Where I’ve Been + My Plan for Coming Back and the Changes That Are Being Made

Hi everyone! Wow.. it’s kind of surreal writing this post honestly. A few months ago, if you asked me if I’d be coming back, I would most likely tell you no. Thankfully, I’m very happy to announce that I am indeed coming back. I think the last thing I did was a book review on Mothers Day? After that, it went downhill pretty fast.

To be technical, I’ve been gone since March 30th. It just happened to work out that I had posts scheduled until Mothers Day. In April I really struggled with everything going around me, and didn’t even post regularly in March/April. I realized a few things with myself and could see a change, so I wanted to be open with you guys about what’s been going on.

First, Corona really got to me. It unfortunately infected my great-grandmother, who after 5 weeks is still battling it, which is insane to me. It thankfully didn’t reach my grandmother who is in a nursing home, but we are still crossing our fingers that it never reaches her. Honestly, not seeing family on a regular basis for me has been difficult. Going to my grandparents house every weekend was a consistent thing for me. To go suddenly to not seeing them? It definitely put me in a negative head space.

Second, the want to read was just not there. Through all of this, being home, you’d think I would want to read! But honestly, it just wasn’t there for me. Between Coronavirus, the riots, working from home, not seeing family… reading was the last idea in my mind to make myself feel better.

Finally, I went through a really nasty break-up during all of this. I won’t go too much into detail out of respect, but it definitely was the final straw in my decision to take a break from the blog. It pushed me to my limit, and deteriorated my mental health. My mentality was at such a low, typing was not an option. Reading wasn’t an option. Talking about Disney wasn’t even close to being an option.

Disney GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

But…. I AM COMING BACK JULY 1st! I’ll be doing my normal Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule. I am so happy and excited to be coming back to something I love so much! But, there will be a few changes to the blog as well.

The first change I am making is I am adding another segment to the blog, which is my Plan with Me sections. I have loved planning for a long time, and I really love being able to show off my Planner and what I’ve done for the week. Every Thursday I will be writing a short post about my current week planner, what stickers I used, and also showing the final product of the previous week. These will be short posts, but something different and fun that I will love to do.

Finally, I will be leaving links at the bottom of all of my posts to donate to organizations, sign petitions and so forth to spread the awareness for the Black Lives Matter cause. I want to keep up with the momentum and the continuation of spreading awareness of this issue in the United States, and if I can try and help even in the littlest sense by sharing links at the end of every post? I can easily do that.

Well, I appreciate all of you reading through this. I love every single one of you who have supported me through this and welcomed me back with open arms. We are all in this together guys! See you July 1st!

img_0133

Twitter Instagram Goodreads |

 

Top Ten Tuesday #57 | Reasons Why I Love Adult Romance

Hello everyone! Today is another Top Ten Tuesday! I am loving today’s prompt because well let’s be real, I read a lot of YA books and review them on the blog… but I also love Adult books as well, especially romance! So I figured today we can make a list of why I love adult romance books so much.

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Reasons Why I Love Adult Romance

(1) The Humor

Time Kevin GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In most of the adult romance books I read, there is a lot of adultish humor. Books like The Unhoneymooners, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and While It Lasts really showcase that humor. I remember reading The Unhoneymooners last year and was just dying laughing over some of the things that were going on and being said.

(2) Adult References

All Grown Up GIFs | Tenor

I’m 21 years old, almost 22 and I have to say… I don’t always recognize the YA references in books nowadays, which honestly can make me feel old af. I do however get a lot of the references in adult romance books. I don’t get the TLC references, but the Destiny’s Child references I totally do.

(3) The…. romance *wink*

Snl Wink GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

I love me some good smut. I mean who doesn’t? In these books you don’t have to think hard, and yes the relationships tend to not be realistic or anything, but who doesn’t love some good ass smut, right?

(4) The MOVIES!!!

Cinema Popcorn GIF by Angry Birds - Find & Share on GIPHY

If there is one thing I love more than adult romance, it is the adult romance books that get turned into MOVIESSSS!!! 50 Shades of Grey, The Notebook, After, basically all Nicholas Sparks movies. UGH! YES! I swear they are so good! Fifty Shades of Grey gives me life every time I watch them, I just love them so much. I need The Unhoneymooners to be made into a movie ASAP!

(5) The Covers 😍

I don’t know why but adult romance book covers just be so damn pretty!!! Some examples are The Unhoneymooners, The Kiss Quotient, and One Day In December. Just to name a few.

(6) The Relationships

I Love You Kiss GIF by MOODMAN - Find & Share on GIPHY

Obviously the main part of an Adult Romance is the relationships. I have so many relationships that I just think about before I go to bed at night and hope that they are happy and have families and living happily ever after. I know people, I know they aren’t real… but one can dream.

What do you guys like about adult romance books? What do you not like about them? Let me know in the comments!

Twitter Instagram Goodreads |

Book Review | More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys

Hi everyone! Happy Mothers Day! I hope everyone is able to celebrate Mother’s Day today at least in some type of form even through all of the craziness. I bought my mom some goodies from Ulta a few weeks ago online, so at least I was able to get her something. She loves basically all Kylie Cosmetics products, so I was able to get her lip glosses, eyeshadow palettes, and a super cute blush!

Today, I wanted to share a book review with you guys, but I picked this specific book for this day because I thought it fit best with the whole Mother’s Day theme. I actually read Alicia Keys new book! I will admit, I mainly picked this one up for the star filled audiobook cast, which included Jay-Z, Oprah, Swizz Beats, and even more. But, after reading it, it really just showed me how much of a positive spirit Alicia is. Let’s get into the review!

img_0133

img_0393

More Myself: A JourneyMore Myself: A Journey

Alicia Keys with Michelle Burford

Pages: 272

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook

Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, Feminism, Leadership

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

As one of the most celebrated musicians of our time, Alicia Keys has enraptured the nation with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache―over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.

Since her rise to fame, Alicia’s public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it?

More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path―from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, to the process of self-discovery she’s still navigating.

In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth―about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.

img_0394

  • Star-Studded Audiobook – What an amazing cast of people to not only be able to be included in the book, but the audiobook as well! To hear Oprah, Jay-Z, Swizz Beats, I mean just Alicia alone was amazing! It definitely kept me interested since non-fiction is not always one of my strong suits.
  • Alicia is such an incredible powerhouse – I never realized how incredible Alicia really is, and just how much she gives back into the world. Going through her journey and being able to read about her positive and mindful spirit definitely was something I enjoyed.
  • Mind, body, and spirit advice – Yes, this is a nonfiction book. But I feel like even though you’re reading about Alicia’s story, you’re still taking away some information from the book and can apply it to your life. There’s a lot of meditation advice in here and just positive thinking that everyone, not only women, should apply to their everyday life.
  • Uplifting during a difficult time – I read this during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think I definitely needed to read this. At a time like this, it’s nice to read about a positive story, one that isn’t so negative and so many up and downs, it’s a pretty solid positive read and I enjoyed that as I’m sure you can tell.
  • Music within the audiobook – I loved the fact that Alicia would play music and sing in between chapters, also when talking about a specific song in depth she would sing it. Ugh, what an amazing voice she has.
  • Not too long, Perfect length – This book was 272 pages long and I thought that was the PERFECT length. I don’t really care for nonfiction that’s 400+ pages, I like smaller books, I’m not going to lie here. It went by nicely, and I think if it was any longer I might not have gotten through it, maybe not even picked it up.

img_0395

  • Wanted more music details/backstories – I would have liked more details and backstories about the SONGS. The albums were described very well, don’t get me wrong. But I would have loved to have seen the songs and their stories go more into depth because Alicia does write her own music, and has some pretty powerful songs on some pretty power filled albums.
  • Wanted more depth going into 9/11 – She seemed to have a pretty big part of the healing New York needed after 9/11. I’ve heard stories, but New York is my home and I’ve known for a long time that Alicia was big into helping New York heal. I would have loved to hear her reactions to it and about her performance. She’s a New Yorker, and me being one myself I wanted to hear more about that.
  • Too Political for my tastes – I didn’t care for the tone the book was taking towards the end with the political talking. I understand, shit I would love to talk about Obama too. But about the whole Trump and Hillary thing… I don’t know. It just got too political for my personal tastes. That’s all.

img_0396

                          ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

img_0397

If you’re an Alicia Keys fan, absolutely. You should read this immediately, and definitely the audiobook. If you know about her but aren’t necessarily a fan and don’t have any issues with her, I would also recommend this to you. If you don’t like Alicia Keys, and I don’t really know why you wouldn’t, then probably don’t pick this up, but definitely look at the decisions you’re making in life because Alicia is not a bad person or someone you should hate what-so-ever 🤣.

img_0133

Twitter Instagram Goodreads |

Album Review | It Was Good Until It Wasn’t by Kehlani

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! So yesterday was the day I have been waiting for since like 2018 lol. It was Kehlani’s release day! It Was Good Until It Wasn’t was released yesterday and boy, do I have some thoughts!

I am a major Kehlani fan, so automatically I had very high hopes for this album and honestly? She delivered! So let’s dive into each track and go over my real true and honest thoughts for the album.

img_1083

Toxic

I will admit, I wasn’t a fan of Toxic at first, but it grew on me. I do disagree she shouldn’t have started off the album with this one, but it’s still a good track and having Ty Dolla $ign on it definitely helped the r&b feel to it.

Can I (Feat. Tory Lanez)

Okay this song really does slap. It’s nasty, but in a good way. I’m really starting to get into Tory Lanez as an r&b artist. He does do his little rap thing, but man is he a good singer. This definitely brings out the fun side to Kehlani, when most of the album is almost kind of dark in a way?

Bad News

Honestly, this is one of the few tracks on this album I don’t care for. It’s okay, and I understand she’s going through a lot of hurt… I just thought it could have been better. Definitely a DEEP TRACK.

Real Hot Girl Skit/Water

Okay so here’s the thing… I personally don’t care for this skit. Yes, it has Megan Thee Stallion in it, and that’s amazing that she’s finally getting some recognition from these artists! I just think the skit was unnecessary, but skit aside, we have another sexy, nasty song from Kehlani. The beat really goes kinda hard and her lyrics are on point. The chorus is super catchy and lowkey, I can totally see the whole ‘water’ thing becoming a tik tok lmao.

Change Your Life (Feat. Jhene Aiko)

Okay… THIS SONG IS CRAZY! I love this song, it’s definitely in my top 3. I love Jhene, love the lyrics, the vibe. THAT CHORUS! It’s a song that makes you feel good and definitely lightens up the album a little. Classic Kehlani.

Belong To The Streets Skit/Everybody’s Business

Everybody’s Business will always be a true slap! This song is so soulful and just lovely to listen to. Not only is the song crazy good, but the music video is iconic. This track definitely is a stand out track and so relatable! It’s basically just about not caring what others say about you, and knowing your own self worth.

Hate The Club (Feat. Masego)

This song is a true vibe… The talent. The catchyness. The FEELS. Definitely an unexpected favorite for me. I am so happy she decided to include this song into the album. Definitely hits home for me. Pure perfection.

Serial Lover

So… at the time of this album releasing, I’m currently going through a pretty big and bitter breakup, and this song is a whole mood if you’re someone who tends to give a lot in a relationship, but it just seems like it never goes anywhere. It hits hard beat wise and the lyrics are just as good.

F&MU

This song may just be my favorite on the album… it’s short, but man is it good. It is so relatable, at times I feel like she wrote the song for me haha. She’s just a relatable artist! She doesn’t flaunt her wealth and displays her imperfections, which is what I enjoy and need. I love her for making this song.

Can You Blame Me (Feat. Lucky Daye)

Ehh.. this song is okay. Definitely not one of my favorites, but it’s pretty good. She just has such an amazing voice in this one and Lucky Daye is amazing in this!!

Grieving (Feat. James Blake)

Okay so, Kehlani came out and said this is her favorite song on the project, without a doubt.. and I definitely see why. I mean these past couple of months she has lost A LOT. I feel for her and this album 100% shows that, but this song? It’s dark, it’s got a little bit of that creepy vibe I like… it is definitely different for her, but I actually kind of like it! Very beautiful sounding and shows just how much hurt she truly has been through.

