Book Confessions #1: Covert Op

Book Confessions Logo

It’s here ladies and gents. Finally! I spent hours trying figure out what book confession I should fess up. I have a lot. At first, I wanted to start with one of my biggest secrets, then I thought maybe I should be tame. Don’t want to scare people away or be too boring, right?

So, after said hours I finally came up with something in the middle. Here it goes…

I’m pretty sure that many of you are familiar with Ally Carter, Best-selling Author of the Gallagher Girl series and now Embassy Row series. She also wrote Heist Society.

I started the Gallagher Girl series in Grade 11 (junior year) and boy did I latch onto this series like those tight jeggings. I first read the third installment in the series because someone had taken the first and second book out from the school’s library. And boy, the minute I met Cammie and the squad, the series became my world. Literally. I barely slept. I don’t really know what hooked me in first, romance (’cause I’m a sucker for book romance- Zack and Cammie, Joe Solomon and Cammie’s Mom?) or a world of espionage. I think it was the espionage, because as I finishing high school, I was convinced I was going to be a spy. And I was still sad that Fringe ended. Anyone remember that series?

Gallagher Girl Series

I really loved the unravelling of secrets that came up and how the girls were a united front. Smart and they can be anything they wanted. The mere fact there was a black British girl in the series, Bex, I took it as a sign. This is who I was supposed to be. Not British. I was supposed to be a spy like Bex. I loved all characters in the series, but Bex was my girl. Fearless, fierce, and ready to knock you out. I even had a picture where I posed as her with my bitten apple (cover #3) on my BBM. Remember BBM? Ole Blackberry days. Lol, I even asked my dad why he was not a spy so that I could be his legacy. Bless my dad for not institutionalising me.Lol, I even started doing research, about agencies in my country and other countries. I started searching information about different agents and assassins. Learning the lingo. I even attempted teaching myself different languages. Movies like RED, series like Covert Affairs, and the rest of action entertainment became more than entertainment, they were my drug, my drive, and motivator to make it into the espionage world. I watch documentaries on the subject. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *I’m laughing out loud where I am right now.*

I was so serious about this spy thing that I changed my personality. I wanted to be more like Bex. Minus the exercising part, I wasn’t into exercising then. My arms got enough exercise from flipping pages at night, thank you very much. I became more paranoid, cynical and aloof. I even stopped using my phone. In fact, during my summer holiday after high school. I told my dad not to buy me a phone, and only half-way through my second semester of Uni did I slightly let go of the idea of being a spy and started using a phone- LOL. I found out that I don’t take orders well. I’m inherently defiant and stubborn, so going into that world would have been being my fastest ticket to early death. Imagine the hits on me. By MI6, the CIA and the Russian Government. Let’s not forget assassins and private contractors. Although I must be honest, I’m still holding hope that someday I will be a spy. Maybe I’ll start my own agency. When I’m not too busy reading that is.

Side track: In United We Spy, Liz Sutton gave the most beautiful valedictory speech ever, and  it stuck with me all throughout the first year in varsity.

“A Gallagher Girl can be anything and anyone…” – I stand to be corrected for the exact words used. But you get the idea. Trust me, if you read the series, you were a Gallagher Girl. Period.

Back to my encounter with Ms. Carter, once I had to return the rest of the Gallagher Girl books, for a week because I was basically hoarding the series, I got myself a copy of Heist Society. Man, talk about addiction. On top of being a spy, I wanted to be a thief too. Lol! I being serious. I even remember my English teacher giving me the look…the-did-you-read-these look. I don’t know if it was obvious that I had fallen hard for the dark world. Or if the look was because of my looonng reading list, looonng wacky reading list. And it was bad. I probably had a handful of romance but mostly it was on the extreme end of thrillers, horror, crime and espionage. But really, I figured if I don’t become a spy at least I will be a con artist. Logical and rational. Like the espionage world, I Googled everything there is to know about that world. Sometimes when shopping with friends or on a lunch date I casually pass my knowledge about spies and con artists. In public. Like I’m talking my a new method of taking a selfie.

Heist Society Books

If I had to choose the world I would want to live in, I’d choose the con artist world. That squad did everything in style. If I had to choose to be who I want to be, I’d choose both. Yes, I’m that messed up. Please don’t inform the authorities… this is a false alarm, NSA.

I started reading Embassy Row, and I liked it but I’m waiting for the series to be done then can I only continue.

Ally Carter’s books were not the only one’s I read that convinced me that I was ‘meant’ to be a spy or con artist. Authors like Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Robin Benway played a role too. And much more.

Ally Carter has new editions out of the Gallagher Girl series with some extras. Check them out.

I hadn’t intended to write this much, but once I started fessing up this story I couldn’t stop. I hope you enjoyed my Book Confession. If you have had similar predicament as me here, let me know so that we can have a good laugh about it.

Covertly,

Duchess♥

P.S. I’m hoping to do this tag every second Friday. Be on the lookout. If you want to the tag, please acknowledge me (for my idea) and you can tag anyone you want. You can also use the logo. 😉

Aloha!

Aloha, beauties!

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First, I missed you guys. A lot. I missed the community love and just simply being here. Second, welcome new follower(s), I’m rad, and I’m convinced that I truly am an African Duchess of Southern Africa, but meh, *shrug*.

Disclosure: It’s being so long since I’ve written something in this persona, which really is my true persona, but my writing may have taken a worse turn. So, don’t look too closely at my grammar and the yadi yadda. If that turns your stomach, I love you, bye now. 😉

*puts on a charismatic smile*

Did you miss me?  Cue: excessive eyelash fluttering

I titled this post Aloha because I aloha is like namaste or shalom. It’s well rounded. I actually Googled it. Hello, goodbye – and everything in between, which I added the ‘everything in between’ part. I did it so because you never know when I might just go MIA, again. Okay, I sound like a flighty commitment-phobe on-again-off-again boyfriend. Oops! *insert that cute monkey emoji*

What I’m trying to so eloquently say is, I don’t know how long I’m going to be here.

Why I’ve been away?

University. If you are in college or have been, you know that sometimes things get messy. Assignments, assessments, projects, exams and everything in between can be overwhelming. So, I had all that to deal with and I also had to juggle it all with some of the races I’ve run, tutoring and being a bit of TA. So, something had to give. Priorities, priorities.

That’s simply summarising everything so far.

So, what now?

I’m on a break, yippee! It’s going to end soon due to an internship coming up in July; thus Aloha.

What I’m going to do so far is write reviews on books I’ve read. I hope to do more tags and get back in the game.

At the beginning of the year, I said I’m going to start a tag, BOOK CONFESSIONS, and I have been thinking of starting it up, real soon. I’m looking forward to that, and I certainly hope you guys will participate and join in the fun ;).


What to expect?

I said on one of my posts that this year I’m going to read different genres and authors, so I’m possibly going to review non-fiction books during the course of the year. So, don’t be surprised. However, I will be reading a handful fiction books here and there, because I’m in a love affair with fiction. #BookBoyfriend

Also, my lovely blog is going to be under construction. I’m trying to make it more user-friendly. So, if you see something missing on my menu, don’t freak out.

P.S. Don’t worry, those construction guys won’t even know you passed here. No low whistling accompanied by ‘Dayum, girl’, ‘mamasita’ and ‘hey, babey’. It’s going to be construction guys free zone.

When is a review coming?

Next week. If you follow me on Instagram, you know which book I’m talking about.

Yes, I’m giving you permission to stalk me on Instagram.


Like, comment, share and tell your friends about the flighty commitment-phobe blogger who claims to be a Duchess. 😉

Aloha,

Duchess♥

Red Hill

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Have read anything by Jamie McGuire? If you have not, get any book by her and be addicted. If you have then you know the next three words mean the world to bibliophiles. TRAVIS F*^KING MADDOX. Though, I think, MADDOX will suffice. Don’t you think? As you can tell, Red Hill is not the first book I have read by Jamie McGuire, nor will it be the last. The genre, however, is new (by Jamie, for me). Thriller! At night…

See what I did there? Hahahahaha!

 Thriller

Probably should warn you that when I say thriller it means there’s romance too. But Thriller is the main main genre, and romance is a very close second.

First, the book is told from three different people, all from different walks of life. Second, it is set in our time. Lastly, a zombie apocalypse is real in this fiction time of ours.

With that said, at first, I struggled to get started because I don’t like zombies. At all. Somehow I knew when Scarlet, one of the narrators, said “…the world ended on Friday” she meant zombies. I just knew. Moving from that page to the last was a struggle. I mean a three to five weeks of struggle. I eventually decided to just read it because I got the book from the library and I kept renewing it online. I also didn’t want to waste petrol (gas) by going back and forth to the library and not actually reading the book. Once, I pushed myself to read more, I was not disappointed.

