Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge

Here's a handy graphic I created for Indie Reading Challenge 2016. This challenge runs till December 2016. If it goes well I would love to continue this for the next year.
Feel free to use this graphic if you want. But I'd love it if you gave me credit ;)


Goodreads Challenge: 70 Books
Current Count: 70/70

Reading Challenge 2016

  1. A Book You Stayed Up All Night to Read - F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
  2. A Book Based on the Cover - The Air He Breathes by Brittany C Cherry 
  3. A Book Containing Letters - 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Jhonson
  4. A Book that Takes Place on an Island - Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
  5. A Book Set in Europe - The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Jhonson
  6. A Play - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  7. A Book Written by a Celebrity - Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  8. An Audiobook - The Red Necklace by Sally Gardener, Narrated by Tom Hiddleston
  9. A Book with a Female Lead - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  10. A Book With Magic - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  11. A Steampunk Book - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  12. A Book Set in the Future - Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
  13. A Historical Fiction - The Red Necklace by Sally Gardener, Narrated by Tom Hiddleston
  14. A Novella - Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
  15. A Book with a Blue Cover - Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Indie Reading Challenge 2016
  1. A Horror Novel - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke (Not really horror for me, but since its listed on Goodreads, I'm gonna take advantage of that and go with it! 😜 )
  2. A Book About Angels - Stealing Light by Julie Cassar
  3. A Dystopian Novel -  Female: 918: Part I by Jason Ellis
  4. A Book Based on Retellings - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  5. A Book with Magic - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  6. A Book with a Female Lead - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  7. A Novella - Female: 918: Part I by Jason Ellis
  8. A Trilogy - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  9. A Book About Aliens - 
  10. A YA Book - Female: 918: Part I by Jason Ellis
  11. A Book Set in a Different Era - The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin
  12. A Romance Novel - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  13. A Book Based entirely on the Cover - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  14. A Poetry Book - The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
  15. An Anthology - 
  16. A Comedy Book - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke (Stacey Rourke's writing style is pretty amazing and her books always have me in splits. That being said I now realize that the title for this challenge doesn't make any sense and I need to stop making challenges and graphics after midnight. Next year my loves, next year!)
  17. A Paranormal Book - Stealing Light by Julie Cassar
  18. A Thriller/Suspense - The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
  19. A Book Based in a Different Country - The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin
  20. A Fantasy Book - Stealing Light by Julie Cassar

Review for The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin
Blurb:
One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived. This is the story of one woman who lived to tell her story. This is a narrative of how a young beautiful teenager, Helen Stein, and her family were torn asunder, ultimately bringing her to Auschwitz. It was there she suffered heinous indignity at the hands of the SS. It was also there, in that death camp, she encountered compassion, selfless acts of kindness, and friendship. Written by the award-winning, best-selling author of His Name Was Ben, comes a story of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave you thinking about Helen Stein and The Seven Year Dress for years to come after the last page is shut.

Review:
As we all know I'm not a big fan of Historical Fiction, but this year I have read/listened to two books in this genre now. I think that's pretty damn good in itself. 

I avoid reading Historical Fiction because I for some reason don't want to read a story based in the times of hardship. Reading The Seven Year Dress was quite difficult. 

When you read about the World Wars or the cruel actions in Germany during that time, its all just in our textbooks. It doesn't feel personal or doesn't hit home that it was real and it was that difficult. And when you connect to a character and you read a book like this one, based amidst one of the most difficult times, it just makes it that much harder to look for the positives in this world that we live in. If people were capable of this, and history repeats itself, won't this happen again?

Anyway, back to the book. The Seven Year Dress was a really touching read. The little moments of kindness interspersed between the horrors and cruel actions kept me going. (It gave me a little hope)

The book beautifully depicts an amazing story of courage and kindness amidst the most excruciating circumstances. It was beautifully written and rang painfully true. The characters and writing style were so engaging that it kept me hooked.

