Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Advice (As in I'm Looking for Advice, Not the Other Way Around) on Writer's Block

So I've been stuck for a while.


I legitimately haven't written anything for a really long time, with the exception of small, very small amounts of poetry in the last few months. Actually, one poem. Two poems? No, no. Definitely one. In about ten months, I've written one poem that consists of about twenty lines. And even that was a long time ago.

I've thought a lot about why this is happening. Yes, my lack of dedication or inspiration has to do with it, but there are a lot of reasons besides these. The purpose of my writing this post is to 1. See if it's just me that these are the reasons I'm getting writer's block and 2. Get advice on how to overcome writer's block.

So if you've been around a while and you're keen on subtleties, you will have noticed that I am very into lists these days. So I will present the various reasons I have been blocked into a list:

1. My criticalness (is that a word?) that may or may not come from reviewing is keeping me from pushing an idea.

Every time I think of an idea, I always find some reason why it's not a good idea or it won't work and I end up discarding it. It also keeps me from dedicating myself to long term projects; I end up backing out of it because I feel like there is no development or that it won't work. It's particularly because I consider the idea arguably the most important part of any writing piece, which makes me even more critical about it.

2. I think too much about everything.

Ideas are supposed to come from simple things. I read a lot of posts or books saying that ideas can literally come from anything at all. And yet when I feel like one does, I end up thinking too much and trying to find some metaphorical meaning or symbolism or analogy and it leads to coming up with all the reasons why that idea is actually a terrible idea and I end up never writing it.

3. I am a perfectionist.

The way I work, like, in general, is I think about something I'm going to do silently in my head for a really long time and then I do it as if I didn't think about it at all. This is probably the reason I never write anything, because as you can see in #2, I think way too much and it stops me from wanting to write this idea of mine. My critiquing nature also keeps me from sticking to things a lot since I make the decision somewhere in the middle that this is not working.

So these are the three main reasons why I am faced with writer's block today. A lot of things here are things I know I shouldn't be doing but I end up doing anyway. Everyone gets writer's block every once in a while, so pleeeease tell me. How did you deal with writer's block?


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

I'm Alive

*waves hands dramatically*

I'm alive.

I promise.

No really.

I've been away from the blogosphere for who knows how long, but I am back (ish?) with a new gif and everything:

I'm sorry. That gif actually has almost nothing to do with my post or this particular context but I just love it so much.

During my mini-hiatus, I've been up to this and that, but if you've been wondering why I've been away, it's not because I forgot my blog existed. Really. It's actually because:

1. I genuinely couldn't think of anything to write about.

2. When I did think of things to write about, I really didn't feel like it.

3. To be honest, I think I've reached a bit of a writer's block in general, including my writing.

4. I've been volunteering at a summer camp for kids, relatives in town, etc.

But now I am back with a nice, fresh, clear head and hopefully can come up with some new things to write. But from here I also need your opinions.

I have been noticing that review posts are getting much lower viewcounts and comments than other posts. Do you think that I should post a more variety of posts and lessen the amount of reviews I post, or is the ratio good as it is? And as for the other types of posts, what types of posts would you like? Writing related (although I can't do much of that right now due to some writer's block I've been having)? Life advice? Thoughts on movies or music? Please give me suggestions, I'd really love them. :)

Off to write a new post now. I promise. I'm not going anywhere.



Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Review: Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold


It's so on.

After the humiliating events on the 4th of July, Gemma's trying to grapple with the fact that Hallie knew her true identity all summer, and that she was the one who stole Teddy from her.
Gemma vows revenge, but things immediately get more complicated than she planned. Her dad forces her to get a job, and the only one she can find involves scooping ice cream all day. Ford, Gemma's longtime crush, has arrived in the Hamptons, and he is cuter than ever. Josh is refusing to speak to her after finding out she lied to him. And to top it all off, Teddy is back in the picture, and closer to home than Gemma would like.
Gemma and Hallie find themselves locked in and escalating revenge cycle involving everything from strawberry syrup to stolen identities. But just when Gemma thinks she has the upper hand, the biggest bombshell of all is dropped. And it's one that threatens to change her life forever.

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of Macmillan)
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Author: Katie Finn
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: D+


This book was pretty much a disappointment for me. I wasn't a big fan of its predecessor, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend, either and to be honest I only picked this up to find out what happens next. I kind of regret it though, since unlike the last book I really didn't enjoy this one. Since this is the second of a trilogy, it didn't have the introduction and the "getting-to-know" of various elements that a first book would, neither did it have the answers that a third book would.

For a majority of the plot, I just felt like it was endless repetition of pointless revenge and watching out for Hallie and whatever. I'm personally not a huge fan of revenge and the whole time I was reading this it just felt very pointless. It wasn't until maybe the last few chapters that things had any variation/got interesting.

Josh was a character I remember liking, and yet he was barely present, and I pretty much didn't even like him in this book. Ford, the other guy enters, and despite that I liked him, I felt like it was problematic that he clearly overshadowed Josh and Teddy and yet they were still present. It wasn't a love triangle (square?) and yet it wasn't a complete change of mind. It was both awkward and weird that Gemma would still have attachments to other people. Also, the hinting that was done about Ford and Gemma was very obvious from the start. It was suppose to be some big realization at the end or something, but it really didn't have its impact.

Hallie was very annoying, and it was more annoying that she was clearly winning most of the time. Most of Gemma's so-called big-and-destructive feats were didn't seem like the big deal they made it. Gemma's whole situation was just very frustrating, which also made me feel extremely frustrated.

Despite all this, I will be reading the third book. I opened this book solely to get answers, and since they decided to leave it at an open ending, I will read to get the answers I have been seeking.


Friday, 8 July 2016

Review: Say What You Will


I want someone who will talk to me honestly about things. You're the only person who ever has. Maybe you don't know this, but when you're disabled almost no one tells you the truth. They feel too awkward because the trust seems too sad, I guess. You were very brave to walk up to the crippled girl and say, essentially, wipe that sunny expression off your face and look at reality. That's what I want you to do next year. Tell me the truth. That's all.

Amy and Matthew didn't know each other, really. They weren't friends. Matthew remembered her, sure, but he remembered a lot of people from elementary school that he wasn't friends with now.
Matthew never planned to tell Amy what he thought of her cheerful facade, but after he does, Amy realized she needs someone like him in her life.
As they begin to spend more time with each other, Amy learns that Matthew has his own secrets and she decides to try to help him in the same way he's helped her. And when what started out as a friendship turns into something neither of them expected, they realize that they tell each other everything - except the one thing that matters most.

Publisher: HarperTeen (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Author: Cammie McGovern
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: C+


I don't know how to feel about this one...

It was very neutral for me I guess? There are things done well and things done not so well, but there weren't any extremes on either side. So. Let us analyze.

Well, Matthew has OCD. I've read a very good book about OCD (goodreads/my review) and I liked the way it was displayed, but not particularly the way it was handled. The effects of his having OCD made good additions to the plotline and was integrated well, but I didn't particularly like the way it was linked to Amy's physical illness. (I had no problem with the fact that there was a connection, just the way it had been connected) It felt forced, and I wasn't a fan of how much Amy tried to but in about it.

Now, Amy can't actually talk, so she has a computer that talks for her. They do mention that it makes her responses rather slow, but you can't feel that during the dialogues. They flowed much too well when I was reading, and if the proper pace had been portrayed, it would've changed the atmosphere entirely.

The balance between the two, however, was well done, I think. I got the sense that they made a good pairing even if it got a little weird near the end (and it did). I didn't particularly love or relate to or develop an attachment to either of them though. I don't know if that's just me, but that was a bit of a downfall.

I was definitely not a fan of Amy's mom. Well, the way she was portrayed I don't think you were supposed to like her, but it wasn't like I loved to hate her. I just hated her. Instead of having a back and forth conflict it was a very one-sided relationship in a lot of ways. The familial conflict wasn't a big up for this one either.

There is little I can say from here without giving much away, but I can say that the presence of secondary characters (besides the mom) wasn't all that bad. I liked most of Amy and/or Matthew's friends except this one jerk who, once again, I didn't exactly love to hate. The plot was a little slow, but not mind-numbingly slow.

So overall. I still don't know how to feel. It's a bit on the negative side, but I might just come back and raise this to a B- later after I've thought about it. We'll see.

Tell me your thoughts on this book below please :)


Sunday, 26 June 2016

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart


Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci's footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into a hospital's Willed Body program and misses the last metro home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside-down.
Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is - and tries to uncover what he's hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family's closet tear them apart?

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: B-


Well, the first thing I would like to say is that this book was less heavy than I thought. It's a little more chick-lit-ish, if you ask me, not that it's a problem. I just wanted to point it out.

So this book is about a girl who dreams of being an anatomical artist and a boy who is a widely known graffiti artist who has much more to his story that he is hiding. Let me start by saying this: I like this boy. Jack's a good kid. Lots of character development as you find out more about him, and you can definitely see that there is a depth to him. He has lots of different personas or personalities that interweave nicely into this one person connected by this story that he reveals little bit at a time. He was charming, mysterious, and relatable.
However, I'm not sure how relatable this girl was. In the end, I really felt like this story was about Jack, that he was the main character. Beatrix didn't seem to have much of a personality, and didn't seem to particularly develop one either. She wasn't completely 2-dimensional, but she didn't have qualities that could particularly distinguish her from a lot of other female protagonists.

The romance... was kinda iffy. I personally didn't like it because it felt kinda fast. It was implied that it was love at first sight, but at the same time didn't literally display it that way. It seemed as if Beatrix was simply drawn to Jack's mysterious nature, which I didn't like, but their conversations later established that it wasn't necessarily a shallow romance. I really didn't see why Jack was drawn to Beatrix, though, mostly because Beatrix didn't seem to have much presence or character.

But the best part, I think, is the appearance of another character at the end and the meaningful story this character brings. This story affects Jack and Beatrix in a strong way, but I won't go into much detail.

So overall, I was very contemplated about how I was going to grade this book, but it was kind of mediocre? It wasn't particularly bad, nor particularly good. However, I still encourage you to try it since I feel like certain people would thoroughly enjoy this book. Your thoughts?


Monday, 13 June 2016

Review: Never Always Sometimes


NEVER date your best friend.

ALWAYS be original.

SOMETIMES rules are meant to be broken.

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliche high school kids - the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They ever wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever, do in high school.
Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8: never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.
Julia is beautiful, wild, and impetuous. So when she suggests they do ever Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He ever dues his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the cliches, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Author: Adi Alsaid
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: C


I really don't know what to think about this book. Most contemporaries can generally be categorized as fluffy chick lit or deep thought-provoking novels, but this book was kind of lying somewhere in the middle of the scale but not in the way of being both, but rather being neither. It wasn't a cute addictive love story, but its slow-paced nature wasn't enough to become a thought-provoking bittersweet novel. The bittersweet nature actually ended up becoming very dissatisfying.

First of all, Julia was your John-Green-esque reckless let's-do-everything female protagonist, who didn't quite live up to that, really. For a type of character that is seen very often, she lacked originality and character. She didn't seem very much as a person, more like an idea, and I never really saw the kind of person she was inside.
Dave, our male protagonist, was very... undecisive. In a frustrating kind of way. I can understand that it is one of his attributes as a character, but looking at the big picture this character trait was not doing well for the plot. The back and forth of events in a plotline is ultimately trapping the reader not allowing them to advance through the story. He didn't come off as a strong character in terms of presence, and even by the end of the novel I couldn't exactly tell what kind of person he was.

And, I would just like to point out, there is the presence of a love triangle. I do not like those very much, unless very well written. In fact, this one started off very nicely. It was a good addition, in a way, despite that my personal opinion tells me that true love could never mean that you could have feelings for another person but it definitely did not end very well. I don't want to give spoilers, so please highlight to read: *Warning: Spoilers* The fact that he ended up with Gretchen was extremely dissatisfying. Not only was it what I, as a reader, didn't want, but I also felt that it was extremely unnecessary. And the fact that he could just go back to that other girl, just like that, also bothered me quite a bit. *End of spoiler* By the length of this blank area, you can probably tell I was not happy with the ending.

Overall, the plot was very here and there. The perspectives were done well, but the back and forth of different events didn't strike me to have fit very well. It didn't feel too organized as a reader sequentially.

And I would like to comment on the cliches that are discussed in the story. By avoiding the cliches, I think Dave and Julia just became more cliche. And it wasn't fully discussed why they decided to go back and do every cliche on their list. The explanation I got was because Julia said so, and that was kind of it. I guess because they thought it would be fun? Was the impression I got as I read this. And the whole described high school experience overall seemed very stereotypical.

So overall, this was not a good read for me. Please tell me your opinion on the book below!


