Monday, January 9, 2017

Welcome Back (maybe) 2017

So, my New Years resolution for last year was to post and read more because apparently I had been falling short towards the end of 2015. If I'm being completely honest, I probably read like 10 books throughout 2016, and 9 of them were for a class.

Life surprisingly gets in the way of blogging and reading so much that eventually it began to stress me out. It'll probably happen again next semester but I want to try to post at least once a month, even if it's just a dumb story about college. I'm not going to guarantee anything but I'll try.

Here's to a (hopefully) less stressful year.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The College Diaries | Five Types of College Roommates

So, as some of you know, I'm currently in my first year of college. And unfortunately with college comes the aspect of living in a dorm room, usually with a roommate and that roommate can be a hit or miss. Over the course of the year I've heard countless roommate stories and experienced some myself and wanted to share some stories and advice.

1. The Unsatisfied 

Beginning near and dear to me is the unsatisfied roommate. This is the roommate that doesn't appreciate anything you do, whether it be cleaning out the fridge fungus that grew because of something she forgot or tidying up the room. She will always think you are a "subpar" roommate even though you literally never get in her way. She is constantly making up unreasonable rules to make your life difficult.

Story: The Unsatisfied has a very sensitive nose and is constantly complaining how the room smells bad. Over the weekend, the custodians don't take out the trash. Over the three day weekend, the trash cans are overflowing with garbage and begins to smell on the floor. My friend comments how the smell is too strong, the Unsatisfied says "Oh I got used to it." Days later, the Unsatisfied walks into their dorm room and says "something smells" and proceeds to open the window in freezing weather because she can't stand the smell (which doesn't exist).

Advice: Wrap yourself in blankets and ignore her, she's not worth your time.

2. The Sexually Active 

Coming into college with little to no dating experience, this one is probably the hardest for me to comprehend. This roommate doesn't consider that she's living with someone but rather is constantly bringing boys into her room. After a long day of classes, research, extracurriculars and everything else a typical college student does, the last thing she needs is to come home to her roommate naked with some boy she barely knows.

Story: The story begins with my friend already having a pretty stressful week. Finals are just around the corner and she has several essays and exams to study for. As a good college student she decides to sleep a little early Saturday night so she can wake up early the next morning to maximize productivity. As she's falling asleep the Sexually Active comes in, drunk, with a boy and they begin going through the bases right as she's in the room. After a bit of yelling on her part, the Sexually Active huffs and leaves, coming back 30 minutes later giving the boy her bed while she took the other bed in the room (my friend had three roommates). The next morning she decides enough is enough and tells Sexually Active that it's not appropriate to bring unknown boys into their room at the dead of night and Sexually Active replies "Yeah that's true, I didn't know his name either"

Advice: Have a bullhorn on hand for such events.

3. The Borrower 

The Borrower is the roommate who takes the phrase "mi casa es tu casa" way too seriously. They're way too entitled to your belongings and next time you're missing a pair of underwear or a sock, the first place you look is in their drawers. When you go home for the weekend, they let all their friends sleep in your bed and use your pillow without asking permission. But of course, this only goes one way, you're not allowed to use any of their stuff (but odds are you probably don't want to).

Story: My friend lives fairly close to home so she frequently goes home over the weekend. Unfortunately in her absence the Borrower lets all of her friends sleepover in my friend's bed and when she returns, the bed is unmade with the pillows strewn everywhere, a clear indication that someone's been messing with her stuff.

Advice: Put forks underneath the bedsheets to prevent unwanted people on your bed.

4. The Elusive

This is probably the second best type of roommate to have. This is the person you never realize are there. Sometimes your run into each other in the morning, but both of you have separate groups of friends and completely different schedules so you never run into each other. You get along enough to live together but not enough to call each other friends. Their presence is neither a benefit nor a bother.

Advice: Leave her alone, don't tempt the Beast.

5. The Best Friend 

Now if you're really lucky, you get the Best Friend. Whether this was because you've pre chosen your roommate or happen to be really lucky with a random roommate, you and the Best Friend are inseparable. You don't mind borrowing each other's stuff, you eat at the dining hall together all the time, you genuinely like each other and are thankful you're living together. You're even part of the same friend group and planning on living together for the next four years of college.

Advice: Go buy a lottery ticket, your luck has peaked.

These are only some of the roommates out there, but I'm sure there are more. Let me know if you guys have any roommate stories, I would love to hear them!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday Talks | 2016 Bookish Challenges

Hey guys and welcome to yet another Tuesday Talks. If you don't already know, Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group started by Janie and Janelle where we discuss bookish topics every Tuesday.

