FEBRUARY WRAP-UP

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How far have we come! It is February now and I’ve already read 12 books out of the 45 that I’ve set as my goal.

February was a great reading month for me since I was able to read 5 books and re-read my childhood favourite — Malory Towers. I discovered many good books thanks to NetGalley and I’m excited to share it with you!

  1. The Secret of Dinswood by Ellen Alexander

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    One of the books I reviewed from NetGalley, The Secret of Dinswood is a middle-grade book that was an enjoyable read. It reminds me of Malory Towers because of the boarding school setting and the spoilt, rich children and also of Secret Seven since the protagonist Emma and her friends are super close!

    I love how Emma had to juggle her schoolwork and feelings for Doug and also find the hidden treasure so she could ensure that her beloved Dinswood Academy stays open.

    For the full review, click here!

  2. First Term at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

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    After reading The Secret of Dinswood, I had the huge desire to re-read Malory Towers. I remembered it as one of my favourites when I was younger and was thrilled when an online used bookstore was selling the box collection!

  3. Second Form at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

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  4. This Place is Not My Home  by Cyn Bermudez

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    An unconventional way of narrating a story, This Place is Not My Home is narrated through the emails exchanged by brothers Victor and Isaac who were sent to foster homes after their mother was jailed.

    Victor has a hard time in his new foster home and was blamed for stolen goods, shunned by his foster siblings and treated badly by his foster parents. Isaac on the other hand likes his foster parents but is anxious that they will kick him out.

    For the full review, click here!

  5. Flock in a Closet by Tia Wins

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    I’ve also read a poem collection this month! This one is separated into three parts — Spectrum, His Diary of Love and Valentines Collection. My favourite out of the three was Spectrum since it consists of poems with different themes like encouragement, love and friendship.

    I related to quite a lot of the poems here and you can definitely see that the poet poured her heart into her poems.

    For the full review, click here!

I’m not too sure how many books I will be reading in March since I’m starting work soon but hopefully at least three. How many do you plan to read and have you decided on which?

I have but I tend not to follow it at all! But we will find out next month, won’t we?

Till then!

– J

JANUARY WRAP-UP

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Hello guys! How are you all doing? January has come and gone and now it’s a brand new month.

I’ve been rather busy in January. I had my finals for my foundations class, graduated and moved to a new place. I’ve fell into a reading slump and not everything has been going on well after my finals, hence the slow progress in reading.

Despite this, I was able to read 4 books in January, most being graphic novels which still counts as reading.

  1. Aldo by Yannick Pelegrin

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    Aldo remained 28 years-old for the past 300 years and has been looking for the answers for his immortality.

    Aldo was a confusing read. It required more thought than what was on the surface. I definitely adored the colour palette and the art style. I deeply believe that the art and the colours worked really well to portray Aldo’s feelings of loneliness, rememberance and confusion.

    Full review of Aldo

  2. What Makes Girls Sick and Tired by Lucile de Pesloüan

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    What Makes Girls Sick and Tired is a feminist graphic novel, sharing about the things that women are sick of hearing and the discrimination that they face.

    Full review of What Makes Girls Sick and Tired

  3. Things That Don’t Make Sense by Brynn Kelly

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    A middle-grade fiction for a change. Things That Don’t Make Sense is about a kid with a learning disability, hence things ‘don’t make sense’ to him.

    I loved this book but felt that it was too short. I loved that it was about learning disabilities and I believe many children are able to relate to the main character. This is definitely a good read that it deserves a lot more attention.

    Full review of Things That Don’t Make Sense

  4. #TrueBeing by Sagar Datta

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    The first poem collection of 2019. I read a few in 2018 and hope to read a lot more of poems in 2019.

    #TrueBeing is a collection of poems that aims to make the readers reflect on their own lives. The poems are separated into three themes – Love, Life and Relationships, and accompanied by beautiful illustrations.

    Full review of #TrueBeing

That’s all for today. I started writing this before my Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner but am only able to finish this post once the guest has left. It’s currently Chinese New Year now and I will be busy for the next few days! I will definitely be reading so I’ll catch up with you guys next time!

-J

December Wrap-Up

 

I’m currently writing this, one hour away from midnight before New Year’s day. I am extremely excited for the new year as I have a ton of things planned, both for my blog as well as my Instagram, which you can follow here.

December was a fun time. I doubted that I had enough time to read a few more books before the year ended and instead of two which I had set my heart on, it ended up with three different types of books!

  1. Fireside Chat with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer by Ryan Suvaal

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    This makes me wonder what the protagonist would be like if she was an English teacher.

    A serial killer that targets only writers decided to appear on an internet talk show. She shares about the method to her madness, her victims and it ends with a very surprising twist!

    A short psychological thriller that is sure to keep you up all night!

    You can read my review of it here!

  2.  The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo,#2) by Rick Riordan

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    If I’m not mistaken, I started this either early this year or somewhere in May only for it to be ignored until recently.

    I’ve been an avid reader of Riordan’s work (except Kane Chronicles, I’m not a fan of Egyptian mythologies) and I love how he includes characters from his previous works. For me, the Trials of Apollo series is one of the hardest to love since Apollo isn’t a very likable character. I didn’t feel for any of the characters in the story either however it was mentions of characters from the Heroes of Olympus series that made me continue this series.

    You can read my full review of it here!

Agate Memory (Bronze Rebellion, #3) by L.C. Perry

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You’d probably think that the writer might place less emphasis on some events when there’s so many things going on in the story. Perry is sure to prove you wrong!

Agate Memory is the third in the Bronze Rebellion series and as much as I loved the last book, I can’t help but to think every book is better than the previous one.

In this book, the king and queen orders for the rebels and traitors to be slaughtered, innocent citizens’ life are at risk and the slaves continue slaving away in the underground. Irene, determined to put an end to this and to receive her right as queen, returns to the castle, only to find out about more things that her parents were hiding from her.

You can read my full review of it here!

That is all for 2018. I’m thankful to have you guys here to enjoy my passion with me. Cheers to more bookish content in 2019!

-J

OCTOBER WRAP-UP

I’m definitely late for this but I’d still like to do it anyway.

The month of October was a busy month. I participated in Inktober, an Instagram challenge as well as decided that I wanted to post twice a week. Half of these decisions were a mistake and I could barely keep up. I stopped Inktober halfway (okay, maybe even before the halfway mark) and I slowly lost interest in finishing the Instagram challenge too. In regards of posting twice a week, I only read four books this month due to the overwhelming amount of college work I had to do.

1. The Son (Eddie Creighton, #1) by Aaron Meizius

A fast-paced crime novel with a very likable protagonist.
Eddie Creighton is a FBI analyst with a photographic memory who was suddenly summoned to aid in an investigation. They are looking for a serial killer who has no clear pattern and a weird personal interest in Eddie. Throughout the whole story, I could imagine it as if I was watching an episode of NCIS. You would love the book if you are a fan of NCIS, CSI or any crime movies! 
You can read my review of it here!
2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This has been sitting on my bookshelf for so long and I had to finish it before the movie came out in my country. 
I absolutely loved this and it is one of my favourite reads of this year. It is a powerful book that helped many understand and bring to light about police brutality as well as hate crimes. Besides that, it is also a story about family, friendship, power and fear. It will make you cheer in joy, red with anger and also sob like a baby. It was enjoyable and it’s really a great book that needs to be read.
You can read my review of it here!
3. The World is a Dark and Lovely Place by Carol Chu Mei Yin
This is my first time reviewing a book by a Malaysian author and I am absolutely thankful for the opportunity. 
The World is a Dark and Lovely Place is a collection of poems that shares on the highs and lows of life. It talks about grief, loss, love and faith. It felt very intimate as if the poet is pouring out her soul to you. 
If you’re looking for something to read that you can definitely relate to, why not try this one? You would’ve probably gone through the same as she had too.
You can read my review of it here!
For the upcoming month, I’ll be focused on finishing up the review copies that I had been set as well as work my way through my TBR. I’m organising a book challenge on my Instagram called Lowest Rated TBR challenge that was inspired by the PeruseProject on YouTube.
The title says it all! 
We often buy books that interest us. However, after purchasing it, we might search up the book on Goodreads and become demotivated after seeing the ratings. Perhaps we have a long TBR list that never ends and we spend time reading the books we want to read at the moment, leaving the other books to catch dust (I’m guilty of that). Hence, this is where the challenge comes in.
The challenge is to read at least two books that are rated the lowest on your TBR and review it. You can find the ratings on Goodreads. The objective of it is to reduce the books on your TBR, give a chance to the lowest rated books and to come up with your conclusion whether you agree to the ratings given or not.
Are you interested in participating? Let me know and I’ll add you to the chat! 
Cheers to another month filled with books and coffee!

SEPTEMBER WRAP-UP

September passed awfully quickly. One moment I was sitting for my semester finals, the next moment I’m in Japan eating my weight in food, and after that I’m back in college for my last semester. Time flew by extremely quickly.

This month marks the start of author interviews (link) on this blog! It was daunting at first since in my culture, we typically consume and not ask. However, ever since the last few years of secondary school when I was taking SPM (similar to the GCSEs), I became more fearless, after all, what’s the harm in asking. It was a great experience because I was able to understand more about the author, the story and learn more about the thought processes the author had when writing each scene. After all, it’s great to be an active consumer!
In terms of books, this month was an interesting month. I’ve read a lot more books that I thought I had. 
1. The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler
A friend of mine lent this book to me and it was his favourite. He didn’t tell me much about it since he said it was a mystery and he wanted it to remain mysterious. 
This book is from a series but it can definitely be read as a standalone. It was difficult to get into it since the start was slow and draggy however towards the middle, you start getting fragments of clues and it begins to get interesting. I liked that it was very direct and it met the objectives of the story without added fluff. 
You can read my review here!
2. How Black is the Shadow by Andrew Layden

One of the bests books I’ve read this month. The whole time I was reading this, I imagined it as a movie set in a Merlin-ish setting. It is definitely a book that you’ll get hooked on. 
The main character, Kat is stubborn, tactical and has a goal in mind. However, she’s not the only one with the same goal. After losing her brother, she goes out to seek a relic in order to resurrect him. Illiterate and only with a few fireside stories to guide her on her journey, she begins her desperate journey to bring her brother back to life.
You can read my review of it here!
3. Beneath the Earth by H.S. Stone

I’ve started reading a couple of short stories this month and here’s one of it! 
Laura and her schoolmates are having their senior year camping trip on Aislado Island. A long awaited trip on an island paradise with her friends and her boyfriend, what could go wrong? Too much. Far too much. It begins with a student disappearing and many more to come. They realise the island is far from safe and it lurks beneath the Earth. 
You can read my review of it here!

 4. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

Another book that I could totally imagine as a movie (although it has been done many times).  The whole time I was reading this, I imagined Benedict Cumberbatch as Phileas Fogg and (towards the end) Priyanka Chopra as Aouda. I loved this book and it was one of my favourites for this month too. Although it was focused on Phileas Fogg’s bet with his friends to travel around the world in eighty days, there was more to the story than that. There were adventures, conflicts, loyalty and love. I also especially adored Passepartout’s loyalty to his master.
Another one of my friend’s favourites. Between Tuesdays with Morrie and this, I preferred this a lot more. Perhaps the first three people that Eddie met in Heaven moved my heart in so many ways. It was difficult reading this book in public because I know that I’ll definitely be left sobbing after each encounter. If you’re looking for a book that makes you learn to observe things from a different view, do pick this up.
6.The Ladies’ Man by Jessica Edwards

Another short story. 26-year-old Lisa is celebrating her birthday alone again by watching The Notebook and crying. She is desperately in search of her Mr. Right and her best friend and co-worker, Laura, helps her.
Review to come.
That’s all the books that I’ve read this month. I had a lot more time on my hands since I was on a semester break. There’s a ton of books waiting for me for the upcoming month due to many book challenges and I absolutely can’t wait.

Cheers to a better month ahead!
-J

AUGUST WRAP-UP

Hello again! It is getting awfully close to the end of the year but that means that there are new releases of books and more opportunities. Speaking about opportunities, SKAVANSIEUR will giving opportunities to authors to share more about their books (or themselves). It is very exciting to hear about their creative processes and what was going on in their minds as they were writing their books. The first interview will be up very soon!

As for this month’s reads, I would say there isn’t much. I’m almost at the end of my second semester and I had many final assignments and presentations that took up most of my time. If you also realised, this look of this blog has changed quite a few times. I’ve been trying to find a layout that is easy to navigate both on PC and on the phone as well. As much as there are some things which I don’t like with this current layout, this will be it for now. I hope that you will like this layout and find it easy to use.

Here are the books that I’ve read this month!

 1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

I do this thing where I read my friends’ favourite books. I believe that our favourite books shares a little about what we are passionate about and what we really care for. A friend of mine lent this to me (alongside with The Five People You Meet in Heaven that I’ve yet to read) and I absolutely enjoyed it. It is a book full of wisdom and the way the professor, Morrie, sees and understand things in a different light makes me want to reflect on myself. It has also made me want to love and care for the people around me a lot more, especially the older generations. It is definitely a book that teaches you to reflect on many things.

2. Emerald Dream (Bronze Rebellion, #2) by L.C. Perry

Comparing Emerald Dream to the first book in the Bronze Rebellion series, Gold Shadow, I definitely preferred this more. Usually the second book in a series tends to be draggy and not enticing at all. However, this book was filled with action, dramatic character development and unexpected events unfolding with every chapter. This book is filled with diversity, fighting for what is right and it has two incredibly strong female leads.

You can read my review of it here.

3. Timeless Tales by John Alexander

I’ve never been fond of poetry. I’ve been interested, of course, but never appreciating it much. Timeless Tales is a slightly religious poetry book but it has moral values in it. This is mostly suitable for Christians but also for those who would need a little encouragement in their lives. 
You can read my review of it here.
There’s a ton of exciting things planned in September. I’ll be having my semester break then and there are some blog posts queued for when I’m away. SKAVANSIEUR will no longer be just a book blog, there are also many things to come and the opportunity is nearing.
Till then!
-J 

JULY WRAP-UP

July went by so fast that I forgot to write a wrap-up. This month was a difficult month in terms of reading. I’ve been busy with college assignments and didn’t have the motivation to read.

I’ve also taken up way too many books to review. Currently, I’ve 3 more books to read and review. I’ve also borrowed some books from my friends that I’ve been wanting to read. I’ll do a review of it when I’m done too. Either way, here are the things that I’ve read last month.
1. Declutter Your Mind  by Vik Carter

This is the first ever self-help book that I’ve finished and reviewed. Declutter Your Mind is a quick read as Carter mentioned, he does not want to fill the book with unnecessary information. 22 very simple habits in order to be more appreciative and take some time to relax. I’ve been implementing some of the steps in my life and it really makes me happier. If you wish to learn how to be happier and live a stress-free life, this is a book that you have to pick up!
You can read my review of it here!
I was given this book by a close friend of mind. I have this thing where I like to read my friends’ favourite book. I believe you can learn a lot about them through it. 
15-year-old Christopher has autism. He is extremely logical and doesn’t understand metaphors nor does he understand emotions. His neighbour’s dog, Wellington, was mysteriously stabbed and Christopher, who favours Detective Sherlock Holmes, decides to play detective and figure out who killed Wellington. The thought processes of someone with autism is much more different from the way we usually think and this book opens my eyes and allows me to understand how they perceive things.
You can read my review of it here!
I’m sad to say that July was indeed a busy month where I couldn’t read or review a lot of books. There’s a ton of books that I’m preparing to write a review for in August and I’m extremely excited for that.
Till then!
-J