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:
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?
It’s now been 2022 for a few days now, and I wanted to do a post on a few books I wanted to read, goals I have, and more for 2022! This post is basically just miscellaneous beginning-of-year things, but I figured I may as well write it. Let’s get into it!
The Goodreads Reading Challenge
I started doing the Goodreads reading challenge in 2020 for the first time, when I actually started using Goodreads more. Personally, I don’t actually pay much attention to this throughout the year; it’s just something for me to keep in the corner of my brain. I have, for the past two years, set my goal to 100 books, and though I surpassed that goal easily both times, I’m going to keep it at 100 this year, too. First of all 100 is just a nice round number and I like it, but second of all because we were in a pandemic and in quarantine for the last two years, and though the quarantine was not fun, it did allow me a lot more time for reading. Since in person school has started this year, I’ve had much less time for reading, so I actually think that 100 books is a very reasonable goal for me right now.
Books I want to read in 2022
Last year, I published a post where I named 21 books that I wanted to read in 2021. It was a pretty interesting post, with a lot of great books on there, but I’ve decided not to do that again for two reasons. First of all, I only actually ended up reading 10 of the books on that list. I am absolutely terrible at sticking to TBRs, and the fact that I had an entire 365 days to read 21 books (especially given that in all, I read 157 books in 2021) really proves that. The other reason that I didn’t want to do this list again is because I think that it mostly ended up being a lot of books that are popular and/or very hyped, and so it was more books that I felt like I SHOULD read, but not books that I necessarily wanted to read. Obviously, there are a lot of books that I do want to read, out there, but I’m just awful at thinking of them off the top of my head, and more often than not, the books that I want to read are ones that I see somewhere and then immediately go off to request from the library. So, instead of writing an entire post about the books I want to read, I just thought I’d share a few books that I’m really excited to pick up. Not any fixed number, just however many books there ends up being.
What We Devour by Linsey Miller. This one, I honestly just want to read because of the ace rep, which I’m super excited for! Unfortunately, I’ve seen some less than glowing reviews about this book, so we’ll see what I think.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. This is a book that it seems like everyone knows about by now, because it was all the hype last year. I finally got this one for Christmas this year, so I’m excited to read it!
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Another one that people seem to love! And I’m really interested in this; I don’t read much historical fiction, but I find that I really enjoy it, so I hope this one’s great, too!
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Honestly, that goodreads summary covers so much, I don’t really know where to start. But I’m excited for the indigenous rep, and it sounds like a great mystery as well!
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. I’ve seen this one EVERYWHERE, and I’m super excited for it, I can’t wait to pick it up!
I do not pay as close attention to upcoming releases as a lot of other people do, so this is going to be another pretty short list, but there are several upcoming releases that I’m very excited for, so I thought I’d share them here, as well! (By the way, I’d highly suggest you go check out the post that May @Forever and Everly did on upcoming releases, it’s a much more comprehensive list than mine!)
Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor. Rosiee Thor is an author that I’ve followed for a while now, and I’ve talked to her a bit as well, and I am SO excited for her second book! I mean, people say it has a 1920’s vibe, plus there’s magic (that you drink, if I remember correctly?) and overtaking the rich, so…what more could you need? (oh plus it’s queer, very very queer)
Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie. I’ve heard about this book so much that I’m honestly surprised it’s not already published? It’s a debut book about a girl who starts to question her sexuality and I’ve read many reviews already that say it’s wonderful, so I really cannot wait for this one.
Loveless by Alice Oseman. Technically Loveless is already published in some places, but it comes out in the US on March 1 (though the release date has been pushed back several times so who knows if this is true). And I am SO EXCITED to finally hold this wonderful book in my hands!!! (by the way – thoughts on the US cover? I’m really not sure what to think).
Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, by Meg Long. I actually don’t know very much about this book, but it sounds really interesting and unique. Plus, dogsledding! We don’t see that in books very often!
Icebreaker by AL Graziadei. Queer sports will ALWAYS be something for me to be excited for, and I’m especially excited for this one because it’s about professional sports, and there are very few out people in professional sports (in men’s professional sports)
Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt (no cover yet). This book has an entire cast of asexual characters. Plus, it’s a heist book, and the main character is described as ‘modern asexual Kaz Brekker.’ What more could I need?
Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore (no cover yet). I am SO excited about this book, because I read Gatsby earlier this (school) year and have been trying to get my hands on Gatsby retellings now (of which there are very few). And this one has transgender Nick AND transgender Gatsby.
What’s your goodreads reading challenge goal? Have you read any of the books I want to read this year? What are some releases that you’re looking forwards to?
It’s the end of 2021. And I literally cannot believe that I’m writing these words so soon. It feels like just yesterday that I posted my massive January of 2021 wrap up, reading 26 books and talking about how the new year has just started. This entire year has gone by way too fast, and so many things have happened, some good, some bad. But one constant is that I still read a lot and that I’m still bad at keeping track of my books.
Last year, my first end-of-year in the blogging community, I remember being so impressed with all the graphs and charts and lovely posts that everyone rolled out talking about their spreadsheets they kept of the books they read, and how much data they had, and everything like that. It was something I really really wanted to do, and I started a new spreadsheet for 2021 immediately, looking forwards to creating those lovely graphs at the end of the year.
I got exactly 4 books into the spreadsheet before I gave up. So, unfortunately for both me and everyone here who’s reading this and really wanted to see some pretty graphs, there will be none in this post. Instead, I will do my best to talk about my favorite books of 2021 without the aid of graphs, using simply my own terrible memory for help.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender was without a doubt my favorite book of 2021. I read this book right at the beginning of the year, back in January when I had that phenomenal reading month (26 books, I truly do not understand my own power). And wow, I remember loving this so much. I just talked about it over and over on my blog, to my friends, to everyone.
I do not remember books. I’ll read one book, and the next week, the plot will have totally slipped from my mind. But Felix Ever After is a book that I remembered. It was just such an amazing book that brought to light so many issues, gave so much amazing representation, and just wove a totally awesome story, that I’ve thought about this thing ever since I read it, even asking for it for Christmas despite the fact that I’ve read it before (this is a rare occurrence; if I read a book from the library, I almost never then request to own it).
Loveless by Alice Oseman
This book, you guys. Like honestly, just this book. It is so amazing, so beautiful that I just don’t know what to say. Loveless, by Alice Oseman, follows Georgia as she starts University and learns some new terms, and begins questioning her own sexuality. Throughout the book, she realizes that she is aromantic and asexual and comes to terms with this.
Loveless is such an important book to the aroace community (okay I can’t speak for everyone, but at least for me). It is so hard to find aroace rep of any kind in books, and to have this one come out and not only have an aroace main character but to follow that main character’s questioning journey and journey with coming to terms with herself is just so important to have in books. And not only was this book great for the representation, but the characters were the literal best, I mean Oseman went above and beyond with all the side characters in this one, and the plot was extremely interesting throughout the whole book.
Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth
Not only was Not My Problem one of my favorite’s of the year, but it was probably also the funniest book that I read all year. There are books whose plot is funny, but then there are books whose character is actually funny, the main character actually has that type of personality that makes you laugh, and actually having that woven into the character and making it authentic is not something that many books are able to pull off.
Humor aside, this was an awesome book. The characters–I feel like I’ve been talking about characters a lot–were absolutely amazing, they each had their own unique personalities and did their own things and it all felt very real. Besides, there was some more great representation in this book (seems like representation=favorite books) and another thing that was interesting to read about was how Aideen, the main character, was poor because really, this is not at all something that is addressed in YA books, and it was good to see.
A Clash of Steel by CB Lee
When I started A Clash of Steel, I did not expect it to make it onto my favorites of the year list. The thing about this book is that it starts out slow. It’s a bit over 400 pages I think (I actually don’t remember, it could be anywhere from 300 to 500 for all I know, but goodreads says 432), but the inciting incident, which is mentioned in the synopsis, doesn’t happen until over 100 pages in.
But wow, once this book picks up, it certainly picks up, and while I don’t read many pirate adventures, this one was certainly one of the best. A Clash of Steel is a Treasure Island retelling, and I actually have not read Treasure Island before, nor do I know much about it (I assume there is some kind of treasure involved, correct?), I’m beginning to wonder if I should pick it up. It’d been a while since I last read a full blown adventure book, and I do believe that I forgot how much I enjoyed these kinds of things.
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
I read Perfect on Paper at the peak of my realistic fiction reading binge, and if any of the books that I read stood out, it was this one. It had a really unique plot and the characters were great and the representation was great and EVERYTHING WAS GREAT (you’re welcome for that 10/10 analysis).
Okay, but if you’d like me to be a little bit calmer: probably the best thing about this book was the deep dive it takes into biphobia, especially internalized biphobia. There have been more or more books recently that have bi characters, but rarely does a book look so deeply into the way that bi people are sometimes treated by the rest of the LGBTQ+ community (particularly gay and lesbian people, more specifically). But while this book does have stellar representation, I mean it’s also just a great book. Like I mentioned before, the characters are really well written and they all have their own personalities, the plot stays interesting and progresses nicely and, of course, there’s plenty of banter.
Well, that’s it for my 2021 books of the year! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What are some of your favorite books of this year? Let’s talk in the comments!
Hey everyone! I’m back, with a SUPER exciting post! I introduce to you, my 2021 book tag!!!
To be honest, when I made my 2020 book tag last year, I did not expect to make one again this year. The 2020 book tag was to reflect a crazy year that none of us expected and none of us ever hoped to relive. But, while 2021 has been better in a lot of ways, we are still definitely not out of this mess. A lot of things still happened this year, and so I did end up choosing to make another book tag.
Disclaimer: As I, Phoenix, live in the United States of America, the events that these tags reflect are mainly based off of my own experience of things happening directly around me. Therefore, I won’t be including significant events that have happened elsewhere in the world in this tag. HOWEVER, if you are from another country and think of an event that was impactful around you, feel free to add another question to this tag that you think goes with that event!
Here are the rules and announcements for this tag! (Please copy and paste at the beginning of the tag!)
While the events covered in this tag are mainly centered around the going-ons in the United States of America, if you live in another country feel free to add another question or two to this tag that you think goes with an important event that happened elsewhere!
PLEASE NOTE: While this tag discusses events that happened in 2021, it does not at all need to be completed in 2021. This is NOT a time-restricted tag and you may do it whenever you want. (you also do not need to talk about books that you read in 2021! It can be books you read whenever!)
Some of these questions are rather vague; these are totally up for interpretation!
Below is a list of the questions and their corresponding events in 2021: Please note: while I tried my best, not all of these may be in chronological order.
A sequel that did not live up to expectations (general 2021)
A book where everything immediately went badly (Attack on the USA capital)
A book where things seemed to change for the better (President Joe Biden’s inauguration)
A book where science/some kind of sci fi thing plays a major role (Vaccines)
A book where the characters get a reprieve (general, middle of the year)
A book about sports/centered around competition (Summer Olympics 2021 2020)
A book with a terrifying plot twist (Delta Variant)
A book with awesome behind-the-scenes characters (eg side characters) (THANK YOU ESSENTIAL WORKERS)
A book where there are HUGE consequences to an event/action/etc. (supply chain backups due to covid)
A sequel that did not live up to expectations
After spending a bit of a ridiculous amount of time looking through my goodreads ‘read’ shelf, and determining that I no longer read many book serieses (that’s a word, definitely), I’ve decided on Children of Virtue and Vengeance. I really enjoyed book one, Children of Blood and Bone; in fact, it was one of my favorite books of whatever year I read it. And sure, the second book was good…it just wasn’t as good as I expected, compared to the first book.
A book where everything immediately went badly
I mean, honestly the whole beginning of She Who Became the Sun is pretty harsh. I mean, Zhu is left with…nothing and kinda has to remake her whole life (which of course she then does quite successfully).
A book where things seemed to change for the better
There were definitely some light parts in Act Cool, but there were also several times when it dealt with some much harsher topics, especially as it got closer to the end of the book (please check trigger warnings before reading!!!). While in the end, things weren’t totally resolved and happily-ever-after etc, it did seem to be a more hopeful ending.
A book where some kind of science/sci fi plays a major role
Not gonna lie, I was absolutely thinking about this book when I wrote this prompt. I mean, it kind of fits…perfectly. In The Ones We’re Meant to Find, it’s a futuristic world where a bunch of cities are literally in the sky because of flooding stuff and climate change, and tech plays a HUGE role overall in the story.
A book where characters get a reprieve
The fact that it actually took me quite a bit to think of a good response to this really says something about authors…when I think ‘get a reprieve’ I more imagine a pause in the actions near the middle of the book, but that just doesn’t happen much!!! In the end, I’m going with Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune, because there’s one point when the two main characters just kinda go off on their own and chat which is always nice when characters get away from everything like that.
A book about sports/centered around competition
As a sports fan and someone who plays sports and someone who reads as well, I’ve read several books about sports (though books are rather lacking in the sports department honestly). But I’ve chosen Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name for this prompt, because I actually got this book when I was much younger but just wasn’t very interested! I finally read it in August and sped through it, absolutely loving it!
A book with a terrifying plot twist
This book had the kind of plot twist to make me go, ‘wait, no!’ out loud. What the heck??? The River Has Teeth is one that I took an entire Sunday and just read it straight through, barely putting it down. It was spooky and enticing and, of course, shocking.
A book with awesome behind-the-scene characters (if you can’t think of anything, then side characters)
Honestly, I’m going with good old Hunger Games here. When I say ‘behind the scenes’ I kind of mean characters who don’t get a lot of page time but are always still helping, and in Hunger Games the people who stand out to me are Portia and Flavius. They were just kind of background supports that were pretty great. There was also a lot of things in the Hunger Games with behind the scenes characters, with the whole games; though of course not all of the other people were ‘awesome’.
A book where there were HUGE consequences to an event/decision/etc
It most certainly did not take me long to find a book for this prompt. I’m going with The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl, which I read just last month. The huge consequence is kind of the main plot; Holly chooses to get turned into a vampire by her boyfriend. But then he dumps her, and she’s left as a 16 year old forever. She’s also connected to him, as he’s her maker, so she’s required to follow him wherever he goes. Also, she’ll have crimped hair forever.
Well, there are my answers to my 2021 book tag!!! I’m so excited to be doing this again, and I cannot wait to see everyone’s answers! This tag is open to anyone who wants to do it, as it’s an original tag, but I will tag a few people just to get things going:
I feel like the months are finally slowing down. I mean, it’s still totally crazy that it’s already the end of October. November is upon us, there are only two more months of 2021. But it feels like school has finally slowed things down, so now I’m at a…normal pace, for how fast the months are going. Not whatever the rest of the year has felt like.
Well, I’m not back to my normal level of reading, which I’m not sure I will be given school just gets harder and harder, but I have managed to read several books this month which I’m super happy about! Here’s what I read.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Shocking no one, I read this for school. And like yeah, it was a school book, so not super interesting. But honestly, as far as school books go? Not totally bad (I know, I’m filled with high praise). Amazingly enough, I feel like the analysis etc that we did (we spent like 1.5 months on this thing) actually made me like the book MORE. Who woulda guessed? ⭐⭐⭐
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. My mom won this in a goodreads giveaway because apparently she’s really good at doing that, and this was an overall enjoyable book! It felt like a more comforting vibe, just a very soft book which is really nice sometimes! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I…think the hype might have been a little too high on this one. I definitely enjoyed the overall story, but just the way its told, it gets a little boring. Also, how do the characters remember exactly what happened like 40 years ago? Like, I don’t remember the main plot of a book I read last week, how do you remember what restaurant you went to for lunch that one time way back when? ⭐⭐⭐
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo. I read this because I read The Great Gatsby and it was pretty good! I enjoyed the new perspective from Jordan’s point of view, and though it did follow the original story almost exactly, it was still cool to see the small sort of embellishments and such. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram. This is one of those books that you see everywhere. Like they’ve kinda just become mainstream YA or whatever. So I finally decided to read it, and it was very enjoyable! I love these contemporaries that are pretty easy to get through and are also so entertaining! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters. Wow! This one was definitely different than basically any other book I have read before and I loved it! It was written so well, it totally kept my attention, and it was just so fascinating! Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a sort of spookier book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. This is one that has been everywhere and I just haven’t gotten around to reading it! But dang, this one was definitely something that held my attention through the entire book and it just felt like a new, fresh breath of air! I immediately got the sequel and can’t wait to start reading! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Much Ado About Baseball by Rajani LaRocca. I was pretty excited about this one because baseball and magic, but overall…it wasn’t super great for me. There were some aspects that were cool like the baseball stuff and even the math, but overall the magical element made things really iffy for me, because despite what the characters might have claimed, they were indeed cheating using magic. And I don’t like that at all. ⭐⭐
Not Your Villain by CB Lee. It is about time I pick this one up. I read book one back in January or February and kept meaning to get around to this one and kept not getting around to it until now. This one was also fun, but overall just didn’t really feel as good or the same. The first 100 pages of the book were kind of a fast recap of the last book but from Bells’s point of view, and it was kind of a weird way to start the book (though I needed the recap). SUPER excited for Emma’s book and some hopefully super new fresh aroace spec rep!!! ⭐⭐⭐
Katie @Whispering Pages IS BACK. Katie is one of my favoritest bloggers, and actually the person who got me into blogging. I love her content so much, but she took a break from blogging for several months this summer! She posted her first post a few weeks ago AND IM SO HAPPY HI KATIE.
I wrote one measly post this month but its a good one in my opinion! In honor of my one year blogiversary (which actually happened at the end of September) I wrote a post of five reasons why I’m so grateful for blogging!
Stay on top of school ✅
Try to write something you want to write. Don’t think of everything else. Just what you would find enjoyable to write. ❌
Don’t make your entire life revolve around baseball ❌
Please try to do some exercises if you actually want to go anywhere in softball.❌
In your free time, just do what you feel like (with some boundaries obviously; just don’t force yourself to do anything).✅
I think I did a really good job of staying on top of school! Things are definitely picking up, we’ve had a lot of projects, a lot of quizzes and tests and stuff but I think I’m doing a good job! With writing, honestly my problem is just that I didn’t have time to write, and I also have really big writers’ block right now. However, I did come up with a story that I’m actually excited to write, once I get the motivation back! Baseball is my life and we will all just have to accept it. But I think that I did a pretty good job of just doing what I feel like! Like, even if I didn’t do a lot of writing, I was definitely able to read and just…it was nice. In my free time I did what I wanted.
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
School exists so my entire life is just school. I kid, but I don’t kid. I definitely do have my weekends a little bit free, but there’s still plenty of homework and on the weeks I really don’t do anything but go to school and do homework.
We had several more fall ball games and then the season ended! Overall, we only played five games, and we won 3, lost 2, but no matter our record it was really fun to be playing! In my last game, I played against a few people who go to my school which was actually pretty fun, even if we don’t really know each other and also one of them caught me stealing second and also we lost.
The baseball season ended! In truth, it ended in early November, but it basically ended in October. October is postseason baseball. The postseason is like a bracket tournament, with 10 teams playing at the beginning and finishing with the final two teams playing in the world series. This year, the world series was between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros, and the Braves ended up winning for the first time in I think 26 years. I’m not gonna lie, I don’t care for either team, but congrats to the Braves!
Halloween! I didn’t actually do anything for Halloweeen (I didn’t even dress up) but it’s still a fun holiday with candy haha
I…guess that’s it? There’s not really much else to do with school taking over everything, I suppose.
Well, not the most interesting of wrap ups but it’s here nontheless! How was your October? Do you have any plans for November? How are you doing? That’s all for today! As always, stay safe and keep on reading!
Hey all! First of all, I am so sorry for my disappearance this month! I was absolutely planning to keep writing posts but then…school. School also extremely decreased how much I read this month, which means this wrap up is going to be MUCH shorter than normal, but here we go.
She Who Became the Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan. I mean…what am I supposed to say? This book has been hyped and then the hype has been hyped and then that hype has been hyped, too (okay maybe I’m over exaggerating a little bit) and I was finally able to read it! And it IS good! I honestly had no idea where it was going and it felt slow at first but I really enjoyed it!
Where We Used to Roam by Jenn Bishop. Picked this one up on a whim during a weekend because it was lying around at my house, and it was pretty good! I liked the way it dealt with addiction and drugs in a way that middle grade readers could read it, however, I found the summary to be super misleading and it made the pacing feel super off to me.
The Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco. Summer reading that I read right before school started–it was an interesting memoir, but I honestly don’t have much to say about it. All the chapters were separate stories about Blanco’s life, but the ending was super abrupt and kind of made me shocked. Not like anything super bad happened, I just…didn’t expect it to end like that.
Fast Pitch by Nic Stone. I have played softball for I don’t even know how long and yet this is the first book with a main plot featuring softball that I have EVER read. We need more softball books!!! (I say as I write a book about baseball). I absolutely loved this book, it was a super fast and fun read that as well as featuring softball, also taught us some history about black baseball!
Flash Fire by TJ Klune. Book one was much better. Honestly, despite the fact that for the entire time in book one I was rooting for the characters to get together, I think I liked the slow burn better than the relationship. I mean, the relationship was great, but maybe it was just the sense of book one being better overall.
In the Same Boat by Holly Green. I am astonished and impressed by the author’s ability to keep my attention through the entire book when the whole thing is just canoeing down a river. I don’t even like canoeing. But a LOT happens in a 265 mile canoe race, turns out. This book was so good I almost wanted to try it myself, despite the aforementioned statement of disliking canoeing (there are actually a LOT of reasons that I’d hate that).
Despite my not posting at ALL, I was in fact still reading all of your posts! There was a lot of great posts this month, and here’s a few of my favorite.
Bertie @Luminosity Library made a list of 10 fantasy books with asexual characters and I always love to get more recommendations of books that have ace characters because it’s still fairly rare in the bookish community!
My first thoughts when writing this section was just, ‘lol I did none’ but in my much more sophisticated blog (can’t you tell how sophisticated it is) I will say, ‘Unfortunately, this month I was unable to write any blog posts’.
School first! ✅
Choose sleep over anything you want to do. (remember, you have to wake up really early again!!!)✅
Stop thinking about what you want to do in the far, far future. It’s affecting what you want to do now.❌
Try to improve your softball skills!✅
Get back into violin some more✅
All in all, honestly, not bad. School did start this month and I have been doing a pretty good job of staying on top of my work, if I may say so myself. And I’ve continued to have a good sleep schedule, which is pretty impressive for someone at my school (and honestly just anyone who’s in high school). As for the third goal, I don’t think I improved much on that but I guess I’ll keep working on it. Softball…haha well I didn’t do well in the single game I had, but I did make some tweaks to my swing and I think I did improve my power, if only I were able to improve my timing. And having orchestra in school really did allow me to play more violin! I’m still not practicing much but I’m playing.
Stay on top of school
Try to write something you want to write. Don’t think of everything else. Just what you would find enjoyable to write.
Don’t make your entire life revolve around baseball
Please try to do some exercises if you actually want to go anywhere in softball.
In your free time, just do what you feel like (with some boundaries obviously; just don’t force yourself to do anything).
As I’ve already said several times, school started, for me! It’s been…interesting, I mean it’s school. You all know what school is like. It’s nice to have a routine but also I have no free time which is less nice and I’m not super enjoying some of my classes (but I am enjoying two of my classes and the teachers of those classes are very nice (possibly a big part of why I’m enjoying them…))
Fall ball started for me, but we’ve only played one game because it keeps raining the day before the games which means that the field gets all muddy. Still, it’s good to play softball again, even if I did totally terribly on my first game.
I’ve gotten to see a lot more of my friends again now that school has started, and a bunch of people who I’m friendly with but not close enough to talk to over covid and it’s so nice to talk to everyone again! I forgot how good school is at that. How do adults ever stay in touch with anyone they don’t have a torture system keeping them close (joking, I understand that school is important, sometimes it just needs to be dialed back a little).
I would also like to let everyone know that I have no idea when I’ll be able to publish my next post. It could be tomorrow (extremely doubtful) or it could be my October wrap up. Maybe it won’t even be that. School has just been so time consuming and blogging just isn’t something that I feel like doing even when I’m not doing school, so I’ll write something when I have time and feel like it, and I don’t know when that will be.
How was your month? Has school been a pain for you? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to in all the time that I’ve been gone! As always, stay safe and keep on reading!
The end of August is upon us and I cannot even believe it. September means going back to school, for me. September means the fall. I cannot believe that we’re already to September. There are only four more months of the YEAR???? Of 2021???? What is this MADNESS?
Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi. I picked this book up from the library on a whim. I’d seen some reviews about it, but it wasn’t super hyped, so I decided to try it anyways. And I LOVED it??? Seriously, this book should have more hype. It’s an awesome realistic fiction about the online world and being bi and it was AMAZING. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
If It Makes You Happy by Clara Kann. I enjoyed this a lot, especially some of the elements that you do NOT see in most books. This book had a queerplatonic relationship!!! Also, the sibling relationship in this book was GREAT. ⭐⭐⭐
The Hidden Knife by Melissa Marr. This book is…confusing, to say the least. It’s a middle grade book but the actual plot didn’t seem to begin until 50% through and a lot of times, the characters did things that weren’t explained, they just went out and did it. There were no thoughts before they did something, we didn’t get to see what they are planning at all until it happened. ⭐⭐
The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons. I LOVED this book. It was so sweet and the sports in this book were AMAZING. literally the only complaint I have is that the main event in the summary doesn’t happen until after 50% through the book, but obviously that shouldn’t stop you from reading this. But seriously, the team dynamic here??? Beautiful. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. My mind is reeling. I am absolutely shocked by this book, I just don’t know where to begin. Every time the MC thought she’d figured it out, there was some new information. I don’t read thrillers often, but this one, oh my gosh!!!⭐⭐⭐⭐
Let’s talk About Love by Claire Kann. I think this book is a good one for people trying to figure out if they’re ace! It’s also good to see someone who is both asexual and alloromantic because a lot of times, people seem to think that ace people are aromantic as well. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin. This was a super enjoyable book! I loved that Hana was a podcaster because it’s not often we see books with protagonists who like radio and podcasting, and the story itself was important but at the same time sweet. Plus, extra points because they went to a Blue Jays game (I have never been more jealous of a book character) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A Universe of Wishes (edited by Dhonielle Clayton). I don’t read many anthologies because short stories aren’t my favorite, but overall I enjoyed this one! ⭐⭐⭐
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. I feel like this one is hyped a lot and overall it was interesting and I did enjoy it, but I wouldn’t say that I loved it. Also, a lot of this book centers around love and I know that there’s plenty of kinds of love but I couldn’t help but feel like it was always talking about romantic love due to context and the general plot of the story, which made me sort of uncomfortable (things that were saying that love is the most important thing and people who don’t love are in hell). ⭐⭐
The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy. I honestly don’t remember if I read this in July or August because I kinda forgot about this book altogether but I do remember enjoying it. It’s just a nice quick middle grade read! ⭐⭐⭐
Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! by Sarah Kapit. I could go on and on and on about this book. I could not tear my eyes away from it, it was just so fun and so enjoyable and I just love it so, so much. It centers about a young girl playing baseball, and she’s also a fan of Major League Baseball, which you so rarely see in books and it just made me so happy! (also I rescind my comment above about never having been more jealous in a book–this takes the cake)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wilder Girls by Rory Power. This one’s been on my TBR for a long time and I really wanted to read it, but I was also kind of scared. I finally got around to it, thanks to a recommendation (thank you!!!) and it was very good! I really didn’t like the ending though. Nor did I like Reese, honestly. ⭐⭐⭐
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins. I feel like EVERYONE has read this book so I finally picked it up. I didn’t really understand the hype at the beginning, but at the end yeah I could see it. Wasn’t as good as everyone made it out to be, but still very enjoyable. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace. Another recommendation (I am really reading books I was recommended this month!). This one was okay, the plot was honestly not that interesting to me until the end, but I actually did enjoy the video game theme. It definitely had a 1984-kind of vibe–but much better. ⭐⭐⭐
Mo’ne Davis: Remember my Name, by Mo’ne Davis. I’ve actually owned this book for a very long time, probably got it around when it came out in 2015, but I didn’t have much interest for biographies, so I didn’t read it. I LOVED it, though! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Slay by Brittney Morris. Another book I picked up on a whim from the library (I love actually going to the library it means finding books that I wouldn’t have otherwise!) and it was absolutely amazing, I enjoyed all of it! This is the second gamer book that I picked up recently and while I am not a gamer in any way, I thought that this one was especially fascinating! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
She’s Too Pretty To Burn by Wendy Heard. I honestly have no idea what to think about this book. The first part, I hated. I did not like Veronica, I did not like their relationship, the book was boring. And then it picked up and…wow. That was scary? I think that this book is about messy teens (as well as a psychopath–that person wasn’t a messy teen and I’m not saying they were) and I do think that we need more of those books because the teen years are full of a lot of mistakes, but these books are also hard to write because the characters are often so unlikable. ⭐⭐⭐
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! Here’s what I’ve done for this month:
The things that I completed on the bingo this month were fate, enemies to lovers, mystery, [free space], stars/nightscape on cover, middle grade, black on cover, read at night, anthology, and found family. All in all, I was not able to complete a row/column/diagonal.
Bertie wrote a discussion post about why blogs are still relevant and I thought it was super interesting because as someone who is not on any other social media and only started blogging a year ago, this wasn’t something I’d really realized!
I also want to bring to attention a blog series that Bertie @Luminosity Reads is doing. I know that this post was published way back in March, but I only just became aware of it this month (thanks to Maria!) and I think it’s very important to spread! This is a discussion series about ableism in the bookish community. It’s something that is, unfortunately barely discussed around books and I learned so many things from Bertie! Please, please, please check out this discussion post as well as the rest of the series that has been written so far!
I managed to publish 4 posts this month which I’m super happy about given that I’ve not been excellent at publishing very many posts! I also really enjoyed writing these, and I’m very happy that I’ve been posting content that I enjoy writing and that I think are fun posts, recently, because that was not always the case!
Finish summer work❌
Exercise some more❌
Play more softball❌
Catch up on goodreads reviews❌
Schedule your day❌
Yikes yikes yikes. I’m almost done with my summer work, I have exactly two more math problems to do, and I have to read one more book but it’s still on hold from the library and I don’t think I’m going to get it in time so I guess that means finding it some other way. Exercising? Haha wow I’m bad at doing stuff I don’t want to in this case. I have motivation, but I just don’t do it (which raises the question of if I have motivation). I met up with my friends to play softball one day, but other than that I didn’t play any, unfortunately, and I did write several goodreads reviews but I’m pretty sure I’m not entirely caught up. Scheduling my day is hard for me to do, apparently, even though it really worked when I did it in July! Ah, well. School will give me a bit more of a schedule.
Choose sleep over anything you want to do. (remember, you have to wake up really early again!!!)
Stop thinking about what you want to do in the far, far future. It’s affecting what you want to do now.
Try to improve your softball skills!
Get back into violin some more.
Yeah, that’s a bit of an odd list of goals but hopefully I am able to complete them.
Honestly, August went so fast that I’m not entirely sure what to say here. I don’t remember any of it. I was looking back at the books I read this month and literally thought, ‘I read that in August???’ But here’s a few of the things that I think I did in August
Went on vacation! I can confirm I did this one, as I just got back on Saturday. It was really fun, we went hiking and just kind of had a chill stay in a rental house for 4 days.
Baseball. Not something I did, but like…Major League Baseball *happened*. I know I’ve said this in every single wrap up since the season started but it’s a big enough part of my life that I feel I should. There’s only one more month in the regular season, so things are heating up!!! The National League West is really the place to be watching right now, and the Wild Card races are super close!
I went to an outdoor concert with my family. It was really cool to go to because the venue was super nice and basically they just had this giant stage and a bunch of seats under a roof (but still open) and then beyond that was just a lawn where people could sit wherever. People brought picnics and lawn chairs and some (including us) even brought little fold up tables and we just sat and ate and listened to music!
School has not started yet for me, thankfully enough, though it starts this week, on the ninth. So this was my last month of summer!
Honestly unsure what else happened–I just keep thinking of things that are about to happen! Next month’s wrap up will definitely be far more packed in terms of life updates than this one.
That’s it for this month’s wrap up! How was your reading month? Did you like the same posts that I enjoyed? And what happened in your August?
So if I am correct, this is the first discussion post I’ve ever done!* Discussion posts were the highest voted on the poll I gave my blog readers in my January wrap-up to see which posts they wanted me to do more of and I’m really excited for this! I’ve always found discussion posts really interesting because they’re topics that spark, well, discussion (yeah, whoever came up with this name is GENIUS). *Funny thing is, I was actually incorrect, I found, as I was looking through old posts. Waaay back when this blog was first getting started, I did a discussion-esque post on writer’s block, found here.
Anyways, I thought I’d write my first discussion post on retellings and for this post I’m working with April @Booked Till Midnight. April and I have decided to cut this post up so you’ll find half the post right here and the other half over on her blog, here. You do not need to read her post to understand this one (nor do you have to read mine to understand hers) but definitely check it out for more of our opinions on retellings!
So first of all:
What is a retelling?
If you’ve already read April’s post, this is a bit of a repeat but don’t worry, the rest of the questions will be different! We just wanted to get this out of the way for our first-time readers. You’d think between the two of us, that we could come up with a semidecent definition for a retelling. But no. No such luck. Turns about writing definitions is an art form neither of us have mastered. Even good ole Google let us down! (google’s definition is ‘tell (a story) again or differently’) So here’s ours:
A retelling is a story in which an original story, usually a fairytale, classic, or legend, is taken and written again with a twist. Certain elements are changed in order to create a fresh perspective. Some of these elements could be setting, maybe a few minor plot points, character names and personalities, etc
Why do we enjoy retellings?
The general consensus seems to be the creativity and imagination that comes along with retellings. All books require some part of creativity, but the expansion or twist on a preexisting world is always super interesting to explore. Beyond that, we also have other reasons of our own.
P: I think that I enjoy retellings so much because these are stories that a lot of people know already, they’re classics in literature. But it’s just so interesting to read an author’s spin on things. I feel like retellings are just one giant ‘what if’. What if Snow White was set in a city in modern times? What if The Little Mermaid actually took place in space? The what if question is really the question people need to answer in order to come up with an idea for a retelling.
Another reason I enjoy retellings is I find that oftentimes they make the original story better, almost. Of course nothing will ever replace a classic in lots of people’s eyes but there are so many ways that a retelling can make it better. Most classics in Western literature are written by white, non-LGBTQIAP+ men. They’re interesting stories but, as you’ve probably noticed, not the most diverse. And in fairytales, there’s usually a similar ending: the prince saves the helpless princess, they get married and live happily ever after (there are, of course, exceptions). Retellings allow someone to write a story in a more diverse way. It’s a way to re imagine that fairytale ending and twist it into something else.
A: I would wholeheartedly agree with what Phoenix just said. Exploring the “what if” is a totally different brand of creativity that never fails to dazzle me. I would also agree that retellings can be better than the original (*looks at every Romeo and Juliet retelling ever*), especially when they are able to chop somewhat questionable elements and add much needed diversity.
Retellings definitely hold a special place in my bookshelf shaped heart, but ultimately I love retellings for the same reason I love reading any book. I love immersing myself in all of the worlds (read: escapism). I also love the air of familiarity that they bring while still keeping me wondering what the twist will be. Books are constantly brimming with creativity and originality, but I think that retellings really allow those elements to shine because there is something to compare it to.
Speaking of creativity and originality… (a moment of appreciation for that oh so smooth transition)
Do retellings lack originality?
Well, we both have that same short answer of no. Retellings are just the opposite of this–they’re absolutely original! The very definition of a retelling makes it unique. If everything was the same nothing is being retold, it wouldn’t be worthy of it’s own book.
That giant ‘what-if’ question really makes it original. Maybe Cinderella lived with her evil stepsisters/mother and had to slave away for them before the ball in the fairytale but what if all of this was based in the future? The awesomeness of retellings is that the author gets to tell the tale the way that they imagined and that makes retellings SO original.
And yes, there are going to be some similarities to the original (it’s kinda to be expected— it’s in the definition and everything), but retellings require a different kind of originality. There is still room for other elements of originality like worldbuilding, characters, relationships +++, even while sticking within the limits of what a retelling is. The originality comes from the spin the author choses.
Follow up: Can plot twists still be pulled off?
Plot twists can be tricky, especially when based on an already famous tale, but they can totally be pulled off.
With the retelling’s spin on the original take, it’s sometimes hard to guess what the plot twist even is! Maybe Cinderella loses her shoe at the ball, but in Cinder she loses her whole foot (sorry for the spoilers, everyone). And in those times when you know something is going to happen, it can build excitement and anticipation. You know the moment is coming because of the original tale, but in the retelling it happens in a completely different way than you expected!
Another way that plot twists can be pulled off is if there is multiple plotlines as well as the fairytale! While the plotline revolving around the fairytale might be slightly more predictable, the other plotlines are a total wildcard.
These Violent Delights is most certainly a Romeo and Juliet retelling, but at the same time everyone is trying to figure out what’s up with this monster and these bugs and THAT makes for some amazing plot twists.
The last way that plot twists can be pulled off (that I’m thinking of right now–there are surely more!) is if the pacing of the retelling is different from the pacing of the original story. Maybe there’s something that’s just glossed over in the real tale but the author goes into greater detail there. Or maybe the story is only half the tale and is continued in the next book, and since you didn’t know that the things that happen at certain times really surprise you because…wow I thought something else was going on.
Cinderella is Dead is a really good example of this. It takes the original Cinderella tale and uses it as a base for a dystopian society set 200 years later. Cinderella is undoubtedly there (the story is sacred text), but since Cinderella is Dead is a futuristic continuation it still manages to take you by surprise.
What retellings do we want to see more of?
I’ll tell you what we don’t need more of— Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast.
Cinderella is probably the most common retelling I can think of. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Cinderella retelling, but there are so many more stories out there that can be told!!! Explore the great beyond of fairy tales!! Or classics!!! Or legends!!!
As for Beauty and the Beast, the whole kidnapping does not seem like the best way to start a relationship. It particularly irks me in fantasy Beauty and the Beast retellings, but is not so bad with the contemporary ones. The contemporary B&B retellings are typically a forced proximity situation, but the Beast is never beastly enough. Normally they are an arrogant chihuahua. You really can’t win. At least I haven’t found one yet 😦
(P: I actually haven’t read many B&B retellings but I’m taking April’s word for it)
A: I’d absolutely love to see more King Arthur retellings. The only ones I know of are Legendborn by Tracy Deonn and Once & Future by AR Capetta and Cori McCarthy. They both have been on my radar for a while, the trick is tackling all the other books on my tbr that stand between me and them #bookwormstruggles. As a general rule of thumb, more retellings of legends are a yes.
P: I’d love to see more little mermaid retellings. I find the story of the Little Mermaid pretty fascinating because the ending is not happy, as well as the fact that the Little Mermaid actually sorta does something. She saves the prince, first of all, which NEVER happens in fairy tales, and she also has very real risks which I like.
I’d also like to see retellings of fairy tales that we don’t hear very much about–maybe a retelling of the princess and the frog or something like that. Other than that, I’d love more Shakespeare retellings since I really dislike reading Shakespeare but I love seeing twists on his stories
A: I second all of that!!! Basically ME WANT MORE RETELLINGS
Below, I’m sharing a few retellings that I’ve loved! Unfortunately, my mind has abandoned me and I can barely think of any, so I apologize if this section is a bit sparse. Or just, like, full of really popular books because I can’t think of anything else. Go check out April’s post since I’m pretty sure she has a lot of more interesting recommendations.
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. This is the single Little Mermaid retelling that I have read and I reall enjoyed it! Because of my brain, which is terrible at remembering books, I don’t much remember what was happening in here but I do like the twist of the mermaids actually being sirens and trying to kill the prince at first.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. I’m sure that most of you have heard of this book. Hey, I warned you above that most of these books would be popular books. But this is the single B&B retelling that I’ve read and while I agree with April that kidnapping is most certainly NOT a good way to start a relationship I did like how awesome Harper was (yes, bask in my amazing descriptive skills in which I use the word awesome to describe someone).
Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim. So, I actually don’t know anything about the original tale for this book. Well, I guess if I’ve read this book I know something about it. But this is a retelling of the Count of Monte Christo and it’s super unique in that way!
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. You’ve probably heard of this one since it’s been all over ever since it came out several months ago–and before that even. I’d highly recommend reading this while reading Romeo and Juliet (that is, if you have to read R&J–don’t suffer if you don’t have to) because it’s super fun to see how the books are similar and different.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Honestly, I feel a little weird putting this on here since this might be the most well known retelling out there. I know a lot of people have problems with it and it’s definitely not the most original retelling (Yes, I did just say original. retelling) but I, personally did still enjoy it.
Classic/fairytale inspired books
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. Well, I wouldn’t call it a retelling but it’s like…if King Arthur’s round table and all the processes for knights, etc. took place in modern day. Sorry, I described that super badly. But it’s a super good story with really intricate storytelling…just get ready for some major info dumps
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron is such an amazing idea for a book, it’s amazingly original. And I did really enjoy most of this book, however I felt that there were some parts that went pretty slowly and there was a lot of sitting around planning what to do next.
Legend by Marie Lu. So, I’m not entirely sure if I should put this on here but you know what? I did. You’re probably wondering what the heck it’s doing here for and supposedly the author got the idea for the book while she was listening to Les Miserables–and if you know Les Mis and you’ve read this book, you can sort of see the similarities.
Well, that’s it for this post! Please, check out April’s post here, where we discuss retellings even more–we’ll cover things like what makes a compelling retelling, what makes a retelling less good and, my personal favorite, where does ‘retelling’ end and ‘inspiration’ start. I hope that all of you had fun with this post! What do you think about retellings? Do you think that retellings lack originality? What sorts of retellings do you want to see more of? What are some retellings that you love? Thanks again for stopping by, everyone, and as always, stay safe and keep reading!
