2016 in Review: List of Favorites

Now that 2016 has come to an end, I would like to sum up the books that I have read this year. This year was by far the most stressful and busiest which meant my book list was at an all-time low. I only read 25 books this year…I’M CRI. 2016 was still enjoyable so I will list some of my favorite things that happened or I encountered this year.
But academically speaking, only my bookworm life suffered and my social life and GPA flourished. Sure, I would love to have put aside more time for reading rather than obsessing over BTS or memes (LOL) but 2016 has passed with minimal regrets.
As I’m looking over my list, it is quite ironic that I started the year with reading a manga and I also ended with a manga. Back in high school, I used to be really into anime and manga but I quit due to my lack of free time. This year, I started watching anime and reading manga on my free time and it brought back so much nostalgia. Now, I am on the lookout for a good series to watch or start reading!  


Favorite Last Book in Series: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Although I finished the book with a bittersweet taste in my mouth, I was fully satisfied with the ending. I never thought that I would come to love the series as much as I did because I was so mehh about the first book (Raven Boys) and I did not like Blue’s personality.
Most Surprising Favorite Book: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I didn’t know that I would come to love this book so much although I had thoroughly anticipated reading it. All the elements in the book somehow hit the right spots and this book automatically clicked with me. I have not read Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy so I was completely blown away by her brilliant writing and inventiveness.
Favorite Meme: Arthur Memes
ARTHUR IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. Enough said.
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Favorite Trend/Challenge: Bottle Flip
Okay, this year has been ridiculous from the Running Man challenge to the Mannequin. I It’s been a year filled with dabbing, Juju-ing on that Beat, You Name It. Although the Mannequin challenge far outstrips the others in terms of ingenuity and popularity, I have taken a liking to the Bottle Flip challenge because there’s something so satisfying about it. Majority of the people who attempt the other listed trends tend to fail and do not do it justice. I recall myself hysterically laughing at a snapchat story thread of a friend flipping all sorts of bottles found in the fridge onto the kitchen counter. Milk, orange juice, pancake syrup, water bottles. But I’m also low-key happy that this trend is over. 2017, I’m looking forward to the next trend!
Favorite Anime: Haikyu!
Let me say this first. I DON’T EVEN LIKE SPORTS. This is a show about volleyball but I was hooked within the first few episodes. I ended up binge-watching all the seasons that were out and went on to read the manga. I stayed for the compelling plotline, intense scenes, and amazing character developments and interactions. Even for people who have never watched anime, this is well worth the time investment because it encompasses all the goodness that the world of anime offers and so much more.
Favorite Movie: Kubo and the Two Strings
I’m just an emotional wreck at the end and I am amazed by the production and plot for an animated movie.

Year in Books

Food Wars!, Vol. 1 by Yuto TsukudaThe Book Whisperer by Donalyn MillerStars Above by Marissa Meyer
Morning Star by Pierce BrownA Gathering of Shadows by V.E. SchwabCaptive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Captive Prince by C.S. PacatKings Rising by C.S. PacatSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue ParkDreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillipAnd I Darken by Kiersten White
The Winner's Kiss by Marie RutkoskiIn My Hands by Irene Gut OpdykeThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasThe Raven King by Maggie StiefvaterThe Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend by Hermann HesseThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Gilded Cage by Vic  JamesA List of Cages by Robin RoeThe Grift of the Magi by Ally Carterハイキュー!! 1 [High Kyuu!! 1] by Haruichi Furudate

New Year’s Resolutions:

  1.  Visit Japan and China this summer!
  2. Read 30 books this year.
  3. Have a 4.0 spring semester.
  4. Learn how to adequately cook economically.
  5. Average at least 6-7 hours of sleep daily.
  6. Start substitute teaching.

Happy New Year!!!!

2015 Year Wrap-Up

Hello everyone!!

I have returned to the blogosphere to wish all bloggers and my followers a happy new year!! Since it’s nearing the end of 2015, I’m feeling a bit melancholy and I want to look back fondly on the memories and books I’ve read. It’s been quite a hectic year (busy busy junior!) and I’m afraid I have to prolong my hiatus. I need to study for my Praxis exam which is a mandatory exam written by none other than ETS. Many of you might know the organization ETS because they happen to also write that SAT which countless high school students in the U.S. take. There’s also the MCATs, GRE, TOEFL, etc…

Right…so I’m slightly chagrinned to admit that I haven’t started studying yet although I’m taking the Praxis in 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. It. Is. Crunch. Time. And this is then followed up by practice writing Chinese because I’m taking my final Chinese course this spring semester. I honestly need to brush up on my written Chinese since I’ve forgotten a good chunk of it over one year of disuse. It is the last course needed to finally complete my Mandarin minor meaning is the most advanced class yet. This does not bode well because I need all that prior knowledge that I have oh so conveniently forgotten. Lots of things to do this winter break!

Aside from all these nonsensical shenanigans in my life, I did manage to find enough time to read. I completed my Goodreads challenge by reading 50 books and here they are:

 

 
Happy New Year!!!

Sarah J. Maas Book Signing

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Let me tell you, Sarah J. Maas is such a precious gem and everyone should meet her even if they do not like her books. The author herself gives me incentive now to finish the whole series because she’s simply charming, funny, and really down-to-earth.

What I Did:

I went to Barnes and Noble at 10am right when the doors open even though she wouldn’t be there until 5pm. Okay, my friends hauled me there at that time because they were bigger fans of ToG than I am. The event reeked of miscommunication because when my friend called to ask about the book signing, people told her that it was first come, first serve basis depending on wristbands. Upon further inquiry on a second call, she was then given information that the wristbands were given out all day which means it starts on the store’s opening hour. But we got there and didn’t realize we had to buy a Sarah J. Maas book on that day in order to qualify for book signing and the wristband hand-outs have been postponed to 1pm. Bad, bad Barnes and Noble. The staff were very vague on details and eventually figured out that readers need only to have bought a book from Barnes and Noble on any given day to qualify. But boy was I glad to go early because Maas had a huge turnout (for an author) and around a hundred people showed up! (Sorry, I’m just so used to seeing huge crowds of fans because I’ve watched so many Bangtan Boys videos, haha!) I was number 10 in line so I was able to get my book signed, talk to her while she was still fresh and alert, and get the heck out of the rowdy bookstore.


What She Did:

She had a discussion with a blogger, Q&A with the crowd which mostly consisted of female teens with several outliers of boys and adults, and the book signing. I felt absolutely proud of her because she carried herself so well and interacted actively with the audience despite her giddiness and lack of sleep. She tried to warn us that she had been up since 5am since she’d just flown in from New Mexico. Aww, I truly understand because I did the same thing twice on the flights to and from Taiwan…the waking at 5am thing, that is.

Sometime forgot to tell me this important detail so I was taken aback when I first met her: She’s very funny. Despite what her writing may say about her, she’s easy to converse with and very modern with her words. Of course, she’s pretty too which most people have said already. Man, some people just have it all: the talents, the looks, and the mulahh. Sarah felt self-conscious but she played it off pretty nicely. She referred to her best friends Alexander Bracken “Brack Attack” and Susan Dennard when asked who she’d want to cast in a T-Swift “Bad Blood” M/V. She also cutely poked fun at her husband and labelled him as Dobby the elf. Except her husband doesn’t get the reference since he’s never read Harry Potter. (The audience gasped and the blogger asked how they got married. Maas says she’ll refrain from answering because her husband is here.) She says she’s like a tyrant in her house ordering her husband to give back massages and forbidding him his sock of freedom.

Some discussion answers:

My husband and I pretty much got together like how most people do. ‘Oh you’re good looking and I’m…well, okay-looking so let’s get together!’ Yeah, it’s the universal love story. -laughs-
When asked who to choose to be on an island with: Unlike some person in the house, Rhysand would give me foot massages if we met! If I was with Aedion, he’d pretty much be Jack Sparrow, running around drinking rum and he’d at some point strip down to…a leaf. He would make a loincloth out of a leaf and he would be proud of it too! I would not want to be on an island with Aelin, though.
Apples or Bananas? Bananas. Oh, I love apples too but I have a problem eating bananas in public for obvious reasons. I have to cover my face while I eat it but wait, that makes it worse since it’s standing up straight when I eat it.
This one time, a girl came up to me and told me ‘your writing is like liquid gold’ so I answered back ‘Ah, so it’s like Velveeta!’ but she didn’t get the joke…
I love animals so much! So I guarantee you, the sole survivor at the end of this series is Fleetfoot!

The discussion was very lively, if you can’t tell from some of the sentences she spouted. I didn’t get the full name of the blogger but she will most likely post up the answers verbatim on her blog!

For Q&A, the questions were finally opened up to the floor. I was in the front row but I realized it made the blogger less likely to pick me since it would be considered proximity bias. So I didn’t even bother raising my hand.
A girl asked her if she used real people as model for her book characters: My husband sometimes walks into my room and says “That was totally me that you based Chaol and Rowan on.” And I just look at him like what are you talking about?…first, my characters are super fit, and second they’re freaking hot! So no, I don’t model any characters after people in real life. However, I do draw from my experiences to portray female friendships.

Another girl asked her what foods her character would be like: Oh I love food if you couldn’t tell already! (This was in referral to that one time she was eating ribs while watching human cannabalism in the Walking Dead. She didn’t finish her plate.) Dorian would be like the most delicious homemade mac-and-cheese you’ve ever tasted.
Rowan is like a box of chocolates exactly like the box he bought Aelin in Heir of Fire. Every piece is a surprise that when you bite in, you never know what you’re going to get.
Aelin is the huge sundae that you made yourself for the first time in the kitchen when your parents are gone. You add like everything to it because you can.
Sam is like the In-and-Out burger with animal-style fries that you enjoy and eat but then it’s gone. 
-cue collective sighs- Sorry but that man is dead.

Sarah was really sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed basking in her presence. I chatted a bit with her while she signed my book. She told me she can’t remember the last time she read a book which I thought was so ironic in and of itself. I hope she gets some rest because she’s been a champion, churning out these books like crazy. The fifth book’s draft has been completed and A Court of Thorns and Roses #2 will be out sometime in the summer so all hail Queen Maas!!!

She also left us a slight spoiler for ACoTaR Book 2 (highlight to read): Rhysand can teleport.
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3 Quotes Challenge- Day 3

I was nominated by Kath from The Last Reader for the 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge. Thank you for nominating me! And here’s Day 3!!

The rules are simple:

• Thank the person who nominated you.
• Post one quote each day for 3 days (it can be anybody’s quote, even yours. Make sure you credit it properly), and lastly,
• Tag 3 different bloggers everyday.

“All right, my hope—but I am not saying the rest of it—I have something you need to feel.”
She feigned the sound of outrage. “But we barely know each other, sir!”
He laughed softly. “But you must hold it in your hand and feel it change,” he urged, in her ear. “I insist. I can wait no longer.”
She knew they were on a serious subject, but the flutter of his breath on her skin, the low drawl of his words—heat raced along all her nerve endings. “Will I like it?”
“Well, I do have to apologize for its size. It is rather small.” And with that, he pressed something rather small into her hand.”

The humor is totally on point in the book and I completely love the witty banter between all the characters. So this was one of my favorite fantasy series and I’m waiting on the third book The Immortal Heights. The author Sherry Thomas’s writing is fantastic and she makes words seem so fun and interesting to read!! It’s the perfect series to binge-read and it’s especially unique for the fantasy genre.


Here are my nominees:

susannevalenti

Twinsturnpages

katandkabookle

Have fun!!

3 Quotes Challenge- Day 2

I was nominated by Kath from The Last Reader for the 3 Days 3 Quotes ChallengeThank you for nominating me! So here is Day 2 🙂

The rules are simple:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Post one quote each day for 3 days (it can be anybody’s quote, even yours. Make sure you credit it properly), and lastly,
Tag 3 different bloggers everyday.

He knows bad days. Bad days take him completely by surprise. They make him not trust the good days because it’s likely something is lurking twenty-four hours away.

Let me tell you, read Melina Marchetta’s books. READ THEM. Any one of her books, it’s your choice because I guarantee you that you’ll enjoy it.


Here are my nominations!!

Olivia Emily @bibliomad

aentee @Read at Midnight

BOOKSHOARDERGAL

3 Quotes Challenge- Day 1

I was nominated by Kath from The Last Reader for the 3 Days 3 Quotes ChallengeThank you for nominating me!

The rules are simple:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Post one quote each day for 3 days (it can be anybody’s quote, even yours. Make sure you credit it properly), and lastly,
Tag 3 different bloggers everyday.

“He loves me, and I reward his love by forcing on him something he hates. In the evening, after we dance, he rarely returns to the throne; he dances with others or moves from place to place through the room. The court thinks he is trying to be gracious, sharing his attention. Only I see that he moves always to the empty spot and the court always moves after him. He is like a dog trying to escape his own tail. He indulged himself in one brief moment of privacy, and almost died of it. Relius, he hates being king.”

Oh, Eugenides is one of my favorite protagonists of all time! He’s clever, exceedingly stubborn, and can outsmart his whole court!


I’d like to nominate some new people I haven’t really chatted with so here we go:

  1. lindsayjohnna @Untamed Shrews
  2. AfricanDuchess @Duchess Reading
  3. Dimple Malhotra @enthrallingdimple