Reading Challenges and 2020 Goals Update: Con Sabor Reading Challenge + #StartonYourShelfathon

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about how am I doing with my 2020 goals and with the Reading Challenges I’m participating in. Here are my updates:

Con Sabor Reading Challenge is hosted by Dani @ metamorphoreader, Astrid @ Book Love Book Reviews, Natalia @ Books.Build.Life, and Nox @ Nox the Reader. My goal for this challenge is to read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 and I will also try to follow the prompts that the hosts have set up for each month.

So far, I have been doing a good job with this challenge, I have read 10 books by Latinx authors in the first 3 months of the year and I have fulfilled the prompts for each month.

  • January- mental health rep: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  • February- Romance: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
  • March- Fantasy: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

More Happy Than Not | American Sweethearts | The Worst Best Man | We Unleash the Merciless Storm | American Street | A Dash of Trouble | Gods of Jade and Shadow | Island Affair | b.b. free | Pastillas y Cheesecake de Limón

#StartOnYourShelfathon is hosted by CW at The Quiet Pond, it started on December 2019 and my goal for this challenge is to read 50 of the unread books on my shelf and I want to read 15 specific books that I included on my tbr.

So far, I have read 15 books that were on my shelf (physical or electronic): 3 in December 2019 and 12 in 2020. Unfortunately, I have only read two books out of the 15 books on my tbr: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Gleen Marsh and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin.

An Enchantment of Ravens|The Alcheists of Loom | Illuminae |Wrapped | More Happy Than Not |A Prince on Paper | A Duke by Default | Can’t Escape Love | The Fifth Season | American Street | A Girl like Her | Gods of Jade and Shadow |Queenie | The Night Masquerade | Reign of the Fallen

FANTASY BOOKS

In 2020, my goal is to read 20 fantasy books and I have done a really good job so far, I have already read 9 fantasy books in the first 3 months of 2020.

The Eye of the World | Reign of the Fallen | Come Tumbling Down | The King of Crows | The Fifth Season |The Last Wish | A Dash of Trouble | Gods of Jade and Shadow |We Unleash the Merciless Storm

KEEP READING DIVERSELY

Another one of my goals is to keep reading diversely, obviously the 35 Latinx books count towards that goal but beyond that, I want to read 15 books by Black authors and 15 books by Asian authors.

So far in 2020, I have read 11 books by Black authors, which is great, but I have only read 1 book by an Asian author, which is so bad and I really need to step up.

Can’t Escape Love |American Sweethearts| The Worst Best Man | A Duke by Default | Wrapped | A Prince on Paper |Queenie | The Night Masquerade |The Fifth Season | American Street | A Girl like Her | Mr Horshot CEO

Another part of this goal is to read 10 books that include other types of #ownvoices rep and so far, I have read 5 books with #ownvoices Queer rep.

Come Tumbling Down |Reign of the Fallen |We Unleash the Merciless Storm | b.b. free | More Happy Than Not

Overall, I’m on track to accomplish my 2020 goals and to complete the reading challenges, but I really need to start reading more books by Asian authors.

In which Reading Challenges are you participating this year? How are you doing with your 2020 goals?

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9 Books wiht Fat Representation

Hi everyone! Today, I bring you a new installment of a series that I write here on my blog. 9 Books Monday is a feature 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 main characters | Latinx main characters | Black main characters | Muslim main characters | Lesbian main characters | Asian main characters | Trans main characters | Anxiety representation | Autism representation | Depression representation

This time I talking about 9 books with Fat Representation:

5 BOOKS I READ AND LOVED

The Summer of Jordi Pérez by Amy Spalding

This book is about Abby, a pink-haired, fat, lesbian girl, who runs a  plus-size style blog. This is a cute story of summer jobs, friendship and first love. An interesting aspect of this book is that, while Abby is confident and comfortable with the way she looks for the most part, she still has her moments of insecurity because she knows how harsh the rest of the world can be. That aspect of the book felt very realistic.

Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes

This is the story of Analee, a fat girl who has self-esteem issues and social anxiety, and who is going through a difficult time dealing with her mother’s death. Throughout the book, Analee learns to appreaciate and love the people she has in her life and she also learns to accept and love herself more. If you like books centered around character development and growth, you will like this one.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

This book is about Chloe, a fat, chronically ill, Black computer geek and this is the story of Chloe being brave, loving herself and falling in love. Chloe’s weight is barely even mentioned, it’s not something she wants to change and it’s never presented as something negative. This book includes important discussions about chronic pain and abusive relationships, but it was also adorable, steamy and fun.

Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed

This book tells the love story between two fat, women of color. One of them is a really anxious makeup artist and the other is a model and actress, who is completely comfortable with the way she looks. This is an adorable and short novella, that doesn’t include homophobia or fatphobia. If you are looking for something low on the angst and high on the fluff, you will enjoy this.

b.b. free by Gabby Rivera

 

This is an amazing comic about a fat, queer, Latinx girl living in a post-apocalyptic world. While there are no comments about b.b. being fat, it’s amazing just to see a fat girl in a comic being brave and smart and fighting against the beliefs and conventions that other people want to imposse on her.

2 BOOKS ON MY TBR

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

 

This book is about Mila, a fat, Latinx girl, who practices Wicca and who ends up bringing a bunch of murdered teenagers back to life while trying to discover who killed her best friend. While this book has a strange premise, it also portraits some of the real daily microaggressions that fat people have to deal with.

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

 

This book is about Winnie, a fat, queer, Black girl, who’s trying to win a televised cooking competition to save her grandmother’s dinner. In this book, Winnie doesn’t let anyone make her feel ashamed about her weight, even when people feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for “her own good”

2 UPCOMING RELEASES

I’ll be the One by Lyla Lee

 

This book is about Skye, who wants to become a K-Pop star, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for fat girls. While Skye is comfortable in her body, the fatphobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry still affect her and she has to deal with that. 

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

 

This book is about April, who posts a plus-size cosplay of a character from a beloved tv show that goes viral and after that she has to deal with trolls and supporters alike. Thanks to the attention, she gets to go on an unexpected date with the star of the tv show, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own.

What books with Fat rep have you read and loved? Which ones are on your tbr?

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Book Recommendations for Each Zodiac Sign

Hi everyone! Today I bring you a post that took me forever to put together, so I hope you enjoy it! I have had this idea for a long time and I finally sat down and did some research about each zodiac sign and based on what I found I chose one book recommendation for each sign. Disclaimer: I’m obviously not an expert on astrology. I knew a bit about the zodiac signs but I definitely had to do research before writing this post, if there are any mistakes, I’m sorry!

In this post you will find: a basic description of the 12 zodiac sign and, based on those descriptions, a book recommendation for each zodiac sign and a few elements of the book that I think they would enjoy.

Credit for the images of the zodiac signs go to: pikisuperstar + click in the book titles to go to the Goodreads page

ARIES

People who have Aries as their sun sign love to be the hero, lead others into adventure and steal the spotlight. They fight for their beliefs and inspire others to do the same. Some of their strengths are their courage, confidence, boldness and passion. Some of their weaknesses are their impatience, impulsiveness and their tendency to be bossy.

My recommendation for Aries is Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria, in which they will find a relatable heroine. Bossy, bold, implusive and brave. With convictions so strong that she persuades her friends to fight back the powers that opprese them and follow her into the adventure of a lifetime.

TAURUS

People who have Taurus as their sun sign love great food, romance and beautiful things.  They work hard and they get the job done. Some of their strengths are their patience, practicality, loyalty and responsability. Some of their weaknesses are their stubbornness, possessiveness and tendency to be uncompromising.

My recommendations for Taurus is The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, in which they will find a romance that will take their breath away and a heroine that’s loyal, stubborn, possesive, used to getting what she wants and that will wait however long is neccesary to be with the woman she loves.

GEMINI

People who have Gemini as their sun sign constantly flip between moods and interests, their minds move really fast so they have a million great ideas. Some of their strengths are their curiousity, adaptability, and their ability to learn quickly and exchange ideas. Some of their weaknesses are their nervousness, inconsistency and indecisiveness.

My recommendations for Gemini is A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole, in which they will find a heroine with many hobbies and interests, who’s curious and loves to learn for the sake of learning about the topics she cares about, even if they seem useless to other people.

CANCER

People who have Cancer as their sun sign are nurturing and they like to take care of others. At first, they may be perceived as cold or distant, but with time they reveal their gentle nature. Some of their strengths are their loyalty, sympathy and persuasiveness. Some of their weaknesses are their  pessimism and insecurity.

My recommendation for Cancer is Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, in which they will find a hero who is perceive as cold and distant by others and even by the heroine at the beginning, but that ends up being the kindest, softest man, who tries to keep the main character safe and even risks his life to do so.

LEO

People who have Leo as their sun sign are natural-born leaders and they love to be the boss. They need praise and appreciation, but they have big hearts and they always help the people they love. Some of their strengths are their creativeness, passion and cheerfulness. Some of their weaknesses are their arrogance and stubbornness.

My recommendation for Leo is Invictus by Ryan Graudin, in which they will find a passionate, arrogant and stubborn main character who decides to fulfill his dream at any cost and leads a group of his friends into a huge adventure, where he is the boss and tries to protect them.

VIRGO

People who have Virgo as their sun sign analyze everything, forming opinions and judgments. They are there when help is needed and they are an amazing listener and give the best advice. Some of their strengths are their loyalty, kindness, and practicality. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to worry and be overly critical.

My recommendation for Virgo is Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez, in which they will meet Gabi, who is smart, loyal and kind, who has opinions about everything and sometimes can be a little quick to judge people, like she does with Sal, but then she also sees her mistakes and corrects them.

LIBRA

People who have Libra as their sun sign love to be surrounded by culture and beauty in a harmonious environment with lots of people. They can’t stand anything that’s unfair or unbalance. Some of their strengths are their tendency to be cooperative and fair-minded. Some of their weaknesses are their indecisiveness and aversion to confrontations.

My recommendation for Libra is Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno, in which they will find a peaceful and beautiful little town, full of people who know and love each other and a main character caught between cultures, who won’t stop until she saves the Marina from being sold.

SCORPIO

People who have Scorpio as their sun sign are intensed and focused, they know what they want and aren’t afraid to work hard to get it. They see every little detail and they can read people well. Some of their strengths are their resourcefulness, passion and loyalty. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to be distrusting, stubborn and secretive.

My recommendation for Scorpio is The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, in which they will find a main character who is focused on making her small buisness a success. She is the wedding planner who will get every little detail right and she will make sure the couple gets exactly what they want. She is resourceful, passionate and stubborn.

SAGITTARIUS

People who have sagittarius as their sun sign like open spaces with plenty of adventure. They juggle a million projects and hobbies. They have big goals and they love to tell it like it is. Some of their strengths are their idealism, open-mindedness and ambition. Some of their weaknesses are their impatiance and tendency to be undiplomatic.

My recommendation for Sagittarius is Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika & Maritza Moulite, in which they will find a main characters who is traveling to Haiti and having an adventure that may not go how she wanted. She is smart, ambitious, she has a lot of projects and plans and she gets into trouble for being outspoken and undiplomtic.

CAPRICORN

People who have capricorn as their sun sign play by the rules and follow tradition. They often think rewards arrive through suffering and sacrifice. They are devoted to their love ones. Some of their strengths are their responsability and discipline. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to be unforgiving and condescending.

My recommendation for Capricorn is Erotic Stories For Pujabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal, in which they will find a story about traditions, cultural clashes, community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages. A story of the sacrifices that are expected of some women and about the love that can exist between women.

AQUARIUS

People who have aquarius as their sun sign have originality and an authentic style. They are individualistic, but also naturally popular and they care deeply about social justice issues. Some of their strengths are their originality and independence. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to be temperamental and uncompromising.

My recommendation for Aquarius is The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar and Michelle Schusterman, in which they will find three girls that are all uniquely themeselves: a drummer, a fangirl and a taxidermist, who are part of three different conventions taking place in the same hotel and become friends while they help each other.

PISCES

People who have pisces as their sun sign have huge imaginations and they love art and music. They often try to run away from problems and they can easily become swallowed by emotions. Some of their strengths are their creativity, intuition and gentleness. Some of their weaknesses are their fearfulness and their tendecy to escape reality.

My recommendation for Piscis is Invitation to the Blues by Ronan Parrish, in which they will find a struggling pianist who fled his partner, his career and a hospital a few months before. In his new life, he is falling in love again but he’s very fearful about the future and overwhelmed by the choices he needs to make.

What is your sign and have you read the book I recommend for it? Did you like it? or if you haven’t read it, does it sound like something you would enjoy?

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March TBR: Anticipated Releases + Latinx Book Club + Mystery & SFF Books

Hi everyone! It’s that time of the month again when I put together my tbr. With the currrent situation that we are living around the world, I haven’t been reading that much because I don’t seem to be able to concentrate on books, especially if they are long. So for April I decided to pick up some of the short books on my tbr, some of my most anticipated releases or books that I feel excited about to see if I actually manage to get back into reading.

As always, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020, I chose an emoji that represents each one and next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.

  • Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
  • Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
  • Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
  • Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
  • Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
  • Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)

Without further ado, here is my Febraury tbr:

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle: This sounds so good and I’m counting the days until it’s out and I’m able to read it. Release date:  April 7th 2020 

☁️ Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai: I read the first book in this series in 2019 and I thought it was just ok, but I’m excited about this one because I think I’ll like it more. Release date: April 21st 2020 

🔥🔮 Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega: I love Claribel and I have been waiting for this book for so long, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Release date: April 7th 2020

🦄🔥⭐ The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads.

🦄⭐An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena: This sounds like an Agatha Christie book and I can’t wait to read it.

🦄⭐ A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro: I really want to finish this series and find out what happens to Jamie and Charlotte.

🔮Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski: I read the prequel/first book of this series in March and I really liked and I’m curious about what happens next.

🦄To Be Taught, If Fortunate y Becky Charmbers: Since I want to read the nominees for the Booktube SFF awards and this one is really short, I thought it would a great pick for April.

🦄The Test by Sylvain Neuvel: same as the one before, it’s nominated for the Booktube SFF awards and it’s really short, so it was perfect for April.

What are your reading plans for February? If you want to buddy read any of the books on my tbr, let me know in the comments!

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If You Liked This Movie, You Should Read This Book!

Hi everyone! Today I have a post for you that I’m really excited about. Recently, I wrote a post about Books that Need Adaptations and, as part of that post, I decided to compare the books I was mentioning with a movie or tv show that was similar in any way and that’s how the idea for this post was born.

I know that the title says that if you liked a movie, you should read the book, but it also works the other way around, if you liked the book, you shoulod watch the movie. That’s why I decided to focus on the similarities between the movies and books and why I think that if you enjoyed one, you will like the other.

Without further ado, here they are:

Jupiter Ascending –> A Spark of White Fire

While reading A Spark of White Fire, which is inspired by Indina Folklore, I imagined in my mind a very opulent and extravagant aesthetic with rich, vibrant colors for the clothing, the settings and the gods while also including technological advances. And that’s the exact aesthetic of Jupiter Ascending. So if you like your Sci-Fi with beautiful imaginary and full of secrets, betrayals and struggles for power, this movie and this book are for you!

Arrival –> Sleeping Giants

If you like Sci-Fi that focuses on scientists investigating and trying to understand mysterious alien civilizations and their technology, both this movie and this book are perfect for you. They have similar vibes in terms of being mainly set in militar compounds, where scientists are working for the military and using their knowledge in ways that they never imagined. Both of them have complicated romances between co-workers and in both the main characters are affected and changed in mysterious ways.

My Week With Marilyn –> The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Since I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I have found certain similarities between Evelyn and Marilyn. Old Hollywood movie stars using their sex appeal to their advantage, being darlings of the media at some points while also being harshly judged at others, having difficult pasts and being complicated and sad behind the scenes, those are all things Evelyn and Marilyn have in common. If you are captivated by complicated female characters living in the public eye while keeping many painful secrets in their private lives, then you will enjoy this movie and this book.

Always Be My Maybe –> The Way You Make Me Feel

This movie and this book have Asian main characters, in both of them one of the main characters doesn’t take things too seriously and it’s wasting their potential and those characters grow and develop throughout the story. Food plays an important role in the lives of the main characters in both and they are both funny and have a similar sense of humor. If you are looking for funny, romantic, food-centric content with Asian main characters, this movie and this book are for you.

Coco –> A Dash of Trouble

If you like stories about kids that have to deal with complicated family relationships, family secrets, magic and breaking the rules, and that take place around El día de los Muertos (the day of the dead), then this story is for you. Both this movie and this book have this warm, magical and a little innocent vibe that it’s incredibly heartwarming.

What movies and books do you think have similaties between them? Do you agree with my picks?

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2020 Releases That Are Out Already And I Can't Wait To Read

Hi everyone! Recently I was checking my goodreads shelf where I keep track of the 2020 releases that I want to read and I saw that even when I have read a good amount of 2020 releases – around 15 of them- there are so many amazing books that have already come out this year but I haven’t read them yet. So I’m making this list in part to let you know about some 2020 relases that sound amazing and you can check out NOW and in part to remind myself of some books I want to prioritize and read soon.

Without further ado, let’s begin:

A Phoenix First Must Burn

This is a collection of sixteen tales that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

I love SFF and this includes so many authors I love telling stories that center Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. It sounds amazing and the only reason I haven’t read it yet is because sometimes I have trouble getting into short story collection. But I definetely want to get to this one soon.

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

This book is a retelling of one of Andersen’s most brutal fairy tales, The Red Shoes, mixed with the true medieval events that likely inspired it, a dancing “plague” in 1518 . At the center of this book is a Romani girl & trans boy.

