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Saturday

Catch You Later, April

Hello everyone! Happy almost May. Wowza (ironically said wowza, let's clarify.) April just zoomed on by. Like seriously. Then again, I'm looking back at the books I read this month and I'm like: I READ THAT BOOK THIS MONTH WHAT IT WAS SO LONG AGO. ahem.

Today I'll just be recapping April, the writings, the bloggings, the readings, the excitings, etc. 


background picture is not mine :)

- - - -
- I was lame with blogging this month, aka I did nothing pretty much. Honestly April was a low month overall, I got less posts out then ever. 

- A couple of my posts I really did enjoy writing though, like the Pros and Cons of Reading Fast/Slow (I feel like I wrote that ages ago) and Five Middlegrade Books You Should Definitely Read

- I also did my 3 out of 4 days of the Raven Cycle. REASON I HAVEN'T FINISHED: because most people haven't even read it yet so it seems out of place I'm just gonna wait until May is that cool? 

yeah it's been a boring blogging month in april. sorry. I also really need to remember my favorite posts of the month, I'll keep that in mind for May. Hopefully. 

- I didn't do NaNoWrimo. I kind of just didn't do it? I thought I would but I didn't have enough motivation and honestly almost no plot.

- BUT after realizing that I wasn't going to do NaNo, I began planning (yes, I plotted a novel.) Are my pantser days over? Probably. I'm really excited for this book although I have no clue what to name it, I have a cover, just no title on it. Wonderful. 

- SO YES, May will be adventures working with this novel and I want to get the first draft done by June/Julyish so I can get to editing over the summer, since I will have more time! 

again, boring writing month but May will be better, I promise. 

- I had a great book month. I read 8 1/2 books this month, which is the most I've read in a while now. I'm really happy with all the books, they were all wonderful. I really was going to do a wrap-up but it would be way too many books. 

can we just admire half of these covers I mean flawless


Best book(s) that I read: Winter by Marissa Meyer/Carry On by Rainbow Rowell/The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

- I MIGHT MEET MAGGIE STIEFVATER IN MAY. *screams* I need to, I just really really really need to I just need to I can't explain ahh. 

- Not sure if this counts as bookish but I redid my bookshelf. I have this little section above my bed where I keep 1/2 of my books. I don't have proper shelving since my room is so small but I'm hoping to get some soon.

best picture I could get because of lighting so I had to focus it on my hand bu you can see my rainbow bookshelf back there !!

- I bought a lot. a lot. of books. 20ish? 1, I had birthday money left. 2, there was a book fair at school with buy one get one free. DO YOU HEAR MY SCREAMS? Here are all the books I bought:

Stars Above - Marissa Meyer | Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda - Becky Abertalli | The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater | Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins | Carry On - Rainbow Rowell | Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater | The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes - Soman Chainani | Cress - Marissa Meyer | The Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare | The Evolution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin | Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo | The Copper Gauntlet - Cassandra Clare and Holly Black | Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard | Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater | Illuminae - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater | Three Times Lucky - Sheila Turnage | Prisoner of Night and Fog - Anne Blankman | The Possibility of Now - Kim Cultbertson | The Night Gardener - Jonathan Auxier 

among these books were the two Harry Potter coloring books. *dies*

I did not have a boring reading month whatsoever. 

- Life was meh this month. I had a really hard time keeping up with other activities and I just slumped in everything, but reading. 

- I actually nailed my violin solo which is amazing so I got into the youth symphony. I think that's pretty much the highlight of my life this month honestly. 

- this will not be in April but I'M SEEING DAN AND PHIL TOMORROW AT TATINOF!! CAN I DIE NOW!! I'M DYING!! LIKE SEND HELP MY HEART IS GOING TO EXPLODE!! ajdjkadfsg

- OF COURSE TATINOF IS IN MAY. AFGPGJFFNVOJGWUGUBOGOBRJGH

- I'm also going to California in the middle of the month for my cousin's graduation so that's awesome! I always have fun with my cousins and stuff so whoop. 

- Honestly that's it but really May is just going to be fun it's going to be warm and nice and yay. (watch the weather be horrible) hahaaha ha ha. ha. 

- - - - 

I hope you guys had a great April! 

