Words to Use More Often #4 [Valentine’s Day Edition]

Hello again, friends!

As we all know, Valentine’s Day is today. 😀 And I’m sure while some of us have lovely plans, others will be content with living romance vicariously through books. 😛

Since, last year, I wrote a post called This Valentine’s Day, Buy Someone A Book, (It’s been exactly a year and two days since I wrote that! Goodness me, how time flies) I thought I’d continue the tradition and publish something Valentine’s Day-related. We haven’t had one of these Words to Use More Often posts in a while, so here you have fourteen words that, for whatever reason, remind me of love. Enjoy!


words to use more often

+ Billet-Doux

noun

  1. a love letter.

+ Saccharine

verb

  1. excessively sweet or sentimental.

+ Vestige

noun

  1. a trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists.

+ Redamancy

verb

  1. the act of loving someone in return; requiting one’s love.

+ Idyll

noun

  1. a very happy or peaceful time or situation.

+ Pianissimo

adjective or adverb

  1. (of music) very soft or softly.

+ Palpitate

verb

  1. (of the heart) to beat fast or irregularly.

+ Twinge

noun

  1. a brief, sharp pang of emotion.

+ Rhapsody

noun

  1. an enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling.

+ Lustrous

adjective

  1. having a soft glow or sheen.

+ Quixotic

adjective

  1. idealistic but impractical; overly romantic

+ Reverie

noun

  1. a daydream; the state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts.

+ Tryst

noun

  1. a private, romantic rendezvous between lovers.

+ Warble

verb

  1. sing in a trilling or quavering voice

❀ Yasimone

Book Review || The Young Elites

Hello friends! How is your 2016 going so far? Mine has been insanely busy, which is why I haven’t been able to post as much as I would have liked to. I’ve finally been able to snatch some time to sit down and blog a bit, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some more posts up this month.

It seems that I haven’t reviewed any books in ages, so here I am with one of my absolute favourite recent reads!

Book Review Logo.png

Author: Marie Lu

Publishing Company: The Penguin Group

Release Year: 2014

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy

Series: The Young Elites Series (Book One)


My Synopsis

Adelina Amouteru is a malfetto. As a child, she was ill with the blood fever that ravaged the nation of Kenettra. She was left, like all others who survived the deadly disease, with strange, otherworldly markings–shining silver hair, pale lashes, and a long scar where one of her eyes used to be. After Adelina runs away one night, away from her cruel father who never hesitates to remind her that she is an abomination and meek, naĂŻve sister, life twists upon its head; she is imprisoned by the Inquisitors with her father’s blood on her hands, about to be executed. And then, again, the inexplicable happens. She is rescued by an organisation of malfettos called the Daggers—but they’re no ordinary malfettos. They have incredible powers that people say are either a blessing or a curse, and Adelina discovers her own too.  Enzo, who heads the Daggers, is the estranged crown prince of Kenettra, and he and the other Young Elites are determined to take back the throne from his corrupt sister. As she trains to control her power and direct it to the cause, she is approached by the head Inquisitor to join their cause. The only problem is that Adelina is caught between the Daggers and the Inquisition, which works against the malfettos. Will Adelina be caught as a traitor…and which side will catch her first? Or how long can she go on in this mess of loyalties and spilled blood?

My Thoughts

This book was fantastic! I’ve always been a fan of Marie Lu (check out her dystopian novels, the Legend trilogy), but The Young Elites really flaunts her skill. I could go on for quite a while about this book, so here are my ramblings in condensed form. 😀

First of all, the writing was just wonderful. Lu really thought out every little detail. Not only did she set up Kenettra, she  wrote in such a way that you could feel the culture of the country—the people, the region itself, the buildings in the cities, the landscapes. Besides the world-building, the novel was written lyrically and with such feeling. There were instances that I had to pause and just admire the way a particular sentence was worded. That’s when you know a book is good. 😉young elites cover.jpg

The characters are also well-written. All of them are different and incredibly real despite their powers. They have their faults but you can’t help but feel sympathetic towards them. Adelina was such a great main character because the thing is, she isn’t exactly your typical protagonist. She has a multi-faceted personality and plenty of dark moments. The relationships between the characters are complex, especially when Adelina is caught between two powerful groups and has way of looking at things in a slightly twisted mindset. The Young Elites blurs the lines between “hero” and “villain” in a beautifully deft way that will leave you wanting more.

The plot was so suspenseful and captivating that I immediately had to go and pick up the sequel, The Rose Society, when I finished it, which, by the way, is just as good. (A review will be coming soon for that as well!)

In short: The Young Elites just blew me away. Definitely check it out if you’re interested in dark high fantasy mixed in with a bit of magic! (Actually, check it out even if you aren’t.) 🙂

❀ Yasimone

Happy New Year! | One Year Blogiversary!

new year + blogiversary

Well, my lovely readers, this is it.

It’s been a year since I started up yasimone.com. A year since I first mustered up the courage to introduce myself to the world. A year since I was overjoyed that my blog actually appeared on Google (on the fourth page of results, no less). A year since I wrote up fifteen post drafts before finally settling on this tiny stub of a first post.

A year. It’s seemed so short. How funny, that a year can drag on for an eternity and yet pass by quicker than a second.

2015 is over, and it’s been a whirlwind of a journey. We can only imagine how 2016 will turn out.