I have read two Anna-Marie McLemore books and I loved them and I own all of their other book, so I really need to start actually reading them. This one is their most recent release and I have heard it’s a bit darker and more twisted that their previous books, which makes me really excited to check it out. I haven’t read this yet because I feel like I have to be in the right mood to read McLemore’s lyrical writing.

Blood Countess by Lana Popovic

This book is a mix of horror and historical fiction, it’s the story of a girl who becomes the chambermaid of a countess in 17th century Hungary and she falls into the countess spell and becomes a sort of prisioner and then the murders start, and she knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.

This is a book based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Dracula and that makes me excited. Also, I want to start reading more horror and this seems like a great place to start specially since it’s less that 300 pages long. I didn’t have this book really present in my mind so that’s why I haven’t read it but now that I do, I’ll make sure to read it!

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

This book is about two teens, each with their own problems, who meet when they go canvasing togehter for their state senate candidate and it’s the story of how they master local activism and navigate a cross-cultural romance.

I’m excited about the political aspect of this book, as someone that was a political science major it’s something that I enjoy reading about. I haven’t read this one yet because it’s really long for a YA contemporary, almost 500 pages, and that implies certain time commitment that I haven’t felt like making. But I’m bumping this one up my tbr and I will try to get to it soon.

The Catch by Lauren H. Mae

This book is about a woman who think love always disappoints, so when she starts falling for a guy she just met on vacation—only to find out they are from neighboring towns, she makes a bet to prove he is too good to be true. What ensues is a series of tests and games, until she realizes she’s betting against the one man who may revive her faith in love.

This sounds right up my alley, like something I would love and actually when it came out I was going to inmediately pick it up, but then I saw that it was over 400 pages long and that gave my pause, because I feel like romance books don’t need to be that long.

What 2020 releases have you read and loved? What 2020 releases that are already out are you looking forward to reading?

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Authors I'd Give a Second Chance

Hi everyone! After an unexpected mini-hiatus caused by the current situation and the hard time I have had the last few days coping with it, I’m back with a new blog post! But before getting into that, I just want to say that I hope you all are doing well and staying safe during this difficult time.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Books I Want to Give a Second Chance, which were books I had DNFed in the past and I wanted to try to read them a second time. In this post, I’m going to talk about authors I’d give a second chance, which means that I read one book by them and didn’t like it as much as I hoped but for some reason I think I could enjoy a different book by those authors.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is the author that inspired this post. I read one of her books – Certain Dark Things – and I didn’t like it that much, but there were enough elements in it that I found interesting so I knew I would read another of her books at some point. Add to that, the fact that I have two friends who absolutely adore Moreno-Garcia’s books and I was even more inclined to give her another chance. Actually, I’m currently reading another book by her – Gods of Jade and Shadow – and I’m happy to say I’m really enjoying it.

Zaida Polanco

Zaida Polanco wrote one of my most disappointing books of 2019 – Crush, Interrupted – I hated the hero in the group and the writing was pretty bad, but I’m always looking for new Latinx romance authors and I own two more of her books that I haven’t read, so I’m REALLY hoping it was just a case of that one book didn’t work for me. The book I want to try next is Swing Batter Swing.

Alisha Rai

Last year there was so much hype surrouding The Right Swipe, so I had huge expectations when I decided to pick it up and while I didn’t dislike it, I didn’t like it as much as everyone else seemed to. I felt disconnected from the characters and I never got fully into the story and I think it may have been the writing style that made me feel that way. Nonetheless, I’m giving the second book in the series – Girl Gone Viral– a chance to see if I enjoy it and hopefully I will like Alisha Rai’s writing more.

Avon Gale

I read The Love Song of Sawyer Bell two years ago and unfortunately didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, mainly because I wasn’t completely sold on the romance and I didn’t feel the chemestry between the characters. Nonetheless, I have heard great things about some of her other books and I’m always looking for more authors who write queer romance novels, so I’m hoping to enjoy Off the Ice, which is the most popular out of all her books.

Arthur Conan Doyle

I’m a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes’ movies and tv shows adaptations, so I was really disappointed when I read my first Sherlock book – A Study in Scarlet – and I really disliked it. The book had a weird structure, it jumped to 20 years in the past in the middle of the book to tell a story that had nothing to do with Sherlock, we actually don’t see Sherlock and Watson for most of the book, which was what I was interested in. Nonetheless, I’m hoping other stories are better and I’m planning to read A Scandal in Bohemia next because I have heard great things about it.

What authors would you give a second chance to? Is there someone on my list that you think really deserves a second chance?

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