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Which Book Should You Read Based on Your Favorite Spooky Movie?

October is here! This means all things spooky and creepy 😈 I don’t celebrate Halloween but I’m a massive fan of the macabre, hence my fascination with spooky books and movies!

This post was so enjoyable to create and envision! Each movie corresponds with a book to match. Best yet you can consider this a dual bargain: you get book recs and movie recs!


The Addams Family

Book Choice: Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers

Seeing that the Addams Family has more of a make belief feel to it, Medusa’s Web is the scary version. It revolves around a family spending the time in their familial ancestral mansion only to discover they are part of a network that uses magic rune-drawings to move back in time between 1920s Hollywood and the present. Fantasy, sci-fi, and lots of horror!

TW: Couldn’t find anything, but mention in the comments any possible triggers for others 🙂

The Conjuring

Book Choice: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

I’m sure you’ve heard of this classic but I couldn’t have thought of a better pairing for the movie. Ghosts, supernatural forces, and lots of exorcism.  

TW: Drug addiction, rape, child abuse, suicide.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Book Choice: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Even though this is a children’s book, Gaiman still manages to instill a spooky ambiance with a story about a boy growing up in a graveyard and cared for by the ghosts and lone vampire that resides there. It has that nostalgic feeling to it with an array of spooky characters similar to the movie.

The Silence of the Lambs

Book Choice: None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney

True this is based on a book, but think: Silence of the Lambs x Netflix’s Manhunt but make it YA? You get None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney. It’s based on the same idea revolving around two teen serial killers working with the FBI to help solve cold cases, but as we all know psychopaths aren’t to be trusted.

TW: Murder, gore, blood, violence.

The Shining

Book Choice: Horrid by Katrina Leno

I know this is based on Stephen King’s novel but I wanted to recommend another upcoming haunted mansion type of book: Horrid by Katrina Leno. In an essence, it does include a family wishing for a fresh start, taking a break but of course things don’t go as planned.

TW: Nothing specific but it does deal with mental illness and grief.

The Corpse Bride

Book Choice: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This gives me major Tim Burton vibes, just by the cover itself I can imagine the setting being the same one as The Corpse Bride. It follows a young girl and her family who are very much dead!

TW: Discussion of murder.

The Purge

Book Choice: The Project by Courtney Summers

This screams cult movie. As such I paired it up with a cult book! This book is also one of my anticipated reads, you have a murderous cult adamant that what they’re doing is “pure” and the chosen journalist determined to end it all.

TW: Abuse.

Monster House

Book Choice: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan

I’m taking an upside down book choice with this one just because I feel I’ve recommended enough haunted houses/mansion books.

In case you don’t remember Monster House’s antagonist was part of a circus freak show (that whole house is a freak show in itself), thus Darren Shan’s A Living Nightmare is a suitable pick! It follows a boy’s visit to a mysterious and eventually horrific freak show despite the ominous presence that surrounds the circus.

TW: Nothing to mention but if there is something do mention it for potential readers 😊

Ready or Not

Book Choice: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A glitzy wedding, a celebrity couple, and a celebration no one would ever forget. Especially when someone ends up dead, but who would sabotage the couple’s special day? And why does everyone look like they’re hiding something?

TW: Self-harm.


Now tell me, what’s your favorite spooky movie or novel!?

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Pick Your Dream Summer City and I’ll Tell You What to Read

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Not sure what to read but still bummed out about your summer trip? I got you covered 😉


Paris

Paris

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Paris, summer, a bookstore owner who possesses a gift to sense people’s troubles and give them the right book for it is driven out on his own adventure across France that includes an unexpected friendship, a long lost love, and healing a broken heart.

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Singapore

Singapore

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Saucy and scandalous, follow Rachael Choi as she decides to vacation at her boyfriend Nicholas Young’s hometown and meet his parents for summer. Fun right? Except that his family are crazy rich and Rachael’s mother in law well…she’s hell.

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NewYork

New York

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha is not one to fall in love at first sight in fact she isn’t sure if she actually does believe in love at all. Daniel comes from a strict academic asian family, a romantic at heart with a poet’s soul. A chance encounter flings them together and they’re whisked away in this heart wrenching romance in a city that is unpredictable just as it is unmerciful.

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Malibu

Malibu

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Total opposites but acclaimed writers Augustus Everett, who enjoys killing off his cast in his books, and January Andrews, who enjoys finishing up with a happy ending, find themselves beach house neighbors this summer. Well, it’s a guy, and a girl, and one summer…need I say more?

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Prepare to set yourself a time travel adventure when Claire Randall during her second honeymoon after World War II gets transported back in time in yet another war, in the year of 1743 lost somewhere within the Scottish Highlands. Torn between two men, two timelines, and two identities, Claire struggles as she tries to understand the mysterious forces that are at work.

