top ten inspiring quotes

top ten tuesday

top ten tuesday is a weekly feature started by the broke and the bookish! you can find more information about it here.

i’m a lover of quotes and words. as cheesy as it sounds, they keep me going in life. when i come across a good quote, i stop and ponder about life for a bit.. maybe even get into an existential crisis. this week’s top ten tuesday was a struggle and a pleasure. here is my list of quotations that speak to my soul:





















okay, so maybe that last quote doesn’t count because it wasn’t actually from a book buuuuuut john green is an author.. all of these quotes have made my ponder life and have shaped the person i am today ❤

what are your favorite quotations from books? what do they say about you?



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PURELY PICTURES {#1} : anna and the french kiss series

purely pictures

purely pictures is a new feature on twirling pages! it’s no secret i have a love for books and photography; i’m unconditionally obsessed with instagram. “a picture is worth a thousand words.” does that mean pictures of books are worth a million words?





please let me know what you think of this feature!



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taylor swift book tag!

taylor swift book tag

i saw this tag floating around booktube and have been wanting to do for ages! it was started by thebooklife and i’m glad someone brought it to the blogging community (idk who, but thank you!). i was tagged by kath to do this tag! thank you for tagging me because i love taylor swift and and book tags. ❤ sorry for taking so long for me to post it, it’s been in my drafts folder for months.

the rules are super simple.. just follow the instructions.

1. we are never ever getting back togetherpick a book (or book series) that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with

for this, i’m going to be choosing delirium; by lauren oliver. i loved the first book in this trilogy – it’s still one of my favorite books – but the second two novels disappointed me immensely. it got slow and the last one felt really unfinished. i continue to reread delirium, but the other two… we are never ever ever getting back together.

2. red: pick a book with a red cover

i’m going to chooooose pride and prejudice; by jane austen! my copy is red-ish pink and i love the cover, so why not??


3. the best day ever: pick a book that makes you feel nostalgia

probably one of the very first books that i stayed up reading was charlotte’s web; by e.b. white. i remember it being my favorite book for years, and i swear it was the one the got me hooked on reading. thinking of charlotte and wilbur’s adventures fill me with lots and lots of ~nostalgia~

4. love story: pick a book with a forbidden love

ooooooo forbidden love, one of my favorite tropes! i’ll be choosing blue and gansey from the raven boys series; by maggie stiefvater. they don’t have many really emotional scenes, but FEELINGS. their chemistry is perfect and it physically hurts. *swoon*

5. i knew you were trouble: pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love

if you read my best of the best (2014) post, you would know i’m a sucker for the bad guy. you know, the mean ones who always have a sob-worthy backstory and are actually super soft and sweet on the inside. yeah, those guys. i love them. sometimes they’re the antagonist, sometimes they’re not, but regardless i love them. for this i will be choosing.. warner from the shatter me trilogy; by tahereh mafi!

6. innocent: pick a book someone ruined the ending for

i’m usually pretty good at avoiding spoilers, but when i do get spoiled i’m usually in denial. the book i was spoiled the ending for was clockwork princess; by cassandra clare. i was on tumblr stupid xan and just finished clockwork prince, and just had to look through the tag to express my feels. i was being really careful to quickly scroll through anything that look mildly suspicious. then BOOM. someone spoiled the ending of clockwork princess for me. i was in complete denial, until i read to that part of the book, and to say the least, i saw it coming. i suppose it was my fault. moral of the story: stay away from the internet until you’ve finished the book.

7. everything has changed: pick a character from a book that goes through extensive character development

one of the main reasons why i love the darkest minds trilogy is because of the insanely amazing characters and their development. for this, i’ll be choosing ruby daly from the darkest minds by alexandra bracken. i cannot say enough good things to show how much i love this series. ruby changes so much from the first book and her development i just. teARS.

8. you belong with me: pick your most anticipated book release

there are so many books i’m looking forward to read this year, but winter; by marissa meyer tops the list. cress, the previous book of the series was nearly f l a w l e s s.

give it to me

9. forever and always: pick your favorite book couple

you’re asking me to pick one book couple?! how am i suppose to choose????? after much thought, i decided to choose will and tessa from the infernal devices series; by cassandra clare! i was originally going to choose percy and annabeth from the percy jackson and the olympians series; by rick riordan, but i feel like their song should’ve been state of grace, not forever and always. anyway, i LOVE will and tessa. i actually cry thinking about them. FEELINGS.

10. come back, be here: pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much

for this, i’ll be choosing the fault in our stars; by john green. this is one of my favorite books, and my edition is signed! i actually have three copies, but i don’t think i would ever lend any of them. the first is an ebook, the second is the signed version, and the final one is a limited edition project for awesome version.

11. shake it off: pick a book you love so much, you shake off all the haters

for obvious reasons, i’m going to be choosing the darkest minds trilogy; by alexandra bracken. i rave about this trilogy way too much. it’s my favorite trilogy eveeerrr and it’s the bestest. love love love! haters going to hate, but i’m just going to SHAKE. IT. OFF.

bonus questions i’ve added because i love t.swizzle!

12. sparks fly:  pick a book you fell in love with starting from the first sentence

lately i’ve been a bit obsessed with first sentences in books* and i choose paper towns; by john green! the first sentence is: “the way i see it, everyone gets a miracle.” ahhh, i knew this was going to be a winner.

*STORY TIME: i found this really epic first sentence online, but i can’t seem to remember where i found it (blog, goodreads, youtube..?). i went searching for over two hours googling the first sentence of recent books i put on my tbr list and i couldn’t find anything. it’s gotten to the point where i’m fairly sure this was all a dream. buuut i’m still hoping it exists even though i have no idea where i found it. *sigh*

13. wonderland: pick a fantasy world you would like to live in (from a book, obviously!)

fantasies usually have it’s ups and downs: you’re either a character with super cool powers, or everyone else. if i were one of the “special people,” i’d like to be a demigod in the percy jackson/heroes of olympus series; by rick riordan. demigods are so cool. also, living in this world isn’t so different from the real world.. there are just monsters attacking and the world kinda ending and raging gods/goddesses.. not bad.

14. if this was a movie: pick your favorite book to movie adaptation

i’ve got to choose the great gatsby; by f. scott fitzgerald. that movie was.. wow. i watched it immediately after i finished the book and it was basically what i imagined in my mind, put in movie form. there were almost no changes and also.. LEO DICAPRIO. the set up, soundtrack, and everything was just so good. in case you didn’t realize, i’m talking about the 2013 movie, not the 1974 one.

15. fifteen: pick a book set in high school

one of my favorite high school books are the gallagher girl series; by ally carter. i read these in like, fourth grade, and loved them from the start. it’s very different from a normal high school, but it’s a high school nonetheless! the girls have prom, graduation, and all the normal stuff, even though they’re spies going on insane missions.

taylor swift is one of my favorite artists and i’ve been listening to her since the first album. i can (almost) sing every single song without mistake. even if i tried, i wouldn’t be able to choose a favorite song. (but at the moment, it’s probably new romantics.) if you’re reading this, you’re tagged. mostly because i want to see everyone’s response to this tag because i actually know all these songs.

what’s your favorite taylor swift song? let me know in the comments!



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THE COVER GAMES: the perks of being a wallflower

header - perks

the cover games is a feature here at the twirling pages! i’ll be discussing: miraculous cover changes, battles between the US cover/UK cover, thank-you-for-existing covers, was-the-designer-drunk covers, and well all things book cover related!

(shameless fact: i will judge a book based on it’s cover.)

i actually own both copies of the perks of being a wallflower; i originally purchased it in the green us paperback, but i had to buy the uk version as well because it’s beautiful. today, i’ll be comparing the us and uk covers and decide which i prefer!


the us cover is very simplistic. the green is a nice color and i like how the title is scrunched together at the top in small type. if you’re looking from far away, it’s almost like the book doesn’t have a title altogether. at the corner, there’s a small photo of loafers and dress shoes, which i think represents the book’s anonymity really well.


the uk cover is a bit of a mess. the background looks like a crumpled paper with incoherent writing all over the place. there’s a clip of charlie trying to hide at the upper right hand side. in a handwritten typeface, there’s the title of the book clearly executed across everything. i think this represents the story perfectly. it’s basically a diary, but in letter format. diaries aren’t usually kept perfectly clean. also, charlie’s life is a bit messy as well. the photos show charlie trying to hide – from himself, from the readers, and from life. 

there’s also a blue uk cover, which i do not own.. the background and text match in terms of color, and it makes it seem as if someone wrote over the person. for the most part, there’s a silhouette of a boy (which i assume is charlie) taking over the cover. the silhouette could also double as a shadow, which is basically what a wallflower is – a person in the shadows unnoticed. i also like how the title and author is in an original typeface that bends and matches the space around it. there’s also a nice texture over the whole thing that makes it look finished.

