Impromptu Photoshoots with Mariam

This past weekend one of my best friends (Mariam-2nd image) and i went to her local park/lake and took some pretty pictures and i thought i’d share them with you guys today (because where else are they gonna go?).

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Taraana
xx

 

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Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han- Book talk

always and forver lara jean (1)

“Nothing good happens after two a.m. Unless you happen to be a fan of watching people play flip cup for hours on end. Not me. No, I’d much prefer to be in my flannel pajamas with a cup of Night-Night tea and a book, thank you very much.”

-Lara Jean Convey Song in Always and Forever Lara Jean

It’s not new news that i am IN LOVE with Jenny Han’s “To all the boys i’ve loved before” trilogy. So this past school break when my family and i went to Sri Lanka for tonne of family weddings i of course HAD to read Jenny Han’s newest book “Always and Forever Lara Jean” (despite the fact that there wasn’t much time to read) which i ADORED OBVIOUSLY. Along with the others, this book is a quick read and you can easily finish it in one day (making it a perfect summer read). I will say that the order in which i like the books is in the order that they came out because i just REALLY REALLY enjoyed the first time i fell in love the story and the characters *ehm* Peter Kavinsky. So, if you haven’t read this trilogy yet i suggest you purchase or borrow all three of them and cozy up and read them because you are seriously missing out, and then come back to discuss.


Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?


*SPOILERS*

There is SOO much that i want to say but i’m going to cut it down because then i’d be writing forever, so i’m going to start with how much i ADORED Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship as a whole. It’s so rare to see couples in this stage of their relationship in contemporary books and we are always left with wanting more, so i’m glad i got to see the growth of  their relationship of the course of the three books. I adored the part when Peter thew her a surprise birthday party by enacting her favourite scene from ‘Sixteen Candles’ and when he woke her up in New York so they could watch the sunset together and how supportive and loving he is AND how well he gets along with her family especially Kitty (it makes my heart so happy to read those scenes) Peter is the ULTIMATE PERFECT boyfriend.

“I like the way he looks at me, like I am a wood nymph that he happened upon one day and just had to take home to keep”.

-Lara Jean Covey Song in Always and Forever Lara Jean

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetFrom the very beginning i knew she was never going to get into UVA because of how much she wanted to go there, of course there was going to be a complication. But then she got into UNC and i was so proud of her and i was glad she wasn’t going to William and Mary anymore because going there was just going to be a waste of a year because it was just going to be ‘temporary’. When Chris was like “let’s go visit the campus right now” and Lara Jean agreed i was so happy that she was going and she was going with Chris whom we didn’t see enough of until this scene.

Once again i really enjoyed the family dynamic and the newest addition to the family, Trina. She was just amazing and the kind of mum that Kitty needed in her life especially since Lara Jean and Margo would no longer be at home for her. My favourite aspect of the book and basically all the entire trilogy are the very real family moments they have, simple things like Trina calling margo out on leaving her hair in the drain, and Margo’s boyfriend not being allowed to stay in her room and Margo feeling uncomfortable with Trina around all the time in her childhood home. It’s the little things like those that made me fall in love with this book. Kitty as always was the cutest and the sassiest and her sarcastic remarks were my favourite thing to read. Lara Jean’s love for planning the wedding kind of reminded me of myself and of how much i love to design and decorate parties and events and anything really. I loved reading Lara Jean trying to find the ‘perfect choc-chip cookie recipe’  those scenes were so cute, especially the one with Kitty and Peter waiting impatiently to eat the cookies

“I could never be with someone who didn’t understand how important my family is to me”.

-Lara Jean Covey Song in Always and Forever Lara Jean

I rate this book and trilogy a 5/5 because it was just that good!


