Mini Reviews: The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon + Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

Hi everyone! Today I have mini reviews of a couple of romance books I read recently: one that just came out and another that will be out soon. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on them:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

(Release date: June  9th 2020)

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I really liked Samiah, the main character in this book, she is a smart, hard-working and successful woman working in a tech company, which is a very white and male environment. This book did a good job of showing all the hardships that she, as a black woman, faces in STEM and how those hardships are different than the ones faced by other people of color like the love interest, Daniel, who is part-Korean and part-Black.

Samiah’s relationship with the two women that she meets at the start of the book when they all find out they were dating the same guy without knowing it, was the highlight of the book. Their support for one another and their unconditional friendship were things I really enjoyed reading about. And the first 10% of this book when they all find out the truth was hilarious and maybe my favorite part of this book.

My main problem with this book was that so many moments between the main characters when they are getting to know each other and start flirting and liking each other happened off page and I was so frustrated! I’m reading a romance book, I obviously want to see them fall in love, I don’t want to be told that they fell in love in all this little moments that I didn’t get to read about. Also, the fact that he lied to her for almost 90% of this book didn’t sit well with me.

Despite not loving the romance in this book, I loved the female friendship so much that I will read the rest of the series to get the other two women’s love stories.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

(Release date:  April 21st 2020)

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I went into this book with low expectations after liking but not loving the first book in the series, The Right Swipe. Thankfully, I enjoyed this book more than the first. Girl Gone Viral has two sweet, kind main characters – Katrina and Jas – and I loved them both and I really enjoyed their slow burn romance. I was really glad that Alisha Rai didn’t feel the need to use miscomunication as a plot device, there were two big moments were miscomunication could have been used to create more drama and angst, but it wasn’t, the characters actually talked to each other and expressed their feelings and concerns.

Most of this book takes place in Jas family farm and because of it, his family is a big part of the book and I really liked them as secondary characters and I enjoyed seeing the complex family dynamics and the conflicts between them and how they had to learn to communicate better and how their relationship evolved. Besides the storyline of Jas and Katrina in the farm with his family, this book had subplots revolving each character – the going viral storyline and the trial/pardon storyline – which I didn’t find interesting and so I was glad those were small parts of the book and at the end I liked the way they were both resolved.

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning on reading them? What good romance books have you read lately?
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Mini Reviews: Comics Edition (Hi Fi Fight Club + Lumberjanes)

mini reviews2

Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing some mini reviews of comics that I have read lately. I used to think that comics weren’t for me, but I kept trying because there were some that sounded amazing and, after a while, I have gotten used to reading them and I have started to really enjoy them, so you will probably see more posts about comics in the future!

Hi Fi Fight Club 1

Title:Hi Fi Fight Club #1

Author: Carly Usdin, Nina Vakueva (Illustrator)

Release date:  August 23rd 2017

Published by: BOOM! Box

New Jersey, 1998. Chris has just started the teen dream job: working at Vinyl Mayhem, the local record store. She’s prepared to deal with anything—misogynistic metalheads, grunge wannabes, even a crush on her wicked cute co-worker, Maggie. But when Rory Gory, the staff’s favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show in town, Chris finds out her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl…her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!

Goodreads | Amazon 

  • I read this comic thanks to the really cool quiz that the amazing Laura put together! If you want to get more into comics and you need some help deciding where to start, you should definitely check it out!
  • This first issue was really short and it just sets up everything for the series, but it’s still really enjoyable. This has enough to get a general feel of both the world and the characters, since it mainly focuses on introducing the characters and their dynamics and giving some hints of where the series is going.
  • The best part of this comic are the characters, they all have their own styles and personalities and by the little bit that this first issue shows, I’m sure I’m gonna love them. I think it’s important to mention that the main character is queer, which is something else to love about it.
  • The art is amazing, it’s so delicate and the color pallet is so pleasing and lovely.
  • This is oozing with girl power and I’m sure that would increase in the other issues.

RATING: 4 STARS

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The Lumberjanes 1

Title: Lumberjanes #1

Author: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen (Illustrator).

Release date: April 9th 2014

Published by: BOOM! Box

Jo, Apri, Mal and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

 

  • The first page in this is amazing. The art, the way it conveys what’s happening and the way it has this spooky feel to it, everything in that first page is great and sets a great tone for the next couple of pages.
  • I had heard this mentioned a lot before reading it, but I didn’t know what this was actually about so I was pleasantly surprise by a lot of things. I knew this had supernatural elements, but I didn’t know it’s about girl scouts solving mysteries while being in some spooky situations. This ended up being a lot more fun and unique than I was expecting!
  • Another great thing about this is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s kind of funny at some points, which I really enjoyed.
  • The art style is not my favorite, but the color pallet is very vibrant and works really well with the story.

RATING: 3,8 STARS

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Lumberjanes 2016 Special

Title: Lumberjanes: 2016 Special: Makin’ the Ghost of It

Author: Jen Wang, Kelly Thompson, Shannon Watters,  Christine Norrie (Illustrator), Savanna Ganucheau (Illustrator).

Release date: May 18th 2016

Published by: BOOM! Box

Jen takes the girls on a nature walk to show them which plants are edible in case they need to survive in the wilderness. Along the way, she tells them the story about an axe murderer who took his friends out, one by one until no one was left, thoroughly scaring Mal. Terrified and unable to sleep, Mal thinks she sees something lurking outside. Is it…THE AXE MURDERER?!?!

Goodreads | Amazon 

  • I have to admit that I got a bit confused and this was the first Lumberjanes issue that I read, which sucks because I didn’t enjoy this that much and it also diminished my enjoyment of the first issue a little bit when I finally read it.
  • There’s a main story in this issue that was good, but then at the end there was this short story that I felt didn’t add anything to the issue.
  • The best part of this is a small section at the beginning when a scary story is told to the girls, it was a bit spooky and entertaining.
  • But the rest of the story was a bit ridiculous and not as enjoyable.
  • The art on this is prettier and more delicate than in issue 1, if it doesn’t seem that way from the cover.

RATING: 3,4 STARS 

Do you read comics? Which ones would you recommend to me? Have you read any of the ones on this post?

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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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Mini Reviews of 4 Hercules Poirot Novels by Agatha Christie

Mini Reviews

Agatha Christie created a character called Hercules Poirot, who appeared in 33 novels, one play, and more than 50 short stories published between 1920 and 1975. Recently, I started to read Agatha Christie books, first I read And Then There Were None (review), followed by Murder on the Orient Express in which the main characters is Poirot. After that, I started to make my way thorugh a bunch of Hercules Poirot books and I decided to review them a few at a time here on the blog. These are the first reviews:

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the orient express

(Published 1934) – 4 stars

What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?

  • I really enjoyed the setting of this book, the train is stuck in the snow in a secluded area, so there’s no way out, all the characters are stuck together in the same place and Poirot has no information that wasn’t provided by those involved in the murder. I just like that kind of setting the most.
  • I liked that this was told by an omniscient narrator that is unobtrusive and only gives the facts.
  • I love the way this book was structured because we are shown the method that Poirot uses to solve the murder and the way he organizes the information, which I thought was really compelling and fascinating. It was my favorite thing of this book.
  • I really liked the ending, it was surprising because it’s hard to imagine how elaborated the plan is, so much so, that when the connetion between some of the characters was revealed, I still didn’t guessed the answer to the mystery.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Published 1920) – 3,4 stars

Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorpe, and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Mary–from the heiress’s fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary. Making his unforgettable debut, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is on the case.

  • This was the first Poirot book and it definitely established the fact that these books were not gonna be action packed or the detective chasing the murderer around. Poirot books are about the conversations with the people involved and the clues in the crime scene and the slow and thoughtful evaluation of the information, which I find fascinating and intriguing and I think it’s the reason I enjoy this book so much.
  • I didn’t like the narrator in this book at all. It was narrated by a character named Hastings and he was so annoying, he keep inserting his own theories that made no sense, he was swayed by everything and he made fun of everything Poirot did or said. His narration frustrated me so much and was the main reason I gave it a low rating. 
  • I really enjoyed that there were lot of viable suspects, everyone had secrets (many not related to the murder) and because of that, they were acting in a suspitious way.
  • I found the ending logical but not satisfying, I didn’t though it was as clever.
  • This book shows that Poirot is a romantic, which added a fun an cute element to the story.  I really liked that.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd(Published 1926) – 4 stars

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, hwas stabbed to death…

  • In Christie’s books, there’s these ‘smaller mysteries”, these questions that need to be answered before solving the mystery of the murder.  I liked that, in this book, the clues allowed the reader to figure out those small mysteries and  I was actually able to solve them, which was fun.
  • The ending of this book is spectacular, the twist is brilliant and I didn’t see it coming at all. The worst is that I noticed a clue right at the beginning that pointed to the killer and I still didn’t figure it out, I think it was because it was the only clue that pointed to the actual murderer. Anyway, this book has one of the best endings to a mystery that I have ever read.
  • But – like I have mentioned before- I do have the feeling that to have that very surprising ending in this book, there’s not as many clues or information that point to the actual murderer. I feel like the reader couldn’t have solved this before Poirot reveals the answer to the mystery, at least not by following the clues.  Which I think it’s not the point of a mystery book, I like to feel that I could have solved it.
 Evil Under the Sun

Evil Under the Sun

(Published 1941) – 3,8 stars

Set at the Jolly Roger, a posh vacation resort for the rich and famous on the southern coast of England, Evil Under the Sun is one of Agatha Christie’s most intriguing mysteries. When a gorgeous young bride is brutally strangled to death on the beach, only Hercule Poirot can sift through the secrets that shroud each of the guests and unravel the macabre mystery at this playground by the sea.

  • It had a secluded setting, which I really enjoyed, because I feel like it intensifies things. This takes place on an island that while it’s not entirely cut off from the world, it did felt a bit separed and isolated.
  • I really liked that this book wasn’t told by one character that it’s part of the story, like a lot of the Poirot books. In this one, we get different perspectives and that means we get a lot more information and particulary we get a lot of information that Poirot has and that he probably wouldn’t have share if another character was telling the story.
  • I really liked the twist in this book, because they discover something and it seems like it’s pointing them in one direction but it’s too obvious, so when it’s time to the reveal and everything is explained, it’s surprising and a bit far fetched, but I still enjoyed it.
  • I liked the overall theme of the book, there’s a lof ot talk about evil in this book and at the beginning I didn’t understand the purpose, but then by the end I really liked the message. It was kind of a commentary on the shaming and vilification of women. 

 

Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Have you read any Agatha Christie books? Which ones? 

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Mini Reviews: Poetry Collections

Mini Reviews

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

the sun and her flowers

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

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

Goodreads | Amazon

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

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

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

Rating: 4 stars 

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

the witch

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

Goodreads | Amazon 

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

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

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

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

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Mini Reviews: Grumpy Farmers, Ambitious City Girls & Romance

Mini Reviews

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

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Bittersweet

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

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

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

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

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow 
After We FAll

Jack Valentini isn’t my type. 

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

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

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

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

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My Favorite Books of 2016

favorite-books-of-2016

This is a bit late, but I had a hard time deciding which books I was gonna include on this list and how to address having a problematic favorite.

TOP 8 BOOKS OF 2016

The first three books I want to talk about are young adult books that I really loved. 

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera 

I loved this book so much. I loved the writing, I loved the characters, I loved the way this book talked about feminism and about being queer, I loved how it represented the different perspectives that exist in these broader movements and the way it showed why intersectionality is so important, I loved the way safe spaces were addressed, and as a Latina I loved the way latinxos were represented. Honestly, I loved so many things about this book that it impossible to name them all here. (If I had to choose a favorite book of 2016, this would definitely be it!)

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

This book has a special place in my heart because back when I read it, it had been a long time since I had read something with amazing representation of latinxs characters and that meant the world to me (I read this before Juliet Takes a Breath). Also, I loved the fact that I could recognized in this book cultural traditions that were similar to the ones of my country. Also, I loved he whole world building and magic system, the fact that they were based on latinx cultural traditions made them interesting and unique.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The characters were the driving force in this book; they were complex and captivating. The group dynamic had me enthralled the entire time, I loved it because it’s the type of relationships where the characters don’t entirely like each other but need to stay together to reach their individual goals. I don’t actually like heist stories that much, but this was interesting and the plot twist kept me entertained through the book. Also, the writing was really good, even if the pacing was a bit uneven.

The next four books I am gonna talk about are Adult books from different genres, that go from mystery to chick lit to literary fiction.

The Secret History by Donna Tart

The characters were my favorite part of this book; they were enigmatic and fascinating and even when they did things or had thoughts that were disturbing, I never found myself quite disliking them.  I really enjoyed the writing style. This was the first Donna Tartt book I read and I found her writing compelling and beautiful. Also, the fact that the book revolved around the study of greek literature and language was quite interesting, there was an underlying commentary about power, elitism, morality, depravity, freedom, insanity, even religion.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

At the beginning of this book, I thought I was gonna hate it. I couldn’t believe that Ann Brashares had done something so awful; I got angry and sad. Nonetheless, as I read I realized she was portraying real life; this book dealt with what happens when you grow older, when you are not a young adult anymore, and it did it in such a realistic way that it was at times hard to read. I loved seeing all the characters of the past books after such a long time, seeing what happened to them was great. Even if there were sad parts, reading this book was a heartwarming experience.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson 

I think this was my favorite book in the series, all the lose ends of the second book found a resolution in this one. I loved reading about all Lisbeth, Mikael and all the other members of the team had to do to catch the bad guys, and I thought it was interesting how complex this series started to get by adding new characters that weren’t always working with each other and didn’t always had the same or all the information. This was one of the series that introduced me to mystery/thrillers, which is now one of my favorite genres, so it has a special place in my heart.

Twenties Girls by Sophie Kinsella

This was one of the first books I read by Sophie Kinsella and even if I had a few problems with the books I read after this one, I loved Twenties Girls. It made me fall in love with the twenties even more than I was before. My favorite thing about this book was the relationship between Lara and Sadie, female friendships for the win! Even if I suffered with secondhand embarrassment by all the silly and ridiculious things that Lara had to do for Sadie. Also, this almost made me cry by how things worked out for Sadie. I had so many feelings while reading this book.

And now… let’s talk about the problematic favorites!

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Empire of Storms & A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

These were the books that made the process of writing this post so hard.  When I started to write this I realized that if I was being honest I had to include both of these books on my list because I enjoyed them a lot. Nonetheless, I was very conflicted because I know these books are problematic. From the way the POCs are treated as plot devices to queer bating and consent issues (about drugs), these books have a lot of problems. I knew that if I was gonna include these books on this list I had to call out the problematic aspects, but the fact that I was including them made me wonder why did I like these books in the first place and why did I not notice the problematic aspects until someone else mentioned them.I read the first 4 books in the TOG series and loved them, before I found out about the problematic content. I found out when I became more involved on twitter and I followed bookworms that were either members of other marginalized groups (in case you didn’t know, I’m Latina) or allies to those groups. I have learned a lot since then, but I still got a lot more to learn.  Anyway, I liked these books, but I have to recognized that they have problematic content and I feel the responsibility of talking about it when I mention them.

FAVORITE SERIES

I have two favorite series of 2016, to classify for this category I had to have read all the books in the series in 2016. I want you to know that at least my favorite book of each of these series would have made it into my favorites list if I hadn’t done a separated category.

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The Addicted/ Calloway Sisters Series

There’s 10 books in this series, I read them for the first time in July 2016 and I had to re-read them by November 2016. That’s how obsessed I was with this series and how much I loved all the books. My favorite book in the series was the last one (Some Kind of Perfect), because we get POVs for the six main characters and since I can’t choose a favorite couple this is perfect for me. This series dealt with family, friendship, the link between fame and privacy, sexual orientation, PTSD and depression, sex addiction and alcoholism, also this series has very positive representation of going to therapy as something you don’t have to be ashamed of, something that helps people.  This is definitely my favorite new adult series of all times.

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All for the Game Series by Nora Sokovik 

I loved the complex characters and the unique set up of the story because it revolved around a fictional sport and I became really invested in the championship even when I don’t like sports that much. My favorite book was the last one called the King’s Men, it was a great conclusion to the series. There was a diverse cast of characters and it had this strange and atmospheric feel to it, even if it was set in a college, it also had to do with crime families. This was a bit weird, but really good as well.

FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVEL

I don’t read that many graphic novels because I tend to not enjoy them that much, but this year I found one that I loved. Both the story and the art were incredible. 

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City of Clowns by Daniel Alarcon and

This graphic novel was set in Perú and it dealt recurrently with the theme of poverty in a perfect and sensitive way. Also, it was interesting to see very serious topics being adressed while incorporating clowns to the narrative. The art was really good as well, it’s all black and white and it went really well with the story.

POETRY

I don’t usually read poetry, but this year I read a few really good poetry collections and I decided to highlight my two favorites. 

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Poems by Maya Angelou

I don’t read that much poetry, but this is definitely my favorite poetry collection of all times. It was meaningful, impactful, it transmitted so much emotion and the voice behind the poems was so present that it made the poems feel incredibly personal. This dealt mainly with themes of race and gender and included one of the most popular Maya Angelou’s poem And Still I Rise, which let’s be honest is a masterpiece.

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

There’s a broad variaty of themes in this collection and a consistency in the quality of the poems. I loved the ones that dealt with womenhood, death, abuse and suicide, I though they were both powerful and relatable.

Have you read any of these books? Did you like them? I want to know about your favorite books of 2016, if you made a post about them, leave me a link!

December 2016 Wrap Up

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The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick (4 stars)

I read this because I had watched the web series and I loved it. I definitely enjoyed this companion novel as well. A thing that I really liked in both the web series and the book is the diversity that was added to the original story, because some of the main characters were asian and that makes it more relatable. Also, I liked the writing, the humor and the romance.

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (4,5 stars)

I think this was a great conclusion to the series, I had been hesitant to read this because I had heard mixed comments, but I think it improved the one thing that had made me not like the other books as much: I felt like Alina and Mal finally had some agency, their decisions were theirs, no one else was controlling them or taking the shots.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (4,3 stars)

Heist stories aren’t really my thing, but I really enjoyed this book anyway because the characters were so amazing. This book was full of diverse and complex characters, which kept me engrossed in the story; I ended up rooting for them even when I knew some of their decisions and actions were wrong.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars)

I actually liked the first book more. After spending so many time in the planning, the deceit, the trickery, I felt like the ending was rushed. The characters continued to be the strong point in these series, the character development was really good and the relationship between the characters evolved in an organic waym they weren’t rushed.

labyrinth-lostLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (4,2 stars)

I loved reading this book and it made me even more centaint abput how much representation and diversity matter. Even when the cultural background, traditions and belief sistem are not exactly the same as mine, they do share a lot of similarities and I loved being able to relate certain parts of the book to cultural traditions of my country. Also, I loved the writing and I felt connected to the magic and world that Zoraida Córdova created.

Run by Kody Keplinger (4,3 stars)run

I loved the experience of reading this book, I knew before reading it that this was a #ownvoices book and it was interesting to read about a legally blind character and feel like I was actually understanding a bit better what it is like live as a legally blind person.  I could feel the authenticity in the way the story was told and that made this book something special. I think Kody Keplinger also portrayed female friendship and bisexuality in a very postive way.

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In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park (4 stars)

This book was hard to read, because the whole time you know this actually happend to a girl, you know it happens to a lot of girls all over the world. Even when I knew how important this book is and how heartbreaking what I was reading was; I felt like the writing didn’t fit the book, it didn’t let me connect with the story as much as I wanted to.

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I found a lot of the poems in this collection very relatable and powerful. I bookmarked a lot of them, my favorite poems were for the most part about women, about how wonderful and strong we are; but a few of the other poems I loved dealt with death, abuse and suicide.There’s a broad variaty of themes in these collection and a consistency in the quality of the poems.

weshouldallbefeminists

This was a good book, but I think I would have liked it more if I was new to feminism and feminist ideas when I read it. I feel like this is a good introduction, but it’s so short that it’s just that, an introduction, and it only explores very basic ideas about gender. I understand that that was the purpose, but I was expecting a bit more.

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This was not as funny as I was expecting it to be. Actually, this wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, period.  I was really disappointed while I was reading this book, there were only a few that I actually thought were entertaining or bizare enough that I enjoyed them. Also, I felt like the art didn’t add anything to the book.

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This book was really funny and it dealt with a lot of the stereotypes that people have about Muslims and their love lives, while being respectful, honest and entertaining. That may have to do with the fact that this is an #ownvoices book. Another thing that I loved about the book was that female relationships have such a central place throughout it.

I loved this book so much, it was funny and charming and the writing was amazing. I loved the way it adressed intersectionality and how it works (or doesn’t) in broader movements. My favorite thing about this book was Juliet; having a latinx characters that felt so incredibly authentic almost made me want to cry tears of happiness. Also, the way in which it adressed queerness was brilliant.

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Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (3,5 Stars)

So many times when I read memoirs of famous people, they focus so much on silly anecdotes of their childhood and honestly, I wish they would tell us about their jobs that’s the why I’m reading the book. I want to know how you got where you are, I want to know anecdotes of you on set and so many other things. I felt this book was full of a lot of stories I didn’t find interesting or funny and way too little about her job as an actress.

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The thing is I loved some of the poems in this collection, I bookmarked a lot of them, but the ones I didn’t love were really disappointing. There wasn’t a consistency in the quality of the poems, I either loved them or didn’t care about them.

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