bookish list

Looking Back at My 2018 Bookish Resolutions

Looking Back at my 2018 Bookish Resolutions

Hi everyone! Since it’s the end of the year, I have been looking back at my reading and blogging in 2018 and I thought it would be a good idea to share how I did with my 2018 Bookish Resolutions.  I had set 7 goals for this year, which were:

Read 52 books: I did it! I have read 137 books in 2018 and I’m hoping that, with the help of the shortest books on my tbr, I can make it to 150. (✔️)

Blog consistently: I didn’t do as well as I hoped with this goal, BUT 2018 was the first year since I started blogging where I posted every single month of the year, that’s a big improvement from other years, so I’m counting this as achieving this resolution. (✔️)

Interact more with the bookish community: I did a lot better than other years, but I feel like I can still do so much better. Nonetheless, I was more active on twitter, I blog hopped more and I hosted the Latinx Book Bingo, which meant interacting with a lot of people, so I’m counting this as a resolutions I sticked to. (✔️)

Read more diverse books: I did this! Still, I want to keep improving and reading more and more diverse books. (✔️)

Continue doing 9 Books Monday: I failed so badly with this goal 😞 I only wrote like 3 or 4 posts like this in 2018. I’ll try to complete this goal in 2019. (❌)

Choose the books I read more ‘carefully’: Another failed resolution. I set this goal because I only gave 5 stars to 2 books in 2017 and I’m sad to say I only gave 5 stars to 2 books in 2018 as well. I’ll talk more about this in a post later this month. (❌)

Read more fantasy: I was failing at this, but the last few months of the year helped me recover. Fantasy is my favorite genre and I was in a slump when it came to reading it, but not anymore! I think I kind of kept my resolution. (✔️)

At the end, I sticked to 5 of my resolutions and I failed 2 of them. Since I had such a small amount of resolutions it’s not great that I didn’t accomplished all of them, but I guess I didn’t do a horrible job. My 2019 Bookish Resolutions are coming next week! 

Did you have bookish resolutions for 2018? Did you stick to them? What are some of your 2019 bookish resolutions?

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Diverse Books · Review

Book Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

What if it's us

Title: What If It’s Us

Author: Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

Published by:HarperTeen

Publishing date: October 9th 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 437

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

 Goodreads  | Amazon

I took me some time to get into this book and I think it was mainly because of the characters. First we have Arthur, who annoyed me a little at the beginning. He has zero chill, he talks SO MUCH, he’s jealous and immature. But eventually I started to like him more because he’s also smart, kind and earnest. Then we have Ben, he grew on my as a character and by the end I really liked him. He’s an introvert and a writer and a bit of an asshole at times and I could relate.

For the first half of the book, I felt like Ben and Arthur had no chemistry and honestly, I didn’t know why they kept trying to make things work. But then they had some cute moments and I started to like them together more. I will say that they went from no chemestry, awkward moments, jealousy and miscomunicationcute to a couple that seemed to work pretty well together in the blink of an eye, from one chapter to the next. The pacing of the development of the relationship could have been better.

As I was saying the characters and romance in the first part of the book didn’t seem to be working, but then when Ben and Arthur finally find their footing in their relationship, even if it’s abrupt, the book becomes so much more enjoyable. They just became this adorable couple that wanted to spend all their time together being cute and this became the fluffy book that I imagined when I saw the cover.

I need to mention that the parents in this book are amazing, both Ben’s and Arthur’s, they are understanding, caring and involved in their son’s lives. I also really liked Ben’s best friend, Dylan, he was funny and quirky and nice, and I liked the glimpses we got from his relationship with Samantha.

This book handles some sensitive topics very well, it addresses light-skinned latinx and how while they have certain priviliges for it, there’s pain that comes from having your heritage doubted and erased as well. Also, this is a very sex positive, which I feel is something we need more of in YA.

Finally, I’ll just say that I liked the ending, which I know a lot of people may not, but it was one of the most realistic parts of the book. I would give the first part of this books 3 stars and the second part 4 stars, so that’s why the rating is what it is.

 Rating: 3,6 stars 

Have you read this book? Are you planning on reading it? What diverse contemporaries would you recommend?

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bookish list · Diverse Books

6 Diverse YA Contemporaries That You Should Read: 2018 Edition

diverse contemporaries you shuld read.png

Hi everyone! Today I’m bringing you a list of diverse YA contemporaries that were releases in 2018 and that I read and loved. While these books touch on some serious issues, they all have in common that they aren’t dark and heartbreaking contemporaries. There’s sad things in them, but for the most part they are sweet and funny.

I mention each of the books, what type of representation they have in them and then I tell you why I think you should read them:

the way you make me feel

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Representation: Korean-american main character, Chinese love interest and a Latinx character.

I always say this, this book is a beautiful love letter to L.A. and to food, and with that as a background, we get an amazing father/daughter relationship, a wonderful female friendship and a cute love story. The love interest was so sweet and respectful and it was lovely! We also get so much character development and a really funny book. (Full review).

 

Analee in Real Life

Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes

Representation: Plus Size Cuban-american main character with social anxiety.  

Analee is dealing with her mother’s death by playing an online game all the time, but then in real life, a popular boy asks her to be his fake girlfriend and he starts to coax her out of her comfort zone and it’s such a sweet and fun dynamic. They had so much chemestry! BUT the real focus of the book is family, Analee’s relationship with her father, stepmother and stepsister develop in such a beautiful way.

 

Americna panda

American Panda by Gloria Chao

Representation: Taiwanese-American main character and Japanese love interest.

This is an amazing story about a Taiwanese-American girl that has to straddle two cultures. Mei is a interesting and relatable main character, the female friendship is lovely, the love interest is really undertanding and caring and there is a really good romance that doesn’t take over the story.  One of the most wonderful things about this is the development of the mother/daughter relationship.

 

the summer of jordi perez

The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

Representation:  Plus Size lesbian main character and mexican-american lesbian love interest

This is such a fun book, the main character is a pink-haired girl who loves fashion and blogs about it and wears colorful clothes. While the love interest is a girl who loves photography and dresses all in black. Abby and Jordi are incredibly cute together and there’s so many sweet moments between them. Also, this book has complex family dynamics, a lovely female friendship and cool guy/ girl platonic friendship. (Full review)

 

pride

Pride by Ibi Zoboi 

Representation: Haitian-Dominican main character and black love interest.

A Pride and Prejudice retelling! Zuri and Darius are always bantering and bickering and it is a fun dynamic to read. But the main reason this book is good is the way it dicusses gentrification and class, including these subjects adds to the original story and make it more relevant to our time. Also, the representation of a Haitian-Dominican family, in terms of the religion, the food and the family dynamics is so fascinating to read.

 

The Poet X

 The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Representation: Dominican-american main character

This is a story told in verse, it’s touching and powerful, and it explores a Dominican-american girl’s struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that attracs attention and because of it, it’s unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. It’s a book about trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so and it’s fantastic. (full review)

What are some diverse contemporaries that you would recommend? Have you read any of these books? Are you interested on reading any of them? 

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Review

Book Review: The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

the Tiger's Daughter

Book: The Tiger’s Daugther

Author: K. Arsenault Rivera

Publisher: Tor Books

Release date: October 3rd 2017

Pages: 526

Genre: Adult Fantasy

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil

Goodreads | Amazon 

I wasn’t entirely convince of reading this book until I heard the romance in this was between two girls. We definitely don’t get enough f/f romances in fantasy and that made me inmediately excited to read this. The Tiger’s Daughter is a slow, character driven book and I’m glad to say the epic romance lived up to my expectations. With that said, there is still some action in the book, since there are dangerous journeys and fights with demons and wild animals.

