fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | A Court of Geniuses Living Ultralife!

Whew! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a busy two weeks! Between deadlines and outings and events and classes/lessons, I’ve been running around. Hence, why I missed a week of Obsession Confession (but…let’s just not mention that…). Anyhoo, somehow, between all of the insanity, I managed to discover new obsessions to share with you! So, let’s not delay any longer!

Books

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Was there any doubt in your mind that I’d choose A Court of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas this week? If there was then let me officially put those doubts to rest! I have been waiting for this book since I finished ACOMAF and oh my god I am loving it!!!! I haven’t finished it yet because I want to savor it, but everything about it so far is everything I could’ve ever wanted and more! I adore this series and I’m so happy to finally have ACOWAR in my hands!!!

Music

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I’ve been listening to and loving “Ultralife” by Oh Wonder lately. The song is just so happy and catchy and it makes me feel like speeding through the countryside with my friends on a sunny day! I also love the vocals on the track, which manage to be ethereal, yet still have this sense of gravity.

Movies/TV/Trailers

I started watching National Georgaphic’s new biographical Albert Einstein mini-series, Genius, and I am loving it! Fun fact about me: Albert Einstein is my favorite scientist! Not because I’m a physics/biology major and I’m being basic and cliché, but because I relate to Einstein so much that it’s actually scary. So when I heard about Genius, I just knew I had to watch it! And, what’d’ya know?! I adore the series! (Surprise!)

The second season of Sense8 was released this past Thursday and I am super excited for it! I can’t believe that the moment I’ve been waiting for for two years (oh, the agony! the pain!) is finally here! I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but rest assured, that will be rectified ASAP!

It was quite the busy week in TV-land because in addition to releasing the new season of Sense8, Netflix also dropped the official trailer for The Defenders! This show looks amazing and I can’t wait for our four heroes to finally come together!

Other Stuff

It probably sounds silly, but I bought new clothes for the summer and I’m in love with them! They’re so lovely and soft! I know I’m being quite stereotypically “girly” (although, who cares because eff gender norms!), but I adore fashion. As a low income person, I’ve experienced the difference that good, clean, pretty clothes can make, both in how people see you and in how you feel about yourself. Besides that, I’ve always loved expressing my personality via my clothes! And these clothes make me feel really good!

News

Big news came for Patrick Ness fans this week and that is that the first Chaos Walking trilogy film (which stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland) begins filming this summer! I’ve never read the Chaos Walking trilogy, but I know that it’s very beloved in the YA literary community and I’m sure many of y’all are excited by this news. I am interested in the movie, though, so hopefully I’ll give the book a try before the film is released.

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Over the past two week, Cait at Paper Fury has graced us with not one, but two delightfully hilarious posts! The first was Cait’s list of 10 types of fantasy books she wants to read but which don’t exist and the second was her list of the 10 types of reading moods all bookworms experience plus a quiz! As always, Cait’s posts left me laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. So go check ’em out!

fun, Lila

Spilling The Secrets | April 2017

Hey, y’all! Lila reporting for duty! I’ back at it again with the wrap ups! This timme, I’m calling my wrap up segment “Spilling The Secrets” because within this segment, I’ll be spilling the beans on all of my favorite things from the past month!

This first segment of Spilling The Secrets is kind of a special one, as in the “Life Events” section, I’m going to be sharing with you my life events which have occurred since the beginning of 2017! Other than that, every other section covers only April! So let’s jump right in!

blogging business

I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been doing a different format of review lately called “Five Reasons To Read…[Book Title]”. Have no fear, hough, the old style of reviewing will still be here! The “Five Reasons To Read” format is actually how I’ve decided to format my “mini reviews.” I say “mini reviews” in quotations because I know mine tend to be longer than most reviewers’, but, what can I say–I never said I wasn’t opinionated and long-winded!

reading wrap up

Sadly, I only finished one book in April and that was…

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

I really liked this book despite the fact that, because of my reading slump, it took me about five months to finish it! The Diabolic is fast paced and action packed and full of romance and political intrigue. The one thing I wish it had done better was the diversity. There were no people of color and only one LGBT+ character, whose sexuality was used as a plot device and who was killed off in the end. Aside from that, it was an entertaining read and I cant wait for the next book. You can check out my “mini review” here.

book haul

BOUGHT/WON

haul

eARCs RECEIVED

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music favorites

My musical favorites this month is an eclectic collection of pop. From slower melodies to fast paced ditties, traditional American tunes to songs inspired by music from around the world, and modern pop to older beats and sounds, this playlist has it all!

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music-tv favorites

I’ve been watching Netflix’s Iron Fist and I must say that I’m really enjoying it! It can be a bit cheesy and cliche–but in my opinion, most superhero stories are! It drags in a few places, but once you get going, the pace starts to pick up. I like thee layers of mysteries, the appearances of other characters from the Defenders universe, and, of course, the action! I’m not too happy about the whitewashing, though, and I can understand why people would choose to pass on Iron Fist because of it. I’m not gonna go saying it’s my all-time favorite show that takes place in the Marvel/Defenders universe, but it’s pretty good nonetheless.

other favorites

wax tarts

I really fell in love with the wax tarts sold by Wick And Fable in April! They smell absolutely delightful! For Easter, my mom bought three sets of them for me: Liesl (inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), Der Erlkonig (also inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), and To Whatever End (inspired by the Throne of Glass series by Sarah. J. Maas) and I highly recommend those three because they make my room smell incredible!!!

life events

I Participated in An International Women’s Day March And in A Day Without A Woman

unnamed (2)Since I live literally 10 minutes fro Washington, D.C., it’s pretty much impossible not to be involved in liberal, Democratic politics. It’s also pretty impossible to not participate in at least one of the recent anti Trump protests.

Despite my proximity to the capitol, I’ve never actually participated in a protest. Until International Women’s Day, that is! On that day, which also was the day of the A Day Without A Woman strike, I decided to not only wear red in solidarity with the cause, but also to take to the streets to protest the infantile Cheeto currently occupying my home city. I had a great time and there were some really great speakers who spoke on intersectional women’s rights and why they are so important.

I Visited A Korean Spa with My Bestie

Fun fact about me: before this year, I’d never been to a spa. But I corrected that earlier this year! My best friend got two free tickets to a Korean spa and decided to treat me and herself. I only visited the saunas and the cold room (which I fondly dubbed “the freezer”), but it was so nice! It was very relaxing and I can now say that I highly recommend going to a spa!

I Planted A Garden…And Haven’t Killed It Yet!

unnamedPlanting a garden and not killing it is quite the accomplishment for me as I usually am quite the plant killer! My mom wanted a garden for when she returns home, so my best friend, my godmother, and I went out, bought some plants, and got to planting! Ad,, what do ya know?! Three weeks later, plants are springing up everywhere!

I Started Volunteering At Koru Magazine And Stay Bookish eZine

This is an important life event/semi-announcement that’s happened and that is that I’m now a graphic designer and copy editor at Koru Magazine and a writer at Stay Bookish eZine! I’m immensely proud to have scored these positions and I’ve been having so much fun working for both!

I Marched for Science

unnamed (3)The March for Science recently occurred, so I headed into the city and took to the streets once again, this time with my best friend and another once of our friends! It was such a fun day (despite the rainy weather in D.C. on that day) and the march was HUGE! It was so great to see so many people come out in support of science! Before the march, my friends and I went to the National Gallery of Art and then in the evening, we went to a seminar on science and art which took place in a renovated underground trolley station! I had an AMAZING time!

looking ahead

The only major thing that is coming up on the blog, on my end, is that I’m taking part in  blog tour! The book is a diverse, #ownvoices one that seems to be highly anticipated by the community, so I think y’all will enjoy my tour stop! Otherwise, things will be running normally around here on my end!

