18 August 2017

PS: I Still Love You (To All The Boys I've Loved Before #2)



Author: Jenny Han

Genre: Contemporary, YA, Romance

Blurb: Lara Jean didn't expect to really fall for Peter.

They had just been pretending. Except suddenly they weren't. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

Then another boy from her past returns to her life, and Lara Jean's feelings for him return too.

Can a girl be in love with two boys at the same time?

Intermission: If you haven't read the first book and don't want spoilers, you might not want to read this review. Okay? Good.



SHOOT. Shoot, shoot, shoot.

To be frank, I never expected myself to like this book even more than the first.

This book was much funnier.
"Why do I get a smaller bowl of soup than everyone else?" Kitty whispers to me. 
"Because you're the littlest."
 "Why don't we get our own bowl of kimchi?"    
  "Because Aunt Carrie thinks we don't like it because we're not full Korean."

Also, 

Kitty's temperament is such that when she knows you don't much value something, she grows suspicious of it too and the appeal is lost to her. For a long time I had her convinced that raisins were my absolute favourite, and she must never ever eat more than her share, when in actuality I hate raisins and was grateful someone else was eating them.

As for the characters, I liked Lara Jean... but slightly less than before. I felt bad for her when 


 someone (who turned out to be Genevieve later on) sent a video of her and Peter in a hot tub kissing to a popular instagram page. That was too much.

I felt that Lara Jean experienced some character growth. She was still naive but that's kind of her charm (Okay, she kind of reminds me of herself at times but still!). And she still made delicious cakes (Obviously, Grace) and other delightful treats.

I believe it is safe to say I don't hate Kitty anymore. I don't hate Kitty anymore. I don't necessary like her, but can tolerate her a bit more. After all, if it weren't for her sending out Lara Jean's letters, Lara Jean and Kavinsky wouldn't be together.

Now that I mention Lara Jean and Kavinsky, I actually liked the romance? It was pretty minimal and actually good and they weren't being annoyingly sappy and gross. Their little bickers were so cute. I think I technically ship them.

I was seriously waiting to use this gif! :P

I'm not willing to ever become a shipper but Kavinsky and Lara Jeanare good together. They suit each other so well despite their differences. That is mind blowingly awesome, people.

Can we talk about Kavinsky now? He is awesome. I was so, so wrong about this guy. He proved himself by showing  different layers of himself. Someone give him a freaking award for being a boss.

You know what? Chris gave me some major Sam Puckett vibes. You remember Sam from iCarly? That was exactly the way I imagined her. Also-


I kinda suspected her to be the one who sent the videos of Lara Jean and Kavinsky. I'M SORRY, OKAY? I never expected the 'mystery' to be so predictable.


I liked how the book explored double standards between boys and girls. It was interesting how feminism was incorporated into the novel. I didn't necessarily agree with everything (then again, I'm not a feminist) but it was enjoyable nonetheless. 

And here comes the negative complaints.

In the dark next to me she says, "I'm going to date a bunch of Scottish guys when I get back to school. When else will I have another opportunity like that, right?"

I giggle and roll over so we're face-to-face. "No, wait- don't date a bunch of Scottish guys. Date one from England, one from Ireland*, one from Scotland. And Wales! A tour of the British Empire!"

*Dear people. Please do your gosh darn research before proclaiming that Ireland is a part of England. That's Northern Ireland. Not the Republic of Ireland for flip's sake. Though Nothern Ireland might not be a part of England in the future. Who knows? 

Lara Jean and Peter messed up. Kinda. Lara Jean was a little too petty and Peter a little to lenient. 

I wished Lara Jean would stop saying that she was in love with guys she only had a crush on. A crush and falling in love are very different things. Seriously.

And lastly, the name the Covey/Song family gave to their dog - Jamie Fox Pickle - is pretty awful.

Recommendation: Jenny Han + fluffy contemporary loving fans

Content: Swearing, kissing, discussions about sex

Four stars our of five



13 August 2017

The Last Leaves Falling


Author: Sarah/Fox Benwell

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Blurb: I am going to die.
In a hospital, hooked up to a million machines.
Piece by piece, my freedom will be taken and my body will shut down.
What kind of an end is that?
But maybe there is another way...
This is a story of Life and Death
Of finding friendship and finding courage.

