December Monthly Wrap Up

Can we first just appreciate that I actually posted this wrap up on time, like on the last day of the month, not a week into the next month? Thank you.
Believe it or not, 2021 is over. Like, we’re actually headed into 2022. And I know I’ve already said this about 5,000 times this year, but how has this year gone by so fast???
Let’s look at my December books. A Winter's Promise: Book One of The Mirror Visitor Quartet  eBook : Dabos, Christelle, Serle, Hildegarde: Kindle Store These Violent Delights: 9781534457690: Gong, Chloe: Books
  • A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos. I finally dipped into the books I got last Christmas that I didn’t end up reading. And honestly…I did not enjoy this one. It just felt like a whole lot of nothing was happening, and while the worldbuilding is good (this book’s worldbuilding is very hyped) it wasn’t something that I was enraptured with or anything. ⭐⭐
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I forgot how nice rereading books is! And especially this one. It was awesome to be able to see the crows again, head through the heist with them, and catch so many things woven in the story that I didn’t get the first time! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Another reread, this one in preparation to read the second book. The first time I picked this one up, I found it kind of slow, and the writing style was a little more dense than I was used to, but this time I was able to appreciate it so much more! ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Just Ash: 9781541599246: Santana, Sol: Books
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Continuing with the rereads, I guess! I got a little sick one weekend this month, so after I got home from school that Friday I just picked it up and flew through the first half, then finished it before I got out of bed the next day. Just as good as I remembered! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Just Ash by Sol Santana. This was such an interesting read because it’s the first book I’ve read with an intersex character, not to mention main character with multiple intersex side characters as well! At times, I got a little bored but overall it was a really interesting book and I learned a lot. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Little Thieves by Margaret Owens. The first of the books I got for Christmas! I loved Owens’s other books, the Merciful Crow series (which I think is extremely underrated) so I couldn’t wait to try this one and I’m delighted to say that it was just as great as the Merciful Crow! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong. I…don’t know what to say. I loved this book, I loved the story just as much as the first. However, it did feel like a few parts were a little rushed or sudden. Still, overall, awesome! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. I only vaguely know the story that this novel is based off of, but I really enjoyed this retelling, I thought it was unique and I liked the twist at the end! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake. I really enjoyed this one! It was kind of a short, easy read but it still definitely dealt with a lot of important stuff. I thought that writing the book from Mara’s perspective was a really interesting take, and overall, this was a great book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

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

December Goals:

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

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

January Goals:

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

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

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


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. The Great Gatsby: The Original 1925 Edition (A F. Scott  Fitzgerald Classic Novel): 9798745274824: Fitzgerald, F. Scott: Books Under the Whispering Door: 9781250217349: Klune, TJ: Books
Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel - Kindle edition by Reid, Taylor Jenkins.  Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @
  • 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: 9781250784780: Vo, Nghi: Books 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. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Raybearer: 9781419739828: Ifueko, Jordan: Books 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!
  • 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!

May Wrap Up

I’m back!
I’m so sorry for my completely unexplained disappearance from the blogging world this month. It was entirely unplanned but unfortunately some outside factors had a bit of a sway in this. I’m going to try to post regularly in June and I’ll explain more with what happened farther down in this post.
In other news, I’ve decided to turn my wrap up back into a singular post. Given that I’ve gotten rid of my monthly book awards, my posts will definitely not be as long so I figured I’d save myself the effort of having to format TWO posts and make an entire 2/5s of my posts be just wrap ups and turn it back into one wrap up. Where Dreams Descend: A Novel (Kingdom of Cards, 1)  (9781250204356): Angeles, Janella: Books
Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® The Gravity of Us (9781547600144): Stamper, Phil: Books
  • Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. I’ve seen this book hyped by many of my friends and it was something that I’d been meaning to read, but unfortunately it was a disappointment. It just did not hold my attention and it took me a while to finish it, as well as getting me into a fantasy reading slump. ⭐⭐
  • Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen. This was a really good book! I’m definitely in the middle of a realistic fiction binge right now and I found this to be a very satisfying read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper. This book was okay. Honestly, nothing really stood out about it, I found it interesting that the main character was into media journaling but there was absolutely no development to the romance and it happened out of nowhere. ⭐⭐⭐ Miss Meteor (9780062869913): Mejia, Tehlor Kay, McLemore,  Anna-Marie: Books Michigan vs. the Boys (9781525301483): Allen, Carrie S., Allen,  Carrie S.: Books The Henna Wars (9781624149689): Jaigirdar, Adiba: Books
  • Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia. Okay, so I’m not usually a fan of magical realism. It may be one of my least favorite genres ever. I also didn’t enjoy the first book by McLemore that I read. But this book? This was AWESOME! I loved it so much, it kept me hooked, I liked the writing, it was just amazing! Plus, one of the main characters is pansexual, not something we see much in books, and there was amazing trans rep! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Michigan vs. the Boys by Carrie Allen. Guys I loved this book SO much. Three words: Girls playing sports. As a girl who plays sports myself (well, just one sport. Fencing didn’t really work out) it is SO AMAZING to see a book like this because honestly? There’s so few of them. I think this is a super important book to read because it highlights a lot of the sexism that revolves around sports. Also it’s just an awesome book. Read it. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Henna Wars by Abida Jaigirdar. Okay, I know it’s kinda crazy that this is the first time I’ve read this. It’s a super popular book with people, it seems. And it was a nice read, too! I really enjoyed it, especially Nishat’s relationship with her sister, Priti, because we really need more awesome sibling relationships in books, please and thank you. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson The Sky Blues (9781534477858): Couch, Robbie: Books
Most Likely (Most Likely #1) by Sarah Watson
  • You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson. Yet another book that’s gotten really popular since it came out which I hadn’t read. This book was good! Shoot, I forget what happened in it (despite the fact that I read it more recently than several of these other books). But it was definitely good. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch. This was a sweet book, I loved how everyone came together to help Sky and there were some great friendships here. It was a sort of predictable book, or maybe that’s just me being able to predict far out things (though, given that I’ve NEVER guessed the outcome of a murder mystery…) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Most Likely by Sarah Watson. This was a good book but I have some complaints. Don’t listen to the goodreads summary. Or any summary. Nowhere in the book does it say that one of these four girls are destined to be president. In the prologue, I guess it says that one of them will be president, but the way the goodreads summary says it– ‘destined to become president’ makes it seem like some ominous prophecy.
    Complaints aside, this was a really nice realistic fiction story. ⭐⭐⭐ The Voting Booth (9781368053297): Colbert, Brandy: Books Perfect on Paper: A Novel (9781250769787): Gonzales, Sophie:  Books Pet (9780525647072): Emezi, Akwaeke: Books
  • The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert. Honestly, I didn’t know how a book all about voting, set in one day would be pulled off. I was skeptical. But it worked, it really did. I loved how we got to know the characters and they got to know each other throughout the day, and the book really kept me engaged and educated. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales. This was the PERFECT book to read when I was at the height of my realistic fiction reading phase–it’s basically the type of book I think of when I think realistic fiction. It was a really great book! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. I picked this book up on a whim and it was pretty interesting! There were times I was confused about the monsters and angels and I’ve figured out the monsters but I’m honestly still sort of confused about the angels but oh well, it was still an awesome book with a great lesson! ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Edge of Anything (9780762467587): Carpenter, Nora Shalaway:  Books She Drives Me Crazy (9781250209153): Quindlen, Kelly: Books
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
  • The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter. Super important book, would definitely recommend. Has a great friendship in it and teaches some very important things! (excuse my overuse of the word ‘important’). ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen. I did enjoy this book, however I cannot get over the fact that Scottie CLEARLY blackmailed Irene into fake dating her. And she didn’t even realize it. Did the author even realize it? Because it’s literally never addressed in the rest of the book. That really rubbed me the wrong way. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee. The disappointment I feel about this book…I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be so harsh on it because the way that the main character was acting (kinda self centered) for most of the book mighta been part of his growing process or whatever but I still feel super let down because I was so excited for this one. ⭐⭐

