25 Bookish Facts About Me Part 2

When you’ve been obsessed with books since you were five years old, you tend to own a lot of books and a LOT of bookish facts about yourself.

Since I absolutely loved sharing 25 Bookish Facts About Me back in June 2017, I figured it was time to do this post again! The 25 Bookish Facts About Me tag is easily one of my favorite Booktube videos to watch and blog posts to read.

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  1. I mentioned this in a comment once, but I’m terrified, while a bit excited, about the in-the-works Throne of Glass TV series on Hulu.
  2. I do prefer that all of my books in series match in format, but I really don’t mind if it’s a mix of a hardcovers and paperbacks.
  3. I absolutely love Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, but I still haven’t read the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I plan on changing this before King of Scars!
  4. I own the San Diego Comic Con 2017 Exclusive Funko Pop of Harry Potter on a Broom *breathes after rattling off that*. When the Barnes and Noble website kept crashing the morning that the exclusives were released, I went to my local Barnes and Noble to get him. I’ve nicknamed him He Who Shall Remain in the Box, out of fear of him falling off my bookshelf.
  5.  As much as I love having books in my hand right after their release date, I don’t like rushing into right away (for the most part). I like keeping books on my TBR that I’m super excited to pick up one day.
  6. Some of my all-time favorite Booktube videos include Christine of polandbananasbooks’s Literal Book Titles series.
  7. I spilt water on my school library copy of Brave New World and found that putting it in the freezer helped dry it up. No one ever suspected anything, not including my dad who questioned why my book was sitting next to a box of waffles when he opened the freezer.
  8. I’m not too excited about the new Harry Potter companion books that have and continue to be coming out.
  9. I wish that I had a Half-Price Books store in my area.
  10. Luckily for me, I’m only ten minutes away from a Barnes and Noble whether I’m home or at school
  11. I have a Camp Half-Blood sticker (Percy Jackson) on my laptop cover.IMG_0403.jpg
  12. I have 4 bookish/fandom mugs: the Book Con 2017 mug, a Hamilton mug, a Waitress mug, and a Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation) mug that says, “Stillness: Don’t waste energy”
  13. There are so many San Diego Comic Con 2018 Funkos coming out, and Moaning Myrtle is a must for me.
  14. If I could cosplay right now, I’d be Cath from Fangirl based on the clothes I already have in my closet.
  15. My biggest bookish fear is dropping a book in water, but that doesn’t stop me from reading in the pool.
  16. I prefer writing book reviews over book tags.
  17. I love my local library system, but I wish they had more less popular YA books in their system.
  18. I love listening to Booktube videos while I do other things—writing, baking, cleaning, etc.
  19. .The cover change I’m most disappointed about is Beth’s Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy with ONE BOOK LEFT.
  20. I never keep the dust jacket on when I’m reading a hardcover.
  21. I would love to attend a midnight release party for Kingdom of Ash.
  22. I’m not too big of a fan of novellas. I really only read them if they’re essential to a series.IMG_0452
  23. I’d love there to be more books with characters in college, similar to how a lot of YA contemporaries involve characters who are in high school.
  24. I definitely enjoyed my high school required reading more than my college required reading so far.
  25. I do some of my best reading floating around the pool. I may write a blog post about how to read in the pool, so let me know if you’re interested!

What are some bookish facts about you? Share in the comments!

Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Summary: Ever since last year’s homecoming, best-friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have done everything to avoid each other. It’s a bit hard though when you live in the same small town and your families are the modern-day Montagues and Caputlets. But when a camping trip goes a bit unexpected (besides Lennon being there, much to Zorie’s dismay), the two find themselves stranded in the wilderness alone together. As the two travel through northern California’s backcountry, with plenty of jabs and insults in tow, Zorie and Lennon’s hidden past and secrets resurface. Maybe they aren’t Romeo & Juliet after all?