i like all these covers! they’re gorgeous in their own way, and represent the story very well. buuuut if i had to choose a favorite, the winner would be..

winner: the messy uk cover

why? i like how the uk cover is basically a perfect oxymoron for the book: ordered chaos. the letters are clean and start/finish nicely (dear friend; love, charlie), but the content is chaotic. in my opinion, it’s the best representation of the story also a beautiful design. annnnd i’m a sucker for handwritten typefaces.

you can buy the uk version that i own here; the us version here; and the blue uk version here!

which cover do you prefer? let me know in the comments!

love always,


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GUILTY PLEASURE: prep school dramas

header - prepschool

i recently began watching gossip girl, and an old guilty pleasure of mine bloomed after abooout.. two minutes into the show. so, um, STORY TIME:

when i was in fourth grade, i became obsessed with the clique series by lisi harrison. i wanted to be massie block, the main character and cliché drama queen of the books. i fangirled before i even knew what fangirling was: i created a twitter role-play; i obsessively stalked lisi harrison’s blog; i forced all my friends to read and fangirl with me – for over four years (fourth through seventh grade.. oh the dark ages). after a while, i began feeling embarrassed of my minor obsession. it made me feel shallow and well, plastic (echm mean girls). the characters were superficial and the story wasn’t even specifically interesting; looking back, i don’t even know why i enjoyed it so much. buuuuut watching gossip girl has reminded me of my love for pointless prep school drama.

suspense is terrible

i have no idea why i enjoy these types of books/movies/tv shows so much. i’d like to say i watch/read these ironically, but i don’t. i watch/read them because they’re entertaining. i find rich teenagers squabbling about designer clothes and gossiping to be extremely humorous. and if i’m being honest with myself, i want my life to be so simplistic that my biggest problem is worrying about designer bags (aka i kinda want their life) (but if i actually had that life, i think it would be awful).

i think everyone secretly wants to live that lifestyle; but it’s nice to see that their lives aren’t as glamorous as we think. their problems may be somewhat shallow and different, but they’re problems nonetheless. also, gossip girl is a lot like the heirs, a korean drama i watched and loooove. conclusion: i’m really liking it so far and gonna fangirl for a bit. 

what are some of your guilty pleasures? let me know in the comments!


alexandra gossip girl

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(header background photo source here; design by yours truly)

REVIEW: endgame: the calling; by james frey

endgame cover

3.6/10 ✩

genre: young adult, dystopian, science fiction

series? yes, first book

published: on october 7th, 2014 by harpercollins

pages: 496

i read the: ebook

source: netgalley

began: march 27th, 2015 // finished: april 5th, 2015

where can i buy this? here via the book depository!

goodreads: right here.

first sentence: “much of this book is fiction, but much of the information in it is not.”

reading this book was slow and slightly painful. it wasn’t the worst book i’ve ever read, but it most certainly wasn’t the best.

i hate to compare novels with other novels, but i couldn’t help but think of it like the hunger games. the plot is something along the lines of: twelve teenage representatives fight to the death in an epic end-of-the-world type of games. the circumstances are different, but the main gist of things are the similar.

the story is told from an omniscient (kinda) third-person pov. at the start of every chapter, it’ll tell you who’s pov you’ll be viewing from. it would be weird because there would be some chapters where you would feel omniscient, but others it would feel like third-person. it was awfully confusing to me because it would seem like the story was more focused on the plot, and not a certain character. however, in the end it still seemed focused on a character.. sorta. um… what?


i liked how the characters were diverse and distinct. each player was from a “line” in history, so they were all from different races and places. (rhyming~) it made me curious about history and how our civilizations were built. we travel the globe, stopping at places that aren’t popular in books, which i enjoyed.

however, i couldn’t connect with any of the characters. the players of the game were heartless, sadistic, irrational, and sometimes annoying. it wasn’t until the last two pages that there was some emotion shown through. before that, i was convinced the feelings were fleeting, or they were trying to use each other one way or another. there was also a love triangle going on.. *groan* as i mentioned earlier, it would feel like the story was focused on the plot, but randomly throughout the novel, there would an implying love triangle thrown in. the relationships were artificial and forced; i couldn’t sense any chemistry between any of the characters. i think it would’ve been better if the romance was gone altogether. it was there, but not there. 

