The Henna Wars || wholesome sapphic story

Title: The Henna Wars
Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone


Happy Pride month y’all!! It’s fitting that this is my first review of the month.

This book came to my attention purely through Twitter. I saw the word henna, then I noticed the entire cover, and it was in my TBR. The reason I picked it up so quickly was because it was the May new release pick for the South Asian Reading Challenge.

Content warnings: public sexuality outing, racism, homophobia, bullying.


The book follows Nishat, a lesbian Bengali teenage girl living in Ireland. When she comes out to her parents, they don’t say anything immediately. But they let her know that she can be anything—a doctor, an engineer, an artist, but she can’t be lesbian.

Struggling with the new situation at home where her only support is her sister, she just tries to get through her days. But her childhood crush transfers into her school and it’s harder to stay straight (pun intended).

But things take a different turn when her crush goes against Nishat with the same business idea—drawing henna designs.

We follow Nishat as she navigates through messy school days, tries to not like her crush, and also try to make her parents accept her for who she is.


I enjoyed this book so much! I think I read it in two sittings. It was too good to let go of. This review is definitely one where I try to sell the book to you.

Reasons why you should read this book:

  • The culture.

Through food, henna, and family, this book talks about all the Bengali things.

Nishat’s parents migrated to Ireland from Bangladesh so they could give their children better opportunities but the whole family is very fond of their culture. Their love for it clearly shows through the book and it was so nice to watch.

  • Sapphic representation.

A huge part of Nishat’s identity is her sexual orientation. When she comes out to her parents only to be received with stony silence and, later, flat out non-acceptance she is heartbroken.

Not only is Nishat lesbian but she also goes to a Catholic all-girls school and this adds another layer of hurdles. We see her trying to navigate all these situations in this book.

One thing I liked in this book was how the parents’ perspective was shown. Generally we only see and talk about the main character’s experiences and struggles but we usually don’t ever get to really understand the parents or where they’re coming from.

  • The love story.

Nishat and her crush Flávia’s story is friends-turned-competition-turned-lovers.

First of all, Nishat is SO CUTE. She’s absolutely adorable when she’s crushing. I have to say, the teenage feeling of having a crush was quite on-point here. The new-ness and excitement that comes with crushing on someone is a whole experience on it’s own.

  • Sibling relationship.

I don’t have any siblings but I’ve always wanted a sister because of my mum’s relationship with my aunt. Sisters who are close in age are usually very close and it’s a relationship to cherish.

Nishat and her sister Priti’s relationship was like that. They support each other through everything and are very close. They’re pretty much best friends.

  • Discussion on cultural appropriation.

I really like how the reason why cultural appropriation is bad is shown in this book through events and not just talk. I’ll admit, I was confused about the concept when I first heard of it as well. And I can see why people who take elements of other cultures and use it to make profit would think that they’re doing others a favour.

But through two small henna businesses run by high school students, Adiba Jaigirdar shows why cultural appropriation is hurtful and damaging.

When you “adopt” a part of another culture and make a business out of it, you take away the business from people of that culture. And more often than not people who appropriate culture get more business than the people representing that culture. And that is NOT. GOOD.

  • South Asian and Black representation.

I already spoke abo there’s South Asian rep through the main character and her family. There’s also Black representation through Flávia, Nishat’s crush. There is also some light on micro-agressions that Black people face through White family members.

  • The book as a whole.

While it talks about complex and heavy topics, it’s still a fun and bright young adult contemporary novel where two girls like each other. And it is so nice to read.


Go read it!!

I rate this book..

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4/5 stars

What books are you planning to read for Pride month? Is this book on your TBR?

www wednesday @ the wordy habitat, all the bookish updates, currently reading, mini book reviews, books to read next.

WWW Wednesday // 5th May 2020

I have had a GOOD reading week y’all, and I can’t wait to talk about it.

WWW Wednesdays were posts that I used to do occasionally when I read enough book in a week to talk about. But since I started social distancing, it’s been working out so well.

It’s a good thing y’all get my opinions through these posts because I can not review all the books I read in detail. I read more than I can review haha.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
bright picture of an open book

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently listening to Pride by Ibi Zoboi. This has been on my TBr for a while now but mostly as a “maybe” read. But I saw this while browsing through audiobooks about a month back and wanted to read it.

Fortunately it also works for multiple 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompts too. I’ll be checking off “a book with the same name/title as of a movie/TV show but is unrelated to it” with it.

It’s also narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo which I did not realize before. It’s a coincidence, which you’ll realize in the next section of this post.

I’m not reading anything else as of now.

What did you recently finish reading?

It was a good reading week and I have A LIST so settle down for this.


The first book that I read was With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo. And yes, this is the coincidence that I was talking about. Reading a book by her and listening to a book narrated by her in the same week without intention? Good coincidence.

I really liked With The Fire On High. It’s kind of a wholesome book. The main character Emoni was really nice to read about. Her growth throughout the book as she goes from a teenager to an adult while also being a mother was wonderful to see. I loved the story.

4/5 stars.


The next book that I read was What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter. I added this to my TBR before it released and was reminded of it through Tiffany’s recent review.

Although I didn’t have high hopes for it, especially after that review, I still wanted to read it. Halle is a book blogger and also a cupcake enthusiast. It was nice to read about the book blogger experiences, especially about all the Twitter drama which I actively avoid in real life.

Overall, not that impressed but it had some good parts. The family focus was lovely.

3/5 stars.

me with a high stack of books.


I finally finished The School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani! The audiobook took me FOREVER i.e. a whole month. I’m sure even y’all got tired of me saying that I’m still reading it every week in these updates.

If only I had the opportunity to read this book back in middle grade. I would have loved it even more. It’s such a good book, with the different take on fairytales that we all wanted. Especially the ending.

4/5 stars. (Would have been 5/5 if I was in middle grade)


My last read of the week was The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. I found this book while going through the Goodreads list suggested for the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt “a book set in a country starting with C”.

It caught my eye in the list and the premise sounded interesting too. The book is about 4 sets of mothers and daughters. All the mothers are women who grew up in China and immigrated to America and formed a “Joy Luck Club”. All the daughters are Americans at heart.

The book shows the lives of both generations and the divide between them. How they almost talk different languages and barely know each other.

It was a wonderful read and I liked the stories. I did find it hard to read fast, though. It took me a whole week to read because I took breaks to read other books that caught my attention more.

3/5 stars.

What do you think you’ll read next?

picture of a cafe I visited. there's also my Kindle on the table.
this is an old picture, don’t worry lol.

There’s a subtle plan I’ve been following for the past few weeks. For every three books, I read:

  • one which is easy to read and will make me happy. (usually romance/YA contemporary)
  • one for a reading challenge. (and I try to make it work for multiple challenges)
  • one random book either from ones I already own or a new one.

I don’t choose the all the books in advance, but it’s how I’ve been keeping my reading consistent. Picking up books that I can read fast and will mostly like regularly helps in keeping book slumps away.

Sometimes I try to combine them too!

So for this coming week, I’d like to read Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now and I’d like to read it. It’s also praised a lot by some of my bookstagram friends, so I’m excited to see what it is about.

It will be for my #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge.

Another book I’d like to read is Truth or Beard by Penny Reid. Although I absolutely love the author’s works, I haven’t tried her Winston Brothers series yet. It is highly praised by many in the romance book world so I’m excited to finally pick it up!

If I read something other than these two, it’ll be a random choice according to mood.

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What are you currently reading? What did you finish reading recently? I’d love to know!

Circe || WOW!

Title: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller
Genre: Mythology, Fantasy
Series info: Standalone


This book has always been in my mind as a “future maybe read”. It wasn’t on my TBR explicitly until my book club gifted me this book for my birthday last year.

Coincidentally, my book club also picked this book as our Book of the Month for April. Hence all of us who haven’t read it yet got to read it together. This motivated me to finally read Circe.

It also checks off a prompt for the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge: “A bildungsroman”.


Born as the daughter of the Titan Helios and Titan Perse, Circe has always been looked down upon because of her shrill human-sounding voice and “ugly” features. And she has always lived under everyone else, hoping for some permanent companionship.

It all changes when she discovers witchcraft. After casting a vengeful spell while in love, she is cast away by her father to live in exile. Although she can’t leave, anyone is allowed to visit.

And so we read Circe’s story from start to finish. Her struggles, determination, love, and triumphs.


I know that this book is really popular and loved by many. But I never really read it’s synopsis or considered it much. Hence, I didn’t expect anything when going into it, and was pleasantly surprised.

This book enraptured me. Reading it was such a good experience. And I’ll tell you why.

  • The character Circe.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of Circe before. In all my Greek mythology knowledge, she was not there. And hence, reading this book was like reading from a different point of view.

Usually all we read about are famed characters who have accomplished a lot. Who are legends. We don’t read about the lesser known, less ambitious characters. And Circe was one of them.

She is an underdog who is not the most beautiful, not the smartest, nor the most ambitious. And her journey was very interesting.

I couldn’t like her in the beginning and didn’t understand why we had a book on a uninteresting character. But boy was I shown otherwise.

“The thought was this: that all my life had been murk and depths, but I was not a part of that dark water. I was a creature within it.”

  • The world was really nice to read about.

I’m super glad I read the Percy Jackson books as a kid because reading Circe was like going back to a familiar world. I caught many references early and knew a little extra than what was explained in the book. That made a good experience.

Even for readers who are not familiar with this world, it would be very interesting. Miller has done a great job at writing this book.

  • The story was so interesting.

Even though Circe did not lead a very eventful life, it did not bore me. It took me a while to settle into the pace of the book but once I did, I was not bored.

And once when eventful things DID happen, I was glued to the book. The time and number of pages did not matter as long as I kept reading.

Stories about one’s life (like a biography) is not something I usually like in books but this puts everything I’ve read like it before to shame.

  • The difference between mortals and Gods/Titans.

It was super interesting to see the differences in lives through Circe. She is not a usual God who enjoys torturing humans but she is also not someone with a mortal life. In many different scenarios the difference was shown really well.

I was so into it.

“This was how mortals found fame, I thought. Through practice and diligence, tending their skills like gardens until they glowed beneath the sun. But gods are born of ichor and nectar, their excellences already bursting from their fingertips. So they find their fame by proving what they can mar: destroying cities, starting wars, breeding plagues and monsters.

  • The writing was brilliant.

HATS. OFF. To Madeline Miller for her writing. The way she writes is almost lyrical but story-wise. Her pacing is a work of art. She has done so well writing this book. I love it.

  • The different elements in the story.

The book is not just about one thing. As it is about Circe’s life and life is always made up of many different things, it was interesting how they were brought together and shown in this story.

Everything from loneliness, isolation, love, motherhood, how a woman’s life is something only in relation to a man, and so much more was incorporated in the book. And they were shown really well.


I’m totally blown away by it. And I definitely recommend it to fantasy and mythology lovers.

Someone told me that The Song of Achilles is even better so I added that to my TBR immediately. Looking forward to read that.

I rate this book..

4/5 stars

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Have you read Madeline Miller’s books? Do you like mythology as well?

100 Days of Sunlight || the feels <3

Title: 100 Days of Sunlight
Author: Abbie Simmons
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone


This book has been on my TBR since it released. I used to read Abbie’s blog very often and I was very excited to read this book since she kept posting and talking about it. Back then she just had a blog and not a YouTube channel.

I finally got to it because of the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge. This book also qualifies prompt “A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision).”


Tessa lost her sight in a car accident and the doctors said that she might regain her sight in 100 days. All Tessa has to do is hold on for a 100 days and try to live without sight. But that’s hard when her only outlet is writing poetry and she can’t blog poetry without sight.

Enter Weston. He is hired as a typist for Tessa, but he’s much more than that. Weston knows how Tessa feels because he lives with prosthetic legs after an accident. He vows to help Tessa understand that life is still beautiful.

“Visual beauty is only one form of beauty.”



I also read it in almost one sitting. Meaning, I started it in the morning before work and read it every single spare second I got.

  • The characters were great.

I absolutely loved reading about all the characters in this book. Tessa and Weston were good, but so were all the supporting characters. Tessa’s grandparents, Weston’s brothers and best friend—all of them captured a piece of my heart.

  • Struggles and character growth.

Although this book is mainly about Tessa, we also see Weston’s journey through flashbacks. It was incredibly humbling and inspiring to read the stories of both these characters. Especially Weston, who is an inspiration. I could totally picture real life Weston growing up to become a motivational speaker.

“Letting go feels like giving up. But if you don’t let go, you’ll drown. I know the feeling. And it sucks. But Life sucks sometimes. And yeah, it gets back up. But you don’t have to stay on your knees.”

  • Tessa + Weston

Through Weston helping Tessa through her current situation, they start to have feelings for each other. This romance is purely young love.

And I like that their relationship was simple. A lot of YA books try to bring in tons different things into the story for the relationship in order to make things interesting. Hence this simple relationship where two people start to like each other without a metaphorical obstacle course was refreshing.

“This stubborn, kind, impertinent, obnoxiously optimistic boy is doing something to me.

And it feels good.”


This book made me feel so much! I felt awed, inspired, sad (I did cry), happy, and content. Reading this book was like having an emotional journey.

It was amazing to read.

  • Bits of the author’s personality.

Since I followed Abbie for a while and know a little bit about her, I could see how she put herself into the book. The most obvious thing was her love for waffles which translated into the book as well.

“Well?’ he asks when I don’t open my eyes and silently savor the goodness. ‘What do you taste?’
I smile despite myself. ‘The most amazing waffles under the sun.”


I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It’s the perfect YA contemporary to read in one sitting because it WILL absorb you.

Recommended to anyone looking for a book with depth but also warmth and sunshine.

I rate it..

4.5/5 stars

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What book did you finish last? How was it?

www wednesday @ the wordy habitat, all the bookish updates, currently reading, mini book reviews, books to read next.

WWW Wednesday // 22 April 2020

Hey everyone!