Well, I’m clearly terrible at sticking to my TBRs but I want to be able to finish some of the books I own, including some fantasy ones, because I hope to get out of my fantasy book slump. I’d also love to read LOTS of queer books for pride month and so if anyone has any recommendations, PLEASE suggest them in the comments below! Especially if you have any with rep that is less commonly seen in books!

The Monthly Bingo is created by A Colorful Bibliophile and it is totally amazing, so please head over there and check it out! It’s such a fun thing to do and I hope you’ll join in on it! You can find May’s board here and here is what I’ve done for this month!

Despite being inactive on my own blog, I did do a pretty good job of staying on top of other people’s posts, if I may say so myself. I was unable to comment on them, but I did read them (I promise, I read them!). Here are just a few that I enjoyed!

I wrote a measly one blog post in May, but it was a super awesome one! April @Booked Till Midnight and I collaborated once again to write a discussion post, this time on spoilers, and I LOVE how it turned out! We split it in two, just like last time, and you can find my half here and hers here.

May goals:

  • When you have school stuff, do it first!!! Writing/blogging comes afterwards (not saying I don’t do this already but my schedule is about to get a lot busier)
  • Drink more water (please?)
  • Blog a liiiiittle more (be on top of my posts more)
  • Remember to study (the end of the school year is, amazingly, coming right up!)❌✅

Well uuuuuuh…I definitely didn’t blog more. Haha. I did stay more on top of school stuff I think? I wouldn’t say I drank more water. And I studied once? For a quiz? We don’t have finals this year, so that’s nice.

June goals:

  • Blog some more?
  • Hang out with my friends
  • Don’t think about school after it ends
  • Follow a few more blogs

*If you’ll notice, I skipped the blogging updates section, simply because I have no blogging updates to give*

Okay, so what’s been going on with me this month? Where have I been?
Well, the first week of May, my only excuse for posting was that I didn’t know what to post. I have a bunch of book tags lined up and several book reviews, but I just wanted to write something new and exciting (not to say that book tags aren’t exciting) and I just didn’t know what to do.
Then, on Friday May 14, I injured my elbow while playing softball. The short story was that I landed on it while trying to stop a ball from getting past me, the longer story for any of you who actually understand the baseball/softball talk is that the other team had the bases loaded with one out and I was playing right field. The batter hit the ball to the pitcher, who tossed it to the catcher to get the out at home, but then the catcher threw down to first to try to get the batter out as well. However, the ball got past the first baseman and because I was backing up first, I ran to try to get the ball. I dove, but I didn’t manage to get it and I landed on my arm.
Immediately after I got up (yes, you’re getting the full story here), my arm felt really weird, it was all shaky and hurt a little (but surprisingly, not much). Whatever the case, I knew I couldn’t put my glove back on so I went back to the dugout (and a few parents fawned over me). I wasn’t feeling well enough to play in the rest of the game but we wanted to see if it was something I could sleep off.
It definitely wasn’t. I went to the doctor’s the next day and they told me to go to the ER to get an X-ray. It turned out that I’d fractured a bone in my elbow–a fracture small enough that they couldn’t even see in the x-ray (they could tell by the fluids that were gathering around my bone), but a fracture nonetheless. I got a splint, which made it very hard to type. Basically I couldn’t type. So that’s why I haven’t been blogging (typing with one hand is so agonizing).
On Monday (the 24th) I got my splint off and, while my arm is still injured, it’s okay enough that I just have to keep it in a sling until my next appointment by which time it will hopefully be better. I can type again, hooray! (though I probably shouldn’t be doing it much). And that is the story of why I haven’t been blogging.

Other stuff I’ve been doing this month include playing softball, until I got injured, and reading because what else can I do. Oh yeah, also school. My teachers are giving us lots of projects and tests (and terrifying latin assignments) before the end of the year. So that’s fun. I paid more attention to baseball? Because from April-October, Major League Baseball is basically my life? This season has been absolutely CRAZY so far, with some super competitive divisions and also six??? no-hitters??? somehow??? But honestly, really nothing else happened this month aside from breaking my first bone ever (seriously, this was my first big injury).

How was your May? Do you have any queer book recommendations for me? What do you think of my reading month?
As always, thank you so much for stopping by and have a marvelous June! (I wish I’d thought of ‘marvelous’ before, because ‘marvelous May’ sounds so much better than ‘marvelous June)
Stay safe and keep on reading!

March Wrap Up (part two)

Hey everyone, welcome back to my March wrap up! This is part two, in case you missed it, I’m splitting my wrap ups into two parts so they aren’t the monster that was my January Wrap up. I published the first part of the wrap up on Sunday, where I discussed favorite posts around the blogosphere, the posts I published this month and more! Please head on over and check it out if you haven’t already! For this part of the wrap up, I’ll be talking about the books I’ve read, my monthly bookish awards (more on those later if you don’t know what they are) and more!
First of all, someone please tell me how we’re already a fourth of the way through the year? Please, educate me on this sorcery, it seems impossible. This year is going…weirdly fast and I’m not sure why. Or how. But I’m all for it.
Anyways, let’s get into my reading month!