Overall, another amazing read from Paulette Mahurin.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Review for The Red Necklace by Sally Gardener, Narrated by Tom Hiddleston

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardener, Narrated by Tom Hiddleston
Blurb:
France 1789: a time of terror; a charismatic boy, Yann, who must find out who he is; the daring rescue of Sido, an aristocrat's daughter - these are the elements in this tremendous adventure by a consummate storyteller, a marvellous tale of the first days of the French Revolution.

The story of a remarkable boy called Yann Margoza; Tetu the dwarf, his friend and mentor; Sido, unloved daughter of a foolish Marquis; and Count Kalliovski, Grand Master of a secret society, who has half the aristocracy in thrall to him, and wants Yann dead. Yann is spirited away to London but three years later, when Paris is gripped by the bloody horrors of the Revolution, he returns, charged with two missions: to find out Kalliovski's darkest deeds and to save Sido from the guillotine. With a tangle of secrets, a thread of magic and a touch of humour, the follies of the aristocracy and the sufferings of ordinary people are unfolded as their lives move relentlessly towards the tragic and horrific days of the Terror. THE RED NECKLACE is not only a tremendous adventure story but a vibrant and passionate picture of Paris in turmoil and of a large cast of memorable characters.


Review:
First of all - YAY!!!! I have successfully finished listening to my first audiobook!!

Now back to the review. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm not a big fan of Historical Fiction. I get bored and cannot find the will to keep going. And Audiobooks just make me sleepy. The last time I tried to listen to one I promptly fell asleep within the first 20 minitues on three separate occasions. Its safe to say that Audiobooks and me don't really work out well. So this year I thought why not kill two birds with one stone and listen to an Historical Fiction Audiobook?

And let me just say this was a good decision! So when I found out that Tom Hiddleston had narrated an Historical Fiction book, it was fate. I just was meant to listen to this. 

When I started I wasn't sure if I'd be able to finish or even get through this book. But trust me Tom Hiddleston makes this narration so engaging and just brings it to life. I loved the different voices and accents he used for all the different characters. (I think that was what kept me from falling asleep :P )

The two blurbs pretty much tell you everything that you need to know about the plot. It did drag on at some places but the narration kept me going. Overall, I think it was a pretty interesting read.

Review for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Blurb:
The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


Review:
I actually thought Cursed Child wasn't that bad. Unpopular opinion I know.

The main reason why I liked this book was probably because I knew that this book was just a script for the play. I think I had accepted that the "original" magic might not be there in this book.

Was it the mind-blowing and intriguing book that we've come to expect from JK? Probably not. But did it make me smile and feel nostalgic? Hell yeah!

Don't get me wrong, I was a bit pissed off about certain parts of the book, but I just think that this book made me happy to go back into the beloved world of Hogwarts and Magic again. And the nostalgia alone would have made me happy, but the plot of the book was pretty clever. I liked that we got to see how one little action or decision would have made the entire outcome of original story so completely different.

Cursed Child had everything, time travel, magic and that spark that made the Harry Potter Series what it was. Overall, I enjoyed the book.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Review for Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Blurb:
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

Review:
All the Bright Places holds a special place in my heart, so I was really looking forward to Jennifer Niven's next novel. And Holding Up the Universe did not disappoint.

I love books where I get to learn something new or understand some new concept. And this book did that and so much more. Everyone struggles with who they are and what they want to be seen as when they are in school. It is all about the "face" we choose to show the world. HUTU beautifully deals with the struggles of prosopagnosia and the struggle to defy the labels assigned to you.

I adored the characters and the writing style. The highlight for me was the Supernatural references, I adored them! (Fellow fangirl here!)

I did read some reviews and posts saying that the book or the blurb was offensive. But in my opinion, after reading I felt that the book delivered a very body-positive message. I just had to get that out there.

I don't know what else to say other than I loved the book, and I will be anxiously waiting for the next release by Jennifer Niven.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Review for Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Morning Star by Pierce Brown
Blurb:
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

Review:

Ah, the finale to the epic journey that has been the Red Rising Trilogy.

