Around the start of this year (2019), my best friend, Laura from Green Tea and Paperbacks, and I had given each other 5 books to read during the year, in this post here, to 1/ force the other one to read our favourite books and 2/ see if we know each other’s taste in books well enough. So the year has come and gone (seriously, wtf?) and I’m here today to wrap it up and let y’all how good/bad Laura fared. If you’re curious to know how *I* did on Laura’s TBR, you can check out her wrap-up here.
And without further ado let’s talk about the books. I feel like this will also serves me as a mini-review opportunity because I never ended up reviewing most of them on the blog.
book cover = goodreads page
1- You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman
[…] But even if she hadn’t, I still would’ve made her read You Asked For Perfect because I have a feeling she might be able to relate to this one. Something about study-related stress and the fact that there might be a queer Muslim med-student in this book…
SHE WAS SO RIGHT ABOUT THIS ONE! You Asked for Perfect was the first book on this list I picked up because I had an ARC of it, and the only one I actually reviewed on here. And let me tell you just how much I loved and related to this one. First, I read it during a highly anxious time in my life, because of a number of factors, one of which was studying, so reading about a main character being so stressed with school while *I* was very stressed with med school was therapeutic and cathartic despite the fact that it made me even more anxious at some points and I had to put it aside for a bit. But lucky for me, there was a very cute m/m romance between the main character who’s Jewish and a Muslim boy who was really passionate about getting into med school, so seeing all these little part of myself represented in both characters made me really love this book.
2- Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
Fadwa and I both love Ashley Herring Blake and have talked about our shared love for How to Make a Wish Before […] and I thought adding Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World to this list might be a great way to finally get her to read middle grade. […]
SHE HAS SUCCEEDED! Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World is hands down one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and I can go as far as to say favourite Middle Grade of all time. And I can hear you say “but Fadwa, you haven’t read any more MG books after this one” and to that I will say that I loved this one so much that even though it made me love the age group and want to read more and more from it, it will be hard to dethrone in my heart. Especially since it’s written by my favourite author. All three Ashley Herring Blake books I’ve read so far have blown me away and felt more personal than I can explain. This book made me smile, and laugh, and tear up, and want to wrap Ivy in a blanket and adopt her. NOW I NEED TO READ ALL THE CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE GRADES!!!! I just need to find the time for them… Oops. But yes, this was a huge huge win on Laura’s part.
3- If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
After reading three Jacqueline Woodson books last year I can safely say that she’s now one of my favorite authors, and what are friends for, other than forcing their friends to read their favorite authors? […] (Also, I 100% recommend the audiobook for this one!)
I took Laura’s advice on this one and listened to audiobook and it was really…soft. That’s the word for it. It’s in the title. I think I listened to it in one day, not only because it was very short, but also because I was so enchanted with the story that I just needed to keep listening to it. If You Come Softly is heartbreaking in the issues it deals with but especially in the way its ending was laid out. It was so real, almost too real and I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming but even when I did it still came as a shocker and I had to sit in my car for a bit (at the expense of being a little late to work oops) just to absorb what happened and everything that led to it. But it was so so worth the read. The thing that surprised and yet saddened me the most is that even though this book was written 20 years ago, it’s still relevant in today’s society.
4- Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman
[…] Seriously, if you’re ever feeling down just pick up this one and you’ll feel better within minutes. So if Fadwa is ever not feeling very well and I’m once again unable to grab my bike and visit her with tons of stroopwafels and cheesy movies to make her feel better, I’ll just force her to read this one instead.
I…did not read this one. OKAY IT’S THE ONLY ONE I DIDN’T READ!!! So I still call this a success. The reason behind that is that even though I felt plenty down in the first half of 2019, I wasn’t in the right headspace for anything fluffy and then I couldn’t find it anywhere besides Amazon, where it’s not available to me, and THEN when I found it on Gumroad, I was planning on reading it in December but my reading this month has been so shit, I didn’t get around to it, and I’m all the sad about that. I’m still gonna read it though… eventually.
5- This Is What it Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow
I couldn’t just make a list with books Fadwa should read without including This Is What It Feels Like. […] This book is SO GOOD and it was definitely one of my favorite reads of 2018, and I know Fadwa really wants to read it too so here, now she has even more motivation to pick it up. […]
By the point I read This is What it Feels Like I had owned it for over a year, so I clearly needed the push to pick it up. THANK YOU, LAURA! Especially since this is another one that ended up being one of my favourite reads of year and possibly one of my favourite books of all time. This is about three girls and their friendship break-up and make-up and I loved it so…much? Not only for the exploration of friendship in all its messy glory, which was amazingly well done, but also for each girl’s own character arc and emotional journey. One of them is a teen mom, the other one is struggling with alcohol addiction and is sober and the third one is a lesbian struggling to open herself up to a good and healthy relationship. And their friendship? You hate it, you love it. It’s messy, it’s beautiful, and at the end of the day, they’re stronger together. ALSO? They’re in a band? Love that! And I feel like this book is criminally underrated.
So all in all, Laura didn’t REALLY FREAKING WELL on this TBR. She isn’t my best friend for nothing, she really knows the kinds of books I like. In fact so well, and we liked this experiment so much that we’re doing another edition in 2020. So stay tuned for that!!
That’s it until next time.
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.