Life

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thoughts & Reflections

2015 Favorites~

2015 favs

It’s time for yearly favorites *yay* I don’t do monthly favorites so I had almost forgotten about this year’s favorite post too. So glad I read it over at some other blogs and realized I have enough time to squeeze in a post before 2015 is over.

I believe 2015 went by in a blur and I didn’t get a chance to try out much stuff but when I started looking back at old posts to gather my favorites I was amazed. Damn there was a lot. Without further delay let’s get started.

~

2015 Beauty Favs

~Beauty~

I realize beauty wise I got around to using quite a bunch of stuff. I got to use two different foundations, different eyeliners, lips, mascaras and what not. Below are my favorites.

Liner – I am still stuck on my Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in 01 Darkest Black. I’ve had it since 2014 and it’s still going strong for me.

Mascara – Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Curl has got to be the one for me. Perfect effect without crisping the eyelashes, what else does one want?

Foundation – Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 hr Nude Finish Foundation because it saved me through the horrendous summer we had this year. Thank you, Rimmel, I am forever in debt.

Lip Liner – MAC Beet

Lipstick – MAC Ruby Woo

~

2015 Skincare Fav

~Skincare~

I’ve been very bad with the whole skincare department this year. I am just glad I picked up The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment as it had helped a lot with blemishes.

~

~Fragrance~

Spritz wise Victoria’s Secret – Secret Escape Body Mist has been my bae this year and I doubt I will be falling out of love with this one anytime soon.

~

2015 Books Fav

~Book~

I’ve been failing miserably at completing my goodreads challenge this year but I’ve got a few days in my hand and I hoping I’ll get it done in time. This year there has been just one book that I’ve wanted to reach out again and time again – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I loved it so much. I am linking my review of it so you can read me cry more about it in a detailed post. (CLICK HERE!!) My second favorite was All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, but I haven’t done a review yet so I was thinking to save it for 2016. Oh well. I am highly recommending these two to everyone I know that includes you too.

~

That’s about it, guys. I will see you in my next post very soon! 🙂

Much Love,

~F x

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr

Books, Quotes

MyMissingPiece~

An Abundance of Katherines

He didn’t want it to end, because he knew the absence of her would hurt more than any breakup ever could.
But she left anyway, and he was alone in his room, searching out anagrams for mymissingpiece in a vain attempt to fall asleep.
– An Abundance of Katherines by JohnGreen

Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Click HERE for Goodreads Synopsis

I have heard so much about David Levithan and how he is a must-read author so I decided to read one of his books in September. I picked up The Lover’s Dictionary because the chapters looked really short which meant I would end in one sitting.

The Lover’s Dictionary is written, as the title suggests, in a dictionary style starting with A and ending on Z. Now what I was expecting was a proper story of the couple that started with alphabet ‘A’ explaining how they met and ended at Z with their endings however good or bad they were. This wasn’t the case with the book. It was more like snippets of a couple’s life and though that wouldn’t have been much of a problem if it was arranged in a manner that gave some clear insight of the couple’s life. There wasn’t a proper story and more like you had to fit the pieces and make sense of the story on your own.

I know a lot of people like such books and there are people who loved this one but there are some who didn’t which includes me. I couldn’t really connect or relate with the couple. I do believe the concept was great but it wasn’t executed that well. I also believe that you might really like it if you’re in love but if you are not then you might not enjoy it as much.

The book had some good parts. I liked A for Anthem. It was the girl’s song and it was nice. I am not giving up on David Levithan just yet. I want to read some more of his books and decide how I like him. For now he gives off a very John Green vibe to me.

Rating: 2/5

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr

Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier

*no spoilers included*

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Click HERE for Goodreads Synopsis

Have you read The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton recently? Are you having a book hangover and yearning for a similar book but have become hopeless because you have no idea which one to pick next? Well, I got you covered here, pal.

I picked up Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier for my September Reading Goals. I didn’t know what to expect of the book. I don’t like to read reviews before I start a book. Mostly because I always end up reading the spoilers always by accident or a bad review might just turn me off.

After finishing The Miniaturist and falling in love with it badly, I had this immediate urge to read a book in similar setting. I can’t look up things even if it were to save my life but this one I had. I did a good search on Goodreads but none of the books felt right. I gave up (though not in my heart of hearts). Girl with a Pearl Earring was on my to-be-read list since forever and I randomly thought to get done with it. *patting random decision making genius self*

Girl with a Pearl Earring is a short, nicely written book which is very too the point. It is set in a place called Delft in Holland. The book revolves around a girl named Griet who takes up as a maid after her father loses his eye sight and she becomes the sole earner for the family.

She goes to work for The Vemeers. Some people in the house are good to her and then there are some who are the nastiest creature ever whom you wouldn’t mind slapping a couple of times yourself. She is a cautious girl but makes the mistake of getting attached to her mysterious master – who paints for a living – which leads to a lot of complications.

The book explores the relationship between servants and their employer and how there is a huge line that should never be crossed and how often it is crossed and the price that one has to pay for it.

The characters in this book are all so well defined that throughout the book you will be consenting with their moves but then there will come a major point and you will release ‘dammit what the hell were they think (specifically what the hell were you thinking taking their side and how could you even!!)’.

This book also depicts the topic of dependency in a very evident manner and things a person does or is willing to do when their survival instincts kick in. No I am not going to talk more about it because I don’t want to give it all away but read this book and you will know and feel exactly what I am talking about.

I had such a great time reading this Girl with a Pearl Earring and I can’t recommend this enough.

Note for The Miniaturist fans:- If you loved The Miniaturist, this book is definitely for you. It has the setting; the canals, the market, the house, and just about everything. It is a definite treat.

Rating: 4/5

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr

Book Review, Books

Book Review ~ Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

*some spoilers included*Shatter Me Series - famtaq.com

Shatter Me series has been on my TBR list since last year. My baby girl H asked me to read it as she loved it so much. I am also following Tahereh Mafi on Instagram from last year and I absolutely adore her and her husband, haha. They make a gorgeous couple.

I am not really a fan of dystopian books that’s why I don’t usually read them but Shatter Me was raved about crazy much. So I started off with the first book. The starting of the book was great but the more I read the more speechless I got because Tahereh’s writing was a bit weird for me. I don’t know if other writer use such repeated lines too and metaphors that take you a really long time to decipher their meaning, but I definitely wasn’t ready. I found Juliette’s character as a little too dull. I couldn’t come to like her all that much. There were a lot of parts in the book that didn’t make sense to me. The most obvious one was the ‘love’ between Adam and Juliette. There was no chemistry between them. It felt like a very have-no-other-choice kind of a relationship. Then the end part was a bit weird too with Warner and his feels box exploding because throughout Shatter Me he was shown as a malicious being and then suddenly his personality makes a 360 degrees shift and he loses all control and senses. I am saying this because in the other books he is always so well composed even when he is talking to Juliette alone and shit is getting real but Shatter Me book’s last scene with Warner was really kind of off. Then there was this whole suit scene in the end and Juliette who does nothing but stay depressed is instantly ready to take on the world after wearing a suit. 😐 this was the exact face I made after reading it and screamed ‘are you frickin’ kidding me? Have you met you, Juliette??’. I am so glad Tahereh agreed with me in the later books regarding this scene – big love to her for this. I didn’t like Shatter Me much. It was an average read. I thought of not continuing the book as last year I read a few pages of it and left it but then I made up my mind and thought let’s just get over with it. Another thing, I didn’t like Adam’s character at all. He was like a puppy desperately in love and wanting some back. He didn’t have any traits that would make me fall in love with him or even support him in later novels. Kenji’s character was alright.

Second book I read was Destroy Me novella. I LOVED IT. Hahaha. The writing was so much better in this one plus it was all about Warner. I loved how his character was explored, his thoughts and his feelings. I absolutely loved it. Another thing I loved about this novella was how we got more of a peek into Juliette’s life through her diary. I really wanted to know more about her time in captivity. I loved the part where he describes her in a dark room whispering ‘forgive me…’ Hit me in the feel box that one.

Then I moved on to Unravel Me. I liked Omega Point idea. I thought it was cool. I liked all the new characters though they were depicted as a little unprepared and not really smart – just a bunch of people with some superpowers. Only Kenji was shown like he knew stuff. Though this book made me question a lot why we had Kenji at all but of course we needed a character who could joke around and say sleazy stuff. I am not a fan of his. This book started good too but became a drag after 30% of it was done. There were a lot of scenes where I wanted to punch Adam because he was killing my vibe. Thank god Warner was introduced back in this book and there was hope that I would end Unravel Me. Super loved Warner’s off time and the chemistry between him and Juliette. I hated his father aka the Supreme Commander but he was quite a nasty character especially with the last scene. If you have read the book you would know what I am talking about.

Fourth book was Fracture Me – novella from Adam’s point of view. Just skip it if you are not a fan of Adam. This novella didn’t have much plus I was screaming at the top of my lung after turning every single page ‘why don’t you understand – you are irrelevant, Adam.’ There were also times when I wanted to shoot him down. I just didn’t like his character at all. I found his ‘love’ as more of an infatuation and just stubbornness. I somehow got done with it thanks to all the repeated scenes. It was an absolute torture

I finally got to Ignite Me. Thank you Tahereh for this one. I liked it so much better than the rest of the books. There was a lot of Warner, a lot of real action and a lot of love. Though Adam often came and killed my vibe but I got better at ignoring him and his drama. I adored Adam’s younger brother James though. He was really cute, fun, curious and hilarious. This book gave me a whole new way to look at Kenji’s character. I liked him better.

I read Shatter Me series on my cell phone but if I ever buy any of the books it will be Destroy Me and Ignite Me because Warner. ❤ lol. In case I buy them all then that would be because of the covers because they are absolutely stunning. I don’t know if I should recommend this series or not but if you are a dystopian genre fan than do read it because a lot of people have said it’s one of the best. I have read just two dystopian series so I can’t really say much though I would say Shatter Me series is far better than Divergent series. Again a big sorry to Veronica Roth for saying this last line because I do like her a lot and Four was one of my favorite characters before he went bat shit crazy. This reminds me, I have to read Divergent book #1 again because I have been missing Four.

Happy reading~

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr

Books

I Found A Cure For Reading Slump!! + September TBR List

Reading Slump - famtaq.com (

If you are following me on my Book Instagram page (@BigBooksTinyHeart) you would know I was going through a reading slump in July. I tried reaching out to a lot of books but nothing was helping. I had a huge TBR (to be read) list that was increasing by the day and I had no solution.

One day I was just going through other book Instagram pages and found out about Book Reading Goals. It is as simple as the name suggests. Before a month starts you make up a list of books you plan to read that month. I thought to give it a try as I had nothing to lose. Guess what guys?! It worked!!

I set a goal of reading Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi in August. I was very practical. I knew I was trying to get out of a slump so I kept to just one series. I didn’t want to pressurize myself as reading for me is like an escape to a happy place. I completed my reading goal in time and was so happy about it because Shatter Me series was on my list from last year.

I know for some reading just 4 books a month is not enough reading. I know the feeling I was like you guys too once. But you have to keep in mind that if you force yourself to read when you are not in the proper state, you won’t be able to do it. Secondly, I realized that while in my slump when I used to go through my bookshelf or digital library the options were so many that I used to get overwhelmed. Planning a reading list helped me with that and my mind was prepared to read the books I picked out for that month. Also, if you achieve your reading goal in half a month you can always add another book or two to read. I won’t really advice this in the beginning for about a month or two because it might make you feel pressurized but it’s up to you. Whatever you can handle! I hope this post can be of help to some of you at least. Let me know if it works! 🙂

September tbr - famtaq.com

Moving on, I picked up books I want to read this month.

1- Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier

2- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

3- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

4- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I am already done with the first two and did a mini review on my book Instagram. I will do a full review here soon. I am still deciding which book to read next.

What is on your TBR list this month? What are you reading currently? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

~F x

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr

Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare / Sarah Rees Brennan / Maureen Johnson

*no spoilers included*

After reading The Mortal Instruments and getting madly obsessed with Magnus Bane I knew I would be looking for all the short stories Cassandra Clare has written about him but I was too lazy to look them up right away. I read The Infernal Devices just a bit back and the moment I closed the last book I knew I could wait no longer now. Luckily Cassie came up with The Bane Chronicles at the exact time and my local Borders stocked on it. *squealing* *happy dance*

Now I read TMI before I read TID so I knew a lot about Magnus but TID really got me curious about him. I actually expected The Bane Chronicles to be an in-depth study of his character and it did stand right in some parts.

TBC is more like snippets from Magnus’ life in all different eras. You get to know some of his best friends, his living style, his habits and most of all his love life. What really hit me about Magnus was how he was always looking for love. Someone he could hold on to, someone who could be his anchor. There is one story about this guy (who I really wanted to kill) that showed how he broke Magnus’ heart. It left me really sad because Magnus’ reaction was just so heart breaking. He pretended to be cool with it but his thoughts… they really shook me. I am being too sentimental here I know but there weren’t many chapters that showed such emotions and were based on adventure. Most of the chapter compromised of some of the characters we know from the Shadow Hunter world like Raphael Santiago, Camille, Maureen, the queen of Fair folk and our favorite Alec Lightwood.

I wouldn’t say The Bane Chronicles was everything I expected or wanted. Some chapters were really good and then there were some that lacked excitement. However, I wouldn’t say it was a bad read. The illustration was really fun especially the ones in Alec’s chapters. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I would take anything in blue. Then we have a really good looking guy on the cover who reminds of Godfrey Gao. What else do we need?

I would say get this book if you’re a diehard fan of the Shadow World or if you have read TMI and TID because com’n you’ve read all nine; complete the series; read this one as well.

Rating: 8/10

Related Links:

Book Review ~ The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

Review ~ The Mortal Instruments series (Books)

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr

Books

Taylor Swift Book Tag

taylorswift

Taylor Swift Book Tag

I saw this book tag on Katytastic’s Youtube channel a while back and found it really fun so thought to give it a go. I’ll be tagging a few of you here. Anyone who is not tagged but wants to give this a go, please do so and let me know. I would love to see what you posted. 😀

QUESTIONS

1- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

The Divergent series – It was so hyped about. I thought it was going to be hella amazing but it disappointed me so very much and the third book – I wanted to set myself on fire for matching my nails to the book covers. We are just never getting back together.

2- Red – pick a book with a RED cover.

The Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho ❤

3- The Best Day – pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and Hot Stuff by Elaine Fox – These two books get me so nostalgic. Harry Potter and The Miniaturist follow closely.

4- Love Story – pick a book with forbidden love.

I haven’t read any book with forbidden love yet unless you want to count City of Bones, ha! I loved the first three books of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare so darn much.

5- I Knew You Were Trouble – pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

President Coriolanus Snow because he was evil beyond measures. (Also because Donald Sutherland is beautiful)

6- Innocent (written b/c of Kanye West!) – pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

None so far I guess. 😐 I don’t talk to people when I am reading a book.

7- Everything Has Changed – pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Nella from The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. She was all fragile and portrayed as a kid but with every chapter she grew stronger and brave.

8- You Belong With Me – pick your most anticipated book release.

I am eagerly waiting for another novel by Jessie Burton. She stole my heart with The Miniaturist. I can’t wait to read her second novel. I absolutely adore this lady.

9- Forever and Always – pick your favorite book couple.

Eleanor & Park – their romance was everything. ❤ If you haven’t read this book already, you must. Right now. Go. The clock is ticking.

10- Come Back, Be Here – pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I think I have the most beautiful copies and also Hot Stuff by Elaine Fox because I doubt I will get another copy from any store near me if I lose this one, so nah you are not allowed to touch these books on my shelf. Sorry.

BONUS QUESTIONS

11- Teardrops On My Guitar – pick a book that made you cry a lot.

The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho – I loved this book so much

12- Shake It Off – pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers of course 😛

I tag:

HashtagLoveBooks

PajamaReader

To All The Books I’ve Loved Before

Emily Reads Books

Have fun!! 😀

~F x

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr

Lately

Vas Happenin’ ~ Ramadan Edition :P

Reliving some old One Direction memories up there with the title, ha.

I thought to do a rambly post today as I have been missing in action and I find myself obliged to update you guys on what’s happening in my parts of the world. There isn’t much interesting going on.

1- Our internet had some problems so we went 3 weeks without it. It was a very dark period for us. How people even survive without internet, I must ask.

391751_10150965193317671_1091741879_n

2- We got our internet sorted and soon afterwards Ramadan started that means goodbye normal routine and welcome to awesome food every single day ha. Before I forget I would like to wish you all a very Happy Ramadan. I was very busy first ten days. Ramadan excitement, praying, iftar gatherings and all the jazz was keeping me very occupied. I tried to blog but I didn’t have the time to and I was usually very brain dead for anything creative and I do hate to write when I am in a bad mood. Which reminds me…

Screenshot_2015-07-01-01-40-23-1

3- As you guys might know I am a bit obsessed with books, so I decided to make an Instagram specifically for sharing my love for books and connecting with other readers. My username is BigBooksTinyHeart (Click here to follow). I made it I guess on the 3rd day of Ramadan and have been pretty active there. So if you are a book nerd like me, feel free to follow me there and let’s talk books.

Screenshot_2015-07-01-01-43-45-1

4- Because I haven’t been blogging at all since Ramadan started, I am trying to be somewhat active on my blog Instagram page – Username: famtaqblog (click here to follow if you aren’t already lol) – sharing some tips about skincare and anything I like. Though I do plan to write proper posts about everything on here but I have been trying to get my blog Instagram to feel like a human being’s feed and not of a automaton (oh yes I read The Infernal Devices just a bit back and the aftereffects are still there 😛 )

This is all that’s been going on in my life. Now I would like to know what you all have been up to! Leme know in the comments below. And to all those celebrating Ramadan, how has it been going for you guys? I would love to know and catch up. 😀

Take care! Be good! Lots of Love!

~F x

Keep up with me ~ Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr