Paper Mate Ink Joy Gel Pen Review

Hey guys, I’m currently taking a couple classes at my local college. I’ve been quite busy, so I haven’t had time to write reviews, and trust me I know I’m behind. Anyways, what I like about going back to school is shopping for school supplies. I’ve mostly focused on buying pens and a couple of stationary items.

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For this review, I’m only going to focus primarily on the Paper Mate Ink Joy pen collection set of six. This is not a sponsored review, I bought these pens on my own.

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Here are a couple of my notes in black. 
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Another set of notes in green.
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As I’ve mentioned, the set comes with six colored pens. Here is a side by side of my notes.
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Here is how the pens writes. 

What I really love about my Ink Joy Gel Pens is that it doesn’t smudge and the grip is very comfortable. Also, I find that the ink lasts longer. I was quite impressed with Paper Mate since it is a brand that I normally don’t use. The only negative that I can think of is that it bleeds through, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re writing an essay for class. Other than that, it’s perfect for note taking.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

This week’s topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated Book Releases For The Second Half Of The Year. Now, this one is my favorite one since I have so many books that I look forward to reading! Also, I’ve noticed that most of the books on the list have a dark cover. Ha ha. Here are my choices:

  1. Harry Potter & The Cursed ChildBased on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

    It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

    While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

  2. Heartless: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

    Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

    At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

    Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

  3. Crooked Kingdom: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
  4. Labyrinth Lost: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

    I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

    Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

    The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

    Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

  5. Nemesis: The princess didn’t expect to fall in love–with her nemesis.

    Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

    Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

    Sepora’s gift could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

  6. The Graces: Everyone said the Graces were witches.

    They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

    They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

    All I had to do was show them that person was me.

    Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

    This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

  7. And I Darken: NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

    And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

    Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

    But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

  8. Of Fire And Stars: Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

    Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

    When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

    But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

  9. Vassa In The Night: In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

    In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

    But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

    Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

  10. The Reader: Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

the winner's kiss

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga

Links: Goodreads | Amazon 

Goodreads Synopsis: Some kisses come at a price.

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

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It is really hard to say goodbye to a final book in a series. Ever since the cliffhanger of The Winner’s Crime, I’ve been anticipating the release of The Winner’s Kiss. I have not encountered any spoilers on Tumblr. Thank the Lord. This review will be spoiler free.

What I love about The Winner’s Trilogy is how each book gets exciting and stressful at the same time. Stressful, say what? You read correctly. Stressful. Arin and Kestrel have a complicated relationship. First of all, she is Valorian and Arin is Herrani. Those two cultures don’t mix. He was a slave, and she was a society lady. Their love was never meant to happened. As much as I love those two, Kestrel and Arin went through a lot of misunderstanding and lying.  Arin and Kestrel have one of the most epic love stories in Young Adult Literature. They don’t have the perfect relationship, but they balance each other out. (This a spoiler for those who have not read started this series!)

Now, what I loved about this book is how much it focused on Arin and Kestrel’s relationship. I really did not know what to expect after that cliffhanger. I had my own theories on how the book was going to end, but I was proven wrong. For those who love the dynamic of the protagonist’s relationship, you will love, love, love this book. Kestrel is one of my favorite YA heroines. She’s not physically strong, but always uses her intelligence to gain the upper hand.  Though this book does demonstrate how much Kestrel has grown mentally and physically. As for the writing, it was phenomenal as always.  I love the way Marie writes.

This book was nearly perfect. I would have loved for more screen time for certain characters. The secondary characters were amazing in The Winner’s Crime. There’s a lot more of Roshar in this book than anyone else. He had many great lines throughout this book. Also, the bromance was top notch. Other than that, certain parts did feel a little dragged out, and I’m not talking about the war. Despite those flaws, the ending of this book was beautiful.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

WWW Wednesday May 11th, 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

My sister is graduating tomorrow from nursing school! I’ve been extremely busy this week. Looking forward to a good week.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

the winner's kiss

Lost my book since I’m rearranging and moving a couple of my items. I found it today after my spring cleaning. Haven’t touched this book in a while, and my priority is finishing it by Sunday.

What did you recently finish reading?

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet LetterAuthor: Stacy King, Nathaniel Hawthrone (original)

Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga

Links: Goodreads | Amazon 

Goodreads Synopsis: A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tragic saga of Puritan America. .Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.”

 

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(Artwork from the book)

Book is available on NetGalley.

I haven’t had the opportunity to read any classic books in manga format. It was interesting, and I saw it was available on NetGalley. I really enjoyed reading The Scarlet Letter in manga form. The manga is a condensed version of the book, so there were many parts that were cut down from the original story.

The story is about Hester and how she has committed adultery in her puritan home. She has a baby, but won’t name the father of her child. She bears a giant A on her chest, which stands for adultery. She keeps her secret hidden from the world. Her society shuns her, and she alone must bear the pain.

