March TBR // Women’s History Month!

March is Women’s History Month I will be celebrating by reading books by and about wonderful women and girls. Most of the books on here are nonfiction which is not a genre I usually gravitate towards but I’m reading a lot of different things lately and I want to learn about women’s history this month. I don’t just want to read about girls in fantasy worlds, I want to make more of an effort to celebrate the lives of real women who have and or are making a difference in the world.

  1. A Diary of a Young Girl: I feel like I should have read this years ago there are so many books people read during high school that I didn’t, and now I feel like I’m going to be spending my twenties playing catch up.
  2. Amina’s Voice: I don’t know too much about this, but I’ve only heard positive things. I’ve seen it on multiple recommendation lists and it seems like a good fit for Women’s History Month.
  3. The Sun and Her Flowers: I want and need to read more poetry and Rupi Kaur is probably the biggest poet out there right now so reading her second collection seems like a must.
  4. A Short History of Women: I wanted something to read that would teach me something that I didn’t but should have learned in history class, and this seems like a good fit.
  5. Hidden Figures: The movie adaptation was everything, and I want to know more. I’m sure there are details that weren’t in the movie or things that got changed and I’m looking forward to finding them
  6. Bloodwitch: This isn’t exactly on here for the same reason as the others I just really want to read it. But there are a lot of badass women in this series and it’s written by a badass woman so it does still tie into the theme of this months tbr. Honestly though when am I ever not reading books by and about badass ladies? Unless there assigned reading.

I’m being very ambitious considering I read two whole books in February, but I have a plan, and I think I can read at least four of these. I’m going to make reading more of a priority even if that means spending less time on other things I also enjoy doing, like watching tv or youtube. None of the books on my list are very long, and I’m feeling excited to read each of them. I’m not often motivated to read for pleasure anymore so let’s hope this feeling lasts. Spring break is in March so I’ll have a whole week off of school, and (hopefully) not much to do during that time besides reading. I think I’m going to dedicate one whole day during spring break to reading, it’s been so long since I’ve done that.

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Book review: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Warning: This summary contains spoilers for the first book in the series and my review may contain some spoilers for the previous books as well. If you would like to read my review of the first book Every Heart a Doorway you can find it here.

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save!

If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts.

This is my least favorite in the series so far I liked that you traveled to different worlds but the plot was too much for me. I don’t mind time travel, but it doesn’t work for me when it’s just thrown into the middle of a fairytale series and is seemingly out of place. It was all a bit far fetched. I’m not sure how this fits into the rest of the books. I don’t know what will follow this, the books are designed to be mostly self-contained but they do tie into one another and I’ve not convinced this story was needed. Even though we get to travel to multiple worlds as I whole I don’t feel like it adds much to the Wayward Children universe.

This series has a pattern, the first book established the world and characters and is set in our world. The second and fourth books are about different character’s finding their Doorways and are essentially prequels. In this third book were back on earth in the present, it picks up shortly after the first book. It follows a new character named Catherine who gets swept up in an adventure involving familiar characters. I like the characters and writing as much as ever, I just couldn’t get completely behind the plot. It isn’t what I wanted I knew going in that it wouldn’t be, but I still expected more. No details have been released about the fifth book yet, but I’m hoping it will be about what we all wanted this one to be about. I think it will be the last book in the series, so maybe it will bring all the characters together and tie up all the loose ends.

The only thing I really care about at this point is what happens to Jack and Jill the next one is called Come Tumbling Down so surely it is about them. To me it would have made more sense for this book to have been about Jack and Jill, I don’t see the need for this story, but maybe that’s just me. I’m saying a lot of negative things but this book was not all bad, it’s just that compared to the other’s in the series it is lacking. I still enjoyed it I liked that it was very short, all the books are, I listen to them on audiobook and each one is narrated wonderfully and about four hours long. I liked being back in the Wayward Children universe I really love the worldbuilding in this series, and this installment did expand upon it and added another great character.

My favorite books at this moment

The Hunger Games

This book was when I really started to love reading it was one of the first YA books I read, if not the first. It led me to read Divergent and The Mortal Instruments, together those three series are what got me into fandom culture. They all had movies coming out when I read them, The Hunger Games was the first book adaptation that I read the book for before seeing the movie. My youth group dressed up for the midnight premiere I was Prim and my sister was Katniss (it was adorable) I think that moment is what sparked my love of fandom.

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Creativity and originality

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“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

One thing I’ve learned about myself is I need to be constantly creating something. For me creativity is an important part of self-care if I’m not doing anything creative then I do not feel like myself. If I’m not creating anything for a long period of time it tends to mean I’m not in a good place mentally. There are lots of things I do to be creative: journaling, scrapbooking, writing, taking pictures, and of course, blogging. Journaling is a major stress relief for me I love documenting my life through journals and scrapbooks. Blogging is sometimes stressful, but it’s also a way for me to challenge myself. When it comes to blogging I’m always trying to push myself to be more creative, and come up with ideas that I haven’t seen done before. That is much easier said than done.

