Thoughts While Watching Heartstopper // my brain is a chaotic place

Hi hi!

With the graphic novels already having amassed a huge number of fans, the Heartstopper show on Netflix is THE craze at the moment. Maintaining my identity as a reader-before-watcher, I dutifully read the comics just after the teaser was released. And now I’m reprimanding myself for not reading them sooner because the cuteness overload!! Dessert in book form tbh.

Not that the show was any less adorable, no sir. I shall forever be in debt to the person who made all the casting choices because each actor seemed born to play their role (i was reduced to a puddle in the ground whenever Joe Locke smiled, it’s just- it’s a Charlie smile all right).

Soo let’s move on to my more detailed thoughts while watching the show, documented live in my notes app. *bows with flourish*

  1. the casting is so perfect oh my lord
  2. i have a colourful variety of names i’d like to call ben
  3. not me drawing scene parallels from the comics
  4. dude no why would you go to the library
  5. charlie ignoring the autofill and typing the same thing anyway is just so charlie
  6. “older sister magic”
  7. aww “charlie situation”
  8. would wishing that I had a friend circle like this be a step too far from my current non existent one?
  9. Charlie’s room is GOALS
  10. the almost hand holding thing gets me every time
  11. oh my lord its the first kiss *dies*
  12. oh my lord it’s the second kiss *resurrects*
  13. sooo we’re back to the super cute hi *raises eyebrows suggestively*
  14. like she said, “gay people can be good at sports”
  15. ok wow this game is intense
  16. NOBODY gets to hurt charlie that’s the rule
  17. oh nick you can never just say no can you?
  18. ok but the question is why didnt i know about tao’s exquisite dancing skills??
  19. i know most people hate imogen for some reason but i mostly just feel sorry for her
  20. ha exactly what I’ve been saying. thank you, charlie’s mom.
  21. oof yeah that pinballing night, i remember
  22. tao nick face off!!
  23. aaand he’s told tara and darcy!!
  24. idk why but tara and darcy are like 100 times cooler to me onscreen than in the comics, and they were already pretty cool in the comics soo
  25. i’m pretty sure sipping has become a personality trait for tori at this point
  26. ohmygod nick charlie tara darcy texting parallels!!
  27. the way tao and elle suddenly became so much more interested in their milkshakes—
  28. tori’s deadpan “called it”…she’s my idol
  29. punching harry in the face must be so satisfying
  30. omg tao’s a leftie like me! so true of us
  31. aw did tao literally have to cry and break my heart like that
  32. charlie and tao making up might just be the best thing that has happened to me today
  33. oh don’t mind the noise its just me yelling BEACH BEACH BEACH
  34. i wish i could yell truths at the universe like nick
  35. nick’s coming out scene shall forever be embedded in my heart (the part that is not already occupied by all the heartstopper adorableness)

With that we’re done and waiting on Season 2! With Netflix’s previous record, I’ll be surprised if all the seasons get released in my lifetime so there’s that,,, but no harm staying optimistic, is there?

Have you seen the Heartstopper show yet? Have you read the graphic novels?? Which are your favourite scenes??

~Rachel

Bookshelf Reveal || it’s my birthday!

Hey! Everybody is supposed to be excited okay? Why, because it’s Rachel’s birthday today!

My questionable rhyming skills aside, it really IS my birthday! I’ve officially blessed this earth with my gracious presence for 15 whole years today (ohno no need to thank me).

I have sort of mixed feelings about this whole ageing thing. In some ways, it feels like I’ve lived an entire lifetime, you know? i’ve certainly read enough books for a lifetime But also, as long as I’m far far away from that cursed number we do not speak of (it starts with 1 and ends with 8 and there’s nothing in between), I’m good, thank you.

Soo I gave a LOT of thought (no seriously, i was daydreaming about this during physics class) to what sort of a post I should put up on this wondrous occasion (did i mention it is my birthday today?) but things turned out to be a little last-minute (pfft with me they always are last minute) so I decided to keep it short and sweet so guess what we’re doing today — *drumroll* BOOKSHELF REVEAL!

Ok I realize my drama probably amounted to nothing because the post’s title gave it away, but play along, will you? After all, it’s my birthday today *wink wink*

Yeah so I got this bookshelf just last year on Christmas (best gift EVER, am i right?) since my old one was practically overflowing. I have also bought new books since then and I’m pretty proud of it so shower it with love okay? Ta-da!

THE MIGHTY BOOKSHELF

I spent literal HOURS putting in the books (and I still pop my nose in now and then to get that book-y smell) so that they look just right. I didn’t really colour code the shelves like a lot of people do (mostly because I have zero aesthetic sense) but i did have a strategy of organisation. Sort of. I think?

Let’s talk about the left rack first. The topmost shelf on the left is for my classics like The Book Thief, Anne of Green Gables, Moby Dick etc. The shelf below that is mostly fantasy, with the Vega Jane quartet stacked on top of each other. My copy of Our Violent Ends, my pride my joy (and my tears), is front and centre obviously. To it’s right are other fantasy novels including A Dark and Hollow Star and King of Scars.

The two shelves below that (the 3rd and 4th shelves in the left rack) are mostly adult fiction with the only fantasy books (Aurora Burning, Blazewrath Games and Sweet & Bitter Magic) displayed proudly, cover and all. Notable adult fiction books from these shelves are those by Khaled Hosseini, Agatha Christie and Mitch Albom among others. (also this photo is a few days old so the 3rd shelf from the top now also houses Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute). The bottom two shelves are a random mix of middle grade and YA mystery thrillers.

Ok onto the rack in the right! I know its a bit of a mess but that’s because the entire rack is mostly filled with books from my childhood and comics and those are a nightmare to try and arrange neatly. There are two shelves dedicated to Enid Blyton (god her books had me in a chokehold) and one shelf each for my Tinkle comics and Geronimo Stilton. And there’s also those big picture books and all from when I had just started reading.

Soo that was all about the mighty bookshelf (she says, nice to meet you guys) aand we’re all done with this post as well because I don’t really know what else there is to be said. (except, it’s my birthday today did you know that?)

How do you organize your bookshelf? What do you use to decorate it? (I’m thinking some Funko Pops might add better aesthetic…) Do you still own books from your childhood? OH AND WHEN’S YOUR BIRTHDAY? Let’s chat in the comments!

~ Rachel

UPDATE: apparently i also decided to do a face reveal? anyway my profile picture for today is my real face ✌️

Fictional Characters I’d Take Along For A Heist // how to plan a heist tutorial 101

Yes I’ve been watching Ocean’s Eleven, why do you ask?

It is no great secret that me likes heists. A little bit. Yes I have been obsessed with six of crows (the ultimate heist book) since forever and yes I am currently binge watching classic heist movies (Ocean’s Eleven was first of course) but doesn’t mean I’m totally and utterly in love with anything that has a heist plot, right? right??

Now, this post as a whole might be a bit misleading about my persona. See I’m usually a good law abiding citizen. I never ever break any rules. (well there was that one episode in school when I sneaked off to play basketball on the court with my friend when I was supposed to be in class studying a subject I hated and on the court we pretended we belong to the other class which actually had sports then… but there’s no way you know this, is there?). But heists? They’re sort of my guilty pleasure. I don’t know, there’s something about a bunch of gangsters pulling off an epic heist right under the nose of the target that just gets me in the feels. Money is a motivation of course, but I especially love it when the real motive is some good old ~revenge~.

The latest development in this love for heists I might have gone from watching and reading heist stories to planning my own. And what does every heist need? A crew! (wow. smooth transition.) So welcome, wannabe thieves and notorious lords of the criminal underworld, to my wonderful crew comprised entirely of fictional characters!

The Mastermind

For obvious reasons Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows comes to mind. The man is a literal genius, I swear his braincells were manufactured differently from the rest of us. He always has a backup plan of a backup plan, will probably scheme his way out of hell and he’s never in the dark about anything. (even if he is actually surprised by something, he will convince you he already knew about it)

The Backer

Heists don’t come for free right? A lot of money is needed, and hence we require someone rich to cover our huge expenses. Avery Grambs from The Inheritance Games literally went from a nobody to a billionaire overnight, I’m sure she’ll see no reason not to sponsor our cause. Is there a thing like a luxury heist? Because if there is, with Avery backing us up, that is what we are going to do.

The Muscle

Tamar and Tolya, the bodyguard twins from the King of Scars duology would be my first pick whenever there are punches to be thrown and people to be quietened. And for good reason, because they are positively deadly (and yet that doesn’t stop me from swooning over them, just saying) AND TOLYA FREAKING LOVES POETRY. Okay yeah that doesn’t make sense in this context.

The Searcher

Alisa Montagov from These Violent Delights specialises in squeezing into impossible spaces and spying on people so she’d be ideal for gathering information about the target and spying on the organization ahead of the heist. Her talents were criminally underused in the duology though… and did I mention she’s 12?

The Distraction

We need someone to distract the guards/the target while the others tiptoe behind his back and I know just the person for the job. Kavi Thakrar from Not My Problem will efficiently rattle off an entire 3-minute monologue in a single breath and the target will be busy recovering for two minutes after that so that’s 5 minutes of safety guaranteed.

The Safecracker

Soo I’m sorta cheating with this one because I couldn’t think of a character who’s specialised in opening vaults and cracking safes. I’ll go with Tamsin from A Sweet & Bitter Magic since she’s a witch she can hopefully make up a spell to burn a hole right through any safe, right?

The Gadget Guy

Dex Dizznee from the Keeper Of Lost Cities series because the guy’s a literal Technopath, which means he has a way with anything that starts with m and ends with e and has tiny gears and possibly motors (yep, a machine!). He will also be our hacker (i believe he already has some experience in that field eh?😏) and the one who sits in a hotel room shouting instructions in the earpieces while the heist is going on.

The Getaway Driver

This one’s based on pure imagination because she never actually drives in the book as far as I remember, but I’m sure if you hand Millie Price from When You Get The Chance car keys, it’s going to result in pure and speedy chaos (tighten your seatbelts because we’re in for a ride!) and that’s the best kind of getaway there is, am i right?

That’s the end of this list folks! I think we’ve covered most archetypes so we’re doing pretty good here. And to those who are in the process of putting on their scandalized and appalled faces after this whole episode of mingling with criminals, what can I say? Books can be a bad influence *shrug*.

Which characters would you take along for a heist? Do you think the ones I mentioned fit the archetypes? What are your favourite heist books and movies? Let me know in the comments!!

~ Rachel

Introducing March Madness-But In Books! + Week 1 Picks

Heyy everyone, drop everything (but nothing fragile okay? i am basically broke i won’t be able to reimburse) and looky here because we have an exciting new bookish project to introduce today. *round of applause in the background*

Ok first off. If you were paying attention, you’ll now ask me Rachel who’s ‘we’? Fear not, I am not using the royal we, I actually have another person collaborating with me on this, and that is none other than Maddie from Inking and Thinking! *another round of applause*

Now your next question (because I like to take care of my audience’s needs, no need to thank me) is probably going to be enough talk Rachel, now can you tell me WHAT exactly this is all about?? Hey hey I’m getting to that, don’t shout. 

So let me introduce you to our own bookish version of March Madness (which is a single-elimination basketball tournament played each spring in the United States), brought to you by Maddie and myself! 

The basic idea is to compare two books each week and declare a ‘winner’, as in select the book we enjoyed more. Then this book will be ‘competing’ with a new book the next week and so on. We’ll start off with two books for the first week (which starts today, so look down below for our book picks), and then read one book each for the following weeks and compare it with the previous winner. 

Slight twist here. Keeping in mind our different reading tastes, Maddie and I are going to be choosing 2 different books each week. This will also allow us to incorporate more genres and more books. But since we do not want to take away the “collab” sense of it all, at the very end, when each of us has a final winner from our lot, we are going to compare these to for the ULTIMATE BOOK CHAMPION (ok that sounds a little extra)

We’ll be picking 5 books initially, and then our 6th read will be the other’s “winning” book, so this project is expected to be continuing a bit into April as well. (Mapril Madness?? Eh no let’s stick to the original)

I understand if this is not making a lot of sense at the moment, but there are going to be progress check-ins and all, and I’m sure it’ll make a lot more sense then.

___________

And now, without further ado, here are my picks for the first week of March! Put your hands together for our first competitors!!

We’re really going for contrast here. On one side we have a dark-ish fantasy that gives wintry night vibes and on the other is a cutesy reverse mamma mia contemporary! Who shalleth wineth? (ok I’ll google the old english next time) That, my friends, only time and Rachel’s mood will tell.

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out Maddie’s post to see her book picks!

Which book do you think will win? Place your bets quickly, because you shall soon know the winner in the next March Madness post!

~ Rachel

Why Bookworms Lead Dangerous Lives // full and final proof that exams are eating away at my sanity

How many times has someone told you to get your nose out of your book and go explore the Great Outdoors, go adventuring? One too many times, I’m sure.

But what the preparators of this statement fail to comprehend is that we bookworms are also constantly in danger by virtue of our own bookish habits. Every time we read, our very lives are on the line (how brave of us). As if mountain climbing, tight rope walking and rollercoaster riding can ever compare to the dangers of reading a book.

