Pride Month 2020 Wrap Up

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Hi everyone! Despite everything going on right now, I hope you all had a great pride (as well as reading) month. I think this may have been the best month I’ve ever had in terms of the quantity of books I’ve read. But I also really enjoyed a lot of them, with some being my faves of the year thus far. I hope July will be another good reading month, but I guess we’ll have to see. Now, I don’t want to make this intro too long, so let’s just get into it.

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Audiobook

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

  • This has been on my TBR for quite sometime and I believe it was even a TBR jar pick of mine at some point
  • I’ve heard that this was one of their heavier contemporaries, so I was looking forward to reading it
  • This might be my favourite one of theirs I’ve read (thus far)
  • It got super dark at one point, which I was not expecting
  • I loved Macy and Elliott’s relationship and how it developed overtime
  • I also enjoyed each family dynamic that was represented
  • Definite trigger warnings for death of a loved one and tragic death
  • I’m glad I read this though
  • 4.5/5

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

  • This is their newest release and I’m not sure what to think of it
  • While I liked Carey and James as main characters (and couple), I felt like their relationship moved a little too quickly for my liking
  • It was extremely hard to empathize with both Melissa and Russ (although to be honest I think they were supposed to be written that way, so both authors did a good job on that front). But in the moment, I couldn’t stand either of them
  • Since reading this, I can definitely see why readers are saying that their newer books are heading into a ‘woman’s fiction’ direction
  • This was another one of their heavier romances, which made sense for this particular plot
  • I do want to give a trigger warnings for toxic relationships (not with the main couple) and work environment
  • 3/5

The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

  • This was initially given to me as a birthday gift from my mom and this was one of the books she done right by gifting to me
  • The plot sounded intriguing and even having to do research on this book was enough to convince me to read it
  • The narrators for this audiobook were incredible and they definitely fit the character’s personalities well
  • Although this had a slow beginning, everything picked up during the first quarter and I read this in less than two days
  • This was such a sad and heartbreaking read, and I truly sympathized with Jeanne, Effie and Mabel
  • I loved how their stories connected in the end
  • Such a wonderfully heart wrenching story. Would highly recommend
  • 5/5

The Paris Hours by Alex George

  • So I was not expecting to love this as much as I did
  • The audiobook was incredibly engaging and read it in two listens
  • We follow four people and their lives in a single day while also exploring each backstories in the process
  • I loved getting to know each of the main characters throughout the book, I thought they were all interesting  individuals
  • Despite this being beautifully written, I did find it to be a bit dense and slow in a few places
  • I want to read this again at some point, it was that good
  • Overall, this was a fantastic book and remains one of my favourite reads of the year
  • 5/5

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

  • I previously read The Hunting Party by this author earlier in the year
  • Although I wasn’t its biggest fan, I was still intrigued to read what else she’d written
  • I enjoyed this one far more than her previous thriller, ’cause I found these characters to be more likeable and their motives were slightly more believable
  • I honestly didn’t see the ending coming–it came completely out of left field for me
  • But then again I can totally see why it happened in the first place (not gonna say more than that to avoid spoilers)
  • Despite my overall enjoyment of the book (and its epilogue), I still felt the ending was a tad rush and I wanted there to be more of a conclusion
  • 4/5

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

  • With everything going on involving the Black Lives Matter movement I wanted to read more books from black authors, as well as queer authors ’cause it’s also pride month
  • But this book was a little all over the place. I had expected one thing but got something completely different by the end
  • The audiobook got super extra and dramatic in a few places (like just read the audiobook, you’re not acting in a tragic play; calm down with the theatrics)
  • The writing also felt off to me and sentencing was super awkward (mostly with Juniper’s perspective changing mid chapter)
  • I enjoyed Rae’s character, but Juniper and Courtney were not my faves
  • Was pretty disappointed with this book actually
  • 2.5/5

Solo by Kwame Alexander

  • Although this was a fast audiobook to get through, I found myself getting pretty bored listening to it
  • One of the positives about the audiobook was the additional music; it was quite enjoyable to listen to
  • The main character also annoyed me with how privileged he was and constantly having this “whoa is me” attitude
  • Not the most memorable story plot wise
  • Very “meh” overall
  • 2.5/5 *rounded to a three on Goodreads ’cause the music in the audiobook was good*

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

  • I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about this book and it did not disappoint
  • Loved the chemistry between the main couple; the banter was a huge plus in my book
  • The sex scenes were quite steamy as well
  • I enjoyed the family aspect and the relationships developed throughout the story
  • And I’ve now come to realize that I personally enjoy books set in small towns
  • I look forward to reading more from the author, including her second book, Well Played coming out in September of this year
  • 4.5/5

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

  • In light of the Black Lives Matter Movement, I thought I would give this a listen
  • I consider this book to be the wake up call I needed to understand how f***ed up our world really is and how black people specifically are treated in this day and age. It also made me realize that we really need to change our ways of thinking when it comes to racism
  • Plot wise however, I think this book could’ve benefitted from being a lot longer than it was; like maybe 100 pages more
  • All in all, this was an eye-opening read I would highly recommend you all read especially during this time
  • 4/5

Docile by K.M Sparza

  • I still have very mixed feelings even after finishing this
  • There were parts I liked and others I didn’t
  • I liked the world building and the discussions of its advanced technology
  • And each of the friendships both Alex and Elijah have (separate from their own relationship) were enjoyable as it made them multi-demensional
  • Readers have compared this to be the gay Fifty Shades and Grey and I can totally see that comparison
  • However, Fifty Shades of Grey walked so Docile could run
  • Now this book does feature plenty of explicit sexual content including BDSM, so if you’re not into the steamy/kinky shit, don’t read this (’cause there’s a lot of it)
  • I actually didn’t mind the sex scenes all that much, there wasn’t anything terrible about them
  • ‼️MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD‼️
  • What I despised, was the promotion of grooming and brainwashing
  • Alex basically brainwashed Elijah into doing whatever he wanted to the point where Elijah (the “docile”) depended on Alex to do everything for him
  • Their relationship was pretty fucking toxic and I was happy when it ended
  • Then the author had the audacity to bring them back together (like fuck that 😡)
  • ‼️END OF SPOILERS ‼️
  • So yea, I didn’t enjoy this book as a whole and was pretty upset with its execution
  • There might be a full review of this coming soon, but I’m not quite sure if I want to do one yet
  • 1.5/5 *rounded to 2 on Goodreads ’cause of the individual friendships and the world building* 

The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams

  • I read Undercover Bromance earlier this year and really enjoyed it
  • So I had been waiting to get the audiobook of this for awhile
  • Unpopular opinion here but, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Undercover
  • Gavin and Thea both pissed me off, Thea more so than Gavin
  • I thought Gavin’s reactions to everything were justified, but he sometimes came off as being overly dramatic and desperate
  • Thea just really bothered me with her thinking it was all Gavin’s fault that their marriage fell apart
  • The “bromance book club” and their group were all entertaining and I loved the dynamic
  • This still isn’t my favourite romance, but I still plan on reading more in this series and focusing on different characters from the bromance bookclub
  • 3/5

