gothtober readathon TBR! (round 2)

to be read.

Hello, friends!

It’s Spooky Season and I’m so excited to be taking part in the Gothtober Readathon again! I took part last year and it was tons of fun, so I hope to repeat my success this year.

The Gothtober Readathon is created and hosted by: Olivia @ Olivia’s Catastrophe, Tish @ Little Wolf and Hannah @ Ladder M. Even though the readathon is inspired by gothic literature, you can choose to read whatever for the prompts!

For the 3 staple prompts we have:

BIPOC READ

56980548. sy475 The sequel to Ari & Dante comes out this month and to say I am excited is an understatement. If I don’t have the physical copy by then, I will have to cry, but I’ll be reading on release day nonetheless however it takes cause it’s me, after all.

DISABILITY READ

40653221This book has cerebral palsy rep and I’m pretty sure is queer too! I have read by Leah Thomas before and I really love the way she creates characters. I think she includes disability rep in all her books, which is super awesome, and it’s def about time I pick up another one by her.

LGBTQ+ READ

29283884. sy475 I am combining this prompt with my reread for the month, which is my comfort queer historical fiction: Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. It will be my third time reading this book and I honestly don’t! even! care! I love it so much! Plus, it will be just in time before the 3rd one in this series comes out, so I’ll be ready whenever that one comes.

Now onto the prompts for the Angel Board, which is the one I chose! I won’t be completing all prompts for the sake of time, but I chose my favorites and I think I have all around a good TBR.

MONOCHROME COVER

45874065Not me already cheating in the first prompt. I know there’s technically red in the cover, but it’s close enough??? Plus this book is a murder mystery and PERFECT for spooky season. I hope Ruby is proud of me for finally picking this one up.

LARGE FRIENDSHIP GROUP

46223472. sy475 Granted, I am not sure if that characters are friends, though I believe they are! The Marvelous is also a mystery, and gives escape room vibes, which will be a first for me! I have read Claire Kann’s debut, which was Let’s Talk About Love, and I loved the friendship group in that one, so I hope that if we do have a large friend group in this one, it’s just as good.

CONSEQUENCES

52778487Firstly: I love this prompt. From my understanding of the synopsis of this one, the protagonists’ secrets are now coming to bite them in their asses, which is pretty fitting for this prompt if I do say so myself. It’s also a dark academia with non-white protagonists, and I’m so hyped to be seeing more of this!

ENLIGHTMENT

51260768. sy475 This prompt is very interesting, but quite hard to achieve, especially when I didn’t have time to fit non-fiction in my TBR. I felt like going with That Way Madness Lies could work, as it has been on my TBR for ages and I do think I’ll be enlighted by the end of it, especially considering how little I actually know of Shakespeare’s works.

Are you participating in the Gothtober Readaton? If so, what are you reading? If you have read any of these books, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

five fictional friend groups i want to be a part of

Hello, friends!

To be honest, it’s been a while since I last sat down to blog. All the previous post had been scheduled for a while now and it’s a good feeling to sit down and finally draft a post. This one comes out the week I’m writing it, so it’s pretty up to date.

Recently, I’ve been enjoying my job winter break, but I still have uni classes to attend (virtually, of course). I’ve been watching a ton of NETFLIX (rewatching Julie and the Phantoms as I write this) and reading a lot too. Overall, it’s been a great week.

But that’s not what this post is about. I wanted to write about my favorite friend groups because that is something I always want to read more of. I *love* reading about friendships and watching iconic friends on screen too. Friendships > romance. It is what it is.

FIVE. KARINA’S FRIEND GROUP IN COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU

49399658Ok, it is true that I didn’t love this book, but the friend group here is ICONIC.

These girls are so chaotic and so supportive of Karina the whole time. Sometimes, it’s almost overwhelming. I respect that so much, because I was definitely that friend back in high school: the one to be sending messages SENT US SCREENSHOTS every time one of their friends was trying to talk to a guy.

They were so hilarious and yet, also knew when to be serious and be there for their friend during the hard moments too. Basically: they’re the type of girl friend group I want to see more of.

FOUR. MEG AND LESTER, FROM TRIALS OF APOLLO

They’re an icon, a legend and they’re the moment.

Look, Meg and Apollo (Lester) are the best part of this whole series. The combination of Meg’s sass and Lester’s cluelessness is a perfect entertainment recipe.

Also, their growth??? How much they grow to care and understand and love each other, and just be able to read each other’s thoughts every single time?

