The Versatile Blogger Award

Hi! I’m SK, co-author at Exclusory. I’ve been nominated for an award. Specifically, the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you Pae for the nomination. It truly means a lot. Please check out her blog whenever you have the time!

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When you are nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, you must obviously thank the blogger who nominated you with a link to their blog, nominate fifteen other bloggers to partake in this post and share seven facts about yourself. So, let’s get started. 

Some facts about SK:

  1. I’m in grade 11 right now.
  2. I started to dislike school this year because it’s gotten so hard.
  3. I would LOVE to live in Switzerland at some point in my life.
  4. I enjoy movies more than TV shows because I don’t like stories being stretched out. That’s not to say I don’t like TV shows at all, though.thin
  5. I’m a really boring texter.
  6. I love fries in all forms.
  7. I love gloomy weather so much. I wish it was always cloudy.

Now, I will nominate fifteen of my favourite bloggers. I nominate:

  1. Rafia
  2. Judanna
  3. Mary
  4. Hebah
  5. Carly
  6. Kirsty
  7. Kayla
  8. Dominique
  9. Katie
  10. Faye
  11. Caitlin
  12. Fiona
  13. Erica
  14. Shaiz
  15. Kris Marie

I cannot wait to read all your posts! Be sure to check out their blogs too. Until next time! 

City of Bones by Michael Connelly

★★★★☆

             I’ve been trying to find the genres of books that most interest me recently. Growing up, I understandably wasn’t into crime novels and thrillers, rather I was into those typical children and teen novels; Harry Potter (still love with all my heart), Percy Jackson, Hunger Games, Divergent, Inkheart, etc. I was never into the classics or the comics (still not into comics, just not my thing) either. These past few years, I fooled around with different types of books. I started reading crime novels and quickly found myself enjoying them. This book just so happens to be the centre of my scrutiny today.
Before I get into the contents itself, can I just say that I bought this perfectly intact second-hand paperback book for a dollar?! A STEAL.

As a brief, brief summary for you to get an idea of the book, it starts off when a dog fetches a bone, a human bone, while out with his owner. Detective Harry Bosch must get to the bottom of the case. One thing puts a wrench in his gut; it’s a bone from a child. He uncovers a case almost twenty years old and struggles to find the evidence he needs to put the monster who did it behind bars.

Harry Bosch is part of a series of books Connelly has written. Harry Bosch’s endeavours are a TV show, which I just recently found out can be found on Amazon Prime. I will have to check that out.

This would be the first book I’ve read from Connelly and I liked it. It’s a very different writing style in comparison to previous books I’ve read. The writing and storytelling is very succinct, no fluff. I love that. Unnecessary writing is one of my pet peeves, and I’m sure I’m not alone on that. Since the writing was so easy to read and comprehend, I devoured this book faster than most. I’m not entirely familiar with Connelly’s work and style, but I think he puts more care into the plot and characters themselves than the manner in which the plot and characters are presented in. If that makes sense. I think that’s probably why there’s no unnecessary writing.

The plot itself is typical of a crime novel. It leads you to believe one person did it but then something else pops up that changes everything. There are many suspects that come up in the story and Bosch tries to figure out who the true suspect is. He’s led to believe one suspect did it, and the case seems to have come to a close, but then he realizes that something isn’t right. Bosch’s detective skills are spot-on, and he covers his mistakes.

Overall, this book was an enjoyable read. The story line is intriguing and I never found myself wanting to put the book down. I’m sure to read more books from Bosch. I bought “The Brass Verdict” and I plan on reading that sometime soon also.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It’s about time I got my hands on this book. I’m really late, I know.

Though the library’s hardcover copy was gnarled and stained, I still had patience and flew through this book. My reaction: WOW!

I’m sure you’ve already read “Gone Girl” but here is a little summary: Nick and Amy Dunne seem to have the perfect life. They’re (seemingly) happily married, but when Amy goes missing, their small town turns to Nick for answers, who seems to be in the same boat as everyone else. Lies and deceit make this harrowing story by Gillian Flynn hair-raising.

The story seemed to be typical at first; spouse goes missing, blame other spouse, turns out he/she killed the other spouse they’re arrested. But as the story progresses, the lies told by both Amy and Nick complicate the plot.

Image result for gone girl bookIt is written from the alternating perspectives of Amy and Nick. Amy’s perspective is shown through her personal diary, which later becomes a part of the plot. Through these first-person perspectives, you can see the similarities and differences in their thoughts. Since this story is about a relationship gone haywire, you can see through their thoughts why they thought they were good for each other at first but not later. It’s a very personal telling of their inner feelings. Especially for Amy, as she writes down everything she is feeling. Nick’s perspective is told on the present. He is in the time when Amy first goes missing and it carries from there. Sometimes the things Amy and Nick think are downright psycho. And that’s what makes this book so intriguing.

Amy and Nick’s characters are extremely well-developed, due to this first-person perspective. It is truly unbelievable how the thoughts of psychopaths can seem so real, almost relatable (not saying I’m a psycho, OK). Flynn creates characters that actually contribute to the story and plot in their own way. It’s remarkable how each and every character is so important to the story.

This book was just the right length. I wasn’t left missing information nor was the book stretched out. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

Week in Review (3)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer in which bloggers are able to share news and happenings in their lives from the past week on their blog. 

Well, what a week it has been! I’m currently sitting here studying for my midterms, but clearly I’m distracted. Blogging is so therapeutic and exactly what I need. The feeling of being burnt out from uni is subsiding, so that’s always a good thing.

I had a bunch of essays due this past week and a whole load of studying to get done. I think it’s been quite successful, but I cannot wait to get into holiday mode (only a little over a month to go)!

The gloomy weather quite accurately matched how I felt this week. I love thunderstorms so much! They have such a calming effect on me.

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For me, studying while it’s raining outside is the best. I’m so productive, and relaxed at the same time, which makes for a great study session. I’ve got to have some icy water to keep me hydrated and focused as well! What’s your go-to beverage while studying?

I went for a quick outing today to end off the week and I got some mango milk bubble tea! Super delicious and refreshing! It was the first time I got milk bubble tea, I usually just get it without milk, but this one was so much more yummy. How do you like your bubble tea?

Here’s to a new week and much success! How was your week? What are you looking forward to next week? Thanks for stopping by. 💕

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

★★★★☆

I actually had to read this novel for school. And surprisingly, for once, it was pretty good. This international bestseller by Markus Zusak won many awards for its complicated story and wonderful characters.

Liesel Meminger is the main character in the book, and her story is told through the perspective of “Death” in Germany during the 30’s and the Second World War. She is a young German girl who is fostered by two poor parents and as the story goes on, Liesel grows into a teenage girl. Along the way, she develops family relationships, makes friends, learns valuable lessons, and creates her own values, all while the horrors of Hitler’s rise and the war occur. It’s a coming-of-age novel that will strike a chord with readers.

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Let me start by saying that this book is bursting with literary devices. The entire book is quite literally one giant metaphor, as “Death” tells the story. Every page has a metaphor somewhere, used in some way. You could be talking about socks and there would still be some deep metaphor made by the author. This is really great for analyzing and interpreting the multiple meanings. When I was discussing this book in a seminar, we all interpreted the book differently, and our answers were all reasonable. The descriptions are so detailed and the language used is not complicated and not too easy, which I like in a book.

The fact that Death tells the story, I found, was very interesting. It created a lot of literary devices and all, but it was also interesting to see how Zusak used Death to illustrate its role in the war. He talks about how “busy” Death becomes in the war and how demanding Hitler is of Death. I think it’s quite clever, and it was enjoyable to read these parts.

The thing I didn’t like about the book is that it is so unnecessarily long. There are countless parts in the book where I could not find a single explanation as to what it adds to the book. Trust me when I say I genuinely tried to find its relevance to the book; I was being graded on my analysis. Not only were these parts useless, but they were just plain boring! Some characters have no real purpose in the book. In fact, they just take away from the story. This book would be so much better if it was less than 584 pages.

Overall, this book was pretty enjoyable. I would recommend this to freshmen, not sophomores (as I was when I read this book). Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter!

Hi there!

Nice to meet you. I’m SK. It’s my code name and initials. I’ve joined as an author on Exclusory and I’m excited to be here! I write book reviews mainly but if I ever think of or experience something interesting, I’ll make something about it. Here’s a brief little intro of me!

I’m one of those people who loves personality tests because I’m extremely self-centered and love talking about myself, so if you’re into that stuff too, I’m an INT-J personality type. Comment yours!

Likes: Reading, creative writing, photography in general, long hikes, accessory shopping, peace and quiet, rock (alternative, psychedelic, soft, pop) + R&B music, breakfast food, roller coasters, board games, the idea of exploring the world alone

Dislikes: Socializing for extended periods of time, the loud, the ignorant, the stupid, the boring, spiders, ice cream

Hopefully you all don’t hate me based on this. I’m pretty cool once you get to know me. I’ll see you guys around!

University (1)

With the first month of my second year at university coming to an end, I can’t help but feel so sad that I haven’t posted a blog post in quite a bit of time. To be honest, I haven’t really been doing anything fun, other than studying, going to meetings and doing readings for classes. I haven’t even had the chance to read a good book since summer ended. I think I’ll designate my winter break to be the month during which I read as many books and write as many reviews as I can, and I’m already looking forward to it!

For now, I will try to upload a blog post every now and then on any kind of topic that interests me. If you have some ideas of what you’d like to see me write about, please leave a comment below! I’d love some ideas.

How’s your school / work / university / college going? Super busy? Let me know! Thank you for reading.

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Stacking the Shelves

 Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where bloggers discuss the books that they have borrowed from the library or bought to add to their shelves. I personally think it’s a fabulous idea, so shoutout to them!

I have recently added two mystery / thriller novels to my shelf. The first one is One of Us is Lying, which I am reading at the moment. Next on my list is Watch Me Disappear. What  drew me to these books was the various reviews I’ve read on them on other people’s blog, as well as the cover of the novels. I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but when the cover looks nice, it really does intrigue you!

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I’m not really enjoying One of Us is Lying so far! I’ve already lost interest in it….. I will most likely stop reading it, and move on to the other fabulous books that are waiting on my shelf!

Have you read either of these novels? If so, what did you think of them?

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How to Stay Organized

In this post I will be talking about the ways in which I try to stay organized in my everyday life. I chose this topic to write about because I ran a poll on my Twitter, and the winning option was a post on how I stay organized (as seen below). Be sure to go and follow it because I will be hosting more polls on which blog posts you’d like to see me post! Now, onto the topic of the day…..

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When talking about staying organized, I will focus more on staying organized from an academic perspective, as I am currently a university student. Of course, some of these tips can also apply to your everyday life, if you’re interested in that.

First and foremost, have some sort of planner / calendar / to-do list, or even a combination of all these things. You will be able to keep a running record of what you need to get done for that day or week, and it will give you an overview of your plan of action. In this way, you won’t forget something important that needs to get done. Hold yourself accountable when you can’t complete your to-do list and reflect on the reason(s) as to why you were not able to complete everything on that list.

Keeping a planner is all good, but try your best not to over-plan. I’m guilty of doing this! I am always over-ambitious when I’m writing my to-do list in my agenda, and in the end, when I haven’t done some of the things in my planner, I feel quite annoyed! Recently, I have begun to write two or three realistic things that need to get done in a day, and when I get them done I feel incredibly accomplished. 

To be quite honest, staying organized in all that you do will pay dividends when it comes time to review your notes for tests or exams. If you have been diligently attending lectures and taking notes, then you are able to go one step further and organize these notes into designated folders on your computer or into binders. This will ensure all your notes are kept in one location and you do not need to go scrambling last minute to get your study notes together. See the picture below which shows a little overview of how I organize all of my lecture and reading notes.

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Finally, I find that having cute stationary (i.e. pens, sticky notes, highlighters, erasers, pencils, etc.) and notebooks keeps me motivated and interested in whatever it is that I’m doing. My favourite store to purchase stationary would have to be Muji! I find Muji to be reasonably priced with top quality items. I did a mini-haul the other day, and my purchases can be seen in the picture below.

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I truly hope these tips helped you in some way! All the pictures in this post were taken by yours truly! What is a method that you use to stay organized? Please feel free to comment your tips below, I’d love to hear them 🙂 

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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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★★★☆☆

I love how the cover of this novel goes with my blog theme! Anyway, this was an okay-ish book. Lots of twists and turns, however it was a little unrealistic for me. I had really high expectations for this book, and although the beginning of the book was fabulous, it honestly fell flat for me shortly thereafter.

Leonora Shaw is incredibly surprised when she receives an invitation to her old friend’s bachelorette party at a cozy cottage, or so she thinks. Leonora lives an isolated life as a writer who doesn’t communicate much with others. She can usually be found holed up in her house writing her novels, or sending emails to her publishers. She contacts one of her other friends, who is also invited to the party, and checks in with her to see if she is attending the party. Her friend tells her that she too has been taken by surprise after having received this invitation out of the blue. Nonetheless, Nora impulsively accepts the invitation and this simple action sets off a number of events that nobody saw coming.

Once Leonora arrives at the cottage, she notices that it actually isn’t much of a cottage. More like a creepy, sinister glass house located in the woods. As the days progress, there are some interesting interactions between the party guests, and Leonora notices that they are all not alone and that there is in fact someone else in these woods who is possibly watching their every move. Who could it be? Is it someone they know, or a stranger? 

I can’t go into too much detail otherwise I will most definitely give away what the book is about. I honestly felt as though so much more could be added to this book because it seemed to skim over the surface in a lot of its most thrilling parts, which is mainly the reason as to why I rate this book 3/5 stars.

Have you read this novel? If so, what did you think of it? 

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