Sep 10 – 16, 2023 | Little Sparks #19


I hope all is well! My note for this week’s entry is to be grateful. Gratitude can go a long way as we embrace all that happens in life.

Here’s my reading highlight:

Fourth Wing (The Empyrean #1) by Rebecca Yarros
5 stars

Amazing! It was so amazing; I finished the whole book in one sitting. It was so much fun! Tracy Wolff, a romance author, had called this book the most brutally addictive fantasy she’s read in a decade, and I understand why clearly. After completing the book, I actually listened to the second half all over again.

This might be my favourite book of 2023. I highly recommend it. It has politics, combat, strategy, history, romance and dragons! The dragons were fun, intriguing and loving characters throughout the book.

Sadly, I have to wait till November for the second part of the series. Fortunately, it’s not going to be too long of a wait but I’m hoping the series is a duology or, at most, a trilogy so I don’t have to wait too long to complete the series.

Sep 3 – 9, 2023 | Little Sparks #18


A lot happened this week. It marked a year since I started working full-time and had multiple reflections and revelations.

I went to an Alumni event and felt, for the most part, a kid masquerading as an adult. While catching up with old classmates was lovely, it felt nostalgic/bittersweet being back on campus. It was a complicated feeling.

Time passes by too fast.

Here’s my reading highlight:

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J Mass
5 stars

Once again, I am reminded why Sarah J. Maas is my favourite fantasy author. I loved the multiple short stories as a prequel and had so much fun reading them and learning more about Celaena. I truly believed that Celaena, a 16-year-old, was a skilled assassin and more capable than those seemingly twice as old and stronger than her.

A key theme in this book is sexism. It was in the background throughout the book (the short stories), but it was most evident at the end of book 0.5 when we learn of Arobynn’s biggest deceit towards Celaena. I’m looking forward to reading book one of the series.

I realised that most of Sarah’s female lead characters have one similar trait. They are all not that great listeners and thus act rashly at times. Hahaha. I guess it’s a downside of being a stubborn teenager.

Aug 27 – Sep 2, 2023 | Little Sparks #17

Hi there!

I hope you are enjoying your Labour Day long weekend. Yet, another month has passed, and the weather is getting a bit cold where I am. I am surprised we are already in September – boy, time flies by fast.  Though there are a few more weeks before the end of summer, it feels like we are much too close to the end.

Here’s my reading highlight:

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3) by Kevin Kwan
5 stars

It’s the last book of the Crazy Rich Asians series and my favourite one! I was pleasantly surprised by how well the series ended – I am satisfied with how each character’s plot came to a close and feel like there isn’t anything more I need to know.   

I read the book instead of listening to the audiobook this time round, and as such, I learned from the footnotes that Kevin is a hilarious person.  

The book resonated with me a lot. From learning more about Su Yi and her life well lived, to seeing Astrid be unapologetically herself. Life is abundant and more than just about money. I highly recommend the series; though it’s obnoxious in all the ways possible, it’s reflective and thought-provoking.

Aug 20 – 26, 2023 | Little Sparks #16

Hello friends!

How was your week? Thankfully, work wasn’t as busy as I was anticipating. I was able to do quite a lot of reading.

Here are my highlights:

The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renée Ahdieh
4 stars

As someone who likes werewolves, I was disappointed that the vampires and werewolves had a decades-long conflict. However, while reading this book, I definitely preferred the vampires over the werewolves.

I enjoyed the historical element of the book and the character Celine. I enjoy reading the fantasy genre because they always have strong female leads (or at least all the ones I have read).

The Damned (The Beautiful #2) by Renée Ahdieh
4 stars

I won’t say too much in order not to spoil book one for you. In this part of the series, we learn more about Celine, her past, and more about the mystery behind the murders in book one. This book had several plot twists and ended with quite a big one. The characters in this book keep unravelling.

I haven’t decided yet if I will continue with the series. The series has two more books, though the last one isn’t yet published. If I do choose to satisfy my curiosity, I would like to wait until the final book is published so that I am not left waiting with a cliffhanger after the third book (as I suspect from the way the first two books ended).

One more thing: I was also puzzled by why Sebastian didn’t think of using his vampire abilities at the end of the book.

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang
3 stars

I read books one and three of this series one or two years ago. I didn’t read book two back then because I didn’t like the premise – it felt like a mail-order bride tail. However, it was better than I thought – Esme had agency and was a robust character.

Aug 13 – 19, 2023 | Little Sparks #15


This week was busy, much busier than the last. Unfortunately, next week is looking the same. Is this adulting? Is this what the rat race feels like?

I hope your week ahead is better than mine!

Here’s my reading highlight:

Better Than Fiction by Alexa Martin
3 stars

Here’s a book I recently stumbled upon at a bookstore visit during a trip. It was cheesy, to say the least, but what can you expect when the male lead character is a romance book author and a hopeless romantic?

I did enjoy watching Drew fall back in love with reading. Every book lover/bookworm has had a time when they fell out of reading due to setbacks in their personal lives. The concept of exploring the places and embarking on experiencing the events you read about sounds like much fun.

Aug 6 – 12, 2023 | Little Sparks #14


I hope all is well.

It’s been a busy week, but here are my reading highlights:

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
5 stars

I was excited when I heard Ali would have a new book out this summer, so much so that I didn’t read the synopsis before picking it up. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint! I enjoyed the academic politics that centres the whole book. It was interesting and realistic – the tension between theoretical and experimental physicists, the relationship between mentors and mentees, and the economic challenges of pursuing an academic career. Of course, the relationship between Elsie and Jack was beautiful.  

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
2 stars

I didn’t like this book much. I am still trying to figure out if it was because of the writing, the reading (since it’s an audiobook) or the character Grace. A few pages in, I realised that what Grace greatly needed and should have was therapy. Seeing that she eventually did and was better for it was great.  

Jul 13 – Aug 5, 2023 | Little Sparks #13

How did we get here? It’s August, and we are almost at the end of Summer.

How are you doing? How has 2023 been for you so far? My year has been filled with many reflections and nostalgia, and it has been evident from the books I have picked up lately.

Here are my reading highlights for the week:

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan
4 stars

This is one of the rare times I read a book after watching the movie first. I’m not sure if I knew that Crazy Rich Asians was based on a book before I watched it in 2018, but I do remember being very excited about the movie and that it didn’t disappoint.

The book differs from the movie; apart from more context and nuances as apparent as the original version, we get more insight into Rachel and Nic’s relationship and life together before visiting Singapore. I finished the book in pretty much one sitting. It was fun and intriguing; it felt like I was in the country, eating the food and enjoying the sights.

China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) by Kevin Kwan
3 stars

I have several thoughts on this second book. I was surprised that there was an element of geopolitics and wondered if it was just a coincidence. I won’t go into this element of the book here, so I recommend you do some Googling if you are interested.

I didn’t like the book’s first half, because we didn’t get much of Rachel and Nicholas, even though they are supposed to be the main characters. I listened to the audiobook for both books and as they were read by different narrators (something I have learnt is a no-go for series, for me), Rachel felt very different from the lady I was introduced to in the first book. Furthermore, there was a lot more emphasis on materialism, so numerous descriptions of cars, bags, houses, paintings, etc. As I am very removed from these, I couldn’t significantly vision them, and thus it had little impact on me.

However, the second half was full of plot twists and ridiculousness. It felt like reading a long gossip column, and as I am intrigued to find out what happens next, I will pick up the next and final book in the series.

Jul 23 – 29, 2023 | Little Sparks #12

Hello friends!

How was your week? Mine ended in a blast – I watched Barbie with some friends. It was a masterpiece, to say the least. I enjoyed the plot and the feminist agenda. The ending was also brilliant. Some areas could have been improved like everything else in life, but I recommend watching it.

Here’s my reading highlight:

The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao
3 stars

I enjoyed the plot, but I don’t think it was executed well. I believe Sam behaved natively though not reflected in her characterisation – I didn’t expect her to be naïve with all her life experiences. The conflict between Tim and Sam felt cliché regarding how their dialogue went. Likewise, how Tim and Sam’s relationship started and shifted was also relatively superficial and thus unrealistic.

The ending was well done – it was hopeful and powerful. It made me think once again that we don’t always have to move up in life, we can also move sideways.

Jul 16 – 22, 2023 | Little Sparks #11


This week was quite eventful. It was Culture Week at my company – the first time– and we had various events.

On Monday, there was a team hike. We had paint and sip Wednesday evening, though the painting was by numbers. Hahaha! Lastly, on Friday, we had a Sports Day. It was a blast, and apart from getting to know the team better, taking breaks from working throughout the week was also lovely.

Here’s my book highlight:

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
5 stars

I went into the book without reading the synopsis, so I thought it was a true story/brand written via oral history. It is not – however, it felt very realistic, and I was deeply immersed in the plot. This is quite significant as I do not listen to rock and roll, nor am I curious about how bands work. I recommend listening to the audiobook because you truly get the experience of a documentary/it being based on oral history. A different person plays each character, and you can hear the music/singing how it’s meant to be.

I appreciated how each character was full and diverse, especially the female characters. Taylor did a great job criticising misogyny and the sexism we know existed during that time, especially for female artists trying to make it in a male-dominated industry through the characters. I also really enjoyed Billy and Camille’s relationship. Their love felt raw, hopeful and beautiful – to build a relationship by giving your unwavering faith in them.

I planned on watching the drama after reading the book, but now with such high ratings for the book, I am worried I will be disappointed by the dramatisation (after all, the book is always better than the movie). I will share if I do end up watching the drama.

Have a great week ahead! 😊

Jul 9 – 15, 2023 | Little Sparks #10


Yet, another week has passed, and we are now almost midway into July.

How is your summer going so far? Mine has been filled with – apart from books – workouts and new restaurants.

Here’s my reading highlight for this week:

Good Morning, Monster! By Catherine Gildiner
5 stars

Catherine recounts her experience treating five folks. We learn why they went to see Catherine (often not willing), what issues they were experiencing and how they overcame them/are recovering. Catherine describes these five folks as heroes, and after reading about their journeys to recovery, I couldn’t agree more.

Despite the heavy topic, I finished this book in one sitting. The writing was intriguing and hopeful. It makes you think about the power of therapy and the human potential – what we can do with the cards we are dealt with.

TW: rape, suicide (ideation), (drug, emotional) abuse, death (of a child), domestic violence, mutilation, negligence