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.
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).
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!!
Apparently I have not done a WWW Wednesday since JANUARY??? That can’t be right. Must fix this now.
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.
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.
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
I have had a weird relationship with this book. I started it last year and decided to stop reading it because I was worried it would end up being too upsetting. Then, I discovered it was gay and told myself I’d come back to it and give it another shot, which I did! I liked it for the first half, but honestly, once the romance was introduced it kind of got off track for me. The romance felt too fast and forced and the pacing of the second half was weird to me and felt very choppy. I also felt it was very simplistic in its message. I know it’s YA and teens would definitely like it, but for my own personal enjoyment, I found it too basic and not interesting enough even though it was queer.
This is another book I tried last year that I decided to give another try. I didn’t like most of what I read last year because I was super depressed, and I am finding that some of what I didn’t like then I am liking now. I’m not going to say any other thoughts about this book yet though because whenever I say how I feel about a book on a WWW Wednesday I always end up changing my mind.
I’m weirdly in the mood to read this one again even though I was meh about the second half last time? This is yet another book I think I would’ve liked more if I wasn’t depressed, and I did try to read it again when I was recovering and liked it better than the first time, so maybe third time’s the charm??
I also may just dive into DECK OF OMENS if I end up liking THE DEVOURING GRAY since it’s on NetGalley.
As you can see, I have been reading some drastically different books lately. On Monday, I finished my first middle grade book of the year, ANA MARIA REYES DOES NOT LIVE IN A CASTLE. It’s about a sixth grade girl whose ultimate goal is to get into a super fancy school she’s not sure her parents can afford, and about how she changes from being kind of a snob to a more caring person. I absolutely loved this book; it was so incredibly well-written, and made me realize that maybe the reason I haven’t liked some of the MG I’ve read before was because it just wasn’t good writing, not just that it was too young for me. I loved watching Ana Maria’s journey and getting to know her crazy and big family, and watching her form friendships and become a better person.
I also finished my first YA of the year, ALL THE STARS AND TEETH, which is a very bloody and dark pirate fantasy. I enjoyed it until about the halfway point. Well, I guess I somewhat enjoyed it after the halfway point, but once the minor romance hit I found myself losing interest. I would’ve much preferred a romance between Amora and the mermaid, but I knew going in she’d probably fall for the guy, but I just didn’t feel like they had any chemistry and there wasn’t any buildup to their romance. The romance is only a very minor part of the story, but honestly, this would’ve been a way better book without any romance at all.
Yesterday I started my second queer book of the year, Ciara Smyth’s June 2020 release, THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE. I am really enjoying it so far because Saorsie is so snappy. I’m also very here for the trope of people making a no dating rule and then there’s that one person to get under their skin.
My next read for Swiftathon will be my pick for the “I Forgot You Existed” prompt of a backlist book. I’m hoping I don’t DNF this one like I’ve done most of my reads this year :/
I read this picture book as part of my 2020 goal of reading more children’s books. Honestly, I was not too impressed with this one. I’m not sure what its ultimate message was, the format was a little weird, and the story could’ve used more editing so it flowed better and was more concise. This is probably not one I would use for story time because the writing wasn’t that great and didn’t read smoothly.
I am currently being very ambitious and reading two books and listening to one. I’m a little over halfway through RW&RB and am LOVING it. I knew I would love this one if I just gave it one more chance, and I was so right. I’m listening to LOCK EVERY DOOR, which is a thriller about a haunted fancy apartment in NYC, and am liking that one as well. I also just started ALL THE STARS AND TEETH, which is a pirate fantasy, because I am an overachiever and was also feeling overwhelmed by my long TBR for this month.
Next, I’ll probably read one of these three books (or all of them at once, who knows.) FOUL IS FAIR is a feminist Macbeth retelling that sounds interesting. I started THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS and GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN when I got them in my October Book of the Month box but was going through a slump and didn’t finish them, so I hope to read them this month.
I haven’t finished anything since reading GIRL, UNFRAMED by Deb Caletti at the end of last month. I was totally enthralled by this book and am probably still in a bit of a book hangover from it. It doesn’t come out until summer 2020, but let me tell y’all, you are going to NEED to preorder this book. It’s all about discovering desire and beauty and how life changes when you realize you have or are or want those things. The writing was so atmospheric and creepy and had this suspenseful sense of dread throughout that kept me super hooked.
I’m currently rereading THE HAZEL WOOD in preparation of reading the sequel, THE NIGHT COUNTRY, which is coming out in January (but I have an eARC, squee!!) I was really enjoying rereading it at first, but now I’m almost halfway through and am kind of impatient for it to get going and be done so I can read THE NIGHT COUNTRY, so this might be more of a skim reread, but in the interest of not pressuring myself about reading, I’m going to let myself do that and try not to feel too guilty.
Well, obviously I’ll be diving straight into THE NIGHT COUNTRY once I finish my skim of THE HAZEL WOOD. I am unbelievably psyched for this sequel that I had to wait almost three years for. If I don’t love it I’m going to be a sad bean, and everyone will know about it.
Ummm…nothing because I’m slow, lol. The last thing I read is still THE SISTERS OF THE WINTER WOOD, which is so freaking good, y’all, it does not get NEARLY the hype it deserves. Read. It. And. Give. It. The. HYPE.
