Hi, blogging world. Long time no see?
It would be an understatement to say that I’m excited to be writing this post. After a really long absence from blogging (technically a year, but more like two years), I’m hopping back on here to talk about all the books I’m excited about reading this summer.
Just because it’s been so long I feel the need to first say that I’ve dearly missed this space and the people in it. Abandoning my blog was never intentional, but rather a byproduct of my life becoming so busy. However, one of my goals for this summer for myself is to start putting energy back into my passions, so here I am, blogging again and relearning how to be creative and share my love for books. :’)
Lately I’ve been compiling a little list of books that I either want to read for the first time or reread this summer while I have some free time for reading, and I’m really psyched to share it! Without further rambling on my part, onto the books.
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It’s been a long time since I last read a book that left me feeling viscerally changed. That is, until I finished reading When We Were Infinite a few days ago.
Sitting in the back of my family’s minivan, hurtling down a highway in Tennessee as rain pounded the windshield, I just stared at the blank page at the end of the book and thought- about the novel and the characters, yes, but also about how my life would never quite be the same now that I had read it. I could tell that the emotions I’d felt and the thoughts provoked by what I’d just read would be staying with me for a long, long time.
I’ve always read only recreationally, but ever since I started blogging and especially as I’ve become more involved in the world of Goodreads and ratings and reviews and to-be-read shelves and releases, I’ve become a much more critical reader. I no longer rate a book only on my enjoyment, but I’m also considering so many other factors as I read: do I truly like the characters? Am I bored at all? Is the writing exceptionally good?
Within the last year, I’ve found myself rating very few books five stars, and often I’ll already be thinking about the rating I’m going to give a book as I’m reading. (This might be unhealthy reader behavior.) When I was about a fourth of the way into When We Were Infinite, I knew it was going to be five stars. When I was halfway through When We Were Infinite, I knew I was going to need to talk about this book with someone, anyone. By the time I finished it, I knew that writing a blog post solely about this book was non-negotiable.
I’ve (much to my dismay) abandoned my blog terribly over the last school year. I wish I could attribute it to just being busy, but I know the reasoning lies much more with a lack of motivation or compelling content to blog about. But after finishing When We Were Infinite, I was overflowing with motivation and a desire to get all my thoughts out about this novel. Even if they’re scattered, even if this post isn’t as formatted as I normally would want and doesn’t follow the patterns of my ordinary content (something that caused me a lot of anguish over whether or not I should even post this), I ultimately decided that this is my book blog and there is no right or wrong way for me to talk about a book I truly loved (with no spoilers). So, here’s me doing just that- and thank you for being here. :’)
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I don’t think I’m alone in the feeling of falling in love with fictional characters...
…or at least I hope I’m not. I’m not just talking about falling in love romantically, either. There are so many different ways that I can fall in love with a character. Sometimes, yes, I want to be with them, but sometimes I want to be them. Sometimes I wish I could be their best friend and sometimes I wish I could be a part of their family- no matter how it happens, I fall easily for people who are nothing more than just words on a page.
Just because I want a reason to talk more about the characters I *love* and because I’m interested to know if I’m the only one who finds themselves in love with fictional entities, I decided this would be a good idea for a post. I’m expecting to fangirl a lot in this because once I start talking about my favorite characters it takes a lot for me to stop. :’)
But someone please stop me once I mention Richard Campbell Gansey III for the 1000th time.
*clears throat* But anywayyy, I’ll be discussing a lot of different types of love and I hope that it will be able to give you some recommendations of what you should read if you’re also looking to fall in love with a new character. Onto the post!
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Way back in January, when the world wasn’t turned upside down, I made some five star predictions.
I like how my January self thought that I would do an update post on what I ended up thinking about the books in March, and here we are in August and I just now finished reading them all (I think that’s fairly representative of 2020)…but even though it took me much longer than I thought to read them all, I did it within the year and I guess that can be some sort of accomplishment!
I haven’t looked back on this list in a while, other than to occasionally see what books I still had left on it, so this post is basically going to be testing just how psychic my January self was. Or at least how well I know my reading tastes. (Although a fun fact is that my friends always joke that I’m psychic because I have pretty good intuition and I also somehow always manage to guess what song is going to be played right before it comes on, but I’m no Adam Parrish).
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Taylor Swift released a new album, and in conclusion, I am not okay.
I don’t exactly have the words to explain my happiness when I found out about the surprise release of Folklore, but I won’t lie, there were tears. Taylor Swift has been my favorite artist since her debut album released and I spent hours laying on the floor next to my CD player memorizing every song, and while I’ve loved everything she’s put out, this album has a special piece of my heart.
I could go on and on, but the lyrics (her best ever), storytelling, and genre (indie folk/soft pop/alternative?!) could not be more perfect. It’s genuinely my favorite album yet and!! I haven’t stopped listening to it or screaming about it since it released. So you can imagine my excitement when Ilsa created The Folklore Book Tag, and now I can talk about the album here while also talking about books!!
A major thank you to both Ilsa and Rhi for tagging me- I’ve loved talking about this album with both of them so far, so this was especially happy.🤍 I’m very much looking forward to talking about the songs, sharing my favorite lyrics at the end of each song, and tying them back to books using Ilsa’s prompts!! (Also, I will be using the graphics she created, so a thank you to her for that too.)