Following this line of thought, today I’ll be listing the various risks associated with reading which will prove how dangerous bookworms’ lives actually are.

___________

Okay. Situation 1. You are peacefully reading a murder mystery (as peaceful as you can be when investigating a murder), feeling that smug bout of satisfaction because you already know who the killer will turn out to be. Like literally all of the clues point to them, it would not have hurt the author to be a little more subtle right? And then it comes. You are caught completely unawares. What- how- when- but- she was his best friend?! Now you will smile a smug smile and say Ha Rachel i don’t read murder mysteries, joke’s on you so believe me when I say that fantasy books can be equally capable of giving you a heart attack (remember that time in These Violent Delights when she shot him and i thought he DIED but thank GOD he didn’t because then I would have died?? or what about If This Gets Out, which played the same cruel joke and I was so sure he was dead??)
The result? Heart failure due to plot twist.) and our conclusion is that NO ONE IS SAFE.

Next, picture yourself reading a gripping book. The story has hooked you and you NEED to know what happens next so you read. And read. And read. Mild disturbances occur, like people going from knocking at your door persistently to throwing pillows at you and begging you to STOP but you don’t let anything deter you and keep reading until you finish. It is only then that you hear a rumble (that’s your stomach by the way) and feel weak and realize you haven’t eaten in HOURS. Sounds a lot like starvation, don’t you think?

Ooh and what if you are reading outdoors? I hate to tell you this, but this only increases the risks a thousand times over. Bumping into a pillar (or people!!), causing road accidents, being the reason a poor cyclist nearly fell off his bike – who knows what destruction you’ll leave in your wake, all while you’re walking around engrossed in a book? So my dear friends, be smart and read at home. (i sound like one of those commercials don’t i?)

Not to say that you’re completely safe at home as well. Imagine you’re lying on your back on the bed, reading your new copy of Our Violent Ends (bonus points if it is a hardback!) and there’s some shooting and a character nearly DIES and you gasp and lose your grip on the book and it falls on your face ungracefully. Voila, that’s a broken nose. And there’ll be a round of I TOLD YOU NOT TO READ LIKE THAT from the rest of the household but we’ll focus on the nose.

If you thought death by grief was not a thing, THINK AGAIN. We die a little every time authors decide to toy with us by doing the unthinkable – killing off a character. I remember staring ahead blankly in shock during those moments in Crooked Kingdom until people started waving their hands in front of me to make sure I was still alive.

And don’t even mention the amount of sleep we give up on for books. When we are not reading them at ungodly hours of the night, we are thinking about them, or looking up fanart and fanfiction or just anything to stay with our characters for just a little bit longer.

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Since I do not want to scare you off from reading books for the rest of you life, I’m going to stop here (you’re very welcome). But next time you see an (seemingly) innocent little human sitting in a sunny cozy corner with their nose in a book, give a second thought about the valiant risks they are taking (and maybe write a song in our glory too).

Have you ever faced these dangers firsthand? (if not, tell me your secrets to immortality) Let me know in the comments so that I know that I am not alone!

~ Rachel

Guessing The Zodiac Signs Of My Favourite Characters

Hi! What’s up? (other than the sky of course, and perhaps the ceiling of your house)

You know how a lot of people say that their zodiac signs do not define their personalities? Well I’m definitely not one of them because I am (metaphorically, it would be a little hot otherwise) every bit raging ball of fire that the world proclaims Aries to be. I kid you not, I am an embodiment of literally each and every characteristic of Aries. Look up the traits of Aries on the internet, and you have my exact personality chalked out in front of you.

Moving on (since none of us are here to talk about me), let me try to explain the gist of today’s post to you. In a few moments we are going to be guessing the zodiac signs of certain book characters based on their personalities. The characteristics of the zodiac sign will be in bold, and later I’ll be justifying why I think that character has that sign. And there’s a slight possibility that I share quotes from that particular character, say it’s pretty self explanatory why I chose that zodiac sign and call it a day, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen, hmm?

Kavi (Not My Problem) – Gemini

“Ms. Devlin told me to come find Meabh and then I heard you both talking and it sounded so interesting and then I realized there’s a conspiracy afoot and so I listened to more and it all got very exciting and I’m sorry Meabh that your parents are so mean and your life is all busy and then I thought maybe I could push you off the stairs but then Aideen did it before I could offer and you fell down here and I picked you up so I could take you to the nurse and then you two were like Kavi, why are you threatening us and then I explained how I wasn’t and then it’s now.”

— Kavi “how-could-he-say-this-in-a-single-breath” Thakrar

Gemini are inquisitive with an almost childlike curiosity and often very funny. They are very sensitive and responsive listeners. They are highly entertaining and there’s never dull moment when they are around. They could talk to a brick wall if only it would listen (or even if it would not, for that matter) and they know how to bring dissimilar people together and make them get along.

Now in case you didn’t happen to notice that huge quote thingy above, i’d like to tell you that that’s exactly like our Kavi over here. He’s a major-side-character-in-a-way-that-almost-makes-him-the-main-character in Not My Problem. His monologues were the best thing that has ever happened to me. (And now I have a startling urge to share all of kavi’s monologues and just let them take over this post. But since I’d like to hold on to my dignity for a little while longer, the one that I shared above will have to suffice.) His genuine personality brightened the book. The main character once literally describes him as a “i just escaped from a bunker” wide-eyed kid. And then of course, he’s the one who brings Aideen and Meabh (the two main characters) closer, even though they had nothing in common (overachiever and underachiever duo).

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Jem (The Infernal Devices) – Pisces

“I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I’d always thought one could not truly be lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.

Jem “dreamy boy” Carstairs

Pisces are the ones with “soft” skills like sensitivity and intuition. Pisces tend to evade distinction. They tend to dilute themselves with larger personalities to avoid having to form coherent identities. They are dreamy, emotional and slightly detached from the external world. They are quite often absorbed in themselves. They’re romantics and prone to fantasy.

Look, Jem plays the damn violin, how could he be anything but a Pisces? wait you are expecting more explanation? Being the extremely compromising person I am, I’ll try to show you my mental image of Jem. Picture a boy with white (WHITE) hair, sitting alone in a huge empty room and playing the violin, eyes closed and utterly lost in its melody. Whenever I read his dialogue, they’re spoken in a soft, dreamy drawl in my head. And might I also mention what a hopeless romantic Jem is? Like I cannot blame Tessa for accepting his proposal (WILL THO 😭), the way he said it is enough to flatter any woman with sense.

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Kaz (The Grishaverse) – Scorpio

AVENDELL — Kaz Brekker 🌙

“How do you get your information, Mister Brekker?”
“You might say I’m a lockpick.”
“You must be a very gifted one.”
“I am indeed.” Kaz leaned back slightly. “You see, every man is a safe, a vault of secrets and longings. Now, there are those who take the brute’s way, but I prefer a gentler approach – the right pressure applied at the right moment, in the right place. It’s a delicate thing.”

Kaz “i-know-all-your-secrets” Brekker

The Scorpio personality is a profound chasm of infinite complexity (or at least how they project themselves). They are difficult people to get to know. They socialize from behind a double-sided mirror, always scanning, reading you while you can only see your own reflection. They prefer to be the people asking the questions. They probe and push. They know the little things that make you tick. Your pressure points. The subtle ways to procure the answer they’re seeking. They have a ruthless view of the world. Eat or be eaten. Their knowledge of other people’s internal structures gives them an edge over the competition. They know how to play people against each other. They are intentional about the information they reveal.

NO WAY. The Scorpio description fits Kaz so perfectly i can’t even−
I mean, it was literally written that Scorpios make perfect con artists and good brooding protagonists, and our Kaz is both of those! And convince me that “profound chasm of infinite complexity” does not mean morally grey (spoiler alert: the convincing won’t work). Kaz can see straight into your soul and can make you squirm in your seat with a single knowing glance. Woe betide the man who thinks they can outsmart him. No matter how much of him (or his dangerously smart plans) you think you know, there’s ALWAYS more.

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Julian (Cemetery Boys) – Aries

“Julian was the most alive person he’d ever met. Even as a spirit, he was bright and full of constantly moving energy. A sun crammed into the body of a boy.”

Aries live their life how they want to, no filter. They are unafraid of conflict, highly competitive, honest and direct. They throw themselves at the world eagerly and without fear. It is not rare for them to get angry and then forget why they were angry. They nearly always have strong opinions and are ready to defend them. They are spontaneous, energetic and impatient because they don’t like to waste time. They can often be impulsive and hotheaded. They don’t always have the best self-control, and often react out of emotion than from a place of clear calm-headedness.

I am Aries. Aries is Julian. Julian is me.
Yeah no, I am not exaggerating. Remember (you don’t? you should pay more attention) how I said in the beginning that I’m the typical Aries? Well so is our Julian. He’s fierce in his anger, fierce in his love. He easily gets bored and cannot stay still for the life (no pun intended) of him. He also makes impulsive and rash decisions all the time, which is part of what makes him so endearing (just me? ok).

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Since there’s no other way for you to know whether I guessed correctly or not, once again I implore you to go read all these gems of books asap. Or this Aries fireball might go on a warpath. Kidding. Or not.

What’s your zodiac sign? Does it match your personality? Do you agree with the pairings I made? Which other characters do you think could match with these signs? Chat with me in the comments!

~ Rachel

The Year 2021 Divided Into My Bookish Phases

Everybody, say happy birthday to my laptop! *chorus of Happy Birthday, Laptop!* That’s right, this lovely device and my partner in crime came into being (aka was gifted to me by my parents) somewhere a little before Christmas last year. It seems like yesterday (for the record, it does not.) when I first cradled it in my arms, and it’s nearly one already. Look at it grow!

Now onto today’s main deal. I don’t know about you, but I find myself suddenly wanting to read a murder mystery one moment and a fluffy contemporary the next, an underrated book one moment and an overrated one the other. Sometimes these “moments” are actually literal moments, sometimes they can be hours, days or even months. Being the mood reader I am, I often give in to these urges.

In this post I bring you all those bookish phases which together made my reading year a big chaotic jumble of books of all shapes and sizes (not literally though, most of them are e-books). Ready? Here we go!

(also, the formatting is terrible in the Reader so please read it here)

The “ooh I wanna read what everybody else is reading” phase in which I read hyped books (February-March and October-November)
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)
These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
Skyward (Skyward, #1)

I am literally the co-founder of the “Hype-o-meter” series so yeah, I have a thing for popular books haha and sometimes I just get carried away by the hype. Specifically, it was in February, March, October and November when I read a lot of hyped books. Some of them were totally worth the hype, and others just… weren’t. (if you’re curious – SoC, WHTF, and TVD were the ones worth the hype)

The “yay, childhood” phase in which I read middle grade (May – July)
Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1)
Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea, #1)
The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Believe

Yeah so I’ve pretty much given up on middle grade now, but there was a time when I was super into mg books. And then in June, I also took part in this read-a-thon called Whatever-a-thon, and joined the team “Middle Grade Monarchs” so middle grade was pretty much what I read that month. And then I binged the entire heroes of olympus series.

The “i wanna play detective” phase in which I read mystery-thrillers (September – October)
The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)
How We Fall Apart (How We Fall Apart, #1)
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)
Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

This phase started with me buddy reading The Inheritance Games with April. After that I was suddenly into solving murders in elite prep schools and small towns and the like. I think I’m over this phase now (thank you, Truly Devious, for being so truly terrible)

The “science geek” phase in which I read sci-fi (April and August)
The Supernaturalist
Down to Earth
The Ones We're Meant to Find
The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

Nowadays I feel like I’ve lost my interest in the science fiction genre, but there certainly was, and probably will be a time when I was fascinated by all books that had to do with technology and space and aliens. In August especially, sci-fi made up most of my reading.

The “I’ll review you! And you! And you!” phase in which I read arcs and review copies (September and November)
A Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix
The Wolf's Curse
This Last Adventure
The Helheim Princess (The Helheim Prophecy, #1)

Yeah I have those occasional phases where all upcoming releases suddenly sound just my type and I cannot wait for them to be published so I go ahead and request and arc, or sign up for a blog tour. The story ends with me buried under a pile of arcs. And then under a pile of pending reviews.

the “i desperately need more happiness in my life” phase in which I started reading contemporaries (November-December)
Perfect on Paper
Not My Problem
Only Mostly Devastated

This is a fairly recent development in my reading life. I felt like I couldn’t handle any more pain and death that usually comes in a package with fantasy books, so I finally started reading YA contemporaries. And my, I’d no idea what I was missing out on all this time.

So that was my year in bookish phases, tell me about yours! Do you also have these sudden urges to read certain genres? Chat with me in the comments!

~Rachel

Which Of These Bookish Things Give Me A Boost Of Serotonin?

Hiya people!

So I was scrolling through Buzzfeed quizzes (aka the blackhole that never fails to suck me in) related to bookworms (you know it) and found this one that, like most other quizzes, proudly decrees “If 34/50 Of These Bookish Things Give You A Boost Of Serotonin, Then You’re 100% A Bookworm”.

I have learned from personal experience never to leave the fate of my entire personality to the Buzzfeed gods. So we are not doing this quiz all hardcore “Am I a bookworm? omg I don’t know”, instead we are going to be all casual about it, okay? Okay. (trying to convince myself here) We are also not going to be dealing with all the 50 things because that’ll take wayyy too long, so I’ve selected 25 out of the 50. If you enjoy this post, do let me know so I could take up the remaining in another post!

Click here to give the quiz yourself if you’re interested!

With all that said, now we’re going to discover which of the following bookish stuff gives me a boost of serotonin, in other words, stuff that makes me happy. (serotonin – noun: key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness) Let’s get started!

This is a no because first – I started reading audiobooks very recently so I don’t think I have a favourite narrator as such, and second – I don’t really pay much attention to the narrators. As long as its comprehendible, the narration matters much less as compared to the story for me.

Yes! I don’t do much of this these days (e books have become my lifeline) but I do have a lot of complete trilogies, quartets, and even 10 or 12 book series from when I was younger!!

Yes yes yes! Until I became part of this blogosphere, I had never experienced the pure joy of somebody reading a book that I’d recommended. But its a great feeling, especially if said person loves the book as much as I did!!

No to both, because umm I don’t really notice these things.

Yes, because that means that favourite author is likely to remain a favourite author!

This largely depends on the characters, but generally that does make me happy, so I’m gonna go with yes!

Uhh no. Beautiful, but generally not for me.

Wait that’s a thing?! A thing that people actually notice and care about?? I really must pay more attention to such stuff in my books. So, yeah, no.

Its the other way around for me, so no. When I read a book, the details of a character’s person are really fuzzy in my head, but after that when I watch the adaptation, my brain associates the character with that cast member forever. (looking at S&B and their perfect cast)

I don’t really reread much, so idk.

No. I guess I like my side characters the way they are??

Yes of course, the feeling is HEAVENLY! Those who have never had their nose in a book (literally), you’re missing out!!

These are kind of related so I’m putting them together. And a million times yes to both! My library card expired like a few months ago but before that I was pretty big on the whole checking-out-books-on-a-daily-basis thing, and that was awesome! Ahh what can I say about browsing? Just seeing all those shelves filled with books is honestly a big source of happiness for me (I also…umm… like to run my finger along the spines hehe)

Yes, because why not?

Now, this is something that probably would make me happy, that is if, you know I actually did lend my friends books. Practically none of them read anyway, that makes things easier for me lol. No.

Of course, yes! I am currently reading my first ever retelling (I think its my first) and I think I really like it!!

A yes to both, but more specifically to the second one. When a character has to deal with loss of loved ones and/or trauma and such, it gives me so much serotonin to know that they’re happy once the story gets over.

Yes to the first and no to the second. I’m kinda obsessed with Kanej fanarts on a daily basis. Also, umm I’m terrible at anything aesthetic so drawing fanart… nope. I wouldn’t want to do that to my favourite characters haha.

Omg yes definitely! It honestly gives me so much serotonin to reorganize my book shelf, or even to just stand there and stare at all the books in there! (also mildly related but I am convincing my parents to buy me a new bookshelf because my current one is close to bursting even though I hardly buy physical copies these days)

Duh!

…And we’re done for this post! Before you leave, do fill this feedback form for my blog if you haven’t already because the more of you who give me feedback, the better this blog can become! Here’s the link to the form – https://forms.gle/CYkBpZXUm4hsuJQm8

Which of these bookish stuff makes you happy? Do you… umm… smell your books? Let me know in the comments!

~ Rachel

Books I’d Use As Weapons // aka books i’d throw at jesper if i was david

Yep, I’ve watched Shadow & Bone too many times now. This post confirms it.

I’m sitting in a cozy carriage, peacefully reading a book, when the carriage door is thrown open and before me stand three crooks. They look dangerous, and the one in the front is smirking at me (the audacity?!). So, like the bookworm extraordinaire I am, what do I do? Throw a book at his smug face! BAM! But since I do not own a copy of Shadow & Bone in Ravkan (though I’d very much like to… are you listening Universe?), which books would I throw instead? Obviously I’ll have to choose something that’ll cause significant physical/emotional damage. Let’s see some potential books that fulfill this purpose!

(if you have absolutely no idea what i’m talking about, i recommend you watch this little 3 second snippet from the S & B show https://youtu.be/cs7M3VXokhQ?t=216. basically jesper throws open the door of a carriage david is sitting in, and a startled david throws a book at his face. the rest of the scene consists of Kaz bonking David on the head with his cane and knocking him out as he gets down from the carriage)

We Are Not Free

Okay, so even if jesper isn’t intimidated by the number of POVs in this book (14!) this is one’s going to cause some serious emotional wreckage. Anyone would bawl reading this heart-wrenching historical fiction set during WWII. Amidst all those tears, Kaz probably wouldn’t even manage to bonk me on the head (but then again, he’s Kaz, so you never know).

Aurora Burning

Oh. My. God. Who wouldn’t die after seeing that GORGEOUS cover?? Not that I want to kill anyone, so maybe I’ll set it to stun. (dial down the charm a little bit, would you Kal?) And I know Jesper will fall for him immediately.
And not to mention, I have a hardcover copy of this book, and that, combined with the weight of all those pages, is definitely capable of causing some physical damage too.

The Book Thief
The Book Thief

Well, The Book Thief is a chonk of a book after all – it has over 600 pages. Sure to do some damage to that pretty face. (I’d watch the nose if I were you)

Yep, that’s it, no other reason. (can you tell i’m running out of books now?)

The House In The Cerulean Sea

This book is just so innocent, so heartwarming, I’m sure any criminal would have a change of heart on reading this. Perhaps Kaz’s crew would give up their huge prize and just let me sit in the carriage peacefully? Now that I come to think of it, that’s not likely. But I can hope right?

So yeah, I think we’re done here. I hope you lost a few brain cells while reading this. (if yes, you can join me in crazy land.)

Which book would you throw at Jesper if you were David? (and um… exactly how much of this post actually made sense?) Let me know in the comments!

I’m back from the dead! // ft. life updates, getting back to reading and taking part in NaNo!

Helloooo! Someone’s still alive here in this part of the blogosphere. Not that you would know, of course. Granted, I disappeared without forewarning, but there was a good reason.

SCHOOL STARTED!! Not really though, but I physically went to school after nearly 2 years of studying online (which, to put it bluntly, I’m sick of). It’s not regular school yet, we just had to go alternate days of the week to give our mid-term examinations, but hey, that’s a step forward right? I felt so exhilarated to finally see students milling about me (yeah milling, but in a social distanced type of way?) and to see the school buildings and the classes, which were like distant memories crouched in a corner of my mind until then. Anyway, in short, I had to go to school physically (for 7 whole days!) and I loved it. (correction. most of it. I’m not a fan of trying to recognise old friends and teachers when 80% of their faces are covered in masks. Especially when they recognised me and said hi. Panic mode on.)

So yeah, that was part of why I couldn’t really be active around the community. Even when I had some time, I couldn’t find the motivation to sit down and write a full post. The excitement of school and the stress of the examinations sucked my energy like bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Hence my absence (that must have left a gaping hole in the blogosphere right? right??) which I’m duly sorry for. But now I do have vacations for a week or so, I’ll definitely try to catch up.

I will be doing a combined october and november wrap later so you’ll know there anyway, but basically October was a TERRIBLE reading month, quantity-wise, for reasons aforementioned (my slump-y mood might have played a part too). I literally did not finish reading a single book for the first half of the month, it was only in the second half that I picked up pace and managed to read something.

BUT. November has started off really well, I already finished two books and I’m positive I’m on a good streak for this month atleast. Yay for that!

Now for the big news. I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo for the first time ever! For those of you who are not aware, this is sort of an annual thing where writers have to write 50000 words of their story in the 30 days of November.

Granted, I didn’t do nearly as much planning for my WIP as a lot of you writers out there, but I am not expecting much too, and that’s okay! I mean, I have made it pretty clear to myself that there’s no way I am going to get even close to 50K words by the end of November (I’ll be on cloud nine even if I get 5K done!) so this time I am just casually taking part and actually doing the outlining I should have done earlier. (I never realized I’ll actually have to pick NAMES for all those characters and places I had in mind) (who was the one who decided having names was a good idea instead of people calling each other “red haired girl” and “bald mustached man” like they do in my head??)

So anyway, I am using the official NaNoWriMo website so feel free to add me as a friend there! My username is ~Rachel~

And, that’s it for today friends! I am seriously so happy to be back, I can’t wait to interact with you all and stay tuned because I have lots of new content coming up!

Did you have a good reading month in October? Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? Let’s chat in the comments!!

~Rachel