I went into this book without knowing much about it. It was refreshing to read a book set in Japan.

The protagonist, Sora is a 17 year old boy that suffers from ALS. The novel follows his life through the early stages of his illness to his later stages.

I enjoyed the writing style and the short chapters. I liked the snippets of emails, letters, forum messages, etc.

I was glad that the book explored online friendships in a positive way. I kind of envied Sora, Kai and Mai's friendship. 

I also appreciated how there was no romance. There is an undertone, but it isn't really anything official.

Despite not really liking the ending, I don't regret reading the novel.

Recommendation: People interested in Japanese culture and ALS

Content: Swearing, self harm, emails that encourage suicide

4 stars out of five





11 August 2017

Random Reflections: Productivity, Bullet Journalling and Blogging

Hello everyone! Isn't this rare? I'm actually posting on a Friday. Or maybe nobody noticed. I don't mind. I'm just going to write this now because I know that if I leave it any later, I'll just procrastinate to the point where I'll end up not posting it at all. I even jotted it down on my bullet journal just to make me look extra productive.



This is something new. I decided that instead of rambling on my posts that I want to make more posts that aren't reviews, I'll just make one. This isn't going to be the most organised post ever, mind you. I'm just going to write what comes into my mind not that my posts were super organised anyway xD

It's August. Only four months left. On a scale of one to ten how unproductive do you feel? I know there'll be super productive people out there wailing about how they practically did nothing despite reading 40+ books, finishing a whole novel or another draft or editing. They might have made so many delicious kinds of foods, written, composed and/or choreographed and progressed a lot in a language they're currently learning. To those people: Darn you. (And also: keep up the good work and don't listen to anyone who's trying to tell you (seriously) that you're being an overachiever. You are an inspiration to people even though you may not realise it. I know it may have looked like I was doing that, but I had to get your attention somehow. I do lowkey get bitter over that but it's not really a strong bitter kind of feeling. It's really lowkey salty. The feeling passes really easily.)

What were your New Years Resolutions? Have you broken them yet? I decided to play it sneaky by making mine bullet journalling. I knew that that I would never break it, even if I skipped a day or two or even a week! I did have many slumps this year but I got back up. It's also a good way to make smaller goals that lead up to bigger goals. Though I haven't done a superb job at that this year, I'll try to do it next year. And to be honest, despite wailing about being lazy (I'm trying to do that a lot less now. It really isn't attractive xD), I was a lot more productive this (and last) year than I have been since my early teens! Picking up a language and self studying isn't easy (though I did slack often. But at least I did it). I also started a blog. My own website, can you imagine? I only need to keep on working. I also don't use YouTube to procrastinate as much.

 I watch a lot more videos in which people would speak Spanish and Korean. However, I've been spoiled by the people that add subtitles to their Korean videos. I'll try to look at subtitles less (hopefully)! And hopefully I will look at more Spanish videos and not ignore them in my subscription box. I also wanna write a blog post entirely in Spanish before school starts.

I read 7 books last month (longest I've read in a month this year!) and most were pretty good. I gave four stars to most of them. Is that even me? 

I promised myself that I would make a bullet journalling post in July but guess what month it is now? Hopefully one will be made before I start school next year. Mind you, it won't be half as fancy as the ones you usually see and I don't care, either.

Gracie_ee youtube jordan taylor messyges GIF
Me to myself

 School, ugh. I'm starting a one year course on Creative Writing and Cultural Studies in September and I'm kinda scared but not because I already did a course last school year. It'll be weird to be in a room full of introverts. I've never met so many introverts in my life! Hopefully I won't have a hard time. I've had enough of those ._. and I want to go to uni afterwards. I wish I didn't have to go but ah well.

I want to change the design of this blog again. The reviews page is so messed up and cannot be fixed. It's sad because the next one will be darker and I just want another pink one. "Just buy a new template, Grace." Nah man, I gotta save money while I don't have a job xD But don't worry, it's not illegal or anything. I wanted to get a job this summer but I kind of lost hope, y'know? I also want to make better blog graphics because why not? It's a bit tricky, though. Maybe I can achieve that this year.

