Toxic Relationships

Toxic Relationships.jpg

Dear person who is reading this,

Ever found yourself in a relationship that hurts more than it comforts? I have. You may have this relationship with a friend, family member or someone you’re romantically involved with – it could be anyone. I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships, and they made me feel horrible about myself. They made me feel insignificant, self-conscious and humiliated. It took me some time to identify that I was in a toxic relationship to begin with. But once I realized that, every little thing they said that used to bring me down, mattered less. And then lesser. And lesser. It took some time, but the damaged & ugly image of myself that they had crafted so precisely, that portrait of myself that I once believed to be true started to blur. And it blurred some more. And more. Until it disappeared.

You see, toxic relationship are venomous – for your soul, mental health. They poison your thoughts with self-doubt, rust your confidence and disrupt inner peace. Imagine being yelled in your face that you’re worthless. How much value would you really give to their opinion of you if the person yelling at you is a stranger. Not much. It would be disturbing, maybe you’ll think about it for a short while. But, you’ll get over it. After all, they don’t know the real you, it’s not like you guys are friends. Now, imagine the person yelling at you is someone you love dearly, you hold their opinion close to your heart and hang on to every word they say. It would sting & hurt your feelings for sure. That is what these relationships do, except they’re thinly veiled in sweet promises of love, security & empathy. But if you look close enough, you’ll see it. You just need the strength to do so.

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But how do you know it? Here’s some tell-tale signs:

  • They don’t take you seriously…they don’t value your interests, likes or dislikes, hobbies, aspirations etc. Say, you dream to be a famous musician, for instance, and this person laughs at the notion because they think it’s ridiculous, impractical or impossible. That’s toxic. What are the chances that you’ll be world-famous? 50-50. Maybe you will or maybe you won’t but if someone’s making fun of you because you believe in yourself – you need to remove them from your life. You don’t deserve to be told that your dream’s too big! Hearing this enough times will shatter your hopes. The brooding cloud of uncertainty will loom over your head and it will stomp and strangle and destroy your spirit like the monster it is. Being patronized is NOT healthy, there is no reason for your opinion to be any less important than someone else’s. Stand up for yourself and don’t let the words of an ignorant person bring you down.
  • They pass snide remarks on your looks…it could be about how you look, dress or about how ‘ugly’ your shoes are. (Yep, that one is from a personal experience.) This is not healthy. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they have the right to express it BUT that is never ever the same as bullying. If you have a friend that picks on how bad your outfit is or how you need to lose the ‘extra pounds,’ they are toxic. Especially if these comments are being made in front of a large group, being friends with that person is not only toxic, but they are also showing the signs of being passive aggressive.
  • Ulterior motives…they need a shoulder to cry on as soon as something bad happens but had completely disregarded your relationship prior to that. I have had friends that would literally only contact me when they needed some kind of help, & I wouldn’t hear from them otherwise and it used to hurt me so much. Learn to say no. What’s the worst that’ll happen, they won’t contact you the next time they’re in trouble and ultimately stop being ‘friends’ with you? I say good riddance! You’re better off having no or one good friend than 2 that are toxic.
  • They make you feel like you’re a bad person…toxic people like to compensate for their nasty behavior by making us feel like we’re the bad guy (unless you’re a serial killer and someone tells you that you’re a bad person, you most likely are, sorry). If your friend was in trouble & you couldn’t get to them in time because of important reasons, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay. You’re not the spawn of Satan. It’s natural to get caught up in your own thing every once in a while.

I believe no one’s toxic because they want to be. I mean, I don’t think a person wakes up one day and thinks to them self, ‘Oh, I’m just gonna be grade A bitch to Samantha today from 3-5pm because I’m just sooo evil! Better mark it on my agenda before I forget like last time.’ I feel that it could be because they’re bitter over something…maybe they’re insecure about themselves and being insensitive is their coping mechanism. It’s not a conscious action on their part & they don’t realize the reality of it all. Maybe I was once toxic for someone & I never realized it? I’m not some high & mighty angel fallen from the heavens above. Im flawed. This is one of the many reasons why we should be mindful of what we say. Words are important. They can make or break someone. Don’t let your words break someone.

How do you deal with a toxic person? Don’t take their crap! It may seem useless or pointless but it isn’t. You don’t necessarily need to get into a fight with them! They think you’re stupid for liking Star Trek? Tell them you liking it shouldn’t have to do anything with them. Be harsh if you have to. Tell them off in the beginning so they’re not encouraged to belittle you in the future. It’s better to nip it at the bud. If you’re in too deep, end that relationship. And if it’s someone you can’t possibly break ties with, a family member for instance, confront them. I know, I hate confrontation too. But it will make you feel so much better afterwards. If you feel like you can’t speak up, that’s okay…text them. You don’t have to do it in person. Just let them know that you don’t appreciate being made fun of.

I hope this helped.

Best,

A flawed person

Art Source #1: No Life Doodler on Facebook

Art Source #2: Deviant Art, Hito76

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Pride & Prejudice

Art Source: Deviant Art, Nanorph

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

-Jane Austen, Pride Prejudice

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How The City of Philadelphia Saved My Life

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Dear person who is reading this,

There are some things in life that are bigger than you & I. These things are not limited to our resources, our imagination. They are not bound by the arbitrary societal constraints that suffocate us. No, these things have a mind of their own, a childlike innocence that recognizes no rules, no laws. It doesn’t stop them from being, well, them. I like to think that my dreams are one of those things…they are ridiculous, exhilarating, fascinating, colorful and impossible. And big. Oh, how big they are! So big that If I were to try to accomplish all of them, I’d turn to dust and wither and decay and die…but that’s exactly what makes them so fucking incredible. What good are they, if they’re easy and boring and attainable and simple?

But isn’t it human nature, to dream? To think of the impossible & to have the hope that it will come true? No matter how stupid or impractical? By that logic, I wasn’t human. Not until I visited Philly, that is. Because I had never dreamt…and that made me miserable. Because if I lack the purpose to achieve something unthinkable, or maybe even remotely exciting, then what am I even doing? What is my purpose? To live? But how do you even ‘live’ and who decides if you’re ‘living’ or not…some questions are too big in life. Bigger than you & I.

My life was going on and on…but I wasn’t ‘living.’ I have always identified myself as a realist. I didn’t allow myself to hope to achieve something that was out of my reach. The impossibility of it all made me skeptical and I think, it was a defense mechanism. I thought of it as self-preservation. But in doing so, I was losing the will to live. I wasn’t suicidal, but I was worryingly welcoming of death. I mean, we were all gonna die anyways, so what’s the point, right? But that’s wrong, so wrong! Because we all have a purpose. We don’t know what it is, because in figuring it out, we get to know ourselves. Now, that may sound odd. Of course, we know who we are. But we don’t. Self discovery is one of the best experiences of our lives. And this journey never ends…it’s constant and it’s bigger than you & I.

The first time I visited Downtown Philly, I felt myself breathing, what was perhaps the first, breath of fresh air. It smelled like freedom and it tasted scary and it made me dream with my eyes wide open with wonder and awe. I wanted to live in that Condo, I want to go to that school, I wanted to work at that firm and I wanted to dream…but I already was. I had seen everything with such clarity, life was so much more vibrant and wonderful and awful, but I was living! And I haven’t stopped since and I’m as happy as I am scared. But its a good scary. Those buildings that touched the sky had never looked so magnificent. I had thought to myself, ‘I would be the biggest idiot in the world to give up all of this, just because I couldn’t get my shit together.’ This euphoric feeling of finally allowing myself to think that I could somehow do big things in life was so much bigger than you & I.

You see, my dear reader, if we stop dreaming, we start harboring the rotting carcass of ‘what could’ve been’, and the stink of it will strangle our very being…

Best,

A dreamer

Art Source: No Life Doodler on Facebook

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A Monster Calls

Fan Art Source: Deviant Art, Nick-Ian

       The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.

