Things I loved in July 2018

Summer is hitting full force; i hate it. I’m not a summer person; if I ever stumble on a lamp and a genie magically appears my first wish would be to live in a land where autumn and winter are full on for the 365 days of the years to come in my life.

of course, i’d wish for a library and endless supplies of coffee, but later after we get the weather issue under control!

In the blistering heat, I thank god for the good things in life that makes it better. Today I’m gonna tell you all about the things I loved in July 2018.

BOOKS

Well, it’s only logical to start with the things I love the most; stories.

In July i read a total of six books and here’re the ones I absolutely loved.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

This book should be taught in schools. Generations these days need something powerful as this, they need to feel understood, supported and that it’s okay to voice your dreams, ambitions and fight for what’s right. This book is whirlwind of emotions, it’s so powerful it made me loose my breath a couple of times. The story is so real and it portrays things that happen every single day, things we should stop, fight for and never turn our eyes away from it.

Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalo

This series is gold !! I love how Kerri brought history to life; the massacres by Jack the Ripper in the 1800s and the myth of Prince Dracula. Not only did she bring history to life but she wrote one of the most bad-ass female characters ever; Audrey Rose Wadsworth. Her character is empowering to all girls out there to follow their dreams, be bold and never back down from a fight. She put this girl in a time period were woman’s existence was only for parties, dresses and getting married and there she went and created a girl who defies all these rules and fight for her voice to be heard and her talent to be acknowledged. And of course, let’s not forget the swoon-worthy Thomas Cresswell.

MUSIC

Florence and the Machine‘s 2018 album: High as Hope hit on June 29th and it’s a dream. I’m like the b i g g e s t Florence and the Machine fan you could ever meet, Florence Welch‘s voice is what keeps me from collapsing – literally – some days. Her words, the mood the music put me in; you just put your earphones on and hit the play button and get lost in a world of stars.

Favorites of the album

☽ The End of Love ☾

I dreamt last night of a sign that read, “the end of love”
And I remember thinking
Even in my dreaming it was a good line for a song

☽ Sky full of Song ☾

Grab me by my ankles
I’ve been flying for too long
I couldn’t hide from the thunder
In the sky full of song

☽ June ☾

In those heavy days in June
When love became an act of defiance

 FASHION

I’m not big on fashion if you want the truth, but every once in a while I happen to find the perfect shirt, or the best pair of shoes, a beautiful watch or an awesome vintage bag. This month my favorite piece is a gorgeous watch from Daniel Wellington. A beauty that goes with anything I decide to put on, whether I got for a casual attire, formal, or semi. Perfect for any day. And I happen to have a discount code for you beautiful people! Use “BOOKISHWORD” 

Classic Petite Melrose with an extra white strap

TV SHOWS

I’ve finally jumped on-board and watched Riverdale‘s first season and oh boy it’s insane how fast I finished it! The show is incredibly addictive, the characters are so relate-able and I couldn’t stop watching. My favorite characters are Jugg-head and Veronica. It’s easy to loose track on time when watching and you find yourself sucked into their world. It was a nice time-out for me.

riverdale-900x473

What about you, what did you guys enjoy during the summer-ish month of July?

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Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.

This is my first Robert Beatty book to read; having heard of Serafina before of course, I’m yet to pick it up. I had zero expectations reading this book, and I was beyond pleased. Willa of the Wood is an adventure filled middle-grade debut where nature is alive as it should, where a young brave and ambitious girl brims with the ancient powers of the forest.

Willa, a young night-spirit, is her clan’s best thief. She creeps into the cabins of the day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won’t miss. It’s dangerous work–the day-folk kill whatever they don’t understand–but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the leader of the Faeran people. When Willa’s curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day-folk world, she calls upon the old powers of her beloved grandmother, and the unbreakable bonds of her forest allies, to escape. Only then does she begin to discover the shocking truth: that not all of her day-folk enemies are the same, and that the foundations of her own Faeran society are crumbling. What do you do when you realize that the society you were born and raised in is rife with evil? Do you raise your voice? Do you stand up against it? As forces of unfathomable destruction encroach on her forest home, Willa must decide who she truly is, facing deadly force with warmest compassion, sinister corruption with trusted alliance, and finding a home for her longing heart.

