Summing It Up: July 2017 (Thank You for 1K Followers!)

Hello, friends! As promised, I definitely became a casual blogger last month where I posted quite spontaneously. Though I missed the times I was away from this corner of the internet, it was also very liberating to just not have a schedule.

Because I’ve been rather inactive, I’ll be replying to comments (including finishing up the ones from my last discussion post months ago-I’m truly so sorry it’s taking me ages!) and blog hopping very soon.  (I’ve already bookmarked a list of your blogs. So expect to see me around!) I’ll probably be doing this early to mid next week since I have to work today and tomorrow at the salon.

Anyway, onto the recap of July.

There were a lot of highs and lows last month. Exo came back with a new album, but, unfortunately, without my favorite member, Yixing. Then I saw the tragic news about Chester Bennington. (More on this later.) And then, again, happy news… I recently learned that I’ve been hired as a permanent, paid year-round intern at the local independent pharmacy I was on rotation (which is basically an externship where I’m not getting paid but rather graded on my performance) at in June. (However, I’ll share more about that as well in next month’s wrap up since it really happened a few days ago, at the beginning of August.) I just wanted to share the great news with you guys, early, since you’ve been along this journey with me since I was an undergrad. 🙂

Oh and I also reached 1,000 followers on this blog! I never imagined I’d reach this milestone, because my blog started off as a really small space. Anyway, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sticking with me and being such a great support! I really appreciate and value each and every one of you.  ❤ 

And I actually already have a giveaway that was (kind of) planned for this occasion; it’s open until the end of August on my Instagram. (Sorry, I chose that social media platform because I want to grow my bookstagram account!) I encourage you to enter if you’re interested though! It’s international and pretty nice, in my opinion. So, friends, please share or give it a shot!

– What I Read –

I finished my 2017 Goodreads challenge (and I always only count reading an entire manga series as one book, which makes this more impressive if I do say so myself). Honestly, it wasn’t that ambitious (only 25!) because I was unsure what my schedule would be like with school. For now, I have no plans of increasing it because I need to soon factor in juggling school with two jobs. :’) (I’m really more excited than anything though!)

– July Blog Post –

Continue reading

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
Published by Createspace on November 4, 2014
Genres: [Adult] Nonfiction, Poetry, Feminism
Pages: 204
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3.5 Stars, Completed July 29, 2017

– SPOILER free –

Milk and honey is a book I’ve wanted to pick up for some time now.
I‘ve noticed it around the blogosphere, bookstagram, and Goodreads.
Literally at every bookstore I’ve visited the last couple of months, this would be advertised as the #1 bestseller.
Knowing that there was immense popularity surrounding milk and honey, I was wary.

And so today I decided to take a chance and settled in my reading nook to finally see what the hype was about.
Now, I understand why many love milk and honey.
Despite this statement though, I’m going to have to admit that I, personally, did find it to be slightly underwhelming honestly.

Hence why I couldn’t give this a full 5 stars.
Of course the prose and illustrations were aesthetically pleasing, and there were many pieces that moved and even resonated with me.
Not to mention, I was 100% on board with Rupi Kaur’s beliefs and intent the entire way.
Even though the writer’s/poet’s/artist’s passion is very apparent and her artful pieces can speak to readers, the fact that this was written in the form of poetry just probably wasn’t for me.
Yes, this book is raw, beautiful, and powerful, but it isn’t one that can convert non-poetry fans to ones that like poetry as I was secretly hoping.

TL;DR: There was certainly an allure while reading milk and honey because of the messages Kaur conveys within the pages, but overall this book as a whole itself didn’t live up to my expectations. Poetry might just be something I’ll never grow to appreciate, I guess. Therefore, for me, milk and honey felt both disconnected yet connected at the same time, as contradicting as that sounds. (Disjointing because of the style but cohesive with the ideologies and politics, if that makes sense.)

And indeed, I did choose to write my review in an (extremely elementary) acrostic poem this time. (Although, I’m quite pleased with it seeing as I’m not at all a poet. Hah.)


Blog @xingsings | Instagram @readxings | Twitter @xingsings

Summer

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
Summer has been MIA
but now she’s back with a giveaway.

