Things I’ve Used as Bookmarks

Say you’re reading a book. And then suddenly you have to get up and do something…and there aren’t any bookmarks nearby. This happens to me way more than I’d like to admit, and usually I just end up picking the nearest thing to me. Which…is not always the best shape or size to mark my book.

I recently did the Three Bookish Things tag, and one of the questions was about different things that I’ve used as bookmarks. Now, my family and I have used SO many different things as bookmarks, many of them quite ridiculous, that I wanted to do a whole post on it! So I just want to thank the Three Bookish Things tag for the idea (and Madeline @The Bookish Mutant for tagging me to do that tag) and now here we go!

Candy Wrapper

I’m pretty sure this was only once or twice, it’s definitely not a common occurrence, but yes, I have picked up a candy wrapper from a table or wherever and just stuck it in my book as a placemarker. Why do we have candy wrappers just sitting around our house? Also definitely not a common occurrence but. Yeah.

A Pencil

Pencils are kind of like bookmarks already. They’re long, so they work to stick out of the top of a book so you can save your place. Plus, if you put it pointy side up, then you get a built in defense mechanism against anyone who might be foolish enough to attempt to steal your book. Only problem is, of course, that pencils do have a bit of dimension that bookmarks don’t have, and this can be a little frustrating in your book. I guess there is, in fact, a reason that bookmarks are basically flat.

A Playing Card

This one actually scares me a little. Look. Decks of playing cards come with 52 cards. 4 suits, with 13 cards in each suit. Numbers 2 through 10, and then jack, queen, king ace. What decks of playing cards do NOT come with is backups in case you lose a card. Or, in this case, when you use one for a bookmark. And once one card is gone, the entire deck is literally unusable. Honestly though, if it weren’t for the whole ruining-the-entire-deck thing, playing cards are actually pretty nice bookmarks. They’re flat. That’s kinda the main criteria for a bookmark.

My iPhone

My phone is kinda-sorta attached to me. Not literally, of course, but if there’s one thing you can trust me to have on my person or next to me at all times, it’s my phone. And so because of that, I’m always going to have my phone on my while reading. Which means, if I ever need to really quickly save my place in a book I’m reading, sticking my phone in my book is a pretty easy way to do so. It’s usually pretty temporary, for when I just need to quickly get up and do something, but I’ve briefly lost my phone more than once in this way.

A Hair Tie

This is actually one that I JUST found. I was moving a book that my sibling had been reading, and happened to look inside and saw that there was a hair tie holding the place. This one doesn’t work super well, I mean it’s a weird shape, it doesn’t stick out of the book and it leaves a weird lump in the middle of the book that bookmarks don’t usually leave, but ah well.

Math Homework

I actually have no idea how a sheet of paper with a bunch of math equations covering it found its way into my book as a bookmark, but I picked up a book that I hadn’t read in a while, and there it was. I assume that I do not need this particular piece of paper with math on it anymore (let’s hope) so it’s definitely going to stay in my book until I finish it. Or until I need it, I suppose.

Gift card/student ID card

Okay, the student ID was from last year. It was not my current student ID, I don’t think. The gift card…I actually have no idea how much money was on the gift card, because I’m really bad at using up gift cards so maybe there was none on it and I just happened to have it, or maybe there was a billion dollars on it and I just used a billion dollar gift card in my book. (okay, no, I am not rich and so do not just leave billion dollar gift cards lying around, and no one I know is rich enough to just give me a billion dollar gift card. I do not actually own a billion dollar gift card.)

Paper Crane

To be honest, paper cranes are great bookmarks. If you put them in so their tail is at the spine of the book, so the crane’s body is like the same way as the pages, it looks adorable because then the crane’s tail and head are just sticking out of the book. If I had to recommend any one of these things to be used as bookmarks, it would definitely be the paper crane.

Another Book

If I’m in a room with a book, there is probably going to be another book in said room with me. Just because how could I possibly only have one book? My house is filled with books. There’s gonna be another one nearby somewhere. So…if you need a bookmark, use a LITERAL one. A book to mark your place! Similar to the iPhone book mark, this one doesn’t work super well because of it’s size and shape, but just like the iPhone, it’s probably one of the things I can most expect to have around me at all times. I recommend a skinnier book, so that the book whose place needs marking doesn’t just flop open because of the size of the book, but other than that, there’s not much to say here.

What are some crazy things that you’ve used as bookmarks? What do you think of the things that I’ve used?

Why Should We Reread Books? A Discussion

I actually first published this post way back in September of 2020, only a few weeks after I started my blog. I totally forgot about it until I went looking back to my old posts searching for something else and stumbled upon this gem instead. It’s a pretty cool post, and honestly the original wasn’t written that badly, but I decided to spruce it up and publish again, since very few people got to see it given how new the blog was back then. So, I hope you enjoy, and if you are one of the few people who’ve already read this one, well…give it a reread?

There are so many books out there–too many to be able to read in an entire lifetime, no matter how much you try. Once you’ve read the book, you’ve absorbed the plot, the characters, the world. Reading books is like having a thousand different stories running through your head. So, why in the world would you pick up a book that you’ve already read? If you know the story, the characters, the world, why read it again? Why waste the time on this book when there are so many more new stories? Today, I wanted to discuss some of the reasons that I reread, plus a few reasons why rereading can be helpful in some scenarios.

So first of all, why do I reread books? There are a few reasons for this. One of them, which I feel like is fairly common for a lot of people, is just for comfort reading. If I’m in a book slump, or I just want to read something that I know that I’ll enjoy and am familiar with, rereading is definitely something that I’ll do. There’s definitely something nice about curling up on a cold day with a book that you already know you’re going to enjoy, ready to get immersed into that world again.

Probably the second most common reason that I’ll reread a book is if it’s in a series and the next book in said series is about to come out. My memory when it comes to books is woefully bad (as I’m sure you’ve heard many times before), so rereading is a big help so I’m not totally lost when I start the next book in the series. Sometimes, I’ll even have to do this more than once, if the NEXT book comes out (aka, one reread for the second book coming out, but then another one when the third book comes out)

And lastly, I’ll reread a book just if I have no other books to read. Almost always, I have access to a library and keep a pretty steady stream of books coming to me from that library, but sometimes, especially before Christmas or my birthday when I have been banned from getting books from the library so that I don’t accidentally read a book that I’m getting (my mom claims she doesn’t do this, but I know she said it to me once), I don’t have that, and so I end up rereading books that I have at home.

Now, why might rereading be fun or even useful at times? I think the best thing about rereading is to catch clever little tidbits that the author hid in the reading that you really don’t notice until it’s been revealed later on in the book! My best example of this is in Six of Crows, which I reread recently, and I noticed so many clever things that Leigh Bardugo added in hinting at how Wylan’s father really thought of Wylan that I absolutely would not have gotten the first time around.

When you reread, you could also focus on a different part of the story you’re reading from the first time around. Usually, the thing that I pay the most attention to is the plot, because that’s just what’s happening in the story, so it fascinates me most, but turns out that there are a lot of awesome other things, for example characters and character development, as well as worldbuilding, and by rereading, you’re able to appreciate some of the other elements of a story that you didn’t catch at first because you were focused on what was going on.

Books could also help to assist with your own writing, if you are a writer. In the past, I’ve found plenty of books that I use to help me with writing style as well as worldbuilding. Obviously I’m not suggesting you plagiarize or copy parts of the book, instead I’m simply recommending studying the book for techniques that an author used to make their book better. For example, how did they introduce their characters? What is their description like and what sorts of things do they describe? I remember at one point being obsessed with and reading over and over the first chapter of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, just because of how much I loved the description, and attempting to recreate that in my own writing. Anyone who’s book has been published has clearly done something right, so why not learn from them?

What are a few reasons that you reread? Do you find rereading useful? What are some books that you jump to as comfort reads?

Interview with Rosiee Thor, author of Fire Becomes Her

Hey everyone! Today I’m here with an author who’ve I’d had visit my blog before – Rosiee Thor! The last time that Rosiee visited here, it was my very first author interview and we discussed their debut novel, Tarnished are the Stars. You can find that interview here. But Rosiee recently had another book published – their sophomore novel Fire Becomes Her came out on February 1, and today we’re here to discuss this new book! Let’s check out what Fire Becomes Her is about, first.

Fire Becomes Her | Rosiee Thor

Published February 1, 2022

368 pages | Hardcover

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

Summary from Goodreads

So first of all, just tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! I’m Rosiee, author of queer science fiction and fantasy novels. I have two published novels: Fire Becomes Her and Tarnished are the Stars. I’m also an avid gardener and mediocre gamer!

Fire Becomes Her is your sophomore novel, and it’s a fantasy, unlike your debut science fiction, Tarnished Are the Stars. What was different about writing a fantasy book this time, and why did you choose to do so?

It might be a little odd to say this but… not much was different. Science Fiction and Fantasy are really just two sides of the same coin. The difference is really just what you call it–technology or magic? So as far as genre, I still had a lot of the same considerations to make about how the magic/tech worked and how much of that was going to get explained. At the end of the day, it was more of a marketing decision than a clear distinction of genre, since they both contain elements of science and magic.

I think one of the biggest things in Fire Becomes Her was the extremely unique worldbuilding, as well as a government system that was a huge part of the book. The book centers around the use of magic called Flare. How did you come up with the idea of Flare and all its uses throughout the book?

Figuring out the magic system for this book was absolutely central to the world building. Basically, Flare is fire magic that you can drink, but it’s also so much more than that.

I wanted to play around with magic, but I wanted that magic to play a deep and inexorable role in the world. No one lives in that world without being impacted by magic in one way or another. I decided to tie it to multiple areas of society to make sure it was fully entrenched, so it’s the social equivalent of alcohol, the economic equivalent of oil, and the aesthetic equivalent of fire. This allowed me to play around with magic in every aspect of their society–wealth, status, politics, vibe…etc.

In FBH, you highlighted several different identities on the aromantic and asexual spectrums, and two of these characters also ended up in a queerplatonic relationship. Can you tell readers a little bit about these identities, and what it means for you to write them?