Light, fast paced, exciting and filled with magic; this book had me pull an all-nighter which I didn’t do for a very, very long time. I couldn’t stop reading, I was devouring it from the very first page till the last one.

Thank you so much Disney Hyperion for sending an advance copy my way.

Willa of the Wood, Robert Beatty, Disney Hyperion, July 10th 2018, Hardcover, ISBN: 9781368005845

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The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas

“If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it- to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger.” 

This review might contain spoilers. So, at least make sure you read Throne of Glass before you dive into Assassin’s Blade and come to discuss.

The Assassin’e Blade is a five novellas bound book, telling different stories that give us a background on Celaena Sardothien‘s past and possibly hints at many things in the future. This book takes place almost a year before the events of TOG and to say the least; it’s heartbreaking. It’s best to read it after you read at least Throne of Glass. I did read it after Heir of Fire, but the most important is to pick it up before you start Queen of Shadows and most importantly before Tower of Dawn.

To sum my rambling up, Assassin’s Blade is important; pick it up!

The Assassin’s Blade, Sarah J Maas, Bloomsbury Childrens, March 4th 2014, Hardcover, ISBN: 9781619633612

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out. Continue reading “The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas”

What I created with Beit El-Sura

It’s been a year now that I decided to take a leap and buy my own DSLR camera. Ever since I started my bookstagram account and my interest in photography sparked; it kept growing and expanding and i found this part of me that wanted to explore more, meet people, visit places and capture every moment.

I practiced with a couple of projects, and kept working on myself to learn more; but I always wanted to attend a workshop, a course where I’d learn from professionals how to do things more efficiently and to know more about the art of photography.

Beit El-Sura was always on my radar and about a month ago I’ve finally took the step and joined up the Basics of Photography Course with Mohamed Ali Eddin & Ahmed Hayman’s Photography – احمد هيمن and let me tell you that it was one of the best experiences I’ve been on board.

Beit El-Sura is a photography home in Cairo. A school to welcome every passionate photographer, at whichever level you are starting from. The team over there are beyond passionate, dedicated and welcoming beyond measures.

We want to contribute to society by impacting our clients to see all the beauty that’s around them and becoming enhanced versions of themselves. 

The workshop covered from A to Z  and I was beyond satisfied with all that it covered. As a backstage person, this workshop broke a barrier between me and the outside world. I started off being afraid of approaching people, of executing my idea, the thought of failure was a bit terrifying – being the challenging person I am. But I was pushed to explore more of what I’m capable of and to be honest, I was astonished and It gave me a push to believe in what I can do and achieve in the days to come. It was a very educational and rich workshop and I learned a lot about photography, techniques, tricks, styles … etc.

The workshop is none but only the first steps I decided to take on my journey to explore this side of me more and I wanted to share with it you guys and show you the results. All the thanks goes to the guidance and push from both incredibly talented photographers, Mohamed Ali and Ahmed Hayman.

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

“Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked things.
Things like forbidden, ancient stories.
It didn’t matter that the old stories killed her mother. It didn’t matter that they’d killed many before her. The girl let the old stories in. She let them in eat away at her heart and turn her wicked.”

How on earth did this book stay on my shelves, unread since October 2017? Have I lost my mind? And oh wait, I completely forgot that I had a pre-approved e-arc copy from Harper Teen on my Kindle. *slaps-myself* THE NERVE I HAVE!  However, I believe that this book called out to me from between millions on my shelves in the exact right moment. The moment i deeply needed something truly good and rich to read. This book was like finding gold just lying around in my room. The Last Namsara is officially on the very top of my 2018 favorites. (Right up there with Children of Blood and Bone)

I’d like to start my review with a huge Thank You to Harper Teen for my free advance e-reader copy. (Excuse my super late review)

The Last Namsara is a young-adult fantasy novel with tales, stories, myths to be told and dragons roaming the skies and badass females fighting for their voices to be heard, their strength to be reckoned and their presence and rights to be acknowledged.

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

The Last Namsara, Kristen Ciccarelli, Harper Teen, October 3rd 2017, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780062567987

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Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

“It was a night for magic. A night swirling with mystery, an unknowable energy pulsing in its depth.”

Smoke in the Sun is the highly anticipated sequel and conclusion to the fantastic duology of Flame in the Mist. If you do head over to check out my review for Flame in the Mist you’ll know that it was one of my top favorites in 2017, for how brilliant, thrilling and rich it was.

I’d like to start my review with a huge Thank You to Penguin Random House international for my free advance reader copy.

After what happened at the end of Flame in the mist, Mariko has no other choice except to join the court in the Heian Castle. She accepts the marriage offer to Raiden – brother to the newly risen to power emperor; Roku. She’s doing everything in her power to become a deadly force, destroying the castle from the inside with one greater goal in sight; free Okami from his imprisonment to lead a better world and join his rightful place. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead. Each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire.

Smoke in the Sun, Renee Ahdieh, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, June 5th 2018, Hardcover, ISBN: 9781524738143

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The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold – BLOG TOUR

“Some people have been on earth before and some people never get the chance.”

I’d like to Thank Penguin Random House international for my free advance reader copy. Also, thank you for including me in this awesome blog tour celebrating the release of this book. Links for other blogs joining the tour will be below.

Release Date: May 22nd 2018
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780451480477
Rating: ★★★
This was good read and it got me out of the complete worst slump I’ve had in years, so i owe it a lot.
The book is good coming of age story about Noah Oakman, a 16 years old huge Bowie believer, an aspiring historian, a struggling swimmer, a son, friend and brother. His life is the normal life of a teenager, or at least normal by his standards, to the day he gets hypnotized. Noah’s world topple and right is left and up is down.
Nothing is the same anymore. He sees changes—inexplicable scars, odd behaviors, rewritten histories—in all those around him. All except his Strange Fascinations . . .

Continue reading “The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold – BLOG TOUR”

Cruel Prince by Holly Black

“Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.”

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. There’s been so much hype around it – both negative and positive and it seemed like the reading community was split in the extremes. Still, I didn’t budge and I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. It’s been years of hearing that Holly is the queen when it comes to the Fae world and to be completely honest, she lived up to the title.

Cruel Prince, a title that entails a very dark, mysterious, fantasy-Fey world based novel. The darkness grew with the number of pages, with every extra word to a sentence and the plot unravels to be uncanny and the world to be peculiar.

Cruel Prince, Holly Black, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, January 2nd 2018, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780316310277

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Those insane book cliffhangers!

cliffhanger
ˈklɪfhaŋə/
noun
a dramatic and exciting ending to an episode of a serial, leaving the audience in suspense and anxious not to miss the next episode.
Ha! If we’re talking dramatic, then most definitely yes, cliffhangers are all about the drama. Over the years, my love for fantasy series kept on growing more and more, the more I read the more I craved, to a point in my life where all what I was reading was no less in length than a trilogy. It’s always amazing when the story expands, but what’s not so amazing is the cliffhangers in between sequels AND when the next book is a year away or so… that my friend is true pain.
When you’re devouring a book in the early hours of the morning when nobody is awake and you’re just sitting there reading, reading and reading and … BAM! the book is over and that last line, or maybe few pages shocked you to your very core that you are intensely staring at the book, giving it the evil look as if some more pages will spring to life out of your pure hysteria.
Well, no pages will appear and you’ll stay withering in your pain until the next book is out. The truth hurts, i know.
augustpizza promo! (2)

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A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

All the thanks in the world goes to Penguin Random House International for sending a free advance reader’s copy my way! This was like Christmas coming early this year.

Two years waiting!

Two damn long years of wait, agony, overthinking and hyperventilation over the anticipation of what to come next after A Torch Against the Night. And Sabaa took her time, she took all the time to build a magnificent third installment to continue on the path of blowing up all our minds into amazement and well, oblivion.

“You asked for destruction, and destruction takes time.”

A Reaper at the Gates, Sabaa Tahir, Razorbill, June 12th 2018, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780448494500

And destruction she did. Back when Sabaa first published this sneak-peek quote I got scared but trust me when I say it doesn’t even begin to cover the sheer thrill, action and excitement packed in this installment.

SIDE NOTE: don’t continue on reading if you didn’t start the series yet, this is the third book and you might get spoiled and I wouldn’t want that to happen. You MUST pick up this series, must!

Continue reading “A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir”