my latinx readathon TBR!

to be read.

Hello, friends!

This August, I will be taking part in the Latinx Readathon, hosted by Jane @ Of Big Black Books, Lou @ Lou Reading Things, Nicole @ Nikkie Reads and Sofia @ Aelin’s Kingdom. It is a wish of mine to read and support more latinx authors, being Latina myself, and I was wanting to take part in a readathon this August so everything worked out wonderfully.

I will not be aiming for any of the bingos, but you can check more information about the readathon here & I also highly encourage you to check this post for recommendations!

Also, this is kinda totally unrelated, but I got nominated for The Fourth Annual 2020 Book Blogger Awards!!!!!#*!( I’ve been nominated for TWO CATEGORIES (which is just WILD): “Friendliest Member of the Community” and “Most Supportive”, and I am really, really thankful. I don’t know how to promote this, so consider this my promotion, lmao. You can vote here and I highly encourage y’all to do so, as there are so many other amazing bloggers participating! Once again, thank you so much for everyone who nominated me!

A POETRY BOOK OR PLAY

43892137. sy475 This book has been SO hyped that even though I am not a fan of books written in verse, I’ll be giving it a shot nonetheless.

Clap When You Land is by an afro-latinx author, with Dominican rep and I’m pretty sure two siblings getting to know each other for the first time as teenagers.

Again, I am not a fan of verse, which is why I had never read anything by Elizabeth Acevedo in the past (and also I don’t like reading books about food, so that’s why With The Fire on High was another no), but the hype + the fact the audiobook is rather short has convinced me that I should give it a chance.

AFRO-LATINX AUTHOR

43801254Because I am in the need of a romance book, I will be reading The Worst Best Man, by Mia Sosa. Hopefully, by the time this post goes live, I’ll have already finished it *fingers crossed*.

I will be honest: I only want to read this book because the main character is Afro-Brazilian so it is my DUTY to read it. But I have no idea what it’s actually about, but I believe from the title/cover that our protagonist will fall in love with her ex-best man, whom she hates.

I am not the biggest fan of enemies to lovers but hopefully I’ll like this one!

M/M

25014114. sy475 I’ve been meaning to read Adam Silvera for FOREVER, as YA contemporary is my brand and he’s a very popular author in the genre.

I’ve tried once before reading History is All You Left Me and I was not vibing with the writing style much, but I was reading it translated, so I’ll see if I have better luck with the original writing.

This one, from what I recall, centers on a boy whose ex has passed away and is now connecting with his ex’s latest boyfriend. I also think one of our MCs has OCD!

F/F

44286258. sy475 This is not an own-voices Latinx book, but the author is a woman of color, so it’s still great rep. The reason I am counting it for this readathon, though, is because the love interest is Afro-Brazilian and I shall read all the Brazilian rep I can get, especially in YA contemporary.

Everyone and their moms has loved this book, so I have high expectations! It will discuss cultural appropriation, which is such an important topic and I am SO looking forward to learning more about it.

SET IN A LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY

50160953I promise I am not exclusively reading books with Brazilian rep, but I obviously had to prioritize a representation I can relate with.

Where We Go From Here is by a Brazilian author, set entirely in Brazil and while I don’t know much about the actual premise, I know it will talk about HIV.

The fact it took this book being translated to another language for me to read it is uh… yeah lowkey embarrassing BUT AT LEAST now I can yell at y’all to read it too and you don’t have any excuses!

A NON-FICTION

42971990I’ve definitely been lacking in reading more non-fiction this year. Not that I read that many in 2019 anyway, but I really thought that by now, I’d have read more than one.

Of course, I knew I’d have to choose something for this prompt and I am super excited about My Time Among the Whites.

Jennine Capó Crucet is daughter of Cuban refugees and was raised in Miami. This memoir has outstanding reviews and I am really excited to see her tackle topics such as identity and American culture.

AN IMMIGRANT STORY

51179882. sx318 sy475 Lobizona is one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I am SO freaking excited to pick this one up. By the time this post goes live, it will be already out, so *yay*.

I talked about this one before in my blog, but it has Argentinian rep and y’all know how I feel about South-American rep. It’s also going to be about magic and, hopefully, werewolves, which are my favorite magical creatures, so really, this book checks every single one of my boxes and if I don’t turn out to love it I will sadly be passing away.

If y’all are participating in the Latinx readathon, let me know your TBR in the comments!

 

monthly wrap up: july, ’20

monthlywrapupnovo

Hello, friends!

I realized I didn’t properly do a recap for June, because I ended up doing my wrap-up for the Olympic Games Readathon. Not that you missed much in my life because June was as eventful as all the months prior to that, BUT the beginning of the month was quite stressful, as my dad tested positive for covid-19 and we had to quarantine him at home. Thankfully, my mom, my sister and I all tested negative, but it was stressful nonetheless because I had to share a room with my sister as my mom slept in my room. My extended family has also been having some healthy issues and it’s just *a lot*.

But things perked up in July and the past month ended up being one of the best ones. Things are opening back up in my state, but getting worse in the rest of Brazil. I still don’t feel safe leaving the house and I wonder when I will start to feel, though.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • I finally watched Hamilton! Wow, I know, I’m super late to the game, but now that the whole musical is on Disney+ (and everywhere else in the internet ofc), my sister finally convinced me to watch it and it’s great! I loved the soundtrack and the characters (Burr is my favorite, btw). I know it’s kinda of a controversial musical, but personally, I was able to very distinctly interpret it as a very well done work of fiction.
  • I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge. My goal for this year was to read 50 books and I’m really surprised that I was able to achieve if half way through the year. I won’t be changing it on Goodreads, but I have another lowkey goal which is to read 80 books by the end of 2020. I don’t know if I’ll make it, considering the only reason why I read so much this year was because of lockdown, but I’ll be trying my best!

One Direction also celebrated their 10th anniversary, which was emotional albeit underwhelming and not the reunion I expected, but oh well. Taylor Swift also released an entire new album, that I have yet to *fall in love with*, but I really like it so far, it’s just not my favorite yet.

WHAT I READ

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★★★★☆

While I definitely don’t think Let’s Call It a Doomsday will be for everyone, I was so invested in this book and this story! The representation is awesome: we follow Ellis, a questioning bisexual Mormon girl with anxiety, who’s fixated on the idea of the apocalypse. She meets Hannah, who’s a lesbian, and within Hannah’s friend group, we also have Tal, who was also bisexual and half-Brazilian (Katie Henry always comes through with the South-American rep). I did not love how the book ended without much of a conclusion of Ellis’ relationship with her family, but I adored the intense ride that we went through and loved the characters’ relationships, albeit incredibly flawed.

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★★★★☆

I think I may have finally found my favorite adult romance book: The Bromance Book Club was such a great read! I loved most of it, especially the interactions between the members of the Book Club. I liked both Gavin and Thea as characters and appreciated how the author made sure to highlight how both of the characters needed to grow and improve. However, I did not love Liv’s character, as it didn’t sit right with me how she’d be projecting her own insecurities and unpacked trauma into Gavin and Thea’s relationship and I felt like the book dragged a bit, especially towards the end, but it made me super happy and it’s one I recommend if you like the failed marriage trope.