Ugh, I’m obsessed. I want to be them SO bad.

THREE. SLOANE’S FRIEND GROUP FROM THIS ADVENTURE ENDS

27779275Imagine you just started at a new school and someone invites you to hang out with them and they already turn out to be the coolest friend group ever? Ugh, I wish.

I was obsessed with the friends dynamic from This Adventure Ends. The characters are all so unique and fleshed out on their own: Sloane being reluctant sharing her interests, Vera being charismatic and loud and so protective, and Gabe being the quiet one who loves fiercely. Aubrey, Frank and Remy were also equally iconic and brought great drama and A+ one-liners.

Not only that, but their dynamic as friends is exactly what I’d expect from teenagers and Emma Mills definitely nailed the realism in this one.

TWO. ALED AND FRANCES, FROM RADIO SILENCE

Alice Oseman on Twitter: ""hey alice what do the Radio Silence gang do  after the book ends!!??!?!!!" idk pal i guess they're all thriving and have  great hair… https://t.co/wubDMpJGRz"My two favorite people to exist. Or should I say my two favorite fictional characters. Cause, sadly, these two are not real.

Their friend group does expand throughout the book, but it all started out with them, after all.

Aled and Frances have the best platonic relationship I ever read. My heart aches with just how much these characters love each other. How much they can *see* through each other. How much they can be themselves around each other.

What I’d do to have a friend like that, seriously.

ONE. JULES’ FRIEND GROUP FROM FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN

53284187. sy475 This friend group gives me *major* On My Block vibes and if you know me at all, then you know how that makes me feel.

As much as I can say how much I love these other friendships I mentioned here, it hits different when you find a friend group you can *see* yourself in. And that’s who these people are: the chaotic, amazing and supportive Latinx friend group of my dreams.

Jules crafts a family for himself – a family that is not perfect (no family ever is), but that loves him through all things. Jordan, Rolie, Itzel, Lou, Piña: they’re all so freaking amazing and saying goodbye to them and realizing they weren’t an actual friend group I could hang out with anymore by the time I finished  the book made me actually tear up.

What is your favorite fictional friend group? If you could send apps to join, which one would you choose?

mid year freak out book tag 2021!

booktagnovo

Hello, everyone!

I am so excited to be doing the Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag, as it has become a yearly tag in my blog and I love looking back onto my reads and also planning future ones for the rest of the year.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

IMG_7114Funnily enough, my favorite book of 2020 so far has been one I read all the way back in January and that is, of course none other than Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas. This book was so hilarious, while discussing so many serious topics. I loved Maverick as a narrator and how the author showed how all of the things he had happening in his life explained his bad decisions. It’s definitely a relatable story, with so many heartfelt moments and funny dialogues. I have a full review up for it, if you want to check it out. I am so glad I gave this one a shot!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

IMG_8352As you guys know, I hardly ever read series and mostly read YA standalones, so I didn’t have a lot to pull from. Because of that, the only sequel I really had to talk about was Heartstopper (vol. 2 and 3). I am absolutely in love with this series now and so excited to watch the show, whenever that comes out. When I read the first installment, I just thought it was cute, but nothing special, and after reading the sequels, I realized how important this series is, with its great representation, the A+ communication the characters have with each other and the overall protection the author has with its audience by always providing trigger warnings.

New release(s) you haven’t read yet, but want to

THIS WILL BE FUNNY SOMEDAY. I loved Katie Henry’s previous two books, Heretics Anonymous and Let’s Call It a Doomsday and this one seems to be amazing: it’s about a girl in stand-up comedy who’s lying to her new group of friends that she’s in college, when she’s still a high schooler.

I THINK I LOVE YOU. I think I’ll enjoy this a lot simply because it has rom-com references, which is my whole thing. It’s a lesbian, enemies-to-lovers romance, and while that is not my trope, this one seems to have the perfect summer vibes.

THAT WAY MADNESS LIES. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I have yet to read it. It’s an anthology inspired by Shakespeare and I’m so excited because of how many great authors we have here: Mark Oshiro, Dahlia Adler, K. Ancrum, etc.

Most anticipated release(s) for the second half of the year

ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DIVE INTO THE WATERS OF THE WORLD. This one comes out on my birthday month, which I think is my true birthday gift. It’s not news that Ari & Dante is my favorite book in the world and I’ve been anticipating this sequel for so long. I can’t wait to cry my eyeballs off.

