A-Z to ya contemporaries!

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Hello, friends!

Today’s post is quite a lengthy one, so I apologize. But, I feel like it’s a pretty well-known fact by now that my favorite genre is YA contemporaries. It’s all I read most of the time, and in honor of that, I decided it would be cute to come up with a compilation but in A-Z style.

The letter will be in the title or name of the author. For the ones that I couldn’t find any books, I’ll be recommending something else instead.

A IS FOR A BOY WORTH KNOWING BY JENNIFER COSGROVE

34337289. sy475 This is an incredibly sweet YA contemporary, following seventeen-year-old Nate, who’s falling in love for the new boy in town – adorable and overly nice, James. It’s all about bonding while watching TV, overprotective aunts and a tiiiiiny bit of ghost-watching. Literally just fluff, no plot.

☔️ rep: gay MC, bisexual love interest, m/m relationship
🌈 own-voices: no
🌪 trigger warnings: death of a sibling, bullying

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B IS FOR BRIGID KEMMERER’S LETTERS TO THE LOST

33857632. sy475 I am, indeed, a Brigid Kemmerer stan first, human second. This is her contemporary debut and follows Declan and Juliet, who start writing letters for each other without knowing who the other person is. It’s angsty and a bit *too* coincidental, but absolutely beautiful nonetheless.

☔️ rep: N/A
🌈 own-voices: no
🌪 trigger warnings: death of a loved one, suicidal ideation and suicide attempt, car accident

i

C IS FOR CHARMING AS A VERB BY BEN PHILIPPE

49867239Set in New York City, Charming as a Verb really is as charming as the name suggests. Halti’s dog walking business is about to be exposed by his ~intense~ upstairs neighbor and he’s also dealing with college rejections and academic pressure. This one is fluffy, hilarious and very important.

☔️ rep: Haitian MC, black love interest, latinx side character
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: N/A

D IS FOR DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS BY NINA MORENO

41717246. sy475 This one has a *hiiiint* of magical realism, as it follows Rosa Santos, a Cuban-American teenager, whose family has been cursed to fall for a man and lose him to the ocean. It’s a great coming of age story about identity, romance and a lot of dulce de leche.

☔️ rep: latinx MC and love interest
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: death of a loved one, drowning

s

E IS FOR EMMA MILLS’ THIS ADVENTURE ENDS

27779275Is it a post about contemporaries if it doesn’t include Emma Mills? I don’t think so. This one is a must-read if you’re a fan of the found family trope. It follows Sloane, who’s new in town and is adopted by this amazing friend group. It’s also about her dad writing fan fiction and going after missing paintings and a whole lot of other fun stuff.

☔️ rep: half-dominican side characters, lesbian side character
🌈 own-voices: no
🌪 trigger warnings: death of a loved one

F IS FOR FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN, BY JONNY GARZA VILLA

53284187. sy475 This one doesn’t come out until June, but put it on your TBR already! It’s also about found families and a long distance relationship, but mostly it’s about how much delicious food can you fit in a 300 page book.

☔️ rep: gay latinx MC, vietnamese love interest, m/m relationship
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: homophobia, use of homophobic slurs, death of a parent, child abuse, disownment

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G IS FOR GIRLS ON THE VERGE, BY SHARON BIGGS WALLER

31822503Speak of books that deserve better. This one is short, but packs a punch, as it follows Camille, who’s in a road trip with her two best friends to get an abortion. It’s an infuriating read, as you realize the lengths women have to go through to have control over their bodies, but iconic because of that.

☔️ rep: N/A
🌈 own-voices: no
🌪 trigger warnings: abortion, misogyny, slut shaming

H IS FOR THE HENNA WARS BY ADIBA JAIGIRDAR

44286258. sy475 Not that I think you need *more* reasons to pick up this book, but just in case: remember this is an own-voices Bangladeshi queer story, with a phenomenal sister relationship, a discussion on cultural appropriation and the most adorable F/F relationship you’ll ever read about.

☔️ rep: bangladeshi lesbian MC, afro-latinx love interest, F/F relationship
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: racism, homophobia, bullying and outing of a character

I IS FOR THE INEXPLICABLE LOGIC OF MY LIFE BY BENJAMIN ALIRE SÁENZ

23447923From the same author of Ari & Dante, this one is a heartfelt contemporary that follows three best friends and their journey of figuring out who they really are. As can be expected, the writing is phenomenal and the family element is *chef’s kiss* perfection.

☔️ rep: latinx protagonists, gay side character
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: violence, death of a loved one, neglect, homophobia

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J IS FOR JACKPOT, BY NIC STONE

43744298Ha. You really thought I was *not* going to recommend Nic Stone? You wish. Jackpot follows Zan and Rico, as they try to find a missing lotto ticket. It also has great discussions of poverty and privilege, an adorable younger brother and an A+ romance.

☔️ rep: black MC, half-latinx love interest
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: financial problems, poverty, mention of panic attacks

aa

K IS FOR KRISTINA FOREST’S NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU

46223352This one is also about a cute mystery! Our protagonist, Evie, is trying to find her eccentric grandma who used to be a huge movie star back in the 50s, around the streets of New York, accompanied by the musician Milo and some internal struggles about the price of fame.

☔️ rep: black MC, black love interest
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: N/A


L IS FOR LOVELESS, BY ALICE OSEMAN

42115981. sy475 Alice Oseman is another household name when it comes to YA contemporaries. This is her latest release and centers around Georgia in her journey of acceptance as an aromantic-asexual fanfic-obsessed college freshman. The platonic relationships in here are just!!!!!!!#$(!#!)!!

☔️ rep: aro-ace MC, colombian lesbian side character, pansexual side character, asian gender-non-conforming ace side character
🌈 own-voices: yes for the aro-ace rep
🌪 trigger warnings: internalized aphobia, verbal aphobia, mentions of toxic relationships

M IS FOR MAURENE GOO’S THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL

35704397. sy475 This book is simply *iconic*. It’s the perfect summer read, with food truck shenanigans, a labrador-boy named Hamlet and enemies to friends excellence. It’s also full of Korean food and some great Brazilian references.

☔️ rep: korean-brazilian MC, black side character
🌈 own-voices: yes for the korean rep
🌪 trigger warnings: neglect

no

N IS FOR NOT SO PURE AND SIMPLE BY LAMAR GILES

43520622It’s me again. Telling y’all to read this book. If not you, then a younger brother/cousin/nephew. This phenomenal book explores the topics of “friend zone”, being “the nice guy” and the misogyny behind all these ideas SO very well. It’s also hilarious and full of great sex ed moments.

