2018 Reading Challenge Update

Hello, my lovely readers, today I wanted to talk about my reading challenge. I’m planning to read at least forty books at the end of the year. We are in the fourth month of the year and I thought it was a great idea to share my progress. I will put the description of the books after all the titles.

  • Wait For Me by Caroline Leech

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

his is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he goes to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

  • Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half-blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that result in true page-turners that get better with each installment.
In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

  • Percy Jackson and The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan 

It’s not every day you find yourself in combat with a half-lion, half-human.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive…

  • Percy Jackson and The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears at his potential new school, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

  • Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan 

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

  • Divergent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

  • Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Bethany Church is an angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay. Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong. But even Xavier’s love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, the demon Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well.

  • Heaven by Alexandre Adornetto

The angel Bethany and her mortal love, Xavier, have already pushed the boundaries of Heaven with their relationship. In this conclusion to the Halo trilogy, the two take their love to the next, forbidden, step: They marry.

At a time when they believe nothing will come between them again, they are faced with their most daunting challenge yet: the Sevens, a military order of angels designed to maintain balance in the universe. These soldiers won’t stop until their job is done – capture the wayward angel and send her home.

Secrets, exile, and unexpected allies flavour the rest of this intense love story and adventure.

Beth discovers there is only one way back to earth, but the cost is higher than she – and readers – ever imagined. If she can survive, she can prove to Heaven and Earth that there is nothing stronger than the power of love.

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Here is my 2018 reading challenge update. I’m sorry if there’s any errors or sentences that don’t make sense, English is not my first language. I tried to revise as much as I could. I hope you enjoyed this week’s post!

Have a great week
The Nerdy Montrealer.

Desk Tour

I wanted to share a special place in my room that I’m starting to love. I don’t work there often because the light in my bedroom is not. It’s where I write my novel, I do my research there, I draw there and it’s also where I take most of my pictures on Instagram. I’m still working on the area but I love the way it looks so far and I kind of know in which direction I’m going with this area. I can’t wait to see how my desk area looks like when I finish it or maybe when I finally get the perfect place for it in my room. I will try to link every item I have or something similar in case one of you are interested in getting it. Here is what I have so far.

candle corner

My desk is from IKEA and I love it. Honestly, I kind of regret that I took it white and this one because it doesn’t have any sort of storage, but if it had drawers I think I would love it even more. Also, the fact that the desk is white, it makes the surface gets dirty really quickly. The positive part of this desk and why it’s so perfect for me, it’s the pull-out panel. I’m a messy worker and when I work I tend to put my things in the whole area. When I don’t have space anymore, I just pull out the panel and it makes me more space. At the end of my day or the next day, I put everything back at its place in my room, clean my desk and voilà!

whole desk

I think my favourite thing on my whole desk is my lamp and the little cubes storage. I really like the gold details on it and the fact that the head and the arm of the lamp are adjustable. The light is a bit too yellow for my like and it tires my eyes out a lot when I work at night, but I would give this lamp up for anything in the world!

lamp

I have a little bit of storage on my desk and that is the black cubes. I put there so of the books on my To Be read in one of the cubes and the rest is on the big shelves outside of my room. I put my Tombows, my ceramic paint pot where every single pencil, markers and highlighters that I own are. I like the fact that it’s back because not everything is white and it makes it look less like a white sterile hospital? I don’t exactly know how to explain it but it looks better.

books

Something that you will notice a lot on my pictures or on my clothes — still working on this — is that my favourite colour is yellow. My curtains are yellow and I have to say that I love it when the sun hits them. It adds a little something in my room and also, it adds some colour. I don’t know where they are from because my grandma gave them to me. I used to have black curtains but it made my room really dark and it also made it look smaller.

Inspiration wall

Let’s talk about the most important part of my desk area in my opinion. It’s my motivation wall. I don’t know if it ever happens to you but sometimes I lose focus on a task that I’m doing and I need a little push to make me keep going. I have a picture of London City that I took from my calendar of last year, a yellow paint sample, a poem form the poetry book — the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur — and a picture from Teen Vogue. I’m still working on that part, but so far, I really love it. I also want to put an illustration from Cheyenne Barton. I love her drawing style so beautiful and Cheyenne inspires me so much. I know it will motivate me so I think it would have a great place on this wall.

If you didn’t notice, I didn’t talk about my little blue chair until now and I didn’t take a picture of it. I really hate it because I feel like it’s out of place. I honestly bought it because it was the cheapest desk chair. I also didn’t talk about it because it’s broken. I will replace it as soon as I can. If you want, I will update you. Not here, but on Instagram. Make sure you are following me.

 

Here is my Desk Tour. I’m sorry if there’s any errors or sentences that don’t make sense, English is not my first language. I tried to revise as much as I could. I also would like to point out that I’m still learning to take pictures and how to edit them. I hope you enjoyed this week’s post!

Have a great week
The Nerdy Montrealer.

January Wrap-Up

One of my 2018 goals is to read forty books this year. Last year, I made the same goal but with only twenty books but under certain circumstances, I couldn’t do it. I will try my hardest to read all of the books that I want to read before the end of this year. Surprisingly for the month of January, I read eight books! This is something new and big for me I’ve never read this much in a month before!
 
My first book of 2018 was:
Wait for me by Caroline Leech
Description: It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?
 
But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him — from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany — the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.
 
I really loved this book and for my review, you’ll have to wait until I post it here next week!
 
For my second book of 2018, I read The sun and her flower by Rupi Kaur.
 Description: this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom.
  
It’s a poetry book. It was the second time that I read a poetry book, sincerely I’m not sure that it’s my thing or even if I’m a fan of it but I have to admit it was pretty good and also it made me think a lot. I really like it because the poetry in the book was raw and really interesting. After reading Rupi Kaur first book Milk and honey it made me unsure. But I got to admit both books were really good.
 
For my third book of 2018, I read Turtles All The Way by John Green.

Description: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

 
Honestly, I was expecting so much for this book. I was expecting something more like The Fault In Our Stars or Looking For Alaska. Honestly, I’m putting a big red interrogation point on it, I don’t hate it and I don’t like. It talked about mental health, about friendship, relationship and anxiety. From the way Aza would describe how she feels about her infinite tightening spiral I was starting to feel a bit “queezy” at some points and  when I was having a really bad anxious day I had a panic attack and I had to stop at certain places to breathe a little but it made me feel less alone. I know a lot of people suffer from anxiety but the way Aza described it made me feel like I wasn’t crazy and other people feel that way.
 
 The book that I read after Turtles All The Way Down is Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief and the four other books in this series.
 
Description of the first book in the series: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse — Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he goes to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
 
I first read it a long time ago and re-reading it made me realize how much I really love this series! From my last memory of this series form the last time I read it, my favourite book is the last one, Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian. And after re-reading it, now I can confirm that it is my favourite book in the series (Spoilers-ish) even if a lot of the characters I love die I still love it.
  
Here’s my list of books that I want to read for the month of February:
  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  3. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
  6. Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
  7. Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto
  8. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Here is my January Wrap-Up. I’m sorry if there’s any errors or sentences that don’t make sense, English is not my first language. I tried to revise as much as I could. I hope you enjoyed this week’s post!

Have a great week
The Nerdy Montrealer.

Five Persons That I Admire

@thebookwormofnotredame

@thebookwormofnotredame has an Instagram account and it’s absolutely wonderful and beautiful!

@thebookwornofnotredame is my favourite account and Clara is my favourite person on Instagram. I don’t talk to her very often but she’s the nicest person that I’ve talked to, she’s also the person that inspires me and that I admire the most on a daily basis. She makes me believe that everything is possible, she also talks so openly about her feelings, her diabetes and body image, it’s incredible. When I have a really bad day or I’m extremely anxious, I love to watch her Instagram story it always makes me smile and makes me feel better.

I learned not so long ago that Clara only uses her phone to take her pictures. That makes me feel a lot better! I love Instagram, it’s my favourite social media but I always feel an immense pressure. The algorithm on Instagram is not the greatest and you have to post amazing pictures. Clara reminds me every day that you don’t need absolutely need a professional camera to take beautiful pictures. It’s something really hard to remember. I personally felt and still feel the pressure of posting something beautiful to be seen. Clara reminds me – with her beautiful account- that the number of followers does not matter and that I can do it. Something Clara reminds me also is that nobody is perfect in life and I think it’s important for everyone to be reminded of that on a daily basis.

On November 6th, 2017 Clara posted a picture of self-love and body image. In the caption, Clara was very honest and it has helped me a lot since. I’m someone that struggles a lot with my body and self-esteem. She reminded me that it’s okay and that I’m beautiful on the inside and outside.

Go check her Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/thebookwormofnotredame/

@Chey.barton

@chey.barton also known as @studyrose on Instagram inspire me a lot for my bullet journal and to pursue what I want in life.
If you didn’t know Cheyenne and if you haven’t been following her story, Cheyenne used to live in Austin, Texas but she moved all the way to Seattle to live on her own. You need guts to do that! I can’t imagine moving out of my cozy little routine to another state which is 2836.8 kilometres away from where she used to call home! It so brave and encouraging! When I’m doubting myself, I usually go talk because he calms me down but when the talk with my boyfriend doesn’t work, I always tell myself: “baby girl, if Cheyenne can move from Texas to Seattle to live on her own you can do this little thing come on!” And it always works.

Cheyenne opened her sticker shop on the 18th of October on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/gentleandruthless) and let me tell you, her shop is wonderful!

She’s also such a positive and she’s so wonderful person to talk to! On her Instagram story she always talks about her life, about how stress she is and I think it’s awesome, she makes you feel like you are part of her family. When I’m super stressed because of school, my projects or my personal projects, I know that I’m not alone and that I know I can do this.
Go check her Instagram account: @chey.barton https://www.instagram.com/chey.barton/

 

Hermione Jean Granger

As many of you may know, Hermione Jean Granger is a character from the Harry Potter series.

*This may contain spoilers if you didn’t read the books or seen the movies*
Hermione is known for being studious. When I need to study for school and I don’t have the motivation or I can’t find the motivation to get out of bed I always tell myself: “come on baby girl, let’s make Hermione proud. ”
I admire her because she’s so strong! In the books (or movies, I honestly can not remember if it happened in the movies or the books) Hermione bewitches her parents so they believe that they are different people and that Hermione is not their daughter. Even though it was really important because of the situation I couldn’t do that. I mean, imagine seen your parents and they just think of you as a family friend, I just couldn’t bear it.
Something else that I love about her is when Harry was talking about Horcruxes, he said something about Ron and her stay behind and to keep on studying in Hogwarts, she basically said something along the lines of: “Yeah, shut up. We’re coming.” (my own interpretation) She cares so deeply for her friends and family.
Hermione is a bookworm and it’s something that helped me read a lot of books when I was younger. Something that I used to -and still do- tell myself is: “ If Hermione can do it so can I. ” At certain times, I need to motivate myself by thinking about those five persons and it helps immensely.
The last thing that inspires me so much in my day to day life is how strongly Hermione stands-up for her believes. Not only she stands up for herself but she stands-up also for the persons that can’t use their voices. Example: the house elves, they didn’t exactly want what Hermione was saying or offering but she still fought for them so the house elves would be paid, have better conditions and the most important, that people respect them.

 

Madeline Whittier

Madeline Whittier is a character from the book Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.

