Very important questions I have about American high schools in YA fiction as a non-American // I demand answers

Most YA contemporary fiction is set in unrealistic U.S. high schools that supposedly have horrible food and mean kids everywhere.

Like, 98% of schools are in the US, to be honest, and a lot of them are carbon copies of each other, except named after a different president or something.

Which kind of sucks because THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES OKAY. (Like Canada… *cough* Or think about European countries! Or Asian countries! Australia!)

And because we’re reading about teens and all, there’s the whole issue of high school and that little thing called systemically engineered torture education!!

I know living in Canada means our high schools are not that different from US high schools, or not so different compared to other countries, but there are still several aspects that I’m not familiar with which reoccur in YA books enough to just make me wonder… does this actually happen in real life?? Maybe it’s just because I don’t live in the States?

And I know a lot of you are from the States, and a lot of you aren’t! So I thought it would be interesting to talk about perspectives on what high schools are like in fiction vs. reality!!

1. Is Phys Ed mandatory for all years of high school?

I’M SO CONFUSED ABOUT THIS. Because I keep seeing these main characters getting all worried or annoyed or frustrated about gym class and I… just don’t relate??? Not past grade 9, anyway.

I know several of my friends who did take physical education in Grade 10/11/12, but you only need ONE (1) health/phys ed credit to graduate, and I think it’s mandatory to take it in Grade 9?

Aside from that, you don’t ever have to suffer through the dreaded class again unless you choose to!!

(For the Ontario diploma, anyway.)

So why, are all these characters choosing to suffer through phys ed if they hate it so much?? Hmm??? (Okay yes, plot, but REALISM. HELLO. Where is it.) Is it mandatory in the US?

I’m just honestly so tired of seeing 17/18 year olds who, complain or face drama because of gym class when realistically, based off my experience, THEY DON’T NEED TO TAKE IT. I know it’s important to plot and such but it’s irritating! Of course, if it IS mandatory, then… whelp, I send you my condolences.

Unless you enjoy phys ed, in which case yayy for you!! But not for the fictional characters lmao.

ALSO. Is gym class usually co-ed?? Because mine wasn’t? (Usually.) Girls and guys had separate teachers, did activities and sports separately. I suppose that would strip a novel of its usual gym class drama, but just being real here.

2. Are there mean girls at every high school?

(Okay, another joke question because no, obviously.) But how common are they, hm??? Not as common as they are in books, I bet. I swear, books paint American high schools as some kind of hang out spot for girls who hate on other girls–like can you please not???

Sure, I didn’t love everyone at my school, but no one was outright mean to someone else? I’m not saying they don’t exist, but I feel like they’re overdramatized A TON in fiction. If you didn’t like someone, you just stayed away from them, plain and simple. Not blackmail them for a guy and/or try to undermine them and make sure their life is miserable… just no. Chill.

3. Do you ever have courses aside from English/Math/Science/History??

Okay, slightly sarcastic question because obviously yes. BUT I MEAN. Going by YA novels… no, you don’t.

What a sad life. (I mean, that’s school already but.)

Also why are the English teachers always the most chill ones? They’re not always? I’ve previously had and my friends have had some pretty crappy English teachers before, who are NOT super philosophical and easy going. Nope.

I am kind of curious about what courses are like in US high schools though, like obviously not that different, but what’s the day rotation like? How many do you take? Are you guys also semestered?

Why are courses just never talked about at all??

DO YOU KNOW HOW STRESSFUL CHOOSING THEM CAN BE. And you know, they can be kiiiiind of important. For college and university. Just a thought.

Maybe that’s just me and my indecisive self oops

4. How many people usually take AP classes anyway?

I think it’s slightly unrealistic great that YA contains so many smart characters who apparently don’t need to study to pass their classes, and I’m not trying to discredit anyone who takes/has taken AP (Advanced Placement) classes, but WHY is it everywhere. Just a thought. You don’t need to take AP to be smart, you know.

I low-key feel like authors just shove it in everywhere without a thought to kind of show, yeah, this character is super smart and serious about school… but then they don’t show that through anything else which makes it kind of futile?

AP is not big at all where I live, but I don’t know, there are so many books I’ve read where the main character is taking like all AP classes or whatnot. That’s great, but it makes it seem a lot more common than it might be? Perhaps? I don’t know, I’m just guessing from my own experience.

And speaking of advances classes and the like, is the IB program (International Baccalaureate) not popular at all in the States? Like, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen it in a book… but it exists in the States I’m sure, so…….

OR MAYBE… just a typical, standard high school diploma works too. You know.

5. Do people really have different hours for lunch time?

Okay, a serious question! Because I noticed sometimes characters would mention who they don’t have the same lunch period as their friend, or something similar, which kind of confused me because what is the point of that? Everyone had the same lunch time at my school??

How does that even work, and why? Does the school become too crowded? Not everyone eats in the cafeteria anyway, can’t you eat in hallways and such? I mean, I did. The cafeteria was wayyy too loud and hot and annoying lol. But we all had the same lunch period?

This sad eating alone thing also, did not generally happen, but idk, maybe I was just oblivious.

6. Is cafeteria food really that bad?

I suppose this depends from school to school no matter the country, but in 97% of the books I’ve read, the cafeteria food is supposedly disgusting, or just not appetizing and…???

OUR CAF FOOD WAS DELICIOUS, OKAY. I probably gained 10 pounds from purchasing a delicious chocolate chip cookie or muffin in the morning my first years of high school, but let’s be real, I have no regrets.

I mean, those were some GOOD COOKIES. Omg. Best $1.25 I’ve ever spent. They were super big, too!! Like a good 5-6 inches in diameter.

the return of this beautiful cookie gif omg I’ve been waiting for an excuse to use this

And we had tons of great options for lunch too! I didn’t buy my lunch that often because a) ouf that would become expensive,  b) I’m so not waiting in line for that long I’m a very impatient soul and c) *whispers* my mom packed me a lunch for a large portion of my high school years and her cooking is amazing okay.

But still, we had good food! There were large pizza slices, different pastas, sandwiches, and… POUTINE. Granted it wasn’t a very large quantity (unfortunately) BUT IT WAS SO GOOD.

Would almost go back to high school for all the food, tbh. The cookies, at the very least.

(ALSO. How daunting and scary are cafeterias, really? Books [and movies, actually] make them seem like such a feat, but… they’re really just places where noisy and slightly sweaty teens eat lunch and socialize. I totally understand how for some people that IS a feat [esp. if you have anxiety] but as a generalization, they’re not that bad; and you don’t have to eat there if you don’t want to.)

7. How do groups of friends just happen to have so many classes together?

Grade 9, sure, yeah, I had a decent amount of friends in pretty much all my classes because we had so little options in terms of courses that obviously we’d be grouped together somewhat. And we’re still meeting new people and making new friends anyway!

Grade 10, a bit less so but still not bad. Grade 11 and 12 are so much more random though? You have a lot less requirements all of a sudden and people are taking different electives and the like, which means you’re not often likely to have your group of friends all in the same class(es)?

Unfortunately most of us don’t/didn’t attend Hogwarts….

I don’t know, it depends from person to person/school to school I guess? Depending on how many classes there are for a particular subject, how many students there are, etc.

But I see in books especially large groups of bullies, for example, all in the same Math/English/typical class with the main character and aside from the fact that the bullies seem to constantly pick on the MC (which doesn’t happen? usually?) how are they all together???

I went to a pretty large school, so maybe that’s what’s influencing me but it just makes me laugh to see that happen. Because those chances are just… so slim, where I went lmao. Not to mention bullies picking on someone at all during class was just unlikely lol. Canadian genes? (Jokes, jokes… mostly. Or maybe I just hung out with good people?)

8. How long is your lunch?? 

Why does no one complain about how short lunch is?? These characters seem to fit everything in at lunch and never seem to have an issue with how fast it goes by, despite doing 10 000 things at a time.

For me it was like 45 minutes? And it went by SO FAST. Omg. It was the worst. Walking from your class to your locker/meeting up with friends; 10 minutes! Eat lunch and (GASP) occasionally socialize; 25 minutes! Even worse if you stand in line to buy lunch, have a club meeting or need to finish homework.

SIGH.

Yet here all these characters are just hiding out in the library–speaking of which!! The school library doesn’t always allow food??? What do you do then? — and/or socializing, or going outside nearby to get lunch somewhere else, without a care in the world that, oh, look, lunch is almost over crap, we gotta hurry!!

I see you, authors trying to fit in all the drama at lunch time, but it ain’t working because these students should be getting to class. 😂

9. How comfortable are your seats?

This of course depends from school to school or even class to class, but OH MY LORD SOME OF OUR SEATS WERE AWFUL. The seats were attached to the desk looking something like this:

Which meant to sit you had to make sure to be on the side without the metal bar thing attaching the desk and the chair otherwise you have to do this awkward thing where you lift your leg over the bar (which is made worse if there are people behind you, or a desk right beside you because trust me, it’s not a very flattering position).

And!! The back part of the seat usually had screws, which meant my hair would ALWAYS catch on them and djadiaehfuihfwiuhiuwef I swear it was torture. TORTURE. I lost so much hair from those chairs, I swear. (And I didn’t usually tie my hair up either because who has the time to do that also I didn’t really like to do so)

Of course there are some normal chairs out there which don’t aim to kill me, but then those desks are usually made for multiple people and then you face awkwardness if you’re assigned to a seat with people you don’t know very well or some other awkward situation….

WHY IS THIS NEVER AN ISSUE. I demand characters to suffer as I do.

10. Report cards… exams… studying… death… is that not required to succeed high school??

Sure, some people might just not study or care about exams, but then I don’t think those people also ace their exams without studying? Like, as a general rule? (If you do, that’s great! I admire your skills!)

