Wishful Thinking about TBR Authors I’d Like To Emulate



As we bid November adieu, I am following the prompt for Top 5 Wednesday’s last one for the month. The topic is the authors I wish I could write like (or be like). Because I talk a lot about books I am reading or have already read, I want to share some of the authors I have not read anything from yet. Surprise! Also, for whatever reason, this list is only featuring women. Whoops.

5. morgan rhodes

I am stupidly pumped for Falling Kingdoms. Perhaps this is a foolish feeling, but I have a good feeling about it. Part of my reasons for liking Morgan Rhodes is because of how she approaches fans. From what I hear, she doesn’t treat her readers as though they’re immature. Her characters sound complex, the relationships slow building and real, and I am here for this.

Besides, I am noticing a lot of trends with fantasy writers, and Rhodes doesn’t seem to be copying anyone. I genuinely think all that “Young Adult Game of Thrones” is just marketing oversimplification.  I want to be like her just for the gutsy take on a complicated story format while still making it accessible to readers. I mean, the chances of me ever reading a George R.R. Martin are nonexistent, because of the content. Rhodes’ text seems more approachable.

4. gail carriger

My experience with a popular steampunk novel (The Girl in the Steel Corset) was ill-fated. Now, my approach to this genre is tinged with wariness. But, I have a really good feeling about Gail Carriger, just by looking at her interviews on YouTube. Her books’ covers are gorgeous, too. And, I want to be like her: creative, charming, and committed to a genre that feels authentic to who I am as a person.

3. Cathrynne m. valente

All I read about her books is how inventive and strange they are. In particular, I am thinking of Deathless, which baffled many people. I have heard of her newest book, one involving the Bronte sisters, and even that one garnered much confusion. And, listen, that is awesome, because I think complex texts like hers allow for personal soul-searching with the book. You start to see yourself in the story, rather than follow the “right” interpretation. What a cool thing to elicit in a reader’s mind.

2. sabaa tahir

Being a woman of color in the writing world sounds intimidating. Sabaa Tahir carries herself with such grace and confidence. I don’t follow writers on Twitter (or social media in general), but, from what I’ve seen, her tweets are hilarious and poignant. Furthermore, her books take on an manifesting an uncommon inspiration (Ancient Rome!).

 1. angie thomas

As of the time of writing this post, I have not officially started reading Thomas’ The Hate You Give. So, she obviously makes the cut. I am in awe of how necessary and brave the story itself is. It’s hard to speak out and share experiences; naturally, I admire Angie Thomas for doing so with grace and kindness. Besides, she really calls people out on their crap, which is amazing.


Honorable mentions

Roshani Chokshi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Marie Lu.


I am having a particularly rough time existing, so I am taking advantage of post
Ah, welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday where I break the rules. This is becoming
Getting redeemed is often reserved for villains, but today, I am going to be talking

Top 10 Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit



It is time for another Top Ten Tuesday, a meme run by the lovely folks over at Broke and Bookish. This week, the topic is our top 10 bookish settings we’d like to visit. Warning, though, some of these settings are real places. I just want the journey there to be with certain characters from books. Ready? Let’s go.

10. the spiritual/fairy realm in a great and terrible beauty by libba bray

For whatever reason, this story has stuck with me since the early 2010’s. I remember the girls transforming into brilliant, strong, and empowered women in this realm they’d go to. I’d like to be there, explore my identity in such a seemingly idealistic setting.

9. prague–daughter of smoke and bone by laini taylor

I have read snippets of this first book. Even after many years, I still remember this setting, and the shop with the teeth. Karou and her blue hair, her family, and the beautiful world she lives in (even if it is a huge responsibility to be able to cross worlds like this). First, I plan to read the series. But, then, I’ll wait for Karou to show up, and perhaps she can introduce me (or at least put a good word in for me).

8. sitia–poison study by maria v. snyder

While I think the writing and development of this series is a bit weak, I do love Yelena and her journey to belong. Like, Ixia was a scary and dangerous place, and, in comparison, Sitia is so nice. I just like her family a lot (still trying to warm up to Leif). Jungles, and climbing, colorful clothes, and snake charming. I like it a lot. I doubt I’d survive, but maybe I can just sit with her mom while she makes perfumes.


