Tag

90s Kids book tag

Hello everyone!

Happy Valentine’s day first of all! I hope you will have an amazing day, even if you don’t have special someone.

Today, I’ll be doing the 90s kids book tag today that I found over on Dora’s blog. It sounded so interesting and I’m 90s kid so why not do it?!

THE RULES

  1. Please, please, please steal this tag and spread it around!  I only ask that you link it back to The Literary Phoenix so that I can see everyone’s answers!
  2. Freeze tag was all the rage in the 90s.  Tag someone (or many) you think would have fun with this!
  3. Have fun!

POKEMON:

A GBA game and trading card game where you battled pocket monsters and strived to catch them all.  Back in the day, there were only 150 Pokemon.

The author you need every book from.

  • I would say that it is Jenny Colgan.

AIM

AOL Instant Messaging – how 90s kids communicated with their friends after school before everyone had a cell phone.

Book that connected you with your best friend.

  • Ugh, my best friend isn’t really a reader but my other one.. I would say it was Captive Prince. She read it cause I talked too much about it. But aside the best friend, the book that connected me more to Dora was Six of crows.

FURBY

Creepy needy robots you could teach to talk and were probably demon possessed.  Somehow these made a comeback?

Book that seemed like a good idea but was actually a monster.

  • I’m not really sure of it. The passage by Justin Cronin?

N’SYNC

90s quintessential boy band. You may have heard of Justin Timberlake?

A book you hated to say Bye, Bye, Bye to.

  • Kings Rising by C.S.Pacat. I want more of the Captive Prince books

SLIMED!

Getting green slime thrown on you, courtesy of the show Figure it Out.  Also apparently still a thing at the Kid’s Choice Awards?

A book everyone loved but you hated.

  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I don’t know what was amazing about that book but it didn’t really amaze me personally :/

OREGON TRAIL

90s computer game you could usually play at school, which was great.  It taught us people used to die a lot of gruesome, messy deaths.

A book that made you wish you died of dysentery.

  • Antigona by Sofoklo. I had to read it in school and, gosh, I couldn’t even swallow it down. 

MIXTAPE/CD

Back before everyone had music on their phones (remember, we didn’t have cell phones!) folks would rip their CDs and make mixes for each other.

3 books you recommend to anyone, anywhere, no matter what.

  1. Captive Prince 
  2. The plot
  3. Discovery of witches

DIAL-UP INTERNET

You know how it’s annoying when you aren’t on LTE?  IMAGING WAITING 10 MINUTES FOR INTERNET TO START AND ANOTHER 20 MINUTES FOR GOOGLE TO LOAD!

A book that took FOR FREAKING EVER to read.

  • Uhm, I think it would be “U registraturi” by Ante Kovačić (croatian writer). Had to read it for school and it was so long and so gosh..

KENAN THOMPSON

He’s that guy who’s been on SNL forever.  Also Mighty Ducks.  Good Burger.  Keenan and Kel.  All That.  Everything.

That book that you see referenced everywhere and is in everything, but that’s okay because it’s awesome.

  • I would say Harry Potter but I love it. I’m a huge fan of HP and a Potterhead, proud Ravenclaw so I enjoy it.

THUMBS UP, SEVEN UP

A game where most the class closed their eyes and seven people tapped someone’s thumb and you had to guess who did it without peeking.

Book where you peeked just REAL quick at the ending because you don’t like guessing games.

  • I can’t remember the book where I’ve read that. I have been tempted to do that but I know that it will just ruin the whole book so I don’t do it. I like getting to know the ending myself

DUNKAROOS

These were basically just Teddy Grahams dipped in frosting, which is still a wonderful snack idea.

Your ideal bookish snack.

  • Omg, I don’t eat while reading. I would probably just ruin my book by eating. I like to drink tea or just water, but eating is a big no.

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

Collections of short stories that would scare any sensible kid!  Plus, there were illustrations…

A book that kept you up all night.

  • I don’t read horrors so I don’t stay up for that. I only once stayed up reading.

BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY

Basically the coolest thing you got to do in science class was watch Bill Nye.  He has a Netflix show again!

A book that taught you something new.

  • Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen > sort of a biography of a woman who, as a teenager, fell into a pit of drugs and alcohol but found her way out through yoga. She is really inspiring person anyway and I’m following her on instagram. Maybe one day I will be able to travel to Aruba and do her yoga class.

This tag is open for everyone who wants to do it!

