#WeekendReads & Emojiathon Weekly Wrap-Up #2

Half of the month has already passed; I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but how fast time flies! 

Every Friday, under this hashtag I keep you updated on my weekly reading progress and share with you the books that I’ll be reading over the weekend.

Without further ado, let’s start with my Emojiathon weekly wrap-up.
Since last update, I read:

I got to tick off 3 books on my Emojiathon TBR this week and with two weeks left, I have another 3 to go. It’s been coming along pretty nicely and I’m kind of proud of myself.

This week’s highlight is definitely The Nightwalker, a disorienting yet engaging psychological thriller. The creepy vibe kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I really enjoyed this. This one takes the cake.  You can read my thoughts on this book here.

Paige’s Turn was a cute quick read which I think will make a perfect summer read. There’s nothing special that makes this book stand out, the plot and the romance between the two main characters are pretty predictable but it is just so darn cute. If you’re a sucker for romance books or love stories (like me), this is for you.

Out of the three books that I finished this week, My Sweet Revenge ended up the least impressive. I did enjoy reading it, but it pales in comparison with the other two books.
You can read my thoughts on this one here.

 

As for my weekend reads, I’ll be most likely to keep working on the non-fiction book that I got from the editor for a review.
It’s been 5 days since I started reading this book but I haven’t made much progress with this one. I’ve just started the second chapter and I’m literally reading this at a snail’s pace. Reading 20 pages a day feels like such an achievement for me. It’s really dense and the diction employed in this book is super sophisticated; it’s far cry from the books I’d normally pick up.

Slogging on

Since this book is jam-packed with various kinds of information and my memory retention is getting weaker by the minute, I started to take notes and scribble my thoughts in a word document as I read along.  It is time-consuming, but I figured it would be better if I did this so as not to leave anything out. I don’t know if it’ll work, but I’m enjoying the process so far.

That being said, as I mentioned in my last update, non-fiction is basically not my cup of tea; I think I’ll go nuts if I keep focusing on this book the entire weekend, so I think I’ll pick up The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.

The keeper of lost things

This wasn’t on my Emojiathon TBR, but when I picked up Luck, Love & Lemon Pie (Amy E. Reichert) for my next challenge, which is to read a book I bought because of its cover, I was a bit put off by the synopsis.  I don’t gamble nor do I know anything about poker, so I wasn’t sure if I’d get attached to the story and I decided to swap it for The Keeper of Lost Things. This is my TBR so I can bend the rules, can’t I? 😛

Anyways, this will be my fifth challenge on my Emojiathon and hopefully I get to complete this during this weekend!

 

What are you going to read during this weekend?
If you are participating in the Emojiathon, how are your challenges coming along?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll talk to you again soon 🙂

Happy reading!

Anything But Books Tag

Surprise, surprise again – I was tagged by James @this-is-my-truth-now for this Anything But Books Tag! We started chatting on our WordPress blogs a couple of weeks ago (if my memory serves me correctly) and it’s been so much fun for me. If you haven’t already  -which I think is incredibly- highly-unlikely – go check out Jay’s blog, he’s simply an amazing blogger, he’s got great content and the posts are so inspiring too!

I think this Anything But Books Tag is a fantastic way to get ourselves known as an individual and connect with other bloggers/readers. I hope you’ll like this and get to know a little bit more about me  🙂

Note: The image used for the Feature Image is not my creation! It belongs to another blogger. I heard it’s sourced back to The Girl Who Read Too Much book blog. Go check it out and follow her. I did earlier today and found it to be a really fun site.

Questions:

1. Name a cartoon that you love
Tom and Jerry. I’m Japanese, so this might have been the only cartoon that I was exposed to on a regular basis when I was a child and I remember watching this every day after school.  I’m definitely on the TOM camp by the way.

giphy

What is your favorite song right now?
Apple & Cinnamon by Utada. She’s one of the greatest female songwriters in Japan and her beautiful music always strikes a code with me.

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?
Watching YouTube Videos/ Netflix or Hulu.
Playing Minesweeper on PC while listening to music.

What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?
I love crocheting. Before becoming a bookworm, I would crochet all day long and give out most of my creations to my friends and my mom/sister.

What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?
The Moon. I’ve always been obsessed with the Moon. I’m convinced that it comes from my guardian planet being the Moon according to astrology (yes, I was obsessed with astrology in my youth, too), I even begged my parents to buy me an astronomical telescope when I was a kid which ended in vain. I totally gave up on my dream to be an astronaut a long ago (obviously) , but the Moon still remains as my strongest infatuation.

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What is something unusual that you know how to do?
Geez, I can’t even come up with an answer on this one… so I’ll pass! lol

Name something you made in the last year and show us if you can.
A wool cape that I crocheted early last year. I’m pretty proud of myself on this one 🙂

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What is your most recent personal project?
This book blog, no doubt. To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve been in a huge writing slump lately and it takes like ages to make a single post; the more I write, the poorer my posts seem to be. But I’ll keep going!

Tell us something that you think about often?
Traveling abroad. I’ve only been to Guam, Singapore, and London. I’ve never been to the United States; visiting Space Center Houston is definitely on my bucket list!

Give us something that is your favorite
Hong-Kong Kung-Fu movies featuring Jet Li and Donnie Yen ♥ He’s my most recent obsession actually.

Anything pinkish. The color pink has always been my favorite. There are a lot of pinkish things in my room in fact.

Art

Music. I can’t go over even one day without listening to some music. I basically listen to whatever genre as long as they hit the right notes with me.

Apollo 13 (film). This is my absolute all-time favorite. This is a great story on human endeavor and ingenuity; I was fascinated by the flair and the efforts that Mission controllers displayed to bring the crew back down to earth in such a dire, hopeless situation. That’s simply fantastic.

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Say the first thing that pops your mind.
Pancakes.  I don’t know why, but it may be because it’s early in the morning in Japan and I’m hungry! lol

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I tag…

Kristin Kraves Books
The Mystique Reader
The Curious Guy
Coffee Doll Chronicles

Feel free to skip this if you don’t do tags! And if you feel like doing this, consider yourself tagged!

 

So, there you have it; this concludes my Anything But Books Tag. I hope you enjoyed it!
Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you all again soon!

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

My Sweet Revenge

 My Sweet Revenge

 

■Synopsis <Excerpt from Goodreads>

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.

Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.

I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors. And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.

She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing. And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.

Revenge is sweet. Isn’t it?

 

■ My Thoughts

I was a bit ambivalent about this book in the beginning; it’s got a strong introduction, but the middle part felt a bit slowed and drag. It was the very last part of the book that made me had a change of heart. The remaining 100 pages to be more precise.

This book opens up with what I found a very strong first chapter where Paula finds her husband having an affair for God knows how long with Saskia, a co-starr for the show who ironically plays the role of Robert’s wife in the show.
This revelation (confession) part was really well done. Paula’s shock and devastation definitely registered and left a strong impression on me. I had a good feeling about this book.
However, the whole ‘revenge’ plot felt a bit hackneyed, immature and even over-the-top. Teaming up with Saskia’s husband who happens to be the producer of the drama and tweaking/rewriting the character settings/plot for the drama just in order to get even with them didn’t sit well with me. It even felt a bit unrealistic and implausible. I must admit I was a bit put off by it.

The middle part felt a bit plain and redandunt, too. In Part two, we start to follow the story from two POVs, one of Paula as in Part 1 and another of Saskia’s. The story is told by the very two people in the middle of the mess, you’d think things would only get interesting and entertaining. But for me, it didn’t work that way. Partially, it did. But I was just kind of along for the ride, I wasn’t emotionally stirred that much.

That being said though, there are some very strong scenes that totally entertained me. For instance, I enjoyed reading how Paula’s attempts to hold ‘bonding’ sessions with Robert to rekindle the flame of love fall through, how her attempts to carry a conversation like the old times fall flat by Robert’s curt one-word responses. I personally found it really well-done. Felt very realistic.
I also adore the unexpected waft of romance between Josh and Paula that springs from their concoction of revenge schemes; as time goes by their dynamics change and start to form a strong bond after the initial shock of their spouses’ affair. It was pretty heart-tingling and made me want to read MORE of this side of the story.

The author did a good job of developing totally different voices of Paula and Saskia. As I mentioned earlier, we start to follow those two voices from Part 2 and get to the bottom of things what is really going on.
Paula’s voice is compliant and down-to-earth while Saskia’s reflects her conceited, bitchy personal traits. I’m not usually good at following multiple perspectives (as you can guess), but their voices are so disctinct that I didn’t get confused for once.  I particularly enjoyed following Saskia’s POV; she thinks she’s got the upper hand over Paula and that she wraps Paula around her finger, but in actuality… I won’t reveal the plot, but it’s glorious.

