MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN BOOK TAG

It’s been a hot minute since I last posted but I just couldn’t resist. I’ve been planning on doing this post for a few days now and I’m so excited.

The Mamma Mia book tag was created by booktuber, ashleyoutpaged. (If you haven’t already checked out her channel, I suggest you do so. She’s one of my all time favourite booktubers.)

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love love love, musical films. I mean, come on, my favourite movie is Grease. A little John Travolta never hurt nobody. Mamma Mia is probably one of the best musical films ever made and the sequel didn’t disappoint either. (I wish I could say the same about the Grease sequel, but oh well…)

Back to the tag, most of the books I’m going to mention are contemporary romance books because Mamma Mia’s filled with romance. Each song has a question referring to either the feel or meaning of the song.

Let’s get started.

Everybody screamed,

When I kissed the teacher

And they must have thought they dreamed,

When I kissed the teacher

Q: Name a book with a shocking plot twist.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover is about a girl named Sky who meets a guy with a reputation that rivals her own named Dean Holder. She tries to keep him at a distance, but he insist on getting to know everything about her. The book follows their relationship from friends to more. There’s a really shocking plot that I never saw coming and it knocks you off your feet. Because, really you don’t expect it.

Waterloo, I was defeated, you won the war

Waterloo promise to love you for ever more

Waterloo couldn’t escape if I wanted to

Waterloo knowing my fate is to be with you

Waterloo finally facing my Waterloo

Q: Name a book you’re positive you’ll be in love with

The hate you give by Angie Thomas is a YA novel following the life of an African American teenager, Starr Carter, who witnesses her childhood friend get shot by a white police officer. I’ve heard many raving reviews about this novel and I’m honestly so excited to pick it up. The story also links with the black lives matter movement that’s been taking place the past few years.

Falling in love with a woman like you

Happens so quickly, there’s nothing to do

It’s only natural

But why did it have to be me?

Why did it have to be me is probably my favourite song of the entire movie. I mean, their chemistry and young Bill *drool*.

Q: Name a book you went to to get over a reading slump

Last year was one hectic year, I probably only read a handful of books that weren’t my university textbooks. I picked up To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before because I couldn’t decide whether to watch the book first or the movie. When I started reading the book I couldn’t put it down. I related so much to Laura Jean and her quirkiness. Oh who am I kidding, Peter Kavinsky was the reason I kept turning the pages.

I have a dream

A song to sing

To help me cope

With anything

Q: Name a book character that inspires you

Okay, for this question, I couldn’t decide which character to pick so I just picked my top three.

  1. All The Little Lights follows an outcast teenager named Catherine Calhoun who spends all her free time working at her mother’s very mysterious bed and breakfast. Catherine is one tough, badass girl who has to deal with a lot every single day. She’s loyal to fault and protects her mother against everything and everyone. Honestly, the things she deals with everyday… I cried when I finished this book.
  2. Darby Dixon is one badass chick. She flees her abusive fiancé, with the little money her best friend borrows her, on the day of their wedding to protect her unborn child against his wrath. She ends up in a town where she knows no one and can start afresh. She makes a life for herself away from her past. She’s a damsel but not the distressed kind.
  3. This book and series by Rebecca Donovan had me in tears from the very first chapter. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, it was probably the second chapter. The book follows the life of a teenage girl named Emma Thomas who lives with her abusive aunt and uncle. Everyday is a challenge for Emma and honestly I had to put the book down half way through and come back to it after a few days. It was that intense. Her aunt despises her and constantly finds any excuse to beat, kick or even slap her. The pain and torture she endures throughout this book is gut wrenching and she still manages to smile at her niece, nephew and friends everyday. Truly amazing.

Take it easy with me, please

Touch me gently like a summer evening breeze

Take your time, make it slow

Andante, Andante

Just let the feeling grow

Q: Name the book that took you the longest to read

Without s doubt, Pride and Prejudice took me the longest time to read. I loved Darcy and Elizabeth but for some reason I just wasn’t that excited to finish the book to binge read it. I’m ashamed to say that it took me weeks to finish this book.

We just have to face it

This time we’re through

Breaking up is never easy, I know

But I have to go

Knowing me, knowing you

It’s the best I can do

Q: Name a book you had to break up with

The film adaptation of this book is one of my favourite films ever. I can watch it over and over again and cry at every time. But, I didn’t like the book. I read the first few chapters and refused to read further because the book was so different to the movie. Even their character names were different. That’s what I get for watching the movie before reading the book.

Mamma Mia, here I go again

My my, how can I resist you?

Mamma Mia, does it show again

My my, just how much I’ve missed you?

Q: Name a book that you recently read again

I could read this book over and over again. This is probably my favourite book by Emma Hart. The main character Raelynn is my spirit animal. She’s hilarious and clumsy and assertive and amazing. Emma Hart has the best sense of writing humor ever. If you haven’t read any of her books, I suggest you get on it, right now!

You are the dancing queen

Young and sweet

Only seventeen

Q: Name a book that made you dance around the room

This book is ridiculously funny, romantic, cute, amazing, I could go on all day!

Super trouper beams are gonna blind me

But I won’t feel blue

Like I always do

‘Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you

Q: Name a series you haven’t finished due to it’s intimidating size

Honestly, need I say more. I so badly want to start this book series because I want to watch the tv series but I just haven’t been strong enough to pick it up. These books look and feel like bricks. And there’s six of them. SIX!

Hope you enjoyed this tag.

Mahmooda xo

(All images by Google or Pinterest)

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KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES BY SHANNON MESSENGER | BOOKTALK

SYNOPSIS: Twelve- year- old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath-someone who can read minds. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain. Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy who appears out of nowhere, and who can also read minds like her. She discovers there’s somewhere she belongs, and that staying with her family will put her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

After finishing Pride and Prejudice I needed to read something a bit more light and easy. One of my favourite booktubers, Peruse Project, mentioned this book in a recent book haul of hers and I knew I just had to read it. The book is filled with mythical creatures and elves with special abilities, I mean come one. I haven’t read a book this fun since Primary School.

The characters were incredible and very entertaining. Uhm, did I mention the elves. And no, not the elves that live in the North Pole and help Santa Claus make toys for all the good boys and girls, but elves with magical abilities and amazing skin. Their amazing skin is referenced in almost every chapter.

Also, I forgot to mention, it’s a series. There are seven books! (Well, there goes my last week of vac)

If you’re looking for something fun and nostalgic to read, I’d highly recommend this book.

On to the next one…

Mahmooda xo

(All images by Google and Pinterest)

Pride and Prejudice | BOOKTALK

Pride and Prejudice was written by Jane Austen in 1796 and published in January 1813. The book follows the lives of Elizabeth Bennet and her family living in nineteenth- century England.

The book opens in the Bennet’s household where news has just reached that a wealthy young gentleman named Charles Bingley has recently moved into the Netherfield Park manor causing a big stir in the Longbourn village. Mrs Bennet who has five unmarried daughters, ( Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Lydia and Kitty) is desperate to see all her daughters married and hopefully to wealthy men. She begs Mr Bennet to go to Netherfield today a visit to its new owner. After entertaining the conversation, Mr Bennet reveals that he has, in fact, already been to Netherfield and that the family has been invited to a ball where Mr Bingley is said to make an appearance.

At the ball, Mr Bingley arrives, along with his sisters, brother-in-law and best friend Mr Darcy. Mr Bingley is very taken by Jane, the oldest Bennet and dances with her twice. Mr Darcy, however, is quiet and does not dance or talk to anyone. He is viewed as arrogant and conceited by the village people.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

The above quote is the first sentence of the book and possibly the most famous quote of the book. It highlights the ways in which society in the nineteenth century England viewed marriage and how desperate women of less socially advantageous families were to find husbands who had good fortune.

The book is filled with great characters, strong women who know their worth and will not settle for less that what they deserve. Men with enough passion and love to fill ships and a little dose of crazy family dynamics.

The book is an old classic and a must read.

(Images by Google and Pinterest)

2019 Resolutions.

Happy New Year Everyone.

I’m a bit late but you know what they say, better late than never, right?

I’ve kinda neglected my blog last year, for no particular reason at all. Maybe just laziness, I guess. But, I’m back and I’ve decided to fully commit to my blog this year.

I’ve recently finished watching Gilmore Girls and I loved it, #teamlogan. The characters are really funny and easy to relate to. For those who don’t know what Gilmore Girls is, it’s a tv show about a young, single mother Lorelai Gilmore and her teenage daughter Rory Gilmore. They live in a small town in Connecticut called Stars Hallow. The show highlights their lives and the lives of those closest to them over seven seasons. (In 2016, four new episodes of the show was released on Netflix including the highly anticipated “final four words” of the show.)

Over the course of the seven seasons, Rory reads an insane amount of books ranging from romance novels to thrillers, literature and autobiographies. The books she read all played a role in helping to shape her into the woman she later becomes.

“I live in two worlds, one is a world of books. I’ve been a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequot, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reily, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina and strolled down Swann’s Way. It’s a rewarding world.” – Rory Gilmore

In 2013, an Australian writer, Patrick Lenton complied a list of every book mentioned and referenced in Gilmore Girls to complete a challenge known as the “Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge”.

So, in honor of finally finishing the series, I’ve decided to challenge myself and try to read all 339 books by the end of this year. Some books I’ve already read. Yay! Others, I’ve never heard of and some I’m completely terrified of reading.

I thought I’d start off by reading Pride and the Prejudice by Jane Austen. Something sweet, something light.

I’m really looking forward to this challenge.

Wish me luck.

(Link to the reading list, Https://www.listchallenges.com)

(All images via Pinterest)

Top 10 Study Tips

With my June Exams right around the corner (next week), I thought I’d share some of the study tips I live by.

(Disclaimer: I am a science student, have been all my life, so most of the examples and pictures are science-y related but these are general tips and will work no matter what subject you’re studying.)

Anyways, let’s begin:

Study Tip #1Start studying early. Try planning your study schedule around your class and lecture timetable. Create a study timetable and planner two weeks before your exams begin. This makes it easier for you and you won’t have to pull all-nighters the night before your exam to cram everything.

STUDY PLANNER Study Planner Example. You can get more of these from www.chloeburroughs.com.

Study Tip #2Do not study for long periods at a time. Take short breaks. Example, If you’re studying for 1 hour, take a  10 minute break. If you’re studying for 2 hours, take a 20 minute break. Be careful, avoid studying for longer than 3 hours at a time. Your brain will tire and you won’t be able to retain the information you’re studying.

Study Tip #3: Use a note-taking style that works best for you such as, mindmaps, flashcards, etc when studying. I like to think of myself as more left-brain dominant so mindmaps and drawings never really worked for me. I always wrote lengthy summaries in bullet point form but I’ve had to adjust my study techniques this year as most of my work is based on drawings and pictures. Redraw diagrams or drawings and paste them up on your room wall or somewhere in your house, you pass often. I did this when I had to learn my Arabic vocabulary in high school and it worked like a bomb.

FLASHCARDS .jpeg

Study Tip #4: Try reading through your notes every day after class or lectures. This makes studying that topic easier as you’re already familiar with what you’re studying. If you have lecture slides, print them out before your lecture and make notes on them. This will save time as most lecturers repeat what’s written on their slides and you’ll be able to concentrate more instead of trying to write down everything your lecturer is saying.

NOTES .jpeg

Study Tip #5: Study somewhere you feel comfortable but not in your bed. You’ll be tempted to lie down and take a nap. Try studying at a desk. This will give you the exam room feeling and you’ll be able to concentrate more.

Study Tip #6: Start studying the things you find most difficult first.

Study Tip #7: Figure out what time of the day works best for you and study majority of your work at that time. I love studying at night as I’m calmer and retain more of the information than studying during the day. Even though I don’t like studying during the day, I usually revise whatever I studied the night before so that I remember the work I studied.

Study Tip #8: Reward yourself with a treat after studying, whether it’s a chocolate, hot bath or just an episode of your favourite TV show. This gives you the motivation to study.

Study Tip #9: We live in the age where technology is our best friend. Don’t be afraid to use the internet, youtube or various apps to help your study. I recently downloaded simulation apps to help me learn the different bones and muscles in the body, Essential Skeleton 3D and Muscles 3D. YouTube videos also help when you’re struggling to understand a certain topic or subject. I live by Khan Academy videos. Their videos are very detailed but also explain things in the simplest and easiest way to understand.

Study Tip #10: Last but not least, have a positive mindset. I know it can be very difficult when you have mountains of work to study but keep telling yourself that you can do it. One bad grade does not mean that you’re unable to pass that subject or class, YOU CAN DO IT.  INVICTUS QUOTE

Don’t forget to pray or make dua before and after you study. You can’t do anything without the help of God/Allah.

