November Wrap Up

Hey-o! I is back with a new post. Today as you can see from the title I’m doing a November wrap up. I know is a little late—even though I like to believe it’s not that late—but my excuse is that I’m on finals. I’ve been wanting to do a wrap up for a while but I’ve only done them on social media aka Twitter and Instagram—which you should follow me on—but it’s finally time for one here. This month I read 12 books. From these, I believe 6 were audiobooks. I think it was a great reading month which is great because this month I’m on a reading slump plus I’m currently on my finals, which I have mentioned like a thousand times everywhere, so I don’t know how much reading I’ll get done. I have officially started like 5 books and then taken them out of my currently reading because I can’t seem to be able to read more than a couple of pages. A moment of silence for that. This month I got one 2 stars, three 3 stars, six 4 stars, and two 5 stars. I’m trying to be a little harsher on my ratings because I want to differentiate the books I really liked from books that were good, and those that were okay, therefore, the low rating on four books this month. I give high ratings too easily and I think I should be more critical about it so that way those that should actually get a good rating will shine brighter. This being said I am not going back to my old ratings and change them unless it’s a reread but from now on things will be different. Anyway, I am now going to list the books in order from the lowest rating to the highest.

Two stars read

The book that got the lowest rating is actually a graphic novel memoir called

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Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag by A. K. Summers

Synopsis:

First pregnancy can be a fraught, uncomfortable experience for any woman, but for resolutely butch lesbian Teek Thomasson, it is exceptionally challenging: Teek identifies as a masculine woman in a world bent on associating pregnancy with a cult of uber-femininity. Teek wonders, “Can butches even get pregnant?”

Of course, as she and her pragmatic femme girlfriend Vee discover, they can. But what happens when they do?

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I thought this book was okay. I found it funny at times but not as funny as the author probably intended it to be. Maybe it’s ’cause I haven’t been in that situation so I didn’t identify with the character or story but for me, it was just okay. I do like to think I don’t have to identify with a character to like a story so I don’t think that was it. I just found it a little bit monotonous and since this was originally an online comic it didn’t have this constant storyline so the chapters and storyline were a little hard to follow. I finished it in a sitting so I guess it wasn’t that bad but it just wasn’t for me. Do I recommend it? Actually, I do because of how it shows the reader what it’s like to be a butch and pregnant, how it affects how you look at yourself, and just what it’s like being pregnant in general.

Three stars reads

This month, sadly, I had three 3 stars reads which is always disappointing since I go into books expecting to love them or at least really like them. Because of this when there’s a book that for me is a 3 stars read I feel a little frustrated. I feel this way because I was so close to really liking them but it didn’t happen. I don’t know why this frustrates me more than 2 stars reads but it does. These next three books were hard to rate so I’m breaking out the decimals.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Synopsis:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

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I’m part of the few people that wasn’t a fan of the book. This book has a whopping 4.14 stars rating on Goodreads which makes me part of the unpopular opinion. I really wanted to love this book. Last year I read it and gave it 4 stars which I guess that was this year equivalent to 3.75 stars. Sadly, my reread this year made me lower the rating. I was debating how I should rate it because the day I read it I was feeling sick and definitely not in the mood to read but honestly, if it had been as good as I expected it to be I would’ve liked it or loved it no matter what. I loved the family dynamic and every member of the family but I didn’t like the relationship at all or the story of it. I can’t seem to decide on a rating and because of this, I keep changing it. At first, I left the rating at 4 stars then I lowered it to 3.25 and then to 3.35 but for my final rating I went back to 3.25 and that’s only because I loved the family dynamic. As an overall read, it wasn’t bad it just wasn’t fantastic. Do I recommend it? Sure, there a lot of people that will really enjoy it. I just wasn’t one of them. I want to talk more about it, but I think I should do it on a different post where I don’t have to worry about length. As soon as I do I’ll link it here.

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The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

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At first, this book was hard for me to get into. I think the first 100 pages or so were just okay and it took me switching to the audiobook to really get into it, but once I did I really, really liked it. I enjoyed it to the point that I ended up switching back to physically reading it because the audiobook was too slow for my impatient self. I am going to say I am not dying for the main character but she wasn’t horrible. A huge part of the beginning of the story focuses on something I really thought was unnecessary. I get the author meant to bring out the topic since it’s one rarely talked about in YA but I feel dedicating that many pages when it barely amounts to the plot was just, again, unnecessary. But I liked the story and I liked the main character’s determination. But my favorite thing about the book is that is told through Monica and her sister’s perspective. I must say I prefer her sister’s. This was probably my first thriller and I really enjoyed even though thriller lovers have said it isn’t the best which makes me motivated to give others a try. Do I recommend it? Yes, I think it’s a nice and easy way to get into thrillers. I gave it 3.70 stars. The only reason I didn’t give it 4 full stars is that I believe books should be good from the very beginning or at least before the 100 pages mark and for me this wasn’t that way. I think maybe the audiobook helped up the rating a little but I’m still happy with my rating.

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A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

Synopsis:

She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

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This book was probably the hardest book to rate in this whole list. It would’ve been a 4 stars read if it wasn’t because of the characters. I hated them with a passion. I don’t think I’ve ever hated characters like I hate the one in this book. We also have the fact that there’s an incestual relationship between two adults and it plays a huge part of the plot so if you aren’t able to ignore that then you might not enjoy it. Do I recommend it? No unless you’re able to look pass problematic topics and characters. There’s actually a movie out for this book with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively and I’ve heard it’s pretty good. This is another book I think deserves to be talked about more than I can on this post so like To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before I’ll have a separate post for it. I’ll link it here as soon as it’s up. As for the rating, I give a 3.80

Four stars reads

I had six 4 stars reads and that makes me very happy since it means the month wasn’t so bad after all. For these ones, I don’t want to complicate myself so I’m just leaving it at 4 full stars. The first one is

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Synopsis:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

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This was a reread sponsored by my literature class and it was one I was excited about because it already was on my list of books I wanted to reread. I did have a hard time reading it because I was in such a reading slump—thank you To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before—and this book isn’t most action-packed out there. This book can be very monotonous since it’s just the main character narrating how things are, how things got to be like that, and what new things were happening. I can see a lot of people getting bored but honestly, it’s worth the read. I gave it 4 stars because I love this world. It reminds me to appreciate the rights and freedom I, as a woman living in Puerto Rico, have. Not everyone has the same rights and freedom that I do and I should not take mine for granted. The thing is that this story is something that can happen which is scary. It really made me reflect now only on these blessings but also on how things need to change or this fictitious world won’t be so fictitious after all. I think everyone, especially women, should read it. I specify women because this whole book deals with losing their right including their rights to their bodies which is already happening. There’s actually a series on Hulu based on it and I’ve heard it’s fantastic so you should probably check it out.

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Fox 8 by George Saunders

Synopsis:

Fox 8 has always been known as the daydreamer in his pack, the one his fellow foxes regarded with a knowing snort and a roll of the eyes. That is,until Fox 8 develops a unique skill: He teaches himself to speak “Yuman” by hiding in the bushes outside a house and listening to children’s bedtime stories. The power of language fuels his abundant curiosity about people—even after “danjer” arrives in the form of a new shopping mall that cuts off his food supply, sending Fox 8 on a harrowing quest to help save his pack.

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This is such a cute and sad story. It was adorable, but it truly broke my heart. This book is only 21 pages long but that’s enough for it to give you a wake-up call. It was amazing to be reminded that animals are still living creatures that deserve respect, that animals might be different to us, but they still have feelings. I mean, haven’t you ever seen or heard of a depressed dog who mourns the death of their owner and because of this, they die shortly after? It’s a wake-up call that reminds us that we need to realize how our actions are affecting the environment and how every house, mall, and city we create affects the creatures that live in that place or around it. Honestly, this was just such a good read.

