Valentine’s Day Surprise

Happy Valentine’s! 

Hey guys! Sorry for the very random and very un-aesthetic post (oops sorry Xan), but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to announce this on Valentine’s Day…

Twirling Pages is getting a new coblogger! 

If you guys don’t know me (and let’s be real, y’all probably don’t because I’ve been MIA for the past year or so)  I’m Nicole Wang–or Nikki Wang–and I blogged at Fiction Freak from 2012 to around 2015, when high school started and I started to read less and less. After trying to restart my own blog several times, I pretty much gave up and fell off the face of the earth for about a year. 

But the book community just kind of never lets you go and I started to miss all the rants about cliffhangers and love interests and discussing everything in 140 character tweets. So about a month ago, I asked Xan if she needed a coblogger and she said yes! Soooo here I am. Y’all will probably see me about once every other week (and hopefully more frequently when summer starts?) so here’s to hoping my posts are as quality as Xan’s are! In the meantime, here are some facts about me:

 

Favorite…
Books: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis, and sooooo many more. 
Movie: Mr. Nobody 
Food: Sushi/poke bowls 
Reading position: In bed
Color: Silver

Misc.
Age: 16 turning on 17 (March 11!) 
Personality: Extrovert
Hobbies: Talking. A lot. Nonstop. Lots of talking. Sleeping. Eating. The basics. 
On a Friday night you’ll find me: playing Settlers of Catan with friends probably. We’re a bunch of nerds.
You can usually find me: At school working on something for a club or class. I literally haven’t gone home before 5:30 PM this entire school year. Why am I like this. 

See y’all soon! <3 Happy Valentine’s! 

farewell, january!

january was a good start to 2017. i felt extremely nervous and unsure for the entirety of THE FUTURE during the first few days, but i’m better now. i auditioned for two ballet summer programs last month, which went better than i expected. i’ve decided to go to american ballet theatre’s summer program again, so i’ll be in new york for the summer! it seems a little surreal to go again. 😌 i was sick the last two weeks of january so my days have mostly been filled with snotty tissues but *shrug*. that’s what happens when it rains for ten minutes in los angeles. (kidding! it was actually pretty cold for us OKAY.)

read this month:

january was SUCH a good reading month, i’m finding it hard to believe it myself. maybe it’s because the new year didn’t give me the pressure of needing to finish a reading goal, but i actually WANTED TO READ. i haven’t felt this motivated in probably… six months. and these were all such good books i feel so :”’).

monthly favorites

foresights of febraury

i feel like i always say this but MAN i’m so excited for this next month. february is small but mighty. there are some surprises coming on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled for that.. *wink wink* i’m also staying with my sister in new york for a month (for ballet auditions) and it will be my first time experiencing a ~real~ winter. snow??? degrees lower than the 40’s??? AH. i don’t know if i should be worried or EXTREMELY PUMPED. probably a bit of both.

monthly goals:

  • cook more often
  • read the bible daily
  • be more mindful

anything exciting happened to you in january? do you have any february plans? let me know in the comments!

dear future me / 2017 edition

i love writing letters – not typing letters but writing. putting a pen on paper and squiggle-ing stuff is somehow more authentic than clicking buttons to produce the same squiggles. is it because there’s no backspace to fall back on? sorry, you can’t erase the parts you don’t like anymore (i.e. spelling errors!!). but that’s also what makes it more real. the imperfections are still there and you can’t hide them; you don’t NEED to hide them, and instead, embrace them. and what better person to write letters to than yourself? everyone should write letters to themselves. we are our own best friends. (wow, i’m such a lonely introvert just let me hide in my cave and read bye)

but anyway, this is a letter from past me to future me. hey, xandra in 2018! i hope you’re doing well. here’s this thing i wrote for you.

what would you tell your future self?

I received this book for free from Publisher, Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: scythe, by neal shustermanScythe by Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster on November 22nd, 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Simon and Schuster
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

THIS BOOK IS PHENOMENAL.

when i received this title in the mail – having known nothing about the story or read anything by the author – i wasn’t sure if i’d like it. i sworn off dystopian novels after reading one too many but this one sounded so interesting. so i decided to read the first page and i knew, right off the bat, i would love this novel.

i love everything about this book – the writing, the plot, the characters, everything. my love for this book came in quiet waves. i started off being really intrigued, but that soon became something more. the plot began to build (love all the twists and turns it all has – nothing i was expecting!) and soon enough i was flipping through pages and rooting for characters and screaming at situations. i also love how there was a romance in the story, but it was very slow-burn and wasn’t the main point of the storyline. it was so small that i almost thought there was no romance at all! but the chemistry builds and it becomes more obvious as the story progresses.

the main reason why i love this novel is due to its recurring themes. i find it hard to see meaning/a purpose in some dystopian novels aside from an entertaining story, but SCYTHE was different. when you’re forced to kill people as your job (or you’re learning to kill people), your humanity becomes questionable. when you live in a world where there is no pain and your life is immortal, you see how detached we can become. nothing is at risk. is that really a perfect world? it made me really think about what it means to be alive and what it means to be human. it made me question the meaning of life and death.

the one thing i will say is it was a bit hard to reaaaaaaally connect with characters at first because the book is written in an omniscient POV. the story would jump around from person to person, making it easy for me to stop reading and do something in my daily life. also because of this, i didn’t feel the need to continuously read. BUT, this is my first time reading a book with this type of writing and it didn’t bother me too much. the writing itself was beautiful and i often found myself wanting to annotate.

all in all, this book is amazing. i wasn’t expecting much from it and now it’s one of my favorite reads of 2016. not only is the story well thought out, but i also gained a lot of perspective on what it means to be alive. and that, i think, is something really special.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.6

eight ways to destress

there’s no doubt you probably feel stressed at LEAST 300 times a year. (okay, just me?) although i know stress is sometimes good for you, there are times when it’s necessary to give yourself a breath. i’m feeling pretty stressed myself (better now, but when does stress ever fully disappear?) and i’m sure you may be too. whether it’s from finals or holidays or SOMETHING, here are some ways you can destress:

clean your room

so i just came back from traveling and my room is a m e s s. your room should be a place you can relax and rewind, but for me it’s turning into something i’m worried about. and honestly, it’s probably making things worse. i remember marie kondo mentioned in THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP that people have urges to clean their room when they’re stressed. something about having your physical setting cluttered affecting your mental setting. mmmmmm sounds about right. CLEAN YO ROOM.

take care of yourself

and while you’re cleaning your room, you can also clean yourself. meaning: take a bath, do a face mask, paint your nails, experiment with makeup, get a massage, drink some water, try yoga … you get the idea. this always ALWAYS makes me feel better. if my mental self isn’t at its prime, at least my physical self is. never underestimate the importance of taking care of your body.

indulge in some pop culture

sometimes you just need to open netflix and chilllllll. seriously, chill in bed and watch that movie you’ve been wanting to (re?)watch. read the book you’ve been wanting to pick up. (unless that stresses you out. then obviously, DON’T.) shamelessly sing along to songs you love. (echm HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL~~~) it’s really relaxing to get caught up on other people’s problems and forget about your own. :))))

take a walk

nature is your best friend; nature is my best friend; nature is everyone’s best friend. did you know I LOVE NATURE? and in all honesty, you probably do too. maybe it’s because i’m cooped up in a ballet studio hours on hours a day and hardly ever see the sun, but I LOVE NATURE. i’m sure many of you are stuck in a classroom or a work office missing the vital vitamin D. take a ten/fifteen/twenty/thirty/however-many minute walk and just breathe in the fresh air. can i get an “ahhhhhh”?

find something to color

adult coloring books are super trendy now. it’s probably because someone found out it combats stress and all the adults were like, “i’M A STRESSED HUMAN WHO NEEDS THIS.” pull out those colored pencils or crayons or markers and get coloring because apparently, it’s very relaxing. (haven’t tried it myself yet but…) if you don’t have a coloring book on hand, i know there are many apps you can download that do the trick. (i’ve tried this and it is THE BEST.)

make a list. any list!

hey! look at me! i’m a stressed human who is making this list and it’s making me feel soooooo much better in all honesty. i haven’t blogged “properly” in like five months but here i am, making this list, not completely falling apart. if i can do it, you can too. here are some prompts:

  • things that made you happy today
  • compliments you can give to others
  • things you’re grateful for
  • experiences you enjoyed this year
  • your favorite books/films/songs
  • hobbies you want to try
  • languages/subjects you want to learn
  • places you want to go
  • … and so many more!!

light a candle

there is a candle next to me as i type and i promise you, this makes a huge difference for my personal wellbeing. i swear it’s not because i’ve been kinda obsessed with candles lately. candles are great because 1) they smell good, 2) they provide light to your dark soul room, 3) they flicker this way and that which makes it interesting to watch, 4) did i mention they smell good? candles are great.

take a digital detox

wanna know what’s great? the internet. wanna know what else is great? stepping away from the internet. although i love love love my phone/laptop, i do feel that it can be a soul-sucking vortex. one minute you’re feeling great about your life and the next you’re upset because timmy turner got the book you wanted and wanda has perfect hair and cosmo’s food just looks SO GOOD. life on the interwebs can be misleading and negative, and sometimes you gotta TAKE A BREAK. even if you’re not on the internet, yout devices can still be soul-sucking. i challenge you to go a day (three days? a week?) without ANY usage of anything with a screen (i.e. phone, laptop, T.V., etc.). may the odds be ever in your favor, my friend!

what are some things you do to destress? let me know in the comments!