#RamadanReadathon 2020 TBR!

#RamadanReadathon 2020 TBR!

Salaam, everyone! I am (almost) back from blogging hiatus to announce my TBR for this year’s #RamadanReadathon! The purpose of this readathon is to celebrate and support Muslim authors during the blessed month of Ramadan. This year, the readathon will take place between April 23 – May 23 2020. With all of us spending Ramadan, and most likely Eid, in quarantine, I hope this year’s readathon will brings us together just that little bit more.

This year’s readathon will revolve around the upcoming release, Once Upon an Eid, which is an anthology of short stories from some of our current Muslim writers! What I love about this year’s readathon format is that the element is unrestricted, which can be a blessing and a curse for a hazard reader like myself. During Ramadan, I will also be submitting my dissertation and my final assignments of my degree, so the freestyle of this readathon makes it a lot easier to partake! No prompt or restriction except for the books must be by Muslim authors and thankfully my TBR is packed with them!

Below are the books I hope to read during this month!

The Kingdom of Copper

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe..

I recently re-read The City of Brass last month and I was so shocked at how much I enjoyed it on my second read-through. I had initially read COB as an arc and rated it 3 out of 5 and now, looking back at the rating and review, I can really see how much stress can impact my reviews. I had first read COB in a very stressful period in my life and since the book was so heavy, I didn’t appreciate it the first time around. Granted, I was still stressed reading it my second time around, but I really paced myself this time and I can’t believe how different I feel about it now! Now I’m super excited to dig into The Kingdom of Copper and this readathon came at a perform time! Expect a full trilogy review once I’m done!


The Empire of Gold

I have purposely not included the description for The Empire of Gold because I am plan on reading this and The Kingdom of Copper for this readathon and I don’t want to spoil myself for this series! I’m usually don’t care that much about spoilers but I am adamant to not have this series ruined or me! A copy of The Empire of Gold was given to me via Netgalley.  


 

The Henna Wars

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

I’ve been follow Adiba on twitter for a while now and it’s so much fun watching someone you follow go through the process of publishing their own book! Also have to support my fellow Bangladeshi as well!!


 

Once Upon an Eid

Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift-giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy. The anthology will also include a poem, graphic-novel chapter, and spot illustrations.

Of course, I couldn’t not add our honorary book! I’m so excited to see what stories are included. I’m super excited to read the graphic novel chapter!


The Light of the Bottom of the World

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

This one has been on my TBR for too long! And I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about it! It’s sci-fi and dystopia so it’s right up my alley!


Okay, so that is my extremely short TBR but hopefully keeping it this short will make it more realistic to complete. Also, cnsidering that S.A. Chakraborty’s books are long as hell, one book could qualify as two. Check out Nadia’s introductory post where she includes other book options if you’re thinking of joining! I’m late as hell (as usual) to announce my TBR but I’m so excited to see what else Nadia has in store for this month. Be sure to follow her on all her social and the readathon’s account to keep up to date with the possible upcoming author interviews, twitter chats and giveaway! Not everything is confirmed yet, but do check it out if you have the time!

And that’s all from me, hopefully, I’ll be posting more frequently as I wrap my degree (very scary) and I hope everyone is keeping safe in the middle of this epidemic. Keep practising good social distancing and take care of yourself! I’ll see you all soon!

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Ranking Every Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus

Ranking Every Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus

As always during the most stressful moments of university, I find myself latching onto certain games as a form of comfort. My first year of university it was The Sims 4, where for the first time I actually bought an expansion and stuff packs. The second-year was replaying Nintendo’s newest addition to The Legend of Zelda series, Breath of the Wild. For the third year, I feel like it’s a juggle between Stardew Valley and Shadow of the Colossus. My childhood gaming experience was exclusively being a backseat spectator to my older brother, and Shadow of the Colossus was a game I remember fondly as a child. I didn’t even mean to pick up the game. I was scrolling through my brother’s PS4 games, deciding what I was going to play once I had finished my final assignments. I had decided on the Kingdom Hearts series, another game franchise where my entire experience of it came straight from peering over my brother’s shoulder. I was even considering just starting the game right there and then, but knowing my tendency to fixate on games once I get hooked, I didn’t want to risk it when I’m buried under paperwork. So, there on the bottom of the list was Shadow of the Colossus. I had ignored it initially, mainly because I recall it looking rather challenging to play but when you’re stressed from multiple essays and deadlines, all coherent thoughts go out the drain, and I started a new save file. (I would say thank God for easy mode on the PS4, but even I struggled at times.)