I'll be honest with you guys, this book took me way too long to read. I probably dragged this book out for half of 2016 because - A. I didn't want it to end and B. Stupid Plot Twists! I think at one point I was like nope and just didn't read for a solid month, maybe a month and a half. But it all turned out okay in the end. Phew!

I loved the series and the finale was just as action packed and full of plot twists as the previous books. I adored how the author wrapped up the book. This has been one of the few series where the books have been consistently good throughout the series. Definitely adding to the re-read pile and favourite pile.

Cannot wait to read Iron Gold! It's going to be amazing! 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Review for It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Blurb: 

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

Review:
I think its so important that authors write books about things and issues that aren't usually discussed. I love Colleen Hoover and am so thankful to her for this book.

I am not going to mention much about the book because this book is one of those that you need to go in blind without any spoilers. But please note that this book might contain some triggers for some people.

I just want to say that this book was a roller-coaster of emotions. I have never had a complete 180° turn about any character in just one line as I have with this book. The emotions run high in this novel. I just want to thank Colleen again because this book lets us see behind the situation and lets us see why a certain character behaves a certain way.

Thank you for this eye-opener.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Review for Stealing Light by Julie Cassar

Stealing Light by Julie Cassar

Blurb:

"Tonight, everything could change. I wasn’t ready to let go of anyone just yet."

If you could change what you know is coming, would you? Cecelia Walker discovers an amazing ability deep within herself that gives her the power to change the future. When mysterious outsiders enter her life, she begins to question everything and everyone she once knew.

Years earlier, CeeCee’s life changed forever the day her parents were killed in a horrific car accident. Suddenly extraordinary people and bizarre events began to seep into her very small world. Surviving for years on her addiction to coffee and running, life suddenly deals her a game-changing wildcard and all bets are off. Her magnificent Gift of Light awakens a tremendous dark power wanting to steal what is hers.

Will Cecelia be able to change what she’s seen and set a new course? Has she met her otherworldly match against evil and found her true soul mate? Or, is nothing as it seems as the power of darkness threatens to consume her and those she loves.

Review:
Stealing Light is probably only one of the few books I wanted to read just because of the author. I have been following her on social media and I thought that her style was pretty cool. When she graciously offered the book for a review I jumped a t the chance!

First off all let me say this, I did not expect the book to turn out the way it did. Looking at the cover and the blurb, I thought it would be like a murder mystery sort of book , boy was I wrong.

Stealing Light took me completely by surprise. I really liked the author's take on angels and the way she built the whole book world. The writing style was pretty good and easy to follow. If I had to point out one negative it would be that I wish the book was a little more descriptive. At certain places I felt like I needed a bit more to just enjoy the book better I guess? I don't know I'm just being picky here because I really liked the book and this was just one thing that bothered me. Oh and I HAVE to mention the fact that the characters are really well thought out, from their mannerisms and the way they talk, I adore that the author put so much personality into each of the characters.

Overall, loved the book! Can we get book 2 soon? Please?

oxox
TJ

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Reviews for The Hidden Oracle and The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Reading books by Rick Riordan is one of the highlights of my year. They make me laugh and take me away into a completely different world. Since I've been not posting, here are both the reviews for books by Rick Riordan that I read this year!

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Blurb:

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go... an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.



Review:

This book was no different. Initially when they announced the book release I knew this book would be hilarious. I mean come on, a book revolving around Apollo? It was sure to be a hit! I loved that Percy was in this book as well. I absolutely love his character and since he was my OG favourite character, I have a soft spot for him.

And I HAVE to mention the chapter titles, I mean they have to be one of the highlights of the book, every chapter title is a haiku by Apollo so obviously it was immensely enjoyable.

I was also really excited about the ending. Why? Well you need to read for yourself, I won't tell you because 

Loved and enjoyed every minute of this book! ❤


The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
Blurb:
Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon--the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenceless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki--and the price he wants is very high.


