Bookish Corner

First Lines Fridays – January 31st, 2020.

This is my first time participating in the First Lines Fridays. I’m so excited!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The First Lines:

The stranger came out of the sea like a water ghost, barefoot and wearing the scars of his journey. He walked as if drunk through the haze of mist that clung like spidersilk to Seiiki.

The Book…

“The Priory of the Orange Tree” by Samantha Shannon

Book Cover taken from GoodReads

Synopsis taken from GoodReads:

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Let me know in the comments if you have read “The Priory of the Orange Tree” or if you are planning on reading it. What were your thoughts on it?

Bookish Corner

Weekly Quote – January 28th

This is a new feature where each week I will add a quote to my blog. It will be from a book I’m currently reading, one I just finished or an old favorite.

This week’s Quote is from a book I’m currently reading:

“He stalked across the room like he wanted to wage war, but he kisses me like I’m the most delicate thing in the castle.” ❤️

― Brigid Kemmerer, A Heart So Fierce and Broken

Now it’s your turn! Let me know in the comments what’s your favorite quote of the week.

Bookish Corner

“A Curse So Dark And Lonely” by Brigid Kemmerer

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”

― Brigid Kemmerer, “A Curse So Dark and Lonely”

I have heard so much about this book. I wanted to read it when it came out in 2019 but for some reason I always put it off. Last week I decided it was time to read it and I completely devoured it.

Wow! Just Wow! This retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” was nothing like what I expected. I loved the diversity of the characters and the representation of Cerebral Palsy. The author was able to craft an amazing story full of action-packed moments.

I loved the romance between Rhen and Harper. I really enjoyed their progress and how it was not love at first sight. It gave the reader a chance to really get to know the characters.

Harper’s character was fantastically written. I liked the fact that she was not a damsel in distress and she could take matters into her own hands.

The romance was not the main focus of the novel, but I loved the playful banter between Rhen and Harper. To be honest, the ending was not what I expected romance-wise but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I definitely wanted more! Still, I understand the author needs to end the book in a certain way for the next installment.

The plot was really well thought out. I was caught by surprise multiple times and that ending was truly amazing!

I’m not gonna lie, I already started reading the second book “A Heart So Fierce And Broken” and I’m a little scared. I don’t like to know too much about a book before reading it, but I know this one is a little different from the first. If you have read the first book and already started the second one, you’ll understand what I mean.

Anyways, I’m sure I have nothing to worry about. I loved the first book and will love the second too. I’m here for the long run!

Let me know in the comments if you have read “A Curse So Dark And Lonely” or if you are planning to read it. What were your thoughts on it?

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Bookish Corner

Weekly Quote – January 22nd

This is a new feature where each week I will add a quote to my blog. It will be from a book I’m currently reading, one I just finished or an old favorite.

This week’s Quote is from an old favorite:

“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”

― Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

Now it’s your turn! Let me know in the comments what’s your favorite quote of the week.

Bookish Corner

Mini-Review: “Waiting for Tom Hanks” by Kerry Winfrey

My Tom Hanks is out there, and I’m not going to settle until I find him.”

– Kerry Winfrey, “Waiting for Tom Hanks”

I read this book a while ago, but for some reason, I never wrote a review. Which makes no sense since I loved it with all my heart ❤️

This book is so cheesy and cute. I think I was smiling from page 1 to 259. It made me imagine what it would be like if my life would suddenly become a romantic comedy *sighs*

This book may not have all the ingredients for an extraordinary plot, but at the time it was my perfect read. “Waiting for Tom Hanks” is so much fun and by the time you are finished with it, you’ll want to watch all the rom-coms. Especially the ones featuring Tom Hanks.

Annie Cassidy is the main character and I love how her dating expectations come from endlessly watching romantic comedies. I totally understand her! That’s exactly me, but with books. She meets this hot actor and… I’ll stop there, I’m sure you don’t want any spoilers.

If you are in the mood for a cute and extremely romantic story, this is the book for you! I definitely recommend it!

My Rating: 4/5 stars.

Bookish Corner

Back to School-Bookish Edition

The month of January means a lot of things: the New Year, Bookish Reading Challenges, etc. However, for students is also the beginning of a new school semester 😒

All in all, this is a very special semester because after 4 years, it is my last. Soon I’ll be able to walk the stage and get my bachelor’s degree *insert happy dance here* To be completely honest, I feel scared but excited at the same time. I can’t wait to begin a new chapter in my life.

In the spirit of the new semester, I thought it would be appropriate to do a Back to School Tag / Discussion. I recently saw the Back to School Book Tag on As Told By Tina and I definitely wanted to answer some of the questions. Make sure to check out her blog and her answers to the Book Tag. In addition, I wanted to mix things up so I added a few extra questions to discuss.

