Popular Posts

Blogger templates

Yang Safia On Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Synopsis (taken from

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


Oh my where do I begin? This book is like godsend to me. I've heard booktubers raved about this book but I had my scepticisms so I never bothered to actually pick it up. Besides I've never seen it on any shelves at any of the bookstores near me. Until one fateful encounter (yes, I'm being super dramatic here) at Bonjour, a small french cafe in Arrowtown, I found that they were selling a copy. Bought it without much thought and the rest was history!

Despite the tacky title and cover, I'm glad that I gave this book a shot because contemporary YA novels don't interest me anymore after reading dystopia and paranormal for so long. Having growing up with Meg Cabot and her counterparts throughout my teen years, I've read them all so I'm tired of the usual contemporary teen cliche. Girl-likes-boy-so-the-whole-book-is-about-her-getting-boy-to-take-notice-and-turns-out-boy-has-been-crushing-on-girl-all-along. No author in my knowledge ever focuses the dilemma of getting together with someone who is not available. I digress but you do get a lot in most contemporary adult novel but most of them involve a lot of clothes ripping and carnal desires so the emotional connection is lacking. Perkins illustrates this dilemma so well without it being too annoying.

To a certain extent I can relate to Anna on most levels.

What I love about the book the most is that Perkins captures the essence of studying abroad so well. Having recently graduated from uni and moved back to Malaysia, this novel brings me back to my first year in NZ. The emotional turmoil that I had to go through, finding new friends and settling in with a culture so different from my own. The author did this so well that I just can't arghh-!

Perkins' writing style is really easy to get into and this easy style of hers assures her readers very well. The reason I mention this is because many new authors that I have encountered struggle to assure the reader into "buying" their story. I've been trouble getting into some of the books I've bought so it was a huge relief that I manage to "get into" AFK.

The dynamic and exchanges between Anna and St Clair are realistic and I do actually think that is how most relationships start out. Perkins doesn't try to create perfect characters with absolutely perfect qualities. Instead she states their flaws evidently where description requires. For the reader, she is not Anna but merely an observer. St Clair is not the perfect guy but he is "beautiful" to Anna and that made me love the pair. I like how Perkins does not enforce the readers to believe that St Clair is this perfect model of a guy but instead a "beautiful" boy in Anna's eyes. I like that. To me this shows how Perkins acknowledges how smart her readers are. Given this is YA, most contemporary romance writers tend to generalize or present their "perfect" ideals and enforce this on the reader.

All in all, this shows that one must never judge a book by its cover and title.

Anna and the French Kiss is definitely a diamond in the rough. Give it a shot! This is not some overly cliched fluff!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Obsession Rating: 5 out of 5
Yang Safia On Monday, December 17, 2012
This is a documentation of how my last day in Dunedin went:

3AM-7AM: I woke up for Subuh prayer and then fell right back to sleep. I had my alarm set to 8.30AM because I had to get ready to return the car to the rental place. Went in and out of sleep due to some horrible nightmare that I won't make it to watch The Hobbit. Hmm...

7.15AM: Decided to wake up because I saw no point in sleeping seeing I was wide awake. Found that my dad was already up. Milled around the flat before deciding to eat a Brunch bar.

7.30AM-8.30AM: Showered and dressed. Really took my time to be honest.

8.30AM-9.15AM: Chillaxing with the family.

9.15AM-10AM: Drove out with my dad to Countdown to find some breakfast, filled the gas and returned the car to the rental place.

10-11AM: Dad and I decided to walk to Scribes and I wanted to say goodbye to the shopkeeper/friend of mine. He gave me Orlando Furioso as a graduation gift, I made a point to visit Scribes and it felt good because it felt like I had closure. 

11.10AM: Arrived at the flat and waited for the rest of the family to get ready. Namely Adam...*glares*

12PM: Finally got out of the house and we all walked to the bank so that I could close down my account.

12.20PM-12.50PM: Bank matters resolved and we all made way to the new Meridian food court to have lunch. In between that, I accompanied my dad to buy an extra bag for our return trip home. Too many stuff! I tried to really take the whole of George Street in! After all, aside from uni that is where I spent most of time at!

1.00PM: We arrived at Hoyts just in time for our The Hobbit show at 1.15PM.

1.15PM-4.30PM: The Hobbit was alright. I think it was way overhyped in New Zealand and everyone was claiming how good it was that...I had high expectations. Lee Pace was amazing in those 5 seconds that he had. Haha! It was really slow for me at the start but it got quite fun at the end. It was weird that I recognized most of the site locations in the movie so maybe the WOW factor wasn't quite there for me. On a different note, I noticed that everytime I am about to go through a major life change or just moving from one place to the other, I always watch a movie before my move! Weird!

4.45PM-5.00PM: Went to make reservations at Jitsu for my appointed dinner with my remaining friends in Dunners. And the my family and I returned to the flat. Oh, I stopped by Glassons (my favourite shop!) just to sort of say goodbye to all the wonderful clothes! Haha!

6.00PM-8.00PM: Hung out with Jeff, Fadzrel and Zaini. My last dinner in Dunedin was spent at The Jitsu. One of my favourite Japanese restaurants here. 

8.15PM: Walked to Zaini's to pick up the Otago hoodies I got for my sisters. Later, Fadzrel and Zaini walked me to the flat.

8.30PM-10.30PM: Zaini and Fadzrel hung out with the rest of the family. They left and I showered and started packing.

Now PM: I'm writing this blogpost with Adam hovering next to me which is really annoying. Although the day seemed really simple but it described my life in Dunedin really well. Simple. My time here was amazing and I am blessed to be able to meet so many people and learn to live life with such a balanced outlook on how to approach my life. 

Alhamdulillah to my time here in Dunedin and Bismillahirrahmanirahim to this new chapter that I am about to start!

Yang Safia On Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Yang Safia On Saturday, December 8, 2012
This movie is so good that I'm writing this down as soon as I hit the credits. Two words. Freaking Brilliant! I would sort of provide a summary for you but I would recommend to just wing it. Do it like me. I didn't know what it was about when I gave it a go. I LOVE IT. I'm a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki and the art style in this movie is similar to Studio Ghibli but the theme and focus are none like the Ghibli films. I'm seriously crushing on the animator/director of this film right now and I am for surely going to immerse myself in his other works. Too bad that he has passed away so there will be no future works that I can look forward to. Note that he was also the director for Summer Wars and if you have been following this blog, you would realize that I have mentioned that it was one of my favourite films in my Favourites of the Month post.

Why I like the movie:
a) Attention to detail that you can only find in Japanese animation. Especially from Mamoru Hosoda and Hayao Miyazaki. Heck, I think these two are the only ones who managed to achieve this ability in animation.
b) Simple but hugely profound plot.
c) Made me realize why I keep on watching anime. And why I love to write and direct. This film inspires me.

Watch the full film here:

Yang Safia On
The Usual Four (the gang that I'm always with in 2012--I don't know why but my friends and I love to name our friends groups. The Usual Four, Secret Club, Sisterhood of Travelling Kain Batik...) went on our first trip together. The major end point is Queenstown but after driving for half a day, somehow we discovered this place called Blue Pools. This video below records our trek to the said pools.

PS: This will probably be my last post in New Zealand. I am graduating this coming Wednesday and starting tomorrow, I will be internet-less. My family is flying to NZ as we speak and I will be moving into a motel hence no reliable internet connection. Also I hope you guys enjoy the videos I've been posting up lately. I know this blog is less written-oriented as of late but I hope you don't mind!

PSS: The video is mainly in Malay+Manglish so sorry to non-Malaysian readers! Click on the annotations to see some explanations at some parts of the video!

Yang Safia On Saturday, December 1, 2012
When I was in Wellington, I spent most of my waking hours with Jie Ning's little sister, Jie En. In a true Yang Safia manner, I always tend to get along better with someone younger. Hahaha. I shot some testimonial videos with Tim and Nings and Jie En wanted in so we shot a spoof instead! The reason why she said Grace Chai at the end is an inside joke but basically she is referring to herself!

Excuse the watermark. I will use a proper editing software once I return to Malaysia! Also click to watch the video in HD!

Yang Safia On Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Yang Safia On Monday, November 26, 2012
A Huge THANK YOU to all that participated in this testimonial video. Honestly, you guys are doing this girl a HUGE favour! I'm looking for a job right now, if any of the readers are interested in hiring me please email me at

Yang Safia On Thursday, November 22, 2012
My video for my last book haul in New Zealand is up!

Here are the books that I was unable to include in the video:

These two books were a two for $10 so it was definitely a steal. I found a small room/alley way of books while exploring Wellington when I stumbled upon these two. The owner of this dodgy massage parlour was trying to get rid of his book collection. It was definitely an interesting experience while trying to buy these books.

The green hardcover is a history book recounting the life of Lucrezia Borgia. It was written by Alan Wykes. I have always been fascinated with the Italian renaissance and especially with the Borgias ever since I watched (note that I didn't say play because I suck at playing video games) Assassin Creed 2. I have the exact copy from the picture and judging from how it looks, it would have cost a lot. The second book is pretty self-explanatory. I can't find my exact version anywhere on the Web because it is really old. But the picture above is the closest to the one I have.

These two books belo I ordered through my UBS and I got a student discount plus no postage fee so it was definitely cheaper from their retail price:

I'm halfway through these two books and while I will try to refrain from giving a premature review, I have some troubling thoughts about these two. I wouldn't say you should straight away get these books but wait till my review and I will give you the full low-down once I'm done.

Yang Safia On Saturday, November 17, 2012
I just got back from watching Breaking Dawn Part 2 and before I go to bed, let me vent this out. LEE PACE I LOVE YOU!!! He made the film so awesome and aside from eyeing up Jamie Campbell Bower, Lee as Garrett is smoooking! I didn't know he is the guy from a .gif that I really liked.

This .gif reflects one of my fantasies where I would walk into a bookshop and a cute shopkeeper/Lee Pace would greet me and smiled at me like that! EEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!

I mean what is better than a hot guy surrounded by books?

Lee Pace sitting across me as we have coffee.

I think my ovaries just exploded.


PS: I just got back from Wellington and now in the midst of moving out of my flat. Filming a collective book haul soon.

Yang Safia On Monday, November 5, 2012
Dunedin is known for its temperamental weather. Despite what season it is, sometimes you will get all four seasons at once. This video was taken right after I finished filming my book review video when Mother Nature decided to hail on us!

Update: I just got back from my roadtrip and I am off to Wellington tomorrow! No updates for a week so I'm very sorry!

Yang Safia On Thursday, November 1, 2012
Yang Safia On Friday, October 26, 2012

Tomorrow I will be sitting for my first, last and only paper at Otago University. I'm one of those students who go to exams with just a pen and my ID. I'd like to think that I have this rebellious and devil may care attitude when it comes to exams. I'm going to be the best. I will do my best! Bismillah!

Yang Safia On Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The anime drought is over. After the endless series of badly made anime for the past few years, the second half of 2012 is looking pretty bright. I blame and thank my sister, Sabrina for reeling me back into the anime world. It is safe to say that good animes are making a comeback!

No more boring plots.

No more unnecessary monologues with the stupid metaphoric view on life.


And the new trend that I notice about these new animes is that they tend to be more straightforward and quick. It seems the industry is finally acknowledging that the audience no longer have the same patience as they used to. For me, I'm getting old and don't have a lot of patience. I prefer my shows to be straight to the point. Often with Japanese animes, they tend to beat around the bush a lot and often the ending is always obscure. This is also one of the reasons why I don't watch anime as often. Even though these animes are fairly new, I don't think the creators are about to go down that road.