Friday, 22 April 2016

The Infinity Dreams Award

Thank you to Emily over at Ink, Inc for the nomination! She's an amazing blogger and y'all should definitely check her blog out :)

1. 11 facts about yourself
2. 11 answers to the given questions
3. 11 nominees
4. 11 questions for the nominees

11 facts about myself:

1. I'm kind of addicted to cereal. I kind of love it too much.

2. Chloe Moretz is actually the coolest person ever.

3. I'm really bad at thinking of 11 facts. Actually I'm usually pretty good, but I guess I'm having a bit of an off day.

4. I actually came home from school today very early because there was a power outage at my school, so as soon as I got there I turned right back and went home. Well, I actually played a few games of bridge then went home.

5. Speaking of Bridge, it's actually one of the most beautiful games ever and the bestest card game in existence. It's really complicated, not in terms of rules but rather how to play very well, but it's super fun and I encourage y'all to learn it.

6. I'm very into rain right now. Also umbrellas.

7. I'm very very very very excited for the new Captain America movie that's coming out. My friends and I have made plans to all go watch it together. The movie poster is already making me freak out.

8. My walls currently have some nice book covers of books I love, so I would love some recs for books that aren't only really good but also have really nice covers (and preferably bright colored ones).

9. I love Nutella. Just. Yes.

10. I've been writing some more music lately since my homework load has been getting a little lighter. I would love to share it with you guys as long as I can get the whole copyright thing down.

11. I happen to be a bit of a too much High School Musical fan. I'm a bit tied down to my childhood.

11 answers to the given questions:

1. What is your guilty pleasure song?

Where do I start? There are too, too many songs I just can't think of one right now.

2. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what, where, and why? If not, would you get one? If so, what, where, and why?

No, I don't have any tattoos. I've never really considered getting a tattoo, more than anything because I'm scared of how much I feel like it's gonna hurt. So I would not get one, but if I did I would probably get a nice quote or maybe something small because I would still be super scared about the hurting thing.

3. What is your favorite city?

 ...here? My city is great :)

4. If you had a daughter, what would you name her?

UGH THAT'S SO HARD. I can never ever settle on names that I like, so for the time being I shall answer with Kat Jr.

5. What's your most recently discovered favorite song/favorite at the moment?

I'm really in love with Virginia to Vegas songs these days. I loved We Are the Stars, but recently I also like Colorful.

6. Name a place or a few places at the top of your travel bucket list.

I want to visit is New York, just because (I mean, doesn't everybody think about going to New York at one point or another?) and also Santorini in Greece (if that is how you spell it) and Italy and Australia and all those cool places.

7. How old were you when you started blogging? How has your blog changed since then?

I started blogging in like what, 2012? My blog has changed so much since then. Well, first of all I got readers (I didn't know how to get readers back then so I just kinda blogged to myself) and a lot more blogger friends. I found a more definite reviewing style that has changed and morphed a lot through the years. The template has changed many times (so has the font). I've tried many weekly memes and things like that. Yay, my blog!

8. What's your favorite musical?

Gosh, I'm in love with so many Disney-made musicals. I have a guilty pleasure for DCOM musicals (High School Musical, Descendants, Teen Beach Movie, etc) and animations like Frozen and Tangled. I also really liked the music from Les Miserables.

9. What was your latest five star read?

Well, my only five star read, technically, would by I'll Give You the Sun, but a really good recent read would have to be Eleanor & Park, and also Zac & Mia.

10. With what word would you like most people to describe you.

...nice? That would be a good one. Awesome is a good one too.

11. Tell us about a book that's changed your life.

I think The Fault in Our Stars, even though that could sound cliche, changed my life in terms of my perspective of things. TFiOS was one of those books that when you read it you don't think much of it, but the more you think about the thoughts you got from reading it, the more you get out of it.

Because I'm lazy and also because all my readers are amazing beautiful people, I nominate all of you!

My questions:

1. What is your comfort food these days?
2. Favorite article of clothing for the new season?
3. What's your new spring-y favorite song?
4. Name 3 unusual pet peeves.
5. What's your lucky number and the meaning behind it?
6. Is there an event where you swear a miracle happened?
7. What's your favorite go-to drink?
8. What's your favorite thing to do on a girls night out?
9. What movie are you looking forward to watching?
10. Do you have any tips for bloggers on how to manage life and blogging?
11. Share your favorite book/song quotes.

(Please do these, I really like these questions <3)



Friday, 1 April 2016

10 Things I DON'T Like to See in Books

A short little while ago, I wrote a post about things I look for in books. Well, I also kind of wanted to write a post on what I don't look for in books aka what I don't like to see. Some you might agree with and some might be things you don't like, who knows.

1. Spontaneous Love

If "spontaneous love" was a person, I'd go up to him/her and say, "I DON'T LIKE YOU. GET OUT OF MY LIFE." (which is something I could never do to an actual person) This is what might bring a book down, like, 4 grade levels. I just don't like it. It's one thing to get a good feeling about someone at first sight. It's another thing to spontaneously go somewhere you shouldn't, fall in love with someone after getting to know them for like, an hour, and act as if you've been with them for 5 years partly ("it feels like I've known them my whole life") just because you're feeling spontaneous. This happens strangely often in YA novels, and I do not like this.

2. Overdramatic-ness

Whether it's with writing style, plotline, or characters, being overdramatic is a turnoff (both for books and for people). Sometimes, the writing is just too much, and sometimes the plot is too; a small event will happen that should never, by far, cause the big event at the end. Or sometimes, characters will overreact, causing them to turn to extremes which they never would have in real life. It is so obvious that they're trying too hard to make things big that it becomes very awkward and unrealistic.

3. Unsteady Plot

I do not like plots where nothing happens for a very, very long time and then suddenly everything happens at once, usually at the end. I know this is used to create "suspense", where everything takes place unexpectedly, but what about all that boring-ness? (It's killing trees, I tell you) I feel like it's just taking up pages and nothing is developing in any way in these parts, so they really feel unnecessary. Well-paced thrill with controlled amounts of each element in the plot, please.

4. Pathetic-ness

I don't know how to describe it really. I like flawed characters, believe me. But there are some people who are flawed in a really pathetic way. Or sometimes the plot will put characters in a pathetic situation. I'm not sure if this is just a personal taste thing because it's not necessarily criticizing writing in any way, but I've also seen many reviews pointing this point out. But I guess it's a personal choice?

