Book Review

T is for Transformation| Book Review

Pages: 272
Published: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Rodale

T is for Transformation by Shaun T.
Synopsis:

“Your mind is a sledgehammer. Swing it!”

(Shaun T, pg. 20, 2017)

In T is for Transformation, Shaun T unveils the 7 transformational principles that guided his progress through life and that are at the core of his incredibly successful workouts. T is for Transformation is a motivational master class as Shaun shows you how to become more flexible and resourceful, give everything you’ve got, and, most importantly, trust and believe in your path to success. The only real obstacles in life are the mental ones, and T is for Transformation can train you to achieve astonishing results in your own life, just as Shaun T has in his. (Goodreads)

Review:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars!
“And another one, and another and another one bites the dust ” – Queen

I love Shaun T. I can remember the first time I saw an insanity infomercial and I knew that I needed to be doing this program. And that’s what I did all throughout high school and was in the best shape of my life.

So, when I heard that this man came out with a book I was on the quick train to pick it up at the bookstore. His writing mirrored a lot of the things that he says to you during a workout. “Trust and Believe” and “Dig Deeper”. But, those words not only have the context to me that I can push myself through a difficult workout, but I can push myself through life.

I read this book at the right time in my life, and I highlighted all my favorite quotes. This book makes you want to get up and get going and try to do all the difficult things that you have not done because of the little voice in your head thats telling you to doubt yourself.

Personally, I think that this book is a great read for athletes and performers. Shaun T, gets his roots as a dancer. It shows the difficulty of auditioning, injuries and life in L.a. as a performer. But, the powerful thing about this book is that no matter how many time Shaun was knocked down, he was passionate in what he was doing that nothing was going to stop him from getting up and going for his dreams.

There are a few trigger warnings such as child abuse, and rape.

This book also contains LGBTQ+ content.

I think this book is remarkable. I think it teaches a lot about tolerance, peoples differences, and acceptance. Throughout the book, Shaun shares his “Truthbombs” with the reader which are lessons that he has learned about the hardest times in his life. These truth bombs are followed by superpowers, and man those superpowers have the ability for you to feel amazing. Each of us has superpowers, and knowing how to unlock those superpowers is so powerful. I think the mind-shift that develops through this book really helps in unlocking those superpowers.

There is no quick fix to fixing your life, or fixing your body. Shaun, tells each one of his readers that they themselves and only themselves are in charge of the choices that they make every single day. Even those small choices that seem insignificant can play a big role in getting you closer to your dreams. My take away from this book is; show up every single day no matter how difficult it may seem because each little step is a step into the direction of your goals.

Half the game is showing up.

This book is an inspiration but it also gives you a glimpse into the life of Shaun T, and what events that have occurred in his life to make him the person he is today. Amazing would be a great way to sum it up.



Advertisements
As Many As Possible By 2019 · Book Review

A Wrinkle In Time |Book Review

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)
Pages. 219
Published: November 7,2017
1st Edition Published in 1962
Publisher: Square Fish

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Synopsis:

It was a dark and stormy night.

Out of this wild night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe on a most dangerous and extraordinary adventure – one that will threaten their lives and our universe.

Winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in Madeleine L’Engle’s classic Time Quintet. (Goodreads)

REVIEW:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a beautiful read! I listened to the audio book for this story. And it was so intriguing. I loved the characters and the plot was interesting to me. I think that this story has a deeper meaning.

It was written as a fantasy novel for the time, but it is something else indeed. I think everyone can find something to relate to in this book.

Apart from the magical elements in novel, the book holds a stronger meaning of love, friendship and family. And how the support from your friends and family can get you through the darkest of times.

I think that the darkness that is identified in the novel, is a darkness that is among all of us. Only love can break through the darkness and heals us.

This novel is beautiful with a lot of hidden meaning that is meant to be identified by the reader themselves.

Surprisingly enough this was not one of the books that I read in school, experiencing this for the first was something magical.

Madeline E’Langle has so many beautiful quotes but my favorite of these is the following one “the problem is, it’s not too difficult for kids, but that’s it’s difficult for grown ups. Too many grown ups tend to put themselves into little rooms with windows that don’t open and doors that are locked. And they want to close themselves off from new ideas.”



book reflection · Book Review

Beautiful Disaster By Jamie McGuire| Review

15749887Synopsis: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match. (Goodreads)

Review Reflection: 

This was a reread for me. I remember reading this book a few years ago and being completely goo-goo-gaga over Travis Maddox. This book is a love story, following a dysfunctional relationship between Travis and Abbey. Travis is known for sleeping with all the girls on campus and when he meets Abbey, for some reason he wants to change his ways and just be with her. Although, the two struggle with their past selfs and entangle in a dysfunctional abnormal relationship.

If you are looking for healthy romantic representation this is not it. This book shows everything that a relationship should not be, however, the writing and storyline are addicting to read. On a 5 star scale, as an older adult, I would rate this book starsstars/5 stars.  If you are reading this for the entertainment purposes I think you won’t be disappointed, if you are dissecting the book like a science experience, better hold your breath and were your safety goggles.

Initial Thoughts (2013) +Commentary

I loved this book from beginning to end. Although many people compare Jamie McGuire to E.L. James, I think that these two authors are nothing alike.

I really liked watching our female character Abby, grow from being just Travis’s best friend to girlfriend to a girl who stands up for her believes to Travis’s savior. (I still enjoyed this aspect of the book. I really liked how for the first half of the book, the main characters were just friends. It didn’t seem as insta-love, as a lot of young adult books are. )

Man, was Travis something else too. I loved his character. I enjoyed seeing his dark side and how Abby brought out the good in him. ( I still enjoyed seeing the chemistry between Abby and Travis. ) He is impulse and possessive. (Marina, what in the world?? Impulsivity and possessive is now a major turn off for me. In the book, Travis pretty much threatened anyone male who came within 50 feet of Abby. Those situations could have been dealt with in a much classier way.) But, something about his nature makes him sexy. He is afraid of losing the one thing in the world that means the most to him, Abby. He makes stupid decisions and sometimes says the wrong thing but, is willing to give up anything not to lose her. (The thing that makes their relationship irresistible is they go through so much shit together and yet at the end of the day after they decide to be together. I think that was a part that was important to see. Half the book the two main characters are not even together, then they get together and mess up only to break up again, but in the end that work out their differences. I think that in one way it is important to show that it is easy to walk away from something, but with your head on straight it is important to note how important a person is in your life and not be judged for giving second chances or wanting to try again. ) 

The minor characters were really great as well, Shep and America, try their hardest to protect both water and fire elements of Abbey’s and Travis’s personalities. (Still relevant) 

The ending of this book was shocking and unexpected. Overall, I was sad when it all came to an end. I can’t wait to read the story from Travis’s point of view in “Walking Disaster”. (Still, have not read this story from Travis’s point of view)

Book Review

Leah On The Offbeat | Becky Albertalli

35820414Pages: 368

Synopsis: Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. (Goodreads)

Review:  stars stars stars /5

This book was one of my most anticipated reads this year. This was a book I bought on a release day. This very rarely happens. However, this book was over hyped for me. I wanted more from this book.

I really enjoyed our main character, she was such a kickass, firey, female lead. I saw a lot of myself in her. I enjoyed that this character was portrayed as a larger girl. I really enjoyed that there was a lot of LGBTQ+ representation which played a huge role in this story as the main character is trying to figure out her own sexuality.  I think is important to have LGBTQ+ representation just to be more aware of and know about because it is something that our society is open about. I also think that young adult and middle-grade books and media need to be putting out LGBTQ+ content because this is the most confusing age for people when they are coming out, or having feelings about the same gender. I think that books are a good way to offer support and make people feel like they are not alone.

I struggled to get behind the main character love interest. I loved it when the characters finally got together, but the process that made them get together was extremely long and overly dramatic. It also hurt a lot of people, which took away from the whimsical feel that I had after reading “Simon and the Homosapien Agenda”. I also felt that there were a lot of loose ends at the end that were not tied together. I was left with a lot of questions about what was going on with the other characters in the book.

I think that a major reason I gave this book a 3/5 is that it went back and forth on the development of relationships. The character would make progress in their relationship and then a few scenes later take a step back. It seemed that the relationships were constantly being started over, and although I enjoyed that this whole book is not a fluffy love story. I think it did do a good job of showing how one may be unsure of their sexuality and it supported that idea really well. I just didn’t agree on how that influenced the other characters I felt that a lot of the characters got hurt, and some of the hurt could have been lessened if the events played out differently.

I also did not like that there were a lot of loose ends at the end. There were many characters that didn’t get the proper closure that they should have. However,  I was pleased with the end result of the book between Leah and her love interest.

Leave me a comment down below letting me know if you read this book and if you liked it.

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

Rina

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.