Ebook

The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

  • This was one of my most anticipated releases for the year
  • And I can’t even begin to tell you how emotionally impacted I was
  • I don’t normally cry while reading, but for some reason this book did it for me
  • Although I enjoyed both Adalyn and Alice’s stories on their own (and how they intwined throughout), I was more attached to Adalyn’s story and the characters
  • In terms of Alice’s story, I enjoyed the romance but didn’t like how mental illness was portrayed. Plus, I enjoyed the mystery element of finding out what happened to her great-aunt in the past
  • The descriptions of Paris were amazing, it brought out a sense of wanderlust in me
  • All in all, this was one of my favourite reads so far this year
  • 5/5

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

  • I tried reading this before but never got past chapter 1, so I decided to go the ebook route and that was definitely the better choice
  • But even the ebook was not enough for me to feel truly invested in the story and the characters
  • I found myself becoming bored and lacked the motivation to pick it up at the halfway point
  • So I had to hunker down and finish it before my ebook loan expired, but it took some time to actually complete the book
  • I didn’t care much for either Evie or Carter which made it ten times harder for me to care about the whole book
  • The enemies to lovers plot was what intrigued me in the first place, but I was disappointed in its execution
  • All in all, it’s my least favourite Christina Lauren book to date
  • 2/5

Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters

  • My request for this book was approved by NetGalley (my first ever book from them)
  • I have a full review over on my Goodreads, so I won’t go into tons of detail here
  • But just to summarize: 
  • I loved both Megan and Scarlett as individual characters; as well as them as a couple
  • I thought their friendship back story was believable enough, but I wanted more of their personal/individual backgrounds
  • Getting technical for second, the formatting of the ebook was super messy and took me out of the story; page numbers were not in there proper places for example
  • Despite that, I was super invested in the story and its characters. It was a very quick read
  • On the plus side, there some really awesome sex scenes
  • 4/5

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

  • I last read this in early 2015 and it has since become one of my all-time favourite books
  • I bought my own physical copy recently and I’ve been wanting to reread it again
  • This still remains a favourite of mine
  • I loved the mystery/adventure aspect and how everything came together in the end
  • Getting to know more about set design was also a wonderful added bonus
  • Although I liked Emi, I felt her character was a little too perfect with almost no flaws, which is not at all realistic. She was like the manic pixie dream girl to Ava.
  • The lack of romance was also understandable considering the events that happen, but the ending makes up for it
  • An amazing queer read for pride month. Would highly recommend.
  • 5/5

Physical

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

  • I first read this back in 2017 and it was one of my favourite books from that year
  • But I read her two most recents books this year and I wanted to reread this one to see which book of hers was my favourite
  • And since reading The Brightsiders, Queens of Geek is my second favourite Jen Wilde book
  • This was super cheesy and adorable, plus it made me super happy especially during these difficult times
  • I will say however the writing was not the greatest and the dialogue came off as being extremely forced
  • This is still a great read if you’re looking for something fun and lighthearted (and also super queer)
  • 4/5

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee

  • There’s not much to say about this one cause it was so short, but this was a cute and lighthearted novella, involving one of my favourite queer couples
  • Now was definitely the perfect time to read this because it’s pride month after all
  • I enjoyed getting back into the world of the Montague’s
  • And overall it was a lot of fun to read
  • 4/5  

Real Men Knit by Kwarma Jackson

  • Going into this, I was expecting more of a cutesy rom-com about knitting and reopening the family’s knitting shop
  • Instead, this was a more hard hitting contemporary that dealt with more familial issues
  • Luckily, I LOVED the brothers and their banter so I wasn’t all mad about it
  • There was still romance in it; they just weren’t my favourite couple ever
  • I truly hope there’ll be more books involving the Strong brothers as I’m intrigued to see what their romances will be like
  • I still enjoyed this book a whole lot and more people need to read this
  • 4/5

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

  • Since it’s Pride Month, I’ve been in the mood to read some good queer books and I’ve heard lots of great things about this one
  • What I liked about this was the slow burn romance as it was appropriate for the nature of this books plot
  • And the banter between Jo and Emma was fantastic, their chemistry was realistic from page 1
  • However, there wasn’t any major angst until the last 10-20%. I wanted there to be more pining
  • Plus I loved the film industry aspect and the #metoo plot line as well
  • My biggest complaint which I know is an unpopular opinion but, I felt uncomfortable with the massive age gap
  • Don’t get me wrong, I do like an age gap in books just not ones where the characters are decades older/younger than the other with Emma being 27 and Jo, 41. They could’ve either made Jo ten years younger and kept Emma the same age at 27. Or made Emma older like in her mid to late thirties and kept Jo the same age (41) and it still would’ve worked just as well.
  • This is entirely a me thing and everyone has different preferences/opinions when it comes to things like this, so let’s all be mindful of that
  • I do love how this is Berkeley’s first published queer romance and I believe this was a great debut overall
  • 3.5/5

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

  • I’ve finally jumped on the Heartstopper train after the constant love and rave by the bookish community over the last year or so
  • I can’t wait to read the other volumes whenever they come out in Canada
  • This was super freaking wholesome and wonderful
  • I loved Nick and Charlie’s relationship and dynamic in this
  • The artwork was stunning
  • Perfect for pride month (or anytime of the year for that matter)
  • 5/5

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That’s all for this super long wrap up, but I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know your favourite read this month in the comments below. Until my next post: Happy Reading!

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

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Hi everyone, I know this year has been quite strange and stressful, but I hope you guys are doing okay despite everything going on right now. I still wanted to do this tag because it is one I consistently do every year and it’s well love by the bookish community  so I thought it would be fun to do. Earl Grey Books is the co-creator of this tag along with Chami so I give all credit to them for making this tag possible. Now let’s get into the questions.

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1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

I have so many choices for this question, like The Lonely Hearts Hotel, The Boy in the Red Dress, Mad Miss Mimic, The Paper Girl in Paris etc… But my number 1 fave is The Paris Hours by Alex George.

Everything about The Paris Hours was incredible; from the writing to the characters to the setting. The audiobook was well narrated as they truly captured the atmosphere and overall tone of the book beautifully. I hope to reread this at some point again before the year is over ’cause I loved it that much.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

I’ve only read one sequel this year (so far), so my only option is One of Us is Next by Karen McManus. The ending really took me by surprise, so I’m not mad about it.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Felix Ever After, Something to Talk About, You Should See Me in a Crown are my top choices.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Found by P.C and Kristin Cast, the fourth and final book to the House of Night: Otherworld series. It comes out on July 7th and I’m excited to see how this series wraps up.

5. Biggest disappointment.

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren. I was looking forward to reading this one since I do love a good enemies to lovers romance. However, I felt bored and I didn’t care for any of the characters. Plus, I didn’t like how the enemies to lovers was executed in this particular book.

6. Biggest surprise.

The Brigthsiders by Jen Wilde. Going into this I was expecting a lighthearted-cheesy-fluffly contemporary, but instead got a well rounded read dealing with slightly heavier topics than her other books. This was not at all like fan-fiction, and it wasn’t overly cheesy either. I enjoyed Emmy as a character and I loved how most of the cast were all queer.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Sarah Henstra and Jen DeLuca would be my fave new to me authors. I’ve read both of Sarah Henstra’s books and I adored them both. Meanwhile, I enjoyed Jen DeLuca’s Well Met enough to want to read her other books in the future.