What I really liked about the book was the art style. It was easy to differentiate the characters. Hester had the best character design, I wasn’t too keen on the guys designs especially Arthur Dimmesdale’s design. As for the characters, I couldn’t grow to love them. I really thought of the whole cast to be one dimensional. The manga did a great job of telling the story through images. As I’ve mentioned, the manga story does allude to the symbolism and metaphors from the original text. Now if you’re looking for a short version of the book, you should definitely try reading the manga since it is straightforward and easy to grasp.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

WWW Wednesday May 4th, 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

the winner's kiss

I am taking my sweet time reading The Winner’s Kiss. So far, some of the chapters have made me really emotional. Doesn’t help that I keep playing instrumental soundtracks.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Crown by Kiera Cass

the crownAuthor: Kiera Cass

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

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I can’t believe I am writing this down, but the last book in The Selection Series may have been the best one out of the bunch. I still believe that the author did milk the cow with the series after she wrote The One. The Heir and The Crown could have been one book, but that’s just me. Funny thing is that I started The Crown while I was working out in the gym, but I end up reading it in one sitting.

Eadlyn was a much better character in this book. She completely changed her personality, and I didn’t feel like she was the same character compared to the previous book. I enjoyed Eadlyn far more. Eadlyn realizes that she has to put her kingdom above all else, even if it means sacrificing her happiness. Eadlyn wants to make up for her past actions and she grows stronger. She tries to focus what is best for her country, even though everyone does not have faith in her. No one gives Eadlyn enough credit for her liberal actions when she tries to create balance within her empire. Eadlyn has great character development, and I still prefer her more than America. Though she did make some questionable decisions.

There is also an unnecessary minor villain that is introduced in this book. His name is Marid, but I kept reading Madrid. Ha ha. He could of been introduced in The Heir. He did remind me of Hans from Frozen. From the moment he was introduced, I knew he was up to no good. And sadly, Ahren hardly made an appearance in this last book.

As for Eadlyn’s selection, I wished there were a bit more moments between Eadlyn and her suitors. When I first reviewed The Heir, I really liked Henri and Eikko (Erik). Let’s just say that Henri is just as wonderful in this book. He is still by far my favorite contestant from the selection. He’s a sweet guy that cares deeply for Eadlyn and Eikko. I’m glad that Kile and Eadlyn have each other’s backs. There was one shocking moment in the book that involves two selection candidates. I wasn’t expecting it. One of my minor complaints from this book was that the relationship was a tad rushed towards the end. I would have liked a slow paced development from the beginning. Ever since reading The Heir last year, I had a feeling that Eadlyn’s choice was going to be a certain character, and boy was I right.

“Maybe it’s not the first kisses that are supposed to be special. Maybe it’s the last ones.”

This last book was very entertaining, but it does have it’s faults. I’ve mentioned earlier that The Heir & The Crown could have been easily combined and shortened down. There were some dull moments throughout the book, this books doesn’t focus heavily on the romance but more on Eadlyn’s rise to power. It’s the only book in the Selection Series that I have given a four star rating.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Characters I Would Like To Revisit In Ten Years

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

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This week’s topic is Young Adult Characters I Would Revisit In Ten Years. This is an exciting topic for this week. Now thinking about this list, I will exclude Harry Potter characters just because everyone lists Harry Potter, so I want my list to be a little diverse. (Even though, I would love to revisit them in a heartbeat.)

  1. The Lunar Chronicles – Cinder and gang.
  2. Grisha Trilogy – Prince Nikolai. Always.
  3. The Winner’s Trilogy – Arin & Kestrel
  4. Eleanor & Park – Eleanor, especially after reading that ending.
  5. The Fault In Our Stars – Hazel
  6. Hunger Games – Peeta
  7. The Wrath & The Dawn – Khalid and Shazi
  8. Shadows On The Moon – Suzume
  9. The Start Of Me and You – Paige
  10. The Diviners – Evie, Sam, Theta, and Memphis.

3 Day, 3 Quote: Haruki Murakami

Hey, and good evening! I forgot to post my quote for yesterday. I was busy with Yallwest and a party, that I forgot to schedule it. Whoops, my bad. I had a lot of fun posting these quotes, and I might try to do it monthly…possibly, I can’t guarantee it yet just yet. And finally, here is the last quote for my Murakami quote challenge.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Quote:

norwegian wood

(Picture taken by yours truly)

Nominees:

Bibliophile

Tinder Box And Trinket

Reading Every Night

Owlcrate Box April 2016

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(picture taken from my bookstagram account: @thereadingbelle)

Hey world! I received my Owlcrate Box yesterday, but I didn’t get to open it till today! I didn’t want to film my unboxing this time around because filming and opening the box with one hand is difficult. Anyways, this month’s box did not disappoint!! So, when I saw that April’s theme was going to be dystopian, I had to get it.

My box came with a lot of awesome merchandise:

  • Wicked Decal (Maze Runner)
  • Mockingjay bracelet
  • a mini 1984 blank notebook
  • a Katniss minimalist magnet
  • a cute bookish coaster
  • a mini quote poster from the upcoming book – The Star-Touched Queen
  • Flawed by Cecelia Ahren

My favorite item was the 1984 mini notebook! I also liked the bracelet very much, and as for the book, I haven’t read much reviews about it. So, I really don’t know what to expect.

The Book:

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Goodreads Synopsis: Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.