My 2019 Reading Resolutions! (And a Look Back at 2018)

So I know February is a bit late but I don’t care! Here’s a look at my resolutions for the 2019, as well as an examination of all the goals I did or didn’t meet for 2018!


2018 Goodreads Reading Goal: 125 books                                          I read: 135 books 



Goal: Read at least 15 books I already own (off my bookshelf)



Goal: Read 5 or more Middle Grade books              I read: 2.  Hey, at least I read any at all!



Goal: Get back into reading comics

I read a couple graphic novels for school, and in my free time. I’d like to read even more this year.


Goal: Attend Yallwest 2018

(and I had a blast!!!!)


Goal: Read at least a sequel a month.  Finish some series. I read 11 sequels and finished 3 series this year. So I’d say that’s pretty good.


Goal: Start going to the library again

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh oops. I think I went one time. Oh well.


Goal: publish at least 3 blog posts a month. Not even close. I’ll try harder this year, I promise.


Goal: Listen to more audiobooks. I listened to……about 1 and a half? I listened to the entire audiobook of Ever the Hunted and loved it. I listen to the audiobook of In the Afterlight up until about 70% through the book until I decided to visually read it the rest of the way. So. 1 and about 3/4 audiobooks. I gotta set a more clear goal this year, with an actual number as opposed to just “listen to MORE audiobooks.”

Goal: Read more diverse books by diverse authors.

Goal: Read more New Adult/Adult books.

I only read about 5 New Adult/Adult books last year. This year I wanna like, triple that.


Goal: Read a classic or two. Oops.

Goal: Read a collection of poetryor some books written in verse.

 I read one book of poetry all year and that was Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, which was pretty good. I didn’t read any books written in verse though, shame on me.


Goal: Read a nonfiction book or an autobiography. I think Kaur’s Milk and Honey is nonfic?



All in all, I think I did……pretty well doncha think?


So now that we’re done with 2018, lets talk about my goals for 2019….



My 2019 Reading Resolutions


Goodreads Reading Challenge: Read a total of at least 75 books. 

Why is it smaller than last years goal, you ask? Because I don’t want to stress myself out too much. And I also want to give myself space to explore other hobbies and focus on other things. I think that’s a pretty healthy goal. But I’ll probably wind up reading at least 100 books anyways.

Middle Grade: Read at least 5 more Middle Grade books. I can accomplish that, surely, now that I’ve discovered many new favorite authors who write both YA and MG.

New Adult/Adult: Read at least 10 NA or Adult books. I love YA to death, but I also love reading about characters my own age every once and awhile. Or at least, books that have YA aged characters but are written more for an adult audience.

Diversity: Read at least 1 queer book a month, and at least one book by a disabled author and/or an author of color a month. I read a lot of diverse books last year and I enjoyed a good number of them. I wanna increase the number of diverse books I read this year by even more and read books by authors of all different races, sexualities, genders and disabilities each month.




Non book related goals for 2019:

  • Become a gamer-youtuber. I’m a huge fan of video games and I spend a lot of time playing them, so why not take my hobby to the next level and post videos of myself playing on Youtube? I got a new gaming tv monitor for christmas and I want to put it to good use.
  • Start practicing Wicca. I’ve been looking into Paganism and Wicca a lot lately and I’m very intrigued. I think I may have found the only religion I have any interest in being a part of.
  • Bake and cook more. I started baking and cooking again a little towards the end of the year. I’d like to bake or cook at least one thing a month, if I can manage.
  • Try to pick up a new creative, artsy, hobby. I recently gathered sculpting tools to try and make an attempt at making my own custom funko pop. I’m currently working on it right now. I’d like to try out more arts and craft type projects and see if I’m any good at them.




So there we go! Let’s see how this all turns out.

Monthly Wrap Up: January

I read a total of 7 books this month. 4/7 were diverse and 3/7 were queer. In February I hope to read some f/f books since the queer books I read in January were m/m or m/f. I also hope to read some books by black authors and/or with black characters this month because February is Black History Month!

Books read: 7

Diverse books read: 4

New Adult/Adult books read: 1

Unreleased ARCS read: 2



The Wicker King by K. Ancrum 

The Wicker King is a very uniquely written book. Each page has a ‘title’ and I noticed that the pages gets progressively darker as the story itself does. Like, literally darker. The pages start off pale gray and get darker and blacker the further you read. It takes place in the 90’s, making it 1 of like 3 total books I’ve read (I think) that take place during that time. It perfectly captures the unhealthy nature of a codependent relationship. It’s the story of two boys who are best friends, maybe something more. Who can’t see that they rely entirely too much on each other, to the point that their relationship is at times more harmful than healthy. It’s filled with beautiful artwork and pictures that further immerse you in August and Jack’s story, as one of them descends deeper into madness and the other watches on helplessly, unable to find the willpower to do what’s needed to help them. I was captivated by Ancrum’s storytelling and caught up in a thousand different emotions from frustration to hope to relief. I have an ARC of Ancrum’s upcoming YA scifi and I’m excited to see how her sophomore novel compares to her brilliant debut!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars



Meet Me In Outer Space by Melinda Grace

Meet me in Outer Space is the first book I’ve ever read with a main character that has sensory processing disorder. The main character is a sophomore in college too, which I loved cause it’s nice to see more college aged characters in YA. It’s written so that teens of all ages can enjoy it despite the main character being no longer in high school though, so no worries. If you have learning disability or a disability that impacts your learning, you’ll be able to relate to Edie’s struggles to focus, to pass her classes, and get the accommodations she needs. The romance between Edie and the T.A Hudson was sweet yet complicated and Hudson was very supportive of Edie and determined to see her succeed. Meet me in Outer Space is a short and sweet read that shines a light on what it’s like being to have a disability that strongly impacts daily life and the college experience.

Rating: 4/5 stars



Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

If you know me, you know I can’t get enough of westerns, or books inspired by the Wild West. It’s one of my favorite time periods to read about, especially if there are fantasy elements mixed in. Berserker follows a family on the run, traveling from Norway to America, whilst also trying to tame the ancestral viking magic that runs in their veins. The story was brutal, violent at times, a journey both mental and physical. I love sibling books, and Berserker is very much a book about the love and loyalty between siblings. There’s some romance too, of course, between the main character Hanne and a cute cowboy named Owen. I can’t wait to read book two and see what happens next.


Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale

I’m always eager for books with bisexual characters and m/f romance, as a bisexual myself with a strong preference for guys. Small Town Hearts had me feeling a wide range of emotions from nostalgia to utter frustration. I loved the quaint small town atmosphere and I loved the fact that the main character Babe was perfectly happy living there forever, working as a Barista at a local cafe she loved, with no pressure or desire to attend college. That’s a rare thing to find in books about older teens. There was a lot of friendship drama between Babe and her childhood friends, as well as her ex girlfriend, which had me very frustrated, but in a way that kept me entertained and made me more sympathetic to Babe. I was rooting for her to find peace dammit! Levi was the perfect love interest for Babe; sweet, patient, understanding, non judgmental, smart, laid back, funny, kind…you get the picture-a bunch of great qualities, but still flawed and realistic and likable. The ending was believable and satisfying. If you love small town summer romance, baking, the beach, friendship drama and older teen YA, you’ll love Small Town Hearts.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars



The Wicked King by Holly Black

I started TWK as soon I was able to get my hands on it. After finishing The Cruel Prince back in 2017, I immediately wanted the sequel, and it was incredibly painful waiting over a year. And after all that time, it definitely didn’t disappoint. The romance was 10 times steamier and the stakes twice as high. I was delighted at the direction the romance went, and pleasantly surprised at how much both Jude and Cardan changed from book 1. Especially Cardan. I mean, wow. Talk about character development. Talk about a solidly written enemies-to-lovers romance arc. Waiting yet another year for the conclusion to the series will be the worst kind of torture. That twist ending killed me.

Rating: 5/5 stars


Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

As much as I love and always will love YA, I equally love reading books with characters my own age. There simply aren’t enough (diverse) books about characters in their 20’s. So, to read a contemporary romance with a bisexual 22 year old character was very refreshing. I absolutely loved this super sweet romance about the first son of the united states and the prince of Wales. It was both hilarious and heartbreaking. I laughed out loud at some parts and cried at others. I loved the banter between Alex and Henry and the way their relationship progressed from rivalry to friendship to love. Great bisexual rep, beautiful writing, compelling story telling. I loved the brother/sister relationship between Alex and June as well. I’ll never get enough of books with siblings who are best friends. I definitely encourage anyone who loves diverse New Adult romance to pre order this book if you can. I loved every minute of it!

Rating: 5/5 stars


Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck

Beware the Night had a very unique story-line I loved, a headstrong and determined female main character and a love triangle that had me torn between both love interests. Those are the best kind of love interest, the ones where you’d be happy with whoever the main character chooses. Dorian and Nico were as different as can be and both represented completely different aspects of Veda’s life. I love books about revolution and the oppressed rising up against their oppressors, which is the ultimate theme of Beware the Night. I was drawn me into the suspense and mystery of the story of a girl whose world is turned upside down when she learns that everything she’s been taught is a lie. The ending is intense and I am praying that there will be a sequel.

Rating: 4/5 stars

My Favorite Video Games and Movies of 2018

One of the things I want to start doing this year is write blog posts about things other than books. I have other things I’m passionate about and I’m just dying to talk about them. I played a lot of really great games this year and saw a lot of really amazing movies and I just reaaaaaally wanna talk about em, you guys! Real bad! So I’m gonna, even though this is a book blog!





The Best Games I Played in 2018 (in no particular order)


I played a lot of games last year, from choice based narratives to action-adventures. Choice based narratives or third person adventure games are my favorites, because I like getting to know characters and I love the feeling that I’m reading a story, but in a visual format, and where I have control over the characters actions. It’s lots of fun and something about it really gets my own creative juices flowing.



1) Until Dawn by Supermassive Games. (On my PS4)

Until Dawn is a supernatural horror game in which your choices determine the outcome of the game, and in which all 8 characters can either live or die based on those choices. It’s set up like a cheesy 80’s horror film, but it’s got its own unique storyline and plot twists as well, and its got both likable and unlikable characters who are each interesting in their own ways. It’s one of those games you can replay several times to see how different choices turn out, and to get one of the multiple endings.


There are a few well known actors playing some of the main characters, for instance, Hayden Pannatiere and Rami Malek. They both did fantastic jobs.

Oh, and the graphics are pretty damn amazing too.



2.) The Last of Us by Naughty Dog (on my PS4)

I’ll never tire of zombie dystopian games, books, movies. Ever. There’s just so much to explore, so many characters you can meet, so many stories to be told. And Joel and Ellie’s story is a fantastic one. A heartbreaking, intense, life changing one.

There’s a sequel to The Last of Us coming out sometime this year, featuring a grownup (and supposedly lesbian) Ellie as the main character. I am beyond excited to see how much Ellie has changed and what she encounters next.



3.) Heavy Rain by Quantic Dream (on my PS4)

Heavy Rain is another choice based narrative in which there are multiple endings, where any of the characters can live or die. It gets really dark really quick. It’s a murder-mystery and you’ll be kept guessing throughout the whole game as you work to get to the bottom of things while trying to make the right choices.

There were many life-or-death moments and I will admit that I did get most of the main characters killed on my first playthrough. By accident. Oops! I plan to play it again soon for different outcomes.




4.) Uncharted: Thief’s End Uncharted: The Lost Legacy by Naughty Dog (on my PS4)

I’ve been playing Uncharted for years, back when my brother still had a PS3 and I didn’t own a gaming system of my own. My brother let me play the first 2 games, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The Uncharted games are the best kind of adventure games; there’s shootouts, yes, but there are also lots of puzzles to solve, ancient temples to explore, and characters that you won’t ever want to forget. A Thief’s End brought Nathan Drake’s story to a heartwarming and satisfying end. We got some more glimpses into his past, we got to see more of his relationship with his brother Sam, and we got a peek at his future and his life after his adventures as well. It was everything I could’ve hoped for in an end to  his story.

I’ve seen a lot of people say they didn’t like Uncharted: Lost Legacy, which I don’t understand because I loved it just as much as the previous games. It was refreshing to play in the same world and format of the previous games but with different characters. Chloe and Nadine are an amazing partners in crime power couple. I’d love to see a second game featuring the two of them, possibly with them in a romantic relationship, cause the chemistry and the potential is definitely there.



5.) Oxenfree by Night School Studio (on my ipad)

Oxenfree is a game I stumbled upon while browsing my ipads app store. As soon as I saw the words “choice based narrative game” in the description and watched a short clip of the game, I knew I had to play it. I’m a sucker for choice based games.

Oxenfree really took me by surprise, and in the best way possible. It’s a creepy teen mystery set on an island with some unexplainable supernatural phenomena going on. Its got sibling bonding, complex friendships and very distinct characters. Its the kind of game I won’t be forgetting any time soon.



6.) Spiderman (2018) by Insomniac Games (on my PS4)


The 2018 Spider-Man is unlike any I’ve played before. Its got a lot of the old characters we’re familiar with but it also has its own original storyline, which was really refreshing.

I loved this game’s version of Mary Jane-her personality, her voice, was all very different from the Mary Jane I remember from the original movies and I honestly liked her a lot better.

We also got to see a bit of Miles Morales in this game, and were even able to play as his character briefly too. It made me really wish for a Miles focused Spider-Man game in the future.



7.) The Walking Dead: A New Frontier by Telltale Games (on my PS4)

I’ve been playing The Walking Dead games on my ipad for years, since before I had a PS4 to play them on. If you’re wondering, yes, the games are based off the show, but they follow completely different characters and storylines. A New Frontier takes places a number of years after the previous game, and it was interesting to see some of the original characters more grown up, as well as get introduced to plenty of new characters.



8.) Bioshock Infinite by Irrational Games (on my PS4)

I’m not typically into first person shooter games, but the Bioshock games are the exception. For one thing, the setting is just so intriguing: it’s made to feel like it takes place in the 20’s, but also futuristic at the same time, with some steampunk elements. I love the concept of a retro-futuristic world underneath the sea, although this game doesn’t take place underwater but rather a city in the sky instead.

Also, Bioshock Infinite in particular felt a lot less impersonal than the previous games, because even though it’s first person, the character you’re playing actually has a name, and a voice, and the relationship between him and our other main character Elizabeth, makes the game feel more personal and storylike than the previous games.



9.) Life is Strange: Before the Storm by Deck Nine

The original Life is Strange game was one of my favorites games of 2017. I was ecstatic when I learned that there was a prequel featuring Chloe, and following her life before her reunion with Max. We get a firsthand look at her friendship-turned-romance with Rachel Amber, and some of the events leading up to Max’s story in Life is Strange.  We get a glimpse at her relationship with her dad, albeit in a kinda dark and depressing way-her dad is dead, so all of her conversations with him are solely part of her imagination. Unlike the original Life is Strange, there’s no time travel in this story, but it still has an emotional impact and leaves you feeling nostalgic.


10.) Detroit: Become Human by Quantic Dream (on my PS4)

The last game I played this year, Detriot: Become Human is yet another choice based narrative adventure. You play as 3 vastly different main characters who have one thing in common: they are humanoid androids built with the sole intention of being slaves to humans. But the androids are beginning to realize that their feelings are as real as any humans, and now they won’t stop fighting until they’ve got their equal rights. 

I fell in love with either of the characters and their individual stories as they fought for their lives and their rights and explored the concept of being human in their own ways. Especially Connor. Connor is amazing. 





My Favorite Movies of 2018:


A Quiet Place 

I’m also down for original horror stories with original concepts, that don’t rely on gore or jump scares for scare factors. A Quiet Place focuses mostly on the strength of family and the emotional resilience needed to survive in a post apocalyptic world. I loved the unique concept of a future in which survival is dependent on ones ability to make as little noise as possible. I was on edge the whole movie and found the ending to be sad, yet hopeful and satisfying at the same time. All of the actors did wonderfully, and I look forward to any of their future projects.



Bohemian Rhapsody

I saw Bohemian Rhapsody in theaters with my mom last month. I was super excited to see Rami Malek in a new movie, already being a big fan of his since I’d seen him in Until Dawn as Josh. He’s a phenomenal actor, and he definitely did not let me down in his portrayal of Freddie Mercury. There were many tear-jerker moments throughout the movie, but the one that got me the most affected me in a very personal way. Hearing Freddie clearly say the words “I think I’m bisexual” was something I never would’ve expected, and as a bisexual person myself it was a very powerful thing to witness, as I think it was the first time I’ve ever heard those words in theaters before. Of course, it was followed by a condescending “No Freddy, you’re gay” from his fiance, but it was still moving nonetheless.



A Simple Favor 

I watched A Simple Favor with my parents just a week or so ago. I’d been dying to see it since I’d seen the trailer a few months earlier, so I had very high expectations going into it. Thankfully, I was not disappointed in the slightest. Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick are both phenomenal actresses who work extremely well with one another, and they played their eccentric characters amazingly. A Simple Favor was weird, unexpected and hilarious, and I loved every minute of it.



Love, Simon

I read the book that inspired the movie, Simon Vs. the Homosapiens Agenda 2 or 3 years ago and I absolutely adored it. I loved the concept of two boys who talk only online, and have no clue of each other’s true identities, except that they’re both gay and attend the same high school. The movie has some differences from the book of course, but it’s still the same touching coming out story filled with laughter, tears, family matters, strong friendships and an important lgbtq storyline.


