Book Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.inddBook title: The Sun Is Also A Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Natasha doesn’t believe in love or religion, she believes we’re put on this earth to survive and evolve. Daniel is a hopeless romantic, he believes in poetry and love at first sight, he believes there’s more to life than just existing.

Through a chain of fated events, they meet in a record store and Daniel vows to scientifically make Natasha fall in love with him. He succeeds but life happens and the ending is bittersweet.

Nicola Yoon is a master wordsmith.

“Some people exist in your life to make it better. Some people exist to make it worse.”

Natasha and Daniel’s story spans the course of a day. Natasha, a Jamaican immigrant who has spent nearly ten years is about to be deported and a last attempt to stay in America puts her in the path of Daniel, a Korean-American, looking for somebody to save him from the future his parents have set out for him.

This story taught me that we’re all connected. Our actions affect the people around us, even people we don’t know, people we’ve never met. The universe is too big for all of this to be just coincidence, so we call it fate, kismet, meant-to-be.


Down The TBR Hole #1

I went through a phase where I clicked “want to read” on all the books goodreads recommended to me which is why most of the books on TBR baffle me. Down The TBR Hole is a weekly meme created by Lia at Lost In A Story. This is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  1. Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate

I went through the fallen angels and vampires phase just like everybody else. At some point it was all I read but I’ve tried to get back into this series many times and I just couldn’t. Verdict: Go(Including the four other books in the series).

  1. Shatter Me by TaherehMafi

I love books like this but I’m intimidated by the number of books in the series. I have a fickle heart and I give up too easily. Verdict: Go.

  1. The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

I struggled to find this book after finishing the Clockwork Princess and now I’ve forgotten about it and lost all interest. Verdict: Go.

  1. Princess Bride by William Golding

I took this book out of the library a few months ago and returned it when it was due without opening a single page but it’s a classic, I’ll give it one more try. Verdict: Keep.

  1. Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

It sounds like half the fantasy books that were published in 2011. I think I’ll give it a miss. I don’t know what this is. I added this book in 2011. I don’t know who that girl was but it wasn’t me. Verdict: Go.

  1. Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe

I find the synopsis interesting. I love thrillers. Verdict: Keep.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems

This sounds like the type of book that would give me a headache. Verdict: Go.

  1. Eternal Dawn by Rebecca Maizel (Vampire Queen #3)

I enjoyed the other books in this trilogy so I’ll be keeping this one. Verdict: Keep.

  1. First Rider’s Call by Kristen Britain (Green Rider #2)

I’ve read the first book in the series twice so there’s still hope yet. Verdict: Keep.

  1. The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler

“It is 1919 and the Great War…” nope. I probably added this because I saw Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but rereading the synopsis I realise it’s not something that I’m interested in. Verdict: Go.


This was such a fun (but stressful) post to write. I hope I stick with it and continue cleansing my TBR. This is progress right? Right?

My TBR before the cleansing: 329

My TBR after the cleansing: 324.

I call this progress. Now if only I would actually read the books on my TBR instead of reading books I just found out about.




Places I Wish I Could Be

An old library somewhere with rows and shelves of books, hiding between Fantasy and Mystery, hiding from the crushing realisation that real life isn’t as good as fiction.

At the train station with my best friend trying to fit 4 years of life spent apart on different continents into a 30-minute conversation, jumbled dialogue about boarding school and xenophobia and first times and tattoos.

blurry train station
Israel Sundseth on Unsplash

In my old bedroom with the big windows where the sun shines too brightly and I’ve got Sweet Valley High stickers on my sky blue wall.

A hotel room with a city view, white bed sheets and a soft white duvet that I can wrap myself around and forget all my hard edges.

Sitting outside the steps of my old college with my friends laughing, joking about boys we don’t have the guts to talk to and giving them stupid nicknames.

Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash

In the park, where I used to play watching the sun go down and not having to worry about the demons that come out at night.

At a bus stop waiting for a bus to take me somewhere far from here, someplace where nobody knows my name or where I’ve been.

Akram Shehadi on Unsplash

In a car at night with the city lights blinding and Lana Del Rey telling me to ride till dawn like the road dogs do.

On a beach I’ve never been to, feeling the sand between my toes, hearing the roar of the ocean and hoping it’s just like I imagined.




February Wrap Up: Bookish

February has come and gone and I didn’t even notice. I’m writing this introduction in a moving car on my way to work. I haven’t had a chance to read since I started working for a research company last week and I will have even less time in March which is a bummer.
One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read more books from my current TBR, out of the 8 books I read this month only two books were already on my GoodReads shelf, the other was a reread but still.
Here are the books I read in the order in which I read them:

Sparrow by Sarah Moon


Sparrow wakes up in the pysch ward after she’s found on the roof of her school. The hospital and her mother think it was a suicide attempt but Sparrow swears it wasn’t. She winds up having weekly visits with Dr. Katz who figures out Sparrow’s unhealthy coping mechanism and guides her to better through their mutual love of punk rock.

Sparrow is a phenomenal book for young black girls dealing with mental issues in a world where mental illnesses are something considered for something that only happens to white people. I wish I’d read something as validating as this book when I was 14 and struggling. It would have made me feel less alone.

Antisocial by Jillian Blake


Antisocial begins with Anna, a student at your typical American high school, reeling from a bad breakup with her popular boyfriend and has now been demoted to being friends with the people she left behind when she ran off into the sunset with her popular basketball playing boyfriend. Her friends are, naturally, not happy to have her back except for this one guy Jethro who’s been in love with her since forever. A hack occurs at the school that leaks damaging information about the popular students and the search begins to find out who it is before more damage is done.

Where do I even begin? Anna suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder; something I feel was badly depicted by the author. Jillian Blake’s personal brand of SAD disappeared at the plot’s beck and call. Anna’s friends were completely horrible to her and I’m not quite sure why. Anna’s relationship with Jethro: they’ve been friends since forever, the first thing Anna does after her boyfriend breaks up with her is googling “How to not rebound with your best friend” which is exactly what she proceeds to do. The entire book is messy and not worth the read.


The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


Alice and her mother have always been on the run from bad luck until her grandmother dies and a feeling of safety finally makes them stop. A few months later, Alice’s mother, Ella is taken and Alice with the help of her friend Ellery Finch travels to the Hazel Wood, her grandmother’s dark house, to find her. The Hazel Wood is a different world, a dark fairytale land that she didn’t expect.

The Hazel Wood is like a fairy tale retelling but not really. It’s a book about dark fairytales seeping into the normal world. Melissa Albert writes flowery writing, I think they call it prose, I love flowery writing. The main character, Alice is amazing, a changeling who doesn’t fit into this world but blends in perfectly. I stayed up until the words started being nonsense and I had to close the book and sleep. That’s how good it is.

How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather


Salem Witch Trials but the roles are reversed and it’s set in the modern day. Samantha is descendant from Cotton Mather (fun fact: Adriana Mather is also a descendant of Cotton Mather) starts school at Salem and is marked an enemy by the reigning popular kids the ancestors of the Salem witches known as the Descendants. People start dying the minute Samantha arrives and soon enough, the entire town is on the hunt for her.

This book has been on my TBR shelf for a while, I enjoyed it but not enough to continue with the series.



6069946.jpgHero by Perry Moore


Hero is a novel about Thorn, a teenager training to be a superhero.  After being kicked off the basketball team, Thorn joins a superhero training program filled with heroes with unusual powers like being able to make people sick and overheating. This book was too “busy” for me. They were a lot of action scenes and confusing dialogues which made me lose my place a lot and as a result, I didn’t enjoy the book.



33843362.jpgGenuine Fraud by E. Lockhart


This is the strangest book I’ve read in a long time. I was so confused half the time, the timeline messed with me a lot. At some points, I didn’t know what was going on.

Jule is the unhinged main character who thinks life is a movie and goes around killing people and getting away with it. Although Jule is the narrator, we don’t know anything about her because she’s quite possibly a pathological liar. I like the fact that she loves makeup; you don’t see a lot of fictional girls portrayed as strong, badass characters that love and wear makeup.


33913889.jpgShadow Girl by Liana Liu


This was a gripping, paranormal YA novel about a haunted house on a secluded Island. Mei is an academic tutor hired to tutor the quiet and artistic daughter of the Morrisons at their beach house on Arrow Island. She’s leaving behind the one-bedroom flat she shares with her mother and brother for two months. Mei starts to have strange dreams and Ella convinces her that the house is haunted.

Mei is Chinese-American (own-voices) who wants to study at a university further from home but is afraid of leaving her mother with her precarious older brother who doesn’t seem to have it together.


33275690.jpgFoolish Hearts by Emma Mills


I loved this book, the genuine friendships, the Shakespeareness, the space prince a thousand miles from home. Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills is s YA novel set from the perspective of Claudia during rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, although she is a reluctant participant. I loved the GENUINE friendships that the characters had; real and human, especially the friendship between Gideon and Harry, a lot of books hardly ever show make characters as people who have friends. The SIBLING that was actually there and not casually mentioned every few chapters for no reason. This book had all the things I miss from other YA books. Siblings are hardly ever there but in this one, Claudia’s brother (whose name I’m struggling to remember) was an actual character. this is a great book, One that everyone should read at least once, if not twice.

I read a total of 8 books. I really thought I read more.

Book of the month: Sparrow by Sarah Moon, the book 14 year-old-me needed and finally found ten years later.

Bookish posts: I wrote 1 book post last month (it’s 3am and I keep forgetting we’re already in March), it was a post about books that I read when I feel down here.

Current read: Contour by Meg Harding; give me anything with youtube and makeup in the blurb and I’ll be yours forever.

Hopefully, I’ll be writing more book posts. I’ll be doing reviews of old books that I loved just to find my stride in online book reviewing as well.

What books did you read in February? Anything that you’ll reread in the future?






What Depression Is and Isn’t

This came to me on Monday night when my mother was sitting on the bed across from me talking loudly about how I had to make a decision to stop being depressed. This was after I’d told her I was suicidal. I didn’t mention that I’d laid in bed on Thursday with a razor in my hand but my sister had forgotten her keys so I had to open the door for her.

I remember her saying that I was too old to be depressed and suicidal. I remember her saying that some people have it worse. At some point my father appeared in the doorway, half in and half out, as he has always been in my life. I couldn’t speak but words in my head were creating a noisy din. My parents think depression is laziness and belongs to white people. I wanted to explain to them that I’ve been depressed since I was 12 and my mother told me I was HIV positive but the way my mind is set up, sometimes I physically can’t speak.

I’ve grown so used to swallowing my words and washing them down with tears that I have forgotten how to voice them.

At the beginning of January, I washed my clothes. It took me weeks of thinking about doing laundry that led up to actually doing laundry. My clean clothes have been sitting at the foot of my bed, un-ironed and unfolded, for weeks because I can’t do it. It would take less than 20 minutes to fold them and put them away but I can’t do it. I don’t know why. Simple chores become mountains for me. I know I can do them, I’ve done them a hundred times before but Lord I can’t do it. I can’t fix my bed; I can’t sweep the floor, some days I can’t even take a bath. I’m not lazy. I know this.

Depression isn’t laziness. Depression makes you incapable of completing the simplest of tasks. Depression has taken my life from me. Depression isn’t a choice that I made.

So I’m sorry that I didn’t cook dinner or do the dishes or pick up your shoes from the living room. I wasn’t being petty or disrespectful. I was too busy trying not to kill myself.

Your daughter, your sister


Ezria: And All The Ways Ezra Was A Creep

Got a secret? Can you keep it? Swear this one you’ll save…

We all know the opening song of the TV series that held us captive for the past 7 years. It was one of my favourite shows until Season 5. The mystery, the cliff-hangers, the drama of it all. I couldn’t get enough of it.

I’m currently re-watching Season 4  and I am not impressed. I find myself insanely irked by Ezria (Ezra ♥ Aria).There’s too many things wrong with Ezria for it to have ended in marriage. This post started as a “Things Pretty Little Liars Taught Me” but I couldn’t stomach Ezra’s voice so here’s a rant post about all the things wrong with Ezria.

  1. Ezra is a paedophile

He dated Alison when she was underage. Then proceeded to date Aria knowing full well she was underage and he was about to be her English teacher. Then he had the nerve to be shocked when he saw her in his class! He knew exactly who all the liars were before he started dating Aria.

  1. Ezra is a psychotic stalker

He was so obviously A during season 4 it’s not even debateable.All those pictures he had of the girls, puncturing Spencer’s tyre in Ravenswood so he could save the day, chasing Aria through the woods and scaring the shit out of her.

  1. Ezra is a control freak

He put knives in Jake’s punching bag because he was about to expose him for the psychopath he was. He (probably) trashed Connor’s car because he spread a rumour about Aria that was partly true. He framed Noel Kahn because he was blackmailing him about his shady and illegal relationship with Aria in season 1. He did all these things because that’s what normal people in healthy relationships do.

  1. Ezra was A

Let’s be honest, there’s no way in hell that Ezra had two A-like lairs, tracked surveillance cameras all over Rosewood, stalked Aria way before season 1 began, attacked Spencer in that creepy town Ravenswood, planted Wren’s prescription pad to push the idea that Spencer was abusing medication, had files on each of the liars and he wasn’t A??? He was A! I hate how it was just shoved aside as “Oh I’m just writing a book about Alison” Right, I don’t buy it. Nobody buys it.

  1. Ezra ruined any chance Aria had of having a normal life

Every time Ezra and Aria broke up, every time Aria started dating someone else he would swoosh right in and ruin any chance she had of having a normal high school romance where she could go on double dates with her friends and not have to worry about her boyfriend registering as a sex offender.


  1. He quite possibly brainwashed Aria

This is the only plausible reason as to why this insane, unhealthy relationship could have ended in marriage. He claimed the rift their secret relationship was causing between Aria and her family and friends was “a good thing”. Aria agreed. Brainwashed!

  1. Ezra was an overall creep

He subtly threatened Spencer when he caught her reading the Trojan Horse Diary and then proceeded to cover his tracks by going to Aria and claiming she had a problem with amphetamines (how did he know about that hmm?)

I could probably write a ten thousand page essay about how creepy Ezria is if I didn’t think you stopped reading at point number 5. Aria’s friends are obviously fake friends, real friends don’t support your creepy relationship with the English teacher; they don’t encourage you to get back together with your stalker boyfriend.

If you’ve watched Pretty Little Liars, what are your thoughts on Ezria and if you haven’t what are your thoughts on the way tv shows portray non-platonic relationships between students and teachers?



5 Books I Read When I’m Feeling Down

Sometimes all it takes is a few chapters from my favourite books to alleviate my dark mood. Reading has been my safe place since I was younger and it continues to be. These are some of the books I read when things are a bit crazy in my head.

  1. Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo

“your mother was your first mirror.

Tell me,

Didn’t she carry herself well enough

To make you feel like a God?”

Poetry books do for me what self-help books do for others. Words have the power to heal. Ijeoma Umebinyuo’s poetry makes me feel less small in this vast world.

  1. Spud Series by John van de Ruit

This is hands down the best book series in the entire world and you can’t tell me otherwise. It will always be my number one book. Spud follows John Milton (not the poet) through his four years of boarding school. Night-swimming shenanigans, dysfunctional roommates and tricky prefects all lead to Spud having the worst and best years of his life.

  1. Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

I recently read this book for the second time, it’s that good. Whenever I’m feeling down I like to read books that will make me laugh and forget for a little while. Noah Grimes has been best friends with Harry since forever. His life is turned upside down when Harry confesses his love for him.

  1. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

I don’t know how to describe this book but if you’re suffering from a mental illness, it’s a good book to read. Everything I’m feeling translated into words that make sense.

  1. Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

What better way to escape from the crushing reality of depression than the magical world of Harry Potter.

What are some of your favourite books to read when you’re feeling down ?



Things That Make My Mental Health Worse

Last year when I was working at this amazing but stressful job, I read Reasons To Stay by Matt Haig. It took me two hours to get to work and two hours to get back. I’d spend those four hours reading, listening to music while pretending I was in a music video and dreading the moment I entered the office.

The office I worked at was filled with loud, creative types who worked while playing loud, underground hiphop and I was the quiet girl in the corner with Lana Del Rey crooning softly in my ear. During the first few months, my anxiety had a life of its’ own. I’d never felt like that before, not even when I was still in school. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t stop thinking. I heard running, distracting voices in my head, my hands shook so badly I couldn’t code. Going to the bathroom was a mission that I had to think about for hours. Eating in the office made me want to break down. Those eight months taught me a lot about myself. They taught me the things that make me worse. And the things that make me better.

  • Web development
  • Thinking about food
  • Sad books that make me feel things
  • Sad music that makes me feel things
  • Time
  • Social media
  • Depramil
  • Buying clothes
  • Going to places alone
  • Thinking about web development
  • Going into a shop alone
  • Spending money
  • Not having enough money to survive

Listing the things that made me worse and better made me aware of the things that I could avoid such as going to places alone. last year I managed to go to a national book fair by myself! ( I thought I would die but I didn’t). I’m working on the things I can’t avoid and trying to avoid the ones I can




Top 10 Tuesdays: Traveling to Dystopian Futures and Other Reading Resolutions

Resolutions are a thing I stopped doing years ago but this year I started it up again from Self-Care Resolutions to Reading Resolutions. This blog post started with a post I saw on  The Artsy Reader Girl and I decided to participate in it. Hopefully I can keep to some of these goals.

  1. Read 48 books

Last year my reading goal was 36 books but I ended up reading 80+ books due to an unexpected amount of free time. This year will, hopefully, be busier than last year and I won’t have too much time on my hands so I’m taking it up by 12.

  1. Read more nonfiction

Biographies and memoirs. I hardly ever read anything but fiction (and sometimes poetry) so in 2018 I’m planning to read at least 4 nonfiction books.

  1. Stop reading books I find unenjoyable just because they’re popular

I get reading FOMO sometimes when I see everyone raving about a book. And when I finally get around to reading it, the book disappoints but I keep holding out and frustrating myself. I’m putting books I don’t enjoy aside and reading things I like.

  1. Write reviews more often

I can write short reviews. A paragraph or two tops. But an entire post about just one book?

  1. Read more books by African authors

Zakes Mda, Akwaeke Emezi, Ayobami Adebayo. All amazing authors writing African stories. I don’t have to worry about misrepresentation or diversity or cultural appropriation.

  1. Reread a book series I’ve never finished

There’s too many of these. The Legend Trilogy, The Vampire Queen Trilogy, the Evernight books among many book series I haven’t managed to finish.

  1. Read a classic

I went through a bit of a phase where I read classics. I collected them from secondhand book stalls. The meanings were lost on me but I’m older (and maybe a little wiser lol) maybe it won’t be lost on me.

  1. Read 5 books from my tbr published in 2017

We’re only halfway into 2018 and I already feel insanely behind. I didn’t get around to reading all the amazing books of 2017 (books I added in 2017, published in 2017), if only authors could stop publishing incredible books.

  1. Fall back in love with fantasy

Fantasy is where it all started for me. I fell in love with Harry Potter then came the craze with vampires, werewolves and fallen angels. It’s where my love for reading ignited. Lately I haven’t been into it, I’m fixing that in 2018

  1. Reading is not a competition

Reading is fun. Reading is a hobby. Reading is meant to be enjoyable. Reading is not a competition.



Self-Care Resolutions for 2018

When I was younger I was big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I’d pull out my brand new diary and fill up the first two pages with crazy resolutions that I’d vow to accomplish by the end of the year. Come year end I’d feel so disappointed in myself when I was checking off five of the 20 things I’d listed.

It became a burden. I’d look back at the year and instead of focusing on the things that I’d accomplished, I would be confronted by all my failures which had a negative impact on my mental health. So I stopped altogether. But this year I’ve decided to make a list of Self-Care Resolutions for myself.

  1. Say no without feeling guilty

I have a problem with saying no. I always end up saying yes to the things I don’t want to do or that create problems for me. I say yes to lending people money even though asking for it back gives me panic attacks. I say yes to babysitting my cousin for the whole weekend even though I already have plans. This year I’m saying no.


  1. Be nice to myself

I’m my own enemy and biggest critic. Everything I do is wrong even when it isn’t. When I catch myself thinking negative things I’ll stop which is difficult with my mental illness.

  1. Don’t be afraid of talking

Sometimes I can’t talk. The words can’t come out of my mouth. I can hear them in my brain but they get lost between there and my mouth. Although I prefer silence, sometimes it kills me. I make unhealthy assumptions and made up scenarios become real all because I was too afraid to speak.

  1. Start writing again

Journaling was my thing. I’d fill in an entire diary before the year was over and stick more papers to the back so I could continue writing. I started this blog to create a place for me to write again. And hopefully, I won’t fail.

  1. Say sorry when I’ve hurt someone

I grew up in a family that doesn’t quite know the word “sorry”. We say sorry by being nice to each other after a falling out, by asking if you’re hungry. This makes it difficult for me to say sorry to people outside of my family. This year I want to be able to say “I’m sorry”

  1. Live healthier

When I was younger, I was diagnosed with a disease that makes me sick from time to time. Mostly through my own fault; I don’t take my meds like I should, I don’t eat like I should, I hardly ever work out but I’m ending all of that this year.

  1. Get out of bed less than thirty minutes after waking up

Sometimes I wake up as early as 5am but stay in bed for four hours. On bad days, days where my depression is worse, getting out of bed is the hardest thing in the world.