Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Reading goals for 2015

Last year it has been a good reading year since I managed to finish my reading goal challenge which is 50 books. I just randomly picked books that I was interested and read last year which is usually new books that I bought. Because of this behavior I ended up with a big TBR(to-be-read) pile which contains books that have been bought many years ago. 

This year I think some planning and a little bit structure will help reach my 50 books challenge. Below is the list which I hope I might be able to roughly follow through if I can:

  1. Read 50 books
  2. Finish 5 series at least (Mistborn trilogy, Maze runner, Matched trilogy, The Inheritance Cycle, Fire and thorn trilogy)
  3. Listen to all the Harry Potter audiobooks
  4. Read 1 book a week at least.
  5. Read at least 2 self-help books 
Counting the series listed there, there is 16 books there where the reading goal will be 34 books left. When I include the 2 self-help books and 6 of 7 Harry Potter audiobooks, the total will be 26 books left. Those 26 books will either come from my TBR pile or new books that I'm planning to buy this year. These are just simple goals but I really hope I can do it. Here's to wishing all bookworms good luck in reaching your reading goals!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Favourite books of 2014

For the year of 2014 I managed to read 50 books and completed my Goodreads reading challenge. I was quite proud to have read this many books and I believe it's the most books I've read in a year in my life. Out of all the books I've read there were good ones, okay ones and definitely awesome ones. The list below are books that I absolutely loved and would not hesitate to read it again and again. The list below is not in any order and some books are not published in the year 2014 either.

  1. Vicious by V.E Schwab - A story about two good friends then turned enemies in the future. It's exciting, unique characters and great plot. Page turner, hard to put down. My full review: Link here
  2. Champion by Marie Lu - The last book of the Legend trilogy, I loved this book the most but the first two books were just as good, I gave all 3 books 5 stars. I choose this book because of the ending which made me cry. The whole series is action packed with a fantastic plot.My full review: Link here
  3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - This is a adult book which was really funny, cute and enjoyable to read. I really laughed out loud in public and people were looking at me weirdly. I absolutely enjoyed the book from start to end, my favourite type of romance plot.My full review: Link here
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - A really special and magical book. I love the characters of the book and all the different perspectives in the story. The setting of the story is just so beautiful and magical, I wanted to work in that circus.My full review: Link here
  5. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo - This is the second book of the Grisha trilogy and my favourite out of the 3. All 3 books have gotten 5 stars from me. This book is action packed, great characters, wonderful world and an exciting plot. I love the relationships in this book and plot twists. This was one book that was hard to put down. Full review to come soon.
  6. To All the Boys I've Loved before by Jenny Han - A story about a girl who wrote letters to boys she loved but it's just for personal keepsake. Things got weird when the letters were mailed out to the boys. This story is super super cute to read especially the female lead in the book. The plot is simple yet lovely and fun to read. A definite page turner for me.My full review: Link here
  7. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson - The first book that I've picked up by this author and imediately I knew I'm gonna love the books he writes. The idea of the story is well done along with the world that is built. The plot is mysterious and the plot twist of the book just hooks you to wanting the second book. When I read this book it felt like a movie that I'm watching. My full review: Link here
  8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - The last book of the "Anna and the french kiss" series which had a very good ending to all. I love the plot of the book, it was very sweet, cute and quite real of a relationship. My full review: Link here
  9. Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson - A story about a girl completing a checklist sent by her best friend who went missing when summer started. The story is about growing, friendship and stepping out of your comfort zone. It was such a fun book to read and so suitable for the summer. I got hooked so fast and to the ending I wished it was longer.My full review: Link here
  10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - I love the first book the most out of the Delirium trilogy. A dystopian setting where the world sees love as a disease. When teenager reached a certain age, a cure is given to remove getting the disease and then a match is picked by the system for the person to be with. This story's idea was unique to me and it has a good meaning behind the book. I enjoyed the plot twist and how the story progressed.My full review: Link here
  11. Half Bad by Sally Green - It's about a boy uncovering his roots and choosing a path. It's also a book where the character is always put into bad situations. I like how this book is not all happy and colorful with sad and painful things happening. I love how the character grows in the story. It's not your typical magic related/fantasy book.My full review: Link here
  12. The Archived by Victoria Schwab - The first book of the archive duology. A girl is given a duty by her grandfather to protect the archive. This book has action, mystery and great characters. The story is unique and I loved every bit of it especially the character interactions.My full review: Link here
  13. The Unbound by Victoria Schwab - The second book of the archive which I also love, it was hard to choose between both. This book was also action packed and filled with more human emotions. I like the new characters introduced and also another side of the male lead was included which made things so much more interesting. I literally could not put down the book.My full review: Link here
  14. Bared to you by Sylvia Day - An erotic novel about a woman meeting a man who she knows nothing about but she fell in love with him. They both have their own demons and how they try to overcome it together. I compared this series to fifty shades of grey and I like this one quite a lot because the characters are more deep and real. I liked how strong and weak the characters can be at the same time. Full review to come soon.
I'm so happy to have read so many great books and discover some new authors along the way. Those books really gave me a new world to explore and great enjoyment imagining it. For the year 2014, I truly fell in love with young adult books and authors such as Holly Black, Victoria Schwab, Brandon Sanderson, Morgan Matson, Marie Lu and Jenny Han. I'm looking forward to reading more books by these authors and I've already have a good series by Brandon Sanderson sitting in my TBR pile. I will post another blog post for my reading goals of 2015. The following link is to the books I've read in 2014: Goodreads link

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Top 5 Series I want to start this year

5. Ruby Red trilogy - I have the first and second book sitting on my shelf and the last book in my Amazon cart currently so it's time to read it soon. I have heard mix reviews but generally the story line interests me because of the timeline of the book. The series in English is actually a translated version but I think it might be a good one to read. 

4. Darkest Mind trilogy - This is a series that is completed and many Booktubers have raved about it. Since it is in the dystopia genre, I am very interested to read it. I also heard that the characters of the book sort of have superpowers which is another type of story that interests me.

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy - Another series that was completed last year. The booktubers that I follow have all loved the series and it's their favourite series of all time. I do not know much of the book except it's in the fantasy genre which is my favourite genre of all time. So excited to get the box set on amazon.

2. Throne of Glass series - This is one fantasy series that many have praised and I have yet to start. All I know it's about this female assassin competing in something to obtain freedom. I seriously do not know what's it about but it is time to reduce my TBR pile as I already have bought all the books in the series available.

1. Falling Kingdoms trilogy - Lastly, this is the trilogy that I'm most excited to start as one of my favourite Booktubers (gingerreadslainey) loved loved it and her taste in books are quite similar to mine so I quite trust her judgement. As I know it's a high fantasy trilogy with quite a number of characters involved. I do not want to read any reviews because I'm afraid of spoilers. I'm hoping to buy the series soon and start it ASAP.

Hopefully I am able to start and finish those series mentioned above as 4 series have already completed which is good news because I can marathon it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 New Year Resolutions

It's that time of the year where I set my resolutions/goals for the year. This time it took me longer to think carefully because I wanted to be able to achieve 80% of the goals so I had to set achievable ones. Many of the resolutions are the same as last year as I did not achieve it or it was not satisfactory for me.

  • Eat healthily (more greens, no mamak food, reduce fried food, drink more water less soda)
  • Exercise once a week
  • Plan my week and try to execute the plans
  • Plan more blog posts
  • Learn more web development 
  • Be more positive
  • Grow more as person (do not judge people, don't be stubborn)
  • Always think before I speak
  • Control my emotions
  • Read 50 books (will do a reading goals post)

After going through last year, I realized health is very important be it mental or physical and so this is my highest priority. Next is to improve myself as a person whether it's my attitude or my skills, both are also important to me. I want to be as productive as I can be. I truly believe this year I can do better and I will try my best in everything I do. Life is too short so live healthily, live happily, and never stop believing that you can do great things. I wish everyone a good year ahead and don't give up in life even though it's tough. What can't kill you makes you stronger. Another video link below that is inspiring to watch:


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Review of 2014

It's funny that every year I write a post like this. But it's important to me because I like to review and criticize myself about the year that passed by. Time certainly flies and this year seems to be faster than any other for me. It has been a tough year given so much had happened in my life last year. I was thinking about what to write last night and it was hard to put those feelings into words. Most things that happened were related to health and it struck family members dear to my heart.

