Top Ten Tuesday : Characters I want on my team in a haunted house

Another Tuesday and another TTT! The theme for this week was Creepy Freebie and I chose the topic as characters I want on my team inside a haunted house.

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Okay, here we go –

Hermione Granger : Let’s be honest. Harry wouldn’t survive even his first year without the help of Hermione. Plus, I think I’d need a rational person like Hermione to get me through a haunted house.

Kate Daniels : Having the most badass heroine like Kate Daniels beside me would ensure that I could just relax and let her combat all the ghosts. Heh.

Feyre Archeron : Well, she went to the Weaver’s house. So she could also tag along with me to the haunted house, right? Plus, she’s a loyal friend. What else could I ask for when entering a haunted house?

Minya : I thought of Lazlo Strange first. But Minya? She can control ghosts! Could the choice be any more obvious?

Victor Vale : Victor may be a sociopath who claims to love nobody, but if you’re on his team, then he’ll stop at nothing to protect at you.

The Weasley twins : Who doesn’t need humor to make things better when they are faced with horror? And nobody is better at humor than the Weasley twins. Plus, they have so many tricks up their sleeves, the haunted house might turn out to be a piece of cake!

Roy Mustang : Would you look at that smolder? It also helps that he happens to be my first Japanese crush. But let’s be honest here. I’d have this guy by my side at any place and situation, for purely selfish reasons.

Buffy Summers : Umm, hello? Buffy the vampire slayer? A definite YES.


Kaz Brekker
: A quick-witted and sharp guy like Kaz is just what I need to survive a haunted house!

Lisbeth Salander
: What a badass to have at your side! I’d be in too awe of her to be scared of ghosts, I think!

What about you guys? Who would you pick to accompany you to a haunted house?

Book Review : ONE DAY IN DECEMBER By Josie Silver

A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don’t meet the one.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

This one’s for all the hopeless romantics out there. It’s about love at first sight. Something that’s not my cup of tea. But the author presents it in such a way that I was sold 100% on that. The connection between Laurie and Jack felt tangible to me. The characters themselves felt real to me. And I think when an author can accomplish that, she’s already won half of me over.

At the very beginning, Laurie calls the guy from Love Actually who confesses his love to his friend’s wife, a bad friend. That right there should be a big warning for everyone on what’s to come.

No, Lauri does not turn out to be a bad friend. She’s too good a friend, even, which frustrated me to no end. I felt myself irrationally disliking her best friend Sarah at the beginning even when I knew that she wasn’t necessarily to blame. But that was only because my heart ached for Laurie so much! The whole situation between these three made my heart ache like nothing else!

The whole book is a series of missed opportunities. I loved Jack and Laurie together and individually. But Jack did test my patience quite a lot of times. So much so that I found myself wishing for Laurie to end up with Oscar at one point. All the characters (with the exception of 2 maybe) were so  relatable that I just wanted everyone to end up happy in the end. I was invested in their lives. Even Sarah who I wanted to dislike had me feeling for her before long. Although, I was frustrated with Jack and Laurie more often than not, I understood where they were coming from, and wanted the world for them.

This was an antsy read. I couldn’t put the book down in my desperation to know how it ends for all the characters. Above all, this was a book with characters and relationships that felt real to me. And that, more than anything else, made the book a winner in my eyes.

If I have one complaint, it’s the abrupt ending. After being put through such a ringer, I think that we deserved a proper epilogue. Excepting this one flaw, I’d call this a perfect read for the upcoming holiday season!

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Book Review : HARD SELL (21 Wall Street #2) By Lauren Layne

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

I was in the mood for a cute and fun romance and I knew Lauren layne wouldn’t disappoint. She didn’t. I’d initially planned to start with the first in the series – Hot Asset. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision to read this one first. I’ll read the previous one soon too. It would be great to see a glimpse of Sabrina and Matt’s initial state of affairs. They’re frenemies with benefits before this book although we don’t get to see that part of their relationship. When we meet them in this book, it’s in the aftermath of a scandal that’s got the party animal and playboy Matt on the hot seat with his bosses. So, he turns to Sabrina, a professional fixer, to help him out.

Matt and Sabrina have a long history. They had a one-night stand that turned into a non-exclusive arrangement with no-strings attached. But it was not a happy arrangement. Matt said some things after their first night together that turned their equation bitter. I would’ve liked to see a flashback or more details about that first encounter that caused the whole tension between them. But I enjoyed Matt and Sabrina’s clashing chemistry. I also loved how their conversations always seemed to go south with one of them – mostly Matt – ending up putting a foot in his mouth. Both of them are career-driven and have dysfunctional families that make them wary about marriage or what Sabrina calls ‘Fairy-tale version of love’.

I think I’d have liked more conversations between them that was not merely banter before we see them falling in love. The only close-to-profound encounter they have is when Matt takes her to visit his dysfunctional parents with an open marriage. We don’t see Sabrina talk about her mother and own issues. There’s allusions to ‘someday’ when Sabrina will open up to him about her mother. These allusions to a deeper connection is my main problem with the book. Because, it felt merely just an inch short of making the process of Matt and Sabrina falling in love more convincing. Sure, this book supplied what I wanted from it in doses. But it could’ve been so much more!

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Book Review : MAMMOTH by Jill Baguchinsky

The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin. Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on the retro style she developed to shield herself from her former bullies, but vintage dresses and perfect lipstick aren’t compatible with prospecting for fossils in the Texas heat. But nothing is going to dampen Natalie’s spirit — she’s exactly where she wants to be, and she gets to work with her hero, a rock-star paleontologist who hosts the most popular paleo podcast in the world. And then there’s Chase the intern, who’s seriously cute, and Cody, a local boy who’d be even cuter if he were less of a grouch.

It’s a summer that promises to be about more than just mammoths.

Until it isn’t.

When Natalie’s hero turns out to be anything but, and steals the credit for one of her accomplishments, Nat has to unearth the confidence she needs to stand out in a field dominated by dudes. To do this, she’ll have to let her true self shine, even if that means defying all the rules for the sake of a major discovery.

The fact that the book Mammoth exists makes me so happy! It’s about a plus sized girl who also happens to be both a fashion blogger and a science geek! How cool is that? This is the first Young Adult I found about Paleontology. Ross Geller would be proud!

Natalie is a paleontology enthusiast who gets an internship at a Ice Age digging site. She’s a fashion blogger and a science geek which makes her such a cool protagonist on paper. But once you peel the layers, she’s just a girl who wants to prove herself. She’s insecure about her weight, uses fashion and makeup to don a different persona that makes her awesome. She thinks that she can either be awesome or herself. These two are mutually exclusive. She also has an anxious habit of snapping an elastic band on her wrist when she’s stressed. But as the story goes on, we see her change slowly.

I loved the details of the internship. The procedures were fun to see. My favorite part about the book was the friendship between Quinn and Natalie. There were feminist aspects to the book that I absolutely loved. The supporting characters were all amazingly written and played important parts. I just found the whole premise and concept so refreshing that I didn’t need much in the plot to please me.

Natalie, though? I was so frustrated by her. When I read the synopsis, I was expecting a confident and badass heroine. The only time Natalie impressed me with her badassery was when she didn’t look back once when her crush let her down. And I was mighty impressed, I tell you. But then a few pages later, she makes another mistake that made me feel like shaking her! I know that I was supposed to root for her because she’s a plus sized girl and her insecurities are legit. But here’s the thing. I knew that I should root for her. But I just couldn’t! There was no connection. She simply kept disappointing me time and again with her ill-advised decisions. I found myself liking Quinn more.