7. Lara Jean’s home–To All the Boys I Loved Before by jenny han

Lara Jean is someone I really love. For a long time, I was embarrassed of that, because I am “too old” to connect with such an immature character. But, I love her family, and her world sounds so endearing. I’d like to have sisters to bake with, write sweet letters, be surrounded with pink stationary and pastel walls. Yep. Sounds like heaven.

6. paris– anna and the french kiss by stephanie perkins

There is something really cute and sweet about this story’s setting. I don’t want to just go to Paris. I want to be there with Anna and St. Claire. Again, a lot of people have mentioned that the love story here is based on cheating. I acknowledge this point. However, I do adore these characters, their journey across Paris and into each others’ hearts.

5. 300 Fox Way–the raven boys by maggie stiefvater

I’d like to hug Blue, and maybe sit with her while she eats her yogurt. Maybe her mom can hang out with us and we’d talk about spirituality and meditation. I can share some essential oils, and we can sit by the candles while Blue and her cousin argue. And, every once in a while, I can interrupt and disrespect Blue’s cousin, because she enrages me quite often.

4. the burrow–harry potter and the chamber of secrets by jk rowling

Part of my need to visit the Weasleys lies in my feelings towards the family (but not Ginny). Ron and his family are delightful and warm, kind, sweet, and very real. I find them to be brave and quirky, honest and loving the Muggle peeps like me. Besides, I have a feeling that Molly Weasley gives nice hugs.

3.furthermore–furthermore by tahereh mafi

This is surprising, because I am not that much of an Alice in Wonderland fan. Still, this world is so colorful, bizarre, and bewildering. It sounds like a scary and fun time (all rolled into one). I don’t know what kind of person I’d be in that world, but I would like to visit anyway.

2.small town–since you’ve been gone by morgan matson

Bike rides, swimming, ice cream, and to do lists of adventures: that’s the kind of setting I like. In other words, I love the open fields with Emily running with Frank. I like the gymnastics place where she picks up her brother. Everything about their little town sounds so charming and peaceful. So, I would like to go there.

 1. new york– the sun is also a star by nicola yoon

So, New York is vast and scary to me. I know my anxiety would’ve flared a lot had I ever set foot in there. But, I think with the two main characters, I could be (mostly) okay. We can go to museums, have dinner, maybe sing horrible karaoke. Furthermore, we can smash stereotypes, and laugh a lot, hug each other, have a wonderful time together.

Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn't matter if you can do your
Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than

The Spotify Playlist Project: Turtles All the Way Down


After finishing Turtles All the Way Down, I immediately began to work on my newest Spotify Playlist Project entry. A tumultuous and intense story centered on the mind, I dug through mellow tunes to articulate the feeling of being in that head space.

Let’s go.


“Without Lights” by Elliot Moss reminded me of Aza, and her identity, validity, and her ability to go on a quest for the missing billionaire. By the same token, I really like the image of the girl lost in the forest portrayed in the song. It makes me think of Aza’s search for her own mental health coping mechanisms.

Painting Greys” by Emmit Fenn.  Kind of a Daisy song, but mostly comments on living with OCD as well. “She got my heart in a choke hold.”

“Let You Down” by NF. Aza’s theme, to me, is about her inability to keep her OCD and depersonalization in check. She loses herself often in the metaphors, in the cyclical thinking, and in the impulsive actions driven by her obsessions. “All these voices in my head get loud/I wish that I could shut them out/I’m sorry that I let you down.”


Easier” by Mansionair is the theme for Aza in her attempts to be with Davis. A song dedicated to her exploration of sexuality and affection under a lens with OCD taints.

“Lost Tonight” by Sa-Je materializes the transcendent lost feeling that Aza has while on the quest for Davis’ father. In addition, Noah’s connection with her is also alluded to here.

There is a specific scene I have in mind for “Yours” by SG Lewis. It involves webcam or FaceTime. The cuteness of Aza read Davis’ blog is also evoked by this song to me.


