Mid-Year Book Freak Out (2019)

Mid-Year Book Freak Out (2019)

It’s that time again where everyone in the book blogging community do their annual check in to see their reading progress. As of the end of June, I have read 51 books so far this year. I never really got into doing this the past years because I never really had time to reflect on my reading choices until the end of the year. But I’ve really enjoyed the books I’ve read this year.

I’m not sure if these are the correct questions since I can’t seem to find the original post but I had taken these from Saajid’s video. I also removed fictional crush because it just wasn’t applicable so without further ado, I present my Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2019.

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Jade City

I’m saying it now, I don’t think any book I read this year will beat Jade City. This book is my everything and I love it so much. I wrote a short review not long ago but honestly I don’t think that it gave it justice.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019.

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Jade War

…. Jade War.

Don’t be surprised by the amount of times I will mention the Green Bone saga. I came to read Jade City by chance after receiving an email to join the blog tour for Jade War. So I delve into the first book and already knew I had to join the blog tour. I actually wasn’t expecting to be accepted but I’m so grateful to Shealea @ Caffeine Book Tours for choosing me. I’m holding off my thoughts for the blog tour but yes, the sequel raises the stakes and had me emotionally drained.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to

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Dread Nation

I bought a copy months ago and it’s still sitting on my shelf. I really like zombie apocalypse stories in any form of media so I definitely need to get around and read this.

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My Favourite Things About Breath of the Wild

My Favourite Things About Breath of the Wild

Just over two years ago Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW) on the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. And almost five months ago, I bought the Switch version and fell in love. Please note: This post will have spoilers from throughout the game.

Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to play games. The closest game I could play as a kid was The Sims. And even then, my parents hated that I spent so much time on it. My older brother, on the other hand, has grown up with the privilege of being the first son and that meant he was allowed to play whatever he wanted. And that meant excluding us, the younger siblings, from playing anything because it would cut into his game time. So, my experiences of games as a child was always through the view of a bystander.

I had watched my brother play most of the Zelda franchise and when I grew out of being the bystander, I turned to YouTubers who would post their walkthroughs online. When we had first bought Breath of the Wild (BotW), it was on the Wii U. I remember being captivated by getting to experience a Zelda game for myself, with me in control and not someone else.

But then school came first, I couldn’t play much and by the time, I got around to picking it up, my brothers had decided to sell all our Wii U games in order to buy the Switch. I had, of course, played games on the Switch but most of them were either shooting or platform games. It wasn’t until last year December that I came across a BotW video and I realised that I had to play it again. Now that I’m older, and with a job, playing games is a little easier now. Sure, my mum would cuss me out for spending money on games, but I didn’t care. So, I bought it and I cannot explain how captivated I was by the game. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against platform or shooter games, but it just wasn’t my style. Most of the ones I had played, I found them too fast paced and I didn’t enjoy the speed.

BotW was truly the game made for me. It was adventurous and fast-paced in a way that didn’t overwhelm me. The way the entire world was unstructured allowed me to move in a pace that worked for me. The beauty of BotW was that there was no one set pathway. I’ve seen hundred of videos ranging from people finishing the game 100% to people waking Link and rushing straight to Ganon. I’m over 150 hours into my gameplay and I still feel like I haven’t discovered everything in the game.

But, in honour of the games two-year anniversary, I wanted to share some of my favourite places and parts in Breath of the Wild, whether that be a side quest, location or person. My initial list went well over the twenty mark, so I decided to whittle it down to just ten, which was hard enough.

A Gift of Nightshade (Side Quest)

This side quest is located in the Faron Region and I found it by accident. It’s a pretty simple quest, you basically become a matchmaker for a Hylian and a Gerudo by giving the Gerudo woman a flower. I only climbed up this mountain because I was making my way to Faron Tower to unlock the map, and a Yiga clan members was on my tail and I did not have the hearts nor food to deal with him, so up I went. And there I found these two people standing at opposite ends of a river. At first glance, I was wary because I had expected something bad to happen to me. But then I went up to the Hylian to find that he was just being a chicken and couldn’t work up the courage to talk to a girl he liked. It made me laugh. The game, for those who don’t know, is set years after Ganon had ruined the Kingdom, villages and safe spots were sparse with Guardians and camps of enemies in most of the world. At first, I found it so odd, but I instantly loved it. And it’s a prime example of what makes BotW so good. There was something good to be found in even the strangest of places.

source: Nintendo (gif made by me)
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Young Muslim Writers Award 2018

Last saturday, I attended the Young Muslim Writers Award in London. This wa my third year attending, and now my first time vlogging the event. (sort of vlog, I guess) I actually I wouldn’t really call it a vlog since I don’t really speak during it at all. (Still working on my confidence…) But I did a little run down of the event and captured some of the speeches by some people and entertainment. I really enjoy the process of filming and editing so this almost-vlog is a step forward into being more comfortable in filming stuff. Thank you to YMWA for inviting me to this event. I had an amazing time, and it was really fun to see all these young voices and the immense talent that came from their nominated pieces.

