October Wrap Up

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.

Amazon.com: The Great Gatsby: The Original 1925 Edition (A F. Scott  Fitzgerald Classic Novel): 9798745274824: Fitzgerald, F. Scott: Books
Amazon.com: Under the Whispering Door: 9781250217349: Klune, TJ: Books
Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel - Kindle edition by Reid, Taylor Jenkins.  Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
  • 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? ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Chosen and the Beautiful: 9781250784780: Vo, Nghi: Books
Amazon.com: Darius the Great Is Not Okay: 9780525552970: Khorram, Adib:  Books
The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters
  • 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. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Raybearer: 9781419739828: Ifueko, Jordan: Books
Amazon.com: Much Ado About Baseball: 9781499811018: LaRocca, Rajani: Books
Not Your Villain (Sidekick Squad, #2) by C.B. Lee
  • 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!!! ⭐⭐⭐

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!

5 Reasons I’m So Grateful For Blogging

October Goals:

  • 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.

November Goals:

  • 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!

September Wrap Up

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.

Amazon.com: She Who Became the Sun: 9781250621801: Parker-Chan, Shelley:  Books
Where We Used to Roam: Bishop, Jenn: 9781534457294: Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood: 9780062313775:  Blanco, Richard: Books
  • 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: 9781984893017 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Amazon.com: Flash Fire: The Extraordinaries, Book Two eBook : Klune, TJ:  Kindle Store
Amazon.com: In the Same Boat: 9781338726633: Green, Holly: Books
  • 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.

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’.

September goals:

  • 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.

October goals:

  • 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!

August Wrap Up

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?

Amazon.com: Follow Your Arrow: 9781338640465: Verdi, Jessica: Books
Amazon.com: If It Makes You Happy: 9781250192677: Kann, Claire: Books
The Hidden Knife: Marr, Melissa: 9780525518525: Amazon.com: Books
  • 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. ⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Passing Playbook: 9781984815408: Fitzsimons, Isaac: Books
Amazon.com: The Woman in the Window: A Novel: 9780062678423: Finn, A. J:  Books
Amazon.com: Let's Talk About Love: 9781250136121: Kann, Claire: Books
  • 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. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Hana Khan Carries On: A Novel: 9781443461467: Jalaluddin, Uzma:  Books
Amazon.com: A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology:  9781984896209: Clayton, Dhonielle: Books
The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn): Ahdieh, Renée:  9780147513854: Amazon.com: Books
  • 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: Pancholy, Maulik: 9780062866417: Amazon.com: Books
Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!: Kapit, Sarah: 9780525554189: Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: Wilder Girls: 9780525645580: Power, Rory: Books
  • 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: A Novel - Kindle edition by Reid, Taylor  Jenkins. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Firebreak: Kornher-Stace, Nicole: 9781982142742: Amazon.com: Books
Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story from First Pitch to Game Changer:  Davis, Mo'ne: 9780062397546: Amazon.com: Books
  • 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! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: SLAY: 9781534445420: Morris, Brittney: Books
Amazon.com: She's Too Pretty to Burn: 9781250246752: Heard, Wendy: Books
  • 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.

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!

Sports in Books: A Discussion (post 1/2).
Sports in Books: A List (post 2/2)
The Sal and Gabi Series by Carlos Hernandez, book review
Celebrating my One-Year Blogiversary!

August goals:

  • 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.

September goals:

  • 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.

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?

Sports in Books: A List

This is post 2/2! I published my first post of this extremely short series a few days ago, and that was a discussion of sports in books. You can find that post here. In this post, I’ll be sharing some books I know that are about sports. These are books that revolve around sports or at least have sports as a large plot in them. All of these books are either queer or center around female characters (or both). I’ve read almost all of them, but not one of them, because it’s not out yet, so please forgive me if it’s not as much about sports as I think it is! (the summary is giving very very very strong clues that it is about sports, however).

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

This is actually an adult book and so for me at least I found it really slow but it’s a great story about a girl’s field hockey team in Massachusetts in 1989. There’s a bit of a paranormal theme going on it, so it’s not a realistic fiction book, but it’s nonetheless very enjoyable. I loved the way it chronicled the entire team, and yet I was able to keep track of the characters, and I loved the way that the girls were super close and super loyal to each other.

Michigan Vs. The Boys by Carrie Allen

Anyone who’s been following my blog for about a month knows how much I love this book. It’s a story about a girl who, when the girl’s hockey team at her school gets cut, tries out for the boy’s hockey team. Michigan is such a strong character, she goes through so many things, and yet she just keeps going, because hockey is the sport she loves. This book is so empowering for anyone who’s been told they can’t do something because of their gender and I hope it inspires girls to continue with sports AND to speak out when they’ve been wronged for years to come.

A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner

This book literally changed my life.
A High Five for Glenn Burke is about a sixth grader, Silas, who loves playing baseball. Silas also does a school report on Glenn Burke, the major league baseball player who invented the high five–and Burke was also the first openly gay MLB player. It’s Silas’s way of beginning to admit the truth about himself to others.
This book is absolutely amazing. First of all, Glenn Burke definitely deserves more attention and I’m glad that this book can teach people about him. But also, this is just a middle grade book that is SO well written, with such a great story and a great character. This book means more to me than I could say, it’s an extremely special book to me, and I would 100% recommend it to anyone looking for a book about sports.

Fence by CS Pacat

The Fence series is several volumes of graphic novels about, well, fencers. It follows the main character, Nicholas’s journey of getting onto his boarding school’s team, his (possibly one-sided) rivalry with his roommate Seiji, and the entire fencing team! Also, basically everyone is casually queer. It’s really nice to see a book about fencing because it’s not a sport you see as much as others, and for those who don’t know I actually fenced two years ago (the school year before the pandemic). I wasn’t very good at it, but it was still fun and I learned a lot about the sport.

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

My original draft of this post said that I hadn’t read this book but I quickly remedied it and this book is AMAZING. It’s about a trans boy who’s just moved to a new school and gets on the soccer team and it’s so sweet. I love the team dynamic in this book so if that’s something you enjoy, pick this up!!! It’s also very good to see trans kids in sports because that’s not something that there are books on very often.

Icebreaker by AL Graziadei

Long story short, I kinda flipped out when I learned this book exists.
It’s not actually out yet, and I haven’t read it either, but seriously, it sounds so good. It’s about two boys fighting for the top draft spot in the NHL draft but then they fall in love. I’m really excited because this is a book that it’s queer and deals with PROFESSIONAL sports, which I’m really interested to see how it goes.

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

I read this book pretty recently, and it’s a fun graphic novel about a college hockey team. The characters are really fun and it’s just an overall fun, easy book. There’s a great relationship between all the people on the team and you can tell that the author did a lot of research on college hockey, given all the little hockey lingo and the Haus, and everything else.

It was absolutely not my intention but four of these books are about some form of hockey and why are hockey books more often than anything else? (or maybe they’re just more POPULAR)

Have you read any of these books? What are some other books that you’ve read that follow sports? What did you think of this post? Please, let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you so much for stopping by, and as always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Sports in Books: A Discussion

There are a lot of sports going on right now.
Essentially, there are always a lot of sports going on at the professional level, at least where I live in the USA. There’s hockey and basketball in the winter, and then baseball starts in the spring and goes through October, and football heads through fall and into winter (my knowledge on sports other than baseball is rather lacking). And that’s just men’s sports, there’s even more if you count in women’s (which, unfortunately, people rarely do). Right now, the Olympics are happening, meaning that EVEN MORE sports are happening, these ones world-wide. The Olympics these year have several new sports join the mix, including rock climbing, and are seeing the return of a few old ones, like baseball and softball (!!!!!).

Because of all these sports, I wanted to write a discussion post about them, and their place in books. Let’s begin!

Sports are practically a story themselves. This is a team, or just a person, who goes out there, plays this game with certain rules that are specific to that sport. They win, or they lose (or in some cases, tie), they might get injured or they might lead their team to this great, unassuming victory. After that game, they have a road trip to the next one, or they’re attempting school on top of this sport, or they play professionally and they do…whatever professional sports players do after a game. And sports have so many elements of a great story. There’s suspense, there’s stakes, there’s people working together (in some sports), there’s thrilling comebacks or heartbreaking losses. So why aren’t sports in books more often?

The main reason I think that this is the case is just because there are so many rules, and this mostly goes for sports books focused on professional sports. In professional sports, you have all the rules of a regular game of sports, the way to play the game is the same, and more often than not you have to explain this to a reader, but you also have things like trading players, and how many different teams there are, and standings and the farm system and the draft and the trade deadline (literally all my knowledge of this stuff comes from baseball so I’m simply assuming that other professional sports have these things). Professional sports come with a whole lot of numbers, a lot of which people just don’t understand, and so therefore it can be hard to write a book about them that allows someone who doesn’t know what those numbers mean to read it.

But what about high school sports and rec leagues? You’re able to eliminate basically all those numbers, as statistics just aren’t kept track of as much in the lower levels. But I think that these level sports are just harder to write an interesting story about. And I know, I literally just said that sports are basically perfect for stories. But unless you’re giving a play by play of a game, in which case you might want to consider having a sports blog instead of writing a book, or even become a radio broadcaster, there’s a lot of empty space in that book. You can’t just write, “I went to baseball practice, I went home, I went to sleep, I went to school, I went to baseball practice,’ etc. To be able to write a story that really hooks people, you need to write different things happening in each of those baseball practices, each baseball game that is played, and you need to do it in a way that people who are not sports fans can actually understand.

But here’s the thing–it is possible to write a book about sports, and these books are important to have out there. First of all, they can show people that people like them can play sports, and can do well in sports. In professional sports, there are so few out queer people (especially and mostly in men’s professional sports) and for a young queer kid to read a book with someone who is queer and playing sports can be really inspiring. Also, books with girls in sports are incredibly important. Did you know that by the age of 14, twice as many girls drop out of sports as boys? That’s a fact that I learned from an ad from the Olympics so thank you, ad. Women’s sports also get so much less media coverage than men’s do–women’s sports get only 6% of all sports media coverage, so it’s harder for girls to see themselves in sports. That’s why we need to have books about these things, to show girls that they CAN play sports, that there ARE other women who play sports.

Sports are a part of a lot of people’s everyday life, so why shouldn’t they be a part of books? There’s a lot to unpack in sports, there are so many stories out there that haven’t been written. In my opinion, this is an entire genre that we’ve only really skimmed the surface. People love sports, and people love books, so why aren’t there more sports books?

There are a lot of sports out there. Like, a lot. Some of which I’d never heard of until the Olympics (dressage, anyone?). Some that I still don’t know of. There are sports that aren’t popular here in the US but are really popular other places. I mean–I recently read a book about the sport of muggle quidditch of all things! (And it was super queer). So why don’t we show the world about those sports, show the world that girls play sports, that queer people play sports. Sports are such an amazing way to connect with other people, to find common interests, to have fun and find something you’re passionate about. We should show that to people in books, because there are so many more sports and people in sports than books talk about.

I’ve decided that this post will be one of two, and the next one will be a series of recommendations about sports in books!

What did you think about this post? Do you play or like any sports? Do you agree with me about this, or do you have different opinions? Please, talk to me in the comments!
As always, thank you so much for stopping by, and stay safe and keep on reading!

July Wrap Up

Approximately 99% of wrap ups I’ve read for this month have said the same thing, but it’s worth saying again: how is it already July? I can still remember making my crazy wrap up for January (yes, the one that was 3150 words long) like it was yesterday. I subtitled that one ‘one month down, eleven to go,’ and now we’re at ‘seven months down, five to go.’ How????
Anyways, as the first month of summer I feel like I had a pretty good reading month. Here’s what I’ve read:

Off the Record (9781984829993): Garrett, Camryn: Books - Amazon.com

Amazon.com: Not My Problem (9781839130854): Smyth, Ciara: Books
Amazon.com: Ace of Spades (9781250800817): Àbíké-Íyímídé, Faridah: Books
  • Off the Record by Camryn Garrett. This was a book that I was super excited for because I’d read the author’s first book a few months ago and loved it and I’m glad to say that it didn’t disappoint! I loved the story, the characters, basically everything! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth. This book is everything. It’s funny and it’s fun (two different things) and it has some important lessons and it has an amazing slow burn romance and it’s just so great. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. This book was shocking and beautifully written and just such an amazing debut. It had so many twists and turns! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: American Street (9780062473042): Zoboi, Ibi: Books
American Royals (American Royals, #1) by Katharine McGee
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi. This was one that I read for school and I didn’t enjoy it immensely, it felt sort of slow at points, but overall it WAS a good story and I’m super glad that schools are assigning better books for reading (at least for summer reading, at least in my school). ⭐⭐⭐
  • American Royals by Katherine McGee. I was recommended this book by a friend who only reads very rarely and who loved this book so, despite a lot of bad reviews I saw, I gave it a try but unfortunately I did not enjoy it at all. ⭐⭐
  • Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. I adored this book. Easily my favorite middle grade book of all time (sorry Percy Jackson). It was such a fun book and SUPER unique and taught some great lessons, too! The friendships in this book were really valued which was awesome and there needs to be more books about that! I am so glad that this is a book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (A Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 2) (A Sal and Gabi  Novel, 2): Hernandez, Carlos: 9781368022835: Amazon.com: Books
One Last Stop: McQuiston, Casey: 9781250244499: Amazon.com: Books
Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow, #3) by Rainbow Rowell
  • Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. Book two was just as good as book one! I loved how Sal and Gabi’s friendship developed even more and the amazing production that their school ended up putting on. This book also deals with child abuse at times and I loved how Hernandez was able to weave that into the book in a way that middle grade readers could read! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. Much to everyone’s shock and horror I actually have yet to read RW&RB and I was going to hold off on reading this one too but then a friend lent it to me. This was a nice romance but it wasn’t great on the science fiction elements so if you are looking for romance, go for it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell. This is definitely a finale that lots of people have been waiting a while for. Overall, it was good and a nice finish to the series but nothing special. I did enjoy it better than I enjoyed book two though. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Cousins (9780525708001): McManus, Karen M.: Books
It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
Amazon.com: Shatter the Sky (The Shatter the Sky Duology) (9781534437913):  Wells, Rebecca Kim: Books
  • The Cousins by Karen McManus. I picked this book up on a whim from my first library trip since Covid started and I have to say I’m surprised…because I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The plot twist was surprising but it didn’t make up for the rest of the book being fairly boring. ⭐⭐
  • It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland. This was an anticipated release of mine, and I really enjoyed it! I got it at my most recent bookstore trip thanks to a gift card and I loved the characters and how they dealt with the past! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells. It’s about time that I read this book. I heard the author speak at a webinar about a year ago (and actually wrote my first blog post about that, though it was super cringey) and have been meaning to get to her book since then. I finally did, and it was a pretty good book! As the first fantasy I’d read in a while, I enjoyed it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (9781984896360): Jackson, Holly:  Books
Amazon.com: Yesterday Is History (9781492694342): Jackson, Kosoko: Books
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. This is the first time I’ve read this book. It’s been popular for so long, so many people love it, but I’d just never picked it up until now. And I LOVED it. Yes, there were some parts in which Pippa did some not great things (breaking into someone’s house? Pretending to be someone she isn’t to get info?) but the mystery itself, the reveal…I loved it. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson. This was an over 300 page book but I’m not entirely sure where those pages went, because it sure felt a lot shorter. I mean, overall I enjoyed this book, but there were a lot of things about it that felt lacking, most of all the relationship development. ⭐⭐⭐

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 the link to August’s board and here’s what I’ve done for this month!

I only wrote two posts this much which is down from my 3 last month but also I was away for about 2 weeks this month so whatever. Both these posts were super fun, though, so I’m really happy about them!

I loved hosting this interview and I think it’s my favorite interview to date!
This is probably my favorite post I’ve written, it was super fun to write!

July Goals:

  • Write a pretty big chunk of my book
  • Do at least half of my summer work (don’t you dare leave it all for August)✅❌
  • Read 12 books
  • Catch up on book reviews on goodreads
  • Try to play some more softball (if your body doesn’t continue to get hurt in various ways)

August Goals:

  • Finish summer work
  • Exercise some more
  • Play more softball
  • Catch up on goodreads reviews
  • Schedule your day

Overall, July was a SUPER fun month! It was the first month of my summer break so I had some more time to do stuff and I definitely did do some stuff!

  • I went to softball camp! This was huge for me because it was basically my first time playing softball after I fractured my elbow back in May. Fortunately, my elbow is all better now and camp was amazing. I learned a lot and made a lot of friends!
  • I also went on vacation. I’m not going to say where, but I just got back yesterday (If I post this on Sunday like I’m hoping to). It was a really nice vacation, I went on some hikes, I got some ice cream, and I just got to get away from my house for a bit!
  • I restarted the book I’m writing+did some planning. This is the book that I began writing back in…January? Something like that. I first thought of it way back in November or something like that. I’m on draft number 3 now, but this time I’ve done some more planning and have a pretty good idea for where I want it to go.
  • Baseball. I feel like this is something that has to be in every wrap up because the wrap ups are my only chance to talk about baseball. But the trade deadline closed on Friday and oh my gosh what the heck happened. I am still in shock over the Cubs and the Nationals and kind of distraught, too.

That’s a wrap! How was your month of July? Have you read any of the books that I read this month? And how’s your life been?
Thank you so much for reading this, it means the world. As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

My 5 Favorite LGBTQ+ Books

Given that it is still pride month, I figured I would publish a list of my five favorite books with queer rep in them! I feel like I haven’t done a list post in a long while so I thought I’d start with this! I clearly don’t know what to say in my intros, given the blatant repetition, so I’m just going to hop right into this!
(I am now going through my books and wondering how the heck I’m going to be able to choose five)

Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender

I have talked about this book before and I will continue to talk about this book because I very much love this book.
This book is all about exploring identity and who you are and it’s also just queer teens being happy. But it also explores a lot of important issues and a lot of unfortunate issues that black, trans, queer teens face.
When I picked this thing up, I did not at all expect it to be such a good book. I usually read fantasy back then (though now I’m in a realistic fiction kick) so I sort of just read it because it was there. But all the representation felt so natural and the book itself is just so well written and an excellent story that I loved it so much. Would 100% recommend to anyone looking for a book.

Loveless, by Alice Oseman

There are a lot of mixed reviews on this one but I loved this book and I would still recommend it to anyone. It’s okay if you didn’t like it, etc but…I did. Clearly.
I’d probably go into why it actually is a good book and defend it from other people’s views but given that this is where I’m supposed to say why I like this book not talk about why others don’t, I won’t.
Anyways. I loved this book because it had aroace rep, which is not often seen at all, and I thought this rep was great (though some people will say otherwise). But the thing I loved most about this book was the friendships. Georgia, the MC had AWESOME friends who totally stick with her through everything and I just loved seeing that so much since awesome friendships like that are so rare in books (you’ve heard me say that 1,000 times before, I bet).

I’ll Be the One, by Lyla Lee

This book is basically a ray of sunshine.
Seriously, this thing is such an amazing book to read. Though it hits on a lot of hard topics and is super important for that, it’s also able to keep up a lot of fun and sweet moments. I really enjoyed this book just through and through and would highly encourage everyone to read it! There’s some awesome rep in it (MC and LI are both bi, there are two side characters in an F/F relationship) and it’s just such an amazing book.

Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore

This is not a book that I have talked about on my blog at all, mainly because I just read it, but it was AWESOME. There were honestly a few parts that weren’t perfect but overall I really enjoyed this book. I loved to see all the friendships, especially, because it was super cool throughout the book to see how Carey slowly gains more and more friends who help them and they become closer with the friends that they have.

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

This is another one that I read super recently and enjoyed. Just like a lot of the other books, there are some important discussions in it and also I learned a lot about HIV which is not something I knew ANYTHING about before and I’m glad this book is the one that I read to teach me about it because there is a lot of stigma around it and by reading this book to learn about it, I never fell into that stigma in the first place.
The main character’s sexuality is not the main focus of the book but throughout the book she is questioning and ends up figuring out her sexuality in the end, and also her two closest friends are both queer.

I have literally no idea how every single one of these books ended up being realistic fiction given that I barely read that genre until late April (though let it be known that I’d read two of these before then).

That’s all for this post! What are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ books? Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think in the comments, I’d love to speak with you!
As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Why aro/ace spec characters are so important in books

Happy pride month!
Hey, everyone! I’m back with another discussion post and I’m super excited for this one. As it’s pride month, I figured this would be a fitting post to write right now! This is a topic that is really personal and important to me and I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time. I hope I’m able to teach you all a little bit about this! Let’s get right into it.

I want to start by explaining what the aromantic and asexual spectrum is. The spectrum covers anyone who is not alloromantic or allosexual and, while there is no good way of describing the term allo, it basically means anyone who experiences attraction at a level which society seems to have dubbed ‘normal’. On the other end of the spectrum is aromantic and asexual, meaning someone who experiences no romantic or sexual attraction. More and more people are beginning to know of the words ‘aromantic’ and ‘asexual’ but the rest of the spectrum is still relatively unheard of. While I don’t want to turn this post into a dictionary, here’s a few aroace-spec identities and their meanings: (links go to the LGBTQA+ wiki pages)

  • Aroflux/aceflux: When someone’s sexuality fluctuates, however it usually stays on the aromantic spectrum. This means that they could feel entirely aromantic one day, somewhere in between another day, even sometimes feeling allo.
  • Demiromantic/demisexual: Someone who does not experience attraction until they form an emotional connection with the person. (does not mean that they’re attracted to everyone they experience the connection with – just that there’s the possibility)
  • Grayromantic/graysexual: someone who has experiences relating to being aromantic/asexual, including (but not limited to) experiencing attraction infrequently, experiencing attraction weakly and much more.
    Credit to LGBTQA+ wiki for parts of these definitions.

I highly suggest you check out these terms or the page for the aromantic spectrum or the asexual spectrum, which lists even more terms, if you are curious!

As some of you might know, I identify as grayromantic and asexual. However, I’d never even heard of the term grayromantic until less than a year ago. It was very confusing for me, before I’d heard of the term, because basically all of my friends had already figured out their sexualities, etc and I just…didn’t know. I had no idea how they seemed to know this, why I was so far behind. Even after I learned of the term for the first time, I was skeptical, simply because I’d never heard of it until that point. How could I be a sexuality that I’d only just heard of?
It took me even longer to realize I was asexual because of all the stereotypes that surround the sexuality–I had no idea what constituted as asexual and what didn’t and it made me not even consider that I could be ace until probably late December.

So, where am I going with this? How does this tie in with books?
Well, one thing that you might have noticed is that books have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to the aroace spectrum. There are very few books with aromantic or asexual characters, though there are certainly some, but when it comes to the rest of the spectrum, there is practically nothing. And honestly, I think this is why it took me so long to figure out my sexuality. I’d never heard of those words in my life, not even from books, where I’ve learned so many things. I’d never seen someone like myself in a book and that left me confused as to my sexuality.

This is why I think that we need more books with aroace-spec characters and just more diverse characters in general. There are so many people out there who get their knowledge from books or who turn to books to escape the actual world, and if someone is not able to see themselves in a book, it can hurt, if they know who they are already. If they don’t know who they are, it can leave them confused. Maybe I’m putting too much faith in books by asking them to teach me who I am, but I want to be able to put that faith in books. I want books to represent me, and I want books to represent everyone else who’s felt underrepresented in literature. Even if your story of a greyromantic superhero with a strong group of friends helps one person feel represented, or one person understand who they are, that’s enough. That makes a difference.

I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen tiny little aphobic things in books. Things that authors don’t even realize are aphobic, because maybe they’ve never even heard of the spectrum. Or maybe there’s something that suggests the main character is on the aroace spectrum but it’s never addressed–because the author doesn’t even know their character is on the spectrum. One quick example of this is when a character doesn’t get their first crush until they’re 17 or 18. I don’t know why authors do this, but my best guess would be that it makes it more interesting for the character to be navigating through a first crush, through these feelings for the first time. I know that the author does not intend for this to be this way, but it does feel rather disheartening for me, at least, to read these books.

Here’s a few books with aroace-spec characters that I have read and enjoyed! Almost all of these books have aroace characters. However, they’re all amazing books that I’d highly encourage you to check out!

Amazon.com: Summer Bird Blue (9781481487757): Bowman, Akemi Dawn: Books
Amazon.com: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings,  2) (9780062795328): Lee, Mackenzi: Books
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. The main character, whose POV this entire book is from, is actually bi, but Katherine, the other MC, is aroace. There was a great friendship in this book between Jane and Katherine (enemies to friends) and overall I really enjoyed this
  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman. I just read this book, finishing it less than a month ago, but it was really enjoyable! The main focus is more on grief, however the main character Rumi is somewhere on the aroace spectrum and it is explored at points in the book.
  • The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. This book is actually technically the second in a series, and the MC is the sister of the MC of book 1, but honestly you could probably read this without reading the first one. There were some parts that were a little weird, mostly with the plot, and the fact that Felicity is aroace is not actually mentioned, simply implied, given that it’s set in the 1700s (or 1800s, I’m bad at time please forgive me).
Rick: Gino, Alex: 9781338048100: Amazon.com: Books
  • The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow. The MC of this book is demi and it’s a very good book overall. I was at first really nervous to read this because the premise sounds…super weird…but it was an awesome book!
  • Rick by Alex Gino. This is a middle grade book and a bit of a companion novel to the book George, but you definitely don’t need to read George to read Rick. It’s a book about a 10 or 11 year old who is questioning throughout the book and eventually decides he’s aroace. It’s a super sweet book and well written for middle grade readers, while still being enjoyable for those who read YA as well!
  • Loveless by Alice Oseman. There are a lot of mixed reviews on Loveless, specifically how the MC, Georgia’s experience is shown throughout the book. I, personally, loved it, though, and would encourage others to read it as well!

I was imagining this post to be longer but the words will not come so I will end here. I just wanted to let you know, that my comments and my email and my goodreads PMs are always open if you want to know more or if you are questioning. Seriously, do not be afraid to reach out to me about it, even if you are just writing a book character and want to make sure you get it correct (in reality, I will feel extremely honored that you went to me for this and also extremely happy that you care enough about this to ask me). Also I will forever love you if you have a WIP with an aroace spec character*. It doesn’t need to be a major character. Just a character. (or if you have a published book, I’ll love you for that as well).
*Obviously, there’s a few restrictions to my love….the character has to be represented well and also your book can’t be discriminatory in any way to ANY of your characters, you know, stuff like that.
Thank you all so, so, much for reading. Like I said before, this is a very important topic to me so it means a lot that you’d take the time to read this. I hope that you learned something and that you enjoyed this post.

January Wrap up

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 (Legendborn, #1) by Tracy Deonn
Amazon.com: Wicked Fox (9781984812346): Cho, Kat: Books
Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) by Maureen Johnson
  • 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.
Amazon.com: Felix Ever After (9780062820259): Callender, Kacen: Books
Amazon.com: The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss (1))  (9781368036887): Shah, London: Books
  • 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 - Kindle edition by Orwell, George. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks  @ Amazon.com.
Amazon.com: The Liar's Guide to the Night Sky: A Novel (9781510757806):  Shrum, Brianna R.: Books
Amazon.com: Concrete Rose (9780062846716): Thomas, Angie: Books
  • 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.
Amazon.com: Radio Silence (9780062335715): Oseman, Alice: Books
Amazon.com: These Violent Delights (9781534457690): Gong, Chloe: Books
Amazon.com: The Inheritance Games (9781368052405): Barnes, Jennifer Lynn:  Books
  • 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~

Graphic Novels

Amazon.com: Displacement (9781250193537): Hughes, Kiku: Books
Amazon.com: Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel (9781534444959): Reynolds,  Jason, Novgorodoff, Danica: Books
Amazon.com: Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir (9780062685094):  Ha, Robin, Ha, Robin: Books
Amazon.com: Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Classics Graphic Novels)  (9780763659486): Hinds, Gareth, Hinds, Gareth: Books
Amazon.com: The Prince and the Dressmaker (9781626723634): Wang, Jen: Books
Amazon.com: The Deep & Dark Blue (9780316486019): Smith, Niki: Books

Middle Grade

Books by Julia: I Am Princess X, by Cherie Priest
The Magic Misfits: The Fourth Suit (The Magic Misfits, 4): Harris, Neil  Patrick: 9780316391955: Amazon.com: Books

Young Adult

Amazon.com: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, 2) (9780062338082):  Johnson, Maureen: Books
Amazon.com: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea (9781536204315):  Tokuda-Hall, Maggie: Books
Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly
ARC for A Bite of Revenge by Setayesh Kazempoor on Booksprout

~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.

~Posts I enjoyed~

~Blogging updates~

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:

Current Image
New image

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.

~February Goals~

  • 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)

~Life Updates~

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!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

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

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

Cemetery Boys | Aiden Thomas

Published September 1st | Swoon Reads

352 pages | Hardcover

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

Rep: Trans gay Latinx MC, gay LI

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

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

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

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

It totally lived up to the hype!

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


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


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

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

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

Queer Folk are like wolves. We travel in packs

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

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

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

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