20 Facts About Me!

“You put yourself out there in the truest way you can and hope others do the same. You’ll connect or you won’t, but you did what you could.”

-Chris Crutcher

My Doggy and I

 

Hi there Readers! This is a bit of a late post and so therefore I apologize!

As you can see by the title, I will be sharing 20 facts that you most likely do not know about me. I’ve been blogging for quite some time now, maybe not as consistent as I would like, but it has been almost 9 months! That is so crazy to think about. I want to take this time to thank everyone who follows my blog and who reads my content. Those of you who have stuck by me since the beginning are my true motivators, and if you are a new-comer, you inspire me.

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be an anonymous writer or one who shares personal thoughts and information. I’ve decided, why not do both? I will not be keeping my identity a secret, but rather have a limit. I think it is important to get to know who is the writer of the content you are reading so that you can feel better connected with them.

Get comfortable and prepare yourselves because this is going to be one long post!

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flowerI have over 15 hobbies that I take part in regularly or when I can. Some include reading (of course!), snail mailing, photography, cinematography, painting, traveling, and arts and crafts.

flowerSomething embarrassing that recently happened to me was when last month I had to call on someone in class to pass on the reading and only one person had their hand raised. This is probably the only person’s name I don’t know in the class so I kind of just looked around hoping someone else would raise their hand. Mind you this is more than halfway through the school year and about my third year with this student. What seemed like 10 minutes later, I gave up and admitted out loud I did not know his name. Of course, there was that dramatic and awkward silence because “DUH, this kid is popular! Everyone should know his name”, right? Wrong. I asked him at the end of class what his name was just to clarify. Let’s just say, I will NEVER forget his name again.

flower I am an only child!

flower My current favorite color is mustard yellow. I say current because this is something that changes on a weekly basis.

flowerI own a dog, Golden Retriever, and an adorable Guinea Pig. They are both females named Paris and Beanie.

flowerI am afraid of the ocean. Now, I do not mean I cannot swim in the beach because it terrifies me, I mean the thought of the deep waters HORRIFIES me. I’ve always wanted to go scuba diving, and that want sends a shiver down my spine. Even watching movies like Jaws or 47 Meters Down where you can clearly see the open water gives me goosebumps. It is not necessarily the fact that there are sharks, it is the unknown and the depths, the darkness, and the possibility of drowning and the scary thoughts of suffocation. Well, this took a sharp turn.

flowerI LOVE Netflix, and when I say LOVE, I mean I’ve watched almost every TV series on there. I mean binge watching for hours on end with only water bottles and mandarins by my side. I mean having clothes pins wrenching my eyelids open to keep me from sleeping. Okay. Maybe not that far.

flowerAll the states and countries I’ve ever traveled to are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Utah, Hawaii, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Italy, Portugal, France, and Spain. That is not counting the places I’ve traveled through either!

flower I’ve lived in three other states and out of the country (United States) before.

flowerI infrequently play the Viola, electric guitar, Xylophone, percussion and Ukulele. I’ve always wanted to learn and own a drum set.

flowerMy dream job….. is currently undecided! I am equally interested in Medicine and Veterinary Science.

flower I started skiing when I was four years old and Snowboarding when I was ten.

flower I am in High School! Yay.

flower I am not sure I would be able to live in a place where there are not four seasons.

flowerI have a bucket list the size of Russia, but three random things on there are play with monkeys, stay at the Stanley Hotel (Where The Shining took place), and go to the airport and buy a ticket for a random flight.

flower I volunteer at my local library and work in the children’s department.

flower I am a sucker for sunsets/sunrises.

flower My favorite quote is:

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” –Eckhart Tolle

flower I love horror movies and books!

flower Christmas is my favorite holiday, Halloween comes next.

 

Well, that’s about it for the 20 facts! For some reason, I thought it would take longer, but I could honestly write another 50 or so facts! I’ll save that for another post. For now, if you found any of these facts relatable, comment below!

More for later!

Stay Informal,

Aishah

 

 

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They Both Die at the End Review

“You cannot open a book without learning something.”

-Confucius

Image result for they both die at the end

Hello there Bookers and Good Morning! In today’s’ post, I am going to be reviewing one of my most recent reads, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. I finished this novel on February 6th as a buddy read.

What made me want to pick up this book, you ask? No, not the hype. Frankly, the cover and plot-line are what caught my attention the most. I am a sucker for death/mental illness books, and the fact that it is LGBTQ+ is a bonus.

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Summary:

   The story follows Mateo and Rufus who have never met up until they receive a phone call from Death Cast announcing that they will be meeting their death in 24 hours. They come across an app called Last Friend where they find each other and decide to be just that, each other’s last friend. The novel carries the life of these two before and after their deaths.

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Review:

   On Goodreads, I rated 4 out of 5 stars, but the better rating would be a 3.75. Yes. A 3.75. My reasoning? Well, if you may ask, I feel as if this book is too good to be under a 3.5, but also had too many ideas that I wasn’t fond of and therefore could not be rated above a 4.0. I met halfway with this one. My thoughts are scrambled with this book, so I’ve decided I’ll make a Pros and Cons instead of a well thought out and intellectual review. Sweet (maybe not so much) and to the point.

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(SOME MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD)

Now, for that comparison…

Pros:

  • The whole receive a phone call 24 hours before you die concept is very intriguing to me. I believe Adam Silvera did a great job with carrying that idea throughout the story.
  • You not only see the story through the eyes of Mateo and Rufus but a whole bunch of other characters as well. It makes you see the story in all different perspectives in a non-confusing manner.
  • The reader receives good, but not overwhelming background information for the main characters.
  • The story was well to the point and short. (Pro and Con)
  • It made you want to keep reading. The fact that you know the two characters are going to die and there is nothing you can do about it is so heart wrenching!

 

Cons:

  • The story as a whole was rather vague and too short to the point. It was a good page length, but the story could have had more substance. The description of the settings were also not well described for the most part. You almost had to guess where the characters were and how their surroundings looked like.
  • Maybe I wasn’t paying attention at first, but I was so lost the first couple of chapters that the person I was buddy reading with actually had to explain to me what was going on!
  • I had a little trouble finding character connections. I connected with a few characters on some things, but for the most part, none were very relatable in my case.
  • The story was not realistic. This is one of those things that made me rate a little lower than most. I understand that this is just a book and not everything has to be realistic blah blah blah, but it is also a YA contemporary, so in my understanding… shouldn’t it be a little more relatable and sensible than other genres?
  • Everything in this story just kind of happened. I’m not sure how to explain it, but something would just happen and it would leave you like “Oh, Okay…”
  • The death of one of the characters was so underdramatic that you could almost forget they ever died.
  • The ending! What in the world! I am sorry, but I am against how this story ended. No, not because the way it ended wasn’t how I wanted, but because there was no closure. In fact, I’m not even sure how one of the characters died. It was unclear.
  • The romance between Mateo and Rufus is one good example of this novel being unrealistic and unclear for that matter. It just spontaneously happened with almost no warning whatsoever. My buddy and I actually went back looking for hints in which we found very few and hazy ones. This is where this review gets even more controversial. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I LOVE LGBTQ+ books. I am an active supporter of the community and always will be, BUT, with this story, I not only did not feel a connection at all between Mateo and Rufus, but I feel as if it was not meant to be, to begin with. From the beginning, I believed what they had, or were creating was a strong friendship, maybe even bromance, but barely even that. I’m not sure if their friendship even fully developed before POOF, they are kissing. I never knew coming into this book that it was an LGBTQ+ so it surprised me even more- and not necessarily in a bad way at all.

