April Wrap Up (part 2)

Let’s play a guessing game! Who wants to guess how many books I read this month that I did not mark as read/review on goodreads? No, seriously, I want you to guess. Let me know in the comments! (hint: it’s a lot). Anyways, here we are in May already, this year is zipping by! We’re already 1/3 of the year??? How??? Anyways, let’s see what I’ve been reading this month.

~What I Read~

Long story short, I read an adequate amount of books at the beginning of the month and then I went on vacation and read 2 contemporary books in 3 days and then on that vacation, I picked up a fantasy and…I’m still reading it…so basically I think I need to read more realistic fiction/contemporary so please if you have any recs, let me know in the comments!
Also, I’m going to apologize in advance for the weird image formatting that you might see (image sizes being off) because I don’t know, my image sizing is being weird so I’m going by eye what looks good!

A Wish in the Dark: Soontornvat, Christina: 9781536204940: Amazon.com: Books
Scary Stories for Young Foxes: Heidicker, Christian McKay, Wu, Junyi:  9781250181428: Amazon.com: Books
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
  • A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat. I really enjoyed this book! It had a super interesting world, where light was extremely important and the governor controlled all of it, and it had an awesome plot, too! I feel like the pacing was off a little bit near the end but overall it was super good! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker. This was a reread, because I’m trying to write a short story that is horror (it’s not going well for anyone who wants to know) and it was good as well! Maybe it’s because I’m not the target audience but it wasn’t that scary, but I still really enjoyed it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas. I loved Thomas’s debut, Cemetery Boys, and had high hopes for this one, too. But, unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I enjoyed CB. It was definitely still an interesting book, but I think that my own expectations got the better of me, here. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Gilded Ones (9781984848697): Forna, Namina: Books
Amazon.com: Parachutes (9780062941084): Yang, Kelly: Books
Amazon.com: Amelia Unabridged: A Novel (9781250253026): Schumacher, Ashley:  Books
  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. This book, at the beginning, was sort of boring. I mean, all she was doing was running around battling. But I did enjoy the worldbuilding and the story near the end, plus the friendships. I haaaaated the romance though. I’m truly conflicted on this one so I’m giving it 3.5 stars which I rarely do ⭐⭐⭐.5
  • Parachutes by Kelly Yang. This book was super eye opening, with an excellent plot that centered around sexual harrassment and raising awareness about that. There were a few minor things I didn’t like but they didn’t affect the plot overall so it was still a very good book! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher. This book was a nice and easy read! That’s the problem. It’s a book about grief, her best friend dies and she goes off and falls in love. Not saying that you can’t fall in love it’s just really weird to me how light this book was despite the topic. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Wide Starlight (9780593116227): Lesperance, Nicole: Books
Amazon.com: Sweet & Bitter Magic (9781534453852): Tooley, Adrienne: Books
Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, 1): Alston, B.  B.: 9780062975164: Amazon.com: Books
  • The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance. This book was interesting, it kept me reading but there were a few things that I didn’t like. It was also confusing at times, as it seemed to be a mix of fairytale and real life and that’s not exactly my favorite genre. Plus, there did appear to be a few times where things were way to easy (ex at the end with the ring). ⭐⭐⭐.5
  • Sweet And Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley. This was an interesting book and it had a cool concept but overall it was a very meh book. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston. This was a super awesome middle grade book, it was written well, there was magic, there was so many things including important parts about how Amari is treated differently just because of the color of her skin and where she lives. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett: 9781984829986 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books
Amazon.com: Picture Us In The Light (9781484726020): Loy Gilbert, Kelly:  Books
  • Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett. I loved this book, it really taught me a lot about HIV and shows really how much stigma there is around it that shouldn’t be there. The characters were amazing, the storytelling was amazing, the plot was amazing…it was all amazing! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert. I found this book off of May’s personalized recommendations and I was going on a vacation so I was like, ‘I’ll get it for vacation.’ And I read it and it was REALLY GOOD. Once again, I must know: how do authors write books that are just about…people’s normal lives…and yet they’re still very interesting? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

~The Monthly Book Awards~

Alright everyone, I am sorry to say that I am, for now, discontinuing my Monthly Book Awards. I think they were a fun idea at first but more and more they’re getting less fun to write and more something that I’m not looking forwards to doing in my wrap ups. I’m super sorry and if anyone wants to know my favorite character/plot/worldbuilding/book/etc., please ask in the comments! I’m totally fine with answering there, it’s just….something about the formatting…or writing the entire thing in a post…or something that was really being a pain for me. I love all the support I’ve gotten in the past about the monthly book awards and I’m very sad to see them go, they’re just not enjoyable for me to write anymore and I’m hoping that getting rid of them will fix at least part of the blogging burnout I’ve been going through. I’ve been looking through the comments that you all have written and I’m really sorry to have to get rid of these since I know a lot of people really like them! To check out past monthly book awards, go look at some of my other wrap ups, including my most recent one, my March Wrap up.

TBRs

For the record, I read exactly 0 of the books that I said I would read in April for my April TBR so I’m just not going to do one this month (I entirely forgot I even owned books I hadn’t read yet…oops…)

~Monthly Bingo~

The Monthly Bingo is created by A Colorful Bibliophile so please head over there and give her some love because it’s an amazing idea! You can find April’s bingo board here.
Here’s this month’s board! (I didn’t get bingo 😭)

And that’s it for this month’s wrap up! I hope that you enjoyed reading and thank you so much for stopping by! Take a guess at how many books you think I’ve read but not marked on goodreads (and I’m not even going to say no peeking because if you really go into that much effort to get the answer correct, you deserve it honestly). Also, SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME REALISTIC FICTION RECS BECAUSE I NEED THEM. Seriously, even if you have already recommended the book to me, write it in the comments because I it helps keep me more organized to have a bunch of recs in one place (by ‘organized’ I mean I’ll just look in the comments for book recs but not actually put those recs anywhere else ie on goodreads).
As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a marvelous May!

Enola Holmes Book Tag

Hey, everyone! I’m doing yet another tag this week because first of all I have a whole lot that I need to do and second of all I completely forgot about posting anything until today and I’m going on vacation today (I dont’ even know if this tag will actually get out because I may not have time.)
Anyways, let’s get into this!
This tag is based off of the movie (book?) Enola Holmes and I read the book and watched bits and pieces of the movie a while ago so I thought I’d try it out! (let’s not mention that I literally remember 4 of the characters mentioned here because my brain is great with names irl but terrible with names in books)
I was tagged for this by the wonderful Madeline @The Bookish Mutant and please go and check out her amazing blog!

~Rules~

  1. List the rules and the prompts of the tag in your post
  2. Thank the person who tagged you and pingback to their post
  3. Give credits to the creator of the tag, Bellerose Reads, and pingback to her post.
  4. Tag at least 5 people to do the tag.

Enola Holmes: An independent and smart female protagonist

I’ll go with a choice that I don’t usually stick in book tags here–Emanuela from Beyond the Ruby Veil. The book itself was a little bit meh (bow down to my descriptive skills) but I would definitely describe our main character as ‘independent and smart’. She’s also a morally grey character so if you like that kind of stuff, maybe you should try this book!

