Monthly Archives: March 2021

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5, 2012

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“The Darkling slumped back in his chair. ‘Fine,’ he said with a weary shrug. ‘Make me your villain.’”

Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

So Shadow and Bone is becoming a TV show on April 23, 2021, and I wanted to prepare for this by reading and re-reading the Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows duology, King of Scars, and Rule of Wolves. I began by re-reading Shadow and Bone. While I didn’t enjoy it the first time, I found my thoughts changed quite a bit the second time around.


Reading Order

First let me start by saying that originally, I picked up the Six of Crows duology before reading the Grisha trilogy, and it definitely made it far more confusing to read. The trilogy has a lot of world-building and explanations, which are helpful to read before the duology, which is meant to take place two years later. Also, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom mentioned a lot of the characters and storylines from this trilogy, so it’s nice to be able to catch those things. Here’s what I suggest: Read Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising, followed by Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. Then go on to King of Scars and Rule of Wolves.


The Grisha world is so well-developed it blows my mind. Leigh Bardugo’s work is absolutely amazing, and I love what she’s created. In this book in particular, it’s a little hard to follow at times, with all the explanations of the different kinds of Grisha, but it gets easier as it continues. This is one of my favourite fantasy worlds of all time.


As someone who read Six of Crows first, I definitely wasn’t expecting this plot to focus so much on one character. Six of Crows follows six vastly different people very closely, but this focuses mainly on sole protagonist Alina. This is a fairly quick read, and quite fast-paced as well, with the plot being easy to follow and interesting as well. I’d definitely suggest people to continue on with this story, because it only gets better, with Bardugo adding more twists and turns in the plot. This also focused far more on romance, which I wasn’t so used to. It was definitely a good addition, just really differently written than her other books.


Characters was one point which I struggled with in this book. I didn’t love Alina, which is difficult because she’s the main character, and I definitely didn’t love Mal either. Alina was lacking he confidence I love in characters, and Mal was pretty annoying at times. Side characters such as Genya were okay, but there was no one I was crazy about. My favourite was probably The Darkling, but of course he has his problems as well. However, again, as the series continued, more characters were introduced or given more prominent roles, and they really began to grow on me.

Final Thoughts

Read this book! If you love Leigh Bardugo or the Grishaverse or you just want to prepare for the show, I would definitely recommend picking up this book!

Happy reading!

Concert: Lauv

Week 11: Blog Post / Mini Assignment #6

Featured Image Credit: Bandwagon

Wave hands up and down, spin and blackout! And that’s a wrap on the mini assignments for the semester. This GIF represents fun and excitement, I would send it when discussing parties or concerts.

But I have more to say about the artist in this GIF.

This GIF is created from Lauv’s concert, which I attended back in 2018 at Fortune Sound Club. Lauv is a pop artist who is known for his hit song I Like Me Better. In this GIF he is performing that song. Although there is no sound in the GIF, through the lights and his actions you can see that it is a very upbeat and fun song. I think this GIF perfectly describes Lauv and his music.

However, Lauv’s songs range in variety. I Like Me Better is a fun and upbeat song but he also has songs like Sad Forever, which discusses depression and mental health. Through the lyrics in this song listeners can empathize with Lauv and understand what he is going through. Also in the song Lauv sings softly but fast and I think this fits perfectly with the message of the song, because mental illness can sometimes take away ones voice or make it super fast due to anxiety.

Here are a few other songs of his I enjoy, Paris In The Rain, I’m So Tired, Modern Loneliness, Easy Love, Breathe, The Story Never Ends, Getting Over You, Reforget , There’s No Way and Fake. Basically, what I’m saying is I like all of his songs.

It was a great concert and as I have said before smaller concerts like this are always a lot of fun!

Here is the full video of that clip that was used in the GIF:  

Multiple Channels

Week 11: Process Post

Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

Unfortunately, I was sick and could not attend this week’s lecture on Multiple Channels and Multiple Media, and the link to the lecture slides was not working, so I had to do some research on the definition of transmedia. From the website Target Internet, I found out that transmedia deals with telling stories or producing content across multiple media platforms.

In this process post I will be discussing how I plan to integrate more transmedia into my website and what channels I will be focusing on. YouTube and Spotify will be the two channels I connect with the most. I know there is an argument around whether Spotify is considered a social media channel but for now I will count it as one. Through Spotify I have already created an account called Blue Bedroom Playlists, and I would like to continue to develop that account while getting more followers who enjoy the playlists I create. Through Spotify I would create a specific playlist for DKT MUSIC, so that users could find my website. As for the website users can find the playlists by clicking on the menu option that is titled Blue Bedroom Playlists, and this would connect them to Spotify. I have also linked out to Spotify and integrated the Spotify playlists into my posts.