Title: Kamisama Hajimemashita
Synopsis: Girl is homeless. Girl saved a man who turned out to be a deity at a temple. Girl becomes the new deity and gets a super hot demon servant. 
Thoughts: The first episode made such a huge impact on me that it immediately became my no. 1 favourite right now. The second episode was somewhat a disappointment for me since I realized that the designers are being lazy with the animation. Hope this will improve. I love the humour and the show reminds me a bit of Ouran although that is still debatable. 

Title: Tonari no Koibutsu-kun
Synopsis: A studious girl got mixed in with the crazy Haru who refused to attend school. Turns out Haru is just a misunderstood guy who desperately wants friends. The two became friends and craziness ensues.
Thoughts: Endearing. That's what I would describe this anime. I thought I would be bored with this kind of anime but due to its straightforwardness it quickly reeled me back in. I thought the girl would have these annoying emo internal monologues but I like how how she thinks is an opposite of how she acts. Finally an anime that shows that. And the end of each episode tends to make me go awwwwwwwww. 

Title: Say I Love You
Synopsis: Girl has been a loner her whole life when the most popular guy in school takes notice of her.
Thoughts: Don't let the typical plot trick you. This is a surprisingly a funny anime that makes me go eeeeeeeeek!! Haha. I like the animation a lot and how the animators design their expressions. I find it very pretty. The girl is not super emo as I expect her to be and the guy is dreamy~

Title: K
Synopsis: I don't really understand what's going on at the moment because it currently has 2 episodes.
Thoughts: Animation is superb. The characters look extremely badass and the world reminds me of Persona 3. It has potential to become one of those smart animes with plot twist and even though I don't quite get what is going on exactly, I'm still waiting to find out.

Title: Arcana Famiglia
Synopsis: Girl is the heiress of a mafia(?) family that protects the island of Regalo. One day her father announces his decision to retire and holds a competition for the members to become the next leader. One of the rewards is her hand in marriage. Girl rebels and joins the competition.
Thoughts: Reminds me of Brave meets Katekyo Hitman Reborn with a touch of Soul Eater. My favourite character is Debito. That's the guy with the eye patch! I'm not super excited about the anime but it doesn't have any annoying qualities which makes it a pretty easygoing anime to watch.

Title: Ristorante Paradiso
Synopsis: Nicolletta wants to reconnect with her estranged mother who marries an owner of an Italian restaurant. The restaurant is unique because it hires only good-looking middle aged men who wear glasses. She works as a kitchen helper there and falls in love with Claudio. Due to their huge age difference, Claudio is adamant of his feelings for Nicolletta despite of her advances.
Thoughts: I've watched this anime way back in 2010 but I want to include this anime into this post too. I find this anime very charming especially with its strong Italian references. It's very well made and I connect with each character. It doesn't help that I find Claudio extremely cute! Thanks to this anime, I find older men attractive! Hahahahaha! I don't think this anime is for everyone but if you want something that's more realistic with a dash of culture, then Ristorante Paradiso is for you. In my opinion, this anime is a work of art!

I watch all these animes at

Yang Safia On Sunday, October 14, 2012
I figured that I need some EDGE in my resume for job applications and what's better than reference letters?


A huge thank you to all my lecturers who participated in this project! I feel so blessed to get to know all of you. And I seriously think English professors are the coolest kind of professors!

Yang Safia On
Today before I went to gym, I decided to check out the new Sunday market that Dunedin decided to hold regularly from now on. I can't believe there were so many people! The things that they sell are more handicraft centred and there weren't a lot of fresh foods like the ones they have at Farmer's Market. This event is located inside the Forsyth Barr stadium.

As per tradition, what new Kiwi event is complete without a Maori performance. I wouldn't call this Haka because it's not. I think the songs that they sing are more songs of welcome and to ensure prosperity and happiness. You know, all that jazz. Finally I got a good shot!! And I managed to catch some parts on video! So pure win!!

Some of the not-Haka performances that I managed to get on video!

And after working my butt off at the gym, I went home to cook lunch, had the awesomest shower and the bestest nap. Yeaaaaaap, my Sunday was awesome!
Yang Safia On Friday, October 12, 2012
Today was my last day of classes at Otago Uni. I felt it was a proper end considering that my last classes were both of my english papers. Usually I dreaded my 2-hour 10AM lectures but today, I came early just to soak it all in. We still had some finishing up to do so it was like a real everyday lecture with us learning a new poem,etc. The first class was my Contemporary Poetry paper where we learned the craziest poems you'll ever encounter in English literature.

Our last lecture handout came with a fortune cookie. Considering that this is the last class for some of us, she figured we could break the fortune cookie to figure out what our future holds for us. Last time, one of our handouts came with a packet of seeds because she was trying to illustrate how seeds of creativity are planted in poetry. You gotta give her props for the effort!

Last class activity. This is how a bunch of English majors study. We look at pictures of dead poets and try to  determine which actor should play who. I said that Liam Neeson should play Robert Frost while Johnny Depp would make a good Ezra Pound. But seriously, the main focus of this activity is to identify who is who and how their works would influence each other.

Josh! My fellow English-major since first year!

With Dr Sandra Muller! I've known her since my first year and one of the nicest (funniest and craziest) lecturer I've ever known. We bonded during my first year when she helped me improve my writing skills. 

Two hours later, I had my last workshop for Digital Literature. Digital literature was one of those subjects that I was really apprehensive of taking at the start but grew to become my favourite course of all time!! Also its great to know that I got an A for this paper! Honestly I enjoyed the course so much that I'm contemplating of writing a thesis for my Masters in this field. I look forward to each lecture and workshop! 

 Our last workshop focused on coding our final projects and this basically a screenshot (?) of a node I'm linking to my own.

This is a picture of Mat (Teaching Assistant) and Dr Dave Ciccoricco setting up for the workshop. A common sight on Fridays for me. It's weird that this is my last time. They're really nice people and I enjoyed the course because of them! 

Classmates working on the final project. I feel that we bonded as a class and I love our discussions!

After the workshop ended, I basically loitered around the Burns building (the Arts building) and just soaking the last moments I'm walking down these halls. I remember my first time when I entered this hallway in my first year with my dad and I was so...nervous and intimidated. Now I just can't believe it is all over. I'm done. In this hallway I met some of the smartest and kindest people and I'm just like, "Wow I can't believe I'm here for three solid years!". 

This is the sight that will greet you once you exited Burns building through the main door. This is everyday sight for me. The main uni compound where it will be full of people in between periods. Today it was empty because most people are done for the day and it was raining. As dramatic as this sounds, it looks as if the sky was crying for my last day at uni! Haha!

After class I went to meet Alia because I haven't seen her in forever and on the way I passed this French crepe stall that's always set up on Fridays in front of Otago Museum. Figured I should treat myself and got a chocolate crepe! I always think that a crepe is not authentic unless you get a Frenchman to make it for ya! I once tried to converse with this guy with my barely there French and it was exhilarating. Haha! I only know about three sentences in French and a few curse words (Thanks Shira!) but it was nice to see how he got so excited that I knew (?) French! Haha!

Ended my day with a cup of of my usual, Trim Mocha and all is good. 

Honestly I can't believe my time in New Zealand is coming to an end. I think I've been very honest about the difficulty of studying overseas but the reward is so rewarding that it overcompensates for all the hardships that you go through. The experience teaches you important life lessons and I do think that it has made me a stronger and better person. Cheers to the best 3 years of my life! 

Yang Safia On Wednesday, October 10, 2012
**This post is long overdue! 

