Changes In My Reading Habits

Changes In My Reading Habits

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

Last month, I was notified by WordPress that is was my six year anniversary for registering with them. Which makes the upcoming December, my fifth year since creating my own internet corner. Unless you happen to be the five spam users who followed me in the first year before Reading and Reviews (I was a very original content creator at age sixteen as you can tell) came to life, you’d know this site was meant to be my writing bin. 😂 As an avid user and writer of Wattpad, I was left with a lot of stories that didn’t fit well with me anymore. And this space was meant to keep them, in a private site, away from anyone’s eyes. (You didn’t miss much, fifteen-year-old Zaheerah was basic and unoriginal)

Since it has been almost five years since I created my blog, and I really wanted to use this week’s TTT to reflect on how my reading habits have changed during these almost five years. I came to the conclusion that I have obviously changed quite a bit over the last six years. Since then, I’ve gone through secondary school, college and on my way to having a degree. Education has taken up a lot of the last six years and I’m interested to see how my reading habit will change again once I’ve graduated. I remember, during a shift at work, an old college teacher came by and was telling me how university will be the greatest part of my life. I laughed along in the conversation but it really made me think about myself and how education has always been something of a traumatic experience for me.

I won’t lie and say university was a breeze because it wasn’t. These past three years have made me the most anxious and tired. To be honest, I still wonder if it was ever worth it for me. And when I look back at my blog, I can see where it got too much for because my activity was either busy or completely absent. I even deserted this site for practically a year because I was struggling too much. University took a lot out of me and made coming here on this site less exciting and made blogging a chore rather than something I love. Now that I approach the middle of my final year, my dissertation is almost set in stone, I feel like I’m getting better. I know a career in publishing will difficult to embark on but the past year made me realize how much I truly love the process of making a book. I used to dream of becoming an author, and I still write in my free time, mainly for my own entertainment. (Hey, if no one’s publishing a story about a Muslim teen surviving a zombie apocalypse, then I have to make do with my own shoddy imagination 😂) But having experienced helping other authors with sensitivity reading and editing made me realize the making someone else’s story come to life is just as satisfying. I have no idea what I’m going to do once I have a degree in hand, but I’m happy to be where I am in this moment

I have gotten a bit off track here, but let’s get back on with it: how have my reading habits changed?

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Page to Screen (YA Edition)

Page to Screen (YA Edition)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

This week’s topic is free week on Top Ten Tuesday so I decided to do Page to Screen. This was a recent topic but I had sadly missed out on it so when free week came back, I knew I had to do it!

I decided to do a YA edition because I can think of more films/TV. But, making this list made me realise how many YA adaptation actually existed. I can name a couple off the top of my head but when I checked this article by BookRiot, there are a lot more than I expected. Sometimes I don’t realise that certain movies are based off YA novel!

This list is rather random, and I’m not ranking anything best or worst but rather what do I think of if you had to ask me: What YA books have been adapted to TV/Movie? (Only including ones that I have read and watched, and not the ones I’m aware of)

Vampire Academy

Image result for vampire academy screencap

Vampire Academy is one of those adaptions where whoever was in charge of the movie seriously messed up. I’ve only read the first two books (I was very upset with a certain character death in book two and never managed to pick up the rest of the series 😂) This series had a lot of potential and I feel like a movie series could’ve really improved upon the work.

For me, I hated the way the film was marketed and the decision to focus on the comedy aspect. Making it an over the top teen comedy that wasn’t really funny dampened any kind of success it could’ve gotten. Which was a shame because I loved Zoey Deutch, Dominic Sherwood and Cameron Monaghan at the time.

The soundtrack was the best though, I discovered CHVRCHES through it and they’re one of my favourite artists now. (Maybe I’ll do a post about my favourite YA adaptation soundtracks 😂)

Darren Shan Saga

Image result for cirque du freak screencap

No movie adaptation will upset me more than Cirque Du Freak (Darren Shan Sage). I absolutely loved this book series to pieces. Even my childhood love for Josh Hutcherson couldn’t save this series. And replacing Debbie with a random ass monkey girl called Rebecca had twelve-year -old me fuming. I will cry internally at the failure of this series forever.

The Hunger Games

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Along with Twilight, The Hunger Games franchise is one of the most defining series in YA adaptions. I don’t think need to explain its influence.

But I was definitely on THG train. I was mega obsessed with the series, and while it’s not a current favourite (since mine changes a lot) this series took up a lot of my life. And seeing Josh Hutcherson in another series I love had me jumping over the moon! I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this already but yeah, it’s a little embarrassing looking back, but I don’t regret it.

THG is a good example of adapting a book well than its satisfying as a fan of the book and interesting enough to newcomers.

Divergent

Image result for divergent screencaps

Oh, man. I loved Divergent (book) and the film was pretty satisfying. I think it did well to capitalise on the YA hype that THG built. The marketing for it was so cool and interactive. Unfortunately, I hated the rest of the series and it seems like the films didn’t do well after. I don’t remember seeing the second movie but I do remember being issues with the rest.

The Maze Runner

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Along with Divergent, TMR is another one that kicked off well but slowly lost its strength towards the end. I saw the first and second movie but I don’t remember anything about the rest of the franchise. I did love this series a lot and I was so excited to see it be adapted. But it didn’t work out and that will be a shame.

Morganville Vampires

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This was actually a web series. At the time, I thought this was the greatest thing ever. But then I realised I was seeing this through serious rose tinted glasses. I love the Morganville Vampires but the story was something that needed a better budget. While it isn’t terrible, but it is incredibly cheesy at some points. I like to rewatch it on prime sometimes because it gives me a chuckle and brings back some great memories. Also, I was a teen with no job when you were able to purchase the ID bracelet from the book. Still upset they don’t sell them anymore. 😭😭😭

The Mortal Instruments

Image result for city of bones movie

I’m not going to lie: I preferred the movie. Shocker, I know. I did enjoy the netflix series but I lost interest really easily. If the movie had a better script, maybe things could’ve been a little different. But I feel like it had a lot of potential because the casting was near perfect. (I wasn’t huge on Izzy but Lily Collins as Clary? Perfect.)

I don’t even like this series that much or even read books by Clare anymore but even I was disappointed. The hype for this was quite big I remember and the soundtrack was really good.

The Fault in Our Stars

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John Green books in generally really aren’t my cup of tea. As a teen, I forced myself to like them because all my friends loved his books and I was a desperate teenage who struggled to make friends so books were often my way in to friendship groups.

I have to say the film wasn’t bad. I think because it’s contemporary and doesn’t require FX like most YA adaptations, it was more faithful to the book because it didn’t have much restrictions.

Twilight

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I actually got into Twilight almost. I discovered the books at the same time as Morganville but I drifted to MV instead. (Never really liked the publishers constantly using that ONE quote on all the MV covers telling you to drop Twilight – it was quite rude, in my opinion) I think the films were alright, can’t say much because I wasn’t a super fan, but it was decent and enjoyable. If the script didn’t feel so cringey in the first one, I feel like it would’ve been received better.

Can say that “You named my daughter after the Loch Ness monster?!” is still one of the best scenes yet. 😂😂😂

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

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Cameron Post was left for dead by the YA community, and I wasn’t surprised. I feel like F/F novels get forgotten all the time. I know people kept putting this film up against Love, Simon which wasn’t fair because LS had bigger money behind it. I’m not saying one is more important than the other but I wish Cameron Post got a bigger buzz from people online. I was quite neutral about the book but the film was quiet but powerful.

What your favourite YA adaption? What’s on your TTT this week? Leave me a link or let me know in the comments


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Auto-buy Authors

Auto-buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

I’m not a big on having an “auto-buy author”, since a lot of the time, I end up not liking other books by the same author. Which is why this list is only eight because I had to think for a long and hard time on which authors would I consider immediately buying a new or perhaps one that I missed book.

  • Rachel Caine
    I basically grew up with the Morganville Vampires and The Great Library series is one of my all-time favourite YA series. Of course, Rachel will forever be an auto-buy. I prefer her YA stuff but I have purchased her adult fiction, I just haven’t got round to reading them yet.
  • S.K. Ali
    Saints & Misfits and Love From A to Z are some of my favourite Muslim YA novels.
  • Madeline Miller
    When you’ve written something as iconic as The Song of Achilles, you deserve to be everyone’s auto-buy author. 😂
  • Tahereh Mafi
    I’m not a huge fan of the Shatter Me series but everything she’s written outside of it has me hooked!
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Childhood Favourites

Childhood Favourites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

The books I read as a kid primarily came from whatever my sister read and whatever little books my primary school had. Our city library had been remodelled and had a reopening when I was younger. I vaguely remember going to the opening and getting a new library card. But my dad was rarely able to take us to and from the library because he was so busy with work.

Nowadays, I just read eBooks from my library because my physical card ran out, and I’m too awkward to go back to the library to renew it. I’m not sure when I considered childhood to end, and considering, I’m only twenty-one at the time of writing, it seems too early to have this list include books I read up to until turning eighteen.

For me, there’s a blur between childhood/teenage years. So, this list will mainly consist of books that I read before the age of thirteen because it seemed like the easiest way to categorise this list. But it also makes it the shortest and hardest list to make because I have no idea what I read as a kid. I have a pretty terrible memory, so unless something is documented, I will struggle to remember it. And I didn’t start using Goodreads until I was like fourteen. Anyway, I’m rambling, but here are some books I’ve read in my childhood.

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson, for me, was the quintessential British children’s author. I didn’t read Harry Potter until I was like thirteen since I used to see it as a book for Older Kids because my older sister really liked them. And because of the international success of HP, I often forget that it is a children’s series. I’m not too familiar with Wilson’s international success, but here, in the UK, her books dominated the children’s section. Even if I could never find a book I wanted, there was always a Jacqueline Wilson. Weirdly, I’ve actually only read one Tracy Beaker book, but I did watch the show a lot. My favourite was always My Sister Jodie, The Illustrated Mum or Candyfloss. My Sister Jodie was actually the last one I remember reading, which was like eleven years ago. I don’t think I’ve read anything past that.

The Morganville Vampires

I’m sort of toeing the age line at this point because I think I was around eleven when I read this series. But these books are THAT series for me that got me into becoming an avid reader and pushed me into reading beyond what was in front of me. My sister used to buy the books each year they came out, and I just read them because I didn’t have any other option because we never really had space nor money to spend on books. But I’ve already mentioned how much this series has changed me. I later discovered The Great Library series, also by Rachel Caine, which is now and forever will be one of my all-time favourite book series. I also had the pleasure of working with Rachel for the last three books as a beta reader. And I honestly cannot tell you how thrilling it was to work on those books and to have the opportunity to make it the greatest it can possibly be. My notes were pretty shitty the first time, but it gave me a lot of experience.  

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First Ten Books I Reviewed

First Ten Books I Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

This week’s topic is First Ten Books I Review. I initially wanted to make this a booktube video, but the timing was a real struggle. One day, inshaAllah. I tried to use this week to reflect on my older reviews, and what do I remember about said book and what do I think about it today.

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Okay, wow, I completely forgot that this was the book that kickstarted my blog. I remember angrily typing this review at 12 am. I was slightly disappointed when I discovered that Zoella used a ghostwriter to help with her book. I don’t think I mentioned it in my review, but I actually have no issue with celebrities using ghostwriters but when you fail to mention it is where I found problems with. I have to admit this book has completely fallen off my radar so rereading my review made me laugh so much.

The Song of Achilles

Honestly, this is probably the only book on this list that I still reread to this day. Iconic, beautiful and amazing.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

WHY DO I HAVE NO MEMORY OF WRITING THIS? But it looks like I didn’t enjoy it at all.

Carter Reed

Okay, this one made me laugh a lot. I read this in college as a part of a buddy read with a friend. I believe we found this on BookBub.com where we randomly chose books of the emails we received and reviewed. I do not have any fond memories of this, and I’d instead not reread it.

The Fault in Our Stars

When I started my book blog, and I really started it with the intention that I was reading for me. During my teens, everything I “enjoyed” was because my friends introduced me to it. And TFiOS was one of them. To be honest, I have no issue with John Green, but I honestly don’t like his books and I kind of regret forcing myself to enjoy them because my friends did. I actually had a more positive review on my old Goodreads account, but I replaced it with this one because I couldn’t in good faith keep recommending it when I didn’t actually enjoy it.

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Favourite Book Quotes: part two

Favourite Book Quotes: part two

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

This week’s topic is freebie week so I decided to do a continuation post of a previous TTT topic which was Favourite Quotes. The last time I had done it was back in 2016 (!!!) so I thought it would be cool to update that list with more quotes from some of my more current reads. 

Image credit: Loe Moshkovska
 

“If the decision you’ve made has brought you closer to humanity, then you’ve done the right thing.”

― Tahereh Mafi, A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Image credit: nappy

“And I think about all the things we could be if we were never told our bodies were not built for them.”

― Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X
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