Honorable Mentions


I feel bad not including The Darkest Minds in my top favorites of the year, but it just didn’t quiiiiite do the book justice in my opinion. I don’t know when I’ll learn to not get my hopes up so high for book to movie adaptations. I still love the cast to death though, and I’ll definitely wanna rewatch it at some point and own the dvd, just cause I’m such a huge fan of the books and the characters and the world.

Happy Death Day was cute and lots of fun, but I don’t know if I’d call it a favorite, and Bird Box unique and exciting and heartbreaking but not all that memorable.

And that’s it! Let me know if we have any favorites in common, so we can discuss.

Favorite Adult, New Adult, and YA/Adult Crossovers of 2018

I read less than 10 Adult/New Adult books this year in total. But most of them became new all time favorites!


The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. This book will always have a special place in my heart, because it’s the very first adult romance novel written by an autistic author, and with an autistic main character, that I have ever read. The very first. And it was utterly perfect in every possible way. It’s sweet and sensitive and heartwarming, with the perfect amount of romantic angst, cutesy awkward moments, and a wonderfully portrayed friends-with-benefits scenario in which both of them feel more for the other than they let on. There’s a sequel companion called The Bride Test coming out May this year, this time featuring a male autistic character, and I’m counting down the days till I can read it!



The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This one was recommended to me when I went on Twitter asking people for recommendations of YA/Adult crossovers to read. If you don’t know what a crossover is, it’s a book that’s classified as an ‘adult’ or ‘general fiction’ novel but that contains YA aged main characters and can still appeal to teen/YA audiences. The Song of Achilles is a retelling of The Iliad, told from a queer perspective, and featuring a m/m romance. It’s every bit as tragic and heartbreaking as you’d expect a greek retelling to be, and Madeline Miller’s writing and storytelling brings a fresh perspective to the table. I’ll definitely be reading more of her books.



Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole. Radio Silence is a book I accidentally stumbled across while searching up another book of the same name. And I’m so glad I found it! It’s a diverse romance that takes place in the modern day world, but one in which all electricity, power, running water, etc, is no longer working. It’s a book with virtually no white characters. The main character is black, the love interest is Asian, and her best friend is gay and Asian. It was a quick and fun survival story with a steamy romance and lots of high stakes. I definitely plan on reading the next book in the series!




A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert. The second adult romance I read this year written by an autistic author, and containing an autistic main character. In this case, the main character, Ruth, is also black. Which is even rarer to see when it comes to autistic characters in media. That part of the story is Own Voices as well, since Talia Hibbert is a black autistic author. I loved how distinct Ruth’s voice was, how snarky and forthright and honest she was. And the love interest, Evan, was sweet, understanding, and patient, basically everything Ruth needed. I loved them together. Looking forward to reading the other books in this series.



Honorable Mentions:


Favorite Contemporary YA’s of 2018

I discussed my favorite scifi and fantasy reads of the year. Now it’s time to review my favorite contemporaries!



I will never understand people who refuse to read contemporary, or who say it’s boring. Some of the most life changing books I’ve ever read have been contemporary. So here’s a look at those I adored in 2018:



Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennett never ever EVER disappoints. I have adored every single one of her YA romances. Her books are just utter perfection, every time. I don’t know how she does it. I’m always left with a feeling of pure, satisfied contentment at the end of each of her books. The characters are perfectly messy and perfectly complex. The love stories are perfectly complicated and steamy and realistic. If I had to choose one author to read for the rest of my life, it would be Jenn Bennett.



The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. The Nowhere Girls is about a group of high-school girls who team up to fight sexism and demand respect from their male classmates. It’s sex positive, diverse, and painfully honest. It has 3 main characters: an autistic girl, a queer latina girl, and a fat girl. I thought the autism rep was amazing considering it’s not Own Voices.



The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R Shrum. Baking, cooking, enemies-to-lovers romance. Basically, if you love food and romance, this is the book for you. It follows Carter Lane as she attends a summer scholarship competition to get into her top choice chef school. The love interest is Japanese and multisexual. They start off as rivals competing for the top spot, constantly bickering and pranking each other, but they end up falling for each other over the course of the summer. I loved the witty banter between them, the way they bonded over food, and the way they went from hating to loving each other. Hands down one of the sweetest, most heartwarming reads of this year.




The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson. A Much Ado About Nothing retelling, this quirky story follows a hate-to-love romance between Trixie and Ben, academic rivals at a super elite private school full of geniuses. Trixie is a lovably complex main character-she’s ambitious, competitive, snarky, combative, protective, loyal, witty, clever and frustrating as hell. As Trixie works to uncover the person who anonymously accused her best friend of cheating, thereby getting her expelled, she and Ben grow closer over a shared love for Doctor Who and Comics. I loved every second of this book, I loved all the side characters as much as I loved Trixie and Ben, and I was unable to put the book down until I finally discovered who had framed Trixies best friend for cheating. I can’t wait to read more of Lily Anderson’s contemporaries.




You Were Here by Cori McCarthy. Definitely one of the most original books I’ve read this year, as one of the multiple pov’s is told in graphic novel format. That was really refreshing, to see something so different from what I’m used to. You Were Here is a sad story, because it’s about a girl grieving her dead brother, but it’s also a hopeful one full of second chances, newfound love and important self discoveries.



Wanderlost by Jen Malone. I love books that take place in foreign countries. It’s nice to read stories that focus on settings outside of the U.S. Wanderlost is a quick, light-hearted read about a girl romping across Europe, falling for the wrong guy, and a huge case of mistaken identity. It’s the perfect book to get lost in and relax while reading. Super cute, smart, and full of important life lessons.





This is Our Story by Ashley Elston. I never thought I’d fall in love with a male character who owns a gun and shoots for sport. But Ashley Elston proved me wrong. To be fair though, it’s not like he was an ultra conservative, redneck gun lover. Hunting was more just a thing to do with his friends. And overall he was very sensitive, considerate and smart. Anyways, I loved the mystery of this book; how it kept me guessing at every turn, how it constantly threw unexpected revelations my way, how we got glimpses into the killers pov. I loved the interesting angle the romance took, and the way the main character took it upon herself to investigate the murder, even at the risk of her own safety. The girl was bad-ass.



Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys. Another dark mystery story, with lots of thrills, near-death encounters, blackmail, friends-to-lovers romance and complicated new friendships. I couldn’t put this one down even as I was terrified to see what would happen next. It follows a group of girls who are being blackmailed into performing a series of dangerous dares in which they can literally die trying to accomplish. But if they complete them, they’re looking at thousand of dollars in prize money. The main character, Hope, has cystic fibrosis, so some of the dares could quite possibly result in the loss of her life. But it’s already too late to back out, even if she  might not make it to the end alive. I was biting my nails the entire time and the never saw the plot twist coming. The romance between Hope and her best friend Ethan was cute and didn’t overshadow the mystery/suspense story-line. I definitely wanna read more of Michelle’s books in the future.





The Birds the Bees and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh. This was one of the most well written sex-positive contemporary YA’s I’ve ever read. It follows a girl as she and her friends fight their schools harmful abstinence only sex education system. It includes discussions of safe sex, queer sex, oral sex and all other methods of sex and how to engage in them in a safe, consensual way. A very important book for teens. It also has a lovely friends-to-lovers romance and some wonderful friendships, both new and old. One of the main character’s best friends is asexual and bi-romantic, and I really appreciated that little bit of rep.



My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier. My Sister Rosa is about a guy whose little sister is an undiagnosed psychopath. She meets nearly every criteria on the psychopathy diagnostic checklist. But it seems like no one can see who she really is except for Che, because she hides behind her adorable little girl disguise so well. Che figures it’s only a matter of time before Rosa kills someone. But he doesn’t know how to stop her when she’s so good at hiding who she is, and getting away with everything. This book was suspenseful from start to finish and I felt terrified the entire time I was reading, of what Rosa would do next. It was extremely interesting reading about a teen boy with a literal psychopath for a sister, and all the ways that she was able to manipulate, control and hurt everyone around her. It was compelling, dark and original and unlike anything I’ve read before.




Honorable Mentions:


Yes, there’s more! These books may not have made my top ten list but I still thoroughly enjoyed them all the same. They cover a wide range of topics from mental illness to family issues to complicated sibling relationships to romance and coming of age lessons and all that jazz.

You know what? I just realized The Supervillain and Me isn’t technically contemporary. Cause ya know, superheroes and superpowers. Oops. But I’m gonna keep it right here anyways cause it felt more like a contemporary than a fantasy to me.


And that’s it for contemporary! Check in soon for my favorite New Adult/Adult reads of the year, in my next blog post!




Favorite Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Dystopian Reads of 2018 (YA & MG)

HAPPY 2019!!!!!!


It’s fiiiiiiiiiinally time to look back on 2018 and talk about my favorite reads of the year. I read a total of 135 books this year and discovered many new ones to add to my favorites list. So let’s take a look at them! Starting with scifi, fantasy and dystopian:



To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. I love books about mermaids, sirens and morally grey characters who redeem themselves. This one was no disappointment. Dark, romantic, adventurous and told in the pov’s of two very intriguing, complicated characters. I loved every minute of it.



Ever the Hunted  by Erin Summerill. I listened to Ever the Hunted on audiobook, and I definitely credit that as one of the reasons I loved it so much. The audiobook narrator has a British accent and such a calming, beautiful voice for storytelling. She really added to the magic of the love story and the setting.




Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. I mean, a main character without eyes, without eye sockets? Whose family and best friends are all technically imaginary,? Illusions? How does that not make you want to keep reading? There’s also the fact that the main character is a bisexual girl, falling in love with a guy who is demiromantic and demisexual. It’s amazing to see queer rep that doesn’t come up often in books, and it’s nice to see bisexual characters in m/f relationships, cause they’re just as valid as those in same sex relationships. And then of course there’s the story itself: the murder/mystery aspect, the traveling circus of illusions. I loved this mystical, captivating read from start to finish and I can’t wait to read more of the author’s books.




Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. I love stories about princesses, about characters who have forbidden magic, and about characters who start off strongly disliking each until they fall in love. Of Fire and Stars is about two princesses who fall in love, despite the fact that one of them is engaged to the others brother, as part of an arranged marriage. One of them has magic she’s trying to hide, for magic is seen as something abominable and is illegal. They don’t get along very well at first, but the more  time they spend together, they more they fall for each other. I loved how slow-burn their romance was, how it grew from hatred to friendship to something more. I enjoyed the kingdom politics, the mystery, and the magic system as well. And there’s gonna be a sequel!! I can’t wait.




Furyborn by Claire LeGrand. Claire LeGRand became one of my new favorite authors this year. I read all 3 of her new adult books and fell head over heels for each and every one of them. All 3 books have bisexual or lesbian or otherwise queer main characters, so not only were the stories magnificent, but they had excellent lgbtq rep too.





Winterspell by Claire LeGrand. Winterspell is a dark and twisted retelling of The Nutcracker, with a bisexual victorian heroine, giant killer rats, and lots of romance, fighting, and magical powers. I loved every dark minute of it.




Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand. Sawkill Girls is basically Shutter Island meets Stephen King, but with a lot more female and queer characters. There are 3 female main characters; Zoe, who’s asexual, Marion, who’s bisexual, and Val, who’s gay. They are each wholly unique and lovable in their own ways. They’re unlikable at times but you’ll still be rooting for them the whole time. The story is terrifying, dark, atmospheric and mysterious. So far, every single one of Claire’s books have blown me away.



Wandering Star by Romina Russell. I enjoyed this sequel immensely more than the previous book. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe because the main character seemed so much more mature after all she’d been through? Maybe cause the romance was even steamier than before?  Maybe cause the story just flowed so nicely and the characters felt more developed? Whatever the reason, I greatly enjoyed this one and can’t wait to read books 3 and 4.



Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto. I’m always looking for more books with western settings, and Revenge and the Wild had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time before I decided to finally pick it up. I don’t know what the hell took me so long. It far exceeded all my expectations, and the only thing I hated was that it had to end so soon. It had so many things I love: a western setting, steampunk, a friends-to-lovers romance, mystery, suspense, creepiness, and…….cannibals. Yes, I find books with cannibals to be a really interesting plot point. It really adds to the whole creepy factor.




The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine. Another book with a bisexual main character and a m/f romance. Those are probably my favorite kind of bisexual books, since I myself am a bisexual girl with a preference for guys. Anyways, everything about this book was perfect; the steamy romance, the fights for survival and the reverse “chosen one” plot line. The Imposter Queen is the first in a trilogy. However, I found out some spoilers so upsetting they made me not want to read the next two books. Spoilers that I went purposely looking for cause I had a bad feeling. So while I do highly recommend this book, I’m not sure I can recommend it as a series. Read all 3 of them if you want, but you’ve been warned. I’m personally just gonna pretend that the first book ended 100% happy and with no open ends, thank you very much.  If you  want more details, DM me on twitter or instagram, both at Beccasbookrealm.



The Diviners by Libba Bray. I buddy-read The Diviners with 3 of my friends. We made a group dm chat on instagram and chatted about the book as we read. And every single one of us adored everything about it. It takes place in the 20’s is told from the multiple pov’s of young people-some of whom have mysterious supernatural abilities. As they try to get to the bottom of a series of grisly murders, they find that may be the work of something inhuman. It was deliciously creepy, romantic, suspenseful and beautifully written. I plan to pick up the sequel asap.



Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie. This one took me by pleasant surprise. I was blown away by the author’s mature writing style and the slow paced yet captivating story telling. I was captivated by the complex characters, the journey to redemption and the slow burn romance. I’m always intrigued by books about ordinary characters finding themselves thrown into the world of royalty and riches. The main character’s powers made for an interesting plot point too; she’s able to feel and absorb the emotions of those around her, and therefore is tasked with protecting the crown prince from any would-be assassins. The final book in the trilogy came out recently, so I’m gonna hop right on finishing up this series cause I can’t wait to see what happens next.




This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada. This Mortal Coil was one of my favorite reads of 2017, and its sequel was no exception. It was a little more painful though, cause the second book in a series generally is. Higher stakes, more romance complications, new obstacles. And that ending? Holy shit. That was just cruel. And now I have to wait a whole ‘nother year for the last book? OUTRAGEOUS!




The Falconer by Elizabeth May. This book had been sitting on my Kindle for quite a while. I didn’t really plan on reading it anytime soon, until I found that the author was recently diagnosed as Autistic. I love reading books by other Autistic people, whether or not they contain Autistic characters. And I’m so glad I picked this one up so suddenly. I love a bad-ass female character who’s strong in both body and spirit. I love human-faerie romances that are slow burn and complicated. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.




Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. What a beautiful, magical love story between two young women fighting to survive and hold onto who they are. I loved this queer Asian fantasy with it’s strong willed female characters, humans with animal features, forbidden romance, harsh royal setting, revenge and rebellion. I’m dying for book two.




In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken. It took me a while to get through this one. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it, cause I was. I’m just terrible at finishing series because I don’t want them to end and often the final book in a series brings lots of heartbreak and at least one character death. So I had to step back for a few months when I sensed a death coming up. I was about 70% through the audiobook. And sure enough, when I finished it earlier this month, a character was left dead. It was tragic and awful and depressing but I still absolutely loved this book from beginning to the wonderful, hopeful ending. I just hated having to say goodbye to all the characters.




Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. An African inspired fantasy, Children of Blood and Bone is a story of adventure, magic, oppression, rebellion, and standing up to authority. Its got complicated romance, unexpected new friendships and self discovery. It’s devastating at times; hopeful at others. I adore every main character and I’m anxious to see where their journey leads them next.



Mirage Somaiya Daud. I also buddy-read this one with a friend. We both loved it. It’s full of Moroccan inspired settings, high stakes, difficult choices, complicated characters that are both likable and unlikable, and forbidden romance. Princess Maram is one of those characters that you can easily love and hate at the same time, and Idris is the kind of sensitive but quick witted and intelligent love interest I adore. I can’t believe I have to wait a year or so for the sequel. And yes, I know that’s like the 38793th time I’ve said that. So many great new beginnings to series came out this year!!



The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken. Prosper Redding is the first Middle Grade novel I have read since I was of middle grade age myself. And I loved every minute of it. I suspected I would, because Alex is one of my favorite authors ever. It somehow manages to be light-hearted and dark at the same time. It’s hilarious, it’s heart warming, it’s weird, it’s sharp witted, It’s the perfect fall read. I have an ARC of the sequel, which comes out in February, and I’m hoping to get to it soon!






Honorable Mentions:


I know this may seem like a lot of favorites and honorable mentions….but you’ve got to keep in mind that I read 135 books this year, and that I generally love or at least like most books I read. Therefore, I’m bound to have many favorites. And these are just the scifi/fantasy/dystopians.




And that’s it for SFF and Dystopian. Check back soon for my favorite contemporary and adult reads of the year!



A Bookish Update: What Have I Been Reading These Past Months?

Hello, my fellow book dragons! I really haven’t posted on my blog this year as much as I’d hoped to. Well, that’s gonna change and I’m gonna get back to posting regularly.

I’m not gonna post the wrap ups I never posted for March, April, May, June, July AND August cause that’s waaaay too many books to write mini reviews for, but I will give yall a brief overview of what I’ve been reading and which books I enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy). I chose 3-4 books from each month for which to list what I liked/disliked about them. A mini, 4 month wrap up.