YouTube would be another channel I would work with. I have also been linking out to YouTube and have integrated videos from the channel onto my site. I think through YouTube I could create playlists and a channel that reviews albums, just as I do on my site. In this way through YouTube I could link my website.

Instagram is another channel which I have been thinking about. I think if I create an account that incorporates the playlists and is an extension of my website that this would help to integrate more transmedia. Through Instagram I could gain followers with shorter posts and if they are interested, they could go to the website for more in-depth posts. Similar with the playlists this could introduce users to the playlists which could lead them to follow my account on Spotify.

The reason I would focus on these three platforms specifically is because I use them the most and they make sense with my website. Spotify and YouTube are both music platforms that I can use to further engage people in the music community. Instagram is a popular social media platform and I find that people like content that is short and quick, for example Instagram stories. So I could engage audiences in this way which could initially lead them to my website.

Link to the definition of transmedia from Target Internet:,blog%20entries%2C%20radio%20and%20advertisements

Peer review 3

Today I am going to be introducing the blog of my classmate Kim. The blog is titled Kim’s Eureka and is full of Aha moments and adventures Kim shares with her readers. 

First thoughts 🤔

When you enter Kim’s blog you land on her hello page. From this page, I can see she has a great understanding of the topics of her blog: yoga, wellness and spirituality. When Kim addresses her readers she is honest and gives you details about who she is and the purpose of her blog. I like that this Hello page was neat, clear and modern. Kim added a picture of herself to the right. She uses bolded works to highlight text and the spacing is great for reading.  

Design 🤍

The design of her top banner of her page is very nice and modern. I liked that she used a shadowing picture of a yoga pose, it visually gives insight into what the blog is about. She has a link to her Linkedin account, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube channel in the menu bar. Kim uses a grayish palette combined with colorful undertones. She has two main sections in her menu or navigation bar. The Eureka section is aligned with the categories she created for the blog posts. It seems like she took time to also color code the sections in her blog either gold or silver. She creates images for each blog post that gives the overall blog a consistent look. I liked how she links up videos, audios, photos and even posts within her blog to share basic examples. At the bottom of her page she added a calendar and a sign up section for a newsletter. Kim also included a section where you can use tags to help you navigate the content of her blog. I would recommend trying to change the lighter color of the text and/or size; at times it was difficult to read. When navigating Kim’s Eureka I learned a lot from external links. 

Content 😌

Her content often includes screenshots and details. She keeps a casual tone when writing but makes great connections with class content, discussion and readings. She also summarizes her takeaways from each week of class which was very helpful to see. Kim is very careful with her grammar and has a great vocabulary, I had to google some of the words she used. I really enjoyed when she used emojis within her text. I would recommend creating a section where she gives readers some recommended ways to navigate the website. Maybe creating a page that outlines what will be found in each tag or section of the blog and how to better find the content the reader wants. 

Audience and Advertising 👏

Kim’s intended audience is folks who are interested in fitness, yoga and wellness. I am learning about yoga just now, so I wouldn’t know which channels to recommend. Maybe post ads on yoga studios websites, like Oxygen Yoga and Fitness. I would recommend using both text based simple ads and other ads with pictures to reach a wider audience. 

I think Kim made great connections in her blog. I really liked the yoga tips. The image selection was beautiful. Kim’s website shows she dedicated a lot of effort and time into her page. 

Namaste! 🙏

The Dangers of Advertising in Journalism

Tom Bleymaier’s article, On Advertising – Maria Popova, opened my eyes to the dangers of advertising in journalism. In the case of Maria Popova, she has made an immense amount of money by using affiliate links and generating even more by soliciting donations. All while claiming her site is “ad-free.” According to Bleymaier, the Affiliate form of advertising is more disruptive, as it interrupts the reader with a link, and encourages the writer to change their tone in order to encourage the purchase. Ultimately, Bleymaier argues that it is morally wrong to claim to be “ad-free” when benefitting from Affiliate links and donations. He underscores the importance of transparency when using programs such as Amazon’s Affiliate links.

In terms of my site, it may be difficult to incorporate Affiliate links as there is not much for me to advertise. Hopefully, I will be able to come up with something down the road!


eReaders vs Books

When eReaders started to take the book world by storm, I swore that I would never get one. I loved reading actual books too much, feeling them in my hands and collecting them on my book shelf. My parents made the switch first, buying Kobo’s while I continued buying real books.

I am someone who does most of my reading on vacation, and I am a very fast reader. So I started to have the trouble of packing books in my suitcase and not weighing it down. Finally, after filling my suitcase as much as I could too many times, I decided to cave and buy an eReader.

I immediately fell in love with it. It’s so light, and I love how many books I can carry on it. I even got a waterproof Kobo, so I can sit in the pool, a hot tub, or the bath without worrying about dropping it in. I also started to borrow ebooks from the library, instead of buying books all the time. Although there was the initial high price of the eReader, I have saved so much money borrowing ebooks. I also love how I can do this without having to leave my house, I can get the library download for a book instantly, or join the waitlist to get it as soon as possible.

I do still own plenty of hardcopy books, and I won’t be getting rid of these any time soon. I maybe buy about one or two hardcopy books a year, especially if it’s a special book I know I want for a long time. But the eReader has completely changed the game for me, and I will never go back to only reading hard copy books all the time.

If you’ve been thinking of buying an eReader, consider this as a sign. Here is my favourite.

The post eReaders vs Books appeared first on Home.

process post wk 10

When hearing the word analytics I think about donations. I think about how a website is supported. 

what is the cost?

It costs mostly a dollar shown by users who support the website. Users give their attention and participation to websites by commenting and watching. They can also click adds. However, the cost is leaving evidence or data breadcrumbs behind. The downside is that this data can be tracked down.

what is my opinion about data trails?

My thoughts are “where’s the data trails coming from?” I haven’t got any expectations that users can attract other websites. Before our lecture on privacy I did not know that data trails existed and that this information was being collected. When browsing online, I have not gotten a chance to browse what my data footprint can be. 

Is there hope?

I have not given up on preserving my data online. Although I just learned about this I want to continue learning about this and how to have a more private online browsing experience.  I think we have an opportunity to use this for good. For example websites like we can use our online power to giving money, finding missing pets or starting petitions for a topic of your choice. – Peer Review 3

For our final peer review, I was paired with Savannah, who runs, a personal blog dedicated to “lifestyle, travel, [and] health & wellness”. 

Savannah’s blog is visually stunning, something that visitors can immediately feel soothed and welcome by. The design is very user-friendly and simplistic, which lends great to accessibility while staying within a clean and modern aesthetic. 

The About Me page centres the framing of the website, and serves as a great introduction to Savannah’s brand and personality. I really like how clear her mission statement is without explicitly stating that it is her brand’s mission. While I tend to follow content creators who fit into more specific niches that align with my interests, the brand and business narrative being presented here are very effective and have piqued my interest greatly. Savannah notes that she strives to be “authentic” on her About page, and that authenticity is extremely present and what is keeping me enticed by her brand. 

From that, the posts on the site are very reflective of the overall goals. The content of the website is very well aligned to the topics outlined in the About page, with each topic of interest clearly organized in the drop-down menu. I really appreciate the raw honesty in her post Well, It Finally Happened… in which she discusses testing positive for COVID-19. It’s personable in the way it’s written and the subject matter, but the categorization of the post fits seamlessly in with the branding of the blog. I also really enjoyed reading R.I.P. To My Bank Account. I love fashion and clothes, so it was great to see some very nice pieces, but also to learn more about who Savannah is. All of her posts have that same theme of fitting with her interests and speaking to her personality, which achieves her blog mission incredibly. 

I completely agree with Cailey’s peer review of Savannah’s site, especially with the emphasis on how Savannah is inviting her audience into what works for her and encouraging them to find their own ways and inspiration from her, rather than telling them what to do. I also think that Savannah should continue to focus on copy editing her content, as there were a few typos in the posts I looked at.

In terms of monetization, the site’s design makes it friendly for advertising, and making ads stand out. While I think the site could use Google Ads, or other kinds of banner ads, I believe sponsorships and affiliate links would be more effective and logical ways of monetizing. For example, I think having a discount code or a sponsored post for comfortable and fashionable workout clothes would fit really well into her brand, all without forcing banner ads or clicks, which can deter an audience. This would be great on the blog itself, or on her YouTube channel, where sponsored content and banner/preroll ads can generate funds. 

Overall, I think Savannah’s blog is very well branded and extremely compelling. She has found a wonderful balance of the personal and professional self in her content, which is great for drawing in a broad audience and for monetization. I really look forward to seeing how her blog and brand continue to develop! 

Response to Peer Review

Emily Sweeney reviewed my website this week and gave me some excellent feedback to think about. I in particular appreciated her feedback about the public I am creating and the audience I am trying to reach with my website. As Michael Warner writes in his essay Publics and Counterpublics, a public is different than the public. Through my website I was trying to address the entire public – the entire internet. Emily pointed out that it may be more effective to target a public, like women, previously homeless folks, or Vancouverites.

I do often have a tendency to “bite off more than I can chew”, trying to address all aspects and perspectives on an issue in an 800 word essay, or address the entire general public with a website. Even knowing this rationally, I am too stubborn to narrow down my population too much (to just women, or to just previously homeless folks). However, narrowing the scope of my blog to just Vancouver is a good compromise between me and the rest of the world.

To change the blog to make it more centred on Vancouver, I will make a few small tweaks in presentation and wording, and the majority of the photos I use will of Vancouver, covering the homeless epidemic locally instead of province- or nation-wide, or globally.

Old Tagline “Our aim is to humanize the dehumanized”
Updated Tagline “Humanizing the Dehumanized in Vancouver, British Colombia”

I’ll also change the tags in each post to put more emphasis on Vancouver, instead of homelessness broadly speaking, and change the “About Me” section of my blog to establish the locale of the blog.

Updated “About Me” Section
Old “About Me” Section

Experiences With the Emergency Department

Many homeless and vulnerably housed folks do not have a GP, and instead bounce between walk in clinics and the emergency departments of various hospitals instead. This is particularly worrying for this population, who are vulnerable to a cornucopia of health problems due to a variety of factors. Unfortunately, empathy for people struggling with mental health problems and addictions is not built into our health care system.

Tonight, a resident in one of my buildings was suffering from a painful hernia, he could not stand up straight or walk on his own. Despite this, he refused to the go to the hospital without first doing laundry, taking a shower and combing his hair. A young Indigenous woman reports a similar narrative to the researchers and authors of In Plain Sight, stating “I am afraid to go to any hospital. When I do have to, I dress up like I’m going to church [in order to receive proper treatment]. It’s ridiculous.” To your or I, this seems absurd. When someone is in a crises of health, they should go to the hospital to receive emergency care.

However, that’s not how the hospital works for everyone. The experiences of Indigenous folks in the healthcare system is a whole post by itself – a whole blog by itself in fact. The colonial healthcare system has a long history of dismissing, disrespecting and abusing Indigenous Peoples, performing medical experiments on them without their consent and denying them proper standard care. Homeless folks and people who use drugs also regularly experience disrespect, neglect, and mistreatment at the hands of jaded and cynical healthcare workers in the emergency department. Their symptoms are regularly dismissed as psychosis or drug-induced, their mental health crises left untreated due to concurrent substance use, and they are often denied medication (particularly pain medication) due to perceptions that they are lying about their symptoms to obtain drugs.

The resident I mentioned above finally made it to the hospital around 3:00am after a painstaking 6 hours of laundering his clothes and showering while in unbearable pain. By 5:00am, he had returned from the hospital – discharged almost immediately, in the same condition as he had left in.

Resources for Homeless Folks In Vancouver BC

Free or Low Cost Food

Free or Low Cost Clothing

Shelters and Warming Shelters

Community Centres for People Experiencing Homelessness

  • Carnegie: outreach services, washrooms, library, meal services, drop in recreational services
  • Evelyne Saller Centre: health support services, washrooms, laundry, meal services

Book Recommendation – Never Enough by Judith Grisel

In her book “Never Enogh, the Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction”, Judith Grisel shares her unique perspective on addiction, as a neuroscientist and person in long-term addiction recovery. 

Through her education and life experience she is able to marry emotional and scientific views to drive her point home to the reader – there is no free lunch. She explains the laws of pharmacology and how the brain adapts to every drug by counteracting the drug’s effects. The opponent process theory (below) illustrates her point. On the right, we see the effects of a drug on a naive brain (in red), the response of the brain to the drug (in blue), and the experience of the user. On the left we see the same processes and experiences but in a seasoned drug user, where the brain has come to anticipate the stimulus and responds immediately and intensely when stimulated – making for a much worse high and much worse withdrawal. 

Opponent – process theory

Grisel explains all the neural processes which indicate addiction; she is the perfect yin to Gabor Mate’s yang. She illustrates her points with diagrams, graphs, and personal anecdotes, making her points clear to understand for anyone, regardless of learning style.
I can’t recommend her book highly enough, her perspectives on addiction are so unique and interesting, and her policy recommendations for addressing addiction are so pragmatic and understanding.

Artist Progression: Taylor Swift

Week 10: Blog Post

Taylor Swift on Politics and Her Sundance Documentary 'Miss Americana' -  Variety

Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews for Variety

Taylor Swift is a very successful artist as many of us know. But why is she so successful?

Taylor Swift is not only a great musician and songwriter, but she is also a storyteller.

Taylor Swift started off as a country pop artist, she had released her debut album Taylor Swift in 2006 and quickly saw success. Then in 2008 with the release of her second album Fearless, she started to become a household name.  

Her album Fearless gave us hits like Love Story and You Belong With Me. You Belong With Me is said to be “one of the best selling singles worldwide.” Taylor Swift was successful at the start of her career because her songs were always honest and relatable.

Her song You Belong With Me, is a story that I think many people can relate to. It’s a story about liking someone and believing that, that person should be with you and not who they are currently with. Here are some lyrics from the song that describe this, She wears high heels / I wear sneakers / She’s Cheer Captain, and I’m on the bleachers /Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find/That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.

Skipping ahead to her album Speak Now which was released in 2010, it continued to follow the country pop sound but what made it successful was the stories she told throughout these songs. Taylor also has this very soft and whimsical voice that helps listeners feel the emotion in her songs. Taylor Swift has a light-lyric Soprano voice type. Her album Speak Now also had successful hits like Mean, and Sparks Fly. However, my personal favorite is Dear John.

This song is about the relationship she had with John Mayer. Dear John is a honest and vulnerable song, and this song demonstrates that Taylor Swift is not afraid to sing about the truth even when it’s sad and ugly. I think this is why listeners enjoy her music.

Here are some descriptive lyrics from the song where Taylor discusses this toxic relationship she was in, You are an expert at sorry /And keeping the lines blurry /Never impressed by me acing your tests /All the girls that you’ve run dry /Have tired, lifeless eyes / Cause you burned them out /But I took your matches before fire could catch me, /So don’t look now, I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town.

Next is her album Red which was released in 2012. Taylor Swift slowly starts to move away from country to more pop music. Her sound changes, as her songs switch over to an allegro tempo (fast) and are more upbeat. Her voice also gets rough in this album. Songs like I Knew You Were Trouble and Red, were hits. With Red, I especially liked how she added colors to certain emotions, as this creates imagery in the listener’s mind.

Then came her album 1989 in 2014. This was a pop album which was accompanied “by heavy synthesizers, programmed drums and process backing vocals.” She had number one singles like Shake It Off, Blank Space and Bad Blood. This refreshing new pop sound and her story telling skills, grasped people emotionally.

Her next album was Reputation which came out in 2017. She changed her sound and style in this album but still continued to produce stories in her songs. Songs like Look What You Made Me Do, Delicate and Endgame, felt like storylines to movies. Then came her album Lover in 2019, which was the complete opposite of Reputation.

Her most current album releases were Folklore and Evermore which were both released in 2020. Folklore is an amazing album lyrically. Her soft voice and slower tempos return. Her song My Tears Ricochet demonstrated that Taylor is a talented songwriter and storyteller. The lyrics, You wear the same jewels that I gave you / As you bury me, are assumed to be referring to her songs (jewels) that her previous record label still owns and she discusses this pain. This is great song writing because she is able to disguise these problems in stories and tell them through songs. Songs like The 1, Cardigan, Illicit Affairs, Exile, Hoax, This Is Me Trying and Mad Woman, are all great songs lyrically. Her album Evermore is similar to Folklore and songs like Tolerate It and No Body, No Crime are also great songs lyrically. The song No Body, No Crime feels like a murder mystery movie. Taylor Swift is a successful artist and as discussed through this progression I think she continues to be successful because she is a talented song-writer, and each album I discussed was a progression from the last lyrically.

Last Peer Review Feedback

Week 10: Process Post

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

This week I will discuss the feedback I had received from my classmate Alyssa. I really appreciate her comments on how I color coordinated my website because that is something I struggled with in the beginning of the semester, but I’m glad she liked these changes. As mentioned before I do hope to redesign this whole website after the semester is over, so I am also looking forward to that.

Alyssa also suggested to add more hyperlinks in my posts and I completely agree. I had received this feedback in tutorials and now in this peer review. I will be going through all my posts next week and adding hyperlinks.

I also appreciate her positive comments on my about me section, and the marketability of my site. I feel like there is still a lot I need to do to make my website more marketable, but Alyssa pointed out things I did not even notice. She mentioned how my song of the week makes my website feel “current” and adds to the marketability, so that is something I will definitely keep when redesigning my website.

I loved the suggestion she had made for my new artist’s section. Alyssa had mentioned that I should “showcase a new Vancouver-born artist every week” and that this will “increase marketability to local Vancouverites.” I love this idea and will definitely be looking into more Vancouver artists. I think that is a great way to showcase local talent and gain more attraction for my website. I also think that this would allow me to network with people in the music industry.

 I have started to look at labels. Monstercat is a Canadian independent music label and it is based in Vancouver. Although all artists on this label may not be from Vancouver, I think it is a great place to start looking for new local artists. I have also searched on google for local Vancouver artists and many websites came up, so I will be looking further into those.

Lastly, I really liked that she had taken a look at my Blue Bedroom Playlists section, because this is separate content from the blog and process posts, and I’m glad that she not only took the time to view it but enjoyed it.

I thank Alyssa for her suggestions and great ideas as they were helpful.  

Checkout Alyssa’s website Loafs by Lyss to learn how to make sourdough bread and more!

March Reads

March – another great month of reading! This month involved some books that I typically wouldn’t gravitate towards, one for my book club, some for class, a couple re-reads, and more. I really enjoyed these reads, and am excited for next months books as well!

Six Angry GirlsAdrienne Kisner

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Read Mar. 2 – Mar. 3

This book was a bit of a let-down for me. It’s fairly new, and I was really looking forward to it. However, I’m not always the biggest fan of contemporaries, because sometimes I get caught up in disliking dialogue if I find it unrealistic. This was definitely the case here, and I wasn’t able to enjoy this very much. However, I loved the characters, and I feel that this is a very important story to read, and I would still suggest fans of YA read this.

I Wish You All the Best – Mason Deaver

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read Mar. 4 – Mar. 5

This book was so unbelievably amazing. It was very emotional and impactful, and I loved the characters so much. The story follows Ben as they come out as non-binary, and navigate life after their parents kicked them out. I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did, but I 100% think everyone should read this. This was another read for my YA Culture class, and it was really great to look at it from this learning perspective.

In the Dream House –  Carmen Maria Machado

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read Mar. 5. – Mar. 5

I picked this book up on a whim after hearing about it in a BookTube video by “A Clockwork Reader”. This is another book that is a must-read for all, and truly an important read. It is a memoir, and follows an abusive relationship between two women, a topic that is not often spoken about. Definitely read the trigger warnings before reading this, but if it is something you’d be okay reading, I’d definitely suggest picking it up.

The Gilded Ones – Namina Forna

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read Mar. 5 – Mar. 7

This is a new 2021 YA fantasy book, and I went into it really knowing nothing about it. This wasn’t my favourite fantasy, as I wasn’t too attached to the characters, which is very important for me. However, what I liked was that it was fairly easy to follow, which isn’t always the case for a first book in a fantasy series, and the plot was fast-moving and really engaging. Some parts were a bit predictable, but it was overall really great, and if you’re looking for a new fantasy to read, definitely go with this!

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Read Feb. 20 – Mar. 13

This one is a bit difficult to review. I read this as part of my book club, and this is one of the most highly talked of and hyped up books on BookTok, with raving reviews and emotional responses. However, I did not view The Song of Achilles in this way. There was a lot of nothing going on, and huge leaps in time, which I didn’t enjoy. Also, I really disliked one of the protagonists, Achilles, so that definitely ruined it for me too. I won’t say don’t read it, because a majority love this book, but it just wasn’t for me.

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo (Re-read)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read Mar. 14 – Mar. 15

This is my second time reading this, and surprisingly I liked it far more than the first time I read it. I am re-reading and reading several of Leigh Bardugo’s books in preparation for Shadow and Bone coming to Netflix. It is definitely not great in comparison to Bardugo’s other series, Six of Crows, but it was still fairly good. Here are some more thoughts I put into a short TikTok:

Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) – A.C. Rosen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read Mar. 15 – Mar. 17

This book truly surprised me. It was another book I read solely because of my YA Culture class, and I had never heard of it before. However, I was surprised by how much I absolutely loved this book. It was fun to read, and the mystery gave me Pretty Little Liars vibes, which made it even better. Read this!

The Silver Chair – C.S. Lewis

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Read Mar. 17 – Mar. 19

This series is going on a bit of a downhill slope in my opinion, with me not enjoying any as much as I did the first, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I’m finding that it’s difficult to stay engaged in the story, and I don’t really have an attachment to the new characters. However, I’m going to continue on with it just because of the sentimental value this series has to me, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this. I like the way that C.S. Lewis writes to his readers, and the magic of his words, but it’s a bit different than I expected.

Hamlet – William Shakespeare (Re-read)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Read Mar. 8 – Mar. 24

I’ll just start by saying I’ve never been a fan of Shakespeare’s works, so I don’t have much to say about this. This is one of the better plays in my opinion, but still I just can’t make myself enjoy these; I only read them when I have to.

Thanks for reading!

Process Post #10

Peer Review 3 Response:

For this process post I will be reflecting on Hayden’s peer review of my blog.

The first piece of advice she suggested is to change up my featured photos for process posts, mini assignments, peer reviews, and essays. Right now they are all the same pink with a blue border and blue text (as shown in the featured photo for this post). She suggested to make each category a different photo. I really like this idea, and I was thinking I could play around with maybe having some with a blue background with a pink border and pink text, and maybe also switching up some other elements. This would keep them cohesive, but also different to each other and stand out for a user scrolling through my blog.

The second piece of advice would be to add more widgets that are also similar, such as Instagram, Pinterest, or something else book related. I really like this idea and want to implement it to add a little something extra. I currently have a widget of my book reading challenge for 2021 on my home page, but GoodReads also has more options, such as books I’ve recently reviewed, recently read, or in a specific collection. I currently don’t have an Instagram or Pinterest page for Brooke Reads Books, but if I did I think that would be a great addition to the page in the form of widgets.

Overall, I think Hayden had some really great advice to make my website better. Thanks for the peer review!

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Reflecting on Peer Review #3

Process Post #10

I want to start off by thanking Tiana Paltiel for the insight she has provided on my website. Peer reviews are always helpful in understanding things in a different light and assist in incorporating varying perspectives to my blog site.

Firstly, I would like to clarify a misunderstanding that I came across in Tiana’s Peer Review. The No Text Needed mini assignment has pictures of the Sikh Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and is not of an Indian wedding. It is easy for someone who is unfamiliar with Sikhi and the Punjabi culture to mistakenly misidentify. The mini assignment also did not require any text so I couldn’t elucidate or get in to more depth about the film shots. However, I thought I’d be only right to adress this misunderstanding.

Moreover, Tiana suggested that I should link out to sites more often. I had also realized that I had not been doing that actively. That is why I have been recently doing that with the newer content that I have been creating. Still, I think it is worth it to go back and link out more sources in previous posts. I will be doing that sometime this week! Tiana also suggested that I should link out the camera I use and additional information about it. Coincidentally, I had already put together a post except I need to wait on some pieces of information to be confirmed before I could release it. All of these ideas are awesome recommendations that are positively contributing to my digital garden. Thank you so much, Tiana!


Wikipedia contributors. (2021d, April 2). Guru Granth Sahib. Wikipedia.

The things we take for granted

Blog post #9

This photograph was captured on my trip to India in March 2020. I believe that every picture has its own story and that everybody interprets it differently. When I look at this picture above, I could personally only think of two ways that one could possibly look at it. The first being, a picture of a little girl holding balloons, and the second being, of a little girl selling balloons. Now you may wonder which one of these two possibilities is true.

Sadly, this picture is of a little who can’t be more than 10 years old selling balloons to people. When I took this picture I didn’t really think about anything at all. All I saw was a cute little girl holding balloons and I thought I’d take her photo. Once I had taken her photo I immediately searched for my family who was ahead of me at that moment so ran to catch up with them. Reflecting back at this moment, I wish I had bought all of her balloons and treated her with some ice cream because she definitely deserves it. I wish I had talked to her, bought her new clothes, listened to her story, met her family. I wish I didn’t carry this regret of not doing anything to help her with me every time I looked at this photo.

I’m glad about one thing for sure though. This little girl is only a few steps away from Sri Harmandir Sahib also known as the Golden Temple which is also the world’s largest free kitchen. This free kitchen is also known as Langar in the Sikh faith. Langar is served not only at the Golden temple but at every Sikh Gurdwara around the world. It is completely free of cost and Sikhs do not discriminate against any religion, caste, gender, economic status, or ethnicity (“Langar (Sikhism)”, 2021). So, knowing that this little girl will never sleep on an empty stomach is comforting.

I will forever be grateful for the privileged life that I live. I am able to go to school and get an education which many children like this little girl don’t receive. It breaks my heart to see her working at such a young age. I hope that one day in the near future I get a chance to go back to Sri Harmandir Sahib so I can find this little girl and pay for her education.


Devashrayee, N. R. A. R. (2017, April 11). Inside the World’s Largest Free Kitchen. Vice.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 1). Langar (Sikhism). Wikipedia.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, March 31). Golden Temple. Wikipedia.

Inside the Minds of Content Creator

Process Post #9

As Susan mentioned, knowing how your readers behave on your website can assist you with creating the best content, posting at the right time, and in my opinion, the most important factor: establishing the correct engagement strategies. Analytics (Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.) is a precious tool that expands your audience base but on the other hand, it can leave data trails everywhere you go online. That is one reason out of the many why being a content creator is not an easy job.

Speaking personally, I use Google Analytics on my blog site and it has proven to be extremely helpful. The information provided by Google Analytics helps me strategically plan out my next moves. My favorite part about it is discovering things about the visitors who view my site. For example, a lot of my visitors are from Germany so I am planning to talk about the farmer’s protest in Germany. There are two reasons for this, the first being I want my site to be the voice of the voiceless, and bring attention to important issues. The second reason is, the German farmer’s protest will be relevant to my viewers as some of them reside in Germany.

At times it can get a little concerning knowing that I am leaving a digital footprint everywhere I go online. Especially, knowing that information travels fast and is often taken out of context (Hickey, 2013). That is why I always double-check my sources but overall, being mindful and aware of the content I post online is crucial to me!


Hickey, C. (2013, May 23). Post author: Chelsea Hickey. Social Media Club.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021a, March 29). Google Analytics. Wikipedia.

Peer Review #3

For this peer review, I will be reviewing Hayden’s blog.

My first thoughts when opening up this website is that I love the design. The theme is great, I think it is well picked for a lifestyle blog. The colours are are calming, I don’t feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed looking at the page.

As a visitor to this site, I am immediately drawn in by the design, and I am excited to see more of what this site has to offer.

One thing I would recommend to make the front page more cohesive is to have all of the posts have a featured image that are all the same size. The pictures that are uploaded already are great photos, they are very aesthetically pleasing and go well with the content of each post.

Hayden has her blog post content split up into 3 different categories, keeping active, lifestyle, and traveling. I think this is really helpful to any visitor of this site, as they can immediately identify what type of content they would be interested in and read it.

Starting off with the keeping active page, so far I really like the content that is there. A workout routine is great content that visitors to this site may like. I think a great addition to the content would be to add links for products described in the workout routine, such as the dumbbells and the peloton. This way visitors can find these products directly from the blog post. This would also be useful to make this blog monetized, as affiliate links would be a great way to monetize a lifestyle blog.

The second page is lifestyle. I think there are some great posts here, and I think the photos chosen to represent these blog posts are great. I would maybe split up the text into more paragraphs, so it seems less heavy for visitors and easier to read. The photos could be placed throughout the post, maybe putting the coffee picture right after referencing coffee and the laptop photo after mentioning doing homework.

The third category is travelling. I like the posts here, and the photos chosen are beautiful. One thing I would like to see for the latest blog post, Past Travels, is more personal photos and write up about each trip.

I think something that would make this website more marketable would be to look into search engine optimization. Some ways to do this would be to rename blog posts to make them more relevant to google searches that a potential visitor might have. Instead of “Past Travels”, it could be something more specific like “Top 10 Sights to See in Japan”. This would make it likely rank higher on a google search and be easier to find. Having key words in the blog posts would also help. Having links to products like I mentioned above would also be really good. Adding a plugin for SEO would be helpful for this, I use mine to make sure my titles are written well for SEO, my blog posts are a good length, and I have keywords written in there. I use Yoast SEO for this and I recommend it.

To market this website more, I think it would be good to utilize social media platforms that the imagined audience would use. For a lifestyle blog I would suggest Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. I think you could get some really great reach from those if you chose to do so.

Overall I think this website has a great design and great content. I love the aesthetic of the page and I think it is all laid out very well. The site is easy to navigate and the posts with featured photos have great pictures that make me want to click. Great job!

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Frankies Bikini’s X Hailee Steinfeld Review

The weather in Vancouver is starting to brighten up, and by this, I mean it was sunny for two days last week, so naturally, my first thought is to begin bikini shopping for the summer. A swimsuit brand that I have been obsessed with for the past few years is Frankies Bikinis. For their latest collection, Frankies Bikinis have collaborated with Hailee Steinfeld to drop two collections this March. The release of the first assortment of bikinis was on March 9, and the second one will drop on March 22. Since the second collection is not yet available, I will only be reviewing the first one. Moreover, if you have been paying attention to the Spring/Summer 2020 fashion trend reports, you are well aware that retro 70’s-inspired patterns are a must-have for the upcoming season. Luckily for you, this collection is filled with vibrant and funky fabrics in three different colorways that will more than happily meet your vintage dreams.

This collection has a wide range of swimsuit styles, including string bikinis, cut-out one-pieces and high-rise bottoms. In terms of the size range, everything is available in XS-XL, with select pieces available, up to 2XL. My favourite aspect of this collection is the abundance of clothing apparel that can be worn with or without the swimsuits including, halter dresses and coordinating short sets. Overall, I am obsessed with the collection from start to finish. In addition to hitting the mark on all the major swimwear trends, it also provides us with cozy and chic summer clothing.

My favourite piece from the collection is the Seraphina one-piece in disco yellow. I have been looking to invest in a one-piece bathing suit for the longest time. But have yet to find one that is neither too conservative nor too revealing. This collection’s Seraphina one-piece is serving up the hottest 70’s Malibu beach babe vibe, and I’m totally digging it!

The Seraphina one-piece in Shimmy Blue


Javiera Guevara