Book Reviews

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes follows two characters Laia and Elias on their different journeys and how they end up falling in and out of each others orbits. Laia is from a group of people called the Scholars that have been oppressed by the Martials and the empire. Frequently their friends and family go missing in the middle of the night or are killed by raids conducted by the deadly and unfeeling Masks. When Laia’s world gets turned upside down she tries to seek out the group called the resistance, who her parents used to be apart of. Only thing is when she finds them are they going to be the people who she wants and needs them to be, or without her parents guidance have they warped into something different.
Elias is first in his class and on the right path to be the best Mark in Blackcliff history, but he doesn’t want it. Elias wants to be free of all of the non-feeling, brutal, and brutish ways of the Masks, he wants to desert. Punishment for getting caught deserting is death in front of the whole school, so of course Elias can’t get caught. His best friend in the entire world, Helene, suspects something is going on with him, but she has her own feelings to deal with and is loyal to a fault to Blackcliff and the Masks. Elias believes that there is another way to be and he can’t stuff down his emotions anymore.
The two of them find out that they’re lives are not their own and that they have a higher calling to do more than is expected of them. They discover that within all of the hardships they have already faced there are plenty more in front of them, but now they have the chance to do something good and something that can change the world. They just have to survive first.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It honestly gets straight to the good stuff which is awesome because I hate when books take to long to get to where you need to be just to add some pages.  I thought that there was a good mixture of being true to who you are while fulfilling your obligations, but at the same time pushing back at the people who are doing the wrong things. I believed that Laia’s character was believable because even though we always want the heroine in the book to be brave immediately after something bad happens that’s just not always possible. It takes a while to find that inner courage and for awhile you have to fake it until you make it. Elias on the other hand had to make some true life and death situations and then is placed in a situation that he honestly can’t turn down and I loved that we got to see his background to figure out where these thoughts came from. I loved that this book was fast paced and made me keep wondering what the other person was doing at the time. Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
      India

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Bookish

Do you have to be a writer to be on Booktube?

The short answer to this is no. No you do not, but you’re looking at this post for a reason. It’s because you see so many of your favorite booktubers talking about writing their first book, trying to find a publisher, “querying” – whatever in the world that means- , and getting an editor and so many more things. You see them getting excited to be a part of the world that you love so much in a different aspect. You see them becoming the hyped book that you want to add to the top of your TBR list. But where does that make you fit? It makes you just like the rest of us. Readers! Readers and critics and free media advertising for your favorite booktubers. Now, I’m not a writer by any means, and I’m pretty sure there are probably so many grammatical errors in this post alone, and it’s because of all of those things I know that I don’t want to be a writer. So don’t let those writing marathon thingys – looking at you NaNoWriMo – convince you that you need to try it out.
Don’t get caught up in the authortube or the how to write your first book videos if you don’t want to be a writer. For some people that’s going to make you anxious thinking that, well if I want to grow in this community I have to be writing a book, and that’s not true! Without readers, writers would have nothing and be nothing, so don’t be afraid to just be a reader. That’s all I am! I read and I enjoy reading! Maybe I’m writing this post to convince myself of that even though in my heart of hearts I know I don’t want to be a writer, and I’ve never wanted to be a writer.
Forever a reader
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s okay to just be a reader and never ever want to write your own book. It’s okay to want to be a consumer and to take the time to read a book. If you want to be a reviewer it’s okay to be a reviewer for pleasure and it’s okay to be a critical reader.  You get to make those decisions for yourself and always chose what makes you happy. I hope this helps to keep you true to what you want to do and not make you feel like you need to be anywhere else, but on Booktube as a reader. Has booktube ever made you feel like you need to change  Until next time,
Keep turning the pages
India
Bookish, Unboxings

Unboxing Booktube | September Owlcrate Box

The September Owlcrate box was filled with a lot of mischievous items going with their theme of Masters of Disguise! You can subscribe to the Owlcrate box by clicking here to be apart of their subscription list. It is a more affordable box compared to a lot of other boxes if you live in the United States. Now let’s get into this box!

 

  • We got a beautiful, purply, bath soak created by Leeloo Soaps inspired by The Diabolic, which I have not read yet, but it is definitely on my list and on my bookshelves already!
  • These Crow Club gloves to help pick any and all locks and to create the most intricate plans in the streets of Ketterdam created by Team Owlcrate
  • A wonderful Ceramic Mug featuring our favorite mauraders from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkban and was illustrated by Cara Kozik
  • An apple mint lip balm inspired by The Kiss of Deception, which I also haven’t read yet, created by Geek Fire Labs
  • An art print featuring Lila Bard from the Shades of Magic series illustrated by Kirsty Carter

 

Finally the book with it’s gorgeous cover is Mirage by Somaiya Daud! This book is all about a young girl who is kidnapped and forced to be in the royal palace because she looks like the princess that everyone hates. With her life constantly on the line as she impersonates the princess in public settings she has to be extremely careful, so that she does not get killed. This book is also apparently set in a sci-fi situation so it’s kind of like some of my other favorite books, so I’m excited to read it.

Mirage by Somaiya Dayd

This book featured a lot of great items of course the mug being one of them and I can’t wait to use that bath soak!! Let me know what you thought about the box! You can also watch my full unboxing here! Until next time,

Keep turning the Pages

India

Book Reviews

From Twinkle with Love, Sandhya Menon

— Short Story —

Twinkle Mehra has wanted to be a filmmaker since she was a little girl. She is constantly writing in her journal to famous female filmmakers in hopes of channeling their creative energy and overall bad assery as a women in film. At her school there is an annual showcase where students can create something and present it to their  fellow students at the end of the year. When a classmate of hers, Sahil Roy, and asks her if she would like to make a film for the showcase of course she says yes. Through out her entire time in high school she has always been one of the unseen people and she thinks by doing this she can become seen through out school. Maybe she can even be noticed by Sahil’s twin brother, Neil, who is the most popular boy in school. During her time working on the film she starts to make actual friends, and also starts to receive secret admirer emails from someone with the initial, N. She is certain that it’s Neil Roy who has decided to finally talk to her, and gets herself in a love triangle of sorts. The questions becomes, is being a director of her own film, too much for Twinkle to deal with?

— My Thoughts —

I liked the book. I didn’t love it. Some of the things that Twinkle goes through and says, is honestly downright silly and mean. She becomes so self centered with herself that she does not notice the people directly in front of her, and because of that she ruins a lot of relationships that she is just forming. I would say that it’s how any high school girl acts when she is trying to find herself, but that would not be true. All in all it’s not my favorite. I felt like if you changed the names of the characters you wouldn’t even be able to tell that there are brown people in the book. It could be From Rebecca with Love and it would still feel the same, and I think that’s one reason I really don’t like it.  I break down my thoughts a little bit more in my video. What did you think of From Twinkle with Love? Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
India
Coffee Break, travel

Travel Tuesday | Favorite Suitcase Organization Items!!

Another Tuesday another travel video! Today we are talking about something that I have used on every single one of my trips. Whether I’m going for a night or for a weekend, they just help to keep everything organized. If I decided to pack last minute in a duffle bag without them, I instantly regretted it.

What is this magical item you speak of India? 

Well I’m glad you asked. This item would be PACKING CUBES!!!!!!! I know those things that pop up that seem like they would add so much bulk to your suitcase, so you don’t buy them. Those things. They have kept me sane on my trips. Now let’s talk about them.

I have always used packing cubes from E-Bags, which you can see here, or just search for them on the website here. They make so many different colors, sizes, and shapes for all of your packing needs. I have mainly used the slim packing cubes and the small square ones, which have gotten me through all of my trips with ease. They have great zippers that snag on the cubes and stay really strong no matter how much stuff I pack in the cubes. They also have “water resistant” material, so that your liquids won’t seep through them, buttttttttt they do have a mesh opening on the top, so that all the gross smells from your sweaty clothes won’t be trapped in and cause your clothes to become mildewy. E-bags has multiple versions of their bags, and if I were to get more I would probably try the light version of the packing cubes.

I can stuff so much stuff in my packing cubes, and it makes my luggage so much more organize, but remember this. MORE ROOM DOES NOT MEAN LESS HEAVY! The thing with the packing cubes are that they compress all of your clothes and make your luggage easy to dig through, but you still have the same amount of weight in your luggage, so make sure to still be mindful of how much stuff your bringing all of you fellow over packers.

The other version of packing cubes I got are actually compression packing cubes, which means one zipper side opens up to put your clothes in, while the other zipper is there to squeeze out the extra air out of the bag and make it extra small. I got these on amazon here. I haven’t used them yet, so I don’t have much to say about them. All I know is that they make my Away Luggage so easy to go through and keeps everything extra squishy in my hardshell luggage. I have other videos on my youtube channel about the luggage. If you made it to the bottom of this post, thank you! You’re the real MVP. If you just want to listen/watch you can find it on my youtube channel, which I have posted down below. Do you have any travel plans coming up?!?! I want to know where you’re going! I’m going to Booknet Fest next weekend in Orlando and I couldn’t be happier! Until next time,

Keep turning the Pages

India