Likes & Dislikes: The Girl On The Train

27 May 2015

The Girl On The Train Review
I had heard good things about The Girl On The Train but I was never really interested to read it. But when Amber told me how she finished this book in less than 24 hours, my spidey sense was tingling. So I downloaded the digital version and started reading. It took me about 3 days to finish it (I'm not a fast reader, except for when it comes to Dan Brown's books). Many reviews call it "the 'Gone Girl' of this year", but since I haven't read Gone Girl (what can I say? I'm not really into grown up novels) and only watched the film, I don't think they're comparable. But that's just me.

Anyway...

The story itself is about a woman, Rachel, who takes the same train everyday, in the morning and in the evening. She becomes familiar with a couple who lives near the railway; she even gives them name inside her head. One day, the woman who lives in that house goes missing for days and on the day she was last seen, Rachel saw something that might be an important clue about the woman's whereabouts. So Rachel goes to the police. But turns out Rachel is not a reliable witness. She is an alcoholic who constantly blacks out and has no memory of hours in her life. She also used to live a few doors next to the missing woman, where her ex-husband lives with his new wife and their little daughter. And turns out that the truth is so much close to Rachel's life.

Likes

  • As a commuter myself, I enjoy Rachel's description of the train and her everyday journey.
  • The whole idea of getting used to seeing a couple of strangers' life is intriguing. I also like looking at people around me in public places and wondering what they're going through (does it make me a creep?)
  • It's a page turner. It makes me want to read more.
  • I have a personal experience regarding cheating and secret lover and such, so I enjoy reading the whole story between Rachel, her ex-husband, and his new wife. I understand their relationship; something I might not do if I didn't have the experience.


Dislikes

  • I don't really like Rachel. It's frustating to see her keep coming back to drinking. I have no sympathy for her at all for that reason.
  • Rachel is too creepy. I understand the detectives' suspicion towards her. She is a stranger to the missing woman and her husband, but she knows so much. She knows too much. She even has the guts to go directly to the missing woman's husband. Gees...
  • Helpless people. Helpless people everywhere.
  • It's too slow paced for me.
  • About third quarter to the story, it becomes easy to guess the ending. The thrill and suspense that has been built since the beginning goes away just like that.


I'd give The Girl On The Train 2 out of 5 stars for those factors. I only enjoy several parts of the story, but the whole book is not really my thing.

Have you read this book? What do you think about it?

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Weekend Links

24 May 2015


Man, living with no internet connection is like living under a rock inside a cave. I'm not actually a person with FOMO, but let's be honest here, I can go a day or two without checking my Twitter or Instagram, but one week is too much. I have yet to solve this issue but I'm still trying. Bear with me!

But I've still managed to collect a few links. Enjoy!
  • Flying or invisibility? Kristin's post has made me wonder. I'd take flying, though. How about you?
  • Cat ladies, assemble! These tips on how to get better photos of your kitties needs to be bookmarked, like, right now.
  • I'm not intending to make my blog go full commercial as for now, but I've been saving useful tips like this one about writing sponsored content. Just in case, you know... (Hey, brands! Hi!)
  • Speaking of sponsored content, my childhood hero, Hilary Duff, released a new music video for her single, Sparks. It's been criticised and dubbed as a big commercial for Tinder. I honestly like the song and I cringed at the video. What do you think?
  • Ramadhan is closing in (less than a month!) and so is the Eid. I like shopping but I'm not a fan of Eid shopping because everybody seems to do it at the same time and so it's crowded and hot. I'm going Eid shopping from home this year. You know, just sitting in front of the computer and choosing pretty (+modest) dresses from Zalora. Oh the joy of living in the digital era! (See? Internet connection is my basic need!)
I haven't been in your blogs for a while, so let me know what you've been up to this week! Did you have fun?



Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

The Struggle of a Modern Human Being

22 May 2015

Modern human basic needs
My friend jokingly said that basic human needs had shifted from "food, shelter, and clothing" to "food, clothing, and internet". "Even homeless people have smartphones," she said. While I will never ever say that having a smartphone is more important than having a place to stay, I agree with her to some extent. I've been having some trouble with my house's internet connection lately and it's not good at all. I need internet :(

I sponsored Sara's blog last month and it has given me tons of traffic (blessed you, Sara!) so it's not really a good time to be MIA, no? Right now I'm writing this post at my parents' house. They installed a wifi connection just a month ago and it's been a connection heaven for me. If only I lived closer. Haha!

So... yeah. I'm just stopping by to tell my new readers that 1) yes, I'm still alive!; 2) I'm fixing this internet problem, so hopefully soon I'll get back to regular blogging; and 3) I really miss catching up with my favourite bloggers. Okay, maybe I'll just stop whining here right now.

See you soon!

Pic from.

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Weekend Links

16 May 2015


I'm closing this week with a good news: I got a job! I had the interview and microteaching test yesterday and I got the part time teaching job. I'm starting next Wednesday and I can hardly wait! I'll tell you all about it in a couple days ;)

And links!
Have fun this weekend!



Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Thoughts on Season Finale: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

15 May 2015

WARNING: This post may contain major spoilers.

So it's finally here. The season finales of the series I watch are coming. This week is that of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and holy birds was this a good finale! As the previous episode has hinted, this finale tells about the war between the Inhumans led by Jiaying and SHIELD, though I'm not sure if it's okay to call it a 'war' since it looks pretty much just like a small fight but with so many deaths.

All through the season, I wasn't sure what to feel about Jiaying. While I was pretty sure that the Inhumans meant no harm at all, I couldn't decide whether Jiaying was a friend or foe. The previous episode proved the latter when Jiaying killed Gonzales with a Terrigen crystal and then shot herself to make it look like Gonzales tried to kill her. The Inhumans believed her, even Skye at first. But thank God she can see her mother's true colour when Jiaying is murdering Raina (Yes, folks. The Flower Girl is dead.)

Jiaying and the Inhumans then attack SHIELD's ship while Coulson and Co. are busy dealing with Cal's crazy prower. Here's the funny part: Coulson gave Cal a pep talk and after all those episodes of Cal hating Coulson, Cal finally teams up with Coulson for the sake of Skye/Daisy's safety.

Meanwhile, Ward and Agent 33 have captured and are now torturing Bobbi so that Agent 33 can have some "closure". Now, there are romances that make you go "Aww..." and there are the ones that make you want to vomit. Ward and Kara's relationship is the latter and I must say that I'm glad to see Kara dies in the hands of her own boyfriend. Props to Agent May for coming up with that plan! A few episodes ago, I thought that the team should have forgiven Ward and let him back, but turns out the team was right not to trust him again. He's such a dick.


Back in the ship, Cal is confronting his wife to try and stop her from executing her plans. Coulson, Mack, and Fitz are trying to stop Gordon from teleporting the Terrigen crystals inside a box. Fitz gets to say the "Science, biatch!" and eventually kills Gordon, but in his last moments Gordon still tries to kill every non-Inhumans on board by dropping a Terrigen crystal. Coulson drops and catches it with his left hand which quickly turns into stone(?). Mack has to go to the rescue and quickly chop Coulson's arm off. Literally, you guys! And then Coulson screams.

Outside, Skye is trying to stop her mother but Jiaying insists on carrying on with her plans. She tries to absorb her own daughter's soul and when Skye tries to stop her with her quake power, Cal comes and kills Jiaying instead, saving Skye from the horror of killing her own mother. Poor Cal. I've always liked him but I love him now.

The conclusion: Coulson now only has one hand. Skye will go find other Inhumans. May is going on a vacation. Bobbi and Hunter may leave SHIELD. Ward is heartbroken (turns out he really loved Kara) and now tries to rebuild HYDRA. Mack is staying. Cal was put into TAHITI program and now lives as a vet and has no memory of Daisy. Fitz finally asks Simmons out and she says yes!!! But then she is dragged into the alien's substance and we don't know what happens to her yet.

I like how the finale actually concludes the whole season. It serves well both as the second season conclusion and the third season premises. While I must say that I don't want Raina gone, looks like she really is gone because the actress gets a bigger role in another show. Also, I hope Lincoln will be a regular next season. I need more cute guys in the show (aside Coulson). I can't wait for season three!

All images are from this site.

PS. My giveaway on Sara's blog is ending in TWO HOURS!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Likes & Dislikes: Struck By Lightning (Movie)

12 May 2015

Struck By Lightning Poster
Afief brought home a copy of this movie several days ago, so we spent our Friday night watching this. It was based on a novel with the same title, which I've had in my 'want to read' list on Goodreads for almost a year now. The book always loses over another book that I end up buying everytime I go to Books & Beyond. I don't know; there's just something about the cover that doesn't seem appealing to my eyes (I judge a book by its cover, pardon me). I didn't know that they made a movie based on it. And I didn't even know that Chris Colfer is the author of the book, who then adapted it into movie script, who then played the main role on the movie. I'm not a Glee fan so I didn't even know he was actually famous. I'm so ignorant.

Anyway...

This movie opens with a scene in which a high school senior, Carson Phillips, dies at his school's parking lot after getting struck by lightning while walking to his car. The rest is a flashback about his ambition of becoming a great journalist. He is the president of the writer's club in his school and a member of the student council. The writer's club publishes the school newspaper, of which stories are all written by Carson alone, because the members do not contribute at all. He plans to go to Northwestern University to pursue a degree in journalism, but one day his counselor told him that they will not accept him based on his work on the school paper; it has to be something more. He decides to start school literary magazine and asks the students to contribute, but he fails because, again, nobody wants to contribute (except Malerie, a girl from the writer's club who has no writing skills). A seemingly good chance comes up when Carson catches two male members of the student council making out in the boys' toilet. He blackmails them into contributing to the magazine. Because this strategy works like magic, he then blackmails more students and so the magazine can finally be published.

Wait. The synopsis isn't too long, is it?
Struck By Lightning Review
Likes

  • Rebel Wilson! God, I love her. She's always hilarious without even doing anything.
  • I always love movies with school settings (The Breakfast Club, Mean Girls, Easy A, etc.)
  • I like Carson's determination, but I'm strongly against the blackmailing.
  • At first I wasn't sympathetic towards Carson's mother. But at the end of the movie, I could understand why she does what she does. I like how this movie describes depression and how it affects relationships.


Dislikes

  • I believe that the blackmailing is supposed to be funny, but it can send a wrong message to younger people. The movie doesn't address the consequences of blackmailing either (no, I don't count getting struck by lightning as a consequence), so yeah... Parental guide is needed there.
  • The ending doesn't explain much. What happens to Carson's father and his fiancee?


In conclusion, I'd probably give it three out of five stars. The movie doesn't get well reception from professional critics either, but the book gets fairly good review on Goodreads. I think I'll finally buy it the next time I go to Books & Beyond.

Have you watched this movie or read the book?


Images from here and here.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Weekend Links

10 May 2015


Hey, there! After having two consecutive long weekends, this weekend seems odd. We went shopping with my mum and my little sister yesterday, and I had a photo session with the teachers of Mata Ilmu Private Course today. The weekend has been fun so far, but very exhausting. Sadly tomorrow is Monday and that means husband's going back to work and I'm going back to job hunting (yes, I'm a job hunter again now!). But next Thursday is a holiday so this week will again be shorter than the others. LOL!

And onto this weekend's links:
  • I've been splurging badly these past few weeks. Need to stop ASAP and do these things instead of spending money.
  • How many times should we be told that we're not actually responsible for other's happiness?
  • Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. This apology letter to body is a good reminder that this is our body and we only have one and that we should love it.\
  • When I was still teaching English classes in a high school, I used to be guilty of having favourite students. It's kinda hard not to.
  • I loveee reading people's love story (i.e. how they met, how their first date was, how the proposal was, etc. I'm simply a nosy person :p). One of my favourtite singers, Meiko, just got married a couple weeks ago and she shared how she first met her (then future) husband. Super sweet!
  • If you're a blogger, you shouldn't be ashamed of promoting yourself/your blog. Here's why.
  • I was a sponsor of Sara's blog last month and she's hosting a giveaway from me right now. Enter to win a phone case (which I reviewed here)!
How has your weekend been? ;)



Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

My Favourite Beauty Products

8 May 2015

Favourite Beauty Products @ HolaDarla.com
It wasn't until my freshman year in uni that I started wearing make up. My mum was a bit strict, saying that I didn't need make up when I was still in school. It would affect my acne-proned skin, she said. So mostly I only applied loose powder then went to school. I started wearing make up by putting on lip balm and eyeliner. Simply as that. And as time went by, I learnt more and tried many things, until I finally discovered my essential make up routines. These are some of my favourites beauty products ;)
Favourite Beauty Products @ HolaDarla.com
Maybelline Clear Smooth BB Cream | This was the very first BB cream I tried and I think I will never try any other product. It's so good! It blends well with my skin and I don't feel like I'm wearing any cream at all. I use it every day, even when I'm staying home.

Viva Brow Pencil (Brown) | I'm kind of late to the brow game. I started wearing eyebrow pencil after getting married. I was originally proud of my natural eyebrows, but they were shaped into ridiculously uneven shape so I needed to draw them to avoid being a walking comedy. They all grow back now, but I'm already in love with the brow game so I still use it every time I leave my house. Viva brow pencil is quite soft, making it easy to apply. But it's easy to rub off; you don't need make up remover to clean it.

Maybelline Hyper Curl Mascara | I hated mascara. It always got smeared on my eyeglasses' lenses. But now that I've found out how to solve this problem (which is to let the mascara dry first before putting the glasses on), I'm very glad that I can wear it. I haven't tried any other brand, but this Maybelline mascara is very good. It's long lasting (I usually wear it for 12 hours) and waterproof; though it can get smeared if you scrub it.

Maybelline Cheeky Glow Blush On | I have pale lips and I don't always wear lipstick. That's why I can look very pale even with make up on. I wear this blush on to put some colours on my face and to avoid looking like a sick girl. I have the pink one. A friend says that the more orange-y ones are good too, but it just doesn't suit me.
Favourite Beauty Products @ HolaDarla.com
Favourite Beauty Products @ HolaDarla.com
Wardah SPF 30 Sunscreen Gel | Although it's called a sunscreen gel, it's actually a lotion. My skin is acne proned, so it's important for me to wear sunscreen or sunblock because apparantly the sun is my skin's biggest enemy. This sunscreen smells so good (like orange milkshake, haha!) and it absorps quite fast. Plus, it doesn't make my face oily. However, Wardah is a local brand. Maybe you can find it in Malaysia and Singapore too, but I don't think they sell it in other countries.

Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner | Yes, this is the fourth Maybelline product in this post. I guess I just LOVE Maybelline, because everytime I want to buy a beauty product, I check if Maybelline has it first. This liquid eyeliner is super easy to use because the brush is so thin and long. It's also long lasting and waterproof. You can't really clean it off your face without eye make up remover. I always buy the black one, but if I'm not mistaken it comes in brown too.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm | This is the best. Red. Lipstick. EVER. I've been in the red lip club for so long, but this one is just the best. It's easy to apply, long lasting (I usually wear it for 12 hours), hard to rub off (need make up remover), and it has this cool mint sensation when applied. It's a bit expensive for my budget, though, but given the fact that it is so satisfying, I'm already planning on getting another one in another colour. Pink, maybe? (Do you think I'll look good sporting pink lips? Haha!)
Favourite Beauty Products @ HolaDarla.com
They're just a few of my favourites. I don't include my loose powder, moisturiser, and make up remover (my make up remover is the reason why I believe in magic and unicorns!). I will share them in another post in the future.

Now, what about your favourite beauty products? Do you use any of these? ;)

PS. I'm having a giveaway at Sara's blog. Enter to win a phone case!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Sad Songs Playlists

6 May 2015

Sad Songs Playlists
So I've just found 8tracks recently. If you didn't know yet, 8tracks is a website/app where you can stream playlists created by users. You can also create your own playlists. It's a great place to discover new favourites. I've been listening to slow, sad songs playlists lately. I'm not actually sad, but listening to those songs give me soothing feeling whenever I feel overwhelmed by life. It's been quite busy here lately, and I must admit that adjusting myself into the everyday married woman life is a pretty hard thing to do. Adjusting to the suburb life doubles the odds; I need about one hour to get to the city. I feel like I spend most of my days on the road. It's overwhelming at times. Listening to those songs calm my mind.

Anyway, I'd like to share some of my favourite sad songs playlists. Maybe some of you can enjoy them as much as I do. Also, if you have recommended songs for me (they don't have to be sad songs, though; I love various kinds of music!) please do tell me ;)

More favourites:



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Weekend Links

2 May 2015


It's May already! April and May this year are the months in which there have been so many long weekends. After having a long weekend last week (the second long weekend in April; which was only a local holiday due to the Asian African Conference), we're having another long weekend for May Day this week. Afief and I are going to learn to drive this weekend. I'm so excited!

Now links!
What are your plans for this long weekend? ;)



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