5. Sugar Coating

I don't like sugar coating, particularly in terms of plot line. I'll admit, sometimes people try to be more philosophical or inspiring or whatever (TFiOS, for example) then they would in real life, but I think that's something else because that's something you can take away from the novel although there are people I know disagree. I'm talking about tragic events that definitely shouldn't be sugar coated, character personalities, or plot in terms of when a character should not get off so easy for something but do anyway. Too much sugar is not good for your insulin level, folks.

6. Excessively Escalating Love

I talked about spontaneous love, but suddenly escalating love is a big one for me too. Sometimes I'll love a romance because it's cute and getting to know each other and stuff, then suddenly they'll start professing love for each other as if they've actually been in love for 5 and a half years but were forbidden to be together. It can really ruin a nice romance. Pacing is not just important for plot; it's important for romance too.

7. Stereotypes

Oh my goodness. Please, no. I can assure you that almost everyone can agree with me that no one likes things that are stereotypical. Stereotypical characters, stereotypical plot... I just hate it all. Even if it's a good stereotype, I might just dislike it a little bit because it's a stereotype. The impact is also larger if it's a character who has a very stereotypical personality, because it can ruin a perfectly fine story.

8. Misfit Elements

There are times when it's pretty obvious that something that does not fit with the rest of the novel was "squeezed in", usually because it was part of the original plotline. Even if it's something I usually like a lot, if it feels like a puzzle piece in the wrong place that has been ground and smashed to fit it in, I won't like it very much.

9. Random Escalating Occurrences

This will particularly happen in a contemporary fantasy novel, but not always, where everything is going perfectly fine and then suddenly some weird thing happens all at once, making you go, "well, that escalated quickly." It depends on the person, I think, in terms of how much of this random escalating outburst you can take, but I personally don't like this very much and am very sensitive to it.

10. When She Ends Up With the Wrong Guy

I don't like love triangles, but please, why would you put her with him and her and the other guy are clearly perfect for each other?! (I happen to be a very hardcore shipper just in general, so this happens to bother me quite a bit)

It has been a while since I posted, but even though this one took me quite a while to write, I still feel like there are a lot of points I missed. Is there anything you don't like seeing in books that aren't in this list? Tell me below :)



Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Review: Tonight the Streets Are Ours


Recklessly Loyal.

That's how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she's grown resentful of everyone - including her needy best friend and her absent mom - taking her loyalty for granted.
Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn't even met her.
Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him.
During one crazy night in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music - the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does - Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was either.

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Author: Leila Sales
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: C+


I liked the approach this book was taking, with the love story not really being a love story thing, but there were a few things that just bugged me about this book.

The very beginning, I didn't like at all. I didn't understand how she could sacrifice all these things she didn't really need to sacrifice for other people. There is the right thing to do, and then there's the RIGHT thing to do. But I think I understood a little better later, in terms of why she did this, but I still wasn't a huge fan of it.

Her best friend Lindsey I didn't like in general. And it's weird; usually I happen to like characters with spontaneous personalities, but Lindsey wasn't the free, fierce, live-like-there's-no-tomorrow kind of character I liked. I felt like she just wasn't thinking sometimes.

Arden's relationship with her boyfriend was actually pretty interesting. How it seemed all Chris, her boyfriend, had was redeeming qualities, yet he just wasn't in the relationship. I didn't like Arden's approach to the relationship, though. She was supposedly a nice and quiet person and this made me feel like I was suffocating.

Apparently she did too, and her outlet was this blog, "Tonight the Streets are Ours". I could relate, in a way, to this part in that sometimes reading other people's stories somehow makes you feel better about your situation, like someone understands you.

And then, she decides to go find him in New York.

Despite that I may like some spontaneous people, I really hate it when people do spontaneous things, especially people who are "pathetic", both in my perspective and the book's. It was so random yet so cliche. But anyway. They went.

What happens after that, I won't tell you. However, let's just say that something that made me go, "I told you!" happened, but how the ending was summed up was pretty nice.

So in general, not up to par. That beautiful cover is very misleading, but I guess it's worth a read for certain people who may like this sort of stuff, with a hopeless, pathetic romantic who goes off looking for something and ends up finding something else.



Sunday, 6 March 2016

Review: Shatter Me


But things happen when touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.


No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.
But Juliette has plans of her own.
After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time - and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

Publisher: Harper (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Dystopian
Grade: B-


This book is the first dystopian book I had read in a long time. I've gone on a long streak of contemporaries, and approaching this book, I needed to re-adapt to the nature of a dystopian novel.

The first thing: this book was trying way, way too hard to sound dramatic. At first I thought that it was maybe my contemporary mind having trouble adjusting, but honestly it was pretty cheesy in trying to make things "dramatic" and "thrilling" in the way it was written and paced. Especially in the beginning this was pretty evident.

The descriptions and metaphors, I also had mixed feelings about. Some of the descriptions were excellent; others were just way too much in the exaggeration and the overdramatic in its style.

There were thrilling moments in terms of plot and the plot itself was pretty well built. As I said, the writing style was not preferable, but the plot kept you on your toes. It wasn't a closed ending, though, and will definitely continue on to the next book since this book is part of a trilogy. I would like to say something about the ending, but I'll just wait till my review of the second book.

The romance... wasn't my favorite. It was too fast, the "past" thing wasn't working aka the whole notion of because they knew each other before, and even if they knew each other well enough in the past, it wasn't described very well because I did not get that impression. I wasn't in love with Adam, the male protagonist.

The villain, Warner, was pretty interesting, though. I always like to see young villains since they seem to have bigger passions and are often quite immature. I definitely wanted to see more of the development of The Reestablished, though. I do like that it was built off the concept of the environment, which is not something seen often.

Overall, mixed feelings? It had a lot of weaknesses, but the plot generally kind of solved this. If a plot is what you care about and that will drive you, great! But if you're very bothered by details, I'm not sure I recommend this.

I know there are many people who enjoyed this book, so tell me your thoughts on the novel below!



Saturday, 27 February 2016

My (High) Standards: 10 Ways I Review Books

I'm not sure if I've written a post like this, but I really wanted to write one because there are times when I feel like I'm being way too opinionated or have very different views on certain books compared to other people, and I wanted to express what I look for in good books.

1. When you pick it up: What is it about?

Please, no more romance where a girl is trying to feel better about herself then meets a boy. An interesting concept or topic is an automatic extra brownie point. I particularly enjoy books that show diversity and/or show awareness towards certain topics now all you have to do is explain it perfectly beautifully and you an A+ except I'm not that nice

2. The first few pages: Who is this character at the beginning?

A first impression is really important, I think. There are some characters I don't like from the get go. Some I already love by the second page. Some I don't like at  the beginning but turn out to be good people. Some I think I like at first but I end up hating them. A mixture of the second and the fourth would be great. Also, are they flawed? In a relatable, making for a good plot development way or in an annoying, unlikeable way?

