Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Devil Wears Black by L.J Shen

The Devil Wears Black by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Maddie is a free-spirited, kind-hearted designer who doesn’t know how to say no. Her ex, Chase Black, is a cheating scoundrel who has no qualms about being a jerk.
So when Chase walks back into her life and demands that Maddie pretends to be his fiance, she takes great joy in refusing him. At first.
But eventually Maddie realizes Chase just wants to act out an engagement in order to please his dying father.
Maddie goes along with Chase’s plan in an attempt to help him and his family. But it isn’t long before she starts to develop genuine feelings for both him and his family.
This was very different from L. J Shen’s usual work however I enjoyed it regardless. This was so much less angsty but still very beautiful and well-written.
Chase Black is an asshole but it is hard not to root for him considering his messed-up past with his bro/cousin. Maddie reminded me of Jess from New Girl but she was adorable and I just wanted to see her get the happy ending she deserved.
If you are a fan of contemporary romance, give this a go.



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7 Things You Must Do Before an Interview

No matter how old you get or how far you are in your career, interviews are an unavoidable part of life. Here are 7 tips to help you minimize your stress on the big day:

  1. Figure out where you’re going and how long it takes you-This is especially important if you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before or if the venue is situated somewhere out of the way. Take a drive to the interview venue and monitor how long it takes you. It’ll save you from being late on the day of the interview. And if the “did you have trouble finding this place?” pops up in conversation, you can show that you know how to plan ahead. I did this for one of my earlier interviews and while I did not remain in that position, this was something that impressed the hiring manager (who tracked me down a few months later for another job).
  1. Research the business and if possible the interviewers- check out the company’s website and social media pages to get an idea of their work as well as their values. This helps you to learn more about them as well as see if you fit in with their company culture. If you know who is your interviewer, try to find out more about them too. LinkedIn is great for finding who knows who but you can also try social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Maybe you and your interviewer went to the same university or have similar interests which you can use as a talking point during the interview. However I do recommend confessing to cyber stalking. Remember you are trying to build a connection, not get a restraining order.
  1. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep- Ensure you’re well rested before an interview. If necessary do something the night before to ease your stress such as a workout or meditation. I have a bedtime ritual of tea, face mask and then colouring that always calms me before an interview.
  1. Revise your resume and cover letter- Go over your cover letter and resume, paying special attention to what projects or job roles may help you in this interview. Have you demonstrated teamwork? Excellent leadership skills? Figure out how you can tie your past and present experience into this job role. This is also a great time to practice your elevator pitch.
  1. Pick out a professional outfit- be sure to pick out an outfit that looks professional but is also comfortable. The last thing you want is to be tugging and adjusting your clothes throughout the interview. It’s uncomfortable for you and distracting for the interviewer.
  1. Promote yourself to yourself- An important part of an interview is to project confidence. Remind yourself of all of your amazing accomplishments both in and out of work. Keep a list of everything you’ve done that you’re proud of. You want to project confidence in your interview so it’s important that you remind yourself why you’re so great. 
  1. Prepare questions and your answers- Do your research and prepare answers to some common interview questions. I like to look for general interview questions and as well as questions specific to the field that you’re applying for a job in. Be sure to also make a list of any questions you might have (and make sure they show your sincere interest in the position).

Interviews may be nerve-wracking but with enough practice, you can train yourself to be calmer as well as more prepared.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (Cursebreakers #3)

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


IT IS HERE!!! The final Cursebreakers book.
This book has the viewpoint of EVERYONE and I am so here for it.
“A Vow So Bold and Deadly” takes a look at both princes and their attempts at preparing for the war that lies ahead.
Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles with her people who do not respect her and her wishes for peace. They see her as weak and waste no opportunity to show her that.
What I really liked about this book was that no one was the way they seemed. The unassuming, meek serving girl, the headstrong Princess, the bloodthirsty Prince of Emberfall.
Brigid Kemmerer has a gift for creating rounded characters with real flaws and that really shines out in this book.
I also enjoyed seeing how Rhen and Grey prepared for war, neither of them sure whether they could trust the other or not.
From the very first book, I loved how close these two were and in my heart, I knew this was basically their story. “A Vow So Bold and Deadly” cements that fact.
This was a wonderful read that I enjoyed immensely and I am so sad to be leaving this world behind. Maybe I should go in for a reread?



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

The Devil Wears Prada (The Devil Wears Prada, #1)

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


So heads up, this book has very little in common with the movie.
So if you’re looking for the exact same plot line, don’t pick this up.
However if you’re looking for a fun read about a toxic boss, I highly recommend this book.
Andy gets a job as an assistant to the demanding (and probably mildly delusional) Miranda Priestly. It’s a job many girls would kill for.
Andy has no interest in fashion and certainly doesn’t fit in with the glamorous, skinny girls at work. But all she has to do is stick it out for a year.
But as time goes on, Miranda’s demands become more and more ridiculous and the job starts to take its toll on Andy’s life outside work.
I really related to the toxic work environment and loved that it was such an accurate portrayal of how a job can affect you mentally.
This book took me back to my first job after uni and surprisingly, it was a trip I really enjoyed



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Luck and Stuff

I hate talking about my job. Both on this blog and in real life. I know it sounds weird considering I spent months complaining about my lack of success at finding a position in my field. However everytime I’m asked about my job, I get a wide goofy smile on my face and I have to mentally slap myself (“You’re a professional! Act like it dammit”).

That being said there are several days when I can’t believe my luck at finally getting the job.

And that, my friends, is where the problem starts. I keep telling myself how lucky I was to get the marketing internship especially since our company hasn’t had any internal positions in the entire three years that I’ve been there.

While several marketing internships have administrative tasks only, I get to learn new things everyday while also actively learning about paid media.

So yes, in that case I was really lucky. And I really do appreciate it. Except I forgot a vital part of the story up until I overheard a conversation between my mum and aunt.

My aunt was telling my mother how excited she was for my new job and how I was “so lucky”. My mother agreed and then said I worked hard for it.

At this I was mildly confused. Sure I worked hard at my Customer Care job but it wasn’t a tough job. But then my mother continued, “She was always studying and doing things online. She really wanted that job.”

I felt like she was speaking about someone else. I had forgotten about that. I had spent early mornings, late nights, lunchbreaks at work and even a few leave days working on Digital Marketing courses and assignments. It seemed like in the few months that I had the job, I had forgotten what exactly it took to get me there. The months of saving to pay for those courses (my father had paid for my university degree and I wouldn’t let him pay for more studies since there was no guarantee it would pan out), the times with friends that I sacrificed and even the one week leave I took to ensure I had adequate time to complete assignments.

I felt proud of myself but also a bit disappointed. It wasn’t luck. I worked hard and the right opportunity presented itself to me.

I am still so grateful for my job but the one thing I’m taking out of that conversation between my aunt and mother is that no matter what studying further IS important. You never know when the right opportunity would come your way.

We Need to Talk About Toxic Work Environments

Why does no one talk about toxic work environments? We need to talk about the feeling of dread and despair in the bottom of your stomach when you realize it’s time to return to work.

That feeling of being so exhausted no matter how much sleep you try to get. Eight, nine, ten hours…it’s no use. You’re still drained. Emotionally, mentally, physically. Sleep. Diet. Exercise. Nothing seems to help.

You don’t have the energy to do anything but no matter how much you try to “rest”, your body is still exhausted. It’s like your body decided one day to just give up.

We need to talk about that feeling of walking on eggshells, of working constantly and hoping that nothing you do or say will get you in trouble. That feeling of being watched, that feeling that someone is waiting for you to make a mistake so they can pounce on you.

That feeling of hoping that with all the hours you put in, all the exhaustion you’re feeling, you DON’T make a mistake because if you do that could cost you your job.

We need to talk about watching our friends and colleagues being forced out of jobs and fired. That feeling of heartbreak for them and their families. And then wondering, is it better to be forced out? Is it better to be left without an income but with your mental health scarred but not totally damaged. No, not yet. Or is it better to have money and watch as your mental health declines and slowly by slowly you lose all sense of self?

That feeling of seeing friends leaving jobs they’ve held for years and years just because your job has turned toxic. That hurt in your heart knowing that it was not supposed to be like this. That something somewhere has gone terribly gone.

But you don’t know what the issue is or how to fix it. So you sit quietly and you drag yourself to work. You walk on your eggshells and you hope for the best. That something someday will change.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Villain by L.J Shen

The Villain (Boston Belles, #2)

The Villain by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Cillian (or The Villian as the media likes to call him) is perfect. The perfect son. The perfect businessman. But he is also an awful human being.
When all the bad press gets to be too much, Cillian has to either marry to soften his icy, unfeeling image or risk losing the business he gave up so much for.
Persy Penrose is whimsical and kind- the total opposite of Cillian. She has also been in love with Cillian since the moment she first set eyes on him.
When Persy needs money to pay off her deadbeat ex-husband’s debts, she turns to Cillian.
The two of them strike a bargain- he will pay off the debt in return for Persy playing the role of the perfect wife and providing him with heirs.
Their sham of a marriage comes with an NDA and a very long contract that both eventually start breaking.
I loved returning to the world of Boston and I especially enjoyed seeing Hunter once more. Cillian was a difficult character to like in “Hunter” and I actually despised him. Surprisingly, it only took one chapter from this book to endear him to me.
I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a romance book that you won’t be able to put down.
L.J Shen is a gem and this book is no different!



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles #2)

The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read “The Belles” when it first came back way back when and somehow never got around to reading the sequel.
I had my doubts going in. Firstly I couldn’t remember the plot of the first book and I was too lazy to try and track down my copy in my huge hoard of books. Secondly I wasn’t sure if I would still be able to connect with the characters after such a long wait.
But I gave it a go and it was worth it.
Instantly we are given a recap of what happened and why Camille, Edel and Remy are on the run.
They are trying to locate Princess Charlotte, the real heir to the throne. They also come across a rebel group called “The Iron Ladies” (who really deserved a bigger role in this book). They are sort of just there.
Throughout the book, the reader is reminded of significant events in the first one which makes reading this after a long wait easy.
Even after all this time, the worldbuilding was amazing and the writing drew me in immediately.



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Life Update: 2020 Won

Chalkboard with text "UPDATE"

So it has been a while since I posted.

Long story short, my dad caught the Coronavirus and it was a whole big thing. He caught it in December and is still recovering. I am hopeful that things are back to normal now that he is finally out of hospital and life seems to be going back to normal.

On that note guys, please please PLEASE STAY at home as much as possible and stay safe!

Welcome to The Real World 4: The Interview that Never Was

The 4th interview was for a Human Resources position at a call center. Apparently they some sort of database at the university and they had picked up my information from there. I don’t know how true that story was but it made absolutely no sense for them to call me.

I had completed a single Human Resources module. I was not qualified for the job. I knew it. And if they had read my CV, they should have known that as well.

The company’s offices were a mere five minutes away from my house. So I got dressed immediately and went in for an interview.

They had me fill out a form and asked me to wait. I agreed. I waited an hour. Then another. I watched as the receptionist called someone who they had previously offered a job to. They had found someone who was a better fit so they called him to let him know that he didn’t need to report to work the next Monday.

My heart fell for him. Imagine thinking you’re going to start a new job and all of a sudden you have to learn that “we’re found someone else, sorry.”

After three hours of waiting, I was finally shown to a room with a frenzied lady who was in the phone of a phone call.

She asked me a couple of quick questions about my background in Human Resources and looked surprised when I pointed out that I had just graduated. She was even more surprised when she learnt that I had no knowledge of Excel. Apparently they were unable to hire me but they would keep my curriculum vitae on file.

I was stunned. They had made me wait for THREE HOURS? For something that could have been confirmed by simply looking at my CV or via phone call.

The receptionist took down my details and my list of skills but I highly doubted they would call me again (I was right. They didn’t).

I went home incredibly annoyed and tired. I had missed my nap because of a job interview I didn’t even have.

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