Updates with Kimberly & My July 2019 TBR

Hello everybody!

You may have noticed I took a break from this blog and my bookstagram during the month of June. This was because I ended up getting sick and wanted to focus on feeling like myself again before I jumped back into sharing content with you all; I’m happy to say that I’m doing better now and am eager to get some reading done as well as write more blog posts for you all to enjoy!

I thought that July would be a fun month to set a TBR because I have my birthday on the 18th (I’ll be turning 22 in case anyone was curious!) and I wanted to give myself a challenge because I’ve been in a bit of a funk these past two months (I’ve read books I’ve enjoyed, but my motivation to read as a whole has been low compared to earlier this year!) and maybe pushing myself to pick up books I’m really excited for could be the thing to break that cycle.

Without further ado, let’s get to my July TBR!

  1. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

I’m not going to lie, I’ve owned this book for months and still haven’t read a single page because it never seems like the “right time” to. I really enjoyed Angie’s first book, The Hate U Give, when I read it last year and I’m going to go along with the saying that there’s no perfect time like the present and just finally read it and see what I think!

2. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

I’ve been eager to read more by Anna-Marie ever since I finished Blanca y Roja last year. Her writing style is absolutely beautiful and I’m curious to see how these characters will compare to those in the last book I read of hers (what I mean by this is that I really appreciated how real the characters in the story felt to me as I was reading and wonder if that feeling occur in my reading experience with Wild Beauty as well).

3. It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Sugiura

If I’m honest, I can’t quite remember how I happened to receive an e-copy of this book (I think I received it for completing a book related survey or something of that sort?) and because it’s not on my Kindle app but a different one (it’s called BookShout!), I’ve forgotten about the fact that I have had this book available to me to read. Upon looking the story up on Goodreads, I’m intrigued to see how the book as a whole will unfold.

Overall, I’m really excited to get into these stories and share with you all my thoughts come the end of July. If you feel comfortable doing so, let me know a book you’re hoping to read during this month and how you heard about it!

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Review | The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds

Hi everyone!

I’m beyond excited to share my thoughts and feelings about The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds with you all. This middle grade novel is own voices for anxiety, so as soon as I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. (In case you didn’t know, I have anxiety as well!) You can probably imagine how eager I was to have this story in my hands when the opportunity came from the author to receive an arc in exchange for a honest review. Here is the synopsis for the Spinner of Dreams (which will be released in August 2019!):

Annalise Meriwether–though kind, smart, and curious–is terribly lonely. Cursed at birth by the devious Fate Spinner, Annalise has always lived a solitary life with her loving parents. She does her best to ignore the cruel townsfolk of her desolate town–but the black mark on her hand won’t be ignored. Not when the monster living within it, which seems to have an agenda of its own, grows more unpredictable by the day. There’s only one way for Annalise to rid herself of her curse: to enter the Labyrinth of Fate and Dreams and defeat the Fate Spinner. So despite her anxiety, Annalise sets out to undo the curse that’s defined her–and to show the world, and herself, exactly who she is inside.

This book has such a whimsical and atmospheric touch that I couldn’t possibly do describing it justice. With the author’s writing style, I truly felt as I was right by Annalise’s side through each and every step of her story as I was reading.

There were so many aspects of this book that I absolutely loved, but for this review I’d like to particularly touch on three.


  1. Annalise’s anxiety

As I mentioned before, The Spinner of Dreams is an own voices novel for anxiety. Annalise reminded me of myself on many occasions and I give the author so much praise for showcasing this mental illness such an honest way. (From my reading experience, I didn’t find the story to be triggering towards my anxiety. However, everyone’s reading experience is different and I wanted to include this for anyone with anxiety who may be interested in this book; please put your well-being first if you’re unsure about how a story could impact you!)

2. Annalise’s relationship with her family

I appreciated reading about how true and genuine Annalise is about her family and how much she cares about them, as well as how that love is absolutely reciprocated. Even with this curse Annalise has had her entire life, her parents are willing to go to the ends of the world to try and ensure that Annalise is able to (despite their struggles) have happiness and hope. They’re a very close family (which you get to see even further into the story with Annalise’s grandparents as well!) and as someone who’s close with my family as well, I found those parts in this book to be very heart warming.

3. How magical this story is as a whole

It’s in taking a minute to reflect as I’ve been writing this blog post that I’m able to recognize how magical the writing made the settings and entire atmosphere of this story feel. I’m reminded of the wonder some of my childhood favorite books held (such as the Magic Tree House series) in the memories I have of my younger self reading those books (and as The Spinner of Dreams is a middle grade novel, I feel this is very fitting given the intended audience). I truly can’t sing enough praise for this story!

Overall, it’s safe to say this is a novel I will hold close to my heart for years to come, and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to read The Spinner of Dreams. I truly hope you all will pick up a copy of this book once it’s released in August of this year, because it’s absolutely wonderful!

Behind the Blogger Book Tag

Hello everyone!

I recently seen where Morrisa (MorrBooks) had a blog post where she answered these questions and I thought I’d join in on the fun! Here are the rules for the Behind the Blogger Book Tag:

  • Thank the person who nominated you (I technically wasn’t nominated but it’s okay!)
  • Answer all the questions below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn (Alloysythronraxx)
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about to do this tag

Question 1) Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

Honestly, I created this blog at first with no idea what I was going to do with it. I hadn’t joined bookstagram until a month later, and it was once I felt I was truly a part of that community (around two months) that I thought I could try sharing my love for books and storytelling on another platform. As for why I’ve continued to create content, it’s because I genuinely enjoy it. From writing book reviews for stories I absolutely loved to my Power in Words series, I look forward to writing posts that I’m excited for and can’t wait to share with you all.

Question 2) What is your favorite blog post to write?

That’s a tough one, but I think I have to go with the posts in my Power in Words series. If you’re new to my blog, this series is where I share quotes within some of the books I’ve read that I found impacted me in a strong way and I express what I’ve taken from them. I want to expand on this series to share writing of my own, but I haven’t found the right piece to start that just yet. If you’re interested, here is a link to the first post in my Power in Words series.

Question 3) What are your top three favorite blog posts?

These aren’t in a particular order, but I have to go with Ten of my Favorite Books in 2018, I’m Disabled and I’m Okay with That, and 2018 in Review: Rediscovering the Magic in Books.

Question 4) What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

I like to journal, watch YouTube videos (I probably watch way too much YouTube to be honest!), watch TV, and listening to music.

Question 5) What are three of your favorite things?

Since this isn’t asking for something in particular in terms of three of my favorite things, I’ll stick to something simple. My favorite holiday is Christmas, sunflowers are my favorite flower, and one of my favorite smells is the smell after it rains.

Question 6) What are your proudest blogging moments?

One that stands out to me is when I published my I’m Disabled and I’m Okay with That blog post. This was something I had on my mind that I wanted to share with you all for a while, but I hadn’t been sure how I was going to write it because the subject matter was so personal. However, once I read through what I’d written for the final time, I remember feeling absolute pride in the fact that I actually did it.

Question 7) What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

I enjoy journaling/writing (such as poetry, story ideas in general, or just documenting my thoughts on how my day was and things that happened), reading (while I do discuss books on this blog, reading is an activity entirely on its own that I enjoy so I felt it was only fair to include it as well!) and photography.

Question 8) Describe your personality in three words.

Easygoing, understanding, and shy.

Question 9) What are your top three pet peeves?

Bullying, being misunderstood, and slow internet (especially if you’re actively trying to finish/do something!).

Question 10) What is something your followers don’t know about you?

 I was a part of my school’s newspaper during my first two years in high school!

I’m going to tag a few bloggers I’d like to get to know better, but if this is a blog post you’re interested in doing, take this as me tagging you as well!

A Cosy Reader

Ace of Bens

Classy x Book Reviews

Sapphic Library

Thank you all so much for reading this post where you (hopefully) were able to learn more about me!

My First Experience with Camp NaNoWriMo

Hi everybody!

Something I’ve shared a few times on this blog is how writing is something I remember wanting more than anything as a career when I was a kid. I did have a span of time where this wasn’t something I felt I was capable of achieving, however, (in the past year I’d say) I’ve gained that want for sharing stories back.

So, when I found out about NaNoWriMo this past November, to say I was intimidated would be an understatement. How in the world were you supposed to get 50,000 words written in a month’s time? Spoiler alert: I had no idea! Looking back, I really wasn’t ready for this type of goal; at the time I was quite out of practice in writing and NaNoWriMo wasn’t the encouragement I needed at the time to get back into the groove of things.

Around the end of March, I remembered that Camp NaNoWriMo was also a thing. I wasn’t sure if I would participate at first but after realizing that your overall goal was up to you (rather than the encouragement of having 50,000 words written by the end the month!) and thinking about what kind of story I would focus on, I decided to give Camp NaNoWriMo a try.

So, How Did Writing Go?

I’m going to admit something you may or may not believe: I didn’t start writing “officially” until the middle of April!

Yeah, so why was that you ask? Well, at the start of April I was unsure of how to start. I would try to just write something that somewhat lined up with what I pictured in my mind, but nothing was really matching that image I had. (which I know isn’t the goal in writing a first draft, but I couldn’t shake off feeling like what I was writing wasn’t good enough!)

I was able to find a solution that worked for me through the podcast Helping Writers become Authors by K.M Weiland. The particular episode I listened to was How to Use Your Outline When Writing Your First Draft, which helped me realize that I would feel more prepared for the first draft process if I had an outline in my back pocket to use to remind myself of how I wanted this story to play out. Rather than jumping straight into a first draft, I decided that I would use the remaining time in April to write an outline for my idea.

Slowly but surely I was able to find my footing in writing this outline and even if I didn’t get words down every day, it was through this process that I got to understand where my story was headed a little better. By midnight on April 30th, I had reached my goal of 2,500 words! Sure, it’s a little messy and I still have a ways to go before I think I’ll be ready to start my first draft, but I wanted to write this blog post to serve as a reminder to myself that I was able to do it!

I know everyone’s experience with writing is different, but I want this to be a reminder that no matter how challenging these stories you have in your mind seem to be in terms of execution, you are capable of writing your story.

Wait, What About Reading?

As much as I wanted to get some of the books on my tbr read during April, I really didn’t feel up to reading. I don’t know if I’d necessarily consider it a reading slump (because I did read two books and they were both 5 star reads!) but I was feeling like I needed a bit of a break and while it wasn’t without its moments of beating myself up a little over it, I’m happy with the books I did finish and isn’t that what should matter?

Overall, I would consider April a success in my book. Thank you all so much for reading about my first time taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo, and if you participated this year as well, I’d love to know how you did and what you learned from the experience!

Why Representation Matters

I’ve had cerebral palsy my entire life. In elementary school (when I would say I was the ultimate bookworm), I never would’ve imagined reading about a character that had the same disability as I did. When I heard about A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and how one of the main characters (Harper) has cerebral palsy, I honestly couldn’t believe it at first. I probably initially thought something along the lines of,

“There’s an author that knows about cerebral palsy and actually wrote about it?

I haven’t had the opportunity to pick up A Curse so Dark and Lonely for myself just yet, but I wanted to share with you all how much seeing this disability I’ve had my whole life actually be showcased in a story means to me. Growing up, I rarely told people around my age that I was disabled. While one reason for this was not wanting to be seen as different from my peers, another was that I never knew quite how to explain what exactly cerebral palsy was to them.

Throughout writing this blog post, I’ve been thinking about how helpful a story like A Curse so Dark and Lonely could’ve been in those situations (I can’t be sure if cerebral palsy is blatantly explained in the book since I haven’t read it yet, but I can hope it would be helpful in giving the reader a better understanding of the disability). I can only imagine what a story like this could’ve done for me when I was younger, but it’s really nice to think that it’s something out into the world now that can be a reason someone has a better understanding of cerebral palsy.

I’ve also really enjoyed being able to discover content creators that have connected with A Curse so Dark and Lonely in some way. When I watched this video by BlondeBooks on YouTube (I’m also going to share her Twitter because that’s how I initially found out about her!) where she discussed her feelings about the story and how important representation was, I got a little emotional because she’s the first BookTuber I’ve ever watched that had cerebral palsy. I don’t know if she’ll read this blog post but I have to say thank you so much to Angela for sharing her story and helping me feel less alone!

That’s about everything I wanted to share in terms of the importance of disability representation based on my own experience in having cerebral palsy. I want to sincerely thank you all for reading this blog post and if you’re interested in reading a bit more about cerebral palsy from my perspective, you can read a blog post where I previously discussed my disability here.

Review | The Voice in My Head by Dana L. Davis

Hi everyone!

I recently finished reading The Voice in My Head by Dana L. Davis (which I received an e-arc of from NetGalley and Harlequin Teen!) and oh my goodness, this book took me by surprise.

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

For Indigo Phillips, life has always been her and her identical twin—Violet. The perfectly dressed, gentle, popular sister. But now Violet is terminally ill and, in a few hours, plans to die on her own terms via medically assisted suicide. Even though she and Violet have drifted apart lately, Indigo doesn’t know how to face life without the only person who really understands her. Until suddenly she hears a mysterious voice claiming to be God, insisting that if she takes Violet to a remote rock formation in the Arizona desert, her sister will live.

Indigo is sure she’s losing it. But Violet agrees to go—if their incredibly dysfunctional family accompanies them on their trek from Seattle to Arizona. Indigo can barely be in the same zip code as her distant mother and controlling big sister, much less keep the peace on a road trip. Speaking her mind is the only way she can deal. But between facing senseless mishaps and strange lodgings, and meeting even stranger folks along the way, Indigo will learn shocking things about those she thought she knew too well. When a sequence of wrenching secrets detonates, Indigo must figure out how to come to terms with her sister, her family…and the voice in her head.

The main aspect that really made me enjoy this story was how real and honest the family dynamics felt as I was reading. Indigo feels like she simply doesn’t match up to her twin sister Violet; she does things (like photography, which is an interest they share) with ease and is able to be kind and gentle without even thinking about it. They’ve grown distant as Violet’s health has gotten worse, and it’s through this road trip their family goes on that the two of them get to understand why.

The Phillips family really did keep me on my toes. From Indigo’s relationship with her mother (I really appreciated the conversation that they had in terms of addressing it!) to how Michelle (Indigo and Violet’s older sister) as a character really challenges Indigo in terms of trying to understand things from her point of view when it comes to this trip and Violet’s condition in general (she’s a nurse who’s taken care of Violet since she’s gotten ill).

What ultimately made this a 4 star rated read for me is that I didn’t particularly like how some characters expressed their worry for Indigo in terms of her mental health. I understand that hearing the voice of God is something you would find hard to believe, but I found it unnecessary for a character to say (which they overheard another character say) to Indigo that they believe she should be in a straitjacket. This in particular just didn’t sit right with me and something to note is that as this was an arc, this could be changed come the finished story. Regardless, I felt that because this was something that was in the version I read that I had to share it so you all could be aware of it.

This was the kind of story that had me feeling every up and down as the Phillips were experiencing them. You really get to see this trip through Indigo’s eyes especially where all she wants is to save her sister’s life and believe in this voice in her head that is telling her that Violet will live, because she wants to have her by her side more than anything.

The Voice in My Head will be released on May 28th, 2019. I really enjoyed the characters in this story, and I hope you will consider giving this book a chance by picking it up once it’s out in the world.

A-Z Book Tag

Hello everybody!

I recently saw where Books in the Skye did the A-Z Book Tag and as I was reading their post, I thought it’d be fun to do myself!

A: Author You’ve Read the Most Books From

I’m pretty sure in elementary school I read most (if not all) of the Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin, but I honestly can’t recall the exact number of books.

B: Best Sequel Ever

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while longer than probably necessary because (childhood self set aside) I feel like I haven’t read that many sequels.

However, a sequel that I have read that stood out to me after I decided that I’m not going with books I read growing up (because honestly, I don’t remember them to the greatest of detail and that just doesn’t seem fair!) is Vicious by V.E. Schwab.

C: Currently Reading

The Voice in my Head by Dana L. Davis. I was recently approved for this arc on NetGalley and I haven’t read much of the story yet, but I’m enjoying it so far. (This book will be released on May 28th of this year, just in case you were curious!)

D: Drink of Choice while Reading

Sweet tea or water.

E: E-Reader or Physical Book?

I really enjoy both for a variety of reasons, but because I’ve had more time with reading physical books, that’s the one I’d pick if I could only have one.

F: Fictional Character You Would’ve Dated in High School

I didn’t really read that much in high school so I don’t feel like it’d be accurate to pick a character I would’ve dated in that time in my life.

G: Glad You Gave this Book a Chance

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy which was edited by Ameriie. This was the first anthology I believe I’ve read and getting the perspective from multiple authors surrounding one core subject matter was really interesting.

H: Hidden Gem Book

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. This book in particular I found to be incredibly well written and I loved how the author was able to depict stillness, the importance in quiet moments, and how friendships are capable of changing when you don’t necessarily mean for them to.

I: Important Moment in Your Reading Life

Honestly, starting my bookstagram as well as this blog. I was in a place where I was just getting back into reading and having the sense of community from both of these social media platforms has meant the absolute world to me.

J: Just Finished

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver. The characters in this book are so well written (especially with how much they appreciate and care for one another!) and complex it honestly kind of blew me away. If you’re on the look out for a story with queer as well as anxiety representation, I can’t recommend this book enough!

K: Kind of Books You Won’t Read

Erotica and heavy focused romance books. It’s just not something I’m interested in picking up.

L: Longest Book You’ve Read

From what I can recall, I believe the longest book I’ve read is The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (which has 557 pages).

M: Major Book Hangover because of…

Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles. I remember clearly how I had to give myself a few days to gather my thoughts together about the story to just write a Goodreads review because this was such an impactful read for me. I didn’t finish my next book until ten days after I did write my review and I still think about this book today (and it’s been months since I read it).

N: Number of Bookcases you Own

Zero.

O: One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I enjoyed this book so much; seeing Xiomara express herself and what she’s going through in her poetry (the format of this book is through poems in case you were unaware!) was honestly breathtaking. I couldn’t recommend picking this book up enough!

P: Preferred Place to Read

My bed.

Q: Quote that Inspires You/Gave You Major Feels

From Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone: “Last night, you said you didn’t want me to see your flaws…your broken places. Well, I didn’t want to let you see mine either…”

Just in case you haven’t read this book yourself, I’m not going to go into spoilers as to how this quote is quite impactful in terms of the story as a whole. I just think (even without context!) that this speaks a lot on its own. Reading this back for the sake of including it in this tag made me think of how hard it can be to open up to someone (no matter how close you are with a person!) and it was a nice reminder that this is something everyone can relate to in some way.

R: Reading Regret

I don’t know if I have any if I’m being honest. Sure, there have been books I’ve read that weren’t necessarily my favorite, but I think those stories helped me recognize what I do and what I don’t find the most enjoyable to read.

S: Series You’ve Started that You Need to Finish (and all of the books are currently out!)

The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I read A Darker Shade of Magic sometime last year and I really did enjoy the story, I just got caught up in reading other books rather than picking the next book in the series up. I would probably have to reread the first book before getting the next one, but it’s something I’m trying my best to keep in mind the next time I get the opportunity to go book shopping so I can get the other two books!

T: Three of your All Time Favorite Books

(In no particular order)

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon

U: Unapologetic Fangirl for…

Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner. I’ve talked about this book in multiple posts because I just really appreciate the story as a whole.

V: Very Excited for This Release

There’s so many books in excited yet to be released, but there’s one in particular that I discovered recently that I’m really stoked to read once it’s out in 2020. We Used to be Friends by Amy Spalding (which has an awesome cover by the way!) will focus on a childhood friendship that (as the title suggests) ends up falling apart. I’m interested to see this subject be explored in YA because I feel like it’s something that’s not often discussed.

W: Worst Bookish Habit

Maybe reading more than one book at a time? Sometimes I can get overwhelmed when I’m in the middle of more than one book, so that’s why this comes to mind in particular.

X: X Marks the Spot! Start at the Top Left of your Bookshelf and Pick the 27th Book

Paper Towns by John Green.

Y: Your Latest Book Purchase

I recently bought Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore and The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn.

Z: Zzz Snatcher – Last Book that Kept You Up Way too Late

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. I can’t remember the exact time I finished reading it, but just know I was teary eyed by the end of the story and as much as I wanted to go to give my parents a hug, they were kind of asleep so that didn’t happen.

Alright, I think that’s all of the prompts accounted for. I’m going to tag a few people to answer these as well (but by all means don’t feel obligated to!) because I’m curious to see what their responses would be:

A Cosy Reader

Adrianna

Meltotheany

VickyWhoReads

Thank you all so much for reading!!

The Power in Words: Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Hi everyone!

I’ve been eager to be able to post this for a while, because as I was reading Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee in August of last year (I was fortunate enough to be able to receive an arc!) I wrote down some of my favorite quotes so I could use them for this blog post. I’m aware some of these quotes could have be adjusted since I read the story, but I wanted to share some of the words that I found special from my reading experience.

(There could be spoilers for this story involved in this post; I try my best to be vague in sharing my thoughts but I want to offer this heads up regardless!)

Most of all, I think it’s people who love to be reminded that sometimes you do your best and you come up short, but there’s still a place in the world for people like that. … It’s comforting to know that you don’t have to be excellent to not be completely forgotten. Maybe it’s people who feel like the world is leaving them behind. Maybe it’s people who simply want to remember a time when they were happier and their lives were easier.

This comes from Delia early on in the story and when I read this, I thought about it for a long time. In particular, I think back to my high school self (which I experience every now and again) and I wonder what her thoughts would be about how we’re doing today. How would she showcase her present? I really don’t know if I’m honest, and I suppose that’s okay.

I don’t want to grow up. I want to keep living in this moment forever. With Lawson. With Delia. Take the hourglass and lay it on its side.

This came from Josie’s point of view and it reminded me of how much I wanted to treasure moments of joy with friends and/or family as I was growing up. An example being how when I went to my first concert during spring break during my last year of high school, I must have taken hundreds of pictures and quite a few videos throughout the show. I vividly remember thinking,

“I want to be able to remember this night and how fun it was.”

I think of that night often. I don’t know if it’s because of how much space on my phone is filled from back then, but it’s something I think is really nice to have.

The knowledge that my image and voice will travel to the homes of people I’ve never met and never will meet, and I’ll be a small part of their lives and never even know. I’m not just leaving Delia behind. I’m leaving a piece of myself.

When I reached this point in the book, I was so emotional. Josie and Delia’s friendship was so special in my eyes as I read this story, and to realize this was where Josie was truly closing the chapter of her part in this show they’ve grown together, I wanted to give them both a hug. Goodbyes in any form are so hard, and this one for me in particular was so well done (to the point I’m pretty sure I cried).

Thank you all so much for reading this addition in The Power in Words series!

February 2019 Wrap-Up

Hi everyone!

I honestly can’t believe this, but I managed to read seven books last month and from those, exactly how many were from my February tbr? (which you can read here in case you missed it!)

*Drum roll*

One! (and a third of another book technically, but that’s not what I’m going to be talking about today!)

I’ll admit, I was a little bummed at first as I realized I didn’t complete the three books I set up to read in February. As I’m looking back on this past month though, I wouldn’t change anything, because I had some stories that I absolutely loved that I can’t wait to share with you all!

1. Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie (Editor)

I believe this was the first anthology I’ve read, and I truly really enjoyed the experience of getting to read multiple takes of how a fairytale can be twisted once you hear it from a villain’s point of view. I wasn’t sure how to rate this at first (considering you get stories from more than one author, as well as commentary from Booktubers!) but I decided on giving this anthology 4/5 stars because I really found the concept interesting and really enjoyed the anthology as a whole.

2. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

This book was a lot for me. I recently read Vicious (the first book in this series(?)) for the first time and I absolutely loved how Victor and Eli as characters were morally grey and dynamic to the point I really wondered how I would’ve acted if I was in their situation. I enjoyed getting to know Eli’s past in this story, as well as the addition of June and Marcella as characters. I personally would’ve liked to know a little more about the additional characters (especially June!) that were featured and the ending for me was a bit rushed. Overall, I gave this story 4/5 stars and I genuinely enjoyed this book.

3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This was the book that was on my tbr post that I actually got around to finishing. (Yay!) This was my first time reading a book by Patrick Ness, and I absolutely loved it. The characters were so well written and relatable in ways I wasn’t expecting and throughly appreciated.

The discussion of mental health was written in a way that I believe it’s something I’m going to hold close to my heart for a long time. Also, how everyone’s friendship was done for me was so raw and real in capturing how it feels to be approaching a new chapter in your life; I really appreciated getting to read something that I experienced myself as a senior in high school wondering what life was going to be like once I received my diploma.

4. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us was such a haunting read that I truly was wondering what turns and twists Nova was going to take in this story. I believe going into this book not knowing anything was the best method (at least for me personally!), however with that said, I just want to say that the characters felt so alive throughout the entire book. I felt so much for all of them and I can’t recommend checking this book out enough! (I personally listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed the experience!)

5. Hero by Perry Moore

(I just want to give a content warning that this story does contain mentions of homophobia!)

I found this book so hard to put down as I was reading it. The characters were complex and felt real in terms of facing their struggles. Thom (the main character) is someone who just wants to be understood, and I felt for him so much as the book carried on. I enjoyed how the author wrote the friendships Thom has as they develop, and how he showcases that things can be so much more complicated than we first realize when meeting new people and getting to understand them.

6. The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

Shaun David Hutchinson is one of my favorite authors, so when I saw this was on Scribd I jumped at the chance to read it. The characters were well done and took routes I wasn’t expecting them to as I was reading. However, close to the ending of the book, I was surprised by how things were continuing on and by the end, I was unsure of my feelings about the book’s conclusion. (I honestly still feel this way; it’s like, I didn’t strongly dislike it, but it really was unexpected in my opinion!) All things considered though, I enjoyed the journey I had in reading this story, so I ended up rating The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley 3.5/5 stars.

7. The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

I may or may not have been over the moon excited when I realized the audiobook for this story was out and immediately decided to give it a listen.

Dino and July are not perfect characters and I absolutely loved how real and honest their story felt as I was listening. Their friendship is complicated and it’s not easy for them to come back together and figure things out (especially given the circumstances of how they were reconnected!) I also found Dino and Ralphe’s (not sure on the spelling of Ralphe’s name as I don’t own a physical copy of the book at the time of writing this blog post!) relationship to be well done. Also, Dino’s uncertainty in knowing what he wants to do with his life was really relatable (especially with the place I am in currently in life!)

Alright, that’s a wrap on my February wrap-up! I hope you all enjoyed getting to know my thoughts about the seven books I picked up last month, and please, feel free to share one of your favorite books you’ve recently read. I’m always up for recommendations on stories you’re all enjoying!

Playlist Book Tag

Hello everybody!

For today’s post, I wanted to share my love for music with you all. I thought that there wasn’t a better way to do that than to do the original playlist book tag (where the rules are that you put your music on shuffle and choose a book that you find fits which song plays). Without further ado, let’s get on with the tag!

1. YOUTH by Troye Sivan

I chose Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for this song because they both hold a lot of nostalgia for me. When I first read Fangirl, I remember connecting with Cath as a character in a way I hadn’t been touched by a story in a long time; similarly, when I listened to Troye Sivan’s first album Blue Neighborhood all the way through for the first time, I was just in awe of how much love he poured into his music. Also, one of my first thoughts as I connected YOUTH to Fangirl was how I bet Cath would have an epic dance party to this song, so it was after that that I had to pair these two together!

2. iRobot by Jon Bellion

As I was paying attention to the lyrics in this song, what I immediately thought of was how in Sadie by Courtney Summers, the love Sadie has for her sister is addressed throughout the book. Mattie was her entire world and with her passing, Sadie goes on to find the person responsible because that’s the lengths she’s willing to go for the person she loved more than anyone else.

3. 6/10 by dodie

I think both Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone and 6/10 by dodie convey that feeling of needing to hide your imperfections and constantly being ‘on’ for the sake of other people very well. Sam doesn’t want anyone at her school to know she has OCD; so she works to maintain her place in the popular friend group, this way no one can suspect a thing. This can’t last forever though, and I feel that Sam could appreciate this song when she begins to see that.

4. Live Like Legends by Ruelle

If you have read Vicious by V.E. Schwab, please give this song a listen and realize (like I did when it started to play!) how perfect these two go together. I really don’t want to give spoilers in case you haven’t read this yet, but what I will say is that Victor and Eli as characters have quite the power in drawing you in to want to know more about them.

I hope you all enjoyed getting a look at some of the music I listen to, and maybe found a book you’d be interested in picking up along the way! Thank you so much for reading, and let me know: if you had to pick a song to go along with your current read, what would your choice be?