3. The first chapter: How's the writing style?

Humorous, sarcastic voices or poetic voices are some of my favorite. Though a relatively typical voice is fine, characteristic voices always catch my eye. The writing style sets up the whole atmosphere of the book and a voice to the character. If elementss don't match one another, I 100% guarantee you the writing style has some of the blame.

4. The first few chapters: Where is this place?

How's the world building? If fantasy or dystopian, this is especially important. What's different? What's society like? What are the living standards. If contemporary, this part particularly describes what kind of life they live and what kinds of things they are exposed to daily.

5. The next few chapters: Who else is there?

The right mix of secondary characters is super important. Are the secondary characters likeable? Funny, maybe? What's their relationship to the main character? There could be too many, taking away from the main character and creating too many distracting subplots. Too little takes away from the content of the story. The relationship between the main character and other characters is super important. They should be independent characters, but not too detached. There always has to be a balance among the characters with their stories, personalities, and roles.

6. Halfway in: Is there any romance?

Everyone has different views on romance. I like a steady development between two people: plenty of getting to know each other, both cute interactions and a strong relationship. I generally don't like long, extensive romantic sections though. But pacing is key: please no insta-love, or anything rushed for the matter.

7. Entering second half: How's the pacing and formatting?

By this point, you should know how well the formatting, aka the breaking of the sections, maybe alternating view points, is working or not working. This is one of those things that aren't discussed that I put a lot of value on. Also pacing: thrilling scenes shouldn't be too fast and there shouldn't be long, boring sections. A steady build-up and accurately spaced out scenes, please.

8. Almost at the end: Has the main character changed?

If the main character didn't change at all, that's pretty darn disappointing. The story is meant to be built for that change. Has it been good change? Bad change? Was the development evident and strong? How well was it integrated with the plot? How did the development and the plot affect one another?

9. The ending: Was it worth it?

Always extra brownie points if it hits you like a ton of bricks. THE FEELS. But also: were you reading just to find out the ending or because it was interesting? The tension has to built up right and please: no cliffhanger endings. I don't mean happily ever after is a good idea; some things can be left open. But please no endings where they actually don't tell you what happens in the end. That will make me angry. And you won't like me when I'm angry.

10. After lying on the bed a bit: How are you left feeling?

I always love it when there's something I can take away from a book. I love a book that teaches me about life. A numbing feeling after is a great one too. I don't like to feel haunted though, which is why I opt against horror and paranormal.

These are the 10 things I look for in a book - maybe some other time, I'll write about things I don't want to see in a book. Yay or nay?

Are there any things you agree with? Things you disagree with? Other things you look for that aren't in the list? Tell me below!



Sunday, 21 February 2016

Cinderella's Ball Tag!

Ashley over at [insert title here] is hosting a blog party for her blogaversary! (Yay) This is a fun little tag/link-up she's doing so I thought, why not?

1. What would you wear to a fairytale ball?

...a dress? I'd probably just wear a relatively normal looking white dress and then have a fun accessory like a wand or a small tiara or something. (And of course, a cardigan or shawl just in case I spill food on my white dress, which is pretty likely)

2. What shoes?

White studded ankle boots, just for kicks. (Ha? Get it?)

3. What is the most necessary accessory?
A. Shoes!
B. Your royal signet ring
C. Wildflowers for your hair
D. This beauty doesn't need accessories.
E. A red cape
F. Your crown

Hmm, well I've always wanted a cool ring and a signet ring does sound pretty important so I'll go with option B.

4. What is your favorite fairytale?

It always changes, but these days I like Goldilocks and the Three Bears because it's just so cute :)

5. At the ball, you would
A. Eat cake
B. Dance
D. Find a nice quiet corner from which to Sherlock people.
E. Spy out your rival's resources
F. A combination of...

Dance so I can talk to all the people so I can spy out my rival's resources ;)
Oh, and also eat cake. What other reason is there for going to a ball?

6. You see a dwarf with his beard wedged under a boulder. He's mistreated your help before, so you
A. Leave him there. He deserves it.
B. Point and laugh
C. Steal his gold
D. Help the little folk out
E. Trim his beard. It's obviously a nuisance.

I would consider A and C, then end up trimming the guy's beard hehe.

7. Do you know anyone who reminds you of a particular fairytale?

Well, I have a friend who can fall asleep anywhere and will be out like a light in a few seconds. So I guess she's kind of like sleeping beauty? (Except I'm always the one to wake her up. So. )

8. If someone asked to marry you when they first met you, your reaction would be
A. Um. Yes. Nobody's cuter than them.
B. Depends. Do they have a lot of money? Are they a serial killer with a lot of money?
C. RUN! They're clearly a lunatic.
D. Love at first sight means wed at first sight.
E. You can't say "yes" to everyone who asks to marry you. They should get in line.
F. You fly solo.

Woah, these options. Between these, I would tell them I fly solo then RUN! because they're clearly a lunatic. My answer not in the options would be to politely tell them that they're clearly a lunatic.

9. Your true love will
A. Give you a library
B. Fetch your shoes for you
C. Be a shallow walnut head. They're easier to manipulate.
D. Find you immortalized in a glass casket. They're too late.
E. What is this strange concept called true love?
F. Oh right. You fly solo.

Umm... I guess fetch my shoes... if and when I ask? (But I won't. Because I'm nice like that.)

10. Name three big events in your life, or something that took you three tries to get.

I guess starting this blog was a big event for me, since it's changed the way I think about reading and writing in so many ways. Another one is writing my first music piece.

And also rolling over for the first time. That's pretty important too.

11. Name something you have seven of.

Necklaces! I never even thought about there being seven of them but I guess there were.

12. Who is your nemesis?
A. Your step-mother
B. A giant
C. A wicked witch
D. A dwarf who's name is either unknown or impossible to enunciate without a glossary
E. The Big Bad Wolf (Not just any wolf. The BBW)
F. The insufferable younger step daughter of yours

Well A and F are out because I don't want family problems. I'm already short, so everyone's a giant anyway. Dwarves are just adorable, and the BBW and I can have some pork together. So C it is.

13. When you meet your nemesis, you dress
A. As formidable as they
B. Innocent and sweet
C. Like a warrior. Let's weapon up!
D. Rags; it's all you've got.
E. Like a huntsman
F. With the intimidating superiority of an evil queen.

