The Mid Year Freakout Book Tag!

Hiya!! It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag, so I thought why not do one again? For those of you who don’t know, this tag is a bit like a six month bookish wrap up in tag form. I hope you enjoy!

The Best Books You’ve Read so Far

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

New Releases You Haven’t Read Yet, but Want To

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

There are so many that come to mind! But here are the first three that I thought of. It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi looks so fun! The cover is also stunning as well! The Lady or the Lion by Aamna Qureshi is a YA fantasy with a Pakistani setting. I’ve never read a fantasy inspired by Pakistani culture, so I’m super excited to read it! Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach is another release I’m also very excited for!

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Biggest Disappointment

A Song Below Water: A Novel : Morrow, Bethany C.: Amazon.ca: Books

I had such high hopes for One Last Stop. However, it unfortunately missed the mark for me.

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Biggest Surprise

Rumaysa: A Fairytale: Hafiza, Radiya, Siddique, Areeba, El Touny, Rhaida:  9781529038309: Books - Amazon.ca

This is a middle grade retelling of three fairytales but with a desi (South Asian) twist. And I adored it! It was filled with girl power, fun plots, and amazing representation!

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Favorite New to You Author

We Can't Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon was my first book of theirs, and probably won’t be the last!

Favorite Debut Author

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Sarah Suk’s debut novel was one of my favorites this year. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did, but Made in Korea was so good!

Newest Favorite Characters

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

I really enjoyed reading about Evie and X from Nicola Yoon’s newest book Instructions for Dancing! They were both funny and charming.

A Book That Made You Cry

Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario

Juleah del Rosario’s Turtle Under Ice was incredibly heartbreaking and emotional. It’s about a mother’s death and sisterly love, and was just so beautiful.

A Book That Made You Happy

A Taste for Love: Yen, Jennifer: 9780593117521: Books - Amazon.ca

A Taste For Love by Jennifer Yen was such a fun book on food and familial relationships. It definitely put a smile on my face!

Favorite Post You’ve Done This Year

In January I did a post where I gave recommendations based off of people’s favorite Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra character. Feel free to read the post here!

Books You Need to Read By the End of the Year

I hope you enjoyed the tag! Here are some lovely people I nominate to do this one as well. (This is just for fun, so if you don’t feel like it, than no worries!) Also, if you’ve done this tag before, feel free to link it in the comments so I can read yours as well. 😀

I tag…

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June Wrap-Up

Hi everyone! Today I’ll be talking about all the books I read in June. Much to my surprise, I read 12 novels, two of which were carry over books from May. I also completed my goodreads reading challenge of 25 books, which I never thought would be possible! Anyways, let’s get right into it!

Novels I Read

(ARC) We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was my first Solomon book, and will definitely not be the last! You can read my review here.

Once Upon an Eid by A Collection of Authors: (5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I loved this so much!! It’s incredibly joyful and educational. I l highly recommend it. Review to come!

(ARC) Rumaysa by Radiya Hafiza: (4.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was a huge surprise, but in the best way possible. If you love fairytale retellings, than this is a must read! Review to come!

(ARC) One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston: (1.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐ After hearing such great things about the book, I was super excited when I got around to reading it. But One Last Stop was such a disappointment. Feel free to read my review here. –Buddy read with the amazing Calliope!

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ This was both fast paced and educational! Which I’ve come to know is my favorite combination.

Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan: (3.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ I’ve been meaning to get into Dugan’s writing for quite a while now. And well, this was just okay. Review to come! –Buddy read with the amazing Calliope!

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ A Taste for Love was such a surprise! I adored this one immensely. Review to come!

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ I enjoyed my time reading this one, but it wasn’t very memorable.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021, and well, it was just meh. I loved the witty banter and lists, but nothing stood out to me unfortunately. Review to come!

May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the most conflicted rating I’ve ever given. The main characters weren’t likeable at all, but it was such a whirlwind of emotions. Review to come! –Buddy read with the lovely April @ Booked Till Midnight!

Your Heart My Sky by Margarita Engle: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ Your Heart My Sky is an incredibly heart wrenching story told in verse. I learnt a lot about Cuba in the 1990s, which was great! However, the ending was too unclear.

Graphic Novels and Manga read

Blue Lock Volume 12 by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Yusuke Nomura: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This volume was really interesting! However, it didn’t stand out as much as the previous ones.

Blue Flag Volume 6-8 by Kaito: (4.75 out of 5) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This series is incredibly eye opening and emotional, so I’m sad to see it end. My only complaint is that some questions where left unanswered. Nevertheless it’s still such a great manga that I highly recommend!

Moriarty the Patriot Volume 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ While I admired certain concepts, others didn’t make much sense and seemed unnecessary. It’s still a great series though!

Spy x Family Volume 2 by Tatsuya Endo: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Spy x Family is such a cute and fun series! And this volume definitely proved that statement.

A Sign of Affection Volume 3 by Suu Morishita: (4.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I really enjoyed this volume! It was super relaxing to read, if that makes sense. 😆

Shortcake Cake Volume 8 by Suu Morishita: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I think I put the wrong picture but essentially, this volume was really gripping!

Sugar in Milk by Thrity Umrigar and Khoa Le: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was such a stunning story with beautiful art. It was like a warm hug!

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field by Scott Riley, Nguyen Quang, and Kim Lien: (5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I LOVED this!! It’s an incredible picture book with a beautiful message. I definitely recommend it!

Total Number Of Books Read: 24

Total Number Of Posts Published: 

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

I didn’t have enough time to hop over on the blogsphere last month. So if I missed any of your posts, feel free to link them down below!

First, let’s recap! Last month I said I’d read four novels, read three netgalley ARCs, and drink more water. Luckily, I read over four novels, and got through three of my Netgalley ARCs! Did I drink enough water though…Maybe?

Some of my goals for July include…

  • Finish two netgalley ARCs
  • Read 10 novels
  • Drink lots of water

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed reading about my June in books, I’d love to know about yours too! If you’d like, you can read last month’s wrap up here. Have a lovely day!

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Ten YA Novels By BIPOC Authors You Need To Check Out!

Hi all! Today I’ll be talking about some YA novels by authors of color that I believe need more recognition. I tried to pick books that aren’t necessarily as present in the book community so that you could discover some new voices!

Disclaimer: Some synopsis’ are summarized by me, others are taken from goodreads.)

(PS: To add the books to goodreads, simply press on the book covers.)

1. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

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The story centers around seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan. By day, she works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. By night, Jo writes for a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” And the story takes off from there in such an intriguing way.

This is a young adult historical novel about fighting racism and gendernorms, and I am 100% here for it!

2. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Raybearer (Raybearer, #1) by Jordan Ifueko

Raybearer revolves around Tarisai, a teen who has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. However, The Lady wants Tarisai to kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust, as she as compelled to obey this order. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

Doesn’t this sound like such a unique fantasy story? I definitely think so!

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3. Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai

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Butterfly Yellow is a story about a young Vietnamese girl and her little brother. As they get ready to go to America, her brother Linh is ripped from her arms, leaving Hằng behind in Vietnam. After six long years, she makes it to Texas, USA as a refugee. Once Hằng finally reunites with her brother Linh, he doesn’t remember her! She has come so far, and will do anything to bridge the gap between them.

This is an incredibly heart wrenching and beautiful novel.

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4. The New David Espinoza by Fred Aceves

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The New David Espinoza revolves around a teenage boy named David. When a video of him getting knocked down by a bully’s slap goes viral at the end of junior year, David vows to use the summer to bulk up— do what it takes to become a man—and wow everyone when school starts again in the fall. Soon David is spending all his time and money at Iron Life, a nearby gym that’s full of bodybuilders. Frustrated with his slow progress, his life eventually becomes all about his muscle gains. As David falls into the dark side of the bodybuilding world, pursuing his ideal body at all costs, he’ll have to grapple with the fact that it could actually cost him everything. 

Male body dysphoria is something I rarely see present in books, so I’m happy to see the issue being addressed! This is also an own voices novel.

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5. This Train Is Being Held by Ismée Williams

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This is a young adult romance featuring two New York teens; Isabelle and Alex. Isabellle is a dancer, and Alex, a baseball player who wants to be a poet. Over the course of multiple subway encounters spanning the next three years, Isabelle learns of Alex’s struggle with his father, who is hell-bent on Alex being a contender for the major leagues, despite Alex’s desire to go to college and become a poet. Alex learns about Isabelle’s unstable mother, a woman with a prejudice against Latino men. But fate—and the 1 train—throw them together when Isabelle needs Alex most.

This is an authentic young adult drama with one of the best family dynamics I have ever seen!

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6. Once Upon an Eid by A Collection of Authors

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices: Amazon.ca:  Ali, S. K., Saeed, Aisha, Alfageeh, Sara: Books

This is a collection of short stories that showcases the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today, all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid!

This book is just the cutest thing ever! If you’re looking for an own-voices Muslim rep, this is definitely the book for you!

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7. Want by Cindy Pon

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Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost. With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary. Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

This is a perfect novel for all the science fiction and dystopian lovers out there!

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8. Internment by Samira Ahmed

Internment

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Despite being fictional, Internment tells the story of many people today. It’s an eye-opening book perfect for those who enjoyed The Hate U Give.

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9. Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by A Collection of Authors

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

This is a collection of intersecting stories set at a powwow that bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. In a high school gym full of color and song, Native families from Nations within the borders of the U.S. and Canada dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. They are the heroes of their own stories.

If you want to read more Indigenous own voice books, then this is 100% the book for you!

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10. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet

Pet is a rather unusual, but gripping tale about a girl named Jam. In her city Lucille, there are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question — How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

Pet is a bizarre yet astounding tale that I just know whimsical fiction lovers will come to adore!

I hope you found some great books to add to your TBR! Have you read any of these? I’d love to know. Stay safe everyone! 💙

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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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