ARC: Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius The Great is Not Okay Goodreads Synopsis:

Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understand that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

Commentary:

tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo I received the arc for Darius The Great Is Not Okay when I attended Yallwest, all opinions are my own. tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo  ʕ灬→ᴥ←灬ʔ

I am trying to read as much as possible before going back to my fall semester of my senior year at university. I picked up Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram for my July book of the month. I was immediately drawn to the cover, the colors and details are by far my favorite.

Darius Kellner is a biracial teenager who suffers from depression. He fells outcasted in his school, and his family, especially by his father. Darius understands that he is not normal. He is a bit on the heavy side, nerdy, and doesn’t socialize with people. His father has his own ambitions for his son in order for Darius to fit in with the normal boys in school. In addition, Darius is a victim of being bullied often by the popular boys. I felt quite sad for Darius due his illness, and how it seem like nothing was going his way.

Darius also suffers from an identity crisis because he is biracial. Though he looks Persian on the outside, he is far more Americanized. Darius could hardly speak to his grandparents in Farsi. He feels socially awkward with his Persian family because he does not fit in, and mental illness is not spoken of. He compares himself with his younger sibling who speaks Farsi like the pro.

A family trip to Iran shakes Darius’s world. He is introduced to his mother’s homeland and experiences an overall change because of it. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Darius’s grandfather is slowing dying. The family trip is supposed to connect the family together, and bring Darius closer together to his Persian history. Darius experiences different events in his short trip abroad. He becomes best friends with Sohrab, who immediately accepts him, though Darius completely does not understand why. Darius feels he has multiple flaws, despite being surrounded by people who love and support him. (灬♥ω♥灬)

If you go into this book thinking it is a romance, that’s not the case. For me, I did feel that Darius had feelings for Sohrab because of their connection, and their trusting friendship. What stood out for me was the relationship between Darius and his father, Stephen Kellner. Though both have depression, each character handles their depression differently. Stephen Kellner expects Darius to be masculine, and be normal. He does not want his son to be a victim of bullying. There is miscommunication and tense conversations between Darius and his father. It was hard for both of them to come to an understanding. Another aspect that shone in the book was how older generations treat mental illness. Darius tried keeping his depression a secret from his grandparents. It is hard to communicate with family members when it comes to mental illness. This caused a lot of awkward moments.

The writing was quite interesting to say the least. I was not the biggest fan of the writing style, and it took me a while to get used to…and it honestly seemed there was going to be a romance between Darius and Sohrab. I was expecting it for the very last chapters of the book…and it left me disappointed. I would have loved if the author had explored Darius sexuality more. Some scenes did feel that Darius was flirting, but it was a bit frustrating that this never led anywhere. It also felt that Darius kept reminding readers that he is not fully Persian, nor will ever be. I understand his identity crisis, but it was a constant reminder in most chapters…it did get really annoying. (╬ Ò ‸ Ó)

Honestly, this was a fast read for me. Darius deserved the world and more, he was really sensitive, and he really needed love. Let’s say, I can relate with Darius when it comes to mental illness. It was good, but I am sure others will love it more than me. ٩(๑•◡-๑)۶ⒽⓤⒼ❤

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.75)

 

Beauty And The Beast Book Tag!

It has been a while since I last did a book tag! I’d like to thank audreywritesabroad for tagging me! Go check out her blog! It was so much fun doing this tag!

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“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get bored of reading

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I love my fairy tale retellings! I never get sick of those! Lunar Chronicles is my favorite retelling series to date!

“Belle” – A book bought for its beautiful cover
that’s
just as beautiful inside too

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Pride and Prejudice: I know it’s a basic answer, but it’s true. I have the edition with all seven stories in one. Beautiful cover + beautiful story!

“Beast” – A book you didn’t expect much
from but pleasantly surprised you

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The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. I picked up The Start of Me and You because it was a group’s book of the month to read. I was blown away by how cute the romance was. My goodness, it was that good.

“Gaston” – A book everyone loves that you don’t

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This can be said about a lot of books. It was difficult choosing which books I didn’t like since I have a lot:

  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
  • Fairy Tale by Hiro Mashima
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    “Lefou” – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but
    love more than their counterpart

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Kolya from City of Thieves was the better than the main protagonist. Though he was forced to work with the protagonist, I loved friendship and his antics.

“Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumière & Cogsworth” – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught
you something valuable

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One Piece: Nakama for life.  In all seriousness, One Piece is one of my top manga ever. It has has helped me get through a difficult time in my life. One Piece has been there for me.

“Something there” – A book series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

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I didn’t get to read Harry Potter growing up as a kid. I read Harry Potter in my mid-twenties because I thought it was going to be overhyped! I was wrong! Harry Potter is now dear to my heart. I regret not getting into Harry Potter as a kid! I read all seven books in less than a month.

 

“Be our guest” – A fictional character you’d
love to have for dinner

Be our Guest

Okay, I’m going to cheat on this one since it’s really hard to pick just one guest from my favorite book series:

  • The Lunar Chronicles Gang
  • Six Of Crows Gang
  • Nikolai Lantsov

 

ARC: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella

goodreads-synopsis

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

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I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me an ARC of Geekerella by Amy Poston. All opinions are my own.

I am completely blown away by Geekerella. I went into the book with no expectations. I love my Cinderella retellings, and so I decided to check this one out. Why didn’t anyone tell me that Geekerella was going to be so good?! It was that good!  I am still shocked that I managed to finish Geekerella in the span of two days. I devoured the book, I had so much fun reading Geekerella. I might even re-read again because it was too good!

Alright, so Geekerella is a Cinderella retelling that made my fandom heart melt. If you loved reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, you need to pick up Geekerella. Do it now! If you’re in any fandom, you’ll appreciate Geekerella. This book made me feel really happy. (It’s been a while folks…ha ha) It follows the basic Cinderella plot. Evil step-mother, evil step-sisters, and a charming romantic love interest. What made Geekerella stand out was that the main protagonists were nerdy and oh so adorable. They were both perfect for each other, it was meant to be. I loved reading both Elle and Darien’s perspective. Both characters had such great development. I was rooting for my two precious babies. Though, I did prefer Elle a lot more. She was so innocent and deserving of happiness. Elle was passionate about her fandom, and she defended it like there was no tomorrow. She was misunderstood and quirky, and a bit stubborn, but had a heart of gold.Elle’s love for her father and her fandom was so cute. Darien was charming, but he all he wanted to be was a normal person, not just an actor. He wanted a normal life, and had to deal with a lot of hate against him. He was coping with bullies and fame. He couldn’t trust people because he was betrayed by his best friend. I have to admit that there were a couple sad moments in the book, I did cry a bit.

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It had so many positive themes, like never giving up when things are impossible. I was immediately charmed by both characters. Elle and Darien had their own conflicts that they needed to resolve. Elle and Darien felt like two unwanted people in their worlds until they found each other. I love how Elle and Darien have back and forth conversations with each other anonymously.

As for the side characters, Sage was my favorite. She is Elle’s co-worker who soon becomes her best friend. I found it really cute how Elle introduced Sage to Starfield. She always pushed Elle to stand up for herself and not give up so quickly. I loved rebellious attitude. She is Elle’s punk rock fairy Godmother. I loved how Sage was a loyal friend to Elle no matter what. I wished there could have been a bit more moments with Sage and her love interest though!

If I can nominate a book to get a live action movie, it would be Geekerella. Can you imagine a cosplay ball and how beautiful it would be? The cosplay ball was absolutely cute, one of my favorite parts in Geekerella. Overall Geekerella was a magical contemporary book that made my heart swoon. Recommend it? Heck yes!

Publication Date: April 4th 2017 by Quirk Books

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)

ARC: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

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goodreads-synopsis

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

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I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me an ARC of Blood Rose Rebellion. All opinions are my own.

Let’s talk about Blood Rose Rebellion. What a book. I literally don’t have any words to describe this one. My first warning sign should have been for fans of Red Queen, but I did not want to immediately judge the book. I was in the mood for historical fiction. I saw Blood Rose Rebellion on NetGalley and it had a unique synopsis. Now, I’ve never read a YA fantasy/historical fiction book set during the Hungarian Revolution. It was something new. Something exciting. Something fresh. Blood Rose Rebellion was not. Well, once again I have no words to describe how I about this book.

What I appreciate is that the author took a lot of time educating herself with Hungarian history. Kudos to her. But though her hard work was put into her book, I cannot say this book was terrific. It was very underwhelming.

Anna Arden is manipulated easily. People tell her what to do and she does it! She does not think for herself! Throughout the whole story, she was manipulated by her peers and friends. It was frustrating reading about a character who could not make up her own mind. She was foolish when to came to deciding on who was right or wrong. She did not take time to analyze the situations presented to her. I really had a difficult time warming up to Anna because she was so reckless and destructive to everyone around her.

Folks: EVERY DECISION ANNA MADE RESULTED IN HORRIBLE EVENTS TAKING PLACE!

A lot of tragedy could have been avoided if the girl had used her reason. Besides having a puppet mentality, she was driven to do certain things because of boys. Not saying that being boy crazy is a bad thing, but she put any guy she liked on a pedestal over her family. In the beginning she is head over heels for a man named Freddy. Though Freddy is a jerk and an irrelevant love interest, Anna would do anything for Freddy. She even sabotaged her sister’s magical debut. I found myself not liking the relationship Anna had with her sister. No sisterly love whatsoever. Instead, both sisters competed for a guy who did not chose either of them. As I mentioned Freddy is irrelevant compared to the other love interests.

Talk about boring love interests. By the way, one of Anna’s love interests is her second cousin. So yeah, there’s incest in this book. I was not a fan of both love interests. The love interests were not fleshed out. It seemed like all the boys were attracted to Anna, and I was shaking my head. No, no, no, no. Another case of a special snowflake that everyone loves, but I just hated. The romance was pointless because the guy characters were as bland as toast. Neither guy was great for Anna. And she was not great for them.

Many characters are introduced throughout the book. Luckily there was a glossary at the end of the book that served as a reference guide when I felt lost. The only likable characters from Blood Rose Rebellion were her cousin Noemi and her grandmother who were the voices of reason. Those two characters wanted to keep Anna in check from committing dumb decisions. Yeah, they tried in keeping her safe, but did not succeed. Unfortunately.

By the way, this book starts off really slowly. Nothing was happening and then everything became extremely dark near the end. The book had great concepts such as introducing demonic monsters and incorporating true historical events into the story. The mythology was cool as well just because it was new to me. But even though all those story elements were great, it did not work with Blood Rose Rebellion. Too much information and explanations that dragged on and on. Oh my goodness, I had to put this book down several times. I felt that I was mostly skimming through some of the chapters.

The most entertaining sections were the overly dark chapters that were added too late into the game. After reading Blood Rose Rebellion, I am not picking up the other books in the series. I can see potential of more books, but after reading this book with no plot and flat characters, and a pointless romance, I would just stop and move on with my life. I did not like it, but maybe anyone else will.

Final Rating:⭐️⭐️

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.

Recap: Anime Expo 2016

So, earlier this month I went to Anime Expo. I’ve been planning it for almost a year, and I ended up getting the four day pass for my birthday. I wasn’t really on spending much, but I think I got some deals and I mostly went for the experience. My recommendation is to buy the four day pass only when it’s Black Friday since it is the best deal. Anyways, here are pics from my four days. 🙂

Meet Miles Jai

Miles Jai

I knew he was going to Anime Expo, but I never imagined running into him on my last day too!!! Luckily, I took a picture!! 🙂

The Cosplayers

  • Botan & Kuwabara (Yu Yu Hakusho)
  • Snorlax (Pokémon)
  • Yona & Hak (Akatsuki no Yona)
  • Kagome (Inuyasha)
  • Spongebob & Patrick Caveman (Spongebob)
  • Atsushi & Dazai (Bungo Stray Dogs)
  • Shinpachi, Gintoki, & Kagura (Gintama)
  • Captain America
  • Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
  • Emporio Ivankov (One Piece)
  • Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, & Sailor Saturn (Sailor Moon)
  • Sailor Uranus (Sailor Moon)
  • Robin & Nami (One Piece)
  • Zoro & Luffy (One Piece)

Rilakkuma Exhibition

(Part of Japan LA)

One Piece

  • One Piece Cutouts (mostly selfies)
  • Bandai One Piece Figures
  • One Piece Film: Gold (Artwork)

Sailor Moon

  • Moon Panel: Official Viz Sailor Moon panel with English Dub Cast.

    Merchandise

    As you can see, mostly Sailor Moon items. I’m a hardcore fan of Sailor Moon since I’ve been a little girl. The large poster came from the Moon Panel. The other small posters came from the Viz Booth. I got a couple fans, a One Piece print, a Dragonball Z print, Princess Shirahoshi notebook, a Hijikata keychain, and a Sailor Moon water bottle from a scavenger hunt.

