The To Be Read Tag

 
Hey guys, today I’m going to be doing the ‘To Be Read’ Tag. I’ve never done a tag post on my blog (or anywhere really) before so this is going to be interesting. Firstly, thank you so much to Erica for tagging me. 

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I used to just put them all in my Kindle and just go through the books from there. But it was very messy and inefficient. Now I use Goodreads to keep track of my TBR books.
 

Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?

Mostly eBooks because I have a Kindle.
 

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

That’s a tough one. Usually I pick a handful of books and go through the summaries and reviews again and then pick.
 

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

 
 

A book you recently added to your TBR?

 
I added this book today actually.
 
 

  

A book on your TBR strictly because of it’s beautiful cover?

 
 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

I do want to read it. It’s just that I don’t see myself ever getting around to it.
 
 
 

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

I don’t know if this counts because I was actually given an advanced copy of this book by the publishers to review. So technically I already have the book and I don’t have to wait for it. I think if I’m not wrong it’s going to be published in April 2015.
 
 
 

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you?

It certainly feels like the answer is ‘Girl Online’ by Zoe Sugg even though it was just released two days ago. I feel like everyone is busy taking selfies with the book and saying it was awesome and I’m just here waiting for Amazon to send my copy halfway across the world to me. I think the real answer to this question is ‘Eleanor & Park’.
 
 
 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends you?

I think that would be ‘Lord Of The Flies’. I feel like everyone has read the book and it’s even been mentioned on Pretty Little Liars but I read the first chapter and found it to be so slow. 
 

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

 
Noooo! You can’t do this to me! I can’t pick just one! I’ve been dying to read ‘Lies We Tell Ourselves’ but you know Zoe Sugg is my queen and I am 100% excited to read her new book.
 
 

 

 
 

How many books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Currently I have 45 but I’ve only been on Goodreads for about a month. The actual numbers are probably in the hundreds. I just haven’t got around to adding them.
 
I now nominate everyone who has read this to do this tag. Why should it be that only bloggers get to do cool tags? Post a link to the post if you do it in the comments and I will check it out.
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I Know Lucy By Melissa Pearl

Lucy Tate is on the run. After witnessing the brutal murder of her parents, she’s spent five years in hiding — taking on different personas and faking her way through life. The authorities can’t be trusted, so she remains in the shadows, always one beat ahead of the man who is forever hunting her. That is, until she meets Zach Schultz, a senior at Monte Vista High and the one guy she can’t bear to leave. Suddenly her natural instincts to lie, steal, and run are overshadowed by something else…the desire to stay. It’s her one shot at a normal life.Curious by nature, Zach is immediately drawn to the new girl at school. How can a person look both confident and vulnerable all in the same moment? Determined to learn more about her, he tries to get close, but is thrown into a world of lies and confusion. The only thing that becomes apparent is that discovering the truth may get him killed. -Goodreads

I wanted to start my review by saying that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I expected to. 

Okay so let’s start of with the good points. I really liked the story line. I found it to be pretty unique and I personally have never read a book about a con artist so this book was eye-opening. I also really liked the character of Lucy Tate. I thought she was pretty strong and interesting.

Unfortunately that is where the compliments stop. I quite frankly hated the main character, Zach. I felt like he was the perfect little boy that thought he knew everything there was to know. The author describes Zach as being curious but isn’t it strange that he managed to come up with a whole profile of Dani just by looking at her for ten seconds? I thought he was very pretentious and just too fake.

Another major flaw that I found with this book was of how Melissa Pearl portrayed women. I wouldn’t say that I’m a feminist but I felt like she portrayed us in a very degrading manner. Zach is always feeling this intense need to protect the females in his life. And the females go along with it. For the most part, Lucy is untainted by the weakness that the other females have. But people like Zach’s friend, Jaeda seem to be easily pacified with a smile or from a gentle nudge. And it happens every time! It’s like the girls don’t have a mind of their own. I found that pretty unsettling really.

Then of course there was Zach again being so annoying. I mean, when he confronted Dani finally, he should have been angry. He should have been fuming that she lied to him on such a great scale. He should not have been yelling her and at the same time thinking, “Oh she looks so sad, I just want to wrap her in my arms and never let her go and protect her form everything forever.” And that is pretty much something he actually thought in the novel.

I hate writing bad reviews and I really want to support Melissa Pearl but I just didn’t like it personally. That said, lot’s of other reviews seem to be positive so maybe give it a go. As for me, I didn’t enjoy it.

My Ratings: 2/5 
Purchase the books at The Book Depositary using my special link Here

Breakdown (Crash Into Me #1) By Amanda Lance

Charlotte Ferro is about to jump.

Yet nothing ruins a perfectly good suicide attempt worse than a handsome do-gooder. After William O’Reilly convinces her to take one last ride with him, Charlotte finds herself forgetting about her own problems and enjoying a world of which she never dreamed.

Now addicted to the rush of fast cars and cool criminals, Charlotte finds herself leaning less towards the ledge and more toward the arms of her savior. But with reasons of his own for keeping Charlotte safe from herself, William is reluctant to involve her in his criminal undertakings. Will his career choice keep them apart? Will Charlotte’s painful past? -Goodreads


Can I just say that I absolutely loved this book! It was so sweet and romantic and it made me feel so mushy and gushy on the inside. If I could describe the book with one emoji, it would be the one with the hearts as eyes. Last night I stayed up till like 1.30am without realising it because I desperately wanted to keep reading. In fact I was so sad when it was over because it just made my heart melt.


Okay. I shall get a grip now.

So this book starts with Charlotte attempting to jump off an overpass. She has planned her suicide very well and everything is going perfectly until a stranger drives up and starts talking to her. Realising that she was actually there to commit suicide, the stranger insist upon taking her to her first street race. The adrenaline and the energy she experienced there made her start craving this rush. While chasing this rush she finds herself slowly falling hopelessly in love with this stranger.

The description of this book sounds hopelessly typical. It sounds like it’s just a cheesy romance story. In many ways, that is exactly what it is. However the backstory of the characters, their dark pasts and their illegal jobs all come into play to make this an extremely memorable book. 

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good old romantic story.

My Rating: 5/5 
Purchase the books at The Book Depositary using my special link Here

Forgiven (The Trouble 0.5) By Rachel Morgan

Three hundred and six days ago, Julia ran away from home. Abandoning her family, friends, boyfriend, and university plans, she fled with no explanation. She can’t hide forever, though, and now it’s time to face the mess she left behind. -Goodreads

When I started this novel, I was very confused because my Kindle was telling me that the book was only about an hour and a half long. I was left wondering if my Kindle was screwing up. Turns out, this book is actually a novella. So this was my first time reading a novella (obviously. I mean how noob could I be?)
The book starts out with Julia returning home after running away for months. There are many mentions to the secret that she is hiding and that kind of rushes the book along which I didn’t enjoy too much. I felt that the book lacked the usual structure that one finds in full novels. However I guess this must be the style of a novella. 
So the book continues and it follows Julia as she reconnects with her ex-boyfriend and eventually the secret that she ran away to keep comes out. I won’t spoil it for you of course but again, I felt like everything was too rushed. I felt like I hadn’t had time to fully immerse myself into the world that Rachel Morgan was painting before I was rushed to the happy ending. 
That said, Rachel Morgan has a unique and lovely way of writing that just draws you in. It’s a pity that the book couldn’t have been drawn out into a longer story because I feel like Rachel really had to potential to run with this story. 
I enjoyed the book and the story and if you are looking for a quick but interesting read, I would recommend trying this book out.
My Rating: 3/5
*A copy of this book was given to me to read and review*
Purchase the books at The Book Depositary using my special link Here


