3

Review : A Crown of Wishes // Finding Yourselves and Falling in Love in a Magical Land

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (1)

RATING : 4 Stars

Goodreads • Amazon • The Book Depository

I don’t know if this is a good way to start a positive review but a couple of years ago I read Roshani Chokshi’s first book The Star Touched Queen, and I disliked it so much. I thought it was too insta lovey, too lyrical, and the truth is, it didn’t make a lot of sense. I simply thought that maaaybe Roshani’s writing isn’t for me—because I know plenty of people love it.

So when A Crown of Wishes came out, I wasn’t so eager to read it. But then the reviews started coming and even the people who dislikes TSTQ, loved it. I’m weak for brilliant reviews, so I gave it a chance and I’m glad I did because this was a lot better than The Star Touched Queen.

Let me start by saying that Roshani Chokshi has improved a lot in characterization. While Maya—her protagonist from TSTQ—was lack in personality, Gauri was not. She is fire and sword and sweet things. She’s complicated—strong, and with a heart of gold. I love her character development in the book so much. I also love Vikram aka the fox prince, he’s so charming and fun and smart and God—he’s the perfect match for Gauri.

The romance between them gave me all the mushy feelings in the world. It was slow burn and filled with lots of hilarious banter!! But more than that, I love how Roshani Chokshi portray the love between them. Love is easy and difficult, falling in love is complicated and inevitable—and also risky. You know the narrative in books that when you find the right person everything will magically work out? Let me tell you something, falling in love is s.c.a.r.y. It’s one of the most wonderful feeling in the world, sure, but putting your heart in someone’s hands require so much trust and doesn’t come as easily as books sometimes portray it. So I was really happy to see Gauri didn’t give in so quickly and instead take the time to figure herself out and the relationship itself. I guess parts of the reason I dig the romance in this book is because I relate so much on a personal level 😛

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (3)

The plot itself was intriguing, but I think I fall in love more with the idea of the plot than the actual execution. It’s lovely and intriguing and I just love the idea of playing to win a wish, but the execution feels just a little… disjointed. Though if you think about it, it could be traced back into two things, the writing and world building.

The world building felt a little off for me (emphasize on “a little”). Despite its elaborate description, I couldn’t clearly imagine the settings and all the weird creatures so when things happened involving them, I only like 80% understood. The lyrical writing doesn’t really help, but I admit that it was a lot better than TSTQ. I found the gorgeous proses a lot more readable and I did leaf through the book quickly. Plus I’ve recently been in love with lyrical writing, so.

There’s one thing that make me curious though… why is Gauri’s POV in first person but Vikram & Ashaa’s are in third person? Didn’t realize it at first but something did feel a little different and now I wonder why? I think I’d love it better if Vikram’s POV was also in first person, imagine the depth it will bring to the story…

Anyway, deciding on 4 stars rating wasn’t an easy decision—I went back and fourth between 3 and 4 and almost settled with 3.5, but when I got to the ending… I just loved it. I think it was satisfying and wrapped things up nicely, so here are my 4 stars for A Crown of Wishes. Without a doubt, I will add Roshani Chokshi’s next books on my TBR—in fact, I’m thinking of rereading The Star Touched Queen.

watercolour-flower-collection-resize

a-crown-of-wishes

Book Title : A Crown of Wishes
Author : Roshani Chokshi
Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date : March 28th 2017

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes – a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

divider-small

Have you read A Crown of Wishes? What do you think of it? Let’s TALK—do you ever dislike an author’s book but decide to give them a second chance? And if turn out you love their other books, do you consider rereading the first one you don’t like? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Find more of me on my social media ♦

Instagram • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Pinterest

Advertisements
4

My Relationship with Translated Books

SPARKLING LETTERS BOOK BLOG_ MY RELATIONSHIP WITH TRANSLATED BOOKS

Hello everyone! ♥

Welcome to my first actual discussion post in a while 😀 I have to admit, coming up with discussion topics isn’t as easy when you’re currently not reading much, so this one is something I took from my list of post ideas I composed last year. Most of my ideas are no longer relevant, but a few surprisingly still are.

As you could guess from the title, today I’ll be talking about translated books and my relationship with them. I love it, hate it, can’t live without it, yet don’t wanna live with it anymore. Sounds confusing? I’ll explain soon 🙈 a little background : I live in Indonesia and my native language is Bahasa. I’ve learned English ever since I was a toddler, but I didn’t start reading books in English until I was a late teenager.

