WoW: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

StarfishTitle: Starfish
Author:  Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publication date: September 26th, 2017
Goodreads

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

First of all, let’s look at that cover. I just can’t stop looking at it. That gorgeous starry background, those gorgeous illustrations, and that font! I am the human equivalent of the heart-eyes emoji right now. This might be my favorite cover of the year.

When I finally moved past the cover and started reading the synopsis, I immediately knew one thing for sure: this book is going to make me cry. Granted, almost all of the books I read make me cry, but this one is going to break my heart in thousands of little pieces and make me cry. I’m not sure why I think this. There are a lot of sad things mentioned in the synopsis (not getting into dream school, an abusive uncle), but nothing that screams I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR HEART OUT. But I’m quite sure it will.

Anyway, this book has many things I love like the cover, the art, self discovery, and it even has a roadtrip feel  to it, so I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. It’ll get a very prominent place on my bookshelf, so I can stare at it forever.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

 

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #8

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with three book fitting three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not been released yet.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1)

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury

I received The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury in a Fairyloot box once, and it spend almost a year sitting on my TBR. When I finally picked it up, I kind of hated myself for not picking it up sooner.
The Forbidden Wish is an Aladdin retelling which puts the original to shame. It has great characters, a very interesting world and a great romance, and it’s certainly one I’d recommend.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3Binti (Binti, #1)

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Her 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.

Binti was my very first ebook purchase when I got my Kindle. I have heard so many amazing things about it that I just couldn’t resist it, even though I was kind of on a book buying ban. I’m definitely planning to pick this one up, once I finish the 5 books I’m reading now. And no, I’m not kidding about reading 5 books.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The GauntletThe Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.

Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?

I don’t think I can tell you how incredibly excited I am to get my hands on The Gauntlet. It’s one of my most anticipated 2017 releases, and I’m so happy that the wait for this book is almost over because I really can’t wait any longer.
The premise of this book sounds amazing, the cover is beautiful, and Karuna Riazi is such an incredible person and I can’t wait to read her work. (Also, if you’re not following her on Twitter yet, you’re missing out).

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

Review: The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis

The Paths We Choose (Lillac Town, #2)Title: The Paths We Choose (Lillac Town #2)
Author: Maria Hollis
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary
Goodreads

Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.
A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.

Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Just a few months ago I read the first book in the Lillac Town Series, The Melody of Me and You, and I loved it so much that I started following the author, Maria Hollis, on Twitter. When she tweeted about ARCs for The Paths We Choose I, of course, immediately jumped at the chance. And I might have screamed a little bit when my request was accepted.

I read The Paths We Choose in one sitting (with a few snack and toilet breaks), and it’s safe to say that I loved it.

The thing I probably loved most about TPWC was the amazing female friendships. We don’t get enough of those, and this one really made me aware of what I’ve missed in other books. I loved seeing the girls interact, have deep conversations, and even fight. Seeing such a real and amazing female friend group in a book made me so incredibly happy.

I also loved our main character, Lily. I love how she doesn’t label herself, and I loved seeing her affection for (my new book girlfriend) Mayte grow. Their relationship was so great, and I loved them together. Also, that airport scene? Iconic.

A thing that made this novella extra special to me, is that Lily gets in contact with her little brother, whom she hasn’t seen since she moved out of her family’s house. Having a little brother myself, this meant so much to me. The scene where he asked for her forgiveness made me tear up. Damn, even thinking about it makes me tear up again.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning is how sex-positive this book is. Lily and Mayte even have a conversation about what they do and don’t like in bed, and set boundaries. I’ve never seen this in a book before (at least, not in a ‘serious’ way), and I really appreciated it.

The Paths We Choose is definitely one of those books that I will pick up again on days where I feel shitty, because this book makes me so incredibly happy.

I will definitely read anything that Hollis writes in the future. I can’t wait to read the next novella in the Lillac Town series! (Seriously Maria, please hurry up, I need it.)

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Olivia @ Olivia Chanel’s Galaxy of Books (thank you so much!). I really liked doing this, since I loved the questions she asked. Anyway, let’s just get into it.

rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

q and a

1. What is your favorite season of the year?

Autumn. Definitely. I love seeing the colours of the leaves change, I love sweater weather, I love rainy walks, I love baking apple pies from the apples we picked from our apple tree, I just love everything about it.

2.Do you like reading books outside during summer?

I do! But I hate hot weather, so once it gets above 30 degrees I go inside and sit next to an air conditioner.

3. What is one lesson you have learned since you started blogging?

When I started blogging I thought it was going to be easy. I thought I could finish every review within 10 minutes and I could easily post something at least 3 times a week. Turns out it’s not that easy and blogging takes a lot of work. But it’s still a lot of fun!

4. What book have you reread the most times?

I’m not a big rereader. I don’t like reading a story when I already know everything that’s going to happen. I also have a very big TBR, and I feel a bit guilty for rereading a book when I’ve still got so many new stories to read.
The only book I’ve ever reread is probably Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which I reread only recently. I’m planning on rereading the whole series, because it’s one of my favorites and I really miss the world and the characters. Screw feeling guilty.

5. What blogger would you love to one day have a collaboration with?

This is going to be super cheesy, but I’ll have to go with the person who tagged me to do this, Olivia. She’s super creative and always has the best blogpost ideas, and have you seen her graphics? They’re works of art. She’s also a very good friend, and an incredibly kind person. Oh wow, while writing this I got an idea for a colab! Maybe I’ll DM her about it…

6. If you have any, how do you arrange your bookshelves?

Oh, this is going to be so difficult to explain because my shelves are a mess, but let me try. I basically have 4 different shelves: a big one next to my dresser, a smaller one in my ‘reading corner’, and 2 shelves on my wall.
My biggest one holds all of my fantasy reads, and the top shelf is solely dedicated to Rick Riordan books. Every shelf on that big bookshelf (does that sentence make any sense) is arranged in a different way, so I’m not even going to try to explain it because it’d get very confusing.
The smaller bookshelf in my reading corner holds all of my contemporary books, and is arranged by color. From my 2 shelves on the wall, the top one holds all of my hardbacks (because I don’t have many and like to keep them separate), and the bottom one holds all of my non-fiction, classics and poetry books.
I really hope that made sense to all of you.

7. What does a perfect day look like for you?

My perfect day would be a warm (15 degrees?) autumn day. A day where I can sleep in, and lie in bed reading for as long as I like. I get up, have freshly baked bread for breakfast, and get dressed. Then it starts to rain, and I grab my umbrella to go for a walk in the rain. I’ll visit my grandma. We do a few bordgames, have a cup of tea and have a great conversation.
When I’m home again, I bake an apple pie, and while it’s baking I grab my book and sit outside, where the sun is shining right now. I read until the apple pie is done, and then I nestle on the couch with my family and eat while we’re watching a Disney movie.
When it’s dinner time, I cook something delicious and we all eat it together, at the table outside. After dinner, I spend some more time with my family, and I read and maybe watch some Netflix. Then I go to bed.

8. Do you listen to music when you read and/or study?

I literally have the attention span of a gold fish. Every little sound I hear and every little thing I see distracts me, so no music. The only music I can tolerate while studying/reading is instrumental music, and even that makes it difficult.

9. What is your favorite song of all time?

I grew up listening to Bruce Springsteen music. Hell, I even use my dad’s old XXL Springsteen concert shirts as pajamas. My favorite song of his has to be Thunder Road, and listening to it always makes me smile because it reminds me of my childhood.
Three more ‘modern’ songs that I love are Yellow Brick Road by Agnus and Julia Stone, which always calms me down, Goodnight Moon by Go Radio, which helps me fall asleep, and Jenny by The Maine, which makes me feel a lot of emotions.

10. Do you schedule blog posts or post spontaneously?

I always schedule my posts, even if it’s for the next morning. I always pick a time that’s not to early, so I can read the post again in the morning just to check if there aren’t any obvious spelling mistakes.

11. What is one thing about you that not a lot of people know?

Oh, that’s a really hard one! I’m a really open person, so a lot of people probably know a lot about me. Hmm, I don’t think a lot of people know that I can play both the guitar and the ukulele? I haven’t done it in some time, but I can do it, haha. I also sing, but I’m not great.

questions

  1. If you had to make a playlist for the book you’re currently reading, what 3 songs would be on there?
  2. What is one blog post you’re incredibly proud of?
  3. What book has been on your TBR the longest?
  4. What, besides reading, is your favorite thing to do?
  5. What is one book that you wanted to love, but ended up hating?
  6. What is your favourite reading snack?
  7. What made you start blogging?
  8. Do you think you’ll still be blogging a year from now?
  9. If you had to pick 3 non-Harry Potter characters to share a room with at Hogwarts, who would you choose?
  10. What is your favorite first sentence of a book?
  11. Do you read poetry? If so, who is your favorite poet?

nominationspg

I want to nominate:

Lili @ Utopia State of Mind
 Alice @ Most Ardently Alice
Allie @ A Literary Wanderer
Chelsea @ romweasley
Sofia @ BookishWanderess
Fay @ suckerforcoffe
Puput @ Sparkling Letters
Nienke @ The Daily Planets
Ayla @ Books & Babbles
Taryn @ Novel Paradise
Whatthelog

I would love to see your answers to my questions! And thank you again Olivia for nominating me ❤

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

Diversity Spotlight Thursday

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

Diversity Spotlight Thurday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with three book fitting three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not been released yet.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

Peter DarlingPeter Darling by Austin Chant

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

I got an ARC of Peter Darling through Netgalley, and I really really enjoyed it. I loved the authors re-imagining of Neverland, and I loved how athmospheric the writing was. I also really enjoyed the characters (especially Hook), and the romantic relationship between Peter and Hook.

I really loved the ending of the book, and it made me fall in love with Peter and Hook even more. And I kind of want a book all about Ernest. Or Tink. It was excellent, and I can’t wait to read more of Austin Chant”s work.
Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The Unforgettables

The Unforgettables by GL Thomas

Back home in Chicago, Paul Hiroshima had it all.

Popularity, charming looks and a talent for the arts that made him admired by his peers. Moving to Portland, Maine the summer before his senior year was going to change all that. With his city life behind him, there was definitely no reason to make the best out of a bad situation—that is, until he meets the amazing Felicia Abelard.

Over a love of comic books and secret identities, Felicia becomes the sidekick to his hero; there’s just one problem: they weren’t supposed to fall in love.

As the season comes to an end, Paul and Felicia face in-depth challenges to preserve their summer formed bond. With the brink of the new school year at hand, this tale of best friends and first loves will make their year unforgettable.

I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about this one, and I don’t really want to. I don’t like to go into romance books already knowing the plotline. All I know is that a few of my Twitter/blogging friends liked it, and that it features an interracial romance. So, when I saw it in the kindle store for $3 I knew I had to get it. I’m really excited to get to it soon.
Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3
Queens of GeekQueens of Geek by Jen Wilde

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Queens of Geek is releasing very very soon (the Tuesday after this post goes up!!) and I’m incredibly excited about it. I’ve seen nothing but glowing reviews for this one, and just the idea of a romance with something like comic con as a backdrop sounds amazing to me. I really can’t wait to pick this one up.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

February Wrap-Up

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It’s save to say that not a lot happened in February. For some reason I get bad colds very easily, and I had 2 in February. I currently have another one, but we’re talking about February right now so that might be beside the point. Anyway, even though these colds sucked really bad, it did give me a lot of free time to read. And so I did.

A thing that wasn’t that fun, was that I had a bit of a relapse anxiety-wise. I had a lot of stress from school (my final exams are coming up!!!), and being sick on top of that really took it’s toll. I suddenly had a very hard time going out, because every time I stepped out of the house it felt like my throat was closing up, and while I hadn’t had a bad panic attack in some time, I had one in February. But I won’t give up. I’ll beat the anxiety-monster someday.

A thing that might be interesting to note is that I upped my Goodreads goal from 50 books to 100 books. I hit the 25-book-mark in February so I thought 100 books would be an easy number to reach. And, let’s face it, 100 books just sounds cool.

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As I mentioned in my life update, I got quite a lot of reading done because of me being ill, ao I’m quite proud of the number of books I read. And a lot of them were good one’s as well.

The Backstagers #5 and #6 by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh (★★★★/5 stars) – An incredibly fun and cute comic with a diverse cast of characters, that took a surprisingly creepy twist.
Peter Darling by Austin Chant (★★★★/5 stars) – The M/M Peter Pan retelling we all deserve.
Growing Pains by Cass Lennox (DNF) – Very problematic. Read my review here.
Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education by Raphaële Frier (★★★★/5 stars) – A children’s book about Malala’s life, with gorgeous art.
The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog (★★★/5 stars) – The original story of The Little Mermaid, with very pretty artwork.

Dreadnought by April Daniels (DNF) – A trans superhero story (TW: transphobia and abuse). Still working on my review for it to explain why I didn’t like it.
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui (★★★★★/5 stars) – A graphic novel about a family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, and the effect this had on the family. Amazing and very hard-hitting.
Girl out of Water by Laura Silverman (★★★★★/5 stars) – Absolutely perfect. A great summer-y contemporary about family relationships, featuring an adorable romance. Everyone should read this.
Ms. Marvel volumes 3 and 4 (★★★★/5 stars) – Ms. Marvel is the superhero we all deserve.

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton (★★★★★/5 stars) – A story about 3 ballerinas who’ll do anything to get on top, with a hint of mystery woven through it. I loved it, and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel.
salt. by Nayyirah Waheed (★★★★★/5 stars) – An extremely powerful and hard-hitting poetry collection.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (★★★/5 stars) – Your typical, but enjoyable, YA fantasy read.

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I’m currently, like almost always, in the middle of 3 books. I’m reading The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, which is very enjoyable and lifts my mood every time I pick it up. I’m also listening to Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay as an audiobook. I’ve owned a physical copy of this book for years now, and I picked it up several times but I couldn’t get into it. I thought an audiobook would make it easier but, no. Not really. Roxane is such an incredible and inspiring woman and I want to love her words, but non-fiction is just not for me. And I’m not happy about that.
I’m also reading Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra. The MC of this book is a book blogger, and it really motivates me to work on my blog more.

So, that’s it for this month. I hope you March will be a great month for all of you! ❤

249be-loveTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

A Not-Very-Positive Growing Pains Review

Growing Pains (Toronto Connections, #3)

Title: Growing Pains
Author: Cass Lennox
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads

Gigi Rosenberg is living his best life: performances in the big city, side gigs at a dance company, a successful drag act, and the boy of his childhood dreams who now adores him. Even if the boyfriend part isn’t the sparkly ride of passion he expected it to be, life is sweet. So when his sister’s wedding calls him back to his hometown, he sees an opportunity to show the hicks from his past how wrong they were about him. Only, his boyfriend isn’t quite on board.

Brock Stubbs left their hometown and his parents behind for a reason, and the prospect of facing them again is terrifying. He swore he’d never go back, but Gigi has made it clear refusal isn’t an option, and Brock will do nearly anything for him. There’s just one deal-breaker of a problem: Brock promised Gigi he was out to everyone, including his parents. He lied.

It’s magical to run into the sunset together, but staying the course takes work. For Gigi and Brock, going home feels like the finale of a long, disappointing year. Sometimes love isn’t all you need.

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

I was super excited to see Growing Pains on Netgalley, since I really enjoyed Finding Your Feet. Sadly, it came to my attention that Finding Your Feet was quite problematic (read the top review on Goodreads), so I decided to go into Growing Pains with critical eyes.

Also, I want to apologize for not picking up on the problematic aspects of this book sooner. I’ll do better. Now, let’s get into the review.

I’m going to be completely honest here and tell you I ended up DNF’ing the book. I always try to at least finish books that I get for review, but this was just too painful to read.
The first big painful thing I encountered was the fact that, during a sex scene, one of the main characters “molested their shoulders”. What? That’s just not an okay thing to say/write? And using the word ‘molested’ in a sex scene just seems very very wrong.

Then came the fact that one of the main characters told the other main character (who was abused by his parents) that his parents probably weren’t that bad. Seriously? The abused main character was also forced into situations where he had to interact with his abusers, and it was just, as I’ve previously mentioned, too painful to read. The whole ‘abuse’-story line just wasn’t handled well.

Then you add a few fat shaming comments in the mix and a bit of ableist language, and ta da, we have a DNF.

The writing was still okay. It was very easy to read, and easy to be sucked into, but I couldn’t look past the problematic-ness of the book. I wouldn’t recommend this book, at all.

249be-loveTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads