Books + Coffee = Happiness

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Holidays

Listening to: Whisper of Hope - Gothic Storm
Feeling: Normal
My winter break is slowly nearing its end. Got one last week left. I did do quite a lot of stuff though. Finally finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy (courtesy of a present from my dad) and I enjoyed it very much. I'm the type that prefers battles over epic journeys, so I have to say that I like the 2nd and 3rd movie a lot better than the 1st and The Hobbit. Epic journeys are really beautiful, but after a while, they get kind of dull for me. I do better with action. 

Boxing day was a pretty busy day for me though I ended up not buying anything. It was more of accompanying my mom and my sister, who both spend a lot on various stuff. Had lunch at Cafe Crepe. I had a "french toast" crepe which consists of cinnamon, egg and maple syrup.

I did get my sneakers a few days later though. Adidas again. Unfortunately, I didn't like the design of the high tops that were on sale, so I settled for this:

I wonder if they'll look good with pink laces too? I'll probably test that out eventually too. After buying a punch card, my sister and I have been rock climbing a few times during the break and I now know how to properly belay a climber and am certified too. :) It's a lot of fun and I hope I can improve my climbing since I've always enjoyed it.

I saw this in the mall the other day and thought it was very cute, so I took a picture of it to share:

Only a week left and there's still a bunch of stuff to do. I'm swamped with events and get-togethers with friends since everyone seems to have planned to cram in as many as they can get in before school starts. It's going to be a fun but exhausting week.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Listening to: The Awakening - Gothic Storm
Feeling: Happy
The 25th of December is finally here! Merry Christmas! I finally finished the first Lord of the Rings movie and like The Hobbit, it's super long. At least, that's how I feel. I'm really more of a person for action-packed movies rather than epic journey ones. But nevertheless, I'll see if I can finish the other two before school starts. While I was watching the movie, my sister and I couldn't help but point out the similarities between it and Harry Potter. This isn't to say that they're copies, but it's just funny to see characters that fit other series so well.

Here are the ones that we made the connection with:
Frodo - Harry
Sam - Ron
Gandalf - Dumbledore
Aragorn - Sirius
Boromir - Lupin
Pippin and Merry - Fred and George
The Dwarf - a short Hagrid
Orcs - Dementors
Legolas - ????

Some of these characters connections are merely in terms of looks or if we simply had to match them with a Harry Potter character, but no matter how we tried, Legolas didn't have a partner. Neville and Malfoy both didn't quite match unfortunately. Oh well.

Then I googled 'Harry Potter Lord of the Rings' and got this which also sums up my thoughts.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

We're still here

Listening to: We Meet in Dreams - Gothic Storm
Feeling: Fan-girly
Well, the 21st of December 2012 has come and gone. And we're still here and can finally stop hearing about it. But one good thing has come out of it though. Richelle Mead (of whom I'm a big fan of) posted the second chapter of The Indigo Spell (February 2013) online and I've been dying to read it ever since the jaw-dropping ending of The Golden Lily. And she did not disappoint with this chapter. It was happily Adrian Ivashkov heavy. And thus the swooning. 

(Nic Wheeler who plays Adrian in the book trailers)

 As I was listening to various instrumentals, I couldn't help but pick out a few that reminded me of him. Especially with their titles about dreams.

Gothic Storm - We Meet in Dreams

Gothic Storm - The Awakening

Gah. Less than two months until the book is released... which happens to be during midterm session... or perhaps reading break. I'm desperately hoping that it's reading break then so I can drop everything and read this amazing book.

EDIT: OMG! It really is released during reading break. WHOOOOHOOO!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Anastasia and The Hobbit

Listening to: Given Up - Linkin Park
Feeling: Tired but happy
Still continuing to follow my Winter Break List, I crossed off Anastasia (1997) and The Hobbit (2012). The first one is always a winter favorite that I have loved ever since I was a kid. With the singing and animation, you'd think that it was a disney movie, but nope, it's by 20th Century Fox. Still very lovely after all these years. Some of my favorite animated tunes are in there too.

Finally saw the latter one today with friends. It started out as a crappy day with delays in buses due to traffic, but it got better after watching the movie. As shocking as it may be, I actually haven't seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies, so I was worried, but it was still easy enough to follow along. It was an enjoyable movie. I don't watch a lot of epic fantasy movies, but it was good. I'll probably spend my winter catching up on LOTR now.


Sunday, 16 December 2012


Listening to: X-Men First Class OST: Main Title - Henry Jackman
Feeling: Happy but tired
Today was a fun day. Now that my winter break is rolling along smoothly, I have to say that it feels amazing not to think much about school. I can sleep in late, watch tv again, and do just about what I'd like. So today, I met up with some uni friends, KL, LL and MF to go bowling.

It's been forever since I last went bowling. Normally, they were birthday parties that I attended, but since we're now too old to host birthday parties at places like this, it's been a long time. We paid for two games and haha, I admit with some embarrassment that my first game didn't go so well. Mainly gutter balls. But I evened out my losing streak by doing much better in the second game. I was even in first place in terms of points for a while because I scored a strike.

Also ate fast food for the first time in ages. Mmmm McD's french fries. So unhealthy, but really good.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Book Review: Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson

Published May 8 2012 by Simon and Schuster Publishing

Goodreads Description
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Wow. I really loved this book. It's been a really long time since I've read something that moved me really deeply. I first heard of Morgan Matson when I picked up her debut book, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, which I also really liked. So when she published this one, I had to read it.

Like the summary says, Taylor's family isn't the closest. Her older brother, Warren, was the smart child in the family. He knew everything from academics to random trivia stuff such as why and how certain things were invented. Taylor's younger sister, Gelsey, was talented in ballet, and liked to spend her summers at dance camp. As the middle child, Taylor didn't consider herself to be a genius in anything. Maybe except running away. Which she did whenever it got too hard for her to stand it. However, when the family received tragic news regarding 4th stage pancreatic cancer in Taylor's dad, they decide to spend one last summer together at the lake house.

Every summer for as long as Taylor could remember, they had spent their summer in the Pocono Mountains by the lake. However, it all stopped when Taylor was 12. After a whole misunderstanding between her ex-best friend, ex-boyfriend and herself, Taylor refused to return and it seemd like the whole family found excuses not to go back. But there was no stopping them this time around.

In a place where there's no where to run to, Taylor is forced to bear through situations where she would normally run from if she got the chance. This includes seeing her ex-best friend, Lucy, and her ex-boyfriend, Henry. And neither are happy about meeting her again.

Although Taylor's summer started out rockily, it became more and more tolerable as Taylor learns that she needed to stop running away, advice that was given by her father, whom she was closest to in the family. Slowly, friendships mended and her relationships with her family improved as she got to know them better. However, even though Taylor gets a second chance with her friends, family and maybe even love, she's aware of the time that is ticking away, taking away someone who she had never gotten a chance to know until this summer.

Honestly, in the beginning, I was frustrated with Taylor's lack of courage. Running away never solved anything and most of the time, it made it worse for her. But at the same time, it was Taylor's character flaw and it improved as the book progressed. While I liked seeing her relationship mend itself with Henry, Lucy and her family members, it was the time that she spent with her father that really moved me.

Robin Edwards was described as a large, strong man that seemed to always be present in Taylor's life. Whenever she ran away, he was the one who found her and instead of demanding to know why she took off, he would comfort her and wait until she was ready to talk about it. Unfortunately, as time passed, it was evident both to the reader and Taylor, that Robin Edwards was getting progressively weaker as the cancer took its toll. And Taylor knew that her chance to know her father was slipping away. Slowly, the two of them bonded over countless trivial questions (such as their favorite movies, colour etc.) and the time that they spent together. But the good times didn't last.

I started to tear up a little when Robin was bedridden, so weak that he was unable to remain awake for long periods of time. Seeing a get well card during a hospital visit makes Taylor realize that she had not said that she loved her father for many years. It took her some time to finally say it to him during a special moment for both of them. And there it was that I had to put the book down during my bus ride because it was so emotional that it was painful to keep my tears from escaping.

Morgan Matson did an amazing job with this one. I could experience each and every one of Taylor's emotions as though they were my own. Her words were beautifully, yet powerfully written and I found that I couldn't put this book down. It was a serious heartgripper and one that I'll remember when it comes to recommendations.

Source: Borrowed
My rating: 5 coffee cups (Loved it and couldn't put it down)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Listening to: Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Feeling: Relieved
I've been absent for a while now and that's because it's been super busy this time of the year with the semester winding down and exams. But thankfully, after a very stressful week, they're finished! First three went great, the last one? Not as much. But I don't want to think about it now that my winter vacation is finally here!! And I get an awesome 3 weeks! So what's on my list?:
  • Clean my room
  • Holiday baking
  • Read, read, read!
  • Fanfiction writing (this has been super delayed and I apologize to everyone who's been waiting!) - Chapters 27 and 28 (hopefully)
  • Hang out with friends both from uni and high school
  • Colour my anatomy book (when I have nothing better to do)
  • Christmas shopping
  • Violin/flute playing
  • Draw 
  • Buy new sneakers
Stuff to watch/Continue watching:
  • Tsuritama
  • Code:Breaker
  • Sukitte Ii Na Yo
  • Natsume Yuujinchou
  • Big Bang Theory
  • TRICK marathon - with friends
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Sword Art Online
  • Digimon the Movie (Eng Dubbed)
  • DBSK concerts 2008 & 2009 
  • Heartstrings
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower 
  • The Hobbit - with friends
  • Anastasia 
  • A Millionaire's First Love