all of the great contemporary reads, lots of stress but lots of books! // February 2019 Wrap Up

GUESS WHO’S BACK AND HAS READ 15 BOOKS* IN THE SHORTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR!!!

This gal!!

I’m actually so happy with this, February was a busy month for me (hence my unexpected two weeks wish hiatus!!) so THIS IS A SUCCESS.

*Fine, two of them I had started at the end of January. BUT IT COUNTS OK.

  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo: 4(.5?) stars / I have a very gushing review you can check out, but I really enjoyed this!! I adore Nina and Nikolai to no end. ❤️
  • The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan: 4.5 stars / I am very biased because I FELT SO SEEN through the rep of a Bangladeshi-American sapphic teen in this book, and I have no regrets!! I CRIED.
  • Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: 3.5 stars / I wish I had enjoyed this more, because it was a sweet story, but it was a tad bit too slice-of-life for me? (or maybe I just wanted them to GET TOGETHER SOONER ahaha oops)
  • The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf: 4 stars / ft. a historical setting of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, a Malaysian Muslim teen with OCD, broke my heart!
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: 3 stars / ft. a black teen, unexpected A Christmas Carol vibes, and social awareness 💔 It just felt too quick for me to connect to the character?
  • Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon: 4 stars / ft. a bisexual Jewish boy and his best friend Sophie who’s in love with him; sort of messy, but the greatest character development and I’m soft for the m/m romance !!
  • Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi: 4.5-5 stars / ft. a Thai protagonist with anxiety, and a troubled boy who likes to bake!! The sweetest, slowest-burn romance omg over text. I ADORED THIS SO MUCH
  • Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed: 4 stars / such a heartbreaking, powerful read tackling forced arranged marriages ft. a Pakistani-American protagonist 💔😭
  • Odd One Out by Nic Stone: 2.5 stars / I really do appreciate all the diversity in this book, especially the ownvoices black main characters but I just did not enjoy this book? And I’m so sad cause I loved Dear Martin! I just did not enjoy any of the leads, either through another character’s POV or their own. It made it very frustrating.
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas: 4.5 stars / A book from the QUEEN! I loved Bri’s story, so much love for the family relationships and social awareness omg
  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: 3.5 stars / ft. summer romance, a slice-of-life novel following a queer protagonist and journey of self-discovery 💕
  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde: 4.5 stars / ft. the softest romances, all the nerdiness, a biracial and bisexual Asian-American with ADHD? (in a f/f/ romance!) as well as a fat character with anxiety and on the autism spectrum! 😍
  • Always Forever Maybe by Anicca Mrose Ricci: 3.5 stars / deals with an abusive relationship that was so hard to read ahhh
  • Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno: 4 stars / ft. a SOFT AF f/f romance and magical realism!! (also tackles rape 😭💔)
  • Noteworthy by Riley Redgate: 3.5 stars / ft. acapella, soft friendships and an Asian-American protagonist!

I mean, I only have like 4 to choose from, but I loved writing my discussion on the lack of romance tropes for marginalized identities! Diversity in books is something that means a lot to me, and I want so much to see so much more in YA books regarding diverse populations, including tropes. 💕

  • I!! Had!! So!! Much!! Work!! School KILLED ME 😭
  • I got my report card and went down in some subjects, but up in others? I’ve been able to maintain my 90+ average so far, but idk how lmao pray for me
  • Valentine’s Day was a flop but I bought chocolate for myself and it was delicious 💁🏽‍♀️
  • I went to an escape room with my friends to celebrate a friend’s birthday! WE ESCAPED 💪😊
  • Someone stole my money at work last weekend!! I had a good amount of cash (plus two toonies) and an Indigo gift card, and they were all gone 😦 My debit card and Tim’s card was still there, but I’m wondering if I should be worried the person took a picture of my debit or something?? Am I just being paranoid? No purchases have been made but what if they use it to buy something online?? AM I CRAZY?
  • This month was pretty bland otherwise!! Mostly stressful though omg.

I see some people doing this and thought I’d give it a try! I don’t usually set a ton of goals for myself, so we’ll see lmao

  • Read 8-10 books! (March is VERY busy for me, and even though I have spring break I really doubt I’ll get as much reading done!)
  • Follow my blog schedule! I want to be more organized (in one aspect of my life anyway, it’s not happening for school) and I’m hoping to post a bit more often this month!
  • Blog hop more often/more regularly! I don’t know how feasible this is based on my schedule, but I’m going to aim for Friday to be my blog-hop night 💪 I love reading and commenting on other posts, I just have no time!
  • STOP PROCRASTINATING. (Says me as I procrastinate on homework by writing this post, whateverrrr)

What was your favourite book you read in February?! Mine was probably The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali and Emergency Contact! I can’t believe it’s already March oh my gosh. Do you have any goals, or anything special coming up for you?! Let’s talk, I missed you guys!! 💕

What Makes the Perfect Ship? // ft. My Favourite Couples In Books

Let me preface this by saying: I have a HECK TON of YA ships I would DIE FOR.

(Let’s not put that to test though.)

Over the years, quite a many (literally most of them, give or take a handful) books feature a romantic relationship. And okay, not all of them are good (ahahah @ The Selection days) but there are several that were SO GREAT I LOVE THEM TO DEATH.

But how do you KNOW which ones are the amazing ones and which ones aren’t? (Ya just do, Aline, stop questioning everything uselessly) LET’S SEE.

  • ft characters that are strong individually, and together 👬
  • ft characters who complement each other
  • ft characters who don’t hold each other back 🙌
  • ft characters who have CHEMISTRY 🔥👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩
  • ft characters who don’t “cure” their partner’s demons, but helps them to defeat them themselves 💪
  • ft a slow burn hate-to-love relationship 🔥😠–>😍 (always a win unless it’s just done very badly lmao

I feel like my favourite couples tick at least one-two, if not more or all of these “criteria”?! Some of it just makes SENSE. Like if they don’t have chemistry? Ship is sinking. If the characters are boring or their sole winning characteristic is when they’re with their partner? Ship is sinking. If the characters are strong individuals, and just FIT together?? SHIP HAS SAILED, AND I’M ON THAT SHIP OKAY.

So in honour of Valentine’s Day coming up and to comfort my very single status, here’s some of my favourite ships*!! In case you are looking for the perfect romance this Valentine’s Day 😉

*I’m linking up with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) prompt: Top Ten Favourite Couples in Books!

Literally all the ships from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo but particularly KAZ & INEJ and JESPER & WYLAN ❤ ❤ ❤ (Okay that’s 2/3 so I might as well also scream NINA & MATTHIAS)

  • Kinej has such a unique, heartbreaking relationship, I just…!!! They complement and contrast each other SO WELL yet are similar in so many ways aaaah
  • Jylan (?)/Wesper (?) is such a PURE and wholesome ship?? Jesper and Wylan are both so precious and to see them both support and lift each other up is the most beautiful thing
  • Natthias / Mina (??) HATE-TO-LOVE! (Mostly on Matthias’ side but whatever) These two have such an opposites-attract relationship and I LOVE
  • What is the ship name for all these characters, idek. Perhaps using their last names? Ghrekker? (no.) Brafa? (No.) Helvik? (?) Zelvar? (Maybe?) And Wesper is actually kind of cute! I’m not quite sure whether any combos of Van Eck (or Hendricks) would work with Fahey …
  • THIS ISN’T EVEN IMPORTANT WHY AM I DOING THIS

Jem & Tessa / Will & Tessa from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare: not gonna lie, I was tempted to put “Jem & Aline” or “Will & Aline” there for a second BECAUSE AH MY FAVES. 😭

Lei & Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan: LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL F/F SHIP IN FANTASY CAN I JUST??!?!?! It breaks my heart to see what they must go through but I ADORE these two. What an amazing ship 😭

Monty & Percy from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Monty is such an idiot but I love him!! Their relationship was just the cutest and most precious omg.

Lila & Kell and Rhy & Alucard from Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab: Am I cheating a bit? Yes. Do I care? Nope!! Because UM HI THESE TWO COUPLES ARE AMAZING. I adore Kell & Lila’s relationship, and Rhy & Alucard’s banter is so fantastic.

Simon & Blue from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: The cutest!! Their emails to each other made me smile so much and made me so happy

Lara Jean & Peter in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: COVINSKY IS SO AMAZING AAH!!! I so want to reread this books now ahahah

Shahrzad & Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: What an amazing hate-to-love romance OH MY GOD. So spectacular and literally all the feels!!

Tanner & Sebastian from Autoboyography by Christina Lauren: THE SWEETEST. SO PURE. BEAUTY. GOODBYE.

Tella & Dante from Legendary by Stephanie Garber: It was either this or Lira & Elian but I’m going with this one because that book had me SHOOK okay and it’s just… ahhhh all the chemistry between these two!!

Honourable mentions: Lira & Elian from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (THEIR BANTER), Helen & Aline from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare (WHAT A beautiful HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP AAHHH)

Also can I just make a note as to how little f/f ships I have on here? I have ONE. ONEEEEEEE. I need more in my life omg 😭 GIVE ME RECS.

What makes you love a particular ship/fictional couple? What are some of your favourites?! (I need to live vicariously through the romances of fictional characters okay) Oh and if you have any m/m or f/f favourites, non-binary or QUEER ❤ favourites for that matter, let me know because I CRAVE more of them ok. They’re fabulous AND I NEED MORE. Also if you’re participating in this week’s TTT, feel free to link your post as well! ❤

The month of fantasy, basically // Books I read this month

My first post, woo!!! I’ve been debating making this blog since the start of the month, but, well, here we are at the end of the month. I’m still high-key overwhelmed to think it’s already been a month of 2019? I’m still back in 2010, ok.

Anyway, this month I read 12 books, which is really good! Two books were rereads (Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom !!!!!!!! aka the BEST BOOKS EVER GO READ THEM) but the rest were all new to me.

Biggest disappointment

I mean, out of 12 books. But still.

I was expecting so much more from Solitaire, to be honest! I didn’t hate it, but after really enjoying I Was Born For This, this one definitely didn’t quite live up to my expectations. The plot was messy, there were several aspects which I just felt weren’t executed well… I don’t know. It’s complicated.

Favourites:

Legendary truly captivated me so much, I was so invested and god was I SHOOK at that ending! The world is so amazing, and I loved this one so much more than the first book. I NEED Finale. Omg.

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom were MASTERPIECES as usual. I loved them so much. If you haven’t read them………… I will not share my cookies ok. That is a threat. I have to say, although I didn’t love the Grisha trilogy as much as Six of Crows, I did enjoy the books! It was interesting to finally have read them after all this time haha.

*whisper* I did not love The Cruel Prince, buuuuut I did enjoy The Wicked King! So many twists and turns and that ending, like the first one begs so much more aaaaah.

Shout out also to The Brilliant Death as well for the especially cute and slow burn romance of 2 non-binary main characters!! Diversity in fantasy is where it’s at people. ❤ ❤

Also: The Poet X was a beautifully written, and nuanced piece of work in verse, that I enjoyed so much! It explored sexism, relationships, the complex nature of strict parents, and so much more. ❤

What were your favourite reads this month? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let’s chat!