But there are so many characters I’ve read about who just never seem to care about handing in assignments, or their marks each term and report cards, their average, or their courses, ESPECIALLY during Grade 11/12, yet are on a straight path to some Ivy League school or are in AP classes…………………

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

High school was kind of stressful okay. I have parents wanting me to have at least a 90+ average and a procrastinator-perfectionist mindset (which is an AWFUL pairing) which meant I worked really hard for my marks because they don’t always come easy!! It’s hard not to spite these fictional characters getting accepted to all their choices seemingly without have done much? How easy is high school for you Americans, hm? I demand your secrets or the lies to be revealed.

Calling all Americans to answer these high school questions!! What is/was your experience in high school? Does it match up to what you read about in books, somewhat? And if you didn’t attend/don’t attend high school in the States, what’s your experience like? Which country’s high school system would you like to read more about in books? Did anyone else have death traps painful seating arrangements or other particular high school experiences?

And I’m sincerely asking about phys ed in the US, because IT IS EVERYWHERE and my brain cannot compute (or search it up on the Internet because this way is obviously more fun).

At this point, I’d just like any schools apart from ones in the US haha no offense!! I find it’s such a shame so many books are set in the US, for so many reasons, but also particularly because of high school. It just gets so repetitive! At least make different types of high schools. Idk. Something. Because right now, there are many similar holes I see and I’m calling out these “schools”. 😂

I just realized 3 of these have to do with lunch time and I’ll just leave it up to you to determine what that says about me…

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Books I’ve loved this year and other things I liked! // Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2.0 – 2017 Edition

Thought of the day: We’re halfway through the year, HOW???

I can’t be the only one who thinks someone fast-forwarded through this year? If someone did can I ask them to fast forward to future book release days thanks.

Sooooo we’re now at the end of June, halfway through the year, and I thought it would be fitting to do the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag! I did one for last year I think? I wasn’t tagged by anyone this time but psh, rebel here.

Oh and I’m also going to be linking up with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt for “Best Books You’ve Read in 2017 So Far”!

LET’S DO THIS.Read More »

Books I’m scared to read // Because pain + heartbreak galore???

It is a well-known fact, by now, that books = pain. If you were not aware, wellll now you know!! Of course there are some books that are full of FLUFF AND SUNSHINE which is good because they partially heal the hole in my heart after reading the particularly emotional ones (*cries*) but there are still a whole bunch I am currently half-avoiding like the plague?? And so I thought I might share those with you guys today!Read More »

7 things all readers wish they’d known before becoming a bookworm // But nobody told them (#rude)

Yeah, so the ‘they’ and ‘them’ I’m referencing in the title? TOTALLY NOT TALKING ABOUT ME. Nope. 

Hello everyone!! I hope you guys are all doing well! ❤ I’ve kind of been MIA lately since my last post, but I’m back today with another post for you guys–another list (can you tell I love them?) but this time the focus is on us bookworms! 

Revelation you are maybe not aware of but kind of true: Becoming a bookworm is not really choice? It just decides to attack you suddenly after you realize, hey, I like books! Let me read more of them! And there you go. But like, there’s those moments you’re sitting there and you wish there was some sort of manual letting you know what you were getting yourself into because being a bookworm is dangerous and full of pain? (No? Just me? Okay.) Well, here’s that manual you never asked for or thought you needed!!Read More »

I grow your TBR once again!! // LGBT books that I’ve loved or need to read asap

HI GUYS!! Guess who messed up the order of her own blogging schedule?? Meeeeeeeee! I had been intending for this post to be my first post of June but I accidentally scheduled my mini list of websites/html codes that I find useful for book bloggers ahead of this one so OOPS. I don’t even know how that happened???? -_- But I digress.

We’re now in June, which means it’s Pride Month!! ❤ In honor of all the people in the lovely LGBTQ community (ILY guys) and for those looking to support Pride Month book-wise, I wanted to do a post recommending LGBT books I’ve read/recommend and also the LGBT books that are on my TBR* (BECAUSE I HAVEN’T READ ENOUGH OF THEM. And I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to!) Warning: this will be a longggggg list because of course I’m on a mission to grow your TBR once again. 

*I’ll be linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for this week’s prompt of 10 Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List even though LGBTQ+ isn’t a genre and I have more than 10 books here and also despite the fact this post wasn’t originally planned to be a Top Ten Tuesday post? LET ME LIVE.Read More »

I’m going broke again! // 2017 June Book Releases

HI! May is already coming to an end, can you believe it?? Though I’ve felt like it was June already every since the weekend because I had just set up my June bullet journal pages* but nonetheless, now June is actually here, seeing how it’s the second last day of May. Which of course means… NEW BOOKS**!! I am SO excited for all of these, but there a few in particular that I can’t wait for omg. ❤ ❤

*I have a pink theme this month!! And yes, I’m just as obsessed with my bullet journal as before. It’s SO MUCH FUN. ❤ I’m in loveeeeee.

**I’m linking up with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish WHICH I HAVEN’T DONE IN FOREVER omg. I’m also doing my own monthly release post at the same time? So there will be more than 10 HAHA I am a rebel. Also be proud of me I managed to write this post in advance!! 🎉Read More »

Publishing conspiracy theories // Basically I rant for a very long time

I’m backkkkkk! It hasn’t been 2 weeks this time haha. This week has been busy which is why I didn’t get up any posts in between my last one but the weekend is here, at least?? (But it’s leaving so quickly whyyyyyy.) I did read 2 books though!!* So that’s good. And I hope you guys are doing well!

*(The Love Interest, which was entertaining but ultimately disappointing *sad face* & Flame in the Mist which was THE BEST THING EVER. Ahem. I did like TWATD better tbh but it was still really really good. Debating over a review?? I will basically just bribe tell you to read it so I don’t know. I have no clue what to read now though? HELP. Save me and give me recs for outstanding books, people.)

So, on to the topic of this post, which may have some/most of you theoretically scratching your head in questioning?? I swear this will make sense. Or I hope it will. Because I’m kind of writing this at 1 AM in the morning and I may be completely senseless?

Publishers, you see, are marvelous creatures. They are, second only to the authors and the crew of people helping them with their book (thank you, acknowledgements for drilling into my head a book is not made by only one person), greatly responsible for giving us bookworms the books we read soooooo. As book collectors, or even just people who eye books in the bookstore (very oddly put, but oh well) there are certain pet peeves that pretty much every bookworm can relate to, and it all comes down to the PUBLISHER. And this happens so often, with so many different publishers, in my humble opinion, publishers are TOTALLY are conspiring against us………….. right, guys?

WARNING: Fair amount of ranting and complaining and crying in this post!! Maybe it’s the lack of sleep… or hunger? Brb, let me get a snack.

1. Changing formats mid-series/after series completion

Okay. The snack did nothing. /START RANT/ This doesn’t even make sense! Yes, I get making money and whatever reasoning there is behind this (actually I do not because I am a sleep deprived raging bookworm but shh) but if you start with releasing the first book in a series, say, in paperback and then second or third book comes along and you SWITCH TO HARDCOVER. And don’t offer the option for paperback either?? Sure, hardcovers cost more but then use hardcover from the start, don’t just change midway when poor, broke bookworms (ME) are spending money on those paperbacks only to have the second/third/whatever book be in hardcover/paperback and NOT MATCH the size of the first book.

This happened with SO MANY SERIES it’s not even funny. Agh. I just want my books to match in height and format, is that so much to ask???

I had the first three books of the Selection series in paperback (it was a special deal, or else I would’ve preferred hardcover haha) and then the next two were released and they were in hardcover *cries*
I KNOW. I was heartbroken. I got the first book, The Lost Hero as a gift in paperback… You guess what happened when the next books were released… YET. I did buy a hardcover version of The Lost Hero so there’s that (yes I’m that extra) BUT MY MONEYYYYY.

I warned you!! Salty.

2. Changing covers mid-series/after series completion.

And the horror continues!!! For series I really love, okay, fine, if I like the new covers better I will buy the new set if I happen to have money. (my money thooooooo could’ve been spent on new books?!) BUT. Here I am, minding my own business and consuming addictive books that the publishers release, and then BAM. Cover change. If it’s mid-series especially, aghhhhhhhhh. I have the first book in a certain style and I LIKE IT. Okay? So when the second book comes along, do not, for all bookworms’ sake, do not decide to give it a makeover pleaseeeeeeee. Because I really really want to read the book and now here you are making it impossible for me by making sure my covers don’t match????? WHY.

A horrible, horrible circumstance includes (Only one because if I do more I will rage):

The first one is obviously better!! I own that one, so obviously.

You go, but Analee, there’s the sequel’s cover that matches the first one! YET. I actually don’t get that one because in the US/Canada it’s the second cover?? I KNOW. I have the first book in the original cover and there they go changing the covers mid series without even letting me have the sequel cover I wanttttt. I still have not read the sequel. I loved the first one, might I add.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the situations where the cover AND format is changed. I just GIVE UP.

3. Misleading synopsis

/END RANT, START COMPLAINING/ Okay, so not all publishers do this but some books do have misleading synopses! Obviously this is a conspiracy to make sure the readers have high expectations for something and so they read the book only to find that something is nonexistent or hardly there??? #rude Teeny tiny detail though? I actually can’t think of any books I’ve personally read off the top of my head where this happened (BUT IT DID I KNOW IT), however there have been other people who’ve read books and claimed this? SO. I am indignant on their behalf!! And honestly it’s just so inconsiderate. A marketing ploy that does work, occasionally! But so inconsiderate to the people looking forward to something and then just being let down. Why are publishers conspiring against usssssss??

