Monday, December 18

Let's Talk 2017 Authors: One Year, Six Brilliant Discoveries

While I've covered my favorite 2017 debuts and sequels in my past posts, there are a few other authors that made into my list of favorites this year apart from the four mentioned in them. So without further ado, let's take a look at the top six brilliant talents I discovered for the first time over the course of this year! These are not necessarily debuts or authors of books published in 2017, but rather authors I read for the first time this year and would no doubt read more in the future- in no particular order.

Thursday, December 14

Let's Talk 2017 Debuts: Two Authors, Two Debuts

Trigger warning : police violence, racism, race hate crime

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

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

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

Angie Thomas is an African American author who was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent.
She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed.
She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her first published novel, The Hate U Give, debuted at number one on the New York Times best-seller list for young adult hardcover books and continued to top the list for weeks after. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman directing and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg playing the lead. 

Trigger warning : sexual assault, microagressions, posting of MC's photos on the internet without permission

Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching.
A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S.K. Ali’s debut YA novel is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
She lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti. She is currently working on her second YA novel featuring an ensemble cast of diverse souls, as well as LOVE.

Monday, December 11

Let's Talk 2017 Sequels: Two Reviews, One Discussion

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Ever since Judge Crevan declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick, the only person she can trust. 

But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing. 

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her life to save all Flawed people.

Thursday, December 7

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

Hello, you beautiful hoomans! I've been meaning to talk about exactly what blogging means to me for quite some time now, and this short hiatus I've been on has given me quite some stuff I want to talk about here. Instead of opening up a discussion of sorts though, I figured this tag would give me a good framework to work around what I want to talk about and so here goes! 

Thursday, November 30

List of PROs & CONs in Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

“I am done being careful. I am done being quiet. Let them see me angry. Let them hear me wail at the top of my lungs.” 

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.


Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Tuesday, November 28

Ten Books On My TBR I *Think* Will Be Perfect Winter Reads

Top Ten Tuesday = weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hello, friends! My question for you today is this: Do you have that one genre - or type of book - that you love to read in certain times of the year? For example, twisty mystery or horror novels for a rainy autumn day, or, for me, something with a CERTAIN happy ending for a cold winter day. 

Now, for today, I picked out ten books from my to-read pile that I think will work for winter. There are some mysteries, thrillers and horrors for those gloomy, dark days, but also some adorable-looking romances for the coldest days, as well as some winter- or Christmas-themed novels. 

Thursday, November 23

All My Negative Feelings About ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS by Maggie Stiefvater

"This is the way of our work: We cannot help but color it with the paint of our feelings, both good and bad."

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

Tuesday, November 21

Ten of My Favorite Books I've Never Reviewed

Hello friends! Do you know the feeling when you are so totally in love with a book that you are left speechless? Or, rather, not really speechless, because you keep freaking out, screaming and flailing all at once, but you are far from being able to write a coherent review? Now THAT was me after finishing each of these books - no matter how much I wanted to and actually sat down and tried, I could NOT write a review for any of these books, because I found that my words couldn't do justice to how good these books are. 

But it simply doesn't do that I don't mention all these fantastic books here, SO I decided to make a post - maybe a series of posts?? - about some of the books I absolutely adore, but didn't review. 

Also, on a side note - THIS is my Top Ten Tuesday (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) post for today, because I don't like the original topic.

Saturday, November 18

CLARE MADE ME READ IT: Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley

“And I didn't realize it then, as Sarah and I left the parking lot and sped down the road in her little four-door, but I think that by the end of that very first school day I'd already fallen a bit in love with her.”

Katie Hammontree and Sarah Cooper have been best friends since the 2nd grade. Katie's welcoming, tight-knit family is a convenient substitute for Sarah when her distant parents aren't around, and Sarah's abrasive, goal-oriented personality gels well with Katie's more laid-back approach to life.

But when a misunderstanding leads to the two of them being mistaken for a couple and Sarah uses the situation to her advantage, Katie finds herself on a roller coaster ride of ambiguous sexuality and confusing feelings. How far will Sarah go to keep up the charade, and why does kissing her make Katie feel more alive than kissing her ex-boyfriend Austin ever did? And how will their new circle of gay friends react when the truth comes out?