My #Pondathon TBR

Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.Hi everyone! As you might know (and if you don’t then you really should because this is amazing) my lovely friend CW created a magical readathon called the Pondathon! There’s a whole backstory and a very thorough explanation of this readathon which you can all find on CW’s blog here, and I really encourage you to read up on it a bit and join too because it’s going to be so much fun! You can join a team, complete quests, create your own character… it’s truly is amazing and I’m in awe of CW and how she put this all together.

Anyway, in this post I’m going to be sharing my own character with you all, as well as the books I’m planning to read.

character card

My character is an adorable little bee called Clover, Captain of the Clouds, and her title might have been inspired by digging through a fantasy name generator for a little bit, haha. It took me a little bit to find her name and title, but once I did it fit perfectly because 1) I love alliteration, and 2) it reminded me very much of a song called Captains of the Sky by Sky Sailing, which I immediately made Clover’s theme song. Lees verder

My 14 Favorite Reads of 2019


Hi everyone! So, as you’ve probably already guessed we’re going to be talking about my 14 favorite books of 2019 today! I wanted to have this post up in the beginning of January but then I had a bunch of other posts to upload and… here we are. But better late than never, right?

Last year, I separated my young adult contemporary, young adult SFF and middle grade favorites posts because there were just too many books to talk about but this year that’s sadly not the case. I’m not sure whether I just read less, whether my standards for books have become higher or whether I read more meh books, but while I did read a lot of books I really really enjoyed I don’t think I’ve found any books that, when I think back to them, fill me with the same joy that I had about my favorite books in 2018, which makes me a little sad. (I later wrote a whole post about it and actually found out why but I don’t know what to write here otherwise so we’re just leaving it like this.)

So, let’s just get into it and let me tell you about my favorite books of 2019!  Lees verder

My Best Friend Picks My TBR, 2020 Edition


Hi everyone! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you might’ve known that last year my best friend Fadwa and I did a little project in which we both picked out a small stack of books the other had to read within the year. If you read either of our wrap-up poststhat we posted recently, you might also know that we loved doing this and that we both found new favorite books through each others recommendations. This is why we decided that we’re going to be doing it again this year, and I’m so incredibly excited about it!

Today I’ll be sharing the books Fadwa picked for me, why she picked these books, and my very excited reaction (or not, who knows, maybe I suddenly hate Fadwa’s reading taste, that’s a thing that could happen. definitely.) to her choices.

Also! If you want to see what books I want Fadwa to read in 2020, you can check out her TBR here.

408647981) I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

Fadwa: This book is on here for a completely selfish reason,which is that I want Laura to read it with me. I haven’t read I Wanna Be Where You are either, even though I’ve been dying to do so for MONTHS. Things kept getting in the way. But hopefully buddy-reading it with my best friend will help make it a priority. It has everything I love in a fluffy YA contemporary: a cute romance, a road-trip, a main character with a passion she’d do anything to go after AND the main character is Black and lord knows we need more fluffy books about Black girls.

Laura: We’re staring this off with a buddy read? That automatically means we’re starting off strong because I always love reading books with Fadwa! And I can’t wait to read this one because it sounds so happy and fluffy and I tend to really like road-trip books so, I can’t wait! I might’ve already ordered this one.Okay, I definitely did. Lees verder

2019, a Reading Year in Review (The Good, The Bad and What I Want To Change) (aka, Just One Giant Ramble, Much Like This Title)


Hi everyone! I know this post might be a little late because I’ve seen so many people post their end-of-year-posts already, but I haven’t been doing great mentally for the past few weeks so I haven’t really been feeling like writing anything. But I’m doing a little better today so I thought I’d write something now!

Anyway, looking back 2019 has been a strange reading year. Despite me surpassing my reading goal (according Goodreads I’ve read a whopping 158 books last year) and reading quite a few books I like, I’d overall describe my reading this year as meh. Just, meh. It’s just that, despite the fact that there haven’t been a lot of books I actively disliked this year besides Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate (okay, I usually like Riley Redgate but this was just Bad), Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston  (I don’t think robot-human romances are for me and I felt very bored), Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan (NO NO NO NO) and All the Feels by Danika Stone (Bad. Just, Bad.) there also haven’t really been a lot books that I absolutely fell head over heels in love with.Afbeeldingsresultaat voor disappointing gif Lees verder

My Best Friend Picks My 2019 TBR, a Wrap-Up


Hi everyone! Last year my best friend Fadwa (who runs the most amazing blog and booktube channel) (seriously, she’s incredible) (I hope that one day this blog will come close to the quality that hers is, wow) and I decided to each make each other a list of books we wanted the other to read, and then give each other a whole year to get to these books (you can find my post about this here). This felt like the perfect way to test out how much we knew each other’s reading taste, and a great way to force the other to finally read our favorite books and make them explore genres they previously hadn’t read yet.

As you’ve all hopefully noticed, it’s currently 2020 so it’s time for a wrap-up! Did I get to all the books Fadwa picked out for me, and did I like them? Did I absolutely despise one of Fadwa’s favorite books, which led to her flying out here just to yell at me? I guess we’ll see.

Also, if you’re interested in seeing what books I picked out for Fadwa and whether she liked them or not, you can find her wrap-up post here.

312070171) Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Fadwa said:

I’m starting with this one because it is quite possibly the book that I’ve pushed Laura to read the most in 2018 and SHE STILL HASN’T, […]  all is forgiven as long as she reads it this year *Gives Laura sidelong look*.

I’m very happy to announce that Fadwa can stop giving me a sidelong look because I did it! I finally read Love, Hate and Other Filters! This was the very first book on the list that I reached for because I was incredibly excited about it and while I have to admit that I don’t remember all the details anymore (I have a bad memory and it’s almost been a year, please forgive me) one of the things I remember most clearly about this book was the relationship between the main character and her family. Lees verder

All of the Books On My TBR Shelf – A #StartOnYourShelfathon Sign-Up Post

#StartOnYourShelfathon: A 2020 readathon hosted by the quiet pond. read your unread books and collect stars!

Hi everyone! When CW first announced she was planning on creating a year long readathon all about backlist books called the #StartOnYourShelfathon I was super excited and immediately wanted to join. This readathon is all about getting to those books on your TBR that you’ve been neglecting for quite some time, while being motivated by a lovely sloth named Castor and his star maps.

I have quite a few books on my TBR and I’ve been wanting to reduce this for some time, so this readathon sounded perfect. And with me being the way I am, I got over excited and bought a TBR cart so that I’d have a better overview, made myself a spreadsheet that included all of my physical TBR books, the kindle books I’m still most excited about, and my ARC TBR, and I also installed the Bookly app to track my reading. So. I guess I’m prepared, and I’m very ready to get started.

So, let’s go discuss my goals and my TBR for this readathon!


  1. My physical TBR currently consists of about 60 books, and I want to cut this down to 30 or maybe even 20. I know that reading all of them just isn’t realistic, and I also just don’t want to do that because I still want to have a good selection of books on my TBR at all time, but I do want to cut down my TBR by a lot since it’s just too much right now.
  2. I suck at setting time aside to physically read a book, so I want to make it a goal to read for at least 30 minutes a day whenever I’m able to and track this using the Bookly app.
  3. I do want to allow myself to buy books (since I barely do that anyway) but these will count towards my end goal. Even if I add books to my TBR I will still have a TBR of only 20-30 books in the end.
  4. I want to stop requesting e-arcs, or at least restrict my requesting by a lot, because doing a lot of ARC reading and keeping up with this readathon will be too overwhelming. I will read 2020 releases at the same time as everyone else, and I will read them as an audiobook so that I won’t add more physical books to my TBR.
  5. I want to DNF more books, because I’ve read too many disappointing books this year and I can’t waste my time on more of them if I want to succeed in this challenge.

I could probably add more goals but everything can be condensed to; I will make an effort to cut my physical TBR down to 30 books. That’s it. But apparently I like to ramble a lot. Sorry.



Okay so this is an overview of my TBR cart. A look at all of the physical books that are on my TBR. I feel weirdly ashamed of this, especially because it doesn’t even include my e-TBR, or the “pile of shame” books that I hide behind this first row of books I’m actually excited about, oops. But hopefully I’ll be able to show you all my physical TBR at the end of the year and not feel shame anymore? Anyway, let’s dive into what books are on here. Lees verder

40+ Very Exciting 2020 Middle Grade Releases


Hi everyone! Like I promised in my 2020 young adult releases post, I’m bringing you a list of my most anticipated 2020 middle grade releases today! I’m both really excited about this list but also very overwhelmed, because all of these titles sound so ridiculously good but how will I be able to get to all of them and the very exciting young adult releases and my backlist? Someone help, please?

Anyway, I hope you will all be just as excited about all of these titles as I am, and that you might add some of these (or all, I’m not picky) to your TBR!


Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (January 14th) – Ancient monsters? Traditional Navajo tales? Rick Riordan Presents? Yes, yes and YES.
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business and Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade by Lyla Lee (January 14th) – I’ve been following this author on Twitter for a while and I was so excited when she announced her book deal, and these books look adorable!
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (January 14th) – So I’ve already read this one so I can personally tell you that it’s a good one and that you should add it to your TBR. Like, right now.
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller (January 28th) – I loved this author’s previous book, The Science of Breakable Things, and this one sounds so lovely and magical. And when I saw that one of the comp titles is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon I knew I needed to read it ASAP. Lees verder

67 Very Exciting 2020 YA Releases


Hi everyone! Like probably every other book blogger out there at this time of year I’m here to present you my most anticipated young adult releases of 2020! When I first started making this list it was my plan to keep this list short and sweet because with CW’s #StartOnYourShelfathon I really wanted to mostly focus on books that are already on my TBR this year, and maybe a handful of new releases. So I made a list of the 10 books I remembered from the top of my head that I was incredibly excited about, and thought that’d be it.

But then I started thinking about how there might be lots of books I was forgetting about or just didn’t know about and I didn’t want to miss any books in my post, so I started looking at Goodreads lists and publisher catalogues and, turns out, there are a lot more books I’m excited about than I initially thought. Help.

Anyway, here’s a list of 67 young adult books that are coming out in 2020 that I’m incredibly excited about + the reasons why. I also bolded the titles of the one’s I’m most excited about, in case anyone wanted to know!


Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim (January 7th) – I loved the Timekeeper series and I’m very excited that Tara Sim is publishing a new series that sounds absolutely fantastic.
We Used To Be Friends by Amy Spalding (January 7th) – A friendship breakup book? PLEASE. I’m so much more interested in this than in romantic breakup books. Wow.
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen (January 7th) – This book is described as being “for fans of Crazy Rich Asians or Jane Austen Comedy of Manners, with a hint of La La Land” and it sounds perfect.
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (January 7th) – I loved the first 3 installments in this series but lost interest once the 4th was published but maybe I should pick them up again, especially because, in this installment, we’re returning to a world and characters I loved a lot. Lees verder

Review: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

I Love You So MochiTitle: I Love You So Mochi
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Genres: Young Adult comtemporary

Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement. She’s obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she’s been accepted for college. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she loses herself in Kyoto’s outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival–and meets Akira, a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. What begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.


This was absolutely adorable.

I Love You So Mochi is about a girl visiting her grandparent’s in Japan for the first time and trying to figure out what exactly her passion is. She also meets a very cute guy who works as a mochi mascot for his uncle’s mochi stand and they develop a romance.

I basically loved everything about this book, except for the main plot of finding one’s passion. It was pretty clear from page one what exactly Kimi’s passion is and the fact that it takes her the entire book to figure it out herself was kind of frustrating. It would’ve been so much more interesting if she actually didn’t have a passion and she spend her time in Japan finding something new she loved and actually discovering herself. Finding out what makes her happy, instead of already knowing but just not connecting the dots yet. Lees verder

Review: The Battle by Karuna Riazi

The Battle (The Gauntlet #2)Title: The Battle
Series: The Gauntlet #2
Author: Karuna Riazi
Genres: Middle Grade Fantasy

The game begins again in this gripping follow-up to The Gauntlet that’s a futuristic middle eastern Zathura meets Ready Player One!

Four years after the events of The Gauntlet, the evil game Architect is back with a new partner-in-crime—The MasterMind—and the pair aim to get revenge on the Mirza clan. Together, they’ve rebuilt Paheli into a slick, mind-bending world with floating skyscrapers, flying rickshaws run by robots, and a digital funicular rail that doesn’t always take you exactly where you want to go.

Twelve-year-old Ahmad Mirza struggles to make friends at his new middle school, but when he’s paired with his classmate Winnie for a project, he is determined to impress her and make his very first friend. At home while they’re hard at work, a gift from big sister Farah—who is away at her first year in college—arrives. It’s a high-tech game called The Battle of Blood and Iron, a cross between a video game and board game, complete with virtual reality goggles. He thinks his sister has solved his friend problem—all kids love games. He convinces Winnie to play, but as soon as they unbox the game, time freezes all over New York City.

With time standing still and people frozen, all of humankind is at stake as Ahmad and Winnie face off with the MasterMind and the Architect, hoping to beat them at their own game before the evil plotters expand Paheli and take over the entire world.


I wasn’t exactly sure whether I wanted to write this review at first. I guess this is where I admit that I absolutely despise writing negative reviews. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true because I kind of love writing negative reviews. Just, that feeling of letting all of the frustrations you have over a book out and just ranting your heart out? Amazing. I just have a lot of trouble with posting it because I’m incredibly sad that I didn’t like this book, and I kind of don’t want to admit that I didn’t like it. So I’ve been putting writing this off for a very long time. I mean, I even wrote a whole post about why I don’t want to write this review instead of actually writing this review.

The thing is: I’m very disappointed in this book. And me being very disappointed in a book doesn’t happen very often, because I generally know what I like in books so I tend to only pick up books that I’m very likely to love. But this book had so many elements that I should love and I still didn’t, and I wasn’t sure what do to with that. Lees verder