All Of the Books I’ve Gotten Since August | Book Haul

Hi everyone! I’ve never really been that into book hauls. Making them myself, that is, because I do adore watching them. Why? Well, I just don’t buy that many books. I simply just don’t have the money for it. But I did get some pretty great books over the last couple of weeks that I wanted to show off, so I thought I’d put together all of the books I’ve gotten since August and make a book haul for y’all! 1So these first books actually have quite an exciting story behind them, because I got them at an actual physical bookstore! I hadn’t been to a bookstore for 2 years previous to this because of my agoraphobia, and when I was there for the second time (the first time I was there, I ran out in a panic after 2 minutes lmao) I thought I’d treat myself, so I got Top Ten by Katie Cotugno and It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne. Both books that I probably wouldn’t have bought otherwise, but books I’m quite excited about nonetheless. 2Dear Martin by Nic Stone is one of the books I got most recently. I read the ARC of it a few weeks back and I absolutely loved it, and while I normally never buy copies of books that I’ve already read because of money reasons, I loved this so much that I just had to get a copy. And I don’t regret it at all.
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz is a book that I haven’t read yet, but I want to very soon. I’ve had my eye on it ever since I heard about it at the beginning of the year, but I somehow never got around to picking it up. Honestly, all I remember about this book is that the main character is a queer girl, and it involves art. What more do I want?3These three books were all gifts. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik and Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis I got from a friend as a very very late (read: 6 months late) birthday present and I’m very excited about them! I’ve heard so many great things about both books and I can’t wait to dive into them.
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro is a book that my parents picked up for me when they were at a bookstore. I was super excited about it because it’s a Sherlock retelling and I’ve just watched the first 5 seasons of Elementary and I loved that show so much, so I hope it’ll have a bit of a same feeling to it.
4Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh, Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor are all books I got because of people shouting about them on Twitter, and I’m so excited to read them?? I honestly don’t know a lot about any of them, but I really trust the people that recommended them to me so I’m 99% certain I’ll love them. 5I also got 2 ARCS which both have such incredibly gorgeous covers. I mean, just look at them?? I read Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza a few months back and I really enjoyed it, so I can’t wait to dive into Blood of a Thousand Stars, which is the second book in this series. The Speaker by Traci Chee is also a second book in a series, the Sea of Ink and Gold series, and it’s honestly one of my most favorite series in the world. Ever. I finished The Speaker just this week and I loved it so, so much so you can look out for a glowing review for that one!
6#NotYourPrincess by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale is the book I purchashed most recently. I meant to read this for Native American Heritage Month but I didn’t get around to finishing it because my mental health was very shitty and this book deals with very difficult subjects and I just couldn’t handle it. But, so far, the book is incredibly beautiful, powerful and emotional, and I would definitely recommend it. And I absolutely adore the art that’s in it!

So, that’s all of the books I’ve gotten since August! Now tell me, if you were given the money to buy a book right now, what book would you pick?

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and Loneliness
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Mental Health Book Bingo Announcement + TBR

I’m so incredibly excited to let you all know about Mental Health Book Bingo, a month long read-a-thon which focuses on mental health related books!

The bingo was created by Wendy from whatthelog, and the event is inspired by Asian Lit Bingo which was created by Shenwei from READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA. I’m so happy I was asked to be one of the hosts, and I can’t wait to share everything with you all because we have quite a few exciting things planned!

Your hosts:

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The amazing CW from artfromafriend designed the bingo sheet, and I’m in love with it!

This read-a-thon will take place during the whole month of January. (This used to be November but since we didn’t realize November was also Native American Heritage Month, we decided to move it to January). The goal is to read as many as many mental health books as you can, guided by the various prompts on the bingo sheet. You can also try to get a bingo (read books in relation to all of the prompts in a single row) but you don’t have to! It’s already amazing that you’re reading even one mental health related book. Also, to give you all a little bit of extra motivation: the person who is able to cross of the most prompts can win a mental health goodie box (international)!

I’m still not 100% sure what books I’ll be choosing to read, but here is a little TBR of books I might get to:

I’m personally not planning on reading a lot of mental health related books, since I know that that’s not that great for my own mental health, and self care is the most important thing! I, however, really want to read a poetry collection about MI and a graphic novel with a MC with a mental illness. I have no idea what I’m going to pick though, so if any of you have any recommendations, please let me know!

We have also made a Goodreads list full of mental health related books, in case you need some help finding them. Please feel free to add books to it, too!

We also have quite a few exciting things planned, and here’s the schedule:

Jan 3: UK Twitter chat
Jan 10: Twitter chat with Louise Gornall
Jan 17: Australasia Twitter chat
Jan 24: Akemi Dawn Bowman interview on whatthelog
Jan 25: US Twitter Chat
Jan 28: Katrina Leno interview on Of Wonderland
Jan 29: Twitter chat with Mariam Khan
Jan 30: Twitter chat with Hello Me It’s You

Every Twitter related event will be done through our MHBookBingo Twitter account, and you can use the #MHBookBingo hashtag for all your Mental Health Book Bingo related posts.

We’re incredibly excited about this month long read-a-thon, and we hope you are too!

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Five More 2018 Releases I’m Incredibly Excited About

Hi! In September I shared my first post on 2018 releases that I’m incredibly excited about, and today I’m doing another one! I have to be totally honest with y’all and say that I’ll probably end up doing a few more of these since I haven’t even discussed 5% of all of the 2018 books I’m excited about (there are so SO MANY), but I personally really don’t mind. I hope you don’t either.

Hullmetal GirlsHullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

For fans of Pierce Brown and Rhoda Belleza, here is epic space adventure full of action, heart and two kick-butt heroines.

Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor’s salary isn’t enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.

Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.

In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha’s and Key’s paths collide, and the two must learn to work together–a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity.

With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.

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Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.

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Give Me Some Truth

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth

Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. A rock band — and winning the local Battle of the Bands, with its first prize of a trip to New York City — is his best shot. But things keep getting in the way. Small matters like the lack of an actual band, or the fact that his brother just got shot confronting the racist owner of a local restaurant.

Maggi Bokoni has just moved back to the reservation from the city with her family. She’s dying to stop making the same traditional artwork her family sells to tourists (conceptual stuff is cooler), stop feeling out of place in her new (old) home, and stop being treated like a child. She might like to fall in love for the first time too.

Carson and Maggi — along with their friend Lewis — will navigate loud protests, even louder music, and first love in this stirring novel about coming together in a world defined by difference.

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From Twinkle, with Love

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

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The Girl and the Grove

The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith

Teenager Leila’s life is full of challenges. From bouncing around the foster care system to living with seasonal affective disorder, she’s never had an easy road. Leila keeps herself busy with her passion for environmental advocacy, monitoring the Urban Ecovists message board and joining a local environmental club with her best friend Sarika. And now that Leila has finally been adopted, she dares to hope her life will improve.

But the voices in Leila’s head are growing louder by the day. Ignoring them isn’t working anymore. Something calls out to her from the grove at Fairmount Park.

So, that’s all for today! Please leave a comment telling me about what your most anticipated 2018 release is, because I’m very excited to see!

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SapphicAThon TBR

Hi everyone! I hope most of you have heard about SapphicAThon by now, but just in case you haven’t; SapphicAThon is a readathon hosted by Tasha, AmelieEliseJamieson, and Miriam that focuses on books featuring f/f relationships! It takes place from the 14th of December until the 28th of December. They also have a very pretty bingo sheet full of challenged that you can complete during the readathon if you want to. You can find the announcement post here.

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I’ve been having such a hard time coming up with what books to read because I just have so so many f/f books I’m incredibly excited about, and I felt like I needed to do something very unlike me, which is making a realistic and do-able TBR of about 5 books. But then I saw Tasha and Jamieson’s TBRs and I thought: screw it. I’m just going to pick a book for every single challenge and we’ll see what I’ll actually get done! So, here’s my TBR:

Bisexual MC: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
SF/F: The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
<500 Ratings: Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember
Jewish MC: The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

QWOC MC: Huntress by Malinda Lo
Ace Spec MC: Daybreak Rising by Kiran Oliver
Established Relationship: The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie
Friends to Lovers F/F: Marian by Ella Lyons

Trans MC: Cinder Ella by S. T. Lynn
Non Coming Out Story: Echo After Echo by Emy Rose Capetta
Hate to Love F/F: Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
Both WOC: Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Disabled MC: Far From You by Tess Sharpe
F/F Retelling: Ash by Malinda Lo
Interracial F/F Relationship: Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee
MC Realizes They’re Queer: The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale

There are only a few books that I’m for sure going to read: Winterglass, because it’s an ARC, The Love Song of Sawyer Bell, also because it’s an ARC (yes, I’m late, I know) and because my friend Min hyped it up so much that I can’t wait to read it, and The Edge of the Abyss, because I’m buddyreading it with Min. I also want to listen to an audiobook so either one of Malinda Lo’s books or Echo after Echo is also for sure going to be read.

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I’m so incredibly excited about this readathon and looking at my TBR, I kind of want to start right this second. Those 2 weeks are going to be great, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get through a lot of these books.

So, tell me; are you going to be participating in this readathon? If so, what books are you planning on reading? 

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Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear MartinTitle: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Genres: YA Contemporary
Goodreads

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

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Dear Martin completely blew me away.

It’s been about a month since I’ve read Dear Martin (yes, I’m behind on my reviews again, shhh) and there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t thought about it. About the events that took place in the book, about the characters, about the amazing way the book was written and how I wish this wasn’t a debut book and that Nic Stone had already written 20 other books that I could marathon read right now.

The thing about the characters in this book are that they completely come to life. Well, not literally, of course, -that would be terrifying,- but usually whenever I read a book I will stop thinking about the characters once I close the book. Maybe I’ll think of them when someone else mentions them, or when I see the book on my shelf. But with this book it was different. The characters really stayed with me. So much so that I sometimes think about what they’re up to now. Like they’re real people.

This kind of makes sense because Nic Stone managed to make the characters seem so real. She made everything seem so incredibly real. From the dialogue to the setting, everything was so incredibly perfect. You know how sometimes you’re reading a book and a character says something, and you just know that no one would ever say that in real life? Well, this book didn’t have that. At all. And it was great.

The book is only a little over 200 pages, and the way the author managed to tell such a complete story in so little pages is incredible. The whole book is incredible, and it really packs a punch. The way it deals with such difficult topics like racism, police brutality, racial profiling is so powerful, and I just know that it’ll stay with me for a very very long time.

Needless to say, I think this book should be required reading, and I will be reading every single thing Nic Stone writes in the future. From short stories to 700-page books; I’ll read it. Because, in my opinion, Dear Martin is for sure one of the best books of 2017.

Tw: violence, sudden death of character.

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Review: Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

Chaotic GoodTitle: Chaotic Good
Author: Whitney Gardner
Genres: YA Contemporary
Goodreads

Cosplay, comic shops, and college applications collide in this illustrated novel, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Noelle Steveson!

Cameron’s cosplay–dressing like a fictional character–is finally starting to earn her attention–attention she hopes to use to get into the CalTech costume department for college. But when she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans.

When Cameron’s family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town–her main destination for character reference–is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop.

At her twin brother’s suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she’s shocked at how easily she’s accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her bro Cooper, dragged along for good measure.

But as her “secret identity” gets more and more entrenched, Cameron’s portfolio falls by the wayside–and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious.

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Chaotic Good is a delightfully nerdy, feminist and cute read, and I really enjoyed it. But there are two things that really bothered me. Let’s just start with those so we can get them out of the way and then fangirl about the rest of the book.

The main character cross-dresses for most of the book. She decided to do this after she went to a comic store where she was belittled the entire time just because she was a girl, and she thought going there as a boy would make it a lot easier. This didn’t bother me perse, but what bothered me was that in the entire book, there is not one single mention of non-binary people. Nothing. Not a word. Which then also caused a few slightly problematic scenes, like when the main character came clean and this other character basically told her that he had already figured out she was a girl dressing up.

It gave me flashbacks of Noteworthy, but at least there was one scene in which the character acknowledged non-binary people in that book, in Chaotic good there wasn’t even a single sentence.

Another thing that bothered me a bit was that a guy developed a crush on the ‘guy version’ of the main character, Cameron. She was very clear towards him about the fact that she didn’t like him that way and that she wanted to be friends, but according to her twin she was still leading him on by pretending she was a guy around him. What? How? What does that even mean? You can’t lead someone on just by being a certain gender? That’s… *sigh*

What I do want to add to this is that I got the ARC of Chaotic Good back in July, and the book comes out in March. Maybe the author has made changes, I’m not sure. I’m definitely planning on checking out the final product to see, and if there are differences in the way the things I’ve addressed are treated then I will definitely let y’all know.

Now, let’s move on to the good. And luckily, there was quite a lot of it.

One of the things that I loved most was that the main character loves cosplay, and makes all of the costumes herself. There were quite a few scenes in the book where she was sowing, and it was amazing. Entrancing. I always love reading about characters who are creating something. There’s always just something absolutely magical about it.

Cameron, the main character, posts pictures of her cosplay online and the abuse she receives was incredibly heartbreaking and hard to read about. The author includes various of these comments in the book, and they’re brutal. But they’re so real. They’re so much like the abuse I’ve seen a few people in the community get, and while it’s difficult to read, I really appreciate the author discussing the topic since I’ve never seen that been discussed in a book before.

Let’s just get back to the negative for a second because while writing this I remembered another thing that I didn’t really like and that’s the fact that the main character never really gets angry. So much shit is happening to her. She’s getting harassed, she is doxxed, her twin is angry with her, her new ‘friends’ give her shit, and she doesn’t get angry once. She even apologizes to her brother and her friends. I was so angry for her and I was kind of frustrated with some of her actions because I just wanted her to stand up for herself. Yell. Scream. Etc. But there was none of that. Which in turn made me feel even more frustrated.

This review is getting a bit too long, so let me just list a couple more things I liked about this book:

  • The main character falls for a larger, very nerdy guy. Large guys are not often a LI, and it was great to see that change in this book
  • The main character’s parents are older (in their 60’s) and they’re absolutely adorable, and have a great relationship
  • There’s an elderly women in the book who is also very adorable but also badass and I loved her
  • There are scenes where the characters are playing D&D and I loved reading about that, since I’ve never played before but I’ve always been intruiged
  • The author has also drawn little comics that you can see throughout the book and I loved them!!!
  • The writing is very fast paced and easy to read, so I finished the book in a day

So, overall, this book was incredibly fun, nerdy and easy to read, but the problems that I had with it did make it a lot less enjoyable to read. Authors: non-binary people exist. Don’t erase them. Your readers (or everyone, really) deserve better.

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October Wrap-up | SO MANY BOOKS??

 

header2.PNGWhat a month. October went by so incredibly slowly for me, and that really showed when I was making this wrap-up. Goodreads always guides me when it comes to seeing what books I read in what month and I was so surprised when I saw what books I had read in October. I could’ve sworn I read some of these ages ago. The beginning of the month feels like ages ago.

I’ve been so incredibly stressed this October. School was a lot, anxiety was a lot, etc. Oh, and speaking of anxiety; I got a new therapist this month! She’s nice and all but I’m not too happy about it since I was basically forced to go from meeting with a therapist once a week to once a month. I mean, it’s good news because that means I’m ‘stable’ but it’s also terrifying.

Anyway, let’s look at the books I read this month!

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Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski (★★★★/5 stars)
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds (★★★★/5 stars)
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (★★★★/5 stars)
Lumberjanes Vol. 7 (★★★★★/5 stars)
Ripped Pages by M. Hollis (★★★★/5 stars)

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (★★★★★/5 stars)
De Passievrucht by Karel Glastra van Loon (★★/5 stars)
Familieziek by Adriaan van Dis (★/5 stars)
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (★★★★★/5 stars)
El Deafo by Cece Bell (★★★★★/5 stars)

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (★★★★/5 stars)
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (★★★★/5 stars)
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (★★★/5 stars)
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (★★★★★/5 stars)
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom (★★★/5 stars)

The Young Elites by Marie Lu (★★★/5 stars)
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (★★★★★/5 stars)
Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner (★★★★/5 stars)
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner (★★★★/5 stars)

I’ve also read a bunch of comics today, namely, Giant Days vol. 2, Misfit City #1, Lumberjanes #29-#36 and Hi-Fi Fight Club #1-#3, and y’all, HI-FI FIGHT CLUB IS SO INCREDIBLY GOOD. The art is great, there’s a kickass girls-fighting-crime squad, the setting is amazing, plus IT’S QUEER. Please pick it up, it’s definitely one of the best things I’ve read in a while.

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I’m currently listening to 2 audiobooks: Max Havelaar by Multatuli and If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth. Max Havelaar is probably one of the most famous Dutch works of literature and needless to say, I hate it. I’m reading it for school and I literally have no idea what’s going on. None. If I Ever Get Out of Here is a book I’m reading for National Native American Heritage Month and I can’t say a lot about it so far because I’ve only listened to 20 minutes of it. But I am liking it so far.
I’m kind of cheating by including Love Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed because I haven’t *technically* started it yet, but I’m planning on doing so tonight. And since it’s still the 31st of October while I’m writing this, I thought I’d include it anyway.

As you can see, I had an incredibly good reading month. I hope I’ll be able to continue that in November!

Now, tell me, what was the best book you read in October?

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