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Showing posts from February, 2021

February 2021 Rewind

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  Here we are, two months down, ten months to go. February is a short month as it is, but I'm still pretty surprised by how much I read this month. I also discovered TJ Klune which I'm obsessing about currently, as well Alexis Hall (shout out to Olivia of Olivia's Catastrophe's YouTube channel for the recommendation). I mean, I've read Alexis Hall's Boyfriend Material and didn't really think it was as good as his Spires' series . This month, I also rekindled my love for written-in-verse novels as well, poetry.   R E A D   T H I S  M O N T H PUNCHING THE AIR by Ibi Zoboi ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ DEAR EDWARD by Ana Napolitano ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ONE LIFE by Megan Rapinoe ⭐⭐⭐⭐ FELIX EVER AFTER by Kacen Callender ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by VE Schwab ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman ⭐⭐⭐⭐ SOLO by Kwame Alexander & Mary Hand Hess ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ CHILDREN OF BLOOD & BONE by Tomi Adeyami ⭐⭐⭐⭐ THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig ⭐⭐⭐⭐

On the Night Table [2]: Last Week of February

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  We are on the last stretch of February. I hope the first two months of 2021 have been good to you. I don't know how many books I've read so far this month, but I think it was at 15 on my last count. And while I'm reading a little bit faster than my goal pace, I've also been adding so many. Anyway, that's always been my problem.  This week, I decided to read three books that I've added recently to my TBR: Dearly by Margaret Atwood is a collection of poems from the Grand Dame of Literature herself. It's a bit more verbose, I'm finding, and a bit old fashioned? But hey, I decided I can't just read modern poetry, so reading this one and then I hear Joyce Carol Oates also put out her own collection of poems. That's going to be my next find.  Vimy by Pierre Berton is a wartime non-fiction about how the Canadian Forces defeated German forces in the Vimy Ridge during their France occupation. It's interesting so far because it not only talks about

Book Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

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  I didn't read Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's House of Peculiar Children, but I did watch the movie. So if you're familiar with that, you will have an idea on what The House in the Cerulean Sea is about. But in my opinion, it's so much better. It's lovely, delightful, funny, sad at times, and it will teach you a thing or two about not judging people by how they look.  Linus Baker works for the Extremely Upper Management; an agency that handles the housing and care for kids with extraordinary abilities and characteristics. As far as case worker goes, Linus is one of the rare ones who genuinely cares for the kids. He tries to be as fair as he can, but sometimes, he can't help himself but be emphatic. He has a soft spot for the kids -- most of them outcasts of the society for how they look, some of them abused and abandoned by their own parents. Truthfully, some of them do not even know where they come from.  When he was task to make a month-long visit to a le

Hoarders [4]: Friday Afternoon Book Shopping Haul

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  Of Blood & Bone by Nora Roberts | Persephone Station by Stina Leicht | Lore by Alexandra Bracken | Consent by Vanessa Springora Hello! I hope y'all had a great week. I know the American South is having terrible weather right now, so I hope y'all can find some warmth in however way you can. Us Canadians make fun of people who complain how cold it is, but in all seriousness, it's nothing to joke about especially if you come from a place where extreme cold is not the norm. My heart goes out to all of you.  So yesterday afternoon, I went to visit my bookstore because well, I'm me and that's what I do. It's not the weekend if I don't visit the bookstore. Lol. I picked up a few books despite having a few stacks that were recent orders from Book Outlet, Amazon and Thrift Books. One of these days, I might attempt to show you. Sigh.  N E W   B O O K S Of Blood & Bone by Nora Roberts. This was in a bargain shelf and the second book to The Chronicles of th

Friday Reads: Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell

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Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell Publication Date: February 2nd, 2021 From Goodreads: While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat's rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam's cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control. But when it comes to light that Prince Taam's death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war... all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.   I am absolutely obsessed with queer fiction nowadays. Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell is a Sci-fi with a romance that f

Book Review: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

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 Felix, a Black transgender teen, never knew of love. Least of all, a mother's love. Abandoned by his mother, he's questioned whether or not he is entirely loveable. If not for his dad who stuck with him through his transition and his best friend who knew all his hurt, joy, and resentments, he wouldn't hesitate to question himself. But even with the love and support of his father who was doing his best to accept his son, there were days when he stumbles and deadnames (calls him by his birth name) him. He sometimes can't help but feel hurt when his dad falters and remind him that he was born a 'she'.  This Summer was supposed to be about Felix taking strides to grow his portfolio that will help him to get into Brown. But with the fierce competition from a long time nemesis, Felix is having a rough time at it. Especially when someone posted old pictures of himself, unearthed from his Instagram that showed his former self. Hurt and angry, Felix decided to investiga

Book Review: One Life by Megan Rapinoe

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Megan Rapinoe grew up in a Conservative family. Her dad voted for Donald Trump. She's gay and unapologetically vocal about her beliefs. She's tiny in her stature, and yet, she's fearless. Even as far as going against her family's political leanings. She's faced censure from the league in which she played, even as far as being benched by her coach. All because she decided to kneel as the Star Spangled Banner played. But still, she persisted.  She's won awards, accolades, suffered injuries and heartbreaks. But still, she persisted.  If you are expecting this memoir about how an athlete rallied to defeat everything against all odds, you would only be partly right. Because amongst everything, Rapinoe uses her platform for activism. And this book is about that. Facing censure against a league who didn't want to change the status quo, she persisted in raising awareness about the racial injustices in America. And when she's not doing that, she's rallying th

Waiting For [1]: Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic

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  Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic Publishing Date: February 16, 2021 From Goodreads: Fifteen-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and outside of it. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all areas of her life. The warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan's relationship with her father has long been inappropriate. She has been able to compartmentalize that dark aspect of her life, ruthlessly focusing on her ambitions as a rider heading for the Olympics, just as her father had done. However, her developing relationship with Will Howard, a boy her own age, broadens the scope of her vision. At the intersection of a commercial page-turner and urgent survivor story,  Dark Horses  takes the searing themes of abuse and resilience in Gabriel Tallent’s  My Absolute Darling  and applies the compelling exploration of female strengt

Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

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  I've been a huge fan of Elizabeth's work since I read Poet X in 2019. After that, I followed it up with With The Fire On High, which, looking at my rating, I think is wrong. I rated it 4 stars, but I liked it more than Poet X. One of these days, I'm going to re-read that book so I can give it justice.  Clap When You Land is another book that's written-in-verse. I'm fast becoming a huge fan of this style. It's the minimalistic story telling that packs a wallop, because the narrator of the story reaches the readers in a more direct and impactful manner. Especially when a story is told in a first person narrative. In this case, we have a switching POV between two sisters, Camino and Yahaira. Though, they don't know of each others existence at first and only discovered each other when tragedy struck them both.  Every year, in June, Camino's father who lives in America stays with them for 3 months. This particular year, however, tragedy struck. The flight h

Hoarders [3]: Last Week's Haul

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  Tecumseh & Brock by James Laxer | The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel | One Life by Megan Rapinoe Good Morning, Readers.  I hope you're all having a great start to your week so far. Canada is in deep freeze this week, so hunkering down, bundling up and cozying up to my books and decaf coffee when I can. Last week was a week of rest for me. It was my birthday on Thursday so I vegged, went to the bookstore, and laze around the house. As a result, I managed to read a few books. R E A D  T H I S  W E E K Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo . My review is coming up this week. Another novel-in-verse, this time centering around a couple of sisters who didn't know each other's existence until their father died in a plane crash. Loved this one as well.  Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam .This was a novel-in-verse depicting a story about a teen who was wrongfully accused of assaulting another teen that landed him in a coma.  One Life by Megan Rapinoe . A

Hoarders [2]: January Haul

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  The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata by Gina Apostol | Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender | Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo | The Push by Ashley Audrain | Solo by Kwame Alexander | Code Girls by Liza Mundy | Vimy by Pierre Berton | Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam | Dearly by Margaret Atwood | A History of the United States by Jill Lepore | The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.  Hello.  I hope your week is going relatively well. We're almost to the weekend, so yay! I have today and tomorrow off in lieu of my birthday so I have a four-day weekend to myself. I wish my husband could've taken the day off with me, though. Oh, well.  Last week, some restrictions were lifted in my province including reopening the bookstores. I received a ton of gift cards from Chapters for Christmas so I decided to splurge.  The Revolution of Raymundo Mata by Gina Apostol is a translated work from a Filipino author. Not gonna lie, I tried reading it a couple of weeks ago, b

Book Review: Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

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  "all because... we were in the wrong place we were in the wrong skins we were in the wrong time we were in the wrong bodies we were in the wrong country we were in the wrong" Sometimes, our lives are guided by our mistakes and misgivings. Some are easy to correct, some with lasting consequences that we found ourselves living with them for years. Amal Shahid, found himself at just such a mistake: he never should've been at that basketball park where he knows his kind isn't well accepted. He knew as soon as he got there. It's a feeling he never should've ignored. As these stories go, a fight broke out and he, along with four of this friends, ended up in a juvenile detection facility. Amal, in particular, got the brunt of it all.  In there, Amal goes on a soul searching journey that involves a lot of anger, hurt, and self recriminations. The juvenile facility is not a safe harbour. It's filled with angry kids, and heavy handed adults. His small salvation wa

Book Review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

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  My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell 4 Stars Adult Fiction  Vanessa was only 15 years old when she caught the eye of her English teacher. It started off innocuously enough: a student who slowly got addicted to her teacher's praises and attention, then slowly evolved into a full blown crush. Soon, she was spending all her precious time in his classroom -- even when there was nobody around. A simple touch was all the encouragement she needed. Soon their clandestine relationship takes them to his house and into a full blown sexual relationship.  In the beginning, we won't know who's manipulating whom. The teacher certainly did his part to convince Vanessa of his attraction, and Vanessa was only too willing to participate. She encouraged it, even. We often hear the commentary that a girl like Vanessa must be lacking in paternal affection for her to go through it and it's true in this case. Her father was around, but mostly in the periphery, because her mother  was th