Let me know the highlights of your April. What did you scream/fangirl over? What was the best book you read? What are you looking forward to in April? And as always, have an amazing day friends. 

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Monday

Four Days of the Raven Cycle - Blue Lily, Lily Blue Review

Hello everyone! I'll have you know, I had to speed through this book today in order to get this post up. agh. But it's here and it's not going to be great since I'm dead tired but I will do it. For my pride. Where am I going with this? No one knows. Let's just get into the review. Today I will be reviewing/fangirling about Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. WHOOP.


“Desire and dread lay right next to each other in his heart, each sharpening the other.” 

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up. 

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost. 

Friends can betray. Mothers can disappear. Visions can mislead. Certainties can unravel. 


this book was again, a rollercoaster ride for me, but more of a rollercoaster ride of do I like it, or do I not?

Honestly, I didn't like it as much I as I loved the other two. It didn't stick out to me. I thought the plot was a little lame, and nothing was really special, until the ending. 

The Dream Thieves was exciting, Ronan's story and how it centered around him was exciting, everything about it was exciting, the whole thing and all the events and how they just put so much action into the story. This was just, not enough?

I really liked it with the hilarious banter and all the dialogue and the relationships between the characters, it was fun to read and fun to flail around laughing because it was just too adorable.

 “Gansey was not sleeping.
Because Blue had no cell phone, there was no way for him to break the rules and call her. Instead, he had begun to instead lie in his bed each night, eyes closed, hand resting on his phone, waiting to see if she was going to call him from the Phone/Sewing/Cat Room at her house.
Stop it, he told himself. Stop wanting it —
His phone buzzed.
He put it to his ear.
“You’re still not Congress, I see.”
He was wide-awake.”


those phone scenes.

But the plot, like said before, wasn't enough. It was just a little filler with a couple big events, that I really enjoyed. Other than that, it didn't pull me in like the other two did, which I was disappointed about. 

BIG EVENTS THAT I REALLY ENJOYED - WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS

- The Greenmantle situation. I loved this, I loved Greenmantle's character and how it went throughout the story. He was so casual and I just really liked it and his POVs. But I especially loved Piper, his wife, she was hilarious and really cool and I'm honestly not afraid to say that I really liked her. 

- The Gwenllian situation. THIS PART. THIS WAS HILARIOUS AND JUST REALLY INTERESTING. I read the big spoiler and I was like woAhWOaHwoAH. she's who now? It made me so excited and then I read how she was crazy and I was like wonderful. I feel like everything she says is a double meaning and I'd really love to learn more about her character in TRK. 

- The whole ending situation. the ending was just, wow. wOW. So much happened, we see Blue's father and we find Maura and Piper (?) dies and Blue is amazing and Mr. Grey breaks my heart. I really love Mr. Grey, and I really hope he will be a fatherly figure in Blue's life. if he doesn't die. 

- - - - 

I'M TIRED BUT I HOPE YOU ENJOYED. Tomorrow's review will most likely include tears, fangirling, and a lot of gifs. Be prepared. 


Thanks for reading,
Noor

Sunday

Four Days of the Raven Cycle - The Dream Thieves Review

Hello everyone! Following up with my Four Days of the Raven Cycle mini-series thing, today I will be reviewing the second book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater, the Dream Thieves! If you want to see my review of the first book in the series, click on over here! I've got nothing more to say, so let's hop on into it, shall we?


“You really didn't see the sadness or the longing unless you already knew it was there. But that was the trick, wasn't it? Everyone had their disappointment and their baggage; only, some people carried it in their inside pockets and not on their backs.” 

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.


Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

- - - - 

I personally enjoyed this book more than the Raven Boys. Pretty much every aspect of it was intriguing and wouldn't let me go, like a rope I could never let go of? But the fact that it centered around Ronan put the icing on my cake. 

I love the whole storyline around Ronan, I mean the ability to take things out of your dreams? I talked about Maggie Stiefvater's unique and amazing plots and this is what I mean. It's insane and baffles my mind just wow. 

But besides that, I love the story of Ronan's family and who his father was and just all of that is so interesting. I don't really know whether to think of his father as marvelous, or as selfish?