my favorite part of the novel was the concept. although it was similar to the hunger games, the differences were clear and made it unique. there would be clues and other hints dropped throughout the novel: certain capital letters, spaces between words, symbols and photos here and there. it was interesting because it would feel like you were solving a mystery. i was hoping it would all be explained at the end, but it turns out you were supposed to figure it out yourself.

i liked how the author/publisher incorporated the story with real-life, as if you were playing the games as well. the entire book was a game, with the not-so-random symbols and letters. there’s even a website and like, ten pages of terms and conditions. the prize is $500,000, but i’m still not entirely sure if this is a fraud. buuuut i saw the endgame display the caesar’s palace hotel in las vegas and it was very cool! it all seems really legit.

overall, i did not enjoy this book. i thought it was quite interesting at first, but it eventually got really slow and it wasn’t enough to keep me going for it. the characters were unstable; the relationships were dry. i was confused on what was going on, and i didn’t particularly like the writing style. i’m curious to know what happens next, but i don’t think i’ll actually pick up the next book.


(background photo of the header is courtesy of epic reads, design by yours truly!)



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FAVORITE VERSES // celebrating easter!

to those who celebrate, happy easter! for those who don’t.. happy sunday! today, i wanted to share with you a few of my favorite bible verses. i can’t decide on one – i never could – so i why not share um.. more than one.

disclaimer: none of the photos on this post are mine! the sources are stated in the captions and links to the website/post can be found when clicked on the photo.

source: danielleburkleo

source: hecallsmelovely

source: homegrownhospitality

source: etsy

whether you’re a christian or not, these verses are inspirational and positive. the gorgeous designs are also a plus. i could stare at the typography all day. *heart eye emoji* reading and looking at these photos really brighten my day. i hope you have a marvelous day~~ celebrate however you like!

this post was basically a last minute thing due to a sudden urge to spread positivity. so if you’re reading this, try to do something kind for someone (yourself included!). it’s the small things that make up for the big things. 🙂

what’s a positive thing you did today? let me know in the comments!



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an open letter to my ya self

an open letter to my ya self

a few days ago, there was a new feature floating around the book blogosphere: an open letter to my ya self. it was created by ginger of greads! you can view her original post here. since i’m still a young adult, sending an open letter to myself yesterday would be boring and pointless. instead, this’ll be an open letter to my pre-teen self, the eleven/twelve-year-old era.

dear fetus xandra (circa 2010),

this must be strange, reading a letter from me/you/us in the future. bear with me/yourself for a moment and just keep reading.

here’s a word of advice: stop trying to fit in. you’ll learn eventually but i just want to save you the trouble. you’re not going to live a “normal life,” so forcing yourself to be outgoing and influenced by others is a waste. learn to embrace your true self, not some illusion everyone has warped for you. if they don’t like it, that’s fine! not everyone will like you, but there will be those who do. when you enter high school, you’ll start studying from home and leave all your friends behind. you’ll be sad at first, but will learn to appreciate it. also, you’ll (truly) enter the internet realm and fall in love with reading again.

the internet is going to be your best friend. embrace it and don’t be afraid. you’ll meet many other people who are just like you, and some will even become your closest friends. don’t let the negative aspects bother you too much; there will be haters everywhere. social media will help you get interested in graphic design and open your eyes to the simplistic beauty of things. the lack of ‘actual’ social interaction will leave you confused and the phase of being in an existential crisis will last over a year. don’t worry; rookie mag, ted talks, ya novels, and social media will guide you to your path.

in terms of ballet, take a step back. you’ll want to attack everything head on, but there will be times it’s better to play it safe. as of right now, you haven’t begun going to dance competitions and you’re still lazy (even though you think you’re not). stop distracting yourself and start trying. NOW. you’ll be filled with so much regret once you flop that first competition. at first you’ll feel worthless compared to everyone else, but don’t be so hard on yourself! things will get better, and remember everything happens for a reason.

when you’re feeling extremely down, books will be there to lead you back. you’ll read about a girl who could control people’s minds; you’ll read about a boy who could slay demons; you’ll read about how one day could change everything; but most importantly, you’ll read many stories about someone who is just trying to figure themselves out – just like you! you’ll no longer feel alone, and realize you’re never truly alone. books will remind you that.

you think you know everything, but there’s still so much to learn. even now, five years later, there is so much to learn. even in twenty, fifty, a hundred years, there will be so much to learn. try to grow up, not grow old. keep your eyes and mind open to new ideas, new people, and new adventures. your journey is not nearly over; no, it’s just barely begun. 


your future self



açai bowls are my latest health obsession. i only discovered them recently, and didn’t know what the hype was all about. ooookay so there’s a bowl of fruit, açai, and other healthy stuff. is it considered a meal or a snack? how do you make it? i was very confused so i went on pinterest and found a bunch of recipes and did some ‘research.’ after making my first açai bowl, i understand. IT’S THE GREATEST THING.


what is an açai bowl?

an açai bowl is basically a thick smoothie of açai, a super superfood from brazil, and other delicious fruits, topped with more fruit, oats, and whatever your heart desires. these bowls look like ice cream, and almost taste like ice cream. actually, i feel like they are ice cream – but not the kind we usually know of; i’m talking about banana ice cream, or nice cream.

why are you obsessed with this?

it’s delicious and nutritious. can you imagine a smoothie/ice cream, made entirely of fruit, and includes all your favorite things? this is basically that. because you’re making the smoothie yourself, you decide to include or exclude anything! it actually fills me up, and

how do you make it?

there are a bunch of ways to make the bowl. the main components are açai – usually as a powder, puree, juice, frozen, etc. – and frozen fruit, plus whatever you’d like to include. here is my recipe:

serves one large bowl

blend the following:

  • one frozen banana
  • approximately one to two tablespoons of açai (sambazon powder, purchased from amazon)
  • one scoop of protein powder
  • a bit of milk or water
  • some non-fat plain yogurt (optional)

i add the protein powder because i usually eat it after a workout, or as a breakfast. as for the toppings you can get creative! i usually include:

  • fresh berries (strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, etc.)
  • chia seeds
  • dried goji berries
  • honey roasted almond slices

i have yet to try to including coconut flakes, granola, honey, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and other good stuff! many people also include peanut butter and oats, too. the key to a good açai book is the thickness. you don’t want it to be too watery that it’s basically fruit soup, and you don’t want it to be too dense that it’s a rock. once you’ve got your delicious açai and toppings in a bowl, take a giant spoon and devour the thing!

other sources you can check out:

have you tried this delicious bowl? let me know in the comments!



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farewell & foresight: mar/apr ’15

farewell, march!

this month flew by. i feel like i say this every month, but march was over in a flash. all of a sudden, it was the last weekend and i was scrambling to finish my goals and everything else. it was fairly uneventful, but quick. much happened in the first week, but after that, things slowed down. we began rehearsals for upcoming competitions; i continued my healthy journey; i’m officially and undoubtedly out of my reading slump; i’d say it was a successful month. also, i finally finished driver’s ed. time to take my permit test and get on the road! the earliest time for scheduling with the dmv was may, so i’ll just need to wait until then. ://

books i finished:

currently reading: endgame; by james frey

on replay:

i started using spotify again, but i’m not sure how long that’ll last. i want you to know, by zedd and selena gomez, has been stuck in my head for nearly a week. i’m not sure if i should be banging my head against the wall or getting up to dance. i really enjoy all of zedd’s work, so i guess it’s not a bad thing.

i also started watching the 100 on netflix, partially due to my friend’s demand and mostly because it was trending on twitter and i was curious. i’m only on episode five(?) of season one, and i’m really liking it so far! it’s quite intense and creepy, but good. it reminds me of lord of the flies, the maze runner, and the hunger games.

quote of the month:

(source: pinterest)

foresights of april

i can’t believe there are only two more months until june. you’re probably wondering, what happens in june? besides my birthday and summer, i’ll be flying to indianapolis for a ballet competition. then i’ll be flying two new york city a few days later! i love traveling and i’m beyond excited to share my experience with you! i just need to finish school and bbg before that happens. i’m actually not excited for my birthday because i’ll probably be flying, and i’m getting incredibly old. sixteen is the epitome of teenager-dome and i quite like it. i want to grow up, but i don’t want to grow old.

goals for this month:

  • continue kayla itsines’s bbg!
  • finish the part a. of literature, history, and math; begin french (i said this last month *sigh*)
  • use all that korean skin care stuff everyday~

these months are starting to look the same, but oh whale. i’m excited and anxious for the summer to come. i know i need to finish loads of stuff before i could get there, which is why i need to focus now so i could enjoy the city and competitions when the time comes.

what are your plans for the next month?



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