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Saturday

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - Book Review

Hello everyone! LONG TIME NO POST! I'm finally back with another review, this is an older one I did back in April but it's of one of my favorite books of all time, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.



this review will contain spoilers but I'll put a warning around them in bold

I am currently writing this review in my grave.

Honestly, I haven't rated a book 5 stars in a while, and this one 110% deserves the 5 stars. I give it a 98%, because just about everything was fabulous. It was funny, adorable, and the plot was decent honestly.

I went into this book thinking that this was going to be yet another Harry Potter knockoff. And trust me, it was, but in the best way possible. I feel like Rainbow referenced Harry Potter quite a bit, on purpose and I didn't write them down, but I did catch a Twilight reference in there:

"I know what you are" I snarled
His eyes locked onto mine. "Your roommate?"....
"Tell me," he spat...
"Tell me Snow... what am I?"...
"Vampire!" I shouted. 

First, the plot. I had my issues with it, mainly because I somewhat felt that it didn't have enough to it. I mean, I was 70% focused on the drama and the love, but I needed more action. I did love how Rainbow put it all together like a puzzle and it just all fit. Basically I found myself screaming "OH" or "IT ALL MAKES SENSE" 3000 times throughout this book.

!! SPOILER !!

And then the Mage and the Humdrum. You start out the book with this view of the Mage as Dumbledore, the advisor, the one who will teach Simon to be the greatest wizard (er Magician) and beat Voldemort (er the Humdrum). BuT things take a turn and that's not how it goes, because the Humdrum is in fact not all evil but the Mage ends up being this powerhungry man who you can associate with Voldemort in a way. I love it, Rainbow Rowell blows me away again. That was such a smart and interesting way of putting the twist on the whole HP plotline stuff.

!! END OF SPOILER !!

ALSO, the characters? They just made me happy inside. I mean Penelope was just so great, she was confident and driven to get things done and that's what I loved. She's one of those characters that you just connect with, Rainbow Rowell is fantastic at doing that.

!! SPOILER !!

 SIMON AND BAZ'S RELATIONSHIP?? AKA ME DEAD??  It was so adorable and I was just flailing everywhere whenever something cute happened. iT'S JuST sO AdOraBLE like. It's so, I can't explain it?

!! END OF SPOILER !!

Well, I adored this book and I'm quite sad it was a standalone because honestly I would have loved to see it as a series. But the ending was wonderful, it ended , unlike other Rainbow Rowell books... (*cough* Fangirl) I was able to pull away from viewing it as just Harry Potter and seeing the characters as they are, Simon as Simon instead of Harry. Baz as Draco instead of Draco. Penny as Penny instead of Hermione.


loved it. go read it. you won't regret it.

5 OUT OF 5 STARS !!



Let me know if you've read Carry On and how you liked it, I certainly did. I'll be posting regularly this month since I basically have nothing going on, yay.

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Wednesday

The Rising Authors Tag

Hello everyone! I like writing tags, we all like writing tags, they're fun and really don't feel like tags to me (?) I was nominated for this a couple weeks back (I don't remember by who, I should really write this stuff down) so here goes :D



Rules: 

1) Write a post thanking the person who tagged you: include the tag, the 11 questions asked, your answers, and, in reply to the request for a small piece of prose or poetry, share a 150-word story.
2) At the end of the post, provide 11 new questions.
3) Request a brief 150-word story from the people you tagged.
4) Tag at least one person, and include a link to their blog.


Questions:

1) Write on paper or on the computer?
Computer. My arm cramps up super easily and writing on paper is a nightmare. Computer is much faster and I can EASILY edit and fix any mistakes and it just looks cleaner.

2) On average, how many words do you write in one session?
1,000-2,000, I'm not a super fast writer, I like to take my time and think.


3) Fanfiction: yea or nay?
yay! I love reading fanfiction and I'm writing a fanfiction for Camp NaNo

4) Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? If so, did you win, and did you like or dislike it?
I have done NaNo and I did win (yay!) and I did like it. My only problem is that if I missed one day I had to HARDCORE write the next day.

5) Do you share your writing with your family/close friends?
Only my mom tbh (she's a good reviewer) and a couple internet friends. If it's fanfic I'll put it on Wattpad.

6) What are some of the most helpful pieces of writing advice you've heard?
Don't let anyone put down your ideas.

7) Do you write poetry?
Yes, when I'm feeling very strong emotions and I just need to let it out on paper. If I'm angry however, I'll kill off a character in my WIP (or two..)

8) Describe 3 characters from stories that you've written.

- Vert is a snarky vampire who's extremely sassy and really doesn't care about anyone. (from my NaNo WIP from November)

- Kayla Young is a bisexual human (?) who was in my attempted WIP for April Camp NaNo. She's shy and isn't out to anyone but finds comfort in her best friend (ahem also crush) Jayne.

- Arissa is a Native American human who starred in a short WIP I did for a History/English assignment in January. She's outgoing and passionate and has the power to control the wind.

9) What called you to writing?
I honestly started writing more when I started blogging but really I had all these fun ideas in my head and after I really got into reading, I started twisting those ideas into stories and slapping them onto paper.