C sounds awesome, and when else am I going to get to dress like a warrior?

14. Who are your allies?
A. Seven dwarves
B. Your fairy-godmother
C. Jack the Giant-Killer
D. ALL the forest animals
E. Not to be obvious, but dragons are the way to go
F. Your prince charming... or knight in shining armor, your preference

Sorry Ashley, but I'm gonna go with dwarves. I want dwarves to be part of my squad!

15. Do you have any retelling recs for us to either watch or read?

I'm in love with the Lunar Chronicles series, and in terms of flicks The Cinderella Story is always a classic :)

16. What is your favorite song from a Disney Princess movie?

Ahh! That's so hard! I love so many Disney songs, but I'm gonna choose When Will My Life Begin by Mandy Moor from Rapunzel. It's really fun to sing and super cute too.

That was so much fun! If y'all want to participate too, head over to [insert title here].



Monday, 15 February 2016

Review: Starry Night


From New York Times-bestselling memoirist Isabel Gillies comes a sweeping love story about the wonders of first love, the agony of first heartbreak, and everything in between.

Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, fifteen-year-old Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. Wren's mother loans her a long-loved floor-length poppy-red Oscar de la Renta gown. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan, a new friend of her brother's. Nolan is in a band. Nolan goes to Bronx Science. Nolan can do complex math without using pencil and paper. Nolan has root-beer brown Michelangelo eyes. Nolan changes the way Wren's heart beats.
Suddenly everything is different. Suddenly everything is rearranged. Suddenly everything is questioned. Suddenly there is love. Nothing makes sense the way it once did. Nothing makes sense except for this boy.
What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep? And how much is up to you anyway?

Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux Books (an imprint of Macmillan)
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Author: Isabel Gillies
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: C


The plot of this book was basically made up from a whole bunch of stupid decisions. Wren falls in love with a guy she just only met and pretty much insta-love, practically runs away with him, claims to be in love with him, and does so much for him (because she "loves him") and later makes the most stupid decision of her lifetime and ends with even more messed-up friendship-love-conflict-craziness. The only reason I warmed up to this book and gave it a C instead of a D+ was because 1. They already told you at the beginning that this book was full of heartbreak and stupid decisions and 2. She learned her lesson.

Okay. To start from the beginning, there is a group of friends, including Wren, called the Turtles. *Warning: there may be a lot of borderline spoilers from this point on (aka kinda spoilers but not really major spoilers)* There is Wren, Padmavati (Vati), Farah, Reagan, and Charlie. Firstly, I found it super stupid and confusing why they kept on awkwardly switching from Padmavati to Vati and vice versa. It wasn't even like certain people call her Padmavati and others called her Vati - everyone just switched at random.
Also. I hate how they Charlie gay. It's not because I have something against gay people because I don't, but how it seems like they're attributing him hanging out with girls to mean that he's gay. Girls and guys can hang out with each other without having crushes on each other. Please.
I honestly shipped Charlie and Wren at the beginning, but it obviously wasn't a possibility after the first few chapters. That could've been super cute and a nice plot twist too. Plus they've been friends for a long time and Charlie is really nice to Wren.
They put a big emphasis on Wren being dyslexic and how Charlie helped with it, then pretty much never mentioned it again. Why even go through explaining all that then if it didn't have any value to the rest of the book at all?
The one person that I think made sense, even though a lot of people disagree with me, is Reagan. I'm not saying I liked her - I'm saying her character made sense. She gave off that vibe (I can't give spoilers) from the start, and the series of events that followed were honestly pretty logical and realistic.
Farah's story was just... weird. I'm not gonna comment on it and I didn't particularly hate it I guess? But I didn't like it. It was just weird and off.
Vati and Oliver. It seemed so forced. I couldn't bring myself to believe that Oliver would just like Vati like that coincidentally, since Vati had a huge crush on him and made it obvious. It seemed like a move just to satisfy, since Vati loved him so much.

So. we shall now move on to Wren and Nolan.

I never liked Nolan. I think that's problem #1, if I don't like the male protagonist. He just seemed like bad news to me, and the fact that he was in a band made it worse. Of course, you know from the beginning that he leads to heartbreak, so I guess I can be ever-so-slightly forgiving, but because of it Wren just seemed really stupid. For following him around. For devoting her life to him. Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera.
And how they thought it was love. It was major insta-love, yet the rest of the story made it seem like they were so incredibly in love. It would've been so nice to read if it wasn't that it was ridiculous love at first sight. And Wren did anything and everything for this boy who she was supposedly in love with. It was ridiculous.
I also didn't like the mom. I liked her more than Wren, but she was so impatient and stubborn. The dad I liked better, and her sister Dinah, along with Charlie, are the only two characters I really liked. The kid was adorable.

But. Wren did make her realizations at the end and I kind of felt bad for her (kind of) and so it became a little better at the end of the book.

So. Overall. I wouldn't recommend this book. But maybe you guys have different views, who knows. Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!



Monday, 8 February 2016

Review: A Step Toward Falling


Sometimes one mistake can change everything.
Emily doesn't know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. Afterward, she thought of different ways a rationalize it. But the truth is, they could have helped Belinda, and they didn't. It's a mistake they'll both have to live with.

Sometimes doing nothing is the only way to cope.
Belinda doesn't want to talk about what happened. Because when she does, if feels like it's happening all over again.

Sometimes good can come from bad.
Emily and Lucas's punishment is community service at a center for people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. Like they could help not only those at the center but also each other.
But when Belinda returns to school, Emily and Lucas have to figure out if they can do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt most.

Publisher: HarperTeen (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Author: Cammie McGovern
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: B-


This was one of those books that have really good points and really bad points, making it difficult to grade. The first thing I wanted to mention, though, was how it properly shed light on disabled people while not trying to be depressing - I definitely applaud that. There a lot of diversity YA contemporaries that try to be depressing and sometimes it works, but usually it doesn't. I love how this book didn't try to do that, while staying true to the seriousness of the topic.

One of the things I didn't like, however, was the ending. I can't talk much about this (because it's the ending, duh) but I thought it was a little stereotypical. It was like an ending of a movie, especially the idea that one of the characters gets and the corresponding scene. There were also a few parts of it that really didn't make much sense to me.

Something I think this book did well as character development. Belinda's character was so realistic. Of course, I haven't met anyone with her particular condition, but based on what I know and have read on the subject, it was very believable. Anthony, another secondary character previously in Belinda's class, was so adorable as well. I really loved Lucas. His character was the perfect mix of realistic and fictitious (as in, likely to appear in fiction) - not meaning met in the middle, but rather both at the same time. His character was very subtle, opposing well to Emily's bold and visible character. The relationship between the two was one I loved watch develop; it was probably one of the best parts. Emily, however, I wasn't the biggest fan of, but she was realistic and developed really well nonetheless.

The main thing I didn't like though, was that there was nothing particularly memorable about it. It wasn't very captivating in any way, there's no part I specifically remember, and was pretty slow-paced.

Overall, it pained me to give the mark I did because it had really good parts too. Mixed feelings, mixed feelings. Tell me your thoughts, please :)



PS How's the new template? I tried getting a little colorful, but I'm not sure if it's too busy or something like that. Please be honest; if it's a little too colorful and distracting for you, please let me know!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Review: Eleanor & Park


Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough... Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises... Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publishing Date: February 26th, 2013
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: B+

I know, I know, it's been a while since my last post. My scheduled posts have caught up to me. But it's all okay now, since my exams are finished and today's my day off! Huzzah! (I shall write three posts today, mwhahaha.)

The first impression I got when I opened this book, or rather when I read the summary, was "Oh no, this could be really cliche". Because it could. And I'll be honest with you, some of the lines in the dialogue could've been seen as cliche depending on how much you enjoy reading chick-lit and just that kind of stuff in general.
For me, I think it would depend on what kind of book I was in the mood to read. There were a lot of really sweet lines, though. Story line wise, however, I think I had very few problems with it feeling cliche.

The characteristic of this book I want to applaud the most is the balance between Eleanor's story and Park's story. At first, Eleanor's perspective of her story seemed very teen angsty, but it eventually rose in tension. The more you get to know her story, the more you sympathize with her - the end is just heartbreaking. It really hits you in the feels, and let's you get to know Eleanor so much better.

Park's story, on the other hand, was so creatively normal. It was original, but realistic basically. It also worked so well with his character development as well as integrating into Eleanor and their relationship. You could also see development within people around him too, which was really nice to see.

It agonizes me that there is little I can say about this book while giving spoilers, but the plot in general was well balanced-out and well-paced; it had different elements such as friendship, family, love, music, and conflict all rolled into one story that didn't even seem separated into different elements.

The one major problem I would have with this book is the pacing of the romance. There were one or two points where it suddenly progressed really quickly - I felt like I missed a part or something. I hoped for a little more slower development at parts.

The book was set in the 80s, and it was definitely one of the most realistic writing styles  of books set in recent history (70s - 90s). Those, in general, have felt a little unnatural or just normal, but this book did a pretty good job of it.

Overall, this book is just the right kind of contemporary, I think - not too chick-lit, not too heavy. It has lived up to the hype (well, I guess it depends on how much hype you felt but it was good enough for me) and I recommend y'all contemporary fans to read it :)



Friday, 22 January 2016

Mistaken Stereotypes About Teens

One of the biggest labels that are put on teens by society is the abbreviations (lol, btw, etc) and trendy words. However, I'm not sure if you'll agree with me on that the reasons for these abbreviations and for these trends isn't what society thinks it is. I haven't written a discussion post in forever, but I think this is something I want to address as an internet-active teen.


Misconception Clear-up #1: We don't really like it when someone uses too many little-known abbreviations either. Yes, we use things like lol or btw, but there are some people who use unnecessary abbreviations every other word, or use ones I have never heard of in my life. Yes, it drives me nuts too.

Misconception Clear-up #2: It's not because we're lazy, okay? Yes, there is a portion of the reason we use abbreviations that is that it is harder to be accurate when you text. But believe it or not, we actually use full words when we text! Besides the occasional "u" or not putting in apostrophes, we tend to just type out the full word.

 Misconception Clear-up #3: Abbreviations tend to be just reactions. We don't use them in our sentences, generally. Though there is a misconception that we use a lot of them within the sentences, the reality is that a lot of abbreviations are how we react to things over text, since we can't physically react. 

Misconception Clear-up #4: No. Please no. We do not think people who use abbreviations are cooler. We don't use them because they're "cool". Why do we use them then? It's like how you start talking like someone after knowing them for a long time. People use abbreviations, and even if they seem foreign at first, it starts to grow on you and you start to use it. It's inevitable.


Misconception Clear-up #5: Teens come up with the "trendy" words because they're that age where everything is funny, but not so young that they still know the meaning of things. That's pretty much how it starts, you know. Someone makes a typo or tells a joke, it's funny, someone copies them, it catches on.

Misconception Clear-up #6: Using "trendy" words does not make you cool either. I think even some teens have this misconception. We use trendy words because they're all around us and it grows on us. It does not make you cool.

Misconception Clear-up #7: These are part of culture too, you know? Trendy words within a certain group tell a lot about that group. Some argue that new words are not appreciative of the language culture, but just as the word OK (okay) earned a spot in the dictionary, it's part of our culture, whether big or small.

Let's discuss. Anything you agreed with? Disagreed with? What are some other misconceptions? Please tell me below and we can have a mini-discussion.



Thursday, 14 January 2016

Kat's (subjective) Life Hacks for Doing Better in School

I was surfing the blogosphere recently and stumbled upon Ana's post on Butterflies of the Imagination about school and it struck me that as teen bloggers, we don't blog about school much. Despite that we have the fact that we all lack time to read or blog because of school work. I wanted to share my personal tips on doing well in school, and then maybe you guys can share your tips and we'll all get better grades together.

I tried to pick tips that are unique to me, and not the stereotypical ones like "don't procrastinate" or "get enough sleep" because we all know that both of those are impossible. 

1. Know your teacher. This is probably one of the most important ones. For assignments, teachers have preferences and certain things they look for. Short and sweet or long and extensive? Content or aesthetics and writing style? Big ideas or little details? Originality and creativity or following guidelines? These are just a few of the things your teacher probably has preferences about, consciously or unconsciously. It'll definitely get you some brownie points.

2. This applies to tests, too. Your teacher will definitely have a certain way of writing their tests. This applies to format (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, diagrams, short answers) and content (general concepts, little details, certain topics the teacher emphasizes a lot). Use this to try to guess what's gonna be and not gonna be on the test.

3. Pay attention to what the teacher emphasizes a lot. If there's something your teacher is very passionate about, that's probably what's gonna be on that test, and what you should write about in your assignment. I assure you, every time you integrate it into your essay, presentation, or written answer on a test, he/she will give you extra marks for it. At the very least, you'll leave a good impression on them.