“Six Feet Under” by Billie Ellish colors in the image of Davis’ father and his fate. I feel like the song has less to do with literal connections, and, instead, it communicates the nature of this man and Davis’ mother.

“Better Off (Captain Planet)” by Ziggy Alberts is the hopeful connection between Aza and Davis, “If I could be your Captain Planet/Would you be my girl.” In a way, the song touches on the scenes with watching the stars and planets, too, and all the moments Aza watches space movies with him. (I love these scenes so much).

Secret for the Mad” by Dodie Clark speaks to me on an emotional level. I think Aza would like this song on her computer, in a playlist for when things get rough again.

“Moon Song” and “Tonight You Belong To Me” are all about that ending, “…no one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.”

Listen along

Hi. This is my first Spotify Playlist Project entry of 2018! As a series, this collection
Given that my review of The 100 season 3 went up a few days ago,
  It's been a while since my Spotify Playlist Project entries have rolled on this

The Birthstone Book Tag

The lovely Julie from Pages and Pens made a video on this tag. I thought it would be nice to do my own take on it. Essentially, it’s a list of all birthstones and each stone correlates with a book related question. Ready? Let’s go!

1. January (GARNET): Associated with warding off negative forces and dark energies – Name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of.

Umbridge from the Harry Potter series is a terrifying person. I know she’s not even the main villain, but I find Dolores Umbridge terrifying because she’s rather relatable. This is particularly true given the extra info JK Rowling provided on her.

2. February (AMETHYST): Purple is associated with royalty – Name a book with regal qualities… You can base this off of characters of choose the King of all books

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab has one of my favorite royal families in literature. I think of Rhy fondly.

3. March (AQUAMARINE): Washed out – Name a ‘wishy washy’ character, a character who is not strong or a follower

UM. Luc’s brother in Weight of Feathers was so wishy washy and abusive, I can’t even begin to explain. I have surprisingly suppressed knowledge of his name. That’s how much I dislike him.

4. April (DIAMOND): A diamond in the rough – Name a book that you loved but is not well known

Oh no. I think most of my books are fairly well known, but the Falconer trilogy by Elizabeth May doesn’t get enough love.

5. May (EMERALD): Said to balance energy – Name two characters who balance each other well

First, I want to go on record to say that Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger balance each other beautifully. While I see the appeal of Draco being with my favorite bookworm, I much prefer Ron as a companion to her.

6. June (PEARL): Associated with loyalty – Name a character who is loyal to the end

Derrick from The Falconer. Loyal to the end.

7. July (RUBY): Blood red – Name a book that made your blood boil, one that made you angry

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainanni. Here’s another one, too, that ticked me off:  The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.

8. August (PERIDOT): Pale green (it pales in comparison to other gems) – Name a supporting character who you like better than the main character

I have to agree with Julie on this one, Kenji from Shatter Me. Also: Nikolai from Shadow and Bone or Grisha verse, in general, is exceptionally awesome. Simon Lewis, Maia Roberts and Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series are people I wish had bigger roles in the story. I love Lissa Dragomir way more than Rose Hathaway in Vampire Academy. 


9. September (SAPPHIRE): Blue like the ocean which is calming – Name a book that had a calming affect on you

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I am surprised by this experience, honestly. The book is set so far in the future, and it is in outer space, that I am mostly amused by the resilience of human nature. Plus, it’s really funny. (I am about 25% of the way through).

10. October (OPAL): Iridescent – Name an iridescent book, this can be a book with a beautiful cover (Shiny? Lots of color?) or you can base it off of a character (Quirky? Colorful?)

Furthermore  by Tahereh Mafi is fairly centered on colors, and the setting is rather peculiar.

11. November (TOPAZ): Associated with resilience – Name a books with a character who rises to the top in a time of adversity

August Flynn from This Savage Song along with Kate Harker.

12. December (BLUE ZIRCON): Associated with friendship – Name a book with a friendship you want to be apart of

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater has one of the most precious friendships I had ever encountered. I love everyone in this friend group.

I sound like a broken record, but I am trying to recover from this bout
My incredible friend Ely posted her answers to this Book Personality Challenge a few days
As I watched Marines' video of this tag, I felt that it would be a

Top 5 Books I am Grateful that I Read This Year



Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday, a meme based on a Goodreads group. In this group, there are topics generated for the book community to list their top 5. This week, I will be listing the top 5 books I am grateful that I read this year.

5. the sun is also a star by nicola yoon

It was not a perfect book, but it highlighted things that I worried about as an immigrant coming to the states. Concerns about identity, stereotypes, and belonging all sprang up in this book in a sensitive and yet honest way.

4. Not a drop to drink by mindy mcginnis

This book posits really difficult moral questions in an intense yet simple way. I am grateful for Lynn and her mother, Lucy, and Mr. Stebbs. They brought forth a tough discussion on compassion in trying times. In no way was this story idealistic in its approach to these choices we have to make. And, yes, we aren’t in a post-apocalyptic world (debatable honestly). But, I will say that we still have to make a choice about the kind of people we want to be in the face of adversity and difficulty.

3. A Monster calls by patrick ness

Call me entirely too romantic, but I find myself thinking of this story often. It’s about letting go of people, releasing connections we once thought were necessary. It’s about the loss of innocence in the face of death. Most importantly, it about speaking your truth and facing yourself. Being honest with yourself in terms of troubles, pain, and frustrations. I love this book. So grateful that I have read it this year.

2. more happy than not by adam silvera

This book made me see my complicated relationship with my past. Like, I sometimes assume that things were much better before I sought help. Erasure of the past, if it ever is an option, is something I wish for often as well. And, this book showed me that time and events have a complicated relationship with the development of a person. Also: consequences of radical actions (like erasing a past) are beyond the scheme of what one assumes to be possible and predictable.


 1.  turtles all the way down by john green 

Ah, jeez. I am so in love with this story. It really spoke to me about relationships (friendships) and mental illness, particularly anxiety and depersonalization (both of which I have officially been diagnosed with). The story is moving and funny, sad and hopeful all at once. There are references to spirals, which is something my mom always points out to me in my behaviors.

And, I just keep thinking of this quote from this book, a book written by my favorite author:

“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”

This is an accurate description of these spirals I get into. I’m thankful for finding representation in this book, and for feeling understood.

I am having a particularly rough time existing, so I am taking advantage of post
Ah, welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday where I break the rules. This is becoming
Getting redeemed is often reserved for villains, but today, I am going to be talking

Top 10 Characters I am Grateful for



Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by the lovely The Broke and the Bookish. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I will be deviating from the prompt because it is exactly the prompt for Top 5 Wednesday. I’ll be discussing my top ten characters I am grateful for this season.

Let’s go.

10. Raisa from the demon king by Cinda Williams Chima

This queen heir is driven, curious, clever, and brave. I just like that she is willing to learn more about her  people rather than live in ignorance. Plus, she doesn’t rely on people around her to inform her of what her country is like. Instead, she goes out there to see for herself. And, I love her so much.

9. felicity from the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue by mackenzie lee

Felicity, my soul sister, has the best lines in this already-hilarious-and-poignant-book. I love how different she is from people of her time. She’s progressive, clever, and so funny. Plus, that ending with her next adventure is just perfection. I cannot wait to read her story.

8. the falconer trilogy by elizabeth may

I am grateful for the female characters in this trilogy. Elizabeth May features abuse survivors and it means the world to me to see women building each other up. The way they encourage one another, and sympathize and connect together was so moving to me. Can’t say who deals with what, obviously, but these ladies meant a ton.

Oh, and obviously, I will always be grateful for Derrick, my love.

7. diana from lord of shadows by cassandra clare

Strong, resilient and beautiful: these are some of the ways I describe Diana. Cassandra Clare introduces strong women in her stories, and with each series, she brings in even more different ways for strength to manifest. While I love Emma and Clary, Diana made my heart sing. Obviously, she and Maia will be my babies forever.

6. shadow and bone by leigh bardugo

“I am not ruined. I am ruination.” I am grateful for this line and the person who says it. Hands down one of the coolest moments in my year.

5. a darker shade of magic by victoria schwab

Delilah Bard is my dream self and my dream friend all rolled into one. I just wish I had her guts and her confidence. Having met her in the book is a highlight of my year, because I keep thinking of her. If you ever stumble on my Tumblr, I am always looking for quotes and moments about Delilah Bard. Needless to say, I am ever so grateful for her.

4. weight of feathers by anna-marie mclemore 

Lace and Luc, my precious babies, I loved meeting them, and witnessing their beautiful love story unfold in this debut by one of my favorite authors. Where are all the fan videos and the mood boards, and the fan casting? Come on, peeps, get on it!

3. six of crows by leigh bardugo

Oh my Lord. How much do I love this cast of characters, I will never be able to fully explain! Kaz, my gloomy child, and the rest of his team made a lasting impression. Inej and Nina are people I wish I’d become somehow. Wylan, Jesper, Matthias made me laugh and choke up.

2. the raven cycle by maggie stiefvater

My darling Blue Sargent, my intimidating and yet total cinnamon roll Ronan Lynch, Adam, and Gansey: I am grateful that we met this year. Their friendship is so beautiful. To the dearest ghost I have ever met, Noah Czerny, I think of you often. I am grateful you exist.

 1. harry potter series by jk rowling

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley are my favorite buddies of all time. There are many things I don’t like about this series, so many flaws and I wish the author would take ownership of such mistakes. But, still, it was an effective story, full of incredible characters. My dear Neville Longbottom, you are fantastic. Luna Lovegood, Tonks, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and so many other characters I carry with me always. I am grateful for this series.


Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn't matter if you can do your
Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than

BR: Turtles All The Way Down



I was surprised when John Green announced his newest novel, Turtles All the Way Down. It felt very sudden and miraculous, almost. Believe me, I try not to be a sap about things often. But, this book was immediately a favorite, before I had even read it. I’ll come out and admit it:I am a John Green fan. Here are some of my thoughts on the book.


Best friends Aza and Daisy gather up clues on the missing billionaire in their town. His sons Noah and Davis try to come to terms with his disappearance. Some talk of a tuatara lizard, which is a word that my computer doesn’t even know it existed.

mental illness

I don’t mean to exaggerate here, I am genuinely expressing my admiration for this book’s honesty and raw featuring of mental illness. From my own experience, I think Aza has the depersonalization that I deal with daily. I admit that mine is a bit more exaggerated than hers, but it was still moving to see her sessions with Dr. Singh.

When she deals in metaphors because her pain is so intense, I was nodding along. Part of me wanted to snap-shot the whole book.

The invasive thoughts, intrusive and powerful, were terrifying. My own experience is not so much focused on bacteria. Instead, my brain is invested in what I cannot control: people’s perceptions and my value as a human.

Besides, the way this anxiety shakes up the foundations of relationships, be it friendship or romantic ones, even parent-child relationships. Heck, I’d say even Aza’s relationship with Dr. Singh is rocky because of it.

John Green gets this weird reputation of glamorizing illness. Listen. This is in no way fun or romantic. If anything, it is destructive and dwindles any bit of connection Aza has with anyone. Even Daisy, who has been her best friend for years,  communicates her frustrations .

the mystery

While I wasn’t too much of a fan of the Holmes last name here, I did like the mystery presented in the story. Davis and Noah were crucial to humanizing Pickett.  I think John Green always deals with people in a sensitive and cautious manner. It is hard not to be emphatic toward characters in his stories.

I felt so much compassion for Davis and Noah. Maybe it’s because I don’t have much of a paternal connection myself. Davis and his blog was also incredibly moving and powerful as a study of human psyche and emotion. He deals with so much loss and frustration. People assuming that wealth equates to entitlement was heartbreaking, because Davis asks for such simple things. He wishes for them, not really asks for them.

privilege and wealth

I think the novel certainly presents some good insight for readers to consider. Daisy, Aza, and Davis all posit that there is more to wealth than material things. Let me tell you, I hate it when people assume that John Green writes “philosopher” teens. Listen, teens are people. They vary. For me, if I had read this book as a teen, it would have blown my mind away because it articulated things that preoccupied me all along.