Review:
This was the second book in the Norse Mythology inspired series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. I adore Magnus, not more than Percy but yeah. But in this book another character completely stole the show for me.

Move over Magnus, Alex is here. I ADORE Alex! Initially I will admit I didn't quite "understand" who Alex was and what certain things meant. My reaction was pretty much like Magnus but once it all clicked into place, Alex had a permanent place in my heart.

Again I MUST mention the chapter titles, I mean seriously, the days leading up to the release of the book we saw teasers of the titles and they were absolutely hilarious! I think they add a little bit more to a book that is already pretty damn fantastic.

And finally like in The Hidden Oracle, the ending!!! I ended up frantically texting all of my book babes and asking them if they had finished reading because I was so damn excited! I'm really looking forward to Book 3. 2017 cannot be here soon enough! ♥

Friday, 30 September 2016

Hello lovelies.

Its been a month since I've posted anything here. Things haven't been going that well for me personally and I just needed to take a step back.

I wanted to take a break from writing book reviews (or anything else for that matter) and I just read for the love of reading. There have been some really amazing books that I caught up with in this break. I won't lie to you, but there were weeks where I couldn't read a single word.

I did not feel like writing at all. I read sporadically. Worked on things that needed to be done and that was it. I think I went into autopilot for a bit and that was when I came to the conclusion that I just needed to take a break. I think there are times, especially in this day and age where we are so invested in the various social media platforms, when we just need to take a break from all of it or at least something to just give yourself some space. And that's what I ended up doing.

Hopefully October will change it all. I'll get back into the groove of things and well let's hope it gets better.

I have been looking forward to October there are two book releases that I'm REALLY looking forward to - The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan and Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven. So regardless, October will be slightly better.

Anyway. This has been a long, pointless rant. I'm going to go off now. Hopefully you all have been doing well. Hold on to the good things lovelies.

Till later,
oxox

Friday, 12 August 2016

Update

Hello lovelies!

I fully intended to sit down and write reviews today. But then just as I sat down to write my review over at Goodreads for The Raven King, I stumbled across a review with a couple fanart pictures. And well now its been over 3 hours I think, and I've been staring at these GORGEOUS pictures by an artist that goes by xla-hainex. UGH!!!

I'm dying! She's so immensely talented!!!! Her The Raven Cycle art is so unbelievably amazing. You guys NEED to go see it.


Here is the link again - http://xla-hainex.tumblr.com
Seriously just go see it.

I'm contemplating joining Tumblr just so that I can follow her art.

Also did you hear?!! MS might be doing a RONAN-CENTRED TRILOGY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



All in all I think this has been a pretty good day... ♥

Side note - I really need to sit and write down reviews.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Review for Female: 918: Part I by Jason Ellis

Female: 918: Part I: Exist & Survive (Exist. Survive. Live.) by Jason Ellis


Blurb:
There are seventeen inked dots on the inside of my left forearm - to indicate my age - plus the identifier, F-918. That is my name, the only one I have ever been known by. 
-- 
A future impossible to imagine. The world is a connected entity, covered in train tracks which link countries and floating cities. The advancements in technology and science also carry a darker edge. Slavery has returned. People are grown to serve. Executions are commonplace to keep the workforce in line. 
-- 
I am

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Update Again....

Hello lovelies.

I know you all must be so tired just reading these mindless updates. But I just am not feeling well. Last month was sucky. And I have almost given up on people. I just am not sure if I want to be a people person anymore. On top of that I had trouble getting online because the net kept going off due to the rains.

But I am making progress. I made headway with a couple editing jobs, and I even got to help with editing a book for my Mandarin Chinese class! Exciting stuff.. well nerdy, but you know "Yay!".

Anyway, I'm hoping to run full steam ahead with my reading. I have a review and a Featured Author post coming up this week! Then hopefully I'll get the ball rolling and it will go on.

On the social media side, I have joined Instagram and I'm considering if I should make my profile public? I'm not too sure about it. What do you all think?

