This or That? #100!!!

My final question is…

What do you value most in a novel?

Quality writing ~ Character development ~ World building ~ Logical endings ~ Relatable characters ~ Real life situations ~ Storytelling

Something else?

(You must pick one)

Alright friends. I know some of you may yell at me for only allowing you to pick one but c’mon you knew it was coming!

If you like, you can give your top 3 but you MUST rank them as your #1 pick will be the only one that counts toward results.

I think my #1 would be……….storytelling. If you know me, you know I love me some Jodi Picoult. A part of the reason is because she has this incredible ability to tell a story in a way that makes you hang onto her every word while leaning off the edge of your seat. She is also the QUEEN of plot twists. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been reading one of her novels and gasped out loud or yelled “Oh s**t!” Her novels are told from multiple perspectives (usually like 5 or 6) and the details unfold so slowly and there’s always a surprise. On the other hand, this aspect is also the reason that I can’t stand John Green. When I was young I was taught that stories generally have a beginning, middle (climax/turning point), and end/resolution. When I get to the end of one of his books I always find it pointless and a waste of time with a disappointing ending.

#2 would be world building. I really really love when an author has the ability to pull me away from the real world and create an entirely new universe. For example, I really love the Shadowhunter world that Cassandra Clare has created. I also appreciate that she has so many books just within that one world that are interconnected. When I was reading The Mortal Instruments I picked up on a lot of reference from The Infernal Devices and I loved that.

My 3rd choice is real life situations. For this I’m thinking along the lines of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. These books cover topics that people typically don’t want to talk about because it makes them “uncomfortable.” The fact of the matter is that these things happen and they need to be addressed instead of swept under the rug. Of course, the way that one situation is covered in each of these book may not represent everyone who has ever found themselves in that situation, but it’s important to realize that everyone is different and their experiences will be too. Just because I can relate to Ruth Jefferson in Small Great Things doesn’t mean that another black woman will. But that doesn’t mean that either of our experiences are invalid or that the book got it “wrong.” It just means that it’s one particular take on that situation where there could be plenty of possibilities and outcomes.

What about you? Which of these do you feel you most value? Is there something that wasn’t on the list? Let me know 🙂


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This or That? #99 (Conclusion)

Hey friends,

This week we talked about whether or not we ever listen to music while we read. 54% said yes, whether it’s all the time or just when we need to shut out other noise. Majority of those people also agree that instrumental is the way to go. Lyrics are too distracting!

Make sure you check out this week’s post by Lindsey @ Paradis Books.

I will see you back here on Monday for the final This or That? 🙂

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Ways to Reclaim Yourself from Domestic Abuse


Space for Myself

Many of us have been in intimate relationships where we were betrayed and abused; some of us left after a few weeks or months, but many of us stayed for years, sometimes decades.  The longer we live with our abuser, the less we feel in contact with ourselves because the ground has constantly been shifting under us, and our abuser erodes our sense of self, and our self confidence.  To begin reclaiming ourselves, we need to spend some time each day alone feeding ourselves, without distraction, with something to allow us to be in ourselves.  I’ve put together some suggestions to get you started.

First, allow yourself to have some quiet by turning off the television, radio, I-pod, and phones.  Decide on the length of time you want to spend and stick to it, making it at least 15 minutes, then choose how to relax.

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Book Review: The Mirror & the Maze (The Wrath & the Dawn #1.5)

The Mirror & the Maze by Renee Ahdieh



The city of Rey is burning. With smoke billowing, fires blazing and his people fleeing, Khalid races back to defend his city, and protect his queen. But Khalid is too late to do either. He and his men arrive to find the city in ruins, nothing but a maze of destruction, and Shahrzad is gone. But who could have wrought such devastation? Khalid fears he may already know the answer, the price of choosing love over the people of Rey all too evident.


Some of my questions have been answered.

Jalal wanted her gone so that Khalid could remember his responsibilities as caliph.

Khalid knows that she is safe…….and with Tariq.

Despina is alright and is helping get people out.

The curse has been fulfilled (sort of).

3 stars.

I need to know how this ends and honestly, I hope Shazi returns.

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Book Review: The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn #1)

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh



Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new wife, only to have her killed by sunrise.

Shahrzad is the first to volunteer to become Khalid’s bride. She vows to stop his reign of terror – for the friend she lost, and all those who perished before her.

Incredibly, Shahrzad manages to survive her first morning… then the next.

Night after night, she mesmerizes the Caliph with her storytelling – at once buying time and digging deeper into the elusive boy-king’s past.

If Khalid is truly the murderous madman everyone says he is, how does Shahrzad find it so easy to fall for him?


I’m going to go ahead and start with the characters.

I like Shazi for the most part but sometimes she really annoys me. I don’t know what it is. I like her sass and her fierceness but sometimes I can’t help rolling my eyes at her.

Is it bad that I like the caliph? I do, I really do. And in fact, I disliked Tariq from the beginning so I’m glad she didn’t love him as much.

I like Jalal. He’s funny when it’s necessary but can also be serious.

I still love Despina, I hope she has a large role in the sequel.

Alright. My first issue is that Shazi and Khalid slept together. It didn’t make sense and she supposedly hated him so what was the point? I felt that she did it simply because they were married and she felt that she was supposed to and I have a huge problem with that because it sends an awful message. And it happened more than once, which really didn’t make sense to me. Also, how did she manage to start falling in love with someone after just three days? I mean, I appreciate the lack of insta love but really? She even admits later that she knows nothing about him so how did she “fall for him”?

If you know me, you know I hate love triangles. The whole thing with Yasmine felt unnecessary. Khalid never loved her and she knew that, yet she felt that she had the right to approach Shazi and assert herself as an enemy just because she “loved” her husband. He never loved her so I don’t see how she came to the conclusion that she was a threat. That’s petty and childish. He doesn’t love you, move on. And then there’s Tariq. I get why he originally wanted to go and rescue Shazi at first. He knew her original plan and thought that she needed help. I get that. However, after he saw them together and realized that she was at peace in the palace, he should have left it alone. I’m guessing he’s the one that told the caliph about everything? That’s childish. I’m glad he told him about Shiva but everything else was just to boost his own ego. And then why would he go ahead and kill Vikram when Shazi asked him not to? I know, he probably would have died but he did more harm than good that way because Shazi cared about him. I’m really hoping that Tariq grows up and gets over the fact that she loves someone else now. You can’t force people to love you just because you love them.

I feel like this whole magical element should have been introduced earlier because it seems a bit out of place. If there were a prologue that did it or one of Shazi’s stories had introduced flying carpets or people who can control fire it would have been a smoother introduction I think.

I’m so pissed that Reza joined forces with the fucking Sultan of Parthia. Ugh I hate that man so much.

Now that I’ve finished the first novel, I have so many questions. Why did Jalal want her to leave? Does the caliph know she’s okay? Will he go find her? Where is Irsa? What are these magical powers Shazi supposedly has? Where was Despina? What happens now that Jalal knows about the baby? When will the magic carpet come into play? Is Jahandar burning down the city the fulfillment of the curse?

I need answers!

This gets 3.5 stars.

I’ll be back with a review of the last novella.

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This or That? #99

This week I want to know……

Do you ever listen to music while you read?

I do! Not all the time but every once in a while. When I was younger I could listen to anything in the background while I read. Now I tend to play classical music because there’s no lyrics. I usually do this just to drown out other noises, people, etc.

What about you? Do you ever listen to music while reading? Let me know!


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This or That? #98 (Conclusion)

Hey friends,

This week we talked about what we thought was worse: broken spines or water damage. 74% said that they hated water damage. Mostly because of the wrinkly pages that it causes and how sometimes the pages stick together. A lot of people also mentioned that sometimes a broken spine is a sign that a book was read often and well loved.

Make sure you check out this week’s post by Lauren @ Lolsy’s Library.

Only two more This or That? questions left! See you on Monday!


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