The first two or so chapters went at a leisurely pace and the book took the time to reveal how it all started, at least, I think it took time. So, I was not suddenly thrust in the mayhem of the apocalypse. We got to know Scarlet a bit, which is important in order to understand her obsession in the last few chapters. The way Jamie McGuire reveals the cause of zombies it’s fascinating because you get to see it from the doctors’ perspective. The curiosity is there. You can almost feel their reaction when they learn about the bite, the effects and the diagnosis. It’s was like watching Grey’s Anatomy.

The way hell broke loose was chaotic. Apocalyptic. And so real. As a reader, I loved it. I found myself laughing at some graphics. What can I say, I am a bad person.

The lovely Scarlet took us on a thought-provoking parental journey. One I cannot begin to fathom. 

Nathan took us on another parental journey that was challenging. It was not the parental aspect that stood out for me, even though it was touching. It was humanity aspect that made my head run with thoughts of ‘what if I was there.’ Back to Nathan. People, whether you read or did not read this book, you love Nathan. He was it. I loved that his character was honest and human. He was not macho. If you’re macho, you probably would have died in this book. As I said, Nathan was not the kind. He is the type of guy you want in your corner. I’m not doing him justice.

Miranda added a ‘me’ perspective, you can even say a selfish perspective. As a reader, you got to see the event through a college student who just wanted things to go according to plan. At least for once. We have all went through that at some point in our lives, some of us, on a weekly basis. So, no matter what, I got Miranda.

For every character, life as they knew it changed. Scarlet was no longer a nurse and Nathan was no longer thinking about his wife-by-law and his miserable job. It was survival of the fittest. Miranda was going through some sort of a love triangle. Yes, a love triangle during a zombie apocalypse. This love triangle raised a few questions: should she follow her heart; should she stay with the guy she has learned to love and who loves her or should she give herself to the zombies? That last question was mine.

The most interesting thing about Red Hill was how the characters coincidentally passed each other until they all got to Red Hill. It struck me how in life we go through the same thing. We just miss meeting the right people. Imagine if they all met each other at one place and made it to Red Hill together? I digress.

Romance. I think Nathan and Scarlet were made in the stars. Pardon, my romanticism. However, the romance in apocalyptic times was just the right dose to give a read the hope needed. Jamie did not play with our hearts, she made the whole thing real.

Like, share and comment. Even if it is to gush about the Maddox brothers. 😉

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

P.S. I mean no disrespect to the Muslim people. #Love

I’m back? Oh, and Feb TBR

I’M BACK?

So hi, everyone! Or should I say, Happy New Year, everyone! Is that still applicable even 40 DAYS into the new year? I think it is. Maybe after three months is not applicable. That’s usually when you forget about the new year resolutions. Speaking of resolutions? What are yours? And are you keeping up with them? I don’t have any resolutions this year, thanks for asking. 🙂 No for real, I really don’t have any resolutions, even weird and quirky ones I usually have like not eating chocolate for a year. I kept that resolution till end, if you were wondering. The other one was no eating junk food for a year, it lasted for three months, um, because DORITOS, Mac D and BK. Oh, one year I tried being a vegetarian but that lasted for a month… or less. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to chicken and chicken wings. Some steak. This year though, I’ve decided to take one day a time. How’s that going, you ask? It’s simply going, with it’s peaks and troughs of course.

So by now you’re probably wondering about the question mark. The mark that poses a question is to simply say I don’t know how long I’m back for because Uni starts next week and I don’t know how’s that going to turn out, in terms of work load and stuff. Plus there are some personal things I’d like to try this year, and they are going to take time. However, if everything goes as I wish it to go, I’ll be here more often and with a schedule. I need routine. I’m chaos without a semblance of routine. I’m finally accepting that fact.

Now, I have to apologize for my leave of absence. Probably should have started with an apology, I have such bad manners. I just went phew out of blog-sphere. So, I’d like to apologize from vanishing into thin air. All I can say is exams, holiday and family. Did I mention exams? Oh and a ton of books that I’m never going to review because I forgot them. I really do not know what I was reading. Do not judge. I have holiday brain syndrome. I am looking forward to catching up with everyone and doing some tags. Don’t forget to tag me.

What to expect from Duchess? Well, this year I’m trying out new authors, to me their new, and non-romance genres. Some may have romance in it but the main genre won’t be. My menu is going to change. I don’t know when but I know it is. Mainly because it’s currently a mess. I’m going to add a new feature called Book Confessions. This year I’m also participating in the PopSugar Book Challenge. Unlike last year, when I said I will but didn’t. This it is happening. And there’ll be more videos as well, and majority are mostly not going to be book-related because YouTube- does that explain it? Okay, let me be clear, because there are so many funny things I’ve recently watched and would like to share them with you.

FEBRUARY TBR

My February TBR list is not long at all. I just wanted light reads to last me till end of this week. Plus as I mentioned above that this year I’m trying new authors and genres, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with too many books. And because, I don’t have money. Broke. When am I not ever broke? My currency is weak against the dollar so you can imagine how much I pay. And I’m not working so, I’m practically taking a big chunk out of my allowance. And something should be said regarding the fact that I forfeit clothes, underwear and socks for books. And, people, I really need new socks. My socks have holes. All of them. I’m okay with it though, because I believe at some point in the future books are going to be an investment. And to me, right now, they are an investment.

TBR LIST

  1. F*ck Love – Tarryn Fisher (Review Coming Soon)
  2. Her Back-up Boyfriend – Ashley Mallory (Review Coming Soon)
  3. Beneath Him – Komal Kant (Review Coming Soon)
  4. Unfamiliar – Erica Cope and Komal Kant (Review Coming Soon)
  5. Red Hill – Jamie McGuire (Review Coming Soon)
  6. The G File – Hakan Nesser (Currently Reading)

The rest of the TBR list consists of my textbooks.

Tell me about your book resolutions, new year resolutions and your TBR list. Or you can tell me of the most bizarre resolutions or goals you’ve had. Let’s be weird and quirky together.

Don’t forget to like this post. And comment to tell me what a bad blogger I am. Or how awesome I am.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

New Adult (NA)

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At the beginning of this year I started reading a few New Adult books here and there. And to be honest, it was a nice change from Young Adult, especially since I was entering the New Adult world myself. I liked New Adult books.  I loved New Adult books because they explored a lot of issues often faced by new adults. The heartbrokeness (is that a word? spell check says it’s not. But whatever!), guilt, sex (though to be honest, these days sixteen is the right age to discuss sex thoroughly, not just in bio class or Sex Ed class), change, university, disappointment, working, working and studying, relationships (family, friends and romance), and many more issues. I truly loved how these issues were out there for new adults to just read and hopefully learn a thing or two. You know?

However, about six months in, I started noticing a pattern and not a good one. This pattern was/is irksome at times but other times it was/is welcome. Because who doesn’t like predictability now and then. But this kept happening as I read more and more NA books. There were repetitions of the same story line, themes and plot twists by a couple of authors. Novelty and originality was/is lacking in some books. There are books that have left me truly desensitized about certain BIG issues that happen to people out there. And this is due to some issues being discussed way too often and not thoroughly analysed. There are NA books that have handled bullying and sex abuse in a flippant manner. Some books have portrayed women as objects and things, and planted nodes that sex equal love, boundaries mean a woman is a prude, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of these books, particularly when there is a STORY. And often there’s no story, there’s just major plot twists and sex scenes that appeal to ID and make us loose focus from the fact that there was NO story.

Where’s the moral of the story, NA? Why don’t I remember something vital after finishing the book, NA?

As I said before, they have been books that have left me stunned, in a good way. Because I was able to reflect on the book and my life. I was able to draw something paramount from the book. I still read NA books but not as often as I would like.

I thought I was alone but after reading a few reviews of some newly released books and a few blogs, I discovered that there are people that have the same problem. Megan from  Reading Books Like A Boss beautifully put into words what I’ve been feeling. Dear New Adult: An Amost-Breakup Letter is my letter and many others too. Megan just had the balls big enough for all to make it public. And I thank her for it.

To NA,

Please keep it simple. Be novel. Be original. I don’t need you to be a duplicate of ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. I just need you to be more than amazing.

From me.

Check out my review on Throne of Glass here: Celaena Sardothien. Probably one of the best reviews I’ve written. Promise, I’m not that egotistic. Or full of it, I just really enjoyed writing the review.

Don’t forget to like and share. And, of course, let me know if you agree, disagree or both both by commenting.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