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Naples

Naples

The Godfather by Mario Pruzo

The iconic global phenom gripples with themes of betrayal, honor, family, and greed, The Godfather is one read that will have you transported to the eerie underworld of the Italian Mafia. Far better than being transported to your sofa couch I must say.

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Mumbai

Mumbai

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The story of hope and survival, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel from Pondicherry India manages to remarkably survive 227 days lost at sea. Of course he is not alone he is accompanied by a Bengal Tiger…named Richard Parker…?

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Dublin

Dublin

Where the Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahren

Rosie and Alex have always been best friends through thick and thin, but after Alex’s move from Dublin to America the two go their separate ways. Their connection brings them back together and Rosie can’t help but think “What if”?

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I choose “…” as my dream summer city, what’s yours? https://jawahirthebookworm.com/2020/07/07/pick-your-dream-summer-city-and-ill-tell-you-what-to-read/

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Autism Awareness Month | Books with Autistic Rep and Autism

April 2nd was world autism day and this month we celebrate Autism Awareness month. I’d like to dedicate this post to my nonverbal autistic cousin, he has the biggest heart and the most brilliant smile.

As such here are books with either autistic representation or feature autism as a storyline in an implicit or explicit way. If there any other authors or books I should be aware of do mention them to me! Always love discovering new stories 😍

Of course I cannot guarantee 100% of the accuracy of representation because I am not personally autistic nor am I a healthcare professional, and I understand that autism majorly differs from one person to another and as such it is a wide spectrum. I am however trying to do my best with this list but if I get anything wrong please correct me ❤️

*Little Note: I have an affiliate link to the books mentioned in the post, at no extra cost if you decide to buy via the link, your book blogger here gets a commission 😊


Books with Autistic Rep and Autism

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Herbert

The Brown Sisters has taken the world by storm and everyone that I know has at least read one of the books! This third installment features autistic rep in the form of Eve’s love interest Jacob. It’s brilliant to have a neurodiverse main lead in a romance novel and not being used as a tool or caricature.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

This is an OWN voices story, the author has Autism Spectrum Disorder (previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome). The Bride Test is the second book of The Kiss Quotient series (also recommend the first book!). The Kiss Quotient is in fact inspired by her personal journey of autism.

The Bride Test features an neurodiverse MC who thinks he is incapable of love, that is until his mother takes matters into her own hands and invites Esme as part of her matchmaking schemes.

Always Only You by Chloe Liese

This is an OWN voices story too featuring an autistic main character with Rheumatoid Arthritis written by an autistic writer. It’s a sports romance with a slow burn build up and an opposites attract trope!

The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

The Suicide House has been selected by A Library Journal “12 Novels Featuring Protagonists on the Autism Spectrum” Selection.

Forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore aims to solve the killings featured in an infamous true crime podcast about a elite school with sinister secrets and a sadistic killer.

When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J Steiger

This is a coming of age romance story between an MC who has Autism Spectrum Disorder and her disabled love interest.

Terrified of becoming a ward of the state Alvie only wants to make it to her 18th birthday without any mishaps but without meaning to she finds herself getting close to a boy with a cane at the zoo she works in.

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

Another YA book because why not? Landing in detention, Lily finds herself meeting Abelard and is intrigued by him. The two fall for each other fast and hard, but will it survive? The author is neurodiverse, dyslexic, and has ADHD. Likewise, Lily has ADHD while Abelard has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

This book has been nominated for the Longlist award 2020 and is a nonfiction memoir of 15 year old autistic writer Dara McAnulty.

He says about the book: “In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.”


I hope like these recommendations! Have you read any of these books? Do you personally know anyone autistic?

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The Empirium Trilogy | Series Breakdown and Review

Ah where to start with this…this series was brutal and exhausting. I have heard that this is perfect for SJM fans, and I agree to an extent. SJM has more romance but both have that high stakes feel to their fantasies. However this series wouldn’t be included in my top five for YA fantasy (in fact I could recommend you 7 other books to read instead). I’m in the minority here about this series!

After finishing all 3 books as a whole there are wonderful elements that make this an outstanding series on one end but on the other end it felt a bit too much at times or the polar opposite (going in circles again and again). In the end when I look back at it all I feel is this sense of heaviness like I can’t bother to go and read those books again.

This is your one stop for all for The Empirium Trilogy, as usual this is a spoiler free review for all books and you will get a warning before hand for my spoilery opinions in the end.

For commentators if you’re going to post something that might be spoilery kindly write before hand some sort of warning so other readers don’t get spoiled!

Disclaimer: By ordering the book via my Blackwell’s affiliate program, I receive a small commission at no extra cost from you.


A thing that irked me in the books (specifically the last two) is forcing these toxic love interests together which is quite horrific to witness at times, because it reaches to the point of abuse. No point hiding it. THIS then leads me to another thing. If you’re willing to portray toxic relationships in my personal opinion they are better suited for adult books. I don’t want a 14 or 15 year old reading this and thinking: “He treats me like shit and is aggressive = hot”.