So that’s all! How was your month? Anything fun or exciting happen? Tell me all in the comments!

Lila, reviews

Diabolically Delightful | Five Reasons To Read…The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

26836910Title: The Diabolic

Author: S.J. Kincaid

Narrator: Candace Thaxton

Running Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary: Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila and today I’m here to share my thoughts on The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid with you! Despite the fact that it took me a eternity to finish this book due to my book slump, I really did love it! The Diabolic is one heck of a wild ride, filled with twists and turns, suspense, intrigue, and romance! So without any further ado, here are five things I loved about The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid…

1. Et tu, Brute?

The Diabolic‘s the name, backstabbing’s the game! The Diabolic is all about politics and deceit and betrayal and it’s absolutely fascinating to watch these elements unfold! Everyone is playing a power game and you realize pretty quickly that there’s no character you can trust. If you love the intricacies of politics, this is the book for you!

2. Love Or Lies?

I loved how, to the very last word of the book, Kincaid has you questioning almost all of the relationships that the characters form. You never know if characters are allies or enemies. The only character you can be certain of is Nemesis, because you are inside her head. But when it comes to the relationships Nemesis forms, you really don’t know how the other person truly feels. Plus, the relationships change at the whims of characters’ schemes, adding an additional layer of complexity. The intricacy of all of the relationships between characters and how the characters manipulate the threads connecting them to each other is so interesting.

3. Catching Feelings

I adored the characters! In particular, I loved Nemesis and Tyrus! Nemesis was so strong and I loved how we saw that while the world thought she was just some emotionless creature, she really had such depth of emotion and love. One of the things I like about Nemesis is that she’s a dynamic character. We watch her constantly growing, changing, and evolving on the page. She begins the book one way and ends the book a different person.

And Tyrus! *Swoon*! I loved him! He was so intelligent and cunning and calculating. I love how he was a well-rounded love interest, with his own motives (some of which we know and some of which we may not know). I also liked how we saw that Tyrus wanted change and wanted to do right by his people, but he was also willing to be ruthless in order to get just that. It brought up the great, old moral question: how much bad are you willing to do for the greater good and do the ends justify the means? Further, I liked how Kincaid made us question Tyrus right up to the last word! We’re lead to always feel some unease about his character and I like that we never know whether or not he’s truly on Nemesis’s side.

4. A Galaxy Far Away

The world was absolutely fascinatingThe Diabolic is set far in the distant future, presumably in a different galaxy. But Kincaid doesn’t just build an interesting setting–she also has created a fascinating society, one in which gods are worshipped and knowledge is banned. In many ways, though the society of The Diabolic has progressed technologically, they have regressed in culture and attitude, creating a fascinating dynamic. I could study this world all day long and never get bored and that’s what shows me that Kincaid has done not just a mere good job in world building, but a great one!

5. Choose Your Own Adventure

The Diabolic was originally intended to be a standalone and can be read as such. It’s not like other “standalone” books where there’s an open ending. Instead, the end of The Diabolic wraps up all of the threads of the story! Or you can read The Diabolic as the first installment in a series, as the publisher bought two more books following the same characters! It’s completely up to you!

Juuuust In Case, Some Things That Might Make You Say “No Way!”…

  • There is a short scene of attempted sexual assault.
  • There is a lot of graphic violence in this book. A lot.
  • There is a single diverse character, a lesbian side character.  There are two problems that I found with the representation in The Diabolic, although please note that I am a heterosexual, cisgender female and therefore am not the best person to speak on this. That being said, I feel like if the representation was poor enough that even I, a heterosexual, cisgender reviewer, notice it, then it’s probably really problematic. Okay, so I’ll move on to telling you the two issues I had. First of all, the lesbian character’s identity is used as a plot point and glossed over as simply “unrequited love” that Nemesis, the heterosexual, cisgender main character,  now awkwardly “has to deal with.” That’s my first problem, which leads into my second problem which is that at the end, Kincaid kills off the lesbian character as a way of catalyzing the actions of Nemesis, the cisgender, heterosexual protagonist. To me, it felt cheap to first use the lesbian character’s identity as a plot twist and then to (pretty promptly) just kill them off. That’s just me, though.

So all in all, I really enjoyed The Diabolic and I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for our cast of characters!

Thoughts In A Gif

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About Me, fun, Lila

Lila Does The “Anything But Books” Tag

I’ve seen this tag floating around and I figured, since it’s been a while since I’ve made any posts with fun fun facts about me, I’d jump on this tag! Now, I must warn you…what you are about to read is very, very nerdy. You have been warned! Now let’s get this show on the road!

1. Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

Uh oh, it’s already confession time…My confession is that sadly, I’ve never really liked cartoons, save for Disney movies, which I’m not sure if those count? If they do, then my favorite Disney movies are Mulan and Pocahontas.

2. What is your favorite song right now.

I’ve had “Human Touch” by Betty Who on repeat for the past few weeks and, miraculously, I’m still not sick of it!

3. What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

I could spend ages just singing, making art, learning new skills, and/or socializing!

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Something that everyone (even my irl friends) save for my mom seems surprised by is that I enjoy listening to hip hop and rap, especially from 90s artists like Tupac, Arrested Development, and Digable Planets. I think this surprises people because I’m an opera and jazz/blues singer, so people think I only like classical music. But, no. I like all music, even rap!

5. What is something unnecessarily specific you like to learn about?

Anything science related! I love any and every branch of science and I love learning new science stuff! I can’t help it–I’m a nerd!

6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

I know how to do the lab parts of a basic paternity test, as well as how to analyze the raw data results of the test. Ya know, swab, centrifuge, gel electrophoresis, analyze gel? We did a live lab on how to do it in my IB Biology class in high school…

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year?

My long term project that I began in about February of this year is my journal. It’s a work in progress, but I’m really proud of how it’s coming along so far.

8. What is your most recent personal project?

Myself? Hah! I kid…sort of. I am working on being a bit more organized and put together.

9. Tell us something you think about often.

I often think about the physics of how the universe began and about uniting quantum mechanics and relativity.

10. Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific.

I love the feeling of singing a really heartfelt song–and, for me, there is a very specific physical feeling when I do this. I’ll sing a really emotionally pure sequence and I feel something in my chest, right above my stomach, pang and leap, like my heart is flying. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I know for sure the people who are musicians and who consider music more than a hobby can relate to what I’m talking about.

So Those Are All The Quirky Facts About Me That You’re Getting Today! Thanks For Sticking Around! And Tell Me An Oddly Specific Favorite Thing Of Yours In The Comments! SMuch Love And TTYL! 💗

 

book fashion, fun, Lila

Literary Looks | The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Title: The Sun Is Also A Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Goodreads Summary: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Song Of Anne’s Party

Hello, friends! How are you? What have y’all been up to? I’ve just come back from my journey around the world wide web, lol! And I’ve brought back with me many new obsessions to share with you! So let’s dive right in!

Books

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I began the eARC of Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser and am making my way through it at a painfully slow pace because #thatchronicfatiguelife, ya know? Anyhow, I’m really enjoying it so far! I tweeted Tolscer to ask and she confirmed the Caro, the main character, is mixed race (Black/White) and Tolscer imagines Sabina Karlsson as Caro. This made me totally squeal because asdfghjklzxcvbnmpoiuytrewq Caro is like me and looks like me!!! So if that don’t show y’all that representation matters, then i don’t know what will!

Movies/TV/Trailers

Netflix’s Anne of Green Gables adaptation (simply titled Anne) got it’s first trailer and it looks absolutely wonderful! As a child, I wasn’t a major fan of the book series, but I did love the Anne of Green Gables cartoon that used to air on PBS. This adaptation looks really adorable, though, and I can’t wait to see it!

