Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I'm taking a blogging break!

Hi guys! Today I have a quick announcement post for you. In a recent post, I talked about how I'll soon be moving abroad to Malaysia to do my Master degree there. If you want to know more about what I'll be studying and where I'll be living, you can click here to read that post.

Since I'll be busy moving in my dorm and getting started both at uni and in Malaysia over the next few days or weeks, I've decided that it would be best to take a short break from blogging. 

So, how long will this blogging break be?

I'll be arriving in Malaysia on the 26th. On the same day I'm landing in Malaysia I'll have to go to the university to do all the admission stuff. So yeah, I guess that I'll be rather busy over the next few days or so and I don't even know when I'll be able to check my blog or even get connected to the WiFi. 

So right now, I plan to be on a break for roughly 3-4 weeks. I'll most probably be back on the 20th of June with my next post and I will resume blogging normally after that date. 

What about replying to comments?

While I won't be able to reply to your comments right away, I will definitely be reading them as you post them and I will reply to all of them! It'll just take a little longer than usual ^^ 

And what about commenting on other blogs and posts??

As to commenting on my fellow blogger friends' posts, that will also be a little delayed but once I get back from my break, I promise I'll catch up on all your blogs ^^

So that's pretty much all I had to say in this post. As I said at the beginning of the post, it is a pretty short one! However, as soon as I'm back from my break, I'll be posting lots of new posts that I've been very excited to put together and show you. So see you guys soon ^^

Cover art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Intimidating Book Tag

Hi guys! Today I'm doing The Intimidating Book Tag. The original tag was created by YouTuber Lindsey Rey, and I was inspired to do the tag after watching this video by Yesy from the channel thebookvagrant.

As much as we love reading, sometimes we come across books we just can't get through. Maybe they are too big. Maybe it's just not the right time to read a particular book. More often than not, we just find that we are simply not in the mood for a particular title. 

1. What book have you been unable to finish?

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Okay, first let me say that I love this cover. Seriously, it's gorgeous. For those of you who don't know, Cruel Beauty is a Beauty and the Beast retelling taking place in a fantasy setting. I love me a good retelling so when I saw this book, I immediately decided I needed it in my life. The problem though, is that I overhyped the book in my mind. So when I actually started to read the book, I was underwhelmed by it. I thought the beginning was a little clichéd and honestly, I wasn't a big fan of our leading lady. So after struggling with it for a few days, I ended up putting it down. Now, I might finish this book at some point, since I'm very curious by nature and I actually want to know how it ends, but right now I just have other books I want to spend my time with.

2. What book have you yet to read because you just haven't had the time?

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I love reading classics and the Scarlet Letter is one I've been meaning to read for a while now. I've had it for almost 2 years on my shelf but haven't simply found the time to actually read it. I'm planning to bring it with me to Malaysia though so I just might read it during the year. Hopefully!

3. What book have you yet to read because it's a sequel?

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice. You may not know this about me but I'm actually a huge fan of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, whose main character, the vampire Lestat, also happens to be both my favorite male character of all time and my first and biggest literary crush. A few years ago, the series seemingly came to an end with the tenth book, Blood Canticle, being the last. And then, to all the fans' surprise and excitement, in 2014, a new book was published in the series. This book, Prince Lestat, supposedly sees the return of Lestat and a bunch of other characters, although I don't know much else since I've been avoiding spoilers about the book. Now, I am super excited to read this book but I've decided I wanted to read the first ten books first so it'll be a little while more before I finally pick it up. I'm on book 9 though so that shouldn't take too long now.

4. What book have you yet to read because it's brand new?

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan, the first book in his new Trials of Apollo series. Okay, I'm actually pretty pumped about this book but I have no idea when I'll be able to get my hands on a copy so for now, I'm just trying to be patient and avoid spoilers online XD. 

5. What book have you yet to read because you read a book by the same author and didn't enjoy it?

The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I read Angels and Demons by him a few years ago, expecting to discover a cool and complex story with lots of mystery and secrets and more importantly, some great writing. When I did read the book though, I was a little disappointed by the writing which I found rather immature to be honest. The story felt rather clichéd, I disliked the female love interest or perhaps the very presence of the female love interest and just managed to finish the book. I've heard that Da Vinci Code is much better but so far I don't feel very inclined to pick up another Dan Brown.