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write about a character discovering her aromantic identity and what it means to her, but I didn’t really know what that was going to look like until I started writing. Ingrid’s a lot like me and her experiences with relationships and the discomfort she feels in romantic situations is drawn directly from my life. When I first started writing stories, I didn’t think characters like her would be well received by publishing at all, so to have my editor give me the go-ahead to write the story the way I wanted to was such a freeing experience. I got to follow my own emotional logic instead of trying to piece it together based on how I assumed others might feel. I always knew I wanted Ingrid to make a big decision about her relationship to romance, but the idea to center a queer platonic partnership in the story didn’t occur to me until I was a bit further into the draft. Originally, I had planned to write a sequel which would allow more time and space for that relationship to form, but when my publisher only bought one book, I realized I didn’t want to leave it out in hopes I’d get the opportunity to write the sequel. I didn’t want to leave that up to chance and not get to write this relationship, so I reconfigured the story and gave certain characters more page-time to make sure they got the story I intended.

The first time I interviewed you, I asked how you grew through writing Tarnished Are the Stars and I want to ask you the same question again. Do you think you grew more through writing Tarnished or FBH?

I definitely grew a lot while writing Fire Becomes Her. As a writer, certainly, but also as a person. I always find things out about myself through writing that I don’t really anticipate. With Tarnished, I learned a lot about my own identity on the ace and aro spectrums, but with Fire Becomes Her I was surprised to find some of my own feelings about gender, pronouns, and perception echoed in one of the other characters in the book, Alex. I knew I was a lot like Ingrid and her journey would mirror parts of my own, but I did not expect to see myself in him and his non-binary experience. It forced me to think a lot about myself and my relationship to gender in ways that deepened my understanding of my own identity. 

How would you describe FBH in one sentence, to someone who hasn’t read it yet?

An ambitious girl must choose between her head and her heart during an election where magic buys votes.

What do you think would happen in an interaction between the main characters of Tarnished are the Stars, and Fire Becomes Her? Do you think your characters would get along?

I don’t think Ingrid would get along very well with any of the main characters of Tarnished, to be honest. She’s a little too prickly in a very specific way for them. She and Eliza might do okay, but I think Eliza would see right through her and Ingrid wouldn’t love that. I do think Charlotte and Nathaniel would get along swimmingly, and Louise and Anna would be like two angry peas in a pod.

And lastly, unrelated to your writing, but what are some books that you’ve enjoyed reading in the past few months?

The last year or so has brought some amazing books to my shelves. A few favorites are In The Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland, The Mermaid The Witch and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, and The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath.

Ha you read Fire Becomes Her, or heard of the author? What did you think of the interview? Are you interested in picking up this book?

February Wrap Up

I really wanted to write an intro to this post that did NOT talk about how fast time has gone, but I then spent a good five minutes (it was more like half a minute, but it felt like five) thinking of what I could start this post by saying, and having not thought of anything, you get this. I successfully avoided talking about the speed of time! Kind of!

  • Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland. I picked this one up on a whim, and it was a quick middle grade read. It’s interesting to read a middle grade that’s set in the earlier 1900s and I like how the author incorporated that in there. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. This book was very good for the first 100 and last 100 pages. It kept me reading and I really enjoyed the awareness that it spread. I did feel like the middle dragged considerably, however. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Thornhill by Pam Smy. This book was half told in drawings, half in diary entries, and it was a fascinating concept, but I did not end up enjoying it much. It was a dark story, and it had an inconclusive and sad ending. ⭐⭐
  • Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. This was such a nice story, with found family and also lots of violins. I am definitely nowhere near as good at violin as two of the main characters of this story (nor do I wish to be) but it was still cool to see all the violin terms and techniques. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • White Smoke by Tiffany Jackson. Shockingly enough, this was my first book by Tiffany Jackson??? It was also horror, which I don’t read much, but I found this to be a really gripping and enjoyable book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. This book was a memoir in graphic novel form, and it was really interesting to see Maia’s journey to figuring out eir sexuality and gender. [no rating]
  • Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor. FBH was my most anticipated release of 2022, and I have to say, it was not what I expected. There were a lot of politics and just talking, but I did really enjoy the worldbuilding and!!! the!!! aroace spec!!! rep!!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White. Woman playing professional baseball. Do I need to say anything else? This book was great for anyone who loves baseball, it’s a fiction story about a girl who becomes the first woman in professional baseball. You do have to love baseball to read it though, because there’s a lot of baseball game scenes. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Love and Other Natural Disasters by Misa Sugiura. At the time that I read this, it was just what I needed, a nice realistic fiction that I just enjoyed all the way through. This one also has the fake dating trope which has been coming out more and more and is always so fun. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Keeper of the Night by Kylie Lee Baker. This was a super unique story and was really fun to read. I loved a lot of the characters as well as the story itself, but I do think that the pacing was off at the ending and that the ending overall could have been better. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab. Given the popularity of this book, I cannot believe that I haven’t picked it up until now. That being said, I found it to be an awesome world and an altogether enjoyable book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy. Magical politics was most of this book. Still, I felt like it picked up a lot near the end and really interested me; I just wish there were more plots before then. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I posted four times this month and I’m very happy about this! And I mention it at least once more in this post because I’m going to keep talking about it! I have a good posting schedule! Anyways, these were all really fun posts and I hope that you enjoyed them too!

The Best Books of 2021 Tag
The Book Blogging Pressure to Review Books
The Evermore Book Tag
4 Awesome, Underhyped Authors

February Goals:

  • Keep up with my posting! ✅
  • Drink. Water.

I was able to keep up with my posting schedule, in which I posted once each week, every Sunday, and I’m really happy about this because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep going with this due to school!

  • Keep up with posting schedule (yes I will just keep writing this goal)
  • Organize my goodreads shelves
  • Do a little blog editing

I started to do a few things with blog editing and goodreads shelves and I hope to continue doing so when I have time!

If I’m being honest, nothing much really happened in February. We had a week long break from school, and my family went on a vacation to a farm, where we got to meet some animals, which was a very nice break from school.
Valentine’s Day also happens in February, and there’s a bunch of ways to sort of show your appreciation for your friends (and I suppose romantic partners if you have them) at my school on Valentine’s Day. The biggest way is that there’s a way to send carnations to people, so I ended up with a bunch of carnations, and it’s really just a fun day to see all the carnations and trade treats with people and just have fun!
The other thing that happens in February is aromantic awareness week! Aro awareness week starts the Sunday after Valentine’s Day (I think) and I’m a little sad that I didn’t get any posts out about aro rep or anything of the sort during this week, but I did just want to let everyone know about this! If you’ve seen any great posts about aro rep or anything of the sort, please let me know in the comments because I would love to read them, and you can also look back at my own post that I published last pride month about why aroace spec rep is so important in books!
Oh yeah the other thing that happened this month was that I DNFed a book haha. Not a super huge achievement, but I find it very hard to leave books half read, even if I’m not enjoying them, so the fact that I was able to step away from this book that was boring me was good for me. Now I will just live with the knowledge that I am probably missing an extremely interesting plot in the last half of the book.

What did you read this month? Were there any posts that you enjoyed? What are some of your goals for March?

4 Awesome, Underhyped Authors

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to write a really simple post, but one that I’m also very excited for. There are a lot of authors out there whose books get insanely hyped up, whose new releases are anticipated by what seems like everyone, and those books are awesome, and absolutely rightfully hyped and anticipated. But there’s also several authors whose books I have loved, but who I really don’t see read around the blogosphere or on goodreads. So, today I wanted to bring some awareness to these authors and their books, since they’re totally awesome and you should definitely read them!

As it turns out, you probably actually have heard of most, if not all, of these authors, simply because I love their books and hype them on my blog a lot. But I still wanted to take the time to write an entire post dedicated to them, because they deserve it and I wanted my time to sing their praises again.
Also, I will only be including authors who have published at least two books (and I have read at least two books by these authors, as well) given that debut novels sometimes are not as hyped as other books just because people don’t know of the author as well. So, these are authors who’ve gone through a debut novel and then another book and I still want to talk about them.

Buttons lead to goodreads pages for each book.

Rosiee Thor

Rosiee Thor’s second book, Fire Becomes Her, just came out on February first. I did see some hype for this book, but definitely not as much as I would have hoped. Rosiee’s first book, Tarnished are the Stars, was published in 2019 and it is a really unique science fiction book. Meanwhile, Fire Becomes Her is a fantasy with amazing worldbuilding. I think that the worldbuilding in Rosiee’s books is really what shines through, with a unique world forming the setting of Tarnished as well. Rosiee’s books also highlight aroace characters and characters on the aroace spectrum, which is always a win for me, and Tarnished are the Stars is actually very important to me because that was the book where I first learned of the terms aromantic and asexual. Not only are their books great, but Rosiee Thor themself is a really great person, who has an awesome personality and is definitely the nicest author who I, myself, have talked to. I wrote a book review of Tarnished are the Stars a very long time ago, and also interviewed Rosiee Thor about it, and you can check out the review here and the interview here, but please keep in mind that this was my very first book review on my blog 🙂 (by which I mean, it might be bad). And look out for another interview with Rosiee coming very soon!

Darcie Little Badger

Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache author with two published books, both of which are magical realism. Darcie’s first book, Elatsoe, was published in 2020, and her second book, A Snake Falls to Earth came the next year in 2021. Both her books center around Lipan Apache main characters, and draw on Lipan Apache legends and stories. Darcie’s writing style is awesome as well! Another thing that was great about Elatsoe and A Snake Falls to Earth is that they’re not super fast books, but in a great way. There’s not a whole lot of action, but they both feel like they’re more an exploration of the world, and of the characters, especially A Snake Falls to Earth. Definitely do not go into these books expecting a fast paced adventure, but just let yourself get pulled along with the story and the characters!
Plus, and I always have to bring this up, the main characters in both Darcie’s books are asexual, as is she, and it’s some great casual ace rep – it’s mentioned on page both times, but it’s never made a big deal of; it’s just there!

Margaret Owen

Margaret Owen may be my favorite fantasy author, which is saying quite a bit. The first thing you have to notice when you read her books is just the worldbuilding. Her Merciful Crow duology as well as her newest book, Little Thieves are both set in fantasy worlds, and they’re honestly just like any other high fantasy worlds, but there’s something about the way that they’re written that’s just so great. And Margaret Owen’s books are just pure high fantasy which is absolutely something that I need every once in a while. There’s a lot of different types of fantasy books and worlds, and so many of them are great, but there’s just something about high fantasy that makes it so awesome to come back to once in a while.
The characters in Margaret’s books are also amazing, and they always end up coming together in the best way. Plus, her plots are sure to keep you hooked with their really unique stories that still manage to follow the high fantasy sort of plot structure feel! If you’re looking for a good fantasy, I would definitely recommend these books, and I will keep on recommending them until you read them (and maybe after, as well).

Justina Ireland

Justina Ireland is an author that I actually have not talked about as much on my blog, and I have no idea why! I’ve very rarely seen her book Dread Nation anywhere in the bookish community and this is a true oversight on all of your parts and I demand you fix it immediately. Dread Nation is a super unique book, set in an alternate timeline where zombies arose from the battlefields in America’s Civil War. I have honestly never read a book like this, and it may sound weird, but I promise you, it’s NOT. Both Dread Nation and it’s sequel kept me super hooked. The books also addressed some of the racial tensions of the time, and both of the main characters are black and queer (aroace rep!!!). dread Nation is NOT the only book that Justina Ireland has written, it’s simply my favorite of hers. She’s written quite a few books, but the only one that I have read other than this duology is her middle grade, Ophie’s Ghosts. I don’t delve into middle grade too much anymore because I’m not at that age range and it can affect my ability to enjoy a book, so while I definitely didn’t enjoy Ophie’s Ghosts as much as I did Dread Nation, it was still very enjoyable for a middle grade book, which really cements my love for Justina Ireland as an author!

Have you read anything by these authors? What are some authors you think are underhyped?

The Best Books of 2021 Book Tag

It’s early February, I’m finally (kinda) getting used to writing ‘2022’ in the date lines of my school papers and…let’s look back at my favorite books of 2021 through a tag!

I was tagged for this one by Madeline @The Bookish Mutant, and I know that it’s February already, so we’re over a month removed from 2021, but the fact that I managed to get this tag out a month after I was tagged is pretty impressive. I call this a win, considering that the last few tags I’ve done were all from months and months in the past.

The Rules

  • Link back to the original creator, Hundreds and Thousands Of Books
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Share your favorite books of the year! And have a great new year 🙂

The Start (Jan – March)

I had to choose two books for this one, because two of my favorite books EVER were ones that I read sometime between January and March of 2021. Felix Ever After and Loveless both are so amazing and I highly recommend them to everyone, though if you’ve followed me for at least a few posts of mine, you probably already know this.

The Middle (Apr – June)

I read a lot of books in April through June, but not that many of them really stood out to me? But I did go on a realistic fiction reading binge, and Perfect On Paper was one that I just absolutely LOVED. The way that it dealt with biphobia while also just being fabulously written and such a good story was awesome.

The Middle but with Better Weather (Jul – Sep)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This book is hilarious. But I feel like how much I talk about how funny this one is, I often overshadow how awesome this one is in general, too. There’s just so much to love about Not My Problem, from the amazing found family to the fascinating concept, you all NEED to read this one.

The End (Oct – Dec)

October and November were VERY meh months for reading, however in December I read quite a few that I enjoyed (ignoring the fact that two of those were rereads…). Little Thieves by Margaret Owen was the first book that I read which I got for Christmas, and it was awesome! (do I need to shout at you guys to go read Owen’s books? I know I do it a lot).

Its already mid February, so I don’t think I’m going to tag anyone for this, but if you do want to do it, of course please go ahead!

Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite books of the year?

January 2022 Wrap Up

It’s still so weird to write ‘2022’ right there, because it’s not 2021 anymore. It’s not 2021 anymore. How is this possible? (it’s also weird for me to write ‘2022’ there because I really only just started acknowledging that I have to put the year, because I have more than one January wrap up now).

Can we also just acknowledge that it’s now been a year since my ridiculous, insanely long January 2021 wrap up? Like that happened a year ago, and that consists of like…90% of my bookish fame. Right there. (joking, I don’t have bookish fame).

I read fifteen books this month, which is very good for me, and definitely the best reading month I’ve had since school started this year! This month, my reviews were all over the place, and I had more than one rating of 2, 3, 4 and 5 stars.

  • The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf. I got this book for Christmas, but don’t know much about it, but it was really interesting and I enjoyed about! It’s about the 1969 race riots in Malaysia, something I’d never heard before, but it was good to learn about! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo. I’d read a book by Christo before and enjoyed it, though I don’t see much hype around her books. This book gave off pretty big Six of Crows vibes, it felt like a slightly less-good version of Six of Crows until the climax hit, but I still liked it! ⭐⭐⭐
  • A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger. I loved this one so much. There’s not much a plot for a big part of the book, but honestly I was enjoying the story enough that I didn’t care. The characters are awesome! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Down Comes the Night: A Novel: 9781250623638: Saft, Allison:  Books
  • The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. Multiverse books are always interesting and I’m never entirely sure what to think. I enjoyed parts of this story, but I always feel like multiverse books will have plot holes or at least worldbuilding holes. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft. I was not entirely sure what I was going to think of this one, because I found the beginning really slow, but it picked up and I ended up enjoying this one! ⭐⭐⭐
  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. This book was awesome. It’s been a while since I read such a high-fantasy-esq book (I’m aware I’ve read at least one high fantasy this month…but this one just had such a vibe you know?) and the world and characters in this book were so vibrant. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Crier's War (Crier's War, 1): 9780062823946: Varela, Nina: Books
The Stonekeeper: A Graphic Novel (Amulet #1) (1): Kibuishi, Kazu, Kibuishi,  Kazu: 0000439846811: Amazon.com: Books
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. My first book by Schwab! Finally! I can definitely see where the hype came from on this one, though I didn’t really feel the hype myself. It was an enjoyable book, though. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Crier’s War by Nina Varela. This one got better progressively, and I ended up really enjoying it! I’m not a huge fan of sci fi (I say, having read two this month) but this one was super cool. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. This is a graphic novel series, and I usually don’t put graphic novels up here, but it was an entire 8 book series, so I thought I should. This is a super fun series, I’ve read the first few books in the past, but never the entire series straight through. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Iron Widow: 9780735269934: Zhao, Xiran Jay: Books
Amazon.com: Fable: A Novel (Fable, 1): 9781250254368: Young, Adrienne: Books
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. Given that I wasn’t a huge fan of Caraval, I didn’t have super high hopes going into this one, and unfortunately I was right and didn’t enjoy this a whole lot. There were definitely aspects of the story that were fun, but overall it was eh. ⭐⭐
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. This is one that everyone’s been raving about. I did end up enjoying it, but less than I expected, which was a little bit of a disappointment to me, since I’d really been anticipating loving this one. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Fable by Adrienne Young. A classic pirate adventure (not a literal classic, for the record). This one felt a bit bland to me, and I also did not like the romance, it came out of nowhere. ⭐⭐⭐
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
Amazon.com: Furia: 9781616209919: Méndez, Yamile Saied: Books
Amazon.com: Iron Heart (Crier's War, 2): 9780062823977: Varela, Nina: Books
  • Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart. This was a book that I was very much reading on again off again, so I’m not sure that I’m the best person to talk about it, but personally I felt like it was kind of confusing (read above before you take my opinion with a grain of salt) and just overall did not enjoy it very much. ⭐⭐
  • Furia by Yamile Saeid Mendez. Aaah, I love sports books so it’s always a treat to read one! This one was awesome, I’m not a soccer fan but I still enjoy reading about it and I really liked a lot of the plot! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Iron Heart by Nina Varela. Sequel to Crier’s War, I think I enjoyed this one more than the first, actually! It felt like a very different book, but it was still really enjoyable. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

January’s goals:

  • Read at least 5 books✅
  • Drink water
  • Keep up with your book google form thing✅

It was January 10th when I finished five books this month, so that was definitely nice. I didn’t end up drinking as much water as I was kinda going for, but I definitely drank some, and I have been keeping up with tracking my books! Hooray!

February goals:

  • Keep up with my posting!
  • Drink. Water.

I don’t have many goals for February, mainly because I don’t want to force myself to create goals that I don’t actually want to do/don’t think I need to do. But I would love to keep posting every weekend as I’ve done this month, so that’s definitely a goal of mine.

  • I finished my English project! I had a giant group project in English that we’ve been working on since November and we finally had our presentation in the middle of January. It went pretty well, despite a slight freak out at the beginning of the day because two of my group members were unable to show up and we had to reconfigure the script.
  • We also had our first snow day of the year, and got quite a bit of snow, which was pretty nice because snow is always fun.
  • The last week of January was finals week, which was semi-stressful but not a whole lot, because I didn’t actually have that many tests. I also got really ahead in homework on the first few days so it was actually kind of chill.
  • COVID kinda blew up at the beginning of January, which I think is pretty much what happened all over, and my school had a lot of cases, but I myself did not get it and I think it’s dying down now!
  • I also started listening to audiobooks again this month, which is not something that I do very often, but so far I’ve been enjoying what I hear! If anyone has any audiobook recommendations, I would definitely enjoy hearing them!
  • Wordle. Do I need to say anymore? Because Wordle has kind of taken over everything, like EVERYONE plays it now. If you don’t, it’s a word game where you have to guess a five letter word in six tries, and there’s one word per day.

How was your month? Have you read any of these books? Do you have any audiobook recommendations?

Christmas 2021 Book Haul

Christmas is the time of year when I get the most books, without a doubt. It turns out I’m very hard to shop for, because the three things on my list are just books, chocolate and money. Not a very comprehensive list. But because of this, I end up getting a LOT of books. It’s been several weeks since Christmas actually happened (and I’ve read all but one of the books), but here I am with my book haul (hey, at least I didn’t get it out in March).

This Christmas I ended up getting 12 books! Here are all of the books together:

featuring little trees made from corks and knit tops

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

I actually don’t know much about Once Upon a Broken Heart. It looks like the Prince of Hearts is in here, and he showed up in the Caraval series, but I don’t remember particularly liking him much. I read the Caraval series long enough ago that I don’t exactly remember what happened, so we’ll see what I think when I finally start this one!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab

Now, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is one that I’ve been after for a while. I actually first asked for this one last Christmas, but I’ve finally got it! Not only will I be reading this extremely hyped book for the first time, but this will be my first time reading any book by VE Schwab (now that I think of it, I’ve read one of her middle grade books, though she goes by Victoria Schwab when she writes those)

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

I put The Space Between Worlds on my list because it seemed like people enjoyed it, and it sounded interesting to me. I’m not a super big fan of sci fi anymore, so we’ll see what I end up thinking of it, but it still does sound very interesting. Hoping it’s good!!!

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

I reread These Violent Delights a few weeks before Christmas just so I could read the sequel with a fresh memory of book one and so I’m very happy I got Our Violent Ends for Christmas (especially because I forgot to put it on my list–oops). Anyone who’s read TVD, or who knows the story of Romeo and Juliet knows that this book is terrifying and will probably hurt.

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

I loved Margaret Owen’s other series, the Merciful Crow series (severely underhyped. Go read it now.), so I’m super excited for Little Thieves! It’s a retelling of The Goose Girl, which I know nothing about, and I don’t usually pick up retellings of stories I don’t know much about, but I’m so excited for this one that I’m pushing aside that rule for now!

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Speaking of retellings I don’t know much about. I can tell you the basic plot of the story that Six Crimson Cranes is based off of, but really nothing concrete. Still, I’ve heard a lot about this one and I’m eager to get into it!

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

I read Darcie Little Badger’s first book, Elatsoe, a little while ago and thought it to be a really interesting book, so I’m excited to read A Snake Falls to Earth! I’ve read reviews that say that ASFTE is a very different type of book than Elatsoe (different structure/type of story) so I’m curious to see what goes on here!

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

I feel like there was a lot of hype for Black Sun a while ago, and maybe it’s died down or I’m just not looking in the right places, but this one still seems super interesting! I’ve heard there’s a lot of diversity and people seem to love it in general. Though–help, I read that it ends on a cliffhanger and book 2 doesn’t come out until April.

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Okay a lot of the books I got have cool covers but I really think that Black Water Sister tops them all here. That being said, I’m very interested in this book, it has a very unique idea (at least that’s what I think from the summary), and I’m excited to learn more, especially because it’s set in Malaysia and deals with spirits and gods!

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

I actually know…nothing about Into the Crooked Place. Like, I’m pretty sure the first time I read the summary was Christmas morning when I got it. I did read and enjoy another of the author’s books, so I’m hopeful for this one! Also, the summary is kinda giving me Six of Crows vibes?
(and am I the only one who just finds it a little hard to read that title?)

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Girl Made of Stars sounds amazing and devastating and most of all very important. I’ve read one other book by this author, but it was a middle grade book, so I’m kind of on new ground, here! And reading through a few of my goodreads friends’ reviews, they seem to like it a lot!

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

The Weight of Our Sky is another book that I really do not know much about. I’ve seen it once or twice, but I never stopped to look at it or anything. Still, it sounds really interesting and it’s also about a period of history that I know nothing about – I’ve literally never heard of the 1969 race riots in Malaysia – so I’m excited!

Have you read any of these books? Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, what books did you get?

December Monthly Wrap Up

Can we first just appreciate that I actually posted this wrap up on time, like on the last day of the month, not a week into the next month? Thank you.
Believe it or not, 2021 is over. Like, we’re actually headed into 2022. And I know I’ve already said this about 5,000 times this year, but how has this year gone by so fast???
Let’s look at my December books.

Amazon.com: A Winter's Promise: Book One of The Mirror Visitor Quartet  eBook : Dabos, Christelle, Serle, Hildegarde: Kindle Store
Amazon.com: These Violent Delights: 9781534457690: Gong, Chloe: Books
  • A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos. I finally dipped into the books I got last Christmas that I didn’t end up reading. And honestly…I did not enjoy this one. It just felt like a whole lot of nothing was happening, and while the worldbuilding is good (this book’s worldbuilding is very hyped) it wasn’t something that I was enraptured with or anything. ⭐⭐
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I forgot how nice rereading books is! And especially this one. It was awesome to be able to see the crows again, head through the heist with them, and catch so many things woven in the story that I didn’t get the first time! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Another reread, this one in preparation to read the second book. The first time I picked this one up, I found it kind of slow, and the writing style was a little more dense than I was used to, but this time I was able to appreciate it so much more! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Just Ash: 9781541599246: Santana, Sol: Books
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Continuing with the rereads, I guess! I got a little sick one weekend this month, so after I got home from school that Friday I just picked it up and flew through the first half, then finished it before I got out of bed the next day. Just as good as I remembered! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Just Ash by Sol Santana. This was such an interesting read because it’s the first book I’ve read with an intersex character, not to mention main character with multiple intersex side characters as well! At times, I got a little bored but overall it was a really interesting book and I learned a lot. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Little Thieves by Margaret Owens. The first of the books I got for Christmas! I loved Owens’s other books, the Merciful Crow series (which I think is extremely underrated) so I couldn’t wait to try this one and I’m delighted to say that it was just as great as the Merciful Crow! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong. I…don’t know what to say. I loved this book, I loved the story just as much as the first. However, it did feel like a few parts were a little rushed or sudden. Still, overall, awesome! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. I only vaguely know the story that this novel is based off of, but I really enjoyed this retelling, I thought it was unique and I liked the twist at the end! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake. I really enjoyed this one! It was kind of a short, easy read but it still definitely dealt with a lot of important stuff. I thought that writing the book from Mara’s perspective was a really interesting take, and overall, this was a great book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I posted three times this month which is much better than usual (mostly thanks to winter break). I also posted one of my favorite posts of the year, the 2021 book tag!

the 2021 book tag!
My 5 favorite books of the year
4 bookish resolutions for the new year

December Goals:

  • Work on your english project (because I feel like this is something I’ll forget)✅
  • Post at least 3 blog posts? (including wrap up)✅
  • Stop reading just to finish books (read what you want to read!!!)✅
  • Hang out with your friends✅
  • Enjoy your time not in school✅
  • Study more

I’m pretty sure I worked on my english project TOO much and totally annoyed all my group members by bugging them to do things as well, so I don’t know how to feel about that. But I did manage to post at least three blog posts, and that’s NOT including the wrap up! As for reading to finish books – I did do this once or twice, at one point with a book that I did NOT enjoy, but other than that I still think I did pretty well. School has helped a LOT with hanging out with friends, so that’s nice, and with break and everything, I’ve been able to enjoy more time not in school. Studying, as always, is not my strong suit but at least I’ve been doing pretty well in school?

January Goals:

  • Read at least 5 books
  • Drink water
  • Keep up with your book google form thing
  • The first thing that happened, way at the beginning of December, was the baseball lockout. I know you all have gotten kind of tired of me talking about baseball, but this is IMPORTANT. Basically, there is literally nothing happening in baseball right now, like trades and signings aren’t allowed, I mean essentially there are no baseball players at all.
  • ANOTHER disappointing thing that happened this month was that Netflix officially CANCELED Julie and the Phantoms. For those of you who’ve been following my blog since approximately last March or earlier, you’ll know of my obsession with the show Julie and the Phantoms, but now there will not be ANY more seasons!!! However there’s a petition to bring it back, so if any of you love JATP or, I mean just wanna help out some JATP-lovers, please sign here!
  • This month, we had our school concerts, so I had my orchestra concert this month! Honestly, we all thought we were terrible, and I messed up badly enough to mess my stand partner up for a good two lines at one point, but it was still fun and it didn’t sound awful on the broadcast.
  • There was Christmas, of course! I got 12 books on Christmas, which is a pretty good haul if I do say so myself! I’m going to try to get a Christmas book haul post out eventually. (don’t ask me when eventually is, if I publish a Christmas book haul in the middle of March then so be it)
  • I also hit 300 followers on my blog this month, so that’s a cool one!

That’s all for the last wrap up of 2021! I can’t wait to talk to you all in 2022 and let’s see what adventures we all get into next year!

What books did you read this month? How’d you like the posts that I published? Did anything interesting happen with you in December?

4 Bookish Resolutions for the New Year

We’re just about at the New Year, and I thought that I’d do a post about a few things I want to do–related to books–beginning in 2022. They’re things that I’ve seen on other people’s blogs and wanted to try out, or just things that I think would make my own reading experience much more enjoyable.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!

1. Keep better track of my reads.

With the end of the year comes many many year in review book posts, full of beautiful little graphs and charts and other awesome looking graphics. If you read my last post, my five favorite books of 2021, you’ll already have heard this story, but I’ll tell it again. When I first saw these last year, as my first December in blogging approached, I thought they looked so cool and organized and really wanted to do it myself. I made a spread sheet, I put the different categories in, I was all ready to go.

I got exactly four books into that spreadsheet before I gave up.

I’m just not good at keeping up with these things, and that’s definitely something that I’d like to improve in 2022. I’ve thought about it, and while I don’t think that a spreadsheet will be the best way for me to keep track of (given the aforementioned), I think I want to try using a google forms. I’d create a google forms for myself, and then when I finished a book, I’d enter it into the form, which would keep all my data right there and I think would be easier for me to continue with. We’ll see if this approach works, and I guess you all will know by the time the end of 2022 rolls around. Given how fast time has been going by, that really shouldn’t be too far away.

2. Only write reviews when you want to

I feel like when you have a book blog, and when you have goodreads, and basically just when you read a lot and are active in the book community, you feel semi pressured to write reviews. After I finish a book, and I jump on goodreads to mark it as read and rate it, I feel like I need to give more than just a rating, I need to tell people what I actually thought of it. But honestly, writing reviews can be exhausting at times for me. If I’ve read a book and rated it 3 or 4 stars, like I thought it was meh or I enjoyed it but didn’t think it was utterly, totally mind blowing, I don’t want to sit there and review it. Sure, I enjoyed things about it. Or maybe there were some things that I didn’t enjoy. But I just don’t have strong enough opinions about every single book to want to write two or three paragraphs about all of them.

And so one of my resolutions is just that…I shouldn’t. I don’t want to spend time doing something that isn’t enjoyable to me and, honestly, is affecting how I like books, too. When I finish a book, I don’t want to dread having to go over to goodreads just to see that book sitting on my ‘currently reading’ shelf, waiting for me to review it. I’ll review the books I want, and if I don’t want to, I’ll rate them, maybe leave a one sentence review, and other than that…what I thought about the book doesn’t have to be broadcast to the world, does it?

3. DNF more books

Seems like a bit of a weird resolution but honestly…I don’t DNF enough books. I always feel obligated to read through an entire book, I mean if I’ve started it, or if I’ve gotten halfway through, I should finish it!!! What’s the point in reading a book half read! And sometimes, I really do want to find out what happens, not because I’m interested in it but because I want to know if it might get any better. But really, why should I waste time reading books that I’m not enjoying? There’s so many other books out there that I WILL enjoy, and by taking the time to read one book (and slowly, usually, since I’m not going to be as eager to pick it up if I don’t enjoy it), I’m taking away from the time I have to read those other books that I might enjoy more.

4. Follow more blogs

This one’s less of a bookish resolution and more of a blog resolution, but since my blog is a book blog, I guess it fits. I’ve been wanting to do this basically forever, in fact so much that last month I wrote a post and introduced a page all about a way that I’m trying to follow more blogs. But it is in fact still something that I am working towards so I really hope that I’m able to hop out of my shell a little more and find some amazing new people in the bookish blog community in 2022!

What are some of your bookish resolutions for 2022? What did you think of mine? Do we have any in common?