The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith | Book Review

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‘The First Person and Other Stories’ effortlessly appeals to our hearts, heads and funny bones. Always intellectually playful, but also very moving and funny, Smith explores the ways and whys of storytelling.

Date Published: October 2, 2008

Date Read: January 8, 2018

Genre: Short Stories, Fiction, Contemporary

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Limites

Source: BookSale

No. Of Pages: 207

Get Your Copy Here: Amazon, Book Depository

 

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Weirdly satisfying read.

I have vowed to read works of Ali Smith. I don’t know why, but I feel like it is very essential for every reader to read her works. Funny when I say this, because I wasn’t exposed to any of her works before. I never even have met a person so passionate about her books but there was this unshakeable feeling at the recesses of my being telling me to read her works or I will regret it for the rest of my life. And so here we are. I am an Ali Smith virgin no more, and I am beyond happy. I was right about her! I was right about her writing style and how it was able to feel so relatable to a certain extent yet felt utterly weird all at once. I dived in this book not knowing what I’m in for. Turns out I was in for a huge treat, what, with all this peculiarity that doesn’t quite make sense, and does all at the same time.

It is indeed hard to write a review for a short story collection, just as hard as writing a review for a poetry book, but I seriously hope I could give this book the justice it deserves. The First Person and Other Stories I think is an underrated Ali Smith book, I have never heard of it before, I just luckily chanced upon it in a secondhand bookstore. The kind of impulse buy we have once in a while. As I am slowly collecting Ali Smith’s books, when I saw this I knew then it had to go home with me. Reading it was a whole different story of elation. I had really no plans of reading it when I did, I had something else in mind, but as I was browsing my bookshelves, I looked at this book for a second too long. I read the first page and before I know it I am already at the last story. It was a sweet albeit weird ride. I keep throwing the word weird, why you ask, because weird is the perfect description of this story collection. Weird in a good way. The kind of weird that will stay with you for a long time. The kind of weird you want to encounter over and over again.

The First Person and Other Stories gives off dark humour and bits and pieces of everyday life that you often take for granted. I loved how every story had its own wit, its own take on everyday mundane lives and turned it into something meaningful and relevant. How something so trivial can have such a rippling effect in the future. This book didn’t stop at just telling stories, it transcends into this realm of understanding human flaws that was presented in a captivating light, not just highlighting the good parts but most especially the bad ones. That once it all meld together it was just a beautiful piece of an odd art. What strikes me more about this book is it is thought-provoking at best. At first you wouldn’t see the relevance of it all, but once you completely immerse yourself in the book, you’ll literally feel that everything surrounding you is all a blur, that you have formed some kind of bond with the book and nothing could ever break it. Each story is beautiful in its own right. It showcases different facets of one’s life and when put together in this one collection, it complements each other resulting into a coherent book. Ali Smith is a storyteller like no other. Each of the story in this collection, ended in such a way that leaves its reader begging for more yet at the same time satisfied as to how it concluded.

It is overall like a good and intellectual conversation with a stranger, that kind of conversation you’ll replay for days on end. 

My favourite stories are:

  • True Short Story
  • The Child
  • No exit
  • The Second Person
  • Writ
  • Astute Fiery Luxurious
  • The First Person

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“You’re not the first person who was ever wounded by love. You’re not the first person who ever knocked on my door. You’re not the first person I ever chanced my arm with. You’re not the first person I ever tried to impress with my brilliant performance of not really being impressed with anything. You’re not the first person to make me laugh. You’re not the first person I ever made laugh. You’re not the first person full stop. But you’re the one right now. I’m the one right now. That’s enough, yes?”
― Ali SmithThe First Person and Other Stories

phonto

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Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu | ARC Review

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Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Date Published: January 2, 2018

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Date Read: January 8, 2018

Setting: Gotham City

Number of Pages: 272

Source: Part of a blog tour hosted by JM from The Book Freak Revelations

Get Your Copy Here: Amazon, Book Depository

 

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Before anything else, I would like to thank Penguin Random House International and JM of The Book Freak Revelations  for making me a part of this Book Tour! You can check JM’s review here.

Batman: Nightwalker is the second book in the DC Icons, the first one being Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, the third one Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas and the fourth one is Superman by Matt Dela Pena. In Batman: Nighwalker,  we follow the origin story of Bruce Wayne during his teen days, back when he is not Batman just yet. We are taken into this story where we get to know more about Bruce Wayne and how everything started. To be upfront, I am not a fan of Batman, I am more of  a Superman kind of girl, but this book showed a different side of Batman that made me like him more than I do before. Neither I am a fan of the comics, I am not a connoisseur by a long stretch of imagination, thus I have the most meagre knowledge of the history of DC Superheroes especially Batman. I have barely scratched the surface of the DC world, but I hope you won’t discount my thoughts on this book. Even with my palpable lack of vast knowledge about the DC world, I find this book quite an enjoyable read. Maybe the fact that everything seemed new to me added to the thrill of finding out what’s about to unfold. And I guess it would be safe to say, that whether you’re a big fan of DC or not, you will still find yourself engrossed in the story. Win-win situation for everyone if you ask me.

Would you believe me if I say this is the first Marie Lu book I have ever read? Yes, it’s true my friends, I am quite ashamed about that and I am slowly remedying it. Marie Lu from a Marie Lu virgin’s opinion is quite the story teller, I now can understand why she is loved by many. She has this way with words that truly jump out of the page, and has this sense of depth into her writing that made the atmosphere of each scene almost tangible. She sets the perfect tone in each page it as if you can very well feel the cold mist descending upon you and instantly sends shivers down your spine. That’s what I first adored in this book, its power to make it as real as it could get.

Bruce Wayne‘s character always had this reserved and quiet persona, which is more often than not construed to be mysterious. This book was able to highlight Bruce Wayne’s more vulnerable side, which I appreciate a whole lot. We got to see a different side that isn’t exposed all the time. (I don’t watch the TV show Gotham too, so pardon me for this) Also Bruce Wayne’s friends, Harvey and Dianne, are quite fun to read too, especially Dianne, who is a Filipino, ahhh you don’t know how much this made me happy! Harvey, however felt like he was pushed on the side line and not given much exposure as a character should have been given. And then we have Madeleine Wallace this enigmatic girl whom Bruce met in the Arkham Asylum when he was doing his community service. I love how Madeleine Wallace’s character was written, she toys with Bruce’s mind as well as the reader’s. You are constantly questioning whether she is telling the truth or not, which is a plus for me. I loved how this tactic works its way up to the reader’s mind and make them stick to the story and find out how everything will unfold. The perfect formula to keep the readers interested, if you ask me. Now, let’s talk about the Nightwalkers, to be completely honest, they fell a little short for me, I was expecting so much more from them. I think it could have been executed well than what they have been portrayed in the book. There was definitely build up as the book progressed but the excitement was lost on me.

The book was well-paced, not too slow and not too fast either. Just right for a book under three hundred pages. And though short, this book definitely packed some punch, not entirely the wow-it-left-me-in-daze kind of impact but enough to keep me at the edge of my seat. There was the right amount of intensity, mystery and grit. That plot twist though, I can’t say I saw that one coming, but it was something I have already seen countless times before, that when it finally unfolded I wasn’t so shocked at all.

So all in all, you should give this book a try, you’ll never know you might enjoy it like I did, even if you’re not the biggest fan of DC Superheroes out there *peace*.

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“People always expect you to move on so quickly after loss, don’t they?” Madeleine looked away.”For the first few months the sympathy pours on you. Then, gradually, it dwindles down, and one day you find yourself standing alone at the grave site, wondering why everyone else has moved on to caring about something else while you still stay right here, silently, carrying the same hurt. People get bored with grief. They want something new to talk about. So you stop bringing it up, because you don’t want to bore anyone” 

– Marie Lu; Batman: Nightwalker 

phonto

 

Constant (Confidence Game Book 1) by Rachel Higginson | Book Review

Nerdy 
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Fifteen years ago I met Sayer Wesley. I fell in love with him. I promised I would never leave him. I swore nothing could break us apart.

Five years ago I broke my promise. I ran away. I took the one secret that could destroy us both and disappeared.

Five days ago I thought I saw him.

I knew it was impossible. Sayer was locked away, serving a deserved sentence in federal prison. He couldn’t find me.

He wouldn’t find me. I was too good at hiding. Too good at surviving.

Because if Sayer ever found me, there would be hell to pay for a plethora of sins. The worst of which, he didn’t even know about.

Five hours ago, I told myself I was crazy.

Five minutes ago, I saw him again.

Five seconds ago, I was too late.

Date Published: November 16, 2017

Date Read: December 2017

Publisher: Reckless Siren Publishing

Series: The Confidence Game Book 1

Setting: DC /

Source: Author provided a copy in exchange for an honest review

Get your copy here: Amazon 

 

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NOT YOUR TYPICAL ROMANCE NOVEL

This is the second book by Rachel Higginson that I have read, and she never disappoints. Constant is very different from her book The Opposite of You. Rachel Higginson is a true story teller and each story is beautiful in its own right. I love how she was able to come up with something entirely different from her previous ones, truly talented if you ask me. Constant, is not your typical romance novel. Constant is the perfect combination of thrill, secrets, good romance and action. It was well-thought out and well-executed. A book that you will finish in one sitting, that’s how amazing it was.

We have our female protagonist Caro, who was running away from her dark past and protecting herself and her loved ones at all cost, and we have Sayer our male protagonist who’s trying to go back into Caro’s life and pick up where they left off. This book has been equally entertaining and gripping. It’s the kind of book that you wouldn’t be able to stop at a certain chapter and call it a night, no, it is the kind of book that you would devour bit by bit up until the inevitable end. A tip though, it ends in a cliffhanger, so if you’re not a fan of that, you can wait for the book 2 to come out. So you could binge read them in one sitting, yes that’s possible. Don’t worry you need not wait eternity for the next book to come out, good news for you by February you can sit down in a corner with a beverage of your choice and some snack and read the day away. You can thank me later.

Constant offers us a more mature take on new adult. This isn’t just the typical mushy romance novel, it is nothing like it. It is a step-up from the usual romance novels we read, which makes my heart happy. I love mysterious and dark love stories, the kind where you cling to every character’s actions and see how everything will unfold in the end. The kind of love story you’re not accustomed to reading. The kind of love story that went the extra mile. This is that book for you. It was gritty,  intense and gives you some kind of suspense vibe to it. I also love the flashbacks and how it melds perfectly into the present making a coherent and well put-together story. Caro and Sayer’s chemistry is palpable. I loved that in a book, how the two characters have this pull to each other that no amount of denial could invalidate. I loved that even though they were apart, you could tell a good romance is about to unfold between them, and yes I was not disappointed towards that ending. It was nothing super crazy, it was what the story required and it was beautiful and well-executed! Mafia romance is something I really enjoy reading, and Constant truly served its purpose. And oh I hope there would be some sort of novella for Francesca and Gus, gahhh would love to read their story too!

I really enjoy Rachel Higginson’s writing style, she evolved a lot from her book The Opposite of You and I am glad I was able to see and be a part of this milestone. She’s becoming a favourite author now. Her talent on concocting stories different from each other and the element of surprising her readers with each new release are the best characteristics of an author. I’m pretty sure she’ll be a household name in no time.

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Five years ago, I escaped a dangerous life I had always wanted to leave. I got away. I found freedom. But it cost me the love of my life.

Rachel Higginson, Constant

❗️Cover Reveal❗️ A new book from Rachel Higginson (@mywritesdntbite) CONSTANT. Suspense Romance! Ahhhh sounds so good! Lemme leave you the blurb: . SYNOPSIS: . Fifteen years ago I met Sayer Wesley. I fell in love with him. I promised I would never leave him. I swore nothing could break us apart. Five years ago I broke my promise. I ran away. I took the one secret that could destroy us both and disappeared. Five days ago I thought I saw him. I knew it was impossible. Sayer was locked away, serving a deserved sentence in federal prison. He couldn’t find me. He wouldn’t find me. I was too good at hiding. Too good at surviving. Because if Sayer ever found me, there would be hell to pay for a plethora of sins. The worst of which, he didn’t even know about yet. Five hours ago, I told myself I was crazy. Five minutes ago, I saw him again. Five seconds ago, I was too late. . . I have enjoyed The Opposite of You and been anticipating her books since then! Constant is a new book with suspense touch to it, how awesome is that! Two genres I love! This book comes out November 6th! But you can preorder as early as now! 😉 . #CONSTANT #RachelHigginson #Romance #Suspense

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phonto

 

 

Nerdy Talks 2017 Mosts | Noteworthy Reads

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Hello guys! Another year has come to an end and with it a lot of books read. Let me first say what a great year it has been. 2017 was a year of self discovery and self love. Indeed I was able to know myself more, to value the moments I used to overlook before and have learned to live in the moment, and put my whole trust into God. Here’s to hoping 2018 will be just as great! Of course reading wise, it wasn’t the most spectacular for me, but I was still able to read some noteworthy ones. I am going to do it differently this year, last year I did Top 16 Books of 2016 now I am going to do 2017 Mosts, it could be the most disappointing, most beautiful or the most badass book, whatever fits into a category I made! Hope you could do this with me!

MOST BADASS: ANIMAL UNDER THE FUR BY EJ MELLOW

 

The Animal Under The Fur by EJ Mellow is a book that will take you by surprise. This book takes the Most Badass award. The Animal Under the Fur, has a strong female protagonist, think of Black Widow level of bad-assery. It is not often that you will find a strong female protagonist in books, so this one is definitely a breath of fresh air. Gone are the days when damsel in distress plagues books, this one right here needs no man to save her, she can very well fend for herself. Yes to girl power! This book is action-packed with good romance in it. You can check my full review here.

“I’ve killed more people more years than I’ve been alive. And I’m twenty-six.”
― E.J. MellowThe Animal Under the Fur

MOST EVOCATIVE: ALL MY LONELY ISLANDS BY VJ CAMPILAN 

 

“You’re trying to look for rock bottom, to that part of yourself that could no longer feel pain. But there is no such thing as rock bottom. As long as there is left to destroy in you, you’d do it. We always feel the need to sink ourselves because we keep being intolerable, because if we’re suffering then maybe people would give us a break for all the shameful things we do. You think you could impose your own penance, but it never goes away, does it? That kind of deadening that’s worse than actual dying.” ― V.J. Campilan, All My Lonely Islands 🖤 Posted my review of All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan. Link in bio. Please pick it up guys, if you have to take a chance on something, take a chance on this one! #AllMyLonelyIslands #VJCampilan #AnvilPublishing #BookReview

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All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan is a recollection of Crisanta’s life from teenager to being an adult and all that happened in between. It was the kind of book that you didn’t know you needed until you have savoured it. It was well written and you can’t help but to love the beautiful language used. The description is vivid, it is as if you are there with the characters. I was in awe after I’ve finished All My Lonely Islands. If you’re looking for a book that gives you the taste of Philippines and Bangladesh, this has got to be the one! You can check my full review here.

“You’re trying to look for rock bottom, to that part of yourself that could no longer feel pain. But there is no such thing as rock bottom. As long as there is left to destroy in you, you’d do it. We always feel the need to sink ourselves because we keep being intolerable, because if we’re suffering then maybe people would give us a break for all the shameful things we do. You think you could impose your own penance, but it never goes away, does it? That kind of deadening that’s worse than actual dying.”