6. What book have you yet to read because you're just not in the mood for it?

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. It's about a guy who gets reborn over and over again and who actually remembers all of his previous lives. It definitely sounds intriguing and when I first got this book, I was quite excited to read it too but I've since then not really been in the mood to actually pick it up. I know I will probably really enjoy it since it's been getting awesome reviews and the plot, too, sounds awesome. I just don't feel like reading it at the moment. Maybe soon though.

7. What book have you yet to read because it's humongous?

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I was very excited to read this book at the time and honestly, I'm still quite excited to read it. It's just that at the time I first tried to read it, things were pretty hectic and it was basically really poor timing to pick up a book of this size. I do plan to read it at some point, although that would probably have to wait for after my return from Malaysia.

8. What book have you yet to read because because it was a cover buy that turned out to have poor reviews?

Okay, I don't actually have anything for this question simply because I tend to look up reviews before I buy books. That being said, I do occasionally let a pretty cover coerce me into making unplanned purchases, the later probably being The Time Traveler's Wife. 

9. What is the most intimidating book in your TBR pile?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I've had this book for almost 3 years now and each time I look at it and tell myself now's the time to read it, I eventually chicken out and move on to another book. I did try to read it once but I put it down after 30 pages or so. It's not that I didn't like what I did manage to read. For some reason, the book just intimidates me XD. 

So that's it for this tag guys. I hope you enjoyed it and if you want to also do it on your blog, feel free to do so. Happy Reading! 

Cover art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo

Sunday, May 15, 2016

I'm Moving to Malaysia!

Hi guys! Today I have an exciting announcement post for you. As some of you may already know, very soon, this month in fact, I'll be starting my Masters. And unlike with my Bachelor degree, which I did here in Mauritius itself, this time I'm going to university abroad. And in today's post, I thought I would share with you some info so that you guys know what's going on for me at the moment.  

So what will I be studying?

So I'll be doing a Masters of Arts in Communication. I did my Bachelor degree in Marketing Management and since I wanted to do something a bit new while staying in the same general field, I went for Communication. Plus, I thought that this course might also help me with my blog. 

Why go abroad to study?

I knew I wanted to go abroad for my Masters even when I was yet to finish my first degree. See, with Mauritius being a rather small country, there's no point in having dorms on the university campus since it's easier for students to simply go back home after classes. So here, going to uni is not much different from going to high school in that aspect. Classes are over, you get on a bus and go home. 

For my Masters though, I wanted things to be different. I wanted to know the experience of living by myself and away from home. I wanted to go on an adventure of my own instead of just reading about adventure in books. I suppose I also wanted to become a little more independent. To learn to fend for myself in the world. To get that, the only way was to go abroad. 

Now why Malaysia, you might be wondering? Well, for us Mauritians, Malaysia offers the perfect balance between excellence of education and decent budget. While there's certainly an appeal in going West or to Europe, budget-wise Malaysia was the best alternative for me. 

Where exactly will I be living and studying?

I'll be living and studying at Taylor's University, in Selangor, Subang Jaya. I've been to Malaysia before so I'm a little familiar with the country already. And from what I've seen from photos,a bunch of which a friend who also studied in Malaysia sent me, Taylor's University looks pretty nice. The best part? It's a lakeside university. Yep, it actually comes with a lake! 

So how will this all affect the blog?

Firstly, I expect that I will probably publish fewer posts per month, with me being busy with my Masters and everything. That being said, moving abroad and living by myself in a completely new setting might also help inspire new blog posts so I might also write a bit about my experiences in Malaysia. 

I know I'll definitely be sharing info and pictures with you guys whenever I can. I'm thinking I might even continue my Travel Log series, only featuring Malaysian locations instead of Mauritian ones. So far I can mostly speculate but soon I'll probably have a little more info for you guys ^^

When am I leaving?

I'm leaving Mauritius on the 25th of May. The 25th guys! That's like less than 2 weeks from now! I'm having a weird mix of anxiety and excitement, although I'm definitely more excited than anxious. Leaving my family is going to be weird. I know I'll miss them a lot. Especially my little sister who's basically my best friend. And let's not forget my bookshelf and all of the books that I'm also leaving behind! 