4. Making sure books have pretty covers so I never complete my TBR.

Before, I used to struggle with the pain of dealing with unappealing cover. Shallow? Perhaps. A bad thing? Not really. Yet, nowadays, there are SO MANY pretty covers. From most publishers! Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

These books all have SUCH BEAUTIFUL covers and they don’t follow a theme at all haha my taste is all over the place but I wanted to showcase a few of the different types of covers I’ve seen and aghhhhh there are so many amazing covers out there!!! I chose these ones especially because they were all books I first added to my TBR because of their covers… I SENSE A CONSPIRACY. They’re all published from different publishers too (I think!) And there are many moreeeee which obviously shows the publishers’ conspiracy to make sure I never finish my TBR??? Or that I am way to happy to add a book to my TBR because of the cover.

If you now have the urge to add these to your TBR or want to read more about it, here you go BECAUSE I AM HELPFUL and also conspiring to make your TBR largerForest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao \\ Cold Summer by Gwen Cole \\ The Color Project by Sierra Abrams \\ The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano \\ The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

5. Releasing sequels ten thousand years after the first.

NOT AN EXAGGERATION WHATSOEVER. Nope. I suppose most sequels are released after a year? (Though the book after Lord of Shadows will be released in 2019. IN TWO YEARS. RIP my soul *sobs*) But when you have books in a series, and the first/second/whichever book ends on a cliffhanger and the next book isn’t released yet????? IT BRINGS PAIN. So yes, a year-long wait is the equivalent of ten thousand years when you need the next book and it’s not released yet. *cries* Why are they making us suffer??

I haven’t read Lord of Shadows (but I waited SO LONG for this too!!) but like I said, the third book releases 2 YEARS from now like WHY? (I understand that Cassandra Clare will be releasing the first book in TLH trilogy next year but stilllllll my need for the third book for TDA doesn’t disappear??)

I recently finished Flame in the Mist and I loved it and I want moreeeee but it just released this month meaning I am going to have to wait forever for the next one!! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. This happened with The Wrath and the Dawn, too and I am displeased. *grumbles*

Funny story for Crystal Storm! (Not so funny, actually) I read up to the fourth book, uhhh I forget the name, but yeah, the 4th book of the Falling Kingdoms series, and I just ended up waiting SO LONG for this one, that I just… um.. am not interested in this anymore?? Tragic, I know!! I do plan on picking it up but definitely not until the whole series is finished. *sighs*

Ahhhh the wait for A Court of Wings and Ruin has been sooo long!! I loved the second book so much and I NEED THIS. But the wait was torturous and now also a) I don’t remember what happened in the first two very well and b) I am scared to read it because emotions????

6. Hyped books being released all in the same month

It’s not just me who noticed the everflowing abundance of books being released each month right?? And also some months just perfectly coordinate allllll the hyped books in the same month. (AHEM May I’m looking at you.) Which leads to me going broke. AGAIN. Seeing how it’s most likely the publishers who set the release date?? CONSPIRACIES. Also, with the end of May and the start of June coming as well, we all know one person who’s going to be spending their money this month. Someone should ban me from the bookstores. (NO PLEASE DON’T.)

JUST LOOK at the books released in May like oh my gosh. (When Dimple Met Rishi is still not released though and I want to read it so muchhhhhh!!) I can’t wait for The Crown’s Fate and The Names They Gave Usthey both sound so good. I actually read The Love Interest though, and it was kind of disappointing but I was totally looking forward to it! But now I am broke and I WANT ALL THE JUNE BOOKS TOO. *cries*

7. Putting extra blank pages at the end of a book

NO. NO. NO. That moment you’re finishing a book and reach the final few pages and you’re all excited and scared and feeling all the emotions and you turn to the next page and…

[Empty page

…]

IT’S HORRIBLE. Utterly horrible, I tell you.

Aaaaaaand on that positive note, there we have it! *breathes* WOW that took so much energy haha I was very passionately furiously typing for a while there… Anywho, to get back to the more positive way of things momentarily before I ask you to share negativity with me!! I DO LOVE PUBLISHERS. I am forever grateful that they make the amazing books I read possible to be shared with me, and so many others. They just… are incredibly frustrating but I’m sure there are many factors that play into their conspiracy interesting decisions! Do publishers hold a conspiracy against us??? YOU MAY NEVER KNOW. So.

I hope you enjoyed that very long rant/complaining session of mine!! It was a long time coming, I think haha. But it had to be said! All of these little peeves are so torturous to my smol soul. But I must know: I cannot be the only one to feel the effects of this horrid possible conspiracy??? Which of these bother you the most? Let me know in the comments! ❤ I hope you guys are having a great day. 🙂

Thank god it’s finally May! // 2017 May Book Releases

Guess who’s going broke once again this month??

(Hint: it’s meeeeeeee.)

It’s that time of year again, and I’m actually super excited for the end of the month for once, because my classes have FINALLY ENDED. *cue cheers* 4-month summer, yessssss! I am taking summer courses though (ughhh) so that will still take up my time, but STILL. SUMMER.

Anyway, the end of a month bringing the start of a new one, and with that brings NEW BOOKS. *squeals* and also *cries because this human read only 5 books this month and can’t keep up* SO MANY BOOKS I can’t wait to read omg. Let’s just get right into the books so I don’t go onto a 500-word intro.

May 2

Avenged by Amy Tintera (Ruined #2): I ADORED RUINED SO MUCH. I need to return to my preciousssss children!! ❤

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR #3): PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR HEART STOMPED ON. It’s releasing in like 2 days?!! (But sidenote I’ve heard it has some really problematic things in it and now I’m scared and sad…)

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #2): I really liked the first book! I don’t remember it very much (nothing new, hi, I’m a goldfish.) but yayyy for another Riordan book!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3): I would like to be overwhelmed with all the adorable feels, YES PLEASE.

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake: I’ve seen this around but I can’t remember what it’s about but WISHES. It’s probably some symbolic meaning for something but whatever. It sounds really good!

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate: Heard so much about this one, apparently it has DIVERSITY and it’s about singing which I am an expert on, obviously. So this is my book. I am so not an expert but shhhhh. I’m trying to sound convincing.

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman: Cute contemporary which also had diversity rep like a black love interest with a disability and lesbian friends.

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole: I can’t get over how pretttttttttttttttttty the cover is omg.

Dreamfall by Amy Plum (Dreamfall #1): I haven’t read anything by Amy Plum, but I know many people who’ve loved her books!

May 4

Release by Patrick Ness: Two words for you; Patrick. Ness. (!!!)

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember: The Little Mermaid retelling!! (Mermaidsssssss. I haven’t read a book with mermaids in a very very long time. Disgrace.) And also lots of diversity, f/f romance,

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (Spellslinger #1): It’s a cool cover!! And I like the author’s name haha.

The Fallen Children by David Owen: Firstly children fall down all the time I mean they might have a few bruises but otherwise nothing special???  I have zero idea what this is about, so. Um.

May 9

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: I really liked Dumplin’ when I read it last year, so I’m interested in seeing how this one turns out!

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura: I’ve read some really great reviews on this one and it’s a diverse read featuring a gay Japanese-American protag. It may also be #ownvoices, but I’m not sure. But it sounds amazing!

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June: Another cute contemporary! (I’m pretty sure, anyway.)

Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell: Gilmore Girls with magical realism?? YES PLEASE.

Someone Else’s Summer by Rachel Bateman: How many times can I say cute contemporary without sounding repetitive? I wish I could say something else but I mean… either way, it sounds like a fun story!

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim: Friendship! Diversity! Pakistani-American protagonist + Muslim American characters! And exploration of love, identity and relationships. SO EXCITED OMG.

May 16

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh: OH LOOK IT’S RENEE AHDIEH, pff, she’s only like one of my favourite authors of ever?? This is a retelling of Mulan with Japanese mythology and omg I CAN’T. I NEED THIS. ❤

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye (The Crown’s Game #2): It’s almost hereeeee YAY. I loved the first book and needed this, like last year??! Apparently it’s really good so I am super excitedddddd.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich: A story about a love triangle that I’m actually… looking forward to?? And many other people too??? *cue shock* This book actually seems like it could put an interesting twist on the trope and be interesting and I WANT.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord: I finished her other novel, When We Collided, a while back and liked it well enough so I’m curious to see how this book is!!

Seeker by Veronica Rossi (Riders #2): I’ve had the first book on my TBR for a while but never got around to it! I hope whoever is following this series likes this one though.

Grit by Gillian French: Zero clue what it’s about, but it looks good! I’m so shallow when it comes to books, I know…

May 23

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #2): I’ve waited enouuuuuuugh!! I really can’t wait for this omgggg why is it still so far away?

The Gauntlet by Megan Shepherd (The Cage #3): I liked the look of the series but haven’t gotten around to it.

In a Perfect World by Trish Doller: I’d have all the time in the world to read books and also have a ton of money to buy said books. But it’s not a perfect world and so now I’m sad?? But I digress. This sounds interesting!

May 30

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: Diversity and a story about two Indian-American teens and arranged marriage!! It sounds utterly adorable and I CAN’T WAIT.

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson: PRETTY COVER! No idea what it’s about. But looooook at the cover! #helpful

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia: I adored her previous book, Made You Up [review here] and I am suuuuuuper excited for this one!

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo: Diversity!! Korean main character and a super cute contemporary romance. Happy Analee!

Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney: This sounds like fun! So much adorableness is written on this cover!

Spectacle by Rachel Vincent (Menagerie #2): I don’t know much of what this is about but it has a character named Delilah and now I kind of want to know more.. (Yes I’m that obsessed with ADSOM. Hushhhh. Yes I know they’re not the same characters…)


What books are you looking forward to this month??! THERE ARE SO MANY I KNOW mwa ha ha you must choose. Also look at me, keeping this post at under 1200 words! (it’s at 1152.) *Gives self a cookie* This day should be documented. (Seeing how my last post was like, 2000+ words oops. Is this a normal thing, or…?)

