9.22.2018

a long overdue life updates!

Hello earthlings. By the time this is uploaded, it would have been 3 months since I started college. So many things happened. There are a lot of things I haven't share with anyone, and there are a lot I want to share.
w h a t   w e n t   o n  ?



  • Started school 3 months ago. I met new people, have new friends and although college life is hella hard, with these people I just met, and the support of my parents, family and best friends, I might be able to go through anything insya Allah.

  • Mid-term exam. The time when I realized how I had been wasting my time with sleeping and hanging out with my friends too much because I couldn't answer a lot of questions (and might fail some).

  • Watched Munafik 2 and it's amazing how a movie can change your perception so easily. Made me sob, for a lot of reasons.

p e r s o n a l   g r o w t h


  • With this new surrounding, my best friends so far away from me and with our different schedules, and me being unable to say anything to my mom so that she won't worry, I literally have no one. Meeting some new people here actually helped me to open my eyes completely that He's there for me. Forever and always. He is the one who's beside me whenever I'm in the "dark place". Personally, I never felt closer to Allah than how I feel right now, Alhamdulillah.

  • I'm a professional procrastinator. At least I thought I was, until I saw all my assignments unfinished because I convinced myself that I would be able to do everything last minute, just like in secondary school. Funny, Pypaa. Now that I see what that does to my mid-term exam, again, my eyes are opened about how much I need to do my works earlier and to actually get it done, because without doing the assignments, I can never understand the topic.

  • Money management. Now that I'm managing my own money (that was given by my parents), I learn to count my budgets. I'm currently using the app Money Manager, if you have any better suggestion, do comment below. And this also happens after my tragic only-RM50-left-in-my-bank-account incident. It was so scary guys, never thought my life could be scarier. I got nagged a little by my Ma because of that. I said to her I bought a lot of foods, when I actually spent money for more than just foods (read: where my money goes)

  • Cooking in the room when it is extremely forbidden.

p l a y l i s t
To me, this is September vibes. No autumn in Malaysia, but autumn in my heart, and it sounds like these.

h e a l t h
physically
rewarding as in: you sucked all that food so now you can never eat a lot. again.
I'm on a diet, because my weight went up (obviously). Like seriously went up. Even I am surprised. And my Ma was the one who asked me to start dieting, my Ma never ask any of us to diet. For now, I just reduce my food intake, drink a lot of water and try not to sleep a lot. I can never do Atkins Diet or whatsoever, I'm a student, I need to learn! Being hungry will distract me! *cough* excuses. If anyone have any efficient diet tips, please share some! I'm in dire need for those!


mentally
I guess every student is just like me, and although we know it's not mentally healthy to bottle everything up, we need to live as if these problems we have do not exist because if we open up a little bit, we'll get hurt more. Or maybe it's just me. I'm happy with my life, I'm grateful. But I'm not happy in my life. Just every time I think I'm happy, there's a voice in my head, saying "no you're not happy and you never will" and magically, my smile disappears. I'm too tired, I guess. Not physically but mentally. But, like I said before, with Allah by my side, my parents, my family, and my friends, I might be able to pull this through. Allah doesn't burden a soul beyond it can bear.



r e a d i n g   &   w a t c h i n g

These are the TV shows I'm currently watching but I'm very behind of. I started the show, but I haven't find the time to binge watch it. I'm currently on episode 4-6 for each of this shows except for The End of the F***ing World. It wasn't as good as how people say it is but it was intriguing.
I'm currently reading:
  • Lelaki Kiriman Tuhan - Umie Nadzimah
  • My Plain Jane - Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

So that's all for my life updates. I don't know when is the next time I'll have the mood to write, lets just hope that my writing block ends here. See you when I see you xx

Lots of love,
Pypaa.

9.17.2018

where all my money goes | book haul ✨

pardon my lack of photo-taking skill

I'm finally temporarily back! The last post was posted and written ages ago, and who knows when will I be back again? I'm so busy (I keep saying that in my posts, even I'm bored by it) with everything and to be honest, I'm currently in a serious reading slump and writing block. Reading for fun or study, both are really hard for me now. And I've been dying to write a post for weeks already, so since I now have the power to write and secrete express my thoughts into words, why not I write something for this blog?

As a student, books in Malaysia are extremely pricey for me (yet I still buy books as if I have all the money in the world). Before, when I was in Ranau, where the most attractive places are the tourism places (Kundasang, Poring, Luanti), I was lacking of places to buy books. No Popular, no Eaton's and obviously, no Barnes and Nobles like in the city. The only place I could buy books is at Kedai Buku Ranau, and most of the books there are all Malay contemporary romance (the usual Malay drama), and although I loved them at some points in my life before, my love died down. I now only read them when I have the mood to, and the mood comes only come seldom. So, I could only buy books when I went to the city or through online shopping.

But here, in UMS, where the mall is literally just a stone throw away, and bookstores are easily found, all my belanja makan goes to books and another books and another books. And I haven't count in all my bookdepository orders that haven't arrived yet. So, to celebrate all the losing money for books books I newly bought since I went to college, this post is written.

I Have Lost My Way - Gayle Forman

This one was bought a few weeks before I went to college, when I was settling some stuffs for college at Kota Kinabalu (KK). Haven't read anything from her before, I only watched If I Stay but I haven't read the book yet. However, I watched Hailey In Bookland's video (I guess) and I was interested with the synopsis, and it being a bit musical themed so when I was choosing which book I wanted to buy, I chose this.

A powerful display of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay. Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state. After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven't been able to confront, and together, they find their way back to who they're supposed to be. Told over the course of a single day from three different perspectives, Gayle Forman's newest novel about the power of friendship and being true to who you are is filled with the elegant prose that her fans have come to know and love.


In the Shadow of the Banyan - Vaddey Ratner

For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital. Soon the family's world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood - the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.

I haven't heard about this book yet, but the book cover is so beautiful and stunning and it was only RM10.00. I'm pretty sure the book was in the shelf for a long time already, and because it was as if it was calling for help (now that is exaggerating, and probably caused by a little bit of hallucination), I bought it. Besides, I need this kind of book more on my shelf rather than keep buying all those contemporaries.



Empayar: Hikayat Putera Tanpa Nama - Teme Abdullah

The book review post for this book might be finished by the time this post is posted. Already read this one, and it was really good for fiction book debut. Teme Abdullah is one of my favorite Malay authors ever since I read his past books; Pelukis Jalanan and Arkitek Jalanan. This book was also said to discuss similar situation in the drama Nur on TV3. Loved that drama and love this author. So I bought the book. 

Ilmu agama ini umpama senjata yang boleh dimiliki sesiapa. Jika jatuh ke tangan yang baik, akan digunakan untuk menyerang yang jahat. Namun jika jatuh ke tangan yang jahat, akan digunakan untuk memusnahkan yang baik. Berlatarkan era ala-ala klasik (but on my opinion, it actually isn't), mengisahkan pemuda-pemuda yang terpilih memasuki sebuah madrasah. Ia menceritakan tentang kehidupan di madrasah, latihan yang mereka jalani untuk menjadi pegawai kesultanan, peraturan-peraturan, dan juga pelbagai golongan pelatih. Ada yang menggunakan ilmu agama Islam untuk perkara-perkara kebaikan, dan ada yang menjadi 'penunggang agama' dan menggunakan Islam untuk kepentingan sendiri. 

Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman

Let me tell you a story. No, wait. One's not enough. I'll begin again. Let me tell you stories of the months of the year, of ghosts and heartbreak, of dread and desire. Of after-after hours drinking and unanswered phones, of good deeds and bad days, of trusting wolves and how to talk to girls at parties. There are stories within stories, whispered in the quiet of night, shouted above the roar of the day, and played out between lovers and enemies, strangers and friends. But all, all are fragile things made of just 26 letters arranged and rearranged to form tales which will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul.

I'm really anticipating this book, because my secondary school English teacher suggested Neil Gaiman to me and I want to try reading one of his books. What's the perfect way to see how you feel about a writer's writing? Short stories! Therefore, here the book is, in my book haul post.

Letters to God - Norhafsah Hamid

I was in kind of a "dark place" when I bought this (but haven't read it yet). It sounds like a perfect book for me that time, so I bought it.

Letters to God is about a journey of a young girl named Sarah in trying to find her footing in a challenging world. An introvert by nature, Sarah struggles to balance her work, life and her spiritual longing while trying to adapt to her new surroundings. She found friendship along the way and also experienced hostility and heartache. Not knowing who to turn to, she decided to rant and rave to her Creator. 
This is a story of how a young girl, who made a decision to write letters to God, telling Him of all her worries, and pain. She believes that one can talk to God at any time, any place, even outside prayers.
Did Sarah find solace?
Or did she continue to be lost?


Lelaki Kiriman Tuhan - Umie Nadzimah

To be honest, I wasn't really expecting to buy this. But it was also on sale for RM20, and my friend recommended it to me. I'm currently reading this and so far it is nice, but quite expectable to me. But since I already used my belanja makan to buy this book, I'll finish this book. Maybe there will be a plot twist that will change my mind? Who knows.