Also I have sort of started with a Bullet Journal, so hopefully this will help keep me more organised.
More on this later.

Well hoping for the best this time around.
Till later!
oxox

PS: Stay safe everyone, I hope you all are doing well and your days are adding up, ♥

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Update

Hello my lovelies!

I've been away for quite a bit now, unintentionally of course.

First there were those exams, then I got sick because of some allergy thing, and then I got a job offer. So yeah, its been busy.

Anyway, I was not really able to find the time to sit down and do much other than sleep. Honestly I think sleep has become the top priority in life right now.


But I think I'm sort of getting the hang of the whole schedule and I hope to be back posting regularly as I have wanted to do.



Anyway, what have you all been up to?


Till later beautiful people!
oxox


PS: I'll try to update the Reading Challenge up here by next week. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Excerpt for Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed by Lisa Lewtan



Welcome to the blog tour of "Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed" by Lisa Lewtan. The full schedule for the tour can be found here.

I can't wait to read this book!

BOOK DESCRIPTION

When stress comes knocking, we eat. When we’re celebrating, we eat. When we’re happy, sad, angry, bored, or relaxed, we eat. Whether we feel good about our bodies or loathe what we see in the mirror, we eat. And often, we hate ourselves for it.

Diets don’t work. “No pain, no gain” tactics are emotionally and physically draining and ineffective, and they often employ shame and guilt—two excellent motivators for comfort eating.

Food is the ultimate double-crosser. It provides pleasure and pain in equal measure, but unlike people, you can’t break up with food. Instead, you need to change how you think and relate to food so you reap the positives without letting it drive you to distraction.

Healthy living strategist and personal coach Lisa Lewtan has the answer: an honest exploration of your relationship with food. Through mindfulness exercises and self-examination, you’ll learn to identify the chemical and emotional triggers that encourage you to eat and how to live a life where food strengthens, rather than weakens.

Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed! offers a chance to transform your frenemy into a true friend. You deserve a healthy and delicious relationship with the food you eat.

“A rich and powerful book which provides a roadmap to understanding yourself and your body.” — Christine Schuster, President & CEO, Emerson Hospital

“A simple, readable format that is a valuable tool for anyone who is eager to do the work to transform their life!” —Marcy Balter, Board Chair, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

Buy now @ Amazon


5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK:


1. Get over the diet mentality and STOP beating yourself up about not always eating perfectly

2. Ditch the shame, guilt, and hardcore "no pain, no gain" tactics that do NOT work

3. Identify your OWN chemical and emotional triggers in order to conquer cravings for good

4. Incorporate the BEST mindfulness practices to slow down and reconnect with your body

5. Discover what truly nourishes you so that you can FINALLY stop thinking about food all the time

EXCERPT

For those of us who are busy, stressed, and food obsessed, sometimes food is our best friend and, at other times, our worst enemy. We eat because we are tired, happy, sad, lonely, anxious, bored, excited, triggered, and sometimes, when we are actually hungry.

We eat in the car, while on the phone, while watching TV or on the computer, while reading books, while making dinner, and hopefully, sometimes, even while sitting at a table.

Some of us eat healthy one day and not the next. Some of us feel good about our bodies and what they look like on the outside (at least on some days), and some of us absolutely do not ever feel good about the way we look.

Some of us, despite that fact that we look like we have perfect bodies, are agonizing over the last five pounds, and some of us, despite the fact that we are fit and happy, are tormented because we are seen as overweight.

Some of us are very controlling about what we eat, and some of us are very controlled by what we eat.

Some of us count calories all day long, survive on fake food, or try to eat how we deem to be absolutely perfectly, sometimes to a fault.

For all of us, food is an issue. An issue that can, at times, make us feel crazy.

I Get It. I Lived It. But Not Anymore.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - LISA LEWTAN


The founder of Healthy, Happy, and Hip, Lisa Lewtan is a healthy living strategist and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Using skills she developed as a successful technology entrepreneur, Lewtan self-hacked her own mind and body to restore her health and wellness. She now uses those same skills to help superstars slow down, chill out, improve their relationship with food, look good, and feel great.

Lewtan’s articles have been featured in numerous publications, including the Huffington Post, Better after 50, and MindBodyGreen. Visit www.HealthyHappyandHip.com to learn more about Lewtan’s private coaching sessions, workshops, and retreats.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Review for Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Blurb:
Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
 


Review:

"For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword."

So after I read Red Rising, I wasn't sure if I wanted to jump right into book two and wait for a year to read the finale. So I thought I'd wait till the book was out, and I am so glad I did!!

Golden Son was even more exciting, more action packed, and full of more twists than the first book. Golden Son picks up a couple years after Red Rising. It follows Darrow's journey as he tries to break the chains that enslave his people. 

This was one of my favourite lines in the book - 

" “Dear Pliny,” Sevro sings over the com. 
If your heart beats like a drum, 
and your leg’s a little wet, 
it’s ’cause the Reaper’s come to collect a little debt. "

Golden Son has been one of the few books that was better than the first book in the series. It was bloodydamn brilliant, funny, action-packed, and full of unexpected twists. After you get used to the writing style, you start to really enjoy the book. I will admit its a little on the heavy side, but its so worth the read. I loved the characters, especially loved Sevro and Ragnar. I have begun to really enjoy the writing style too.

Spoilers, kind of...







The end, WHY!? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO US?!!??!? God!! Just when I thought yes, now the rebellion is gaining some traction, it will happen now, now they will break the chains. The author went no, NOPE. Now I have to go find out if everything is okay.

Be back later!
oxox

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Review for Steam by Stacey Rourke

Steam by Stacey Rourke
Blurb:
Time passes, sins forgotten.
The bodies of the victims long since rotten. 

Trapped within the essence of the Headless Horseman by the guilt of slaughtering her best friend, Ireland Crane follows the father of science fiction, HG Wells, in search of freedom from the curse that binds her. Instead, she discovers even he has a hidden agenda. A dark, relentless passion to be reunited with the woman he loves has driven him to manipulate time and a murderous Horseman. 

Yet heed my warning, as the Raven flies,
The Hessian will come … and you will die.

All that prevents Ireland from abandoning Wells’ twisted pursuit, or introducing him to her sword, are the undead witches haunting her. Begging for freedom from a vile succubus, the ghoulish coven leads Ireland and her crew on a journey through Salem’s sordid past. There, they learn there is more to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s history than a scarlet letter, and the secret they’ve uncovered seeks to destroy them all.


Review:
Steam was by far the most exciting book in the series. Steam had elements from Sleepy Hollow, Edgar Allen Poe, The Lost Colony of Roanoke, and The Salem Witch Trials. It combined the different stories so seamlessly, it felt like it was intended to be this way. 

As always I loved the writing style, it just draws you in and keeps you hooked till the very end. Speaking of, I wasn't particularly thrilled with the ending. I think I was expecting the book to end with a bang.

Overall, I adored the series and the characters. It was funny and sassy and full of exciting moments. And The Legends Saga has made its way to my favourites shelf.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Review for Raven by Stacey Rourke

Raven by Stacey Rourke
Blurb:

An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.
 


Review:

I swear the last line in Crane had me completely flipping out! I immediately jumped and started reading Raven, till I was so tired that I fell asleep with my reader in my hand...

With Raven, The Legends Saga takes a slightly darker turn, and steps into the world of Edgar Allen Poe. Its mesmerizing how the author just weaves the stories together and brings these classics together.

Again, Raven took a completely different turn from what I expected and was so much better than I could have imagined. Stacey Rourke's writing style flows just so beautifully, especially in this book, I could not put it down.

Beautiful madness is what comes to my mind when I think of this book. Loved every second of it!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Update

Hello my lovelies!

So its that time again... Final exams. I shall be off till Mid-May, so there probably will be little to no updates on FB or Twitter as well. I'll try to schedule some reviews before I leave though!

But exciting and amazing things to come post May! Whohoo! Let's hold on to that one for a bit.

I'm still considering making printables because that's something I really want to try out. So leave your suggestions in the comments and I will try to make it happen after the exams are done!

Wish me luck!

Till later!
oxox

Monday, 11 April 2016

Review for Crane by Stacey Rourke

Crane by Stacey Rourke


Blurb:
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep. 

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse. 

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?


Review:
“-"Death walks, and talks, and occasionally whisks you in a gruesome waltz." -” 

Crane is the retelling of the tale of the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow. Think, imagine how that would go; and now throw that out of the window because this was such a different and fresh take on the story.

I will admit it was a little difficult getting into the book initially, because in my head I kept mixing voices with the movie, the TV Show and the book, and they all are on completely different levels but yet share a sense of similarity. But once you do get into the story line, the writing just pulls you in.

I have adored Stacey Rourke's work since I read The Conduit. And Crane did not dissapoint.

Crane has all the things that I love and look forward to in Stacey Rourke's books - a sassy, kickass female lead, sarcasm, action, mystery, and suspense. 

Crane will keep you guessing with incredible twists in the story. Grab a copy and ride with the Horseman! ;)


PS: SUPER LATE on this review!! I had to study.... Sorry my loves! The torture hopefully shall be over in May! ♥

Till Later
oxox

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Louise Book Blog Tour

Louise by Diana Nixon


Book Blurb:

 It doesn’t hurt to dream, unless you know your dreams will never come true.

Since childhood, Louise Woods has wanted to become a dancer. The day she arrives at Le Papillon – a private cabaret club where men come to enjoy the beauty of women dancing, her life completely changes. Louise lives in the club and the rules of living and working there cannot be ignored or broken. Either you do your best to please the clients, or you are out. No flirting, no secret affairs, just dancing.

During her first public show, Louise meets a stranger who pays for the privilege to have her privately dance for him. He won't let her see his face, he won't even introduce himself, but he will make an offer that she won’t be able to refuse. He won’t make any hollow promises, but he will make her believe she is special…

“I hate following the rules,” he’ll say, “but I do love breaking them.”

Will she dare to risk losing everything she has, just to make the darkest of the stranger’s fantasies come true? Once the decision is made, there will be no way back…




LOUISE: A New Beginning


Book Blurb:
Life is not always easy. Especially when you are in love with the man whose life is so much different from yours. Power, money, respect – these are the things that a girl raised in an orphanage can only dream about. But sometimes, love is the only power that you need to get whatever you wish for…

Louise Woods had always been a fighter. She had known since childhood that everything has a price. But freedom was the only thing that she could never have.

Living in a world of lies and betrayal, will she sacrifice her love to become finally free?

Or will she let her heart win?

A new journey full of passion and forbidden dreams; it’s a new dance, it’s a new life.

“We will start it all from the very beginning, from the very first kiss…”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Diana Nixon, an International Bestselling Author of contemporary and paranormal romances, is a woman of contradictions. She was born in Minsk., Belarus. She has a Master of Law degree and speaks several foreign languages, including English, Polish and Spanish.

Diana’s writing career is like a roller coaster ride. It started with a fantasy novel named Love Lines, that was originally written in Russian and only later, it was translated into English. Since then, Diana has published 15 more books, both of contemporary and fantasy genres.

Diana Nixon is the founder of Inks and Scratches, a literary magazine  intended to help authors of all genres find readers and spread the news about their writing all over the world.

OFFICIAL PAGE: www.diana-nixon.com

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Review for F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher

F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher


Blurb:

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.


Review:

[18+ READ]

“Let people feel the weight of who you really are, and let them fucking deal with it.” 

