FOMO

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When it comes to keeping up with the techno-slang, I fall way behind. These days when I log onto social media platforms I have to keep Google open on a separate tab so that I can search the meaning of these words that might as well be a foreign language to me. But ever since I came across the term FOMO and discovered what it actually stands for, it was as if someone had turned on a switch in my mind.

Since this is a term being thrown around so often these days, I gather FOMO is a very real occurrence in today’s society. I have no doubt that it’s a result of our exposure to other people’s lives through social media. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of questioning your life plans when you see someone else doing what you wish you could be doing in that very moment.

But I have realised, that the more I fixate on something that I could be doing, the more I am letting opportunities pass me by to do something in that moment. I am living in my mind instead of living. For example:

Last week I was feeling so blagh, I wanted to get out and do something fun. But I ended up wasting so much time moping that I let an entire day pass me by and I could get nothing done. At about 5:30 that evening the husband took me for a drive up Signal Hill, and even though it was a short outing, it did me the world of good to get out and see the beauty of this city I call home.
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Sometimes we get swept away by the life we are trying to build for ourselves that we forget to live the life we want. I am sick of the FOMO!! I prefer to enjoy the spur of the moment drive up Signal Hill on a misty Sunday evening with my favourite person in the world; instead of dreaming about the end of year holidays. Yes I am excited for the holidays, but I don’t want to wait until then to have some adventure, I don’t want the days in between to go by uneventful. After all, Happiness is a journey not a destination.

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September Reads

I know, I know, September is long gone and believe me when I say it could not have been over sooner. But before I can send September officially packing and embrace the new month, I have to share my thoughts on the books I have read during the month that was supposed to bring Spring to Cape Town (FYI it has failed miserably in that department too)…

You guys, I am proud of myself! Even with all the stuff that went on, I still managed to do some solid reading – an improvement from the amount of books I read last month!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling

My growing lil' collection
I think Harry Potter has released me from the crappy reading slump I’ve been in this year. I am sure there is no need to explain the plot of this book so I will just say that I really enjoyed it, which is no surprise I know. I still feel like it was written as more of a children’s book so I can see why I never took to the first two books when I started reading it years ago.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K Rowling

Now THIS book was awesome!! I think the story really picked up a whole different dimension in this one. I got so many answers for all the unanswered questions I had after watching the movie. Sirius Black and Professor Lupin are two of my favourite characters from the movies, so when I started this book I had high hopes. I am so pleased to say that my expectations were met and exceeded!

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K Rowling

I still cannot get over the fact that I got this book for a measly R40! I mean where have you ever? This little book is such a special edition to my bookshelf. In The Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore leaves The Tales of Beedle the Bard to Hermoine, and it contains fables which I imagine witches reading to their little ones as bed times stories.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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I wrote a short review on this book here. I breezed through this story and I immediately fell in love with Patrick Ness’s style of writing.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

IMG_20150912_191821 I wrote an in depth review here which explains exactly how I felt about this book. I feel that everyone needs to read this story as it explains a part of history that I don’t think many people are aware of. If you like historical fiction and have not yet read this then please remedy that as soon as possible, believe me, you will not be disappointed!

My Life Next Door Huntley Fitzpatrick

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So, I haven’t been reading much romances and I was in the mood to read something from this genre. I have heard people go on and on about this book on social media, and because I had it sitting in my “currently reading” pile on Goodreads for about a year, I thought it would be good to finish it once and for all. Let me first say that I enjoyed the plot, the writing style was good and I found the characters to be entertaining too. BUT, I still felt let down after I finished the story. I know that after reading all the amazing reviews, I had high hopes for this one and I hate that I always fall into that trap since I have had so many of these experiences! I would recommend this book to someone who hasn’t read much romance novels.

Burying Water by K.A.Tucker

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I enjoy K.A. Tucker’s writing technique. She also manages to surprise me each time I read something written by her, because she always adds that extra bit of something to her plots. The story of Jesse and Alex was unlike anything I have read before. The mixture of suspense, romance and action was a wonderful combination that held my interest throughout the duration of the book – something that I haven’t experienced in a while with romances.

Chasing River by K.A.Tucker

IMG_20151004_083214 Luke and River’s story was also one that I found hard to put down. Normally an author builds up a character in the previous book so that you want to know more about him/her. But I never felt that way about Luke. He was not a character I thought I’d enjoy reading about because he was unbelievably materialistic and arrogant – not qualities I particularly enjoy in a hero. Despite this, he pleasantly surprised me. I wouldn’t say this is the best I have read by K.A. Tucker, but it is good enough for me to recommend it to anyone looking for something with a little bit of action.

Fair Game by Monica Murphy

I think the only reason I completed this book was because it would have bugged me to have yet another story left unfinished. Still, I felt like I completely wasted my time with this one – it was mind numbingly (is that even a word) predictable. My general reaction to this was:

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I am currently reading Cress by Marissa Meyer, which I am enjoying so far. You can follow me on Instagram, if you would like to keep up with my bibliophilic tendencies, since I regularly post my thoughts on what I am currently reading. And if there are any books you thought were good, then please drop a comment below, I am always looking for recommendations!

– Nihaad

Wake Me Up When September Ends…

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As you’ve gathered, I am sure, by the title of this post; I am a huge fan of Greenday! Ever since I first heard American Idiot, its been my life long dream to play the drums (or wail an electric guitar) like a punk rock chick! But I digress. This post is not about a really cool band, but rather about the reasons behind why I’ve been so quiet the past few weeks.

I do apologise for being MIA, especially since my last post and how motivated I was to continue working on my blog. But life was so incredibly hectic that I just wanted someone to, well, wake me up when it ends!!

– My husband got called in for an interview halfway through the month and the next day when he left from said interview, he received a call from the company offering him the position. We were ecstatic, because after searching for about 3 months, and him burning to get back into the working world, we felt like it was the opportunity he’s been searching for.

– This however meant that we had to wake up at 5 every morning in order to leave the house by 6am so that he can drop me off at work by 6:30am for him to be at work on time (7:30am). The days were reeeeeally long so by the time 5pm rolled by, all I wanted was to get home and sleep! Yes we were mentally and physically drained by the end of each day, but we were both so grateful for the experience.

– The husband also graduated in the same week that he started working, so we had a wonderful celebration in honour of his achievement – Proud of you babe!!
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– It was also Eid-al-Adha (Belated Eid Mubarak to all Muslim readers) which fell on Heritage Day here in South Africa, and it was amazing to spend the day with the family.
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It was heart-breaking to hear about the tragedies which occurred in Mecca; and I do wish to take this opportunity to send my duaahs (prayers) to all the families and friends that were affected by those horrific events.

– The husband had a rather traumatic experience during his first week on the job. A man had an asthma attack on site, and he was the one to take him to the clinic. After doing everything they could, the man unfortunately passed away; and Taufeeq was there to witness this.

– The next week on his way to mosque, Taufeeq was involved in a car accident. He was hit from behind, and the car was left with a nasty dent and some scratches, but thankfully he came out of it unscathed.

– During the early hours of Monday morning we received a phone call that a really close member of the family had passed. It was so sudden and unexpected; a truly difficult time for the family. It meant a lot though that I could offer my support during such a trying time.

– To end off the month of September, Taufeeq received a call from a company who he had interviewed with about a month ago. After waiting so long we all figured that the application was unsuccessful, which is why he took the first job. But on Tuesday he was contacted and they informed him that his interview was a success! He went in on Wednesday to fill out the paper work, and Alghamdulillah we are so grateful for this break. After reminding him each day to sabr (be patient) and have faith that things will fall into place the way it should, it was exactly what we both needed.

We all experience times when we feel like nothing at all is going right. It is a reminder that as much as we plan and worry about life, we have absolutely no control over what happens. The beauty of it is that after facing the challenges and difficulties thrown in our path, we get to appreciate the good things that comes our way so much more. And now that we are in the month of October, a new month with fresh new possibilities; we learn to accept certain things that we have no power to change and move on. We learn to appreciate the good with the bad, and to make the most out of each day.

How has the past few weeks been treating you?

– Nihaad

100 Followers!!

Gigabyte Netbook courtesy of The Husband

In celebration of reaching 100 followers on the Little Blog of STUFF (you guys are awesome, thank you!!), I thought it would be fun to list a few things that I love so far in this new world of blogging:

1) I get to express my creativity

This is something that I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. In the field in which I work I don’t get much of an opportunity to be creative. I have always been a creative person, whether it be drawing, painting, writing a poem now and again – I just find it incredibly relaxing to express myself in some way. So since I started this blog, I have had the opportunity to do so. I enjoy taking pictures and editing them the way I like, I enjoy writing and expressing myself through words, I enjoy being in control of my space and how I want it to look. This blog has been an outlet for me and it helps me release what ever I am feeling through the next post I create.

2) Inner Geek, Unleashed

I have always been rather good with computers. I am by no means an expert, but understanding computers comes easy to me. I did a computer applications subject in high school which I really enjoyed, so when I got to university my computer literacy skills was quite good. Blogging is a way for me to better my computer skills and also a way for me to brush up on what I have learnt through the years. I also get to improve my writing skills which I would like to use some day in the future when I find my lifes calling.

3) Being inspired

I have stumbled upon some great blogs in the short amount of time that I’ve been blogging, and with that I have (virtually) met some great people. People who inspires me, who makes me think differently and people who teach me something new everyday. It is a weird and wonderful thing to get to know total strangers through the work they put out there, and it is even more wonderfully weird to find the inspiration you are looking for through this. Sometimes I need a bit of advice or I need to know how people dealt with an issue that I am currently facing; and it comforts me to know that I am not alone in my struggles.

4) Meeting new people

I absolutely love the feeling when I published a post and someone can relate to it. I love it when I receive thoughtful comments from people who just want to let me know that they liked something I wrote. It is a wonderful feeling to know that at least one person has read what I had to say and that it made an impression enough for them to take a minute out of their busy lives to leave a comment.

5) Path of discovery

I don’t have the luxury to pack my things and leave for an unforeseeable amount of time to travel the world in the name of finding myself. So blogging is it for me (for now). I get to explore different paths that I would not otherwise venture off into, and at the same time create a portfolio for myself for the future. I came to the realization recently, that I have not yet found my “passion” and maybe I have a passion for lots of things – this is a space for me to sort out the chaos inside my head in hopes of finding it.

Thank you to every single person who took the time out of their busy lives to like or comment on a post. Thank you to the people who are following this blog, who are in a way sharing my journey as I attempt to find what it is that I want out of life. I appreciate it all and I hope that it continues to be my happy place that I can be proud of for years to come.

– Nihaad

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

IMG_20150905_121537I am a huge fan of historical fiction. I think it all started in high school when we read Anne Frank and I could not fathom that people had those experiences in the same world I live in today. I especially cannot believe that disturbingly similar events are happening in this world today – as I write this!! Historical fiction tells stories that are most of the time based on real life experiences; and that alone has the power to make one see the world from a whole new perspective.

When I completed Between Shades of Gray I was speechless. Even more so after reading the author’s note and learning about Stalin and the horrendous crimes that were committed under his dictatorship. For a while I was concerned about my memory because I could not remember ever being taught about this in school. I vividly recall the lessons about Hitler’s Holocaust; but I don’t remember ever learning about the deportation of citizens from Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia during World War II. I only took history up until grade 9 but still, it seems like a significant part of world events that has been over looked. Then I saw that so many others are wondering the same thing – why was this traumatic, vitally important part of history being left out of the school syllabus? Especially considering that it is so closely linked to Nazi Germany.

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Between Shades of Gray was an extremely compelling read – one that I will be reading for years to come. The way Ruta Sepetys captures the unimaginable circumstances these people were forced to endure, chilled me to the bone. Yet, this story was so heart warming because you read about people who had this hope and faith in the world despite the life they were trying surviving. Throughout the book there was this contrast of good, and pure evil that made me so angry. I was angry about the cruelty of the world, I was angry that one person’s life meant so little to another and I was angered by the audacity of some to even think that they were better than someone else – let alone treat another human life as if it meant nothing. I think most of all, I was gutted when I realised that so many more of these stories would never be told because the world do not even know that they exist in the first place.

But, Ruta Sepetys told this story in such a way that you are left feeling at peace. You are left feeling determined and strong to dare hope that better days will greet you in the end. Through all the terror and heartache, you cannot help but have hope in humanity. And this is why I was left utterly speechless – I find it so hard to explain. And I do not think I should, because every person needs to pick up this book and read it. Read it for all those people who were taken from this world without a chance to tell their story.

– Nihaad

Have you learned about these historical events during school? What other historical fiction books would you recommend I read? Please leave a comment, I am really eager to know!

