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Friday, July 31, 2015

July Wrap-Up // August TBR | 2015: New Zealand Trip & Bungee Jump !

image source: here. edited by me.
The holiday season is finally over and now it's time to face another month! I feel refreshed after the 2-week holiday that I had during the third and fourth week of July. I hope it will give me the energy to survive until the next holiday. *fingers crossed* If you followed me on Goodreads, you'll know that I don't read that many books this month—which is quite ironic compared to the amount of books I read last month. I read 2 books and 2 graphic novels in July; but one of the books is 900+ pages long, so it's still a win for me personally. I reviewed 6 books this month and most of them are books that I read in June. Okay, so here are the books I've read and reviewed this month, non-review posts in July and the books I'm planning to read in August.
I've always been waiting for a new book by Sefryana Khairil because I absolutely adore her writing style. Even though I'm not fully satisfied with this book, I still enjoyed it nevertheless. It's a page-turner for me and I adored the chemistry between the two main characters. In the end I gave this book a 4.5/5. ✮✮✮✮½
I've read the first two books in this comic series and the third one is pretty much the same like the previous ones. The illustrator describes the differences between each blood types through a series of situation and relationships. And it's always fascinating for me to see how different each blood types can be. 3.5/5 for this book ;) ✮✮✮½
THIS is definitely one of my favorite reads in 2015. I've said this a lot in my review and I'll say it again here: I can't stop myself from smiling when I read this book. It's just too cute and adorable. I love how the author tells the story, the narration, I also love the characters and was able to relate to them on an emotional level. Definitely a 5/5 for this one :D ✮✮✮✮✮
This was quite a disappointing read because I was hoping to like this—since I've always enjoyed Gayle Forman's writing. I still think Gayle Forman's writing is beautiful in this book, but I didn't really like plot of the story. I know it's supposed to be an emotional story; sadly I could not relate with the characters and what's happening to them. I gave it a 3/5 because I think there's an important message in this book despite my dissatisfaction with the plot. ✮✮✮
I received this book from the author to be reviewed and I love how it adapted a pretty dark fairy tale called The Red Shoes and developed it into her own story. I really liked the shocking plot twist in this book and finally decided to give this book a 3.5/5. ✮✮✮½
So I finally picked up this popular graphic novel and I really really enjoyed it! There are a lot of information to take in at first; but once I get used to the world and characters, I  literally could not stop reading! It's an ongoing graphic novel series and I'm just taking it slow because there are only about 30 chapters out so far. 4.5/5 for this one ;) ✮✮✮✮½
I also finished reading A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin as well as Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples this month. The reviews for these books will hopefully be published soon in early August. Since I didn't read a lot of books in July, I hope I can get a lot of reading done in August—even though I'm still unsure how my schedule is going to be next month. And I did say I wanted to do a giveaway in July, but it turns out I couldn't find the time to prepare for it. So that might be one of my priorities in August :) Below I also listed some of the books I'm planning to read next month ;)
Non-Review Posts in July:
August TBR:
(I might have more books coming in next month, so this list can change and is quite flexible)
The Martian by Andy Weir
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Saga, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

☆ New Zealand Holiday Trip ☆

As some of you may already know, I went to New Zealand for 11-days with my family for our holiday. In this post I will briefly mention some of the highlights of my trip and I will do a separate post on Hobbiton because it's something book related. On the first few days, we went and explored the southern part of New Zealand which is famous for its' beautiful landscape. We visited quite a lot of lakes (which I don't remember the names) and they all have this beautiful turquoise color that's so calming to see. The mountains surrounding the lakes are exquisite as well—especially with snow at the top, which make them look kind of like a huge tiramisu cake ♥ And I'm always fascinated by the amount of sheep we saw along the roads. They're literally everywhere! New Zealand's population is around 4 million people and the local guide said there are about 30 million sheep in the country. That's a lot of sheep. But they're really cute and fluffy, so it's okay.

Another beautiful spot in the southern part of New Zealand is Milford Sound fjord! Even though it took 5 hours to get there, I got on a very pleasant cruise ride in which we can enjoy the beautiful scenery. There's even a beautiful rainbow on the mountains because it was raining earlier. It's just a magnificent sight that makes me stand in awe at God's wonderful creation. In terms of food, there's only one that still lingers on my mind and that is Fergburger—which you can only find in Queenstown, New Zealand. I really wanted to try this burger when I went to Queenstown because there are so many good reviews about it on the internet. But when the local guide showed us the place, it was fully packed with people queuing. I still had to try it though, so I stayed in line for about 30-45 minutes until we finally get to order the fergburger (which costs NZ$11.00). And OMG it was the best burger I've ever had. The meat was freshly cooked with a nice texture; the top bun is fluffy and the bottom bun is a little bit crispy. It's pure perfection. The long queue was definitely worth it.

And like I said in my short hiatus post, one of the things that I wanted to do in New Zealand is go bungee jumping. And I finally did it! The tour guide took us to AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy (which is 43M high), and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in life. I was extremely nervous when I registered but it wasn't so bad when I finally reached the platform. It wasn't that high up actually; which is perfect for my first bungee jumping experience (so it won't traumatize me or anything). The price was quite expensive, but thinking back I think it's worth the experience. Next on my wishlist is to bungee jump from Macau Towerthe highest bungee in the world, at 233M high. Maybe next year? ;)

The last highlight of my NZ trip will of course be Hobbiton; but like I said earlier, I will make a separate post about it. If you're interested to see what I experienced in the land of the hobbits, look forward to the post within a week or two ;) And that's basically it for my 11-day holiday in New Zealand. I would've bought some books for souvenirs but the books in New Zealand are surprisingly very expensive. I saw Go Set a Watchman in a bookstore for NZ$50.00; it's equal to around IDR 450,000! I could get 4 books with that. But in the end, I really enjoyed my trip to New Zealand. It's a really beautiful country and it feels really nice to breathe fresh, clean air with almost no pollution

☆ Music / Movies / TV Shows ☆

For entertainment, I discovered some new (and old) songs that I recently love. My first and most favorite song of the month will be ♫ Marvin Gaye by Charlie Puth feat. Meghan Trainor ♫. It's a really fun and chill song to listen to. I've always liked Meghan Trainor's voice and her duet with Charlie Puth is just precious. Some older songs that I love this month includes ♫ Boyce Avenue & Bea Miller's rendition of Photograph by Ed Sheeran and ♫ Miracle by Westlife . These two songs are a bit on the mellow/romantic side. Westlife has been my favorite boy band since I was a little kid and I listened to this song on the bus while I was in NZ. I know all of Westlife's songs but not this one, because it turns out this was an unreleased song. The lyrics are so sad tho. And for k-pop, I've been enjoying BTOB's 괜찮아요 (It's Okay) and ♫ 주마등 (Feat. MI-WOO) by LeeSSang (리쌍) ♫. Gary's rap is always the best.


It’s easier to walk on water, it’s easier to part the sea
Than to live another day without you
And just forget about what you mean to me
It’s easier to reach the heavens than for us to work this out
I haven’t prayed in so long but if it brings you back somehow
Then I guess I’ll need a miracle right now

—Westlife, Miracle

The most memorable movie that I watched this month was Still Alice, which was adapted from a book with the same title by Lisa Genova. I'm currently preparing a movie adaptation review and will discuss about how much I enjoyed it. It's a really beautiful and poignant movie about Alzheimer's disease. And in terms of TV shows, I'm adding another Korean drama on my to-watch-list, which is 오 나의 귀신님 (Oh My Ghost). I love the main cast 조정석 (Jo Jeong-Seok) and 박보영 (Park Bo-Young), so I'm really looking forward to see their adorable chemistry. The reviews are pretty good so far, I hope I can start watching it soon when I have the time :)))

And that's it for this month's wrap-up! I'm excited for August and hopefully next month will be good to me. I hope everyone had a good holiday in July and have reenergized yourself for the upcoming months until the next holiday. Let's face each day with a grateful heart and positive minds. As always, don't forget to keep reading! ;)

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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