Three of a Kind: Cutesy

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. Here’s something a little more mushy for a light sunday (said the lover of funny science fiction).

READ: Simon VS The Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

oreos + adorable protagonist + emails
Highlights: “White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”

Simon is the most adorable character ever. I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. The book had so much of positive energy and explored Simon coming out and dealing with the different facets of being a teenager in the best way possible.

WATCH: Inside Out

emotions as characters + sweet innocent Joy + life of a 11 year old
Highlights: Train of Thought

Adorable personified, literally. This show captures the workings of the brain in the simplest way possible- through animated characters that represent emotions. It’s so basic in thought yet exploding with creativity in implementation.

Watch: The Secret life of Walter Mitty

adorable shy guy + imaginative life + goes on an adventure
Highlights: Skating in Iceland

There’s a lot of whimsy in this movie and it will make you melt. Walter Mitty is a shy love struck guy who goes on an adventure and finds love. Its innocence and the beauty in the places he visits makes me forget how unrealistic the story is

While cutesy is so not my style, I think these cute stories are worth it. What would you add to this list?

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Three of a Kind: Extraordinary Women

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. If you know me, you’ll know that I am in awe of the movie Hidden Figures. This post is to celebrate women just like those.

READ: Warbreaker by BRandon Sanderson

two sisters + color-based fantasy + a sword as a character
Highlights: the character, Lightsong and his sass

While there were main characters besides the sisters, these sisters were the main catalysts to the plot and the real heroes at the end of the book. This epic fantasy knocks every other out of the park. I mean, did I already mention that a sword is a character?

WATCH: Hidden Figures

true story of women at NASA + first woman engineer+ woman who put man in space
Highlights: Fierce trailblazing women

Not only does it show how NASA got its first man into space, but it shows the women behind it, and the adversity they faced to be where they were. I love how the movie talks about the race issue in America and the fact that it’s a true story just adds to its appeal.

Watch: Jessica Jones

heroine with superpower strength + persevered despite PTSD + fierce AF
Highlights: Her fighting skills!

Well produced tv show with the bold Jessica Jones, I haven’t seen a show that portrays internalized thoughts so well. It also addresses abuse and PTSD so bonus points for not trying to glaze over the tough stuff.

Bonus: Scars to your beautiful

I bet there’s a lot more fiction that portray powerful women but my library of read books in this category is tiny. So, what would you recommend?

Three of a Kind: Creepy Reality

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. This week, we look at odd and creepy fiction that’s so close to reality. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a low-key upside down story?

READ: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Library of the dead + strong main character + themes of depression
Highlights: You can smell the haunted vibes in the story.

There’s a thin line between the living and the dead and Schwab has perfectly imagined it. I have never come across a world so vivid with its elements of fantasy that mix well with reality. (I want to say more but oh god, it’s too good to be spoiled)

WATCH: Stranger Things

set in the 80s + scientific mishap + character with absurd powers
Highlights: Upside Down (that’s all I can say)

There’s isn’t much you can say about Stranger Things without spoiling it. There is a lot of scientific exploration that is seen in the show. The themes of familial affection as well as platonic loyalty is my favorite. More shows need to take note!

LISTEN: Welcome to Night Vale

Paranormal shit happens + People take it as normal + weirdest government body
Highlights: There is an eternal animal pier to toss animals that fall out of the sky.

Scores of people have tried to describe this podcast and have failed. In a radio format, this podcast gives a glimpse into the strange town of Night Vale, where newspaper stands sell milk and newly installed dog parks are not allowed for people or dogs.

What odd and creepy books, movies or shows would you recommend?

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Step aside, Harry Potter universe. The next best world building is in town.

If I had to describe the magical aspect of this book with one word, it would be minimalism. I grasped the elements very easily but that doesn’t make it any less incredible. I love how compact the world building is yet, so rich. I always fear that a fantasy novel would take long, descriptive passages that sound like a textbook to explain its history but books like ADSOM really ease that doubt. The book talked about the worlds’ pasts like they were anecdotes. Lightly but not diminishing its seriousness.