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

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Synopsis:

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when—as the eldest daughter—she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens—after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.

Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal—especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.

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I feel like I’m saying this over and over again, but this was such a great story. It reflects the sad realities of many without sacrificing hope. The fact that she found light in the middle of the darkness, that even though she forced away from her family she found a little family of her own, a little happiness of her own. This serves a great reminder that like Dumbledore said: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” I honestly loved it and only gave it 4 stars because the ending was just too middle grade for me. I get it’s trying to send a positive message to middle graders, but it just wasn’t a realist ending. I mean I can’t measure a middle-grade book with the same standards I do YA, NA and Adult books which is why I tried to be fair with the rating but it still bothers me. Another reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is that for me it missed that spark that would bump it up to 5 stars which, again, is probably because of the ending. I really recommend it. It’s a short read, only 240 pages long, so it should be easy enough for you and every middle grader out there to read. The audiobook is also really good so if you’re interested in it I would give it a chance. Again, I just keep repeating myself but I truly recommend it especially for the target audience since, even though the ending is not realistic, it gives them a very uplifting message of how they can change the world, how there’s always nice people out there willing to help, and how there’s always light no matter how dark everything seems.

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One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Synopsis:

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

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Okay, I must say I’m not a big fan of romance so I’m glad this wasn’t exactly completely that. This is an interesting concept that I haven’t seen represented outside of telenovelas. For telenovelas, the whole lover who was dead but then is apparently alive and now the main character has to choose between their old lover and their new one is such an overused trope but this is the first time I’ve seen it in a book and I think the author did a fantastic job. I really enjoyed the fact that we get to see the two relationships develop and it wasn’t this cheesier than an extra cheese pizza. It was cheesy enough for me to enjoy. I really enjoyed the family interaction and how the dynamic changes throughout the story. But what I really loved was her character development. This story wasn’t about how she had to choose between two guys. This story about how this went from an angsty teenager to a happy successful woman that kept changing to a better self even when life was throwing lemons at her. When life throws lemons at you grab them throw some back and with the rest make lemonade. I really loved it and I might be biased because my ship is canon but if there was a book on this list that was really close to 5 stars rating is this one. After reading Evidence of the Affair and now this one I can say with confidence that I am going to read everything this author has and will ever write. Apart from those two, she has four more books including The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo which I hope to get to before the release of her newest one. It’s always such a good feeling discovering a new favorite author only to find out that they have a lot of books out you can get to while you wait for their newest release.

Scream All Night by Derek Milman

Synopsis:

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Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

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THIS BOOK, MAN! This book was just too much for me to handle. I think the best way to explain how I feel about this book apart from saying that I really, really liked it is that I felt like I was on an acid trip while reading it. It’s such a weird book but Lord knows it’s another one I almost gave 5 stars. I’ll talk about it more on a different post which, again, I’ll link here once it’s up.

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Synopsis:

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Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

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This was a really interesting read. It focuses on another topic I don’t think we see represented enough on literature at least in a way that isn’t condemning it, and that topic is abortion. This book doesn’t condemn it nor does it applause it. It just tells you that it’s an option and that only the pregnant person is the one that gets to decide what’s the right decision is. But that isn’t the whole story here we also discuss how not everyone at 17 knows what they’re going to do next and how minorities, specifically African Americans, have to work twice as hard and stay far away from stereotypes to get the half of the respect a white person with the same merits would. All these discussions made me really love this book. Do I recommend it? YES! Knowing that this story is out there makes me so happy that this story is out there. I totally recommend it.

Five stars reads:

Now for my two 5 stars read I got

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

This is the last installment on the Themis Files trilogy so I’m not posting the synopsis to avoid spoilers and instead will post the one for the first book on this trilogy, Sleeping Giants.

Sleeping Giants synopsis:

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A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

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If there was a book on this list you should listen to the audiobook of is this one. Honestly, just listen to the audiobook of the whole trilogy because if you loved the audiobook of Sadie you will adore the audiobooks of these ones. We got sound effects, a full cast and the type of narration that makes you feel like you’re watching a movie. I have loved every single book in this trilogy and I’m so thankful that I went to the book club where I heard about this book because this is definitely my favorite trilogy ever and Waking Gods—the second installment on this series—is one of my top 3 favorite books. But we aren’t talking about it all as whole but about the conclusion to this series. Honestly, I am stuck between loving the ending and being slightly disappointed. I feel like in Waking Gods we had enough action for the whole trilogy and I know a different ending wouldn’t fit with the story but I just wanted a little bit more. STILL, I absolutely adore this book I love the whole political aspect of it but I must say I understand why not every person would. This book is completely different from the rest of the series but I believe it still felt organic. Actually, I feel like each book on this trilogy is completely different from the others on their own way without straying away from the storyline. I think it made sense that the author decided this to be the next step which is why I don’t understand why so many fans are against it. I’m not a fan of very political read but this one was great. I loved that it reflected the human nature that we have seen in both past and present history and I get how some—mostly conservatives and white supremacist—wouldn’t enjoy seeing a book as they might feel that their beliefs are being attacked. Do I recommend this book? If I have to kidnap you to get you to read it I will. I am definitely going to be rereading this trilogy again and again.

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Synopsis:

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Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

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If you follow me on Instagram or if you have read my last post you know that I completely loved this book. I loved it so much that I did a whole review for it. Check it out here. I’m not going to say anything else because I rather you read the review but I must say that this is a fantastic read and that I think everyone should read.

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Well, those are the 12 books I read on the month of November. I hope you enjoyed this post as much, or more, as I enjoyed writing it. Don’t forget to follow me here, on Instagram, Goodreads, and Twitter. Thank you for reading and

HAPPY READING!

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Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry Review

An atheist, a Unitarian who loves cloaks, a Catholic, a Celtic Reconstructionist Polytheist, and a gay Jewish walk into a basement… It sounds like the beginning of a joke but it’s actually the beginning of a beautiful friendship and a hilarious and fantastic book. Hey-o! I is back with another review. This time I’m going to be reviewing a book I adored from beginning to end.

 

34659293Title: Heretics Anonymous 

Author: Katie Henry

Genre: Contemporary 

Synopsis:

  Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

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     Heretics Anonymous might sound like the kind of book that is so full of religion that it might be too much for one to handle and it is—full of religion I mean—but it doesn’t take it to the point of preaching and boredom. It’s actually a hilarious book that balances serious topics and comedy. There’s a reason the cover says “A Divine Comedy.” 

     This book is one that preaches tolerance as it got this amazing group of friends with completely different sets of beliefs that bonded over the feeling of being outcasts due to their beliefs and way of thinking. To be able to see this I’m going to be talking about the characters but I’ll try to keep it as vague as possible to avoid spoilers. 

     As the main character, we got Michael who narrates the story. After being forced by his parents to move once again in the middle of the semester he is set to attend St. Clare, a private Catholic school, but there’s a problem. Michael is a non-believer, an atheist. He is one hell of a character too. He is angsty, can be annoying and at certain points disrespectful but at the same time, he’s a softy. He is also set on his beliefs, or rather lack of, and believes that there are certain things at his new schools that need to be changed. But even with all his flaws, Michael is a good person and he’s the one with the most character development throughout the story.

     Lucy, she is Colombian, a feminist, a smart woman, and a devout Catholic and to make things even better, and more complicated, she wants to be a priest. She believes the Catholic church should be more progressive and because of this, she isn’t afraid to call them out for their sexism and lack of acceptance. The scene where Michael first meets her and thinks she’s an atheist is one savage AF. When a nun says that well-behaved women really do make history she pulls out all the receipts of all the saints and finished her out with a K.O. by saying, “Well if you’re going to ignore the fact that most of those women chose to die rather than do what other people told them to, then I think you’re pretty close to blasphemy.” BOOM! I mean I really hope you don’t consider that a spoiler because it’s such a small tiny thing. If you do, then I’m sorry. I honestly adore and admire her. She is a strong character that is ready to make history.

     Avi is Jewish but he’s also gay and in a Catholic school that’s enough to set him apart. He’s the type of character that if needed will call you out on your bs without even blinking. Yes, at certain points I thought he was a little dramatic but not in the typical gay stereotype. He’s also savage af so I’ll let that pass. There were times when I wanted to slap some sense into him but I still loved him and at the end, he was still a good friend. I love how Katie Henry didn’t make him into the stereotypical token gay friend and as a gay woman I really, really, really appreciate it. 

     Eden and Max didn’t get full on character development but they still were complete characters who could tell apart from the others. Actually, each character was their own individual and could stand apart on their own. You can easily tell them apart and for someone who always confuses characters when reading a book with more than a few—and by few I mean 2 or 3—main or secondary characters that’s saying something. Oh! I forgot to mention Eden and Max’s set of beliefs. Eden is a Celtic Reconstructionist Polytheist, usually referred to as pagan, and Max is a Unitarian but his true reason for being in the group is because he wants to be able to wear a clock without breaking school rules. 

I know I mentioned that some of the characters can be annoying but I promise they’re not completely annoying and that doesn’t ruin the story.

     As much as religion seems like the main theme it isn’t that way. One of the main focus of this book is family relationship and how they affect us. I’ve mentioned before that this book preaches tolerance but that’s not the only good thing it preaches. It also preaches forgiveness and asks the question, when is it okay to break the rules?

     But it’s not all seriousness as this book is hilarious since Michael is a smartass. Yes, granted that he makes —well thinks—some really dark jokes that for some can be considered disrespectful but it was his actions that spoke as proof that he isn’t a total dick. I was honestly laughing so much that I think my roommate was probably thinking I’ve gone mad. This book is so good that even with the lack of time—thanks uni—I read it in two sittings while completely ignoring my responsibilities and I only regretted it a little. I got it from the library but I loved it so much that I now want to buy my own copy so I can annotate the hell out of it. Now to prove that it’s indeed hilarious and to show you the type of humor it has I’m going to be adding two quotes here.

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“It’s theology. Were you expecting sex, drugs, and rock and roll?”

“One out of the three would be nice.”

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“It’s first period and only one person definitely wants me dead. Things are going better than expected.” 

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     This book tries and succeeds to preach tolerance but certain comments made by the main character might seem insulting. As a Christian, I personally didn’t feel offended but I can’t speak for everyone else. If you’re a Christian who doesn’t want your beliefs to be challenged, criticized or have someone pointing out the hypocrisy in them then I think you should stay away from this book. Still, I think you should now that this book tries to clear out misconceptions of various religions while trying to show both sides of the coin. It points out the hypocrisy BUT ALSO the good qualities. It isn’t preachy, a conversion story or anti-religion. This book only shows that there are no perfect sets of beliefs while reminding us that no matter what tolerance is important.

     Now to finalize this long post I want to say that this book is amazing, especially for a debut novel, and that I want you to go read it. God knows I am ready to read anything she’ll ever write. As for rating, I think this one is really obvious.

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Before I go I want to give a shout out to John from John’s Tainted Fantasy for always being my beta reader and being patient with me. Thank you! You are indeed the best. That is all for today.

HAPPY READS!

My 5 Stars Predictions

Hey-o! I is back with another post. I’m sorry last week I didn’t post but life got in the way. Still, today I am back! This post is one I’ve been dying to do for a while. If you have read my latest posts (here, here, here & here) you know that I love watching BookTube. It’s probably the only thing I watch so it’s definitely influencing my blog and my choice of books. This post is the written version of a video I’ve been seeing everywhere. I’m not sure who started it but I think it was Lala from BooksAndLala aka my favorite YouTuber ever. So, this is how this post works. I looked through my TBR—more like skimmed because it’s too long—and made a list of books I think will be a five stars read. The list was a little too long so I try shorting it to a more reasonable number by choosing five random ones. What I’m going to do is read those books in a period of a year, hopefully less, and then when I’m done reading them I’m going to come back here and write a post on whether those were five stars or not.

I am a girl that’s very easy to please. I’m the type of person that rates with her heart and tend to ignore the problems of the book as long as the book feels right to me. My rating for a good book is 4 stars, 3 stars is a book that is kind of good, 2 is eh and 1 is for WHAT THE ACTUAL? I think I’ve only rated one or two books under 3 stars so that should say enough about me. I am hopeful that I’ll end this experiment with at least three 5 stars but I am okay if it doesn’t turn out this way.

I am going to start this list with some nonfiction. The first on that list is

Lili: A Portrait of the First Sex Change by Niels Hoyer

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Synopsis:

Lili Elbe was, in 1931, the first transsexual to receive a male-to-female sex change. This remarkable book – a sensation when first published over eighty years ago – shows Lili (now the subject of a major motion picture The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne) as a trans pioneer who took extraordinary risks to discover and liberate her true identity.

It is also a tale of marriage, of love and romance, that provides a fascinating insight to the bohemian society of the 1930s.

Lili: A Portrait of the First Sex Change is told through original documents, her personal correspondence, and with contributions from those who loved her most. Available in English as an ebook for the first time, it remains a pertinent and powerful work, acting as a monument to an iconic struggle, and a celebration of her bold and profoundly human journey.

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I discovered this book thanks to the movie inspired by this book called The Danish Girl which was amazing. The main character was played by Eddie Redmayne and let me just tell you his acting was out of this world. Well back to the book, you know what they say the book is always better than the movie which is why I knew I needed to read this book but that’s not the only reason. This book is part of my queer TBR and for a good reason. I’m really trying to read more queer books because I feel is necessary to support these books and authors from this community. I’m talking in general because I’m not sure if this author is queer. We need more books that represent and tell our stories and as a queer woman, this is something I’m very passionate about. This book tells the story of a woman who’s very important to this community but that almost no one has heard about. I am so excited to learn more about this topic and queer history in general. I just know this book will be a five stars read.

This book is pretty hard to find since it’s not well known so I’m just going to link it here.

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the other nonfiction book on this list is

40854717Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jonny Sun (illustrator)

“Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos!”

Gmorning, Gnight is a collection of Lin-Manuel’s good morning and good night tweets. What started this book is the fact that every morning and every night Lin-Manuel tweets a good morning or good night messages to his followers. These messages tend to be motivational and poetic. They’re just beautiful and I look forward to them every day. This book came to happen thanks to his fans (me) constantly replying to them with comments on how he needed to publish a book with them. We wanted needed one so we can conserve them and be able to get back to them since they tend to get lost in the sea of tweets. I am so excited for it. I just need this book in my hand like now! I am a huge Lin-Manuel and I just love everything he writes so I know this will be a 5 stars read.

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Now from slightly poetic messages to poetry we got

38926444The Dark Between Stars by Atticus

“I don’t know the truth of you

she whispered

but I have that feeling in my stomach

you get before your whole life changes.”

This is Atticus second poetry book. He is known for his Instagram poetry and now for his two books. I adored Love Her Wild and it has been the only poetry book I’ve given 5 stars and I’ve heard this one is even better. My expectations are so high and I just hope that it won’t disappoint. I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten a copy of it. If it wasn’t because I’m trying to avoid buying books and instead pay off my new phone I would get it.

