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.
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! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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!
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✅
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?
Read at least 5 books
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?
There is no way that time actually exists because if it did, it would not already be November. Also, I would actually have time to read more than I do, but since the days and weeks and months just INSIST on slipping through my fingers, I guess I don’t get that.
Act Cool by Tobly McSmith. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It was a great story about a transgender actor who just got into a prestigious acting school after running away from his transphobic parents. There were some parts of the plot that I don’t know how I felt about, but I enjoyed the story as a whole. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko. This is the second book in the Raybearer duology and I immediately got it after finishing Raybearer. It was great!! I loved to see where the plot went after book 1, and while there were some things that didn’t feel as fleshed out as they might have been, it was still an EXCELLENT book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A Clash of Steel by CB Lee. This book. Like honestly, THIS BOOK!!! The beginning was pretty slow so I wasn’t sure how I was going to enjoy it, but OH MY GOSH. This book was TEN TIMES better than I ever expected it to be, and I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
American Street by Ibi Zoboi. I read this one back in July or August, but here I am reading it again, once again for school. Honestly, I enjoyed this a lot more this time through, I think because of all the things that my english teacher pointed out when we discussed this one in class! ⭐⭐⭐
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. Another reread for school. I have read The Great Gatsby far more than I ever thought or wished I would, and boy am I glad that it’s not long and it’s not a book that I hate (only dislike haha). ⭐⭐⭐
Not Your Backup by CB Lee. The Sidekick Squad series has been one I’ve been reading since February, and it’s enjoyable but not something that I’m extremely invested in. Except for this one. GUYS WE HAVE AROACE SPEC QUESTIONING REP AAAAH. And it was AMAZINGLY DONE. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl. Vampire girls team up to kill their ex boyfriend, who is the vampire who turned them all into vampires. Main character falls in love withvampire ex boyfriend’s current girlfriend. I ENJOYED THIS SO MUCH!!! (yes that’s all I have to say) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram. This one is the sequel to Darius the Great is Not Okay, which I read last month and enjoyed. Another one that I just…went to the library…and then just picked up (love being able to do that again!)…and both books are so awesome! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Red Hood by Elana K Arnold. Honestly, this book felt super empowering and pretty cool, but also I understand that there’s some problems with it. This was the first book I’ve read in second person and it was really weird but I actually got used to it! [no rating]
Ashmita @The Fictional Journal posted about annotating books and…while I’d still never write on a book, it was interesting to see some reasons why someone would do it!
I posted two posts this month which is twice as much as I’ve been doing since school started! The first was a book tag, something that I haven’t done since mid April. The second is an announcement about a new feature I have on my blog, where you can recommend a friend’s blog, which I’m super excited about!
Stay on top of school! ✅
STUDY FOR QUIZZES AND TESTS ❌
Enjoy your weekends and off days. (don’t just think about school!) ✅
Talk/hang out with your friends more ✅
Goals-wise, I had a pretty good month! I’m super happy I was able to hang out with my friends more, just after school and such, and I also did do well in school, too! Unfortunately, I’m still not great about studying for quizzes and tests, but…
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
Okay so first of all, big news…I finally caught up on all my books on goodreads! Basically, I’d been slacking on marking some books as read on my goodreads, all the way back since April. Earlier this month, I went onto my blog and goodreads and marked every single book that I’d forgotten to as read on goodreads and wow I’ve actually read way more books than I thought I had!
School is…still school. I feel like I am finally settling into the rhythm, and everything being crazy, which is nice. I mean, I’d rather it not be crazy, but still. Our first term finished this month, and I did well which is nice, so now onward to second term, I guess (second term is always the worst).
I went to see a musical that my friends were in! It was really fun, I was NOT expecting to enjoy it as much as I did (no offense to my friends, it was just the topic of the play), but it was SUCH a fun experience and the play was absolutely AMAZING.
I went to my grandparents’ place for Thanksgiving which was really nice, we ate a lot of food (too much food, I got super full), but it was just a relaxing and fun holiday!
That’s it for this month! What did you read in November? Did you find any posts that you really enjoyed? And does time really exist (there’s only one correct answer; choose wisely).