I definitely don’t think I’m the best at coming up with original content, then again originality is tricky. Pretty much every idea you come up with has been done before, you have to find a way to add your own spin to it. That is something I’m constantly trying to reiterate to myself. When I first started blogging it was hard to feel confident in the content I was creating, there were a lot of days filled with doubt, now I feel a lot more certain about what I’m doing. After you do something for a while it gets easier, but there are still days when it feels like no idea I have is any good. There will always be days when I’m just not in the mood to blog on those days there will be other creative outlets to keep me sane. If you make blogging a habit it’s a lot easier, but I am not a good example, I do not prioritize blogging like I should. I’m trying to have a designated day a week to blog; however, things just don’t always work out the way you want them to.

Occasionally creating anything is a struggle and I’m not sure I believe in absolutes, but generally, the quote I put at the top is true. The more time I spend creating the more inspiration and motivation I have. To summarize, I make time for creativity because the things I love doing are creative pursuits, and most importantly it’s how I stay grounded.

Why do you blog? And what other creative outlets do you have? Do you make creativity a part of your everyday routine?

Strong Female Protagonist: A bullet point review

With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around.

Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun – until an encounter with Menace, her mind-reading arch enemy, showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn’t seem so important. 

Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It’s impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero… 

  • Interesting and multi-layered
  • A great beginning
  • Unsurprisingly has many feminist themes 
  • The last half got pretty intense 
  • Makes you think: surprisingly philosophical, and dealt with complex issues regarding moral values
  • Like the last chapter was deep and left me and the characters with a lot to ponder
  • Brings up questions like: can the world ever be saved? Are superheroes really making a difference? Who are the real heroes of the world? Etc.
  • It’s not your average superhero story, it was refreshing to read a superhero comic that isn’t Marvel or D.C and that is doing its own awesome unique thing.
  • If you love superheroes but want to see something different, or if you hate superheroes, give this heroic tale a chance.
  • Alison literally just wants to go to college and then she gets dragged into trouble, and I sympathized with her.
  • She also wants to make the world a better place, but in a way that doesn’t involve being a superhero.
  • She has good reasons for quitting superheroing. (Is that a real word?)
  • Has funny footnotes, that reminds me of the ones in Squirrel Girl. 
  • Overall it has depth and it has my attention, the author did their job well, I want to know what happens next. 

Will you be reading this comic? Book one is available as a physical copy and the rest is available to read online.

Furthermore review: a tale of whimsy and self-discovery

“She would be strong and she would be weak, and both would be okay.”

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Fernwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. 

This was my first experience reading a book by Taheri Mafia and it will not be my last. I always hear people talk about her writing more then any other aspect of her books and I can see why. Although I am curious to know how much the writing in her middle grade and YA books differ, I wonder which writing style of her’s people prefer.  Instead of struggling to describe her writing style why don’t I give an example?

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January Haul: Books and Stationary

Hello, hello I hope 2019 is off to a great start for all of you. At the start of every new year, there are a million things I decide I will start doing, I never stick to most of them. But one thing I’m starting that I plan to follow through with is a book journal I’ve been keeping up with what I read on Goodreads for years but I would like a tangible way to document my reading.

Continue reading “January Haul: Books and Stationary”

My 2018 Year in Books and Goals for 2019

Reading Stats:

Books read: 52
Rereads: 4
Pages read: 15,497
Most read genres: fantasy, contemporary, historical fiction, feminism/women’s fiction
Average rating: 3.9

52 Books seem to be my average per year it’s the same about I read last year but I read about a thousand fewer pages this year but I also read ten more graphic novels.

Favorite books of the year:

Overall best: Unquestionably The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesslie Walton. This book is peculiar and lovely, and I really need to read more magical realism because I always enjoy them.

Best debut: Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi. This one was so close to being my number one favorite of the year. It is epic and reminiscent of Avatar The Last Airbender.

Best sequel: Sightwitch by Susan Dennard. Technology this is a prequel but it’s the latest installment of the series so I’m going to say it counts. I loved this one more than I expected it made the Wichlanders world that much wider and more amazing.

Made me cry/most moving: Speak (The Graphic Novel) by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll. This graphic novel is beautiful the story works better in this format. The art makes the story more impactful.

Book turned movie: Infinity Gauntlet. This was my first time reading a comic turned movie and it was just as epic as the movie and it was nice to know what was going to happen although they changed a lot I knew how it would end. Yet I was still nearly as shook as everyone else was.

2019 reading goals

  • Read 30 books: this is what I set my goal to this year and while I clearly read a lot more then 30 books I don’t feel like setting my goal any higher. I want it to be something I know I can achieve.
  • Read more classics: This has been my goal for the past two years and I did not do well either time but now I’m taking English lit classics so I will have to read more classics.  Hopefully ones I enjoy.
  • Read more broadly: I have sorta started doing this I just need to start doing it more actively. I need to continue to read books in genres I used to think I didn’t like or never read for whatever reason. I also might try reading more adult books but I don’t know they almost always sound less interesting.

