YA books with “heavy” topics are necessary

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Hello friends!

Recently, there have been discussions popping up every now and then about what YA should and shouldn’t be, what it should and shouldn’t have, whether it should have sex, trauma, mental health or any other “heavy” topics, and ironically…most of them have been led by adults, whereas the targeted demography is teenagers. And yes, believe me I do see the second irony here, I am an adult too, so why am I talking about this? I will be speaking from my perspective and experience when I was a teen, which wasn’t that long ago considering that I’m twenty two. Continue reading

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2018 releases I still need to catch up on

Bookish Talk

Hello friends,

The other day I went back and looked through my most anticipated releases posts for 2010 (here’s where you can find part 1 & part 2), I realized that although I actually read lot more of them than I expected, there were still quite a few I still need to get to. So I thought why not make a post out of it. For the sake of not making this post 50 books long, I limited myself to the books I mentioned in those posts ONLY (because I know if I go on my goodreads shelf there would be…a lot). And out of the ones I still haven’t read I picked those I haven’t lost interest in reading, so here we are with a list of fifteen 2018 releases I’ll try to make my way through this year.

book title = goodreads page.

Debuts

  • Home and Away by Candice Montgomery – I’m. this was literally one of my top 5 most anticipated releases, WHY and HOW haven’t I read it yet. Black queer girl encovering family secrets? Accepting her identiti(es)? Shame on me.
  • Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh. This has necromancers and the main character is bisexual and it has a very slowburn f/f relationship, I was supposed to read it right after it came out and I somehow just…forgot. I forgot. Just like that.
  • A Girl like Her by Tanaz Bhathena. I’m not like over the moon excited about this one but I’m still interested in reading it, especially since some Muslim folks say the portrayal of Muslims is bad and some didn’t mind it at all and actually love the book. So I’m very curious as to where I’ll stand on the issue.
  • Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles. Jay Coles is an (inter)national treasure and for that reason alone I want to read the book, but besides that I’ve only heard amazing things about it from people I trust so I really need to just get my shit together at some point and read it already.
  • Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro. I’m a SUCKER for teenagers starting revolutions and this is all about these kids being fed up with the fucked up conditions at their school and taking strides to instigate change.
  • My so-called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma. This sounds like the cheesiest of YA romcoms and I need it in my life. Funny thing is my friend sent me her arc so I do have it and eventhough I say I *need* it I STILL HAVEN’T READ IT. Am I okay? probably not.

Not Debuts (?)

  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman. I love books that rip me apart. I love books that deal with grief and dive so deep into it that you find yourself feeling it even when you have nothing to grieve. And this sounds like that.
  • What if it’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. I -mostly- love both these authors’ works so I really want to see what them working together will be like. Especially with Silvera’s writing being on the darker side and Albertalli’s on the perkier.
  • Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria. I honestly don’t know much about this book besies the fact that I enjoyed the author’s debut, that I love her writing style and that this one has an asexual and a bisexual main characters.
  • This is what it feels like by Rebecca Barrow. EVERY MONTH I intend to put this one on my TBR and by the time the next month rolls around I FORGET. But this is queer AF and June is pride month so I better get on it. Someone slap me if I don’t.
  • The way you make me feel by Maureen Goo. Can you believe I still haven’t read anything by Maureen Goo? In the year of our lord 2019? I know that this has food trucks and rivals to lovers romance, and I also got a four chapters sample back in the start of 2018 that I enjoyed so I don’t know what I’m waiting for.
  • Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. The author’s Written in the Stars is one of my favourite books…ever so I really NEED to read this one. I think that the only thing keeping me from reading it is that it’s Middle grade and that intimidates me…I’m getting the audiobook though.

Sequels

  • A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. My excuse for this one is that I’m really scared but it’s honestly gotten ridiculous. It’s been a year and I got a copy in Italy back in July so I just need to bite the bullet. Delaying it won’t make it easier on my heart.
  • Wildcard by Marie Lu. AAaaaHHHhh. I’m scared this one will disappoint me and ruin my image of Warcross. I heard very mediocre things about it and I’m tempted not to read. But I also can’t not read it because I need to know what happens.
  • The Storyteller by Traci Chee. This is another one I’m terrified of but less so than Reaper, the main reason is that I just still haven’t found a proper time slot for it in my Arc crammed schedule. And it’s also very fantasy heavy so whenever I’m not reading an arc I make it another genre.

And that’s it for today’s post, folks. To be completely honest, this was mostly to put it out there and hold myself accountable. I own most these books and the ones I don’t have are on Scribd so I just NEED TO READ THEM. If I haven’t read them ALL and I mean A L L by the end of 2019, please feel free to sue me. I need to stop procrastinating my life.


That’s it until next time.

What are some 2018 releases you want to read but haven’t gotten around to yet?

Have you read any on my list? What did you think of them?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Forgive me for I have sinned – Judging books by their covers

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Hello friends!

This is my second time typing up half this post because my cat deleted it (seriously).

This is the first time since…. I don’t know since when to be honest, that I type up a post right before it’s supposed to go up. I usually do that at least a couple days before due date but oh well, the end of last week was a disaster (which I’ll talk about more in my wrap-up) so I spent the week-end just resting and reading and only did what was absolutely necessary (re: replied to pressing emails). ANYWHOO. My new favourite thing to do is ask random cryptic questions on Twitter and turning them into posts, on today’s episode: Fadwa Asks People to Send Her Book Covers Without Context. I asked for upcoming books because that reduces the chance of me having read them. Why? you ask. Because I want to guess what the books are about from staring at their covers. Continue reading

My New Adult Frustrations

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Hello friends!

My reading journey was a weird one. I started off just like any kid, devouring children’s books from age zero (my mom used to read to me) to age nine, then I transitioned to middle grade until age twelve. So far, so good, right? Well, from there I jumped straight into new adult and adult romance books. YEP. No young adult novels, whatsoever, those weren’t available to me so I went to the next category that I had at hand and at a reasonnable price (my mom also had a small collection at home that I read and could use later to exchange at the secondhand bookstore). I think I read hundreds of romance novels between age 12 and 16. There were days when I’d read two in one day. Continue reading

Pairing up Books I love with Songs I’m trash for

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Hey friends!

If there’s one thing that’s constant in my life (more like two things), it’s books and music. You all already know how much I love books because this is… you know, a book blog. But music isn’t something that I talk about a lot on here but not a day goes by when I’m not blasting something, whether I’m driving, blogging, taking bookish photos or whatever else. The only time I can’t listen to music is while reading. So I thought it would be a great idea to pair books I love with some of my favourite songs that I feel like fit either the themes, the characters, or just the general vibe of the book.
Just a warning though, this could contain spoilers to the books mentioned. (Specifically Simon vs. and Evelyn Hugo)

1- Want – Cindy Pon

Cindy pon - #1 WantFinding a song for this book was so incredibly easy. In fact, it was so easy that I had TWO songs I just couldn’t choose between. They just both scream Want to me. The first is Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. You can’t tell me that after reading the book and listening to the song, you don’t think they’re a match made in heaven. They both center a world plagued by human destruction, especially this part here, which reminds me a lot of what the mei (lower class, people without protective suits to shield them from pollution) go through on a daily basis.

 

I’m waking up to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I’m breathing in the chemicals

The the second song is Youth by Shawn Mendes and Khalid. This entire song is a whole ass mood, not only for today’s world but also for the world our characters live in and how our main squad (as well as every other young mei, I’m sure) feels in the book. I don’t really know how to put it into words, but if you listen to the song, you’ll get it.

2- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoThere are so many songs I feel could apply to this book but one I personally love is When You Sleep by Mary Lambert, it’s such a soft song and just reminds me of the type of relationship Evelyn and Celia have. The tentativeness of the beginning, the part where Mary Lambert says “You politely asked to take a walk with me, I would’ve married you there underneath the trees” as well as the chorus, which can be interpreted in a way that embodies their on and off and on again relationship.

3- We are Okay – Nina Lacour

Nina Lacour - We Are OkayHeavy by Linkin Park. Need I say more? No? Well I’m a rambler so I will definitely say more. Heavy is the perfect depiction I feel of what it was like for Marin to be stuck inside her head, unable to move on or move away from spiraling thoughts. The main character in We are Okay deals with depression on her own, the best way she knows how to, and dealing with things that happened in her life that just feel like too much to carry alone but still can’t bring herself to reach out to anyone. Both the book and the song gave me similar feelings when consuming them as media.

4- When the Moon was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore

anna-marie-mclemore-when-the-moon-was-oursHow Would you Feel by Ed Sheeran IS SUCH A SAM AND MIEL SONG AND IF YOU DON’T AGREE it’s okay you’re entitled to your opinion. But I just feel like the song encompasses perfectly how much they love each other, the “How would you feel, if I told you I loved you?” IS SO THEM, especially for Sam who worships the ground Miel walks on but he struggles so much with himself that he isn’t sure he is worthy of her. And since they are best friends who fall for each other makes the “I’ll be taking my time, spending my life, falling deeper in love with you” all the more meaningful. I’m just soft for this song and this book, okay?

5- How to Make a Wish – Hold me by the Heart

Ashley Herring Blake - How to Make a WishHold me by the Heart by Kehlani is the song I’m choosing for this one. This book makes me cry. This song makes me cry. And that’s all you need to know. No, I’m just kidding. The song talks about having trauma and meeting someone who helps you heal (not someone who fixes you, obviously) or at least that’s the way I read it. And that’s an ongoing theme in How to Make a Wish as well, both Grace and Eva are dealing with their fair share of baggage, Grace with her abusive mother and Eva with the grief from her mom’s death so they meet and fall in love as well as support each other through their respective healing journeys, eventhough it’s hard and messy sometimes and they’re definitely not perfect and end up messing up.

6- The Speaker – Traci Chee

Traci Chee - #2 The SpeakerI’m Yours by The Script doesn’t remind me of the book as a whole, it rather makes me think of the romance whenever I listen to it, especially with how Archer feels toward Sefia. He’s dealing with so much trauma (that he has bad PTSD from, the rep is amazing) and was forced to do so many terrible things that he feels dirty and unworthy of her love. And the fact that she just never gives up on him makes this relationship so special to me because she just keeps on showing him that she’s there for him, for all of him, broken pieces included and that just makes me want to sob.

7- Girl Out of Water – Laura Silverman

Laura Silverman - Girl out of Water.jpgThe Letter by Kehlani is about an absent mom and what that does to a person. It’s, just like the title says ,a letter Kehlani wrote to her mom and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. That makes the song a perfect fit for Girl out of Water in which Anise deals, among other things, with the impact the fact that her mom was never in her life had on her and trying to work through behaviours and thought patterns that she adopted after her mother left. Everything about this book is just so real and beautiful but I thought this part in particular is so well done and one of the book’s strengths.

8- Like water – Rebecca Podos

Rebecca Podos - Like WaterStrangers by Halsey and Lauren Jauregui reminds me SO much of the relationship between Savannah and Leigh and I can’t…really explain why? I think it’s just the messiness of it and the fact that at one point they absolutely tear each other apart and go back to being strangers. I think that just the general vibe of the both the book and song are quite similar which is why I always relate one to the other.

9- Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli - Simon vs The homo sapiens AgendaI bet you can guess which song I’m gonna choose for this one and if you don’t, you’re going to see how obvious my choice is in one second. I’m pairing Simon vs. with Kiss the Boy by Keinan Lonsdale. First of all, it’s a gay as hell song and second Keinan is the actor who plays Bram in the movie adaptation Love, Simon. So it really can’t get any more perfect that this.

10- Mirage – Somaiya Daud

Somaiya Daud - #1 MirageThis one doesn’t take much effort on my part. If/when you read Mirage you know there’s this arabic song that Amani and Idriss talk about in the book that they both hold near and dear to their hearts and that at the very end, we get a few lyrics from it. Well, that song is called Lama Bada Yatathana by Lara Chamamyan and I adore it SO MUCH, it’s absolutely breathtaking both in lyrics and melody.


That’s it until next time.

Do you have a song that Always reminds you of a book? Or vice versa?

Do you have any songs you think I would like based on the ones I shared here?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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