Now looking at it from an adult’s pov (Using myself as an example): I’m a 23 year old who now has the awareness of what is toxic and not in a relationship, and though these kind of relationships are portrayed in books (Game of Thrones, etc), I can be self aware to pin point these out and not get influenced by them.

This is just my personal opinion and I understand that different life circumstances can cause different perspectives regardless of age.

Book 1 | Furyborn

Book Summary

In the kingdom where once Angels and Humans resided peacefully, a violent war broke out between the two species, and as the dying angels withered away their leader has made a prophecy:

A Queen of Blood that would bring forth the destruction of the world. A Queen of Light that would heal and save the world. Two girls. One Prophecy. Their fates destined and written.

Spanning a 1000 years between the two girls, we witness Rielle Dardenne endure seven elemental trials to prove herself as the Sun Queen or be executed. Eliana Ferracora, a broken child with a heart of stone is set upon a dangerous path after her mother suddenly disappears. Except the secret she uncovers about her mother’s disappearance reveals something far deadlier than she imagined.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The pacing was death at the beginning and you’ll feel like DNFing in the first 100-150 pages, It’s not really surprising to me because a lot of fantasy books tend to start slow to help the reader get acquainted with the setting and world system.

On one end I really liked the story. The world building and magical system is so well written and vivid, Legrand made a great job of getting me immersed in the book.

Rielle had a slightly dislikable start but as the book progresses I was more interested in her story because she developed into a stronger albeit flawed heroine with good intentions. She’s a big part into why I finished the book.

What I don’t like? Eliana. She is not a protagonist I would like to root for. Frankly she can be straight up rude with a lack of basic decency, and she has a tendency to screw things around her without thinking about anyone else but herself. The side characters (who are way more interesting) are left to clean up her mess. Yup can’t stand it.


Book 2 | Kingsbane

Book Summary

In book 2, Rielle has been anointed Sun Queen by the Holy Church, but she must play the art of diplomacy all the while figuring out a way to repair The Gate, a structure meant to keep an exiled race out. Inside her head, someone’s whisperings of glory are seducing her and it is getting harder to distinguish the other’s voice than her own ambitions

Elian Ferracora has discovered that she is in fact the long awaited Sun Queen. A rebel group known as Red Crown take her in and it is there she finds a believer in her new friend Navi. But as Navi’s life is threatened, the Undying Empire tightening it’s grasps on Eliana’s whereabouts, Eliana must face the harrowing reality of her true nature.

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This book unfortunately took so many pages just circling through the same issues and scenarios over and over again, to the point where I just got really tired and wanted to skip to the last chapters and be done with it.

In terms of story and plot, that was fabulous. I couldn’t see that ending coming and it has turned into the high stakes fantasy that makes it much more addicting and brilliant (despite the pain it caused me). The action scenes were fast paced, there was more political intrigue, and the setting and world building was far more solid. Really you couldn’t ask for better than that.

The issue here was mainly pacing and the point of character toxicity in this book referenced earlier in the post.


Book 3 | Lightbringer

Book Summary

In the finale of the epic Empirium trilogy we follow Rielle as she succumbs to the whispers of glory, power, and freedom. Away of being a pet of court and free to use her power as she wishes, she is separated from her two closest people: Audric and Ludivine. As the power of the Empirium eats away her senses, the truth shall be revealed but this time can the monster be stopped?

Eliana, betrayed and left to the sick cruelties of the Undying Emperor. He tortures her about her powers and demands an impossible task of traveling back in time even if it means throwing the world into chaos.

The prophet whom many speak of their name as savior finally reveal themselves and that revelation will shock the world with it. Now with a second chance, the world will either be a world of light should Eliana succeed or a world of dark should Rielle persevere.

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

In the final book, the two fates of the two queens clash in wholly unexpected ways. Plot wise, I think the book did it’s job and more. However it was misshaped by the multiple POVs that were unnecessary at times and slowed the book even more.

It is kind of annoying because we spend so much parts of the book going slow only to have a short spanned ending that is literally one chapter.

Eliana remains my favored queen and she come a long way from the distasteful protagonist in book 1. This book however reinforced my idea that this should have been labeled as Adult and not YA.


WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD

Say hello to my spoiler included ranting :

  • Borderline Obsession and Possessive when it comes to “love”. A thing that makes me feel queasy is how the people around Eliana and Rielle are borderline obsessed with them (Simon? Corien? Heck even Tal?). I don’t like it when a “possible” love interest is obsessed with the main character to the point where they’ll put themselves second in order to satisfy the protagonist.
  • Rielle’s Ending: Contrary to many reviewers I’ve seen redeem Rielle quickly and wholeheartedly, I on the other hand respectfully disagree. I think the world of Avitas needed closure from the horrors they’ve witnessed; horrors Rielle willingly and consciously participated in (not all of them but you can’t deny that there wasn’t some free choices she made). Her death provided that closure and I found myself sighing in relief after she died.
  • To let her come back into court, sit on the throne and appear before the same people as queen as if nothing happened and her mistake is nothing? Nope that doesn’t sit with me. The only thing that I didn’t like about her ending, is that it made Eliana’s story and journey in this and the last book pointless and that annoys me! Furthermore, I would have wanted more closure about the story, a glimmer of how Avitas would end up when Eliana grew up. Did she end up liking Simon? C’mon you made me go through two books of agony I deserve peace in this.
  • I rambled a lot about the ending but I’ve seen many conflicting views about it and was curious to see if others saw the ending the same way I did?

SPOILERS END HERE

If you made it this far, thank you for sticking it out with me and reading all my ramblings.

I hope you guys loved this post! Tell me have you read The Empirium Trilogy or are you planning to read it?

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March 2021 Wrap Up | Top Posts + Other Blogs to Check Out!

Phew March saw the clash of booktokers vs…well everyone else, book bloggers being dragged in the mud (for the millionth time), some intern leaked the Shadow&Bone trailer thus forcing Netflix to drop it earlier than intended (whoever you are I love you).

In lighter matters, I gifted a total stranger one of their wishlist books (it was quite nice and I’ll definitely be doing it again!). I also managed to find the best cookie recipe ever, and had a not too bad reading month..yay!

Check out the other blog posts and bloggers I mentioned below, give them love and show your support ❤️


The NEC Blog Top Posts | March 2021

  1. What I Would Read at Famous Sights | PT 2!

Had fun doing part two as much as I did for part one! I scoured the globe more breathtaking sights and the world did not disappoint 😍.

2. Happy International Women’s Day! | Here’s 10 Books I love by female authors

March meant celebrating our women and girls, so I compiled up this list with some of my fav books that are written by female authors!

3. If You Watched This on Netflix…Read this!

Another book pairing! This time I hooked ya’ll up with tv/movie recs AND book recs. 😊

Blog Posts You Should Check Out

▪️ Zodiac Series: Aquarius by Alex @ The Scribe Owl – Alex has started this cool book rec series based on zodiac signs! Check out her blog for other signs ✨

▪️ Happy International Women’s Day – Islam and Feminism by The Tsundoku Chronicles – As a Muslim woman, I’m grateful that The Tsundoku Chronicles took the time to correct the gross misconceptions many have about women and Islam.

▪️ Ten Recommendations of Nonfiction that Reads Like Fiction by Bookosophia – My reading goals include reading more non fic so this list was perfect to my TBR!

▪️ The Definitive Book Blogger List by A Book. A Thought. – Calling all book bloggers! Sofii has created this amazing list in the aims of promoting and amplifying the voices of book bloggers.

▪️ The Best Sherlock Holmes Mystery for beginners (Classic Remarks) by Pages Unbound – Briana provides tips and advice on how best to approach the timeless mystery detective series.


Thanks for reading guys!

As always follow for the latest

Review ARC | American Betiya

Disclaimer: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a little commission at no extra cost from your end. 😊

I would to thank PRH Global for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my personal opinion.

Description Summary | A book that did well in conveying it’s central themes but fell flat in the vividness of the supporting characters and lacked in dimension. It was good but not good enough.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book Summary | (Skip to Review)

Rani has never felt a rush quite like this. From the moment she laid eyes on Oliver, his spiky black hair, the tattoos on his arm, his artistic self and his fiery passion, she knew she was done for.

Rani decides to date Oliver in secret, this clandestine affair however proves to be far from roses and love songs when her cultural identities clash forcing a ridge between her and Oliver.

It doesn’t help that everything that Oliver embodies is her mother’s worst nightmare, and it doesn’t help either that Rani feels lost between her parent’s expectations and traditions and her own identity and decisions.

A fated trip to India sheds some light on the importance of honoring ones roots, loving oneself, and having the courage to be who you are in a world that dictates who you should be.

Review
Review

Review

The book had wonderful and harrowing aspects that I’ll never forget and stepping into Rani’s world was a enlightening experience. It had a slow start despite the fast pacing.

Themes

The cultural fetishization and micro aggressions were phenomenally brilliant. Truly if I could rate these two separately they would get a knock out five stars. How Rani’s complex Indian culture is withered down to stereotypical gimmicks and objectification of the worst kind was so shattering. And honestly quite triggering.

Hell the blatant racism and xenophobia that is disguised as self righteousness and “open mindness” hit right home (albeit in a totally different light for me but I get it). How Oliver keeps belittling Rani’s traditions and culture through gaslighting because god forbid there is another way of living than the American lifestyle….I had to put the book down a couple of times because I can’t believe the shit that was coming out of his mouth in the name of love out of everything. Yeah right.

What’s scary is that so many of these micro aggressions are spewed out of people’s mouthes without realizing it is any way harmful. The this book was a real eye opener in this aspect.

Pacing

I actually quite liked the pacing in this book, and I really loved the style of writing but I wished it was a bit more fleshed out. There were dialogues cut short that I wished weren’t. This all impacted on the dimensions of the supporting characters making wish they were explored more into because Rani is such a complex dynamic character.

Rani

I have to admit I had a hard time connecting with Rani, I couldn’t understand her decisions. It was as if she was defined by her “supposed love” by Oliver and her constant anxiety, but I’ll admit watching go through her ordeal all towards the end of the book. She was just a girl. A girl who fell in love despite everything and a girl who trusted a boy. A girl who gave everything she could and even that wasn’t enough.

That broken girl who became stronger because of it? This was the girl who I was rooting for, the girl who’s began to see the light. And though I couldn’t understand all her reasonings, my heart ached for her and with her because it is so hard being between two worlds.

The No Nos: Insta Love Trope

This was an icky part to me. Rani’s insta love with Oliver was too much for me, she fell for him fast and hard and yes maybe that happens but it just affected the enjoyment rate of my reading.

By the second chapter she’s all enamored by him and yeah that wasn’t for me.

Anti-Marjiuana Sentiments

Right so I’ve seen some reviewers who made a comment of how bristled they were because of how negatively marjuana was viewed. I can’t outright comment the whos and the whats because I do not want to spoil anything but this person viewed drugs generally this way because this person lost the closest thing to them due to the destructive nature of drugs. This person was also young when their closest thing passed away.

Stuff like that stuck with you, it’s like hating cigarettes and vowing never to consume them because you watched one of your parents or a loved one die from lung cancer. So say what you want but to me I felt that negative sentiment was valid.

Do I recommend? If you want a book that presents cultural fetishization so well this book is a great outlook into that.

Date published: March 09 , 2021.


If You Watched This on Netflix…Read This!

Since my Netflix binge watching has reached to alarmingly long hours (but let’s face it, it’s one of the few things keeping me sane right now). I’ll compile a list of some the Netflix originals I watched and pair them up with a book. This was pretty fun and something I never did before so enjoy it too guys!

And no Shadow and Bone will not be a part of this list, but this is a gentle reminder that its almost here! (I can’t take it anymore). Also, I know most of these are already based on existing books but I’ll be picking different ones that still fit in with the vibe of the show.


Alice in Borderland

Book Choice: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Alice in Borderland is actually based on a manga but I’ve never read it (I don’t read mangas generally tbh) however this show is so psychologically twisted and…bloody. Think The Hunger Games x SAW.

Speaking of Hunger Games, Battle Royale is said to be the true inspiration behind the Hunger Games however don’t expect any swoony romance from this originally Japanese novel; it’s very gory and vicious.

TW: Graphic violence and gore, rape, sexual violence against children, gun violence.

Peaky Blinders

Book Choice: Dangerous Lady by Martina Cole

I’m pretty sure you’ve at least heard of the show’s name if not already binge watched the whole series and stared into the dreamy eyes of Cillian Murphy…

Dangerous Lady is Peaky Blinders but make it the 1990s instead of the 1800s, and make it have a badass female lead. If you love gangland crime you’ll enjoy this book.

TW: Couldn’t find any but mention in the comments if there are any for other readers 😊

Black Mirror

Book Choice: This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

This is pegged as Black Mirror x My So Called Life, I never watched My So Called Life but I imagine it being the explicit darker alter ego of Lizzy Maguire.

This is Not the Jess Show reminds me of Black Mirror’s episode Nosedive, where a seemingly “utopian” society turns into a dystopia for our protagonist Lacie. It’s yet another eerie look to how technology runs our lives.

TW: Nothing Found.

Sugar Rush

Book Choice: Battle Royal by Lucy Parker

One of the most wholesome shows you can watch and it’s so much fun! Each episode has it’s own theme with special guests and it’s perfect for an uplifting weekend binge watch.

Battle Royal (VERY different than the first one) is an enemies to lovers rom com set within a baking competition. Fair warning: Will leave you craving frosted cupcakes and chocolate ganache.

TW: None to Mention.

La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)

Book Choice: Rocks beat Paper by Mike Knowles

Heist books and movies are so much fun to get into. Money Heist is arguably a worldwide phenomenon, there is no one out there who would not recognize the comical Salvador Dali masks.

Rocks beat Paper is a thrilling heist novel with a robbery that involves millions of dollars in diamonds and nine other strangers who were bought together for the job. That is until the inside man got mysteriously killed…

TW: Nothing Found

The Queen’s Gambit

Book Choice: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Nothing can beat the original but if you’re looking for the same flavor of the 1930s-50s while still having a strong willed determined female protagonist navigating her sudden uprising to wealth where the blurry lines of the upper class begin to fog her senses and a love appears in the form of blue eyed handsome banker Tinker Grey..?

Rules of Civility is the book for you, albeit it doesn’t include a child chess genius.

TW: Nothing Found.

Malcolm and Marie

Book Choice: Normal People by Sally Rooney

This movie excels in its psychologically twisted dialogue between it’s two main characters. This is no way a love story and similar to the book you won’t find the frilliness of romance in any character.

The movie sheds a light on toxic and emotional abuse in relationships, and at one point it can be draining. Both works are majorly character driven as well.

TW: Emotional abuse, physical abuse in family relationships, suicide, psychological manipulation.

Set it Up

Book Choice: The Honey Don’t List by

This is one of my fav rom com movies, I always have a good laugh when I watch it!

Similar to their bosses’ predicament, the novel features Carey and James as they vow to keep the lovestruck charade of America’s favorite couple going because unbeknownst to the world: Their bosses are anything but America’s favorite couple in fact….they can’t stand each other.

TW: Nothing to mention but if there is something do mention it for potential readers 😊


Thanks for reading! What was your latest Netflix binge watch?

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Review | “Okay” Romance?: The Flatshare

Disclaimer: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a little commission at no extra cost from your end. 😊

Description Summary |  A lovely rom com to lift the spirits but nothing memorable to me. It does touch on heavy aspects of emotional abuse and gaslighting that are done well but may be triggering.

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Book Summary | (Skip to Review)

Tiffany needs a flat. asap. She can’t spend any more time at her old place (her ex’s now) especially since he’s started seeing someone else.

Leon is looking to find some sort of income to help bay the bills and his wrongfully prisoned brother’s lawyer, so to help even out things he places up an ad to accept flatmates. At this point, Leon is just praying that the person is not a caveman when it comes to hygiene or a drug dealer.

The flat rules are easy: During the day the flat would be for Leon since he’s a night nurse, and during the night when Leon’s out the flat would be Tiff’s. That way no one has to see each other, no awkward talks and cramped living, it’s still like living in your own flat!

Then Tiff and Leon start leaving each other notes, at first it was something like “leftovers in the fridge” or “had to put some pillow cushions on the side”. However the more time passes, the more notes there are and the notes themselves well…they include more than a one sentence chore demand. If we read between the lines can there be more to these flatmates?

Review
Review

Review

Okay here’s the thing, this book is kinda (and I mean a littleeee) hyped? It was cute and all but it’s not something I would describe as a comfort read. I’m pretty sure if you asked me what’s this book about in two weeks I would’ve forgotten.

Now this book is perfect if you’re looking for something to switch it up after a heavy fantasy read or maybe you’re a budding reader wanting to get into books.

Story

I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a story like this. I always liked retro rom coms and I’m an old school romantic. This seemed to be a great blend between both, and I liked how we got written post it notes but also good ole’ Facebook in there (but seriously who uses Facebook?)

Although this is a romance comedy I have to say, it does touch on heavy topics in regards to toxic relationships and emotional abuse. There are a lot of scenarios that happens in the book I think would be pretty triggering and I haven’t seen this mentioned as much by other reviewers so if this particular aspect leads to an unwarranted response. I would advise discretion before reading this.

Writing

The alternating POVs was choppy at first and I had a hard time getting into Leon’s POV. It’s literally till the better half of the book that I truly got into Leon’s narrative. I guess that ended it being a bit slower paced than I would have liked.

Tiffy

Tiffy was a riot sometimes, the things that spews out of her mouth when she’s nervous is hilarious and I’ll guarantee you’ll laugh more than once in this book. What’s really heartfelt is seeing her work out and come to realization that she was abused and the person that she thought she loved abused her and continues to do so. She’s like me in that sense, we downplay our negative experiences and don’t pay it much matter because if we do than it becomes real and realizing it is real is a terrible nightmare.

Leon

Leon is a gem of a human. Seriously, it was really great for him to stick to his values and continue to be a nice decent man even though “nice” is considered a weakness generally but especially in men. I loved how even though he is this quiet brood, he still has presence and it was really nice to see in books a love interest that is quiet, remains quiet, yet still maintains his presence and solidity. You don’t have to be the life of the party or the intimidating diva to be noticed.

Both of these characters were great contrasts to each other, and you can tell their different dynamics work so well here. I enjoyed watching their relationship blossom into a full on love story.

I guess this got a lower rating than usual because I did have an issue with pacing in the beginning but also I can’t point by finger onto what it is that makes this book not memorable enough to guarantee a higher rating.

Do I recommend? Not a solid yes but if you need a break or an avid rom com reader who doesn’t mind heavy topics go ahead!


What I Would Read at Famous Sights | Pt 2!

You asked and I answered. I’m so delighted that you guys loved my first post where I paired up books and famous places I wish I could travel to PLUS arranged a playlist for you guys to listen to while you read the books.

