BOOK LOVER SURVIVAL TAG ☀️

okay, so this tag is fairly simple and I thought it’d be a quick fun tag to do and it’ll also let you guys know which books are the creme de la creme, for me at least, because let’s be honest when you’re stuck on a desert island you want a book that you know won’t let you down and one that you will not get bored of reading.

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So the first book that I’d have with me would be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I only read this book for the first time last year but I have already read it a total of three times and that is because I cannot get enough of the incredible detail that there is in this book and I cannot get enough of the circus itself. It’s just the kind of place that I so desperately wish were real because I want nothing more than to be able to visit it. The cast of characters are all so unique and they each have their own little story that it is interwoven in to the main plot which I’m sure is gonna keep you occupied when you LITERALLY HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO. Not to mention, Erin Morgenstern’s writing is literally breathtaking!

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Now, obviously when you’re stranded on a desert island, you’re bound to be really emotionally drained and in those times you’ll want a book with the warm fuzzies. For that, I definitely have to pick The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. It is hands down my favorite contemporary of all time, the writing is gorgeous, it also just makes me feel so happy without it being too much. It does deal with some heavier topics as well but that just sort of adds to it, it inspires you and I think that’s the sort of book that you need in that situation.

Third on my list is actually one that I read very recently and that is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and I’d bring this with me for two reasons: (1) it took me quite a bit to get through because of all the details and (2) all the different characters and planets that you have in this book will definitely help with the undeniable feeling of loneliness.

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And my final two books are I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I hold both of these books very dear to my heart and I tend to reread them whenever I’m feeling upset or alone so I feel like they are both important books to have with me on a desert island.

And that’s it! What’s a book you’ll definitely need to have with you on a desert island?

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THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET BY BECKY CHAMBERS – SPOILER FREE REVIEW

Rating: 5/5 stars (more if possible)

Okay, it’s been a good few days since I finished reading this book and honestly I needed that time to organize my thoughts on it because when I closed it my mind was a mess of emotions and overwhelming adoration for this incredible story.

If you have not heard of this book before then here is this synopsis:

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
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Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

I think we can all agree that the synopsis is enough to make you wanna start it right away. But, I feel like I should make a point that this probably isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for something action packed and filled with plot twists and adventure. It is, however, perfect if you’re more in to character based stories because it has such a wonderful, entertaining, AND DIVERSE, cast of characters. Not to mention INCREDIBLE world building, I mean Becky Chambers puts so much detail in to explaining every species and every planet that I am constantly in awe of her imagination. It also takes quite a while to get through, at least it did for me. Not that I have anything to complain about, I loved every bit of it.

The plot is kind of stagnant for most of the book, but then there’s like these occasional bursts of WHOA WHAT which was always fun. And although the characters are diverse in species, I love that it’s basically showing us characters from different backgrounds and cultures and sexual orientations forming close relationships without prejudice. It’s honestly just amazing.

Not to mention the fact that the characters are so well focused on that it’s really easy to get attached to them. There’s parts that make you laugh and parts that make you sad, in the way that they would if these characters were your friends. And honestly, having finished this book, I feel like the crew of the Wayfarer are my friends.

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EVERYTHING EVERYTHING BY NICOLA YOON – REVIEW (spoilers)

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

(haven’t written a review in a while so this is sort of going to be all over the place, but I hope you don’t mind)

So this book is obviously really hyped at the moment, with the movie having just come out, although I had wanted to read this for ages and had really high hopes for it. Unfortunately, for me it didn’t really match up to all the hype which is sometimes the case with overhyped books but this was particularly disappointing because I absolutely ADORE Nicola Yoon’s other novel, The Sun Is Also A Star, so the problems I have with Everything Everything have nothing to do with the writing style because everything that I loved about the book was because of the beautiful writing. I always love a contemporary that makes me feel something and this made me want to grab someone I love by the hand and go off on adventures and travel the world.

 

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But that, in light of Maddy’s situation didn’t work well at all. Seeing as (before the big plot twist that I will get in to in a bit) Maddy has SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) and is able to go outside and travel and do all these things that an actual person with the illness can’t do – it just feels very poorly thought out, especially for those looking forward to correct representation.

On the other hand it did offer an accurate portrayal of Munchausen’s Disorder by Proxy, which is a mental illness which convinces people that their loved ones are extremely ill in order to keep them close and feel needed. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that this is what Maddy’s mother has. Although the fact that this was used as a plot device really bothered me.

Now, you can’t really write a review for a contemporary without bringing up the warm fuzzies. In this case, I’d give it a 4/5 for the fuzziness, but that really depends on your insta-love tolerance. I don’t really mind it, although at times I did feel a little overwhelmed by it. But oh boi some of those adorable lines they share made my heart melt. Nicola Yoon sure knows how to make you wanna fall in love.

So, all that being said, do I think it’s an overall good read? Sure, although I feel like you should be aware that it has issues before going in to it and do a little more research on that when you’re done reading it since it’s always best to be aware of what you’re hyping up. But it does make you feel all warm and fuzzy, I love both Maddy and Olly as characters, and Nicola Yoon is just an incredible writer.

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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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