February Wrap Up

I really wanted to write an intro to this post that did NOT talk about how fast time has gone, but I then spent a good five minutes (it was more like half a minute, but it felt like five) thinking of what I could start this post by saying, and having not thought of anything, you get this. I successfully avoided talking about the speed of time! Kind of!

  • Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland. I picked this one up on a whim, and it was a quick middle grade read. It’s interesting to read a middle grade that’s set in the earlier 1900s and I like how the author incorporated that in there. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. This book was very good for the first 100 and last 100 pages. It kept me reading and I really enjoyed the awareness that it spread. I did feel like the middle dragged considerably, however. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Thornhill by Pam Smy. This book was half told in drawings, half in diary entries, and it was a fascinating concept, but I did not end up enjoying it much. It was a dark story, and it had an inconclusive and sad ending. ⭐⭐
  • Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. This was such a nice story, with found family and also lots of violins. I am definitely nowhere near as good at violin as two of the main characters of this story (nor do I wish to be) but it was still cool to see all the violin terms and techniques. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • White Smoke by Tiffany Jackson. Shockingly enough, this was my first book by Tiffany Jackson??? It was also horror, which I don’t read much, but I found this to be a really gripping and enjoyable book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. This book was a memoir in graphic novel form, and it was really interesting to see Maia’s journey to figuring out eir sexuality and gender. [no rating]
  • Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor. FBH was my most anticipated release of 2022, and I have to say, it was not what I expected. There were a lot of politics and just talking, but I did really enjoy the worldbuilding and!!! the!!! aroace spec!!! rep!!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White. Woman playing professional baseball. Do I need to say anything else? This book was great for anyone who loves baseball, it’s a fiction story about a girl who becomes the first woman in professional baseball. You do have to love baseball to read it though, because there’s a lot of baseball game scenes. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Love and Other Natural Disasters by Misa Sugiura. At the time that I read this, it was just what I needed, a nice realistic fiction that I just enjoyed all the way through. This one also has the fake dating trope which has been coming out more and more and is always so fun. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Keeper of the Night by Kylie Lee Baker. This was a super unique story and was really fun to read. I loved a lot of the characters as well as the story itself, but I do think that the pacing was off at the ending and that the ending overall could have been better. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab. Given the popularity of this book, I cannot believe that I haven’t picked it up until now. That being said, I found it to be an awesome world and an altogether enjoyable book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy. Magical politics was most of this book. Still, I felt like it picked up a lot near the end and really interested me; I just wish there were more plots before then. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I posted four times this month and I’m very happy about this! And I mention it at least once more in this post because I’m going to keep talking about it! I have a good posting schedule! Anyways, these were all really fun posts and I hope that you enjoyed them too!

The Best Books of 2021 Tag
The Book Blogging Pressure to Review Books
The Evermore Book Tag
4 Awesome, Underhyped Authors

February Goals:

  • Keep up with my posting! ✅
  • Drink. Water.

I was able to keep up with my posting schedule, in which I posted once each week, every Sunday, and I’m really happy about this because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep going with this due to school!

  • Keep up with posting schedule (yes I will just keep writing this goal)
  • Organize my goodreads shelves
  • Do a little blog editing

I started to do a few things with blog editing and goodreads shelves and I hope to continue doing so when I have time!

If I’m being honest, nothing much really happened in February. We had a week long break from school, and my family went on a vacation to a farm, where we got to meet some animals, which was a very nice break from school.
Valentine’s Day also happens in February, and there’s a bunch of ways to sort of show your appreciation for your friends (and I suppose romantic partners if you have them) at my school on Valentine’s Day. The biggest way is that there’s a way to send carnations to people, so I ended up with a bunch of carnations, and it’s really just a fun day to see all the carnations and trade treats with people and just have fun!
The other thing that happens in February is aromantic awareness week! Aro awareness week starts the Sunday after Valentine’s Day (I think) and I’m a little sad that I didn’t get any posts out about aro rep or anything of the sort during this week, but I did just want to let everyone know about this! If you’ve seen any great posts about aro rep or anything of the sort, please let me know in the comments because I would love to read them, and you can also look back at my own post that I published last pride month about why aroace spec rep is so important in books!
Oh yeah the other thing that happened this month was that I DNFed a book haha. Not a super huge achievement, but I find it very hard to leave books half read, even if I’m not enjoying them, so the fact that I was able to step away from this book that was boring me was good for me. Now I will just live with the knowledge that I am probably missing an extremely interesting plot in the last half of the book.

What did you read this month? Were there any posts that you enjoyed? What are some of your goals for March?

Welcome 2022: Reading Plans for the Year

It’s now been 2022 for a few days now, and I wanted to do a post on a few books I wanted to read, goals I have, and more for 2022! This post is basically just miscellaneous beginning-of-year things, but I figured I may as well write it. Let’s get into it!

The Goodreads Reading Challenge

I started doing the Goodreads reading challenge in 2020 for the first time, when I actually started using Goodreads more. Personally, I don’t actually pay much attention to this throughout the year; it’s just something for me to keep in the corner of my brain. I have, for the past two years, set my goal to 100 books, and though I surpassed that goal easily both times, I’m going to keep it at 100 this year, too. First of all 100 is just a nice round number and I like it, but second of all because we were in a pandemic and in quarantine for the last two years, and though the quarantine was not fun, it did allow me a lot more time for reading. Since in person school has started this year, I’ve had much less time for reading, so I actually think that 100 books is a very reasonable goal for me right now.

Books I want to read in 2022

Last year, I published a post where I named 21 books that I wanted to read in 2021. It was a pretty interesting post, with a lot of great books on there, but I’ve decided not to do that again for two reasons. First of all, I only actually ended up reading 10 of the books on that list. I am absolutely terrible at sticking to TBRs, and the fact that I had an entire 365 days to read 21 books (especially given that in all, I read 157 books in 2021) really proves that. The other reason that I didn’t want to do this list again is because I think that it mostly ended up being a lot of books that are popular and/or very hyped, and so it was more books that I felt like I SHOULD read, but not books that I necessarily wanted to read. Obviously, there are a lot of books that I do want to read, out there, but I’m just awful at thinking of them off the top of my head, and more often than not, the books that I want to read are ones that I see somewhere and then immediately go off to request from the library.
So, instead of writing an entire post about the books I want to read, I just thought I’d share a few books that I’m really excited to pick up. Not any fixed number, just however many books there ends up being.

  • What We Devour by Linsey Miller. This one, I honestly just want to read because of the ace rep, which I’m super excited for! Unfortunately, I’ve seen some less than glowing reviews about this book, so we’ll see what I think.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. This is a book that it seems like everyone knows about by now, because it was all the hype last year. I finally got this one for Christmas this year, so I’m excited to read it!
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Another one that people seem to love! And I’m really interested in this; I don’t read much historical fiction, but I find that I really enjoy it, so I hope this one’s great, too!
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Honestly, that goodreads summary covers so much, I don’t really know where to start. But I’m excited for the indigenous rep, and it sounds like a great mystery as well!
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. I’ve seen this one EVERYWHERE, and I’m super excited for it, I can’t wait to pick it up!

Anticipated Releases

I do not pay as close attention to upcoming releases as a lot of other people do, so this is going to be another pretty short list, but there are several upcoming releases that I’m very excited for, so I thought I’d share them here, as well!
(By the way, I’d highly suggest you go check out the post that May @Forever and Everly did on upcoming releases, it’s a much more comprehensive list than mine!)

  • Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor. Rosiee Thor is an author that I’ve followed for a while now, and I’ve talked to her a bit as well, and I am SO excited for her second book! I mean, people say it has a 1920’s vibe, plus there’s magic (that you drink, if I remember correctly?) and overtaking the rich, so…what more could you need? (oh plus it’s queer, very very queer)
  • Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie. I’ve heard about this book so much that I’m honestly surprised it’s not already published? It’s a debut book about a girl who starts to question her sexuality and I’ve read many reviews already that say it’s wonderful, so I really cannot wait for this one.
  • Loveless by Alice Oseman. Technically Loveless is already published in some places, but it comes out in the US on March 1 (though the release date has been pushed back several times so who knows if this is true). And I am SO EXCITED to finally hold this wonderful book in my hands!!! (by the way – thoughts on the US cover? I’m really not sure what to think).
  • Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, by Meg Long. I actually don’t know very much about this book, but it sounds really interesting and unique. Plus, dogsledding! We don’t see that in books very often!
  • Icebreaker by AL Graziadei. Queer sports will ALWAYS be something for me to be excited for, and I’m especially excited for this one because it’s about professional sports, and there are very few out people in professional sports (in men’s professional sports)
  • Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt (no cover yet). This book has an entire cast of asexual characters. Plus, it’s a heist book, and the main character is described as ‘modern asexual Kaz Brekker.’ What more could I need?
  • Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore (no cover yet). I am SO excited about this book, because I read Gatsby earlier this (school) year and have been trying to get my hands on Gatsby retellings now (of which there are very few). And this one has transgender Nick AND transgender Gatsby.

What’s your goodreads reading challenge goal? Have you read any of the books I want to read this year? What are some releases that you’re looking forwards to?

Interview with Carrie Allen, Author of Michigan Vs. The Boys

Hey, everyone! Today I am extremely excited to be hosting an interview with Carrie Allen, the author of Michigan Vs. The Boys. I read Michigan Vs. The Boys in May and I loved it! It was amazing to see another book with girls in sports because there are so few and the book overall was super inspiring!
Here’s a little bit about the book:

Michigan Vs. The Boys | Carrie Allen

Published October 1st, 2019

304 Pages | ebook

Content Warnings: bullying, attempted sexual assault, use of date rape drugs

Michigan Manning’s whole life is hockey. This is her team’s year, she knows it. But budget cuts at her school are keeping the girl’s hockey team away from the ice. Her team won’t be playing this year.
Determined to play hockey no matter what it takes, Michigan tries out for the boy’s hockey team. Even though the boys are just about the opposite of thrilled to have a girl on their team, Michigan is determined to play hockey, through whatever they throw at her. After all, this is the year that colleges are taking note.
But one ‘prank’ on Michigan crosses the line to assault and she has to decide whether she wants to risk hockey in order to speak up.

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

When did you first decide you wanted to be an author?

I started writing in elementary school– my first books were written on binder paper, trimmed and stapled to resemble “real” books. I always had an urge to write, and to read, but high school English classes chased me away to the sciences. After college and grad school, I had trouble finding books I connected with, and I hadn’t written in years. Until one day, I was traveling with the collegiate volleyball team I worked with, and we’re all lounging on the nasty airport floor waiting for a flight. Our outside hitter said, “Carrie, you HAVE to read this!” and passed me a copy of a book with a pair of hands holding a red apple on the front. And wow—there was suddenly this whole shelf of books that I hadn’t been reading because I was supposed to be A Grown Up. Then, when I semi-retired from sports medicine to stay home with my first baby (who is about to turn ten!) I binged the Hunger Games trilogy. As soon as I finished the last page of Mockingjay, I turned back to the first page of Hunger Games and binged the whole series again. As soon as I finished it the second time, I started writing my first manuscript (the first of a terrible, terrible dystopian trilogy that we will not discuss further.)

What inspired you to write Michigan Vs. The Boys? How did you first come up with the idea?

Michigan Vs. The Boys is actually my second hockey manuscript. The first was about a girl who spent her whole childhood playing on a boys’ hockey team, and when she’s invited to a USAH development camp, she has to transition to playing on a girls’ team. It was super fun to write, but as soon as I finished it, I knew I had to write the harder story—for the girls who didn’t get to have my MC’s positive experiences. I love hockey and I want my sport to be the best it can be, on and off the ice. In writing Michigan, I wanted to support the athletes while shining a light on the work that still needs to be done.

What are some things that you hoped to accomplish by releasing Michigan Vs. into the world?
Why do you think that it is important that there be more books like yours published?

My first goal with Michigan was to support the athletes like Michigan, because I’ve been there. I’ve been the only girl in the room or on the ice, and I’ve faced things I shouldn’t have had to. Every girl in hockey has; most girls in sports have. But I also saw a need for books like Michigan—the gatekeepers in publishing haven’t let a lot of sports-centered books through. There are so many real life Michigans, and I want them to see themselves represented on the bookshelves, to have their stories told. 

But I also wrote Michigan for the readers who don’t follow sports, readers who don’t think they like sports. I can’t blame them—mainstream sports media isn’t really my jam either. Women receive only 4% of sport media coverage. Four percent! You really have to work to find the sports that I follow, which means there are so many amazing athletes whose stories we never get to hear! Not only that, but women in sports and YA fiction have a lot more in common than readers might realize—starting with the fact that many women in sports ARE young adults! I know YA readers would love these athletes if they could gain more access to them.

What did you learn while writing Michigan Vs. the Boys? How did you grow by writing it?

Michigan was actually an easy book to write– don’t hate me for it, because I’ve had my share of not-easy manuscripts! Because I spent twenty years playing, coaching, reffing, and covering hockey as a Certified Athletic Trainer, I didn’t have to research much. I kept a USA Hockey rulebook nearby to double check facts as needed, and luckily one of my best friends grew up in the U.P. and was able to help me with the setting. 

I grew by writing Michigan because it was brutal to put her through the trials that I did. Those were both some of the hardest and easiest scenes to write. They’d flow easily from me, but leave me emotionally wrecked. I just kept picturing the lone girl at so many rinks across the country and thinking, “I’m doing this for you!”

What sorts of books would you like to see published in the future (plots, rep, etc.)?

Oh, wow, we need more sports books like you wouldn’t believe! We need joyful books and books about the problems in sports and books about team dynamics and individual athletes and non-traditional sports and trans athletes and queer athletes and racism in sports and body positivity and toxic femininity and sports journalists and non-American sport settings and Paralympic athletes and recreational athletes and Olympic athletes and everything in between! It never ceases to amaze me that approximately half of all high school students are athletes, but YA sports books take up only a teeny tiny sliver of the bookshelves. Sports are so much more than a sixty-minute game or seven innings or one hundred meters, and I’d love for YA readers to be able to connect to the athletes and experience the whole story.

What is one or more things that helped keep you going when you were stuck with writing this book? This can be a specific food, a pet, family member, hobby, etc.

My number one way to get unstuck is to walk the dog—literally. I actually thanked my dog Ivy in Michigan’s acknowledgements, because our early morning rambles were how I fixed all of Michigan’s sticky spots! Now I take my cattle dog mix, Torrey, for walks or runs to mull over ideas I want to explore or to imagine my characters. Dogs are awesome– they never look at you weird when you’re dictating out-of-breath notes about imaginary people while hoofing it up a hill.

There’s a scene in Michigan vs. The Boys where Mich goes for a run and she’s feeling isolated and lonely, so to push herself, she pictures her former teammates running with their teams, or Jack training in the pool by himself. She feels less lonely knowing that somewhere out there, someone else is training, too. I feel that a lot when I’m writing. Somewhere out there is an athlete who needs my book, and that gets me working.But also, tea and peanut butter M&Ms 😊

And finally, what advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Write for you first. Write your passion, write the book you want to read. I’ve written probably twenty novels and short stories. Even if I’m incredibly lucky, I’ll still only get to share a small percentage of my work with the world. But each one of those stories has meant something to me, and that’s what gets me working on the next one.

The other advice is to find your people. It is scary and hard to make friends in the book world, but it’s also much easier to create when you’ve got people who believe in you. And critiquing for friends is the best way to learn to write and revise. Publishing is a team sport!

I loved conducting this interview with Carrie. She was a delight to talk to and I think that all her answers are so thoughtful and amazing. As most of you probably know, I play softball so books with girls in sports are really inspiring to me and I definitely agree that we need more! The book community is a lot better because of Carrie’s book and I hope that more authors or aspiring authors will find her book and decide to write one of their own sports books.

What’d you think of this interview? Have you read Michigan Vs. The Boys by Carrie Allen? Do you play any sports?
As always, thank you so much for stopping by to read–it means the world! Please, stay safe and keep on reading!

June wrap up

Welcome back to another of Phoenix’s wrap ups! I feel like the beginning of this month, I read very slowly, and then I read a lot of books at the end of the month, so that’s nice! Anyways, how??? is??? it??? already??? July???

I read 14 books this month, which is pretty good for me!

Can't Say It Went to Plan by Gabrielle Tozer
Project LIT Mountain Brook - O'Neal Library
Amazon.com: Ruinsong (9780374313357): Ember, Julia: Books
  • Can’t Say it Went to Plan by Gabrielle Tozer. This is actually an ARC that I finished at the very end of May but I didn’t have time to put it in my May wrap up so now it’s here. It wasn’t a bad book, however it was very slow at the beginning and I think I was just expecting something a little different ⭐⭐⭐
  • Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake. This book overall was pretty good, however the whole plot of the person leaving notes in Ivy’s locker, basically blackmailing her to come out was not good and not a good lesson. But – Ivy didn’t actually come out because of that blackmail, and other than that part, it was actually a really good book! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ruinsong by Julia Ember. You can see the few fantasy books beginning to get mixed back into my reading…overall this was a fine book, I mean it was a unique concept but also nothing special (that sounds so brutal, geez) and I enjoyed it but wasn’t over the moon about it. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Can't Take That Away (9781547605309): Salvatore, Steven: Books
Amazon.com: Between Perfect and Real (9781419746017): Stoeve, Ray: Books
Amazon.com: May the Best Man Win (9781250625120): Ellor, ZR: Books
  • Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore. I really enjoyed this book. I honestly love a lot of stories where it’s a group of friends helping the MC get something (especially queer groups of friends) and so this was really fun! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve. I thought that this was a super awesome book, and it felt very different from any other book with a trans teen coming out to their parents. I thought that it was just told so well and just an amazing story overall. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • May the Best Man Win by Z. R. Ellor. This book was…interesting? I am honestly really conflicted on it. It had a cool plot and it was diverse but also…Jeremy, one of the MCs, was kinda a jerk? And the writing at times just wasn’t my favorite. However, Jeremy did acknowledge what the things he was doing were wrong and he was slowly getting better throughout the book, I think. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Summer Bird Blue (9781481487757): Bowman, Akemi Dawn: Books
Amazon.com: Odd One Out (9781101939536): Stone, Nic: Books
Amazon.com: Starfish (9781481487726): Bowman, Akemi Dawn: Books
  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman. Okay, the first thing I wanna say: I expected to cry a lot more. People describe sobbing over this book and I was a little scared but…I didn’t? I’m not a very emotional reader anyways, so that might be part of it, but still. I expected to cry more. Also, can I just say, yes for aroace spec rep??? YES. It’s soooooo rare and if I were gonna cry, the parts that it was mentioned is where I would most likely cry. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Odd One Out by Nic Stone. This book was…I don’t know? Like I honestly don’t know my opinions on this book. On one hand, it kept me hooked and it was interesting but on the other hand…well my mind keeps going back to the unchallenged biphobia. ⭐⭐
  • Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman. Dawn Bownman’s writing is a masterpiece. This writing was seriously so amazing, and the book itself was amazing as well. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the art at the end of the chapters. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating (9781645672579):  Jaigirdar, Adiba: Books
Amazon.com: You're Welcome, Universe (9780399551413): Gardner, Whitney:  Books
Amazon.com: The Ones We're Meant to Find (9781250258564): He, Joan: Books
  • Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Abida Jaigirdar. This book was AMAZING. I really enjoyed The Henna Wars, which I read last month, but this one was 100% better, I loved it SO MUCH. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner. I really enjoyed this book. I like how it really shows that graffiti is art because a lot of people just think it’s vandalism and don’t really appreciate it. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. I…woah. I am thoroughly conflicted and confused about this book, that twist just sorta blew my mind? ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Art of Running Away (9781631635779): Sabrina Kleckner: Books
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker: 9780451478825 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
  • The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner. This was a really sweet and nice middle grade book and I enjoyed it immensly. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Seafire by Natalie Parker. This one took me a while to get through because fantasy slump but it was a fun one to come back to when I didn’t have anything else to read and I did overall enjoy it. ⭐⭐⭐

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

Despite not up to my normal level, I wrote a few more blog posts this month (more than last month, I mean, which wasn’t very hard to beat). All of these posts were super fun, though, and I really hope you check them out if you haven’t already because they’re some of my best yet (in my opinion).

This is my favorite post to date, I think it’s my most important post as well!
My first book review in a very long time–for an awesome book!

June goals:

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

July goals:

  • Write a pretty big chunk of my book
  • Do at least half of my summer work (don’t you dare leave it all for August)
  • Read 12 books
  • Catch up on book reviews on goodreads
  • Try to play some more softball (if your body doesn’t continue to get hurt in various ways)
  • School’s out! Yep, in June. My school goes a little longer than a lot of other peoples (though we don’t have school until September)
  • I started a new WIP! Don’t know if this is a good or bad idea because…I already have another WIP, but I’ve barely written any of this one anyways. I’m really excited for it though, because it actually has fake dating in it! I’m really looking forward to incorporating this into the plot since it seems like there are a LOT of fake dating books coming out recently and I wanted to write my own.
  • My team’s softball season ended. While I wasn’t able to play in the final games, given my injury, I still had a great time being on that team and I loved all my teammates. We ended up third (out of four teams) but it was still a really fun season, despite me being injured.
  • …More baseball stuff happened? Most of you have probably figured out that I’m a big baseball fan by now, but we’ve reached the halfway point of the season and things are going pretty well (depending on which team you root for haha. But then again, most of the things were expected. Except for…the Giants and the Red Sox?)

What was your June like? Have you read any of these books?
Thank you so much for stopping by and have a great July!

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.

Amazon.com: Where Dreams Descend: A Novel (Kingdom of Cards, 1)  (9781250204356): Angeles, Janella: Books
Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Amazon.com: 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. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Miss Meteor (9780062869913): Mejia, Tehlor Kay, McLemore,  Anna-Marie: Books
Amazon.com: Michigan vs. the Boys (9781525301483): Allen, Carrie S., Allen,  Carrie S.: Books
Amazon.com: 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
Amazon.com: 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. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Voting Booth (9781368053297): Colbert, Brandy: Books
Amazon.com: Perfect on Paper: A Novel (9781250769787): Gonzales, Sophie:  Books
Amazon.com: 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! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Edge of Anything (9780762467587): Carpenter, Nora Shalaway:  Books
Amazon.com: 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!

April Wrap Up (part 2)

Let’s play a guessing game! Who wants to guess how many books I read this month that I did not mark as read/review on goodreads? No, seriously, I want you to guess. Let me know in the comments! (hint: it’s a lot). Anyways, here we are in May already, this year is zipping by! We’re already 1/3 of the year??? How??? Anyways, let’s see what I’ve been reading this month.

~What I Read~

Long story short, I read an adequate amount of books at the beginning of the month and then I went on vacation and read 2 contemporary books in 3 days and then on that vacation, I picked up a fantasy and…I’m still reading it…so basically I think I need to read more realistic fiction/contemporary so please if you have any recs, let me know in the comments!
Also, I’m going to apologize in advance for the weird image formatting that you might see (image sizes being off) because I don’t know, my image sizing is being weird so I’m going by eye what looks good!

A Wish in the Dark: Soontornvat, Christina: 9781536204940: Amazon.com: Books
Scary Stories for Young Foxes: Heidicker, Christian McKay, Wu, Junyi:  9781250181428: Amazon.com: Books
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
  • A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat. I really enjoyed this book! It had a super interesting world, where light was extremely important and the governor controlled all of it, and it had an awesome plot, too! I feel like the pacing was off a little bit near the end but overall it was super good! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker. This was a reread, because I’m trying to write a short story that is horror (it’s not going well for anyone who wants to know) and it was good as well! Maybe it’s because I’m not the target audience but it wasn’t that scary, but I still really enjoyed it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas. I loved Thomas’s debut, Cemetery Boys, and had high hopes for this one, too. But, unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I enjoyed CB. It was definitely still an interesting book, but I think that my own expectations got the better of me, here. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Gilded Ones (9781984848697): Forna, Namina: Books
Amazon.com: Parachutes (9780062941084): Yang, Kelly: Books
Amazon.com: Amelia Unabridged: A Novel (9781250253026): Schumacher, Ashley:  Books
  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. This book, at the beginning, was sort of boring. I mean, all she was doing was running around battling. But I did enjoy the worldbuilding and the story near the end, plus the friendships. I haaaaated the romance though. I’m truly conflicted on this one so I’m giving it 3.5 stars which I rarely do ⭐⭐⭐.5
  • Parachutes by Kelly Yang. This book was super eye opening, with an excellent plot that centered around sexual harrassment and raising awareness about that. There were a few minor things I didn’t like but they didn’t affect the plot overall so it was still a very good book! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher. This book was a nice and easy read! That’s the problem. It’s a book about grief, her best friend dies and she goes off and falls in love. Not saying that you can’t fall in love it’s just really weird to me how light this book was despite the topic. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Wide Starlight (9780593116227): Lesperance, Nicole: Books
Amazon.com: Sweet & Bitter Magic (9781534453852): Tooley, Adrienne: Books
Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, 1): Alston, B.  B.: 9780062975164: Amazon.com: Books
  • The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance. This book was interesting, it kept me reading but there were a few things that I didn’t like. It was also confusing at times, as it seemed to be a mix of fairytale and real life and that’s not exactly my favorite genre. Plus, there did appear to be a few times where things were way to easy (ex at the end with the ring). ⭐⭐⭐.5
  • Sweet And Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley. This was an interesting book and it had a cool concept but overall it was a very meh book. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston. This was a super awesome middle grade book, it was written well, there was magic, there was so many things including important parts about how Amari is treated differently just because of the color of her skin and where she lives. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett: 9781984829986 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books
Amazon.com: Picture Us In The Light (9781484726020): Loy Gilbert, Kelly:  Books
  • Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett. I loved this book, it really taught me a lot about HIV and shows really how much stigma there is around it that shouldn’t be there. The characters were amazing, the storytelling was amazing, the plot was amazing…it was all amazing! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert. I found this book off of May’s personalized recommendations and I was going on a vacation so I was like, ‘I’ll get it for vacation.’ And I read it and it was REALLY GOOD. Once again, I must know: how do authors write books that are just about…people’s normal lives…and yet they’re still very interesting? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

~The Monthly Book Awards~

Alright everyone, I am sorry to say that I am, for now, discontinuing my Monthly Book Awards. I think they were a fun idea at first but more and more they’re getting less fun to write and more something that I’m not looking forwards to doing in my wrap ups. I’m super sorry and if anyone wants to know my favorite character/plot/worldbuilding/book/etc., please ask in the comments! I’m totally fine with answering there, it’s just….something about the formatting…or writing the entire thing in a post…or something that was really being a pain for me. I love all the support I’ve gotten in the past about the monthly book awards and I’m very sad to see them go, they’re just not enjoyable for me to write anymore and I’m hoping that getting rid of them will fix at least part of the blogging burnout I’ve been going through. I’ve been looking through the comments that you all have written and I’m really sorry to have to get rid of these since I know a lot of people really like them! To check out past monthly book awards, go look at some of my other wrap ups, including my most recent one, my March Wrap up.

TBRs

For the record, I read exactly 0 of the books that I said I would read in April for my April TBR so I’m just not going to do one this month (I entirely forgot I even owned books I hadn’t read yet…oops…)

~Monthly Bingo~

The Monthly Bingo is created by A Colorful Bibliophile so please head over there and give her some love because it’s an amazing idea! You can find April’s bingo board here.
Here’s this month’s board! (I didn’t get bingo 😭)

And that’s it for this month’s wrap up! I hope that you enjoyed reading and thank you so much for stopping by! Take a guess at how many books you think I’ve read but not marked on goodreads (and I’m not even going to say no peeking because if you really go into that much effort to get the answer correct, you deserve it honestly). Also, SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME REALISTIC FICTION RECS BECAUSE I NEED THEM. Seriously, even if you have already recommended the book to me, write it in the comments because I it helps keep me more organized to have a bunch of recs in one place (by ‘organized’ I mean I’ll just look in the comments for book recs but not actually put those recs anywhere else ie on goodreads).
As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a marvelous May!

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~

Amazon.com: A Dark and Hollow Star (9781534453678): Shuttleworth, Ashley:  Books
Amazon.com: 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: Amazon.com: 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
Amazon.com: 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. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Girls I've Been (9780593353806): Sharpe, Tess: Books
I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee
Amazon.com: 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
Uuuuuuuuuh
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)

Amazon.com: Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, 1) (9780062870957): Barron,  Rena: Books
Amazon.com: A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology  (9781984896209): Clayton, Dhonielle: Books
Amazon.com: 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!

January Wrap up

I’m just going to apologize in advance for the length of the post. I hope it doesn’t scare you off because I really enjoy writing my wrap ups and I try to make them interesting. Unfortunately, I got carried away so now it’s absurdly long. BUT HOPEFULLY ITS VERY INTERESTING.
Also, this is a very interactive post. I ask for your opinion on many many things. I love hearing what you guys think! (so I hope you’re taking notes because there will be quizzes–joking I hope I didn’t scare you off)


I had an EXTREMELY good reading month…I really don’t know what happened and how it happened that I read so many books. But anyways. I managed to read 26 books, three of which were from my 2021 tbr (21 books I want to read in 2021). I’m also extremely happy how I did in reading diversely this month, especially at the beginning of the month.
Now, because I read so many books this month and my wrap up is so long anyways, I’m going to only mention the books that I have specific comments on here. Links to my goodreads reviews will be provided for every book, however.

Legendborn (Legendborn, #1) by Tracy Deonn
Amazon.com: Wicked Fox (9781984812346): Cho, Kat: Books
Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) by Maureen Johnson
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. This book was a really interesting idea. I loved the characters and the idea for the plot and magic system. However, there was a lot to keep track of and a lot of info dumps to explain it all. But if you enjoy complex magic systems and awesome characters, do read because this book was interesting! (oh yeah also I only read about 40 pages of this in January because I was trying to finish it at the end of December but got 40 pages short by midnight).
  • Wicked Fox by Kat Cho. About time I read this! For those of you who don’t know, I got to see Kat Cho (and two other authors) talk at a webinar this summer (and I did my first blog post on this blog on that!). I never got around to reading any of the author’s novels until now. And Wicked Fox was super interesting, much better than I thought it would be (given that it centers around a romance).
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. I’ve seen this book all over and it looked super good (a murder in a school where learning is a game??? Yes, please). In reality, it was meh. I’m sort of disappointed but it may just be because Karen McManus’s books are superior and I’m used to those.
Amazon.com: Felix Ever After (9780062820259): Callender, Kacen: Books
Amazon.com: The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss (1))  (9781368036887): Shah, London: Books
  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. Okay. That’s all I had to say. Read it, please and thank you. Okay, more thoughts: The love triangle was annoying (aren’t they always?) but bearable. Also: A M A Z I N G rep!!!
  • Enola Holmes (book one) by Nancy Springer. Yeah, so earlier this month I got tagged for the Enola Holmes book tag and I’d watched part of the movie but not read the book and we had this book out from the library at the time so I just picked it up and read it in like a day. It was pretty good.
  • The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah. I’ve been wanting to read this since approximately April and I’m glad I finally got a chance! It was pretty good! A REALLY unique book. (And can we just PAUSE for a moment and appreciate THAT COVER??? LOOK HOW AWESOME IT IS!)
1984 - Kindle edition by Orwell, George. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks  @ Amazon.com.
Amazon.com: The Liar's Guide to the Night Sky: A Novel (9781510757806):  Shrum, Brianna R.: Books
Amazon.com: Concrete Rose (9780062846716): Thomas, Angie: Books
  • 1984 by George Orwell. I had to read this for school. Twice. I know there are some people who like this book but I just can’t get past the things that Winston kept thinking at the beginning (about Julia). I do LOVE the ending, however, and it has my favorite quote of all time. “Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.”
  • The Liar’s Guide to the Night Sky by Brianna R. Shrum. Second survival story I’ve read this year (two more than last year!) and really good! Plus, it has extremely good rep – one of the main characters was aromantic, pansexual and polyamorous.
  • Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas. Aaaah, a Hate U Give prequel and just as good! I have no idea how Angie Thomas does it but she just has the most amazing way with words. Prequels are not something I usually enjoy but WOW.
Amazon.com: Radio Silence (9780062335715): Oseman, Alice: Books
Amazon.com: These Violent Delights (9781534457690): Gong, Chloe: Books
Amazon.com: The Inheritance Games (9781368052405): Barnes, Jennifer Lynn:  Books
  • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a very long time. And I absolutely loved it, but wow was it different than I expected.
  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Aaaah this book had so much hype around it and it did not disappoint! It was really fun to read Romeo and Juliet at the same time as this (thanks, English class) to see the similarities and differences
  • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Meh. I really wasn’t feeling this book, it’s supposed to be a mystery but it’s really only a mystery half the time and even if it was high stakes, it didn’t seem high stakes for some reason.

~Other Books I Read This Month~

Graphic Novels

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

Middle Grade

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

Young Adult

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

~The Monthly Book Awards~

Those of you who’ve seen my blog since the last wrap up know what the monthly book awards are but for anyone new, I’ll explain them really quickly.
These awards are basically just short little things I do where I ‘award’ a character, a world, a book, etc. if it’s the best one of the topic that I’ve read that month. Down below, you can see all the categories and the award winners for each one!
Note: all awards are my own opinion
Also: While this is my creation, anyone who wants to participate in the monthly book awards is completely welcome to do so on their own blog! Just make sure to credit me, but other than that I’d love to see everyone else’s award winners!

Best Character: Jihoon, from Wicked Fox by Kat Cho. Honestly, I was going to choose Miyoung for this but then I thought about Jihoon and…he’s just such a sweet character, honestly. He’s so wholesome, and funny too.
Worst Character: Winston from 1984. I just…didn’t like 1984 much and while Winston was doing his ‘questioning society’ thing and was smarter than a lot of other people in there, he still said some things that really made me dislike him.
Most interesting character: I think for this one I’ll say Stevie from Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. She’s a teenager who studies crime as a hobby basically and I’m not saying this isn’t something that people not in books do, it’s still a very interesting hobby.
Funniest character: I honestly forget which character it was or even if it was a specific character–perhaps it was just how it was narrated–but while reading Radio Silence by Alice Oseman I found myself laughing a lot of the time.

Best villain: Honestly, I’m going to say the ‘villain’ or at least ‘villainous actions’ in 1984. I gotta say, that book is not great but THAT ENDING. I LOVE THE ENDING.
Worst villain: Hmm, for this one I’m just going to say the villain (villains?) in Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly. Sophie was so naive at the beginning at that and somehow the villain didn’t manage to kill her?
Most original villain: How could I not say These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong? Honestly, at this point, I’m still not entirely sure who/what the real villain is. Though that may just be my memory being terrible. If the villain was revealed, someone please tell me in the comments.

Best plot: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Yeah, I don’t really know what to say except that this plot was great.
Worst plot: Honestly? Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare). I know that it’s a bit weird since I JUST said that These Violent Delights was the best one this month, but that plot was changed a lot. Romeo and Juliet is just insta love and death.
Craziest plot twist: The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson. Maybe I’m just terrible at guessing mysteries but wow that one was a shocker.
Most original plot: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. While the execution of this plot wasn’t great, the idea for the plot was pretty interesting.

Best worldbuilding: The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Hall. I mean, it was just another fantasy adventure but I find that those have the best worldbuilding, oftentimes.
Worst worldbuilding: I legitimately don’t know what worldbuilding was bad in the books I read…I don’t think I really read any bad worldbuilding.
Most interesting world: The world in ‘The Light At the Bottom of the World’ by London Shah. Well, it’s sci fi so it’s actually our world but now it’s underwater and the way the author described everything was so beautiful.

Best romance: I’ll say Miyoung and Jihoon from Wicked Fox by Kat Cho for this one. I just…I think they worked well together. (me, who does not particularly like romance, trying to say something nice about it)
Worst romance: Dare I say it? …of course I dare! (no, I don’t know what that was, I’m tired okay?) I really really really do not like the romance in Romeo and Juliet. I know there are people who love this book but it’s waaaay too insta-lovey. Also, Romeo is like 16 or 17 and Juliet is 13??? When they’re older this is a fine age difference but at this age…no thank you. Also they get married after knowing each other for a day. I–
Most unexpected romance: Stevie and David from Truly Devious. There was no chemistry at all and it was just at an awful time and…no 🙂
I’d also say it was the second worst romance. At least they KNEW each other for more than FIVE MINUTES before they kissed though.

Most diverse book: This one is EASILY Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. I LOVED all the diversity in this book and it was especially awesome to see demiboy representation since that’s really not something that I’ve ever seen before in a book.
Least diverse book: I don’t really know what I mean when I’m saying ‘least diverse book’ because a lot of books are diverse in their own rights but I suppose I’ll go with 1984 by George Orwell. I’d say Romeo and Juliet as well but I actually read a graphic novel adaption of it and the artist chose to portray the main characters as different races to provide a little diversity so that was nice.

Best book overall: So I actually only rated two books 5 stars this month but this is still a super hard choice and I feel like the fact that I’m also considering a book I rated 4 stars means I should probably bump it up to 5 stars but I’m lazy so I probably won’t. But I think I’m going to choose Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. It was just such a good book and like I mentioned above, the diversity was STELLAR. (runners-up: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas and The Liar’s Guide to the Night Sky by Brianna R. Shrum)
Worst book overall: Just as shockingly as my small amount of 5 star reviews, I have one 1 star review and three two star reviews (I was harsh this month, I guess). I feel like I’ve said Romeo and Juliet too much and it seems unfair to name a book I read for school for this, so I’m going to go with The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I just didn’t like it. The mystery wasn’t very exciting and it barely felt like a mystery–they spent so much time doing other things
Most interesting book overall: I’m going with Legendborn by Tracy Deonn for this one. Legendborn had a lot of super awesome elements, including an amazingly intricate world which is why I’m choosing it for this award, however because of said world there was a lot of info dumping and it was a little hard to keep track of.

~Posts I enjoyed~

~Blogging updates~

Okay! I have a few blogging updates for all of you!
First of all, I’d like to thank every single person who follows me because I’ve made it to 100 followers! I love all of you so much and thank you for your support and love of my blog–it means everything to me.

Second, I need your opinion. On two things, actually.
First of all, I have designed another logo for my blog, like where I put the logo at the very top now. But I’m not sure if it’s better. So please, if you would, vote on this really really short poll just to let me know which image you like better. Here are the two images:

Current Image
New image

The second thing I need your opinion on is what posts YOU want to see ME do more of. I have a LOT of posts planned for the next few months. Unfortunately, though my brain is full of ideas, I don’t actually have time to write all these posts–thus why I am posting only once per week. Because of this, I want to know which posts YOU want. Please vote on the poll below to tell me your opinions (check as many as you want):

You guys may remember the bingo card that I showed you all at the beginning of the month? The one hosted by The Colorful Bibliophile? Anyways, I thought I’d share my completed board for this month–I think I did pretty well! Here it is:

I loved this idea for a bingo card so much and I will definitely be participating in February’s–post found here. I hope that all of you can participate too!

Lastly, Riddhi @Whispering Stories is doing a series of blogger interviews on her blog and today she interviewed me! Please pop over to her blog if you want to learn a bit more about me and check out some of Riddhi’s other posts as well! Here’s the interview.

~February Goals~

  • Spend more time writing
  • Go on more walks
  • Study more for test (I’m so bad at studying…)
  • Follow at least 2 more blogs (I’m always looking for awesome new blogs!)
  • Reach 130 followers

(My first three goals are ‘do more’ of something. Is there enough time in the world for me to do everything? aaah)

~Life Updates~

Well, I’m finally done with my term finals! I’m halfway through the year aaah I cannot believe that that is true already, it’s almost surreal! I feel like this year has been going by so fast. I didn’t really do many interesting things this month but here’s what I did do:

  • Re-watch Julie and the Phantoms. You guys may know my obsession with this show. Maybe. I really really really love it. It’s awesome. The characters are all so lovable and the music is great and the plot is great and just AAAH. I could watch it a million times (well, probably not because I might be dead before I even could watch it that many times but I would if I could). If you have watched this, I am eagerly awaiting your comment below so we can start raving about it together. If you have not watched it….what are you still doing reading this post, go watch it right now! I can wait for your comment! (but don’t take toooo long)
  • Finished term finals. Yep, this week was a busy one for me, as it was the end of term and I had a whole lot of quizzes, tests and projects. I’m finally over one of the busiest weeks of the school year and thank goodness for that. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more reading and writing done (who am I kidding, I’ve been reading anyways)
  • Wrote the first two or so paragraphs of my book. Yeah, that’s not that impressive. Two paragraphs. But like I said, I had term finals. Hopefully I’ll have more time to write this chapter since I need to finish it by around mid February if I have hope in applying for a summer camp-like thing for writing.
    I actually need everyone’s opinion on this, so if you would read the below excerpt and tell me what you think in the comments, what emotions it’s making you feel, what you liked, what you think could be changed, that would be so so so awesome. Here it is:

If our battles were on land, blood would pool at our feet. The fields we fought on, once grassy and green, would be sticky with the ichor of fallen soldiers. I can almost imagine my spear slicing through air as easily as it does flesh, soldiers falling, gravity pulling them down to the dirt. 
But we are not fighting on land. 
The scene is a mass of writhing tails and flashing spears. Blood blooms outwards from wounds, the entire scene painted red.
We fight in the ocean.

Because I’m on a roll with polls (I couldn’t get that to rhyme, sadly), I’ve decided to give you two more. This wrap up is absurdly long and I need to know what parts of the post you think that I can/should get rid of to make it shorter. Also, I’ll be asking your opinion on my ‘bookish awards’ part of the post since that takes up a big part of my wrap ups and I need to know what people think of it and if I should keep it.

I’m hoping no one chooses that last one but if it’s how you really feel…
If you have anything else to say, please leave a comment!

Well, I think that that’s my wrap up. Hopefully. I swear, as soon as I post this I’m going to remember something else I wanted to include in this thing. But since I don’t want to drive you away by writing such a long post, I’ll just end it here. (In case any of you are interested the word count is 3150–eek!)
What did you think of this post? How’d you like my writing excerpt? How was your reading month? Leave a comment, I don’t bite!
Thank you so much for reading–it means the world to me. As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Moxie by Jennifer Matheiu

…What! Phoenix is actually doing a book review???? What even is this? Ha, yes, I am back with my next book review! It’s certainly been a while for one of those. I’m sorry that it took me so long to get this next review out, but this is just the perfect book to do this post on! Moxie is such an important book and I’m not sure that I can do this justice but I’m going to try!
Also, I made a few changes to how my book reviews look, I hope you like it!

Moxie | Jennifer Mathieu

Published September 19, 2017 | Roaring Brook Press

330 pages| Hardcover

Content warnings: Sexism, harassment, attempted rape, sexual abuse,

Vivian Carter is tired.
She’s tired of the football team getting all the funds while the girl’s soccer team is left with uniforms from forever ago. She’s tired of the boys in the school saying whatever they want whereas the girls get busted in impromptu dress code checks for wearing too tight pants.
It’s gone on this way for years but when a new girl moves to Vivian’s school and speaks out against the boys, Viv realizes that it’s time to stand up.
Inspired by her mom, who was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the 90’s, Viv creates a feminist zine to distribute around her school. She doesn’t expect it to do much–but then other girls actually begin to respond. Viv isn’t the only one who’s tired…and Moxie Girls Fight back.

I loved this book because I felt like it was so empowering. I think that one of the best things about this is that Vivian can be really anybody. Vivian could be that quiet kid at the back of the class or the most popular girl in the school. Or she could be you.
At the beginning of the book, Viv is just a high school junior who goes to a school in a town in Texas. She hears the remarks that the boys say, the things that they do, and she definitely dislikes it. But she’s never really thought of speaking out. The whole way the school is built is stacked against her. The principal is the father of one of the boys saying those things for goodness sake and he’s just as bad as his son.
But what changed?
Enter: the new kid trope.
Is that a trope? I do not know. But honestly, probably because there are a LOT of tropes out there. And if not, I’m making it one. 😁😁😁
Lucy Hernandez just moved from…oh darn I forgot, my brain is full of holes for anything I read more than one hour ago. Anyways. I think she moved from a city. It was Houston. I think. She’s interesting because she’s a new kid and Viv’s small town hasn’t had one of those since forever, but then she responds to a retort from one of the biggest jerks in the school. She stands up to him. And it’s really this that leads Viv to start making these zines.

I really liked both Vivian and Lucy. Vivian was really determined to fix things in her school and wouldn’t back down no matter the comments from other people or the threats of suspension or expulsion from the principal (yeah, you heard right. Their principal threatened to expel people standing up against sexist comments and more). But really, it was Lucy who I liked the best. She was the reason Viv did all this, she was the catalyst. And while Viv was staying anonymous and behind the scenes, still doing her perfect obedient girl act, Lucy was speaking out every which way, even taking the brunt for most of the actions caused from the zines.

Seth. Seth, Seth, Seth.
Well first of all let me say that I would have liked if the romance in this book was toned down a good bit. In general, I don’t like when romance is a big part of this book so it was just meh for me. I was reading this for the strong feminism, for the speaking up, not for the romance.
I also didn’t really like how Viv got a crush on him on sight (basically insta love, though possibly one sided? Since we don’t know Seth well at the beginning, I don’t know). If there is romance in a book (it’s hard to avoid usually), I like a slow burn (not too slow though) or at least not love at first sight. For me, it just doesn’t make a relationship very well developed and it feels more…based on looks than on personality.
It feels mean of me to say that I disliked Seth because of his cluelessness but…it’s kinda true. Seth was definitely a device character (I don’t know if that’s a thing or, if it is, if I’m using it right), used to teach people more about feminism and what not to ever ever ever say (for example, suggesting that an attempted rape was the girl’s fault).
I think the real reason I didn’t like Seth was his, ‘Not all guys…’ comments. Viv says more than once that she knows it’s not all guys but that doesn’t really matter in this situation, but he continues to say it. Dude, Vivian knows that you aren’t one of the football jerks, do you think she’d date you otherwise? But the fact that you aren’t is NOT the main point of what she’s trying to do! Because even though it’s true that not all guys are like the jerks, there are still jerks out there. Maybe not all guys are jerks but ALL GIRLS ARE STILL AFRAID OF BEING HARASSED/SEXUALLY ABUSED/RAPED
(on the topic, check out this post that Riddhi B. wrote about rape–it’s such an important and eye opening post to read).

I’ve talked so much about the characters and not the plot! I really enjoyed the plot, actually! I’m really impressed with the author’s ability to keep this book going–because I feel like there’s a lot of ways that this book could have kersplatted (that’s a word now, y’all). I mean, it’s mainly based in school, that can get boring real fast. I read when I’m done with school, so I don’t focus on my schoolwork, I don’t want to read about more school. But this book was still awesome! I especially liked the meeting/dance/market/whatever thing they hosted for the girl’s soccer team’s uniforms.

This book also…really had me thinking. I was wondering what I would do if I saw a zine appear in my school. If I would take action, if I would speak out. I like the first idea, with the hearts and stars, but wearing your bathrobe to school? I feel like I’m afraid of standing out at school, almost. I want to be known but I don’t want to be stared at as I walk down the hallway because I’m dressed differently or something. And would I do the walk out that was organized? I’d like to think that yes, that I would support a classmate, a cause especially as big as this one. But do I have the courage?
This, actually, makes me think of peer pressure (sorry for going off on a ramble here). Why would I be unwilling to do these things? It’s because I’m afraid of what other people will think of me, I don’t want to be different. Society pressures you to be one way and to be any other way makes you stand out. Can we stop this? Maybe. Hopefully. Whatever the case…Moxie girls fight back!

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

Have you read Moxie? Do you want to read it? What do you think of this post? I’d love to hear your opinion on my opinion–just as long as it’s respectful!
Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the internet and checking out my blog–it means the world to me.
As always, stay safe and keep reading!

I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Two posts in one day! And finally, my next book review! I haven’t reviewed a book on here in a while and I’m excited to get back to it! Now, I wrote a short summary for the beginning of the book, but in my opinion neither this summary nor the official one does the book justice so get ready to dive very deep into this masterpiece in order to teach yourself that you need to get this book right away.

Noah is quiet and keeps to himself. He hides in the pictures he loves to draw and lets his twin sister do all the talking for him. No one notices that he’s falling in love with the boy next door. Meanwhile, Jude does more than enough speaking to make up for her brother’s silence. She’s a daredevil, a surfer and a sky diver who wears lipstick and kisses boys just to spite her mother. However, three years later their worlds have flipped upside down and their personalities have changed drastically. Now, both are each other. Jude is the quiet one, hanging out with no one and obsessed with art. Noah has immersed himself in the world that Jude had been in, with friends and late night parties. Each of them are dealing with the gap that has emerged between them in wildly different ways and each of them only hold half the reason that the gap is even there. Only if they can piece together the story can they find their way back to each other.

I loved both of the characters in this book. “I’ll Give You the Sun” is an extremely character driven novel and throughout the story both Noah and Jude absolutely shone.

The book starts with the introduction of thirteen-year-old Noah. At this age, he’s shy, quiet, keeps to himself. He loves to draw and is constantly coming up with what pictures should look like in his head. In this same chapter we get to meet his sister, Jude. It’s immediately obvious that Jude does not have a good relationship with their mother and does everything she can to spite her. Jude is loud, a risk-taker, basically everything Noah isn’t and I think this is why they fit so well together–it’s as if they were one person who was just split in half. They need each other.

Which is why reading the next chapter is so very jarring. Suddenly it’s three years later and the story is being told from Jude’s point of view. The twins have practically switched places in life; suddenly Noah is the one going to all the parties and Jude is estranged from everyone. And both are estranged from each other. And yet through Jude’s point of view you can tell that they still need each other. That they need to find each other again in this mess we call the world.

And thus goes the book, weaving through the lives’ of thirteen-year-old Noah and sixteen-year-old Jude, piecing together what happened in between those years that made them break apart so shockingly. There are many layers to the time between and it takes time to unearth them all.

I think that the next thing we should focus on is the writing. Oh, the writing. Jandy Nelson makes a book come to life in your head. I have never read a book that was so full of color and images, I could perfectly picture every single scene in my head–it was like watching a movie that only I could see but it was so much better. Movies have the pictures, they can show things, but when you are reading a book and you are inside someone’s head like you are when you read a story told in first person, you get a whole other level of feelings and this is magnified tenfold by Jandy Nelson. Reading this book, I felt like I was Noah, I was Jude. I felt like I was living their lives, the happiness, the hurt, all the emotions. “I’ll Give You the Sun” is, quite possibly, the best written book that I have ever read.

Let me say one thing: this review does not do this novel justice. It is very hard to do this story justice because it is so unlike anything and it is so much more than any book I have ever read before. It is impossible to describe this book to someone else without shoving said book into their hands and sitting them down on a comfy chair, standing guard over them as they read for the next three or more hours. So if my review didn’t convince you to go get this book and read it, go get it and read it anyways because let me tell you, it is worth it.

More information on IGYTS:

Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Amazingness
Publication date: September 16, 2014
Representation: Gay main character, strong female main character
Page Number: 371

What did you think of this review? Did you like it? Have you read “I’ll Give You the Sun”? What did you think? Do you want to read it? Post in the comments and be sure to give this post a like if you enjoyed this book review!