Bookish Candles Part I

Life update! I’m addicted to candles.

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I’ve been wanting to buy bookish candles from different Etsy shops but when I’m ready to pay … I was stunned by how expensive it is! The shipping to the Philippines is as expensive as the product. Yeahh. A total buzzkill for someone who loves candles.

BUT I recently found out a shop that sells handmade bookish candles, The Book Flame. I actually found it even before it opened. That why, when they said that their products are ready … Can you guess what I did? Uh-huh. I immediately went to their account and ordered these two: Sherlock and Rysand.

Sherlock smelled like green tea and jasmine. Rhysand smells like ocean breeze and eucalyptus. I’m totally addicted to the scent of Sherlock. I feel like I’m inside 221B, drinking tea. Rhysand, however, make me feel dreamy. You know … I could just stare at my ceiling, daydreaming.

I’m thankful for this shop for providing a way for me to feel closer to my bookish boyfriends.

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author:
 Sabaa Tahir
Date Published: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
ISBN: 1595148035
Format: Hardcover
Pages
: 446 pages
Status: Read August 30, 2015
Goodreads’ Rating: 4.32
Buy it here: Amazon • Book Depository • Barnes & Nobles

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Note: This review was originally posted last August 31, 2015

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Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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Defying Martial Empire means death. Trusting anyone that isn’t supposed to be trusted can also result in death. In their world any wrong move, even if you don’t move at all, will lead to death.

Laia and Elias, two different people who came from two different worlds, wants the same thing. Freedom. But little did they know that every choice they make will not only affect themselves but also the Empire itself. Love, friendship, and loyalty will be tested and they must fight to get what they want.

I have high expectations for this book because it’s somewhat related to military and all of my friends told me it was good. I was actually scared while reading the first chapter. It has an interesting introduction but I don’t like the wimpy female protagonist. That’s what I was scared about. I thought the wimpy-ness will continue all throughout the novel but oh boy oh boy it did not. It has this unique hold on me that keeps me on edge. I’ll tell you guys, I did not stay in one place while reading this. Whenever there’s something happening or whenever I’ve reached the last sentence of every chapter, I need to stand or to jump just to keep my mind sane. This. Book. Is. Intense!

I love how Sabaa Tahir explains things, but keeps the mystery intact. I also love the way she explains the reasons behind every characters’ choices. Villain or not villain, I love them all (even that one woman I want to maim).

“I will tell you the same thing I tell every slave. The resistance has tried to penetrate this school countless times. I have discovered it every time. If you are working with the resistance, if you contact them, if you think of contacting them, I will know and I will destroy you.”

Her writing is easy to get used to and I love how the POV changes every chapter. I just … love this book.

The book deserves more hype!!! It has a great cover, great plot, great world, great characters, great EVERYTHING! Definitely one of my favorite reads this year. I cannot wait for the second book.

Overall reaction:

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Sabaa Tahir

Spent my childhood in the Mojave Desert, where I didn’t have cable and thus chose to entertain myself with books and radio. My parents assured me that I wanted to become a doctor, but a brief stint working in a hospital changed my mind.

I left the desert for university at 17, graduated from UCLA a few years later, and went to work for The Washington Post directly after. Five years later, I left the Post and started working on a book.

If I could be anything, I’d be a space explorer, but a cool one, like Jean-Luc Picard.

I’m represented by Alexandra Machinist at ICM.

Those are the basics. If you’re still burning with curiosity, here’s more:    

  • I’ve worked as a: Motel clerk, gas station attendant, office manager, tutor, hand masseuse (don’t ask), editor and writer.
  • If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be: Trent Reznor, obviously.
  • When I was a kid I wanted to be: A pirate or a bear.
  • Favorite music: See my music page. No, really. Go there now.
  • Favorite book: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The Hobbit is crap in comparison. CRAP. Also, The Fifth Element. Cuz Milla.
  • Favorite TV Shows: Well, now, where do I begin. I used to not watch TV, but then got into GoT…and Scandal…and Arrow…and Outlander…and now I don’t ever get any work done.
  • I live: in the SF Bay Area where I am surrounded by awesome tech nerds.
  • Ultimate goal in life: To own a Triumph motorcycle and race around the streets of my neighborhood at midnight while hooting and hollering and terrifying the neighbors.
  • Personal motto: Music is my home. (Ok, it’s not a motto, fine.  Anyway, I stole it from an Alison Croggon book, take it up with her.)
  • Special Skills: Accents originating on the British isles. Persuading telemarketers to hang up by marketing their competitors’ products to them.  Animal sounds.
  • Most people don’t know: I’m in love with all of my characters. Even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones.

February Wrap-Up!

School stuff will bury me alive. I’ve been busy and read only 8 books. It’s still good because I’m still 4 books ahead of schedule! Round of applause for me.

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So without any more stalling … here’s my late February Wrap-Up.

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1. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet – Rating: 4/5

I borrowed this from a friend because I had an idea of the blackout poetry that I did. So basically, its purpose is for me to take a picture of this book for me to post on my Instagram. But then, an angel named Karina DMed me about this book and we ended up buddy reading this book.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – Rating: 4/5

This book is SO cute. If this book is a human, I’d totally date him. I love the characters and the vivid way of describing Paris. Also because of St. Clair’s messy hair and oozing confidence.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – Rating: 3/5

I didn’t like this book as much as I liked the other two. Lola’s a bit extreme for me. Also, Cricket’s scenes are way too limited. I wish he has more exposure because he’s adorable. And honestly, I’d love to read more about him than Lola.

4. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – Rating: 5/5

THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING. I felt everything up to my bones. Isla is such a relatable character and sometimes, it felt like I’m on her shoes. And Josh! Oh my gosh, I love Josh so much. If I saw him I’d totally creep him out and ask him to draw me like one of the French girls.

5. Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts – Rating: 4/5

I totally love the first chapters up to the middle part of the book but the ending was flat and it felt like it was forced. But it was fun and easy read hence the 4 stars.

6. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – Rating: 5/5

I discovered this book through Tashapolis’ YouTube channel. I was super intrigued because she recommended it. I knew that I must read the book. So I grabbed the eBook copy of the book and started to read it. I finished it one sitting because I SUPER UBER DIG this type of stories. They hate each other at first and will eventually end up together. The “hating” part is what I like the most about this book. Characters are adorable.

7. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Rating: 5/5

I have this book for almost two years but I just read it now. I’m super ashamed of myself because I did not grab this as soon as I can! It was lovely. Like, if I sigh right now … it would be the oh-my-gosh-I-love-this-book type of sigh.

8. PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han – Rating: 4/5

I’ve read this book as soon as I finished reading the first book. 4 stars because I wasn’t really a fan of what happened at the end. It did not satisfy me. It doesn’t have the same impact as the first book. I was confused the whole time, about their feelings and what’s actually happening. I still love Lara Jean tho.

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I’ve read many romance novels. I blame February for this love vibe. It’s the sole reason why I read these type of genre.

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But who am I kidding? Even though I’m not really into contemporary romance, I totally love these books I’ve read.

Top 5 Wednesday – Books I Want to Reread

It’s March! Yay. I’m a day late for this post, though. But it’s still Wednesday somewhere, right? I’ve read around 200 books but there are books that I definitely want to try to squeeze into my never ending TBR pile.

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Without wasting any more time, let’s just proceed with the post. 😉

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This book is one of the books that got me into reading. I bought this book because of the hype and I’m so glad I did. I fell in love with John Green’s writing, his characters, the story, and reading in general. This book, no matter how I ugly-cried, made me feel the emotions that I can only get when reading.

I want to reread this because I miss John Green’s handwriting.

And Gus is my first book crush.

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Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Okay, so this is part of a series. You might be wondering why I didn’t choose the first two books. Well, I thought about that too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Just kidding. I totally know the reason. It’s because, in this book, it showed how much Juliette developed into someone that I loved and adored. Also because of Warner.

This is the first book I’ve read that has an amazing character development. I miss this book. Also because of Warner.

But who am I kidding? It’s mostly because of Warner that I want to reread this book. He’s my first book boyfriend.

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I bought this book because my friend has it. I never regret the choice I made the day this book was in my hands. The first cutesy book I’ve read. This book gave me butterflies and I want those butterflies back!

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

The fifth and the largest book of Harry Potter. Hmm. When I read this, I was a wreck. I cried the whole night, then the next day, and the day after that. I was devastated. It took me weeks to read the next book.

No book can make me cry just like this book did. I know what’s going to happen when I reread this book. But it’s just … it’s Harry Potter. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I just read this last January but it calls me ~ I want to reread it again no matter how heartbreaking it is. It’s like whenever my path goes astray, I remember about this book and try my hardest to do things I need to do. You know, this book makes me motivated and inspired. I don’t know but it’s just what it makes me feel.

And because I don’t want to forget about what happened.

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I want to reread these books mainly because I miss them so much, the feels they gave me when I first read them and the feels after I finished reading them.

I know there are a lot of books that I really need to read, but we shall not forget those books who stayed with us during our first years of reading. 😉