Daisy reminded me of my failed friendships. I just got out of an old friendship from college days, and I was flinching a little whenever Daisy and Aza had conflicts. In a way, Daisy is still a refreshing response to mental illness. I’d rather have someone tell me what to work on. I was mostly isolated with every friendship I had, because people did not know how to work around my weirdness.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have a friendship that lasts as long as Daisy and Aza’s relationship. My illness manifests differently, and dynamics vary from person to person.


Some of you may know that I lived in Egypt in the 90s. I was
The Love for V.E. Schwab I started reading V.E. Schwab's work about a year ago.
        **Before I continue, I have to credit the following brilliant photographers:

The Netflix Chronicles: The 100 Season 3 Midway Point Reflections

It has been a while since I have done a Netflix Chronicles update. So, here it is: I will be talking about the show I have been watching regularly. The 100. I have now reached the midway point of this season. As such, flailing and anxiety must be shared.

Warning: spoilers may lie ahead


Dealing with the consequences of season 2, Clakre is now called Wanheda and everyone is looking for her. Her connection with Lexa leads to some attempts to create peace between the Grounders and the Sky-people. But, chaos reigns within a few episodes. So, don’t get too excited.

Wanheda x heda

Speaking of which, I have to discuss this Wanheda/Heda business. Two people in a position of power, and yet conflict pressures them a lot. It is kind of like an elaborate dance, because neither Clarke nor Lexa ever seems distressed by all the tension between their people.

Also: like, all the backstabbing and the secrecy is hard to watch because I love Lexa and Clarke. They’re awesome people.

Bellamy and the angry mob mentality

Sigh. Look, I love Bellamy. I really do. But, he slips into this angry rage in season 3. I don’t know how much more he’ll screw things up. I mean, you know we’re in trouble when Bellamy is a threat to Clarke.

Just saying.

Besides, the tensions between Team 1 (Bellamy, Pike and gang) vs. Team 2 (Kane, Abby, and Octavia) is really intense. Okay.

jaha and alie marching on

Man, I don’t know what to make of ALIE. Like Abby, I remain rather…unsure. But, hey, they got Raven. So that’s kind of epic because Raven is super critical of things like this.

Moreover: Otan or whatever his name is. I hope this doesn’t bite Emori and Murphy in the butt.


This boy has the CRAPPIEST luck of all time. I don’t know if I am 100% sure of Emori yet (she reminds me of Echo…shifty). He tries to survive through this poop-fest of a life that he’s leading so far. And, while I do understand that he tries to make sense of the history of commanders and the lady who keeps appearing (oh jeez. I don’t know how this is going to come together as a single cohesive story-line. Not being sarcastic. I am seriously unsure how it will work out eventually).

To be continued…


    The Netflix Chronicles are back. If you are new here, the Netflix Chronicles
It's been a while since I did a Netflix Chronicles update. This particular one will
      I finished watching season 1 of The Good Place on Netflix. Here are some

BR: Monsters of Verity Duology


I finished reading the Monsters of Verity duology over the past two weeks. My mind is blown, and my heart has felt such a range of feelings. In short: I want to share some thoughts on this story. Let’s go.


The story begins with the Seam. It is a line separating two little towns. One of them has monsters. The other has humans. Humans wear medals to get their safety under the reign of some jerk named Callum Harker.

Two characters are at the center of this tension-filled city: August Flynn and Kate Harker.  They have no contact.

Until August goes over to her school as a transfer student.



Kate is Callum Harker’s daughter. He is the leader of their town, the protector of humans. And yet, Kate has a dark backstory and metal nails. She has been kicked out of schools for the past couple of years. [See backstory].

August Flynn is a monster. Born out of violence, he is trying to be human. He attempts to fit in with human beings, and he is apologetic for his monstrous nature.