It has been 155 days since I last wrote a book review on my book blog. Given this, I figured that I should probably write another book review. I finished reading Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating on Tuesday and I LOVED it! I’m super behind on all my goodreads reviews and since I haven’t reviewed many books on my blog recently, either, I figured that I’d review this one.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating | Abida Jaigirdar
When Humaira, or Hani, comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying that there’s no way she could know, never having kissed a girl. Wanting her friends to know who she really is, she tells them she is in a relationship with a girl–with Ishita (or Ishu). Ishu has never been popular at school or with Hani’s friend group–she’s a total overachiever and gets set on becoming head girl to make her parents happy. There’s just one problem…to become head girl, you need votes from the other students, and Ishu is not exactly popular. And so Ishu agrees to help Hani show her friends that she really is bi as long as Hani helps her become more popular. The two girls are complete opposites, but can they get along well enough to pull them off and help the other?
All summaries are my own unless otherwise stated. Parts of the summary may be borrowed from goodreads.
I was super excited for this book, coming into it, but I was also a little nervous. I’d just read The Henna Wars, by the same author, in May and I enjoyed it. I was really looking forward to reading another of the author’s books. However, I’d also read two books in May that had fake dating plots. They were the first two books featuring fake dating that I’d ever read and they really let me down so I was a little worried to start this one. But I actually ended up really enjoying this one, which is somewhat of a relief.
I loved our main characters, Hani and Ishu. I feel like they had very distinct personalities, which was really nice because oftentimes when books have dual POVs the characters end up sounding pretty much the same. Plus, they were very different people, which led them to having a very interesting dynamic at first as they struggled to get along with each other, which leads me into my next point.
This entire book explores relationships in a lot of different ways. The most prominent relationship, of course, is the one between Hani and Ishu. I loved the development between them, as they start with not liking each other very much, given how different the two of them are, and then begin to become friends before getting feelings for each other. In a lot of books, development is a rough spot because it really is hard to do it well. However, this book did it perfectly. It wasn’t obvious that the two were developing because it was so smooth, each new step in their relationship just flowed through. It was happening right before my eyes and yet at one point I just realized, ‘oh, they’re becoming friends now’.
I think that the relationship that I liked most though was Ishu’s relationship with her sister. At the beginning, Ishu doesn’t trust her sister at all. She thinks that she’s going to rat to their parents or use any information she gets as a bargaining chip. But as they talk periodically throughout the book, Ishu begins to see that her sister actually just wants to help her, that she’s changed a lot in her time at college and they develop a very special bond.
The other relationship that was pretty big in this book was Hani’s relationship with her friends. It was very clearly a bad relationship, which Hani definitely knew and was realizing throughout the book, but she still held onto them for a large part of the story. I think this is actually a really good thing to see in books because often when your friend or friends are toxic or just not right for you, you do sort of acknowledge it but it’s very hard to leave them. Especially with Hani, who has been friends with Aisling and Deirdre (or at least one of them–I forget who) since she was very young, it was hard for her to come to terms that they were not good friends and she was probably better off without them.
Another thing that I think this book was very good for was showing culture from different places in the world. Hani’s friends believed that Hani and Ishu were just the same culture and the same ethnicity because they were from the same part of the world, but this was not true. The book did a great job of highlighting the differences between their cultures and I learned a lot! Plus, I think that Jaigirdar does a great job of putting religion and culture into her books as just…a part of the characters’ lives. It’s not the main part of the book, it’s not something only added when it helps the plot, it’s just there. Also, when Hani’s father is talking about how him and Hani’s mother sort of pushed their culture to the background when they moved to Ireland because there wasn’t really anywhere/anyway to practice it was a really good add because it definitely shows some of the sacrifices that people make when they immigrate. I think that that part also showed, however, how much certain parts of the world have changed in a kind of short amount of time. Of course it’s still not perfect, there are definitely so many things that still make people from different cultures not feel at home in different countries, but it really has changed quite a bit since the time that our parents were kids.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book–I liked it better than The Henna Wars, even! I would highly recommend that anyone read this book!
Have you read Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating? What did you think about it? What are some other fake dating books that you’ve enjoyed? (I want recs!) Thank you so much for reading and as always, stay safe and keep on reading!
I’m back! I’m so sorry for my completely unexplained disappearance from the blogging world this month. It was entirely unplanned but unfortunately some outside factors had a bit of a sway in this. I’m going to try to post regularly in June and I’ll explain more with what happened farther down in this post. In other news, I’ve decided to turn my wrap up back into a singular post. Given that I’ve gotten rid of my monthly book awards, my posts will definitely not be as long so I figured I’d save myself the effort of having to format TWO posts and make an entire 2/5s of my posts be just wrap ups and turn it back into one wrap up.
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. I’ve seen this book hyped by many of my friends and it was something that I’d been meaning to read, but unfortunately it was a disappointment. It just did not hold my attention and it took me a while to finish it, as well as getting me into a fantasy reading slump. ⭐⭐
Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen. This was a really good book! I’m definitely in the middle of a realistic fiction binge right now and I found this to be a very satisfying read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper. This book was okay. Honestly, nothing really stood out about it, I found it interesting that the main character was into media journaling but there was absolutely no development to the romance and it happened out of nowhere. ⭐⭐⭐
Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia. Okay, so I’m not usually a fan of magical realism. It may be one of my least favorite genres ever. I also didn’t enjoy the first book by McLemore that I read. But this book? This was AWESOME! I loved it so much, it kept me hooked, I liked the writing, it was just amazing! Plus, one of the main characters is pansexual, not something we see much in books, and there was amazing trans rep! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Michigan vs. the Boys by Carrie Allen. Guys I loved this book SO much. Three words: Girls playing sports. As a girl who plays sports myself (well, just one sport. Fencing didn’t really work out) it is SO AMAZING to see a book like this because honestly? There’s so few of them. I think this is a super important book to read because it highlights a lot of the sexism that revolves around sports. Also it’s just an awesome book. Read it. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Henna Wars by Abida Jaigirdar. Okay, I know it’s kinda crazy that this is the first time I’ve read this. It’s a super popular book with people, it seems. And it was a nice read, too! I really enjoyed it, especially Nishat’s relationship with her sister, Priti, because we really need more awesome sibling relationships in books, please and thank you. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson. Yet another book that’s gotten really popular since it came out which I hadn’t read. This book was good! Shoot, I forget what happened in it (despite the fact that I read it more recently than several of these other books). But it was definitely good. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch. This was a sweet book, I loved how everyone came together to help Sky and there were some great friendships here. It was a sort of predictable book, or maybe that’s just me being able to predict far out things (though, given that I’ve NEVER guessed the outcome of a murder mystery…) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Most Likely by Sarah Watson. This was a good book but I have some complaints. Don’t listen to the goodreads summary. Or any summary. Nowhere in the book does it say that one of these four girls are destined to be president. In the prologue, I guess it says that one of them will be president, but the way the goodreads summary says it– ‘destined to become president’ makes it seem like some ominous prophecy. Complaints aside, this was a really nice realistic fiction story. ⭐⭐⭐
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert. Honestly, I didn’t know how a book all about voting, set in one day would be pulled off. I was skeptical. But it worked, it really did. I loved how we got to know the characters and they got to know each other throughout the day, and the book really kept me engaged and educated. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales. This was the PERFECT book to read when I was at the height of my realistic fiction reading phase–it’s basically the type of book I think of when I think realistic fiction. It was a really great book! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. I picked this book up on a whim and it was pretty interesting! There were times I was confused about the monsters and angels and I’ve figured out the monsters but I’m honestly still sort of confused about the angels but oh well, it was still an awesome book with a great lesson! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter. Super important book, would definitely recommend. Has a great friendship in it and teaches some very important things! (excuse my overuse of the word ‘important’). ⭐⭐⭐⭐
She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen. I did enjoy this book, however I cannot get over the fact that Scottie CLEARLY blackmailed Irene into fake dating her. And she didn’t even realize it. Did the author even realize it? Because it’s literally never addressed in the rest of the book. That really rubbed me the wrong way. ⭐⭐⭐
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee. The disappointment I feel about this book…I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be so harsh on it because the way that the main character was acting (kinda self centered) for most of the book mighta been part of his growing process or whatever but I still feel super let down because I was so excited for this one. ⭐⭐
Well, I’m clearly terrible at sticking to my TBRs but I want to be able to finish some of the books I own, including some fantasy ones, because I hope to get out of my fantasy book slump. I’d also love to read LOTS of queer books for pride month and so if anyone has any recommendations, PLEASE suggest them in the comments below! Especially if you have any with rep that is less commonly seen in books!
