My rating: 5 / 5 ★

"Mikal, I'm scared."
"Of what? We're here. Almost safe."
"For you."
He laughs. "Don't be. I've accepted my fate."
"Have you?"
He doesn't reply.

TW: deaths, allusions of rape

From where do I start? Anna Tan's writing for this series have always left me speechless in awe.

Absolution takes place some years after Amok, and immediately after the epilogue in The Tale of the Hostage Prince. Instead of returning to Mikal's POV like in the first book, Absolution offers the POV of an entirely new character: Tulen from Impian. Following the deaths of her mother and brother, Tulen was traumatised with guilt and blamed herself for many things. An attempt to steal to survive caused her to be punished to serve a bratty princess. When the princess sets out for a pilgrimage, Tulen thinks it might just be a way for her to offer a sacrifice, to gain absolution. 

It was so easy to love Tulen that just from the first few paragraphs of this book, I only wish nothing but good things for her. In a fantasy world where things are much different than ours, her character is relatable and feels very much realistic. Despite the harsh life  she had gone through, combined with the guilt towards the deaths of her loved ones, I find it astounding that she was still able to stand tall and be herself. Sure, she did lie about her identity at a certain point, but what else can an orphan girl do by herself at desparate times?

Getting Mikal back in a new story felt so glorious because I had missed him so much (although when he first appeared, I deluded myself into thinking that he was Yosua instead—I terribly miss that boy too). A teeny bit spoiler, but the fact that Mikal called Tulen as 'sayang' when he first met her made me scream because eXCUSE ME WHILE I SCREAM AND CRY AND BUILD THIS SHIP ♡♡♡♡♡♡ I like that despite being the Sultan, Tulen treated him like a normal man and Mikal did the same towards Tulen. I love that despite the feelings blooming between these two, the story focused on their own worries and faith instead of making it all about the romance. The journey they had to go through together, the connection they formed with their gifts, made their bond so tight that I think I would not have survived if anything happened to either of them.

This series has always been about faith, but Absolution speaks about this matter more prominently. In terms of plot, there were not as much violence compared to the previous two books in the series, yet it was painful to go through as well. Tulen's guilt and Mikal's fears were agonising, and I wanted so bad to protect them from every harm and suffering they had to endure. Unlike the previous books where there were actual villains to hate, the only adversary in Absolution were their own selves. And I find that that is what made this story more meaningful, because sometimes, the hardest enemy to defeat is yourself.

All in all, Absolution is a story about faith that ends with an endearing note. I will give my whole heart to Tulen and Mikal (and Yosua since he made a cameo ♡). This review is supposed to be posted on the 25th, but due to circumstances, I'm only able to write this five days later. Much much thanks to Anna Tan and Teaspoon Publishing for trusting me with this book and I am honoured to have read all three books in this series earlier than the rest of the world. If you ask me whether I would recommend this book to anyone, I would give a big fat yes to it!

Below are the links where you can order Absolution.

Ebook: [USD4.99 / RM20]

Paperback (Malaysia only): [RM50]


Title: Absolution
Series: Absolution, #2
Author: Anna Tan
Publisher: Teaspoon Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, Spirituality 
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: November 24th 2022
Pages: 414

Synopsis (Goodreads): If cursed is the hand that kills, then it wouldn’t matter if that same hand stole, would it? 

Tulen feels doubly cursed, forced to serve the bratty princess of Impian as punishment for her crimes. When said princess embarks on a pilgrimage, Tulen grabs her only chance to offer a sacrifice at the holy city of Suci—and maybe, finally, feel clean again.

Sultan Mikal has set his face towards Suci—and certain death. Nothing about his Penance is clear, except the fact that if he fails, Terang will fall along with him.

When Tulen’s pilgrimage intersects with Sultan Mikal’s quest to fulfil the Covenant of Salt, Tulen faces a difficult dilemma: What is her absolution worth in the face of the sultanate’s very existence?


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

Writing has been a very essential part of my life, one of the only ways I was able to express myself when I was younger, although I was not perfect with it. But it was part of me, it was ingrained in me. Starting a blog at a tender age of nine, joining a community of writing fan fictions for fun, writing short stories for my friends as their birthday gifts, pursuing a degree in Creative Writing, being hired to write book reviews—all of these should have contributed to me braving the literary world and finally penning down the novel I have always wanted to share with everyone.

Alas, something went wrong. Despite everything, despite my continuous love for words and brewing new fantasies in my head, I stopped. I simply stopped. For some unknown reasons, a fear of writing developed inside me. I have no inkling as to why it formed, whether I am scared of disappointing myself, or scared of people's judgement. I find it ironic how I used to be confident with my writing and was self-conscious of how I looked, but these days it is switched. I found the confidence with my appearance and how I carry myself in front of others, yet somehow I lost my way with connecting with the words in my brain.

It has been more than two years since I finished my studies, and that was pretty much the amount of time I had been lost from something that used to be so important in my life. I fear that if I do not make an attempt to rescue myself, someday I will no longer be able down to bring any of my fantasies alive, and the thought itself can potentially destroy me from within. If I do not do anything to salvage it, I will be lost. I will no longer... be me.

Writing has always been a part of me, my hope, my life. Without it, it feels like I just switched on a self-destruction button in me. Call it dramatic, but writers are often born dramatic. I have always loved that side of me, the side who are able to conjure up my own world in my own words.So from today onward, I will chase it again. I can still feel the seedlings of fear and anxiety in me, and perhaps I will scurry away again, pretending I never wrote this, and continue living without trying to write again like I used to, but I know I will always come back for it.

I was born to be a writer.

Here's to hoping that Aishah Humaira' will never give up, and that she will one day hold a book with her name on the front cover in her arms. Aamiin.

Wish me the best ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'


beauty adorned
a youthful face
but a heart lay so cold
as a winter's eve
ready to slice
at a new being
in the wake
of the next moon.

I rated this poetry collection with 2.5★ at first, but decided to take it down because I feel that it's unfair for me to do so. Letters to Jupiter is a collection of lovely and pretty poems, softness evident in each piece of poetry. Although I am often fond of soft and pretty reads, this collection is just not meant for me.

The biggest reason might be the sense of disconnect that I feel when I read most of the poems in this book. It has lovely titles, and I love the word choices as well as certain sentences and paragraphs here and there, but as a whole, I find that most of the poems do not merge well together. Some pieces made me feel like I was reading a text with incorrect usage of English, while others feel like they were thrown together and fail to harmonise well with each other.

Despite being unable to fully enjoy this poetry collection, I did find a few favourite pieces that made me think that the poet is actually good with her words. 'Once Here', 'Elegant Lies', 'Do You Hear My Soul Burning?' and 'Dorian'are some of the lovely pieces that I will not mind rereading all over again. I have decided to not rate this book, because even though it is not my cup of tea, I still adore the loveliness and softness that it exudes. I would love to read more from this author!

Many thanks to the author, Lotté Jean Elliott, for sending me a digital review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts on Letters to Jupiter.


Title: Letters to Jupiter
Series: -
Author: Lotté Jean Elliott
Publisher: Magnolia Press
Genres: Poetry
Format: E-book
Publication Date: February 16th 2021
Pages: 80

Synopsis (Goodreads): Letters to Jupiter is a poetry collection that explores a tale of the fragility of the mind. With each poetic letter, written by an unknown narrator seeking to let go of the past, we see life at its darkest time, brightest, and examine how much a person can grow after a life-changing event.


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

My rating: ∞ / 5 ★

Am I Mahan or am I Bayangan? If I am Bayangan, why do I have the Amok Strength? If I am Mahan, what am I doing on the throne of Bayangan?

TW: gruesome deaths, torture, violence

Happy release day to The Tale of the Hostage Prince! 🎉✨✨

If you have been following my reviews, you may know that Amok (read my review here) is one of my favourite reads of 2021, and it is still among the top of my favourite fantasy reads. As much as I loved the main character, Mikal, his best friend, Yosua had been my favourite character from the start. I have wished that we will be getting a POV from him someday, and Miss Anna Tan decides to make my wish come true this year by releasing The Tale of the Hostage Prince!

The Tale of the Hostage Prince takes place two years after Amok. Despite the years passed, Yosua is still unable to adapt to his role as Raja of Bayangan. Despite finally returning to his homeland kingdom, where he should belong, he feels like something is missing. He longs for his best friend, Mikal, and misses Maha even though he was raised as a hostage there. His own people questions his ability to reign, making him doubt himself more. But when his parents are murdered brutally, and his uncle is hell-bent on seeking revenge, Yosua no longer has time to wonder where he truly belongs. If he does not play his role as Raja properly, his own people will betray him and death will claw its way to him soon.

I cannot remember feeling so much rage and pain while reading a book. The Tale of the Hostage Prince literally made me want to scream in agony, my fists clenched tightly and my heart breaking to pieces, because everything that Yosua goes through are too infuriating and painful to bear. Yosua has no men to trust after the death of his parents, and even his closest confidant will betray him at any given time. He does not even have the time to grief his parents when everything starts to crumble down, and Yosua realises that he may truly be alone.

The Tale of the Hostage Prince is a fast-paced story that left me breathless; there was no time to rest as things keep getting worse for Yosua after each page. The violence and torture are rather gruesome, perfect for my taste, even if it leaves a bitter aftertaste when I consider that Yosua does not deserve any of it. His faith is questioned and his efforts seem futile, but someone with a big heart like him never gives up. I love how hard he tries his best, and whenever he feels like giving up, somewhere deep inside him knows that it is not the right thing to do. This is why he will always be my favourite 

I say that you are truer than a friend, closer than a brother. But my path is not your path and neither will yours be mine.

When Yosua finally reunites with Mikal, it feels like a joyous celebration for me, and for them. They grew up together as best friends, as brothers, so being separated has taken its toll, especially on Yosua. I love, love the bond that these two have, and as much as I wish they can be back together like before, that is just not possible. And the way Yosua finally makes peace with this fact is pleasing in its own way. His character growth from a soft and meek boy, lacking in confidence over his worth, to becoming a man proud of his strength and flaws, unafraid to fight and protect his own people. I love that despite his harsh upbringing and the countless betrayals he went through, Yosua retains his softness and is nothing but kind to his people.

I have to say that I absolutely enjoy Anna Tan's writing style. She has a flair with words, and her world is written so vividly, I was able to imagine the scenes playing in my head, down to every detail of it. I fall in love hard with the characters that are good, and loath the villains to the deepest part of my heart. There are many twists and horrors, and despite having an inkling of who had caused the death of Yosua's parents, the truth still left me in shock. I had not expected to love this one more than I love Amok, but having a soft spot for Yosua, I can easily say I definitely love this one a lot more.

All in all, The Tale of the Hostage Prince is a story of a powerless young Raja, betrayals from those who you trust the most, and finding your inner-strength to fight back for what is rightfully yours. There is nothing I do not love about it, hence why I am giving it an infinity of stars as my rating! Many thanks to the author and Teaspoon Publishing for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Below are the links where you can order The Tale of the Hostage Prince!

Ebook: [USD4.99 / RM20]

Paperback (Malaysia only): [RM45]


Title: The Tale of the Hostage Prince
Series: Absolution, #1.5
Author: Anna Tan
Publisher: Teaspoon Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: April 14th 2022
Pages: 328

Synopsis (Goodreads): Yosua wears an uneasy crown. Although he is now Raja of Bayangan, he still longs for the land of his birth where everything was much simpler…and less deadly.

But peace doesn’t come easily, not for a twenty-year-old servant playacting at being king.

With his parents brutally murdered and his uncle bent on revenge, Yosua must decide where his loyalties truly lie. With his only remaining relative and the kingdom he has claimed? Or with his best friend Mikal and the sultanate that raised him as a hostage?


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

My rating: 4 / 5 ★

Don't grieve for me. I can't go on living this way. I pray every day to escape somehow—if the only way is through death, so be it.

TW: mentions of non-consensual sex & rape, torture, death

I jumped into this book blindly, only wanting to satisfy my craving for a story with Japanese mythical elements in it. And I came out with a potential new favourite series! ✨

Emperor of the Eight Islands is the first book set in The Tale of Shikanoko series by Lian Hearn. It follows a young boy named Kazumaru, whom after being left to die in the woods by his greedy uncle, is taken in by a sorcerer and placed under and initiation against his will. He later becomes the "deer child", and is called Shikanoko. The tale follows Shikanoko as he meets new people, good and bad, all the while wondering what his true purpose in life is.

This book is told in the third person point-of-view, of six different people. Despite this, I find the flow of the story easy to follow, the transition between each character rather smooth. It even helps me as a reader to gauge the world of the book much better. While this book is quite a thin book, there is a large number of characters in it, but fret not as a character list in included at the start of the book. I do suggest skipping the character list unless you need to refresh a character's role, because there are some spoilers in it.

He reflected grimly as he hastened back through the dark street on how children were used as pawns in men's struggles for power. His son, Tsumaru, the Emperor's grandson, Yoshimori, were to be abducted, hidden, murdered, not for any crime of theirs, unless it was from a former life, but because of who their fathers were.

The adults in this book disgusts me. Fueled by their hunger for power and lust, the children becomes their pawns and victims. My favourite characters are mainly the children: Akihime, Hina, Yoshimori, Kai and especially Shikanoko. The way their fates are tied are heartbreaking, and I think it is sad how these children are being forced to mature quickly, or else they will die in between the cruel fights between the adults.

Desire, greed, betrayal and extreme loyalty play large roles as themes of this book. There are a few scenes where the characters are forced to have sex, while being partially conscious. This may sound vile, but these scenes are vital for the plot as lust and desire are part of the dark sorcery being performed. However, non of the sexual scenes (including consensual ones) are graphic and are mostly mentioned in a few sentences, but if you are uncomfortable with these, please be mindful if you want to read this book. As for the torture and death parts, they are also mentioned briefly, but if you have a good enough imagination, it can be rather gruesome.

Overall, Emperor of the Eight Islands is a great introduction to The Tale of Shikanoko's world, and I have plenty of characters that I'm rooting for, and also characters whom I wish to experience the worst pain in their deaths. It is an easy and rather light read, despite the mythical elements in it. If I had not procrastinate, I could easily devour this book in a single sitting! It has a good deal of twists and shocking truths in it, and even though one of the main characters ends up making a terrible mistake in the end, I still enjoyed every bit of this book.

I look forward to continue this series soon. If you love reading stories with dark magic, demons, wars and Japanese mythology and culture, you might like to try picking up this one!


Title: Emperor of the Eight Islands
Series: The Tale of Shikanoko #1
Author: Lian Hearn
Publisher: FSG Originals
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Asian Literature, Japan Literature
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Pages: 251

Synopsis (Goodreads): An ambitious warlord leaves his nephew for dead and seizes his lands.

A stubborn father forces his younger son to surrender his wife to his older brother. 

A mysterious woman seeks five fathers for her children.

A powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne.

These are the threads of an intricate tapestry in which the laws of destiny play out against a backdrop of wild forest, elegant court, and savage battlefield. Set in a mythical medieval Japan inhabited by warriors and assassins, ghosts and guardian spirits, Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn is a brilliantly imagined novel, full of drama and intrigue - and it is just the beginning of an enthralling, epic adventure: The Tale of Shikanoko.


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

My rating: 5 / 5 ★

I don't have an American half and a Japanese half. I am a whole person. Nobody gets to tell me if I am Japanese enough or too American.

If I were to describe Tokyo Ever After in simple words, I would say that the story is as sweet as cotton candy! It has similar vibes to The Princess Diaries, but instead of an unknown kingdom, the plot takes place in Japan.

Izumi Tanaka has always been curious about her origin, especially regarding the identity of a father that she never knew of. When her mother continues to refuse to talk about it, Izumi decides to find clues of her own... and finds out that her father is actually the Crown Prince of Japan. Soon enough, Izumi finds herself being flown to Japan to discover more about her roots and learn more of the royalty and culture. It is a story of searching for one's true self, family, friendship and forbidden romance.

Oh I adore Izumi Tanaka's character from the first page of the book! I find most of her words and actions to be rather amusing, and I secretly believe that if I know her in real life, I will want to be best friends with her. She is mostly impulsive, but that's her most adoring trait because she leads her life with her heart ♡ It is a big part of the story, and as someone who listens to her heart a lot too, I find myself to be able to relate to Izumi and I find most of her actions to be justifiable.