― V.J. CampilanAll My Lonely Islands

MOST DISAPPOINTING: SAD GIRLS BY LANG LEAV

See you tomorrow ♥️ #LangLeav #LangLeavinPH #SadGirls

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Sad Girls by Lang Leav wasn’t what I had expected. I had high hopes for this book but it fell terribly short. The hype surrounding before its release got me so excited it was all I was thinking about, but when I finally had the chance to read it, all I could do was sigh and ponder what on earth did I just read. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lang Leav, her poems rekindled my love for poetry, but I have to say that she should just stick to writing poems than novels. Sad Girls was too all over the place, it is as if it Lang Leav wanted to put so much in it in the hopes that it would be exceptional but the result was the complete opposite. There are certainly some parts that the book can do without. It was a little messy and not well polished. There are loose ends as well. I was hoping for something that would wow me in the end but nada. The characters I understand, are flawed, but they were bordering annoying and frustrating at the same time. It was 2017’s biggest let down for me.

“Our emotions pull us in different directions. The stronger the emotion, the greater the pull. Feelings are not always practical, nor do they make any logical sense. That’s just the way it goes.”
― Lang LeavSad Girls

MOST FUNNY / FUNNIEST: I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER BY SOPHIE KINSELLA

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Sophie Kinsella never disappoints! This book is effortlessly funny, I was in a laughing fit inside the office, the office where I should be working, yet there I was suppressing my laughter just so my boss will not be able to hear me from the other room. It was all things cute, swoon-worthy, and then some. Poppy Wyatt is the character you can’t help but love! A perfect material to be turned into a movie. Chic-lit will always have a special place in my heart. You can check my full review here.

“Lover? I don’t know. I don’t know if she loves me. I don’t know if I love her. All I can say is, she’s the one I think about. All the time. She’s the voice I want to hear. She’s the face I hope to see.”
― Sophie KinsellaI’ve Got Your Number

 

MOST UNIQUE: EVERY DAY BY DAVID LEVITHAN

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This one is a buzzer beater. I’ve read Every Day December 28, 2017 and it made it to my my favourites. This book’s plot is just one of the most unique books you’ll ever encounter. Imagine waking up to a different body every day, pretty nuts if you ask me, but David Levithan was able to pull it off, effortlessly. The different lives A had inhabited were different yet equally important. I love how diverse it was and how David Levithan was able to highlight the essential parts of the person’s life. You can check my full review here.

“The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations – all of them rearranging themselves so this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.”
― David LevithanEvery Day

 

MOST BEAUTIFUL: ONE TRUE LOVES BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

Don't think that true love means your only love. I think true love means loving truly. Loving purely. Loving wholly. Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave. – Taylor Jenkins Reid; One True Loves 💕 This book has got to be one of my fave reads this 2017! It was so good it killed me! I am new fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have read Maybe In Another Life by her as well and loved it too! More of her please! Have you guys read any of her books? I badly want to buy After I Do and Forever Interrupted. 🤑 💕 💕 💕 #OneTrueLoves #TaylorJenkinsReid #bookstagram #bookish #bookstagrammer #igreads #booklover #bibliophile #bookworm #books #booksph #bookblogger #nerdytalks #nerdytalksbookblog #ipromotereading #literature #ink #words #bookdragon #bookish #ilovereading #ilovebooks #bookstagramfeature

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This book is so beautiful it actually hurts. This is the second book I have read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I can say now that this book belongs to my favourite book of all time. It was so heartbreaking and satisfying at the same time. Your heart will break for the characters, it is as if you feel their pain first hand. I know the blurb of the book said it all, but you have to read it to feel the intense emotions or better yet don’t read the blurb, ignorance is bliss! One True Loves was written so beautifully you couldn’t help but ponder on everything that was said, and though it may come off as something unrealistic, the concept and the message it was trying to send across will tug every heart strings, and I think that’s what truly matters for a book to be considered a great one.  You can check my full review here. 