                      -Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls Fan Art

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Mini Book Haul, Featuring Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions Series

Hey guys!

So, I was at Barnes & Noble, just browsing, doing my own thing, y’know? And I came across these beautiful collectible editions, and I just had to have them! I got:

  • A hardcover Shakespeare book, titled ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare’, Price: $18.00
  •  & a small, leather-bound ‘Irish Fairy & Folk Tales’ book, Price: $9.00
  • Yeah, that’s it, I’m broke…

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^You may compare the sizes as seen in the picture above.

Now, I have been wanting to read some Shakespeare from quite some while now, and this edition sounded like a good idea. Here’s some pros & cons:

Mini Book Haul

PROS:

  • It has literally all of his works & makes it more accessible for me as I can read all of it in one place.
  • It’s also budget-friendly, you really get all your money’s worth with this purchase, If you buy separate books for a specific play, you would end up paying a lot more than $18
  • The book is hard-cover, comes with a gold-ribbon bookmark, the details are so pretty! When closed, the pages of the book have a gold sheen
  • This would make a wonderful addition to your personal library

Mini book haul 2

CONS:

  • Not travel-friendly, the size of this is huge and it’s heavy, something I wish I had realized before I bought this
  • The font is small – I personally don’t mind reading a smaller font, but if that’s something that bothers you – I would recommend you not buy it

You may buy this here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare-shakespeare-william/1122732067?ean=9781435154476

The second book I got is a ‘Irish Fairy & Folk Tales’ hardcover, leather-bound book. I just saw this and was immediately intrigued! If you like reading about myths, legends and fairy tales in general, I think this would be a good pick. It features thirteen different tales by varying writers. It’s not something I’d read in one sitting, I read, like, one tale every now & then when I’m eating breakfast on a lazy Sunday, for instance.

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PROS:

  • Travel-friendly, this is the perfect size to carry around with you! You can read this on the bus/train, in-between classes, lunch break etc
  • Price is okay too, this is currently on sale on Barnes & Noble website, so you can get this for $7.18, but this is $8.00 on full price, which isn’t that bad either
  • Gorgeous cover! This also has the same gold sheen with the pages. I think it’s the same case for all the Collectible Editions
  • Stories are quirky, short and pack a good punch!

 

Mini Book Haul 4

CONS:

  • Won’t fit perfectly in your bookshelf because of the small size
  • That’s pretty much it

You can buy this here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/irish-fairy-and-folk-tales-various-authors/1119222723?ean=9781435155930

Side note: There’s also an edition available that is similar to ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare’ which features a lot more stories. I haven’t had a chance to buy it myself, but if you end up loving this short-book, you can always buy the other one too.

So that’s it folks (see what I did there? Hehe), It’s not a lot of books, but I hope you guys found this helpful!

Happy reading!

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Book Quote Of The Day!

The Book Thief is one of my all time favorite books, it has made me cry, laugh -sometimes at the same time. It’s one of those books that leave such a distinct mark & stay with you forever. There’s a ton of quotes from this book that I adore & love, but Rudy is my absolute favorite character & this quote is what I feel towards him in a nutshell, basically.

FanArt Source: Deviant Art, Artist: Auzzeh

He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.

-Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Rudy, Book Thief

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Top 5 Classics I Want to Read

Hey guys!

I think I’m gonna start posting more frequently on my Top 5’s. I uploaded a Top 5 Graphic Novels I Want To Read post few months ago & it has really helped me keep track of my most-anticipated graphic novels on my TBR. This is also going to help me categorize my TBR. I know for me, classics can be a little hard to get through BUT they are classics for a reason & I do have quite a few that I want to get to, but I have short-listed them to just 5. Okay, now on with the list:

  1. Shakespeare Mini Book Haul

I basically want to read everything by Shakespeare. I have a Barnes & Noble collectible’s edition that features all of his work so that makes it much easier for me to access his plays/novels etc. I actually read a couple of his plays about 8 years ago & I remember devouring them.

2.   The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

narcissus.jpgNot gonna lie, the name ‘Dorian Gray’ just sounds really appealing to me…BUTTT when I read the synopsis, I don’t know why, but I got narcissus vibes from him. For those of you who don’t know, he was a greek mythology character who was very self-absorbed & he fell in love with his own reflection in a river…and this is also where the word narcissistic originates from. Another story I thought this classic is similar to is Christopher Marlowe’s play, Dr. Faustus. I was part of a school play based on this so I have a sentimental attachment to his particular tale.

3.   Jane Eyre by Charlotte BronteJane Eyre.jpg

I have heard nothing but amazing things about this & I have been meaning to read this for quite some time now!

4.   Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

I know, I know, how could I have not read Pride & Prejudice yet?! I’ve actually tries reading a couple times and would always end up reading something else would totally forget about it. I know for a fact that I will love this when I give it a chance and hopefully, the next I read this, I won’t stray.

5.    Garith HindsHomer 
I feel like I’m cheating by naming writers instead of specific books but I can’t help it! As a Greek mythology enthusiast, I fervently want to read The Odyssey & The Illiad. These are both pretty long books so its safe to say that I’m a little bit intimidated. And by a little bit I mean a lot…Also, the fact that these were written so many years ago amazes me tremendously. I saw a graphic novel version of The Odyssey by Garith Hinds, too. This seems so interesting!!

What are your guys’ favorite classics? & if you’ve read any of these, I would love to read any feedback you may have!

Happy reading!

-Amna xx

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Hey guys!

Here are my thoughts on Nimona, I write as I wipe a stray tear from my face…

Nimona Cover.jpg Author-Noelle-Stevenson.jpg

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Nonspoilery-Review

I absolutely loved reading Nimona, it was such a heartwarming read and it gives me A LOT OF FEELS!! I didn’t expect it to be so emotional, to be honest. Going in, I knew that I was gonna love it but I thought it’d be very light and humorous — which it was, but it also had drama, adventure and angst. The artwork is not something that blew my mind away and the overall color tone was pastel-y and dull, but what stood out were the characters which contrasted perfectly with their exuberance and vibrant personalities. Our main character, Nimona, was multi-dimensional and layered. She is very enigmatic and elusive for her past which made it hard me to guess how she would react in a situation. Lord Blackheart seems rough around the edges but he has a heart of gold and I loved his and Nimona’s friendship develop. Stevenson did a fantastic job at bringing all her characters to life!

The only thing that bothered me was the end, it seemed rushed and left me with a lot of questions. I was left wanting more & I’m hoping that there is a sequel so we’re able to learn more about Nimona’s past.

Overall, I would highly recommend this to everyone, this book is such a treat and I had smile plastered across my face for almost the entirety of the novel. Which just made me realize how creepy I must have looked on the train when I was reading it? Oops.

What’s your favorite graphic novel? If you guys have read Nimona, I would love to read in the comments section what you hought of it?

Happy reading!

Amna xx

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Okay? Okay

**’The biggest lesson I’ve learned is, “it’s okay.” It’s okay for me to be kind to myself. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to get mad. It’s okay to be flawed. It’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to move on. It’s 5:25 and it’s OK.’ 

-Yet you wonder why you still can’t sleep at night. It’s 3am and you have not slept in the past 48 hours and that’s not okay and you question if you ever will be — just okay?  

**Quote Source: Ziada english na jhaar Eminem ki olaad.

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

*** SPOILERS FOR ILLUMINAE AHEAD***

Hey guys!

Here are my thoughts on Gemina, sequel to Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff.

Gemina cover.jpg  Author-Amie-Kaufman-Jay

Goodreads Synopsis:

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Nonspoilery-Review

Okay so our story picks off at Jump Station Heimdall, where Hypatia was heading in the first book. We have a different set of main characters, who are equally as sassy, lovable and funny as the first book’s. Our main leads are: Hanna, who is the daughter of the station’s commander (highest post) and Nik who is illegally aboard along his uncle & said uncle’s family. Nik belongs to a notorious criminal family, House of Knives. I know, it IS SO COOL!

I can’t say I enjoyed this as much as Illuminae but I’m not really surprised because Illuminae was a first in the series and took me by surprise with the unique format. The second time around, I was kinda used to the amazingness of it. Its worth mentioning that the dossier features a really cool new style and it’s very visually appealing and creative. Kudos to the authors for pulling it off, again. I loved the twists and turns and the unpredictability of the plot. There is literally no way to guess what’s going to happen next and I appreciate that a lot about this series so far (so it a trilogy?).

A++ for the characters! Characters that are realistically flawed but also redeemable appease me as a reader the most and this is exactly what our group of characters are like in Gemina.

Another thing I loved were the action scenes. It gets very confusing for me to picture an action sequence but this was not the case here. The thing that I love most about this series is that there are NO PLOT HOLES WHATSOEVER. If something happens, it’s always explained very clearly what lead a certain event to occur, or even the smallest of reaction by a character — it’s meticulously detailed and leaves no stone unturned. Sometimes its so easy to tell that the story took a turn just for the sake of keeping the plot moving forward but this is not the case here. This is especially amazing because the story keeps you on your toes and you can’t really guess what’s going to happen next.

I liked the villain better in Gemina, as opposed to AIDAN in Illuminae. I know, I know, we all love AIDAN but guys he was kind of a good guy at heart (motherboard?). Our villain here was sadistic, unpredictable & scary but also really cool. You feel me?

The only qualm I had was that it took me about a 100-pages to really get into it, and the plethora of information being dumped on me, as a reader, was over-whelming at first. The authors didn’t do a good job at easing their way into the information-giving and it was coarse at times. Overall, I immensely enjoyed enjoyed reading this & I can’t wait for the next book, Obsidio, to come out!!

Have you read Gemina? What was your favorite part?

Happy reading!

-Amna xx

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Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur

Hey guys!

Here are my thoughts on milk & honey. I’m trying out a new format for this review & would appreciate if you guys let me know if this is good or should I continue to write them as I usually do? Any suggestions would also be VERY helpful.

milk and honeyAuthor-Rupi-Kaur-Pages

Goodreads Synopsis: 

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

Nonspoilery-Review.jpg

Okay, so I have a lot of thoughts on this particular poetry collection before I get into the nitty gritty details. It is raw, organic & angsty. There has been quite a buzz about this in the YA book community for a while now & I just had to indulge. The cover is beautiful and the poems are also accompanied with art work relevant to said poetry throughout the book. When I was browsing reviews on Goodreads I realized that contrary to what I had thought, there was a lot of mixed reviews. So basically, avid poetry readers said that this was not poetry, but ‘Tumblr quotes.’

Now, I’m not someone who’s not open to new things, so the thought of poetry not being in a conventional poetry form doesn’t really bother me as such. But I would also understand if an avid poetry reader might have problems with this book. I had some problems too and there were parts that I absolutely loved.

My-Thoughts.jpg

Milk & honey reads like a story, to put it simply. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, to be honest. It starts with Kaur’s childhood and gradually moves to her adult life. She talks about abuse, rape, women’s issues, heartbreak and finally healing. There are parts in the book where if you picked up a random poem and read it, it wouldn’t make sense unless you read the poem before that and so forth. Thing is, I would assume that with poetry, one complete poem tells a complete story. The subsequent poem could be about something different and it would make sense if you read it on your own. That’s not the case with milk & honey.

Also, there are parts that I’M SURE don’t count as poetry. Like there is literally a to-do list featured on page 142 that I felt was weird, to be blunt. Why is there a list of, albeit helpful, things to do in a poetry book? This is not to say that the book was not good. Because it was! It’s just that I feel like it didn’t quite fit under the poetry genre? I don’t know, I feel very ambivalent towards it. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, that our generation is sort of changing poetry. I read similar reviews about ‘The Princess Saves Herself in this One,’ on Goodreads, which is another poetry collection on my TBR. I think we might need a new genre for this sort of poetry, perhaps? Maybe there already is, I don’t know.

The things that I loved about this was that her work is so easy to read! I usually struggle to understand what the poet is saying, but that could also be because I don’t read a lot of English/American poetry? This would be an excellent place to start if you’re someone whose hesitant or intimidated by poetry. It’s easy to interpret and is very relatable. Her words have a way of invoking a lot of emotions and I admire that about Kaur as a writer. I also appreciate the addition of artwork, it made the experience so much more visually appealing and aesthetic.

Who I would recommend this for? New poetry readers, bookstagrammers, because lets be real here, the cover is stunning & even the poems are very instragrammable.

Last thing, some her content is very graphic & sexual, if you’re younger or if that’s something you don’t enjoy, keep that in mind. Trigger warning for rape and abuse.

Have you read this book? If so, I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section! I would very much appreciate if you could leave a poetry book recommendation for me as I’m new to the genre!

Happy reading!

-Amna xx

 

 

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July TBR ’17

Hey guys!

So I thought I should start posting monthly TBRs & wrap-ups from now on! I think this July TBRwould help me keep track of my reading goal, reviews and make my posting schedule less haywire-y than it is now. I would absolutely love to hear any useful tips and/or feedback that you guys may have for me.

 

Enough with my rambling, now on with the TBR! This month I plan to read:

 Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur Milk & Honey

           —> Genre: Poetry

—> This is a well-known & loved poetry book amongst the YA blogger community. I’ve not been exposed to poetry written in English other than the school assigned work,  so I’m really excited to read this one!

My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorryMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

     —> Genre: Literary Fiction 

—> This a story about seven year old Elsa & her adventure after her grandmother passes away leaving a mission for her to complete. I’ve read a couple pages and I have loved what I have read so far. This sounds like a beautiful story and the plot is very promising.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson nimona.jpg

           —> Genre: Graphic Novel, Action & Adventure, Fantasy

—> I love graphic novels and have heard nothing but great things about it! This follows Nimona, an adolescent shape-shifter who teams up with the notorious villain, Lord Blackheart on pursuit of bringing down Sir Ambrosius. I talk more about the plot here.

Gemina.JPG

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

           —> Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, YA

—> This is a sequel to Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff. I can’t wait to read this. The story picks up right after the first one, except we follow different main characters. Gemina has also the same unique writing style as did Illuminae.

 

 

I will post non-spoiler reviews of each of these books as I read them and briefly talk about them in my wrap-up!

Happy reading!

Amna xx

 

 

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Liberated

You’re free! You have rights!*

*As long as you’re heterosexual

or male

or white

or christian

or wealthy

Because even freedom comes with a small price of a sexuality you don’t want to identify with

and gender that belittles you

and ethnicity that has slaughtered yours

and religion that you don’t believe in

and a social ladder you can’t possibly climb up the ranks of

this doesn’t make you free. But what does make you free is the sheer force of your will to fight for what you believe in. And to be consistent about it.

And everyone has a voice, no matter how hard the system tries to mute it, & there will once be so many of our voices joined together, singing the perfect harmony that they won’t be able to shut it down — the ability to be able to do that is freedom & I appreciate that.

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Literature Appreciation

Dear person who is reading this,

Hi! I was talking to one of my best friends (HEY ZEE!!) the other day & she said something about books: that it’s amazing how we’re transported from one world to another by just doing the very simple act of reading texts printed on a page, bound in a book. This really got me thinking about literature, in general, and let me just tell you: I FELT A LOT OF FEELS!!

We have so many forms of literature & there is something for everyone out there. Personally, I have never read a book and not learnt something from it. It could be as ‘insignificant’ as a new word but there is always something to take away from books.

I love to read poetry because I can interpret what’s written to my liking and suddenly it’s applicable to my life. The poet could’ve meant something completely different from what I’m taking but it’s like its been built to cater to my thoughts. I love memoirs because I get to live someone else’s life & I get to learn from their mistakes. I love reading graphic novels because I appreciate the beautiful artwork. And most of all, I love fiction because:

I have travelled to places that are far from within my reach and the realm of possibility. I have been to adventures that broke me and built me into the person that I am today. I love being able to escape into a world that has so much more to give to me than my own, a world where I don’t have to pretend to be someone else — I don’t have to be anything, actually. And that’s all you need in life, sometimes. To be a bystander and not have the burden of being someone. It’s so much easier to live in a world that asks nothing of you and so you become nothing…I have also made friends who I grew up with & they live in my head. & since they’re up here, in my mind, they’re always with me.

I strongly believe that getting lost in a book and the imagery of it by virtue of our imagination is probably the closest thing we have to magic in real life. How utterly beautiful is that?

Best,

An Avid Reader xx

 

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We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We should all be feminists.JPG

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Pages: 48

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. 

With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. 

Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

Non-spoilery Review:

I was in NYC Times Square and I stumbled across a Strand Book Store! I didn’t have a lot of time to thoroughly check out what they had but as soon as I saw a copy of ‘We Should All Be Feminists,’ I had to buy it! This the smallest book that I have and is also the shortest piece of literature I’ve read in one sitting, besides poetry. This a short, to the point, personal essay that’s been based off Adichie’s Ted Talk. It’s a 30-min video, with pretty much everything thats been published in the book. But to have the hardcopy would be a resourceful material to have on hand, for sure. This is also a text that I can re-read and find it just as insightful, if not more, than the first time. I fervently wish this is made a mandatory high school read all across the world. I absolutely loved this book! Adichie is engaging as a narrator and the addition of anecdotes along the point that she’s trying to make really paints a clear picture of the message that she’s trying to convey: that feminism IS for everyone and that everyone would benefit from it. She clears a lot of misconceptions that people have and does so effortlessly.

Although short, this essays gives a great message and is perfect for someone who wants to educate themselves about women’s issues. I know that there’s a lot of controversy around the term ‘feminism’ but this is a great read to familiarize yourself with the core concept of it. It’s also a good book if you’re hesitant to call yourself a feminist because you’re ‘more of a humanitarian.’ Adichie makes an excellent argument as to why that shouldn’t be the case. Overall, I would recommend this book is everyone!

Have you read this, and if so, what was your favorite part of the essay? If there’s a similar book that you have read & liked, please, feel free to leave suggestions!

-Amna xx

 

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Favorite Feelings

Dear person who is reading this,

Hi, I was at the beach a few days ago and breathing the fresh, salty air made me realize how much I loved that feeling. And so, an idea popped in my head: that I should write down some of the best feelings in the world and share them with you. There’s so much negativity around us & horrible things have a penchant of happening these days, let’s focus on some of the positive now, shall we?

Artsy

  1. When you properly, no flimsy texts or anything of that sort, talk to a close friend after a very long time and you guys just talk and talk about everything
  2. When you eat something that you had been craving for a while and it tastes better than you had imagined
  3. When you feel the wind blowing your hair as you breathe clean, fresh air and feel it calming you down (like at the beach or near a lake/river etc)
  4. The satisfaction of getting a good grade that you worked hard for
  5. The overwhelming joy when someone says that they believe in you and they mean it
  6. The flavor of hot coffee hitting your taste buds first thing in the morning on a cold, wintry day
  7. Big, warm bear hugs that make you feel loved and safe
  8. The smell of your favorite home cooked meal wafting through the kitchen as you hear your mom humming
  9. When a baby smiles at you
  10. The sound of rain pitter pattering and the feel of it as you walk around aimlessly with good, slightly muted music on that plays in your headphones
  11. When you have tidied up your room
  12. When someone likes the food you made
  13. The simple acknowledgment of your efforts being made

There are so many more but I think I would stop right here. I like to think that its essential to focus on the good things every once in a while and to know in our hearts that not everything is black & white, but has varying shades of gray. And that’s okay.

Best,

A Hopeful Thinker xx

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