SPOILER- I found the scene with the Barns fascinating. The reason why I found Niall Lynch as selfish was that he created this whole wonderful life but he could have just lived it out some other way, I don't know, just poor Aurora I mean what a way to live. It's horrible, yet magnificent, yet horrible. She lived a life and just is now sitting around, waiting for her husband. - END OF SPOILER

BUT my love for Ronan just grew in this book, as I knew it would as soon as I read the synopsis. His whole personality, the way he acts, just everything about him I mean, how can you not fall in love with him? He's hilarious and just his care for Gansey. He's one of those characters with the hard exterior and the soft interior which I am a sucker for. I love Ronan Lynch. 


also spoilers coming up so beware

--

I also loved the whole Kavinsky thing and how he's like the Graywaren too, but not really because Ronan is? I mean I despised Kavinksy, he does everything I hate: be a jerk, does drugs, is a jerk, does drugs, parties 24/7 like please I just wanted to rip my head out every time he did drugs I hated that so much. 

but this book had dragons. it had dragons, I repeat, it had dragons. And you would think that I would have loved this but in fact I thought it was absurdly random and just thrown in there. Just a random battle thrown in at the end. I love dragons, and I knew the story needed them, but I wasn't thinking then and there. Which is honestly the only reason that I did not give this book a solid 5 stars. 

but the Gray Man. At first I was like: confusion?? intimidation?? And then I went to: aw so sweet. i bet anything he'll die in the next couple books though. Him and Maura are kind of adorable I lowkey ship it, but not too much considering he literally kills people for a living. fun. 

ALSO the scene with Noah and Blue kissing was too much for me to handle it was like a friends with benefits thing I was crying of laughter and dying inside it was so adorable, but not in an otp way but like a friendship way, you feel? 

“Noah rubbed the smudge on his cheek. It didn’t go away. It never did. He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.”
“Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.”

He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.”

but let's talk about otps. blue and gansey. k i'm done


spoilers have been destroyed, you may continue


Once again, Maggie Stiefvater has made me flail, cry, laugh, and drool over how amazing her writing is in one book. Every thing was beautiful, the characters she writes just feel. so. real. They develop so perfectly, especially all the relationships, which are weaving themselves together ajnckskskd. 


currently stocking up tissues as I prepare to read the Raven King. 

- - - - - 
i know, my reviews are currently crap right now and I'm honestly trying to get better, I just let fangirl get in the way of actual review and it messes me up. I will try harder. I will also add more gifs, those are always fun. 


Thanks for reading,
Noor

Saturday

Four Days of the Raven Cycle - The Raven Boys Review (spoiler free)

Hello everyone! (I literally just decided that I would do this 5 minutes ago so bear with me) In honor of the Raven King (the final book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater) coming out this Tuesday (even though I already have it because my bookstore blesses me), I'm going to do a countdown thing to it by reviewing each book in the series every day.

We'll obviously start out with the Raven Boys, Sunday will be the Dream Thieves, Monday for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and then Tuesday for the Raven King. Let's do it.




“She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” - Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Boys

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

- - - 

This book took me on a ride of emotions, I went from okay cool, to okay WHAT, to okay yES, to okay OHMYWORD, to hoLD uP. 

I personally adored it, it was dark and wonderful and just overall fun to read and really dragged me into the rest of the series. The whole plot and idea of it being based around a real Welsh folk tale just fascinated me. 

Reading the Raven Cycle got me more into Maggie Stiefvater. I had read the Scorpio Races a couple months back and loved it, especially the writing style. Steifvater writes so beautifully, the way she uses words to describe and set a mood to the scene blows me away every time. 

 “She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.” 

do you hear my sobs?

But can we just talk about the plot again, I mean it was so unique and fantastic and I would just really love to know what goes on in Maggie Stiefvater's head that gives her this ability to dream up these wonderful plots. There's ghosts, Welsh kings, ley lines, psychics, romantic tension, the only thing this book is missing is dragons? It's a complex, yet marvelous story. 

BUT OH GOSH THE CHARACTERS ARE JUST THE BEST PART OF THE BOOK. They all have their own unique personalities and its so sweet and I just want to cry bye. 

Blue - I love how she just doesn't care about like anything. She is who she wants to be and she's so eccentric and the way her clothing was described was so amazing. (i'm actually obsessing over a character's clothing, what have I become) She is my girl crush and honestly I just love her so much. 

Gansey - aka cinnamon roll child my child. He is the mother of the group and that's what makes me so happy it just makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry because he's so adorable and precious ugH

Ronan - now Ronan is my kind of character. literally everything to me: my crush, the character I hate but who I love too much which is probably the reason I hate him, the character I cry over he is everything to me just bye. oH and I love how he loves Chainsaw like stab me in the heart


Adam - Adam is just my child my official freaking child I just can't I cried in that scene where the thing with his dad happened (I'm trying so hard to not spoil and be subtle about this) but I just was crying and when Ronan came gOsh that scene is everything to me

Noah - Noah's story just makes me cry. It just makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry (how many times have I used "cry" in this review? far too many). When I read this book, I didn't really have too many feelings towards Noah but that changes fAst in the next book like oh my he's my child (also how many times have I called a character my child? I ought to do it more because half the characters in this book are my children)

My problem was that it got really confusing in some parts. That could honestly just be me because I skim in some parts, but for this book, I had to re-read a lot in order to understand. Especially the ending which was so confusing for me and I had to take it to the wiki to understand completely. But again, that could be me. This was really the only reason this book did not get 5 stars in my book, but obviously, other than that I adored it and would 110000% re-read it again. 

Also the cover art. 10/10 would admire again. 


you should read this series. and if you have: who's your favorite character? are you prepared to fangirl over the Raven King/probably cry over the Raven King? because honestly, I'm not. 

until the next time everyone.

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Friday

10 Little Things To Do On Earth Day (But Really Anyday)

Hello everyone! Happy Earth Day! Honestly, every day is Earth Day, we shouldn't need a specific day to celebrate our wonderful planet. I've created a list of 10 things you could potentially do for Earth Day, but honestly you should do these things every day. Care for the Earth friends.

1) Be conscious of your trash and your recycling. Before you throw something away, look to see whether you can throw it in the recycling or whether it's safe to throw it in the trash or not. If you're not sure, check out this link or just look it up. Save the planet, part one.

2) Get people educated. You can do this in several ways, for example, writing a blog post such as this one! Or you can just tell your friends about it, remind them to do the things on this list. If you wanted to take it farther, you can start some campaigns, but these are just small little things. Of course, starting a big campaign is wonderful, especially on Earth Day or other Earthy days like this one. (Earthy? that's probably not a word??) Save the planet, part two.


3) Plant some things, not necessarily trees. Of course, planting trees is hard, you have to have a good spot, blah. But you can also plant some flowers, and restore the natural plant life! Plant them in your backyard, or maybe a park with permission. You can never have too many flowers. Save the planet, part three. 

4) Take a couple hours one day to clean up a park or any other place. Gather up a couple friends, get some bags, and pick up some litter. Parks are usually filled with litter, which no one bothers to pick up and it pollutes the area. Cleaning up litter takes only an hour and you're cleaning up your planet, even if it's a little part of it. Save the planet, part four. 

5) Have a garden party! Invite some friends over again and plant stuff. You can have loads of fun with this, and seed packets are usually quite cheap so plant stuff, appreciate planting and being outside. Save the planet, part five.

6) Don't waste things. Turn off the faucet when you're not using it, especially when you're doing the dishes. Try to take less baths so you don't waste water and take shorter showers. Turn off the lights when you're currently not in that room, Simple, little things. The only hard part is being alert, it takes time, but if you set your mind to it, you can do it. Stick little Post-It notes by doors if you have to. Save the planet, part six.

7) Bring your own things. Keep your own waterbottle instead of constantly wasting deathly plastic bottles. When you go grocery shopping, bring your own bags instead of using deadly plastic bags. My grocery store sells reusable bags for 99 cents. 99 cents people. 99 cents versus the death of animals in the ocean. Save the planet, part seven.

8) Try walking more. Don't drive somewhere that's 2 minutes walking distance. It's a waste, it pollutes the air. Get some exercise and give the air a break. Walking isn't that bad. Save the planet, part eight.

9) Be persuasive, be driven. If there's an environmental issue in your area/state/region that you'd like to address, send some letters! Tell people like senators, governors, etc, about your feelings on the issue and try to get it changed. Even if you're young, you still have a voice. Convince friends and peers to send letters as well, the more working with you, the merrier. Although they might not respond, if you get enough people on it, you can get somewhere. Save the planet, part nine.

