Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (6/1/20)–The Henna Wars

Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and happy Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈

I’m going to try and do some more for Pride all through June–I’ll probably do some weekly recommendations, but I’ll start later in the week. I’m going to try and focus my Goodreads Mondays on LGBTQ+ books as well (starting with this one!). I’ve also started to get some eARCs ready–one of which is LGBTQ+–so I’ll be reviewing those once I read them!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

This one came out very recently, and not only does it have stellar representation (POC/Muslim/LGBTQ+), it sounds like an adorable, enemies-to-lovers rom-com!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (6/1/20)–THE HENNA WARS by Adiba Jaigirdar

Amazon.com: The Henna Wars (9781624149689): Jaigirdar, Adiba: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

SO WHY DO I WANT TO READ THIS?

Oh my goodness I NEED to get my hands on this!

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YA has made some incredible strides with representation in the last decade, with many LGBTQ+, POC, and Muslim characters now at the forefront. Not only does this novel feature a wlw romance, both protagonists are POC (Nishat is Bangladeshi, and Flávia is biracial), and the plot also seems to deal with the subject of cultural appropriation. Especially in times like these, this is such an important theme to be discussed, so thank you to Adiba Jaigirdar for writing a book that deals with this topic!

And other than that…I am a total sucker for enemies-to-lovers rom-coms. I mean, you all know how much I love Carry On. It’s a YA trope–and a trope in general–that I don’t mind at all, and that I enjoy reading a lot. Don’t get me wrong–there’s always the chance that it will be executed poorly, but when it’s done well, I love it. So of course I want to read this novel.

Oh, and can we talk about how adorable that cover art is? 😍

In short, The Henna Wars sounds like the perfect blend of rom-com and tackling social issues. Count me in!

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Today’s song:

This song brings back such good memories for me…I heard it a lot in the car as a kid, and now, I always associate it with being little.

That’s it for today’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (5/25/20)–A Touch of Gold

Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and a heartfelt thank you to all of those who served on this Memorial Day. 💗

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I’ve had this novel on my TBR for quite a while, and it seems like an inventive addition to the YA subgenre of retellings. Here’s hoping that it turns out as well as I think it will…

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (5/25/20)–A TOUCH OF GOLD by Annie Sullivan

A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Blurb from Goodreads:

King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.

Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.

Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?

So why do I want to read this?

In the past decade, there’s been a whole slew of new YA retellings, but often, they spin the same stories–I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of retellings of Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, and a whole host of other classic tales. And though I’ve seen a handful that have dealt with Greek mythology, the tale of King Midas isn’t one that I’ve ever seen retold before. So props to Annie Sullivan for taking on a retelling that hasn’t been done many times before.

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I forgot about the bit in the blurb about the love interest, though. All things considered, it seems fairly cliched, but I suppose there’s a positive light on it, seeing that this…ah…”charming young duke” sees past/accepts the part of her that she desperately tries to hide, so I suppose that’s a step up. We’ll see how this all works out.

Setting that aside, if done well, I believe A Touch of Gold could be a novel that stands out in the world of YA retellings. Fingers crossed. 🤞

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Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (5/11/20)–Showers, Flowers, and Fangs

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

This one was a more recent addition to my TBR–not only for its fascinating-sounding plot, but the representation in it. It looks like such a unique book, so I hope it lives up to my expectation!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (5/11/20)–SHOWERS, FLOWERS, AND FANGS by Aidan Wayne

Showers, Flowers, and Fangs by Aidan Wayne

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Darren is your average half-human, half-fae trans teenager, busy figuring out his powers and puberty while trying to survive finals. When Vlad, a newly turned vampire, moves in with the witch down the street, he and Darren get off on the wrong foot. Darren is always one to give somebody a second chance, though, and as they become friends, he realizes Vlad is just lonely and struggling with his new powers. That’s something Darren can definitely relate to, and he’s happy to lend his support. But while he coaxes Vlad out of his shell, Darren ends up learning about Vlad’s past… and the danger Vlad is in. Darren only wants to help—help Vlad feel comfortable in his own skin and help him feel safe.

He hadn’t planned on falling in love.

 

So why do I want to read this? 

Firstly, this representation! Though we’ve certainly been getting a lot more ground in terms of trans characters/stories in YA lately, I haven’t read as many that feature trans boys, so this is such a good sight to see. That, and the fact that there’s potentially an mlm romance. A+!

Additionally, the fantasy setting sounds absolutely wonderful. From the description, it sounds like a combination of a fantasy and a rom-com–a combination that I’ve rarely seen, and sounds SUPER adorable. If it’s well-executed, I think this could be a stellar, LGBTQ+ fantasy romance. I saw that it was $4.99 on the Kindle store the other day (it might have changed since then, but I hope not), so I might have to buy it soonish…

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Today’s song:

Reading The Soul of an Octopus reminded me of this song…

 

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Down the TBR Hole, Goodreads Monday, Random

Everything That I’ve Managed to Cross Off of Goodreads Monday/Down the TBR Hole/Assorted Book Tags, Part II

Hello again, bibliophiles!

Since I’ve had a bit more time on my hands in quarantine, I’ve had time to read plenty of books–several of which that I’ve posted about wanting to read in previous posts. This is my second of these posts; if you want to see the first one, click here. 🙂

To Do List GIFs | Tenor

 

1. Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand 

Sawkill Girls - Claire Legrand - Hardcover

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (9/30/19)–Sawkill Girls):

I’ve been an on-and-off fan of Clare Legrand’s for a while; I loved Some Kind of Happiness (read my review here) and The Year of Shadows, though I wasn’t crazy about Foxheart. I figured that Clare Legrand’s creepy prose would be absolutely haunting in a YA format, so naturally, I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. It’s had the dreaded ‘All Copies in Use’ marker on my library’s website for months [single tear slides down cheek], so I haven’t been able to read it. Hopefully my luck will change soon.

I’ve also heard Sawkill Girlscompared to Stranger Things, which is one of my FAVORITE SHOWS, so I’m really hoping this one won’t disappoint.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

An absolutely unforgettable YA thriller–lushly written, spooky, and fiercely feminist!

Click here for my full review! 

 

2. The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library Novel): Cogman ...

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (4/13/20)–The Invisible Library):

Naturally, I’m drawn to stories about libraries.

Beyond that, I’m fascinated by the premise of fiction in alternate realities. There are infinite possibilities of what could be done and played within that vein, and I’m SO excited to see how it turns out! Adding onto that, the promise of rival organizations who want nothing more than one particular book…hmm, this could get interesting…

And what of alternate London? I’m glad the synopsis didn’t give much detail on what time period this London would be in, so I’m interested to see what Cogman’s vision of alternate realities–and fictions–end up looking like.

All in all, another reason why I want to enjoy The Invisible Library is that it’s SUCH A LONG SERIES. AND ALMOST ALL OF IT IS AVAILABLE ON THE KINDLE LIBRARY. Most of the books that I’ve checked out recently have been parts of a series, but their sequels haven’t been available, so I’m so glad that I might be able to have a lengthy series to binge! Of course, there’s the possibility of a story being perpetuated for an unnecessarily long time (there’s currently 7 books in the Invisible Library series), but I’m trying to push that from my mind. Fingers tightly crossed…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT:

This book took the concept of alternate realities and the fictions they contain and absolutely RAN with it. A wild ride through the may-have-been.

Full review to come soon…

Soon GIFs | Tenor

 

3. Kissing in America, Margo Rabb

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Down the TBR Hole 7):

I’m not thrilled about some of these tropes, but the friendship/road trip dynamic seems like a fun way of handling it. I think I’ll stick it out.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

Though the title barely related back to the book, this one was an unexpectedly tender story of overcoming grief and the meaning of friendship.

 

4. The Black Witch, Laurie Forest

Amazon.com: The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black ...

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from The TBR Book Tag):

I’ve almost bought The Black Witch at least two or three times, at this point. Seems to be a pretty hyped-up book, but I’m excited to read it soon! It’s on the Kindle library, so hopefully I can read it soon! My friend was just recommending this to me last night…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT:

Though a good half of the main cast was difficult to like, and the romantic subplot felt *very* forced, the phenomenal worldbuilding and political intrigue made up for it 100%. Okay, maybe 99%, but I’m still itching to read the sequel. (And, of course, it isn’t available at the library…)

Full review to come in the next few weeks! (Probably…)

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5. Show Stopper, Hayley Barker

Show Stopper (Show Stopper #1) by Hayley Barker

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (1/6/20)–Show Stopper):

You’ve all heard me rant about how jaded I am with YA dystopia. But the element of the traveling circus in Show Stopper seems absolutely fascinating: a tiny bit Hunger Games-y, in the sense that it’s for the entertainment of the upper class, but creative enough that I’m absolutely hooked. If anything, I’m hoping for a well-needed subversion of the genre. Plus, not gonna lie, but I love the style that the cover was drawn in.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I might have set my expectations a bit too high, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this novel. I finished it up a few hours ago, actually. Though it wasn’t without its flaws, Show Stopper was an inventive take on the YA dystopian genre, and certainly a cautionary tale about falling prey to the evils of racism and xenophobia.

I might review this one, but we’ll see about that…

Perhaps. | Barnyard | Know Your Meme

 

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

 

Glad to say that this round of Goodreads Monday/DtTBRH/Book tag crossing-offs didn’t let me down! (I still don’t forgive Crown of Coral and Pearl) I’m glad to say that my predictions were right–though they varied in ratings, I enjoyed all five of these books. Here’s hoping that I can continue this string of luck for the next one of these posts…

 

That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (5/4/20)–Lost Stars

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and more importantly…MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!

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I plan to re-watch one of the movies sometime tonight…not sure which one, but I’m doing it…

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I figured I needed a book fitting for Star Wars day, so I picked out one of the many Star Wars books on my TBR.

“This is where the fun begins…”

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (5/4/20)–LOST STARS by Claudia Gray

Amazon.com: Star Wars Lost Stars (9781368013789): Gray, Claudia: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…

 

So why do I want to read this? 

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Since we’ve gotten the fact that I’ll read almost anything Star Wars related out of the way, let’s talk about the other major selling point for me: Claudia Gray.

It’s difficult to go wrong with her riveting writing, really. I adored every minute of the Constellation trilogy (Defy the Stars, Defy the Worlds, Defy the Fates), A Thousand Pieces of Youand Leia: Princess of Alderaanso I doubt I’ll be disappointed in that department.

This book in particular was recommended to me by a friend in my high school’s book club, and a fellow Star Wars fan (as you might have suspected). According to him, it provides a really interesting insight into the Empire’s perspective of things–not quite Palpatine or Vader, but the workers on the Death Star. After so many years of focusing on the Rebel Alliance or the Resistance, it sounds fascinating to see things from the losing side’s perspective. Oh, and apparently there’s a good sprinkling of forbidden love. [rubs hands together] Oooh…

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Today’s song:

You all knew this was coming. You knew.

“Oh, it’s…beautiful…” 

 

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Thanks for (barely) tolerating all of my references! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and May the Fourth be With You!

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Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (4/27/20)–Questions I Want to Ask You

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I haven’t given realistic fiction/contemporary books as much love on my Goodreads Monday posts, so I figured this book would be a good shift to that dynamic. Plus, I’d forgotten that this novel existed for a little while…

Let’s begin, shall we?

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (4/27/20)–QUESTIONS I WANT TO ASK YOU by Michelle Falkoff

Questions I Want to Ask You by Michelle Falkoff

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Patrick “Pack” Walsh may not know exactly where he’s going in life, but he’s happy where he is. He’s got a girlfriend who gets him. His single dad is his best friend. After graduation, he has a desk job lined up at the local crossfit gym, maybe he’ll even work his way up to trainer. He can’t see himself ever leaving the small town of Brooksby, MA. And he’s fine with that.

Then, on his eighteenth birthday, a letter from Pack’s mother changes everything.

Pack hits the road, searching for a mother he’s never known and a family he had no idea existed until now. His journey unearths questions about both of his parents that he never saw coming. And by the end of the summer, Pack has a whole different understanding of his past—and most importantly, where he wants his future to lead.

 

So why do I want to read this? 

First of all, even though the book is written by a woman, it’s nice to get a male perspective in a subgenre of YA that usually features more female protagonists. It’s always good to get that perspective.

And speaking of different perspectives, this seems like a fascinating journey–not only on the road to discovering the long-kept secrets of Patrick’s long-lost mother, but a journey in a mind that is wildly different from mine. It should be interesting to see how this character deals with this trek of self-discovery–a common theme in YA literature, but one that looks like it’s going to be dealt with in an inventive way.

Plus, the color scheme of the cover is *incredibly* pleasing, I love that cover art…

Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire

 

Today’s song:

[ahem] So I just finished the first season of Fargo last night, and I’ve all but lost the ability to form anything close to a coherent thought…AAAAAAAAA

 

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (4/20/20)–Uglies

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

This one’s been on my TBR for quite a long time, and it seems like a classic YA dystopia, right when the subgenre was just getting started. It should be entertaining, if nothing else.

 

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (4/20/20)–UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld | Scholastic

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world– and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever…

 

So why do I want to read this? 

I’m not super compelled by this one, but hey–classic YA dystopia. I think Uglies came along even before The Hunger Games and Divergent and such, so it might even be one of the series that kickstarted the subgenre. Now, I see the kind of plot everywhere, but it’ll be interesting to see where it all seemed to sprout from. If anything, it’ll be entertaining–nothing super meaty or anything, lots of thinly veiled metaphors and whatnot. My expectations are lowish, but I think Uglies could be fun. It was probably pretty groundbreaking for its time, as with the aforementioned titles.

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I think Uglies, along with the other three books, are available on the Kindle library, so I might have something to binge after the other few books I have lined up to read. I dunno.

 

Today’s song:

 

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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