~What I Read~ A Dark and Hollow Star (9781534453678): Shuttleworth, Ashley:  Books Skyhunter (Skyhunter Duology, 1) (9781250221681): Lu, Marie:  Books
  • This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. This book was super different from what I usually read. It was a little slower than other things that I pick up but it was super good! But now I just don’t know what was real because at the end, Odie just said something like ‘all storytellers bend their stories a little,’ and a bit more stuff like that. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth. This was probably my most anticipated release of 2021 and it was good! I really liked the characters and the plot, but I do have to say that it was definitely very slow at the beginning and while there was rep LGBTQ+-wise, there was basically no rep POC-wise which was disappointing ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Skyhunter by Marie Lu. This book was super interesting and may very well be my favorite Marie Lu book. It did seem like just another sci fi book but the characters were awesome and there was a bit of twist to a usual YA sci fi plot. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Dangerous Gift (Wings of Fire, Book 14) (14): Sutherland, Tui T.:  9781338214543: Books
We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Shadows Over London | CamCat Books
  • Wings of Fire by Tui T Sutherland: The Dangerous Gift. I started reading Wings of Fire when I read middle grade books and so I’ve continued to read them as they come out! These books are ones that I never grow out of–they’re still as enjoyable today as they were when I was the target audience! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez. This book was sad and eye-opening and I’m really glad to have read it. It taught me a lot–I had no idea about La Bestia before reading this–and it was very heart-wrenching. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Shadows Over London by Christian Klaver. I received this book as an ARC and it was…fine. I didn’t really care for it, the writing style was not to my liking and the plot was just meh. ⭐⭐
Lore by Alexandra Bracken Elatsoe (9781646140053): Little Badger, Darcie, Cai, Rovina:  Books
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. I read the entire Shadow and Bone series just so I could read this one and I finally got around to it. Wow, it did not disappoint! I loved seeing Nikolai and Zoya but I especially loved seeing Nina. Plus, Leigh Bardugo is a master at writing plot as always and it was just so awesome to be in the Grishaverse again! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Lore by Alexandra Bracken. I read The Darkest Minds by Bracken a while ago and didn’t enjoy it that much so I didn’t really know what to think, going into this one. Whatever it was, my expectations were not very high. And it was indeed a meh book. It was an interesting idea for a book overall and there were some interesting parts and interesting characters but the book itself, I didn’t really care for it. ⭐⭐
  • Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger. This was a fun, easy to read book! Plus, I always love seeing an aroace protagonist! I do agree with many reviews I’ve seen on this book that it reads more as middle grade than YA but it was still enjoyable. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Girls I've Been (9780593353806): Sharpe, Tess: Books
I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee Rule of Wolves (King of Scars Duology, 2) (9781250142306):  Bardugo, Leigh: Books
  • The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe. Woah, this book was…intense. This might have been the first thriller I’ve ever read (honestly, I’ve probably read more but who knows) and…wow. Clearly I have nothing to say about this book haha. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee. This book was so fun and enjoyable! I was recommended this book by Katie @Whispering Pages and finally got around to reading it and it was just so awesome! I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a fun contemporary book. Or just anyone. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. It’s over. I can’t really believe it’s over but wow that book is quite something. There were some things I liked less than I liked about King of Scars, and some things I liked more. It was a very mixed book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

~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!
And just a reminder from last month, I’ve decided to remove the ‘worst’ part of the awards. While it can be good to know what books to stay away from and where books are weaker, I’ve realized that it’s much more important to focus on the good parts of books, and also that it might be sort of unfair to choose what book was worst in some points. Hope you all are okay with this! (If you really want to know the ‘worst’s, you can ask me in the comments).

Best character: There really is no character that pops out at me as the ‘best character’ in this group. My first thought was Nikolai, but I think I’m going to go with Skye from ‘I’ll be the One.’ Skye was super determined and self confident and she didn’t let anyone push her down which was a super cool quality to have.
Most interesting character: I guess I’ll go with Nora from The Girls I’ve Been. She’s a con artist’s daughter so she’s had to basically be different girls throughout her life.
Funniest character: Okay, this is why I didn’t put Nikolai as ‘best character’; he’s clearly the funniest character. I mean, come on, he’s Nikolai. How could he not be the funniest.

Best Villain: I….honestly don’t know. I didn’t read many books with villains this month. I guess the only two villains there really was was those in A Dark and Hollow Star and in Shadows Over London and of those I guess I’d have to say the villain in A Dark and Hollow Star?
Most original villain: I honestly do not know, nor do I think either of the villains I mentioned previously were extremely original so I’m just gonna leave this blank.

Best plot: What else could I possibly say other than King of Scars? Leigh Bardugo is a master of plots (and characters, too) and KoS is no exception. Rule of Wolves is a close second behind this (as it is the second in the King of Stars duology…)(I don’t even know if that was a pun and it wasn’t intended to be but…)
Most original plot: I think I have to go with Lore by Alexandra Bracken here. I’ve never read a book anything like this (I mean, Percy Jackson was the closest as it is set in NYC and there is greek mythology but it didn’t come anywhere close) and the concept was super interesting.
Craziest plot twist: Not gonna lie, I’m just saying Rule of Wolves because I can’t think of anything else. I cannot think of a plot twist in Rule of Wolves either, but I’m just going with it because there’s got to be one in there somewhere.

Best world building: I always hate using a single book for lots of answers but best world building clearly goes to King of Scars/Rule of Wolves. Just like sh’es a master at plot, Bardugo’s world building is fabulous.
Most original world: Well it appears I did not read many books that even had fantasy worlds so I’ll go with Elatsoe for this one. The world in Elatsoe was basically our world but there was some magic and creatures which I thought was pretty cool.

Best romance: Uuuuh
I guess I’ll say Nina and Hanne from King of Scars??? There was literally no other romance that stood out to me this month
Most unexpected romance: I’m not gonna lie, most romances are extremely predictable these days. I honestly don’t know what to say because none of these surprised me the slightest bit.

Most diverse book: Well, King of Scars was very diverse but I’m going to go with I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee here. All of the main characters/important side characters were LGBTQ+ as well as Asian. Skye was also fat and it was a very body-positive book which unfortunately is not something that I see very often in YA.

Best book overall: …Oh, come on, it’s got to have been King of Scars. I’d also put Rule of Wolves here. Despite the fact that I did rate Rule of Wolves 4 stars when I rated King of Scars (as well as I’ll be the One) 5, I think overall I enjoyed Rule of Wolves more, there were just more things that I also enjoyed less. I’ll Be the One was an extremely close second, I loved that book.
Most original book overall: (*Note: I’m changing this prompt from ‘most interesting book overall’ to ‘most interesting book overall’) Oh, Lore’s gotta win this one too, like I said before it was extremely original.
Most surprising book overall: I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee. I was expecting to really enjoy it but I was not expecting to LOVE it. It was SUCH an amazing book and you NEED to go out and read it RIGHT AWAY.

~April TBR~

Just like last month, I’m doing a short TBR of books that I’m probably going to read in April. Don’t expect me to stick to this TBR though! (I said I was gonna read The Gilded Ones in March but I only got halfway through due to the fact that I received two extremely anticipated books of mine right after I started reading it and just had to start reading those) Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, 1) (9780062870957): Barron,  Rena: Books A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology  (9781984896209): Clayton, Dhonielle: Books Not Your Villain (Sidekick Squad) (9781945053252): Lee, C.B.:  Books
  • Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. I saw a talk by this author last…August? And I’ve been excited to pick this up ever since. I think that now that I actually own this I’ll be much more likely to do so!
  • A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhonielle Clayton. This will be the first anthology I’ve read in a while and I’m excited to pick it up! It looks like a super interesting read.
  • Not Your Villain by CB Lee. This is the second book in the Sidekick Squad, whose first book I read in February. I’m trying to read this series really slowly given that book 4 doesn’t come out until August and if I devour them all right now, I will be in that awkward spot where I remember too much that a reread is worth it but not enough that I can just pick up the book remembering exactly what happened in that last one, come August. (disclaimer: I’ll probably end up in that spot anyways)

~Monthly Bingo~

And I’m back with the monthly bingo again! The monthly bingo is created by A Colorful Bibliophile and it is an absolutely amazing creation. You can find this month’s bingo board here, as well as the board for the month of April here.
Anyways, enough rambling, here’s my March bingo board:

Not gonna lie, I definitely bent some of the prompts a lot. But come on, I needed to get my bingo!
Anyways, I do hope that you participate in the monthly bingo because it is a WHOLE LOT of fun!

Have you read any of the books that I did for my reading month? What do you think of my monthly bookish awards? Are you going to participate in the bingo? (you totally should). Let me know in the comments! I’d love to talk to you!
As always, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read this; it means the world. Stay safe and keep on reading!

March Wrap Up (part one)

I honestly cannot believe it’s already the end of March. I feel like March went slower than the other months but it’s also…already the end of it? We’re a fourth of the way through the year already and I’m not entirely sure how we got here. I swear, it was just February.
Anyways. I’m going to do this wrap up slightly backwards from the way I did the last one–we’re doing everything but the bookish parts of the wrap up first and then the bookish parts afterwards, just because it’s not yet the end of the month and I want to be able to squeeze some more pages into these last few days!

~Posts I Enjoyed~

~February Blog Posts~

I posted three times this month. Not as much as usual, I feel like, and my posts really declined towards the end there but hey, they’re there and they’re mine, so….

I feel like my ‘Thoughts on Teens in YA’ post had the potential to become a really good post. However I of course procrastinated until the last minute to write it and didn’t even write it well so in my opinion it was sort of a flop. Maybe one day I’ll go back and write it again because I’d been super excited for it!

~Monthly Goals~

March goals:

  • Study more for tests
  • Go for more walks
  • Read the books that I own (instead of ignoring them and just reading books I get from the library)
  • Reach at least chapter 10 in writing my book

I feel like I really did do better in studying for tests which is really nice because that’s never been something I’m good at doing.
Walks, well, I still don’t go on as many as I probably should but I made an effort to get outside even if I wasn’t going on a walk and did go on a few more walks I think.
I almost exclusively read books that I own this month! I have a lot of them all piling up and I was able to get through a lot of them which was super awesome.
I believe that I looked at stats less than I usually do, especially towards the end of the month, but I still proooobably need to work on that.
Also, I got like halfway through chapter 10 in my book but didn’t actually finish it, so…I guess that counts?

April goals:

  • In free time, do what I want to do (aka, blog if I want or write what I want, don’t do what I feel like I have to do)
  • Drink more water (a constant problem for me)
  • Write some more
  • Try to get outside more
  • Be more efficient in homework (granted, this is something that I’ve been doing towards the end of March as well)

~Blogging Updates~

I have no blogging updates. Nothing happened this month. Haha but I’m serious, I quite literally don’t know what to say here so….yeah. My blog exists. There you go.

~Life Updates~

  • I did NOT watch Julie and the Phantoms. Haha I know this is a little bit of a silly one to put on here but given my obsession with it it’s a liiiiittle bit surprising that I didn’t watch it. Still, hit me with all your theories, ideas, etc. no matter how crazy they are. The crazier, the better. Also, if you haven’t watched it, go watch it. I’m sure you’ve heard this before from me. But go watch it.
  • Okay the above statement is now a lie. I actually thought I’d get through the month without watching even one episode of JATP but who am I kidding? I did end up watching the first episode on Thursday.
  • I FINISHED ATLA. This is pretty big achievement for me given the pace at which I watch shows (I don’t actually want to watch them any faster–watching shows gives me semi-writer’s block–but I’m just reeeeeeeeally slow at it). It took me 6.5 months to get through this show and I really enjoyed it! Still not good as The Dragon Prince though. Someone, please agree with me. TDP is better. Please, someone. Everyone likes ATLA more. I just want one personnnnnnnnnnn.
  • I also started Legend of Korra immediately after finishing ATLA. I haven’t gotten very far yet but…wow it’s a little weird? I don’t know it’s just so different from ATLA. Even the animation style is different. Also seeing old Katara–and Katara’s children and grandchildren that’s weird.
  • I’ve written some more! I had a pretty productive writing month which I’m happy about and my story is going along swimmingly! (I swear, I never say ‘swimmingly’ but I just had to here because…it’s a book about mermaids….swimming… *crickets. crickets*)
  • The baseball season started. I mean, sorta. Not really. Anyways, for those of you who don’t know, I’m a huge baseball fan and the offseason is a very annoying time but spring training has now started so hooray! I know that no one else pays attention to major league baseball (And if you do, please tell me so that we can talk non-stop about it) but spring training is very exciting for baseball fans. Or….maybe just me given that whenever I try to talk about it to my family they go ‘okay but the games don’t matter in spring training’

Hey everyone, this is just one more reminder that the book giveaway of A Bite of Revenge by Setayesh Kazempoor is still going and ends tomorrow. Please enter, I promise you that it is well worth it! You can find my post where I have an author interview with Setayesh here. That post also outlines the giveaway requirements. You can also enter the giveaway directly here.
Also I want to acknowledge that there was a bit of a mess-up with the giveaway when I first started it but it’s all fixed now!

What do you think about my month? How was your month? What’d you think of my posts this month? Please let me know in the comments! Oh, also–I’ve been sort of struggling to figure out what to write that I want to write so if anyone wants to do a collab post on just about anything (I mean, it’s gotta be book related), please let me know in the comments, I’d be happy to work with you as long as you’re someone who I’ve talked to on my blog or yours beforehand. Also, you better have chosen the topic already because I’m *indecisive*.
Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, stay safe and keep reading!

December and 2020 Wrap up

Hello hello hello friends, and welcome to (*drumroll please*) the end of 2020!
Wow, I cannot believe that we’re finally here! 2020 has been a crazy year of ups and downs–ha ha, I’m joking if there was an up please let me know because I cannot think of anything except the fact that I started this very blog.
Anyways, here’s how this wrap up is going to work. To spare you from having to read through my comments on all 181 books I read this year (and to spare me from having to write about all of them because–) the first part of the wrap up will be just December books. However, this month my ‘monthly wrap up awards’ will become my yearly wrap up awards so you can see what I thought of characters, plot, world building, etc. throughout the whole year!

In December I read ten books (sort of*). I had a lot of five star books which I’m super happy about! This was a really, really good month for reading.

*I actually read Fence, the graphic novel series as well but I won’t be talking about that

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. This is the second book by Klune that I’ve ever read and I really enjoyed it! It was a unique idea and the characters were awesome (Lucy was the best, I’m not sure why but I really liked him. He was very funny) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos. This book was…okay. It had a VERY important message and it was a very eye opening book but I just found the actual plot and how it was written to be…less good. Still, I’d suggest you to give it a try! ⭐⭐⭐
  • Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. I loved Moxie! It was such an empowering novel and I liked how it was written as well! We need more novels like this in our lives. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan. I thought this was a great book because it was LOTR-esque but much easier to read and one of the main characters was female! I’d been looking for a book like this for a while now and I read The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan earlier this year which was a bit like LOTR but this one was much better. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert. This was a really great middle grade book, I really enjoyed it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron. This was a really great idea for a book but I just don’t think the actual plot was written that well. There was a lot of planning to do things and I just didn’t find that very interesting. Also…there was insta love which always makes me unhappy. ⭐⭐⭐
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. As always, Acevedo’s books are beautiful. This is the third book by her I’ve read and the first book in prose and I enjoyed it more than the others! I loved Emoni and Acevedo’s writing is just absolutely beautiful. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver. I loved this book so much it was so heartbreaking and adorable and amazing. It’s not often that you read a book with a non binary MC so that was also often to find in this book! Nathan was my favorite character because…Nathan. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. AAAAAAAAAAH hello I read this book in one sitting it was great now I cannot use punctuation because this book is great thank you.
    Okay, now for the thoughts that you can actually understand: I loved this book so much. It was so diverse and magical and the characters were awesome. Aiden Thomas’s writing, too, is amazing and I cannot wait for their next book, Lost in the Neverwoods. (also, Thomas has written another book pitched as Percy Jackson meets the Hunger Games and it’s queer and why is this not out right now). Sorry, I’m getting off topic. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore. This book was….interesting. It was extremely different than any other book I’ve read and it was a fascinating idea, too. I’m honestly not sure what I thought of it. ⭐⭐⭐

My Bookish Awards (for the entire year!)

Oh dear, this will be hard, won’t it be.

Best Character: The best character I have read all year is Fie from The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owens. I loved Fie because she was this super strong and determined character and I also loved the magic she could do–maybe not exactly about her but still. She could do said magic.
Worst Character: The fact that this isn’t even a hard choice is sort of sad. This award easily goes to Asa from The Future Was Now by JR Harbor. My hatred of Asa is unmatched. He only cares about his girlfriend because she’s ‘the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen.’ and that’s only the first reason I hate him. I’ll shut up before I continue ranting but find the rest of my rant about this book here. It was one of the more fun posts to write.
Most interesting Character: OKAY FINE I didn’t want to do this one but since I can’t think of anything else, I’ll say The Claw from We Ride Upon Sticks. The Claw is a hairstyle….but in the book it had a personality. Also it was, like, magical??? So that’s certainly interesting.
Funniest Character: Well, I’m not entirely sure if this is the actual character or the character’s actions that are funny, but Nick from The Extraordinaries did a lot of really funny dumb things and he was funny as well and that book made me laugh a lot. (Find my interview with the author, TJ Klune, here, where we discuss Nick and writing a book)

Best villain: So…I have the perfect villain in mind, however this villain comes in about halfway through said book and I don’t want to spoil for anyone! But I will say that the villain in Crown of Feathers was probably the best villain I read this year since they were cruel and smart and it’s just a thrill to read them because it always seems so impossible that the main character would defeat them.
Worst villain: Villains in Spy School Revolution. Perhaps it’s a little unfair for me to put these people here since this is a middle grade book, but I just didn’t like the idea for them as villains and stuff.
Most original villain: Villain (more like villainous idea) in Four Dead Queens. THAT PLOT TWIST–no, Phoenix, shush, no one needs to hear you talk about THAT PLOT TWIST–
Anyways there’s a great plot twist read Four Dead Queens please and thank you.

Best plot: Oh hello how on EARTH am I going to choose??? I’ve read so many amazing books this year! But finally, after much contemplation (and disagreement within myself) I have decided on Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian. This was such an interesting story and it really hooked me! I loved this book and you all should definitely check it out!
Worst plot: Maybe this isn’t actually true but I read so many books in 2020 and can’t possibly remember the plots of all of them. I just remember really disliking this book because of what was going on in it and stuff. I’m going to say “Let the Storm Break” by Shannon Messenger. I’ve read KOTLC by Messenger so I tried her other series and I just–meh. I got through the first book and read the second and I really struggled to get through it because the plot was so slow and just not what I wanted to read it. I never picked up the last book.
Craziest plot twist: PHOENIX DON’T SAY I–FOUR DEAD QUEENS. *pause* Are any of you surprised? Sorry, I just had to say this here.
Most original plot: Okay for this one I think I’m going to go with Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. I thought that it was such an interesting concept and VERY different than other things. Basically, it was about zombies (called shamblers in this book) who rose from the dead in the Civil War. Now (a little bit after the Civil War ended–it was cut short by this new zombie development), our main character Jane goes to a school to learn to cut down Shamblers and protect others (read: rich white people because, well, America). That being said, this book also brings attention to important things like slavery and racial inequalities in this United States. We also have great diversity–both main characters are POC (Jane is biracial) and our two main characters are bi and ace/aro. So get out and read this book!!!

Best world building: WHY DO I CURSE MYSELF TO THIS. Okay, it’s a tie between Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Scavenge the Stars never gave an info dump and there was a lot of different countries and places that were fitted into that. And, of course, Six of Crows is…Six of Crows. The grishaverse is so well thought out and complex! (Scavenge the Stars review)
Worst world building: How am I supposed to decide which world I hated the most??? I mean, there were worlds I hated but those worlds were meant to be hated (Like in Cinderella is Dead where women are literally forced to marry a man when they’re, like, 18).
Okay, I know I said this last month but since I can’t think of anything else, I’ll say it again: the world from House of Dragons. Basically nothing was explained. There was an island. There was an ocean. There were estates and there was a city. Where were they in relation to each other? I don’t know! (well, the island was in the middle of the sea, that’s for sure).
Most interesting world: For this one, I’ll go with the world from The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett. This book was definitely not my favorite but it had a very unique world. The world the character lived in, or at least the kingdom, was basically all ice. On top of a gigantic lake. Then, under the ice, in the water…there’s another world!

Best romance: I’m…not really a romance person. I mean, of course I’ll read romance in books because it’s hard to find a YA book without romance, but I don’t pay attention to it much and don’t like when it’s a big part of the book. That being said, I do DEFINITELY ship some couples. Nick and Seth from The Extraordinaries (try to come up with a good ship name though, I dare you. I don’t want to ship ‘sick’). Jesper and Wylan from Six of Crows (SHIP SO HARD) and Yadriel and Julian from Cemetery Boys (I….guess I like m/m ships a lot??? Don’t exactly know what that’s about but okay then).
Worst romance: Do I really need to rant about this book again? Well, okay, it’s Asa and Eve from The Future Was Now because honestly the fact that Eve saw appeal in Asa–I feel like that’s just the author’s wishful thinking. ASA ONLY EVER TALKED ABOUT HOW BEAUUUUUUUTIFUL SHE WAS. It’s like it was her only trait!!! (it wasn’t her only trait, it was just the only one Asa could see, apparently) And there was NOTHING about him that was likeable. Plus it was insta love. AAAAAAH
Most unexpected romance: I feel like romances are pretty suspectable these days but…I guess I’ll say the romance in Four Dead Queens (the not main one, I don’t want to spoil but it gets revealed part way through the book?)

