BOOK HAUL|I’ve read some of these already oops

Whoop whoop here are the books I’ve bought since like January.

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The Sun is Also the Star by Nicola Yoon:  Unread. Features a Jamican immigrant and the other MC is Korean-American.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Read and loved already! My review can be found here. Fat MC with Anxiety, diverse side characters

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill: Unread. This book is about rape culture in Ireland.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour: Unread A story about grief. Slight f/f romance I believe

Ask A Queer by Lindsay King-Miller: Currently Reading Basically what the title says!

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruse: Read A woman with no college degree and became a successful clothing business owner. Was ehh about it.

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Read and amazing and please read. m/m cute romance and diverse side characters

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: Honestly, not a clue but I know it’s sci-fi with POC characters!

Have you read any of these? Let me know down below!

 

“Why Party When You Can Read?”| #1

I’m a college student yet I never go out during the weekends to these parties hosted by the frat houses (okay people in greek life low-key scare me). So this is a knock off version of my Friday Reads since I will be mostly be reading. Oh, I am also working 10pm-5am tonight so please send some positive vibes lmao.

So, here’s what I’m reading this weekend

25526296Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. No matter the cost.


25667918Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.


25733577Ask a Queer Chick is a guide to sex, love, and life for lesbian, gay, bi, and queer women. Based on the long-running and popular advice column for The Hairpin, but featuring entirely new content, Ask a Queer Chick cuts through all of the bizarre conditioning imparted by parents, romantic comedies, and The L Word to help queer readers and their straight/cis friends navigate this changing world. Offering advice on everything from coming out to getting your first gay haircut to walking down the aisle, Ask a Queer Chick is a positive, down-to-earth guide that will resonate with readers of Dan Savage and Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg {Review}

16100972Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

CURRENT GIVEAWAY —–> HERE

-Review-

We were dancers and drummers and standers and jugglers, and there was nothing anyone needed to accept or tolerate. We celebrated.

This was such an amazing read. I know my star rating doesn’t reflect my feelings but this was truly astounding.

Rafe was such a lovely cute but oh-so frustrating character to follow. Rafe leaves his old like to go to this all boy prep school and tries to abandon his label as the “gay kid.” Labels suck,  there’s a reason why I love the quote “labels are for jars and not for people.” I was 100 percent behind Rafe when it comes to this philosophy.

But… oh Rafe you simple fluffy cupcake. I love you, I truly do but you were so not smart about everything. It was so difficult to read through this book because when it comes to lying, especially in a possible relationship, nothing can end well. Despite this fact, I actually still enjoyed reading his voice and seeing how he justifies certain decisions in his mind.

What really did it for me was the side characters. I love Toby and his wild self (even though he sometimes say the wrong thing at the wrong time). I loved Rafe’s best friend Claire and despite some of the things she says in the beginning, she always has Rafe’s back. Rafe’s parents are honestly the best and probably one of the most supporting parents in YA history. They are a tad over the top but you can tell they truly love their son and would never ask or want him to change.

And of course, the love interest, Ben. I wanted to shake Ben and tell him so many times that “YOU AND RAFE ARE DESTINED TO BE TOGETHER” It’s so obvious it honestly hurts my little heart. Ben is that typical philosophical always got something  wise to say type of guy but I surprisingly still loved him. Ben and Rafe’s relationship was so darn adorkable and was so well developed.

I LOVED how the book explored the difference between tolerance and acceptance. My views on these two words changed me completely and if you read this, you will change too. The book also dives into the topics of listening and self-confidence. Definitely made me think.

Despite these amazing elements of the story, I’m going to have to say some not so positive things about this book. One thing I hated was how we had to read about Rafe play sports with his jock buddies. It was just so descriptive and long and frankly sooo boring. I feel like that’s a personal preference but I felt like there could have been a better or more engaging way to describe these sporty scenes.

Also, even though I loved the relationship between Rafe and Ben, it’s ultimately built on lies. So many times, I wanted to scream at Rafe because so much drama could have been easily avoided if Rafe just spoke during certain situations. RAFE I LOVE YOU BUT PLEASE JUST STOP OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING. I was just so vexed about the situation.

I will tell you that this book is incredibly diverse. We have a gay Jewish main character, POC representation for mental illness and other LGBTQIA+ side characters.  I heard the next book is even better on representation and I look forward to reading about more people. This book is also OWN VOICES so it’s even better!

Openly Straight was a great novel about being proud of who you are and this certainly made me proud to be who I am.

Reading this, I hope you too will love yourself.

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Favorite Books?|Criteria

ENTER MY CURRENT GIVEAWAY {HERE}

How does a book make it to my favorites list. What criteria does it need to have in order to have that “pristine” title? Well here are my top 5 elements a book needs in order for it to be my “favorite book of all time.”

Criteria #1: Rereadability  (try to say that 5 times) 

If I don’t feel compelled to reread a book, nope sorry you failed.

Criteria #2: Memorable Characters/Plot

“Oh, crap what’s that character’s name again?” Yeah BYE.

Criteria #3:  Become somewhat defensive

“Look, I just don’t think you fully understood the concept of The Virgin Suicides and maybe you should reread it?!?!”

Criteria #4: Makes me want to own a copy of the book

I’ve donated a big pile of trash (books) so I only own books that I really really REALLY love or books I know I’ll love. I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda on ebook and after I was done, I wanted to own and read the book again.

Criteria #5: Can confidently recommend the book

Hey have you read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you like good books?

What’s your criteria?

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Mini Reviews| Aristotle and Simon!

I don’t write a review for every book I read for a couple of reasons. Some of those reasons being that I don’t have the time, the book is too short to review, sequel to a series so I don’t want to spoil, read too long ago to even do a full review or perhaps I just don’t want to spend an ample amount of time constructing one. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by  Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Published: Febuary 21 2012 by Simon & Schuster

Page Count: 359

Rating: ★★★

Summary: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Review: I read this on audio book solely on the purpose that Lin Manuel Miranda would be narrating the story. I enjoyed the story, the family dynamics, etc. Although I did enjoy reading these aspects of the novel, I couldn’t connect with it and therefore the story was meh to me. I didn’t like Ari too much and I kind of felt he was rude to Dante at times. I know the title says “Aristotle and Dante” but I wish the family conflict was more fleshed out rather than just in mere mentions because that was something I was looking forward to. I felt like this was supposed to be an emotional read (sad? happy?  happy-sad?) but I felt deadpanned. I actually read this in the beginning of February and I don’t remember much of it, so unfortunately for me, it wasn’t memorable. I do remember loving the story while listening to it but after I was done, I was like “oh okay next?” Though, LMM did a great job on the narration!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Published: April 7 2015 by Balzer + Bray

Page Count:320

Rating:★★★★★

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review: THIS. Oh gosh, this may have been the reason why I docked a star from the above review. I also read this on audiobook which was awesome but may have been a mistake since I was grinning and giggling to my classes and people probably thought I was on something. I loved the romance between Simon and Blue SO MUCH. Honestly, it takes a lot for me to get on board with a romance but Simon and Blue from the second email exchange got me hooked.  They just made me extremely happy. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda explores identity, acceptance, fear and friendship all in a realistic matter. The story talks about homophobia and racism in the south and the struggles of expressing oneself. At times, I hated characters, then loved them, then hated them again and it was all so confusing but amazing. This was HILARIOUS. I want to buy the book so that I can annotate and underline all my favorite quotes. The writing was no pretentious which I’m glad because I’m tired reading quirky books with pompous ass writing. Not every book needs to be John Green. Also, being in Simon’s head was such a treat but sometimes frustrating because using context clues, the audience knows who Blue is but Simon doesn’t. I kept wanting to scream OPEN YOUR EYES. Overall if you want to read something honest, cute and inspiring, I HIGHLY recommend this.

Read any of these books? Leave your thoughts down below!

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Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaiporta and Dhonielle Clayton|BHM 2017 {review}

18710209Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

 

 

Man, I don’t know.

This book was kind of all over the place. Everyone in this book was just, so, mean. With the petty pranks, the jealousy, the backstabbing, the cheating and everything else it was just shocking. BUT, I can’t lie, I actually enjoyed this story. It’s full of completely unlikable characters, complex characters actually.

We are in three perspectives, Gigi, Bette and June and they all basically compete for a big roll in the upcoming dance shows. Throughout the story, there’s vicious pranks, name calling, dating but there’s some pretty serious problems each of the main characters go through.

Gigi: One of the only black girls in their ballet group (whoops, I forgot if she’s the only black girl in the school or level). She’s sweet, caring bur has a serious heart condition that no one knows about. She’s often the victim of bullying because she’s one of the best dancers and also because she’s black.

Bette: Probably the most malicious one of all. Right from the start, she loses her star role and her boyfriend, curtsy of Gigi.  In result, she begins to torment the poor girl and becomes a tad bit obsessive and will do anything to get back her spotlight and her on/off again boyfriend. Although not said explicitly, she has a prescription drug problem.

June: She’s half Korean and Half Caucasian. She has become Gigi’s understudy for the most part but also seems to be a loner, despite Gigi’s attempts to befriend her. However, she does seem to have trouble staying in her lane and often snoops around.  June has a lot of baggage, including being on the brink of an eating disorder.

As you can see, these characters far from being 2 dimensional. There’s also other character such as Alex( Gigi’s boyfriend and Bette’s ex), Will (carries heavy guilt) Henri(all about the drama). Like the main 3, these characters also have a compelling role in the story.

The book also explores the themes of the pressures of competition and parents. Pressure can really deteriorate a person, limb from limb and it was interesting to see. Racism is also discuss and how POC struggle to rise above in the ballet industry. Eating disorders and drugs became a reoccurring themes.  There were just a lot of depth in the story in general, making me never bored

But man, these characters were ruthless. Like, they did a lot of stuff that were over the line. I absolutely hated Bette. It went to the point where it was hard for me to feel bad for her when I think I was supposed to. I liked and hated June at times. Mostly, she would just extremely judgmental and slightly hypocritical and irrational. She has a feud with the other Korean ballerinas and she holds one of their secrets that they might like the opposite sex. JUNE’S PROBLEM IS THAT SHE STRUGGLES TO STAY IN HER LANE BECAUSE DESPITE HOW MUCH YOU MIGHT HATE SOMEONE YOU SHOULDN’T BE THE ONE TO TELL PEOPLE BECAUSE THAT’S A PERSONAL DECISION NOT YOUR DECISION. OUTING SOMEONE IS NEVER OK.

Some of the stuff these girls did made me uncomfortable because I don;t understand how they can get away with what they did. Like um, where are the adults in this?!?!?!

It was difficult for me to get behind any of the romances. I felt like Gigis and Alex were a bit insta-lovey and moved way too fast. Bette’s obsession with them also didn’t help either. Like she was really POSSESSIVE over Alex. Overall, everyone’s relationships (friendships and love interests) seemed weirdly unnatural to me.  I wish the relationships were more flushed out and slowed down.

Also, there’s this one scene where I almost threw my kindle (this isn’t a spoiler). Gigi was in the teacher’s office really distress and heartbroken about something and then the teacher was like “oh since you’re in here did you have an affair with one of the teachers?” Like what? IS THIS REALLY THE TIME?!?!?!?!?!

The book ended super abruptly and there’s still a lot of unanswered questions. I think I will finish the duology because the drama (even though it’s problematic at times) is addicting as hell.

It’s a fun book with some riveting themes. I don’t think books (or anything in general) about ballerinas are my thing because I tend to not care about that aspect. It’s a good book if you want to read some cut throat drama with a diverse cast of characters. If you like Pretty Little Liars, this might be the book for you.

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The Reader Confessional #5

Welcome to a new confessional!

The reader confessional is where I disclose all of my embarrassing secrets, funny experiences, weird habits and unpopular opinions regarding my reading life.

 

This week’s confession:

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My family still makes fun of me to this day. I really wanted to sell some of my book and I thought I would have a mini book sale. My mom told me not to do it since she thought that no one would buy anything. I was like nah, people would buy something. I added some video games to lure more customers but NOPE COMPLETE FAILURE. I was so hurt.

Any disappointments in your life?

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