February 2021 Wrap Up

I can’t believe that February is already over! I know it’s because the month is shorter than most months by at least 2 days. Most of my reading this month has been dedicated to my buddy read and school. I am hoping next month I can sprinkle in more for fun books.

My first book of the month was Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia with illustrations done by Gabriel Picolo. I think it was a really nice way to bring new fans into the universe. Kami Garcia does a wonderful job creating such a vibrant story for Raven. The way the art is done is honestly amazing. The muted shades of purple really resonated with Raven. I am curious to see how this ties into the second book Beast Boy. I gave it 4 stars!

The second book I read in February was Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall. I have been trying to listen to more audiobooks this year. This was a really powerful novel about how the feminism movement forgot women of color. I read this book for more background going into my African American literature course. Mikki Kendall goes into great detail about her own struggle. The things she experienced or has seen happened to those around her.

I read this book for my black women writers course. Our Nig was written by the first black woman writer in the US. The book was lost to history for over 100 years until Henry Louis Gates Jr. rediscovered it. The story is about a young girl who is abandoned by her mother to a family in the north. It details how they weren’t free in the north even if slavery wasn’t a thing. I think it’s a really important book that still needs to be taught today.

My final book of February was my buddy read book. I read Dune over a span of two months. I honestly really enjoyed this space tale. There were some flaws that made me knock down the rating to a 4 star. The ending was quite rush especially for the amount of build up they gave it. I kind of expected it to be drawn out more. Overall, I definitely think it’s worth a read if you are into science fiction.

I am quite happy with the amount of books I read in February! I am hoping that I can read a bit more in March. Have you read any of the books I have listed? What was your favorite read of February?

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Gudetama: Mindfulness for the Lazy

I know I said that I wouldn’t be doing book reviews as often on my blog, but this book was such a cute book that packed such a powerful message. Some of you may know that I’m a huge Sanrio fan. I have always been one since I was a wee tot. Gudetama was such a cute addition to the team because he is literally just an eeg. The character became quickly loved within the community. I think tackling such a hard topic like being mindful during a time like this is very important. The comic does a wonderful job of bridging the gap between reader and content.

This copy was provided through Netgalley for an honest review.

This graphic novel touches the topics of how to understand your feelings, being mindful towards others, and creating a space that is healthy for you. We follow Gudetama along as he meets people going through feeling unmotivated at work, being kind towards others, and making sure they are taking the time for self care. I think that this would be the perfect graphic novel for a younger audience. I think that lessons provided in the novel would be good for younger kids to learn.

The lessons in this book were not necessarily deep, but I believe they get the message across especially to a younger audience. This would have been the perfect book for me when I was in middle school or even high school. The conversation about burn out really resonated with me because that is something I often experience in my day to day life. The graphic novel shapes these feelings and concepts into ways that feel lighthearted and fun. It is the perfect approach into a topic that is often reserved for non-fiction novels or school.

You can pick up your own copy on April 6th which it releases to the public. I honestly hope you guys end up checking out this graphic novel. It’s just a cute little piece that made me smile.

Gudetama : Mindfulness for the Lazy by Wook-Jin Clark | 4/5 Stars | April 6th 2021

Kdrama Review : Color Rush

I want to diversify my content this year especially moving forward with this blog. I have decided to sprinkle in some reviews regarding shows and movies I watch especially because it has picked up due to the pandemic. I want to gush about this adorable eight episode kdrama called Color Rush. It’s a BL drama surrounding two boys trying to navigate their feelings for each other. The main character suffers from a type of color blindness where they see everything in shades of gray. Well, the love interest is able to provide him this rush of color whenever they are around each other.

The main reason why I decided to watch Color Rush was to support Hyunjun who was formerly with the group The Boyz. This was his first acting gig since leaving the group. The show does have a few problematic plot lines. The kidnapping that happens towards the end was not a surprise, but it was resolved rather quickly. The ending felt rushed, but I understand that they only had so much time to fit all the concepts into eight episodes. This is also one of the first BL and kdramas I have watched so I kept my expectations pretty low. The chemistry between the characters felt a bit odd in the earlier episodes, but it seemed to pick up more towards the end.

I do want to mention trigger warnings for suicide, attempted suicide, murder, and kidnapping. The main character’s mother has been missing for a few years so there’s this sense of dread for the main character. There’s also a theory in the world that monos (people who can only see shades of grey) are more likely to commit crimes if they lose the person who shows them the colors of the world. This is a huge plot line that runs throughout the series that fuels a lot of the actions. Overall, I do recommend this series if you want something that is super quick and easy to watch.

January 2021 Wrap Up

Hello! I decided that moving forward I would compile all my thoughts on the books I read into monthly wrap ups. I think personally for me it takes away the stress of doing reviews for every single book because most of the time I don’t have too much to say. I will probably still do book reviews, but I will save those for books that really moved me or deserve more commentary.

My first read of 2021 was The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. I must admit that this book blew my mind. I had seen it around the book community for a bit, but I was unsure if it was my cup of tea. It’s a novella that really focuses on the themes of feminism and the friendship between two women. The queen wasn’t necessarily a nice woman. She did the things she did to protect her friend, but it wasn’t always a good thing. I gave this a solid 5/5 stars.

Lirael was a buddy read that I had started in December and finished going into January. It’s the second book in the series that takes place about 15-20 years after the first book. I honestly really enjoyed Lirael character and her little dog companion. The plot twist caught me off guard a bit because I hadn’t expected that. I’m beyond excited to continue on with the story. I think it’ll be nice to see how it ends and how the new books reinvent the story. I gave it a 4.5/5 stars.

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus was for my book server’s readalong book. I went into this book with very low expectations. I am not a huge fan of YA thrillers because most of the time they are predictable. I listened to this on audiobook and it felt like a podcast. I think the resolve of the story happened way too fast. One moment we are approaching the “culprit” and bam it was over. It was still a fun read. I gave it 3/5 stars.

Citizen by Claudia Rankine was actually provided by my university. It’s a poetry collection focusing on racism and what it is like to live with it in modern society. It was a really eye opening experience to see how ingrained racism is even today. Her essays and imagery throughout the book were really bold and powerful. I definitely think it is worth the read especially if you are trying to understand how deep-rooted racism is in today’s society. I rated it 4/5 stars.

Those are the books I have finished in January. I’m in the middle of These Violent Delights and Dune, but I do not need myself finishing them before the end of the weekend. What are some of your favorite reads from the month so far? Leave them in the comments!

21 Books in 2021

I decided to make a list of the 21 books I want to read in 2021. I highlighted five in a graphic below which are the ones that I see myself reading soon (within the next six months). I am not going to go into too much detail about why I picked each book, but each book will link to the goodreads page so you can read up on them.

  1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  2. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  3. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
  4. Dune by Frank Hebert
  5. The Shining by Stephen King
  6. Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  7. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  8. Jade City by Fonda Lee
  9. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  10. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  11. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  12. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  13. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
  14. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  15. Artemis by Andy Weir
  16. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  17. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  18. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  19. The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
  20. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Baron
  21. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

These are the 21 books I hope to read in 2021. Is there any I should put towards the top of my list? I am currently reading Dune and Graceling so I’m aiming to knock those off by next month! What books are you trying to read in 2021?

2021 Reading & Blogging Goals

Hello! I figured the best way to get back into the swing of things on this blog is to declare my reading and blogging goals for the year. I will be honest that the past few years I haven’t read nearly as much as I used to due to school and life. Let’s get on with the goals!