Thoughts

I can’t wait for next year’s Anime Expo. I will buy my ticket ahead of time and I will most likely book a hotel reservation. Why? Well, I wanted to stay out longer, but I don’t want to drive tired. Also, having a hotel nearby means that I can drop off merchandise without having to carry it all day, and also rest without needing to worry about leaving early. Lastly, I will definitely invest in a portable charger since my phone kept dying. This year’s AX was great, and I hope next year’s will be even better.

It’s Been A While…

Hey guys! It feels a little weird to be writing since I haven’t been writing at all. Nothing. I haven’t had time to write reviews nor read as much. Last month, I hardly put any effort in my blog. I just disappeared without really mentioning a “vacation” post or anything. For that, I apologize.

I promised myself to overcome any reading slumps, but I’m in a reading slump at the moment. It doesn’t help that I have several arcs to read. I’ve been mostly working, watching anime, and wedding planning which is such a “joy”. I’ve fallen behind on several things like buying my wedding dress, looking for sponsors, and I haven’t sent my save the dates…I’ve been stressed and I haven’t had time to read. I miss reading at my own comfort, but life catches up on you. I miss the book community. 😦

Again, I feel bad for not interacting with anyone. I’m trying to be much more active for this month since I have been gone. Tomorrow will be a better day. I have a new notebook and I have already jotted down a couple posts for this month.

As for my reading slump, watching anime helps me out. A lot. But, I won’t give up on the book. At the moment, I’m reading Summer Days & Summer Nights and I’m going to try to finish it before next Wednesday. Sorry for rambling on and on, but I hope everyone is having a great day.

Quote of the day:

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Monthly Favorites: May 2016

Hey, and good evening! I am so happy today because I finally have internet again! Woot woot! I’ve missed it so much. It really felt like I was living in the 2000s again. The month of May went by quicker than I had expected! I know this list might be a little late. So here are my favorites:

Books:

I didn’t buy books for May, but I did end up getting three free books. Now here’s the story: My fiance and I were driving around a neighborhood near Belmont Shore. He was driving back home, but accidentally turned onto a different route. In the corner of the street there was a wagon filled with books. Free books. That’s right.

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Instagram: @thereadingbelle 

There were several book! I was a bit overwhelmed, but there were three promising books that I took with me that day. The books I hauled where Night Film by Marisha Pessl, Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer, The Garden Of Good And Evil by John Berendt. I might try to go there this month for more free books.

Movie:

One of the movies that I was looking forward to seeing since Winter Solider, was Captain America: Civil War. The movie was terrific!!! What I really appreciate from the Captain America series is that with each movie, it gets better. (Unlike the Ironman movies). Now, the story was well done, and the action scenes were amazing!! I have to say that Black Panther and Spiderman really stole the show for me. Also, I liked the buildup to Scarlet Witch, and Vision’s relationship.

Television

I’ve watched much more anime than I had expected for this month. It’s been so long since I’ve kept up with the anime from this season. I haven’t started Boku Hero Academia or Joker Game. I hope I can start those two really soon.

Bungou Stray Dogs  is by far my favorite anime for this season. I like the pacing of the show. One bookish fact is that the characters are based off Japanese authors. One of my favorite guys happens to be Osamu Dazai, and I happen to have read No Longer Human. I might create a Bungou Stray Dogs reading challenge after I finish the show.

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Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is hilarious. I laugh at every episode. If you like watching Gintama, then I’d recommend this one!! It’s so much fun.

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World took me a while to really get attached to it. The pacing is definitely slow, but it’s worth watching. The twins are my favorite from the bunch.

Personal

I’m the type of person to collect journals, but I never end up writing in them. That’s right…I’m a journal hoarder. I do have a journal for blogging which I regularly use, but not one for my personal life. I’ve challenged myself to write at least a couple sentences a day. I used to be really committed to journaling when I was ten years younger. It feels like it’s been forever since I started writing down my thoughts. I’ve been doing good so far, though I write slower than before. Ha ha.

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Blog Update: 500 Followers?!

Hey, and good day! I don’t have internet at the moment, so it’s a bit hard to be online for now. Luckily, I shall have internet in my home soon. Now, I wanted to talk about something. Followers!

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I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, and I’m really happy. I did get a bit emotional because I really never expected my blog to grow tremendously. I’m thinking of doing a book giveaway real soon 🙂

Anyways, I’m hoping everyone is having a great day!!! Thank you!!!

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