So, I’d like to say thank you. 😀 Thank you to everyone who takes the time out of their day to read my posts. To everyone who likes books, to everyone who’s supported my blog and me all this time, to everyone who’s ever liked or commented on one of my posts, to everyone who has tagged or nominated me for an award— thank you. I am indescribably grateful. 🙂

 Here’s to fresh beginnings and many more years of bookishness to come! 😛

❀ Yasimone

Bookish Gift Guide | 2015 Holidays #2

Hey everybody! 🙂

Here’s the second post for the Bookish Gift Guide. This time, it’s featuring gifts for…

The YA Aficionado

fangirl book

+ “Fangirl” Print Book Cover ($8.00)-A unique vintage book cover print for the Rainbow Rowell fangirl— haha, see what I did there?–in your life. It’s printed over a page from an old encyclopedia.

paper towns shirt.jpg

+ “Paper Towns” Quote T-shirt ($15.00)– For those who long to wander like Margo and Quentin did in John Green’s renowned novel Paper Towns.

katniss everdeen funko pop

+ Katniss Everdeen Funko Pop! Figurine ($8.98)– This adorable vinyl Katniss figurine is sure to bring a smile to the face of any face of anyone who likes the Hunger Games series.

mazre runner charms

+ Maze Runner Series Charm Bracelet ($23.55)– This charm bracelet features four mini versions of the novels of the Maze Runner series—and they really open up!

divergent notebook

+ “Divergent” Quotes Spiral-Bound Notebook ($15.88)– Covered in quotes and graphics from the dystopian YA novel Divergent, this notebook is perfect to jot down thoughts in the most Dauntless way possible.

library card socks

+ Library Card Socks ($10.00)– Yup, these cozy socks are designed to look like an empty library card! They’re great for cuddling up with a good novel by the fireplace on a snowy evening.


Thanks for reading everyone. Here’s Part I of the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide if you’d like to check it out. 🙂

❀ Yasimone

Bookish Gift Guide | 2015 Holidays #1

Hi everyone! 😀

It’s the holiday season! I’ve decided to try something new and create a sort of last-minute gift guide with some great suggestions for things to buy for the bookish people in your life. 🙂 So no matter what you celebrate—whether it’s Christmas or New Year—there’s a little bit of something here for everyone in this guide. If you’re genuinely interested in one of the items, click on its photo or name in the description to check out where to buy it. Here’s the first installation. 🙂

I hope you all like it, and be sure to let me know if you’d like to see more posts like this! This first one features gifts for…

The Classics Lover

just one more chapter+ “Just One More Chapter” Resin Necklace ($15.00)– This wonderfully vintage-style statement necklace is perfect for someone who can’t put down their favourite classics, whether it’s Jane Austen or George Orwell.

gone with the wind

+ “Gone with the Wind” Canvas Tote ($18.00)– A 100% cotton bag perfect for hauling around your favourite books wherever you go. This particular tote has the cover of Gone with the Wind on it but there are tons of other variations. The  best part about it is that for every one of these totes bought, a book is donated to a community in need. 🙂

oliver twist shirt

 + “Oliver Twist” Print T-Shirt ($34.00)– This shirt has around 40,000 words from Charles Dickens’s beloved novel Oliver Twist printed on it! It’s the perfect way to show your love to a bookworm who appreciates the little things.

doyle poster

+ Conan Doyle “Sherlock” Poster ($16.00)– Got a mystery fan on your hands? Get them this minimalistic Conan Doyle poster to hang proudly on their living room wall.

old books candle

+ Old Books Scented Soy Candle ($16.00)– That wonderfully musty, old aroma of an aged leather-bound book in candle form. 😀 This hand-poured soy candle is sure to please any second-hand bookstore enthusiast.

Book phone /iPhone flip Wallet case- Catcher in the Rye for iPhone 6, 6 plus, 5, 5s, 5c, iPhone 4, 4s- Samsung GalaxyS5 S4 S3, Note 3, 4

+ “The Catcher in the Rye” Phone Flip Case ($29.00)– Designed after the cover of J. D. Salinger’s most famous novel, this phone case protects your phone while flaunting your impeccable literary taste to the world. 😛 The case can be bought for most types of phones, including all the sizes of the iPhone.


That’s all for today everyone! Thanks for reading!

❀ Yasimone

Book Review || Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publishing Company: Harper Collins

Release Year: 2015

Genre(s): YA, Dystopia, Fantasy

Series: Red Queen Series (Book One)


My Summary

Mare Barrow is a Red in a world divided by blood. Silvers are the upper-class, the royals, the ones with fantastic powers straight out of a fairytale. Reds, like Mare and the rest of her family, are the worker class, the regulars, the ones who watch in bitter awe at the Silvers’ strength and ruthless, wasteful ways. Mare and her family are just another one of the average Red families in their poverty-stricken village, the Stilts, between Mare’s pickpocketing and her sister Gisa’s embroidery skills, they make do. What little they have comes crashing down when palace guards show up at their house in the middle of the night and take Mare to work at the palace of the royal family of Norta. There, all too suddenly, in a strange twist of events, Mare discovers she has powers—controlling electricity—that leave even the Silvers reverent and is thrown full-force into the world of nobility as a pawn. red queen.jpgKing Tiberias and his snakelike wife, Queen Elara, declare her to be the long-lost daughter of a Silver and betroth her to the younger son Maven, despite her full Red blood. Everything is strange and foreign, and Mare must watch her every move; her life is at stake. It doesn’t help the situation that a war is being waged in the meantime and unrest is brewing in the nation’s Red population. Maven and Mare end up befriend each other and join a rebel group, the Scarlet Guard, trying to end the tyrannical Silver rule. As if hiding her identity and her allegiance from the Silvers is hard enough, she’s slowly falling in love the two princes, Maven and Cal, and doesn’t know which one to choose. Will Mare make it out of this mess alive, or will her secrets destroy her?

My Thoughts

I’ll be straightforward with you all: I didn’t exactly expect to enjoy this novel. I began reading it just for the sake of reading and ended up finishing it pleasantly surprised and looking forward to the next book in the Red Queen series. If you’ve ever read my review of The Selection, you’ll know that novels which mix dystopian worlds and monarchy-style governments aren’t exactly my cup of tea. 😛 Red Queen challenged my views by providing a fresh, compelling fusion-genre book that I rather liked.

The writing itself is great. It’s descriptive and vivid and captivating, and much better than you would expect of a debut author. 🙂 A job well done on Victoria Aveyard’s part. I also liked that the plot had so many interesting twists and turns Some aspects of the plot were a bit too familiar—downtrodden poor, self-doubt, sudden major life change, love triangle, rebellion. I felt at times that it took a pinch of personality from multiple dystopian series, added in a smidgen of fantasy, and voilĂ ! Overall, though, it was fairly good. It drags a bit towards the end of the middle but picks up wonderfully at the conclusion. The extremely unexpected plot twist in the last few chapters is incredible. You will definitely want to have the next book, Glass Sword, just to find out what happens. (Glass Sword comes out in February of next year, by the way.)

Character-wise, Red Queen was nicely developed. Mare is a relatable, head-strong, clever heroine. It’s hard not to like her and her endearingly bold personality. The supporting characters (Maven, Cal,  Queen Elara, Mare’s childhood friend Kilorn, Cal’s betrothed Evangeline, Mare’s family,  and many more) are all unique and fun to dislike or root for. Their supernatural powers—or lack thereof—made them feel a bit too two-dimensional for my taste at times, but their interactions were generally believable and interesting. The one interaction between the characters I did not like much was the Mare-Maven-Cal love triangle. It felt rather weak and forced. :/

That being said, everything exceeded my expectations and left me wanting more. If you’re looking for a book with a captivating combination of genres and an exciting, suspenseful storyline, Red Queen is just the novel for you. 🙂

Happy December, by the way! How is the year over already? 😀

❀ Yasimone

Mockingjay Part II Movie Review

Hi all! I hope you are having a great November! 🙂 I know I am, and I can’t believe that the month is already nearly over!

Mockingjay Part II, the thrilling conclusion to Katniss Everdeen’s whirlwind revolution, has officially premiered today! I’m happy to say that I was able to attend an early double-feature showing of Mockingjay Part I—which came out last year—and II two days ago and follow Katniss in the last leg of her journey! 😀 It lasted about five hours, with an intermission break in between the two movies.

Here are the vital stats of Mockingjay Part II:

  • Release Date: November 20th, 2015
  • Genre: Science fiction film/Thriller (Dystopia)
  • Time: 137 minutes
  • Director: Francis Lawrence
  • Past Movies: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part I
  • Main Cast: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), Julianne Moore (President Alma Coin)

And here’s the official synopsis:

Realizing the stakes are no longer just for survival, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) teams up with her closest friends, including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick for the ultimate mission. Together, they leave District 13 to liberate the citizens of war-torn Panem and assassinate President Snow, who’s obsessed with destroying Katniss. What lies ahead are mortal traps, dangerous enemies and moral choices that will ultimately determine the future of millions.

I will start off my review of Mockingjay Part II by saying that I was truly amazed by this film. It started exactly where Mockingjay Part I had left off the year before and did not disappoint in picking up action as quickly as possible.

Of course, this star-studded cast that we’ve all come to love and support were simply great. The dialogue and interaction between characters is so natural and real. Jennifer Lawrence, as always, did wonderfully in her role as Katniss—especially in this thrilling conclusion to the Hunger Games series.

She just brings a sort of emotional intensity that Katniss also shows in the trilogy, and I doubt that anyone would be able to do it as well. Another actor I would like to recognize is Donald Sutherland, who plays President Snow; I am always in awe at how he portrays this character with such ease and keeps him grounded and believable.

mockingjay pin.jpg

The pin and lanyard I got at the double feature. Definitely not taking it off for the next week or so.

The special effects were, as per the norm for The Hunger Games films, spectacular and very realistic. The war scenes are gritty and intense—and I think another thing that I loved particularly about Mockingjay Part II is that there is no straightforward “villain-hero” relationship in this installment. It is full-blown war, and in war, anything is possible.

One thing I really enjoyed was how faithful the film remained to the book; very little was changed and the movie had the same aesthetic and feel as the novel itself did—dark, epic, and action-packed. While Mockingjay was written by Suzanne Collins as one novel, I do believe that the movies worked quite nicely as two parts—the second part was definitely more brutal and heart wrenching than the first, and it made sense, because the end of the book is like that as well. I did end up shedding a couple tears, especially at the conclusion of the movie. (Hunger Games fans will understand!) đŸ˜„

And now a little bit about my experience at the double feature showing itself: This is actually the first double feature I’ve ever attended, and I am super glad that I went. part 2.jpg.pngIt was just such a great atmosphere and watching the two movies back to back was very enjoyable as well. Everyone who attended received a lanyard with a special pin and a holographic card that switches between two versions of the Mockingjay pin symbol. Another one of the highlights was when we had finished watching the first movie and during the intermission break, a mini-trivia game was held, and prizes were being given out to anyone who answered a question correctly! I actually ended up answering a question and winning a Blu-ray disc of Mockingjay Part I!

This was the perfect conclusion, in my opinion, to one of the best dystopian film adaptation franchises ever. And while we won’t have the pleasure of being able to anticipate any new movies, rereading the books and rewatching the movies will never get old! 😉

Mockingjay Part II won’t disappoint! I suggest you go see it as soon as possible! 😀

❀ Yasimone

Book Review || The Sword of Summer

Hi everyone! I’m finally back! 🙂

It’s been three long weeks since you all heard a peep out of me, but I’ve been insanely busy lately; so much so that I haven’t been able to properly sit down at my laptop and type up anything. :/ Sorry about that! Here’s the long-awaited review of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer. I finished it a while ago but never found the time to review it—I hope you enjoy it!


Author: Rick Riordan

Publishing Company: Disney Hyperion

Release Year: 2015

Genre(s): YA, Contemporary Fiction, Mythology

Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (Book One)

My Summary

Magnus Chase is… an unconventional teen. He’s lived on the streets of Boston after his mother was killed a few years ago. His life is certainly not normal—but even he didn’t expect to be told by his estranged uncle that he’s the son of a Norse god and fight a demon with an ancient sword he retrieves from the bottom of the Charles River. Oh, and he definitely didn’t expect to die…

And yet, it’s the furthest thing possible from the end of his adventure. After landing in an afterlife for the brave who are being trained to fight in Ragnarok, the battle of the apocalypse, Magnus realizes that everything in his life has changed. Teaming up with a teenage warrior, a fashionable dwarf, and an elf who is learning magic, Magnus must find out his family history, what to do with the ancient Sword of Summer, and how to stop the Seven Worlds—especially Midgard, the human world—from being taken over by evil forces while trying to stay alive at the same time.

My Thoughts

Rick Riordan is back at it again! (By that I mean that he is writing books that cause me to go completely fangirl-crazy over and hand my money over to bookstores without a single coherent thought.) 🙂 In all seriousness, however, this book was so good! Ugh, where to begin…?

Since I’m not sure how else to review this book without going on a long rant, I’ve organized everything into bullet points.

+ First of all: Norse mythology! It’s pretty new for me—I’m a nut for Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology but I’ve never really delved into the world of Odin, Thor, and the others. Can’t wait to learn more!image

+ When I was first starting the book, I’ll admit that I was rather scared that Magnus Chase would be a clone of Percy Jackson, personality-wise. Luckily, he’s his own person—and that definitely pleases me. 🙂 However, it does seem that the two have the same snarky, witty sense of humour. While I did quite enjoy Magnus’s amusing observations of the situations he lands in and the people he meets, it was a bit too reminiscent of the Percy Jackson novels.

+ The cast of The Sword of Summer is very diverse, and I think that’s wonderful! 🙂 You’ve got Magnus, who happened to be homeless, Blitzen, an African-American dwarf, Hearthstone, a deaf elf, Samirah Al-Abbas, a Muslim teen girl who just happens to be a warrior for the Norse gods, and a ton of great characters. It makes me happy to see minorities represented in literature.

+ The plot was compelling and exciting for the most part. The ending dragged a bit and was rather predictable, to be honest, but overall, it was an action-packed and suspenseful novel. I still found myself liking Riordan’s previous books better, but I still really enjoyed The Sword of Summer, which was a relief.

+ I loved the chapter names! Rick Riordan is hilarious. Some of them included:

“13. Phil the Potato Meets His Doom”

“20. Come to the Dark Side. We Have Pop-Tarts”

“23. I Recycle Myself”

“39. Freya is Pretty! She Has Cats!”

“48. Hearthstone Passes Out Even More than Jason Grace (Though I Have No Idea Who That Is)”

The one above is my favourite— a sneaky reference to the Heroes of Olympus series. 😉 And finally…

“53. How to Kill Giants Politely”

+ All in all, a must read for Rick Riordan fans, mythology lovers, and anyone interested in an exhilarating, well-written novel that combines the modern and ancient worlds. 🙂


Well, that’s it for today, everyone! See you soon, and happy November! (How are we almost at the end of the year?)

❀ Yasimone

Book Chat #10: Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer” Norse American Tour!

Oh my gosh, you guys.

Remember this post? The one about Rick Riordan’s new mythology series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard? Well, the first book has officially come out! 😀 But that’s not all


Over the past week, Rick Riordan has been on his “Norse American Tour” (what a great pun!) he’s visited five out of eight major American cities so far. This morning, I was able to be at the event in Miami, which I thought was so cool, and it was absolutely AMAZING! I’m so glad I got to go! 😛

What does the Norse American tour look like? Something like this. #magnuschase @disneybooksSo, the first thing I’ll say is that it was crowded. Fans of all ages were excitedly chattering away, showing off their Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter t-shirts, and reading The Sword of Summer while standing in a long, winding queue. I grabbed a copy of the novel and immediately joined the line, bursting with eagerness to start reading it. Oh, and did I mention that all of the books were signed? 😀

Magnus Chase meets my owl necklace/blog logo.

Magnus Chase meets my owl necklace/blog logo.

Agh, what a pretty cover!

Agh, what a pretty cover!

I have a book with Rick Riordan's signature in it, therefore I have lived live.

I have a book with Rick Riordan’s signature in it, therefore I have lived life.

Finally, after waiting for a bit, we were ushered to our seats inside the auditorium and we were given foam shields! How cool is that? Foam shields!

My precious foam shield.

My precious foam shield.

And the moment we were all waiting for arrived: Rick Riordan walked up onto the stage! He is such a great guy—so funny, and friendly, and basically everything you’d want the author of some of your favourite books to be. You can definitely tell he’s the one behind the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus.


Highlights of Riordan’s Speech/Presentation/Stand-up Show

  • Actually getting to see Rick Riordan in the flesh
  • Listening to him talk about his childhood and how he was a reluctant reader (How things have changed!)
  • Laughing at awkward photos of him with long hair from middle school and high school
  • Rick Riordan calling his wife Becky his “Annabeth” *swoon*
  • Seeing the covers of The Lightening Thief from different countries (Look up the German one—it’s hilarious!)
  • Learning about the inspiration and the writing process behind his books
  • Him telling us that Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is a trilogy and the next book will be coming out around this time next year!
  • Him telling us that he’s coming out with ANOTHER NEW SERIES IN 2016 called the Trials of Apollo and that the characters from Heroes of Olympus WILL BE IN IT *hyperventilates*
  • Finding out that he hasn’t ever watched the Percy Jackson movies and doesn’t want to
  • Basically everything
Rick Riordan speaking to a roomful of fans.

Rick Riordan speaking to a roomful of fans.

Two Rick Riordans at once! Which one is the real one?

Two Rick Riordans at once! Which one is the real one?

After the presentation ended.

After the presentation ended.


It was such a wonderful experience; I would love to be a part of something like this again. And I’m so pumped up about the Trials of Apollo series that will be coming out in May of next year! If you’re anywhere near Houston, Phoenix, or St. Louis in the next three days, I would seriously recommend that you grab tickets as soon as possible and attend—it’s so worth it!

Okay, back to reading The Sword of Summer now! I’ll be up with a review as soon as possible!

❀ Yasimone

Book Review || Mosquitoland

Author: David Arnold

Publishing Company: Viking (Penguin Group)

Release Year: 2015

Genre(s): YA, Contemporary Fiction

Series: N/A

My Summary

Mary Iris Malone—or Mim—is living in Mosquitoland. (Also known as the lovely state of Mississippi.) She’s going through a difficult adjustment period, living with her recently-married dad and stepmother Kathy, while her mum, Eve, is back in Ohio where Mim believes she belongs.

And did I mention how pretty the cover is? Look at that gorgeous book!

And did I mention how pretty the cover is? Look at that gorgeous book!

When her dad and Kathy are at a principal conference discussing her erratic behaviour, she happens to over hear a little something—a little something about her poor, dear mother in Cleveland battling a disease. That’s it. That’s her breaking point. She runs to her house-not-home, grabs Kathy’s “secret” coffee can of cash, and catches a Greyhound, vowing to not turn back until she reaches her mother. And so begins the journey of a lifetime. As she makes her way from Mississippi back to Ohio, she encounters so many different people: a lovely, elderly lady who she immediately befriends, a dashing young lad with whom she teams up with, a Carl, who is just as good as any Carl she’s ever met (maybe even better), and a homeless teen with Down Syndrome who she takes under her wings, to name a few. And when this winding journey is finally over, nothing is as expected, but everything is just right.

My Thoughts

Wow. Where do I even start?

Mosquitoland, told in two voices, Mim’s own point of view and letters that she writes to a relative named Iz—you’ll find out exactly who Iz is at the end of the book—is such a heartfelt, quirky, strange, laugh-out-loud-funny, un-put-down-able novel. (Notice my last adjective. XD It wasn’t a word five minutes ago, but it is now!) David Arnold brings to life so many characters, each more eccentric than the other, and somehow, he makes it work. Everything about Mosquitoland is over-the-top, and yet, everything seems so lifelike, so possible, so real. It’s a book about determination, loss, anger, friendship, fear, grief, and facing one’s self in trying to find someone else. Mim is such a great narrator—she’s witty and believable. She can be so rational sometimes, and then all of a sudden, she’s just another teen, acting on her heart and trying to navigate the crazy journey we call life. Another thing I absolutely loved was David Arnold’s style of writing. It’s so lyrical and it just captivates you so that you can’t put the book down. Can’t wait to see what’s next from him, and I couldn’t believe it was only his first book! I think that using two forms of narration was a great idea for this book; in some novels, it seems unneccesary but in Mosquitoland, it just made everything more three-dimensional. The one thing that gave me a tiny nagging feeling throughout the book was Mim’s use of “warpaint.” She draws tribal patterns on her face with her mother’s lipstick as a way of coping and giving herself strength. While her mother is part Cherokee, what Mim does isn’t exactly justified. At least Mim notes throughout the book that she know what she does may not be completely politically correct; please don’t let this discourage you from reading the novel, it’s a very minor thing. 🙂

I’ve always loved books about life-changing roadtrip, and Mosquitoland was no exception.  All in all, I found it to be a vibrant, tongue-in-cheek journey about, simply, a small girl and the big journey she takes to find home, her mother, friends, and ultimately, herself. ❀

Signing off,

Yasimone

Book blogger and Mosquitoland fan

(Oh, and happy October, you guys! Hopefully more fall-themed posts to come!)

Words to Use More Often: #3 [Autumn Edition]

Hey everyone! To celebrate autumn, here’s a list of words that remind of one of the most beautiful times of the year— the season of pumpkin spice lattes, of falling, crunching leaves, of cozy jackets and cold cheeks, and of looking out the window at the stunning, rainy world outside. (Can you tell how much I like autumn? 😛 Although, of course, all of the seasons are great in their own way!)


+ Foliage

noun

  1. plants leaves, collectively; leafage

+ Hearth

noun

  1. the floor or area in front of a fireplace

+ Quaint

adjective

  1. charmingly old-fashioned
  2. attractively unusual

+ Ember

noun

  1. a small piece of burning or glowing coal or wood in a dying fire.

+ Caramel

noun

  1. sugar that has been heated into a smooth, chewy dark- to light-brown paste.

+ Crisp

adjective

  1. (describing the weather, not the snack) fresh, cool, invigorating.

+ Psithurism

noun

  1. the sound of wind rustling leaves.

+ Ablaze

adjective

  1. burning fiercely.
  2. bright and colourful.

+ Laurel

noun

  1. any shrubs and other plants with dark green glossy leaves (such as the bay tree or mountain laurel).
  2. the leaves from a laurel woven into a wreath worn on the head as an symbol honour or victory in olden times

❀ Yasimone

P.S.- Use the word “psithurism” around your friends and leave them bewildered at your amazing vocabulary skills. 😉

P.P.S.- How fun is that to say? It actually sounds like what it means!

P.P.P.S.- Okay, so I just looked that up and apparently words that sound like what they mean are called onomatopoeia (which I  already knew) or echomimetics (which I didn’t know).

P.P.P.P.S.- Ooh, that should be my theme for my next Words to Use More Often post!

P.P.P.P.P.S.- Enough post-scripts. This is getting out of hand! 😛

Travel Snippets || Part Three: The “Pazar” and Bergama Kermes!

Hello again! How’s your week been? It’s started to seem like fall where I live— though the leaves aren’t turning red and orange, the days are starting to shrink little by little and the autumn rains have arrived. 🙂 I love fall, don’t you? I’ll definitely be posting a fall-themed Book Chat in a little while! 😛

You may have noticed that I’ve been really absent for the past couple of weeks. I know that I keep saying this and it’s is a terrible excuse (albeit a true one), but I’ve been so busy lately, and in trying to keep up with all the things that have been going on, I didn’t have the time or determination to post anything. 😩 I’m back for good now, so you can come on over as often as you like and there will be lots more posts in the weeks to come.

Anyway, enough with the ramblings. Here’s the continuation of my Travel Snippet series, in which I arrive in Aegean coast of Turkey and go to a famous local festival.


After arriving in Turkey at the Istanbul AtatĂŒrk Airport, I took yet another plane to Ä°zmir. Luckily, this one was only forty-five minutes long. When I finally arrived in the city and place I would be staying at, I collapsed in bed, not even bothering to unpack. The next day, I woke up at 4:00 pm in the afternoon! Travelling sure does exhaust you.

A few days later, I was well-rested and eager to explore. I had already planned to spend the day in Bergama, a city in Ä°zmir which was once the ancient Greek city of Pergamon. There was a famous festival going on, the 79th Annual “Bergama Kermes,” and I had gotten tickets to go to a concert that was part of the festivities that evening!

The view on the way to Bergama. How gorgeous is it?

The view on the way to Bergama. How gorgeous is it?

veggies @ the pazar.jpg

Cucumbers, peppers, beans, and tomatoes at the pazar. Some of the cucumbers were so fresh that they still had flowers on their tips!

I started off my morning with going to the pazar, which is basically a farmer’s market where all the locals get their vegetables fresh from the fields. There were dozens of stalls full of everything that was in season: cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, corn, squash flowers, peppers, strawberries, okra, and so much more. There were also vendors selling tablecloths, dry goods, clothing, and toys. It was such an interesting atmosphere: the sellers calling out for everyone to check out their produce and see how fresh it is, the people bargaining for a kilo of veggies to cost just a little less, everyone walking about to see who has the freshest strawberries.

Afterwards, I went towards the centre of the town and noticed that there was a folk dance performance going on. Folk dancers from Bergama, other parts of Turkey, Greece, and a few European countries were all showcasing heir talent and their lands’ culture. It was so much fun to watch and clap along. 😀 What I found thought-provoking was how all of the different countries and regions, even, had some dances that were unique to them, while other dances seemed to be universal, like the circle dance— all of the dance troops had at least one moment when they gathered in a circle and danced holding hands.

Greek folk dancers at a Bergama Kermes performance.

Greek folk dancers at a Bergama Kermes performance.

Then I wandered around a bit, checking out the shops on the main street and grabbing a bite to eat: a nice warm tost— like a panini, but with melted cheese, sucuk (Turkish pepperoni), and anything else you want in between two buttered, pressed slices of bread. 😛 Yum…

This sign translates to "Bergama- 79th International Bergama Kermes Memory."

This sign translates to “Bergama- 79th International Bergama Kermes Memory.”

Then I boarded a bus to go up to the Asclepeion where Burcu GĂŒneƟ, a famous Turkish pop singer, would be performing as part of the Kermes celebrations. The Asclepion ruins are located on the mountain-side of Bergama. They have been well preserved from when Bergama was Pergamon, a great Greek city-state and many ancient Greeks would go to the Asclepion—a healing centre that honours the god Asclepius— to treat their illnesses in state-of-the-art (for back then) healing complexes with saunas, skilled doctors, and special waters. Of course there was an amphitheatre for entertainment in the evening and that was where the concert was being held.

On the way to the amphitheatre.

On the way to the amphitheatre.

It was quite interesting being seated in the old amphitheatre where ancient people once sat watching plays long ago; and it truly blew my mind to see how the ruins were in such good condition. It was lovely, cool evening and luckily I had brought a jacket. Everyone excitedly chattered to each other and snacked on some sunflower seeds they had purchased as they waited for the concert to begin.

The stage just before the concert started.

The stage just before the concert started.

And then the lights lit up and Burcu GĂŒneƟ strolled onto the stage, singing a song. People cheered loudly and sang along.

It was such a fun concert!

It was such a fun concert!

Look at those lights!

Look at those lights!

The concert lasted for about two hours. Burcu GĂŒneƟ sang some of her own songs, then she switched to covers of other classic songs. Her voice was quite nice— sultry and smooth. Everyone was getting up and dancing, and many people turned on the flash on their phones and waved it around. The ladies sitting next to me even offered to share their snacks with me when they saw I hadn’t brought any for myself. All in all, it was amazing being able to participate in Bergama Kermes, being  a part of the locals’ joy and excitement, and watching a great concert— one of the best I’ve ever gone to! 😀

To be continued…

❀ Yasimone

Book Chat #9: Anticipating Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard!

Hello everyone! I’ve been a little absent lately, but it’s been nice to let my blog just sit there for a bit. book chat picAnyway, I’m back now with the first Book Chat after a while!


I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I’m a pretty big fan of Rick Riordan. Aren’t we all? 😉 I loved his series Percy Jackson and the Olympians; I loved his series The Heroes of Olympus. However, his final book in The Heroes of Olympus came out last year in October, and we had to bid good-bye to our favorite Greek gang. đŸ˜„ (Well, we can reread the books, but it certainly won’t be the same.) However… Rick Riordan will be releasing a NEW book on October 6th, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer! And this time, it will be about Norse mythology! How cool!

Here’s the official synopsis:

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

A preview of the book that I got at my bookstore!

A preview of the book that I got at my bookstore!

Doesn’t that sound thrilling? Also, hmm… Does the last name “Chase” seem familiar? 😉

I actually was at my local bookstore a few weeks ago when I noticed that they had a pamphlet with a preview of the book: the first three chapters! I immediately snatched it up and read at least four times. I can assure you that it is just as fast-paced and exciting as the Percy Jackson books!

I can’t wait until it comes out! I’ve always been fascinated with mythology, even before reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Heroes of Olympus, and The Sword of Summer will be delving into a whole new world of mythology. Are you anticipating the Magnus Chase books as well? What other books are you waiting for to come out? I’d love some recommendations! 🙂

❀ Yasimone

P.S.- Spoiler Alert!

I repeat, spoiler alert!

Magnus is Annabeth Chase’s cousin!

My First Award! | The Liebster Award

Hi there! Today I have a different kind of post… my first award, the Liebster Award! Yay! 😀 Thank you so much to Dimple Malhotra from Enthralling Dimple for nominating me for this award! 🙂

The Rules:

  1. Post eleven random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the eleven/ten questions the awarding blogger has posted for you.
  3. Nominate eleven other bloggers with less than two-hundred followers and let them know about it.
  4. Give them eleven questions to answer.

So, without further ado, let’s begin. 🙂


Eleven Random Facts About Me

  1. I wear glasses.
  2. The Hunger Games trilogy is among my favourite books, but when I first picked up The Hunger Games a couple years ago, I read only a couple pages and set it down because it simply didn’t catch my attention! After a couple months, I decided to give it another chance, picked it up again, and absolutely loved it!
  3. I collect special pins from places and landmarks I go to— like Disney World or Niagara Falls. I currently have fifty-six of them!
  4. I love spicy foods. And chocolate. And ice cream. And, well, food in general! 😉
  5. Some of my favourite genres included dystopian, Young Adult, historical fiction, fantasy, and classics.
  6. Grammar and spelling mistakes really, really bother me. Is there anyone else around here who can’t stand bad grammar?
  7. I am very clumsy— I can somehow knock things off their shelves without touching them!
  8. Some of the pets I’ve owned include: two parakeets, a hermit crab (rest in peace, Hermie!), and three chicks that grew into chickens.
  9. I love using emojis. 😛
  10. I do not own an eReader.
  11. I’ve played the violin for almost five years and counting.

Ten Questions + Answers

+ What is/are your favorite quote(s)?

A lot of my favourite quotes are by Dumbledore from Harry Potter:

  • “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
  • “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
  • “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
  • “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”
+ What places would you like to visit and why?

Honestly, I would love to visit every country in the world! 🙂 After all, every country has its own culture, customs, language, cuisine, and history, and I just believe that trying to travel as many countries as possible and seeing how the rest of the world lives would be an amazing experience. It’s been on my bucket list for quite a while.

+ What is your favorite color?

At the moment, my favourite colours are plum purple, teal, and lime green.

+ Which book you wish you would’ve written?

Hmm, this is a hard one…

I wish that I wrote the Hunger Games trilogy, because everything about it is simply perfect— the plots, the characters, the settings, everything.

+ Physical books or eBooks? Why?

Physical books for the win! 😀 You can check out my Book Chat about physical books versus eBooks here.

+ Who is your role model?

My role model, bookwise, is Hermione Granger— she’s intelligent, independent, understanding, and a good friend, which are all traits that I value. Not to mention she can cast some mean spells. 😉

+ What is your favorite comfort food?

Definitely sunflower seeds! I am absolutely addicted to sunflower seeds. They’re probably really bad for your teeth (you have to crack open the shell with your front teeth), but they are perfect for munching on while reading or watching a movie. Yumm. 🙂

+ What is your dream job?

I’m still not sure, but my dream job is probably being a full-time literature and travel blogger and free-lance fictionwriter.

+ When did you buy your first book?

Probably when I was in second grade…? I’m estimating here.

+ How did you choose the name of your blog?

I decided to call it after a nickname that one of my closest friends gave me— Yasimone. 🙂


Now onto the questions and nominations:

Questions + Nominations

  1. If you could read only one genre for the next year, which genre would you pick? Why?
  2. What is a book or book series that you did not like, despite everybody else loving it?
  3. What’s your favourite book-to-movie adaptation?
  4. Are you a night owl or day person?
  5. Which number is closest to the amount of books you own—25, 50, 100, 150, or 200+?
  6. Besides your house, where do you prefer reading?
  7. Name one book character that you would like to have dinner with.
  8. Would you survive the Hunger Games? Why or why not?
  9. What are four words that describe you?
  10. Which are better— cats or dogs?
  11. And finally, what advice would you give to newbie bloggers?

As for the nominations… I nominate you! If you’re reading this, have a blog, and want to do the Liebster Award, go ahead! 🙂 I’d love to see the answers to my questions!

Thanks for reading, and once again, thanks to Dimple Malhotra for the nomination!

Have a lovely day, everyone!

❀ Yasimone

Book Review || Bruiser

Author: Neal Shusterman

Publishing Company: Harper Teen

Release Year: 2010

My Summary

BrontĂ« and Tennyson are average teenagers. Tennyson is athletic, popular, and maybe a tad over-confident. BrontĂ«, his twin, is kind-hearted, self-assured, and happy with being herself. Bruiser, a boy who attends their high school, is… different. He doesn’t have friends, doesn’t have parents, and doesn’t talk much. Rumors about him are abundant around the high school he attends. BrontĂ« and Tennyson, like the rest of their classmates, don’t pay much attention to Bruiser. That is, until one day, when BrontĂ« announces that she’s decided to give Bruiser, whose real name is Brewster, a chance and go on a date with him. From the start, Tennyson despises Brewster and is overprotective of his sister. As the two get to know each other, however, they befriend each other. But then, strange things start happening. bruiser.jpgCuts on Tennyson’s knuckles from playing lacrosse disappear. BrontĂ« sprains her foot, and it immediately heals. They notice that Bruiser suddenly has scrapes on his knuckles, that he begins walking with a limp on the same foot BrontĂ« hurt. Before long, the twins put two and two together and realize that Brewster has a gift— a gift, yet also a curse. Brewster must guard his heart, for whoever he feels compassion towards, he can take away all their pain: his little brother Cody, BrontĂ« and Tennyson, and even his abusive uncle Hoyt. Brewster can’t afford to befriend everyone, because healing comes with a price. As BrontĂ« and Tennyson unwittingly draw Brewster into their family and social circles, life becomes more dangerous for Brewster. Will Brewster be able to withstand all that emotional and physical pain?

My Thoughts

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was all very well-thought out— the characters, the plot, the idea behind the words.

Bruiser is actually narrated by four characters with four distinct voices: Tennyson, BrontĂ«, Brewster (who narrates in free-verse poetry), and Brewster’s brother Cody. Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of multiple points-of-view in some books, but not so in Bruiser. All four narrators read as different people. Each of them have their own opinions, their own troubles, and their own flaws. Though the book is a mix of everything— a little bit of romance here, a pinchful of action there, and just a smidgen of supernatural as well— none of it comes off as unrealistic or overdramatic. It’s an intense book, and you won’t be able to put it down until the last page.

I’m not really sure what else to say. Bruiser is a book that to fully understand, you must read it. What I do know, however, is that this is a book that addresses love, death, health, familial troubles, bullying, abuse, friendship, pain, and the power of an average person all in one in a sincere, straightforward way without being too overwhelming. I definitely recommend to everyone. 🙂

❀ Yasimone