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   With all that being said, I never intended it to seem like I was bashing on this book or hating on its content. I just simply disagreed with it in many ways and felt the need to express that publically. That is not to say that I did not enjoy reading this. I am very glad that my partner and I decided to choose this book for our buddy-read. Most importantly, I obtained a very meaningful message from this story, and that is:

ʟɪᴠᴇ ᴡʜɪʟᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ. ʟɪғᴇ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ ᴘᴇʀғᴇᴄᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴɴᴏᴛ ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴏʟ ʜᴏᴡ ᴏʀ ᴡʜᴇɴ ʏᴏᴜ ᴅɪᴇ, ʙᴜᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴏʟ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ɴᴏᴡ. ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪғᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛɪᴍᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ɴᴏᴡ. sᴏ sᴘᴇɴᴅ ɪᴛ ᴡɪsᴇʟʏ. ʙʀᴀɴᴄʜ ᴏᴜᴛ, ᴇxᴘʟᴏʀᴇ, ɢᴇᴛ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏғ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴄᴏᴍғᴏʀᴛ ᴢᴏɴᴇ. ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴄᴏᴜᴄʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏs ʙᴇ ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ ᴡᴀɪᴛɪɴɢ, ʙᴜᴛ ᴛɪᴍᴇ ᴡᴏɴ’ᴛ ʙᴇ.

 

Thank you so much for reading.

Stay Informal,

Aishah

 

My Goodreads Challenge #3

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” 
― Oscar Wilde

   Welcome, Book-lovers! Today’s post is, yet again, another reading challenge! Who would have guessed it? Below is a challenge from a  Goodreads group (of course) named Around the World in 80 Books. Here are the rules as stated in the discussion thread.

Challenge dates: January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Genre: Any genre. Books chosen may be by setting or by native/resident author
Page length minimum: No minimum page lengthAre you trying to read more books from around the world but find yourself reading books from the same 10 countries? Well, it is time to broaden your horizons and break free from your comfort zones.In this challengeyou will be reading books from at least 5 different countries. How many countries you choose is up to you. You can pick up to 200 if you really feel ambitious (not advisable as you only have one year to complete the challenge). This feat has been successfully accomplished by at least two different people in the past, however, in our original ATW80challenge.Here is the catch: You will not be choosing your own destinations. The ATW80 Randomizer will choose your countries for you. You may trade in a country you do not want to read, but it will cost you an additional 5 countries. Once you have read all of the countries in your initial list, you may consult the Randomizer for a new list, if you choose.Books read for this challenge may also be counted in any of our other challenges on this site.How to Start: 
-Start your own topic in this thread with your name or nickname. 
-Request how many countries you would like to start with
-Start gophering and creating your reading list for 2018! 
   Now as you can see, this challenge can get pretty tricky… In fact, I did not even read the rules until after I read some books! I did not see the thread with the rules above and assumed you could read as many countries and as many books. Well, I was wrong! I used https://www.randomlists.com/random-country to randomize my countries and generated 15 different ones. I am counting the ones I have already used because…come on…
15 countries generated and books for each:
  1. Slovakia- Scent of the Unseen by Mila Haugová
  2. Norway- The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
  3. Sri Lanka- A Disobedient Girl A Novel by Ru Freeman
  4. Bosnia and Herzegovina (How in the world am I going to find a book for this?…)
  5. The United StatesImage result for checkmark
  6. Laos (My chances of completing this challenge are just slowly decreasing…)
  7. The United Kingdom- Forbidden
  8. Mongolia
  9. Taiwan (was Lesotho) – Want (Want, #1)
  10. Ethiopia
  11. Poland- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  12. Cuba- The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba...
  13. Rwanda- 100 Days
  14. Slovenia- The Feline Plague by Maja Novak
  15. Jamaica- How Stella Got Her Groove Back
My Read books:
  1. The United States- The Art of Starving (1/13/18)
  2. Puerto Rico- A Map for Wrecked Girls (1/15/18)
  3. Costa Rica- Costa Rica  (1/27/18)
  4. Australia/London – Stolen: A Letter to My Captor (1/29/18)
   I am really excited to start this list. I cannot wait to get out of my comfort zone and read books from countries I’ve never even heard of! I recommend anyone with or without Goodreads to join in on this challenge and set any goal you would like. The title of the challenge is Around the World in 80 Books, but you can even read 5! It is your personal goal, customize it.
   Thank you for reading.
Stay Informal,
Aishah

Posting Schedule!

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

-Charles R. Swindoll

 

Good Afternoon Book-lovers! This is just a quick update on when I will be publishing posts. This is prone to change, but as mentioned a while back, I will be posting weekly. The official day of the week is Saturday! Be sure to keep an eye out for an InformalMee post on Saturday mornings/afternoons as this is going to be the new Informal day every week!

Thank you for taking a few moments of reading this.

 

Stay Informal,

Aishah

 

My Goodreads Challenge #2

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” 
― Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader

   Good Evening Everyone! Hope you had a booktastic day. On my last post, I mentioned I will be posting moreGoodreadss challenges. I wasn’t kidding. Here is another yearly challenge by Young Adult Book Reading Challenges that I decided to embark upon. I will be adding books as I read them to this post, therefore, by the end of this year, this list will be complete.

Without further ado, here is the A-Z Reading Challenge 2018:

A- A Map for Wrecked Girls (1/19/18)
B- Burned (Burned, #1)
C- Costa Rica (1/27/18)
D-
E-
F-
G-
H- The Turn of the Screw (1/13/18)
I- Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength
J- Just as Long as We're Together (1/13/18)
K- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2/2/18)
L- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (1/27/18)
M- Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
N-
O-
P-
Q-
R-
S- Stolen: A Letter to My Captor (1/29/18)
T- The Art of Starving (1/15/18)
U-
V- H2O (The Rain, #1)
W- Who Moved My Cheese? (1/2/18)
Y-
Z-

Thank you for reading!

Stay Informal,

Aishah

My Goodreads Challenge #1

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

 

Good Morning Book-Gods! Smile and be happy and let that happiness spread everywhere you go. Life is a beautiful thing and you only have it once! This morning, one of the first things I did after taking my morning whiz (probably not something that everyone needed to know…) was pick up and finish readingA Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica  Taylor.  I then rated and reviewed it on Goodreads and continued on to some group updates. Lately, I’ve been joining more and more groups on Goodreads because I love the satisfaction of having so many book-lovers surround me. It’s at an unhealthy level now… Through this, I found a yearly reading challenge by Addicted to Ya and proceeded to fill out the template as a plan of books I will read for each prompt. Now, if any of you have been with me since the bumpy begging of this blogging journey, you would know that my challenges, plans, and schedules, don’t always work as I imagine, BUT I am full of hope that I can make 2018 the year where that changes.

That aside, for the actual challenge. Here are the books I plan to read. Some are left blank as I will add them after I read a book that follows the guidelines, or if I find one in my TBR later in life. This list will be updated on this post and eventually, every book will be crossed out.  Also to clarify, the title is labeled “My Goodreads Challenge #1” just because there are about 5 other challenges I signed up or in the past few days (like I said… its gone wild.)

 

2018 Reading Challenge
January 1 – December 31

1. Read a fantasy novel
2. Read a dystopian novel-
3. Read a mystery/thriller novelStolen: A Letter to My Captor (1/29/18)
4. Read a historical fiction novel-All the Light We Cannot See
5. Read a contemporary/mental health novel-The Art of Starving (1/15/18)
6. Read a classic novel- The Turn of the Screw (1/13/18)
7. Read a graphic novel-Marbles: Mania, Depression,...
8. Listen to an audiobook- A Map for Wrecked Girls (1/19/18)
9. Read a standalone novel-The Darkest Corners
10. Start a series you’ve been eyeing for a while-Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy, #2)Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
11. Complete a series (or read its latest release)-  Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
12. Reread a book you love-A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkl...
13. Read a diverse book-Love, Hate & Other Filters
14. Read a 2018 release-Layover
15. Read an author that’s new to you-World War Z: An Oral Histor...
16. Read a book by a favorite author that you haven’t read yet-Glass (Crank, #2)
17. Read a book that makes you laugh-Mean Girls: A Novel
18. Read a tearjerker- Burned (Burned, #1) (2/21/18)
19. Read a book that scares you-
20. Read a book that features magic-
21. Read a book you abandoned in the past-
22. Read a book that is perfect for vacation-Wanderlove
23. Read a book with an OTP you can’t get enough of– Mockingjay (The Hunger Game... (2/9/18)
24. Read a book that features a kick-ass female heroine-
25. Read a book in one day-
26. Read a book in which the MC has the same profession as you or your dream job-City Girl, Country Vet (Tal...
27. Read a book set in a cold climate-The Shining (The Shining, #1)
28. Read a book set in another country-My So-Called Bollywood Life
29. Read a book set somewhere you’d love to visit or relocate to-Before I Let Go
30. Read a book set in your state/territory-Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
31. Read a book translated into EnglishThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2/2/18)
32. Read a book written by a foreign author-The Diary of a Young Girl
33. Read a banned book-1984
34. Read a book by a young author (under 30)- The Audition
35. Read a book recommended by a friend-Out of the Easy
36. Read a New York Times Bestseller (any month/year)- The Horse Whisperer
37. Read a book that was a gift-The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
38. Read a book with a buddy on Goodreads- Anna and the French Kiss (A... (2/21/18)
39. Read a book “everyone” has read but you-Harry Potter and the Sorcer...
40. Read a book that has been on your TBR for over two years-The Perks of Being a Wallfl...
41. Read a book with a captivating first line- Feed
42. Read a short story collection-Tales of the Unexpected
43. Read a book that is over 500 pages-Smoke (Burned, #2)
44. Read a book that was made into a movie-Wonder
45. Read a book that was adapted for a television series-The 100 (The 100, #1)
46. Read a book you chose because of the cover-I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
47. Read a book with your favorite color on the cover-Amal Unbound
48. Read a book with something edible on the cover-The Unexpected Everything
49. Read a book with an animal on the cover-Amanda Noble, #zoolife
50. Read a book with a metallic/glossy cover-
51. Read a book with a number in the title-10 Things I Can See from Here
52. Read a book with a color in the title-Black Beauty

 

I am thinking of updating this challenge once a month on this blog. Also, any of the books you see here are prone to be moved around and changed.

That is all for now!

Stay Informal,

Aishah

The Art of Starving review

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

Melody Beattie

 

 

Good Morning! I hope everyone’s day is starting out just right, if it’s not, hang in there, it only gets better from here.

Here is my review of The Art Of Starving, by: Sam J. Miller:

Well. That was unexpected. I wanted badly to enjoy this book because I love other books just like it, LGBTQ+ / Mental illness. Something about it though made the process of reading it dreadful and long. It was not a bad read at all, I think it was just… odd. I can’t put my finger on it…

It could be the fact that he had super powers and his thought process through it all. I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy so that might be the cause of my low rating. If not, then it was the plot line. I feel as if there was no real substance to the story. Yes I understand the ending and why it occurred, but the other nonsense in between seemed useless.

Originally, I was going to give this a 3 Star, then I switched to giving it 3 stars, but reviewing it as a 2.5. I finally decided on rating it a 2/2.5. Sometimes, when I rate books low, I think about re-reading just to see if I missed something, but with this one, I don’t have the motivation to go through it all again.

Of course this is just one mind and one opinion, and many other reviews and ratings contradict my reflection, but this is how I felt throughout this novel.

Even with all this being said, I did stop and think about some things said in this story. Some concepts were interesting to look at from a struggling teenage boy’s point of view. With this, I probably (probably being emphasized) would recommend this to particular people, but to a general point, if asked if they should read this I would say no. Again, this is just me being blunt and honest. I respect everyone else’s opinions/reviews and am aware that others may think differently.

Stay informal,

Aishah