books, life, uni & stuff | Bi-Weekly Update

I’ve read exactly 0 of these books I brought with me

New book posts:

Other books I’ve been reading:

  • Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos (currently reading)
  • Karamo Brown’s memoir (currently reading)
  • Lab Girl by Anne Hope Jahren
  • Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Added to TBR:

  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (lgbt fiction/poetry)
  • Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia (graphic novel)
  • Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

Posts I’ve loved by other bloggers:

I’ve just returned from nearly two weeks on an island with limited internet connection and a laptop that had its final breakdown (it was bound to happen, I had to get a new one) – sooo I haven’t been able to see through all your great posts!

Three things on my mind:

  • I got into my first choice at university, a physics bachelor programme! I don’t know if I’ve said it here before, probably I have on the twitter I just randomly changed from reposting animal videos from scientists to bookish things. It’s still a lot of cute animals. Anyways, news spread fast that I was moving for uni and I went from having researched physics programmes for years in secret, to having secretly applied, gotten in and is now suddenly forced to proclaim it to everyone who knows me?? It’s a weird feeling. I’m also very excited and nervous, but that feels obvious. In less than two weeks I’m going to be hauling all of my belongings that I can fit in two suitcases to a new city.
  • I started to write something else here; it was about this summer compared to last year’s summer. I think I need to write its own little post on that because the tears started to fall as I remembered how I – still occassionally needing those heavy pain killers after surgery – forced myself to get through Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson, and loved (mostly) every part of those 1248 pages.
  • Currently watching Queer Eye s4 and both the “disabled, but not really” episode and the girl figure-skating was really good and brought tears to my eyes – for different reasons. I also downloaded and watched Tales of the City, which had its weird moments, but I really liked overall. It’s such a story about queer people coming together and forming a family through being in the same neighbourhood, without steering away from heavier sides of being queer. It was fun, queer and filled with drama and love. Euphoria is such a good, queer, mature series as well from what I’ve seen! I first heard of it from the “scandals” of amount of dicks and drugs visible, but oh this series doesn’t disappoint in showing darker teens’ lives with heartbreak, addiction and trauma.

Once A Witch | Book Review

Genre: YA Paranormal with witches

Pages: 290

Synopsis

“Your daughter will be one of the most powerful we have ever seen in this family. She will be a beacon for us all.”

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and on the day she was born, her grandmother proclaimed she would be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin’s magic never showed up. Now, seventeen years later, she spends most of her time at boarding school in Manhattan, where she can at least pretend to be normal. But during the summers, she’s forced to return home and work at her family’s bookstore/magic shop.

One night a handsome young professor from New York University arrives in the shop and mistakes Tamsin for her extremely Talented older sister. For once, it’s Tamsin who’s being looked at with awe and admiration, and before she can stop herself, she agrees to find a family heirloom for him that was lost more than a century ago. But the search – and the stranger – prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the past sins of her family, and unleash a power so strong and so vengeful that it could destroy them all.

My thoughts

Four out of five stars

My rating: two out of five stars

All you expect to happen in this book – it does happen. That’s it. The villain is obvious from the start, and then makes his plans clear and that’s the plot. I kept reading this book waiting for a surprising twist that I felt never came. The world and magic, with each family member having their own power, was cool, but never really used to its full potential. I didn’t expect the time travel, but even that wasn’t exciting as a part of this story.

As for the main character, Tamsin, she made the book start out great with a real insight in how much she hates being the only one without powers in her family and being treated as an outsider because of it. But that whole problem quickly disappears along with Tamsin’s uniqueness.

“We were playing a game,” he mutters. This used to be one of Gwyneth’s favorite defense lines whenever the adults found any of us coated in ice, our lips blue with frost. “You were playing,” I snap. “She wasn’t.” I present the bear to the tear-stained child, who regards me doubtfully with big brown eyes. “You’re just jealous,” he mutters. “Because you can’t do anything.” Before I can stop myself, I whip the toy back from the toddler’s hesitant fingers and mash it over the boy’s head a few more times. 

Once a witch (p. 33)

Also the guys are written strangely? I wouldn’t recommend this book. The first 50 pages was quite promising, and then it just went so far downhill.

Who Am I? | Book Tag

I saw Sara at Bibliophagist Reviews doing this tag a long time ago and it looked fun! Also I will be on a semi-hiatus for the next ten days because I’m at a cabin with little internet connection and we’ll see how many trips to the mainland it’s going to be, hopefully I’ll be able to post from some cafe there. Oh, did I forget to mention I’m on a tiny island?

If you were a book genre, what would it be?

Magical realism. Just the way I live my life and notice odd things, which might be a sign I spend too much time observing instead of interacting socially sometimes. Honestly, at this point I would completely go with anything magical happening without too many shocked moments. We need more deadpanned, not amazed protagonists in the magical realism and fantasy realm, haha. Also both me & magical realism have in common that daily life happens and then it’s thrown off balance by something unexpected, only mine are a bit less magical than wings sprouting from my back (looking at you “The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender”).

What villain from a book do you identify with the most?

I like so many of them. One part of me has a very dark humor and general view of things, but also I always object to their understanding of the world, so none of them I really identify with? If anyone have their answers to this, let me know.

What protagonist are you most similar to?

I hate this question, because I don’t have an answer. I feel like YA protagonists all looked like me physically, at least until recently, because I’ve accidentally got the default introverted bookish girl look with everything brown; hair, eyes, even the glasses I wear sometimes. Maybe I would’ve seen more personality similarities in protagonists if I didn’t (nearly) just read fantasy with kickass heroines that I’m afraid to compare myself to (I won’t put a dagger against anyone’s throat, hopefully). I have a very specific book recommendation of characters who’s in their own head and kind of whimsy, but also when any problem arise is there prepared to deal with the crisis, because that’s more me.

Which book did you connect with in the past that you no longer do?

I thought the answer was The Hunger Games until recently when I briefly revisited it and remembered the book, the un-twisted version separated from whatever the movie shit made it into, and found that it still held up better than anticipated. That said – Vampire Academy. Somehow I liked the characters in that series so much, but I bet I wouldn’t now.

What recent book read would you love to be a character in?

I most recently read Lab Girl by Anne Hope Jahren, who is this biologist that is also an incredible writer, and the look into her life and career made me even more excited about studying science. She went through a lot of hardships during her career, both financially and being underestimated as a woman, but how she described the situations highlighted her strong friendship to her work partner Bill Hagopian. It was all so interesting – the joy, the pain, the vulnerability, the lab and the plant facts.

How do your reading habits show off in your personality?

I’m an all of nothing type of person, definitely to a fault and trying to work on it when it matters. But it also means I won’t start a certain type of book (anyone that might be good, that is) when there’s anything of importance or deadlines to be done because I will be dragged into that book and either not put it down, or even worse, having the story stuck in my head all the time anyway.

What book taught you something about yourself?

I think most of them have, to be completely honest. Either the characters or the choices they make, or the difficult dilemmas they have to face. A book doesn’t need to have similiar characters to me for me to take some learning from them. I’m currently rereading Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, so I think that’s a good example of a book where the protagonist has been so isolated and distrustful of others, but then get away from that slowly.

If you want to do the tag, feel free to and please tag me so I can see your answers! ❤

Auto-Buy Authors | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week.

Reviews are linked (as always)!

Brandon Sanderson: with the amount of books this guy publishes every year I have yet to catch up (Elantris is the next book of his on my shelf) – but I’ll get there! It doesn’t really matter what genre Sanderson writes, because even though I love the high fantasy, his sci-fi-ish Legion series was an interesting read as well. Hopefully the YA books is as good!

Patrick Rothfuss: my favourite fantasy author, even though he’s so different from Sanderson. Having him on this list might seem as a bit of a joke as the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicles has taken a long time, but I think I’ve read everything else from Rothfuss and would continue to – his picture books not for children are fantastic!

Philip Pullman: I read & really fell in love with Lyra and His Dark Materials series when I was a kid Lyra’s age. And then I reread it half a year ago and fell in love even more. The fourth book La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust) proved that I don’t care how many books that continues to be published in this series if they’re all this high quality writing.

Maureen Johnson: Has always seemed like a great, fun, quirky person and Truly Devious is one of my fav YA series, especially as I love mystery.

Nina LaCour: Every queer girl & f/f romance is a delight of a bonus along with amazing writing and story-building in books that are so unique and different from each other, like We Are Okay and Everything Leads to You.

Having watched vlogbrothers for so many years, not to mention scishow and crash course and Dear Hank & John, The Anthropocene Reviewed and Delete This, it should be obvious that I’ll consume any great content from these guys.

Hank Green: he writes with a basis of the knowledge and experiences he has, which makes anything he produces so one of a kind. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing went way above my expectations, which was already set pretty high.

John Green: Paper Towns is my least favorite, but still good, and The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska is battling being my favourite. His newest book Turtles All the Way Down blew my mind as well, showing how he continues to get better at writing and telling difficult stories in an masterful way.

Alice Oseman: it’s obvious when an YA author knows how it is to be a teen or young adult nowadays and I wasn’t surprised when I saw that Solitaire and Radio Silence was written by someone who went through high school and college at the same time. Everything Oseman writes is so true to life, as well as describe difficult and important worse aspects of culture like the fans of I Was Born for This.

Holly Black: Everything she touches I seem to fall in love with. That’s it. She’s in my eyes the best at producing entertaining and not too similiar fae and fairy stories, so here’s both quantity and quality. The one exception is how much I didn’t like the sequel to the Cruel Prince, the Wicked King.

Just a year ago I feel like I would’ve had completely different people on this list. Each photo I picked is my favourite book by the author! Do you have any other books as favourites? Link your list of auto-buy authors below!

I found the worst book as I tried to purge my TBR

Back in June I took a look at my too long list of books I wanted to read, with 432 books, and then I took a look at the single last postponed exam I had that held me back from doing anything other productive – and I decided that time was short and I would pick up books I wasn’t sure about and quickly stop reading them with no guilt if they weren’t working. As to make it both unfair and fair way – my goal was to read one to three chapters of a book and make a decision if it’s worth investing the time in it for me. It went better than expected, as I found the worst and best book of this year. Probably.

And the worst book is Sweet Evil. Just – christian paranormal with extremely bad writing and damaging viewpoints and morals. Why – how – why does this have to be a thing I now have to worry about is infecting my TBR now? Any YA demon-angel book I’m giving suspicious glares, like a bloodhound trying to sniff out hidden unfeministic christian propaganda.

Books I DNF’ed

Defiance by C. J. Redwine

Remove. Been on my TBR for four years. Part of trilogy. YA dystopia.

Why: I’m not often in the mood for dystopias anymore, the writing was just ok and all reviews by people I follow says it’s more YA romance than action, despite its dark cover. The main turn-off was the protagonist starts off in the book being handed over to another guardian, obviously with little rights and not allowed to say much on her own. With the context it all didn’t seem like it would be for me.

Fighting for Flight by J.B. Salsbury

Remove. NA romance. Part of a seven book series. Been on my TBR for four years.

Why: I was 48% in before I gave up, it just didn’t get better at all. Why was this even on my TBR? Probably because I read a similar fighter tense romance that I liked around that time. I can’t bring myself to care for these characters & when *slight spoiler* the mechanic girl protagonist is again taken interest in by her famous pimp dad the story became annoyingly surreal. Also there’s A TON of putting other girls down for being “too slutty” and I want to write a whole post on this because that’s something that just makes me go “ohh fuck you” and that I’ve seen too much of.

He motions to the dark- haired girl with gigantic breasts shoved into a tiny top. Won’t have to worry about her sinking in the pool. 

Fighting for Flight by J. B. Salsbury
*facepalm*

Outrun the wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Remove. YA standalone. Been on my TBR for a year.

Why: Chapter three and I’m not feeling it. We started out the book with a fight scene no one was invested in, then switched pov for a scene to create some mystery with a cousin/kidnapper. The writing isn’t for me.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Remove. Stopped reading after I felt my eyes burning at the virgin talk. Been on my TBR for four years. I got to chapter eight.

Why: HOW does this get so good reviews? This book is SO VERY christian paranormal where the virgin «not-like-other-girls» girl finds out she’s nephilim, meets a demon and SO MUCH cringy dialogue. Her own thoughts are so weird to follow. It’s so much worse than Twilight and the parts I’ve read of Fifty Shades of Gray. THE PROTAGONIST IS KILLED IF SHE CONTINUES TO BE A VIRGIN? WHAT KIND OF AWFUL DAMAGING SHIT IS THIS? Find your propaganda to not stray from the lord’s path and not do drugs or hook up with handsome biker-demon/nephilim-boys elsewhere.

A sixteen-year-old Neph virgin! How do you expect to be a bad influence to humans if you aren’t behaving badly yourself? I assume you at least partake in substances with your peers?

The Demon Dad of Handsome-Nephilim-Crush to the Protagonist

The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong

Remove. YA Paranormal. Been on my TBR for four years. Got to chapter five.

Why: I’m just not interested in this one, not that it necessarily seem like a bad book. Maybe I’ve read enough books with girls who can see ghosts and are claimed to be insane? The writing isn’t luring me in and also books or anything set in a psychiatric ward isn’t usually for me.

Wicked lovely by Melissa Marr

Remove. Been on my TBR half a year. I got 20% into the book.

Why: Nothing is happening. Nothing. How slow can a book be, especially at the beginning? That’s all I have to say, really, which makes it better than some of the others here, haha.

Books I Continued

(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

KEEP! This is what I’m talking about! Standalone YA fantasy. Been on my TBR for four years.

Why I’m continuing reading it: the moment I read a couple pages I was so drawn in and intrigued by where the story was going. Halfway the mystery is still kept up, the writing allows for just the right amount of confusion, secrets and tension. I’ve never seen amnesia, self-made through drugs or not, written in a better way! So excited for this!

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Continue reading. YA paranormal. Part of trilogy. Been on my TBR for four years.

Why: a mysterious professor that needs help, the protagonist a misfit among her witch family as she has no powers and they keep reminding her. I was sold after the 2nd chapter, ending with the protagonist hitting a child with a teddybear as he used his powers to keep it from a toddler, which seemed like a regular occurence in this strange family. The writing is good with a lot of feeling shown in between the lines.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Continue reading. YA Fantasy. Been on my TBR for maybe a couple months (I don’t really know how long). Currently eight chapters into it.

Why: It started out a bit original and hopeful, but then again nothing happened as we fell down the hole of human and elf is travelling to a elven court and just talking with each other. Aside from that, the author definitely got talent and while the book feels very unfinished, it also have a few interesting parts so far.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed this, besides the really bad books I ran into. I think (Don’t you) Forget About Me is going to be a favourite read this year! In general the concept just felt so effective and brought less guilt than usual of DNF’ing books or saying they’re just not for me anymore. Hopefully I’ll do this again, even though it required more than the usual review. It felt good to be more ruthless about my “maybe” reads if it also meant giving them a chance I wouldn’t otherwise have.

The Mid Year Book Freak Out | Tag

I’ve read 46 book this year, out of a goal of 50 books. I knew I would pass it when I set it, but seeing as there were a couple months I barely read any books – and for the first time in forever a whole month where I didn’t read any books – I’m pretty happy the pace has gone up. And that the books have gotten better after a unlucky couple months at the start of the year.

Best Books You’ve Read So Far This Year:

I reread Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi after many years and it’s definitely holding up as an incredible piece of work, in my mind. The best new read is (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn! It’s so underrated and I nearly didn’t read it because it had been on my TBR for five years, but it had such a powerful story of facing reality and dealing with it or continuing making the easy decision of running from it. As a story it’s also on the line between fantasy, magical realism and dystopia in a way I haven’t seen before, set in a “paradise” where no one ever get sick or seem to die.

