my 1000+ word love letter // These Violent Delights Book Review

It’s so crazy how I managed to read this book in a mere 6 hours and I already know what I will be talking about for the rest of my life.

Title: These Violent Delights

Author: Chloe Gong

Blurb (GR): The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.


  • This was so fun to read! – This plot was really interesting and kept you on your toes. Our main characters are Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov, heirs to the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers respectively. They’re both rivals and have a long standing blood feud. A madness causing innocent people to literally rip their throats out starts infecting the city. Juliette and Roma must overcome their past as ex lovers, and their blood feud in order to save their city. This is a superb retelling of Romeo and Juliet. One book I will never forget, and coming from a person who forgets most book plots about 3 months after I read them, this is a pretty bold statement. The action, pacing was perfect and it never felt to slow.
  • Deal with very important issues such as colonialism and “white man savior complex” – The time period is 1926 and currently different white powers are trying to take control over Shanghai. We get too see just how these foreign powers are taking advantage of a divided city and twisting everything for their benefit. The thing I like the most though, was how this was portrayed in such a harsh and inhumane manner because that’s exactly what this is. When we read textbooks in school we only get the basic gist of what happened, and in my opinion it’s very downplayed. Like yes colonizers did spread diseases, steal valuable resources but the (American) public education system doesn’t go deeper than that. In this novel we get too really see how this turmoil uprooted entire livelihoods and families, and set into motion an a prejudiced way of thinking that affects us today. Also with the topic of “white man savior complex,” Juliette’s entire race was called uncivilized and it was so messed up how The French, English were trying too take over Shanghai not for power, but also because they genuinely felt like this was right. I feel like These Violent Delights went into colonialism more than my highschool textbooks did and I’m so glad YA books like this are starting to be more hyped up because they offer so much more insight on historical events then what we learn in school.

  • Romance – As this is a Romeo and Juliet retelling of course there is romance. This book reminded why I love the idea of star-crossed lovers so much. There was so much tension, angst, misunderstanding, heartbreak, and then more heartbreak and a tiny bit of fluff. Roma’s and Juliette’s dynamic was really cute and I was rooting for them all the way through. It didn’t overthrow the plot but instead created a nice balance.


  • Juliette Cai – I just want to start off by saying that I love her so much and she’s one of my comfort characters. There is no Juliette slander allowed in this house!!1!1 But seriously Juliette was such a complex character and reading in her point of view was really interesting. As a reader we get too see her conflict with her duty/love to her gang and then with her own identity and not really fitting anywhere. Juliette is such a hardass not giving anyone a reason to try her and it’s just so satisfying to read about. She gives off such Azula vibes from ATLA but like more mentally stable (just a little though).

  • Roma Montagov – Sweet boy. I would give up my left arm just to see him smile. I loved Roma’s character and despite being one of the main protagonists in the book I feel like he’s underrated? He’s very honest with his emotions and also not afraid to show them. He cares a lot of his sister and friends. This was a nice change of pace from the other emotionally constipated and overly angsty male mc’s I have read about in the past. But I also like how despite how “soft” he could be, he isn’t exactly powerless. He also had internal conflict with himself, his feelings with Juliette, his father, and his gang. Also, he’s freaking hilarious. And the fact that he does things in the novel that aren’t meant to be funny, but still is funny makes it even funnier. He is a true chaotic good.
  • Side characters: Kathleen, Marshall, and Benedikt were my absolute favorite. Especially Kathleen because her backstory was so unique and really inspiring to read about. Her relationship was Juliette and how trusting they were with each other. Marshall was hilarious and much needed to break up several tension filled bits in the book. He is totally the type to get arrested for tying to steal a stop sign, and in his mugshot he would do the duck face. I rest my case. Benedikt didn’t make much of an impression on me as much of the other characters but I did like him and his interactions with the others.
  • If I wasn’t so deathly afraid of needles and also a Muslim, I would get at least 25 different lines tatted on my body. I read the prologue eat least 3 times a day. Words cannot describe how beautiful Chloe Gong’s writing is; I have never read a book with such lyrical prose. It paints Shanghai as this beautiful, dangerous, and alluring city. The way the characters interactions and thoughts were described… please I could write a whole analysis on the writing ALONE.

I think it’s really obvious that this was a five star read for me! I feel so lucky to be able to end the year with such a good book!

It’s so nice to finally be active on WordPress after so long! I finally finished college applications and currently am on winter break so I have a lot of free time (finally) Have you guys read this book before? What did you think? Were you a simp for Juliette as much as I was? Have you thought about reading this book?

the new normal // September Wrap-up

I love September because it represents so much potential. You can always turn over a new leaf, set new goals, start a new school year etc… For some reason, I totally consider September the “January” of my life. Even if school was pretty challenging this month I did some pretty exciting stuff, and read some pretty good books that I can’t wait to tell you guys about!