4. Tests: ask someone to test you after only going over your notes once or twice. This is something that's unique to me, and works really well. If you do this, you're bound to get everything wrong. Well, it's in human nature that we dwell on the negative. When you make a mistake, it's a lot easier to remember than something you got right. It helps me remember things while I study further.

5. Make a plan to get your assignment done in stages; but schedule the "due date" a few days ahead. We've all tried to make a schedule to get certain parts of our assignments or studying done on certain days, but we never follow them and end up with 3 or 4 days worth of work to do the night before. If you schedule it to be "due" a couple days ahead, you'll have room for when you run late.

6. If you mess up your plan, don't give up; write another one. Always keep adjusting your plan. People tend to give up on it once they fall out of it. Reschedule, so that you'll at least try to stick to it, and even though it seems like you're pushing work back, I promise you're getting it done faster than if you did it without a plan.

7. Find creative ways to remember facts. Attribute information to your favorite book characters, celebrities, or inside jokes. The funnier it is, the better you'll remember it. No one wants to remember things when they're related to tedious school work, but if it's related to your favorite TV show, it sticks to your brain better. My example is that Iron = Fe, since Iron Man like Females. genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist.

8. Last but not least, don't spend the time you should be devoting to finishing your assignments to blogging. Um. Well then *clears throat*.

These are a few things that help me with my school work. Please share your tips below, and if you've tried any of these, please let me know how it worked out for you :)



Friday, 8 January 2016

ARC Review: Symptoms of Being Human


The first thing you're going to want to know about me is: am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some day Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn't exactly out yet. and between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure - media and otherwise - is building up in Riley's so-called "normal" life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it's REALLY like to be gender-fluid. But just as Riley's starting to settle in at school - even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast - the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley's real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created - a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in - or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
From debut author Jeff Garvin comes a powerful and uplifting portrait of a modern teen struggling with high school, relationships, and what it means to be a person.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Publishing Date: February 2, 2016
Author: Jeff Garvin
Genre: Contemporary
Grade: A-


I chose to read this book because of the trend going on around the blogosphere suggesting that we shed some light on different minorities. This book was definitely an eye-opener for me. I didn't even know there was such thing as gender-fluid. To be honest, despite that I have no problem with those who have different sexualities, I don't know much about them. Just thinking about it seems confusing and difficult. Imagining feeling differently about your sexuality every single day. Heck, I can't even handle having preferences for different flavours of yogurt each day. And in a world full of girl/boy identified objects and places, it seems so difficult. I think this book expressed it so well.

The book does a really good job of delivering the point, too, because it never really tells you what gender Riley originally was. At first, it bothered me so much. After reading a few chapters I got used to it and I also realized that even though I wouldn't call myself homophobic, we all have a tendency to want to sort people. We want to define them. It makes you consciously or unconsciously accept that it doesn't really matter.

Another thought I had while reading this was that Riley was always thinking about his sexuality, everywhere, all the time. As reviewers, we generally don't like it when a character obsesses over something excessively. And then I realized he probably can't help but obsess over it considering his situation.

As for the other characters, I was really proud of Bec for being so open-minded. Despite of the spoiler which I can't say, it still takes a lot of open-mindedness to act as she acted. Same with Solo. I really liked his story, too; the presence of secondary characters was really well balanced - not too much, not too little.

I really enjoyed the personality this book had, too. Just because it was a book on a heavy topic, it wasn't just quote-worthy sentences after another. The voice had personality, thank you very much, and so did the characters.

Finally, I want to touch on the abuse and such that is faced in this book. I really didn't know there was so much violence against LGBTQIA people. I didn't know it was as serious as I discovered it to be through this book, and it was covered accurately while not crossing the line. If I could applaud a book, I would.

So overall, I think this book is an accurate interpretation of the difficulties of being gender-fluid. It was an eye-opener for me and I strongly encourage you all to read it.



Friday, 1 January 2016

Word Spillers: Top 10s of 2016


It's 2016.

Congrats to a great 2015 and let's try to make 2016 even better, kay? 2015 has been an amazing blogging year for me (despite my sudden downfall of amount of posts) and I got to electronically/virtually meet a lot of people around the blogosphere *waves*. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what 2016 brings :)

Now I think this is a must for all bloggers. I'm pretty sure just about everyone's done a sort of wrap-up post, so I didn't wanna be left out of the party. Here are all the Top 10s relating to Word Spillers, books, and myself.

Top 10 Most Popular Posts

1. Kat's Playlist: Code Name Swiftie
2. Teenager Life in a Nutshell ft. Teenager Posts
3. More Awards!! (Yay!!)
4. Keep Calm and... Oh Boy, it's Another Keep Calm Post
5. The One Lovely Blog Award
6. Marvel Fangirling: Top 5 Heroes and Top 3 Villains
7. Review: Parallel
8. Let's Talk NaNoWriMo: Pros of Collaboration
9. Review: All the Bright Places
10. Random Friday (Saturday?): Fun Facts About Myself

Top 10 Highly Rated/Memorable Books (review is linked)

1. Every Last Word
2. We Were Liars
3. Atlantia
4. Falling Into Place
5. A Little Something Different
6. The Sky is Everywhere
7. Four: A Divergent Collection
8. All the Bright Places
9. An Abundance of Katherines
10. Zac and Mia

Top 10 of My Favorite Posts (no particular order)

1. Benefits of Blogging
2. The Taylor Swift Tag
3. Thoughts on Antt-Man (Fangirling Desguised as a Review)
4. Marvel Fangirling: Top 5 Heroes and Top 3 Villains
5. Musical Monday: Favorites from Album
6. 5 Thoughts That Go Through Your Mind When You're in an Elevator
7. Writing Tutorial #5: Writing Songs
8. Do You Have This Kind of Friend?
9. Keep Calm and... Oh Boy, It's Another Keep Calm Post
10. Teenage Life in a Nutshell ft. Teenager Posts

Top 10 Types of Posts I Want to/Am Going to Post More in 2016

1. Discussion Posts
2. Thoughts On... (movies or music)
3. Kat's Playlist
4. Keep Calm and...
5. Writing Tutorials
6. Craaaazy Lists
7. Fangirling, Fangirling, Fangirling
8. My Writing...?
9. WIP Tags/Posts
10. More Reviews!

You guys tell me in the comments what you liked, what you didn't like, and what you wanna see more of on Word Spillers. I'd love your opinion :)

Happy New Year!