September 2020 Wrap-Up + Sunshine Blogger Award BookTag!

Hello friends! Another month has sped past us and it’s already time to review the past four weeks in reading and blogging for me. I finally got to take a week of vacation I had scheduled and took much needed time for myself and to mainly relax! I didn’t start any new books or post at all here, but I’m not beating myself up over it. If we aren’t kind to ourselves, who will be!


September Reads

After nearly a year of anticipation, I got to read Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, which was a beautiful on the outside and even more on the inside. The characters all have heart and it was only right that finishing it was top priority as soon as I picked it up.

I cracked into an ARC of White Ivy by Susie Yang and reviewed it on Goodreads. It was a compelling thriller focusing on a troubled and awkward woman who wanted peace and space from her overbearing and intense family at all costs.

Finally, Jade War by Fonda Lee, was the book I committed to finishing this week and it did not disappoint. Fonda Lee has a scary good way of nailing a reader to their seat and making the situations on the page feel like a palpable danger that the reader is also facing. I’m excited for but also dreading the upcoming Jade Legacy slated to publish next year. This woman is going to wreck us I just know it!!!!

Posts from this month

This month was a tentative return to blogging and I’m glad I could find the time and energy to post some content amid the chaos that is life currently.


Sunshine Blogger Awards

I’m so thankful for both The Biblioshelf and Intisar at IntisarSpeaks for nominating me for The Sunshine Blogger Award! It’s really sweet and I’m appreciative for the shoutout from both of y’all. I’ve never done a book tag before, so I’m going to do my best at it and it’s no pressure at all for those that I tag to participate.

Rules

(1) Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.

(2) Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

(3) Nominate 11 people and ask them new 11 questions.

(4) Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their posts.

(5) List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award in your post.

Now, since I’ve been tagged twice, I’ll answer the questions from both nominations but will still only tag 11 people. I hope that’s alright with you all because I’m doing it anyway!

Questions from TheBiblioShelf

  1. What inspired you to start your blogging journey? My friend Kirsty at Kirsty Reads Blog was definitely a big part of me getting back into reading by introducing me to Becky Albertalli’s Simonverse books and talking with me about her experience with reading ARCs, reviewing books, and eventually expanding into Booktubing and Bookstagram. I already think she’s neat (she’s a pro at this stuff, give her a look!) I thought it was all cool and I love talking, so I thought I’d give it a try!
  2. What is your favorite quote? (It can be a well-known saying/proverb, bookish quote, music lyrics etc.) Carpe Diem, a Latin phrase often translated into “Sieze the day”. It’s pretty corny, but when I got to watch Dead Poets Society in, I think it was, high school health class, it really stuck with me up til now.
  3. If you had to live in any fictional world where would it be and why? This is hard!!!! I think I’d want to be in the private school for girls that Sara attended in A Little Princess. I loved that book growing up and even though the girls in the school were all mean and the headmistress even meaner, I’d like to think bonding with other girls despite these hardships would just be the most sublime. Or even better the world of Sweeney Todd, so just London! I’m sure Black people would have no peace in either of these universes, but I can dream.
  4. What would the title of your memoir be? I don’t know how to title anything help or some other plea for help.
  5. If you had Aladdin’s three wishes, what would you wish for? Abolish all law enforcement, access to expunged FBI documents, access to Area51!
  6. Favourite book to film/TV adaptation? Twilight hands down!
  7. What’s your zodiac sign and do you follow it? I’m a Virgo sun (and moon!) I love astrology, it can be as deep for you as you’d like it to be, but the stars are there for you whether you believe in them or not. I think that’s pretty reassuring.
  8. If you were gifted a copy of any book in the world which would you hope for? The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh or Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas!
  9. Who is your biggest inspiration? Myself! I’ve been through a lot and continue to deal with hardships as a queer, Black woman in Amerikkka so I’m inspired to learn, grow and learn to love myself as much as I possibly can.
  10. Would you rather go to an all-day beach party in Mykonos or spend the night watching the Northern Lights from an igloo? The beach party, but I’m having a food plate, drinks, and staying to myself.
  11. What has been the greatest experience of your life so far? Going back to therapy as an adult and making the active choice to face my traumas and the innermost parts of myself in order to live my best life.

Thanks again for these questions! It was fun to answer them all!

Questions from IntisarSpeaks

  1. What’s your favorite trope? I love a good rekindled romance! Two people with a fractured relationship facing the awkwardness of piecing things back together and reluctantly falling back in love? I love it!
  2. What’s a book you wish you could read for the first time again? Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn! That book engrossed me and made me want to read all her books and get back into books in general.
  3. Which hyped book/series do you love? The Cruel Prince saga by Rebecca Black! It’s immensely hyped and maybe a bit problematic to some, but it’s a gritty smoldering set of books that I thoroughly enjoyed.
  4. Which hyped book/series do you hate? Hate is a strong word, but the wizarding world is effectively dead to me now that Joanne is out as a transphobe. When I see people cosplaying and carrying on with the franchise as if its author isn’t a huge problem really irks me.
  5. Who are your auto-read authors? Becky Albertalli, Gillian Flynn, & Adam Silvera
  6. Where is your favorite place to read? In bed next to my window! I’d also love to lay in a hammock in the sun to read. One day!
  7. Can you read with music or noise in the background? Of course! I feel like I need it. Music, podcasts, you name it!
  8. What do you enjoy the most and the least about blogging/book social media as a whole? I enjoy finding community in bloggers who are like me and bonding with them over our culture. I sometimes don’t enjoy posting just because it takes time and energy to post and both are finite resources! Ya girl is tired.
  9. Preferred format: ebook or physical book or audio book? e-Book! I love that I can not be in the mood for one book and easily open something else. Also, being waterproof is important for a klutz like me!
  10. Do you like to re-read books? I love rereading books. As a kid I’d only check out Matilda, Ella Enchanted, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (better than the movie), or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory oooover and over again.
  11. Favorite song of 2020 Savage; aah

Thank you Intisar for tagging me and asking these questions!


Tag, you’re it!

(Again, if you’re tagged and don’t feel like participating, that’s totally okay!)

@countingwordswithvalerycom
@dulivreblog
@scribbledstories514
@withlovesaoudia
@theperksofbeingnourablog
@subakkabookstuff
@fazilareads
@thecomfyreader
@reflectionsofabibliophile
@readingatlastblog
@azyouread

My Questions to You

  1. What do you focus on when reviewing books? Does it vary?
  2. What’s one subject you’d like to read more about if you had the time?
  3. Do you have strong feelings on hardcover vs paperback?
  4. Is there a certain way you break up time to read or sections to get through?
  5. Sticky tabs? Taking notes on books (that you own), making highlights? What’s your strat?
  6. Graphic novels, manga, or comics?
  7. Do you have any book inspired tattoos?
  8. If you could interview an author, who would you pick?
  9. For the answer to #8, if you could only ever read one of that authors books, which would you choose?
  10. How do you mark your progress in a physical book?
  11. List an upcoming book you’re excited for!

Phewwww this post was LONG!

If you stuck it out to the bottom, thank you so much! Til next time ~

Ten Books by Trans + ENBY Authors to Support Instead of Washed-up TERFS

Hey friends! Joanne has outdone herself in making an ass out of herself and anyone still supporting her today. Basically, a new book of hers was announced and it’s transphobic garbage. It’s no news that Joanne is an awful person, and to use my anger in a productive, helpful way, I’ll be sharing ten books authored by Trans and Non-binary individuals as well as ways to give support. Now more than ever it is super important that we support our Trans and ENBY folks in the community and really squash hateful people that make the world dangerous for them. At this point, nostalgia and childhood memories are not a feasible enough reason to casually allow bigotry to be normal and excusable. Instead, let’s support stories that uplift, showcase, and value Trans + ENBY lives.


Non-Bookish ways to help

If it wasn’t clear before, I do not support Joanne. Her views and practices are dangerous and harmful to these marginalized communities given the amount of influence and size of her platform. If that’s something that isn’t going to mesh well with anyone reading, you may leave! Now, onto the books.


  1. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel is a Trans brujo who strives to prove his abilities and his identity to his traditional family. Enter the ghost of a local bad boy, Julian, (who’s actually a cinnamon roll) who demands to know who killed him.

2. Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith

Pony is starting senior year at a new high school after the whirlwind that followed him coming out as Trans. His plan is to keep his head down and graduate, but locking eyes with cheerleader Georgia definitely complicates things.

3. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

After Ben comes out as nonbinary to their parents, they’re kicked out and made to move in with their older sister and her husband. To avoid more turmoil, Ben decides to only be out to their family and therapist. That goes well until Nathan, a funny and upbeat student at their school befriends them, which leads to more intense feelings.

4. Night Shine by Tessa Gratton

Nothing is an insignificant orphaned girl who only has one friend, Prince Kirin. When Kirin is kidnapped, it’s only up to Nothing to investigate who it is that took him and what scandalous palace secrets may have to do with it.

5. Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

Corrine has a secret girlfriend, the captain of her rival high school’s cross country team. Closeted as bisexual, she struggles to cope with her loss when Maggie passes away. Corrine finds an unexpected connection with Elissa, Maggie’s ex.

6. Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

Xochital, eager for a kindred connection, ends up traveling across a barren desert with Emilia, the ice queen and daughter of a cruel local mayor. They could be great together, but the dangers in the night prove to be deadly.

7. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Amanda is at a new school. Keeping to herself, it’s easier to keep from being hurt. Especially when she’s keeping quiet that she’s Trans. When Amanda becomes closer to Grant, a guy at school, she finds herself wanting to open up completely to him. Will she?

8. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix wants to experience love like everyone else, but feels like being Black, queer, and Trans shrinks his chances of finding the one. An anonymous student begins to threaten Felix with threatening messages and publicly out him as Trans, he begins to strengthen the bond with himself, all while being in a love triangle..

9. Peter Darling by Austin Chant

This retelling of Peter Pan explores a world with a Peter who grapples with their identity, accepting who they are isn’t something he can hide, and his feelings for Captain Hook he never took note of?

10. The Bride was a Boy by Chii

A cute, informative and personal manga by a Trans Japanese woman and her experience with transitioning and the legalese in Japan around gender. Spoiler: Chii is happily married and thriving!


Here are my picks for this list! I’ve only read a couple of these, and own a few others, but I’m always excited to read different experiences than I usually do. In the midst of the bullshit, hopefully we can uplift and support genderqueer authors, as we should be doing 24/7!

If you like any of these books, I want to hear your thoughts! If you don’t see the work of a Trans / ENBY author you like, please drop the title below and put me on!

Until next time~~

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Hey friends! Today I decided to do a little check in on where I’m at with my reading. IMWAYR is hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Her blog is very lovely and so is she, so please give her a visit!


Currently Reading

After finishing my last read, I didn’t feel a strong call to read anything specific, so I thought I’d try again to get into Jade War. It’s a bit thick at 608 pages, but I feel like I can get through it this time! Just have to get to the juicy plot points first~

As for Sundown Towns, the discussion on this topic thanks to Lovecraft Country really opened my eyes to this racist culture of running non-white people out of certain towns/counties…Naturally, the subject matter is heavy and upsetting, so I’ll be taking my time finishing it as to not stress myself out too much. (I say, as I go to read the Jade Saga…..)

Recently Completed

Most recently, I finished White Ivy. It is a coming of age thriller and definitely kept me invested as the protag kept making wild decisions.

I cracked into Cemetery Boys as soon as it came out and finished it in a couple days, so this was a little bit ago. I loved the story, the characters, their struggles, and watching them grow and believe in themselves! Truly a gem and worth the wait!

What’s Next?

Honestly I don’t know! October is in a few short weeks, so I was thinking of compiling a list of spooky books to post about and probably starting one of the many I own!


Tell me, how was your week in books? Did you start something new or finish something? Any exciting impulse buys or Netgalley approvals? Tell me all about it below! ⬇⬇

Clever Characters 🔎🤔 | Six for Sunday

Hi friends! With it now being September, the Six for Sunday monthly theme is Characters! Today, I’ll be listing 6 clever main characters! With such good YA coming out this shouldn’t be hard at all! And of course, Steph @ A Little But A Lot hosts this bookish meme for us, so please give her blog a visit!

My Picks!

  1. Stevie Bell from Truly Devious; Enrolled in a secluded private school that supports the trades and talents of its students, Stevie’s goal is to become a detective and solve the kidnapping/disappearance of the daughter and wife of her school’s founder. Stevie is nosy and inquisitive by nature, but also relies on her knowledge and wit to solve the mystery between classes and curfews.
  2. Jude Duarte from The Cruel Prince; I know, I know, Jude isn’t the smartest person in either the world of Fae or mortals. Though, she has the ambition and drive to worm her way into the becoming a part of the world even with being a human among monsters. She was taught how to battle from a young age and knows how to play her cards in tense situations where she is quite literally facing either her death or high risks.
  3. Sadie from Sadie; After her younger sister up and vanishes in the middle of the night and later ends up deceased in the outskirts of town, Sadie knows something is beyond wrong. No one listens to her because she’s young, but Sadie packs up and leaves home without warning to find the man who killed her sister. From there, she travels all over her state to meet different people and learn the whereabouts of the man responsible. With little resources and know how, I think Sadie does a damn good job albeit her mistakes on the journey.
  4. Amy Dunne from Gone Girl; Ah yes, Amy. Gone Girl was the book that got me back into reading 2 and a half years ago. When Nick’s wife Amy goes missing and their house is discovered looking like a crime scene, a shitty one, all eyes are poised at Nick. Without revealing all the juicy bits…Just know that Ms. Amy scares me and is a whole mastermind.
  5. Nikolai Lanstov from King of Scars; This one goes without saying, and I feel as though 75% of the bookish community loves Nikolai already, but I also can’t not include him! After the events of the Grishaverse the land of Ravka ravished by war and weakened, newly crowned King Nikolai has to battle his inner demons while trying to fix the broken country he loves. Really, Nikolai’s whole character is cunning, wits, and charm. If any character fits this prompt it is him!
  6. Aaaaand lastly, Shahrzad from The Wraith and The Dawn; After her best friend marries and ends up dead at the hands of Prince Khalid, Shahrzad takes it into her hands to become his next wife and kill him as revenge for all the perished young women. Shahrzad is meant to be dead by the first sunrise after her honeymoon, but by telling a long tale at night, she is able to prolong her fate.

This one was very text heavy because I wanted to give context for my picks and hopefully put people onto some books, so if you stuck around and read everything, thank you!

Who are some clever characters that come to your mind for this prompt? (Honorable mention for my childhood queen Matilda)

August 2020 Wrap-up!

Hello friends! Another month is behind us, meaning it’s time to review what I’ve been reading and blogging about this month! I made my return to blogging this month, and I’m so glad to be back! I’m proud of how much of my reading mojo I regained! Without further ado ~~~~


Books Read

This month, I read 3 books! I technically haven’t finish Mexican Gothic yet, but I’m determined to finish it today, so it’s going in this count damn it!

Midnight Sun came out in the first week of August, and I took my time finishing it. For me, it was a 3 star read. I enjoyed revisiting the Twilight universe, but several things definitely left more to be desired. Full Disclosure was a wonderful read. It is sex positive, de-stigmatizes HIV positive people, and definitely educated me on my own assumptions while being what I feel is an important read for young people, 5 stars! I’m nearly done with Mexican Gothic now, but I’m completely engrossed in it. I’m torn between wanting to finish right away and prolonging the story being over. It’ll probably be between 4-5 stars for me.


Books Reviewed

The Friend Scheme / Midnight Sun


That’s really it for me! I look forward to posting up a storm in September. Please feel free to share your own monthly wrap-ups/September TBRs in the comments. I’d love to give y’all a visit! Til next time ~

Wintry Book Covers | ❄⛄#SixforSunday

Hello friends! This week, I’ll be posting six book covers with Wintry covers. This is the last color themed Six for Sunday, and I’m sad to see it go, but it was a ton of fun! In case you don’t already know, Six for Sunday is hosted by A Little But A Lot. Every week you can post 6 things that fit into the prompt for that month.

Here are my picks! This one was a bit challenging, I didn’t realize a lot of the books on my Goodreads shelves just don’t really look wintry. So I went for shades of blue with some gold or white in the books I picked! Feel free to share your Six for Sunday posts below, I’d love to see! I’ll be posting a review of Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer tomorrow at the same time (9AM PST), so please keep your eyes open for that!

#SixforSunday Autumnal Covers 🍁🍂

Hello friends! I decided to add at least one weekly meme to my blog in order to get back into posting. This week, on our Six for Sunday, I’ll be posting six book covers with autumnal covers. Not 100% with a fall vibe, but focusing mostly on the actual colors. In case you don’t already know, Six for Sunday is hosted by A Little But A Lot. Every week you can post 6 things that fit into the prompt for that month. For August, it’s colors!

I’d love to see what everyone’s picks are! Please feel free to link your own Six for Sunday in the comments. I hope everyone had a good weekend! xo

Six for Sunday: Summery Colored Book Covers 🏖🍦

Hello friends! I decided to add at least one weekly meme to my blog in order to get back into posting. This week, on our Six for Sunday, I’ll be posting six book covers with a summery feel to them. In case you don’t already know, Six for Sunday is hosted by A Little But A Lot. Every week you can post 6 things that fit into the prompt for that month. For August, it’s colors!

My Picks

For me, summer colors are bright yellows, blues, greens, and oranges! I’d love to see what other books y’all come up with! I grabbed all of these from my TBR on Goodreads.

Til next time ~!

The Friend Scheme by Cale Dietrich

Book Information

Published: July 28, 2020
Publisher: MacMillan’s Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: N/a
Goodreads / Amazon

My Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.


Content Warnings: Crime, torture, character death, arson

Synopsis

Matt is a teenager and son of a powerful crime boss. His entire family is involved in mob-type behavior, which everyone except for Matt seems to enjoy. Scared of speaking out against his father, he suffers in silence and begrudgingly goes along with their schemes. Desperate to make a connection with someone he can emote these feelings to, Matt befriends a mysterious boy he meets at a bar his family frequents for business purposes.

Though Matt finds himself to be attracted to the stranger right away, he struggles with being completely transparent about his family or keeping distance from someone he assumes to be the son of a rival gang. Despite their identities causing a rift between any connection they could build, the two teens try to build a relationship on shaky foundations. As they grapple with the consequences of their decisions, the truth slowly comes to the light.

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