When the two characters bump into each other, chaos ensues.

Also: No, this is luckily mostly a non-romantic story.


What I love about this story, like many of Schwab’s novels, is that deals with morality, and consequences to choices. It zeroes in on nature vs. nurture, humanity, and the nature of monsters.

In addition, it is an exploration of compassion, survival, friendship, and vengeance.

This duology is just perfection. I enjoyed it to the moon and back, and that’s not even an exaggeration.


I’d give these two novels a 4-4.5 star rating. My qualm is with pacing in the second book, particularly early into the story. It takes a while for things to happen, and so it kind of slowed down my reading for a little bit.

But, when things start moving, you better clear your calendar. This story will take over your world.

Some of you may know that I lived in Egypt in the 90s. I was
The Love for V.E. Schwab I started reading V.E. Schwab's work about a year ago.
        **Before I continue, I have to credit the following brilliant photographers:

Top Ten Books That Will Give Me Cool Aunt Status



Top Tuesday is a meme created by the lovelies over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, a topic is listed for bloggers to share their top ten books or characters that relate to the prompt. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I am going to be discussing my top ten books that will give me cool aunt status.

Let’s begin.

10. the hunger games by suzanne collins

A trilogy that correlates with strong political commentary but coupled with an intense plot and pace would definitely earn me some points. Look, Katniss Everdeen, along with all the people around the Hunger Games,  face serious choices to make, with very high stakes. Plus, the movie adaptations are pretty good, too. Aside from the casting, which still kind of bothers me sometimes.

9. the weight of feathers by anna-marie mclemore

This book is somewhat slow moving at first. As such, my cool aunt status will not be attained quickly. I am okay with that, because this story packs a punch that “Romeo and Juliet” doesn’t quite manage to accomplish. I do think they’d learn more about adversity and family feuds better through this story. Plus, beautiful costumes and art drive this tale. I think my nephews and nieces would like this book eventually.

8. not a drop to drink by mindy mcginnis

Just like The Hunger Games, I think this story has a lot of weight to it because it seems possible to happen in future. The questions of morality and compassion posited by the author would provide just enough tension and jog (to put it lightly) some thoughts into the nephew and nieces lives, interactions, and discussions.

7. Monsters of verity duology by victoria schwab

Yep, it surpasses Shades of Magic series because I think it warrants a more urgent discussion on evil and choice. I doubt that forgetting August and Kate will ever be feasible. I mean this in the most honest sense: I think of them often.

***Next are books I have not read yet, but they are on my shelves*

6. illuminae by amie kaufmann and jay kristoff

I have not read this series yet, but dude, I know the format will be a ton of fun to experience. All the cool kids have read this series, and while I am not cool (yet), I will make sure my future nephews and nieces know what’s hip.

5. and i darken by kiersten white

Another unread book on this list, but I like the alternate takes on history that are out there in literature right now. So, this one sounds really promising, even though some people say it starts out slow. If I may, I want to add another one that I have not read: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman. We can talk about erasure of queer figures in historical texts, too.

4. ash by melinda lo

It’s embarrassing that I haven’t read this on either, but I WILL. And, when I do, those poor nephews and nieces will be exposed to a fresh take on Cinderella. And, in the words of Harry Potter in his musical, “It’s going to be totally awesome.”*

*If you haven’t seen the two Harry Potter musicals, you must remedy this soon. They’re so good.

3. chaos walking trilogy by patrick ness

While I do fear for this trilogy’s adaptation, I still look forward to reading it. A world where people can hear each other’s thoughts sounds terrifying and interesting. Plus, gender, freedom, and cute dogs are relevant to the story.

2. Beauty queens by libba bray

A remake of a classic, and it is far more inclusive, this book sounds like an interesting read. I have skimmed through this before, and it has this reality-television setting that made me smile.

 1. turtles all the way down by john green

OCD representation and discussion of friendship, plus some detective work. Another bonus for me is that this is a book by one of my favorite authors ever. I think the nephews and nieces may like this one, too. (I hope so).


Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn't matter if you can do your
Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than