Do you think a dream can change the course of your life?
It sure did for Helena.
The book opens with a dream where she sees what her life could be, should her life take that turn. Helena cannot shake off that dream and begins to see things in a different light. And that sets off a whole string of events that made me laugh, cry, go "aww..." and then some. I really do not know how to properly review this book. Its almost been a month and I'm still not sure. 

So my book buddy hounded me to read this book, relentlessly. When I finally did get to reading it - I. Could. Not. Stop! I stayed up all night reading and finishing this book in one sitting. It has been a while since that happened. And after I finished reading I spent a better part of the next day discussing the book with my book babe! *Bliss*

I cannot tell you enough about how much I loved the writing style. It just pulls you in and before you know it you are almost done with the book and it's almost morning, and you kinda forgot to sleep. No regrets here! 

I loved the wit and sarcasm liberally spread through the book. I loved some characters, hated some characters and just wanted to hit some of them at one point. You know, the usual for any book you love. Probably my favourite part was the fandom references, I've come to realize that if you throw in fandom references in a book, I'll love the book even more. Gotta stand by my fandoms.

I will say this, this is not the kind of book I would typically like, but the writing style makes all the difference to the story. I honestly enjoyed the book and it's now one of my favorites. I'll probably go and get some more books by Tarryn Fisher too!

Till Later!
oxox

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Update....

Hello lovelies!

I just got my PC back today. It had to be formatted because of some nasty virus that ate away at the files that are necessary to boot the computer.

I have been reading a lot though.

So I'll probably sit and write up a bunch of reviews and have them scheduled to be posted here or something of that sort.

I recently went to a book fair and treated myself to a couple books. This year I want to read more paperbacks! There is nothing like the feel of a book in your hand and the "new-book smell" or just the smell of books in general.

There are some exciting projects in the horizon, if they do come to pass, it will be wonderful.

Also I haven't updated here about my Mandarin learning. Its going well. I've cleared my HSK Level 1 satisfactorily. I suck at the listening part of the test. I think I'd do better if there was someone actually speaking in front of me rather than an audio. Only time will tell. Level 2 classes are almost done. Lots of homework this time around though. And I mean LOTS!

Found an article by Book Riot featuring podcasts that book readers would love. (Check it out HERE)

Do you all listen to podcasts? I've kinda been avoiding it, maybe I should give these a go? Let me know in the comments below which are your favourite podcasts!


On a side note would you guys like to have some sort of free printables? I see so many cute ones up on Pinterest and I would honestly love to try my hand at making some of my own. Lemme know about that in the comments section as well.


Till later!
oxox

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Review for Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Blurb:
The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.


(Sort of edited mini blurbs for you! :P )
The Keeper: The Keeper is a prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, and it tells us the story of a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
Glitches: Glitches was a prequel to Cinder which was previously published. In this novella, we see the story of how Cinder meets her new family and the events that follow.
The Queen’s Army: The Queen's Army was a prequel to Scarlet which was previously released. In this one we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and the backstory of the alpha - Ze'ev Kesley.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: This one was the book that the author sent out to everyone that subscribed to her newsletter. Here we see Carswell Thorne's backstory and we meet the elusive Kate Fallow and get to see how that story played out from Thorne's POV.
After Sunshine Passes By: This was a prequel to Cress. Here we see Cress' backstory and how she ended up on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: The Princess and the Guard was a prequel to Winter, and I adored the story. Jacin and Winter feels!
The Little Android: This was a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
The Mechanic: The Mechanic was a prequel to Cinder where we see Kai and Cinder's first meet from Kai's POV.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...


Review:

I honestly am loving this re-telling of stories trend. I think its such an endearing way to have a fresh new, sometimes twisted, take on the stories we love.

Stars Above was a collection of novellas all from the Lunar Chronicles universe. It was amazing stepping back into the book world and getting even more details and back stories about the characters.

Of course my favorite was Something Old, Something New. But honestly I loved all the new stories that were added. The whole book world is so well developed and well thought out that once you start reading it again, its like meeting an old friend. This series is definitely on my favorites series list!

PS: So excited for Heartless!!!