10) Do you like killing off your characters?
I honestly do and I sound like a horrible person but I like finding ways to kill off my characters that help with the plot line. Or maybe it's just that I like making my readers sad..

11) Have you gotten published?
lol no. The closest thing was getting a bunch of reads on Wattpad for this phanfic I wrote but that's not even remotely close what am I saying

I'm supposed to put in a 150 word snippet so here you got enjoy this is from my recent Harry Potter fanfic WIP yay


“Crucio.” Voldemort shouted, causing Draco to let go of Pansy’s arm, falling to the cold ground. “Should I drive you to insanity? Let you watch your beloved teachers die and leave you with nothing but a shell of a boy who was too fearful to join me. A shell of a boy who was despised by his peers because he was brought up to believe that making other people feel horrible was the right thing to do. A boy who didn’t have friends, but followers. A boy who was never loved, only by his mother. A boy who will die a sad death just because he wanted to feel heroic for once in his life.” Voldemort screeched at Draco as he kept shooting the boy with Cruciatus curse.

btw it's an AU where Harry died in Deathly Hallows and if Draco was good and that's Voldemort punishing Draco for betraying the Death Eaters. 


I Tag

everyone reading who has written a piece of writing before. also because most of the writing blogs I know have been tagged for this/already have done this. 

My Questions

(have the ones i just answered because every question i can think of has been used)

1) Write on paper or on the computer?
2) On average, how many words do you write in one session?

3) Fanfiction: yay or nay?
4) Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? If so, did you win, and did you like or dislike it?
5) Do you share your writing with your family/close friends?
6) What are some of the most helpful pieces of writing advice you've heard?
7) Do you write poetry?
8) Describe 3 characters from stories that you've written.
9) What called you to writing?
10) Do you like killing off your characters?
11) Have you gotten published?


I hope you enjoyed reading and listening to me talk about writing.

aLSO maybe I'll post the first chapter of my fanfic.. maybe? should i?

anyway have a great day and the rest of your week everyone :)

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Monday

recent obsessions

Hello everyone! I realized that I haven't done a "favorites" post in a while, but this isn't exactly a favorites post, more like things I'm obsessed with. (there will be ranting, there will be fangirling, and you have been w a r n e d)

pokemon go // Pokemon GO came out on the 6th in the U.S and I've been playing it non stop. I'm only allowed to go outside by myself a couple times a day and my parents don't want to come with me on walks if I'm constantly trying to catch a Scyther so I'm only on level 6 but *shrugs* IT'S FUN.

I've always been a Pokemon fan since I was like 5 when I would watch the anime before school so this is so fun for me. Of course I usually only come across Pidgeys (i catch them for pidgeot) and Zubats but hey, maybe I'll get more in the future.

i gotta catch em all.


reading/writing fanfic // Before like 2 weeks ago, I was never really a fanfiction person, I could never get into reading it. And I could barely write it. But nowadays, I've been really trying to write fanfic and for Camp NaNo (which is going pretty bumpy right now) I'm writing this really exciting Harry Potter fanfic. (I might post it here, maybe not, maybe after I edit it)

But reading fanfic is always a fun ride, especially for Harry Potter since I can never get enough of it. By fun, I mean sad and bumpy or like flailing. 


taking walks// This is mainly because of Pokemon Go tbh but I've learned to appreciate nature while walking. I've taken some really nice pictures, even if they're with my phone. I've explored new spots while walking around (looking for rare pokemon) and just been happier outside. 

I'm always stuffed in the house and going outside for an hour each day really gave me a breather, I recommend it honestly (it's not hard either :P)


sleeping late // I guess this is more of an unhealthy obsession, yet an obsession nonetheless. I've been sleeping 12 AM-3 AM and man is it fun. I can do whatever I want and have my own little party in my room with my computer.

However, since it is so late, when I try to sleep, I'm hit with horror and scary thoughts that make it impossible for it to sleep until an hour later. (last night I put on the Pokemon anime to help me sleep)



I've really been trying hard to plan more better posts, so I promise I will be back to koala tea posts again, soon. 

What things have you been obsessing over? Maybe we can obsess over them together :D


Thanks for reading,
Noor

(i have no clue why my pictures aren't centering, help)

Wednesday

hope for the world

Hello everyone! Today is Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan for Muslims (like me :D) (basically where you fast ((don't eat or drink)) everyday for 30 days from sunrise to sunset). It's a wonderful time where we eat, get gifts, and celebrate our glorious religion.

I went to my prayer place for the special Eid prayers today, and our religious leader (he's called an Imam) gave us a little talk, which the Imams usually do during the Eid prayers. He talked about educating people about our religion, and showing them that they shouldn't judge us based on the actions of Islamic extremists. He then challenged us to educate people, as many as we can, in any way possible about the good of Islam, and how it's not mass shootings or genocide.

I decided to carry out this challenge with my blog, as it's my place to discuss things that I want, or that needed to be said. And I'm going to take this one step further by not just discussing the good and the hope of Muslims, but the good of the entire world.

