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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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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Nothing like starting off the new year with high expectations, right?
Okay, that may not be the most common saying ever, but we’re using it today because it’s time to take high expectations for the new year to the next level. Now that we’ve gotten all the it’s-a-new-year-and-a-new-decade posts written and published, I think it’s time to finally partake in a five star predictions post and set some specific reading goals for the next couple of months.
I was inspired for this post by Caitlin (she’s amazing, go stalk her blog right now, please), and when I did a little more research on this I discovered that it’s a thing that a lot of people do. I have to say, it looks like so much fun! I never use TBRs, so this is a new thing I’m trying here.
My hope is to share around five or six
or more books on here that I’ve heard good things about and have high expectations for, and then I’ll make an effort over the next few months to read these books. Then I’ll do another post checking in and I’ll be able to see just how accurate my five star predicting abilities are. I’m using my recently cleaned out TBR to write this post (I cleared off 77 books off, are you proud of me?), which makes the whole thing even more exciting.
Without further ado, on to the predicting!
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2019 was a lot of things, and one of those things was a good reading year.
I discovered many new favorites, went out of my comfort zone with books (a little), experienced book hype, and found new authors I love. Yes, there were slumps and disappointing books, but at the end of the day, I look back on what I read over the last twelves months and feel satisfied and happy with it.
So even though this is a very typical book blogger move, today I’m going to be talking about the ten best books I read. My hope is that this post can give you a few recommendations (because don’t we all need our TBRs to grow larger) and allow me to scream one more time about the books I loved in 2019.
There are a lot of books I wish I could include on this list, but I only reread them in 2019, so I don’t feel as if I can count them here. I also wish I could pick an exact order and rank the books accordingly, but I genuinely can’t pick an order, so this post is not necessarily in an order of how good I felt the book was.
Enough of me rambling, on to the books!
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I’m a big fan of realistic fiction.
And it’s true, the YA contemporaries and novels that I read on a daily basis are normally pretty realistic. That’s one of the reasons I like them so much- I love relating to the characters and their situations, I enjoy books set in a world I already know so much about.
But I have to say, throughout all my time as a realistic fiction reader, I have come across many a thing that don’t seem to happen in real life- at least not to any old average person. Me being an average person, I tend to notice these unrealistic things.
One day, when I was complaining to myself about the unrealisticness of it all, I realized that this would be the perfect topic to write a blog post about! What better way to figure out if other people agree with me on these or if maybe my life is the odd one out instead of the lives of the characters I’m reading about?
I won’t know the answer to this question until after I publish this post and read the comments from it, though, so without further ado, let’s get into my list of things that happen in books but don’t happen in real life. Or at least don’t happen in my real life.
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Us Potterheads are very obsessed with our Hogwarts Houses.
From my first time reading the series, when I thought I was definitely a Gryffindor just like Harry, to a few years ago when I decided I was a Ravenclaw, to taking the Pottermore test and realizing Hufflepuff is where my heart is, I’ve always loved having House pride and hearing what houses other readers were.
Nowadays that the stereotype of the Houses only being good, bad, smart, and kind have (I think? I hope?) been mostly abolished, it’s even more fun to do everything House-oriented. Buy merch! Put it in your bio! Create an aesthetic for your House! Shout it from the rooftops! And, most importantly, give book recommendations based on your House. 😉
Today I’m going to be sharing five book recommendations based on the Hufflepuff House (#puffpride) and I’m so excited to be posting this alongside three other bloggers I love and admire, Charis, Kelly, and Xandra. Kudos to Charis for putting this all together and finding Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff (that’s me) bloggers to share recommendations for their House!
I will be linking all the other posts at the end of this post so you can also go read a list of recommendations for each of the other Houses! I really hope you go read them and see all the incredible recommendations each blogger has brought to the table.
Before I get started, I just wanted to give a quick disclaimer that this is not the first time I’ve seen this post done! I think House-based recommendations are a fairly common topic, so if you’ve done this and I use some of the same books as you, that is definitely purely accidental and rest assured I don’t have a good enough memory to copy anyone’s post, like, ever. Some books are just so Hufflepuff-esque that I’m sure they show up on rec lists all the time.
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I have a love-hate relationship with August 2019.
Part of me loves it, because it has some summer memories attached to it, there are new Taylor Swift songs to obsess over, and I started watching a show that I now love. But the other half of me only associates this month with school starting, and that’s where the hate part comes in.
August was an odd month filled with a strange mixture of good and bad, so much so that I honestly can’t decide if I liked this month and am sad to see it go or if I disliked it and am glad it won’t be around for another year.
From somewhat reading, to somewhat blogging, to somewhat having summer vacation, to somewhat starting back at school, to somewhat confusing myself at this moment, August was interesting. Let’s recap it, shall we?
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As a blogger, I feel like I spend most of my time saying “I should read that book.”
Every time I read a book review or book recommendations post, I leave a comment talking about how much I want to read whatever books were talked about in the post and my TBR gets larger and larger.
Even though I’m stuck in a perpetual state of “too many books, too little time,” I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hearing about new books and deciding I want to read them is one of my favorite parts about blogging! It’s enhanced my reading experiences so much. All that to say, though, it makes for a hefty TBR.
When the lovely and kind Elizabeth from Red Gal Musings (please go check out her amazing blog if you haven’t already! it’s one of my favorites) tagged me for the I Should Read That Book Tag, I was so excited because this gives me a chance to talk about a lot of the books on my TBR. I just really love rambling about books.
Maybe doing this post will inspire me to clean out my TBR a little?
It’s scary. I definitely hope it reminds me of some of the great books out there that I still haven’t gotten around to!
Without further ado, onto the tag.
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