I personally don't approve of clubbing but the only club you will find me at is The Coffee Club! Also I do think it's aptly named considering that it looks like an exclusive club for coffee lovers!

 I think The Coffee Club is a franchise that's only available in New Zealand and Australia. I'm not entirely sure but I don't think other countries have this franchise. Granted I've never even seen another branch aside from this one that I go to. One of the reasons that drew me to The Coffee Club is the ambiance. If you read my other cafe reviews in NZ, you'll notice that they're very different and quite gritty (in a good way of course!). When this branch opened in Dunedin, I can't help but feel like I'm back at home. The cafe oozes commercial goodness that you'll instantly feel at home. It's like being in the comforting arms of Mother Capitalist. Hahaha! Not sure if that's a good thing though.

 The service is brilliant and I never had to wait long for my food. The only downer aspect to this cafe is the price. Just like your local Starbucks, The Coffee Club is not cheap compared to local cafes. But they make the best gourmet sandwiches (my favourite: The Smoked Salmon Gourmet Sandwich) and I love their Mediterranean platter!!

I honestly don't come here often aside from special occasions. But when I do, it has always been a good experience! A really nice place to hang out.

 The view from my seat overlooks George St. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and!

My coffee buddy of the day! Well more like lunch buddy because we did not order any coffee during that visit! Fail coffee review I know! But I have had the coffee before and it was just...okay. I've had better coffee but it wasn't bad!

 My Mediterranean platter: it's a vegetarian dish that is simply awesome!

Tropical Frappe! YUMZ!

Yang Safia On Monday, October 8, 2012

I'M DONE!!!!!!!! 
I did a little victory dance in my room and then I went out of the house for the first time in 4 days!
And that's because I had to do grocery shopping.

I know. I'm so bawse.

And the next day (which is today), I sent in my final essay!

I was feeling like this when I submitted my assignment! Haha.

Yang Safia On Friday, October 5, 2012

3000 down. 1000 to go.
Yang Safia On Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When I hear the word transitioning I always think of transgenders. But no. I am not turning myself into a boy anytime soon. However I am transitioning to the world of adulthood. Like proper adulthood (where I have to find a job and stuff). If you know me I'm always the girl with the master plan. Ask me where I see myself by the time I'm 30, I can tell you. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm scared out of my wits over the future. I guess I'm a lot better off compared to people who still can't figure out what they want to do with their life. But I digress. I'm excited and nervous. I can't wait to start this new chapter of my life and basically journeying into this world of the unknown. What's going to happen to me? I'm also nervous over the what ifs? What if my master plan doesn't work out? What if I don't get what I want to do? I admit, I am quite stubborn against forces that try to deter me away from my goals. I think this hard headedness is good but I refused to be stupid either. I don't want to appear naive.

I've been waiting for this point of my life since I was 15. And now I'm here. I'm restless. I just want to get into it. I have so many things I want to do but I'm scared of them as well. I know this fear is nothing to me. I will easily overcome them. I have options and they can be so puzzling. I hear different opinions on what I should do and while I appreciate them, I need to be clear on what I want. I want it to be my way. Some may think that is quite arrogant of me (even stupid) but I need to STAND OUT. I need an EDGE.

As much as I'm looking forward for the future, I can't let my last moments as an undergraduate pass me by. Right now I'm working on my last essay as an undergraduate. And I'm going to eternalize this moment in this post. You are going to get your bum to the library at 9AM tomorrow. And finalize your research findings by tomorrow! Then you will go to the gym!! It's been awhile and YOU NEED TO GET SOME JUICE RUNNING IN THAT BRAIN OF YOURS!

Here are two pictures that I took today:

 This was taken in my Greek Mythology lecture where we learned about Heracles (Hercules) and his 12 labours. I was feeling restless throughout the whole lecture! I can't stop fidgeting! Haha!

I made a strawberry+banana smoothie using trim milk!!! SO GOOD!

Random pictures I know. But I know I'm going to miss all of this when I go home!