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Conversations: Why Reading Multiple Books Is My Jam

Saturday, January 21, 2017 Geraldine 0 Comments

Welcome to another week of Conversations! 
This week, the topic is...
Do you prefer to read a single book at a time, or multiple books at a time? Why? 

I am not ashamed of it - I like reading multiple books at one time! 

A huge problem I have when I read is actually starting the book. Particularly for fantasy and science-fiction books, there's usually quite a lot of world building involved. I'm a lazy reader, and I generally like to skim over information dumps - so when one book gets to be too much for me, I skip it. I move onto another book, and when I feel like returning back to Book #1, I return back. But of course, I can't forget about Book #2! So I concurrently read them. 
And then, I want to read Book #3 - someone has just recommended it strongly to me, and that synopsis is gold! So of course, I pile on Book #3, and chug it down as well. 
The sequel of a wonderful book has JUST come out - I NEED to know how that cliffhanger in the first book was resolved - let's add on Book #4!
By now, I'm thinking, "I think I've got enough books - let me start properly reading them!" BUT NO, LIFE DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT. 
School throws compulsory reading my way. 
"Hey Gerri, we're studying The Picture of Dorian Gray this semester for English" 
And I add Book#5 to my list. 
Let's not forget that ARC that you signed up for three months ago! You need to read and review it by the end of this week! #oops. Book #6 is on the pile!
...the number of books, and the reasons why go on and on. I think at one point, I was reading eight books at one time?

I'm not going to lie - reading multiple books at the same time does have its drawbacks, as you can clearly see. 
Getting inundated with all the books isn't always fun, because I feel overwhelmed. I also tend to forget a bunch of information about each book, as it all blends together. Sometimes, I forget what page I'm on as well, because I don't use bookmarks - I rely on my memory. 

But reading multiple books at the same time also has its benefits. If I didn't read multiple books at one time, I would be so bored of that one book I'm reading. It spices up my reading life! It's also pretty convenient - I never leave the house without a book, and if I'm too close to finishing a book, I can decide not to bring it - I can bring another book that I've yet to get to the middle of (we must always be prepared for boring situations). Finally, there's also review writing...I tend to finish all my books around the same time, so I also have to write all my reviews at the same time! I like doing all my reviews at the same time, because I get to focus my whole attention on doing those reviews, open up all those tabs for just one occasion. Makes it so much easier, and more time-effective for me! 

What kind of a reader are you - a one book at a time, or multiple book at a time reader? Why? Let me know in the comments below, or else link up with the linky! ^_^

Keep reading and loving books!

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#DisabilityDiaries2017 - My Experience With Mental Illness - A Response to Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

Thursday, January 19, 2017 Geraldine 0 Comments

I recently read Highly Illogical Behaviour, by John Corey Whaley, and I absolutely loved it. If I could trace the first instance when I was hooked, it would have to be when Lisa mentioned that she had to write an essay on her experience with mental illness for a scholarship for a university. 

In high school, mental illness was such a big part of my life. I wasn't diagnosed with a mental illness - no, some of my closest friends were. If I was ever given this topic - "My experience with mental illness" for an essay topic, I honestly have no idea how I'd keep to any word limit, because there's so much I can write on this topic. 

My Experience with Mental Illness 
By Geraldine Lee
As a child, I never knew what mental illness was. Depression was another word for being sad. Anxiety was another term for being worried. Being bipolar was being crazy. My small, inexperienced mind. 
Since then, I've learned a lot. 
In high school, I made friends with many people from all different backgrounds. From vibrant people who loved Harry Potter like I did, to quiet people who liked to spend their days in the library studying like I did, I found my people.

In particular, I found two of my best friends - let's call them Daisy and David. 
Daisy and I became steadfast friends when we were paired up for a Physics assignment - we found that we loved watching so many similar TV shows, like Castle, Bones, The Mentalist and Once Upon A Time. David, I fell in love with. 
Before I knew it, I was staying up late, just to talk to both of them. We had our own group chat going, we would post memes, joke around, and just have fun. 

However, that didn't last long. 
David told me he had depression. By that time, we were dating and it was crushing, seeing the boy I loved crumble, not knowing who he was anymore. Knowing that he was going through this and I couldn't make it better. 
Daisy confided that she had anxiety, and that the psychologist she was seeing might diagnose were with a bipolar disorder. It was painful to hear how uncertain she was, how worried she was, and not know how to help her. 
It was painful, to see my friendships fall apart, because I didn't know how to help them. 

I've learned three things from my experience with anxiety and depression. Firstly, mental illness should never be romanticised. Secondly, that more people need to know what mental illnesses are. Thirdly, more people need to know how to help others with mental illness.  

Here's the thing about mental illness - you can't see them. With a lot of illnesses, they manifest themselves physically, whether it be with a runny nose, red eyes, unusual bruises - with mental illness, that's not always the case. 

So when people tell me that mental illness isn't real, or that it's just in people's heads, I know that's not true. Mental illness is just as real as any other illness - and it's critical that we all play a role in treating it, whether it be through doing more research about it, treating it, or just plain old being a good friend.


If you, or you think anyone you know is suffering from a mental illness, please speak up. You don't have to tell me here in the comments - just speak up, see someone, talk to someone about it. Mental illness can be so debilitating. 
I've got a few links attached below - I hope they'll come in handy. 


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#DisabilityDiaries2017 - Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

Monday, January 16, 2017 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: Highly Illogical Behaviour 
     Author: John Corey Whaley
     Genre: Contemporary, YA, Diverse Books,
     Publisher: Dial Books
     Publishing Date: May 26th, 2016

          - The characters - were all fascinating characters that made me think about MY life
          - The plot/premise - intriguing and hooked me in! The synopsis stays true to the book
          - The writing - flows easily and easy to read

    Things that could have been better:
         - um..nothing?

Rating: 5  stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

Ever since starting bookstagram, I've raided my local libraries for beautiful books to photograph. That's why I borrowed Highly Illogical Behaviour - the cover is gorgeous in an abstract-art kind of way. But, I wasn't actually planning to read it...sacrilege, you say? Well, it's a good thing that Reg @ SheLatitude convinced me to read it then! She commented on a bookstagram photo that I uploaded of it, saying it was one of her favourite books I HAD to read it right? 

Sixteen year old Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn't left his house in three years, which is fine by him. At home, he is the master of his own kingdom--even if his kingdom doesn't extend outside of the house. 

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to go to a top tier psychiatry program. She'll do anything to get in. 

When Lisa finds out about Solomon's solitary existence, she comes up with a plan sure to net her a scholarship: befriend Solomon. Treat his condition. And write a paper on her findings. To earn Solomon's trust, Lisa begins letting him into her life, introducing him to her boyfriend Clark, and telling him her secrets. Soon, Solomon begins to open up and expand his universe. But all three teens have grown uncomfortably close, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse as well.


Whaley knows how to write characters. 
I was initially very apprehensive with Lisa. Lisa didn't seem to have any boundaries, and I had no idea why anyone would even like her. But eventually, Whaley reveals so many layers to her character, shows why she is what she is, shadowing light onto her background. It also helped that I completely understood where Lisa was coming from - two or three years ago, I was pretty much Lisa. I was interested in psychology, wanted to do medicine (still want to do both of those things now) and I was determined to get out of the city I grew up in (not so much anymore). 
Solomon was such an endearing character. I could smush up his face and squeal, like an old grandmother, because he just pulled at my heartstrings with everything he did. 
Clark was just a standout character, with how supportive he was. He showed me what being a friend meant - you make sure your friends know when they're overstepping, and you look out for them. 
I really enjoyed how the friendships between this motley bunch was developed - what started off as curiosity on Lisa's part ended up being a sincere, deep affection for Solomon, and Clark, who had little interest in Solomon ended up being one of Solomon's best mates and a love interest. 


I was really hesitant about the plot. A girl who's trying to 'fix' a boy with agoraphobia? For a scholarship? It sounded really unethical to me, and I wasn't sure if I'd be on board with Lisa. Characters are everything to me in contemporary novels, so I was worried I'd be reading a book with an insufferable main character. My worries were all for nothing though - most of the book was about friendship and love. Towards the end, there was some drama, but throughout the book, friendship and love were consistent themes explored, which overshadowed the drama for me. I didn't enjoy reading the drama, but it did help explore the theme of friendship and love even deeper, probing at how betrayal can affect friendships

Writing Style 

Initially, I thought Whaley's writing style was a bit too simplistic. But then I kept reading, and that simplicity strikes you at the core. Although Whaley writes in a simple, short manner, the complex ideas he writes with those simple sentences really made me take a step back and reevaluate my life and everything I've ever done, 
"There are no boring places, only boring people." (pg. 64) 
"You'd know [if you'd fallen out of love with her]. You just have to look at your life before her and then after her and see which one you like better." (pg. 206)
I'm not the quote-keeping kind of girl...but these are beautiful quotes that just really resonated with me. 

Entertainment Value

Hooked. Absolutely hooked. The short sentences made it easy for me to understand everything, to read it through quickly or slowly, depending on what I wanted to do. The characters felt real, it felt like I was there with them. Whilst reading, I was completely lost in the book - I almost forgot to get off the train! 

Final Thoughts

Highly Illogical Behaviour is a gorgeous book with characters that just spoke to me. With a plot that is sure to entice, and with wonderful words that flow like honey, Whaley's Highly Illogical Behaviour was one of my favourite reads of 2016. I'll definitely be looking for more books like his, so if you have any recommendations, please shout them out below! 

Finally, I'll be writing another post as part of Disability Diaries, related to mental illness and Highly Illogical Behaviour - my essay on My Experience With Mental Illness. Keep an eye for it on Wednesday! 


Thoughts in a Phrase 


Keep reading and loving books!

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When I First Saw You | The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Thursday, January 12, 2017 Geraldine 0 Comments

When I First Saw You (or WIFSY) is a meme held over by Sophie at Sailing through Books. The aim of the game is to write up a synopsis for a given cover, and then compare it to the actual cover of a book! Sounds fun right? It most definitely is! 

I have missed doing WIFSY! It's such a creative outlet for me, and it's helping me come up with more ideas for my WIP. 

Anyway, here is my contribution this week - what do you all think? 

The Book For This Week is...

The Love Interest, by Cale Dietrich

My Synopsis

"911, how can I help you?"
"There's been a murder."
"What's your location?"
The phone operator was met with the resounding dial tone. 

Lexa Lin is a hardened criminal. Part of an elite group of assassins, she's grown up knowing one thing - love kills. 
Thing is, she's never been too good at following rules. 
After all, rules shouldn't apply to being with Grant, her fellow assassin-in-arms. Withhis rugged good looks and flirty words, he defies the realm of reason and possibility - breaking one rule is nothing compared to all that.  
But then she meets Trey. Trey, the opposite of everything Grant is. A prep school boy, with everything.
And her next order? To murder Trey's father. 

Get ready for ready for one hell of a ride.
And don't kills.


The Actual Synopsis

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.



Well...secret organisation? I WAS KIND OF RIGHT. But honestly, I like both my synopsis and the real synopsis. I'll definitely be going after The Love Interest - I'm totally in the mood for a love triangle book! Plus, it's a competition? Come on, this must be the most perfect book for me! I am a sucker for any books where there are competitions. 
But at the same time...I know how many books are out there with my synopsis, but I really like my story. I honestly want to write a whole book out of it! 

What would you have written? Do you think my synopsis was too far fetched? Did you like my synopsis? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you enjoy WIFSY - sign up with Sophie @ Sailing Through Books! It's such a wonderful meme, one of my absolute favourites, and I'd love to see more people with synopses! 

Keep reading and loving books!

Enjoyed reading this? You should definitely follow me to get more updates! 

Conversations: Why I Read Books

Saturday, January 07, 2017 Geraldine 0 Comments

Eep, it's been so long since I posted a Conversations post~! I'm blaming it on uni and life...but one of my resolutions for this year is to successfully host Conversations, and that means regularly posting, so...ENJOY ALL THE DISCUSSIONS ON THIS BLOG! ^_^ 

For this week, let's talk about:
What kind of books do you read and why?

In the book blogosphere, I feel like we usually define our identity by what kinds of books we read. For me, it's a bit of a mixed bag - I usually read contemporary and fantasy, but I also read other genres. Why? Because I don't like reading the same story multiple times - which I feel like you can get if you stick to one genre only. I like to think that I'm spontaneous, and that I'll read whatever I feel like reading - I'm a mood reader! I read a huge variety of books - biographies, self-help, YA, all kinds of books! 

If you avidly stalk my blog, I think you probably have a rough idea of what books I like to read:
  • YA
  • Contemporary 
  • Fantasy
  • Science-Fiction
  • Chick-lit
  • Biographies
  • Anything that involves science or medicine or psychology
For me, I believe that for every mood, there is a genre
Just went through a break up? Time for contemporary.
Frustrated and just done with life? Time for fantasy. 
Need something to chill with, after a long day? Time for some chick-lit!

But why do I like reading these genres at different times? Why do they draw me in? There are so many reasons for this, specific to the genre. 

YA - okay, I know that YA isn't strictly a genre, more of a classification, but I think there are some core themes that YA books share that draw me towards reading them. For one, I can relate pretty well to pressure to succeed in school, in meeting expectations, etc. Reading YA is relatable, but it's not like I'm rehashing my life. I place myself as a character in the book, and I can see my problems in the real world from a different lens, which gives me some space from it. It's pretty therapeutic sometimes - because I see who I am in the characters of the book, and I see what I'm going through. 

Chick-lit - Chick-lit is honestly my go-to when I need to break out of a bad reading slump as well! It's so easy to read, and I can flip through a book within four hours at most. If it's an especially good chick-lit novel or book series - I'll probably be hooked onto reading for the next week or so at least, and spend a couple of days being upset that I finished reading it. Then I'll forget all about the plot in a couple of months (because I never seem to remember the plot of those books!), and reread it. And the cycle starts all over again. 

Fantasy - Because the real world isn't enough. I mean, mobile phones and Facebook and other modern inventions are pretty cool....but come on, a world where there are dragons and magic? That's so different to the world we currently live in, and I love reading about it, because I get to escape everything in this world. Of course, in fantasy, the characters go through eternal problems, problems that we, as humans face. I think that's the appeal for me as well - despite these characters being in a different world, facing problems that are insurmountably larger than not having finished my assignment - at the heart of all their problems, their problems are the same as mine - instead of having to complete an assignment in time, they have to finish a quest in time >_< 

Science-fiction - It's crazy how well some authors can really probe into the future - what can happen, what should happen, etc., and I think the real beauty in science-fiction is how humanity remains the same regardless of how much has changed - that relatability, yet escape from my current predicaments is what draws me to science fiction. 

Contemporary - FEELS. That's why I read contemporary. Plus, it's super easy to read. There isn't much 'new' to learn about - no new worlds, laws and things to learn - you just have to familiarise yourself with a new character and breathe their lives for a couple of hundred of pages. 

Medicine or science related books - I'm hoping to be a clinician scientist...gotta prepare somehow! Plus, it's actually really interesting how the world works, and how some people have discovered some phenomenal things. It inspires me and makes me work harder towards my goals!

Biographies - some people are so inspirational! I have to read about their lives and just get to know them more. Plus, some biographies are just like watching video-interviews with people. Some people just have such large personalities, that they burst right from the page, and you can just tell it's their biography. 

I think it's safe to say that I read certain book genres because I get to relate to characters, without living their lives. Let's face it, if I had to go through half the problems that these characters go through...I probably wouldn't make it. It makes me thankful I'm not a book character...or am I? :P 

What about you? What genres do you read, and why? Let me know in the comments below or link up your Conversations post! 

Keep reading and loving books!

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When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Thursday, January 05, 2017 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: When Michael Met Mina
     Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
     Genre: Contemporary, Political, YA
     Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
     Publishing Date: July 28th, 2016

          - Politics - covered very well
          - Writing - wonderful metaphors that illustrate political views very well 

    Things that could have been better:
         - Characters - bland
         - Characters - Mina had no character growth 

Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon |

Initial Thoughts

I've been looking forward to reading When Michael Met Mina for SO LONG. Ever since it came out! I loved that Randa Abdel-Fattah was covering such an important topic in YA, and I wanted to see how she would explore it. 

Before Mina, my life was like a completed jigsaw puzzle but Mina has pushed the puzzle onto the floor. I have to start all over again, figuring out where the pieces go. 

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees - standing on opposite sides. 

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. 

Michael's parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values. 

They want to stop the boats. 

Mina wants to stop the hate. 

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael's private school, their lives crash together blindingly. 

A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.


When Michael Met Mina has two narrators - Michael and Mina. The story is about the journey of Michael defying expectations, driven by his infatuation for Mina. I enjoyed reading Michael's perspective - in his perspective, I could see his struggle to defy the beliefs he's grown up with, and to defy his friends. Abdel-Fattah depicted his struggle very well, and I sympathised with his struggle. However, I didn't enjoy reading about Mina at all. I saw no character development, and I was constantly frustrated by her as I found some of her actions problematic. Plus, I felt like I only knew three things about her - that she is a refugee, she's smart and she's Muslim. 
Most of the characters were unmemorable - Abel-Fattah overloaded the first few pages with so many names of different characters, that they were barely distinguishable to me. 
The romance between Michael and Mina felt forced and very insta-lovey. It was difficult for me to really get on board with it, as I never really saw a spark between them. For one, Michael noticed Mina at a rally, by her eyes. Her EYES. -cringes- Their common interests were just with music, there was no extra oomph for me. 
tldr: I don't ship. 

The strongest part of this book is the political message that it conveys. It really shows how racism can be everywhere, even in nice people. It doesn't depict racism as a black or white concept- there are shades of grey as well, as the people who you don't normally think are racist can be racist as well. The way that Abdel-Fattah writes really emphasises this, with metaphors that bring a strong punch, which help illustrate why it's so important to reduce and eliminate racism. 
"Everybody's pruned and shaped [like a sapling] somehow, I guess. But not everybody has to fight to stop from being torn out of the ground"
I especially loved how Abdel-Fattah illustrated why Michael's family's views were wrong - how they expected foreigners to assimilate to Judeo-Christian values. 

Final Thoughts

Randa Abdel-Fattah's When Michael Met Mina is a wonderful work that explains current political discourse in Australia with regards to asylum seekers very well. However, I didn't love the characters, and felt like most of them were bland. If you're looking to understand what racism is and why it is so damaging, When Michael Met Mina is a great read. But if you're looking for a heartfelt romance, or characters that you'll love, then this book is not the book for you. 


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

Thoughts in a Phrase 

A topical political read drizzled with instalove.

Keep reading and loving books!

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