a discussion about our expectations on own-voices books ft. me opening up about colonization, white-washed references & why i don’t talk about brazil anymore

Hello, friends!

I am bringing yet again another discussion. Being on Twitter recently has sparked my interest in some of these, so at least there’s one good thing coming from my time in that God forsaken app. (Y’all who use Twitter on a regular basis deserve veteran discounts. That shit is so toxic lmao)

During the last month, I took part in the Latinx Readathon and that was my first time reading so many books by Latinx authors. While I did really appreciate my experience, I also felt like it opened up a lot of internal discussions on how much international/white content I consume regularly.

@jojosiwasbraintumor

I don’t stop thinking abt this tweet AND YES I’m gonna do this STUPID standing in front of a tweet trend because it works #foryou #foryoupage

♬ NO WHERE TO RUN by Stegosaurus Rex – morguehorde

That’s literally me, lmao. Not only because I blog and talk in English regularly, but because most of my interests are not Brazilian or Latinx. I’ve been more recently facing that regularly, especially since I started university and most of my friends there are interested in Brazilian movies, artists and content creators, and I didn’t know any of them. On one hand, I did feel great because it was feeding my quirky, different, not-like-other-girls Aquarius rising persona where I’d be interested in things that they weren’t, but on the other, I realized I should be supporting more Brazilian creators. We talk a lot about #own-voices, and yet, I’ve read more books published in the US about Latinx-Americans than books published in Brazil by actual Latinx.

That’s not the point of this discussion, though, because I do feel like most of you can not relate with it, and that’s fine. My point is that, in the process of reading more Latinx books, I realized I was, in turn, expecting to immediately like and relate with all books and characters.

IMG_4671I do think that we all have this expectation whenever we pick up an own-voices book. Recently, there was a discourse on Loveless, by Alice Oseman and I won’t be getting into all the points of that discussion, but the most relevant one for this post is the fact many people felt like it was not a “good” own-voices work because sex-repulsed aro/ace were the only ones being represented.

The book never set itself to represent every single ace experience out there. I talked more about this in my last discussion, but this is not how own-voices books should be perceived, because NO book is going to tackle all the numerous experiences that marginalized folks go through.

That’s a big reason as to why I stopped writing about Brazil in my blog. If you followed me last year, you may remember I had a feature called “A Trip to my Home Country” where I talked about elements of Brazilian culture. But I didn’t feel comfortable writing about that anymore because I realized I have a very superficial perspective on Brazil, despite living here my whole life, and I didn’t want to share information that was inaccurate and in return, lead people to believing that this is what Brazil is actually like. But it is also true that I’d never be able to represent, in any work, all Brazilian people out there, because our experiences are VASTLY different.

I think the key is not in the author, but in the reader. When you read a book by an Asian-American author, you should know that this is not representative of every Asian-American person out there. And, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be the author’s responsibility to tweak their story so that readers can understand that this just “one experience”.

IMG_4665Yet, I feel like our expectations, especially when it comes to authors of color, is always that they should do the most. When I picked up History is All You Left Me, recently, I even considered adding in my review that there were no characters of color in the story. But then I started to question why would that be a problem. Just because Adam Silvera is a Latinx man, it doesn’t mean he has to write about only Latinx people. If a white author had written that book, would I’ve been mad that they only included white characters?

I’m sorry to keep repeating the same books, but when I was reading reviews for Like a Love Story, I encountered myself in a similar position. I was looking for reviews that were rather negative to see if others had noticed the problematic remarks that this book contains, and I found a similar issue that people felt like, because the book had been written by an author of color, that they were surprised there were no references of queer people of color throughout the book. While I do understand that is a very valid concern, I’d like to ask that: if Like a Love Story had been written by a white author, would people complain that the references throughout the book were all white as well?

IMG_4188I do think that most of these reviewers would have a problem with it regardless, but it made me think if we don’t have different expectations when it comes to authors of color. If it was a white man talking about how Madonna was a life-changing figure for him, it would be expected, but if it’s a man of color, then we question why wouldn’t he have Marsha P. Johnson then?

It’s kinda funny, actually. It reminds me of an episode in Everybody Hates Chris, where all of his projects would be about Martin Luther King, because being black, that’s what all of his teachers expected of him. Let me remind you that people of color can talk about whatever the fuck they want and write about whatever the fuck they want.

(Of course as long as they’re not being mysoginistic, racist, ableist or homophobic but I think that goes unsaid).

Ok, but how does this tie with everything I said before, about my own experience?

Well, because I do think it’s harder for some of us, folks from colonized countries and who’ve experienced hardcore imperialism over the years, to get to know and be proud of our own country’s culture and art. I’m happy to say that for the past ten years, I’ve seen a rise of young people consuming more Brazilian created content, whether that would be in music or YouTube and even books. But if you ask my mom, who grew up in the 80s, all her favorite musical references were probably American, with a few exceptions of Brazilian artists.

I do understand that we should always strive to be closer to our own culture. But I think it’s always important to remind y’all that this is not a possibility for every person out there, and that some people don’t have white-washed references only out of choice (like me, btw. I completely think in my case it’s a choice and something I need to work and be better at, because I have privileged resources to support my own country’s content and art and I choose to consume mostly international media), but because of historical systems that have oppressed marginalized folks to the point where their own content is seen as irrelevant or less.

So this is something I wish more reviewers would take into consideration when setting up their reviews and expectations for books by authors of color.

Alright. This discussion is huge, but I hope I’ve made myself clear. Let’s talk in the comments.

book tour: furia, by yamile saied méndez

A powerful, #ownvoices contemporary YA for fans of The Poet X and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams.

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.

At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.

On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.

But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.

Filled with authentic details and the textures of day-to-day life in Argentina, heart-soaring romance, and breathless action on the pitch, Furia is the story of a girl’s journey to make her life her own.

Book links:

Goodreads | AmazonBook Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | Indigo | Google Play | The Kings English

Get to know more about the author!

Yamile Saied MéndezYamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Banner

Hello, friends! This is my first time ever participating on a book tour and I couldn’t be more excited, especially because Furia was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020.

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

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  1. Camila. Camila was a fantastic protagonist and I loved following her. She’s strong, determined, and dreams big. I loved how aware she was of the world around her, so she knew when it was not safe to stand up, but she also found small ways to fight injustice and sexism. It is clear Camila is not interested in following anyone, and ready to be the protagonist of her own life. I particularly liked seeing her deal with the choices of loving Diego and wanting to be with him, but also wanting to follow her own path.
  2. The setting. Rosario was such a great setting and it really solidified to me how much more relatable it is to read books by Latinx authors that are actually set in Latin America. Rosario is not the kind of city you’d see in movies or TV, but it felt so realistic to my own experience and I loved how the author created an atmosphere that was still picturesque and romantic.
  3. The feminist commentary. It was really interesting how this was worked throughout the novel. What the author does is talk about what feminism means for this community of women in Argentina and for their struggles. It is hard to read and particularly disturbing at times, as you watch the way these women have been failed by society and by the other people in their lives. I also loved how the female relationships – especially the ones between Camila and her best friends, Roxanna, and her mom – were so fleshed out and powerful for the story.
  4. There’s a lot of football. I love football, ok. I am a Brazilian girl of simple needs – I see football, I love it. Here, it is not only Camila who’s a player, but also her brother and her love interest, so we see a lot of how the sport has impacted their lives as a family and as a community, and at the same time, how much football connects and also breaks them apart at times. I loved the metaphors created there!

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I’d say the only thing that bothered me about this book was the pacing. This is definitely *not* a plot-driven novel, and most of it is very character-focused, which doesn’t bother me, but I can definitely see how it would bother others. I found that the last 30% was kinda rushed, especially in comparison to the rest of the book.

Overall, Furia is definitely one I’d recommend. I think it’s rare for us to see books like this, that have such poignant discussions for a certain demographic, and that are being shared for all people.

I felt the same way when I read Where We Go From Here, which is set in Brazil. It made me want to share with the world and point out, like: “THIS is what living here actually looks like” and Furia made me feel the same way. It’s still universally relatable, but it means even more for other Latinx girls, who’ll be able to see themselves in Camila’s story.

4 ESTRELASNOVO

Before we go, I want to share a playlist that I created as I read Furia! Some of the songs are mentioned in the book (like Mi Gente and Maluma), while others I chose myself because the lyrics can be connected to the story or share similar feelings as the ones the characters are going through.

And, of course, make sure to check out the other tour stops as well! I am excited to hear other people’s thoughts on this one, as it was quite meaningful to me.

September 9th

Fannatality -Welcome post & interview

Pastelwriter – Review Only

Kristia Villaflores – Book Recommendations based on book

Books & Dice – Favorite Quotes

Libros Con Aby Lee – Review Only

September 10th

The Bookish Skies – Playlist

Sasha and Amber Read – Review Only

Toffi Lady Reader – Favorite Quotes

Faydriel Reads – Reading vlog

L De Lecturas – Review Only

September 12th

The Book View – Moodboard

Idleutopia Reads – Review Only

Iris Book List – Blog Interview

Bookrokosmos – Reading vlog

Reading At My Pace – Review Only

September 13th

Too Much Miya – Favorite Quotes

Mel Reads – Review Only

A Cup of Nicole – Reading vlog

Landscape Pages – Review Only

September 14th

Nox Reads – Reading vlog

Bookzandcookies – Book recommendations based on books

Nature Mama Reads – Review Only

Colorfully Bookish – Mood Board

September 15th (Release Day)

Metamorphoreader – Blog Interview

A Bronx Latina Reads – Review Only

Bookishly Kenia – Instagram Feature Post

Book Dragon 217 – Review Only

Thank you so much for the Colored Pages tour for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the book tour! Are you excited for Furia? What book have you read recently that made you feel *seen*?

what i’ve been watching recently #7

O da minha

Hello, friends!

