Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Tag

Hi guys,

Here I am back at it again with another book tag! I knew I had to take part in this tag once I saw it on Dreamland Book Blog . This tag basically incorporates two of my major loves: Books and ATLA so it’s a no brainer really. I’ve seen the entire series about 4-5 times I’d say, and it’s pretty long so this gives you some indication as to how much I love it. Without further ado, let’s get to the tag!

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Katara and Sokka: Best Sibling Relationship

This one was really hard to pick but I’d have to say Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter. Any Potter head knows just how painful it was when Fred dies and leaves his twin behind. From the beginning of the series Fred and George provided so much humour and light in each part they were present in and their sibling bond definitely stands out to me the most.

Yue: Favourite Star Crossed Lovers

Another hard question…sensing a theme here? I’m probably forgetting majority of the couples I ship but the one that comes to mind is Samantha and Kent from Before I fall by Lauren Oliver. They are definitely one of those almost together couples who you wish had more time together, given the nature of the book a ‘happy’ ending wasn’t really expected but it’s definitely sad when Sam dies just after finally connecting with Kent and expressing her feelings.

Blood bending: A book with a disturbing / unsettling concept 

Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro – I don’t think I’ve read any other book which is as unsettling and where the feeling of a reveal was as big. When you find out why exactly Cathy, Ruth and Tommy and all the other children at the school are there and what they’re being raised for… it’s truly horrible but morbidly fascinating too. ( didn’t want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it! )

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Toph: A character whose strength surprised you / or other characters in the book

Daenerys Targaryan from A song of ice and fire – When you first start the novel, you don’t expect Dany to become the iconic and strong character she later becomes, she goes through some serious stuff and I feel like people constantly underestimate her. yikes she has dragons guys… might not want to do that…

The Tales of Ba Sing Se: Best Short story / Poetry collection

Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur – I absolutely love Rupi Kaurs’ work and each and every poem in this book is powerful and effective, some are 6-7 words long and are still so impactful.

Kyoshi Warriors: Best Warrior character 

Aragorn – Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – If you’ve read the LOTR series or seen the movies, you know just how good a warrior Aragorn is, those orc kills? dude.

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Zuko: Best redemption arc / a redemption arc that should have happened

Mrs Coulter – His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman – There were so many good possible choices but I have to say this character has really stuck with me and its pretty cool to see how she changes over the course of the novels, I really hated her at some points! and her daemon the little gold monkey oh my god!

Iroh: Wisest Character 

Gandalf – Lord of the Rings / Album Dumbledore – both wizards, both wise, enough said

Azula: Best downfall 

George Harvey – The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – This one was hard but when the most creepy character of George Harvey or Mr Harvey *cringe* finally got his comeuppance at the hands of a cliff and an icicle it was both poetic and satisfying.

Hope you enjoyed another tag post! If you’re an avatar fan then definitely try it out. I had so much fun writing this post.

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Servant Boy by Reesha Goral

Hi guys,

I was recently approached by author Reesha Goral and her team to see if I was interested in receiving a free copy of The Servant Boy in exchange for an honest review. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity as it seemed like a really interesting read and I wasn’t wrong. As soon as I got the ebook I began to read and almost immediately I was drawn into the story and rich setting.

! Minor spoiler alert is in order !

Plot overview:

The book tells the story of a Zayne Shah, a young man who is a servant to a rich family called the Peerzadas. Another major plot point is that he is deeply in love with their only daughter Asiya Peerzada. You get to learn of the childhood they shared alongside a host of other characters such as sisters Gapoori and Gulnaz, and Assad. You also get to see them as they are now; young adults and watch them navigate relationships, love and loss cultural constraints and figure out what is causing the major epidemic.

What I liked –

I really enjoyed this book overall especially the fact that it was set in Pakistan. The description of Saidpur was amazing, even down to small elements like the food and clothing. It was so well done that I really could imagine it all and it was really immersive. The writing style is easy to follow and it keeps you interested.

I also liked the fact that the author chose to leave in some of the Urdu phrases and language, as someone who can understand Urdu this definitely enhanced the experience for me. There are translations provided for each phrase which is good for those who don’t and helps people learn more about the culture. These references were really accessible for me as I’m Indian myself and a lot of the traditions overlap. It was really enjoyable to read these parts.

Another major plus for me were the intensity of the friendships and bonds between the characters. There’s nothing I dislike more than reading a book in which the characters don’t seem to care about each other. I’m glad to see that the characters in this book definitely do and their bond is more like family than friendship. Take Zayne and his best friend Assad, who constantly refer to each other as brothers. There are some really touching moments throughout the novel involving them, the moment where Zayne gives Assad a prominent job and shares his good fortune, which I really enjoyed reading.

