Internment By Samira Ahmed | A Book Review

Title: Internment

Author: Samira Ahmed

Genre: Young Adult

About the book: It’s a standalone novel about a Muslim American teenager named Layla who gets sent to an internment camp.

I received an advanced review copy from Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I was excited to read this novel because of its premise. The cover is gorgeous. From the start, I wanted to see how the plot would play out.

Characters: Layla’s a great protagonist. I enjoyed seeing her development. She’s likeable and relatable. So are her parents as well as the friends she makes in the camp.


“Sometimes it takes incredible strength to survive.”

Writing: It’s told in the first person from Layla’s perspective. I liked the short, suspenseful chapters. I didn’t love the romantic scenes with Layla and her boyfriend.

It’s such a heart-wrenching, heavy read, but I appreciate the lighter moments in the dialogue. I experienced so many emotions throughout the story.

Final thoughts: Although not everyone gets a happy ending, I enjoyed it.

I highly recommend Internment. Even if you aren’t a fan of young adult, I think the novel’s message can speak to almost anybody.

Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

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Pick One: Fiction Tropes

Below I pit two fiction tropes against each other and pick the one I prefer.

Overly protective brother overly protective father?

Brother. I love this trope so much.

Haters to lovers or lovers to haters?

Even though I’m not the biggest romance reader, I enjoy a good haters to lovers storyline. Certainly more than love at first sight, gets married next month.

Haters to lovers or enemies to friends?

Enemies to friends. I’m here for platonic relationships.

Love triangle or love square?

I don’t love either, but I’ll go with a square. The more the merrier, I guess.

Rags to riches or riches to rags?

The former. I want characters to succeed.

A hero or an anti-hero?

Anti-hero. Not everyone can be brave and courageous or save the world, am I right?

Vampires or werewolves?

Thanks to Christopher Pike, vampire books gave me life as a teenager.

Funny friend or smart sidekick?

Give me both any day, but I often relate to a smart sidekick more. I’m just not funny.

Real dating or fake dating?

The latter all the way. It’s fun reading about people who have to pretend they’re in love.

I’d love to know which fiction tropes you would pick.


Why I’ve Stopped Blogging Every Day

It’s silly, but I feel like I don’t have as many hours in the day now.

I feel odd, out of sorts. I’m a stubborn person, so sacrificing my personal projects because of school sucks. If I could, I’d spend more time writing and blogging for myself.

This blog has benefitted me in so many ways. I’m happy I have something to call my own.

Whenever possible, I’ve tried to do what feels right by me, regardless of what others say. I’m doing the best I can.

I wish I could do everything every day, but like I said before, I can’t. And that’s okay. I’m trying to figure out who I am as a writer, a blogger. Who I want to be. While I don’t have all the answers, I know this much: I love creating.

In the past, I believed I had to do in order to learn. But sometimes not doing can teach a lot too. Besides, I go through phases where I prioritize different projects. So sometimes blogging takes a backseat.

It’s hard to put out content every single day. Kudos to those of you who do.


Once We Were Strangers By Shawn Smucker | A Book Review

Title: Once We Were Strangers

Author: Shawn Smucker

Genre: Memoir

About the book: It’s about a writer and a refugee who become friends in America.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

First impressions: I don’t really read memoirs, but I liked the premise and title.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but I was surprised in a good way. I enjoyed the beginning, especially the first chapter.

Characters: The story revolves around the author, Shawn, and Mohammed who is a Syrian refugee. What struck me is how similar the two men are despite their different experiences in life. Mohammed has a good personality. I wish I could be more like him with his hope and optimism. I found myself relating to Shawn’s thoughts. They’re both likeable and easy to root for. I wanted to see both of them succeed.


“I feel the vacancy only cities can bestow, the loneliness that happens when you’re surrounded by a city full of strangers.”

Writing: For such a heartbreaking account, the writing is beautiful. Some of my favourite parts of the book were Shawn’s conversations with Mohammed.

The chapters aren’t too long. They alternate between first person point of view from Shawn’s perspective and third person from Mohammed’s perspective. The book itself is shorter than I anticipated at less than 200 pages.

Final thoughts: The memoir was eye-opening and thought-provoking. In many ways, it made me reflect on my own life.

I highly recommend Once We Were Strangers. It’s such a timely, relevant read right now.

Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Personal Reflection

My Goals For 2019

Where do I even begin?

Read 40 books.

I’ve been able to for the past two years. Hopefully, 2019 isn’t an exception. On a similar note, I’ll try to post as many reviews as possible.

Write, edit, submit.

In a perfect world, I’d publish something somewhere. It’s out of my control though. Writing every day, editing my stories, submitting to contests…very much within my control.

Post content I’m proud of.

When I publish what I love, it makes me happy. I don’t want to be as hard on myself in 2019, yet my expectations are still high for this blog. More than anything, I can’t wait to create.

Learn more Spanish.

Fun fact, my name is Spanish. My dad speaks the language. I’ve been using Duolingo and doing two lessons every day.

Dance, exercise, stretch.

To be specific, I’d like to learn new moves, improve my core strength, and increase my flexibility.

Be nicer…to myself.

I’m my own worst critic. I guess I should also make an effort to be nicer to others as well.

What are your goals for 2019?

Personal Reflection · Writing

My Biggest Fear In Life

My biggest fear in life isn’t failure. It’s not trying.

I somehow convince myself that I’m not good enough. As a result, I don’t try sometimes.

It’s 2019, and I’m still just as hard on myself, if not even harder.

I have to try. I have to try my best.

I know I don’t handle failure well though. I’m working on it. I wish I could easily embrace mistakes.

I’m aware that by not trying, in a way I avoid failing. Still, I fail in a different way. I fail if I don’t try.

This year, I want to take risks I haven’t before. If I don’t try, I’ll never know. If I don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

When I was younger, I was more fearless, less afraid. Back then, I felt like I had less to lose. But I don’t have much to lose now either.

Ideally, I’d publish a book before I have kids. Now that I’ve put my intention out into the world, I hope to follow through. The first step is trying to tell the best story I can. I’ve given myself a somewhat flexible due date. Without a timeline of some kind, I could spend my whole life writing novels but never publishing them. At this point, I just need to start somewhere. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, starting is the hardest part.


Is My Blog Dead?

I’m trying to blog again after I didn’t post that much in December. I fell off my habits. But new year, new me, right?

I will be making a few changes, hopefully positive ones. I don’t plan to stop blogging, but I probably won’t post every day.

Near the end of 2018, I wasn’t at my best. I’m determined to make 2019 better. I have so many ideas in my mind that I hope to manifest in real life. I’m looking forward to the next 365 days.

Last year, I didn’t love my creative process, and in turn, I didn’t love some of the content I created. I’ll learn from my past mistakes. Now I have a better idea of what worked and what didn’t.

Going forward, I want to write and blog without overthinking every little thing. I think way too much, and sometimes my thoughts paralyze me from creating.

I started this blog out of the blue one random evening after school almost six years ago. I never looked back, and I don’t plan to anytime soon. I intend to continue posting book reviews and poems.

For now, I want to focus on enjoying the journey instead of always rushing. I love roses, so I will stop and smell them. Besides, there is no end goal or end game with my blog. I don’t have a specific destination in mind.

Thank you all for an amazing 2018. Thanks in advance for an awesome 2019.

All this to say, my blog isn’t dead. My blog will die when I die.


Trigger By David Swinson | A Book Review


Author: David Swinson

Genre: Mystery

About the book: It’s the third book in a series about a police officer who had to retire because of his drug and alcohol addictions.

I received a free copy of the book from Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I like the title. The premise sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a shot.

Characters: Frank Marr isn’t perfect. He has many flaws. I didn’t love him right away, but he grew on me.

The protagonist teams up with a young man named Calvin despite their past history. The latter grew on me as well.

I wanted to get to know the secondary characters better. At least, Frank and Calvin develop a great deal throughout the novel.


“One thing you’ll learn is it doesn’t always go as planned.”

Writing: The story is told in the first person from Frank’s perspective. I love the short chapters. I also love the various conversations between different characters. They felt raw. The dialogue contains a lot of profanity. Even some of the scenes and themes trend more mature because they wouldn’t be suitable for a younger audience. There isn’t really any romance, but some characters have complicated relationships with others.

I wouldn’t have minded more description, especially in regards to the appearances of characters. I had a hard time imagining how everyone looked like.

Final thoughts: The ending didn’t satisfy me as it felt a bit sudden. I wasn’t expecting a happy one, but I still have questions. It’s not the easiest read because Swinson delves into some difficult issues, but I enjoyed seeing the plot unfold at a solid pace.

This novel isn’t for everyone, but if you like suspenseful novels featuring morally questionable characters, check out Trigger.

Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!