I appreciate it when a protagonist is flawed and has a growth arc. But when 251 pages down the line, she keeps making stupid mistakes, the flaws stop looking fascinating. That makes me want to give this 3 stars. But I’ll add a star just for the refreshing themes explored in the book.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Publication Date: 8th November, 2018.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Edweiss)
You can find this book on – Goodreads | Amazon

2 Monthversary Special: Raya Asks – Audiobooks

Hello, everybody! Yesterday marked two months of my blogging journey. I started this blog on the 24th of August. I can’t believe it’s already been 2 months! I know it might not be that special to many people. I mean, 2 months is like a blip in the larger scheme of things. But I’ve had such a great time in the past 2 months just because of this blog and the love you’ve given to it! It still amazes me to think that people actually read my ramblings! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has ever taken the time to comment on, like or read my blog! You have no idea what that means to me!

So, I thought of doing something different to celebrate my third month into blogging. Tada! here’s my first interactive post! I was a bit peevish previously to try this as I thought nobody would be interested. But look what two months has done to my confidence! I feel brave enough to try new things. More specifically, a new feature – Questions!

I haven’t been able to read as much as usual in the past 2 weeks because of recently starting a new internship. That, in addition to my final semester at Grad School and Master’s thesis is leaving me too tired to make time or energy for my reads. And I thought of branching more into audiobooks as a result. Now, I’m still comparatively a beginner when it comes to audiobooks and I need suggestions!

So, here’s my question –

What Are Your Top Favorite Audiobooks?

Now, I’m open to all genres. But I’m currently in the mood for listening to anything along the lines of contemporary or romance. (Because I’ve mainly listened to fantasy audiobooks so far). I wouldn’t even mind listening to a book I’ve already read as long as I liked the book and the narration does justice to it.

P.S. I might make this a weekly interactive thing where I ask you about more bookish recommendations, depending on your responses to this post.  I might change the name, though. Using my name in third person comes off as a bit pretentious. Heh.

Anyhow, looking forward to you recommendations!


Top Ten Tuesday : Villains

I skipped it last week because I didn’t really have any honest input to give on the topic. But this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is right up my alley! Top Ten villains (Favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc)? Here we go!

Btw, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Check her blog out!

Favorite Villain – Victor Vale

I love Victor Vale. In fact, in my reviews for Vicious and Vengeful, I spend half the time raving about how much I love Victor. Probably one of the best written characters in contemporary fiction.

Lovable Villain – Lothaire

What an anti-hero! He made me laugh, pull my hairs in frustration, feel sorry for him, swoon, all at the same time. He might not have been the villain of his own story but he sure made lives of everyone else hell.

Fascinating Villain – Amarantha

Court of Thorns And Roses was a generic story until Amarantha appeared. Of course, I give half the credit to Rhys, but Amarantha gave the story the edge it required. I found her quite fascinating and probably wouldn’t mind seeing more of her.

Misunderstood Villain – Severus Snape

He might have turned to be not quite the villain in the end. But that still doesn’t change what a bully he’d been. It was his own decisions that cost him his love. He was the maker of his own misery.

Pitiable Villain – Gollum

Jamie Beswarick

No villain in Lord of the Rings series creeped me out more than him. But he’s also one of the most pitiable villains of the series. I can’t think of any other character that I found equally pitiable and creepy.


Mysterious Villain – Roland

Roland was such an unpredictable villain. I didn’t know what to feel for him half the time. He was only a name for most of the series and when he does appear at the later half, he is mysterious enough to live up to his reputation.

Shady Villain – Mrs. Danvers

Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca made my hairs rise the moment we meet her. She was creepy as hell. She’s an iconic villain, really. Although, a lot of people might claim that Rebecca had a much more powerful presence in the book even in her absence. But it was Mrs. Danvers who helped Rebecca’s shadows stand out.

Creepiest Villain – Hannibal Lecter

No doubt about this one. Anthony Hopkins also deserves credit for this. His was one of the most creepiest portrayals of a villain in any movie. When I decided to read the books after the movie, I kept imagining Anthony Hopkins whenever Hannibal Lecter appeared. And that amplified the effect of the character for me.

Despicable Villain – Dolores Umbridge

Harry Potter had quite a large number of villains. But, Umbridge takes the cake for me! She had my skin crawling whenever she appeared. I found myself hating her a lot more than Voldemort, if that can be believed.

Most Evil Villain – Lord Voldemort

You know how people say that nobody is born evil? Lord Voldemort defies that theory. He was simply born evil. I couldn’t think of a more evil villain if I tried. He might even be the best/worst villain I’ve read. The Harry Potter series might as well be about Lord Voldemort as much as it’s about Harry Potter, that’s how powerful this villain was.

Three entries from Harry Potter. I probably need to read more books with villains. And I’m counting on the TTT entries by everyone else for recommendations of more great villains!



TAG : Disney Channel Halloween Movies

Tags are the best things! And this one seems like so much fun. Thanks to  Sara @ Bibliophagist for tagging me in this. I think I’ve already said before how she’s one of my most favorite book bloggers. I love her book reviews and tags! So make sure to check out her blog if you haven’t already.


  1. Tag the creator (bookprincessreviews) of the DHM Tag.
  2. Thank the person who tagged who.
  3. Answer the questions.
  4. Tag five more people.

Halloweentown: Where is your favorite place to go for Halloween or a place you want to go?

Well, we don’t really celebrate Halloween here in my country. But if I were to ever celebrate Halloween, I think I’d like to visit New Orleans. That is one of the spookiest places I’ve read about, with its reputation for voodoo and haunted places. I also would love to visit Transylvania in Romania. Transylvania has always appealed to me for its beautiful landscapes and Gothic structures. It always seemed to me the perfect setting for a horror book.

Under Wraps: What’s something that used to be scary to you and then you realized it wasn’t just the mummy in this movie?

There’s a big mosquito problem in our country. So our city corporations have this service of sending out their people with huge mosquite smoke guns (?). And people usually call them to spray inside their homes when they come over to our streets.

Growing up, I was scared of these guns. Firstly, the loud sound they made scared the shit out of me. I would always hide myself and close my ears. Not to mention the smoke and the smell. And I’d always try to stop my parents from letting those people spray inside our house. What kid would like their house to smell like that and be all smokey? So, yeah. I was scared of these things.

But now I’m an adult and I know better to be scared of them. Granted, I still find their smell and smoke unpleasant. Thankfully, we don’t see much of these guns anymore.

Tower of Terror: What is the scariest place you’ve ever been?

I can’t think of any particular place, really. All I can say is that any place would be scary if I didn’t have my family with me. Like I remember once nobody came to pick me up for 2 hours at my school and I had a legit panic attack. I also would be scared in crowded places like fairs and festivals.

The thing that probably comes closest to a scary place would be the graveyard behind my elementary school where a couple of the boys from my class went to once and I tagged along. I don’t really remember being terrified but I’m sure I was at least a little scared. By the way, who the hell builds a school beside a graveyard?

Twitches: If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be?

An angel, probably? That’d be cool.

Don’t Look Under the Bed: Were you scared of monsters when you were a kid? When did it stop?

More than monsters, I think I was probably more scared of the unknown, be it an unknown person or place. I probably still am.

Phantom of the Megaplex: Do you watch scary movies? If so, what is your favorite or the one you got most afraid of?

I’ve only watched a handful of horror movies. And I’d never go out of my way to watch one. I have a problem with nightmares, so I usually steer clear of scary movies.

The scariest movie I’ve watched is probably The Ring.

The Scream Team: Who would be on your dream team if you went on a ghost/supernatural creature hunt?

Kate Daniels. From my favorite urban fantasy series. Undoubtedly the best badass heroine I’ve read.

Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire: Have you ever witnessed
something/someone that could only be explained by the paranormal? If yes, what/who?

No. But I’ve had enough experiences shared with me to believe in the paranormal.

I’ll tag

Meowcartblog | Fictionnochaser | Daisygal | Mariam | Lindsey

Of course, no pressure if you’ve already done this tag or don’t feel like doing it! If you want to do it and I haven’t tagged you, let me know!