“Don’t think that true love means your only love.

I think true love means loving truly.

Loving purely. Loving wholly.

Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave.”
― Taylor Jenkins ReidOne True Loves

 

MOST COMPLEX: RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

Red Rising by Pierce Brown is definitely the most complex read of my 2017, I have to admit that it was a struggle to remember every name, every terminology, so much so that I had to write some sort of a guideline just to help me understand it more. I am not big of a sci-fi fan, so it is always a challenge for me to get through one. Red Rising however, though complex was able to grip my attention. It was perfectly crafted and there are plethora of characters that you will definitely root for! I love the plot line as well, so many things could happen and each chapter will take you by surprise.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”
― Pierce BrownRed Rising

 

MOST WEIRD: PERFECT STRANGERS BY DANI ATKINS

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Perfect Strangers by Dani Atkins took the cake for the Most Weird read of my 2017. Don’t get me wrong, this is the good kind of weird. The kind of weird you’ll think for days after you finished reading it. It is a relatively short one, but it definitely packed a punch. I don’t want to divulge what made this book weird, but I hope you could include this one for 2018. All I could say is it is not your typical love story, it will somehow screw with your head. You can check my full review here.

“That’s the trouble with bodies … they have an annoying little habit of giving away far too many secrets.”

― Dani AtkinsPerfect Strangers

 

MOST EMPOWERING: WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists – Loving these Melon Drops. Hihi thanks @ricasj ♥️ also you san still use my code "NERDY" to get 15% discount at @danielwellington 🖤 #danielwellington #chimamandangoziadichie #weshouldallbefeminists #kindle #kindlepaperwhite #amazonkindle

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We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie should be a required reading. If there’s one book I have to shove everyone else’s throat, this is that book. The author was able to explain fully what Feminism is.  Often times we get the wrong connotation of what Feminism really is, but this book was able to put it into something profound yet easily understandable. It was insightful and empowering. Now go watch her Ted Talk! You’re welcome!

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieWe Should All Be Feminists

So there you have it guys, my noteworthy reads of 2017.  I hope my 2018 reading year will be more awesome than 2017. Here’s to discovering new favorite books, new authors and an even better reading year for all of us! Happy New Year! Read on!

phonto

 

 

 

Every Day by David Levithan | Book Review

Nerdy 
Talks' (1)

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Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Date Published: August 28, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date Read: December 27, 2017

Source and Format: National Book Store / Paperback

Setting: Maryland, USA

No. of Pages: 322

Get your copy here: Book Depository, Amazon

 

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WHY DID I WAIT FOUR YEARS TO FINALLY READ IT? DON’T BE LIKE ME, I NEVER KNEW I WAS MISSING OUT ON THE GOOD STUFF FOR FOUR FREAKING YEARS!

Every Day is the book you never thought you needed, thinking how could you go on with your mundane life when there is something so beautiful is palpably lacking in it. Good god, why did I even wait this long to crack open this book, I must have been possessed or have been so ignorant all this time. The party was over and I just arrived. Please tell me I am not the only one. And then I remembered I have this thing about hype books where I let the hype die down before I join in the bandwagon, clearly a big mistake in this instance. I had this book for the longest time, so much so that my copy already has yellow spots on the pages, but I kept on buying new books, and kept reading new releases that Every Day literally took the back seat. A huge mistake, I am perfectly aware of that now. It was because of the trailer which recently came out that prompted me to finally read it, I didn’t watch the trailer as I wouldn’t want to have preconceived notions of the characters and how will the whole story progress. I am the kind of reader who wants to imagine things on her own terms, and that’s what I did. I read the book first then watched the trailer. To say I am excited for the movie would definitely be an understatement, but of course you have to manage the expectations since there are obviously some changes for the movie, but that topic is for another time. Let’s proceed to the review.

Every Day is definitely one of the most unique books out there, it was well-thought out and the writing was flawless. I have loved David Levithan’s way of writing in his book Lover’s Dictionary it was innovative and unique, much like his style in Every Day. I have not read anything like it before and honestly I am in awe at how the author was able to concoct such beautiful story. A true story-teller if you ask me. I love how Every day was a cut above the rest, never mediocre. The story introduced us to different lives, which was so clever and so beautiful because the book was able to show plethora of experiences and how all lives seemed different yet they are the same at the same time. It was a glimpse of lives of other people and how they go about it each day. I loved how the feeling of love wasn’t caged into one definition, it is encompassing and knows no size, race and gender. This what I commend most about this book, its power to see past the physical appearance and focus on what’s inside. It was complex yet you can’t help but be sucked in. This book is worthy of every praise it has been getting and more. I loved how it made me ponder on life itself and how it was able to hold that much power over me that I didn’t know possible. I loved how the author was able to present the book in such raw yet captivating tale, the attention to details, the perfectly curated plot, it is everything good and then some.

The different characters, the lives that A inhabits each day, made the book very appealing, and what’s more beautiful about it is, these bodies can very well be real people we encounter day in and day out. I loved how A was able to at least separate himself/herself from the lives he/she has been living, but also sad at the same time for he/she can’t have what these lives have. I also commend how David Levithan took his time to put essence into each of the lives A had inhabited, how he presented each lives with such regard and respect it deserved. I loved Rhiannon’s character as well, she’s open minded and mature to handle what was going on. I loved how she respected each body A had inhabited. And though there are times that she was off about it, she handled it really well. She’s the kind of character you’ll love instantly.

I was sobbing at the end of the book, the good kind of hurt, if that’s even possible. To be honest I was hoping for some explanation how A had to live like that. I had a lot of questions, but then I was still satisfied how it ended. I will definitely be reading the next book, just so I could find the answers I needed, but for now I could live with the lesson this book had imparted in me. This book is truly a gem, and Every Day has been a reminder why I love Young Adult. There is some sense of simplicity and rawness that YA genre can give that you can’t find in any other genre. How it makes an impact on an adult like me will always be a refuge I will take anytime of the day.

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“The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations – all of them rearranging themselves so this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.” 
― David LevithanEvery Day

phonto

Poems That Lose by Akif Kichloo | Book Review

Nerdy 
Talks' (2)

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Synopsis from Goodreads: From Akif Kichloo,  author of The Feeling May Remain comes this deeply personal and poetic account of a troubled life. A nowhere man, with or without god, a quintessential mental nomad, omnipresent in his mistakes, exploring mental illness, identity, family, sexuality, god, love, childhood, and purpose of life, Poems That Lose brings forth questions all of us wrestle with but either avoid asking ourselves or miserably fail answering almost every time. Kichloo navigates brilliantly from the deeply personal to the universal to the extinct, paving the way for a rare new voice in contemporary poetry, a poet who is more than wanted; he is desperately needed. These poems will slip off your tongue, creep under your skin, and live there.

Date Published: September 27, 2017

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Read Out Loud Publishing

Date Read: December 2017

No. of Pages: 104

Source: Provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Grab a copy here: Amazon

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Poems That Lose tackles different facets of life from the point of view of its author, laying things raw and vulnerable. And though the reader and the author had nothing in common, the poems unite both into universal commonality, into that shared understanding of how life was, is and what it is ought to be. The poems were an effective means to send the message it was trying to convey. What I admire most about this collection of poetry is how it did not sugarcoat things, how it was able to present reality not dressed in fancy clothes but reality in its truest and most vulnerable state.

I loved how most of it was a poem about or directed to a father, how relationship differ and how it affected every decision, every characteristic and every perspective may it be towards life, love and other equally important matters. I also commend how this collection was a perfect place to start for new poetry lovers. It was digestible and relatable without losing the personal touch of the author. This poetry book is something you savor, something you don’t rush into, for its beauty comes from the readers appreciation of how each poem presented a figment of their own reality reflecting the written words and the messages conveyed.

The book was saying everything you wish you were able to enunciate yourself. It was this connection that despite having experienced life in an entirely different circumstance the book was able to resonate to you in a level of understanding you didn’t know possible. The book presented life in an entirely different light that you wouldn’t have considered looking at it in that perspective. It was more of life’s affirmation through the eyes of another and along the process you realize that no matter where life’s tribulations lead us, we go back to being human and accepting it with grace because that is how life is ought to be lived.

Dumbbells in a gym never made a man.

Learning to shoot guns never made a man.

Staring contests with friends, undressing

Women on the streets never made a man.

There can be no peace in this world until we

teach men to hold books as preciously as they

are taught to hold back their tears.

Mothers, allow your sons to cry.

Fathers, ask your sons to lower their gaze.

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How I Edit Photos for Bookstagram | Nerdy Talks

Hey guys! This has been a long over due post! I’ve been meaning to make a blog post about this for god knows how long already, but don’t worry, I am here now. Thanks to the update of my phone I was able to record the step by step process on how I edit my photos, makes it easier to show you guys how I do it!

Well for starters, and I’ve been stressing this a lot, you don’t need fancy props to take a good bookstagram photo. Use whatever is available, be resourceful, be creative! Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Here’s what I usually use:

  • Fake flowers (yup those white Crysanthemums were not freshly picked each time they appear on my photos. Got them for less than a dollar, haha perfect table ornament whenever I don’t use them. Mom is happy, I am happy, visitors are happy, everybody happy!)
  • Paper Flowers – they are super easy to make, just search “how to make paper flowers” on Youtube and you’re all set. Don’t worry it’s not rocket science!
  • White bed sheet / white background – I am obsessed with white on my photos. Looks crisper and cleaner. I am aiming for minimalist look so less props the better for me!
  • Cute mug or tea cup – okay these are cheap too. Use whatever you have, remember, be resourceful!
  • Funko Pop – Okay I am going to stress this out. YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY A FUNKO POP to be a legit bookstagrammer. Hear me? Okay good. Personally, I just like pops, I am a collector so might as well throw them in some of my bookstagram photos. But again, YOU DONT NEED TO BUY A FUNKO POP TO BE A LEGIT BOOKSTAGRAMMER. Okay? Okay!
  • Eyeglasses – it is a reader’s curse really, having poor eyesight is the price readers pay. Why do we have to be punished for reading too much? Anyway, yes I use my eyeglasses as props, and it goes well with anything!

Okay so we have covered the props department, we go to lighting. I always always use natural lighting. You can never go wrong with natural lighting, imagine the great effect of a perfectly cast shadow of a beautiful afternoon. Good right?

Now you’re set with props, lighting, we go to camera. Again, I’ll be stressing this one out. YOU DON’T NEED A FANCY CAMERA TO TAKE THAT BOOKSTAGRAM WORTHY PHOTO. I just use my iPhone7+ and I am pretty satisfied by the outcome of my photos. Before this phone I used Samsung J7 which is a good one too! The magic comes with the editing! So without further ado, here is the step by step process how I edit photos. I use Snapseed and VSCO.

Let’s edit this photo, shall we:

Snapseed

Easy peasy right, now we go to VSCO!

VSCO

Pro tip for VSCO: You can just use the option “Copy Edit” then paste it using “Paste Edit” option to newly uploaded photo, makes it easier to edit it and saves the time of going over each edit options. Also it makes all your photos have the same edit combination.

Here’s the finished product:

Hope you’ve learned a lot. It is not really rocket science, you see, you just have to have passion and creativity! And also I am not by a long stretch of imagination a photographer, so don’t look down on me. Haha! Tag me in your photos and wanna see if you’ve applied this process! I wanna see! What else do you want to know about bookstagramming?