Reasons I would be that one YA fantasy protagonist who dies in the first 30 pages // Because I have no survival skills whatsoever!! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Welcome, to my book blog!! I am Aline. I like food. A lot.

Do you know what YA fantasy protagonists often lack? FOOD. (And a ton of other things, but FOOOOOOOD)

I could just end this post right there, because me? Accomplishing anything without food? AS IF.

Fantasy protagonists always go above and beyond in their survival skills (which does makes sense in certain circumstances due to how they were raised, but that’s not the point!) and it just makes me laugh at my incompetence seeing these 16-17-18* year olds accomplish so much under such horrible conditions–and me just… not. 😂

Which is why I thought it would be fun to compare the skills of those YA fantasy protagonists which allow or help them survive with my lack thereof!!

Hence why I would most certainly fail in a fantasy book!!

LET’S ROAST… ME.

*Not getting into the whole YA protagonists acting way older than teenagers, especially in fantasy but ,,,,

Having the physical strength to TRAVEL SO MUCH (and fight.)

GUYS I’M WEAK. A month long of hiking, of walking dangerous paths, of traveling and traveling and traveling, with minimal food, supplies and rest…………. I wouldn’t last very long???

Having good hand-eye-foot coordination to fight

Some characters were trained from birth, others just seem to have this ability to just pick it up super easily, but me? I HAVE TWO LEFT FEET, and will most certainly trip over my own feet and throw things in the complete opposite direction (unintentionally) during a fight, okay.

I would be lucky to not end up accidentally murdering my ally

Remembering important prophecies after hearing them once

I forget my friend said HI 5 minutes ago, and here we have 15-lined prophecies full of riddles and fancy language being memorized in a couple of minutes? GIRL, BYE. (Also give me your skills for my next exam holy crap)

(Not gonna lie, this was 100% inspired by my read of the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series lmao but this has happened SO OFTEN!!)

Spying on sketchy people/villains and discovering crucial information without getting caught

Okay, so none of you have been around me in real life but I AM THE LEAST STEALTHY PERSON EVER. If I tried to spy on you, YOU WOULD KNOW. And I would die!! (If you were the evil, murdering type. You know. Which you would be in a fantasy novel)

SO MANY TIMES the lives of fantasy characters are saved or plot is moved forwards by characters spying on evil people and hearing them reveal some sort of their plan or some secret of theirs!! I get this, narratively, but I have two questions:

A) HOW do you manage not to be heard?? (squeaky floorboards?? Breathing??? Trying to stealth-walk and still being super loud?? HELLO ARE YOU A GHOST)

B) How do you hear everything so freaking clearly??? MY HEARING SKILLS ARE… NOT GOOD. The villain could be talking all about their plans to have the princess as bait and I could hear that they want cake. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (IT COULD BE TRUE OK.)

Accidentally stumbling on important revelations

La la la, here I am, minding my own business AND WOW LOOK HERE IS MY ENEMY MONOLOGUING TO HIMSELF HOW NICE.

The plot is saved! I can go report to my rebel group and save everyone! Because of my excellent ability to ,,, sense an evil monologue? My ability to walk around at the right time?

Though, to be fair, if the evil villain were monologuing in the middle of the night and I was hungry and went to get food and had no intention of being a sneaky spy…. relate. Because of course the most use I would have is when I didn’t plan on doing anything sjhadjahdjh.

Frankly, I am just not quite as bloodthirsty or honourable to succeed.

All these characters have lost something or someone, or want something so badly they’re willing to sacrifice everything to get it. They have killed, or they will kill, to ensure it.

Me? I’m just your simple bookworm just looking to not die under my enormous TBR and willing to sacrifice a few souls for an immortality potion, no biggie. No similarities here. 😉

But, I do admire the passion YA characters have for their cause! Whether it be for their people, or their family or friends, or world domination or being filthy rich,,,, you do you, ya know?

I would just lose motivation the second I run out of food. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Pain + torture tolerance?? don’t know her

I AM A WEAKLING. I do not like pain (well, who does) and I will break wayyyyy too easily under torture, so y’all, I would not fare well in keeping my mouth shut I’M SORRY.

But maybe in terms of survival that would actually be an asset???

Who am I kidding, they’d probably torture me, get the answers, and then kill me for good measure cause they can. Whelp.

God, being a fantasy protagonist is STRESSFUL and so much work ajddhjshajsdhajhd let’s NOT.

Soooo, I’m not going to pretend here I have any of the skills and characters of the traditional YA fantasy protagonist?? If I don’t die from my lack of skills, *maybe* I could live through my strong sense of self-preservation–> that is, I run and flee and never do anything heroic ever. Oops.

See that’s why it’s a good thing I am NOT a fantasy protagonist lmao 😅

And let’s be real, as much as I would like to imagine otherwise, I would not have a Wren (Girls of Paper & Fire) or an Elias Veturius (An Ember in the Ashes) or a ANY fantasy warrior by my side either smh. 😭 I WOULD NEVER WIN WHY.

How would you fare in a fantasy world?? 😂 What are some other skills YA fantasy characters have that you may not have? (Or what are some hidden talents YOU have that most characters don’t?? 👀)

Bias in boosting diverse titles? // The complexities of being an advocate for diverse books

In case you’re new here… Hi! I love boosting and advocating for diverse books!!

They’re important, they reflect our beautifully diverse world, and they tell stories which FINALLY focus on having marginalized people be the forefront just as much as the typical, allocishet white characters.

And personally, I believe everyone should be an advocate for diverse books! If you’re NOT a supporter of diverse books, I highly recommend you take a step back and reevaluate your values and how you see the world because… yikes.

(Also, here’s your reminder that diverse books are not a trend, or a genre, or anything of that sort! They are HERE TO STAY and they deserve to be present across ALL genres (and audiences, though that’s another beast).

However, what I wanted to look at is WHAT KIND of diverse books are getting talked about! Because “diverse” is a very large umbrella term!! That encompasses: POC, Native, LGBTQ+, mental illness, disabled, ethnic, cultural and religious minorities… and within each of those, there are SO MANY different populations.

What I feel like often happens, is that certain “types”, for lack of a better word, of diverse books get more attention than others. People out here reading one popular coming out story of a gay white boy* and think that’s supporting LGBTQIA+ books, or even diverse books as a whole? Sure that’s great if you’re starting out, but your support should include so much more.

Reading books with bi, pan, trans, non-binary, asexual/aromantic characters! Including queer POC! Queer & disabled! Queer with mental illness! All the intersectional identities!

And that’s only talking about one portion of diverse books!

*I love Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Love, Simon with ALL MY HEART, it means so much to me, but that is NOT the epitome of LGBTQ+ books and that’s that 🤷🏽‍♀️

It just seems like, sometimes thatdiverse books about disabled characters, or books about mental illness are not talked about as often as books with POC or LGBTQ+ rep. I know that’s a hard claim to make, especially since a lot of our perception of what books are being talked about depends on who we’re following, and I do follow people who DO talk about disabled and mentally ill characters (thank you!!), maybe I just don’t follow enough of those people?

YET THAT’S THE THING. There are so many diverse books advocates out here and I love that and appreciate all of you guys so much, but I don’t think there should only be a handful of people who do talk about those minorities! Of course, if you aren’t part of those minorities, do not speak over them, but boosting books with good rep for all minorities is a good thing!! That is SUPPORT. Linking to discussions about those minorities is a good thing!! Etc. BE AN ALLY.

I just feel like books with disabled characters or mentally ill characters just need to be boosted as much as we boost books with POC or queer characters, you know? They’re just as important and it’s unfair to leave the boosting and support of those books only on the shoulders of those who are also disabled or mentally ill. We should be doing it as a community.

I feel like that’s also where bias sort of comes in. Bias is everywhere when it comes to books; as readers, our own experiences and identities just inevitably cause us to have biases, even when we try to stay as unbiased as possible? For me, as someone who identifies as a queer, Muslim POC, I recognize that I particularly look for LGBTQ+, POC and/or Muslim rep in books as well. That doesn’t mean I ignore all other types of diverse books, but just that I pay more attention to these ones?

But I should, and want to do better!

I want to support ALL diverse books. It’s totally valid to value the diverse books that represent your identities, but I think to put the effort in to boost all different types of diverse titles is equally important–what’s not part of your identity is 100% a part of someone else’s, and that’s just as important to respect and support.

And this goes for people who aren’t marginalized as well! We should all do our best to support ALL diverse books. ❤️

Also, in honour of Autism Acceptance Month / Autism Pride Month, I also wanted to remind y’all to support autistics!! This should be all year-round, but especially this month it means a lot to boost the voices of autistic readers/bloggers/people. 💕 It shouldn’t be all on them to talk about the many issues that autistics face, and we should do our part.

Writing this post really made me reflect on how I should be doing better in terms of advocating for all diverse books, and how certain minorities may get overlooked due to personal biases and general popularity in the community? But maybe I’m just imagining everything and this is just a me problem, which is totally fair lmao. I’m working on it!

We can’t be responsible to hold ALL the diverse books ever on our shoulders as individuals all alone, but if we all try our best to lift as many different diverse voices and books as we can together, then hopefully one day we’ll get to a point where diverse books are found everywhere, equally, and ALL diverse books get the attention they deserve.