  • This month turned out to be a pretty good month in terms of books! I read a total of 9 books. I managed to read not one, but THREE five star book, and considering the fact that I am a very picky reader, THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS!
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (4 books) | 5 FREAKING STARS – As I’m currently writing this, I’m trying to hold back my tears because I am listening to a The Raven Cycle playlist and man, do I love this series. This was the one series that I never seemed to finish for no reason, and now that I have it’s like there’s two different versions of me. Amena before The Raven Cycle and Amena after The Raven Cycle. Okay, maybe I’m a being a bit dramatic but I am so attached too the characters it’s not healthy. Everything just went so well together! If you haven’t read this series PLEASE read it!
  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi | 5 stars – I was blown away from the book and I will never stop talking about freaking awesome it is. The worldbuilding, the friendships, the plot, the characters, Hypnos, everything was wonderful. I actually did a review on how great it is and I also did a character edit on Laila on my tumblr!
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | 5 stars – Maybe the reason I love this book so much is because Jude literally HAS THE SAME BIRTHDAY AS ME (November 13, Scorpio gang RISE UP) and we both need constant validation in our lives, but wow this book pulled me in! This was a re-read because I have the worst memory when it comes too books and I don’t remember loving it as much as I do now which is crazy because I’m in the process of building a shrine for my manz Cardan rn.
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black| 4 STARS – I finished this one day and started Queen of Nothing a day later because I could not put it down! I’m just in awe because GOSH THAT BOOK WAS EVERYTHING!
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black |4 stars – Once again I started this right after I finished The Wicked King, and this did not disappoint. Honestly, this series was so freaking good.
  • Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed | 3 stars – I really loved the premise of this book, but not really how it was executed so it was kind of a let down. Also Khayyams character was a bit annoying for me, and the author tried to make the male interest so desirable, and good looking too the point where it was kind of cringey. But I loved the writing and the chapters written in Laila’s P.O.V, the writing was gorgeous!

tbr for October

  • Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles – I heard so many good things about this book, and I know it has been compared to Caraval, and The Night Circus. If you have read it please let me know how it went! This is probably my most anticipated books for this month.
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee – This was pretty hyped up like two years ago think, and people are still raving about it on Twitter (which is basically where I get all my book recommendations from nowadays) and it is centered on Asian badasses which is my favorite thing ever.

Only two books because I actually don’t know what to read and also because I’m not trying to put a bunch of pressure to finish books because of school. Until I get a sensible schedule down and have sort of a weekly routine then I won’t really have time to read.


  • In terms of blogging, I didn’t really get to post as much as I wanted too mostly because school is taking up so much of my time as well as other extracurriculars, but I did manage to post!
  • My favorite post this month was about how romance in ya can be a bit harmful.
  • I also posted about three star ratings, and did a book review on The Gilded Wolves.

In the beginning of the month I was pretty good at bloghopping, and reading stuff from my Reader, but by then end I barely interacted with people which sucks! But I silently read a couple of posts and here are some of my favorite!


  • School has started for me! – Can you believe I said on my last monthly wrap up that I was excited for school?? Just what was I on because school is so time consuming, and so stressful. I have assignments due almost everyday and I’m working on them all the time. I don’t even have to to procrastinate! But slowly and surely I have been adjusting too school life. I know once I get the hang of things I’ll be able to handle school.
  • I joined a whole bunch of cool organizations – So one of them is called Diversify Our Narratives, which fights against anti-racist texts in the US school curriculum. I’m an organizer which means I get to do cool things like design graphics for our Instagram page, and email/meet up with school board administrators too add more books by BIPOC. It would mean a lot of you guys signed the petition. The other one is called 1000Girls 1000Futures which is where I get too be mentored by female STEM professors and talk to other girls from around the world who are passionate about STEM. Everyone is so sweet and kind its like a sisterhood ❤️❤️
  • honestly out of all the sections this is the hardest to write because what the hell I even say??? This whole month has been Spain but the s is silent. I’m sorry I’ve been on tiktok too much LMAOAO.

next month

let’s do a bit of a recap of last months goals

  • Interact with more people – Kinda accomplished?? I did blog hop and went around my reader and commented on a few blogs, but then I stopped once school started LOL.
  • Write more book reviews – Yeaaaaah nope. I only published one, but writing book reviews take forever and I just didn’t have the time.
  • Finish up blog re-design!— Well I did start it… there’s still a couple of things too do but it’s almost done!

    this month
  • Make a sensible schedule and get more organized for school
  • Finish this months TBR
  • Post consistently
  • Post at least two book reviews!

So that’s about it for September! I’m really excite for October because spooky szn 😈😈 and also I think I have a couple of days from school in the future THANK GOD! How was your September? How many books have you guys read? What was memorable about this month for you? If you started school are you able to balance school and blogging (pls send advice)

when i die i must be buried with this book or i will be a very angry ghost!!1! (The Gilded Wolves Book Review)

Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Blurb (GR): No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive. 



  • world-building was PHENOMENAL – Sometimes I’m a bit wary of fantasy books with complicated magic systems because chances are, I probably would get very lost. But everything about the magic system was explained so clearly and I was blown away by how freaking creative and well planned the whole world is. If you’re into steampunk, sci-fi, and magic then this is for you!!
  • twisty & fact paced! – Seriously there is nothing that will bore you in this book. There’s secret heirs, big party bashes, one giant heists, a skeleton aRMY!! There was a pretty big plot twist in the end that left me sobbing because of how great it was as well as another reason but if you read the book you’ll see. 😉
  • everything fit so well together – I just loved how Chokshi planned out everything too the littlest detail. You would expect that in a fantasy with such intricate magic systems something would go amiss, but, nope! I loved everything down to the littlest details. One of my favorite little detail was that House Kore (Persephone’s other name) had four rivers named after the river in the Underworld (aka Hades kingdom). It seems a little obvious but I was just really amazed at Chokshi’s planning
  • found family trope (aka my absolute fave) – I loved the main characters (which I get onto later), but I loved their bond. I’m a sucker for found family, group of outcasts coming together etc.. and Chokshi has written out the groups dynamics so beautifully. The main cast was bounded together not just because of their jobs, but their care for one another as well.
  • loved the little sprinkle of math, science, and history – Once again MISS CHOKSHI HAS DAZZLED ME WITH HER SMARTNESS. The inclusion of phi (which I never heard of before, but now that I did I can flex on all my classmates), history behind symbols, and religous systems like WOOH I took in so much information and managed to retain it as well because it was so intresting. And this is coming from a girl who barely manages to read textbook without falling asleep.
  • people of color rep – I saved the best for last because this is kind of going to be an all out rant. Anyways, I LOVE THE REPRESENTATION IN THIS BOOK. We have Severin who is half french and Algerian (which is located in North Africa and a very Muslim populated area which led to me thinking that maybe he has some Muslim ancestors??? ok i know that’s a big reach). Laila is Indian, Enrique is half Spanish and Half Filipino, Zofia is Jewish and I’m pretty sure she has OCD (it never has been explictilty confrimed but she shows reallly obvious signs). And Hypnos who is half black and half french.
  • but what I loved most was that Chokshi didn’t just include POC and just leave it there, she added their expereinces as well. Despite Enrique and Hypnos both be biracial, they had different perspectives on their mixed heritage. It just goes to show that you can’t generalize what a person of color goes through.


