0

Contemporary Books I Can’t Wait To Get To

Hi guys! Long time no chat. The past few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what I should write about. After all, I haven’t even read a book in the past almost three months–so I can’t really discuss any new books. But, as always, there are a bunch of books I want to read and can’t. Today I decided to talk about some contemporaries I’ve had my eyes out for. (Some of these are published, others aren’t).

  • Girls Like That Tanaz Bhathena

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POC main character? With a cover that SHOWS it? Intriguing plot? Sign me up. (Release date: February 27th, 2018).

  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter By Erica Sanchez

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(This was released October 17th, 2017).

  • Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

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GUYS. I am SO excited for this. It’s actually number one on the Goodreads list for POC main characters–the main character is an Indian-American Muslim and deals with Islamophobia. I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT–so many people have read it and loved it and I want to, too.

  • It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

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Pretty cover? Check. Cute contemporary? Check. Also, this is already published so I can go out and read it anytime!

  • Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

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Muslim-American protagonist? Who wears a hijab? IN THE BOOK COVER? Okay, besides all of my gushing, this actually means so much to me. Looking at this cover, I can see myself in the main character, and that just…makes such a huge difference. This was published over the summer, and I’m dying to get my hands on it.

  • Save The Date by Morgan Matson

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I used to love Morgan’s books SO much (back when I actually read), and I’ve been anticipating this one for nearly two years now. I actually heard about it wayyy before it was published when I met Morgan Matson, and I know it’s going to be just as cute and funny and heart-warming as her other books.

And finally, because I don’t want this list to go on forever,

  • Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

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I legit waited three years for Jasmine Warga to write a new book, and she finally did! This also has a Middle-Eastern main character, and because My Heart and Other Black Holes was such an important book for me, I have super high expectations. (Thinking about it makes me nostalgic :’)).

And that’s it for this post! I know it was kind of choppy, but it took me a while to compile this list and I hope you enjoy. If you noticed, a lot of these books have POC/Muslim main characters, which means a lot to me (and I’ve been trying to read contemporaries with more representation). Please let me know if you’ve read/want to read any of these–I’d love to talk!

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5

Countdown to Halloween: Book Shoutout #1 (Mara Dyer)

Hey guys! Before I start…wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve sat down, a little less stressed and not in a hurry, to write a blog post. My app, as I’ve said before, isn’t working properly and it just felt so good to be able to go through my feed and see all of the posts even if I couldn’t read all of them.

I’ve missed reading so much. I haven’t read a full book in over 6 or so weeks, and I haven’t avidly read in like…over a year. Sitting down and going through my feed made me realize how much I miss it, and the sad part is, I probably won’t be able to for a while. Regardless, I wanted to start a series of posts until Halloween in which I feature a specific book I’ve read/want to read that’s creepy, scary, or Halloween related.

I read the Mara Dyer series over three years ago, back when I was in 8th grade, and I naturally loved it. I recognize now that there are lots of flaws and points that aren’t that well written, but, well, I still love the books. I remember them as being addicting, intriguing, and slightly creepy but not necessarily horror–and I love that creep factor.

When Michelle Hodkin announced that she would be writing a spin-off trilogy, then, I was naturally SUPER excited, and I still am. I’ve been counting down for the release for years now–and it’s finally getting closer. The Becoming of Noah Shaw is going to be released November 7th, and guys. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to go back into this world and be immersed in a story with Mara and Noah. I miss these characters so much and that’s why I just HAD to do my first shout-out on this series/book.

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Also, I love all the covers so much, but this one especially. (I also love the fact that this new trilogy seems to be the opposite of the first one…The Unbecoming vs the Becoming, the fire/ashes instead of the water…all so cleverly designed.)

If you don’t know, the Mara Dyer trilogy is like the book version of crack. I’m serious. Once you start reading, you can’t stop. There are some cringy parts, but the overall enjoyment is worth it. Plot twists, romance, etc. And it will definitely get you in the mood for Halloween.

Are you excited for this book to come out as much as I am? Let’s discuss!

I hope you guys enjoyed this shortish post, and will keep following for my next shout-out.

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2

A Special Banned Book: The Catcher in the Rye

Whoops. It’s been two weeks since I’ve written a blog post (sorry). Do I even need to tell you why? (It’s because of school, in case you didn’t know). In honor of Banned Books Week, which starts on the 24th, I wanted to talk about one banned book in particular: The Catcher in the Rye.

I completely understand anyone who hates this book. I get that Holden is annoying, exasperating, and ridiculous. The book itself seems repetitive, vulgar, and can even be pointless for some. But for me?

I love it.

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Funnily, it’s actually one of my favorite books and definitely my favorite “classic”. I first read it two years ago, the summer before high school, and I enjoyed it a lot then too. This summer, I had to reread it for school, but I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it. The summer before freshman year wasn’t really a good time for me, so I thought maybe I only liked it because, well, I was depressed and so is Holden.

I reread it, and I still enjoyed it. At one point, I felt like I was going to cry (towards the end). Now here’s the thing. I feel like people who don’t enjoy Catcher kind of read it…wrong. Given, sometimes you just don’t like books, but I read it for what it was: one of the first young adult books ever published, narrated by an angsty, depressed (?) teen.

If I had read any other book that was published recently, and it was even remotely similar to Holden’s narration, I can guarantee you that I would hate it. But Catcher isn’t any other book that was published recently. My expectations were entirely different because I sort of knew what it was going to be about.

Sure, Holden’s annoying. He’s inconsiderate, stupid, and makes bad decisions. All. The. Time. But…I love his character too. He’s relatable, and he feels real. He’s more “human” than any other book character I’ve read about. Most people aren’t selfless and kind all the time. Most people are mean, judgy, and selfish–like Holden. And I related to that. He says all of the things that we normally don’t say because we deem them inappropriate. But he cares, too. He’s not a villain, per se, because he’s not really bad. Of course, he’s not good either. That’s why the only way I can describe him is human. Holden is human, and humans screw up, humans get depressed or say bad things and good things. And that fact–that’s what touched me.

There are a million other things I could possibly say about The Catcher in the Rye, but I think this is enough for this post. I love this book, and I know it’s controversial, but I feel like that just makes it even better.

What are your favorite banned books? What about Catcher? Are you a person who hates it, or loves it?

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6

National Book Festival Experience

Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged, or even went on WordPress. I also haven’t been able to go through anyone else’s posts because my app isn’t working properly; I’m sorry about that.

Anyway, last Saturday, I went to the National Book Festival in D.C. for the second time, and it was so much fun! I wanted to share my experience with you guys, so I hope you enjoy. 🙂

This year the authors I met were Sabaa Tahir, Nicola Yoon, and Sandhya Menon. It was raining and a gloomy day, and we were in a hurry to get there on time for the signings–but luckily we did. If you don’t know, the National Book Festival (obviously) is one of the biggest book festivals in the world, so it was flooding with people and signing lines. I quickly rushed over to Sabaa Tahir’s line and luckily got to meet her!

She was super nice, asked me how Eid was going which was pretty cool, and I told her how happy I was for her books to be growing so popular. We didn’t speak for that long, because the line was so long, but she was so cool that it didn’t even matter much.

I couldn’t get a really good photo with her, but I feel like this picture accurately represents my reaction to meeting her:

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Next, I met Nicola Yoon, WHICH I AM STILL SO EXCITED ABOUT BECAUSE GUYS I LOVE THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR SOO SO MUCH. I had actually drawn a picture of Natasha, the main character, and gave Nicola the photocopy and kept the signed one for myself. It was such a lovely experience; and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet her and give her my fan art.

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For the next hour or so, I didn’t really have anything to do while my sister met Angie Thomas (author of THUG, whom I didn’t meet but saw!), so I decided I might as well buy When Dimple Met Rishi and meet Sandhya Menon. I told her how excited I was about her book, especially the diversity, and then she also recommend a bunch of books with other brown main characters. She was also, of course, super sweet and now I’m more excited to read her book. (I don’t have a picture with her, unfortunately).

Overall, the National Book Festival was once again so much fun. The staff was super nice, it’s a huge event, and it’s just really great to be among so many people who also love books. If you live in the area (or even if you don’t!) I highly recommend you come next year!

Have you ever been to the National Book Festival? If so, who did you meet?

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0

Windwitch: You Should Totally Read It Too!

Windwitch by Susan Dennard is the second book in the Witchlands series. Last summer I read Truthwitch and had enjoyed it very much so I was partially hesitant about reading this one. Luckily, I loved it just as much as the first book.

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This review will be spoiler-free for both books in the series, so feel free to read it (and learn why you should read this series too!)

Maybe for the first 70 pages or so, I couldn’t quite get into the story. This series has probably the most complex world I have ever read from, so I had forgotten a lot of the terminology, magic, and plot of the previous book. Thankfully, I got a hang of it once again and started enjoying it even more.

This book focuses on Merik–and I love Merik. Whereas in the first book he is mostly seen as a love interest that is kind of bland (I still loved him, but this is what I hear are the opinions of other people as well), in Windwitch, his character is almostly completely transformed. Throughout the book he goes through one of the best character developments I’ve read in a while. (It’s so great that the ending made me even happier). It doesn’t really have as much romance, because the characters are separated, but I thought it was nice to take a break from this.

All of the characters, the new and old ones, are awesome, badass, and three-dimensional. They constantly question themselves, as anyone normal would do, and often times you can’t really tell where the story is headed because they appear somewhat morally ambiguous (which I love).

On top of all the amazing characters and world, the plot was so well written. Susan Dennard cleverly switches between chapter to chapter from character to character so that you don’t get bored reading the same story. Almost all of the time each chapter ends in a cliffhanger and so you want to keep reading. And of course, there are lots and lots of plot twists–and who wouldn’t love plot twists?

Long story short, this series is probably my ideal high fantasy series and I urge everyone to pick them up. They deserve so much more recognition than they get! \

Have you read this series as well? Who’s your favorite character? (Merik is my favorite, but I love all of them).

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21

10 Bookish Confessions

Hello everyone! I want to quit apologizing for not posting so often anymore, but every time I end up writing a blog post, I say sorry. And the thing is, I am sorry. But I wanted to let you guys know of somethings, hence the ~confessions~ title.

Confession #1: It’s making me really, really sad, the fact that no one ever bothers to comment (or even like!) my posts anymore. May has been an all time low for me in terms of blogging feedback. I mean, I know I’ve been blogging less, but even when I do, I’ve never had this little reaction. And it makes me so freaking sad guys. I can’t explain it properly to you.

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Confession #2: I’ve only read 4 books all year. I know. It’s shameful. And again, I hate myself for it. All the books I did read were really good, but it’s depressing. To think that I could read 4 books in two weeks or less in the past makes it even worse.

Confession #3: I get super nostalgic about books. For example, if I see an old book I loved, in that moment I’ll want to reread it and fall in love with it all over again, and sometimes thinking about books I loved makes me sad.

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Confession #4: Most people in my day-to-day life don’t know about this blog. My family knows, and so do my close friends, but I don’t publicize it much in real life. It’s too close to my heart and I feel like people will judge me!

Confession #5: I rarely reread books. Then again, I haven’t had much time to read books in general, but I haven’t reread a book in forever. Maybe the last time I did was in 5th grade? I don’t even know. I really really WANT to, but all these new shiny books are too appealing!

Confession #6: I DO reread passages, though. I have this weird thing where I remember which page/where in the book passages I loved were. So occasionally, I’ll pick up the book and reread those scenes that I loved. Even if it doesn’t give the same effect as rereading the whole thing, I still love doing it.

Confession #7: I love recommending loved ones books, but I hate it when people I don’t like read the books I like. It’s like, if you’re my friend, then I will FORCE you to read it. But if I hate you, I will feel like you don’t deserve to read my favorite books, and it’ll really annoy me.

Confession #8: I don’t like fanfiction. Never read it, I don’t think I ever will. I love fan art, but I just don’t like how people may change characters so dear to my heart, and this may therefore ruin my vision of the characters. Also, I just don’t have the time, haha.

Confession #9: I can’t read (or enjoy reading) when I’m sick, tired, or anytime I don’t feel good. I just can’t. And this is why I’ve been reading so little now. Because even if I’m hating a book, I want to read it when I’m actually awake and processing. I can’t enjoy books when I’m tired and it’ll completely ruin my liking of a book if I’m not feeling good.

Confession #10: The book blogging community has grown so much, I sometimes wonder if my blog even matters. I especially feel this way when I’m feeling down, but I remind myself that my blog is for me and everyone contributes to the blogging world.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading all my “confessions”! I’m going to try to continue blogging at least every week from now on, since school is *slightly* calming down (and when I feel better. I’m super sick.)

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8

My Signed Books (Part I) & Their Stories

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to write a blog post about something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: my signed books. Signed books are some of my favorite things. Regardless of if I met the author(s) or not, I will want that signed book. They’re kind of my fatal flaw, you could say. And so today, I am going to be talking to you all about part of my signed book collection. Without further ado, let’s begin!

I’m going to try to go in chronological order, but that probably won’t happen because I don’t remember everything.

The books in this list are of authors I didn’t meet, but bought their books anyway because they were signed. The next post will be about authors I met!

  • The House of Hades by Rick Riordan–this was my first signed copy ever. I actually DID get to see Rick Riordan, but because he doesn’t have signing lines, I didn’t actually “meet” him. Nonetheless, because this was my first signed copy, it has a lot of sentimental value for me and it was a HUGE deal that I had it (still kinda is) by such a popular author. (I got it in 7th grade.)

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  • I think the second signed copy I bought without meeting the author was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I actually *still* haven’t read this book even though I bought it nearly two years ago on a whim, only because it was signed and looked pretty. (oops) Anyway, here are some photos:
  • Next is The Heir by Kiera Cass–I bought this when it was first published in April 2015 (or was it May?) and if you don’t know, Target usually has a lot of signed copies so this was one of them where I was already going to buy the book but ended up buying it signed!

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  • Similar to The Heir, I bought P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han also from Target, and again it was coincidentally also signed! ❤ (Gotta love Target haha)

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  • Next I bought Queen of Shadows–once again from Target–signed! I was super happy that I got it signed because everyone knows how in demand Sarah J. Maas’ books are…

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  • Then, in 8th grade, I went to another Rick Riordan event and I was supplied with a copy of The Sword of Summer, signed, of course. 🙂

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  • And finally, perhaps my most exciting signed copy that I got where I didn’t meet the author, is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I actually WON A GIVEAWAY and I was sent this as well as other awesome book merch from Molly’s Book Nook. I was going through a really hard time at that moment so it really helped me and it also became one of my favorite books. I still love this copy and it is so special ❤

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I also have a couple other books that were sent to me, however, they’re kind of stashed away so I couldn’t take pics of them. (Which makes it a total of about 9 signed books I have without meeting the authors.)

Here’s a pic with all of the mentioned books:

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Anyway, I really hope you enjoyed reading this! What I would recommend for finding signed books if authors don’t come to your areas is to keep your EYES OUT for promotions online. I know some indie bookstores have them, and you should also look out for Target’s books because they tend to have a lot of signed copies!

P.S…my next list should be even longer and more fun to read…;) I just calculated my total number of signed books and it’s around 30!! Some people don’t care much for signed books but I know I sure love collecting them.

What signed books do you own? Should I make a Part II? Hope you enjoyed this!

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