I hope you guys are all having a super amazing day!

Fantasy is actually not the only genre I love?? // Why I love contemporary + Books you have to read because I said so

Obnoxiously loud statement of the day: I reeeeeeeally want it to be the weekend.

Seriously, why is it only Wednesday???

Also, this post was supposed to go up on Monday and I’m behind on two posts that were supposed to go up this week?? #whylife #ugh *cries*

But talking to you guys always makes my day better, and so now I say HI! I hope you’re having a lovely day. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, ignore my momentary grumpiness and screeches of first world problems haha.

To the task at hand! All of you know (even if you didn’t before, it’s in the title so UM.) how much I love fantasy! I’ve always loved it (HP and PJO, anyone?) and got even more into it after joining the blogosphere. BUT. I am a polygamous lover (for books, not irl, just in case you got confused lollll) and so fantasy is actually not the only genre I love! *cue gasp* Contemporary, is a genre I only really got into once I started blogging, and I do love reading it! My fantasies are always going to be dear to my heart, but contemporaries can be so much fun and also very very important. This month, I’ve noticed my reading material has mostly been contemporaries, and this month also had a large number of contemporaries being released, so I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about why I love contemporary books so much and also grace you with my wonderful book recommendations!  That all of you will absolutely agree with and add to your TBR immediately. Of course. 😉

1. There are so many different stories to be told.

Not that this doesn’t apply to other genres (don’t get me wrong, it TOTALLY DOES #fantasy anyone?), because this aspect is kind of universal to reading in general and is not in any way exclusive to one genre, BUT. It’s the aspect of reading that makes contemporary special to read for me. Of course, there are books that follow a similar structure and storyline, (sooooooo many tropes everywhere) and seem like they’re copies of another book, but at the same time I know I can pick up a contemporary book most of the time and be brought into a story unlike others I’ve read, if that makes sense. (Also because nowadays I’m a bit more selective and try to picks books that I’ve either been recommended or think I’ll like haha.) At the end of the day, there are just so many different types of stories to be told and I can appreciate that, no matter what genre I read.

2. I can relate to the characters (more?)

Again, this can and does definitely apply to other genres! (Let’s play a game: see how many times that phrase is repeated throughout this post!) And there are of course exceptions where the character could be an oddball alien who doesn’t like reading and I will not relate at all. (#truth lol)

BUT it is kind of comforting to read about characters who deal with more mundane and normal struggles? As much as I’d like to relate from experience, I actually can’t understand what it feels like to face off against Voldemort (or even just go to a magic school, honestly–because who wants to battle old Voldy anyway?) or go on epic heists with a whole squad of fabulous people (I wishhhhhhh #sixofcrowsquad). The magical thing about reading those books is feeling like we’re a part of that and being taken to this whole new world (AND I LOVE THAT SO MUCH), but sometimes it’s a great feeling to read about the experiences of people who are not as other-worldly. Let’s forget about the fact that I hardly experienced half of the things that happened to contemporary novel characters either. And also the fact where the majority of them seem to despise having friends and I can’t relate because friends are lifeeeee .

3. Diversity! (YES PLEASE)

Again, this totally can (and should??!) be found in other genres! But in contemporary is where I have noticed it to be most evident and I hesitate to use this word, but common??? Although most, if not every genre, is making the effort to include diversity (or at least they should be!), the books I find that have, I don’t know, LGBT exploration, mental illness/disabilities, or POC characters seem to be found generally in contemporary. Again, diveristy is NOT exclusive to this genre! That is not what I’m saying at all, but in contemporary it seems to be more often that I see diversity explored–but maybe I’m just reading the right books or the wrong books in other genres. 😉 Either way, the amount of diversity rep that I’ve found in some books is AMAZING and one of the reasons I love this genre so much.

4. Cute and fluffy is so much fun! All the smiles!

I love blood and all the battling as much as the next person (who is actually probably creeped out?? And have you realized how inaccurate this statement can be?? The ‘next person’ can have all sorts of feelings and you don’t know how much they like something what am I doing with my life I don’t even know anymore) But sometimes it can be kind of therapeutic to sit down and read something that maybe doesn’t take as much focus, or commitment (because fantasy is almost never just one book) and just something that’s light and FUN. Because life is stressful and winding down with a cute and fluffy book that you know will have a happily ever after can be SO SATISFYING. Maybe that’s just the romantic in me speaking, I don’t know, I kind of love cute contemporary romances from time to time ahah. Also the best of the best can make me SMILE or laugh and bring out all the happy emotions that remind me there is a life outside death haha. (But also this applies to any genre; if a fantasy novel can make me laugh or smile in between all the heartbreak, INSTANT LOVE. cough Shades of Magic series cough)

5. But there are also books that BREAK YOUR HEART and that is fabulous.

If you thought contemporary is all about the light and fluffy (now I’m thinking of baking cupcakes???? Oops. But I do want cupcakes right now???), well you’re not wrong! There is like, an abundance of light and fluffy books that all seem to follow the same recipe (ha) and one of the reasons I feel like people don’t take contemporary seriously? BUT a mistaken perception is that’s all it is, because it is SO NOT. There is actually a relatively large amount of books that have either a) broken my hearts so much I CAN’T EVEN. OR b) shined a light on topics that are not talked about often and hence are SO SO PRECIOUS??! And those books are forever imprinted in my heart and just as beloved as the fantasies that claim my heart. (!!!)

I would totally list more reasons but doing these ones took a lot more time than I expected (dangit my habit of writing extremely unnecessary long things) and I am very short on time right now, but I wanted to write this psot because it’s been SO LONG since my last one, but I also want to give you guys a good list of books to read so I’ll be cutting my original plan to 5 reasons instead! I think I got the main ones though?? I hope??


Books you need in your life

For the relatable characters and cuteness

Tell Me Three Things is SUCH a fun and sweet novel! It seems like it has a love-shape of some sorts, but it actually doesn’t really and was overall super cute and I highly recommend if you’re looking for a fun novel! I can’t wait to see what book this author writes next.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is also a favourite of mine!! It’s actually not a stand alone though, so bewareee. So far the first two are released and the third one is going to be released in a few days on the second? I liked the first better than the second I think but I am still super excited.

Literally any of Sarah Dessen’s contemporary will probably be amazing. I haven’t read all of her books, but the ones I’ve read are so good and The Truth About Forever is one I will always recommend! Other good ones are Just Listen, as well as Saint Anything that I also loved. ❤

If there’s a book that is beloved by nearly all that’s read it, it’s FANGIRL! Such a favourite everywhere, and for good reason too! Fangirl speaks to everyone and anyone who is/was ever an introvert and gives us a super adorable romance while we’re at it. Agh. So much love!

Awwwwwwwww is all I say to this haha (and also there are so many books with this kind of title??? Be more creative plz my brain gets confused). Kasie West is another one of those authors who literally writes the cutest books ever?? I chose this one because it’s the most recent one I read (like, sometime last year) but I also adored The Distance Between Us, The Fill-In Boyfriend (super annoying main character though), and a bunch more. For a cute contemporary, this is where you go!

Morgan Matson seems to be one of the most popular authors when it comes to contemporary as well? She’s written multiple books that so many people love, but I’ve only read one of hers haha. Definitely hope to change that because I’ve heard Second Chance Summer is another one of her good ones and The Unexpected Everything was so cute.

Last but not least, Anna and the French Kiss aka one of the most cringe-worthy titles ever but such an adorable story? (I also really really really really want to go to Paris!!) I haven’t picked up the following companion novels Lola or Isla, but I’ve heard so many good things (about Isla especially) that I can’t wait!

For the diversity, cuteness and also relatable characters (#win)

Am I putting both of her books here? Why, yes I am because both are literally SO GOOD. I’m going to have to say Simon vs is my favourite (I LOVE IT SO MUCH) but I recently read The Upside of Unrequited and now I am in love with it tooooooooo. SO MUCH LOVEEEEE. Also side note Becky Albertalli liked and replied to my tweet on Twitter???!!! *cue freaking out*

Everything, Everything is not without flaws, but props for diversity (POC main character, #ownvoices) and it is super adorable with very cute little artsy images that I loved!! Holding Up the Universe was also super adorable and diverse (YAY). I’m getting lazier and lazier but The Summer of Chasing Mermaids has a POC main character, is very loosely based off The Little Mermaid (very very loosely) and also has a super cute romance!

Also:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas that has all of the above and also deals with very very important topics and is kind of the best ever???? READ IT. (I just found out she’s writing a second book and BE STILL MY HEART.)

For the above + broken heart

Because authors seem to stick to a certain type of book and in this case Adam Silvera decides on destroying our heart but also shower it with feels and love and cuteness?? BUT SO MUCH HURT. And pain. *cries* The Problem with Forever also does this and it was so adorable in some parts but my hearttttttttt omg. </3

Eleanor & Park BROKE MY HEART so much, guys. *cries* And I’ll Give You the Sun has the bonus of being one of the most beautifully written contemporary book ever IT WAS SO GOOD. My heart was destroyed, the characters felt so reallllll and just all around amazing. Same goes for The Sky is Everywhere *cries* (although the main character makes the worst decisions). Jandy Nelson is basically a fabulous author? (Literally every author on this list ever.)

Broken hearts galore

Goes unsaid for all those who have read All the Bright Places but it is UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING BUT ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. So beautifully written, and my heart still hurts thinking about the story and its characters!

A List of Cages did have some happier/lighter moments (ADAM <3) but it is completely heartbreaking and also such an important read, diverse and also it has the best brotherly-type relationship EVERRRR (including Kell and Rhy ofc). ❤ If you can stand heavier and tear-worthy topics, read this one because it is just such an amazing book.

