First Lines Friday – 12 August 2022

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, 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? Here are the rules:

  • 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!

First lines:

“There have been two moments in my life when everything changed. Moments when things could have gone either way. Moments when I had to make a choice.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 12 August 2022”

The Magical Readathon: Orilium Autumn Equinox 2022

Um, hi? How quickly is time flying this year, friends? Because August is here which means it’s time to return to magic school for ✨ The Magical Readathon: Orilium Autumn Equinox 2022! ✨ If you’re confused and don’t know what I’m on about, that’s cool. You can check out this video by our super lovely host and creator of this wonderful magical readathon, G @ Book Roast.

After completing The Novice Path in 2021, Orilium classes officially began in the Spring Equinox. Though I wasn’t 100% confident I’d pass my classes because I’m truly the Procrastination Queen™️, in the end, I managed to read all I needed to pass and I even managed to sneak in a few bonus points for completed quests. 🎉 So, I’m actually looking forward to returning for the Autumn semester even though I know it’s gonna be a bit more challenging in comparison.

Character BACKGROUND:

  • Name: Meeska
  • Guild: House of the Arcane
  • Calling: Illusionist Rogue
  • Background: Urban
  • Province: Kerador
  • Heritage: Earthling (Fire)
  • Conduit: Staff
  • Legacy: Pocket Dimension

Guild Tier Status: Assistant

Orilium Autumn Equinox Class Prompts + Possibility Pile

As an Illusionist Rogue, I’ll be attending the same three classes that I did last semester but this time I need to achieve an O in Shapeshifting, a D in Art of Illusion, and an O in Psionics & Divination. The grading system is: O – Outstanding; Q – Qualified; D – Distinguished. This means I’ll need to read 5 books in total to achieve the grades for the classes and pass the Autumn semester!

As always, I’m terrible with TBRs so I’m going with a possibility pile that will allow me some flexibility throughout the reading month.

*covers linked to Goodreads*

‘O’ IN SHAPESHIFTING: formation – WINGS ON THE COVER

I’m kinda of surprised but I can’t think of many books that I own which fit this prompt so if anyone has suggestions, I’d be happy to know them (they might even be on my TBR and I just can’t remember! Lol)


‘D’ IN ART OF ILLUSION:

In order to achieve a ‘D’ I need to complete the ‘O’ and ‘Q’ prompts as well, which means I need to read three books for this grade.

O – BLUR FACE: A BOOK YOU DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT
Q – MINOR ILLUSIONS: BOOK UNDER 300 PAGES
D – CAST – DEJAVU: PICK A PROMPT FROM THE LAST SEMESTER (ALCHEMY – POTION OF INFATUATION: BOOK FEATURING ROMANCE)

‘O’ IN PSIONICS & DIVINATION: TIME THEORY I – TIME TRAVEL

I kind of struggled to find books for this prompt! I have surprisingly few time travel books on my TBR but also, I’m not entirely sure which ones actually have time travel in them… 🙈

Adventure Board Quests

Just like in the Spring Semester, I’m hoping to complete some adventure board quests. I wasn’t able to sign up for the limited quests worth more points last time due to the time difference and I have a feeling that it’ll be the same now, but there are already a few of the ‘free-for-all’ quests that I have my eyes on!

Guild Events Preparations: Buddy read a book: The Dragon’s Promise (reading with Leslie!)
Discreet Help Needed: Shrubbery on the cover: Maggie Moves On
Amphibian Wranglers: Author name starts with a B or F: Brandon Sanderson
Courier Needed: A Book with a movie adaptation: The Green Mile

Are you also returning for the Autumn Equinox semester? How many classes do you have and how many books do you have to read? If anyone has recommendations for any of the prompts or if you wanna do a buddy read, just let me know cos I’d definitely be up for it! 😃

First Lines Friday – 22 July 2022

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, 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? Here are the rules:

  • 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!

First lines:

“The bell hanging outside the curiosity shop knew the human was trouble from the way he moved through the door. Bells have excellent hearing, but this little chime didn’t need any particular skill to catch the crude jangle of the gaudy pocket-watch chain at this young man’s hips, or the rough scrape of his boots as he attempted a swagger but only succeeded in scuffing the floor of Maximilian’s Curiosities, Whimsies & Other Oddities.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 22 July 2022”

The A-Z Book Tag!

Hello, book lovers! It’s time for another tag today so I thought I’d finally get around to doing the A-Z Book Tag! I was tagged by the wonderful Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog to do this one several months ago (eep!) and in typical dinipanda fashion, I’m getting to it quite late—but as they say, better late than never, right?! 😉 Be sure to check out Becky’s blog, especially if you love your fantasy because she’s all about that!

This tag was originally created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner and it was actually called the A-Z Survey.

A: Author you’ve read the most books from

I thought this might be Maas because her series’ are long but I’m quite sure I’ve read a lot more Nora Roberts in my lifetime! 😂 I don’t know how many books of hers I’ve read but it’s probably 15+?

B: Best sequel ever

This is a tough one because there are so many sequels I don’t remember much of seeing as I read them years ago. The one that I remember from my more recent reads is Jade War by Fonda Lee, though to be fair all the books in this series were incredible!

C: Currently reading

I’m currently reading The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. I’m just over 35% and I can’t stop reading!

D: DRINK OF CHOICE

A ice or hot caramel macchiato with an extra espresso shot. Or ice-cold water. Or ice-cold coke zero… 👀 Choices, choices!

E: E-READER OR PHYSICAL BOOK

I mean, I want to say I prefer physical books because I love the look of them, they can populate my shelves, and I quite enjoy tabbing so I can tab them. But realistically, I read the most on my Kindle (e-reader) and there’s nowhere I go without it or without having access to it on my phone or laptop!

F: FICTIONAL CHARACTER YOU WOULD’VE DATED IN HIGH SCHOOL

I thought this would be an easy question to answer but it’s not! I’m trying to think of YA characters who I loved and I think I’d choose X from Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon. He would’ve been the popular kid that would’ve overlooked nerdy me (surprise) but if I was still in HS and he asked me out, I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes! 😂

G: GLAD YOU GAVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE

I don’t usually read anthologies because 90% of the time the stories don’t work for me and I want to DNF them. I’m so glad I gave Blackout by Various Authors a chance because I loved this collection of short stories and how they intersected!

H: HIDDEN GEM

Another tough one to pick… I don’t know if this would be considered a “hidden gem” but I don’t see a lot of people talking about Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan and I think it deserves more hype! I don’t read a lot of NF but I absolutely adored this one and related to it so hard.

I: IMPORTANT MOMENT IN YOUR READING LIFE

I don’t think I really have any ‘important moments’ in my reading life but I mean, what really kickstarted my love for reading when I was a kid was my desire to get away from my bullies so I would just hide in the library. Turns out, I found myself a heavenly haven!

J: JUST FINISHED

I needed a quick romance read yesterday so I picked up The Missed Connection by Denise Williams. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking but I really enjoyed this sweet novella and it was exactly what I wanted!

K: KIND OF BOOK YOU WON’T READ

I’m pretty open to a lot of genres but I don’t think I’d read straight-up horror and spooky ghost/possession stories. They’d just be too scary for me, The Ultimate Chicken™️! 😂

L: LONGEST BOOK YOU’VE READ

I wasn’t sure what book would take this spot but this one surprised me! All the books in this series are chonky bois but I didn’t realise Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett was the longest book I’ve ever read. It’s 1,098 pages!

M: MAJOR BOOK HANGOVER BECAUSE OF…

I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara before I even knew how “popular” it was because I didn’t know the book community existed. 😂 I think I stopped reading for three months after finishing this book because nothing was taking and my emotions were a total wreck!

N: NUMBER OF BOOKSHELVES YOU OWN

Since I moved my books back to my parent’s house in Jakarta, I only have one bookshelf but it’s a decently sized one! There are times when I don’t like it cos it’s deeper than it is wide, which isn’t great for showcasing the books, but it’s still great. 😉

O: ONE BOOK YOU’VE READ MULTIPLE TIMES

I don’t re-read a lot, if ever, but one book I’ve read multiple times is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. One of my favourites for sure 💜

P: PREFERRED PLACE TO READ

I don’t really have a ‘preferred’ place to read but when I’m at home I usually read in bed or my cosy chair!

Q: QUOTE THAT INSPIRES YOU

Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

– Harvey Fierstein

R: READING REGRETS

There have been times that I’ve been gifted a copy of a book by an author and then life gets in the way and I don’t get to read it until much later than I planned. I always feel so awful about it but sometimes life just hecks things up good. 😕

S: SERIES YOU’VE STARTED AND NEED TO FINISH

Hah, what series don’t I need to finish?! Here’s a top 5 of that list:

T: THREE OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS

TOP 3?! It’s almost impossible to choose from… 🙈 But these three immediately came to mind.

U: UNAPOLOGETIC FANGIRL FOR

Omg, I’m a fangirl for so many authors and books… Most recently I’ve become a fangirl of Elizabeth O’Roark and Kate Canterbary but also, I’m a total fangirl for Fonda Lee and TJR! 😍

V: VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS RELEASE

I’m excited about *so many books* and I even made this list of books… But Babel by R.F. Kuang is definitely hitting the top of the list!

W: WORST BOOKISH HABIT

I mean… Maybe my worst bookish habit is being besties with that damn one-click button especially when I see there’s a great deal on (or let’s be honest, even when I don’t, lol)! Welp! 🙈

X: X-MARKS THE SPOT. PICK THE 27TH BOOK FROM YOUR TOP SHELF

I’m not at home with my bookshelf right now so I cheated a bit with this prompt and chose the 27th book on my Goodreads Want-to-Read list, which is: The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. (And I do actually have this on my physical shelf at home!)

Y: YOUR LAST PURCHASE

The last book I purchased was Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie L. Garber. I saw this going for 99p on Kindle last week and immediately scooped it up. I love all the covers for this book so much! ♥️

Z: Z SNATCHER. A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU UP WAY TOO LATE

I think the last book that kept me up reading through the night (and that I finished in one sitting) was Everything for You by Chloe Liese. Ugh, I love this book so much! Check out my review

tagging:

Kaya / Kristin / Celeste / Chris / Sammie / Jordyn / YOU!

That’s it for the A-Z Book Tag, folks! If I haven’t tagged you and you want to do the tag, feel free to link back to me cos I’d love to read your answers 😍

Birthstone Book Covers: July Ruby Edition ♥️

Hello friends, I’m back today with another month’s edition for The Birthstone Book Covers series created by one of my favourites, Leslie @Books Are the New Black. This is a series she created at the start of 2022 and was born out of her curiosity about birthstone colours and it’s a fun way to show different book covers/titles corresponding to that month’s birthstone. It’s a fun and easy tag that I’ve really enjoyed participating in so far. 😊

The July birthstone is the gorgeous ruby! A few covers sprang to mind when I saw this colour but I wasn’t sure that I could find more than three—spoiler alert: I did! 😂 These are a mix of TBR and read books but they’re mostly from my TBR.

Continue reading “Birthstone Book Covers: July Ruby Edition ♥️”

Birthstone Book Covers: June Alexandrite Edition 💚💜

Hello friends, I’m back today with another month’s edition for The Birthstone Book Covers series created by one of my favourites, Leslie @Books Are the New Black. This is a series she created at the start of 2022 and was born out of her curiosity about birthstone colours and it’s a fun way to show different book covers/titles corresponding to that month’s birthstone.

Check out my Birthstone Book Cover: May Edition!

I have very little clue about birthstones in general so I had no idea that June several to choose from. I decided to go with the Alexandrite stone that changes colours depending on when you observe it; so sometimes it’ll look purple and other times it’ll look dark green/turquoise. Cool, huh? I had to dig a little deeper into my read list to get to some of these covers but I’m surprised how many I managed to find! I also really enjoyed all these books so I’m quite happy with this list.

Continue reading “Birthstone Book Covers: June Alexandrite Edition 💚💜”

First Lines Friday – 10 June 2022

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, 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? Here are the rules:

  • 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!

First lines:

“Dev Deshpande knows the exact moment he started believing in happily ever after. He is ten years old, sitting cross-legged in his living room, staring up at the television in awe at Ever After. It’s like the stories he reads before bed, tented under Star Wars sheets long after his parents have told him to turn out the lights—stories about knights and towers and magic kisses.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 10 June 2022”

ARC Review: Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Starry-Eyed Love (Spark House #2)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: 10 May 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

Charming, hilarious, and emotional, Starry-Eyed Love is Helena Hunting at her very best!

Having just broken up with her boyfriend, London Spark is not in the mood to be hit on. Especially not when she’s out celebrating her single status with her sisters. So when a very attractive man pays for their drinks and then slips her his number, she passes it right back to him with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’. As the business administrator for their family’s event hotel, the Spark House, London has more important things to worry about, like bringing in new clientele.

As luck would have it, a multi-million-dollar company calls a few months later asking for a meeting to discuss a potential partnership, and London is eager to prove to her sisters, and herself, that she can land this deal. Just when she thinks she has nailed her presentation, the company’s CEO, Jackson Holt, walks in and inserts himself into the meeting. Not only that, but he also happens to be the same guy she turned down at the bar a few months ago.

As they begin to spend more time together, their working relationship blossoms into something more. It isn’t until their professional entanglements are finally over, that London and Jackson are finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. But between Jackson’s secretive past and London’s struggle with her sisters, London must question where she really stands – not just with Jackson, but with the Spark House, too.

TL;DR: I genuinely enjoyed this so much more than the first book! Although it was slow at the start and there were communication issues that I wished had been handled better, London and Jackson had great chemistry and I liked how their romance played out. They had sweet moments with just the right amount of cheese to make it cute and I really liked how they supported each other. I also loved the sibling dynamic between the Spark sisters and although I’m not sure if Hunting’s books are 100% for me, I’m looking forward to Harley’s story because she’s my favourite sister so far!

Continue reading “ARC Review: Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting”

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I spent most of Sunday in bed finishing Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting. This is the second book in her Spark House series and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it so much more than the first! There were still things that irked me but I liked the romance much more. My review will go up tomorrow! 🙂

What are you currently reading?

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

Birthstone Book Covers: May Edition 💚

Hello friends, I’m back today with another month’s edition for The Birthstone Book Covers series created by one of my favourites, Leslie @Books Are the New Black. This is a series she created at the start of 2022 and was born out of her curiosity about birthstone colours and it’s a fun way to show different book covers/titles corresponding to that month’s birthstone.

Check out my Birthstone Book Cover: April Edition!

So far, I’ve only managed to participate in this monthly meme once but I’ve been excited to share my post this month because it’s my birthday month (and Leslie’s too!) and I do love the shades of my birthstone: Emerald! I’ve tried my best to pick covers from my read and unread shelves that fit the different shades of green and found it surprisingly difficult. I really thought I had more green covers but I was kinda wrong! 😂 But without further ado… Let’s get to it!

Continue reading “Birthstone Book Covers: May Edition 💚”