Sunday, January 24, 2021

Weekly Recap: 1/17 - 1/23


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone! Another week, another drama. Picture it, Sicily, 2021. Everything was going fine. We got a new president, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Then, this past Thursday afternoon, my sinuses started feeling a little funny. Then the headache came. Then the fatigue hit. So Friday I got my Covid test and now I wait. The headache was gone on Saturday morning, but came back in the afternoon. No fever, so that's a good sign, but I'm expecting the worst so I can be relieved if it's not that. I've been exactly TWO places other than my house since Christmas - the pharmacy and the orthodontist. Why me? 

I didn't do much reading earlier in the week and I'm on another podcast binge so audiobooks have not gone well either, but I did finish The Bone Season yesterday! It didn't have a strong start, but I really enjoyed it by the end! Now I'm starting The Mime Order and I'm on the hunt for a purple copy of The Song Rising! 


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

 


THIS WEEK I READ



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Monday book review of Recipe For Persuasion
The topic was books I meant to read last year for Top Ten Tuesday
Saturday book review of The Blade Itself


UPCOMING REVIEWS

It'll have to be a surprise!


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Book Review: The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Title: The Blade Itself (The First Law #1)
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Publication Date: May 4, 2006
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 503
Add to Goodreads
Amazon | Bookshop.org


Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian -- leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.


Adult fantasy has been a genre I've enjoyed since high school, but I rarely read it since getting into YA. I've been experimenting with Grimdark for the past year or so and a friend has been on my case to read Joe Abercrombie with her, so we finally picked up The Blade Itself when I got it for Christmas. 

While I was very excited to get into this universe, I have to say it didn't quite live up to my expectations. This story follows four main characters: Logen Ninefingers, Jezal, and Glokta. They start their stories separately going about their normal day to day lives. Logen is traveling through the North to meet up with Bayaz, Jezal is training for a fencing tournament, and Glokta is doing his inquisitor thing. And that's that. For the vast majority of the book. 

Of the characters, Jezal was the one I cared least about. His chapters are all about training, women, and what a shitty person he is in general. Logen was a bit more interesting, but I got bored of his chapters fairly quickly. The most interesting of the main characters was Glokta by far. His backstory was fascinating and I enjoyed his inner monologue a lot of the time. There are also several side characters who are important to the story, and some others who even get their own POV chapters. There are a LOT of people to keep up with. 

There isn't much to say about the plot because there really isn't one. Nothing happens to move the story forward until nearly the very end, which is when it finally begins to pick up. It feels like the Lord of the Rings except it's the story of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli before they even get to Rivendell. The book ends just as they're setting off on their quest, which we know nothing at all about. 

I finished this book with more questions than I had going in. I don't know what any of the character's motives are or what their mission is. I don't know what Bayaz's goal is or where they're all going. This could have been condensed into a 100 page prequel a la Robert Jordan, but instead it's dragged out to 500 pages. 

Like I said, I enjoyed some of the characters and the ending made me want to see what would happen next. People assure me that I'll love the second and third books because they really take off, but after such a long book of backstory it's going to be awhile before I give this another go. 






Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday #291: Books I meant to read in 2020

This post contains affiliate links. Read more about this HERE.

Today's Topic: 
Books I Meant to Read In 
2020 but Didn’t Get To


Happy Tuesday! Today I'm sharing books I definitely meant to read last year, but last year was what it was. I fully intend to get to them ALL this year! I'm going to try. Really hard. Seriously though, there are so many incredible books on this list that I am so excited to finally get to!


Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas {Amazon | Bookshop.org}
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse {Amazon | Bookshop.org}
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia {Amazon | Bookshop.org}
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones {Amazon | Bookshop.org}
Ashes Of the Sun by Django Wexler {Amazon | Bookshop.org}
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko {Amazon | Bookshop.org}


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Book Review: Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Title: Recipe For Persuasion
Author: Sonali Dev
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 464
Add to Goodreads
Amazon | Bookshop.org


Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? 

Rico Silva, that’s what.  

Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster. 

FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn't too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her. 

But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico.  Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…? 

In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.


I just finished Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev and I LOVED it! Part of Dev’s Raje series from her twist on Jane Austen novels, this book takes us through Ashna Raje’s life. I don’t like to have spoilers in my reviews so I won’t add any. However, I will say that the description of this book on Goodreads is misleading. This was not the lighthearted, romantic comedy I was expecting. This book explored some very hard and serious themes and that made me like it all the better.

Personally, I hated Ashna. She was childish, impulsive, and had A LOT of issues. She also lacked basic communication skills. I found myself wanting to rip my hair out sometimes because of her behavior. And yet, this was still a five star read for me. The story of Ashna’s mother, Shobi, was the star of this book for me. Shobi was a strong, powerful, and amazing woman and her story was impactful. Being an American woman, it can be hard to sometimes remember that women in other countries have it much harder than the women in my country ever will. I’ve found myself going down the rabbit hole on Google doing research on India and how women are treated there and if it hadn’t been for this book, I may not have ever researched it. In both Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors and Recipe for Persuasion, Dev intertwined important current events into her story, such as American healthcare issues and American immigration. Combined with Shobi’s entertaining and strong feminist backstory, I couldn’t put Recipe for Persuasion down.

I’ve never read Persuasion by Jane Austen so I can’t compare Dev’s twist to the original story. In July 2021, Incense and Sensibility, based off of Sense and Sensibility, will be released and it’s about Yash Raje and his run for governor in California. I just received Incense and Sensibility through NetGalley. If Yash’s story goes the way I think it will, I can’t wait to read it and write my review for it!




Sunday, January 17, 2021

Weekly Recap: 1/10 - 1/16


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone! Despite my good intentions, the blog didn't have quite as many posts as I'd hoped this week. One day, ONE DAY I am going to actually post a review for From Blood and Ash. It's amazing and you should read it. That's my mini review. 

On Tuesday I started my Invisalign treatment. It's something I've wanted to do for many years, although I couldn't get it until now. I had to get rid of those pesky wisdom teeth and come up with the money to afford it. While I expected it to be an adjustment, what I didn't expect was that I would have attachments on every single one of my top teeth and eight on the bottom! It has been a rough week, to be honest, although I know I'll adjust to it soon. It's already getting much easier, but I definitely spent a lot of this week moping and throwing myself a pity party instead of writing blog posts. Maybe I'll start including weekly Invisalign updates if anyone is interested!

In bookish news, my friend Erin (@asthebookends on Instagram) finally convinced me to read The Bone Season. I'm about halfway through and I'm enjoying it so far, although I'm really glad she warned me about the info dumps because there are A LOT of them. I'm also digging into the Forward Collection from Amazon Originals, which is definitely interesting. I doubt I'll read past N.K. Jemisin's entry since that's the one I wanted to get to. I do recommend it though, if sci-fi is your thing!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

    


THIS WEEK I READ

   


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Monday book review of Hate List


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, January 14, 2021

PopSugar Challenge Book Suggestions: YA Fantasy Edition

This post contains affiliate links. Read more about this HERE.


This year's PopSugar Challenge has a few categories that truly had me stumped (so it's like most years). As a reader of mostly YA and fantasy it can be difficult to find things to read to fit the prompts, even when browsing the Goodreads group for help. Many of the prompts each year seem tailor made for contemporary fiction, but this year I decided to help out my fellow fantasy lovers! For this list I'll be including YA fantasy and adult books with (I think) crossover appeal. (Note: I have not read and cannot vouch for every book on this list.) 


DARK ACADEMIA


WILDER GIRLS
GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKSHOP.ORG

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.



A DEADLY EDUCATION
GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKSHOP.ORG

Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.

There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.



THE MAGICIANS 
GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKSHOP.ORG

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.




BEST SELLER FROM THE 90s


ELLA ENCHANTED
GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKSHOP.ORG

At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the "gift" of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: "Instead of making me docile, Lucinda's curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally." When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella's life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you'll ever read.



STARDUST
GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKSHOP.ORG

Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall—named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends him over the ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining...








THE AWAKENING
GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKSHOP.ORG

Elena is the school beauty, but she’s bored, until a new boy turns up in her class. Stefan is dark and mysterious—and she’s determined to get to know him better. But Stefan is just as determined to resist her... until a series of attacks in the area terrify the town and Stefan is held responsible. Elena is the only one who offers to help and, falling in love with her, Stefan tells her his terrible story. He is a vampire, on the run from his evil brother, Damon, who doesn’t share Stefan’s qualms about drinking human blood. And Damon is the one Stefan suspects of really being behind the recent attacks... Can Elena help prove his innocence—without revealing his secret?






FOUND ON A BLACK LIVES MATTER READING LIST


CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKSHOP.ORG

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.



A SONG BELOW WATER

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she's also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she's also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either. 



A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.




BY AN ONLINE PERSONALITY


THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL

Something freaky's going on with Sunshine's new house... there's the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine's always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort...

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can't help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.



BETWEEN TWO THORNS 

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?




WICKED FOX

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.




FEATURING THREE GENERATIONS


LEGENDBORN

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.



SPINNING SILVER

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father's inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk--grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh--Miryem's fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.

Channeling the vibrant heart of myth and fairy tale, Spinning Silver weaves a multilayered, magical tapestry that readers will want to return to again and again.



KINGDOM OF THE WICKED

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…



Are you participating this year? 
What other lists would you like to see?
Let me know in the comments!



Monday, January 11, 2021

Book Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Title: Hate List
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 405
Add to Goodreads
Amazon | Bookshop.org

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.


As I’ve mentioned previously, I don’t read about books before I buy them. If the title and/or cover looks good, or if I see it around Bookstagram, I buy it. Around Christmas 2019, I was going to bookstores a lot because I knew I’d miss going to them once I moved to Guam, and boy was I right. I picked up Hate List by Jennifer Brown during this time and I finally read it.

Hate List is about Valerie Leftman, who’s boyfriend Nick Levil committed a school shooting in their cafeteria during their junior year of high school. In trying to stop him, Valerie was shot in the leg but because of the Hate List that she and Nick created, the one that determined who he wanted to kill, she was implicated in the shooting and treated as a suspect. Even though she was eventually cleared by the police, Valerie still had to deal with the aftermath of the shooting.

Senior year is supposed to be one of the best years of your high school career, but for Valerie, it required her to face her guilt over the list, the shooting, and Nick. Nick took the coward’s way out - he killed himself so that he wouldn’t have to face the repercussions of his actions. Instead, he left that for Valerie to do.

This is the first book I’ve ever read that had the plot of a school shooting. When I started the book, I thought it would be about what happened and what led up to it. Instead, it was about Valerie and her life before and after the shooting. It’s about her relationships with her family, community, friends, and classmates. It’s about the aftermath of trauma and how different people handle it various ways. This was a very humanizing book. There were times when Val’s character made me want to rip my hair out and burn the book and I’ve seen reviews where people gave the book a negative rating because of how much they hated her. But what I think these people failed to realize is that Valerie was written as a teenager; a 17/18-year-old young woman who went through something extremely traumatic and damaging. Of course her character was going to seem whiny, immature, annoying, self-centered, etc. She is a young woman trying to put her life back together and move on while everyone around her tries to keep her down with who and what they perceive her to be.

At the end of my copy of Hate List was a novella called Say Something. It was about David, a friend of Nick’s who suspected that Nick was planning something bad, but he didn’t have the courage to say anything. And even when Valerie spent their senior year being hated and even threatened for what people thought she was part of, David still didn’t say anything. The novella also talked about bullying practices that were still going on one year later; showing that even after enduring something traumatic, some people never change.

In school, I never experienced bullying nor did I ever witness it, so I can only empathize with what Valerie, Nick, and every other “outcast” in the book went through when they were bullied. It’s emotionally jarring to read about bullying and the impacts it can have on people. I, personally, would love to see Hate List and Say Anything on required reading lists for middle schools. I think it’s a very important book that could help bullies realize that what they are doing to others is hurtful and it can have a dire effect on everyone around them.



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Weekly Recap: 1/3 - 1/9


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone! Is anyone else looking forward to a week where nothing of note happens? I started off the year thinking things were looking up and it's already a mess. Anyone else's anxiety through the roof again? No? Just me? I feel like I'm counting down the days until I can breathe again. At least I have books to escape into! 

I'm still slowly making my way through The Blade Itself so this week I only finished a couple audiobooks, which were both very outside my normal reading comfort zone. The mood struck for romance and then non-fiction. Now I'm listening to a non-fiction book about Mount Everest. What even is happening?? I did get some graphic novels by Der-shing Helmer that look SO good! I've already started one of them, but it's honestly taking some brain power to process and I'm running low on that so I'm taking my time. 

On the mental health and self care front, I've decided to stop pushing myself so hard to run and just focus on moving every day. I have a tendency to just not do something if I think I might fail at it so instead of running I've been procrastinating and hardly going once a week. Anyone else have this problem? I'm going to sign up for a few virtual races this year, but I'm not going to pressure myself outside of those. After 2020 I feel like we just have to be kind to ourselves! 


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

   


THIS WEEK I READ

 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

I shared my January-June anticipated reads for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday ARC review of Into the Heartless Wood
Thursday book review of Kindred


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!