My first thoughts playing the game was how much I remember and how much I’ve forgotten since the days of watching over my brother’s shoulder. The plot of the game stayed with me long into adulthood, but my terrible memory was a saviour at this moment because everything still felt brand new. Even though I played on Easy mode, I still struggled and to be honest, that is just who I am as a player. Even in the moments of frustration when I accidentally let Wander fall from the top of a colossus, and I swear that I won’t play this game again when I finally completed it, I still found myself opening the game the very next day to repeat the process all over again.

So, this post isn’t a review of Shadow of the Colossus and, like my BOTW post, I want to showcase what I liked about the game, but I couldn’t bring myself to list certain aspects definitively. So instead, I decided to rank my favourite colossi. This isn’t a list of worst to best (since I don’t think any of them as actually bad) but more a ranking of how much I enjoyed fighting each other. Also, if you haven’t played the game before, you primarily traverse across barren land to revive a girl named Mono by defeating sixteen massive beings (Colossi), aided only by your horse, limited weapons and the voice of a mysterious creature.

Note to anyone reading this post and hasn’t played the game: of course, spoilers but I’ll also be referring to the colossi with their fan-given names.

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[Blog Tour] The Wolf of Oren-Yaro #HailTheBitchQueen

[Blog Tour] The Wolf of Oren-Yaro #HailTheBitchQueen

Title: The Wolf of Oren-Yaro

Author: K.S. Villoso

Publisher: Orbit Books

Publication date: 18 February 2020

Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.

But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.


Hello, I previously announced that I’m on a semi-blogging hiatus, except for planned posts. Still on hiatus (I am SO ready to graduate!!) but please enjoy my review for The Wolf of Oren-Yaro! I don’t feel like it’s one of my best review but if I still feel terrible about it after graduation, I do intent to pick this book up again before the release of its sequel. (I read the book and wrote this review in 2019)

As always, thank you to Shealea for all your hard work at Caffeine Book Tours. Please check the link after the review to see what everyone else thought of the book!

Review

*I received a finished copy via Caffeine Book Tours in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro follows Talyien, the Dragonlord of Jin-Sayeng, five years after her husband left her to rule over their already divided people. Issues and disagreements have been piling up for years, and the generals surrounding her are watching her every move. To keep the peace, she agrees to leave her land to the foreign city of Anzhao for peace talks with her estranged husband. Already out of her depth, she finds herself on the run when the negotiations go awry. Alone, in a nation unfamiliar to her, Talyien must survive the unknown if she wishes to return home. 

I’ll admit it; I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I decided to apply to join this blog tour. But I’m delighted I did. Oren-Yaro is a staggering journey of survival. From story to characters, to overall setting, this book was a unique read. Villoso delivers on what she sets out to achieve, and while I found myself a little overwhelmed by the world, the focus of this story wasn’t something I could pinpoint in certain moments, but I liked it like that. Which sounds very weird since, as a reader, I like having some awareness of where the story could go as I’m reading, but honestly, I flew through this book so quickly, I didn’t even care. This book was a wild ride, so much was happening; it all didn’t settle in until I reached the very last page. 

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Books That Defined My Decade

Books That Defined My Decade

This post was entirely inspired by Kate @ Your Tita Kate’s post, The Books That Defined My decade. I never thought to even reflect on my decade, but after reading Kate’s post, I immediately wanted to do the same.

I have a terrible memory, so I don’t remember much from my childhood, which makes me feel like I didn’t genuinely exist until 2010. At the start of this decade, I was eleven years old, turning twelve that March and, at the time of writing this post, I am twenty-one, about to turn twenty-two this March. I went from primary school, secondary school, college and university all in this decade alone. And just thinking about that blows my mind. In some sense, it shouldn’t because it’s just time passing but, at the same time, that is a lot of significant milestones in my life. I went from a child to a young adult, and reading Kate’s post made me realise that’s not a small thing. Reading is a big part of my identity, especially during this decade is where I had more choice over the books I read. While Kate’s post is more about books published in each specific year, my list is naming the books that I read in that year that made the most significant impact on me. So not all of them were great reads, but I feel like they deserve some acknowledge from impacting me in some way.

I’m going off what years I’ve put in my Goodreads profile but I feel like I might be off by a year or so hence I’ve added some books here that I actually read in 2009.

  • Thief – Despite Malorie Blackman being of the UK’s most beloved children’s author, I never read her acclaimed series Noughts & Crosses. Instead of the books, I knew her by were Thief and Hacker. I think this part is due to the face we didn’t have her books in my primary school library. (Maybe we did, and it was always being borrowed?) But anyway, I found Thief by accident when someone had randomly left it lying around after Golden Time. (lol remember Golden Time?) Anyway, someone remind me actually to read Noughts & Crosses in this decade.
  • Theodore Boone – The early 2010s was before I joined proper social media, so my ability to find books were severely limited. I don’t even remember how I managed to find Theodore Boone because it wasn’t from my school library, nor did anyone buy it for me. But I loved this series a lot as a kid. I used to watch a lot of crime shows with my family, so reading a series set in a similar environment to all the shows I was watching, but with a protagonist my age blew my mind.
  • The Lighting Thief – Funnily enough, this was the last time I actually up a Rick Riordan book before picking up the second one in 2019. I really loved The Lightning Thief, but my school library didn’t have the rest of the series so sadly, and with my fish brain that forgets everything every five seconds, I never got around to finishing this series. I tried continuing the series, but life got in the way. I really hope to get back to this series soon. 
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Year In Rewind: 2019

Year In Rewind: 2019

In place of my December Monthly Rewind, I decided to do a Year Rewind instead. (Partly because I actually haven’t done anything this month apart from cry over unwritten essays and dissertations – May is so close, yet so far…) If you don’t check out my Monthly Rewinds, I showcase the books I’ve read and the music I’ve listened to throughout the year. And for today’s post, I want to highlight the best books I’ve read this year, showcases some of my non-reviews posts and share some of my most listened to songs throughout the year! Similar to my favourite blogging moments, but without the questions and now including some stats from Goodreads!

According to Goodreads, I read 26,224 pages across 80 books. This has probably my lowest reading challenge ever. I intentionally went for 80 rather than my usual 100 because university really took a toll out of me this year. My book promise was to read outside my comfort zone and I don’t even think I managed to do that, sticking to YA and whatever sounded best to me. Mentally, I was not okay and it really reflected in the books I could make myself read and the posts I was making. I don’t like talking so negatively but I honestly cannot wait for university to be over. I have so much I want to do that I feel like university wasn’t really the right choice for me but I pushed myself through it anyway. Anyway, let’s get started. I don’t think I had many standout reads this year. I had initially planned to make this book top nine since it’s the end of 2019 but I found myself struggling to really pick a book and say this one truly brought me joy this year, which I why I whittled them down to six books.

B O O K S

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The first is Love From A To Z by S.K. Ali. I was invited to be a part of the blog tour earlier this year and I was literally jumping for joy when I got the email. I absolutely loved Ali’s work and having the opportunity to read such a great YA book that was so refreshing to read was a moment I’ll remember for a long time. You can read my blog tour post here!


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source: goodreads

My second choice, weirdly enough, was a book from 2014. Gates of Thread and Stone is one of those books that was all the hype back in 2014 apparently, and I just so happened to miss it by a year and it flew completely under my radar until someone on Twitter posted a cover earlier this year and I immediately fell in love. It’s a funny one because the plot and the fact that it follows a lot of cheesy YA conventions made it so surprising that I enjoyed it that much. I do wish I discovered this one earlier though, I know 2014 me would’ve appreciated it a lot.


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source: goodreads

My third choice is no surprise to anyone who knows me. Sword and Pen is the final book in the Great Library series. I’ve mentioned this enough times on here on how much Rachel Caine has influenced me in my journey of becoming a reader and a writer. Being able to experience another one of her series come to an end was rather bittersweet but amazing. A lot of readers will recognise Rachel from the Morganville Vampires series and the Great Library series is a true testament on how much she has improved in her skill. If you need a YA series to read, this is the one. Normally, I’m very picky over books, my favourites of all time tend to not be my favourite for long but this series has had my heart for so long, I don’t think anything will come to replace it.


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My fourth choice blew me away. Summer Bird Blue was a book where I found myself truly in tears at the end. I don’t consider myself a person who get physically emotional, so I was partly in shock at myself when I finished reading this one. It was so emotional and intense and the way music is used to deal with grief is something else.


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The next two choices are part of a series which should be no surprise to anyone. My fifth choice is Jade City by Fonda Lee. Jade City is such a epic novel which is such a different book that I don’t often look out for. Since this year was pretty poorly for me, I didn’t branch out in terms of reading choices. So when I saw Shealea promote the next book in the series Jade War, I decided to bite the bullet and try the book out. Honestly, I say this seriously, but this book is a masterpiece. A forever favourite book. And the sixth, and final choice, was Jade War, the sequel to Jade City. “The sheer joy I experienced from reading this novel is something that can’t be easily replicated” From my blog tour post. This series has seriously grabbed me by the throat, and I don’t know if I’ll ever let this one go.

M U S I C

Reflecting back on my music choices through Ask.fm this year really made me realise how boring my music taste. I don’t really have a set genre I listen to because my music taste essentially is: If it sounds good, I’ll listen. Judging by my last.fm, I feel like K-pop has jumped up the list a considerable amount, which is mainly due to the fact I tend to listen to my kpop girl group playlist in between short journeys where I don’t want to use my data to listen to other songs as it’s the only offline playlist I have. 😂

Anyway, I think that will be it for this post. I’m sorry it isn’t as great as I wanted it to be. Blaming it all on the essay blues and third year stress which means the first half of 2020 will not be a kind to me. But to anyone reading, I hope this year has been the best it could be for you and 2020 will bring you everything you ever hoped for!


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My Favourite 2019 Blogging Moments [TAG]

My Favourite 2019 Blogging Moments [TAG]

I was tagged by Rameela @ Star is All Booked Up. Thank you so much for tagging me!

RULES:

  1. All the answers must be about your blog posts
  2. Please link the original creator of the tag so they can see all your posts!
  3. You don’t have to provide just one post for each question, you can provide as many as you want so long as they were written in 2019
  4. If you haven’t written a post that matches one of the questions, choose one that relates to it as close as possible
  5. Tag 5+ bloggers to they can share their accomplishments too! And make sure you read the posts they share!

Oh, this one is a no brainer. Definitely Jade War by Fonda Lee. I discovered The Greenbone Saga through Shealea @ Shut up, Shealea and I am forever grateful for her recommendation. She was actually hosting the blog tour for Jade War and I had applied for it before I had read the first book in the series. (Jade City) In my defence, I wasn’t actually expecting to be accepted into the tour but man, am I glad she let me join and I actually really loved Jade City/War. I’ve linked the review already, but you can also click the book covers to see any mentioned posts.


source: Nintendo

I’m not big on doing discussion posts. Mainly because I don’t think I have much to contribute and I feel like everything I say is just regurgitating things people before me have said more eloquently. But I did really loved this post I wrote back in April about My Favourite Things About Breath Of The Wild. If you don’t know BOTW (first of all, get to know), it’s the newest instalment of the Zelda franchise and it’s one of my favourite games ever. I spoke a lot about my experience with video games and how rarely I got the opportunity to play the big names growing up. And then I listen some of my favourite parts of the game. It’s a pretty chill post but I love it a lot.

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