Lastly, there was one major point I really didn’t expect to happen and when I read it, I was genuinely shocked. In the interest of not spoiling it as it’s a pretty major part, all I’ll say is that it was not predictable at all.

What could have been improved-

I felt like the mystery element was really promising but found that the resolution felt rushed in the latter part of the book. I felt like there needed to be a bit more weaving throughout the novel rather than Zayne finding out conclusive information mostly towards the end and then it all being solved so fast. There were little clues along the way but the action at the end seemed to come all at once.

I get that Zayne was deeply in love with Asiya but his behaviour is borderline obsessive and stalker like at times, as he watches her constantly when she is unaware and invades her privacy by going in to her room. I would have preferred if this was toned down or excluded since it just didn’t sit right with me that he would sneak into her room constantly and read her diary.

Overall I would give it 4/5 stars!

Hope you enjoyed this review guys and take a read yourselves and see what you think!

Thank you to Reesha and her team for approaching me for this, I really enjoyed taking part.

You can get your own copy of the book on Amazon  and read more about Reesha on her website – Reesha Goral 

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

 

 

 

 

Visit: Waffle Paradise

Hi guys,

This post is definitely for those of you who have a sweet tooth and enjoy indulgent desserts. I know I’m inundating you with food posts as of late but I’ve been going out a fair bit recently and loving sharing these with you. I had a day of shopping with my mum, brothers and a couple of my cousins who are down from up north. After a lunch of vegetarian Indian dishes, we were ready for the chocolate and cream to top off our day out. Waffle Paradise didn’t disappoint!

As there were five of us we decided to order a few different things and share, as many of the desserts are quite rich and a bit too much for one person! Kudos to those who can demolish a whole dessert by themselves but I am definitely not one of those people.

We decided to order a Freak Shake – in the ‘Naughty Nutella’ flavour, a Cookies n Cream Liege Waffle Sandwich and a Kinder Bueno White milkshake. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

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Freak Shake: Naughty Nutella

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Cookies n Cream Liege Waffle Sandwich

My brother and I shared the waffle sandwich and it was the perfect dessert for two without being too overwhelming. The waffles were soft and sweet and the cream on the side is a nice accompaniment. The dish is quite rich as it has milk, white and dark belgian chocolate sauce with chocolate ice cream too. So if you like more refreshing or light desserts you may want to opt for a scoop of icecream or a slush. I’ve tried their slush before and it’s amazing on a really hot day.

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Kinder Bueno White Milkshake w/ Marshmallows

The milkshake was a pretty standard one with some cream and marshmallows as the optional topping. There’s the option to make it a bit more extravagant with a blend of chocolates and more toppings, but I think this milkshake alone is pretty nice.

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

Tag: Book Memory Challenge

Hi guys

I absolutely love reading tags and find them so entertaining as you learn a lot about the person behind a blog or youtube video and it’s in a fun format. After scouring the internet for a few choices, I stumbled upon the book memory challenge and it seemed perfect for my first tag post! There are so many great ones out there so be on the lookout for those + I am so excited to write those already!

Without further ado here’s my shot at the Book Memory Challenge.

  • The rules: answer the questions without searching the Internet or looking at your bookshelves and tag five bloggers. ( Consider any of you tagged – link me in the comments if you decide to give it a try! )

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My Answers:

1.) Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

2.) Eragon by Christopher Paolini

3.) Of mice and men by John Steinbeck

4.) White Teeth by Zadie Smith

5) Lion by Saroo Brierley

6.) The Hunt for Red october by Tom Clancy

7.) The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

8.) One flew over the Cuckoos nest by Ken Kesey

9.) Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

10.) Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling

This was such a fun tag and really made me think. I got stuck on a few of them but resisted temptation to google or take a peek at my bookshelf. Hope you enjoyed – leave a comment or like if you would like to see more of these tags.

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

21 before 21 List ♡

Hi guys,

Every year I make loads of plans mentally and think about what I want to do and achieve and a lot of the time I don’t get around to all of it. Sometimes life takes over and you get so bogged down with the monotonous routine and everyday that you put your goals on hold. I want to put the two together so I’m actually achieving what I want as well as doing what I have to do.

I love reading other peoples list of goals and wishes for a certain age so decided to do my own. Seeing them actually achieve those goals as well makes me so happy and it’s always so up-lifting. I think writing something down makes it more real sometimes and motivates you to actually do those things, so without further ado here’s my 21 before 21 list!

1.) Travel / Explore

2.) Spend more time with friends + family

3.) Disconnect from social media / technology for a few full days – challenge!

4.) Get some work experience during the summer

5.) Get up to date on the Game of Thrones books

6.) Get fit & lose weight (in a healthy way)

7.) Attend more blogger events

8.) Learn how to cook a few traditional indian dishes (this ones for my mum, shoutout to her haha)

9.) Write more freelance articles

10.) Get more into film photography – planning to buy a point and shoot camera soon!

12.) Get started on more stories

13.) Spend more time outside

14.) Go on a train or bus with no real destination in mind

15.) Conquer anxiety

16.) Start drawing or painting again

17.) Get back on track with faith

18.) Try a new food

19.) Finally start driving lessons

20.) Appreciate the little things

21.) Repeat all the above for the next year ahead ♡

Visit: Pan n Ice ♡

Hi guys

Recently I was at Westfield with my cousins and thought what better time to finally try the famous rolled ice cream. My decision may also have been based on how to appease my little brother and cousin, something sweet usually does the trick haha. If you’ve ever been to a busy shopping centre with little kids you know the struggle involved, when you’re surrounded by toy and sweet stores.

If you’re an instagram addict like myself you’ve probably seen the many videos circulating of this ice cream, and if you haven’t…then carry on reading to see what all the fuss is about…

So Pan n Ice offer about six set menu combinations of ice cream – all of which sound delicious.

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Variety of flavours on offer ^^

I went for the ‘Kinky Kinder’, which had a mix of Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Bueno and Salted Caramel, I must admit the name was also pretty funny. We got to see the ice cream being prepared in front of us which was pretty cool, kind of annoyed I didn’t think to take a video, but alas. The staff are friendly and approachable which made the experience more pleasant. Once it was done you get to choose a sauce or any other toppings and voila! Time to dig in.

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‘Kinky Kinder’

I shared my one with my cousin and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to finish it by myself, maybe I’m just a lightweight but it’s way more filling than it looks. Now price wise, it’s about 4-5 pounds per portion which is pricy for some ice cream but I would recommend it for a little indulgence now and then, or maybe as a one off as it’s a novelty. As far as I know there’s nowhere else in London that offers the signature rolled ice cream, but I may be wrong. It’s a bit of a fun food experience and I’d say it’s a must for anyone who follows the online foodie trends.

I also want to point out that I’ve heard you can customise your order and bring an ingredient with you to include, I heard someone brought a lolas cupcake and got it made into the ice-cream once! This is a cool added touch and is good if you have a craving or more unusual flavour combinations.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post, perhaps you’re craving some ice cream now? If you decide to try it out, let me know what you thought too ^^

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

 

 

Review: A Game of Thrones (ASOIAF BOOK 1)

Hi guys,

If any of you have seen the Game of Thrones books and I’m sure you have – you’ll understand how chunky they are! Which makes sense given how vast and detailed the novels are, but this certainly takes up a lot of reading time hence why I haven’t posted a book review in a while. Now I’m fully up to date on the TV adaptation, and I have to say the first season of the show definitely follows the book pretty closely. For some people this might be monotonous but for me it just made me appreciate the series more.

It’s such an immersive series and I genuinely enjoyed the book, on to the. On to the next one! So look out for that soon. 

Positives: 

  • I find Martins writing generally easy to follow with the right amount of description and dialogue too.
  • I don’t usually read fantasy / epic stories so this was a welcome change from the other books I read.
  • The chapters aren’t enormously long either and each chapter is from the perspective of different characters which breaks it up and stops it from getting boring. I think the multiple perspectives are a really good choice on part of Martin, as the novel spans multiple settings and this way we get to check in on all the Starks for example.
  • I particularly enjoyed Eddard and Aryas chapters since they’re two of my favourite characters in the series. I find Eddards story really tragic and through his own perspective you see his motivations and how honourable he really is, not to say he’s a perfect character by any means but there’s something about him. He went to Kings Landing through no choice of his own and what ensues afterwards…it’s really unfair.
  • Complex characters who aren’t just ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – Even Robert Baratheon for example who isn’t purely good or evil, he has his flaws; excessive drinking, crass speech, pride.

Some Negatives / criticisms 

  • Some of the sentences / structures are clumsy and a bit awkward.
  • scenes of a sexual nature. I would also note the first scene between Daenerys and Khal Drogo being consensual in the book rather than a rape the way it is in the show. It leads me to question why exactly the show runners decided to spin it this way, and I know the series has come under serious fire for the treatment of female characters and misogynistic behaviour in general. I have to admit those parts do make me very uncomfortable and the constant female nudity is so unnecessary. Also warnings for rape and other sexual violence.
  • The constant repetition that Jon Snow is a ‘bastard’ – oh my god. I noticed this within the show but in the book it’s even more apparent, there’s not one section in Jon’s or other characters sections that his status isn’t explicitly mentioned. After the first few mentions it’s overkill. This is a smaller issue but still a tad irritating.

I would definitely recommend the book to fans of the show or even if you’ve never seen it at all, I know it gets it’s fair share of criticism. Some of which I can understand and wish that it could be changed especially when it comes to women in the series. However it’s worth a read, love it or hate it, it’s a pretty epic tale.

Until next time, Rumaanah x