You know when people tell you to not write stuff on the internet that you don't say out loud. I say no way because I barely talk in real life. Sadly, I don't really know much people in real life that I can have deep conversations with. I'm such a lonely introvert. Ring, ring, call an ambulance please.



How was that? I wanted to let everyone know more about me and what goes on inside my head. 

Did you guys like it, dislike it or are your feelings neutral?

After this, I have a review to write. Have a nice day.

Gracie_ee youtube conan gray GIF


3 August 2017

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)

source
Author: Rachel Cain

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Dystopian

Blurb: Knowledge is Power. Power corrupts. 

In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar... but even as he forms friendships and he finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.

Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life - and soon both heretics and books will burn...

I haven't really read steampunk before so I was excited to start this novel. The beginning of the novel drew me in and  I soon became fond of Jess Brightwell, Khalila and Dario (Spanish speakers for the win!). However as the novel progressed, I preferred Thomas. He was a boss



He wanted to create the printing press after it had been rejected by the Library many times! And he also died. Gosh darn it. Authors always ought to stop killing the best characters! *cries*



Rachel Caine's writing style is very nice and easy to get immersed in. Even though it took me a while to finish this book, I was grateful that her writing didn't make the book drag and seem heavy to get through.

As for the negative aspects... the book seemed to drag a lot in the middle? I lost interest in the plot and most of the characters. Thankfully, I regained some interest in the end.

I also did not like the romance between Jess and Morgan. I could not see the point in it and it was also a bit insta-lovey. I felt that there was unnecessary drama and they did not actually like each other that much. I was hoping that there would be no romance but unfortunately that was not the case. Also Morgan was boring as heck.

I wanted to know more about Khalila and Dario. I didn't care for Their romance> but as individual characters they could've been more awesome than they already were.

Also,

Then the wall next to it slid open, and Wolfe stepped into another, hidden corridor. The eye of Horus was inscribed on the tiles that lined the hall.

That must've looked a little creepy, but hey, better for them to experience it than me, right?

I was a little confused at  the beginning because the Irish word for police was used. Garda.

Now this isn't necessary a criticism, but it was pretty scary.

The man looked up at him with an insanely bright gleam in his eyes. "You don't know how long I've waited for this," he said. "There's nothing like possessing the best, boy. Nothing." As Jess watched in numb horror, the man tore a page from the book and stuffed it into his mouth.
😞

And lastly, what does a Codex even look like?!

Recommendation: 15+

Content: Swearing, kissing, drinking, violence

3 stars out of five


22 July 2017

Me Before You (Should've Posted This Ages Ago)

source

Author: Jojo Moyes

Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Romance

Blurb: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now, and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.


I never expected myself to like the book this much. Not because of people's negative reviews. (I distanced myself from as many reviews as possible so I had very limited knowledge about the book before going into it).

Since this was a book within the adult genre, I felt that it was somewhat more realistic. Lou Clark is a 27 year old who still lives with her parents and would sometimes argue with her younger sister in order to receive the attention of her parents. Also, she was almost 'poor' and she lived in a fairly disadvantaged neighbourhood.

I was lucky that the Grishams were the hot news of the evening, or I might have been the topic conversation. In our street, if you climbed into an expensive car it meant you had either pulled a footballer or were being arrested by the plain-clothes police.

Lou Clark also had an interesting personality and a quirky fashion sense. Sometimes she was awkward, sometimes she was passionate, sometimes she was cringy.

Will Traynor was obviously very different in comparison to Lou. He was pretty blunt and sarcastic.


"I just don't really like foreign films."           "Everything after Local Bloody Hero has been a foreign film. D'you think Hollywood is a suburb of Birmingham?"                                                        "Funny."

However, I was surprised that he wasn't straightforward all the time.

I liked how this book had its funny and lighthearted moments such as the dialogue that took place between Will and Lou Clark. I also liked how the POVs outside of Lou's were placed there for a decent reason (at least for me).

On the other side, this book deals with complicated issues like abuse and the controversial topic of whether Dignitas is right or wrong.




