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My Favorite Books of 2018 So Far

My Favorite Books of 2018 so far

Since it’s almost the end of June and that means we are almost half way thorugh the year, I wanted to do a post to highlight my favorite books I have read so far in 2018.

Some interesting information about the books:

  • 6 out of the 8 books were written by new to me authors
  • 3 out of the 8 books were written by debut authors
  • 7 out of the 8 are female authors and 1 author is non-binary.
  • 3  out of the 8 books are 2018 releases, 3 are 2017 releases, 1 is a 2014 release and 1 is a 2007 release. Overall, they are all recent books.
  • In terms of genres, there’s science fiction,  fantasy, contemporary, non fiction and literary fiction. Also, there are adult and young adult books.

The Books

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  • Genre: Adult, Fiction
  • Why I loved it?: The main reason I loved this book was Evelyn Hugo, she is a morally gray character that unapologetically does terrible things in order to achive what she wants in life, she sacrifices parts of herlself to succeed, but at the same time she loves deeply and she is undeniably loyal to those she loves. She is calculating, cruel, ambitious, smart, hard working, persistent and so much more. She is such a complex character that I couldn’t help but be fascianted by her and as much as she is an unlikable character I was rooting for her. Evelyn Hugo is a cuban-american bisexual woman and the representation is something more that I loved about this book. Then there is the love story, which is so beautiful, sad and complicated, and you can’t help but want them to be together. Also, this a very thought provoking book with its depiction of the roles and spaces that women were allowed to have in Hollywood in the past and also the way homophobia impacted peoples lives in such a huge way, even in a more ‘liberal’ industry.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour 
  • Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
  • Why I loved it?: I tent to love quiet books especially when they deal with delicate subjects like grief in a honest and powerful way, which is the case with this book. I loved the estructure in which the story was told, alternating between present and past. During the entire book there was this sense that a big reveal was coming in the storyline that took place in the past, but when it finally happened it was something I wasn’t expecting and that it actually shocked me a lot and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Meanwhile in the present, the awkward situation between the main character and her best friend – that are trying to reconnect and forgive what happened in the past, while trying to address all the hurt and the pain-  was really uncomfortable to read about but it was so well done. There was so much loneliness, hurt and grief in both timelines and the way Nina Lacour wrote about those things is so beautiful and so heartbreaking, I found myself crying in certain parts of this book, which I don’t do often.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Poetry
  • Why I loved it?: I loved this book because it explores powerful themes: the main character 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. I loved the way it handdled the idea of trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so. Also, I loved this book because it’s written in verse and that allowed me to feel a bigger connection to the powerful emotions that the main character was experiencing and trying to express. Also, the #ownvoices latinx representation is another reason I loved this book.
Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
  • Why I loved it?: The  main characters, the complex family dynamics and the fascinating world in which this is set made me love this book. But the main reason why I fell in love with this, it’s how diverse it is and the fact that it addresses important subjects: the main characters are all queer, including a non binary main character. Also, one of the main characters is a black girl and there’s conversations throughout the book about systematic racism and especially about racial profiling and incarceration of black people. Additionally, there are deaf characters and there are characters that use ASL to communicate, and while there’s ableism portrait in this book, it’s called out and talked about on page. The deaf representation is #ownvoices and that’s another thing I loved about this book. 

 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Why I loved it?: I have been in a fantasy slump for a while and this  book made me feel consumed by a world and characters in a way that hadn’t happened in some time. That’s one of the reasons this is one of my favorite books of the year so far, it managed to enthrall me and it made me feel inmersed in a world full of political intrigued, deceitful characters, unexpected turns and so much cruelty from the very beginning.  Another thing I really liked about it is that I was so inmerssed in it that it kept me on the edge of my sit, I was so worried for all the characters throughout the book. Also, it gave me a new couple to root for, which always makes me enjoy a fantasy book more.
The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende
  • Genre: Non fiction
  • Why I loved it?: Isabel Allende’s writing never fails to captivate me, and when I’m reading her autobiographical books, she manages to make me feel like she is talking directly to me and telling me her story, and she tells it with so much honesty and candor, that it’s imposible not to be fascinating by it. That’s the main reason why I loved this book, but I also loved the structure she uses to tell her story – a letter written for her dead daughter, Paula – because it gives this book a nostalgic and sad tone that made me connect with the story even more and feel touched by it.
The Diviners by Libba Bray 
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
  • Why I loved it?: The main reason why I loved this book is that it is this atmospheric book with a creepy vibe and some scary scenes, which is not something  I have found in the fantasy book I have read before, so to me this book represents a type of fantasy that it’s new to me and it intrigues me. Also, fantasy is my favorite genre and I love a good mystery, so  finding a book that mixes both of fantasy and mystery was very surprising and enjoyable. Another reason why I loved this book was the characters, they were all captivating and so different from each other and I kept waiting to see how their stories would intertwined.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Genre: Adult, Literary Fiction
  • Why I loved it?: At the beginning, I wasn’t enjoying this because the main character, Eleanor, was very peculiar (which isn’t a bad thing in itself), but she was judgemental, rude and infuriating. Nonetheless, I completely loved the huge character development she went through, I loved the other characters she met throughout the book and how they changed her and made her see things in a different way. Raymond was a wonderful character: understanding, supportive and empathetic. The subject of depression was delicately handdled and there was a positive representation of therapy. In terms of the plot, there was a mystery surrounding her past that I thought I had figured out early on, but I had not and the twist at the end was really surpising. At the end, I found this to be a really heartwarming book.
Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? What are some of your favorite books of 2018 so far? Let me know in the comments! 

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Underrated YA Books (less than 1000 ratings on Goodreads)

Underrated YA Books

The other day I saw a blog post about the number of ratings books have on Goodreads and I was inmediately curious about the number of ratings that the books I have read have on Goodreads and I was suprised because some books I really enjoyed have less than a 1000 ratings. After realizing this, I felt like it was a good idea to promote these amazing books that a lot of people may have not read.

I didn’t choose books released in 2018, because I feel like they haven’t been out for very long and that may have to do with why they don’t have that many ratings. So, this is a list of backlist books with less than a 1000 ratings on Goodreads that I think deserve more attention and love from the reading community:

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh (2016)  – 863 ratings on Goodreads

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Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Goodreads| Amazon

If you like very atmospheric books, that are eerie and spooky,  that include fascinating mythology and that manage to mantain a mysterious tone until the end, this book is for you!  Those are defenitely the main strengths of this and they make it feel unique and interesting. If you want to know more , here’s my full review.

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez (2015) – 832 ratings on Goodreads

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A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.

Goodreads | Amazon

The contrast this book portraits between the ways the two main characters live depression is what makes this book unique, as well as incredibly important. If you are looking for a very nuance representation of depresion, this book may be for you! Additionally, this book has #ownvoices latinx rep and its done so well! If you want to know more , here’s my full review. 

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen (2017) – 45 ratings on Goodreads

god-smites

LIKE NANCY DREW, BUT NOT…

Craving a taste of teenage life, Asiya Haque defies her parents to go for a walk (really, it was just a walk!) in the woods with Michael, her kind-of-friend/crush/the guy with the sweetest smile she’s ever seen. Her tiny transgression goes completely off track when they stumble on a dead body. Michael covers for Asiya, then goes missing himself.

Despite what the police say, Asiya is almost sure Michael is innocent. But how will she, the sheltered girl with the strictest parents ever, prove anything? With Michael gone, a rabid police officer in desperate need of some sensitivity training, and the murderer out there, how much will Asiya risk to do what she believes is right?

Goodreads | Amazon 

The main character in this book has a unique voice that shines throughout the book and it helps keep it funny and charming. This book has amazing #ownvoices muslim rep and the way it talks about muslim problems is insightful and it can be uncomfortable in its truths. If you are looking for a good mystery full of humour and diverse characters, you’ll probably like this! If you want to know more , here’s my full review.

Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne (2017) – 278 ratings on Goodreads

future leaders of nowhere

“Finn’s solid. Not in body, but in being. She’s gravity and kindness and all those good things that anchor.”

“Willa’s confusing. Sometimes she’s this sweet, sensitive soul. Other times she’s like a flaming arrow you hope isn’t coming for you.”

Finn and Willa have been picked as team leaders in the future leader camp game. The usually confident Finn doesn’t know what’s throwing her more, the fact she’s leading a team of highly unenthusiastic overachievers or coming up against fierce, competitive Willa. And Willa doesn’t know which is harder, leaving her responsibilities behind to pursue her goals or opening up to someone.

Soon they both realise that the hardest thing of all is balancing their clashing ideals with their unexpected connection. And finding a way to win, of course.

Goodreads | Amazon

If you are looking for a book with an interesting setting and premise, with lots of diversity and great characters, this is for you! This book has two main characters, a bisexual girl and an Indian-Australian lesbian girl, that participate in a competition that its a mix between a summer camp and a Model UN. It’s an interesting book that adresses important subject thorughout.

Do you want to read any of these books? Have you read any of these books? Did you like them?
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My Most Read Authors

Most Read Authors

I made a post like this 3 years ago for a Top Ten Tuesday post, I was shocked to realize how much time has it been! Sometimes I forget that this blog has been on WordPress for a little over 1 year, but it was actually on blogger for like 2 years before that.

On that post I actually made a list of 14 authors because there was a tie between several of them, but this time I chose only 9. From those 9, 7 were in the old post. This list was really interesting for me to make even if it remained similar to the one I made 3 years ago because it allowed me to think about the ways my reading has changed and why is not reflected on this list.

Before talking about the things I learned from writing this post, here are my 9 most read authors:

Penny Reid (16 books)

She is the only author on this list that is a recent discovery, it has NOT been a year since I read the first book written by her and she managed to be my most read author of all times! I’m shocked! I have read the complete Knitting in the City series (7 books + 3 novellas that are full lenght books), the Winston Brothers series (4 books so far) and 2 books in the Rugby series in which she is a co-author.

Penny Reid

Richelle Mead (14 books):

It’s been almost three years since the last time I read a book by Richelle Mead, but when I was an avid fan I managed to read the complete Vampire Academy series (6 books), the complete Bloodlines series (6 books) and 2 books in the Georgina Kindcaid series.

Richelle Mead

Krista & Becca Ritchie (13 books):

I have read the Addicted series (3 books + 2 novellas that are full lenght books), the Calloway Sisters Series (5 books) and the Like Us series (3 books so far). I actually see these books as part of one long series because all of them are about different characters in the same family. I really like their characters and I’m so attached to them that I will keep reading as many books as they publish in this series.

KBR

Cassandra Clare (11 books):

She is one of the few authors on this list that I started to read her books a long time ago and I’m still reading them. I have read The Mortal Instruments (6 books) ,The Infernal Devices (3 books), 1 book of The Dark Artifices and The Tales of the Shadowhunters Academy.

Cassandra Clare

J.K. Rowling (10 books): 

If I counted all the times I have reread Harry Potter, she would be my most read author but that’s not how this works. I have read the Harry Potter series ( 7 books) and the Cormoran Strike series (3 books so far).

jk rowling

Rick Riordan (10 books):

I read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (5 books) and then The Heroes of Olympus series (5 books) a long time ago and then I stopped reading his books because the other ones haven’t grabbed my attention.

Rick Riordan

Sarah J. Maas (9) 

I love her books even when I try not to. I have read 6 books in the Throne of Glass series and 3 books in the Court of Thorns and Roses. I’m waiting impatiently for the next books in both series. 

Sarah J Maas

Abbi Glines (7):

I haven’t read a book by her in 4 years, but there was a time when I was planning to read every single one of her books. I read 1 book in the Too Far series, 3 books in the Sea Breeze series and 2 books in The Vincent Boys series.

Abbie Glines

Jennifer Estep (7):

I read one series by her and it’s the Mythos Academy series, which I read almost 5 years ago. There are 6 books in the series and I also read 1 of the novellas that is a full lenght book.

Jennifer Estep

Things I learned from this:

  1. Some of the authors on this list are on it because I read series by them YEARS AGO, I think there’s so few new authors in it because I have been reading more standalones than series and that means that I read more authors but less books of each one of them.
  2. The new authors that made it into the list are new adult/ romance authors and I think that reflects a change in my reading. I have been reading a lot more new adult/romance than fantasy. I still love fantasy but I have been in a slump when it comes to reading it.
  3.  The fact is that fantasy books are almost always part of a series and the fact that I’m reading less fantasy, also explains why I’m reading more standalones and less series.
  4. Another thing is that I read new adult/ romance books that are part of series, but I’ll only  continue with a series of those genres if the first book is really good. A lot of times I only read the first book, maybe that’s why there’s not more authors of those generes on the list.
  5. I have also tried to read more diversely and I’m more aware of the diverse books coming out lately, which means I end up reading a lot of debut authors that write diverse books, so that also explains why I have only read 1 book from a lot of the authors that I have read lately.
  6. One of the things that remained constant is that I read mainly female authors and that is reflected on this list.
Who are your most read authors? Have you read books by any of the authors I mentioned?  Tell me in the comments! 

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The Different Types of DNF Books

The different types of DNF books

Hi guys! before we start and in case someone doesn’t know, DNF =Did Not Finish. Now that it’s clear, here we go!

A long time ago I wrote the only post on my blog that it’s about DNF’ing books. I talked about the only 3 books I had ever DNF’ed at that point (here’s the post). This may seem strange to some people because I had only DNF’ed 3 books in all my life, but the fact is that until 6 months ago or a year maybe? I finished every single book I started. If I didn’t finish it, it was because I was truly hating it or I was so bored that I fell asleep.

Nonetheless, that has change and now I won’t keep reading a book that I’m hating, that I’m bored reading or that I’m not really enjoying. This doesn’t mean that all the books that I stop reading  are the same type of DNF books.  I feel like there are levels that go from I’m just not in the mood for this book to I won’t ever pick up this book again and no one can change my mind. Here are the types of DNF books I encounter often: 

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1. The “I’m just not in the mood” type of DNF book

These books are the ones you read the first 5, 10 or 15 pages and you know that it would be unfair to keep reading the book because you are not in the mood for it and no matter how good the book is, you would simply not enjoy it. It’s particulary common to find this type of DNF books in the shelves of the mood readers around the world. These are the books that you know you’re gonna pick up later when you are in the mood. So it’s kind of a temporary DNF.

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2. The “I gave it a real chance & didn’t convince me” type of DNF book

These are the books that from the very beginning you have reservations about, there’s something about them that doesn’t convince you; maybe the writing style, the characters, the world building… a lot of times you’re not even sure what it is, you just know that you have to convince yourself to pick up the book or maybe it takes you hours to read a few pages, until finally you accept that it’s not the book for you and stop reading it all together.

With this type of books, you may be persuaded to pick them up again. Maybe if you weren’t that bored with them or if it was just one small element that didn’t convince you or if someone says that the book gets a lot better.

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3. The “I was enjoying it but it lost me at one point” type of DNF book

These are the books that you were loving, you thought you were gonna give them 5 stars, there were exactly what you wanted, what you were expecting… until suddenly, everything begins to go down hill and the very promising start goes to waste because the book doesn’t deliver what it promised in those amazing first pages. These books may be great for the first 30%, 40% or maybe 50% of the book and then they fall apart and let you brokenhearted. These are some of the most disappointing books for a bookworm, they play with our emotions making us believe we have a new favorite book and then they crash and burn.

Again, with this type of books you may be persuaded to pick them up again, if someone says that it picks back up after a little bit or if someone says the ending is great or if it’s a series and someone says the next book is amazing.

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4.The “I’m not picking it up ever again & no one can change my mind” type of DNF book

These are the books that you know for sure you are not gonna finish. Maybe because you didn’t like the writing style, maybe you found them boring, maybe you hated one of the characters, maybe there were so many plotholes that you couldn’t stand it, maybe there was ableist/racist/homophobic/discriminatory content in the book that hurt you or made you angry …there’s so many different reason why you would stop reading a book and know with absolute certanty that you won’t pick it up again and no one is gonna convince you otherwise and these are the definitive DNF books.

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Ok, so those are the types of DNF books I encounter often. Now tell me about your experience with DNF’ing books in the comments! Do you DNF books often? What books have you DNFed recently? What type of DNF books do you encounter more often?  What other type of DNF book have you encounter? 
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Reading Habits I Wish I Could Change

Reading habits I wish I could change

Lately  I have been thinking a lot about my reading experience and my reading habits and I have found that there’s some aspects that I would like to change. I have actually tried to change some of these things in the past, but I have discovered that when I go against these habits I end up not enjoying books – that otherwise I could have liked- as much, or I end up in a reading slump.

So, here are some reading habits that I wish I could change but that I have come to accept:

Mood reader 

I’m a complete mood reader and my moods are not easy to satisfy, because they are very specific moods. It’s not like “Oh, I’m in the mood for romance”, nope! It’s more like I’m in the mood for romance where there is modern royalty, diverse characters and there’s a  friends to lovers relationship. Again, very specific.

Other times, being a mood reader for me means that I’m in the mood to read but I don’t know what genre or what book I’m in the mood for, and you may be thinking “oh, that means you can read anything” well, again, nope! This means I end up reading nothing until I know what I’m in the mood for, because I don’t enjoy most books I pick up without being in the specific mood for them.

“I wish I wasn’t a mood reader” 
Can’t stick to a TBR 

This one is connected to being a mood reader. I never make TBRs for the month because I know the probability of reading any book that it’s on that list is close to 0%, because I never know what I’m gonna be in the mood for. That’s why I always fail at readathons, readalongs and all those types of events.

“I wish I could stick to a TBR” 
Knowing before reading

This is another one that it’s connected to the fact that I get very specific moods, because that means that I can’t go into a book knowing nothing about it, I need to know what it’s about so I can see if it fits my mood. But also, not only do I need to know what the book is about, I need to know what people think about a book, so I need to read reviews before reading a book. I literally can’t read a book without reading reviews, I think it’s mainly because people’s comments help me decide if the book is something I would enjoy or not.

I wish I could go into a book without knowing anything about it and let myself be surprised” 
Pay too much attention to negative reviews

As I was saying, I can’t read a books without reading reviews. It’s a habit I have not been able to break and I ctually wouldn’t have a problem with this habit, if it wasn’t for the fact that I tend to pay more attention to negative reviews. If I read 10 reviews ofa book and 2 are negative reviews, what I will remember the most are the negative reviews and it’s very likely that those 2 negative reviews will make me not want to read the book.

“I wish I could pay more attention to positive reviews instead of the negative ones” 

Those were some of the reading habits that I wish I could change -that I have tried to change without being succesful- but that I have come to accept as part of my reading experience.

What are some of the reading habits that you wish you could change? Let me know in the comments! 
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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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