Lockdown is definitely helping me read more. Although I’m not reading every day, I now have time to finish books in one sitting. And it shows in my reading updates.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

a picture of me reading

I’m still in the middle of the audiobook for The School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. I haven’t progressed at all since last week because I just don’t listen to audiobooks much when I’m at home.

I started reading Verity by Colleen Hoover last night. It’s a book that was on my “maybe” TBR. I decided to pick it up because it qualifies for the “upside down image on the book cover” prompt in the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge.

The book is quite good! I’m used to romance books from Colleen Hoover and not mystery so lets see how this goes.

What did you recently finish reading?

My reading this past week was not as good as the week before it. This is because work increased and I also spent some time watching Kdramas instead of reading.


Reading during lockdown is all about getting to the books in my huge TBR and also make progress on reading challenges. To satisfy both of those things, I read 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Simmons.

I wanted to read it since it released, and there are only good reviews on it from my blogger friends. I finally read it and IT’S SO GOOD. Abbie is an awesome writer.

It was hearfelt, motivating, and warm. It was also funny to see the praise of waffles in the book because Abbie is a huge lover of waffles.

4/5 stars.

an open book


My next read was Circe by Madeline Miller. This book ticked off THREE things for me:

  • My book club’s pick for April.
  • A prompt for 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge.
  • A book for #StartOnYourShelfathon because it’s been on my shelf for months now.

I absolutely LOVED Circe. It was so good. I could not stop reading it. Miller’s writing was beautiful and engaging. It also felt wonderful to go back to the Greek myth world.

I have to say, I’m glad I read the Percy Jackson series because I understood so many references in this book because of that.

4/5 stars.


The last book I finished was Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. I saw this book on Kate’s blog Cover to Cover where she praised this book a lot. The premise sounded good so I gave it a go.

I’m a not really a fan of explicit scenes in MM romance books and this book had a LOT of that. That was the only reason I didn’t enjoy it a lot. The story and the characters were really good. I was super invested in the romance. Really liked it.

But yeah, my rating is lower only because of personal preferences.

3/5 stars.

What do you think you’ll read next?

an open book

I’m not really sure. But I do need to read the books I already have instead of getting new ones as ebooks. So I’ll just choose one from my physical shelf and one from my ebooks.

From my physical shelf I want to read Room by Emma Donoghue. It’s a popular book and it also qualifies for a 2020 Popsugar Reading challenge prompt.

The book I chose from my ebooks is Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavours by Sonali Dev. I’ve had this book for quite sometime and it’s a Pride and Prejudice retelling. I’m looking forward to read it.

Hopefully this post will keep me responsible and get me to read these two books.

And that’s it for my updates this week!

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What are you currently reading? What did you finish reading recently?

the book snob tag - the wordy habitat

The Book Snob Tag

Book tags are honestly so much fun.

From matching types of coffees to books to using music to describe books, we’ve had many creative bookish tags. Today’s tag fits in with them perfectly.

I saw this tag at Reads and Thoughts and knew that I had to do it.

open book with tabs


If I know that the book exists, yes! At least, I try.

I like reading books with all the details and imagining the world in my head. If I watch the movie first, the movie’s scenes and actors will leave an impression and affect how I experience the book.


Ebooks, definitely. I already prefer reading ebooks over paperbacks and hardbacks because they’re easier to carry around and there’s no worry about running out of books.

Reading big books as ebooks can also be less intimidating haha.


Yes I would. As long as the person listens to me talk about books I don’t care whether they read or not haha.


General knowledge and facts books haha. I don’t see myself reading them ever.


Romance! For the past few years romance has been the one genre that I ALWAYS enjoy and turn to for comfort reads. Romance books contain more depth and plots lines than what the genre is marketed as. I will not be bored if I read only in this genre.


About a year ago I carefully unfollowed people who regularly tweet a lot about bookish drama. I just was not interested in it, and it was frankly exhausting to see.

Because of that I don’t really know which genre receives snob right now. I’d say Young Adult books because I’ve seen a few tweets on that, but I don’t really know.


I have! I’ve received quite a bit of snobbery because I read romance. Because of that I’ve taken to telling people a book from another genre that I’ve read recently instead of what I’m actually reading.

The most recent scenario was when someone asked me what I’m reading. I replied that I’m reading a book called My So-Called Bollywood Life and they scoffed. So much snob in one scoff/laugh.

me standing with my kindle

If you’re interested in this tag, I tag you!

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Have you ever received snob for what you read? How did you react?

www wednesday @ the wordy habitat, all the bookish updates, currently reading, mini book reviews, books to read next.

WWW Wednesday // 15th April 2020

Lockdown reading is in full swing!

Finding time to read has been quite a chore since this year began which led me to actually decreasing my reading goal for the year. But since social distancing and lockdown* began, I’ve have more time to read. And of course I wasn’t going to waste it.

*click the link to find out how I’ve been doing recently!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

an open book with a cup of tea

The only book that I’m currently in the middle of is The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. It’s a middle grade fantasy book that I’ve been wanting to read for AGES. And when I say ages, I say it literally.

This book is NUMBER 1 on my Goodreads TBR* of 437 books. It’s one of the FIRST books I marked as want-to-read. And I’ve had my Goodreads account since January 2013. That was back when I was actually IN middle school.

During the lockdown I’m trying to get to books that have been sitting unread on my physical bookshelf for long or books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time.

Since this book was available in Storytel (where I have a subscription) as an audiobook, I didn’t hesistate to pick it up.

And I’m LOVING it. It’s such a cool book and definitely would have been a favourite for middle school me.

*To Be Read list/stack

What did you recently finish reading?

I’ve read a LOT of books recently, especially since my last WWW Wednesday post. But in order to keep this post shorter, I’ll talk about the books that I’ve read in the last 7 days.

Side note: if you’d like to understand my rating scale, click here.

me standing with my kindle


My last book was one that I finished just last night called Just One Year by Penelope Ward. I meant to read just a bit of it as a break after ending work and before getting to do chores and stuff. But the next time I looked up from the book was when I FINISHED it.

I had read the book without noticing the time. In fact, I had a very late dinner because of it. I LOVED the book. It engaged me on every single page. Sure, it did have a few cliche romance book elements but the good parts outweighed the bad. Any book that engages me so much is a winner.

4/5 stars.


The second last book I read was Inappropriate by Vi Keeland. I picked up this book solely because it’s part of the books picked for this month for romancetheque book club. This month’s theme was CEO/boss relationships which is out of my comfort zone and what I usually like. But I thought I’d give the books a chance, and I read all of them.

I’m glad that books on this concept are not as bad as the ones I had read years back, when I first tried reading about CEO/boss relationships. This has definitely opened up my reading horizons a little bit.

Speaking of the book itself, Inappropriate was very hard to judge and rate. It had some cliche and unrealistic elements that I did not like. But on the other hand, it was probably the best handled CEO romance book I’ve ever read. It wasn’t even actually “inappropriate”, so the title is kind of a clickbait.

I appreciated most of the plot, but I did not like a few key comments on mental illnesses which stuck in my head and made me rethink giving it a better rating. So, yeah. That part won. I gave the book 2.5/5 stars even though I did kind of enjoy it. There might be a detailed review on this soon.


The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams is a book that I’ve been eyeing for a LONG time. I finally gave in and read the book, and now regret waiting this long to read it.

This book has been the highlight of my week. No kidding. It was so damn good.

Highlights of the book:

  • Character growth. This really needed emphasis.
  • Relationship growth.
  • Second chance romance in the BEST way.
  • The characters were all awesome.

And of course, I loved the concept of the book. I’ll most likely continue the series.

5/5 stars.

me reading a book


I was looking for a read that wouldn’t take too much of my attention or brain power. At these times, I usually reread books. Until Lilly by Aurora Rose Reynolds is a book that I have a love-hate relationship with as I mentioned in my review and an extra in-depth discussion on it.

It caught my eye in my Kindle list and I just started reading it. At this point, I can’t see through the bad parts of this book to notice the good. So yeah. That was a disappointing reread but sufficed my mood at the time.

Old rating: 3/5 stars. This reread was 2/5 stars.


Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi was NOT what I expected. I really liked Defy Me so my expectations were about the same for this book.

But that was not the result. Although I didn’t hate this book, I also didn’t really like it. The book was rushed, there chaos all around, sometimes I was simply reading because I wanted to finish it. It was all over the place and not satisfying as an ending.

Also, I HATED the epilogue. It was confusing, not satisfying, abrupt, and just.. did not leave me happy. The characters were even not acting like themselves in the epilogue!

I’d have preferred if the series ended with book 3 even if it meant that we didn’t get books 4 and 5 which I liked.

2.5/5 stars simply because I liked a few parts.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Definitely Circe by Madeline Miller. By book club chose it as the book of the month through votes. Coincidentally, they gifted me the paperback copy of this book for my birthday as well. Super glad that I’ll be finally reading it.

Other than that, who even knows. I’m a huge mood reader.

my feet surrounded by books

And that’s it for my updates this week! I’ll see y’all soon with some new updates and opinions.

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What are YOU currently reading? What did you finish recently? Share with me in the comments!

Stories We Never Tell || confusing and surprising

stories we never tell book cover // book review by the wordy habitat

Title: Stories We Never Tell
Author: Savi Sharma
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Category: Adult
Series info: Standalone


This book was a total impulse buy. I was going around the bookstore looking for books that I haven’t seen before and was open-minded to read something new.

This book boasts that the author is “India’s “highest selling female author” and that hooked me in. That tagline was the reason for my purchase, and I really hoped that it would be good.

Content warning for the book: Drug and alcohol abuse, over-dosage.


The book follows two characters Jhanvi and Ashray through a difficult time in their lives which were turning points for them.

Jhanvi is a social media influencer who dropped out of college to pursue her Instagram career. She works hard at her job, which bleeds itself into her life. Her life is a series of mistakes and coping from them due to the limelight.

Ashray’s life seems to be only looking up, with a new job and prospects of a lovely new girlfriend. He has everything he can dream of. Sure, he can be naive about love, but as long as he can make him mother happy, he’s content.

The book shows Jhanvi and Ashray both going through difficult times in their lives which barely intersect.


I started this book with a lot of hopes. I hadn’t read an Indian book in a while and was looking forward to it.

But I quickly disliked it. Until 60% of the book, I really disliked the book. Everything seemed predictable, the female lead was annoying, and I did not understand where the story was going. I decided to fully read it only because I bought a paperback copy.

But after 60% of the book, it did a 180 degree turn. I FINALLY understood what the author tried to do, and where the story was going. I finally understood the purpose of this book. And I LIKED IT. I really liked it.

So that’s the one thing this book has going for it: it will surprise you. I was not expecting the turn in the story but I wholeheartedly welcomed it.

It’s going to be really hard to not spoil the surprise in my review, so please bear with me being vague.

  • Jhanvi was the source of my annoyance.

I’ve read a fair share of books involving celebrities and popular people. At this point, their stories are quite predictable. The fame gets to them, people don’t stick around them, they lash out, and things go wrong with drugs and alcohol.

Usually, the stories show them being saved by love. And that’s what I was expecting here. But the book surprised me.

  • Jhanvi’s journey and growth was the best part of this book.

She’s not a perfect character with a pretty story. Her story is one of mistakes and faults. Jhanvi is a flawed person with insecurities who tries to make the best of her life.

I felt like I was in constant competition with a world of woman. It drove me to pursue perfection even more relentlessly, in a bid to show them that they were not in my league.

I really like her journey, especially in the second half of the book. The way Jhanvi reacted to things and her actions then defined her character. It’s the best character growth in a woman.

  • Ashray’s journey was… okay.

I was quite meh about Ashray right from the start. I didn’t dislike him but I didn’t like him either. The point in his story was not clear.

He’s a kind man who thinks the world of his mother (who adopted him from an orphanage) and his only goal is to make his mother happy. Ashray is also not one of the normal men who grow up with toxic masculinity. His mum brought him up right.

So Ashray was quite perfect in my eyes. I didn’t understand his story. It took until the climax of the book for me to get it, but it was too late to become invested in him.

  • Friendship is one of the main themes in this book.

Most of the books I read somehow revolve around finding love, whether they’re a romance book or not. This was one of the few books where friendship mattered more than love. I really liked that.

  • T H E R A P Y .

This is an Indian book, and knowing the Indian society, I was NOT expecting this book to openly talk about therapy. That was quite surprising and I was very impressed with the way the author showed it.

  • The book’s messages was nice.

Jhanvi and Ashray’s stories are quite different.

Jhanvi’s showed that it’s never too late to turn your life around. That was a very uplifting message.

Ashray’s story showed that even if you do everything right, life can still throw you down. All you can do is get back up and make something out of those troubles.

No one ever fully recovers. Recovery is a process, ongoing and always changing.

  • The writing was really annoying at times.

I’ve noticed how many Indian authors write super deep quote and words in order to bring depth to their story and characters. It’s not required, and sometimes it feels out of place.

For example, in this book most of Jhanvi’s chapters start with some super deep reflection on an abstract concept.

Destruction. The kind that only you can prevent or the type only your behaviour can provoke. A downward spiral, an annihilation you could have prevented if you had decided to. If you chose to take a second to breathe, to think, but you didn’t; you thought you couldn’t, and now, in the aftermath, all that is left is wreckage.

This is fine normally but this musing right before the main character wakes up on the bathroom floor seems out of place.

  • The book doesn’t seem cohesive until the end.

The message was confusing. The story was confusing and annoying. And I could not like the book. Even the synopsis of the book is very vague compared to what the story actually is.

The overall message could have been made a little clearer. I would have liked the book better if I had known that it was not going to be another version of “love saves everyone.”

I was disappointed that the book was good but the message was so unclear that I spent half the book annoyed.


The book was okay.

It could have been done better, though. Even having a proper synopsis at the back would make SO MUCH DIFFERENCE.

The title of the book makes some sense, but not total sense. By the time I realized why the title was chosen, I didn’t really care. I just wanted to finish the book.

Do I recommend it? Not sure. It was good at the end but I can’t ignore the fact that most of the book had me annoyed.

Pick it up if you’re ready to be confused for half the book.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars

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Have you ever been sorely disappointed by a book? What was it?

top ten tuesday header image

10 Books I Read Only Because of the Hype

Hey everyone!

You better believe that I have been waiting to talk about this for a long time. I always wanted to talk about books I read because of the hype and whether I liked them or not. Never got to it though, until today.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is “Books I Bought/Borrowed Because…” I changed the title to “read” so I can include both bought and borrowed.

There are many books that I can talk about, but I’m choosing the books that made the most impression on me.

[1] A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A court of mist and fury

When A Court of Thorns and Roses released, I was a huge fan of the Throne of Glass. Hence, I read ACOTAR with high hopes. But I did not like it. In fact, I really disliked ACOTAR.

So when ACOMAF released, I had no plans of reading it and wasting my time. But after MONTHS of listening to other readers hype it up and say that “it’s so much better than ACOTAR”, I had to give it a shot. I wanted to see if it’s actually good.

And it was! I LOVED ACOMAF. Unfortunate that I hated the third book A Court of Wings and Ruin, but ACOMAF will forever have a good place in my heart.

[2] Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone book cover

This book is SUPER HYPED. By the time this book released, I had been burned by the hype multiple times and was wary of reading it. After months of contemplating, I finally picked it up because I had heard zero negative reviews.

And I hated it.

I hated it so much that I was annotating my frustration in the book’s pages using a pencil, and I had many notes. After finishing it, I sold it back to the second hand bookstore (after erasing my annotations, of course) as soon as I could. I wanted it gone.

Read my review to know the details.

[3] The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

the flatshare book cover

This book’s hype was mainly on Instagram. I was seeing it EVERYWHERE, and eventually I couldn’t hold myself back from it’s cute cover and premise.

With The Flatshare, the hype did NOT leave me wrong. It was so good y’all. I loved it. Now I’m one of the people hyping it up and shoving it in everyone’s faces.

Check out my glowing review of The Flatshare!

[4] A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A game of thrones book cover

Until the Game of Thrones TV show ended, the hype for it kept increasing year by year. It became so huge!

I finally succumbed to the hype when the show had completed airing 6 seasons. And since I’m a reader, of course I read the book first. And I hate myself for it.

The book was huge, had too many details, and was boring as heck. I hated it. I don’t know how I completed book 1, but at least I did not even try to read the rest.

I also watched the TV show until a few episodes into season 5 before quitting. It was so not my thing. As I binged the show, I was actually making paper lucky stars for my Instagram. I was that bored by the show.

Click here to see a full review on the book, along with a podcast* of the same if you’d rather listen than read.

*this was back when I tried doing a podcast on SoundCloud. It didn’t last long lol.

[5] Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine book cover

This book was quite popular until almost everyone read it and loved it. And I’ve heard no negative review about it. Everyone at least thought it was an okay read, but most readers liked it.

And this book definitely deserves the hype. I really liked it. It was thoughtful and profound.

Click here to read my review.

[6] Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmann

Aurora Rising book cover

What drew me to this book was it’s promise. They’re not heroes, but they’re the only ones available. A very diverse group of kids pushed together and having to save everyone in their galaxy because of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

But I wasn’t impressed by this book. At times it was trying too hard, and there was a constant struggle between being plot-driven and character-driven. I couldn’t like it.

Read my review to know the details.

[7] The Poet X by Alizabeth Acevedo

the poet x book cover

This. Book. Deserves. ALL. The. Hype.

My hesitation in picking up this book was because I don’t enjoy poetry but once I did start reading it? I was floored. Apparently the audiobook narrated by the author is even better than just reading the book.

The Poet X is a beautiful book where the story is told in poetry, with strong words and emotions. I loved it.

Click here to read my review.

[8] The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

the poppy war book cover

This book was quite hyped up on Instagram. Readers had either loved it or wanted to read it.

But I was skeptical about it. One, it is a BIG book. And two, it’s known to be quite dark. So I took my time to get into the right mood and then picked it up.

The book did not disappoint me at all. It was really good. The plot was detailed and well thought-out. The characters were developed and described well. And the writing sucked me into the story.

Read my review to know all my thoughts.

[9] Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simon vs the homo sapiens agenda book cover

Remember a few years back when this book was EVERYWHERE? Every single YA reader and then some had read it and praised it. I couldn’t go a day without hearing or reading about this book.

There were raves and a few rants. But no matter what, this book was on every’s read shelf or to-read shelf. After a few months of it being shoved in my face, I finally acquiesced and read it. And I loved it so darn much.

The hype was so right. It’s barely spoken about now because everyone in the target market read it. If you like Young Adult books and haven’t read it yet, you’ve been living under a rock.

Click here to read my review.

[10] Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

red, white & royal blue book cover

This list is not complete without this book.

Let’s be honest. Almost everyone who has read this book read it because of the hype. Only the first few readers picked it up on their own, and they began the hype which took over the New Adult readers like a wave.

Almost everyone has read it. Many liked it, and quite a few readers didn’t like it. But it was widely read. Within MONTHS of it’s release, hundreds of readers had read it and reviewed it. I’d say it’s one of the books that has successfully mastered and lived through the hype without being widely dissected.

I personally loved it, and shouted my love for it online.

Click here to read my review which is basically me shouting about why you should read this book.

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What books did you read because of the hype or peer pressure? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above?

Love Lettering || a comfort romance

love lettering by kate clayborn book cover

Title: Love Lettering
Author: Kate Clayborn
Genre: Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Standalone


Love Lettering had been on my TBR for a short time before I picked it up. I was hooked simply because the female lead’s profession is lettering. The premise sounded exciting too.

I pitched it as a suggestion for my book club‘s March book of the month, and others were in too. So we all read it together last month.


Meg is professional hand-letterer. She does planners, invitations, and tons of other things. Anything that involves designing letters. But lately, she has been losing her inspiration and it has come at a bad time. She has a huge project proposal coming up and she NEEDS to be her best.

Reid’s marriage blew up, and he realizes that Meg knew it. When she was lettering their invitation cards, we highlighted seven words: M-I-S-T-A-K-E. A year later, he’s back to ask her how she knew it.

Through a random suggestion, Reid and Meg start to take walks together so that Meg can find her inspiration again. Through these, sparks between them fly as well.


I really enjoyed this book.

  • The relationship growth was super nice.

Watching Meg and Reid bond and grow closer even though they’re really different was so nice to see. And they bonded over walks where the main goal was to look at different signs and styles, in hopes to reignite Meg’s inspiration.

The relationship growth was slow and nice.

  • The book was comforting to read.

The writing is very soothing. I don’t know how but I instantly felt like curling up with a blanket and reading this. My mood wasn’t great when I started the book but it turned me right around.

  • The detail to lettering was interesting.

I’m a little bit into lettering, but mainly brush lettering. Because of that interest, I found the many tidbits about lettering styles interesting. I even picked up a couple things.


The lettering detail may be too much for anyone who is not interested in the art form. Multiple book club members found it annoying and since it’s how Meg thinks, they couldn’t like the book.

It was interesting to me how Meg related everything back to letters and styles, but I agree that it’s not for everyone.

  • Attention shown to friendship.

In this book, Meg is having a hard time as her best friend (and sister at heart) is pulling away from her. Although Meg has tried to bridge the gap, her friend doesn’t reciprocate. This hurts Meg and causes loneliness.

Some people aren’t the same anymore and relationships can change, even if you try to salvage it. Sometimes you don’t know why it happens. That’s reality and I liked that little supporting plot. It made the book more real because everyone has issues about friendship.

Along with the heartbreak, unlikely friendships were also covered. I really loved that part.

  • Meg’s character was interesting.

She has her flaws and mistakes, and all she wants is to do better. Meg has a habit of including secret patterns in her designs, and no one had picked up on it until Reid. Although she stopped doing it, it was her way of coping with some things. And now she has to constantly hold herself back from adding little touches.

The way Meg thinks was also very interesting. As I mentioned before, she thinks in lettering styles. And it’s not unrealistic, because many times people look at the world in relation to what they’re passionate about. The author has carefully written these comparisons, and they’re fitting.

  • Meg’s career was interesting as well.

I’ve never read a book where a main character works as a professional hand-letterer. Of course, I know that it’s a profession in the real world but I had never seen it in books. This was quite insightful.

Since I like lettering, I was extra interested.

  • Career burnout.

It has been a while since Meg’s career has taken off well, and it has allowed her to stop working in the wedding industry. But working so hard (and having frequent hand sores because of how much she letters) means that she burns out.

I like how artistic and career burnout is shown. It’s very real. Lettering is Meg’s passion that has turned into a career. But keeping up with the demand alone is hard, and burn outs happen.

The way Meg dealt with burn out, especially since she has a big deadline coming up, was nice to read about.

  • Reid was a really nice character too.

He has layers and flaws just like Meg. Reading about him was honestly like I was getting to know him myself.

  • Character growth was A+.

Meg grows. Reid grows. They realize things, they learn, and they become better people. They have their own emotional baggage but how they deal with hardships and emotions in the book was interesting.

The character growth in both of them was subtle, but it was there. I am ALL for people constantly learning from life. And I am definitely here for characters realizing things about themselves. We never stop learning about ourselves.

  • The romance was really nice.

In many romance books, the couple’s lives are suddenly intertwined on everything. This book stood out on that because Reid and Meg are their own people with different paths. They also stand out with individual characteristics.

It was nice to read about.


This book was a sum of it’s parts.

It had multiple really good parts that, put together, make a really nice book. I can’t say that there is this one thing that makes it completely stand out and wonderful, but it’s nice as a whole. It was nice to read.

I wouldn’t say that this book will WOW you or make you feel so hard. It’s not a book having a wow factor. It’s subtle in drawing you in, but will keep you cozy and happy. I read this book in one sitting and stayed up until 3:30am to finish it. It’s good.

Recommended: if you’re looking for a comforting book to to read. Also if you like anything to do with lettering.

Not recommended: if you don’t care about lettering at all and hate too many details.

I rate this book..

4/5 stars

Frankly in Love || what a good book.

Title: Frankly in Love
Author: David Yoon
Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone


This book has been on my radar since it released, and I was gifted a paperback copy of it from my secret Santa last year. I was super excited to finally read it because it’s been widely praised.


The book follows Frank Lee as he navigates his high school senior year. It documents all the parts of an Asian-American teenager’s life such as parental expectations, the problem of not completely belonging anywhere, teenage love, and goals for life.

At the center of all this is the story line where Frank falls in love with a girl named Brit. But her parents won’t approve of her since she’s American. They want him to only be with a Korean-American like himself. He concocts a plan to fake-date Joy Song, a fellow Korean-American, to appease his parents while actually hanging out with Brit.

We all just want to love who we want to love.

But life is much more than what he thinks it is.


> This book was a journey.

I didn’t like the book much in the beginning because the writing style was a little different. The vibe and emotion in the writing was not what I’m used to reading.

But once I got used to that, I got immersed in the book and Frank’s story.

> Frank is Korean-American.

His parents came to America with not much money so that he and his sister can have a good life. He is expected to study well, get high scores on the SAT, get into an Ivy League university, get a good job, and settle down with a girl from their tribe.

> We follow his story where he struggles with wanting to make his parents proud as well as live his own life.

One of the most profound discussions in this book is about identity. Frank struggles with identity along with other Korean-Americans of his age. He’s in the middle, stretched between the two ends, trying to fit in one place where he’s not completely accepted.

He likes American food, but he also feels at home with traditional Korean food. He’s not an expert in Korean traditions, language, or food but he will always feel at home among them because of his parents. Yet, he’s an American teenager through-and-through.

White people can describe themselves with just American. Only when pressed do they go into their ethnic heritage. Doesn’t seem fair that I have to forever explain my origin story with that silent hyphen, whereas white people don’t.

> The book also shows the divide in linguism.

Frank’s parents did not teach him Korean. They want him to succeed in America and hence encouraged him to only learn English. That’s entirely because of their dreams for him, but it affects his life in different ways as well. It’s difficult for him to communicate with his grandparents or family who speak in Korean.

Try as he might, he can’t fit in with the Korean crowd because of the language barriers.

There were two pages in the book where the conversation takes place in Korean. Frank’s dad and Joy’s dad speak in Korean and hence it is printed in Korean* as well.

This conversation is later referred to and told in gist to Frank by his parents, but we never find out exactly what was said. That’s because Frank himself never learns of the conversation entirely and since we read from his perspective, we don’t as well. We’re not even given a translation at the back in a note, leaving us clueless like Frank. That was an interesting way of getting us to experience the divide due to language.

*I found someone online to translate the two pages for me line-by-line so I can find out lol.

> Frank’s relationship with his parents.

Multiple times, Frank wonders about his parents’ work ethic. Rain or shine, holiday or sick, they always go to work in their store. They never take a day off. And Frank, grown up American and looking at American parents, regards his parents as an anomaly.

This, of course, leads to Frank not really knowing his parents. His parents speak broken English and throughout the book we see Frank struggling with his bond with his dad. The divide between immigrated parents and first-generation American kids is shown really well.

Dad settled into his role as breadwinner, expected me to settle into my role as disciplined academic, and we both put our noses to the grindstone and never looked back up.

Frank’s parents are also really racist. They regard Koreans as the best, Americans as ones who have succeeded, and look at everyone else under their noses. This makes Frank’s relationship with them very complicated, especially when he likes a White girl.

> This also means that while Frank loves them, he constantly struggles with correcting them and hates their policies.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this addressed because usually racism is kept only to White people. But Asians can also be racist. It’s true.

> Frank learning about the complications of love and what a relationship is was nice to see.

At the heart of this story is Frank navigating high school relationships and his feelings. I really like how it was connected back to who he is as a person and his upbringing.

> The friendship in this book TORE me.

Y’all. Forget the love. The friendship between Frank and his best friend Q is the BEST. THING. EVER. It’s too pure. I could cry.

> Character growth.

When I said that this book is a journey, I really meant it. The book takes us through Frank’s thoughts and realizations through the book. We see how he learns and grows.

I really liked Frank as a person and his growth in this book.

> Reading this book was like peeling the layers of an onion.

The book adds on more details and uncovers facets to life as the book goes on. We start with Frank liking a girl, but end with so much. From life as a Koran-American, to social-standing and comparative preferences, to what a family means.

The book really delivered on plot, information, characters, and emotion. I am not ashamed to say that I cried towards the end. I cared too much about these characters.


Frankly in Love‘s premise is simple. A Korean-American boy starts fake-dating a Korean-American girl so that he can really date an American girl and not disappoint his parents.

But that barely covers what the book is really about. It is so much more than just another teenage romance with the fake-dating trope.

I HIGHLY recommend it. Everyone should read it.

I rate this book..

4.5/5 stars

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Have you read Frankly in Love? Have you read any book that delivered more than what it promised?

www wednesday @ the wordy habitat, all the bookish updates, currently reading, mini book reviews, books to read next.

WWW Wednesday // 18 March 2020


I’m officially just sitting home with no work and no college for the foreseeable future. Yes I am struggling because I need a purpose to my days and suddenly having all plans cancelled is not great.


The silver lining is that I finally have time to read! And I’ve actually been burying myself into books for the last few days. I may catch up to my original reading challenge of 150 books for 2020. Let’s see.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?


I’m not reading anything currently as a paperback or ebook. I’m in-between books. I finished a book just this morning and haven’t picked up another yet.

On the audiobook front, I’m still reading Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. As I’m not commuting, there’s no real use for an audiobook for me.

But I am planning on finishing it soon. Time to start doodling and listen to audiobooks while in quarantine.


I have a proper list after so long! I read quite a bit.

I FINALLY finished The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons last weekend. That huge book was a long and wild. There were a ton of elements to it. It had been on my list for a long time. I’m glad I finally got to it.

It was pretty good. While it was very long and sometimes irritating, it was quite nice. I’m looking forward to read the next book because I gotta know how it all ends.

Right after that, I needed a pick-me-up. Especially with the news nowadays, and sitting at home all day, I needed a happy book.

My book club decided to read Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn and IT WAS SO GOOD. I stayed up until 3am and read it in one sitting. It was so nice. The book was actually quite comforting.

The next book isn’t one that I finished. After seeing it around a lot, I picked up The Upside of Falling by Alex Light. I read until 17% then gave up. It wasn’t good. There wasn’t a lot of content, and the beginning was simply glossed over with a dismal plot. As it didn’t interest me at all, I gave up on it.

After that, I went down back to random romance book haha. It’s been a while since I read books with the secret-baby trope. Don’t ask me why I went back to it, I just did.

The next book that I read was Surprise Baby for Christmas by Harmony Knight. I actually did not like it. It was so sub-par. My only takeaway from it is that there exists something called a cryptic pregnancy. I never knew that existed.

The last one is Her Sicilian Baby Revelation by Michelle Smart. This one was actually not bad. I wish there was some more focus on the struggles the female lead and her son went through, though. Their tragic accident and recovery part was kind of glossed over but I would have liked more focus on that.


No clue. I’m just picking up random books.

Over the next few days, I am planning on reading the sequel of The Bronze Horseman called Tatiana & Alexander. It’s smaller than the first book so it should be done faster.

And I want to read some book, ANY book, from my physical shelf. Maybe Frankly in Love by David Yoon? Just, any of them haha.

And that’s it for this week’s bookish updates!

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Tell me about your bookish updates! What are you currently reading? What did you read recently?

reading challenges updates and goals @ the wordy habitat book blog

February Reading Challenges update + March Goals

Hey guys!

February was a shorter month, even though it was a day longer than usual. This basically means that I read one book less than I originally would.

Okay, I’m totally lying. I’m barely finding the time to read, y’all! I’m using the one missing day as an excuse.

While February was more hectic than usual, I still managed to stay a little consistent in my reading. This was only possible because I started listening to audiobooks during commute. Not always, but enough.

It resulted in me reading three extra books! It’s kind of a lifesaver haha.

Anyway, let’s get to the (disappointing) updates and (hopeful) goals.


When talking about February goals, I mentioned that if I don’t catch up to my goal in February I would reduce my goal. I was 4 books behind at the time.

Today, I’m giving myself a second chance to catch up to my original goal of 150 books. Why, you ask? Because I’ve been consistently 4 books behind all month.

I just need to fit in 4 reads somewhere so I can catch up. Hopefully, it’ll happen.

I’ve made a new goal now, though. If my pace falls behind by 8 books, I WILL reduce it. No second chances.

As of now, I’ve read 22/150 books, leaving me 3 books behind schedule. The only way I reduced one was by reading a very tiny book. Yes, I cheated, but I had no choice.


Last month, I planned to read two books. But I managed to only finish one of them.

Loveboat, Taipei is done. Stories We Never Tell is still sitting unread on my shelf and will probably be there for a while because I’m NOT finding the time to actually read.

I have no specific book in mind for March. If I can read Stories We Never Tell, it would be good. Actually, I stopped keeping track of this challenge completely. Don’t be surprised if it disappears next month haha.*

*sobs internally at my failure


Does it count if the shelf is my To-Be-Read shelf? I assume not. *sigh*

The only books that qualifies for this challenge (that I read) are:

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Axiom by Kristofor Hellmeister

March goals are low and now optimistic so I know I can hit them. My goal is to read at least ONE from my physical shelf.


Someone from my book club who is also doing this challenge has finished 19 of the prompts (!!!!!) and here I am with barely any checked off. *cries internally again*

Prompts I completed in February:

  • A book that’s published in 2020: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
  • A book you picked because the title caught your attention: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A book with at least a 4-star rating on Goodreads: The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes
  • A book you meant to read in 2019: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A book that passes the Bechdel test: What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
  • A book by a WOC: Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

I had meant to read Stories We Never Tell for the last prompt, but since I didn’t read it, I switched the book so I can check off the prompt. Fortunately, I managed to check off a few extra prompts using the books I read. Yay!

This brings my total to 11 prompts! Okay that’s way more than I expected haha. Fortunately my February reads fit in with random prompts.

I don’t have specific prompt goals for March, but I’d like to hit at least 3. Let’s see!


I’m not doing any challenge to get to my backlist books (like Beat the Backlist challenge which I had done a few years back). But since I do have an audiobook subscription now, I’m using it to check off old books from my TBR.

This is happening only because I found those books when browsing, and I fortunately don’t have to buy them individually. This is a good opportunity to finish them.

And that’s it for this month!

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Axiom || Dystopian world of no emotions

Axiom by Kristofor Hellmeister book cover

Title: Axiom
Author: Kristofor Hellmeister
Genre: Science Fiction > Dystopia
Category: Young Adult
Series info: Standalone


I’m very into dystopia. While there are few books that I’ve really liked, I’m always looking for books in the genre that sound interesting.

Axiom was one of those. When the author reached out to me for a review in return for an advanced reader’s copy, I immediately agreed. And I looked forward to reading it as well.

The Plot

Axiom is peaceful. There is no violence and there are no variables. Even death is not a concept here.

People are known as “Figures” and have their own Roles in Axiom. Each Figure’s Role is important to the working of Axiom.

The reason this is seamlessly achieved is because only one person has control of Axiom—the Lord Protector. Only he has control and every Figure exists to serve him. In return for loyalty and obedience, he keeps Axiom peaceful and healthy.

But what happens when some Figures start having emotions? When they break out of Roles to search for purpose in their existence? And is Axiom really so perfect?

This book explores a future possibility where, to eradicate violence, emotions are removed and one person reigns with all control.

My Review

Tackling this review in the form of lists, because lists rock.

What I liked:

  • The world-building.

The first half of the book had me hooked. Through perspectives of characters in very different positions of the world, we get to see the various sides of Axiom.

I was completely engaged when reading about the setting, and how things work in this fictional place. The technology described was very interesting as well.

  • Addition of and debate on concepts like God and morals.

The way God was brought into the story and portrayed was quite clever. In the book, God is known as “Theo”. To me, that was weird in the beginning but it does make sense. No matter the name, it’s the belief that counts.

We see characters who are devout believers as well as characters who don’t even consider of such an existence. Interaction of the two was intriguing, and very similar to the current world’s stance. No matter the time, this debate will probably continue.

  • The ending.

I can’t say why without spoiling it but I appreciated how the book ended. It made me think for a few minutes, and I liked that.

What I did not like:

  • The plot didn’t seem cohesive all the time.

In fact, different characters could have been in entirely different worlds. There was very little connectivity between the different areas of the book, which was jarring during the perspective shifts.

  • Character growth.

This was the thing that got on my nerves the most. Characters would make entire revelations about themselves and/or the world around them based on very little.

In reality, the process of one’s growth is very long. But in this book it took place in the span of a night. Out of nowhere, revelations and identity changes were made. I found it hard to accept, because it happened so suddenly and is done at once.

  • I lost interest at around 50%

Until then, I was swept up in understanding the world and finding out how it worked. When the focus of the writing shifted to the characters, I wasn’t interested in the book as much.

It’s probably because of the way the characters’ journey was shown, especially a few key places about character growth. The world was great but the characters just did not interest me.


I found the book pretty okay. I didn’t enjoy the book a lot, but it wasn’t bad as well.

Recommended if you like great world-building, dystopian books.

Not recommended if characters and character growth is very important to you.

I rate this book…

2.5/5 stars

top ten tuesday header image

The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Books that leave you with book hangovers are the best books.

They affect you so much that you CANNOT MOVE ON.

And to be honest, I’ve not read many such books. I’m someone who likes to read quick and move on quick. I usually move on to other books soon. Hence, the books that give me a book hangover and grip me for days after finishing them are BRILLIANT.

My standards are pretty high lol.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ The Artsy Reader Girl to talk about books and this post’s topic is The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover.

Edit: I seem to have messed up my dates and picked up last week’s topic. You can see how out of it I am haha. Such a shame because this week’s topic is SO GOOD *cries*

[1] Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer

heads you win book cover

Jeffrey Archer’s books always suck me in and give me a book hangover, although of different levels. The unique thing about this book was that it WASN’T ACTUALLY GOOD??? The ending got me so messed up and I still have a 100 questions.

After finishing the book, I thought about it and went around in circles for DAYS. Although the ending ruined the experience for me, it IS a very good book. And the author made sure I won’t forget it lol. That ending was… something.

Click here to see my full review of the book.

[2] Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Rafe book cover

Okay so you want to know why a fluffy romance book gave me a book hangover?

It’s because this book was AMAZING.

  • A very nice plot.
  • No random nonsense or just fluff.
  • It was over all just really well written and
  • It was great to read.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the book after finishing it. I read a couple other books after it, and CAME BACK to reread this book because it wasn’t getting out of my head.

Click here to read my review.

[3] Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood book cover

Okay this one gave me a PROPER HANGOVER.

When I finished reading it, I reread the last part then had to sit with my thoughts for quite a while. Just thinking and processing.

I spent the next one day just thinking about the entirety of this book and having questions. In order to get it all out, I found a random person on Reddit to discuss with lol. That’s how much I needed to talk about it and get it out of my system.

A brilliant book. In fact I did make notes on it for a review but never ended up writing it because my thoughts were never clear enough.

[4] Heartache duet by Jay McLean

heartache & hope book cover

Technically, I got a book hangover by the complete duology. I read books 1 and 2 continuously and hence they gave me a book hangover together.

This is another review that I eventually didn’t end up writing. My thoughts were quite clear but my emotions were ALL OVER THE PLACE. I didn’t trust myself to review clearly and hence I didn’t.

It was part of my best books of 2019 though. That should say enough.

The books deal with many themes but basically they BREAK YOUR HEART. Using realistic and heartbreaking situations, the authors weaved a romance story which is so much more. It has a happy ending but the road to it was brutal.

[5] The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

the poet x book cover

Honestly, the fact that this is on this list shouldn’t even be a surprise.

It’s a brilliant and powerful book. The words, the writing, the story, the representation, the EMOTION—they were all hard-hitting and on-point.

Click here to read my review.

[6] Forever Right Now by Emma Scott

forever right now book cover

Another book that was mentioned in my best of 2019 list that I didn’t review. Because I didn’t know how to.

This book is romance but also involves the struggles of an ex-drug addict in recovery. It’s about second chances, and about family.

I didn’t even see this book affecting me much while reading it. But it subtly made a big impression on me. I didn’t even realize it became one of my best reads until a couple days after finishing it.

The realization came when I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and it had me going back to reread parts multiple times.

If you want a romance book recommendation that is underrated but really good, this is it.

[7] Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

queen of air and darkness book cover

This needs ZERO explanation.

Cassandra Clare’s The Dark Artifices trilogy was TOO DAMN GOOD and the last book gave EVERYONE a book hangover. That’s the truth. Let’s move on.

[8] The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner

the perfect husband book cover

This mystery + thriller book BLEW ME AWAY. I couldn’t stop talking about it to my friend.

Coincidentally, my friend actually referred to this book recently and remembered exact details because I was SO PASSIONATE about this book.

Click here to read my review.

[9] Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Josh & Hazel's guide to not dating book cover

Simply because this book was way too adorable. The characters were perfect, the chemistry was on-point, and the story had me HOOKED.

It also includes my #1 trope which is friends-to-lovers. Christina Lauren wrote this book so well and it’s one of my all-time best romance books. I’ve reread it SO MANY TIMES.

Click here to read my review.

[10] Radio Silence

radio silence book cover

Alice Oseman is popular for a very valid reason. And Radio Silence is her most popular book for a REASON.

I’ve never read a book like Radio Silence before. The plot, the characters, the VIBE—all of it was unique and immersive. After finishing the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had so many feelings.

Click here to read my review.

And those were the last ten books that gave me a book hangover! This week’s prompt was actually fun to do because I got to talk about awesome books lol.

Take my recommendation and go READ THESE.

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What are some books that gave you book hangovers?