With love,

Ana

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Review

Review: Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

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Title: Body Positive Power
Author: Megan Jayne Crabbe aka bodypositivepanda
Genre: non-fiction, self-help
Pages: 288
Publisher: Vermilion

We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but the truth is that our bodies are not the problem. How we’ve been taught to see them is the problem… it’s time for us all to stop believing the lies, and take our power back.

Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. Then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are. If you’re tired of being at war with your body, then this book is for you.

With her inimitable flair, whip-smart wit and kickass attitude, Megan argues for a new way of seeing ourselves, and a world where every body is celebrated. Where there is no such thing as a ‘bikini body diet’ and 97% of women don’t hate the way they look. 

A powerful call to arms as much as it is inspirational and practical, this book is the life-changing answer you’ve been looking for.

Review:

This book is the first one I’ve read on body positivity and self love and I’m glad it is. It is a huge eye opener to the number 1 problem in the world. The one that mostly hits girls but the boys as well. The dieting problem! The I-Need-To-Lose-Weight problem!

Everything that you have believed about diets and everything that you thought you knew about dieting will probably fall in water. And by dieting, I mean the diets where you restrict yourself of the food(s). Did you know that the girls at the age of 8 start dieting and losing weight? Just because they are constantly bombarded with photos of the thin and photo-shopped bodies, bodies got only with working out and having an addiction to it, bodies that only 5% of people own.

Remember how often you have seen some ad where the person wasn’t thin and was perfect in any way possible. Not really that often, right?! It is not only weight but the hair, nails, eyes, skin.. Everything is attacking us and, yet, we asks ourselves why majority of people have body image issues. How often have you heard from your family members that you need to lose weight? As if your weight is the most important thing in the world and nothing else matters. I know that I’ve heard it more than enough to have body image issues with 25 years and that it is hard to get rid of them. Let’s also start from ourselves; how often have you acknowledged someone losing weight and how they look like before we acknowledged something else?

Do you really know what’s, or better said who’s, behind all those dieting programs? The multi billionaire companies ready to get your money from diet programs, pills, teas and so on.

Throughout the books, you will find the stats that support something that is written; which I find amazing. Also, all those Belly love tips! I loved those a lot because we are often attacking our belly as if it has done everything wrong in our life. Instead showing it love and care. Instead showing our whole body love and care that it deserves.

So, may 2018 be the year where you will fall in love with yourself. And read this book, find Megan on youtube and other social media (bodyposipanda on Instagram).

Rating: 5* out of 5

With love,

Ana

Review

Book tour & Review: Perfect match by Zoe May

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Title: Perfect match
Author: Zoe May
Genre: Chick lit, Romance
Pages: 252
Format: ebook
Publisher: HQ Digital

Can you ever find true love online?
Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…
After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.
Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?
A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

Review:
I couldn’t really believe that this is a debut novel. It is surely very well written for a debut novel and all praise to Zoe for that. I could only hope that my debut novel can end up being great like this.

Although, I bet there are a lot of books written with a theme of online dating, this was my first one that I’ve ever read with this subject. Online dating is something almost completely normal in today’s world and society. People don’t have time to go out and meet other people. Others are just using it for sex. Others to just have fun and enjoy embarrassing people. That’s why, you have to be careful. As if you don’t need to be careful outside of online dating but you know what I mean.

Our main character, Sophia, has been doing online dating for a long time already (she has been to almost 80 dates!) but she has yet to meet her perfect guy. This is a very well written character and I really could’ve find myself in her. There were a lot of points where I was like “I feel you girl, I feel you”.

I enjoyed the way this book is written; it was funny, easy to read but yet it had depth. I’ve read somewhere that this is a perfect book for those who aren’t familiar with romance genre to read it. And I totally agree! The theme is modern and it has a nice strong message for all the women (and, of course, men) out there.

We often are looking for a perfect partner; height, weight, built, eye color, work place, money.. We are looking for that and while looking for that, we don’t realize that our perfect partner is actually standing in front of us or has been standing all this time. Someone who understands you and has been your friend maybe. Or someone you have just befriended? Ideal partner is there to be ideal but it is hard to find that ideal! And if we find one; if it sounds too good to be true, then it is.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in romance or maybe wants to try reading it for the first time. Amazingly written novel!

Rating: 4* out of 5

With love,
Ana

TBR

My TBR Wishlist for 2018

Hello!
Well, you might think “What in the hell is this title?” but let me explain it to you shortly. I wanted to set some reading goal for this year. Goal of the books that I want to read for sure this year. I hope that I will be able to read them all but let’s stay optimistic.

  1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
  2. How to be a woman by Caitlin Moran
  3. The power of now by Eckhart Tolle
  4. Lean in by Sheryl Sandburg
  5. Women who run with wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  6. Get Psychic!: Discover your hidden powers by Stacey Wolf
  7. Finish Throne of glass series by Sarah J. Maas
  8. Read more books by Jenny Colgan
  9. Read more LGBTQ+ books
As you may see, most of the books on this list are non fiction. I would love to read romance books, even more of those but I also want to read my non fiction books. I want to work on my spirituality and I feel like this year could be changing for my spiritual path. That’s why! Also, I want to read more on feminism.
Tell me about your reading goals or hopes for 2018.
With love,
Ana
Monthly wrap up

Best Books read in 2017

Hello everyone!

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! May this one be better than the last one and may this one rock. I hope you’ve spent awesome holidays with your families, friends or even alone if you were alone. Let me reflect shortly on the past year in my life. It has been a year of ups and downs for sure. I’ve turned 25 in March! I’m not should I celebrate it or not, but hey, let’s just put that fact down. I’ve went to an amazing kpop concert by my favorite kpop band B.A.P. Maybe you don’t know that about me, but I’m a kpop fan. It was in May and I traveled with my friend to Frankfurt. On our way back, we’ve met another fan and we are befriended with that girl until now. Talking about kpop, I started listening to an awesome band that I have never thought I will listen. Also, one friendship broke because I started to listen to that band. I have finished my school for a hairdresser in Germany (I’m originally from Croatia and it was my second school to finish). It was a big step for me and also a big thing for me. Finishing school in a foreign country while my family lives 1700km away from me. I have awesome family here and I had awesome support for the exam (support didn’t include my boss, sadly). Talking about my boss, last 2 months have been really mentally hard on me with her bullying me non stop and telling me how I won’t do an exam good cause I’m not good enough. But on 16th of July 2017 I showed her that I’m stronger and better than she thought I am. I also landed awesome job at the beginning of May (I think). A job where I can go with a smile on my face and am truly happy when I come to the office. The guys are so nice and accepting. I also had a loooooong holidays over the summer. Long meaning more than a month. In the summer, I also became an aunt for the 2nd time. This time to a cutest baby girl in the whole wide world (I may be biased). Also, I got a tickets for Harry Potter and Cursed Child in London (22nd Sept). Is anyone else there on this date? 😀 I started changing mentally as well, decided to work harder on my blog (which is my goal of 2018, but more about that in one of the next posts). All in all, this past year may have not be that good but it was good as well. I’m sure that 2018 will be much better year for me!
Since it is my first post of 2018, I wanted to make a list of the best books that I’ve read in 2017. I’ve read 27 books all together in the past year, all of them by female authors! My year started with “If I was your girl” by Meredith Russo and ended with “Christmas at the dancing duck” by Daisy James.

Top books read in 2017:
– Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (review coming in this year)
– Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo (thank you Dora for pushing me to read this one)
– War Cross by Marie Lu
– The book of life by Deborah Harkness
– Celebrity by Melinda de Ross

The books are in no particular order (aside maybe number 1). Those were awesome books that I’ve read in the last year. Let’s see how will 2018 go. I have to set myself some goals soon but one of the posts will be about it only.

Till the next time,
Ana

Review

Book tour & review: Christmas at the Dancing Duck by Daisy James

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Title: Christmas at the Dancing Duck
Auhor: Daisy James
Genre: Chick lit, Romance, Christmas
Pages: 337 
Format: ebook
Publisher: HQ Digital

A wonderfully festive romantic read to curl up with this Christmas.
The most wonderful time of the year!

Kirstie Harrison is finally coming home for the holidays. Ever since tragedy struck a few years ago, Christmas hasn’t felt the same – but she’s determined that this year will be different…
And staying at the family pub, The Dancing Duck, means it’s impossible not to get caught up in the little village of Cranbury’s festive traditions. And it’s equally impossible to avoid her ex, Josh Turner!
Kirstie is torn between making this the best Christmas yet and knowing that she can’t stay forever. Maybe it’s time to make a holiday wish of her own…?
Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley.

Review:
Some people really hate Christmas and everything about it; from how people to act to the smells associated with Christmas. Kirstie is one of those people. But when her hate ruins her career what should she do then?

I have to admit that when I started reading the book, I wasn’t that sure will I like it or not. I was slightly annoyed by Kirstie and how is she acting. She was grieving and was in pain because of what has happened. But to me, she sounded like a whiny girl. But throughout the book, I started to love her. She had her moments where she annoyed me but they were less than in the beginning.

