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!

book review: the mary shelley club, by goldy moldavsky

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New York Times-bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky delivers a deliciously twisty YA thriller that’s Scream meets Karen McManus about a mysterious club with an obsession for horror.

When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:

x Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.

x Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out.”

x If there’s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.

If only surviving in real life were this easy…

New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she’d preferred to keep buried.

Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can’t afford to lose.

GoodreadsAmazon | Book DepositoryBarnes & NobleIndieBoundIndigo | BAM!

Get to know more about the author!

Goldy Moldavsky was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her family. She is the New York Times–bestselling author of Kill the Boy Band and No Good Deed. Some of her influences include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the esteemed works of John Irving, and the Mexican telenovelas she grew up watching with her mother.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Hello, friends! I am very excited to be taking part in the book tour for The Mary Shelley Club, as an own-voices reviewer since this book does have South-American rep (yes the one I constantly scream about wanting more of).

Trigger warnings: descriptions of home invasion, gore, violence, murder and stalking

  1. The characters – aka the Mary Shelley Club. I think the characters in here played very well in some well known horror movie tropes – the outsider (Rachel), the smart and cold one (Felicity), the jock (Bram) and his preppy girlfriend (Lux). Still, they had an interesting dynamic and it was very easy to connect with them, mostly because we also want Rachel to have a friend group and something she can be a part of.
  2. The horror elements were on point. This book is SCARY, y’all. In the first chapter, we already have a scene that had me on the edge of my seat, where one of the character keeps telling “scary stories” to others at a party. I did not expect to feel super scared right away, but it happened, and the suspense got more intense as the book went on.
  3. Discussions of economic disparity and trauma. Rachel went through something in her past that still affects her to this day, and I appreciate how the author talked about this as an on-going issue that shows up in the form of nightmares, sometimes visions and intrusive thoughts. Rachel is also not rich like her peers, which made the dynamic between her and Freddie – the only one in the group who’s also Latinx and poor – even more believable because of the way they related to one another and thought of themselves as a “team” amongst the group.

I think my issue with the book turned out to be the pacing. I feel like the middle dragged and I wish the ending had been more fleshed out, but then again, it may be because there’s a sequel on the way. I wouldn’t be opposed to it, as I feel like there’s still a lot to explore within the Mary Shelley Club and what we grow to learn about it by the end of the book.

I also think there was potential for the exploration of grief on top of Rachel’s thrauma.

IMG_7178Overall, I was surprised by how much I was able to take from the story. This reads sometimes as a love letter to horror movies, so if you’re a fan of those, you’ll probably enjoy this one even more than I did, as some references really went over my head, lol.

As far as the Latinx representation, I appreciate how the author touched on it (with the dynamic between Rachel and her mom, as well as Rachel and Freddie being the ‘outcasts’ of the group), but also didn’t make this the only trait of either one of the characters and they had much more to offer.

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Make sure to check out the other stops of the book tour down below! Thank you so much for Colored Pages to offering me an e-ARC of this book!

March 1st

Jainny Reads – Review Only

Unconventional Quirky Bibliophile – Favorite Quotes  

 

March 2nd

Pastel Writer – Review Only

A library of my own – Review Only 

 

March 3rd

Books and Dice – Favorite Quotes

Mel Reads – Reading Vlog 

 

March 4th

A Cup Of Nicole – Reading Vlog 

Bookishplants – Favorite Quotes 

 

March 5th

The Bookish Skies – Review Only 

The Book View – Share an excerpt

 

March 6th

Sanjariti – Favorite Quotes

Loveless Degrees – Book Recommendations Based On Book 

 

March 7th

By My Shelf – Review Only

A Reader’s Reaction – Reading Blog 

Naturemamareads – Mood Board

book review: concrete rose, by angie thomas

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If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

Hello, friends!

As I talked about a few posts ago, Concrete Rose was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021 and I’m so happy that not only I’ve already read it, but that I also enjoyed it as much as I did. Even though The Hate U Give is not one of my favorite books of all times, I loved Big Mave’s character enough to be excited about a prequel focusing on his life, that like I said, did not disappoint.

