Book Review: Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Sutanto

I’ve come to the realization that I like books that make me laugh more than I do those that make me cry. It’s very close though. I mean, sure, raising global water levels with all those tears is nice but snorting out so loud while reading that people begin giving you weird looks? Now that’s fun.

Title: Dial A For Aunties
Author: Jesse Sutanto
Age Group/Genre: Adult Contemporary
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Synopsis: When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—”Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!“—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.
But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

Hot off the press- Rachel read this entire book in a single day! I haven’t read a full-length novel in one sitting since what, years now? That speaks volumes about how quick paced and addictive Dial A For Aunties was. (and also about how I really need to learn my priorities but shh)

I still can’t get over how fun the story was! Part rom-com, part murder mystery and wholly ridiculous, it had no business being so hilariously awesome. It follows Meddelin Chan, her mother and three aunties and their antics as they try to cover up an accidental murder and hide the body at a billionaire wedding they are working at. Top off this brilliant concept with witty writing and quirky characters, and *tada* we have a new favourite.

“Yes, you right, more respectful”. She pats me on the cheek. “I raise you so well.”
Hysteria rises from deep in my stomach and I have to swallow it. Trust Ma to take pride in my etiquette when I’ve just shown her my date, whom I’ve killed, in the trunk of my car.

Speaking of characters. Being an Asian myself, I’ve had my fair share of fussy aunties but this?? The aunties in the story were something else entirely. Actually, ALL the women in the story were phenomenal but the aunties were straight up ICONS. Nothing, not even a dead body could faze them, and there was a point where they were all actually sipping tea in the casual asian fashion with their kidnapper. I aspire to be like these ladies, thank you very much.

The romance was definitely a little behind the scenes, but honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Plus, juggling wedding management (with a shitty groom and an ongoing theft) with a dead body by your side doesn’t exactly leave much time for romancing does it?

“I told you to buy Glad brand. Haven’t you seen their ads? Glad bags will hold his cut-up body just fine, no leaks!”

…Pretty sure that when Glad was planning their marketing campaign, they didn’t think their target market would be a bunch of middle-aged Chinese women arguing about how to best dispose of a body.

This book was basically one absurd thing after the other, and I loved EVERY moment (yeeah I probably need help)

★★★★½ stars (rounded up to 5) to this weird-in-the-best-way rom-com! If this wasn’t clear from the review, I’d quite appreciate if you could drop whatever you’re doing right now and start devouring this book.

Whoever said “It’s as hard as herding cats” has obviously never tried to herd a group of Asian aunties.

Have you read Dial A For Aunties?? Thoughts?? Any books you’ve read recently that made you laugh out loud? Chat with me in the comments!

~ Rachel

Discussion Post: How Pride & Prejudice Does Enemies-to-Lovers Different Than Modern Day YA Books

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride & Prejudice is THE enemies to lovers book— in the sense that it was published much before all the 21st century novels with this evergreen trope.

But then the question arises, is enemies to lovers really evergreen?? Personal and probably unpopular opinion alert: I feel, especially in the last few weeks when I’ve been on a YA contemporary binge (owing to the summer-y weather, obviously), that this trope is slowly being diluted in newer releases and/or being forced upon the story without any apparent reason.

No hate on the trope obviously, quite the opposite. It is, in theory, one of my favourite tropes, my one true weakness, the cause of something going into my eye and causing it to water (i’m not crying you’re crying) while reading and the reason for my poor half bitten nails.

And there have been plenty of books which have executed it in ALL of it’s glory if not more (*side eyes These Violent Delights, Six of Crows, We Hunt The Flame etc*), Pride & Prejudice included, so please note that I’m definitely NOT referring to these books when I roast certain aspects of the 21st century adaptation of enemies to lovers.

Lately I keep finding new releases (thankfully, the number is still much lower than the books who have brought it honour) with character relationships that almost bring shame to the grandeur of our beloved trope. And after having spent 11 hours of my life listening to P&P and rooting for Elizabeth and Darcy all those hours more than I’ve probably ever rooted for someone, I feel more than *ahem* accomplished to compare the execution of enemies to lovers in this majestic classic to the one in recent YA novels.

In true loving-anything-with-bullet-points fashion, a list of some of the merits of enemies to lovers in Pride & Prejudice!

Note: This does not contain any major spoilers so even if you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, you’re all good! In fact, I might just convince you to read it by the end of the post ;))

There’s a compelling and realistic build-up to the tension. There are actual, legitimate reasons why our main couple dislike each other. They get off on the wrong foot because Darcy is seen as unpleasant and arrogant and Elizabeth as a lowly girl having poor connections by the other. Circumstances further heighten Elizabeth’s dislike— gossip about him having been cruel, his interfering in her sister’s marriage etc.
Certainly not like some books where random people look at each other the first time and declare the other to be their sworn enemy after NO conversation at all and like zero reason except for the fact that the author thought “oh the people like enemies to lovers?? let me force squeeze it into my book somehow”. I kid you not, this ACTUALLY happened in a book I read *cough* tokyo ever after *cough*

There’s a long period of time for feelings to evolve, and it’s actions that cause them to reconsider their initial hatred. The entire shebang of Lizzy and Darcy meeting and finally getting together spans about a year I think. Also, they were frequently miles away and not staring each other in the face ALL THE TIME. And it was after Darcy’s sudden change in behaviour, the clearing of the bad name that had been put on him that Elizabeth began to doubt whether he deserved her disregard. So just like there were reasons for them to hate each other, there were also valid reasons for them to overcome the hate.
The eternal conundrum in YA, I find, is how to make them fall in love? The answer apparently has not yet been discovered. Usually it’s a few days of forced proximity, one sudden kiss and BOOM they’re in love. Like girl he’s exactly the way he was before so why do you suddenly like him?? (*cough* not here to be liked *cough*)I now almost believe proximity will make anyone fall in love with anyone. (Well considering the situations authors put their characters into where they have to be near each other the entire time, I guess it’s not really the characters’ fault. I mean, I’d “fall in love” with my sworn enemy if it meant I could go atleast an hour without having to see their stupid face soo)

The absence of physical intimacy further brought out the chemistry between them. (a huge thanks to kaya @afictionalbookworm for suggesting this point!) It wasn’t like they could even touch each other because propriety and all BUT. Instead of lessening their chemistry, this “fallback” enhanced it because we could actually see their bond in their words without it having to be obvious with them getting physical. I’d call it a win for Miss Austen.

Society required that they be civil to each other. And boy was it entertaining to watch. Sure, we all love sassy banter and knife-to-throat scenes, but being forced to be polite and exchange pleasantries with someone you hate?? It was almost equally entertaining. Though I felt a little guilty sometimes for enjoying their immense discomfort, Elizabeth’s polite badassery and Darcy’s deadpan and brutally honest statements got me through it.
For once it was not like our “enemies” could actually kill each other (fantasy novels, looking at you) or even exchange outright insulting words and this was, surprise surprise, actually refreshing.

The couple did not always reciprocate each other’s sentiments. For some reason I haven’t seen a lot of one-sidedness in modern YA?? The couple are generally unanimous in their enemity and unanimous in their love declarations later. In P&P however, we have hate at first sight from one and a general dislike but of much less intensity from the other at the beginning. Then there’s a growing but unrequited affection that is only returned at the very end of the book. And yeah, this actually sounds more realistic than what we see in YA, because I don’t think when someone says “I’ve always loved you” the other ALWAYS replies “oh yes I have too”. Rejection exists dude. Even Mr. Collins knew that.

Have you read Pride & Prejudice?? What did you think of Lizzy and Darcy’s relationship? Do you also feel like some of the recent YA releases are not entirely doing justice to enemies to lovers?? Let’s have an open discussion in the comments!

Jade City vs the Hype-o-meter // Review

It seems befitting that I’m dipping my toes into the metaphorical ocean of adult fantasy just after turning 15.

And pray, what better way to start off my exploration of the genre than to read one of the most* hyped adult fantasy ever?

Everyone cheer for our next, and final hypeometer pick – Jade City! Will it emerge victorious or will it be crushed by the mighty hype-o-meter? *tension tension tension*

*this is by no means statistical, i have a tendency to exaggerate. just a tiny bit

Title: Jade City
Author: Fonda Lee
Age Rating: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Publishing Date: 26th June 2018
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Synopsis:

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.
The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.
When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

I feel legally obliged to mention first the one thing i was screaming through the entirety of the book (and April can testify this since i bugged her so much, sorry not sorry) and that was WHERE IS THE PLOT?? Yeah seriously, no plot. Nada. Zilch. We do have lots of characters though, of all ages and genders, and we follow them living their lives. And then dying. If you find teeny tiny plot hidden somewhere, do let me know.

The only thing worse than having a non-existent (we are not sure whether it’s missing or dead yet, investigation ongoing) plotline is a slow pace to go along with it. Like. Really slow. To get the feel of it you could call it, as April and I mutually decided, dragging-an-abnormally-large-elephant-while-wading-through-molasses slow. A real transcript of our conversation:

Ok so I realize there might be some of you who have no clue at all what the book is about (and trust me i know that synopsis is very confusing) so let me try to break it down for you a little. So there is island called Kekon, which is basically a mining site for jade. Now jade, as you might guess from the title, is VERY important. Like illegitimate-daughter-of-the-Crown-Prince-of-Japan important.*

Now if you have been paying attention (i hope you have, for your sake *knife emojis*), you might ask, But why is jade so significant? Should I not have thrown away that old bracelet with a little green stone?? Oh no I regret to inform you that you have not lost much by throwing away the bracelet. *visible disappointment* In this fictional world, jade grants those who wear it certain special physical and mental abilities like enhancing their speed, strength and sensory feelings. The book is centered around the Kaul family, who are extremely powerful Green Bones – the name given to those who wear and wield jade. There is another powerful Green Bone family, the Ayts, and inevitably the two rival clans go to war. And then there are other things put into mix— foreigners developing this chemical formula which can act as sort of a substitute for jade for non Green Bones, specific Green Bone rituals like a victor making the jade of his fallen opponent in battle his own, a madness called the Itches which is like a wild, uncontrollable urge for jade and what not. (hey I never said the story was basic ok? it just lacks a proper conflict is all)

*Tokyo Ever After reference at your service

In short, the story was, for lack of a better word, boring. Not even the huge (nearly as big as our elephant friend back there) cast of characters could make me take interest. Reading this felt like a chore and I was exhausted to the bone when I even thought of picking it up to read again. But if you like extraordinarily slow stories with multiple POVs and a little bit of inheritance family drama, sure, go ahead.

With that, let’s see how Jade City fared against the hype-o-meter!

There. A humiliating loss for such a popular book for sure. (i feel almost sorry. and then i remember those torturous days of reading this. then i don’t.) On the other hand, our hype-y boy is enjoying all the attention.

Speaking of which! With this comes an end of the collaborative hype-o-meter series by April and myself and gosh was it tons of fun. Our self-invented beloved hype-o-meter certainly had a glorious run, and is now all ready to say goodbye!

Linked below are all the 10 posts (5 each for both of us) which were part of this series- for nostalgic purposes! Oh and so that you can check them out in case you missed any epic showdowns!!

The Young Elites vs the hype-o-meter: Rachel’s review // April’s review
We Hunt The Flame vs the hype-o-meter: Rachel’s review // April’s review
The Inheritance Games vs the hype-o-meter: Rachel’s review // April’s review
These Violent Delights vs the hype-o-meter: Rachel’s review // April’s review
Jade City vs the hype-o-meter: Rachel’s review // April’s review

Have you read Jade City?? Did you have as much fun with the hype-o-meter series as we did?? Let’s chat in the comments!

~ Rachel

2nd Blogiversary: Shout Outs, Favourite Posts // brace yourselves for the theatrics

Having been blogging since exactly 2 years now, I almost feel ancient.

But then I remember I still can’t design aesthetics which will actually be acceptable to the human eye. Or write deeply informative and helpful posts. (borderline weird seems to be my trademark) Or stick to a posting schedule instead of popping up like a jack-in-the-box every now and then. And then I feel like a newbie again.

The effect cancels out, people. In the end I am just me.

Ooookay. I totally do not know where I was going with that. Oh and all those failures listed up there? Not me. Someone hacked into my account and wrote all that. (brutally honest, you have to give it to them) We do not believe that right? Rachel is a flawless, all-knowing, genius angel.

Alexa, play Dazed & Confused.

So. Before we got all carried away (*glares at the hacker*) what were we on about? Angelic properties in certain human beings? Oh no, that’s for another day. I think.

*someone from the audience raises their hand* Ohh that’s right, my lil blog over here turns 2 today! Can we have a round of applause please?

*exactly 1 person claps their hand. including me.* Wow aren’t we all very enthusiastic today?

(see a few months of drama club at school was certainly not wasted on me)

Theatrics aside, I am pretty excited on the occasion! Sure, there’s been ups and downs but you know what my favourite part about this has been? YOU. (ok that came out a little creepy i guess) The people. The cozy little community we have built here. And other synonyms.

Seriously, though I have always been shouting anything vaguely bookish at the void, this blog was the first place where the void answered back. To be honest, I would have given up blogging a long time ago if it hadn’t been for the friends I made here, the genuine connections forged through screens, that kept me going. Every interaction with you guys, in or out of the blogosphere, makes my day. Since you all have given me so much, I figured a vote of thanks was due. So… shout outs to some of the special people I’ve met on here who keep me smiling everyday! (i have not used their blog names on purpose because I think of them as actual people by now and not just screens)

Shout-Outs!

April thank you for being my bestie and partner in crime in a lot of bookish adventures! They say internet friends don’t last for more than a couple of months but we’re still going strong after more than a year! I feel like I can talk to you about anything (and i do lol) and I absolutely love our weird conversations and of course our buddy reads are awesome!!
Anoushka thank you for being my first ever writing buddy, i’m constantly in awe of your talent. I love your posts (you should post more often just saying) and you are a fabulous person to talk to.
Naemi you have such a sweet and genuine personality omg! Your comments are always so encouraging, I love every interaction I have with you. And your posts ooze creativity!!
Kaya I’m in awe of your consistent posting schedule and such great content every time too! I enjoy chatting with you, you’re always fun to talk to!
Suhani we’ve become friends only recently but I feel like I know you since much longer! I love how casual and familiar we have become!!
Ahaana and Cherelle thank you for being among my first followers and helping newbie-Rachel out in everything!! (I know you’re both inactive on your blogs right now, I’m waiting for you to make a re-appearance haha!)
Aarushi we haven’t talked for a while (and you haven’t been active on the blogosphere too!) but you were always the first one to hype up my writing on twitter so thank you!
Maddie thank you for including me into your march madness idea, it was tons of fun!
Prutha and Janhavi we don’t talk much on a regular basis but I really enjoyed our respective buddy reads! Here’s to more in the future :))
Phoenix hii I haven’t seen you in a while but I used to enjoy chatting with you in the comments!
Ash and Booksy we’ve become acquainted only recently but I’d love to talk to you more and make you book besties too! and i LOVE both your blogs so much like-
Cherry, Jan and Ritz I enjoy all you guys’ content, looking forward to chatting with you in the comments again like we used to earlier!

Favourite Posts

Regardless of what an extremely incompetent hacker said in the beginning of the post, I have grown as a blogger during this past year, just as much as I did in my first year of blogging. Soo a section where I can brag about a few of my posts that I’m proud of and are extremely close to my heart! Feel free to check out any which catch your eye!!

We Hunt The Flame Quotes As Real Life Moments in which I draw comparisons between quotes from one of my favourite fantasy duologies and my own life! Ok yeah it’s a stretch but whatever.

Recommending Books Based On Disney Movies Part 2 which is a 2-part series where we scream about DISNEY MOVIES and BOOKS which is a perfect combination really.

Books I’d Use As Weapons in which I select books I’d throw at Jesper if I were David. I can’t promise it will make more sense in the post either.

The Year 2021 Divided Into My Bookish Phases in which there’s lots of love to mood reading.

2021 Wrap Up: Stats, Charts and Reflections + 2022 Goals in which there are NUMBERS and CHARTS and GOALS we will never follow through.

Fictional Characters I’d Take Along For A Heist in which we have gone all bad and assemble our very own heist crew comprised of fictional characters fitting several archetypes!

Thoughts While Watching Heartstopper in which we enter the chaotic place that is my brain and fangirl over heartstopper.

Do you think internet friends can be just as close (if not closer) than irl ones? Which are YOUR favourite posts of mine (if you can remember any?) Here’s to many more years of blogging!!

~ Rachel

March Wrap Up // i am become a reading machine

(no the title is not a grammatical mistake, shadow&bone anyone?)

Hullo inhabitants of the mortal realm, how are we doing today?

Ok here’s a joke. The guy who invented the umbrella was going to name it the brella. But he hesitated.

Wait why aren’t you laughing? *dramatic widening of eyes* Ohh I get it. You must be an agelast, which means a person who doesn’t laugh!

Believe it or not that was the weird word fact of the day. Oh well. It seems I’ve lost my touch since I haven’t written a wrap up since two months. Oops.

A quick note before we start this section- I might have gone full ballistic with my reading this month because I haven’t had free time like this since what, a whole year? Plus March is my birthday month so I decided to sort of treat myself by going on a reading spree especially during the last two weeks. I haven’t read these many books in a month like ever so that’s something to remember this March by right? Anyway another amazing thing is that I loved (like, loved loved) most of the books I read this month?? It seems the bookish gods have been showering me with blessings hehe.

Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft An immersive atmospheric read perfect for a dark wintry night! Brr I shiver just thinking about it. ★★★★

When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord The characters? Love. The plot? Love. The writing? Love. Literally everything about this contemporary is quirky and witty and it shall forever hold a place in my happily-ever-after loving heart. ★★★★★

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz What a letdown. Here be dragons, but apparently here be disappointment as well. ★★

Heartstopper Volume 1-4 by Alice Oseman I’ll be honest, I went in expecting lots of fluffy gay adorableness and was unprepared for the many heavy themes that were handled, BUT I’m so glad I read this. Also the art was unparalleled. Also also yes I finally picked this up because I wanted to read the books before the Netflix show (!!) came out.

Fable & Namesake by Adrienne Young It’s a testament to how obsessed I was with this duology that I read it completely in two days—which unexpected because I’ve never read full length novels that fast. A gripping pirate-y adventure if I ever saw one! ★★★★★

Geekerella by Ashley Poston I don’t know if it’s just my inexperience in the world of contemporary novels speaking, but Geekerella was very different from any other ya romance i’ve read. I believe it was also my first ever Cinderella retelling and OH. MY GOSH. The way the elements from the original story were given a twist (scratch that, they were turned 180 degrees) had me squealing into my pillow. ★★★★½

Tahira In Bloom by Farah Heron Technically not counting this as a read because it was a DNF. *gasps from audience* i know i know, i dont think I’ve ever dnf’ed a book in the past few years but idk something just felt wrong about this which is sad because I had HIGH hopes.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord Another Emma Lord book! Not surprising in the least, because I’ve made it my personal mission to devour everything this genius of a woman writes. With family rivalry, anonymous texting and DESSERTS (ok i swear i dont know how that found its way in this sentence) it was a fun, totally adorable contemporary. ★★★★½

I posted quite frequently this month, especially compared to February when I was writing part of a different post every day and finishing none of them. Click on the featured images to be taken to that post!

Part 2 of the iconic (if I do say so myself) Book Recommendations Based On Disney Movies is here! There are book quotes and movie dialogues and whatnot.

Someone evoke my mood reader license please because TBRs? But atleast seasonal tbrs are easier to follow than monthly ones right? Right?? Anyway, I present my TBR for Spring & Summer!

New blog series alert! Maddie from Inking & Thinking and I collaboratively started a series called March Madness But In Books where we pit two books against each other every week and choose a winner!!

You know I’ve gone full bad when I put together my own crew of fictional characters for a heist! Anyway its a lot of fun assembling characters according to heist archetypes, go check it out!!

March was my birthday month (which you couldn’t POSSIBLY have missed, given that I mention it a million times in my posts) and I decided to do a bookshelf reveal!!

Ash @Ink & Ash talks about the found family trope and gives recommendations!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner recommends books based on weird Duolingo sentences!

Kaya @The Fictional Bookworm recommends books for fantasy beginners!

Emily @Frappes And Fiction talks about why book blogging is dying!

Suhani @Random Reader’s Rambles lists things she does not like about her favourite books!

Zainab @Dead Bookish Society recommends poc-poc romance books by bipoc authors!

Phoenix @Books With Wings lists things she has used as bookmarks!

🪄Ok I’m actually regretting calling this section EXCITING because my life isn’t always that. But anyway. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. *wards off evil* So there was this extremely bad family situation for most of March and while I do not wish to bombard you with details, I can tell you that I was miserable. But atleast it’s settling down now (i think)

🪄Yeah back to the actual exciting things! *drumroll* I started learning Spanish! Yes this was actually back in February but I did not do a february wrap-up so shh. Spanish has always been one of my dream languages but somehow it felt out of reach sorta? But after I’d assured myself that my German skills won’t go anywhere even if I learn Spanish, I felt invincible. Even more so by the fact that i now have a 24 day streak on duolingo and am constantly trying to beat my neighbour’s daily xp (he’s also learning spanish hehe)

🪄It’s hot here. Spring is not supposed to be this hot ok? I swear I’ll melt in the heat one of these days.

🪄School is starting offline from April after two whole years of online classes! Yeah I’d gone to school physically last year for exams but its the first time regular classes will take place offline. (also, despite what the exclamation mark led you to believe, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing)

🪄I ordered new books! Like for my birthday sort of? One of them was Tweet Cute, A Far Wilder Magic is on its way and there are a couple more.

🪄Surprisingly, I’ve still not given up on my fantasy wip, like I initially predicted I would. Instead now I’ve decided to go on full outlining mode and drafting now and then. I’ve befriended other writers on twitter and it’s all very encouraging.

🪄There’s a Heartstopper show coming on Netflix in April! Pretty sure you already know this (otherwise i hate to inform you that you’ve been living under a rock dear friend) but its an update fit for this section so i can’t just leave it out.

How was your March? Have you read any of these? Thoughts?? Any “exciting” things happening in your life? Let me know in the comments!!

~ 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 ✌️

January Wrap Up // apart from the year, nothing new really

Gosh. Let me say it again on behalf of all those like me are confused by the mechanisms of time – How are we already a month into 2022? It’s like I blinked and the year went by. Hold up, does that mean–

*blink* How are we already a month into 2023? *blink* How are we already a month into 2024?

Okay enough of that. Many of you might be kind enough to wonder where my usual bird fact intro is, so let me finally explain. In 2022, we have a brand new category of introductions to my monthly wrap ups – and it is *drumroll* uncommon and weird words! *waits for applause, instead gets the sarcastic slow clap* Hey hey, hear me out at least.

Finifugal sounds like nonsense, but it means “afraid of finishing anything”. (speaking of which, my biology assignment is pending, brb)

If This Gets Out
Sweet & Bitter Magic
Portrait of a Thief

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales Boy bands, secret parties and a glimpse of the stage life with an added dose of heartbreak and identity and fighting back. (Mom squad forever!!) ★★★★

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley I’m a simple gal. Give me some magical witchy-ness, grumpy-sunshine romance, and perilous journeys leading to epic facedowns, and I’m sold. ★★★★

Portrait Of A Thief by Grace D. Li Not gonna lie, I came only for the heists. And while that certainly did deliver, nothing could have prepared me for the internal conflicts of identity and futures at stake. This one was full of surprises, and I mean that as a compliment. ★★★★

Caraval (Caraval, #1)
Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game, #1)
Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber No we do not need a reminder on how dangerous the game is and a warning of not being swept away every two pages, thank you very much. Plus Scarlett was annoying and a little dumb. ★★

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody Uhh I think dark fantasy is just not for me?? ★★½

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong Miss Gong did it again. The number of times I died and got resurrected while reading this is not even funny. ★★★★½

My first post of the year, and what better than to review three books from my newest favourite genre and my newest favourite author? Read my mini reviews of Perfect On Paper, Only Mostly Devastated and If This Gets Out here.

I never knew there were so many Disney fans here until I wrote this post and got an overwhelming response? But anyway, I compare some of my favourite disney movies to some of my favourite books, so it’s a win win really. Read it here!

A random post in which I try (and perhaps fail miserably? but shh) to guess the zodiac signs of some of my favourite characters based on their personalities! Read it here.

I review an ARC of This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton, a middle grade focused on the grandson of an Alzheimers’ patient. You can read it here.

We have a special guest on the blog in this one, and it’s none other than my friend Anoushka from Dipped In Ink! She cleverly answers a set of (extremely hard, if i do say so myself) questions and i do the same on her blog! Read the whole shenanigan here.

Kaya @A Fictional Bookworm reviews Disney’s latest movie Encanto!
Andge @Down The Rabbit Hole reviews You’ve Reached Sam!
Ritz @Living Loving Reading writes a discussion on banned books!
Charvi @Not Just Fiction recommends books based on board games!
Rania @Rania’s Rambling Reads reviews Portrait Of A Thief!
Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner lists 7 bookish details she misunderstood as a kid!
Suhani @Random Reader’s Rambles recommends books based on zodiac signs!

🪄Academics wise, January was top tier in the sense that I got selected for courses for the next academic year in the institute I’m studying in, with very good ranks (1 and 4 respectively for two different courses) and generous scholarships. Ok now i’m going to stop the bragging.

🪄Not ‘exciting’ per se, and I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts as well but the third week of January was pure torture, in terms of health at least. I was sick for nearly that entire week, and it was PAINFUL. And I still have a bad cold, which is annoying at the very least.

🪄Some better news is that I’m now paying more attention to my WIP (atleast I was, until I fell ill hmph) which had been pitifully neglected the past few weeks. Progress is still extremely slow though (there go your dreams of seeing a published copy in your lifetime MWAHAHA) but we’re getting there. Slowly. Very Slowly.

🪄I’m also starting to be more active on twitter now, so go give me a follow there! My tag is @callmeabookworm

How did you like the transition from “birds” to “words”?(no it has not escaped my notice that they rhyme) Have you read any of the mentioned books? Thoughts?? And link your monthly wrap ups if you’ve posted, I’d love to read them!

~ Rachel

The Know Your Buddy Tag With Anoushka!

Wow. The past week has been H-E-double hockey sticks. I was so sick for 4 days that I couldn’t even get out of bed, but what’s more important is the fact that everything hurt so much that I couldn’t READ. Yes I am pausing here for a huge gasp. There. Thank you.

Moving on to less scandalous things, today’s is a collab post with none other than Anoushka from Dipped In Ink! As is evident from the title, we’re going to be doing the Know Your Buddy tag (which neither of us were tagged for but we have a habit of snatching what is not ours so…) together because we are friendsies daisies. In this post you’ll find Anoushka’s answers to my questions; my answers to hers are in her post!

Rules

  • Tag the original creators of this tag – Tallblondetales and Proxywords – and tag the original posts from each of their blogs. If you do, you’ll be eligible for the roundup post and grand ‘Know Your Buddy’ tag winner! If not, you can still take part in the tag you just won’t be a contender for the overall winner. 
  • Thank the bloggers who nominated you (and your buddy), share the badge and rules in your post. 
  • Pick a blogger with whom you’d like to do this tag with, answer the questions together, and share each other’s answers on both the blogs.
  • Nominate 10 new Bloggers and keep spreading the love.
  • Notify the bloggers (tell them you nominated them) by commenting on one of their posts.

What is your favourite blog post of mine and why? 

THIS. IS. DIFFICULT.
I really like your ‘recommending books based on Disney movies’ one AND ALSO YOUR
YEARLY WRAP UP BECAUSE ALL THE GRAPHS!! And also your top 10 books BECAUSE THE
GRAPHICS ARE SO PRETTY! Oh and also (EXCUSE ME while I just casually proceed to
mention all of your posts here) the “Guessing the Zodiac signs of my favorite characters”
obviously. Because the idea is honestly THE BEST! AND YOUR WE ARE NOT FREE
REVIEW. Yes, I’m done. 

What would you rather be known for – your blog name or your name?

My blog name. See I’m a VERY boring person in real life who has been rumored to be
the reason people scream (out of boredom), but I sometimes like to think my blog is
different. Plus real life is boring and I just love my blog way more because we can
believe in the existence of dragons and also scream a lot?? THAT probably wasn’t
exactly what the question was about BUT LET’S JUST MOVE ON before we start to seem
suspicious okay

What is the weirdest comment you have gotten on your blog?

Umm I don’t know? LIKE I DONT THINK I HAVE ANY?! I used to get a few spam
comments in the very very beginning when Dipped in Ink was smol and innocent and
had never seen the world (we’re talking more than 1 year ago over here when the blog
in question wasn’t even called dipped in ink SO) NONE.

Do you think cereal is soup? Why or why not?

Ha. Hahaha haha. It’s not like I spent the last few days puzzling over this question
okay?! (at least I didn’t mean to) I’VE OBVIOUSLY GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO WITH MY
LIFE and am not a COMPLETELY jobless idiot the way I sometimes claim to be. But no.
The answer is NO. Cereal is NOT soup. SOUP IS SUPOSSED TO BE AMAZING AND
DELICIOUS while cereal is… Milk and cornflakes? Maybe some sugar added in if you’re
lucky? 

If you had a controller that had a power to rewind or fast-forward, which would you
press for WordPress?

As much as I’d love to fast-forward time and look at all my future post ideas AND STEAL
THEM so I don’t have to think of any (#genius) I also really want to go back and maybe
POST MORE OFTEN and stick to schedules and scream at myself to blog hop more (WE
ARE CONSIDERING ALL OF THIS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE RULES OF USING A REWIND
CONTROLLER. And no, topic is not up for discussion. So I get to choose said controller’s
powers, WHICH I AM MORE THAN GLAD TO DO thank you) so we shall rewind. (we’rengoing to see the future at some point anyway right? SO WHY NOT WAIT A LITTLE LONGER WHILE WE ENJOY THE PAST FIRST, dear olive of mine – or rachel’s in this case-?)

If you two were to be buddy characters in a movie, what characters would you be and
why?

EXCUSE ME while I silently look up all the movies I’ve watched because I am potato and
have similar memory to one, I APOLOGIZE. Perhaps AIDEEN AND MEABH? Wait no,
they’re from a book. Then what about Anne and Diana – wait that’s a TV show, BUT
LET’S IMAGINE THEY COUNT TOO.

What is the most boring part of doing blog posts for you? Or what part of posting a
blog are you laziest about doing?

This is not the boring part per se BUT i’d be forever grateful if someone came up with a
device that just typed up all the thoughts roaming your brain because like, I SPEND
HOURS THINKING UP POST CONTENT and even narrate it all in my head but then I ALSO
HAVE TO TYPE IT LATER which 1) takes TIME 2) I also forget things which is SAD 3) and if
said device is created I COULD STICK TO SCHEDULES SO EASILY which would be amazing.
AHEM but the boring part is definitely adding links and then also DOUBLE-CHECKING.
And trying to remember things (such as schedules), which is difficult.

If you could transform into any animal , what would it be and why?

I would become… A DRAGON! Flying is a life long dream which i’d get to fulfill and I
ALSO GET THE BONUS OF BEING ABLE TO BREATHE FIRE and DID I MENTION HOW
BECOMING A DRAGON WOULD BE AMAZING FOR WORLD-CONQUERING??! I would get
to live in an olive-tree orchard if I’m small enough. THAT WOULD BE HEAVENLY (and
before you object, the answer is YES. YES dragons are animals *glares*)

What reminds you of me?

  • Hearing the words ‘a bookworms paradise’. And other things such as:
  • Zayna
  • AND ALSO Harper
  • Writing
  • Rachel Elizabeth Dare
  • And PJO because of the above point

If you were given the power to exchange blogs for a day, what thing would you change
or adapt first?

First course of action would definitely be looking through ALL of your drafts because I
firmly believe I shall find lots of secrets there *cackles evilly* AND THEN BASICALLY JUST
STEALING ALL OF YOUR POSTS AND IDEAS BECAUSE DID I EVER MENTION BEFORE HOW
JEALOUS I WAS OF ALL OF IT?

Okay but seriously I probably wouldn’t change anything BECAUSE I LOVE EVERYTHING
ABOUT YOUR BLOG SO MUCH! But that DOES NOT mean I am saying no to discovering
all those hidden secrets in your drafts folder. grin

If your blog had a superpower/magical element, what would it be? 

I think I am going to steal Rachel’s answer for this one BUT MAYBE GET MY BLOG TO
WRITE ENTIRE BOOK REVIEWS FOR ME because I seem to have an inability to do so
myself. And also the aforementioned thoughts-device connection thing. WHERE
WHATEVER I THINK JUST MAGICALLY APPEARS ON SCREEN. that would be so cool.

Your blog is chosen to sponsor a charity. If funds were not an issue, which charity or
issue would your blog choose to support?

Maybe something to help provide literacy to as many people as possible? Building
libraries? Yes, something like that would be nice! Or we could also completely deviate
off the reading theme and talk about providing clean drinking water in poor regions
perhaps? 

What are the unwritten rules of your blog?

  • We should always be happy and try to make people laugh
  • OLIVES NEED TO BE MENTIONED SO THAT I DO NOT GET MURDERED BY THEM
  • And there’s others but most of them have already been broken by me, the rebellious
  • olive, and we do not talk about my many failures glares

If you had to swap niches, which niche would you change to?

I… Have no idea. I am nothing without stories SO?? THEY’RE?? NECESSARY?? Maybe
someplace where I post my writing? Like short stories and stuff. BUT IT SHALL STILL
DEFINITELY BE FILLED WITH BOOKS. And movies/tv shows if I’m feeling kind (which,
ususally, I’M NOT)

What new username would you give to my blog?

Proceeding with the assumption that we’re talking about the blog name here (because I
am kind of confused?) I really like your present name SO WE SHALL NOT CHANGE
ANYTHING thank you.

_____________

Ookay so I am going to pretend I didn’t see that whole plot for stealing my drafts (now I am going to look over my shoulder my ENTIRE life, you’ve just succeeded in making me even more paranoid than I already am), not least because the sentiment is reciprocated (if I get the chance, Anoushka’s drafts will be swept clean, CLEAN i tell you and I’ll leave no traces MWAHAHA).

Since I wasn’t tagged for this, I am not tagging anyone either (there’s only this far my conscience can stay quiet okay?) and i don’t have anything else to say so goodbye i guess?

Do you think cereal is soup? (you better be ready to defend yourself if you do)

~ 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).

_____________

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.

_____________

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.

______________

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).

______________

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

Recommending Books Based On Disney Movies // ft. book quotes and movie dialogues because why not

I watched Encanto the other day and I think it’s fair to say that I was, once again, blown away.

Every time, every single time I watch (or re-watch because I’m obsessed) a Disney movie, I think “This is it. This movie is going to be the first disney movie I didn’t like and that would mean I’ve finally grown out of these cheesy stories”, but needless to say that has never happened and I don’t see it happening any time soon. Disney 8093, Rachel 0. (to be fair it’s a very strong competitor and my heart betrays me every time.)

Conclusion is that I LOVE disney movies (especially the animated “family” ones that my mother says I’m too old to be watching) and will probably continue to do so for an eternity. Today I recommend you books similar to certain movies (or the other way round, since most of you have probably read more books on this list than you’ve seen the movies).

So here’s how the formatting is gonna be – one liner premises each for the move and the book, and thirdly why I paired them, with the main reasons in bold. And some book quotes and movie dialogues flying about here and there of course ;))

Big Hero 6 – We Are Not Free

Photos:: Scenes from 'Big Hero 6' - Los Angeles Times

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?

Baymax, Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro Hamada (a teen robotics prodigy) and Baymax (the cuddly white inflated lump in the picture, Hiro’s late brother’s healthcare provider robot) who team up to fight the masked villain who killed Tadashi (Hiro’s brother).

“We’re standing on a street corner with everything we’ve ever known about to come crashing down around us.
And we’re angry.
And we’re smiling.
And we aren’t broken.”

We Are Not Free

We Are Not Free is a historical fiction told from the points of views of 14 Japanese-American teenagers just after the bombing of the Pearl Harbour, when anti-Japanese sentiments in the USA are at an all time high.

___________

Apart from the fact that both of these made me ugly cry like never before, a common theme was teens handling grief. Both start with a happy enough scene (such that it makes one almost suspicious, is this the calm before the storm), and then immediately there’s this horrifying event that changes the main character’s life drastically, as they lose what they’d always known and loved. Then the rest of the story shows the characters learning to live with their loss and moving on. Grab some tissues.

Coco – Cemetery Boys

How Pixar Made Sure 'Coco' Was Culturally Conscious - The New York Times

“If there’s no one left in the living world to remember you, you disappear from this world.”

Hector, Coco

Coco follows Miguel (an aspiring musician, but only in secret), who accidentally gets transported to The Land of the Dead (on the famous Mexican holiday “The Day of the Dead”) where he seeks the help of his deceased great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living and to reverse his family’s ban on music.

“I implore you to be more open minded, hermano. If we close ourselves off to the possibilities that lie outside of what tradition has dictated, we are destined for extinction.”

Cemetery Boys
Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys is about Yadriel, who while trying to prove himself to his family, ends up accidentally summoning the ghost of Julian Diaz. What follows is their adventures and misadventures as they try to solve the mystery of Julian’s death, and Yadriel’s seemingly never ending struggle with his conservative family.

___________

These two give me such similar vibes, I’ve always recommended Coco to fans of Cemetery Boys and vice versa. Both are centred around tight-knit Latinx communities and have a brilliant representation of ancient Mexican culture (especially the whole Day Of The Dead concept that I’ll never get bored of, any recs??) but that is not where the similarities end. Both stories are also about the main characters finding their true selves, even when this requires them to go against the wishes of their conservative families.

Zootopia – The Grishaverse

Did a Disney animated film really say that? If it's 'Zootopia,' prepare to  be shocked - Los Angeles Times

Judy: Nicholas Wilde, You are under arrest.
Nick: For what? Hurting your feelings?
Judy: Felony Tax Evasion.

Zootopia follows Judy Hopps, a police officer with big dreams (and she’s a bunny in case you haven’t noticed) and Nick Wilde, a con-fox who lives off trickery. They are reluctant partners in solving a grave case that has the whole of Zootopia shaken.

“Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself.”

Crooked Kingdom

The Six Of Crows duology follows six dangerous outcasts on a dangerous mission with high stakes… and a even higher reward.
The King Of Scars duology, which is also set in the Grishaverse, is about a young king trying to bring together a broken nation, while also battling monsters of his own. Literally.

___________

Did I just pair one of my favourite Disney movies ever to my favourite books ever? Why, yes I did.

Nick to me seems like a blend of Kaz and Nikolai, which are two of the best characters in existence, and this makes Nick one of the best characters in existence too (wow. incredible logic rachel). I mean, look at that scene I’ve put a picture of and tell me that’s not Nikolai’s smug grin pasted on Nick’s face. Then look at that quote beside the picture and tell me it’s not something Kaz would say. See what I mean?

Plus, Judy gives me Inej + Matthias vibes, she’s a rabbit with honour and this want to do good for the people, even though she knows she’s not going to get anything back. Do you need any more reasons to just go read those four books and watch that movie? (lemme know if you do, I’ll be happy to provide a list) Missing the deadline of that 12 page geography project will be totally worth it, i promise.

Monsters University – Not My Problem

Stop being a Sullivan and start being YOU.

Mike, Monsters University
Monsters University (2013) - IMDb

Monsters University follows Mike Wazowski (an ambitious, hardworking and studious first-year at the university) and James Sullivan (the “rich dad’s kid” who relies on his family name to make it through college), who hate each other but are thrust together by circumstances.

Not My Problem

“I dug deep down into my empathy store and found a dried-up old raisin.”

Aideen, Not My Problem

Not My Problem is a coming-of-age contemporary about Aideen (who is funny and witty and has a million excuses for not doing PE and homework) and Meabh (the one everyone expects a lot from, also the principal’s daughter), and when Aideen solves Meabh’s tight-schedule problem by pushing her down the stairs, an friendship begins to blossom.

___________

There’s this common academic background in Not My Problem and Monster’s University – the former is set in high school and the latter in college. Both have a dash of rivals to best friends and show that friendships can be found in the unlikeliest of places (at some point, the mcs in both the movie and the book were told that the other mc is “out of their league”), The main characters couldn’t be more different than each other, yet as they get to know the other better, they discover edges of their personalities they’d never imagined. Sullivan from the movie and Meabh from the book were both pressured to live up to their family name, so that’s another similarity.

As we conclude, I’d like to remind you that regardless of whether you are obsessed with enjoy Disney movies or not (the latter is a crime I tell you, a CRIME), all of these books belong to my favourites of 2021 so you have to give them a read (i’ll haunt your dreams if you don’t) and later scream about them to me too! (also i do have some more recs in mind, so let me know if you’d like a part 2 of this post!)

Do you watch animated movies? Which is your favourite one? Any Zootopia fans here?? Do you vote for a part 2 of this post? Let me know in the comments!

~ Rachel