☔️ rep: black MC, black love interest, queer side character
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: misogyny, toxic masculinity, slut shaming, mentions of teen pregnancy

O IS FOR THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND BY REBEKAH CRANE

30057557This book is set in a camp for “at-risk teens” – mostly teens who face different mental health issues, including anorexia, schizophrenia and depression. It’s mostly about unlikely friendships and watching The Breakfast Club, if any of those interest you.

☔️ rep: depression, schizophrenia, eating disorder, bipolar disorder, black side character
🌈 own-voices: N/A
🌪 trigger warnings: ableist language, violence, discussions of past suicide attempts and self-harm practices

P IS FOR PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING BY RANDY RIBAY

41941681. sy475 Set almost entirely in the Philippines, this one follows Jay, who decides to find the truth behind the mysterious death of his cousin. It brings great perspectives on the current war on drugs in the country and overall some fantastic character work.

☔️ rep: filipino MC
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: brief descriptions of sexual trafficking and rape, police brutality, death of a loved one

Q IS FOR A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER BY SARA BARNARD

30197201. sy475 This book is possibly the most ADORABLE thing to exist. It centers around Stephi, who struggles with selective mutism, and ends up being paired with a deaf boy in one of her classes. Romance ensues and also amazing conversations and adorable friendships.

☔️ rep: deaf love interest, selective mutism, anxiety
🌈 own-voices: N/A
🌪 trigger warnings: panic attacks and anxiety, death of a loved one, cheating

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R IS FOR RENT A BOYFRIEND BY GLORIA CHAO

45419339. sy475 This is just me promoting Gloria Chao because I love her. Rent a Boyfriend is a wild ride that starts off with Chloe renting a boyfriend during Thanksgiving to please her parents and, hopefully, stop them from trying to marry her off to the local playboy. It’s hilarious and cheesy and, like stated before, WILD, but I love him for it.

☔️ rep: taiwanese-american MC and love interest
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: disownment, arranged marriage, cancer, racism, slut shaming

S IS FOR SICK KIDS IN LOVE BY HANNA MOSKOWITZ

39897323. sy475 I really do adore this one. Set in New York City, it follows Sasha and Isabel, two chronically ill teens and their friendship that then evolves into romance. It’s diverse, it’s important, it’s also Jewish, but most importantly: it’s unapologetic.

☔️ rep: rheumatoid arthritis and gaucher disease, jewish MC and love interest
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: graphic descriptions of chronic pain and treatments, ableism

T IS FOR TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY BY SANDHYA MENON

46216773. sy475 I do recommend reading the whole trilogy, because it is perfection. But, if you only have time for one, I’d say start with this one. It’s a tale of fake-dating and social activism and it totally *reads like summer*.

☔️ rep: indian-american MC and love interest
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: overprotective parents, cancer

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U IS FOR THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED BY BECKY ALBERTALLI

30653853I know that y’all are probably more than familiar with Becky Albertalli, but you know how hard it is to find titles that start with “u”? This one is diverse and adorable and follows a fat girl trying to, finally, put herself out there in the “dating scene” after 27 (yes, 27!) unrequited crushes.

☔️ rep: fat MC, pansexual chinese-american side character, lesbian side characters, jewish MC
🌈 own-voices: yes for the MC
🌪 trigger warnings: fatphobia and bullying

V IS FOR A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA BY TAHEREH MAFI

38720939. sy475 OK, this one is technically set in the early 2000s, but it absolutely counts. It’s about a Muslim, hijabi girl named Shirin, falling in love with a boy named Ocean James and their definitely-not-perfect relationship, but that is 100% worth fighting for (and reading about).

☔️ rep: muslim hijabi MC
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: islamophobia, racism

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W IS WHERE WE GO FROM HERE BY LUCAS ROCHA

50160953This book is set in Brazil (!), where I live, and presents a contemporary Brazilian perspective on the topic of AIDS by the perspectives of these three different boys – Victor, Ian and Henrique. It’s so accurate it hurts and I love it so much for this reason.

☔️ rep: latinx and gay characters
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: homophobia and homophobic slurs, online harassment, anti-HIV sentiments

X IS FOR –
INSTEAD, TAKE THIS REC FOR PLEASE DON’T HUG ME, BY KAY KERR

37577721. sy475 This is an own-voices book for the autistic rep! It’s also a book written entirely in letters, between our protagonist Erin, and her brother who’s not around and we don’t know why. It’s an incredibly important novel that deserves more hype!

☔️ rep: autistic MC
🌈 own-voices: yes
🌪 trigger warnings: internalized ableism, panic attacks, death of a loved one

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Y IS FOR YOU’D BE MINE BY ERIN HAHN

36146624I absolutely love books talking about music stars and this is, surprisingly, the only one in the list. Here, we follow Clay, who has to invite the America sweetheart, Annie Mathers, to tour with him in order to salvage his reputation. It’s pretty angsty, as it discusses alcoholism and suicide, but absolutely beautiful.

☔️ rep: addiction and PTSD
🌈 own-voices: N/A
🌪 trigger warnings: death of a parent, discussions of suicide, overdose, alcoholism, panic attacks

Z IS FOR –
INSTEAD, TAKE THIS REC FOR LET’S CALL IT A DOOMSDAY, BY KATIE HENRY

40942619. sy475 As a self-proclaimed number one fan for Katie Henry, I had to shoutout this one, about a bi-questoning-Mormon girl who experiences a lot of intrusive thoughts regarding the apocalypse and the girl who tells her she knows when it will happen. It’s mostly about friendships and discussing Jane Austen, which I think is beautiful.

☔️ rep: bisexual mormon MC, lesbian side character, bi side character, anxiety and schizophrenia
🌈 own-voices: N/A
🌪 trigger warnings: anxiety, panic attacks, death of a loved one

Have you read any of these books? If you have recs for YA contemporaries, let me know in the comments!

what i’ve been watching recently #11

O da minha

Hello, friends!

I finally made some progress on my to-watch list, so I have new thoughts to share. I am also very excited because the next time I write one of these posts, I’ll be commenting on HSMTMTS S2 and I’m not emotionally prepared at all.

LOVE VICTOR (S1)

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As a huge fan of Love Simon, I was anticipating a lot the release of the show inspired by it, and yet it took me almost a whole year to watch it. Love Victor is quite different, as it follows a boy from a hispanic family, moving into a new town and school, finding himself a girlfriend and falling for his coworker – who has a boyfriend. Victor had a lot more going on around him, and I found very easy to connect with his character.

Originally, I hated the idea of adding a female character just for the guy’s development as he realizes he’s in fact *not* into her, but Love Victor developed Mia a lot as a character, which I appreciated. I also adored Felix, Victor’s best friend, and he was the most hilarious and adorable part of the show.

