Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali: A Review

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

My Rating: 5 stars

Cover Rating: 7/10 this is a super pretty cover! It’s sweet and lovely and it fits the book very well.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publish Date: June 13th, 2017

Number of Pages: 328

Received: Netgalley provided an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

An Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2017
Kirkus Top 10 Contemporary Teen Novel of 2017
A 2018 William C. Morris Award Finalist 

Saints and Misfits
 is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen. 

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose. 

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me–the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad. 

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds. 

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right? 

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories. 

Like the monster at my mosque. 

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask. 

Except me.

Opening Sentence: “I’m in the water.”

Musings:

I loved this book for being about a girl embracing her heritage and ultimately accepting that there is strength is facing the darkness that touched you. Saints and Misfits may have been a light read, but the ending pulls everything together and makes an impactful mark on your heart.

What I loved:

Getting to know a bit about Muslim culture. I don’t really know much about what it means to be Muslim and this was a nice little drop of knowledge for me. Reading stories like this one helps me understand more and see a fragment of the beauty of Muslim culture.

The value of religion and family. Janna falls for Jeremy and in the book she comes to decide weather or not they should pursue anything further then a crush. Her faith matters deeply to her and the question of dating someone outside of her faith being good for her or not is an important question.

Janna’s relationship with the older man she helps take care of. I love how adorable it is that she helps this man and he talks to her and recites poems that she writes down and saves for later reading. This wholesome relationship in the book was so cute to read about.

No one is perfect no matter how put together they seem to be. I love that this novel explores this in both a darker sense and in a lighter way too. You never know what’s going on beneath the surface in others lives and from a glance you can think someone is infallible, but taking the time to know someone you see they are human just like you are. In the darker sense sadly some people are more nefarious and that’s a sad thing to think about.

All in all:

I really enjoyed reading this. It felt real and full of teen drama. What it’s like to deal with internet problems and issues between friends and trying to balance family, grades, and life in general. So much lives inside Saints and Misfits. It was a wonderful read.

About the Author

S. K. Ali* is the author of Saints and Misfits (Simon & Schuster, 2017), a finalist for the American Library Association’s 2018 William C. Morris award. Her debut novel won critical acclaim for its portrayal of an unapologetic Muslim-American teen’s life. Saints and Misfits was featured on several Best Teen Novels of 2017 lists including from Entertainment Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and the New York Public Library. It was also a CBC Canada Reads 2018 longlist title and featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, NBC News, Huffington Post, Salon, Bustle, CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, The Social, The Morning Show and other North American media.

Sajidah holds a degree in Creative Writing from York University and has written about Muslim life for various outlets, including the Toronto Star and NBC News. Her second novel, Love From A to Z(Simon & Schuster, 2019), a story about finding love in the time of Islamophobia, was a Today Show pick, a Goodreads Readers Choice Nominee and on several best 2019 YA lists, including Kirkus and Entertainment Weekly’s top ten. Love from A to Zwas the first YA title chosen to be part of the Today Show’s “Read With Jenna” book club.

Her picture book, The Proudest Blue (Little Brown, 2019), co-authored with Ibtihaj Muhammad, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list and was featured in the New York Times, NPR, Amazon Editor’s Choice, The Today Show, among other media. Along with We Need Diverse Books co-founder, Aisha Saeed, Sajidah is the co-editor of a Middle Grade anthology called, Once Upon an Eid(Amulet, 2020), winner of the Middle East Book Honor Award and a Kirkus and School Library Journal Best Book of 2020.

S. K. Ali lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti.

*first name: Sajidah (Saj-da)

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs: A Review

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

My Rating: 5 stars

Cover Rating: 10/10 This a beautiful cover! Showcases Nadia looking powerful and strong in her wasp suit and encapsulates the feeling of G.I.R.L showcasing our strong and intelligent heroine.

Publisher: Disney Book Group

Publish Date: July 14th, 2020

Number of Pages: 272

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Bestselling author Sam Maggs brings Nadia Van Dyne (the Unstoppable Wasp) and her genius friends to life in an all-new original YA novel based on the world of The Unstoppable Wasp Marvel comics series.


Nadia Van Dyne is new to this. New to being a Super Hero, new to being a real friend and stepdaughter (to one of the founding Avengers, no less), new to running her own lab, and new to being her own person, far, far away from the clutches of the Red Room―the infamous brainwashing/assassin-training facility. She’s adjusting well to all of this newness, channeling her energy into being a good friend, a good scientist, and a good Super Hero. It’s taking a toll, though, and Nadia’s finding that there are never quite enough hours in a day. So, when she’s gifted a virtual assistant powered by the most cutting-edge A.I. technology that the world has to offer, Nadia jumps at the opportunity to “do less, experience more”―just like the advertisements say.The device works― really works. Nadia has more time to pursue her passion projects and to focus on new discoveries. But it’s never quite that simple, and not everything is as it seems. This thrilling adventure finds Nadia confronting her past as she tries to shape her future, and learning that sometimes the best way to effect big change is to think small―maybe even supersmall, Unstoppable Wasp-style. She’ll need the help of her genius G.I.R.L. (Genius In action Research Labs) squad and found family to save herself and (not to be too dramatic) the entire world as we know it. Along the way, Nadia discovers that when she teams up with the people who love her the most, they’re totally Unstoppable.

Opening Sentence: “She was going to force Nadia to hurt her, and Nadia hated when people forced her to hurt them.”

Musings:

I adored ‘The Unstoppable Wasp”! It caused me to nerd out completely throughout. I loved every part of it. It’s definitely perfect for that young Marvel lover in your life.

What I loved:

The fun facts! I find it really adorable how every once in a while Nadia would nerd out and explain a concept about science or technology to the reader. It felt like she really and truly adored science and enjoyed sharing little tidbits with the people around her.

The diversity of the cast. Nadia is Russian and gives little tidbits about Russian words and foods and each member of G.I.R.L. are all from different backgrounds and lend a bit of their culture through who they are throughout the story.

Nadia’s struggle with Bi-polar disorder. Everyday is a time-management struggle for Nadia. Managing her mood, being a cool American teen, connecting with the mother who died before she could meet her, coming up with ideas for her like-minds project. Nadia has so much on her plate at all times and managing her mental health at the same time is overwhelming and causes her to struggle with her personal relationships.

How real Nadia feels. Nadia may be a super hero, but who she is inside and her struggles, wants, and desires make her feel like a girl doing her best to follow her dreams and also just enjoy being alive even with life feels overwhelmingly hard.

All in all:

‘The Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope’ is a wonderful read that made my nerd heart very happy. It’s beautiful to me. Nadia isn’t 100% succeeding in every area of her life she’s doing her best and she wants to do great for the world. Sometimes you got to rely on the G.I.R.L.’s around you who only want you to succeed. Everyone in this book feels like a family.

As a side note: I super nerded out hard talking for the longest time to my boyfriend about the version of Hank in this novel. I got so much out of this book and it‘ll live inside my heart as one to remember.

About the Author:

Sam Maggs is a bestselling author of books, comics, and video games. She’s been a senior games writer, including work on Marvel’s Spider-Man; the author of many YA and middle-grade books like The Unstoppable Wasp, Con Quest!, Tell No Tales, and The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy; and a comics writer for beloved titles like Marvel Action: Captain Marvel, My Little Pony, and Transformers. She is also an on-air host for networks like Nerdist. A Canadian in Los Angeles, she misses Coffee Crisp and bagged milk.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

Most Anticipated Ya Releases March 2021

It’s that time again! To show off my most anticipated reads! I didn’t have the time to write why I’d love to read each individual one and I know it’s the first time in a LONG time that I’ve posted one of these, but I promise I’ll be posting next month with my thoughts on April’s releases. Without further ado, here’s a ton of books I’d love to check out! 

March 2nd

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi (Simon and Schuster)

From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters switching places and committing insurance fraud to save one of their lives.

Jayne Baek is barely getting by. She shuffles through fashion school, saddled with a deadbeat boyfriend, clout-chasing friends, and a wretched eating disorder that she’s not fully ready to confront. But that’s New York City, right? At least she isn’t in Texas anymore, and is finally living in a city that feels right for her.

On the other hand, her sister June is dazzlingly rich with a high-flying finance job and a massive apartment. Unlike Jayne, June has never struggled a day in her life. Until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Suddenly, these estranged sisters who have nothing in common are living together. Because sisterly obligations are kind of important when one of you is dying.

Once Upon a Quinceanera by Monica Gomez-Hira (HarperTeen) 

Jenny Han meets “Jane the Virgin” in this flashy and fun Own Voices romcom from debut author Monica Gomez-Hira.

Carmen Aguilar just wants to make her happily ever after come true. Except apparently “happily ever after” for Carmen involves being stuck in an unpaid summer internship! All she has to do is perform! In a ball gown! During the summer. In Miami. 

Fine. Except that Carmen’s company is hired for her spoiled cousin Ariana’s over the top quinceañera.

And of course, her new dance partner at work is none other than Mauro Reyes, Carmen’s most deeply regrettable ex.

If Carmen is going to move into the future she wants, she needs to leave the past behind. And if she can manage dancing in the blistering heat, fending off Mauro’s texts, and stopping Ariana from ruining her own quinceañera Carmen might just get that happily ever after after all.

Bones of a Saint by Grant Farley (Soho Teen)   

Set in Northern California in the late ’70s, this timeless coming-of-age story examines the nature of evil, the art of storytelling, and the possibility of redemption.

Fifteen-year-old RJ Armante has never known a life outside his dead-end hometown of Arcangel, CA. The Blackjacks still rule as they have for generations, luring the poorest kids into their monopoly on petty crime. For years, they’ve left RJ alone…until now.

When the Blackjacks come knocking, they want RJ to prey upon an old loner. But RJ is at his breaking point. It’s not just about the gang who rules the town. It’s about Charley, his younger brother, who is disabled. It’s about Roxanne, the girl he can’t reach. It’s about the kids in his crew who have nothing to live for. If RJ is to resist, he must fight to free Arcangel of its past.

The Lake by Natasha Preston (Delacorte) 

 Hot on the heels of The Twin, the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back with a scary and suspenseful read about a summer camp filled with dark secrets.

Esme and Kayla once were campers at Camp Pine Lake. They’re excited to be back this year as CITs (counselors in training). Esme loves the little girls in her cabin and thinks it’s funny how scared they are of everything–spiders, the surly head counselor, the dark, boys . . . even swimming in the lake! It reminds her a little of how she and Kayla used to be, once. Before . . . it happened.

Because Esme and Kayla did something bad when they were campers. Afterwards, the girls agreed to keep it secret. They’ve moved on–or so they say–and this summer is going to be great. Two months of sun, s’mores, and flirting with the cute boy counselors. But then they get a note. THE LAKE NEVER FORGETS. And the secret they’ve kept buried for so many years is about to resurface. 

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft (Wednesday Books)

A gorgeously gothic, deeply romantic YA debut fantasy about two enemies trapped inside a crumbling mansion, with no escape from the monsters within.

Honor your oath, destroy your country.

Wren Southerland is the most talented healer in the Queen’s Guard, but her reckless actions have repeatedly put her on thin ice with her superiors. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate to cure his servant from a mysterious disease, she seizes the chance to prove herself. 

When she arrives at Colwick Hall, Wren realizes that nothing is what it seems. Particularly when she discovers her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the sworn enemy of her kingdom.

As the snowy mountains make it impossible to leave the estate, Wren and Hal grow closer as they uncover a sinister plot that could destroy everything they hold dear. But choosing love could doom both their kingdoms. 

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched, gothic, romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.

The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehm (Tor Teen)   

Nothing is quite as it seems In this thrilling fantasy adventure by Jillian Boehme!

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a cacao farmer’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

Follow Your Arrow by Jess Verdi (Scholastic) 

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is a riveting and irresistible take on love, life, and identity — both online and off.

CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals.

So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love, and now she can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her followers as well.

Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn’t surprised to be falling for a guy; she’s always known she’s bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts… but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way.

But when CeCe’s secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she’ll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth.

The Bright and the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski (HarperTeen)

Seventeen-year-old Valeria is one of the only survivors of the Knnot Massacre. A decade ago, a magical happening trapped her entire mining town in a sheet of unbreakable ice. Ever since, Valeria has been on the run. fte emperor is determined to imprison any who managed to escape the curse of Knnot.

Valeria finds safety with the ftieves Guild, earning her the nickname “fte Arctic Fox.” Until her best friend, Alik, is kidnapped. 

Valeria will do anything to get Alik back. Even lead the team of cutthroats and thieves on a perilous expedition to the very mountain that claimed her family, where she swore never to return. Something sinister slumbers at the heart of Knnot, and it has waited centuries for release.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Henry Holt)

Debut author Angeline Boulley crafts a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange. 

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother. 

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation. 

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. 

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known. 

I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre (Underlined)

A YA contemporary rom com about two girls who start as rivals but after a twist of events, end up falling for one another–at least they think so. A pitch perfect queer romance–and it’s a paperback original!

Arch-nemeses Emma, a die-hard romantic, and more-practical minded Sophia find themselves competing against one another for a coveted first-prize trip to a film festival in Los Angeles . . . what happens if their rivalry turns into a romance? For fans of Becky Albertalli’s Leah on the Offbeat, full of laugh-out-loud humor and make-your-heart-melt moments.

The Salt in Our Blood by Ava Morgyn (Albert Whitman)  

Nine years ago, Cat’s volatile mother, Mary, left her at her grandmother’s house with nothing but a deck of tarot cards. Now seventeen, Cat is determined to make her life as different from Mary’s as possible.When Cat’s grandmother dies, she’s forced to move to New Orleans with her mother. 

There, she discovers a picture of Mary holding a baby that’s not her, leading her to unravel a dark family history and challenge her belief that Mary’s mental health issues are the root of all their problems.But as Cat explores the reasons for her mother’s breakdown, she fears she is experiencing her own. Ever since she arrived in New Orleans, she’s been haunted by strangely familiar visitors–in dreams and on the streets of the French Quarter–who know more than they should.Unsure if she can rebuild her relationship with her mother, Cat is realizing she must confront her past, her future, and herself in the fight to try.  

List of Ten by Hali Gomez (Stirling Children’s books)

A harrowing yet hopeful account of a teen living with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder . . . and contemplating his own morality.

Ten: three little letters, one ordinary number. No big deal, right? But for Troy Hayes, a 16-year-old suffering from Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the number ten dictates his life, forcing him to do everything by its exacting rhythm. Finally, fed up with the daily humiliation, loneliness, and physical pain he endures, Troy writes a list of ten things to do by the tenth anniversary of his diagnosis—culminating in suicide on the actual day. But the process of working his way through the list changes Troy’s life: he becomes friends with Khory, a smart, beautiful classmate who has her own troubled history. Khory unwittingly helps Troy cross off items on his list, moving him ever closer to his grand finale, even as she shows him that life may have more possibilities than he imagined. This is a dark, intense story—with many trigger warnings—but it’s also realistic, hopeful, and deeply authentic.

March 9th

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley (Simon Pulse)

In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first…

Ravage the Dark by Tara Sim (Disney-Hyperion)

For seven long years, while she was imprisoned on a debtor’s ship, Amaya Chandra had one plan: to survive. But now, survival is not enough. She has people counting on her; counting on her for protection, for leadership, for vengeance. And after escaping Moray by the skin of her teeth, she’s determined to track down the man who betrayed her and her friends: Boon.

Cayo Mercado has lost everything: his money, his father, his reputation. Everything except his beloved sister. But he’s well on his way to losing her, too, with no way to afford the treatment for her deadly illness. In a foreign empire also being consumed by ash fever, Cayo has no choice but to join Amaya in uncovering the mystery of the counterfeit currency, the fever, and how his father was involved in their creation. But Cayo still hasn’t forgiven Amaya for her earlier deception, and their complicated feelings for each other are getting harder and harder to ignore.

Through glittering galas, dazzling trickery, and thrilling heists, Cayo and Amaya will learn that the corruption in Moray goes far deeper than they know, and in the end the only people they can trust are each other.

When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert (Simon and Schuster)

 All Beth wants is for her tight-knit circle of friends—Grace Nakamura, Brandon Lin, Sunny Chen and Jason Tsou—to stay together. With her family splintered and her future a question mark, these friends are all she has—even if she sometimes wonders if she truly fits in with them. Besides, she’s certain she’ll never be able to tell Jason how she really feels about him, so friendship will have to be enough.

Then Beth witnesses a private act of violence in Jason’s home, and the whole group is shaken. Beth and her friends make a pact to do whatever it takes to protect Jason, no matter the sacrifice. But when even their fierce loyalty isn’t enough to stop Jason from making a life-altering choice, Beth must decide how far she’s willing to go for him—and how much of herself she’s willing to give up.

Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora (Flux) – delayed due to COVID-19.

Sixteen-year-old Nate is a Gem—a Genetically Engineered Medical Surrogate—created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.

But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their Gems—a flaw that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. As Nate’s health declines, his hard-won freedom is put in jeopardy. Violence erupts across the Withers, his illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay — and die — with the boy he loves.

American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajukar (Knopf)

Fans of Sandhya Menon, Erika Sanchez and Jandy Nelson will identify with this story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship.

Rani Kelkar has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. The same qualities that draw her in–his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art–make him her mother’s worst nightmare.

They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver’s troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. Their relationship is nearly at the breaking point, when a family tragedy draws Rani to India for a summer. There, she gains perspective on what it means to be true to herself and what that means for her and Oliver.

Winner of SCBWI’s Emerging Voices award, Anuradha Rajurkar takes an honest look at the ways cultures can clash in an interracial relationship. Rani’s journey to hold onto her cultural identity amid the push-and-pull of first love, will resonate with anyone who’s ever navigated a cross-cultural relationship.

It’s a Kind of Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill (FSG)  

Beck is sick of being known as the Hot ‘N Crusty Bathroom Baby. After her mother gave birth to her in the bathroom of a local pizzeria, she’s been given the dubious honor of having minor fame, free pizza for life, and a guaranteed job when she turns sixteen—a job she unfortunately can’t afford to turn down.

Now she’s stuck with her weird co-workers instead of hanging out with her best friends (and her epic crush).

But maybe the pizza people aren’t all bad. Maybe that pizza delivery guy is kind of cute. And maybe there’s a way to make this Bathroom Baby thing work for her. Because when disaster strikes the beloved pizza place that’s started to feel like home, she’s going to need a miracle – one that might even mean bringing her two worlds together.

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales (Wednesday Books) 

Everyone in school knows about Locker 89. If you slip a letter in outlining your relationship woes, along with a fiver, an anonymous source will email you with the best advice you’ve ever gotten.

Darcy Phillips, a quiet, sweet junior, is safe in the knowledge no one knows she’s the genius behind locker 89. Until Brougham, a senior, catches her.

The deal Brougham offers is tempting: in exchange for his silence–and a generous coach’s fee to sweeten the deal–Darcy can become Brougham’s personal dating coach to help him get his ex-girlfriend back.

And as for Darcy, well, she has a fairly good reason to want to keep her anonymity. Because she has another secret. Not too long ago, she abused locker 89 to sabotage the budding romance of her best friend, Brooke. Brooke, who Darcy’s been in love with for a year now.

Yeah. Brooke can’t find out about that. No matter what. 

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price (HarperTeen) 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman who desires a law career must be in want of a case. So when seventeen-year-old Lizzie Bennet hears about a scandalous society murder, she sees an opportunity to prove herself as a solicitor by solving the case and ensuring justice is served.

Except the man accused of the crime already has a lawyer on his side: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious Pemberley Associates law firm. Lizzie is determined to solve the murder before Darcy can so that she can show the world that a woman can be just as good as a man. (The fact that Darcy is an infuriating snob doesn’t help.) But there’s still a killer on the loose, and as the case gets more complicated, Lizzie and Darcy may have to start working together to avoid becoming the next victims themselves.

Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olsen (Inkyard Press)

Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.

Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.

But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.

Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.

Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore (Bloomsbury) 

Steven Salvatore’s debut Can’t Take That Away is about a genderqueer student who dreams of being a diva like their hero Mariah Carey, but when they are cast in the lead female role in the school musical, they must fight against the injustices from the closed-mindedness of their school’s administration. 

Sold to Annette Pollert-Moragn at Bloomsbury Children’s, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, or publication in winter 2021, by Jessica Regel at Foundry Literary + Media. 

Tell Me My Name by Amy Reed (Dial)

A YA Great Gatsby set in the near future–think We Were Liars meets Speak in this haunting, mesmerizing psychological thriller that will linger long after the final line 

In a few decades, floods have overtaken the East Coast and fires have burned swaths of the west to nothing. But on wealthy Commodore Island, life is serene. Fern is watching and waiting–for summer, for college, for her childhood best friend to decide he loves her.

Then Ivy Avila lands on the island like a falling star. When Ivy shines on her, Fern feels seen. When they’re together, Fern has purpose. She glimpses the secrets Ivy hides behind her fame, her fortune, the lavish parties she throws at her great glass house, and understands that Ivy hurts in ways Fern can’t fathom. And soon, it’s clear Ivy wants someone Fern can help her get.

But as the two pull closer, Fern’s cozy life on Commodore unravels: drought descends, fires burn, and a reckless night spins out of control. Everything Fern thought she understood–about her home, herself, the boy she loved, about Ivy Avila–twists and bends into something new. And Fern won’t emerge the same person she was.

An enthralling, mind-altering psychological thriller, Tell Me My Name is about the cost of being a girl in a world that takes so much, and the enormity of what is regained when we take it back. 

The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph (Candlewick) 

– NOTE: YA Non-fiction. From the perspective of the friend everyone should have, Frederick Joseph offers an essential read for white people who want to be better about race—and people of color who long to see their experiences validated.

“We don’t see color.” “I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars!” “What hood are you from?” For Frederick Joseph, life in a mostly white high school as a smart and increasingly popular transfer student was full of wince-worthy moments that he often simply let go. As he grew older, however, he saw these as missed opportunities not only to stand up for himself, but to spread awareness to the white friends and acquaintances who didn’t see the negative impact they were having and who would change if they knew how.

Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter includes the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Tarell Alvin McCraney, screenwriter of Moonlight; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many of us need. Back matter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.

Noelle: The Mean Girl by Ashley Woodfolk (Penguin Platform) – Novella, lower YA.

Meet the Flyy Girls. The group of girls who seem like they can get away with anything. Veteran author Ashley Woodfolk pens a gorgeous and dynamic series of four Harlem highschoolers, each facing a crossroads of friendship, family, and love. 

There are only three things that matter to Noelle Lee: her family, school, and the cello. She doesn’t care if people see her as selfish or mean, because she knows she has her priorities in order. That’s why when her dad loses his job, she doesn’t hesitate to work more hours at her grandparents’ Chinese restaurant. Seeing her girls and dealing with her ex-boyfriend have to take a backseat so she can help her family and prepare for her school’s fall showcase. But things get even more complicated for Noelle when she realizes she can’t stop thinking about Tobyn, one of the other Flyy Girls. With all of these distractions, Noelle starts to wonder if working hard even matters, especially if she can’t keep her life from falling apart around her.

With simply stated text and compelling characters, Flyy Girls is a series that’s perfect for readers of any level.

The Immortal Boy by Francisco Montana Ibanez (Levine Querido) 

Two intertwining stories of Bogotá.

One, a family of five children, left to live on their own.

The other, a girl in an orphanage who will do anything to befriend the mysterious Immortal Boy.

How they weave together will never leave you.

March 16th

A Better Bad Idea by Laurie Devore (Imprint)   

Laurie Devore’s new YA novel is a searing look at a forgotten girl who has no good choices left, but one better bad idea…

Evelyn Peters is desperate. Desperate for a way out of McNair Falls, the dying southern town that’s held her captive since the day she was born. Desperate to protect her little sister from her mother’s terrifying and abusive boyfriend. And desperate to connect with anyone, even fallen golden boy Ashton Harper, longtime boyfriend of the girl Evelyn can never stop thinking about ― beautiful, volatile, tragically dead Reid Brewer.

Until a single night sends Evelyn and Ashton on a collision course that starts something neither of them can stop. With one struck match, their whole world goes up in flames. The only thing left to do is run―but leaving McNair Falls isn’t as easy as just putting distance between here and there and some secrets refuse to stay left behind.

A reckoning is coming . . . and not everyone is getting out alive.

That Way Madness Lies by Various YA Authors (Flatrion Books) Fifteen acclaimed YA writers put their modern spin on William Shakespeare’s celebrated classics!

West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings!

Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (All’s Well That Ends Well), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullogh (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest).

Five Ways To Fall Out of Love by Emily Martin (Inkyard Press) 

This whip-smart rom-com explores the risks and rewards of letting love in, for fans of Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Buxbaum, and Sandhya Menon.

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.

As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?

Like Home by Louisa Onome (Delacorte) 

Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil. 

Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good.

Only, Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends on Ginger East with promises to “fix” it. Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale. 

Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything⁠—and everyone⁠—she loves. 

Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall (Penguin Teen)

Kara Thomas meets Twin Peaks in this supernatural thriller about one girl’s hunt for the truth about her mother’s disappearance in Kate Alice Marshall’s most commercial book yet.

Sophia’s first memory is of drowning. She remembers the darkness of the water and the briny taste as it fills her throat. She remembers the cold shock of going under. She remembers her mother pulling her to safety before disappearing forever. But Sophia has never been in the ocean. And her mother died years ago in a hospital. Or so she has been told her whole life.

A series of clues have led Sophia to the island of Bitter Rock, Alaska, where she talked her way into a summer internship at the Landon Avian Research Center, the same center her mother worked at right before she died. There, she meets the disarmingly clever Liam, whose own mother runs the LARC, as well as Abby, who’s following a mystery of her own: a series of unexplained disappearances. People have been vanishing from Bitter Rock for decades, leaving only their ghostly echoes behind. When it looks like their two mysteries might be one and the same, Sophia vows to dig up the truth, no matter how many lies she has to tell along the way. Even if it leads her to a truth she may not want to face.

Our Last Echoes is an eerie collection of found documents and written confessionals, in the style of Rules for Vanishing, with supernatural twists that keep you questioning what is true and what is an illusion.

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris (Simon Pulse) 

For fans of DEAR MARTIN and THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END.

From the acclaimed author of SLAY, comes a gripping, evocative novel, about a Black teen who has the power to see into the future, and whose life turns upside down when he foresees his younger brother’s imminent death.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He wants to be the best employee at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector of his little brother, Isaiah. But however much he tries, he often comes up short. 

It’s hard to concentrate when every time he touches an object, or person, Alex sees its future. It’s fine when he touches the ice cream scoop and can see what flavor the customer will pick, but it’s less fun when he touches his car and sees it submerged in water years from now, or when he touches his girlfriend, and sees them at the precipice of breaking up. 

But Alex is about to find out the real cost of knowing… 

When Alex touches a family photo, he sees that his brother, Isaiah, is going to die—he can’t tell how, but he knows it will be soon. If Alex has any chance of saving his brother’s future, he will have to deal with the past…but can the curse be broken?

A story of brothers, grief, and what it means to be a young Black man in America.

The Seventh Raven by David Elliot (HMH)

Best-selling author David Elliott examines the timeless themes of balance, transformation, and restoration in this evocative tale about a girl who will stop at nothing to reverse a curse that turned her seven brothers into ravens. 

And these are the sons

Of good Jack and good Jane

The eldest is Jack

And the next one is Jack

And the third one’s called Jack

And the fourth’s known as Jack

And the fifth says he’s Jack

And they call the sixth Jack

But the seventh’s not Jack

The seventh is Robyn

And this is his story

When Robyn and his brothers are turned into ravens through the work of an unlucky curse, a sister is their only hope to become human again. Though she’s never met her brothers, April will stop at nothing to restore their humanity. But what about Robyn, who always felt a greater affinity to the air than to the earth-bound lives of his family?

David Elliott’s latest novel in verse explores the unintended consequences of our actions, no matter our intentions, and is filled with powerful, timeless messages teased from a Grimms’ fairy tale. Black-and-white illustrations throughout by Rovina Cai.

The Mirror Season by Anna Marie McLemore (Feiwel and Friends) 

When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown, in Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season…

Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.

But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depend on no one finding out what really happened.

March 23rd

The Secret Recipe For Moving On by Karen Bishcher (Swoon Reads)

Home economics is supposed to be an easy A for Ellie Agresti, but, much like an imperfect souffle, her plans collapse epically when she’s dumped by her boyfriend, Hunter. Now Ellie has to mend her broken heart while watching Hunter fawn all over his new girlfriend, Brynn, in class. To make matters worse, Ellie is partnered with four of the biggest misfit guys in school: Jeremy, the loudmouth with temper issues; Isaiah, the solemn, silent horse racing obsessive; Andrew, who can’t take rejection; and Luke, the giant, tattooed stunt biker.

Over the course of a semester, Ellie works to overcome her feelings for Hunter, as well as deeper insecurities that have plagued her since middle school. As the weeks go by, she’s surprised to find friendships in unexpected places… and sparks flying with the last guy she’d expect.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas (Swoon Reads) 

When children go missing, people want answers. When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers. 

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.

The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani (HarperTeen)

 I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away if I can make a difference.

Children have been disappearing from Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her best friend’s sister disappears, Rae knows she can’t stay silent any longer. She finds the chance to make a difference in an invitation to the palace.

But Rae struggles to fit in with the lords and ladies of the court. Instead, she finds unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges thief named Bren who always seems to have her best interests at heart. Soon even Bren can’t help her, and Rae must risk her life and well-being to face an evil that lurks in the shadows of the darkest hearts. 

The Follower by Kate Doughty (Amulet)

A spine-tingling YA thriller, based on a still-unfolding true story 

Instagram-famous triplets Cecily, Amber, and Rudy—the children of home renovation superstars—are ready for a perfect summer. They’ve just moved into the site of their parents’ latest renovation project when they begin to receive chilling messages from someone called The Follower. It soon becomes clear that this anonymous threat is more than a simple Internet troll, and he can’t wait to shatter the Cole family’s perfect veneer and take back what’s his. The Follower examines the implications of what it is to be watched in the era of social media fame—as well as the lies we tell and the lengths we’ll go to uphold a perfect image, when our lives depend on it.

Fadeaway by E.B. Vickers (Knopf) 

When a high school basketball star goes missing, a town’s secrets are exposed in this edge-of-your seat, addictive read.

At 8:53 pm, thousands of people watched as Jake Foster secured the state title for his basketball team with his signature fadeaway. But by the next morning, he’s disappeared without a trace. Nobody has any idea where he is: not his best friend who knows him better than anyone else, not his ex-girlfriend who may still have feelings for him, not even his little brother who never expected Jake to abandon him. 

Rumors abound regarding Jake’s whereabouts. Was he abducted? Did he run away to try to take his game to the next level? Or is it something else, something darker—something they should have seen coming? 

Told from the points of view of those closest to Jake, this gripping, suspenseful novel reminds us that the people we think we know best are sometimes hiding the most painful secrets. 

Bruised by Tanya Boteju (Simon Pulse)

 Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby—from the acclaimed author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.

To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart.

So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she’ll need all the opportunities she can get.

The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing. 

Your Heart, My Sky: Love in a Time of Hunger by Margarita Engle (Antheneum) 

Acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells a painful, poignant story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a dark period in Cuba’s history.

The people of Cuba are living in el periodo especial en tiempos de paz—the special period in times of peace. That’s what the government insists that this era must be called, but the reality behind these words is starvation.

Liana is struggling to find enough to eat. Yet hunger has also made her brave: she finds the courage to skip a summer of so-called volunteer farm labor, even though she risks government retribution. Nearby, a quiet, handsome boy named Amado also refuses to comply, so he wanders alone, trying to discover rare sources of food.

A chance encounter with an enigmatic dog brings Liana and Amado together. United in hope and hunger, they soon discover that their feelings for each other run deep. Love can feed their souls and hearts—but is it enough to withstand el periodo especial?

March 30th

She’s Too Pretty To Burn by Wendy Heard (Henry Holt)

Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the int ersect ions of love, art, power and violence. For fans of E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver and Kara Thomas.

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot—full of adventure—and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next.

One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect… one stalker. This is the summer they won’t survive.

New love spirals into lethal danger in this expertly plotted YA thriller.

With You All the Way by Cynthia Hand (HarperTeen) 

A Forever for a new generation. Fans of Sarah Dessen , Jenny Han, and Nina LaCour will devour this exploration of family relationships, romantic relationships, and everything in between from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Ada’s sick of being the invisible good girl in her family. She’s just caught her boyfriend cheating on her after she said she wasn’t ready for sex, and she’s had it up to here with her perfect, beautiful older sister trying to give her advice, especially when that advice includes staying a virgin until she’s truly in love.

But all of that pales in comparison to what Ada discovers when her mom drags them to Hawaii for an annual surgeons’ conference: her mom is having an affair. Just like that, Ada’s whole world comes crashing down, all because it seems like no one can stop themselves from falling into bed with people they shouldn’t.

So Ada decides it’s time for her to do just that, and get sex over with. But what she thinks is one of her best laid plans doesn’t actually leave room for the truth: That feelings, romantic or not, always get in the way.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

Febuary 2021: Wrap Up

Looking back February was a pretty good month and I watched some really great shows and movies even if I didn’t get to finish a book in February.

Movies watched

Penguin bloom

Cute movie that made my heart feel warm.

Host

A really great horror film solidly set in the time and feel of 2020.

Hush

Intense horror with a deaf main character that would have been made better by proper representation.

Tv shows watched

Season 2, 3, and 4 of futurama

The bulk of what I’ve been watching lately and it’s only gotten better and better!

Season 2 The Mandalorian

Best part of this show was the finale and of course the relationship between Mando and baby Yoda. I loved it!

Games played

Genshin impact 1.3 update

I did a whole post on this but 1.3 was great! I loved the events and I even landed a Xiao in the coolest way which I talked all about in my blog post about Genshin Impact.

Overloot

This game is so cute! I drop in and play every once in a while and it’s a fun connect the weapons kind of game.

The Arcana

This is a visual novel type game and I love the romance in it and the mini game that you do daily. I know I’ll be playing and reading along for a long time.

Game playthroughs watched

Captain sparkles vault hunters 

Little bit of Minecraft diaries 

Among us videos 

Little bit of clue videos 

Exercise done

Breath 30 days of Yoga- started and didn’t finish due to my wrist dying on me due to work. Have an appointment to get it checked out soon and it should be resolved soon enough.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

March Goals 2021

This month has already started well. I started on doing my Instagram posts again for my books. I’m excited about this month of reading! I have many books that I’m going to get to this month.

The two books I’ll be finishing reading for sure are:

The Lamb who Slaughtered the Lion

And

Saints and Misfits

Both of these I have limited time to read so I’ll definitely be getting to them first.

Other Goals:

Writing. I want to start writing again at least 15 minutes a day. So that’s what I will start doing.

Exercise. My right wrist is completely shot right now. So I’m going to start doing some standing exercise videos at least until my wrist feels better. So tonight after I finish work I’m going to start my new routine.

Instagram. I want to do an insta post everyday this month. Doing a #Marchreads challenge.

To feel good. I want to enjoy everyday and so far today has felt good and I’ll love that to continue throughout March.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

Currently Reading Several Books at Once

I’ve done this in the past often thanks to Wattpad and I think part of me missed the feeling and so I’ve started reading a bunch of books all at once.

Starting with the longest standing reads to the most recent, here are my current reads:

Starting with Horns by Joe Hill

I’ve been reading this book one chapter every once in a while for over two years now, possibly three or four I have no idea. The story itself has stuck in my head as I’ve read it and it’s just something that can tank my mood so I’ve been reading it sparingly and I have no idea when I’ll finish it.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

One of my best friends got me this book two Christmases ago and a few months ago I decided to start reading it. It’s been another emotional read that I’m taking slow and reading sparingly so I have no idea when I’ll finish it.

Replica by Lauren Oliver

I started reading this a few weeks ago because I’ve been very much wanted to read it and due to focus on other books I’ve been reading this one sparingly as well, but I might do a greater focus on it soon.

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

This is my current Netgalley read I’ve also been reading for a few weeks. It’s been my main focus and I’m over half way through and already had a whole nerd out conversation with my boyfriend about it. I should be finished with this one in less then a week or so.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I started reading this last week. I’m only a few chapters in so it’ll be a while before I finish this one. However, I do want to finish it before the Netflix show comes out because I’m really excited about watching it.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

I started this two days ago. This one I started because I’ve had an e-library hold on it for months and it just became available. I plan on having a decent pace reading this book since I have a limited time to read it. Currently, I’m only a few pages in.

So in total six books as of right now. I’ll probably start “Always and Forever Laura Jean” soon too just cause the movie is already out and I want to read the book first before I watch it.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

New Beginning

Yesterday, I had a depressive episode. It felt like everything I wanted to do I couldn’t do for one reason or another. That my life was full of stresses at every turn and I could not handle any more of it. So many of my goals I’ve wanted to achieve I’ve let go of because life just is so much right now. Every turn another obstacle to face. Another thing that made me want to turn into myself and just watch something funny or play a game for hours to just feel that bit of relief.

I have bottled up my emotions for so long that last night it tipped over and I broke down. However, I know my life is in my hands. That I can chose to take a new path. Hit the reset button. Go another way. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to prioritize the things I’ve been wanting to do for ages. Reading, writing, exercise, but also maintaining a place in my mind of well-being. To make sure I’m taking care of my mental health and actually enjoying what I can of life.

The past few months have been all about that enjoyment, but in between that, the moments I’d forget. The moments my mind remembered that stuff is hard. That I’m living a life where things could change completely and flip me around again in a moments notice. That one day I’ll wake up and my dad will no longer be here. Which has been the route of a lot of the sadness I’ve been feeling. Watching my dad deteriorate more and more all the time.

Yet, I want to live a good and happy life. I want to show my family that I can create something wonderful for myself. To write something I’d be excited to read. To inspire others to follow their passions. To be an uplifter whether that’s in my home or walking in a grocery store or having a small interaction online.

So today and the next and the next will be my new beginnings. My next chance to do what I’ve intended to do with passion and with love. I want things to be better in all aspects of my life. To have the timing of a dancer moving from one moment to the next with a sense of joy. I don’t just want to take action through life with a sense of obligation. I want to take action with fervor. With joy and with excitement. With a sense of ease.

So that’s what I’m going to do. To let go of the sense that I’m doing things out of obligation. But, to take action in a feeling of love. That starts here in this moment, writing this post, with that feeling that I can do this. That I can be a person who lives with joy in their hearts in spite of the hard stuff. To handle those things and give love to them as well. To cry when I need to but not let it define me and stop me from living a life of vibrancy.

