Authorblog (???) Newbie Tag! | #HOTGIRLWRITES

Hi guys and welcome back to my blog! I am so excited and terrified for today’s post and hope you guys enjoy it.

The Authortube Newbie Tag was created by Jenna Streety and is a tag people do over on Youtube to introduce their channel. I am not a youtuber, but I do want to post more about my writing here, so I decided to adapt it for my blog. I took out some questions and added some too.

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Who are you?

My name is Saoudia and I am a 21 years old blogger here on With Love, Saoudia! I love to read contemporary books and a few sff novels as well. I love popculture and I can watch nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother in a week or so.

What genres do you write in?

I would say that 90% of the things I wrote in the past were contemporaries, YA or New Adult! I do have a few sff ideas tho.

What is your preferred writing tense, point of view, and category of story? (Children’s, YA, NA, Adult, etc.)

I think I tend to write in first person present tense…? I feel like I can get a more personal feel into what my characters say. As for the category, when I was younger I was writing more MG-Teen (11-13 years old) stuff, and as I grow up I find that I write more about the category I’m in. So now, as a 21 years old I have more ideas that fit the New Adult genre or Adult genre. I would love to write a New Adult book and shift the way the industry sees books in that genre.

Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?

I have never finished a writing project and I think that’s because I used to a pantser (and also because I never dedicated myself enough to my projects….), but now I am trying to be a plotter or at least a plantser.

Are you self-published, published, or yet-to-be-published?

I’m honestly so far from being published. But!! I’d like to say that I am yet-to-be-published, because with a lot of hard work… maybe one day I will be able to be published????

What’s your dream publishing house and/or literary agent?

The dream would be Penguin, MacMillan, or Simon & Schuster. But I’d honestly take a deal from anyone, just the thought of a publishing house wanting to work with me would be a dream.

What writing types of posts can you expect on my blog?

I’m hoping to do a type of series where I take you guys through my Nanowrimo prep, and my Nanowrimo challenge! Writing diaries, aka my journey as a writer, and maybe some writing excerpts? If I feel bold enough? Let me know if you have any suggestions!

When did you start writing?

I feel like everyone knows how they started writing and to be honest… I don’t really know when I started or why I did? I just always enjoyed the idea of writing my own fiction and I have been doing it for as long as I remember.

What was the first story you ever wrote?

The first one I remember was a diary of a girl. That’s it. There was no plot. She was about twelve years old and vibing. That’s it.

What authors have inspired your writing the most?

Lately, my writing inspirations are Ashia Monet, Kiley Reid, Candace Carty-Williams, and Casey McQuiston. I admire Ashia’s organization (being a published writer and a student around my age), Kiley and Candace’s characters (messy black girls), and Casey’s way of making me feel close to a character in a story written in third person present tense.

Do you schedule your writing sessions or simply get to writing whenever you can find the time?

I do not schedule my writing sessions, but I will as of now! I usually wrote whenever I felt like it and I am now realizing I need to be more strict with myself if I want to finish my projects.

Do you type on a computer, typewriter, write everything by hand, or use a blend of those? And where do you write in general?

On a computer! I do write a few things in a notebook though, more like characters notes and stuff… But the actual story is on my laptop. I use Microsoft Words.

What are you most looking forward to now that you’ve started this journey?

I’m really looking forward to see if I will actually keep this going or if I will drop.. I hope I keep this project going!!! I hope I get even more hyped about my projects and my writing and maybe get to meet new writers who can become my writing buddies? 🥺

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Full list of questions:

  1. How did you find out about AuthorTube?
  2. What genres do you write in?
  3. What is your preferred writing tense, point of view, and category of story? (Children’s, YA, NA, Adult, etc.)
  4. Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?
  5. Are you a self-published, published, or yet-to-be published?
  6. What publishing company, literary agent, and/or printing company are you represented by or use? If you’re not yet published, what is your dream publishing house and/or literary agent?
  7. What AuthorTube related videos can we expect to find on your channel?
  8. When did you start writing?
  9. What was the first story you ever wrote?
  10. What authors have inspired your writing the most?
  11. Do you schedule your writing sessions or simply get to writing whenever you can find the time?
  12. Do you type on a computer, typewriter, write everything out by hand, or use a blend of those? And where do you write in general?
  13. What are you most looking forward to now that you’re a part of AuthorTube?

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Do you write? 🙂

VIBE CHECK: did my five recent reads pass the vibe check? 👀

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog!

I took a small break from blogging because a) I didn’t read much in September, and b) I had nothing to blog about. But here I am now, with a new post for you guys! I will be writing about five of my recent reads and let you all know what I thought of them, and I they passed the vibe check.

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Bloom

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

I loved this graphic novel. I read it in one day and I found it so soft and pure. This is a love story between Ari, the son of bakers, and Hector, the new employee at Ari’s parents bakery. I thought the characters were adorable. I loved Hector’s love for baking, Ari’s desire to visit some new place, and his complex relationship with his parents.

This book totally passed the vibe check. I want MORE from them.

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Daddy

Daddy by Emma Cline

Daddy is a short story collection written by Emma Cline. I’d say the main theme throughout these stories is: random white people doing boring ass stuff. I dnfed this book after a few short stories. None of them captivated me. The characters were meh and their lives were pitiful.

This book did not pass the vibe check. I want to sell it lmao I hate that I bought it.

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Fence, Vol. 1

The Fence Series by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad, and Joana LaFuente

I LOVED this series so much! Read all four volumes in two days and I absolutely fell in love with these characters. This series follows the lives of fencers at an all boy academy. The main character is Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a great fencer who goes to the school on a scholarship to fence. Throughout the series he makes friends and gets better at fencing. There’s also a great slowburn romance with his rival, Seiji.

This series PASSED the vibe check. It contains so many of my favorite tropes (grumpy/sunshine, player/reserved, friends-to-lovers, etc.) and the drawings are so adorable. I can’t wait to read the next instalment in the series: a novel!!!!!

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Tout comme les tortues

Tout comme les tortues by Marie-Christine Chartier

This is a French-Canadian book about two people getting over a break up. Ariane went to South America to escape everything and her ex, Samuel, got into a new relationship. The story starts when Ariane comes back to Quebec and she and Samuel see each other. We follow them and learn why they broke up and learn about their past together.

Despite me finding this book cringy and giving it 2.5 stars, it did pass the vibe check. The themes in this book are really good and it’s a pretty good fast read. There’s a massive lack of diversity (which isn’t surprising in French Canadian books sadly…) and that annoyed me.

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La bouche pleine

La bouche pleine by Elisabeth Massicolli

Another French Canadian book! This one is about Camille, a twenty-something girl navigating dating life in Montreal. That’s it. That’s the plot. It’s just her going from Tinder dates to Tinder dates, dealing with her best friend, and going to see her therapist to rant about her life. Camille is a very self-centered character, she’s pretty egocentric in my opinion, but still pretty fun.

This book passed the vibe check. I loved it. Massicolli is a fresh new French Canadian voice and I loved the way she wrote Camille. It was fast paced and good and relatable.

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What are your five recent reads? Did they pass your vibe check?

LEGENDBORN BLOG TOUR! | Spoiler free review + Favorite Quotes

Hi everyone!

I am so excited to be part of the Legendborn blog tour! Thank you so much to Hear Our Voice Book Tours and to Margaret K. McElderry Books for giving me an e-arc of this book, this did not alter my opinion on it in any way.

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After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

ADD ON GOODREADS. BUY THE BOOK. COMES OUT ON SEPTEMBER 15TH (TODAY!).

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Review

Legendborn was a wild ride, from start to finish. It has met every expectations I had set for it: fast paced, compelling plot, interesting characters, cute romance. I gave it a four stars and I think it was an amazing read.

The writing was amazing and the pacing was perfect. I think it can be a bit info-dumpy at the beginning, but you need that information to understand the world and everything that happens in the story. Tracy Deonn did an fantastic job with the world building too. The Arthurian retelling in a modern day with a secret society…. I can’t even really express how well done it was. You can tell the author put a lot of work on it. Every aspect of the world is well crafted and smart.

The characters were my favorite part of this book. I’m really big on character-driven stories, and I personally think this was one of those. Bree was not perfect. She annoyed me at times, but I think that only made her even more real. She is incredibly stubborn and fights for what she wants. The side characters, Alice, Nick, Sel, and many more, were also amazing. They were just there to be there. They had their own story arc, that I think, and hope, we’ll get to see more in the future. The climax of the story was definitely my favorite part. I loved the action packed scene and the reveals… I felt so much I was squealing while reading!

This book did not gloss over the fact that Bree was a Black woman living in a place with mostly white people. I could relate to all the micro-aggression she was a victim of and to the fact that she felt like there wasn’t a space for her, even if she deserved to be where she was.

In conclusion, I would absolutely recommend this book and I can’t wait to buy my own copy!

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Favorite Quotes

Never forget. Be angry. And channel it.

Together, we send the demon’s body in one direction while their head flies in the other.

(…) when your people die, you have to listen to strangers speak your nightmare into existence.

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Tracy Deonn is a writer and second-generation fangirl. She grew up in central North Carolina, where she devoured fantasy books and Southern food in equal measure. After earning her master’s degree in communication and performance studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tracy worked in live theater, video game production, and K–12 education. When she’s not writing, Tracy speaks on panels at science fiction and fantasy conventions, reads fanfic, arranges puppy playdates, and keeps an eye out for ginger-flavored everything. She can be found on Twitter at @TracyDeonn and at TracyDeonn.com.

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Legendborn is out NOW! Go get your copy or request it at your library!

#WESGOESONTOUR | The Summer of Everything Book Tour

Hi everyone, today I have something really exciting to share with you guys!

I have the honor to participate in the book tour for The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters, hosted by Caffeine Book Tours. I have a full review (spoiler-free, of course), a list of my favorite quotes, and a playlist inspired by the book for you guys! Thank you so much Caffeine Book Tour and Duet Books for letting me have an arc, that did not alter my judgement at all!

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Comic book geek Wesley Hudson excels at two things: slacking off at his job and pining after his best friend, Nico. Advice from his friends, ‘90s alt-rock songs, and online dating articles aren’t helping much with his secret crush. And his dream job at Once Upon a Page, the local used bookstore, is threatened when a coffeeshop franchise wants to buy the property. To top it off, his annoying brother needs wedding planning advice. When all three problems converge, Wes comes face-to-face with the one thing he’s been avoiding—adulthood.

Now, confronted with reality, can Wes balance saving the bookstore and his strained sibling relationship? Can he win the heart of his crush, too? 

ADD ON GOODREADS. BUY.

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Review

I thought this book was going to be about a guy who was trying to save his favorite book store while being in love with his best friend. I was so wrong.

This is the story of a guy trying to find himself, and trying to know what he wants to do after high school. I could relate to how Wes was feeling so much, because I found myself questioning my life a lot when I finished high school. And now that I’m in college, I still question myself. Is this the right choice? How do I figure out what I really want to do when I’m so young and haven’t experienced anything?

I thought the plot of this book was really good. It had a great set of characters, all very diverse thank you very much. They were smart, funny, and unique. I rarely see a great friend group like that in books. The writing was easy to read, once you start it you just keep going. The pacing was great and the chapters weren’t too short or too long.

I think that because this book was more about Wes figuring himself out and his relationship with the people that surround him (his best friend and crush, his brother, his dad), there was not a lot of conflict? And so not climax or anything? To me, this felt more like a slice of life and I loved it.

Now for the romance… It was good, however it wasn’t my favorite part of the story? I usually love a great friends-to-lovers trope but in this case it fell a bit flat to me. It doesn’t mean I don’t love the characters, it’s just… I wanted more…. I don’t know what more, but I wanted more. I will say though, the pining was A+.

All in all, this was a solid YA contemporary. And I absolutely recommend it. I’m so thankful I got to read the arc of this book!

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Favorite Quotes

No matter where this life takes you, there will always be someone in this world who loves you more than your imagination will allow you to understand. You’re never quite alone.— Savannah Kirk, the Heart of the Lone Wolf

Geek is the new hot.

Even without superpowers, Wes realized he could be a hero. He just had to figure out how.

Life’s not out to get you. Stop running from it.

It turns out life isn’t a pile of bad days and then you fall in love with someone who fixes it all. Life is a series of embarrassing, funny, and sometimes brutal moments. Romance might be in there, too. But if you’re lucky, you’ll fall in love with your own amazingness and stumble upon a few kickass people to go on life’s adventures with you. — Savannah Kirk, Laguna Love Blues

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Playlist

About the Author

Julian Winters is a former management trainer who lives in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia and has been crafting fiction since he was a child, creating communities around his hand-drawn “paper people.” He began writing LGBTQ character-driven stories as a teen and developed a devoted fan fiction following. When he isn’t writing or using his sense of humor to entertain his young nephews, Julian enjoys reading, experimental cooking in the kitchen, and watching the only sports he can keep up with: volleyball and soccer.

I hope you guys enjoyed my post! And I hope it made you want to read this amazing book! It comes out on September 8th! Don’t forget to pick it up!

MOST ANTICIPATED SEPTEMBER 2020 RELEASES!

Hello guys!

Today I have a fun simple post for you guys; it’s just me yelling about books I’m excited to read in September 2020! I feel a little bit stressed because I go back to school next month and whenever I’m in school I read a lot less than when I’m not, which is understandable, to be honest, but still sucks.

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The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes is a book about a the life of a pop star that is now dead. I’m very excited to read this one because I love everything that has to do with the back stages of being famous. I think this will be quite interesting and I love the cover of this book. I feel like it’d be such a good Reese Book Club book too!

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Uhmmm first of all… Can we all aknowledge this beautiful cover?! I love it so much. Legendborn is a YA fantasy with a Black girl as a main character and that’s really all I need to be interested in it. I’m not even sure what the whole plot of this book is, but I heard a lot of great things about it. I saw that it featured a strong Black woman as a main character and while in the past I didn’t really enjoy these type of character (i.e. Zélie in COBAB by Tomi Adeyemi) I will always support Black women in the publishing industry and will definitely buy this book.

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If you don’t know, I am a big kpop fan! I love the music, the dances, the music shows, and the whole kpop culture I guess? Like the entertainment side of it, as well as the business one. I am very excited to read K-Pop Confidential because it follows an american girl as she moves to Seoul to train to be an idol and gets roped into a love triangle (dating is forbidden). I have to say though, while I’m excited to read this, I’m also a little bit nervous because I don’t think I have ever really enjoyed a book written by a man that has a woman as the main character…. So I’m scared but also excited to read it. I hope I don’t end up being disappointed!

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Just like the previous book, Shine is a book about kpop and its industry, but this time it was written by the famous idol Jessica Jung! I don’t have much to say for this one other than I’m really excited to read it and see what happens in it!

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We Are Not Free is a book about a what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II. It follows some teenagers during that era and apparently is a really hard-hitting book. I don’t know much about the US and their history (I’m Canadian) so I am really interested in getting more knowledge in what happened. I know there will be a lot of racism in this but I think it’s an important read so I will give it a try (racism in books triggers me so bad).

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OKOKOK!!! I am SO excited for this one. I absolutely loved The Gilded Wolves and I can’t wait to see where the story goes in its sequel. Roshani is an amazing writer and I follow her on Instagram and I love seeing the little teasing she gives us for this book. If you haven’t read The Gilded Wolves I absolutely suggest you to read it!!! Great world building, amazing magic system, fantastic characters! SO MUCH TENSION!

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Daddy is an anthology written by Emma Cline, the author of The Girls, which I haven’t read, but heard great things about it. I got curious about this book because of its name, lmao. But then I saw what the stories were about and I think I might enjoy some of them, so I’m excited to read them and see for myself!

What’s your most anticipated book of September?

Bratz Readathon Announcement!

YES. YOU HAVE READ THAT CORRECTLY! THERE WILL BE A BRATZ READATHON AND I AM THRILLED TO SAY THAT I WILL CO-HOST IT AND AM PART OF THE TEAM SASHA!!!!!

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WHAT: Bratz themed Readathon

WHEN: During the month of September 2020 (yes, the whole month!) So sept. 01 to sept. 30th.

TEAMS: Each Bratz has her own team: Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha, Jade.

CHALLENGES: watch a Bratz Movie! (Don’t worry, I’ll make a list with all of them later in the post. Keep reading!) You can find the Instagram challenged by clicking here!

GROUP BOOK: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

WHAT ELSE: There will be a live show for the group book and a live-show for the readathon wrap up! Follow our Twitter page to know more!

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TEAM CLOE CHALLENGES

Hosts: Kayleighreads & TheBookishNook

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TEAM YASMIN

Hosts: Tyra & Candace

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TEAM SASHA

Hosts: Saoudia (me!) & JaNae

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MY (tentative) TBR

Bunny Boo: I’m going to be reading Jade City by Fonda Lee. There are multiple main characters for this book and I heard they were all super bad ass, so I can’t wait to read it!

Hip Hop: The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes. This book is about a music celebrity that died and we follow her life as her part in a girl group and the dark side of celebrity culture… At least I think. I don’t know much about it except that it has Daisy Jones & the Six vibes.

Melanin Queen: Legendborn. This has a Black main character and is own voice. I have a few expectations about this book and am not sure what I’ll think about it but I’m very excited for its release!

Beauty & Brains: I really want to say The Silvered Serpents for this, but it comes out on September 22nd and I don’t know if I will finish it during the month or no. So I’m going to add We Are Not Free to this (out Sept. 1st.) and hope I have the strength to read it. It deals with really hard topics but I want to read it so bad.

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BRATZ MOVIES YOU COULD (AND SHOULD) WATCH:

  • Bratz: the Movie
  • Bratz Genie Magic
  • Bratz: Go to Paris: the Movie
  • Bratz: Rock Angelz
  • Bratz: Desert Jewelz
  • Bratz Babyz Save Christmas
  • Bratz: Super Babyz
  • Bratz: Forever Diamondz

The Bratz animated show is also FREE on Youtube!

Are you going to participate in the Bratz Readathon? Do you like the Bratz?

Now That I’ve Found You Book Tour | Review, Playlist, and Moodboard

Hi guys! Today is my day for the book tour of Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest and I am so excited for this!

I am so thankful to be participating in this, so thank you to Hear Our Voices Book Tour and to Roaring Brook Press for giving me an e-arc!

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Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .

Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.

With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself.

Add on Goodreads | Buy

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Review

When I heard I was part of this book tour, I was so happy because Kristina Forest is an author whose work I absolutely love. I read her debut novel, I Wanna Be Where You Are, in early July and I really enjoyed it. I had a lot of expectations for Now That I’ve Found You, and I have to saw that they were all met!

I found the writing of this book to be similar to most of my favorite YA contemporary: it was simple and not too complicated, really easy to read. Kristina Forest has a way to write that makes me breeze through her books super quickly (I finished this one in a day!). The pacing was great and I found myself always wanting to know more about Evie and why she was the way she was and what has happened to her grandmother.

The plot was really what made me want to read this. I love books with celebrities in them. I really love pop culture and I like to see how writers portray celebrities in their work. Evie is the granddaughter of a famous actress (who reminded me a little bit of a nicer Evelyn Hugo) and has always wanted to follow her steps and become a big actress too. When something bad happens to her and she gets #Cancelled, she goes to New York to get the help of her grandma, but her grandma ends up disappearing and Evie is stuck with a musician named Milo to try and find her.

I found Evie to be an interesting character. She was not nice, but she wasn’t mean either. She got betrayed by a close friends and decided to shut down not let anyone get close to her. I won’t lie, it go annoying at some point because I wanted her to open up and see that not everyone is evil or wants to get to her, but I get why she felt this way.

Milo, the guy who helps Evie look for her grandma, was an amazing character. He was really sweet and really patient, and I think we should all have a Milo in our life.

This was a book about friendship, finding your true path, and finding yourself, and I think the author really did good job writing this. It is a solid YA contemporary in my opinion. Perfect for fans of Emma Mills.

About the author

Kristina Forest is the author of I Wanna Be Where You Are and Now That I’ve Found You. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children at The New School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with two huge bookshelves.

Kristina Forest is the author of I Wanna Be Where You Are and Now That I’ve Found You. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children at The New School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with two huge bookshelves. 

Favorite books: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson, Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Favorite song: “The Beautiful Ones” by Prince 

Favorite color: Turquoise

° 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 ₒ 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 °

Moodboard

art by nudekayy

Here is a moodboard I made for this story! In the middle is a picrew I made of Evie. I hope this helps you understand the vibes I got from the book: New York, music, finding yourself.

Playlist

So this is what concludes my post! I hope you guys enjoyed it and I hope you pick up the book! It comes out on Tuesday the 25th!

‘Teenage Girls Solving Murders’ is one of my new favorite book genre and I want to talk about it.

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Hi guys and welcome back on my blog! The title is pretty self explanatory but I’ll say it again (just for the sake of being somehow professional in my blogging): today I will be writing about a new book genre I absolutely love!

I guess you could say this all started when I read Truly Devious in 2019. If you don’t know, Truly Devious is about a girl named Stevie who gets into a really prestigious school and attempts to solve a murder that happened years ago. The book is the first installment in a trilogy, so the murder doesn’t get solved in the first one. This trilogy is one of my favorite of all time. I loved the main character, the murder, the mystery… I just loved that shit SO MUCH guys.

A few months passed and I finally finished that series and wanted to read more books that have the same vibe: teenage girl solving a mystery and not minding her goddamn business.

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So I picked The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown and it was a buddy read with my friend Chey!

I won’t lie…. I was kind of disappointed by that one. The plot of the book goes as follows: a girl whose dad died in a car accident is convinced he was actually murdered because he was the only psychiatrist in their small town and she thinks one of his patient might have done it. And, on top of that she saw the most popular girl of her school at his funeral and is like… What is she doing there…. 👁👄👁

So, I enjoyed a few things in this story, and disliked a few others. This book was more about grief than I thought it would be. In the past few months I have discovered that books about grief are just… Not for me? It makes me feel some type of way and I don’t like it.

I think Sydney’s reaction was really genuine and I enjoyed that. I don’t think I can judge her for being a bit annoying at times, because her dad literally died and she was reacting accordingly.

I found June to be way too vague. And I didn’t always understand why she and Sydney were hanging out together? I don’t know… It felt a little forced, but cute. I enjoyed reading them together and I think they’re a great couple, but I think it would have been best for them to get together when Sydney wasn’t grieving her dad (but if that happened then there would be no book, y’know?).

The mystery wasn’t that much of a mystery to me. I figured out pretty quickly who did it and why and I was disappointed in that. I would have wanted more angst, more drama, more… Anything.

The romance was really cute, but rushed sometimes. Sydney was obsesssed with June. And I think the reason why was because June is this popular girl at school and Sydney is like… barely known and used to be bullied. Plus, Sydney didn’t even really like her only friend.

All in all, this was still a good book and I gave it three stars. If you want a f/f mystery book, give this a chance!

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THEN!!! I read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson… AND I LOVED IT!!!!

That one is about this girl named Pippa who decides to solve a murder for her senior year project. A girl in her town was murdered five year ago and the officials said the murderer was her boyfriend, but Pip is convinced he didn’t do it, and dedicated to find who really did.

I loved this one and read it in a DAY! It was so well paced and the characters were really cool. I had a hard time finding out who really killed who and why, and I enjoyed that. I like to be surprised when I read mystery novels, otherwise I feel a little let down. I only have good things to say about this, and I can’t wait to read its sequel.

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Reasons why I love books with Teenage Girls Solving Murders:

  • I love the idea of a teenage girl solving something some grown ass cops couldn’t
  • They never mind their own business and I find that funny
  • They’re all smart as hell
  • The pacing of the books are immaculate and make me want to know more
  • THEY ARE GREAT OKAY!

Books I want to read:

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Do you like mystery novels? What’s your favorite?

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang | Book Review

The Poppy War is probably one of the most hyped adult SFF book in the book community.

And now that I’ve read it, I understand why.

Before I start my review, here’s a quick summary of the story.

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When Rin aced the Keju — the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies — it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard — the most elite military school in Nikan — was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power — an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive — and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away.

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity … and that it may already be too late.

° 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 ₒ 𐐪𐑂 ♡ 𐐪𐑂 °

So, as you got from that summary, this is the story of a young woman getting into a prestigious academy and trains to become a soldier, while a war is brewing.

I picked this book up because I saw so many tweets about it on Twitter and about the whole series in general. People were saying the story is amazing, the characters and everything, and the magic system is really nice. On top of that, I heard that it was also inspired by Chinese history and since I was curious to see how the author would mix fantasy and history together. I’ll be honest, as a Black Canadian girl, I don’t know anything about Chinese history so when I heard some of the cities in the book where inspired by certain actual Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, etc. I was so surprised!

I don’t know if I had any expectations when I started this. On one hand, I really wanted to like the book and be part of the ‘Poppy-War-Hype-Train’, and on the other, I was scared I might not like it because fantasy is a genre I have a hard time enjoying, especially if there’s no romance in it. However, I am pleased to say that it absolutely EXCEEDED my expectations! I had a lot of fun with this book from page one.

I found the writing to be really immersive and well done. It wasn’t too complicated, the pacing was excellent, and the description wasn’t too dense. I was able to understand everything the narrator was saying and I saw everything being portrayed in my head like a movie. Literally, as I read this all I could think of was: this needs to be a movie or at least a limited series on Netflix.

The plot wasn’t too complicated and made me want to know more about Rin. This is a book about how a young girl from a village gains power and wants more. I don’t know how the rest of the series will go (I have yet to start The Dragon Republic) but I feel like we will see more of Rin descending into being a villain? Or at least… A person that believes what she does is right, but actually it’s so fucking wrong and she can’t see it? Like, if that doesn’t interest you…. I don’t know what to tell you.

The characters are what made me enjoy this book a lot. I love characters-driven books. I thought that Rin was a really authentic character, because you could see that she was actually scared of the situations she was in. I feel like in a lot of fantasy books, the main character is this strong person that isn’t scared and ready for everything. And while I love a strong main character, they piss me off a lot. Rin was scared shitless a lot and I loved her for that. I think it made her more human (although you could argue that her actions later on aren’t…. But that’s a conversation for another day) and I could relate to her even if I will never (and hope to never be) in her situation.

Kitay and Nezha were two of my favorite characters. I love Kitay and Rin’s friendship. I think it’s good that a main character has friends around them. Kitay was so cute and smart and perfect and I won’t ever shut up about him. Nezha…. I don’t know what to think. I have a few theories about him and I guess I’ll have to read The Dragon Republic to see if I’m right… BUT! I thought he was okay. I don’t hate him (anymore), but I’m not overly obsessed with him. I feel like there a ‘Nezha’ character in most fantasy book I read: bad boy with a rich father who is jealous of the main character because the main character isn’t intimidated by him. Didn’t feel like anything new to me.

I have to talk about the fact that there was no romance subplot in this book. Like I said earlier, it scared me a little before I started it, but I quickly realized that it just made the book better. I feel like if this was any other book, Rin would have had a thing with Nezha and I’m glad there isn’t anything there, because she was really focusing on her own thing and on her goal: winning the war, being a good soldier.

The world building in this book was rich and well written. I loved that it wasn’t too info-dumpy. I sometimes felt like I was reading a history book, but it was really interesting. I wanted to know more of their world, how things were done, who was making the rules, why the war were happening. I really like a book with politics and this gave me lots of it.

Lastly, I think this book was really important because it had a lot of great themes. There was a great portrayal of racism: Rin is a dark skinned Asian woman and was the victim of a lot of racist remarks throughout her time at Sinegard. There was also a good discussion on classism: why are some people deemed better because they have more money? In the end, does the money you have even matters? If you’re going to die in a war anyway? I thought that was really interesting. And finally, the discussion on power: how does one act and changes when they are given power and realize they can do dangerous things with it. How far are you willing to go to get more of it?

My rating for this book is a big FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS! I loved it so much I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read some fantasy book with great characters, an amazing plot, and some interesting themes.

Have you read The Poppy War? What are your thoughts on it?

The Folklore Book Tag!

I never thought I’d ever do a Taylor Swift related tag on my blog, yet here we are!

I only really started to listen to Taylor’s music this year (2020) with the release of Lover and I watched her Netflix documentary and was blown away by the artist she is. Growing up, I was really into  »stan » culture and I didn’t like the way Taylor came off (a white republican women blablabla) and I when I watched the documentary on Netflix I saw that…. I was completely wrong. She’s not a republican, not a white feminist, etc. So I started to listen to her music, really listen, and I enjoyed it. Her B-Sides are so freaking good and I think she’s so versatile. I won’t call myself a swiftie, but I’m definitely a fan.

So when Folklore was announced (literally two days ago like… what?!) I knew I’d give it a listen. And omgomgomg guys, it is SUCH a good album!! I love indie music so much and adored this album immediately. The cardigan music video was so fucking good and the overall vibes of this album are immaculate.

So when Ilsa from A Whisper of Ink created this tag and tagged me I was over the moon!! I can’t wait to get to it and share with you some of my favorite books. Thank you Ilsa for tagging me! 🥰🥰

You guys can find the list of questions at the bottom of the post, by the way!

RULES

  • Link to the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink
  • Tag at least 3 people. 
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever who tagged you and link to their post.

.⋆。⋆☂˚。⋆。˚☽˚。⋆.

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It took me a while to find a book that left me speechless, because it happens rarely to me. I ended up choosing We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, This book is so short, it’s a page turner, the pacing is quick and you want to understand what the hell is going on and when you get to the ending… I don’t know about you but I was shocked. I didn’t see it coming, it made me mad and I was just SO annoyed!!!

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It is not a book tag from me if I don’t find a way to include a book from the Feverwake duology in it…. Is it? I just had to include The Electric Heir because whilst I loved seeing the character development in this, I was just so sad by the things some characters were going through. I highly recommend this series, by the way. Check the trigger warnings before reading.

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I think The Gilded Wolves is the best answer for this prompt. I found the magic system so well-thought and well crafted and super interesting. It mixed minerals and sciences stuff with magic??? I don’t remember correctly, I’m due for a reread tbh. 😅 BUT NONETHELESS! It is one of my favorite books of all time, okay?? If you’re looking for a historical fantasy with amazing characters and a great plot, this is for you.

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This was easy. Just Like That by Cole McCade. I gave it a 1 star, which is RARE from me. I even returned the kindle copy I had bought. I skimmed through it too. The plot summary seemed interesting but the pacing was off, the characters weren’t interesting to me, and I couldn’t bring myself to care. I truly wish I didn’t read this book.

I don’t cry during whilst reading book. The only book that ever made me cry was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. So I will skip this question, sorry!!

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I know, I know. I keep putting this book all the time, but I just… Love it so much. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I love Red, White, and Royal Blue SO MUCH! I know it’s overrated and whatever else, but I seriously don’t care. I love this book. The banter was everything to me, the characters were adorable, the romance was great. It wasn’t exactly an enemies to lovers, and I love that because I am one of the only people on earth that isn’t a whore for enemies to lovers.

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The Chronicles of Narnia always make me feel nostalgic. I love these books so much, I remember talking the big bind up at the library and bringing it in all my classes and people would look at me weirdly because it was such a big book. I would love to reread them soon.

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Coeur de Slush is a french Canadian book written by Sarah-Maude Beauschene, my favorite french Canadian author. The book is basically a coming of age story about a girl and her first love. It’s set during the summer, there are first kisses, bike rides, and slushies, A great summer read for those wanting to learn French!

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I do not like to consume sad things so I don’t really know what book to put here omg. I’m going to say Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. The main theme of the book isn’t loneliness or sadness, but I found Aled to be a really melancholic character??? So think (and hope) it can fit for this prompt!

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Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills took me by surprise! All I could think about when I finished it was more,more, MORE! I want more from these characters so bad. I want to see them grow and follow them to college and aaaaah. I love them.

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I think Such a Fun Age by Kiley reid came into my life at the right time, because I was looking for an adult novel that wouldn’t be too complicated for me to read and I found that one! And it had a Black main character going through things I could relate (dating, money problems, figuring out your life, interacting with white people, etc.).

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I recently read I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee and I loved it! Skye is an amazing main character. She goes through hard things with such grace and elegance, I am in awe of her. The way she treated bullies in the book was amazing. She spoke up for herself and is truly inspiring. I absolutely recommend this book.

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This prompt is basically an occasion to talk about your OTP and I would normally put Noam and Dara from The Feverwake duology but I don’t like to repeat books, so I will say Pablo and Leanna from Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi. I loved that book. It’s about a broke college drop out and a super pop star dating and I think there was a lot of things worth debating about in the book. Like, going to college in the United States, especially going to a  »good » college and getting broke because you take huge loans and can’t pay them. Or the differences there are when you date a rich person whilst you’re broke. I loved the chemistry between the main characters, they were made to be together, in my opinion, but things were so rocky between them! For obvious reasons, that is.

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I went with Ezra from Felix Ever After because I found him so freaking adorable and I love him and I can’t repeat Dara from The Feverwake duology or Severin from The Gilded Wolves because I already said those books in other prompts.

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I thought I was going to love Age of Consent by Amanda Brainerd but I didn’t. It fell flat for me. It was simply not it. The characters were all so white, boring, plain. The author wrote carelessly about sexual assault in my opinion, and I was not there for it. It was gross and boring. Nothing was explain, everything was just so annoying. The vibes were off.

So this concludes the Floklore book tag! Here’s the list of the questions, in case you guys want to do it! I’m tagging everyone who reads this and enjoyed Folklore to do it! What are your thoughts on Taylor’s album? Let’s talk!

  1. the 1 // a book with an ending that left you speechless
  2. cardigan // a book that makes you feel happy and sad all at once
  3. the last great american dynasty // a book with a fascinating and well-told story
  4. exile // a book you wish you hadn’t read
  5. my tears ricochet // a book that made you cry uncontrollably 
  6. mirrorball // a book that feels like it was written just for you
  7. seven // a childhood book that makes you feel nostalgic.
  8. august // a book that reminds you of summer
  9. this is me trying // a book that deals with loneliness & sadness 
  10. Illicit affairs // a book that gave you a book hangover
  11. invisible string // a book that came into your life at the exact right time
  12. mad woman // a book with a female character you adore.
  13. betty // a book couple that fills you with yearning
  14. peace // a book character you’d die for because you love them so much!
  15. hoax // a book that you thought you were going to love but didn’t.