Travel Tips from Allyson Healey

Just One Day Book Cover Just One Day
Just One Day #1
Gayle Foreman
Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

Who is Allyson Healey you may ask? Well if you’ve read Gayle Forman’s Just One Day then you probably know her but if you haven’t then I suggest you read it immediately and get to know her.

(And also if you haven’t read it, then perhaps you should stop reading as this post may contain spoilers…)

As you know, Allyson did quite a lot of travelling in this book. So as a person who loves travelling myself, I thought I’d make a list of travel tips gathered from Allyson’s travel style.

Do go on an organized summer trip to Europe with your best friend. You might end up meeting the love of your life and meeting nice people like Ms. Foley. Do break the rule on said trip (but stay safe!) so you get to see a random Shakespeare show (because who doesn’t like Shakespeare!).

When taking a train in Europe, go to the cafe car and be open to strangers, like maybe a cute guy who loves to eat bread and hagelslag and flirt about breakfast stuff.

Pretend to be someone else. Because you’re in a new country where no one knows you anyway.


“Yes, short for Louise. It’s my alter ego, Mel.”

Abandon your best friend for a day and go to Paris with the cute guy you just flirted with on the train. Then make sure the guy isn’t actually scamming you (he isn’t, he really is just a good guy).

Explore Paris with the cute guy. But first put your luggage in the basement of the club where your cute guy’s ex-girlfriend works in.

You have to surrender yourself to the chaos. To the accidents.

Make friend with the guy working at that club, he may come in handy (next year) and besides making friends (in Paris) is always a good idea. Just don’t take too long at that club, grab your cute guy (he may look like he’s flirting with the cute ex-girlfriend, but he really is not) and enjoy Paris already!

When the sun shines, you let it shine on you. Snow is always waiting.

Eat French food, like crêpes. I heard citron crêpe is delicious. While eating your delicious crêpe, talk with your cute guy. Here’s an opening question you can use: “Have you ever fallen in love?”. Yeah, you know just casual-while-eating-crêpe kind of conversation.

You have to fall in love to be in love, but falling in love isn’t the same as being in love.

Find a ride down the canals. If you can’t find one, hitchhike a boat. After that cycle around Paris and get lost by using the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey strategy (a.k.a. pointing randomly on the Metro map). Très romantique!


 But there are no postcards of this. Of life.

Spend the night with your cute guy. If he disappears in the morning then you might consider going back to your best friend (remember her?).

We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.

When going on an annual trip with your parents and your best friend and her family, convince them to do something different. Maybe go to a different tourist attraction or go to a random party by the beach. Be a rebel, even when you don’t enjoy your rebellious decision.

It’s totally OK to revisit a place you once loved. Even when your REAL reason for the revisit is to find your lost cute guy you met a year ago.

I’m looking for one specific needle in a needle factory.

Before you revisit, learn the language of that place. This might help you find him…I mean, enjoy the place better. Other than learning the language at a language school, also ask your friends who speak the language to help you. They may teach you things your language school doesn’t tell you, like how to swear and say “T’es toujours aussi salope?”.


Also, before going back to Paris (we’re just gonna assume your revisit destination is Paris), make sure you say goodbye to your new best friend. Hopefully he and his mum will give you a gift, hopefully that gift is a map with all the important metro stops and major streets marked. This may come in handy on your trip.

Be brave and get lost (with a map in hand, naturally we don’t want to be TOO lost).

C’est courageux d’aller dans l’inconnu.

Don’t be afraid to approach other people and make friends with them.

Remember that nice guy you met at the club? Go say hi to him!

Edible angel's kisses

Edible angel’s kisses


Europe is a nice place to travel by train as each country is close to each other. Go visit a random country by train. Maybe a random country like Holland? I heard Utrecht is nice.

You will need to be brave.

If you’re looking for an old friend, why not give his flat a visit? If you can’t find him, perhaps you’ll find other friends who can help you find your long lost friend. Still a dead end? Why not go to Amsterdam? And why not go there by the most Dutch way of transportation: by bike, preferably a pink one.

Never say no to getting up at four in the morning to see an exclusive field of tulips with a local. And when that local says he’s going to see Shakespeare in Vondelpark, you really should tag along.


Forever and a day.

Always be brave when travelling. Don’t be afraid to say yes, because you never know who you will meet, who will help you, who will stain you. Travel will change you, but hopefully it will change you for the better.

Maybe this is just life. When you open yourself up to it. When you put yourself in the path of it. When you say yes.



Bookstores to Visit in Singapore

This post is written by Aggy and Aiko (and our love for books in Singapore)

Singapore is a country we love to visit every now and then. Apart from doing a culinary tour of the city, we never forget to visit its bookstores too. There are many interesting places to buy books in Singapore and here are our favourites:

Books Actually
Books Actually is an independent bookshop established in 2005. They specializes in Fiction and Literature. In this shop you can also find many local authors. What’s unique about this bookshop is that they publish books under the name Math Press Paper and also they STITCH their own notebooks which you can find under the brand Birds & Co.

I personally love their cosy shop and if you love cats you will fall in love with BA’s cats who seem to love books too. Go to the very back of the shop and there is a hidden room full of knick knacks from mugs to postcards. It’s such a joy to be in this store!

Books Actually's front

Books Actually’s front

Be warned though, this shop is quite hard to find, as testified by the fact that both of us have gotten lost trying to find it. Yet, it’s totally worth the adventure. Also, they have recently come up with book vending machines and it’s… amazing!

Address: 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645

Woods in the Books
If you are visiting Books Actually, don’t forget to visit Woods in the Books too as they are practically neighbours. This bookstore has been around since 2009 and focuses on picture books, great for kids, well and adults too. I love the mural they have on the front of the store and like the many small businesses in this area, Tiong Bahru, the place is adorable.

Woods in the Books

Woods in the Books

Address: 3 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168642

Littered with Books
This bookstore is tucked away in a little corner near many restaurants, and it is basically a little haven for book lovers. At first you will fall in love with the exterior, and once you step in, you will realize that the store lives up to its name: there are books of every kind in every corner of the shop. I have to say it’s quite difficult to navigate if you’re looking for a particular book, but if you just love browsing books trying to find hidden gems, then this place is a must visit. With brilliant decorations, the shop feels less like a shop and more like the home of someone who really, really loves books.

Address: 20 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089486

SKS Books Warehouse
I debated whether or not to include this since it’s a specialized bookstore, but I remember walking into SKS Books Warehouse feeling completely overwhelmed with joy so whatever. If you’re a Christian, this is the must visit bookstore in Singapore. My favorite aisle is right in the middle where they have ALL the Bibles you can ever imagine.

Address: 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, #09-03, Singapore 169074

Bras Basah Complex
If you’re into second hand books then this place is the right one for you. There are so many second hand bookshops at this complex that you can choose from. The complex itself may look rather old from the outside, but it is actually a haven for book lovers as well as art enthusiasts.

One of the second hand bookshop at Bras Basah Complex

One of the second hand bookshops at Bras Basah Complex

Address: 231 Bain Street, Singapore 180231

So book lovers, don’t forget to give our recommendations a visit the next time you are in Singapore and let us know what you think!

Do you have a favourite bookshop in Singapore?


Tiger Lily (Jodi Lynn Anderson)

Tiger Lily Book Cover Tiger Lily
Jodi Lynn Anderson
HarperCollins Children's Books

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair...

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

Aiko told me to read this book because she loves fairy tale re-telling and I rarely read that kind of book. Since I got hooked on her last fairy tale re-telling recommendation (The Lunar Chronicles), I thought I gave this one a try too.

From the first page I was intrigued as the story is written from the perspective of Tinkerbell, a character we all know from Peter Pan. The story itself is a love story, a quite sad one actually, but it also shows how vulnerable Tiger Lily is even though she is a strong woman herself.

I have so many quote highlights reading this book but my absolute favourite is this:

There was a beast in there. But there was also a girl who was afraid of being a beast, and who wondered if other people had beasts in their hearts too. There was strength, and there was also just the determination to look strong. She guarded herself like a secret.

I think those lines really sum up Tiger Lily in this story. She knows she is a strong person, especially given the fact that she is the daughter of Tik Tok, but often she is unsure of herself.

I love the way Anderson describes Neverland and the interaction of Tiger Lily and Peter seem very natural. Here, Tiger Lily, a wild child who meets someone almost as wild as her, someone who perhaps understand this beast inside of her, someone who may understand how it feels to be strong and independent. I especially love that moment when they saw the horses, and how it was perhaps the moment Tiger Lily stopped aging. It was just so wonderful.

The ending, though sad, I thought was kind of perfect at the same time. Tiger Lily definitely doesn’t belong in the city while Peter, while he adjusted well in Neverland, could never be there forever.

The story of Tik Tok was really sad. I think this is the saddest part of the book, how an outsider, who was helped by Tiger Lily, instead of appreciating and respecting the culture and tradition of Neverland, destroyed the place by forcing them into following his belief.

All in all, this book is just more than just a fantasy book, more than just a re-telling of Peter Pan. It is one book full of “hidden messages”. That you shouldn’t force someone into believing what you believe. That true love exists, though you may not end up with that true love. That even when two people seem right for each other, they don’t always end up together. That when you love someone, then when they choose to leave, you let them go.

P.S. I dislike Wendy 😛


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

It’s not too late to join Top Ten Tuesday, right? Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. There is a prompt for a Top Ten list each week. Everyone is welcome to join.


This week’s theme is 10 Books I Enjoyed that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads. I must admit I was quite surprise at how low the rating count is on some of these. These books definitely need more love!

  1. The World’s Shortest Stories – Steve Moss (ed.)
    Number of Ratings: 690
    Average Rating: 3.68
    This book is AMAZING. It was my first introduction to Flash Fiction. Each story in the book is less than 55 words but wow they are really good.
  2. The World’s Shortest Stories of Love and Death – Steve Hall (ed.)
    Number of Ratings: 150
    Average Rating: 3.85
    The sequel to the previous book and contains exactly what the title says. This book is even better than it’s predecessor.
  3. Mouthful of Forevers – Clementine von Radics
    Number of Ratings: 1211
    Average Rating: 4.20
    Just finished this book last month. Read my thoughts in this post.23522212
  4. Light is the New Black – Rebecca Campbell
    Number of Ratings: 321
    Average Rating: 4.34
    My favorite book of June! I can’t believe it’s only been rated 321 times. Oh wait, it’s new. Well, you should go and read it anyway. Like, now.
  5. Girlosophy: A Soul Survivor Kit – Anthea Paul
    Number of Ratings: 286
    Average Rating: 4.37
    This was one of my favorite books as a teenager. It totally needs more readers, except I don’t think it’s available anymore. There’s a whole series of Girlosophy books though, so you can still check it out 🙂
  6. Pray Like a Gourmet – David Brazzeal
    Number of Ratings: 29
    Average Rating: 4.41
    29?? Gosh. This book deserves so much more! It’s a beautiful book inside and out about prayer, and while it’s geared towards Christians, I think it is actually quite universal.
  7. The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy with a Hidden Name – Skylar Dorset
    Number of Ratings: 1160/427
    Average Rating: 3.64/4.08
    These two books are called the Otherworld series and they are about faeries and ogres and other magical beings and I love them to bits. Not to mention the gorgeous covers! *swoon*
  8. Stray – Elissa Sussman
    Number of Ratings: 1821
    Average Rating: 3.64
    This one is getting there. It’s an original fairy tale and it’s described as “a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney” which pretty much sums it up. Also, it has a recipe for a cinnamon bread that is very delicious at the back.
  9. Second Star – Alyssa Sheinmel
    Number of Ratings: 1753
    Average Rating: 3.61
    Another one that’s almost there. This one is a contemporary romance (which I don’t really read much of) but it is a retelling (which I do read a lot) of Peter Pan.
  10. Ash & Bramble – Sarah Prineas
    Number of Ratings: 1574
    Average Rating: 3.49
    Making this list just made me want to go and read a fairy tale or a retelling. This one is both, it’s like a fairy tale retelling with a twist. The cover doesn’t do it much justice though. Also, it’s so twisted that some people might find it utterly confusing.

And that’s my list! Have you read any of them?

Full disclosure: All the links are affiliate links to Books Depository 🙂


June Wrap-Up and July TBR (maybe!)

Gosh, it’s been a long while since we last posted! To get back on track, I thought it would be a good thing to do a wrap-up post of all the books I read in June, and list some books I might read in July. I’m awful at keeping to a TBR list, though, hence the maybe. LOL. Maybe one day I’ll create a TBR list and actually stick to it. Maybe.

So, June was actually a very good month of reading for me. I finished my thesis so I had a little bit more time (you would think I would end up having infinite time to read after my thesis, but nope. June was actually quite busy as always), and I managed to get back on track with my Goodreads Reading Challenge which made me VERY happy. Unfortunately I’m now behind again. Meh. As a disclaimer, I actually read quite a bit of poetry which meant they finished quickly but hey, poetry is awesome!

Well, here are ALL the books I read in June (Full Disclosure: book titles link to an affiliate account on Book Depository because, well, we need money for more books. Also, it’s our favorite worldwide bookstore!):

  1. A Guide for Grown-Ups – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (3/5)
    This is a collection of quotes from Saint-Exupéry’s work. I already knew quite a bit of them by heart so it wasn’t a brilliant read, but a good reminder nevertheless.
  2. Mouthful of Forevers – Clementine von Radics (5/5)
    I accidentally found this book on the shelves of a bookstore and fell in love. I hesitated a bit but ended up buying it which was a brilliant decision.
  3. Selamat Bercinta – Andar Ismail (3/5)
    The latest book by an Indonesian author who writes short reflections on various topics. This book’s topic was love and commitment. I liked some chapters very much but others were a bit boring.
  4. Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin (3/5)
    I wanted to really like this book, but alas it was mostly boring with just a few bits that were interesting. It did however start me on my self-help book binge!
  5. Im Namen der Liebe – Peter Turrini (4/5)
    A poetry book I picked up at a nice corner book shop in Leipzig last April. It’s the first book in German I’ve read in years.
  6. Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur (5/5)
    I finally bought this book at the airport on my way to Singapore. I finished it before the plane landed. It was beautiful.
  7. Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins (4/5)
    After Anna, Aggy read Lola and Isla and has been demanding for months that I read them, so I finally did. I’m kinda partial to liking Anna more than Lola, but mostly because Lola kinda reminds me too much of me. Ha.
  8. Cerdas Mengelola Keuangan Pribadi – Herlina P. Dewi (2/5)
    A personal finance book. The second one I’ve ever read. I already knew most of the things being said.
  9. Investasi itu Dipraktekkin – Tim Wesfix (2/5)
    Another finance book, this one dealing with investing. I was actually quite disappointed with it since it felt more like reading a magazine article than a book.
  10. Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig (5/5)
    I saw a quote from this book one day and thought it was the most beautiful thing ever, so I got the book. It is such a personal and touching account of depression, as well as a guide book for those who experience depression and those who know someone with depression.
  11. Light is the New Black – Rebecca Campbell (5/5)
    This book is God-sent as I’ve been thinking about my calling a lot. It is spiritual in the widest sense of the word, inspirational, and also practical. I loved it to bits!
  12. The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod (4/5)
    I read about The Miracle Morning browsing through Boho Berry‘s blog and I wanted to know more. I definitely intend to practice the miracle morning in my life 🙂

Some statistics because I love statistics:
Total Books Read: 12
Total Pages Read: 2631
Books By Male Authors: 6 (actually Tim Wesfix is a group of people but I bet they’re male)
Books By Female Authors: 6
Books in English: 8
Books in Indonesian: 3
Books in Other Languages: 1 (German)
Five Star Books: 4
Book of the Month: Light is the New Black


And finally, what’s in store for July? Well, I’m currently on a self-help binge, specifically books on Personal Finance, but I also hope to read some Fiction because it’s been a while. As usual, I have several books I’m currently reading, which I usually alternate read until I’m done. Sometimes I decide on focusing on one book too though. So, if I have to pick 10 books I’m most likely to finish reading this month as my July TBR, here they are:

  1. I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Ramit Sethi
  2. Labirin Kehidupan – Joas Adiprasetya
  3. Manage Your Day-to-Day – Jocelyn Glei (ed.)
  4. Thou Shall Prosper – Rabbi Daniel Lapin
  5. This Star Won’t Go Out – Esther Earl
  6. Natisha – Khrisna Pabichara
  7. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff About Money – Richard Carlson
  8. Sacred Pathways – Gary L. Thomas
  9. Isla and The Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins
  10. To Be Told – Dan Allender

March Reading Challenge: Let’s Go to Paris!


Reading books with “Love” in the title for February turned out to be a little harder than we thought, mostly because there were so many other books that were interesting as well! That doesn’t stop us from starting yet another challenge though, and after a long deliberation (because we have too many ideas), we decided that March would be a good month to travel to Paris, while sitting in our reading nooks.

Paris, after all, has always been a fascinating place for both of us, and we both wish we can go back there someday (soon). But for now, we shall be content reading about it.

Our challenge for the month of March: to read books that talk about Paris, has Paris in the title, or is set in Paris.

I think curling up with a cup of hot chocolate while it’s raining outside reading about the city of lights would make March a very lovely month indeed!

If you’d like to join us, do comment below, and use the hashtag #bmmdparis on your social networks!

Allons à Paris!


Me Before You (Jojo Moyes)

Me Before You Book Cover Me Before You
Jojo Moyes
Young Adult

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

This book is sad and lovely at the same time. I don’t know why I picked up this book, well OK, I know, because it’s a romance book and I am a sucker for them, but what I mean is that I can’t remember having interest in this book before. I think it was some review that made me wanna read it. I am glad that I did read it.

So the problem with Louisa Clark is that she has no ambition and that is the one thing I hate most about her. Luckily though she managed to get a job as Will Traynor’s “companion”. I have no idea why Will even likes her, I mean yeah she has a sense of humour and a weird sense of fashion, but other than that I don’t really quite see the connection. But I think it’s through this simplicity of hers and her capability of treating Will like a normal person that make Will opens up to her. 

Will on the other hand, I feel like I have this connection with Will because I partially know what he is going through. You see, I had some physical problems last year and was not able to move freely. I had to be in a wheelchair and even a trip to the toilet was exhausting. Getting up from the bed in the morning was crazy difficult and I had to do physiotherapy. I am still doing physiotherapy until now, but I guess I am loads more better than Will. I get it though, being in a wheelchair, not being able to do anything at all, fully relying on people and worst of all knowing that it will never get better is the worst feeling in the world. Still, I am torn whether or not it was right of him to go to Dignitas (which by the way, I am unaware of this organization that is in Zurich where I used to live…I am actually quite shock that it exists at all).

Of course they fall in love right? However the way that they fell in love was quite unexpected and I really love how Moyes wrote their little love story. If you think about it, being in love when you are sick as Will is the last thing on your mind (because it certainly was/is how I felt/feel). You just don’t expect someone who can accept you as you are, and here is Louisa who is willing to give up her so-called normal life to be with Will. If I were Will I would skip Dignitas and take this offer in life, or at least give it another go and see how it is.

I got really upset at the end of the book. For example how Louisa’s mum was extremely mad at her for agreeing to Will’s action, I mean how could she not agree? I’m pretty sure Louisa doesn’t want Will to do this Dignitas thing and it would be the last thing she wants for him but it’s not her life and if Will wanted her at the end of his life then she should be allowed to be with the man she loves before he goes away forever right?

I sort of wished that Louisa managed to drag him back home, away from Dignitas. I so so wished that was the case which is why I don’t quite know whether I like the ending or not. I was left quite speechless at the end and almost cried when she read Will’s last letter. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that left me in such a state of shock. OK maybe I am exaggerating but seriously though!

I can’t wait to watch the movie starring the gorgeous Sam Claflin that I love from Love, Rosie. Hope the movie will be good, such high expectation!

Have you read this book? What did you think?


Book Chatter: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline Book Cover Landline
Rainbow Rowell

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Book Chatter is a feature where Aggy and Aiko read a book together and chat about it. It’s book chatter because we get loud, and random, and truly crazy about it!

Aiko and Aggy start reading the first few chapters of Landline…

Aggy: Right, So. Landline. Why are we reading this book again?

Aiko: I don’t know, because it’s by Rainbow Rowell and we both loved Eleanor and Park?

Aggy: Right. Now where do we start. You know, for someone who makes jokes for a living, Georgie isn’t very funny

Aiko: Georgie is depressing, really

Aggy: Yea so I’m starting to think this book is kinda depressing and I don’t get this book yet. Is it just me??

As Aiko and Aggy get halfway through the book…

Aiko: This book is annoying

Aggy: True that. Why are we reading this again? The ending better be good

Aiko: If it’s crappy I think our review will all be filled with complaints

Aggy: OK, what is Georgie’s attraction to Neal?! It looks like he’s boring. What’s up with the he doesn’t smile?!

Aiko: I kinda like Neal, he reminds me of you-know-who in a way, although he likes to smile

Aggy: Well I kinda like Seth, because he reminds me of MY you-know-who. Why are we thinking of our you-know-whos?!

Aiko: I have to agree though, the constant reiteration of the fact that Neal doesn’t smile is really annoying. Like it irritates me, I feel like “okaaay finee we get it, Neal doesn’t smile, you’re a self-obsessed, selfish being, and Seth is well, Seth, but then what happens???”

Aggy: Exactly. Anyway why is Neal is so anti-smile? Like background please, yeah this stuff is important to me, like why is a person so miserable. And the irony that Georgie is married to him! Maybe MAYBE she’s sick of seeing so many people smiling and laughing and it’s a kind of “vacation” to see someone NOT smiling. Okaaayyy over-analyzing.

Aiko: But Neal does smile, Aggy, but only when he’s happy. Like, truly happy. I think it might be that it’s just Georgie who never realizes Neal’s smiles. Like maybe he does smile a lot but Georgie just doesn’t see it, cause she’s so self-absorbed all the time…

Aggy: I guess, but he doesn’t smile enough. He is simply not human. Yeah, Georgie is super self-absorbed!! Urgh!

Aiko: Anyway, it’s not boring though, cause a boring book would be like “Meh, I don’t want to read this anymore…” this one’s like… “I want to continue reading but can we please get to a more interesting place? GAAH. Like what’s up with Neal, is he angry, why is he not picking up the phone and what happens, what happens??”

Aggy: Very true. It’s not a boring book because it keeps us wondering what happens next but but BUT… What is up with the time-travel? I hope it’s elaborated later on because I simply CANNOT live not knowing what is up with the magic phone! Also, I am quite irritated by Rowell’s style of writing, too many random flashbacks.

Aggy finishes the book while Aiko is otherwise occupied…

Aggy: What the….?! This book! I can’t even…. After Eleanor and Park this is definitely upsetting!

Aiko: Wait, wait! Let me catch up first!

Aggy: Hurry up and finish the book!

Aiko: Is it horrific? Cause if the ending is bad I don’t want to continue reading. But OH, this scene at the beach is so sweet. Neal is sweet.

Aggy: I gotta admit though that there were some sweet “awww” Neal moments in this book BUT!!! Seriously this story is doing my head in.

Aiko: Oh I love this part… where Georgie really falls in love with Neal. Before Seth comes and ruins things. Oh, and the conversation with Heather is soooo goood.

Aggy: I kinda like the story towards the ending though. The phone calls between Georgie and Neal are the best! And by the way Seth is a total jerk! My favourite moment I have to say is the doggie moment, like that was one of the most exciting and thrilling part of this book. I’m sorry to say that this book is quite boring that my mind often drifts someplace else while reading and when I stumble upon an interesting part I’m like “Eer, what was that? What did I miss?”.

Aiko: Okay please tell me this silly Georgie girl makes her way to Omaha. Like right now. PLEASE.

Aggy: Come on, it’s obvious! This book is quite predictable.

Aiko: Yeah, but Georgie is stupid, stuck-up and has weird ideas. For all I know she might decide to have sex with Seth or something.

Aggy: She is overthinking everything and selfish too!

Aiko: Okay, why does Georgie’s mom need to turn on the TV so the pugs can listen to Christmas Carols? Aggy, I want to take over Georgie’s place. Like, I want to be Neal’s wife. And I’ll make him laugh all the time with happiness. He is so adorable! And perfect.

Aggy: Haha! You are weird. Ok but I get your point, I can so see Neal as a husband material and he is a really good illustrator too. What I don’t get is he has no ambition for himself, like no drive in life and he gives in to Georgie so easily. He basically dedicates his life to Georgie and no one else, well for their kids too.

Aiko: OH PLEASE! What is Seth doing?? *throws the yellow phone at Seth* What is wrong with this guy.

Aggy: Seth is pathetic. Like what the hell, he is an asshole. He waited forever to tell Georgie how he feels and chose the perfectly wrong moment to tell her!

Aiko: I think it’s kinda sweet though. Like sad sweet. Like poor stupid Seth I’m sorry but you’re just nowhere near the perfection that is Neal.

Aggy: What?! Do not defend Seth woman! How dare he! After all these years? After Georgie is married with two kids AND on the verge of divorce?!

Aiko: Yeah, he’s like 20 years too late, but it’s still sweet. Like Snape and Lily sweet. That last moment totally redeemed him, the kiss on the forehead.

Aggy: Urgh! You are obviously too forgiving and I, too ruthless! If I were Georgie I would say “I hate you Seth, my world is colliding in a thousand different ways and you are that extra earthquake. Thanks a bunch!”

Aiko: LOL… Yeah, but he kisses her on the forehead and let’s her go. I bet he’ll be at home all devastated afterwards… I mean, yeah, Seth’s an asshole in many ways but in that particular moment he was really sweet.

Moments later…

Aiko: AAAAANNNNDDD I’m done!

Aggy: Finally! So, for me this book is just an ordinary husband and wife quarrel, nothing too special. Georgie is selfish, Neal is unambitious and Seth is an asshole. I don’t find the storyline too exciting.

Aiko: Well, it’s like the tipping point… Like there has been so many years of negativity buried because of Georgie’s selfishness and Neal’s unconditional love and finally he breaks, and that made Georgie realize how bad she’s been. Neal should’ve just told her how he felt the first time they had an argument and none of this would happen. Relationships 101.

Aggy: But there is this part where Neal had a dejavu, I think their magical conversation was like set in another time frame, that it actually happened but in a complete different time realm. Hmm…maybe that’s why we get dejavus.

Aiko: Huh… that’s a very interesting thought!

Aggy: I just wish there was an explanation on the whole magical phone! Honestly!

Aiko: There’s no explanation, Aggy, it’s a magic yellow phone. Ta-daa!

Aggy: But I cannot accept that!

Aiko: Also it’s Christmas… and miracles happen on Christmas. This book is basically the equivalent of all the TV movies they run during Christmas season.

Aggy: Aiko, ever the optimist. Love the pugs though and I love her mum’s reaction on finding out that Heather is gay.

Aiko: Georgie’s mom is epic in everything she does.

Aggy: Yup. Bad ass mum!

Aiko: Okay so basically I hated the first 50% of the book, but it got better after that. And Georgie’s an annoying whiny bitch.

Aggy: Eleanor and Park was way better.

Aiko: Hmm… but imagine if Seth was a girl… I mean, because he’s Seth, we can kinda predict that Neal was not okay with Georgie being so close to him, and we probably knew that Seth loved Georgie… but if Seth was Susan, no wait, Sue, that fits better. Imagine if Seth was Sue and then the story goes like… “I love you, Georgie” “I know, Sue, I love you too!” “No, I mean I LOVE you, the way Neal loves you… heck, I love you more than he does! Look at what he’s done to you!”

Aggy: Woah! That’s another level but would’ve made the story line so much better and much more unpredictable too.

Aiko: I know right… we should totally write a fanfiction. LOL.

Aggy: So, in conclusion how many stars would give this book?

Aiko: Umm… I don’t know… 3? 3,5?

Aggy: I would give it a 2,5 actually.

Aiko: Okay, so it’s a 3 then… our average 😛

Have you read this book? What do you think about it?


BMMD’s Valentine Challenge


In honor of Valentine’s day this year, which we assume we would both spend at home alone cuddling with our dogs, we decided to have a reading challenge for the month of February, and it’s a really simple one: the challenge is to read books with “LOVE” in the title. That’s it!

To make it sound more official, here are the RULES of this challenge:

  1. Read at least one book with “LOVE” in the title. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, young adult or poetry, or whatever really, and the word can be anywhere in the title. In fact it might also be in the middle of another word, you know, like Beloved by Toni Morrison or The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. If you need some ideas, here’s a Goodreads list I created for this purpose.
  2. You can read either actual books or e-books, or listen to it as an audiobook. Crossovers with other challenges are welcomed.
  3. Please use the hashtag #bmmdvalentine when you post on social media so we can keep up. Feel free to update about the book you read on your blog, on Goodreads, or wherever else you fancy, and link below!
  4. We will have weekly check-ins where you can link your review or just chat about what you’ve been reading. Of course we’ll chat around the hashtag as well.
  5. Aggy has created a nifty little image you can use to show the world that you’re taking part in this challenge, so feel free to grab it and post it everywhere *grin* 20160123_051548000_iOS

Sign up by commenting below 🙂


Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours Book Cover Only Ever Yours
Louise O'Neill

Where women are created for the pleasure of men, beauty is the first duty of every girl. In Louise O'Neill's world of Only Every Yours women are no longer born naturally, girls (called "eves") are raised in Schools and trained in the arts of pleasing men until they come of age. freida and isabel are best friends. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year, they expect to be selected as companions--wives to powerful men. All they have to do is ensure they stay in the top ten beautiful girls in their year. The alternatives--life as a concubine, or a chastity (teaching endless generations of girls)--are too horrible to contemplate.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty--her only asset--in peril. And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. freida must fight for her future--even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known.

I got this book after I saw it sponsoring a Book Riot post a long time ago. I actually started reading it right away and got about 25% through before I went and read the ending (I do this a lot with books that are too overwhelming) but then forgot about it. Probably because I already read the ending. LOL. Anyway, I decided to continue on and I’m glad I did.

Now what do I say about this book? First of all it is still haunting me. Even though freida (the main character/pov) is quite annoying at some point(s), but it’s an understandable kind of annoying given her circumstances, which makes you feel truly sorry for her. Also, it makes you wish society will never become like the dystopian future this book takes place in. Except that you realize it is already happening, in a way.

This book has been described as The Handmaid’s Tale meets 1984 meets Mean Girls and that description couldn’t be more true. That doesn’t make it a bad book though, in fact I think it’s brilliant. Creepy brilliant. I suppose some people might find some elements annoying, but I find them to be such attention to details, *possible spoiler alert* like how the girls (eves, as in Eve in the Bible, created to bear children) have their names written in lower case or sometimes simply by number to show that they are deemed less than human, not worthy of a capitalized name; or how they have weird genetically modified food like Chickchick (chicken, obviously) and Eggies (eggs, duh) to show simply that things are different now than it was before; and also meds that have obvious contracted names like SleepSound. Oh, and the zones! I loved how there’s Chindia (China-India) which is described as being the most powerful zone because how true is that? Very.

Further on, *possible spoiler alert* I like how there’s the mystery about isabel which doesn’t get explained until the end and then suddenly it all makes sense, and also there’s mystery about Darwin that doesn’t get properly explained but you can understand if you’re perceptive (or know a thing or two about child psychology). I have to say I did hate parts of the book, like I loathed isabel and Darwin at times and I hated freida for her choices but looking back I think that just shows how well written this book is, really. But yes, it’s frustrating. Because it’s supposed to be, because freida is frustrated and we’re inside her head. Also, I wonder if the author actually thought through the names she gave her characters — actually, I’m sure she did — because freida means free, and isabel means “my God is an oath” and is a name used by many queens and well if you read the book you’d understand.

Gosh this book is brilliant! 4.5 stars but I marked it down for it’s annoyingness, although I suppose now that I think about it I should really give it 5 stars. 5 stars it is then.