5 things I’ve learned studying engineering

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I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it, but I studied Civil Engineering. My husband will be graduating this week (also in Civil Engineering) and I am so incredibly proud of his achievement because I know just how hard he worked to get to this point. So in honour of his achievement, these are 5 things I/ we have learnt from studying Engineering:

1) How to keep cool under pressure

During first year I felt as if I was drowning in the work load that hit me from every direction and it was a challenge to adjust to university fresh out of high school. I thought if I got through first year then the rest would be much simpler. Boy, was I wrong! As the years rolled by it became increasingly harder, and looking back now it all seems like a blur. Studying engineering taught me how to keep calm under pressure. Sitting through the exam with your brain almost fried because you are struggling to find a way to balance your equation, blatantly aware of the seconds ticking away, you learn to keep calm. You realise very quickly that if you freak out and start panicking, you will mess everything up.

2) The purpose of mathematics

You know in school, when you are sitting in a math class and you ask the teacher, “Where are we EVER going to use this??”. I found my answer studying Engineering. Mathematics is a language used to understand the science that explains the world around us. It gave me an understanding of how elements of the Earth react in a certain way and how it can be used to our advantage, or how it needs to be changed in order to improve the specific design. I also developed an appreciation for a calculator! When I learned the function to solve integrals and matrices, I was so happy and excited; you would have thought someone invented time travel! (Yes, I’m a nerd; and I’m proud of it!)

3) ask questions

Engineering is a field that requires one to solve problems, scientifically. But in order for you to answer any question, you need to have an idea of what the question actually is. I learnt the importance of asking questions (perhaps unnervingly so) if something does not make sense. I learnt not to accept things at face value, but to keep searching for facts that can put things into perspective for me.

4) Time management

During preparation for exams it wasn’t only about knowing and understanding the work, it was also about working efficiently with the time given to complete the test. You see, it didn’t really matter how much you knew if you couldn’t apply that knowledge in the set time. I learnt how to work smart so that I could produce my best work and meet the deadline. And now, in the professional world, I am able to manage my time effectively and get the work done that I have set for myself to complete by the end of the day.

5) Don’t give up

It is ok to fail and it is ok to make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world if this happens. During my studies I met people from all walks of life. These people persevered and pushed through no matter what, because they simply wanted to qualify themselves and better their lives. I learnt the importance of working smart, being dedicated and to never give up on the goals you have set for yourself. I learnt that sometimes getting a second chance at something is better for you because you are able to correct your mistakes and see things more clearly.

What have you learned during your studies that helps you today?

– Nihaad

The Liebster Award

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I know I recently posted the The Versatile Blogger Award for which I was nominated; but I was tagged by the weirdly, wonderful, Poppie Tee for the Liebster award some time ago too, and I am here to finally accept the challenge she has bestowed upon me!

If you have not visited her blog then please do; she shares her unique take on life as a university student, and puts a special twist on thoughts most of us have on a daily bases. These are the questions she has thrown my way:

1. What is your least favourite food?
Calamari!
2.How did you come up with your blog name?
I just wanted to start a blog! And in order for me to create one on WordPress, I needed a unique name. I wasn’t sure what my blog will be about because I didn’t have a niche that I planned on sticking to, so I wanted a name that would allow me to dwindle on any topic I chose.
3. What is your pet-peeve?
I have so many pet-peeves!! I can’t stand it when people mix up my study notes. I get annoyed when people highlight or write in textbooks. I loathe filler words such as basically or literally. I detest disorganization!!!
4. If, you were to be given a ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would go to… Anywhere in the world!! (hehe)
5. What is your favourite topic of conversation?
I love talking about books!!!
6. Which actor/actress would you most likely run away with?
James Spade!!! I am a huge fan of Raymond Reddington.
7. Which TV series/ book sequel do you most enjoy?
My favourite TV series is The Blacklist (obvz). My favourite book series is turning out to be Harry Potter!
8. Name one thing that you think needs to change in this world.
Every child should receive a decent education – I believe education will fix so much that is wrong in the world.
9. What do you do to unwind?
Relax with my husband, or read…
10. Do you prefer Apple or Android?
Android!
11. Do you like sneakers or formal shoes?
I think this picture answers the question:
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I hereby nominated the following fellow bloggers to complete the same questions:
Lolsy’s Library
From a Day Dreamer’s Diary
Lemontierres
Lumos and Lemons
Zoelicious Insider
Surviving the Madness
Curious Robyn

(*If you’ve been nominated before or if you do not wish to complete the challenge then it is completely fine; I just wanted to share the fact that I love your blog!*)

– Nihaad

Why you should not care what people think

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Something that I am becoming increasingly aware of, is that most of us tend to care far too much about what other people think of us. It can be a good thing if it allows you to perform to the best of your abilities, but in most cases it has far more negative effects. This is my little list of why you should stop caring what other people think:

1) It will make you happy
As long as you worry about the opinions of others’, it will control the way you live your life. You will be miserable. You will constantly try to please everyone around you which is impossible to do! Focus on what you want, and what brings you joy – this way you know for sure that at least one person (and the most important person, in this case) is happy.

2) You will be less stressed
If you try to please everyone around you because you’re so concerned that they might think badly of you, it will stress you out to no end. The faster you learn to not let it get to you, the faster you will get rid of the unnecessary stress it causes. There is so much more you can gain from a single day if you cut out the negativity that comes with worrying about another person’s opinion. At the end of the day, if your choice makes you sleep better at night and puts an extra bit of bounce in your step, then that is all that matters really.

3) You will not resent others’
If you are not following a path that YOU have chosen for yourself, you will become resentful. This could make you really bitter because you will not be able to be happy for the next person who does their own thing as it reminds you of the possibilities you might have missed. And so the vicious cycle continues its rapid spin; creating another unhappy, cynical person in this world, who places the exact kind of stress on another person – the same kind of stress, mind you, that you were trying to avoid for yourself to start with.

4) You cannot make everyone happy
And quite frankly, you shouldn’t try! Those who matter will support you and encourage you to do what you want to do, simply because they want to see you happy. Anyone who has something negative to say based on choices you make (that you feel are the right ones for you) are people who are not brave enough to take the necessary steps required to change their own lives for the better.

It can be extremely difficult to ignore what people think. Sometimes we do it without meaning to and it causes more harm than good most of the time. But in order to find peace and happiness, in order to be satisfied with the choices you have made for yourself, you need to figure out how to stop caring too much about what others’ have to say. Live your life for yourself – you will thank yourself one day!

– Nihaad

10 Book Challenge

IMG_20150815_132817I was tagged by Ali Caitrin to do a 10 favourite book challenge; and I have been putting it off for so long because I could not for the life of me complete it! This was probably the hardest challenge for me to do because naming 10 (only ten!!!) favourite books is unheard of!! Never-the-less, I think I came up with my list that for now, stays true until I read something else life changing…

1) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I read The Book Thief a few years ago, and it took me a while to read anything else after. This book is probably the most beautifully written book I have ever read, filled with so much detail which makes it impossible not to leave you in awe of Markus Zusak. A story of love and friendship found in the most unlikeliest of places; a story that fills you up, completely drains you and then fills you up once more. A must read for EVERYONE!

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”

“It kills me sometimes, how people die.”

“A small fact:
You are going to die….does this worry you?”

2) Someone Knows my Name by Lawrence Hill

Like I said, when I completed The Book Thief it took me a long time to get back into reading anything else. The reason for this was that I needed a book as deep and meaningful as the one I’ve come to find in Markus Zusak’s masterpiece. I found this between the pages of Someone Knows My Name – another book from the historical fiction genre which I have come to love – although this one is set during the time of slavery.

Someone Knows My Name, also titled The Book of Negroes, follows the life of Aminata Diallo. A woman who was abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina. This is a tale about the horrors of a part of world history that should never be forgotten, a tale about one woman’s life experience during some of the darkest times known to humankind. A story about perseverance, and patients to never give up hope for freedom – a tale of one woman’s dream to come home.

This book will completely change the way you see the world you live in today. It will open your eyes and expose you to some harsh realities that you may not want to face. I don’t know why schools still force students to read Shakespeare when books like these are out there!  

 ‘“You must learn to respect,” Papa said.

But I do not respect her,” I said.

Papa paused for a moment, and patted my leg. “Then you must learn to hide your disrespect.”’

“To gaze into another persons face is to do two things: to recognise their humanity and to assert your own.”

“I remember wondering, within a year or two of taking my first steps, why only men sat to drink tea and converse, and why women were always busy. I reasoned that men were weak and needed rest.”

“Some say that I was once uncommonly beautiful, but I wouldn’t wish beauty on any woman who has not her own freedom, and who chooses not the hands that claim her.”

“She asked why I was so black. I asked why she was so white. She said she was born that way. Same here, I replied.”

3) Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

I wrote a little review about this book here, explaining why I loved it so much. Leaving time could possibly be my favourite Jodi Picoult book – it was beautifully told, contained realistic, well researched information which I truly appreciated, and completely blindsided me with a gut wrenching twist of events. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

4) My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Up until I read Leaving Time, My Sister’s Keeper held the spot of my favourite Jodi Picoult book for years! I read it in high school and I still remember how I felt when I got to that point in the book. That point I think I’ve come to expect now from Picoult, yet she some how manages to flaw me every single time I reach the ending to one of her stories! My Sister’s Keeper was also a very well researched, insightful book which the movie did absolute no justice to in my opinion.

5) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Another book I read in high school that stuck with me over the years because of the beautiful way that it was written. This story tugged at my heart strings until it finally ripped my heart right out my chest, and shattered it into a million tiny pieces. I think you can see why it’s spot has been reserved on this list for so long.

6) Harry Potter by JK Rowling

My growing lil' collection

My growing lil’ collection

I know I only started reading Harry Potter now, but let me just grab my pile of JK Rowling books and jump front row onto the band wagon! I completely understand  why people love these books so much! I only started book three now, but it is definitely safe to say that I am a huge Harry Potter nerd ! I have always loved the movies, but I have to say that even though I thought the movies were perfect, the books just has so much more detail that makes the whole story even more special!

7) Falling into You by Jasinda Wilder

I wrote a review on this book here if you would like to read it. Falling into you is one of my favourite romance books. There was just something about the hero, Colt, that I loved reading about.

8) Charade by Nyrae Dawn

In my opinion this book was far better than To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han. I read it a few years ago and still scan over my favourite parts whenever I am between books.

9) Any Roald Dahl books

I grew up reading Roald Dahl books – James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Esio Trot and many more. It all started when I read his children’s poetry – a hilarious retelling of the classical tales – which I discovered in the library. I loved his writing immediately, and just had to read more of his work. My Mum got some of his books which I practically inhaled, and ever since I have loved everything he wrote.

10) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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I completed this book last night and completely fell in love with Patrick Ness’s writing! Conor’s story and struggles broke my heart, but also gave me that sense that everything was going to be okay. This book told a tale of strength and courage and what it means to be a simple, honest living, human. It is a book that I will continue reading for many years to come.

This was a really hard albeit fun, challenge to complete! I hereby nominated these fellow bookworms to name their 10 favourite books:
Twins Turning Pages
Barefoot Meds
Surviving the Madness
Poppie Tee

If you accept, I am really looking forward to reading it!

– Nihaad

I’ll Give you the sun by Jandy Nelson

IMG_20150822_122257I’ll Give You the Sun was a beautiful book that I felt deserved a review all on it’s own. A story filled with so much heartbreak and pain that you would come out on the other side wondering how it is possible to still feel whole…

I’ll Give You the Sun takes place over a period of three years; following the events that occur in the teenage lives of twins, Noah and Jude. The book is written from the twins’ perspectives, and it is told from two different points in their lives. Noah tells his story from the age of 13, while Jude tells her side of things from the age of 16 – the present – and throughout the book, one gets the sense that something happened between the two which caused them to drift apart.

This book was so brilliantly crafted, that it brought to life every feeling and emotion written on the page. The way the characters expressed themselves through art spilt over in the form of illustrations that made for an overly special reading experience.

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Jandy Nelson’s Jude and Noah were vividly dimensional – they changed throughout the story in ways I never expected. At the beginning of the book I adored Noah; he was a lost soul roaming the world by his lonesome, in the shadow of his beautiful sister. I wanted to pick him from the book, give him a hug and assure him that everything will be ok. And when it came to a point where that statement would be deemed a lie; well, my heart broke for him – for the boy he was meant to be. Then there was Jude – a character that completely floored me because of how different she turned out to be from what I was expecting. She was strong even when she herself felt weak. She was weird, and wonderful in ways that makes a fictional character stay with you long after you’ve completed their story. And as I type this very sentence, I am realizing how perfect that makes these two characters – they compliment each other in ways that I imagine, only twins can.

Even though I predicted what the underlying issue was, I still enjoyed this book right up until the very end. And even though I predicted what the underlying issues were, I only came to fully understand the impact of these issues once I reached the end of the story. That on its own was the deciding factor for the 5/5 stars I gave this book.

There is so much more that can be written about I’ll Give You the Sun. So much more that I really want to say! But I think some things should be left to experience personally. Do yourself a favour, and read this book!

“Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.” Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.”
– Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun

– Nihaad