I have to admit: the past few weeks have been rather slow and I only opened up NETFLIX to watch docummentaries and reality shows. I am afraid this won’t be the most entertaining of the posts, but I highly recommend all of these titles if they interest you!

DOWN TO EARTH

rebecca Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

Granted: I only started watching this show because of Zac Efron, but I found myself completely interested and finished this in a weekend.

This is a documentary series, where in each episode, Zac and his friend, Darin Olien, visit a different country, exploring their initiatives on sustainability and other eco-friendly alternatives. It’s not the most original thing in the world, but I really liked their approach, as someone who’s honestly rather ignorant and uninstered in these topics – it didn’t feel preachy at all and was really respectful.

My favorite episode was the one in Costa Rica, where they visit a small village in the forest. I loved seeing the school they set up and how they were educating children there. Since this is the field I currently study about, it was really fascinating.

But I feel like all episodes were interesting and sparked a great discussion. Even if you’re not interested in the theme and only care about Zac Efron’s looks, I’d still recommend it, lol.

INDIAN MATCHMAKING

Cheers Indian Matchmaking GIF - Cheers IndianMatchmaking Toast ...

NETFLIX: keep the dating reality shows coming. Please.

As the name suggests, this one is going to explore the matchmaking practice, common in Indian culture. While I do understand this show was controversial among the community, I thought it was really interesting for shedding light on what matchmaking really is. Like, even my sister, who’s a very well-educated girl, thought that arranged marriage was still a “forced” practice, when, in reality, we get to see a lot of people who seek out a matchmaker as they’re not being successful dating through other routes. (We still see some people who are being pressured into marrying, though).

I really liked some stories (Vyasar and Nadia deserve EVERYTHING) and found all of them to be interesting, as the show really comitted itself to show people from different backgrounds who were looking for different things.

I still think it’s worth-watching, but definitely make sure to read “own-voices reviews” before or after watching it as I feel like they’re very important to shape your view on the show.

THE SPEED CUBERS

The Speed Cubers | Netflix Official Site

Y’ALL. This documentary. Honestly.

I did not expect to cry this much with a 40min documentary but it was the most wholesome thing I’ve ever watched. I don’t know if it was simply because I was on my period, though I’ve rewatched since, and it still brought me to tears.

Yes, this is a documentary about speed Rubik’s cubing. We follow mostly two people: Feliks Zemdegs – Melbourne-raised and who broke a lot of records while still a kid; and Max Park – a 17-year-old who’s been breaking Felix’s records since 2016.

Max is autistic and it was so interesting seeing the way his victories are not only about the records he breaks, but also about the small ways the competitions and the speed-cubing community allow him to improve his social skills.

It was so wholesome seeing the friendship between Feliks and Max – albeit rivals, Feliks is still Max’s idol and they have such a strong and beautiful bond. Honestly, this documentary made me so happy and emotional. Pleaseeeee go watch it.

LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM

Hug Love On The Spectrum GIF - Hug LoveOnTheSpectrum Netflix ...

Yes, yet again, another dating reality show. Is it noticeable already I really like them? Oh ok.

Anyway, this one is Australian and we follow people in the autism spectrum as they go on dates and try to find “the one”. Like Indian Matchmaking, I do recommend people who watch this show take some time to see the autistic community’s response to it, as it’s always important to take notice that what we see in a show like this, even if we’re following a number of different people’s experiences, can not represent the entire community and it’ll still have its faults.

I found it to be really interesting: dating is already a challenging thing, so it was nice seeing the different ways neurodiverse people interact, express affection, make small talk, etc.

As a neurotypical person, I admit: it was awkward and embarassing at times. But whenever I felt like that, I remembered myself that social skills are not easy for everyone, and that’s OKAY! I think we’re most likely to judge what we don’t understand/are not used to, so it was a learning experience as well.

I am currently watching some K-Dramas and I’ll probably talk about them in my next recap, but for now, I just wanted to recommend these titles. Thank you for reading!

 

latinx readathon wrap up!

read-a-thon wrap up. (1)

A POETRY BOOK OR A PLAY

Trigger warnings: death of a parent, plane crashes, descriptions of birth complications, stalking, sexual assault

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★★★★☆

Clap When You Land was a super intense read that I definitely consider to be deserving of all the hype. Even though I struggle with books written in verse and I did not love the writing in here, I still appreciated the story a lot. I’d have loved to see more of Yahara and Camino’s relationship, but I nonetheless felt like both characters were really well-rounded and fleshed out and I really liked the discussions of privilege that this book presents by comparing the two sisters. I will say, though, it was quite triggering to read at times as I am not comfortable reading about sexual assault, so definitely beware if you plan to read this one as well.

AFRO-LATINX AUTHOR

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★★☆☆☆

I literally have NO idea as to why I did not enjoy The Worst Best Man. Objectively, it was a great book – the Brazilian references were completely well done (except for the translation of “né?” for “you kidding, right?” when “né?” is just “right?”), both characters were interesting, the progression of the relationship felt believable and there wasn’t a huge miscommunication issue, which was refreshing for adult romances. But for some reason, I could not like it??? I think it all just boils down to the fact I listened to the audiobook and I found the dirty talk especially to be so cringey when read out loud. I’m pretty sure I would’ve enjoyed this one a lot better if I had read it, rather than listened to it.

M/M

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★★☆☆☆

I had read mixed reviews on History is All You Left Me, so that’s why I can’t even say this book was disappointing, as I didn’t go into it with high expectations. But, wow, what a mess. For the first 40% of the book, I’d say, I couldn’t really bring myself to judge these characters’ behaviors or problematic statements because they were grieving and I can’t even pretend to understand how hard that is on a person. But when more things about Griffin’s past, especially, were shared, the more I realized how these characters are just purely unlikable and there was nothing redeemable about them at all. I hated how the book also introduced a love interest as if it was a “plot twist” and the half-ass discussion of female characters the author tried to make was just terrible.

F/F

Trigger warnings: instances of racism, homophobia, bullying and outing of a character

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★★★★☆

The Henna Wars is actually a Bengali story, but with a Latinx (more specifically, Afro-Brazilian) love interest, which is why it felt fitting for me to read for this readathon. I really liked our main character and especially the relationship she has with her younger sister, which I found to be particularly realistic, as someone with an older sister myself. I loved the way the author navigated what it was like for Nishat’s family to understand and accept her as a lesbian. I was just a bit let down, because I expected that we’d have more of a discussion in regards of cultural appropriation and, overall, I feel like the racist behavior that was exhibited by other characters was never met with actual consequences, which is realisitc, and I understand, but still infuriating.

SET IN A LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY

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★★★☆☆

I really am scared of talking about Where We Go From Here because I still desperately want MORE PEOPLE TO READ IT. It’s a book by a Brazilian author, set entirely in Brazil, discusses HIV and is super accurate to a college student’s experience in Brazil (based from my experience, but still). While I did not *love* this book, I really don’t want y’all to take my rating as an indicator that you should not read it, because you still should. I just found the pacing of the last 50% to be a bit off and I would have preferred if the author had spent more time developing the already existent relationship between our three mains, rather than adding more side characters, but it’s still, as I said, a super important read & the romance was AMAZING. Just: go read it. Okay, thanks.

NON-FICTION

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★★★☆☆

I think my read of My Time Among the Whites just really solidified to me that Latinx or those with Latinx heritage living in the States and Latin Americans who live here are completely different people. While I did appreciate the writer for opening up about her family experience, which was very relatable, as well as all the different ways that she found herself having to “compromise” so her Latinx heritage didn’t bother white people, most things still felt completely foreign. I wish the author had acknowledged more the privileges that come in living in a first world country, which she hardly ever does throughout her essays. It really was an eye opening experience, though, as it showed me how different we really are as a community.

AN IMMIGRANT STORY

Trigger warnings: ICE raids, anti-immigration sentiments

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★★★★☆

As I mentioned in my TBR, I had high expectations for this book and I am glad I was not disappointed. Lobizona presented a really smart way of using the worlds of Lunaris and the Septimus as a mirror of our real world. I loved Manu as a main character so much that even though I did not find myself carrying a lot for the side characters, I was still intrigued to keep reading because of her. She’s such a fantastic protagonist, who’s not interested at all in settling at a place where she can be accepted with a few people who love her, but is rather determined to carve a place in both of these worlds where her existence is recognized for herself and for anyone that’s different that comes after her. I loved her and I can not wait for book #2 to come out.

If you’ve read any of these books or was participating in the Latinx readathon at all, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

kaleidoscope of tropes #6: a series of coincidences

kaleidoscope of tropes.(1)

Hello, friends!

Welcome to another post in this series where I discuss tropes. Because I know there’s some new people here, this is just basically me talking endlessly about some of my favorite/least favorite tropes in fictions and providing you with examples. But first:

WHAT IS A TROPE?

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

Today’s trope is going to be:

A SERIES OF COINCIDENCES

I overanalyze coincidences constantly. I am not a really spiritual person, so I like to think of them as little signs of the universe that I am on the right track. I really like whenever books explore that: it always feels like a sprinkle of magic in a non-fantastical story.

in books

EXHIBIT #A: I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, BY JANDY NELSON

IMG_1423I talked about this in my review of this book, but the quote “We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.” sums it up pretty well.

This book is filled with coincidences, where these characters’ stories are all intertwined, even if they don’t know it just yet. I know some people who read it would consider it a stretch, but I think it adds to the atmosphere of this book, which is already a bit fantastical, even though is a contemporary novel.

The way these characters view the world is always so interesting, because they’re filled with daydreams and paintings in their heads or superstitions and conversations that never existed. It doesn’t surprise me that so much of their story was also destined in a way, and I love how the author works that throughout the book so you just slowly find out how they’re all connected after all.

EXHIBIT #B: OUR WAYWARD FATE, BY GLORIA CHAO

IMG_5006 2OK, so I do not love this book and I did find the romance to be a bit rushed and insta-love-y, but this story will also explore a number of coincidences so of course I had to mention it.

This one is a re-telling of the Chinese folktale “The Butterfly Lovers”, so I imagine there’s where so many of these coincidences come from. In this book, I’d definitely say this builds the more magical atmosphere of the story, and that’s why I found it so fascinating, because while still being a contemporary novel, it had sprinkles of magical realism that made it really unique.

This book is literally called “wayward fate”, so you can expect that it will present some twists in your expected soulmate story, and it’s all presented in an incredibly smart way.

in television

EXHIBIT #A: SERENDIPITY

Serendipity (2001)You Know The Greeks Didn't Write Obituarie GIF ...

I don’t typically watch or love Christmas movies, but this one is the best of the best. Set in New York in the 90s, one of our main characters is obsessed with coincidences and takes that as a sign for every decision she makes.

At the beginning of the movie, we see these two characters meeting and hitting it off. Our protagonist then suggests that the way they should check whether or not this is a worth-moving forward relationship is by entering an elevator and choosing a floor at random. If they choose the same one, then it’s meant to be. The movie then continues to explore the series of encounters and misencounters and it’s just a lot of fun.

I honestly related quite a bit to that main character, lmao. Even though I do not make that many life-changing decisions based in out-of-my-control events, I have the tendency to also believe rather blindly that the universe can tells us whenever we’re on the right track or not.

EXHIBIT #B: A LOT LIKE LOVE

A lot like love GIF - Find on GIFER

I talked about this movie so many times in my blog it’s kinda ridiculous at this point, lol.

What can I say? I just love myself some Ashton Kutcher, ok.

Much like Serendipity, this one will follow the encounters and misencounters of our main characters through the years. Even though I don’t consider all of them to be coincidences or fate, there’s one at the end of the movie that always makes me!!!! when I watch it and I watch this movie pretty often, lol.

I don’t typically like this “ships of the night” trope (hence why I don’t like movies such as Love, Rosie or One Day) but A Lot Like Love just hits different. The soundtrack is also a bop and I had to recommend it.

If you have recommendations for this trope, please let me know! I’d love to chat with you guys in the comments!

book review: loveless, by alice oseman

IMG_4671The fourth novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most authentic and talked-about voices in contemporary YA.

It was all sinking in. I’d never had a crush on anyone. No boys, no girls, not a single person I had ever met. What did that mean?

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.

As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.

But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.

Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

Loveless was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I already expected to relate a lot to Georgia in her journey of embracing her identity as an aro-ace girl. Alice Oseman so far has been an author of hit and misses for me, so I didn’t know what to expect exactly from this one.

While I didn’t love every aspect of this book, I still really enjoyed it, for the reasons I’ll explain now:

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  1. Georgia was very relatable. Like I said, I already expected to relate to Georgia and, in this case, relatability was important because it made me feel seen. Even though Georgia is not interested in experiencing romantic love for herself, she still loves watching rom-coms and reading fanfiction, which makes it even harder for her not to romanticize and dream of a happily ever after situation for herself. She’s also a major introvert and struggles with making conversation and meeting new people, so really, we had *a lot* in common.
  2. Positive queer community. It made me very happy to see that the Pride Soc here (a queer club they have at the university) was striving to be an inclusive and safe space for all queer identities. Even though it is shown that not *everyone* is on board with that, the representation was overwhelmingly positive, which was lovely to see. We know that, in reality, sadly, asexual people aren’t super welcomed in queer spaces, much like non-binary folks or even queer POC folks, but it meant a lot that the author made sure to highlight how Georgia was welcome there.
  3. Platonic relationships!!!!@!#! This is probably my favorite thing about this book, but wow, it was beautiful. Even though we don’t have Georgia falling in love romantically with anyone, it doesn’t mean we don’t follow a love story. It meant so much how platonic relationships here are not represented as just something “devoided” of romance, like as if they are defined just because there is no kissing or sex involved. That’s not the meaning of platonic relationships at all and they can be just as beautiful, intense and powerful as any romance, and I loved that so much.
  4. Theatre kids! I have a weakness for theatre kids, because I’ve always lowkey wanted to be one (thanks to High Schoool Musical), but never really was. For that reason, I love reading books about all the theatre shenenigans: rehearsals, memorizing lines, directing the scenes, etc. It was super fun reading about it in this one, especially because it had to do with Shakespeare, which I’m actually familiarized with, unlike other works.

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  1. Pip. Initially, I was very excited about Pip’s character, as she was a lesbian half-Colombian girl and South American rep always makes me happy. But I really disliked Pip throughout this book. Not only because a lot of her bad advice to Georgia was coming from her own insecurities, (something Rooney also does at the course of this novel and bothered me *so* much. Can we stop people from giving advice that they haven’t even internalized themselves first?) but also because she spends a lot of this book holding grudges and being mean when she was just as much on the wrong. She did not feel like a good friend to me, at all, and bothered me so much.
  2. Playing with someone else’s feelings in order to figure out your own. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, since it is clear from the premise that this is the direction the book is going to go. But it will forever be one of my least-favorite tropes in fiction, so yeah.
  3. At times, Georgia did not feel like a main character. I think this may all just boil down to the fact that most Alice Oseman books are in first person, and so we have to follow the side characters through Georgia’s eyes. But I feel like after the 55% mark, we were *mostly* following the side characters. While that wouldn’t bother me necessarily in order circumstances (it didn’t bother me in Radio Silence to follow a lot of Aled’s life, even though Frances’ was our main), I feel like with Georgia being asexual, it did bother me. As someone who relates to her, I felt like I’d never be the protagonist of my own life because I do not experience romantic feelings like everyone else does. This tone is not the entire tone of the book – like I mentioned, it was just at times that I felt like we focused more on everyone else than on Georgia, but it bothered me, so it was worth-mentioning.

Overall, I’d still recommend this book. Especially for other aro-ace folks, this book can be so, so very meaningful and I really hope by talking about my not-so-favorite things, I haven’t discouraged anyone or dismissed someone’s feelings because I do understand how important it is to feel seen. On that note, I want to recommend Margaret’s review, as I feel like she was able to open up a lot more about how important this book can be for aro-ace folks.

Even if you do not identify with Georgia in any way, this book still has great queer rep overall and one that deserves more support and rep, so considering this one is own-voices, y’all should definitely be reading it.

4 ESTRELASNOVO

If you read Loveless, what are your thoughts? Lets’ chat in the comments!

five YA contemporaries set in california because i’ve been in a teen beach movie mood

book recs.(1)

Hello, friends!

I know it’s summer for a lot of you living in the other hemisphere, so I hope this list also serves as a summer recommendations list. It’s not summer where I live, though, so it wouldn’t totally make sense to me, but I still wanted to share these books because I’ve been watching Teen Beach Movie and I’m inspired.

GIF teen beach movie - animated GIF on GIFER

ALEX, APPROXIMATELY

surfer’s town on Big Sur

I don’t think anyone needs more reasons to be reading Jenn Bennett, as she’s an incredibly popular YA author, but just in case: this one is set in a surfer’s town, so what could be more Californian than that?

IMG_3929The setting is my absolute favorite thing about this book. There are endless talks on boardwalks and surfing, sand and the sound of the ocean. It’s also nice because the characters work at a museum dedicated to the city’s history, so we’re constantly immersed in an unique location.

In case you don’t know what this book is about: this is a re-telling of You’ve Got Mail, where Bailey has been talking to this boy, Alex, on a movie-forum and she’s now moving to his hometown. However, she never mentions that to Alex, and in-town, she meets Porter, who’s obnoxious and gets on her nerves, but is also particularly captivating. Y’all can kinda guess where this is going to go, but it doesn’t make the ride any less worth it.

Even though I didn’t adore all the aspects of this book, I still found it to be a very dynamic and interesting take on a summer romance, as it felt realistic because of the summer job aspect of it, but also romantic and dreamy.

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI

Stanford, San Francisco area

IMG_4051Of course I’d have to recommend one of my favorite books of all times! This one is set in Stanford, California, where Dimple is taking a summer course on app development and also where she meets Rishi in a well-crafted match-making plan by their parents – one that Dimple has no intention in taking part in.

I know a lot of people have very polarizing opinions on this book – some love it, some hate it. But I adore the story, mostly for the growth that these two characters go through together. Dimple has never been the perfect Indian daughter and she’s not interested at all in the plans her parents have for her: all she wants to do is work in her career and graduate.

Rishi, on the other hand, is very connected with the Indian culture and likes the traditions. So, you can expect that him and Dimple won’t have much in common, but I love how being opposites allow them both to understand the other part and grow.

Dimple learns that she doesn’t have to give up on one thing to live the other and she’s still badass and her own person even when she changes her mind. Rishi also learns with Dimple’s determination and strength. I absolutely adore how *real* these characters felt and their fabulous arc.

LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR

San Francisco

Again, one of my favorite books of all times, so you’d better expect I’d be raving about it. This one is set in San Francisco and we follow Lola, whose neighbors are moving back next door, ready to wreak havoc in her life. As anything in Lola’s life, this one is very overdramatic, but that’s exactly why I love it.

IMG_4663Lola is obsessed with fashion, but not in the way most people do. She likes making her own clothes, always wears wigs to match her mood and believes every day can be Halloween. I adore how the book explored what it meant for Lola about her own identity when she played a different character every day.

My favorite thing about this book is the angst and sexual tension between the characters. There is no such a thing as insta-love here, and you’re rooting so bad for them. I also love how the author makes sure to highlight the importance of being good to yourself first, before you can be good to someone else.

The side characters are equally amazing – her two dads are hilarious, Lindsey is a cutie and Cricket and Calliope are the most iconic duo ever.