I am currently in the midst of three books, technically. First, I’m listening to the audiobook of AYESHA AT LAST, which has been on my TBR for a while. It’s a Pride & Prejudice retelling featuring proudly Muslim characters, and let me tell you all, I am HERE for this book. The characters are all so interesting and charming and the story is really tugging at my heart in so many ways. The narrator to the audiobook is also just really great?? I’m really picky about audiobook narrators but I really like the woman narrating AYESHA. Also I just love Ayesha writing in her purple notebook of poems during class?? (Though obviously not recommending you go hide in the bathroom to write poems if you are a teacher, please do not do that).
I’m also still reading THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS and GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN. I recently discovered that GALCB is getting a sequel about one of Chloe’s younger sisters, and even though I’m still really early on in the book, I already love both of her little sisters and am praying to all the book deities that we get an Eve book also.
Okay, so first things first, I still GOTTA READ NINTH HOUSE. I’m hoping I’ll be more in the mood to read it soon now that I’m more interested in reading and things in general again (haha, bye depression!). Anyway. I also saw that OverDrive has GIRL GONE VIRAL, which I started earlier in the year and liked, then dropped for some reason, but I think I would enjoy it on audio if it has a good narrator. OMG I just noticed how they wrote the tagline on that book I LOVE IT lol.
The last book I read was Amanda Lovelace’s poetry collection called TO MAKE MONSTERS OUT OF GIRLS. It was actually a reread, because I wanted to get hyped for witchy season and also hyped for her next collection which was part of the same series. The first time I read TMMOOG, I wasn’t a huge fan, but I really enjoyed it this time. I don’t think most of her poetry after THE PRINCESS SAVES HERSELF IN THIS ONE is as good as THE PRINCESS SAVES HERSELF IN THIS ONE, but I still like her and like her style of poetry.
I am currently reading these two amazing books LOOK AT THEM they are amaze!!! I’m super extra loving THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA because I super extra relate to Violet and trying to disappear after being too fun and other stuff too and it’s just so good and I ship the ship so much even though I’m not at that point yet where anything is happening with it.
I’m also reading the sequel to GIRLS WITH SHARP STICKS, aka GIRLS WITH RAZOR HEARTS. These books are so fierce and feminist and excellently written and I just <3 <3 <3 Both books can be a bit upsetting at times because of the abhorrent and very clear sexism and misogyny that the books are centered around. The boys in book 2 remind me so strongly of boys I went to high school with and it makes me even angrier when I read it, which I guess is the point. I also just really like the story in these books, even though I guessed the big twist at the end of book 1 pretty early on, which shows that it’s just a very good book because it doesn’t rely on the twist to be good. Anyway, I dig this series a lot and think it’s way too underrated.
I can’t decide between THE GRACE YEAR or FULL DISCLOSURE to read next, so I’m probably going to read two books at once again if my brain can handle it. I wasn’t sure about either of these books at first, but when I was looking at October releases, reading about both again made me see them with fresh eyes and now I’m excited for both. THE GRACE YEAR is another feminist book about a town where the girls go to the woods to purify themselves when they turn sixteen but are also hunted by men?? FULL DISCLOSURE features a bisexual black teen with HIV who wants a fresh start at a new school and gets one…until she gets a threatening note telling her to break up with her crush.
I know: you’re as shocked as I am that I decided to give this book another try. I posted a really ranting review of a it a while ago and still stand by most of the stuff I said and think it is an utterly trash YA book, but also I also kind of enjoyed it? I’m still giving it two stars though because I skimmed the end because I wanted the garbage to stop and it just got too predictable. It is definitely still a bad Grisha trilogy knock off and I probably won’t be reading book 2 because the characters are all dry as toast and super contrived and cliche, but I will be scouring the internet to see if my predicted ship sails.
I decided to read an August release I missed, HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS. This book sounds very Ocean Gothic, which should definitely be a genre, and is also a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I’ve read a couple retellings of in the past. I haven’t seen any reviews of it yet but I still have hopes that it will be good!
A quick breakdown of why I’m debating between these books:
A Dress for the Wicked – Project Runway comp
Kingdom of Souls – witch doctors and selling your soul for magic
Tbh, this should actually say “just DNFed.” Yes, you read that correctly: I DNFed Evelyn Hugo. I’m still sad about it. The main reason I felt like I should DNF it were that I had a couple of major things spoiled for me by the book community including the main romance and what happens with Monique’s father, and also the sex stuff really bothered me and I was worried it would end up being too triggering. I did like the writing even though it wasn’t as amazing as in DAISY JONES, so it’s possible I’ll come back to it, but I think I might give other Taylor Jenkins Reid books a try first. But I am very salty that the book community spoiled the biggest part of the book. I guess that’s what I get for reading reviews but it’s still disappointing.
I’ve been psyched for this book for what feels like forever, but definitely from since before that AMAZING cover was revealed. This is honestly the most on-brand book for me and I’m hoping it continues being enjoyable. It’s about Esme Pearl, a teenager who has a babysitting “club” with her best friend Janis until gorgeous Cassandra Heaven moves to town, and weird things start happening around Esme. There has already been a creepy child incident and lots of girl power and awesome fashion (though honestly I could do without so many fashion descriptions, but it’s not bad), so I have high hopes that this will continue to be awesome. Also, it’s surprisingly and unexpectedly funny? I was expecting quirky but not to actually LOL, so that’s a nice surprise.
Okay so maybe I’ll reread SEA WITCH next so I can read SEA WITCH RISING??? But also I really want to read NINTH HOUSE for my birthday this weekend. Reading my eARC of it will be my ultimate birthday gift to myself. I’m a little worried this one will be triggering for me as well but I am going to try to soldier on through because I love Leigh Bardugo she is my queen and I need to read this book that is sure to be a dark masterpiece.