book review: queens of geek, by jen wilde

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please excuse me as i cry with my fandom merch

Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself. 

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Queens of Geek was my last read of 2018. I couldn’t have wished for a better way to end the year, as this made me incredibly happy. It’s not a perfect read, by any means, but it was exactly what I needed to end the year on a positive note.

COISAS BOAS

  1. It was very diverse! When I first read the premise, I already knew Queens of Geek was going to have both bisexual & anxiety rep, but it had a lot more than that! Charlie is an Asian-American girl, who gets involved with another black girl halfway through the book. Taylor also fit in the autism spectrum. Overall, this was so diverse everywhere and it was refreshing to read!
  2. The fat-rep was on point. Taylor is a curvy girl and I can not even describe how happy it made me to read about a fat character that was also so much more than that. Actually, Taylor’s body is not a big deal at all, as she gets involved on cosplay contests, shows up on TV and falls in love with her best-friend. There are multiple occasions when Taylor comfortably eats hamburguer around her crush; and I know that this sounds so stupid, but it made me so happy? I am very self conscious to eat around people, but the fact that Taylor owed it gave me an unexpected boost of confidence.
  3. This made me so happy. I read Queens of Geek in one sitting and I spent the entire afternoon laughing and gushing. I’m glad that I wasn’t reading it in public, otherwhise it would’ve been embarrassing. The relationships are adorable, there’s so much growth and representation through the pages and the characters were always so supportive. This was a joy to read!

COISAS RUINS

  1. It reads like a fanfiction. And not even one of the good ones. I’m a big advocate on fanfictions, don’t get me wrong. Some of the ones I’ve read were probably better written than full on novels. But Queens of Geek just wasn’t one of the good fanfictions out there. Poor writing, cliché scenes and some quotes that made me seriously cringe. I swear to God I even wrote a scene just like the one when Alyssa and Charlie are recording the Youtube video together. When I was 12.
  2. Insta-love and insta-friendship. Because this is a very short novel, it is understandable that things had to develop fast. Still, it was a bit weird just how quickly some relationships became so important for the characters. Even though it threw me off a little bit, I still think you’re able to root for the characters despise that.

img_0224Overall, this made me so happy, though! I didn’t even care if the writing wasn’t great or if I could predict the lines they were saying next: this was still so fun to read. There’s so much to love about the characters and the amount of representation.

On top of that, the conversation on fandom was definitely an interesting one. Fandoms have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember – firstly, with Jonas Brothers (obviously), moving on to books & TV, and now where I’m kind in a mix of all of these, with a K-POP cherry on top. To follow these characters as they find themselves and life-time friendships because of something as a book series was relatable and inspiring.

My final rating is:

3 ESTRELAS

Have you ever read Queens of Geek? How did you like it? And what are some of your current fandoms? Have you ever made life-time friendships because of it?

Anúncios

books that should be required reads

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Hello, fellow bloggers!

Today, I wanted to talk about top 5 books I feel like should be considered required reads at school. Now, the thing is: I hate required reads. Which in retropsect and considering I just did my last college entrance exam a week ago and am not optimistic at all, I do not recommend. Do your required reading, kids! Especially if they count something for your college entrance, like for me.

I love reading, but required reads are just painful. Firstly, because they’re classics with an ancient writing that I simply can’t grasp. Secondly, because the themes are, more often than not, boring and unrelatable. I can not think of one single novel that I was required to read during high school that was able to form me as a human being, because most themes were adult-centered.

So, thinking of that, I decided to narrow down five books that I feel like every teenager should read at school & discuss more about.



12000020I wanted to mention Ari & Dante and not only because I am this book #1 stan, but also because I genuinely believe so many teenagers will be able to relate to this. Ari & Dante explores family, friendships, sexuality and every single question that goes through a teenage mind. Ari’s relationship with his father mirrors so many relationships, including my own with my dad. I think that’s what required reads should be more about: showing teenagers that they are not alone in their struggles. Relating to Ari was one of the most poweful moments of my life, and I really wish more people would have the chance to do so.

257140The White Rose is an unique historical fiction that, frankly, has changed my life. This one follows a resistance movement, named The White Rose, during Nazi-German. The leaders of the movement, Hans and Sophie Scholl, were both college students, who wrote and distributed panflets against the German government. I feel like this is the perfect book to discuss in an academic environment: firstly, there’s the examination of panflets and the quotations they add into each one of them that can spark great English lectures; but also there’s a chance to discuss how these teenagers were able to resist, when they grew up in a Nazi-German. Hans and Sophie were both part of the Hitler Youth and became resistance when adults, mostly because of the education that they were provided with. It’s a very interesting point of view, hardly ever explored on class, as we see most of Anne-Frank-like narratives, but just as important to be discussed!

33294200Speaking of books that would be well explored on class (spare my Educational nerd, here, okay, folks? I clearly want to be a teacher and this shows, I apologize LOL), Poet X has to be one of them. Granted, I DNF-ed this book. But that’s because stories written in verse are not my thing and I in fact hate poetry’s guts. However, this book is so much better than most of the poetry I was ever introduced to when in high school. It’s approachable, fun and tackles subjects that most kids can relate to, such as religion, feminism and identity. At the end of the day, these are so much better than all the romantic crap from the 1800s.

16147088Next on my list, is The Outsiders. I know this is technically a required read in multiple schools in America, but not in my country. In fact, I don’t even think this book was ever published in Portuguese! Which brings me the idea to explore this in English classes! (Okay, I swear to God my inner-teacher will stop now). But, really, this is a short historical fiction, allowing discussions on both the time period – the 1960s – as well as examining the characters’ relationships and feelings. Susan E. Hinton wrote this book because she wanted something to represent what teenagers were actually going through. 50 years later and adults still have no idea. But I think this book can be a peace of mind for a lot of kids going through rough times.

11387515Lastly, I have Wonder! I know Wonder is technically a middle grade book, but in my country (or at least in my school), we have required reads all throughout middle school too. In my opinion, though, Wonder should be an all-age required read. This book talks about bullying and acceptance in one of the kindest, purest ways I’ve ever experienced. It’s lyrical and beautiful, and I really think will spark students to see each other through a new lense. Auggie really is a wonder of a character and has the power to change even the nastiests high-school dynamics.

 

Alright! I really need to stop talking this much! Please, please, please, if you’ve made this far, let me know in the comments what books you’d make required reads in your imaginary school? And how do you feel about my choices? Would you gladly read them or look out for synopsis online? Let me know down below too!

in which i discuss writing voices

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Hello, fellow bloggers! This is my first ever discussion in this blog and I’m excited about it. Hopefully, through this new format, I’ll be able to express myself better and make my thoughts more coherent. (Or I’ll just flail and cry, like I do most of the time).

Today, I wanted to discuss writing voices. This is something that has been a lot on my mind lately, as I blog and write more. I think having a writing voice is soooooo hard and I definitely admire people who are able to have one.

oneWhat’s the difference between a writing voice and a writing style?

To me, the writing style encompasses a lot more than a writing voice. It has to do with the pacing; the amount of dialogues and descriptions; the way the story evolves. You describe someone’s writing style by saying it was very descriptive, slow-paced and atmospheric; or straight-forward and dialogue based. Every author has a distinct writing style, that’s for sure, but they’re less unique than a writing voice.

To have a writing voice is to make a certain personality come through the page. It’s being able to tell whose author does that belong to because of the way it is written. I do believe writing voices are more common for articles and journalists than for fiction. That’s because stories have narrators; and if you’re reading a first-person novel, you’re more likely to see the character’s personality come through rather than the author’s. There’s not much space for snarky remarks or witty comments when you’re inside someone else’s head. I still believe we can have great authors with distinct writing voices on fiction, which moves me to my next point.

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Authors with an unique writing voice.

When I think about authors whom I can distinct by even the smallest of the quotes, I always think about Rainbow Rowell. To me, she has an amazing writing voice; one that I can always identify, through each and everyone of her stories. Even though she is mostly a contemporary author, she has fantasy works (I love Carry On to pieces by the way) and she writes both on YA and adult. Despise the broad variety of genres that she explores, you can tell her voice in every one of them.

Taking two quotes from two different novels:

“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you.” CARRY ON

“Could love me and love me and love me without…needing space.”
“There’s no air in space,” he said.” ATTACHMENTS

I don’t know if these two quotes will be enough to explain what I mean, but I think it’s visible how her voice comes through every sentence she writes. Both of these metaphors to explain a desperate type of love are quirky and unique.

I also think about Stephanie Perkins when I think about writing voices. Just like Rainbow Rowell, her quirkiness comes through the page no matter what character she’s writing about. However, because I haven’t read enough by her, I don’t know whether it also shows in her non-contemporary work.

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To have a writing voice when blogging

As I mentioned earlier, to recognize a writing voice is more common for journalists and article writers, but I also think it’s there on book blogging as well. Actually, this is something I worry a lot about when writing posts and reviews – to make sure that my personality can come through the text. If it is through witty comments or fangirling sections that have to be strike-through, I like to have my post sounding unique.

Cait, from paperfury, has to be the queen of blogging voices. You can tell when it’s Cait, either through her reviews, tweets or actual posts. She has a very unique way of writing and adding witty comments, which is why her content is always so fun to read.

conclusion

Now that I’ve done my fair share of discussion, I want to know from you: do you know some authors whose writing voices you admire? Or bloggers? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments! (And also how did I do for my first discussion post in a while? Hopefully, it’s not too long and I was able to make my point well LOL).

book review: the outsiders, by s.e. hinton

photo-2018-12-28-17-37-35No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends – true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. And when it comes to the beating up on “greasers” like him and his friends – he knows that he can count on them for trouble. But one night someone takes things too far, and Ponyboy’s world is turned upside down…

I know The Outsiders is a common required read, but not where I live, which is probably why I read it (does anyone else loves reading but strongly despises required reads?). Last year, I started watching everything I could that was set on the 50s/60s – Forrest Gump, Rebel Without a Cause, and, of course, The Outsiders. I found out this is the time period I’m mostly interested in, so gravitating towards the movie was natural.

I was surprised by how much I liked the story and decided to pick up the book when I got a chance to do so. And, though it was a lovely experience as well, I do feel like there were a few missed elements.

COISAS BOAS

  1. The relationships between the characters. I fall hard for every single male character interaction there is, so to say I had a full course meal with this book is an understatement. The Greasers have such an interesting and unique bond. Johnny and Darry were a surprising one, while Ponyboy and Sodapop warmed my heart in the best ways possible. Even the relationships that weren’t all rose tainted, like Dally and Ponyboy, were beautiful to read.
  2. The setting. This book really threw me to a countryside city in the mid 60s. And not only because I had watched the movie before, but because the general ambience was very well done. You could feel it by the way they talk about the movies, their slangs and their outfits. As I mentioned my 60s obsession, I couldn’t be happier to be transported so easily to that time.
  3. The quotes. This book had beautiful passages that made me understand why it impacted so many people. I ended up highlighting quite a few! It’s interesting to me that the author wrote this when she was only sixteen, because some quotes really hit on me and I’m sure I’ll remember them for a long time. My favorite one is definitely: “They weren’t looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.

COISAS RUINS

  1. We don’t see enough from the Socs. One thing that the book definitely tries to install is that “things are rough all over” and the Greasers are not the only ones struggling. In reality, though, we don’t see enough to prove that. Cherry was an interesting character, but she didn’t fully represent the Socs to me. Randy was definitely someone that could’ve been more deeply explored. Even when he was talking about the problems in the other side of the town, it just felt like such a first-world problem. To have understanding and supportive parents doesn’t seem like the end of the world to me. Overall, I feel like the story would’ve been a lot deeper if we got to see more from an opposite perspective.
  2. Some elements of the writing style & pacing. When I picked this book up at the end of the year, I thought it was going to be an easy and fast-paced read. This was the shortest read of 2018 for me, and yet, I took about a week to finish it. The writing just felt stiff and not totally engaging. The way it presents the characters, for example, just felt like an info-dump and I wish I had met them as the story developed and not all at once.

photo-2018-12-28-17-37-36 2I still think The Outsiders is a great story. I know how many people love it and how much it has impacted them and I understand it, truly.

In terms of comparison between the movie and the book, I genuinely feel like they both deliver. The pacing of the movie was a bit more my style and I didn’t feel a slump at any point. On the other hand, I think we got to see more from the character’s relationships in the novel, and I definitely felt more of a connection when reading it. I still think both are worth checking out if you have the chance!

My final rating is:

4 ESTRELAS

Have you ever read The Outsiders? Or watched the movie? If so, what do you think of it? And who’s your favorite Greaser? (Mine would probably be Darry, just because of Patrick Swayze, though).

a semi-realistic list of 2019 resolutions!

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It’s the beginning of a new year year, and I feel like everyone has made their 2019 resolutions already. I used to write these lists pretty often, but since 2017, I’ve been all over the place and decided to write no goals. The way I think about it is: if I don’t put any expectations on it, I’ll never be disappointed. It works – but it’s also a very stupid way to accepting, in advance, that I’ll be terrible at commiting to anything I set myself to. No more of that, then. Even if I fail everything, I want to know that I at least tried.

2019 is an exciting & terrifying year. Mostly terrifying, though. There are some major changes happening: I’ll be a college freshman (but I still don’t know which college), and this is already scary. I’m not used to new environments, and I’m sure I’ll make a fool of myself by first-day’s break. If any of you have university advice/tips, leave them in the comments and I’ll be forever grateful.

However, it’s exciting to think about a year where so much is unpredictable. For all the new years before, I knew just what to expect: I would be going to school, meeting my friends, taking some tests. But I’m not sure about pretty much anything for 2019, and it’s great to know I’ll have a clean slate, to start all over.

My 2019 resolutions will be semi-achievable. I want to commit to goals I feel like I’m able to conquer and not just general pretty quotes.

  1. Read 40 books. Let’s get back into the reading game, but still be reasonable. I’ve only read 18 books in 2018, so I don’t want to rush just yet.
  2. Read more books in different formats. I’ve pretty much only read physical and e-books before, and I would love to venture out for audio books. I didn’t think I would ever say this, since I find reading out loud super cringe-worthy at times. However, audio books are incredibly convenient. I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve this in 2019, though, since audio books subscriptions are quite expensive. I also want to read more web-comics in the new year and experiment with different formats overall.
  3. Stay away from negativity. I don’t know why I seek out for negative content so often. I follow a lot of plus-sized content creators, both on YouTube and Instagram, and sometimes I go through their comments just to read the nasty & mean ones. Obviously, this makes me feel terrible about myself, as I don’t have a super-model body either, but I still do it nonetheless. When there’s any type of Twitter drama, I also want to know what’s going on, even if it will hurt me. For 2019, I want to quit this habit altogether: if there’s nothing positive for me there, then it doesn’t need to be in my life.
  4. Keep around only people who put as much effort as you do. I feel like we all have moments to look back on old friendships and relationships and come to the full realization that you probably cared for that person much more than they cared back. I’ve had my extent of these relationships, to be honest. It’s so exhaustive to put so much effort in trying to make someone else feel good just to get nothing in return. In 2019, I hope to make much better friendship choices.
  5. Stay true to who you are. Considering that I’ll be going to college and experiencing a lot of new things, my biggest fear is that I’ll change to the point I’m no longer recognizable. I definitely don’t want that. I know I’ll inevitably change, but I also want to remember my values and my beliefs, as they’re a very important part of me that I don’t want to let go of.
  6. Spend less time on social media. Ha. My future self will probably laugh at this. But I guess I’ll never make it if I don’t try. Over the last year, I realized just how much social media can be a toxic place. I only have Twitter fanaccounts (where I talk mostly about K-POP) and it’s so exhaustive having to deal with fanwars and negativity constantly. I plan on taking advantage of the ‘iPhone Time Limit’ & other resources as well. I don’t think I’ll ever stop using social media altogether, but I hope to at least minimize some of the time I spend at the moment.
  7. Write more! Journal more! Believe on my own writing! For so much of my life, I’ve just considered myself a fraud when it comes to writing. Even though I’ve won writing prizes in my school & city before, I never thought I was actually that good. But as I look back at some of my old writing, I realize just how much I enjoy it! I want to write more – even if just for myself – and I definitely think this blog will help me to exercise it as well!

What are some of your 2019 resolutions? Do you also plan your year ahead? Are you going all in and being ambitious or setting lower goals? Let’s chat!

 

18 books in 2018!

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Hello, fellow bloggers!

While 2018 was a super slow reading year for me, things did speed up a little bit in the latest half, and I managed to complete 18 books for the year.

I didn’t have a reading goal for the year, as I knew how stressful it would be for me. I was, indeed, busy for most of it, but I didn’t expect just how much my mental health would be in the way for most of my accomplishments this year. In fact, my reading routine throughout 2018 was basically: not reading anything for two months – picking up a book and reading it in one sitting – not reading anything for the next two months.

Nonetheless, I’m still okay about this number. I obviously want to make my reading more consistent for the next year, and hopefully read more, but I also want to be more aware of my own feelings and give myself a break when I need to.

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. While everyone is doing a wrap up of their bests & worsts of the year, I just decided to do a general wrap up and share with you all the eighteen books I read in 2018:


7864437 This was, obviously, a re-read for me, as The Maze Runner series is actually one of my favorite series of all times. Death Cure is actually the concluding installment of the trilogy and it was a very interesting experience, since I re-read this after watching the movie. I know you’d typically read before watching the adaptation, but doing it the other way around was refreshing, as I pictured a lot of things in the book based in the movie – like having Dylan O’brien in my head everytime I read ‘Thomas‘, which I’m not complaining about. I’ll always love The Maze Runner series, and revisiting these characters and this story is a pleasure of mine.

23437156Six of Crows was, overall, a very good experience. Even though I went through a rollercoaster of feelings, never knowing exactly which character to trust, I loved so much about it. First of all, Leigh Bardugo’s writing style: I had never read anything by her before and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. She writes very character-focused chapters, which is what I prefer. Inej is by far my most favorite character, along with Nina and Matthias, who were my favorite couple I have read in a while. And, as much as I tried, I just couldn’t stand Kaz at all. It was slightly disappointing, since I wanted to love everything about this book, as everyone else. Also I did feel like this could’ve been a standalone, since the cliffhanger at the end was a bit unnecessary.

12294652By far, the most disappointing read of the year was My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick. When I picked this up, I was excited to read a cheesy romance, but it was way too cliché, even for me. Even though I rated this as 1-star, there’s nothing incredibly problematic about it. In fact, I can see a lot of people enjoying it. However, in my impression, it came out as a pretty flat and bland story, extremely vanilla. There’s no real plot, zero character development and the love interest was perfect as a Disney-prince, which was, in fact, very boring. As much as I wanted to like it, this one was just painful to get through.

I Resultado de imagem para your name manga volume 2finally moved on with the Your Name series! There’s one volume left now, and I’m taking forever to pick it up, probably because I’m not ready to finish it just yet. Though this volume was confusing, it was extremely enjoyable. Not to give any spoilers, but it allowed us to see more of Taki, and he’s such a great character to follow! I’m very excited to wrap up with this series and, finally, watch the movie. Let’s hope I’m not spoiled until then! To be honest, it’s a miracle that I haven’t yet, considering how popular this series is. I’m very excited to know what happens next, and would 10/10 recommend this manga.

35247769In 2018, I also re-read one of my favorite series of all times: the Lara Jean trilogy. I actually re-read this in May, way before the movie was released, but I’m so glad I did! I pretty much finished all of these in one sitting, and since I read it one after the other (literally started To All the Boys on a Monday and was done with Always & Forever by Wednesday), I really got the chance to deeply look at the character’s development. Lara Jean grows so much throughout this series, while still being true to who she is, and to watch that is magical. And, then, of course, we have Peter Kavinsky, whose lines had me gushing badly.

13262783The second incredibly disappointing read of the year was Every Day, by David Levithan. I know, two posts ago, I recommended the movie as one of the best teenage movies I watched in 2018, but the book was a whole new story. The thing is: I was actually really enjoying it. I recognize most of the problems people have with this book, but ultimately, I wasn’t bothered by any of those. The one problem I did encounter was with an extremely fat-phobic chapter that pretty much ruined the whole book for me. As someone who’s not thin, at all, the chapter severely offended me. It was quite troublesome because the entire book explores the idea of diversity: Rhiannon is falling in love with A, who wakes up every day in a different body. It doesn’t matter whether A is a boy or a girl, black or Asian, but suddenly, when they were in a fat body, it’s almost like A wasn’t lovable anymore. I don’t know exactly what message was trying to be set here, but is not nice to read a book that, purposely, excludes fat people. Skinny people culture terrifies me, and this book is just another example of its bullshit.

28458598Thank God the next book was a light one, because I was getting pretty heated-up at that last one, lol. When Dimple Met Rishi was such a refreshing and fluffy contemporary! I adored every second of it. First and foremost, the way it handled diversity was amazing. Though both Dimple and Rishi come from Indian families, they have very different views on it: Dimple is 100% American and not that connected to her family’s roots; while Rishi views his ancestors’ culture as a very important part of his life and personality. The book didn’t try to shame any of them: in fact, they both grew together because of their differences. Also: Rishi is kinda my new book boyfriend. Some of his lines had me actually blushing.

25558608I also finally moved on with the Ember In The Ashes series, by reading A Torch Against the Night. Considering the 3rd book came out this year, when I’m only getting around to the 2nd one, God knows when I’ll be picking up A Reaper at the Gates. But that’s okay, we’ll worry about that later. As expected from this series, this was an intense read. I did feel like the pacing was a bit off, though, as the middle part felt incredibly slow. Also, as the unpopular-opinion queen that I am, I preferred Helene‘s chapters over everyone else’s. I’m much more interested in the Empire’s political intrigues than in the Scholar’s rebellion. (I just also love Helene a lot. Who’s even Elias and Laia? I don’t know them). Overall, this book was great and I’m definitely hyped for the rest of the series – it just wasn’t as good as the first one.

33158541The Wicker King was one of the greatest books I read this year, and definitely a new favorite. I warn, though, that this book may not be for everyone. K. Ancrum has a very vague writing style, yet beautiful. There’s also a very predominant dom-sub dynamic going on, so if you’re not comfortable with that, you may wanna pass. I still loved every second of it! It gave me Ronan/Kavinsky vibes, and broke my heart to pieces, as I imagined it would. Even though I disagreed with most of the character’s actions, it was clear they were doing what they thought they needed to do in order to survive. The ending had me in near tears – which is great, considering I was reading this while in Math class.

35297394I really wish I had waited until Halloween to pick up The Wicked Deep, because it would’ve been the perfect read! This book has such a whimsical and magical writing style; it feels like the ultimate Fall read. The Wicked Deep is set in the town of Sparrow, which has been haunted for the past two centuries by the ghosts of three sisters. 200 years ago, they were accused of whichcraft and drowned – since then, they return every summer, in the body of three random girls, to drown boys as they were once drowned. The plot was intriguing and it totally delivered. The characters, though, felt a bit flat and the romance, very insta-love-y, as I didn’t feel they had enough time to connect so deeply as they did. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read, which I recommend for Fall/Halloween time.

37830514One of the true hidden gems of 2018 was Running With Lions, by Julian Winters. The book is set at a summer training camp, following our main character Sebastian, as he navigates through typical teenage dillemas: his sexuality, his future, his friendships. As cliché as this may sound, the book really got the chance to explore something I had never seen before, which was queerness in sports. Most of Sebastian team-mates are in the LGBTQ+ spectrum in some way, which was refreshing to see, considering the fact sports are typically tainted by toxic masculinity and homophobia. But Bastian’s friend group was amazing & supportive, and I loved our main character so much. However, there were other characters who were just assholes for the sake of being assholes, which is never enjoyable to read.

30057557The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland is another underhyped contemporary that definitely deserves your attention. It follows our main character, Zander, who is sent to a camp for teenagers with mental-health issues. There, she meets kids going through various things: schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders. This book felt like a good slap on my face. I’d consider myself a pretty loyal person, who hardly ever gives up on others. But reading this book really made me question that. Though Zander is our main character, the book focuses a lot on Cassie – her bipolar roomate, who’s pretty much a bitch through most of the book. Even if Cassie treats Zander terribly, she does not give up on her. I was questioning Zander’s sanity throughout the entire story, because it was definitely not something I would be able to do! The book was beautiful, especially the ending, but I do wish the author had made it clear on page that most of Cassie’s behaviour was problematic and her past does not excuse her from her actions. She makes awful comments through the narrative that weren’t exactly problematized, which is why I rated it down to 4 stars.