Book Tag

English/Language Arts – Name your favorite author’s (or books) writing style.

Oh God, there are so many! I would definitely say Leigh Bardugo. “Six of Crows” is one of my favorite books of all times.

Science – A book that really made you think or question things.

I’m sure there are so many. I don’t know why but the first one that comes to mind is “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It is such a rewarding and phenomenal story. For sure, it is a book that should be read more than once in order to grasp its true meaning.

Social Studies/History – Your favorite book from a different time period.

I have many favorites but “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne, has a very special place in my heart. It brought me to tears!

Lunch – A food from a book you would love to try.

I would love to try the Chocolate and Three King’s Bread recipe from “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel. A novel I read a long time ago and really enjoyed. There are so many amazing recipes in this book.

Extra Credit – A book someone else told you to read and you ended up enjoying it.

“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins. A friend of mine told me to read it, that I was going to love it. She wasn’t wrong; it is by far one of my favorite contemporary romances.

Back to School Discussion

Do you enjoying reading when you are at school?

Yes! During the semester I spent most of my time in school, so I cannot rely on the time I’m at home to do my reading for the day. By reading at school, I get a chance to refresh my mind from all the lectures. It is also the perfect way for me to change up my reading locations and make my reading time more unique.

Do you have any favorite places to read at school?

I would definitely say the school library or if I’m in the mood for a more busy environment, the Bookstore’s Starbucks. Oh, there are also these little tables with umbrellas that you can find all around campus. I love seating in one of those tables, especially on Fall or earlier in the year when the weather is perfect.

On the other hand, I don’t usually read when going from one class to the next, just because I tend to bump into people (I do some reading like that sometimes, but I have to be hooked on a book to risk it, hahaha) 😅

Do you have a specific time at school when you can read the most?

Like most students, my schedule is very different each semester. In this semester most of my classes are in the afternoon but I’m usually at school early in the morning (otherwise this girl won’t find a parking spot 🤦🏻‍♀️ … By the way, is parking a common issue in every university?)🤔

Anyways, if I don’t have any exams or assignments, I read until I have to leave for my class. These are my favorite days because I can get so much reading done and be completely relaxed. There are other days (least favorites, of course) where I don’t have the morning off… but I have some time between classes. I try to find somewhere to sit (sometimes the library or the little tables I mentioned above) and read on my phone 📚

Imagine you have the chance to open a magical portal in the basement of your school library and travel to any special place of choice (fictional or not) to read. Where would you go?

I would definitely choose one of two places. The Hogwarts library or Belle’s library from the “Beauty and the Beast”.

The Hogwarts Library because let’s face it, who hasn’t imagined themselves reading by one of the windows, being completely surrounded by the magnificent architecture and the extraordinary carved wood bookshelves *sighs*

Belle’s library is the dream of every book lover. The colors, the curtains, the tall ceilings, the books, every detail… 😍 Where is that magical portal when you need it!!!

Any specific books or book quotes you like to read to motivate yourself for the next semester?

First of all let me just say that Pinterest is truly a wonderful place! You can find anything in there. I tend to pin a lot of quotes from books, especially those that motivate me and push me to be better. If you want to check out my Book Quotes Pinterest Board or any other of my Bookish Pinterest Boards, check out the Medically-Bookish Book Blog on Pinterest.

Two of my favorite Book Quotes are:

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

– J.K. Rowling

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”

– Mason Cooley

I hope you guys enjoy this Back to School Bookish Edition! Feel free to participate in the Book Tag. I would love to read some of your answers for the Discussion Questions. Remember, even though the theme is Back to School, all questions can also be applied to those who are back at work. The key is to have a lot of fun with your answers!

Bookish Corner

This or That Book Tag

This is my first Book Tag and I’m so excited to share my answers! I recently saw this Book Tag on BooksTune and I considered myself tagged. Make sure to check out her blog!

1-) Reading on the couch or on the bed?

I’m the type of person that can read anywhere, just give me a book. For the sake of this question, I would say definitely the bed. I’m a night owl, so I usually read at night, and my bed is my perfect place.

2-) Male main character or female main character?

Female main character. I feel like I can identify better with the character.

3-) Sweet snacks or salty snacks when reading?

I have to admit it; I possess a very sweet tooth. Every person that knows me will tell you that I LOVE chocolate with a passion of a thousand suns. So if I’m going to eat any snacks while reading, it will be a sweet snack.

4-) Trilogies or quartets?

For me, it totally depends on the book. The more books a series has, the better since it can feed my never-ending book addiction. The best feeling in the world is when you finish a book knowing the journey doesn’t end there. You have a chance to visit the characters and the world you have fallen in love with.

5-) First-person point of view or third-person point of view?

First-person point of view. I love it when I get to know what a character is thinking or feeling. In order to fall in love with a book, I need to connect with the characters on a deeper level.

6-) Reading at night or in the morning?

Like I mentioned before, I consider myself a night owl. My best reading is usually done at night.

7-) Libraries or bookstores?

Both! I feel at peace when I’m surrounded by books, regardless of the place. I’m always searching for new bookstores or libraries to visit so I can check out their book collections.

8 -) Books that make you laugh or cry?

I consider myself a mood reader. So I would say that it depends on my mood. There have been a lot of specific moments on books that have made me laugh out loud and others where I have cried my eyes out. However, most of the time I try to go into the book without knowing if the story will make me happy or sad.

9-) Black book covers or white book covers?

I can’t decide! I love black book covers, but white book covers feel so exceptional and magical.

10-) Character-driven or plot-driven stories?

I tend to love more a book if it is plot-driven. I feel that when a story is shaped by its plot, it’s almost like a puzzle where all the pieces fall into place. Suddenly, the characters fit perfectly into their special and unique world.

I’m not going to lie; this was a little harder than I thought. I’m such an overthinker that I was considering every little situation *sighs*. But at last, here are my final answers. Feel free to consider yourself tagged by me. I would love to know your answers!

Med Life

Advice for Pre-Meds!

If you want to study medicine you probably know by now that the process is much exhausting as it is rewarding.

There are so many things you need to know and do before you get the chance to study medicine at a Medical School *sigh*. The good news: this is definitely doable, you only need to focus, keep your head in the game and with the right tools the road will be a little less bumpy.

By all means, I’m not an expert in the subject I’m merely offering advice and my own opinion. This is the article I would have loved to read when I started college, right when I realized being a pre-med is not only about getting good grades and completing all the prerequisites.

Before getting started in all the #premedlife related topics, I just want to say that it takes a lot of effort, courage and passion to pursue a career in the medical field. In other words, if you are reading this and you are planning to study medicine or you are already a pre-med, congratulations!, you have taken an amazing step.

Moving on to the good stuff. I’m sure you know that in order to apply to Medical School you need a lot of volunteering and shadowing. In other words, Medical Schools need to know that you have been exposed to medicine. This is to ensure that you won’t get to Medical School without knowing what to expect for the next 4 years of your life.

Being a senior in college I have been exposed to a lot of volunteering and shadowing. Believe me when I tell you that shadowing experiences don’t grow on trees. There is definitely more demand than supply. With this in mind, the key is to start preparing early. You can start volunteering in your first year of college. Remember, Medical Schools like when students volunteer a lot. However, Medical Schools usually prefer to see that you have accumulated a lot of hours while volunteering at a same place. It shows that you got commitment and that you are not just jumping from one opportunity to the next.

One thing I discovered in my Sophomore year of college, is the fact that many universities (especially those that have a Medical School), tend to offer health programs for undergraduate students. Sometimes these programs are more research or chemistry based, instead of health related. It is definitely worth checking it out, since it can not only serve you as a learning experience, but it can also connect you with people in the healthcare field. It is very important to make connections because you never know when you might need some advice or a letter of recommendation.

In addition, do not be intimidated by research! Many people will tell you that you need research experience in order to apply to Medical School. Others will tell you that Medical Schools only care about your volunteering and shadowing experiences. The truth is that each Medical School is different and has its own requirements. Many students are not able to do any research at all during undergraduate because they don’t get the chance to or are never given an opportunity. If you feel like research is something you must do, don’t be afraid to reach out to your science professors.

I think I have covered everything I wanted to say for now. I will probably add more content to this post later on or I may do a complete separate post.

Let me know in the comments if you are a pre-med student and what year are you on? Also, if you could give one piece of advice to a pre-med student that just started college, what would it be?

Bookish Corner

2020 Reading Challenges

Here is a list of all the 2020 reading challenges I’m participating in this year. May the force be with me, because let me tell you that there are a lot of them.

1-) Monthly KeyWord Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Girlxoxo. There are specific keywords for every month and each book you choose must have one or more keywords in the title. #MonthlyKeyWordChallenge

2-) ROMANCEOPOLY 2020

This challenge is hosted by Under the CoversPeace Love Books and their 2020 sponsor Forever Romance. Is the perfect reading challenge for lovers of romance books and monopoly. #romanceopoly

3-) 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Passages to the Past. I’m aiming for the Medieval Level (15 books). #2020HistFicReadingChallenge

During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

  • 20th Century Reader – 2 books
  • Victorian Reader – 5 books
  • Renaissance Reader – 10 books
  • Medieval – 15 books
  • Ancient History – 25 books
  • Prehistoric – 50+ books

4-) The 2020 Book bingo reading challenge

This challenge is hosted by Modern Gypsy. There are two parts to this reading challenge, you must choose your bingo journey and commit to a quarterly check-in. There are 25 prompts on the book bingo reading challenge and you can do as many as you want.