Personally, I felt that Lou should not have tried to almost force Will to do things like attend a horse racing event in order to make him happy enough to forget about Dignitas. Another problem I had was that Will still went to Dignitas :( I could understand why he did it, though. On the other hand, there have been complaints from people with disabilities that argued that Will Traynor acts as if it's impossible to live life happily while on a wheelchair. While I do agree that that aspect of the novel is very problematic, I don't believe that the author wrote this book with bad intentions. I say this without dismissing the opinions of those who have been offended by this book.





My second complaint is concerning this quote in Nathan's POV: 


His blood pressure was down. His colour was returning to normal in front of me. I let out a breath I didn't realise I was holding. 

^ Oh, for flip's sake. This novel was published in 2012  so less people probably complained about it back then. Whatever.

Also, though this book was almost long and didn't melt my brain, I felt that it wasn't so special. Not that it was boring and super ordinary but it was not as magical as others made it seem to be. However, it was fun but sad and full of familiar English banter so I was satisfied.

Recommendation: For those who are curious.

Content: Swearing, kissing, also mentioned that the protagonist had sex but gave no real description of what happened.


4 stars our of five







18 July 2017

A Letter to my 20 year old self

I got this idea from Nabila (I know she didn't invent it but I definitely wanted to make one after seeing her post.)

So... here comes my most personal post that I've ever written publicly 😂




Dear Grace,

Make sure you don't constantly check back on this post, now. You need it to be somewhat of a surprise when you open it. Also, this isn't the most well structured letter you've written but 18 YEAR OLD GRACE DIDN'T GIVE ANY CARES, OKAY?!

You were eighteen when you posted this letter. You are twenty now. That really isn't much of an age difference but hopefully you have matured a lot more (shame on you if you haven't 😝).

How are you? Did you get the glo up you were looking for? Are you still as anxious? Do you have more friends now  (internet and in Ireland)? Are you less bitter? Do you like Fantasy books now? Have you read a lot of enjoyable books? Do you have any new favourite authors now? (Holly Smale and Harper Lee were basically your only favourites when you made this) Do you hate romance as much as you used to? If you have turned into a sucker for romance you better give a good reason. Seriously. Currently, you only care about the romance in K-dramas, though you only really liked the romance in Cinderella and the Four Knights.

Speaking about romance, do you have a (real life) crush now? Have you actually managed to find a boy that qualifies as 'crush material' (and also, do you still have the same celebrity crush that you had back in 2015 and even 2017? Hint: Ji Ho (Gentleman) from Shib Chil (I hope you get the reference, Grace >.<). Has your taste in boys changed? If so, I hope it hasn't changed too much. You had (probably still have) really good taste. In case you have forgotten, you liked skinny, cute almost 'pretty' boys that were very kind and gentle when you were 18. You didn't really care if they were short, after all, you're pretty short yourself (about 162cm) and you believed that it wouldn't even matter if they were even two inches shorter than you (but if they were any shorter, they could probably be mistaken as your younger brother. JUST SAYING (a phrase that you used to only use passive aggressively on purpose. Do you still do that now?))

Also, do you have a boyfriend now? If so, then shoot, that would be a plot twist O.o

Have you finished that story you made that was based on your Junior Certificate experience? If not, you should probably give up writing it now. Seriously. And I hope you have won a writing contest. If not, that's okay. Have you participated in NaNoWriMo yet?

I also hope you've read some books by some bloggers, Grace!

I hope you're much better at Spanish and Korean. You should be able to write Korean sentences well by now! Also, have you started learning Mandarin yet? You were super interested in it when you were 18.

Do you know how to drive now? You really should...

I also hope you're in college by now. I hope you're enjoying your subjects.

You should also know how to cook jollof rice. Come on, Grace...

How's your Christian life going? 18 year old Grace struggled a lot. 

I hope you have a lot more clothes now and are more bold to walk out in anything you want.

I hope you are taking care of yourself and others. Platonic affection is so important!

I hope you're still not afraid of having unpopular opinions sometimes.

Remember to read this, okay? Also, reply to all the questions, okay?

And lastly, don't cry when you read this, you big baby 😝



What did you guys think of this? Would you like to do one yourself?