The story is told through a letter written by Shefali, one of the main characters, and adressed to Shizuka, the other main character, which was a bit weird because I kept wondering why was she doing that if Shizuka was also there when those things happened. This is addressed in the book, but I wasn’t too convince with the explanation. What made the book’s structure a bit more interesting was the fact that while Shefali tells her version of the past, what it’s happening in the present is told from Shizuka’s perspective and that way little glimpses of her own version of the past are present in the book. This way of telling the story didn’t help with the pacing, but once you get used to it, it’s not that difficult to read and to get into. 

This is a star-crossed, friends to lovers, slow-burn romance and it was perfect. Defenitely my favorite part of the story. Shefali and Shizuka were amazing characters. The book explores Shefali’s character more in depth because she is the one telling the story, so the book shows what she is thinking and feeling while things happen, and also her character development is more evident. Even when the book shows a very limited view of Shisuka, because it’s mainly how Shefali sees her, there’s enough to her character that I was left intrigued to read the next book, which is told mainly in her perspective.

It’s worth mentioning that the author is not scared of having bad things happen to her characters. So there’s a lot of injuries, near death experiences and emotional trauma. Something else that the author does very well is creating side characters that are captivating and easy to root for.Lastly, this has a very good ending,  it absolutely left me intrigued and wanting to read the next book.

* I will add that I found the world very interesting even if a lot of the hystory and mythology was just hinted at and never fully explored. Nonetheless, this is an Asian-inspired fantasy world and, after reading this, I have seen some reviewers mention that the representation wasn’t well done, so it’s important to keep that in mind.

Rating: 4 stars 

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have Asian inspired fantasy books to recommend? 

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#ownvoices · Diverse Books · Review

Mini Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Americna panda

Book: American Panda

Author: Gloria Chao

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release date: February 6th 2018

Pages: 311

Genre: YA Contemporary

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? 

Goodreads | Amazon

American Panda is an amazing story about Mei, a Taiwanese-American girl that has to straddle two cultures. Mei is an interesting and relatable main character and I think this book does a very good job of showing her struggle trying to live up to her parents expectations, but also wanting to follow her own dreams and desires.

The focus of this book is definitely Mei’s relationship with her family.  Mei’s parents are so strict that in order to not dissapoint them or make them angry, Mei stops thinking for herself. So, it was amazing to witness her character devolpment as she finds the strenght to make her own decisions in the course of the book. It was also wonderful to see how that change in Mei impacted her mother and how it affected their mother/daughter relationship. I understand that this is not everyones experience, but I still think that this book manages to address in a very insightful way what it means to be a first generation immigrant for some young people.

Another great things about this, it’s the way in which the siblings relationship is handled and how reconnecting with her borther helps Mei realize that she needs to decide what is valuable and important to her, in terms of relationships and dreams.

This book also has a very cute romance that doesn’t take over the story, but it still a nice addition to it. The love interest, a Japanese-American guy,  is really understanding and caring.  Also, there’s a lovely female friendship, that it’s not exactly a central part of the story, but that adds an amazing elemento to it.

Overall, I found American Panda to be insightful and captivating, and I would recommend it if you like contemporaries focused on family dynamics and relationships.

Rating: 4 stars

Have you read this book? Are you planning on reading it? What diverse contemporaries would you recommend?

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bookish list

Looking Back at My 2018 TBR

Looking back at my 2018 tbr

Hi everyone! At the beginning of the year I wrote two posts about some books I wanted to read in 2018: 8 Books I Want to Read in 2018 and 2017 Releases I Want to Read in 2018. Since December is here, I thought it would be a good idea to check how many of those books I actually read.

Let’s start with the 8 books I wanted to read in 2018:

8 books to read in 2018

I read 6 out of the 8 books and I really liked all of them, out of the 2 books I didn’t read, I still want to read one of them and I’m taking the other out of my tbr.

Now, for the 2017 releases that I wanted to read in 2018: 

2017 releases to read in 2018.png

Unfortunately, I didn’t do a good job with these books. I only read 3 of the book out of 6 and I will try to read another before the year is over.

Did you read the books on your 2018 tbr? Have you read any of the books on this list? What books are you expecting to read before the end of the year? 

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#ownvoices · 9 Books Monday · bookish list · Diverse Books

9 Books with Anxiety Representation

9 books with anxiety representation.png

9 Books Monday is a feature here on Bookish Wanderess, where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation of diverse experiences including the experiences of people of the LGBTQIA community, Native people, people of color, people with physical and cognitive disabilities or mental illnesses, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: Bisexual female mcLatinx mcBlack mcMuslim mc, Lesbian mcAsian mc and  Trans mc. (mc=main characters).

This time I’m doing 9 books with Anxiety Representation:

3 Books I Read and Loved

queens of geeks

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I loved this book; this not only has a ton of references to books, tv shows and movies, it also has so much diversity. One of the main characters, Taylor, is on the autism spectrum and has severe anxiety,  and the other, Charlie, is bisexual and chinese. This  has some amazing quotes about anxiety that literally describe things that I feel on a daily basis and I felt so understood while reading this. 

 

under rose-tainted skies

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

This is an #ownvoices book about a girl that has agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD. Some of the quotes about anxiety on this book resonated with me so deeply, it was like it was talking about me. Also, this book doesn’t treats love as a cure for a mental illness and it has a positive view of therapy and meds and that’s amazing and so needed!

 

TTurtles_All_the_Way_Down_-_John_Greenurtles All the Way Down by John Green

This books means so much to me, it has #ownvoices OCD and anxiety rep and while I only struggle with anxiety and not with OCD, the depictions of intrusive thoughts were SO RELATABLE.  I loved that this book addresses the fact that mental illnesses are a life long struggle and that sometimes even the people that try to understand what someone with a mental illness is going through, they have moments were they just don’t. Also, this books hasa positive view of therapy and shows that love is not a cure for mental illness.

4 Books on my TBR 

10 Things I Can See from Here10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac

This books is a bit scary for me because I have read some review by other people with anxiety that mention that this was very hard to read for them because the depiction of anxiety is very accurate and detailed. BUT I still want to read it, because I’m always looking for the books that make me feel less alone in terms of my anxiety.  Beside the anxiety rep, this has an f/f romance and it’s #ownvoices queer rep.

 

A Quiet Kind of Thunder 

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard 

I have heard this books is really, really cute and that it will put a smile on my face, so I want to read it and see, because that’s not usually what people say about books that have a character with anxiety.  I know this is heavy on the romance, but it’s not one of those stories where romance cures mental illness, so YAY! 🎉 This has selective mutism, deafness, poc and social anxiety rep.

 

Learning Curves

 

Learning Curves by Ceille Simkiss

This is a romance novella and I have heard it does a very good job of exploring the experience of having anxiety and being in a relationship. There’s fat, Puerto Rican, panromantic, lesbian and asexual rep. f/f romance.

 

Beneath the Citadel 

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

I don’t know of that many fantasy books with anxiety rep, so as soon as found out one of the main characters in this book has severe anxiety I knew I had to get my hands on it. This book not only has anxiety rep, it has fat, poc and queer rep as well. It keeps getting better and better! Also, all my friends on Goodreads that have read this have giving it 5 stars, which is really impresive!

2 Books Releasing Soon  

I Wish You All the Best

 

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

For what I have heard this book will break our hearts but it will be lovely while doing it, so…that sounds fun! Right? This not only has anxiety rep, but also #ownvoices non-binary rep.

 

You Asked for Perfect

 

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman 

This book touches on anxiety and panic attacks and it’s all about how sometimes people put too much pressure on themeselves. It has an m/m romance, but I have heard that it’s not the main focus of the story.

 

What books with anxiety rep have you read and loves? Which ones are on your tbr? DO you know of any fantasy or scifi books with anxiety rep? 

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