My Blackathon TBR

It’s time to uplift and celebrate our black family!

Happy Black History Month pic 2.png

 

         Hey guys! I is back with a new post. It’s been so long so it means I’m already failing my bookish goals but I wrote four posts and wasn’t happy with any of them so choosing one and editing it took forever but you’re not here for that. You are here to know about my blackathon TBR. I’m so excited for blackathon. I think this is the most excited I’ve ever been for a readathon and that is because on my search for books that would fit these challenges I discovered some that I can’t wait to get into. There a lot more books that I wanted to include, that I also discovered, but there are only so many books that I can read in a month.

     This readathon has six challenges but I will only be talking about the five challenges where a book needs to be chosen. The other challenge will be mentioned but will be completed on my February wrap up. Now let’s focus on the actual TBR. My TBR for blackathon, which is now a month long, has seven books, so two more than the number of challenges that require a book, but for some of these I couldn’t just choose one book. I’m not saying I will read these seven books because that might be too much for me but these are the books I chose for these challenges. Basically, this is not so much a TBR set in stone but rather a list of options. 

Now let’s talk about the TBR. This read-a-thon was created and is hosted by three lovely persons and those are

1) Feel the love: read a book (any genre) featuring a romance between two black people (or one black person + a person of color)

    For this challenge, I got Let’s Talk about Love by Claire Kann. I choose this book because the main character is black and the love interest is Japanese-American. So, it’s not a romance between two black persons but it does fit because the romance is between a black woman and a boy who’s a person of color. It also fits my bookish goals for 2019 since the main character is asexual and biromantic. Her asexuality is actually what got me interested in it in the first place. I really want to read more books about asexuality so that I can have a better understanding of it plus we need to support our asexual family. It’s one of my goals in life to read at least one book of every label under the queer umbrella and support queer authors which is why I said I was going to read a queer book a month so yeah this one applies. It’s also really diverse as I believe her best friends are very important characters and are in an interracial relationship (Feenie is white and Ryan is Filipino.) But I am a bit nervous ’cause I’m not the biggest fan of romance in books. And there’s also the fact that I’ve heard some not so good things about this book which just makes me even more nervous, but I do try to not let others people opinions stop me from reading the ones I want.

     I decided to listen to the audiobook because in my experience they’re a great way to finish books that you’re not into. This means that it’s one of the books I’ll actually hopefully finish.

Let’s Talk About Love is about a girl whose girlfriend recently broke up with her after she confessed she was asexual. Then while working at the library she meets Takumi and as you expect romance (probably) ensues.

2) Wakanda Forever: read a graphic novel or comic with a black or African main character.

     For this one, I had a hard time choosing. I’m avoiding buying books just because they fit this read-a-thon’s challenges so finding one that I was interested in and either own or could find at my library was a bit of a struggle. But after a little research, I found one that caught my attention and that is Malcolm X: a graphic biography by Andrew Helfer (writer) and Randy DuBurke (illustrator). I’ve been trying to get into nonfiction and I think graphic novels—can you call them “novels” if they’re nonfiction?—are a great way to ease myself into it. I’m also really curious about who Malcolm X was ’cause I literally have no idea. I mean I know he was an important figure during the civil rights movement and that people either love him or hate him but apart from that I know absolutely nothing. I am so scared AND excited to read this book that I’m purposely ignoring the Goodreads reviews.

3) Hear Us: any work by a black or African author

     For this challenge, I chose Becoming by Michelle Obama. I don’t know why I haven’t read this book because God do I want to. I actually decided to go the audiobook route because it’s narrated by her and, this might sound a little weird, I love her voice. I love when books, especially nonfiction, are narrated by the author so this hypes me up but it’s just so long! It’s 19 hours long!!! I mean, I love audiobooks so it’s not like I’ll force myself to do something I don’t want to do but Jesus this is going to take me FOREVER to read/listen to. But it’s time I get to it and this readathon will be the perfect way to force myself to read it. Since this book is a memoir I don’t think an explanation is needed. 