Dia hebat kerana dia tidak sempurna...
Mengisahkan Naira, si gadis garang dan selalu berwajah masam yang tidak percaya pada lelaki yang cuba mendekatinya dan Iqbal Raid yang dikatakan hantu yang suka menganggu hidupnya. Macam-macam cara Raid cuba untuk berbaik-baik dengan Naira. Raid selalu ada bila Naira susah dan bermasalah. Dia sanggup buat apa saja, berkorban segalanya untuk Naira dan tidak lari seperti lelaki lain. Hasilnya, Raid yang dikatakan miring dan hantu itulah yang Naira rindu. Tidak mahu bercinta sebelum nikah, Naira setuju kahwin segera walau dibantah oleh abang kandung sendiri, Mirza. 
Musim bulan madu berlalu dengan indah, baru terbongkar satu per satu rahsia Raid yang penuh misteri. Ketika itu, bolehkah Naira menerima Raid seadanya? Apakah kesudahan rumahtangga mereka? Terus bahagia atau sebaliknya? 

And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is one of my favorite authors, and I love every single of his book that I've read before (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns). Although I've heard some critics about this book, I still want to give it a shot, because it's Khaled Hosseini and his writing always hits the right place in my heart.

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari - as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named - is everything. 
More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. 
Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

Here We Are Now - Jasmine Warga

I haven't read anything by Jasmine Warga before. I wanted to read her other book; My Heart and Other Black Holes but I don't have the chance to do so. I was trying to find a contemporary that isn't so romantic at the bookstore and this book found its way to me.

Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because Julian Oliver is Taliah's father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.
Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father - her grandfather - who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother's trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.
With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her 'father' and her family. But Julian isn't the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother's past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.

Do you buy books even when you're facing reading slump? Comment below 💖

That's all for this post, see you when I see you! xx
Love,
Pypaa.

8.29.2018

The One Where I Become a Student Again


This post had been mereput in my draft even since before I started school again because I was thinking "I'm gonna post this when I start school again" but whenever I start writing it feels like what I wrote is boring. Hence, I kept typing and deleting over and over again. Moreover, I feel like it's too early to describe how it feels like to be a student when I just started school for like a month. Now that I already entered the second month of studying, I feel like I'm ready (tbh I'm never gonna be ready but hey whatever) to write this. So, to sum up, the best things about becoming a student again are:


1. My tutorial group mates are the best classmates ever.

Language 9 Class. Half of Tutorial 7.

Seriously there's no decent picture of T7.


When I first came to UMS, I was so worried about how I'm going to find friends, socialize and not be awkward. Little did I know that I would be in the loudest tutorial group here. Only Allah knows how grateful I am to know these people who always make me smile and laugh. The memes they shared in our WhatsApp group, the way they never want to make anyone feels left behind, how happy they make me, the person I am when I'm with them; I love these. I hope that the bond between us will strengthen with time and when we separate, we'll remember this part of our lives as one of the best.


2. Beautiful views everyday.

View from the corridor outside my room.

Displacement, d, that the students use from FSSA to kiosk.

Tasik berhantu indah damai menenangkan tepi FSSA.

The lane from UMS Aquarium to ODEC sea.
I know that some people might say "eleh banyak lagi tempat cantik, UMS tu biasa-biasa ja" but you can say what you wanna say, UMS will always be in my heart *play UMS Bertekad Cemerlang*

3. Volunteering!

Volunteering has been my passion for so long, but before this, I only volunteered to be on of the facilitators at motivation programs for primary school pupils. Before school started, I knew that there would be plenty of volunteering programs that I could join when I start my degree, but little did I know that I could start volunteering even before I start my degree. I was so happy when one of our lecturers offered us to be volunteers for guiding the tourists that come to UMS Mosque! So far, I had only volunteered 4 times (have I told you how packed my schedule is), and each time, it was so engaging.

4. The lessons.

To be perfectly honest, I don't actually have the spirit to study anymore. I'm studying just for my future, for my family's future. Studying is too tiring for me, even when I already had 6 months holiday. However, here, learning is so much more exciting and interesting. It's a new surrounding, and there are some new ways of learning that I never tried before. The lessons, although some are only repetition from what I've learned from secondary school, are packed of interesting things to learn.

6.23.2018

Always Never Yours | Book Review


Honestly, hating acting isn't the only reason I don't want to play Juliet. The other reason is, I'm not Juliet. I'm not the girl in the center of the stage at the end of a love story. I'm the girl before, the girl guys date right before they find their true love. Every one of my relationships ends exactly the same.

Title: Always Never Yours
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publication: May 22nd 2018 by Speak
Pages: 352
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Standalone/Series









Synopsis


Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. 

But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No–a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script. 

Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story?


Review
★★★★★

Normally I'm super stingy of giving 5 full stars for a book, a contemporary especially but almost all contemporary YA that I read this year were really good with a range of only 3 to 5 stars and this book is one of the 5 stars books. 

First of all, can we all at least appreciate how cute the book cover is? With the cute font and the pastel colour and everything, this book cover gives a good first impression to the readers who judge books by their covers!

I was smiling up to my ears during the last chapter; that's how happy I was when I was reading this book. This book totally gave me the warm vibe during a cold weather; it felt like I was sitting on my favorite couch with a throw blanket in front of a fireplace while eating my favorite chocolate chip cookies dipped in a cup of milk. There was happiness, and there were some sad relatable stuffs that made me cry.



This book is a light read, there were no heavy messages so it's perfect for those who just want to escape their hectic life. Although not having heavy messages, the messages the authors tried to deliver were delivered perfectly to the readers. From this book, I learned that (more like be reminded) you can't be replaced. People come and go in your life, and yes some roles that used to be yours fall into someone else's shoulders. That happens. But that doesn't mean that you're replaceable as a person, because there's only one you in this world. Megan, the main character, always feels replaceable and every time Megan mentioned that, it hits me really hard too because I always feel the same way (I even cried but that might be caused by my pms).

This book mentions a lot of reference to Romeo and Juliet and truthfully, I rolled my eyes during the first chapters where Romeo and Juliet got referenced because it's my least favorite Shakespeare's play. I'm one of those people who are cynical towards the story because it's obvious that Romeo and Juliet is an insta-love story and it isn't really logical to me; Romeo and Juliet were what, 13? And they fell in love so instantly and willing to die for each other and it was just so foolish to me. However, from this book, I could totally see Romeo and Juliet from a different view, like how some people really get foolish when they're truly in love. I could also see the story from Rosaline's point of view, and that was new to me.



I love seeing how Megan's relationships with her family, friends and love interest develop bigger and bigger as the chapters pass. The more I read, I could see more layers in the characters especially Megan and Owen. Some books overdo this by making the characters too layered when it's supposed to be a light-romantic-contemporary read and some other books have characters that barely have any layer than the surface, making the characters two dimensional. The authors did wonderful in this book, the layers in each character were perfect and sufficient for me and not too much either.

My favorite part of this book that made me give it 5 stars was that the main couple started as friends first rather than the usual love at the first sight thingy in every YA romance I always read. There was no "I feel something when I saw him, something different" *eye rolls*. When the main character's love interest was first introduced, it was like "hey that's Owen, we're schoolmate and he's a quiet person". If you never read the synopsis, you probably wouldn't really see that Owen is the love interest. Megan started liking Owen slowly, and I just adore the process of slowly falling in love.

I totally recommend this book to everyone who loves fluffy, warm YA romance books like To All The Boys I've Loved Before, Anna and the French Kiss and Kasie West's books. In fact, this book might be better.

Lots of love,
Afifah. xo


5.30.2018

mixed feelings about going to school

credit
Currently listening to: Youth - Shawn Mendes


The UPU result was announced on May 21st and alhamdulillah, I got the first option I applied for, which was Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Science Foundation. I was happy, but I was confused too. I was supposed to go to Labuan Matriculation College the next day, and I prepared everything already, I paid for everything, it was tiring and I just didn't want to start over again. However, after I think about it again and again, I decided to just go to UMS. It's close to home, introduce me to uni life, the good things about going there outweigh the bad ones.

Hence, I'm going to school again on June 20th. Excited? Of course I am. I've been doing nothing at home aside from what I said in my last post. It gets boring and I feel so unproductive no matter what I do. I miss the busy life as a student though it's tiring. I'm excited about meeting new people, living at dorm, studying at a university, being near to a mall (because there's no mall at my hometown), living in a city, and just studying again. The thought of studying again puts a new spirit in me.




These days though, I'm more scared and nervous than excited. First of all, because I'm gonna be studying math again. I was truly traumatized by the add math question on SPM last year, no exaggerating. When I was answering the questions, I felt like I was so stupid and I never learned anything about add math when I already spent almost 2 years learning add math. Although I never make a mental note to study math again, I was traumatized enough that it still haunts me today.

The other reason I'm scared is, I'm afraid if I start to hate science when I'm studying it. To be honest, when I was applying for UPU, I was torn between TESL and science foundation. I love English language, everything about it. I love learning it, I love writing and reading. When I started 2017, I was only thinking about applying for TESL after SPM. And then there's science. I've been learning science for 2 years, it was so hard when I wasn't really interested on science to begin with. However, I managed to get a good result for my science subjects and an okay result for my add math. My ambition also changes from time to time and the job I want always revolves around science. My parents also convinced me that even if I don't learn English, I can still write. Maybe that convinced me to further my study in science.



But hey, people say that being nervous isn't bad, it just means something important is happening. So maybe me being nervous isn't that bad, right?


Love,
Pypaa. xo

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