World building that is this vivid is remarkable and if I hadn’t read Schwab’s works before, I would be genuinely surprised. Her books have a distinguishable style- that is, to create a world closely knit to reality but with a load of fantasy elements that Schwab sculpted out of thin air.

Let’s inspect these fine characters, shall we? Kell, with a stiff exterior and a complex web of interior. Lila, with her heart made of steel and her knives full of love. Rhys, the ever charming prince who is so much more than that. The character in this series have so much stuff that makes them who they are; layers that define them and help develop them as they proceed.

This series is going to be around for a long time- with the collector’s edition coming up and the TV series that’ll release sometime in the future. And if we run out of that, there are the infinite fan fictions to try (if one is brave enough).

Three of a Kind: No Speed Limits

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. I don’t drive but if I did, these would certainly be the reason I’d have countless speeding tickets.

This post is in honor of the Formula One championships. I’m an avid fan and whee, I can’t wait for the second round tomorrow! (9 April)

READ: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Ronan + cars + racing said cars
Highlights: A hundred white Mitsubishis.

The second book in the series The Raven Cycle, The Dream Thieves is thrilling AF. Yes, the abundance of cars as well as the chapters with Ronan’s BMW are perfect for this theme but more so, this book has a rush of dark energy that stays with you long after your read.

WATCH: Mad Max: Fury Road

Violence while driving + racing through the desert + big bulky monster automobiles
Highlights: So. Many. Stunts.

I love the characters and how gritty the entire movie is. It’s a chase across the apocalypse ridden land. The monster-like automobiles are so cool and the violence that ensues between the chase is excellent.

LISTEN: Songs by Halsey

Drive + Gasoline + Hurricane
Highlights: “All we do is drive”

While her newer songs are so not my style, her album Badlands is perfect for this set. There’s a lot of adrenaline in the songs and with titles like Drive and Gasoline, the mood is set.

What would you add to these clutch burning numbers?

Prescription for a Reading Slump

Reading Slump [n]

A sudden severe or prolonged loss of interest in reading, with or without reason. The experience varies for each reader who experiences it.


We’ve been there. The dire drought of literature in our minds, the absence of fantasy or character bromance in your heart. But no amount of persuasion or force will give you the strength to pick up a book. Sometimes it’s caused by a rotten book. Some instances, you pick up the slump after reading your next favorite book. Sadly, this happens more often than not when life is pretty rocky for you.

It sucks. I’ve been down this road too many a times. Here are a few ways that have helped me to tackle this Monstrous Fiction Blocker (trademarking this, for sure).
note: I do not consider myself a specialist. These techniques have helped me personally and I hope it helps you too.

Read Your Darlings

Pick up your favorite book ever and slowly immerse yourself. You already know what happens so you’ll be relaxed and reliving the exciting moments from the book. Reminding yourself what made you fall in love with reading in the first place can help to revive feeling in your reading limbs. 

Pick Up a Light Read

This is my way to not think and just read for the sake of it. I usually pick up contemporary romance books- the cutesy ones that don’t require me to invest my emotions into. This keeps my expectations low. While there is trouble in starting the book, the rest is smooth sailing and before you know it, you’re back to your scheduled TBR.

Try a New Genre

You’d be surprised how a new genre can light up your brain. When picking up a genre you usually never touch, your brain can’t fathom how absurd the action is, lighting up your thinking cogs.  In essence, surprise yourself.
I picked up this idea when I heard about the whole concept that your brain is usually on autopilot and anything new makes you pull the emergency brake.

Indulge in FAN FICTION

Embarrassing as it might be, it’s fun to see alternative realities of familiar worlds. It’ll either be enjoyable or it’ll be so repulsive (like the Draco Malfoy and Apple fan fiction) that you will question everything you know and get back to fiction that won’t creep you out.

Let It Go

Sometimes, the best way to deal with a problem is letting it go. Seriously, try a new hobby, or watch videos or binge watch that show you’ve always wanted to. Destress yourself and come back to reading with a fresher mind.

Reading slumps rob you from the joy you’d only get from devouring books. I hope that these tips have been helpful.

Do you have any tricks to tackle your reading slumps? Tell me your secret!

Three of a Kind: Strange Worlds

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. Starting the series with Strange Worlds because science fiction is my jam!