 My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

My craving for summer contemporaries continued in June with Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes. After seeing everyone’s love for Alex Approximately, I knew that it was time to pick up Jenn Bennett’s latest book. While I am not too crazy about Alex Approximately’s synopsis, I think I’m going to have to pick it up after loving Starry Eyes!

Zorie was such a fun main protagonist because she was such a unique YA character! I loved her interst in astrology and I really need to raid her eye glasses collection! I really enjoyed her relationship with her stepmother, especially because stepparents and teens tend to be pitied against one another in most YA cases. Also, I’ve never met a character named Zorie?? And guessing by Lennon’s moms’ interest in music triva, I think it’s safe to assume that Lennon is named after a Beatle.

The book is spilt into three parts, and I admit that I was nervous that we would get both Lennon and Zorie’s perspectives. This is not to say that I disliked Lennon because I did really like him as a character and romantic interest, but I wanted to see everything from Zorie’s point-of-view. I think we wouldn’t have gotten to fully experience Zorie’s first time in the real great outdoors and her indesiveness over her relationship with Lennon.

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Can we also get more YA novels about camping trips and hiking??? While I love being outside, I never really considered hiking, but Jenn Bennett has totally inspired me to do so. Minus the camping part and having to deal with bears and mountain lions. I’ll take a day hiking with Lennon and Zorie, but let me come home to a book and a new episode of The Bold Type, please! It was fun to see Lennon, a wildnerness extraordinaire, and Zorie, a wildnerness un-extraodrinaire, jusxtaposed against one another, and I liked seeing Zorie warm up to this setting. The glamping campground was also fun, yet understandly short-lived. I especially loved when Zorie and Reagan go shopping for glamping supplies, and Zories refers to a yurt as yogurt.

Overall, I really enjoyed Starry Eyes for its unique story and setting, and yes my contemporary romance fans, there’s plenty of romance in this gem! It was more steamy than I expected, but everyone needs a fun summer romance!

Have you read Starry Eyes? Share in the comments!

Monthly Recomendations: Books Worth a Reread

Remember when I said that I not the biggest rereader? THINK AGAIN PAST SELF. While I guess I’m not the best rereader how can you be when your TBR is triple your height?), I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve reread 6 books this year with a few more rereads in store. And speaking of rereading July’s Monthly Recommendations topic is all about the books that are worthy of a Fangirl Fury reread, i.e. the books I NEED would love to reread in the future.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- Especially with Bridge of Clay coming out this fall, I’d love to revisit one of the best books that I read in high school. The Book Thief is definitely a long reread, but definitely one worth the (re)read.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- Sorry Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but the book that helped inspire my blog’s namesake may have you beat. I’ve read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl at least 3 times and I’ve definitely flipped through a few times to my favorite passages. In short, Fangirl includes so many of the things that I appreciate as a reader: fangirling, writing, college YA, family, relationships, and coffee made by my favorite fictional BF.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor- Strange the Dreamer’s beautiful writing style is reason enough to reread this book. And its definitely one of those fantasy books where you pick up on new elements and easter eggs the second or third time around. I admit that I’m still a bit confused about the use of metal and the history of the gods, so a reread would definitely help immerse me further into this world.

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares- So maybe this is truly turning into a list of books I want to reread because I had a sudden desire to pick up The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants the morning I wrote this post! 2018 has been a year of college YA for me, and I just recently realized that one of my all-time favorite series is college YA! The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is such a timeless series about friendship, love, and a pair of pants that I still need in my life.

Harry Potter- Okay, okay, yes I know, very typical answer, but HP is truly one of those series that you can always revisit. I reread the books in high school and college and it honestly resparked my love for this series.

What books do you think are worth rereading? Share in the comments!

Love & My Language Skills: Love & Gelato Review

Summary: Lina is living in Tuscany for the summer, but not for its fairytale landscape and one million and one gelato flavors. It was her mother’s dying wish for Lina to get to know her father. That she’s never met. All Lina wants to do is go back home. But when Lina is given her mother’s journal about her own experience in Italy, Lina is suddenly uncovering secret romances, night clubs, and hidden barkeries. Along with the boy-next-door, Ren, Lina is determine to unearth a secret that’s been kept for way too long. Maybe there’s more to Italy than love and gelato after all.

 My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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 My Thoughts:

Even as I write this review, I’m still trying to figure out how I didn’t pick up Jenna Evans Welch’s Love & Gelato before this summer. A summer contemporary that takes place in Italy and features SO MUCH FOOD that hadn’t previously been on my read list? While I’ve been slowly picking up more fantasy, my heart was craving a contemporary and I decided to give Love & Gelato a go.

I’ve read a few books this season that have fueled my wanderlust, and Love & Gelato is no exception. Jenna Evans Welch transports reader to the Tuscan countryside, with plenty of pasta, mozzarella, and gelato in store. I’m still in shock that Lina didn’t know what a cannoli was before coming to Italy. I guess I live in a somewhat Italian- area because cannolis are (thankfully) available in almost all of the bakeries. I think it was also really obvious how much research Jenna must have put into this book. For example. Ren and Howard often explain Florence’s history and landmarks to Lina.

While there is some romance, the book has a bigger focus on family. Lina is grieving from her mother’s death and moves to Tuscany to meet her father for the first time. I liked seeing Howard and Lina form a relationship, and the journal was a great way for Lina’s mom to have an ongoing role in the story. But I. just. wanted. Lina. to FINISH READING IT! THE ANSWERS ALWAYS LIE IN THE PAGES.

However, it was fun seeing Ren and Lina bond over figuring out her mother’s past, and their banter often made me laugh out loud:

“ “I want to try for another record tomorrow. What was the last kind I had? With the chocolate chunks?”
“Stracciatella.”
“I’m naming my first daughter after it.”
“Lucky her.” ” (173)

My four years of taking Italian between high school and college finally came to use because of Love & Gelato. Knowing Italian isn’t a must for this book, as it’s occasionally used by some of Lina’s friends and locals for smaller phrases. Most of the books I read that do feature other languages usually are in Spanish or French, so it was fun to not have to rely on Google Translate.

Overall, I loved Love & Gelato for its setting, humor, and focusing more on family than romance. I just put Love & Luck on hold from my library and I’ll be reading it as soon as it comes in!

 Have you read Love & Gelato? What’s your favorite ice cream/gelato flavor? Share in the comments!

Favorites Rewind: 2018 Best Books 

Inspired by the first Top Five Wednesday post of July, Best 2018 Books, I realized that I haven’t talked about some of my favorite books of 2018. While I plan on doing summer favorites and yearly favorite posts, I want to fangirl about my favorite books that I read from January to May.

I read 47 books within these five months, including 5 Throne of Glass-related rereads. Excluding my ToG rereads, today I’ll be talking about the following 11 gems and some honorable mentions!

Scythe and Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman- Almost half a year later, I will keep bowing down to the hype that made me pick up the first two books in Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe series. Scythe and Thunderhead gave me The Hunger Games-esque and dystopian feels that I didn’t know I was missing. While I not-so patiently wait for the final book, The Toll (am I the only one disappointed by the two-word title?), I want to pick up some of Neal’s backlist titles and his upcoming book with Jarrod Shusterman, Dry.

 

 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli- Remember when I used to call this book The Upside DOWN of Unrequited? And Becky even liked my tweet using that title. Thanks Stranger Things. And Twitter for still not blessing us with some sort of edit feature. The Upside of Unrequited is easily my favorite Becky Albertalli book. It’s been a while since I related to a character so much, and I’m so grateful to Becky for creating Molly and her story. And of course Reid.

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflour- All of This Is True peaked my interest for its four teens becoming best friends with their favorite author premise and I loved it more than I expected to! I could so see a TV or film adaptation, Big Little Lies style.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang- New favorite graphic novel alert! I was expecting to love Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker and I’m so glad I did! This book was taking forever to come in from my library so I decided to buy my own copy and I’m so glad I did since it’s one of my new favorites.

 

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas- I can’t believe I didn’t read Tower of Dawn until April, but my reunion with Chaol came at the right time. Tower of Dawn is one of my top ToG books (I think my heart still belongs to Queen of Shadows). AND YES, YOU NEED TO READ IT IN ORDER TO READ KINGDOM OF ASH! WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT TO BE REUNITED WITH CHAOL AND NESRYN AND SO MANY AWESOME NEW CHARACTERS! I’m one of the those ToG fans that never really thought Chaol was that in the wrong, but Tower of Dawn is both his redemption story and his story of regaining his strength. We also get to learn a lot more about Nesryn and a character from The Assassin’s Blade. I’m still reeling over that last chapter AND epilogue.

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena- I really wish more people we’re talking about Tanaz Bhathena’ stunning debut, A Girl Like That. This book was just so eye-opening and I can’t wait to see what Tanaz Bhathena does next.

 

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman- Yup, I’m still trying to figure out how I didn’t read Laura Silverman’s Girl Out of Water before May. A summer contemporary with the title that basically describes me away from the shore?

The Geography of You & Me by Jennifer E. Smith- While I enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith’s Windfall and This is What Happy Looks Like, The Geography of You & Me was definitely an unexpected favorite. I’ve discovered this year that travel contemporary books are among my favorite genres. It was so fun to see its two main characters, Lucy and Owen, travel on their own while figuring out themselves and their relationships. This book had the perfect combination of fluff, self discovery, and romance.

 

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian- Like Tower of Dawn and The Prince & The Dressmaker, Stay Sweet was another read that I went in expecting to love and thankfully did! How could I not love a summer contemporary with friendship, feminism, romance, AND ICE CREAM! Can I please work at Meade Creamery!?

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo- I went into Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel not knowing too much, and maybe I should do that more often because I still think about this book! Again, how could I not love a summer contemporary featuring A FOOD TRUCK??? The Way You Make Me Feel had the perfect amount of family, friendship, romance, and food- give me BBQ and iced coffee any day.

 

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Honorable Mentions:

The Bear & the Nightingale by Katherine Arden- I never knew I need Russian folklore-inspired fantasy until I read this book. I’m very excited to pick up books 2 & 3.

American Panda by Gloria Chao- Another great example of the balance between family and romance!

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen- This book is told through letters between two best friends and had me laughing out loud!

Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade- I love how this COLLEGE YA book incorporated real-life TV and fandom, and truly captured that going to college and starting over isn’t always easy.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout- A SCHOOL BOOK ON MY FAVORITES LIST? I took a short story English class in the spring that included books that we’re all published within the past 6 years!!! Olive Kitteridge was such a heartwarming and heartbreaking collection.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado-ANOTHER SCHOOL BOOK? Her Body and Other Parties is full of amazing female POVs and it just feels and is so current.

 

What are some of your best books of 2018? Any of the above? Share in the comments!

Review: The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse

Summary: Best friends Aubrey and Rae have been planning their graduation trip across Europe practically since they met. It’s the perfect way to spend their last summer together before everyone heads off to university. But Aubrey and Rose’s perfect trip is a little more complicated than their past selves could have imagined. Along for the trip is Jonah, Aubrey’s boyfriend, and Gabe, the boy Aubrey may have or may not have accidentally kissed. And don’t forget Clara, the friend Rae is hardcore crushing on, but Clara must like boys, right??

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

 Cecilia Vinesse’s The Summer of Us is one of my most enjoyable reads of 2018. It was among my most anticipated summer releases,so I was super excited when Little Brown was giving out ARCs at Book Expo. One of my first YA reads was Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and since then I’ve loved books with an emphasis on travel, especially in Europe. The premise of The Summer of Us immediately sold me, as five best friends travel through Europe before they head off to college in different directions. It’s also been compared to Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith’s books, aka some of the best contemporary and travel-inspired books in the game.

I’ve had great luck reading multi-perspective books lately because I loved reading from both Aubrey and Rae’s POVs. I loved Rae’s relationship with Lucy and I want to be her travel buddy in Australia. This could be said about both Rae and Aubrey, but I think Rae experiences a lot of personal growth within their two week expedition. She gets to explore a new relationship and begins to realize that it’s okay not to have a set plan after high school. I admit that I could relate to Aubrey a little bit more (English majors reunite!) mostly because if I trekked around Europe for 2 weeks with my friends, I’d so be in charge of our itinerary and stress out about making trains. And I’d want to see every museum and book shop ever. I appreciate that as much as Aubrey’s personality might make her to be the most perfect person ever, she isn’t. In a lot of contemporaries, the main character is often a reader, but it was cool to see Aubrey ACTUALLY READ. Her emotion while reading Virginia Woolf’s The Waves made me want to check it out.

Even though The Summer of Us only gives us Aubrey and Rae’s perspectives, we really get to know all 5 friends. Honestly, I think if Cecilia tried to include all 5, it would be a bit choppy and repetitive. I think Jonah could have received a bit more resolution, but Gabe was immediately my favorite guy. I love his chemistry with a certain someone, and I appreciate all the music and literature inspired quotes:

“Here’s my real prediction: In your freshmen year, it’ll become clear that studying literature is perfect for you. Because you love to analyze and pick things apart and figure out what you like about them, and that’s basically what the entire major is. And the thing is, you already do that with books, too. It’s like music but without the instruments” 

Overall, I really enjoyed The Summer of Us for being a story about friendship and love. This book completely refueled my wanderlust (I WILL get to you Europe, one day) and I wish I could go to so many of the same destinations as Aubrey, Rae and co.

 This review is based on a galley. By no means did being provided this galley affect my thoughts or opinion.

 Have you read The Summer of Us or Cecilia’s debut novel, Seven Days of You? What are some of your favorite travel-inspired books? Share in the comments!

Top Five Wednesday: Future Classics

It’s been a little while since I’ve properly done Top Five Wednesday. While I really enjoy participating in T5W and find it to be a great source for creative posts, I’ve been trying to focus more on original content and the reviews that I’m almost always behind on.

Anyways, today’s T5W is all about a topic that I often find myself thinking about: future classics. It’s interesting to think what makes a book be a classic, and as not the biggest classic fan, it’s sort’ve mind blowing to think about what contemporary books I’ve read will one day be considered classic themselves.

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Looking for Alaska by John Green- If this ever becomes a definition, I think John Green will be known as a classic YA author. While all of his books are much-loved, I see Looking for Alaska as his defining classic because out all of his books (with maybe Turtles All the Way Down as the new exception), people seem to relate to this one the most.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- Like I said above, I’m not the biggest classic fan, but one of the elements that I think makes a book a classic is it’s eye-opening writing style or story. While I’m definitely in need of a reread, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park has both cute, romancey vibes and poignancy that will leave give you all the heart-warming and heartbroken feels.

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Enter photo where I forgot I do have a copy of Looking for Alaska

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas- A book that I think will be among many T5W posts this week, The Hate U Give has received many awards and honors, and I think being defined as a classic will come one day for its relation to today’s cultural and political climate in the US.

A Very Large of Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi- Okay, I know this book hasn’t come out yet, but I was very fortunate enough to read an ARC of Tahereh Mafi’s first contemporary & semi autobiographical novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea. Without being too spoilery, I think A Very Large Expanse of Sea stands out for featuring a Muslim teen trying to fight off stereotypes in her American high school post-9/11 and its beautiful, thought-provoking writing style.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng– I think both of Celeste Ng’s books, Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You, will be considered classics one day, but I’m going with Little Fires Everywhere BECAUSE IT’S MY FAVORITE. Little Fires Everywhere and Celeste Ng’s writing style just sucks you with its plot and complex characters.

Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.

What books do you think will be considered classics one day? Any of the above? Share in the comments!