bookish list

2017 Releases I Want to Read in 2018

2017 releases I want to read in 2018
I realized at the end of last year that I bought a lot of the 2017 releases that I was anticipating, but I have not read them. I think that’s because I get really scared of reading book that I’m anticipating because I feel like they may let me down, that’s why in 2018 I’m trying to keep track and read the new releases I’m anticipating. Also, I want to read some of the 2017 releases that I own but I have not read yet. Here’s a list of the ones I want to read the most.
2017 -1
We Are Ok by Nina LaCour
I have read only one book by Nina LaCour, Everything Leads to You, and I really liked it, so I’m excited to give another one of her books a chance.  All I know about this book is that it’s a quiet book about loss and grief. I also know that there’s queer girls in it. I think I’m gonna love it, also I may cry multiple times.
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza 
This was my most anticipated release of 2017, I was so excited to read it and I even bought it as soon as it came out. But I heard not such good things about it and I started to read it (I just read the first few pages) and I don’t know if I wasn’t in the mood or what, but I didn’t connect with the writing at all. Nonetheless, I want to give this one another chance, because the concept sounds amazing and it has a diverse cast of characters.
There’s lesbian rep and bisexual rep, there’s music and romance and I can’t wait to read it. I will say that the thing that has me most excited to read it, it’s that a queer reviewer called this on Goodreads “one of the most bi- positive books she’s ever read” and I’m so excited to see that for myself.
2017 -2
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
All I know about this book is that there’s queer characters that travel through Europe. I have heard nothing but good things about this one, LITERALLY nothing but good things, so I don’t know why I’m so scared to read it. I even read the first few pages recently and I really liked the writing.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone 
I have heard this is a short but powerful story that deals with topics like racism and poverty. Someone told me that if I liked The Hate U Give, I would like this one, so I’m excited to give it a chance. Also, I have heard there’s little description and lots of dialogue, which sounds great to me.
I think the main reason I want to read this is that description of the main character, she is an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager and at the same time she is a book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist. She sounds amazing and I can’t wait to meet her!  As all the books on this list, I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet.

 

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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movies wrap up · The movie Journal

The Movie Journal: January 2018

The Movie Journal

It’s a bit late, but I wanted to keep track of the movies I watch in 2018 and my thoughts about them and I decided to do it on the blog. Here are the ones I watched in January from worst to best:

movie collage.png

A Princess for Christmas (1 star) 

At the invitation of an estranged relative, a young woman travels with her niece and nephew to a castle in Europe for Christmas, where she unwittingly falls for a dashing Prince. 

Cast:  Katie McGrath, Sam Heughan
Directed by: Michael Damia
Written by: Michael Damian, Janeen Damian

I don’t have much to say about this one except:
The main couple had cero chemistry.
The writing was terrible.
There was no plot.
It wasn’t even entertaining.

Christmas Inheritance (2.5 stars)

A young woman must deliver a Christmas card to a family friend in order to claim her inheritance. Along the way, she learns the true meaning of the holiday when she ends up stuck at an inn during a snowstorm.

Cast: Eliza Taylor, Jack Lacy
Directed by: Ernie Barbarash
Written by: Dinah Eng

Again, not much to say about this movie, except:
The plot was predictable, but not terrible.
The acting was decent.
The script was mediocre.
At least this was a bit entertaining.
movie collage 2
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (4,5 stars)

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Kelly Marie Tran
Written and Directed by: Rian Johnson

I loved this movie much more than The Force Awakens (which I really liked anyway!), because to me The Force Awakens was way too similar to the original movies and didn’t bring enought orginal elements in terms of the plot, but The Last Jedi, at least to me,  brings something new to the franchise, it takes risks, and that’s what I loved about it. Obviously, I also loved the characters, I loved the diversity of the cast, and I’m very glad certain ship that was being hinted did not happen. I’M SO GLAD.  Because it was a very unhealthy relationship based on manipulation.

Detroit (5 stars)

Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.

Cast: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie,Will Poulter,Algee Smith,Jacob Latimore, Kaitlyn Dever
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Written by: Mark Boal

There was a special screening of this movie in a museum in the city I live in and I was so excited to finally be able to watch it. This was infuriating and frustrating and it made me want to scream. The acting was incredible, the script was really good, but the best things about it was that it captures the feeling of impotence and it transmits it to the viewer. The way that this portraits racial tension, racial inequality and racisms is very powerful.

 

Perfect Strangers (5 stars)
Seven long-time friends get together for a dinner. When they decide to share with each other the content of every text message, email and phone call they receive, many secrets start to unveil and the equilibrium trembles.

Cast: Kasia Smutniak,Alba Rohrwacher,Marco Giallini, Valerio Mastandrea,
Anna Foglietta, Edoardo Leo, Giuseppe Battiston
Directed by:  Paolo Genovese
Written by:  Paolo Genovese, Filippo Bologna, Rolando Ravello, Paola Mammini

This was the best movie I watched in January.  I haven’t watch many Italian films in my life, but after watching this one I know I have to do it more often.  The acting in this is fantastic, the plot is captivating and the script is really good as well. This film made me experience so many feelings as I watched, I was so invested in what was going on. This is definitely a film that makes you think about and reconsider the way we interact with other people and the role technology plays into those interactions, as well as the value we give honesty.

  Have you watch any of the movies I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to watch any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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bookish list

Most Anticipated Book Releases -February 2018

Most anticipated book releases 2018

 

As I said last month in my Most Anticipated Releases of January 2018 post, I will be writing a post like this every month in 2018, where I talk about my most anticipated releases of that month. I have 3 goals with this: 1) at the end of the year, I want to see how many of the books I said I was anticipating did I actually read. 2) I want to increase the number of new releases I read, and, 3) In case someone hasn’t heard about a book, but it sounds like something they would enjoy.

Here are my anticipated February releases:

february 2018

American Panda by Gloria Chao 

I always find stories about people straddling two cultures very interesting, in this case, the story is about a Taiwanese-American girl, who must deal with the expectation of her Taiwanese parents and her own desires. I have never read a book with a Taiwanese main character and that makes this book even more compelling to me. Also, it has a Japanese

Release date: February 6th 2018

The Belles by  Dhonielle Clayton

The concept of this, the idea of a group of women controlling beauty in a world where beauty is coveted, seems fascinating to me. Also, it’s New Orleans inspired fantasy and since New Orleans is the most beautiful and interesting city I have ever visited, I’m excited to read this. Plus, we have a black main character, which I feel we need more of in fantasy.

Release date: February 6th 2018

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena 

I have heard that this book is heartbreaking, I know the story starts with the death of the main character, which sounds intriguing, and the book deals with heavy themes like abuse, rape culture, religion, mental health and cultural norms. I want to see how these themes are handled.

Release date: February 27th 2018

The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos

I have heard people describe this as raw and intense. The main character, Macy, must deal with neglect, abuse and poverty. I really think this are topics that need to be addressed more in YA, especially teens living in poverty, so I’m really excited to see how it is handled in this book.

Release date: February 1st 2018

February 2018 2

Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward

I have been obsessed with romance lately and this sounded up my alley. This book has a complicated but interesting premise, which is what made me want to read it. It’s hard to explain so I’m just gonna say that at its core is a friends to lovers story and from what I have heard there’s a lot of chemistry between the characters.

Release date: February 19th 2018

All We Can Do is Wait  by Richard Lawson 

This book is about a bridge collapse and a group of teenagers that meets in the waiting room of a hospital waiting to hear news about their love ones. That premise is the entire reason I want to read this.

Release date: February 6th 2018

I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter 

The tittle and the cover of this book played a big part in wanting to read it. But the fact that it deals with themes like rape, sexual assault, murder and violence made me want to read it even more.

Release date: February 27th 2018

 

What  february book releases are you anticipating? Do you want to read any of this books? Have you read any of this books and what did you think about it?

wrap up

January 2018 Wrap Up

monthly-wrap-up-1

Life Update 

My mom was in the hospital since December 15th, she finally had the procedure that she needed on January 22nd and they let her leave the hospital today, February 2nd. She’s finally doing ok and that’s the best news!

I was doing so much better in terms of my anxiety, but the last few weeks haven’t been so great. Now that I finished some of the things and my mom is doing better, I hope I can get my anxiety a little under control.

My boyfriend moved away, which was really sad, but long distance hasn’t been as awful as I thought. Although, it’s only been about two weeks since he left, so it will probably get harder with time.

– I officially went through the administrative process necessary to graduate. I’m graduating February 24th. You heard right, I’M GRADUATING FROM UNIVERSITY!! 

I’m one week away from finishing my internship. FINALLY! I’m so happy that I could cry tears of happiness.

I’m writing again!!! Ok, I have only written like 800 words, BUT I wrote something so that counts as good news.

What I read 

 

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (4,2 stars)

I liked the representation of OCD and Anixiety in this book, it’s #ownvoices and it shows. There were a lot of other things that I loved about this, but I did have some problems with it. Read by review to know more.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (4 stars)

When this book focused on living with a mental illness, on how that looks like in the day to day and on the good and bad that comes with it, this book was brilliant. Nonetheless, I had problems with some chapters that were random stories, because they tried too hard to be funny and lost the depth that other chapters had. I feel like there was some cohesiveness missing in this book. BUT, there were times when this was so great that I couldn’t believe someone had the words necessary to explain certain feelings and experiences.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (4 stars)

The plot in this book is fantastic and unexpected, there’s a mystery throughout the book that comes to a surprising resolution. The plot was definitely my favorite part as well as the main characters, a group of bisexual girls that are cousins and that have lived their lives as if there one, because of the many things that bind them together. The only problem I have with this book is that I didn’t feel connected to anything and it has to do with the writing, Anna-Marie’s writing is beautiful but unfortunately, I feel it keeps me at a distance.
Christina

Roomies by Christina Lauren (3,8 stars)

This story is so much fun; the characters are great and they have so much chemistry.  It’s a cute, fluffy and a fast read. Here’s my review.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (4,5 stars)

I loved this book, it gave me a lot of feels. It deals with the intersection between homophobia, religion and family. This story was heartbreaking at some points, infuriating at others, but it also had cute and happy moments. The romance is a lovely one and we get a bisexual main character and a gay main character.

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen (4 stars)

This was a fun, entertaining and steamy read with great characters and it keep me captivated the entire time. Check out my review.

Act Like It by Lucy Parker (3 stars)

I had a hard time getting into this book, but it picks up and then it becomes a good romance full of banter, chemestry and lovely moments. Check out my review.

After We Fall by Melanie Harlow

This was steamy, entertaining and very, VERY ANGSTY. It was a fun read but I did have some problems with it. Check out my review.

simon and witch

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I really liked this book,  it took me some time to get into it, but then it got so good. I really liked the characters and the romance was so cute, it was kind of easy to figure out who Blue was but that ddin’t take away from the story.

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace

There are a few poems in this collection that I really liked, but most of them were  just ok for me. Check out my review.

On the blog 

Here’s everything I posted this month on the blog:

  1. A Very Late Wrap Up: August – December 2017
  2. Most Anticipated Book Releases – January 2018
  3. 8 Books I Want to Read in 2018 
  4. Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green 
  5. Book Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren
  6. Book Review: Act Like It by Lucy Parker 
  7. Mini Reviews: Grumpy Farmers, Ambitious City Girls & Romance 
  8. Mini Review: Poetry Collection 

  Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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Review

Mini Reviews: Poetry Collections

Mini Reviews

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

the sun and her flowers

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

Goodreads | Amazon

The first few poems are about heartbreak and they were  beautiful and so infinetly sad, but so relatable as well. Having being through a break up recently, these poems made me cry my eyes out. I felt so incredibly heartbroken when I read them, but also I felt so relieved that someone else felt that way, that someone else understood. I also felt so very grateful that she shared those poems with the world.

There was a part of this book that was all about immigration and refugees, and it talked about those things in such a powerful, raw and heartbreaking ways. The poems where she talks about  immigration were intimetly woven with the story of her parents and that made it feel so much more authentic. Also, the poems she wrote specificly to her mother were beutiful, sad, heartwarming, devastating, everything at once.

There are in this collection a lot of  poems that are written in a style that’s not my favorite, these short poems that feel more like a sentence than like a poem. Also, the poems about love were my least favorite. I felt like in some of the poems, love became the thing that gave meaning to life and it’s strange because in so many of the other poems Rupi Kaur talks about life having meaning in itself, so it was like a step backwards when she talk about love in this all consuming and kind of dependant way. Maybe no one else felt this way, but it bother me.

Rating: 4 stars 

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The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace

the witch

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I definitely liked the first book in this series, The Princess Saves Herself in this One, more than this second installment. There are a few poems in this collection that I really liked, but most of them were  just ok for me.

I do think Amanda Lovelace writes about some important topics. I’m glad this type of poetry collection exists that deals with feminist issues, body positivity, sexual assault, self-love, etc. But I feel like the way these topics were explored in this collection became repetitive.  Also, the poems in this one didn’t evoke any emotion from me, which was weird because I feel like I usually relate to poetry that deals with these topics.

I feel like overall themes of the book, witches, witchcraft and witch hunts were interesting and they were present in all the poems. There was a lot of consistency in the collection, both in terms of the overall theme and the different topics it explored. But,  as I was saying before, my main problem with this book is that i didn’t feel touched or connected to a lot of the poems and most of them didn’t provoke any emotion in me.

Rating: 3 Stars
Have you read these books? Did you like them? Do you have any of them on your tbr?

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Review

Mini Reviews: Grumpy Farmers, Ambitious City Girls & Romance

Mini Reviews

I read two romance books with similar concepts recently and I thought it would be a good idea to do some mini reviews of both of them.

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Bittersweet

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Goodreads | Amazon 
  • The chemistry between the main characters is off the charts! I’m not kidding, it’s great! It also helped that I really like the main characters.
  • This book is steamy. There’s an outside shower and they have sex there!!! (it was really hot). If you don’t like books that are explicit and steamy, maybe this isn’t for you. BUT I love them, so…
  • There’s lots of sassy banter, which I love!!!! Really, it’s one of the things that will make me love a ship.
  • There are so many mentions of food, which I usually don’t like in books (don’t judge me!), but in this book is done really well. I felt the passion the main character, Audrey, has for cooking.
  • The family aspect is GREAT! Griffin’s family is the best.
  • There’s a bit of angst but it wasn’t dragged out too much, which is always a plus in romance and new adult books, because things can get way too dramatic.
  • I couldn’t put this down, I just wanted to keep reading. The writing flowed so well and made the story easy to read and captivating.
  • Overall, this was a fun, entertaining and steamy read with great characters and it keep me captivated the entire time.
Rating: 4 stars

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow 
After We FAll

Jack Valentini isn’t my type. 

Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.  Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so. But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.  His huge, hard muscles.

Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop. And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness. 

But he’s wrong. I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last

Goodreads | Amazon 
  • The main characters had lots of chemistry. LOTS OF CHEMISTRY.
  • There’s so many hot scenes. They have sex in the woods! (that sounds really uncomfortable, but wild and hot? Kind of) Again, if you don’t like your romances steamy, maybe this isn’t for you.
  • This has PTSD representation, I don’t think it was bad but I don’t feel like I’m the right person to comment on the rep (I didin’t find any #ownvoices reviews).  BUT, I can say that this shows therapy in a positive light and love doesn’t cure mental illness, both things are fantastic!
  • It was tiny bit too angsty for me. The things is that Jack, the main character, had such a heartbreaking backstory that there was no way this wasn’t angsty. That’s why I prefer romance books with main characters that have  problems and issues -but not extremely tragic backstories- because that reduces the angst levels.
  • The characters weren’t my favorite, especially Jack, he was a bit too rude and too harsh for my taste, and even if he had a tragic backstory that doesn’t excuses the way he behaved sometimes.
  • Overall, this was steamy, entertaining and very, VERY ANGSTY. It was a fun read but I did have some problems with it.
Rating: 3,4 stars 
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Review

Book Review: Act Like It by Lucy Paker

Act like itTitle: Roomies

Author: Lucy Parker

Published by: Carina Press

Publishing date: November 30th 2015

Genre: Romance

Pages: 199

This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre’s Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard’s antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city. Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance. Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

Goodreads | Amazon 

The thing about this book is that there was no chemestry between the characters throughout the first half of the book and that made connecting with the story and enjoying the reading experience difficult for me. I understand and I think it was interesting that the author wanted to establish how much the two main characters didn’t like each other and how there wasn’t any attraction between them before the whole fake relationship started. BUT I feel like that part of the book was way TOO LONG.

I feel like my main problem were the choices made in terms of the writing. As I was saying, the pacing was slow and it took too long to get to the fun part of the book were the relationship between the characters developed, which made the beginning feel boring. Also, it was told in third person point of view and for this type of story, I feel like it doesn’t work for me. It’s easier to connect with the characters when the story is told in first person point of view.

Nontheless, after the main characters finally started to become friendly towards each other everything changed for the better. The were cute moments, lots of banter, even some playfulness and incredible chemestry. I really liked the main character, Lainie, she was smart, kind and sassy. On the other hand, Richard was rude, mean and conceited, but he could be thoughful and sweet as well. I liked the fact that he didn’t just completly changed his personality once they got together.

The background of this book is London’s West End, so there’s a lot of theater talk and celebrity culture, which made this book interesting and more enjoyable.

Overall, I think that even if it’s a little slow and boring at the beginning, this book picks up and then it becomes an amazing romance full of banter, chemestry and lovely moments.

Rating: 3 stars
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