Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday Tunes: Tinashe and Kehlani

9:00:00 AM


      This week I'm highlighting two artists I've been listening to a lot recently: Tinashe and Kehlani. If you're not familiar with them, they primarily make Pop and R&B music. As a queer woman of color, it makes me happy to see these two queer women of color make it so big in the music industry.

      Tinashe just realized a new song, "No Drama", and I have been listening to it non-stop on repeat for a solid week or so. This song is such a bop and really makes me feel like a badass bitch. Like I can't help but get up and dance/pretend I'm in a music video when it comes up because it's got that type of vibe. I could do without Offset (who is very problematic) on the song, but besides that, I think it is a A-1 song overall.

      When it comes to Kehlani, I just really love her voice. There is a balance of softness and edge that just really makes her appealing to me. I also really enjoy the lyrics to most of her music because they are more than just the usual specifical pop lyrics. My favorite album from her is "SweetSexySavage". There are some songs on the album that you just want to vibe out and dance to, while others just get you into your feels, and you just want to chill out to. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

"Between the Blade & the Heart" and "Pretty Dead Girls" Mini-Reviews

4:30:00 PM


Book: Between the Blade and the Heart

Author: Amanda Hocking

Publisher: Wednesday Books

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos. 

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

     I picked up this book because I was interested in reading a book that dealt with the Valkyrie, especially after watching "Thor 3". Long story short, there were aspects of this book that I liked and others that I felt could have been improved with some editing. I truly enjoyed all the characters in the book, especially the main character. I appreciated how she was a member of the LGBT+ community, but it wasn't a big deal or something that overshadowed other parts of her identity.

      This futuristic-type world where humans know of other creatures and immortals is probably what I liked the most. There was so much mythology I didn't know about that I got exposed to. That being said, I would have liked a bit of a better explanation for why the world was the way it was.

      My main problem with the book was the plot. Much like the other book I read from this author, the plot starts one way in the beginning and then veered another way towards the middle/end, which is fine, but the pacing was not executed properly. The entire middle/end felt rush and did not fit in with the rest of the book at all. That being said, I'll still probably read the sequel because I am interested to see where the store goes next, especially after the little plot-twist like thing that happened in the end, leaving us with a cliffhanger.

32972117Book: Pretty Dead Girls

Author: Monica Murphy 

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

My Rating: 1/2

Synopsis: Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she's next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she's never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There's something he isn't telling her. But there's something she's not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed. 

      So I just finished this book and I honest to goodness still don't know how I feel about it. It is a mixture of bad and good, but in a way that was still entertaining to the point where I couldn't put the book down even though there were so many times where I was like wtf am I reading??? It's your typical high school bullshit murder mystery, but not at the same time because the characters in this book are weird af. And it's not that they particularly have multiple complex dimensions to them, they're just... different? Like I don't know how to explain it. Overall the book really intrigued me, despite it lacking depth (while having it too at the same time, idk man, hard to explain), and the ending being complete bullshit. It was a murder mystery with like typical YA romance that totally wasn't necessary, but was highly entertaining.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My 2018 Reading and Blogging Goals

4:53:00 PM


      Long time no blog! I think the last time I posted on here was Christmas, which was almost a month ago. But for those of you who are keeping up, you know I spent my winter break doing a study abroad class in Costa Rica, so I didn't have time to read or blog because I was doing research. I ended up doing research on the monkeys there, so that was really cool. If you want to see some of the pictures I took there, check out my personal instagram account: nerdwithbooks. Costa Rica was an incredible experience that I'm not glad I had the opportunity to take. The trip really reaffirmed my love of traveling and just made me want to travel more.

      Anyway, this post is a quick snapshot of what my 2018 reading and blogging goals are gonna be. I'm gonna be honest, these goals are really loose, and that's because I'm not really sure what all this blog is gonna be like this upcoming year, cause this is gonna be a crazy ass year for me.
      So a quick timeline of important events happening this year:
      January- Classes start again. Thankkfully this semester doesn't look like it should be too hard, but ya never know.
     March- I take the MCAT in March! That's a huge deal cause this test is gonna have a large effect on what the rest of my life could be. So up through March, I'm going to be spending as much time as possible studying for this exam, which means not so much time reading and blogging. After March though, I'm pretty much in the clear.
    Summer- This summer I apply to medical school! This is what all of my previous education has been building up to. In all honesty, this won't take much time or effort, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to read and blog outside of work.
    Fall- During the fall I will (hopefully) have interviews for medical school. Not only that, but this fall is my last semester of undergrad! I'm graduating a semester early which is crazy!!! I seriously cannot believe that I graduate from university this year. It seems like just yesterday I was ending high school and terrified/excited about starting college. Now it's almost over. 

     So what does this timeline mean? Basically the first part of the year I won't have much time to read or blog at all, the summer I should get a decent amount of reading and blogging done, and I may or may not have time in the fall depending on how medical school interviews go and how crazy graduation stuff is. 
      Focusing on my actual goals, I would like to read 100 books this. I didn't think I could last year, but I somehow managed to do it, so I'm confident I can do it again this year. The difference between this year and last year is I'm not going to waste my time with books I'm clearly not interested in. If a book bores me or just isn't for me, I'll just DNF it and move on to the next one. 

      Concerning book reviews, I want to focus less on reviewing books for publishers and authors and just read books I want to read. Last year I noticed almost all of the books I really enjoyed were the ones I read on my own because I wanted to read them, so that's what I'm going to do.

     As far the content of this blog, that is still a work in progress. As I said in a previouos post, I have more passions than books, and talking about books is just not enough for me. So be ready to see posts on books, tv/movies, music, my life, and honestly whatever the hell I feel like posting on here. This blog is for me, not you. I mean, don't take this the wrong way, but I do this blog because I want to do it, so I shouldn't have to cater the content to y'all. Ya understand?

      So that is loosely what this year's "goals" (if you can call them goals) are. This year is really about doing what makes me happy because I already know that with all the shit I'm gonna face this year, my mental health and happiness need to be fine-tuned. 

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?



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