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I’m back again with more mini reviews!
As I’ve said a few times, one of the good parts about quarantine for me has been getting back into reading frequently. I didn’t realize quite how much I’d gotten out of the habit of reading consistently until I recently looked back at some monthly recaps from late 2019 and saw that during the school year I sometimes…didn’t read anything at all the whole month.
Knowing that I’ll probably be in a similar situation like that again (though at this point, I would welcome in-person school stress, knowing my school will probably be online for the foreseeable future), I’m trying to take advantage of all my free time to read as much as possible! That’s resulted in me having read a lot of books that I would very much like to scream about and recommend to you.
To follow up with my first mini reviews from quarantine post, I’m going to be reviewing (in a bullet point fashion) some more books I read so far during quarantine! I’m unfortunately very behind on my reviewing, so these are mostly ones that I read in May but I will be doing more to talk about ones I’ve read in June and July as well.
I’m writing this post while absolutely freaking out about Taylor Swift’s surprise announcement of her new album, Folklore, coming out in (at the time of me typing this) around six hours, so I feel kind of like I’ve just had ten shots of espresso. Hopefully my nervous and excited energy translates into enthusiastic reviews and not rambling, muddled ones??
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Tropes. What would books be without them?
The answer, naturally, is less cliche. But even though tropes represent major cliches in books, I definitely don’t think that undermines their ability to move a plot along, develop characters better, or overall make a reading experience more enjoyable! It really just depends on how they’re used, the frequently with which they’re used, and if they’re able to be effective in the story.
There are a ton more tropes besides just romance ones, but I thought it would be fun to go through some of the most well-known tropes often seen in YA fantasy and contemporaries, and rank them according to how much I like reading them!! If I have a particular book (or books) that fit with the trope and I want to recommend, I’ll do that too.
This is just my opinion, and whether you agree with my ranking or not, I hope you can at least relate to some of this post- and I’m very much looking forward to the comments section because I would love to talk about what everyone else’s thoughts are on all of these. Without further ado, to the ranking!
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Fictional worlds have my whole heart.
I’ve been in love with books for as long as I can remember, and I think the fact that I’m even here, blogging about books, speaks to that. More recently though, maybe in the past three or so years, I’ve also fallen in love with fictional worlds in multiple TV shows. I love talking about both books and television, so I thought it would be fun to combine both of those loves into one post!
So because I’m actually a Fangirl™ I’m going to be giving book recommendations based off of some of my favorite TV shows. My hope is that if you’ve seen the show and enjoyed it, you might be able to find some books to read. But alternately, if there’s a book you enjoyed, you might get a show recommendation as well!
Don’t take this as an exact translation, since I’m going to focus more on the overarching themes or specific characteristics for each book, but hopefully it can be a pretty accurate depiction of the show versus the books. Also, I think I’m being creative by writing this post?? But if it turns out it’s already been done, please know that I wasn’t aware.
So, for lack of a better way to start the post, let’s get to the recommendations!
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It’s that time of the year again.
I know it, you know it, the WordPress Reader definitely knows it- it’s time for everyone to freak out about everything we’ve read in 2020! Although I’m unfortunately still behind on my Goodreads challenge (will I ever catch up?), I’ve read a lot of books worthy of all the love and appreciation so far this year, and I’m so excited to scream about them in this post.
I’ve participated in this tag the past two years (my 2018 and 2019 posts), so even though I’m cutting it close by posting this on the second to last day of June, tradition must continue. Besides, it wouldn’t really be June if I didn’t spend at least a little bit of time having an existential crisis over what I have and haven’t read so far, right?
Thank you so much to Sophie and Abi for tagging me in this! I definitely recommend that you read both of their posts (Sophie’s here, and Abi’s here) and check out the rest of their blogs too, because they’re both phenomenal people and bloggers. I really appreciate them tagging me and I’m very excited to get to answering these questions!
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Me, reviewing books?
This is when you know the quarantine has gotten to me. I’m mostly kidding, but actually sort of not, because I just went back to look at my previous posts and realized the last time I wrote reviews (and they were mini, not even full) was in July. Which was almost a year ago. So I’d say this post is way overdue.
One good thing about being at my house almost all the time now is that I’ve been able to read a lot of new books!! I read some of these books using Overdrive, but some of them are ones I’ve owned for a while and never got around to reading and then realized how disappointed I was in myself for having an unread book on my shelf, and with the free time, thought it would be even more disappointing if I didn’t read it now. Both access to books online and unread books on my shelves allowed me to have books to read even in this time of staying inside.
Thankfully, after spending March and April trying to get access to books online, my library started doing curbside pickup in May! Now, in mid-June, they’re opening back up with distancing measures and mask guidelines and everything, and I haven’t gone yet, but I’m hoping to go really soon.
Anyway, I’ve read a lot of books I enjoyed and wanted to talk about in the last couple of months, and after promising mini reviews both in my April and May recaps and going through the comments to make sure I’m talking about all the books people wanted to hear about- I’m finally actually writing them! This post was originally going to include over ten books, but it was getting way too long, so I’m only going to talk about five books in this post and review the rest in a part two later this month.
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