Sherlock Holmes: Your favorite mystery/thriller book

Uh wow I don’t read much mystery or thriller. I think I’ll go with The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe–it was the most recent thriller I’ve read and it was also very good!

Eudoria Holmes: A character that defies the rules of their society

I don’t know if this is rules so much as stereotypes and judgement but throughout I’ll Be The One, Skye constantly has to face doubters and haters who don’t think she can/should be in a KPop competition given that she’s fat. She never backs down from the competition and shows everyone that no matter what you look like, you can get to your dreams.

Mycroft Holmes: The most annoying character you know

Uh wow that’s really tough. I mean, there’s a lot of annoying characters out there but how do I choose THE MOST annoying? My first thought went to characters who are homophobic/transphobic, etc. who are the antagonists of books (Simon vs, Felix Ever After) but those characters aren’t what I’d describe ‘annoying’, they’re awful. So I really don’t know what I’d go for, here.

Lord Tewksbury: A character you want to protect at all costs

There’s so many, but I’m going with what my brain immediately thought of: Jesper and Wylan (I know, I know, it’s two, I’m sorry…). I dunno, they are both just such beans and I must make sure they don’t get hurt. Though, if I had to choose one, I’d choose Wylan.

Inspector Lestrade: A loyal side character

My brain sometimes just thinks of a random book I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, but I’ll go with Miles from Lore for this one. Miles is just a complete mortal with no connection to any of the greek god stuff going on in Lore but when Lore finds a dying goddess outside her house, he helps her with that. Lore and the others, too, constantly tell him to get out of there because it’s dangerous for him and he doesn’t need to be there but he stays and also proves himself useful many times.

Miss Harrison: A book that aged like milk

At first I was very confused as to what ‘like milk’ meant because clearly I don’t know that milk spoils okay then. Anyways. A book that aged badly…I can’t think of anything that aged too badly but recently I read the fourth book in the Magic Misfits series and it just wasn’t as enjoyable as I remember the first three being, probably because I’m just not as young anymore.

Linthorn: A character you hated from the very beginning

I guess I’ll say Minya from Strange the Dreamer, here. I get that Minya had a really traumatizing past and she was just trying to protect everyone, but she went around with it in a very bad way and she was just all out cruel.

Edith: Your favorite book with black rep.

It was really tough to choose, here, but I think I’ll go with Felix Ever After. It was just a really enjoyable book, possibly my favorite realistic fiction ever. It kept me totally engaged the whole time and I devoured it in one sitting to finish it.

Alright, there’s the end of the tag! I’m not gonna tag anyone because I don’t know who has/hasn’t watched/read the movie/book but if you have watched or read it, please try out this tag! It was super fun to do!

That’s all for this post! I really hope that you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed doing it! Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the internet and have an amazing rest of your day! Sorry if this tag came off as a little bit rushed (because it was, indeed, rather rushed, but I still loved doing it). As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Author interview and Book Giveaway of ‘A Bite of Revenge’ by Setayesh Kazempoor

Hey everyone! Today I’m back with yet another giveaway and this one is paired with an author interview!
Today, the book that I will be hosting a book giveaway for is ‘A Bit of Revenge,’ a short story published just this January, as well as an author interview with Setayesh Kazempoor.
But first, a little bit about the novella:

Demona’s life has gone off the rails. Having taken off from college with a bag of candy she stole from her enemy as last revenge, she’s suddenly able to let anyone do her bidding for two hours after she eats a piece of candy. Robbing banks has no longer become a want but a need. She craves money…and because of her newfound powers, avoiding the authorities is easy for her.
But when new agents are assigned to her case and will do anything to catch her….how long can she keep hidden? And what will the agents stop at to catch her?

I’ve conducted an interview with author Setayesh Kazempoor about writing, self publishing and her two published books! It was a super fun interview to do and all of Setayesh’s answers are super fascinating so I hope that you enjoy it!

Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
A: I actually had no plan on becoming an author until I wrote The Deception along with my friends. It was at that point that I realized I wanted to keep writing. Before this, I had usually written for myself, or written for different activities that I had done. I’m glad now that I found the inspiration to keep writing, and hope to release more stories when I’m able to. 

Q: Before writing ‘A Bite of Revenge’, you previously collaborated with two of your friends to write your debut novel, ‘The Deception.’ How was writing this story alone different? What were some things that you liked better about writing together and writing alone?
A: 
Well, to start, I would like to say that everyone is different, and that can be a bit advantage in working collaboratively. One thing you’re able to realize is that people have so many different tastes in writing styles, and it helps to have a group of people there to give their opinion. It’s also a lot easier if you get writer’s block, and writing sessions can be quite enjoyable together! However, there were also advantages in working alone. I would say it was the flexibility to stay with your own original idea. When working with other people, you have to be more flexible in changing your original ideas, since it’s a group project, but the freedom in working alone is also very nice at times. 


Q: What made you choose to write a short story as your second published book instead of a full length novel like your first?
A:
 In reality, I had no idea how to even start writing a short story. I was taking a creative writing course, and it was there that I started writing the story. I presented the summary of the story for an assignment, and I wrote a (very) rough draft of the story then. I personally liked the idea, and decided to pursue writing the short story and publishing it.


Q: What inspired you to write this book? Where did you get the idea and what helped you keep going when you were stuck?
A: Again, I got the idea from the course I was taking. The idea behind the prompt given was to write a story about greed, and it turned into a different version of  A Bite of Revenge. I actually had no trouble getting through the first couple drafts of the story, but it was the editing that really got me (it gets me every time). 

Q: What did you learn while writing ‘A Bite of Revenge’? How did you grow as an author while writing it?
A: I truly do admire people who write a lot of short stories. I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to structure the story, and I wanted a lot more plot twists while writing, but couldn’t add any because it was a short story. I love writing longer pieces, but I decided that this project was something I wanted to work on. I definitely learned a lot more about the structure of short stories, how to add plots that work in them, and things of that sort (which I did not know before). This experience was truly unique for me, and gave me an idea of a whole new writing style that I had not usually written in for anything other than personal projects. 

Q: You have self published both ‘The Deception’ and ‘A Bite of Revenge’. What is the process of self publishing like and what advice would you offer to those who wish to self publish in the future?
A: 
So to start off with the process of self-publishing, I would say that one of the most important things is figuring out your budget. When self-publishing, there are a lot of things you have to do yourself, such as hiring editors, designers, and formatters. Other than that, I would really suggest getting lots of suggestions on the story, from friends, family, writing groups, etc. This will provide a lot of insight into the story, and how well it’s doing with audiences. Other than that, you really just have to focus on getting a well thought out story. If you’re going to self-publish, look into the platforms that are available to you, and try to go with the one that you believe would work best for you. Uploading your manuscript and setting it for sale is an easy task, and usually sites do have step-by-step instructions. However, before you rush off and self-publish, keep in mind the words I said before. You have to do most everything yourself in self-publishing. If you really know that you’re not up for it, it may be best to query that manuscript to agents if you want it published. I personally have never been through that process, so I have no idea what it’s like, but I do hope to someday, as I would love to be a hybrid author. You can do the same if you feel comfortable, but be sure to look into both options, as there are a lot of differences you may want to know about. 


Q: What is some advice you have for aspiring authors?
A: You can do it. You really can. I know a lot of authors say this, but don’t ever be scared to start writing that book you’ve been dreaming about for so long. A lot of people can dream up a book, but a majority of that population also loses their motivation to continue when things get hard. If that has been you, remember, you can always pick up your old stories and start again. Find out what made you lose interest. That story that has been waiting inside of you may be something that one reader has been dreaming of reading. Don’t ever be afraid to share your creativity. 

Q: What was the best part of writing A Bite of Revenge? A part that you’re super excited for readers to read about?
A: My favorite part was probably writing the robbing scenes. It just fun to write in general, and it’s always enjoyable for me to write action scenes.

Now, more about the book giveaway!

  • The giveaway is already up and running and will continue doing so until Monday, March 29, 2021. You will not be able to enter after this date.
  • You must fill out all fields (name, email) to be considered
  • You do not have to fill out your real name, however you must use your actual email given that that is how you will be reached in the case that you win.
  • The book is available in .mobi, .epub and .pdf files
  • When you enter the giveaway, please consider following my blog! I will not demand this but if you follow, you can find blog posts, book interviews, future book giveaways and more!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Questions? Please ask me below! Don’t worry, I don’t bite! What do you think of this author interview? Does A Bite of Revenge sound interesting to you? Are you going to enter the giveaway! Please, let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for stopping by! Stay safe and keep reading!

‘Lorac’ Book Giveaway

Yeah, this is a post that I really should have put out a while ago. So many apologies to the author for taking so long to put out this post but I am finally hosting my second book giveaway! I’m so happy to be gifting one free e-copy of the book ‘Lorac’ by Neus Figueras. Let’s learn a little about this book.

I’d also like to acknowledge that yes, I have seen and am very grateful for the feedback of everyone who voted on my polls in my January Wrap up. I also realize that book giveaways were not among the highest voted for which posts people want to see more of. However, this is a post that really should have been up a long time ago and I hope that you still enjoy it! Also: free book! What’s not to love?

Lorac is a sea nomad, living on a small boat with his family for the most part of each year. But a series of events strikes in which he loses his family–for good–and gets stranded on an island. It becomes clear that the only way out of thise is to seek refuge–underwater. With a new friend named Zoe, Lorac is able to explore the depths of the ocean and create a new home for himself under the ocean. For years, Lorac lives in peace with many new friends. But a new problem arises–climate change. Lorac must leave the safety of his home for the first time to fight for the creatures he has come to love.
Lorac is a book of hope and one person’s determination to save his world.

Lorac is an amazing book for people of any age. It tells the story of a determined boy’s goal to save the oceans and stop climate change. It’s something that everyone should read because while no one could actually live underwater among marine creatures full-time, climate change is real and it is a threat. Not only is this an important book but it’s fun to read and Lorac is a delightful character!

You can also find the blog post on the book on my old blog here as well as the goodreads page here. To learn more about the book, the author and the author’s mission to save the seas, find her website here.

Now, more about the giveaway:

The copy of ‘Lorac’ is only available in .mobi, .epub and .pdf files. .mobi files work well on a kindle and you can of course read a pdf on a computer.

  • The giveaway is already up and running and will continue doing so until Friday, February 19
  • You must fill out all fields (name, email) to be considered
  • You do not have to fill out your real name, however you must use your actual email given that that is how you will be reached in the case that you win.
  • When you enter the giveaway, please consider following my blog! I will not demand this but if you follow, you can find blog posts, book interviews, future book giveaways and more!

Want to enter the giveaway? Click on the link below!

Enter the Giveaway!

Questions? Please ask in the comments! Don’t let your uncertainty scare you away, I promise I don’t bite!

Will you enter the book giveaway? Does ‘Lorac’ sound like an interesting book? What are your thoughts? I always love to start bookish conversations in the comments!
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog post; it means the world. Stay safe and keep on reading!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

So…you guys know how I did on my last review (hint: not well, since it was a month since I read the book).

Okay fine it’s been exactly a month (as of the day this post is published) since I read Cemetery Boys, as well.
Yeah, I really need to write my reviews sooner.
But I HOPE that I can still write this review pretty well because I LOVED reading this book.

Cemetery Boys | Aiden Thomas

Published September 1st | Swoon Reads

352 pages | Hardcover

Content warnings: Misgendering, dead naming, blood magic, self harm (for ritualistic purposes)

Rep: Trans gay Latinx MC, gay LI

When Yadriel’s traditional Latinx family puts off the ceremony that would cement him as a brujo – indefinitely – due to the fact that he’s trans, Yadriel becomes determined to prove to them that he is a true brujo. With the help of his cousin Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, before deciding to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

And Yadriel does summon a ghost – but not the ghost he was looking for. Instead, he’s found the ghost of Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy and Julian most certainly does not want to go into death quietly. The cause of his death is uncertain and Julian needs to know what happened. Yadriel agrees to help him with the mystery as long as Julian will let Yadriel release him without a complaint afterwards. But the longer that Yadriel spends around Julian, the more uncertain he is that he really wants him to go.

All summaries are my own unless otherwise stated. Parts of the summary may be borrowed from goodreads

Let me tell you a little story.
I first heard about Cemetery Boys in…April? May? Anyways, I was just starting to get into the book community. And WOW it sounded SO GOOD. But it didn’t come out until September, which was quite disappointing to me (I was new, what can I say, I wasn’t used to waiting long times for releases!).
Then, September rolled around and it got released and I was SUPER excited. But September was this sort of awkward time because I wanted to own it and so I could ask for it for Christmas but Christmas was sooooooo far away. And I really wanted to read it right. then.
I decided to wait for Christmas. And in all this time, I was reading reviews, hearing people rave about this book, and that just built up all the hype in my mind. It was practically my favorite book before I’d even read it! I was recommending it to people, I even voted for it on the goodreads choice awards! I loved it before I even had my hands on it.
Aaaaaaaaaand…..

It totally lived up to the hype!

Yadriel was a great protagonist. Honestly, I think that he acted a lot like how an actual teen would act. He’s just a kid trying to make his family see who he really is. I’ve seen a review or two complaining that he can be a little whiny at times but honestly I feel like that’s pretty justified given his family situation.


Julian is pitched in the summary as ‘the school’s resident bad boy’. And I honestly think this is interesting and sort of gives insight as to how society labels us. The only bad things that Julian really did was skip school. He hung out places like under bridges with his group of friends because none of them had very good homes to go back to and just those two things were enough to make basically everyone have opinions about him. These kids at school didn’t even know him but were telling stories about how his brother took over the family drug trade and was selling it out of his mechanic shop. Don’t listen to everything you hear, kids. (tries to pretend she’s like 20 years older than everyone reading this even though she’s not).
But really, Julian is a super sweet person. He’s so loyal to his friends and worries about them so much even when he’s literally dead.


And last but certainly not least, there’s Maritza. I loved Maritza because she’s so close to Yadriel. I really enjoy reading strong family relationships and though Yadriel’s relationship with the rest of his family is not so great, Maritza’s always by his side, always supporting him.

Honestly, when I picked this up, I was expecting more plot than this. I mean really from the summary I wasn’t sure what kind of book to expect, aside from ghosts (spirit! Ghost is a derogatory term). But whatever it was, it was not this. I maybe expected some adventure, it’s talking about ‘agreeing to help Julian’ (goodreads summary) so for some reason that always makes me think of two people setting out on a quest to do blah and blah and blah
But, no matter what the plot actually was like, I enjoyed this a lot! It was a lot more…relaxed than I thought? I’m not entirely sure what that means since, like, there was a time limit and death and blood etc. but yep, that’s what I’m thinking about this right now. The mind of Phoenix works in mysterious ways, my friends.

