MONTHLY TBR #12 | March 2019

Uww, look, a month in which I have a break, so maybe I can get some reading done! (…unlikely, but still). I’m pretty excited for this month. However, for this month, I’m not going to be picking out new books from my TBR jar because I didn’t finish the ones I picked last month. But! I’ll still put them down in this TBR. Also, since my in-progress books have been on here for…a while, I’m not going to have any commentary on them!


 

Sister Citizens: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

Another Country by James Baldwin

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist

Bulletproof by Jeff LaFerney


Okay, so I actually have read this book before, back when I first got it in elementary or middle school. I just don’t remember a thing, so I figured I would reread it. I actually met the author when my mom bought it for me! He was running a writing workshop I went to — I was really into writing at the time and wanted to be an author when I was older. He personalized it and everything! Anyway, it’s a mystery book with a main character with psychic powers who tries to solve a murder.

February 2019 TBR

Hoping to get to this next week over break…we’ll see, haha.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


I originally read the classic in school and remember liking it. So, I figured “why not?” Let’s see if it holds up after five years! It probably won’t because I’m really picky now about classics I think are good, but we can at least try it out. For those who don’t know, Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian book set in a world where books are considered illegal and are burned upon seeing them.

February 2019 TBR

Another book I hope to get to over spring break!

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World by Bill Nye


Fun fact: I bought a copy for both myself and my partner back when it first came out. It was signed! I actually pre-ordered it! Well, guess what, y’all. Neither of us have read it yet. It’s been almost four years, and we haven’t touched it. So I was pretty content when I pulled it out of my TBR jar.

February 2019 TBR

I don’t think I’ll be able to get to this, but…sometime this month, yes. I don’t think a few months would make a huge difference since it’s been almost four years since I’ve bought, but ya know.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen


This was one that was on my TBR last month, and it’s being transferred to February. Still hoping it’s good and that, ya know, I actually get to it. It’ll be interesting to see if there are things I don’t know about in this books.

February 2019 TBR

I know for sure I won’t be able to get to this for break — I left it in my dorm room. But I really want to read it this month!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


The more I stare it, the less I want to read it, but I really want to read King of Scars. So. You see my predicament. I do have to say, though, I absolutely love the cover. Just not that excited for the plot, ya know?

February 2019 TBR

Another book I didn’t bring home with me, but I’m not too worried about it. It’s a quick read.

Sadie by Courtney Summers


I’ve had the audiobook on hold since the day after Christmas, and I’m fifth on the list now…I just want to read it because I’ve heard nothing but good things about Sadie. I hope I can get it this month.

February 2019 TBR

I’m number one on the list now! Yay! I’m really excited for this book, I can’t wait to get it!

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I found this at the library when I came home from college, and it seemed interesting! I usually don’t go for sci-fi, but I’m intrigued. It has a space crew who work with their sentient space ship, and…that sounds so cool??

Parkland by Dave Cullen

Another book I found at the library! It’s about the Parkland shooting, but it isn’t really focused on the shooting itself. Instead, it’s about the teens who go out and advocate in the aftermath of the shooting. I’m hoping to finish it before break ends and that it’s good!


And there you go! I know it’s…a ton of books, but I think I can do it.

What about you all? What do you plan on reading this month, or are currently reading? Let me know!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP #12 | February 2019

So, uh, February was weird — I was able to get through a few novels (…ones that weren’t on my TBR, but we’ll ignore that), but as for blogging? Lmao, that fell apart. Including reviews, apparently. Sorry about that, y’all, there was just way too much going on for me to worry about this. I’m going to try harder this month, though! So, here we go, my February wrap-up!


 

Cranesong by Rona Wang

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

Review

The first book I read for February, and it was absolutely gorgeous! I loved every second of it. Cranesong is an anthology, with all the stories dealing with some sort of trauma or hardship. What’s really cool is that all of the protagonists are East Asian! Definitely pick this up if you’re interested; you won’t be disappointed.

Norse Mythology by Neal Gaiman

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

So I don’t have a review for this yet because outside of the review I had to do….Nope, didn’t get to anything. Anyway, this is the first Neil Gaiman book I listened to, and read altogether, and I was blown away. I loved it! It gave the basics of Norse Mythology, and it was funny, and it was dangerous. It’s a wonderful book, and Gaiman does such a good job narrating it.

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

⭐⭐ .5
2.5/5 stars

Another book I finished listening to but didn’t get around to reviewing. Well, okay, it’s more like a longer essay, but it still counts on Goodreads! I thought it was going to be good because I heard such good things about the author, but…it fell flat for me. Sure, it’s good for someone if they want a “basic” overview of feminism and have that feminism be very trans-exclusive in its language. There was also a bit that was biological essentialist, and… Well. I’ll write a whole review about it later. Let’s just say I wasn’t a huge fan.

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

⭐⭐⭐ .5
3.5/5 stars

Another book I had to read for class, so I didn’t review it. It was pretty good, but I wouldn’t read it again unless I had to. It was mostly sad, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the last 20% or so of the book.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

⭐⭐⭐⭐
4/5 stars

Wow, look, it’s another book I finished that I didn’t review. It’s almost like that’s the theme for this month. Moving on, this was another book I listened to impulsively, and I really enjoyed myself. I liked how the narrator brought the characters to life, even if it took a little time to get used to her, and I loved Mila and the group of girls she brings back to life. I would definitely look into it if you’re into witchy feminist stories with fat girl protagonists of color!

Sister Citizens: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry.

I’ve been on this book for the past two months, and if we don’t finish it this month, I’m dropping out of college. Y’all already know what it’s about from my last wrap up, so I’m not saying anything, lol.

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

…Same thing about this one. Misty, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry I haven’t finished already. Audiobooks are just so much easier when I have to constantly be walking around campus.

Another Country by James Baldwin

If I say it’s another book for class, how many people would throw tomatoes at me? Oh well, it’s another book for class. From what I’ve read so, it’s pretty good, but none of the characters are really that likeable. I get that that’s supposed to be the point, but…still.

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist

I’ve been reading this book since January, and I’m still not done… It’s a good book, don’t get me wrong, but it’s one that I’m annotating, so it’s taking me forever to actually sit down and read a chapter every now and then. Hoping to finish it in March, though!


And there you have it! My (late) February 2019 wrap up. I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to a more productive month!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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LIST #13 | Books with Asexual and/or Aromantic Characters!

Hi, everyone! For today, I wanted to do something a little special for the holiday today (technically yesterday, but we’ll ignore that). Valentine’s day can be rough for a lot of us in the ace and/or aro community: it’s one of the days where people, whether they intend to or not, constantly invalidate ace and aro folks by upholding romantic love and sexual attraction as the pinnacle of everything and as “just a basic human thing that everyone does.”

I…don’t really want to get into that discourse right now. Instead, I want to show all the ace and aro folks out there that, regardless of what some people say, we’re valid and we have some awesome representation in books (though, we can always use more…obviously). I tried to look into the deep depths of the internet to find the less well-known pieces, along with having some more popular books, and I think I got some good ones!

I broke this post up into three parts: books with asexual characters, books with aromantic characters, and books with both ace and aro characters or aro-ace characters. Just a sidenote: I haven’t read any of these books, but I’ve tried my best to search out some positive rep! So I take responsibility if any of these books are actually harmful, and I’ll make edits accordingly.

So, yeah, I spent a lot of time researching for this post, so I hope you all enjoy! And make sure to check out the resources I used, which are listed at the end of the list, because they have a ton more books that I didn’t even start to cover in this list.


 

BOOKS WITH ASEXUAL CHARACTERS

Jughead, Vol. 1 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson

So I never read the original Archie comics or watch the show on Netflix, but I heard that there was an ace character, and lo and behold, there is! Jughead is canonically ace, which is awesome. I’m not usually one for comics, but I might have to try it out!

Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

This looks like a horror books where the protagonist, his daughter, and his coworkers rent out a floor where, ten years before, a mass murder happened. One of the characters (I can’t tell if they’re a protagonist or side character?) is asexual.

A Study of Fiber and Demons by Jasmine Gower

…So a group of not-friends and an amicable professor research “demonwaves,” a form of demon magic. The ace character is part of a polyamorous trio, and how cool is that? Apparently most of the characters would be considered unlikeable, and I’m ready.

Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari

Imagine a sci-fi take on The Lost City of Atlantis, and that’s basically what this book is: two teens on two different worlds team up to find the city of Elytherios. Looks like both protagonists are on the ace spectrum: one of them may be demisexual and the other, ace.

Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith

Your standard fantasy novel about politics and magic and everything. Not only is there an ace main character, but the world-building/character-building is so different compared to “mainstream” fantasy. Like, imagine: women characters that are actually given agency and power and aren’t used as sexually abused plot devices.

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver

A book that seamlessly includes fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian genres, where a group of friends works together to take down a tyrannical government. Ya know, like ya do. An asexual protagonist that carries a huge amount of anxiety? Wow, it’s me. Overall, there’s an extremely diverse cast: queer identities, racial identities, and non-monogamous identities all rolling into one.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Two friends research the origins of extraordinary abilities while in college, but they eventually become nemeses as they grow apart. One of that main characters is asexual, so that’s cool. Also? I love some “friends to enemies” and anti-heroes tropes.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Wow, look, a horror book with three kick-ass girl protagonists who try to figure out a mystery before it’s too late. It’s totally my jam. One of the protagonists is ace! I do have to say, though, I know for a fact that there’s ace-antagonism in this one, so take caution if you’re sensitive to that.

BOOKS WITH AROMANTIC CHARACTERS

Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault

A superhero book in which a baker steals a magical gem from an officer; little do people know that these gems that can grant superpowers hold witch souls, which is what the baker’s sister is. Hello, we have enemies to lovers with aromantic characters! So that’s awesome. Also, as you’ll see soon enough, this author loves aro, ace, and aro-ace characters, and I”m here for it.

Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault

Sci-fi books with your classic group of Queers™️ who take down a gross tyrannical government. I’m pretty sure no one is allocishet, and that’s my favorite thing about this book, which I have not read. There’s an enby aromantic gay character, too!

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows

A fantasy novel in which a woman accidentally travels to another world, where a kingdom is under siege. The aromantic character is in a polyamort trio with two other women! And her aromanticism is (supposedly) not seen as something to be “overcome” at all!

The Trouble by Daria Defore

A book about a band and its college-aged frontman whose TA for class is a guy he hit on before? Classic. The frontman ending up being allosexual and aromantic? An even better classic.

Syncopation by Anna Zabo

Another band book! This one is where the protagonist, the frontman for his band Twisted Wishes, and a past friend/now drummer, collide for a tour. Guess what, the main character is aromantic pansexual! And it looks like there’s some BDSM (D/s) elements, too, if that’s your thing.

epicene: a short story by Constance Bougie

Here’s a short story about a student with social anxiety and an aromantic crush on another classmate. Sounds to me that the main character is an enby aromantic person with social anxeity, and I’m excited. Also, when I say short, I mean it; it’s less than 20 pages.

Novis by Rachel Tonks Hill

A neat sci-fi novel in which the main character and her two friends attempt to break a curse on a colony that is suceeding in killing the inhabitants. Guess what, one of the protagonists is aromantic! Annnnd, three women kicking ass is always a must-buy for me.

Lost Names by A.N. Mouse

Another sci-fi novel, where two teams are sent after the same thing, but only one make it out alive. Apparently, it’s sad, and you know it’s sad, but you’re still sad at the end. It also looks very queer, and there’s a bisexual aromantic main character!

BOOKS WITH ASEXUAL-AROMANTIC CHARACTERS OR BOOKS WITH BOTH ASEXUAL CHARACTERS AND AROMANTIC CHARACTERS

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

So, obivously, the first book, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue includes Felicity, who is Monty’s sister, but this second one is where she’s center stage. From what I understand, both books are historical fiction “road” trips…and the second one somehow involves dragons? I love it even more, especially since Felicity is aro-ace.

City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault

Here’s another fantasy novel rooted in politics, but you don’t (shouldn’t) even notice it. There’s a diverse cast of characters: characters of color, disabled characters, and almost all of the main cast (if not all of them) are queer! I’m a bit hazy on this, but there are either both ace and aro characters, or an ace-aro character; either way, from what I read, it is very ace and aro friendly!

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

This sci-fi novel is based in a space vessel that is similar in culture to the Antebellum South, where Aster lives in the lower decks as a slave. Aster’s caretaker is aromantic and asexual, and there is a large amount of other queer characters (including Aster!). Overall, this book deals with racism and slavery, and it definitely isn’t a light read; check the reviews on Goodreads for CWs if you have to, please.

Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

A group of teens does what it takes to make sure one of their own can go to her dream school… i.e. they steal money from her billionaire dad. One of the protagonists is aro-ace! Also, really, I just love groups of friends getting together to do morally grey things.

INFORMATIONAL LINKS

  • The FuckYeahAsexual tumblr blog has a lot of neat info, not just about asexuality in general, but also on recs of media with ace characters.
  • This list and this one, which are both Goodreads lists, helped me find a bunch of books with ace characters.
  • There’s also this, like, master post of Goodreads lists that supposedly have books with ace characters (though, as you can see if you click, there are a lot of them filed under LGBT+ lists, and not specifically ace lists.
  • On to the aromantic info links, I have this one! Also a Goodreads list, specifically of aromantic characters in SFF (science fiction and fantasy).
  • Just like with the asexual characters master post, there is also one for aromantic characters on Goodreads. A lot of them, like the ace list, are listed under broad LGBT+ lists, but there are some aro-specific lists, too.
  • There’s this list post from Rachel over at Rustling Reads that has over 10 books with aro/aro-ace characters!
  • Look, it’s the biggest, most in-depth aromantic and/or asexual character database I’ve ever seen! Thanks to Claudie Arseneault for creating this (yes, the same Claudie Arseneault who has, like, three books on this list). I found most of the books with aromantic characters through this database, so please go check it out. Also, here’s the page that explains the database more.

And that’s it, everyone! Like I said earlier, I hope you all enjoyed this post, and I’m sorry I couldn’t have gotten up earlier (…I’m only an hour late, lol).

I hope all of my ace siblings and aro pals had a comfortable, enjoyable day despite what the holiday can mean to a lot of us. I love you all. ❤

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REVIEW #38 | “Cranesong” by Rona Wang (eARC)

Title: “Cranesong”

Author: Rona Wang

Pages (eBook): 83 pages

Expected Publishing Date: 13 February 2019

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Half Mystic Press’ debut short story collection is, above all, a bright thing. Cranesong explores the trauma that haunts our bones, the echoes that infuse our language—and, at the same time, lingers inside wild wind, consumes the cartography of longing, interrogates all the colors piano music can hold. These stories pinwheel from realm to realm—some fantastical, some deeply modern, and some settling somewhere in between. Yet there is an ancestral lineage that braids them together. These characters don’t exist in the same world, but if they did, perhaps they’d recognize each other.

“The stories in Cranesong are the stories I’ve been waiting to read my entire life. They are the girlhood secrets, untranslatable sorrows, and quiet violences that often surround us but never quite catch our attention until they’re told by a writer like Rona Wang, whose words will uplift you just as much as they will shatter you.” —Erin O’Malley, 2018 Lambda Literary fellow and editor of The Ellis Review

Pre-order “Cranesong” on Amazon!

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel (sorted into each short story):

Style

  • character death
  • car accident
  • internalized ableism

The Evolution of Wings

  • suicide attempt

Seeking

  • allusions to rape

The Girl in the Rice Paddies

  • character death
  • brief description of a corpse

Wu Daozi Dreaming

  • blood

How to Be Badass

  • blood

Liv, Liv, Lipstick Liar

  • xenophobia

The Art of Acceptance

  • racism
  • xenophobia
  • character death

Dissonance

  • N/A

Representation in the novel (sorted into each short story):

  • Before I go down each short story, I’ll make the blanket statement here: every single short story has an East Asian main character and side characters. Some of them I couldn’t quite catch on which nationality/ethnicity, but there were for sure Korean, Japanese, and Chinese characters. So if there’s “East Asian MC” please note that I just didn’t catch where in particular the main character is from.

Style

  • f/f relationship
  • sapphic MC

The Evolution of Wings

  • Chinese MC

Seeking

  • East Asian MC

The Girl in the Rice Paddies

  • East Asian MC
  • East Asian side characters

Wu Daozi Dreaming

  • East Asian MC
  • East Asian side characters

How to Be a Badass

  • East Asian MC
  • East Asian side characters

Liv, Liv, Lipstick Liar

  • undocumented Chinese MC

The Art of Acceptance

  • Chinese MC
  • Japanese side characters

Dissonance

  • East Asian MC

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

I received a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Hi, it’s technically still the 11th, so I’m still sticking to the blog tour schedule.

Anyway…y’all. This was amazing. I loved this short story collection, and I can’t wait for more from Rona Wang!

Cranesong is a short story collection that not only features a wide variety of genres and diversity (all East Asian main characters? a sapphic girl and f/f romance? yes, please), but all the stories tie together in a broad theme: trauma. Different types of trauma, whether it’s that of a car accident or being caught shoplifting when being an undocumented person, are explored throughout the book, in all of the stories.

It was really interesting to see how different genres tied in with everything, too: while there were mostly contemporary and historical fiction short stories, I distinctly remember an urban fantasy(/possibly magical realism?) story and a more fantasy/fairy tale-esque story. The more fantastical stories were a nice touch, I must say.

All around, I thought the writing was amazing. It was very fun to read, and I loved all of it. It was a quick read for me, but that does not mean it has any lesser value: I just wanted to get through to see what happens next.

Overall, I thought this anthology was great. If you are a fan of short stories and/or are interested in reading about trauma in prose, I would definitely recommend this!

Now, here are all my individual star ratings of each story. They don’t have their own reviews simply because of the number and length of them (some of them were pretty short, and I don’t know how to give a review of that).

Breakdown:

Style:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

The Evolution of Wings:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

Seeking:

⭐⭐⭐⭐
4/5 stars

The Girl in the Rice Paddies:

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Wu Daozi Dreaming:

⭐⭐⭐⭐
4/5 stars

How to Be a Badass:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

Liv, Liv, Lipstick Liar:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

The Art of Acceptance:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

Dissonance:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

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MONTHLY TBR #11 | February 2019

Hi, everyone! I know I’m surprised every time another month rolls around, but uh…I’m shocked it’s already February. I’m so not ready for it…ha! So, I”m kinda re-doing my format for TBRs — I am now dividing it into books I have started reading, haven’t started reading, and books that I’ve picked from my TBR jar. Thought it would make it look nicer. Let’s get into what I (hope I) will read for February!


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Hey, look, it’s my favorite HP book that I definitely could’ve finished last month but didn’t. Here’s to hoping I can finish it this month. If not, oh well, I’m stopping the reread for the year. #SorryNotSorry.

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

I’m hoping to finish this within the first couple weeks — it’s actually a really fun book so far. I just have a horrible time reading on my laptop. I get so easily distracted… anywho, I have pretty high hopes for this book!

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, and Murder in the Battle of New Orleans by Gary Krist

We’ll just ignore the fact that I forgot to include this in my wrap-up for January. I barely made a dent in this book; the last part of January was just super hectic for me, and I didn’t have the time to read as much as I wanted. However, I have a solid day to get through this book, and I think I can do it…We’ll see if I actually succeed.

Sister Citizens: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

To be honest, I don’t know if we’re reading the whole book for class or just chunks of it. If we only read parts, then I will try to finish it on my own, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it if I don’t. If we do read all of it…then that’s another book down!

Bulletproof by Jeff LaFerney

Okay, so I actually have read this book before, back when I first got it in elementary or middle school. I just don’t remember a thing, so I figured I would reread it. I actually met the author when my mom bought it for me! He was running a writing workshop I went to — I was really into writing at the time and wanted to be an author when I was older. He personalized it and everything! Anyway, it’s a mystery book with a main character with psychic powers who tries to solve a murder.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I originally read the classic in school and remember liking it. So, I figured “why not?” Let’s see if it holds up after five years! It probably won’t because I’m really picky now about classics I think are good, but we can at least try it out. For those who don’t know, Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian book set in a world where books are considered illegal and are burned upon seeing them.

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World by Bill Nye

Fun fact: I bought a copy for both myself and my partner back when it first came out. It was signed! I actually pre-ordered it! Well, guess what, y’all. Neither of us have read it yet. It’s been almost four years, and we haven’t touched it. So I was pretty content when I pulled it out of my TBR jar.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

This was one that was on my TBR last month, and it’s being transferred to February. Still hoping it’s good and that, ya know, I actually get to it. It’ll be interesting to see if there are things I don’t know about in this books.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The more I stare it, the less I want to read it, but I really want to read King of Scars. So. You see my predicament. I do have to say, though, I absolutely love the cover. Just not that excited for the plot, ya know?

