who am i book tag

booktag

Hello, fellow bloggers!

Today, I’m bringing yet another book tag. This one is quite different, though, and I love the questions! The first time I saw this tag was in Adriana‘s channel @ Perpetual Pages (which is by the way, a phenomenal channel and they’re amazingggg).

This tag was started by PBS Digital Studios in conjunction with The Great American Read, around the time when you were supposed to vote for America’s Favorite Novel. I’m not American, so you can imagine I barely glanced twice at this, but the questions were great, so I’ll be answering nonetheless!

ONE. If your life were a book genre, what would it be?

Definitely a YA contemporary. I actually imagine my life as a book sometimes, and I write a lot based in my own experiences – or how I wish they would turn out, because life is boring but books are not. Not that they actually become anything more than a paragraph, most of the times, but it’s a fun way to look at my life – through a fictional lense.

Here’s a paragraph that I wrote last year, when I was in New York City, taking the subway everyday. It’s super random, and doesn’t mean much, but it shows how much I take inspiration from things that happen around me when I’m writing.

He slipped through the subway doors right as they were closing. His body moved so subtly and swiftly, and in a glimpse of an eye he was inside. I didn’t even see him moving, except when his long legs and hooded eyes were already inside the wagon.

TWO. What villain from a book do you identify with the most?

PJOThis is a weird question, because I typically don’t like villains or morally grey characters. But Luke Castellan, from Percy Jackson, is pretty much me sometimes.

  • Holds grugdges ✔️
  • Bad relationship with their father ✔️
  • Doesn’t know how to cook ✔️
  • Doesn’t cope well with failure ✔️

Uh, yeah. Pretty much me. I do like to believe I’m not such an antagonist, though.

 

THREE. What protagonist are you most similar to? 

One of the first protagonists I deeply related with was Tris, from Divergent. She’s selfless and smart, which are traits I share. Granted, she’s much more of a badass than I’ll ever be, but I still felt like we’d be great friends if we shared the same world. Plus, every test I took would put me in either Abnegation or Erudite, so there’s only Dauntless keeping us apart, if you think about it.

Apart from Tris, I also need to mention Ari, from Ari & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I read this book for the first time when I was fourteen, so we were pretty close on age. From his relationship with his father, to his thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, Ari was one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever encountered in YA.

FOUR. Which book did you connect with in the past that you no longer do?

Resultado de imagem para mockingjay gif

That will for sure have to be The Hunger Games trilogy. When I first picked up this series, I think I was severely carried away by the hype. I have more memories of feeling frustrated towards the book than I have of actually enjoying it.

Over the years, my rating has changed a lot. I’m still overall thankful for the series, because it introduced me to other dystopians that I love (as Divergent and The Maze Runner), but I certainly don’t have the same love for the characters as I once did.

FIVE. What recent book read would you love to be a character in?

Obviously, Truly Devious! I love the idea of an academy for kids that are incredibly passionate about one thing. I don’t think I’m particularly excelent in anything, except perhaps procrastinating, but as a fictional character, I could thrive a lot more.

I actually think about how much better I’d be as a fictional character than as a real person approximately 43 times a day.

If I could be part of the Truly Devious cast, I’d love to be the dancer – because I have zero dancing skills but am obsessed with ballet nonetheless.

SIX. How do your reading habits show off your personality?

The fact I don’t have many reading habits just show that my life is CONSTANTLY all over the place. I have no idea what’s going on half of the time.

I think the only thing I do consistently is track my reading. I love the idea to track my star ratings and my overall thoughts on a book, just as much as I love tracking my favorite songs for the month or all the movies I’ve watched. I’m a tracker, not a planner.

I also don’t have TBRs and consider myself a mood reader, because I’m absolutely incapable of doing things that I set myself to. By the time I write a to-do list, it’s ruined. I have to go with the flow.

SEVEN. What book taught you something about yourself?

I think Ari & Dante was a super life-changing novel for me, so it couldn’t be any other. Just the realization that my feelings were understood and therefore valid, even if I was relating to fictional people, was a super important moment for me. This book means more to me than I can explain, and it definitely taught me that it’s okay to feel out of place in your own skin sometimes.

 

 

 

Let me hear from you in the comments down below! Which book have you changed your opinion on? And if you were in the Ellingham Academy, what would you be known for?

Anúncios

book review: odd one out, by nic stone

IMG_0668From the author of Dear Martin comes this exploration of old friendships, new crushes, and the path to self-discovery.

Courtney “Coop” Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn’t mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.

Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed “new girl” would be synonymous with “pariah,” but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I’m right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.

Jupiter Charity-Sanchez
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . .

One story.
Three sides.
No easy answers.

I read Odd One Out during February, because of a personal TBR of mine in which I wanted to read only black authors for Black History Month. And since I was already familiar with Nic Stone – I actually re-read her debut, Dear Martin, this February too -, it felt like the perfect choice.

Now, I went into this book having already heard mixed reviews for it. My Goodreads feed was pretty polarizing: some gave 4 stars, others gave it 2. My expectations weren’t high, so I wouldn’t call this a disappointing read, but it was for sure an odd one indeed.

COISAS BOAS

  1. The writing style! I simply adore the way Nic Stone writes. Her contemporary is just my kind of contemporary, so we’re good. There are a lot of dialogues and very short chapters. The characters are hilarious and I for sure laughed out loud when reading this. Despise how entertaining it may be, she’s also able to address very serious topics as well, and it works like magic. This book follows three different narrators, and I feel like despise the perspectives sounding different, they still felt very connected through her writing voice, which I think it’s pretty impressive.
  2. The overall message. As the author mentions herself in the acknowledgements, this book was written from a very personal place. I think the way Nic Stone explored sexuality in this novel was great: it really is a fluid, ever-changing place. Jupiter’s character goes through a phenomenal development throughout the book and I appreciated that a lot. I feel like for other teenagers who are questioning their sexuality, this book can be truly helpful.
  3. The narrators for the audiobook were SO GREAT. I’m so glad that I gave this audiobook a chance! The narrator for Cooper, Dion Graham, was the best one. He was able to concieve all emotions and made the reading so entertaining and dynamic. I found out that he’s the narrator for Dear Martin too, and now I regret not having listened to it as well. Nic Stone herself narrates for Jupiter’s perspective, and I also adore her voice. Even if I didn’t like the narrator for Rae as much, this was still a 10/10 audiobook experience.
  4. The “mystery” was so fun! There’s a mini mystery subplot in this, surrounding Cooper’s childhood idol and it was so well done! I wish it had lasted a bit longer, though, and I certainly wouldn’t have minded at all if we’d spent the whole book trying to figure it out.

COISAS RUINS

  1. This is kind of a very messy love triangle. All the characters are kind of in love with each other, and I think it was one of the most complicated love-triangles of all time. These characters have no idea how to handle their feelings, and albeit realistic, I still feel like I would’ve liked for the story to provide more “healthy” ways to deal with your confusion. As these characters try to figrue out their miscommunications and lack of honesty with their own feelings, they end up getting each other hurt. I like to believe there’s a better way of figuring things out that do not involve hurting so many others in the process. (Probably some therapy?).
  2. It’s a Cooper-Jupiter story. I don’t know if it was because I was truly more invested in their narrations, but I feel like both Cooper and Jupiter were much more fleshed out characters, and they felt very real. Rae, in the other hand, was a bit left out. She’s the addition to the friend group, so I understand why maybe she wasn’t given as much attention as a character, but even towards the end, I feel like the story just left Rae in the outside.
  3. Jupiter. Honestly, Jupiter is one of the most unlikable protagonists I’ve ever read about. She struggles a lot in being honest with herself and just makes some decisions sometimes that had me eye-rolling sooooo bad. She would flirt with Cooper and then pretend it never happened; give him all these wrong signs and then act oblivious to it. I for real felt like punching her sometimes.

IMG_0671Overall, I feel like this was a weird book to rate. At times, I was sure it would be a 5-star read, just to move to the following chapter and hate everyone again. I feel just as confused as these characters are, but I think that was the author’s goal at the end of the day.

This story is not perfect, nor neat and nice, but it for sure gave me a lot to think about. It also solidified my love for Nic Stone and I can not wait to read more from her in the future.

 

3 ESTRELAS

Have you ever read Odd One Out? If so, how did you like it? (Also, there are so many Queen references in this, which was amazinggg!)

characters who would be sorted in my hogwarts house

top5

Hello, fellow bloggers!

Today, I’m taking part in my first ever TOP 5 WEDNESDAY. It is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes, one of my favorite booktubers ever. And this week’s topic sounded like a lot of fun, and I’ll finally have the chance to play sorting hat!

My Hogwarts house is currently in a crisis, as every other aspect of my life, truly. I’ve always been a Slytherin, as it is the house I mostly identify with. But as I took the most recent Pottermore test, I ended up being sorted in Ravenclaw. I do like both houses and I feel like my personality would fit in both, so I truly don’t know where I stand.

For the sake of this post, I’ll be sorting characters in Slytherin. Maybe in the future, I can do a part 2 and sort some for Ravenclaw too! Let’s get started:

Resultado de imagem para sorting hat gif

Slytherins tend to be ambitious, shrewd, cunning, strong leaders, and achievement-oriented. They also have highly developed senses of self-preservation. This means that Slytherins tend to hesitate before acting, so as to weigh all possible outcomes before deciding exactly what should be done. Slytherins tend to take charge and possess strong leadership skills. Slytherins are often self-assured and confident of their own competence and can be very loyal. 

1. STEVIE, FROM TRULY DEVIOUS

Now, Stevie could also be sorted into Ravenclaw, that’s for sure. She’s witty and observant, but there’s something about her personality that just makes me feel like she’d be better fit in Slytherin.

She’s obsessed with true crime, investigations and listening to podcasts about murders. I also feel like she has a very leader-like personality, and wants to be ahead of everyone, which is so Slytherin of her. Even though she’s still developing some self-confidence, I think throughout the novel she grows a lot more sure of her skills.

2. BAZ PITCH, FROM CARRY ON

Now, I know, I know: Rainbow Rowell has already sorted Baz as a Hufflepuff. And considering she’s the writer of the book and all, she’s the most trustworthy source I can think of. But it’s still okay to come up with headcanons, right?

Baz is such a Slytherin for me. He’s cunning and overdramatic. Feels things so intensely all the time. Definitely a leader. Sarcasm is his only language. He’s also *very* self-destructive, which though not a canon Slytherin trait, is a common thread for a few.

Basically: I love Baz too much and I want to be in the same house as he is, so, yeah.

3. HANNA DONNELLY, FROM THE ILLUMINAE FILES

I feel like Hanna would be one of those Slytherins that could’ve also been sorted in Gryffindor. These two houses are very similar, so I can see The Sorting Hat debating about Hanna like it did with Harry.

There’s absolutely no doubt that this girl is brave AF and definitely loyal too, but something about her planning skills just scream Slytherin to me.

She is a true strategyst and knows how to look ahead and expect her oponnent’s other moves. And she knows she’s badass, so we can tick the confidence out of the way too.

2. HELENE AQUILLA, FROM AN EMBER IN THE ASHES

Similar to Hanna, Helene is a true strategyst. I also feel like she could be a Gryffindor, but especially in the second book, we get to see a darker side of her that truly fits nowhere else but in Slytherin.

  • Leader-ship ✔️
  • Ambition ✔️
  • Self-confidence ✔️
  • Loyalty ✔️

Actually, my favorite trait about Helene’s character is her loyalty. She’ll do anything for the people that she has declared her loyalty for – even if these are not the smartest of the choices. And even if loyalty is more of a Hufflepuff trait than anything, I think to certain extents it can be very Slytherin too.

1. PERCY JACKSON

Speaking of loyalty, there’s Percy Jackson.

The fandom is kinda divided about this matter: some people are sure that Percy is a Hufflepuff. But I’m a hardcore Slytherin!Percy all the way.

The moment that truly solidified this for me was during House of Hades.

How was he keeping his cool? The way he talked to Bob left Annabeth awestruck… and maybe a little uneasy, too. If he’d been manipulating Bob into making that choice… well, then, Annabeth was stunned that Percy could be so calculating.

He met her eyes, but she couldn’t read his expression. That bothered her, too.

Resultado de imagem para percy jackson fanartPercy was so cunning during this scene – and many others throughout the series too. He definitely knows how to manipulate people into getting what he wants. Mostly monsters who want to kill him, but still.

His fatal flaw is loyalty, and similar to Helene, it’s the type of trait that, when the stakes are high, can be very dangerous. And I think Percy is the type to let the world burn in flames if he has to save his friends – which is pretty Slytherin if you ask me.

 

 

Yay! This was fun! Let me know in the comments which characters would you sort into Slytherin or your personal Hogwarts house!

 

in which i discuss sexual content in YA books

discussions

Hello, fellow bloggers!

Today, I’m bringing a very lengthy discussion on a matter that I’ve been thinking a lot about. This post was inspired by two other discussions I saw in the bookish community: ‘Do Books Give False Expectations for Relationships?’ by Clo @ Book Dragons and ‘Teens Are Losing YA‘, by Francina Simone.

Now, before I get into my thoughts, I just want to clarify that all the “sexual content” I refer here is the implied sex scenes. Obviously, YA won’t have any type of explicit sexual content, so I’ll be discussing here the implicit ones.

one

Why is there so much sex in YA?

I know some may disagree with me on this and say that, actually, they haven’t seen enough of sex in YA these days. I feel like it has a lot to do with genres. Because I read mostly contemporary, and these focus a lot on romance, you are more likely to see all the steps of their romantic relationship – thus the sex. As for fantasy/sci-fi, there’s typically way too much happening and the characters don’t have enough time to worry about it.

BOOKS I’VE READ WITH IMPLIED SEXUAL CONTENT IN THE PAST 5 MONTHS:

Now, even as a contemporary and romance lover, I still do not understand the inability to discuss relationships without mentioning sex. As I recognize that these two are intertwined, they are not co-dependent. As the asexual community tries to install: to have romantic feelings & sexual feelings are completely different. For some people, they come as a package deal; but not for everyone. Therefore, I don’t think it’s “unnatural” to follow a romantic relationship with no sex in them.

BOOKS I’VE READ WITH ROMANCE BUT NO SEXUAL CONTENT IN THE PAST 5 MONTHS:

I am not 100% opposed to sexual content in YA books, though. I just wonder why do we have so much of it. And watching Francina Simone’s discussions kinda light up some of the few answers for that questioning.

The new-adult genre is pretty much populated by romance with a lot of explicit sex in them. And for authors that want to write about anything *else* than that – like desert-based fantasies or fluffy contemporaries with non-binary main characters -, new adult ends up not being the fitting space to do so. Therefore, they end up in YA.

But these characters are still sometimes thought to be slightly older than they actually are. I think we can all name a few books where our 16-year-old protagonists act like 25, and that’s probably because they should’ve been written like 25 year olds, but wouldn’t fit there either.

There are a lot of other reasons why the new-adult niche needs change ASAP and I won’t be discussing all of them now. But I do feel like there’s a lack of place for some stories now, and the consequences of that affect on the amount of sexual content in YA books.

two

The sexualization of underage characters

One of the main issues I find when we’re discussing sexual content on YA is that, at the end of the day, we are talking about underage people. I do understand that people do take part in sexual activity way before they’re legal, and pretending that they don’t is just fake, but sometimes, it can just rub me the wrong way.

I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed it in books, but rather more in shows. Take Riverdale, for example. I am aware that this show has more problems than I could count in one hand, but I feel like one people brush upon is the sexualization of their characters, who are supposed to be teenagers.

Like how Archie or Reggie are constantly seen shirtless, showing off their abs. Or Betty, exploring some borderline kinky sex. I feel like the show sometimes forgets that these characters are supposed to be 15~16.

Resultado de imagem para shirtless archie gif

let’s have shirtless archie because at least this is less cringe-y than “dark betty”

And even though I’ve never seen this come up explicitly in books, it doesn’t mean that the YA book fandom isn’t sexualizing the heck out of some characters. I know: they’re fictional, but it still makes me uncomfortable sometimes. I feel like YA needs to be a safe place for teenagers – including the fandom portion of it -, and the idea of characters your age being sexualized by other adult fans doesn’t really sound comfortable.

three

How is sex being represented on page

I think my main issue with the sexual content in YA lately is the way it’s represented. Sex is not a life-changing event. It doesn’t determine your worth as a person: whether you’ve had sex with 500 people or just one, it doesn’t say anything about who you are as a person.

One of the main reasons why I’ve refrained from discussions like this for so long is because sex has always made me super uncomfortable. (And I guess I still am – but for other reasons, mostly to due with my sexuality lol.) It’s always seemed like sex had to be this *big deal*, this turning point for all relationships. And I get it: it’s not like you can really get back your first time. But you can’t really get back the first time you listen to a song, or have ice-cream, and you don’t see no one is writing sonets about that.

My point is: YA needs to stop making sex sound like such a big deal. It’s time for us to discuss it naturally, and sometimes even awkwardly. Mostly, I think we need to stop to add sex right at the turning point of the story, because it just sustains the idea that it is a life-changing event when is not.

Books like All The Bright Places or When Dimple Met Rishi are perfect examples of that. Right before the story we know changes or we reach the climax and plot-twist, the protagonists have sex. It’s kinda like a weird premonition, and it’s more common in YA books than ever.

I do understand that almost all of the books I mentioned are ones with straight relationships. And I’m completely on board with defending more sexual content in queer books as well. My point is not banning sexual content from YA books forever, but just questioning the why’s and how’s this is taking place.

However, when it comes to queer books, I am also a fan of the idea of not including sex whatsoever. And this is not coming from a place of “I don’t want to read about gay sex”, but rather from a place of “why do I feel like most queer content is already oversexualized?

If you think about the queer characters you know from movies or shows, you’re most likely to remember them involved in a sex scene. Just think about movies like Call Me By Your Name or Carol. They all have explicit sexual content in them. And it’s somewhat refreshing sometimes to read about a queer love story that it’s still PG-13.

Again, I do still understand why queer sexual content is ground-breaking. This was a taboo concept for a really long time, and the fact we’re able to even see two men kissing on a screen is something to be celebrated. But there are pros and cons to everything.

Resultado de imagem para love simon gif

One of the main reasons why I adored Love Simon so much is because it was a gay rom-com that I could literally show to my whole family, with no fear of “looking obscene.” And I’ll never stop craving more stories like that.

conclusion

Let’s discuss! Do you also feel like there’s way too much sex in YA? Or you’re okay about it? And how do you think this matter is being represented on page?

 

the naughty or nice book tag!

booktag

Hello, fellow bookworms!

The lovely Taasia @ Librae Paints Pages tagged me in the Naughty & Nice tag, and I was instantly super excited about it. First: because Taasia is an angel and her blog is flawless, along with all of her content. Second: because the tag is a loooot of fun.

Even though it’s more of a Christmas related tag, it’s always time for some Christmas spirit, right? (Says me, the Grinch, who absolutely hates Christmas but gets soft over Christmas songs). I am excited to answer some of these, as I feel like I’m the naughtiest of the readers out there. I’ll understand if we can not be friends after this, lol.

Let’s check my answers:

RECEIVED AND ARC AND NOT REVIEWED IT

Bold of you to assume I even know what ARCs are, lol. I don’t know how to answer this, though, but I guess it makes me nice as I have never received an ARC, therefore I have absolutely no pressure to review it either!

nice

HAVE LESS THAN 60% FEEDBACK RATING ON NETGALLEY

Fun fact: I’ve never opened Netgalley in my life. I don’t even know what their interface looks like, lol. Am I even considered a book blogger after this?

I’ve never seen the point of it, basically. I don’t have enough of a following to request ARCs, plus I’m in Brazil and we all know how Netgalley loves the international blogger community, so I never even thought of opening it & seeing how it looks like.

But I did for the sake of this tag, and this is what I found:

Captura de Tela 2019-02-21 às 12.53.10

My first impressions on the Netgalley website:

  • It’s more colorful than I thought.
  • It also looks very welcoming. For some reason, I was expecting a dark and mysterious website, like: “are you even Allowed to be here?”
  • I’ve never seen any of the books in display, but the third one (The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green) looks cute.

So I think this makes me nice AF, honestly. And I’m sure I’ve also taken you guys through a memory hole as you try to remember the first time you’ve ever opened Netgalley too.

nice

RATED A BOOK ON GOODREADS AND PROMISED A FULL REVIEW WAS TO COME ON YOUR BLOG (AND NEVER DID)

I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever promised a full review on my blog, so this doesn’t exactly make me naughty. Considering I didn’t break any promises, I think I’m safe. But out of all 10 books I read, I do only write a full review for 2 and I have no. regrets.

nice

FOLDED DOWN THE PAGE OF A BOOK

Bro, sometimes, you just don’t have a bookmark around. It’s practical and only self-damaging, as I never did this to books I don’t owe. It’s cool.

naughty

DNF-ed A BOOK THIS YEAR

Technically, I’m doing this a bit earlier than you should (it is a Christmas tag, after all), but 2019 has been okay about not DNF-ing books. I don’t think 2018 was any different, so I’m safe.

nice

BOUGHT A BOOK PURELY BECAUSE IT WAS PRETTY WITH NO INTENTION OF READING IT

What type of first world assumption is this? Like I have the money to spend on books just for the aesthetic, honestly. I’ve bought books because they were pretty, of course, but I also wanted to read them. I acquired the first three books in the Percy Jackson series with the new covers, even if I already owe them, BUT I also wanted to re-read the series anyway, and I did make use of the new editions.

nice

READ WHILST YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE (HOMEWORK)

Jeez, I read in class so many times this past year I can’t even count. So, yeah, I was 100% supposed to be paying attention to my Physics class, but my book was a lot more entertaining. I’m not sorry.

naughty

SKIM READ A BOOK

A daily activity. I skim read *a lot* of books. Jump to the dialogues. Skip whole paragraphs. I’m a mess, truly.

Recently, though, this became a problem, when I read ‘The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory’. The book didn’t really have sex scenes, but rather sex paragraphes. Which means that I could miss a lot with my skim-reading, lol.

naughty

COMPLETELY MISSED YOUR READING GOAL

People who have completed all their Goodreads goals are WIZARDS. Hogwarts, come collect them.

naughty

BORROWED A BOOK AND NOT RETURNED IT TO THE LIBRARY

I still have two childhood books that I never returned to my school’s library. I still have the stickers, the plastic and even that tiny file at the end of the book with all the people who got it before me. So, yeah, super guilty.

naughty

BROKE A BOOK BUYING BAN

Well, I never really had a book buying ban. I think it’s pretty luxurious to have one, if I’m honest. Most of the time, I’m TRYING to buy a book not really trying to STOP it, lol.

nice

STARTED A REVIEW, LEFT IT FOR AGES, AND THEN FORGOT WHAT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT

One thing I can actually be proud of: I have very good memory, and I remember my books pretty well, even after months. At least, I’m safe for this one.

nice

WROTE IN A BOOK YOU WERE READING

I like to highlight my favorite quotes more than I like to write in my books. I don’t think I have enough comments to add, but I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve written in books for required reads before, but just a couple “translations” for passages that I couldn’t understand. I do think this makes me naughty nonetheless, though.

naughty

FINISHED A BOOK AND NOT ADDED IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

I finish books solely so I can add them to my Goodreads. It’s my biggest pleasure. I’d never.

nice

BORROWED A BOOK AND NOT RETURNED IT TO A FRIEND

I’m the friend that lends the books and never gets them back, so I don’t think it would work the other way around. Should probably try one day, though.

nice

DODGED SOMEONE ASKING WHETHER THEY CAN BORROW A BOOK

Uhhhh….

naughty

BROKE THE SPINE OF SOMEONE ELSE’S BOOK

Never for someone else. But a lot of times for my own books. It’s much more comfortable to read with a broken spine. Don’t @ me.

nice

TOOK THE JACKET OFF A BOOK TO PROTECT IT AND ENDED UP MAKING IT MORE DAMAGED

This is my life story in one sentence. I typically take the jacket off because it’s more comfortable to read without it, though, but it’s never in a good condition once I put it back on.

naughty

SAT ON A BOOK ACCIDENTALLY

Uhhh… I think?

What’s the crime on that, though? I sit on my phone accidentally on a daily basis. It’s fine.

naughty

OVERALL…

  • Naughty: 9
  • Nice: 10

That was tight, but I think I’m nice? Shocked. Guess we can still be friends, then!

Let me know down below: would you be considered a naughty or nice reader? And do you still remember your first thoughts opening up the Netgalley page? Oh, and once again, thanks Taasia for tagging me!

book review: the illuminae files, by amie kaufman and jay kristoff

IMG_0477This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Finally, I’m bringing a review of one of my favorite trilogies of all times. The Illuminae Files was such a surprise for me, as I’d never been a fan of sci-fi. Picking up this series was an act very out of my comfort zone: firstly, because I read the entire trilogy in English, which is not my first language; and secondly because the format makes the entire experience very unique.

Told in a sequence of files and documments, Illuminae was still able to deliver amazing characters and relationships, taking me completely by surprise. And though not perfect, I enjoyed every single second of the ride.

COISAS BOAS

  1. The writing style! Because this series is told in very different documments, the writing style was always dynamic. In one page, you’re reading just instant messages; in the other, you’re reading very sarcastic camera transcripts. You don’t really have time to get tired of the style, as it was ever-changing, which made for a very fun experience.
  2. The characters & the relationships. Kady and Ezra are my biggest sweethearts. They’re funny, sarcastic and also incredibly loving and brave. I also really liked getting to know Rhys and Asha in the last installment, as well as Ella Malikova and her always snarky remarks. The characters were all incredibly fleshed out – which I didn’t expect, considering you’re not inside their heads as you would in a regular narration. Instead, you get to know them solely through their messages & conversations, but that was already enough to make me fall hard. The relationships – romantic and familiar – were also beautiful and heartbreaking.
  3. Our beloved villain, AIDAN. AIDAN is literally a computer, an artificial inteligence that is supposed to protect them. But AIDAN has a very interesting way of seeing “protection”. It’s also incredibly dramatic and has possibly the best narration of all. Incapable of understanding sarcasm – which is a problem, considering the cast of characters – AIDAN made me laugh as much as it made me furious.
  4. This series is ridiculously action-packed and impossible to put down. Important to note: these books are STRESSFUL. There’s so much happening and the stakes are always so high. These characters hardly ever get a moment to breathe; it is a constant go-go-go that really makes impossible to stop reading. I will say, though, that Obsidio, the last book, had a much more comfortable pacing than the previous two. It’s still dynamic and entertaining, but you can definitely take a breath between the pages.

COISAS RUINS

  1. Hanna/Nik. They’re by far my least-favorite couple and characters in the series. Even though I adored Gemina and had so much fun with that book, I just couldn’t stand them. Nik is sort of an asshole and keeps making moves on Hanna, even though she has a boyfriend + stated that she doesn’t feel comfortable with it. And, then, after all the inconvenient jokes, he’s still rewarded by the creepy behaviour? Uh, no thanks.
  2. Sometimes, it was too much. As much as I love the fact the series is action-packed, I will say that not always it was easy to read. I feel like I kept putting off the third book because I knew it would be a very stressful experience; and one you need to have time to commit to. Because it’s so hard to put these books down, I found myself sometimes refraining from reading, because I wouldn’t have enough time and couldn’t keep reading it.
  3. It’s hard to get into each book. Another thing I found hard in these books is that it’s quite confusing to get into them. Because I gave myself about a year between each book, I had already forgotten a lot about the previous one and it’s hard to ambient yourself again. The first 50 pages are all a bit weird to get through, but once you do, it’s majestic.

IMG_0482Obviously, The Illuminae Files has become one of my favorite trilogies of all times. Even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi, I’d still recommend picking it up! I didn’t think I’d be so invested in the characters as I was, and I certainly didn’t think I’d find myself wanting to read more sci-fi after this series.

These books made me feel everything, from anger to sadness to warm fuzzies. These characters go through a lot, but are always up to another fight. It doesn’t mean they don’t get burn out or depressed, and the authors made sure to create very fleshed out & three-dimensional personalities.

5 ESTRELAS

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this trilogy and what are your thoughts on it. And also, who’s your favorite character? Mine is definitely Kady! She’s amazing!

monthly wrap up: february, ’19

montlhywrapup

Hello, fellow bloggers!

February has already come to an end. Even though it is the shortest month of the year, I feel like so much has happened since my last wrap-up. Mostly: school happened. And I’m still trying to get used to all the future changes I’ll have to go through *shrugs*.

Anyway, onto this wrap up:

HIGHLIGHTS

  • I got a SCRIBD subscription! I’m so excited about it already! I’ve been wanting to read more audiobooks – this was actually one of my 2019 goals – and SCRIBD was the one with the best deal for me. So far, it has been great! I really like the fact that I can be reading even when I’m doing other things (playing Gardenscapes like crazy) and I hope it will help me achieve my Goodreads goal even when school gets chaotic.
  • School has officially started. So far, our first week has been pretty chill; we are mostly getting to know classmates, teachers, the buildings and all. I’m going to a big university, so it is a bit overwhelming walking through the campus sometimes. I’m looking forward to finding my group of people. I feel like everyone I’ve met so far is in college to party & drink – and I’m not interested in either. Nonetheless, I’m excited to be studying something I’m very passionate about and I’m looking forward to the projects for next months.
  • I watched Billy Elliot and I haven’t gotten over it yet. Honestly, I’m not the type of person to care for highly-acclaimed films. Obviously, since my favorite movie is 27 Dresses. But I find that my problem with Academy Award nominees is that, even if I can recognize they’re well-crafted, they just bore the living hell out of me. But Billy Elliot wasn’t like that at all. It was a movie with A+ acting, fantastic writing AND that also made me feel everything. I’m so in love with it!

WHAT I READ:

For the month of February, I commited myself to read only books by black authors in honor of Black History month. This is what I ended up reading:

Resultado de imagem para let's talk about love claire kann quotes

★★★★☆

Let’s Talk About Love, by Claire Kann was a super interesting read. I’d been wanting to read this one for a long time now, mainly because it features an asexual protagonist. The book was adorable indeed, and so were the characters. I was not expecting the friendship element to the story and it was my favorite – obviously, because when am I not crying over fictional friendships? Takumi, the love interest, was sweet & all, but he felt way too perfect at times. Nonetheless, it was a solid contemporary and I just want all asexual characters having happy endings.

 

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★★★★☆

All American Boys was the best book I read this month, and I’ve already done an entire review on it (a huge one, btw), so I won’t talk much about it here. To put it simply: if you liked Dear Martin or The Hate U Give, you need to read All American Boys. It’s just as moving, powerful and incredibly important. The writing was, at first, hard to get through, but it gets better! I promise!

 

 

 

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★★☆☆☆

The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory was my first 2.5 stars of the year and I don’t know why I’m so happy about it. Basically, 2019 has so far been the best reading year and I’ve only read 4~5 stars books, except for this one. I was basically begging for an opportunity to rant. Now, The Wedding Date wasn’t even that bad. But I went into it thinking it was going to be a lot of fake-dating trope, and it becomes more of a friends-with-benefits trope – which I like, but just wasn’t what I expected. There was way too much miscommunication and I feel like the book dragged more than I would’ve liked, so even though it was entertaining, fast-paced and did the job, it wasn’t anything too special.

 

Resultado de imagem para dear martin nic stone

★★★★★

Dear Martin, by Nic Stone was a re-read, as I want to re-read at least one book a month. I was very excited to revisit this story as it is one of my favorite books of all times. I took the chance to highlight some of my favorite quotes and tab all of them, since the first time I read it was during a roadtrip and it just wasn’t convenient to do so. This book has so many important moments & messages, and I want absolutely everyone to read it. Also: Manny is a baby and I’ll love him forever.

 

 

Resultado de imagem para odd one out nic stone

★★★☆☆

Then, because I just hadn’t had enough of Nic Stone, I also picked up Odd One Out! I was excited because it was my first audiobook experience. I loved the narrator for Cooper’s character; he really was the best. Overall, I feel like the experience was bittersweet, and I still don’t know exactly where I stand with this book. Nic Stone’s writing style was for sure exceptional in this one as well, but I feel like the story lacked on showcasing healthy ways of dealing with your confusion. Figuring out your sexuality is definitely a tricky process, but I don’t believe in messing with other’s feelings in the way.

 

WHAT I POSTED:

LOOKING FORWARD

March is an exciting month because for the first week, it’s Carnaval! Basically, Carnaval is this massive holiday in my country, where people go to the strees, party and dance a lot of samba, lol. I am not exactly a fan of the genre, and as an 18 year old grandma, I also don’t party a lot. But we don’t have school for almost a whole week, and it’s glorious! I have a lot of exciting books to read in March, and I really can not wait.

How was your February? And what are your looking forward to do in March? And also: do you feel the same way about highly-acclaimed films or you love them all? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

in which i discuss outlining characters vs. outlining plots

discussions

Hello, fellow bloggers!

This is my first time ever on a writing discussion. I’m not much of a writer myself – this is actually one of my 2019 goals. I do want to write more in 2019, and be more confident about my own writing. And though I’m just getting started, I realize that I’m much more inclined towards outlining characters than plots.

It’s not efficient to think about only one, though. Even if your book has an amazing, unique, developed plot, it won’t sustain itself if the characters aren’t great. On the other hand, no matter how fleshed out and three dimensional the characters are, you need a plot to make your story move. And reconciling them both has been a personal struggle.

This discussion will be mostly based in my own experience writing plots and characters. So, please, if you’re a writer yourself, make sure to continue the discussion in the comments.

one

The perks of writing characters

Writing characters is a lot more fun to me, because I am personally a very character-driven person. When reading books, I always care more about who’s doing it rather than what they’re doing. I feel like even boring books can be entertaining if you’re reading about the right people.

There’s also so many possibilities when writing characters! I never had to worry about writing a boring one, because my mind has always wandered to all places when thinking about names, personality traits, hobbies, interests. People are all so different that it is fun to explore that in your work as well. I’ve always loved thinking about all the different characteristics I could incorporate in my characters.

It’s not all fun and games, though. Your character still needs to have a development, and to grow throughout the book. Otherwise, what you’re even writing about? Characters need motivations and to remain consistent with their traits, but also be willing to adjust to the circumstances. It’s hard to understand sometimes that, even if fictional, they’re supposed to be real people, and real people are hard to deal with.

two

The perks of writing plots

I’ll say, though I can spend hours exploring all my character’s motivations and traits, twenty minutes into figuring out what they’re actually going to do and I’m already exhausted. Indeed, plots are easier to figure out than characters – you know from the get-go that they need to go from A to B, but to write a *good* plot… It requires a lot more work than the two sentences I tend to end up with.

A good plot, for me, consists of realistic twists & turns to keep your reader entertained. “And then they save the world” sounds fun, but you need to know how they’re going to do that. Are they going to be stopped by monsters? Or one in the group will betray them? The characters will fly in magical carpets and only save themselves? (I was listening to Aladdin’s soundtrack and it shows).

The problem with writing plots for me, is that there’s so much to think about. I wish my characters could just go and do their thing, but then I remember they’re not real people and I have to actually tell them what they’re supposed to do. You have to plan each scene, each move. It’s time-consuming, but the whole reason the book exists in the first place.

three

So, how to love them both?

When I first started my book’s outline, I spent hours planning the characters. I know them like the back of my hand – I’ve answered every ‘character questionnaire’, I’ve taken Buzzfeed tests as I am one of them, I memorized their Hogwarts Houses and I’ve met their parents, because we’re that serious.

But for the plot’s outline… I was constantly procrastinating it. I knew what I wanted my characters to do, and I knew how the novel ended, but the middle was such a huge slump. The things that helped me a lot were:

a) following plot guidelines – similar to character questionnaires, they’re there to help you build each scene and slowly develop them. There are quite a few ways you can do it – and I literally did all of them: the 3 arc structure, the story beats, etc.

b) thinking about each scene as a movie – I’d literally put my work’s playlist on, throw a random picture at the beginning and plot each scene as if I was watching a movie. It made it a lot easier to visualize the story and made me motivated to write more.

c) add personality into it! – Just because I’m writing an outline, doesn’t mean I can’t add some unnecessary but funny remarks. It made things a lot more interesting to me, and I wasn’t stuck to the boring structure of: “A did this. Then they went together to somewhere. B did that.” If you can add some other comments just to make the process more fun, do it!

conclusion

Obviously, this is just what worked personally for my work. I know some people just find natural to write both the characters and the plot together. But if you’re more inclined to one than the other, try to make the process more fun! This way, you’ll have a more coherent outline and your characters or plot won’t feel more worked than the other.

If you’re a writer, please tell me: do you prefer creating characters or thinking about plots? And if you like one more than the other, how do you keep your motivation to work on both? Let me know in the comments!

90’s movies book tag!

booktag

Hello, fellow bloggers!

I just recently found out about this beauty, called The 90s Movies Book Tag and I was instantly thrilled. This tag was created by Kayleigh, from A Book Lovers Playlist and it pretty much encompasses everything that I love in life: books and corny movies.

And because I shall rave about poorly-written rom-coms at any given time, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to answer it. So, let’s get starteddd!

(Also, I won’t be answering to the whole tag because I frankly don’t know all the movies in the list. I’ll be adding more recommendations at the end, though!)

1. SHE’S ALL THAT

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NAME A BOOK COUPLE THAT’S AN ODD PAIRING BUT THEY STILL FIT PERFECTLY

First of all, let’s talk about She’s All That for a second here, shall we. Even though I know this is a classic rom-com, I just couldn’t care enough for the characters. Honestly, I was not even bothered by the fact the girl went from nerd to hottie just by removing her glasses (🙄), because that’s the type of corny I can deal with. But the characters were just bland and boring and not humorous at all?

Anyway. As for my unexpected book couple, I’ll say Khalid and Shazi from THE WRATH & THE DAWN. I’m looking forward to finally finishing this duology (to say I’m late is an understatement), mostly because I loved their chemistry. Under the circumstances, they were never supposed to work, but they’re amazing!

2. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU

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A BOOK/SERIES YOU HAVE A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH

The answer to this question may be a surprising one, but that will have to be THE RAVEN CYCLE, BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER. This is a very hyped and popular series and I actually really loved almost all books. But everytime I find myself revisiting it, I just realize a lot of things I dislike? Like, how Blue hardly ever stands up for herself and screams ‘Gansey!’ everytime Ronan is rude with her; and yet she’s considered a badass female character. Also, Henry Cheng? No, thanks.

Basically, I love this series but there are also a lot of things I can’t stand about it.

As for 10 Things I Hate About You: there’s only love for me. I’ll say, though, Cameron/Bianca is the superior ship. Don’t @ me.

3. CLUELESS

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A CHARACTER THAT IS TOTALLY CLUELESS BUT YOU LOVE THEM ANYWAY

First of all: Clueless is a blessing to man kind. I can watch it several times and always laugh at her learning to drive scenes. Also, Paul Rudd hasn’t aged at all, which is a proof he’s a vampire. In this essay, I will

Anyway, Simon, from CARRY ON BY RAINBOW ROWELL is totally clueless sometimes. But I think it’s all part of the charm, truly. How one just doesn’t notice that their roomate and mortal enemy is also in love with them?

4. TITANIC

Imagem relacionada

NAME A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Fun fact: I never cried with Titanic. One, because I’m soulless, but also because the ending was so predictable, how could I? I’ll say, though, I cry everytime I think about Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson. My theory is that everyone should have a Jack Dawson at least once in their lives – and specifically young Leo, with the hair falling on his eyes and all of that.

One book that made me cry recently was ALL AMERICAN BOYS. I got teary-eyed – I’ve never cried real tears with a book before, I think -, but it counts! It’s a powerful and beautiful read: one I recommend to everyone.

5. AMERICAN PIE

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A book that makes you laugh

Rainbow Rowell never fails to make me laugh, and Attachments is a book I literally laughed out loud since page one. The same goes for Rick Riordan: his sarcastic remarks are always hilarious to me.

Now, I’ve actually never watched American Pie – it’s just not my type of humor. Plus, sex makes me uncomfortable! And Bring It On is a much better franchise. :)


As for other 90s movies that I love:

  • PRETTY WOMAN. Thank God for Julia Roberts. I just don’t understand the hype around Richard Gere, though.
  • FORREST GUMP. This movie is literally art. Also, Bubba Gump – a restaurant inspired off of the movie’s story – is my favorite place in the world and I can literally taste their food in my mouth now. (I’m so hungry, *cries*).
  • NEVER BEEN KISSED. This movie is so freaking underrated??? People just don’t talk about it enough, when it’s absolutely glorious.
  • STEP MOM. Julia Roberts was the queen of the 90s and this movie makes me cry every time. I haven’t been able to listen to ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough‘ since watching it.
  • THE PARENT TRAP. I’ve watched this movie so many times is probably unhealthy. Do not understand how Lindsay Lohan didn’t get a freaking Oscar for it.

Guys! Let’s talk! What are your favorite 90s movies? And how do you feel about corny rom-coms? Also: who’s your favorite 90s actor? Are you more of a Leo DiCaprio person or Richard Gere? Let me know in the comments!

book review: all american boys, by jason reynolds and brendan kiely

IMG_0515Rashad is absent again today.

That’s the sidewalk graffiti that started it all…

Well, no, actually, a lady tripping over Rashad at the store, making him drop a bag of chips, was what started it all. Because it didn’t matter what Rashad said next—that it was an accident, that he wasn’t stealing—the cop just kept pounding him. Over and over, pummeling him into the pavement. So then Rashad, an ROTC kid with mad art skills, was absent again…and again…stuck in a hospital room. Why? Because it looked like he was stealing. And he was a black kid in baggy clothes. So he must have been stealing.

And that’s how it started.

And that’s what Quinn, a white kid, saw. He saw his best friend’s older brother beating the daylights out of a classmate. At first Quinn doesn’t tell a soul…He’s not even sure he understands it. And does it matter? The whole thing was caught on camera, anyway. But when the school—and nation—start to divide on what happens, blame spreads like wildfire fed by ugly words like “racism” and “police brutality.” Quinn realizes he’s got to understand it, because, bystander or not, he’s a part of history. He just has to figure out what side of history that will be.

Rashad and Quinn—one black, one white, both American—face the unspeakable truth that racism and prejudice didn’t die after the civil rights movement. There’s a future at stake, a future where no one else will have to be absent because of police brutality. They just have to risk everything to change the world.

Cuz that’s how it can end.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: racism, police brutality, assault, racial profiling.

All-American Boys is quite of a throwback read – but then again, isn’t that my brand? -, but it’s still so worth picking up. Covering similar themes as books like The Hate U Give and Dear Martin, All-American Boys is a powerful talk on racism, white privilege and speaking up.

This is told in dual perspectives – Rashad and Quinn -, written respectively by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. The book reads like one, though, and the perspectives, albeit different, weren’t conflicting to the point it felt like two different books in one.

By the way, I warn you: this is going to be a looooooong review. I apologize in advance, but this read made me think about way too many things.

COISAS BOAS

  1. Rashad’s father. Rashad’s father was one of the most interesting characters in my opinion. I can see how he reflects a great deal of society, and understandably so, as his behaviour is definitely a result of systemic racism. Rashad’s dad is a cop, and pressures him a lot into ROTC, for believing that this is the “only chance for a black boy in this country”. He also disapproves Spoony’s (Rashad’s brother) dreadlocks and even implies that what happened to Rashad was a consequence of him wearing baggy clothes. At the same time I was reading this, I also gave the movie for The Hate U Give a re-watch and it made me reflect how Starr’s father is the complete opposite. He makes his kids memorize the Black Panther Ten-Point Program. He reminds them that being black is a honor. Rashad’s father is the other side of the spectrum; he feels like being away from his own “blackness” is a way to remain safe. Personally, I know a lot of people like Rashad’s father. But the book makes sure to question that, introducing characters like Spoony and even Rashad himself, who are still trying to be connected with their own culture, despise what society may say.
  2. Quinn’s development. When we start the book, Quinn is just your typical white kid: he’d much rather stay away from all the rising “drama”. In a lot of ways, he believes that if he just ignores what happened, things will get back to where they were. He chooses to be blind to the conflict and to racism in general, but overtime, he grows to understand that he’s a very important piece in this board. I love that Quinn’s perspective calls out on white privilege, but also shows what we, as white people, can do to help. He learns how to speak up, how to stand up for what’s right, despise who he may hurt in the process.
  3. The cop wasn’t played as a victim. To make things more complicated, Quinn knows the cop who beat Rashad. They’re close friends and Paul – the cop – was an important paternal figure to Quinn, once his own dad passed away. When I first found this out, I felt like the book was trying to humanize the cop and play him as a “good guy who made the wrong choices”. But this doesn’t happen, at all. The man that Quinn knew and grew up with and the cop who beat Rashad are treated like two different people, and I appreciate that a lot. I feel like when narratives like that happen in real life, the white cop is always played as a “good man”, who “carried for his family” and it gets on my nerves sometimes.
  4. The similarities between the two perspectives. Even though Rashad and Quinn have very different lives, I appreciated how they still felt very similar. I think when we address diversity in books, it’s somewhat powerful being able to identify with someone whom you never thought you would. A lot of discrimination and hatred comes from the fear of differences, so I appreciate when a book is able to showcase the shared characteristics by two people who are put by society in two different worlds.
  5. How real the story felt. The ending of this book, similar to The Hate U Give, shows all the names of real black kids who died unarmed, killed by the police. It’s heartbreaking and definitely made me tear up a little. Even though this is a fictional story, Rashad’s story is not that different from what we see in the news sometimes. On top of that, I also love how real the characters were and how they were smoothly introduced in the story, not feeling like an info-dump of characters and personalities at all.

COISAS RUINS

  1. The ending. Obviously, I’ll try to keep things spoiler-free, but the ending was a bit too open, which frustrated me a lot. I like open endings, but this one did not give enough closure to these characters.
  2. The writing style. For the first two chapters, I felt like I was about to put this book down. The writing was digressive and a bit out of focus. It was also too slang-y to my taste? It truly was accurate to a teenage boy perspective, and I understand why it was done, but it felt hard to get through it. However, as the story grows more serious, the tone also darkens a little bit and I flew through the rest of the book very well.

IMG_0517Overall, this book was an amazing and powerful experience. With books like The Hate U Give and Dear Martin getting so much praise, I really recommend you also pick up All American Boys. It may be a backlist title, but it’s just as impactful as the more recent ones.

Books like this one remind me why I adore reading so much. I do love some funny and entertaining reads, but the hard-hitting stories are the ones I feel like inspire change. I think it’s phenomenal when a book gets so many thoughts in my mind, makes me reflect on storylines so different from mine and, mainly, inspires me to always stand up for what I believe is right.

4 ESTRELAS

So, after the LONGEST review of my life: let me hear your thoughts! Have you ever read All-American Boys? If so, how did you like it? Let’s chat in the comments!