This week's topic is regarding bookish challenges for 2016.  This is going to be a fairly quick post since I really don't plan on doing any challenges. I love the concept of challenges but I always have an exam or something during them that really prevents me from doing them to my full potential.

I really just plan on constantly reading throughout the year, and if a bookish challenge works out then I'll do it.

Do you guys plan on doing any challenges this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday Talks | 2016 Bookish Resolutions

Hey guys, welcome to another Tuesday Talks. Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group where we discuss book related topics every Tuesday. Today we're going to talk about our bookish resolutions for 2016.

I have to admit, in 2015 I fell a bit short with my bookish life. With my entire transition to college my bookish life was put on hold and as a result, I haven't been posting as much on my blog nor have I been reading and reviewing as many books as I wanted to.

My first resolution of the year is to keep mostly up to date with my blog posts. I'm definitely going to try to keep up with Tuesday Talks. If I can keep up with that I may include some other weekly posts as well, but we'll see.

My second resolution is to read more. I was recently elected as the treasurer of my college's book club and as a result, I really hope to read more and get more involved in the book community.

My third resolution is to write more. One of my life goals is to write a book, and I want to write more about my college life. So I hope to document more of my life. I probably won't post most of it, but as long as I'm writing, I consider my goal complete.

Those are some of my resolutions for the year, let me know in the comments below what some of your resolutions are, bookish or nonbookish!

Friday, January 8, 2016

SYLO | D.J. MacHale


Does Tucker Pierce have what it takes to be a hero when the U.S. military quarantines his island?

Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best friend Quinn tells him to “go for it,” he’s too chicken to ask Tori Sleeper on a date. There’s always tomorrow, he figures. Then Pemberwick Island is invaded by a mysterious branch of the U.S. military called SYLO.

 And sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tucker, because tomorrow may never come. 

It’s up to Tucker, Quinn, and Tori to uncover the truth about the singing aircraft that appears only at night—and the stranger named Feit who’s pushing a red crystal he calls the Ruby that brings unique powers to all who take it. Tucker and his friends must rescue not just Pemberwick Island, but the fate of the world—and all before tomorrow is too late.  

+5 Cover Design

I really like the cover. It creates this air of mystery while maintaining the science fiction genre.

+4 Writing Style

I liked the writing style of this book but I didn't think it was above average. It sufficiently told the story but I didn't find it extraordinary by any means.

+3 Plot Development

While the plot kept you on your toes, I felt like the reader was kept in the dark almost too much. While we were through into action after action, which was incredibly thrilling but confusing. Even by the end of the book I still really had no idea what had happened or what was happening. But because this is a series I'm sure we'll find out eventually. In that it resembles the 5th wave series, which I do enjoy.

+4 Character Relations

I didn't hate the character relations, but I didn't love them. I appreciated that there was no insta-love but the relations between the characters seemed a bit childish for the situation they were in. Quinn would joke about a spark between Tori and Tucker in the middle of an attack, which seemed out of place. I hope there's more development between the couples that were introduced in the first book.

+4 Character Development

Because this was the first book to the series, there wasn't as much character development as I had hoped but there's still room for more. We can see Tuck starting to transition from his normal teenage life to the life of a fugitive in an apocalyptic world. I'm excited to see his character progress throughout the series.

+4 Likability of Protagonist

Personally, I really didn't like Tuck. He was a traditional, bland character. I know it was part of his personality to not care about anything, but it got tiring really fast. It worked in a sense because it provided an unbiased perspective for the story, but we also didn't really get any substance from him. I feel like we didn't get deep enough into his personality for me to actually like him. Maybe, hopefully, that'll change in the next couple of books.

+5 Necessity of Minor Characters

I felt like the minor characters were what made this book. At the beginning they all seemed dysfunctional but as the stakes were raised we could see how each character fell into the group. As the series goes on they'll learn how to work together as an oiled machine, and I'm excited to see that progression.

+5 Setting Description 

The setting was well set. I could easily visualize the setting of where the events were taking place.

+4 Interesting Storyline

Although I still don't know what exactly is going on, I enjoyed the storyline. I thought it was pretty interesting and was fairly thrilling,

+4  Predictability

None of my predictions for the book actually came true. I went into this book thinking it was about an alien invasion and I'm still not totally convinced that it isn't about one. But the great thing about this book is that as the reader we have no idea what the plot trajectory is, so every major event that happens is a surprise to us.

+50 Finished

Final Total: 92/100 ; A-

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I thought it was a thrilling read. As long as I can get my hands on the rest of the series I'll hopefully be continuing it. If you liked the 5th wave, this is definitely a series you should try.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Talks | Favorite Books/Series of 2015

Hey guys welcome to another Tuesday Talks, Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group started by Janie and Janelle where we discuss book-related topics every week.

Before we jump into this post, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Honestly I can't believe it's 2016 and I'm going to try my hardest to be more on top of my blog.

So, in order to commemorate 2015, this week we're going to commemorate the top five best books/series of 2015.

5. Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between

I'm not too much of a romance reader, but there were so many aspects of this book were relatable including the change in friendships from high school to college. The reliability of this book definitely catapulted it to my top five.

4. From the Ashes

I got the opportunity to interview Shelby Morrison and read her book early in 2015. This book completely surpassed my expectations. While I'm not a heavy fantasy reader, the writing of the book just sucked you in, definitely a book worth reading.

3. The Mistborn Trilogy

I began this series as a read along with Courtney from CourtneyReads and while we never got to finish reading the series together (due to my hectic college schedule), it was a fantastic read. I'm halfway through the last book and hopefully I'll finish it soon to move onto other Brandon Sanderson books.

2. Lunar Chronicles

I began Cinder in January and just in time for the release of Winter, the finale of the series. Overall this was a fantastic science-fiction retelling and definitely a series that everyone should read!

1. Queen of Shadows

And down to my number one book of the year: Queen of Shadows. This was probably one of the most anticipated books of the year and it did not fail to disappoint. While most series typically decline throughout, this has continue to surpass my expectations and I cannot wait for the release of the next book.

These are my top five for the year, what are some of your favorites for this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Ruby Iyer Short Stories | Laxmi Hariharan

                 96/100                   87/100                         

Both of these short stories are novellas associated with the The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. If you want to find its review you can click here

+5/+4 Cover Design

I think both of these covers are really nice, though I have to admit I like the scheme of The First Life of Vikram Roy better, especially when all of the books match the same layout. They have an air of mystery to them which is definitely eye-catching. 

+4/+4 Writing Style

The writing style for both was the same, and I have to say I enjoyed these short stories far more than I enjoyed The Life of Ruby Iyer. The writing was more precise and much easier to understand.  

+5/+3 Plot Development

Both short stories gave backgrounds on our two main characters and I really liked Vikram's story, more than Ruby's. Vikram's back story was much more complete and flowed extremely well. We saw a progression in Vikram from a sweet innocent boy to the hardened man in Ruby's story. Personally I liked his perspective a lot more than Ruby's. Rub'y backstory seemed rushed and choppy. We get glimpses of her and her past but not a completely storyline. 

+5/+4 Character Relations

Because the storyline was so much more fleshed out in Vikram's story, the relationship between the characters was a lot more believable. We can easily see why Vishal resents him and how that particular relationship developed, as well as the effect everyone in Vikram's life has had on him. In Ruby's case, we didn't get to see as much of this. Her relationship with Sanjay seemed weak and we didn't even get to see Panky who was a major part of the book.

+5/+4 Character Development

Like I mentioned before, because Vikram's story had so much more development. We saw his progression into the character we know and love, and while we saw bits and pieces of the same for Ruby, her development wasn't as concrete as Vikram's was.

+5/+4 Likability of Protagonist

In general, I enjoyed Vikram's perspective much more than Ruby's. I thought he was a lot more relatable than Ruby was and the writing fit his narrative better.

+5/+4 Necessity of Minor Characters

Similar to character relations, we saw exactly how each relationship affected Vikram, while we didn't get the same for Ruby.

+4/+3 Setting Description 

While the writing was the same for both books, I found that Vikram's story was much easier to visualize in terms of setting.

+5/+4 Interesting Storyline

Because I had more of an affinity for Vikram's story, I found his background more interesting than I found Ruby's.

+3/+3  Predictability

Because these were backstories, there wasn't too much unpredictability in them, though I have to say that Vikram's story had many more gasp-worthy moments than Ruby's story. We knew the initial and final states but everything in between had yet to be decided, a journey that had many more twists and turns in Vikram's story.

+50/+50 Finished

Final Total: 96/100 ; A                        87/100 ; B+                     

Overall I thought both of these short stories were fantastic, much better than the original book. Specifically I thought Vikram's story was very well-written. The entirety of it flowed incredibly well and by the end the reader would easily see what molded him into the hard man we see in Ruby's story. 

Ruby's backstory, on the other hand, lack a little in terms of character development. Her story was substantially shorter and, as a result, I felt like the characters and relationships could be fleshed out more. Though the writing in this story was definitely better than the original book. 

If you guys read these short stories, let me know what you think!