*This may contain spoilers if you didn’t read the book or seen the movie*

This one character is recent, I finished reading the book November 22nd, 2017. I admire Madeline Whittier because of her strength and how brave she is. When she was a baby, she was supposedly diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency which means that you are basically allergic to the world. For her, it was “normal” in a sense that it’s okay she lived with this disease since she was born but from my point of view and everything I lived in my twenty years on earth I can’t imagine being allergic to the world. You can’t go outside, you can’t hug someone, you can’t eat exotic food and you can’t do anything except the things that your disease “allows” you to do.
The more the story goes on, the more Madeline falls in love with Olly — her neighbour — even despite the fact that she’s terrified. At a certain moment in the book, Madeline has this big need to leave her house, she feels trapped. She books two plane tickets for Hawaii for herself and Olly, lies to Olly that she’s on a medical trial for her disease and they leave for this beautiful country. She goes against her mother wishes (obviously since Pauline doesn’t want her daughter to die). Madeline is also terrified to die but she still goes and has the best time of her life. It’s a wonderful act, but at the same thing, I also thought that it was a stupid thing to do…
The moment I think Madeline Whittier shows us — the readers — her real strength is when she discovers that she was never really sick and that her mother (who suffers from depression) lied to her all her life. From a personal point of view I understand her mother for the extreme need to protect her daughter from the entire world after her son and her husband died in a car crash because of a drunk driver, but how could she take eighteen years from Madeline’s life? Madeline was stuck inside and she couldn’t go out, she couldn’t meet new people, make a new friend or hug a stranger (it’s the second time I say hug, I love hugs can you see?). If this was my situation I would just go in bed and cry for days, I wouldn’t trust my mother, I would consider my relationship with her done and I wouldn’t even talk to her or accept anything from her. Of course, Madeline was pissed at her mom but deep down she still knows that Pauline is her mother and that her mother loves her so much. I think, maybe a year or so after Madeline discovered that she didn’t have combined immunodeficiency, Madeline forgive her mother and she tried to restore their relationship. (Not in the book, just me imagining stuff)

 

Lorelai “Rory” Gilmore

Lorelai “Rory” Gilmore is a character in the series Gilmore Girls

*This content spoilers if you didn’t watch the Tv show* 

Rory actually helped me a lot for the past few months, with school and with 2017 in general. For those who didn’t watch the show and don’t have the intentions to watch it, Rory was at a public school when the story started but she gets’s accepted, in the middle of the year, into Chilton a prestigious private school. Rory and her mother, Lorelai, always dream that Rory goes to Harvard but as the story goes one, she changes her mind and Rory applied to Yale University which she was accepted to. She went to Yale University for a year, after her second year and after an internship that she tough was going very well with her boyfriend’s dad, the father of her boyfriends tells her she’s not cut out to be a journalist. After a lot of tears, of questioning and a big fight with her mom, she quits Yale for a year and did other things. After her year gap, she finally returned to Yale and she stayed for four years. Her whole academic story inspired me a lot in my life because in my school journey I did give up cooking school and I felt really guilty about it, after watching Gilmore Girls I felt so much better about this part of my life and I feel like it’s okay to not know where I’m going in life, I’m only 20 years old. I don’t stress as much as I used to about my future.
Rory’s biggest dream is to be a journalist. After her internship at Logan’s (her boyfriend at the time) dad paper, Mitchum Huntzbuger tells her that she is not meant to be a journalist. At some point, she was questioning herself and she really didn’t know what to do except to be a journalist. After not knowing what to do in the future, questioning herself, Rory decided to say “f***k you” to Mitchum Huntzbuger opinion that she could be a journalist if she wanted to and she pursues her studies in journalism in Yale University. Rory ends being the editor in chief of the Yale Daily News. After months and months of feeling guilty about quitting culinary school two times, Rory made me understand that you have to believe in yourself even though other people don’t believe in you.
Here are my five persons that inspire my daily life and that I admire.
I’m sorry if there’s any errors or sentences don’t make sense. English is not my first language. I tried to revise as much as I could.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Have a great week

The Nerdy Montrealer.