Series Review: An Informative Jarring History in March, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell

March: Book One (March, #1)

Page Count: 128 pages
Publication Date: Aug 13, 2013
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
content warning: police brutality

 

March: Book Two (March, #2)

 

Page Count: 192 pages
Publication Date: Jan 20, 2015
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
content warning: police brutality

 

March: Book Three (March, #3)

 

Page Count: 246 pages
Publication Date: Aug 2, 2016
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
content warning: police brutality

I’ve always felt like I had a pretty solid foundational knowledge of US History but WOW reading March was an incredibly humbling experience and basically I’m convinced that I basically don’t know anything!!

Some contextual evidence: I went to a public school in a pretty middle class/upper middle class, predominantly white, liberal suburb. In addition to taking AP US History in high school, I felt like my US History classes in middle school did pretty well with providing me with a good grasp on major events of US history. This was even further proved to me in college; there were multiple times where I had some background knowledge of events, eras, laws, etc that my friends or classmates didn’t.

However, there were so many people in March that I didn’t even know existed, and honestly I feel robbed.  Continue reading “Series Review: An Informative Jarring History in March, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell”

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Most Surprising Reads of 2018

I had so many “Best of 2018!” posts planned but life got in the way and I didn’t have time to write them promptly, and when I found the time I was so burnt out from the reading the same post over and over again that I just didn’t want to add my own two-sense in the already overflowing pot.

I read a lot of really great books this year, but I also read a lot of books that completely surprised me. Some of my favorite books of the year are on this list, but some are not. These books are either 4 or 5 star reviews!

I’ve set this post up with the book, a simplified summary from Goodreads, and a short note about the book. Cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page! Ratings are either linked to reviews posted to this blog or to Goodreads.

The Diviners series by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will, and Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps and, unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

I feel like might be the last person on the planet to read The Diviners and I only started reading it because I heard the audiobooks were amazing. I was pretty hesitant to read this series because it contains a bunch of elements of things I generally don’t like (paranormal, fantasy, incomplete series, etc) but it’s become one of my favorite series, especially as I continued reading them.

Ratings and reviews: The Diviners: 3 stars | Lair of Dreams: 4 stars | Before the Devil Breaks You: 5 stars Continue reading “Most Surprising Reads of 2018”

NYT Bestsellers Birthday Challenge: 2003

It’s been a minute, but I finally finished the last book in this personal challenge I created for myself, so it’s finally time to move on!

I’ve gained some new followers since I last spoke about this, so I’ll briefly summarize: about a year and a half I started a challenge called the New York Times Bestsellers Birthday Challenge. Basically, I read one book off the NYT Bestsellers List from my birthday week every year from the year I was born until now. It’s been a trial and error process figuring out how this fits best into my reading schedule and habits, but I have low expectations for myself and just read the books when I get to them.

The gist of the challenge is this:

  1. Four books will be chosen from the New York Times Bestseller List from my birthday week every year.
    • I’m sticking with the adult hardcover list because children and YA lists weren’t added in until much later and wanted to keep it as consistent as possible.
  2. Of those four books, two will be fiction and two will be nonfiction.
  3. The four books chosen will consist of:
    • The book that holds the #1 spot from each column
    • The book that holds the longest spot from each column (largest # of weeks)

The last few books I had chosen had been Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver from the 2001 list, and The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen from the 2002 list. I finished Prodigal Summer in less than two weeks, but The Corrections took me about two months. (I honestly can’t believe how excited I was to read The Corrections, what a bummer 😑) I’m really just aiming to continue this challenge at whatever pace best suits the books I choose. Continue reading “NYT Bestsellers Birthday Challenge: 2003”

Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

 

The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Page Count: 400 pages
Publication Date: Oct 24, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

 

I forced myself to read a Charles Dickens book before reading this (vom dot com). Was it worth it? Eh…

I really only like reading cheeseball romantic comedies in the summer when I’m lounging at the beach (which is like maybe once a year, sadly) or in the two week period right before Christmas.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is honestly the perfect book to read right before the winter holidays. It’s very festive and heartwarming and just a really fun book.

