Hello, I’m Back!

So, after having gone missing for a few months, I’m finally back! In this post, I will be writing a brief update on how life is going on for me.

Many things have happened for the past few months, both good and bad. However, I do not regret anything that I’ve done but I do wish I could’ve done a better job. It could be a small stepping stone or a big leap across the stream, but I’ve learnt many things for the past few months, especially about myself and my passion.

Everything that has happened for the past few months only makes me more unwilling to leave after graduation. I wish that I could stop time and stay forever, but that can only stay a wish. The only thing that I can do is to cherish every moment before it ends.

Well, that’s it for my brief update.

Further updates on a few past events will be posted soon! I’ll also try to post more interesting updates frequently.

Stay tuned!

Love,

Zoe

February 2017 Book Haul

After months of not buying any books due to the big black hole in my wallet, I finally managed to do a mini book haul this February, using the money from the red packets I received during Chinese New Year.

I went to a local indie bookstore called Bookalicious in The Summit USJ. This store is literally every book lover’s paradise! It’s a small and cozy bookstore with a wide range of excellent selections. The owner is really friendly and helpful, and very well-versed in recommendations across multiple genres. Besides that, the book prices are much lower compared to other bookstores! I would definitely go back there again!

So, using my limited budget, I managed to pick up 3 books. One of them was also recently released!

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1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I’ve read many positive reviews about these books, so I’m pretty excited to start reading! I’ll probably do a review after reading these books, especially Caraval.

Love,

Zoe

7 Most Anticipated Reads 2017

Every year, I would set a number of books that I would like to finish in that year. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish my reading challenge last year due to studies and exams. I was so busy that I didn’t have time to read for quite a few months already! I hope I can finish my reading challenge this year as it will be another hectic year for me.

New year means new books! I’m so excited for the books that will be released this year! So, I’ve made a list of 7 books that I’m really looking forward to read this year. Hopefully I’ll have enough money to buy them by the time they’re released! Haha.

PS: The books are not listed in any order!

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1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Synopsis:

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. 

Expected publication: 31st January 2017

There are books that will bring you into a whole new world and leave you totally breathless and this is definitely one of them. I really like the magical and enchanting concept of this book, just like The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’m pretty sure this is yet another book that will leave us all intrigued and breathless. I’m really, really looking forward to get my hands on this book!

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2. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Synopsis:

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Expected publication: 7th February 2017

There are a few genres of books that I love, and retelling is definitely one of them! Wintersong sounds like another spellbinding novel filled with lots of glitter! I can’t wait to dive into this dark but beautiful novel. I’ve also read a few reviews saying that this book is so beautifully written that you’ll feel as if you’re being consumed by a captivating poem.

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3. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis:

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

Expected publication: 23rd May 2017

I’m a super big fan of Cassandra Clare’s books. I’ve literally read all of her books. The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices are both fantastic. Lady Midnight pieced me up after reading the last book of The Mortal Instruments, City of Heavenly Fire, but then tore me apart again with such a phenomenal plot. Cassandra has never failed to make me get hooked on her books.

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4. A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Synopsis:

In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies. But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.

Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.

But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.

Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored. And she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all of the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

Expected publication: 16th May 2017

A fan of Romeo and Juliet’s passionate love story? Then this is definitely a book that you should read! This is a story of the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. A book with a plot like this would no doubt leave us broken in the end.

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5. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Synopsis:

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Expected publication: 7th February 2017

Reading the synopsis of this book just makes my heart shatter into a million pieces. The title of the book is King’s Cage, so I suppose it will tell us more about Maven? I really hope so! I actually like Maven more than Cal. Even after reading all of the bad things that Maven has done I just can’t help but love his character! His massive betrayal in the first book just stabbed right into my heart. I’m really excited to read King’s Cage and know more about Maven’s character development because he’s probably the most unpredictable  character in the book!

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6. A Court of Wings and Ruin

Synopsis:

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Expected publication: 2nd May 2017

The cover was released just a few days ago and there were various comments, good and bad, regarding the cover. Personally, I think that the cover is as beautiful as the first two books. To tell you the truth, I’ve not read the second book yet, but I look forward to read it and this one too. I love Tamlin so much! I love how both his and Feyre’s relationship developed in the first book!

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7. Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Synopsis:

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Expected publication: 2nd May 2017

Jenny Han totally surprised me with this third book! I thought that this series was a duology! I think that Lara Jean is literally what almost every girl is, from writing love letters to making big life decisions. I just love how sweet this series is and can’t help but to feel all fluffy on the inside while reading it. To add on to that, the covers of all three books are absolutely gorgeous!

(All book covers were taken from Goodreads.)

I hope you guys find this list useful. Happy reading!

Love,

Zoe

Graduation Book Photoshoot

After about a week since school started, individual and group photos were taken for this year’s graduation book. So, every class will have their own theme, and I like how our class’ theme is, flower crowns and stuff. It’s so cute and has the fairy tale kind of feel. So here’s a few photos that we took the other day. I like how the filter comes out so nicely on these photos, which were taken with a DSLR camera. It almost looks as if we really went to a studio for a photoshoot! Hah!

Anyway, I’m  really excited for this year. There will be so many activities, both inside and outside of school. I hope to make this year the best year ever and a memorable one  for me to look back to even after I’ve graduated. Believe it or not, I’ve already made a list of things to do, events and competitions that I’d like to join, to make this year more productive than the last!

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This is one of the photos that I like very much! We look so cute here! I am extremely grateful and blessed to have my bunch of friends. Let us never forget who we are to each other. Here’s to more photos and memories together this year and many years to come even after we have graduated! ❤

Love,

Zoe