it’s good to be back ~ ft. the house in the cerulean sea

I’ve been thinking this a lot lately since flying home over a month ago. Even now, we’re all finding peace and joy and anything else we need to keep going wherever we can. And I realized that is exactly why it’s time to return to this blog – to this small home I created online years ago.

To start off, I’m sharing my thoughts on a book that made my heart ache…

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mini reviews for books i read last month

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Today, I’m back with mini reviews of Emergency Contact and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. As you can probably guess from the blog title, I’m falling behind on writing reviews! But the good news is that I am now 7 books ahead on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Realizing that I have less than a month until college starts (at which point I won’t have much time to read) has been great motivation. Without further ado, here are the reviews (in bullet point format because why not!).  Continue reading “mini reviews for books i read last month”

let’s talk about love ~ a book that gave me ALL THE FEELS

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Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date
: January 23 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood

Continue reading “let’s talk about love ~ a book that gave me ALL THE FEELS”

leah on the offbeat ~ a book that made me cry happy tears

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky AlbertalliPublisher:HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Release Date
: April 24 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. 

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book review: batman: nightwalker ~ a disappointing read

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Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date
: January 2nd 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads Blurb: 

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

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book review: splintered by a.g. howard

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Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 1 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb: 

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

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book review: holding up the universe by jennifer niven

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Publisher: Penguin Books (UK)
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 400
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

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book review: when the moon was ours by anna-marie mclemore

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Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Magical Realism, Fantasy

Pages: 288
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

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book review: the star-touched queen

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Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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Monthly Recap: September

Hey guys!

This month was a weird combination of stressful and relaxing. I had a lot of down time but there were also a lot of moments where I would be freaking out over that essay I wrote for an AP class or whether I formatted a lab report correctly before submitting it. I got to spend a lot of “me time” just relaxing with a book, fifteen minutes before class started or spending forty minutes in the library on late start days drafting a new short-story. Unfortunately, I am now starting to feel the pressure – I have the PSAT on my birthday – October 14th and I’ve also been trying to figure out my summer plans (not long before I have to send applications!). Oh and three days ago, I got a new phone! I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 6s in gold finish. Unfortunately I also spent two hours, today, updating my laptop and iTunes and backing up to my new hard-drive (because why not?) so that I could sync my phone with iTunes. 

Blog Posts

BOOK REVIEWS

A Court of Thorns and Roses || In Which I Am Disappointed By My Favorite Author

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir || A Book That Felt Cliché

Lips Touch: Three Times || 3 Stories That Left Me Yearning For More

BLOG AWARDS

The Blogger Recognition Award

The Liebster Award

One Lovely Blog Award

OTHER

Book Haul! (5)

Snazzy Snippets | Icecream (sort-of), Pride (not really), and The First Paragraph

Beautiful People :: September Edition

October TBR

I am most definitely a mood reader but lately I’ve been craving a little more structure so I’ve decided to add a tbr aspect to these monthly recap posts. This TBR is based on the books I want to read/finish/start and all of the books below will be books I already own or can borrow from the (digital) library. I’ve been meaning to finish more books I already own so hopefully this will help me do that! (Note: I am currently reading Bone Gap and A History of Glitter and Blood but I will end up finishing them both in October.)

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I’m on Instagram!

That’s right, I have an instagram account which I actually made a while ago and forgot about (AWKWARD). I only started posting photos yesterday so I don’t have anything apart from a selfie and a snap of my Kindle (I was reading One). I plan on uploading more images (of better quality!) as soon as I get my new phone up and running.

So how was your month? Did you get a lot done or procrastinate (like me)?