As I was preparing my traditional What I Read post for February, I realized that I did a few more bookish, fandom, and bloggish things that I want to talk about! Because I don’t just want to discuss books today, I’m going to be guiding you through what I wrote and watched this month, as well as some fun, in-real-life happenings.


February was a weird reading month because I feel like I didn’t read a lot, between school life and being busy on the weekends, but I managed to read 7 books! I tend to read less during the school year because I like not having to concentrate too much when I get to relax (hence a lot of Youtube and TV watching). I spent a lot of time reading for my English classes this month (2 books from my contemporary American lit class are included down below), and while I’m not including them on my list, I read Logicomix and Berlin: City of Stones Vol.1 for my graphic novels course.

If I don’t talk about the books below right now, it’s because you’ll find reviews for them in the next section.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden | 4.5/5 Stars

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith | 4/5 Stars

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | 4/5 Stars

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado | 4/5 Stars

Her Body and Other Parties is the second book I’ve read for my contemporary American lit class, and it was a book that was on my TBR radar before I found out it was on the syllabus!?! I’m still slightly in shock that I’m reading books published within the past year in SCHOOL (not-so-patiently waiting for my school to add a YA lit class). Anyways, I really enjoyed Her Body and Other Parties for its genre-bending short stories and focus on women. My favorites include “Inventory”, “Eight Bites”, and “The Resident” (all of which you can find online!).Read More »

CAN THE THUNDERHEAD GIVE ME THE 3RD BOOK? | Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman Review

I love reading series. I love reading trilogies.

But you know what I don’t love? Reading amazing series, like Neal Schusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, that aren’t complete just yet. Because I need book 3 right now… please!

Since Thunderhead is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, I am not going to be providing a summary for the sake of spoilers. If you’re interested in learning more about this series, I recommend checking out my review and non-spoilery thoughts on the first book, Scythe. Scythe and Thunderhead have deservingly caused a lot of hype in the book community in 2018. DON’T be like past me and avoid reading these books because you’re scared of the hype, WELCOME IT INTO YOUR BOOKISH HEART. If you still haven’t found a series that quenches your post- The Hunger Games feelings, Scythe is the one for you.


My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Everything below the following GIF I consider to be spoilers, so bye for now non-spoiler folks, courtesy of Ron Swanson.


My Thoughts:

 Even weighing in at 499 pages, Thunderhead is the type of read I totally would’ve flown through if it weren’t for one of the busiest weeks of my semester (pre-spring break crunch time is REAL). I recommend reading Thunderhead in the shortest amount of time possible for you just because it will be a bit easier for you to connect the dots (unless you’re a fantastic note taker while reading, unlike me). For example, it took me some going back to the very beginning of the book to realize the significance of Scythe Brahms gleaning Rowan’s dad, or you know, the fact that RAND IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ALIVE. I didn’t catch this until Murina mentions the “late” Rand before meeting Faraday in the Library of Alexandria. Thinking back on these instances, if there is one word to describe Thunderhead, its revenge. You have Rowan gleaning scythes, Rand and Goddard (!?!) taking their role in the new order back, and overall, scythes getting back at scythes.

One of my favorite aspects of Thunderhead was of course reuniting with our cast of characters from Scythe. Scythe Curie/Marie remains to be my favorite character and while I’m so sad that we won’t see her journeying on to book 3 (unless Neal Shsuterman throws another crazy plot twist at us), I think her story ended in the best way possible in context. I do like Rowan as a character and his storyline with Goddard and Rand, but I have always preferred Citra/Anastasia. I would love to go back into the story and mark where we see Citra differentiate between calling herself Citra or Anastasia (I’d say she really delves back into Citra at the end of the book). BUT CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE CHARACTER THAT FREAKED ME OUT THE MOST: GODDARD! I cannot get over how he took Tyger’s body and did the things and ahhhhhh, he’s back.

Thunderhead expectingly expands the world of Scythe with many new terms, places, and characters. The only new element I wasn’t too crazy about was how the majority of the journal entries were from the perspective of the Thunderhead. While this betters our understanding of the Thunderhead, I often found myself wanting entries from the scythes. Character-wise, I liked Murina’s role as Faraday’s research assistant and I’m super intrigued to see their role in this book three—which all depends on how much of a time jump we’re going to experience (more on the ending to come). Greyson easily became our third central character in the series, and I loved how his perspective gave us insight on how the Thunderhead works, unsavories, and Charter Regions. I’ve seen a few reviews compare Greyson to Jesus and the Thunderhead to God, which actually makes sense (Christine of polandbananasbooks did a fantastic job of describing her Garden of Eden and Greyson-as-Jesus theory in her review here). I would love to find an interview with Neal Schusterman to see if he actually took this into consideration when writing the series.

I guess this is where my book three theories and Thunderhead ending discussion is going to begin because I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT! I really wonder how Greyson is going to come into play in book three. Has the Thunderhead given him instructions about Citra and Rowan? Will he find them?? I would love to see Faraday and Murina save them, especially with their knowledge of maps and the Thunderhead’s blindspots, but their ending was also quite ominous. I’m also interested to see how many revivals book three will bring. I think it’s safe to say that we will get Rowan and Citra back and unfortunately/rightfully not Marie, but maybe Xenocrates??? And how long is our time jump going to be? Will there even be one? If Citra and Rown start the book, I think there will be some sort of time jump, but maybe we’ll start with Greyson’s conversation with the Thunderhead. Or will we go between the past and present??ONLY BOOK 3 CAN TELL.

Have you read Scythe or Thunderhead? Do you have any theories about book 3? Share in the comments!


I READ A SUMMER CONTEMPORARY IN FEBRUARY?? | This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Summary: Fate seems to come in the form of an email for seventeen year olds Ellie O’Neill and Graham Larkin. After Graham accidentally emails Ellie about his pet pig, the two strike up a conversation that lasts for months. Ellie and Graham talk about everything—expect for Graham’s life in the spotlight and a secret hidden within Ellie’s family. When Graham creates an opportunity for the pair to spend time together in Ellie’s small beach town, their relationship is taken to the next level, as Ellie and Graham determine if two people from two different worlds can be together.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars


My Thoughts:

I started my Jennifer E. Smith book journey backwards. My first Jennifer E. Smith book was her latest release, Windfall, in 2017. It was after reading Windfall that I decided to pick up more of Jennifer’s books, who I’d say is most well-known for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Then I  met Jennifer, who’s also one of the sweetest authors that I’ve met, at a signing at my local Barnes & Noble, where I learned that most people start with This is What Happy Looks Like when starting her work.

I’ve been craving and eating up fantasy books this winter, butI needed a quick break with a contemporary read. Little did I know that I was picking up a book that takes place in the complete opposite season: summer. I’m always on the lookout for summery contemporaries for the summertime, and while I’m a tad disappointed that I picked up This is What Happy Looks Like now, I was not disappointed by this light, fun read.

This is What Happy Looks Like flips between the perspectives of Ellie and Graham, and I liked how each chapter began with a snippet from their email exchanges. I feel like the ‘boy and girl from completely different worlds’ trope worked really well in this book, as Graham is an A-list teen actor and Ellie is the small-town girl working at the ice cream shop and her mom’s store (and who has her eyes set on a Harvard poetry course, so more power to you girl!). AND ELLIE HAS A BEAGLE NAMED BAGEL! This is What Happy Looks Like immediately earned points in my book for not only having a dog, but for having a dog named after my favorite food. Un-trope-like, I really enjoyed how there’s no ‘oh-my-gosh do they know that I’ve been emailing them for the past X months and how will our relationship and trust be affected’ action from either character; from the moment they meet, Graham tells Ellie that she’s the guy who’s been emailing. I feel like this saved some unnecessary drama and allowed the plot to move in a less expected direction.

For me, This is What Happy Looks Like fits as a summer contemporary for a few reasons other than the fact that book takes place from May to July. We see Ellie’s sleepy hometown in Maine transform into a summer tourist destination, and her town’s Fourth of July festivities alone would’ve made this a summer read. Ellie’s job in the ice cream shop and getting ice cream with Graham was enough for me to long for summer nights at the beach with a soft-serve.

Jennifer E. Smith’s writing really flows in This is What Happy Looks Like, and it’s the type of read where you don’t realize that you’ve read over 100 pages in just one sitting. I really enjoyed the book’s fast pace, but I wish we got more time with Ellie and her best friend, Quinn. The two get into a fight over Ellie’s secret relationship with Graham pretty early on the book, and I wish their disagreement ended earlier so we got more interaction from Quinn.

Overall, I highly recommend picking this one up for when you’re in the mood for a light-hearted read or need a companion for a beach day. My next Jennifer E. Smith book is going to be The Geography of You and Me.

Have you read This Is What Happy Looks Like? Share in the comments!


Some of my favorite blog posts to read are about book bloggers’ reading experiences, and I’ve grown to love reading vlogs (10 out of 10 recommend checking out Regan of PeruseProject’s vlogs). The Book Blogger Test allows readers to learn more about a book blogger’s reading life, and I was tagged to do so by Rebecca of mylifeasasportsfangirl.

Top 3 Book Pet Peeves

1. Books that don’t stay open while I’m eating. This often happens with hardcovers that I’ve just started or I’m about to finish because of the weight of the pages?? I often try to tuck one of the corners under my plate, in fear that something will slip over. Look at me reading on the edge.

2. Rainbow bookshelves. By no means do I hate rainbow bookshelves, or bookshelves that group books together based on the color of the covers. They have rightfully taken over bookstagram. And I know this is problem that people with rainbow shelves have themselves, but I could never order my books in that order BECAUSE I WOULDN’T KNOW WHERE ANYTHING IS. I would never be able to have my books in a series out of order or all over my bookshelf, and I even prefer to have my books categorized by author, with a few exceptions—mostly space and yes, the aesthetic of my main bookshelf.

3. My Goodreads Want-to-Read shelf. So one weekend back in January, I took some time to organize my Want-to-Read/ TBR shelf on Goodreads. I was getting a bit confused about what books on my list had been released yet and decided to reorganize my shelf  by genre and unreleased books. NO LESS THAN TEN MINUTES LATER DID I GO BACK TO MY SHELF AND EVERYTHING WAS BACK IN THE OLD ORDER. The new organization of my shelf is on the Goodreads apps, but I tend to use Goodreads on my desktop a lot more. As you can see below,I hate having books that have been on my shelf forever with books that aren’t being released until 2019 right next to each other.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 4.00.17 PM.png

Perfect Reading Spot

I love reading in bed. No, it does not make me more tired nor do I wake up in the morning with drool on the pages. I read on my bed throughout the day, and even when I read at night in bed, I often find myself wanting to stay up longer to read. One of my favorite things to do on a morning where I can have bit of a lie-in is to grab my book and stay under the blankets.

Three Reading Confessions

1. This is probably more of a book blogger confession: I don’t like book tags that are straight-up book tags. What does this mean as I’m doing a book tag right now? I don’t like book tags where you only talk about books, like ones that ask you to pick a book with a green cover or a book that has a love triangle. Instead, I like tags that are about your reading life (like today’s) or reading experiences (like this awesome library tag that I saw on The Darlings Diary).

2. Besides The Fault in Our Stars, I don’t really cry over books you’re “supposed” to cry over. For example, I’m talking about Adam Silvera’s books, Me Before You, The Book Thief, All the Bright Places, etc.

3. A few of the books that I read when I was 9 or 10 years old, like the Inkheart trilogy, are probably filled with food stains. I’ve definitely gotten better reading and eating at the same time, but 10 year-old me liked reading Inkspell and eating pizza after swim practice too much.

Last Time I Cried During A Book:

I’ve definitely read books that have brought tears to my eyes since, but the last book that absolutely made me sob was Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

Number of Books on my bedside table:

Usually 1-4. If I do have more than one book out, it’s because I checked out more than one book at the library.

Favorite Reading Snack:

Like how I’m a mood reader, I’m a mood snacker. Lately, I’ve been in the mood for some cheesey snacks, and cheddar rice cakes are always a favorite.

Three Books I’d Recommend to Anyone

 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (so you could then properly watch the TV show)

A Picture of my Bookshelves.

I give you guys a picture of my “main” shelf all the time, so you’re in for treat today by seeing two out of three of my bookcases. My third bookcase is tucked away in the corner next to my desk, and I didn’t have enough space to take a picture of the whole shelf. And yes, I know they don’t match and yes, I wish they did, but as of right now, I don’t have enough space in my bedroom for those huge (and wonderful) IKEA shelves.



Biggest Reading Secret:

I didn’t read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until the summer before my senior of high school. I’ve always had the HP books in my house because my mom loves them and while I read books 1-5 when I was in fourth of fifth grade, I just wasn’t as obsessed with them as I am now. Flash-forward to summer 2015 when I got the motivation to pick up Order of the Phoenix and proceeded to read the last three books in a matter of two weeks. While I enjoyed the Harry Potter films growing up, I feel like going back and reading/rereading the series (I then read books 1-4) in 2015 was when I really fell in love with Harry Potter.

 Now here’s a question for you: Do you cry when you read? If so, what books have made you cry? Share in the comments!

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite YA Romance Novels

As you may have noticed, this is my only Top 5 Wednesday post for February. I’ve read a few books with m/m and f/f parings and while I obviously support LGBTQ rep in books and have some favorites of my own (I’m looking at you, Wylan and Jesper), I couldn’t come up with pairings/books that I would honestly recommend. And spoiler for next week, but urban fantasy is one of my least-read genres. And guess who’s breaking this week’s topic with talking about books that aren’t straight-up romance novels??

I don’t really read straight up romance novels, but if you’ve been here for a little while, you know or will soon realize that I love contemporary. This genre typically involves some sort of relationship, and today, I’m going to be discussing some of my favorite YA contemporaries with romance vibes.

 When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon- When Dimple Met Rishi is one of my favorite YA romantic comedies, and in my opinion, there’s a really awesome gender reversal in this book. Instead of Dimple, our main female protagonist, being head-over-heels for Rishi, our main male protagonist, in the beginning, it’s Rishi! I’m really looking forward for Sandhya Menon’s next book, From Twinkle, With Love, to come out in May 2018.

The Start of You & Me by Emery Lord- I think The Names They Gave Us will always be my favorite Emery Lord book, the more I reflect on The Start of Me and You, the more I love it! As Paige rebuilds her life after the death of her boyfriend, she finds herself spending more time with Max Watson, Quiz Bowl captain and lover of Girl Scout cookies. I loved Max, and I wish I could’ve been on coffee dates with him at the bookstore instead of Paige.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo- Like When Dimple Met Rishi, I Believe in a Thing Called Love has plenty of rom-com vibes. Inspired by her dad’s love for K-dramas, Desi tries to get the guy of her dreams by using her “K Drama Steps to True Love”. While I wasn’t completely in love with the with the plot’s direction, I still had a really fun time reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love.

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz- ELIZAAAAAA! How could I not read the love story of how Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler met?? Despite its mixed reviews on Goodreads, I absolutely adored Alex and Eliza, and if you’re a hardcore Hamilton fan like I am, it’s a must read!

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell- I guess books with rom-com vibes is a theme for this post! The only adult book today, Attachments is my second favorite Rainbow Rowell book, and I have a section in the notes app on my phone dedicated to quotes from the book (I especially love Beth and Jennifer’s email exchanges). I think an Attachments reread is a must for this year.

Do you like romance novels or do you prefer contemporaries with romance mixed in? Share in the comments!

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.


Keeping Up with Fantasy : The Bear and the Nightingale & The Cruel Prince

I’ve  been reading true to the season this January and February with plenty of fantasy, and I’ve been absolutely loving it! I read a lot of contemporary in 2017, so I really want to spend time in 2018 catching up on some backlist titles and ALL of the amazing releases in the fantasy world coming out this year. Today, I’ll be giving you mini reviews of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

My Rating: 4.5/5 Starsthebear.jpg

I never realized that I needed Russian-inspired fantasy until I read The Bear and the Nightingale, the first book in the Winternight trilogy. This book has been on my radar since New York City Comic Con in October (I think the publisher was giving out paperback copies), and it’s been described to me as the perfect winter read, which I can now say is true! The Bear and the Nightingale follows a family who lives in a village on the edge of the Russian wilderness, where folklore and spirits are part of the way of life. After her mother dies, Vasilisa is left to figure out life and her secret powers on her own. Her father’s new wife does not help matters by forbidding that Visalia and her siblings honor the household spirits.

While the story primarily focuses on Vasilisa, we get plenty of third person POV from almost the entire cast of characters. I love her brothers, Sasha and Alyosha, and I like how Vasilisa’s stepsister, Irina, is not pited against her. My favorite aspect of the book is definitely a tie between Katherine Arden’s writing style and her world building! I love how she incorporated Russian folklore, culture, and even history, from what I understood, in her own fantastical world.

Regarding the ending, I was pretty content with that there weren’t a million and one questions left open at the end (okay, maybe there were like five). I’m really excited to pick up the The Girl in the Tower, especially since I’ve heard that the book features Vasilisa’s siblings that we don’t get throughout The Bear in the Nightingale!

 The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

tcp.jpg My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I am here to admit that all the hype surrounding The Cruel Prince made me want to pick up this first installment in Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air trilogy. While I have seen some mixed reviews, so many reviewers that Ifollow have raved about TCP and have placed it among their all-time favorites list. TCP was my introduction to Holly Black, and I’m sure like many, the only Fae-inspired books I’ve read are Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

TCP reminded me of Amanda Hocking’s Switched trilogy for its human-enters-fantastical-world element (Switched is about trolls, TCP is about faeries). Despite the hype, I didn’t know too much about the book going in, and I really enjoyed how Holly Black incorporated humans and the mortal world into the story. In the most basic synopsis, The Cruel Prince follows a mortal girl, Jude, who must fight off the trickery of the Fae in order to be in a place of power and respect in their kingdom.

I like how the book starts off with the reason why Jude and her sisters are whisked away from the mortal world to the Faerie realm, then transporting into the future with the girls adjusted to living among faeries. Like I said before, I haven’t read too many faerie books, but Holly Black’s world-building and world of Fae seemed really unique, and I’m definitely interested in seeing the world expand in the next book. My favorite part was learning more about the royal court and seeing what Jude’s role would ultimately be.

While I do think TCP is worthy of the hype, it’s not my all-time favorite book. I feel like Jude quickly escalated to being pretty dark to OH MY GOSH THIS GIRL IS ABOUT TO HAVE ALL FAERIES BOW AT HER FEET against all of the plot development, and I can already see the insta-love/hate-to-love forming. However, I am interested in picking upmore of Holly Black’s work and I plan on reading The Wicked King upon its release date.

Have you read The Cruel Prince or The Bear and the Nightingale? Share in the comments!

My Funko Pop Collection – February 2018

I think we can all agree that Funko Pops make for the best bookshelf companions. J started collecting Funko Pops a few years ago, and I now have 15 Funko Pops in total, along with some other Funko Pop merchandise. Today, I’m going to walk you through my current Funko Pop collection- I may have to do a part 2 as it grows!

Parks and Recreation

Bert Macklin—I remember running and screaming around my house, much to my family’s delight, when it was announced last year that Funko was creating a Parks and Recreation series. Bert was my first Parks and Rec Funko and so far, he’s the only Hot Topic exclusive from the series. I recommend using Hot Topic when ordering Funkos online—they usually have a ton of sales and do a lot of exclusives.

Ron Swanson– I snuck Ron into my textbook order last semester on Amazon, out of fear that I would never find him again. HOW COULD I NOT HAVE RON GUYS? IT’S LIKE LESLIE WITHOUT WAFFLES.

Leslie Knope– Speaking of Leslie, I was gifted Leslie this past Christmas. I love how much detail they put into her Pawnee book!

April Ludgate- April was a surprise Christmas gift and like Leslie, I love how much detail went into her (her eyeshadow game is strong).

Andy Dwyer- Andy was the third Funko I received for Christmas and I’m happy I now own both “Andys”. I don’t plan on finishing the first Parks and Rec series with Lil’ Sebastian—his role in the show is funny, but I think a few other characters should have been more important to include in the first series of pops.

Harry Potter

Luna Lovegood- I love how detailed Luna is, between her earrings and the spider on her hand.

Ron Weasley- I couldn’t have Harry without Ron, who was a Christmas present from one of my sisters a few years back. For some reason, he falls over the most.Read More »