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

again

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

s

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

aa

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

ol

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

ja

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

a

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

le

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!

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

68747470733a2f2f73332e616d617a6f6e6177732e636f6d2f776174747061642d6d656469612d736572766963652f53746f7279496d6167652f33326a5f57563771674a666a36513d3d2d3636313639383031322e313537333031376662386561643763343735313033343834373434392e676966

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

Jesse-Eisenberg-Andrew-Garfield-The-Social-Network-David-Fincher

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 book characters who share the same name

top5novo

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!

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 first kisses in fiction that make me go feral no cap

top5novo

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!

out of comfort zone challenge sign up!

a 2020 overview.(1)

Hello, friends!

For 2021, I really want to make an effort to tackle my TBR and finally pick up some of the more intimidating books I have there, also known as books outside of my comfort zone. I tend to read mostly for comfort, and I still intend on doing that, but I think it can be interesting every once in a while pick up a book that I wouldn’t normally.

That’s why I decided this year to take part in the Out of Comfort Zone Challenge, created by Caro @ Book Cheshire Cat.

L2_ TravelerLike the name suggests, the challenge is all about reading books outside of your favorite/go-to genre, mine being YA contemporaries. You have a few levels you can choose, depending on how many books you want to read for the challenge, and I thought 10 would be a good one, meaning I’ll aim for the Traveler level.

There’s also a bingo board, and I haven’t decided yet how I’ll do it, I think I’ll share it only on my wrap-up, as my TBR can change throughout the year.

For now, though, I do have a selection of books I’d like to get to to complete the challenge:

SKY IN THE DEEP. This book has been on my TBR for a really long time and it is a viking-inspired fantasy, which is what I’m most intrigued about.

THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS. This one was in EVERYONE’s list of favorites of 2020, and I have high expectations. I do love Romeo & Juliet, and most people I talked about said the fantasy was not super complicated, so hopefully I’ll fly through it and love as much as everyone else.

THE SUN DOWN MOTEL. Me after reading one (1) thriller: I can handle this! Let’s read one more! But in all seriousness, this one was a recommendation that made me intrigued, as it follows two timelines (which I love) and is set in a creepy motel.

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE. Another one that everyone and their moms loved and said they cried over. I’ve only read one other book by V.E. Schwab before, so I don’t know entirely what to expect, except that it will probably be slow at first.

THE BEAUTY OF THE WOLF. This book’s average rating on Goodreads doesn’t make me hopeful I’ll love it, but I am so intrigued about the idea of a gender-bent re-telling of Beauty & the Beast. It is adult fantasy, though, so definitely out of my realm here.

HILLBILLY ELEGY. Non-fictions are not entirely out of my comfort zone, but I know this is darker than any of the ones I’ve read before. It’s been turned into a movie, but I want to read the book first!

Of course I do plan on reading more, but for now, these are at the top of my TBR anyway, so I hope that the challenge motivates me to finally get to them. Let me know in the comments what’s your go-to genre and if you read any of these books!

other five things i want to see more of in YA!

top5novo

Hello, friends!

Last year, I shared this post talking about five things I want to see more of in YA and I realized recently there were a few more I wanted to talk about. I think this would be an interesting topic for others to write on, so I highly encourage you to either share in the comments or on your own posts something you want to see more of in your favorite genre!

ONE. ATHLETE MAIN CHARACTERS

Every single time I watch the Olympics (by the way, I miss the Olympics, anyone else?), I am always amazed by how young some of the athletes are. Most of them are teenagers, and I always wonder how it is for them to live the regular teenage lives – with school, and crushes, and family – and also be an athlete. I’d love for more books to discuss that!

🏈 Books I know with athlete main characters:

52172585. sx318 sy475 I have read Breath Like Water, and while I had a couple gripes with it, I think the author did an amazing job describing the swimming scenes, in a way that didn’t feel overly poetic or overly technical. She found the perfect balance!

53001418. sx318 sy475 I am excited to read All the Things We Never Knew that I do know deals with two main characters who are both basketball players! I understand a lotal of zero things about basketball (literally, I think it’s fun to watch but for the most part I have no idea what’s going on), but I think it can still be interesting to read about!

TWO. THEATRE KIDS

I’ve never been a theatre kid myself, though I did take part in a production once and I was on stage! It was surprisingly easy, and I think it was more nerve-wracking preparing for it than actually doing it, if that makes sense. But my High School Musical fan self has always been interested in the in’s and out’s of theatre and it’s something I’d like to learn more about and see more of!

🎭 Books I know with theater kids:

42115981. sy475 Loveless had a really fun, modern production of Shakespeare in which the characters grouped a lot of iconic scenes from Shakespeare’s most famous plays together. The banter between them throughout rehearsing was *fantastic*.

52880287. sx318 sy475 Camp had a lot of talk on theatre outside of the plays, and it was such a delightful surprise to see Del taking part in the production later on in the book. It made this even more fun to read!

THREE. MOVIE RETELLINGS

I think any kind of retelling is interesting, whether that is a retelling of a classic or a play or a fairytale, even greek myths. But I find that most of them tend to become fantasy books, which is not my genre, but movie retellings tend to be more palpable for the YA contemporary genre. I am not a huge movie watcher, but there are definitely some iconic stories I’d love to see being explored in book format.

🎥 Books I know of that are movie retellings:

45046743Only Mostly Devastated was a super fun gay re-telling of Grease. I loved how the author crafted the characters and the relationships and the dialogues – I really need to re-read this already!

33857632. sy475 Letters to the Lost has the same vibe of You’ve Got Mail, as you follow two characters talking to each other through letters but not knowing who the other is in real life. It’s definitely a lot darker and not as much rom-com esque, but it was still such an engaging story.

FOUR. FUN MYSTERIES

I do love myself a mystery of any kind, to be honest, but this is something really specific that I wish more books would explore. So, basically, it’s just a mystery that doesn’t have to involve murders and crimes, it can just be investigating an object that is missing, trying to retrieve a painting, following clues, etc. Basically: give me the fun part of mysteries minus the creepy things, ok? Thanks!

🔍 Books I know of that have fun mysteries:

46223352In Now That I’ve Found You, we follow our main character trying to find her grandma who was a really big movie star back in the 50s through the streets and neighborhoods of New York. The mystery was a bit too easily solved for me, but the concept was very interesting!

39848512In Odd One Out, there’s a side plot of the two characters Rae and Cooper trying to find a once-famous TV show host/star that has disappeared off the face of the earth! It was by far the most engaging plot of the book!

FIVE. BOARDING SCHOOLS – WITH NO MAGIC

Am I literally just against fantasy? I might.

No, but in all seriousness, boarding schools are not just a fun element whenever there’s magic involved! I did not grow up watching Wild Child and Dance Academy on a regular basis for me to find such few stories with boarding schools that are not fantastical. Plus, the dark academia trope is so in right now, we deserve more contemporary boarding school stories.

📐 Books I know of that are set in boarding schools and are not fantasy:

41734205Her Royal Highness is an adorable sapphic romance set in a boarding school in Scotland. It even had boarding school competitions and awkward roommate pairings, so what more could you want?

17453983. sy475 Anna and the French Kiss is a major throwback, but it was set in a boarding school, and the dorm dynamic constantly made me picture these characters as if they were in college. It was still a lot of fun, though!

Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations for me based on what I want to see more of and also what are some things YOU want to see more of in YA!

the julie and the phantoms book tag! (original)

booktagnovo

Hello, friends!

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

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

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

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

1

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

2

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

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

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

ANYWAY.

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

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

4

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

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

5

32768522Not me wanting to answer Percy Jackson AGAIN.

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

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

6

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

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

7

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

8

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

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

9

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

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

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

10

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

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

11

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

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

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

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

12

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

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

Not me, tbh.

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

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

Hello, friends!

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

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


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

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) - IMDb

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

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hates me

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

The Proposal (2009) - IMDb

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

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wordpress hates me

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

Stuck in the Suburbs (2004) movie posters

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

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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.

bsjads

bitch

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

Step Up (2006) - IMDb

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

i miss

the shape of y

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

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

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

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

the bookish skies turns two! | my second blogiversary!

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Hello, friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your favorite comfort book/show?

THE KING OF KAWAI

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

How would your perfect day look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which fictional world would you want to retire in?

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your advice to avoid blogging burnout?

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

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

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

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