So to the many of you who’ve been reading my blog for a long time and who seen me disappear and reappear again and again, I can say that I am finally back. Fully and truly back. This blog has brought to me some of the most amazing moments of my life. It’s where I’ve felt the most like I do in this moment. Fully alive. Fully enjoying the things I love and getting excited and sharing these moments with all of you.

Thank you all of you for reading! I truly appreciate every one of you. There is so much more to come and I can’t wait to share all that’s in store in the coming days, weeks, and months. It’ll be a blast!

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

House of El: Book One: The Shadow Threat: A Review

House of El: Book One: The Shadow Threat by Claudia Gray

Illustrated by. Eric Zawadzki

My Rating: 4 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 the art is stunning! Perfect art style for this story I adore all the art!

Publisher: DC Comics

Publish Date: January 5th, 2021

Number of Pages: 208

Received: DC Comics provided a physical copy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Welcome to a brand-new vision of one of comics’ most famous tragedies from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray and illustrator Eric Zawadzki. In this first graphic novel in a trilogy, explore Krypton like never before: through the eyes of two teenagers on opposite sides of the same extinction-level event.

Zahn is one of Krypton’s elites: wealthy, privileged, a future leader. Sera is one of Krypton’s soldiers: strong, dedicated, fearless. Their rule-bound society has ordained that their paths should never cross. 

But groundquakes are shaking the planet’s surface. Rebellious uprisings are shaking the populace. Krypton’s top scientists–Jor-El and Lara–conduct a secret experiment that is meant to reform their planet from the cellular level up. Zahn and Sera must join forces to investigate the hidden dangers truly threatening Krypton. In the process, they form a bond that will endure past the end of the world…

Opening Sentence: “Wake up!”

Musings: As someone who has never read any Superman comics and has not watched Superman since I was a kid, I liked that I could still gain a sense of the world and an understanding of events in an easy way. The beautiful art helps immensely and paints the picture of an advanced world that has lost the value of emotion allowing growth and change in society. Everyone is made perfect and emotionless. A cool and calculated mind.

What I Loved:

The idea of the world. This is a society that has progressed so far that minds are made so perfect there is no desire to progress. Due to this, the rich live a life that doesn’t acknowledge that the world is unstable and falling apart. In order to fix this, experiments to give back emotions to a select few begin and through contrast these people find the desire to search for solutions to fix the world they live in that is beginning to break apart.

The art. There’s so much color and action on every page. It depicts the desperation of the world lived in and the comfort of the Rich’s lives. It’s beautiful and I love it.

All in all:

This comic is the start of a fun, action-filled adventure. I’m excited to see how Zahn and Sera band together in order to help save their world and restore their humanity along with it.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Burn Our Bodies Down: A Review

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 I don’t think a more perfect cover for this book could exist. It perfectly captures the story inside it. It’s stunning!

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publish Date: July 7th, 2020

Number of Pages: 352 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Also, got a finished copy for Christmas from my mom!!

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother, struggling to get along. But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she may have just found the answer: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

As soon as they see her face, everyone in town knows who Margot belongs to. It’s unmistakable–she’s a Nielsen. And when a mysterious girl who could be Margot’s twin is pulled from a fire, Margot realizes that her mother left Phalene for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there? 

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.”

Opening Sentence: “flick and catch of the lighter, fire blooming between my fingers.”

Musings:

This is a book that barrels you to the end wondering what’s going to happen? What’s going on? What happened back then? And all these questions are a good thing. Cause, you may wait for the answers and when they get there it’s an experience.

That’s what ‘Burn Our Bodies Down’ is, an experience.

What I Loved:

The Pain. It’s been a while since a book reminded me of my relationship with my grandmother. The gas lighting and the want to be accepted but knowing you never will. Much of this was painful for me. Not everyone ends up with good family and knowing you deserve to thrive in spite of it is an important thing.

The Curiosity. This book has you asking questions from start to finish and in a good way. More answers you get the more questions and you feel exactly as Margot must’ve felt.

The ending. Now this is a book with an ending. That whole time my eyes went bigger and bigger and my mouth dropped lower and lower. It’s a damn hell of a fantastic ending.

It’s creepy. This book unsettles in subtle ways. It makes you feel safe and then it takes it away a little and then a little more. It’s so well written.

The atmosphere. It’s dry and dusty and full of corn that’s not growing well. The way the world is written is so well done. You can feel how small and yet how vast everything is.

All in all:

This is a fantastic horror novel. It’s completely different from ‘Wilder Girls’ and it’s so good in its own unique way. It’s a must read for horror lovers.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

The Stranger by Albert Camus: A Review

The Stranger by Albert Camus

My Rating: 0 stars

Cover Rating: 2/10 it’s whatever nothing special about it. Doesn’t relate to the story at all. It’s just a basic design.

Publisher: Vintage international

Publish Date: March 28th, 1989

Number of Pages: 123

Received: I read it from my Libby Library

Synopsis:

(The Sypnosis and hearing that this book was a ‘classic’ is why I picked this book up.. however reading it, that’s not at all what this book is)

With the intrigue of a psychological thriller, Camus’s masterpiece gives us the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach.

Behind the intrigue, Camus explores what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd” and describes the condition of reckless alienation and spiritual exhaustion that characterized so much of twentieth-century life.”

My Angry thoughts:

I did a thread on Twitter about this book and I thought I’d just put that here. This book makes me so angry and I don’t want to put any extra energy into it then I already did. I don’t understand why it’s so well liked. It’s so bad.

All in All:

This book is trash. There are so many better books that explore nihilism and in better ways. Hell you want good Nihilism check out Bojack Horseman on Netflix where yes shit goes down and it’s bad, but there is deep consequences in it. It’s not just a whatever about everything just to be whatever about things. It’s a far more meaningful and nuanced story that I loved to watch.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!