There’s not much to say about the characters, but Paula’s self-development was a joy to read. She used to be one of those who loathes any form of physical exertions, but with a strong resolve to get a revenge on Robert and Saskia, she engages herself in walking/running and even signs up for a gym. In the process, she becomes comfortable with her physique and gains confidence in herself. Character developments is definitely my thing; I loved that.

This book is basically unpredictable. Despite a bit lackluster middle-part, there are some surprising twists and turns of events scattered throughout the book. It’s like having a huge twist coming when you start to feel bored. Twist after twist after twist. I would probably have been on the verge of giving up on this book had there not been this sense of suspense; that was what kept me going and I am glad that I persevered. The last twist coming in the last 30 pages was totally engrossing, immersive. That sucked me in the story and made me flip-flop my mind about this book.

With a brilliant, rewarding ending, I decided to push up my rating from 3 to 3.75 out of 5 stars. What kind of rating is this, you think? But I’m still debating whether to give this book 4 stars…

#WeekendReads & Emojiathon Weekly Wrap-Up

This week has passed so quickly; it’s already Friday (here in Japan)!
Like I always do, let me reflect back on my reading progress that I made so far and share the books that I’m going to be reading this weekend 🙂

First, the Emojiathon. Out of 7 books on my Emojiathon TBR, I read The Handmaid’s Tale and am working on My Sweet Revenge at the moment.

(You can read my thoughts on The Handmaid’s Tale here.)

As I was reading some books which were not on my TBR and got completely wrapped up in reading them, I haven’t made much headway in my actual Emojiathon TBR which I find a bit disappointing 😦
I’m currently on page 128 in My Sweet Revenge and I hope that I get to finish this by Sunday.  A girl can dream, right?

My usual self would normally pick up another book from the TBR, but there’s one thing that makes me hold off on doing so.

I’ll come straight to the point – I got a book sent by an editor for an entertainment magazine for a review; she asked me if I’d be willing to write a book review.

Surprise, surprise, isn’t it?

I was a bit concerned if I’d be interested in the book – a biography – which is not a type of book I’d normally pick up.
I don’t know what it is about non-fiction in general that puts me off, but I just don’t get tempted to pick it up.
For that reason, when she first contacted me through my Facebook friend, I was a bit hesitant but agreed to at least take a look at the book. Jumping the gun will never be a good thing, I figured.

I received the book last night and skimmed through the first few pages.
And who’d have thought? I found myself engrossed in the book; I was literally voraciously devouring every single sentence on those pages. Then I thought:

I might be able to pull this off, I might as well give this a try.

Long story short, I sent the editor a message that I’d like to discuss the timeline and the details about the review. I haven’t got the reply yet, but I think I’ll have one soon.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not even 100% sure if I can do this; I’m not and I have never been confident in myself.  Not having done anything like this, I’m kind of scared of failing to live up to her expectations.

That said, I do believe there’s a grain of truth in the adage, ‘everything happens for a reason,’ I’ve decided to at least give this a try. Sometimes you just need to push your limits and see what lies ahead of you. And I thought this is the time for me to do exactly that. Besides, we have yet to discuss the details yet! It’s too early to brush it off, isn’t it? 😀

Anyways, I’ll see how it goes and just do the best I can.

If the reply doesn’t come by tomorrow, I’m going to pick up the Nightwalker for a thriller fix.

The Nightwalker

Contemporary novels and YA books are so much fun to read, but you just need some engrossing spine-chilling thriller for a change and I’m definitely in the mood for that.

 

That’s it for this week.
If you are participating in the Emojiathon, I’d love to know how you are getting along with your TBR. Please comment below whatever you want to say, I’d love LOVE to hear your thoughts! 🙂

Thank you for reading (as always) and I’ll talk to you guys again soon!
Have a great weekend!

#WeekendReads : June 2nd, 2017

Can’t believe it’s already Friday here in Japan – This week just flew by!
Which means it’s time for another weekly updates; let me share with you the books I’ll be reading over the weekend.

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Killer Cupcakes by Leighann Dobbs

As I mentioned in my previous post, I started reading The Handmaid’s Tale as part of my very first Readathon challenges and I’m on page 60 now.  I’m not far into the book, I’ve only just started, BUT I find Atwood’s writing very distinct, possessing a very unique rhythm with all the short sentences and punctuation or things like that. I don’t know how quickly I can get through this book, but I’m pumped to see how the story unfolds.

Along with The Handmaid’s Tale, I’m currently reading All the Bright Places. I finally picked up this book; this book, particularly this cover had always spoken to me but it took me a while to actually sit down and start reading. I’m currently on page 43 and liking it so far; the story kicks off in a pretty brisk, nice way and I like the two main characters struggling with their own issues. I can’t wait to see if this book will live up to the hype 🙂

Lastly – this was totally unexpected – but I picked up a cozy mystery, Killer Cupcakes. I was bored to death at the doctor’s waiting room, I just needed something to kill my time, something short and light to blast through. I’ve read this book before so I knew the plot, but I figured it might be nice to reread it so that I’d get to post my thoughts on this blog. This is a very quick read with a decent writing. I read 24% (or somewhere in the neighborhood) in just 15 minutes. Hopefully I can finish this book during this weekend.

 

All right, these are the books I’m working on right now. I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress in my upcoming posts.
Thank you for reading and hope you have a wonderful weekend! 😀

May Wrap-Up

May is almost over – it’s May 31st, how time flies! It feels like I blasted through this month, but I’m pretty happy with the number of books that I read this month.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the books that I read in May.
In no particular order:

  • So B. It by Sarah Weeks
  • The Quaker Cafe by Brenda Bevan Remmes
  • Everything I never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  • The Comforters by Muriel Spark
  • The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

All told, I read 8 books in May. Some of the books are slim and easy to get through (like middle grade books), granted, but I could at least bring back the book count from the plunging seven to eight. Considering I was almost 100 pages into Cloudstreet by Tim Winton before I gave up, which means I had been reading it for about 4 to 5 days, I think this book count looks pretty satisfactory and I’m sort of proud of myself.

Favorites:

  1. The Book Thief 
  2. Wonder
  3. Everything I Never Told You

The Book Thief was hands down the best book that I read this month. It’s simply a wondrously beautiful, poignant book. It’s no doubt a masterpiece. It left a huge impact on me.
Everything I Never Told was also a stunning debut novel from Celeste Ng. It’s a complex yet beautiful, heart-breaking story. It still kind of haunts me to be honest.

The Least Favorite

  1. The Jane Austen Book Club

It really pains me to put it like this, but it was really a disappointment for me.
That was the book I had been meaning to read for the longest time so when it became apparent to me that I might not like this book as much as I had thought, the reading experience rapidly turned into a laborious one 😦
I wanted to read more of the book club activities and discussions rather than background stories of the book club members. (rant-alert!)  It would have been a lot more engaging and intriguing to get through that way.

 

Apart from those I mentioned above, I also enjoyed reading So B. It and The Comforters.
The former is a really good middle grade coming-of-age story and the latter is a rather peculiar, intriguing book. The story seems a bit disjointed and disorienting at a glance; it makes you wonder where the story is heading to, but pretty much everything comes together nicely in the end. I particularly fell in love its somewhat cynical, sinister undertone. This book actually made me get another Muriel Spark book and I can’t wait to read it.


Although I’m still working my way through All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, it looks next to impossible for me to finish the remaining 150 pages today, so I decided to do a wrap-up today.

 

That’s it, guys. Those are the books and my brief reflection on my May reads.
How about you? Did you have a good reading month?
Let me know in the comments below, I can’t wait to read your answers!

Thank you for reading as always, I’ll talk to you all again soon! 😀

 

30 Subscribers! Thank You!!

Thank you

Big shout-out to all my readers who have visited/given me likes and comments –

I’ve just hit 30 subscribers today!  

OMG, this is just incredible! I still can’t believe this is happening to me!
I just wanted to express my sincere, heartfelt thanks to all those who have subscribed to my book blog. I cannot thank you enough!

I launched this book blog on August 25th, 2016. I’ve been blogging here for almost 9 months now.
Would I ever have imagined that I would get as many as 30 subscribers when I started off? Seriously, NEVER. Never have I imagined that this would be happening. I honestly can’t believe it.

Through this book blog and social media such as Goodreads and Twitter, I’ve made friends with so many great readers around the world – I am truly glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and started blogging.
I must admit it has always been a challenge for me, a non-native, to write up posts entirely in English and I assume it always will be. I also know too well that my posts might have been all disorienting at times and left a lot to be desired. So, I am literally overwhelmed by the fact that I’ve now got as many as 30 of you putting up with my crappy English and following my blog. It is simply amazing and I am truly blessed.

Before I go, let me say that your likes and comments have always been a great source of encouragement for me to keep going. I am now motivated to read and write posts MORE THAN EVER.

I will definitely keep trying to make this blog grow and more entertaining, so keep your eyes peeled!

Once again, thank you so so much, and I’ll talk to you again soon! 😀