot of this is thanks to Pietyr but I refuse to give him credit because I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE ANNOYED BY A CHARACTER (except for maybe Joseph but more on him later ugh). I just felt like he was so manipulative even though we’re meant to believe that he eventually loves Katherine. It just felt like he was using her and Katherine is naive and I doesn’t know better and I just wanna protect the poor thing from him. NOT TO MENTION HE PUSHED HER DOWN A CLIFF UHHH WHAT.

And next we have Mirabella. She’s probably my least favorite which in no way means I photo_2017-01-14_21-29-54_burneddon’t like her, it’s just that I liked the other two slightly more. And perhaps the reason for this is that annoying ass love triangle. Although it wasn’t exactly her fault initially because ugh just Joseph is such a tool, either way she kept going with it. For what exactly? What frustrates me more is that he’s made out to care about both Jules and Mirabella even though he’s playing with both of them. I was really on board with the Jules and Joseph ship until he screwed up and I just feel like his relationship with Mirabella was very lusty.

When we’re first given an idea of how powerful Mirabella is, I thought I was going to hate her and she was going to be absolutely full of it. Although that wasn’t the case at all, because Mirabella turned out to be extremely compassionate towards her sisters, at least as compassionate as she can be. I also really liked her close friendships with Bree and Elizabeth.

And finally, we have my personal favorite, Arsinoe. THIS LITTLE BADASS, I SWEAR. I just felt so much for Arsinoe because she deals with a lot through the book. All her injuries and scars from dealing in low magic to the bear attack, as well as the fact that she has to deal photo_2017-01-12_11-44-35_burnedwith so much taunting for being the ‘weakest’ queen since her gift has not come. And yet, she remains very opinionated and puts up with it all. She defies the rules and that’s always nice to read about. I also really really love her relationship with Billy, I think it was my favorite friendship in the book. Partly because we see them grow closer and it always remains a constant that Billy has so much respect and admiration for her. LIKE THAT PART WHERE HE ONLY BOWS TO HER OH MY GOSH I DIED. I hope they’re friendship remains platonic because I feel like it’s a rarity in YA books and also I don’t want things to change between these two.

And of course there is that plot twist that Arsinoe is actually the poisoner queen. When I read that bit, it occurred to me (after I gasped for a bit) that a lot of the book was leading up to this. I don’t know if it means that Katherine is the naturalist queen and there was some sort of mix up, or something else entirely. Either way, I really enjoyed how this book ended.

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New bookish year!

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Well, it’s a new reading year, everyone. I was initially gonna make this a long rambly and stressed out post about how I can’t finish my Goodreads goal but I DID IT. I read a total of 51 books in 2016 (my goal was to read 50) and while it was incredibly relieving and satisfying to have read that many books, I’ve decided not to make myself got through that again.

I usually always set my goal to 50 books, mostly because I can never seem to complete that challenge but since for the first time I had, I was kinda stumped. I mean do I keep it at 50 or do I raise the bar higher and aim for 60? In the end, I decided and have now set my Goodreads challenge to (wait for it, guys) 30 BOOKS. Now I can just imagine you all being all confused and disappointed like ‘what Nushu? Only 30?’ so lemme explain.

It’s almost become tradition now: every year as school closes for mid term breaks and everyone is getting reading for the holidays I am filled with the inescapable feeling of EXTREME STRESS BECAUSE I’M STILL BEHIND IN MY READING CHALLENGE AHHH. So to photo_2017-01-02_17-48-27_burnedavoid that, I’ve decided to set my goal much lower. Now, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean I’m going to just read 30 books and stop there, hell no. I actually think that without the stress of having to complete this challenge I’ll be able to read even more than I have in previous years (usually around 45 -50). I’ve simply decided to focus more on the quality of the books I’m reading rather than the quantity.

The other goal, I have set for myself is to read more diversely. And by that I don’t just mean reading all genres of books, I also mean reading books with characters of varying and ethnicity and sexuality. I want to branch out and read more own voices books. Not only to make myself more aware but to also encourage you guys and the rest of my audience to shine a light on own voices authors and really support their writing so that the YA genre is not just, as whittynovels puts it, a jar of mayonnaise. Maybe soon it can be all the condime28458598nts. I talk a little bit about this in my Diversity in YA post.

Two own voices books that I am really looking forward to this year are When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I think both of these books are extremely important and significant steps forward in the #ownvoices movement. When Dimple Met Rishi focuses a lot about the importance of arranged marriages in Indian culture while still sounding really modern and very 32075671much like a rom-com which is just perfect in every way. Whereas The Hate U Give focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and tells the story of a sixteen year old African-American girl, whose best friend is shot by the police and she is the only witness. Both of these authors seem incredible and are doing amazing things for YA so I recommend you go check out their books.

I am also going to post a lot more on this blog this year where I almost entirely neglected it. Hopefully, get a little more involved in the bookstagram community as well – even though I posted regularly last year, I didn’t really interact with others and now that I’m doing it, it’s really fun and I’m making a lot of new friends. So I’m planning to branch out in that area, try my luck at a few rep searches, hold a giveaway maybe, who knows.


So that is all for this post, everyone. Just a quick run-down of my plans for the year. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any reading resolutions of your own or if you have any diverse book recommendations!

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