It’s on Instagram though. I just thought I’d tell you, friends, on here about it, too.

Hope you’re all well and having a great summer so far!

— Summer

P.S. I would advise not missing out because you have the chance to win two of my favorite bookish things: books and HHA bookmarks.

P.P.S. This may be my shortest blog post yet. /proud/ :’)

Manga Review: Daytime Shooting Star

Daytime Shooting Star (Hirunaka no Ryuusei) (ひるなかの流星)
Original Story by
 Mika Yamamori
Art by Mika Yamamori
Published by Margaret from 2011 to 2014
Genres: [Shoujo] Romance, School
Volumes: 12
Chapters:
86
Status of manga:
 Completed*

*Review based on entire manga series

MAL Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

Purchase links are not available because, as of when this review is published, this manga has yet to be officially serialized in English. However, you can still read this online with fan-subs.

3 Stars, Completed July 3, 2017

– read the bold text only to avoid major SPOILERS –

He emitted a light as bright as that of a falling star…

Daytime Shooting Star is a high school romance centering around the story of a teenage girl named Suzume Yosano that moves to Tokyo from a small town to reside with her uncle after her father’s job transfer. Upon her arrival to the city she meets a mysterious young gentleman that helps her reach her uncle’s place. Though she learns that this man is an acquaintance of her uncle’s she remains skeptical of this happy go lucky guy and tries to avoid him after their first encounter… but it looks like this will be harder done than said considering he’s her homeroom teacher at her new school.

Having read the entire series-all 12 volumes (which is roughly 80 chapters)-in the span of three days, there’s clearly an addictive quality to Daytime Shooting Star. And the sole reason why I think it was so compelling to read was because (dare I say it) the love triangle.

I might be the black sheep with this confession but I’ve actually never been one that disliked love triangles if done well. My biggest annoyances with the bad ones have been when A) the triangle itself was completely unnecessary and could have been avoided but was there to add unwanted drama B) it became blatantly apparent who the protagonist would choose at the end early on and/or C) the author decided to take a cop-out and villainized one party so that the lead female would alternatively get together with the seemingly “nice guy.”

Luckily, there was none of that nonsense with Daytime Shooting Star. Instead, it excelled at the push and pull aspect of these sort of romances but in balanced moderation to minimize readers’ frustration. It was also pretty obscure throughout the entire series who the heroine would eventually pick. In fact, the mystery of the outcome was this manga’s greatest charm, in my opinion.

Continue reading

Book Haul: March – June 2017 (And Some of July)

Oh my goodness, it’s been ages since I’ve posted a book haul. Therefore today I’ll be showing the bookish loot I’ve gotten over the previous few months. Indeed, I did attempt the falling books concept again because (surprisingly) it was such a big hit the last time I tried it.

Another thing to note is the amount of books I bought in a span of months! Knowing how ridiculous I can get… Gosh, what a feat! In addition, I didn’t purchase a single bookmark during this period, which is also not the norm. (Well one bookmark set did come in a subscription box which I did order… but that doesn’t count in my opinion!)

And that’s pretty much all I have to say in the preface. So, without further ado, the photos. 😉

Preorders

When I originally started this series a few months ago I had no idea that ACoWaR would be the last book in the series and that the next remaining installments were set to be spin-offs set in the same world but in the perspectives of the supporting characters. I am so relieved to learn of this news because I didn’t think the plot could drag on any more than one additional sequel. As you can imagine after liking ACoMaF so much, I preordered this title. But I haven’t started book three just yet mainly because I want to write my reviews for the first two books first before I begin that one.

I got this for two reasons: it received so many glowing reviews from reviewers I trust and I have a lot of South Asian friends. I wouldn’t mind buddy reading this with someone so if you want to be my partner let me know!

I read an eARC of this one but I had to place my preorder anyway. Because, I mean, it’s Sarah Dessen. I couldn’t break tradition and not buy it.

Continue reading

Summing It Up: June 2017

Sigh. Again, June was not that impressive in the reading and blogging departments for me.

But instead of labeling this inactivity as a unpremeditated hiatus or a slump as I have been doing this past year… I think I should confess that I’m slowly facing the reality that I’ve outgrown my enthusiastic blogger phase from 2015. I, honestly, no longer have the inspiration to post twice (or even once) a week as I did back then. I’ve come to accept that I’m more of a casual blogger now. I don’t see myself posting regularly or being super interactive like I used to anymore. But I also believe that this change isn’t a bad thing per se because even if it means that I’ll post less, perhaps, taking these breathers in between each post will give me more motivation to release more quality content. Besides, it’s a natural course for people to evolve and their interests to alter with time.

I didn’t intend for this to sound like a farewell or anything (because I’m definitely not quitting this blog completely yet), but I’ve just been meaning to get this admission off my chest for a while now.

Anyhow, with that disclosure aside, onto the real recap of this month. As I hinted in my last monthly wrap up/favorites post, I started my summer externship. And, gosh, it was an absolutely amazing experience. I highly encourage you all that are fellow students to apply for internships/externships if opportunities arise. I only participated in this one because it’s mandatory in the US for pharmacy students to have rotations, but I’m now so grateful that this is built in our curricula. Learning in didactic classes is nice but getting hands on experience (outside of lab) is so vital.

Also, quick warning before I move on. This post is going to be quite lengthy! I know that these monthly wrap up/favorites are probably my least viewed posts since they’re not strictly bookish, but I enjoy putting a lot of effort in them since they’re for my own benefit really. I view the compilation of Summing It Up posts as a diary of sorts, haha. The idea of being able to look back and see what I was into in the past appeals to me. XD

– What I Read –

Dengeki Daisy (full manga series) (Myanimelist)

I didn’t really have much leisure time this month so I only finished up the Dengeki Daisy series. (There are 16 volumes total.) Admittedly, I did read the chapters online with fan translations because I generally make it a rule to not buy manga unless I want to commit to collecting the entire series. And I don’t come to that decision until I know that the manga is super good because manga can get ridiculously expensive since they’re rarely on sale. I digress… This particular one was pretty marvelous. Immediately after finishing, I ordered 8 volumes from Amazon. It’s obviously another romance manga, but the plot and romance is quite unconventional and less cliché than most shoujo I’ve read in the past. The romance was so swoonworthy and the comedy was consistently fab. Anyway, I’m going to save the rest of my thoughts though and reveal them later in my review, which I hope to start composing soon as my impressions are still fresh.

– June Blog Posts –

Continue reading

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

imgSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1 (1/2)
Published by Henry Holt & Co. on September 29, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 462
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed October 5, 2016

– read bold text only to avoid major SPOILERS –

It took me long enough but I’m putting my foot down and making an effort to get out of this book reviewing rut I’ve been in. It’s time to finally cover my thoughts on Six of Crows, which I read over half a year ago.

The best way to describe how much I loved this story is by stating that there are few YA books that make me wish I was able to experience reading for the first time again and Six of Crows has squeezed itself into this small, exclusive list. (In case you were wondering, this list only had the Harry Potter series and The Infernal Devices trilogy.) Six of Crows isn’t quite same caliber as Harry Potter (in my opinion), but it’s high enough up there that I’d consider this a new YA fantasy favorite of mine.

55c5276087

You know it’s serious when I include an Exo gif in my review.

The writing was so brilliant, the cast comprised of badass antiheros, and the story and world building was far better than Bardugo’s predecessor series, the Grisha trilogy (which is saying something since I thoroughly enjoyed that one as well).

No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.’

Six of Crows is still a part of the Grishaverse and takes place a couple of years after Ruin and Rising, the final installment of The Grisha trilogy. However, it introduces a completely new set of characters, specifically six of the deadliest outcasts of Ketterdam, the dank capital of Kerch known to be the central hub for international trade but also home to multiple criminal organizations. And the story chronicles the journey of this unstoppable crew as they take on a suicide mission to complete a near-impossible heist, breaking into the notoriously secure Ice Court and retrieving a hostage.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t

Hey all! I’ve fallen into a blogging (and reading) slump of sorts hence why I haven’t been that active on here these past few weeks, but I hope that you all are doing well and having a swell June so far. Anyway, today I thought I’d make a brief comeback by posting a Top Ten Tuesday post because I find that bookish memes are perfect remedies for blogging slumps. Plus, the last time I participated in a Top Ten Tuesday feature was… back in October 2016.

And in case you haven’t heard of Top Ten Tuesday before, it’s a weekly feature created by the team at The Broke and the Bookish where book bloggers can share a list of books that pertain to a theme or prompt. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t.” But because my TBR pile is sky high I’ll actually be including more than 10 series in mine… Don’t judge. XD

I haven’t read any Patrick Ness but of all the sci-fi series on my TBR list the Chaos Walking trilogy is my most anticipated one to read since the reviews on Goodreads promise that this series is nothing short of superb. I’ve also heard that it induces a rollercoaster of feels for readers, too.

To my great shock, I still haven’t started my copy of Lady Midnight. I preordered it back when it first came out in early 2016, but, unfortunately, I never made time for it. This is a big surprise to me since The Infernal Devices trilogy is my ALL TIME FAVORITE YA fantasy series. (Jem Carstairs is my bae.) And I loved The Mortal Instruments series when I read it as a teenager. (Believe it or not, I was Clary’s age then. Gee, time sure flies.) Anyway, I don’t plan to prolong returning to the shadowhunter world for much longer though. Lady Midnight is in my TBR pile for this summer!

I didn’t exactly love A Court of Thorns and Roses and I found A Court of Mist and Fury problematic but way more enjoyable than book 1 all the sex scenes aside. (You guys know that I’m quite a prude and can’t appreciate NA or graphic sex in books… Those explicit, mature romances just aren’t for me apparently.) I know that the Throne of Glass series is Sarah J. Maas’ YA fantasy series so I believe there should be a more mild romance with. Despite the polarizing opinions I’ve seen surfacing around the blogosphere about this series, I’m looking forward to reading it sometime soon.

Continue reading

Summing It Up: May 2017

May was a marvelously restful month for me. On the 1st I took the last exam of my P1 year and started my summer soon after that. The rest of the month I (re)read a lot of Dessen (my favorite YA realistic fiction/contemporary author if you haven’t caught on by now), met up with some longtime friends, and relaxed. This is my last week of freedom, however, since I’ll be starting my summer community pharmacy rotation this approaching Monday, June 5th. I’m both nervous and excited but mostly thrilled since I was very lucky to get the site I wanted with this cycle. I won’t be working long hours as I thought I would so this may mean I’ll be around the blogosphere in June.

Anyway, I have lots of (different and kind of strange) favorites this month so let’s move on!

– What I Read –

I’m quite impressed with this reading month despite there being only 4 titles read. I’ve been meaning to have a true Dessen summer (where I reread some of Dessen’s old releases and review them) for years now. Also, in case you missed my review or only read the bold parts of that one, I mentioned that I was extremely thankful and happy that I was granted access to an eARC of Once and for All. I consider this a pivotal milestone in my blogging career. :’)

– May Blog Posts –

I daresay May wasn’t that shabby of a blogging month for me since I posted several reviews (mostly for blog tours but still) and even released a discussion post. Speaking of that Summer Says post… I just wanted to quickly thank you guys for the response towards it! I have to admit that my corner of the blogosphere has been a little dead since I’ve stopped interacting like I used to and a lot of my original friends are no longer blogging, but I am so grateful for those that read that post. You all are awesome! T_T

Continue reading

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on June 6, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3.5 Stars, Completed May 8, 2017

– this review is quite long; you can read the bold text to get the main idea and to avoid SPOILERS –

Being the daughter of a popular wedding planner, Louna has practically seen every type of wedding imaginable, some with hysterical brides, others couples with cold feet or misbehaved wedding guests, and not uncommonly all of the above sometimes. Witnessing the imperfect side of those in romantic relationships has made her somewhat cynical about happily ever afters and question if they even really exist. It doesn’t help that her first love ended tragically. So when Louna meets happy go lucky, serial dater Ambrose her heart by default knows to be wary of stepping into romance territory and she decides to keep him at arm’s length. But that isn’t going to stop Ambrose seeing as he’s finally met the girl that he really wants.

Continue reading