5-) The Audiobook Challenge 2020

This particular challenge is hosted by Lovely Audiobooks. You can participate in 14-in-14 or 30-in-30 audiobook marathon starting in January 2020. It is perfect for those who don’t usually have the time to read a physical book or just want to spice up their reading time.

6-) 2020 Reading Assignment Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Because Reading. In the Spring Semester I will register for three classes:

  • AuthorLuv Beginner Class requires me to read one book per month (January-April) by the same author. I choose Christina Lauren.
    1. “Love and Other Words” by Christina Lauren
    2. “Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating” by Christina Lauren
    3. “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren
    4. “My Favorite Half-Night Stand” by Christina Lauren
  • Genre Beginner Class requires me to read one book per month (January-April) of the same genre. I choose Historical Fiction.
    1. “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
    2. “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles
    3. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
    4. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  • Mix-It-Up Intermediate Class requires me to read two books per month (January-April) of any author, any genre and any format. I choose:
    1. “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang, “The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern
    2. “The Bride Test” by Helen Hoang, “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard
    3. “The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary, “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo
    4. “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne, “Tweet Cute” by Emma Lord

#2020HW

7-) 2020 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Andi’s ABCs. There are five levels in this reading challenge and right now I’m aiming at 1st Base which consists on reading 1-5 books. However, I have a feeling I will end up on a higher level. #ContRom2020

Levels:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books

My Choices:

  1. “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang
  2. “The Bride Test” by Helen Hoang
  3. “The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary
  4. “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne
  5. “Tweet Cute” by Emma Lord

8- ) 2020 Retellings Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Cornerfolds. I’m aiming for the Warrior Princess level (6-10 books). #2020RetellingsChallenge

Challenge Levels:

  • Silent Assassin: 1-5 Retellings
  • Warrior Princess: 6-10 Retellings
  • Elemental Witch: 11-15 Retellings
  • High Fae: 16-20 Retellings
  • Fairest of them All: 21-25+ Retellings

9-) 2020 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Carol’s Notebook. I’m aiming for the Amateur Sleuth level (5-15 books). #CloakDaggerChal

Levels:

  • 5-15 books – Amateur sleuth
  • 16-25 books – Detective
  • 26-35 books – Inspector
  • 36 – 55 – Special agent
  • 56+ books – Sherlock Holmes

10-) 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by POPSUGAR. The goal is to go down the list and use the 50 prompts to read as many books as possible. If you need some recommendations, they were kind enough to share some suggestions (you can find them at the end of their reading challenge article, just scroll down). #popsugarreadingchallenge

Regular Prompts:

  • A book that’s published in 2020
  • A book by a trans or nonbinary author
  • A book with a great first line
  • A book about a book club
  • A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics
  • A bildungsroman
  • The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed
  • A book with an upside-down image on the cover
  • A book with a map
  • A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club
  • An anthology
  • A book that passes the Bechdel test
  • A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it
  • A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name
  • A book about or involving social media
  • A book that has a book on the cover
  • A medical thriller
  • A book with a made-up language
  • A book set in a country beginning with “C”
  • A book you picked because the title caught your attention
  • A book published the month of your birthday
  • A book about or by a woman in STEM
  • A book that won an award in 2019
  • A book on a subject you know nothing about
  • A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics
  • A book with a pun in the title
  • A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins
  • A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character
  • A book with a bird on the cover
  • A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader
  • A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title
  • A book by a WOC
  • A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads
  • A book you meant to read in 2019
  • A book with a three-word title
  • A book with a pink cover
  • A Western
  • A book by or about a journalist
  • Read a banned book during Banned Books Week
  • Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Advanced Prompts:

  • A book written by an author in their 20s
  • A book with “20” or “twenty” in the title
  • A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision)
  • A book set in the 1920s
  • A book set in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympics
  • A book by an author who has written more than 20 books
  • A book with more than 20 letters in its title
  • A book published in the 20th century
  • A book from a series with more than 20 books
  • A book with a main character in their 20s

Let me know in the comments if you are participating in any 2020 Reading Challenge. Also, if you have any recommendations for the challenges mentioned above, make sure to let me know.