Sunshine Blogger Award

Greetings, Bibliomaniacs!

The other day I woke up to some very exciting news: I’ve been tagged for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I was nominated by Clara @ Tales of Teacups (thank you SO MUCH for tagging me, I’m so honored!!!), and you should really go check out her blog because she’s really kind and her posts are always so amazing!

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community!

Rules

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Clara’s Questions

Since when do you blog? What’s your favourite thing about blogging?

I started blogging a little over a month ago, so I’m still pretty new! My favorite thing about blogging is interacting with other bloggers in the community since everyone here is so friendly and welcoming.

What kind of posts do you enjoy writing the most?

Hmmmmm… I haven’t actually written many posts yet, so I’m not sure if I have a favorite type to write. However, I’m really looking forward to writing discussion posts since I have some cool ideas for those.

What hobbies do you have aside from reading?

I love baking, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat (does that count as a hobby?), and playing the double bass in my school string orchestra.

If you could live in a fictional world, which one would you choose? Why?

Ariwiya, from We Hunt the Flame! WHTF is my favorite book, and I would love nothing more than to live in the same world as my favorite characters!

What fictional character would you like to befriend? 

Um, all of them?? Especially Altair from We Hunt the Flame, Nadia from the Forgetting, Shazi from The Wrath and the Dawn, and Inej and Nina from Six of Crows.

What’s your comfort food?

My grandmother’s homemade pho, because it’s the most delicious food on the planet!

Is there any book that you would NEVER read?

I can’t think of any specific books right now, but if a book contains problematic or hurtful content, I don’t want to read it.

Do you listen to music while reading?

No, it’s hard for me to concentrate on a book while listening to music. I sometimes listen to music before I read to get me in the mood for certain books, but not while I’m reading it.

What’s a book that you would recommend to anyone?

Well my favorite book is We Hunt the Flame, BUT I’ve already recommended it for some of the answers on here, so instead I’m going to choose The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron! It’s really amazing and isn’t talked about enough in the bookish community. If you’re into sci-fi or dystopia, I highly recommend it!

Favourite book quote.

I have a lot of these, but here’s just a few of my favorites:

  • “Together, we will raise the dunes from the earth, and rain death from the sky. Together, we are capable of anything.” ― Hafsah Faizal, We Hunt the Flame
  • “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” ― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
  • “The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.” ― Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows
  • “I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.” ― Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone
  • “Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.” ― Renee Ahdieh, The Wrath and the Dawn
  • We never say no to tea.” ― Robin Stevens, Mistletoe and Murder

Name a song that reminds you of a happy time in your life.

Riptide by Vance Joy. It’s not usually the type of music I listen to, but it brings back memories of one of my favorite summers.

People I tag:

Leaf Pages @ Leafpages
Terri @ Reader Terri
Ashmita @ The Fictional Journal
Katie @ The Storybook Sisters
Isabella @ Solace in Reading
Cherelle @ Cherelle the Bibliophile
Erin @ Reading on a Star
Aria @ Book Nook Bits
Sofii @ A Book. A Thought.
Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat
Yhel @ Ended Up Reading

My Questions

  1. What’s your favorite book of all time, and why?
  2. Do you have any pets? (cute pictures are appreciated, but not required)
  3. Who’s your favorite musical artist?
  4. If you could switch lives with any fictional character, who would it be?
  5. What’s your favorite thing about blogging? Least favorite?
  6. What book(s) are you currently reading?
  7. Besides reading or blogging, what’s something you’re passionate about?
  8. How do you organize your bookshelf?
  9. What’s your dream job?
  10. Why do you love reading?
  11. Can you describe your perfect day?

Don’t feel pressured to accept this nomination if you can’t or don’t want to (i think a few of you might have already been tagged by other people but I’m not sure, so again no pressure), but if you do decide to participate I look forward to reading your answers! All of these bloggers are so amazing, so please go check out their blogs!!! And again, thank you Clara for nominating me, please go follow her if you haven’t already! Thank you for reading, and I hope you all have a beautiful day!!!

September Wrap-Up

Hello, Bibliomaniacs!

I hope you’re having a beautiful day and have had a great September! (I know we’re already well into October but shhhh, let’s pretend.)

I guess this wasn’t the best month for me, since I failed a math test (and not because I didn’t know the material, but because my teacher gave my class barely any time to complete it) and I didn’t read as much as I wanted to, for 2 reasons: The first reason is that I’ve been in a reading slump, and every time I start a book I never get around to finishing it. And the second reason is that my parents have decided that I am on a book buying ban until my birthday in November because if I read all the books on my TBR they won’t have anything to get me. As a result, I only read 4 books this month, and 2 of them were re-reads.

Books:


The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
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Sharon Cameron is one of my favorite authors, so I was excited that this book was finally available at my local library! Even though I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as her other books, I still highly reccommend it because it was really fun.

Stamped by Jason Reynolds
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I normally don’t like non-fiction, but I read this for my school’s Project LIT book club and I loved it! It touches on some really important subjects that aren’t talked about nearly enough.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
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Also a re-read. Don’t be surprised if you see this book on all of my wrap-ups because it’s my favorite book ever and I read it a lot!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
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Another re-read, because I somehow can’t bring myself to start new books. I decided to read this again in preparation for the Silvered Serpents, since my copy finally arrived!


Blog Posts:

Underhyped Books You Need to Read
Book Blog Newbie Tag
Why You Should Read We Hunt the Flame

October Goals:

  • Read 6 books
  • Post 4 times
  • Don’t die of math

Final Thoughts:

Overall, this month could have been better in terms of reading. I’ve been struggling with schoolwork and mental health, too, but I’m hoping this month will be more pleasant. I’m also trying to figure out how to read books when I’m under a parent-enforced book buying ban. And maybe September wasn’t the best… but now it’s spooky season! I’m really excited for Halloween because I’m meeting up with some friends that I haven’t seen in a while (socially distanced, of course) to go trunk-or-treating. At first I wanted to trick-or-treat like I usually do, but then reality hit me and I realized that my neighborhood is always crowded and no one here cares about Covid so… that’s not happening. Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderfully spooky October!

What books did you read in September? Any tips for dealing with a reading slump and a book buying ban? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

Underhyped Books You Need to Read

Hey, Bibliomaniacs!

As a book blogger, I feel that my duty is to spread love for books, especially books that need more attention! For this post, I’ve chosen some of my favorite books that have less than 2,000 reviews on Goodreads. (Also- if any of these books are part of a series, I will only be including the first book on this list.) You may or may not have read these, but I’ve tried to choose books that aren’t talked about enough in the bookish community. Enjoy!

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written. In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten. But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

So, I’m kind of shocked that I’m even including this book on this list, because HOW IS THIS BOOK NOT MORE POPULAR??!!?!?? The Forgetting is one of my very favorite books in the world, and it means a lot to me. I think part of the reason I love it so much is because I’ve never had as deep a connection to a character as I did with Nadia, the protagonist. I first decided to read it a couple years ago after meeting the author, Sharon Cameron, at multiple book festivals. She was so, so, so nice and this book sounded interesting, so I bought a copy and I fell. in. love. I highly recommend it to people who like dystopian and sci-fi books!

Descendent of the Crane by Joan He

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago. Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

I don’t even know how to begin explaining how amazing this book is. Descendent of the Crane is an incredibly beautiful Chinese inspired fantasy full of betrayal and plot twists! I read it about a year ago when I borrowed a copy from my local library (i knew i just had to read it because LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL COVER!!!!), and it got me out of a 3 month long reading slump. It’s full of mystery, complex family dynamics, and lots of political intrigue. If you like books with an intricate fantasy world and a plot that’ll keep you guessing, you should definitely read this book!!!!!

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

The year is 1934. Schoolgirls Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, but they struggle to find a truly exciting mystery to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t.) But then Hazel discovers the body of the Science Mistress, Miss Bell – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls have to solve a murder, and prove a murder has happened in the first place before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally). But will they succeed?  And can their friendship stand the test?

Murder Most Unladylike is part of a middle grade series, and even though I mostly read YA, these mysteries will always have a special place in my heart. I started reading this series with my best friend when I was 8 or 9 years old, and we were kind of obsessed (like so obsessed that we thought we were actual detectives and we spent all of our time “investigating” people we thought were suspicious). The main characters, Daisy and Hazel, are so realistically written. Even though they can be insufferable at times, they mature a lot throughout the series. Another thing I love about these books is that they normalize LGBTQ+ relationships, which we really don’t see enough of in middle grade. Murder Most Unladylike is absolutely perfect for mystery readers of any age!

That’s all for now! Sorry this post was so short by the way, I’ve been very overwhelmed with schoolwork this week and I haven’t had much time to blog. I promise to write more next time!

Have you read any of these books? Are they on your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Book Blog Newbie Tag

Hi there, Bibliomaniacs! I’ve decided to participate in this tag since I’m a new blogger, and I thought this would be a fun way to introduce myself.

Why did you start this blog?

I love reading (obviously), but so many of my friends have never understood my crazy obsession with books. Hopefully, I’ll get to interact with other people who share my love of reading. I’ve tried to start blogs before, but they’ve always been abandoned due to lack of time. Now that we’re amid a global pandemic, I have a bit more time to dedicate to blogging.

What are the fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

I’m mainly just want to have fun bringing my thoughts and ideas to the blogging community! I have a lot of creative ideas for posts I want to write, so I’m hoping those will be interesting. I also want to use this platform to support and uplift marginalized voices.

What are you most excited for about this new blog?

I’m so excited to share all of my opinions about books since I am a very opinionated person. I also want to interact with others in the book blogging community. Reading and writing are my two favorite things in the world, and starting a book blog is great for me because it combines my two loves.

Why do you love reading?

To be honest, I’m not even sure how to answer this question. It’s something I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. Reading has gotten me through some really tough times, and I can’t even imagine what it would be like to not love reading.

What book or series got you into reading?

The first book series I ever became obsessed with was Harry Potter, which I started when I was five. For a long time, loving Harry Potter was a big part of my identity, but I’ve been trying to take a step back from the series due to J.K. Rowling’s harmful comments.

What questions would you ask your favorite authors?

I love asking writers about their process and how they write, especially because I’m a writer myself, and I’m still figuring out my writing process. I also love asking for book recs because I could always add some more books to my already endless TBR.

What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

  • Time!!! Even though I have more time than usual due to being stuck at home, I still go to a competitive school where I have around 10-12 hours or more of online assignments every day.
  • Imposter syndrome. Even though I have this blog, it’s hard to believe that I’ll ever really feel like a blogger.
  • Definitely procrastination. I am a self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination (In fact, I’m procrastinating on my homework right now by writing this blog post).

When did you start reading?

Um….. this is hard. It depends on what you mean by “starting to read.” My parents read hundreds of picture books to me starting when I was born, so there were lots of words and phrases that I could read as a toddler. When I was three or four, I could read many pages at a time, but not whole books. The first chapter books I ever read completely on my own were when I was five.

Where do you read?

I read anywhere and everywhere (at least, I did before Covid hit). Now I mainly read in bed, but pre-2020 I carried a giant bag of books to read every time I left the house so that I could read no matter where I was.

What kind of books do you read?

Mainly YA, but occasionally Middle Grade and New Adult. I read a lot of fantasy, but I’ll read contemporary if it sounds interesting or if I really like the author. Historical fiction can sometimes be good, but it depends on the topic and time period. I very rarely read any nonfiction unless it’s required for school.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me! And if you’re a new book blogger and want to do this, consider yourself tagged!

Why You Should Read We Hunt the Flame

Hey, everyone! This is my first blog post, so I’ve decided to write about all the reasons you should read my all-time favorite book, We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. This book means the world to me, so I hope you enjoy!

The Characters

All of these characters are The Most Precious Beings on Earth and must be protected at all costs. The story centers around two protagonists, Zafira and Nasir. Zafira is known as the Hunter because she disguises herself as a man to hunt in the Arz (a cursed forest) in order to provide food for her people. Nasir, a.k.a. the Prince of Death, is the crown prince of Arawiya and a deadly assasin. Zafira is sent on a quest to retrieve a lost artifact that will bring back magic, and Nasir is sent to kill Zafira and steal the artifact. Both of them face a lot of internal struggles, but it’s hard not to root for them. (Also, if anyone hurts Nasir I will murder them myself). We also have three more characters that make up the rest of the zumra (gang): Altair, Kifah, and Benyamin. Altair is Arawiya’s general, sent on the quest to accompany Nasir. He’s hilarious, witty, charming, and owns all of my heart and soul. Kifah is also such a great character! She’s so awesome and badass and I can’t wait to see more of her. The last of the zumra is Benyamin, who I absolutely ADORE. And I can’t forget to mention Deen and Yasmine. Even though we don’t see them after the beginning of the book, I could feel their presense throughout the entire story because Zafira thinks about them so much. I would honestly do ANYTHING for any of these characters.

The Worldbuilding

Um, so I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve read hundreds of YA fantasy books, but for me, this world beats all other worlds. Hafsah does a masterful job crafting Awawiya and everything about it. The descriptions and imagery are just so vibrant and beautiful, and all the different settings and scenery was just so cool!

The Ship

Zafira and Nasir are one of the best literary couples and that’s a concrete fact. The slow-burn enemies to lovers was SO good. There was one scene in particular where I screamed out loud at Nasir for being such an IDIOT (If you’ve read WHTF, you probably know what scene I’m talking about). They have so much chemistry, not just physically but also emotionally. There’s nothing I want more in the world than to see these two idiots happy together.

Beautiful Quotes

All of Hafsah’s writing is so beautiful and lyrical, so I’ve decided to include just a few of my favorite quotes:

“But in this moment, we are two souls, marooned beneath the moon, hungry and alone, adrift in the current of what we do not understand. We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.”

“A thousand leagues and a thousand sands. For you, a thousand times I would defy the sun.”

“Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.”

“If I told you my name, would you bow?” His voice was soft. A melancholy caress. He lifted his chin when understanding dawned on her face. “Or would you flee?”

“Together, we will raise the dunes from the earth, and rain death from the sky. Together, we are capable of anything.”

Disclaimer: Do not read this book if you are not ready for extreme levels of emotional pain.

That’s all for now! Have you read We Hunt the Flame? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.