The Hole By Dameon Gibbs

“Experience and relive The Hole, it is a true inspiring story in which a young man desperately struggled to overcome The Hole. To him the streets of Baltimore city was The Hole, it was a place that had bind and consumed his life, it gave some but took more. Surviving in the streets he had to watch as the drug game sucked many of his friends and family down into its dark abyss like the black hole it truly was. Finally realizing after years of tribulation and lost, he came to find that the key to his redemption lay in a form least expected.” -Goodreads


When I first started reading this book, I didn’t like it. It was set in Baltimore and it talked about life in the streets. About having sex and getting into gang fights. Something that I, as a Singaporean was not used to. I couldn’t level with the author because I didn’t understand his lifestyle. That said, I kept reading because there was just something about it that kept me interested.

So the story follows Will as he lives his life, gets into trouble with his brothers and chases girls. Around the middle of the book, something incredible happens. The author’s older brother Will gets shot and he goes into a coma for 7 months. 

Following that, he becomes paralysed from the waist down and he doesn’t walk for 2 years. Then one night, after praying passionately, The Lord gave him the ability to walk again. After parading his new ability around to his family, he broke the very promise that he made to get God to give him back the ability to walk. So, God took the ability away again. The author quoted the bible here saying, ‘The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.’. I have always read stories about the Lord giving. In majority of the things I’ve heard, The Lord is always giving. Very rarely do you come across a story that shows you that the Lord also takes away. Eventually the Lord granted him the ability to walk again though and that experience changed Will’s life drastically.

I have never read a book that was so raw and honest as this one was. I could feel that the author was stripping bare in this book and just letting his memories consume him which is something you rarely find in novels and autobiographies nowadays. 

This is certainly a must-read because of it’s honesty. What I liked about the book was that the author wasn’t trying to cover anything up. He portrayed Baltimore and life there the way it was. There want stereotypes that you find in the movies. There was just him and his life.


After reading this book, I emailed Dameon Gibbs (Will’s younger brother who is referred to as Nick in the book). I had a few questions about the book and about his life. Dameon graciously answered all my questions, no matter how blunt, and he has kindly allowed me to publish his answers here.

1) What was it like hearing that your brother was shot? Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news? Did you get to visit him often?

I was only around the age of 9 when I heard that my brother was shot, I was so young and oblivious to what was going on at that age. All I really remember was visiting my brother in the hospital and seeing him lying on the couch. I always thought that he was just tired and that was his reason for not walking around. I did not fully understand the events that unfolded until I was older.

 2) What were the 7 months like not knowing if Will was going to survive?

My parents sort of kept me in the dark concerning my brother, they always just said that he would be alright and I believed what they said. I did not give it much thought.

3) Does Will ever still struggle with doing things because of the shooting? Did he ever pursue the Turntables?


Yes, he does not work because his injuries has started to take their tolls on his body. He worked up until two years ago but eventually his doctors stated that he needs to stop working. For the most part he can do just about everything a normal person can do except run and jump. We have currently started our own DJ business which is doing moderately ok.

 4) Did you see Will walk that night and did you see the ability get taken away?

I remember the night vaguely but not enough to elaborate on it.

 5) How did watching the Lord work in his life affect you personally? Was it scary knowing how powerful the Lord was? 


Seeing the Lord work in his life sadly did affect me and anyway. The Lord had to deliver me from my own struggles. But now that I can reflect back on it, the Lord did show his amazing power and abilities on my brother’s and families life. To be honest it was the power of the Lord that brought me to him in 1998, but that’s an entirely different story.

6) Did your family struggle to remain tight after the shooting?

No my family did not struggle to remain tight after the shooting. If anything, it brought us closer together. And to this day we are still very close.

 7) Did you ever want to get revenge on Will’s shooter?


I never wanted to get revenge on Will’s shooter, simply because I was too young to know and truly understand revenge.

 8) Did your family ever get upset with Will over his decision to not press charges? Did you?


No one in our family (particular my parents) was upset with Will. It was a decision that he made so my parents supported him. And to this day Will remains good friends with those that shot him, he really has put the incident in the pass.

 9) Now that you are older, do you still think that what your father did was abuse?


Now that I am older, I do not believe that what my father did was abuse. My father did what he did because his sons were simply bad. As for me, my father never really laid hands on me. He even supported me through high school and college. My father was a father to many of the kids in the neighborhood that did not have fathers. He was seen as a nice man. Many people may see it as abuse, which I probably was. However, I see it as discipline. Would I ever do that to my kids not. I consider myself a good man, and I can honestly say that I learned how to be a man to my and wife, by watching how my father raised us and how he treated my mother. My father never, ever raised a hand to hit my mother, he never hit her or cursed at her. The fact remains that my brothers were just bad, doing things that most kids probably would not ever do from fear of what their parents would do. My brothers for some reason did not have that natural fear of discipline.


10) How and why did you and Will decide to write the book?
 We decided to write Will’s book because we wanted to tell his story, and show that the life of drugs and gangs are not the way to go although it appears promising to others, especially youth that idolize what they see on TV.

11) Considering that the book was written for your 15 year old son, was it appropriate to mention Will’s sex and drug life to such an extent? Wouldn’t it have been inappropriate and a bad influence to condone such behaviors in a book written specifically for him?
Book One is only one of five books. The book was originally set to be one book, but the length turned out to be too much, with a total of 740 pages. Therefore we decided to break it down into five books. We wanted to tell life like it truly is when living in Baltimore City. It doesn’t matter how we write it, because the fact remains that once kids go outside into the streets they see an even harsher world with there own eyes. We wanted him to know the truth regarding every aspect. We are not necessarily approving such things, as the story goes on, we later explain that these are not the things anyone should do but that comes in the later books. We are just stating everything that Will went through and that these things such as sex, money, drugs, etc will be his later downfall. This is revealed in later books.

12) You never mentioned what exactly the question was that your son asked and that you were trying to answer. What was the question?

Yes we never actually mention the question because that come later in other books, as it was originally meant to be one book. This might ruin later books if you were to read them. For books 2 & 3 are now available.


Special thanks to Dameon Gibbs for reaching out to me to review his book and for being so lovely about answering all my questions as quickly as possible and as comprehensively as he could. Dameon is very inspiring and you can check out his other work here

Purchase the books at The Book Depositary using my special link Here

The Shopaholic Series By Sophie Kinsella

MEET BECKY BLOOMWOOD, AN IRRESISTIBLE HEROINE WITH A BIG HEART, BIG DREAMS — AND JUST ONE LITTLE WEAKNESS .. (Goodreads)

About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to read the famous Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. It seemed like a very teenage kind of book at first but I felt like I was missing out on something good. So I got the books and after 4 weeks, I finished reading all 7 books.

I enjoyed the series so much. I fell in love with Becky Bloomwood and her quirkiness. I thought she was a cute character that was very child-like in her dealings with people.
Basically the seven books follow Becky Bloomwood as she moves through life. Becky has an addiction to shopping and is known for royally screwing up everything she touches. The book follows Becky from the time when she is a small-time financial journalist and travels with her as she meets her big-time husband, moves to New York, gets married, has a child and as she attempts to break into the fashion industry.

I really loved this book because of the way Becky thinks. I felt like it was a lot like the way I think. I see and hear things and immediately start thinking of how amazing it would be if I was famous and if I had my face everywhere.

I think I mentioned how I saw a lot of myself in Becky in one of my Sunday Summaries.

The book isn’t very intellectually stimulating and sometimes it can be a little cheesy and predictable. There is the traditional thing that goes wrong and the miraculous saving of the day at the last minute in every book. At times, Luke says and does things that seem unrealistic and very cheesy but hey. This is a romantic story too.

Anyway, if you haven’t read it, you really should because it’s just wonderful and it will really make you laugh. I read some of the reviews of this book too so let me just say right now that if you can’t enjoy a funny and simple book, then don’t read it. It’s not meant to be a serious read that makes you think. It’s just fun.

In other news, Sophie Kinsella replied me on Twitter and she retweeted a tweet with a link to this post!!
Purchase the books at The Book Depositary using my special link Here

Simple Hair Care Tips

I like looking for little tips online on how I can improve the health of my skin and hair. And I don’t mean looking for which products to use or which fruit will make my hair magically fabulous. I mean tiny things and changes that one can make in their lives that will make a difference. They are all things I’ve just learnt from my hairdresser or from experience. So obviously I am in no way an expert.

1) Wash you hair in cold water

When you wash your hair, wash off the shampoo with lukewarm water and then wash off your conditioner with cold water. Or as cold as you can manage. It makes your hair shinier. Also remember that washing your hair with hot water is actually really bad for your hair. No matter how nice it feels.

2) Wash you face after washing your hair

If you’re like me and you wash your face and hair while in the shower, then wash your face after washing your hair. This is a bit of a skin and hair tip really. Just think of this. After washing off the shampoo, you might get some of the dirt and grease that was in your hair on your face from washing it off. So wash your face after you’ve washed off the shampoo.

3) Don’t read a book while drying your hair

I’m pretty sure everyone sometimes gets bored while drying their hair. I do too and once I started to read a book while drying and I ended up over-drying my hair and having really frizzy hair all day. So focus on the drying. It will save you a lot of heartache later on.

4) Comb out your hair before your shower 

Did you know that your hair is more brittle when it is wet? That is why many experts don’t recommend combing your hair immediately after a shower.  So comb your hair out and detangle it before a shower and you will find that after the shower, your hair is slightly less tangled. If you really must detangle your hair when it is wet, use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.

 Or just drag a brush through it anyway…I won’t deny doing this a couple of times…Okay maybe more then just a couple of times…

5) Let your hair air-dry as often as possible

Everyone knows that heat is bad for your hair. In fact you shouldn’t be using heat on your hair everyday (I’m talking about curling and straightening irons). However, blow-drying your hair is important and pretty much everyone has to do it. It’s unavoidable especially if you are going out. So I learnt that one way to minimise the heat used is to firstly not blow-dry your hair if you are not going out or doing anything that would require dry hair (And what would that be Cam?). So at night and on the weekends, I simply towel dry my hair such that it isn’t dripping wet then I let it air dry. I don’t know if this is the best way because my mom likes to nag at me about leaving my hair wet. But I think it’s a good way to reduce heat on your hair. Alternatively, you could buy a hair dryer that allows you to control the heat and things like that.

Or use a heat protectant which I know nothing about anyway.

Feeling Anxious

I have slightly less then an hour before I am meeting my friends to film our first project for our Location Production class. I wanted to write because I have been feeling extremely wired up and anxious ever since Saturday night and I just can’t shake the feeling.

On Saturday night, I started to feel a bit queasy and my stomach started to hurt. I knew that it was because I was teaching Sunday School the next day and I was nervous about that. Don’t ask me why. After teaching, I thought I would feel better. However, the nausea and pain still stuck with me all day. Last night, I couldn’t relax and go to sleep. I was in pain and I tossed and turned for a good 2 hours. This morning, I woke up at 6am and couldn’t go back to sleep. Now, I’m sitting in my school’s  food court and I’m trembling and feeling pretty crappy.

So I decided to write about it. Even as I type this, I can feel myself starting to relax a little. I’m honestly so tired. Anxiety, especially having it for such a long period of time consecutively, is exhausting. Quite frankly, I don’t want to do today. I have filming till about 12pm or so then I have Rock Climbing at 3pm till 5pm. I just want to go home. I feel awful. I’m freezing cold and every muscle in my body seems to be on red-alert for no reason at all. I don’t want to talk to anyone right now. I don’t want to socialise. I am the producer for this filming project and that means that I do a lot of the organising and logging and things like that. It means I have to be very people-y today. I just don’t think I can do it. The only way I can’t get through today is to shut down.

When I’m hyper-stressed, anxious or tired, I tend to shut down. I will number the things I have to do in my head and I will keep talking to myself. I won’t talk to anyone but myself and I will tick things off in my head till I’m finally done and then I will go home and collapse. I will basically fall into myself till I am done. It’s my coping mechanism. I obviously can’t do that all day today though so I will most likely just have to suck it up and manage it myself.

Honestly, this post isn’t going to help anyone but me. This is a post for me to feel better. I just want to post it because I want to and I can’t really explain it but sometimes even the act of posting my feelings make me feel better. I have a headache, I’m still in pain, my heart is racing and I’m shivering. I feel like crap but somehow I have to function today. Ugh.

Sunday Summary: Exciting Things and More Books!

Hello readers! I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired lately so I’ve taken to writing little half posts and then refusing to finish them or even post them for that matter. I am currently feeling a bit creative so I thought I would take the time to give you a rundown of my week. Also I just took pictures for a small little post that I’m planning and I’m quite pleased about that.

 I have become a promoter of Body Blendz! I’ve been emailing them back and forth all week and today I was officially welcomed aboard as a promoter. I’m so excited! You can check out what they have on their website by clicking here. Or you could just refer to the picture I put here. Aren’t the little packages adorable? I’m getting my first one about next week or so.

 On Tuesday, before lecture started, one of my friends asked me if I have a Goodreads account. I’ve had one since 2012 but quite honestly, aside from the pesky emails, I have no clue what Goodreads is all about. So she told me all about it and I went online and fixed up account properly and I’m so excited about it because it is perfect for me. I usually stalk the Amazon Kindle bookstore to find new books to read but now I have Goodreads and I am very pleased with it. Also I was able to add a widget to my blog so now you guys can see what I’m reading currently.

That control on the brushstrokes though. I should be an artist.

  I have decided that I want to do more book reviews here. I read so much and I really should. I think it would be fun.

  I finally watched ‘If I Stay’! I read the book but I didn’t go and watch the movie in the cinema because I don’t really like watching movies in the cinema (I know I’m strange). Especially if its a book that I love that has been turned into a movie. I like the freedom of watching it by myself so I can pause it and rewind it and fangirl and cry to my heart’s content. Basically the book made me cry and the movie made me cry even harder. Not many movies can reduce me to tears so yay for that!

 I’m almost done with the final Shopaholic book! I’ve spent the last 4 weeks reading the 7 Shopaholic books and I’m sad but also pretty excited to start reading other books. I recently cleared out all the old books in my kindle and put in a whole lot more. I can’t wait to get started.

 My brother’s O’levels end tomorrow morning and I’m so excited! We can finally go out to the beach and stuff to take pictures and we can have family dinners out and breakfasts at nice places after church (instead of gross Macdonald’s take aways) and go shopping and go on holidays. I’m so excited for that. My brother’s exams (and mine last year) have meant that my family has been pretty stifled and constricted in terms of going out and stuff like that for the past 2 years. We actually haven’t even been out properly together in almost 2 months. And we usually eat out as a family at least twice a week. So I really miss that and I can’t wait to get back to family weekends.

That’s it for my summary. I feel like there are lots of exciting things happening in my life and school is also getting a little bit heavier so that’s interesting and sad at the same time because I feel like Instagram and blogging is taking a small backseat. Of course I know that it is the right way to go about doing things so I’m not really complaining.

The Fear Of Growing Up

Do you ever fear growing up? Fear the responsibility that it brings? The knowledge that you have to function on your own. Knowing that you can no longer run crying to anyone because you had a bad day? When mistakes bear a much greater price tag then a simple bad grade. I fear that everyday. I fear that one day, I might look up and find that I’m too old to be sleeping with a teddy bear. Too old to be experimenting with life. That I’m too old to be spending all my time on my laptop. Too old to be able to make innocent mistakes. That one day, someone might look at me and ask, “How old does she think she is?”

C.D.