Lifestyle

Life Changes & Rebranding| 2018

Knights and Ladies,

I think there is something in the air, something wonderful.

I want to start this post by saying thank you, thank you for every single person that is subscribed whether by  e-mail, or wordpress. Thank you to every single person who has ever read any of my posts. I have been so blessed to have this space as a creative outlet.

However, you may have noticed there have been a few slight changes being made to the site. You will still be getting book content if you subscribed to me for that, that is not going away. However, I want to add more lifestyle and fitness journey entries here as well. I have contemplated starting a completely different site for all my fitness updates however that just sounded silly to me as I am not a one-dimensional person and have a lot of different things that I am curious about and interested in. I want this to be a safe space.

When I started this website, it was with the intention to inspire people to read more and read more diversely and although that is one of my purposes in running this site. I am finding that I am human and I use my time not only reading but taking a bunch of classes, working out, cooking, traveling, etc.

Which brings me to the following- I haven’t been reading as much as I used too. I have been traveling and going to events. Especially, this current summer I feel like I have an event almost every weekend. So, I would like to create more vlogs- event and travel vlogs and add some reading vlogs in the mix of things. I don’t want to have to limit the things that I can talk about on this platform just because this started as a book blog.

If you are here for book content only there is a tab at the top of the page for book content, this also goes along for fitness and lifestyle. I think that we all have a lot more in common than we think and by merging all my interest together, I feel like I will have a better space to share my adventures.

Thank you for all your support and love,

With warms cups of tea and just a few more  chapters  adventures,

Rina

 

#booktube · currently reading · weekly goals

Weekly Goals and Currently Reading #1 | June 2018

Hey Bibliomanics,

I went to vidcon and came home extremely inspired. Since my 3-month hiatus, I have created a new video and I am excited to start creating more content. Thank you to everyone that has stuck with me through this crazy wonderful journey. I love editing videos and being creative while sharing my creativity with the world. I am still learning my elements but I am blessed to have this outlet.

Today’s video is a weekly goal’s and a currently reading, where I share with you what my goals are for this week and what I am currently reading as getting a lot of reading in is always a goal for me.

With Warm cups of tea and just a few more chapters,

Rina

 

Book Review

Matilda by Roald Dahl | Book Review

MatildaPages: 240

Published: June 1, 1998

Publisher: Puffin Books

Synopsis: Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Miss (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts: 

This is one of my rereads for this year. I have always loved this book, and it is so near and dear to my heart. I have read it several times in my life. This book tells a story of a young girl named Matilda who is a lot wiser than her age.

I feel like this particular book is very much character driven. I initially connected with Matilda through her love of books. I visually can picture the first few chapters of the book so vividly in my mind and how Matilda goes to the library while her mom is out playing bingo. This book has stuck with me from the first time that I have read it back in elementary school until now.

I love how whimsical characters are. Matilda plays a lot of pranks on the evil Trunchbull. Matilda likes justice and throughout the book whenever the Trunchbull does something that seems to be unfair Matilda is the one to try to get revenge on the Trunchbull.

I really enjoyed the magical element in this book it really ties everything nicely together and gives the book a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed having Kate Winslet narrate the audiobook. She is such a fabulous narrator for this particular book. She brought all the characters and situations to life and it was very enjoyable.  If you have not read this, what are you doing? You are literally missing out on a childhood favorite. Go check it out. Right now!!!

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

 

Book Review

Wonderwoman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo |Book Review

WarbringerPages: 364

Published: August 28, 2017

Publisher: Random House Children’s Publishing

Synopsis:  Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:

This book has been sitting on my shelf for such a long time. I remember that I bought it right when it came out because of the cover art on this book. It is absolutely gorgeous. Also, it was written by Leigh Bardugo whom I have read in the past so, I had rather high expectations for this book.

Honestly, I was quite disappointed. I wanted this to be more of an origin tale about wonder woman and how the Amazons came to be. But, this was not that at all. In fact, I felt that Diana wasn’t even the main character of the novel. This was quite a let down for me.

