Three Bookish Things Tag!

Hiya! It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag, so I thought why not do the three bookish things tag! I was tagged by the lovely Isha @ Paperbacktomes. Do check out their blog as well. 😀

Three Read Once and Loved

I absolutely adored Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier! It was the perfect cozy mystery. I can’t wait to read more books by them. Made In Korea by Sarah Suk was such a great book too, I loved it so much! History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera had very gripping writing, I couldn’t put it down.

Three Titles I’ve Watched but Not Read

I have watched The Hunger Games, Moxie, and Shadow and Bone. I’ve never read them though. I’m absolutely loving Shadow and Bone so far!

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Three Characters I Love

I adored Bao from “A Pho Love Story.” He was kind and genuine. Valarie from “Made In Korea” and Zayneb from “Love From A to Z” were both goal driven and compassionate people. I loved reading about them!

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Three Current Favorite Book Covers

I absolutely love the cover of Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan has a stunning cover too. Thanks A Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas has such a cute cover. I really love it.

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Three Favorite Authors

Deborah Ellis is a middle grade favorite of mine. I adore SK Ali‘s writing style and characters. Yoshitoki Ōima creates such heart-wrenching and emotional stories, I love their work.

I hope you enjoyed the tag. 😄 Have you read or watched Shadow and Bone? If so, what are your thoughts on it? I’d love to know. Have a great day everyone!

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Ten YA Novels To Read On Valentine’s Day

Hiya! I hope you’re all doing amazing. As we all know, it’s almost Valentine’s Day! So to celebrate this lovely (pun intended) holiday, I compiled 10 YA novels that focus on, but are not limited to; love! I hope you enjoy!

(PS: Press on the cover of a book to add it to goodreads!)

1. Love Is A Revolution

Love Is A Revolution by Renée Watson is a YA contemporary romance. But it’s also about self love. Self love is such an important and underestimated form of love. Therefore, I just had to include this book!

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2. Love From A To Z

If you’ve seen my review for Love From A To Z by S.K Ali, then you’ll know how much I love it! It is 100% a must read for Valentine’s Day!

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3. Together, Apart

Together, Apart is a collection of short stories written by numerous authors. It’s essentially about teens finding love during the pandemic that I’m sure we’re all well acquainted with by now. It is so adorable! I love how it features different authors that I wouldn’t have discovered it if weren’t for this book.

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4. The Quantum Theory Of The Almost-Kiss

The Quantum Theory Of The Almost-Kiss by Amy Parks is the perfect friends to lovers story to read on Valentine’s Day! (PS: Author Interview with Ms. Parks to come sometime next week!)

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5. Super Fake Love Song

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon is a rom-com that involves fake dating and well, music! It’s overall just a super fun and light read!

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6. Here The Whole Time

Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martens is a soft and quick read, perfect for Valentine’s Day! (Light and soft books are a reoccurring theme in this list, in case you didn’t notice. 😆)

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7. More To The Story

More To The Story by Hena Khan is a middle grade retelling of Little Women. I decided to include it because it highlights the love of family in the cutest and most wholesome way possible!

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8. A Cuban Girl’s Guide To Tea And Tomorrow

As a tea enthusiast, I just knew I had to include The Cuban Girl’s Guide To Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey!

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9. I Love You So Mochi

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn is filled with delicious sweet treats, and an even sweeter story!

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10. Charming As A Verb

Charming As A Verb by Ben Phillipe is a witty rom-com that’s perfect for those looking for a laugh!

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And that’s a wrap! I hope you all have a wonderful February, and an even more amazing Valentine’s Day! What is your go-to Valentine’s Day read? 💕

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January Wrap-Up | aka; My First Wrap-Up!

Hiya everyone! Today I will be ‘hosting’ my first ever wrap-up! I’m super excited for this! However, I have no idea what a wrap-up is supposed to look like, so bear with me here. 😂 Anyways, let’s get into it!

Novels I Read (In order)

Journey to the Center of the Earth By Jules Verne: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) I really enjoyed reading this classic! It took me 6 months to finish, so I was really happy that I was FINALLY able to mark it as ‘read’ on goodreads. It is 100% worth the read guys! You can read my review for this book here!

This Train Is Being Held By Ismee Williams: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.75 out of 5 stars) I finished this book relatively fast, and I did enjoy it! It’s a cute YA romance that has an almost all latinx cast, which was super cool to see! You can read my review for This Train Is Being Held here.

(eARC) A Pho Love Story By Loan Le: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.8 out of 5 stars) This was my first ARC!! I received an eARC for this novel via Netgalley. Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of A Pho Love Story! It was good, but too long. Overall, I do recommend you read it! You can read my review here!

A Song Below Water By Bethany C Morrow: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.5 out of 5 stars) I wanted to love this book so much! However, it was incredibly confusing, and even boring at times. I found myself not liking the characters that much, except for Effie, Wallace, and Tavia, they were the best! I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t get into it. I still think it’s worth the read if you love fantasy though. And it does have some searing social commentary! Review to come!

Graphic Novels and Manga read (I doubt this is in order…oops)

Blue Flag Volume 1 By Kaito: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 out of 5 stars) This was an incredibly powerful and stunning manga. I highly recommend you read it if you’re trying to get into reading graphic novels and manga.

Something Is Killing The Children Volume 1 By James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera:⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) This was a very intriguing horror story. Although thrillers aren’t necessarily my favorite genre, I still enjoyed reading it!

(eARC) The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging By Hannalora Leavitt and (Illustrator) Belle Wuthrich: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) This was a very educational and inspiring read, that I highly recommend you take a look at! Thank you Netgalley and Orca Book Publishers for an eARC of this book!

Ao Haru Ride Volume 9 By Io Sakisaka: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 out of 5 stars) The art style is phenomenal, but the storyline in this volume was just okay.

(eARC) Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women By Rebel Girls: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 out of 5 stars) This is more of a non-fiction educational book with pictures versus a graphic novel. I decided to settle on three stars only because I had previously read the two other books by the same author titled ‘Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls’ which were amazing! In this one however, a lot of the art and stories where repeated, so I didn’t necessary learn anything new. If I hadn’t read the other books beforehand, this would have surely been a 5 star read! Thank you Netgalley, Rebel Girls, and Publishers for an eARC of this book!

(eARC) Dryfoot By Jarred Lujan, Orlando Caicedo, and Warnia Sahadewa: ⭐⭐ (2.5 out of 5 stars) Since Dryfoot is an ARC, I won’t say much about it. However, it was simply not my cup of tea. Thank you Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors for providing me with an eARC of Dryfoot!

(eARC) Feelings By Manjit Thapp: ⭐⭐ (2 out of 5 stars) Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy reading Feelings. It was okay. The art was beautiful though! Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing me with an eARC of Feelings!

Let’s just say there weren’t many this month 😆

Total Number Of Books Read: 11

Total Number Of Posts Published: 10

Average Rating: 7/10 or 3.5 out of 5 stars

Some of my goals for February include…

  • Read the 5 novels on my February TBR
  • Finish reading my list of eARCs
  • Drink more water for 💫clear skin💫
  • Complete my February buddy read novels

And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you enjoyed reading this very long post. Do check out the posts by the other bloggers I listed. Every blogger is unique and amazing in their own way! What was your favorite read of January 2021? Have a wonderful day! 💟

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Love From A to Z | A Review

Hiya everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing my most anticipated read of 2020, Love From A to Z. Happy new year everyone! I hope 2021 treats you well!

Love from A to Z: Amazon.ca: Ali, S. K.: Books

Even though, for the most part, I’ll read books with aesthetically pleasing covers, I still never review the covers. (Please don’t come for me, I’m a sucker for pretty book covers.) However, can we talk about this book cover! People of color, and Muslims, on a book cover?! I love it! That’s when I immediately knew I had to read this one. And thankfully, I was not disappointed.

A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together. An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.
But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her. Then her path crosses with Adam’s.
Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.
Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting. 

Now on to the actual review! So first let’s talk about the plot. Love From A to Z’s original premise was simple. Two teenagers falling in love is certainly not a unique plot to the Young Adult Genre. But it’s the way the plot was executed that truly made me fall in love with this contemporary novel. The whole marvel and oddity thing keep the story engaging, and gave a unique feel. Every time it switched from Zayneb to Adam, and vice versa, a marvel or oddity would be discovered.

“Maybe that’s what living is—recognizing the marvels and oddities around you.”
― S.K. Ali, Love From A to Z

The main characters were so incredibly diverse and unique. First we have Zayneb; A fiery and passionate hijabi who is half Trinidadian, and half Pakistani. Next we have Adam Chen; An easy going and quiet Chinese, and Finnish boy. I mean, can we talk about the amount of biracial rep?! At first, I didn’t like Zayneb. I thought she was annoying and got overly angry. But then I realized that if you aren’t angry about something, than no one else will be either. Over the course of the novel, Zayneb learnt that there is a method to the madness. What I mean by this is, she learnt how to get angry politely. (Minor Spoilers ahead.) For example; When she wore a t-shirt and leggings in a swimming pool in Doha, the manager told her the custom was to wear tight swimsuits only. To overcome this challenge, she wore a burkini. When the manager refused to let her wear a burkini, it was then that she confronted him. So essentially, what I am trying to say is, Zayneb learnt how to solve a problem calmly. But if she couldn’t solve it calmy, then she would show her anger. Adam was a rather introverted and polite character. He loved making things, especially for his little sister Hanna. Adam was honestly so wholesome. Zayneb and Adam, despite being polar opposites, got along really well. They shared the same values, which certainly was a driving force in their relationship. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I loved how there was no love triangle or any people getting in the way of their love. It was just the two of them. I loved how they accepted each other for who they were, and actually did thorough research on certain obstacles that might affect them in the future. Overall the plot was executed very well! And the characters, including some side characters, were funny, and diverse!

The dialogue between the main characters was raw and pure. The book really gave the readers an interesting and positive look at what it’s like for Muslims to marry. In the media, Muslims are portrayed as terrorists, and women are seen as opressed. In real life, that is totally not the case. In most romantic stories, the couple will always kiss before getting married. In Adam and Zayneb’s case, they weren’t allowed to touch until after marriage. This is done to ensure that lustfullness is not the thriving source of love before marrying someone. It was so cute when they wanted to hug and kiss, but remained respectful of each other and didn’t. It was just so adorably awkward.

The writing style switched between raw and harsh, to poetic and elegant from time to time. However, none of the writing seemed out of place. The author did a great job at setting the mood through her dialogue and writing.

At times the story seemed a bit slow, and at other times it went a bit fast. So the pacing was slightly off. But that didn’t really affect the enjoyment level that much. Overall, this was such a cute read that is great to show people who have mixed feelings about Muslims. Muslims are people just like the rest of the world. That’s why it’s so important to write #ownvoices stories. They can really change a person’s entire perspective. Henceforth why I think that you should definitely pick this one up!

Age Rating: 12 and up

TW: Islamophobia, talk about violence and death

Final Rating: 9/10 or 5 stars

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If you’re curious about my review policy click here. So, will you read Love From A to Z? Or if you have already, what did you think about it? Have a fabulous day everyone!

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