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I'm Feeling Wanderlust | The Around The World Book Tag


Hi everyone! 

I'm here with a new book tag today! I really admire how creative book-tag-creators are...because these seriously take a lot of work! 
I love traveling...and as someone who hasn't been able to travel for the past three years, I'm feeling that wanderlust again! 
This book tag will be a bit different to normal book tags - I'll be writing down the places that fit the category or my personal experiences, along with a book that fits the category! 

1. Sailing Across the Seas - A book about travelling - bonus points if it's travel by sea! 
My experience/place: I've actually never travelled by sea before, but I kind of want to travel in the Dead Sea, just because I've heard stories about how the density is different, so I can float easily there! 
My book: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan! 

2. Fine Dining - A book that made you hungry with its overwhelming descriptions of food 
My experience/place: MALAYSIA. I love Malaysia, it's where I was born, but I consider it a holiday destination since I spend less than a month in it every year. The food here is actually the main reason I return - from Sarawak laksa, kolo-mee, chao kueh tiao, pig trotters and rice, as well as the various desserts like layer cake, the Nonya desserts, and Ais Kachang, Malaysia is a food heaven for me! 
My book: Haven't actually read a book that's made me that hungry...probably because I always have a snack with me hahaha...Unless you count recipe books! Give me recommendations on books with lots of food! 

3. From Motels to Hotels - A book that was an unexpected surprise 
My experience/place: Oh my god, there is this one hotel in Beijing that was THE BEST HOTEL I HAVE EVER BEEN TO. My family went to Beijing as part of a tour, and I was expecting a 3-star hotel or something, nothing too fancy, with the standard shower, TV set and beds cramped into one room. Instead, we got a five-room suite, with...wait for it...a STAIRCASE. The bottom floor was one bedroom, a bathroom, and a sitting area; going up the staircase led to another three rooms. Our six-person party had access to this entire place ALL TO OURSELVES because it was classed as ONE ROOM. I STILL HAVE PHOTOS OF IT AND I LOVE IT. 
Going to that hotel was one of the happiest moments of my life. 
My book: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I actually expected this to be trash, because the friend who recommended it to me really liked The Vampire Diaries, which I read and thought was trash. Turns out my friend liked the TV show The Vampire Diaries, which I ended up liking at the time (when The Vampire Diaries was showing Season 3 episodes lolll), and coincidentally, I really loved Vampire Academy too. 


4. Miscommunication - A book that's hard to understand 
My experience/place: Again, when I went to China, because I looked Chinese, a lot of people spoke to me in Mandarin...jokes on them when I tried speaking back in broken Mandarin ahahahahaha
My book: Soundless by Richelle Mead. It was just hard to understand this book, mostly because its concept revolved around the inability of the citizens to speak, and how the citizens relied on sign language. 


5. Sightseeing - A book that you picked up because it's really popular 
My experience/place: Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. We went around so many small islands on a small motor boat, and we could see how clear the water was, and the beach was just so pristine...it was gorgeous! 
My book: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. It ended up being sort of a disappointment, to be honest...but it was BIG at the time it came out. 

6. Dealing with the Desert - A book that you were so addicted to, that you could have gone days without water just to read it
My experience/place: I've never been to the desert, but one day I'd like to go to Antarctica, even though I hate the cold. It's just such a novel place - a frozen desert. 
My book: Anything by Cassandra Clare! Another anecdote - I actually spent a whole day, sitting by the fireplace, reading City of Heavenly Fire, from start to finish. I don't think I ate, I don't think I even took a break; I was completely immersed in the Shadowhunter world.

7. Journey through the Jungle - A book that was difficult to navigate through 
My experience/place: HAHA in Malaysia, my grandparents essentially live in a jungle... But I'd love to go to the Amazon someday! 
My book: Whisper to Me by Nick Lake. This book, whilst an awesome representation of mental illness, was really hard for me to get into. I had no idea what was actually happening sometimes, and it made me work really hard to follow the plot. 

8. Holiday House in the Hamptons - A book you continually revisit, time after time again. 
My experience/place: A place I continually revisit is Malaysia! Malaysia is almost my second home, with my grandparents there, and some of my extended family members. 
My book: Wild Swans by Jung Chang. I'm actually due for a reread, to be honest! But I find this book fascinating, because it explores three generation of women, and their experiences in China, especially around the time of the Cultural Revolution. 

9. Souvenirs - A book you would give as a gift for a close friend 
My experience/place: Once, I got a souvenir from a friend who went to Fiji, and I was really touched she got me something...until I found out everyone else got the same thing as me! I'm really picky, and I like feeling special, so ever since then, I've made sure to buy souvenirs that are unique and personal for the person I'm getting them for! 
My book: For Gabby, my sister, I actually got her Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Definitely a book I would give to any empowered young woman! 


10. There's No Place Like Home - A book that makes you feel like you're home 
My experience/place: Even though I thought Brisbane was small, and there was nothing to do in Brisbane, recently, I've seen more and more events crop up, that are Brisbane events! There's so much to do in this sunny city...sometimes I don't feel like leaving it! 
My book: Anne of Green Gables! I read this when I was young, and it made me feel all the feels...I could see Anne growing up, and I did similar things to all the foolish things she did! 

I tag...
As always, I tag whoever wants to do this! If you decide to do this tag...tweet me your post! I'd be keen to check it out; otherwise, comment a link in the comments below! 
But in particular, I'd love to hear:
1) Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books - you go travelling so often, it would be awesome to hear your thoughts! 
3) Cilla @ Paved With Books

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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Deja Vu | Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder





The Breakdown


General Info:
     Title: Inside Out
     Author: Maria V. Snyder
     Genre: Dystopia, YA, Science-Fiction
     Publisher: Harlequin
     Publishing Date: April 1st, 2010

Thoughts:
     Excellent:
          - The way it mirrors out society 
          - Mix of genres

    Things that could have been better:
         - Characters were dull and fell into stereotypes and tropes 
         - Plot twists weren't shocking - except for one
         - Forgettable

Rating:  2.5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon |

Initial Thoughts

A friend of mine enthusiastically recommended this to me at the start of 2016! Plus it's Maria V. Snyder - I've read some of her books before, and they haven't been horrible...Finally, that cover just got to me! It's really creative how the title is really meta, in its design, with the word 'inside' being inside the word 'out' 

Keep Your Head Down. Don't Get Noticed. Or Else. 

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.




Thoughts

I have a weird feeling that I've actually read this book before, but forgotten completely about it. After I got into the first few pages, everything about it just sounded really familiar. Maybe I've read another book like it before, or maybe I've read it before and just forgotten everything about it. Let me know if you know any books like Inside Out - I'm curious to know which it is! 

Maria V. Snyder's writing here is actually pretty easy to follow. I tried reading the Healer series previously, and whilst the first book was easy to follow, the following books were harder to read and just more disjointed for me. So I was happy to see that this book was fluid and smooth with the writing and managed to hook me in. 

The setting of Inside Out is rather interesting to me. With the division between the 'uppers' and the 'scrubs', the tension between the two classes of society was depicted very well, and it made me think about tensions between races, with how discriminatory and uneducated some of the discourse was. The knowledge that each class had of each other was off-base and based on stereotypes - which I actually enjoyed, because I thought it mirrored our society very well, and made it easier for me to relate to the book.

I found the main character, Trella, to be quite dull honestly. There was nothing really special about her, other than her title as the 'Queen of Pipes', for her constant scuttling about in the pipes Inside. She fell into the trope of being that unique person who is essential for x, y and z to happen, and that trope about being the outcast. Her love interest, Riley, was the same as well, with regards to being boring. With two characters that were about as dull as cardboard, I didn't feel any chemistry between them, not even with their joking around about the stuffed sheep, which felt forced and very lame. 

The plot twist at the end, where Trella's parentage is revealed wasn't much of a surprise to me either - I saw it from a mile away, and when her parentage is revealed, I didn't gasp in shock or particularly care, really. But I did enjoy the plot twist where we find out what Inside and Outside really are, which I didn't see coming. 

Final Thoughts

Inside Out is a good book in terms of writing, but ultimately forgettable with reused tropes and dull characters. I've already started the second book within days of reading this one, and I've already forgotten some of the key characters. Whether it's my bad memory or it's just a forgettable book, I'm giving Inside Out a hard 2.5 stars. Merely passable. 

Rating

This is based off my Goodreads review, which ranks the book by its characters, plot, writing style and entertainment value. 


Thoughts in a Phrase 

Deja vu. 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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I Haven't Touched A Book In Six Months: An Update On My Life


Hello friends! It has been AGES since I was last here!
I hope you have all been well! 
Confession time: I didn't touch a book for six months. 
Do I feel guilty? Not really. 
At this point, you're probably gasping. How could I have gone six months without reading a single book for fun? And how am I not guilty?? 
These are very good questions. Questions that I have no answers, only excuses for! 
Of course, the usual comes to mind; university, doing five subjects, work, tutoring, research projects, a social life, etc. Sorry (but really not) for the excuses! 

What I've been doing (life edition)
Juggling five uni subjects again this semester was definitely not fun - especially when I had to worry about anatomy and chemistry! My final exam weeks were especially daunting, since I had five exams in the first week alone, and one more exam in the first half of the second week. 
But throughout all the stress, I was really glad I had my family and my boyfriend to back me up with delicious food, dinner dates, supplying me with chocolate and dried mangoes and...and...wait....I think I'm just grateful to have delicious food :')
I also had one exam over the holidays, because I deferred it due to my hectic exam timetable, so holidays were filled with study >_< 

What I've been doing (bookish edition) 
Like I've said, I've been doing...stuff. Which is all fair. But what have I actually been doing bookish wise? 
I went to a Penguin Teen event at Brisbane Library two months (?) ago! It was really fun...mostly because I got to meet up with some of my fave book bloggers, such as Maddie, Jeann, and Brett! 
I've also been buying a ton of books...stocking up for these university holidays! One month is definitely not enough to get through all the books...but I'll try my hardest to! 
I rearranged my bookshelf! It looks the same as always (i.e. a cluttered mess), but I managed to fit more books in! LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENT. 
I managed to read just one book over the holidays... Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare! Which I resisted buying for so long, because I had another exam over the uni break...but I bought it anyway and gave into procrastination :')) 

My plans for the future
I'm planning on reading The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon! 
I'm also looking forward to writing a ton more posts and actually posting them...instead of leaving them as drafts :')) 
Hopefully I'll finally adapt to using Twitter...been offline on it for way too long! ...same with bookstagram haha! 
I'm getting ready for a new semester of uni now too - hopefully I'll do well again this semester! 

What have you all been up to? Have you read anything interesting that you think I should get around to? Any hot new releases I should keep my eye on? Talk to me! It's seriously been WAY. TOO. LONG. 

Keep reading and loving books (and sorry for the long absence!) 
Geraldine


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