the julie and the phantoms book tag! (original)

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Hello, friends!

This is my first time ever writing an original tag, which is super daunting, but I hope you guys like it!

Julie and the Phantoms was one of my 2020 saving graces and I was so obsessed with it, I watched it numerous times. So I decided to come up with a book tag inspired on the show (you don’t have to have watched it, in order to answer the tag btw!)

Also, I know Peyton Reads already came up with a JATP Book Tag, and while I definitely encourage you to check hers out, mine is quite different and we didn’t follow the same concepts or had similar questions, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal to share mine too.

As always, if you decide to answer it, please credit me (also so I can check everyone’s answers for my tag, hehe!) And feel free to use the graphics if you want to!

1

27779275I really did love Sloane, from This Adventure Ends. So many things about this book were amazing, but I really liked how all the characters felt so *real*. Sloane was straightforward and honest, but also had a hard time letting people in. I also related to the way she felt like she had to tone down her obsessions so she wouldn’t come across as “annoying”, and how she never set expectations too high so she wouldn’t get disappointed. Sloane was a really complex character and I really liked and related with her.

 

2

15724396I’d argue that Magnus’ is really iconic. This ain’t a spoiler, by the way: Magnus story only starts because he dies, lol. It’s a whole thing, and you’ll have to read to understand. BUT, I was thinking recently about how many memorable and iconic things the Magnus Chase trilogy gave us and how much I want Rick to release more books in this universe because I love everything about it too much.

 

a book that introduced you to reading_a book that introduced you to your current favorite genre

“Yeah, Luke introduced you to rock” is literally a quote from JATP that makes me go feral no cap.

ANYWAY.

16068905Considering I’ve been kind of a reader my whole life, there wasn’t necessarily one book that “introduced me to reading”. But the Percy Jackson books introduced me to book fandom, so there’s that.

As for contemporaries, I believe the first YA contemporary I read when I was in a biiiiiig fantasy mood was probably Fangirl. At the time, I was mostly reading fantasy/dystopian but I saw someone recommending this book and while it was pretty different to what I typically read, it was so fun I ended up picking several other books like this and here we are now.

4

12000020Of course I’d have to say Ari & Dante. I really hope that this is a book people remember me for. In fact, recently, I got a message from a friend of mine from high school and we lost contact, but he told me that he remembered about Ari & Dante and immediately thought of me! I love that it is my legacy.

But also Maze Runner. Every single time one of the movies is on TV, my parents remember of me, and I feel happy knowing that they know it’s my favorite thing ever.

5

32768522Not me wanting to answer Percy Jackson AGAIN.

But, literally though? Absolutely 10/10 my emotional support character, wouldn’t have survived without him.

Also Simon Snow from Carry On. I love Baz (even named my phone after him, funnily enough), but Simon Snow is just a child I must protect at all costs and who also gives me so much *light*.

6

As a disclaimer: this question is basically for you to talk about what kind of villain you think you’d be. A super sofisticated one? Or the one that lives underground and talks to no one?

23437156I’d probably have like an evil lore behind a bookstore where I’d hide the bodies. Mysterious and quiet. Would only wear capes and gloves. Never makes eye contact, can disappear in the shadows, etc. Kinda like Kaz Brekker/Inej Ghafa’s love child but villain version.

7

44019067. sy475 I have to shoutout The Bromance Book Club. Like I talked about in my best reads of 2020, this book was as fantastic as it was because the banter between the members of the book club is hilarious. Even if the rest of the books in this series don’t appeal to me as much plot-wise, I still think about picking them up just because I know how hysterical and laugh-out-loud funny the scenes with the bromance book club are. I’m not one to read out loud with books, but it was impossible not to do so with this one.

8

52822210I am not trying to cause controversy by using the word underhyped here, but I haven’t seen as many people I thought talking about Concrete Rose. Considering THUG’s hype, I’m surprised to haven’t seen this book in many 2021 releases and I’m dying of excitement for it.

53240811I also haven’t seen many people talking about This Will Be Funny Someday, and as a Katie Henry stan, I am also *super* hyped. This one is about a girl who is into stand up comedy, and ends up lying to her group of friends that she’s in college when she’s actually a high schooler. *Chaos ensues*.

9

49867239I think Charming as a Verb is a good example of a book that was able to work through a very popular trope really well.

In this one, we have our protagonist Halti feeling pressured to go to Columbia as it is his father’s dream. Even though the whole “no, dad, this is your dream” thing is suuuuper present in a lot of teenage fiction, I think the author was able to add a new layer by having Halti’s parents being Haitian immigrants, who had a lot of expectations around the “American dream”, that sadly never came true for them, making them project said expectations onto Halti and his potential.

It showed that, for a lot of immigrant kids, their parents dreams also do become their dreams in a sense, in hopes to make them proud and finally achieve what they were reaching for when they moved. It definitely made the conversation deeper and proved to me there’s still a lot of room for these clichés to be done, if done well.

10

50027029. sy475 It’s been forever since I last read a real slowburn romance, but Naomi and Nicholas definitely took their tiiiiiime in You Deserve Each Other.

I can’t complain, though! Their tension was the best part of the book by far! While I am not typically a fan of slow burn, I think it worked for this one so that we could root more for the characters and also so the author could have more time to develop them individually. It definitely felt like a reward when they got together!

11

1840686217347389Both of these characters are by Maggie Stiefvater, so I don’t know if she’s already given her perspective in this, but like:

Cole and Ronan. (Cole from The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Ronan from The Raven Cycle)

In my mind, they’d either love or hate each other. I can definitely see them being friends, with Cole finding Ronan’s snapping funny, and Ronan thinking Cole is an annoying show-off, but ultimately being friends?

Their banter would also be immaculate. Can Maggie Stiefvater write this crossover already?

12

30319086. sy475 I didn’t think I had the mental capacity to finish If We Were Villains, but guess what: I did and I even liked it?????

I may have brain cells???? Who could’ve thought.

Not me, tbh.

 

That’s it, friends! I will be tagging Marta, Lauren, Fiction Fixer and Dezzy (don’t feel pressured to answer it, though!) If you decide to answer it, please tag me so I can see it! And also let me know in the comments a book you didn’t think you’d be able to finish and your villain aesthetic!

2020 goals recap & setting up new year’s resolutions!

a 2020 overview.

Hello, friends!

This is the last post in my 2020 overview and 100% a very self-indulgent one. I don’t know how interesting it will be for any of you to read me talk about the goals I didn’t achieve and whatever resolutions I have for 2021, but if you have yet to set up goals for the new year, maybe this post can be at least inspiring! For the most part, it’s just to hold myself accountable.

Let’s look back to my 2020 goals, and see if I even accomplished anything:

MY 2020 GOALS

  1. Read 50 books. ✔️ I actually read 90, and I definitely wouldn’t have accomplished such number if lockdown hadn’t happened. In April alone, I read 12 books, and while most of my year was full of mediocre reads, I am still happy with the overall number and the fact I pulled an overachiever for this one.
  2. Learn how to drive. ✖️ Since the pandemic started, most driving ed classes were canceled and, even though they’ve restarted by now, I’ve honestly lost all motivation to sign up for classes. Also, my sister has been driving more frequently, so I can just ask her to drive me places now lol.
  3. Believe in my dreams and work towards them. ✖️ Yeah, this didn’t happen, lol. Even though it was such a “broad” goal, I did have specific things I wanted to do, such as get a higher paying job, save money, improve my English, etc., and none of these things happened. I dreamt a lot, though! I literally lived in daydreams this year, since we couldn’t really go anywhere. But, yeah this was a fail.
  4. Find a blogging schedule. ✖️ This was another EPIC FAIL! I set up a schedule at the beginning of the year, and I probably stuck with it for like two weeks? I hate not being able to blog consistently, and I know I need to make it more of a habit, but yeah, it’s not going great. It’ll be a new goal for 2021.
  5. Do not give up on writing. Or anything. ✔️ Y’all, I DID IT! I spent an entire year without giving up on mostly anything? I mean, I did give up on a few things (even some school assignments which is obv no bueno), but I pushed through many more! And I even completed NaNo, and while I didn’t finish my book (I still have a few chapters to go), the fact I did not give up on my story makes me proud.

So, overall, out of my 5 goals, I completed 2, which is kinda bad, but also considering 2020 and our circumstances, some were out of my reach and I’m not entirely mad at what I didn’t accomplish. (Except the not finding a blogging schedule thing. Jesus, when will I learn?)

Now, it’s time to set up my goals for 2021! I am going to break them down between reading and personal. I also realized I’ll be turning 21 years old, which is absolutely disgusting, and I made myself sad just writing this.

MY 2021 GOALS

READING GOALS

  1. Read 70 books. Seeing my Goodreads goal go back to zero is pretty scary, but I want to push myself to read at least 6 books a month, meaning if I do stick to it, I’ll finish 72 by the end of 2021. *crosses fingers*. I really don’t want to lower it!
  2. Read at least one black author a month. I had this as a mini goal last year, but didn’t really write it down anywhere, so I ended up not sticking to it for every month. But I want to be more conscious of it for 2021!
  3. Finish all my on-going series. At the moment, I do have a few series I need to either catch up on or finish altogether, such as the His Dark Materials trilogy, the Truly Devious trilogy, and the Trials of Apollo.
  4. Start a new series! As I finish more, I also want to start a new series. It’s been forever since I last felt myself getting super attached to characters in a series, and I’m debating between The Gilded Wolves and Renegades. Maybe I’ll even start both!

PERSONAL GOALS

  1. Solo travel? Not me having a travel related goal for 2021, after a pandemic. But who knows, things can perk up! Edinburgh is my dream destination, however, I also have no money, so I’ll definitely need to save up *hard* in order to make it happen.niamh | mando spoilers on Twitter: "really want to buy all the new stranger  things and star wars merch that is being released but, alas, i'm broke… "
  2. Find a blogging schedule. ISTG, if I fail this again by the end of 2021, I will have to end it all. It will happen. It shall happen. I will *not* spend two weeks without blog hopping, so I can get super overwhelmed and then skip a bunch of posts and just become a *mess*. I refuse to.
  3. Take care of myself. I realized recently how much I neglect myself, and especially my own health a lot. I have pretty bad scoliosis and I haven’t had a check up since I left high school. I also keep my clothes until they’re unusable and I hate spending money in myself. I also am probably the only person to exist who does not have a skincare routine (literally I do nothing but washing my face in the shower lmao). I know I need to be better about it, but it’s something I find very challenging and uncomfortable, so it definitely won’t be an easy one to achieve, but that’s the point of setting these resolutions, right?
  4. Don’t give up on things! This was an accomplished goal for 2020 I’ll be carrying onto the new year. Mostly because I am a quitter, not a fighter, lol. So I really want to stick to whatever projects I start, even if things get hard!
  5. Finish my WIP! And maybe start a new project? I’ve had a few ideas recently, but I really don’t want to work on anything else until I’ve finished my current WIP. I still have a few chapters to write and I’ve been giving myself a break since NaNo, but it’s time to get back to it so I can say I’ve actually written a novel.

Y’all! That’s it! If you have any reading/personal goals for 2021, let me know them in the comments! Did you do well on your 2020 resolutions? Are you excited to set up goals for the new year or more cautious? Let’s talk!

my favorite reads of 2020!

a 2020 overview.

Oh, 2020.

This mess of a year, who was not what anyone expected. In all fronts, really, because I ended up reading 90 books this year, when I totally did not even think I was going to get to 50.

In the midst of all its craziness, I read a few great titles I am excited to share with you guys. I’ll be keeping the same format of last year, except with different categories this time.

OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE

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I thought I wouldn’t understand a single thing in this book, and here it is, in my list of favorites of the year. Maybe I do have braincells after all. If We Were Villains is a cult-classic dark academia book, and follows a group of friends who study theatre and get caught up on the mysterious death of one of their members.

I spent a lot of the book waiting for our main character to catch up on thoughts we, as readers, had already predicted. But the twist at the very end left my jaw on the floor.

I loved the way the author built the characterization throughout the narration, and the pacing was absolutely perfect. I also was able to (surprisingly) follow along the way the Shakespeare plays they’re acting also mirror their own circumstances, and I feel like it was done in an incredibly smart way.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

IMG_3927I had such low expectations to Aurora Rising, due to a few mediocre reviews, that I was left shook by how much I actually loved it.

This new sci-fi series by the same authors of The Illuminae Files follows a similar formula: band of misfits on space, full of twists and turns and incredibly action packed. I didn’t think I’d get as attached to the characters as I did, but I *loved* especially Finian, Kal and Auri.

It was quite different from The Illuminae Files, but in a very positive way. One thing I loved was the presence of the alien species, and the development of their culture and dynamic, which was not present at all in the first series, and that was incredibly fun to read about in this one.

I really need to continue on to book #2, and I am incredibly excited to do so, and looking forward to have a new favorite series.

MOST RELATABLE

IMG_5118I don’t think there would be any other answer for this, but Furia. This one is set entirely in the city of Rosario, Argentina, and it follows a girl named Camila who lives a double life: in the field, she’s la Furia, an amazing footballer; in her house, she has to play the perfect daughter and her parents are not even aware of her passion about football.

This book was important to me for a number of reasons. First, it was the first ARC I ever received and I was so excited to read this one earlier, as one of my most anticipated releases. It was also a story that felt so relatable, in every single aspect: the story, the dynamics, the characters. I felt like I could be watching this take place in my hometown.

It was brilliant to read a South-American story, that also had so much drive and strength to it. Camila was a powerful protagonist, whom I absolutely adored; it was disturbing, but also important to read about the different ways women have been failed by Argentinian society; and I loved the football aspect that was the background for so many of the interpersonal relationships. This book was everything I wanted it to be and I’m so thankful I read it.

MY FAVORITE ADULT ROMANCE

IMG_6631I’ve been reading books in the adult romance genre for quite some time, but I had never found one that *truly* made me feel all the things.

The Bromance Book Club was amazing and hilarious. First, it contains my favorite romance tropes: the failed marriage one. Then, it also had a laugh-out-loud cast of side characters who made me so fucking happy to read about. The protagonists were also amazing, and it was a lot of fun reading the “book inside the book”.

I was so stocked to finish this book and realize, apart from a few minor complaints, I had mostly had an amazing time with this novel. I loved the pacing and I didn’t finish it exhausted from the melodrama. I rooted for the couple until the very end and the writing was super engaging. This book basically challenged everything I thought I knew about romances and I am so glad it did.

MY FAVORITE NOVELLA

IMG_6634I’m not sure if Sinner is considered a novella, because of its length, but I still think it is. It was an add-on to The Wolves of Mercy Falls, that I absolutely did not think I was going to love as much as I did.

The best way I’ve found to describe it is: “Where She Went’s L.A. cousin”. Set in California, this one follows Cole and Isabel, as Cole has now returned home to record a new album and a reality show, but mostly to win Isabel back. They were my favorite dysfunctional couple in the original trilogy, and I loved reading more about them here.

The reason why I say this is Where She Went’s L.A. cousin is because absolutely everything I love about that book is in Sinner as well. The discussions of music, the intense protagonist, the angsty relationship, the celebrity expectations…

Even after days of finishing my read, I couldn’t stop thinking about this book, and it’s now December, and I’m still thinking about it. It really was that amazing.

BY A NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR

IMG_4190I have to hype up You Should See Me in a Crown once again because this book really did blow me away. And I need to hype it up as much as I can until it gets turned into a NETFLIX film. Thank you.

This prom-com follows Liz, who’s recently gotten the news she was denied financial aid for her dream school, and decides she’ll be running for prom queen, as the winner gets a college scholarship. Liz is not popular, though, so she’s essentially climbing an uphill battle and getting through a lot of crazy shenenigans as she does so.

I feel like Leah Johnson was able to discuss several different topics, without it ever feeling “too much” or like she was not giving enough time to each one of them. This book talks about friendship, family, disability, anxiety, sexuality and being a woman of color, and the author nailed every. single. aspect, while still keeping it a fun light-hearted read that made me giggle out loud.

This book just really proved me that YA fiction tropes are not “dead” and are not “boring” – they just need to be done right, and they can still work.

FAVORITE NEW-RELEASE

Only Mostly Devastated was a *gift*. I need to re-read this book ASAP because it really had no business being as good as it was.

IMG_4452In this Grease retelling, we follow our main character Ollie, having a whirl-wind romance with this boy named Will, and then breaking up as he’ll be going back to his hometown. However, due to family circumstances, Ollie ends up moving permanently to the city he’d been spendng the summer in, and bumping into Will again in his first day of school. Except, Will is now behaving completely different. *Angst ensues*.

I absolutely adored this novel. From the characters, to the writing. I loved the way the author wrote teenagers that felt *real*: the dialogues were well written, and most importantly, the dynamics between Ollie and his new group of friends felt very accurate to the way I see teenagers interacting. It was definitely a bit awkward and it wasn’t instant friendship, but the development payed off.

The romance was also adorable and Ollie was 100% a chaotic and relatable narrator. I was also surprised by this book’s discussions of grief & family, and I appreciated so much the author for adding such layer.

DESERVING OF MORE HYPE

IMG_6633Not to trigger anyone by using the word “underhyped”, but Camp was a 2020 queer release that I feel like mostly flew down the radar of a lot of people. And it absolutely should not, because this was one of the most original and well-crafted stories I’ve read in a while.

Our protagonist here is Randy, but this summer, he’s Del. After going to this queer camp for several summers in a row, Randy has developed a massive crush on Hudson, but Hudson only ever dates masculine, butch guys. So Randy decides to “play a character” in order to get Hudson’s attention, and become Del. I was already stocked to read this synopsis and realize the author was probably going to make a critique of toxic masculinity within the queer community, and I pretty much could predict where the story was going to take us.

Except L.C Rosen did *so* much more than my tiny brain could’ve ever seen coming. This book challenges so many different queer stereotypes and, ultimately, sends off an incredibly positive and uplifting message that there is no point getting caught up in boxes, because queer-ness can mean whatever it means to you.

I loved pretty much all the characters, the theatre shenenigans, the camp’s queer history lessons, the sex positivity… Overall, this book delivered SO much, I really need more people to read it.

BEST BOOK OF 2020

IMG_3357I don’t think this will come as a surprise if you’ve been following me at all, but my favorite book of the year was one I read back in February, and that is Call It What You Want.

I’ve since picked up every single other contemporary by Brigid Kemmerer, but none held up to the awesome-ness of this book. Following the perspectives of two high school social pariahs, Meg and Rob, this book introduces us to a complex and rich cast of characters who all kinda suck, but in a way that just makes you like them even more.

When I say I like morally grey characters, this is what I mean, and this is what I want to see more of. Not the same badboy with daddy issues type of guy. But characters who are incredibly complex, and who make bad decisions in name of human emotions, but also learn from their mistakes and work to be better.

It’s hard for me to convince people to read this book, because the premise in its core may not seem that interesting. I just hope y’all trust me when I say that this book made it practically impossible for me to give any other 5 star this year and it pretty much ruined my standards. I love him for it, though.

Let me know: what was the best book you read in 2020? Have you read any of these titles? If so, what are your thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments!

the disappointing reads of 2020! (& extra rom-com recs)

Hello, friends!

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it! I hope you’re having a lovely day. As a Grinch, I of course had to choose the happiest day of the year to share my least favorite books I read in 2020. Last year, I decided to match my least-favorite reads with lyrics of songs. This year, I decided that for every bad book, I’ll be recommending one of my favorite rom-coms, because, well, yes.

(As a disclaimer, I am aware I have titles in this list by authors of color/featuring BIPOC characters. So, this is not me telling you to not support an author of color and watch this white rom-com instead. I am literally just recommending rom-coms I like to make this post more positive, instead of just focusing on the things I disliked).


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Loveboat, Taipei was just an incredibly frustrating story. Mostly, because I hated all the characters: the main character who never truly took responsibility for her actions and acted like everyone else around her “drove” to do the shit she does; the two points of the love triangle that were just so one-dimensional and annoying; and the friends who were just the worst. The author tried to do a lot, but ultimately, most topics felt underdeveloped. I also recommend this video, from an own-voices reviewer, that also touches in some of the problems with the representation, because even though this is an own-voices story, it’s not free of issues.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) - IMDb

💕 For this one, I want to recommend Diary of Bridget Jones, because it makes a better job *in my opinion* of a love triangle with a “bad boy” and a “good guy”, where both options don’t seem the best at first, but the characters are well developed enough.

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hates me

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The Upside of Falling was pitched as a fake-dating story, which is already enough to convince me, but the fake-dating element made *no sense* whatsoever. None of these characters had strong enough motivations to accept being in a fake-dating relationship for starters, and the development felt so cheap because of that. Both were also big clichés – the bookworm and the jock -, and apart from discussing different family dynamics (one of our main character has divorced parents), it really didn’t do much for me at all.

The Proposal (2009) - IMDb

💍 As a much better fake-dating story, we have The Proposal – where our main character has to pretend marry her assistant in order not to get deported. It is hilarious and the romance is *actually* believable!

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wordpress hates me

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I Was Born For This was my least-favorite read and probably biggest disappointment of the year. I ended up DNF-ing this book, even though I believed I’d love it. I am a huge boyband fan myself, but ultimately, I just feel like this book had an overwhelming negative portrayal of what fan culture actually is and it made me feel awful about myself. Especially considering Alice Oseman is such a young author, I definitely didn’t expect that this book was going to send the same messages my 40-year-old uncle, that I “should not like this band, because they don’t even know I exist”, lol.

Stuck in the Suburbs (2004) movie posters

🎤 Stuck in the Suburbs is actually a D-COM, but it counts, since it’s my list. It doesn’t have much of a romance element, and is rather about friendships and being true to who you are. It also pokes fun on the idea that teenage fans are all immature, which was refreshing.

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really

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Considering how much I loved other titles by Brigid Kemmerer this year, More Than We Can Tell really was a disappointment. This was another title that tried covering so many topics, but didn’t have enough time to develop all of them. Both of our mains lacked a lot of communication skills and emotional intelligence, and I don’t think they actually learn much about those in the course of the book. It made their perspectives particularly frustrating to read about. I also feel like they would’ve worked much better platonically, than as an actual couple, as they didn’t have much chemistry at all.

The Break-Up (2006) - Movie Posters (1 of 1)

💔 The Break-Up is what Marriage Story wanted to be, and that’s the tea. It shows very well how people need to be good and ready as individuals, before they can be good to each other in a relationship, which is what I missed in More Than We Can Tell.

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i hate this

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I had heard a lot of mixed reviews on History is All You Left Me, so this wasn’t a huge disappointment, but I still wanted to like it more than I did. I found the first half to be interesting, but Griffin was possibly the most unlikableprotagonist I ever read about. Not only that, but all the conversations and flirting had to involve pop-culture like, you know, a millennial would, a love interest is introduced as a “plot twist” which was terrible, and the discussion the author tried to have around the only female characters who our protagonist knew was incredibly poorly done.

Rich in Love (2020 film) - Wikipedia

🍅 I don’t have any gay rom-coms to recommend, but since I read this book for the Latinx readathon, let me recommend you a Latinx rom-com. Rich in Love is a NETFLIX original set in Brazil and it’s hilarious, adorable and the side characters are all so great as well.

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bitch

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I had also heard mostly negative reviews for A Thousand Fires, but decided to give it a shot anyway, because I hate myself apparently? My biggest gripe with this book was that it felt like a Divergent knock-off: the gangs were like the factions, the dynamic our main character had with her love interest was literally Tris/Four and even some scenes felt similar! There was a lot of potential for the author to talk about serious topics – such as how financial inequality and community neglect lead people to join gangs, as well as how this problem disproportionally affects communities of color, but it was a very surface-level YA book.

Step Up (2006) - IMDb

💃 As a movie that I feel like did a good job at both being a light-hearted story and discuss serious issues at the same time, I have to shoutout Step Up – the original, that started it all, and makes me cry everytime I watch it.

i miss

the shape of y

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While Breath Like Water did some aspects – mostly the ones surrounding the main character’s passion for swimming – really well, the actual romance was a let down. I never truly felt the chemistry between the protagonists, the presence of the side characters felt forced (especially the parental dynamic) and the ending was by far one of the most unsatisfying things I’ve ever read. Plus, the book could’ve been *a lot* shorter.

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTI1NjIzMzg5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjI2ODcyMQ@@._V1_.jpg

⛸ Following a protagonist who finds out a passion for figure skating, Ice Princess is a classic for a reason and does a good job with the romance, despite it being a very small layer of the story.

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That’s it, friends! Let me know your least favorite read of 2020 or a rom-com you recommend for me to check out!

the bookish skies turns two! | my second blogiversary!

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Hello, friends!

So, on December 18th, 2018, I posted my first ever post on The Bookish Skies. I feel like a cliché saying that “it’s surreal it’s been so long”, but it really is. I still feel like a newbie to blogging, though I have grown a lot more comfortable in the past year, and I think a lot of the insecurities I had when I first started blogging have been slowly dissipating.

For example, one of the things I was never satisfied with was my “blogging voice“. And I still don’t think I have one, but I also like my posts enough that I don’t mind? I don’t think they sound generic, but I also don’t think I have mastered the blogging voice like other people in the community, but that’s fine! I’m happy with my content regardless.

There are still some areas I struggle with, mostly related to blogging schedule. I absolutely suck in operating at a schedule, and especially since 2020 has been this dumpster fire of a year, I found myself even more easily overwhelmed and during the past few months, my blog-hopping really has been lacking. But, throughout all the up’s and down’s, I still love coming back to this place every time.

I am really glad for the people I met in this community (to name a few, though there are many more: Ruby, Caitlin, Marie, Becky, Tasya, Marta, Margaret, Sophie, Lauren, Olivia, Caro), and I am also so satisfied with how much I’ve been reading ever since I started blogging. In the past year, I was also nominated for the Book Blogger Awards, and even got an ARC for the first time ever!

Overall, I know I still have a long way to go at being better about blogging, interacting with people, growing my audience, etc, etc., but I love what I’ve taken from this experience so far and I’m so thankful for all of you that read my posts and care for what I have to say. Honestly, you’re the best part.

I also asked you guys to leave me some questions so that this post wasn’t just me rambling, so let’s go answer them!

What’s your favorite comfort book/show?

THE KING OF KAWAI

I think most of what I consume is for comfort – that’s why I mostly read YA contemporaries and watch rom-coms, because I want the media I consume to be light-hearted and fun, since the outside world is already stressful enough. But, most recently, Julie and the Phantoms definitely took the spotlight as my #1 comfort show – I rewatched it on my birthday because it’s a day of the year I struggle a lot, and plan on doing the same on Christmas.

How would your perfect day look like?

  • Rainy/gloomy weather.
  • Journaling in the morning.
  • Going out to eat with my parents.
  • Having a Caramel Frapuccino from Starbucks.
  • Rewatching a favorite rom-com at night.
  • Reading (fanfic) before bed.

What is your favorite type of blog post to read/write?

I love writing recommendation posts, they’re by far my favorite! They’re typically lengthy and I know most people probably don’t even read them all, but it makes me happy to find a topic I can find different books to recommend under, and then work on the synopsis/why do I feel like they’re worth reading, etc. It’s been a while since I last wrote one and I miss it!

What book do you MOST want to see adapted in a movie/show, and what book do you LEAST want to see adapted?

50160619. sx318 sy475 I’d really love to see You Should See Me in a Crown being adapted into a NETFLIX movie! It’s just the perfect prom-com that has just enough twists to make it refreshing compared to the other teen movies of the platform. Plus, I see so many people complaining about the lack of diversity there, and this book has plenty of rep, so it would be really cool to see.

39897323. sy475 I find hard to talk about books I wouldn’t like to see being adapted, but I feel like Sick Kids In Love, albeit refreshing compared to the other stories that have been done about sick kids falling in love, I simply don’t trust Hollywood enough to actually do this story justice and not turn it into Fault in Our Stars #17.

If you could ban one trope from existence, what would it be?

Stydia GIF - Find on GIFER

I think every single trope can be done well, genuinely. There are some that I’m a bit tired of seeing, and I don’t want to be a cliché and answer with “love triangle”, but even that I think can be made interesting (like give me a love triangle that turns into a polyamorous relationship pls im begging). Plus, the whole thing about 43520622BIPOC authors not having the same opportunities to publishing, therefore, never having the chance to actually write these tropes before people got tired of them, which is unfair.

BUT, I genuinely find that the “you belong with me” trope can be harmful, which is why I wish it didn’t exist. It basically consists of the “nice friend” feeling like they *deserve* to get the hero, because the hero’s actual partner sucks. Not So Pure and Simple made an amazing commentary on how toxic this mindset is, and I really wish more people would read it.

Which fictional world would you want to retire in?

I don’t read a lot of fantasy, so I’m not entirely familiarized with fictional worlds, tbh. And I also feel bad answering H*gwarts.

I’d absolutely love to retire in Narnia, though! It’s a super common answer, I know, but I genuinely love Narnia and I’d live there any day.

Is there any books you’ve been saying you would read since you started blogging but you haven’t gotten to yet?

Why does this question call me out so bad? Lol.

In all seriousness, though, I do think I made decent progress in my backlist TBR this year and read a lot of titles that had been staring at me for ages. But A Thousand Perfect Notes has been on my list since it was released, along with any Morgan Matson book, and the Emily-Austin writing duo that is pretty much Marie’s brand and that I told myself I’d read literally in 2018.

What’s your advice to avoid blogging burnout?

I’ve never experienced blogging burnout (in like, I’ve ran out of ideas and don’t feel like doing this anymore), BUT that’s because earlier in 2020 I also changed my frequency of posts! Back in 2019, I was posting twice a week, and I definitely have felt more inspired since I started posting only once a week. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a break if you need to! Since I’ve started blogging, so many of my fellow bloggers have taken hiatus and I promise you that the community is not going to forget you! We’ll still be here for when you’re ready to go back!

Which book do you think is being slept on by the book blogging community?

Not So Pure and Simple is being absolutely *slept on*. Wake up, peeps! I also feel like Brigid Kemmerer’s contemporaries don’t get as much attention as I feel like they deserve (seriously some of the best YA contemporaries I’ve ever read). And Lobizona deserved to be in so many people’s list of favorites YA fantasies, and I barely heard people talking about it. Get on with it, pls.

Thank you sooooo much for the questions & for the overall support in the past two years. Like I said, you guys are the best! Let me know in the comments what advice you have for blogging burnout, which books the blogging community has been sleeping on AND what adaptation you *would not* like to see. I’d love to hear from you too!

the anti-TBR tag!

Hello, friends!

Recently, Ngoc tagged me for the Anti-TBR tag and I happily took the opportunity to rant about books I don’t love/don’t care about, as I feel like I’ve mostly been talking about things I do like. And some negativity can be fun sometime, lol.

This tag was created by Nicole @ Nicole & Her Books.

A popular book everyone loves that you have no interest in reading?

35068705Will I be canceled for this? Probably.

I know that everyone and their moms love The Poppy War, and I’m happy to hear it, truly. But there’s nothing about it that appeals to me.

Like, adult fantasy, historical, LONG ASS BOOK (I believe is like over 500+ pages), is pretty much every single thing I do not look for in a book, lmao.

I know it’s kind of a touchy subject because literally EVERYONE loves and raves about this book, and again, I’m sure it’s great, it’s just not for me at all.

A classic book you don’t have an interest in reading?

Honestly? It would be easier to answer the classics I *do* have an interest in reading.

I have four that I’m interested in: The Great Gatsby (literally for no other reason than I became obsessed with the song ‘nothing else i could do’, by ella jane, and it is inspired in this book lol), The Picture of Dorian Gray (because of the movie with Ben Barnes), Frankenstein (I watched Mary Shelley and !!!!!!!!) and Dracula (idk why but like vampires’ origin i guess?).

Apart from these four, I literally do not care about reading anything else. Thanks.

An author whose books you have no interest in reading?

16096824. sy475 I’m going to have to copy Ngoc’s answer for this one and go with Sarah J. Maas

Y’all do not understand how popular this author is in Brazil. Literally, her fanbase is huge and they’re also lowkey toxic AF and pretty much hate on every person who does not like her books, which is ew.

So the fact is fandom is gross definitely puts me off even more, but nonetheless, nothing could seem less interesting to me than a 500+ page book about faes.

An author you have read a couple of books from and have decided their books are not for you?

I am kind of sad to say it’s probably Helene Dunbar.

I did not hate any of the books I read by her, but I didn’t love them either. They were both very mediocre and forgettable 3 stars, which doesn’t make me very excited to read anything by her in the future.

It’s not even that I didn’t connect with the writing, but her characters just didn’t really get stuck in my feels at all and I forgot about them as soon as I wasn’t reading the book.

Again: there’s nothing inherently bad about her work, but we definitely did not click like I wanted us to.

A genre you have no interest in OR a genre you tried to get into and couldn’t?

Fantasy, definitely. Even though I follow so many creators who love and read so much SFF, I couldn’t care any less for this genre, lmao.

I think I read maybe five fantasy titles this year (and I have read 85 books for reference, so… yeah). I used to really love it back in the day, but now I don’t have the brainpower or the patience for it.

I still read some YA fantasy titles here and there (Rick Riordan does owe this ass after all), but I hardly ever go out of my way to keep up with new fantasy series.

A book you have bought but will never read? (This can be a book you have unhauled/returned to the library unread.)

14942. sy475 I bought Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway back in 2018, mostly because it had a cute cover, and it seemed short and not super intimidating, but I got to page like 50 and there were nO DIALOGUES.

The book does not have dialogues.

It’s just humongous paragraphes that literally last for PAGES as this woman talks and talks and talks about her life, and Jesus Christ, I am surprised I even made to page 50.

A series you have no interest in reading OR a series you started and have DNFed?

I DNFed a lot of series, sorry.

I started City of Bones, thought it was boring AF, never finished the first book and despite having a weird amount of knowledge of the Shadowhunters universe, do not intend on reading anything else in this universe.

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkowski – The first and second book in the series were being sold for a really good deal, so I bought both but ended up only reading the first one. Literally can not tell you anything that happens in the book.

I actually read the first two books in the Remnant Chronicles series, but the fact absolutely *nothing* happened in the second book turned me off entirely and I never finished it. (Plus, the 3rd book was like 600 pages long. Miss ma’am, maybe you could’ve taken some of that plot and put on the second book then).

A new release you have no interest in reading?

49504061. sy475 Uhhh, bold of you to assume I keep up with new releases.

But I heard a lot of people reading “The Once and Future Witches”, and while I definitely am not that interested in historical/fantasy books, I also wouldn’t read it because of the trigger warnings, as I am sensitive to some of the topics discussed in it.

Y’all, that’s it! I will be tagging Beck and Ruby for this one. Please don’t be mad if I said I have no interest in reading your favorite book/series/author – it happens with the best of us! Let me know in the comments which series you’ve DNF-ed and what’s a new release you have no interest in picking up!

monthly wrap up: november, ’20 – the one in which i ask you to please ask me questions

monthlywrapupnovo

Hello, friends!

It’s already DECEMBER. I have no idea where 2020 went. I was looking back at my March/April journal entries, and it feels like a lifetime ago, at the same time that it feels like just yesterday. This is the weirdest year ever, and I’m so glad it’s about to end.

(Also, I am SO sorry at how terrible I’ve been about actually interacting with people aka answering comments & blog hopping. I’ll make it up to you soon!)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • I made a Bookstagram account! My best friend has one and he inspired me to start my own. I always said I’d never have Bookstagram, because I *suck* at keeping an organized feed and interacting with others, etc, etc, but he’s been helping me out a lot and I feel more comfortable now. My @ is the same as my blog, so @thebookishskies, but my content for now is in Portuguese. I still don’t know if I’ll make it a bi-lingual account or what, but I decided to start in Portuguese and see where I go from there.
  • Disney+ is finally here! Yes, this is my highlight because as a huge Disney fan, I‘ve been waiting for this moment for A WHOLE YEAR. I’ve been binge-watching so many different shows and movies and just thriving in general. I have a project that I’ll be watching a movie a day until Christmas and… yeah, it’s been great.
  • I completed NaNoWriMo! Granted, I already started ahead, because I decided to take NaNoWriMo to “finish” my project, which I was already 19k words in. I ended up not really finishing it, because I still have a few chapters to write before it’s done, but I got to the 50,000 word count, which is what matters. I know what I wrote sucks, but I’m happy that I have not given up halfway through, like I do with pretty much everything else.

BOOKS I READ

49150990. sy475
★★★☆☆

I started out the month by reading a thriller, which is absolutely unheard of for me. The Guest List was really interesting – I liked the way the author built the characterization of our mains, so we got to know them slowly; I liked the atmosphere of this creepy island; and it was really different to read a whole book without knowing who’s been murdered. However, I think the reveal took so long to happen, I found myself losing interest halfway through and I didn’t find the ending satisfying because of that.

★★★☆☆

Autoboyography had been on my TBR for ages, but I finally read it. While I admire Christina Lauren for writing about homosexuality and religion – a very touchy subject -, I ultimately found that this book is too obviously written by people who have no idea how teenagers actually *are*. Our protagonist, Tanner, only thinks with his pants, and it always takes his parents aka the adults to give him the “voice of reason”. Because apparently he’s incapable of having actual *thoughts* by himself? This book also contained one of my least favorite tropes – the premonition sex -, and while it did move me to tears at one point, I still found that the teenagers’ voices were very poorly written.

★★★★☆

Gloria Chao’s Rent a Boyfriend was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it absolutely did not disappoint. This book is CHAOTIC and you have to go into it prepared that you’ll be watching the craziest Chinese drama of your life – so beware of parents being ready to marry off their daughter’s pure vagina and stereotypical mommy’s boy who says: “Hello boys and girls” everytime he walks into a room. I laughed out loud with some scenes and, yet, was deeply impressed by Chao’s ability to also write the complicated family and community dynamics that these characters faced.

★★★☆☆

And, finally, last night I wrapped up the month by reading The Falling in Love Montage. I won’t lie: I loved the rom-com references throughout the book. I also liked our main character, Oliver and the trope of “this is just casual, I don’t actually like you” was done fairly well. However, I feel like the way this book discussed putting loved ones in institutions lacked SOOOOO much on nuance. It was implied numerous times that if you did so, you clearly did not love that person enough, when there are so many different things and circumstances that can lead people to make such decision. I hated how it felt like the author was shaming people who chose to do so.

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

Wallows released a new album in late October, but it’s definitely not my favorite release by them (it just sounds like a bunch of noise tbh, lol). However, beabadoobee’s new album compensated. I ended up not listening to a whole lot this month, but this playlist still has some gems.

LOOKING FORWARD

Everyone’s expecting a second round of lockdown in January, so I’ll probably use December to see some of my friends (in small social-distanced groups, of course) and study, since the semester is still going.

In December, I’ll also be celebrating my 2 year blogiversary and in honor of that, I’d like to do a Q&A! If you have any questions for me (or if you can just make up some so I don’t feel so unaccomplished if I have 0 questions to answer by December :/), leave them in this form!

How has your November been? Do you have any recommendations for me on Disney+? And if you have a Bookstagram, leave me your @, I’ll love to follow you all there too!

another round of the liebster award!

blog awards.

(intro)

Hello, friends!

First, I am sorry I have been so inactive lately. Between NaNo and school, life has been super chaotic and I haven’t found much time to blog.

I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Daria and I loved their questions so much, I just had to answer them!

ANSWERS

What’s a book you’ve been meaning to read for forever, but you still haven’t picked up?

I have SO many possible answers for this, lol. But I’ll try to answer with just three, so we’re not here forever.

AUTOBOYOGRAPHY. I finally have now a physical copy of this book and I hope to read it by the end of the year. But it feels like it’s been on my TBR for ages and it just needs to happen.

A REAPER AT THE GATES. Believe it or not – after TWO YEARS, this book has finally been translated to Portuguese and I’ll be able to catch up with this series! (I had read the first 2 in Portuguese, so I didn’t want to change to English halfway through the series). The covers have changed, though, meaning that they won’t match my past editions, not even in SIZE, which is a tragedy, but I’ll hopefully be reading it soon.

THE GREAT GATSBY. This is a classic I want to read since 2017 and I still haven’t, which needs to change already. I’m currently reading another classic, so hopefully after finishing this one, this genre will become less intimidating? *fingers crossed*.

Sun or rain?

gif cold herb dark flower flowers rain nature Magic autumn Twilight spring  Romantic Wind weather lavender raindrops magick gloomy pagan  bright-black-sunrise •

As much as I prefer gloomy weather over really hot weather, I also find that I can’t function outside when it’s raining, lol. So it’s kind of a big inconvenience, unless I know I’ll be staying indoors all day.

What genre you want to read more from?

I want to read more mysteries! I like the idea of teenage mysteries so much in my TV shows (Riverdale, Elite, Stranger Things), but I hardly ever pick up mystery books.

(Note the difference between thriller and mysteries, though. I find that thrillers typically have wayyyy to many triggers I can’t handle, such as sexual assault, graphic violence, domestic abuse, etc., so it would definitely have to be one that I can handle the subject matter).

If you were a writer, what story would you write?

Earthy Brand Moodboard Social Media Post

So, fun fact: I actually do have a WIP! I worked on it occasionally but I decided that this November, I’d take part in NaNoWriMo and finish it!

It’s a YA contemporary, with 8 (YES I KNOW IT’S TOO MUCH) different perspectives: 4 of them are best friends who are going on a road trip for the reunion concert of their favorite boyband; and the other 4 are of the members of said boyband, recounting their *glory days*.

It’s full of boyband shenanigans and it’s definitely gay. I lowkey love it, hahah.

What’s your favorite scent?

I don’t know if I necessarily have a favorite scent. I like anything sweet – vanilla, bubblegum, marshmallow, etc.

And since we’re here, my favorite smell is of books, which is sooooo cliché, but so true.

What’s a trope everyone seems to dislike but you love?

From what I recall, absent/bad parents is a trope a lot of people dislike and even I thought it was a least-favorite of mine for quite some time. But lately, I’ve been really enjoying stories focusing on a character either trying to rebuild a relationship with said bad parent or just focusing more on the main anyway, and not really having a proeminent parental figure at all. I think it makes more sense than forcing a relationship with a parent just for the sake of it, even when it doesn’t really add to the story in any way (cof cof Breath Like Water cof cof).

Who’s your favorite villain?

BLACK Panther Motivated — Medicine II (erik killmonger x black!reader)I was planning to write an entire post on it, but for now, I’ll just choose the same answer I talked to Daria about in her post: it has to be Killmonger, from Black Panther.

What I enjoy so much about him is how he’s such a well written villain for T’Challa. I feel like a lot of villains could be interchangeable, in the sense that it doesn’t really matter who they’re fighting, because they’re not a direct threat to our protagonist. But Killmonger is only fit for T’Challa – he represents things that T’Challa already thought about and confronts him with his own family and past, to question who’s he going to choose to be now.

It’s brilliant, really.

If your life would be turn into a book, who would you want to write it?

Nic Stone, absolutely! She’s one of my favorite authors because I think she’s able to handle very well dark/heavy topics, addressing their relevance, but still balancing it with light-hearted moments and witty banter.

What did you find the most shocking when you first started blogging?

I think I didn’t realize just how much blogging was going to impact my reading. Before I started blogging (and even after I did, but was still taking it very lightly), I read about 20 books a year, tops. Now, I’m reading around 50+ books a year, which is fantastic, and something I totally did not expect to accomplish when I took yet again *another* hobby.

Do you think you are a very analytical reader?

I think I’m slowly becoming ~more~ analytical, but not really, no. I don’t have enough brain cells to be truly analytical, but I do like to consider a lot of different things when reviewing my books and more than always, I have typically a lot of thoughts to share, hahah.

What’s your most anticipated release of 2021?

Since I shared three in the first question, I feel like it’s fair to share three again, right?

CONCRETE ROSE, BY ANGIE THOMAS. I still can’t believe we’ll be having a Big Mave story. I am so ready for the way in which this book is going to fuck me up.

MAY THE BEST MAN WIN, BY Z.R. ELLOR. All I know is that this will be like lovers to enemies to lovers, with a trans main and homecoming/high school shenanigans. I’m so hyped, I have no words.

THAT WAY MADNESS LIES, ORGANIZED BY DAHLIA ADLER. This is an anthology based on Shakespearean works, and we have K. Ancrum, Mark Oshiro and Anna Marie McLemore, and so many more amazing authors, I’m dead just thinking about it.

I won’t be nominating anyone, but let me know in the comments: what are your favorite villains, most anticipated releases of 2021 and your favorite most-hated trope?

what i’ve been watching recently #8

O da minha

Hello, friends!

Here’s me, again, talking about all the things I watched recently. I was supposed to have watched a completely different list of shows, but I decided not to keep a “to-watch” list and just go with the flow, so this is probably more of the same, but it makes me happy, soooo…

JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS (S1)

I’ve watched this show twice in less than a week. I’m simply so obsessed it’s embarrassing.

When I watched the trailer, I told myself I was not going to like it and there was no point in watching it. Julie and the Phantoms is inspired by a Brazilian Nickelodeon show that I used to watch as a kid, but it was very different aesthetically-wise and I was just?? What’s the point if the whole cast looks like they came out of Outer Banks and are not even goths?

But I was feeling bad as one does around their birthdays so I watched the whole thing, and then rewatched it again on my actual birthday. It’s just *the best*.

Julie and the Phantoms is just pure joy in 9 episodes. It’s wholesome, adorable and the soundtrack is uplifting and precious. It just shows how toxic masculinity, unnecessary competition and jealousy to cause drama are not necessary tropes for YA fiction to survive. I loved pretty much all the characters and have listened to the soundtrack nonstop for the past weeks. Love that for me.

EMILY IN PARIS (S1)

Emily em Paris": 7 curiosidades sobre a série da Netflix - Purebreak

Are you happy to be in Paris? Oui.

It’s hilarious to me that this show turned out to be “controversial” because of the European stereotypes. *laughs in Brazilian*. As if Latinx/South-American stereotypes haven’t existed in media for years, been incredibly more harmful and haven’t had at all the same amount of backlash. But I guess mocking third world countries is acceptable, just not colonizers. Anyways.

My thoughts on Emily in Paris can be summed up in:

  • Americans are annoying. We been knew.
  • French people are also annoying. Again, we been knew.
  • To be a white skinny attractive girl in Paris equals getting a new love interest every day.
  • Eiffel Tower can be a sexual position?
  • And the show would’ve been INFINITELY better had it been gay. (Camille x Emily > anyone else).

RIVERDALE (S4)

Look, I know this show is trash, ok. It honestly gets worse by the minute, and I don’t think I’ll be continuing watching after this season. The fact I’ve gotten this far is quite impressive, actually.

This season wasn’t all bad, to be honest. I cried during the entire first episode and episodes 13 through 15 left me absolutely hooked and I almost missed class one day because I couldn’t stop watching, lol. But that was pretty much it, though.

I hate how Riverdale is just incapable of developing more than a relationship at once, meaning that if we see the romantic relationships, the friendships and familiar relationships are completely forgotten. The writing is just as nonsensical as it’s ever been, but topped with the problematic representation and the lack of FP Jones in general, this is definitely my least favorite season and also my official goodbye to the show.

DASH AND LILY (S1)

Imagem

Y’all.

I cried watching the trailer, which I think says enough about how excited I was to watch this. I’ve been to NYC twice, both times around Christmas, so seeing all the different buildings and their Christmas decorations and the overwhelming Christmas soundtrack made me SO nostalgic.

Is this show perfect? Absolutely not. The ending is anti-climatic, it seems to have been directed by a different person in every episode and some are not really good, it’s quite slow and the characters are the epitome of “not like other kids”.

But this show captured my aesthetic perfectly: Christmas lights and Christmas songs, New York City, being an outsider/weird/a loner, bookstores and notebooks, pizza, even the JONAS BROTHERS. This was art, I was happy AF watching it and I highly recommend it to put you in the Christmas spirit.

What have you guys been watching recently? Any new favorites? If you’ve watched Julie and the Phantoms, let me know your favorite character & song!

five YA books with female protagonists that deserve the moon and back

book recs.(1)

So, when it comes to female characters, I always take a while longer to connect to them than with male ones. I don’t know why and we could probably get ourselves in a lengthy debate about internalized misogyny and double-standard expectations that we don’t really have time for today, so let’s just say that:

These characters swept me off my feet. I didn’t expect to love them as much as I did, or to become as protective as I was of them while I read it. And now I am urging you to read them, so we can gush about their absolute *perfection*. Basically.

LOBIZONA

Trigger warnings: ICE raids, anti-immigration sentiments

IMG_4679We follow in Lobizona our protagonist Manu, an undocummented Argentinian immigrant who finds herself wrapped up in the world of the Septimus – a magical world of brujas and werewolves. However, Manu is a lobizona, aka a she-wolf, the only of her kind.

When we start out this book, is impossible not to immediately love and sympathize with Manu. She’s a very lonely character, as having unique eyes has essentially privated her from any sort of normal, so she doesn’t really have any friends her age. We also then get to see Manu trying to protect her family, as well as finding things about her past, and it’s clear her determination and bravery through it all.

I loved her inner monologue so much and found myself deeply connected with her from the first few pages. I also really appreciate how, throughout the course of the novel, we see how much Manu is not interested in settling in with a couple of people who love and accept her for who she is. She becomes determined in carving a place in this world where she can belong, and not only for her, but for all the people who dare to be different.

She’s simply so fucking great it made the entire reading experience worth it for me.

LET’S CALL IT A DOOMSDAY

IMG_6033Our protagonist Ellis is a questioning bisexual Mormon girl with anxiety, who experiences a lot of intrusive thoughts, mostly related to the apocalypse. Things change in her life once she meets this girl named Hannah, who believes she knows when the apocalypse will happen.

This book was a *delight*, as can be expected from Katie Henry. But what I adored so much about Ellis is how she’s a character who’s simply trying her best. Not only is she trying to decide what is the best way to deal with the fact she holds possible knowledge about the doomsday, but she’s also experiencing a lot of confusion in relation to her feelings to both a girl best friend at her church and this mysterious, intriguing boy in her new friend group.

She’s definitely not a perfect character, but her flaws made her relatable and even more likable in my opinion. I also appreciated a lot how this book centers in a female friendship and delivers *a lot* of emotions on that front, so really, you’re getting two amazing female characters here.

SAINTS AND MISFITS

Trigger warnings: attempted rape, sexual assault, sharing of photos without hijab (with no permission), islamophobia.

IMG_6035S.K. Ali’s most recent novel, Love From A to Z, is very popular, and I wish more people would pay attention to this one, which I believe is her debut. Saints and Misfits follows Janna, a fifteen year old Muslim girl who’s trying to decide how to come forward about a sexual assault where the assailant is someone very well known in her community.

This book was hard to read, mostly because I felt like Janna was being failed by pretty much everyone around her. I really disliked all our side characters, tbh. Her two best friends were very judgemental and not entirely supportive, her brother was annoying, her mom clearly favored him the entire time, and I just wanted to get inside the book, wrap Janna in a blanket and tell her everything was going to be fine – even if her support system kinda sucked.

It’s also incredibly important to see Janna’s growth as she tries to understand herself as well as everything that happened with her. I liked the fact this is a coming of age story, while also discussing sexual assault and how difficult and challenging it can be for a victim to come forward, especially in the situation our protagonist was.

FURIA

Trigger warnings: domestic violence, depictions and discussions of violence against women, implications of predatory behavior

Ha. Me screaming about Furia. Again. Sorry, but what can I say? I will continue to scream until y’all start reading more Latinx/South American authors.

IMG_5118Furia is set entirely in the city of Rosario, Argentina, starring our main character Camila, who wants to be a professional football player. We follow her as she manages to take her team to the Sudamericano and is also grappling with sexism, misogyny, and a complicated relationship.

I love so many elements of this book, but I’ll focus on Camila for now. She’s incredibly determined, badass, and super strong. She knows what she wants and she wants to get there by herself, in her own merit. She can also find small ways to find sexism and injustice whenever she can, but is also aware enough of her surroundings to know when is not safe to stand up.

This book discusses feminism at lenght (if you’re familiar with the feminist movement in Argentina or the Ni Una Menos protests, this one will definitely hit home) and has amazing and powerful female relationships and overall really great discussions.

Oh yes, and a lot of football too, which is just, you know, ~a given~.

KINGS, QUEENS AND IN-BETWEENS

Y’all have been sleeeeeepping on this one, ok. Go read it!

Kings, Queens and In-Betweens centers around Nima, who gets wrapped up in the world of drag queens and drag kings. She learns a lot of powerful lessons – the ones I yeeted the most about were surrounding identity and found families – and also makes a bunch of mistakes, which was honestly delightful nonetheless.

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  • Nima is 100% chaotic lesbian. She falls in love with every pretty girl that steps in front of her, which you know, who can blame her?
  • We also have a questioning jock as a sidekick that surprisingly grows on you after a while.
  • The aspect of found families, like I mentioned, is so pure!!!!!
  • Also complicated family dynamics, as Nima doesn’t have a relationship with her mom.
  • Oh yes, and DRAG QUEENS AND KINGS and a lot of sparkle.

This book’s writing wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but I still would recommend it for a female protagonist that you can’t help but adore.

Alright, friends! If you have any other books to recommend with great female protagonists, please, let me know in the comments!