Review: Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles

Fresh Ink: An AnthologyTitle: Fresh Ink
Edited by: Lamar Giles
Genres: Young Adult anthology

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.


I have said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m not the biggest fan of anthologies. Short stories often just don’t work for me so, why do I keep picking them up? Because in every single anthology there’s always at least one short story that I absolutely adore, and that makes the entire anthology worth it. And, luckily for me, this anthology had quite a few of those stories.

Here’s a little overview of my thoughts on all of the stories:

Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds, 4 stars – Jason Reynolds is one of my favorite authors, and I always love his writing and his characters. But I think I like his full-length books more than his short stories.
Meet Cute by Malinda Lo, 5 stars – A f/f story set at a convention? Sign me up! I loved this a lot, and I kind of want a longer version of this.
Don’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth, 4 stars – I always really enjoy Eric Gansworths writing, and the story was very important. Loved the characters.
Be Cool for Once by Aminah Mae Safi, 3 stars – This was enjoyable and I liked the setting, but me and Amina Mae Safi’s writing just don’t match.
Tags by Walter Dean Myers, 4 stars – I normally never read plays so it was a bit confusing at first, but this was incredibly chilling and powerful. (TW: death, gun violence)
Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan, 5 stars – If you can get me to cry over a story within just a few pages, you automatically deserve 5 stars. Plus, I’m just a sucker for food descriptions and cooking scenes.
A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older, 4 stars – Daniel José Olders writing is just incredible, and I really enjoyed this story.
A Boy’s Duty by Sharon G. Flake, DNF – This just did not work for me at all. The setting was great, it was very atmospheric, but I felt very lost. Plus, you know something’s wrong when a short story feels like it’s never going to end.
One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz, 3.5 stars – It was an enjoyable story, but the ending felt super abrupt.
Palladin/Samurai by Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham – This was basically impossible to read on my kindle, so I really hope that’ll be fixed in the final copy. But the illustrations looked really good, as far as I could see.
Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar, 5 stars – This was very hard to read, mostly because my eyes were filled with tears the entire time. (TW: transphobia)
Super Human by Nicola Yoon, 5 stars – Nicola Yoon’s stories in anthologies are always so unique and I love them a lot. This was incredible. (TW: gun violence)

This was definitely one of the best anthologies I’ve ever read (not that I’ve read many, but still), and I’d totally recommend all of them!

(trigger warning: besides the trigger warnings next to certain stories, almost every single one of them deals with racism.)

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August Bookish Bullet Journal

headerHi everyone! Back in February I tried bookish bullet journaling for the first time and made a post about it. I really liked putting the whole thing together but there’s definitely a reason why there hasn’t been an update on it: it was a bit of a disaster. I really tried keeping track of the whole thing but I just forgot about it halfway through the month…

This month, I decided to try again. I really felt like doing something creative, and I wanted to organize my reading a little bit and see how much reading I actually get done. And while I don’t like this set-up as much as the February one, I still like it a lot.

augustThis is what the first page looks like. I never know what to do myself, so I kind of copied it off this Pinterest picture, because I’m definitely not creative enough to think of something myself. I later added the paper with the plants because the next page has a calender which I colored in, and it bled through pretty badly so I tried to hide that. Lees verder

Down the TBR Hole (#11-20)


Hi everyone! Today I’m going to start a new recurring thing on my blog called down the TBR hole, which was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story. The “rules” for down the TBR hole are to go to your Goodreads to-read shelf, change the order to ascending date added, pick the first ten books and then decide whether they’re going to stay on your TBR, or go.

Normally I would write a seperate piece on every single one of these books, but this time it’s quite easy: I’m going to remove every single one of these off my TBR, except for Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed, which I still really want to learn but I’m too scared to pick it up because it sounds like it’s going to break my heart.

For almost every single other book the reason for removing it is the same: I’ve lost interest. I still doubted whether I should remove The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Renegades by Marissa Meyer, since I’ve heard quite a few great things about them and they do sound quite interesting, but there are so many other books I’m way more interested in. Plus, I just really want to get my Goodreads shelves down to as little books as possible.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and Loneliness

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Don’t Watch Insatiable; Read These Books With Fat Main Characters Instead


Hi everyone! I’m sure that everyone has probably heard about the upcoming Netflix show Insatiable by now, and how incredibly hurtful it is to fat people like myself. I’m not here to write an essay on why the show is so hurtful because there are a lot of articles on that already (summary: putting thin actors in fat suits is never okay, and having a character lose a lot of weight in a very unhealthy manner just so she can get the confidence to get revenge is also not okay).

No, I’m here to provide you with a list of books that feature fat characters, that are written by fat authors, that aren’t fatphobic and are a lot of fun, so you can read these instead of watching the show!

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Review: To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

To Be HonestTitle: To Be Honest
Author: Maggie Ann Martin
Genres: Young Adult contemporary

Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.


Thank you so much to Macmillan for sending me an ARC of this book.

To be honest, I was very afraid of reading this book. The main character in this book is fat, and her mom is constantly trying to lose weight to try and keep up with the weight she lost after being on an extreme weight loss program, and her mom tries to pressure her to lose weight too.

The reason why I was scared is because I’m a fat woman too, and I’ve been around people who try and pressure me to lose weight for a long long time. I’m trying to feel positive about my body, but it’s incredibly hard. And I thought reading the mom’s comments would get to me. And it did. Luckily the main character, Savannah, was very fat positive and made me feel a lot better. I loved that, and we need so many more fat-positive books. Lees verder

Review: Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham

Don't Stop Thinking About TomorrowTitle: Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
Author: Siobhan Curham
Genres: Young adult contemporary

Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum … and her mum’s depression. When Stevie’s mum’s disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father’s 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz’s parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie… As Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.


Thank you so much to Walker Books for sending me a review copy of this book. 

I was in a bit of a reading slump when I started Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow, and it pulled me right out of that slump, and I ended up finishing the book in a little more than a day. This book is the perfect slump-beater. It’s easy to get into, a very quick-read, and the chapters are very short because you keep switching between perspectives which was perfect for me because I tend to get a little bored while reading long chapters, and lose my focus.

The mental health representation in this book is something I feel conflicted about. Stevie’s mother suffers from depression and anxiety and she spends all day in bed. I liked how the book explored therapy and medication, but I didn’t like how Stevie’s mum quite suddenly got better after changing her medication and going to therapy once. This is something that happens quite often in books and I feel like it’s quite harmful, because when I got ill, all of my friends expected me to be better in a couple of weeks. That obviously didn’t happen. We need to show that recovery is, often times, a long and slow process, and I wish we’d seen a little more of that in the book.

Stevie also talks about “catching her mom’s depression” in the book, which is also just a very harmful thing to say. Depression, nor any other mental illnesses, are contagious.

I loved both main characters, Hafiz and Stevie, and how passionate they both were for the things they loved. Hafiz about soccer and stories, and Stevie about music. I also really loved the friendship that blossomed between them, and even though there were definitely some hints at romance (spoiler) I’m honestly really glad this book solely focused on the friendship. We need more of that in YA.

A big thing that kept me from 100% loving this book though, was the fact that this book wasn’t ownvoices. From statistics I’ve seen it’s incredibly clear that not enough stories by people of color are published worldwide, and also in the UK, so the fact that this story that focused a lot on the refugee crisis in Syria wasn’t written by someone who’s lived through this experience feels wrong. And I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more real this book could’ve been.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the author chose to shed light on such an important topic, and I really hope people are going to pay more attention to what’s going on because of it, but… yeah.

Overall, I did like reading the book and I’m incredibly grateful for the fact that it got me out of my slump, but there were definitely a few things that kept me from loving it.

(trigger warnings: depression, anxiety, racism, refugee crisis, stories about death) 

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Wrap-Up: July 2018


This month had quite a few ups and downs: I had my last few exams which were incredibly stressful, but I passed, so I’m officially on summer break! I didn’t read much for the first half of the month because of my exams, but I got to read a lot in the second half. Mostly because it was 40 degrees outside so I couldn’t do much beside sit on the couch, feel gross and sticky, and read.

August is going to be a month where I don’t have to do any school related activities, so I’ll (hopefully) get to read a lot! That’s exactly why I decided to participate in #ARCAugust, and you can find my TBR here. I’m also going away for a couple of days in August, which is both very exciting, but also terrifying because of my agoraphobia. I really hope it’ll go well.

Knipsel Lees verder