However, I did not care *at all* for the parents’ storyline (middle-aged people problems are just…. so boring), the acting was not the best and the script felt *so* forced at times it made me physically cringe and I also completely not bought into Victor and Benji’s romance. (Lowkey because Benji acted like a douchebag sometimes and it was a big yikes).

MISMATCHED (S1)

In Love Kiss GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

This show was inspired by When Dimple Met Rishi, which was why I wanted to watch it in the first place. It is quite different from the book – it’s entirely set in India and for that reason, we don’t really get to see some of my favorite aspects of the novel, which is how Dimple and Rishi learn and grow from each other’s connection with their Indian heritage.

Despite that, I still enjoyed it a lot for the most part. The main couple had a lot of chemistry, there was great representation with a disabled side character and a lesbian side character and the way it was edited/directed was super dynamic and interesting.

However, the ending of the show really frustrated me. There is an outing of a side character and the way that person’s trauma was used for “conflict” for the main couple really bothered me. I also didn’t love the amounts of bullying (it was *very* unnecessary), but I do have to admit that I am intrigued by the new love interest and lowkey shipping them too (I’m a mess, I’m sorry).

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER (S1)

Falcão e o Soldado Invernal": faça o quiz e descubra qual dos dois você é -  Purebreak

Y’all. I love this show. Honestly.

While I was excited for it, I could’ve never predicted how much I absolutely adored all episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. There is so much powerful commentary in it, related to the black community in America, the symbol of Captain America for the US, what power does to people, immigration and community’s response to it, as well as amazing character development.

I already really liked Bucky and Sam’s dynamic from the other MARVEL movies and was so pleased with how they continued to be hilarious together. I also really enjoyed the villains – John Walker is fascinating and I loved to hate him; Karli and the Flag Smashers are also my favorite type of villains – the ones that the hero has to learn something from.

While I was a bit confused by the ending and I wish there was more attention given to the female characters in general, I am so happy with the show overall and anticipating season 2 pretty badly.

SHADOW AND BONE (S1)

The buzz around this show was massive and I’m so happy that it did not disappoint.

I was very surprised by the production value of the show, and a lot of effort was clearly put into it. I also did not expect that they’d be splitting so 50/50 the screen time between Alina’s arc and the Crows, which was very satisfying to see.

Overall, I found myself engaged with all the characters, even the ones I wasn’t super familiar with (like, anything happens to Mal and I *will* die). I was a bit confused by the plot, the geography of this world, as well as some of the characters’ motivations, but the cast dynamic is so perfect and the acting so good, I could very much glance over that.

Also: Nina/Matthias are even better in the show. I am LIVING.

If you’ve watched any of these shows, let me know your thoughts. Also: what are your theories for season 2 of Shadow & Bone? (Cause it will happen, it SHALL happen!)

monthly wrap up: april, ’21

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Hello, friends!

2021 is going by so fast is ridiculous. Like, how come we’re already in April? I am relieved, cause I can not wait to get vaccinated and for things to get back to normal. At the same time, I have no idea where time is going and it’s pretty weird.

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. I have a new job! On one hand, it is pretty exciting, because I’m teaching English to young kids. On the other, it is incredibly overwhelming. I have made so many mistakes during my first week is not even funny and I have no idea how I haven’t been fired yet, lmao. I’m just trying to get by and adjust already, so hopefully I can be a better teacher too.

BOOKS I READ

★★★☆☆

I started out the month by picking up Going Off Script. I liked this one a lot. It’s Jen Wilde, so the writing is a bit juvenile, and this one felt like a particularly badly-researched view on the media industry (or simply what is like to have a job lol pls don’t talk back to your boss because you want to show him how badass you are), but the characters were so great and overall it was a really entertaining time.

★★★★☆

I was excited to read To Love and to Loathe and I really enjoyed it. The characters had a lot of chemistry,and it was well paced. I was also obsessed with the writing – it felt historical, but it was witty and hilarious as well. However, the representation of a lesbian side character was pretty insensitive in my opinion and made me take a star for the final rating.

★★★★☆

Considering April was Autism Acceptance Month, I wanted to read an own-voices autistic book and Please Don’t Hug Me was very interesting. I’m not used to books entirely written in letters, so I struggled a bit with the writing. Still, I loved the humor, the family relationship is A+ and most importantly: the protagonist finds comfort in sharing her experiences in A BLOG!!!! The way this book made me remember everything I love about blogging was beautiful. 

★★★★☆

I also got an unsolicited ARC of Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun which was such a pleasant surprise! This book was adorable, though I wish it had gone deeper in some aspects at times. Nonetheless, it made me smile so much and saying goodbye to these characters – especially because the found family aspect is so big in this story – actually made me tear up. 

★★★★★

Ace by Angela Chen was such an eye-opening read. It’s one of those books that I encourage everyone to read, as I feel like its descriptions of sexual attraction, sexual desire, compulsory sexuality, queerplatonic partners, as well as how the author develops the intersectionality of asexuality and race and disability to be extremely important and not enough talked about.

★★★★☆

And, finally, I picked up The Tyrant’s Tomb, the fourth book in the Trials of Apollo series. I enjoyed this installment so much, and the more and more we read about Apollo, the more I fall in love with his character. He’s grown so much since book one is ridiculous. I was also happy to see again my favorite Camp Jupiter campers – Reyna, Hazel and Frank – and am looking forward to conclude this series soon.

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

Fearless (Taylor’s Version) pretty much dominated my month. Out of The Vault tracks, Mr. Perfectly Fine has got to be my favorite, but I love That’s When a lot too. I also watched Billie Eilish’s documentary and found out there are actually a couple more songs by her I really enjoy.

LOOKING FORWARD

So many exciting things come out this May, including the second season of HSMTMTS, Olivia Rodrigo’s new album and a couple of my most anticipated releases, including May The Best Man Win and Counting Down With You. I hope May is as much of a good month as I am anticipating it to be!

What are you excited about in May? Which songs you loved hearing this past month? Let’s chat in the comments!

kaleidoscope of tropes #7: dual timelines

 

kaleidoscope of tropes.(1)

Hello, friends!

Yes, it has been a while since I last wrote a post for this feature around here. I ended up neglecting this one for a while, but we’re back, even if just for this month.

Doesn’t matter: HEY, WE’RE BACK. HI!

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:

DUAL TIMELINES

This is pretty self-explanatory. I am a sucker for books and movies that let you put the pieces together slowly by constantly jumping between timelines. It creates great suspense, in my opinion.

in books

EXHIBIT #A: VICIOUS, BY V.E. SCHWAB

IMG_0964This book does this trope oh so very well.

It’s actually what I loved the most about it the first time I read it. We start out seeing Eli and Victor as friends in college, ten years in the past, just to jump to the present timeline, when Victor has left jail and is after revenge.

It is so interesting how the author builds these two timelines, because you become even more curious to know what happened between the two of them that they went from friends to enemies.

It’s also interesting to see how their characters, in general, have evolved from one timeline to the next. In both cases, it’s pretty obvious how both of them have shown inklings of the behavior that we turn out to see fully in the present timeline.

This trope also works for the rest of the side characters and it’s equally interesting for them too.

EXHIBIT #B: BOOMERANG, BY HELENE DUNBAR

IMG_7790This book does this in a bit of a different way, since from what I remember, we don’t have set flashbacks throughout it.

It does make it a bit more confusing at times to realize when you’re in the present timeline vs. in the past one, but both are incredibly important to build the characterization of our protagonist.

This book focuses on Sean, who went “missing” years ago and is now returning to his old life. I adored the exploration of trauma and how it affects the way in which the character matures.

Most importantly, the flashbacks also give us special insight in the relationship between the people Sean had after he left and they’re absolutely heart-achingly beautiful.

in television

EXHIBIT #A: ÉLITE

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Out of everything I can say about this show (and it’s a lot, as I am constantly talking about it lol), the one I like the most is the dual timeline aspect.

In season one, we know a murder has happened and we follow both the investigation, as well as the past, where it all began: when three new scholarship students enroll in this prestigious prep school.

While you’re watching it, you may feel like some scenes are irrelevant and you wonder why is that there’s so much focus on this one side relationship that doesn’t seem important at all to the main plot.

But everything makes sense at the end, as every plot line is important to build each character as a suspect and the mystery keeps you on the edge until the very end.

This aspect was done the best in seasons one and two and I think they got lost with it by season three, but it’s still a fav nonetheless.

EXHIBIT #B: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

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Oh, the gay yearning.

I could write a whole essay on how The Social Network is just, purely, the most tragic gay story to exist, but I’ll spare you of that from now.

Like in Vicious, we also have the two timelines working here to make us understand how we have two best friends (boyfriends) being in opposite sides of a trial room.

It’s not entirely about the suspense, but mostly about the character work, and seeing how a lot of patterns remain the same – like Wardo’s vulnerability and want for Mark’s attention and Mark’s arrogance – even after everything.

Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite book/show that plays with dual timelines, as I am always looking for recommendations!

five YA contemporaries with ~unlikable characters~ because we’re all trash after all

Hello, friends!

And welcome to a recommendation post where I talk about messy characters, AGAIN. I love them, ok?

And I don’t know if it’s because of spending too much time on Tik Tok, which just feels a bit like Tumblr amped by 10 and appropriated by Gen Z, but OH MY GOD, have we normalized the word toxic to be used in every single scenario. I think people have come to forget that humans are HUMANS. And, by default, imperfect. Which doesn’t make every single one of them toxic.

BUT, if you’d rather see it this way, then here’s a list of toxic books that I absolutely love and that you should too:

CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT

Not me still talking about Call It What You Want.

I feel like, at this point, I’ve already made this book my brand, which is a bit embarrassing, considering I’ve only actually read it once and it’s possible that in revisiting it, I find out that it actually sucks. It’s pretty unlikely, though, because I went into this one with zero expectations and it blew me away.

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Call It What You Want explores the different lives of these two “high school social pariahs” – Rob, whose dad was caught in a major financial scandal that the town believes Rob knew of; and Meghan, who got caught cheating in her SATs and had everyone’s scores canceled because of it.

These characters are assigned a Math project together and the rest is history.

This book is fantastic at developing every single character and giving them a beautiful, satisfying arc. Not only the dynamic between Rob and Meghan is amazing, but all the other ones between them and the side characters are equally fleshed out and feel realistic.

It also explores morality and what does it mean to do a bad thing for a good reason impeccably well. I don’t have enough good things to say about it, except like, read it, for the 800th time.

SUMMER BIRD BLUE

When I first picked up Summer Bird Blue, I had no idea it would actually break my heart as much as it did, even though everyone says it’s a tear-jerker. I thought I was too much of a hard soul to crack, but… yeah, they were correct.

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Summer Bird Blue explores so many great topics, I might as well write a list:

  • Grief & regret. Our protagonist has just lost her sister and feels a lot of very complicated feelings over it.
  • Pretty much all the teenagers in this book are mixed, including our protagonist – half-white and half-Japanese/Hawaiian.
  • Rumi is also aro-ace!
  • There’s also an adorable platonic relationship between the MC and the bubbly boy next door and a hilarious, heartwarming friendship with the grumpy grandpa of the neighborhood.
  • Music. Is a huge part of the story and will make you cry.
  • The writing is simple, yet so stunning.
  • Rumi’s mom leaves her with her aunt after the loss of her sister and the exploration of abandonment from the two perspectives is so complicated it hurts.

Basically: this book will make you see grief in one of the most vulnerable and honest ways I’ve ever read. It’s not an easy one, but it’s rewarding.

ODD ONE OUT

I know a lot of people say there are certain tropes they are 100% done with, and I respect that. BUT, I am one of those that likes to think there are still interesting and entertaining ways to write every single trope, including the one feared the most by everyone who survived this trope’s epidemic during the early 2010s. Yes, I’m talking about him:

LOVE TRIANGLES.

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But hear me out: Odd One Out actually plays with love triangles but in a way in which EVERY PART OF THE TRIANGLE IS IN LOVE WITH THE OTHER. You can imagine how messy this is and that’s why is in list list.

These characters don’t make the right choices, for themselves or for each other. They pretty much give mixed signals and play with the other person’s feeling simply because they can (and also because they’re trying to figure their sexualities out, which is a pretty complicated and messy process inherently).

I don’t *love* this book, but I still think there are great discussions here. There’s also like a side mystery plot line where two of the characters team up to find this “missing TV show host” that was actually pretty cool.

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN

Spot me talking about a 2014 book like a full on #BookToker.

Also, a fun fact for all of you that complain that BookTok is only filled with early 2010s titles: do y’all know that books DON’T actually have expiration dates and they can still be meaningful even YEARS after their release? I know, shocking!

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I’ll Give You The Sun is fantastic and if for some reason you haven’t read yet, I’m telling you: YOU CAN. Just because it’s a backlist novel it doesn’t mean is bad or aged or any of the sorts. It’s pretty great to this day (I can say because I re-read it like in 2019 and it still held up significantly well. Except for this one age-gap relationship that you CAN have issues with, and trust me, that’s part of the book’s experience. We’re talking about messy people here, after all!)