Best Sequels You’ve Read So Far This Year:

Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson was a four out of five stars. I reviewed the whole Legion trilogy! I find that I usually like sequels, I just haven’t read many this year. In this series the main character Stephen Leeds “hallucinates” different people with their own characteristics and specialized skills which help him be the genius he is, but he’s also very aware that they’re not real. The way this is written becomes a bit repetitive, but otherwise the plot is still exciting.

New Releases You Haven’t Read But Want To:

I made a post of exciting book releases for the summer of 2019. Wilder Girls by Rory Power is coming out the day I write this, and what I’ve gathered is that it’s a queer horror YA where people die from a mysterious infection – so that’s intriguing.

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

I’ve both loved loved loved books (Six of Crows) & hated books (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo, so I’m really interested to see what I’ll think of Ninth House, which is set to be released in October.

Biggest Disappointments:

I really didn’t like The Wicked King as a sequel to The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, which is strange because I feel like Black makes such amazing choices usually. I explain everything in the review, but Jude as a character felt off and it was like I could see outside influence of the popularity of fae books changing everything good about the first book. I’m even more angry as time goes past and probably would’ve given it a two out of five stars now.

Biggest Surprises:

I’ve talked about this short book, The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz, so much through the Pride Libary 2019 challenge. I never expected a romance between a robot and a AI techinican to be so wholesome and the book also portrays loneliness, or searching for something more I guess, in such a great way.

Favorite New Author:

Technically I’d never read anything by Richard Feynman before this and Six Easy Pieces showed why he’s considered the best teacher of physics, with introductory lectures shortened to fit 140 pages. I’m reading the sequel Six Not-So-Easy Pieces this summer.

Newest Fictional Crush:

My crush on Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi resurfaced with full force along with the reread. I really liked him already when he was an abused murderous military leader. It feels like cop-out and I would give another answer, but the only other option is someone from the friendgroup of If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio, but then I remember how annoying people reciting passages of old plays would be in real life, because they do it in literally every situation, and just noope.

Newest Favorite Characters:

Everyone on the Running With Lions by Julian Winters sports team, my favourite “trope” is friends becoming closer as if they were family through tough circumstances.

Books That Made You Cry:

(Don’t You) Forget About Me brought out some personal memories of being very lost, along with describing the hopeless situation of the main character so perfectly. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman for being so adorable.

Books That Made You Happy:

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling and Heartstopper by Alice Oseman both showed queer people in relationships and living their life to the fullest, supporting each other. Branches by Rhiannon McGavin is her first published poetry collection and it’s been so exciting growing up watching her spoken word poetry on youtube and seeing how she’s grown into this incredible writer.

Best Book To Film Adaptation:

Hands down, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman was the best film adaption this year and probably ever. Am I standing by that? Maybe not. But it was amazing to watch. So many details. I’m going to have to rewatch it to appreciate more what they managed to create.

Favorite Post You’ve Done This Year:

I really liked trying to compile a big TBR for all of 2019 because I frequently refer to it just to find out that I’m following it like maybe 40% of the time, by accident. I don’t think I have one specific post in mind as much as I like the format of the bi-weekly updates.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year:

I made a whole post on how Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky is the most perfect book, both visually and the descriptions. So much talent and work went into this.

What Books Do You Need to Read By the End of the Year:

I don’t currently know how far I’m into 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, as I left it behind on my Denmark trip, but you can trust me when I say it’s not far or any longer than the last time I mentioned it here.


I predict everyone who wants to have done this tag already, but feel free to tag me if you haven’t so I see it!

The Cybernetic Tea Shop | Book Review

Genre: sci-fi short story, romance, asexual main character

Pages: 65

Synopsis

Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular ‘Raise’ AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.

Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master’s dream for the shop.

When Clara stops by Sal’s shop for lunch, she doesn’t expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on… 

My thoughts

Four out of five stars

Rating: five out of five stars

A short & cute sci-fi love story, set in an old tea shop, between a highly-skilled technician working on AI and a fully autonomous asexual robot! Which I really didn’t think would work, but when the sci-fi world was first explained it made complete sense. There’s what we would define as robots, which have been programmed by a human to do tasks or act a certain way, and then there’s these high-tech beings that should be considered as intelligent, aware and (probably) given the same rights as humans – to the point where they stopped creating them because they were too full of free will. And that’s the type of “robot” in this love story, called Sal.

I really liked the writing and the focus on routines and daily life of Sal the robot, as well as the technician Clara having her quirks, with wanting to travel and keep her distance from people. It was all so perfectly put together; the emotion, the plot, the romance building up and showing how these two people fit together so perfectly. It succeeded in telling the story of someone at the edge of society, being considered different and harassed for it.

What really made this story work is seeing scenes from the robot’s perspective as well. The writing and thoughts were clearly different, but at the same time human enough. It became a journey of trying to figure out what was memories and “human” emotional connection to the tea shop for Sal and what was their ancient programming tying them to the place they were tasked to upkeep.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this story, even if you’re like me and is usually so much more interested in the sci-fi aspects than the romantic story. I love tea and rituals and robots and skilled introverted technicians. I’m looking forward to reading more short stories by the author!

Fav quotes *minor spoilers*

Her wanderlust was hard to explain to anyone who didn’t feel likewise. Too many people were rooted to a concept of home, wanted to have the same place to return to every day, to walk the same paths between home and work and back, to see the same faces every day. Nobody would just nod to the idea that she could decide to leave before she’d picked somewhere to go. 

They lay together in a tangle of skirt and blankets and discarded cords and chips.

She couldn’t cry, and despite that, she heard herself make the sound, a shaky breath, a sob, and she flung her arms around Clara and just held on as she tried to find her own center, tried to find a way to understand herself that wasn’t defined in contrast to anyone else.

The Start of Summer | Book Bi-Weekly Update

I started this past week with spending the whole day celebrating a family birthday and exhausting myself completely, for then to meet up with an old best friend among a lot of strangers. It was definitely worth it in the end, but I was honestly strangely (for me) anxious before getting there and it could’ve gone a lot better. It’s worrying how I go back to being a more uncomfortable and more socially anxious person when I’m back in my old hometown. Hopefully I’ll be able to work some on that this summer.

A summer night spent grilling with (new) friends

New book posts:

Other books I’ve been reading:

I reread of the first three books of the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi: Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me, as well as Restore Me

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (currently reading)

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (currently reading)

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (DNF at 25%. It’s just not for me? I really tried. Also I found out that fictional fanbases are some of my worst pet peeves.)

Added to TBR:

  • Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (YA contemporary, lgbt, mental illness)
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand (YA fantasy, bi/pan mc)
  • Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed (f/f romance, contemporary)
  • Nation of Rebels by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter (nonfic, politics)
  • Find Me by Tahereh Mafi (novella)
  • Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #5)
  • Space Boy by Stephen McCranie (graphic novel)
  • As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl (YA contemporary romance)

“In one impulsive moment the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into an irresistible swirl of romance, particle physics, and questionable decisions.” ‘Particle physics’ is in the synopsis so here I am, wanting to give it a try, haha.

  • Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire (YA fantasy, mystery, lgbt w/ asexual mc & trans boy) – it’s compared to Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children and I’ve read reviews describing it as ‘disturbing’ so that sounds promising!
  • Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao (YA fantasy) – I still got to read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, but I’ve got time as this is released this upcoming fall.

Posts I’ve loved by other bloggers:

  • Andy Winder gave great recommendations for 12 LGBT YA books with transgender protagonists.
  • Library Looter wrote a list of bi/pan MC book recommendations, which is where I found both Soft on Soft and Furyborn.
  • Cotton Candy Book Witch wrote a june rewind which was where I found Space Boy, Every Heart Is a Doorway, Song of the Crimson Flower and As Many Nows As I Can Get. My TBR is never going to decrease, is it? It’s good I’ve upped the pace I read, at least the last two months.

Three things on my mind:

  • I watched Rocketman (the Elton John movie) with my brother & dad and it’s sooo good and unexpected. So different from Bohemian Rhapsody, which I also loved, but it was quite another type of story. Personally I felt this focused more on trauma and dependency, drugs & dissociation as bad coping tactics. Like when Elton John felt like his life had gone too much into drugs and crazy, his idea of normalcy was to become like his more A4 parents and marry a woman, and then gradually you see his idea of normal change through his life until he gets the happier ending and accept himself as gay and ‘weird’. The portrayal of the suicide attempt was so well done. I also really liked the surrealism used to show how Elton was out of it at times because his life was such a grand chaos and also the amazing pacing, with putting a lot of images into a short amount of time. Will definitely have to watch this movie, or at least parts of it, over and over. I might also have been very enthusiastic when my 15 year old brother suggested the movie, because he’s lately shown tendencies to change himself to become more accepted and is about to start a new school. I hope watching media where people are different & accept themselves no matter what is a good counterweight to outside pressure. Also Elton John songs might’ve been playing the last four days straight, which I take as a good sign of it working.

  • I succeeded in packing up all my belongings before going on vacation to the other side of Norway. I both hated & loved it – I really like to be organized and I got to try out Marie Kondo’s Decluttering tactics for real. It was also kind of meditative, but at the other side it was too many memories and choices to be made. Also it took a goddamn long time.

  • I know I made summer goals, but I’m not going to even look at them before next week – when I’m in the countryside of Denmark with all the time in the world to read and study for the upcoming year. The only goal I currently remember is buying a year worth of tea in Aalborg! Also I’m currently walking/cycling everywhere and playing a lot of Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go like the nerd I am. Add me – Wizards Unite 2758 0361 7116 and Pokemon Go 9460 5606 5208.

Historic Cover | Friday Face Off

This is a weekly thing created by Books by Proxy, but currently run by Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme: “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered” –  a cover featuring something/somebody historic 

My pick: The Diary of Frida Kahlo

Paperback (1998) by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC | Hardcover (1995) by Norma | Hardcover (1998) by Harry N. Abrams

Arabic (2011) by دار نينوى للدراسات والنشر والتوزيع  | Hardcover (2001) by La vaca independiente | Czech (2003) by Labyrint

Italian (2014) by Electa | Serbian (2002) by Clio

My favourite

I’ve loved Frida Kahlo’s work for a long time. People know her for her feminism, but the most important thing she’s shown me is how she conveyed the physical pain she felt. I think the 1998 cover is the only one I’ve found that really shows that part of her art.

Short Reviews: queer magical realism & graphic novels

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

DNF’ed at 70%, which says a lot about how I really wanted this book to work for me.

I love magical realism, but sometimes I’ve found that the books I can’t get into have in common that they have no set plot making the focus feel all over the place and I don’t personally connect with the characters. Which was my problem with this one. I loved the family, the idea that they were tied to their land, the writing (well, it did get too flowery at points), and the queer girls. It feels like someone wrote a lovely world with these girls with flower magic and this lost boy with amnesia, and then just didn’t have a clear vision of the rest. Also the writing tried to push the magical feeling at points by describing the place instead of showing how the magic really could be used, or where it was hiding within the ground, story and people. I still think & hope I might like “When the moon was ours” by the author better.

But Estrella let all those things chase her down the stairs, out of the stone house, through the gardens where dahlias and calla lilies rose up around her like a flowering forest. The lawns and paths flew under her feet, but still, she ran, until the gardens thinned and the land passed from tended to wild. 

Wild Beauty by Anne-Marie McLemore p. 164

Big Mushy Happy Lump & Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

Sarah’s Scribbles book 2 (four out of five stars) & 3 (three out of five stars).

The second graphic novel felt very much similar to the first one in all the good ways. Obviously the concept of the drawing panels are further developed, but the spirit of the introverted relatable character is still all over it. It experimented with a storyline, which I didn’t like as much. Which is probably why I didn’t like the third graphic novel as much, because it really stayed to themes which felt very much like anything you would find on tumblr/twitter in comparison to the previous ones. It’s still good, but more average. Would recommend the first (Adulthood Is A Myth, full review here) and second, probably the third is worth a try if you’ve liked them.

Herding cats