I know this was a heavier, dense post, but I hope that all made sense? (Seriously what are words) There are just SO MANY stories out there and I just think it’s such a disservice to them to focus on some, and not all diverse books, especially in this time of publishing! This is not a criticism, only a reflection on myself and diverse books! I totally understand how hype allows certain books to become more popular and hyped over others, and that’s fair! But that shouldn’t mean we can’t promote other books just as much.

What are your thoughts?? I don’t mean to exclude anyone in this discussion! If you’re an advocate for diverse books, do you think certain books get more recognition than others? Are there any underrated diverse books you recommend? Am I imagining everything?

I hope you have a lovely Friday!! I’m going to go eat now and read some diverse books lol I’m hungry

(Hungry for the food or the diverse books we may never know)

(Both.)

How extra of a reader are you? // the things readers do for the sake of books…

A reader, does many things.

For one, they … read.

Well, that’s it. They read. That’s how they are a reader. They have read.

BUT THEN.

You have the Reader! The Reader is the Extra version of the reader!! If you don’t know what that is, it’s okay! that’s what I’m here for. 💁🏽‍♀️

I’m linking up with this week’s TTT (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) prompt, Outrageous/Crazy/Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books (i.e. skipped meals, camped outside a bookstore, broke up with someone because they don’t like to read, traveled long distances to bookish events, etc. – submitted by Aggie’s Amygdala)! I don’t think I’ve actually done anything super “outrageous” for the sake of books so I changed the prompt slightly to be more applicable to me ahaha.

Reminder: This is all for jokes!! I’m not trying to shame anyone who does these things, I’m also guilty of some them, the point is to poke a little fun at the things I’ve seen readers do that aren’t necessary to be a reader, but we do anyway!! BECAUSE WE CAN AND WHY NOT.

Also, if you so chose, each number on the list is actually a number of “EXTRA points” you get if you relate to the associated action! So you can add them up as you go if you like for a result at the end. 😊

1 EXTRA pt: You’ve pulled all-nighters/stayed up late to finish that book

I’m certain every reader has done this!! SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

(Truth time I’ve actually not done this in SUCH a long time because I’M WEAK OK I FALL ASLEEP ksksks)

2 pts: You’ve overpacked to bring several books on your vacation

Do you *really* need to bring that thick book AND two other books on that week-long vacation where you’re sightseeing??? 👀 DO YOU REALLY???

Um, no. “But Aline”, you tell me, “who needs space for clothes anyway??”

I AGREE. But adding 20 pounds (BOOKS ARE HEAVY) to your suitcase to bring several books on your vacation when you really don’t need to…. NOT THE BEST IDEA.

(Here is where people with e-readers are like NOT MY PROBLEM 😌😇💁‍♀️

and,,,,,,,, THAT’S FAIR smh)

3 pts: You’ve gotten into a… passionate discussion (argument) with someone about a book you love

Okay, I’m typically the peacemaker type and hate having to argue with people (outside my immediate family anyway lmao) so this would usually not be likely of me at all!!

But, only a couple of months ago, I got into an “argument” (I like to say passionate discussion) with someone who didn’t understand the appeal of Rick Riordan’s books* (!!!!!!!!), or younger middle-grade books to older readers.

Here, hold my book lest I use it as a weapon thanks.

(I totally won that discussion) (Maybe terrified the guy like,,, a lot)

(Ok not really but I’M VERY TERRIFYING OK)

*I think it’s fine if personally, you didn’t enjoy his books but to go as far to make generalizations and say you don’t get why ANYBODY likes them just because you didn’t??? YOU’RE ASKING FOR A FIGHT. And honestly, this is still an issue in the book community as well. 🤷🏽‍♀️

4 pts: You read the book before you watch the movie.

I used to very intent on doing this, as I did with Hunger Games, Divergent, Lightning Thief (huihjsdhfjsd), Harry Potter, Twilight… Literally all the more “classic” YA book to movie adaptations?

And I like reading the book first, but I don’t particularly try to read the book first anymore! If I do, I do, if I don’t, I don’t. Sometimes it happens by accident anyway, where I’ve already read the book and a few years later the movie comes out.

Case in point: I did watch the Crazy Rich Asians movie without having read the book!! (LOVE THAT MOVIE SO MUCH) I don’t think I had exactly planned on picking up the book ever before the movie, it just wasn’t on my radar but I definitely want to pick it up sometime!

ALSO: If you DO do this, Netflix is making the Grishaverse come to life, and if you haven’t read Six of Crows yet……………….. :))))

5 pts: You didn’t purchase a book/purchased a book because of the cover

I’m not even going to pretend I’m not guilty of this!! HOW CAN I. I don’t have a ton of money to spend on books, particularly because my parents have this idea that I’m “buying too many books” (can you IMAGINE) but I like my books to look pretty!!

Generally I prioritize buying books I loved already, and those usually have nice covers, but I wouldn’t just pick up any random book to buy if the cover wasn’t appealing (alongside the synopsis), you know?

You’re free to judge me now.

(See if I had the funds, I would totally buy all the books with pretty covers. I don’t, so I’ll just be writing posts about buying them smh. 😂)

6 pts: You’ve changed your profile name to having something to do with a book you love

Okay, I haven’t done this yet (mine is set to #Save ODAAT) but I was highly tempted to after reading The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali ahahaha but this one is mostly inspired by all the people on Twitter I see with book-related profile names or Twitter handles?

I’m mostly thinking of all the people screaming about Descendant of the Crane ahaha, because that’s just what comes to mind immediately, but also there are many people who have names related to King of Scars/Grishaverse, etc. I love this idea so much!! It’s so cute and so fun to support books you love or are excited to read this way. 💕 (And so extra lmao I love it)

Not to be self-centred or anything, but while you’re here, you might want tofollow me on Twitter? 😇

7 pts: You’ve named a pet/stuffed animal/object after a book character?

I don’t have a pet, but there are so many who do, and who have the cutest fictional-character names I LOVE IT.

Personally, I have this little bear named Violet, a) because she was purple and wasn’t I so clever?????, b) because I was reading the Series of Unfortunate Events and Violet Baudelaire was my favourite I think? I also liked Sunny. But anyway.

My stuffed-bear naming skills is amazing, thank you.

I’m going to call my next one Nina ❤

8 pts: You’ve created playlists, aesthetics, fan art or fanfiction for a book/books

Okay, can I just say if you’ve created a book playlist, PLEASE send it to me omg I love them! So far I’ve found Spotify playlists for Girls of Paper and Fire that were so good, as well as Red, White & Royal Blue?! Love.

But anyway!!

I’m not artsy enough to do fan art (I LOVE looking at them though omg, people are so talented), but I’ve made aesthetics before!! They’re so much fun! I made a few for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Harry Potter, Shades of Magic, The Hate U Give, and such. If you make bookish aesthetics, tell me!! I love looking at them. 😍

If I could find mine, I’d show you guys but I have no idea where I saved them oops.

9 pts: You’ve purchased book/reader related merch

Well, I purchased Owlcrate once! I bought their January box, and I really loved it (especially the blue and silver edition of The Gilded Wolves omg), although ultimately it’s too expensive for me to keep up with. :/

Source: http://readsleepfangirl.com/post/157301534472/needs-more-six-of-crows-merch

Bookish merch is sooooo tempting though omg, some of the designs and quotes and items are just SO CUTE AND PRETTY AHH. I just can never go on Red Bubble or Society6 ever, and then I’ll be fine. 😭😭

(I do think bookish merch can do sooo much more though in terms of books they’re inspired from, they’re terribly limited to the same few popular fantasy books ahaha, as much as I love them.)

10 pts: You’ve gotten a tattoo inspired by a book

I HAVE NOT!! (Can you even get a tattoo at 17?? I’m terrified of needles and the permanency of it all regardless but is it over 16 or over 18??)

I’m not sure if temporary tattoos count 😂 I was going to say yes, but I’m going to keep it a permanent tattoo just because that is very out there and a lot more extra than a temporary tattoo hahaha.

If you’ve done this, that’s so cool!! I’m in awe hahaha. If you have gotten a bookish tattoo, what is it and what’s it inspired by?!

Okay, I know this is a fun TTT list, but if you wanted to see, this is the verdict for the point tallying!! HOW EXTRA ARE YOU??

0-10: You’re not usually very extra, but you have your moments!!

10-25: You’re pretty extra! Very lowkey about it, but the signs are there!

25-40: You’re VERY extra, you might seem like you have a slight obsession?

40-55: This list just has your name all over it 🤷🏽‍♀️

I got: 35 points! This was adding all of them except for the last one (10), the 4th one about reading the book first since I don’t do it anymore, and the 6th one about the profile name ahaha.

Honestly, very tempted to say say a bonus of 100 points if you are a book blogger, booktuber, bookstagrammer or book influencer online in any way!! Because, let’s be real, that’s probably the most extra thing to do as a reader. In the best way possible!! 😂 💕

How extra of a reader are you??? Do you have a pet named after a fictional character?!? You don’t really have to add up your points obviously, but if you did just for fun, let’s compare?! What are some things you do/don’t do as a Extra reader??

I didn’t ask for perfect, but this is pretty darn close anyway // You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman REVIEW

Surprise!! I’m a student!!

And chances are, if you’re reading this, you are one too or you were one, at one time or another!

