♡ My Summer Reading List ♡

This summer, I’ve (finally) had a lot of time to catch up on my reading. My list had been growing pretty long before that, so thank god summer came ’round. Here are the books I’ve been loving this summer, and hopefully, you will too.

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1. Ignite Me

The third book in the ‘Shatter Me‘ series by Tahereh Mafi, this book was jaw-dropping. From heart-warming romance to thrilling adventure, this book left me reeling for more. I can actually and truthfully say that it was un-put-down-able (that’s probably not a word). I read it from cover to cover in just 24 hours and let me just say, my feels have not yet recovered. Definitely the top on this list.

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2. Mad About The Boy

Another Bridget Jones book, finally! This is the third one in the series by Helen Fielding and was the perfect summer beach read (which is, incidentally, where I read it). Jones is back almost 2 decades later with two kids and several more misadventures. All in all, amazing.

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3. 12 Years A Slave

Until this years’ Academy Awards came about, I had no idea that a book like this was ever written, not to mention over a century ago by Solomon Northup! So of course, I ended up reading (and loving) it! Written by a free black man in America, this book will give you the shivers (of delight, of course).

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4. Landline

This book by Rainbow Rowell was surprisingly good. I was of the opinion that there are only this many tragic divorce books you could read before getting sick of them, but I was (not for the first time) mistaken. An amazing read about a woman who realizes that her love for her husband is not enough to save their marriage.

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5. The Book Thief

A mind blowing novel by Markus Zusak, this book had me totally caught. It is, in short, the story of a young girl who is sent off to a foster family in Germany as World War 2 breaks out. Being a great lover of books makes her ‘The Book Thief’. Truly a well-written masterpiece.

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6. Revenge Wears Prada

This long-awaited sequel to ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘ by Lauren Weisberger did not disappoint (unlike most sequels which are a diluted mush of their more famous prequels). The claws-out rivalry is back, and its wearing high-end designers.

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Stay lovely!

Deliya x 🙂

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Of Summer and Off-Days

Summer break is here and I’ve been having the time of my life.

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From going to the mall with friends, hanging out at the pool and the club to having gaming and movie nights as well as late night FIFA matches (GO GERMANY!!) with friends, it’s been one hell of a ride. Such a relief after the hectic year I’ve been having.

I’ve been attempting to be healthier – drinking more water, trying to cut down on the bleeding soda and chocolates (so hard!) and exercising an hour a day hasn’t been easy but I’ve been doing the best I can. It’s been worth it, though. Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

I have really GOT to start packing. This Friday (the 11th of July), I will be visiting Goa, India, and I probably won’t be able to write till early August as I will be touring India. I will be documenting it all in a post for you guys when I’m back, though, so don’t worry!

After visiting all of Europe (Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Vatican City and Croatia!) and Africa (Mauritius), I think it was only fair that Asia was next on my list. The only Asian country I’ve ever visited is Singapore and it totally blew me away, so India promises to be exotic and amazing. I can’t wait!

Stay beautiful!

Deliya x 🙂

Credits for featured image : http://www.thelittleblackdress.it

5 Reasons Why I Love Anime

Right off the bat, I want to set one thing straight. If you’re one of those people who thinks that ‘anime’ is just another word for ‘cartoons’ or thinks that anime are ‘childish’, then this is not the post for you. Stop reading right now, and click away to something else, because this post is going to be (yet another) fangirl session for me.

#sorrynotsorry

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1. Japanese Culture

Maybe it’s just me, but nothing has ever quite fascinated me as much, or captured me quite as quickly and completely as the Japanese culture has. It’s language and history captivate me to be honest, so what’s not to love about anime? I’ve learnt quite a bit of Japanese just from watching the oodles of anime that I do, and I get so excited by the prospect of visiting the Land of The Rising Sun (I’m going there next summer) that I can barely sit still as I think about it.

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2. The Characters

Whether it’s because they’re adorable with their big eyes and endearing hairdos or because of how relate-able some of the them (their personalities, feelings and situations) are, I absolutely and unconditionally LOVE anime characters. There are so many of them I get introduced to in each new anime I watch and they’re like my (HUGE) second family.

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3. The presentation

I don’t know how the Japanese producers seem to so seamlessly pull this off, but the world of anime is so real and at the same time so not. Let me explain. The way that the most absurd and unrealistic anime (like Naruto, Sword Art Online, One Piece, Bakugon, Pokemon) where things like that would be totally impossible in the real world are presented so that you feel that you’re the unrealistic intruder in their very real world is just mind-blowing. When I watch anime, I feel so entranced in their little worlds, realistic or otherwise. The ‘real world’ fails to exist. Its that good.

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4. The Otaku World

Once you become a fan of anime, you become part of a very elite group of amazingly creative and smart people. Most of these anime fans/otakus are such great people and they’re so great to have fangirling sessions and talks with. Some of the fan art my otaku friends from across the world create are just breathtaking. Like seriously, the Otaku world is an alternate reality I could live in forever with no regrets.

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5. The Unending Variety

The great thing you find while hunting for anime is that there is no dearth of options. I mean seriously. Each story line, each plot is so different from its predecessor that you couldn’t possibly be bored. From comedy, romance, adventure, sports and mystery to slice-of-life, shojo, school, shonen, action, josei and parody – you have a plethora of options from which to choose. Theres probably literally an anime for every mood.

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And it doesn’t just end there. There’s manga, cosplay and chibi too!

So if you’re an otaku reading this, please tell me what you think are some of the reasons you think I missed. Oh and don’t forget to send me some love!

Stay amazing!

Deliya x 🙂

I Challenge You

Today’s post is all about dreams. And challenges, of course.

I was sitting on the edge of my bed yesterday wondering about what on Earth I would blog about that everybody who read this could relate to and suddenly it hit me. What is the one thing that everybody on the planet has in common? We all have dreams. Some are big, some are small, some are crazy and some are life-changing. But they’re all possible. Everybody wants to achieve something, to live in a better world. In any case, today, all I’m here to say is that whether your dream is to beat somebody at arm-wrestling, ace your exams or end world hunger, it is possible.

Live Your Dreams

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You just have to believe in it. No, it’s not going to easy. You know that, and if you don’t, you should. It’s hard to motivate yourself to work hard, because anybody can dream but to work to make your dreams a reality is another ball-game altogether.

My mum always says that if you want to get something, you always had to give something in return. There are no free lunches. You’re going to have to work really hard, be determined to see your work through to the end, come what may, and you’ve got to donate your time, effort and blood, sweat and tears on this mission. It’s a tough world out there, with millions like you trying to make it big.

Live your dreams!

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You’re going to face disappointment, you’re going to experience failure and you’re almost definitely going to want to give up at one point or another. But no matter how you feel, you need to push on, because that success story, that vision of victory that’s playing in your head, that is possible, and it can happen to you. Greatness is your calling. Own it.

Dream High

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Some people live there whole life in a trance – just doing the things everyone else is doing, going the places everyone else is going and hence achieving the things in life that everyone else has already achieved. So, obviously, when you stick out, when you take risks, when you try to be different, you will face discouragement. Don’t fall prey to the everyday gossip of the everyday person. They’re just a face in the crowd of all the people that look exactly like them. No matter what, don’t give up until you win.

Dream Your Dreams

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So today, I challenge you.

Dream

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I challenge you to have the courage to follow your dreams, no matter how hard it is.

Plan your goals

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I challenge you to drown out the noise of the crowd and believe in and trust yourself above all others.

I'm doing this.

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I challenge you to love yourself before you love anybody else.

Those who work

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I challenge you to invest in yourself – your mind, your body and your personality.

Don't quit now

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I challenge you to create yourself.

Earn your success

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I challenge you to keep going.

Not an option

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But above all, I challenge you to never give up on yourself.

Because, in the end, you’re all you have anyway.