The Dancing Duck seems like a sort of a pub that I would like to visit; it is homey and welcoming and they seem to have a nice drinks. It is that sort of a pub that a small village has and everyone just gathers there to drink and chat. My grandma is coming from a small island and they also have a bar like that. In the evenings, everyone gathers there to talk. But that is happening in the summer since there is almost no one living there in the winter.

Josh as a main guy was sadly a bit plain. I wanted to see and hear more of him. For me, he wasn’t in the book enough. He was hurt by Kirstie and it is understandable that he is mad at her. But their love-comeback was a bit too quick. I wish that we have heard more of his side and how was he feeling through the time and how was he feeling as she was going out with the other guy.

I loved everything they did with The Dancing Duck at the end; all of those festivities and contests that were held there. And all the festive food! It was amazing how community can make a lot of things different. Thankfully, the pub was saved in the end by one boring painting (or so at least everyone thought).

I loved the character of Emma! I loved her so much! Her energy and her persona was amazing. She seems to be sort of a care-free spirit/person and it pulled me towards her. And I wish to see her jewelry collection and what is she making. She seems to be a great friend to Kirstie as well which is we all need when we are going through the shit.

All in all, I loved this story. It wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t the complete fail either. The setting was amazing, the way story worked was really good. The village community is the bomb! 🙂 Food? Have I talked about the food made by that french chef? Where does he live so that I can visit him and eat that delicious food that he is making?!

Thanks to HQ Digital for this blog tour and a chance to review this wonderful book.

Rating: 4*out of 5

Please, make sure to check out other reviews on this blog tour:
Dancing Duck blog tour

With love,

Ana

Review

Book tour & review: Christmas at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennet

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Title: Christmas at Butterfly Cove
Author: Sarah Bennett
Genre: Chick lit, CHRISTMAS
Pages: 139
Format: pdf
Publisher: HQ Digital

All she wants for Christmas…
When talented artist Nee Sutherland returns to Butterfly Cove for her sister’s wedding, it’s only a matter of time before she has to face her own bridegroom – Luke Spenser – the man she impulsively married, then left in the middle of the night.
Nee hasn’t picked up her paintbrushes in months, a part of her is broken. She knows Luke might never forgive her, leaving him was the biggest mistake of her life – but could coming home for Christmas be the best decision she’s ever made?
Maybe all she needs is a little Christmas miracle…
 

Review:
When I started reading this book, I didn’t know it is a part of a series (trilogy) but I can say that it can totally be read as a stand alone. I plan to purchase first two books because I really want to see the character development first hand. The characters are great in this story, don’t get me wrong, but I need to read the first two books.

I really LOVED this book. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how I feel about it but deeper I went into it, the more I fell for it, for the characters. The story is chick-lit and romance but it is nothing typical or something I’ve came across already. I know that I have a lot of romance books to read yet, but I’ve read a lot of them as well. I was glad that this story left me surprised at some parts and at others left me laughing and crying.

What got me to love this books are two things. Aside the setting and the idea and everything surrounding it. I couldn’t help but imagine the Butterfly Cove and having a big huge Christmas with so many people. It must be stressful, yet so beautiful to spend Christmas with a family and friends. But let’s go back to those things:

  1. Character development of Nee – My gosh! I wasn’t sure will I like her at the beginning but, damn it, as her story unfolded I couldn’t help but to fall for her. The way her art was taken away from her is something that sadly happens often. Not the stealing of art but the way what led her to lose her motivation to paint. Every week, we have a case of this happening and yet nothing has been changing in the world. But even after all this happened, I was proud that Nee has found strength to go back to her art and to let it all out through her art. I’m not a painter, I’m a writer so I often get my emotions out with putting them on the paper. My mom is a painter and I can’t really imagine her anymore without painting. Nee is one of a hella strong characters out there and all the props to her for overcoming what she overcame with support of others.
  2. Male character that is not wearing pants in the marriage – Okay, this may sound weird but I loved how one male character (that’s often mentioned in the book) is actually full of emotions and shows them. And openly says that he loves when his wife takes a lead of keeping their household together and being all organised. In some parts of the world, it is still looked down upon when the women are taking a lead so I think that this being a part of a chick lit novel is an awesome thing. The woman character I’m talking about here (K), is an awesome and strong character. One more reason why I want to read the other two books in a trilogy.

I suggest everyone to read this book if you want something cosy to read why you are curled up with a cup of tea in your hand.

I want to thank HQ Digital for sending me this book for a review.

Rating: 5* out of 5

With love,

Ana