  • My overall reading goal for 2021 is to read around 30 books this year. I set my goal to 10 books last year and read 16 books. I feel like I am in a much better place this year to move forward with reading. I don’t think 30 books will be unachievable for me.
  • I wanna do more buddy reads because for me those really help me get back into reading especially after a slump. I’m very thankful for the people who did buddy reads with me in 2020.
  • I want to read more in general which means I want to read more consistently. I am currently doing a little challenge to read 30 pages a day in January. Have I read everyday? No, but I’m reading way more than 30 pages a day. It’s been a way to get myself to consistently read more.
  • GET MY PHYSICAL TBR DOWN! I inherited every Stephen King book known to man from my nana in 2019 so my TBR grew incredibly large. I believe I’m sitting at roughly 200 physical books that I have not read. I’m a series binger so I’ll buy the books in a series so I can binge them later. Have I binged them? No. I am trying to get my physical tbr down this year excluding the Stephen King books (which make up about 70 of the 200 books). Ideally, I would like to get it down to maybe 70. I also need to be more open about donating books I am no longer interested in and getting books via library or kindle.

Blogging Goals

  • I wanna try and post once or twice a month!
  • Diversify my content on my blog whether it is more bookish content like owl crate unboxings, hauls, book to movie reviews, and etc to more lifestyle related content.
  • Stop worrying about the numbers because that is partially why I stepped away from blogging. I was obsessed with numbers which I think rubbed off from the other book bloggers I was hanging out with because numbers meant more chances that you’ll get picked for an arc or get noticed. Blogging for me is just a place to write my thoughts and hope for the best!

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. I want to hear more about what your goals are for the year regarding reading or blogging.

Social Media

Twitter | Server Twitter | Discord Server | Instagram | Server Instagram

The Book Cryptids – Readalong Books

Hello! I wanted to share the two books that my book server is planning to read over the course of January – March. I mentioned in my previous post that I don’t know what I plan to do this year with my blog. I want to use it more, but I think it’s gonna be a lot more than book reviews. I hope that is alright with everyone.

We have decided to move to a two books per three month basis to give members more variety in the read along picks. January – March selections were selected by me and one of my mod’s Jules. We will be reading Two Can Keep a Secret and If We Were Villains. We are going to start reading the book pretty late into January to give people time to get the books. You can join in at any time in the three months. All spoilers will be hidden via spoiler tags!

Please consider joining us on the server if you are interested in taking part in either readalong! I hope you all have a fantastic 2021!

20 Things I Learned in 2020

Hello! I am sure that you guys probably have no idea who I am at this point. I must be truthful when I say I lost the motivation and love for this blog over the past few years. School got a lot harder and I was more focused on my book server which you can check out here. I learned a lot during this chaotic year about myself and others. I wanted to share with you the twenty things I learned.

  1. It is okay to ask for help! This was something I struggled with a lot in 2020 because I felt like I was burdening those around me if I asked for help. I realized that 9/10 times the people you care about will want to help you.
  2. Losing friends is 100% normal! 2020 was a big year for me in terms of relationships. I gained a few friends and I lost a few friends. Some friendships were lost organically as the year went along and some ended in bad terms. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Those people were meant to be in your life for one reason or another.
  3. Give yourself a damn break because you’ll suffer from burn out. I went to school from Spring – Summer – Fall with no true break. I felt so burnt out by the end of fall semester I had honestly debated taking a semester off.
  4. Self care is key especially during a pandemic. I honestly neglected myself for the first few months. I wasn’t giving myself the same love I was giving others.
  5. People are selfish. I guess I have always been the kind of person that wants to believe in the best in people, but I think it is safe to say we are all selfish in our own ways. I realized that there’s different types of selfish behaviors (wear your mask pls).
  6. Not everyone is going to like you and that is okay! You don’t need to change yourself to please others. I came out of a really rough friendship group at the beginning of 2020 that always made me feel like I was a different person.
  7. It is okay to not have accomplished as much as you wanted to this year because it’s been a really rough year. I honestly don’t think I completed any of my goals for this year (rip).
  8. Second chances are worth it. I do want to note that if the person is toxic and bad for you then don’t give them the second chance. If both parties have grown and acknowledge their mistakes then the second chance is worth it.
  9. Stop letting people peer pressure you into things you no longer have interest in doing.
  10. Sitting in your best friend’s car and having a laugh can relieve stress. I am so grateful that my best friend and I have been very good about social distancing and being mindful of others that we are able to have moments like these this year. It has really helped with my mental health.
  11. Stop feeling bad that you gave up on your bullet journal towards the end of the year. I love my bujo, but I had no motivation to continue on with it because school was so stressful.
  12. Get out in nature more because it is healing. I went hiking a few times this summer and went out on the water. It has really helped me take my mind off of things.
  13. New hobbies are fun! I picked up roller skating recently and it has been a blast.
  14. Read at your own pace. I feel like this is something I am constantly reminding myself because I feel like I read so slowly compared to others. I might not be reading nearly 50 books a year, but I’m chugging along.
  15. Sometimes life is just hard and the only thing to do is look forward.
  16. Spending time to just destress at the end of the day is so crucial for mental health.
  18. Take breaks from social media! I actually ended up deleting my snapchat app for good after I took a social media break in May/June. I have definitely been limiting my time on twitter and other social medias. This year has been filled with so many negativity so breaks from social media is needed.
  19. Make sure you take care of yourself before you take care of others. If your mental health is a bit of a mess then you might not be able to fully be there for your friend or partner. This is something I really had to focus on this year because I’m empath. I have a lot of feelings lol.
  20. Be fucking proud that you made it through this year because holy moly it was a train wreck of a year! This goes out to everyone that had no idea if they would make it to see 2021.

I don’t know where I am going to go with this blog. I think I want it to be more than just a book blog. I think that has always been my intention since day one. I really hope that you guys take the time to stick around if other content outside of bookish content appeals to you. I can’t wait to see what the new year brings us.

The Reading Rush 2020

It is my favorite time of the year when the reading rush rolls around because July is usually my best reading month. It is the last month of the summer (for me) which means I am usually skipping away on holiday. Things are a little different this year with the virus and staying at home. I found that at the beginning of lockdown I was less motivated to do much of anything. Well June was kind of a bad month with everything going on (It was my birthday month though) so when the reading rush announcement dropped I was excited. I feel like I’m finally getting back into reading (aka stay tuned for some book reviews) over the past month which has me more than excited for The Reading Rush.

I have included the list of prompts which can be found on their website here. Prompt four will be decided the day of the readathon! It’ll be the pick I decide to pick up first.

I definitely plan to double up where I can on books simply because I do not want to overdo it. Are you guys taking part in the reading rush? Are we reading any of the same books? I’d love to have a buddy read or two during the reading rush to keep me motivated!

Pride Month : What to Read

It is Pride Month which means that a lot of people are looking to read books with LGBT+ elements. I was going to make a list of books that I have read over the years that are LGBT+, but I realized that a lot of new releases feature these elements. This list showcases some of the new releases that have ever already came out or are coming out in the following months. These are the ones that are on the top of my radar.

  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar
    • First of all the cover is gorgeous! This book came out May 5th so you can get your hands on this book. The book features a Trans MC, slow burn romance with mutual pining, and it’s full of self love. Please follow the author on twitter if you are interested in the book.
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
    • Where do I need to sell my soul to get my hands on an early copy? This comes out on September 1st which is like eons away. Please consider pre-ordering this book though if you have the chance. The book features a Trans MC, magic, and ghosts.
  • The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos
    • This book came out on May 12th so go read it! Magic, first love, friendships, and more? It is not often we get queer rep in fantasy so this already has me sold. It sounds like it might be a little messy which is right up my alley.
  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
    • I saw this floating around Twitter which intrigued me. It came out on May 12th so please get your hands on a copy. I honestly have not read too many books with lesbian rep in them. This book looks amazing and it’s on my radar to read soon!

Is there any other books I should include? Did you know about the ones I suggested? Please feel free to leave them in the comments!