Year in Rewind: 2020

Year in Rewind: 2020

I was contemplating writing this post for a while because as I reflected on this year, I felt very underwhelmed about this whole year that it almost didn’t feel worth it. But I thought, “you know what, f— it let’s look back at this mess of a year.” I haven’t even written a monthly rewind post in over a year; my reading challenge was in shambles. While it’s been one stressful year, I’ve felt pretty much disappointed in myself throughout, so I thought reflecting would be a great way to make me more accountable and strive to do better for the next year. 

L I F E 

I began this year buried under paperwork; my Snapchat memories tell me I was quite literally spending the first days of 2020 in the library, working on my dissertation. In between crying over my mess of a dissertation, I worked part-time and prepared for post-grad life. I realise I never really spoke about my university experience here, apart from mentioning that I attend one. But I studied BA Sociology at university. My university experience was relatively lacklustre, I struggled quite mentally through the three years, and my course had its ups and downs. But I was quite pleased with my final dissertation. It was titled “Devout, devoid, and everything in-between”: Challenging stereotypical portrayals in select Young Adult Contemporary novels.” It was a thematic analysis examining three young adult novels on two interrelated aims: exploring media representation of Muslims and Islam and examining theoretical ideas on how societal perception of Islam affects Muslims’ portrayal. As I near my sixth anniversary of this site, I don’t think seventeen-year-old me would have ever thought this random passion blog would have ever affected my life to the point where I would write a whole dissertation based on my experience and work on the internet.

And I think like most people this year, as we all entered various forms of lockdown, my energy to do more quickly dwindled. During the UK’s first lockdown, I spend hours writing my dissertation while spending the nights playing Animal Crossing and Kingdom Hearts. Here in the UK, we have gone through multiple lockdowns already, now following a tier system. As I write this, I’m currently furloughed in a tier 4 city. I’m glad I’m able to stay safe at home, but I can’t help but feel sad about the effect this year has had on my productivity and mental state. I was so sure I would smash my reading challenge, catch up on all my arcs, and finally create more content.

I was so prepared to apply for all these work experiences and internships. But this year has reminded me to take things slow, and it’s okay not to be productive all the time. I graduated with a 1st in my degree. It was such an exciting achievement for me notably because I’ve never achieved high grades all my life, hovering around the Bs and Cs from secondary school to college and partially through university. My mental state wasn’t all great during university, I was worried that I wouldn’t even pass with a 2:1 at one point, but I’m grateful I managed to pull through in the end. It’s a shame I won’t have a proper graduation, but I’m just thankful to have pulled through in the end. 

hey!!! i !!! wrote!!! a !!! whole!!! disseration!!!!!!
Continue reading “Year in Rewind: 2020”

Monthly Rewind: July 2018

This is a very rushed Monthly Rewind post. I am so sick at the moment but I really, really wanted to post this. I didn’t read as much as I wanted to read this month because my sister was getting married so the last two week of July was just wedding mayhem. All I remember is running around and then falling off the stage! (Luckily the camera was on my sister the entire time.)

welcoming him to the family (via instagram)

B O O K S

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Run, riot | The Gauntlet | American Panda | Tyler Johnson was Here | The Poet X | Honor Among Thieves 

M U S I C

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That’s it for this month! Tell me what went on in YOUR life this month! What sort of things was important for you this month? New obsessions? New TV shows? Or book? Any new song recs (I’m always open to new music!)? Best books you read this month?

Frequently Used Words In Young Adult/Fantasy Titles

Frequently Used Words In Young Adult/Fantasy Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

My frequently used word is “and bone”. There’s probably way more to add to this list but since I’m rushing this week’s post, I’ve stopped at six because these were the first ones that came to mind. University assignments are due so soon so I’ll be pretty infrequent in the upcoming weeks.

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Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry

 

 

Monthly Rewind: March 2018

B O O K S

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (3/5) – From what I can tell, this book is clearly a beloved children’s series in the US but here in the UK, it isn’t as popular. I wasn’t even aware of this book until the film project was announced. But this is a really cute and fun story, I kind of wish I had read this as a child. (I vaguely remember my primary school focusing on UK authors when it came to English and reading groups)

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (3/5) – The first half of this book was soo good, it was really engaging and fun but I felt a bit disappointed towards the end.

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (2/5) –  Interesting plot but I found it a bit too ambiguous to really enjoy it.

Final Draft by Riley Redgate (5/5) – Stolen from my review of Final Draft: Final Draft is a coming of age story about grief, first love and self-love as Laila learns to manage the fear that holds her back. It’s very relatable, straightforward and entertaining to read.

Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: March 2018”

Book Review: Final Draft

Book Review: Final Draft

Rating: ★★★★★

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Laila Piedra lives for the stories she writes, and the only person who reads them is her creative writing teacher. Until he ends up in the hospital and he’s replaced by a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who is exceptionally critical and continuously unimpressed. Her strange assignment leads Laila on an obsessive journey to win her praise.

I have a soft spot for Riley Redgate. Seven Ways We Lie, her debut novel, was the reason I started giving contemporary novels another chance and I really, really enjoyed Final Draft. There was something personal yet universal about it.

Final Draft perfectly tackles the anxiety of writers. Laila has no idea what her future holds but what she is sure of is her stories even if she never lets anyone read them. I related so damn much with part of her. I couldn’t also allow anyone read any of the fanfiction I had written when I was younger, even hiding under a pseudonym so it couldn’t be traced to me. Laila yearns to make something that people will love, the same way she loves her favourite series. But she’s never satisfied, even when she’s told she is doing well. She’s literally her own worst critic. But the introduction of the new teacher means Laila must face a different approach and starts to experience more things in a real-life setting to improve her writing.

The only one real criticism I have, which is practically the same as Seven Ways We Lie, was the lack of responsibility the new teacher had. Though technically she can claim deniability since she never told the students explicitly to do the things they do but suggesting students do things that could potentially put them in danger and or upset someone was a bit irresponsible. But she’s a very ambiguous character, so you’ll understand what she’s trying to do while not fully appreciating the ways she does it.

Final Draft is a coming of age story about grief, first love and self-love as Laila learns to manage the fear that holds her back. It’s very relatable, straightforward and entertaining to read. Look out for this when it comes out.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

Books On My Spring 2018 TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

I’m a very messy reader, I can never decide what books I want to read (unless it’s a review copy) and I was never really the kind of person to read certain books during different seasons. Seasonal TBRs seem to be really common, but I’m so behind on what books I want to read, keeping to a TBR has always been so hard for me. So, here is a ‘maybe I’ll read it soon, but because of who I am as a person, who knows?’

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City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Wild by Hannah Moskowitz
American Panda by Gloria Cho

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Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (this comes out today!!)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon

Have you read any of these yet? What did you think?
What’s on your spring TBR?