Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Fangirling Blog Award

Hi guys. So today I'm doing the Book Fangirling Blog Award which, in my opinion, has the coolest name ever as far as awards go :D

I was nominated for this tag by the lovely Kaja over at Of Dragons and Hearts. This tag was originally created by the blogger Hannah and you can visit her blog here

  • Create a post to accept your award
  • Add the blog award button into your post
  • Link to me in the post so they know who has given you the award
  • Answer the questions I have set below
  • Nominate 5 book bloggers who you think deserve this award
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees
  • Link them to this post so that they know the rules

What is the one book/series that you recommend the most?

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. It's a beautiful Peter Pan retelling with Tiger Lily as the main character and love interest of Peter. It's beautiful and heartbreaking and simply amazing. See my review of Tiger Lily here.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?

Gushing about my favorite books ^^ I've mentioned this is previous posts, but I don't actually know a lot of book lovers in real life and in fact, it's kind of because I had no one to gush over my books with that I ended up started my book blog.

What book/series do you wish you could love more (i.e. a series that everyone seems to like but you)?

Usually if I don't love a book, I don't feel too much guilt about it to be honest XD. But I wish I could like Jane Austen's books more. My mum loves them, as do most people I know, but I really don't enjoy her books. I don't really mind that much though, lol. 

What 2016 release are you most excited about?

There are soooo many I could pick but I'm going to go with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the illustrated edition, which is set to come out in October I think. I'll probably freak out each time I see a spider in the book but oh well... it's Harry Potter :D

What is the craziest/bravest fangirling thing you ever did?

I haven't had much occasions to be a crazy fangirl given that I live in a small island in the Indian Ocean where we never get book signings, author events or even decent book events. So if I really need to pick something I did, it would probably be that one time I went on vacation with my family to Dubai and I ended up spending all of my money at Kinokuniya, an amazingly huge bookstore found in the Dubai Mall. I'm not kidding, I didn't even have enough money left afterwards to buy anything else XD.

  1. What is the one book you would love to get a first edition of?
  2. Would you rather visit Neverland or Wonderland? 
  3. If you could invite all your favorite book characters to a party, who would you pick?
  4. Have you already met one of your favorite authors before? If not, which author do you wish you could meet one day?
  5. Which character would you love to dress up as? Or maybe you've already dressed up as a favorite character before? If, yes, share a picture ^^

Banners design by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo

Monday, February 22, 2016

23 Things You Don't Know About Me! - A Birthday Special

Hi guys! So today it's my birthday :) If you read my previous post, you already know that on the 18th I was also celebrating my blog anniversary. If you want to also check out that post, you can do so by clicking here.
So, today I turn 23. I wasn't quite sure what to write in today's post but since I'm a relatively new blogger around here, I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a little about me. So in honor of my 23rd birthday, here are 23 things you probably didn't know about me!

1. My earliest memories go back to when I was 2 years old.

2. My two biggest fandoms are Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter.

3. I wish I could wear boots all year round because they are my favs. 

4. My dream birthday party would be an Alice in Wonderland themed one.

5. I’ve known my two best friends, Laetitia and Meghna, for 11 years. We still talk almost everyday!

6. My favorite songs are the Swan Lake theme by Tchaikovsky, The Color of the Wind from Pocahontas, the Phantom of the Opera theme song and anything by Evanescence. Yes, my tastes are all over the place, I know. 

7. And yes, I absolutely love ballet. My favorites are Swan Lake and Giselle.

8. My favorite dessert flavors are salted caramel, chocolate and crème brûlée.

9. Sailor Moon was my earliest favorite character. I was 4 or 5 years old at the time.

10. In books that have love triangles, I always root for the guy the main character ends up ditching…

11. Back during my teen days, my hair used to be so long it reached well past my knees!

12.  Tea and water are pretty much the only things I’m allowed to drink due to a stomach condition I have. No milkshake or wine for this girl!

13. I’m a huge Disney fan. My favorite movie is Pocahontas and my favorite male and female leads are John Smith and Ariel respectively.

14. I live on an island but I don’t know how to swim.

15. I love Christmas and board games so much that last Christmas I made my own Christmas-themed board game, complete with a board with actual tiles, a wheel you can spin and playing cards!

16. Lestat, from Anne Rice’s books, was my first literary crush. He remains to this day both my biggest literary crush and my favorite book character.

17. My dream Halloween costume would be of a gender-bent Mad Hatter.

18. My favorite season is winter but if I lived in a country where you actually have four seasons, Fall would be my favorite season. I love my boots and warm clothes and really, really can’t stand the heat of the summer months. 

19. I named our first dog, a German Shepherd, Zazu after the bird in The Lion King. I won’t apologize. I was 4…

20. My favorite time to read is in the morning during my breakfast.

21. Each time I watch the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies, I close my eyes at the spider scenes and wait for my little sister to tell me when I can open them again. Yes, you read that right: My little sister.

22. My favorite TV series is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

23. I love Halloween but I have actually never seen a pumpkin in real life!

So those were 23 things about me I thought I would share with you today. As always, your comments are most welcome. Later guys ^^


P.S. On a completely random note, who else loves Charmed?! I would say it's my favorite TV series right after Buffy. Yep, I love me my 90's shows ^^

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My 1 Year Blog Anniversary: Thank You Notes!

Hi guys! Today it's my 1 year blog anniversary ^^ Woohoo! In today's post, I want to say thank you. Simply and honestly :) 
Whew, I can't believe it's been one year already! When I first started this blog, on the 18th of February 2015, I didn't really know what I was doing. I kind of sleepwalked my way into creating this blog. I'm not kidding. It was like 1 o'clock in the morning or something. Just a few hours less and my anniversary would actually be on a completely different date XD

My Thank You Notes

To: My Lovely Fellow Bloggers

Firstly, I have to thank my fellow blogger friends. It's from you guys that I learnt the gist of blogging! Many of you were very forthcoming with tips and encouraging messages, which was really lovely of you. It took me some time to get the hang of things but your support and comments definitely gave me the push to keep learning and posting, so thank you lovely bloggers ^^ 


To: My readers and followers

I must also thank you, my readers and followers. After all, without all your comments and feedback, writing and posting wouldn't be as meaningful as it now is. So thank you for taking an interest in what I have to say and for following Of Stacks and Cups!


To: The loveliest of families and my friends 

I can't complete this round of thank you notes without mentioning my family and friends. Thanks dad for often being the first person to read my newest post. And thanks mum for listening to my troubles and encouraging me, even when you have no idea what I'm blabbing about. And of course, thanks Pooja for being such a lovely and supportive sister ^^ 
Thanks Kenita for making me believe I could do it! Thanks for sharing my posts and being such a supportive follower back when I had almost no followers. Titia, Megs, Ashna and Jess, thanks for being among the first visitors on my blog! Titia, I wasn't sure my reviews were actually helping anyone until you said you enjoyed reading them. I had even temporarily given up on them but following one of our conversation, I started writing them again. Basically, thanks for being there ladies! 

So that's it for this blog anniversary post guys. Can you guess what my next post will be? My birthday post!!! Yep, my blog and I actually have our birthdays just a few days apart. So look forward for that post and as always, your comments are much appreciated!


Cover art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Book Courtship Tag

Happy Valentine's Day ^^ Okay, so I'm not actually celebrating it this year or anything but I still thought it would be fun to do something a little special for today's post. So I'm doing the Book Courtship Tag. This tag is really cool in that it's broken into 10 phases to represent an actual courtship.  

This tag was created by YouTuber Leah and you can check out her channel by clicking here. And now, let's start!

Phase 1 - Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover

My bind-up edition of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. The books are great but honestly, it was the beautiful cover that gave me the push to actually buy them in this edition.

