Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


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Synopsis
2.5 out of 5 stars

*The content of this anthology is explicit and appropriate for readers above a certain age and maturity.

When this collection of poems was first published, there was a lot of hype surrounding it. It made its way to all of the relevant bestselling lists and maintained its prestigious position for quiet a while. In fact, it might still be on some list. In my opinion, all of the hype and high placement was unwarranted. Frankly, I was a little disappointed. Initially, when I started the anthology, I was so put it out that I was itching to give it a star and a half. I felt that the most of the poems consisted of a series of words stringed together and made to seem thoughtful. The writing was sub-par and there were so many reoccuring themes and concepts that I felt like I was reading the same content over and over again, just reworded. 

On the other hand, there were a few passages that I enjoyed reading and liked the feelings they elicited. The passages are presented below. 

Favorite passages

Farewell 2017, Welcome 2018! : Monthly Wrap-up/End of Year Post

Wednesday, January 3, 2018



Happy New Year, everyone! This post is certainly late, as we are already a few days into 2018, but I felt I had to publish it anyway. 2017 was a terrible reading year for me, I read less than twenty books. That's ridiculous! I pledge to read at least thirty books by the end of 2018. I've already started reading my first book of the year, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling. This is the first time I read the third installment of the Harry Potter series. I first read Sorcerer's Stone when I was, like, seven years old; Chamber of Secrets when I was in high school, and Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows right before the former's movie hit theaters. After Prisoner of Azkaban, I plan to read Goblet of Fire and Order of the Pheonix. I also want to read Lord of the Rings because I've always loved the movies including the Hobbit trilogy but never got around to reading it. The book is 1179 pages long, which is intimidating for some people, but not me! Subsequent to LoR, I want to read The Handmaiden's Tale so that I could watch the critically acclaimed show, for which I'm excited. I also added the widely popular Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur to my Kindle library.

Admittedly, 2017 was not a very good year for me. I finished the last of undergraduate studies last May and graduated the same month. A strange bout of laziness and a lack of motivation took me for months. I procrastinated and completed almost all of my major assignments last minute and didn't care about my grades as much as I did the semester before, for some reason. It might've been because of all of the uncertainty that accompanied the culmination of my undergrad career, or it might've been because I was simply tired of school work. I don't know. What I do know though, is that I still suffer from a residual lack of motivation. I was super excited to start grad school and take courses relevant to my studies, but I wasn't as excited as I was to do actual school work as I used to be.

May 17, 2017, was the day of my commencement ceremony. I always knew I would graduate, obviously, but I didn't imagine I would do so after my third year. I was proud of myself because I considered earning a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology to be my first major accomplishment. The day of the commencement was fun, I spent it with family and friends celebrating my achievement. I spent the summer completing the last of college requirements, gone were the hopes of having any fun. I started to panic when the end of the summer break was fast-approaching, I didn't have a set plan after I completed my course. I continued the graduate school search that began last December and looked for relevant programs that I could apply to so late in the year, ones I was interested in, of course. As you may know, I ended up only applying to Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. I so badly wanted to be accepted. In fact, I don't think I'd ever yearned for anything more in my life. The day I got the acceptance letter, I was ecstatic. Even that word might be an understatement. Orientation Day for graduate students was held on September 6, 2017, and I remember going to the event feeling like an imposter like didn't deserve to be there, but soon found out that that was feeling common among first years. But as the day progressed, I felt increasingly better suited for the challenge. When classes commenced the day after the next, I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't know if the courses were as structured as undergraduate courses or if they were more flexible, with loose deadlines. I found that they were a combination of both. The material was a little challenging but definitely understandable and doable. I did have trouble with one course, a Foundations course no less. I performed terribly on the exams for a reason unbeknownst to me. I studied and practically memorized the material, especially as I was preparing for the final exam, but I still didn't do well. 2017 has been my most stressful year yet. I do hope 2018 is a great one!





I don't remember if I featured this playlist in a Monthly Wrap-up before, but it's what I've been listening to recently. 

I haven't been watching anything consistently for the past month, I watch a few episodes of a few shows here and there. I did start watching HBO's Girls, the show created by Lena Dunham. It's a good show, it follows four young women three nearing their mid-twenties and one eighteen-year-old trying to figure out life, one mistake at a time. The show is supposed to an unembellished and realistic portrayal of the post-collegiate life of the average twenty-something, but I think it's a little too...harsh to be a fitting depiction of the average. 

Happy New Year!

Open Letters: Bathsheba Everdene

Monday, December 4, 2017




Ms. Everdene,

I am writing this letter to you today in a state of confusion. Initially, I was enamored by independence, self-sufficiency, and confidence. I was amazed because you were seemingly unfazed by the horde of men expressing their admiration and deep affection for you. When Gabriel Oak promised to take care of and love you if you agreed to marry him, you refused him, not unkindly. You cited the fact that you did not feel that getting married to him would be justified. That is to say, he did not have much to offer you to warrant a marriage, your opinion.

After inheriting your deceased uncle's farm, you caught the attention of Mr. Boldwood. William was rich, handsome, and granted, he was an older man, but he was well-situated and an overall good candidate. It would have been a fortuitous marriage. Expectedly, you declined his proposal of marriage as well. To me, you were the epitome of female autonomy and strength. However, everything changed when Sergeant Francis Troy, a somewhat charming soldier strangely drew your interest. You ought to have known that Francis or "Frank" was bad news from the start. You give off an air of being a fine judge of character and overly heedful of the consequences of poor decisions, and yet, to my great surprise, you were captivated by Troy. Of the three suitors, Troy was the least agreeable. You claimed that you married him after he told you he was heartbroken over a woman more beautiful than you and that somewhere between "distraction and jealousy" you grew infatuated with him. Still, I will never understand why his little display of good swordsmanship was reason enough to marry him when Gabriel's kindness and selflessness were not, regardless of the fact that you ultimately ended up with Gabriel.

♥,
Islam

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Saturday, December 2, 2017



Synopsis:
2 out of 5 stars

This book had been on my to-read list since I joined Goodreads back in 2012 (this review was published December 2017) Right off the bat, I was dubious of the promise of love for Angelfall. The book is written in present-tense, which is very tricky to pull off and very rarely done right, at least in my experience. As you probably tell by my uncharacteristically low rating, I deem that the present-tense narration and dialogue to be poorly executed


The plot and characters didn't really make up for the atrocious writing. Penryn, the main character, was difficult to love. Her personality didn't stand out much and she didn't have many redeeming qualities. Her determination to rescue her sister from a couple of angel-warrior thugs was admirable, but the character overall, was not special in any way. There are a staggering number of positive reviews for this book on Goodreads, and while I obviously know that perspective vary, I was truly surprised by just how many people genuinely enjoyed the book. It's beyond me. The story had much potential, but because of the dismal character development, writing, and, frankly, substandard world-building━I didn't really like Angelfall and I'm sure I'll continue on with reading the rest of the series (is it a trilogy? I think it's a trilogy). 

Monthly Wrap-up: November 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017



November was a month of firsts for me. I had my first real emotional breakdown over an exam. I filled my gas tank manually, for the first time. And for the first time, I feel both optimistic and apprehensive about the future.
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare (currently reading)
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (also currently reading)


Since finishing Reign and Downton Abbey last month and the month before, I haven't committed to any new shows or shows I haven't watched before. Season two of Good Behavior premiered in October and I have been watching the new episodes, but it's not really worth featuring considering it was the star of the "what i've been watching" section in a monthly wrap-up post two or three moons past. So, for this month I decided to feature two movies I really enjoyed watching this month. Yes, I only now watched The Force Awakens for the first time, same goes for Far from the Madding Crowd. You'd think that because I'm such an ardent fan of both high fantasy and historical dramas, that I'd have seen one or both of these before this month. But, I haven't. So that I'm not completely shunned by the Star Wars community, I feel that I have to defend myself and say that I have watched the Star Wars prequels and loved them! I cannot wait for The Last Jedi, which hits theaters Dec, 15th. As for Far from the Madding Crowd, it was a beautiful film and Carey Mulligan could quite possibly be my current favorite actress. I'm in the process of typing up an open letter to Bathsheba Everdene, Mulligan's character and I have a lot to say to her, so be on the lookout for that.