Open (Passionate)

Ugh this song! I love this track, it’s amazing. The beat switching, the lyrics and the vibe it gives off. Definitely another one of my favorites. This song and Change Your Life definitely give the light this album needs at times.

Lexii’s Outro

Lexii!!! Ugh I had tears for this song. The beautiful Lexii finally got her #1. She was so talented and will be missed forever. Just glad she could be included on this piece while she rests in paradise.

img_1083

Okay so, my overall thoughts? It’s an amazing album. I love it and I’m sure over time I will grow to appreciate it even more. I am so happy this project came out the way it did and glad it finally did come out!! Well, if you need me I’ll be listening to It Was Good Until It Wasn’t! Peace! lol.

Twitter Instagram Goodreads |

WWW Wednesday #41 – 5/6/20

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is doing good so far this week! This week I am basically just focusing on the blog and reading, practicing healthy habits. Trying to get my overall mental health kind of back on track since things are starting to become a little more normal. 

Now, it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted over at Sam’s Taking On A World of Words page! Just answer the 3 questions below every Wednesday, and feel free to post your answers in the comments and of course check out the other participants and see what else they are reading for the week. The questions are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What have you finished reading?
  3. What will you read next?

So let’s get onto the post!

img_0133

What Are You Currently Reading?

 

BeFunky-collage

💚 So This Is Love by Elizabeth Lim – I started this one on Sunday and I am already in love with it! It is such a good story already and I can’t wait to finish this one soon!

💛 Light Filters In: Poems by Caroline Kaufman – I’ve been into poetry this month, and although this doesn’t exactly help me with my Asian Read-a-thon challenges, it definitely helps calm my soul a little bit, which is what I definitely need right now. 

What Have You Finished Reading?

The Sun and Her Flowers

💚 The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur – Like I said, poetry has really been my thing this month so far, so reading this on the first day of May was really nice. I actually enjoyed it and ended up giving it a 4/5 stars!

What Will You Read Next?

The Way You Make Me Feel

💛 The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo – I’ve heard a lot of good things about Goo’s writing style, so I can’t wait to pick this up next to continue on with the Asian Read-a-thon month! 

img_0133

Twitter Instagram Goodreads |

 

May 2020 TBR | Asian Readathon

Happy May everybody! This month I have been super excited for because it is *drum roll*… the Asian Readathon! This month is Asian Heritage month, and although I am not Asian, I think this month kind of comes at a very important time during these dark days where people, Asians especially, are receiving a lot of unnecessary hate.

This readathon is being hosted by readwithcindy over on youtube! Definitely check out the video in which she goes over her prompts and other things like that in regards to the readathon.

I think celebrating our Asian authors and characters is a great way to shed some positive light on a really negative situation. I have a pretty exciting TBR this month, where all the books are either by Asian authors, or feature Asian characters, or even both! So let’s dive into the TBR!

img_0133

The Sun and Her FlowersThe Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

So This is LoveSo This Is Love by Elizabeth Lim

*I have actually pretty excited to pick this one up since it sounds like the most interesting plot the series has put out. I have feelings Cinderella is going to be a badass and I am so here for it!*

What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella attempts a fresh start, looking for work at the palace as a seamstress. But when the Grand Duke appoints her to serve under the king’s visiting sister, Cinderella becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king-and the prince-out of power, as well as a longstanding prejudice against fairies, including Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother. Faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom, Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present . . . before it’s too late.

 

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)Loveboat, Teipei (Loveboat, Teipei #1) by Abigail Hing Wen

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1)Death Note, Vol 1: Boredom (Death Note #1) by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata, Pookie Rolf (Translator)

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, a death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

Boredom
Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily, Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?

The Way You Make Me FeelThe Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

Emergency ContactEmergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

img_0133

Well… this is my Asian Readathon TBR! I am hoping that everything continues to go smoothly enough to where I can read and control my anxiety like I did a little bit better in April. Are you guys participating this year? What are your guys picks? Let me know!

Twitter Instagram Goodreads |