The Monthly Bingo is created by A Colorful Bibliophile and it is totally amazing, so please head over there and check it out! It’s such a fun thing to do and I hope you’ll join in on it! You can find May’s board here and here is what I’ve done for this month!
Despite being inactive on my own blog, I did do a pretty good job of staying on top of other people’s posts, if I may say so myself. I was unable to comment on them, but I did read them (I promise, I read them!). Here are just a few that I enjoyed!
Ritz and Alex both celebrated getting 100 and 200 followers respectively on their blogs!
I wrote a measly one blog post in May, but it was a super awesome one! April @Booked Till Midnight and I collaborated once again to write a discussion post, this time on spoilers, and I LOVE how it turned out! We split it in two, just like last time, and you can find my half here and hers here.
When you have school stuff, do it first!!! Writing/blogging comes afterwards (not saying I don’t do this already but my schedule is about to get a lot busier)✅
Drink more water (please?)❌
Blog a liiiiittle more (be on top of my posts more) ❌
Remember to study (the end of the school year is, amazingly, coming right up!)❌✅
Well uuuuuuh…I definitely didn’t blog more. Haha. I did stay more on top of school stuff I think? I wouldn’t say I drank more water. And I studied once? For a quiz? We don’t have finals this year, so that’s nice.
Blog some more?
Hang out with my friends
Don’t think about school after it ends
Follow a few more blogs
*If you’ll notice, I skipped the blogging updates section, simply because I have no blogging updates to give*
Okay, so what’s been going on with me this month? Where have I been? Well, the first week of May, my only excuse for posting was that I didn’t know what to post. I have a bunch of book tags lined up and several book reviews, but I just wanted to write something new and exciting (not to say that book tags aren’t exciting) and I just didn’t know what to do. Then, on Friday May 14, I injured my elbow while playing softball. The short story was that I landed on it while trying to stop a ball from getting past me, the longer story for any of you who actually understand the baseball/softball talk is that the other team had the bases loaded with one out and I was playing right field. The batter hit the ball to the pitcher, who tossed it to the catcher to get the out at home, but then the catcher threw down to first to try to get the batter out as well. However, the ball got past the first baseman and because I was backing up first, I ran to try to get the ball. I dove, but I didn’t manage to get it and I landed on my arm. Immediately after I got up (yes, you’re getting the full story here), my arm felt really weird, it was all shaky and hurt a little (but surprisingly, not much). Whatever the case, I knew I couldn’t put my glove back on so I went back to the dugout (and a few parents fawned over me). I wasn’t feeling well enough to play in the rest of the game but we wanted to see if it was something I could sleep off. It definitely wasn’t. I went to the doctor’s the next day and they told me to go to the ER to get an X-ray. It turned out that I’d fractured a bone in my elbow–a fracture small enough that they couldn’t even see in the x-ray (they could tell by the fluids that were gathering around my bone), but a fracture nonetheless. I got a splint, which made it very hard to type. Basically I couldn’t type. So that’s why I haven’t been blogging (typing with one hand is so agonizing). On Monday (the 24th) I got my splint off and, while my arm is still injured, it’s okay enough that I just have to keep it in a sling until my next appointment by which time it will hopefully be better. I can type again, hooray! (though I probably shouldn’t be doing it much). And that is the story of why I haven’t been blogging.
Other stuff I’ve been doing this month include playing softball, until I got injured, and reading because what else can I do. Oh yeah, also school. My teachers are giving us lots of projects and tests (and terrifying latin assignments) before the end of the year. So that’s fun. I paid more attention to baseball? Because from April-October, Major League Baseball is basically my life? This season has been absolutely CRAZY so far, with some super competitive divisions and also six??? no-hitters??? somehow??? But honestly, really nothing else happened this month aside from breaking my first bone ever (seriously, this was my first big injury).
How was your May? Do you have any queer book recommendations for me? What do you think of my reading month? As always, thank you so much for stopping by and have a marvelous June! (I wish I’d thought of ‘marvelous’ before, because ‘marvelous May’ sounds so much better than ‘marvelous June) Stay safe and keep on reading!
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 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. ⭐⭐⭐
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. ⭐⭐⭐
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. 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.
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…)
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!
I’m just going to apologize in advance for the length of the post. I hope it doesn’t scare you off because I really enjoy writing my wrap ups and I try to make them interesting. Unfortunately, I got carried away so now it’s absurdly long. BUT HOPEFULLY ITS VERY INTERESTING. Also, this is a very interactive post. I ask for your opinion on many many things. I love hearing what you guys think! (so I hope you’re taking notes because there will be quizzes–joking I hope I didn’t scare you off)
I had an EXTREMELY good reading month…I really don’t know what happened and how it happened that I read so many books. But anyways. I managed to read 26 books, three of which were from my 2021 tbr (21 books I want to read in 2021). I’m also extremely happy how I did in reading diversely this month, especially at the beginning of the month. Now, because I read so many books this month and my wrap up is so long anyways, I’m going to only mention the books that I have specific comments on here. Links to my goodreads reviews will be provided for every book, however.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. This book was a really interesting idea. I loved the characters and the idea for the plot and magic system. However, there was a lot to keep track of and a lot of info dumps to explain it all. But if you enjoy complex magic systems and awesome characters, do read because this book was interesting! (oh yeah also I only read about 40 pages of this in January because I was trying to finish it at the end of December but got 40 pages short by midnight).
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho. About time I read this! For those of you who don’t know, I got to see Kat Cho (and two other authors) talk at a webinar this summer (and I did my first blog post on this blog on that!). I never got around to reading any of the author’s novels until now. And Wicked Fox was super interesting, much better than I thought it would be (given that it centers around a romance).
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. I’ve seen this book all over and it looked super good (a murder in a school where learning is a game??? Yes, please). In reality, it was meh. I’m sort of disappointed but it may just be because Karen McManus’s books are superior and I’m used to those.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. Okay. That’s all I had to say. Read it, please and thank you. Okay, more thoughts: The love triangle was annoying (aren’t they always?) but bearable. Also: A M A Z I N G rep!!!
Enola Holmes (book one) by Nancy Springer. Yeah, so earlier this month I got tagged for the Enola Holmes book tag and I’d watched part of the movie but not read the book and we had this book out from the library at the time so I just picked it up and read it in like a day. It was pretty good.
The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah. I’ve been wanting to read this since approximately April and I’m glad I finally got a chance! It was pretty good! A REALLY unique book. (And can we just PAUSE for a moment and appreciate THAT COVER??? LOOK HOW AWESOME IT IS!)
1984 by George Orwell. I had to read this for school. Twice. I know there are some people who like this book but I just can’t get past the things that Winston kept thinking at the beginning (about Julia). I do LOVE the ending, however, and it has my favorite quote of all time. “Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.”
The Liar’s Guide to the Night Sky by Brianna R. Shrum. Second survival story I’ve read this year (two more than last year!) and really good! Plus, it has extremely good rep – one of the main characters was aromantic, pansexual and polyamorous.
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas. Aaaah, a Hate U Give prequel and just as good! I have no idea how Angie Thomas does it but she just has the most amazing way with words. Prequels are not something I usually enjoy but WOW.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a very long time. And I absolutely loved it, but wow was it different than I expected.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Aaaah this book had so much hype around it and it did not disappoint! It was really fun to read Romeo and Juliet at the same time as this (thanks, English class) to see the similarities and differences
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Meh. I really wasn’t feeling this book, it’s supposed to be a mystery but it’s really only a mystery half the time and even if it was high stakes, it didn’t seem high stakes for some reason.
~Other Books I Read This Month~
~The Monthly Book Awards~
Those of you who’ve seen my blog since the last wrap up know what the monthly book awards are but for anyone new, I’ll explain them really quickly. These awards are basically just short little things I do where I ‘award’ a character, a world, a book, etc. if it’s the best one of the topic that I’ve read that month. Down below, you can see all the categories and the award winners for each one! Note: all awards are my own opinion Also: While this is my creation, anyone who wants to participate in the monthly book awards is completely welcome to do so on their own blog! Just make sure to credit me, but other than that I’d love to see everyone else’s award winners!
Best Character: Jihoon, from Wicked Fox by Kat Cho. Honestly, I was going to choose Miyoung for this but then I thought about Jihoon and…he’s just such a sweet character, honestly. He’s so wholesome, and funny too. Worst Character: Winston from 1984. I just…didn’t like 1984 much and while Winston was doing his ‘questioning society’ thing and was smarter than a lot of other people in there, he still said some things that really made me dislike him. Most interesting character: I think for this one I’ll say Stevie from Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. She’s a teenager who studies crime as a hobby basically and I’m not saying this isn’t something that people not in books do, it’s still a very interesting hobby. Funniest character: I honestly forget which character it was or even if it was a specific character–perhaps it was just how it was narrated–but while reading Radio Silence by Alice Oseman I found myself laughing a lot of the time.
Best villain: Honestly, I’m going to say the ‘villain’ or at least ‘villainous actions’ in 1984. I gotta say, that book is not great but THAT ENDING. I LOVE THE ENDING. Worst villain: Hmm, for this one I’m just going to say the villain (villains?) in Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly. Sophie was so naive at the beginning at that and somehow the villain didn’t manage to kill her? Most original villain: How could I not say These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong? Honestly, at this point, I’m still not entirely sure who/what the real villain is. Though that may just be my memory being terrible. If the villain was revealed, someone please tell me in the comments.
Best plot: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Yeah, I don’t really know what to say except that this plot was great. Worst plot: Honestly? Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare). I know that it’s a bit weird since I JUST said that These Violent Delights was the best one this month, but that plot was changed a lot. Romeo and Juliet is just insta love and death. Craziest plot twist: The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson. Maybe I’m just terrible at guessing mysteries but wow that one was a shocker. Most original plot: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. While the execution of this plot wasn’t great, the idea for the plot was pretty interesting.
Best worldbuilding: The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Hall. I mean, it was just another fantasy adventure but I find that those have the best worldbuilding, oftentimes. Worst worldbuilding: I legitimately don’t know what worldbuilding was bad in the books I read…I don’t think I really read any bad worldbuilding. Most interesting world: The world in ‘The Light At the Bottom of the World’ by London Shah. Well, it’s sci fi so it’s actually our world but now it’s underwater and the way the author described everything was so beautiful.
Best romance: I’ll say Miyoung and Jihoon from Wicked Fox by Kat Cho for this one. I just…I think they worked well together. (me, who does not particularly like romance, trying to say something nice about it) Worst romance: Dare I say it? …of course I dare! (no, I don’t know what that was, I’m tired okay?) I really really really do not like the romance in Romeo and Juliet. I know there are people who love this book but it’s waaaay too insta-lovey. Also, Romeo is like 16 or 17 and Juliet is 13??? When they’re older this is a fine age difference but at this age…no thank you. Also they get married after knowing each other for a day. I– Most unexpected romance: Stevie and David from Truly Devious. There was no chemistry at all and it was just at an awful time and…no 🙂 I’d also say it was the second worst romance. At least they KNEW each other for more than FIVE MINUTES before they kissed though.
Most diverse book: This one is EASILY Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. I LOVED all the diversity in this book and it was especially awesome to see demiboy representation since that’s really not something that I’ve ever seen before in a book. Least diverse book: I don’t really know what I mean when I’m saying ‘least diverse book’ because a lot of books are diverse in their own rights but I suppose I’ll go with 1984 by George Orwell. I’d say Romeo and Juliet as well but I actually read a graphic novel adaption of it and the artist chose to portray the main characters as different races to provide a little diversity so that was nice.
Best book overall: So I actually only rated two books 5 stars this month but this is still a super hard choice and I feel like the fact that I’m also considering a book I rated 4 stars means I should probably bump it up to 5 stars but I’m lazy so I probably won’t. But I think I’m going to choose Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. It was just such a good book and like I mentioned above, the diversity was STELLAR. (runners-up: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas and The Liar’s Guide to the Night Sky by Brianna R. Shrum) Worst book overall: Just as shockingly as my small amount of 5 star reviews, I have one 1 star review and three two star reviews (I was harsh this month, I guess). I feel like I’ve said Romeo and Juliet too much and it seems unfair to name a book I read for school for this, so I’m going to go with The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I just didn’t like it. The mystery wasn’t very exciting and it barely felt like a mystery–they spent so much time doing other things Most interesting book overall: I’m going with Legendborn by Tracy Deonn for this one. Legendborn had a lot of super awesome elements, including an amazingly intricate world which is why I’m choosing it for this award, however because of said world there was a lot of info dumping and it was a little hard to keep track of.
Okay! I have a few blogging updates for all of you! First of all, I’d like to thank every single person who follows me because I’ve made it to 100 followers! I love all of you so much and thank you for your support and love of my blog–it means everything to me.
Second, I need your opinion. On two things, actually. First of all, I have designed another logo for my blog, like where I put the logo at the very top now. But I’m not sure if it’s better. So please, if you would, vote on this really really short poll just to let me know which image you like better. Here are the two images:
The second thing I need your opinion on is what posts YOU want to see ME do more of. I have a LOT of posts planned for the next few months. Unfortunately, though my brain is full of ideas, I don’t actually have time to write all these posts–thus why I am posting only once per week. Because of this, I want to know which posts YOU want. Please vote on the poll below to tell me your opinions (check as many as you want):
You guys may remember the bingo card that I showed you all at the beginning of the month? The one hosted by The Colorful Bibliophile? Anyways, I thought I’d share my completed board for this month–I think I did pretty well! Here it is:
I loved this idea for a bingo card so much and I will definitely be participating in February’s–post found here. I hope that all of you can participate too!
Lastly, Riddhi @Whispering Stories is doing a series of blogger interviews on her blog and today she interviewed me! Please pop over to her blog if you want to learn a bit more about me and check out some of Riddhi’s other posts as well! Here’s the interview.
Spend more time writing
Go on more walks
Study more for test (I’m so bad at studying…)
Follow at least 2 more blogs (I’m always looking for awesome new blogs!)
Reach 130 followers
(My first three goals are ‘do more’ of something. Is there enough time in the world for me to do everything? aaah)
Well, I’m finally done with my term finals! I’m halfway through the year aaah I cannot believe that that is true already, it’s almost surreal! I feel like this year has been going by so fast. I didn’t really do many interesting things this month but here’s what I did do:
Re-watch Julie and the Phantoms. You guys may know my obsession with this show. Maybe. I really really really love it. It’s awesome. The characters are all so lovable and the music is great and the plot is great and just AAAH. I could watch it a million times (well, probably not because I might be dead before I even could watch it that many times but I would if I could). If you have watched this, I am eagerly awaiting your comment below so we can start raving about it together. If you have not watched it….what are you still doing reading this post, go watch it right now! I can wait for your comment! (but don’t take toooo long)
Finished term finals. Yep, this week was a busy one for me, as it was the end of term and I had a whole lot of quizzes, tests and projects. I’m finally over one of the busiest weeks of the school year and thank goodness for that. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more reading and writing done (who am I kidding, I’ve been reading anyways)
Wrote the first two or so paragraphs of my book. Yeah, that’s not that impressive. Two paragraphs. But like I said, I had term finals. Hopefully I’ll have more time to write this chapter since I need to finish it by around mid February if I have hope in applying for a summer camp-like thing for writing. I actually need everyone’s opinion on this, so if you would read the below excerpt and tell me what you think in the comments, what emotions it’s making you feel, what you liked, what you think could be changed, that would be so so so awesome. Here it is:
If our battles were on land, blood would pool at our feet. The fields we fought on, once grassy and green, would be sticky with the ichor of fallen soldiers. I can almost imagine my spear slicing through air as easily as it does flesh, soldiers falling, gravity pulling them down to the dirt. But we are not fighting on land. The scene is a mass of writhing tails and flashing spears. Blood blooms outwards from wounds, the entire scene painted red. We fight in the ocean.
Because I’m on a roll with polls (I couldn’t get that to rhyme, sadly), I’ve decided to give you two more. This wrap up is absurdly long and I need to know what parts of the post you think that I can/should get rid of to make it shorter. Also, I’ll be asking your opinion on my ‘bookish awards’ part of the post since that takes up a big part of my wrap ups and I need to know what people think of it and if I should keep it.
I’m hoping no one chooses that last one but if it’s how you really feel… If you have anything else to say, please leave a comment!
Well, I think that that’s my wrap up. Hopefully. I swear, as soon as I post this I’m going to remember something else I wanted to include in this thing. But since I don’t want to drive you away by writing such a long post, I’ll just end it here. (In case any of you are interested the word count is 3150–eek!) What did you think of this post? How’d you like my writing excerpt? How was your reading month? Leave a comment, I don’t bite! Thank you so much for reading–it means the world to me. As always, stay safe and keep on reading!
Two posts in one day! And finally, my next book review! I haven’t reviewed a book on here in a while and I’m excited to get back to it! Now, I wrote a short summary for the beginning of the book, but in my opinion neither this summary nor the official one does the book justice so get ready to dive very deep into this masterpiece in order to teach yourself that you need to get this book right away.
Noah is quiet and keeps to himself. He hides in the pictures he loves to draw and lets his twin sister do all the talking for him. No one notices that he’s falling in love with the boy next door. Meanwhile, Jude does more than enough speaking to make up for her brother’s silence. She’s a daredevil, a surfer and a sky diver who wears lipstick and kisses boys just to spite her mother. However, three years later their worlds have flipped upside down and their personalities have changed drastically. Now, both are each other. Jude is the quiet one, hanging out with no one and obsessed with art. Noah has immersed himself in the world that Jude had been in, with friends and late night parties. Each of them are dealing with the gap that has emerged between them in wildly different ways and each of them only hold half the reason that the gap is even there. Only if they can piece together the story can they find their way back to each other.
I loved both of the characters in this book. “I’ll Give You the Sun” is an extremely character driven novel and throughout the story both Noah and Jude absolutely shone.
The book starts with the introduction of thirteen-year-old Noah. At this age, he’s shy, quiet, keeps to himself. He loves to draw and is constantly coming up with what pictures should look like in his head. In this same chapter we get to meet his sister, Jude. It’s immediately obvious that Jude does not have a good relationship with their mother and does everything she can to spite her. Jude is loud, a risk-taker, basically everything Noah isn’t and I think this is why they fit so well together–it’s as if they were one person who was just split in half. They need each other.
Which is why reading the next chapter is so very jarring. Suddenly it’s three years later and the story is being told from Jude’s point of view. The twins have practically switched places in life; suddenly Noah is the one going to all the parties and Jude is estranged from everyone. And both are estranged from each other. And yet through Jude’s point of view you can tell that they still need each other. That they need to find each other again in this mess we call the world.
And thus goes the book, weaving through the lives’ of thirteen-year-old Noah and sixteen-year-old Jude, piecing together what happened in between those years that made them break apart so shockingly. There are many layers to the time between and it takes time to unearth them all.
I think that the next thing we should focus on is the writing. Oh, the writing. Jandy Nelson makes a book come to life in your head. I have never read a book that was so full of color and images, I could perfectly picture every single scene in my head–it was like watching a movie that only I could see but it was so much better. Movies have the pictures, they can show things, but when you are reading a book and you are inside someone’s head like you are when you read a story told in first person, you get a whole other level of feelings and this is magnified tenfold by Jandy Nelson. Reading this book, I felt like I was Noah, I was Jude. I felt like I was living their lives, the happiness, the hurt, all the emotions. “I’ll Give You the Sun” is, quite possibly, the best written book that I have ever read.
Let me say one thing: this review does not do this novel justice. It is very hard to do this story justice because it is so unlike anything and it is so much more than any book I have ever read before. It is impossible to describe this book to someone else without shoving said book into their hands and sitting them down on a comfy chair, standing guard over them as they read for the next three or more hours. So if my review didn’t convince you to go get this book and read it, go get it and read it anyways because let me tell you, it is worth it.
More information on IGYTS:
Title: I’ll Give You the Sun Author: Jandy Nelson Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Amazingness Publication date: September 16, 2014 Representation: Gay main character, strong female main character Page Number: 371
What did you think of this review? Did you like it? Have you read “I’ll Give You the Sun”? What did you think? Do you want to read it? Post in the comments and be sure to give this post a like if you enjoyed this book review!