Sadie by Courtney Summers

I’ve had the audiobook on hold since the day after Christmas, and I’m fifth on the list now…I just want to read it because I’ve heard nothing but good things about Sadie. I hope I can get it this month.

Campfire by Shawn Sarles

I placed a hold on this one last month, and I’m still #10 on the list… I don’t think I’ll be able to get to this one, but I’ll put it down just in case. It sounded pretty interesting at the library — Campfire is a horror YA book about a family going camping in the forest. You see where this is going, right?


Send me productive thoughts because I’m going to really need them this month if I’m going to get through eleven books in the shortest month of the year. Seriously. What the hell did I get myself into?

Are any of you like me, and decided to tackle a bunch of books this month? What are you thinking of reading? Let me know!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP #11 | January 2019

Hi, everyone! Can you believe it’s already February? Because I sure can’t. Well, here’s what I’ve read this past month, and what I’m currently reading!


 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Review

This was the first book I finished in 2019, and I loved it! I don’t read as much middle grade as I would like, so I really enjoyed this one. It’s a spooky ghost story with Cass, a girl who can see and talk to ghosts, and Joacob, her ghost-y best friend!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

Review

Another V.E. Schwab book finished, and I loved it even more than City of Ghosts! I loved everything about it: the characters, the plot, the magic, the setting. All of it. The book follows Kell, a magician, and Lila, a girl with the love for adventure, as they try to take a mysterious stone back to its rightful place. Please read it, it’s my new fav next to Six of Crows.

Sula by Toni Morrison

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Review

If you’re interested in classics, black authors, or anything remotely connected to either of those two, look into Sula. I’m usually not for books considered classics, but I really enjoyed this one. Sula is about the lives of two childhood best friends, Sula and Nell, throughout their lives.

Maurice by E.M. Forster

⭐⭐⭐ .5
3.5/5 stars

This one doesn’t have an official review because I read it for a class. It was pretty good; nothing to call home about, though. I wasn’t really connected with any of the characters. However, I do have to say, that last scene between Maurice and Clive made me laugh. I don’t think it was supposed to? But it did.

Sister Citizens: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry.

Another book for a class — I’m almost halfway through it, and so far, so good. It’s pretty self-explanatory: it delves into stereotypes about Black women in the United States and how shame may affect them. There’s a lot I’ve annotated so far, so if social science and race are your thing, give it a try.

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

It is so hard for me to finish e-books, apparently. I started this in the beginning of January, and I’m still working on it. It’s not bad at all — I’m actually quite enjoying it — but I just can’t seem to bring myself to open the Kindle app on my laptop. The Shadow Girl is about an invisible girl, both literally and metaphorically!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

So this would have been finished, except 65% of the way through the audiobook, my account decided to log itself out. And the password and login weren’t saved. Pair that with the fact that I didn’t feel like digging out my library card (it was through OverDrive), and you have an unfinished book.


There you go, my January wrap-up! I didn’t do qute as much as I wanted to, but that’s okay. I’ll have all next month to catch up! …Says every reader every month.

Let me know what you’ve read this month! What was your favorite and/or least favorite book of the month? Do you constantly see yourself pushing books back to read?

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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NON-BOOKISH ADVENTURES #1 | Who’s That Pokemon Team? (Part 1)

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my first-ever Non-Bookish Adventures post! This one is pretty fun and/or unique, I think. For this series, I choose four or five characters from different media and create a team of 4-6 Pokemon that I think would suit them. By media, I mean anyone from books, video games, TV shows, etc. I really hope this works out and that you all enjoy this!

Since I explained everything, let’s begin!


1. Honchkrow

This seems…self-explanatory? He always has crows around his window sill, and he has a crow head for his cane handle, so Honchkrow seems to fit perfectly.

2. Persian

Kaz forces greed to do his bidding, so Persian would be a perfect fit for him. You can’t tell me this cat doesn’t hoarde all the gold it finds. He also strikes me as a cat person? They both like to show and receive affection on their own terms. Their own very specific terms.

3. Umbreon

This is a headcanon, but I think Kaz would hate sleeping in absolute darkness. He does it because he has to, obviously, but Umbreon could be a mellow nightlight that lets him sleep better.

4. Scyther

I mean, sure, Kaz doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty when he has to, but Scyther can for sure be good for the threatening factor. Who wouldn’t be at least a little antsy with a giant-ass bug with sycthes as hands?

1. Lucario

Listen, a friend of mine loves both Kingdom Hearts (especially Kairi) and Lucario, so I now have this association in my mind. And I dunno, I just think Lucario would suit Kairi nicely with both their personalities.

2. Meganium

Hear me out. Kairi has a flowery keyblade, and Meganium has a literal petal/flower crown neck thing. They are both very cute. And Meganium also calms people through the aroma from its petals! I think that fits Kairi well, eve if she is an adequate fighter.

3. Togepi

LOOK AT HOW ADORABLE TOGEPI IS. You can’t tell me Kairi wouldn’t snatch ’em up as soon as she got the chance. Also? Togekiss is a badass, just like Kai.

4. Milotic

Listen, you cannot tell me this isn’t the most elegant-looking Pokemon out there. And beacuse it is so elegant and beautiful, it would be a great match for Kairi. Also, I”m just thinking that Kairi found a Feebas on Destiny Islands and stayed with it until it evolved into Milotic, and they go everywhere together.

5. Roserade

Another “beautiful but deadly” kind of Pokemon that would totally fuck me up. Similarly with Milotic, I just think Kai met a little Budew on the islands, and now they’re both all grown up and strong as heck. And another floral Pokemon because that’s Kairi’s aesthetic, let’s be honest.

1. Snorlax

Okay, for those of you who know the show, you’ll probably see this as a cop-out, but still. Both Snorlax and Grif are incredibly lazy and love food, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus, I see Snorlax as a wonderful pillow, so that’s a perk, too. ‘Cause we all know Grif would take a nap every chance he could get.

2. Hippopotas

If you spent as much time in a desert canyon like Blood Gulch, you would also make friends with a cute little hippo….like Grif. And you would also be gruff about it, not admitting that you’re friends with it….like Grif.

3. Pignite

Pignite has two uses: making damn good barbeque, ’cause ya know, it’s a fire pig, and it can also scare Simmons away when he’s being too annoying, saying that Grif is eating too many of the rations and “we’re all going to starve now!” And for some reason, I just headcanon Grif to be the guy who ends up adopting all the cute animal Pokemon, like with Hippopotas.

4. Drilbur

See the previous note about adopting adorable Pokemon. But also, since Drilbur has the ability to, ya know, dig, it can probably do something goofy like dig a giant hole, where the ground is cool, so Grif could just hop down and cool off (and also hide from the other Reds). Sarge might threaten to fill the hole with Grif still in it, obviously, but still.

1. Zorua

It makes sense that a magician has a Pokemon with an illusion ability, right? Totally. And uh. I think I have a type of character who is a man that secretly (or not-so-secretly) love cute animal-like Pokemon. Zorua is a cute shadow fox that deserves all the good things in life.

2. Haxorus

Back again with the “he’s a magician” excuse. And because he’s a magician, he needs a cool-looking dragon friend, who may also have the ability to rip your limbs off. ‘Cause, ya know, sometimes the twins deserve it, amiright?

3. Cubchoo

You cannot tell me Kell would walk past this little guy while in White London and do absolutely nothing. Look at the snot coming out of its nose, it practically can’t take care of itself. Also, when it evolves, it will be a complete powerhouse that Kell would still try to protect “because you were so little before, I need to keep you safe.”

4. Dragonite

Yet another Dragon-type, but the cute dragon, ya know? If Kell has a murder-dragon, he has to have a cuddle-dragon. For balance, obviously. Also, I’m not quite sure how it would work, but Dragonite could totally send messages quickly between worlds, or just within the same world, if Kell needed it.


So that was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but it was so fun, too! Please please please let me know how you like it. What other characters would you like to see for this mini feature? Let me know!

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NON-BOOKISH ADVENTURES #0.5 | Look! Something New!

Hi, everyone! As you can see, this is something new on my blog. And instead of going straight into it like I first thought of doing, I felt I should make an announcement post. So here we are!

It is pretty self-explanatory: Non-Bookish Adventures (adorably shortened to NBA; thank you, sports) are posts that aren’t about books/book blogs/authors, etc. or the primary subject of the post isn’t on those things. It is a way to allow me to talk about other things that interest me (music, video games, shows, etc.) without having to make a whole other blog for them. Don’t get me wrong, I will still have a predominately bookish blog, but now I will be able to connect with my current and future followers through other itnerests and hobbies!

At most, I will post one Non-Bookish Adventures post a week (excluding this week because of this announcement…obviously), so don’t worry if you think this is going to be my “thing” now! For example, it could be a ranking of albums of one of my favorite bands or a discussion about the web show I am currently watching. This is predominately a way to get to know me through my other interests! Also, for the sake of this feature, my writing is going to be a bit more lax. It won’t be as professional (if I ever write that to begin with? I’m not sure), but it’s just supposed to be a way to relax.

So, yeah, that’s all I really have for this announcement. I hope everyone is as excited about this new feature as I am!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY #7 | Top of Your TBR

Hi, everyone! Back again for another Top 5 Wednesday (even though it…isn’t quite Wednesday). Anyway, T5W is a weekly meme by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes; there is also a Goodreads group, if you’re interested in learning more. This week’s theme is “top of your TBR.” Since I pick my monthly TBR by picking randomly from a jar, I figured I would use the last five books I added to my Goodreads TBR. Hope you enjoy!


5. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

So I only added this because I have to read it for a class, but I haven’t started it yet. I hope it isn’t a sad read, but….we’ll see, I suppose. I’m pretty interested in it.

4. Ring by Koji Suzuki

I did not know my favorite horror movie was a book until just this month?? I have to read it now! I hope it is just as spooky as the movie adaptation; I remember first watching it when I was eight or nine and being terrified.

3. The Black Company by Glen Cook

I forgot how I got ahold of this book…I think I was Google searching for fantasy novels? Anyway, I read the synopsis, and though it seems dark, I think it would be interesting to read.

2. The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

This is another one that I found searching for fantasy novels. It seems like a classic “heroine has an adventure” story, and it seems like a fun read. On Goodreads, it looks like a lot of polarizing reviews, either they loved it or hated it. We’ll see!

1. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. This is practically a classic, and I still haven’t read it yet. But the movie trailer got me interested. I saw that it has eight books, so why not? I’m still not sure what’s going on in the series, so maybe it’ll be one of the series I start this year!


And there you have it, everyone, the last five books added to my Goodreads TBR! Let me know what the most recent books you’ve added to your TBR — maybe they’ll be added to mine, too!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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REVIEW #37 | “Sula” by Toni Morrison

Title: “Sula”

Author: Toni Morrison

Pages (paperback): 174 pages

Original Publishing Date: November 1973

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.

“Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born, to marry, raise a family, and become a pillar of the black community. Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping to college, and submerging herself in city life. When she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress. Eventually, both women must face the consequences of their choices. Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • blood
  • gore
  • description of burns
  • fire

Representation in the novel:

  • cast of black characters (most, if not all, the main characters and “important” side characters are black)
  • black girl/woman main characters
  • black love interests

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

My thoughts on this book can be summed up with my last goodreads note about it.

Seriously, I do not know what to even think. As you could see from above, it is a short book, less than 200 pages, but it packs a punch. The reader becomes intersted in the characters pretty quickly; one may not exactly love them, but they are intriguing enought that one wants to see what happens next. I also really enjoy novels that not only skip years, but go through an entire lifespan, and Sula delivers as it follows Sula and Nell, the main characters. I do want to point out, though, that I was serious about not grasping everything. There is a bunch of literary merits that I missed for sure, and I do not want to say that I have a comprehensive grasp on the book.

Anyway, moving on. Sula takes place across a good portion of the 20th century in the small town of Bottom, in Ohio. Beginning in 1919, the book ends almost fifty years later, in 1965. It follows two girls, Sula and Nell, as I said earlier. They are two young childhood friends who, as they grow older, go their separate ways. However, life brings them back together years later. But is the ultimate betrayal enough to push these two women away from each other forever? Sula delves into friendship, identity, and community in a way that sucks the reader in and does not let go until they finish the very last page.

I am not going to lie: I am having a really hard time articulating myself throughout this review. I just…do not know what to say? This was a wonderful book, and it kept me interested and engaged. The writing is simply beautiful. But I do not know what made me interested in particular, if that makes sense. I think that is where reading it a second time comes in.

I dunno, bottom line is, I liked reading it; y’all should read it; and it is actually a book that is deserving of the title “classic.” We good? We good. Good day.

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