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: October 2019

Monthly Rewind: October 2019

B O O K S

During the month of October, I read 4 books. As we reach the end of the year, my reading time really limits because of university. (May feels like a lifetime away right now, but I know it’ll be here in a blink of an eye 😂) But I really enjoyed the books I read this month!

Don’t Date Rosa Santos

“Don’t Date Rosa Santos was delightful and moving. Its emphasis on family and community makes it such a touching read, and one of my most surprising reads of the year. It really was something special.” Read my review here!

Crier’s War

One of YA’s biggest releases this year, and I really enjoyed it! It was a fun exciting read about two girls, one human, one Made, falling in love in amidst of a human revolution. It’s advertised as an epic fantasy but it felt more low key.

Other Words for Home

A sweet novel in verse about a young Syrian girl who moves to the US. It’s one of those stories that I wished existed when I was younger.

Goddess of the Hunt

A poetry collection about Artemis, Greek Goddess of the Hunt. Told through the perspective of Artemis with contribution of other Goddesses.

M U S I C

Make It Right (ft Lauv) | Run Away | Spark | Midnight Queen | Outnumbered | This Is Real (ft Ella Henderson) | Moonwalk | Trampoline

P O S T S

A feature section to highlight my favourite posts from my fellow bloggers that were posted this month. 

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?

Monthly Rewind: May 2019

Monthly Rewind: May 2019

B O O K S

During the month of May, I read 7 books and 1 webtoon.

Shadow of the Fox
A fantasy novel based on Japanese mythology which follows Yumeko, a kitsune, who forms an alliance with a mysterious samurai to transport a piece of an ancient scroll that has the power to summon a great dragon. This one took a while to fully appreciate. It was kind of slow in the beginning and since I was also in a book slump, that didn’t help the experience either. But towards the end, I found it so enjoyable and the story and characters were so brilliant.

My So-Called Bollywood Life
Winnie follows her prophecy to the T. Until the boy who is supposed to be her true love cheats on her. Now she’s doing things her way. Honestly, I found this book rather dull and, in the end, it wasn’t really for me. I do see its appeal and I would recommend others to give this book a try.

The Paper & Hearts Society
Out of the other youtuber-turn-author books, it’s pretty decent. My thoughts about this are the same as My So-Called Bollywood Life, I see it’s appeal and how a lot of people are going to love this book and looking back, this isn’t a terrible book but it’s just one of those stories that doesn’t fit my own reading style and taste.  

A Torch Against the Night
I cannot believe it took me so long to read this sequel. Having to rely on my memory all the way from 2015 probably dampened by experience of this book, but I really enjoyed it.

Exit West
Another neutral read. Quick, captivating and interesting.

Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: May 2019”

Monthly Rewind: April 2019

Monthly Rewind: April 2019

B O O K S

During the month of April, I read 4 books. (It’s actually 7, but I collapsed Our Dreams at Dusk because it’s in Manga volumes)

Book covers (left to right): Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, Hate To Want You by Alisha Rai, The Rise and Fall of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain and Our Dreams at Dusk by Yuhki Kamatani.

Summer Bird Blue
“It was just so heartfelt and emotional, especially the last quarter had me in tears. A story about a girl exploring her grief, but also a story about family and friendship. A brilliant character-driven novel that really hit all the right notes .” My review

Hate to Want You
Everyone I follow has read this book. It’s a little more steamy than I would’ve liked but the family drama was to die for and I was on edge.

The Fall and Rise of the Amir Sisters
Eh, I’m not too sure about this. I love Nadiya but this book was just so weird. I found the sisters to be so unlikeable at some points. Mae was a disappointment and the attempt to portray her as a teen today really flopped. (Her texting was so irritating and illegible at some points. I don’t want to sound like an adult complaining about teens in fiction but in 2019 are most eighteen-year-olds really texting like this? “Nt doom. Better nt jinx uni. L8ers! Xxxx”)

Our Dreams at Dusk
A short manga about a gay teen who is scared he’s been outed. He meets a mysterious woman and finds himself joining (a sort of) club. The depiction of different LGBT+ characters was honestly so amazing. It’s so short but so impactful. The art is so beautiful.

Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: April 2019”

Monthly Rewind: December 2018

Monthly Rewind: December 2018

The most rushed Monthly Rewind because I had thought this was already written, but, in fact, I forgot to write it.

B O O K S 

Geekerella | Sunfish | No Man of Woman Born | Opposite of Always | The Other Half of Happiness | The Weight of Our Sky

M U S I C 

Merry-go-round | Love Shot | The Best Thing I Ever Did | No Air | Finale | Crystal Snow | Way Back Home | Treasure

That’s it for that 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?

Monthly Rewind: October 2018

Oh, gosh. When I sat down to write this post, I quickly realised how many books I didn’t read this month, like I had planned to. In my defence, it was a busy month. I started the second year of university, my sister got married (walima and mehndi at the end of the month), and I also saw BTS in concert. So I apologize for this very boring rewind.

B O O K S 

monthlyrewind_october18_books

I was contemplating whether to even make a graphic for this month’s rewind… My reading number was extremely low, for me, this month. But I give myself a pass considering everything that had happened. If I was going to read one book, I’m glad it was a book I actually enjoyed. Girls of Paper and Fire was an amaaaazing book. The world is so beautiful but devastating. A cast of characters that were diverse and multi-faceted. Read it if you can.

M U S I C 

monthlyrewind_october18_music

La Vie en Rose – IZ*ONE | Kiss & Make Up – Dua Lipa and Blackpink | Love Bomb – Fromis_9 | Oh! My Mistake – April | Seoul – RM | Waste It On Me – Steve Aoki (feat BTS) | BBIBBI – IU

P O S T S 

 

  • Book Rant: Kingdom of Ash
    • I’ve long stopped reading books by Sarah J. Maas but this review of Kingdom of Ash had me really shocked. Maas’s writing is one of her strongest assets but honestly, these comparisons are really shocking to read.

 

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?