The Year That Has Passed and The Year That is To Come

I think that we can all agree that 2016 sucked, and while I’m very very happy to see this shit year go, there has been nice parts to 2016. It’s this post I’m going to be talking about what happened in 2016, and what I hope to occur in 2017

2016

  • Hamilton-I discovered Hamilton in August, and my sister and I have been listening to it on repeat ever since then. I love it soo soo  much and it’s one of the greatest things ever.I think that we can all agree that Hamilton has made 2016 a little bit better
  • I broadened my social media horizons: I started my wordpress blog, which has been the best thing ever.I love it so much and I can’t wait to continue it in the new year. I also created an instagram

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and I’ve had a lot of fun taking bookish pictures. I also created a twitter

and I’m still kind of getting the hang of it, and kind of just lurking but I like it!

  • Books-I had a pretty good bookish year and I contacted some Canadian publishers which was pretty great and got some arcs which is such a great experience
  • I printed out my book- I printed out my book in order to edit it, and I read it once and I don’t hate it!

2017

  • Graduating:I’m graduating from high school in June of 2017!! I’m so excited and I just can’t wait to leave the shithole that is my school

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  • College: I’m going to CEGEP(which is like the quebec equivalent to grade 12-13) and I’m going to study Literature! I have such high hopes for it and I’m really really excited
  • Book- I really want to revise my novel once again and maybe get some beta readers for it. I want it to be ready for publishing by 2018
  • More Reviews and Blog Posts: I really want to review and blog as much as I can this year. I want to post a lot of original content and just really improve my blog.

 

So that’s how my year has been! How has yours been! What do you expect out of the new year?

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . .

My Rating:4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Plot:

Only Ever Yours is set in a dystopian future where women are not born, but created. They are called eves and they are designed to be perfect.When you reach the age of 16, you are either chosen to be a Companion(a wife), a Concubine(a prostitute) or a Chastisty( a teacher). Our Main character freida( none of the female names are capitalized) is sure that she’s going to be a companion. But with the stress of their final year, freida begins to realize that her future may not be as secure as she thought it would be. Only Ever Yours is a very disturbing read, and a very tough one. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone triggered by mentions of eating disorders, because Only Ever Yours has a lot of negative body image discussion. It’s a very important read because while this is not the way our society is, there are reflections of the way we perceive women. In Only Ever Yours, the girls are only their for beauty purposes, and are taught that that’s the only thing they have to worry about. It’s very scary but it’s also very true. Only Ever Yours is a very important read, one that you should read if you are able to stomach it.

One aspect of the story that I had a lot of trouble with was the mention of “Aberrants.” Aberrants are people in this society who were born wrong, and have characteristics that are undesirable.They talk about how  they eliminated the gene that makes gay people, which was very hard to read about it. Especially since the synopsis kind of made me  think that isabel and freida were lesbians. So if you’re expecting anything like that, there’s none of that.I kind of wish that the author could have explored this issue a little more,because it just made me really feel uneasy and I felt kind of mislead.

Characters:

So the main characters in this story are freida and isabel. Then you have the other girls in the school, the most notable one being megan.All of these characters are not the most likable, because obviously they’ve been taught to bash and criticize other girls,and are very negative about themselves and others. It’s very hard to read a book filled with self-hatred but it’s  also very important. There are so many girls who feel this way and I think it’s great that this book discusses this. There’s really no development in terms of the way freida sees herself. This sets Only Ever Yours apart from other dystopians. There’s really no revelation, no realization of how corrupt the government is. They are unable to escape this horrible world, so they just have to live with it.With is very tragic, and one of the reasons why I love this book so much.The only way to escape this world is through death.

sidenote: If any of  you have read this. Do you think freida is a women of color?She’s described as having darker skin so I’m curious.

Have You read This Book?What Do you Think of It?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday:Top Ten Books of 2016

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2016 was a very good book year. I read 117 books which isn’t as much as I’ve read in previous years, but I’ve had a lot of homework so whatever.

1.The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde.

I don’t read a lot of classics, but this one is A+. It’s really hard to get into, but there’s just so amazing about it that it’s completely worth it. It’s done in a really interesting way that makes you you think about it for a long time afterwards Review

2.  11/22/63 by Stephen King

This is the year that I caved  and finally read a stephen king book and boy was it great. I love time travel and 11/22/63 is everything I ever wanted in a timetravel book. It was just so great and even though it was like 800 pages I flew right through it. Review

3.The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

2016 was also the year where I discovered that I love books that alternate between past and present. The Secret Keeper was the first book that I read like this, and it was amazing. The plot twist was one of the bests that I’ve ever read. Review

4.Columbine by Dave Cullen.

I’ve never read a non-fiction book before,but this one was really really good. It was very easy to read, but also very hard as the subject matter was a tough one.It’s a very important read, and I’m really glad that I read it. Review

5.Making Faces by Amy Harmon.

Amy Harmon is such a great writer. Her plot is stellar,her characters are great, and the romance is always super adorable. Making faces was both adorable and tragic, and was just overall an amazing read. I really can’t read to read more of her books in 2017. Review

6.Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

I absolutely love Jodi Picoult, and I honestly believe that this is one of the most important books she has ever written. Small Great Things is an extremely important book about race. Though I can’t speak for people of color, I think that she tackled the issue  very well, while making sure  to not speak over people of color. Review

7.The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom.

I love Mitch Albom and have read all of his books expect for his memoir, and I think that this one is his best. It’s really originally and interesting, and has the greatest vibe to it.It’s kind of different from his other books but in a really great way.

8.Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.

This book really puts you on edge. It’s so good, and really sets the standards for all thrillers. If all thrillers were like this, I would like thrillers a lot more. It’s so creepy and unhinging and just really great Review

9.More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera.

This book is so heartbreaking in such a great way. After reading this book, I will read whatever he writes. He’s such a great writer, and knows how to write characters so well. The twist had me reeling and just overall everything was amazing. I cannot wait to read History is All You Left Me, I know it’s going to be amazing. Review

10.Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

I love Alice Oseman, and this book definitely tops Solitaire. it’s so amazingly diverse and just so relatable and amazing. I love Aled and Frances, and just Radio Silence has really set in stone the fact that Alice Oseman is one of my favorite authors.

So that’s my  top ten favorite books of 2016! What about you?What books did you really enjoy this year?

The Other F-Word By Natasha Friend Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:A fresh, humorous, and timely YA novel about two teens conceived via in vitro fertilization who go in search for answers about their donor.

Milo has two great moms, but he’s never known what it’s like to have a dad. When Milo’s doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo’s extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he’s always wondered about.

Hollis’s mom Leigh hasn’t been the same since her other mom, Pam, passed away seven years ago. But suddenly, Leigh seems happy—giddy, even—by the thought of reconnecting with Hollis’s half-brother Milo. Hollis and Milo were conceived using the same sperm donor. They met once, years ago, before Pam died.

Now Milo has reached out to Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way, they locate three other donor siblings, and they discover the true meaning of the other F-word: family.

My Rating:4/5 stars

Disclaimer:I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Plot: The Other F-Word follows two perspectives:Milo and Hollis. They barely know each other but they  have the same sperm donor. Milo decides that he wants to meet his sperm donor, and asks Hollis to help him. The Other-F Word is a very important book as it really highlights on the different types of family that exist, and stresses on the fact that  family doesn’t always have to be blood.Both Milo and Hollis learn  important lessons about their families :both blood and adoptive. The other F-Word is a really cute and fluffy read, while also having some serious moments.

Characters:

As you can probably gather, The Other F-word, is much more character driven than it is plot driven. The main characters are of course Milo and Hollis. One of the thing I loved about The Other F-Word was how bookish they both were. There was some great harry potter references as well as just conversations about books between Milo and Hollis. While I did enjoy the character of Milo, I  do find as though there could have been a little more expansion in terms of his personality.The only real defining aspect of his personality besides liking books is the fact that he’s allergic to like everything. It was a very interesting perspective one that I’ve never seen in a book before. I do feel like we could’ve gotten to know Milo a little better if the book was longer. While I do fly through the book,it could’ve been longer.As for Hollis, I honestly found her to be a little immature at times. She’s really petty and basically hates this girl for something she did in Grade 2. She did definitely develop and I did enjoy her character in the end,but sometimes her intentions confused me.

One of the things I really liked about this book, was the relationship between Milo and Hollis, and then eventually between their other sperm siblings. It was really cute and heartwarming.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. It was a quick fast read with some good undertones.

Christmas/Hannukah Haul

Happy Holidays!!! I got some pretty cool stuff for Christmas/hannukah. The books that my mom got me still haven’t come, so those will be my  birthday present in two weeks! So without further ado, let’s take a look at the stuff I got for christmas/hannukah.

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  • Sheet music pillow case: It’s so pretty and it’s  going to be a great thing to bring when I go to college in the fall.
  • Strand Tote Bag:My mom went to New York, and she bought me this really cool shirt and also the tote bag so that’s really cool. I’m so jealous!
  • Harry Potter Coloring Book:I love these coloring books, they’re so pretty. I started coloring in it;I suck but it’s fun so yolo.
  • Alexander Hamilton:My dad got this for me and I’m so so so excited to read it.Can’t wait to read all 900 pages of it.
  • Trivial Pursuit Card Game:I’m huge nerd and I love trivial pursuit. This game is super fun.
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  • This really cool pin

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  • A cool pencilcase:I seriously need a new one, and the company that makes them is so cute and  has the greatest things ever. so yeah I love it
  • Food: I got some chocolate, and gummy lifesavers in my stocking and then my sister and I bought each other food for Christmas. And yes those are pickles
  • Blanket:I also got the blanket that all the stuff was on. it’s so soo soft.

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  • I also got this awesome shirt that says “When In Doubt Go To The Library”,snowman scarf and snowflake pajamas.

I’m really happy with all the stuff I got? What about you? If you celebrate any holiday, did you get anything cool? Let me know in the comments!

End of Year Book Survey

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Ugh it’s so hard to chose just one book but umm I think More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Made You Up by Francesca Zappa. It was sooo bad and i found it to be a really inaccurate portrayal of schizophrenia.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Columbine by Dave Cullen. It’s the first non-fiction I’ve ever read and it was soo sooo good.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I don’t really know many people, so I don’t rec a lot of books :/

 

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best series I started: To All the Loves I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Hann

Best Sequel:Blue Lily Lily Blue

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Kate Morton

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, that book was soooo soooo good.

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably Blue Lily Lily Blue, because I need to reread the first three books of The Raven Cycle to read The Raven King

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

I love the cover for A Torch Against the Night by Sabaah Tahir.

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

That’s a really hard question but I think Frankie Presto

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Making Faces by Amy Harmon was really beautiful.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, was so Though Provoking

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

11/22/63. I can’t believe I was hesitant to read it.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

“Babies are such blank slates. They don’t come into this world with the assumptions their parents have made, or the promises their church will give, or the ability to sort people into groups they like and don’t like. They don’t come into this world with anything, really, except a need for comfort. And they will take it from anyone, without judging the giver. I wonder how long it takes before the polish given by nature gets worn off by nurture.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest Book: The Strange Library by Haruki Marukami

Longest Book:11/22/63 by Stephen King

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Secret Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

I really don’t ship book characters that much but I guess Cress and Thorne

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Angelina: Aled and Frances ^_^

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Radio Silence by Adam Silvera

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I really can’t think of any atm.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

I don’t really crush on fictional characters

 

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

I didn’t read any 2016 debuts

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I reread The Diviners. The setting in that book is A+

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

My Life Next Door was soooo cute!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

I legit never cry at books but Making Faces was really sad

 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Five Stages of Andrew Branley by Shaun David Hutchinson was A+ and super underrated

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera : (

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

The Humans by Matt Haig was really unique

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Blood of Olympus because it was so godamn anti-climatic.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

I  just started using WordPress in September but I love Lia’s blog : )

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

I like the review I wrote for Columbine

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I really like my thing about Diversity in Adult Books

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I can’t think of anything, but I’m participating in a blog tour in January, so I’m really looking forward to that!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Starting this blog!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I guess juggling reading with school and feeling motivated to read.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

The book community on Twitter!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I participated in the goodread reading challenge, and I reached my goal of reading 100  books

 

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

More Than This by Patrick Ness also Monsters and Men by Patrick Ness!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

History is All You left Me by Adam Silvera!

 

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

Honestly I can’t think of a single one.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Read More Diverse Books!

 

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

The Education of Margot Sanchez was pretty good!

 

Y’all should this, it’s really fun!

Top Ten Tuesday:Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree (or non-book bookworm items)

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  1. The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

This book  looks so amazing, I really want to get this book.Plus the cover is beautiful.

2. Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristof.

I have been lusting over this book ever since it was released last year. I really want to read it.

3.The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.

I desperately want to finish this series.I need to know how it ends( though I kind of have read spoilers soo….)

4. All The Feels by Danika Stone.

I’ve read some really good things about this and it’s about fandoms and shit so it sounds great. Plus she’s canadian.

5.The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.

I heard so many good things about this and I just really want to read it.

6.This Is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Ever since it came out, I’ve wanted to read it.

7.The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner.

I have like no idea what the book is actually about but I’ve hear good things soo….

8.Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

Everyone seems to love Leigh Bardugo and I’ve never read any of her books soo… Six of Crows sounds great.

9.As I Descended by Robin Talley.

It’s a diverse Macbeth retelling! What more is there to say.

10. Hamilton:Vocal Selections

I just really want to learn how to play Hamilton on the piano.

What are you asking for the holidays?

 

 

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

My Rating:4/5 stars

 

My Thoughts:

Plot:

In This is Not a Test Courtney Summers explores a topic that’s never really been discussed before in these type of novels: what happens if you don’t want to survive? The main character Sloane is really depressed and was contemplating suicide  right up until the zombie apocalypse began. She finds herself teaming up with six other people and they wind up in a school, trying to get away from the zombies. Throughout this entire novel, Sloane is really detached from the whole situation, and doesn’t really care about surviving at all but at the same time she doesn’t want to endanger her companions.This Is Not a Test is not really a book about zombies but a book about people and the way they are wired. I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that I hate zombies because it really doesn’t read a apocalyptic story but as  a book about six teenagers stuck together with the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. If you’re looking for a quickly paced book then this book isn’t for you but if you’re looking for something fresh and raw then I’d highly recommend it.

Characters:

So Sloane is stuck with five other people in this school:Grace,Rhys,Trace,Grace,Cary and Harrison.Trace and Grace are twins but the other four really have nothing in common and don’t know each other too well. One of the main issues in this stories is the fact that not all the characters get along which creates a division which leads a lot of people not trusting one another. Overall I felt kind of indifferent about the characters, while we did  get to see some parts of their personality it was hard for me to truly appreciate them. I feel like a lot of them did things that didn’t really fit their personality so it left me kind of confused as to who they are. There were also some weird romantic plotlines which I just really didn’t like and it just felt really forced and unecessary. So overall I liked the characters but I didn’t really love them which is why the book’s more of a 4 stars than a 5 stars.

Have You Read This Book? Have you Read Courtney Summers other books? What did you think?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017

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1.History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera.

I am beyond excited to read this and I just can’t wait. It sounds amazing and I know if it’s as good as More Happy Than Not, it will be stellar.

2.The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Aristotle and Dante Discovers the Secrets of the Universe is one of my favourite books and I can’t wait to read his new book.

3.The Upside of Unrequited by Becki Albertri.

I haven’t read Simon Vs the Homosapian Agenda but it sounds really great and her new books sounds really good, so I think it will be good.

4.The Hate You Give by Angi Thomas.

This book sounds amazing. I really can’t wait to read it, I think it will be a sure favourite.

5.When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Idk whenever I see the cover I feel all happy inside and it sounds really good.

6.A List of Cages by  Robin Roe.

I’ve heard some really great things about this and the cover is A+. I think this one will be good.

7.Our Private Universe by Robin Talley.

I still have yet to read any Robin Talley books but they all sound amazing. I hope 2017 will be the year where I read her books.

8.Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman.

The author has gotten a lot of hate from neo-nazis  so this book is definitely something I want to support! Plus the summary sounds really good, and it seems like a cute contemporary.

9.Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy.

This is another book whose author has gotten a lot of hate for. It features a bisexual character so I’m all there!

10.At The Edge of The Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson.

I’ve read two of Shaun’s books and they’re amazing. I really can’t wait for this one.

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Reading Diverse Books.

It’s almost 2017, and I’ve been looking back at the books I read in  2016, and critically thinking about my reading choices.  So far I’ve read 113 books in 2016, and out of those 113 books, I read 25 diverse reads. I definitely thought I had read more than that but I guess I just didn’t. I really  think that it’s important to read diverse books, and it’s something that I try to  do. I love reading Diverse books but I’m realizing that I’m not reading as much as I could.

I could give lots of excuses like the fact that I get most of my books at my library where there isn’t  a lot of books but I need to take responsibility for my reading choices and read more diversely. I definitely make an effort: a large percentage of the books I buy for myself are diverse, and almost all of the books on my Christmas wishlist are diverse but I think everyone can make room for improvement. So I want 2017 to be the year that I am even more aware. Because while as before I just read books without thinking about their diversity,I want to actively search for books that I wouldn’t normally read,especially when going to the library.

Because while I do read diversely when it comes to books about LGBTQ characters, in other areas of diversity, I’m more lacking. So for 2017 I have some goals about reading diversely.

  • Read more books with racially and ethnically diverse characters.
  • Read more  non-western books.
  • Find diverse adult books.
  • Whenever I go to the library, I have to get at least one diverse book
  • Whereas in 2016, 22% of the books I read were diverse, up that number to at least 35-40%
  • Reccomend and review more diverse books
  • Read mainly #ownvoices authors.

So these are my goals in regards to reading diversely in 2017. What about you? Do you have any goals about diverse books?