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  1. The narration & the humor. I didn’t know Angie Thomas’ writing was actually this funny – probably because it’s been a while since I last read THUG, which I read in Portuguese, so it might have been lost in translation. Concrete Rose made me absolutely laugh out loud, though, and Mav’s narration was not only hilarious, but also made me connect with his character very easily.
  2. The contrast between Maverick and Big Mav. I remember reading THUG and just feeling more at ease whenever Big Mav showed up, because I knew he’d know all the right things to say and do. He had amazing advice and a reliable, trustworthy aura about him of someone that has all his shit together. How amazing it was to read about him here, as a 17 year old that has absolutely NOTHING together? I loved it! Knowing how great of a father he’ll become to his kids, it was particular emotional following his journey through parenthood and, overall, his journey into becoming a man. It was certainly not an easy path, but it made me grow even more admiration towards the character when I got to learn what he’s been through and how much he had to do in order to become the Big Mav we know.
  3. The discussion on how what happens to the characters is a symptom of something much larger. I think Angie Thomas did a brilliant job at crafting Maverick’s narrative to talk about issues that impact, mostly, communities of color. When we see Maverick becoming a teen father, when we see Maverick drug dealing, or joining a gang, all these things can not and should not be taken out of context. Because they’re all intertwined. One thing leads to the other, that is also connected to something even bigger – his family, his dad in prison, society, the government, education. All these problems are related to one another, and Concrete Rose makes that explicit in a very well-done way.
  4. Amazing focus on community. It takes a village to raise a kid, and I loved how the book approached that. While in THUG, we see Starr being divided between two worlds – her predominantly white school and her predominantly black neighborhood -, Concrete Rose focuses solely on Garden Heights. The characters we get to see – Mr. Wyatt, who gives Maverick his first job; Dre, his cousin and best friend who has the best advice, Maverick’s mom and even the woman next door who looks after baby Seven. I loved the focus on community that the book had and how all the characters were developed.

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Obviously, I adored this book, so there isn’t a lot for me to say here.

These aren’t things that bothered me, but beware that: this book doesn’t have that much plot and focuses mostly on character development; and it also reads as an older-YA book. While it doesn’t go into as many dark topics as THUG, I feel like the focus on, specifically the dynamic between Seven/Maverick and overall the protagonist’s journey into parenthood will probably be more appreciated by a slightly more mature audience.

(Not to say that 13 year olds can’t read this and understand and connect with it a lot, though!)

IMG_7115Overall, Concrete Rose was a fantastic prequel to THUG – it made me want to re-read the first book immediately! It was emotional seeing the beginning of it all, and kinda how these characters became the people they are today. Reading about baby Khalil definitely brought me to tears!

As someone who didn’t give THUG 5 stars, I appreciated Concrete Rose infinitely more. They’re very different reads, but I think both deliver important takes on the black community from very different perspectives, which I love.

5 ESTRELASNOVO

Have you read Concrete Rose or The Hate U Give? If so, what are your thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments!

my favorite reads of 2020!

a 2020 overview.

Oh, 2020.

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

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

OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE

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

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

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

BIGGEST SURPRISE

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

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

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

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

MOST RELATABLE

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

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

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

MY FAVORITE ADULT ROMANCE

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

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

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

MY FAVORITE NOVELLA

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

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

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

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

BY A NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR

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

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

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

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

FAVORITE NEW-RELEASE

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

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

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

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

DESERVING OF MORE HYPE

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

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

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

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

BEST BOOK OF 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello, friends!

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

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


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

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) - IMDb

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

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hates me

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

The Proposal (2009) - IMDb

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

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

Stuck in the Suburbs (2004) movie posters

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

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really

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

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

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

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i hate this

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

Rich in Love (2020 film) - Wikipedia

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

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bitch

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

Step Up (2006) - IMDb

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

i miss

the shape of y

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

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

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

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

book recs.(1)

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

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

LOBIZONA

Trigger warnings: ICE raids, anti-immigration sentiments

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

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

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

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

LET’S CALL IT A DOOMSDAY

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

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

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

SAINTS AND MISFITS

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

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

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

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

FURIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

KINGS, QUEENS AND IN-BETWEENS

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

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

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

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

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

gothtober readathon wrap up!

read-a-thon wrap up. (1)

Hello, friends!

I’ve officially completed the GothTober Readathon, and there are a lot of great books here to talk about. I didn’t expect to read as much in October, as I was coming out of a reading slump by the end of September, but the readathon turned out to be a success and I’m very happy with most of what I read.

LGBTQ+ READ

Trigger warnings: suicide attempt, grief, brief descriptions of cancer related symptoms, internalized transphobia, homophobic slurs, homophobia

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★★★★☆

I started out the month re-reading one of my favorite books of last year, Birthday, by Meredith Russo. I was able to notice a lot more flaws this time around – I feel like Morgan’s internalized transphobia was not challenged enough and it would’ve been important if we could have been introduced to a more positive, up-lifting trans rep; and I also felt like there was room for the author to discuss sexuality as a spectrum, but the only labels to show up are “transgender”, “gay” and “straight” and we all know there’s a lot more gray area than this. I still found this to be as addictive and compelling as the first time around. I noticed how this book gave me the exact same feelings I had when I was reading Ari & Dante: it’s such a hard book to read, but impossible to put down.

BAME READ

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★★★☆☆

Now That I’ve Found You was a new release I was very excited about, but ultimately, I felt like the premise was better than the actual execution. I was really interested in the idea of a main character going through NYC to find her eccentric, movie star grandma, but the resolution of said “mystery” was really boring, imo. There was potential there to be more of a “putting clues together” sort of mystery, but it really wasn’t, and I was disappointed about that. I also would not really recommend the audiobook, as I felt like the voice the narrator did for the love interest was pretty emotionless and stopped me from fully buying into the romance. The book still has interesting discussions and gave me a lot of Evelyn Hugo vibes, but YA, so I still consider it to be a worthwile read.

DISABILITY READ

Trigger warnings: violence, emotional and physical abuse, neglect, ableism and ableist language

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★★★★☆

I then picked up The Boy Who Steals Houses, which is an autistic own-voices story that absolutely broke my heart, as I had already predicted. I really liked the writing, as it was beautifully poetic, and the banter between the characters fantastic, and I also really did love all the characters. I thought it was really interesting how the author paralleled Sammy and Avery’s autistic experiences (Sammy is never diagnosed on page, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume he was autistic as well?) and the De Laineys family were a joy. I do wish we had a bit more closure at the end, and the pacing of the last 30% was also off for me, but I still recommend it.

FEMALE PROTAGONIST

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★★★☆☆

The Deck of Omens is the second book in The Devouring Gray duology, and I’m really glad I didn’t take a major break in between books one and two, as I remembered most of what had happened and was also just as attached to the characters as I’d first been. I ended up not liking this one as much as The Devouring Gray, as I felt like the plot was a lot more predictable and cliché, and the characters interactions felt a lot drier compared to the first one (the lack of angst was understandable, but still :/). It was still a satisfying conclusion to the series, though, but it didn’t blow my mind like the first one did.

RED

Trigger warnings: death of a loved one, brief descriptions of sex trafficking and rape, police brutality

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★★★★☆

I was so happy to pick up Patron Saints of Nothing, as it had been on my TBR for quite some time. I thought the author did a really great job discussing the drug war on the Philippines – obviously, I’m not Filipino myself, and was just at first being introduced to the issue, but I think it was explained well and the author was able to show different perspectives on it. On top of it, I found amazing how the author crafted Jun’s character, since we know from the synopsis he’s dead, but through the letters he shared with Jay (our protagonist) and the memories that his family members recount of him, we were able to have a very clear picture of Jun and I loved his character a lot, even though we never fully get to know him. The writing was a little bit too dry for me, though, and I wish it had been more poetic and fleshed out at times, which is why I’m giving it 4 instead of 5 stars.

GREY MORALITY

Trigger warnings: death of a loved one, suicidal thoughts/suicide attempt, car accidents

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★★★★☆

I do admit I was expecting Letters to the Lost to be the book to tell me, once in for all, if I love or dislike Brigid Kemmerer. I have read other two books by her – one, my favorite of the year, the other, a huge disappointment. And I’m happy to report I actually really loved this one! It was incredibly addictive, much like Call It What You Want and impossible to put down. The characters are perfectly flawed and I actually really liked the relationship they developed. However, this turned out to be more of a 4 stars, as I feel like we needed more closure at the end and Declan was a very difficult character to like. I know it’s part of the grey morality and all, but I liked Rob (Call It What You Want) infinitely more than I liked him, and it’s hard not to compare both.

DARK ACADEMIA

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★★★★☆

For this prompt, I chose to read a pretty cult-classic dark academia book and that was If We Were Villains. This book is compared a lot to The Secret History, which I’ve already read, and I liked this one exponentially more. First, the narrator was much more hands-on than Richard in The Secret History, the parallels between their lives and what they were studying were a lot more fleshed out and there’s a significant less use of homophobic slurs, which is already enough to make this the superior book for me. I will say, though, I found most of the story to be predictable and I was a bit annoyed by how much we, as readers, could see that our main couldn’t, but there’s a twist at the very end I could’ve never predicted and that made me shook to the core. I’m just happy I was able to understand the whole book, to be honest, lol.

book review: frankly in love, by david yoon

IMG_5668High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

Hello, friends!

I was really excited to read Frankly in Love, as it was an own-voices Korean-American story, with the fake-dating trope – which is one of my favorite tropes ever -, so I had high hopes.

This book turned out to be… a lot, for quite different reasons, so let’s break those down:

TW: racism, racist slurs, cheating, cancer, death of a loved one, shootings

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  1. The writing. I don’t think David Yoon’s writing will necessarily work for everyone, as it is both detailed and not detailed at all, lol. I don’t know how to explain it, but he hardly ever describes scenarios, but when he does, it’s very lush. What I liked the most about the writing was the dialogues – all the characters had fantastic banter and, even if it wasn’t entirely realistic, it was a lot of fun to read.
  2. The discussions on being Korean-American. As the synopsis suggests, Frank Li considers himself a “Limbo” – his parents are Korean and do not speak English; he’s American and does not speak Korean. I really appreciated the discussion of identity and family, and how much Frank felt disconnected from his parents because of the language barrier, as well as how he felt alienated from the Korean community in general. It was really interesting and made me reflect a lot.
  3. Nuanced characters!! While I did not love our protagonist and the writing of some of the characters, I do think the author was able to write successfully nuanced/flawed characters. Frank’s parents, for example, who are racist and say a lot of ignorant things, are still his parents and show a number of other layers besides that. I think it was incredibly important to show such grey area.

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  1. Frank Li. I just really did not like Frank that much. He’s an interesting character, but his decision making was very questionable the entire time. It’s not that he was awful, but I do think it was harder for me to be fully immersed in the story since I did not like our main and this was a first-person book after all.
  2. The romance, and the fake dating too. The romance in this book is just… the worst. Not only the instance of cheating was taken way too lightly, I really did not feel for either of the relationships. They were both incredibly insta-love-y and I had no idea why these characters were already saying “I love you” to each other so early in their relationship, especially because the interactions tended to be so dry, with not enough emotional connection.
  3. The female representation in general. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing about reading books by straight men: the female rep tends to be shit, lol. Brit and Joy were pretty flat characters; Joy was a little bit more three-dimensional because she was a Limbo like Frank and they could bond over that, but in general, I feel like through so many of the conflicts in this book, Joy was just *there* and we could never really see what she really thought and felt about the situation. She didn’t express many emotions, despite most of the conflicts having to deal with her or her family. There’s also the side character of Q’s sister, who in EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE is described as “hot”, “smoking hot”, “gorgeous”, etc, and that’s the only trait we really know of her. The fact Q, Frank and his dad are the most developed characters in the story say enough about what representation mattered the most there.

IMG_5672Overall, this book would’ve worked better for me perhaps if it hadn’t been marketed as a “YA romance”, especially because I feel like the romance was by far the worst layer of the book. I think it would’ve been more accurate to describe it as a coming of age story, that depicts layers of racism, prejudice, family and identity.

I still would consider reading more David Yoon in the future, as I actually really enjoyed the writing style. He has a new book coming out next month that I’m actually pretty excited about, and hopefully it will be better than this one.

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Have you read Frankly in Love? If so, what are your thoughts? If you have more fake dating books to recommend, let me know!

five YA contemporary fantasies for the ~halloween vibes~

book recs.(1)

Hello, friends!

If you’ve ever read my blog before, then you probably know I am a YA contemporary trash. It’s my whole brand and I hardly ever read anything else but that. However, that doesn’t mean I am opposed to fantasy. I even enjoy it occasionally, especially when it’s fantasy happening in our world.

So, I decided to compile a list of my favorite YA contemporary fantasies that will hopefully give you Halloween vibes as the date approaches. (I feel like Halloween is slowly turning it into my favorite time of the year and? Who could’ve predicted that).

UNDEAD GIRL GANG

IMG_5696Undead Girl Gang will follow Mila, a fat Mexican-American girl whose best-friend has recently died. Everyone in the town has ruled out her death as a suicide, but Mila believes she was actually murdered. So, she decides to do what any other reasonable person would do: to perform a spell to bring her best friend back from the dad so she can figure out what happened. In the process, she ends up accidentally bringing back two other girls and of course crazy shenenigans will ensue.

