Things I’ve Been Loving Recently: Books, Movies, TV Shows, Music & More

Things I've been loving recently

Today, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some things that I’ve been loving in 2017, so this post will cover January, February and the first weeks of March.

BOOKS

These are my top 5 books I have read so far in 2017, or at least I think so, it’s just that I have read so many amazing books this year that it was really hard to choose my favorites and I’m still not entirely sure about my picks. My favorite definitely is How to Make a Wish, there’s diversity, a cute love story between two girls, and a honest depiction of a complicated relationship between a mother and a daughter.  Here are my reviews for How to Make a Wish and God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems. You can read my thoughts about the other books in my January Wrap Up and my February Wrap Up.

Top 5 winter

MOVIES

I haven’t watch that many movies in 2017, but these 3 are definitely the ones that stand out. My favorite was Hidden Figures, I love stories about women doing amazing things, especially if they are women of color, so I definitely loved this one; the acting was amazing and there’s a scene where Katherine screams at this room full of white people that’s my favorite scene of any movie I have watched this year. A the same time, I think for the cinematography and for the importance of the story, Moonlight is outstanding and I found La La Land entertaining even if I recognize that it’s problematic, mainly I liked the songs.

top 3 winter

TV SHOWS

I watched a lot of TV Shows and right now I’m behind in most of them, because I have been really busy. The only ones I’m not behind in are Jane the Virgin and Grey’s Anatomy. I’m loving them both; Jane is always great because being latinx myself I can related to a lot of things that happen in the show and Grey’s is one of my favorite show of all times and I’m liking this season so far.

I have started to watch two new shows thia year: one is One Day at a Time, which I found incredibly funny because again being latinx I can related to a lot of things, this show has been great because when my anxiety gets really bad I can watch this and feel a bit better. I have also been watching Big Little Lies. which I’m very intrigued by and I’m enjoying it so far.

MUSIC

This is the playlist of songs I have been loving lately. I’m currently obssesed with Green Light by Lorde.

BLOGGERS & BOOKTUBERS 

Here are some booktubers and bloggers I have been loving, go check them out!

One thing that made me happy recently is that T just started her blog Novel Paradise ! I have been following her for a while on Twitter and I’m happy to be able to read her reviews and opinions in her own blog.

I have a new favorite blog and it’s Puput’s blog Sparkling Letters, I discovered her blog recently after moving from blogger  to wordpress and I love all her post.

I just found a new booktuber to follow, she is Adriana @Perpetual Pages and she is a latinx. I’m so excited about that! I don’t enought latinx bootubers and I really need to do it.

As always, I’m ejoying Dana’s videos @The Book Horder. She is one of my favorite booktubers.

COVERS

I follow a lot of people on Youtube that make covers, I chose the cover of Lost Boy by the Gardiner Sisters because I have been obssesed with it the last month and a half and I chose the cover of Scars to Your Beutiful by Cimorelli because I have been loving it the last week since they posted it. Th fact that they are both groups of sisters is a total coincidence, btw.

That’s it! Those are some of the things that I have been loving lately. Let me know in the coments, if you like any of the things in this list. Also, tell me what things have you been loving recently. I would love to know! 

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #5

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Diversity Spotlight Thrusday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are suppost to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that has not yet been released. 

If you didn’t know, I also decided to pick  books that have  less than a thousand ratings on Goodreads, because I want to promote less known diverse books and authors, and I will try to choose only #ownvoices books, because I want the authors that I promote to be members of minorities and marginalized groups.

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Coffee Boy by Austin Chan
Coffee Boy

After graduation, Kieran expected to go straight into a career of flipping burgers—only to be offered the internship of his dreams at a political campaign. But the pressure of being an out trans man in the workplace quickly sucks the joy out of things, as does Seth, the humorless campaign strategist who watches his every move.

Soon, the only upside to the job is that Seth has a painful crush on their painfully straight boss, and Kieran has a front row seat to the drama. But when Seth proves to be as respectful and supportive as he is prickly, Kieran develops an awkward crush of his own—one which Seth is far too prim and proper to ever reciprocate.

Goodreads| Amazon

I just finished this two days ago and I really really liked it. It’s a short, interesting, cute and fun romance book that explores really important topics, especially related to trans issues. This book is #ownvoices, both the main character and the author are trans men. This also has positive bisexual representation. The romance in this was amazing, I really enjoyed seeing the relationsip between Kieran and Seth develop.

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Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Peter Darling

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

Goodreads| Amazon

When I finished Coffee Boy, I knew inmideately that I wanted to read another book by Austin Chant really soon and that’s why I got this book and I’m gonna try to read it during March. This is an #ownvoices retelling of Peter Pan, in which Peter is transgender , and that sounds so amazing. Definitely want to read this one soon.

coming-soon

Queens of Geeks by Jen Wilde

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When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I have heard great things about this book and I decided to included in this week’s spotlight because its release date is March 14th 2017, which is next week. I’m so excited to finally be able to get this and read it. Queens of Geeks is a story that has a main character that is autistic named Taylor and a bisexual asian main character named Charlie. This book is #ownvoices because both the author and one of the main character are autistic.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Are you planning on reading any of them? Can you recommend me some diverse books you love? 

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Book Review: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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Title: How to Make a Wish

Author: Ashley Herring Blake

Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publishing date:  May 2nd 2017

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Pages: 336

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

Goodreads | Amazon

*I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. The release date for this book is May 2nd 2017

How to Make a Wish is a character driven book with a really quiet story, it takes turns being heartbreaking, honest, complicated, adorable and heartwarming. Something that makes this book incredibly special is the fact that it’s #ownvoices in terms of sexuality, both the author and the main character are bisexual. The way in which Grace’s bisexuality is describe in the book feels real and honest and the way her bisexuality  is treated and viewed by other characters as something normal is so meaningful. The representation in this book is accurate and thoughtful and it’s not limited to bisexuality, there’s also amazing representation with the love interest, Eva, which is a biracial lesbian girl and I think this is especially important because there’s so little accurate representation of biracial people that having such a positive and relevant representation means a lot.

One of the best things about this book is the romance, Grace and Eva are really cute together and their interactions are really smart and entertaining. There are some steamy moments in this book; there are make out scenes and a sex scene and I think there is so much sex positivity and also  it’s amazing to see how Grace and Eva always make sure the other is comfortable with what they are doing, they always ask for verbal consent and I think the fact that that is portrait makes this a really valuable book. Also, there’s  female masturbation in this book and again the sex positivity is off the charts, it’s shown like something natural and normal and that’s incredible. Furthermore, it’s delightful to see an amazing platonic relationship between a girl and a boy being present in this story. Grace and Luca are best friends,  there are no secondary motivations, neither is in love with the other, they are just friends and that is refreshing.

Now, for the heartbreaking part of this book, one of the main parts of the story revolves around this raw, painful and honest depiction of the relationship between Grace and her mother. Maggie, Grace’s mother, is an unreliable parent, she’s reckless, unpredictable and clueless, she puts her child in impossible situations and this part is so well-written that it’s easy to feel and connect with Grace’s anger, sadness and her feelings of helplessness. There’s so many moments between Grace and Maggie that are so profundly heartbreaking that they make reading this book really hard. On the other hand, there’s Eva, who’s mother just passed away and this book explores grief in a devastating way. There’s this scene in the beach when Grace and Eva first meet that it’s so heartbreaking and raw, that it’s hard to imagine how someone is able to write a scene that can make the reader feel so much. Another thing that it’s magnificent in this book is the fact that as much as Grace makes Eva feel better, Eva’s grief doesn’t go away, it’s always there and that so incredibly honest and sad.

Overall, this was a fantastic book with a diverse cast of characters and a story that at times makes you feel devastated and at other times can be heartwarming.

Rating: 4,5 stars

Are you excited to read this book? Have you read it already? Did you like it? 

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Book Review: If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

if-the-dress-fits

Title: If the Dress Fits

Author: Carla de Guzman

Published by: Midnight Books

Publishing date:  October 15th 2016

Genre: Romance, new adult

Martha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe. 

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what? 

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side. 

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

Goodreads| Amazon

I received this book through a giveaway hosted by the amazing Marianne @Boricuan Bookworms . Thank you so much for giving me the chance to read this book! 

If the Dress Fits is a funny and cute romance story. This is a #ownvoices book both for being overweight and being Filipinx. The main character, Martha, is plus sized woman of color and she has a positive relationship with her weight, which makes this story really valuable. The love interest is Max, a biracial veterinarian, who loves to read, is really romantic and quotes books in random moments. They are both interesting characters and it’s entertaining to read about them.

The romance in this book is on point, the relationship between Martha and Max is adorable. It’s easy to tell from the beginning that they care for each other and that they are really supportive of one another. Max sees through Martha and calls her out when she isn’t honest with herself. This book is a perfect example of fake dating and the best friends to lovers trope done right, they allow some emotional moments and makes this book really swoony.

One of the best parts of the book is that it’s set in the Philippines and it’s amazing to see the vibrant cultural represented, this book is fasicnating and insightful. There is also an incredible family dinamic in this book that is really amusing, all the family members –  the titas, the grandma, the dad, the sister and Regina- are interesting and captivating, even when they don’t show up so often. They can be annoying and make thoughtless comments at times, but there’s still a lot of love and support between them.

The only minor problem with this book is the Enzo storyline, he is a guy Martha went to university with and there’s history there and now he is marrying her cousin; all that storyline feels a bit unnecessary . It would have been amazing to read more about Max instead of all the parts about Enzo.

Rating: 4 stars

Are you excited to read this book? Have you read it already? Did you like it? 

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Reading Challenges Update- February 2017

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Every month, I post an update of how I’m doing in the challenges that I’m participatin in. If you want to know my brief thoughts about any of the books in this post, you can check out my February 2017 Wrap Up.

DIVERSITY BINGO 2017

This month I read 8 book that fit into squares for the diversity bingo 2017 and they are all #ownvoices. I have read 14 book for this challenge and the goal is to fill the 36 squares. (14/36)

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BEAT THE BACKLIST

108f7-btbchallengesliderMy goal for this challenge is to read 30 backlist books this year and to count towards the challenge the book has to have been realese before 2017. I read 8 books in february that count towards this challenge, which means that in 2017 I ahve read a total of 15 books that count towards this challenge. (15/30) 

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FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

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My goal for this challenge is to read 20 fantasy books in 2017. I read 2 fantasy book in february, which takes my total count to 4. (4/20) 

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GOODREADS

I want to read a total of 80 books in 2017. I read 10 books  in february and that means I have read 17 so far in 2017 and I’m 4  books ahead of schedule.

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Are you participating in any challenge? How are you doing? Have you read any of the books on this post? Did you like them? If you posted an update for yur challenges, leave me a link! 

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February 2017 Wrap Up

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I don’t know how but I managed to read 10 books in February, and ,what’s even more exciting, 9 of those books were diverse. This is gonna be a bit of a long post, so let’s talk about the books!

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God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen (4,2 stars) 

I recieved this book from the author and I’m extremely grateful to her. This is a funny, charming and interesting book. The main character, Asiya,has a unique voice that shines throughout the whole story. Also, the humour is absolutely brilliant and that comes from being honest and outspoken about things that are not often talked about in YA. Here’s my review.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (4,2 stars) 

I recieved this book when it first came out and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t read it until recently. This book is atmospheric, it has a creepy vibe that captures the attention of the reader, while also having amazing main characters that are intelligent, funny and complex. The only flaw is that it’s easy to guess who Jack the Ripper is.

The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolaño (3,2 stars)

I read this in my purse of reading more Latin American authors, my boyfriend and one of my best friends love Roberto Bolaño and that’s why I ended up reading his book. The story is told from the perspective of 3 men, it’s an internal monologue of what they think and how they see women in their lives and it isn’t entertaining or insightful. By the end of the book, the reader doesn’t have an idea of who these women actually are, only the ideas these men create about them. Also, this is a mystety and it becomes really predictable after halfway through the book. The one great thing about this book is the writing. Roberto Bolaño is definitely talented with words.

If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman (4 stars) 

This book is funny and cute. The main character, Martha, is plus sized and she has a positive relationship with her weight and that makes this story really valuable.  The book is set in the Philippines and the cultural aspects are very fasicnating and insightful. Also, there ‘s fake dating and the best friends to lovers trope in this story, which allows some emotional moments and makes this book really swoony.

Well Played by Katrina Ramos Atienza (3,4 stars)

This is a Pride and Prejudice retelling set in a university in the Philippine and learning a little bit about how things work in their educational system is entertatining. The characters are interesting enough and the romenace is good even if it takes way too long to start moving forward. The main problem with this book is that it’s too short and that makes the ending feel a bit rush.

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan (I didn’t give it a rating)

This book has really problematic content; there are biphobic comments, ableist comment,  a woc is called ‘exotic’ repeately and there are a lot of other issues. At the same time, this is #ownvoices, the author shared the sexuality and ethnicity of the main character. The few things I liked about this book were that it has a lesbian Persian main character, her family and their culture were big parts of the book, her friends were great and the love story we get at the very end was cute. I’m really conflicted about this book and I think I wouldn’t recommend it.

The Backstagers by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh ( 4Stars)

This is a cute and short graphic novel that has a diverse cast of character and great representation. Also, it has mystery and fantastical elements that make it interesting and intriguing.Here’s my review.

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake ( 4,5 stars) 

I recieved an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review. This book has an amazing romance, Grace and Eva are so cute! Grace is bisexual and Eva is a biracial lesbian girl, these topics are address in a sensitive and thoughtful way; this book is a great example of representation done right. Another good thing about the book is the story of Grace and her mom, which is raw and complicated and told with so much honesty.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (4,2 stars)

This book is about a love story, pure and simple. There are a lot of important subjects discussed, especially race, but at its core I feel this is a love story. A beautifully written love story that can be slow at times, but that by the end it has the reader engrossed. It is defenitely a character driven story, the main character Ifemelu is really complex and kind of intriguing, while the plot is a simpler one.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (4,3 stars)

This is a odd book that has a really fascinating premise.  Hearing about all the different lands the kids went to was incredibly entertaining and the diverse cast of characters, both in terms of LGBTQ+ community and POC’s is represented in a thoughtful and considerate way.

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

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