READ: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adam

Space + odd characters + a guide to space travel
Highlights: Towels are important in this world.

It starts with the world ending. Douglas Adam makes such vivid worlds and doesn’t miss a chance to poke fun at the oddities of Earth through good ol’ alien interactions. The rulebook ties it together. The imaginative world(s) in this book know no boundaries.

WATCH: Rick and Morty

Time and space travel + alternate realities + scientist grandfather
Highlights: An infinite number of alternate realities exist.

Rick and Morty is an animated show about a scientist and his grandson. What I love about the show is the sociopathic tendencies of the scientist and how it explores parallel universe, time travel and more. This is only a glimpse of the mind-blowing concepts the show reaches into.

LISTEN: SONGS BY DAVID BOWIE

Space Oddity + Ziggy Stardust + Moonage Daydream
Highlights: Goes perfectly with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I recommend everything by David Bowie. Upbeat, his music is full of life and sets the scene for you while reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Any strange worlds you think would fit the bill? Tell me about it!

Launching this series after a month of fidgeting and planning. It was so much fun writing this and the upcoming ones in the series. I would love your suggestions and topics for future Three of a Kind posts. What would you like to see?

Stereotypes 101: Bugs in My Contemporary

I recently read a book whose stereotypes frustrated me, raved to Sana and Maraia about it and when that didn’t suffice, I came up with a post series to blow off some steam!

Stereotypes 101 is a way for me to blow off some steam caused by the frustrating stereotypes that frequent my pages. Seriously, no amount of insecticide can get rid of these overused ideas.

I love a light contemporary on those hectic days I have no time to get emotional over fantasy. I’m not one to get coy about how I read fluffy books but I am a stickler for my books to reflect a certain standard in plot and character. I’ve had too many instances when I pick up a contemporary as a break between an epic fantasy and end up stuck with a story that approve shitty behavior.

The bad boy/ the mystery boy

Listen, I love a troubled guy with an ink sleeve as much as the next person but please stop and think how tired this trope must be? It’s so worn out, it’s not even interesting anymore. So many books feature this ridiculous character to add colour and flair to the story. It isn’t the guy I have a problem with as much as it is how flat and sans personality he is made out to be.
Books That Discard It: Simon VS The Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Makeover

Let’s focus on the root problem. Cinderella brought this over from the dark side. But surely, this 300 year old trope can’t still exist?! Wrong! While it may not be overused, I bet that the few books that do work this stereotype are enough mess with female readers’ heads and make them feel like they aren’t good enough. And we wonder why girls have a complex about their looks.
Books That Discard It: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cheating

Urgh, no. Not even a kiss. Not even if the person in the relationship runs away after and the other person mumbles apologies. This basically shows how little the third person is valued by his/her significant other. How is it okay for book characters to get together if the same situation would be viewed horribly in real life?! There may be books that use it as a reflection of life or to prove a valid book. But it will never ever be appropriate to write in cheating for the sake of it and using it as a way to progress your plot or as a plot twist is just

Damsel in Distress

Yes, women can get emotional and sometimes, have trouble lifting heavy things. But, our sensitivity is a catharsis and books need to use this as a tool to bring out the bolder us (just like in real life). So, if a guy rolls in just in time to comfort the girl, proudly call bullshit on that. And fast.
Books that Discard It: Glory O’ Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King.

What stereotype(s) in contemporary have you steaming? Rant away in the comments!

Smart by Kim Slater

Everyone compares this book to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”. It’s so much more than that.

smart-synopsis

 

 

The book just mentions that Kieran has “special” needs but through the narration, it’s apparent that he has autism. A mark of a well-told story. What interested me most was how Slater took a plain and day-to-day plot and transformed it to highlight Kieran’s character and reaction to it.

Also, emotions: in every situation, you could hear his mood coming off the words. Slater wrote Kieran so well that I could feel his anxiety.

Accurately showing autism with no hitches in pace, it’s no mystery why I love this book. It’s short, sweet and leaves your heart filled. I can’t wait for A Seven Letter Word!

Have you read a book that gives justice to a mental illness? Talk to me about it! Have you read Smart yet?