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s been more than a month since the year actually ended. And it’s taken me way too long to do this tag. Super sorry but hopefully everyone will enjoy it anyways! I was tagged for this tag by the lovely Alex @The Scribe Owl. This is her first original tag so I really hope that you check her original post and her blog when you have time!
Fill out each of the prompts with your answer. Each character/book you choose has to be one you read in 2020.
Tag as many or few people as you want, but preferably somewhere around 10.
Have fun and happy new year!!
I just want to say one thing before I begin, the first part of this tag is a lot like my bookish awards that I do in each of my wrap ups. Therefore, my answers for a few of these questions will probably be the exact same thing as in those awards for my December/yearly wrap up. So sorry for any repeats that you read!
As I said in my yearly wrap up post, I cannot tell you. That is to say, I believe that the best villain I read in 2020 was in Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto. Unfortunately, said villain isn’t actually introduced as a villain until about halfway through the book at least and as much as I love spoiling things for my family members, I’m not going to go around spoiling this entire book for all of you. Bottom line: you want to know the best villain? Read the darn book.
Best Main Character
Fie from The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owens was the best main character I read this year. Fie’s a super fun main character because she’s just so determined and…well, there was something about her that made her really likeable in my opinion. I don’t know what it was and also I read these books several months ago and my brain is immune to retaining book-related information. Maybe I’ve just read so many books that my brain has just decided it can’t possibly keep all the information about all the books so it just decides to keep none. Who knows?
Best side character
Well, this one took me a bit to figure out. I was very torn between Silas, from Sorcery of Thorns, and Felicity from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. In the end I chose Silas because Felicity does actually get her own book in The Montague Siblings series. Anyways. Silas. I actually can’t remember what I loved so much about him but he was just…oh my gosh, it’s a shocker any of you put up with my posts because I feel like half of them are just ‘I don’t know why I liked ___ but I did :)’. Anyways. Trying to think back to what I liked about him. Also looking back at my Sorcery of Thorns review. I think I liked Silas because you could tell that he really did care about Nathaniel. Even though he was under this contract and he was…certainly interesting when he was not bound, it still really felt like he really did care about Nathaniel.
Tough luck: a character you’re glad you aren’t
Honestly, I think I’m going to have to agree with Alex for this one…I would definitely not want to be Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows. He’s just…well, if you’ve read it, you know, if you haven’t, go read it what are you waiting for.
Best place to raise a family: A place that you wouldn’t mind settling down in
Oh how could I not say it. No actually I literally cannot say it now, I’ve forgotten the world name and because it would be an embarrassment if I actually posted this like this…time to ask someone. Hello I’m back and wow how could I possibly forget. Living in the lost cities, from Keeper of the Lost Cities would be AMAZING (and yes, I literally forgot what the lost cities were called). Honestly, I sort of feel like Shannon Messenger just took out all the bad things from our world and added a whole bunch of good food and bam, we have the lost cities. I want to eat that food so badddddd. (oh look, it’s my daily reminder that I need to read 8.5. I OWN the darn book, I need to get to it!)
Uninhabitable: A setting you would never want to live in
Ah, well, eh heh. There’re countless books out there with terrible worlds. You know, the ones where women are super oppressed, things like that (it’s always the women. Always. I mean, reading a book where there are oppressed men who fight a bunch of women to land on top does not sound like a fun time but even in those books where the main point ISN’T actually fighting that oppression, it’s the women who are the oppressed. Fun times). BUT I’ve chosen ‘1984’ by George Orwell. Literally everything you do is watched and listened to. If you step one toe out of line and are caught, you’re tortured until basically all you can think about is your loyalty for ‘Big Brother’. Yeah, no thanks 🙂
Most likely to succeed: An indie or under-hyped book that everyone would like if they just tried it.
Not going to lie, I don’t follow the hype. By which I mean I don’t even know where the hype is at any given time??? Here’s what I know: Six of Crows=hype. The Cruel Prince=hype. Everything else=? (I mean okay those were just the first two hyped YA books I could think of. I’m not going to go answering Percy Jackson or Harry Potter to this question). But I’ll go with a book that was very good and I haven’t heard much about. That sounds underhyped, right? Probably? Hopefully? Anyways. Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland. IT WAS SUPER GOOD. I loved the protagonist, Jane, as well as the other main character, Katherine. Plus, it’s got good rep! Jane is biracial and bisexual and Katherine is black and aro/ace.
Life of the party: a book that kept you laughing and having a good time
Okay so THIS one is quite EASILY ‘The Extraordinaries’ by TJ Klune. The Extraordinaries just kept me laughing throughout the whole book, it was just so funny and I just loved it because of that.
Most unforgettable: A book you couldn’t forget if you tried.
I…feel like it’s a bad sign if I have to actually LOOK THROUGH my 2020 books to find the ‘most unforgettable’ books. But the thing is, even if there is a book that is ‘unforgettable’ for me, if my memory isn’t jogged on it, I’m never going to think of it. I swear this prompt is keeping me from doing the rest of the tag, I keep staring at it and going ‘I don’t know’ and turning to do something else AAAH. Okay, here goes. Maybe I’m being a little bit boring here but I’m going to go with Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Six of Crows is just…Six of Crows, I don’t know what else to say about it. It’s unforgettable.
Most unique: A book unlike anything you’ve ever read before
Don’t you just love when you’re doing a book tag and a book immediately pops into your mind when you see a question? For this one I’m going with The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to think of this book when I first went into it. It was, in fact, like nothing I’ve ever heard and the premise was just so different. The tagline is ‘Can their love of books and pop music save the world?’ But I did end up enjoying The Sound of Stars.
Well, that’s a wrap of this wonderful tag! I hope that you all really enjoyed doing this! I know a bunch of people who’ve been tagged for this already so apologies if you’ve already been tagged but here goes:
Alright! That’s all for today, friends! I hope that you enjoyed this post and I can’t wait to see you next week for a new type of post that I’m trying out that I hope you all will really enjoy! What did you think of this post? What are some of your favorite books from 2020? Let me know in the comments!
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!