are you there spring? it’s me

I know I said see you next week in my post just yesterday, but here I am already, back again like a stuffy nose. In the movies, they always make being snowed in in the middle of a storm some big exciting, and usually romantic, adventure. Instead it’s Wednesday, I haven’t left my house in days, my car is surrounded in an inch of thick ice so and won’t open so I cannot leave, and I am running solely on coffee because I refuse to eat another chicken patty. The first day or so was nice. I got a lot of work done and was generally productive. Now I am pretty sure I am going crazy. The house is clean. My homework is done. My lessons are planned. I am so bored.

Being trapped in my house has gave me some reading time, which is really nice. I finished two books this week Wolfsong by TJ Klune and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I rated them both five stars because they are both extremely fantastic, although in very different ways.

Wolfsong was just, crazy good. I could not sleep until I finished this book. I could not eat, could not hold a conversation because I just needed to know what was going to happen. It was beautifully written, heart wrenching at times and hilarious at others. There were times where I just wanted to wrap Ox up and ensure that nothing bad ever happened to him ever again. So, I understood Joe’s desire to protect him even if I didn’t agree with how it all went down. Man. This was just a powerful book. It also featured one of my favorite tropes- found family. I cannot believe I have to wait until July to read the next one. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

Turtles All the Way Down is not your typical John Green novel. You can really see his growth as a writer in this book. It follows Aza, a girl who suffers from sometimes debilitating anxiety. The sections dealing with her anxiety are written really well. While Aza and I experience different types of intrusive thoughts, our spirals mirror each other and it was incredibly powerful to read about. This book was written beautifully. I had to stop every few pages just to highlight another sentence or two. (Sidenote: one of my favorite things about the kindle is that it groups all of your highlights together in a nifty little book automatically, which you can read at anytime.) I also liked how the romantic relationship was portrayed realistically and it did not overpower the main narrative.

I have downloaded a bunch of books to my kindle, so hopefully this craziness will continue to be somewhat fruitful. My goodreads is here, if you want to follow along.

Here’s hoping for some sunshine.


It’s flu season (tea, please)

Happy Friday, void. I hope this week has been treating you well. I am writing from my couch, where I have been all day because I have the freaking flu. I genuinely hate being sick. One reason is because I hate not feeling in control of my body. Another reason (and probably the biggest) is that being sick is a lonely business. I hate who I am when I am sick. I turn into this whiny, need person who cries in the car when she has to get her own orange juice. I can’t help it. I don’t know why I am the way that I am. Also, while you’re busy being sick everyone else in your life is busy with life and being able to breathe through their nose. It just feels incredibly disconnected, especially when it hurts to look at screens for any period of time.

Getting sick is just par for the course, though. If you didn’t know, I am a kinder teacher which means that I am essentially surrounded by germs at all times of the day. Hopefully I am able to kick this flu soon because I already have so much homework to do.

That’s right! My college classes have started up again as well. If you’re thinking this is the worst possible time to get sick, well you would be correct. I really like all of my classes thus far. I am taking a couple education classes, a mythos class, and a history/literature class. I am only taking one class on campus, the rest are online. I designed it this way so that I could work more! It’s also really convenient because I have a crap load of classroom observations to do, so my schedule is a lot more open.

Reading this week has been blah because I’ve been busy, sick, and busy being sick. My waning mental health hasn’t helped either. I did manage to get to three books, though!

First up, I read Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. I gave it three stars. It was okay. It’s the first of a series but I have no intent to finish reading them. I really loved some parts of this book and really hated others. I really only finished because it was such a short read.

Next I read Love Her Wild by Atticus which I gave 2 stars to and eventually DNF’d it. It didn’t really seem to have any sustenance or new ideas to it whatsoever ever. It was like scrolling through someone’s quote blog.

I finished up this week with A Royal Affair by John Wiltshire. I gave it two stars. It’s part of a duology which I will not finish. Ohhhh boy, this book. This is another one that I thought was just okay. This book has such potential, I was really excited to read it. When I finished I just felt blah about it. It felt slow sometimes and rushed others. I really hated the ending. I think the romance could have been flushed out better. I wish there was more than one female character. I wish characters had motivations that really felt genuine. This book left a lot to be desired.

As for next week, I don’t have any concrete reading plans! Will I finally (FINALLY) get to Release by Patrick Ness? Will I go to the library and tackle my growing TBR? What will be the next book to make me cry? Will I even survive the weekend? Who knows!

As always, thank you for listening, void. See ya next week. xx

Weekly Wrap-up

Happy Saturday, void. I hope this week has been kind to you. Last time I wrote I told you I wanted to reread the Captive Prince series and that I wanted to finally (FINALLY) get to John Boyne’s latest novel. I have done both of these things! Let’s get into thoughts.

I wanted to reread Captive Prince because I couldn’t really remember what happened in the series and it is faced a lot of controversy in the bookish community. The first time I read the series, it took forever because I repeatedly put the first book down because I couldn’t get through it. It seemed weird and gross and not at all what I was expecting. I did eventually read all three.

After rereading last weekend, I can definitely understand how people could find issue with it but I, personally, did not. I do think that the second and third books are much better in comparison to the first, as they don’t feature the so prominently the heavy issues of the first. I read all three books in one day. It was a really quick read. Overall, I thought they were okay. Well written, developed characters, interesting plot.

The last book I read this week was The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I finished this book three days ago and I am still struggling to describe how I felt about it. It was amazing. It was enthralling. At times funny, at times heartbreaking. There were times I literally had to walk away from the book, it was so heart clenching.

The book follows the life of an Irish man Cyril Avery as he navigates family, love, and truth. This book was so well written. These characters felt so real to me, their lives so real. Don’t let the size of it intimidate you, it really is such an intense, fast paced read. I rated it 5/5 stars. If you’re looking for a good fiction read to start your year off right, I highly suggest this book. It will make you feel so many things. Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

And that’s it for my reading this week! While my TBR is pretty lengthy, nothing is quite popping out at me so I’m not sure what this next week’s reading will look like. What is your reading looking like so far? If you’ve read Captive Prince, what are your thoughts? Lemme know down below.

Stay warm out here, void. Talk soon.

Book review + weekly wrap up

Just about one week done in the new year. I hope it’s been treating you well, void. Last night I finished my first book of the year, We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union. It is a collection of essays that detail certain parts of her life. Even though I normally don’t read non-fiction, I was really excited because I love Gabrielle Union. I have loved her as long as I can possibly remember. She’s an amazing actress, she’s funny, she’s socially aware, she’s an activist, and she’s absolutely beautiful.

Her book did not disappoint. I laughed at some parts and I cried at others. There is a part where she talks about the aftermath of her sexual assault that really just resonated with me. She talks about having to face the door whenever she goes out to eat, still, and that awareness is something I still struggle with today. I loved that she was honest and bare bones about her life and her struggles. I know for a fact that this book will sit with me for a while. I’m so glad it was the first book that I read this year. It feels like a good omen. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I encourage you to do so! It is an excellent, quick read.

On to my weekend reads. In very me fashion, I’m ignoring my very long TBR and am instead reading something I’ve already read. I am a serial rereader. It’s a thing. I’m currently rereading the Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat. I finished it two years ago, I believe, but I wanted to revisit it because there’s a lot of controversy around it and it’s changed my opinion of the series. I want to give it another go, because I can’t really remember what happens and I can’t really remember if I liked it or not.

Once I finish with that series, I really want to get to The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I picked this book up a few months ago through Book of the Month but I just haven’t got around to it even though I am really excited to. I have heard lots of good things about it and I really loved his last novel. Also I just found out that Madeline Miller has a new book coming out and I am so freaking geeked. Miller wrote my second favorite book of all time, The Song of Achilles. I am ready to see whatever she does next. It is another mythos book, which I love, so I’m looking forward to it.

I think that’s it for this week. What have you read or are reading this first week of the new year? What are you excited to read? Let me know in the comments. As always, my goodreads is here. Have a great weekend, void.

Book review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray 

A couple of weeks ago, I finished Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I am however just now getting around to the actual review part of the whole process. I heard about this book from a random text post on tumblr and thought I would give it a try. The premise is a group of beauty pageant contestants crash onto a seemingly deserted island, and have to survive until, or if, help ever arrives. So like The Lord of the Flies but with way more interesting characters and circumstances. 

Beauty Queens starts off wild, and ends wild. It’s an adventure from beginning to end, and it’s just really, really fun. That’s what I loved most about this book. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, while still presenting honest and genuine characters. Even characters I found myself indifferent too, towards the end of the book I really found myself loving and appreciating. I’m looking at you, Taylor. 
Taylor is presented as gunslinging, blonde haired, blue eyed, Miss Texas Teen Dreamer. She eats, sleeps, and breathes Miss Teen Dream. She is the leader of the pack. She’s resourceful, she passionate, and at her core, she really does want the best for the survivors of the crash. 

What’s remarkable about Taylor is that she’s presented as a hard to like character, an overdrawn stereotype even, but by the end of the book, you genuinely care about her and her story. 

Now, let’s talk endings. I try to be as spoiler free as possible and I’ll continue that trend now. Generally, it ended pretty neatly and positively. There are a few things that I wish were wrapped up a little better and not left so ambiguously but all/all I was satisfied. I honestly really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, fun read. 4/5 stars for me. If you enjoy satire, or just need a break from the normal, I think you’ll really find a place with this book. I highly recommend it. 

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson review 

It’s Spring Break! Which is pretty exciting, even though I’m definitely working pretty much everyday over break. I get to sleep in though! Which is pretty exciting. 

So! On to the fun stuff. I think enough time has passed so that I can talk about how much I really really loved At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson. Earlier this year, I read We Are the Ants also by him and decided to embark on a 1-person mission dedicated to reading everything he’s ever written, because I loved it that much. 

Hutchinson does this incredible thing with his characters that makes them so real and tangible. In At the Edge of the Universe, we follow Ozzie who has woke up in a world where he is the only one who remembers his best friend and boyfriend Tommy. And oh- the universe is shrinking. We’re introduced to a wealth of characters and each of them are well rounded and developed, you get to know them all so well. 

This book also deals with mental illness and it deals with it honestly, no sugar-coating it or making it seem glamorous. It’s something that’s very important to me, so I love and appreciate how well handled it is in all of his books, especially this one! 

At the Edge of the Universe is such an honestly good book. Great characters, great plot, twists to the very end. 5/5 stars. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you read this and his other books! You will not regret it. 

February Wrap Up 

Every year, February feels like a dream. Nothing significant ever happens to me in February. I can’t tell if it’s because of the short month, the weird weather, or if Feb is really just doomed to be forever a placeholder month. This month has been pretty boring but kind of productive. I did read a lot of good books, though. In this post, I’m going to: quickly wrap up the books that I didn’t post a review for, touch on how I did with my goals, and reflect on this month as a whole. Let’s jump in. 

Book Wrap Up 

There are a couple of books I read that I didn’t write full reviews for, for whatever reason, or I wrote reviews for but didn’t post them, for whatever. First up is, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. 

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan follows the life of Lily and her friend Snow Flower. They are a pair of laotongs, an emotional match that last through their lifetime. The book follows the pair through childhood, arranged marriages, pregnancies, and other major life events. It’s told from the perspective of Lily. 

I really enjoyed this book. This was my first contact with the footbinding so I learned a lot about that. This book it mostly about the importance of communication and how platonic love is just as important as romantic love, which are both concepts I support and can get behind 100%. I give this book 3/5 stars. 

Next up is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. 

 Homegoing is able to expertly define characters in short periods of time. We get such a rich view of a vast family history. There’s never a point of confusion. There’s even a family tree included before the first chapter even begins. Even though each character only gets one chapter, the author still managers to fully introduce and really flush these characters out and it’s amazing to experience. 

This book was an amazing experience and an amazing story. It makes you wonder about your own family and wonder where you come from, what intricacies have been lost down generations, and what things have stood the test of time. I loved the concept and I thought it was expertly executed. There were times where I wanted more time with certain characters, where my heart broke for certain circumstances. Overall, 5/5 stars. Read this book. 

Favorite books this month 

  • What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera 
  • Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson 
  • How to be Happy by Eleanor Davis 
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward 

Goal Wrap Up 

  • 2/4 5ks ran, I lost steam and energy halfway through, honestly. It’s been weird. 
  • 5/10lbs lost 
  • More fruits and veggies ate! 
  • Book reviews for all the books I finished posted 
  • More water drank 
  • Daily writing in gratitude journal 
  • Exciting exciting exciting 

That’s all I have for you, February. It’s been weird. In a few moments, I’ll begin working on my March goals post. I wanted to make them seperate posts this month because I wanted March to stand on its own. Partly because it’s my favorite month and I have high hopes for it every year. How did you do for your February goals?