Here are some of my favourite prayers/duas to make:

DUAS

Good Luck to everyone starting exams and tests.

YOU CAN DO IT.

 

(Images via Pinterest and myself) 

(Apps were downloaded via Google Playstore)

New University, New me?

 

To say that the past few weeks have been challenging would be an understatement. From changing universities to meeting new friends, my life has taken an interesting turn. It’s not easy changing universities in the middle of the term, so why on earth did I do it?

To put it in simple terms, I just wasn’t happy. Don’t get me wrong, Stellenbosch is an amazing university with brilliant lecturers but it wasn’t for me. I took on way more than I could handle. Yes, I survived the first year but just barely. It truly was the toughest year of my life. I was way out of my comfort zone. I know that sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone to grow but for someone who doesn’t deal with change very well, it was difficult.

The adjustment from Stellenbosch to UWC has been somewhat easier. I’m more comfortable and calm now and I can honestly say that I love the course I’m studying. It might not be what I always dreamed of studying but I thoroughly enjoy going to class every day. ( I’m currently on vac and I seriously miss campus, weird I know lol). Being closer to home has also been a blessing, no more hour long drives to campus at the crack of dawn. The one thing I do miss about the long journey to campus are the endless naps I took in the morning and evening.

I’ve woken up every day, since my move to UWC, and asked myself if I’ve made the right decision and I think I have. I’m much happier, less stressed and enjoying university life. Although it is odd being in first year again and having to explain to people why at the beginning of the year I was in second year and now, a few months later, I’m back in first year (sometimes it gets confusing for me too).

I’ll always be forever grateful and thankful for all the people I met and friends I made last year. Friends that helped me grow and will forever have a place in my heart. I wish you all well in your respective courses and may all your dreams come true.

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Here’s to new beginnings x.

 

Reflecting on 2017

2017 has, by far, been one of the most challenging years of my life. It brought upon change, most of which I was unprepared for, and obstacles I wish I had been more equiped to handle. But, with one more day left of this year, I can proudly say: “I conquered 2017”.

The biggest challenge this year was starting university. Having come from an Islamic high school it was difficult for me to adapt to my new surroundings. I’ve always been very socially awkward and making friends has always proved to be a daunting task for me. Hence, I only managed to meet about 20 new people this year. A figure I take much pride in.

One thing I was not prepared for was the workload and pressure of university. I wish I could say that I adapted quickly to the demands of university but that would just be a lie.  It took me almost an entire semester (approximately 5 months) to figure out how to handle university life. It was tough. Waking up early every morning and travelling for an hour, back and forth, to university left me exhauseted by June. I ended up counting down the days to my final holiday which was something that surprised me. I’ve always been a fan of school. But, University was not school.

My biggest dream was to become a medical doctor, sometimes it still is. Unfortunately in high school, I was not able to achieve the grades needed to be accepted into medical school. I was heartbroken, I had my whole life planned out and everything just fell apart. I decided to study my second choice this year, in hopes of being able to apply to study medicine next year. However, I was unaware of the requirements needed to switch courses. Having been a fairly good student at high school, I thought I would be able to ace my tests and exams. Boy, was I wrong. I’ve never experienced so much failure in my entire school career as I did this year. I had no idea how to overcome it. I was dissappointed, frustrated and confused. It took me months, and multiple tests, to overcome my failure. But, alhamdulilaah I did it.

Another challenge this year was having to experience new things without my friends. In a way, I think I was glad that I was away from my frineds. Don’t get me wrong, if I could have had them by my side this year I would have been ecstatic. But, I think being away from them taught me how to stand on my own two feet and not hide behind the comfort of my friends.

However, this year has also brought me many good moments. Meeting new friends, discovering new passions, trying new things and also finally learning how to drive. The latter being something I’m still working on perfecting but hey, I drove to my friend’s house (which is a few roads away from me but whatever, it’s still an accomplishment, right?). I haven’t managed to get my driver’s license yet, an issue I manage to tackle in 2018.

So there you go, my 2017 in a nutshell.

I hope 2018 brings us more joy and meets all our expectations. Make the best of these last few hours of 2017 and have a happy new year.