I did not ~love~ this book, but I would say it was a pretty solid read. The fantasy here is obviously not a huge part of the book, at all. It is the reason why the plot starts, but there’s much more of a mystery element throughout it, as the girls try to figure out who could’ve murdered them.

I found that some of the story beats and aesthetic were overall very similar to Heathers, so if you like the musical/movie, perhaps you’ll enjoy this one too! While I felt like more could’ve been given to the development of the female relationships, I really enjoyed how they were wrapped up, though, and I liked Mila a lot as a protagonist.

THE WICKED DEEP

img_1093I read this book around Halloween of 2018 and it was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made! I remember that the weather was perfect for a read like this, as it complimented the atmosphere wonderfully.

The Wicked Deep is set in a sea-side town where every summer, the spirits of three sisters come back to haunt the city, by drowning boys in the harbor like they were once drowned. The dynamic changes once this new-comer, Bo, shows up in the town, unaware of the danger he’s putting himself into.

This book doesn’t necessarily have the most pristine character/relationship development but is SO atmospheric. The present story is intercalated with chapters that tell the past of the three sisters, who were accused of whichcraft and killed, and we also get to follow their perspective, that is remarkably eerie and spooky.

If you’re experiencing fall right now, I’d highly recommend this one, as it has the absolute perfect vibes for this time of year.

CEMETERY BOYS

Trigger warnings: misgendering, depictions of gender dysphoria, death of a parent

Not that I feel like you need *any* more reasons to read this book, as so many people have screamed about it and it was in the New York Best-Seller’s List, but… I shall provide anyway.

IMG_5703Our main character, Yadriel, wants to prove himself to his family as a brujo after coming out as trans. In order to do that, he decides to set free the ghost of his murdered cousin, but ends up summoning the spirit of the hyperactive, local badboy, Julian Diaz.

This book is a delight, honestly. It has the perfect balance of spooky vibes – with the whole talk of ghosts, rituals and Lady Death – and hilarious-ness, as Julian is super funny and the banter between the characters is fantastic.

I feel like if you’re into the spooky aesthetic, but is still looking for a read with great overall themes (loved so much how this book shows Yadriel growing to understand how he doesn’t have to compromise or settle all the time and that he deserves to be recognized for who he is) and A+ character and relationship development, you can not go wrong with this one.

THE DEVOURING GRAY

I feel like, out of all the titles in this list, The Devouring Gray is probably the most full-on fantasy, though for a lot of fantasy readers, this one fell short, so maybe it was just more than what I’m used to, really.

In this small town, the Founding Families are the ones with magical abilities who have the duty to protect the citizens from the Grey – this magical forest where resides The Beast. Our protagonist, Violet, has just moved in to this town and has been showing signs of magical skills, but she’s not part of a founding family. So our protagonists team up to uncover this mystery.

IMG_5707Things to note that make this book super fun:

  • A NUMBER of bi characters, which we love to see!
  • The two biggest romance plotlines deliver just the perfect amount of angst to keep you interested.
  • Small town drama – new girl? outcast?
  • One of our protagonists, Harper, is an amputee, and also an absolute badass.
  • Creepy atmosphere and magic related to tarot cards, rituals, etc.
  • Great exploration of grief and trauma.

This one really surprised me, as I’d mostly read mediocre reviews, and I can not see it, honestly. This book was a lot of fun, imo.

THE WICKER KING

IMG_3534Ok, we’ll end this one with a contemporary with just ~sprinkles~ of fantasy. This is not a fantasy book, in the slightest, but I feel like it shares a similar atmosphere that feels perfect for this time of year.

Here, we follow best friends, Jack and August, who are trying to figure things out after Jack starts experiencing hallucinations. This is where the fantasy gets intertwined, as the world Jack starts seeing becomes more and more real as time goes on, along with the darkness of the story.

It definitely has similar eerie and overall kinda tragic vibes. I keep telling myself I should not recommend this book across the board, because the relationship is definitely not the healthiest and I can definitely see how it would really bother some readers, but I also love it so much I just want more people to read it, lol.

If you have any recommendations of contemporary fantasies, please, let me know! I actually really like this genre and I want to read more of it, especially by authors of color!

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.

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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*?