I don't expect anyone to read this whole thing because I just wrote two large paragraphs up there but if you can get the basic idea of what I'm trying to say, then wonderful, that's all I need.



You cannot judge a race, religion, or culture based on the actions of a small group of those people.

You cannot base your opinions of Muslims based on the actions of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Omar Mateen, or any other mass Muslim shooting. 

Muslims are not all murder seeking people who want revenge. 

Most Muslims are NOT dangerous to your country. 

ISIS is an extremist group. Notice the word extreme in that sentence. They take Islam to another level that is not meant to be taken to. The Islamic religion is meant to be peaceful, we do not believe in taking harmful actions. ISIS has a different view of Islam that 80% of Muslims (probably more to be honest) do not believe in. If you do believe in Islamaphobia, and your only excuse is ISIS, then you need to rethink your views.

Al Qaeda and their actions were based off of revenge. If you don't know, during the Cold War (war between US and then the Soviet Union), The U.S trained soldiers in Afghanistan (many who then joined Al Qaeda, and Osama Bin Laden) to fight back against the Soviet Union who were invading Afghanistan at that time, promising them fortunes and other things. The U.S never carried out these promises, angering many of the soldiers, causing them to form Al Qaeda and attacking the Twin Towers on 9/11. They too, were a Muslim extremist group, but many of their actions were based on revenge and anger. (I am by no means saying the 9/11 attack was justified in any way, but I am saying that Al Qaeda's actions were not justified by Islam)

yike that was a long one ^^ Another thing, Islam is a peaceful religion. I challenge you today to go out and ask a Muslim that you know, what Islam means to them. 


But despite all these hateful actions, Islamaphobia and the actions of Muslim extremists, I have hope in the world that things will get better. That we can end the hatred any way we can, even if it's educating some people via your blog or your voice, you can do it. It makes a difference, you make a difference.

I believe that we can get past this all, that we can fight it and that we as younger people can pull through. Turn can't into can this year because we can and we will.

Have hope everyone. Also, sorry for all the sappiness I went off on a rant but I hope you felt inspired (???) or something like that.

I'll be my regular, awkward self soon. ok cool (look it's comin on back)

we should all just love each other i mean ted knows what's up



Thanks for reading,
Noor

disclaimer: i am in no way trying to be offensive or convert you to Islam or anything like that, i just wanted people to try and see the good in Islam and maybe make some people look past the sterotypes put on Muslims. cool cool

Saturday

July Goals + TBR

Hello everyone! Happy July, the middle of summer :) To kick off July, I'm going to do a lil classic goals post to motivate myself to get things done. During summer, I'm usually lazy and not willing to do much, but I'm hoping that these goals will help me to do more things, and that the thought of having a TBR waiting for me will motivate me to pick up my book. Enjoy!


---

July Goals

- Keep up a blogging schedule of posting every other day/posting every 2 days. In June, my biggest trouble with the blog was not posting much, which I had been able to keep up since the beginning of my blog. In July, since I'm basically doing nothing, I really hope to post a lot more, and give out posts with more quality and creativity. 

- Complete Camp NaNoWrimo. I didn't do Camp in April because I was a wimp, but I think I can change that now. I'm writing a fanfiction for Camp this year, not as stressful because I've been out of writing well for months now, so I'm going to take it slow. My goal is 30k, the same as for all the Camp NaNos I do, so that isn't as stressful either. 

(It's a Harry Potter AU where Harry died in DHPt2 and if Neville didn't exist, and it's sad. Like make the author cry while writing it, sad)

- Hang out with a friend every week. I've decided to be more social this summer. I almost NEVER hang out with my friends over the summer, for I'm an antisocial freak, and it's kind of depressing. I'm determined to change that. A friend is coming over in an hour, so I already got a head start on that (and I need to speed up this post okay cool.)

- Not go into a reading slump, and attempt to read daily. Don't get me wrong, I love reading (I mean I should), but it's hard to remind myself sometimes. It's not that I have to force myself to pick up a book, it's just that it's hard sometimes to put down my computer and calm down. During the school year it's 10x easier because it's like sometimes in the school day, all I can do is read. But in the summer it's like overwhelming with millions of things to do. Does anyone understand?


July TBR

I'm going to lay it low with the TBR and give myself only 4 books to read, so it isn't 100% overwhelming.


P.S I Still Love You - Jenny Han / I finally picked up this book after months of being on my TBR..

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins / Trying to read more books off my shelves. 

The Copper Gauntlet - Holly Black&Cassandra Clare / Picked this up weeks ago, never read it..

Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater / More Maggie Stiefvater? Sign me up.



Let's be productive this July! I hope I possibly motivated you to create some goals of your own for this month :D

Reading is fun and I always need more recommendations, so what is your July TBR or what books are you looking forward to reading this summer? (i have a gigantic TBR already but why not make it monstrous eh?)


Thanks for reading,
Noor 

(I promote this every post but Rukiya is hosting BCA where you vote for your favorite bloggers in different categories over on her blog and it's really fun so I highly recommend that you check it out okay go go go, link is here :D)