8. Newest fictional crush.

As always, I never have a definitive answer for this one. So I’m going to say no one this time.

9. Newest favourite character.

Leo from Sarah Henstra’s Mad Miss Mimic for sure. Her character development from start to finish was one of the best growths I’ve seen in YA. She goes from being a shy girl who stutters, to a kind but confident woman and I loved seeing her progress.

10. Book that made you cry.

Books don’t normally make me cry, but The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor did it for me. I felt emotionally impacted by Adayln’s story and the characters in it. Even Adayln’s romance was something to cry over.

11. Book that made you happy.

Another Jen Wilde book, Queens of Geek. It’s a super cheesy read that was one of my faves from 2017. I wanted to reread it again this year to see if it would be an all-time fave. And although I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first time, it still made me super happy.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received).

Definitely The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. It’s not only beautiful on the inside, but it’s also beautiful on the outside as well. When you take off the dusk jacket, it has flamingoes all over the book. The cover itself is also stunning and the colours used work really well together.

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

Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall,  Enchantee by Gita Trelease, The Silent Patient by Alex Michealides, Found by P.C and Kristin Cast, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender are just to name a few.

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That’s all for the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag, I hope you enjoyed. Let me know your answers in the comments below or post your own tag so I can see them. Until my next post: Happy Reading!

May 2020 Wrap Up

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Hi everyone, I understand that it was quite a busy yet difficult month considering everything going on in the world. I honestly don’t know what to say other than I support anything having to do with the Black Lives Matter Movement and all voices regarding so deserved to be heard. To all my POC followers, I love you and stand by you during this time.

On a brighter note:

Despite everything happening, I managed to read 18 books this month–which is the most I’ve ever read since starting my reading career. This time around however, I actually enjoyed the majority of the books I’ve read with my faves being: Mad Miss Mimic, The Brightsiders and The Grace Year just to name a few. But since I’ve read so many books through various platforms, I thought I would divide them by categorizing them in which platform I read them from. It’s easier this way tbh and I’ll most likely continue to write in this format for now on. So without any further ado, let’s get into this wrap up.

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Physical

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

  • This was carried over from last month
  • I don’t actually own this book as it is from the library, but I checked this out before the quarantine orders were in effect and everything started closing
  • But I heard a lot of people saying amazing things about this one, so I thought I’d pick it up
  • To be honest, I thought this was a solid debut–it just wasn’t my favourite
  • I was able to follow the switching perspectives between Annabelle and Montgomery pretty well. But then we got a POV from Mont’s brother, which was kinda random
  • Although I thought Annabelle was great, I couldn’t necessarily connect with her or any of the other characters
  • I felt the book dragged on in a few places as well
  • All in all, still a good read and would recommend it
  • 3/5

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Hemstra

  • I LOVED THIS
  • Was super invested in the plot and the characters–I couldn’t put this down
  • One of my fave YA historical fictions I’ve read in awhile, since Lovely War
  • Loved the mystery aspect as well
  • Had easily one of the best main character developments I’ve seen in YA
  • Leo grew into her own person and I loved seeing that progression
  • I adored Leo as a a character and I really saw myself in her
  • I’m so glad I read it as I’ve had this on my TBR for a very long time
  • 5/5

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One by Amanda Lovelace

  • I read this in the early morning one day on a whim
  • But this was my least favourite in the trilogy
  • A lot of the poems didn’t resonate with me
  • Plus, I really struggled to read the last part of the collection
  • It was still good, but not the best I’ve read
  • 3/5

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

  • I can finally say: I’ve read all of Jen Wilde’s books
  • This one may be my favourite out of the three
  • Well actually, I may have to read Queens of Geek again to confirm that
  • But I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book
  • It didn’t feel “fanfictiony” in any way as this one dealt with a lot more serious issues  such as having toxic parents and abusive relationships
  • This still read super quickly, which I appreciated
  • I loved the diverse representation as the majority of the teens were queer, like even the love interest was queer (genderqueer to be specific) which was super refreshing to see
  • I thought this was great read overall and would highly recommend picking this up
  • 4.5/5

Audiobook

The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham

  • Seriously such an underrated read in my opinion
  • And it’s honestly one of the best historical fictions I’ve read (might be one my faves of the year actually)
  • It’s not often I get read about Canada in a historical fiction, so it was nice to have that familiarity the entire way through
  • Loved the development of Jack and Winnie and how their stories came together
  • This was quite a sad book that discussed a part of history I had no knowledge of prior to reading this
  • This was such a wonderful story and would highly recommend it
  • 5/5

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

  • The overall book got better as it went on
  • So naturally, Naomi’s relationship with Nicholas was more enjoyable as the story progressed, but it wasn’t one relationship I was rooting for from the start
  • I also wasn’t a fan of Naomi, she was pretty selfish, petty and spiteful
  • What I did like was how it focused on an already engaged couple finding their way back to each other, instead of a newfound love
  • Some scenes were funny, specifically with Harold, Nick’s father
  • Like Bringing Down the Duke, this was solid debut romance
  • 3/5

Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

  • So my library doesn’t actually have the e-audiobook for this, so I got access from another library that mine’s partnering with (not sure if this is going to last forever, but I’m gonna take advantage of it while I can)
  • The audiobook was definitely the way to go as I enjoyed my reading experience way more than I thought
  • This does discuss the aftermath of domestic abuse, so I wanted to give a trigger warning on that front
  • There was supposedly a mystery element, but it was barely noticeable imo as it focused heavily on the romance(s) between Victoria and her suitors
  • Although this was an entertaining novel, it’s not one I’m totally obsessed with
  • 4/5

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

  • I haven’t read a book by them in a while, and this was the one I’ve wanted to read the most recently
  • This may actually be my fave Christina Lauren book to date
  • I loved both the main character and love interest, their chemistry was totally there and I couldn’t get enough
  • Tate’s relationship with her father was one I could connect with on a deep level
  • I also loved the film industry aspect and I enjoy reading about that field in books
  • All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time listening/reading. Would highly recommend
  • 4.5/5

To Nightowl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

  • This was such a nice break from constantly reading (heavier) YA and adult books
  • This also had strong Parent Trap vibes which I loved
  • Loved the emailing format and it worked perfectly for audio
  • I enjoyed the development between Bette and Avery, and the family dynamics as they all became a family in the end which was nice to see
  • Plus, there was great diverse representation
  • Overall, this was an entertaining middle grade
  • 4/5

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

  • I was expecting a dystopian novel, but I didn’t expect it to be so f**king dark
  • So trigger warnings for violence, abuse and much more
  • This was so action-packed and nothing ever dragged on for too long
  • Although we don’t live in a dystopian world, I feel like this (to a certain extent) is a reality for how women are treated in this day and age. Plus being considered the “weaker sex” is quite accurate imo (not in a negative way), but just in the way of how men treat women.
  • Despite this being hard to read at times, I thought it was incredibly mind opening
  • At the end of the audiobook, there was an interview with the author and you could just tell that she was passionate about the story she was telling
  • All in all, this was an amazing book and would highly recommend
  • 5/5

We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra

  • Since reading her previous book earlier this month, I knew I wanted to read more of her works
  • I also picked this up because I wasn’t in the mood for something as dark and heavy like The Grace Year (read them both at the same time)
  • This was such a cute contemporary
  • I loved how this was told through letters, but I thought it would’ve alternated between the letters and real time
  • Like it would’ve been great to know what Kurl and Joe were actually thinking in certain moments (not gonna say which ones to avoid spoilers)
  • But all in all, I loved their individual character development and romance
  • 4/5 

Beach Read by Emily Henry

  • This is a pretty new release that’s been super hyped
  • And I can definitely see why this has lots of positive review
  • This was a super cute, but heavy read that I enjoyed more than I expected
  • I was entertained by January’s character and the love interest
  • Plus, I could personally relate to January’s familial issues, mostly with her father
  • All in all, this may be one of the better romances I’ve read recently
  • 4/5

The Hidden Power of F*cking Up by The Try Guys

  • I’ve wanted to listen to this for a while because I love The Try Guys and their content
  • When I read this, I felt a little down in the dumps and needed a pick-me-up
  • And this book did an incredible job at making me feel uplifted
  • Despite this being super entertaining, they gave some pretty helpful advice in a way that wasn’t pretentious
  • They also shared a lot of personal stories, which I loved listening to
  • Overall, one of the best Youtuber non-fiction books I’ve read in a while
  • 5/5 

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J Hackwith

  • I read 30% of this back in March and put it down because I wasn’t in the mood
  • But I saw the audiobook was available and decided to try going that route
  • And I’m really glad I did
  • I enjoyed this book overall, from the characters to the world
  • The premise was very intriguing and different from anything I’ve ever seen
  • The world building was super atmospheric
  • I do think this would’ve been better as a stand alone, but I’m not complaining I wanna know what happens in the next book
  • 4/5

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

  • I understand why people love this, but also why they hate it
  • It was a little confusing at times, but I still had a general understanding for what was happening
  • But I think I need to reread it in order to fully process everything
  • Other than that, I thought the romance was believable and I felt their emotions along with the characters
  • This maybe my fave three star read ever tbh
  • 3/5

Ebook

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

  • Another read I carried over from last month
  • I appreciated the Gossip Girl vibes however, there was a lot of unnecessary drama that came off as being petty
  • Plus, this drama could’ve been resolved if they had just communicated openly and honestly with each other
  • Spoiler alert: revenge porn is never okay and for that to be used as a plot device was pretty problematic imo
  • As for the positive things, I liked Ever as a character and I loved the Taiwan setting (it made me wanna travel there immediately)
  • 3/5

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert

  • So I had a lot of expectations going in and I unfortunately didn’t like how everything was executed
  • The mystery itself was super intriguing and loved every minute of it
  • There were a lot of twists and turns, plus plot twists I didn’t see coming
  • I also adored the diverse queer representation (even the fact there was a drag queen character–which we don’t get enough of in books)
  • What truly let me down was the romance portion–there was supposed to be a love triangle, but it was barely there. From early on it’s obvious who Millie’s going to end up with and I would’ve liked to see a little more of the “push and pull” that comes in a love triangle. For me it just builds more stakes.
  • Also they really did Bennie dirty and he deserved way better than what he got
  • Despite everything, I enjoyed my time reading this and it’s maybe one of my favourite books so far this year. ‘Cause it did impact me in some way
  • I’m also giving this a half star because although the romance was disappointing, it didn’t play that much of a role in the overall story arc.
  • Full review here
  • 4.5/5 

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

  • I read The Poet X when it first came out and I really enjoyed it
  • So when I saw this was written in verse, I was quite intrigued to give it a read
  • Unfortunately, I didn’t like this one as much as The Poet X
  • I thought the writing was beautiful
  • But I had a hard time connecting with the characters
  • I do plan on reading With the Fire on High eventually, but I’m not in any hurry to do so
  • Besides the writing, nothing about this book impacted me in any way
  • 3/5

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

  • I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did
  • I read the entire thing in one sitting; captivated from the moment I started to the moment I finished
  • I loved reading about Micheal’s journey of self-discovery to him discovering drag and coming into his own from that
  • This was such a beautiful story that deserves all the awards
  • I was very moved reading it and would highly recommend you read this if you haven’t already
  • 5/5

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That’s all for this wrap up, I hope you enjoyed. How was your reading month? Let me know some of your faves in the comments below. And until my next post: Happy Reading!

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert

boy in the red dress

Genre: historical fiction, LGBT, young-adult, mystery

Published: May 12th 2020

Pages: 362

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Synopsis

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery in this rollicking romp of truth, lies, and troubled pasts.

New Year’s Eve, 1929.

Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter, while her aunt is out of town. The new year is just around the corner, and all of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but even wealthy partiers’ diamond earrings can’t outshine the real star of the night: the boy in the red dress. Marion is the club’s star performer and his fans are legion–if mostly underground.

When a young socialite wielding a photograph of Marion starts asking questions, Millie wonders if she’s just another fan. But then her body is found crumpled in the courtyard, dead from an apparent fall off the club’s balcony, and all signs point to Marion as the murderer. Millie knows he’s innocent, but local detectives aren’t so easily convinced.

As she chases clues that lead to cemeteries and dead ends, Millie’s attention is divided between the wry and beautiful Olive, a waitress at the Cloak & Dagger, and Bennie, the charming bootlegger who’s offered to help her solve the case. The clock is ticking for the fugitive Marion, but the truth of who the killer is might be closer than Millie thinks..(source)

Thoughts

Warning: There are some spoilers towards the end of this review. So if you have not read this yet, either proceed with caution or don’t read this review.  

Since the beginning of my reading career, I’ve always been on the lookout for some good queer reads. And often times I find YA queer contemporaries that I thoroughly enjoy, but historical queer novels are hard to come by. Yes, The Diviners is a historical fiction with LGBT themes, but it doesn’t mainly focus on that. The Boy in the Red Dress on the other hand, solely revolves around those themes with the majority of the characters being queer who also work at a LGBT friendly speakeasy.

I actually discovered this while watching a booktube video and they were discussing their most anticipated queer releases for spring of 2020 and this came up. The description of the plot was what really hooked me. Mille, who’s bisexual, works at a queer friendly speakeasy with her gay best friend who does drag. And on New Years Eve in 1929, a murder occurs and she believes that her best friend is not the suspect. Basically from that point forth, Millie has to clear Marion’s name and prove that it was not in fact him who did it. There’s also a bisexual love triangle going on which puts a fresh spin on the typical trope.

One of the main things I loved about this book was the mystery. I thought it was super  intriguing and I was invested the entire time. I never knew exactly what was going to happen so it consistently kept me on the edge of my seat. Plus, there were so many twists and turns I never saw coming. So when the killer was finally revealed, I was pretty shocked. The New Orleans setting also added some sense of mystery to the overall plot, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

I also loved the diverse queer representation and how the majority of the characters were within the LGBTQ+ community. Millie is bisexual who dresses primarily in men’s clothes (we stan), Marion is a gay drag queen, Olive is also queer, and Millie’s aunt is in a committed relationship with a woman. There are also hints to other side characters being queer as well, but it’s not 100% confirmed on page.

What truly let me down was the romance(s). Before reading this, I was interested to see how this bisexual love triangle was gonna play out. Unfortunately, I was not pleased with how it was executed. There wasn’t enough of the “push and pull” that comes with a love triangle, so it didn’t really feel like a love triangle at all. I already knew who Millie was going to end up with and to be honest, I wasn’t fully satisfied with the person they chose. Plus, Bennie seemed very genuine and he didn’t deserve what he got in the end. This book did Bennie dirty. Also I didn’t believe there needed to be a romance at all, however it does play a small role in the overall story arc so it’s just as well.

*The half rating I gave the book is solely because of how small of a role the romance plays*

Overall, I enjoyed my time reading this book despite my issues with some of its execution. But this was a pretty solid debut and I intend to read more books from this author in the future.

Rate

4.5.5

 

April 2020 Wrap Up

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The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

  • I still have mixed feeling about this
  • The worst part is that I genuinely thought I was going to enjoy this
  • Although I liked the audiobook, I was bored and not all that invested during some parts
  • Also, if you don’t like the Bronte’s, then I would skip this altogether ’cause this does heavily focus on their work (specifically Anne’s)
  • I liked Sam as a main character and her sense of humour, but it was awkward ’cause no one understood her sarcasm, so I more-so cringed than chuckled
  • Was pretty disappointed overall
  • 2.5/5

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

  • I understand why some people DNFd this, partially because of the the irritating main characters
  • But when you give it a chance, you miss the opportunity to see the characters develop
  • While some found them annoying, I thought they were driven/ambitious women (specifically Rachel), who brought out the best in each other
  • Rachel does become less of a bully towards the end
  • Although not my favourite, it was exactly what I was in the mood for at the time
  • 3.5/5

Going Off Script by Jen Wilde

  • I read her first book Queens of Geek a few years ago and really enjoyed it, and I’ve been wanting to read something new from her ever since
  • Although I do think this was geared for a younger YA audience (which is totally fine, nothing wrong with that), I still thought this was super cute and lighthearted
  • I loved Bex and Shrupty’s developing relationship as well
  • I also enjoyed reading about the everyday life of what it’s like to be in the film industry and I can tell there was a lot of research done on that
  • However, I thought some things were done out of pure convenience (especially what happens at the end) and it’t not the most realistic
  • 4/5

The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord

  • The sequel to The Start of Me and You which I read a few years ago and LOVED
  • In this book, I loved the friendship between Paige and her girlfriends–like they genuinely loved and supported each other
  • Also low-key thought there was going to be some sort of love triangle, but I’m so glad that was shut down–that would’ve made everything more complicated
  • I thought it was nice to see a platonic friendship between male/female co-workers
  • Although, this wasn’t as enjoyable as the first one, it was still a great read
  • 3.5/5

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan

  • This was the only book of hers I owned and haven’t read yet
  • I enjoyed the audiobook, loved the narrators
  • This was a lot more sad than I originally thought it was going to be, but still enjoyed the overall story
  • Loved the friendship between Grace and Audrey, they learned a lot from each other throughout the book
  • To be honest, the ending was what killed this for me–not the whole ending but one part of it. I don’t want to give away what happens to avoid spoilers, but I really didn’t like the direction it went in with one of main girls
  • This was my least favourite of the Sarah Morgan books I’ve read
  • Side note: Would definitely recommend her Christmas books (The Christmas Sisters and A Wedding in December)
  • 3.75/5

Scared Little Rabbits by A.V Geiger

  • I read her previous duology and they were quite good for Wattpad books
  • So I thought I would pick this one up
  • This, like her other works, was super fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat
  • My only issue with this were the characters (specifically the main characters)
  • Both Nora and Maddox had no back bones and were just downright weak (I hate to say that but it’s true)
  •  I also found it be a tad predictable by the end
  • All in all, still really liked it
  • 3.75/5

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

  • Despite being in quarantine ’cause of everything going on, I’ve been going on walks around my neighbourhood so I needed something to listen to
  • And I heard some pretty decent things about this when it first came out so I thought I’d give it a chance
  • I was so fucking disappointed with this. Problematic on so many levels
  • There was a lot of fat and body shaming, comments about STIs and AIDS (not challenged btw), self-harm, mental illness etc…
  • Also, the “revenge plots” were entirely preventable–like they could’ve just confronted them
  • I didn’t particularly connect with any of the characters either and I don’t wanna know what happens next in the series
  • I’m only giving this a two stars ’cause the audiobook was quick to get through
  • 2/5 

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

  • Quite the impulsive read, but it was one I needed to read right now
  • This dealt with a lot of serious topics and handled them well
  • Marin was a well-rounded character and knew what she wanted even when she got lost along the way
  • On the technical side of things, I thought the writing made it super quick to read
  • Also low key forgot this was written by two authors ’cause it was hard to tell who wrote what
  • All in all, an enjoyable but hard-hitting read. Would recommend it
  • 4/5

The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle

  • Another impulsive audiobook read. I haven’t heard anything about this and wanted to give it a chance
  • It’s about a girl with epilepsy and I’ve never read a book with that representation
  • I liked this book when I first started, but my enjoyment slowly dwindled as the book went on
  • Emilie was being extremely selfish and how she treated her mom throughout the book rubbed me the wrong way–like the mom was doing what she could and hadn’t done anything wrong
  • The love interest Chatham was a super sweet book boyfriend and did not deserve being lied to
  • So obviously not my fave like I thought it was going to be
  • 3/5

A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

  • This was one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time
  • A well executed and thought out story imo
  • I don’t wanna say a ton about the mystery ’cause of spoilers, but it was one of the better ones I’ve read recently
  • Loved how passionate Pippa was about solving the case and I loved Ravi and Pippa’s chemistry
  • Although this focused more on the mystery/thriller, I still loved the family and friend dynamics
  • I definitely plan on reading the second book in this series (and also anything else written by her)
  • 5/5

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

  • This puts a modern spin on the classic Grease, which is one of my favourite musicals/films of all time
  • Although it got pretty cheesy towards the end, I still thought this was such a cute read
  • Of course this does deal with some sensitive topics such as the death of a loved one and homophobia. And I do believe these were handled well and challenged on the latter front
  • This did have a great diverse cast of characters (which we all know is non-existent in the film 😐)
  • Other than that, there’s not much more I can say on this
  • It didn’t completely blow me away which is why I’m giving this 4 stars
  • 4/5

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Ian Reid

  • Heard this was a pretty fucked up and creepy read, so I thought I’d pick it up
  • Although there were some creepy moments, I still wasn’t fully invested
  • I found myself to be quite bored throughout
  • Not much else to say other than it was very much a middle of the road book for me
  • 3/5

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

  • This has been on my mind ever since I started my Goodreads account and journey
  • And I’ve never had the opportunity to read it until now
  • I thought Eliza and Annie’s relationship was a little too insta-lovey for my personal taste
  • Plus, I know this was set in New York City, but I had no idea in what year (I assume it was in the 80s, but I’m not sure). I just felt like that could’ve been specified a little more
  • But I appreciated the topics addressed in concerns to the LGBT community within the time period
  • Despite some of my issues, it was still a wonderful read
  •  4/5

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

  • I really thought I would LOVE this ’cause it is a queer enemies to lovers
  • Unfortunately, this wasn’t my fave
  • Crier was a great character and was a lot more interested in reading her perspective than Ayla’s
  • Ayla was a little too abrasive for me, and I simply wasn’t as invested in her POV
  • I did appreciate how slow burn the romance was
  • All in all, I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it
  • 3/5

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

  • Another impulsive audiobook
  • I’ve heard people talking about how good this was when it first came out
  • This was such a sweet read and I really enjoyed it
  • I loved the podcast element
  • The ending in particular was super cute and I was actually swooning (I don’t swoon that often, so you know it was good)
  • But in the end, this was just an average contemporary and not one that’s going to stick with me
  • 3.75/5

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Whew that was a long wrap-up, I hope you enjoyed. What were your favourite reads? Let me know in this comments below. My personal favourite was A Good Girls Guide to Murder. Until my next post: Happy Reading!

 

April 2020 TBR

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Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe during this time. I know times are tough right now, but just know everything’s going to be okay; we just need to stick together and stay (the fuck) home. With all that said, it’s still a brand new month, which means new TBR. I know this is slightly ambitious, but considering the time off, I think it’s appropriate.

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Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

  • TBR jar pick
  • Just started reading this on the last day of March on ebook through my library
  • I’ve heard mixed things going into this book, specifically having to do with the female protagonists being irritating
  • I can totally understand where reviewers are coming from, but I appreciate the character development as the book progresses
  • I don’t hate it, yet I don’t love it either, but it’s exactly what I need to read right now considering everything that’s going on

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

  • Katesbookdate was talking about reading this book in one of her videos and her explaining the plot intrigued me
  • I have this on audiobook through my library right now and just started it on April Fools
  • I have mixed feeling about this–on one hand, I like the audiobook while on the other hand, nothing major is happening and I’m bored
  • But there’s something about it that’s keeping me invested in the story
  • Not my fave, but I’ll finish it soon

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

  • Another book I checked out from my library before quarantine happened
  • I’ve heard lots of great things about this, so I’m excited to get into it at some point
  • It’s a historical fiction romance involving the first female student attending Oxford and her romance with some ‘duke’
  • Not much else to say on this, but hope to read it soon

Going Off Script by Jen Wilde

  • I’m still in the mood for a short and sweet contemporary and I feel like this will hit the spot
  • This is a queer novel about a screenwriter and her crush bringing down the boss for the studio she’s interning for after they steal her idea and twist it to satisfy the studio
  • I’m definitely excited for this and might pick it up after I finish Tell Me How You Really Feel

Scared Little Rabbits by A.V Geiger

  • I’ve read her previous works and enjoyed them both, so I thought I’d give this a shot
  • All I know is that it’s a thriller involving Nora having to clear her name after a mysterious disappearance at her coding program
  • I haven’t heard a ton of people talking about this
  • But I hope this is a fast read like her other books

Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg

  • TBR jar pick
  • I’ve had this on my shelf for almost five years now
  • I’ve read books from this author before and they’re hit or miss for me
  • I don’t know a ton about this, but it apparently involves a female friendship
  • It’s a short contemporary, so it’s the perfect time to read this

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

  • So many book tubers I watch and love have read this and really enjoyed
  • It’s a thriller about Pip resurrecting a murder case from five years prior for her senior project and wants to find out who really killed the popular girl, Andie Bell
  • I’m sort of in the mood for a good thriller as well right now, so hopefully this will satisfy the craving
  • This is also a debut novel, so hopefully it lives up to what everyone says about it

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigal Hing Wen

  • I’ve tried to read this before, but only read one chapter before putting it down
  • Just want to clarify I was doing a “try a chapter” on this one, so of course I’m gonna give it a chance this time
  • This is a popular releases in which I’ve heard awesome things about
  • Also being optioned for a movie, which is pretty cool imo
  • Apparently this has been compared to Gossip Girl (by some), and since I like Gossip Girl, I’m in for a treat

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

  • I’ve been eyeing this book on my TBR shelf and thought it was about time I read it
  • This a slow burn, enemies to lovers queer novel with two girls and I couldn’t be more excited
  • It’s a longer book, so I’m gonna take my time with it

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That’s all for my April TBR, I hope you enjoyed. What books do you plan on reading this month? Let me know in the comments below. Once again, I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy right now. And until my next post: Happy Reading.

 

March 2020 Wrap Up

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Hey guys! It’s been a few weeks, but lots has happened since I last posted, like the corona-virius and staying in quarantine being the major news. So, I hope you’re all safe and doing well (staying home, reading etc…). But I read the majority of these books before everything went down and having time off has given me more time to read–explaining my large wrap up. I don’t want to make this intro to be too long, so let’s just get into the books.

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Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

  • I was always intrigued by this book ever since I started my reading career
  • After 5-6 years (or so), I finally decided to pick it up
  • I was pretty disappointed
  • Rush was the worst love interest I’ve read in a while, he was very alpha-male imo
  • It was quite fast paced (which was something I needed at the time)
  • It’s safe to say, I will not be reading rest of the trilogy
  • 2/5

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

  • This was on a banned books list through my library (I don’t know what for tbh), but it made me more intrigued to pick it up
  • I really enjoyed this story and was hooked from start to finish
  • The artwork was stunning
  • Don’t have much else to say about this one, but please read this
  • 4/5

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnston

  • The last book in the Truly Devious trilogy
  • Thought this was a solid conclusion to the trilogy
  • But I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the ending (and if you read it, you know what I’m talking about)
  • Was very intrigued with what was happening and I wanted to know more as the book went on
  • All really enjoyed this conclusion and the overall trilogy
  • 4/5

The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiparelli and Coco Chanel by Jeanne Mackin

  • Had really high expectations going into this and unfortunately those were not met
  • I thought this was going to focus highly on the rivalry between the two designers when they were younger
  • But instead we got them when they were much older and focused on a recently widowed Lily, arriving in Paris to visit her brother and befriends Schiaperlli and Chanel
  • And to be honest, I was more interested in getting to know the designers than Lily
  • This was so different from any historical fiction I’ve read recently, so I would recommend it
  • 3.5/5

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

  • TBR jar pick
  • After reading her previous graphic novel earlier, I wanted to pick this up
  • And I also enjoyed this one
  • Loved the queer representation and friendship dynamics
  • Artwork was stunning (loved the pink and grey colour scheme)
  • This mainly focuses on getting over a break up and since I haven’t experienced it myself, I didn’t feel at all impacted by it
  • However if you were recently broken up with, then I would highly recommend reading this
  • I still gave it a four stars ’cause I feel like lots of people can relate to how Freddie is feeling
  • 4/5

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

  • TBR jar pick
  • Wasn’t expecting this to be a favourite, but it’s now on my list of faves this year
  • I was a little put off by this book at first (especially towards the beginning), but it slowly grew on me as the book progressed
  • I loved how raw and emotional this book was
  • Considering the fact it was set in 1930s Montreal, this book dealt with a lot of serious topics that still remain relevant today
  • The audiobook was also fantastic so I’d recommend listening to it
  • 4.75/5

Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass

  • TBR jar pick
  • THIS BOOK WAS THE FUCKING WORST
  • The friendship dynamic was super fucking toxic and the main character was awful
  • The story went from bad to worse when the love interest turned into a fucking douche
  • Thank god this was on audiobook, ’cause I wouldn’t have read it otherwise
  • I just wanted this book to end after the halfway mark
  • I’m glad to be getting rid of it now
  • 1/5

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

  • I was expecting a rom-com, but got a drama instead
  • This book got super sad and depressing real quick, especially by the halfway point
  • I won’t give anything away to avoid spoilers, but just know the synopsis is a little misleading
  • I loved the friendship between Dannie and Bella and the relationships throughout the book
  • Super quick read
  • Despite everything,I still enjoyed it and I’m considering reading her other books in the future
  • 4.5/5

Loverboys by Gilbert Hernandez

  • I picked this up because I’ve been wanting to read more graphic novels this year
  • Thought I was going to enjoy it, but was ultimately not pleased
  • Nothing about this was developed enough–from the characters to the actual story
  • Had no idea what was going on
  • Felt no connection to any of the characters
  • Was also not a fan of the art work either
  • 1/5 

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

  • Didn’t intend on reading this right now, but the ebook became available through my library
  • I read her debut last year and absolutely LOVED IT
  • This was pretty fucked up and super dark–it was exactly what I needed
  • Loved the Macbeth references
  • Even though this wasn’t as good as her predecessor, I still really enjoyed it and want to read more from Capin in the future
  • 4/5

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

  • Chandler Ainsley on booktube was talking about this on her channel and it made me wanna pick it up
  • It’s not the best thriller I’ve ever read, but I thought it was good
  • I wanted more murder scenes, ’cause all of them were implied (aside from two) and I’m like “I wanna see some gore and murder”
  • I  thought it was interesting how we never got the husband real name, and I believe that’s what stood this book apart from other thrillers I’ve read
  • Even though this was good, it was still just a ‘middle of the road’ book for me
  • 3/5

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra

  • Loved the family dynamic between the March family, specifically Meg and Jo’s
  • Loved how it was a contemporary retelling instead of same 1880s adaptations/movies we get
  • This wasn’t prefect by any means, but still one I enjoyed–I can’t wait to read Beth and Amy when it comes out
  • The audiobook was also great
  • 4/5

Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young

  • The second book to the Girls with Sharp Sticks (now) trilogy
  • I loved the first book when I read it last year
  • Reading this just made me super fucking angry ’cause of the constant mistreatment these girls experience
  • But this is also the reality that women face a lot of the time and I’m glad it’s being brought to light through this YA trilogy
  • I was on the edge of my seat the entire time ’cause you don’t know who on Mena’s side and you (as the reader) are trying to figure that out
  • Love how the romance between Mena and Jackson is developing–pretty slow burn but I think that’s appropriate for the content of the story
  • The ending was pretty rushed, however which was why I gave this four stars
  • 4/5

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

  • Haven’t read the first book to this yet, but I got no major spoilers from the last book when reading this one
  • And I really enjoyed this one overall
  • I loved the chemistry between Liv and Mack
  • The bromance bookclub dynamic was awesome and it was refreshing to read about a lack of toxic masculinity
  • A quick romance read was exactly what I needed after reading some heavier books this month
  • 4/5

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

  • This book hits different now after an actual pandemic existing right now
  • Despite that however, I didn’t like this as much as I thought
  • I couldn’t connect with the characters and had a hard time keeping track of all them
  • I thought there was going to be more Shakespeare involved, but it didn’t play that much of a role (aside from Author performing and the troop)
  • I don’t think I’d reread this again, this was just a middle of the road book
  • 3/5

If We Were Villains by M.L Rio

  • First reread of this in the year and I, of course, loved it
  • I’ve talked about this book a million times, so I won’t mention it in too much detail here
  • But just know it involves Shakespeare, drama and all kinds of murder (and it’s set in the 90s)
  • I still don’t have a full review on this, but I promise it will be coming out soon
  • 5/5

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That is all for this months wrap up, I hope you enjoyed. What books have you read while in quarantine? Which were your faves? Let me know in comments below. Once again, I just want to say I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe during this time. Happy Reading!

 

February 2020 Wrap Up

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Hi everyone! I know this wrap up is super late but I do have an explanation. A lot of personal things have been going on with my family and I’ve needed to be there during this stressful time. But I still wanted to share my thoughts on some of my faves and least faves of the month. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

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Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

  • This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year
  • I didn’t plan on reading this, this month, it just (sort of) happened
  • And I really enjoyed this
  • It was cute and fluffy and exactly what I needed to lighten my mood
  • Honestly one of my favourite contemporaries this year
  • My full detailed thoughts are here
  • 4.75/5

Did I Mention I Miss You? by Estelle Maskme

  • This the final book in the trilogy
  • I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this trilogy as much as I did
  • Read this in two days (I’m pretty sure), the writing style makes it super quick to read
  • The biggest thing I got out of this trilogy was the character growth between the Tyler and Eden
  • It was nice to see the characters changing signifying that we all mature and ‘grow up’ as time passes
  • I’m not sure which book is my fave, it may be this one, but I can’t decide
  • I would recommend this trilogy if you enjoy reading taboo romances (either YA or adult)
  • 3.5/5

Layoverland by Gabby Noone

  • Even though this has a dark element (taking place in purgatory), this was such a fun read
  • I really enjoyed Beatrice as a main character. Loved her sarcastic and dry humour
  • The romance between Beatrice and Caleb was also enjoyable
  • I also loved the relationship dynamic Beatrice had with the other side characters
  • This was actually quite good for a debut and will read more of her books in the future
  • 4/5

The King of Crows by Libba Bray

  • Hands down my favourite book I’ve read this month, but not my favourite in the series unfortunately
  • I don’t have the proper words to describe how much I loved this
  • So for now, I’m just gonna say this was amazing and I will have an entire review up on my blog in the next little bit
  • 5/5

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

  • I thought I was really going to like this ’cause I do enjoy multi-generational stories, but this was not it 
  • I listened to this on audiobook and thank god I did, ’cause I don’t think I would’ve finished it otherwise
  • There were some elements I felt uncomfortable with such as the poor representation of depression and people walking in on couples having sex (disturbing I know)
  •  This book was quite slow and I was bored for the majority of it
  • By the end, the characters grew on me and I liked them more than I did when I started reading this
  • But that still wasn’t enough for me to give this a high rating
  • 2.75/5

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

  • I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, so I thought I’d give it a chance
  • I actually really enjoyed it, and it’s probably one of my fave adult contemporaries so far this year
  • My only critique was that Nina bothered me at times. For example, her lack of flexibility and unwillingness to change her schedule irritated me to no end. In one scene, she made her love interest feel like shit for asking her out ’cause she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) fix her schedule to fit a time that would most convenient them both.
  • That just really bothered me and she did that in other situations as well
  • Despite that, I could still relate to Nina on some level and even saw a little of myself in her
  • Would recommend this to all my fellow introverts
  • 4.5/5

Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno

  • This was 100% an impulse audiobook read
  • I’m travelling back and forth twice a week for school and I needed a audiobook to listen to on the road, so I thought this would be perfect
  • I read Katrina Leno’s other book, Lost and Found, and I thought it was just okay
  • So I was slightly apprehensive going into this one
  • Ultimately, I enjoyed Must Not Miss a lot more
  • This was super gripping and held my attention the entire time
  • The magical elements were unique and I liked Magpie as a character
  • All in all, I would recommend this
  • 4/5 

A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison

  • One of my favourite things about this book were the friendship dynamics between Nandy and her friends (and pretty much them accepting Trice with open arms)
  • The romance between the two leads was a little slow burn but I still loved the direction this went in
  • One issue I had was that, it’s slightly too long for a contemporary and it could’ve been shortened by 50 pages or so
  • Despite it being long for a contemporary, I still read this relatively quickly
  • But this was still a really awesome book, and would highly suggest reading this if you haven’t already
  • 4.5/5

Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz

  • One of my fave books this month tbh
  • This was such a great contemporary dealing with people with chronic illnesses
  • Also loved how it was own voices
  •  I thought both Isabel and Sasha were a great couple who made each other stronger and better people throughout their relationship
  • Personally, Isabel was a character I could strongly connect with especially ’cause she overthinks constantly (as do I)
  • It was also nice to see the main couple get together and see their dynamic
  • I definitely wanna read more of her books in the future as her writing style was easy to get through
  • Would highly recommend this, if you want something similar to Five Feet Apart but less dramatic and more comedic
  • 5/5

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

  • I read Fix Her Up last year and really enjoyed it
  • However, I’ve been hearing a lot of mixed feelings on the sequel
  • And to be honest, I didn’t love it as much as Fix Her Up
  • I thought Dominic was way too alpha-male for my liking, so his character irritated me for the majority of the book
  • Rosie on the other hand was a character I really liked from the get-go
  • There were less sex scenes in this one, but I did appreciate the angst throughout
  • I loved how this book was about a married couple trying to fix their relationship, rather than a new found love type
  • All in all, not my fave, but would still recommend if you’re into an alpha-male character
  • 3/5

Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke

  • Since I’ve been interested in astrology lately, I wanted to pick it up
  • I’m so glad I did ’cause this was such a lighthearted and cute read
  • To be honest, I loved seeing the dynamic between Nick and Justine develop throughout the novel
  • I also enjoyed the execution of the story and how everything came in full circle at the end
  • And by having nothing else to say, I highly recommend you read this
  • 4.5/5

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams

  • I didn’t think I was going to finish it this month, but alas I did
  • I enjoyed the majority of my time reading this as it went by super quickly
  • The characters were great and I loved their chemistry
  • I will say however, it took way too long for Nadia and Daniel too meet
  • It also would’ve been nice to see Nadia and Daniel interact more throughout the book
  • All in all, a good book I’d recommend
  • 4/5

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That is all for this month’s wrap up, I hope you enjoyed. What books have you read? Which ones were your faves? Let me know in the comments below. Until my next post: Happy Reading!

Favourite YA Romances

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Hi everyone! Since it is the month of love, I thought I would share with you guys my favourite YA romances. And I was inspired by Breanna from Paws and Paperbacks to make a list of my own. I’m not listing my own books in any particular order of significance, I love each of these books with all my heart. Plus, if you haven’t read these already, then (what are you doing with your life?) please read them already. Now let’s get into it.

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Emergency Contact by Mary H.K Choi

  • A modern romance at its finest
  • Penny and Sam meet on a college campus and start texting one another back and forth resulting in them becoming each others “emergency contacts.”
  • They develop their relationship over text, so the romance is quite slow burning
  • I seriously love how raw and realistic this book is compared to all the other YA contemporaries out there
  • I know it gets some mixed reviews because of its flawed and (somewhat) unlikeable characters, but that’s what makes this book so amazing
  • Here’s my full review if you want to know more on my thoughts

Lovely War by Julie Berry

  • I couldn’t resist adding this on my list, ’cause it’s one of my all time favourite romances (and of 2019)
  • This is such as heavy and emotional historical romance following two couples during WW1 narrated by the Greek Gods (in WW2 as it takes place in two different timelines)
  • It’s super cheesy and pure while also dealing with some pretty heavy topics
  • And the romance(s) develop quite slowly, so it does become borderline angsty, so if you’re not into that, then I wouldn’t pick this up
  • It explores a lot of similar topics typically seen in historical fiction, but the author adds a refreshing twist by including the Greek Gods as the narrators
  • For more of my thoughts, here’s my full review

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

  • It’s a refreshing take on a holiday romance about a girl going on 10 blind dates set up by her family after her boyfriend breaks up with her
  • I loved the main romance, but the family dynamics were what stood out to me the most
  • The main characters family is Italian, so I found myself relating to their customs and how they interacted with one another (’cause I’m also Italian)
  • It was also a super quick read and perfect to cozy up by the fire with a cup of tea/coffee
  • Overall, this was such a great book to read over the holidays and I may reread it this year for Christmas

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

  • My most recent addition to this list, but I still keep thinking about it
  • Basically Pepper and Jack enter a Twitter war for their respective family’s fast food chain restaurants and they fall in love IRL
  • Food plays such a huge role, so don’t read this when you’re hungry 😋
  • But social media also has a big influence on the book as well
  • Both Pepper and Jack had great chemistry and their bantering was well done
  • This may be one of my favourite reads of 2020 so far
  • My detailed thoughts are in my review here

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

  • Again, I had to add this in here ’cause it is easily my fave contemporary of 2019
  • This is a cute love story about a non-binary character, Ben, who moves to a new school after being kicked out by his family and moving with his sister. And Nathan, a gay boy at the new school.
  • I thought the non-binary representation was so refreshing to read, as I’ve never read anything like it before
  • And the romance was so pure, I could not get enough and I simply wanted more
  • This book was so heartwarming and I definitely wanna reread it at some point this year (and of course more from the author)

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I hope you enjoyed this post. What YA romances do you love? Let me know in the comments below. And until my next post: Happy Reading!

 

 

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

tweet cute

Genre: contemporary, romance, young-adult

Published: January 21st 2020

Pages: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected. (source)

Thoughts

It’s been a long while since I’ve actively written a review, but reading this book inspired me to write one again. 😊

For some reason my favourite reads are either historical fictions or fantasies; so it’s difficult for me to find a contemporary I feel impacted by, or one I enjoy at all. So this one came as a surprise. I genuinely enjoyed my time reading this book and I wanted to read it again immediately after I finished. There wasn’t anything I disliked about this book either, so this isn’t a negative review by any means.

Pepper and Jack were both really flawed characters, so it made them more relatable to read about. And I found both characters to truly complement each other in the ‘cheesiest’ way possible (see what I did there?) but for real, I loved reading from both perspectives. Their romance was also super cute and adorable.

Now I know I said there wasn’t anything I disliked, but I will say the one thing that kinda bothered me a little was the “Twitter war.” Like it started, but then it was over in two seconds and I simply wanted it fleshed out more. It would’ve been nice to have more of the back and forth feuding tweets between Pepper and Jack.

I also loved the social media aspect and how difficult it can be to maintain at times. Personally, I found this to be one of the best things about the book. Only because I myself believe it’s difficult to have to constantly keep up with Twitter and Instagram while  having a million other things going on. So I completely understood the frustrations the characters had with having to put out quirky ‘roasting’ tweets all the time.

Going to the technical side of things, I loved how simple the writing style was. It just made this so much easier to read and I understood exactly what was going on the entire time (which was a nice change from some of my previous reads 😆).

Overall, this was such a fantastic debut and I would love to read more from this author in the future.

Rate

4.75/5