REVIEW: Killer Domes and the Chosen One

I don’t often read sci-fi, so today’s one is slightly out of my comfort zone. It’s not something I reach for, but after this, I’m excited to explore more in the future.


Killer Domes and the Chosen One
by Gibbo Gibbs

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

As the old world burned, the elite departed to colonise space in search of a new home. Most of the human species perished on earth’s surface, but a protected few remained. Many generations passed without question, but now suspicions are starting to rise.

Follow the story of Maz and her best friend Hap, as a chance encounter with a stranger lures them into a mission to decide the future of humankind.

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*A copy of this book was given by the author in exchange for an honest review. Do note that this is a review of the first version. There is an updated version released in December 2019.

It opens with Maz opening a file on the cathedral and admiring the designs of buildings that existed years ago. She was speaking to her friend, Hap, who wore a pirate hat and a long black beard. It’s a bold statement, I don’t agree with his taste but it’s a bold statement. However, he then said, “Avatar menu, face, beard, remove.” Which made me wonder: what am I reading?

In this book set in the future, humans are bald, required to reboot, use augmented-reality to order sustenance in the form of liquid that is tailored specifically to their bodies’ needs, and constantly had design projects.

Honestly, as a design major, I was intrigued.

The story was fast-paced but lacked a lot of explanation and development that I hoped for. I guess that’s what a novella is like. There were a few things that were left between the lines that would’ve given me a fuller picture of the way the domes worked, who The Elite were and more about Krakat’s leadershi style. I have a lot of things I want to write this book, but because the book description was vague, I feel as if it would all be a big spoiler.

As for the characters, I didn’t like Maz much. I thought her character was selfish – pushing Hap to delay his reboots, dismissive of him, and overall quite rude towards him, though I do see that she cared. I understand that she feels special and is special, but is that…her entire personality? More characters were introduced in the latter part of the story, almost all of them annoys me. The only character whom I adored, Logan, made me feel so betrayed. I loved him to bits, he was such a friendly, awkward robot but man I felt so betrayed. Also, not so fun drinking game, take a shot or a sip of water every time “chosen one” was mentioned.

I liked the ending and enjoyed the twist at the end, but it also left me even more confused. Personally, I think it has the potential to be something great. There were multiple things going on, and so many questions left unanswered that left this feeling underdeveloped. I believe if this wasn’t a novella, it would’ve been fleshed out better.

REVIEW: do you suffer?

Every second week of the month, we read a poetry collection. I have a lot of those and there’s definitely going to be more on my blog in the future.

I do fear that I fall into some sort of poetry niche, since I enjoy reading different genres and need to switch it up, else I become desensitized. There will be a lot more coming in November, and in January, but not too much that it will flood you.

Hopefully.


do you suffer?
by Guinevere Yoseyva,

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

“do you suffer?” is Guinevere Yoseyva’s first book of poetry spanning from late 2018 – 2019. This collection of their work exists as a documentation of their internal suffering from this period. It is a manifestation of their attempt to work through this mindset and lives as a release of these emotions.

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

“do you suffer?” is a collection of poems centered around the theme of suffering from sadness, anger, loss and betrayal. It is personal and reflective, and it feels like I’m reading a diary.

Yoseyva’s poetry is a joy to read. I enjoyed the personification and the way the poet chooses to describe things. Unlike many poems that focuses on imagery, the poet chooses words carefully that emphasises feelings. I have a few favourite lines but especially the opening line below, it still makes my jaw drop, even weeks after reading it.

the grinning moon
smiles down on everyone
but me

Guinevere Yoseyva

I love the titles. To me, that was the best part of this collection. I also enjoyed the way the writer uses the formatting of text to enhance emotions and context, it’s always a pleasure to read books like that.

However, I have some minor issues with this book. There were some poems I couldn’t understand because of the context (I don’t get the part about Paris Hilton’s jealousy..?) so I couldn’t enjoy it fully. There were also minor spelling errors which were overlooked, but it didn’t affect the reading too much.

Yoseyva is also an artist, which you can view and purchase here.

REVIEW: The Humiliations of Pipi McGee

I realised as a book reviewer, I’m filled with nothing but regrets. Today, we review a book I regret not reading earlier.

This was a book I downloaded from NetGalley back in 2019, when I first started reviewing. Suddenly I was overwhelmed, fell into a slump, multiple slumps, and now in 2021, I am kicking myself for not reading this earlier.

It was great. My heart is warm, so are my tears. I had a great time going through rollercoasters of emotions with this one.


The Humiliations of Pipi McGee
by Beth Vrabel

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

Award-winning author Beth Vrabel writes with humor and empathy about a girl who wants to shed her embarrassing moments before she leaves middle school behind her. The first eight years of Penelope McGee’s education have been a curriculum in humiliation. Now she is on a quest for redemption, and a little bit of revenge.

From her kindergarten self-portrait as a bacon with boobs, to fourth grade when she peed her pants in the library thanks to a stuck zipper to seventh grade where…well, she doesn’t talk about seventh grade. Ever.

After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi–fearing that her eight humiliations will follow her into the halls of Northbrook High School–decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Pipi McGee is seeking redemption, but she’ll take revenge, too.

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hurt people hurt people

Beth Vrabel, The Humiliations of Pipi McGee

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

With a combination of lovable characters, fast-paced storyline and enjoyable writing, I couldn’t put this down.

8th Grade: a new school year, a chance for new beginnings. For Pipi McGee, it’s a chance for new beginnings but first, she needs to check things off her list, ‘The List’, that is, of her 8 biggest humiliations and taking revenge on everyone who has humiliated her. From Regina George in middle-school form vile Kara Samson, her long-term unreciprocated crush who had rejected her in a horrific way Jackson Thorpe, and the ever-unbearable Frau Jacobs… and almost everyone who has ran away, shunned and snickered from the Pipi Touch.

Despite all that she has been through, she had her best friend Tasha by her side. Bold, fearless, captain of the track team and a book nerd with dyslexia, who no matter how busy her schedule was, had always made time and stood up for her best friend Pipi. She also had Ricky, who had always been there for her from the beginning, but she was too blind to realise and only believed they were friends because of his crush on Tasha.

I loved all the characters. From Pipi, her family, her schoolmates, the popular group in school, but maybe not the boring as stale bread Jackson Thorpe. He is still young, sure, figuring himself out, sure, but man I wished there was more to him. That aside, I loved the relationships and complex personalities of the characters in this book. Especially Pipi, who at times made me want to yell and hide in fear of consequences for her actions, yet hug and comfort her at the same time.

Aside from school, it focuses on Pipi’s family life, with her bad relationship with her sister Eliza, her adorable but insanely intelligent and wise for a 4-year-old niece, Annie, and her divorced parents and her mother’s new boyfriend Alec. It was refreshing and a lovely balance to the chaos in school, and it gave more depth into Pipi’s life outside of working on The List.

I especially liked how this book deals with issues like bullying, and generations of hurt and power complexes. The storyline is rather predictable, but I believe it falls under the good side of predictable, where it is set-up well and made sense. It was a very enjoyable read.

REVIEW: History Adventures, World of Characters (1750-1900)

If you’re are interested in history, art, education and technology, today’s book is for you.

I’ve always wanted to learn about world history. It wasn’t something that was taught in-depth during my time as a student. My country’s syllabus was focused on their own history, and a few chapters on the wars, renaissance, inventions and the industrial revolution. I wish I could learn more about other countries, but doing it on my own is overwhelming.

Then came this book, which I accepted to review in a heartbeat.

This post of mine might sound like a big advertisement, but to me, this book is amazing and it has the potential to improve textbooks and education, something I am very passionate about. I would love to support as much as I can.

I highly recommend you visiting their website where you can experience this incredible interactive book.


History Adventures, World of Characters (1750-1900)
by Spencer Striker

get it here (website link)

BOOK SUMMARY

Looking for the best way to learn World History? Travel back in time to 1750–1900 with award-winning History Adventures and experience the stories of 5 amazing characters who lived during this dynamic period—brought to life with the help of animation, interactivity, and visual effects.

‘History Adventures is the first of its kind, tackling the history of the world in a format that keeps students wanting more.’ © Film Daily

History Adventures is a non-profit organization creating a revolutionary interactive learning experience that will enhance and broaden student comprehension of the complex world around them.

Developed by Spencer Striker, PhD, History Adventures is taking world history education to a whole new level with 3D experiences, data visualizations, sound effects, and amazing graphics. Importantly, you will also be able to test your comprehension by taking multimedia, rich assessments at the end of each character narrative.

History Adventures blends the latest innovations in mobile entertainment design and technology—including animation, music, motion, and sound effects, with the powerful storytelling method of narrativizing the life stories of peoples who lived in past centuries, in different ages and locations around the world, with an innovative, cross-disciplinary curriculum, optimized for digital learning.

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

This book was set during the Industrialization & Global Integration times, between 1750 to 1900. It tells of the major events that happened in Australia, China, Congo and America, through some fictional characters who, upon research, are from folk tales passed down through generations.

It is a very cool concept where you can interact with the pages, tapping on certain buttons to read more, engage in a 3D experience, test your knowledge and even listen to a historian add comments to the subject… it really changes the way you learn. We’ve often heard that the power of technology enables us to do amazing things but this? This can change the future of textbooks.

Truly, the book lives up to its name. It really is an adventure, going from country to country and even participating in choosing the ending for each story. Each story is short, spanning 2 pages and a page where you can choose what happens next. You are transported into the scene and experiencing history in their shoes. In the next section, it goes beyond the characters and teaches more about the history through 3D experience, short notes and even tests to recall what you’ve read.

I admire the unbelievable effort put into this book. A big round of applause for the team, consisting of very hardworking individuals from 6 continents, who have searched for and compiled historical documents, created incredible art and music, working on the technical side of the book. This is amazing, and I really hope to support them in making learning accessible to everyone.

It’s a high-quality book that I recommend to everyone. Here are the links to support them to create more accessible ways to learn history:

Website
Instagram
Facebook
Facebook Group

ARC REVIEW: Bibliophile: Diverse Spines

Today, we talk about diversity.

I’m from Malaysia, a multiracial country between Thailand and Singapore. It is the home to the 3 major races (Malay, Chinese and Indian) and it is the home to the Orang Asli, the collective term of natives that covers 18 ethnic groups. There is of course mix-races that formed their own culture, such as the Baba Nyonya, and even other cultural groups from the East such as the Ibans and Kadazan Dusuns.

As a Malaysian book reviewer, I don’t read enough diverse books, and especially books from my own country. In a multicultural country like this, there’s so many voices to be heard, and since I have a few from my shelf, I’ll start from there. But of course, there’s definitely more BIPOC books to read, and I highly encourage you to do the same.

Here is a book that can help you out.


Bibliophile: Diverse Spines
by Jamise Harper & Jane Mount

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

It’s time to diversify your reading list. 

This richly illustrated and vastly inclusive collection uplifts the works of authors who are often underrepresented in the literary world. Using their keen knowledge and deep love for all things literary, coauthors Jamise Harper (founder of the Diverse Spines book community) and Jane Mount (author of Bibliophile) collaborated to create an essential volume filled with treasures for every reader:

  • Dozens of themed illustrated book stacks—like Classics, Contemporary Fiction, Mysteries, Cookbooks, and more—all with an emphasis on authors of color and authors from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • A look inside beloved bookstores owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color 
  • Reading recommendations from leading BIPOC literary influencers

Diversify your reading list to expand your world and shift your perspective. Kickstart your next literary adventure now!

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 4 out of 5.

*An ARC was given by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

For marginalized writers and readers, and for the booksellers, librarians, and booklovers who champion those voices.

Jamise Harper & Jane Mount

I’ve realised that as a person-of-colour, I don’t read many diverse books. Most of the books on my shelf are from white authors, and if I were to put all my diverse books together, it might only fill up one shelf. That is definitely something that needs to change and I’m extremely glad to have a copy of this book, which gave me a list to start.

Bibliophile: Diverse Spines promotes reading books from other races, splitting it into different genres from cook books to dystopia, poetry to feminism. There’s a diverse read waiting for you, in whatever genre you enjoy reading. Although it isn’t entirely an ‘OwnVoices’ book from cover to cover, there will be elements and of it throughout the book, which can help increase empathy for others.

Aside from being a book that recommends diverse reads, they involve authors and influential BIPOC readers to share their favourite books, favourite BIPOC-owned bookstores across America and Canada, and also shared writing spaces from a few authors. There are also a couple of pages dedicated to beautiful book covers which made my heart flutter.

If you want to start reading diversely, this book is a good guide. It is mostly focused on Black authors and experiences, but there’s definitely other Indigenous and POC voices from around the world as well. For some of the books, there’s a short description on what it is about so you can easily add it to your TBR list, but for some others, you can easily find the description online.

As I read it, I compiled a list of the books I wanted to read. It felt great to see a few of the books on my shelf on here too, but there can definitely be more. The beautiful illustrations are also a big plus, and was what initially caught my attention. The bibliophile series is definitely one that I’ve been looking forward to purchasing, and having a copy, just an advance-reader’s ebook is good enough for me.

I’m taking this time to shoutout some of my favourite diverse-reading, POC book reviewers:
Christine from LookPrettyBooks
Atul from Atul Reads
Jessica from Endless Chapters
Xueh Wei from ReadLahWei
Zat from The Euphoric Zat,
Sofii from A Book, A Thought

Blind date with a book

The concept of a blind date with a book was first introduced to me through social media. Often, I’ve seen book sellers wrapping books in brown paper, and listing the genre and a few descriptions of the book, leaving it to the customers to pick their next read.

It’s popular on social media, but I’ve seen book vending machines with the same type of concept. I’ve also done a giveaway in 2018 with such a theme too. Today, I’ll be sharing 4 books in such a manner. Ideally, you’ll be able to find your next read, or perhaps your next love.

If there’s one that interests you, please let me know which! I’m excited to hear your thoughts.


Book 1: Mystery

Goodreads: 3.99 stars

  • Dual point-of-view
  • Set in Japan
  • Unreliable narrator
  • Fast-paced

[click to find out book 1]

Book 2: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads: 3.89 stars

  • Autism-spectrum disorder
  • Younger narrator
  • Character-driven
  • Detective story
  • Short novel

[click to find out book 2]

Book 3: Historical Fiction

Goodreads: 4.91 stars

  • Interactive
  • Gorgeous illustrations
  • Set in different places across the world
  • Educational, set in the industrial revolution period
  • A part of a bigger series but works as a standalone

[click to find out book 3]

Book 4: Poetry

Goodreads: 4.18 stars

  • South-East Asian/Malaysian writer
  • Relatable and reflective
  • Rhymes
  • Multiple themes: death, loneliness, pain, joy, blessings

[click to find out book 4]


When looking for books to include in this post, I realised that I read way too many mysteries and poetry books. It was a struggle to find books that were out of those genres, and weren’t parts of a series. I definitely need to expand my reading, and of course, take you along with me.

Are you interested in these titles? Let me know!

REVIEW: The Soulless Shoe

Today’s poetry collection reminded me of a struggle I have with book reviewing – ratings.

Rating books that are quite personal to the author: where do you stand? On one hand, you can have your own thoughts and feelings about a book. On the other, it is someone else’s life that we are rating, or maybe the portrayal of it. It feels strange to give it a number, as if we are right to decide.

Where do you stand on this topic? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The Soulless Shoe
by Mehak Goyal

BOOK SUMMARY

It is a chapbook on poetry divided into 3 parts: tattered, stitched and adorned.

The first section deals with the agony of heartbreak.
The second section focuses on healing and recovering.
The third section captures the desire to fall in love clouded by the doubts of being broken again.

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*An e-copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Soulless Shoe is a short poetry chapbook, good for a quick read that you’re able to finish in one sitting. It is divided into 3 parts covering despair, hope, and finally being mended back together, and it begins with a poem that illustrates the scene, and the following poems after that enhances it.

It seems like a whole story told through 21 poems, however, because of how there wasn’t any clear indication that there were separate poems, it could be just 3 very long poems and that is very impressive.

In terms of the design and layout, a line art accompanies every poem, and the layout was unlike any other that I’ve read. Traditionally, poems would either be centered in the middle, or aligned left, but there’s variation throughout the pages which I really liked. It’s extremely rare to see a poem aligned to the right, but for all 3 layouts in one book? That’s new.

It feels strange to write a review of this collection. On one hand, it is only 36 pages from cover to cover, on the other hand, it is so personal to the author. For someone to write poems as perhaps a form of catharsis, it is difficult to give it a number rating (but in the end I did).

For the sake of a review, from a reader’s perspective, I appreciate the hope, joy and strength towards the end of the book. Other than that, it is quick and sweet, but left more to be desired.

REVIEW: Halcyon (The Perfect Circle Trilogy, #2)

I reviewed the first book (Nimbus) in the Perfect Circle Trilogy a few years ago. I really enjoyed it then and it was personally one of the better reviews I’ve written. It was an instant five stars.

The second book came at a different time in my life. It took me 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to read.

*I suggest reading my review of Nimbus before diving in, or at least reading the summary of the two books. There will be references, but no spoilers of course.


Halcyon
by A.C. Miller

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

It’s been three months since the events that transpired in Nimbus. Three months in which Sam, Sean, and Elise have tried to get over the nightmare that wanted to kill them; the same nightmare that ended the lives of those they loved. Now, time is up—somewhere else is calling them; somewhere else desires to test their strength.

A new place beckons for Elise to learn its ways.

It pleads for Sam not to shy away from the horrors he may experience.

It begs Sean to show his strength when he least believes he can. And the longer they wait, the stronger the call becomes; the more it dares to make them suffer until they find and answer it.

In Halcyon, Sam, Elise, and Sean search for a new world, a new home by leaving everything they’ve ever known behind. With no clue what lies ahead, will they discover a new society and a new way of living, or will their haunted pasts catch up with them?

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

*A physical review copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

“You have to acknowledge the pain and use it as fuel to keep you moving forward, to keep you from ending up in the same spot.”

– A.C. Miller, Halcyon

When reading Halcyon, half the time you’re confused, the other half you’re terrified. You’re transported into the story, and just like the characters, no one knows what is going on or what is ahead. However, just like them, you need to continue forward.

Following the events of Nimbus, Sam, Elise, Sean and the other survivors that they’ve found have nowhere to go. Until Sam and Elise begin to experience strange nightmares that tell them of a new place. They’re compelled to follow the strange voice that is guiding them, and that’s how they reach Halcyon – the next circle.

If I were to describe this book, it’d be a dark, dystopian thriller. It is not an easy read, its filled with anxiety and it’s kinda creepy. Yet there were moments I felt extremely relieved and relaxed, thinking Halcyon seems nice, only to be proven wrong, multiple times. There were so many twists and turns in the story. One moment they are drinking a chocolate soda (is that a real thing?), the next moment they are threatened to have their pinky cut off. You know a story is good when the villain is disturbingly evil, yet at some point, you feel compassion for them.

The story switches between the 3 POVs of Sean, Elise and Sam. It is written in short chapters, which makes reading a 317 page book rather easy. I know I took 2 years to read this, but once you get into the groove, you’re able to go through 30 or 40 pages very quickly. I really enjoyed how there was a lot of wisdom spilled on these pages. I often find myself wanting to take pictures of it whenever I came across them, but sometimes, it’s better for people to read it for themselves.

Towards the end, it felt a little rushed, yet if I were in that position, I would’ve done the same thing. I guess, as a reader, after seeing the amount of torment they’ve gone through, I became a little sceptical of anything positive going their way. I guess that’s what Halcyon does to you.

REVIEW: September 11, 2001: The Day the World Changed Forever

It happened a little over a year after I was born. I don’t know much about that day, or how it affected my family, I didn’t ask. What little I knew came from the media, so this is the first book I’m reading about it.

I wouldn’t be able to bring anything to the table, but I’m sharing this easy to understand graphic novel that shows the aftermath, the physical and non-physical effects of 9/11. There were mentions of this being somewhat of a propaganda from a 1 star Goodreads review that I’ve read, but whether that is true, I’m unsure. Though, take it with a grain of salt.

What I will be sharing is based of my own personal opinion, and it will only be a review of this book.


September 11, 2001: The Day the World Changed Forever
by Baptiste Bouthier and Héloïse Chochois (illustrator)

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

What do younger generations know about the terrible tragedy that shook America and the world on September 11, 2001? In this gripping documentary work by journalist Baptiste Bouthier and illustrator Heloïse Chochois, we first learn about the historic day from several inside perspectives. In the second half, the authors take stock of 9/11 in the days, weeks, and years that followed, from tramautized America to George W. Bush’s crusade against the “axis of evil.” A not-be-missed piece of graphic non-fiction, published 20 years after the events in question.

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What I know about the September 11 incident is limited. I’ve heard of it, know a little of what happened, but this is the first book that I’ve read about this day. It definitely helped me understand the severity of it, as it is more than about the thousands of people who lost their lives that day. There were also plenty of events that happened shortly after.

From the September 11 incident, it branched out into the Patriot Act, the NSA, terrorism and war. It showed me something new that I never knew about, which I’m very thankful for. Unfortunately, there was only a short part on Islamophobia and racism, which I wished they could’ve highlighted more of. Although, they covered a bit on the Guantanamo detention camp.

My favourite part was when Juliette’s mother asked “from what angle?”, in regard to Juliette telling her mother about the discussion her history class had regarding the incident. It was a brief moment, but that question was impactful.

It seems strange to comment about the illustrations when such a heavy and important matter is at hand, but it is great. I particularly liked the airport scenes, the one with the firefighters going up the stairs, and the one on the many U.S. intelligence. I liked how they fit multiple ideas into just one frame of a page.

It is sad to say not much has changed, but I’m still glad to have been able to learn about world history through this book.

REVIEW: Appreciation and Meaning Journal

I’ve always loved the idea of journaling, but never really committed to it. The idea of pouring out your heart’s content, your thoughts, sitting there and trying to understand yourself…that is very appealing to me. I’ve tried to do it, by writing a series of prompts that I hope to answer but have only made it through the first 2, to my disappointment. The closest I’m doing right now is writing a line of things I am appreciative of every day, and I even struggle with that.

For this book review, I’m committing to trying it out for 3 weeks before I form a solid judgement.*

*UPDATE: I did NOT last 3 weeks.


Appreciation and Meaning Journal
by Andrew Eltes

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

Is there something missing in your life? Are you seeking to live a more appreciative and meaningful life? In Appreciation and Meaning Journal, author Andrew Eltes guides you to feeling gratitude while focusing on what matters most every single day.

Through a series of ten empowering questions, this journal is designed to help you:

• deliberately feel positive;
• focus on and feel gratitude for what is going well in your life;
• concentrate on how you can better yourself while growing
and giving to others;
• be centered and prioritize what matters most each day
while feeling the core reasons for these actions; and
• connect to the essence and enjoy the feeling of
accomplishing a goal before it is physically completed.

The Appreciation and Meaning Journal helps you ask yourself empowering questions, feel the benefit of empowering and meaningful answers, and have the best start to the day possible while also being centered and focused on what matters most that day. It should be a day that feels and looks how you want it to.

BOOK REVIEW

3 STARS

*An e-copy was provided by the author in return for an honest review.

This wasn’t what I expected at all. I had a few assumptions before reading this book. First, I thought it was a book filled with daily journaling prompts (which I was looking for and was very thrilled to receive), but after looking at the reviews, I thought it was a book about how journaling can benefit us and how to effectively journal.

It was a mix of both.

This book was separated into two parts. The first was an introduction to journaling, explaining how the way we see ourselves is a lens to how we see the world. It emphasized on the focus on the present moment. The latter part was a journal which had about 10 daily journaling prompts, alongside with a new motivational quote every day.

There’s something about the way it was written, possibly the choice of words and the lack of punctuation, that makes it slightly difficult to read. I had to reread the paragraphs a few times just because the sentences were too long, or because the choice of words that stops me from understanding it quickly. It was written in a formal tone, almost like reading a research journal because of how the writer refers to the reader as “one” and “oneself”.

A big part of this Appreciation and Meaning Journal is on acceptance, being grateful, and how to change a negative situation. I appreciate that the writer provided detailed examples of how to make the most out of this guide. The examples were given in full sentences, which adds on to the feeling of an affirmation. The author emphasises on writing in our journals in a positive manner.

For this book review, I wanted to try it out. I wrote the questions down and answered it every day for as long as I could. I started off really motivated for the first three days and journaled as early as I could. Then, the next few days I journaled whenever I want to, making sure that it’s not night-time yet. The last four days were difficult, I dreaded it and only did it just to commit for this review.

Then the 10th day came, I remembered, dreaded it, procrastinated, remembered again, procrastinated and then I forgot. I barely lasted 10 days. It’s now Day 11, and I’m trying to continue, this time I’ll try to get it done in the morning but we will see. (Update: I did not get it done in the mornings.)

On day 15, I dreaded writing in it. I was wondering if I should cut it down to 14 days instead, two weeks, but I still tried to journal. It didn’t take too much of my time. One more week to go.

On day 16, it completely fell through. 5 days short of week 3 and I don’t want to do it anymore. Here is why:

  1. I find it hard to appreciate something new every day.
    With the pandemic, my days are almost a routine. I wake up around the same time every day, spend a few hours working, spend some time scrolling through social media, read, watch videos, write, attend classes. To write something new every day means I need to create opportunities to make it somewhat different. I am appreciative of what I have and the people and things around me, but sometimes I don’t want to force it and write something that isn’t true.
  2. I dread it.
    It’s not a difficult task. It takes at most 10 minutes to think, write in full sentences, and try to come up with at least 3 answers for most of it (my own added challenge which I failed in). For this journal, I pasted the prompts on a page on Notion and saved it on my bookmarks bar so I can access it easily. I remember I have to do it multiple times a day, but I ignore it, and then 2AM rolls around and I am reflecting on my day.
  3. It wasn’t what I expected.
    This is a me problem (not like the other 2 weren’t but you get what I mean). I went into this expecting a book filled with different prompts every day, or maybe just a different daily prompt on every page. It wasn’t any fault of the author, but that’s a book that I’ve been looking for and I was wondering if this could be it. I was looking forward to the journaling part more than the appreciation part. The latter was the point of this journaling book.

Either way, I believe this book helped many people, especially when checking the reviews on Goodreads. Although it wasn’t what I expected, it definitely taught me a few things about myself, and it helped me improve on the way I journal. I’m definitely looking forward to journaling more.