  • surprisingly I didn’t find anything wrong plot-wise!! I literally loved everything.


Let me just sum up how I feel towards all the characters in just three (3) pictures.


Literally the whole cast is diverse and all had different personalities and little quirks that really cemented them as a person. My favorite is Hypnos because he just wants friends okay. And also he’s absolutely fabulous.

Once again, I like the character dynamics and how everyone interacted with each other. I admired how Laila was so motherly towards everyone, and Zofia was like the little sister of the group. But most importantly they were respected and their talents were acknowledged. Severin and Tristan brotherly relationship was sweet and even reminded me a little bit of me and my own sister. Except you know the super abusive parents and traumatizing childhood.

writing style

I always enjoyed Chokshi’s writing, but I really applaud her this time! This was told in different p.o.v and each character was different from the rest. I loved all the funny banter she included! But sometimes it was a bit too flowery?? Like she would go into detail A LOT and sometimes it made things a bit confusing. It was very minimal though and it didn’t affect my understanding of the novel at all.


Five stars! I really, really enjoyed everything about this book, and I highly recommend reading it!

That’s it for my review of The Gilded Wolves and now I am currently waiting for the sequel (10 MORE DAYS HOLY COW). The ending will leave you SHOOK. Anyways, have you read this book? Who is your favorite character (Hypnos is the only correct character)? Did you like it or dislike it?

Is Romance in YA Harmful?

Romance has come to be such a prevalent part of YA book culture, and it is so rare to see a book without any.

I also love romantic couples in young adult books. If done right, it can be one of my favorite parts of the book. The meet-cute, the getting together process is very adorable but the thing is, it’s everywhere. And at times it can give such a wrong and harmful idea too the audience YA is generally pandered too–teenagers.

So in this post I’m going to talk about: why this excessive amount of romance in YA books are more harmful then just “cute.”

Why Romance in YA can do more harm

  • This over-the-top portrayal of romance sets up unrealistic expectations for love in the real world – In terms of romance, there is a simple step-by-step recipe that most YA books follow.

1) Meet cute
2) Getting to know each other/flirting stage
3) realizing both parties like each other
4) Some big argument or fight happens
5) They make up and live happily ever after

This is what I personally noticed in almost all of the young adult contemporary and even some fantasy books. It’s very clear cut and simple and usually gives the bogus message that “love is easy”, there is barely any conflict at all. Books, movies, music all talk about how “someone saved them”, and include swoon-worthy and passionate scenes which in the real world doesn’t happen. And everyone (me included) eats it up. I know most people are sensible enough to know that real love doesn’t work that way, but let’s be honest these exaggerated portrayals have influenced your hopes for romance a little bit. Have you ever caught yourself thinking “I need a romance like x and x” after reading a book?

However the truth is, romance is not like that at all. It’s not always filled with these heart-racing, passionate, and dramatic moments. People use these feelings too define love, and when these feelings fade away they think they have fallen out of love and move onto the next person. Both parties have set their expectations for each other, and if one of them don’t seem to meet it, they break up. And that’s of course normal in a relationship, but the problem is the expectations themselves. If they are only based on what people see on books (or mass media in general) then relationships are bound to fail because that’s not how real love works at all.

  • Romance is so prominent in YA books it pushes the ideology that romantic love is something teenagers need – Why are teenagers so obsessed with finding boyfriends/girlfriends? Maybe because we see these happy couples everywhere on the internet.

    Seeing these fictional people find their “other half” and see how confident and secure they are, can lead people to unconsciously think “I should get an s/o so I could be like that too” and to that I say:

The idea of finding this fairy tale romance is so ingrained because of the media teenagers consume, which leads to teenagers are so obsessed with finding the perfect romantic partner. But this is so unnecessary. We’re going through this period in our lives where we are trying to find out who we are, our brains are literally re-wiring , we have added pressure of school figuring out our correct path in life, and now we have to worry about romance???

Am I condeming teenage romance, and saying that all teenagers shouldn’t date? No of course not! Just keep in mind that unlike what most YA books suggest, you don’t need romance too be considered valid, and it honestly shouldn’t be a top priority. We have our whole lives ahead of us.

  • Valuing romantic love over other types of love – A lot of attention is put on romantic love, but what about friendships and family and even your pets? Maybe if YA (or media in general) put a lot of emphasis on family or friends, society would focus on fostering better human connections, and appreciating family rather then being so crazy about love.

This also ties in with aro/ace representation as well. There is little to no representation of ace main characters in YA books. Which once again, pushes the message that romance is an integral part of our lives. You can live a life without romantic love.

What’s the root of the problem?

It’s us! It all comes down to what sells, and romance definitely sells. Unless friendships and family suddenly starts trending out of nowhere, authors are going too include romance because that’s whats popular now.

And I’m not saying don’t buy romance books or any books that have romance. But just really be mindful of what you read, and how you take that in.

So this concludes my post. Keep in mind that this isn’t like a research paper so I didn’t include any concrete links to any research conducted on the effect of social media. This was based on observation, personal experience, and thinking. But this doesn’t make my point any less valid. What do you guys think about the amount of romance in YA literature? Do you think that it contributes to society a lot? Do you agree with my points? Do you disagree? Please let me know!

Let’s Talk Bookish: Is 3 Stars a “Good” Rating?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion, where each week we have a discussion prompt to write about (very helpful for when you’re in a slump hahah!). This is my first time joining and this weeks prompt is “Is 3 Stars a ‘Good’ Rating?”.

For some background info here is my rating system:

  • 5 stars – This book is going to be my next obsession for the next few YEARS. Everything was phenomenal, and there was barely anything I had a problem with. I couldn’t put this book down!
  • 4 stars – This book was great! I really enjoyed it, and it was thrill reading it. There might have been a few things I didn’t like, but it was very minimal.
  • 3 stars – It was good (which I will get into later on)
  • 2 stars – This book was really disappointing , would not recommend. I probably had a million WTF moments while reading it.
  • 1 star – It’s going in the donation pile. Not worth anyone’s time or money.

To be honest at times I consider the 3 star rating as sort of the “middle child” of the ratings. It’s not as extravagant as 4 or 5 stars, and not nearly as scandalous as 1 or 2 stars. It’s just there. I see a lot of people list 3 stars as “meh” in their rating system, and I sort of disagree.

To me, three starts represent a good book. It means I enjoyed the book, and I would recommend the books if they are looking for something too read. However, it’s not exactly a memorable book. And this is probably a me thing, but I forget books just as much as I read books. And I read a lot. So if I give a book three stars, chances are I’ll probably forget about what happened within a year or so.

Also there are so many factors that decide my rating in a book. The three main factors are: plot, characters, and writing style. But out of those three I’d say the most important is characters. Having a three star rating means that none of these three factors really impressed me. The writing was basic, the characters were not that vibrant, but enjoyable, and the plot was ok. But it was satisfactory.

Three stars is also just so dependable to me. Whenever I’m not sure too give a rating to a novel I usually give it just three stars. Sometimes books are not deserving of a four stars, but they’re definitely nowhere as bad as a two star. That’s why three stars are just so handy.

I noticed that I give a lot of over-hyped books three stars and for that I blame my high expectations. When hyped books aren’t as great as people say, but still good it’s deserving of a three stars.

Basically to wrap things up, if I were an author and I saw a rating on my book that said three stars, I would be good. It’s not the best, but at least the rating didn’t get any lower than that.

This post was so easy to write, and I hoped it made sense! What does a three star rating mean to you? Is it good or bad? If you were an author, and someone rated your book three stars would you be disappointed? What are some titles that got three stars for you? Let me know, and if you participated in this meme please link your post so I can check it out!

coming back to blogging after a year, post quarantine life // August Monthly Wrap-Up

I know almost everybody’s wrap up starts with “omg I can’t believe how fast this month flew by!!1!1” but one day I was binging Avatar the Last Airbender, and now I’m writing an August wrap up, so yeah “omg I can’t believe how fast this month flew by!!1!”

  • I went ziplining! – So me and a couple of friends went to an obstacle course and I had a freaking blast! It was pretty difficult near the end and my arms are still sore as I’m writing this, but it was worth it. I got to zipline, rock climb, do a free fall 50ft in the air… I really like adventuring and having fun but with COVID obviously things are a little different (also don’t worry I had a small group and we maintained social distancing with our masks).
  • I created a twitter! Because I’m dumb I got locked out of my old account I was debating on whether or not too make a new one. I didn’t really use Twitter that much but then I started making book aesthetics and posting them and they were doing well too. But of course I got locked out. Sooo I made a new one, and if you’d like you can follow. I mostly rant about books, share fanart, but I love interacting with others!
  • I also learned photoshop – So I downloaded photoshop and started taking some classes on how to use it, and it’s actually way less complicated then I thought lol. I love creating graphics on it and I really think it’s turning out great for my blog. I’m kind of brainstorming a big blog makeover, but I’m not really sure what direction I want to go in. And also there is only so many thing you could do on the WordPress free plan (#imbrokeasf).
  • School starts soon and I’m kinda excited – Okay so by the time I’m posting this school will start in like 11 days and I’m not feeling bummed out about it. Mostly because I would be taking it online 😛 hehehe. Even though the spread of COVID has calmed down significantly compared to March and April, it still seems risky too go back too school so I’m doing remote learning. My school is pretty far from my house and I have to take several trains on the way and I know firsthand that it gets REALLY packed on the subways.

  • I returned back to blogging *after one year* – I did return from a hiatus and I feel like such a boomer. It took me a while for me too get used too the new editor and I’m not very happy with it. Buut I do love the new features they have like the Podcast Player, and the Buttons! They are so cute hehehe.
  • I plan on having more interesting posts to come for September – Things too look forward to are posts about making side money, some interesting book reviews, and maybe a tutorial on the extreme basics of Photoshop?? I’m not really sure yet on the last one, but I am excited for September!
  • This month I thought I finished a lot of books, but surprisingly I only finished three?? Turns out I just spent most of my time watching anime instead oops. But this month wasn’t entirely that bad, and I didn’t read a book below 4 stars so that’s great!
  • Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson ★★★★☆ – THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE OMG! If you’re looking for a badass yet fragile female mc, and a caring and sweet male mc then look no further. Adam and Jolene were the perfect couple, they had such sweet moments and their story is super cute. This book was my favorite of the month, and I highly recommend checking it out!
  • Anna K by Jenny Lee ★★★☆ – Honestly this did have the potential too be a five star book. It had a great cast of characters (I love Steven!), but the romance was a little underdeveloped. You can check out my review here.
  • The Final Six by Alexandra Monir ★★★☆ – This was a great sci-fi concept, and the characters were great! But sometimes it was a little bit too detailed, and some descriptions will leave you like huh?


September consists of a lot of re-reads, and murderous plot lines! Even though I have about seven books I want too read, I know school will take a bit get time too get adjusted too so I want too finish at least four.

  • The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater (4 books) – This is the one series I have too finish because ohmygod I have tried too read this 3!! Times!! I always love the first book but never get too the second book for some reason because it’s never available in my library. But this time I got lucky and managed too snag the first two books and I can’t wait.
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Saaba Tahir – This is a re-read because even though I loved this story I never managed to finish the trilogy.
  • The Poppy War by R.F Kuang – Another re-read but I forgot basically everything except for the fact that there was this eccentric teacher who used poppies too get high. Or something like that because wow it has been a while since I read it and the hype on Twitter is driving me insane.
  • If We Were Villains by M.L Rio – I’m currently on this dark academia aesthetic obsession mode, and this book definitely fits into that. Also murderous theater kids.

Here are some of my goals for September!

  • Finish The Raven Cycle series – This is something I’m hellbent over doing.
  • Interact with more people – This is actually going well for me already! I’ve been going over to my feed and liking + commenting on whatever I find interesting.
  • Write more book reviews – I have only written one review so far so this September I’m aiming for at least four!
  • Finish up blog re-design! – I am in the process of redesigning my blog and I have some things in plan, buut I’m not entirely sure what exact theme I want.

So that’s it for my August! It feels great too do this after so long lol. What about you guys? How was your August? If you are going too school this fall are you excited? What’s on your TBR? What do you think about my TBR?

in my next life I better be born as the teenage daughter of a wealthy businessman who also likes horses. (anna k. book review)

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first book review I have posted in *checks calendar* one whole freaking year!

Yeah obviously time has gotten away from me, but I have risen from my awful book slump to bring you a book review of Anna K by Jenny Lee. And spoiler alert: I freaking loved it.

Also, since I go pretty indepth review, it might be too much for some people so I present a new feature called In Short,

Title: Anna K
Author: Jenny Lee
Blurb (GR): Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather a sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Story is a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.

  • So this book has been widely labeled as the young adult “Crazy Rich Asians and Gossip Girl” crossover everyone and their mother has been waiting for. To be honest, I think the “Crazy Rich Asians” portion was a bit of a stretch considering that only two of the main characters were half Korean, and it didn’t really have *that* magic I fell in love with in CRA, but the Gossip Girl portion was spot on. Actually it was like Gossip Girl.
  • This book is about the lives of a whole bunch of characters, but the main six are Anna, Steven, Dustin, Kimmie, Alexia, and Lolly. They’re all (except Dustin) sons and daughters of affluent, and wealthy families and reside in NY. This book follows these characters as they deal with scandals, young love, shitty friends, and even shittier parents. This is also a retelling of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, so I do recommend doing a quick skim on Sparknotes before reading this. I haven’t read the original book, and I don’t see myself reading it in the future because I had enough of 19th century books, and the mere thought of them makes me want to bang my head on the nearest wall (thanks ap lit summer assignment!)
basically me struggling too do my homework.
  • The story is very entertaining. If you are looking for something that is filled with drama, and has a bunch of reckless teenagers navigating the world around them, then this is for you! I was immersed in the lives of these people, and it was very amusing and exciting too watch them grow.

  • This book also has the main theme that “not all that glitters is gold.” Despite this being about the lives of the uber wealthy, I still found myself being able too relate too some of the events and themes going on. It was also very interesting too see that underneath all the wealth, and glitzy aspects, these characters are just as messed up as we normal people are.

  • Also deals with racism and classism. Anna and Steven are both half Korean, and white, while Dustin is black, Jewish, and adopted. I really liked how it dealt with casual/subtle racism. A lot of people make such offhand, racist comments and they don’t even realize it’s wrong because it’s just so ingrained in society.
  • I loved, loved, the setting and premise of this book. I am obsessed with the whole rich kids aesthetic! The prep schools, uniforms, the wild over the top parties, the private jets etc… And the fact that it took place in New York City just made it better. It was a lot easier too picture what was going on, and being in the city made the whole aesthetic even more glamorous. (I swear being a New Yorker isn’t my only personality traits)


  • Problematic relationships – There is a whole lot of cheating going on. Like a whole lot of. And very messy relationships.
  • Also in terms of romance, I honestly thought it was too insta love for Anna and Vronsky. Especially for Vronsky because he is characterized as the playboy type, so he should be used too super pretty girls. But the minute he saw Anna, he was all “I think I’m in love with her” But I did think it was super cute! Just needed a bit more development, but still cute!

For me characters make or break a book. If I can’t relate or like the characters at all, I probably don’t even like the book. Which is why Anna K was such a delight to read! I loved the diverse array of characters and how they were all fleshed out and fun. With a cast as big as the one in Anna K, you would think some characters would turn out to be bland, but this was far from the case.

Anna K – Anna is just a wholesome bean who likes horse-riding, reading books, and her dogs. I really enjoyed Anna’s soft and honest character and it was a nice break from the rest of her crazy friends. Also, I loved how she supported and uplifted the rest of the girls around her like Kemmie, and Lolly. And she still likes too party and put on makeup, which I thought was great because she’s not one-dimensional.

However, I did get tired of the constant battle in her head over Alexander and Vronsky. I wanted too yell at her too hurry up and make a decision.

Steven – I honestly detested Steven at first, but he proved too be one of my favorite characters in the story! His character development was crazy good, and his personality grew on me. Reading in his perspective was so my favorite parts because it was so funny! I found it so sweet that he cares so much for his sister Anna, and was willing too do anything for her. It made me a tiny bit sad that I didn’t have a cool older brother and instead stuck with two annoying sisters (jk love ya sis).

me @ steven and anna 24/7

Dustin – Personally his story was my favorite. Dustin is down to earth, sweet, smart, and overall A Very Nice Kid. At first I wasn’t down with his whole Kemmie Obsession thing, but reading in his p.o.v was relaxing and I understood him a lot better. Also this kid gave up his college fund, and three grand just for his brother, and I thought it was so sweet.

Kemmie – Kemmie was great, I really enjoyed her character development. Her struggle with depression did seem a bit unrealistic (as in she got over it pretty quickly). She seemed really sweet, and if I met her IRL I’m pretty sure I would’ve gotten along with her more than anyone else on the list.

Lolly – At times I found myself relating too Lolly a lot, especially her big sister moments. She did seem a bit superficial, almost shallow at time though, but at the end she made up for it. She’s actually a great person overall, but even a better friend.

Vronsky – Last but not least, Alexia Vronsky. To be honest, I didn’t learn much from him except that he is madly in love with Anna, he’s a playboy, he likes sex, he’s madly in love with Anna, and *checks notes* he’s madly in love with Anna. I still liked him when he acted all soft around Anna though that was cute, but that’s about it.

Jenny Lee is a screenwriter and you can tell from reading this book. But I had no problems with the writing style. It was told in third p.o.v so it made the story flow really well. Also, the dialogue was great. There was easy and flowing conversations between the character, and it really made each personality shine through.

However, the teen slang was a bit too much at times especially when reading in Steven p.o.v. I have never seen a person use “lit” as much as Steven does.

This book was a great book! Yes it does have a few downsides that will definitely push some people away, but I think you should still give it a try. Also a little off topic, but I am seething at how low quality WordPress made the header for this post look like. Anyways, now I want to hear your thoughts. Would you pick up this book? Have you picked up this book? What were your thoughts? And what do you think of my review?

Unlikable Character Tropes That I Refuse To Read About Anymore

It’s pretty much a given on how important characters are to a story.

Characters are wonderful, they shape literally the WHOLE story.

It’s also a given that some authors manage too mess up characters who have the POTENTIAL to be GREAT characters. In this post I’m discussing character tropes that are undeniably my least favorite. These are btw my opinions, and not facts. so don’t attack me if you don’t agree please.

Also, if the timing of this post in weird don’t mind it. I’m experimenting with different times too see when my followers are most active. Wow I am such a #businessmogul

“Bad-ass” female protagonists who are emotionally unavailable and asshole-ish.

These characters are really underdeveloped, and basically have no personality aside from being good at kicking peoples ass. And they get super over-hyped too which just leads me to get excited over nothing. There is nothing wrong with girls who can fight, but the thing is I don’t really see how they are strong in other aspects of life. How do they deal with things like stress, trauma, relationships etc… I feel like the way people respond to those things are really what makes us different human beings. Adding in their vulnerable side, or their irrational side could help me connect with the character better, and create entertaining characters overall.

Also, this sort of creates the “I’m not like other girls” trope which is super not healthy too young girls growing up in this day and age. Characters like this shows that only being able to fight, not liking makeup or boys, and overall being what society perceives as “masculine” is what a cool, quirky girl can be. Which is not the case at all. You can like sports, and fashion at the same time. I personally relate to this because growing up I was a tomboy, and refused to go near anything close to pink, and hated fashion. I forced myself too like and play basketball (never again will I go near those orange colored demons) and all these other things because I thought this made me… “one of the boys” or “not like other girls”.

Emotionally abusive bad boys

Not only are these boys so annoying, they also show that abuse is okay and the girl should put up with it (it also can go both ways btw!). Which of course, not acceptable. Somehow by the end of the story though, he becomes a stable and emotional, heroic guy and all thanks too the girl who taught him how to be vulnerable or whatever.


Yeah I don’t think so.


These type of relationships are so prominent in the real world as well, but when you have a choice you shouldn’t add those types of romance to a book. It’s not in the least bit cute.

She doesn’t know she’s beautiful

“I tie up my long brown wavy hair into a messy bun, and put on a plain gray tee over my curvy body. I gaze at the mirror with my starling big blue eyes. I sigh. I’m so ugly”

Sometimes when I’m reading sentences like these I can’t help but think “is this some kind of Wattpad fan-fiction??”

next thing you know she goes downstairs and finds out she got sold to One Direction 

Authors make characters place so much emphasis on their looks for no reason, and it’s not even a pivotal plot to the story. And the way the author writes out the character’s descriptions YOU KNOW that this person can be considered pretty in real life.

This also usually leads to a romance with another character saying the iconic lines of “you don’t even know your beauty” or “you’re not like other girls” or some other BS variation.

Being clumsy is a character trait.

Not being able to kick a ball without falling on your butt does not give you a personality, sorry but I think we’ve all been there.