Taraana
xx

My favourite things in the month/s : april and may

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Although over the past two months i’ve been really busy with school a.k.a LOTS OF ASSESSMENTS but of course i have been obsessed with a few things, mainly to de-stress myself this month and i thought i’d share them with you guys.


books i read/started to read

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett– i read this one in April and it was EVERYTHING I NEEDED. I found that it gave off Anna and the French Kiss vibes which i looove and i totally added it to my ‘favourite contemporary books” list.
Geekerella by Ashley Posten – I have only started this book but i have a feeling i will like it ALOT since it is based on Cinderella and fandoms.
A Court of Wings and Ruin– I’m currently reading ACOWAR and i’m ALREADY IN LOVE obviously and i hope that i can do a review soon.

youtubers

Arden rose– I really enjoy watching her relaxed videos. They are just really calming and real and i have basically watched all of her videos so far *guilty*

podcasts (a new thing)

Lately, i have gained a new obsession, podcasts. I was introduced to a good podcast by Arden Rose that i really looked forward to listen every week called Crash on My Couch. From there i’ve been on the hunt for more good podcasts. These are my two favourites.
Crash on My Couch– This one is really interesting, Arden Rose and Will Darbyshire are the hosts and they talk about the most random topics which i love and have a question session at the end that i look forward to the most. I definitely recommend it especially for bus/train rides (which i take on the way to school and it definitely makes my trip better when i cannot read a book because of the crowd) this goes for both podcasts.
A Novel Chat I’m listening to this podcast as i type up this post and i looove every single podcast i’ve listened to so far. It is hosted by Aneeqah, Willa, and Emily. They talk about all things YA books and i think any book lover would love listening to it.

What have you been obsessed with this month, anything new? Let me know in the comments.

xx
Taraana

 

 

 

 

 

Most anticipated: April & May releases

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The months April and May are my favourite months to buy new books because usually that’s when my most anticipated books are on the shelves in bookstores. I knows April is nearly over but i’m still going to gush about my most anticipated releases of both April and May.

No. 1 : Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 8.57.18 pmI ADORE ALL of Jenny Han’s book and i’m sure this one will be no exception. I love everything about this trilogy, and i’m pretty sure i’ve read To All the boys I’ve Before at least and four times already because i love it so much. And can we just talk about how amazing Jenny Han’s cover’s are? this one is by far my favourite, it’s just sooo pretty ahhh.

No. 2 : Lord of Shadows by CassanScreen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.24.50 pmdra Clare

FINALLY IT’S NEAR. probably my most anticipated fantasy book this year. I CANNOT wait for the next instalment in this trilogy. Cassandra Clare never fails to leave me in awe and in the BIGGEST reading slump (which is not a good thing but it shows how amazing that last book was).

No. 3: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah. J. Maas

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.26.49 pmMINOR SPOILERS. The last book in a trilogy, and since it is Sarah.J.Maas i’m pretty sure this last book will not disappoint or i’m hoping it won’t because i’m so excited for this last book. I’m excited for everything, the relationships, RHYS, and definitely the squad and hopefully new couples forming *cough cough* Cassian and Nesta.

No.4 : Alex, Approximately by Jenn BennettScreen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.19.35 pm

I’ve already started reading this one, so i can say i’m already in love with it. Jenn Bennett is my next “waiting for a Stephanie Perkins book, author” (if that makes sense). Her book just gives me an Anna and the French Kiss vibe which in my head means it soo cute and adorable and is funny at times too AND has the cutest male lead.

No. 5: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.31.08 pmI don’t know much about this one except that it’s kinda a Cinderella retelling with fandom stuff? I don’t want to know much because i want to go into this book blind. But i’ve seen really good reviews on it since people are loving it right now so i’m VERY EXCITED about this one.

 

 

 

 

What books are you excited to get your hands on in May? Let me know in the comments  below.

xx
Taraana

 

 

New favourite author? Where have i been?

New favourite author- Where have i been-

Okay so i’ll start by apologising because i haven’t posted in the past three months, but i do have reasons, maybe not good ones but i do have them.
1. I just started year 11 and it’s really kicking my butt and i’ve felt like i couldn’t write good posts since i wasn’t in the right headspace because of school work.
2. I have just had a lot of writer’s block and honestly i had no motivation to write anything or even post on my instagram, probably because i was waayy tooo stressed about school.

BUT it Autumn break and i’m back. I’m hoping that through this school break i can get back into the swing of things, so here i am.

Now on to the main to topic of this post, my new favourite author, Kasie West. Okay so calling her my favourite author is a far stretch but i REALLY REALLY LIKE her books. Her books are the kind that make you soo happy and you smile the entire tie you read them which is why i like them so much. These past couple of months whenever i was feeling overwhelmed and stressed out i would always come back to one of Kasie West’s books which is why at this moment in time i have finished reading every one of her books except for “On the Fence” i’m in the middle of reading that one. All her books have the cutest love story which will put the biggest smile on your face. Yes, most of her stories have a lot of cliché elements and predicable story lines but i guess that’s what makes her books so stress free and addicting. I would recommend her books to anyone looking for a cute, carefree romance to read that you can read in one sitting (at least that’s what i did). These are my top three favourite books of hers.

No. 1 : By your side

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.21.58 amWhen Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.
Only he doesn’t come. No one does.
Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?


By your side is my favourite Kasie West book so far. I really enjoyed the premise of the book, being stuck in a library? count me in! And i really enjoyed the dynamic between Dax and Autumn, i thought it was very real and not forced at all. But the aspect that made it my very favourite Kasie West book was how connected i felt with Autumn. I have anxiety similar to Autumn and i think Kasie West described it really well which allowed me to relate to her character on a deeper level.

No. 2: P.S I Like You

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.32.14 amher desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!
Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…


This book is juts pure cuteness and it definitely makes it to the “books you need to read, if you like fluff list” because it is too adorable. Although i have to say, i hoped there would be a better more fulfilling ending but there wasn’t. Which is probably expected because Kasie West does end her books abruptly but i wish she had just added in at least one more chapter. Nevertheless, i loved the cute letters that they would send to each other, i would look forward to reading them just as Lily did every Chemistry class.

No. 3: Split second

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier…
Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.43.25 amAddison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.


This is the second book in the Pivot Point duology, which is why the summary above is from the first because i am a firm believer in NO SPOILERS. So i’m not going to say much about this book except that i did enjoy more than the first one and although it does have the paranormal genre, it still reads like a contemporary which is why i love it. The paranormal aspect is more like the background music of the book while the character relationships are the main focus of the book which i really enjoy.


Have you read any of Kasie West’s books? Let me know which one is your favourite if you have.

xx
Taraana

Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz – Booktalk

Having just read The Sun is also a Star Nicola Yoon which is a story about a family getting deported back to Jamaica, Something in Between was almost like the happier version of The Sun is also a Star. I don’t want to spoil Nicola Yoon’s book but i do want to say that if you liked The Sun is Also a Star then you might enjoy Something in Between and they share similar plot points and family struggles.


It feels like there’s no ground beneatscreen-shot-2017-01-21-at-3-41-33-pmh me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.


After reading Something in Between i came to the realisation that there are so many people that are struggling with the same thing that Jasmine and her family are struggling with and that this issue should come up more often in our topics of discussion. I enjoyed the concept of the book immensely and the story but obviously i had a few issues with the book since i gave it a 4/5 stars but otherwise it was amazing.

SPOILER DISCUSSION

The were multiple times in the book where i was almost in tears like the time when she received her scholarship and told her parents and instead of being happy for her they gave her devastating news that they were undocumented citizens and that she couldn’t accept the scholarship. I felt so unbelievably bad for her because she had been working so hard her whole life to get into a university but it backfires and she is at a loss.

I was in happy tears when she told her cheer team about her situation and they were all their for her, hugging her and telling her that they were going to be there for her. It made me realise how important it is so have a supportive group of friends that we love you no matter what.

My least favourite aspect of the book was probably her relationship with Royce especially the beginning, i don’t know why but it felt too cheesy. I wasn’t a fan of his cheesy pick up lines our texts but as their relationship progressed he grew on me and i didn’t mind him at all.

I have to say the most shocking part of the book for me was when Royce proposed to her. And although it made sense that if they got married she could stay in America i was like NO NO NO. They just got together and NO girl wants to get married for some legal reason, and i was super stressed while reading the part where that went to the courthouse but i was sooo relived when she came to her senses and said no to him. In the end she did accept Royce’s help from his father and i was so glad that they didn’t get deported after all and the Jasmine got the life she wanted.

xx
Taraana

 

 

The best books of 2016

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The time has come, where everyone is frantically posting their favourite books of 2016 and after hours of deciding and changing my favourite books of this year i have finally come up with a list that i’m pretty happy with. I have to say, this year i read a lot of books that i throughly enjoyed and gave a five stars on goodreads but there were only a few books that i believed were the best of the best for this year. I’m 3 books behind my goodreads schedule of 35 books but i’m really happy with all the books that i did read this year. Although i know next year will be a hectic one for me (because i’m starting to prepare for the HSC) i hope that i’ll be able to do read more of a variety of books and venture out to read different authors and genres. I’d also just like to say thank you to all you who have followed, commented or liked my blog because it means the word to me. Only this year i started to post more regularly and i have put more effort into my blog and i’m glad i did it because it makes me so happy that other people are enjoying reading just as much as i love creating my posts.

*I have taken inspiration from Alexandra from twirlingpages to come up with my list because it was hard to just randomly pick my favourites of this year.

favourite first in a series: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight was exactly the book i needed at the start of this year. It was SOO GOOD. I loved how much Cassandra Clare’s writing improved in Lady Midnight and this is my favourite first book of all her series. I especially loved the glimpses of other characters from her previous series that got cameos in Lady Midnight. If you’ve read ALL of Cassie’s other books (i mean ALL of them because then you’ll get the full experience of Lady Midnight) then you must read Lady Midnight!

favourite conclusion of a series: Winter by Marissa Meyer

I started this series in 2014 and every single book from this series had been on my favourite’s list because this books are just so compelling and the characters are just so delightful. I read Winter at the very beginning of this year and i STILL talk about it so i guess that explains how much i love it.

favourite standalone: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I’ve read a tonne of standalone’s this year because i love reading contemporary’s and most of them are standalones but i have to say Finding Audrey was the one that made this list because i adored the writing and especially the small moments where we got a script of the video that Audrey was taking because that script constantly had me laughing.

favourscreen-shot-2016-12-29-at-3-35-29-pmite cover: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything was one of the many gorgeous cover’s of 2016. I wish i had a physical copy of the book because it sooo pretty. I love the small flowers drawn around the writing and the white background just makes it look so aesthetically pleasing *sighs*.

favourite friendship: Six of CroProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetws by                                          Leigh Bardugo

The entire crew from Six of Crows were what most people would say as #squad goals because they really are. I love the unexpectedness of their friendship and i love the journey of the friendship too. I freaking LOVED their dynamic and the dialogue was just soo good! I really recommend Six of Crows, not only for the friendship but also for the amazing world and plot that Leigh Bardugo had created.

              favourite new author: Sabba Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes)

Everything about Sabaa Tahir’s writing style had me in awe. I loved her writing style, her characters and especially the amazing word she created. An Ember in the Ashes was one of those books that had me captivated for the entirely of the book and i cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series!

favourite book if the year: A court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Mass

Sarah J Mass is the QUEEN of writing fae. I’ve never read a book dedicated to fae’s and all that comes with but my god does Sarah write them to be your favourite fantasy creatures. I read Empire of Storms this year too but i didn’t love it as much as ACOMF which is why it didn’t make t on my favourites list. I love ACOMF so much because of how much Feyre’s character developed and how confident she became and not to mention how much i love Ryhs now after learning so much about him. And cannot wait for the final book in this trilogy!

What were your favourite books of 2016? Let Me know in the comments!

xx
Taraana