OUR WAY BACK TO ALWAYS. I didn’t *love* Nina Moreno’s debut, but this one is a friends to lovers second chance summer romance and while the cover reminds me of Episode (that app where you like act out Wattpad stories), I stil have hopes I’ll love it.

CAZADORA. I really said “stan latinx authors” with this answer. But this sequel to Lobizona is very anticipated by me, as the ending of the first book left a lot of questions to be answered and I’m looking forward to be reunited with Manu.

Biggest disappointment

IMG_8341It sucks to say but that will have to be Counting Down With You. I was very excited for this book, because it was a fake-dating romance, which is my biggest buzzword, and while I did enjoy the friend group and the anxiety rep, the actual romance was so disappointing. I found it to be very cliché and honestly quite cringey – they had no chemistry imo and the development of the relationship was so fast. I talked more about it in my Goodreads review, if you want to check it out.

Biggest surprise

IMG_8354Initially, I was shocked to even get early access to an ARC for Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun. Being Brazilian, I don’t have access to Netgalley and the only arcs I’ve read before have been through blog tours, so imagine my shock when I opened my email one day and there it was! I am so thankful, especially because this story was amazing. I loved the found family, the romance, the atmosphere – it was so good and I highly recommend checking it out.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

IMG_8346A book that also took me by surprise this year was Boyfriend Material, and the one thing I loved the most was the writing. This book was so funny, like legit laugh-out-loud funny. I loved the banter between all the characters and it also had a lot of random pieces of information that were actually very interesting to read about, and while if this was any other book, I would’ve gotten tired of it, Alexis Hall did such an amazing job that I was in love even when they were going on about insects, lol. If they ever release more cute rom-coms in the future, you can expect I’ll be reading it!

Newest fictional crush

IMG_8356Y’all, it’s been a while since I last fell in love with a book character, tbh. I finished the Truly Devious series this year, so I think I’ll be repeating the same answer from 2019 – I love David a lot. He’s very weird, and very pretentious, and not really a good person sometimes, but I adore him. He’s mysterious and loves with all his heart, and feels things very intensely all the time. I just wanted to wrap him and protect him sometimes.

Newest favorite character

IMG_8344I’ve been very lucky this year, because I found myself having a hard time choosing just one character to answer here. But the one that swept me off my feet was Juliette, from These Violent Delights. I have a tendency to like male characters more, so I was quite surprised by how much I adored Juliette and never wanted to stop reading in her perspective. She’s determined and fierce and doesn’t let anyone get in her way. She also shows her vulnerability, and sometimes her impulsiveness takes away from her good decision-making, but I absolutely loved everything about her, even when she was being a bit of a dick.

Book that made you cry

IMG_8357That will have to be Dear Justyce, by Nic Stone. I didn’t expect to full-on cry like I did with this book, but it was so intense and heartfelt. This one is a sequel to Dear Martin and it focuses on the prison system and at-risk teens. It’s also phenomenally written, with so many deep quotes and a really great inside into Quan’s mental health issues. It has a beautiful and hopeful ending, which is probably what moved me the most. I can not recommend this one enough.

Book that made you happy

IMG_8361One I recently finished that just made me smile every time I picked it up was She Drives Me Crazy. This book was the sapphic teen-com of my dreams: it literally reads like 10 Things I Hate About You, with the phenomenal banter, the relevant social commentary and your typical teen fiction tropes that are very nostalgic and fun to read about. This book is a delight, with amazing characters, incredibly great writing, and it’s one I def expect to re-read many times in the future.

Your favorite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

Book Versus TV Series: Shadow and Bone | The Nerd Daily

Uh, I mean, is there any other answer but Shadow & Bone?

Even though I was a bit confused, I loved the show. I am so excited for season 2 and for how we’ll get to see even more of this universe. I think they did an amazing job by intertwining the Crows’ story with Alina’s, and all the characters are so charismatic and easy to connect with.

Not to mention the couples & ships that had me DYING as I watched it. What a great time.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

DARIUS THE GREAT DESERVES BETTER. Jesus Christ, I still have not read this book. This is really embarrassing at this point. I adored the first Darius the Great in 2019, and I still have not picked up the sequel for some reason.

VERONA COMICS. This is clearly inspired by Romeo & Juliet, but it’s about two rival indie comic stores and their workers who begin to fall in love? I have never read anything by Jennifer Dugan before, but I’m still excited.

AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING. This book is raved by literally everyone in the community and my sister keeps insisting I need to pick it up. It shall happen in 2021!

Friends, let me know in the comments: what’s your favorite book you’ve read so far this year? What are you anticipating for the rest of 2021? And do you have a favorite book adaptation of the year?

olympic games readathon TBR!

to be read.

Hello, friends!

I am so excited for a new round of the Olympic Games Readathon, a Percy Jackson inspired readathon created by Ishi @ Ishi Time and co-hosted by Ally @ The Nature of Pages, Nicole @ Nicole and Her Books and Sasha @ The Wild Sasha.

I thought a lot about which team should I compete in. Last year, I was part of team Poseidon, but a lot of the prompts of last year were repeats and I didn’t have any more books in my TBR that fit them. So I decided to participate in Apollo’s team instead! I like Apollo enough, especially in the Riordanverse, so I feel good about this decision, lol.

APOLLO’S PROMPTS

Music to my ear: Listen to an audiobook.

42603984. sy475 I was so excited to see Ace of Spades available on Scribd, as it is one of my most anticipated releases. All I know about this book is that is queer, dark academia and has massive Gossip Girl vibes, which is pretty much all I need to know anyway. I hope we have two narrators for the two different perspectives, because I absolutely love that in audiobooks

 

Read a graphic novel.

37554812. sy475 I’ve been reading the Fence series since the beginning of the year, but I still have to pick up the 3rd volume. I am super excited to finish this series and especially because Seiji is a character I *need* to know more about. He’s so mysterious and quiet, and I am 100% sure there’s more to his story than we’ve seen so far and I’m ready to get to see that.

 

As the god of the prophecy, Apollo can predict the future. Read a 5-star prediction.

24233708. sy475 My sister is probably screaming right now, but I will read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing!

I do know a little bit about this book’s plot: it’s about internet fame and weird statues that show up at random times and a protagonist called April May.

I also know everyone and their moms love this book with their whole souls, so yes the expectations are high and I hope to have my mind blown.

 

Apollo is considered one of the most beautiful gods. Read a book with a beautiful cover.

48916715. sy475 Last year, around my birthday, one of my friends gifted me with a copy of Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw and I kid you not is one of the prettiest books I have in my shelves, along with the previous book by the author, The Wicked Deep.

For this one, I actually have no clue what it is about. Magical forests, based on the title? Maybe witches? I don’t know but is winter here, so the title is very fitting.

 

Read a well known and well-liked book.

44019067. sy475 This one has to be a re-read, because ofc!

It is a well known and well liked book by myself.

But, in all honesty, Bromance Book Club is also very well known and well liked for many other people and for a good reason. I loved this book so much last year, and while I should probably be continuing on with the series instead of re-reading the first book, uhhhhh… Yeah idc I just want to revisit Thea and Gavin. :)

 

BONUS PROMPTS

PEGASUS RIDING: a book published within the last 5 years

35169304I think I’ve put The Great Unknowable End in three previous TBRs since the beginning of the year and I still HAVE NOT READ IT. It never works out and I can never pick it up when I want to, but it shall happen now.

This one is set in the 70s, I believe, and one of the protagonists has Tourettes and I think it’s set in a hippie commune. This setting is so interesting! I have read Kathryn Ormsbee’s Tash Hearts Tolstoy and really enjoyed the writing, so I hope to enjoy this one too.

 

CANOEING: a book that takes place on or near a body of water

54304013Ruby has raved about Shipped, sooooo I’m successfully convinced I should read it!

I know this one is enemies to lovers, they’re co-workers and in a cruise together. I enjoyed Unhoneymooners, which is the book that constantly gets compared to, so I hope to enjoy this one too.

 

CLIMBING WALL: the next book in a series

48717744It is absolutely not okay for me to be in team Apollo and not reading a Trials of Apollo book, right?

(Also, can we all agree that this is the prettiest cover from the whole series?)

I still have to finish the series, so I’m putting Tower of Nero for this prompt. I am not ready to finish this series, especially because I know is the last book in the Percy Jackson universe we’ll have in a while and I’m not prepared to say goodbye yet.

 

CAPTURE THE FLAG: one of your most anticipated releases

52190991Any Way the Wind Blows comes out this July and ofc I’m anticipating it a lot, even though Wayward Son was a massive disappointment.

This is another series conclusion I am not prepared for. I don’t know if I’m able to say goodbye to Simon and Baz yet because they’re seriously two of my all time favorite characters. But I’m also desperate for them to finally get the happy ending they deserve.

 

Are you taking part in the Olympic Games readathon? If so, what’s your team? Also, let me know if you read any of these books and what you thought of them!

the self-proclaimed #1 fan of fake-dating reviews fake-dating books

book-recs.1

Yes, it’s me, Lais: the #1 fan of fake-dating books at your service. You’re welcome.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now and I feel like I finally have enough books to give you my opinion on.

Because fake-dating is a specific trope, I have a few things to consider when making this ranking:

  1. Characters’ motivations: /10
  2. Commitment to the fake-dating: /10
  3. Angst & tension: /10
  4. Overall book execution: /10

Obviously, all these things are STILL VERY MUCH SUBJECTIVE!!!! I can feel a certain way about the characters’ motivations and you can feel the complete opposite. And that’s okay! As much as I want to claim that I am well-versed in fake-dating, I am still just one person giving their opinion online for no reason at all. So I promise it’s not serious at all!

I also had to do Maths for this post, so pls like share with friends or sth, I worked hard, ok lmao.


THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, BY KASIE WEST

1. Characters’ motivations:

Gia’s boyfriend breaks up with her in the parking lot of her prom and she has to find a new fake date. Honestly, I’d do the same, because walking into prom without the boyfriend that you’ve been raving about for weeks would definitely be a cringe sequence for the history books. As for our fake-boyfriend, he doesn’t have that many reasons to keep up with the façade, except he wants to impress his ex, which is like… I guess? 8/10

IMG_73862. Commitment to the fake-dating:

I’d argue both characters are pretty committed, but it becomes too quickly about doing things for each other as “friends” rather than as “fake boyfriend and girlfriend”, which takes away the *tension* of it all (like, the pretending to hug, and kiss and hold hands, which is the excellence of the trope to begin with). 6/10

3. Angst & tension:

Gia is already facing enough angst and tension with her friends and family, so the relationship is more about being her safe space than anything. That is not a bad thing & actually works for the book, but I’m a hoe for angst, so… 4/10

4. Overall book execution:

I actually really like this book! It’s as dramatic as an early 2000s rom-com and I love it for that. The fake-dating is alright, and it added enough to the story imo. 9/10

FINAL RATING: 6,75/10


FRANKLY IN LOVE, BY DAVID YOON

1. Characters’ motivations:

Frank wants to date this girl, but this girl is white. Joy wants to date this boy, but this boy is Chinese. Joy and Frank’s parents just want them to date fellow Koreans, so they start fake-dating each other to put up a front for their parents, while they’re actually with their own partners. It’s honestly an epic plan. 10/10

IMG_56682. Commitment to the fake-dating:

These characters were so committed to the fake-dating that they actually cheat on their respective partners! We absolutely fucking hate to see it! -2/10

3. Angst & tension:

Most of the angst & tension comes from these characters, again, CHEATING on the people they’re *actually* dating. However, there’s also the fact that at one point, Joy and Frank’s parents fight and yet that somehow never affects their relationship because….? I guess the author just didn’t care enough to write about that? 2/10

4. Overall book execution:

Y’all, this book is not bad. As a coming of age story, a tale of identity and family, it’s actually pretty fucking good. I also really like David Yoon’s writing. But as a fake-dating book, it sucks. Not only the cheating, but the romance in general makes no sense and it’s so insta-lovey it hurts. 6/10

FINAL RATING: 4/10


TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, BY JENNY HAN

1. Characters’ motivations: Let’s bring it back to the classics, shall we? The motivations here are kinda blurry and all over the place. Lara Jean wants to prove she no longer has feelings for her sister’s ex, because well, it’s her sister’s ex. And Peter K wants to win his ex back. A lot of exes, childhood friends and drama. Lara Jean’s motivations are not exactly realistic, but a lot stronger, so it gets a 8/10.

IMG_83402. Commitment to the fake-dating: Lara Jean and Peter actually have a whole ~contract~ for what they’re supposed to do when entering this deal, and they’re pretty commited. Peter gives Lara Jean rides every morning and writes her notes. Lara Jean goes to parties with him and bakes him cookies. A fair trade for me. 10/10

3. Angst & tension: Ooooohhh, yes, these two deliver. Because they have “history” – like the fact Lara Jean wrote an entire letter confessing her feelings to him -, it makes things twice more complicated. Unlike the other couples I mentioned in this post, that didn’t really know each other that much before the fake-dating, these two absolutely do and the unresolved feelings come to play wonderfully here. 10/10

Overall book execution: I am absolutely biased, because I adore the To All the Boys series and the entire universe Jenny Han created. I love the characters, their dynamics, the writing, the amount of baking & rom-com references, etc. So, this is another easy rating for me. 10/10

FINAL RATING: 9,5/10


BOYFRIEND MATERIAL, BY ALEXIS HALL

Note: this book is actually an adult romance.

Characters’ motivations: Again, the motivations are a bit unbalanced. Luc needs a fake-boyfriend that is respectable and with a good reputation, to help him repair his so he can keep his job. But Oliver doesn’t have that much of a reason to be engaging on the fake relationship, except he needs emotional support when meeting his (incredibly toxic cof cof) family. 7/10

IMG_8346Commitment to the fake-dating: This is another case where the characters turn to friends pretty quickly, so most of what they do together is not to keep up the front of their fake relationship, but because they’re genuinely being supportive. 7/10

Angst & tension: Even if there’s not much *actual* tension in terms of the fake dating (like, not a lot of forced proximity and PDA moments, even though these are absolutely chef’s kiss whenever they happen), there’s definitely a good amount of angst, especially towards the end, and it’s totally worth reading if you’re a fan of those in your romances. 10/10

Overall book execution: I did adore this book. The humour is absolutely out of this world, the romance made me actually giggle and the characters are so beautifully complex. It’s another easy 10/10 for me.

FINAL RATING: 8,5/10


HANI AND ISHU’S GUIDE TO FAKE DATING, BY ADIBA JAIGIRDAR

Characters’ motivations: Hani wants to “prove” to her friends that she is in fact bisexual by dating a girl, which is… like, a realistic motivation I can see people having becaue biphobia is very much real, but also absolutely awful that she’d even have to do that. Friendly reminder that no one should have to “prove” their sexuality to others✨. As for Ishu, she hopes to by dating Hani she’ll become more popular and get more votes for her as Head Girl, which is a motivation I can stand by. 8/10

IMG_8347Commitment to the fake-dating: I also didn’t think there were many moments when these characters actually went out of their way to commit to the fake-dating, except when Ishu had to go on a triple date with Hani’s friends and talk about Riverdale and the royals, which I imagine must’ve been in her top 10 hardest moments. 8/10

Angst & tension: Well, there were definitely some moments. Like, their first date had me giggling and there’s this scene in Ishu’s bedroom that was also UMMM YES OK. I will say, though, the “there’s only one bed” scene’s execution had me \: 8/10

Overall book execution: This was another really good one. Adiba Jaigirdar is so good at discussing very serious topics in her books, while still keeping them entertaining. Her writing is also SO good. I loved both Hani and Ishu’s family dynamics, so honestly this was solid. 9/10

FINAL RATING: 8,25


RENT A BOYFRIEND, BY GLORIA CHAO

Characters’ motivations: This one is different because it’s literally a rent a boyfriend situation. Meaning Drew is just here for the coin, lol. But he does grow fond of Chloe very fast, so he’s also there to support her. As for Chloe, she hopes that getting herself a boyfriend will finally remove the idea off her parents’ head that she should get married to the local playboy. 9/10

IMG_8349Commitment to the fake-dating: Drew is COMMITTED, ok. Again, yes, he’s technically being paid, so he doesn’t really have a choice? But like, the way he was cooking and washing the dishes and spending family holidays with Chloe and almost fucking up his other fake dates for her? Iconic. 10/10

Angst & tension: To be honest, this book could’ve been A LOT more tense and angsty than it was. Like I said, Drew quickly realizes how complicated Chloe’s situation is, so they quickly become friends more than fake boyfriend and girlfriend, which was a bit disappointing tbh. 6/10

Overall book execution: This book is hilarious and an absolutely wild ride. Like, it’s very ridiculous at times, but there are also serious and relevant conversations in terms of identity and how both of these characters relate to their heritage as Chinese-Americans. 7/10

FINAL RATING: 8/10


COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU, BY TASHIE BHUIYAN

Characters’ motivations: To be honest, the fake-dating in this book doesn’t make that much sense at all. Alistair wants to prove his family that he can actually find a decent girlfriend, but at the same time, his entire thing is *not* being decent because that’s what makes his family give a shit about him? See how it doesn’t go at all? Karina also has no reason to be his fake girlfriend, except she wants to help him because she’s a good soul or whatever. 2/10

IMG_8341Commitment to the fake-dating: They do go on a date together and Karina does pretend to be Alistair’s girlfriend when she’s around his family, but for the most part, they’re actually dating and yet pretending it’s fake. It’s very confusing, trust me. 6/10

Angst & tension: Literally, none. Which is probably good considering Karina technically didn’t even want to be in this agreement in the first place (she legit has a panic attack when he brings it up), so at least he’s not putting her into more unnecessary tension, though there’s still a lot of confusion between what’s real and what’s not, that is frankly a shared emotion between all the readers. 4/10

Overall book execution: Sooooo, I actually didn’t like this one. I did appreciate the friend group and the anxiety rep, but the characters were a bit too cliché and their dynamic too cheesy. 7/10

FINAL RATING: 5/10

I still have more books to talk about, such as Take a Hint Dani Brown & Meet Cute Diary, but I will save those for a second edition of this post. Thank you so much for reading & pls recommend me more fake dating romances!

five specific romantic tropes that deserve better

top5novo

Hello, friends!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day here in Brazil, so HAPPY EARLY VALENTINE’S! Yes, unlike the rest of the world, we don’t actually celebrate Valentine’s on February 14th, but rather on June 12th, to honor Saint Anthony, who’s known as the match-maker saint.

And it’s in this love-doey spirit, that I present to you today’s list of my *hyper-specific* favorite romantic tropes that I want to see more of in fiction!

FIVE. PERSON A TALKING ABOUT PERSON B TO PERSON C

Oh God. It doesn’t get more specific than this, huh?

But, honestly, the way in which characters are more honest about their feelings when they’re with other people than with their *actual* loved one is actually pretty realistic!

I, too, am a lot nicer about my mom when I’m not talking TO my mom, you know?

That’s definitely why I love a good counseling/therapy scene. Those were some of the most awkward, but also fascinating moments to read in Love Her or Lose Her because these characters opened up more to strangers than to each other and it was just beautiful to watch.

FOUR. HURT/COMFORT

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43370138. sy475 Not to go 100% my AO3 history here, I looooove myself a good hurt/comfort story. The angst, the softness, it’s all there and it’s beautiful?

When I picked up Snowflake by Nia Forrester, I was counting on having more of this trope. Mostly because the synopsis suggested that Kaleem, one of our protagonists who’s a runner, had gotten himself injured, and I totally expected to see him being the grumpy, hurt one while our other protagonist, Asha, takes care of him as he softens.

That’s not what happens at all and it was the biggest disappointment of LIFE. Seriously.

THREE. SWAPPING CLOTHES

45046743This is just simply a superior trope. That’s it.

Only Mostly Devastated possibly has one of my favorite scenes ever written, which is when Ollie and Will sneak out of the diner and Will asks to see Ollie in his varsity jacket.

HE ASKS TO SEE IT. AND THEN TAKES A PICTURE. AND THEN TELLS HIM HE WISHES OLLIE COULD WEAR IT IN PUBLIC. I die every time I think about it.

Captura de Tela 2021-04-11 às 20.41.51
this is me having a mental breakdown at this scene when i re-read it

It was just…… beautiful, really. Like, equally heart-warming and sexy, if that’s even possible? Anyway. Give me more of this, I beg you.

TWO. LOVERS TO ENEMIES TO LOVERS

54865400. sy475 Enemies to lovers has NOTHING on lovers > enemies > lovers. It’s the best transition in the whole wide world.

It’s always connected with the second chance romance trope, which is one of my favorites, but it has the added angst of now these two characters after breakup becoming “known” enemies and joining opposite sides.

You can always count that is going to be angsty af, which is the best you could wish for.

Nina and Matthias are probably the most popular example for this one. However, recently I also finished May The Best Man Win and I can attest that it DELIVERS.

ONE. TALL GIRL X SHORT GUY

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41734205We need to end the “tall guy x short girl” narrative. It’s old, outdated and deeply rooted in sexism.

Okay, jk.

If that’s your thing, then go for it! But it makes me sad to see how little rep we have for tall girls dating short guys or fat girls dating skinny guys. It’s a trope that makes me go feral every time I think about it.

Book-wise, the only couple that fits the trope that I remember was Sakshi and Perry, who were a minor side couple in Her Royal Highness. I still wait for the day Rachel Hawkins will give them the spin-off novella that they deserve.

Let’s talk about romantic tropes in the comments! Which one is your favorite? Do you have a hyper specific one that you’re obsessed with? Let me know!

high school musical book tag!

booktagnovo

Hello, friends!

Am I writing this while I’m supposed to be in class? Yes, yes I am. I just have been going through a really weird blogging slump lately. It’s not as much that I don’t have ideas to blog, is just that all the ideas I have are really complex and I’m too lazy to actually execute them.

Basically: I want to blog but I also don’t want to blog.

Yeah, it’s a struggle.

I settled for a tag, then, because it’s not as time-consuming and it still allows me to vent about some books I’ve been reading recently. I chose a High School Musical one, because High School Musical has literally been the only thing to put me in a brighter mood lately.

I saw this tag @ A Fictional Bookworm.

THE START OF SOMETHING NEW: A NEW FAVORITE GENRE/AUTHOR/SERIE

This could be the start of something new.” HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (January  20th, 2006) dir. Kenny Ortega … in 2021 | New high school musical, High  school musical, Troy bolton

 

44139389While it is definitely too early to call anyone a favorite author, I can for sure say that anything that Leah Thomas and Adib Khorram publish in the future will be read by yours truly. I loved their debuts so much and I think they developed so many relevant topics in a short amount of time with so much care. They’re just *ugh* amazing.

 

 

WHAT TIME IS IT?: BEST SUMMER READ

I’ve talked about 10 Things I Hate About Pinky numerous times and I do think it’s summer in a book. But recently, I also finished Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun and it’s also SO perfect for summer.

It’s not set around this time of the year, at all, but because it has Texas and California as landscapes, which are two locations I mostly associate with hot weather, I think it’s 100% worth reading.

WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR: A BOOK THAT HAS EVERYTHING YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED

I *wish* it existed. I really did. A book that has everything I want would probably be something like:

  • theater kids
  • asexual love interest
  • found family
  • rom-com references

Or something like:

  • boybands
  • angst
  • queer relationships
  • music lyrics

Also include South American rep and I will be sold.

STATUS QUO: A STEREOTYPE DEFYING CHARACTER

52880287. sx318 sy475 I think Randy’s story is very much about defying stereotypes, while initially subscribing to them. He starts out the book trying to act out as the masculine, butch gay dude to impress this other guy he’s into at summer camp. But throughout the story, he learns that he doesn’t have to choose one thing over the other and that he can like sports *and* theater, short hair *and* painting his nails.

I loved how this book challenged stereotypes within the queer community A LOT.

 

FABULOUS: A BOOK WITH THE BIGGEST DIVA

53180089Is it okay if I answer with my current read? Noah from Meet Cute Diary is legit a diva. He’s so self-absorbed is kinda funny actually, and genuinely believes that anyone who glances at him is obviously about to fall for him. He’s also very judgy and spends the 400$ on his parent’s credit card during his first WEEK away from them.

Name a bigger diva, I’ll wait.

 

 

BOYS ARE BACK: THE BEST BROMANCE

Honestly, it’s been A MINUTE since I last read a bromance that really swept me off my feet, made me feel all the things, etc.

So we’re going to have to take it back to the place that we know it all began:

THEM.

 

EVERYDAY – IF YOU HAD TO LOOK AT ONE BOOK COVER FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

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Here’s the thing: I love blue.

Any cover that has blue in it is 10x more likely to become a favorite.

And The Cost of Knowing’s cover is by far the PRETTIEST use of blue I’ve ever seen. I could 100% stare at it forever.

 

 

JUST WANNA BE WITH YOU: A BOOK YOU COULDN’T PUT DOWN

45885644Recently, I finished The Sun Down Motel rather quickly. Once you get to the climax, it’s pretty impossible to put down and I did find myself reading over my page count for the day multiple times. I don’t typically read thrillers, so I totally did not expect just how much this book was going to grip me.

 

 

SCREAM: A CHARACTER THAT FRUSTRATED YOU

15994537. sy475 “Frustrating” is definitely an understatement, because the way I just flat-out hated all the characters in Wuthering Heights was intense.

But I do think that all my reading experiences of the past six months, Wuthering Heights is the one where I came the closest to screaming.

They were all so awful to each other and FOR WHAT. Seriously.

 

SPRING MUSICAL MEDLEY: THE HAPPIEST ENDING EVER

39863399I just want to talk about Birthday, because the ending here is something I think about often.

It’s just beautiful and hopeful and makes me smile and leaves my heart warm.

It’s the ending I wanted, but it’s still so much better than I could’ve anticipated. After so much hurt, the ending of this book is all what they deserve.

How are you guys doing? Let me know honestly! And what’s your favorite song & movie from the HSM franchise? Also: tell me your favorite book cover of all times!

A-Z to ya contemporaries!

book-recs.1

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!