Most diverse book: How am I supposed to choose the most diverse book I read this year? I really don’t think I can so I’ll just put a few in here.
Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Least diverse book: Well I mean, there are still a lot of books out there that don’t have any rep of any kind at all or write rep VERY badly. I have read some of these this year and I’d probably say that the worst rep goes to The Future Was Now (I don’t know if that was a badly failed attempt to have LGBTQ+ characters or it was just outright homophobia) or any of the spy school books I’ve read this year.

Okay now how on earth am I going to choose.
Yeah, I really cannot. But the books I enjoyed this year the most were Cemetery Boys, I’ll Give You The Sun, The Merciful Crow and Six of Crows among other things.
Worst book overall: You guys are probably bored of me saying this by now honestly. And you can DEFINITELY guess what I’m going to say here.
*drumroll* (but not really)
Just check out my post if you want to see my problems with it….
Most interesting book overall: Interesting as in unique idea, that is. For this one I’m going to have to go with We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry. Field hockey team in the late 1980’s who dapple in dark magic to try to win the state championships? Well that’s certainly…unexpected. And there’s so much more about this book to discover!

Just a few more things:
First of all, I don’t know how far this is going to make it or if this is going to do anything but I just wanted to let all of you know that my 2020 book tag, a tag that I created in late December, can be done after 2020 is over. I wasn’t clear about this at all on my post and I can see how people might think it can only be done in 2020, but it’s just a tag whose questions mirror the events in 2020, it doesn’t have anything to do with when you post it. So you can do it whenever!

Some posts that I loved reading this month:
– The Quiet Pond posted 20 diverse and modern retellings of old classics.
– Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of a Book wrote a discussion post about redemtion arcs and what makes them good or not.
– April @Booked Till Midnight wrote a letter to her past self and the things she could have done better on her blog.
– Ahaana @Windows to Worlds wrote a discussion post about her favorite tropes in YA fiction.
– Riddhi @Whispering Stories created a new feature on her blog–blogger interviews!
– Ahaana also introduced a project she’s working on with Becky @Dusts of Magic–basically a book club that writes fanfic after they finish the book!
– And lastly, both Katie @Whispering Pages and May @Forever and Everly posted anticipated releases for the first half of 2021 and I am so excited for all these books! (Katie’s post) (May’s post)

My new years resolutions (aka the bookish things I want to do in 2021)
– Well, first of all there are a LOT of books I want to read in 2021. I keep getting recommendations and I say, ‘I’ll get to it eventually’ and then I never do.
– I also want to read more of the books that I actually, you know, own because usually when I get books for holidays or my birthday, I’ll put them aside because I’ll always own them whereas library books I can only get for 14 days and sometimes there’s a line to get them. And then…I never read the books at home.
– Something really important to me this year is to read a lot of diverse books especially books with main or at least important LGBTQIAP+ characters. OwnVoices please!
– As well as the bookish things above, I want to figure out how to balance my time with reading, school, blogging and other things. I’ll probably cut back on my posting from twice a week to once a week so I have more time to do those things.
– Similar to the above goal, I want to be able to write a lot more this year. I have some awesome book ideas (in my opinion) but because of school and blogging I haven’t really been able to write them much. I’ve really made some progress over winter break though!

And that, my dear friends, is the end of my last post in 2020. I really hope you enjoyed it! What did you think of this post? Have any opinions on my opinions? Please, talk to me in the comments, I’d love to heard what you think!
Thank you all again for loving my blog and interacting me–I love all of you! As always, stay safe and keep reading!
See you next year!

November monthly wrap up and book tag!

Well. Another month of virtual school, another month of being stuck inside ALL THE TIME and another month of the pandemic. Happy nine months, people. We’ve been in this pandemic for as long as a woman is pregnant on average (why was that the first thing that came to my mind? I am now concerned for my mental state).

I’m back with my second monthly wrap-up tag! I’m not sure how well my last wrap-up tag went but you know what? I’m going to do it again because it’s fun and hey maybe one day someone will actually decide to do something that I post on my blog. Who knows?

Now. What is a wrap-up tag?
Well, a wrap-up tag is a book tag…as well as a monthly wrap up! But I know that everyone has their own monthly-wrap ups to do as well which is why it’s extremely short. You can add it onto the end of your own wrap-up or make a new post just for it–whatever works! Now, a wrap-up tag is a little different than any other tag because….it’s sort of on a time limit. You don’t necessarily have to do it at the end of November or soon after but the books you read will be fresher in your mind. So I like to do this as three quick questions about books you read this month!

Here are the rules of the wrap-up tag:

  • Link back to the original creator, Phoenix @Books With Wings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer all questions
  • Tag at least 3 people
  • Enjoy….and this will be enforced

And now for the November wrap-up tag!

A book you read this month with a strong bong (friends, family, etc.)

The book that instantly comes to mind when I think of a strong bond is a book I actually just did a post on–Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. If you read my post, you probably know that that book was not one of my favorite books. But something I did love from it was the bond that Sirscha and Saengo had. The two of them were very close friends and while they did develop an actual bond, as in ‘they were connected to each other by magic,’ their friendship was amazing and I loved to see how much Sirscha cared for Saengo. Their friendship was definitely one of the best parts about this book.
Find my blog post about this book here.

A book you read this month in which the characters feasted

Okay well this one is easy. Whenever you have trials or a contest or, you know, maybe just a magic school, chances are that your characters will feast. This was the case in the book ‘House of Dragons’ by Jessica Cluess. I’d been looking forwards to reading House of Dragons for a long time and when I finally did read it it slightly disappointed me (you can find my goodreads review here). However, I do vividly remember a scene in which there was a delicious feast described, Hunger-Games style.

The characters that you would love to invite to your house for thanksgiving (pre-covid)
(If you live in a different country and don’t celebrate thanksgiving, just make it a feast at your house)

This one took some thought. I read mostly fantasy so most of the book characters I know are kinda cold-hearted, stab-happy people or just people who wouldn’t be very dinner-friendly. After a while I decided that the characters that I would want to invite to thanksgiving dinner at my house would be the main characters from ‘Sorcery of Thorns’ by Margaret Rogerson. I would invite these characters because I actually really liked all of them. First of all, Elisabeth lived in a library for most of her life. A library! With magical books. Plus, Nathaniel is just…awesome, I dunno, he’s great, and SILAS IS THE BEST OF ALL OF THEM. I think they would just be a really fun trio to have dinner with (Even though Silas doesn’t actually, you know, eat).

Well that’s it for this month’s tag! I’m going to tag a whole lot of people, just to spread the news of this tag! You by no means have to do this tag, I just thought that it was a nice way to spice up the end of the month! I’m going to tag:

Katie @The Storybook Sisters
Sunny @Revolution Reading
Sibella @YA Book Reviews
Madeline @The Bookish Mutant
Cherelle @Cherelle the Bibliophile
Lilly @Lilly’s Little Library
Em @Cats, Bibliophobes and Baguettes

Want to participate but weren’t tagged? That’s completely fine! Please, join in the fun! Don’t let the lack of tag scare you away, I promise that you are allowed to do it. Actually, please please please do it!
Don’t want to do it because you hate me? That’s alright, I understand that time isn’t always on our side…or maybe this just isn’t in your agenda for what to post. I’ll just….cry here in the corner…😭😭😭

And now for the rest of my monthly wrap-up:

I read a pitiful 9 books this month, which, you know, would be impressive if 3 of them weren’t middle grade, one a graphic novel. The books are as follows. (asterisk means middle grade, double asterisk is adult)
Links are to my blog review or my goodreads review.

  • Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim. This book was not what I expected which made me not like it as much than if I’d gone into it with no expectations whatsoever. 3.8 stars
  • The Tower of Nero (Trials of Apollo #5)* by Rick Riordan. It was a great end to the series and you always gotta love a Rick Riordan book. 4 stars
  • Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3) by Leigh Bardugo. The series was better than I expected and I sorta enjoyed this book. The ending was slightly disappointing but it was definitely better than the first. 3.4 stars
  • Spy School Revolution (Spy School #8)* by Stuart Gibbs. This series does not need to keep going. It could and should have ended a long time ago. 2.6 stars
  • Class Act (New Kid #2)* by Jerry Craft. Jerry Craft is an amazing writer and an amazing artist. I absolutely love his art. His stories are really important as well, as they talk about racism in ways that are very easy to understand. 5 stars
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. Elisabeth lives in a library full of magical books. I really think that’s all you need to know to pick this book up. 3.6 stars
  • House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess. I was really excited for this book and I think that it let me down a little. Still, it was a very interesting concept. 3.25 stars
  • Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. This was a pretty interesting world and plot and concept but I feel like the beginning was pretty slow and once it got going it was over pretty fast. 3 stars
  • We Ride Upon Sticks** by Quan Barry. Guys, adult books are slooooow. Still, I liked the fact that it was about girls in sports, plus there was a good amount of LGBTQ+ rep. And it was a fascinating plot in general.

Here are my monthly wrap-up awards:

Best character: Silas from Sorcery of Thorns. I don’t know what it was about him, I just really, really liked him.
Worst character: Mal from Ruin and Rising. Mal is just…I hate his and Alina’s relationship and he’s just insufferable.
Most interesting character: Elisabeth from Sorcery of Thorns. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: she grew up in a library with magical books.
Funniest character: Apollo from ‘Tower of Nero.’ Rick Riordan just has such an amazing way of writing that’s funny and all-around awesome.

Best villain: Ronin from Forest of Souls. His power was a very interesting concept and the fact that all the kingdoms rely on him is so fascinating. Not that Sirscha cares about what the kingdoms rely on.
Worst villain: Villains in House of Dragons (will not name due to spoilers). I didn’t like how they acted and what they were doing and how they treated Emilia and just everything.
Most original villain: I don’t seem to read many books with original villains in them so I’m gonna say nothing for this.

Best plot: House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess. The plot was the best part about it. The rest was just meh.
Worst plot: Spy School Revolution by Stuart Gibbs. It was, like, the exact same plot as the last seven books.
Craziest plot twist: Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. For spoiler reasons, I’m not going to say what the twist was.
Most original plot: I think that a lot of plots these days are really original but this award goes to ‘We Ride Upon Sticks’ by Quan Barry. It was a story about a girl’s fieldhockey team in 1989 and their quest to win the state championships and I just thought it was such a fascinating and different book than most I read.

Best Worldbuilding: Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim. I loved the world building in this book. There was never an info dump and yet the world was described perfectly. I loved how descriptive everything was.
Worst Worldbuilding: House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess. I don’t think this world was described very well. There were different estates. There was a capital. There was an ocean and an island. I have no idea where each of these things are related to each other.
Most Interesting World: The world in Sorcery of Thorns. There were magical books and demons and library maids had to be warned that their job could come with a loss of fingers.

Best Romance: Elisabeth and Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns. They seemed cute together. Cuter than most straight couples I think?
Worst Romance: Alina and Mal from Ruin and Rising. Because Mal’s just no thank you.
Most Unexpected Romance: The most unexpected romance was probably Mel and Coach Mullins from We Ride Upon sticks because throughout the book we’d heard rumors of him and then at the end, bam, he’s only 6 years older than them and was getting married to Mel.

Best Representation: We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry. This book was both racially diverse and had great LGBTQIAP+ diversity.
Worst Representation: Spy School Revolution. All the main characters are white and there is no LGBTQIAP+ representation. Also, the villains are all not white.

Best Book Overall: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. Let me repeat. Library with magical books.
Worst Book Overall: Spy School Revolution. For the representation reason and because it was very repetitive of the last one…and the one after…and the one before…long story short, all seven books basically told the same story.
Most interesting book overall: We Ride Upon Sticks. I think I’ve said this before but it’s just such a fascinating concept and just such a new thing for me to read. I really enjoyed reading about a girls’ sports team.

Wait! Don’t go yet!
A few more things:

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! I hope you have a lovely and safe feast on Thursday and don’t forget to say thanks! Here’s what I’m eating:

  • Pumpkin pie
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cranberry relish (better than cranberry sauce 100%. Fight me)
  • Cheese puffs
  • Spinach appetizer things (don’t give me your thoughts till you try them. They’re spinach, but they’re D E L I C I O U S)
  • Probably some artichoke thing that I don’t want to eat, because ya know, parents. Always trying to make you be healthy.

What will you be eating for thanksgiving? Will you be seeing any family or friends?

My tbr for December
Okay so I don’t normally post a tbr or really think about what I’m going to read next. Usually I’ll just pick a book that I want to read from my tbr and get it from the library. Sometimes I’ll read something that a family member got from the library or a friend suggests something that I read immediately. So lots of times if I do have a plan to read a specific book, that gets derailed (I was gonna read ACOTAR months ago and haven’t yet. I’ve heard a lot of awful reviews though, so I’ll probably hold off for a bit). However I will almost certainly start reading/finish reading these books in December:

  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron. Buddy reading with Katie @The Storybook Sisters (hopefully)! I’ve been wanting to read this for a while and it sounds really good. I’ve heard very mixed reviews about this book–some people love it, some people hate it. We’ll see where I fall.
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. This one looks really interesting. I’ve read The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune (see my interview with the author here) and it was very good and very funny. I can’t wait to read something else by him.
  • Fence by CS Pacat. I literally cannot wait for this. I actually got volumes 2 and 3 from the library but volume one is still on hold 😭😭😭. I NEED this. I need my queer boys fencing….

Last but definitely not least:
I feel like I’m not a very big part of the book blogging community. That is, I blog about books, but I don’t know many people! I would love to get to know you guys more! Please, don’t be afraid to talk to me in the comments, tag me on a book tag or do anything to get to know me better! Yeah, it may be weird to tag a person you don’t even know in a book tag, but I promise that I won’t be weirded out by it. As long as it’s about books, I’m good! Don’t be shy, please stop by to talk if you have time! And never hesitate to participate in one of my book tags! I would love for some people to do them!

Okay, seriously now, I’ll stop talking. Sorry for boring you.

Well, there’s the tag and the wrap-up! Please, if you can, participate in the tag! It’s very short and I’d love to see some of your responses–it’s just a fun way to end the month! And of course if you would like to use my wrap-up tag template sort of thing, please just leave a comment ⬇below⬇

Did you like this post? Please, drop a comment, leave a like! I always love talking with other bookish people! Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with the things I said or do you think something different? I always love to hear your opinion on my opinion – as long as you are respectful! Maybe you have something to say about the post in general. Or even the blog in general! Don’t be afraid – I don’t bite! (reiteration: I don’t bite people) As always, thank you for stopping by and reading this post and my blog–it means the world.
Stay safe and keep reading!

Beyond the Story Challenge

Hey everyone! Welcome to the very first “Beyond the Story” challenge! Now, this is my first time ever doing any sort of challenge so please bear with me if things don’t go quite as planned–I am trying my best to make this fun and enjoyable.

Now, you’re probably wondering what the heck the “Beyond the Story” challenge even is, given that I made it up and so you’ve never heard of it before. Here are the short answers for that:

  • What: A reading challenge designed to help you read different books
  • Who: I, Phoenix at Books With Wings, am hosting this challenge
  • When: This challenge will begin on October 25, 2020, and you will post your first post on November 1, 2020
  • Why: I hope this challenge will encourage you to go out of the genre you are used to and explore books that you never thought would be good–but turn out to be!

Now, that probably wasn’t very useful, so here is the longer and more detailed description of this challenge:

The contest is split into four weeks and everyone will read one book per week. Each week there will be prompts that you need to read the book from. But here’s the thing. The prompts won’t be having you look at the actual story….they’ll have you look at things like the cover and the title and the character names. Of course you can look at the summary as well but the main point of this challenge is to get you to read books that you may not normally pick up, just having read the summary, but that you will give a try because of another element. 

Your first post should be posted by Sunday, November 1. Given that you have around a week to read each book, you should begin reading your first book, for the “Judge a book by its cover” challenge, on Sunday, October 25, give or take. This should hopefully give you enough time to plan your reads for this challenge and acquire the books.

Please note: As a teenager and someone who reads almost exclusively YA, the prompts for this challenge will be centered around YA books. However, this does not mean that you have to read exclusively YA. Middle grade, YA, NA and adult books can all be used in this challenge.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Read a book that corresponds to the week’s challenge
  2. Write a blog post about the book, why you chose that specific book for the challenge and what you’ve learned from the book
  3. Make sure to give a shoutout to me, Phoenix @Books With Wings

Don’t have a blog but still want to participate? Read to the bottom to see how to do that.

Here are each of the four week’s challenges:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Scratch that. This challenge is all about doing exactly that. Choose a book for this challenge because you like its cover. Maybe the cover is interesting, or beautiful or strange looking in a good way. Whatever it is, it’s the front that entices you, not what’s inside.

I couldn’t even name how many books there are with the word, ‘star’ in their titles. If you don’t believe me, take a look at any young adult shelf anywhere and you’ll probably find a book with a title that includes the word ‘star’. And so I ask you to read one of these books for challenge week 2. Need help? Check out this goodreads list* of 768 books with the word star in the title (*please note that not all of these books may be Young Adult).

This week we’ll focus on the character names. Read a book in which one of the central characters shares at least a first letter of the first name with you. Don’t want to share your name online? That’s alright, use your online name. Don’t have an online name/it starts with some absurd letter like ‘X’? Use the letter ‘A’. (why ‘A’? It was the first letter I could think of–and the first letter of the alphabet).

Look through the books that you’ve read this year and see what the authors of those books have been reading. Choose a book to read for this fourth challenge based on what your favorite authors have rated this year*. This challenge is a little more open-ended so I suggest you look for a book in a genre you don’t usually read but it is completely your choice. (*Note: If you read in the YA category, remember that not all authors also read in the YA category so be careful what you choose).

Questions I know will be asked if I don’t answer them now:

Q: What if I don’t have a blog?
A: That’s alright! You can participate through somewhere else, for example Instagram, goodreads, or even just commenting how it’s going in the comments of my blog! (please don’t do this in the comments of other people’s blogs unless they say it’s alright).

Q: What if I can’t/don’t want to do all four weeks of the challenge?
A: If you would prefer to only do one or two weeks of the challenge, that’s alright. Obviously it’s preferable to do all four weeks to expand on what you read even more but one or two weeks works as well.

Q: What’s the point of this challenge? Aren’t you supposed to choose books based on what’s inside?
A: That is true, usually. However, I find that oftentimes I won’t pick up a book because of its summary, actually. Here’s an example: The book “The Sound of Stars” has a really odd sounding summary, in my opinion. However, the cover of the book is one of the best covers I have ever seen. (Also it has the word ‘star’ in the title but I’ll be reading it for challenge 1)

Q: My blog is run by multiple people. Can we both participate or split the weeks we do it?
A: Yes to both those questions! You can either both participate and both post about your reads for this challenge or you could each do one week or you could each do two weeks, depending on how many people you have blogging on one blog.

Q: Am I allowed to reread a book for this challenge?
A: No. This challenge is all about discovering new books that you may not have chosen to read if not for this challenge. If you’ve already read the book, you know that it’s good already (or not good but you also cannot reread a book hoping it’s better the second time around)

Q: Can I read a book I’ve already started for a challenge?
A: It depends. If you’re halfway through the story or almost done and you’re super hooked then no, you cannot read it. However, if you’ve just started a book and are one, two, three chapters in and not entirely hooked, and the book fits the challenge, then yes you may read it.

Q: Can I read an ARC for this challenge?
A: If the ARC fits the prompt and you requested it because of this challenge–not because you thought it looked interesting beforehand–then yes, you may read it for the challenges.

Participating? Give this post a like! Plus, to spread the word about the challenge and let others know about what you’re doing ahead of time, put a post on your own blog about the challenge and who’s running it! Follow my blog, Books with Wings, to stay up to date on the contest and to see my book reviews for the contest as well. 

Questions? You’re probably not the only one who has them! Post them in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer!