august goals

Okay, here we go *takes deep breath* I am going to actually post goals for August. Goals posts are usually some of my favorite posts to write and read, but the pandemic has left me feeling like setting goals and trying to stick to my usual level of motivation about things is pointless. However, I have come to the conclusion that we are probably going to be dealing with this for a long time, so I can’t be despondent forever, and having goals really helps me focus my mind and makes me feel good when I achieve them or even just work toward them.

So, this month, we are back to doing a monthly goals post.

goals

  • Read 5 novels. I was really proud of myself for reading 9 books in July, and in August I want to devote the energy I gave the graphic novels that helped me achieve that number to written novels I need to read.
  • Read 2 Book of the Month books. I have been enjoying my subscription to BOTM, but I definitely have not read all the books I’ve gotten from it. I also got my mom a gift subscription so we can read the same book and discuss, so for this month I hope to read one of my previous BOTM books and whichever book I pick for August.
  • Participate in ARC August. I used to love participating in Read. Sleep. Repeat’s ARC August & ARC April and always knocked a lot of ARCs off my TBR. I was thrilled to see they’re still doing ARC August, so I will for sure be participating.
  • Don’t spend money on anything non-essential. I have a few big expenses coming up and want to do better at saving money, too, and I know I need to cut down on non-essential spending. This means: no hair dye, no makeup, no planner stuff, no books.
  • Eat out less. Most of my money in July went to non-essential spending and eating out, so I also want to reduce the number of times per week I order in from restaurants.
  • Drink more water. I used to be really good about staying hydrated during the day but since the pandemic hit that has also fallen to the wayside and I mostly drink non hydrating things.
  • Stay up past 10 at least one night. Okay, I know I sound old with this goal, but I have a weird anxiety thing about staying up past a certain time. Once my brain decides it’s time to go to bed, I start feeling INCREDIBLY anxious if I try to stay up. So I basically want to prove to my brain that the world will not end if I stay up past a certain hour.
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July rewind \\ is 2020 still here??

Hi, hello. Hi. Um. Quite a lot has happened in the world since I last did a monthly rewind on this blog, which was April apparently? And somehow IT IS STILL 2020 AKA THE YEAR THAT DRAGS ON FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES (but, you know, hopefully…not). Anyway, onto the wrap up:

How’s life?

Wow I do not like quarantined life. Considering how much of an introvert I am this is kind of shocking still even to me, but I do not like having large amounts of time being stuck in my apartment on my hands. Fortunately, in July the library where I work switched to sidewalk service, so I go into work every other week. Things have been very quiet so far, but honestly I’m stupidly thrilled to be back at work and have something else to do with my time other than stare at the ceiling and bemoan my lack of hobbies and contemplate the horrible state of the world.

I also went home a few times (once the stay at home order was lifted in my state), was gifted a glorious iPad, and got to spend some quality socially distanced time with a friend. The iPad has definitely improved the quality of my quarantined weeks and is getting a LOT of use. I did also manage to fix the virus problem on my actual laptop, which makes it a lot easier to use.

Really the only other thing of note to happen was that I made a lot of bad quarantine hair dye decisions that resulted in green hair and had to dye it dark brown again to fix it. I should have gone with my gut and just done pink again and would have thus avoided the whole green hair debacle that resulted from dyeing it blue, which I had never previously attempted.

Overall, life is okay I guess, and I, like the rest of the world, am just trying to survive and hang in there.

What i read

I actually managed to read this month! Quarantine really put a damper on my reading, which was unfortunate considering how much more time I had to read had I been able to focus for more than 20 seconds. However, in July, I participated in the Pop Culture Readathon: 90s Edition and managed to read 9 whole books.

1. Be Dazzled – Ryan La Sala
2. The Fell of Dark – Caleb Roehrig
3. Stella Diaz Has Something to Say – Angela Dominguez
4. Check, Please – Ngozi Ukazu
5. Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Bayron
6. Heartstopper 1 – Alice Oseman
7. Heartstopper 2 – Alice Oseman
8. Heartstopper 3 – Alice Oseman
9. Check, Please 2 – Ngozi Ukazu

Hello, new favorite book^^^

My favorite book was probably CINDERELLA IS DEAD, which is a diverse, queer retelling/continuation of Cinderella. I loved the writing style and the unique twist the author gave to the story, and I can genuinely say it was a version of it I haven’t seen. To be honest though, I had a really great reading month and the only disappointment was CHECK PLEASE 2, but even with that book there were things I liked about it.

Blogging highlights

My posts:

Around the blogosphere:

  • Cielo shared 10 upcoming Latinx books for the rest of 2020
  • Tanya wrote about the recent controversy involving the performative diversity displayed by the Reading Rush organizers
  • Sofia added a lot of books to my TBR with her list of favorite romances of 2020
  • Kayli shared her mid-year update, and you know I love a good update
  • Sabrina wrote a fun post about bookish coincidences
  • Leelyn discussed Storygraph and what it had to say about her reading habits
  • Malka talked about her journey with the romance genre, which was very relatable
  • Charvi gushed about one of my fave reads of the year, FELIX EVER AFTER

How was July for you? Tell me all about it!

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www wednesday // 7-29-20

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

just finished

Check, Please: vol. 2: Sticks & Scones by Ngozi Ukazu

I’ve been excited for Check, Please 2 for an entire YEAR because of the ending of book 1, and I think buying both of them was an excellent use of my Amazon points because I basically got them for free. Anyhoo. I liked this book ok, but overall I didn’t like it as much as Check, Please 1 because I felt like the narrative switched from Bitty being a happy and well-adjusted self-loving gay to him and Jack having to prove to others and themselves that they were model gays, basically, and therefore deserving of love and respect. It felt like it changed to the narrative that straight people expect from a queer story, and that really disappointed me.

Currently reading

You Should See Me in a Crown & The Poppy War (not shown) & Sal & Gabi Break the Universe (not shown)

I just started reading THE POPPY WAR and am not sure how I feel about it yet. I also started YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN and am finding it a bit slow to get into, but I still have hope for it. Oh, and I’m reading Sal & Gabi Break the Universe for a program at the library (I’m going to be doing book talks for a September video for Hispanic Heritage Month).

Reading next

Clap When You Land and/or With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Honestly I’m really not sure what I’m reading next because I need to work out which readathons I’m participating in and look at my TBR. I am tempted to read CLAP WHEN YOU LAND and/or WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo because my work bff has been reading those and they have both been burning holes in my TBR for too long considering how much I loved THE POET X.

Tell me all about your recent/upcoming reads in the comments, please!!

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7 atmospheric &/or melancholy reads that will enhance your FOLKLORE listening

Hello, and HAPPY TAYLOR SWIFT DAY!!!

I may as well forewarn you all now: you can probably expect a lot of Taylor Swift content coming up when everyone makes their own FOLKLORE book tags and readathons come up and other content. I am not sorry, because the past few years have made me a huge Taylor Swift stan and honestly, my life has improved a lot since becoming a TS stan.

ANYWAY. This post is here to help inspire your reading picks to accompany your FOLKLORE listening as you dive deep into the album and imagine yourself crying in the woods with the leaves crinkling under you wearing your ex girlfriend’s favorite cardigan. So, I present to you atmospheric and/or melancholy reads that have the mood of FOLKLORE. Enjoy!

the devouring gray – Christine Lynn Herman

While thinking about books that fit the mood of FOLKLORE, THE DEVOURING GRAY immediately came to mind. This book is a bisexual anthem about a town with a mysterious history, very creepy woods, a monster, and lots of angsty romance. TDG is full of moody bisexuals who would definitely listen to FOLKLORE while researching the town’s history and trying to find a way to defeat the Beast that’s gobbling people up and making the forest sick.

house of salt and sorrows – erin a. craig

HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS is a very eerie retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses where the “princesses” all live in an old manor by the sea and they seemed to be cursed because the sisters keep dying. This book made me coin in my mind the genre “ocean gothic”–i. e. eerie and dark ocean books with death and ghosts.

summer of salt – katrina leno

Okay, this book doesnt *exactly* fit the vibe of atmospheric and melancholy, but I think the characters in this book would definitely listen to FOLKLORE. SUMMER OF SALT is a sapphic book about a girl waiting to receive the magical powers that have been passed down to women in her family for generations. However, when something bad on the island happens involving a legendary bird, the summer visitors to the island turn to the magical family and look for someone there to blame.

sawkill girls – claire legrand

The slow, sleepy-but-eerie pace of this book reminds me of FOLKLORE a lot. Think “Exile.” Marion, Zoe, and Val all live on Sawkill Rock, where there is an urban legend of a monster in the woods, only Val knows it might not really just be an urban legend after all.

the last true poets of the sea – julia drake

I am so annoyed at myself for not having finished this one even though I really liked the part of it I read. This sad, sapphic book about shipwrecks and mental health struggles is perfect for FOLKLORE. “Cardigan” belongs on a playlist about Orion and Liv’s relationship. Sarcastic, moody Violet, our MC who is trying to find the right words to say to her brother who is in the hospital for a suicide attempt, would probably listen to “Betty” on the plane to Lyric, Maine, where she and Liv attempt to uncover the real story of how Violet’s family founded the town after a shipwreck.

the sky is everywhere – jandy nelson

I know this book is really old and has a love triangle, but it will always be one of my favorites. The lyrical writing just brims with raw emotion, and I promise it will destroy you. It’s about Lennie, who just lost her sister, and her relationships with two guys–one with her sister’s boyfriend, and one with a new boy in town.

extraordinary means – robyn schneider

Actually, a lot of Robyn Schneider’s books would go well with FOLKLORE, but this one stuck out to me because it definitely has a strong melancholy vibe because it’s set at a boarding school for sick teens. I don’t remember much about the plot to be honest, but I do remember I really liked it and even gifted it to the person I was dating at the time.

There were so many books I could’ve picked for a melancholy/atmospheric themed list, but these ended up being the ones that especially stood out to be relevant to read while listening to FOLKLORE! I hope I’ve managed to add some books to your TBR, and that you get to listen to FOLKLORE as many times as your heart desires this weekend!

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here & queerathon: thoughts & reflections on hosting a readathon

Hello! Here & Queerathon is still happening and you can still sign up! I started the Here & Queerathon pretty much on a complete whim without much forethought or planning at the very last second in December 2019 (wow, that was about 20 years ago, am I right?)

The whole world has gone through a lot of ups and downs so far this year, and I definitely have also, which has caused the readathon to kind of fall to the wayside for me. I do have about 10 participants currently, and 25 followers on the Twitter account, which I know I haven’t been doing a good job of keeping up with, and I have a lot of thoughts about how I’d do things differently in the future and I want to share some of those today.

Firstly, I definitely wouldn’t do an all year readathon again. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea in the first place? But it would definitely be easier for me to maintain a readathon that happened a couple of times a year for probably a month at a time. I think this would also ultimately garner more interest because it would feel more immediate and people would feel more pressured to do it because it would be more limited time.

I would also enlist the help of other bloggers, preferably with more followers than I have. I think one of the biggest hurdles to readathon success in terms of the number of participants I had was that I have less than 1,000 blog followers and less than 300 Twitter followers. It would also be easier to divide up all the content I originally thought I would be doing and put less pressure on me to do it all in addition to regular blogging content.

I’d theme each month. To make it more interesting for people, I’d pick topics or themes, like maybe do a queer graphic novels month or a fantasy month. I might even pick some months where I would do actual prompts for people to base their reads off of.

I’d have multiple people manage the social media for the readathon. I thought I’d have a lot more time and inspiration to do Here & Queerathon-related posting, but that…did not occur.

In general, I’d just think things through more and plan out in detail, way in advance. A year-long readathon sounded great at first, but I quickly fell off the wagon in terms of promoting it and posting content related to it to keep things interesting for participants. I greatly overestimated my own motivation for running something all year when I started Here & Queerathon, even though I definitely had good intentions going into it.

I hope those who have been doing it have been enjoying reading queer books all year, and definitely encourage continued participation!

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pop culture readathon update!

Hello friends! At the beginning of the month, I announced my intent and potential plans for participating in the Pop Culture Readathon, happening from July 1-July 30. So far, I’ve had a lot of fun participating, but have realized that most of the books I’ve completed fit prompts on the Teen Dream board, even though I originally planned to try to get bingo on both the Family Affair and Thrill Ride boards.

For today’s post, I just wanted to give a little update for which prompts I’ve completed for the Teen Dream board thus far:

  • Laney Boggs – A book involving an artistic element – BE DAZZLED, which I read at the beginning of the month, definitely fits the bill for this prompt. Ryan La Sala’s upcoming 2021 release (will we even make it to 2021??) is super artsy fartsy and is about Raffy, a gay cosplayer, who wants to compete in a major cosplaying competition and prove to his mom and himself that his crafty dreams are worthwhile, and finds love with an unexpected boy along the way.
  • You didn’t tell me you were taking me to a gay bar!! – queer centered book – I’m using THE FELL OF DARK by Caleb Roehrig for this prompt. Nearly EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER was queer, and there was even a PANSEXUAL VAMPIRE!!!!! This book was basically Buffy the Vampire Slayerbutmakeitgay and I was so here for it.
  • Clueless – read a retelling or a classic – I’m using CINDERELLA IS DEAD for this one, which is a continuation of the Cinderella story set 200 years after her death, where the fairytale is used to oppress women and girls. The heroine, Sophia, is forced with the other girls of the land to present herself at a ball where the girls must be chosen by a husband, even though she’d rather marry her best friend, Erin. This book crushed me in the absolute best way and I have still not recovered.
  • Drive me Crazy – fake dating trope – I’m currently reading 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY, the third book in the wonderful Dimpleverse, about Pinky and Samir pretending to date over a summer. I just started this one and am already enjoying it.
  • Kid ‘n’ play – a book with a bromance – I’m counting CHECK, PLEASE! which is a graphic novel about a gay boy who bakes and plays hockey with his college team, on which there are many bromances.
  • Dianne Davenport – have your best friend choose your read – One of my work friends wanted me to read HEARTSTOPPER and I discovered we had a copy of book 1 at my library and I was ECSTATIC!! I read this book in about 45 minutes and was so there for the mutual queer but slightly clueless yearning. I felt this book so much and related to Nick’s struggles a lot and desperately need the rest of the series to magically appear next to me.

So basically, the readathon is going pretty well! I almost have a couple bingos, so hopefully I’ll get at least one over the next 9 days!

are you participating in any readathons this month?

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mid-year book freakout tag

I know it’s July and not *technically* mid-year anymore, but I decided I wanted to do this tag after all this year because it’s a classic. I probably haven’t actually read enough books to do this tag (I’m at 24 books for the entire year and my GR goal is 25), so we’ll see how this goes, but I definitely still have books I want to gush about.

1. best book you’ve read so far in 2020

This is probably a toss up between THREE DARK CROWNS, which I finally read, and FELIX EVER AFTER. I loved both of them for very different reasons; TDC was a surprise for me because I’d been putting it off for so long, and FELIX I loved because I felt seen by the trans/nonbinary rep.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far

I’ve only read one sequel this year, which was ONE DARK THRONE, and it was really killer…no pun intended. The cliffhanger at the end of THREE DARK CROWNS had me absolutely needing to read book 2 almost immediately because of the ending with Katharine (who I still love even though she’s evil), so I had to get all the rest of the series immediately.

3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to

Eeeeee I need to read YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN!!!!! I ordered this one from Bookshop for one of my Blackout books because it was also one of my most anticipated releases of the whole year, and it’s taking forever and a half to get here. But I NEED this rivals to lovers queer book in my life PLEASE I AM BEGGING!!

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4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The book that popped into my head for this is NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU by Kristina Forest, who wrote one of my favorite books from last year, I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE. I just loved her writing style and she made me remember what I love so much about YA contemporary, so I’m super psyched for her second book.

I’m also REALLY pumped for Tiffany Jackson’s new book, GROWN. I have loved two of her previous books, ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY’S NOT COMING, and can’t wait to read more from her.

5. Biggest disappointment

Honestly I’m not sure what to pick for this one because only one book I’ve read this year was genuinely terrible (VERY NICE). I guess if I had to pick one I’d say I’LL BE THE ONE just because even though I liked the story and romance, I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style, but I would still definitely recommend that book to people.

6. Biggest surprise

I know I’m repeating books already but for sure THREE DARK CROWNS. I expected I would like it because the premise of three royals fighting to the death for the crown is exciting and one I like, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as amazing as it was.

7. Favorite new author

I’m going to pick Riley Sager for this one because I really liked both thrillers I read by him. I read both LOCK EVERY DOOR and HOME BEFORE DARK, but probably HOME BEFORE DARK was my favorite because it was more on the horror-y end of things. Both were about creepy houses, which is totally my jam, and both completely surprised me because they did not end at all how I guessed or expected.

9. Newest favorite character

I’m skipping 8, newest fictional crush, because I mostly read YA still and that would be weird because I’m 26.

Anyway.

I’d say Auggie from THE FELL OF DARK by Caleb Roehrig, aka gay Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for this one. He really made the story special with his sarcasm, horniness, and general awkwardness. He was so charming and I just wanted to hug him and protect him.

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10. A book that made you cry

I don’t usually cry during books so I don’t have an answer for this one.

11. A book that made you happy

Even though it’s a dark book, it still made me so happy to see so many bi characters in Christine Lynn Herman’s 2019 debut, THE DEVOURING GRAY. I had a lot of bi friends in high school so I felt very seen by that book even though it was paranormal.

12. Favorite book to film adaptation

I haven’t actually seen any this year I don’t think?

13. Favorite post you’ve done so far this year

Probably this post. I was inspired to write a letter to a book because I saw one of my favorite bloggers, Nut Free Nerd, do that, so I experimented with that style for my THREE DARK CROWNS review and loved writing a review that way.

14. The most beautiful book you’ve bought this year

I LOVE my physical copy of CINDERELLA IS DEAD, and I’m so glad I preordered it even though I had an eARC. It is just so gorgeous.

15. What book you need to read by the end of the year

YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN. I know I already said I need to read this book, but I have a very bad habit of putting off my most anticipated reads, and I refuse to do it with this one. I also need to read 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY by Sandhya Menon before the end of the year because I keep forgetting about it even though I am very excited for it, which doesn’t usually happen. I’ve just totally lost track of books and when they’re coming out this year.

If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged 🙂

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why i’m contemplating starting 2 new blogs

Don’t worry; I’ve now decided that I do want to still keep posting here on Cotton Candy Book Witch. But I have more ideas of what I want to post about and how to create content that reflects me even more/in addition to how I show myself on this blog.

The blogs I am thinking about creating are as follows: 1) Mel in the Stacks, which would be my professional blog about librarianship and reader’s advisory. I have written about library stuff on this blog in the past, but I feel like that content isn’t really relevant to what I’m trying to portray with this blog, and I also want to have a blog I can put on my resume and not be concerned about having stuff that’s too personal there. I basically want a professional space where I can show my knowledge of librarianship and stand out to potential employers and start making a name for myself in my career.

2) Wilder Reads, which would focus more on queer books and books by diverse authors in general. I already do promote a lot of diverse books on this blog, but for a lot of reasons that I’m going to go into in a second, I feel like it might be better to have this blog separate from the witchy stuff.

Here are some thoughts on why I want to start a second book blog:

  • This blog mostly gets views for witchy content. My top viewed posts on this blog are actually not even about particular books, minus my review of WICKED SAINTS, but about witchcraft in general. I guess I shouldn’t be terribly shocked by this, because witchcraft has been growing in popularity over the past few years and my posts about it have pretty good use of SEO, so it makes sense that most of the traffic goes there. But if I want to be known as a book blogger, it’s not great because my bookish posts aren’t that popular and don’t get a ton of views here.
  • I’m thinking about how I want to do content in the future. One of my goals this year was to experiment with doing basically my own mini blog tours where all the content on my blog for a week is about a specific book. So far I’ve done this for 3 books, and I’ve really enjoyed coming up with the witchy/bookish crossover content for my fave reads. So my thought is to focus on doing that type of content on this blog and more general queer/bookish content on Wilder Reads.
  • This blog feels more personal. Because this blog deals with my interest in witchcraft, it feels a lot more personal than any of my other book blogs ever have. But I’m also questioning whether it’s the first thing I want to promote about myself in the book community. I also talk a lot about my mental health struggles on here, which is something I’ve started to question whether I should do, and I’d kind of like to have a space that’s just queer and bookish.

 

I’m kind of nervous about the prospect of starting another blog because I’m seriously a perfectionist when it comes to my blogs, and I don’t really have the funds right now to do all the stuff I’d want to do like go self hosted and buy the perfect theme and commission a header. I’m also worried about building a following all over again since it’s taken me 2 years to get to 600+ on here. I’m hoping I can just go for it and start creating good content anyway because that’s what really matters, and I hope some people who follow me on here will also join me in my new blogging pursuits!

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www wednesday // 7-8-2020

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

 

Apparently I have not done a WWW Wednesday since JANUARY??? That can’t be right. Must fix this now.

 

just finished

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OH MY GOD THIS HAD BETTER BE THE BOOK OF 2020!!!!! I didn’t even really know what this book was about before I started it on a whim because I liked the title/cover and knew it was by Ryan La Sala, but I’m so glad I impulsively read this book many many months before publication. This book is about Raffy, cosplayer and crafter extraordinaire, who’s reeling from a breakup with a surprisingly gay soccer player and dealing with constant criticism from his mom about his art. There are so many things I loved about this book, including the fact that it made me really interested in learning more about cosplaying, which is something I know about but haven’t really explored for myself (and I really need a hobby…hmmm…) I adored the writing in this and was totally addicted to Raffy’s hopeful, sometimes self-depricating, creative voice throughout the book. I really want to read REVERIE now because I’m sure La Sala’s writing will be just as good and I’m just so pumped to read more of his words.

 

currently reading

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I’m currently reading Caleb Roehrig’s about-to-be-released book, THE FELL OF DARK. I never knew I needed more vampires in my life but apparently if they’re pansexual vampires I’m right there. This book is basically Buffy the Vampire Slayer but queer & diverse, complete with creepy villains, flashbacks to dramatic and painful deaths, queer witch BFFs, and a swoony vampire love interest (DID I MENTION HE’S PANSEXUAL???) I am loving the quirky, funny, sarcastic voice of the MC, Auggie, and his antics and the antics of all the side characters, and I’m shocked I haven’t heard more about this book as its release nears.

 

reading next

I just bought these basically for free with Amazon points from my credit card and I’m SO EXCITED!!!! I read CHECK, PLEASE book 1 last year and adored Bittle and his pie baking, and I have been eagerly anticipating STICKS & SCONES coming out since. I usually don’t get this invested in graphic novels but I just loved all the characters in this series and can’t wait to see them again <3 <3

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Things that happened & what i read during quarantine

Today’s post is going to be something a little different. I almost did a traditional wrap up for May-June, but I decided I’d rather talk about things that happened and some highlights of what I’ve read.

  • I went home to see my parents. Actually, I saw both me and my partner’s parents over quarantine once the stay at home orders were lifted. I was really proud of myself because I drove 5 hours by myself, which is the most I’ve driven alone since I moved to where I am now. I was really happy to see my parents because I hadn’t seen them since December, and I always find it so relaxing to go home.
  • My partner’s parents got a really cute dog. Normally, I am NOT a dog person, but this is the floofiest, cutest puppy I have ever seen and he really liked me and cuddled me and I am a fan of that dog. He will grow up to be a Good Boy.
  • I read FELIX EVER AFTER. Aka, the best queer book this year. Honestly the best one I’ve read in a while. This book is about a trans boy who gets outed at school and catfishes the person who he thinks is responsible to get revenge. There are a million and a half things I loved about this book, one of the top being that Felix keeps questioning his gender identity throughout the book even though he’s been “out” as trans and has a best friend who accepts him and is so respectful about asking what his new pronouns are. It’s also the first time I’ve seen demi rep in a book. I just felt like I saw myself so much in this book and in Felix’s struggles and joys and I simply loved it.
  • My parents got me an iPad. I am in love with it. I had suddenly started thinking about getting an iPad before I went home, and then my mom offered to get me one for an early birthday gift, and it has honestly made quarantine so much more bearable.
  • I read I’LL BE THE ONE by Lyla Lee. This book, like FELIX, was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It’s about a plus size girl who goes to compete in a k-pop competition and falls in love with a semi-celebrity. I thought the fat rep in this one was really good, and so close to my own experiences being overweight. I really related to Skye at some points. I was also thrilled to see a bisexual character not end up with someone of the same gender because I feel like that’s so rare in bi representation and it’s something I look for because that’s what happened to me, and it was nice to see a bi character attracted to a boy and not feel ashamed or be shamed for it by other queer characters.
  • I contemplated starting 2 new blogs. I don’t know why this was considering I wasn’t even blogging on one blog. I think it was mainly because I was so unmotivated by blogging and have been feeling really disconnected from witchcraft because I haven’t been doing something daily to practice it like I normally do, so having a witchcraft themed blog felt kind of pointless. But, I also wanted to start a professional library-related blog that I can put on resumes, because I’m starting to worry about putting a blog with so much personal stuff on a resume.
  • Oh my god, Twitter started being really draining. I’ve thought about deleting my account there a lot, but there are some bookish friends I only talk to on Twitter, plus it’s responsible for me and my partner getting together. But it’s been a minefield lately for me with people QRT’ing transphobic stuff all over the place and abusers being outed and reminding me of painful and traumatic experiences I’ve had. It just seems like it’s something new every day and it is too much sometimes.
  • I read A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow. This was pitched as a #SayHerName novel about two magical Black girls (including one siren!!) I loved all the mythos in this book and the relationship between the two found family sisters. This was such a powerful story that I think would be empowering and validating to a lot of young Black girl readers, and I’ll definitely be pestering our teen librarian to request it for our library when we’re buying materials again because it’s SO GOOD.

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