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The next two books on this list are historical fiction which is something I avoid with all my life but I know I will love these books. The problem is that since they’re historical fiction I can’t get myself to start them even though I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things. By making this post I am now forced to read them which is perfect. So the first book is

19063The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Synopsis:

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

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This is another book I discovered thanks to a movie another one I loved. I honestly adored this movie which is why that the moment I saw the book I knew I just had to get it. The movie came out in 2013 and I’ve owned this book since then so that should say it all. I even own the audiobook but even then I still haven’t read it. I have discovered I love movies about world war II and of people trying to help jews so I hope I will love books of this theme as much as the movies. The idea of death narrating this story interest me so much since it’s something I’ve never seen before. This book is also a lot of people’s favorite book so that’s a plus. I honestly just loved the movie so much. I know I will love this book but I just can’t get myself to read it, but now that I’m writing this post I will. I swear.

The other historical fiction book I have to read is

32620332The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Synopsis:

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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This one is the only book on this list because of the hype. THE HYPE IS TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE! This book is everywhere and everyone seems to adore it. Every single BookTubers I watch videos from that have read this book has loved it which is why I’m so sure I’ll love it. One of them being EmmmaBooks and I still haven’t read a book recommended by her that I haven’t liked. I mean I also just read the short story Evidence of the Affair by this same author and loved it and gave it 5 stars so that also helps. If you follow me on Instagram—if you don’t what are you doing with your life? Here’s a link to my account.—you know I raved about this book the moment I finished it. This is also a queer book because if I’m not mistaken we have a bisexual main character but I don’t think her being bisexual is the whole story which is a plus. Also, can we just talk about how beautiful this cover is? I love it.

Now the last book on this list of 5 stars prediction is a sequel of a book I adored and that is

35425827Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

This is the sequel to one of my favorite book of the year and that is Renegades. Since this is a sequel I can’t share the synopsis because of spoilers but here I’m going to share the synopsis for Renegades.

Synopsis The Renegades:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both

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I loved Renegades with all my heart and I just need to know what happens next. After the amazingness of Renegades, I have very high expectations for Archenemies but I know Marissa Meyer will come through which is why I just know I will adore this book. I actually talked more about Renegades on another post so here‘s a link to that.

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So those are five books I know hope I will love and give 5 stars. What are some of your 5 stars predictions? Comment down below and don’t forget to follow me.

HAPPY READING!

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Sadie by Courtney Summers review

Hey-o! I is back and I’m on fire! Three post back to back in a week got to be some kind of record for me. Well, today I got a review of a very hyped book and that is Sadie by Courtney Summers. I’ve seen this book everywhere on BookTube which is why I finally decided to give it a chance.

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Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Genre: mystery, thriller

Synopsis:

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

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This book is very hyped which is something that can be scary for some and by some I mean me. The thing about hyped books is that you set very high standards for them and they don’t always deliver. For example, The Cruel Prince is adored by everyone but I really disliked it. Then there are books like The Astonishing Color of After which is also really hyped but I really liked. Because of this, I was excited to read this book but at the same time, I was highly skeptical about it. Let me just start the review by saying that you should totally listen to the hyped because this book is amazing.

How should I start? Let’s start with the actual story. The story as you read on the synopsis is of Sadie and her search of her sister’s murderer. This is told in various formats. The book begins with West’s side of the story. His story is divided between a podcast he’s recording and conversations with Sadie’s surrogate grandmother. Then we continue with Sadie’s side of the story which is told in the typical novel format. In her narration, we get to see inside her head as she searches for the murderer and as she gets flashbacks to life before Mattie’s death. These flashbacks help the reader understand the story. These flashbacks are also there to cause a reaction as you get more attached to her and her story. The story as a whole is set months apart since West’s investigation is a couple of months behind Sadie’s disappearance. This back and forward works perfectly by giving you clues and then explanations so you can create your own theory of what happened.

This book is big on sister love as Sadie adores her sister with all her soul. She had taken it as her job to raise her sister and her devotion to her was endless. We can see all that she did for her sister and how she would switch places with her if she could. This is why it’s understandable that when her sister’s body is found something in her snaps. Honestly, I think the love and devotion she showed was beautiful and heartbreaking knowing how it ended.

I loved this story. It was so good but surprisingly dark. When I went into it I was not expecting it to be as dark as it was. It was shocking which just made the story more amazing. It makes you feel passionate about the story and it appeals to the soft part in you. This was definitely a page turner and the ending was perfect. Yes, it’s the kind of ending where you want to throw the book against the wall because you need more but to me, it felt perfect.

One of the reasons why I loved this book so much was the audiobook. This was definitely my favorite audiobook followed by Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel. We got a full cast and even in Sadie’s narration we have other actors talking in their character’s part instead of having her say “she said, he said.” I honestly believe more audiobooks should be this way. The actors wowed me with their amazing performance. We also got music and sound effects, like crickets, which gives it a nice ambiance. It’s like watching a movie but better. If you want to give this book a chance I definitely recommend going the audiobook route.

Going back to the darkness of the story I must say that this story is full of triggers. If you’re worried about these go to Goodreads and check for those. I am not adding them just because they can be huge spoilers and not everyone is a fan of that.

This story is amazing and definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. You should totally check it out. I’m telling you that you won’t regret but again check Goodreads for triggers.

Rating: Honestly, I don’t think I even have to write it because I’m sure you guys already know. In case you didn’t, I give this book…

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Well, that is all for today. I hoped you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Don’t forget to like this post and if you haven’t followed me here please do so.

HAPPY READS!

13 BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ

Hey-o! I is back with a new post. I am so happy that I’m posting twice in a row. A couple of days ago I was so frustrated that I had decided that I was going to quit this blog but my amazing friend John told me not to do so and to not let my depression win and here we are. I love writing and I shouldn’t stop just because my brain is telling me. Thanks to him I’m motivated. ANYWAY so I’ve been watching lots of BookTube—I basically use the videos as background noise while eating, cleaning, cooking, and so on—and I saw Hannah from Clockwork Reader make this video called 7 books you NEED to Read and I loved the idea of it so much that I decided to do one but adapted for this blog. Basically here I will be talking about some recent reads that I loved and that I think you need to read. I have read lots of good books this year but I’m going to focus on the books I read from summer break all the way until today. I was never able to do a summer break wrap up which was something I was very excited about and since them I have read some really amazing books. I honestly can say I have found some of my favorite books of the year. So here we got 13 books you need to read.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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Synopsis:

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself

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Let’s start by saying this is a middle-grade book. I’ve seen reviews talking about how the plot isn’t that complicated for it to be a Victoria Schwab’s book and how everything happened so fast and the book was so short. But they either don’t know or are forgetting that this is a middle-grade book and middle-grade books are targeted for kids age 8 to 12. I can’t see my 8 or 12 years old self completely getting This Savage Song or A Darker Shade of Magic. I know some 12 years old read YA books but I feel like 1) some are a little mature for them and 2) they probably won’t fully grasp the story the way they would if it was a book targeted for them. Still, this book is fantastic. I’ve read a couple of middle-grades this year and I believe that even though they’re fantastic, they’re not really for me. I mean I am 22 years old so I can’t expect them to be for me, but with City of Ghosts, I just fell in love with it. Even though the story is simple enough for 8 years old to read it, it felt more like a YA book. I honestly loved this story it was simple, fast-paced, fun, and the friendship aspect of it was beautiful. I truly recommend it if you’re looking for a spooky fun read. The simplicity of it also makes it perfect to follow on audiobook and the narration was great. I actually gave this 5 stars.

WARNING: I must say I think this might be scary for some kids since it deals with ghosts being real.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer28421168

Synopsis:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

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I discovered this book thanks to Emmmabooks on YouTube aka one of my favorite BookTubers ever. She couldn’t stop raving about it. I love the idea of reading from a villain perspective but I hadn’t done that because I don’t read a lot of retelling. That’s why when I learned this was a superhero story being told from one of the heroes and one of the villains I was excited. Honestly, how can you read that synopsis and not want to read it? I listened to the audiobook—I’m on an audiobook roll, most of the books on this list I listened on audiobooks—and it was AMAZING. I could not stop listening to it and I loved it so much that I got a physical copy of the book. I loved Nova, she is smart, she is a badass, and she is a villain but not just a villain just because she wants to do bad but because she has a set of beliefs. She’s not going all “today I want to be evil because I’m in the mood for it,” she is more like “this makes me a villain now but in the end, this is for the greater good with a touch of seeking revenge.” As you can probably predict from the synopsis there is a little bit of romance in it and let me tell you as a hater of romance in non-romantic books I actually loved it. It wasn’t instalove, it was slow to develop and it isn’t the whole focus of the story. I love Adrian. He’s smart, he has a set of beliefs, and he just wants to do good. In here we don’t just have a set of superheroes but a whole company with hundreds of it. They’re not just a random set of prodigies—even though they started that way—they’re a whole government. I won’t continue talking about it because if I do I’m going to spoil the whole book. Just read it because you’re just in time for the sequel. Archenemies comes out on November 6 so you can read it without having to wait months for it. Again, I recommend the audiobooks but I’m sure reading the book is just as good. My recommendation is to read it when you have time to because it has 496 pages long and you will not be able to put it down. It’s definitely one of my favorite read of the year.

A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa

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Synopsis:

Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.

In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.

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As you can see this is a memoir and a damn fantastic one. It is eye-opening and it’s the type of book you cannot put down. Life in North Korea is a topic I’ve been very curious about. It’s a place we know next to nothing about it and what we know is sad and terrible enough to make us want to help them. Even though this book is not set in the current time, it’s still close enough for us to get a peak on how it’s living in this country. My personal belief is that from what I heard of it hasn’t changed much. Honestly, this is a heart hitting book. We are reading about one misfortune after the other which will probably frustrate you by reminding you that there isn’t much we can do but honestly it’s just such a good book. It isn’t a novel so there isn’t much I can say about it other than read it. I used whispersync for this book, meaning that I listened to it on audiobook and also read it depending on what I felt like doing during that moment. So I can say I recommend both. I am definitely going to check more memoirs of people that lived there. Another of my favorite books of the year. Fun fact this book is on Kindle store for $1.99.

How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

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Synopsis:

From actress, comedian, and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka ||Superwoman||) comes the definitive guide to being a bawse—a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side.

Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over nine million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success.

WARNING: This book does not include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, and cute quotes. That’s because success, happiness, and everything else you want in life needs to be fought for—not wished for. In Lilly’s world, there are no escalators, only stairs. Get ready to climb.

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This book is one of Goodreads Choice 2017 Winner and I can see why. This book is just fantastic. This is truly a guide to success. Her bits of advice are mostly different from what I’ve heard before and very valid. It motivated me to work harder to reach my goals and with excellent pieces of advice on how to do it. This book is highly entertaining not one second did I find it boring but the contrary all I wanted was to continue listening to it—yes another audiobook—and I just want to get a physical copy of the book and reread it so I can annotate the living out of it. Can you say living if its an inanimate object? She used modern-day references which made it easier to understand but I must say if you haven’t watched Game of Thrones you might be set for some spoilers. Honestly, I just recommend this book. The audiobook is fantastic because it is narrated by her, who is really good at it, and it’s the perfect book to keep you entertained while doing your everyday things. BUT the whole not being able to annotate sucks because you really will want to annotate it. I know some people might think that because she’s “just a YouTuber” she won’t have good advice or it’s not good but this is a woman who has made an empire out of youtube so she knows a thing or two. Just go check it out! If you’re not sure about it check it out from your local library.

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

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Synopsis:
How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

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This book man. This book. This book, like A River in Darkness, just killed me. Seeing how this girl deals with this trauma of having her mother being accused of murdering her abusive father was just wow. This is a hard topic to talk and read about. Having to go through it while trying to work for her goals, keep her family united. and discover herself is hard. This book does a fantastic job of showing this. Just a young girl trying to keep it together when everything seems to be falling apart. I honestly don’t know what else to say about this book apart from saying that it is amazing. I listened to the audiobook and it was fantastic and I just loved the story and I need an actual physical copy of the book in my life. I really need to reread it.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

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Synopsis:

Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.

As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?

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This book is just fantastic and important. YOU NEED TO READ IT. Yes, it is Adam’s first book so it isn’t the best thing ever but the message is such an important one. This book is the first book in over 6 years that has made me cry. But it didn’t just make me cry, it destroyed me. I have a whole post about it so I’ll just leave the link here.

Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe

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Synopsis:

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages’ Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents’ low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

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This book is fantastic and it makes me so sad to know that it’s a book most people don’t know about. THIS BOOK DESERVES SO MUCH HYPE!! It’s such a fantastic book. Wait, did I said that already? If you liked the Hunger Games you’re probably going to like this book. It’s like a hunger game with magic! We got a diverse cast, we got badass female characters and a story that will just grip you and not let you go. I have a review where I talk about it in more dept so go check it out.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

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Synopsis:

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

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HOLY CRAP THIS BOOK! It is so important and it’s one of my favorite book of the year and of all time. It is such an important story that needs to be told. Here we got a transgender main character just trying to live the life she deserves, a normal life, but in a place where being different means not just being ostracized but being afraid. This is a very eye-opening story that gives us a glimpse of what is like being transgender. If I Was Your Girl will make you understand what it’s like to be transgender and hopefully help you see what you can do to help them and the right way to approach someone like Amanda. Yes, this is just one story and there are a million others that are completely different but glimpse by glimpse you’ll get a better picture. These are regular people that just want to be accepted and let live a normal life yet we treat them as if they’re less. We forget that being a little different isn’t a bad thing but on the contrary, it makes this world a colorful place to live in. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t written a review for this book because I just need to talk about it. Maybe, hopefully, soon.

40948486George by Alex gino

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part…because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte–but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

___

Because one transgender story isn’t enough, here we got George by Alex Gino. Here got a middle grade that will help younger audience grasp the concept of being transgender, how they’re not different from them, and how they can help them. This the kind of book I want my nieces and nephew to read. I can’t wait until they’re old enough to understand so I can present them this novel. It’s not extremely long, 213 pages, and it’s pretty simple, entertaining, and to the point. The audiobook is also less than 4 hours so there’s that. Honestly, this is such an adorable and important read and I don’t care that the main character is like 9 years old I would read and reread this book a hundred time because it’s just so adorable. Here we have a glimpse of what is like to be transgender and wanting to tell a world that doesn’t understand that you can be 9 years old and be a hundred percent sure that you’re born on the wrong body. Honestly, just read it or listen to the audiobook. It’s just so good and important. The audiobook is on Scribd and the Kindle is only $3.99. DO IT!!!

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

Synopsis:

35604686

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

___

In this one, I agree with Hannah. This story is beautiful and important. I feel like I’m saying this about every story on this list but I really think they are. Here we got a half Taiwanese main character that is struggling with grief, trying to understand her mom’s reasoning behind taking her life, feeling like she isn’t Taiwanese enough, and all these while trying to understand her feelings for her best friend and how it affects their friendship. The thing I like the most is the mental health representation. Here we see the various stage of her mom’s depression and how it affected her life and others around her. The story is sad but beautiful and the narrative and use of colors to describe feelings are just gorgeous. I really liked it. Again, do yourself the favor of checking it out.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Synopsis:

34810320.jpg

“Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.”

___

THIS BOOK THOUGH! Honestly, all the books on this list are amazing but since this one is one of my most recent read so it’s the one I’m most hyped about right now. I totally get why every single BookTuber I’ve seen mentioned reading this book has said it’s amazing. This book will keep you at the edge of your seat. The story been divided between her perspective, the actual podcast, and West when he’s doing the research just made it a whole lot more interesteting. I honestly just wanted to know what happened. I did not want to put it down. Okay, so maybe this post should be called audiobooks you should listen to but honestly, I can’t help myself. THE AUDIOBOOK FOR THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! It’s definitely my favorite audiobook ever followed by Waking Gods and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. We got a full cast, we got sound effects, we got real acting and it was just like watching a movie but better. Honestly, I don’t know what’s better the book or the audiobook. I am definitely ready to dive into more Courtney Summers’ books. Huge trigger alert for so many things but they’re kind of spoilers so go to Goodreads and check it out. I honestly got so much to say about this book but I still need time to gather my thoughts. I think a review is needed so stay tuned for that. If by the time you read this the review is up then I’ll link it here.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Synopsis:

25733990.jpg

“A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?”

___

This book is amazing! I’m going to start by saying that sci-fi is probably one of the genres I read the least from but this book got me wanting to get more into it. I also haven’t read Illuminae but I know the format is similar and I have heard fantastic things about it but I’m sure it still wouldn’t top this one. This book is highly entertaining. You won’t be able to put it down. The story will captivate the scientist in you who’s curious about how things work and who wonders if there’s life outside of our galaxy.  The characters are fantastic every single one is completely different which made it easier to follow. I hate when characters are so similar that you can’t tell them apart. They’re easy to love and gave some spark to the story. I finished this whole book in a day and I was listening to the audiobook so that wasn’t an easy task. I stayed up until 3 in the morning decluttering my room and then redoing my TBR jar just because I wanted an excuse to listen to the audiobook. The story is just gripping but it never gets confusing. Every single science aspect of it is explained in a way that you could understand it which is why I could follow along without a problem. Books like Artemis (which I also loved) are full of scientific content that I never understand in writing much less in audiobook format but like I said before everything here is told in a way that everyone from the scientist to the regular reader like me can understand—even when listening to it on audiobook. I honestly don’t know what to else say because I loved this book so much. It’s definitely one of my favorite book of the year and right now it’s fighting with Vicious by V.E. Schwab for the number one spot. The audiobook is fantastic because like with Sadie we got a full cast, sound effects and the kind of acting that’s like watching a movie. Waking Gods, the sequel, is even better when it comes to the audiobook and the story. Honestly, I don’t want to say too much because the least you know the better, but I’m just telling you that you need to read it.

and the last book I’m going to talk about is…

Odd Spirits by S.T. Gibson

Synopsis: 41123702.jpg

“It takes a lot of commitment to make a marriage between a modern ceremonial magician and a chaos witch work, but when a malevolent entity takes up residence in Rhys and Moira’s home, their love will be pushed to the limits.

Brewing up a solution is easier said than done when your magical styles are polar opposites; throw a psychic ex and a secret society in the mix, and things are bound to get messy”

___

This book was so much fun to read. I sat down to read a couple of pages before going to bed and it ended up with me reading the whole thing. It’s only 71 pages and it’s a fast read. It’s witchy, it’s queer, it’s refreshing and such a great book. If you’re looking for a short book for a Halloween read-a-thon or just a Halloweeny spooky read then this is the perfect one for you. I loved following this marriage of complete opposites. We get to see them when they first met and now as they try to figure out a way to get rid of this entity. We got bisexual representation as one of the main characters is bisexual. Honestly just read it. The Kindle book is currently $0.99 so if you don’t like it, which I doubt, you really only lost $0.99. You spend more than that on a bag of chips. The author is also a self-published so you would be supporting someone who’s working to reach her dreams. Go satisfy the spooky person in you by reading this books.

Well, these are SOME books that I think you need to read. These are fantastic most of them some of my favorite reads of the year, really entertaining, and a big part of these very important reads that will give you a different perspective of things you thought you already knew and had formed an opinion about. I truly recommend every single one of them. If you’re not sure about it check them out of your local library, believe me, they’re worth the read. My goal is that I convinced you to check at least one of these books. Well, that is all for today. Thanks for reading and

HAPPY READS

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October Spooky TBR

Hey-o! I is finally back with another post. I really want to upload weekly guys, I really do. I just need to work on my mental health first so I can find the way to post. Today I am going to talk (write?) about my October spooky TBR. It’s a given that not all the books on this list are spooky but I would like to focus on those that are. This month we also got Mental Health Awareness Week so I added some books with these topics. This is the perfect excuse to read books I already love to read. This post is also a bit late for being a TBR but better late than pregnant, I mean later.

I must warn you that I’m definitely not reading every single book that’s on this list but I like to keep my options open. You should see them as options rather than musts.  This TBR is full of thrillers which is both exciting and scary because I’m not thriller experienced.  There are only four books that I really need to read and that’s because three of them are library loans and one of them is for class. Those are:

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

35707056

Synopsis:

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.

___

Zombies, a latina main character, witches, friendship… Do I need to say more? This is the perfect Halloween read and I have heard nothing but fantastic things.

 

Love & Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

31681354Synopsis:

Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny’s life. She’s failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is.

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Eating disorders are something that I’ve always been very interested in, in a nonmorbid way. I just want to understand them a little more. I want to know what’s going inside the head of those who have to live with this and how these affect their bodies. So when I heard about this book I knew I needed to read it. This week is the perfect week to educate myself and what better way than through a good book.

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

37570566Synopsis: 

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

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Here we got animal to human creatures, a cruel witch, and a murder. I am more than intrigued of where this story will be taken. I don’t think I ever heard of a book where animals are turned human. It’s interesting because we usually see animals personified or humans that turn into animals but never the other way around. It makes me wonder how these humans are different from others and if they have any difference or special trait that differentiates them from the others. This is another spooky read perfect for October. It screams Halloween.

 

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Synopsis:7718.jpg

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was laying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.

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Now we got the opposite of Grim Lovelies. Here we got a human that turns into a bug. This book is considered a classic which is why it’s not surprising the fact that I have to read it for class. The reason I have included it on this list versus the other assigned readings it’s that I have read this book before and I truly enjoyed it. I actually want to listen to the audiobook because there’s one version narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch and I just NEED it in my life. Also, there’s something kind of spooky about waking up only to discover you’re now a giant bug.

Now the first book on the list of books that I want to read but won’t necessarily get to is

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Synopsis:40874032

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

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It is no secret that Vicious is probably my favorite book of all time so any excuse to reread it is a good one. In this case, the reason why I decided to reread it is that Vengeful, the sequel, came out two weeks ago. I actually already started this book last month for the Emojiathon but didn’t finish it. I am moving surprisingly slow which I am surprised.26856502 I was expecting to fly through it like the first time but this time I keep picking other books so I read it small chunks at a time. Here we got two villains, a bunch of morally grey characters, people with powers, death, and revenge. I mean if this doesn’t scream spooky to you then none of the other books on this list will.

I actually wrote a review for it but I don’t dare to reread it just in case it’s cringy but in case you’re interested here it is.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

So I am not sharing the synopsis just because like I mentioned before it is a sequel but let’s just assume it’s fantastic. I actually haven’t read the synopsis just because I want the book to surprise me like I am sure it will do. I honestly hope I finish Vicious this month just because I really want to read Vengeful but not without rereading Vicious first.

 

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

25733990Synopsis:

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

___

I found out about this book thanks to a book club I once in a while participate in and honestly I was automatically drawn to it. I don’t know why because I’m not a huge sci-fi reader but I just knew I needed to read it. It just calls me. I guess I’m in the mood for a sci-fi. I decided I am going to listen to the audiobook because I heard that it has a full cast and sound effects and it just sounds like the kind of audiobook that I am in dire need of. Also, can we talk about the cover? Most covers on this list are gorgeous but there is something about this one that makes me think that this will just be refreshing to read/listen.

 

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

25812109Synopsis: 

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.

Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

___

I knew I needed to read this book the moment I read the first sentence. “This is how I kill someone”  HOLY CRAP! Let’s reread that. “This is how I kill someone” JESUS! This is not something you normally read on a YA book. We read of other people getting murder and you’re trying to figure out who did it but not someone being this straightforward about it. Also, every single person I heard mentioned this book has said that it’s fantastic. I got it for my birthday and when I was walking with it at the bookstore people kept stopping me to let me know how good it is. October is the month for thriller and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Nothing like murder to spook you.

Paperweight by Meg Haston

23361172Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn’t plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

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Another book to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week. Another eating disorder one. This one, if I’m not mistaken, I heard is a pretty accurate representation of it so this makes me even more excited to read this particular one. It’s also 288 pages so it’s short enough that I might be able to fit it in. There are just way too many books I want to read this month.

 

Tomahawks and Tembleque

42105247Synopsis:

Starting over, the dream of many and the reality of a few.

Abigail Echevarría flies from the warmth of the Caribbean to the cold land of Canada in search of fortune. Challenging herself to find a job in thirty days, Abigail wants to become the designer of her destiny–and throw away her return flight ticket. She thinks she has it all figured out. That is until a handsome Native American crosses her path and shakes off her plans with a hair flip.

Oz Blackmane is living a life he doesn’t want. He has a stable job, a loving family and his whole life its ahead of him. Nevertheless, he feels like something is missing. Not wanting to return to his old habits, Oz finds a breath of fresh air in an awkward girl he saw a streetlight. Maybe, Abigail is exactly what Oz needs to get out of his rut.

Resilient to fall in love, Abigail soon discovers that resisting the charms of sexy and determined Oz its easier said than done.

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Shout out to my friend Milady Zafiro for publishing her first novel. I am so excited! I am finally starting this book! THIS IS THE MONTH! I can’t believe I still haven’t read it. Well, actually I must say I already started it this month and even though I am not a huge fan of romance books I am loving it. I might be slightly biased but I’ve found it hilarious. I mean we got an afro-latina who’s Puerto Rican and a Native American as main characters. TALK ABOUT REPRESENTATION! I usually don’t share links of the books I talk about but I’m making an exception this time. Please check out her book! Support a self-published author. The Kindle version is only $2.99. If you’re interested use the link because I couldn’t find it on Amazon by the name so using the link will make your life easier. I don’t get anything by you using it. I’m just looking to make your life easier and support a dear friend.

Get it on Amazon

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Synopsis:32571395

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

___

This synopsis got me going all “oooh.” I am the worse when it comes to predicting how books turn out so I don’t do it but this book makes me want to try. Challenge accepted! I keep buying thriller books and never reading them but I really want to. This book seems so good and it’s October. Let’s hope I get to it.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Synopsis:34810320

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

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Another thriller but this one is one I’ve seen everywhere. It’s everywhere on BookTube and I have not heard a single bad thing about it. I have heard that it’s full of triggers so if you’re worried about it then you might need to check that out. Fair warning these are probably spoilers so have that in mind. I am actually so excited for this one and I hope it’s one of the few I actually will finish this month. Everyone I’ve heard talk about this book mentions the audiobook and apparently it’s like Sleeping Giant in the sense that it has sound effects and a full cast. You know what that means? Yes, I am definitely choosing the audiobook route for this one.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Synopsis:29589074

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

___

Another book I’ve heard nothing but good things about. This story is one that I just know will grab me from page one. If I’m not mistaken it has two timelines at the same time which makes me kind of nervous because I get easily confused but I am still so hyped about it. This is just one of the book I need to read on this month of Halloween.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Synopsis:38139409

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

___

I must say I am not that excited to read this book. Even though I heard fantastic things about it. I don’t have a specific reason why. I’m just not really excited about it.  Then why is it on your TBR, Wilmarie? Well, this is one of Bookmark’s book club book of the month and I really want to go to it with my dearest friend John from John’s Tainted Fantasy. There just something about discussing a book with a friend and others and then being able to ask the author about it. It’s an amazing experience.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis:2213661

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

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This is a modern classic but I just recently discovered it which makes no sense. So this is the perfect halloweenie story. By reading the synopsis I feel this embodies Halloween, therefore, I need to read it this month.

 

So this is my October Spooky TBR. Again, I might not read all of these books or any of them but I would love to try. I might also read other books that aren’t on this list because I’m an expert at not following my TBR so maybe I should do an October wrap up post. We’ll see. Well, that is all for today! I really hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know what book or books are on your October TBR.

HAPPY READS!

Emojiathon TBR​

This was meant to be posted yesterday but the only change is that the yesterdays are now the day before yesterday.

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Hey-o! It’s me Wilmarie and let me just tell you that college can be sucky and by that I mean it can suck the life out of you. Two and a half weeks in and I am already feeling dead inside. What does this have to do with my Emojiathon TBR? You’ll see now. So, I want to be a good student and I also want to take care of myself, physically and mentally. Physically I been doing pretty good but mentally I need a break. That break is in a shape of a book, many books, which is why it’s so important for me to take time to read but since classes started the only reading I’ve done is through audiobooks.

I really need to create a routine and stick to it. In that routine, I need to make reading a priority. My goal is to actually get up the moment my alarm goes off and take 30 minutes to read before starting my day and an hour before going to bed. This way I start and end my day relaxed. Again, what does this have to do with my TBR? Well, I have created a very ambitious TBR so that I can force myself to take a break. I never do monthly TBR, the only one I do are for week-long unofficial read-a-thon, and I never usually finish it. If I’m going to be honest, I’m probably not going to get anywhere near close to this one but that isn’t going to stop me from trying. I got lots of short books and books I know I will not be able to put down. This month is also emojiathon I thought it would be cool to create my TBR using these challenges. Emojiathon is a monthlong read-a-thon where the challenges are based on emojis. I’ve always wanted to participate on an official read-a-thon and this one sounds like such fun which is why this is the perfect one Anyway, the video down below should explain all the information of the emojiathon including the hosts and challenges. I must say this is a bit of a lengthy post but bear with me. I promise it will be an interesting one.

VIDEO

Let’s start by naming the challenges I will be following. There are 14 books which is 3x the amount of books I would normally read in a month but between some being short, listening to some on audiobooks and the fact that there are books I know I won’t be able to put down I think I can complete at least 6. By the time I wrote this post I have completed one and started some but I’m going to leave those updates to twitter. I have made a thread where I’m going to try to update whenever I have new info or have finished books. I decided not to do a wrap up on here since I’ll be talking about the same books I mentioned here and for that there are Instagram and Twitter. You should totally follow me.

  1. 💓 Read a book by a favorite author
  2. 🍺 Read a book that takes place in college
  3. ⭐ Read a five stars predicted read
  4. 👀 Read a book you’ve been seeing everywhere
  5. 🏳️‍🌈 Read a diverse book
  6. 🌎 Read a book that takes place somewhere other than where you live
  7. 🎧 Listen to an audiobook
  8. 😱 Read a scary book
  9. 💯 Read a book that’s less than 100 pages
  10. ⏲️ Read a book in 24 hrs
  11. ✊ Read a book about a social justice topic
  12. 🌈 Read a book with your favorite color on the cover
  13. 😅 Read a book you said you were going to read but never did
  14. 📚 Freebie! Read whatever book you want

 

You are probably wondering why there are 15 challenges and 14 books and that’s ‘cause one of the book counts for two challenges.

1) Read a book by a favorite author 💓

I accidentally chose 4 Victoria Schwab’s book for this month TBR. I mean after Vicious she has become one of my favorite authors and I want to read most of her books. So, why not use books I’m sure I’ll love to get my reading motivation back and make sure I stay on track? For the first challenge, I am reading A Gathering of Shadows. This is the second book in her Darker Shade of Magic trilogy. The first book was a bit of a slow start for me compared to Vicious that hooked me from page one but after a couple of pages, it got so good but like so good. I had already started this book as a library loan but at that moment I had so many library loans that I had to read so I was only able to read around 50 pages out of 512. It took me a second to get into it but as soon as I realized what was happening I was in love. Of course, that was the same day I had to return it to the library but such is life.

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2) Read a book that takes place in college🍺

To continue with this very Schwabtastic TBR we got a reread. You might be thinking oh no and let me tell ya oh yes. I am rereading for the second time this year Vicious. I know, I know. I talk about this book in almost every single post, but can you blame me? It’s an amazing book! I actually have a review and you should check it out. So, Vicious is set between past and present. The past is when Victor and Eli are friends in college so a big part of this book, I dare to say half of it, is set in college. I was planning on rereading this book anyway because Vengeful, the sequel, comes out this month so it’s a win-win. Of course, I’m not excited at all.

giphy

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3) Read a five stars predicted read ⭐Seeing how much I loved Vicious and continuing with this month TBR, that should be called the Victoria Schwab read-a-thon TBR, this answer should not surprise you. I just know that Vengeful will be a 5 stars read. I am not ready. I am not okay. I need it already it! My birthday is this month so if you by any chance want to get it for me for my birthday I will not be opposed to that. I don’t know how those that read it when it first came out are okay because it’s been a couple of months for me and I’m definitely not okay. I mean I do believe that it’s an unnecessary sequel but that isn’t stopping me from wanting it with all my heart soul.

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4) Read a book you’ve been seeing everywhere 👀

5) Read a diverse book 🏳️‍🌈

For these challenges I got, The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan. I’ve seen this book everywhere and everyone seems to be giving it five stars. This book is magical realism which is a genre I don’t think I’ve ever touched and I’m pretty excited. I was actually on the library waitlist for this book for months now and my turn is finally here, and by that I mean in 1 to 2 weeks, making the timing perfect. I love contemporaries that deal with hard topics and even though this is magical realism, it is close enough for me. This fits the diverse challenge because the main character is half Asian. Honestly, I just can’t wait to dive into this book.

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  1. A book set somewhere other than where you live 🌎

For me, this is the easiest challenge of all because I live in Puerto Rico therefore 99.9% of the books I read are set somewhere else. But Puerto Rico is a United State colony and I am a US citizen so I thought it would be fun to try a little harder and read a book that isn’t set in the USA. That’s that’s why I choose The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee. This book is set in Europe. The main characters are doing a year-long grand tour all over Europe. I actually discussed this topic in my History of Art class and I thought it was really interesting making this book an automatic buy. I’ve heard it has a very diverse cast and that it’s hilarious so it sounds like the perfect match. I actually started this book yesterday and so far I’m really enjoying it but I am not too deep yet so I can’t say too much. Stay tuned to my tweets for details.

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  1. Listen to an audiobook 🎧

You thought I was done with Schwab, but you were so wrong. I love audiobooks, I really do, so I’m always listening to at least one. That is why this is the second easiest challenge because it’s just an excuse to do something I normally would do—I was actually planning on listening to three other books from this list—I’m done with two. I own tons of audiobooks so I got plenty of options but because of who I am as a person I decided to not listen/read those but choose a book that just came out and that is City of Ghost by the amazing, the fantastic Victoria Schwab. This is a middle-grade book which is a genre I’m usually into but the synopsis is calling me and knowing who wrote it makes sure I’ll love it. I would say I haven’t read a ghost story in a while, if ever, but last week I finished Invisible Ghost by Robyn Schneider so I guess it wouldn’t be true. But before I read that book the statement could apply.

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8. Read a scary book 😱

  1. Thanks to Amazon I got a collection of scary books/audiobooks, that I can choose from and all of them are under 100 pages. I thought I should follow Lala’s, from BooksAndLala, advice and read a short one or in this case, listen to a short. I was looking for a scary book that would fit that category thought Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie by Harold Schechter would be a perfect one. This is a nonfiction so it isn’t really scary unless the thoughts of serial killers freaks you out. I mean I don’t get scared easily when it comes to books and movies and if I really wanted to challenge myself I would’ve chosen a book that would actually scare me, I’m looking at you Brick Slayer, but I’m not about that life. Since It’s under two hours I actually listened to and finished, it yesterday while cleaning. But I’ll talk more about it on my Twitter.

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  1. Read a book that’s less than 100 pages 💯

Another short book ‘cause why not? These are books I’ve been wanting to read and if they fit the challenge then why not use them? For a book under 100 pages, I got the novella or short story, not sure which the right category, The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo. This book is set in the grishaverse but you don’t have to have to read those books to read this one. This book is 54 pages long. I already read like 10 pages which are not enough for me to count it as cheating. I also already finished this book as an audiobook.

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  1. Read a book in 24 hrs ⏲️

I am a fan of the webcomic Sarah’s Scribbles so when I saw that the Kindle version of Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen was under $5 I knew I had to get it. I was planning on reading a poetry book for this challenge but I hate reading a poetry book in a day. I prefer to read it little by little. If I’m honest I was probably going to read this in a sitting anyway because it’s so short and hilarious. I just know I’m going to reread it over and over again. I also need the physical copy and the other books in this series.

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Well, those are the books I was originally going to read but because life happens I added four more.

  1. Read a book about a social justice topic 

I still wanted to read the poetry book The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace just not in a day. Looking for a challenge that would fit it I found this one. This book does deal with social justice since it deals with the way women are treated by society. It’s a topic I am very passionate about and a book I have already started. So far so good.

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  1. Read a book with your favorite color on the cover 🌈

This one is tricky because the version with the color is not the original but I think it’s the cover of an edition on a different language. Still, I am still using it. The color is black. I wasn’t planning on reading this book at all but my dad got it for me and wants me to read it before the movie comes out so I guess I’m doing it. I’m going to try to read it in a day so I won’t get behind with the rest of the reads. This is another middle grade and I’m honestly a mix between intrigued and meh about it. That book is The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs.

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  1. Read a book you said you were going to read but never did 😅

This is another book I wasn’t planning on reading. I’m going to listen to City of Ghost on Scribd and there the book doesn’t come out until the September 3 and since I had listened to my two other audiobooks on this list I was in great need of another. I don’t like cleaning without an audiobook so I looked through the challenges and the audiobooks I own and decided on this one, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. On cleaning days I go through audiobooks so fast like today I listen to The Witch of Duva and over 6 hrs of this one. I’m expecting to be able to finish this and City of Ghost before the month ends. I saw this book on Walgreens on June and ever since I couldn’t stop thinking about it, but it’s the kind of book you say you want to read but never actually buy. It wasn’t until there was a 2 for 1 sale on Audible that I got it and so far I’m loving it.

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  1. Freebie! Read whatever book you want 📚

This book I discovered thanks to Twitter. Different authors were talking about how did you know that a book was written by them and I saw her tweet and I got instantly curious. The book is Odd Spirits by S.T. Gibson. The book is It’s 70 pages and $2.99 so I don’t have much to lose. Plus this way I get to support a self-published writer. I have high hopes for this book.

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Well, that is my Emojiathon TBR which I know is very ambitious but it’s better to die trying than to not try at all or as Lilah Bard would say “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.I am very excited to read all of these books, so the motivation should be there. Thank you for reading this really long post. I hope you enjoyed it and…

HAPPY READING!