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Yang Safia On Saturday, December 28, 2013

Synopsis (taken from

One moment can change your life forever...

For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no matter how hard Violet tries.

Yet all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.

Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price...


Right off the bat I just want to say that this is NOT the sexiest romance of the year. It was neither sexy nor romantic so don't expect much from this book in terms of that criteria. Although I must say that this book is quite alluring. I can't put a finger on what but there is something about it that kept me reading till the end. 

The beginning of the plot is average, Gibbs takes us straight into the action and the plot picks up quite quickly. I felt quite "MEH" at the start and was tempted to put the book down but by the sheer will that I mustered just so I could know why this is dubbed as the sexiest romance, I was quite surprised. I was surprised that I could not predict where the story is taking me. Everything was quite vague and I admit I enjoyed it. Obviously I was hoping that everything will tie in by the end of the book but instead was left dry (yes, it's one of those books). While I enjoyed the experience of a somewhat vague plot, Gibbs fails to deliver a cohesive storyline. She creates so much build up that the climax is anti-climatic, because the important details tend to trickle down at what I would deem "filler scenes". So that totally ruins the whole anticipation for the big reveal/conclusion. I feel that the book is not sectioned well because it seems that Gibbs spends so much time elaborating a particular scene that the reader would naturally assume it would be important only to find out it is quite irrelevant when he/she reaches the end. Which brings me to find that the ending is rushed and flat. There were still many questions left unanswered but seeing that this could be a series/trilogy, maybe I'll have my answers. To say whether Gibbs will be able to sustain a series/trilogy is doubtful because for a series début, it is not very strong. 

Now onto the sexy romance that this book claims to have...WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! As individual characters, Kaspar is your archetypal bad boy turned good. Always a crowd pleaser so no problems there. Violet would get you thinking that she's weak at first but there are lines or thoughts that pop up from her that will make you go, "Oh yeah, YOU GO GIRL!" So in a sense, they are alright characters but their relationship with each other is so....weird. Again this goes back to the imbalanced plot structure which greatly affects the progression of their relationship. I don't want to sound cynical but maybe the reason why this is promoted as the "Sexiest Romance of the Year" because coitus happened. Big WHOOP! I understand this book is targeted for Young Adult so to have a sex scene thrown in the mix can be considered risqué for this genre but honestly, I've read far sexier YA books and they don't even have sex in them. The romance is super bland and a complete waste of time.

While it may sound that I've been criticising this book non-stop, there is something unexplainable that made me stick to the end. It could be that I was only fascinated by the unpredictability of this book or the darkness to Gibb's vampire world that is fascinating and weirdly alluring. Will I buy the second book? A BIG YES! I'm still willing to give it a shot and I really want to know more about the other worlds that are briefly mentioned in TDH. I get a sense that the next book won't be told in Violet's POV anymore so that will be...bad but we will see. 

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
Obsession Rating: 4 out of 5

Yang Safia On Sunday, December 22, 2013
It was a huge blur. The past two months was a huge GREAT blur. I went through a myriad of emotions and growing processes just to achieve the level where Teach For Malaysia wanted me to be before the start of the new school year. Remember when I was ranting how I did not fit in in the last post? Well I don't need to fit in. I just needed to be myself and do what I got to do to work alongside these brilliant individuals. Boy were these people brilliant. In fact to put it in a greater sense of the word, these people are inspirational. I can't be more blessed to work with great people like them.

The second half of the Institute comprised of teaching kids at a school holiday program organized by TFM called Kem Skorlah. Each candidate was paired with a collab and mine came in the form of a great being called Sharon Soh. It was real crafty how TFM paired each collab pair because APPARENTLY they matched us based on our personalities. The Training and Selection team observed and analysed us during sessions and went from there. I'm not saying that all collab pairs worked great together because it was supposed to challenge us. They purposely paired us with people of a different gender/cultural background/religion so that we'll learn how to deal with diversity in the workplace really. I was really lucky because Sharon and I just got along SWIMMINGLY. 

I mean look (!), I made her stop working so I can take "cool" pictures of her.

Exhibit A:

Not only we were busy attending lectures during the day, we had to work hard to prepare for the classes we were about to teach at Kem Skorlah. That included a lot of lesson planning, setting classroom culture and preparing materials. 

So this is a brief of how crazy our schedule was:

5.30 AM - Wake Up
6.30 AM - Get on the bus to school
7.00 AM - 12.30 PM - School Time
1.00 PM - 2.30 PM - Reach Selesa & FLEX Time
2.30 PM - 6.00 PM - Lectures
6.00 PM - 7.00 PM - Dinner
8.00 PM - 12.00 AM - Meetings+Lesson Planning+Marking Papers

Repeat that 5 days a week and y'all know why I have lost me some weight.

There was running joke among us that we were so busy that we didn't have time to sit on the can. That's why most of us are constipated and had to resort to medications. I know I did. (TMI?)

At one point during Institute it was so crazy that I was running under autopilot it seemed. All I did was THINK, DO and REFLECT. I had to think and plan my actions, execute them and reflect on them by the end of the day with my collab/IS Group/IS. Repeat that process for a month and VOILA! That's the life of a TFM Candidate for you. Would I recommend you to join TFM? ABSOLUTELY! Can everyone join? NO!

It's tough I tell you. You need the right mindset for it. If you're interested, drop me a message!

So from here on out, it's just pictures of my experience with my kids at United Nations of Ketari (UNK). We decided on the concept because we believe that it is important for our kids to become global citizens. To celebrate diversity and have respect for different point of views. We also want our kids to be socially aware about the issues around them so hence UNK!

Then the night before the last day of Kem Skorlah, Teach For Malaysia organized a closing dinner for all of us where it became official. We all became Teach For Malaysia Fellows that night and wow it felt..RIGHT. For me at least. I never considered myself truly a Fellow because never know. I might change my mind but...I didn't. I made it. So that night I was pretty much high on excitement over becoming a Fellow.

 My Badass IS Group

My Super Awesome Housemates!

This concludes my update on what I've been up to for the past two months. I'll be starting my job at my new school in less than 2 weeks. Am I nervous? The reality hasn't hit me just yet but I think I should be fine with all the support I know I'll be receiving. I know the blog hasn't been receiving much love lately and to be honest, I can't promise I'll be consistent with this over the next two years. Just to let you know that I'm really active on Instagram so do follow me! :D    IG: @yangsafia