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★★★☆☆

I really wanted to read The Sound of Stars, even though sci-fi is not my genre, mostly because the idea of a book that highlighted the importance of music and stories in changing the world felt like something I’d love. I indeed really liked the premise, the characters – both of their narrations felt equally engaging – and I feel like the book had both a really strong start and finish. But the middle dragged a bit, it felt repetitive and the writing made me feel like I was mostly being *told* these characters’ feelings, rather than being *shown*. Because of that, I could not 100% buy into their development individually or relationship.

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★★★★☆

Loveless was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I plan on writing an entire review on it. This book follows Georgia, a freshman at university, who’s figuring out her identity as an aro-ace girl. I related *a lot* to Georgia’s character and there were moments where this book brought me to tears. I loved the highlight on the importance of platonic relationships and the supportive queer community around our protagonist. However, I did not like some of the side characters’ decisions and there were moments where I felt like we were mostly watching the rest of the cast, rather than Georgia, even though she was our main.

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★★★★☆

The Devouring Gray was for sure a pleasant surprise. Set in a small town, this YA fantasy novel had a lot of mixed reviews and I didn’t think I was going to like it as much, but I was proven to be wrong. Diversity-wise, this book has a lot of bisexual characters, which was really great to see. I was very invested in all the characters and their relationships, the mystery kept me intrigued and I really appreciated the setting. I am actually very much looking forward to continue on and pick up the second book, especially because I need more conclusion on the romance (!!!!).

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★★★★☆

10 Things I Hate About Pinky was another one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I am not even surprised by how much I adored it. While it did disappoint me a little bit that Samir was more confident than I anticipated, from what he’d seen in the previous book (I was more excited to see Pinky being the straight-forward one in the relationship, not Samir), I still loved the angst and sexual tension and how well Sandhya Menon also adressed topics such as family relationships and social activism. This book was such an entertaining fake-dating summer romance, I really had a great time.

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

If you got the reference for my playlist title, let me know! There are a lot of old bops in here and definitely some One Direction too, so you could tell I was in a mood. Lauren also inspired me to listen to the Lightning Thief musical and I am so thankful! I loved it, and I really want to get more into musicals!

LOOKING FORWARD

The next university semester will be online, so August will probably look exactly like the same months until now. But Lobizona and Darius the Great Deserves Better are coming out in the next weeks, so at least there’s that to look forward to!

How was your July? Have you guys listened to Folklore and what are your thoughts on it? And if you’re a Hamilton fan, what’s your favorite song/character? Let me know in the comments!

 

what i’ve been watching recently #6

O da minha

Hello, friends!

Today’s post is going to be a mixed one. In the past few weeks, I watched some great things, and some very bad ones. I actually wondered if I should post this, as it would be more negative than I typically write my posts, but ultimately decided to do it, as it could potentially help other people out there on what to avoid on NETFLIX.

DRUCK (S1~S4)

druck rewatch party | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

I watch way too many SKAM remakes for my own good and I am aware.

I thought I’d never watch DRUCK, because I’d already watched their season 2 at one point and it was really disappointing. But I am really glad I ended up going back and giving it a second chance, because the other seasons are actually really good.

I still stand by the fact S2 is a disappointment because I really disliked Mia as a main, as well as her dynamic with Alexander and Kiki. But I surprisingly adored Hanna as a protagonist in S1, even Matteo who I thought I’d hate in S3 turned out to be a lovely character, and I will never shut up about Amira’s season because it’s literally art.

The side characters are also lovely and this may be the first Eva/Jonas relationship I actually rooted for from the beginning, so yeah, we stan.

LOVE ALARM

love alarm | Tumblr

I’ve been meaning to get back into Korean dramas, as the last one I watched was in early 2018. I don’t know why I fell out of love with them for a while, but I really wanted to get back, so I decided to watch this one on Netflix because the trailer caught my attention and it was really short, so I felt like it would be the best way to ease myself back.

I was very wrong, lol.

This drama is just a compilation of all the tropes I hate in Korean dramas: inconclusive endings, rich guy/poor girl, bullies, main character with no agency, and dudes that have to save her constantly.

It was also even worse because the motivations are so unclear. I still have no idea why the characters made certain decisions, so I couldn’t buy none of the plot for that reason. I also hated how irresponsibly they dealt with topics such suicide and homophobia.

I am pretty mad about this one and if you’re looking into K-dramas to watch, I’d definitely say run from this one!

THE POLITICIAN (S2)

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I was looking forward to this season since the first one ended and I can’t believe how quickly we got it. I like the fact that this season has as much of the extravagance and over-the-top-ness of the first one, while still addressing a bunch of interesting and relevant topics.

The main conflict of this season was the generation conflict, and I liked their approach a lot. Even the voter’s episode, which I didn’t like as much in S1, was so well done in S2 and I think shows well how politicians are so far from the standards we tend to hold them to.

Still, I understand people who found this season disappointing, as there are *definitely not enough gays* and some of the character’s relationships and dynamics were pretty much all over the place. I loved the ending, though, and the acting is still gold.

CONTROL Z

control z | Tumblr

Trigger warnings: transphobia, graphic violence, bullying, public outing, self-harm

Everytime I think NETFLIX has learned something on how to *responsibly* address sensitive issues, they prove me wrong. This was 10x worse than anything they could’ve possibly done in Thirteen Reasons Why.

This show has a very cliché premise, similar to Pretty Little Liars, where an anonymous social media account is threatening the students with their secrets. Our main character is trying to investigate who could be behind the account.

The problem is that they also try to address bullying, transphobia and self-harm, but absolutely irresponsibly. All the discussions are surface-level, they serve literally for no purpose other than to shock the audience and create more drama. I mean, considering that the whole main conflict is triggered by a public outing – an incredibly traumatic event that serves no other purpose in the narrative but to perpetuate the drama -, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the outcome.

This also had some of the most graphically violent scenes I’ve watched in a while, and while it’s not targeted for teenagers necessarily, the fact it’s set in a high school makes me feel like a lot of teenagers will want to watch it and it can be such a harmful content.

Sorry that I ended up ranting so much on this one! If you’ve watched any of these shows, let’s discuss in the comments. And if you have actual good K-DRAMAS to recommend, also please let me know!

five YA contemporaries narrated by straight male characters (because i swear not all of them are trash)

book recs.(1)

Hello, friends!

For today’s recommendation post, we’ll be focusing in contemporaries narrated by straight male characters. I know this sounds like a nightmare at first. At least for me, who’s allergic to straight teenage boys. But they may just restore your faith in their kind, because these books are *actually* good!

I know for most people who are reading this post, straight teenage boys are the last people they expect to relate with. But even if relatability-wise, these books may not be the best, they still offer enough I do feel like more people should read them.

(I really need to read more books narrated by straight Asian male characters, so if you have any recommendations, let me know!)

NOT SO PURE AND SIMPLE

IMG_4563This is a very underrated YA 2020 release and centers around our main character, Del, who decides to join the purity pledge at his church in order to get closer to the girl he likes. This girl has never been “available”, so now that she’s finally single, Del decides to make a move.

There’s a lot to like about this book. First, it talks a lot about the idea of “nice guy”. Del believes that, because he’s not a fuckboy and is actually respectful and nice, he should be rewarded by his crush’s immediate requited love. And that mindset is toxic AF, not to mention deeply mysognistic. Even though Del starts as a very unlikeable character, the book puts him in the center of the discussion about toxic masculinity and double-standard expectations and his growth is remarkable.

It’s also interesting because the novel will talk a lot about sex education. Del is the only one in the purity pledge allowed to take sex ed classes at his school, so he ends up taking a lot of questions from the purity pledgers to his sex-ed teacher and the answers back. I am always here for more sex-positive and realistic conversations in books, and, like the book praises, having healthy and productive discussions is a ton more effective than avoiding the subject.

This book tackles so much, while being entertaining and hilarious, so really, props to this author!

ALL AMERICAN BOYS

Trigger warnings: violence, racism, police brutality, death of a parent

IMG_0515In this dual perspective novel, we get to know Rashad: who’s a victim of police brutality and Quinn, who witnesses it. Even though both of these characters attend the same school, their lives had never intertwined until that moment. It’s really interesting breaking down the similarities and differences between these two.

Both perspectives add something unique to the story. When we follow Rashad, we really get to see the consequences of a police brutality episode in someone’s life and in that person’s family. It is also nice seeing the contrast in Rashad’s family members: his brother is a loud advocate for black people’s rights, whereas his dad shields himself from any violence by also rejecting his culture. It is amazing how the author develops both of them, as well as Rashad’s character.

Quinn’s perspective is just as complicated. His will definitely touch more on activism and standing up for what’s right, even when it’s hard. Quinn is definitely written to be a bit unlikeable, but I could actually understand where he was coming from and ultimately appreciate his growth even more because of where he starts the book at.

This discussion of privilege was so well done that even though the first two chapters may sound very “teenage-boy-like”, I do encourage you to push through because it does get a lot better.

A LIST OF CAGES

Trigger warnings: domestic abuse with brief mentions of sexual abuse, death of a parent, grief, bullying.

This is another dual perspective novel, but will deal with completely different topics from the previous one. In A List of Cages, we’re talking about foster system, domestic abuse and found families. It’s a very hard-hiting, but ultimately hopeful story.

IMG_4565Adam and Julian used to be foster brothers, until Julian moves out with his uncle. After that, the two barely see each other, until they end up being reunited at school – Julian being a freshman and Adam a senior. They start hanging out a lot more and I absolutely love the development of their friendship, as well as how Julian is essentially adopted by Adam’s friend group.

Both perspectives are equally strong. Julian’s is a lot more emotional, as he’s such a young boy who’s been through a lot. Not only the death of his parents is an event he’s still mourning, but the domestic abuse also makes him very vulnerable. I loved how the author created his voice, because he does sound a lot younger than Adam – which he is -, but I also think has to do with the fact that the trauma has definitely affected the way he matures.

As for Adam’s, his perspective is a lot more hopeful, because that’s who he is. He’s a total human labrador, who makes friends with absolutely everyone. He also has ADHD, which was nice to see being worked out on page.

HERETICS ANONYMOUS

I shall not shut up about Heretics Anonymous until I know more people are actually reading this book.

Following Michael, an atheist going to a catholic school, Heretics Anonymous will talk about a lot more than just religion. In his school, Michael ends up joining this underground group, the Heretics Anonymous, with other people who do not 100% align with the beliefs of their catholic school.

IMG_0973Here’s a small list of things to love about this book:

  • SOUTH-AMERICAN REP! Lucy, our main’s love interest, is Colombian-American and a badass feminist.
  • Diverse cast of supportive characters.
  • Romance descriptions from a male character’s POV that didn’t make me uncomfortable at all? Absolutely unheard of.
  • Discussions of religion, beliefs and skepticism all done in a very respectful way.
  • Amazing writing.
  • Our main character being challenged for being an ass about his “1st-world-problems”, but also acknowledged that his problems are valid because they’re his.
  • Older brother/little sister relationship to compensate for his jerk of a father.

Even though I have no actual complicated relationship with religion and it’s not a topic I tend to think about often, I found this one to be so deeply entertaining and real. And Michael was too much of a great narrator, even if annoying at times.

OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS

IMG_1063Opposite of Always is a contemporary with sprinkles of magical realism, as it talks about time-travel. Our main character Jack meets Kate at a party and they hit off right from the start. Until Kate dies and that throws Jack on a time-loop to the night where they first met, in hopes that he’ll be able to save her.

I will admit I did not like the ending of this book, but I still wanted to recommend for the other layers that I feel like are worth reading it for.

Jack and Kate have such great banter and all the dialogues in this book are the perfect amount of hilarious. I loved seeing his friend group and how complicated things get, depending which choices Jack makes. They were equally fleshed out and amazing. His relationship with his parents was also the sweetest – they had so much love and trust in each other, but also knew when Jack needed his time to cope by himself.

It’s also nice seeing an entirely non-white cast, but not having the book necessarily focus on it, but having these characters simply *exist* and be black, and not be defined by that at all.

Again, if you guys have any book recommendations for Asian male characters, please let me know! And if you have read any of these books, tell me how you like them down in the comments!

my nominations for the fourth anual 2020 book blogger awards!

spreading positivity.

Hello, friends!

The Fourth Book Blogger Awards is being hosted this year by May @ Forever and Everly and Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books. This first round is nominations, and one I really wanted to have taken part in last year, but life was kinda crazy and I didn’t get around to it. Now, I have the chance to, and I’m excited.

Before I get into it, I just want to express my gratitude to the book blogging community. I am so so so lucky to have this tiny corner of the internet where I can be creative and interact with all of you. Being here makes me really happy and I’m so glad this community is so overwhelmingly welcoming and positive.

Okay, now that my sappy round is over, let’s get into the categories.

BEST OF THEIR AGE

Best Pre-Teen/Teen Book Blogger (13-19)

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Taasia @ Librae Paints Pages

Taasia has not been blogging as much this year, but that’s because on top of being an amazing blogger and reader, she’s also juggling school, college applications and life. I don’t know how she does it, honestly, but I am so glad to have her in the community. She has such a great voice and I think represents very well how loud our generation can be when it comes to the hard things, and unfortunately, we’re not taken seriously enough. I think Taasia is a great example of a teenager who’s not afraid to be vocal about things that matter and I admire her so much for it!

 

Best Adult Book Blogger (20+):

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Lauren @ Twenty-Seven Letters

Lauren is such a creative blogger and I adore her writing voice. She’s also an avid musical and Freddie Mercury fan and I love talking to her about music, as much as books. She’s an overwhelmingly positive person and I love how she always mentions the positives of the books she’s read, even if she didn’t love them. Right now, she’s been reading Percy Jackson and it’s been amazing following her on this joruney through one of my favorite series.

BEST OF BOOK BLOGGING

Best Book Reviews

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Olivia @ Purely Olivia

I’ve always admired Olivia’s mini reviews and I knew she’d have to be my nominee for this category as soon as I read it. I struggle a lot writing reviews, because I have *many thoughts head full* the entire time. So, whenever I write them for my monthly wrap-ups, when I try to keep them short and sweet, I feel like they just sound bland and boring. But Olivia adds a lot of personality to her reviews, while still being able to go straight to the point and develop the things she liked/disliked about each book wonderfully.

 

Best Book Recommendations

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Caro @ The Bookcheshire Cat

I feel like recommendation posts are always tricky, because you want to include as many books as possible to make your post hopefully more helpful even for bookworms that are probably familiar with most titles, BUT you also want to take your time developing what makes each book special. I love how Caro writes her posts, and especially the fact she includes the specific representations each book will contain, because it makes the post even *more* resourceful!

 

Best Discussion Posts

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Charis @ Charis Rae

It’s true that I only recently started following Charis, but I loved her discussion posts so far. They have an essay-like feel to them, but are never boring to read. I specifically loved the posts where she discussed the themes in The Hunger Games. Those posts were so inspiring and I really wish I was as eloquent as she is when writing discussions!

 

Best Blog Aesthetic

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Maha @ SUNSHINE N’ BOOKS

Maha’s blog is very simple, but I love her headers so much. Not only because her pictures are stunning, but because they have a very playful touch to them, in opposition to the classic aesthetic I think most book bloggers gravitate, because well, books. Again: her layout is always really simple, but super pretty nonetheless. She also has such a great blogging voice and I adore her content.

 

Best Blogging/Writing Voice & Best Personality

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Ruby @ Ruby Rae Reads

So, I decided to nominate Ruby for two categories, because I love her and she deserves it. But, in all serious-ness, her writing voice is amazing! I mentioned this before but it’s something I still struggle with, and I don’t think I have developed mine yet, but Ruby’s is definitely noticeable and makes every post by her so fun to read. She also has such a fun personality and I love talking to her about anything, because even though we don’t agree on *everything* and have quite opposite tastes and opinions, she makes every discussion fun and comfortable.

MISCELLANEOUS

Most Helpful

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Xandra @ Starry Sky Books

Ok, but in all honesty, there was no way I couldn’t answer Xandra. It was through one of her posts that I found out about the app Forest, that I used on a regular basis for my productivity and that has helped me so much ever since I started using it! I am also pretty sure I didn’t know how to properly tag bloggers in posts until she mentioned it. Her posts are always so well thought-out: she’s queen of discussions as well and you can see how much effort she puts on every single one of her posts.

Most Supportive

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Charlotte @ Bewitching Books, Ravenous Reads

So, you know when you write a post you’re super proud of but the comments are all kinda dry and you’re wondering if you’ve done anything wrong because no one even noticed that amazing pun you made and that you were so proud of? You can count that Charlotte is going to notice it. I love and appreciate her comments SO MUCH. People like her make me love being a part of this community.

 

Most Engaged in the Community

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Sophie @ Me and Ink

Ok, can I just say that I absolutely love Sophie and I’m so beyond thankful to the amount of support she’s shown to my blog from day 1? She always leaves the most thoughtful comments and I don’t know how she does it all, but she’s wonderful at it! Her content is also amazing: I loved her most recent collab with Aditi, I get the best music recommendations from her and even though that is not book related, her movie lists are some of my favorite posts to read.

 

Most Creative

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Caitlin @ Caitlin Reads

Again, another blogger I will never shut up about my appreciation for! Caitlin is also a teen blogger and she’s so, so eloquent at her discussions. We have very different reading tastes, but I still love reading all her posts because she’s immensily creative. Her Caitlin Reads series is amazing and I love the little additions of “normal life”, such as pictures of her dogs or the snacks she’s eating while she reads.

 

Friendliest Member of the Community

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Aditi @ One In a Millon

I have to admit, I don’t know many not-friendly people in this community. But I particularly appreciate Aditi, because she always hypes up my posts and her content is super funny as well. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t develop amazing serious posts as well: her discussions on Hinduism, being Indian-American and representation mean so much and, like I praised before, make me hopeful and proud of my generation.

 

Best at Promoting Diverse Books

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Fadwa @ Word Wonders

I love how resourceful Fadwa posts are! She compiles such great recommendation posts, and I know that whenever I need to find a book to fit into a certain reading prompt for a readathon or a themed month for my reading, I know I can find great recommendations on her posts.

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY

Best New Book Blogger

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Faith @ The Pages Left Unread

Ok, so I hope this one counts, because while I know Faith didn’t start their blog in the past year, they actually took a very long hiatus for the past few months and has just now returned. I adore their posts: their discussions are so well done, and so are their reviews. They’re very unapologetic about everything they love and hate, and their Goodreads presence is also a delight.

 

Best Overall Book Blogger

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Marie @ Drizzle Hurricane Books

I voted for Marie last year and I’ll continue to do so, because I genuinely adore her and I am so grateful our community has her. She has such a great personality, recommends amazing books, engages so well with the community and her posts are always so resourceful and well-written. I also appreciate a lot when she talks about travel, being an international blogger and the overall supportive way she and Nyx – her sister – run the blog is inspiring.

 

If y’all are also nominating for the Blogger Awards, link your posts for me in the comments. I’d love to check them out and hopefully find more bloggers in the process too!

 

mid year freak out book tag!

booktagnovo

Hello, friends!

I am so happy to be making this a yearly tag in my blog now. I shared the Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag in 2019 and it’s crazy to think it’s already been a year, and also crazy to think half of 2020 is past by when I have done absolutely nothing this year, lol.

Thank you so much for Margaret @ Weird Zeal for tagging me!

But, at least I read some books, so I can chat about them with you guys now. Let’s get into it!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

IMG_3357I have an entire review about all the things I loved on Call It What You Want, but this book completely changed me.

I’d never read anything by Brigid Kemmerer before, and picked this up randomly, but I’m so glad I did. This is a dual perspective novel and both were fleshed out and amazing. All the characters in this book suck, but they’re still so likeable. I love how Brigid Kemmerer played with perspective and how the same event can be perceived so differently by different people because of what they’re going through as individuals as well.

If you want a book that explores morally grey characters well, you can not go wrong with this one.

New release(s) you haven’t read yet, but want to

BREATH LIKE WATER. This book was blurbed by Gayle Forman (!!!) and it follows olympic swimmers, I’m pretty sure, and I’m always down to more books following athletes. Especially in this Olympic-less year we’re having.

THE SOUND OF STARS. I know this one is black and queer and is a love letter to music – my second favorite thing in the world, next to books. I am so hyped.

THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE. F/F romance & our MC has dementia, which is a mental health issue I’ve never read any YA books about. Caitlin also said it has multiple rom-com references I’m definitely going to get, so yes.

Most anticipated release(s) for the second half of the year

DARIUS THE GREAT DESERVES BETTER. I know the entire community is hyped about this one, and how could I not be as well? I trust Adib Khorram with a love triangle and that says *a lot*.

RENT A BOYFRIEND. It’s Gloria Chao and apparently with fake-dating???? This can not go wrong. Also, can we talk about this gorgeous cover that literally looks like something out of a K-Drama? I’m so jealous of the lucky people who can have it on their shelves.

DEAR JUSTYCE. My favorite author with a follow up of one of my favorite books. I believe this one will tackle the American prison system and gangs, as it follows Quan, from book #1. It also comes a week before my birthday, so best present ever.

Biggest disappointment

IMG_4447Unfortunately for me, I Was Born for This was a major disappointment even though I was sure I was going to love it. I mean, Alice Oseman and boybands? It can not go wrong, right?

Except it totally can, because it did. I ended up actually DNF-ing this book at 63% because I found the deciption of boyband culture to be so overwhelmingly negative, I started feeling awful about myself. As if I could not claim to like an artist, because all of them are lying to their fans; and being a fan equals being irresponsible and naive; and most everyone is probably a creepy stalker with no feelings. And like, no. That’s not what I signed up for, and it’s 2020, I don’t need any more negativity in my life, thanks a lot.

Biggest surprise

IMG_3927I’d actually heard a lot of not-so-good things about Aurora Rising, even from fans of the Illuminae Files – which I am too. So I thought I was not going to like this one at all, but I am so glad I was wrong.

This book was incredibly action-packed, while still developing all the characters in an unique way and giving them refreshing voices in their own perspectives. It was also nice seeing the different alien species and their culture and habits. I loved the crew interactions as well – they don’t know much about each other and working together is a work in progress, but that’s exactly what makes this team so compelling.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

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Last year, I talked about Adib Khorram for this question because I was impressed at his ability in Darius the Great to talk about so many different topics so well. And that’s how I felt again about Leah Johnson’s work in this one.

There are a lot of discussions here: on sexuality, anxiety, disability, as well as being a person of color and racial and class privileges. The character’s relationships are also amazingly fleshed out, with friends’ break-ups and make-ups that make *so much sense*.

It’s still wonderful to me that all these themes were well written and it never felt like the author was trying to hard, at all.

Newest fictional crush

IMG_4450Now, it is true that I did not love The Brightsiders – the writing felt repetitive and the characters fell flat. But still, there could not be any other answer but Alfie.

He’s our best-friend and love interest in this book, and I adored him. He’s The Brightsiders’ heartthrob and everyone has a crush on him, so how could I not develop one myself? I liked, though, that he was still a layered character, who was not only a massive flirt, but also an amazing friend, who, like everyone else, also dealt with his own insecurities (including social anxiety). He was definitely the best part of the reading experience for me.

(And plus: he was gender queer, which is a great rep too!)

Newest favorite character

IMG_4178

Camp was definitely a runner-up for best book I read this year, as it was my only other 5 star of 2020 besides Call It What You Want. And I give that up to Randy, our protagonist.

This book was a lot more complex than I thought and initially gave it credit for. I love how Randy walks into this book believing that he’ll have to play the role of Del – a more masculine, butch version of Randy -, but then he’ll be able to slip out of it and go back to his normal nail-polish-lover, theatre-kid self.

But what he learns throughout this story is that he can, actually, be both. Del and Randy are not different people – they’re both parts of who he is, because he can be whatever he wants to be.

Book that made you cry

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I didn’t really cry with any book this year, but You’d Be Mine got me close to it. I was so impressed by how well-written this book was and how it was also a lot darker than I anticipated.

This book discusses suicide, addiction and trauma very well. It was definitely hard-hitting, but I think the author was able to write it so well that even though we were following characters with glamourous lives, it never felt like those issues were being glamourized too. She also discussed very well the importance of being well on your own first, before you can be good to somebody else.

Book that made you happy

IMG_4452I absolutely had a blast reading Only Mostly Devastated. As a re-telling of Grease, I already expected that this one was going to be fun, but I also loved how well the author was able to represent an accurate teenage experience.

Ollie moving to this new school is awkward and uncomfortable. He ends up sticking with the first group that welcomes him and it takes him a while to understand the dynamics of the group, and to feel 100% a part of it as well. The dialogues were all so well-written too and it made me really excited to see a YA book that actually understands teenagers so well.

This book turned out to have a lot more layers than I expected, such as discussing Will’s cultural background, grief and family relationships, and I loved every second of it.

Your favorite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

ps i still love you | Tumblr

I only watched one adaptation this year and it was P.S I Still Love You, but it totally did not disappoint. Even if it didn’t completely feature my favorite quote from the book (“Like the 1950s. Remember, Lara Jean?”), I still adore how they translated my favorite aspects of the book into the movie.

It meant a lot that they kept some of the moments that pay and ode to Lara Jean’s mom as well as hear Korean side of the family (having them dress in hanboks was so special!), and the amazing side-characters too. I didn’t like John Ambrose in the books, but I turned out to love him in the movie.

Nothing beats Peter K. though. And the scene from the gif I included is probably my favorite scene in cinema history now, so there’s that too.

What is your favorite post you’ve written so far?

I really like I’ve been writing more recommendation posts this year. Even if they’re not the most popular posts, I still enjoy writing them a lot, as it gives me an opportunity to share more lenghty reviews than I would in my monthly wrap-ups and also to rave about books I haven’t talked about in a while.

(Plus, I think it totally solidifies YA contemporary as my brand).

My favorite recommendations post I did was the one on books about mental health issues that are likely to break your heart. I am super proud of how I worded it!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER. This one has been on my TBR for ages and I want to be more conscious of reading books with disability rep. This one has a deaf MC!

99 DAYS. I have literally no idea what it is about but I got an edition on Kindle for free once and I haven’t touched it since, lol.

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING. Another one I’ve been putting off for ages. It’s set on the Philippines and it’s likely to touch on the war on drugs, so I know will be hard-hitting.

What books do you want to read by the end of the year? And any anticipated releases I should look out for? Let’s chat in the comments!

olympic games readathon wrap up!

read-a-thon wrap up. (1)

Hello, friends!

I finally concluded the Olympic Games readathon, which was a Percy Jackson inspired readathon organized by Ishi @ Ishi Time. I was competing for Cabin 3 – Poseidon – and I’m happy to say I accomplished all challenges – the five mandatory + four advanced ones!

GAIN FAVOUR OF THE SEA GOD

Read book set at sea or at coast

Trigger warnings: character death, grief, depression, abandonment

IMG_4175
★★★★☆

I actually enjoyed Summer Bird Blue so much! As I’d mentioned in my TBR, I was a bit aprehensive going into this one, because of my high expectations as well as my initial not-so-good experience. But it was actually really great! Our main character is certainly unlikeable and I didn’t love reading about her, but the discussions on grief were very well done. This is definitely a heart-wrenching novel, but I loved how the relationships with the side characters – mostly Mr. Watanabe (my favorite) and Kai – added some lightness to the story.

 

PERCY IS A TALENTED SWORDSMAN

Read a book in which the main character uses a sword.

 

IMG_4174
★★★★☆

I initially thought An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason was going to be my one non-queer read of the month, but one of our main characters is actually bisexual! We didn’t have as much swordsfight in this one as I thought, but I liked the theater setting and following how the Shakespearean plays were organized back in the 1600s. I found both perspectives to be equally interesting, but I didn’t love how the female character sounds badass from the premise – a girl who’s determined to kill the Queen of England -, but she’s not as strong or as smart as you would expect and the ending was a bit lackluster too. Still, I liked the romance a lot and was super rooting for them.

HUMANS ARE NOT COMMON IN POSEIDON’S UNDERWATER PALACE

Read a book with a non-human main character

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★★★★☆

I finally carried on with the Trials of Apolo series, by picking up The Burning Maze. I love how Rick Riordan crafted Apolo’s character arc and I am even more invested in him and his story now, because you can actually watch his growth but he still keeps so much of his hilarious, over-the-top personality. It’s also nice seeing cameos from other characters in the Riordanverse, but Meg and Apolo will forever be my ride or die. I love their unlikely friendship and they continue to make me feel all the things.

 

TRIDENT

Finish a book in 3 days

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★★★☆☆

Her Royal Highness really was the perfect read for this prompt, as it was incredibly fast-paced. While I felt like more could’ve been given to the side characters – more personality, more time on page, more development – and I loved Perry and Sakshi’s banter so much I could read an entire novella about them (tall girl/short guy is my aesthetic), I still enjoyed the book for what it was: very cute, sweet and entertaining. I also felt like things were resolved a bit too quickly, but I feel like I needed a mindless read for a moment and this served me well.

 

THE OCEAN IS VAST AND UNEXPLORED

Read a book you have not heard much about before

IMG_4178
★★★★★

I am so glad I picked up Camp, even without many reviews or buzz over it. This book was AMAZING. When I started it, I thought it was going to be a cliché rom-com-like story of this boy who wants to “change” for a more masculine version in order to impress his crush, and then realizes it’s not worth it and he’s great like he is. But Camp is SO much more complex than that. In the midst of all theater things and camp shenenigans, the author actually created phenomenal, three-dimensional characters who send a positive and super powerful message: you can be whoever you *want* to be. It’s not about boxes, femme or masc, but it’s about making queer-ness whatever it is to you.

PEGASUS RIDING

A book published within the last 5 years

Trigger warnings: character death, grief, depictions of AIDs, police violence, homophobia, bullying.

IMG_4187
★★★☆☆

I picked up Like a Love Story, by Adib Nazemian and had a lot of thoughts. I have a full review up on my blog about it, but in short: I felt like this book had both very good layers, and others not so much. I liked how real and raw the characters felt and I do think it’s a very empowering read to educate others on what the AIDS crisis was in the US during the 80s. However, there were also some problematic elements and the pacing was not my favorite. I’d still recommend it, though, because I do feel like it discusses a very important theme that more people should be aware of.

 

CANOEING

A book with a blue cover

Trigger warnings: bullying, homophobic slurs, abandonment

IMG_4182
★★★☆☆

Kings, Queens and in-Betweens is definitely a book that deserves more attention! It stars a lesbian MC, a bunch of drag queens and kings, and a questioning jock as a sidekick. I really liked Nima’s character: she was absolutely chaotic lesbian and fell in love with every cute girl that showed up in front of her (but like, can you blame her?), had a very intense family dynamic that I felt a lot for and was just the kindest, sweetest soul, which didn’t stop her from making mistakes at all, but still. However, I did not vibe with the writing style, as it was a lot more descriptive and detailed than I typically like for my contemporaries.

 

CAPTURE THE FLAG

One of your most anticipated releases

IMG_4190
★★★★☆

You Should See Me in a Crown came out in June, only a few days before I decided to read it. And I am so glad I did it. I’d absolutely love for this book to be turned into a movie, as it offered a lot of your “teenage rom-com” tropes, but with amazing twists that added even more to the story. I loved the side characters and felt like the author handled all of the themes so well: disability, sexuality, being a person of color, friends break-ups and make-ups, romantic relationships, anxiety… I’m in love and urging everyone to read this already.

 

If you have read any of these books, what are your thoughts? Did you participate in Olympic Games? If so, how did you do? Let’s chat in the comments!

the percy jackson/heroes of olympus book tag!

booktagnovo

Hello, friends!

I am really thankful for Olivia for tagging me to answer this one. I absolutely love the Riordanverse and I’ve been meaning to answer this one for a while, so now I have the perfect opportunity.

RULES

  • Link to the original creator: May @ Forever and Everly. Please note that she made the artwork/graphics, if using them.
  • Match books with the given prompt.
  • Tag however many people as wanted!
  • Copy-paste the rules and list of prompts.

1 percy

44320201. sy475 Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer completely fucked me up, so I hope y’all don’t mind me screaming about it for a while longer.

I loved everything about this book and found it to be addictive, realistic, hard-hitting and layered.

I think Brigid Kemmerer may have officially ruined the contemporary genre for me, because I can’t help but compare every other book to this one, which is probably why I have no other 5 star this year.

 

2 annabeth

29589074. sx318 Every time I read mysteries I am left 👁👄👁.

I am the *worst* at predicting and figuring things out, so I am always shook when I read any mystery book. Truly Devious didn’t even have that much of a resolution in this first book, but I was still left shook because the characters are really smart and I could never.

 

3 grover

43520622I think Not So Pure and Simple was a release that was pretty much slept on, which is such a huge mistake. I liked this book a ton and genuinely think should be required read in schools.

Not only because of its very smart discussion of sex education, but because it challenges double standards, toxic masculinity and the idea of the “nice guy” SO. FUCKING. WELL.

(Okay, I am cursing a lot in this post, sorry).

And the fact the author also intertwined social media SO well throughout the book, and was hilarious as well? The iconic jumped out.

 

4 luke

30075662. sy475 Everyone I’d seen talking about Aurora Rising said they were disappointed, but I actually *loved* it?

It was hilarious, dynamic, action-packed and pretty much everything I could’ve wished for. I loved all the characters and their interactions were absolute gold.

Also, I don’t know if y’all are aware but this book has a scene of: “let’s pretend we’re making out so the guards don’t catch us”, but make it gay, and I may or may not have legit flipped.

 

5 chiron

15749186I could answer Percy Jackson, but I’ve recently been in a To All the Boys mood and I just remembered how much I fucking adore this trilogy.

I’ve re-read these books more often than I should and I constantly think about picking them up again. They just feel so good, like revisiting your favorite spot or an ice-cream cake.

 

6 tyson

36077176. sy475 And Nic Stone does it again.

But, seriously, Rico has such a sweet relationship with her little brother. She’s very protective of him and willing to do whatever it takes so he can have as much of a normal childhood as possible, even though her family is struggling so much.

Her little brother also happens to be the funniest character on this book and he had such witty comebacks the entire time, which was a *gift*.

 

7 thalia

20649195. sy475 I know I finished this book in just a matter of days, and I don’t even remember reading it that much? I wasn’t consciously reaching for it all the time because it was so addictive, I think time just really flew by because of how engaging it was.

These characters are fantastic. Leah Thomas crafted such interesting characters, that I got to know so personally even though I was only reading their letters to and from each other? Amazing.

 

8 nico

25322449When I read Radio Silence last year, I truly understood the hype.

This book is well-loved for a reason, that’s for sure. The characters are amazing, their dynamic tugged on my heartstrings as much as any romance I’ve ever read even though they were purely platonic, it was hard-hitting and still hopeful and realistic.

Plus, the relationship between Frances and her mom? Unmatched and I shall never shut up about it.

 

9 calypso

20829994. sx318 I was just introduced to the word “marooned” because of this tag, so thank you.

I am only choosing this book because I found it to be so ridiculously entertaining. Plus, I’m sure the Greek gods have answers about how to survive or how to get out of a desert island, right?

Preferably that do not involve gods disguised as horses, definitely, but still.

 

10 rachel

46216773. sy475 I am definitely expecting to give 10 Things I Hate About Pinky 5 stars for a few reasons:

  • Fake-dating, which, YES.
  • I already loved Samir in There’s Something About Sweetie and his banter with Pinky was A+.
  • It’s Sandhya Menon.
  • Everyone I know that has read this already loved it, soooo…

If this does not turn out to be a favorite, I will have to be passing away.

 

11 jason

52339313. sx318 sy475 I have quite a lot of anticipated releases for the second semester, but I will talk about Cemetery Boys because… yes.

Ever since I watched Adri’s vlog where they read this one, I’ve been hooked. I am not a fan of fantasy, at all, but I believe the characters will be really compelling and I am always here for supporting more Latinx authors, so if I can have this already, I’ll be forever thankful.

 

 

12 piper

36146624Marie was the one to convince me to read You’d be Mine and I’m soooo thankful.

This book was a lot darker than the premise initially sells you to be. It dealt with topics such as addiction and suicide, but it was all handled very well.

It was after reading her review + posts where she mentioned it that I realized this was just not a case of a pretty cover, and I was 100% right.

 

13 leo

28006096I didn’t want to be here talking about Rick Riordan ONCE AGAIN, but what can I do? The man is a master.

I recently read This Burning Maze and I’d forgotten how chaotic Apolo is. I laughed out loud with this book and even the haikus at the beginning of each chapter are hilarious.

I think I’ve cracked the code as to why I keep reading these books: they’re honestly too funny to be true sometimes.

 

 

14 hazel

23302416I read Wonder in 2014 and it’s still one of my favorite books. Especially after watching the movie.

I recently decided to re-watch it, which always has to be a very well-crafted plan because it makes me cry so hard I have to be prepared to not leave the house for the following 24 hours because of how swollen my face gets.

Yes, this book is everything people say it is and I still love it to pieces.

 

15 frank

18460392As I mentioned in my post about the “premonition sex”, I remember really not wanting to read more of All the Bright Places because I knew something bad would happen the minute they had sex.

I was right.

Nonetheless, I was already scared of what would happen as I knew this book was very sad, so I definitely was not anticipating reaching the end of it.

 

16 reyna

6186357First, I’d like to know: who in their right minds would hate Reyna? Lol. She was my favorite character we’re introduced to in the HOO series and I’d literally do everything for that woman.

But I digress.

I found this to be the hardest question to answer, because the way I tend to diverge from the majority is by hating hyped books, not really the other way around.

So I’ll answer with my default answer: The Maze Runner, which I know is a series a lot of people hate, but I personally love with my heart and entire soul.

17 octavian

38595652Honestly, at this point, it might as well be my fault more than anything, lol.

Everyone I knew was giving this book 2 stars and I still read it because apparently I hate myself??? But I guess I just wanted to see it through and it really is bad.

The world-building is non-existent, it is supposed to discuss GANGS and yet it felt like we were talking about Divergent factions, plus all the characters are unlikeable.

 

18 percabeth

32797600I actually really liked the romance in The Dangerous Art of Blending In!

It’s friends to lovers, or as I like to call it, bros to bromos. It was very sweet and believable, plus I really liked how open Evan could be around Henry and how much Henry wanted him to be, and was willing to support him whatever happened.

They were really solid and a breath of fresh air in the midst of everything else that’s happening that was really bad.

 

We’re 1.5k words into this post, and I am so sorry, lol. Tell me a hated book you actually love & the best romance you’ve read recently. Oh, and your most anticipated release for 2020 as well!

kaleidoscope of tropes #5: failed marriages

kaleidoscope of tropes.(1)

Hello, friends!

On June 12th, we celebrated Valentine’s Day in Brazil. Even though this date is celebrated in February for most countries, we end up celebrating it around Saint Anthony’s Day, as he is known for being a match-maker in Catholic traditions. A lot of people who want to get married will pray for Saint Anthony.

In honor of that, I decided to talk about one of my favorite romantic tropes. I already have a post where I shared five of my favorite and least-favorites (and that was also posted during Brazilian Valentine’s Day, lol), but today I will be sharing a specific one that I love.

But first,

WHAT IS A TROPE?

In storytelling, a trope is just that — a conceptual figure of speech, a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly. Above all, a trope is a convention. It can be a plot trick, a setup, a narrative structure, a character type, a linguistic idiom… you know it when you see it. (source)

Today’s trope will be:

FAILED MARRIAGES

I honestly don’t know why I consider this trope so satisfying. I think it’s interesting because you jump into the story already knowing these characters have history; they’re married now, so they were in love once. It’s all about navigating these past feelings that are lying under the surface, as well as facing their most recent problems that have broke them apart.

in books

EXHIBIT #A: YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER, BY SARAH HOGLE

IMG_3918Technically, this couple is not married yet, they’re just engaged, but I think it counts. They have an established relationship that has essentially lost all its spark. They spend most of this book trying to make the other person give up on the wedding, and falling back in love in the process.

It’s a really interesting dynamic to consider they’re enemies to lovers, but already engaged, because that means they know *exactly* what to do to push the other person’s buttons. They know what makes the other person frustrated, and what the other person prefers, so really is as petty and childish as you can imagine, but also very entertaining, ofc.

I think the way the author explored their sexual tension was also really well done. Quickly, their dynamic of “who’s going to give up first?” becomes “who’s going to give in first?” which was equally entertaining.

EXHIBIT #B: LOVE HER OR LOSE HER, BY TESSA BAILEY

IMG_4181I definitely would say this is the book that goes the *hardest* in the failed part. Our main characters, Rose and Dominic, have been married for over a year now, but their relationship has not been the same for a while. They barely talk and their only moment of intimacy is their scheduled sex nights every Tuesday.

I really liked how the book talked about couple’s therapy. Is it uncomfortable, cringey and super awkward? Yes. Did I still devour that? Of course! I don’t know why I liked watching that so much, but I always like seeing characters talk about their significant other to a third person. It’s completely different from the way they talk to each other and most of the times, a lot better.

Even though I do think this book won’t be for everyone, simply because Dominic’s character is one of those overly alpha males that can be tiring to read about, I did find it entertaining AF.

EXHIBIT #C: TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, BY MARTHA WATERS

IMG_4180In this historical romance, James and Violet had a real whirl-wind kind of first year of marriage, but they haven’t properly talked in years now, despite living in the same house. Due to a lot of circumstances, Violet decides to fake an ilness in order to get back her husband’s attention, and everything kind of escalates from there.

I think the journey to these characters is very interesting, because they’ve always had natural banter and agreed to argue a lot, even when their marriage was happy. They’d typically make up in great fashion afterwards, but never truly communicating and understanding why they upset each other. I think it was really nice how the author explored their growth and how they could *not* resolve all their issues just by kissing them away.

Nonetheless, their sexual tension was A+ and so was their banter, as Violet pretends to be sick and they keep playing games. It’s definitely a bit childish, but it was all acknowledged on page, so I think it makes it a little bit better.

in television

EXHIBIT #A: 17 AGAIN

17 again GIFs - Primo GIF - Latest Animated GIFs

OK, so I know that at first, I strictly watched this movie because Zac Efron was on it, and even though it does have a handful of inappropriate relationships as any movie involving time travel does, I still love and re-watch the heck out of it.

We start out the movie following 17-year-old Mike O’Donnell, who gives up on a basketball scholarship to start a family with his high school sweetheart. When we jump to 17 years later, Mike has a miserable job, which he’s just been fired of and is also divorcing said high school sweetheart. He then gets the chance to go back to his 17 year old body and re-do everything.

Even though it is awkward to see Mike reconnecting with his wife in the body of a 17 year old, it is very interesting to see how he learns from his choices and strives to be there for his wife as much as he can. The speech from the gif above is absolute *chef’s kiss*.

EXHIBIT #B: DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS

did you hear about the morgans? | Tumblr

After becoming witnesses of a murder, this divorced couple is thrown in the Witness Protection Program and forced to isolate together in a small town in Wyoming. This movie contains all the country, small white town references you can think of, and it’s hilarious because of that.

But the progression of the relationship is also interesting. Because now that this couple is forced to be together, they have no other option but facing the things that broke them apart and hopefully work through them.

I honestly feel like I had much higher expectations for this movie, and especially considering I don’t like Sarah Jessica Parker, I don’t understand why I thought I’d love it. Still, I think it’s a great example of this trope!

Now, it’s your turn: do you also like the failed marriage trope? Do you have any books, tv shows or movies to recommend that contain said trope? Let me know in the comments!

 

top five things i want to see more of in YA books!

top5novo

Hello, friends!

Last month, both Marie and Cait shared a similar post where they talked about five things they want to see more of in YA books. I highly recommend you guys check out both of their posts, as they’re amazing and I honestly related a lot of things they talked about.

Let’s get into my top 5, then:

ONE. SOUTH AMERICAN CHARACTERS

Okay, y’all, I know I’m probably getting annoying at this point because I talk about this a little bit too much, but I need more, alright. And dont’ get me wrong, I love any kind of latino rep I can get my hands on. But Anitta, Shakira, J Balvin and Kali Uchis didn’t do all of that to Mexico still be the only latinx rep in books.

South America is a full continent. I want to see more Colombian, Bolivian, Argentinian, Ecuadorian and even Brazilian characters in YA. C’mon.

🌎 Books I know with South-American characters:

34659293. sy475 Heretics Anonymous has a badass Colombian-American side character called Lucy, who’s a proclaimed feminist and wants to be a priest. She also has a complicated 51179882. sx318 sy475 family dynamic which added a lot to her character depth.

Lobizona comes out in August and will center around an Argentinan girl discovering mysteries that have to do with folklore and her family. To say that I am excited about this one is an understatement.

TWO. BOYBAND FAN CULTURE

I know books centering around fandom are actually not that rare and I have read a few already. But I really want to see more books talking about boybands and the culture around that. Sorry, it’s just that I have way too much personal experience on this one, lol.

I literally said: “fine, I’ll do it myself” and started writing my own story about boybands and roadtrips. But I want actual books by competent authors that I can devour again and again that will be able to encompass the feeling of going to concerts, overanalyzing lyrics, waiting for a videoclip release, buying too many unnecessary merch, and meeting amazing people because of it.

🎸 Books I know about boyband fan culture:

34325090. sy475 I Was Born For This is a dual perspective novel where we follow both a fan of the band, Angel, as well as Jimmy, their vocalist. However, I ended up DNF-ing this book as I felt like the portrayal of fan culture here was 33275690overwhelmingly negative and made me feel really bad.

I have not read Foolish Hearts yet and I have no idea where the boyband element gets intertwined here, but I do know our main character will be in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so there’s also some Shakespearean references to expect!

THREE. BOOKS WHERE THE SETTING MATTERS

I really want to read more YA contemporaries where I couldn’t just pick up the plot, move to an entire different city or state, and it wouldn’t even be noticeable. Because I love whenever the setting has a big role in the story, even if the book is not inherently about it, like a roadtrip/travel book, where obviously the setting will be important.

I love getting to know new places, even if through books, and I don’t think you need to go crazy in order to make it interesting.

✈️ Books where the setting matters:

30312700. sy475 Alex Approximately is set in a surfer’s town in California and there are so many talks about boardwalks, surfing, tourists and nice weather. The characters also are working at a museum, which was such an unique setting and works so well here. It was, by far, my favorite part about this book.18460392

Even though All the Bright Places is set in Indiana, which may not sound like the most picturesque place, a whole portion of this book is dedicated to follow these characters as they explore wonders of their own state. I think this is a great example that any place can have an impact on the story, if done well.

FOUR. PLATONIC RELATIONSHIPS

I want more authors being brave enough to explore platonic relationships. I want to see less girl/boy friends becoming lovers because it sounds like the only viable option – it is not. Sometimes, they don’t even work as a couple, but because they have chemistry, then inherently, they have to be boyfriend/girlfriend? Nahhh, I don’t think so.

💕 Books I know with platonic relationships:

25322449Radio Silence even has a quote that I think sums it up pretty well: “You probably think Aled Last and I are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and I am a girl. I just wanted to say- we don’t. That’s all.” Even though these characters had chemistry and clearly loved each 37880094other a lot, they worked so much better as just platonic lovers.

The bond between Felicity and Sim in The Lady’s Guide can not be explained with something as simple as a “friendship”. They learn so much from each other, share so much, even talk about what their future could look like together, and were just adorable throughout most of this book.

ENEMIES TO FRIENDS

Look, yes, enemies to lovers can be fun and all but have you ever experienced the JOY of enemies to friends? Of two characters using everything they can about the other person to make their lives hell and then suddenly finding the urge to protect and support that person through whatever?

It’s the most *satisfying* transition in the world. I don’t care much for enemies to lovers, but I need more enemies to friends stories in this world.

👯‍♀️ Books I know with enemies to friends:

35704397. sy475 The Way You Make Me Feel has such a nice story of these two girls who couldn’t be more opposite from each other – class clown Clara and good-two-shoes Rose – and who are forced to work together for the summer. They spend most of the book being petty, 23437156but once they start opening up to each other is beautiful.

The Six of Crows squad is also perfect example of this. They start out definitely as a dysfunctional team, but end up developing strong bonds and protecting each other through everything, which is a delight to follow.

Alright, y’all. If you have any recommendations for any books that you know contain one of those themes, let me know in the comments! What other things you want to see more of in YA books?