And of course, we cannot discuss this book without discussing the awesome way that Aiden Thomas wove trans and LGBTQIAP+ issues into the plot. The way that these things were commented on in the book never slowed the plot down and yet it was still such an important part of the book. This was really awesome to see because I just don’t see many books that manage to do this so successfully.

Queer Folk are like wolves. We travel in packs

Quote from Julian. I just had to add this in here.

Characters: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 | Plot: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 | Romance: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Find some other awesome Cemetery Boys book reviews at Never Not Reading and The Bookish Mutant! Also, The Quiet Pond did an interview with the author, Aiden Thomas!

Have you read Cemetery Boys? What do you think of this post? I’d love to hear your opinion on my opinion–just as long as it’s respectful!
As always, thank you so much for checking out this post–it means the world. Stay safe and keep on reading!

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to my first book review of 2021! I actually read “I Wish You All the Best” in December of 2020 but here we are in 2021

I Wish You All the Best | Mason Deaver

Published May 14, 2019 | Push

329 pages | ebook

Content Warnings: Accidental misgendering, purposeful misgendering, transphobia, being kicked out of the house, panic attacks, alcohol use.

It only takes three words for Ben DeBacker to be kicked out of their house–I am non-binary. Pushed out on the street with nothing but the clothes on their back, they’re forced to move in with their older sister Hannah, who they haven’t seen in ten years, and her husband who they’ve never met. Struggling with anxiety and the worries of starting a new school, they decide to only come out to Hannah, her husband Thomas and their therapist.
But when Ben starts school, they meet Nathan Allen, a funny student determined to help Ben adjust to their new life. Things begin to look up as they become more friendly with Nathan and his friends. Suddenly, it seems like they may be able to start over in their last half of senior year after all.

Please note: All summaries are written by me, Phoenix @Books With Wings unless otherwise stated.

This book…well, I really enjoyed this book. It was a very sad but very sweet story and it was just nice to read. It was probably the first book I read in under 24 hours in a very long time.
Honestly I’m sort of regretting writing this review now, January 9 (yeah you can see how on top of blogging I am) when I read this book in mid December. I have a short term book memory! But alright, let’s go.

“I Wish You All The Best” follows Ben DeBacker, a high school senior who’s life was upturned when their parents kicked them out of the house and they’re forced to move in with their sister and her husband. Ben has never met their sister’s husband and hasn’t seen their sister in ten years. First of all, I can’t imagine how difficult and painful that would be. Ben didn’t even expect their parents to kick them out…they knew it could be a possibility but it just seemed very extreme to them. And the fact that it really did happen…wow.

UPDATE: okay I’m not entirely sure what the point of this entire above section was since it seems like I just paraphrased my summary of the book…which I paraphrased (partly) from goodreads. But hey I guess I’ll leave it so you can see ALL my thoughts and the things going through my head haha.

I think that my favorite character was proooobably Nathan. He just…well I liked that he took Ben under his wing. I feel like in books, the funny kid is sorta the popular one who doesn’t really interact with the misfit main character (yeah, that’s gotta be a trope) but Nathan is totally cool with showing Ben around the school on their first day and then sticking with them! I loved to see their friendship grow and also, well, Nathan was just super sweet.

I thought that Miriam was also an awesome character and I think that to have them in the story added a really interesting feature. Miriam lives in California, all the way across the country from Ben, and Ben found out about them through the videos they filmed. Throughout the book, though they’re not exactly present for it, Miriam is a huge role model for Ben and they’re actually friends online. I feel like this is a pretty important part of the book with the online aspect…that online is where Ben figures out who they are and really gets their first friend who understands them and can help them. Parents are very suspicious of all things online it feels like (at least for me) but sometimes it can really help to have online friends (not saying you should go around having video chats and meeting up irl with everyone you meet online, just saying that you can really find some close friends online who are super awesome).

Now onto the plot.
So, I’ve seen some people out there saying that there’s not really a plot to this book.
I can see…a plot? At least some of it. I mean basically the plot of the book is Ben readjusting after their life was completely turned upside down and trying to get through senior year. I can see how that’s not much of a plot…definitely nothing like any fantasy adventure books or anything…but I still liked it. I really enjoyed reading a non binary protagonist because that’s not something that you see very often. I feel like I’m amazed that authors are actually able to write entire books about people just…living (see this is why I always fail to write realistic fiction) but I find that most authors who write realistic fiction are good at making it interesting (they DID get published after all and while I know not all published things are perfect, mooooost of them are good? In my opinion?)

Well. I feel like this…wasn’t the most perfect review and really I should write my reviews sooner to the time that I actually, you know, read the books, but…here we go I’m super sorry how short this post is and hopefully I can get you a longer and more…detailed post next week, and a much better book review the week after that.
Thank you all so much for reading, it means the world! As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Moxie by Jennifer Matheiu

…What! Phoenix is actually doing a book review???? What even is this? Ha, yes, I am back with my next book review! It’s certainly been a while for one of those. I’m sorry that it took me so long to get this next review out, but this is just the perfect book to do this post on! Moxie is such an important book and I’m not sure that I can do this justice but I’m going to try!
Also, I made a few changes to how my book reviews look, I hope you like it!

Moxie | Jennifer Mathieu

Published September 19, 2017 | Roaring Brook Press

330 pages| Hardcover

Content warnings: Sexism, harassment, attempted rape, sexual abuse,

Vivian Carter is tired.
She’s tired of the football team getting all the funds while the girl’s soccer team is left with uniforms from forever ago. She’s tired of the boys in the school saying whatever they want whereas the girls get busted in impromptu dress code checks for wearing too tight pants.
It’s gone on this way for years but when a new girl moves to Vivian’s school and speaks out against the boys, Viv realizes that it’s time to stand up.
Inspired by her mom, who was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the 90’s, Viv creates a feminist zine to distribute around her school. She doesn’t expect it to do much–but then other girls actually begin to respond. Viv isn’t the only one who’s tired…and Moxie Girls Fight back.

I loved this book because I felt like it was so empowering. I think that one of the best things about this is that Vivian can be really anybody. Vivian could be that quiet kid at the back of the class or the most popular girl in the school. Or she could be you.
At the beginning of the book, Viv is just a high school junior who goes to a school in a town in Texas. She hears the remarks that the boys say, the things that they do, and she definitely dislikes it. But she’s never really thought of speaking out. The whole way the school is built is stacked against her. The principal is the father of one of the boys saying those things for goodness sake and he’s just as bad as his son.
But what changed?
Enter: the new kid trope.
Is that a trope? I do not know. But honestly, probably because there are a LOT of tropes out there. And if not, I’m making it one. 😁😁😁
Lucy Hernandez just moved from…oh darn I forgot, my brain is full of holes for anything I read more than one hour ago. Anyways. I think she moved from a city. It was Houston. I think. She’s interesting because she’s a new kid and Viv’s small town hasn’t had one of those since forever, but then she responds to a retort from one of the biggest jerks in the school. She stands up to him. And it’s really this that leads Viv to start making these zines.

I really liked both Vivian and Lucy. Vivian was really determined to fix things in her school and wouldn’t back down no matter the comments from other people or the threats of suspension or expulsion from the principal (yeah, you heard right. Their principal threatened to expel people standing up against sexist comments and more). But really, it was Lucy who I liked the best. She was the reason Viv did all this, she was the catalyst. And while Viv was staying anonymous and behind the scenes, still doing her perfect obedient girl act, Lucy was speaking out every which way, even taking the brunt for most of the actions caused from the zines.

Seth. Seth, Seth, Seth.
Well first of all let me say that I would have liked if the romance in this book was toned down a good bit. In general, I don’t like when romance is a big part of this book so it was just meh for me. I was reading this for the strong feminism, for the speaking up, not for the romance.
I also didn’t really like how Viv got a crush on him on sight (basically insta love, though possibly one sided? Since we don’t know Seth well at the beginning, I don’t know). If there is romance in a book (it’s hard to avoid usually), I like a slow burn (not too slow though) or at least not love at first sight. For me, it just doesn’t make a relationship very well developed and it feels more…based on looks than on personality.
It feels mean of me to say that I disliked Seth because of his cluelessness but…it’s kinda true. Seth was definitely a device character (I don’t know if that’s a thing or, if it is, if I’m using it right), used to teach people more about feminism and what not to ever ever ever say (for example, suggesting that an attempted rape was the girl’s fault).
I think the real reason I didn’t like Seth was his, ‘Not all guys…’ comments. Viv says more than once that she knows it’s not all guys but that doesn’t really matter in this situation, but he continues to say it. Dude, Vivian knows that you aren’t one of the football jerks, do you think she’d date you otherwise? But the fact that you aren’t is NOT the main point of what she’s trying to do! Because even though it’s true that not all guys are like the jerks, there are still jerks out there. Maybe not all guys are jerks but ALL GIRLS ARE STILL AFRAID OF BEING HARASSED/SEXUALLY ABUSED/RAPED
(on the topic, check out this post that Riddhi B. wrote about rape–it’s such an important and eye opening post to read).

I’ve talked so much about the characters and not the plot! I really enjoyed the plot, actually! I’m really impressed with the author’s ability to keep this book going–because I feel like there’s a lot of ways that this book could have kersplatted (that’s a word now, y’all). I mean, it’s mainly based in school, that can get boring real fast. I read when I’m done with school, so I don’t focus on my schoolwork, I don’t want to read about more school. But this book was still awesome! I especially liked the meeting/dance/market/whatever thing they hosted for the girl’s soccer team’s uniforms.

This book also…really had me thinking. I was wondering what I would do if I saw a zine appear in my school. If I would take action, if I would speak out. I like the first idea, with the hearts and stars, but wearing your bathrobe to school? I feel like I’m afraid of standing out at school, almost. I want to be known but I don’t want to be stared at as I walk down the hallway because I’m dressed differently or something. And would I do the walk out that was organized? I’d like to think that yes, that I would support a classmate, a cause especially as big as this one. But do I have the courage?
This, actually, makes me think of peer pressure (sorry for going off on a ramble here). Why would I be unwilling to do these things? It’s because I’m afraid of what other people will think of me, I don’t want to be different. Society pressures you to be one way and to be any other way makes you stand out. Can we stop this? Maybe. Hopefully. Whatever the case…Moxie girls fight back!

Characters: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 | Plot: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 | Romance: 🌟🌟 | Message: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Have you read Moxie? Do you want to read it? What do you think of this post? I’d love to hear your opinion on my opinion–just as long as it’s respectful!
Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the internet and checking out my blog–it means the world to me.
As always, stay safe and keep reading!

The Liebster Award (#1 and #2)

Aaaand I meant to publish this yesterday but forgot to click the publish button. Go me.

I wrote the below and then was tagged by Alex @The Scribe Owl for the Liebster award as well. However, I like my old intro even though it is no longer accurate so I’m keeping it. Enjoy me from two weeks ago. 😁😁😁

Okay. So teeeeechnically, I wasn’t tagged for this.
However.
Sunny @Revolution Reading tagged ‘Anyone who is interested in doing this tag who hasn’t yet, or anyone who has read at least one book this month.’ Given that I haven’t done this tag/award yet…here goes.

Honestly, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been nominated for the Liebster Award. In fact, so many people have been nominated that everyone just assumed that I had already been nominated and therefore no one tagged me. (Wow, that was some crazy reasoning)

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions asked of you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers
  • Ask your 11 nominees 11 questions

(Just wondering, does anyone know what’s up with the number 11?)

Sunny’s questions:

Have you ever spilled anything on a book?

The answer is yes, probably. How could I not have spilled something on a book once in my life? But it was also probably a very long time ago because I’m very careful with my books. Most of the books I read are from the library so you REALLY don’t want to spill anything on those, and nowadays I usually read on my kindle. Not a physical book. But sometimes I get a few crumbs on my kindle because reading while eating. I honestly have no idea what people who don’t read do while they’re eating, like do they just focus on the food? Preposterous!!!

Which book gives you the most holiday vibes?

Oh, wow. I don’t usually read books for the holidays, I just read normal books. I actually do not like reading books specifically about/for the holidays…I’m not sure why. It’s just not something I enjoy doing. But we’re talking about vibes here. So.

For some reason the book ‘Four Dead Queens’ by Astrid Scholte gives me holiday vibes. Why? I have no idea. It’s literally about queens getting murdered. And it’s a mystery. But maybe because I read this in early January or the fact that I feel like I remember one very short scene where it’s snowing, I get holiday vibes from it. Also the COVER. It’s absolutely beautiful. And…not exactly holiday-y? But to me I feel like it is. I do not know why.
Anyways, I cannot stop talking about this book (I mentioned it in my 2020 book tag as well), you guys NEED to pick it up. It’s amazing.

Which is better, cake or pie?

Um, cake. OBVIOUSLY. With cake, you get the, well, cake, so it’s ALL sweet. And then there’s frosting. Meanwhile, with pie it’s usually fruit-based which, I mean, is fine. Good. But in a dessert I’m sort of looking for something sweeter (I actually don’t usually like frosting much, however. It’s almost TOO sweet). Pie for breakfast, however? Yummmm.

What’s next on your tbr?

Hmm, I don’t usually plan a tbr just because, well, I think I’m a mood reader? Sort of? I just go with what I’m reading right now and usually I don’t not have something to read because of what I request from the library or something someone else in the family gets that I want to read…I don’t really think about what I want to read next.
However, I would really enjoy to read King of Scars next. I suffered through the Shadow and Bone series just to get to this one so I would really like to read it soon. We’ll see, though. I expect I’m getting a lot of books for Christmas, given that…that’s one of the only things I asked for.

When’s the last time you bought a book? What was it?

Aaah I really don’t buy books often! At all! I literally can’t remember the last time I bought a book aside from that time in early January when I bought 4 books with a gift card I got from Christmas. Though technically that’s a Christmas present? But if we are counting that, I bought these four books:

List a few books that you want people to read!

I have, in a great struggle, managed to narrow this list down to four books that I loved and that I think don’t have a lot of hype.

  • Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte. I’ve already talked about this book several times so I think you know how much I love this one!
  • Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian. This is such a creepy and fascinating book. I really enjoyed it because it’s very different than anything I’ve ever read before and I really like reading spooky stories that aren’t absolutely terrifying but are slightly freaky.
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen. I really enjoyed the unique caste system and magic system in this book! Plus the story and characters were awesome.
  • Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto. This was a really interesting story and it was about phoenixes, so that’s a plus. The world building was fascinating and I loved how the history of the world was interwoven with the story, so beautifully created.

Would you rather trade places with your least favorite character from your favorite book or have your favorite character die in your least favorite book?

Definitely have my favorite character die in my least favorite book. My least favorite book is…well I’m not entirely sure but it’s probably something I had to read for school. No offense to all the English teachers out there, but I’m not very attached to any of the characters in books we read for class and so for a favorite to die…not that sad. Plus, a favorite character in a least favorite book probably isn’t a character I like very much anyways.

Paperbacks or hardcovers?

The answer is probably paperbacks. I like paperbacks because they’re smaller and you can bring them on trips and such as well. Hardcovers are more durable but they can be annoying since they’re heavier. Honestly though, I prefer ebooks above all, I know I’m crazy that way.

What’s your least favorite genre?

Aaah I mean it’s probably nonfiction. I mean, nonfiction can be fine in some cases, like when you’re doing a research paper or when it’s actually a story, and an interesting one, but most times…I just don’t pick it up. I don’t know what it is about it. Honestly, if there were a book that was like, ‘The story of…a memoir,’ even if it sounded really interesting, I’d be less likely to pick it up. You could just take out the ‘a memoir’ part and I’d probably pick it up, ha ha.

Would you rather spend the day in your favorite book, but be a character that was only mentioned a few times, or spend the day in your second favorite book and be with the main character(s) the entire time?

Oh, second favorite all the way. I mean saying ‘favorite book’ and ‘second favorite book’ for me doesn’t really make sense….I just love so many books that it’s impossible to choose!
Hmm but if you think about it if you’re with the main characters the entire time, it might get super dangerous…unless we’re talking about this is before/after the book takes place, just a normal day.
But like…being in the favorite book and not even meeting the main character? Barely even being there? That would be sad. It would feel like a missed chance to me.

Night owl or early bird?

Oh, early bird all the way. I used to wake up SUPER early but quarantine has spoiled me so now I only wake up like a half hour before the average person. I go to bed much earlier than the usual teenager. I think I get more sleep than everyone else in my class 😂. But I also don’t absolutely love sleep, like when asked what I’m going to do it’s not going to be sleep.
Hmmmm I wonder if those two things are *gasp* related???

Alex’s questions:

What is your favorite decade for music?

Oh man. Much to everyone’s chagrin, I don’t listen to much music. I mean, the only music I really listen to is musicals. Aaaand I currently have the piece I’m playing on the violin stuck in my head (yes, I have violin music stuck in my head) but that doesn’t count. Anyways, I think that all these musicals are from different times? Hamilton is very recent and I think that Six the musical came out last year but I have no idea when Les Miserables came out.
Hang on, looking it up…
O-oh. Um well. 1903. Okay then.

What is your favorite genre and why?

Fantasy, easily. I think that I like fantasy because it lets you get away from the real world. It lets you go to a world where there’s magic and, while the worlds often still have problems, there just aren’t the same problems that our world has. I love seeing all the world building and the different magic systems and just how characters interact with a world that is not the one I know already.

Are there any books you have a love hate relationship with?

Ah ha ha ha ha ha.
You’re lucky you didn’t tag me for this two weeks ago.
Yes, I do have a love hate relationship with a graphic novel series…Fence by CS Pacat. On one hand, it’s like my favorite series of all time, I love the characters, I love the ships, I LOVE the fencing (for those who didn’t know, I fenced for approximately 5 months last year). But then…my obsession got too much. So I still absolutely loved the book but I began to hate it–I uttered the words ‘I wish it had never been written’ several times–because it was the only thing I could think about.
But I still love love love it even though last week was NOT pretty (you can ask any of my IRL friends).
I think that my obsession has toned down now and I don’t want this to scare you away from reading this book because it’s awesome and the obsession only happens to me. ⬅ This is a proven fact, my friends have read it.

Are you also a book hoarder collector?

In the sense that I get books whenever I can and then don’t read them for a long time because I own them and can read them whenever but that is not the case with the books at the library, yes, I suppose you can say that I am.
In the sense that if I get money I will immediately go buy books, no because I’m cheap.

What is at the top of your Christmas list?

Well. The broad answer is…books (I know, shocking, right?). But as for what books, well, I have two books that I really really want to get. Cemetery Boys has been one of my most anticipated releases of the whole year and I know it came out in like September or October but I still haven’t read it because it’s on my Christmas list. So I better get it.
The other book is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I’ve read so many reviews of it and seen so many awesome things that I can’t wait to read it! If I get it it will also be my first VE Schwab book so that’ll be exciting!

What is your favorite holiday?

Don’t make me choose! I like all the holidays. But if I were to choose one…probably Christmas because I enjoy spending time with my family (not this year, though) and we always get lots of cookies. Plus, having the house all decorated is really nice, it makes everything warm and peaceful (I hate decorating though). And the presents books are also a nice bonus 😁

If you had to attend a dinner party with your three favorite authors and only one of you got to walk out of the room alive, who would it be?

Congrats, I am officially concerned for your sanity.
Okay but seriously, WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THIS? And why why why do I have to choose?
Anyways, what even are my three favorite authors? Just like books, I don’t have three favorite, there are just multitudes of amazing books.
Also I just don’t want to say I’d kill anybody? Because that’s cruel? And these are real people?

If your two favorite book characters had to duel, who would win?

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy must you hurt me with these ‘favorite’ questionsssss??? Aaaah who are my favorite characters? I can never choose! I’m sorry for being so indecisive! I just–I love all the smol children who suffer many traumatic instances that their creators put them through.
But you know what since you asked I’ll just choose two characters that I enjoy reading because whatever. If….Harvard Lee from Fence and Fie from The Merciful Crow dueled…well Harvard knows how to fence but I think Fie has an unfair advantage given that she can burn some teeth to get magic (that probably sounds very confusing to someone who hasn’t read TMC). So I’d say that Fie wins. (sorry Harvard. Don’t worry, you can still beat Nicholas…for now)

Do you have any pets?

I do in fact have a dog. She’s just over three years old and is a mutt. Her name is Luna Bear Schuyler Rutabaga and she’s 1/8 lab, 1/8 huskie, 1/8 terrier, 1/8 bulldog and 50% unknown. So yes, very much a mutt. She’s also absolutely crazy and will probably kill herself by eating something she isn’t supposed to one day.
Sorry, no pictures.

Do you play any musical instruments?

I, like approximately half the population, play the violin (I’m joking, way less than half the population plays the violin, it just seems like so many people I know play violin). I have been playing for 5 and a half years.

Which are better, squids or octopi?

Octopi, 100%. They’re awesome, they’re so sweet. Squids just live in the deep dark depths freaking me out. Oh yeah also I recently watched the documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’ and that octopus was the sweetest thing.

Well there’s the award!
Here are the people that I nominate:

Em @Tea for Teens
Turquoise and Amethyst @Act Your Page
Sibella @YA Book Reviews
Shine @Haunting Ghosttown
Kirsten @The Novel Existence
Vic @Books and Mate
Tess @Unbound Library
Emilie @Emilie the Bibliomaniac
Urmom @Urmom Reads Books
Madeline @The Bookish Mutant
Booktastically @Booktastically Amazing

And here are my questions:

  1. Have you ever had a book hangover?
  2. How often do you cry when reading books?
  3. What are some of your most anticipated 2021 releases?
  4. What was the most surprising thing you read in 2020?
  5. If your name weren’t your name what would your name be? (that was trippy…)
  6. When you think ‘fantasy’ what are the first four words that come to mind? Why?
  7. Write a summary of a book where you place characters of a book you’re currently reading in the world of the book you just finished reading (how do the characters react to the new world, how does the story change)
  8. What book that you’ve read do you think would make the best musical adaption?
  9. If you were trapped in a room for the rest of your life and could only bring three books, which would they be?
  10. What’s the most embarrassing book-related thing that has ever happened to you? (ex: three times now I have shipped people who ended up being related)
  11. What’s the weirdest food combination that you’ve ever eaten?

I can’t believe I’ve finally done a Liebster award! I really hope you enjoyed this post! Have you ever spilled something on a book? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What are your opinions on all of Alex’s ‘extremely cruel favorite character/author choose one’ questions? I’d love to hear what you think below!
Thank you all so much for reading–it means the world. As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Lost in Translation Book Tag

Alright everyone, today we are learning a lesson and that lesson is to never ever trust google translate with your translating needs. This is something, actually, that any teacher teaching me a language has told me countless times and yet people probably still do it because it’s easier. So let’s see what this tag is all about and have some fun as we go!

Thank you so much, Sunny @Revolution Reading for tagging me in this tag! Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick the last book that you read
  2. Translate the title into three or more languages using google translate
  3. Translate it back into english and compare how close or how far it was from the original title
  4. Put the original title down at the bottom and talk about your last read!

Translated title: Magic Technique

(Yoruba, Ukrainian, Icelandic, Chinese, English)

What. WHAT? W H A T?????? Okay but seriously, try to guess. Just try to guess what the heck this title could possibly be. I want you to write down your guesses right now and tell me in the comments after because this is absolutely ridiculous.

The original title is Sorcery of Thorns
How, just how did I get “Magic technique” from Sorcery of Thorns?

Anyways, I did do a book review about this book but I may as well talk about it.

This was a very interesting fantasy book. Our main character, Elisabeth, grew up in a library of magical books so…you all can be jealous of her now. But then (dramatic pause…) she becomes accused of setting a cursed book on the nearby town (even though she was the one who stops it)! Thus, she is sent to the city with a sorcerer to face her judgement!

This was a different book, a different idea, than other books I’ve read and it was fascinating that way. There were some parts that I felt were unneeded or overly convenient and the ending was a little confusing to me, but other than that, it was very good! To see my full book review, click here.

Okay! I’m gonna do another one because I want to and also I thiiiink this one is gonna be great. I hope it will be, anyways. Here goes:

Translated title: We Slip a Hand

(English, Chinese, Thai, Pashto, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, English)

W-what? I don’t even know what this means. We Slip a Hand? It sounds like some book about card games. Or like…nope, I have no idea why you would name a book “We Slip a Hand.”

Anyways. Any guesses on what this one actually is? Write them down now and put them in the comments at the bottom? The actual name is below:

The original title is We Ride Upon Sticks.
So it looks like the ‘we’ part is still the same, but the rest of it…I dunno how on earth this happened.

We Ride Upon Sticks was a really interesting book. It was an adult book and the entire thing was pretty slow, but it was actually really good. I loved it because it was about a female sports team which is not something that you read much. Plus, the girls had a super strong bond which was nice. There was a lot of diversity, both racially and LGBTQ+-wise so that was super cool, especially since it was based in 1989. I loved seeing how the girls grew over the year and discovered more about themselves and each other. You can find my goodreads review on this book here.

Well that’s the book tag! Again, thank you so much to Sunny for tagging me; this was super fun. I will tag:

Alex @The Scribe Owl
Lilly @Lilly’s Little Library
Sibella @YA Book Reviews

Well, there’s the post! I really hope you enjoyed this tag, it was fun to do and had a really funny turn out! Remember, those tagged don’t have to do the review and if you weren’t tagged but think it sounds interesting, please go ahead and do it!
As always, thank you so much for reading; it means the world. Stay safe and keep on reading!

2020 Book Tag

Welp, here we go with yet another tag. It seems like ever since I started with the tags, I’ve just been doing them constantly. I’m sorry about that guys, I’ll try to get a discussion post or review up soon, we’ll see!

Before you ask, yes. You read this right. A book tag about 2020, the year as a whole. Because what better year to do one on? 2020 has been the biggest roller coaster of a year that anyone could possibly imagine and there are just so many ideas for a book tag. I will separate the tag into a few different sections so that you all know what part of the year I’m talking about. (Please note: I live in the USA so depending on what country you live on, different things may have happened throughout the year, but this is just what’s up in the US. You can definitely still do the tag even if you live in a different country!)

Here are the rules for this book tag:

  • Link back to the original creator, Phoenix @Books With Wings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer all the questions
  • Tag at least 4 people
  • At the bottom, talk about some other books you read in 2020! (this isn’t required, just suggested!)

Please note: Just because this is a book tag about 2020, the books you talk about do not have to have been read by you in 2020
ALSO: This tag is about 2020. However, it does not need to be done DURING 2020. The year is almost done but this tag doesn’t have to be! It’s only a tag about the year, there’s nothing in it that requires it being that year.

Okay! I really hope you all enjoy this tag and find a little light in this year that has been sub-par. I know that it’s a ‘2020 book tag’ but you can do it anytime, not just in 2020! This tag is not time sensitive like the monthly book tags that I have tried and failed to get popular, so don’t worry!

Here is a list of the questions and below I will post my answers:

Part one: Beginning of the year
1) A book that you were really excited for
2) A book that started out really well (to be fair, I’m not certain if it started well, but it was certainly better than the rest of the year)

Part two: The world goes on hold
3) A book that had an unexpected plot twist
4) A book where you felt like nothing happened
5) A book where two main characters were separated (quest, disease, forbidden, etc.)

Part three: The world tries to reopen (and begins a second wave of the pandemic)
6) A book in which the characters made a bad decision
7) A book with an impatient/overly eager character

Part four: The world adjusts (not sure this ever actually happened but…I’ll bend this a little)
8) A book in which the character’s goals change midway.

Part five: The end and looking forwards
9) A book whose sequel you really anticipated/are anticipating
10) A book whose sequel was better than its original (we’re all hoping….)
11) A book that you read just to finish it (didn’t like it but wanted to finish it anyways)


And here are my answers to all of these questions!