The earth forgets but I will always remember

Karaoke bars

Pharmacies and cups of tea

And plates of dorayaki

The major reason Tokyo Ever After has a special place in my heart is definitely the swoon-worthy forbidden romance with the handsome yet grumpy bodyguard—the sunshine x grumpy trope is executed perfectly in this book! I enjoyed Izumi and Akio's banter; they mock each other and throw snarky remarks a lot, but it's done so nicely that I find everything to be hilarious. And when they finally fall hard for each other? BOOM. The romance is disgustingly sweet and adorable, I feel like screaming to oblivion (੭ ˃̣̣̥ ω˂̣̣̥)੭ु⁾⁾ The way they touch and kiss each other, the way how gentle Akio becomes during their hushed moments alone, the secret dances, the short but meaningful haiku they write for each other—tell me, how can I not wish to have my own hot grumpy bodyguard to date in secret as well? HOW?

I also love that apart from the romance, the story highlights Izumi's relationship with her family and friends as well. I am glad that the mother-daughter relationship in this one is wonderful, and Izumi respects and loves her mother fiercely. Although her mother kept secrets of her father from her, she tries her best to understand her mother's intentions. I do believe that Izumi's father can be a good father to her too, which readers will probably witness in the sequel, but he does show a lot of effort in here too. A good relationship with parents are rather rare in young adult books, so I really appreciate the author giving two good parents for this book.

As for Izumi's best friends, especially Noora: They are a gem! I enjoyed their moments and conversations so much; the trust and care they have for each other are so touching. It's the kind of friendship that I have always wanted—friends like family 

"I'm still a work in progress."

"Aren't we all?"

Last but not least, I find Izumi's character arc to be a delightful journey to follow. I have mentioned above that I adore Izumi from the start, but it is quite clear that she can be passive at times too. The words “If you don't fly too high, you don't have too far to fall” definitely hit me hard, as I know how it feels to not be good enough when you know you have not tried hard enough. But as Izumi goes through a lot of backlash and hurt, she grows stronger and becomes someone confident about herself. She finally finds her true self, where she does not need to choose between being American or Japanese, because both are parts that make up her.

All in all, Tokyo Ever After has the sweetest forbidden romance, perfect for a feel-good moment and as a light-read. It also has great values of family, friendship and finding a sense of belonging. If you're a fan of The Princess Diaries or To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and other similar stories, please do pick Tokyo Ever After as your next read!

Many thanks to Pansing for sending me this book in exchange for my honest review. Tokyo Ever After is available in all good bookstores, and the sequel is coming out next month, so be ready!


Title: Tokyo Ever After
Series: Tokyo Ever After #1
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: May 27th 2021
Pages: 319

Synopsis (Goodreads): Izumi Tanaka has lived an uneventful seventeen years in her small town, keenly aware of all the ways in which her family is different from most of her classmates’. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity . . . and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan.

Soon she’s traveling overseas to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she's only dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s "Japanese" enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after?


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

My rating: 5 / 5 ★

The beauty of the game lies in openness; the best players find ways to dance across the board like ballerinas.

TW: Death, trauma/grief, anxiety, mentions of depression.

A brilliant murder mystery that centers around Scrabble with a local hijabi girl as a main character? A BIG FAT YES for me!

Queen of the Tiles follows the story of Najwa Bakri, who returns to her first Scrabble competition a year after losing her best friend. Competing in the Scrabble competition may not be the best idea for her, not when it was the same competition where the said best friend, Trina Low, died unexpectedly. With Trina no longer around to be crowned the Scrabble Queen, Najwa wants more than nothing to gain the title herself, only to honour her best friend.

What starts as a fierce competition filled with exceptional words and the thirst for the throne, immediately turns into a cruel game when Trina's inactive Instagram starts posting again. Cryptic messages and words are posted, hinting that Trina's death may not be an unfortunate circumstance after all. Perhaps there was a murderer, and the person is among the competitors.

I like the fact that each chapter in this book starts with  a word and its meaning to describe the chapter—mind you, these words are difficult ones too and I have never heard of most of them. This element also directly reflects the main character, Najwa, who loves the meaning of the words she uses. It's safe to say that my vocabulary is very limited, and I had fun learning new words from this book.

This book reminds me of Pretty Little Liars, although almost the entire premise is different. It's a perfect example of obsessing over pretty people, toxic relationships and people you cannot trust. You cannot trust anyone in Queen of the Tiles, not even Najwa herself because her trauma caused her to forget the events happening on the day of Trina's death. With her memory of the day hazy, it was difficult to determine the truth.

Our grief may have different symptoms, but deep down it's the same disease after all.”

Queen of the Tiles talks about grief of losing a person dear to you and learning to find your own worth. It exposes readers to toxic relationships as well, where one side overshadows the other, and how destructive this can be to someone. I find myself unable to put down this book, eager for Najwa to solve the mystery of Trina's death. I was awestruck by how brilliantly Najwa swims through this menacing game, how quick she is to figure out the clues and cryptic messages. Albeit the way the 'culprit' was captured felt rather cliche, I still think this book concludes itself pretty well.

If you are into murder mystery with a lot of drama, and a dash of nerdiness to it (in a good way!), please get yourself to pre-order Queen of the Tiles right now! Many thanks to Pansing for sending me the ARC of Queen of the Tiles. This book is set to be published on April 19th 2022, and you do not want to miss it.


Title: Queen of the Tiles
Series: -
Author: Hanna Alkaf
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: April 19th 2022
Pages: 304

Synopsis (Goodreads): When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It might be even though Najwa’s trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.

But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.

As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

My rating: 5 / 5 ★

The thing about a heartbreaker is that you'll never stop loving the heart you broke—Time taught me that some hearts are to be given and not together.

It's never heard of that I would fall in love helplessly over an anthology of short stories, but Inkling is definitely a special case. I may be a bit biased since this lovely book was written by my book bestie, but I can assure everyone that N.F Afrina's words have the ability to give you comfort and warmth.

Since this book is a collection of short stories, I believe it's my duty to pen down my thoughts for each of them, because they all deserve it ✨

Sev & the Hot Chocolate follows the journey of Sev, who strongly believes iced chocolate to be an abominable creation. (Don't tell her—I love iced chocolate. Sev will murder me if she knows) She moved to a small village to sell more of her hot chocolates, and found herself new things to learn and love. I love that this story centers around humility and sharing knowledge and joys with other people. Sharing is caring 

Toffee Spills really caught me off guard. It's about a girl who decides to no longer wear a hijab and expects thunder to strike her at any given moment. I did not think I would like it at first, because I never knew how to react when someone takes off their hijab for reasons I could not confound. But in just a few paragraphs, I learned that I should be gentler to those who are struggling with wearing hijab. Just because I am wearing it, it does not mean that I am a better person. I definitely teared up reading this one, mashaaAllah.

Rainy Detours is VERY WHOLESOME. VERY ADORABLE. I WOULD LOVE TO HUG BOTH OF THE CHARACTERS IN THIS. It's about two people finding each other because of the rain. I am always a sucker for romantic or cute stories in the rain, and this one is just my cup of tea ♡ I honestly wish we could get a spin-off for this story because I NEED MORE OF THEM!

Heartbreak Motel: short but the ending was quite impactful. I love the weirdness of it. Still confused as to what is actually going on in the motel but I find that I do not really care. The peculiarity and subtle goriness of it is perfect for me. I love the final page 

I like that The Jean Jacket introduces us to a non-living thing main character. It reminds me of all the 'Aku Sebatang Pensel' ('I am a Pencil') essays that I was required to write during my school days. However, this story is just not meant for me. I guess it carries the message that sometimes we have to trade something in life in order to gain something new. This pretty much applies to human relationships too, I think? Some are dispensable, some you can never live without. Good message still!

Daily Dose is another story filled with wholesome cuteness! I love that the main character was skeptical of saying the words "I love you" constantly, claiming that these three words are overused—but then realised the beauty of it when actually saying it out loud bravely. That is why it is important to always tell the people that you love, that you love them. Tell them how much you love them, always. There will come a time when you can no longer do it, so tell them while you still can.

Oh wow. Ugg Boots literally makes me want to scream my head off. THE ANGER THAT I FELT FOR HANS? This atrocious man keeps whining on how he 'lost' his girl but then proceeds to demeaning her good qualities, just because it is never about him. People who think that the world revolves around them do not deserve nice people. Definitely not Hans. I hope more people will smack him with ugg boots.

I think Ice Prince is my absolute favourite from this book ♡ This story has a lot of layers and depth in it, despite only being several pages. I went through a whirlwind of emotions while reading this. I consider it as a story of a broken girl learning how to love another person, only to end up being manipulated. It was confusing, and just like the main character, you never knew who to believe. It is a story of how a toxic relationship can be formed, and how you need to gain your own strength to escape from it. It is sad that the brutality in this one is the reality of a lot of people in this world.

Desert Boy, Ocean Girl is filled with a lot of lessons to learn. The two main characters' relationship is rather surprising, but you know how you can just connect with someone, despite the circumstances. It is a story of healing, and women supporting each other. I like that it also shows that sometimes, some relationships are not meant to stay, and that is okay. The most important thing is you. "You attract the right people who will love you right only after  you know how to love and treat yourself right."

Crash and Burn has a hint of chaoticness in it. I mean, who would purposely drive in the middle of the road, hoping for another car to come crashing into them? Apparently, the main character of this story. I have a feeling that this story may reflect one of the author's feelings, perhaps a passing moment, about losing your passion because of exhaustion. I appreciate the message that encourages you to find your passion again, to love what you loved again. It requires effort, but breathe, continue forward, find your rhythm and inshaaAllah you will be okay. p.s: car repair is expensive as heck, so please do not do what the character did.

When I first started reading Handwriter and Keyboardist, I was not fond of the main character. The main character, Mina, claims that only handwritten notes are good, so much better than typed ones. I felt a sense of entitlement coming from her, and I did not appreciate it. But she orders float root beer and curly fries in A&W, so I think I had to like this girl. And then she meets Tape, who reads out what she wrote by running his fingers on the paper. Because of him, Mina learns that she should not hate typed-out notes because to some people, it is the only way for them to write. I love that this story can make you realise that sometimes, the things that you hate can serve as something important in someone else's life. 

Overall, Inkling has been a wonderful reading journey for me. I absolutely love N.F Afrina's writing style, especially the way how soft she wrote some of her characters. I'm looking forward to more works coming from this talented author!

You can get Inkling and Not Here to Stay, the author's new book, from here!


Title: Inkling
Series: -
Author: N.F Afrina
Publisher: Whitecoat Sdn. Bhd
Genres: Short story, Fiction
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: September 9th 2021
Pages: 196

Synopsis (Goodreads): A hot chocolate maker travels to a town with no money. A girl sins and expects a thunder to strike her. Two grown up souls in the rain. The twist of heart of a heartbreak motel’s founder. A doctor prescribes daily dose of “I love you”s to cure Alzheimer. A boy gets hit by Ugg boots multiple times. A chocolate prince turns to ice. The ocean girl and her secret meetings with the desert boys mother.


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

Penilaian saya: 4 / 5 ★

Tiada sesiapa yang sempurna atau tak pernah melakukan kesalahan. Apa yang penting, awak sudah tinggalkan semuanya dan ada usaha untuk berubah.

Miss Makeover menceritakan tentang kisah dua orang gadis yang berbeza personaliti menjadi sahabat baik. Ozelyn yang berperwatakan ganas, pemarah dan anti sosial ingin mengubah personalitinya dengan bantuan Leia, seorang gadis Instafamous yang mempunyai ramai pengikut dan baik hati. Buku ini berkongsi bagaimana Leia menjadi jurulatih peribadi dalam misi 'makeover' Ozelyn menjadi gadis ayu.

Pada permulaan cerita ini, semasa Ozelyn belum memasang niat untuk berubah, jujur saya katakan saya tidak suka dengan wataknya. Dia membuli pelajar lain tanpa sebab dan bercakap dengan nada kasar kepada hampir setiap orang. Bagaimana mungkin saya mahu memberi empati kepada seseorang yang bersikap seperti ini? Namun apabila Ozelyn bertembung dengan crush dia di sekolah dan cuba untuk berubah menjadi seorang gadis (percubaan yang tidak berjaya), saya mula merasakan wataknya agak kelakar dan saya mahu tahu lebih lanjut mengenai wataknya: mengapa dia bersifat kasar dan adakah dia mampu untuk berubah?

Semasa Leia menunjuk minat untuk membantu Ozelyn berubah, saya tidak dapat faham niatnya kerana Ozelyn tidak pernah berbaik dengannya. Namun bila sebabnya dijelaskan, saya faham mengapa persahabatan di antara Ozelyn dengan Leia dapat terjalin. Saya suka dengan sikap Leia yang tegas dan tidak berputus asa dengan Ozelyn. Ozelyn pula layak dipuji kerana walaupun dia letih dengan latihan Leia, dia tidak berputus asa juga.

Gaya penulisan buku ini pula santai dan ringan, sesuai untuk bacaan umum terutamanya remaja atau sesiapa sahaja yang baru hendak mula membaca novel. Mesej yang disampaikan dalam novela ini juga sangat baik. Antara mesej yang paling saya gemari ialah jika kita hendak berubah, kita janganlah cuba menjadi orang lain. Kita sepatutnya cuba menjadi versi diri kita yang lebih baik, terhadap diri kita sendiri dan orang lain.

Walaupun saya suka dengan jalan cerita dan mesej Miss Makeover, terdapat beberapa bahagian yang saya tidak bersetuju dan saya rasa boleh diperbaiki. Antaranya ialah penggunaan rambut palsu dalam latihan Leia. Sekiranya anda tidak mengetahuinya, rambut palsu adalah haram bagi orang Islam, kecuali atas sebab-sebab tertentu yang memudaratkan (botak/rambut terlalu sedikit dan mendapat kata-kata keji daripada orang sekeliling, dll.).

Dalam Miss Makeover, Leia memaksa Ozelyn memakai rambut palsu panjang demi kecantikan. Walaupun Ozelyn bertanya kepada Leia apakah hukum memakai rambut palsu, jawaban Leia yang agak acuh tak acuh yang mengatakan mungkin berdosa mungkin tidak, boleh menimbulkan kekeliruan bagi pembaca muda. Walaupun watak Leia dan Ozelyn juga remaja yang tidak mahir tentang hukum agama, penulis tidak sepatutnya meletakkan elemen seperti ini yang boleh mengelirukan.

Selain itu, saya juga tidak bersetuju dengan beberapa ajaran Leia seperti memaksa Ozelyn memakai pakaian yang dilabel 'feminin' seperti skirt atau baju bercorak bunga dan warna pastel sahaja. Dia juga menyuruh Ozelyn mencari hobi yang bercirikan 'gadis' seperti 'membaca'. Pertamanya, stail adalah terbuka kepada kehendak masing-masing. Memang bagus Leia membantu Ozelyn mencuba stail baru, tetapi dengan mengatakan dia perlu menolak tepi koleksi topinya yang berwarna gelap kerana warna tersebut tidak menarik adalah agak melampau.

Apakah pula maksud hobi yang bercirikan 'gadis'? Jika seseorang perempuan gemar bersukan atau aktiviti lasak, adakah itu bermakna hobinya tidak menunjukkan dirinya seorang gadis? Saya juga tidak gemar dengan mesej yang mengatakan 'membaca' itu hobi yang bercirikan gadis kerana tiada masalah sekiranya seseorang lelaki mahu untuk membaca. Ini akan menimbulkan kekeliruan yang tidak patut kepada pembaca muda.

Secara keseluruhannya, saya masih menyukai Miss Makeover. Sedikit kekurangan yang saya sebutkan di atas pula mungkin disebabkan faktor watak itu sendiri. Novela ini mudah untuk dihadam dalam masa singkat dan sangat sesuai untuk pembaca muda serta bacaan umum.

Berbanyak terima kasih kepada pihak penerbit Bookiut kerana menghantar senaskhah Miss Makeover kepada saya untuk saya reviu secara jujur. Sekiranya anda berminat untuk mendapatkan Miss Makeover, bolehlah membelinya secara atas talian di laman sesawang PTS Media:


Judul: Miss Makeover
Siri: -
Penulis: Izanor Sharif
Penerbit: Bookiut
Genres: Novela, Remaja, Kontemporari
Format: Berkulit lembut
Tarikh Penerbitan: 2022
Bilangan mukasurat: 111

Sinopsis (Goodreads): “Adakah saya akan jadi model yang popular?”

Kisah tentang Ozelyn yang berwatak ganas, pemarah dan anti sosial ingin mengubah personaliti dan dibantu oleh Leia, seorang gadis Instafamous yang mempunyai ramai pengikut dan baik hati.

Adakah impian Ozelyn mahu jadi gadis sejati akan tercapai?

Adakah Leia sebagai jurulatih peribadi berjaya melaksanakan misi ‘makeover’ terhadap si gadis ganas?

Sehingga berjumpa lagi ♡ Yang ikhlas, Aishah Humaira'


My rating: 4 / 5 ★

I had a lot of fun reading this one! The main character, Yoshida, is madly in love with his high school friend, Shimakaze, who is now a mangaka (manga artist). What made this fun to read is that Yoshida's a tsundere who is so obvious with his feelings for her, but she is absolutely oblivious of it. Shimakaze is a walking disaster, so Yoshida had no choice but to be there to clean up her mess because he's just too whipped.

For one thing, Yoshida has stunning eyes <3 I'M IN LOVE WITH THEM! I think I'm enjoying it so much because as a handsome hero, his love story is tragic (in a humorous way) and he definitely won't get the love of his life anytime soon, at least not without more trouble coming their way. But he's very efficient with his work and all the mangaka assistants adored him so I find it very endearing. I like this kind of story more than when a handsome man gets every woman his wants easily.

I probably would dislike someone like Shimakaze in real life because she has zero tact, but I guess it's funny to read about her in a manga. As much as I think Yoshida deserves someone much better, I'd still root for both of these characters though! I can definitely imagine all the disaster coming their way as Yoshida continues trying to convey his feelings to her.

I love all the assistants too! Their characters are not very distinct since they're mostly on the same page about almost everything, but this is only the first volume so I'm sure there'll be more from the four of them in the upcoming volumes. As of now I find them all adorable. 

It's fun to read a story about how a mangaka works, though I'm unsure to how much extent the events could be true. I'm definitely looking forward to more Yoshida with his tragic love story <3 I do hope we'll get to have some POVs from him too in the next volumes.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Kodansha Comics for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!


Title: The Transcendent One-Sided Love of Yoshida the Catch Vol. 1
Series: The Transcendent One-Sided Love of Yoshida the Catch #1
Author: Shizuki Fujisawa
Publisher: Kodansha
Genres: Manga, Graphic Novel, Romance, Contemporary, Humor
Format: E-book
Publication Date: February 15th 2022
Pages: 160

Synopsis (Goodreads): Meet Yoshida. He's cool, he's smart, and he's really, really good-looking. He's the company superstar, and has the eye of every available woman for miles around. But Yoshida only loves one woman -- the manga-artist and walking-disaster Sena Shimakaze. Yoshida is the glue that holds her whole team together and helps them limp through each and every deadline... but despite his personal greatness and obvious management skills, his love is somehow totally one-sided. What's an overachiever like Yoshida to do?


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

"It’s never a tragedy to love somebody."

My rating: 4.5 / 5 ★

And I was no longer afraid. I knew I would be able to come home, because of you. That you would lead me back. You are my constant star, Daisy.

If I have to be honest, Chain of Iron is by far the most frustrating book that I've ever read. It took me months to get through halfway of it, then I had to put it down (or else risk ripping it apart), read something else in between before continuing it back and finishing it.

But did I still enjoy it? Yes. Yes, I did. In fact, I enjoyed it immensely.

If I were to compare Chain of Iron with Chain of Gold, the first book in The Last Hours trilogy, this one was a lot more draggy, especially during the first half of the book. But I cannot really hate it either because these were the parts where Cordelia and James got married, and there were a lot of cute domestic moments of them. I adored it, yet at the same time it felt exhausting to read too. I needed more actions, more James and Cordelia realising their true feelings, and less, well, less keeping everything to themselves. I cannot count how many times I wanted to yell to everyone to stop keeping secrets.

And there were a lot of secrets being kept. James kept a lot of truths between his relationship with Grace from Cordelia; Cordelia kept a lot of things from James and Lucie, but instead shared things with Matthew; Lucie kept everyone in the dark about Jesse; Matthew kept secrets about why he turned to drinking from James—the secrets were endless! Forgive me if I were to say that this is a very frustrating book to read.

But I have so much love for the Merry Thieves, and despite all the secrets being kept, when they needed to fight the demons, they fought hard together. The demon that went on a murdering spree in Chain of Iron was quite difficult to figure out its identity—I had some guesses, and some were true, some were hilariously wrong. I believe the mystery of it, combined with Clare's beautiful writing style, were what made me still fond of this book despite the burning frustrations. Along with the beloved Merry Thieves of course.

Cordelia and James' relationship was forlornly lovely. Despite their feelings for each other growing, the happy ending is still far from their reach. What's worse was Lucie and Jesse's relationship though. It's nice to see Lucie learning more about her powers, but the situation with Jesse kept getting grimmer. All I want is for these characters to be happy IS THAT SO HARD, CASSIE (ಥ﹏ಥ)

It's also surprising that I find myself warming up to Grace as well. I pretty much hated her in the first book, but in Chain of Iron, the reasons why she acted the way she did was unraveled, and I pitied her. I would not say I love her now, but I do want to root for her. I also want her to be friends with Christopher too, somehow. Christopher is one of the only characters that did not frustrate me and the way he excitedly talked about his experiments with Grace in that one scene was really adorable. He really is too precious.

Despite the frustration this book brought me, it still broke me to pieces and I have no regrets going through all that pain. I will be needing the ending, Chain of Thorns, real soon though. I need this agony of waiting to end, and I want Daisy to have her happy ending °(°ˊДˋ°) ° OR ELSE.

Many thanks to Pansing for sending me this review copy in exchange for an honest review. Chain of Iron is available in all good bookstores! Please read it so we can go through the same pain 


Title: Chain of Iron
Series: The Last Hours #2
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: March 2nd 2021
Pages: 571

Synopsis (Goodreads): Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'


My rating: 4 / 5 ★

Are you prepared for me to love you?

I guess I was in need of some fluffy romance, because I devoured this in mere minutes!

Lovesick Ellie follows the story of high school girl, Ichimura Eriko (Ellie), who has a crush on the school's perfect handsome boy, Ohmi Akira (Omi). Instead of pursuing his attention like other girls, she fantasises about him by tweeting under the name "Lovesick Ellie". At the same time she found out Omi's true character, he found out about her tweets of him.

It's sort of a cliche: loner girl, befriending the popular guy, but both characters were so refreshing to read. Ellie was unapologetically a pervert with her fantasies, and it's funny how Omi kept calling her a pervert yet he was unable to stay away from her. Omi's character is a perfection in front of everyone else, but he was snarky and selfish when in front of her. It's not to the point that his words would be harmful to Ellie though. There were parts where it can feel cringey, but I'm a sucker for cute romances anyway so I still had fun!

Both of them end up being comfortable around each other, but also embarrassed about their feelings as well. They're very easy to love and I like that Ellie managed to come out of her shell bit by bit, even befriending a new person all on her own. Compared to Ellie, I think that Omi didn't have much growth in this one—other than showing his true self to Ellie—but I believe that's being saved for future volumes of this manga.

Lovesick Ellie is a sweet and hilarious story, and I hope I can follow the story of Ellie and Omi more soon! Many thanks to Netgalley and Kodansha for the chance to read this book in exchange with my honest review.

  • My short thoughts for the other volumes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12


Title: Lovesick Ellie Vol. 1
Series: Lovesick Ellie #1
Author: Fujimomo
Publisher: Kodansha
Genres: Manga, Graphic Novel, Romance, Shoujo, Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Format: E-book
Publication Date: November 28th 2017
Pages: 178

Synopsis (Goodreads): Eriko Ichimura spends her high school days in complete obscurity. Her sole hobby is staring at handsome, smooth-spoken Akira "Omi-kun" Ohmi, and tweeting her daily fantasies under the screenname "Lovesick Ellie." One fateful day, she accidentally bears witness to Omi-kun's true self—and if that weren't enough, he sees her mortifying Twitter, too! Follow along with a plain, perverted girl, a two-faced boy, and their curious romance!


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

Happy New Year! I've realised that it's been a while since I last wrote anything here, much less something else other than book reviews. I don't really believe in the term "new year, new me", but I guess that a new year means that you're open to try new things.

2021 was a year packed with so many feelings. I experienced one of the darkest times during the earlier parts of the year, but eventually I found many joys and things to love as well. I met with many new friends, spent time with my loved ones, and made peace with myself as I am. I can't say that 2021 was the best year that I went through, but it's certainly not the worst either. I appreciate every single soul that stayed with me, despite my shortcomings. All I can say is that I'm grateful that I survived till today, Alhamdulillah.

I haven't made any new year resolutions for several years already, because I tend to get disappointed whenever I failed to achieve something. But I realised that listing small goals and making an effort to achieve them will be quite helpful for my growth too. So here are some of my new year resolutions that I hope I can accomplish!

2022 New Year's Resolution

1. Find a job that I can enjoy.

I actually did land a job last year, albeit very brief. I worked at a café, which had been one of my dreams to try at least once in my life! Despite being happy working with the people around me, due to several unavoidable circumstances, the environment ended being toxic and I had to quit. I appreciate the experience, but I'm hoping that this year, I'll be able to find a job that can at least make my efforts worth it. Hopefully somewhere that involves books or writings!

2. Write down my first manuscript.

I've attempted to write a book many times since I was a teenager, but I never managed to complete a single one. I didn't write anything last year, and I am ashamed over myself for that. I'm going to try making more effort this year and start working on my goal to become a published author. A full manuscript would be wonderful, but even going through halfway of that is more than enough.

3. Create a dent in my TBR list.

Which also means "less spending on books & more reading". I recently counted the books that I have and they amounted to almost 410—and I haven't read 300 of that! I did not even include the ebooks that I have in my Kindle device and Google Books. My constant book buying spree in 2021 definitely helped me achieve my childhood dream of having a personal library, but I noticed that it's starting to become an unhealthy obsession. I became obsessed in getting the latest released books and books with gorgeous covers, but then I never and up reading them. 

So this year, I would like to limit myself on buying books (I need to set a budget on this soon; I'm also broke) and instead focus on reading what I currently already own.

4. Find other ways to be happy rather than spending money.

I spent an unhealthy amount of money on shopping last year (especially on books), so I'd like to try refraining myself from repeating it again. I need to stop my obsession of scrolling through online stores all the time.
  • Start drawing again. This is something that I wasn't able to do much last year, due to insecurities. I hated whatever I drew, but I failed to realise that constant practice on it is what I actually needed. I'm hoping I'll be able to work on new projects for Dear Duyung too this year.
  • Learn to play kalimba. I received the musical instrument for my birthday two years ago, but I hadn't touched it since then. It would be nice to be able to play my favourite song with it someday.
  • More macrame projects. I started selling macrame heart-shaped coasters last year, and I really enjoyed it. I'm hoping to do more projects and perhaps make it into a source of side-income.
  • Study Japanese again. I have no idea if I'll have time to pick up my Japanese lessons again, but watching animes and reading mangas recently made me wish I was more serious during my Japanese classes in university. No time to regret, I'll just find time to re-learn it!

5. Live a healthier life.

I'd like to start working out again. More plain water, less junk food. A better sleeping pattern. And prioritising my mental health over anything else. 


Well, these are mainly the things I hope to achieve this year. They're nothing big, but I know I will need to make a constant effort for them. It would be nice to read this again next year, and see if I did follow these goals or not.

If you read until this part, you have my whole heart. I'm aware that people rarely read blogs these days, but I'm still going to stick around as long as I can, and I hope you do too. Thank you for reading, and I wish that your new year resolutions (if you do have them) will be achieved!

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'