10) Just appreciate the planet. Go to parks, bike around, hike around, just love the planet and be outside. Care for it. We're the only planet with life (that we know of), be grateful for that.

Also don't forget to appreciate yourself. Save the planet, part ten.




Love the Earth, and the Earth will love you. Happy Earth Day everyone :)

Thanks for reading,
Noor

also somehow I've managed to acquire the Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater early??

Wednesday

Five Middlegrade Books You Should Definitely Read

Hello everyone! I've slowly gone past the middlegrade genre, of course I still come back to it from time to time as there are some wonderful middlegrade books. I believe that middlegrade books can be read by anyone, just like YA, there are no restrictions! And because of this, I decided to compile a list of my 5 favorite middlegrade books that you should 100% read, no matter how old you are.

was this too cheesy i hope not

ignore the fact that I completely messed up this picture and I'm cringing looking at it.


Moon Over Manifest - Clare Vanderpool

Description: Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler.
Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Why you should read it: This story not only has the exciting mystery and plot twists and wonderful characters, but it also gives a glimpse of real life things: poverty, war, depression, and immigration troubles. It gives the environment of two different time periods, and how life differed from now and between those two years (1936, 1918). The time change was confusing at first but it kind of helped to develop the story and why I loved it so much. 


The Name of This Book Is Secret (The Secret Series #1) - Pseudonymous Bosch

Description: Warning: this description has not been authorized by Pseudonymous Bosch. As much as he'd love to sing the praises of his book (he is very vain), he wouldn't want you to hear about his brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest. Or about how a mysterious box of vials, the Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. And he certainly wouldn't want you to know about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is, too. For it concerns a secret. A Big Secret.

Why you should read it (them): This series is probably one of my favorite middlegrade series, it's just so funny and crazy and hilariously confusing and mysterious. Although, it really isn't for everyone since it's extremely confusing and gives off this secretive, sort of Lemony Snicket vibe. The whole series is just unpredictable and completely insane but I just fell in love with it. The plot is like a rollercoaster

one second you're like THINGS ARE HAPPENING. and then you're like WHAT IS HAPPENING.

go read it.


Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan

Description: Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. 
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe -- a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Why you should read it: I mean, one, it's a Rick Riordan book, and Rick Riordan. But two, it's probably Rick Riordan's least read series, which is sad because it's so great. Sadie is basically a young Isabelle Lightwood, and she's amazing. Carter is hilarious. They're all just great, and it's sad, and the plot is just about perfection like pretty much every other Rick Riordan book. Also, I really like the covers. 


The Saturday Boy - David Fleming

Description: If there's one thing I've learned from comic books, it's that everybody has a weakness—something that can totally ruin their day without fail.For the wolfman it's a silver bullet. For Superman it's Kryptonite. For me it was a letter. With one letter, my dad was sent back to Afghanistan to fly Apache helicopters for the U.S. army.

Now all I have are his letters. Ninety-one of them to be exact. I keep them in his old plastic lunchbox—the one with the cool black car on it that says Knight Rider underneath. Apart from my comic books, Dad's letters are the only things I read more than once. I know which ones to read when I'm down and need a pick-me-up. I know which ones will make me feel like I can conquer the world. I also know exactly where to go when I forget Mom's birthday. No matter what, each letter always says exactly what I need to hear. But what I want to hear the most is that my dad is coming home.

Why you should read it: This book is so sad, it was actually the 2nd and one of the only books that made me cry. Fleming really gets you attached to the characters, and I got into Derek's character and that's probably the reason why my book has tearstains on it, no big deal though. No but really, it was a wonderful, emotional, yet hilarious book. Did I mention it was emotional? 


The Search for Wondla - Tony Tony DiTerlizzi

Description: When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her: She knows that other humans exist because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.” 

Why you should read it: I LOVED THIS BOOK. It is definitely hard to get into at first because it is a bit slow, but once you get into it, you will love it. It's this mystical dystopian world filled with these creatures that's fun to read and learn more about. I especially love the "lost child" idea, and Eva's journey to find her parents is so interesting. There are also several gorgeous illustrations inside that will mesmerize you and get you even more into the book, it's overall wondlaful. (I hate myself)


Are you a middlegrade reader? And what is your favorite middlegrade book? Because I always need more books to add to my monster TBR. 


Thanks for reading,
Noor

Sunday

Some MORE Harry Potter Gifs To Brighten Your Day

Hello everyone! After doing my last Harry Potter gif post, I got a lot of requests to do another one. I mean, that post was just meant as a filler because I had no idea what to post, and I'm cringing looking back at it. But apparently I have good tastes in Harry Potter gifs. They also seem to do their job, brightening people's days. So here are some more gifs to enjoy. And if you want more enjoyment from watching moving pictures loop over and over again, click on the other post. Let us begin.

note to self - never use Heads and Shoulders. 

Actually same though

dead. i'm actually dead. goodbye

Hey Voldemort. You should have a snickers, you're not you when you're-

well then. 

Bless the people who create these

"report to Dumbledore"

and to end it. 

- - - - 

I hope you laughed! Or at least nose sniffed. Also, I apologize if you're stuck in a continuous loop of watching them over. and over. and over. and ov- okay I'll stop. 


On a scale from one to ten, how bright is your day now? ALSO how do you pronounce "gif": gif with a hard g or jif like the peanut butter? 


Thanks for reading,
Noor

did you realize that half of the gifs were Voldemort related? oops
also- I've been more active on my Goodreads lately. Let's be friends. 

Friday

Pros and Cons of Reading Fast/Slow

I find that people think reading fast is a good thing. Which made me come to the realization that is reading fast really good? I mean, sure you get to read tons of books but I've learned from experience that there's cons to reading fast. And naturally, I compiled a pros and cons list, because these lists solve everything, naturally.

Reading Fast

PROS
-You get to read more books. This is definitely the main pro of being able to read fast as you can literally consume books which is always great, especially if you have a MONSTER TBR like me. Reading books fast opens up opportunities to read more books.

-You get to recommend more books. Read fast = review fast. You can get more people into the fandom, faster. Like yay right?



(gif)

-You can read + do stuff. I don’t know about you but I have goals when I read? I’d be like “stopping at chapter 15 so I can play violin” (not saying I always follow these goals but.) and so reading fast can help you get through it (while enjoying.. hopefully?) And then you can get stuff done. Yay.  


CONS
-Sometimes you don’t understand? I’ll often read fast but then I’ll get to a point in the book and I’ll be like what. And then I’ll have to go again and read it again because I probably skimmed past a paragraph and that was an important paragraph and I read it too fast. You understand, just that feeling of confusion when something happens and you’re like “why?” “where?” “how?”


Can I give myself a challenge to see how many posts in a row can I put a Doctor Who gif in a post?


-You forget about the book faster. Sometimes if I finish a book in a day or two, I’ll forget about it easily, and I won’t be able to review it without the book. This also frustrates me because unless the book is like really good, I won’t remember it later in my life so I probably won’t give it as a recommendation to people, which is quite sad sometimes if the books are half decent.

-You don’t get as into the book. It takes me time to be with the book to really get into the book. Usually again, if I finish the book in like 1-2 days, I most likely won’t be as connected with the book and the characters which is quite sad, again.


Reading Slow

PROS
-You get to love the book. Countering one of the cons from fast reading, if you read slower, you can love the book. You can develop a relationship with a book, cherish it, love it as you read it slowly. The characters become your best friends. It’s nice all around. Unless the book sucks.

-You get to take in every single part of the book. Most likely, reading slow means that you read every word. And I find that wonderful, of course I don’t have the patience because if the paragraph has nothing somewhat exciting, I skim. This also means you understand more and you’re able to grasp more of the story. Which is also great all around. I applaud you if you do this, you are what I aspire to be.

I’ve decided not to put 3 pros here because these pros are worth at least 1.5. That and I can’t come up with another one bUt that does not mean fast reading is better since it has more cons, since these are worth 1.5, yes.
CONS
-Too many books to read. It piles up. You read slow, and your TBR just piles up. You just finished reading a book and BAM you have 100 new books on your TBR. (okay I’m exaggerating but for real too many books)



-It takes a lot of time. It takes you FOREVER to finish a chapter, which can honestly be annoying if you have more books you want to read and you can’t because you want to finish this book and it’s honestly just really annoying.

Only put two to be fair, we can count these as 1.5s too…

- - - - - - - 

So there was my first (real) post back from hiatus, hooray! i guess. I hope it helped somehow :) 


Do you read fast or slow? What are the pros and cons of your reading type? Add to my list!


Thanks for reading,
Noor

Monday

What I Learned From Taking a Break

Hello everyone! I'm back, from what I thought was going to be a shorter break. But halfway through last week, I decided that I would carry out this break for the entire break. I sort of let go of a lot of things, like blogging, soccer, practicing violin. for mental reasons. No but really, I learned some things about myself and these activities on this break.



That doing these activities gives me something to do. Literally that week was so boring, all I did was watch Anna Akana videos and play Sims until I literally couldn't stare at screens no more. Going to practice, practicing my violin, blogging, it all gave me something to do and made my days meaningful.

That I was much more stressful?? ???? WHAT how is this even possible?? The first time I got stressed last week, I was like ?? I have nothing to be stressed about. But then I realized doing these things actually helps me destress and take a break. Listening to the sweet (usually..) melodies of my violin. Snuggling up and writing a nice blog post. Kicking the ball around and letting out my anger. All ways I usually destress, and I let go of all of them.

How unorganized I am. While on the break, I also decided to look at why these things were making me stressed and sad a lot. Because I didn't have a good organized schedule with them. I had no form of blogging whatsoever, I was just slapping things onto a document, hoping it will work. I had no organized time to practice my violin, and I often would just not do it. I didn't make time to practice soccer at home at all, which was lowering my performance. And I didn't manage my time doing all of these things.

As a result, I talked with my parents and they helped me establish a little block like schedule for each day that helps me manage my time and it's honestly been working. Good plan.

How unconfident I am. I have almost no confidence in myself. It's honestly so sad. I realized how often I approach things with a negative attitude. I mean, I had realized this before but I had never decided to truly act on it. I don't think I can do anything which has lowered my performance in everything I do, and it's ruining my self esteem. I still haven't figured out how to fix this, which is the worst part about it all. I just think what if I mess up? and then I end up beating myself up.

That it's lonely. A lot of social activity occurs with blogging, and during practice (not violin, I'm the most anti-social person when I practice violin) and without those interactions, I get lonely. I mean sure, I talk to my other friends but I think I was so used to all that "socialness" that I just got sad? I mean I really don't know I'm 99% sure I'm just ranting at this point but you know


But yeah I'm gonna go since my computer is dying. I hope you somewhat (?) enjoyed that and um. stay awesome :)

Thanks for reading,
Noor

ramble about blogging - you may ignore if you wish

this isn't an important post, I mean it's going to help me release all of the emotions, you can just X out if you'd like, or you can read it. who knows, you could relate.

yikes.

do I need it to fit in here? I mean I feel like I need to fit in here, and by here I mean the blogging community and I feel like I fit in but not quite. My blog is sort of all over the place at the moment and while I'm trying to keep a strict lifestyle/book/fangirl "niche" it's just not turning out very well?

Everyone has their way of fitting in and even after 2 whole years of doing this I don't have a spot. Almost every blog in this little community has their own place, the reason why they stand out. But I'm just there? Doing the same things everyone else does, posting the same things, there's really nothing new for me. And it's like people are losing interest in my blog, and I'm losing interest in the same boring things I'm posting every week.

I have not been reading blogs and connecting with others lately, and that's how it's been for like 2-4 months and I really want to get out of this slump but I just don't know how.

As I've went through my blogging time, I've grown decently in readers and ideas and stuff, but now I'm at that point where I'm out and it's a flatline of readers and ideas and stuff, it's just nothing now. I don't want to take a break, I took a break this same exact time last year and too many breaks just won't cut it for me. I love blogging, but I'm running out of ideas. It's a bad occasion of not enough supply but too much demand. I want to post all the time, but I don't have the inspiration to do it.

I'd also like to do another survey, but I literally just did a survey but they are truly so helpful to me because it gives me an idea of what to post.

I want to keep my blog to just lifestyle/books/fangirliness because then I think I'll have more ideas and that will help that flat line extend upwards into greatness (?)

--

If you read this, basically I'm asking for help. anyway you can give it to me, because I'm stuck in every way possible.

ALSO- If I don't return for a week or so, it's probably because I made a decision to take a teeny (tiny) super short. super super short. break.

peace.

Saturday

March Book Wrap-Up

Hello everyone! WEEKEND. YES. ALSO APRIL, HELLO. I'll be doing my April Goals next post but I decided to do something different today. Instead of March Favorites, I'm going to be wrapping up which books I read in March, and a little short review as well, let's do it :)


note: I did not add one of the books I read on this list today because I despised it and everything about it I just couldn't put it into words. continue :)



Fairest - Marissa Meyer 
| Goodreads |

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME. it has taken over my life. Although this book, meh. I love seeing the villian's side of the story, and I think this book did its job by giving me a backstory about Levana. but I wasn't pleased with the whole thing. The plot was weak, she was evil for some odd reasons and the whole book centered around her irrational love for Evret. I mean, don't get me wrong, that was a decent conflict, but it wasn't enough for me. 

this book was sad, it was creepy, and it didn't make me change my feelings toward Levana whatsoever except for the fact that I can confirm how crazy she is. isn't it funny how I dislike the books which everyone loves? The only reason I didn't rate this book a 2 or a 3 was because Marissa Meyer is a great writer, great with words. 



Pretty Monsters - Kelly Link
Goodreads |

okay first of all WHAT. These stories made NO sense, I mean I could tell there was meant to be a deep meaning to them but I just couldn't understand?? The Faery Handbag was the best one, and the only good one. The writing was good though, the author made everything flow, just not the plots. Most of the stories were quite dull to be honest and I couldn't get into them. I love the cover though.


the stars that are off center are bothering me

A Darkness Strange and Lovely - Susan Dennard
Goodreads |

I REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK. even though this is the sequel and I accidentally read it before the first book, which is why I was so confused. Hah. BUT IT WAS GOOD. I think it may have been the best book I read last month. The character development was outstanding in my opinion. The characters were all loveable as well. (DANIEL) 

I also really loved the plot, it was well crafted and THAT PLOT TWIST THOUGH WOWZER. (yes i said wowzer, ignore) Read the book, come to that part in the ending and yes you will say wowzer too. I really regret making the ending only 3 stars because that plot twist deserves a solid 4. 

but the love triangle. sometimes I can handle it, sometimes I can't, and this is one of those times where I can't. I won't go into too much detail to refrain from spoiling anything but yes, it's not good. ANYWAY, I enjoyed this book, gonna read the first one now (yikes), and hopefully the last one doesn't disappoint me. *thumbs up*


Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) - Leigh Bardugo
Goodreads |

K I LIED THIS IS MY FAVORITE. it was SoO GOOD. The characters, as you can see, I gave a 5 stars, primarily because of how much I freakin loved Mal and everything about him SHWODSN *throws self into the sun* if Alina doesn't want him I'll take him. Although, I found Alina quite annoying. She was rude, over her head and just annoying sometimes, but I think she can be a decent heroine if she develops throughout the series.

and I really wanted to give this a five stars if it weren't for the trope. Girl is plain. She finds special power. She is wowed and worshiped by country. whoop dee doo. BUT I could tolerate the love triangle, in fact I love the love triangle, because I think it just has more of a deeper meaning to it?

anyway, loved it, definitely will finish the series. 



Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas hey that has a ring to it

oooh see everyone I know gave this a 5 stars and while I wanted to I just.. couldn't? I had 1 main problem with this book but let's list the good factors first. I thought the plot was decent enough for the first book, the whole idea of the championship and stuff was cool. I also loved the whole idea of the assassin, that was new. It was also written wonderfully (I also quite liked the love triangle in this book), character development was good. 

My problem with this book was Celeana. She was annoying in some parts, and some of her actions made me want to throw the book at the wall. she was over her head, and so cocky it made me want to cry. she was treated like a princess???

also I'm having the feeling Dorian is heading towards becoming Draco Malfoy. maybe that's why I love him so much.



HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED THESE MINI REVIEWS! Let me know if I should do more of these in the future, maybe instead of favorites posts..

also I have not written a single word for nanowrimo oh dear


Thanks for reading,
Noor