Wallpaper Wednesday: Six of Crows

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Hi! Remember me? I’m still alive. Ish. I know it’s not Wednesday, and I’m definitely not getting back into blogging anytime soon, but here’s a wallpaper I found on my laptop. I made this after meeting Leigh Bardugo in Rotterdam last year with Ellis (which was the best) and I actually quite like it, so I decided to share it with you. And even though I haven’t even touched a book in at least six months, I am excited to see where this series will take us. Nina Zenik for queen.

SixofCrows

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iPhone 4 (3.5 inch) | iPhone 5/6 (4 inch) | Samsung Galaxy (4 inch) | Samsung A5 (5 inch)

Also, since I apparently never posted my full review of the book, here are some of my favorite quotes:

Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.

“It’s not natural for women to fight.”
“It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.”

“Nina is everything you say. It’s too much.”
“Mmm,” Inej murmured, taking a sip from her mug. “Maybe you’re just not enough.”

“I’d rather face a thousand honest men with swords than one of those deceitful witches with unnatural powers.”
And when you arrive with your repeating rifles and your tanks, when you set upon children and helpless villages, should we not use the weapons we possess? Nina bit down hard on her inner cheek.

“I’m not sure if it was the right thing to do. I’ll become one more Grisha horror story for them to tell their children.”
“Behave or Nina Zenik will get you?”
Nina considered. “Well, I do like the sound of that.”

A Little Life Update, In Which I Make Everything About Me (Again)

Hello, dear readers of this quietly-abandoned-but-then-hilariously-revived blog,

It’s been a while since the two of us talked. About a week since – wait. Those are not my words. And that was pretty pathetic way to start a blog post, even for my standards. I guess I’m still out of it. Let’s start again.

Hi! Remember me? I’m Judith. Currently 23, fulltime stressed out, parttime overwhelmed by life and occasionally surprised I’ve managed to keep myself alive for so long. I started this blog back in 2012 when I was stuck at home for mental health reasons, and have used it as my outlet for the past few years. Until past September, when life got in the way. It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. It’s been a while since I was active on social media. It’s even been a while since I opened a book for anything other than study purposes. The times where I spent my evenings lurking around Twitter, shouting about books and TV shows and random things slowly but surely became evenings I just do not have time for. Which is a shame. Yes, this is the post in which I tell you what I have been up to the past few months. If you are at all interested in that, that is. If not, that’s completely fine, and Ellis will be back soon with another brilliantly hilarious tag post or review of sorts. For now, I’m going to be egotistical and dedicate this entire post to talking about myself – something I should probably regret but definitely do not. Guess I haven’t lost the way I used to write reviews.

The past year for me has been positively, completely, absolutely insane. I started the third and final year of my bachelor’s in English Language and Culture. I have been working a parttime job as personal assistant to an independent publisher in Croatian literature. I’m still working for the student magazine I became involved with the previous year, but now as editor-in-chief and main person responsible if anything goes wrong. I moved out of my parents’ house and am still trying my hand at adulting (something I’m not very good at). But most of all, I made the conscious decision to not let anxiety and depression guide my life anymore, and make real life friends outside of the group I’ve trusted for years. That’s going with ups and downs, and I’m still not at the point where I can manage living healthily on my own, but I will get there. Hopefully. Thank you for Emery Lord for inspiring me and making me realize what I was (and sometimes still am) doing wrong: “Other people can’t knock down the walls you’ve built, no matter how much they love you. You have to tear them down yourself because there’s something worth seeing on the other side.” (Open Road Summer)

As a result, I think this is my most egocentrical year yet. And to be completely honest, I don’t think that is a bad thing. I really needed it. Also, for a large part, I’ve had no choice. But because this year has thrown me off balance in such a major way, I’ve pretty much been the worst friend ever, and I really do regret that. I’m very lucky that I have a few close friends who continue to be there for me, even when I’m the asshole that doesn’t reply to their messages for weeks because I’m just trying to get through work and life. I definitely haven’t deserved that kind of kindness. I’m not trying to make excuses or get sympathy or any of that; I just wanted to talk about it and say that I’m very thankful for these people. To those of you I haven’t talked to in forever: I’m sorry. Please know that it’s not personal and that I really want to be a better friend again, but I don’t know how. I’m still working on trying to find a balance in my life, and the rest of the year is definitely not going to slow down. I really am sorry. You are still amazing and wonderful and I’m so happy I met you.

Blogging-wise, I decided to just not care too much about it anymore. As much as I wish I still had the time to read a book a week (or even at all), I just really don’t. Or as a result of me trying to tackle my issues in life (ha), I also prioritize differently. And at this point, I’m fine with that. This doesn’t mean I don’t still love books and blogging and all the friends I’ve made in this community. It doesn’t mean I’m not still grateful for the work I’ve gotten to do with publishers and authors and fellow bloggers. That I won’t come back. For now, I will only blog occasionally, if I have time and if I want to. But if anything, it helped me figure out my life. I applied for a master’s in publishing and editing. If anything, book blogging helped me rethink my love for books and discover that I would love nothing more than to work with them. But first, I have to write my bachelor thesis, publish three more magazine as editor-in-chief, hopefully start a new job soon so I can pay for life, move house (I’m only subletting at the moment), oh, and actually get into the program.

So that is what is up with me. It might be weird that I am even posting this, but I just wanted to let any of you who are interested know. And we all know that I have a tendency to just ramble on about things and post random stuff on here. I really do miss it, but I have to make different priorities right now. Will I be blogging in the future? Who even knows. Will I actively try to be better at social media and a better friend? Yes. Will I succeed? Ha. I guess we will see about that. But I have to put my school and work and mental health first, and I hope you understand.

So much love to all of the amazing people I met through blogging. You are the best.

Judith’s 2015 End of Year Survey

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How is it nearly 2016? What did I even do this year? Anyway, the fact that another year is nearly over means that it’s time, again, for Jamie‘s annual end of year book survey! This is my fourth time filling out this survey (check out 2012, 2013 and 2014) and, as always, it’s one of my favorite posts to write of the entire year. So let’s do this!

read more…

Review: Dangerous Girls

Review: Dangerous GirlsTitle: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Genre/Age Group: Crime, Mystery, Young Adult
Source: Gifted
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...

my thoughts

Let me jump straight in and say that I think Dangerous Girls is a brilliant story where things are messy, boundaries are blurry and nothing is as it seems. It’s the story of Anna, who has landed in jail in Aruba after her best friend got brutally murdered. The story is told through short chapters that go from the present day, to the start of Anna and Elise’s friendship, to the earlier moments they spend on the island. I loved the way it was told, because even though jumping timelines don’t always work for me, I had no problem following it in Dangerous Girls. I also just love how the characterization is dealt with, because pretty much every character is terrible and not because they are antagonized, but because they are human and amazingly flawed. Like I said, things are messy in this book, and I found it refreshing (even when it made me angry at most of the characters for the most part of the book). As much as I love powerful, inspirational characters, I also love imperfect, at times unlikeable characters because they’re so much more relatable.

My favorite aspect of this story was Anna and Elise’s relationship, because like I said in the first sentence, boundaries are blurry. Anna and Elise are best friends but even though it’s never explicitly shown (nor should it be), I think it’s pretty obvious they are in love. I love the messiness of their relationship and I love how much they care about each other and “miles and miles” will forever kill me. I hate that Elise is the one who got killed and not Tate or Mel or something because I hated them, but this makes their love even more tragic because just think about what could have been! Anyway, speaking of Tate and Mel, they were terrible in an unlikeable way (for me personally), though I think that Mel was very underdeveloped as a character. I couldn’t care less about Tate, not when there was Anna and Elise for me to obsess over, but I found his presence to be very annoying, kind of like a fly buzzing around your head, but then the one that accidentally ruins lives and messes up everything that was ever good. I got a bit carried away with that last sentence and I don’t even know where I was going. I just hated Tate.

Another aspect I loved (and hated) was how well Abigail Haas shows the terrible realism of both the justice system and the media (the last one I’ve only ever seen as well-written in Something Real by Heather Demetrios), because both are the absolute worst. This is an aspect I actually really struggled with as well, because despite the fact that I clearly see that this book is fantastic and I couldn’t put it down and I have so much praise for it, I don’t think I actually enjoyed reading it that much because this book just made me so damn angry. Part of this is because someone spoiled the ending for me, although I honestly think that I would have guessed it because I thought it was pretty predictable, so I was super angry at everyone for constantly betraying Anna and treating her in the worst way possible (looking at you, you awful Dutch detective person with your German name) View Spoiler ». Like I said, even though I flew through this book, I also found it really hard to read because it made me so angry.

Anna and Elise forever.

memorable quotes

“It wasn’t as if I thought everyone would be lined up, protesting my innocence, but still, Clara’s show takes my breath away. I thought it would be more… balanced. Isn’t that what the news is supposed to do? Present both sides of the story, fairly, not jump to conclusions based on leaked information, and biased statements?”

“It’s still you and me; it’ll always be you and me!”

“Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?”

Wallpaper Wednesday: Ruin and Rising

wallpaperwednesdays

It is another rainy day and I am procrastinating like a pro so I decided to make another wallpaper. This one is for my new favorite quote – “I am not ruined. I am ruination” – which is said by Genya in Leigh Bardugo’s Ruin and Rising. I love this quote so much because it’s about determining your own worth and making people pay for their crimes. I originally wanted to add the Ravkan “Na razrusha’ya. E’ya razrushost” as well but that would have been a bit too chaotic.

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