What I think when I hear someone say “Gothic” – A List

Hey guys!

This is going to be my first post in my “Lists” Series. As you all know, I love making lists about everything – books to read, breakfasts to make, go-to gift ideas – literally everything. I have a bullet journal of Lists and I just keep adding stuff to my list. Honestly, bulleting and lists just give me a feeling of organisation in my life and makes me feel like I am accomplishing atleast something loool.

Continue reading “What I think when I hear someone say “Gothic” – A List”

A Semester long hiatus but now I’m back!!

Hello my good friends and followers who still haven’t unfollowed me, despite knowing my sporadic self. I appreciate ya’ll!

It was a whirlwind of a semester this time – Senior Year courses, my thesis project, looking for internship//jobs, chilling with friends duh, writing endless amounts of goddamn papers to the point that i dislike writing now (screw you English degree!!) and yada yada yada. I did not get a spare minute to check my blog which sucks I know even though i truly missed all of you and your posts sooo much. And just when I decided to make a comeback, we all got surrounded by the global pandemic situation of the COVID-19. I hope all my followers from all over the world, whoever’s reading this right now, are taking good care of themselves. Please quarantine yourselves, take care of your hygiene and truly avoid all physical contact with people. Use this time to read, watch tv shows, blog about your favourites, pick up a hobby – be productive. My wishes and prayers for those whose family members or loved ones are sick. xx

On a lighter note, to get your minds off from all the havoc around, here are the books that I’ve read while I was away. Some I read for class, some I read and have forgotten already to give them a detailed review, so I am just going to be summarizing my exp more.

So, here we go:

 

Books I read (1)

           Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: J.K. Rowling: Bloomsbury ...   The Namesake eBook by Jhumpa Lahiri - 9780547429311 | Rakuten Kobo

 

One True Loves: 3/5

I chose this book because it was written by Taylor Jenkins Reid and her Daisy Jones and Seven Husbands was really really good. This however deviated from her usual style cuz (a) the setting is not not Hollywood and (b) it got really Colleen Hoover-ish sappy unrealistic type a lot of times. The prose is still amazing, and the way Reid talks about emotions and closure is also spot on, but like it’s based on a whole lot of stuff that just does not happen in real life.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: 3/5

So yeah I’m one of those few book lovers out there who have not read Harry Potter. Those who follow me know that I started reading the series last summer so this time I had to read part 3 for class and i was SO glad I had read the first two parts.

Um this book I’ll say was a bit unnecessarily long. For once, I got annoyed by Harry a lot. I just found him to be a little whiny bitch (my apologies to all the potter heads 🙏🏼) Few things I found pretty cool though: the whole time travel thing, patronus (my patronus is a stupid cat btw according to Pottermore), the introduction of Sirius Black and the whole animagus thing. Come to think of it, there was a looooot happening in this book.

My Brilliant Friend: 4.5/5

(WordPress can just go f***  itself. I have written this post in its entirety thrice now and somehow this review keeps getting altered.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to read the book and also watch the HBO adaptation of the show for a class and trust me, I have never had a more fun experience. It is a coming-of-age tale about two girls, Lila and Elena, who belong to a low-class family in 19th century Naples. The antique setting of Italy is beautifully juxtapositioned with rising issues of the time: violence, class abuse, domestic abuse and clash between social classes. The character development is phenomenal. Honestly, this is one of the very few novels which shows character development of each and every character, no matter how small.

Read this book, guys.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri: 3/5

This book is a very accurate depiction of the immigrant experience in the United States. However what makes this stand out from other immigrant perspectives is that it plays a lot on on food and culinary practices. It was really nice to see so much of indian food and how food served as a site for nostalgia and longing for home. Also it was really nice to see how different women in the book, from different generations, were breaking their cultural stereotypes and owning their individuality. This is also a book I’m going to do my Senior Project on so I might just share a few insights as I go into my research.

Bad Feminist: 4/5

Oh how I wish I could have a chance to meet Roxanne Gay. This woman writes so brilliantly! I’ve read this book on and off multiple times; while travelling, during studying for my exams, as a reference for my research articles and even bought it up as a topic of class discussion.

It’s just so amazing! The prose is really easy to get into, it’s like having a face to face conversation with someone who’s gonna have all the answers to your questions and the way she has talked about the definition and evolution of the word feminism makes it a must read for EVERYONE.

How to Stop Feeling like Shit: 5/5

Honestly this book helped me through some of my toughest times during my university. This was the book which made me realise why I always turned to stories and books for help and for making me feel better. I used to take this book, a notebook and a pen and go to the running tracks to sit and read it. It was like my own personal therapy session. The book talks about different things that could make one feel like shit: self esteem issues, the inner race of being perfect all the time, the maintenance of a ‘strong’ exterior, the feeling that you’re a burden on other people etc etc. It offers some valuable insights, followed by a few questions for yourself to answer. I think that was great because it provided me with an ignition to write about the things I was afraid to write about, like coming to terms with your own feelings.

A Feminist Manifesto in 15 suggestions: 5/5

All I’ll say is, this should be a frickin Holy Book, a must-have at every household. Should be given out to parents in the hospital whenever a baby is born, regardless of the gender, so they can actually teach their children the right way and we can all live in fearless, gender-neutral loving society.

Pls take suggestion. Thanks.

 

Midnight Children by Salman Rushdie: 2/5

A post-colonial, magical realist tale of switched at birth babies who were born at 12 in the night exactly when Pakistan and India’s partition was taking place. So the whole identity crisis thing also happens.

Yeah it sounds a whole lot interesting but the prose is really long and dry, and the writing style is kind of REALLY difficult to get into. So even if the story wasn’t bad, for me the writing style can make it or break it and in this case, it B R O K E AFF.

 

Question of the Post: Is there any genre that is like unfamiliar terrain for you, but you’re willing to or wanting to try it out in this quarantine? For me, it’s definitely non-fiction reads and getting back into blogging. 

 

What have you all been upto?

cropped-books-i-read-1.jpg

 

Book Sale Haul + Lion King Review

Hi Readers!

I am a bit lazy to type out separate posts for a haul and a movie review and also because these two incidents happened on the same day back-to-back, it kinda feels continuous and flows when I talk about them in the same post. Lol.

ANYWAY.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the Big Bad Wolf Sale but apparently it’s a travelling book-sale that travels around the world (considering it has literally about a million books, I don’t know how the travelling happens) but IT IS AWESOME. There are stalls of all genres possible; from science fiction, thrillers and romance to young adult, classics and non-fiction, the variety is endless. I already bought 11 books from the sale when I was in Lahore (a city in Pakistan where my University is) and now that I’m in Karachi where I live, the Big Bad Sale is here haha!

Following are the books I bought:

Image result for the tea girl of hummingbird lane pdf

Synopsis:

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.
As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.

A powerful story about circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond of family.

Continue reading “Book Sale Haul + Lion King Review”

TV Review // I watched my first anime and I am a mess

Hello Readers!

I am overwhelmed with a lot of feelings right now so I want to get right into it. This is my first time watching an anime and mildly put, I’ll say it was a bitter-sweet experience. The first part of the series, up till Episode 25, was a masterpiece. I really really liked it and wanted to get more into animes. But after that, the show just began going haywire and pointless which sucked because it took out all the fun and the brilliance of the early episodes as well. 

concept_plot_

Concept/Plot:

Ok for starters, the plot for this anime is very original and creative. A 17-year old boy, Light Yagami, stumbles across a diary (DeathNote) that kills whoever has his name written on it. Now where did this notebook come from? This is super interesting, as the notebook belonged to the God of death, a Shinigami, who accidentally dropped it in the human world. Now Light has a weird God complex where he wants to take over the world, finish all the cruelty and injustice and make this world a better place by writing down names of criminals in his notebook. Soon, prisoners start dying by a heart attack. Better yet, the owner of the notebook can also write the WAY a person dies (I know I don’t have a diary but my dark mind can’t help thinking of all the ways I can use this diary). Well, Light is now known as “Kira” GLOBALLY since the police now know there is someone behind these killings. (During these first episodes you see the mastermind that is Light and you can’t help but think of Sherlock Holmes). In enters a detective, L, (yep its an initial) with weird quirks and eating habits who never sleeps but is equally as smart as Light Yagami is and is there to catch “Kira”. It gets even more interesting from here since Light and L go around in a wild cat-and-mouse chase in order to stay one step ahead of the other. It is really brilliant to see these masterminds work and kept me on the edge of my seat, guessing their every move (I had a gazillion theories btw and all were proven wrong lmao)

Shinigamis and the touch of magical realism:

It is very rare to see a murder, crime or a psychological thriller which is not rooted in our real world surrounding real people. Even when there are bouts of supernatural stuff, it ends up becoming more like Vampire Diaries and less of Criminal Minds. 

Related image

This show, however, found a perfect balance between the two. Shinigamis are basically Gods of Death who possess notebooks to kill off people and love apples. Infact, apples are their cigarettes and alcohol. Super addicting stuff. I don’t know how the two relate but it is so cool to see the dynamics between Light Yagami and Ryuk, his shinigami. Since Light picked up Ryuk’s notebook when it fell into the human world, Ryuk was destined to be with Light until he died. One of the things about Ryuk is, that he is one of the characters who also like many other, go through no character development, but somehow his deathly exterior (pun intended) hovering over Light at all times is something you’d come to appreciate. There’s a time when Ryuk vanishes for a while, and I actually missed him! It’s then when I realised that this is more a story from Ryuk’s POV than Light. Because Ryuk got to witness the numerous murders and lying games, it would have made a great bedtime story to tell his grandchildren, if he could have any lmao. 

Soundtrack:

THE SHOW HAS AN AMAZING THEME SONG……..until episode 20 happened and this favourite thing, amongst many other, was also snatched away from me and I was NOT happy. 

Concept_Plot_ (1)

Well hello there and brace yourself for a loooong list. Also, spoilers ahead! 

Zero character development, except of Light. 

and also,

Light Yagami is a misogynist. 

I’ll tell you why I say this. With concrete examples so don’t fight me on this.

There was this former FBI girl who is very clever and witty (literally the only smart girl the show has to offer, which was very disappointing in itself because her appearance was limited to what…one episode?!) and she figured out that Light was Kira. Now Light obviously didn’t want to be caught but he didn’t know how to stop the girl from going to the police station so he actually thought, and I quote word-by-word, “Well, she is a woman, if she doesn’t listen to me I can use force on her.” 

THIS. LINE. 

DESTROYED. ME. 

What the actual fuck?

But wait, if you think that this is despicable, he begins dating this girl, Misa, and he wants her to”obey him at all times”. *coughs* typical *coughs* and when she doesn’t listen to him, he thinks, 

Now whoever still likes Light Yagami, I am sorry for you.

Lack of female characters: 

There is literally no badass female character. The one person whom I have discussed above, is killed off. There comes a woman detective who seemed pretty cool and artsy…but guess what she is also killed. Light’s girlfriend, Misa, is honestly portrayed as an annoying, obnoxious pest buzzing around the room obsessed with Light, for no reason whatsoever. Her job is literally to help Light. And come to think of it, that’s what all characters are doing. From the police force and FBI, to Light’s family and girlfriend, they all serve as stagnant elements of the plot waiting to be killed off or to make a hyperbole of Light’s brilliance. 

Killing off all major (read: sane) characters.

MAJOR SPOILERS HERE. So if you haven’t seen this, you can skip this part.

ok so L dies. As disappointing and heartbreaking as it is, what’s even more annoying is that he gets killed because of Misa! (The way that happens is actually pretty smart on Light’s part…that’s the only time when Light outwitted L) but it wasn’t even worth it, BECAUSE MISA COMMITS SUICIDE. (Guess why? If your answer involves Light, you got it). Talk about utter bullshit.

But wait, the disappointment doesn’t end here. Soirichio Yagami, Light’s father, is one of the characters who you feel instant admiration for. He’s strong-willed, brave, just, willing to cross borders for his kids’ just like all fathers do and he literally was put to test soooo many times that his end was not justifiable at alllllllll. I wanted more for him, you know? It was really sad, I’m still really sad.

Post episode 25

This is one of the major reasons I had to drop my rating by a whole star. After episode 25 (where L is killed), the show is P O I N T L E S S. Kira has become a whole damn organisation by now, needing a spokesperson to convey its messages on news channels. LOL hilarious.

What started off as magical realism, folklore (shinigamis and the human realm) and mystery now turned into an elaborate web of deceit, lies, murder and corruption; and it just kept going on and on and on dragging the whole plot rather unnecessarily. It seemed like the writers were bored themselves because apart from L, there was nothing interesting to write about anymore.

And listen to me, as much as I appreciate the whole mind-chess game, I’ve already seen it before in Sherlock, Mindhunter and White Collar. Give me something different. The shinigami stuff was soooo original, I was really happy in the beginning cuz it was nothing like I had seen before. This could easily have been one of my favourite shows if it weren’t for Light’s insensitive behaviour and the whole post

Book Review: Virtually Yours (another disappointing rom-com)

Hello Readers!

Haha, you must be wondering another post so soon? She posted like 2 days ago lool. I know, this is new even for me. But I’ve really been reading this month and I want to review as i read along. i am really enjoying blogging these days so brace yourselves for another fun post coming soon! (maybe day after tomorrow) I am shocked at myself as i write this too haha.

But before I start, can we talk about this really weird new block format of posts that WordPress has introduced? Does anyone else find it annoying too, because I sure as hell do! It is interfering in my editing skills that I learned with such hassle anyway lol and now this. I can’t seem to attach picture without a dozen confusing options about block/document; cover/image or what?? This is killing me. Please give me back the old wordpress editor.

Moving on, I’ll be talking about another rom-com//chick-lit// contemporary YA which is basically a disguise for “another love-story made on a dating app”. Seriously, I am not kidding every other chick-lit I’m reading these days is on social media or a dating app or fake accounts or in this case, virtual reality dating HAH.

Continue reading “Book Review: Virtually Yours (another disappointing rom-com)”

What I did this month – Books, Netflix and more (Part 2)

Hello Readers!

I hope everyone’s summers are going well and all those on vacations have been catching up on their reading/shows etc. Remember how I talked about the new chick-lit releases coming out in June in my last post?  So I’ve been doing a lot of chick-lit reading and also watching a few chick-flicks on Netflix – because of-course, summers! Hah.

So today I am going to review all that I’ve read and watched, and guys…it is NOT good. Especially, Netflix. I don’t even know what the hell is wrong with Netflix and why it is even producing so many utter nonsensical movies!??

Continue reading “What I did this month – Books, Netflix and more (Part 2)”

What I’ve been hooked on this month – TV Shows Wrap Up pt. 1

Hello Readers!

Two unbelievable things happened this month:

  1. June is ending already wthhh??? It JUST started like…30 days ago??? Where did they go?
  2. Wow, I am actually dividing my wrap up in 2 posts. TWO. This has never happened, really but I think, great job me!!

Continue reading “What I’ve been hooked on this month – TV Shows Wrap Up pt. 1”

Book Rant: The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

About the Book:

Girl (loves books and majoring in English) meets Boy (wall street freak and majoring in Business) and fall in love. Ten years down the lane, we find out that they somehow have broken up due to something that happened in the past but both the characters have had time to sought their lives out. The story is of personal development, growth, love and heart-breaks that happen in their lives and how it changes them. Question is, will they re-kindle and if they do, are they ready to face the difficulties that tore them apart in the past?

Continue reading “Book Rant: The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves”

Mini Movie Reviews – What I’ve watched so far this week

Hi everyone! I hope everyone’s summers is going well.

It is EXTREMELY hot and humid in Pakistan these days which is barely controllable. Going out is a no, so I’ve been pretty much stuck inside my room either trying to read or looking to watch a good show or something. But seriously what is wrong with Netflix these days? There is literally nothing which I can say is mind-blowing or anything. Let me dive into what I have watched so far this week:

Continue reading “Mini Movie Reviews – What I’ve watched so far this week”

What I did this month – Books, Netflix and more!

May has already ended WHAT THE HELL. Half of 2019 has already passed by, i have officially become a senior now, Ramadan came and went by ALL IN ONE MONTH?? Honestly, time is flying by way too fast. It seems like we’re in some time travelling machine which is set on super fast speed. It will be 2020 in 6 months, guys. 2020. Aaah.

But anyway. It is what it is.

Moving on to talking about my month, it was an amazing month both in terms of reading and blogging (maybe moreso towards the last week of May). Also I know I’m late in posting my wrap-up, but I had Eid festivities going on and was really busy in that.

I pretty much neglected my blog this year around because of the constant load of studies, but once my vacations started I promised myself I would work on that and change it. So this post will be a quick summary of my month: books I read, shows I watched, my goals for the next month etc. Brace yourselves people, this will be longggg.

 

Books I read (1)

Image result for mrs dalloway     Image result for words in deep blue     Related image

Wow, just realised my May was really diverse in terms of genre. I read a classic, a YA Contemporary, a fantasy and a non-fiction. *pats my back* Good work, eh?

Mrs. Dalloway: When someone says feminism and stream-of-consciousness in the same context, you can’t help but instantly say “Virginia Woolf!” This book was in my list of classics to read and finally this semester I had to read this for one of my courses. The writing is brilliant! The stream of consciousness thing is done so well, you cant stop reading honestly. The amazing part is that this book takes place over a span of one day. ONE DAY ONLY. And its amazing to see how the thoughts of each person unravel over the pages and the two people who never meet in the story are least likely to be linked are the characters that are the most similiar. It is honestly an amazing read and if you’re looking into strong female writing, look no further!

My Rating: 4/5

Words in Deep Blue: This was definitely a cute book. It features people who love reading, love stories beginning from bonding over books, setting is a bookstore and hidden love letters between books. Doesn’t that sound like a book-lovers dream???? This whole premise just made the love in the book so enticing.

However, there are other parts to it and there is sadness. Death-kind sadness. I usually don’t like sad books, but the way the story deals with it is really nice. The feelings of the characters just consume you. Which brings me to the characters, aaah love the character development. From the very start, it felt like I already knew the characters you know? The letters hidden in books for other characters basically tell you so much. Plus, one thing that I REALLY appreciated was that the side -characters did not just exist for the purpose of being diverse, or giving love advises or to add up to the MC’s lives. The side characters had stories and lives of their own. Every character in the story served a purpose.

But aah problem: The first 100 pages are really slow, nothing is happening and it sort of got monotonous for me. ALSO. It was v predictable sort of. Maybe this is just me, but i like stories which prove me wrong and i had guessed the ending of the book before i had even read half of it.

So even though i loved the setting and the characters and the over-all plot, I just feel like it wasn’t something out of the world, but it is definitely a book that every book-lover should read because WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO DATE SOMEONE WHO READS SO MUCH??

My Rating: 3.5/5

Every Heart A Doorway: OH BOY THIS WILL BE MY FAV FANTASY SERIES. I really really really hope it gets made into a movie because damn that would be so brilliant! This book is perfect in every way: plot, narrative, characters, twist, and oh don’t even get me started on the world-building. A definite 5/5 rating! 

Read my full review here!

 

Books I read (2)

society-netflix-review

This was the first time I started watching a show without reading reviews on it first and I’m glad I did. I was really in the mood for some dystopian/thriller and this show provided me just that. The story-line was good and even though there were a few flaws in characterization and the plot, over-all it was a fairly good show.

Read my detailed review! 

My Rating: 8/10

 

The-Perfection-Netflix-Original-Film

This movie was umm….a ride. The narrative is superbly done, filming is amazing, acting is also umm…8/10. The setting is Shanghai, which is very rare to see in movies these days and I loved it! However, the basic message they were trying to portray didn’t come off as well and I felt like the topic over-all, could have been dealt with better.

But over-all the movie was a 7/10 mainly because of the narrative and cinematography.

Read my detailed review!

 

 

Yummy Mummies

 

Related image    Related image

Oh Boy this show was hilarious!!!! It is basically a Reality TV Series which focuses on the lives of 4 pregnant Australian women. The series ends with one of the girls crowned as a “Yum Mum” – a mum who is equal parts glitzy, glamy as well also a good mom.

I know at this point you’re probably thinking what the hell was wrong with me to watch something like this, I mean who could have this much amount of free time in their lives???? It’s unbelievable that this series even got renewed for Season 2 HAHAHA. But trust me, it provided such a laugh ohmygod. I was rolling my eyes half of the time – both with annoyance and disbelief – i mean, DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE ARMANI MILK BOTTLES FOR INFANTS???

Their world is full of Range Rovers, Versace Baby Showers, Celebrity hairdressers (who are also good husbands and fathers) and the 10-episode series serves for perfect laughter, amusement and a glimpse into the lives of Australian rich bitches.

 

 

Books I read (3)

 

Reading Goals:

🌸 Read 2 ARC’s

🌸 Read 2 E-books

🌸 Read 2 books from my shelf

 

Blogging Goals:

🌸 Do a Discussion Post

🌸 Post a book review every week

🌸 Post a movie review every week – which means posting twice a week

🌸 Work on my new blog design

🌸 Arrange my Goodreads Shelf

 

 

cropped-711bac9cbbd18e71b94546311a22e6f3.jpg

That’s all for this month. I hope you all had a good May and happy reading/watching/chilling for the summers!!! x