And because choosing just one book was too hard, I also chose Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀. This book is about a couple that met in college who’s trying to have a kid. Everyone expected the husband to have multiple wives but they had decided that polygamy wasn’t for them. But all that changes when a couple of years into their marriage her family appears with a young woman who’s meant to be her husband’s second wife. Then the main character finally gets pregnant and there’s jealousy, drama, and all those things fun to read about. I think that description is enough for me not explain why I want to read it.

4) Feel the Beat. Spoken word: listen to these 4 poems and share your favorite on social media or with a friend. Discuss what this poem means to you and why it matters.

Balaenoptera by Joshua Brandon Bennett 

What I’ve Learned by Aja Monet

“Waiting” by Jasmine Mans, Alysia Harris, and Jennah Bell 

Cuz He’s Black by Javon Johnson 

5) More than Color: we house a complexity within us. Read a book starring an intersectional black character (black and queer, black and neurodivergent, black and disable)

     For this one, there are also two books I want to read. Will I get to both books? Maybe or maybe I won’t be able to get to them at all. The first one I got is Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith. To describe this poetry collection I’m going to quote the Goodreads synopsis “Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood and a diagnosis of HIV positive.” I am so ready for this book. It’s poetry and I’m not sure if it’s modern poetry which makes me a little nervous since I’m the worst at reading poetry but my body is still ready for it.

     The second book I chose for this challenge is Freshwater by Akwaeke Emez. THIS BOOK!!! When I heard about what this book was about I was like TAKE MY MONEY but thankfully my library had it so it wasn’t necessary. It just sounds so interesting. This book is about a Nigerian woman who develops split personalities “as a result of being born ‘with one foot on the other side’” and how after a trauma these personalities start taking control of her body while she “ fades into the background of her own mind and these selves.” Do I have to say more? I honestly love to read books from authors that aren’t American because their take on life is so divergent which makes their stories completely distinct to the ones I’m used to reading. It’s fascinating. This year I want to read more books written by non-American authors. Originally, this wasn’t on my bookish goals but I am adding it now.

6) In this together: read the group book

     It was about damn time I read this book. I am an expert at buying new releases only to completely ignore them and read them months, if not years, later. This one is not the exception. It’s another book I’ve been so excited about yet I’ve never gotten myself to read, and that book is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I haven’t heard a single negative thing about this book which both scares me and hypes me up. This book is about an afro-latina young girl with very strict religious parents that discovers slam poetry and uses it as a way to escape the world.

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     Well, that is my Blackathon TBR and basically also my February TBR. Wish me luck! I hope I’ve motivated you to participate in this readathon ‘cause I am so hyped. I can’t wait for February to get here ‘cause every book on this list sounds so effing good. Are you participating in blackathon? What’s on you February TBR? Comment down below. Thank you for reading and

HAPPY READINGS!

 

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Bookish Goals for 2019

Hey-o! I is back with a new post. Today I’m going to be talking about my bookish goals for this year. I know I’m a bit late for that but if you follow me on Twitter you know recently one of my dogs was killed. She was with us for 13 years and was my baby. So I did not feel like writing. But I am feeling better now and ready to get back on track. Since this post is lengthy I should stop talking and go on with the post.

These goals are divided between reading related and blog related. I’m starting with reading related.

1. Read 24 books and 5 audiobooks.

Even though in 2018 I read quite a lot of books (around 105) my goal was just to read 24 books and to listen to 5 audiobooks. This year I decided to give myself the same goal. If I give myself a higher number I will feel obligated to reach it and reading will be less about enjoying it and more about reaching that number. The number of books I read a year varies between 20 to 100 so I don’t want to force myself to reach a goal that might not be attainable. Yes, I have quite a long TBR but all I want to do is just motivate myself to try to read at least 2 books a month and to listen to 5 audiobooks a year. I don’t know how busy I’ll be during the year so setting a goal of over 29 books is not the right decision. I just need a gentle push to read so I won’t forget to do something I love. More than just a gentle push will be stressful and not good for my mental health. If I read 50 books then great, the same with 75 and 100, but I’m happy with just 29. HECK, I’m even happy with 12 books. All I want to do is to read for pleasure. The idea is to read because I need to take some time to unwind and reading is perfect for that.

