BOOK REVIEW: Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan

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Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents’ rules—even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything.

Karina is my girlfriend.

Tutoring the school’s resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can’t help but start counting down the days until her parents come back.

T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal—but what if Karina no longer wants it to? 

Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance

Diversity tags: author of color (bangladeshi american); poc representation (bangladeshi-american mc; black, indian, and chinese side characters); religion representation (muslim mc); lgbtq+ representation; mental health representation (mc with anxiety)

Trigger warnings: In-depth discussions of mental health (specifically anxiety) and mentions of parental abuse (emotional and psychological)

Publication date: 04 May 2021

Publisher: HarperCollins

Cover: Samya Arif (artist), Gigi Lau (art direction)

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Growing up, bad boys stories were my favorites to read on Wattpad. However, I could never see myself in them. The stories always featured the same bland white people. That’s why I was so happy to get to read an advanced copy of Counting Down With You! The main character, Karina, is Bengali and muslim! I’m also a muslim girl, and I also have strict parents, so I was really interested to see what I would think of the book.

Right away, the book did not disappoint. The writing was immersive and I didn’t want to put my copy down. I immediately fell in love with Karina’s friend group. I always love a book where the main character has a support group and have people around them to listen to them, and this is what I got.

I also really enjoyed the family dynamics. Karina’s parents are strict, and I mean… strict. I felt so bad for her when I was reading it; you could literally feel her pain through the pages. I absolutely loved Dadu, her grandma, and her relationship with her brother. We see how it changes through the book, as she gets to learn more about Ace and needs to tell her brother to not tell their parents. We see her brother realize the sexism in their family, and how Karina’s parents are more strict on her.

Now for Ace, the ‘bad boy’… I loved him. He was well rounded and three dimensional. We got to see why he acted the way he does (even if it never really made sense to me) and his relationship with his family as well. I found him to be a little bit more complex than more love interests in stories, and that’s what I really loved about him. He got a passion and things he loves and I truly felt connected to him.

Ace and Karina’s love story was very cute and swoony. I do have to say though, that buying a dozen books a week seems very unrealistic because… How the hell is she gonna read them all!!!! BUT STILL! VERY CUTE.

I loved the ending and, to be honest, I would love more books set in this universe.

Overall, this was a great contemporary romance. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to Caffeine Book Tour for letting me on this tour! All these thoughts were my own.

Tour launch

May 17
 beyond a bookshelf
 Literary Delirium
 This Bookish Life Of Mine

May 18
 legenbooksdary
 Sunshine N’ Books
 thr4sam

May 19
 Heart’s Content
 MissMaddyChats
 READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA

May 20
 A Book and Chai
 A Logophile’s Love
 The Mind of a Book Dragon

May 21
 KymieeTriestoRead
 Love, Paola
 With Love, Saoudia

Tashie Bhuiyan is a Bangladeshi American writer based in New York City. She recently graduated from St. John’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and hopes to change the world, one book at a time. She loves writing stories about girls with wild hearts, boys who wear rings, and gaining agency through growth. When she’s not doing that, she can be found in a Chipotle or bookstore, insisting 2010 is the best year in cinematic history. (Read: Tangled and Inception.)

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein

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Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beat up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous mathematics of her life are obliterated forever…because now there is this boy she never asked for. Wade Scholfield.

With Wade, Grace discovers a new way to exist. School rules are optional, life is bizarrely perfect, and conversations about wormholes can lead to make-out sessions that disrupt any logical stream of thoughts.

So why does Grace crush Wade’s heart into a million tiny pieces? And what are her options when she finally realizes that 1. The universe doesn’t revolve around her, and 2. Wade has been hiding a dark secret. Is Grace the only person unhinged enough to save him?

Acidly funny and compulsively readable, Mercedes Helnwein’s debut novel Slingshot is a story about two people finding each other and then screwing it all up. See also: soulmate, friendship, stupidity, sex, bad poetry, and all the indignities of being in love for the first time.

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I won’t lie, the first thing that made me interested in this book was its cover: it’s so colorful and pretty! It definitely caught my attention and made me want to know more about the book. I’m really thankful to the people at Wednesday Books for sending me a physical arc!!!

Slingshot was an interesting book, to say the least. If you love books and movies and shows about a cynical, rude white teenager… this one’s for you. Grace, the main character, was extremely annoying. Everything bad that happened to her in this book, happened because of her actions, yet she couldn’t seem to see it. Now that I’m done with the book, I fail to see how this character had growth. She really stayed the same rude person all along!

Nevertheless, it was a great story about first love, first times, boarding school for people who are rich but not that rich, friendships and messy families. It felt real, like one of those Greta Gerwig movies with Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet. Matter of fact, it reads like a movie! Which is what I love the most about the books I read. I like to be able to picture exactly the words in my head and give faces to the characters and see the action deliver like an actual movie. This book would make an amazing coming of age movie.

The romance in the book was sweet. I really love the whole mean girl/soft boy trope in m/f relationships! I liked the idea that Wade was into Grace despite her being… difficult (for lack of better words). He saw something in her, that most people don’t, and I thought it was really cool. I hate the way she hurt him, but I can’t help but feel like it wasn’t that much of a big deal. But that’s probably because I’m older.

One thing I disliked though, is the way Grace was really into her bio teacher. She considered him her first love and all that. She was devastated when he (obviously) told her he was just her teacher. She genuinely thought she, a fifteen years old girl, had a chance with that thirty-something man. Like???? His fiancée even worked at the school, like!! Hello?!

Overall, this was a great book and a nice story for teenagers and older people too! I’m really thankful to have read an advance copy! Slingshot is now out everywhere books are sold, so if this review interested you, go get your own copy!

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Do you enjoy books set in boarding schools?

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF THE YEAR! PART TWO!

I am back, bigger, and stronger, with a part two to my most anticipated releases of 2021! This time, I will be listing books coming out in May 2021! I hope you find books you haven’t heard before and get to pre-ordering them! There were so many that caught my attention, so I made a post just for them!

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Meet Cute Diary. Out May 4th

This book is said to be a swoony-worthy romcom with a transgender mc!!! That’s pretty much all I needed to be sold on it. I love the representation and the fact that the main character is a multiracial transgender is amazing, I think we need more of these stories! I cannot wait to read it. Plus, the cover is amazing and the plot looks like it’s right up my alley!

Not My Problem. Out May 25th

Sapphic contemporary… RIGHT UP MY ALLEY ONCE AGAIN! I have read some positive reviews of the ARC on Goodreads, so I think I will be into this one as well! I haven’t read the author’s debut novel, but I think I will this summer, once I’m done with school and have a little bit more time!

It Goes Like This. Out May 18th.

This is about an ex-band queer pop band? Formed in middle school, and now the characters are older and we follow them in high school after a storm ruins their town and they have to work together to have a show (maybe a concert-benefit type of thing?). I’m really interested, because I want to know how the hell does a pop-band about middle schoolers get famous: were they locally famous? Were they famous at all? I love books about bands! I love books about friendships! So this seems like a great pick for me.

Where the Rhythm Takes You. Out May 11th.

A contemporary story inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion! It’s said to be romantic and about first loves! And the love interest is a DJ, I believe! ALSO IS CHILDHOOD BEST FRIENDS TO LOVERS???? Wow. I’m really excited to reading this.

Tokyo Ever After. Out May 25th.

This book is about a teenager from a small town discovering she is a PRINCESS!!! I LOVED the Princess Diaries and this book is said to be The Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians, so I am really excited to read it!! Plus, the cover is gorgeous!

Counting Down With You. Out May 4th.

I had the chance to read an advance copy of this book, and I really enjoyed it! It’s a fun YA book with so much diversity and a cute romance. I recommend it and I hope you’ll pick it up once it comes out! This author is definitively on my radar now!

The Ivies. Out May 25th.

I love books about seniors about to go to college, especially when it’s full of drama and… murder….! PLUS! I am the BIGGEST Alexa Donne fan. I love her YouTube videos, so I’m really excited to read her newest book!

Off the Record. Out May 18th.

I love books about teen journalists undercovering things, so I think I will really be into this one. I’m also part of the book tour for it, so I’m really excited to get to read it and review it for you guys!

Playing the Palace. Out May 25th.

This is a book in which an American wedding planner falls in love with a member of the Royal family, and it’s an ownvoice m/m book! It’s super important to me to support ownvoice m/m authors, so I’m really excited to read this. The plot seems so fun and fresh and I’m so excited to get to read it!

A Special Place for Women. Out May 11th.

This is a thriller/suspense novel about a women-only social club, and it reminds me of an actual women-only place to work I’ve seen some YouTubers go to! So I’m super interested see what the mystery-suspense-y-thriller-y vibes of this will be!

Beth and Amy. Out May 25th.

Now, I know the only Little Women adaptation I’ve seen is Greta Gerwig’s, BUT! I still love Little Women a LOT. I want to read the book, but it’s just so long…. Ugh! This one caught my attention, because I’m really interested in seeing how the author will portray these two girls and how it will be in a modern setting.

Happy Ending. Out May 18th.

I don’t read much romance, but this one sounds interesting. It’s a second chance story, and the main character has a sex-toys business???? I’m sold.

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel. Out May 18th.

All I know, is that this is a book about a family reunion, and that both families have been friends for years. And that it’s at a hotel, and shit will happen and they have to save the hotel. I don’t know.. I’m intrigued and want to know more.

Madam. Out May 18th.

Gothic fiction set at a boarding school. That’s all I need to know to be sold, tbh.

Baby & Solo. Out May 11th.

A book about a friendship between two workers at a video store set in 1990. The cover looks really cute too!

Luck of the Titanic. Out May 4th.

This is a book about two British-Chinese twins acrobats traveling on the Titanic. Now, we know how the Titanic’s story ends… Let me just say I hope none of them dies!!!!

Last Chance Books. Out May 18th.

This is about teens working at rival book stores: one works at an indie bookstore, owned by her family, the other in a chain bookstore. Love will happen. Fights will happen. Typical YA contemporary. We love to see it!

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What’s a book you’re excited to read in May?

BOOK REVIEW: Yolk by Mary HK Choi

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Jayne Baek is barely getting by. She shuffles through fashion school, saddled with a deadbeat boyfriend, clout-chasing friends, and a wretched eating disorder that she’s not fully ready to confront. But that’s New York City, right? At least she isn’t in Texas anymore, and is finally living in a city that feels right for her.

On the other hand, her sister June is dazzlingly rich with a high-flying finance job and a massive apartment. Unlike Jayne, June has never struggled a day in her life. Until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Suddenly, these estranged sisters who have nothing in common are living together. Because sisterly obligations are kind of important when one of you is dying. 

° 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 ₒ 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 °

Reading Yolk was like reading a love story to siblings relationships, New York City, and children of immigrants. It was beautiful and real. The characters, Jayne and June, we both so distinctive yet similar. I flew through this book, just like I did with Permanent Record (Choi’s previous book).

There’s something about this author’s writing that just grabs my attention. I love her attention to details and the way she always writes about snacks.

I’m the older sister, and I could see myself a lot in June. I don’t know if I would do everything she did, but I could find myself relating to her and to the choices she made and the way she acted. They say this book was about the fact that June has cancer, but to me it was really about the relationship these two sisters have. The way they grew up, from Seoul to Texas to New York. It was about their bond and the way they keep having each other’s back despite not talking to one another for a year.

Another thing I really loved was the love interest in this book, Patrick. He was sweet and kind and smart and just so freaking perfect? I love the way we see his and Jayne’s relationship evolve and the way it felt so real. Mary HK Choi is in her forties, I think, yet she captures the Gen-Z-esque vibes so well!!!!! It’s like, how does she does it?!

The only critique I have about this, is that I wish we would have seen a better development of Jayne’s eating disorder and the way she tries to deal with it. I think the ending was a tiny bit rushed,. I would have honestly read another 100 or 150 pages of this book! I also think, though, that Jayne’s relationship with food is so complex it would actually take another book to properly delve into it and analyze it and see her path to recovery.

Mary HK Choi made me realize books don’t need definite endings, and that sometimes leaving them in the open is good. I find myself wondering what are the characters doing sometimes and I smile and want to reread it again.

What a beautiful book.

5 out of 5 stars!

What’s your latest 5 stars read?

BOOK REVIEW: Squad Goals by Erika J. Kendrick

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Magic Olive Poindexter has big shoes to fill. Her mother was a professional cheerleader, her father is a retired NBA legend, her big sister is the new face of the oh-so-glamorous Laker Girls, and her grandmother was the first black cheerleader ever on Valentine Middle School’s HoneyBee cheer squad. Magic wants nothing more than to follow in their footsteps. But first, she has to survive Planet Pom Poms, the summer cheer camp where she’ll audition for a spot on the HoneyBee squad. But with zero athletic ability and a group of mean girls who have her number, Tragic Magic is a long way from becoming the toe-touching cheerleader heroine she dreams of being.

Things start to look up when her best friend Cappie joins her at camp–until Cappie gets bitten by the popularity bug, that is. To make matters worse, Magic’s crushing hard on football star Dallas Chase. Luckily, Magic’s not alone: with the help of a new crew of fabulous fellow misfits and her Grammy Mae’s vintage pom poms by her side, Tragic Magic might just survive–and even thrive–at cheer camp.

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Thank you so much to Hear Our Voice and to the publisher for this advance reading copy of the book! I haven’t read a Middle Grade (MG) book in a while and it was refreshing to get back in the head of a twelve years old. It brought me back to when I was twelve (10 years ago, wow!) and was dealing with friends, petty fights, and crushes.

Squad Goals was interesting and read like a movie. I could clearly see Marsai Martin adapting this into a movie! The Poindexter family was adorable and cool: an NBA legend dad, an ex-cheerleader mom, a cheerleader older sister, and an ex-cheerleader grandmom! And then there’s Magic, who wants to be a cheerleader too, but isn’t athletic. I thought Magic was a great main character. She wasn’t too annoying, and I understood how she felt.

I loved the friendships the author wrote in this book. It was diverse without being forced and felt just great to read. The girls made me grins so bad when I was reading.

The pacing of this book was great and the setting was also well done. I hope the author turns this into a series, because I’d love to see Magic navigate Middle School and eventually High School, who knows!

Lastly, I want to comment on the romance! It was cute and cheesy and I really loved how it was executed. Dallas Chase was just so cool and kind, I really liked him.

This review is short, but believe me: this was a great book and I recommend it to any tween or anyone, really, who wants a nice palette cleanser.

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Erika J. Kendrick is an acclaimed author, national speaker, and mental fitness junkie. She earned a psychology degree from Stanford University and an MBA in marketing and international business from the University of Illinois. Erika was an NBA cheerleader for the Chicago Bulls before writing her novel, Confessions of a Rookie Cheerleader (Random House, 2007). She penned Appetite (Random House, 2009), and The Accidental Escort (Cleis Press, 2010) shortly after. The celebrated author is currently finishing her memoir and touring nationally.

BOOK REVIEW: Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

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Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?

° 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 ₒ 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 °

So! This was a page turner. I finished it under 24h or so I want to say. However, I’m giving it a 3 stars. The story did what it said it would do: I got a book about a teenager who had an amazing summer with a girl and then sees said girl at her high school, and starts questioning her sexuality.

The thing is, there were many moments throughout my reading where I was just cringing because some of the comments made were just… weird.

Here’s what I loved:

  • The friendship groups were great. I love a great contemporary where the main character has fun friends and isn’t a loner (not that there’s anything bad with that, I just love a butterfly type of person). I didn’t enjoy the personality of all the friends, but I’m glad she had a group of friends!
  • The  »potential » love interest was a genuinely nice guy. It’s so rare to see male characters in contemporary books who aren’t assholes. He was really cool and nice and kind and I wish him nothing but the best
  • The other love interest was super cool. Like, really. I loved Jasmine, she was a mix of a pixie-type of girl, but was not annoying. I loved seeing her personality and I could see why Lara was into her.
  • The chemistry between Lara and Jasmine was great in my opinion. I think they make a power couple!

Here’s what I didn’t love:

  • There were some comments that the main character did that were just… weird. At one point, she says  »what do you call it when someone’s neither a girlfriend nor boyfriend? Non-binary-friend? ». I cringed so hard. Please, just say partner?! Significant other?! How hard is it to know this? It felt like the author wanted to include minorities but wanted us to know it.
  • Sometimes it felt like Lara had no personality. I know it was so we could see her get out of her besties’ shadow, but even at the end, after all the character development, it felt like she had no personality. Everyone but her had a thing. She was just… That blonde girl.

So, yeah! These were my thoughts on this book. Honestly, I don’t have much else to say, it was a great YA book and I’m super grateful to the publisher for letting me get this arc!

Have you read Cool for the Summer? What are you currently reading?

BOOK REVIEW: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

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Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior. 

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This book was an absolute gem! It was so funny and sweet and adorable. I can’t believe the Brown sisters trilogy is already over, and I’m so glad it’s the series that introduced me to what an amazing author Talia Hibbert is.

Eve Brown is a goofy, spoiled, mess. I loved that about her. I loved that she had a hard time figuring out what she wanted to do, but once she found out, she fought to keep doing it. She is sweet and funny and an adorable person. Definitely my favorite Brown sister! She always found herself in some comical situations and I really enjoyed reading this book.

Jacob Wayne is, like, the HOTTEST male character ever?????? I just????? Wow. He was so grumpy and broody but without being mean, you know? He’s actually super sweet and funny as well. The banter he and Eve had was top tier. It really carried the book for me.

The romance between Jacob ad Eve was quick, but adorable and sweet. I think I would have loved to see them interact a little bit more after the infamous third act break up scene every romance book have, but it’s whatever.

In this book, we were introduced to many new characters! I saw that Talia has a new series coming soon, so maybe these characters that we saw in this book will be part of the new series? If yes, I hope we get to see more of Eve and Jacob!

The pacing of the book was great, the characters were well fleshed out and funny. The romance was very steamy, but didn’t happen instantly (maybe around 50% in!), and that’s really all it took for me to give this book a 5 stars!

° 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 ₒ 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 °

Act Your Age, Eve Brown comes out on March 9th! You can buy it on Amazon, Book Depository, or Indigo! Thank you so much to Hear Our Voices Book Tours and the publisher for the advance reading copy!

BOOK REVIEW: Like Home by Louisia Onomé

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Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good.

Only, Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends on Ginger East with promises to « fix » it. Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale.

Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything⁠—and everyone⁠—she loves.

° 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 ₒ 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 °

My review

As soon as I started this book, I knew I would finish it under 24 hours! And I was right. I read it all in one sitting. It’s the type of book that feels so immersive, kind of like a movie? I really felt as if I was a member of the Ginger East community, as if I had grew up there all my life. It had everything I love in YA contemporaries: short chapters, the feeling of being sucked in the stories, interesting characters, and a nice plot.

The main character, Nelo, is sixteen and is starting to realize that her community is changing. Throughout this story, we see the way she reacts to change (whether it’s with her community, the fact that she needs a new bra, or her relationship with her best friend). At first, I found her to be very… naive and annoying? But then I realized, this is a sixteen years old teenager. She is reacting the way she should to the events she’s going through.

I found Nelo so brave for speaking up for what she thinks is right. I’m not saying she’s my all time favorite protagonist, but I definitely think she was valid.

I will say right off the bat that I did not like Kate, Nelo’s best friend. Her personality is just… Everything I don’t like. And I get that sometimes we tease our best friends and all, but if someone talked to me the way she talks to Nelo, I would cuss them out and not give them the time of the day. It’s hard for me to pinpoint what I didn’t enjoy about Kate, I guess you need to read the book to really understand!

I found the romance in this book to be really realistic. I loveeeee high school romances. The awkwardness, the first kisses, everything. It felt really authentic in this, and I loved that in the end, the characters weren’t dating. They were still figuring things out.

The pacing of the book was a bit quick at first, but then I got used to it so I can’t really complain! All in all, I gave this a five stars and I don’t regret. I’m really excited to read more books by Onomé, she is a fresh new voice in the YA contemporary sphere!

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Like Home came out on February 23rd! You can buy it on Amazon, Book Depository, and Indigo! Thank you so much to Hear Our Voice Book Tours & the publisher for letting me read an advance reading copy and be part of this tour!

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF 2021! PART ONE

Yes I’m in a reading slump. Yes I’m posting about the books I’m excited to read in 2021 even if I am extremely zoomxhausted (exhausted because of zoom) and have headaches and can’t sleep. Before I start, though, I want to wish you all a happy new year! I hope 2021 will be great for you guys. I wish you health and success and happiness. And love, duh.

Also. This is a part one. Who knows how many parts there’ll be. Hope you enjoy!

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The Divines. Out January 19th.

This book is described as follows:  »Suspenseful, provocative, and compulsively readable, The Divines is a scorching examination of the power of adolescent sexuality, female identity, and the destructive class divide ». And that’s why I’m really excited to read it. I love stories set in boarding schools and while I’m not the biggest historical fiction fan, I think I will actually have fun reading it. Plus, I’m trying to read more adult novels and I really enjoy contemporaries!

Roman and Jewel. Out January 5th.

The first line of the Goodreads summary is  »If Romeo and Juliet got the Hamilton treatment…who would play the leads?  » Now, I’m not a Hamilton fan. At all. But a Romeo and Juliet adaptation that’s similar to the Hamilton musical would be so fun? Also, I love stories set around theatre, musicals, etc. So I’m really excited for this! I just hope the main characters don’t die like in the actual Romeo and Juliet story…

Last Night at the Telegraph Club. Out January 19th.

This books sounds devastating and tender at the same time and I am so scared of that. Let me explain. This is about two women being in love in 1954 San Francisco. Like… This is everything I love and don’t. I love sapphic books. I’m not fond of historical fiction. And I hate when books are about racism or homophobia. It makes me so sad and just… triggers me? Nevertheless, I am really interested in purchasing this book. And I hope I won’t cry too much when I read it…

The Ex Talk. Out January 26th.

Uhmmm honestly the only reason why this is on my list is because it’s a book about a podcast? Like, the main character has a podcast and I remember I was adding books about characters having podcasts. Plus, this is a romance novel and I love them. So I hope I enjoy it.

You Have a Match. Out January 12th.

This is a YA rom-com from the author of Tweet-Cute, which I haven’t read yet but heard a lot of great things from. I think this one (You Have a Match) is about a girl finding out she has an older sister and going to a camp to find her? The premise sounds intriguing and I love YA rom-com à la Emma Mills and Kristina Forest so I hope I’ll enjoy this one!

Happily Ever Afters. Out January 5th.

This is a YA rom-com about a girl who wants a boy so she creates this list of all the trope-y things she has to do to get him to be with her…? I think? I don’t know much about it, but I want to support Black authors and I think the cover is super cute. I do have some reserves though, mainly because apparently she hates the guy’s girlfriend and I just… Hate when YA girls hate on each other for no reason. So we’ll see…. But it’s still a novel I’m excited to read and review.

Influence. Out January 5th.

So this was written by Sara Shepard (PLL) and Lilia Buckingham (Tik Toker/daughter of a woman who paid colleges for her children to attend and went to jail) and it sounds like a trashy YA novel with a shit-load of white people and a weird plot. I love books about celebrities and celebrity culture so that’s why I added it to my list. I don’t expect it to be a favorite but I am excited to read it.

This is Not the Jess Show. Out February 2nd.

This is a YA novel inspired by the movie the Truman Show and I am really intrigued by it. The Truman Show scared me when I saw it in English class in High School, yet I can’t stop thinking about it. Like… What if my life is actually a show and I’m typing this as people see me in their television????? WILD.

All Girls. Out February 16th.

All I know about this is that it is a YA mystery/thriller set at an all girls boarding school in New England, and you know what? That’s all I need to know to make it an anticipated read.

A Dark and Hollow Star. Out February 23rd.

This is a novel about a queer cast of faes set in TORONTO! As a Canadian, I rarely read books set in Canada, so I’m super excited for this one! I’m not the biggest fantasy fan but I think I will enjoy this one. I have the e-arc for it, but unfortunately it is extremely badly formatted so I can’t read it correctly. All I have to do is wait for the book release, I guess..

Not Quite Out. Out February 9th.

This is a contemporary gay romance about two guys and one of them isn’t out and the other is recovering from a drug addiction, from what I understand in the plot…. I’m not fond of coming out stories but I think we do need more of them so that’s why I added it to my list. Excited to see if I enjoy it!

Milk Fed. Out February 2nd.

I heard about Melissa Broder a lot (she’s the author of this book) and so I added Milk Fed to my list because a lot of people enjoyed her previous works. All I know about this one is that the main character is nameless and she lives in Los Angeles.

Muted. Out February 2nd.

I don’t know much about this book, other than it has a beautiful cover, was written by a Black author and is ideal for fans of Tiffany D. Jackson and Elizabeth Acevedo. I read Acevedo’s books and I heard a lot of great things about Jackson’s so I’m really excited to read this one! I wonder if it will be written in verses? I saw it shelved under poetry on Goodreads.

Honey Girl. Out February 23rd.

This is a sapphic novel about a woman who gets married in Vegas to another woman and follows the other woman to spend the summer with her. LIKE??? WHAT???? I LOVE THIS PREMISE! I follow the author on Twitter and I love seeing their journey. Very excited for this one. Also I have the e-arc! Super grateful for this.

The Baddest Girl on the Planet. Out March 2nd.

This is a literary novel about the baddest girl on the planet. Literally. That’s all the summary says. Color me intrigued.

She’s Too Pretty to Burn. Out March 30th.

This is a retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray and I’m really hyped for it! I heard a lot of great things about the classic and I think this one will be great. Plus, it’s a sapphic retelling! And it has murder and thriller vibes!

I Think I Love You. Out March 2nd.

This is a sapphic YA rivals-to-lovers rom-com set at a film festival in Los Angeles. I love this already. It sounds super cute and adorable. I can’t wait!

Yolk. Out March 2nd.

I loved Mary H.K. Choi’s sophomore novel, Permanent Record, and I will admit that when I first read the plot for Yolk, I wasn’t that into it, but it’s just because of one thing: sick lit makes me sad. Yolk is a story about two sisters getting closers after one of them gets diagnosed with a cancer. I feel like it will make me cry. But I’m also ready to cry, I think?

Anna K. Away. Out April 27th.

This is the sequel to Anna K., a retelling of Anna Karenina. I didn’t enjoy Anna K. as much as I thought I would, but I think I’m going to reread it, because it truly had everything I love in books: messy rich kids, love, New York city, etc. Nevertheless, I’m still going to read the sequel! I want to know what happens to Anna!!

Bootleg Stardust. Out April 6th.

This book is being marketed as  »perfect for fans of Daisy Jones and the Six » and since I enjoyed read Daisy Jones I think and hope I will enjoy Bootleg Stardust. It’s a historical fiction following a guy who joins a band in the 70s. That’s it.

The Back Ups. Out April 13th.

This is a graphic novel about a girl who joins a tour as a back up singer with her friends! The cover is super cute and I’m excited to see the art in the book and follow the story along! Also, I love female friendships in books and I think I will get a ton of that in this one.

The Girl with Stars in her Eyes. Out April 6th.

This is another book compared to Daisy Jones! In this one, a woman wants to join a band but finds out later her ex boyfriend is the leader of said band…. I think? I don’t know much, but I want to read it. Plus it was written by a Black author so!

Slingshot. Out April 27th.

This is a coming of age YA novel about two teenagers who fall in love at a boarding school set in Florida. I don’t want to know more about it before reading it. I received a physical arc of it and I’m super excited to start reading it!

Kisses and Croissants. Out April 6th.

This is a rom-com YA set in Paris, about a girl who studies ballet and falls in love with a French boy. I miss Paris so much so I’m excited to read this book. I just hope the French in it is actually good and not some botchy French… Also I hope the cast of characters won’t be all white because Paris is so diverse and it seems authors keep forgetting that….

Dial A for Aunties. Out April 27th.

In this rom-comy thriller (?) a woman has to hide the body of her date that she accidentally killed? And her aunties help her…? It sounds hilarious and gives me Weekend at Bernies vibes. Plus there’s a wedding? So much going on… I am so excited.

Where Secret Lie. Out April 20th.

Uhmmm… Chile… I don’t know much about this, except that it’s a mystery where a group of friends look for another one of their friends? The cover reminded me of We Were Liars so that’s why I added it to my most anticipated list.

She Drives Me Crazy. Out Aril 20th.

I read Late to the Party by the same author and thought it was a lovely novel, so I added this one to my list! She Drives Me Crazy is a rivals-to-lovers sapphic YA rom-com where a jock and a cheerleader (are cheerleaders also jocks since cheerleading is a sport) have to carpool together. There are many other things going on but I’d rather go blind in this one. Also the cover is AMAZING.

What are some of your most anticipated reads of the year?

October Wrap Up

I’m back… Kind of?

The truth is: blogging while being in school is hard for me, and that’s why whenever the fall semester comes, I start posting less and less. I have less time to read, and when I have time I feel so exhausted and I can’t pick up anything. It also doesn’t help that audiobooks aren’t something I enjoy listening to, so I’m stuck with reading either on my kindle app or a physical book and I will admit that I’d rather spend my time watching a tv show than reading, because it requires less efforts.

Nevertheless here I am to write about the very few books I read in October 2020. Spoiler alert: there aren’t many of them.

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Jade City by Fonda Lee

Jade City by Fonda Lee is such a hyped book and I was scared to read it because everyone I know that has read it loved it. It’s not secret that fantasy is not my favorite genre, but I was really interested in reading this book regardless.

I do not regret. It was a great book. I will say though, I’m not sure I understood everything that has happened in it?? BUT, I enjoyed what I understood, lmao. It was exciting, interesting, it broke my heart, made me laugh… I could go on and on and on. If you like books with family dynamics, action, and books that are written in a smart way, this one is for you.

I’m not sure when I will pick up the sequel, but I definitely will keep reading this series.

⤹⋆⸙͎۪۫。˚۰˚☽˚⁀➷。˚⸙͎۪۫⋆ ༄

Red, White & Royal Blue

In the midst of my chaotic pre-midterms life, I decided to pick up one of my all time favorite books and see if I would love it just as much as I did when I heard it the first time.

And yes, I did.

I have noticed in the past few weeks that a lot of people do not like RWRB, and I can’t seem to understand why? This books gets me every time I read it (yeah, I only read it twice but STILL). It makes me laugh so hard and cry a little bit and I just UGH, I want to hug everyone in the book and I want to be in their world and talk to them.

The writing is so good, the banter is amazing. I loved it so much, guys. So. Much.

⤹⋆⸙͎۪۫。˚۰˚☽˚⁀➷。˚⸙͎۪۫⋆ ༄

Shine by Jessica Jung

The last thing I read in October was Shine by the kpop idol Jessica Jung, and sadly, it was a flop. I initally gave it a 2.5 stars and rounded it up to 3 on Goodreads, but I just changed it back to a 2 stars. The more I think about this book, the more I get mad.

There are a lot of things that annoyed me in this book, and I think I might actually write a blog post dedicated to it? But here are a few things that annoyed me: lack of female friendship in her industry, too much bullying, annoying main character, romance was lack-luster, writing was incredibly generic to the point where I wonder if this was ghost-written??? Also, way too many similarities with the author’s life.

So… Yeah. Didn’t enjoy this one.

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So, that’s all I read this month. *sobs* I don’t think I’ll read more in November, but maybe I will in December once I’m done with my semester?

I hope you all have a nice day!