ANGER IS A GIFT

Oakland

Trigger warnings: police violence, harrassment, violence, murder/death

I don’t think I ever mentioned this book on my blog before, because I read it back in December, and it got mixed up with my favorites/least favorites of the year and then the new-year enthusiasm. But I actually read this one, which is set in Oakland, and follows a super diverse cast of characters who are fighting police brutality and racism.

I have very conflicting opinions on this book, that I won’t necessarily get into, because I still think it’s worth reading and figuring out where you stand by yourself. Instead, I will highlight what I actually liked:

  • IMG_4664Diverse cast of characters with a lot of intersectionality. Our protagonist is a black Latinx gay boy and there are a lot of other queer black/latinx characters as well.
  • It addressed allyship incredibly well and how exactly white people can help in the cause.
  • Showed the power of teenage’s voice and how young people also have so much to say.
  • Moss has anxiety and police violence is a trigger for him, which is why at times he feels like he can not fight back what is happening in his community. I loved how the author showed that it is okay to prioritize your mental health, because you need to be well in order to fight for your community.

Again, go read it because there are definitely a lot of powerful messages you can take from it and maybe you’ll enjoy it better than I did!

THE BRIGHTSIDERS

Los Angeles

Speaking of books maybe y’all can enjoy better than I did, I have The Brightsiders. This one is set in Los Angeles, following Emmy King – drummer of the popular pop-rock band, The Brightsiders. In the beginning of the book, we see Emmy getting involved in a major scandal and we follow as she tries to repair her reputation.

IMG_4450Again, while I did not love this book, there were some great things about it. First and foremost, the diversity. As can be expected from Jen Wilde, this book was very diverse: our protagonist is bisexual, and her band-mates are a gender-queer pansexual guitarist and a questioning Korean-American boy. There’s also a non-binary best-friend and a bunch of other queer side characters.

I liked how the author explored Emmy’s alcoholism and how it was not as black and white as one may think. I also loved how, even though Emmy had such emotionally abusive parents, she was never alone, because her friends were super supportive and held her even when she made mistakes.

It was also nice seeing a toxic F/F relationship being discussed, as I feel like we tend sometimes to envision queer relationships as perfect, when they definitely can be unhealthy as well.

Do you like Teen Beach Movie? Do you have any recommendations for me of books/movies set in California? Let’s chat in the comments!

discussion: is aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe just a sad book?

discussionsnovo

Hello, friends!

Long time no see a discussion post. This one will be sort of a discussion/spoiler-y review, so there’s that, but I am rusty, so please apologize me if this post is all over the place.

IMG_4655If we’ve ever talked before, then you probably know Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is my favorite book of all times. I pretty much hype up all reviews of this book because I love reading different perspectives on it, but recently, I saw a person on Twitter saying they didn’t like it, because the book made it feel like being gay was the worst tragedy in the world.

When I checked the replies, I realized other people felt the same. That the book was “way too sad” and that being gay is not only about being sad, and that they were so done with tragic representation of gays in media.

And while I do recognize that Ari and Dante is a sad book and we deserve more diverse queer rep in media that is not only tragic, I think these thoughts can be very limiting. So, yeah, let’s discuss that.


“Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”

At first, I felt like what this person was saying made no sense, because the ending of the book is happy and hopeful. It shows that these two boys have finally found each other and are going to be together. But, obviously, that does not compensate for the fact that Ari spends most of this book hating himself. Then, it also made me question whether just following an individual story says enough about an entire community.

Like, because Ari’s story is sad, then it’s not worth-telling? Where do we draw the line between what is an individual experience that the author feels like sharing and a representation for an entire community?

IMG_2886That was one thing I felt when reading American Panda, by Gloria Chao. In that book, our protagonist, Mei, has very overbearing and strict parents, who do not accept of her taking any other course in life than going to medical school and becoming a doctor. While this definitely can be seen as a stereotipical view on Taiwanese parents, we actually learn in the acknowledgements that Mei’s story was inspired by the author’s, who experienced something similar with her own parents.

So, just because Mei’s story can be “stereotypical”, does it mean it’s not worth-telling? One thing that the author pointed out in her acknowledgements as well that I think works wonderfully for this discussion too is that this is one of the reasons why we need more own-voices stories. Because Mei should not have to represent every single Taiwanese-American kid out there, and their stories can be so different and unique that all it means is we need more representations of said stories.

Therefore, it’s not just because Ari’s story was sad and figuring out his sexuality wasn’t an easy journey for him, that this is how every single other Latinx gay kid feels. And this is why we need more Latinx queer authors, to tell these other stories.


“You know what I’ve learned from you and Mom? I’ve learned not to talk. I’ve learned how to keep everything I feel buried deep inside of me. And I hate you for it.”

But then, the other thing is that I also feel like by assuming that Ari’s story is nothing but a tragedy, this person is completely failing to recognize what was happening around him. And, how, yes, being a Mexican-American gay kid in the 1980s probably wasn’t the easiest thing in the world.

IMG_4187I recently read Like a Love Story, by Adib Nazemian, which I have mixed feelings about that are not really relevant to this discussion. But that book is set entirely during the AIDS crisis in New York and a lot of Reza’s (one of our protagonists, who immigrated from Iran to the US and is figuring out his sexuality) inner monologue is extremely negative, and he has a lot of internalized homophobia.

However, we have to consider that it was extremely scary for him to be a gay kid in the 1980s, when there were still so many misconceptions about what AIDS was and how it actually was transmitted. It’s not possible, in my opinion, to judge his thoughts with a 2020 mindset, where you can literally find more information about AIDS on your phone in less than a minute.

Back to Ari and Dante, though, I want to take this time to talk about one of the layers in that book that means the most to me, which is the machsimo and overall “unsaid things”, which I feel like it’s pretty standard for Latinx communities and one thing I related *so much* with in this book.

(Again, this is just based in *my* experience and I don’t think this should count as a representation of all Latinx families).

As examples of that, we have one of the biggest conflicts of the book, which is the fact Ari has a brother in prison and no one talks about him. I don’t know if this applies to other families and cultures, but being Latina myself, I definitely feel like we live in this paradoxal world where we can be open about so much and not at all about other things. Having an *entire* person you simply don’t talk about is a very common unsaid rule in my family and just shows how hard it can be to approach certain topics with your loved ones.

Ari also struggles a lot with talking to his dad. As much as he wants to, he also finds impossible to open up and express his feelings, much like his dad does. Machismo is still super present and I definitely see how a lot of the men in family and just around me, overall, grew up feeling like they were not allowed to express emotion and had always to be “strong”.

That’s why it takes so long for Ari to understand his feelings for Dante. Because, and this is a direct quote:

“I had learned to hide what I felt. No, that’s not true. There was no learning involved. I had been born knowing how to hide what I felt.”

And that is because the culture he was immersed since birth was not one that ever allowed him to be vulnerable.


“I left him alone for a while. But then, I decided I wanted to be with him. I decided that maybe we left each other alone too much. Leaving each other alone was killing us.”

When I first picked up this book, I did not know it was a LGBT read. I did not know that Ari and Dante were going to fall in love. I simply thought it was a friendship story.

Therefore, I do think that my judgement is a bit clouded, because I never went to this story expecting a gay romance from it. And so I was never disappointed that I got so little of it, and in fact, what I got the most of is what I still love about this book the most for to this day: Ari’s growth.

IMG_4659To me, this is not a book about whether or not Ari and Dante are going to end up together, and I feel like people who only see it for that are reading it COMPLETELY WRONG.

This book is about Ari learning that there is power in being vulnerable, in letting people in. It’s about Ari understanding himself by understanding the people around him – his dad, his brother, his mom, his aunt, even Dante. He spends most of this book trapped in his own cicle of hate (again, a direct quote), because that’s the only way he can comprehend his own emotions – by ignoring or hating on them. He’s never been taught how to understand love, affection, friendship, so yeah, it takes him a bit longer to feel like he’s worthy of a love story.


Overall, I think the point of this discussion isn’t even telling you whether or not Ari and Dante is “just a sad book”. It is sad, but there are reasons for it, and it’s ultimately, so much more than that.

If you’re looking for books about queer joy, I highly recommend this post I wrote for Pride Month, but I’d also like to recommend four extra titles I read & loved:

CAMP, BY L.C. ROSEN. Has a very smart take on the toxic masculinity in the community, while still being a fun & light-hearted read.

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, BY RACHEL HAWKINS. Girl falls in love with her roommate, but her roommate also happens to be the Princess of Scotland. Free of drama, except for the royal one, of course.

THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, BY MACKENZI LEE. Historical fiction, friends to lovers and Monty is pretty much the definition of chaotic bi.

YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN, BY LEAH JOHNSON. One of the best 2020 releases, by far. Prom shenenigans, A+ family and friendships and a swoon-worthy F/F relationship.

Alright. If you read so far in this 1.5k words post, thank you! If you have read Ari & Dante, let’s chat in the comments: what are the themes you cared the most about when you first read it? Do you have any other recommendations for queer books that are not sad at all?

my latinx readathon TBR!

to be read.

Hello, friends!

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

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

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

A POETRY BOOK OR PLAY

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

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

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

AFRO-LATINX AUTHOR

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

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

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

M/M

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

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

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

F/F

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

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

SET IN A LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY

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

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

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

A NON-FICTION

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

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

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

AN IMMIGRANT STORY

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

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

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

 

monthly wrap up: july, ’20

monthlywrapupnovo

Hello, friends!

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

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

HIGHLIGHTS

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

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

WHAT I READ

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★★★★☆

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

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★★★★☆

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

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★★★☆☆

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

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★★★★☆

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

36535913. sx318
★★★★☆

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

46216773. sy475
★★★★☆

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

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

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

LOOKING FORWARD

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

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