That being said, I'm also really looking forward to what is certainly going to be a big adventure. I've never lived by myself before, much less in another country. Sure, sometimes when I think about it, it all feels a little scary. The Masters course itself is going to be pretty challenging, not to mention that I'm such a hopeless introvert too! 

But like Gandalf said, 'The world is not in your maps and books. It's out there!' And I'm ready (I think!) to finally go on that adventure of my own ^^

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Afternoon Tea - Book Tag

Hi guys! Today I'm doing the Afternoon Tea Book Tag, which I first saw in a video by Amanda Center, and which was created by YouTuber Chelsea Bartlett and whose original video you can watch here.

So those of you who've been around for a while already know that I'm quite the tea lover. Give me a good book and a warm cup of tea and I'll be happy! So when I saw this tag, I immediately thought that this was possibly the best book tag idea ever :) 

Now make yourself a warm cup of tea, get comfortable and read on ^^

1. Tea - A book you find comfort in.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson is a memoir in which the author talks about her struggles with mental illness and the ways it affects her everyday life and her work. What I love about the book though is that not only is it super relatable, but it also deals with the subject with humor and lightheartedness, which is something most books featuring mental illness don't normally have. So instead of dumping a lot of information on the reader about mental illness, the author shares funny anecdotes and informal thoughts and manages to make readers who face the same issues feel motivated and better about themselves. So yeah, this one one of those books in which I did find comfort. And I would definitely recommend it.

2. Scones - A big but delicious book.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. While the book is quite big, once you start reading it, you won't even notice how many pages there are in there. The book is written so well and full of so many unexpected twists and turns that you will quickly lose yourself in the narrative and by the time you finish the book, you won't even feel like you just read a big book. 

3. Clotted cream - A book you didn’t like at first but grew to love.


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The first time I read it, I was a little underwhelmed. The second time though, probably because I knew what to expect, I found myself really enjoying the book. I also really enjoyed the sequel, Hollow City, although the last book left me a tad disappointed. Overall though, I'm glad I decided to give this series another go

4. Finger sandwiches - A book you like but is not quite satisfying.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. Okay, don't get me wrong. I loved this book and I do love the whole series. The only thing that left me feeling slightly disappointed though was a plot point that the previous book, Dream Thieves, hinted at and which I thought would play a bigger part in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. Beginning of spoiler - In Dream Thieves, we find out that Ronan is in fact gay and it's hinted that he might even be attracted to Adam, which is something I absolutely dig. So going into the next book, I was sure we would see more of that but it just didn't happen. I'm thinking it'll show up in the Raven King? At least I hope so! - End of spoiler.

5. Jam - Your favorite pair: Characters that are just sweet together.

For this I have to pick Manon and her wyvern, from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas because I think they just make an adorable pair. Manon is a ruthless witch and right from the start, we're shown how hard and unflinching she is. So to see this seemingly heartless witch leader actually bound with her wyvern as if it were a little puppy was just kind of cute.

6. Petit fours - Favorite short story or novella.

I just have to pick Something Old, Something New, which is the last story in Stars Above, a Lunar Chronicles anthology by Marissa Meyer. That story kind of serves as a final conclusion to the main series and it was simply perfection.

7. Strawberries & cream - A dynamic duo.

Cinder and Thorne from Scarlet (and the rest of the series) by Marissa Meyer. I love the friendship between these two and also the fact that nothing romantic ever develops between them. Instead, we get this really cool friendship full with fun banter and unflinching loyalty which was rather refreshing in a YA fantasy setting. And indeed, these two form quite the dynamic duo.

8. Favorite teacup - A beautiful and fragile character who is too pure for this world.

Ada from the graphic novel series Alex + Ada by Johnathan Luna. Ada is an android that goes sentient at the beginning of the series. All she knows of the world is what has been inputted in her database. So when she finally goes sentient and becomes her own person, she's pretty much like a newborn. In that respect, there's something rather pure and almost childlike about her. And by the way, if you enjoy graphic novels, I would strongly recommend you give this one a try!