Which is why I was so excited to hear there is a book out there talking about academic stress and pressure, which IS BASICALLY MY ENTIRE LIFE RIGHT NOW.

Now I know everyone’s school experiences and attitude towards academics are different, but for a lot of people, in high school or even in uni/college, STRESS is a big part of it. The stress that comes from balancing too many courses or activities alongside life, and friends, or a bad mark in a course, pressure of parents, or yourself, it’s just… a lot. (Of course there are many other things that can cause stress, but in this context!)

You Asked For Perfect does not shy away from any of that, at all. Instead, it’s an honest and very real portrait of a stressed, high-achieving student and delving into the stressfulness associated with school and wanting to get into a good university!

And spoiler: IT WAS PERFECT.

The thing that stood out to me the most was the characterization. I could see them so clearly in mind; their aspirations, their goals, their stress and I related SO MUCH in different aspects. I could FEEL Ariel’s stress and pain so clearly, the pressure of holding up appearances, of trying to be ‘perfect’. IT BROKE MY HEART, GUYS. And that’s greatly due to the author’s wonderful characterization as much as it is my own experiences that cause me to relate and empathize with him!!

Ariel is just so RELATABLE AGH, and so soft!! His number one goal is to get into Harvard, and god, the secondhand stress in this one was REAL. I don’t have nearly as much on my plate as Ariel did, but doing IB has definitely added a TON of work to my life and it is very stressful! So in that sense, it was kind of adding to my already stressed-out self to read about Ariel’s stress lmao oops. But it was good!! It was relatable and very well written.

Even aside from academics, he was just such a sweet character? The most lovable disaster bi. He’s Jewish, and he loves his family and his younger sister so much, he cares so much about his close friends, and he’s just so dedicated? Ahh he’s so precious!! My heart hurt for him so, so much.

Did I mention Ariel was Jewish? I really did enjoy reading about some Jewish traditions and customs, and there were also several sentences in Hebrew (I think?) throughout! Religions outside of Christianity is not as predominant in books, so it was very lovely to see some Jewish representation!

I also adored the side characters!! Amir, the love interest (yes, this book has an m/m ship!! I’M IN LOVE) is a Pakistani-American aspiring doctor with a talent for photography (who is also a Ravenpuff; two of the best houses obviously, no I’m not biased at all excuse me???????) and AN ABSOLUTE GEM. He is the SOFTEST and I adore him so much?!

Amir’s family, is also SO awesome. His parents were actually such a great example of subverting the usual trope of Asian parents pushing/forcing their child towards a more “prestigious” (cue rolling eyes) job like a doctor, engineer, etc. as they instead wanted him to pursue photography, which he’s good at! LOVE THAT. Amir’s sister, Rasha, wears a hijab as well and I loved her so much! I also loved how supportive Amir’s family is of his sexuality (I don’t think it ever said, but from what it seems Amir is gay), it made me so happy to see a Muslim family accepting of LGBTQ+ people!! ❤ ❤

Sook, Ariel’s best friend, is a Korean lesbian musician who was also so lovely! Their friendship made me smile so much, even through their rough patches ahh. Y’all know how much I love friendships in books so I truly did enjoy Ariel and Sook’s friendship ahh. ❤ Malka, is Jewish and Sook’s bandmate and I also loved how we explored sort of her difficulties with college, so interesting!

I will say, as much as this book does kind of get tough and tense with Ariel’s spiralling stress and the inevitable decline, the ROMANCE. IS. ADORABLE.

Ariel and Amir make the most amazing couple, and I was just smiling SO FREAKING MUCH reading their scenes? It just made me so happy!! My comments about the romance are so short and basic but I literally can’t form anything other than SQUEALS AND GIGGLES CAUSE I’M IN LOVE.

Can I also say, I LIVED for all the Harry Potter references. PERFECTION. (Plus there was a B99 reference too 😍)

So, um, if you DON’T have this on your TBR ,,,,,,,,,,, WHY.

Literally only complaint is that I WANT MORE.

The characters, the authenticity with which Laura Silverman wrote just made this story so incredibly memorable and wonderful to read! PLEASE READ IT!!

Rep; Jewish, bi male main character, Pakistani-American & Muslim gay love interest, Korean & lesbian side character

You May Also Like…

*I haven’t read this one yet (I WILL) but I’ve heard from many people it delves into academic stress and pressure as well and it’s diverse!

Book synopsis:

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray. Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options. Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

Add to Goodreads!! That would be PERFECT, THANKS. 😉

If you want to purchase: Book Depository // Amazon // Indigo // Barnes & Noble

Have you read this book?! What is/was your high school academic experience like? Are there any other books you’ve read about academic stress? Let’s talk!

YA books featuring autistic characters that I’ve read & want to read!

April, is, as you may have heard, Autism Awareness Month!

(Better yet, Autism ACCEPTANCE Month)

Now, the idea in itself should be boosted as autism deserves awareness–and more than that, all-around ACCEPTANCE but I did want to mention to not support the organization behind this, Autism Speaks as it is INCREDIBLY harmful and does NOT actually speak for autistic people. This organization actually does the opposite of supporting autism, and uses its funding to look for a “cure” for autism, among spreading other problematic messages. For more details, there are a ton of articles online and you can check out this one as well!

Now.

I have read shamefully very few books with autistic characters! So to change that, I’ve compiled a list of books with autism rep for both me and anyone else out there who may have been looking for some to read!

I tried to focus on books that are either #ownvoices for the autism rep, or if they aren’t, have positive reviews from #ownvoices readers (aside from the ones I’ve already read). There are already too many harmful messages being perpetuated about autism and I really don’t want to boost books that contribute to that!

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde: This is SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK. I will scream about it to everyone, it is so incredibly diverse and fun and adorable aksakjkajk. One of the main POVs, Taylor, is autistic and has anxiety! It is also ownvoices for the autism rep, anxiety rep, and bi rep!! AMAZING ❤

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik: #ownvoices review // I really enjoyed this one! This isn’t ownvoices though. The author does have an autistic child I believe and it’s clear she put a lot of effort into writing good rep!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: One of the narrators and main characters, Zofia has many signs of ASD, but I believe due to the time setting where they wouldn’t necessarily have a label for ASD, it isn’t explicitly stated. I love her! (Not ownvoices) (*I’m still reading this book, but shh.)

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare: Not #ownvoices, but one of the key characters, Ty Blackthorn, is autistic and I’ve heard from many autistic readers that it was very positive representation! I adore Ty so much, and this series is also sooooooo good.

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum: PLEASE READ THIS #ownvoices review // This is listed here solely because I’ve read this book; I don’t actually recommend it whatsoever for autistic rep, as there are several problematic scenes and messages!

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: This is #ownvoices & the main character’s older brother is autistic!! This releases tomorrow, April 4th and I AM SO EXCITED! I haven’t found any #ownvoices reviews for this one since it’s… you know, not released yet but I trust the rep in this one! 💕

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis: #ownvoices autistic main character (who is also biracial; part-Dutch, part-Surinamese Black), plus “a prominent bisexual trans Black girl, as well as lesbian, Muslim, and Jewish characters” (from the author) AHHH this sounds absolutely amazing!!

The State of Grace by Rachel Lucas: #ownvoices review / another #ownvoices review // This is on the younger side of YA in terms of the main character’s age but I’ve heard lovely things about this one! Plus, it’s ownvoices rep! 🙂

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed: I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK ASKLSKLSK –> ft. Grace, a fat narrator, Rosina a Latinx queer narrator, and Erin with Asperger’s (now known as autism spectrum disorder) and anxiety!! Plus FEMINISM, and discussion (+TW) about rape, sexual assault . I KNOW I WILL LOVE THIS.

This is not ownvoices for the autism rep!! I do highly recommend reading this author’s interview to know more about her inspiration behind this book. **If you know of any #ownvoices reviews for this book, please let me know!! I have not found any!!**

When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger: #ownvoices review / another #ownvoices review // Not #ownvoices autism rep, but I’ve heard such good things about this one! This falls in the more upper YA end, too which is nice!

Also: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is also said to have #ownvoices autism rep! However, this isn’t YA; it’s an Adult contemporary romance so please don’t be misled on my account! 🙈 I know this list is covering YA books, but I had to include this as this is #ownvoices!! And I NEED to read it omg.

So I have a lot of reading to do!! SO much of my diverse reading has been occupied by books ft. POC, or LGBTQ+ rep which is great, but as an advocate for diverse books, I want to advocate for ALL diverse books, and that includes disabled characters!

I really did want to show a variety of opinions from #ownvoices readers, and I tried my best here but it was so incredibly difficult to find ownvoices reviews, so PLEASE:

If there are any ownvoices reviews you know of and want to boost, or if you’re an #ownvoices reader yourself, PLEASE don’t hesitate to send me a link to your review if you have one because I really do want to showcase ownvoices reviewers!

If there are any more books with autistic characters that any of you recommend, please let me know!! Especially books BY autistic authors!! I need more (good) neuro-diverse books on my TBR!! Also, if you’ve read any of these books, what were your thoughts?!

I had spring break, and yet I read less books??? // March wrap-up (+I got cake)

I READ SO LITTLE BOOKS THIS MONTH (in comparison to last month)… and it wasn’t even cause of a slump? I just didn’t have time?

I was almost not going to do a wrap up this month because of that haha, and then realized that was stupid because reading any number of books is great, and I read some lovely books this month!!

SO LET’S TALK BOOKS.

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills: THIS WAS SO CUTE AHH. I loved the focus of friendship alongside the sweet, slow romance ahhh it was adorable!!

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia: this book makes me enjoy dystopia again!! I am HERE for the f/f romance okay, I am utterly in LOVE with Dani, and the writing is so gorgeous I-

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir: THE POLITICAL INTRIGUE omg. I enjoy all the characters, but I don’t truly love all of them as much as I wish I did ahaha but I could NOT stop reading this book omg

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir: SHOOOK. Also so much political intrigue, again!! I LOVE IT. The scheming, the action, everything was just so fast-paced? With three narrators, there is never a dull moment!

This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender: This was cute!! Queer POC, with a disabled (deaf) love interest! They were adorable!! Didn’t particularly love some of the characters’ actions (especially how the MC kept screwing up in the same way and was kind of a douche to the LI but was always forgiven?) but it was a good read overall! 🙂

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake: I was holding off on posting this wrap up until I finished it today hahaha and I LOVED IT??!?! This is the book I NEEDED when I was younger, and honestly still needed now, this was so sweet and I connected with it in so many ways!!

  • I went to see our school’s musical production of Chicago, and it was so good??? All the singers were AMAZING, and the sets, the dancing and actors were all so impressive. And they’re literally only 17/18!! (and I’m out here being an untalented potato, but it’s fine) I had such a good time with my friends, too!
  • I had a week-long spring break during the week of the 11th! It was so nice to not have school, although I was (pleasantly) also super tired afterwards because my cousin from Boston came to visit and we went out EVERY SINGLE DAY 😂 To malls, to sightsee, to EAT POUTINE AND BEAVERTAILS 😍
  • Poutine, in case you’ve never had it (CRY) is basically the best food ever; fries, with cheese curds and gravy and IT’S SOOOOO GOOD
  • Beavertails, are not *actually* beaver tails and are a type of thin, fried-dough like pastry typically with lots of cinnamon and sugar (but there are a variety of toppings you can choose instead!) (I have photos)
  • Y’all, if you ever come to Canada…………. 👀
  • I had so much poutine during that week, it’s not even funny 😂 I think we tried 6 poutines, from different places? DON’T JUDGE ME.
  • We tried: KFC (the one in the photo), A&W, New York Fries, South St. Burger, Popeyes and Costco!
  • I think the winner was Costco and A&W, in terms of amount of food, the taste, and the price 😂😍
  • We had Beavertails twice, the first time we split one Chocolate Hazelnut, and the second time when we went with my sister, we got two; Chocolate Hazelnut again and an Avalanche one which was I believe was cheesecake with caramel and chocolate chips? DELICIOUS.
  • I had a photo of the options for Beavertails but I don’t have it anymore! Some of the other ones were maple, peanut butter and chocolate, chocolate and banana, caramel apple?
  • Soooo all of that made it so I didn’t get any reading or blogging (or schoolwork) done, but I can’t say I regret it! 🤷🏽‍♀️
  • I also turned 17 this month, on the 24th! (I shared some of my bookish birthday wishes if you wanted to check that out, I loved writing that post!)
  • My family and I went out for dinner on my actual birthday last Sunday, and then my friends and I are going out today to celebrate! (Since some of my friends were gone on the day of)
  • THE CAKE WAS DELICIOUS, THANK YOU FOR ASKING
  • It’s basically chocolate cake with a thin cherry spread in the middle! BUT CHOCOLATE CAKE. 😍
  • I GOT A LOT OF BOOKS AND GIFT CARDS TO INDIGO 😍
  • I have such amazing friends ahhh they are so sweet ❤

Okay, so these were the goals from last month, and I…. um failed spectacularly.

  • Read 8-10 books! –> I read 6 😅 Which, not horrible all things considered!
  • Follow my blog schedule! –> I posted 3 times out of the 12 times I had planned, and 2 of them weren’t even the same posts I chose OOPS
  • Blog hop more often/more regularly! –> 😭 I hardly blog hopped!!
  • STOP PROCRASTINATING. –> Who did I think I was???

I’m going to try keeping these same goals, but idk how feasible that is anymore lmao. Fingers crossed!!

How did your month go? This month seemed to go so quickly in the middle (probably cause it was spring break for me lmao)??? SHOOK. This year is going by so fast all of a sudden omg.

Let me know what books you read and loved this month?! Is there anything special you did? What’s your favourite kind of cake? Let’s talk!

(Also, I found out I reached 100 followers!! THANK YOU SO MUCH AHHH!! 💗💗💗)

Wherein I talk about how I’m a coward!! // Do you often venture outside your reading comfort zone?

HI, MY NAME IS ALINE AND MY TWO MOST FAVOURITE GENRES ARE CONTEMPORARY AND FANTASY.

Goodbye.

So far this year, I’ve picked up 13 fantasy books, and 15 contemporaries (and 1 historical)!! And although I didn’t track the genres I read last year, I can assure you MANY fell between contemporary or fantasy.

Which made me curious!! Because these are my favourite genres, and I… have almost exclusively been reading books solely within my favourite genres! But should I be reading books of other genres???

It’s not for any lack of interest that I don’t pick up other genres, after all; thrillers/mysteries, and sci-fi for example are genres I’ve tried and enjoyed before! (I just have not fallen in love with these genres, or perhaps tried them often enough to have the urge to pick them up more often.)

I know this isn’t a new dilemma. But it’s new *TO ME* okay. 😂 (Sort of. I’m actually *talking* about it this time rather than considering “do I read too much fantasy/contemporary?” lmao)

On the one hand, I believe we should read whatever makes us happy!! Comfort zone genres are… well, um COMFORTABLE. Even if every book holds a different story at an individual level within a genre, the familiarity with the genre just makes for a more easy read? (Maybe that’s just me and my cowardice speaking.) Not to mention that these comfort zone genres are genres I love! I enjoy them! I read for enjoyment! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sticking with what you know you love.

On the other hand, I also see the value in diversifying the genres we read! Becoming familiar with or at least delving into books of different genres more often will introduce you to different tropes perhaps, and styles of writing that you would not have known you liked if you hadn’t tried it! There are also just so many different types of stories out there, each with their own value, you know?

THIS IS WHY I CAN’T MAKE DECISIONS OR EVER ARGUE ANYTHING EVER.

Not to mention, reading outside of age groups!!

(Middle-Grade, Young-Adult, New-Adult, Adult.) I primarily read YA (as in, I’ve SOLELY read YA for the past several years lmao), and I’ve previously read Middle-Grade books and maybe a couple of Adult books? (Namely Victoria Schwab’s books.) But YA is my RIDE OR DIE OKAY.

I read YA because I enjoy the books that are written in this target age range, but I’m not opposed to reading MG or Adult (or New Adult)! I know MG is often less popular among YA/Adult readers because they’re for younger children but many are very good reads! I want to read more of them! Adult books, as well, interest me (although not so much the romance ones) but I just haven’t read enough of them to form a strong opinion.

I’m a lot less hesitant in picking up something that’s not YA than I am reading a genre I don’t often reach for?

Because regardless of the target age, if it’s in the same genres I like, there’s a good chance the types of narratives I enjoy will be repeated, but at a different maturity level. Like, I would be more comfortable reading an Adult fantasy, than I would be reading, say, historical fiction or horror in YA. Because the key elements that I love about the genre are still there, you know? Whereas genres like historical fiction, which I don’t typically read, are more unfamiliar to me.

However, I am a lot more likely to pick up a book outside my comfort zone if it’s by an author I already know and love! Which makes sense, obviously. Most authors have a certain “niche” or genre that they stick to, and right now I can’t think of any genre jumps, but I very eagerly picked up Victoria Schwab’s adult duology of Vicious and Vengeful after I read and loved her Shades of Magic (also adult) series and Monsters of Verity series (YA)! I’m also currently planning on picking up Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (MG) seeing how I loved the author’s YA books How to Make a Wish and Girl Made of Stars. (Also Dezzy really loved this book and so I must <3)

Basically: Do I want to read outside my comfort zones regarding genres more often? In theory, for sure! In reality, I am far more likely to continue to stick to my current favourite genres unless a book comes highly recommended or it’s by an author I’ve enjoyed before … which is not *great* (so if you have recs; throw em at me!!) I’m also far more likely to venture outside of YA than I am to read very different genres (or outside of YA AND in an unfamiliar genre)!! Especially with YA authors like V.E Schwab, and soon Leigh Bardugo* releasing books outside of the YA realm.

At the same time, I don’t want to impose any restrictions or requirements for my reading! I want to be able to read what makes me HAPPY.

SO BASICALLY I’M UNDECIDED.

*SCREAMING ABOUT NINTH HOUSE AHHH

What are some books you’ve read that fell outside of your comfort zone that you absolutely adored OR detested? Do you prefer trying to venture in the scary world of the unknown or do you typically stick to your favourites? Recommend me some books outside of fantasy and contemporary that you loved, if you have any! (Especially if they’re diverse; POC, LGBTQ+, disabled, mental illness… 👀)

TL;DR I NEED TO BE MORE BRAVE, we should read what we want, genres are a scam (jk jk) and I will never read all the books I want to anyway (facts but irrelevant lmao)!!