best books i’ve read out of my comfort zone

For the past couple of years, I’ve really made an effort to read books outside my usual comfort zone, which is typically YA contemporary and fantasies. Last year, I think a little over half the books I read were out of my comfort zone, and this year I’ve read 9 so far.

So, today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite books that I’ve read over the past couple of years that are outside my comfort zone:

the kiss quotient by helen hoang

THE KISS QUOTIENT was my first foray into romance, and I’m so glad I read this book on a whim. I didn’t even really know what it was about when I started, which turned out to be good, because I never would’ve thought I’d like a book where the love interest is an escort. I loved all the characters in this book and the romance was so swoony, and this book convinced me to try out more romances.

home before dark by riley sager

The first thriller for adults I read was Riley Sager’s other book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, which I enjoyed. I was definitely interested in reading HOME BEFORE DARK, his 2020 release about a woman whose father is famous for writing a memoir about their time in a supposedly haunted house. When he dies, he warns her to stay away from the house, which of course she doesn’t do when she discovers they never sold it, and goes back to find out why her parents have lied to her for her whole life.

This book was everything I wanted LOCK EVERY DOOR to be, with more of a horror bent but an equally shocking resolution. I haven’t been able to fully guess the outcome of a Riley Sager book so far and I hope that trend continues as I read his other books.

red, white, and royal blue by casey mcquiston

I tried to read this book 3 times before finally reading the whole thing. I think my main issue with this book was that I tried reading it while in reading slumps, which was challenging because the writing style is somewhat odd for a contemporary romance and my brain could not compute. I’m happy I stuck with this book, which is a romance between the first son of the US and a prince of England. This book is full of international shenanigans and squad goals characters and I seriously cannot wait to read more books by this author.

daisy jones and the six by taylor jenkins reid

Before I read this, I had seen TJR’s other popular book, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, hyped on book Twitter. I didn’t try that one because I still wasn’t sure about adult fiction, but when I read a bit of this one in the bookstore I instantly knew I had to buy it and am so glad I did because it is one of my favorite books of all time now. I loved the documentary/interview style and the amazingly complex cast of characters and all the music talk. This was such a Mel book and I still fully intend to read more by this author.

a dash of trouble (love sugar magic #1) by anna meriano

I actually really wanted to read this book when it came out a few years ago, but then I learned it was MG and at the time I wasn’t into reading MG. However, I ended up checking it out through OverDrive this year for a book talk video for work and I ADORED it. If you like your witches and magic with a side of sweet bakery treats on the side, I highly recommend this book. I am very much looking forward to reading the sequels.

lucky number 7 book tag: a book tag for taylor swift’s “seven”

This tag is inspired by Taylor Swift’s song “Seven” on her new album, FOLKLORE. While listening to this song, I couldn’t help but come up with book prompts for so many of the lyrics and had to make a tag for it. Keeping with the “seven” theme, there are seven prompts for this tag.

Here are the tag rules:

  • Link back to the creator (credit: Mel @ Cotton Candy Book Witch)
  • Feel free to use the graphics with credit
  • Tag as many or as few people as you want! (maybe tag 7 people?)

My pick for this prompt is going to be THE DEVOURING GRAY by Christine Lynn Herman. I loved this book when I finally read it a few months ago, as it is full of creepy small towns, mysterious curses, and numerous chaotic bi characters.

I’m going to choose Jenny Han’s first series, THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, for this one. If you don’t like love triangles, this series about Belly’s relationships with Jeremiah and Conrad will not be for you, and honestly Belly is kind of annoying sometimes, but I devoured these books when I read them in college and was extremely entertained by them.

I will always love the original Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I know people prefer SIX OF CROWS and CROOKED KINGDOM, and I have not read that duology yet so I can’t compare, but I just so loved this series and wish I had read it earlier when they first came out so I could be in on the hype.

I have become a fan of Riley Sager’s books this year and particularly liked his latest release, HOME BEFORE DARK. It’s about a woman whose father is famous for writing a bestselling horror memoir about their time living in what he claimed was a haunted house. When he dies and she finds out her parents still own the house, she goes back to uncover the truth behind the lies she’s grown up with her whole life.

INKHEART by Cornelia Funke, which follows the story of Meggie and her father Mo and his unique ability to bring book characters into the real world when he reads aloud, will always have a special place in my heart. I always felt like a weird kid because I loved to read, and this book made me feel like loving books was something magical that deserved to be celebrated.

OMFG, why did I pick this prompt, this is so hard! It’s a toss up between Jen Wilde’s THE BRIGHTSIDERS, about a party girl pop star, and Kalynn Bayron’s 2020 debut, CINDERELLA IS DEAD, a Cinderella story continuation set 200 years after the original fairytale in which the story is used to oppress anyone who’s not a cis het man. Both of these stories brought me so much joy for different reasons, and I am going to gush over any queer book that makes me feel happy to be queer.

THE SELECTION series by Kiera Cass is definitely my pick for this one! But to be clear, the original trilogy, not the duology featuring America’s spoiled brat daughter. I know this series is trash, but it’s just so fun and I have very fond memories of reading these books right before I went to college each year because they always came out close to when I went back to school and I’d read them on the drive. This series gave me everything I wanted with plenty of drama and heartache in the middle, so I still love these.

I tag…

now that i’ve found you: review

Title: Now That I’ve Found You
Author: Kristina Forest
Pages: 336
Date published: August 25, 2020

A YA novel about searching for answers, love, and your eccentric grandma in all the wrong places.

Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .

Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.

With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself. 

I was really excited when this book was announced because of how much I adored Kristina Forest’s debut, I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE. This book had a lot of elements I liked, and also featured a brief cameo of Chloe and Eli, the stars of the romance in IWBWYA.

What I liked most about this book was how nuanced Evie’s character was. While I loved Chloe in Forest’s debut, I felt like she was a more cut and dry character who was easy to understand and to love, she was not as interesting to me as Evie. Evie definitely falls under the category of “unlikeable” characters, who I always end up liking because they feel more realistic to me as a reader. Evie comes across as kind of selfish and self-centered for most of the book, but underneath it, there’s the constant feeling she has of wanting people’s approval, insecurity, and feeling abandoned by the people she loves. Kristina Forest gives the reader a lot to unpack when it comes to Evie’s character, and that made her more interesting to read about and even root for her at times despite some of her self-centeredness.

Though at times Evie’s character got on my nerves, I still rooted for her and looked forward to the major emotional glow up I figured was coming for her character arc. Unfortunately, that aspect of the story fell a bit flat for me because it came at almost the very end of the story and was rushed through. Evie definitely learns a lot as a person and begins to recognize her own flaws, but the development of that part of the story was not as strong as I wanted it to be and there could have been a few more pages devoted to that.

In general, I really felt that the story could have been 20-50 pages longer to round it out and provide a meaningful ending. The twist in Milo and Evie’s romance felt rushed through, and they make up within the last few pages of the book without much build up between the last time they see each other and the resolution to their relationship. It felt like pages were missing between those two events and the jump that happened between them was a bit jarring.

I also did not find the romance between Milo and Evie as swoonworthy and ship-able as Chloe and Eli. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them as much throughout the story, because Evie is suspicious of Milo’s motivations with her grandmother the majority of the time, so the romance ended up seeming somewhat forced. I liked Milo as a character and wanted to know more about him during the story, but the relationship with Evie felt manufactured and planned versus natural and real. I do love to see a romance between two artists, but this one unfortunately did not do it for me.

The focus of the story seemed to be more about Evie’s relationship with her grandmother, which also made the romance feel sort of unnecessary. I think there would still have been a lot to like about this story without the addition of the romance. I also think because Evie’s relationship with her grandmother was explored so deeply and her grandmother’s life was delved into much more, that made Evie and Milo’s relationship seem flatter and not as interesting. I definitely would’ve loved the mystery to take hold of the story completely and for friendship and family to be front and center as themes.

Before this review becomes a full fledged essay, I’ll conclude by saying it did not meet my expectations and overall it fell flat for me. It’s certainly not a bad book by any means, but compared to the author’s first book it simply wasn’t as good. However, this is definitely one I’ll be recommending to teens at the library because there are still many fun elements to it that I think a variety of readers would enjoy. There is a little something for everyone in this book, from mystery to romance to interesting characters. While it was not as good as I hoped, I’d still consider this one three stars and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to readers who want something a little different in their contemporary picks.

www wednesday // 8-19-20

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?

1. what are you currently reading?

now that i’ve found you – kristina forest

I’ve been excited for a new Kristina Forest book since reading her debut, I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE, last year. I’m liking this book so far, which focuses on emerging actress Evie and her struggle to get back to the top after a friend’s betrayal, but I don’t think I’m going to love it *as* much as IWBWYA. Evie is not as likeable as Chloe, and I really don’t like her as a person so far, but I am interested to see the character growth in her that I’m guessing will happen as the story progresses, and the most-likely romance with cute musician Milo.

2. what are you reading next?

plain bad heroines – emily m. danforth

I didn’t know about this book until seeing someone post about it on Twitter, and then I read the synopsis and knew I had to have it. I’ll admit to not reading Emily Danforth’s first book, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, despite its popularity, but this book I am sure I’m going to read and love. It’s a dark academia book about a school with a mysterious past involving a secret society started by two sapphics who were obsessed with a scandalous memoir and the woman who investigates their deaths and other mysterious deaths that took place there.

3. what did you just finish reading?

two dark reigns – kendare blake

I finally got around to continuing the THREE DARK CROWNS quartet with the third installment, TWO DARK REIGNS. This series absolutely crushes my soul and after how this one ends, I am so concerned for my faves in the finale, FIVE DARK FATES. Whose fates? Is Katharine really undead? Who will the mist kill next? So many questions, and the only way to find out is to have my soul crushed even more by reading FDF.

books i’m breaking up with

You know that feeling when you feel like you’re really going to like a book, but when you actually try to read it, you can’t get yourself into it, no matter how many times you try to read the book or what mood you’re in when you read it? This list is inspired by the books that bring that feeling on for me. There are quite a few books I’ve been feeling this way about as of late, and I have decided this post will serve as my official break up with them. Books, I hereby release myself from the guilt of not being able to read you.

Onwards to the books:

ninth house – leigh bardugo

Sadly, NINTH HOUSE, one of my most anticipated books last year, is one of the main inspirations for this post. I have tried to read it at least 3 times, and every time I just can’t seem to get into it. I also had some stuff spoiled for me that makes me think I know a few of the main plot points, and also finally found a list of the trigger warnings because I was worried about some of mine being present, and there are a lot that I think would just upset me to read about. I know the book is supposed to be very dark, but I don’t want to have to traumatize myself to read it, so I am releasing myself from the pressure to read this book.

the raven cycle – maggie stiefvater

I made myself read THE RAVEN BOYS last year because it’s so popular and ended up liking it. I own hardcovers of the whole series that I’ve traded for in the past, but honestly, I don’t really feel a need to continue it. I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out what happens in the end with Gansey and Blue and I already know about the Ronan/Adam ship. I just don’t think I’m going to feel the same suspense a reader who didn’t know those things would and I think that would just take away too much from my reading experience. So, I am not going to continue.

restore me – tahereh mafi

I bought this the second it came out and…still haven’t read it. I reread the SHATTER ME series when the new series came out, and honestly, I kind of wish I hadn’t because it dashed my original very high opinion of the series. I definitely liked it more as a teen than as an adult, and I think if I read RESTORE ME and the new series, my opinion of the original might change even more. I’d rather leave the SHATTER ME series as it is already in my mind and not corrupt it with another series I might not appreciate at my age now.

anna k – jenny lee

I just saw this is actually #1 in a series and that made me want to read it even less. I got this on a whim from Book of the Month even though I had an eARC and I definitely have regrets. I tried reading this one but the style is so dense and everyone seems horrible and it just does not seem like a book for me.

the cinderella is dead tag

Hello friends, and welcome to a lovely tag inspired by my favorite read of the year thus far, CINDERELLA IS DEAD by Kalynn Bayron. CINDERELLA IS DEAD is a continuation of the Cinderella fairytale, set 200 years after the original story in a world where the fairytale is used to oppress women and anyone who is different from the status quo.

Here are the tag rules

  • Thank the person that tagged you and link to their post. Nobody tagged me so I am obviously not doing this, lol.
  • Link to the original creator: Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads! Please note that she used the artwork/graphics if you end up using them.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability. No wrong answers here!
  • Tag some people you think would would have fun doing this tag.
  • Copy-paste the rules and prompts.

sophia: favorite sapphic book

It was hard to pick one for this prompt but I decided to go with one of the first sapphic books I ever read, DOWN TO THE BONE by Mayra Lazara Dole. It’s from probably around 2008 and is about a Puerto Rican girl whose family kicks her our after she’s caught kissing her girlfriend. I’m honestly not sure how this book would hold up in 2020 since it’s been a long time since I read it, but I remember loving it when I first read it as a teen. No pic of it because both covers for it are ugly af.

erin: book that hurt you the most

The first book that popped into my head for this was ALLEGIANT, aka the worst series finale known to man. I am still so mad at being sucked into the DIVERGENT trilogy just for that ending. Plus, Tris & Four’s romance is toxic.

constance: favorite loyal character

Wow apparently I don’t read a lot of books with loyal characters because I had a hard time coming up with one for this but I decided on Elias from AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, who is loyal to a fault to Laia. Please be aware, I have not yet read A REAPER AT THE GATES so no spoilers in the comments please!

amina: a book that made no sense

I am not going to name the book because I don’t want to indirectly promote it but That One Book by Rape Apologist Chris Lynch. Specifically the sequel to the first one, because it makes no sense that that was published when the main character still thought he did nothing wrong.

Also low key TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz, which had a woman who had sex with a fish when the fish jumped into her vagina and then gave birth to a weird fish human as a result.

luke: a forgotten series you want to read

I’m not sure what this prompt really means/is asking, but I’ll go with DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE because I started it when it came out and then kinda forgot about it when I got mad at the ending of book 1 for utilizing one of my least favorite tropes but I still kinda want to continue it?

manford: the absolute worst character ever

Any character from Harry Potter, because we do not stan any character written by a transphobe. BAM.

cinderella: favorite retelling

Um, I’m going to cheat with this one because CINDERELLA IS DEAD literally is my favorite retelling ever? I really tried to pick something else but I just love this book so much? It’s definitely a new all-time favorite and my favorite book of 2020 so far.

books i’ve requested from edelweiss lately

If you follow me on Twitter, you may be aware of the Edelweiss panic I had that led me to delete my old Edelweiss account and start a new one. Honestly, I’m kind of glad I did, because now I’m not autoapproved for everything and have to request everything the normal way, which will maybe encourage me not to go downloading eARCs all willy nilly? However, I did request some I had on my old account, because I want to actually review them when I read them, as well as some new things I hadn’t been aware were on Edelweiss before.

So today, I’ll be sharing some of the books I’ve requested on Edelweiss lately.

Plain Bad Heroines – emily m. danforth

I am embarrassed to admit I’ve never read Cameron Post, Emily M. Danforth’s first novel, but honestly I’m just not that interested?? I am a shameful queer. However, this gothic, dark academia-esque new book from her sounds AWESOME. From what I have gathered thus far, this book has:

  • a book club for a scandalous memoir
  • a secret society
  • sapphics who are obsessed with each other
  • at least 5 mysterious deaths
  • a school with a dark past

How can all that be combined and not be utterly amazing? We stan.

kingdom of the wicked – kerri maniscalco

I will admit I was NOT a fan of Kerri Maniscalco’s first James Patterson Presents series, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, but I was for sure interested in requesting KINGDOM OF THE WICKED, which is about Italian witches, a legend about seven princes from Hell, murder, and the Devil. I started this one recently and am LOVING it. There is magic and food and wonderful family dynamics and it *might* even be my new favorite of 2020, but we’ll see how the rest of it goes.

when no one is watching – alyssa cole

When I discovered this thriller by romance writer Alyssa Cole, I was pumped because:

  • It is comped to GET OUT
  • It is a thriller but deals with topics like gentrification
  • It has a history hunt about a community
  • Possible conspiracy theories

So basically, it is a must read. I’m unclear about the release date on this because on Edelweiss it says it’s already out but on Amazon it says preorder? But anyway: I am PSYCHED to read this book.

the invention of sound – chuck palahniuk

I have loved two other of Palahniuk’s books, LULLABY and DIARY, and keep meaning to read more by him. This horror novel is about a father’s search for his missing daughter and the dark side of Hollywood. On the surface, the plot may sound kind of done and cliche, but since it is Chuck Palahniuk, I am expecting some deep weirdness and unique writing.

somewhere between bitter and sweet – laekan zea kemp

I have not seen this book anywhere on the book community’s radar, but it sounds like one that will need to be hyped up forever. SBBAS is about Pen, an aspiring pastry chef who wants to open her own place next to her family’s taco restaurant, but must choose between following her dreams and her parent’s traditional expectations of her. There is going to be food, family, and romance in this book and if book Twitter doesn’t get all over it, I am going to throw a riot.

witches steeped in gold – ciannon smart

Are we even surprised I had to request another witch book? And give me ALL the diverse witches, please! This book has 1) witches 2) RIVAL witches 3) pursuits of revenge and 4) a tenuous alliance. I am so here for this book and am utterly pumped to start reading it.

happily ever afters – elise bryant

WHY have I not heard anything about this book before?!?! HAPPILY EVER AFTERS is about Tessa, a secret romance writer who writes love stories so she can find herself in the pages of books. She’s accepted to a prestigious art school, and let me tell you how much I love books about teens who go to art school since that was me.

Basically, I have a lot of reading to do soon, especially for all those September eARCs I have now! Hopefully I’ll be able to get to a few of them this weekend for Dewey’s Readathon’s Reverseathon! Wish me luck.

2020 reading challenges update :)

Hello, friends! Today I’m going to be taking stock of my progress for the 2020 reading challenges I signed up for. I am currently signed up for 3, excluding the Goodreads challenge: the Out of Your Comfort Zone Challenge, Here & Queerathon, and ARC Apocalypse.

Here’s my progress so far for each:

here & queerathon

My initial goal was to read 12 books, which I guess is a bit laughably low considering how much I love to read queer books, but in 2019 I really slacked in that area, so at the time it felt like a decent number. I have surpassed that and read 15, which is about half of what I’ve read so far this year in total, and I’m sure I’m going to keep reading a lot more.

P. S. this is my own readathon that I’m hosting all year, and you can find all the necessary forms and info about signing up in the tab on the menu.

  1. Red, White, & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
  2. We Set the Dark on Fire – Tehlor Kay Mejia
  3. The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman
  4. When We Were Magic – Sarah Gailey
  5. Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender
  6. I’ll Be the One – Lyla Lee
  7. Aphrodite Made Me Do It – Trista Mateer
  8. Be Dazzled – Ryan La Sala
  9. The Fell of Dark – Caleb Roehrig
  10. Check, Please! – Ngozi Ukazu
  11. Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Bayronn
  12. Heartstopper – Alice Oseman
  13. Heartstopper Vol. 2 – Alice Oseman
  14. Heartstopper Vol. 3 – Alice Oseman
  15. Check, Please! Vol. 2: Sticks & Scones – Ngozi Ukazu

out of your comfort zone reading challenge

I also signed up for Caro’s Out of Your Comfort Zone Reading Challenge, which you can find more info about here. For the past couple years I have been trying to branch out more and read different things other than just YA, and have had pretty good luck doing that. I’ve discovered a lot of books and authors who I like and will definitely read more books from, so I’d count this challenge a success. My goal was to read 5 books and I’ve read 9 so far.

  1. Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston (adult romance)
  2. Lock Every Door – Riley Sager (adult thriller)
  3. Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle – Hilda Eunice Burgos (MG)
  4. Very Nice – Marcy Dermansky (adult literary fic)
  5. You Deserve Each Other – Sarah Hogle (adult romance)
  6. This Was Our Pact – Ryan Andrews (graphic novel)
  7. A Dash of Trouble – Anna Meriano (MG)
  8. Whichwood – Tahereh Mafi (MG)
  9. Home Before Dark – Riley Sager (adult thriller/horror)

arc apocalypse

My goal for this challenge was to read 30 ARCs and eARCs. I have read 15/30 so far, which is not as many as I thought I’d read by this point. To be fair, I also recently deleted a lot of eARCs that were 2+ years old, because I didn’t see any point in keeping them when I could check them out through the library and clearly wasn’t interested in some of them anymore.

  1. Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
  2. All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace
  3. You Deserve Each Other – Sarah Hogle
  4. Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle – Hilda Eunice Burgos
  5. We Set the Dark on Fire – Tehlor Kay Mejia
  6. The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman
  7. When We Were Magic – Sarah Gailey
  8. Whichwood – Tahereh Mafi
  9. Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake
  10. Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender
  11. I’ll Be the One – Lyla Lee
  12. A Song Below Water – Bethany C. Morrow
  13. Be Dazzled – Ryan La Sala
  14. The Fell of Dark – Caleb Roehrig
  15. Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Bayronn

august readathon TBRs

HEY HEY YEAH YEAH LET’S DO THIS!! As you will recall from my recent event sign up post for August, I…will be very busy reading this month. Which is fine, obviously I like to read. I have somehow managed to sign myself up for 4 events, 3 of which are readathons or other events with prompts, so today I’ll be sharing my reading plans for those readathons.

arc august

I hope to read a bunch of ARCs this month, and hopefully most of them will overlap with prompts for other readathons, so I’ll try to skip repeats.

However, here are some of the (mostly) eARCs I hope to finally knock off my TBR:

  • The Summer of Everything – Julian Winters
  • How to Be Remy Cameron – Julian Winters
  • Kingdom of Souls – Rena Barron
  • Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo (I got an eARC of it; don’t freak out!)
  • Rent a Boyfriend – Gloria Chao
  • Watch Over Me – Nina LaCour
  • Charming as a Verb – Ben Philippe
  • Early Departures – Justin A. Reynolds
  • Horrid – Katrina Leno
  • These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong
  • Ghost Wood Song – Erica Waters
  • You Don’t Live Here – Robyn Schneider

I’m embarrassed to list any more but…I have a lot.

diversify that shelf readathon

This readathon is technically only from August 10-19, but I think I might extend it all month because I have a ton of books to fit into these prompts. I also may not do every prompt.

  • Diverse Middle Grade: GHOST SQUAD by Claribel Ortega – I’m about halfway through this book about two little girls who accidentally awaken malicious spirits and threaten their entire town with shenanigans. There are also witches and a fat cat.
  • Different Culture Than You (Latinx): CEMETERY BOYS by Aidan Thomas – This book also deals with witches, and is about Yadriel, a transboy who wants to become a brujo like the rest of the men in his family, but can’t because of his family’s prejudices. His tries to initiate himself on his own, but tragedy strikes his family, and he is the only one who can fix it.
  • By a Black author: LET ME HEAR A RHYME by Tiffany D. Jackson – I’ve loved Jackson’s previous books, ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY’S NOT COMING, and keep meaning to read this one, which has to do with music.
  • Middle East Inspired: GIRL, SERPENT, THORN by Melissa Bashardoust – I found GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS really interesting and have been looking forward to another book by this author, and this one is sapphic AND Persian-inspired!! Eeeeee!
  • Focuses on identity: STAY GOLD by Tobly Smith – I don’t remember the premise of this one, honestly, but it’s about a transboy, so I definitely want to read it, and the cover is full of pastels.
  • Diverse Contemporary: YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN by Leah Johnson – I started this rivals to lovers between two prom queen contenders last month but haven’t read much of it since, so I’m still counting it for this readathon.
  • By a Latinx author: WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE by Tehlor Kay Mejia – I read this one earlier in the year but didn’t end up liking the second half, but I think I might not have been in the mood for it and sometimes when I read a book a second time I end up liking it more, so I’m going to give this one another shot.
  • East Asian Inspired: THE POPPY WAR by R. F. Kuang – I’ve already started this fantasy based on the opium wars in China but at first I wasn’t sure if I would continue it because it’s very dark and I didn’t know if I was in the mood for that given the pandemic. However, when I saw it was the Subtle Asian Book Club pick, that encouraged me to keep reading it.
  • POC on cover: GROWN by Tiffany D. Jackson – If I’m remembering correctly, this upcoming release is a thriller based on the R. Kelly scandal? But I’ll for sure read another hard-hitting Tiffany Jackson thriller ANY day.
  • OwnVoices: SURRENDER YOUR SONS by Adam Sass – OwnVoices mlm thriller about a bunch of boys who get stuck on an island where they’re supposed to go through conversion therapy and have to try to escape.
  • Diverse book with 300+ pages: NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU by Kristina Forest – I’ve been anxiously awaiting another book by the author of I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE, one of my favorite contemps in recent memory. I will read anything by this author.
  • Book by an AOC you’ve wanted to read for a while: CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo – Like everyone else, I really liked Acevedo’s debut, THE POET X. I still haven’t read either of the other books I have by her even though I’ve wanted both since the deals were announced.
  • Pick a book randomly: WHO I WAS WITH HER by Nita Tyndall – This is a sapphic book about a bisexual girl who’s in love with her soccer rival, who then dies. I am ready for this book to emotionally eviscerate me.

So…those are my very ambitious TBRs, which don’t even include all the books from the Latinx Readathon. What have I gotten myself into, y’all. Wish me luck!

August Event Sign ups

Yes, we need a whole post for August event sign ups because I am being an overachiever and signing up for multiple readathons and events this month because I have no self control. Hopefully I have a good reading month this month and don’t fall into a slump, because I have a LOT of reading to do!

Here are the events I hope to participate in this August:

dewey’s readathon: reversathon | august 7-8

I am so excited about this event! I have loved participating in Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon events in the past, but haven’t been able to read for more than a couple hours of the past few. I am hoping to change that with reversathon and read the majority of the time, and maybe even stay up late reading, which I have not done since college, which is now almost five years ago, lol. Reversathon is different from other Dewey events because usually the 24 hours goes from 8am to 8am, but this time it’s from 8pm to 8pm.

diversify that shelf | august 10-19

This readathon, focusing on reading diverse books, is being held from August 10-19 by Noura. I wasn’t sure if I’d participate in this one initially because I’m not as good at short readathons anymore, but I may just try my best during the actual 9 days and then extend it to the whole month. There are prompts for this readathon, which I’ll make a TBR for closer to the event.

arc august | all month

I haven’t participated in ARC April or ARC August for a couple years, but I plan to change that this month! ARC August is a readathon happening from August 1-30 with the goal of knocking out some ARCs from your TBR! I plan to use it to read some upcoming ARCs that I want to read before release date. This readathon is hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat.

latinx readathon

Latinx Readathon seems to be being mostly hosted on Twitter, with the goal of reading more Latinx literature! I’m not sure how many books I’ll end up reading for this one because most of the ones I have access to to fit the prompts aren’t ARCs, but we’ll see.

This is my tentative, smol TBR for the Latinx Readathon:

subtle asian book club

I wasn’t sure if I’d participate in this at first because I am already participating in so many, but the book club pick is THE POPPY WAR, which I already started reading a bit at the very end of July, so I figured I may as well participate since it’s for a whole month and the reading of it is broken up and doesn’t have to be done in a couple days or a week. I’m looking forward to seeing the discussion on this in the facebook group.