1) A book that you were really excited for

A book that I was really really excited to read this year was ‘House of Dragons’ by Jessica Cluess. I thought it had a very interesting concept and I always love books that sort of have trials the characters have to complete. Plus, we get dragons. Unfortunately, House of Dragons did not live up to my expectations – there were some parts that were interesting but overall the writing style wasn’t very good and I knew almost nothing about the world.
You can find my goodreads review of ‘House of Dragons’ here.
Another posts by me featuring this book is my November Monthly wrap-up and book tag

2) A book that started out really well

A book that I thought had a good beginning was Scavange the Stars. The writing style was great for the whole book and we got to see this harsher, worn side of Amaya who’s really just trying to stay alive. It jumps right into the action, making you wonder why on earth Amaya is on the ship and that keeps you reading for the entire book.
You can find my review of ‘Scavenge the Stars’ on my blog here as well as my goodreads review here
Another post featuring this book on my blog is my November monthly wrap-up and book tag

3) A book that had an unexpected plot twist

Okay, this book I read a while ago. When I say a while, I mean like early 2020, sometime in January, but for me that is a while. I have a memory with as many holes as swiss cheese when it comes to books – I read so many of them and then immediately forget the plots. Still, this plot twist is so memorable that I remember it almost a year later. The book ‘Four Dead Queens’ is such an amazingly weaved book, told so skillfully and beautifully that you can’t put it down. I will not tell you the plot twist for spoiler-y reasons but let me just say that this book is very much worth reading and you need to pick it up immediately if you have not already. (proof that the plot twist was great: I mentioned it in my 3-sentence review of this which book I wrote at the beginning of the year before I really started using goodreads a lot) (And can we talk about that cover though? Beautiful)

4) A book where you felt like nothing happened

Ah! Ha ha ha ha (*laughs in disappointment*). Oh boy do I have the book for you. ‘The Future Was Now’ by JR Harbor.
Let me say right now that I miiight be a little biased against this book. Because of other problems that I have with it (many, many problems. I recommend you check out my rant of this book here to see me roasting it farther)
So, things did happen in this book. Here’s the thing: it ends basically exactly where it started. We get no character growth, no nothing. Asa could have just gone to the city, found a pretty girl and gone back home (more about the ‘pretty girl’ in my review rant)

5) A book where two characters were separated

I absolutely loved ‘I’ll Give You the Sun.’ Basically the main reason that, well, everything happened in this book, was because our main characters, Jude and Noah, were separated.
Not physically, mind you. But the twins, who were practically inseparable for most of their lives, were in a giant fight and were barely talking to each other. Given how close they were before this, I’m saying that they were separated in this scenario. You can find my blog post about this book here. You can also find it mentioned in my (less than adequate) October wrap-up.

6) A book in which the characters made a bad decision

I’m going to call this book one giant bad decision.
It’s not that the book itself was bad. In fact, it was a very interesting book. But the entire book was quite literally about making bad decisions. Here’s some background:
The girls of the Danvers field hockey team are determined to win the state championships – in any way possible. Including dappling with some dark magic. But their dark magic needs recharging every now and then…by doing the worst things they can. Stealing the book copies from a classroom. Replacing chemicals in the science lab with water. And more. Like I said, all bad decisions.

7) A book with an impatient or overly eager character

Literally the second I looked at this prompt I thought of Spensa from ‘Skyward’ by Brandon Sanderson. Maybe I wouldn’t call Spensa overly eager but she certainly is extremely eager and definitely a little impatient. She wants to be up in the air, flying like her father was, no matter what it takes. And then, once she begins to get training, she just wants to actually fly, to actually be up there, in the first few days where she’s sort of just stuck on the ground learning the basics.

8) A book where a character’s goals changed midway

‘Tarnished are the Stars’ is the only book I can really think of in which this happens. At the beginning, Anna has a grudge on Nathaniel because he hurt a child from Anna’s village. Eventually, the child dies and Anna is so angry that she goes searching for Nathaniel to kill him. But then Eliza arrives on the scene and they suddenly have another goal – reveal what the tarnish that is affecting the hearts of everyone in the village is and stop it. Anna went from wanting to kill Nathaniel to working alongside him (and thankfully, it is NOT the enemies-to-lovers trope, they’re just friends!)

9) A book whose sequel you were/are anticipating

NEVER ask me this and expect me to list only 1 book. For your convenience, I managed to lower it to four anticipated releases, but let me tell you it was HARD. Also, images are from the book whose sequel I’m anticipating (because the third book of Children of Blood and Bone’s cover isn’t out yet).
The books that I am anticipating are book 2 of All the Stars and Teeth, All the Tides of Fate, the third book in the Children of Blood and Bone series (untitled), A Vow so Bold and Deadly (ACSDAL 3) and book 3 in the Crown of Feathers book, Wings of Shadow. I love all four of these serieses and can’t wait to read the…woah, for all four, the final book! Especially with that cliffhanger at the end of both Heart of Flames and Children of Virtue and Vengeance.

10) A book whose sequel was better than the original

This so rarely happens to me but fortunately I have the perfect example here. The Shadow and Bone series DEFINITELY improved as it went on, the third being…still not amazing, but SO MUCH better than the first book. I think that, since this was Leigh Bardugo’s debut series, her writing improved a lot as the series went on (but Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are still WAAAAY better)

11) A book that you read just to finish it.

I mean….almost every book I was assigned to read for school? But if we’re going reading for pleasure, I’ll have to say the Shadow and Bone series again. The main reason I picked up Shadow and Bone was to get through it so I could read King of Scars. Shadow and Bone was just…not very good. But I knew that there were characters in it that were in KoS so I just barrelled through it…. (I still haven’t picked up King of Scars, ha).
But also…I’m one of those people who NEVER DNFs so I probably have a few others that I’m forgetting. (anyone think that goodreads should just have a ‘DNF’ button?)

Well, there’s my tag! I really hope you enjoyed this because I thought it would be a fun way to end the year and it’s just an all around original tag! (I hope) Here are the people that I will tag:

Em @Cats, Bibliophiles and Baguettes
Katie @The Storybook Sisters
Alex @The Scribe Owl
April Lee @Booked Till Midnight

Weren’t tagged? I know a lot of people in the blogging community (most of whom I met in the last three days because I’ve actually been making an effort to talk to people) so I can’t tag everyone! But even if you weren’t tagged, please go ahead and do it! I would love to see your answers!

One more thing! Some of you may have noticed the ‘Monthly Wrap-Up Book Tag’ that I’ve been hosting. Yeah, it’s not going so well, probably because it’s sort of on a time crunch and I’m not posting it soon enough and people have already started their monthly wrap-ups, etc. etc. SO. I’m changing how this is going. I will put up a page for the three monthly questions each month. Questions will be put up at the BEGINNING OF THE MONTH. If you want to stick your monthly questions into your wrap-up, just for a fun little ‘learn more about the books’ thing, please do so! If you link your post back to my wrap up I will be sure to present it on my blog so that anyone can see it!
For those of you who are interested in using the questions for this month, the questions are:

  • A book you read this month with a strong bond (friends, family, etc.)
  • A book you read this month in which the characters feasted
  • The book with characters that you would love to invite to your house for thanksgiving (pre-covid)(note: if you do not live in the USA you can talk about the characters you would invite to your house for a feast)

You can find the rest of my monthly wrap-up and check out my answers to these questions here.

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of my anticipated releases? Do you believer that goodreads should add a ‘DNF’ button? Please, tell me what you think in the comments! I always love to hear your opinion on my opinion as long as you’re respectful! As alwaus, thank you for stopping by to read this post and this blog. It means the world!
Stay safe and keep reading,