What are your favorite books you read this year? And your goals for the new year?

Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu + a Moxie inspired playlist

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution. 

“Making girls monitor their behavior and their appearance because boys are supposedly unable to control themselves? That is one of the oldest fucking tricks in the book.

This is the girl power-infused YA book of my dreams. It has none of the misogynistic tropes that plague all too many YA novels. There is no mean girl, the popular head cheerleader is referred to as being nice multiple times and she has a character arc. And it’s a good one. The only characters who are reduced to being almost nothing but a stereotype are some of the men. The football players are all sexist pigs and not much else, but in the context of this novel, they don’t need to be anything more. They are not the center of this story, the girls are.  This story is about girls uniting against injustice and the bonds and strength that comes from girls banding together. There is romance but the female friendships are the ones you will be rooting for and they are never overshadowed.

“it occurs to me that this is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.” 

All of the characters make mistakes and are called out for them the love interest Jake makes a few misogynistic comments that Vivian does not let him get away with. The kinds of remarks he made are not uncommon in reality or in fiction and it felt good to see a character get angry about them instead of them being dismissed like they so often are. All of the problems Jennifer Mathieu chose to tackle got handled with care. She is an English teacher and said she wrote this for her students, it makes me so happy that young girls have this amazing book to empower them. Girls and boys alike can learn a lot from it. This book is a wonderful introduction to feminism and the Riot Girrrl movement and also a great read for anyone. Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not Moxie is worth giving a chance.  I flew through Moxie, and it left me feeling positive and ready to start a girl gang.

This entire book feels like a girl power anthem. To celebrate that I put together a playlist of some of the songs mentioned in this book and other empowering bops that reminded me of the spirit of Moxie (the book and the word).  Enjoy!

All the Things I Watched in 2018

I am not quite ready to post my reading wrap up of the year, there are still books to be read before the year is over, but I can share a list of the shows and movies I enjoyed this year. Hopefully, I remember them all, at the end of every year I start to forget all of what I did. Another thing I feel I have forgotten how to do is blog. I haven’t done it in so long that it doesn’t feel as natural as it used to, let’s hope that changes. In the meantime let’s get on with this, I watched a lot of things this year. I spent more time watching television than I usually do.  After I started college I used all of my reading time to instead watch Netflix and Hulu. I probably watched more TV than is good for me.

TV Shows

The Good Place Season 2

Not quite as good as the first season but still tremendously enjoyable and I am so ready for the third season to end and be put on Netflix.

The Dragon Prince

This was a pretty good show it was not as good as the reviews I saw for it online made it out to be, but was for sure worth watching.

Brookline Nine-Nine

I am still watching this one, it is really funny and I get why everyone loves it, but I am not sure if it will become a favorite. I really like it but I don’t love it. I just finished season three so maybe the next two seasons will change my mind and solidify ita s a great show.

Voltron: Legendary Defenders

This show is surprisingly amazing admittedly I was not expecting much despite my brothers praise for it, but I am so glad I let him talk me into watching it. It took a bit of time to get into this one but it is worth getting through the first season, it gets better and better. The seventh season is epic we watched that season in one night and it was so fun. This show is one of the best animated-shows I have seen in a long time, it is up there with Avatar and Legend of Kero for me and that is saying a lot.

Movies

Everything, Everything

I thought this was a really well-done adaptation, I am still not totally okay with the way this story ends and I understand why there is controversy around the book, that being said I liked the movie. It was cute, the acting was good, and the way they incorporated all the imagery that was in the book was neat. Also, the bunt scene was top notch.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

This is still the cutest movie I’ve seen it twice and now I will watch it many more times. I can see myself turning to this cheerful movie during next semesters finals and hopefully, it won’t be too long before the sequel comes out!

Dumplin

Netflix is killing it with this book to movie adaptations can they please keep adapting adorable books into equally cute movies. I have to admit that I still have not read Dumplin I know I need to and I will eventually, but it did not stop me from enjoying this wonderful movie.

Black Panther

It seems like this movie came out forever ago, but February was not that long ago. This is for sure one of the greatest Marvel movies I love everything about it, especially the kickass characters this is the only Marvel movie with a fully developed villain.

Avengers Infinity War

This movie killed me and the next one will be worse. I’m honestly not ready.  I read the comic and knew what was going to happen and yet, I was still surprised and sad when it did happen. I don’t know how the movie will choose to resolve everything but I’m sure whatever happens will be amazing.

I have watched a lot of good things this year and next year has even more and better movies releasing. I plan for the first thing I watch in 2019 to be Mary Poppins Returns I want to go see it on New Years Day and start the year off with a bit of magic.

What are your favorite shows and movies you watched in 2018? And what is one movie your excited to watch next year?