Life + Reading Update

Hi guys.

I apologize for my weird disappearing yet not disappearing act that I’ve been doing these past few weeks.

It’s been a struggle and I finally am in the mood/have the time to tell you all about it.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!!

Continue reading “Life + Reading Update”

Let’s Talk Bookish – Reading Challenges

Good morning. Welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: What are your thoughts regarding reading challenges?


I’m just tired right now. I was sick Monday, and again yesterday (migraines are the absolute worst), so I’m trying to catch up with my school and college work. I’ve got two essays, a science discussion, one test with a paragraph response for literature, and I’m just not in the mood to write this post, nor do I have the time.

I’ll probably be posting next month’s topics sometime next week before Friday. If you have any topic ideas, please do share them. It’d be so helpful. My Wrap-Up is probably going to take forever to appear, and I’m not able to read, which is frustrating, because I’ve got Blood Heir* (that I’ve been waiting so long for!) which is due in 3 days. So I’ve got to either sacrifice my time to read the book in one go, or wait a few months to get it again. Neither option is good or helpful.

So yeah, that’s been my week so far.

*If you want to hear my thoughts regarding the drama surrounding Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao, check out my post on Diversity and Representation in YA ft. a rant about ‘Americanism’

Some questions that you could answer about this topic:

  • Have you ever taken part in a reading challenge? If so, which ones?
  • Did you enjoy it?
  • Do you think reading challenges help you read more, or do they add unnecessary stress?

This Week’s Participants:

Aimee @ My Addiction to Fiction | Elizabeth @ Complex Chaos | Aria @ Book Nook Bits | Evelyn @ Evelyn Reads | Jane @ Blogger Books

How has your week been? Are you taking part in any reading challenges this year? How do you feel about them? Chat with me in the comments below!

Reading Challenge Sign-Up: Cloak and Dagger & Historical Fiction 2020 Challenges

Good morning y’all. Welcome back. It’s a super rainy and dreary day today, and I woke up weirdly happy that it was raining. Now that there’s mud everywhere and mini rivers going through my backyard, I miss the sun. *sigh*

Today, I’m doing my signup posts for the 2020 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Carol @ Carol’s Notebook, and the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Amy @ Passages to the Past. Check out both links to learn more and to sign up.

So, I don’t plan on making a TBR for either of these. At least not for now, so that’s why I’m combining both these posts together.


The aim of the Cloak and Dagger challenge is to read as many mystery, thriller, suspense, and crime related books as possible. And you know me, I love a good mystery and thriller, so this is a perfect challenge.

Last year, I realized that ever since I’ve been introduced to YA, I haven’t been reading many adult thrillers anymore, and I miss those kind of books, so I want to change that and doing this challenge will hopefully help me out.

The rules are simple:

  • You can read any book that is from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate but you do need a place to post your reviews to link up. (blog, Goodreads, Instagram, etc.)
  • Make a goal post and link it back here with your goal for this challenge.
  • Books need to at least 100 pages long. Please no short stories.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are fine.
  • The Challenge will run from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. (Sign up ends March 15th)

My goal is to at least get to Inspector, which is 26-35 books.

My real secret goal is to reach Special Agent which is 36-55 books. But I don’t want to push it, so I’ll focus on getting Inspector for now.


The goal of the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge is to read more historical fiction books, from any sub-genre. gasp! really??

I used to really enjoy historical fiction, but as I said above, YA has kind of taken over my reading life, so I want to do this challenge to get myself to read more HF. Of course, it’s probably going to be YA HF, but at least it won’t be contemporary or fantasy. But I’ll try to vary it and get some adult ones in there too.

The rules:

  • Everyone can participate! If you don’t have a blog you can post a link to your review if it’s posted on Goodreads, Facebook, or Amazon, or you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish.
  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please use the direct URL that will guide us directly to your review)
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, History/Non-Fiction, etc.)

Since I don’t have a history of reading too many HF books (I read like 5 last year), I’m going to aim for the Renaissance Reader, which is 10 books.

*YA = young adult 🙂

So that’s it! I’m making progress with #YARC2020 and I’ve already read 2 books for that, and I’m currently reading a third, so I’m really excited! I can do this!! You can check out my sign up post and the TBR I made for YARC here.

I’m going to post updates on my reading progress for these three challenges in my Monthly Wrap-Up posts. I think I’m probably going to make a TBR for the HistFic challenge eventually, just so that I have an idea of what books are out there, and which ones I’d like to read. For the Cloak & Dagger challenge, I’m not going to make a TBR, because my library has about a million books that work for that, so I’ll just read whatever I find.

That’s it for today! What reading challenges are you guys doing? Do you have any book recommendations? What are you reading? Chat with me in the comments below!!

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – Review

Hello lovelies and welcome to another book review. I hope you are having a great day! Today’s review is of: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. This is an interesting thriller which I originally gave five stars, but reduced to 2.5/three after analyzing the pros and cons of the story.

Challenge Criteria (Popsugar): A book told from multiple POVs /  A book with unusual chapter headings

Book: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
Summary: One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life. 
When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

What I Liked:

*Colin. I don’t know, but from the start, I liked him even though he was a bad guy. When he decided not to turn Mia over to Dalmar, that was the moment in which I decided he was a good guy and didn’t deserve to go to jail at the end of all this. I mean, imagine if he hadn’t kidnapped her. Dalmar would have sent somebody else to do it and then she might have never gone home. But Colin saved her life. At least she’s alive and not in some dark hole, playing tightrope with death.

*The writing style. The writing style was OK. The chapters Eve Before, and Gabe Before were the most interesting, IMHO. There we learn more about Mia and how her family was coping (or didn’t really care) with her disappearance. Colin’s perspective was great, but I really wanted to get to the end and find out what happened. Note: At first, it’s going to be confusing with the way the chapters skip around, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually.

*The plot. The plot was okay, nothing groundbreaking or super unique.

“I’ve been following her for the last few days. I know where she buys her groceries where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I’ve never spoken to her. I wouldn’t recognize the sound of her voice. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.” 

What I didn’t Like:

*Stereotypical characters. Dalmar, the guy who hired Colin to kidnap Mia, is Somali. Judge Dennett and his family are white. The bad guy doesn’t have to be black, and the “good” guys don’t have to be white. When I read Dalmar was Somali, his body was, quote: ‘blacker than anything I’ve ever seen.’ , I rolled my eyes. Of course the bad guy is black. The evil makes his skin darker that anything ever seen. I was liking the book until I got there. Oh, and Colin is Mia’s savior. Guess what: he’s white.

*Mia. Honestly, I felt like she was spoiled brat, even though she’s the victim. She’s always whining about how her Dad was neglectful, how she was always the black sheep in the family. She thinks she’s not acting ‘superior’, but she’s kinda snobby at times. She sometimes acts as if the world revolves around her. The end made me hate her even more.

*The twist and the end. I have a love-hate relationship with the twist and ending. Once you get to the twist, you’ll (probably) be shocked, upset, in denial, and then outraged. I had to read it twice, before I could believe it. It’s good enough to make your emotions fly all over, and you will want to break something once you’re done. But that’s my opinion. You can read spoilers on Goodreads if you want!

“Teenagers believe they’re invincible—nothing bad can happen. It isn’t until later that we realize that bad things do, in fact, happen.”

I originally gave this five stars. I thought it was amazing how the ending sucked all the emotions out of me. It sucker punched me in the gut and I thought it was great. But, after analyzing and realizing how the ending seriously upset me, I’ve decided to tune it down and give it two point five, rounded to three.


Have you read The Good Girl? What did you think about the story? Let’s chat in the comments!

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah – Review

Welcome everybody! Today’s book review is of Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Um I think they already got that in the title JR). This book gets a solid three stars. It is a YA Contemporary read and is also considered a diverse book because the main character is Muslim. I liked this book but there were some issues that made me give it three stars.

Book Review- Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Challenge Criteria (Popsugar): A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover & A book with a question in the title
Challenge Criteria (Mommy Mannegren): A teen as the main character
Book: Does My Head Look Big in This? 
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.

What I Liked:

*Let’s gush about the beautiful cover, shall we? I love the polka dots and her raised eyebrow as she looks at the title…….

*Amal is a funny and relate-able teenager. She’s going through teenage hormones, her first crush, and life as a Muslim teenager who wears the hijab. She can be whiny, she can be very judgmental, she can be naive, and she can be annoying. But all characters have their flaws And she’s a teenager. All teenagers are like that, right?

*The story line is great. I liked the plot of the story because it deals with issues that are very sensitive in today’s age. Muslims are minorities who are constantly fighting for their rights and are being attacked on all sides. Amal makes a very serious decision in this book to become a hijabi, a Muslim woman who wears the hijab, which is a headscarf. The story shows how she is like any other teenage girl, just one with a different religious affiliation.

I guess when I’m not wearing the hijab I feel like I’m missing out. 

*The characters are diverse. Amal is an Australian Palestinian Muslim. Her neighbor is Greek. There are Jewish characters as well and different ‘types’ of Muslims.

What I Didn’t Like:

*The story also deals with fat-shaming and body image. One of Amal’s best friends is Simone, a girl who is insecure with her body. Throughout the book, she is constantly on one diet or another, and even begins smoking because she heard it helps people lose weight.

‘So I’ve… started smoking.’


‘Apparently it’s a good appetite suppressant. How do you think Tia keeps her figure? I overheard her telling Claire and Rita that she doesn’t eat much, just smokes because it stops her cravings.’

Amal and her other best friend, Eileen, are constantly trying to get Simone to be positive about her body to love herself for who she is. It’s nice to see them being so supportive. However, Simone does not learn to accept herself by the end of the book. This was one reason why I gave it three stars.

*Amal is very judgmental. Her other set of best friends, Yasmeen and Leila are Muslims. They’re families are polar opposites. Yasmeen’s family is more of a modern Muslim family. She doesn’t wear the hijab. Leila’s family is more traditional, with Leila’s mom constantly pressing her to get married and stop studying. Amal and Yasmeen are both angry with Leila’s mom for being ‘backwards’. Amal constantly points out that this has nothing to with Islam and is just traditional customs that she brought with her when she moved to Australia. I think it’s kind of hypocritical of Amal considering how she wants people to understand her, not judge her. She didn’t make any effort to understand why Leila’s mom was acting the way she was. Another star minus.

*The characters sound like 10 year olds. Honestly, the dialogue was horrendous. Every time it’s mentioned that Amal is sixteen, I go “Oh, really?” She constantly sounds like a whining child and it’s easy to forget that she’s supposed to be a teenager. The parts in which she tells her story are fine but actual dialogue between characters is awful.

This was a great story but like all great stories, it has its flaws. I would recommend it as a light YA coming-of-age book that deals with diversity.


Have you read Does My Head Look Big in This? What did you think about the story? Let’s chat in the comments!