2. Read every day

Talking about unwinding I really want to read every day. It could be 15 minutes or an hour a day but I need to take some time to relax. I am always so anxious, stressed, and hyper-focused on things like college that I put my mental health on the back burner which turns into my mental health declining fast. By forcing myself to read every day I am forcing myself to take some me time, some time to just relax and focus on myself.

3. Read more broadly

I love YA books but lately, I’ve been reading more adult books and guess what, I’ve found my two all-time favorite books. This is why this year I want to read more broadly but not just more diverse in the age range but with subgenres (sci-fi, contemporaries, classics, etc). I usually don’t read sci-fi but both my favorite series and my favorite book ever are sci-fi. My point is that I want to give other genres a try. I especially want to give classics a chance. I’m not going to say I hate classics but I strongly dislike them. Still, there are a couple of classics that are calling me and I think I should give them an opportunity. My theory is that since I’m not reading it for class and I don’t have to dissect them I might actually enjoy them.

4. Read books by small and/or independent authors

Just because an author isn’t well known or is a self-published it doesn’t mean that their work isn’t good. Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe proved that to me. I gotta say that that book was one of my favorite books that I read in 2018. So this year as a goal I want to give books by small and/or independent authors a chance.

5. Read more books by diverse authors

You know what I find ironic? We read and support diverse books but we don’t support diverse authors. Why is this? We ask for more diverse books but when it’s one by a diverse (usually smaller) author we don’t support it. This doesn’t make sense but it’s true and it also applies to me as a reader. I mean Becky Albertalli is known for her queer books yet I believe she isn’t queer herself! Yes, yes, we should applause authors that aren’t afraid to write books with diverse characters but what better way to hear stories but from own voices authors. That’s why I want to support authors that are queer, that are of color, that have a different culture and/or religion, that have disabilities, that are minorities, and/or just generally diverse.

6. Read more queer books

* I know this was mentioned in the former goal but I have a reason for the repetition of this subcategory. *

How is it that I am a queer woman yet I barely read queer books myself? It doesn’t make sense! Well, this year I want to try to read at least one queer book a month, therefore the repetition of this subcategory, especially those with lesbians character. I personally feel—keyword feel—that when it comes to queer books lesbians are barely represented. This hurts ’cause I am a lesbian myself and I want to see myself in a book. Still, in general, I want to read books with characters that identify with every label under this umbrella term. I can’t expect authors to write queer characters if I don’t support books with them. I started this month with the right foot and I’m hoping I’ll continue this trend.

7. Buy fewer books

2018 was a crazy year when it came to book buying. I could use the excuse that most book blogger and booktubers buy a lot more books than me but that doesn’t change the fact that I need to stop. I do not have the kind of money or space for that many books. But when it comes to the times I actually want to buy books I want to focus on buying more Kindle books. WHY ARE THEY SO EXPENSIVE THOUGH?! UGH! But even with Kindle books, I need to reduce the number of books I buy because the problem with them is that I always forget most of them even exist since I’m constaltly looking at them the way I do physical books. To reach this goal on my bullet journal (ish) I made a page so I can track the books I buy each month and on this excel sheet, made by Portal in the Pages I am tracking the books I buy and the price. That way at the end of the year I can see how much I spent on books on an average month.

8. Read physical books

I mentioned before that I don’t have the space for more books and it’s true. I only have one bookshelf and it’s full to the point that if you try to take out a book the whole thing shakes. The problem is that I don’t have the space for another one, therefore the whole buying more Kindle books. But even when I forget most of the ebooks that I own I still mostly read these because it’s cause it’s easier on my eyes but this year that needs to change. It’s not that I’ll read mostly printed books because that ain’t my thing but I just want to read more of those so the number of physical books I buy vs the number of the ones I read will be somehow balanced.

9. Read more sequels 

If you know me you know that I am THE WORSE at actually continuing and finishing series. This applies to tv shows, movies, and books. I usually either a) focus on the other shiny new books and forget to continue them, b) forget what happened but don’t feel like rereading the one before and/or c) get bored of them and instead start new series. That really needs to stop. I want to mostly focus on good series and series I have the sequels for. How is it that at the moment I finish a book I usually need to know what happened next but as soon as I have the opportunity I just pretend that book even exist? I was telling my friend about it and realized I could only count like 5 book series I actually finished and most of those were series I read like 10 years ago. So, I want to continue those unfinished series and try to start the least amount of new series as possible. This will be really hard though ’cause lately most of the books I’ve read have sequels or out of nowhere the author suddenly decides to write an unnecessary one.

10. Stop being afraid of big books

I used to read big books left and right. This was especially easy when it was a Kindle book and I didn’t have to look at the size but now when I look at them I just think of all the other smaller books I can read with the time that it takes me to read a big one. But considering the number of big books I want to read this year—hello A Song of Ice and Fire series—I definitely I need to lose the fear and get to it. I’m sure that by the time this year ends I’ll be reading them like they’re nothing but in the meantime, I need to actually try.

11. Read backlist books

Guess who just discovered this word. So, this doesn’t apply to me much because I’m an expert at buying new releases and then reading them years later but I still want to try it. The catch is that apart from 2018 releases I want to try to read all the books on my TBR that were released before 2018 ’cause otherwise it would be too easy.

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     Well, those are my reading-related goals for 2019. Now let’s start with the blog related 2019 goals.

12.  Post weekly on my blog

Now this one of the two blog-related goals is the most important one. I want to post every week. I was a fail at it last year and I started on the wrong foot this year but I really really really want to post weekly. I have enough ideas that I can do it yet I rarely do that. I know that for a blogger once a week is not enough but I always feel so overwhelmed with everything I do and my mental health is always getting in the way so most of the time it feels impossible. I am such a perfectionist that posting once a week is draining enough especially ’cause I never feel like they’re good enough. Now this year I will try my best to post weekly even if I feel like life is getting in the way unless what’s getting in the way is my mental health then if I truly feel unable to I won’t.

13. Write more reviews

Talking about enough content I really want to post more reviews. I rarely write reviews and when I do it’s usually about books I love but I really want to change that. I mean I’m not going to start writing reviews of books I hate just so I can bash on them but I want to also talk about books that were just good or okay. The reason I barely write reviews is that I don’t feel like I’m good at it. I can’t talk about the writing style or about world building because I never notice those things. All I care about when I read a book is if I like the characters and the story. But I still want to give it a try so this new year I will try my best to post more reviews.

14. Be more active on the book blogger community

I think it’s funny how I’m a blogger but don’t really take time of my day to support other small bloggers. Well, this year that will change. I want to be more active in this community and even maybe make some new friends. That being said please leave below links to other small bookish blogs, preferably WordPress one since it makes it easier for me, ’cause I don’t follow enough and I really want to do this.

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Well, those are my bookish goals for 2019. What are some of yours? I hope you enjoyed this post and

HAPPY READINGS!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Review

     Hey-o! I is back with a review that might gain me a lot of enemies and that is of the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I am the unpopular opinion when it comes to this book. I did not hate it, I actually enjoyed but it was a 3 stars read for me. I just have a few problems with it. This review is long enough without this intro so let’s just go on with the post.

15749186-1.jpgTitle: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance…

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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Disclaimer: This was a reread.

     I always go into books hoping, imploring, that it won’t be a copy of other books or that at least it won’t be completely predictable. This book, sadly, was both. If it wasn’t because they changed the synopsis since I first read it I would say that by reading the synopsis you could predict the whole the story. I guess that’s the reason for the change. When 90% of the stories on Wattpad are the same as your book, you know your book is one more of the same. I get it, I really do, this book is a romcom and romcom books tend to follow the same equation. Why? Because people love it. I mean look at the ratings of this book ON GOODREADS (!!!) versus the rating of other romcoms—or romance books in general—that are original or just different. I mean I don’t want to sound hateful because I don’t hate it, but that’s just what I believe are facts. Like I said I don’t hate it, it was still a fun read and I still enjoyed it, I just wish it wasn’t so based on your typical tropes and instead was more original.

     BUT I must give credit where credit is due and there were some things that were more on the original side and those are: 1) the fact that she was biracial and 2) the family dynamic. Even though things are finally changing romcoms are still predominantly white and spoiler alert not everyone on this planet is white and people of color also deserve love stories. Here we have a half Korean and half white main character and a father that even though he isn’t Korean is still supportive of her Asian side. He’s constantly trying to make sure they’re still in contact with their Korean side and for that I applaud him

     Talking about her dad I loved the family dynamic. I believe that in YA books parents tend to be nonexistent. The parents that are existent are usually not involved in their kids’ life, are abusive, or are too busy to pay attention to their kids. But here we have a dad that cares and that tries to be part of his daughters’ life. He is part of the story, he is in the picture, and even though he was really busy he was always trying to be involved. He actually wanted and tried to be part of their life.

     Since we are talking about Lara Jean and her sisters I must say I loved their relationship. It wasn’t perfect but no relationship ever is. Like every sister relationship, they had their fights and moments they annoyed each other but they loved each other, took care of each other, forgave each other, and were there for each and at the end that’s what really matters.

     The characters of this story weren’t perfect but, who is? Which is why I can almost forgive them all. But there are some things that I cannot forgive and one of those things is how Lara Jean was treated by the love interests. I hate how she allowed this. Lara Jean, you deserve to be treated better. Don’t settle for less, boo. Both love interests acted like_insert curse word here_, they were extremely possessive of her and had the wrong reasons for wanting her. I won’t give too much information because I want to avoid spoilers at all cost but trust me they did.

     As you can expect from a romance novel with a love triangle there’s a relationship that is developing and one that is trying to, and in my opinion, both of the ones presented on this story were very toxic, especially the main one. As I mentioned before the love interests were_insert curse word here_and extremely possessive, especially the main one. He gets jealous over every single thing yet he pulls some shitty moves on her. If she was the one doing those things he would flip. If I was her I would not believe his bs and I would not let him do it again and again just because he apologized and gave her an excuse. Yes, maybe the excuse is valid, assuming he wasn’t lying, but how was she supposed to know if he didn’t tell her? There was a lack of communication. Every problem in this trilogy would be avoided if there were good communication—I know because I made my friend tell me what happened on the sequels. That way instead of doing things behind the each others’ back, getting jealous without knowing the whole story, and starting fights over stupid things, they would have a healthy relationship where they would actually talk about the things that bother them. Communication should be one of the pillars of a relationship, why is that so hard to understand? Another thing that bothers me is that even though the main love interest was “falling in love” with Lara Jean he was still pulling some shitty moves on her which makes me question how “in love” he truly was. Honestly, I just think the whole thing was toxic af.

     Another thing that bothered me was how the main love interest is supposed to be a bad boy but I really didn’t see it. What part of him made him a bad boy? He was just a guy that was constantly worried about how others saw him and tried to make people think he was a bad boy, a ladies man which made no sense at all ’cause nothing about him screams bad boy or ladies man. This just made him pull certain moves that I consider are part of what made the relationship toxic. He cared more about keeping this image than he did about Lara Jean. He didn’t even care about her image unless it affected him. Lara Jean is so naïve like, how can someone be so naïve?!

     I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of the story but I can see the appeal. I can see why people would choose to ignore these things. It was a fun story and definitely one of those stories people die over. I don’t get why people love these kinds of stories but they do and, who I am to judge? So even though it seemed that all I did was trash talk the book, I still really enjoyed it. I would totally recommend to those hopeless romantics that like this type of stories. Overall, I enjoyed, it gave me a month-long reading slump, but I really enjoyed it and will definitely give the movie a try.

Rating:

5-stars-png-no-background-4-e1541710494254.25

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Well, I hope you enjoyed this review and don’t hate me too much for it. Happy holidays and

HAPPY READING!

Festive Christmas Book Tag

Hey-o! I is back! I am done with finals, I am officially emotionally, physically, mentally rested, and I am now ready to post every week. Today is Christmas Eve and I thought what better way to celebrate it than with a Christmas book tag. Now I must warn you I am the worse at doing book tags but I will try my best. Here I am linking the original better in case you’re interested in it. Now let’s start with the post.

1) A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with?

Now, I am going to be a basic bitch and use the same answer everyone else has used and that it the Weasleys family. I mean, how can you not want to? They’re fun, loving, caring, hilarious, and a big family. Their parents actually care versus a lot of parents in other books and they just seem like such a great family to be part of. IF I have to choose a different family I guess the second option that comes to my head is Lara Jean’s family from the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I think her last name is Covey so the Covey family. Her dad might be always busy because of his job but he always try to be there for them, he cares about them, and doesn’t want them to forget/ignore their mother’s culture and family. I mean he’s just so nice and honestly, I wouldn’t mind having sisters like Lara Jean’s.

2) A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

Well, do you mean apart from a new Kindle e-reader? Mine keeps acting up 😦 Apart from that I would LOVE to get bookmarks since I collect them. This is a very practical gift because since I’m always reading multiple books at the same time I always run out of bookmarks PLUS I like to put them on my bookshelf as decorations. BUT the one thing I want the most, something I truly want, is people’s favorite books. Yes, yes I would love to get books in general especially those from my TBR but there’s just something about someone gifting you their favorite book. It’s like they’re giving you a piece of their soul especially if they write a note saying why is their favorite one.

3) A fictional character you think would make a perfect Christmas elf?

Jeez, this one is a hard one considering how I always forget details about books, including characters, pretty much the moment after I’m done with them BUT I think for this one I would have to say Dr. Rose Franklin and the unnamed man from The Themis FIles trilogy, also known as the Sleeping Giants trilogy. Both of these characters are constantly working in the search for the truth and they never seem to rest. Like elves, they don’t seem able to take a break from working until they achieve their goals.

4) Match a book to it’s perfect Christmas song.

Ah! Why must they do this to me? I think I have one but I’m scared it’ll be a spoiler. So after ten minutes of looking at my Goodreads reading challenge list, I think I have two that fits perfectly a Christmas song without spoiling it and those are Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli & When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. Considering these are romance novels I think why I chose All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey is pretty self-explanatory. I mean I’m pretty sure everyone by this point has watched Love, Simon which is the movie inspired of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and if you don’t know the book When Dimple Met Rishi then I insist you go and check it out.

5) Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you’ve been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

Spoilers, spoilers, so many spoilers. Okay, so my final answer is Nikolai from The Crown’s Game but specifically on him on the sequel The Crown’s Fate. I won’t say why because SPOILERS so you just read it and figure it out.

6) A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserve to be put on the nice list?

I mean the book is literally about her but I think she deserves more recognition which why for this question I chose Amanda Hardy from If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. I mean she was such an amazing character and I don’t get why people don’t talk about her. Actually, the whole book needs to be hyped because I haven’t heard anyone mentioned it before and the only reason I discovered it was because I saw it at a bookstore. Now as soon as you finish reading this post, do yourself a favor and go get this book or at least look it up.

7) Red, Gold, and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully Christmasy feel to it.

I mean part of me wants to answer with a Christmas themed book but the one I have in mind doesn’t even feel Christmasy. I honestly can’t think of a book that isn’t Harry Potter and even that one isn’t that Christmasy. I mean gun to my head if I had to choose I guess I would choose George by Alex Gino. The reason why I chose this one is that even with its sad parts this book truly feels like a fluffy read and I love reading fluffy books on Christmas.

8) A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

Oh, this one is definitely my favorite question of this tag. I have two answers for this one. The first one is Vicious by V.E. Schwab. This is my favorite book ever. I literally just finished reading it for the third time last night—and that’s only ’cause I discovered it this year—. I just love the characters, the fact that everyone is a villain, I love the things about society that are questioned, I love how entertaining and action-packed is, I just love everything about this book, and overall it’s just such a fantastic read. I definitely would love to force everyone to read it. My second answer is every book in The Themis Files trilogy by Sylvain Neuvel, which like I mentioned before is also known as the Sleeping Giants trilogy, but I specifically would want the to listen to the audiobooks. It’s just such an amazing series. I’m not much of a sci-fi reader but I truly adored this series. The characters, the story, the suspense, everything about this series is amazing and the audiobooks are top notch. We got sound effects, a full cast, and real acting—screams and all—which will keep you at the edge of your seat. The second book on this series, Waking Gods, is definitely fighting Vicious for the number one spot.

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Well, that was my Festive Christmas Book Tag. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays may you have an amazing day, week and rest of month.

HAPPY READINGS!

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!

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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