Anti TBR book tag.

Hey guys! So I saw this tag on Kristin Kraves Books while I was looking for new ideas for my next post. It was a pretty interesting book tag since I am very picky when it comes to choosing (or not choosing) books for my tbr.

This tag was originally created by NICOLE (@nicoleandherbooks).

A popular book everyone loves but you have no interest in reading.

THE HENNA ARTIST BY ALKA JOSHI.

I don’t know why but this book doesn’t make me curious enough to pick it up. The synopsis seemed very interesting and some of my friends really loved this book but I haven’t had the greatest time with Indian authors. I have nothing against them and a lot of their books are pretty great but they don’t particularly appeal to my tastes at the moment.

A classic book/author you don’t have an interest in reading.

WAR AND PEACE BY LEO TOLSTOY.

I haven’t read many classics in my life. So I promised myself that I am going to try to read atleast some of the well known ones this year no matter how much I struggle with the writing. But this is the one book that I know from the bottom of my heart I am not going to be able to read. I know myself and I know that even if it has a great story I am not going to enjoy it. Classics are already tough for me and I don’t want to push myself more than my limit. I apologise to anyone who has read and loved this book.

An author whose books you have no interest in reading.

DURJOY DATTA.

I can’t relate to his books. Durjoy Datta writes contemporary romance novels and they are pretty popular. I tried to read one of his books a long time ago and it didn’t impress me in the least. No offense to the author and anyone else who loves his works but he is not the author for me.

A problematic author whose books you have no interest in reading.

SAM SYKES.

To be honest I don’t know many problematic authors except JKR and Sam Sykes. But I have heard really bad things about this author and I have no interest in reading his books.

An author you have read a couple of books from and decided their books are not for you.

JEANIENE FROST.

I used to love paranormal and urban fantasy. It’s my most read genre but the Night Huntress series kind of gave me a reading slump for a while. Jeanine Frost is a great author and I did enjoy the first two books but it didn’t hold my attention long enough to continue with a 10 book long series. It didn’t have the most original plot and the female protagonist wasn’t very likeable at the beginning. I don’t have the patience to read so many books in this series and the spin off books as well.

A genre you have no interest in trying or a genre you have tried but couldn’t get into.

Horror and spiritual books don’t interest me at all.

A book you bought but will never read or a library book you borrowed but returned unread.

AMERICAN GODS BY NEIL GAIMAN.

I’ve had this book for a long time but was never able to read it. I am probably going to give it away to one of my cousins or friends because it’s been on my shelf for too long and someone else might make a better use of it than me. 😑

A series you have no interest in reading or a series you have started but have dnf’d.

THE SHADOWHUNTERS SERIES BY CASSANDRA CLARE.

To be honest I have a lot of series that I don’t want to read at all but I specifically chose this one because I didn’t like the movie and the tv adaptation. I know it’s a pretty shallow reason but there are so many other books I am interested to read now and this series will never be in my priority list.

A new release you have no interest in reading.

HOW THE KING OF ELFHAME LEARNED TO HATE STORIES BY HOLLY BLACK.

I am not a huge fan of the folk in the air trilogy and I am not interested to read the prequel as well.

This is all for today! It was really fun to do this tag. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below.

Until then.

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa.

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

This was a pretty solid start to the Shadow of the Fox trilogy. Though I have to admit that I struggled for the first half of the book. It had a pretty simple but intriguing plot. It is a travelling story where the characters go from one place to another for a definite purpose and face multiple obstacles along the way to reach their destination. Naturally this will give us a pretty fleshed out world and more time with the characters as they get to know each other. The world was heavily inspired by Japanese mythology and folklore. It was beautifully rich and vibrant. I felt like I was in that place travelling along with the characters and exploring the world with them and it makes me really appreciate the author for her attention to detail. It was a stunning world and the supernatural elements added a lot more depth to the environment within the book.

One of the aspects of this story that stood out so much for me was the relationships between the characters. Yumeko and Tatsumi weren’t like the traditional angsty teenagers that I have seen in a lot of young adult books before. Both of them were a bit more reserved and guarded in the way they interacted and both had their own motives for travelling with each other. They were aware of their individual circumstances and found the best route to take for their survival. They thought things through before recklessly making any decisions and showed a level of maturity that I don’t expect very often from any teenager. Yumeko did have her moments where she acted a bit naive but it was a justified reaction considering her isolated upbringing in a very secluded part of the world. She was a fledgling who wasn’t attuned to the ways of the world but clever enough to think fast on her feet. She knew her purpose and she knew what she needed to do complete her mission even if it meant lying to the people around her. To be honest, I felt bad for Tatsumi because of this reason. He was clearly being deceived by Yumeko and yet he did his best to protect her despite his own difficult situation. He was raised in a cruel environment and was so heavily brainwashed that he didn’t even question his superiors. He didn’t have a loving family nor did he have any friends he could trust. What he did have was his loyalty to his clan and his mission to retrieve the scroll. It made me extremely salty that he was being pushed around by so many people but it also made me happy that he made good allies because of this reason. Tatsumi had a great development in the first book. He had so much internal struggle yet he strived hard to keep his sanity so as to not hurt anyone. The author did a fantastic job in making us fall in love with so many different characters, not just Yumeko and Tatsumi but also the supporting cast as well. Everyone had their own unique quirks and it blended well with the story.

I have to be honest here and say that I didn’t vibe with the story for the majority of the book. There were some chapters I loved but there were others where I was extremely bored even though they were essential to the plot. It had a great beginning and an even amazing ending that left us with a cliff hanger but the middle content of the book didn’t hook me as much as I hoped it would. But it’s one of those books where the more time passes the more you appreciate it. And whenever I think about this book, I remember the elegance and the beauty of the world and the different, unique characters that added so much depth to the plot.

Overall, I would rate this book a 3.75/5⭐. This was a pretty memorable first book to the series and I am looking forward to reading the sequels as well.

Until then.

My Favorite Relationships of All Time.

Hey guys! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! Since I am happily single I thought I should post something that is atleast mildly related to romance to celebrate this lovely occasion with you all. So I have compiled a list (not in any particular order & not necessarily romance) of few books, that had some of the best relationships and love stories I have read in my life. This post might get a little bit spoilery but I will try my best to be as vague as I can. So without further ado let’s jump right into into.

1. Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson. (Annie and Alex).

Annie’s song was hard to read. It deals with the theme of sexual assault which always makes me uncomfortable. And I was a bit upset when I started this book because Annie was so sweet and innocent and she didn’t deserve what happened to her. But it soon turned into a deely passionate and emotionally impactful story that is still ingrained in my mind. It follows the life of a young misunderstood girl who was violated in the worst possible way and a man who is determined to fix his brother’s mistakes. It’s not just a love story between Annie and Alex but also a story about healing and moving forward with your life. Catherine Anderson handled this sensitive subject so delicately and I have deep respect for her for creating such beautiful book.

2. The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry.

I love Brittainy C. Cherry’s books. She writes some of the best contemporary romance books that deal with many heavy subjects like grief and trauma. You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any specific relationship in the heading. It’s because I adored every single relationship in the book and even though the romance between the main couple (Maggie and Brooke) is the driving point of the plot, it has many others aspects to it that makes this so much more than a simple love story. Our main protagonist, Maggie, suffered from a childhood trauma that took away her voice when she was only 10 years old and she hasn’t been able to get out of her house in a long time. This incident has created huge ripples in her family which seemed unresolvable at the beginning of the book. I loved the fact that it didn’t seem easy. There wasn’t some huge awakening and our MC just became magically alright. Sometimes trauma can last for decades or even their whole life and it’s not just the victim that has to live with it but also their friends and family who have to go through it along with them. Every relationship was so well done especially the relationship between Maggie and her step mother which was one the major highlights of the book for me.

3. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. ( Dannie and Bella)

This book surprised me. I was expecting a dramatic and angsty romance when I started this book but instead fell in love with two best friends who were just made for made each other. I don’t want to say much about this book because I don’t want to spoil anything but Dannie and Bella had one of the sweetest and the most heartbreaking friendships I had read about in years. I was so moved by the sheer strength of their bond. Their relationship had their share of ups and downs but I was so moved by how hard they worked to make things better for each other even when everything was crumbling around them. I had my share of issues with the book but the friendship between Dannie and Bella was hands down the best aspect of this novel.

4. Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. (Vin and Elend)

It’s been a long time since I finished this series and a lot of the details have become blurry in my head. But the one thing that I would never forget is the slow burn romance between Vin and Elend. Its going to get a little bit spoilery so please skip ahead if you don’t want to know anything.

Vin and Elend had a love that went beyond what I expected for two teenagers to have. They were so different when they met each other but they evolved so much throughout the series. They were great leaders and they always put their kingdom first. I was just so sad the way all of it ended. I understand why Sanderson made this devastating choice and I know that any other ending wouldn’t have felt as right as this ending did. But it still makes me sad that these two characters who went through so much didn’t get enough time to be with each other and enjoy their life together. The ending scene is vividly imprinted in my mind even now and I don’t think I will ever forget it.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. (Elizabeth and Mr Darcy)

I haven’t read many classics in my life except Jane Austen’s books and it’s not a surprise that I would definitely love pride and prejudice. Elizabeth was fun and sassy and Darcy was cold and broody, two very opposite people and yet their romance felt natural and perfect. It didn’t feel forced and had just the right amount of drama to make it a little angsty. This book may be a bit over the top but the characters were very loveable. I also loved the bond between Elizabeth and her sister, Jane. Every relationship in this book was so well done but Elizabeth and Darcy will always be in the spotlight for me.

6. Legend by Marie Lu. (June and Day)

Of all the YA dystopian novels I have read so far, I think the legend series has the most satisfying romance among them. June and Day had the most difficult lives but they had the most organic romantic progression in the series. It didn’t take over the whole plot but it didn’t feel unimportant in the story either. Marie Lu did a great job with the finale of the series even if it wasn’t what I expected at that time. It had an open ending and I am glad Marie Lu left us the decision to interpret everything on our own.

7. The Fault in our Stars by John Green. (Hazel and Augustus)

I think about this book almost all the time. It hurt me too damn much for me to forget. Hazel and Augustus had an intense and adorable love story and every time I remember those little moments between them I can’t decide if I should be happy or sad. This book packed a punch in not just how it executed the romance but how it dealt with the subject of cancer and it’s impact within the family. It was an emotional rollercoaster ride for me.

8. Kulti by Mariana Zapata. (Sal and Kulti).

Mariana Zapata is an auto-buy author for me. I would read any of her books because I know when it comes to romance she wouldn’t disappoint me in the least. She is an expert at writing slow burn romance and her characters feel so real and genuine. This is a soccer-centric novel that follows the life of Sal Casillas, a 27 years old athlete whose team was recently assigned a new coach Reiner Kulti, a famous professional soccer player and her childhood crush. Kulti and Sam’s transition from a mentor-mentee relationship to lovers was slow and well developed throughout the book and none of their actions and decision felt like plot conveniences. This is what I love about Mariana Zapata. Her books never feel repetitive or tropey and her characters have great personalities. I barely see anyone talk about her. She deserves so much more appreciation for her work.

9. Three Days of Happiness by Sugaru Miaki (Kusonoki and Miyagi).

I have talked about this book too many times so I am not going to say much here. I adore this book. I love how it explored the whole concept of happiness and the value of life. I have a full review of this book (here). It was a stunning book and the relationship between Kusunoki and Miyagi was beautifully written.

10. Kaguya Sama: Love is War by Aka Akasaka (Kaguya and Miyuki).

Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include atleast one manga series in this list. This is one of the most hilarious series I have read in a long time. This follows Kaguya and Miyuki, two top students of an elite high school playing psychological games to make the other person confess their feelings. They are obviously in love with each other but their ego and pride wouldn’t let them take the first step to make it an official relationship. All their antics end up with hilarious and embarrassing consequences and give us many laugh out loud moments throughout the series. The two of them are so cute and adorable but they are too smart for their own good. I love this series. It’s still ongoing and new chapters come out every week so I don’t have to wait too long for my weekly dose of entertainment from these two idiots.

There we go. My favorite book relationships of all time or as of this moment atleast. Let me know your favorite couples and why you love them in the comments down below. I wish everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day again and I hope you and your loved ones are having a great lovey-dovey day🤭.

Until next time.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

In a corporate-dominated space faring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighbouring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Murderbot turned my cold, pessimistic heart into a mush. I mean, seriously, how could anyone not like it after reading this book! It maybe a grumpy and antisocial robot on the surface but an absolute sweetheart on the inside. All it wants to do is watch his favorite shows and not waste it’s time on socialising with the humans. Its basically me (except I am not in a freaking space opera which would have made me ten times cooler but we have to live with what we have I guess🤷‍♀️). I have never related so much with a character the way I did with Murderbot and it wasn’t even an actual human. The interactions between it and the humans was awkward and funny. I liked that the side characters were so understanding and patient with it and tried to make it a part of their team. I absolutely adore this book and I applaud Martha Wells for creating such a unique and sorta realistic protagonist. It had the perfect blend of slice-of-life and mystery to hook me from the start and it didn’t even need a 500 page book for it to be a masterpiece. It was more of a deep character exploration than a hardcore sci-fi space opera and the author definitely succeeded in what she intended to do with this novella.

Overall, its a very well executed book. It’s not easy to write a well contained sci-fi mystery in 150 pages and it’s certainly doesn’t seem easy to create a socially awkward, sorta depressed, non human protagonist especially a robot who isn’t even supposed to have emotions. I think this is a great place to start for anyone who is new to science fiction. It isn’t heavy on any technical elements and the writing isn’t very complex. Its a pretty approachable book for newbie sci-fi readers and fast paced enough to keep us on the edge the whole time. It’s a great start to a great series and it gets better in book 2 which I am currently reading right now.

Rate- 4.5/5⭐

Let me know your thoughts on this book in the comment section down below.

Until then.

January 2021 Wrap Up.

Hey guys! Today I will be doing a wrap up of all the books I read in January. Tbh I didn’t have a good reading month because I was busy with a lot of things. But I was able to read 4 novels and a few manga series that I had been reading since December and I am excited to share it in my first ever wrap up. So without further ado let’s jump right into it.

1. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Rate- 3.75/5⭐

This was a decent book for me. It is based on the Japanese folklore and I loved the way the author explored their whole culture. It’s felt so peaceful and elegant and the world was so beautiful even if they had ghosts and demons in it. Tatsumi and Yumeko were great characters and they had a pretty interesting dynamic between them with both of them having their own motives for travelling with the other. Overall this was a solid start to the Shadow of the Fox trilogy. The only issue I had would be that it became a bit boring towards the middle and I had a hard time to push through it. But it ended with a great cliff hanger that I can’t get over and I need to read the 2nd book really soon.

2. Three days of Happiness by Sugaru Miaki.

Rate- 4.5/5⭐

I have full review for it (here) . It’s a standalone light novel which is the YA version of Japanese literature. It is easily my favorite book of the month. It’s was beautiful and heartwarming and I really reeeeeeally want someone to read this novel so that I could just talk about it. Loved it🥰

3. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Rate- 4/5⭐

I had a fun time with this book. It was entertaining and fast paced enough to keep me hooked from the start. I did have some minor issues with it and I have a full review for it (here). It was a good standalone fantasy novel and I enjoyed it.

4. All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

Rate-4.5/5⭐

I am in love with Murderbot. Its a robot but I haven’t seen anyone more human than him. It’s so snarky and grumpy that all I wanted to do was give it a hug and tell it that everything’s going to be okay. As an introverted person myself I could totally relate to everything it was going through and I loved watching it’s interactions with the other humans. Martha Wells is a freakin’ genius and it boggled my mind to see the way she wrote a well contained story in a 150 pages of novella with the most unique protagonist of all time. This book was just too good.


MANGA SERIES I READ IN JANUARY.

1. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama. (Volume 1-12)

Rate- 4.25/5⭐

I love this manga series. It has one of the most unique plots I have read in my whole life and it just gets better and better with each volumes. The world building is amazing and the characters are complex. It has a dark and gritty plot with firm emphasis on grey morality. It could have been 5 star for me but it fell short because I wasn’t a huge fan of the artwork. But it has a fantastic premise and I have nothing but good things to say about it. I have read upto volume 12 in the series and I have full spoiler free review of the first 4 volumes (here).

2. Horimiya by Hero (Volume 1-14).

Rate- 4.5/5

Horimiya is an ongoing slice of life romance manga series that I started reading in December and finished it in January. I absolutely adore this series. It had a beautiful artwork and the character design was very appealing. It was sweet, fun and entertaining and I had a great time with it. It had a pretty realistic view on friendships and relationships and the added laugh out loud humor made it all the more enjoyable to read. It was a chill, relaxing ride for me and I just loved it.

3. Kaguya Sama: Love is war by Aka Akasaka. (Volume 10-17).

Rate- 5/5⭐

Another romcom slice of life manga that gave me a bellyaching laughter. This series was so damn hilarious😂. I can’t even explain how funny it was. Kaguya sama love is war follows two top students of an elite school trying to get a confession out of each other because they are too stubborn and prideful to say it themselves. This maybe the gist of the story but the psychological clash between Kaguya and Miyuki (main protagonists) bears such hilarious and sometimes embarrassing consequences that it’s hard to control your laughter sometimes. And it’s not just the romance between these two kids that is the main focus of the series. The other characters bring so much color to the story as well. Every character was so different and weird and absurd but it somehow worked out so well in this series. It had the perfect blend of romcom and slice of life with every character getting their own time to shine. And let me just take the moment to gush about the art because it was absolutely stunning. Its even more colorful and vivid in the anime so if you are not into manga you should atleast check out the anime because it’s a fairly accurate adaptation and equally hilarious.

So these are all the books, novellas and manga that I read in the month of January. It wasn’t the best reading month for me because I was busy with a wedding in my family and preparing to go back to my university tomorrow (which is the saddest thing to happen this month because who wants to leave their home🤷‍♀️). But I am sort of nervous and excited for the future because I will be going through a massive change again after 11 months of lockdown. I won’t stop blogging but it may take a backseat for a while. So I apologize in advance if I am not able to post regularly.

Anyways, moving past the mini rambling, let me know if anything has changed in your life in the first month of 2021. Things are getting better and I hope it’s the same for the rest of you as well. So don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section down below.

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