One of my aunts was diagnosed with having a tumor in the brain and everything happened so fast. From entering the hospital to having surgery, but I was glad to see all family members giving support to my aunt and everyone gathered to help. I realized more than anything when in crisis, your family members would extend help without consequences or ulterior motives, I'm happy to say the tumor was not cancerous and my aunt is healing very well since. 

Another lesson I learned is you can have a thousand, a million or any big number of "friends" but one true friend is all you need. People who seemed to be friends all have ulterior motives. In this day, it's hard to find people who you can trust, confide in because they can just easily whisper false accusations, or anything they can make up to other people. I also learned that if you don't know people well, don't judge just observe and reserve those thoughts to yourself. As long as you know the truth, do the right thing and execute with caution. 

After passing half of the year, I thought things would settle down but another big incident happened again. The passing of my grandfather brought my family together and again I was reminded to not take life for granted. I was sad, depressed of things that happened during the funeral. I saw many things that I will forever keep in my mind as a good reminder. As if that wasn't enough, a few weeks ago my grandmother fell in the toilet and broke her left arm. She had to do surgery and it was difficult for her to do basic things like eating and changing without help. 

As I ponder the events that happened, I also reviewed myself in my progress as a person. And thus I look back at the resolutions I made. Honestly, I only manage to achieve some which is disappointing. Those that I have slashed off I manage to do and those in bold I have failed.

  • Read 50 books this year (hopefully 1 book per week)
  • No buying makeup ban (at least until I finish 50% of the collections I have)
  • Eat healthily (no fast food unless no choice)
  • Exercise once a week
  • Blog more beside book reviews
  • Follow my schedules more often (be better at planning)
  • No more excuses in laziness (work harder towards my dream)
  • Grow more as person (do not judge people, do not care what other people think too much, always be humble, don't be stubborn)
  • Really think carefully before I speak
  • Don't let emotions get in the way (controlling my temper) 

To summarize it has been a tough year and I really did  not try my best in completing my resolutions. Having learnt so many lessons last year, I can say that I became a stronger person. I hope this new year I would achieve the new resolutions that I set and try my best above all else. Lastly, I would not give up on my dreams no matter the obstacles or hurdles that come my way. Wishing everyone a good year ahead and good luck. Happy new year, welcome 2015!! I hope it will be a better year than before. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Jewel

Today is my last day as Violet Lasting.

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty, The Jewel means royalty.

But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude.

Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained to work for the royalty. And she quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel's glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life. 

When an unlikely friendship offers her an opportunity she never dreamed possible, Violet clings to the hope for a better life. But a forbidden romance changes everything. And suddenly Violet finds herself in a different kind of danger, one that may cost her more than she bargained for.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing is the first book of The Lone City trilogy. It's about a girl name Violet being trained to be a surrogate and little did she know things aren't what she thought it is. I like the concept of this book as it's in the dystopia genre. The world built is an interesting place and the people in it are awful but it makes the story good. I feel that the plot flowed really well with a good twist at good moments. This book can grab my attention well at good moments but also some chapters can be just okay, nothing exciting.

I didn't quite like the main female character as I felt she is a bit too immature and naive but I guess it fits the story well. Sadly, I did not see much character growth for her or maybe I was expecting too much. The other characters of the book are interesting people as not much has been revealed yet and I'm sure that's on purpose. I'm really curious to know more about other people instead of Violet. Sad to say she kind of annoys me. The romance of the book is insta-love style which is not acceptable for me as I prefer love that slowly blossoms. The love story seems rushed and lack of development which puts me off a little.

Overall, it is a story that has much interesting elements and many questions unanswered which intrigued me to continue reading and I'll definitely wait for the second book. The ending was also quite shocking to me and that itself earn a star on it's own. This book represents many things that I feel young people should know about society. I love the message I got from the book and I hope others who read this understands it as well. A good story to enjoy just forego the romance part and I'd like to recommend to dystopia lovers.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Trial by Fire

I remember what I must do , even if it makes me the villain of my own story.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies make it increasingly difficult to live a normal life, and after a completely humiliating incident ruins her first (and perhaps only) real party, she's ready to disappear.

"Come and be the most powerful person in the world"

Suddenly, Lily finds herself in a different Salem.One overrun with onsters and ruled by powerful women-including Lilian, this world's version of Lily.

"It will be terrifying, it was for me."

What made Lily weak at home, makes her extraordinary here. It also puts her in a terrible danger. Faced with new responsibilities she can barely understand and a love she never expected, Lily is left with one question: How can she be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini is the first book of the worldwalker trilogy. I have yet to read anything from this author before hence this is my first time reading her book. The story is about a girl who went to another parallel world with her own world. In that other world, there is another version of her and some other people in her life. The idea of the story is really good as the other world built by the author is quite good with detail. I like that there is much mystery to what some of the characters are doing, especially the main character.

There is much growth to the characters which I love. I like the relationships that are built up along the story and felt that it suites the story really well. This was a book with a good amount of action and it was written well. I like the flow of the plots and the twist of the story was well done. The only complain I have is I felt towards the end it was a bit rushed. I would have enjoyed it if there was more action than what happened in the book. The ending is good as it will leave you hanging and wondering about the next book. I have not read many witch story type of books except for Charmed so I can't remember well enough to compare hence this book is a new experience for me. 

I quite liked the book and I'm looking forward for the next book as there are some questions that I hoped would be answered then. I recommend this book to readers who love stories of witches and parallel worlds as the book's concept is quite refreshing. I would skim through the book before reading the second book which will be out next year. Other than that, I'm not sure if I would pick it up again.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Since You've Been Gone

Emily's best friend Sloane disappears, almost without a trace - the only thing left behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that wallflower Emily wouldn't normally do, and definitely not without her best friend. But what if completing the list could bring Sloane back?
Dance until dawn? Sure why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um....
Go skinny dippy? Wait....what?
Emily only has the summer to check everything off Sloane's list. The question is, what will she find at the end of it? - excerpt from book cover.

Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson is a story about a girl completing a list sent to her by her best friend who seems to be missing this summer. I did not know what to expect for this book except that it's in the summer and a girl has to complete a list. At start of the book it was like introduction to the characters which did not capture me yet. But then when the list was received, things started to be really really interesting.

I really love the characters of the book especially the female lead. She has the most character growth in the book which made the story fantastic. I like how the other characters slowly emerged in the story and took part in the plots. This book made me want a best friend just like the female lead, I really wish I could find a friend like that. I also really like the male lead in the book, he is such a great guy and his friend is such a funny dude.

The plot of this story is also so so good. There are many incidents in the book that you'll just love. There are also some situations where you'll be wanting certain things to happen between characters. This book is also hilarious in quite a number of chapters. Even though there was some parts that you could predict, it was still enjoyable to read because you would want what you predicted to happen. 

I had a hard time putting the book down because it got me hooked so bad. I just wished I was in those characters' lives. While I wanted to read faster to know more, I also didn't want the story to end at all. Alas, when I was done I was very satisfied with the book as it gave me much much laughter and warmth. I would highly recommend this book to any young adult book lovers who enjoy reading about summer. This book is funny, exciting, heartwarming, cute and many more good things. I would not hesitate to pick up another book from this author as she really did a good job. Next summer, I want to read this book again.

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