Posted in tags

do i have that book? challenge!

Hi, friends! Today I just have a fun little challenge that I wanted to do because I’ve been seeing the companion tag “do I have that other book? challenge” floating around. This is the first tag, created by Tabby @ Keeping Tabs on youtube!

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired with blogging because I’m really busy with school at the moment, so I thought a tag/ challenge would be a fun thing to do!


  1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?

Yes! The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi! I knew this answer right away because I just reread this book last week or so (and you should absolutely go check it out if you haven’t read it!!)

  1. Do you have a book with 3 or more people on the cover?

Also yes! The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I almost gave up on this question, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of this one faster!

  1. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?

Good question, do I? I’m sure I’ve read one, but I couldn’t think of one while looking at my shelves, so I guess not!

  1. Do you have a book with a title 10 characters long?

Yes! Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan, which I definitely need to read!

  1. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?

I ALMOST gave up on this one, but then I found Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson on my shelves!

  1. Do you have a mass market paperback?

Yes! I have several of my dad’s old copies of Stephen King books, and a bunch of them are mass market paperbacks! I prefer not to buy mass market, but I do have some.

  1. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?

Another one I was very close to giving up on, but V.E. Schwab counts! This is the pen name for her adult works.

  1. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?

Yes! Other than H*rry P*tter, the only book I have that fits this is The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand.

  1. Do you have a book with two maps in it?

Yes! I was surprised to get this with the first book I picked up, which was Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty.

  1. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?

Probably an unoriginal answer, but yes: Game of Thrones! I don’t particularly like the books or the TV series, but I do have them (another set of mass market paperbacks from my dad!)

  1. Do you have a book written by someone who was originally famous for something else? i.e. celebrity, athlete, politician, etc.

Yep! I have Becoming by Michelle Obama, who was originally famous for being the 44th First Lady of the United States.

  1. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?

I HUNTED for a book with a clock on the cover, but only Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare has a clock. I’m sure this is another popular answer, lol.

  1. Do you have a poetry book?

Yes! The only poetry book I own a physical copy of is Goddess of the Hunt by Shelby Eileen. I definitely hope to grow my collection of poetry books in the future!

  1. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?

Yes! My copy of Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert has the Stonewall Book Award on the cover!

  1. Do you have a book written by an author who has the same initials as you?

Nope! A few close ones, but no book with the initials K.M.

  1. Do you have a book of short stories?

The only anthology collections I own a physical copy of would be from the Shadowhunter world, including Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

  1. Do you have a book that is between 500 and 510 pages long?

Yes! My copy of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab is exactly 510 pages.

  1. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?

Yes! Several, actually, but the first one I thought of was The Lighting Thief by Rick Riordan.

  1. Do you have a graphic novel?

Yes! The only one I own is Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu, which I absolutely adore.

  1. Do you have a book written by two or more authors?

Yep! You Know Me Well by Nina Lacour & David Levithan!


And that’s it! I didn’t time myself or anything, but I think 18/20 is a pretty good score! Let me know if you have done this challenge/ what your score was 🙂

As always, thanks for reading! Until next time,

Posted in haul

August Book Haul: my book buying ban didn’t last long at all [2020]

Hi friends! Um, yeah, I think the title speaks for itself on this one…

August was a rough month so I bought books, that I don’t need, to feel better. I also blame Amazon for having good ebooks on sale this month, so I went on a little spree.


digital review copies

Body Talk by Kelly Jensen (READ)

The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

Ironspark by C.M. McGuire (READ)

Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford


digital purchases:

my kindle TBR is VERY out of control… I blame amazon sales and also my impulsivity. But I’m very excited to read all of these eventually!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Out Now: Queer We Go Again ed. by Saundra Mitchell

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso

Jade City by Fonda Lee (Adult fantasy)

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert (Adult romance)

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

Breaking Legacies by Zoe Reed

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle (Adult romance / contemporary)

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (YA fantasy)


physical purchases:

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar (YA fantasy)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Adult horror)

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska (YA fantasy)


borrowed:

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Lumberjanes vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson

Paper Girls by Brian Vaughan

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager


SO MANY books, I know!! Have you read any of these? Are there any I should check out first? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! Until next time,

Posted in review

Review: The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke

Hi, friends! My posting schedule has basically been non-existent since July, and now I’m back in school, so it’s been a little rough. However, I’m going to be aiming for at least one post a week during this semester and hopefully I can stick to that!