This book focuses so well on characters making bad decisions in name of *very* human reasons: anger, jealousy, resentment. Noah and Jude, our protagonists, are far from perfect, and yet you can’t help but understand and root for them nonetheless.

It also deals with art a whole lot: mostly paintings and sculptures and it’s impossible not to fall in love with Jandy Nelson’s writing.

FELIX EVER AFTER

If you’re one of those that I constantly see on Twitter asking for more messy queer stories: read Felix Ever After. I’m sure you already have if you’re a fan of this, but READ IT AGAIN THEN.

I don’t know exactly where I stand in the “messy queer media” debacle (because like, on one hand, yes queer people aren’t unicorn rainbow creatures, they mess up and they’re just as problematic as straights, but also isn’t that the way queer people have been represented in media for YEARS by straight writers?)

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Anyway. This is too much of a complicated debate and we’re here to talk about Felix Ever After.

Starring: Felix, cunning and low-key evil, Felix. Who gets a gallery made of his old, pre-transition pictures and also starts being harassed online and decides to end whoever did that. He suspects is this one mean preppy guy from his school, so he starts essentially cat fishing him, hoping to get a secret just to expose him later. Yes, very ~healthy behavior~.

I appreciated so much how this book allowed Felix to be messy and flawed and to discover himself and learn from his mistakes. His arc was SO deep, because a lot of this book is also about Felix questioning his gender and labels and also confronting his family’s past.

Pretty much all the side characters in this book are queer and they’re problematic AF as well at times. Which is infuriating, but also realistic! And we stan realistic in this household.

If you have more recommendations for this “trope”, I guess, let me know in the comments! And if you’ve read any of these books too and what are your feelings in them!

five book characters who share the same name

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I feel like, more and more, my top 5 themes are getting extra specific. But this is something I think about a lot – as someone who enjoys obsessing over names. There are a lot of names who appear repeatedly in YA fiction and it was about time we compared them. So I’ve taken one for the team, and we’re doing that today.

Most of these characters are from contemporaries that I have read, but feel free to add other examples in the comments!

FIVE. JACK

*inserts gif of Rose screaming Jack in Titanic*.

35380157. sy475 Jack from Opposite of Always is, pretty much, a sweetheart. He’s very awkward at small talk, has a really close and amazing relationship with his parents, and cares for his friends a ton. I loved the way he opened up to his family about everything, but they still respected his space when he needed it. He was also a really attentive and awesome boyfriend.

33158541Jack from The Wicker King was a *very* different character. First, he could be very self-centered. He was essentially a jock – very good at sports, popular and dating the homecoming queen. But, throughout the book, we also see him experiencing hallucinations that definitely show a more vulnerable side of him, as he’s trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not. His journey is a lot darker than the previous Jack too.

FOUR. ALEX

Name a more basic name. You can’t.

41717246. sy475 Alex from Don’t Date Rosa Santos was definitely not a favorite of mine. He was basically this dude, with a beard and a boat. His personality was sort of “cold and detached“, but then we start to learn that he does care, he just doesn’t show it often. Regardless, I found him to be 43744298quite a boring love interest, as he didn’t have as many layers as the other characters in the book.

Zan, on the other hand, was SO AWESOME, even though he was supposed to be nothing but the rich guy. He still had this really warm and friendly feel to him. He’s the kind of character that makes a room light up. He had everything to be an asshole, but really wasn’t, which I appreciate so much. Plus, his game was sleek AF.

THREE. PENNY

44017627In Carry On/Wayward Son, Penny is the brain of the group. She’s obviously very smart and a hell of a magician too. But she’s also incredibly stubborn. I don’t even know if stubborn would be the right word, because she’s more than a regular determined girl who fights for 40732563. sy475 what she wants. She simply can’t take no for an answer and will insist until she gets it her way, lol. But I think that’s what makes such a captivating character to begin with!

I’m pretty sure Emergency Contact Penny and Carry On Penny would not be friends. Probably, because Emergency Contact Penny would find the other girl rather pushy. But I do think they’re similar, as they can both be particularly judgemental about other people before even getting to know them.

TWO. ADAM

Oh, finally: the most awaited name ever because every single YA book has to contain at least one Adam.

17675462. sy475 Adam from The Raven Cycle is one of my favorite characters of all times and I’ll protect him forever. No, being poor is not his personality trait. His personality trait is being proud AF. To the point where he gets kinda blinded by it, because he believes every favor is charity and every person who cares is pitying him. But the way he develops into his powers and realizes that he can still be strong while accepting help is probably the most magical thing about this series.

40148146. sy475 I definitely think Adam from Love from A to Z shares a little bit of said pride. Or at least this habit of keeping everything in, until it bursts. Obviosuly, they’re both in really different positions, but much like the other Adam, this one will try to keep things for himself for as long as he can in order to not hurt or worry anyone. He’s also really sweet (the way he cares for his younger sister is SO adorable i can’t) and friendly, while still being an introvert at its core.

ONE. KAVINSKY

20698530Peter Kavinsky is a jock, yes, but also a baby. I think we can all agree that Peter is a character that you grow to love throughout the books. He’s obviously charming, but he’s also surprisingly carrying. Both Kavinsky’s share daddy issues, but unlike the other one, 17347389who’s comfortable just living up to his reputation, Peter works hard to be better and different from his dad as much as he can.

And then we have Kavinsky. I think these characters are pretty polar opposites, because even though they’re both popular in high school, it’s for very different reasons. Kavinsky is known for being a troublemaker, while Peter is adored by all the teachers. Kavinsky sells drugs and corrupts boys, and Peter takes packed lunch because he’s in a special diet. They couldn’t be further apart.

Now, let’s chat in the comments! Can you think of another character who shares the name to the ones I mentioned? Do you know any other two characters from other books that share the same name? How are they different or alike? Let me know!

monthly wrap up: march, ’21

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How have y’all been doing? Corona completed it’s 1st anniversary in March, the situation in my country has been the worst it’s ever been and our health system is close to collapsing. Besides that, everything’s fine! :)

Everything's Fine

Considering the circumstances, I don’t have that much to share in terms of highlights. We’ve gone to “remote school” so I haven’t been doing much in terms of my internship. I also was ghosted by a recruiter recently for a position I was actually really excited about and that did *wonders* for my mental health, lol.

Tell me y’all are doing better than me, PLEASE! Entertain me with great stories if you can!

BOOKS I READ

★★★★★

Remember when I read the first volume of Heartstopper and I was like? Uh, this is cheesy and predictable but cute! Yes, anyway, I was WRONG. This series is perfect. I found myself tearing up at this volume simply because of how adorable it was. I’m so glad that while there was potential for a number of conflicts in this volume, the characters communicated healthily and were able to figure things out easily. I just feel like the transition between scenes was a bit too abrupt sometimes, but it makes sense considering its original format is a weekly web-comic, so you’d have a bit more time between one issue and the next.

★★★☆☆

The Life and Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly is an interesting novel, but ultimately, I found there was a bit of a wasted potential in the overall premise. This book is about Kit Sweetly, who works on a medieval inspired restaurant, fighting to be able to work on the position of a knight – a role for cis men only. I think that the book would’ve been more powerful had it talked about the ways in which misogyny and different forms of opression just become more sophisticated over the years. In the Middle Ages, women wouldn’t be allowed as knights. So, had the restaurant in this book had a policy that allowed women as knights but still had other sexist practices and was not as “woke” as they made it seem, I think it would’ve been a lot more poignant for a book released in 2020. It read a bit too “#girlboss” at times. I did like the fact made sure to include other genders, though, as well as the discussion on financial struggles.

★★★★

Considering I live in a country without death penalty, I found This is My America to be a very insightful read. I think Kim Johnson did a brilliant job at exploring US’ legal system in a way that was palpable, even for me, as a foreigner. I didn’t think the romance was particularly necessary, but I do appreciate how Kim Johnson developed the friendships and even touched on the struggle to reinsert a person in society and even in their own family dynamic after they’re released. It was a book that challenged my own racial bias and one I think more people should read it.

★★★★

Perfect on Paper was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021 and I’m so glad it did not disappoint. I had very intense reactions to this book, like I did with Sophie Gonzales’ debut and that makes me hyped to pick up her other stuff in the future. The family dynamics were very realistic and there was a lot of make up references that made me smile as it was treated like an actual hobby, much like reading or singing would be. It also taught me a lot about Australia, surprisingly, and the bi rep was fantastic and will definitely resonate with a lot of people. I do wish we had a better closure on Brougham’s family situation, though, but it was understandable that not everything can be tightly wrapped.

★★★★

I finally read the most hyped book of 2020! I will admit I was a bit lost at the beginning of These Violent Delights (ok, more like very lost). Pacing-wise, I also struggled, as this book is a lot longer than what I typically read and it took me about two weeks to finish it, which was a lot. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, though! To my surprise, Juliette was my favorite character and I appreciated her strength and no-time-for-bullshit attitude very much. I also loved the conversation on identity, the landscape of Shanghai in the 1920s, the Romeo & Juliet references and, most importantly, the romance, which was slowburn – not my favorite -, but did have ICONIC scenes I’ll think about for years to come.

★★★★

And I finished the Truly Devious series! I was very excited to pick up Hand on the Wall and I found the conclusion to be very satisfying. The character dynamics are still very weird, in a way I can’t really explain, but it feels like they’re trying to be angsty or sincere and don’t come across that way at all. Still, I very much enjoy reading about them and David continues to be my favorite character, despite acting like a dick for most of this book. I don’t know if I’ll be picking up the upcoming series, but I’m not ruling it out completely, as I did find Truly Devious to be overall very entertaining.

★★★☆☆

Lastly, I picked up another new release which was Act Your Age, Eve Brown. I was hyped up for this one and I did enjoy the dynamic between the “hot-mess-express girl” and “stoic, grumpy guy”. There were some funny scenes and their relationship was overall cute. I still find that this series in general has VERY unrealistic dialogues (like no one would *ever* talk like that in real life, ever) and the pacing was a bit off, as I feel like the transition from disliking each other to being in love was a bit too abrupt. I also thought Chloe’s sisters’ behavior by the end of the book to be quite out-of-character and it was weird how Eve self-diagnosed herself in the autism spectrum by reading articles online, lol. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works, but appreciate the representation nonetheless.

MONTHLY PLAYLIST

My playlist title makes me miss Lorde a lot. (She talked about making a comeback at the beginning of the pandemic and miss girl we’re WAITING). I also watched the movie Clouds on Disney+ and besides making me cry (A LOT), I also found out the soundtrack is really good. You’ll probably notice I rewatched Twilight too and nothing to add there.

LOOKING FORWARD

In April, one of my most anticipated releases – To Love and to Loathe – is coming out. I also plan on re-reading Six of Crows in preparation for the show coming out later on in the month. Taylor Swift will be releasing her version of the Fearless album and I’m PREPARED (or am I?) University will remain online, which I’m not looking forward to, but I do have hope the pandemic situation improves and that we get some better news soon.

How has your month been? What books are you anticipating the most for the spring/fall months? And how excited are you for the Shadow & Bone show?

a very late evermore book tag!

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Hello, friends!

So, a few months ago, Lauren and Dezzy tagged me to do the Evermore Book Tag, created by Rhi @ marshmallow harmonies. I am a huge Taylor Swift fan and really enjoyed the Evermore album, so really, I don’t know what took me so long to finally answer it! It’s happening now, though, so better late than ever, I guess!

IMG_7379Wherever you stray, I follow

This will probably come across as a huge unpopular opinion, but I actually really enjoy the romance between David and Stevie in the Truly Devious series. I was reading a recap of the first book and even the writer of the *recap* had not-so-great thoughts on these two. But I find their dynamic so interesting? David is an unique character, who puts up a wall for everyone, and I simply adore how he changes completely next to Stevie and allows himself to be vulnerable. He’s the epitome of “I hate everyone but her” and I think that’s cute.

IMG_7384Left you out there standing, crestfallen on the landing

Laia and Elias are possibily my least favorite thing about this series, lol.

It’s not even that I find that their dynamic to be bad. They make sense together, are very supportive of each other and don’t take too much space in this super intense narrative, which would’ve been annoying. But I just can’t see any chemistry between them and every time they’re in the same space together I eyeroll so intensely I can see the back of my brain. For real.

IMG_4051I don’t like anticipating my face in a red flush

As I’ve been watching the adaptation of this show, I’ve started to reminisce everything I love about When Dimple Met Rishi. This book is far from perfect, but I fell in love with both of the characters so hard and I *adore* their development and how much they bring the best out of each other. It’s about time I re-read it (I read it for the first time in 2018, I think, and even though I’d been in a massive slump for the whole year, I finished it in a couple days).