Stay strong,

Deliya x 🙂

Rules of Social Media

When it comes to social media, not all of us are as into its functioning as others. There are lots of different types of people on the internet. Some are professional, some are amateurs; some use it all the time, some rarely visit it. However, no matter what sort of people they are, there are some who just don’t know what to do (and what is acceptable) on social media.

And so, here are some rules of social media that everyone should know and follow.

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1. Do NOT over-share

Yeah, we all know someone who constantly bitches about other people online or talks about their teachers (or bosses) and parents in poor light on social media. Here’s a news-flash to you people, that is not cool. We look at your updates and think “Really? Did you just stoop that low?”

In fact, that is the exact way you lose peoples’ respect for you. Stop trying to diss people online. Just, stop.

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2. Do not share weird pictures

OK, keeping in mind you have your parents (or children), your teachers (or bosses), etc on your social media platform and not just your friends, you just cannot post anything you want. It’s just not nice waking up and seeing a revealing or awkward or weird picture of someone you respect online. Either change your privacy settings or don’t post those things. Otherwise, it’s just gonna end up being awkward for you to explain.

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3. Beware of what you ‘retweet’ or ‘like’ or (whatever)

Keep in mind people can see the things you retweet and the pages you follow. You may like/be attracted to/obsessed with something or someone, or maybe have a weird fetish (and that’s fine, it’s totally your call), but maybe it’s not worth sharing with the world. Unless its socially acceptable, maybe you should keep it to yourself to avoid yourself the embarrassment. We don’t wanna be like :

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4. Do NOT overdo the selfie

It’s perfectly OK to take pictures of yourself (when nobody is around to do it for you). But when you’re

a) making a stupid facial expression (duckface) and/or,

b) revealing more of your body than we need or want to see

then it’s not worth putting onto social media. Not everyone wants to see what you look like when you’re half naked or when you have brain transplants with a duck.

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5. Don’t mess up the language

To people who do this,

Why do you do it?!

I’m sorry, but at the risk of sounding like a Grammar Nazi, I would like to tell all you children who don’t know what ‘spelling’, ‘grammar’ and ‘punctuation’ is, go get a damn dictionary or go back to primary school. Trying to decode your texts is going to be that much easier if you use your senses when you’re typing.

And,

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6. Don’t give us too much information

There are some people who turn every little happening in their life into an event. Having lunch? Let me post that. Drinking coffee? Instagram that. Going to the mall? Let me tweet about it. Watching TV? Tumblr’s the answer.

Have you ever thought about the fact that maybe, just maybe, we don’t care? I’m sure that coffee was life-changing and your TV serial was oh-so-sensational, but we don’t need to hear everything about your day. There is such a thing as TMI (Too Much Information), you know.

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Stay amazing,

Deliya x 🙂

Bucket List : Part 1

It’s surprising how we often get so wrapped up in our lives that we seem to miss out everything and anything in our immediate circle of need. We’re constantly in this rat-race, this sort of cross-country marathon of never-ending competition and beating others that we forget to look around at the lovely country-side views passing us by – the green meadows, the unending blue skies, the fluffy cotton-candy clouds and the sea of pretty blue flowers. Life’s all about appreciating and enjoying the journey to our common final destination  – death – no matter who we are, or where we’re from, we’re all humbled by it in the end. And in the end, all that would’ve mattered was what you did as a human being for others, how you touched and changed their lives and how you made the most of it while you could.

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And so in relevance to making the most of life, I thought I’d jot down a bucket list, just to see how it goes. Enjoy!

1. Meet Ryan Gosling

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OK, lets get serious. This is a serious bucket list, I’m not just kidding around, and so obviously, meeting Ryan Gosling HAS to be on the to-do. What else do we live for, right?

2. Travel The World

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Or at least, set foot on every continent. I’ve never been outside of Britain, unless you count my trip to Paris (which you should), so yeah, that’s definitely something I would love to do. I’ve got wanderlust – big time. I just…you know, have a very busy life (as if) and so I don’t get to travel often.

3.  Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower

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I’ve already accomplished this one (that is a picture my friend Mark took from the top of the tower). I went on a trip to Paris with a couple of my best friends last year and we were all out of England for the first time and we just went EVERYWHERE and it was amazing. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the view from up there was what you would call breathtaking and what I would describe (very accurately, I might add) as asdfghjkl…

4. Spend Christmas at Disneyland

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I mean yes, sure, I HAVE gone to Disneyland when I was 4 (which is, to this day, the best day ever) but I want to spend Christmas there. Just once. With some friends. It’ll be like a magical place where dreams come true where I get to dress up as a princess for a day COMBINED with the joy of Christmas giving. WHAT could be more cheerful than that?

5. Attend a Masquerade Ball

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I saw this movie once when I was really young and I dont really remember it, except that there was a masquerade ball in it. I remember being absolutely fascinated by the idea. Only much later though, did I know what they were called but its really caught on to me as a child and I would really love to attend one.

6.  Write A Book

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I’m in the process of this one. I am writing a book, I’ve got the idea together and everything but what with all this schoolwork and soccer practice, I cant always make out time for it. But I will definitely do it someday, though.

7. Learn to play the Drums

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I’ve always admired people who could and I’ve always wanted to learn but never really got round it. I think the rhythm and the beat are the most important part of a song, so this a must-do.

8. Party all night

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This one sounds sort of rude, but thats not what I mean. I mean to say like, go to a club or a concert and party through the night and into the morning, just jam to some music with some friends. That would be a first.

9. Go to Times Square and/or the Walk Of Fame

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I know what a complete stereotyped weirdo I sound like, but come-on, look at that view! *swoon* I wanna, I wanna and I’m gonna.

10. Ride a camel/elephant

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Maybe its just me and my obsession with unusual animals but how amazing would it be to go on a safari of some sort and ride one of those? Imagine the view from up there!

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Thats it for now! This is just part 1, I’m probably going to be adding a lot more stuff as it comes along in my head. You can always give me some of your suggestions as well. You know where to reach me! Bye for now!

Stay beautiful

Deliya x 🙂

I Pray For A World Like That : Gay Pride

This week I thought I’d go a little deep and thoughtful on my blog because some things have happened in the past week which I wanted to share about with all of you. I know that a lot of people arent OK with this and this is an extremely contreversial topic but I’m willing to risk anything that comes my way because standing up for what I believe in was what I was taught to do.

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One of my closest guy friends (I’m not naming any names) came up to me and he told me that he was gay. And then started crying. It was actually really cold outside (isn’t it always?) and it was 9 in the night and he’d come running all the way from his house 4 blocks down to come and tell me. When I opened the door, he had little snowflakes on his eyelashes and hair and his face was all pink. He didn’t say hi or anything. He just blurted it out and started sobbing his heart out. Like it was a bad thing. Like it was wrong. I looked at him and he looked at me, and to me, he didn’t look any different. He still had that same sincerity in his eyes, the same beautiful heart and the same caring soul that I had loved all these years and he was in my mind, exactly the same.

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I held him while he told me all about it that night (he ended up sleeping over) and he told me that he hadnt even told his parents yet and that he was terrified if anyone found out. I felt terrible for him but after a while (when he’d calmed down a bit) I told him there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. That it’s perfectly fine and that its nothing to be ashamed of. That its just a part of who you are, not all of it and definitely not the most important part. It didn’t change who he was and that he was lovely human being either way. I told him that all our friends would still love him and that those who didn’t never deserved to have know him anyway.

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But, I assume he took it in the patronising way because then he threw a fit saying I didn’t understand how difficult it was because I wasnt in his position and a there was a bit of name calling on both ends (I might’ve called him a bit of a crosspatch), but after about 2 minutes we got serious again.

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I dread to think I’m growing up in a world where my friends, family or my (future) children (if I ever have them) will be fearful or embarassed to admit to who they are. Its like lying to the world, and worst of all, lying to yourself. Its like secretly being a Belieber and just saying you hate him to everyone else just to fit in. Its just not right. Being gay (or a Belieber or whatever) is just as much a part of who you are as is your eye colour. You’re simply born with it and it presence or state doesnt in any way change who you are from the inside. At all. And isn’t who you are on the inside all that really matters in life and love?

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If we are but human beings at all, why would  we want to poke fun of other people just because they happen to be different? Isn’t variety the spice of nature and life? If we have even one humane quality within us, we’d want to treat everyone equally. Especially after the terrible past LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual trangender) people have gone through, the need of the hour is to be loving, affectionate and accepting of them. Because really, whats wrong with being the way you are? Would you like it if people made fun of you because of where you were from or how you looked? It would be plain cruel and unfair simply because where you’re from and how you look are things you cant help. You were born with them and there’s absolutely no reason such a thing should get you down.

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Being gay has NO effect on someone’s personality AT ALL. I’ve loved this best friend of mine since we were 4 because he is funny and helpful and loyal and caring and just plain all-round awesome. It didn’t matter to me if he was gay. He was still the guy I went on my first ever road trip with, the guy who was there for me when I broke up with my first boyfriend, the guy who carried me home when I broke my ankle at a soccer game once and the guy I made so many amazing memories with and that will never ever change. He’s a beautiful person and him (or anyone else) being gay shouldnt at all affect our (or anyone elses) thoughts of him.

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I just pray that, one day, we will live in a world where people would be as accepting of gay people as they are of males and females. That one day it wouldn’t matter what people’s gender was as long as they were capable, strong and true. I pray that gay rights would no longer be an issue and that people would not be afraid to admit to who they are. I pray for a world like that.

Stay beautiful,

Deliya 🙂

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka : US Open Finals

It seems like the big showdown this year at the US Open is going to look a lot like last year. Victoria Azarenka (world number 2) and defending champion Serena Williams are into the final round of the US Open.

Serena WIlliams, defending Champion

Serena WIlliams, defending Champion

Williams, chasing her 17th Grand Slam title, defeated China’s Li Na 6-0, 6-3 yesterday. Williams, 31, boasts a 12-3 career lead over her 24 year old opponent. Williams won the first set in just 29 minutes with 3 breaks of serve as Li, playing in her first Us Open semi final, wilted under the American legend’s trademark barrage which lead to a crushing defeat. Li, the 2011 French Open Champion, however, held through a good fight overlooking the career stronghold Williams had over her.

Victoria Azarenka, World Number 2

Victoria Azarenka, World Number 2

Azarenka marched into the US Open final with an error-strewn 6-4, 6-2 win over Italian Flavia Penneta. In a tense first set there were seven breaks of serve in 10 games with Azarenka. She spent two hours more on court getting to the semifinals than her opponent.

Pennetta, who is the first Italian woman to make the US Open final (after missing the tournament last year due to a wrist injury) had saved two of them with a couple of groundstrokes.

Its going to be nail biting showdown and it’ll definitely keep us on the edge of our seats till the very last second. The two top-seeded players will meet for this year’s title on Sunday.

Until then!

Deliya x 🙂

Random Thought of the Week : Greenpeace

So this month, my school’s been having this crazy environment theme thing (notice how eloquently I’ve put it) and I recently found about this voluntary oragnisation called Greenpeace. I felt like I should blog about this because I’ve been under this eco-craze because of school (thanks a lot by the way *sarcasm*) and well, I just felt like spreading the word.

Environment Week

Now Greenpeace is  non governmental environment organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam and the Netherlands (according to Wikipedia). It campaigns worlwide on many different environmental issues like global warming, deforestation and stuff. Apparantly, it doesn’t accept governmental funding of any kind but relies on its individual supporters and foundation grants.  It runs many campaigns at a time, I believe, but stopping a Texan Oil Company, Anadarko, from high risk deep sea oil drilling is its most recent take-on. You can take action on this website and sign up to help Greenpeace.

I hope this inspires you guys to take action and help save the environment, whether its in your small way of turning of lights and planting a tree every year or by signing up and campaigning against unjust environmental harm.

See you next week!

Deliya x 🙂