This usually happens when an author just can’t seem to know how to write  three dimensional flawed characters so they think being clumsy is a “cute” and “quirky” sort of way too make the character seem more realistic. And these authors will probably go to the extra mile to make these characters seem clumsy. Like leave-your-sim-alone-in-a-kitchen extra clumsy.

I don’t find clumsy characters funny, in fact I will just spend half the time worrying they will  trip on a pencil and suffer a long, and painful concussion.

Teenage prodigy in one second/ the chosen one

I know firsthand as a teenager, AND AS AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING, it will take more then one freaking day to get extremely good at something. In a lot YA fantasy books, you have a teen (14/15/16) who at first is this skinny, wimp, but then is like a freaking GOD when it comes to fighting/casting magic/etc… These are skills that probably take lifetimes too prefect, and now all of a sudden you can blast fire out of your hands in one day.

Which then you find out the character is some kind of “Chosen One” hero. I’m not super annoyed  with this kind of trope, but after seeing it in a number of fantasy books it starts too get repetitive, and then boring.

This trope also kind of sets a bad example for real-live kids who have to put in time and effort to be good at anything.

like me lol

Manic Pixie Dream Girl/Guy

These type of characters are usually paired with another boring, shy, melancholy character. And the MPDG starts too teach them about life, and love, and wonder blah blah blah. This trope is a) super cliche b) totally boring c) not at all realistic. It’s also kind of problematic. It reminds me of the relationship in the emotional abusive bad boy trope, where you sort of depend on the romantic int rest to “fix” you and your problems. Not okay at all.

A good example of this is Alaska from Looking for Alaska. She has a unusual name, an infatuation with daisies, smokes, and has every girl/guy on her heel. She draws out the main character from his shell, and she is definitely Quirky with a capital q.


So that was my super long rant on character tropes I really dislike. I really think I ranted a bit too much, but I! Am! Tired! of these tropes. I know I put “THAT I REFUSE TO READ ABOUT” in capital letters in the title, but I really don’t mean it. Because let’s be honest, I would then have to stop reading all together. That’s how common some of these can be. What about you guys? Do you agree or disagree with some of them? What are some additional tropes you can’t stand? Can you add on too the list? Have a beautiful day! ❤





What Makes a Good Romance… A Good Romance? // ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

actually SFW, I just really like the lenny face, lol 

I’m an absolute sucker for those cute, fluffy, innocent, and well written romance. Almost all the YA books I have ever read, they have some type of romance. So today I’m pretending that I have a love life (I don’t), and discussing things about the charestics of a good romance.

Character Dynamics

I think this actually given, but just to get this out of the way I’m writing this. The characters, they actually have to have chemistry. The author have to write them in such a way, that it won’t seem awkward or boring.

I know that a lot of people (namely, me) love the whole opposites attract thing, and I think it’s because of the way they’re personalities work together, and fit in a beautiful way, despite expecting them to clash. I love the dynamics of a snappy, sassy heroine, and the sort of aloof hero.

My favorites character tropes/dynamics

  • Enemies to lovers!! – I love these so much because it’s so fun watching/reading the characters realtionship go from hatred to dislike to tolerable to BAM! Lovers. It’s so cute.
  • Oppisites attract – Relationships where person A is super bright, perky, while Person B is mostly remote, and quiet are my favorite thing ever! And I know it’s so cliche, but it isn’t it so heartwarming (I’m trying to find synonyms for cute, lol).

My not so favorites

  • Best friends to lovers – I’m pretty sure that I’m on the minority for this one, but ehhh. I don’t know, I guess I don’t find it incredibile realistic, and would make a boring realtionship?? Like, they know everything about each other, what would make it more intresting or something?

Healthy!! Relationships!!

It’s 2018, and if I see yet, another problematic relationship I will erupt, and destroy everything in my path. Some (not all) books have this relationship where one character practically forces their S/O to do whatever they want. Or basically mentally or physically abuse them, and some people call it “love” or “cute”. It honestly disgusts me, and I hate reading book like that, and end up giving them a one star *cough* *cough* When Dimple Met Rishi *cough* *cough*.

I liek seeing realtionships that cute, and healthy. Where thye both have each other backs, support each other, and get each toher despite differences. Those are the ones that make my heart warm, and make me smile, and go like




Just overall, a healthy, caring relationship in which, both parties are genuinley happy with each other!

Conflict to get things interesting.

Also known as ANGST!! I just love reading books that have heart wrenching, tear inducing angst. I honestly don’t know why I’m like this, but I can’t be the only one?? I feel like it’s here where the romance becomes interesting, and not just some senseless romance.

Some of my favorites are when:

  • the characters get into an aurgument because of a misunderstanding, and it’s up to one of them too reconcile the other.
  • The cheesy kdrama story line in which, the parents of the character A tries to tell Character B that they can’t be with each other because of social classes or something.
  • They are actually enemies on the oppisite side, and not meant to be in love (ahflkjafhas I absolutely LOOOVE THESE)
  • Character A convinces themselves that they can’t be with Character B because they are worried they will hurt them.

My non-favorites 

  • Love Triangles!! – Most people don’t like this either, and I totally agree with them. I find them so boring, and pointless, and sooo predictable. And also I suffer from second-lead syndrome  

I like angst when it’s temporary, like there will be a happy ending. Because if it doesn’t lmfao goodbye my heart.   

Impactful Relationships

This doesn’t even have to be about a romantic relationship. I like reading about friends or people who changed person A’s life somehow. It makes the whole romance seem more important, and not senseless.

Lot’s of fluffy moments!!

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but just a relationship filled with backhugs, forehead kisses, hand holding, blushing, and dID I MENTION FOREHEAD KISSES?? And it doesn’t even have to be just touching. But heart-to-heart conversations late at night looking up at the stars… Just overall, sweet things.




  • The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims – I’m telling you this is such an underrated book, and the cover is so plain, and it’s nothing like the actual pages! I loved this book so much, I gave it five stars!! Eliot, and Samantha are just such a good couple, and not only that they make good friends too. Eliot has a condition where he can’t feel any pain, and has very self-destructive tendencies. Samantha is recovering from an accident, to which she lost her mother too. Samantha is such a caring person!
  • Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – This book wasn’t as highly hyped up as the authors other book (Eliza and her Monsters),but I actually liked this better than her other book. Miles has a similar personality too Eliot from The Art of Feeling, and Alex has a mental illness ( schizophrenia). Their romance is something that I will remeber for a long time because I seriously LOVED THIS.
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – Honestly, anything by Morgan Matson is pure gold, but I really loved this book becasue of the character development. And not to mention the awesome friendships! Andi, and Clark had such a meet-cute moment.



  •  The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!! I think mostly everyone has read or at least heard of this insanely, good book. And if you haven’t stop living under a rock. This book has it all: diversity, excellent romance, and cameos from Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda!
  • Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – Okay, so this whole post was low-key inspired by Love, Simon. Which btw, sounds so cute, and wonderful, and too bad I’m too broke to go to the theatres. But this book was like the gay version of The Upside of Unrequited. And it is insanely good. I devoured the whole book in one whole sitting.
  • P.S I LIKE YOU by Kasie West – Kasie West is my go-to author for cute, original love stories, and P.S I Like You is, in my opinion one of her best works!! The concept of this book is actually really intresting, because it aslo focuses on family, not just romance.


So that’s it for this post! I’m planning on updating two times a week, and it’s going well so far!! But anyways, what do you think makes a good romance? Do you focus more on the plot or the characters? What are some good YA romance books you have read in the past?? 


Blogging Under a Pseudonym: Harmful or Helpful? // I reveal my “secret identity” (PLEASE READ WHOLE POST)

When I first started Nerd in New York, I really had to sit down, and think about a lot of things. Blogging sounds much easier said than done. There are a whole bunch of factors that I grew to learn about during my first month of blogging. And one of them was blogging with my real name or not.

If you can’t already tell, I obviously chose to blog under a pseudonym because of… various reasons (which I get into later on), but now as my 2 year blogiverasry is approaching I’m sort of regretting that decision. And they’re many reasons for that.

P R O ‘ S

  • Honestly, the whole reason why I chose too make a pseudenoym in the first place was because of I didn’t want anyone to find out about this blog anyway. It’s a little ashaming to say, but I was pretty embarrassed.  There were so many reasons to judge me because of this blog because it didn’t seem like naything a regular teenager would do. So having a fake name was like a security blanket. No one would associate this blog to me.
  • Whole new me! – Creating a new name was like creating a new person – for me- anyway. Balie is supposed to be a confident, funny, smart, and above all, a good blogger. And after a while, it worked. I loved this online persona I made, and I guess 769 other people did too
  • I am a shy smol bean – Gosh, I’m so shyyyy I have about 8 friends total. I’m not lying when I say I’m a HUGE introvert. So when I made this blog revealing my name was out of the question. It would freak me out to know that people on the internet read, and commented about my opinons online

C O N ‘ S

  • So much pressure!! – Blogging under a pseudonym meant I have to create two versions of almost EVERYTHING. Creating a new email, new social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Tumblr etc…) , and then making sure that I don’t accidentally mix the two up. One time my IRL friend asked me why my instagram name was Balie, and I freaked out. I realized that I followed her under my bookstagram because I’m dumb , and forgot to switch accounts.


  • I’m really proud of what I had accomplished so far… – Getting books BEFORE they even come out, having a large following, able to communicate with people, discuss about major things. Those are just a few golden sides too blog blogging. I’m so proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I literally want to climb on top of the mountain and scream it to everyone. Did ya see that development right there? I went from being embarrassed about my blog, to being super prideful about it
  • Blogging under a fake name takes away some credibility for what I have done so far, because people will automatically thing that it’s not me, but someone else. I don’t want that too happen. I want my IRL friends too see this, and think “damn my friend is a genius” (because coding is super hard okay).
  • Creating a whole new image – So I know I listed this as a pro as well, but it can also be a con. After a while, I was tired of Balie. It didn’t really feel… me. I didn’t feel authentic. Balie wasn’t me, which I guess was the point of creating a fake blogging name. Over time, I didn’t like this name for me, it sounded so generic, and boring. And I was favoring my real name more. And this led me too this new decision:

I have decided to actually reveal my actual identity! 

I mean it’s super obvious from the actual title that I would do this but whatever.

Hi, I’m the main blogger behind Nerd In New York! My name is Amena!! 

actual image of me

So from now on when any of you guys tag me, comment, or address me please make sure to use my real name!

I understand that it might be a bit weird, but hopefully we could get used to it.

Here are some facts about me

  • I’m Bengali (a country almost right next to India, but NOT IN INDIA)
  • I’m a Muslim teen (turning 15 soon enough)
  • I’m really scared of dogs (I was traumatized when a German Shepard tried to bite ,y hand off)
  • I have a weird shaped birthmark near my elbow which looks like a crescent moon
  • I have an unhealthy addiction to drama (lol)
  • I also listen to kpop, and watch kdrama’s (if you want me to listen/watch anything comment down below!!)


Ahem… so I get that could get really weird. I’m literally changing MY WHOLE FREAKING NAME! But like it’s okay, I guess. So what are your thoughts on using a pseudonym in the blogging community? Have you ever used one? Would you ever use one?