Music

It’s been literal years since I last listened to Fall Out Boy, but I broke that streak the other day, when I discovered their song “Where Did The Party Go.” It’s your typical Fall Out Boy pop rock song that you can’t help but want to dance to. On a sidenote: as a classical singer, I must say that Fall Out Boy’s lead singer has a really good voice and A+ diction! Anyhoo, it’s a great, fun song that’ll have you singing and dancing along!

Other Stuff

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So, as y’all know, I’ve taken to journaling of late. It was during this new venture that I discovered a new obsession: washi tape. It’s colorful and fun and you can use it in collages or to spice up a plain page! It makes a great addition to my journal! I discovered washi tape because it was already quite popular in the journaling and bullet journaling community, and now I can totally see why. I ordered three rolls the other day and I swear I have to stop myself from sticking it all over everything in my vicinity, haha!

News

Alas, dear friends! I could find no news this week! So I’m turning it over to y’all–what’s one piece of recent bookish news that you’re excited about?

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Guys, I messed up. I meant to share my good friend Fadwa’s (at Word Wonders) post last week and I accidentally just shared the link. So I’m trying to make up for it ad sharing it now. Fadwa wrote a really great post on whether or not characters need to be relatable in order for a book to be enjoyable. In typical Fadwa style, the post made many great, thoughtful points. Go check it out!

Laughter Makes The World Go Round

tampon taker

fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Blood for Blood Is Just Water Under The Bridge

Hello, friends! How are ya? It’s that time of week again! Time for Obsession Confession, my weekly segment in which I “confess” all of my latest obsessions! This week there’s plenty to get through, so let’s get going!

Books

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Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin was one of my last reads of 2015 and ended up coming #1 on my list of to books I read in 2015. So when Blood for Blood,the sequel and finale to the duology, was released, I snapped it up…Aaaaaand didn’t get to it…until this past week. I think I never got to Blood for Blood because I was waiting for the perfect moment. Anyhow, I decided to bite the bullet and get to it a few days back and…wow. I forgot how much I love this series and Graudin’s writing. Everything about Blood for Blood is perfection, pure and simple. If you haven’t yet checked out this duology, definitely give it a try!

Music

I listened to Adele’s latest pop  ballad,”Water Under The Bridge,” and, predictably, I loved it! There are so many things to love about Adele and her music. I love how she’s managed to evolve as an artist while still staying true to the spirit she began with. I also love that no matter how pop-y her music gets, she maintains that deep thread of emotion in her voice. “Water Under The Bridge” is no different in these respects and also happens to be incredibly singable, a ballad you’d belt out in the car on your way to work. I’m sure it’ll be another great hit under Adele’s belt.

Movies/TV/Trailers

Netflix released a new featurette for their upcoming adaptation of 13 Reasons Why. This short video definitely got me even more interested in the show!

Netflix dropped a trailer for their upcoming adaptation of the beloved manga, Deathnote. I’m not a manga/anime fan, but I do know that Deathnote is incredibly popular, so I figured at least one of y’all would be interested plus the show does look interesting. The only thing that kinda concerns me is the potential whitewashing as I think (And I want to stress that I don’t know and that I may be wrong on this count) the characters are Japanese and the series takes place in Japan? If you do know if the show is whitewashed, please let me know in the comments. Other than that, this looks like your standard A++ Netflix show and I can’t wait to check it out! Who knows, maybe watching the show will encourage me to read the manga series!

News

This is slightly old news now but I can’t believe I forgot to mention that the cover for Marie Lu’s new novel, Warcross, which releases in November, was released! I have kind of mixed feelings on the cover. Many people think it’s beautiful, while others think it looks too basic and simple. I’m pretty in between, but regardless of how the cover looks, I’m super excited for the book! What do you think of the cover? Did you enjoy the sneak peak of the book? Are you excited for Warcross?

In other, more “recent” news, the cover and synopsis for Maggie Stiefvater’s newest novel, All The Crooked Saints, which releases later this year, was released. The book sounds both magical and mysterious, as per usual Stiefvater, and I’m interested in seeing how it pans out.

LOLing

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