If you are expecting this to be solely about Wonder woman, I have to say you may be disappointed with this book. As it really follows our main character Alia,  who is wanted dead because she is supposed to be the next warbringer, meaning she causes people around her to become angry which leads to the outbreak of war. Diana is determined to find a way to save Alia from the curse of being the warbringer.

This book wasn’t terrible but if you are a fan of Leigh Bardugo, I feel you may notice that the writing style in this book seems to be a little forced and not her regular enticing writing as in “Shadow and Bone”. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters and honestly could have cared less if anyone died in the book. Also, the storyline was overly complicated and it really didn’t need to be. I think that if the book just told the history of Diana and her entrance into the human world halfway through the novel, the story would have been more enjoyable. I wanted more backstory on her life as an Amazon, vs Diana running around New York.  Diana, had the potential of being this kick-ass character. And although she had a few high action scenes in this novel, I felt it didn’t really do her justice.

This is the second time that I picked this book up. The first time that I tried reading it I couldn’t get past the first chapter. This time around it helped that I listened to the audiobook because I feel like I would have personally dnf’ed it had I been reading the physical copy. It honestly didn’t capture my attention from the very beginning and I only continued with the audiobook because it was going by a lot faster. I noticed that I had to relisten to some portions because I would miss a few details. But, it held my attention better as an audiobook.

This book was just meh.  I’m glad to have it off my TBR (To be read) shelf. But, it just was disappointing, it dragged in a lot of parts and I couldn’t relate to any of the characters or world building in this book. This book had so much potential, as being an origin story but it just felt like nothing really happened for the majority of the book. The major action-packed scene occurred with 21 minutes left in the audiobook. And the ending of the book seemed to just resolve way to easily and quickly.

In conclusion, it was just meh… I loved that Young Adult literature tried to play around with iconic D.C. Characters but, it just ended up being flat. If you loved the movie “Wonder Woman”, I would honestly skip this read. But, the cover was HELLA pretty!!!

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just A Few More Chapters,

Rina

Book Review

Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Book Review

 

simon vs the homosapien agenda

Pages: 303

Publisher: Blazer & Bray

Published: April 7, 2015

Synopsis:Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama f

or the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:

I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book when I picked it up. My initial interest was sparked when I found out that there was going to be a movie based on this book.

I picked it up as an audiobook from SCRIBD. And it was very enjoyable.  This book is a coming of age story about two male high schoolers who have been talking via email, as they establish a relationship and face the struggle of coming out. But there is a twist, our main character Simon Spier has his e-mail fall into the wrong hands and all of a sudden he has to face being blackmailed and risk having his email messages leaked to the entire school. And although he isn’t ready to be out himself, he is more worried about outing the boy that he has been talking too.

 

This book is written in an upbeat and very fun writing style. Becky Albertalli really sucks you into the story. There is a little mystery involved because the main character doesn’t know who the person is that he has been emailing too, all he knows is that the other person is a male and goes to his school.

I really enjoyed that this story wasn’t superficial. There was no instant love. The two main characters didn’t know what the other person looked like until almost the end of the novel which I thought was an honestly a very fresh way of writing a YA love story. I loved that this story showed that there is so much more than falling in love with a person’s outer shell, and how important it is to fall in love with the inner shell first.

This story I think teaches a lot about not only love romantically but how to learn to love yourself too. Throughout the e-mails that the two characters send to one another, they acknowledge their past relationships and why they didn’t work out and they stop shaming themselves in thinking that something is wrong with them. I think this is such an important message for today’s youth.

There is a lot of diversity in this book which should be noted, there are colored characters and LGBTQ+ representation. And all of it is done so perfectly. This also has healthy relationship representation which is important to note as well.

I enjoyed my experience with this book, I can’t wait to see the movie. If you are planning on settling down with this book I recommend you have your oreo cookies out and your tissues on hand because if you are like me, you will tear up at some of the cute little parts in this book.

Overall, good read, good representation, good audiobook.

With Warm Cups Of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

Book Review

Frostbite By Richelle Mead| Book Review

FrostbitePaperback, 327 pages
Published April 10th 2008 by Razorbill (first published April 1st 2008)

Synopsis:

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price… (Goodreads)

Rating: starsstarsstarsstarsstars/5

Review:

Hey Biblimanics,

Today I bring to you my thoughts on Frostbite by Richelle Mead. To be quite honest I picked this book up on a whim. I couldn’t get into anything after finishing “The Great Gatsby”. I also wanted something that was fun and didn’t take much brain power to get through. This was such an enjoyable read. If you are a fan of “Twilight” or vampires this is a read for you.

This is a second book in the series. The first book “The Vampire Academy”, I read a long time ago. For some reason, I never continued on with the series. That book spent a lot of time setting up the world building and relationships. This second book was just a mind whirl. It was excellent, as we continue to learn more about the characters and watch them develop into individuals, while a crisis breaks out where someone is murdering the royal vampire families. The students of St. Vladimir’s have to go into hiding in a safe ski resort for the Holiday/ Christmas break. You would think that everything would be smooth sailing from there but that is where we are so wrong. Chaos unleashes and Rose once again decides to save the day.

Let me just say, this book is full of romance. The relationship between Dimitri and Rose is literally to die for. This ship, literally makes you feel all of the emotions. There is so much love, yet the two characters struggle with keep strict boundaries between one another because they lead a student/ mentor relationship. But, every time that Dimitri was in a scene I couldn’t put this book down. I was fangirling so hard. I feel like this particular novel is heavily character driven.

Rose grew so much in this book, and although she still had her spunky banter, you can tell she was talking her role of guardian in training more seriously.  I felt there was a lot of emotion in this book. I related to Rose, she seemed like a character that had things from romance to friends to school issues going and she handled them how a person who is stressed out would. I felt like all her issues never just had a fast solution, the character really had to figure things out for herself.

This novel is also action-packed, from combat practices gone wrong to a bad-ass sword battle. I lived for all the little action moments. They were done so well, I never felt like the action was just randomly placed. It was well, thought out.

I loved that the book tied up loose ends. The ending definitely made me want to continue on with the series but, this book was complete. I never got the feeling like there was more that I wanted out of it. I think that the ending did a great job to set up for the next book to pick up without the reader feeling disappointed. And boyyy, let me just say the ending gave me so many feels. The last 100 pages I feel just went by so fast. They were emotional and action packed which made this book extremely enjoyable and I highly recommend if you like romance and vampires to pick this one up.

 

Book Review

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Book Review

great gatsby

Pages: 180

 

Date Published:  Originally published April 1925- republished September 2004

Publisher: Scribner

Synopsis: On its first publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby was largely dismissed as a light satire on Jazz Age follies. Today, it is acknowledged as a masterpiece: a love story, an exploration of the American dream and arguably the greatest American novel of the 20th century. Narrator Nick Carraway tells the story of his neighbor Jay Gatsby, whose parties at his Long Island mansion are as lavish as his past is mysterious. Yet Gatsby cares only for one of his guests: his lost love Daisy Buchanan, now married and living across the bay. In Fitzgerald’s hands, this deceptively simple story becomes a near-perfect work of art, told in hauntingly beautiful prose.

Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, has written a new introduction for this edition. He writes, ‘While a great novel should possess many qualities, the most essential is certainly the ability to enchant, to cast a spell over the reader’ – an ability possessed in full by ‘this ever-fresh, this ceaselessly magical novel’. Our edition also features a two-page note by the director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola recalling his work on the 1974 film adaptation, in particular, his ingenious solution to the lack of dialogue between Daisy and Gatsby in the original novel. Sam Wolfe Connelly, a young artist based in New York, has created a series of color illustrations and the striking binding design. The metallic endpapers and slipcase are printed with a 1920s-inspired design by the artist. (Goodreads)

Review:

Hey Bibliomanics,

Welcome Back to another review. Today’s review is my thoughts on rereading “The Great Gatsby”. I remember when I first read this book back in highschool, I remember thinking that it was so thin for it to be a classic. And as one may assume, I didn’t enjoy it when I read it the first time. It still holds true that anything that has ever been assigned for school reading, I just don’t enjoy very much.

Fast forward to this year, I decided to reread it…

With the book only containing 180 pages, one may assume this book doesn’t get deep. But, thats were you are wrong. This is one of the most rawest books I have yet read. There is so much going on. I noticed that there was a common theme in the book of wealth and love.  Rereading, this novel made me realize that this is one tragic love story. But, although it is tragic, it is so beautiful.

The story takes place in the 1920’s. This is a time in American History were flappers were around, prohibition of alchol was happening, and the parties were wild. This book is set after WWI when the soldiers are coming home and everyone is basing the amount of wealth that they have on how much materal objects they own. In the novel, money is being thrown left in right. An example of this would be Gatsby, throwing huge parties in his manision. This is first evident in chapter 3, when Fitzgerald talks how most people that attended Gatsby’s gathering came without invitiation and that there were very few actually invited guests ( Fitzgerald, 45). Which, can send the message that Gatsby had enough money to accomodate anyone who stopped by his party.

My Thoughts:

This novel is enjoyable. I think that there is a lot of things that a person can connect with in this book. I really enjoyed seeing that all the characters in the book although they functioned together as a unit, they were all so flawed. Each of them was battling a personal demon. I think that a lot of the time they used money as an escapism. Essentially that was evident with Gatsby, he would throw extravagant parties in hopes of attracting Daisy in to coming to one of them on accident.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a really long time since I read it. I think that the experience was even better because I marked up all my favorite qoutes and scenes that stood out to me.

This story is full of tragedy. And it really makes you value the things that you do have. I felt for Gatsby, as he explained how he tried to improve his life status in hopes of one day being reunited with Daisy and being able to impress her. I also think this novel is important to show that poeple are imperfect. The whole book has flawed characters as they are trying to survive but never truly living.

The characters in books are usually my favorite part, but these characters are so shallow. I loved Nick Carraway, whom I think is the only decent character in this book. Everyone else is obsessed with status and money that they put their most important relationships in jeopardy. Gatsby, does everything that he can in order to up his status in order to finally get a chance to be with Daisy. Yet, Daisy, is one of the most superficial characters I have ever read about. But, Gatsby’s love for her is so pure. Everything that Gatsby ever does is in hopes to win Daisy back.

This book is coated in symbolism. I came to really appreciate this. I loved how everything in this story tied up really nicely. There was no lose ends.  Which for a 180 page book, I really do appreciate.

If you have not read this book, I feel like you have to a least try it. If you read it in highschool, I encouarage you to read it again with a new persepctive. This story is tragic, honest and yet beautiful.

Contains Spoilers

I think that reading this as an adult, it makes a lot more sense to me and I can really make connections with the book that I wasn’t able to make as a sophmore. Some things that stood out to me, was the relationship between Tom and Daisy. I thought that it was one of those relationships that people are in because they don’t want to be alone. Tom is cheating on Daisy the entire time and he still gets angry at Daisy when she is being flirtaous in front of him with Gatsby. However, I honestly could not figure her out because she was claiming to love Gatsby and Tom at the same but yet she didn’t care if Tom saw her being affectionate toward Gatsby.

Another thing that stood out to me was the topic of wealth, how everyone in the book either wanted to be wealthy and tried to fit in with the wealthy crowd or they were wealthy and had no problem throwing their money around. Daisy and Tom, make it very apparent that they are wealthy and have money to throw around.

I found Daisy to be kind of a coward. She expresses how much she loves Gatsby and the book goes into an extensive story of how they first met. Yet, when she is asked to chose between Gatsby and Tom she doesn’t want to lose either of them and explains that she loves them both. This was one of the parts of the story that really made me upset because  the reader and Daisy both knows that Tom has been cheating on Daisy throughout the entire novel.

As one can tell I had an issue with Daisy!!!

If you read “The Great Gatsby” and you want to chat about it, leave a comment.

As per usual, with warm cups of tea and just a few more chapters, happy reading!!

Rina

currently reading

It’s Monday: What are you reading?

Happy Monday Bibliomanics,

It’s Monday, so that means I get to tell you what I am currently reading.

great gatsby

I am currently reading as always like a million books. I started reading “The Great Gatsby”, last week because I was craving a short Classic. “The Great Gatsby”, is great. “Hardy Har Har.” But, I am really enjoying it so far. This time around I am annotating it.

yogaI am also reading “Overcoming Chronic Pain through Yoga”, this was a new release that came out last week. I have been reading it on my Ipad, normally at night when I am all settled in. I am about 39% of the way through it.

 

shatter me

As far as audiobooks go, I am listening to “Shatter Me”. I am absolutely loving it. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to read this. Especially because Whitney from Whittynovels on Youtube talks about this series all the time.

I hope that by the end of this week I will also have read “A Wrinkle in Time.” I read a chapter of it on e-book before realizia wrinkle in timeng that I would love to have a physical copy of this book. So, I am waiting for it to come in the mail tomorrow.

If I get to all of this books this week I will consider it to be a success. Last week was a super funky week, I honestly wasn’t in the mood to read anything. I wasn’t even in the mood to listen to anything on audiobook either.

Hoping for a better reading week!!

With warm cups of tea and just a few more chapters,

Happy Reading!!

Rina

#booktube

Booktube Newbie Tag|Booktube 2018

Hey Biblimanics,

Happy Tuesday, today I would like to bring to you my “Booktube Newbie Tag”.  This is a tag created by Brenda C. I will post her original video here.

So, I decided to do this tag mainly because I feel like I am still a Newbie even though I have been meddling  in the book tube world since 2011. I loved having the opportunity to look back on how I got into reading, reflecting, and obviously gushing about my favorite authors and their works.

The questions that are in this tag are as follows:

1. Why did you start this channel?

2. What are some fun and unique things you can bring to Booktube?

3. What are you most excited for about this new channel?

4. Why do you love reading?

5. What book or series got you into reading?

6. What questions would you ask your favourite booktubers?

7. What challenges do you think starting a booktube channel will be the hardest to overcome?

8. When did you start reading?

9. Where do you read?

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

Are you curious of how I answered this questions? Then just watch the video below. If you have not done this tag and wish to do so, then I tag you to do this. I also welcome any discussion about any the questions in the comments below.

With that said I would like to present my “Booktube Newbie Tag”, grab yourself a cup of tea and settle down.  Hope you enjoy!!

 

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters, Happy Reading!!

Rina

#booktube · Monthly TBR

TBR|February 2018

Hey Bibliomanics,

Happy February!! I hope you are starting this month refreshed and motivated. This month I decided due to burying my head in textbooks, digging large holes and hiding in them away from the madness that is school. I would set a few reading goals.

My TBR pile has 3 books on it.  Who am I even kidding? This month’s TBR, is showcasing 3 of the books that I plan for sure reading this month. I am keeping my TBR’s smaller this year because I want to be able to accomplish more by setting goals as I go. Already I have strayed away from the books featured in this video.

I picked up “The house on Mango Street” last night from the library and I plan to be reading it on the go because the chapters are so short.

The other 3 books I would like to read this month are:

IT By Stephen King, I know what you are thinking. “Marina, weren’t you reading this in 2017?” Why, yes I was. I am continuing on with the journey and absolutely enjoying it. It is just not a book I prefer to read on the go, as I really like getting into the story and feeling like I am part of the story rather than just reading it on the go.

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher I mainly want to read this because of the NETFLIX series. I want to watch the series, but I try not to watch film adaptions until after I read the book with the exceptions of “Game of Thrones”, “IT”, and “Outlander”. I got “13 Reasons Why”, on audio and hope to be able to listen to it this month.

And last but not least, is Gemina by Amiee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is the sequel to the space opera Illuminae. I read Illuminae, last month and although I enjoyed the ending I didn’t care too much for the entire story. I am giving it another try this month. I was thinking of listening to the audio book for this as well. But, due to the format of the book I may just check it out of the library.

There are sooo many books, but where is the time????

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina