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!

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Christmas Book Haul

Hey guys, my family knows something and I’m very glad for it: they know that I love books.
I’m finally doing my first book haul! Most of the time, I don’t do book hauls just because I don’t usually get large amounts of books at one time! Despite being a book lover, I am VERY cheap so I hate using my money on anything including books. But Christmas, well, I don’t have to spent any money! This year I got 10 books and I can’t wait to read them all! I’m going to rank them from most want to read to least (but it’s a book so I obviously still want to read it–unless it’s some sort of research book ha ha). Let’s see what I got!
(This post features actual pictures from actual books that I actually own–not just book covers searched up on the internet! Also you get to see my wonderful floor)

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Summary:
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.


Aaaaaah I finally got it!!!! This was my most anticipated release of 2020 and I just–
Well, for a while before having read this book, I’d been saying that I loved it already, just because I’d been building up so much hype in my own head, having just read the summary. On the night of Christmas Eve, when I received this book as an early Christmas present, I read the entire thing in one sitting–that hasn’t happened for a while!
And let me say, it did not disappoint! I loved Yadriel and Julian and Maritza and it was just an awesome book altogether! I’m so glad to have read this book and to have enjoyed it as much as I did!

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Summary:
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight


I’ve seen this book around a few times and it sounds super interesting! We have magic and a strong female character and just–AAAAH. I can’t wait to bury my head into this book (okay that’s an odd thing to say that I just pulled out of the middle of nowhere but…whatever!)

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Summary:

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.


A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.


But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.


This book has SO MUCH hype surrounding it and I’ve heard so much about it!
The one thing I’m a little nervous about about this book is that, well, it’s a Romeo and Juliet retelling. I’m actually currently reading Romeo and Juliet in school (what a coincidence) and, well, it’s probably my least favorite Shakespeare book I’ve read so far and that’s saying something. It’s just…well, it’s really the INSTA INSTA INSTA love (that is to say, it is MORE than insta love, it’s like–aaah, I don’t know. But it’s awful). I’m just here begging that the insta love is toned down (how could it not be, in Romeo and Juliet it’s the most there could ever be in a book) but otherwise it sounds super interesting (and NOT having to decipher Shakespearean English is definitely a plus).

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Summary:
In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind wavers between fear and hope–fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface.

When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice.

Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails to discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.


I learned about this book a while ago–nearer to the beginning of 2020 than the end. I tried to get it a few times from the library but…well I can’t remember the exact reason but the library couldn’t get it. I eventually basically forgot about it, it wasn’t on my radar anymore and I moved on to other books. Still, finding this in my presents was awesome and I’m so excited to read it! Also, I absolutely love the cover.

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Kail

Summary:
Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.


The Mermaid, The Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Kail

I feel like I might have heard this book being mentioned or seen it on someone’s tbr but I really know nothing about it! It looks pretty interesting, I mean just with that title we have a lot of fantasy elements right there. Plus, there’s an f/f relationship!
And I love the cover on this one too. The picture’s not the most amazing to see all the colors but it’s absolutely stunning.

Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Summary:
The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death—transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.

The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop them. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.

Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that considers their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another and who are determined to push Karensa back at all costs.

When a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?


I’ve read Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy and I really enjoyed it! However, I did NOT like ‘The Young Elites’…I’m not sure why. I read it a while ago, like two or three years ago, and since my brain cannot retain bookish info, I don’t really remember it. Anyways, I feel like I also, just…stopped liking sci fi a while ago so I’m not sure how this will go. I hope I enjoy it, though, because Marie Lu is a really good author!
UPDATE: OH HELLO I JUST SAW A NEW GR TAG–LGBTQ+!!! Given that it was only one tag, there probably isn’t much rep, but STILL. It’s good to see that there is at least a little!

Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

Summary:
Cunning and unapologetic, Emanuela Ragno is a socialite who plays by her own rules. In her most ambitious move yet, she’s about to marry Alessandro Morandi, her childhood best friend and the heir to the wealthiest house in Occhia. Emanuela doesn’t care that she and her groom are both gay, because she doesn’t want a love match. She wants power, and through Ale, she’ll have it all.

But Emanuela has a secret that could shatter her plans. In her city of Occhia, the only source of water is the watercrea, a mysterious being who uses magic to make water from blood. When their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin, all Occhians must surrender themselves to the watercrea to be drained of life. Everyone throughout history has obeyed this law for the greater good. Everyone except Emanuela. She’s kept the tiny omen on her hip out of sight for years.

When the watercrea exposes Emanuela during her wedding ceremony and takes her to be sacrificed, Emanuela fights back…and kills her. Before everyone in Occhia dies of thirst, Emanuela and Ale must travel through the mysterious, blood-red veil that surrounds their city to uncover the source of the watercrea’s power and save their people—no matter what it takes.


I actually had never heard of this book until I got it for Christmas! Maybe I saw it sometime a while ago on goodreads or somewhere else but if I did, I forgot about it. It sounds pretty interesting, maybe not exactly up my alley but who knows, books surprise me all the time! Plus, you know, there are queer characters so it’s all good!

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

Summary:
Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides.

Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.


Okay, maybe I’m judging a book by its cover (yeah, I’m DEFINITELY doing that) but based on the cover, this book doesn’t look thaaaaat interesting? But, hello, it’s still a book so I will obviously still give it a try (I will eat my words when it’s actually an amazing book). Also, it’s annoying me because the words on the spine are upside down so to make the words on the spine readable, I have to flip the book upside down.

The next two books are not part of my rankings

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Summary:
The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples.

Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.


This book sounds extremely interesting and really important for a lot of people, including me, to read! I hope I’ll be able to pick it up and read it soon!

Foreshadow by Emily XR Pan and Nova Ren Suma

Summary:
Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices & Writing Advice from YA Icons

Created by New York Times bestselling authors Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.

Featured in print for the first time, the thirteen stories anthologized here were originally released via the buzzed-about online platform Foreshadow. Ranging from contemporary romance to mind-bending fantasy, the Foreshadow stories showcase underrepresented voices and highlight the beauty and power of YA fiction. Each piece is selected and introduced by a YA luminary, among them Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.

What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.

This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.


This is a book of short stories and it says it is, ‘stories to celebrate the magic of reading and writing YA.’ Given that I enjoy both reading and writing YA, I think that I will find this really interesting! I can’t wait to read some short stories!

One more thing: I got a three month subscription to Owlcrate!!! I’m so excited because it was one of the things I wanted most for Christmas! This month’s book was These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (see above) and it looks so awesome! The cover is slightly different than a regular edition of the book–the background of the cover is is a dark green instead of black and the letters are a gold instead of silver.
In addition to the book, I got a These Violent Delights pin, a small decorative rolling pin, hand cream based off a certain book (which I forget because I’m great like that), a puzzle from a scene in An Ember in the Ashes and leg warmers from Serpent and Dove! I can’t wait for next month’s box.

Have you read any of these books? Do you want to read any of these books? What do you think of this book haul? Be sure to tell me what you think of this post in the comments!
As always, thank you so much for reading this post; it means the world that you’d take the time out of your day to see this. Stay safe and keep reading!