25613472Thank God I already made a whole review about A List of Cages on this blog, so I don’t have to write a long-ass paragraph: though I probably will, anyway, ‘cause it’s me, after all. This book delivered everything I could’ve asked for: the brother dynamics, the beautiful writing style, the tragic backstory. Ultimately, though, I feel like the author went a bit too far in making Julian’s life a living hell, which was the only element that I really didn’t like. At some point, it got wayyyyy to unbelievable, which was very disappointing, because the book was perfect in all the other aspects! The friend group in this was amazing, supportive and added 70+ years in my life spam.

35406534One of my only five stars of the year (not considering my re-reads): A Hero at the Fall was the conclusion to the Rebel of the Sands trilogy and I can’t stop thinking about it! This is a desert-based fantasy trilogy that definitely deserves more hype than it gets. I loved every single installment in this series and it wasn’t any different with the last one. The characters are strong, and have some of the best dynamics – even the non-romantic ones had me swooning. The world is merciless and cruel, but that’s exactly what it makes it so interesting to read about. I’m in love with the fantasy that Alwyn Hamilton created and I’ll honestly shove this series into everyone’s faces, because more people need to read it!

176108I feel like I’m probably the only person who has read this book out of pleasure, not as a required read for school. The Outsiders is a classic, and I decided to finally pick up the book, as I only knew the story from the movie. (I’m lowkey obsessed with Patrick Swayze, by the way). Even though the writing wasn’t totally my style and I did miss seeing more from the Socs’ perspective, I still understand why everyone loves this story. It’s impressive to me that Susan E. Hinton wrote this when she was only 16, especially considering it was able to impact an entire generation. I definitely got what I wanted from this story, which was seeing the dynamics between the male characters up close. Still, if the book had explored more from the Socs, besides Randy & Cherry, it would’ve been a perfect 5 stars read.

28245707And the last book I read for the year of 2018 was Queens of Geek! I’m so happy that I finished the year with such a great book. The best way I can describe it is as a fandom celebration with all the diverse elements you could expect. The book follows girls of color falling in love, a bunch of fandom-related content (which was so relatable!) and a plus-sized main character who gets the sweetest boy in town. I read this in one sitting because I simply couldn’t put it down. I won’t say the writing is marvelous and it was definitely cheesy as hell at some points, but it made me smile so much. I want to recommend this book to absolutely everyone who may be going through a hard time, because this will definitely warm your heart.

Wow! That was a long ass post – if you’ve reached this far, let me know in the comments: what were your favorite reads of 2018? Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them?

 

book review: a list of cages, by robin roe

img_0151When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

A List of Cages was a book I was sure I’d give five stars to. The premise ticked all of my boxes: male protagonists, strong friendship, beautiful writing. And while it was a fantastic read and got me moved to tears at some point, the ending was a bit lacking.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: domestic abuse – physical, emotional and implications of sexual abuse too.

COISAS BOAS

  1. The brother-like relationship. Our two main characters were once foster brothers that are now reunited. They understand each other so well, and are protective and carrying in a heart-warming way. As someone who literally cries over bromances on a daily basis, this book gave me all the pause-to-gush-over-a-quote moments that I could ask for.
  2. Adam. (And Julian too. But mostly Adam). I was surprised by how much I loved this character, considering that I was sure Julian would be my favorite. Adam is a kind-hearted, spirited soul, that loves and understands everyone. He’s the type of character that everyone wants to be a friend with; that all teachers love; that makes everyone feel good – even the readers. As the story progresses to a much darker place, it’s interesting to see the new layers of his personality, as he struggles to balance his worries and his own pain with the side of him that wants to take care of everyone too. He was a refreshing three-dimmensional character that I couldn’t be more in love with.
  3. The friend group! Adam has such an interesting friend group, which he’s definitely the center of. He’s able to pull together all these different people, while surprisingly making it work. Not only they’re unique, but also incredibly supportive and loving. Charlie was a character that I couldn’t stand at the beginning – he was one of those jocks that feel like they can treat freshmen like crap just because they’re seniors -, but as we follow more of him, I realized there were other layers of his personality as well. He ended up being one of my favorite characters by the end of the novel!
  4. The writing style. It was poetic, beautiful and heartbreaking. I wanted to highlight so many quotes, but I also didn’t want to stop reading.
  5. You were able to tell the different perspectives apart! This book follows Adam & Julian’s first-person perspectives in alternate chapters, and it was actually pretty easy to tell who was the one talking. They had very different voices, which is quite hard to achieve, so praise for the author for managing to do so!

COISAS RUINS

  1. It went a bit too far. The climax of this book is pretty much the darkest of the events. Considering that this novel touches on child abuse, you could say it’s predictable. But, in fact, the author creates a very unrealistic scenerio that just makes everything spiral out of control. I think it was pretty noticeable that Julian’s life was a living hell; she didn’t have to go that far to show it. I also think the whole resolution of the climax was way too surreal and could’ve never happened in normal circumstances. Overall, it was way too Holywood-like for me.
  2. The pacing. After the huge conflict at the end, the book really started to drag out, on my opinon. There wasn’t much going on, and it felt like I was in an endless loop, reading and re-reading the same scene, over and over again. As I read 90% of the book in two hours, it probably took me other two just to go through these last 30 pages.

img_0156Overall, I would still recommend A List of Cages. I know it’s a super back-list novel, but I really wish it would get more hype than it does. It’s a beautiful and moving story, and though it tackles issues no one wants to read about, they’re important to be noticed.

I do wish the ending could’ve been better, but it was still an amazing read, with great characters and fantastic writing. (I would say: try to refrain from making my mistakes and reading this book late at night; not only because you’ll stay up late just to finish it, but also because some things can be quite triggering).

My final rating:

4 ESTRELAS

Have you read A List of Cages? If so, how did you like it? This is my first ever review after a loooooong time, so I apologize if it was all over the place (and for my poor English too). Let me know what I can improve for my future ones!

the best teenage movies i watched this 2018

Hello, fellow bloggers!

We are approaching the end of the year, and bests & worsts lists are already popping up in our feeds. As 2018 was a super slow reading year for me, I wouldn’t have many books to mention here anyway. But I still decided to make my own list, regardless: my favorite teenage movies I watched this year.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to relate with some of these, since most are book to movie adaptations for very popular YA contemporaries.

5. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE

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I don’t even feel the need to explain what this movie is about, since everyone and their mothers have watched this Netflix release this year. I do want to point out though why To All The Boys stood out for me, despise the hype. Firstly, the diversity: to have an entire Asian-American cast in a teenage movie is already impressive, and yet Lara Jean was so incredibly relatable. Her quirks, thoughts and interests were very accurate to teenage girls, and though a little older, I still felt so close to her.

This was such a refreshing love story, even if clichè, because it was able to stay away from all the tropes that make teenage rom-coms typically unbearable: cat-fight, toxic masculinity. As someone who has re-watched this movie way too many times, I can safely say this is one of the best rom-coms ever: and not only because of Peter Kavinsky.

4. LOVE SIMON

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Speaking of another book-to-movie adaptation that took the world by storm earlier this year, I have Love Simon. Following such a great cast, Love Simon talks about sexuality in one of the best & most underrated ways I’ve ever seen.

Simon is a normal guy, with a huge ass secret – he’s gay. Except for that, the entire movie feels like your typical romance: best friend drama, football game sequences and a mysterious love interest. However, for many people who grew up without ever being able to relate to a rom-com, Love Simon is groundbreaking.

In addition, it was able to talk about sexuality without talking about sex, which is something I feel like media still struggles with. I don’t think I’m able to name a single queer movie I’ve watched that doesn’t have a sex (or sex-oriented) scene, but Love Simon discusses it while still being PG-13. It makes it so much more comfortable, as it is a movie you can introduce to kids and elders, without having to worry about sounding too obscene. I really hope Love Simon was just the first one to make queerness just a part of your typical rom-com business.

3. EVERY DAY

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Yet again, ANOTHER book to movie adaptation. Similarly to Love Simon, though, I’d rather stick with the adaptation. Every Day’s original source was written by David Levithan, famous for his queer books. This one, specifically, came out as pretty offensive to me, as it was quite fat-phobic. The movie, on the other hand, did a much better job on including body diversity as well.

Every Day follows our main character, A, who wakes up on a different body everyday – always the same age, never the same person twice. One day, though, they meet Rhiannon and decide they will do whatever it takes to see her again, no matter which body they’re in. Despise how fantastical this may sound, the core of the movie is so real. As Rhiannon gets to know A, it doesn’t matter what they look like: a boy, a girl, tall, blonde, black, or whatever. She begins to fall in love with their thoughts, their mind, their feelings. In an age of appearance and having the best Instagram selfies, a movie like this feels refreshing and soothing. Most of us struggle with our reflections on the mirror everyday, and stories like that prove that when you find the right person, it doesn’t really matter what you look like.

2. EIGHTH GRADE

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Even though I love teenage movies, I don’t think I would’ve glanced twice at Eighth Grade if my sister hadn’t told me about the director for this one. Bo Burnham is an American comedian, but to be honest I only knew him for his vines. As you watch the movie, it becomes pretty noticeable that it was written by a millennial – the jokes, sense of humor and the overall presence of social media in this one makes it very accurate.

Eighth Grade follows our main character Kayla, who’s in her last week of (shocker) 8th grade, and not feeling her best. Kayla is pretty much friendless, as she is incredibly shy. She makes these two-views-and-one-of-them-is-her-father videos about how to make friends and put yourself out there, but she herself never follows any of these advices.

This movie was so deep and so relatable, while still being incredibly light. The talk on social media and having an internet persona that is different from who you really are is very interesting. But the part that got me the most was Kayla’s self-esteem issues. It’s kinda heartbreaking to think that at such a young age, barely 14, she already had such negative thoughts about herself. On the other hand, when I look back at my own pre-teen years, I was thinking the same thing. I feel like girls are pretty much born knowing how to hate themselves; it’s fascinating how he pick up bad things so quickly. If you can relate to bullying or loneliness during your school years, I’d recommend bringing a tissue. My eyes were so swollen the next day I could barely open them – it was just a very emotional ride.

1. THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

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Out of all the titles mentioned, this one is the only which was not released in 2018 – but I only watched it in 2018, so it counts. (My list, my rules).

Well, how can I even begin to explain how much this movie means to me? The Edge of Seventeen follows Nadine, who has a very complicated relationship with most people in her life: she’s lost her father, the only person in the family who really understood her; and now has her forever best friend dating her much-hated brother. Though the premise sounds almost comical, and the movie really is funny, I also found myself tear-eyed through most of it.

Nadine is clearly depressed and there’s so much in her behaviour that I could relate with. Obviously, she’s much more extra, but you can see just how much she’s struggling on her own skin.

However, the most important part of it is how The Edge of Seventeen finds the perfect middle between teenage movies. I find that teenage movies are either in two sides of the spectrum: teenagers who only drink, party, get laid and are constantly making dumb decisions; or perks-of-being-a-wallflower teenagers, who enjoy poetry and think they’re so much better because they’d never attend a football game. I think both of these are not only unaccurate representations of most teenagers, but also shame people for “being too losers” or “being too assholes”. The Edge of Seventeen just proves that EVERYONE – the jock and the brain – both have problems. And no problem is better than the other. In high school, everyone is facing something that maybe only they can see and there’s something incredibly soothing in realizing that. This movie is eye-opening, hilarious, emotional and so, so important.

 

For some honorable mentions I have: The Hate U Give, The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Candy Jar – not a book to movie adaptation, but still one of the sweetest movies I’ve ever watched.

What are some of your favorite teenage movies you watched this year? Have you watched any of the ones I mentioned? What did you think of them? Let’s discuss! ✨

a first post (how awkward is that)?

Hello, fellow book bloggers!

I’m excited to announce that I’m back to book blogging. My old blog, harumansaebooks was officialy deleted and I’m finally restarting in a new place. Moving to WordPress has been quite a change, since I’ve always been so comfortable with Tumblr. It’s hard to know that there’s not much I can customize in a theme, as my blog aesthetic has always been so important to me. But I’ve been trying to play it cool and remember that this is not permanent and I can always change things if I’m still not feeling great about it.

I decided to start from scratch, hence why this blog is now called ‘The Bookish Skies’. I kinda tried putting two of my favorite things together: books & watching the sky. I’ve been feeling inspired as it’s summer in my country right now, and we’re getting a lot of pretty sunsets.

The awkward thing about making a first post, though, is that I don’t know whether to update or introduce you to my blog. So, let’s try both:

  • I’ve graduated! I’m no longer a high-school student anymore and I’m so happy to say that I could cry. I know that graduating can sound sad for a few people, as you’re saying goodbye to so many of your childhood memories, but to be honest, I feel as free as I’ve ever been. There’s a part of me who will never recover from high school: I’ll always check my hair twice in the mirror, apply makeup before going literally anywhere. High school took away some good nights of sleep, as well as my own self-confidence. I couldn’t be happier to say it’s over.
  • Because I’ve now graduated, I need to worry about an even bigger thing: COLLEGE. I’ve already taken hree college entrance exams, and I’m patiently waiting for the results. I’ve applied for quite different courses all around, but my biggest goal is to pursue something related to education. It’s kinda funny to say that out loud, since, if you had asked me in January, I would have no idea about my answer. But I finally found the one thing I’m incredibly passionate about and I’m super happy about it.
  • I also visited New York & Orlando this past month and it was amazing! This is officially my third time in the US – which brings us to the “introducing myself” part of this post: I’m actually from Brazil. This means my first language is not English – hence why you’ve probably noticed several Grammar mistakes throughout this post. I’m much more comfortable in expressing myself in English though, and I’ve been reading in English a lot more too.

 I am so glad I got the chance to explore NYC & Orlando again! I went with only my sister this time, who’s three years older, and we had a lot of fun and took way too many pictures. This trip reignited my passion for traveling and I can not wait to visit somewhere new!

 

  • I haven’t read much for 2018. This year was stressful, exhaustive and not my best year mental-health wise. I don’t feel comfortable labeling how I felt, as it sounds like an arrogant self-diagnosis, but I didn’t have the motivation to do a thing. As I had predicted earlier this year, I was on auto-pilot for most of 2018: doing the bare minimum to graduate, never leaving my house and spending way too much time on Netflix as it was the only thing I felt like doing. Though I only completed 14 books for the whole year, I watched 145+ movies, which was truly a huge achievement! I also found out I’m obsessed with rom-coms, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Though my year couldn’t have been worse, I really want to focus on the positive things only. That’s actually one of my goals for 2019: to be more positive. I think a lot of 2018 was disappointing because I allowed myself to have bad thoughts only, creating my own bubble of negativity.

Some habits that I hope to change on the new year are: to stop reading bad comments online (does anyone else read hate comments about other people and feel as if they were for you?) & spend less time on social media. Hopefully, I’ll be able to improve my mental-health as well.

Anyway, I rambled enough! Tell me about your year, your hopes for 2019, and how you feel! I’ve missed blog-hopping, leaving long-ass coments and interacting with other bloggers as well. I hope WordPress helps to make our interaction easier!

Hope you have a great end of the yearrrr! 💛