Hello, 2018…

Hello, 2018…

It feels like coming back to an empty house writing this. I feel like I can see the invisible cobwebs hanging from the posts and pages. But I hope to change my inactivity by being more active on this site. I wasn’t sure how to do this, but I thought maybe it would be interesting to share my reflections of the past year and how I was to change this year and setting myself better, more concise goals.

What didn’t work for me in 2017 was letting way to much things like fear get in my ways of things. It wasn’t a good year for me, 2017, I was seriously stressed and anxious 24/7 about my retakes and making sure I get into university. I was constantly shutting down a lot and only focused on revising and working. And that was it. This site was created in my first year of college, three years ago, and it became a source of comfort for me. But the last year seriously messed with my head and my focus became making some money and having some educational stability. So this site became sorely neglected and that made me mad but I couldn’t do anything about it. I looked back at the past three years and I’ve realised how happy this site has made me. I loved reading, but I had no one to talk too – my family are casual readers and don’t like the genres I read. The idea of blogging is alien to them and most see it as having zero value. So I’m planning to be better on this site since it has helped me so much.

This year I want to focus on creating and planning. Planning a better blog schedule, planning some sort of life plan, and planning in general since I seem to lack in that area. I started university last year (studying sociology) but from my experience of the first term, I seriously need to sort out a better uni/home/work balance.

How I want to change in 2018

My new year resolutions are quite simple.

  • Read at least 150 books (part Goodreads challenge, part me being disappointed about the lack of reading I did last year)
  • Learn Bengali – Improve would be a better choice since I can partially speak it because of my family but its terrible and I don’t know how to write it so that’s something I’m definitely focused on this year.
  • Save money – doesn’t everyone?
  • Vlog – if you were quick enough to see them, I made two videos last year but quickly made them private after a couple of days. But I want to vlog more, but I need to get over my fear of being on camera.

Enough of me, I’d love to hear your plans for 2018!! I’m just hoping I’ll stick to my plan, considering I kept it quite simple, I’m excited to see if everything goes to plan!! (and for you as well I hope)

I’m back! (+ something new)

It feels very strange writing again. Just typing this post made me question my writing skills. I haven’t done anything in months! How do I edit? Write? How does this work? Is anyone still listening? But I’m glad to have these two months before university starts revamping my site and changing things up! Expect more frequent reviews and posts soon! I’ve also got some other big news, something that I started doing while I was gone…

I’ve started a Youtube channel!!! You can watch my first ever video here.  I’ve always wanted to do booktube and one day, I was home alone and thought “Why not!!” I had the camera and stuff to show so I filmed a video. While I know it’s not the best I can do but it’s my first try and I’m still pretty pleased with it. (Is it weird to say I had more fun editing than I did filming it?)

So, yeah, that was me checking in. Hope to be more active on this site and on my channel! Also, recommend me some booktubers, I follow a small few but I need more!

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Attending #YMWA2016

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Young Muslim Writer’s Award.Despite me getting episcleritis (inflammation in my eye) a couple of days before, it was still so much fun! Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and who won!

It was a great event with an amazing atmosphere! There were so many amazing moments but I know I’ll have to list some of my favourites.

  • Watching Muzoon Almellehan, a Syrian refugee, being given the Special Recognition Award for her activism in education for young girls.
  • When S.F Said presented the award for the KS2 Short Story Award – “There is nobody who can write your story better than you.” Since I had just completed NaNoWriMo and was currently working on a new story, this line was so encouraging.
  • When Caleb Femi recited some of this poetry – He’s so talented and funny! Also loved it when he spoke on the importance of making sure people of colour are not erased from literature.

 

The best part of the day was meeting Zoya. I met Zoya online after she commented on my Muslim Characters in YA post and we had spoken to each other a few times over the months. And we saw each other face to face for the first time here at the event. It was amazing to meet someone you’ve spoken to online for real! Zoya was actually nominated for an award in the Key Stage 3 poetry section and won!

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Me and Zoya with her award

At the end of the awards, there was some time for networking but, unfortunately, we had to leave since my eye started aching a lot. And I had finished my eye drops so it was very painful 🙁

While I really wished I spoke to more people,  I’d like to end this post with a thank you to Zainub Chohan who invited me to the event and is basically the backbone of the #YMWA. It was a great event and wouldn’t have been possible with her.  Thank you to all the judges, performers, nominees and presenters. Can’t wait to see what new talent we’ll see in 2017.