So that's it for this tag. I hope you enjoyed it and as usual, I'm looking forward to your comments ^^ Also, if you too love tea, feel free to do this tag on your blog as well!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

How Bedtime Stories Got Me Into Reading

"What was the first book you've ever read?" people will sometimes ask me. Shrugging, I always answer, "I don't remember. But I know I loved it"

I don't remember because the first books I fell in love with were those my dad would read to me when I was too young to understand the words on the pages of my favorite books. Today's post is a discussion about bedtime stories and perhaps also, a little tribute to those early stories that gave me my never-ending love for books.

Bedtime stories have shaped my reading life and that's something I'm sure a lot of you can relate to. But why are bedtime stories so influential? What is it about them that is able to spark an interest in kids for printed words on a page?

Reading feels like home

Reading time with mum or dad is something lots of kids look forward to and cherish. It's that time of the day when no one is too busy to spend time with them. When you're a child, there is comfort and safety in the warmth of your mother's arms or on your dad's lap. These feelings are also present when children are being read stories by their parents. Thus, over time, they begin to associate reading time with feelings like love, comfort, warmth. And so, as they grow older and start to open books on their own, reading remains something they associate with positive feelings. With home. 

The eagerness of resuming an adventure

If a book is on the longer side, it'll probably take a few days before the parents get through it with their child. Each night, the child will be eager to continue the story where they left off the previous day. When I was little, my mum would read a book of 365 stories to my sister and I, with one story for each day of the year. It was comforting to know that each day had a new story for us. We would look forward to the next day's story and to reaching the book's end and so, that time in the evening where mum would come in our room with the book, was something we particularly loved. 

The pleasure of turning the pages of a book on your own

When you're very young, it's your dad or your mum who reads to you, who turns the pages of the book for you and from the comfort of your bed, you watch them and wish to become just a little older so that you can do these things too. Story-telling time with their parents encourages children to be interested in books. It encourages them to pick up books and enjoy turning the pages on their own. 

Characters that resonate with us

The role models children look up to are often the characters they come across in their cartoons and their books. A book with characters that resonate with them are more likely to catch their attention and encourage them to read. When Harry Potter was first published, so many kids related to his story. He was a little awkward and a little lost when he was first introduced and kids everywhere were intrigued by his story and were eager to see where next his adventures would take him and them alike. Anne of Green Gables, The Famous Five, Nancy Drew, Matilda... Often, it's our favorite childhood characters that give us our love for books and make readers out of us. 

The milestone of reading your first words on your own

When I was little and my dad would read to me from my favorite books, I couldn't wait to one day be just like him and be able to read all these great stories on my own. To a child that grew up with books and stories, learning to read on their own is a milestone they'll be happy to reach. Thus, bedtime stories make readers out of children. It gives them an interest in books that will be converted to curiosity over time. A curiosity that will push them to learn more and read on their own with the same confidence their parents read to them.

Stories make us dream 

Children love stories. They love listening to them and making up some of their own. Stories feed their imagination and allows them to become anyone they want to be. Pirate, wizard, princess, superhero... Books make kids dream and become imaginative and feed their creativity. 

So, yes, bedtime stories made a book lover out of me. They gave me a love for stories that only grew as I got older. To both my sister and I, reading time with our parents is among the highlights of our childhood and we would probably not be the avid readers we are today if not for those nights huddled with our parents over our favorite childhood books. 

What do you think of bedtime stories? Would you say they do help kids grow to love reading? Also, if you have kids, is there a particular story you like to read to them?


Cover art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Hamilton Book Tag!

Hi guys! I'm back today with the Hamilton Book Tag. I absolutely and totally love Hamilton, so when I saw this book tag on YouTube, I knew I just had to do it too. This tag was originally created by BookTuber Maureen and you can watch her original video here.

For those of you who are not familiar with Hamilton, this is in fact a Broadway musical about Alexander Hamilton, one of the American Founding Founders. Not only is it pretty innovative to build a musical around a Founding Father, but the musical also features rap music and a pretty ethnic cast, elements which definitely sets this musical apart from what is usually done on Broadway. 


If like me you live too far to actually watch the live musical, there's already a full soundtrack out there with all the original voices from the musical which you can listen to instead. And the songs are so good guys! Like, I've been listening to the soundtrack on repeat for days! And to set the tone while you go through this tag, here's one of my favorite Hamilton songs for you^^

1. The Room Where It Happens: Name a book world you would put yourself in.

Harry Potter's world, post-Voldy! I mean, who wouldn't want to live there?? You've got magic, awesome food and candy and all those awesome magical knickknacks that would make life so cool. And then you've got Hogwarts. So what if I'm a little older than 11?? I can always apply for a job there, especially with them always losing their DADA teachers XD. 

2. The Schuyler Sisters: Pick an underrated female character.

Blue Sargent from the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really feel she's talked about enough on blogs and BookTube. As far as YA fantasy main characters go, especially female ones, I think Blue's character is very unique and refreshing. She might not have huge magical abilities or anything, but she still remains a pretty strong female character. But the best part of her character for me is that although she does have a love interest, she doesn't spend the entire book pining for him and does the best to get moving despite her romantic tribulations. Plus she dresses weird and I love her even more for that XD. 


3. Stay Alive: Name a character you wish was still alive.

Okay, this one is a spoiler for the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins so I suggest you read the spoiler only I've you've read the final book. Beginning of spoiler - I wish Finnick Odair had not been killed off! I understand that they were basically at war in this book and that war comes with casualties but come one, was it necessary to kill Finnick? Right after he got married and seemingly finally got his happy ending??  - End of spoiler.

4. My Shot: Name a character that goes after what they want and doesn't let anything stop them.

For this I just have to pick Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Celaena is such a badass character. She's an assassin and quite the tough cookie, never backing away from what needs to be done to get where she wants to be. Not gonna lie, she's somewhat of a morally ambiguous character too. But she definitely goes after what she wants.


5. Burn: Name the most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve ever read.

Okay for this one I'm picking one of the relationships from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Beginning of spoiler - I just have to go with the Weasley twins because not only are they each other's best friends, but throughout the series, we've also  come to rely on them for their uplifting scenes and jokes. So, to actually see one of the twin die was one of the saddest parts of the entire series.  - End of spoiler.

6. You'll Be Back: Pick the sassiest villain.

Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter, is easily one of the sassiest characters in the series. I love his scenes with Harry and their banter. Draco, especially in the first books, is often so unintentionally funny that you can't help but love his character despite him being so horrible to Harry and the other characters. 


7. The Reynolds Pamphlet: Name a book with a twist that you didn’t see coming.

I have to go with Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare. If you know anything about Clare's Shadowhunter books, you know they are all full of twists. Well, Clockwork Princess was no exception. Beginning of spoiler - The first time I read the book, I was sure Jem was truly dead. And then, when he's revealed to have not only survived but also been turned into a Silent Brother... Damn, I was shocked! And happy too, but still very shocked. Clare sure knows how to come up with the best twists ^^ - End of spoiler.  

8. Non-stop: Name a series you marathoned. 

Well I do have a habit to marathon books, so that would be most series XD. The latest series I marathoned though was The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare and right now I'm also making my way through the 2 last books in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire. These are all re-reads for me, in anticipation for Lady Midnight, which I'm hoping to get and read soon. 


9. Satisfied: Name your favorite book with multiple POVs.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. While the book follows mostly the story of Simon Snow, the designated 'Chosen One' in this magical universe, the book is way more interesting and complex than just your average fantasy story and is in fact full of diverse subplots that unfold through the narrative threads of various other characters. 

10. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: Name a book/series you feel like will be remembered throughout history.

While the first obvious answer was Harry Potter, I'm actually going to pick the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. For many of us, Percy Jackson is just as beloved as Harry Potter. The first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, is my personal favorite although the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, is no less amazing. I've yet to read the newly released first book in the Trials of Apollo series but with that series coming out this year and Riordan's Magnus Chase series set in the same universe, those books will probably still be around for a while. And I know that I, for one, will definitely re-read my Percy Jackson books a few more times again in the future.


So that's it for this tag guys! I hope you enjoyed it and as usual, your comments are most welcome. And if you haven't yet caught the Hamilton bug, I suggest you look up some of the songs on YouTube. You won't be sorry, I promise ^^