Cynthia Hand wrote a retelling of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol which is a paranormal story disguised as a contemporary. It follows Holly Chase as she works for a company called Project Scrooge which employs staff to reenact A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve every year, trying to guarantee a change of heart for a different “Scrooge” every year. Holly has a lot of a experience with this because she was a failed Scrooge; instead of seeing the errors of her selfishness she ends up dying, just as she is warned. Continue reading “Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand”

Down the TBR Hole #36: Books 601-620

Lia from Lost in a Story’s challenge “Down the TBR Hole” has helped me whittle down my massive virtual TBR, or at least get me thinking critically about what books I’m actually going to read. I’ve realized I’ve added a lot of books in 2012 and 2013 that I’ve never read and will probably never get around to reading!! There’s also a ton of books that I added in the moment that I’ve never even thought of since then.

“Down the TBR Hole” works like this: order your Goodreads “to be read” shelf with the oldest books first and remove the ones you’re no longer interested in reading. I’ve added in two of my own personal rules: if I have multiple books in a series I’ll only keep the next (or first) one I have to read, and I’ll remove complete works or collections (unless it’s a collection I already own).

Fun Camp by Gabe Durham
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

Art Girls are Easy by Julie Klausner
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

Can You Say Catastrophe? by Laurie Friedman
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #36: Books 601-620”

Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
Page Count: 370 pages
Publication Date: Jan 2, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: The Cruel Prince
cw: murder, physical and sexual abuse, suicide

 

I really forced myself to just to power through this one but dang am I glad I did.

When I was younger, my family would spend our entire summer at the town pool. My brothers would always rush right in, but I’d camp out in my mother’s favorite spot by the picnic tables in the shade. I’d put on my sunscreen, maybe read a little bit of my book (one summer I outlined my entire 40 chapter fanfiction in one afternoon at the pool) and then was I was ready I would get in line at the diving board and dive in literally head first.

That’s literally how I start reading hyped books.

I’m slow you guys. I don’t jump on the bandwagon right away. But eventually, when I get there, I’m obsessed. Continue reading “Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black”

December Wrap-Up: Wrapping up the year with some powerful and enjoyable reads

Books Bought:

  • Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
  • A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay
  • Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Six of Crows collector’s edition by Leigh Bardugo

Books Read:

  • Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  • Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
  • Love Works by Janice Mirikitani
  • I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Horimiya vol. 8 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
  • George by Alex Gino
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Out of the 11 books I received this month I read THREE of them which is a record for me! Usually I don’t read the books I buy until many months later 😅

I wasn’t planning on buying this many books this month after my colossal book haul in November, but it kind of just happened. Every month after making my TBR I decide which books I’m going to buy and which books I’m going to borrow, but I had a few books I had been putting off buying so I just went out and bought all of the books I still wanted to so I would have a clean slate for the new year.  Continue reading “December Wrap-Up: Wrapping up the year with some powerful and enjoyable reads”

21 Highest Rated Books On My TBR (2019 TBR)

Since I’m ~extra~ my Goodreads shelves are flush with my physical shelves because I like to have things organized. I have a shelf of all the books I already own that I haven’t read yet, so I organized that shelf by rating to draw out the highest rated books I already own! This is going to be my loose 🌟 2019 TBR 🌟 which means I roughly have to read two of these books per month.

Many of these books are books I’ve been wanting to read for a while (big surprise) so hopefully this will help me 1) actually read the books I already own and 2) read books that I’ve been meaning to read since the dawn of time.

(I chose 21 books because that’s the number of books that fit the best in the graphic I made if you just want to scroll through to the end of the post since it is pretty long!)

Becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Avg. rating: 4.70

This literally just came out so most likely this high rating is due to the swarm of enthusiastic readers starting this and loving it straight from the gate, so I’m curious to see how well it holds up. Still I’m beyond excited to read this and I’m so glad to see it in the top spot!

Fullmetal Alchemist (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 2Fullmetal Alchemist (3-in-1 edition) vol. 2 by Hiromu Arakawa
Avg. rating: 4.61

So this is kind of cheating because I’ve already read this series, but I borrowed the individual volumes from the library years ago, and I’m planning on purchasing the series and thought the 3-in-1 editions would be the best. Before reading this one, I’d obviously like to reread the first volume I own.

In This Corner of the World Vol. 1In This Corner of the World by Fumiyo Kouno
Avg. rating: 4.56

I bought this recently without knowing anything about it, so I’m very excited to see it was received so well! I’m not surprised to see manga this high up on the list because I feel like manga is such a niche category and much of the manga I read I love so I can’t wait to pick this up.

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Avg. rating: 4.56

I read my first Kristin Hannah book this year and absolutely loved it.  While this book had been on my radar for awhile, I didn’t go out and buy it until immediately after I finished The Great Alone. I’m already planning on this in the next few months.  Continue reading “21 Highest Rated Books On My TBR (2019 TBR)”

Down the TBR Hole #35: Books 581-600

Lia from Lost in a Story’s challenge “Down the TBR Hole” has helped me whittle down my massive virtual TBR, or at least get me thinking critically about what books I’m actually going to read. I’ve realized I’ve added a lot of books in 2012 and 2013 that I’ve never read and will probably never get around to reading!! There’s also a ton of books that I added in the moment that I’ve never even thought of since then.

“Down the TBR Hole” works like this: order your Goodreads “to be read” shelf with the oldest books first and remove the ones you’re no longer interested in reading. I’ve added in two of my own personal rules: if I have multiple books in a series I’ll only keep the next (or first) one I have to read, and I’ll remove complete works or collections (unless it’s a collection I already own).

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Mass
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #35: Books 581-600”

December in Review: 15 Books

HAPPY NEW YEAR 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays, but before I get into my 2018 favorites, reviews, and wrap-ups, I can’t ignore December as a whole month!

I had some fantastic reads this month, and also a few disappointments. The large majority of my books this month were 4 and 5 star reads!

Different from my monthly wrap-ups, which focus more of patterns in my reading habits and is just me rambling on forever (because that’s my brand), monthly reviews are more like lists: easy to scroll through to get the whole picture of my reading month. Listed is the title, author, publication date, and cover along with the genre and age range (if applicable). I also have my rating and a three-word description of my reading experience! The links will either go to a longer review I wrote on this blog or a shorter review I wrote on Goodreads. All the cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page.

TOTAL BOOKS: 15

🌟: 0
🌟🌟: 2
🌟🌟🌟: 1
🌟🌟🌟🌟: 8
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟: 4

 

Fake BloodFake Blood by Whitney Gardner
Published: Sept 4, 2018
MG Paranormal
hilarious, satirical, realistic
🌟🌟🌟🌟

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Published: Mar 6, 2018
YA Fantasy
bingeable, dynamic, intense
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Published: May 2, 2017
History
repetitive, feminist, digestable
🌟🌟🌟

 

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published: May 2, 2017
Mystery
confusing, underwhelming, blah
🌟🌟

 

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's AngerGood and Mad by Rebecca Traister
Published: Oct 2, 2018
Feminist Theory
powerful, fierce, phenomenal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Love WorksLove Works by Janice Mirikitani
Published: Jan 1, 2003
Poetry
stunning, emotional, historical
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for WhitenessI’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
Published: May 15, 2018
Memoir
transforming, digestable, personal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Exit WestExit West by Mohsin Hamid
Published: Mar 7, 2017
Magical Realism
condense, evocative, timeless
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

CirceCirce by Madeline Miller
Published: Apr 10, 2018
Fantasy
lyrical, complex, engaging
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Published: Sep 24, 2001
Contemporary
lengthy, overwhelming, extra
🌟🌟

 

Horimiya, Vol. 8Horimiya vol. 8 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
Published: Jul 18, 2017
YA Romance
cute, fluffy, charming
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

GeorgeGeorge by Alex Gino
Published: Aug 25, 2015
MG Contemporary
simple, accessible, relevant
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Published: Dec 19, 1843
Holiday Classic
uplifting, atmospheric, descriptive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Sister Outsider by Audre LordeSister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Published: Jun 1, 1984
Essays
academic, intersectional, critical
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Published: Jan 2, 2018
YA Fantasy
disturbing, surprising, addictive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

I read some surprisingly great books this month and thoroughly enjoyed most of them. Let me know if you’ve read any of these because I’d love to talk about them? Which books were your favorites for December?