I’ll post a separate wrap up for July and August so this post isn’t ridiculously long.

So, here goes!


March Reads:



Books read: 9

Diverse books read: 4 (Daughter of the Burning City, Radio Silence, Of Fire and Stars, Ash Princess)

Diversity Present: 

Nothing Left to Burnthe main characters 2 best girl friends are in a relationship, one of them is bisexual (main character is straight tho)

Radio Silenceblack female main character, Asian love interest and secondary characters, written by a black authors 

Of Fire and Starsf/f romance, a bisexual main character and a lesbian main character, written by a lesbian author 

Daughter of the Burning Citybisexual main character of color, demisexual/romantic love interest

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Lovewritten by an author of color

Like a River Gloriousnative american love interest

Mind Gamesblind main character, mentally ill main character 

Ash Princesspoc main character

Own Voices books read: 2 (Of Fire and Stars and Radio Silence

Longest read: Ash Princess (441 pages)

Shortest read: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (257 pages)

Favorite read(s): Daughter of the Burning City, Like a River Glorious, Of Fire and Stars, Ash Princess

Least favorite read(s): Nothing Left to Burn

Middle Grade Read: 0

New Adult/Adult Read: 1 (Radio Silence) 


Nothing Left to Burn-2/5 Stars

Radio Silence-4.3/5 Stars

Of Fire and Stars-5/5 Stars

Daughter of the Burning City-5/5 Stars

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love-4/5 Stars

Like a River Glorious-5/5 Stars

Mind Games-4.3/5 Stars

Ash Princess-4.5/5 Stars

Crossing the Ice-4/5 Stars



Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Pages: 384

Release Date: July 25th, 2017


Liked: Sorina is a bisexual female main character and Luca is a demisexual/demiromantic male love interest. I love the fact that Sorina has real live imaginary friends. It was darkly mysterious and enchanting. I love any book that has a magical circus in it, too.

Disliked: literally nothing! I loved everything about it from beginning to end.




Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Pages: 308

Release Date: August 7th, 2014


Liked: I love sports romances, especially between rivals and where each character is involved in a sport, not just the guy. I loved that the love interest was shy and quiet, I find that adorable. I liked that it revolved so much around ice skating, because I love it as a sport.

Disliked: It felt like something was missing, maybe I was expecting a little more…heat, sexier scenes. I don’t know why. I’m not sure if this book is considered YA or NA but for some reason I expected steamier makeout scenes. Oh well!




Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Pages: 389

Release Date: November 22nd, 2016


Liked: there are two queer main characters: Dennaleia, who’s a lesbian, and Mare, who’s bisexual. It was magical, beautiful, suspenseful, heartbreaking love story full of suspense, politics and hate-to-love romance. I couldn’t put it down and I loved the way that the romance developed, and I loved many of the side characters as well. Especially Nils.

Disliked: that one death:(( (not of a queer character, don’t worry)


April Reads:



Books read: 7

Diverse books reads: 1 (Song of the Current-biracial main character)

Diversity Present:

Song of the Currentbiracial main character, poc love interest

The Art of French Kissinga queer/multi-sexual Japanese love interest 

Own Voices books read: 0

Longest book read: Onyx and Ivory (512 pages)

Shortest book read: The Art of French Kissing (256 pages)

Favorite read(s): Sky in the Deep, Song of the Current, The Art of French Kissing, Beyond a Darkened Shore

Least favorite read(s): Sweet Black Waves

Middle Grade Read: 0

New Adult Read: 0


Sweet Black Waves-2.5/5 Stars

Onyx and Ivory-4.2/5 Stars

Sky in the Deep-4.5/5 Stars

Song of the Current-4.5/5 Stars

The Art of French Kissing-5/5 Stars

Beyond a Darkened Shore-4.5/5 Stars




Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Rating: 3.8/5 stars

Pages: 340

Release Date: August 2015

Liked: The banter between Vhalla and Aldrik, Vhalla’s struggle to adjust to her newfound powers, the character development. I’m definitely intrigued enough by the characters that I’ll read the next book. The sexual tension between Vhalla and Aldrik is going to ignite at some point and I’m eager to see it happen.

Didn’t like:  The book definitely could’ve undergone another round of editing, and the plot didn’t really seem to go anywhere. I wasn’t completely “wow’d” and my high expectations were a little let down.




The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R Shrum

Rating: 5/5 stars

Pages: 256

Release Date: June 2018


Liked: A COOKING SUMMER SCHOOL, hate-to-love romance, a Japanese and multisexual love interest, hilarity and heartache and friendship.





Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Pages: 352

Release Date: April 2018

Liked: The amazing characterization, the raw emotion the relationships made me feel, the brutal action and violence scenes, the captivating storytelling.

Disliked: The character’s appearances weren’t really described so I had no idea how to picture them, aside from Eelyn, since she’s on the cover. And they felt a liiiiittle bit distant because of that. Just a little.





Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

Rating: 2.5 stars

Pages: 448

Release Date: June 2018



Liked: The two main characters and their enemies to lovers romance, the family dynamics, the complicated relationship between Iseult and her cousin.

Disliked: That baffling, godawful, what-the-fuck ending. I’m seriously still mad about it. Apparently this is the first in a trilogy so it MIGHT be redeemable but I don’t know if I even want to continue the series after this ending. I’m that mad. Also, Iseult’s cousin, the princess, really got on my nerves. I empathized with her a lot but her bratty behavior and naive attitude made me want to scream.

May Reads:




Books read: 12

Diverse books read: 9

Own Voices books read: 5 (Winterspell, Empress of a Thousand Skies, Timekeeper Emergency Contact, and Furyborn)

Diversity Present: 

Winterspell-bisexual main character

Beneath the Haunting Sea-main character of color

Empress of a Thousand Skies-main characters of color

Heart of Iron-2 gay main characters and a m/m romance, black female main character 

Timekeeper-own voices queer main character (main character is a gay boy, author is a bisexual woman)

Under Rose Tainted Skies-main character with OCD

Emergency Contact-female Asian main character, love interest/POV character with anxiety

Furyborn-2 bisexual main characters (Rielle and Eliana)

Ever the Brave-not diverse but written by an author of color (Hawaiian Native, I think) 

Longest book read: Furyborn (501 pages)

Shortest book read: Nothing but Sky (284 pages)

Favorite read(s): Ever the Brave, Wandering Star, Furyborn, Letting Go of Gravity, Timekeeper, Winterspell, Heart of Iron (that’s a lot, I KNOW)

Least favorite read(s): I didn’t really strongly dislike any books I read this month but I guess my least favorite would be Beneath the Haunting Sea, just because I didn’t feel all that connected to the characters and the story was really slow at times and I didn’t really care for the romance or feel too invested in the story.

Middle Grade Read: 0

New Adult/Adult Read: 0


Winterspell-5/5 Stars

Beneath the Haunting Sea-4/5 Stars

Empress of a Thousand Skies-4/5 Stars

Heart of Iron-4.5/5 Stars

Nothing but Sky-4/5 Stars

Timekeeper-4.5/5 Stars

Under Rose Tainted Skies-4.5/5 Stars

Emergency Contact-4/5 Stars

Letting Go of Gravity-5/5 Stars

Furyborn-5/5 Stars

Wandering Star-4.5/5 Stars

Ever the Brave-4.5/5 Stars




Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill

Rating: 4.5 stars

Release Date: December 2017

Pages: 464



Liked: I love love LOVED the first book of this series, Ever the Hunted, and I couldn’t wait for more Cohen and Britta in book 2. They are one of my new favorite book couples. Their relationship is just so sweet and pure and adorable. I love it. I love prince Aodren’s character and I loved the introduction of his POV and I was satisfied with how everything worked out in the end

Disliked: Ever the Brave brought a lot of complications to Britta and Cohen’s tenuous new relationship and there were a lot of obstacles that came between them. And I get it. The author wanted to test their love for one another. While I appreciated the authors intentions, I also strongly disliked that Britta was given a second potential love interest as one of those obstacles. It just seemed uncessary and took away from the relationship dynamic between Britta and Cohen that I’d loved in book two, and left less room for swoony, heartfelt moments between the two of them. And that made me sad cause I was really looking forward to that. The magic of Britta and Cohens romance that I love in the first book felt a bit brushed a side and I was disappointed. BUT I still love this series and this world and these characters, and Britta and Cohen are still my absolute favorite couple. That didn’t change, even with all the complications they faced. I can’t wait to read my ARC of book 3 (That I got at Yallwest!!) Once a King, which is prince Aodren’s very own (love) story. I love Erin’s writing and storytelling and I need more asap!




Wandering Star by Romina Russell

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Pages: 320

Release Date: December 2015

Liked: The. Romance. I definitely know who’s team I’m on. I also just genuinely loved this book a lot more than the first one. The characters were more developed, as was the plot.

Disliked: THE FATE OF A CERTAIN CHARACTER THAT BROKE MY HEART. Also, Ro being sooooooo indecisive about who she wanted to be with. Cmon girl, it’s obvious who you really love! I also really liked that aspect of the romance though because it lends more romantic suspense. Can’t wait to see where it goes in book 3!




Emergency Contact by Mary H.K Choi

Rating: 4/5 stars

Pages: 400

Release Date: March 2018



Liked: Asian representation, talk of sexual assault and consent, a shy tattooed love interest. Witty, relatable, honest, realistic text messaging (no typing like: “wut r u doing” or usage of shortened words that no one actually uses while texting).

Disliked: I wasn’t all that satisfied with how Sam and Penny’s relationship progressed. I felt like we didnt get enough, somehow. And I felt unsatisfied with the ending, though I can’t really pinpoint why.





June Reads:

Books read: 10

Diverse books read: 3 (The Kiss Quotient, Not Even Bones and The Imposter Queen)

Diversity Present:

The Kiss Quotientown voices autistic female main character, own voices Vietnamese love interest

Revenge and the Wildmain character with a prosthetic arm, scarred love interest, native american best friend and side characters 

The Imposter Queenbisexual main character (m/f romance)

Extraordinary Meansgay side character, Indian side character

Not Even Bonesmain character of color

Something Strange and Deadlyblack and Chinese supporting characters

Own voices books read: 1 (The Kiss Quotient)

Longest book read: The Imposter Queen (415 pages)

Shortest book read: How to Breathe Underwater (304 pages)

Favorite read(s): The Kiss Quotient, Revenge and the Wild, The Impostor Queen, Extraordinary Means, Something Strange and Deadly, Not Even Bones

Least favorite read(s): none of them, really

Middle Grade Read: 0

New Adult/Adult Read: 1 (The Kiss Quotient)


The Kiss Quotient5/5 Stars

Revenge and the Wild4.8/5 Stars

The Imposter Queen5/5 Stars

Extraordinary Means4.5/5 Stars

How to Breathe Underwater4.5/5 Stars

The Supervillian and Me4.5/5 Stars

Cruel Beauty4.3/5 Stars

City of a Thousand Dolls4/5 Stars

Not Even Bones-4.5/5 Stars

Something Strange and Deadly5/5 Stars



Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Pages: 384

Release Date: February 2016

Liked: WESTERN SETTING. STEAMPUNK. CANNIBALS. So many things I love in one book. A scarred but sexy love interest. Second chance friends-to-lovers romance. Some very morally grey characters. A main character with a terrifying past that left her without an arm. Mystery! Suspense! Creepiness!

Disliked: Maybe a liiiiiiittle more kissing? Some things felt unresolved. But to be honest I hardly care cause I loved everything else about this book. A brilliant new favorite.




The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Pages: 432

Release Date: January 2016




Liked: the fact that Ellie was not, in fact, the chosen one. Talk about taking a trope and turning it on it’s head!

Disliked: SPOILERS. Proceed with caution.


The ending??? Ellie and Oskar?? The fact that a certain someone said if they were to be together it wouldn’t end well and the fact that even thought they love each other, it was clear they wouldn’t end up together?? WHY WHY WHY. Their story is NOT over. There’s a sort of sequel but it follows entirely new characters and a new storyline but all I want is to know what happens next for Elli and Oskar?? THAT’S ALL I CARE ABOUT I DON’T WANNA READ ABOUT NEW CHARACTERS YET.

Update: I wrote the above before finding out something devastating about the end of this series. The third book combines Ellie’s POV and the POV of a new main character introduced in book 2, which i was initially ecstatic to hear, but after looking into it more I found out some awful spoilers that broke my heart and made me not want to continue the series. I’m super disappointed:(. The Imposter Queen will always be a favorite but I’m super sad about how the series ends, but I’m gonna pretend the last book doesn’t exist!




City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Pages: 368

Release Date: February 2016



Liked: Very unique setting and concept. TALKING CATS. Main character with an unknown past. Murder-mystery. Very resourceful and smart main character with great friendships.

Disliked: The whole time I was reading this book, I thought it was a two book series. I thought there was a sequel. Maybe that’s part of the reason I was a bit disappointed with the ending, I thought there was gonna be more. But still, it felt like too much was left open and not resolved. So I’m sad about that. Also, it was very slow at times. But I do look forward to reading the authors other books!





And that’s it for now(:







Music Monday: The Darkest Minds Trilogy Playlist

In honor of one of my all time favorite books being made into a movie, I just had to make a playlist of songs that I feel encompass the feelings I went through whilst following Ruby’s journey. Some of the songs remind me of specific characters or scenes, which I noted in parenthesis.

You guys, I am soooooooo FREAKING EXCITED for this movie. It’s one of my favorite series of all time. I legitimately tear up every time I see a trailer or ad for it cause I’m so proud of Alex Bracken and so beyond psyched to see my favorite characters come to life on the big screen.  The spotify playlist is below.


The playlist:

Kids in the Dark-All Time Low

Anybody Out There-Tyler Shaw and Amaal Nuux

One by One-Against Me

Natural-Imagine Dragons

Yellow Flicker Beat-Lorde

Hear me NowAlok

Kidz-Take That

Dancing with a Wolf-All Time Low (Clancy)

Falling to PiecesFaith no More

Little Victories-Malia Civetz (Ruby and Liam, regarding “the memory incident”)

Safe and Sound-Taylor Swift

A Million on my SoulAlexiane


I hope you guys enjoy!!!

Farewell International Women’s Month: A Look at Some of my Favorite Female Writers and Characters!

International Women’s Month is coming to a close so I wanted to end it with a tribute to some of my favorite female writers and female characters! So here ya go!

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Top Ten Books by Diverse Female Authors


By a lesbian woman:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

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Favorite quote: “But if renting all those movies had taught me anything more than how to lose myself in them, it was that you only actually have perfectly profound little moments like that in real life if you recognize them yourself, do all the fancy shot work and editing in your head, usually in the very seconds that whatever is happening is happening. And even if you do manage to do so, just about never does anyone else you’re with at the time experience that exact same kind of moment, and it’s impossible to explain it as it’s happening, and then the moment is over.” 

By a bisexual woman:

Far From You by Tessa Sharpe

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Favorite quote: 

“But my heart isn’t simple or straightforward. It’s a complicated mess of wants and needs, boys and girls: soft, rough, and everything in between, an ever-shifting precipice from which to fall.” 


By an autistic woman:

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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Favorite quote: 

“That’s what we do. We walk a tightrope every day. Getting out the door is a tightrope. Going grocery shopping is a tightrope. Socializing is a tightrope. Things that most people consider to be normal, daily parts of life are the very things we fear and struggle with the most, and yet here we are, moving forward anyway. That’s not weak.”


By a Korean woman:

Angelfall by Susan Ee

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Favorite quote:

“Asleep, he looks like a bleeding Prince Charming chained in the dungeon. When I was little, I always thought I’d be Cinderella, but I guess this makes me the wicked witch.
But then again, Cinderella didn’t live in a post-apocalyptic world invaded by avenging angels.” 


By a Hawaiin Native woman:

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

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Favorite quote:

“Our lives are, like these woods, ever changing. Nothing is static. And so you cannot count on an easy, carefree life to always remain that way. Or a harsh existence to stay the same. Life can get better. Or life can always become worse. And then you die. Don’t reflect on the negative. Think about all the positives in your life.” 

By a Muslim woman:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Favorite quote:

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.” 


By a Pakistani woman:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Favorite quote:

“There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It’s damaged but it’s there. Don’t let them take it from you.” 

By a Chinese woman:

Warcross by Marie Lu

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Favorite quote:

“But sometimes, people kick you to the ground at recess because they think the shape of your eyes is funny. They lunge at you because they see a vulnerable body. Or a different skin color. Or a different name. Or a girl. They think that you won’t hit back – that you’ll just lower your eyes and hide. And sometimes, to protect yourself, to make it go away, you do. But sometimes, you find yourself standing in exactly the right position, wielding exactly the right weapon to hit back.” 

By a Jewish woman:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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Favorite quote:

“Fix me,” I commanded him. “This thing, what I’ve done – there’s something wrong with me, Noah. Fix it.”

Noah’s expression broke my heart as he brushed my hair from my face, and skimmed the line of my neck. “I can’t”

“Why not?” I asked, my voice threatening to crack.

“Because,” he said, “You’re not broken.”  


Top Seven Female Characters


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Alex Craft from The Female of the Species


“I am a wolf that my sister kept in a cage, until her hand was removed. I have been out, curious as I wake up from a lethargic solitude, self-enforced because I know I don’t belong here. It’s not safe for me to be out, but they rattled my cage. First Claire and then Jack. And now I’m awake, deviating from the paths I created in order to remain stable. I’m out, I’m awake, and afraid I won’t be easily put back.”

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“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”

Alex Craft is the teenage feminist warrior we all aspire to be. Well, despite the murder maybe, but I can’t say I pity the rapists that Alex takes it upon herself to punish. She doesn’t take sexist shit from any of her male classmates and always stand up for what’s right no matter what it may cost her, and that’s what makes her such an admirable heroine. 


Jude Duarte from The Cruel Prince

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“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

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“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this is the least of what I can do.”

Jude isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and give people a taste of their own medicine, and I love her for that. She knows how to fight back and doesn’t hesitate to put people in their place. 



Nina Zenik from Six of Crows




You have your own problems right now, Zenik, said a voice in her head. Stop worrying about saving the world and save your own ass. Sometimes her inner voice could be very wise.”

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“No, I don’t mean in the big ways.” Nina’s eyes took them all in. “I mean the little rescues.  Laughing at my jokes. Forgiving me when i was foolish. Never trying to make me feel small.  It doesn’t matter if it’s next month, or next year, or ten years from now, those will be the things I remember when i see you again.”

Nina Zenik is loyal to those she loves and will do whatever she has to do in order to protect them, even if it costs her. She’s confident and selfless and she brings light and humor and comfort to her friends in the darkest of times.


Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books

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“Actually I’m highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly that which others overlook.”

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“I’m a mudblood! Mudblood, and proud of it! I’ve got no higher position under this new order than you have, Griphook! It was me they chose to torture, back at the Malfoys’!”


Hermione was one of the very first female characters I looked up to. I’ve always admired her intelligence, her snark, her dedication to her studies and her whip smart quick thinking that always got Ron and Harry out of trouble. 


Dana Scully from The X Files

Image result for dana scully“Time passes in moments … moments which, rushing past define the path of a life just as surely as they lead towards its end. How rarely do we stop to examine that path, to see the reasons why all things happen, to consider whether the path we take in life is our own making or simply one into which we drift with eyes closed?”

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“Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it”


I only started watching The X Files a couple of years ago, and I immediately fell in love with Scully and her emotional and intellectual bad-assery. She may be a skeptic but she knows her stuff and her role as both an FBI agent and a medical doctor make her impossible not to look up to as a source of inspiration. 



Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl)

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“You know what I really dislike about you, Knightfall? Aside from everything, I mean? It’s how you just. Keep. Under-estimating me.”

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“Wait for a hero? Barbara Joan Gordon — Be your own damn hero.”



Ever since I started reading comics a couple of years ago, Barbara has been a number one fave. She’s no damsel in distress; she saves herself and can hold her own in a fight just like any male superhero. She’s confident and clever and everything you could want from a female superhero. 


Ruby Daly from The Darkest Minds



“Chubs didn’t have to finish. I knew what I’d been when I’d found them: a terrified splinter of a girl who had been shattered a long time ago. I had nothing, and no one, and no real place to go. Maybe I was still broken and would always be—but now, at least, I was piecing myself back together, lining up one jagged edge at a time.” 

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“We have learned that life is one journey, and the purpose is not to reach some treasure at the end of it, but to find the courage to decide which paths to take, who to travel with, and to let things fall into place as they should and will.

Ruby Daly is one of my all time favorite dystopian heroines. From a young age, she endures so many unthinkable horrors and has to do unfathomable things in order to survive. But nevertheless, she persists, and manages to fight back and fight for good without losing herself in the process; without letting her hardships change her for the worse.


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So there’s that! Do we have any faves in common? Who are your feminist inspirations? Favorite female characters? Favorite female writers? Let me know!

Monthly Wrap-Up: February

I read a total of 9 books this month! In order to keep track of where I am with my reading goals, I’ll add how many books of each category I read in my monthly wrap-ups; diverse books, sequels, middle grade and adult, etc. Although I’ll list any diversity each book has, I’ll only actually count a book as diverse if the main character themselves is of a diverse identity that’s overtly stated in the text. If the love interest is a person of color, bisexual, etc, I’ll make note of that but won’t count it as a diverse book.

Diverse books read: (The Nowhere Girls, Lucky Few and The Summer I Wasn’t Me)

Books read by diverse authors: (Neal Shusterman, Kathryn Ormsbee and S Jae. Jones)

Own Voices books read: 0

Sequels read: 0

Middle grade read: 0

New adult/adult: 0

Graphic novels/comics read: (for school)

Longest book read: Wintersong (448 pages)

Shortest book read: Scythe (335 pages)

Favorite read of the month: Gray Wolf Island, The Nowhere Girls, Truthwitch and Scythe

Least favorite read of the month: The Summer I Wasn’t Me



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Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

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Something about the cover, title and synopsis of Gray Wolf Island had me deeply intrigued the minute I came across it. Although the ending left me feeling slightly dissatisfied- which I think was mostly just because I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters so soon- overall I enjoyed it very much. The characters are imperfect and unforgettable, each with secrets of their own, and they really just made me think, a lot.  About what makes a person bad or good, about forgiveness and the choices that define us.

Gray Wolf Island is a mystery, surrounding a treasure hunt on a mysterious island but it’s also a story about the power of friendship and secrets. There’s a sweet romance too, between the main character and a wannabe “bad boy” who’s really just an adorable nerd. I cried and laughed and experienced many different conflicting emotions regarding some of the characters. Although the end results of their treasure hunt felt a little anti climatic, Gray Wolf Island is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and definitely won’t ever forget. The characters worked their way into my heart and I fell in love with their emotional journey and their relationships with one another.

Format read: Kindle ebook

Release date: November 2017

Genre: YA mystery/supernatural

Diversity: Charlie, one of the main characters, is Korean

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

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I haven’t read many fictional books set in ancient Rome, yet alone featuring female gladiators, so The Valiant was lots of fun to read. Fallon’s story is one of loss, love, inner strength and personal growth as she’s forced to fight for survival and freedom in a harsh new unfamiliar environment; in the territory of her enemies. There was a strong female friendship I loved, between Fallon and a girl she initially didn’t get a long with, and a quasi enemies-to-lovers romance that was sweet and built on mutual respect. There’s a lot of blood and violence and a good amount of action, but what I enjoyed most was Fallon’s emotional journey as she grew to accept her new circumstances and learned to move forward and make the best out of the abrupt change in direction her life had taken.

I enjoyed reading The Valiant, although it was slow in parts and I had some moments of frustration towards some of the character’s actions. I don’t find myself dying to jump into the sequel because the ending felt mostly satisfying and the story wasn’t wholly memorable or captivating, but I will pick it up eventually just to see more of the Fallon and Cai and the rest of the characters.

Format read: ARC paperback

Release date: February 2017

Genre: YA historical (Greek and Roman)

Diversity: none

Rating: 4/5 stars

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The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

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The main thought I had while reading this book is that it felt kind of like a watered down version of The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth. The book is set at a gay conversion camp but takes place in modern day instead of the 90’s. The central lesbian romance was cute enough, but felt a little forced and bland to me. I felt like I didn’t really get to know the love interest, Caroline at all. There were a lot of tough topics brought up but some of what went on at the camp seemed a little dramatic at times, a little unbelievable and ridiculous. I mean, I can’t speak from experience as to what it’s like in these camps but The Miseducation of Cameron Post felt more realistic to me than The Summer I Wasn’t Me.

What I did like about The Summer I Wasn’t Me were the strong friendships formed between the main character Lexi and some of the other kids at camp-especially Michael, who was hands-down my favorite character, with his witty remarks and the way he always spoke his mind and was very open in his disdain towards a camp meant to turn people “straight.” I’m glad he was a central character to the story. Overall, I would’ve liked to feel more chemistry in the romance department and although I sympathized with Lexi, I didn’t become all that attached to her or her story.

Format read: paperback

Release date: April 2014

Genre: YA contemporary LGBT romance

Diversity: lesbian main character, gay secondary characters, a central f/f romance

Rating: 4/5 stars

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The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

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The Nowhere Girls is one of the most powerful books I’ve read this year. I’ve described it as a 2.0 to Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie (which I loved) because it’s so much more diverse and tackles a wider range of issues among young women. It follows a group of girls who start a club at their highschool to protest rape culture and stand up to their sexist classmates, namely the three boys who were accused of rape by a girl who formerly attended the school. Although there are 3 main characters from which we’re given different points of view, there are also various perspectives scattered throughout the book from anonymous girls of all different types, experiencing all manner of sexism and discrimination. It made the book feel all the more raw, as it really highlighted the ugly stuff that many teens girls and women experience.

As for the diversity, all 3 of the main characters are diverse: Rosina is a latina lesbian, Grace is fat and Erin is autistic, diagnosed with Aspergers. They’re each vastly different from one another and come from very different backgrounds and households.

As an autistic person myself, I felt that Erin’s character was a very accurate representation of a teen with autism, even if I couldn’t relate to her myself all that much. Every autistic person is different, so just because I couldn’t see myself in her doesn’t mean the representation was innacurate. Erin did have some stereotypical mannerisms and traits but the author addressed that and I felt that overall she gave a very educated portrayal of an autistic person. Rosina was a very feisty character with a sharp tongue and Grace was shy but strong-willed and determined to bring justice to the girl who was raped by three boys at her school and bullied into silence. Together, I thought they made a very dynamic trio.

Format read: ARC paperback

Release date: October 2017

Genre: YA contemporary

Diversity: there are 3 main characters and they’re all diverse: Grace is fat, Rosina is latina and a lesbian, Erin is autistic

Rating: 5/5 stars

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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Although I’d seen Truthwitch floating around for awhile before I decided to read it, I never really had any interest in it for the longest time. For some reason I cast it off as a book I had no desire to read. I’m not sure why exactly and I can’t remember what it is that made me change my mind but I’m so glad I decided to give this one a go! Truthwitch is what I would call a “friendship book” first and foremost. A lot of the storylines focus is on the relationship between best friends Safiya and Iseult, and the lengths each of them will go to protect the other.

The book is told from four different pov’s: Safiya, Iseult, Prince Merik and Aeduan, one of the antagonists. There is a budding romance between Safi and Merik that I can’t wait to see develop more in the following books and I get the sense that Aeduan isn’t as evil a character as I first presumed him to be. So I’m looking forward to seeing how all four characters and the relationships between them grow in book 2. There’s also quite a bit of fighting and action throughout the book as Safi and Iseult try to flee their enemies. And of course there’s magic as well, as all four of the main characters are witches with their own unique power.

Although the plot could move a bit slowly at times, I found that the relationships made up for it. Prince Merik and his friend Kullen also had a really close bond that I loved. The ending left me reeling and a bit devastated in regards to a particular character and I’m dying to see what happens with them in the next book. Overall, Truthwitch was an unforgettable and unique read!

Format read: Kindle ebook

Release date: January 2016

Genre: YA epic fantasy

Diversity: I think Iseult is a poc?

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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Me with Susan Dennard and Holly Black at their Mysterious Galaxy signing!

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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Scythe was my very first read by Neal Shusterman! I’d heard a lot of great things about his writing and was intrigued by the premise of Scythe, which depicts a world in which everyone is immortal and can be brought back from death. In order to keep the population from exploding, there are people known as Scythes, who are of the highest authority and who kill or “glean” people at random. Scythe switches between the povs of two teenagers who have been chosen to become apprentice Scythes. Neither of them are very keen to become professional killers but both have their reasons for agreeing to do so. I was very surprised by the direction Scythe took. Every time I thought I could predict the characters actions or what would happen next, I was surprised.
Scythe is a book that makes you think a lot about death, about the cost of immortality, about what it means to be human. The end of each chapter features a journal entry from one of the more experienced Scythes as they reflect on their jobs as killers and the ways that humanity has changed since the Age of Mortality, as they call the time period before immortality became something everybody had.
Both Citra and Rowan were determined not to become the kind of Scythe’s who get drunk off the power and authority that comes with being one and find sick pleasure in the act of gleaning in a cruel manner. I found it intriguing being inside both their heads as they both encountered very different roads on their paths to Scythedom. I enjoyed the vast world-building and deeply philosophical storyline of Scythe and I’m definitely going to be reading Shusterman’s other books.

Format read: Kindle ebook

Release date: November 2016

Genre: YA sci-fi/speculative fiction

Diversity: none but Neal Shusterman is a black author

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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Me with Neal Shusterman at his Mysterious Galaxy signing!

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The Coldest  Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is my third read by Holly Black, and although it’s not my favorite book by her, I still enjoyed it and the familiarity of her story telling. Coldest Girl is a vampire book, featuring a sexy vampire love interest and some very morally grey characters. Like Scythe, it’s a book that makes you think a lot about death and what it means to be immortal. Does becoming a vampire turn good people into monsters or does it simply awaken an evil that hides inside all of us?

I really admired Tana’s selflessness and her willingness to help a vampire boy she barely knew. She was bold, loyal and resourceful. I also liked all the side characters-Aidan, Valerie, Jamieson, Midnight and Winter and of course Gavriel. Many of these characters weren’t all good or all bad and some of their motives were questionable, which I think made the story more suspenseful and mysterious. Overall, Coldest Girl was a fun read!

Format read: Kindle ebook

Release date: September 2013

Genre: YA fantasy/supernatural

Diversity: Tana’s ex boyfriend Aidan is bisexual, and a girl she befriends named Valerie, is trans

Rating: 4.3/5 stars

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Me with Susan Dennard and Holly Black (again) at their Mysterious Galaxy signing!



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Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee

Lucky Few is one of the many books that’s been on my shelf for at least a year so I decided to finally pick it up. It surprised me in a lot of ways, mostly positive! Stevie, the main character, is homeschooled, which is something I rarely see in YA so I found that to be an interesting new perspective. Stevie is also diabetic, so kudos for some disability representation. I absolutely loved the friendship between Stevie and her best friend Sanger, a fellow homeschooler. They were close as sisters and understood each other on an almost psychic level and were both really supportive of the other.

When Stevie’s new neighbor Max tells them about his mission to fake his death in 23 ways – as a form of some sort of bizarre exposure therapy after surviving a freak accident that left him with only 3 fingers on one hand – Sanger convinces Stevie to team up with him and help him complete his list of fake deaths. This results in a lot of humor, new experiences, relationship conflict, first love and a very unique and interesting coming of age story.

Besides the fake deaths, there’s a whole lot more going on in Stevie’s life; her cousin Joel isn’t acting like himself, the political protests Stevie’s been attending to prevent the water at her and Sanger’s favorite hangout from being destroyed by pollutants may have been for nought, Sanger breaks the news that her and her moms will be moving out of the state at the beginning of the summer, and Stevie has an actual near death experience of her own.

Overall, Lucky Few was a very fun, thoughtful and influential read. The only thing I disliked was that I wanted to see Stevie and Max’s relationship progress more, and the ending left me feeling a little unsatisfied in that aspect because it just didn’t feel completely resolved. Max was quirky, odd, and endearing, if not a bit stubborn at times, but I loved how honest and unconventional a love interest he was. He felt like an authentic teenage boy, rather than some of the suave, brooding, ultra macho bad boys we sometimes see in contemporaries.  I can’t wait to see read more of Ormsbees books!

Format read: Kindle ebook

Release date: June 2016

Genre: YA contemporary

Diversity: Stevie’s best friend Sanger is a woc and has two moms, Stevie is diabetic, Kathryn Ormsbee is an asexual author

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Wintersong by S. Jae Jones

I had a lot of mixed feelings whilst reading Wintersong. There were times I thought my overall feelings towards the book would be disappointment, and at times I wasn’t even sure whether I wanted to keep reading. But then something would happen to change that and make me feel more like I was reading a masterpiece. So I needed a few days to organize my thoughts after I finished the book and I decided a solid 4 stars was a good rating. Not a favorite but I still enjoyed reading it.

I loved how lyrical Wintersong was. The main character lives and breathes music and it’s reflected in her thoughts and the overall writing. The romance was very intense and although it was definitely my favorite part of the story, it was also a bit frustrating and confusing at times. The Goblin King has many different sides to him and sometimes it was hard to keep up and understand his true intentions. But in the end, it was one of the most beautifully written romances I’ve read in YA. It was slow and sensual and there are some beautifully written sex/makeout scenes. I also liked seeing a slightly older YA main character; Liesl is 19 going on 20, and I’ve always felt that YA should expand to include characters in their 20’s, since Young Adult technically means anyone from 15 to their late 20’s.

Wintersong was a bit somber at times; mystical and enchanting at others. I really enjoyed all the different relationship dynamics-the way Liesl bonded over a shared love of music with her brother, the love and understanding between Liesl and her sister Käthe despite their vast differences and the fiery, passionate romance between Liesl and The Goblin King. I’m sure I’ll read the sequel eventually, but I’m in no rush to after all the muddled emotions that Wintersong left me with.

Format read: Kindle ebook

Release date: February 2017

Genre: YA historical fantasy

Diversity: Liesl’s younger brother Joseph is gay, S Jae. Jones is an Asian American author

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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Unfortunately, this one just wasn’t for me. I wanted to like it but the writing was just too poor and the storyline too ridiculous that I couldn’t take it seriously.

Format read: kindle ebook

Release date: April 2014

Genre: YA fantasy/classical retelling

Diversity: none but Danielle Paige is a black author

Rating: DNF (did not finish)



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And that’s it for February! I’d say it was a pretty good reading month overall. Did yall read any good books last month? What were your faves? Least faves?