Anyway, onto today’s post, which is a review of a book I read recently and loved so so much. I finished reading it a few days ago and have thought about it daily since then, and I’m so eagerly anticipating the second book now.

Disclaimer: I was sent a finished copy of this book by the publisher through a book club, but that did not influence my thoughts about this book at all! As always, this review is 100% honest.

Title: The Scapegracers

Author: Hannah Abigail Clarke

Pub date: September 15, 2020

Genre: YA fantasy / contemporary

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book links: Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Amazon | Indiebound

synopsis:

An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.

Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.

Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent on stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?

Rich with the urgency of feral youth, The Scapegracers explores growing up and complex female friendship with all the rage of a teenage girl. It subverts the trope of competitive mean girls and instead portrays a mercilessly supportive clique of diverse and vivid characters. It is an atmospheric, voice-driven novel of the occult, and the first of a three-book series. 

my thoughts:

Firstly, I was so, so excited when I heard about this book and read the synopsis for the first time. If you aren’t a lesbian, you might not notice how little the word lesbian is actually used in literature, even if it’s a book where the author confirmed the main character is a lesbian. It’s hard to put into words the feeling that I get when ‘lesbian’ appears in a novel let alone in the synopsis out on the dust jacket for the world to see. And not only once, but several times!! It’s so heart-warming to see a main character use the word lesbian in a positive way and be proud of her sexuality.

The Scapegracers celebrates teenage girls, friendships, and all things witchy and weird. It’s truly everything I wanted but also so much more than that. Reading this book felt like a group hug between friends that absolutely crushes you, but in the best way, and it makes you feel loved and accepted for exactly who you are. I want to go back to high school aged me, give them this book, and say, “you’ll be okay”.

The characters in this book are truly some of my favorite characters I’ve ever read about, and they fit the story so perfectly. To me, characters can ultimately make or break a book, but I think these witchy girls were my favorite aspect of this book. Sideways Pike, Lila Yates, Daisy Brink, and Jing Gao: I love you so much.

In that moment, illuminated by the neon lights, Jing looked like what a witch should look like. Menacing and lovely. She was pure and raw and radioactive. She was more vivid than anything else in the room.

Eloise Sideways Pike is the main character. She’s a grump on the outside, but really such a softie on the inside, especially when it comes to her girls. I found myself really relating to her a lot, particularly her trouble with friendships as a teen and feeling like she will never be enough. Then there’s Lila Yates, the baby, Ultimate Softie of the group. I loved how affectionate all the girls were toward each other, but Yates is such a cuddler. We meet her with daisies in her hair, and I think that sums her up pretty well. Daisy Brink!! Probably my favorite character. I loved how fiercely protective she is of her friends. Daisy would kill someone for you if they even looked at you wrong, and she would do so in a dress and high heels. She dots her i’s with hearts and it’s the cutest thing. And lastly, Jing Gao. Jing could step on my and I would thank her. In fact, I’m BEGGING Jing to step on me. She’s definitely the mom friend of the group. She loves her friends so much and does not tolerate any bullshit.

I guess my point is that teenage girls aren’t supposed to be powerful, you know? Everybody hates teenage girls. They hate our bodies and hate us if we want to change them. They hate the things we’re supposed to like but hate it when we like other things even more because that means we’re ruining their things. We’re somehow this great corrupting influence, even though we’ve barely got legal agency of our own.

These girls are exactly how more teenage girls need to be written in YA. They’re fierce and protective of one another while being soft and pretty at the same time, and these qualities don’t negate each other. They’re caring, sensitive, determined, ruthless, and honestly feral at times, but I loved that. This book truly subverts the typical “mean girls” trope, and it does it so well!!

Okay, I think you get it, I love the characters so much. But alongside those characters is a fast-paced plot, gorgeous writing, and a chilling atmosphere. Others say the plot was “too much” or “all over the place”, but it really didn’t feel like that to me. A lot of different things happened, that’s true, but I think it all worked really well together, and nothing felt out of place plot-wise. I prefer books with fast-paced plots, and this did not disappoint. The chapters were on the longer side, but it didn’t feel like I was reading 30 or 40 pages at a time because I was so immersed in the world. Hannah Abigail Clarke’s writing is just fantastic. I feel like the only way to describe it accurately is to say that it’s queer to its core, and Sideways’ narration only adds to that. It’s full of humor (lines that definitely made me laugh out loud) and detailed descriptions of settings and characters with a spooky, witchy atmosphere that I loved so much. I specifically want to mention the spell casting scenes, because I got literal chills every time – they were so immersive and captivating – and I loved the importance placed on the girls holding hands, and connecting not only spiritually through magic but also connecting physically.

There’s so much more I could talk about, honestly, but I’ll end with my favorite quote from the book:

This is for healing broken limbs, this is for tearing through the veil, this is for making you love yourself, this is for petitioning the stars.

Please, please consider pre-ordering this book, especially if it sounds like something you’re interested in! I really can’t recommend it enough.


Thanks for reading! Until next time,

Posted in other

BLOG TOUR: Ironspark by C.M. McGuire

Hi friends! Today, I’m super excited to be posting my review for Ironspark for my stop on the blog tour from TBR and Beyond Tours! Along with my review, I also have some of my favorite quotes sprinkled in there, and a moodboard I created while I was reading!

You can find the tour schedule here and see all the other amazing bloggers participating!

Title: Ironspark

Author: C.M. McGuire

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pub date: August 25, 2020

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | Indiebound

synopsis:

A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires’s kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark.

For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.

Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.

But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.

my thoughts:

When I signed up for the Ironspark tour, I didn’t have many expectations. I knew it was sapphic and witchy, and that was truly all I needed to know in order to want to read it, but I ended up loving this even more than I was anticipating.

I think seen this book described somewhere as Supernatural meets Buffy the Vampire Fae Slayer, and I think that’s such an accurate depiction of this book! It’s also sort of reminiscent of typical YA fae, but more-so showing the fae to be the tricksters they really are rather than just some ethereal “higher-than-thou” type of being.

‘This is something I’ve got to do. They way I see it, if we work together, we can check each other. Make each other stronger. Make sure things are done right.’

One of my favorite things about this book were the aspects of friendship and family, and how Bryn was learning that she didn’t have to do everything alone. Dom and Jasika were great side characters – Dom is the dumb boy himbo sidekick of my heart. I loved how all of the relationships, both friendly and familial, felt so real and organic and nothing felt forced. There is a lesbian love triangle as mentioned in the synopsis, though I think it’s more appropriate to call a sapphic love triangle because one character outright said she was not a lesbian, and the other two sapphic characters were not labeled. Idk, I appreciate seeing the word lesbian on a YA book synopsis, but if all the involved characters aren’t lesbians, it doesn’t seem right to me.

Time flies when you’re bleeding on someone’s back seat.

Another thing that I loved was the amount of action in the book. It wasn’t overly detailed or full of gore, but there is definitely mention of blood and like blistered skin, things of that sort. Ironspark is fairly fast-paced, and the action scenes were well written and definitely helped moved things along while also keeping my interest in the book. I prefer books that are fast-paced, but I liked how this one also had scenes of downtime where the characters are just being their teenage selves. There’s mention of school and homework and hanging out amongst other teenager things, which I think is really well balanced with the fantasy aspects, and makes this a really well written urban fantasy.

I didn’t really see the ending coming tbh, but I am eagerly awaiting news of a sequel now!

I chose these pictures for the moodboard based on the cover (Bryn’s short hair and the leather jacket), scenery I imagined (the forest), the aspects of fae hunting (aka iron jewelry), and of course the sapphic relationship.

Representation: bi/pan/questioning main character, sapphic side characters, f/f relationships, ace side character


about the author:

When C.M. McGuire, author of Ironspark, was a child, she drove her family crazy with her nonstop stories. Lucky for them, she eventually learned to write and gave their ears a rest. This love of stories led her to college where she pursued history (semi-nonfictional storytelling), anthropology (where stories come from) and theater (attention-seeking storytelling). When she isn’t writing, she’s painting, crocheting, gardening, baking, and teaching the next generation to love stories as much as she does.

Author links: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Posted in wrap ups

August Wrap-Up [2020]

Hey friends! August, especially toward the end, was quite the hectic and stressful month. However, I did still manage to read 10 books! Although several were graphic novels, one was a DNF, and another one was a short-is anthology 🙂 So, I really read about 6 full-length novels, which is the lowest amount I’ve read per month all year, but it’s still a good amount!


tv shows:

  • teen wolf: …if you follow me on twitter (especially my private twitter acc.), you know that I started rewatching Teen Wolf. I’ve only watched the first season so far, but I can’t wait to continue my rewatch! Brings back all the nostalgia feels.

books:

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling ➾ ★★★★★

This is an adult horror book with a hint of a sapphic romance that was truly *chef’s kiss*. It’s full of deep cave diving type of sci-fi vibes, with body horror and the paranoia of not knowing whether something is real or not, and it’s just SO good.

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane ➾ ★★★★☆

I picked this up randomly because it’s one of my twitter best friend’s favorite romance books and I was in the mood for a cute romance! Plus, the audiobook was available on Scribd for me. This was overall really cute (it has such a good fake dating plot), but was a little too much on the women’s fiction side of romance for me. My taste in romance is much more on the “rom-com full of cutesy fluffy scenes” side.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin ➾ ★★★★★

This is an adult fantasy / sci-fi that is truly such a work of brilliance!! I listened to the audiobook, but I absolutely want to do a physical reread eventually because I’m sure I missed critical aspects of this book. I don’t even know where to begin explaining this, but it’s so so good.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid ➾ ★★★☆☆

I saw that the Unfriendly Black Hotties Book Club was reading this book for the month of August, so I decided to pick it up from my library! Now, I don’t really like literary fiction all that much, but the premise of a Black babysitter being accused of kidnapping a white child at a store intrigued me, and this book was WILD. I didn’t necessarily love it, but I would still recommend it, especially for non-black readers who like literary fiction!

Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park ➾ DNF @ 32%

This whole month has been kind of slump-ish for me, and I had hopes that this romance would pull me out of my funk but that didn’t really happen. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this book – I actually think there’s a great potential for the romance to be really cute – I just wasn’t really feeling it at the time! I do hope to give this a second chance in the future when I’m in a romance mood again.

Body Talk edited by Kelly Jensen ➾ ★★★★★

I was kindly invited by the publisher onto the blog tour for this book, which you can check out my review post here! I absolutely adored this anthology of diverse body acceptance, and highly recommend it!

Lumberjanes vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson ➾ ★★★★★

This series of middle grade graphic novels is super cute. It’s full of magic and adventure, and it’s truly wild but so much fun. I would definitely recommend them, especially if you’re in the mood for something fun and quick!

Paper Girls vol. 1 by Brian Vaughan ➾ ★★★★☆

After finishing Lumberjanes I was in the mood to read another graphic novel, and I saw my library had this one, which I had heard good things about. This one is more on the sci-fi side of things, and I was confused about some of the content at times that didn’t quite get resolved, but the art style was really cool!!

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram ➾ ★★★★☆

I really liked this book! And it made me cry!! And I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel that just came out recently!! It deals with important topics such as mental health (specifically depression), cultural identity & visiting the country your family comes from for the first time, toxic masculinity, complex relationships both between family members and friends, and probably even more that I’m forgetting! It was so so good.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager ➾ ★★★☆☆

Okay, everyone and their mother has been talking about this book all summer, so I decided to randomly pick it up from my library when I was in the mood for a horror book. However, I’m not sure I would really label this horror, it’s much more of a suspenseful paranormal mystery type of book. I was really enjoying this toward the middle of the book, and was probably on track to give it 4 or even 5 stars, but then I was SO disappointed by the ending. The more I think about it, the more I hate it. If you read it, I’m curious to know your thoughts about the ending!


That’s it, friends! Thanks for reading if you made it this far! Until next time,

Posted in list

Sapphic Books I’ve Read (pt. 1)

Hi, friends! I asked you on twitter what post you wanted to see first for my return to blogging, and this post won! So here it is! All the sapphic books I’ve read!

I’m including the first 20 sapphic books I’ve ever read on this list (at least, the ones that I found on my Goodreads page!), and I’ll definitely be ready for a part 2 soon! I’m up to at least 30 sapphic books total that I’ve read so far, which is a small number, but I have so many on my TBR that I’m so excited to get to!

Anyway, let’s just get started:


You Know Me Well by Nina Lacour & David Levithan

  • This is a story told in alternating POVs of two classmates, Mark and Kate, who have never spoken before, but then one night their paths cross and they realize they actually know each other better than anyone else.
  • My rating: 4/5 stars; would recommend!

Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman

  • This is a really cute western sapphic graphic novel about Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico territory.
  • My rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  • It’s been a hot minute since I read this book (and I really want to reread it soon!), but this is about Evelyn Hugo, a Cuban bisexual movie star, who is finally ready to tell her life’s story in her old age. The novel flashes back to Evelyn’s life as she rose to fame while she tells a journalist, Monique, about her life.
  • My rating: 5/5 stars

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

  • This book is about a girl named Millie who has just broken up with her ex, so she applies to boarding schools for a fresh start and ends up being accepted to one in Scotland. Things seem great until she gets there and finds out her roommate is a snobby princess. But also an actual princess. Of Scotland.
  • My rating: 3.5/5, but I might rate higher on a reread because I listened to the audiobook

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

  • This one is a fantasy novel set in a world where 8 girls are chosen each year to be “Paper Girls” who serve the king as a consort. This year, Lei, a member of the lowest caste is chosen because of her beautiful golden eyes.
  • My rating: 5/5 stars

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

  • This is a YA horror novel about a girls boarding school that gets put under quarantine after the Tox hit, which causes mutations in the girls and surrounding animals. One of the girls goes missing one day, and Hetty will do anything to find her.
  • My rating: 4/5 stars

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

  • This is another really cute graphic novel full of magic and diversity. There’s a nonbinary werewolf who uses they/them pronouns and also a queer hard-of-hearing witch?? I believe both main characters are Asian-American as well! And the art style is super cute!!
  • My rating: 5/5 stars

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

  • This one is kind of hard to explain but it’s a YA contemporary with a hint of generational magic, set on an island that attracts tons of tourists each year for bird watching. It’s full of gorgeous writing, great characters, and a soft romance.
  • My rating: 4/5 stars

The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer

  • I’m not going to lie, I was really disappointed by this one because I’ve heard decent things about it but the r-slur is used several times within the 10% or so that I read before DNFing. I couldn’t even tell you what it’s about.
  • My rating: 1/5 stars

I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre

  • This is a cute YA contemporary about two girls who start out as rivals in a film competition but end up falling for each other. This is a debut novel (now coming out March 2021) from an author that I think has a lot of potential to grow even more, and I enjoyed this one! I thought it was cute.
  • My rating: 3.5/5

Girl Crushed by Katie Heaney

  • Another disappointing one that I really couldn’t tell you anything about? All I remember is that it was full of biphobia that made be really uncomfortable and apparently the author is openly biphobic, so wouldn’t recommend this one.
  • My rating: 1/5 stars

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

  • This is one that I really want to reread, but physically, because I listened to the audiobook and I’m not sure it got my full attention or that I really appreciated it enough. This story follows the water-breathing descendants of African slave women who were thrown overboard slave ships while pregnant. This book covers extremely important topics such as intergenerational trauma, and it really leaves you thinking.
  • My rating: 4/5 stars

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

  • I’ve only read these first two books in the Wayward Children series, and everyone seems to love them so much more than I did? I think novellas just aren’t really my thing. This one is basically the story of Jack and Jill but a lot darker, except they’re both girls and one of them is sapphic.
  • My rating: 4/5 stars

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

  • This is one of my favorite sapphic stories so far, and I promise the book community is sleeping on it. This is a sapphic, feminist retelling of Snow White, and I absolutely loved it. I want to do a reread eventually and write a full review so *fingers crossed* I actually get to that soon! I adored the characters and the writing is so so gorgeous, it’s reminiscent of an actual fairy tale.
  • My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen

  • This is another one of my favorite sapphic books!! It’s a coming-of-age story about a lesbian girl, and it’s full of self discovery and friendship and so much more. This definitely isn’t for everyone, but I connected to this story on a deeply personal level, and I am forever going to be grateful to Kelly Quindlen for writing this story.
  • My rating: 5/5 stars

Lumberjanes vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson

  • Another really cute graphic novel! This series is subtle on the sapphic (but still adorable), and full of magic and adventure. The art style is really cute and the characters are great!
  • My rating: 4/5 stars

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

  • This is another that’s kind of hard to describe without giving too much away because it’s a novella, but it’s a remarkable little tale told by Rabbit, an elderly lady, to a nonbinary cleric named Chi (they/them) and their hoopoe Almost Brilliant. Rabbit was a handmaiden to an Empress, and the story is a lush narrative full of feminism and resilience with a nice blend of culture and mythology.
  • My rating: 4.5/5

Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

  • This is a YA contemporary about a girl named Emi, an intern at a movie studio working as a set designer, who stumbles upon a letter from a deceased famous actor that reveals he had a secret daughter, and Emi is determined to find said daughter (and also stumbles upon his secret granddaughter as well).
  • My rating: 4/5 stars

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

  • I’m running out of energy while writing this post, but this is a YA fantasy with the enemies-to-lovers trope between two girls, Ayla is a human servant seeking revenge on the royal family for killing her family and her mission is to kill Crier, the heir to the Sovereign. It’s truly fantastic, and the Yearning is something else in this book. I loved it.
  • My rating: 4.5/5 stars

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

  • If you haven’t read this book yet, please do! I’m begging you at this point. It’s a queer YA contemporary about a bisexual Black girl who enters her schools prom queen competition to win a scholarship so she can go to the college of her dreams, and she starts falling for the new girl in town at the same time. Except then the new girl also happens to be in the running for prom queen. This has a fairy tale happy ever after ending, and it’s so cute, and it made me bawl my freaking eyes out!! I highly recommend this forever and ever!!
  • My rating: 5/5 stars

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! Until next time,

Posted in blog tour

BLOG TOUR: Body Talk edited by Kelly Jensen

Hi friends! Today I have a really exciting post – it’s time for my stop on the Body Talk blog tour! I was really excited when I got an email from Amanda @ Algonquin YR inviting me to sign up for this tour, and I was even more excited when I was confirmed to be part of the tour. I really loved reading this anthology, and I hope you all check it out!


Title: Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

Editor: Kelly Jensen

Genre: Anthology

Publication date: August 18, 2020

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

Synopsis

It’s time to bare it all about bodies!

We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.

In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.

Come on in, turn the pages, and join the celebration of our diverse, miraculous, beautiful bodies!

Featuring work by: Rachael Lippincott, Eugene Grant, Jerlyn M. Thomas, Kati Gardner, Tyra Banks, Carolyn London, Eric Smith, Sara Saedi, Kelly Bastow, Kelly Jensen, D.M. Moehrle, Libby VanderPloeg, Julie Murphy, Patricia S. Elzie, Alex Gino, Yao Xiao, Mars Sebastian, Junauda Petrus-Nasah, Benjamin Pu, Shane Burcaw, Anna-Marie McLemore, I.W. Gregorio, Kate Hart, Kiran Gandhi, Amanda Lovelace, Abby Sams, Nat Razi, Roshani Chokshi, Alicia Lutes, Kara Thomas, Aly Raisman, Alice Wong, John McGinty, Jourdain Searles, Gavin Grimm, Kate Bigam Kaput, Lilliam Rivera

My thoughts

I absolutely LOVED this anthology. There are stories from so many people about so many topics related to bodies that no one ever talks about in real life, and it really made me emotional reading this because I related to a lot of these struggles.

I’ve had a really rough relationship with my own body for so long, and I’m still trying to work through that. I felt like I could never talk about my struggles with someone else because it’s just not a thing that society does.

I never had a close relationship with my parents or anyone else in my family. We never shared personal information or sat down and talked about our feelings. I never got the “sex talk”, and my parents never sat me down and taught me about the changes I would experience through puberty. Everything I learned about reproductive health was through a 30-minute health class lecture, where I learned more from the internet later. My parents certainly didn’t teach me to love my body, either. If anything, they taught me how to hate my body.

I won’t go into more details on my own experience because this is supposed to be a review of the anthology, but it’s important to talk about bodies and normalize “weird” things about bodies. We all have one and we all should learn to love and appreciate them in our own ways. This book highlights 37 different personal stories about bodies, and it was truly enlightening to read. There are stories about fat bodies, disabled bodies, lgbtq+ bodies, Black bodies, Brown bodies, Latinx bodies, trans & non-binary bodies, and every intersection in-between about things like scoliosis, dwarfism, crooked teeth, cancer, cultural differences in body shaming, periods, PCOS and endometriosis, sex, endocrine disorders, eating disorders, and so much more. These stories talk about the struggles of learning to love and appreciate every body, including your own.

Not only are there personal stories about people’s own experiences with their bodies, but there are also little FAQ sections between each story that are informative, which I thought was really cool.

I really loved this anthology, and I think it’s something that everyone should pick up and read. There was something I could relate to in almost every story, and even if I couldn’t personally relate – all of them were interesting and important. I really can’t recommend this enough, and it’s definitely something I would love to share with my children one day.


about the editor:

Kelly Jensen is a former teen librarian who worked in several public libraries before pursuing a full-time career in writing and editing. Her current position is with Book Riot, the largest independent book website in North America, where she focuses on talking about young adult literature in all of its manifestations.

Before becoming a fully-fledged adult-like person, she worked in the swanky Texas Legislative Library entering data into a computer while surrounded by important politicians, scooped gelato for hungry college students, and spent hours reading, annotating, and scanning small-town Texas newspapers into a giant searchable database. Kelly lives in the Chicago area with her husband, her rabbit, and three needy-but-awesome cats. In her free time, she teaches yoga, writes for her personal blog STACKED (stackedbooks.org), drinks a lot of tea, and enjoys disappearing for days reading good books. Her writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, at Rookie Magazine, The Horn Book, BlogHer, and School Library Journal. 

Social links: Instagram | Twitter


Thanks for reading! Until next time,

Posted in other

I guess this counts as a life update?

…or just more of a personal update? Idk.

Hi friends! You may have noticed or you may not have noticed at all, but I went from posting at least 3x/week to posting only 3 times so far this month. It’s just been a hectic month? And I’m not sure if things will get less hectic anytime soon?

I’m currently finishing up course work for a summer class that ends Friday as of me typing this (so I’ll be done on 8/14 – I’m not even sure when this will be posted yet), and also working out my final graduation requirements, which consists of working on a 20 page literature review on a neuroscience topic (that I really need to decide!) and two other classes.

I’ve also been trying to get out of my current lease at my apartment by my university, since I won’t be returning at all after this semester thanks to COVID. But that also consists of flying out of state, packing up all my things, and moving everything out. Then I’m ALSO helping my grandparents move at the end of the month right when I’m starting my final semester of college.

So things are a little overwhelming right now. I definitely haven’t been reading as much as I used to be, but I do have a blog tour post that is scheduled to go up Monday (8/17). Then when I come back from moving out and helping my grandparents move, I’ll need to officially start looking for a job again while also trying to plan out my gap year – which might stretch into two years at this point – while taking online classes all during a pandemic.

Trying to figure out life things during a pandemic is incredibly overwhelming, so I’m not sure when I’ll get back to posting regularly scheduled content. I have another blog tour in September, but other than that, nothing is planned out. I might just be posting every now and then when I get the chance and have the mental energy, and it might only be reviews for a little while so I can get through some arcs.

I guess we’ll find out together?


I hope you all are doing okay and staying safe ❤

Thanks for reading! Until next time,

Posted in list, other, TBR

Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year!

Hi friends! Since we’re now over halfway through the year, I wanted put together a list of books that I really want to read before the end of the year! Or rather, books that I’m going to try to prioritize reading before the year ends. I anticipate being able to have a decent amount of time to read for the rest of the year since I’m still unemployed due to COVID, and I’m going to be taking three classes in the fall through remote learning.

However, I’m going to try to avoid listing books I’ve mentioned as “wanting to read” recently, as well as ARCs and recent or upcoming releases. This will be more of a list of backlist books, aka books I’ve owned for a WHILE and still haven’t read (and hopefully making this list will make me want to read them!). These are truly some of the oldest books on my TBR (some of which are probably about 3-4 years since I purchased them). With that, let’s jump into the list:


the physical tbr:

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I’ve had this book forever, and I really just need to read it. I recently read Priory of the Orange Tree and really loved it, so hopefully I get to this one soon! (I do own the first three books already so…) All I know about this is that it’s a dystopian fantasy set in the future, and it involves clairvoyance!

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Honestly, this is only on this list because I have my dad’s copies of them, and I did manage to read the first book earlier this year. I did start this, but put it aside because I just wasn’t enjoying it. The pacing is quite slow and I don’t particularly enjoy reading about incest and women being raped, but I do want to try to finish since I did start it, so *fingers crossed*.

The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

This is the second book in the Wrath and the Dawn duology – I read the first book a few months ago and really enjoyed it so I want to get to this one! This series is a 1001 Nights Arabian tale retelling where a storyteller prolongs her life each night by telling the King a story until the sun rises and leaves it on a cliffhanger.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

I haven’t owned this book for quite as long as some other books I own, but I do have the sequel as well and the final book is coming out later this year, and I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, so on the list it goes! I know this is told in a dual timeline, where one POV is a Queen who goes through several magic trials to prove herself, and the other follows a bounty hunter 1,000 years later, after the Queen.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I’m going to be honest, I know nothing about this book but I keep hearing amazing things about it. I’ve owned it for a good amount of time now, as well as the second book, so I just want to read it! I want to know what the hype is about.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Another one that I don’t really know anything about, but I own the entire trilogy, so I need to give it a chance or unhaul at this point. This book was really popular on book tube a while back, so I bought it and never read it, and then continued to buy the rest of the trilogy when it was on sale. I think it’s vaguely circus themed? We’ll see, I guess.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

This is a retelling / backstory of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, and I’m really intrigued by. I need to catch up on Marissa Meyer’s works because I’ve only read The Lunar Chronicles series so far and really enjoyed it.

And I Darken by Kiersten White

Ah yes, a cover you might have seen before on my blog, that I still haven’t gotten around to reading yet. This is another case of “I own the entire trilogy and I don’t know if I’m even interested in reading them anymore” so again, I need to give it a chance or unhaul. All I know about this is that it’s a Vlad the Impaler retelling, and it’s genderbent.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

I’ve read both A Darker Shade of Magic, which was okay, and Vicious, which I liked better, by V.E. Schwab before, and I still don’t really understand the hype surrounding her work. It’s good, and there’s no denying that she has talent, but I think she’s a little overhyped so far. However, I want to give this one a shot as well and see if I like it any better!

It by Stephen King

I own several of King’s books because I stole my dad’s old copies, but I haven’t read any of them yet. This one is quite the chonk, a hefty boi if you will. Over a thousand pages. However, I have the audiobook on hold at my library so hopefully I will get to this soon!


the kindle tbr:

I think my physical books will be prioritized more for right now over my kindle books, because I have so many that have been sitting on my shelves for years while I spend 8 months of the year 1,000 miles away from them at college. But due to COVID, I’m now spending my last semester online, at my parent’s house, with my books! So, time to get reading.

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

This is quite possibly the oldest book on my kindle TBR, and I really need to read it. I’ve loved what I’ve read so far from Nina Lacour, so I’m trying to prioritize this. I think this one deals pretty heavily with mental health, and I’m pretty sure it’s sapphic as well.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

I just need to read literally anything by Anna-Marie, but I’m putting this one specifically because I’ve owned it for a while. Their books don’t have the highest ratings on Goodreads, but I’ve really only heard good things, so I need to get to at least one this year. I think I also own When the Moon Was Ours and Dark and Deepest Red, though, so if one of those would be better to start with, let me know!

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

I recently purchased the third book in this series because it was on sale for kindle in the US, but I still haven’t read the first or second books… and I’m pretty sure I purchased this first one back in 2017. I’ve heard really good things about the series, and it’s a Japanese-inspired fantasy, which is really cool!

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

I really want to read this because it’s a lesbian coming-of-age YA contemporary that also deals with grief and death, and I think also religion? I’m not entirely sure but I just want to read it. Emily also has an adult horror book coming out in October, which I have an ARC for and I’m so excited to read.

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

All I know about this is that it’s a Latinx YA fantasy set at some boarding school, and that it’s sapphic. I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages, and the sequel recently came out, so perfect timing really. I’ve heard really good things about this.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

I believe the final book in this series comes out this month, and I own the first two, so it’s time to finally pick this up. I’m realizing that I own a lot of Latinx stories that I really need to read!! Maybe I will prioritize a month just for these.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ve seen this book all over twitter because the final book is coming out soon, and I didn’t even realize I owned this on my kindle! All I know about this is that it’s a South Asian inspired YA fantasy, but I’m not sure the exact representation or anything else about this book.

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

I’ve started so many series this year, but I know for SURE I need to read this before the final book comes out. I read The Poppy War in June I believe, and it was so good – I have a full review that you can check out! I’m nervous to start this because I have no idea where the series is going after TPW, but I’m also excited.


I have so many more books I could put on this list – my TBR is very extensive. It was very hard to choose books to put on this list, but I’m hopeful to read these before the end of the year!

Thanks for reading! Until next time,

Posted in haul, other

July Book Haul: I’m supposed to be on a book buying ban… [2020]

Hi friends! I haven’t done a book haul on the blog yet, so I’m going to try to start something new. I was thinking these hauls would be a good way to hold myself accountable for books that I buy (and hopefully encourage me to buy less…), and maybe I’ll start a series next year where I see if I’ve actually read any of the books that I haul.

Let’s get started:


digital review copies:

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite

The Shadows by Alex North (from Netgalley’s new audiobook arcs!)

You Have a Match by Emma Lord


digital purchases:

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Lee

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan


physical purchases:

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Her Name in the Sky by Kelly Quindlen (formatting is weird, would rec ebook instead)

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones


borrowed:

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad – I didn’t get to this before my loan expired 😦


What was your favorite book hauled this month? Or one that you hope to haul soon?

Thanks for reading! Until next time,