Disclaimer : in this post I’ll only be talking about books translated from English to your native language, not from foreign language to English. 

watercolour-flower-collection-resize

When I first started reading, I read local books. And comics. I love them, but soon I was running out of things to read, so I started to branch out and read translated books. My first book was Harry Potter (surprised, surprised). I admit, I LOVED translated books. It opened so many doors for me. I mean, if I only read local books, I wouldn’t be the reader I am today.

A few years later, I started to get curious and I wanted to read English books in their original language. Funny thing was, there was this cheap books sales selling English books so I thought, this is perfect coincidence! But you know what I bought? I bought… Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare… Idk, Shakespeare was a big name and I thought I was gonna start big, but it was freakin classic! I didn’t even like reading classics in my own language, let alone in English ðŸ˜‚ one page in and I already leafed through my Oxford dictionary a few times.

Long story short, I gave up.

It was in 2013 when I eventually read an English book—from end to end. I was following Divergent series and when Allegiant came out, I was so impatient I couldn’t wait for the translated version to come out!! So I bought the original version and surprisingly, I enjoyed it. For sure I didn’t completely understand every words, but I understand enough to get by. It opened even more doors for me, because now I get to read more : books that the translation version haven’t come out and books that didn’t get translated, among others. 

My English gets better and better each day and it becomes a habit for me to buy and read books in English. I befriend bloggers from all over the world who also read English on daily basis. It’s the new normal. Until I met people in real life who “mock” my choice.

I met a few coworkers who also love to read. We’d talk about books we both love and own and when they asked for recommendations, I gave them a few titles I love. When they asked to borrow the books, I told them my copies are in English and if they mind. Aaaaaand they started implying that I’m pretentious or above them by reading in English instead of the translated ones. And they talk about how English books are more expensive and why would I opt for them instead. The comments went on, but the most annoying part is when they resent me for buying books in English because then they can’t borrow the books.

I was like??? Excuse me but I buy books for MYSELF, not for you people who can’t even respect my choice.

So that’s where this post came from. 

What I Love from Translated Books

  1. Like I said, it opened SO MANY doors for me. I wouldn’t be able to read Harry Potter at such a young age if it wasn’t because of the translated version.
  2. Translators are miracle workers!! Even if sometimes the translations aren’t perfect, I admire their works so, so much ♥
  3. I get to read books in foreign language. Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier is one of my favorite series and it was in German. If it wasn’t translated to English, I wouldn’t have read it by now.
  4. They’re indeed cheaper. You could buy the translated book for half the price of the original version.

What I Dislike from Translated Books

  1. The jokes don’t get translated as well. You know how sometimes a joke is in idioms but in the translated version they translate it literally so you lose the point? That happens a lot. I first noticed it when I read Percy Jackson. I felt like the jokes were too stiff and frankly not funny, and when I looked at the original version, I found out why.
  2. Sometimes the translated versions are too formal. In Bahasa (or maybe in other languages as well) different context require different speaking style. But a lot of times I found in translated books, the characters speak like they are writing reports—way, wayyy to formal, and highly unusual. I know that writing informally would look messy, but there’s that line between completely formal and completely informal. Local books usually find that balance, but translated books often don’t.
  3. They take a long time to release. Sometimes I want to read books right on their release date and waiting for the translated version is agony. Although I admit, nowadays translated books get released a lot faster than it used to. Probably only a month or two later than the original version.
  4. A lot of books I want to read don’t even get translated.

Well if you see the list above, you’d find four pros and four cons. So, it’s a tie, right? But still, for me the cons outweigh the pros so I’d still choose to read the original version in English 😛

divider-small

That’s the end of my discussion! I must admit, I’m a little rusty after a long while not writing this kind of post 🙈 now LET’S TALK!! Do you have you own experience with translated books. Especially for international bloggers whose first language isn’t English out there, what made you decide to read books in English? Do you still read the translated version? Tell me! 😀

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Find more of me on my social media ♦

Tumblr • Instagram • Twitter • Goodreads • Pinterest

 

2

Review: OBSIDIO // A Perfect Conclusion to a Fantastic Trilogy

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman (5)

RATING : 5 Stars

Goodreads • Amazon • TBD Illuminae Review • Gemina Review

Five stars, without a doubt. This book BROKE me in so many ways possible but I. LOVED. IT!!! This is everything I ever wanted and never asked for all in one : intense, brutal, tragic, comical, sweet, heartbreaking, unpredictable, and more. And frankly I wouldn’t expect anything less for a conclusion to this fantastic trilogy that is so dear to my heart ♥

I might have trouble writing coherent review so bear with me 😛

If you remember my Gemina review, I said that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book. I mean, it was mind blowing and all that, but also confusing. A little tad too narrative for my taste and honestly? All the technical sci fi explanation got me all dizzy 😂 I was a little wary Obsidio might disappoint, but it didn’t. Not even for a second.

I don’t know whether it’s because we’ve covered all of the basics in the previous two books, but all the sci-fi, outer space, ships & military & technology aspects in Obsidio are a lot easier to understand. I could read without pausing to think too much about what’s happening 😛

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman (1)

Plot wise, Obsidio successfully delivers the perfect conclusion to the trilogy. After what happened at the end of Gemina, Kady & Ezra and Hanna, Nik, and Ella finally met at the Mao ship and worked through their plan together. There comes the new characters : Asha Grant, Kady’s cousin who’s still in Kerenza along with thousands other survivors and Rhys Lindstorm, her ex-boyfriend who’s now a BeiTech specialist stationed in Kerenza. The dynamic between them is GOLD. It’s almost as good as my darling Kady and Ezra’s. Just as good, dare I say.

In this book, we finally got to see the interaction between all the characters. There are a lot of people involved here, but they have one thing in common : they’re all gray characters. They’re good people who do horrible things, and horrible people doing good deeds. Things are never black and white between these characters and just like AIDAN said, everyone is hero in their own story. It’s just a matter of perspectives.

This book showed us how the crew of Mao worked on their plan to survive, working side by side (though a million galaxies apart) with the survivors of Kerenza. We’re never explicitly told what the plan was, but it’s shown so clearly through the documents that I was mind blown. It was genius. And the plot twist… SO MANY PLOT TWISTS. There are so many things I didn’t see coming, it was all so unpredictable and I loved it. It kept me at the edge of my seat all the time. In fact, I stayed up until 2 in the morning reading this because it was just that good.

Now on to the brutal parts. If you’ve read the first two books, I’m sure you know how brutal this story could get. After all we’ve watched a planet, a ship–no, two ships, and one jump station being blown to pieces, right? What’s the worst that could happen now?  I’m gonna go ahead and tell you not to ask or even consider asking that question because the answer is anything, anything could happen in the book. I had to watch another thousand of deaths and characters I loved died in page. It was tragic and frankly, a little too graphic at some point. All those gunshots and blood and deaths–of children and innocent people nonetheless. I think I had a lot of figurative heart attacks during my read 😦

Some of it are thanks to our (not so) favorite artificial intelligence, AIDAN, whom I used to dislike but now I–sort of–adore. I finally got the appeal, guys. I finally got why you people love AIDAN so much. It’s intriguing. Now that I could understand its motives, what it knows, its calculation, the reasons behind everything it did, I got a little attached. And to see things ended the way it did… well, you have to read for yourself 😛

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman (2)

Aaaanyway, I have so many more things I want to say about Obsidio, but I realized that all these thoughts and feelings would probably make my reviews confusing and not so helpful, so I might as well stop here. Bottom line is, Obsidio is a fantastic ending to this amazing trilogy and if you ever had any doubt on whether it will disappoint, don’t. It’s gonna blow your mind and sadly break your heart but you wouldn’t mind because it’s just that great.

watercolour-flower-collection-resize

24909347Book Title : Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)
Author : Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher : Knopf Books
Release Date : March 13th 2018

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

divider-small

Have you read Obsidio or the previous Illuminae Files books? What do you think about it? This is the first book I really loved in a long time so I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Find more of me on my social media ♦

Instagram • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Pinterest

18

Sparkling Letters Monthly Recap: June 2018

Sparkling Letters Monthly Recap_ June 2018

Hello everyone!

It’s been aaaaaages since the last time I wrote a recap post but can you believe we’re already at the middle of 2018?? I know, time flies, and everyone’s been saying the same thing lately. June was a wonderful month for me. So many accomplishments and good things happening around me and I’ll tell y’all about them 😀

life-updates-1

I know it’s a June wrap up but I haven’t talked to you all about my life in A YEAR so I have so many things to say!! 😂 I’ll try to keep things short and focused 😛

  • The first half of this month was fasting month and for us Muslim, it’s the month we will always cherish  Eid was also wonderful. Some of my relatives from my mother’s side of family—whom we hadn’t talked to in years—came and we celebrated together. It feels like our family is finally complete again and it’s just so heartwarming to be surrounded by them.
  • The 8-days Eid holiday was also very much needed. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve been idle that long. I didn’t go out much though, we visited some families, had a picnic, shopped out of town, but mostly I just stayed home and enjoyed the holiday. I guess it was really good for me to unwind and escape from my responsibilities for a while before I was back to real life 😂
  • Work has occupied a big part of my mind and time lately. I don’t know man, but there are so many projects and deadlines in June and one of my coworker just resigned and there’s a new girl to replace her—which means I have to take over the job while also teach the new girl how to do the works. Between that and my own responsibilities and because I refused to work overtime during Ramadan… well, let’s say that after Eid holiday, I haven’t left work on time at all. Not to mention that I had to work on weekends as well. I’m swamped 🙈
  • I got my reading mojo back and am back into the blogging world! It’s so exciting but I have another section just to talk about it so let’s skip it for now 😛
  • It’s my boyfriend’s birthday month! it was a wonderful yet unusual celebration but we had a really good time and things are currently going so well 😀

books-life-1

I can’t tell you how HAPPY I am to finally, finally get back into reading! The year I went through with reading so little to almost none books are dreadful—even though I did have my fun doing other things. There are just sooo many books I want to read and when Obsidio came out, I knew I have to get back into reading if only to read that book. Book look at me here, since Obsidio, I’ve read 4 more books and I did it quickly. I devoured them 😛

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman (4)

Here are the books I read in June.

  1. OBSIDIO (5/5). I have so many praises for this book but to sum it all up : Fantastic ending. I love love love this series so much and Obsidio perfectly delivered the ending we all deserved. My review will be published next Wednesday but you can check out my Goodreads review here.
  2. STRANGE THE DREAMER (4.5/5). Laini Taylor is a QUEEN because she writes like one. Strange the Dreamer was hauntingly beautiful, monstrous, and simply amazing. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story days after I finished it. Full review here.
  3. LEAH AND THE OFF BEAT (4/5). A light and quick read that successfully tackles so many important issues at the same time. I love the writing, the characters and the friendship between them, how it reminds me of high school, and I love all the pop cultures references in it.
  4. THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO (4/5). I read it because of the hype and while I loved it, I didn’t think it’s as good as people told me it was I’m sORRY 😂 I love the intrigue and the characters but the twist wasn’t unexpected—I saw it coming. Still a recommended read! 
  5. A CROWN OF WISHES (4/5). I don’t know if you remember but I dislike The Star Touched Queen so much it put me off Roshani Chokshi’s book for a while. I was wary of ACOW but turned out I. Loved. It! ❤ strong characters, lyrical writing, slow burn romance filled with hilarious banter, and MAGIC—what’s not to love? Full review coming soon.

I don’t know how I got so deep in my reading slump because now that I finally finished a book, it was so, so easy to keep reading. I think I finished all the books above in the span of two weeks—which was miraculous for my current record 😛

I usually never have TBR, but I plan on reading the books I have physical copies of first. Some of them are Children of Blood and Bone, Warcross, and The Crown’s Fate. Let’s see if I ever stick to my TBR 😛

on-the-blog-1-1

I’ve shouted this a few times and I’m going to do it again : I’M FINALLY BACK FROM MY BLOGGING HIATUS!!! It’s actually a spur of the moment decision—the one I made on my spare time during Eid holiday and I’m still trying to find my rhythm. After a year hiatus, fitting back blogging into my routine isn’t as easy, but I’m optimistic that I will settle into a comfortable routine soon 

For my recap post, I usually listed down my favorite and most popular posts for the month but since I only posted a couple of times, I’m just gonna list all my posts and direct you there, in case you haven’t read them 😛

Around the Blogosphere

It’s sad to admit that I haven’t been keeping a good track of other blogger’s posts this month so I won’t be linking up my favorite posts this month. But I promise next month!! 😛

While I was away, there are lots of changes happening in the blogging community—one of it is there are so many new and newly discovered (by me) bloggers and I am beyond happy for that!! Here are some of my new discovery.

May @ Forever and Everly • Lily @ Sprinkles of Dream • Julianna @ Paper Blots • Aimee @ Aimee, Always

I hope we can all interact more in the future and I can’t wait to read all of your amazing posts

Movies I Watched
I think I’m going to add this feature on my recap post because this past year I’ve been watching a lot of movies regularly—my boyfriend loves movies A LOT. Here are the movies I watched in June 😀

  1. JURASSIC WORLD: THE FALLEN KINGDOM. I didn’t enjoy watching Jurassic Park AT ALL and I wasn’t looking forward to watching the sequel, but gave it a chance anyway. I surprisingly loved it! It was intense, hilarious, fantastic plot, and I grew to care so much for the dinosaurs. I was on the verge of tears every time anything bad happened to them :’) final rating : 8/10
  2. THE INCREDIBLES 2. The movie we’ve been waiting all this time—and it didn’t disappoint! I love the story, the characters, the twist, and the graphic so much. Though there are a lot of intense lighting that could be dangerous for people with photo epilepsy. The Bao short movie at the beginning was also heartwarming final rating : 9/10.
  3. KULARI KE PANTAI. An Indonesian family movie, mostly aimed for children but I LOVED IT. I mean… who am I kidding? I’m still a child 🙈 it’s so simple yet so heartwarming and laced with so many important messages. It also makes me want to go on a road trip.

divider-small

So that’s my June recap, everybody! How was your June? Anything interesting? 😀 Link me to your own recaps or just tell me! Would love to hear your thoughts! ♥♥

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Find more of me on my social media ♦

Tumblr • Instagram • Twitter  • Goodreads • Pinterest 

18

Post Hiatus: 6 Things I Miss the Most from Blogging

SPARKLING LETTERS BOOK BLOG_ REVIEWING ON THE BLOG AND ON GOODREADS _ IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE_.png

Hello everyone! 

How are you today? I’m currently swamped with work after a long Eid holiday but look at me here, I managed to post again and not relapse into my hiatus 😛 I have a little confession though, finding the time to blog while working full time and not having reliable internet connection is HARD. I admire any of you who’s been doing this all the time and I hope I could keep this up and settle into a comfortable routine soon.

Aaaaanyway, today I’ll be talking about things I miss the most from blogging. After more than a year neglecting Sparkling Letters, there are plenty of things I miss from blogging 😦

Without further ado, let’s get down to the list!

watercolour-flower-collection-resize

Putting down my thoughts into words

Ever since I was younger, I’ve always considered myself a writer. I blog, I write short stories, I attempt writing a novel, and even in my darkest and saddest moment, I poured my feelings through writing. It’s a therapy. But writing doesn’t always come easy, sometimes you know what you want to say but you have a hard time writing them down. Or you just can’t find the right words. Or you’ve done writing but somehow you don’t like what you just wrote.

Blogging is a good practice—a really good one. Through blogging I get used to translating my thoughts and feelings into words and in the process I expand my vocabulary, I discover my preferable writing style, and most importantly, I find my voice.

After a year of not blogging, I realized I was a little rusty. There were times I had a hard time composing long work emails. When I tried to continue writing my first draft, I couldn’t get the words flowing. When I wrote for fun, I just… didn’t completely like my writing. And there are some instances I couldn’t find the right words to explain things—even my English vocabulary is deteriorating 😦

Having people read my thoughts

Let’s be real, even if we write for ourselves, it’s nice to have audiences, isn’t it? 😛 I LOVE my readers and I’m always happy when they take time to read my posts and share their thoughts about it afterward. It’s rewarding to know all the effort you spend for that post is worth it ðŸ˜‚

Interacting with other bloggers

I think I speak for everyone here when I say the best part of blogging is THE PEOPLE! I mean, you get to meet people from all over the world who share the same interests with you 😀 it’s difficult to find bookworms in real life, so I always cherish my online bookworm friends 

Losing my blogging friends is one of my biggest fear from getting back into blogging. A year is a plenty of time for things to happen on the internet, what if they forget about me? If I’ve dropped by your blog, you may have noticed that sometimes I started my comment with “do you remember me”. It’s more than just ice breaker because because I’m honestly scared to just barge in your post being all excited and enthusiastic and there you are thinking, do I remember this person? ðŸ˜‚ also I noticed that there has been a lot of changes : people who were active before no longer are and there are lots of new bloggers. 

P.S. I can’t wait to talk to all of you 

Being in the loop with the bookish community

Still related to my point before, I realized I’ve fallen so out of the loop with the book community 😦 during my first few months of hiatus, I still tried to maintain communication with my blogging friends through twitter. But then I started running out things to talk about—mostly because I no longer read. And soon I just… stopped. I stopped sharing stories and I don’t know, I guess I got too wrapped up in my routine.

But I still followed you all, you know. I never unfollowed anyone, so I watched the interaction between my blogging friends. I saw what they’re talking about, but I felt irrelevant. I don’t read the books they’re hyping, I don’t know those new authors they’re talking about, and there are a lot of new bloggers I just didn’t know.

You know that feeling when you’ve been away from friends for too long and things change and it’s just too awkward for you to join now? That’s pretty much how I feel and the reason I shy away from people. But now that I’m back to blogging, I can’t wait to rekindle those friendships and start some new ones 😀

Being excited to read and review

Remember the time when I read like 3 books per week and regularly post reviews of them? Yeah, me neither. It seems like a long time ago ðŸ˜‚  I have to admit : I love reading from when I was a kid, but blogging about the books I read actually motivate me to keep reading. When I was blogging, I always want to read the latest releases because of the hype—and frankly to ramble about them on my own blog.

But when I wasn’t blogging : 1) I didn’t even keep up with the latest release, I had no idea that my favorite authors are publishing new books. 2) I didn’t get the hype. 3) I’m too lazy to read because where’s the push? It’s not like I’m going to review it afterward 🙈

Coming up with fresh ideas regularly

Like it or not, having a blog forces you to be creative. It’s like running a magazine. You have to constantly come up with original post ideas, take pictures, play around with designs, and interact with other bloggers. It’s a constant challenge, but I like it. During my year of blogging, I have to say I’ve come up with several amazing & highly original post ideas that I’m proud of 😛

And that feeling motivated me to keep looking. I did regular brainstorming to come up with fresh ideas, but now? I’m running out of ideas. I grabbed my blogging notebook and looked at the list of post ideas I’ve had so far : most of them are no longer relevant, or overused. So, yeah… I think going back into blogging will get that creative juice flowing again ðŸ˜‚ 

divider-small

We’re finally at the end of the post! Phewwww it’s been a while I write anything this long 😛 Anyway, those are all the things I miss the most from blogging. I’m sure there are more, but that’s all I can think for now. Have you ever gone on hiatus before? If so, what do you miss the most from blogging? LET’S CHAT! ♥

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Find more of me on my social media ♦

Tumblr • Instagram • Twitter  • Goodreads • Pinterest 

 

10

Review : Strange the Dreamer // Strange, Beautiful, and Monstrous

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (1)

RATING : 45-stars

Goodreads • Amazon • The Book Depository

Strange the Dreamer, much like its title, is strange indeed. Strange, beautiful, exquisite, lovely, and heartbreaking. Exactly what I expected from Laini Taylor. If you know how much I love Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (A LOT), you’ll be surprised of how long it took for me to finish this book.

I started this not long after its publication date, but then I got bored because it was slow and I was busy and impatient. So I stopped reading at the end of Part I and only picked it up a few days ago—or weeks, by the time this review went up. And boy did I regret not picking it up sooner because I. LOVED. IT. It’s without doubt THE MOST beautiful thing I’ve ever read. Laini Taylor always has her way with words, and it’s straight to my heart because I’m falling in love with her writing all over again.

It’s lyrical, poetic, gorgeous. It’s like lullaby to my eyes but instead of lulling me to sleep, it keeps me awake at nights (see my attempt at extravagant description here? :P) along with its gorgeous writing was its slow pace—which I’m almost sure always go hand in hand. The story build up slowly, full of lush description of people and places and feelings. And feelings, most definitely, because I’m sure I got my heart ripped out all over again. So many feelings of love, hate, despair, hope, and revenge.

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (2)

Sarai and Lazlo instantly became my favorite characters. Lazlo with his hope, naivety, and dreams. He’s just so pure I can’t stand horrible things happening to him </3 and Sarai, with her empathy and conflicting feelings that I relate so much on personal level. I know how she feels to stand between two opposite sides and want to try to bridge the difference but gets it all wrong instead. She’s my precious little monster. I love the star-crossed lover dynamic between Lazlo and Sarai so much, but even I have to admit that it was pretty insta-lovey. 

The other characters also have so much depths. I love how Laini Taylor explored their feelings and the reasons why they did what they did. It makes things gray instead of black and white, and I love it. Sparrow, Ruby, Minya, Feral, Azareen, Eril-Fane, Suheyla, they all have their places in my heart.

Just like the pace of the plot, the world building was slow. You don’t instantly get this image of Weep from just reading a chapter or two. But as you slowly read, you’ll see Strange the Dreamer has one of the most vivid world building of ever—Weep is hauntingly beautiful. It’s… it’s gorgeous and mysterious and lovely. And Lazlo’s version of Weep, full of colors and flowers and CAKES. How sad is it that Sarai and Lazlo NEVER even tasted cakes before so they had to imagine the taste for their make-believe?? 😦

Have I mentioned that it was MONSTROUS?? I mean, it”s in the title of the post but I feel like all I’ve been saying was how BEAUTIFUL it is ðŸ˜‚ but it’s also full of blue monsters and it miiiiight remind you of Avatar but this one is so much more gorgeous. Also, brutal and tragic, especially the ENDING I can’t even with that ending </3 though I’m glad we’re only 4 months away from Muse of Nightmares so I don’t have to wait that long.

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ Review-Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (4)

All in all, Strange the Dreamer is strange and hauntingly beautiful. With rich and lush writing that would sway you, this book will take you to an amazing adventure. It’s slow, so maybe not the best book for when you’re in the mood for something fast and action packed. The only reasons I’m not giving it full 5 stars are 1) it gets too poetic at several inappropriate moments and 2) it’s too insta lovey—would have been a whole lot better if it was slow burn. But to redeem it, it’s also full of feelings and you’ll probably cry but ALSO IN LOVE WITH THE BOOK ♥♥♥

watercolour-flower-collection-resize

strangeBook Title : Strange the Dreamer
Author : Laini Taylor
Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date : March 28th 2017

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

divider-small

Have you read Strange the Dreamer or any other books from Laini Taylor? What do you think about it? Do you love lyrical and poetic writings and slow paced books? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Find more of me on my social media ♦

Instagram • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Pinterest

13

My Bookish Life During Hiatus

SPARKLING LETTERS BOOK BLOG_ MY BOOKISH LIFE DURING HIATUS

Hello everyone! ♥

Welcome back to another post of me 😀 I’m sooo excited to be back here, but I’m still pretty out of ideas so today, I’m gonna be talking about my bookish life during hiatus. As you probably know, I just got back from a 1-year-and-2-months hiatus which also  happened to be a period of long reading slump. But that doesn’t mean I completely cut off my relationship with books—that would be impossible because books are my life. So anyway, here’s a quick recap of what I’ve been up to in terms of books!

Books I read

This is a little hard to track because I stopped using goodreads for a while, but on top of my head here are some books I read during my hiatus :

If you see the pictures above, you’d find out that I mostly only read local books. It’s because they’re easier to find—I don’t have any international bookstore on my current city—and they’re frankly easier to digest. I mean, it’s my mother tongue so I can read faster 😛

  1. RESIGN by Almira Bastari. A highly amusing NA romance comedy highlighting the relationship between an employee and her supervisor. Quick, comical, witty, and just what I need to read after a hectic day at work.
  2. AROMA KARSA by Dee Lestari. Dee is my favorite Indonesian writer and I love her Supernova series so much. This one is a stand alone about two people with exceptional sense of smell and an ambitious women “exploiting” the gifts for her own purpose. It’s a little fantasy meet historical fiction meet contemporary but it worked so well. I’m really hoping for a sequel though.
  3. AUTOBOYOGRAPHY by Christina Lauren. It centers on a m/m relationship between a student with supportive parents and his tutor, who happens to be a mormon. It’s set in a writing class where the students are asked to write a whole book by the end of the semester. There are a lot of things I love, but it was unfortunately a bit slow for me.
  4. OBSIDIO by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. The book that got me out of reading slump. Intense, brutal, unpredictable. Not gonna say anything more because I’ve already written an 800 words review, just wait and see 😛

I’m quite sure I read more than ONLY 4 books this year but I just can’t remember anything more 🙈 I did read a little part of Warcross, When Dimple Met Rishi, and Strange the Dreamer but at the moment I couldn’t focus so I put them on hold for now.

Books I Bought

I might not read much lately but I still shopped for books every time I got the chance ðŸ˜‚ here are some of the books I bought so far.

Sparkling Letters Book Blog_ My Bookish Life During Hiatus - NEW BOOKS

Here are some of the others. No photo because they’re at my place and I’m currently at my parents’ house for Eid holiday.

When you’re not in the mood to read, then you’re simply not in the mood. Even if these shiny books keep waving at me. Of all the books I bought, I think Obsidio is the only one I finished. I thought for sure that it’s a contemporary book that would get me out of my slump because that’s what usually happens, but turned out I was wrong. I got completely immersed while reading Obsidio and I stayed up until 2 in the morning to finish the 615 pages book because it was just that great ðŸ˜‚

Anyway, now that I thiiiink I’m finally in the mood to read again, I’m gonna go through all these books slowly. I’m thinking of starting Children of Blood and Bone, Leah and the Offbeat, and picking up Warcross and Strange the Dreamer where I left off before. What do you think? Are there any books from above that you think I should read first?

Books to Movie Adaptation

Surprisingly, I watched quite a lot of movies this past year. A lot more than I usually did. I remember watching several books to movie adaptation, but the only one I remember was Ready Player One 🙈 it wasn’t the best story I’ve ever seen but it was enjoyable! I had so much fun watching the movie and it made me want to read the book—or read Warcross, because I’ve been told Warcross is a much, much better version.

Ohhh I also watched and read Susah Sinyal. Instead of book to movie, it’s a movie to book adaptation. The movie came out on December 2017, directed by my favorite Ernest Prakasa. It’s a family movie about the dynamic between a single mother and her daughter. It’s so heartwarming, so when I heard there would be a book and that my favorite author Ika Natassa will co-write it, I WAS DEFINITELY IN!! It didn’t disappoint because the book brings out much more feelings and depth into the story that the movie lacked of.

Oh well, that;s another book I read during my hiatus but I’m too lazy to go back up and edit, so 😛

Writing

I don’t know if you remember, but I do have a writing project I started at the beginning of last year. You can read it here. I know I made it my resolution to finish the first draft by the end of the year and I still haven’t BUT it’s not like I didn’t make any progress!! I’ve actually written the ending but there are still a lot of plot holes and I couldn’t figure out how to fill them. I also did make a lot of edits. And I, um…. actually started another project ðŸ˜‚

I wrote around 5 chapters and haven’t picked it up anymore hahaha fingers crossed I’ll get back to it soon! ♥

Book Blogs I Read

It’s sad to say that I’ve completely failed at keeping up with book blogs I follow </3 since I announced my hiatus, I’ve probably only opened my wordpress reader a couple of times and my Bloglovin feed none at all. (Speaking of my country BLOCKED access to Bloglovin along with Tumblr what a lame government!!!). Sometimes I did click through the link to posts I found on Twitter, but I never stayed long enough to read until the end. But there is this blog I found through Twitter called Snark Squad—you could tell from the name that the blog basically only snarks at bad books. And boy it was so fun to read!!

I think I spent a month or two reading it every single day. There are a lot of funny ones, even of the books I enjoyed, but my favorites gotta be about Fifty Shades series. The series was SO BAD it’s ridiculous. They snark it chapter by chapter and it’s like I’m reliving the stories through their eyes. Except the snarks are way better and funnier than the original stories 😛

Here are the links in case you’re interested. Or in need of a laugh.

Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker Fifty Shades Freed

divider-small

Well well well, I guess that’s all I can share about my life in terms of books. Do you think there are things I possibly missed? Hmm anywayyy, how’s your reading life so far? Ready any fantastic books lately? I’m in desperate need of recommendations! Oh, and are there any book blogs you’re loving lately? Please link me! I want to follow more bloggers 😀

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Find more of me on my social media ♦

Tumblr • Instagram • Twitter • Goodreads • Pinterest