I’m still reading Whisper to Me, and I’m not even halfway yet but my heart is already in the process of being destroyed??? AGH. I totally did not expect it either is the thing, it seemed like a super cute book (just look at that cover??) and I forget blurbs very very easily. I’m kind of scared to finish it because I know the feels and all the heartbreak is going to increase SO MUCH. But I love it??


Raise your hand if you think my posts are too long!

Me: *raises hand* *laughs guiltily* 

I hope you still enjoyed this post ahah, I feel like it’s a post long overdue, but now here it is! Do you like reading contemporary? What books were your favourites? Which of my recs do you plan on reading (if you haven’t already)? (All of them is the right answer, fyi. :P) I hope you guys are all doing well, happy Thursday! ❤

Reasons why The Hate You Give deserves zero hate and all the love (!!!)

Just a preface: I cannot express enough HOW AMAZING this book is. 

Hello everyone and I hope you guys are enjoying your weekend!! (I AM SO GRATEFUL YOU HAVE NO IDEA.)  I’m trying to be a bit more consistent with my schedule, going for around 2-3 posts for week, so here I am with a little* review (I’ve been reading so little books lately that I’m actually not behind for my reviews this month??) on the book I just finished last night, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas!

I have, like, a ton of pressure right now because this book has been SO HYPED for so long in the book community, and it deserves that hype so much I am really worried I won’t be able to do it justice haha. But I’ll try????

*HAHAHA understatement in case you didn’t notice… (Oops?)


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre(s): Contemporary (Young-Adult)
Series Status: NA – Stand Alone
Page Count: 464
Source & Format: Owned, hardcover, ebook

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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A story that is heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly REAL.

Most of you probably already know this, but THUG is inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which is SO IMPORTANT and I loved how Angie Thomas nailed this. It was never once preachy, but very firm in its message and altogether so perfectly pieced together you can’t help but feel the profound impact of what is not only happening in this book, but what is very much the reality for a lot of people. This book deals with SO MANY heavy (but so so crucial) topics like racism, white privilege and corrupt justice systems that allow police officers to get away with shooting an innocent man just because the officer is white and the victim is black. (UGHHHHHHH. *cries*)

A book like this, isn’t meant to be comforting, cute and happy. It’s meant to be real, and maybe that means you may be uncomfortable, but mostly you will be 100% overwhelmed with heartbreak and emotions. Yet, it is not meant to be a sob story. Not fully, anyway. Most of all, you find hope. Grief, anger and all those emotions are there too, but HOPE. One of the biggest things I felt after all of it, and it was just SO PRECIOUS.

DIVERSITY & FAMILY: YESSSSS!!

If you’re looking for a diverse read (obviously you are because diversity is the best thing ever and we need more of it always), THIS BOOK IS IT. It’s #ownvoices (*squeal*) and although I’m not black, I know many people who’ve praised and adored the rep in this book because of how spot-on it was. Seeing others being able to relate to Starr, in different areas, just goes on to show how important this book is, and it’s most definitely not exclusive to black people. It makes me so happy to see this promotion of diversity and marginalized voices because ahhhhhhhh it’s just so important and this book is definitely one of the best out there.

We’re moving into characters territory soon: THE FAMILY HERE IS SO AMAZING I CAN’T. I really really really want to see more of positive family relationships in books and this one was so, so, so perfect. I’m getting repetitive, I know. But seriously:

  • Starr and her mother’s relationship was SO GREAT, despite misunderstandings they both know they love eachother and her mother would do anything for her and just I’m falling in love with this book all over again
  • Starr’s dad was the most flawed dad I’ve seen in a long time and yet (or because of it) he was one of the best fathers I’ve seen, despite his flaws. He cares so much about Starr, but is so insecure at the same time because he missed a lot of her childhood when he was in jail. But he’d do just about anything to keep his family safe… AGH the feels. ❤
  • Starr’s older brother Seven was such a sweetheart and so brotherly !! I actually loved him so much, his love for his younger siblings (Starr’s half siblings) was so touching and heartbreaking.
  • Younger sibling Sekani was a little devious munchkin who never failed to make me smile ?! I’ve had to deal with my own likes of him in the form of my younger sister and it just was so great to read.

Other notes:

  • Starr has one of the bestest relationships ever with her parents and basically considers them her OTP and it is the most adorable thing ever because her parents are just that awesome
  • Despite everything that goes on, there is still fabulous banter and humour that has me smiling despite the tougher topics it deals with. That night in the living room debating over who’s going to win for basketball games which involve Starr’s mom teasingly depriving Starr of ice cream (I KNOW. So savage.) give me lifeee!
  • Uncle Carlos is absolutely amazing and no one can ever say otherwise haha. His love for Starr and her family is unreal and just so beautiful. (!!!)

Where all the characters shine on their own

This review is getting SO LONG, I’m sorry!! Almost done, I promise. But this review would be horribly incomplete if I did not mention how spectacular the characters are. Starr felt so real to me, her hopes, her grief, her struggles (facing against silence, injustice, and even just fitting in her two worlds), and never once did I stop rooting for her. What she’s been through was so heartbreaking to read, and I could feel each and everyone one of her emotions–side praise for awesome writing that makes you feel alllll the things. ❤

But even apart from Starr, although this is definitely first and foremost her story, never once did I feel the secondary characters weren’t just as important. Khalil, for one thing, was made so real in my head despite only showing up for a little bit of pages at the start before his untimely death. His memory lived on, and through that I got to know his character more and more and my heart just BREAKS. And Starr also happens to have female friends???! GASP. It’s something that should me so common I don’t blink yet it’s not? She has an Asian friend, Jess who is the absolute best. ❤ DeVante is a precious little child, as is CHRIS. I feel like he wasn’t developed as much, yet at the same time he totally was?? I loved the exploration of a healthy interracial relationship (Chris is white.) He was so supportive of Starr (when he rapped the theme song of Fresh Prince for Starr my heart melted) and although he was a tad naive in certain aspects of Starr’s life, she corrected him and he did his best. Can someone get me a Chris?


Okay, so…

basically if this book is not already on your immediate TBR, I don’t know what else to tell you.

This book has: amazing familial relationships (!!!!!) and friendships, [proper] diversity rep from an #ownvoices author, characters that feel so real that you’re basically BFFs, HOPE despite the darkness and heartbreak, and spreading awareness about the injustice of our society. Not your sweet, cute contemporaries, but one that is infinitely worth reading no matter what your preference is in books! Such an important read that will stay with me forever, a must-read for everyone. ❤

I hope you guys all enjoyed that review, I really am sorry for the length haha I just wanted to share every thought I had! Have you read this book? Do you plan to? (The only answer is yes at this point honestly. :P) Let me know in the comments!

Parallel universes, family bonds and saving worlds | A Million Worlds With You

A million words would not be enough to express how much I want to visit the millions of worlds in these books. 

Hahaha I’m so good with words, guys. Probably best in all the worlds. 😉 Right?

Okay, I’ll stop now.

Hi everyone! I hope you guys are enjoying your Saturday! (I know I am, my god, this week has been so long.)

Okay, it’s been SO long since a review, partially because I haven’t read many books over March, and partially because I just haven’t gotten around to writing any for the books I *did* read haha. It’s April now though, and I’m trying to get out of the slump I’d been in for March, and so far it’s going well! I FINALLY READ A BOOK GUYS. *cue celebration* (Hence I am now dying trying to figure out what one book out of the 145678 books I should read next. Even though I already have a tentative list of books I need to read asap?? #nologic)

*NO SPOILERS for this book! I wouldn’t say there were many major spoilers for the other two books, either to be honest, but skim if you’re really worried about that haha*


A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

Publication Date: November 6th 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre(s): Sci-fi, Young-Adult
Series Status: Firebird #3
Page Count: 419
Source & Format: Owned, hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

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Dimensional travelling and all the wanderlust (!!!)

Four words: Travelling. Through. Parallel. Universes. IS THAT NOT AWESOME?? (An enthusiastic yes is the right and only answer by the way.) An infinite amount of parallel universes where even one alternate choice/outcome leads to a whole different future. Above the characters or the plot, the concept of this series is what drew me in first and foremost, and definitely what I loved the most.Would it be greedy of me to say I wish the worlds had been developped even more though?? LET ME TRAVEL TO ALL THE PLACES please, thanks. Bye, Marguerite, it’s my turn now.  In the previous books, I loved exploring this concept, and the third book was no exception, I just loved the idea and world Claudia Gray created. I feel like the scientific aspect of it was explored more as well, which was great! (but maybe that’s just me holding on to anything that could make this parallel universe come true.) Now I just need people like Marguerite’s parents to create a Firebird for me?? NOW HIRING, people!!

“Every single world we’ve visited isn’t just random—it’s the result of countless choices, all of them combining to create a new reality.”

Basically: this world is fabulous. 

Snackable-themes of family and dark sides.

(Snackable is totally a word, hush children and auto correct.) Pause on the squealing-about-parallel-world-travelling things! My memory is terrible and so I don’t remember in detail what I loved about the previous books*, but in this one, I certainly appreciated the focus on familial bonds, among other things. Marguerite’s parents’ love for their children had so much depth, I feel, explored in the different worlds we visit, shown through different lives, different aspects of the characters. I really loved how this book explored family; how they were practically always present (could it be we have a normal family???!), and the way it showed how much family can impact your character and your choices.

*No, of course I am not too lazy at the moment to open my review on the previous books…

As for the DARK SIDES. *cue music* It’s not as sinister as it sounds, I promise. I think what was really interesting to read in this book was the exploration of a person’s true character. I’m going to say straight up; I didn’t like Marguerite that much. But, what this book did a great job of is making us think about–made Marguerite think about–is the potential anyone has to be, well, evil, or a bad person. Through these alternate worlds, we meet different versions of the same character; multiple Marguerites, multiple parents, Pauls, and so on. Apart from making for a thrilling story, the main Marguerite (and Paul, Theo, etc) is really forced in this one to confront that despite how different she may be from those Marguerites, they are still a part of her. And I think it was really important for Marguerite to see that.

Okay, deep thoughts almost over! Can I mention Paul though??! I don’t particularly care about him and Marguerite as a ship anymore, though I used to, I’m much more interested in Paul as an individual character! Poor Paul. He, too, was forced to confront the reality of his different versions. But for him, unlike Meg, acceptance came a lot harder, and a lot differently. Paul was a whole lot more broken emotionally, causing him to question everything that he used to believe in and it was heartbreaking–but also very necessary to see that.

“But just because something’s been damaged doesn’t mean it’s ruined.”

DEEP THOUGHTS OVER GUYS. But, next, what I was not a fan of…

Where is Theo? (Also, byeeee love triangle)

We have Marguerite (sadly), Paul (poor broken soul), and sure, we had Theo… but I totally would’ve loved more page time with him. Theo is such a precious cinnamon roll!! In previous books there was also Theo and Paul’s bromance that I loved, but this book was lacking that as well, which is SO SAD. Plus side, there is less of a love triangle in this one! Down side, I am disgruntled that Theo is still pining for Marguerite… (I won’t consider that a spoiler because it’s very very obvious who Marguerite ends up with since the first book.) He deserves so much better, and honestly is overlooked so much. #moretheoplease

“Because I want you to be happy. With or without me, whatever it takes.” Theo sighs. “That’s the difference between wanting someone and loving them.”

Special Snowflake syndrome

I think this aspect has been from the very start of the series, but I definitely think I was more aware and less accepting of it this book haha. Maybe my slump has made me too critical? A year since reading the second book has made me less emotionally invested? We may never know. But Marguerite was SUCH a special snowflake, and I think that definitely had a part in me not liking Marguerite as much. Her attitude, the way everyone makes her seem so much better than she really is? Got on my nerves, won’t lie. BUT. What really took the cake was how little repercussions she faced from her decisions. There were things she did in previous books that were not right at all, and I really wished there were more consequences rather than it being glorified. Ugh.

“But this role doesn’t need an adventurer as much as it needs someone who can… look at each world with fresh eyes. Who can perceive things deeply. Not an adventurer—an artist. You were the one we needed all along.”

Lackluster ending…

It was perfectly acceptable, to be sure, and I was definitely invested till the very end, but, at the end, I think I still wanted more than what I got. After all the tension, the excitement, it just seemed all too quick and just… lackluster. I was warned of this in advance though… So there’s that? It made the disappointment less hard to take, I think, and allowed me to still appreciate the other aspects of the finale. It was still perfectly fine though! I know a lot of people who loved it, and if you like definite endings as well, this one is perfect. Open endings can be torturous for me sometimes haha, so I did love how everything was tied up. My heart went through so much though, the book overall was definitely a thrilling read. But, the ending still left me wanting more. The classic case of “it’s me, not you?” perhaps…

Overall… (3.5 stars)

Things I loved:

  • The world (PARALLEL UNIVERSES YES PLEASE)
  • Parents and characters being evil beans
  • Paul being a broken little ball
  • THAT COVER IS SO BEAUTIFUL I COULD CRY. (Seriously, the whole series is so beautiful all I want to do is sit and look at them all day)

Things that could’ve been better:

  • Marguerite. Marguerite. Over and over, MARGUERITE. Even if she was more bearable in this one.
  • More Theo time?!
  • The ending

Verdict: An enjoyable read! I really did like it, problems aside. It was a solid finale, despite leaving me wanting more in terms of the ending and some of the characters. If you like sci-fi, action and romance, I definitely recommend picking this series up! And if you’ve already started the series, I think, unless you *really* hate Marguerite, reading this finale has the potential to be a good one for you.


GOSH THIS REVIEW. I literally worked on this for so long, I know it’s lengthy, sorry about that! But what do you think? Have you read this series, do you plan on it…? (Anyone else want to go on a world-travelling journey with me??) Let me know in the comments! Hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Books I would’ve read in March if I hadn’t been in a slump // Lists + books = fun!

Thought of the day: The universe doesn’t like to give me sleep. 

Hey everyone! I hope your first few days of April has been going well! I’m currently writing this super late, hence the above little thought because SLEEP. One of the things I love almost as much as books that, unlike books, I don’t get enough of…

But moving on, the title of this post is kind of unconventional, but, I didn’t want to exactly do a wrap-up seeing how there were so little things that happened (including the amount of books read… I believe I read 2? Possibly 3? You’d think I’d be able to remember the amount since it’s so small, but. Goldfish here.) The biggest thing, however, was my birthday and blogiversary, which I already posted about so you see? And I also talked briefly about how much I adored the movie of Beauty and the Beast (SO SO GOOD GUYS)… I am a boring little potato sometimes.

SO March wasn’t very interesting, small exciting moments aside. I’m glad I was able to still post a bit for you guys though! I’m currently trying to come up with an easier schedule for me so I can post a little more regularly, but anyway. Today’s post is kind of like a TBR?? Except not really, because I’m a huge mood reader and planning out what to read is lots of fun (because LISTS and BOOKS) but actually following that plan? Um. Yeah, no. So instead, it’s just the list and the books without any sort of attachments to it? I’m not making any sense, am I. Oh well. Letès just get into the books I would’ve read in March if I could’ve. 

Caraval by Stephanie Garbar:  I have lost count of how many people adored this book?? It sounds like something I would totally devour and I totally would’ve loved to read it last month. I will definitely be getting around to it someday, fingers crossed this month?! 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I KNOW, I KNOW. This book is at the top of my TBR right now, I know this isn’t a TBR post, but aghhhh if only my slump hadn’t attacked during March! I had been looking forward to this book for so long. Everyone has been praising this book nonstop, it’s a diverse read, own-voices, SO MANY REASONS TO READ THIS. 

Hunted by Megan Spooner:  Beauty and the Beast retelling? Yes please! I haven’t read many reviews on this one, but the ones I have read are really good (haven’t gone looking for the bad ones, granted) and I really would’ve loved to read this last month, seeing how the movie of B&B was released then! SIGH. Slumps.

RoseBlood by A.G. HowardI haven’t read any of A.G. Howard’s books yet, and I plan to read her previous series Splintered as well, but I really wanted to try this one out! It’s a standalone for one thing, as well as a retelling of Phantom of the Opera. I’ve heard mixed things, but I definitely want to give it a try someday!

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine:  Remember how I said this isn’t a TBR? Yeah, I’m going to be honest and say I don’t think I’ll be reading this anytime soon… I loved the first book, The Imposter Queen, but it’s been such a long time that this has lowered in priority at the moment. I do want to read it though, and had I been in a more reading mood for March, I could definitely see myself picking this up.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab: In case you weren’t aware; V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors ever?? The Shades of Magic series has forever changed me and I am IN LOVE with her writing. I don’t even know why I haven’t read this yet???! Someone push me to read it. 

– Starfall by Melissa Landers: I hope to read this sometime as well, but again, it’s been a while so the details from the first book are a bit blurry! The POV changed too, which I’ll admit has me more hesitant because I loved the main characters in the first book so much. The struggle of companion novels. Authors, stop getting me so attached to the characters if you’re just going to snatch them away from me later?? (That goes for character deaths too actually.) 

– The Bone Witch by Run Chupeco: I don’t know if I really would’ve read this, but I definitely wouldève loved to, and will pick it up sometime in the future, hopefully! I’ve heard that it’s a diverse book, and it sounds really good, so fingers crossed for someday!

By Your Side by Kasie West Kasie West is so great at writing fluffy contemporaries! Her contemporaries are always so cute and fun and although this one has gotten mixed reviews (some expressing disappointment at the lack of the library plot being used properly, nooooooo) I definitely think it would be fun to try all the same.

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed I love finding new diverse reads, and I stumbled across this one a while ago and I’ve really wanted to read it! I even tried starting it a few times I think, but didn’t get too far in and obviously, didn’t finish it. We’re not doing a monthly TBR here, but if we were, I definitely want to give this a shot!


That was what, 10 books? I can’t say really if I would really be able to finish all of these, or if perhaps I would’ve chosen other books than these ones had I not been in a slump, but nonetheless these are some books I had a good chance of picking up! Some of these I hope I can read this month, others I may not, who knows! Sidenote: there’s a fair amount of fantasy here?? Whoops. Sorry not sorry. I would love to have any other recs though, contemporary or otherwise! I also want to read more diverse books; feel free to hit me up with suggestions for those as well. But mostly: have you read any of these books? Which should I prioritize? How was your month of March? (Pray for a no-slump month for me plz. :P)

I hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Basically a whole bunch of contemporary! // 2017 April Book Releases

It’s no longer April Fool’s, but funny-not-funny story for yesterday: I woke up to my sister screaming and acting like there was a spider on my bed. AGH. #sisterproblems

Hello everyone and happy second day of April! I hope your first couple of days of April have been off to a good start! I haven’t posted for the past few days though, sorry about that! I’ve been so busy and just haven’t gotten a chance to blog hop, read, or write a post at all. WHY DOES TIME HATE ME. A struggle that goes on forever. I know I don’t really have to apologize, but nonetheless.

It so does not feel like April though?? I will never understand this whole time and month thing, honestly. It feels so short. But, it is (apparently) April, which means it’s time for new books being released!! I had not had much time at all to read last month, like at all (I finished 3 books?? Which is not terrible but not at all my usual number… I hardly read any books.) BUT. I am of course an addict for new books and I am loving the titles being released this month!

April 1st

All the Forever Things by Jolene Perry: I don’t know about this one, actually?? It sounds and looks super cute but I’ve briefly skimmed some reviews and it doesn’t seem to be something I think I’d enjoy. But, nonetheless, willing to keep an open mind!

The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil: The main character in this one is a genius! And has social anxiety! (? correct me if I’m wrong, someone!) And that’s all I know about it! But it sounds amazing and I’ve seen people rave about it, so count me in.

April 4th

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor: Seemingly a cute contemporary! It sounds like a really fun read.

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren: Another contemporary! April is really bringing on the cute contemporary reads–not that I mind! Contemporary is one of my favourite genres, next to fantasy. Bring on the cute reads!

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: Ummmmm. No idea what it’s about. Oh well. It’s a contemporary? Sorry, I am no help with this description thing…

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr: Another contemporary! I have no idea what it’s about (I AM A GOLDFISH, OKAY.) but it looks cute!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: I believe this is a contemporary?? THE COVER IS SO PRETTY. I’m in love.

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure: Coma patients! Friendship (??) and another contemporary! This one sounds pretty interesting, actually.

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean: Uhhh… Do I know what this book is about??? Nope. But the cover is pretty??

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: A sci-fi novel! I liked the author’s previous works well enough, so I’m interested in seeing how this one turns out.

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Shattered Realms #2): I haven’t read any of this series or any of the author’s books, but I really want to!! I’ve heard her fantasy books are really amazing, and I can’t wait.

Perfect by Cecelia Ahern (Flawed #2): This is the sequel to the first book, that released last year (Flawed) and I haven’t read that one either, but for those who have, I hope you enjoy this one!

April 6th

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas: I believe this book deals with a character with autism?? I can’t comment on the rep or the content at all, obviously, but I heard it was good and I’m hoping that’s true?

April 11th

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: IT’S ALMOST HERE!!! Becky Albertallu aka creator of my best friend Simon is releasing a NEW BOOK. *flails* *dies*

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer: Retelling galore!! You guys probably know how much I love retellings *cough* Beauty and the Beast phase *cough* so I’m super excited for this one.

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman: PIRATES AND PIRATING! YAY. I really enjoyed the first book, Blackhearts, and I need this one asap?? Plz and thanks.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz: I’ve recently gotten into Hamilton??? SO PERFECT TIMING because I’m obsessed with it and I will devour this book because: Hamilton and Eliza’s story. Yayyy! (Don’t disappoint me pleaseeeeee.)

Side note: The lack of coordination color-wise of these covers side to side makes me frustrated. WHY CAN’T THEY FOLLOW A THEME. I suppose they all have some black?? Except Spindle Fire is like gray?? I CAN’T.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (Given Duet #1): Mindy McGinnis has wowed me before with previous works SO I WANT THIS NOW thanks.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno: I believe I may have read one other book from this author?? But like I can’t remember if it was by this author or not? But I honestly don’t know about this one… it just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. *shrug*

Literally by Lucy Keating: No idea what this one is about! I swear, I go on Goodreads. I just have a tiny little issue of forgetting the synopsis 2 seconds after I read it and being too lazy to reopen and read it again. Oops.

Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey: Awww what a cute pastel-blue cover with fancy-ish writing! I like it. Do I know what the story is about? Ummmm deception? And duels, duh.

April 18th

Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski: I love this cover design!! I WANT THIS NOW. It also seems super cute, so. Even death-and-more-death people need their contemporaries!

The Adjustment by Suzanne Young: I haven’t read this series, but, it’s ending so I might just end up reading the whole series one day! Until then, I hope the people who are reading this series enjoy this. 🙂

April 25th

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid: I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of the other book I read from this author, I believe it was Never Always Sometimes? Something like that. BUT. I am willing to give this author another chance!

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares: I actually read the synopsis again for this one! Because I needed to find the cover. And it sounds like a great book about relationships, family, and self-discovery, so yay!


In a nutshell: April is full of contemporary releases! If you’re a fan of contemporary, like me, I’m sure that news makes you happy. If not, well, there are still plenty of other past releases this year to keep you company! (Seriously, there are SO MANY BOOKS being released my goal of reading them all is rapidly growing more and more impossible… *cries*)

Which of these are you looking forward to?? Do you enjoy contemporaries? Are you being overwhelmed with the copious amounts of books being released?? Let me know in the comments!

Friendships, Family, Food & Diversity | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life REVIEW

Hello and happy slightly-belated book birthday to this novel! I hope you’re all doing well. ❤ I wanted to have this review up yesterday when it was released, but unfortunately, life got in the way.

But anyway! It’s been a long time since I read something like this book. It was a really nice read. I finished it pretty quickly, as well, considering the fact that it had a very slow paced plot. But, despite the plot, what I loved most was the characters and how it focused on them. That was what made this book so wonderful to read. Although, the general consensus around this book according to other bloggers is that Aristotle and Dante was better–I can’t vouch for this, personally, as I have never read it, but if you have read Aristotle and Dante and loved it, your best bet is probably to go into this one with lowered expectations. Let’s just get into the full review, shall we?

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC thanks to Netgalley for review purposes! ❤ All opinions are my own. Oh, and all quotes mentioned are retrieved from the ARC, and may be changed in the final copy. Just a sidenote! 

the-inexplicable-logic-of-my-lifeThe Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Publisher: Clarion Books
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young-Adult
Series Status: N/A–Stand Alone
Page Count: 464
Source & Format: Netgalley eARC

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the multi-award-winning author of Aristotle and Dante Discover, the Secrets of the Universe comes a gorgeous new story about love, identity, and families lost and found.

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican-American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.

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There were actually multiple mentions of food and TACOS in this book as well… Aka I am very hungry right now.

Features an AMAZING fictional father

“He said, ‘Every time I look into your blue eyes. Every time I hear you laugh. Every day, when I hear your voice, I thank God for you. Yeah, Salvador, I believe in God.'”  

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Sal’s father, Vicente Silva, is one of the best fictional fathers I have ever seen. He was an amazing father who had such a deep bond with not only his son, but everyone around him, and that was so beautiful. He was there for Sal the whole time, for Sal’s best friend Sam, for their new friend Fito. He was there for each and every single one of them, offering them comfort and discipline. And love, my god, so much love. My heart hurts from how much I loved his love for everyone. He shows strength, in who he is, who he believes, what he does, in everything he does but still had fears and uncertainty just like every person. His and Sal’s and his and Sam’s moments were truly amazing, along with pretty much everyone else he met. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say he truly is a notable father–and a notable person–that deserves all the recognition it can get. Because fathers like these, in novels? A rare gem. 

“I happen to be gay. I don’t think that makes me a faggot. I’m also a Mexican American. I don’t think that makes me a taco bender. I don’t think that makes a beaner. I don’t think that makes me a spic. And I don’t think that makes me an illegal.” 

CAN SOMEONE GIVE THIS MAN AN AWARD PLEASE?

No romance, but lots of love.

Apologies to all romance lovers out there! No romance in this one, but that was one of its strong points. I’ve already mentioned before having more books with little to no romance and well, here’s this one! I think it’s really great what the author did here; not all teens find their soulmates in high school (ahem. Example: me), and focusing on aspects like love for family and friends, made this book refreshing and incredibly heartwarming. There was no shortage in love though; what this book lacked in romance, it more than made up for it with its focus on the love between Vicente and Sal, Sal and Mima, Sal and Sam’s platonic and wonderful friendship, Sal & Sam and Maggie, the dog, Sal, Sam and Fito, Sal and his uncle, and the list goes on and on. The family dynamics in Sal’s family was so beautiful, and I can not express how much I adored them. Family is SO important, and I loved the emphasis on that in this book. 

Speaking of non-romantic relationships; the friends in this book are actually #goals. Individually, my feelings on them vary, but Sal, Sam, and later Fito have such an adorable and supportive friendship that I adored. Sam and Sal’s friendship particularly stuck out to me; in them, I saw elements and phrases that I could either relate to with my own friends or just that I loved reading. And! They. Only. Stay. Friends!! NO I’M NOT JOKING. Yes, I’ve come to answer your prayers. Jk, but I’m a strong advocate for more female-male friendships, and this book featured one of the best ones I’ve read in a long time. Sam and Sal were so supportive of each other, so close and loving it made my heart hurt. Each of them had their own demons to battle, but they each had each other (among other people, of course) to push them to do so.

Sometimes family and friends are one of the best and biggest forms of love, and I loved how this book focused on those aspects of life. 

Other tasty aspects…

  • THE FOOD. This is the only one that actually makes sense in relation to the above statement. There were much tacos and tortillas and enchiladas and…. now I’m hungry. Help.
  • I didn’t get to mention my love for Fito!! Because I did love him. SO MUCH. He was so precious and did not deserve 90% of the things that happened to him. Probably one of my top favorite characters in this one, despite the fact that he isn’t exactly a main character until about halfway or something through the book.
  • Oh, I also should probably mention Sal, the main character! I did like him as well, he was SO sweet, and I loved the love he had for his family and Sam, and Fito. His relationship with his Mima was very nice as well, along with him and his father. ❤ Though, I did get exasperated with his anger-related issues at several points, it was okay.
  • Beautiful writing! It was simple but lyrical and it was lovely to read. I wouldn’t say I flew through the book because of it, but it did seem to make things seem less long, I think. Or maybe that was just me. Though, I will say, it’s kind of repetitive and the sentences can be pretty choppy. I don’t think this bothered me that much, but I know it can be a pet peeve for others aha.
  • I adored the diversity!! The book is filled with POC and queer characters, which I loved! Sal is white, but his adoptive father is Mexican, and Sal basically identifies as a Mexican and that was so precious.
I’m trying to make the headers a bit more related to my blog title!! I TRIED, OKAY. 😛
  •  Okay, so I mentioned I loved Sal and Sam’s friendship?? And I did, it was amazing. But Sam herself… eh, not as much. Sam’s development is great, however, I felt like her character the majority of the time tried too hard to not be like ‘other girls’. And that was annoying, because she ended up being a character who had no female friendships, instead calling them bitches, etc. *sad face* It was quite frustrating, really, because I really did want to enjoy her character more (she kind of shows up the entire novel, so like…)–and she had so much potential but… *sigh*
  • Things were too… similar for all three of the teens. Specifically in the mom department, which seemed all too… I don’t know. Unrealistic? Unlikely? I mean, I suppose it is possible but it seemed all too convenient and more of a plot device to have the characters have something in common that I could not 100% buy. #Justamethingprobabaly
  • Another thing that makes me quite.. conflicted, is the stereotypical and offensive statements in the novel. Things like “For a gay guy, my dad was pretty straight.” or “One thing about Sam was that she didn’t throw like a girl*.” and several other phrases. I just found them so unnecessary? Perhaps it was to show the naivety of the main character or something, I don’t know, but whatever the case may be, you could take those out and it would change nothing of the story, characters, theme, whatever. Nothing. It was just so unnecessary. 
    *Why is this still a thing?? Albeit in a fictional novel, but like still?
  • NO PLOT. And I know, it’s a character-driven novel, which is great, but like, 400+ pages is a lot to go through with a slow-paced plot. I do think you should be prepared for that, or else you’re going to be quite bored and disappointed with the plot. I mean, you might still be bored with the plot, but still, it’s not terrible, just it might be easier if you’re prepared with that info, haha.

Overall…

An enjoyable read! I really did like it, problems aside. Though from what I’ve seen, this is a lot of a hit-or-miss situation, most reviews I’ve seen have either given this book 4 stars, or 2. So. A lot of people have also expressed how this book does not live up to Aristotle and Dante, so if you have read that book, just a heads up! For me, personally, I have not yet read Ari and Dante, and I think that helped a bit if only to have more reasonable expectations aha. As a recap: I loved the focus on non-romantic love such as friends and family, the diversity, the FOOD of course, and especially Sal’s father. It truly was wonderful to read about that. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Sam’s, and there were phrases that were totally unnecessary, but overall, I do think it’s worth a read if you enjoy family dynamics, and character-driven novels. 


Wow, that was a long review! I tried out a slightly different format for my review today and I think it caused me to revert back to my rambling review days…

But tell me! What do you think of this novel? Have you read Ari and Dante yet? Did you like it? If you haven’t read it, tell me so I don’t feel so alone haha. 😛 What are your thoughts on problematic phrases in books? Any other books you know of with strong family dynamics and/or friendship and diversity? Do you plan on reading this book? Let me know in the comments, don’t let my frantic 2AM typing go in vain aha. Hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Diversity, friendships, and more! | Dear future authors: pretty please include more of these things in your books (!!!)

Hey everyone! I hope you guys are all doing well. ❤ My blogging schedule is as unpredictable as ever, but I’m back today with another post; this time with a list of things I wish I could see more in the books I read. In this case, it would be YA, but honestly, no matter what the intended audience is, we should have more of these things. YA books are great, believe me, they are. Are they perfect? No, of course not. Every book has its set of problems. However, there are things that totally deserve more attention and should totally appear more in books, which is what I want to discuss today. Let’s do this.

Things I Wish Were in More Books

1. Girl + Girl Friendships.

(Aka fromances.* Just fyi.) Beth’s wonderful post talking about girl on girl hate in YA books inspired this one–it’s something that was always in the back of my mind, but reading this post made me realize how little female friendships there are in YA fiction. We have our bromances, which are AMAZING, but the fact that I cannot think of many examples of  YA books with strong female friendships is SO problematic. So many of YA’s readers are female, and no matter what the age, every single one of them deserves to recognize and relate, and fall in love with a strong female friendship because that is part of our lives. Female friendships exist, and are so, so important. They are a HUGE part of my own life–and I will bet yours as well–and it makes me so sad that I don’t see many books reflecting that in the lives of their characters. Female friendships (fromances!!) can be one of the strongest bonds ever, just as much as the bromances or the romantic ships. They are one of the most prevalent relationships in the lives of girls everywhere, so why are the majority of our YA books lacking this friendship in the characters’ life?

*Hey, there are bromances, why can’t there be fromances? THIS IS NOW A THING. Do not judge.

2. Male-female friendships.

Continuing on the theme of friendships, I would totally love to see more male-female friendships. I recently read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, featuring an AMAZING, completely platonic, strong friendship between Sal, the main character, and his best friend, Sam. Their friendship was SO sweet and I loved it so much–but I’ll save that for the upcoming review. Point is: yes, there are definitely boy-girl friendships already that are great. But it only goes on to show that they should totally be in more books as well, because hey! News flash: boys and girls can be just friends. Everyone knows this. It’s always great to see a developed, boy-girl friendship in books to chip away at the idea that boys and girls can only be interested in each other romantically. And honestly, what harm is there melting a reader’s heart with a beautiful friendship? Friendships, in general, are awesome, and we totally need more of them. 

3. FOOD.

This might be affected by the fact that I am very very hungry right now. But nonetheless!! FOOD. Oh my gosh. So important, guys. I am always mildly shocked in the back of my mind when I read a book, and the characters go so long without food. No mention of it, nothing. There are books who do, definitely (and they understand me on a spiritual level*), but it is something that could totally be added to more books. See, food makes a book a) more realistic, b) more relatable c) more eat-able (book talks about food = book becomes said food?? Bet that’s how it works.) and d) overall more interesting because FOOD. I mean, I probably wouldn’t remember any of the descriptions of food past two seconds, but it’s in the moment, you know?

Ugh, this isn’t helping my hunger at all. I need to go restock my snack storage. Brb.

4. All the family.

CAN WE HAVE MORE FAMILY PLEASE? Thankfully I’m not dying of deprivation (yet) thanks to the select few wonderful books that have amazing moms and dads and siblings. ❤ Seriously, those books are actually the best and especially special because there are such few healthy familial relationships in YA, which is why they’re on this list. A healthy father-child bond or mother-child bond, or parents-child bond can be so impactful and so wonderful to read about. Is having parents who are present, caring, concerned and responsible too much to ask for? It really shouldn’t be. I get that, in many circumstances, absentee parents are a device for sympathy, plot, development, and who knows what else, but that does not mean we can’t have books with realistic and healthy portrayals of family because that is equally important in our lives and totally deserves more rep.

5. Little to no romance.

I’m aware of the fact that there ARE in fact many books without romance, don’t worry. I mean, I could list a few, definitely not as many as I would like, though. Because as much as I love romance in YA books (Ships yay), sometimes it’s nice to have books without, seeing how a) it gives us a break between all the emotional havoc our hearts go through the other 99% of the time, b) shows that romance isn’t everything! Because it really isn’t. See above friendships and family. ❤ and c) who has time for romance, anyway? Jk. But I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more books with little to no romance! Because hey, it’s all a part of life. Realistically, a lot of people don’t meet their one and only love in high school anyway aha. 😛

6. Slow-burn romance.

Does it make sense that I put books with no romance and books with slow-burn romance? Shhhhhhh, of course it does. Just as much as no romance books are important, I doubt YA fiction is going to kill off romance easily, which, I don’t mind because there are some really great books out there with them! Honestly, there is an endless array of books to choose in the YA romance area. But, specifically, I love slow-burns. Fantasy novels are usually quite good at this, and their romance doesn’t completely overwhelm the story, which is great for readers not looking only for romance. It would be great for more contemporary novels to have a developed and slow-burn romance too! Insta-love, for example, is not something I’m a fan of in books, which seems to appear a lot, which is why I’m advocating for more developed romances because those are so great to read, and offer a lot more to the characters and plot-wise in my opinion.

7. DIVERSITY.

This is probably the one most everyone will agree on, which is great because diversity is so important. Whether it be featuring POCs, people of the LQBT+ community, people suffering from mental illness, people with disabilities, people of different religions, etc. There are so many different people around the world–and, not just cis, white people featured in so many YA books. I have nothing against those characters, but it is a disservice to the beauty of this world, and the many wonderful, wonderful people who don’t get that much representation in the books they read. We aren’t all the same, and getting those books with characters who are similar to you can be so empowering. However, I firmly believe that if you are going to include diverse characters in a book, please, please, you have a responsibility to do it right. YA fiction, is, of course, fiction, but when it comes to diversity and representation, whether it be a race of people, or people with disabilities, or the LGBT+ community, or a culture, or anything, it’s more offensive and disrespectful to misrepresent them, including them in books but having them reduced to clichés, stereotypes. Which, is another reason why the #ownvoices movement is so great. Diversity, fortunately, is something that is being publicized more than ever, which means there are TONS of amazing diverse books out there (YAY), but I will forever be an advocate for more diverse books because it’s something that should be the norm, as well as celebrated. Why do I want–need–more (accurately represented) diverse books? For all the people who deserve to see themselves represented. For everyone so they can be educated on all the different people of the world. For everyone because they are important. Case in point: We all need diverse books. We will never not need more of them. ❤


WOW that last paragraph was longer than I expected. There is so much to say on the topic! But anyway. Friendships, diversity, family, food, these are all things I adore to see in books, things that are SO important to me and so passionate about. Can we please have more of them in YA?! Pretty please??

Sincerely, 

a deprived bookworm

Until the Next Meal, Analee

P.S. Until my plea is answered, let’s discuss! Don’t leave me hanging here, I spent a lot of time on this. 😛 Which of these do you want to see more of? What do you think about the whole diversity debacle? Any other things you want to see in YA books? ❤