There are still so many beautiful places in the world I’d love to visit, so happy reading and travel daydreaming!


Arizona, U.S.A

Where? Antelope Canyon

Book Choice: Dune by Frank Herbert

I know most people hype up The Grand Canyon but have you seen Antelope Canyon? This sight looks like another planet!

The canyon has been formed over millions of years and some of the formations change in color as you pass by them and reflect under the sunlight.

It is only suitable to pick a space opera set upon a desert planet; if Arrakis was real it would’ve been Antelope Canyon.

Playlist 🎵

TW: Death, child abuse, gun violence, drugs, animal death, blood.

Klevan, Ukraine

Where? Tunnel of Love

Book Choice: Heartless by Melissa Meyer

Now I don’t have any love in my life and I’ll be damned if I have to wait for a special someone to visit this gorgeous landscape. The tunnel is actually an old abandoned railway that got swallowed by nature.

Fun fact: It is said if a couple kisses inside the tunnel, they’ll have “everlasting true love”.

I know, the title did not pass by me and yes it is ironic. But a romance fantasy with an unlikely protagonist finding love in someone unlikely? I don’t know it just fits and shows that even the cruelest of people can fall in love.

Playlist 🎵

TW: Murder, decapitation, fat shaming.

Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Where? Sea of Stars

Book Choice: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini.

I am certain this pic does not do justice to the real scene. This splendid phenomena is one of nature’s rarest and what’s so bizarre is that no one can predict exactly when and where will it occur.

Look familiar? The Sea of Stars was featured in the movie Life of Pi.

I think it’s pretty obvious why I chose that particular title. The book is a space opera about wars among stars and adventures spanning over galaxies.

Playlist 🎵

TW: Death, torture, non-consent to medical procedures.

Sintra, Portugal

Where? Quinta da Regaleira

Book Choice: Sleepless by Sarah Vaughn, et al

Allegedly nicknamed the “Palace of Mystery”, it had many owners but what I find intriguing (apart from the gothic architecture) is the amount of cryptic symbols scattered throughout the place. They include a nod to the Knights Templar, alchemy, and masonry.

This historical fiction graphic novel is filled with political intrigue, assassins, and romance all blanketed with an air of mystery.

Playlist 🎵

TW: Nothing to mention but if there is something do mention it in the comments 😊

Non-Specific, China

Where? The Great Wall of China

Book Choice: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

The only sight that doesn’t have a specific location lol. In all seriousness, the majestic sight of The Great Wall of China is one I’ve ever seen in pictures and…Mulan.

I would love to see foot on it one day.

Inspired by Chinese culture and history ( with inspirations of imperial china in specific), this book is a blend of politics, mystery, and magic. The unstoppable trio if you ask me.

Playlist 🎵

TW: Violence, murder, torture, poisoning, blood, genocide.

Lombardy, Italy

Where? Bergamo

Book Choice: Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood

This secluded village may not be as famous as it’s glitzy neighbor Milan, it is still considered a World Heritage site and is called “The City of the Thousand”.

In specific what I would love to visit is Città Alta (Upper Town). It’s a maze of narrow streets and medieval cobblestones; perfect for spontaneous discoveries!

I think I’ll have a Macchiato while I lose myself in this summer Italian romance between a witty quirky artist and a prissy socialite.

Playlist 🎵

TW: None to mention


Thanks for reading! If you love daydreaming about traveling as much as I do check out my Pinterest Board where I highlight some of the surreal places to ever exist.

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Happy International Woman’s Day! | Here’s 10 Books I Love by Female Authors

Happy International Woman’s Day!

Despite March is now being known as when all hell broke lose and COVID spread all over the world, March remains to include a date that is important to so many of us women out there. Take some time to celebrate your mothers, sisters (blood and/or otherwise!), your daughters, your friends, and even your favorite female fictional characters.

I wanted to create templates for you guys but couldn’t because I’m super busy! (in a good way). So instead, I hope you guys enjoy 10 books I absolutely adore by female authors 😊

*Little Note: I have an affiliate link to the books mentioned in the post, at no extra cost if you decide to buy via the link, your book blogger here gets a commission 😊


10 Books I Love by Female Authors

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

This is series is incredibly written. It is a genius of a series with amazing historical context and high stakes fantasy (don’t expect any kind of mercy).

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Powerful author. Powerful book.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Best YA Mystery that is yet to be beaten. Written in the most addictive manner, you’d think you’re watching a literal movie.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin

This book broke me in more ways than one, and Nevin’s illustrious and moving writing still shakes me up.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I’m pretty sure Taylor had no idea, but when she wrote down Lazlo, she unintentionally wrote my spiritual fictional character. I have never resonated with a character more than him, and I see myself so much in him it scares me!

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I finally read this and omg it is fabulous. This was the book that got me out of a slump early in the beginning of the year!