Phase 2 - First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary 

After Alice by Gregory Maguire. While I'm a huge fan of Maguire and his books now, back around the time After Alice was first published, I had no idea who he was. What got my attention was the blurb on this particular book which pretty much promised an Alice in Wonderland retelling. And frankly, you don't really need much more to hook me in. 

Phase 3 - Sweet Talk: A book with great writing 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. Actually, anything by Angela Carter. This is a collection of adult fairy tale retellings, all with a dark and often violent twist. Her prose is very poetic and often contains different layers of meaning. Her books often carry magical realism elements or whimsical elements spun into hard realism scenarios. Her books are really beautiful and I would highly recommend you check them out.

Phase 4 - First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pursue the rest of the series

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. It is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series and is basically a Cinderella retelling set in a futuristic world full or galactic action, androids and really, really good world building. This and all the other books in the series are simply great and you should definitely check them out if you aren't already a fan.

Phase 5 - Late night phone calls: A book that kept you up all night long

Winter by Marissa Meyer, which is the last book in the Lunar Chronicles. As far as series finale go, this book was simply perfection. It was action packed and superbly written. It's the kind of book that keeps you on the edge of your seat and I couldn't help staying up all night to read it.

Phase 6 - Always on my mind: A book that you could not stop thinking about

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. This is a very unique Peter Pan retelling with Tiger Lily as the main character and narrated by a very unique version of Tinker Bell. It follows the love story between Tiger Lily and Peter, long before Wendy's arrival at Neverland. It's one of the most poignant YA novels I've ever read and it stuck with me long after I finished it. I highly recommend it. See the quote in the picture below? Gives me the feels every time *sigh*

Phase 7 - Getting Physical: A book in which you love the way it feels

I'm going with my copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in the Penguin English Libary edition. Not only does the cover had a nice, smooth texture, but the inside, the pages are bound in such a way that they get crinkly when you turn them. I love it when books have crinkly pages.

Phase 8 - Meeting the Parents: A book in which you would recommend to your friends and family

A Haruki Murakami book, especially Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage. All of the Murakami books I read so far were great but I feel Colorless Tsukuru is a good place to start when you've never read his books before. It's one of the least weird of his books but at the same time, it still carries the unique and beautiful writing that is characteristic of his books.

Phase 9 - Thinking about the future: A book or series that you know you'll re-read many times in the future 

I'll definitely re-read The Lunar Chronicles and the Harry Potter books again and again in the future. Can you see how worn out my Harry Potter books are? That's the sign of a well beloved book right there. And if you were wondering, those Harry Potter books are in French, which is actually my main language. I also want to re-read Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus, both by Rick Riordan, at some point. And of course, I absolutely need to re-read Tiger Lily.

Phase 10 - Share the love!!! Who would you like to tag?

If you wish to do this tag too, feel free to do so 'cause I'm tagging you, yes, you reading this ^^ If you decide to do, don't forget to link it back to my post and leave me a link to your post so that I can read it.

And if you're celebrating this year, Happy Valentine's Day ^^

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How to get back into reading

Hi guys. Today I have quite a different post for you. Some people find it hard to keep the habit of reading after reaching certain events or changes in their lives. They might have really enjoyed books once but they simply gave up reading over time for some reason or another. Life is unpredictable. Things change, stuff happens and along the way, you suddenly realize that you simply don't have time to read anymore. So in this post, I'm going to show you little things you can do to gradually introduce reading back into your life. 

This post has two parts so make sure you scroll till the end. In the first part, I highlight a few reasons why we sometimes disconnect from reading. And in the second part, I suggest a few things that can help to get you back into reading. So let's start.

I used to love reading but now I... just don't?

Time management is tricky. Whether you're starting a new academic year, you just started a family or your job is obliterating all your free time, life can take a toll on your reading. Here are a few scenarios where this can happen:

You're starting uni for the first time and you're either too anxious (that would be me) or too excited to focus on reading.


Started university is a huge deal whether it completely stresses you out or it's the one thing you've been anticipating your whole life. Between meeting new people, learning your way around the campus and wrapping your mind around the fact that you now have to actually study again, it'll take weeks for you to sink into a more or less normal routine. So, you might not have time to catch up on your favorite book series and it's totally fine.

You have a job. And you're tired. Very tired.


Whether you're working regular hours or double shifts, it doesn't matter. You're working and that in itself can be tiring. All you want to do when you get back home is take a long shower and spend the evening watching your favorite TV show. That chunky bestseller you bought in a frenzy all those months ago is looking less and less appealing and as days go by, you're slowly coming to terms with the knowledge that you're never actually going to read the damn book.

You just started a family and you're too busy taking care of your new bundle of nappies and cuddles to remember that book you abandoned midway on your nightstand.


Parenthood is a profession in itself and getting the hang of things takes time. Not to mention energy. Lots of it. So who cares if your TBR is gathering dust? You have a mini me now and you should definitely take the time to enjoy it.

You've fallen out of love with the only book genre you used to read and now you simply have no idea what you want to read next.


Vampire love triangles just don't do it for you anymore. But then neither do post-apocalyptic scenarios appeal to you. Literary fiction puts you to sleep faster than history classes and contemporary just don't have enough fangs in them. Basically, you just don't know what's left for you to read.

School's over and you just have too many other stuff happening next to pick up a book.


You might be too busy applying for college or you might be already working. Or, you know, you might be actually enjoying the end of school by taking a well deserved vacation. It's fine, we're not judging. We all need a little break from things every now and then.

So I want to start reading again but I'm not quite sure how...

You need to get excited about books again before you feel the urge to start reading them again. Remember that little thrill you felt when you got your hands on that last Harry Potter book? You need to find that little thrill again. Here's how you can do that:

Start watching BookTube videos. (You know, YouTube videos dedicated solely to books.)


Watching those videos was what actually got me out of my slump and back into reading again. Watching other people gush about the books they love is bound to get you excited about picking up a book too. Plus, you'll be getting new recommendations in there which are going to help you explore new genres that you might have neither even heard of. Like, I love magical realism but it wasn't until BookTube that I even found out about it. The BookTuber featured here is Christine and you can check out her channel here.

Read an old favorite you used to really love.


Revisit a book you already love to remember what it was about it that made you love reading it so much. Then, either look up other books by this author or check online for recommendations based on the book to find what you'll be reading next.

Get a Goodreads account to keep track of your reading progress.


On Goodreads, you get to track your reading progress page by page. You can also see how many books you've completed. This will motivate you to read more and give you a goal to look forward to. I joined Goodreads immediately after getting out of my reading slump and to be part of the community there has definitely made reading a tad more exciting for me.

Read with your kids. They'll love it, I promise.

Just because you're a parent doesn't mean reading has to be completely banished from your life. If your kids are young, why not take some time each day to read something to them? Not only will you both be reading a little everyday, but you'll also be building memories that I can assure you your children will cherish forever. Indeed, one of the my favorite childhood memory is of my dad reading to me each night before I went to bed.

Listen to audiobooks on your way to and from work.


Having an audiobook on while you're driving or riding the bus or metro to work will help you get some reading done even if you don't have time to actually read. Plus, if you're listen to them on your way back home too, it'll give you something to look forward to during the day so that by the time you're listening to your book again, you're genuinely excited to pick up where you'd left off earlier. The feeling of anticipation and the excitement of finding out what happens next in your book will gradually translate into excitement for actual physical books and soon, you might start picking up books more and more regularly.

So that's it for this post guys. This was a post I really enjoyed writing and I hope you can find some useful tips in here. As always, your comments are most welcome. Until next time...


Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Favorite Book Romances

Hi guys. As it'll be Valentine's Day soon, today I thought I would share with you my favorite literary romances. Now I don't read lots of romance books as a rule but I do enjoy romance in my books when it's really well done. So, no insta-love for me please, just no! 

Since I'm focusing on the love aspect of the book and the couples featuring in it, I won't be going too much in details about the plot. You can find out more about the books though by clicking on the book titles, which will take you to each book's Goodreads page. Also, this post is absolutely spoiler-free.

Eleanor and Park 


These characters are from the book by the same name by Rainbow Rowell. Eleanor is plump, has unruly curly red hair and wears horribly mismatched clothes and due to a little bit of all those things, she's a popular target for school bullies. Park is a half-Asian kid who's trying to play it cool by coming to school dressed mostly in black and likes to keep to himself on the school bus, his headphones on. These two couldn't be more different and yet, after discovering a shared love for comics and music, they slowly become friends. As the story unfolds, this unlikely friendship eventually grows into the sincerest of young loves. If you love YA novels and are tired of popular tropes and clichés, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It's unique and simply beautiful. 

Percy and Annabeth 


This couple appears in two series (so far) by Rick Riordan, including the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series and the Heroes of Olympus series. In the beginning of the first series, Percy and Annabeth are around 12 and we get but the slightest of hints that something could happen between these two one day. Then, as the books progress, we see their relationship go from a great friendship to a really sweet romance. What I love about their relationship is that while they care a lot for each other, they always value and trust each other's strengths. Percy knows his girl can take care of herself. Likewise, while Annabeth and Percy are strong enough on their own, they also operate really well as a pair, as can be seen in the various action scenes throughout the books. They respect each other's capabilities as much as they love each other and that is something we need to see more among YA couples. Totally giving you the side-eye Edward...

Cath and Levi


It seems that Rainbow Rowell really gets young love! Cath and Levi appear in her much beloved book, Fangirl. Cath has just started uni and being super shy, she's having a hard time navigating her new environment. Eventually though, she starts to meet new people and one of them is Levi. I feel that to tell you more about their relationship would spoil the book a little for you so I'm just going to suggest you check out Fangirl and see what I mean for yourself. Their story is very down to earth and super relatable. In fact, when I first read the book, I was surprised by how down to earth is was. Rowell doesn't sugar coat their romance at all. And yet, despite that, it does shine out as one of the sweetest book romances I've ever read. 

Tiger Lily and Peter Pan


Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair... Aw, I love this line <3 

Here I'm actually talking about the characters from the Peter Pan retelling by Jodi Lynn Anderson called Tiger Lily, so calm down Wendy purists XD In Tiger Lily, we're offered a completely different take on the original Peter Pan story. Tiger Lily is the daughter of her tribe's shaman. She's an accomplished hunter and considered as being very different even by the other tribe members. Peter Pan is known among them as one of the most dangerous beings in Neverland. And yet, one day, as Tiger Lily's and Peter's paths cross, what ensues is a really poignant romance as it is very rarely depicted in YA fiction. After finishing the book, all I wanted to do was read it all over again because it was simply beautiful. If you want to know more about the actual plot and my thoughts about the book, check out my non-spoilery review of Tiger Lily here

So those were some of my favorite book romances. What book romance makes you swoon? Let me know in the comment ^^

Cover art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Graphic Novel Recommendations

Hi guys. Today I'm here to recommend some graphic novels and comics to you. Whether you're new to the genre or you're simply looking for a new comic or graphic novel to pick up, I hope you'll find this post useful. 
This post is divided into two parts to make it easier for you to browse these titles. The first part looks at series of graphic novels and comics, both completed and ongoing and the second part looks at stand alone graphic novels.

Graphic Novel and Comic Book Series


Status - Ongoing comic series
Writer(s) - Brian K. Vaughan
Artist(s) - Fiona Staples

Alana and Marko are runaway soldiers from opposite sides of a huge ongoing galactic war. After falling in love and becoming parents to a child born of the two warring races, they find themselves prey to military forces and ruthless mercenaries alike. Mixing fantasy and science fiction in a space opera as sexy as it is action packed, this series is my go-to graphic novel recommendation for new and old fans of the genre.  

Locke and Key

Status - Completed graphic novel series
Writer(s) - Joe Hill
Artist(s) - Gabriel Rodriguez

After their father’s murder, the Locke siblings move with their mother to Keyhouse, an old mansion that has belonged to their family for years. Soon after they move in, Bode, the youngest of the family, accidentally uncovers a door that gives him strange abilities. As Bode and siblings begin to truly explore their new home, they begin to uncover strange keys which lead to secret doors hidden all over the house, each one with a unique magic of its own. Unbeknown to them though, aside from its magical secrets, Keyhouse is also home to an ancient malignant being. This series was written by Joe Hill, who is none other than Stephen King’s son and seems to share his father’s gift for crafting beautiful but dark stories. This series is a must for fans of horror novels and is a personal favorite of mine. It does contain some gore though so you might keep that in mind should you check it out.


Status - Completed comic series
Writer(s) - Bill Willingham
Artist(s) - Various

Forced into exile after a powerful enemy takes over their lands, fairy tale creatures from various stories and myths come seek shelter in our world. Now, in modern day New York, their secret society has grown into a private community of their own which they call Fabletown. A reformed Big Bad Wolf is their sheriff while Snow White is their ever efficient deputy mayor. All seems to be going well until Snow’s wild child sister, Rose Red, is reported as murdered. The suspects? Rose’s notoriously psycho ex-lover Bluebeard and her current boyfriend, Jack, made famous for his beanstalk climbing antics. With its sharp humor, cool intrigue, plot twists and the occasional unexpected death, Fables is right now my favorite comic series. While it starts as a mere murder mystery sprinkled with humor and fairy tale elements, the series quickly escalate into a phenomenon of sheer epicness that will make you keep turning the pages.

Alex + Ada

Status - Completed graphic novel series
Writer(s) - Johnathan Luna
Artist(s) - Sarah Vaughn

In a near future, where humans have developed artificially intelligent androids, a new and somewhat controversial type of android has been release on the market, the X5. These high-priced robots are made to look like normal people and are equipped with a huge database of intelligence which gives them the ability to act almost human. Because of this, these androids have been adopted by rich people for companionship purposes. Our main character, Alex, one day receives an unexpected gift for his birthday from his wealthy grandmother. Alex opens the box and to his shock, finds within a female X5 android ready to be switched on and activated. What he chooses to do next changes his life forever. This is one of the best comics I've ever read. The artwork is rather simplistic but beautiful at the same time and works perfectly with the brilliant character development and gripping story. Trust me, you don’t even have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy this one.

Stand Alone Graphic Novels

In Real Life

Status - Stand Alone graphic novel
Writer(s) - Cory Doctorow
Artist(s) - Jen Wang

Anda has newly joined Coarsegold Online, a massively-multiplayer role-playing game, where she goes on virtual missions and adventures through her in-game persona, a powerful redheaded warrior. Things take a complicated turn when Anda come across a gold farmer, one of the strange, silent avatars who seem to be illegally collecting valuables intended to be sold to other players. When the avatar talks to her, Anda is intrigued and immediately wants to know more about the avatar, and the person who controls it. The avatar turns out to belong to a poor Chinese boy who is paid to conduct these illegal in-game dealings. There are many others like him and while what they are doing is illegal, it's also pretty much the only thing that keeps them safe and fed. Anda thus comes to question what's morally right or wrong and embarks on her own real life mission to strive to be the hero who's only so far been real in her imagination.

Anya's Ghost

Status - Stand Alone graphic novel
Writer(s) - Vera Brosgol
Artist(s) - Vera Brosgol

After Anya falls at the bottom of a well, she makes the unexpected acquaintance of a ghost. The two become friends and soon, Anya’s ghost is accompanying her everywhere, helping her navigate school halls and giving her tips to make her more popular. After a while though, Anya begins to realize that being haunted isn’t as fun as she originally thought… Spooky at times, deeply touching at others, this isn’t quite a ghost story but rather a coming of age story with its fair share of ghostly elements. It’s definitely not a horror though and is one I’d recommend to everyone. 

So those were my graphic novel and comic book recommendations. If you have recommendations for me based on the titles I've included here, do share them with me in the comments ^^