IMG_7386And the road not taken looks real good now

The Fill-in Boyfriend is a major throwback novel and my first Kasie West. If you enjoy teen-coms from the early 2000s (like Freaky Friday, Read it and Weep, Sleepover or A Cinderela’s Story), then you’ll probably enjoy this one, because it contains every single trope, including the moment when the main character pours their heart out in front of a crowd just for the sake of it. I was surprised that, apart from the fake-dating, the book also developed the family dynamics and friendships very well. 👏🏻

IMG_7387I know my love should be celebrated, but you tolerate it

I do know that books that talk about fandom and internet culture are very popular, and I wish Tash Hearts Tolstoy got the same recognition. This one centers on Tash who has a webseries with her friends inspired by Anna Karienina who goes viral overnight. It discusses very well being a creator who wants to follow their own initial ideas, but also answer to your public, as well as dealing with internet fame. Tash is also asexual and the friendships are A+.

IMG_7385She thinks I did it but she just can’t prove it

When I read The Sound of Stars, I found the beginning to be super strong, but the middle dragged so much I didn’t have many high hopes for the ending. However, it totally blew me away! I found it to be a surprising, but well crafted ending and I loved how the author tied everything together, including some entries I hadn’t found a purpose to yet.

IMG_7389But there was happiness because of you

This had to be the *hardest* question in this tag! (Didn’t help that I was listening to the album while drafting this post and I don’t like happiness at all. This song physically makes me cringe, lol).

After much thought, I had to give it to Eliza, from Eliza and her Monsters. Which is funny because I don’t actually like her character that much.

However, a big part of Eliza’s growth is realizing that just because she’s into things that people in her life are not, it doesn’t make her more “special” and that everyone in her life is going through something as well. I too spent so much time thinking I was so superior for “not being like other girls” and, looking back, just yikes.

IMG_6033You’re a queen, selling dreams

Here I am, hyping up Katie Henry. Again.

Let’s Call it a Doomsday is such a good story about friendship. It’s not only about the friendship between Hannah and Ellis – a girl who’s terrified of the apocalypse and the other one who believes to know when it will happen – but also about the eccentric friend group Ellis finds, of boys who find interesting to sit under a tree, get high and discuss Jane Austen. It’s poetic, really.

IMG_7388Sorry for not making you my centerfold

I know I talked about in my February Wrap-Up giving this book 2 stars and not loving it. But I can’t deny the prose IS beautiful. Jandy Nelson has a fantastic way with words and some of the one-liners about love, grief, relationships, missing someone and also resenting them are absolutely beautiful. Makes me think a lot about how come she never released anything after I’ll Give You The Sun. I feel like if she did, she could single-handedly end the pandemic.

IMG_7390And now I’m covered in you

I finished Felix Ever After in the last day of February, so I didn’t have the chance to talk about it yet.

But this book features a *series* of hard choices, mostly because this is a story about Felix growing and accepting himself, and that’s never easy. I love that Felix not always makes the right choice, between choosing to hurt someone or not, or be honest to himself or not, but that’s what made him an interesting character after all.

IMG_4679Now I know I’m never gonna love again

I realized that while typically I’d hate to live in any fictional world, the one from Lobizona actually seemed so interesting! There are some parts of it that can be daunting, but the world of the Septimus is full of lush forests, witches and werewolves, and if I could be, like Manu, a lobizona as well – a female werewolf – I’d be the happiest.

(Werewolves are my favorite fictional creatures, in case you couldn’t tell. I dream of being one since I first watched New Moon).

IMG_4452Now I’m all about you

I have a recent addition to my list of comfort reads, which has to be Only Mostly Devastated. I’ll probably re-read this book every year, like I do with Where She Went, The Dream Thieves and Ari & Dante. Everything about this just makes me so happy and I could listen to Ollie talk about life for hours and hours on end. The relationship, the family dynamics, the Grease parallels. Just… beautiful.

IMG_7391You’re alive, you’re alive in my head

I already knew that Second Chance Summer was a book about grief and I still found myself dreading it and crying when it happened. I think that it’s even more interesting because Taylor’s dad is a terminally ill patient, so there are also some opportunities for Taylor to get to know him more and get closer throughout the summer. It also makes things a bit more complicated nearing his death, but I love how the author didn’t sugarcoat it and showed the reality of those moments.

IMG_4565Yes I got your letter, yes I’m doing better

I really wish that Robin Roe would release another book! Besides her debut, A List of Cages, I haven’t heard any news on her releasing anything new, and I’d love to read more from her. I think she talked about the topics of adoption and family incredibly well and the platonic relationships developed throughout this book are somethat I think about to this day. If she had more books coming out that also discussed such themes, I’d be the Happiest.

IMG_7377And when I was shipwrecked, I thought of you

It’s been a while since I last concluded a series, friends.

The most recent finale I read was probably Crooked Kingdom, way back in 2019. It definitely broke me, and the release of the Shadow and Bone series next month has made me even more hyperaware of all the things that broke me in that last book.

That’s it, friends! What are your favorite songs from evermore? Are you excited about Taylor’s version of Fearless? Do you prefer evermore or folklore?

five YA books set in new york city for when you want to live your devil wears prada dreams

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Hello, friends!

So, last year, I wrote a post recommeding books set in California because I was in a Teen Beach Movie mood. Now, we’re going to the opposite coast, as I find myself in a Devil Wears Prada mood. (Not in a romanticizing and glamorizing abusive work environments, but in a Devil Wears Prada mood nonetheless).

Soooooo, to honor that, I shall recommend five YA contemporaries set in NYC – or the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, Blair Waldorf’s reign, etc.

10 pontos no seu currículo que agradam os recrutadores | Prime Cursos

NAOMI & ELY’S NO KISS LIST

IMG_7380This book inspired one of my favorite movies of all times and I haven’t shouted about it not ONCE in this blog???? Unacceptable.

Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List is a multi-perspective novel where we follow, of course, Naomi and Ely – childhood best friends and next-door neighbors. Ely is gay. Naomi is in love with him. It’s complicated and messy and overdramatic and INCREDIBLY EXTRA.

The multi-perspective thing won’t be for everyone, but I love it. It made the read more fun and it allows us to see the Naomi-Ely dynamic from other angles as well.

I adore how this book puts such an emphasis os friendship and how hard it is to face a break-up there too. In the same beat, it develops two cute side relationships and also discusses how not every single change has to be a bad one.

Did I mention there are cupcakes? Because there are!

WE ARE LOST AND FOUND

IMG_5702We Are Lost and Found is set in the 80s and follows Michael, a young boy discovering his sexuality in the midst of the AIDS epidemic in New York. Not the easiest time to be doing that, may I add.

This book is compared a lot to Like a Love Story and I don’t understand why so many reviews tell you to *not* read this book and pick up the other one instead. Like, there’s SPACE IN THE WORLD FOR ALL OF US! I promise! Why are we limiting the number of queer stories out there, especially when they’re discussing something as important as AIDS for the queer community? Big yikes to whoever writes these reviews.

While I wouldn’t say go into it expecting an amazing love story, I actually really enjoyed how this book depicted the relationship between Michael and his older brother, who is gay and was kicked out after coming out to his parents. It definitely makes things more complicated to Michael, since he now knows what his parents are capable of, but it also creates a sense of support and love that wasn’t there when they were kids, which I think is sweet.

CHARMING AS A VERB

IMG_7117This book will ~charm~ its way into your heart. I assure you and not only because of my bad pun.

Charming as Verb focuses on Halti – son of Haitian immigrants who can charm his way out of everything, except when his upstairs neighbor Corinne starts threatening exposing the truth about his dog walking business.

This book is set in NYC but there are also some great scenes in Toronto. The ~big city~ atmosphere is all there. I also love how Columbia is one of Halti’s top schools exactly because the campus is so close to the city.

I talked before about how this book did a great job at showing a different perspective on the common “no-dad-it’s-your-dream” trope. But I also want to highlight how CUTE the romance is, how Corinne is a fantastic female protagonist considering she was written by a man (lol) and the side friendships were also great!

WHERE SHE WENT

IMG_7382Hi, it’s me.

Where She Went’s #1 fan.

Again.

I won’t promise this is the last I’ll talk about this book, because I LOVE IT. I love how Adam is this ball of angst and how his entire narration is about him being this broken-hearted guitar dude.

I also love how this is set in only 24h, but it *works*. It probably works so much because these characters have history and the chapters are also intercalated with flashbacks bridging books 1 and 2 (this is a sequel to If I Stay, in case you didn’t know), but it’s so well done and makes you root for the relationship instantly.

They also go through a lot of landmarks from New York City – like the Brooklyn Bridge and Port Authority – during the early hours of the morning and it’s POETICALLY BEAUTIFUL.

Or maybe it’s just because I love it, lol.

NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU

IMG_5704Not only is this book set in New York, but it’s also about movie stars in New York, so it really is the perfect combination between my latest recommendation post of books set in California and this one.

Now That I’ve Found You could be compared to a YA version of Evelyn Hugo. Following Evelyn Conaway’s granddaughter, an aspiring movie star named Evie Jones, Now That I’ve Found You has some cute mystery elements where New York City becomes the backdrop of Evie trying to find her missing grandma and at the same time restore her career.

This book also has the sweetest romance between Evie and Milo, who’s a musician, but not of the angsty type (which was REFERSHING for once). I love how they go through a lot of different places in New York that are important to each one of them – Evelyn, Milo and Evie – and this book’s conversation on fame and expectations are also *so* incredibly relevant!

Let me know if you have any more recommendations of books set in New York & what did you think of mine!

five first kisses in fiction that make me go feral no cap

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Hello, friends!

Does anyone still use the expression “go feral” in this economy? Does it feel like I’m a millennial still quoting vines and “I’m a potato” in 2021? I apologize.

But that’s the only way I can explain my feelings towards these scenes so it will have to do.

The title pretty much sums up what we’ll be doing today: chatting about some of my favorite first kisses in fiction. YAY! Will I be canceled for this because I’m talking about kisses happening between TEENAGERS and some of them are GAY? Likely. Do I care? No.

So, let’s go on then!

(WARNING: THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!)

FIVE. MACK AND LIZ, FROM YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN

50160619. sx318 sy475 The only possible word for this kiss is iconic. Revolutionary could also work.

Now, being 100% transparent, all the details from this kiss escape me, but I do remember that while they’re going at it a random passbyer screams at them something like: “YOU GO GIRL”. And I think that’s beautiful.

The idea of someone yelling while two girls kiss each other in public smells more like hate crime than excited support. And how great it was to realize that it was, indeed, just the girls being cheered on as they finally get together?

I won’t lie, I had the same reaction as I read that scene.

FOUR. TANNER AND SEBASTIAN, FROM AUTOBOYOGRAPHY

28919058. sy475 It’s not entirely about the actual scene in this case, but rather about how the kiss is referenced again throughout the book by the characters.

Basically: they kiss at the top of a mountain. And then the mountain emoji saga begins.

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Every single time that these characters want to say something deep to each other – whether that is: “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” or “I’m thinking about you” or “I miss you”, they just send a mountain emoji to each other. Not only because that’s their spot, but because they hope the other person can remember how it felt to be open and vulnerable and in love just like they were in the day of that first kiss.

And if that’s not the most POETIC SHIT YOU’VE EVER HEARD??????

THREE. LOLA AND CRICKET, FROM LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR

22247695Straights have rights in my list, I promise.

To me, this first kiss is just about the satisfaction. Because, Jesus, if these two didn’t take their timeeeee. I love it, though. Lola and the Boy has the most perfect pacing I have yet to find in any romance novel. I don’t like slowburn, but if the relationship moves on too quickly, I also tend to lose interest in the 70% mark and then hate-read the remaining 30.

With this book, the author was able to give us just enough to keep us coming back for more, and then give us a very satisfying conclusion with an amazing first kiss right by the end of it.

The wait was worth. it.

TWO. NOAH AND BRIAN, FROM I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN

20820994One word. ~Them~.

This scene to me is about the writing. Jandy Nelson has such a beautiful way with words and the way she creates the metaphors for this scene in specific are so on point.

Noah is a painter and throughout the book he has many instances of either thinking of things as paintings or colors, and this first kiss is no different. There’s also this beautiful line of Noah feeling horses galloping on his chest and the entire imagery throughout the scene is *chef’s kiss perfection*.

ONE. ALEX AND MAGNUS, FROM MAGNUS CHASE AND THE SHIP OF THE DEAD

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art by @toastchild

This was actually the scene that inspired this list, so thanks Alex, thanks Magnus.

This kiss happens because both characters are trying to be warm by leaning in to each other and getting as close as they can. Which is like, cheesyness level 300, but I’m not mad.

And then there’s just the overwhelming satisfaction of seeing that Alex cares about Magnus just as much as Magnus cares about them. Basically: Magnus fell earlier. But Alex fell harder.

Actually, no, Magnus still fell harder.

But they’re perfect so it doesn’t matter.

I was so surprised when that kiss happened and yet it just felt like the perfect moment and the *perfect* way for these characters to get together. In a snowstorm, when they’re about to die and get frostbite. Yes. They don’t do romance like this no more.

That’s it, friends! I am very curious if you have a favorite first kiss in a book or movie/show and if you agree with my picks! Let me know in the comments!