A Darker Shade of Magic and Addie La Rue by V.E. Scwhab

The master of story and lyrical writing (how she does it I don’t know!), but V.E. Scwhab easily became an auto buy for me.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgestern

Another magical story by another magical writer, I was swept way into a fantastical world that I did not want to ever leave.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I found this book to be charming yet very profound which is not an easy balance especially when heavy topics such as childhood trauma, PTSD, and suicide are the basis of the book.

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

One of the best adult romances, major fandom vibes, and the author is just as sweet on Twitter (She’s literally so nice to everyone and replies everytime).


Thanks for reading! Who’s a female author or character you love?

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February 2021 Wrap Up | Top Posts + Other Blogs to Check Out!

February was a month with a lot of changes!

I got my Booktok up and going for a while now, quit than found another job I’m quite happy with, joined in my first ever blog tour, and celebrated my birthday with cheesecake and trash reality tv (Are you the One? – Anyone watched it?)

Having a job also meant I had to cut down my blogging, but I’m so heart warmed to see so many of you stick it out with me and still come out to like and comment on my posts as you usually do. It means so much to me 💗

Apart from my usual wrap up I definitely wanted to type up blog posts that I loved from the community, I’ve seen these things on other blogs and I think it’s a wonderful way for us bloggers to support each other and hype each other up!


The NEC Blog Top Posts | February 2021

  1. HOV Blog Tour | The Gilded Ones

Many thanks for HOVTours for letting me join the tour! I’m so happy that the book turned out to be a five star read!

It’s a YA Fantasy featuring a strong female heroine, strong female friendships and found family trope all inspired by West African folklore.

2. What I Would Read at Famous Sights | Books + Travel

Another book pairing! Since I’m still daydreaming about traveling, I imagined where I would go which lead me thinking what would I read there…which lead to this post.

3. Book Review | New Favorite: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

I’m so ecstatic to say this book deserved all the hype it got. One of the best books ever!

Blog Posts You Should Check Out

▪️ Has Blogging Affected Your Reading? | Let’s Talk Bookish by LiteraryLion – Loved this post, LiteraryLion presents a transparent picture of what is it like to be book blogger and I found myself nodding along so many of the points mentioned!

▪️ Book Review: Cinder by Midnight Book Blog – One of the reviews that stuck with me is J’s review of Cinder, she speaks about the enjoyment aspect of the book vs the critical parts which I found pretty enlightening.

▪️ Sustainable Reading Tips (that aren’t just ‘read more e-books’) by Truffle’s Literary Wonders – This is great! Definitely learnt some tips I didn’t know off before.

▪️ The Best Cosy Buys on Etsy by Chapters of May – Supporting small business while still getting amazing bookish stuff? Yes please.

▪️ Friday Favourites – Books To Cheer You Up by The Tsundoku Chronicles – Everyone needs cheering up so Tsundoku’s list is exactly what you need if you need a pick me up!


Thanks for reading guys!

As always follow for the latest

Review | Best of NonFiction: Bad Blood

Disclaimer: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a little commission at no extra cost from your end. 😊

Description Summary |  A riveting unreal tale that is more like a Hollywood thriller movie than non fiction. A total showstopper.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Summary (Goodreads) | (Skip to Review)

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

In Bad Blood, John Carreyrou tells the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

Review
Review

Review

That was one hell of a ride. There are three things I need to say about this book:

  1. This is probably the best non fiction novel I’ve ever read.
  2. This is easily one of my top 10 reads this year.
  3. This book might make it into my favorites shelf.

This is a book you don’t want to read if you want to lose your faith in humanity (again).

Her ambition was voracious and it brooked no interference. If there was collateral damage on her way to riches and fame, so be it.”

There are no other words for it: it is absolutely disgusting what Holmes and her associates did to make some money.

Story

Before reading the book, I had an initial bias in the sense that I was genuinely interested and I love nonfiction books about corporate scandals and all kinds of business crime.

That being said, after reading it, I think regardless if you’re not really a fan of this genre or are total sucker for it, you MUST take a chance on Bad Blood. The story is too fascinating, and the way Carreyrou built up the timelines is fantastic. You’re never lost and even if you’re following little trails of stories within, it always comes back to Theranos’s big story. I appreciate that because it cuts down on unnecessary chapters and provides a greater perspective on how big and reaching this is.

Writing

John Carreyrou has this astounding ability to make all the mundane tellings of investigations sound like your next Netflix true crime documentary. It is this talent in immersive writing that made the book highly engrossing, any relevant quotes or information where integrated within the story as if you’re reading a fiction novel. I was immediately hooked from that first chapter and it was with sickening fascination that I read about Theranos’s spiral and downfall.

I’ll end this review with an RIP to Ian Gibbons, it such a shame what happened to him and he deserved way more than he got credit for. He deserves to be remembered as much as Elizabeth’s notoriety.

Do I recommend? A solid yes.