Hi everyone! Over the next month, I’m doing a series of posts about bookstagram because my two year anniversary is coming up! Over two years, I have learned so much and I think I’ve really… More
Today has been SO LONG. I remember the day after election day in 2016, I cried because I did not expect the person who won to win.
I honestly mentally prepared myself for the worst today. However, when I woke up, and it wasn’t called, I felt impatient. Like, just tell me who wins!!!
Now? I feel numb. It’s hard to be hopeful seeing that so many people voted for the person who’s president right now again even after seeing four years of this mess.
Yes, whatever happens, there will still be work to be done. As a teen, I know I have so much more to learn. I could not vote this year but I will in 2022, ’24 and all of the elections after that.
I wasn’t planning to post but these are just a few of my thoughts. Here for everyone.
October somehow went really well? Online learning is challenging but I feel like I’m retaining information more than I did last spring and my teachers are SO accomodating. Somehow I posted thirteen times on my bookstagram, which is pretty good considering the fact I had 5 tests last month. My blog has been a bit neglected: I posted five times in October vs. thirteen times in September. As for my mental health, it’s pretty good. (I am trying my best to avoid the Internet tomorrow.) I’ve also surpassed my Goodreads Challenge goal by 13 books so far, which I honestly was not expecting
- Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson – This is for sure one of my top books of 2020. I need to convince my school to add this to the curriculum because Grown changed my worldview forever. I highly recommend reading Jackson’s author’s note as well.
- Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore – OMG, have you ever seen a more perfect author duo? This book combines magic, social events, and what it’s like to be a teenager so well. That ending almost made me cry happy tears.
- Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar – Star Daughter is enchanting, beautiful, and will draw you in. I think this is Thakrar’s debut novel and she does amazing. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
- Any Day With You by Mae Respecio – As an adopted Filipino American teen, a book like this would’ve pushed me to research my homeland earlier. Any Day With You is so important and visibility is so important. I don’t read a lot of realistic fiction middle grade books but I loved this one.
- Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe – Philippe is one of my all time favorite authors. The way he writes teens is so well done, and Henri is awesome. I’d want to be friends with him if he was real. Also, I relate to Corinne so much (almost a little too much).
- This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi – Hello this book takes place in my favorite city in the world!!! Not many YA books are set in Chicago, and I love this book so much almost for that reason alone. Also the fact that this book is about three girls trying to save their local bookstore in Wicker Park.
- A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir – Tahir does it again. Elias has been through so much, and it’s so sad and heartbreaking and I just want him to be happy. (Also, Helene is a colonizer/supports colonization. So I don’t mind if she dies in ASBTS.)
- Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald – I AM NOT OVER THIS BOOK. It is intense, brutal, and will leave you gasping for breath. Emanuela is so amazing.
I read 13 new books, which is pretty good, however, I am in the middle of reading 14 new books and
Well. I sort of met my September goals: I have not started Rebel Rose or Clues to the Universe yet, but I will soon. I didn’t really do any Halloween themed bookstagram posts, but it’s ok. October was so good and I am kind of nervous that November is going to not be as good because I currently have all A’s in my classes (except AP Psych oof). On the positive side, I have my AP Research problem statement done and I have found 18 sources, and by the end of this month, I should have 30+. Also, my first MUN conference is next month!! I don’t think I’ll win anything but it’s fun. I also won a physical ARC copy of Wings of Ebony and I AM SO HAPPY!!!!
- Post on bookstagram 9 times and on my blog more than three times. I already posted today and find that taking pictures when I feel motivated is best. I also have a lot of blog ideas, which is good.
- Read 5 new books and finish the 20 books I’m in the middle of reading.
- Write ARC reviews for Skyhunter, Like Home, Clues to the Universe, and Rebel Rose.
How was your October? Any goals?
Very exciting news for Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame duology: her local bookstore, INTERABANG BOOKS, will be offering signed and personalized copies of WE FREE THE STARS and WE HUNT THE FLAME. Each purchase includes an exclusive art print, just to say thank you for pre-ordering while supporting a local business.
This is a VIRTUAL SIGNING for personalized copies of the WFTS hardcover, and WHTF in paperback and hardcover. As someone who is making their way into this fandom (#SARASINSUPREMACY), let me just say that I need to convince my parents ASAP to allow me to preorder one of these. You must preorder by January 15th to ensure that you will receive a signed copy.
Here is the link to pre-order:
Get your signed copy here!!
Honestly, I’m writing this for the sole purpose of warming up my brain before I do my AP Lit homework. It’s a nice rainy day, and I’m kind of just needing somewhere to write before I start analyzing poetry.
Book Related Updates
I’ve been reading at a slower pace this year, which is very beneficial. Also, I feel pretty happy because I’ve found a good way to balance school and blogging and bookstagram, which is to say the place I’m most active is on Twitter because 1. Twitter is basically for me to try to have a These Violent Delights fanpage (it’s not working. I need to remember that Twitter does not equal my personal diary.), and 2. For me personally, Twitter takes the least amount of work. I’ve met some really nice people and authors.
I heard about the sad news that Simon Pulse and Jimmy Patterson Presents are ending (unconfirmed, I can’t really tell what’s going on). Girls of Paper and Fire definitely changed my taste in reading forever, and I hope Natasha Ngan gets the advertising she deserves because GOPAF is one of my favorite series of all time.
Maybe I should actually write about what I’m reading: I have a few e-ARCs that I’m reading: Like Home and Payback (the third book in the Vale Hall series) are my two favorites right now. I also have to start Rebel Rose and Clues to the Universe. As for reviews, I need to write one for These Violent Delights, Skyhunter, and White Fox.
Balancing School and Blogging and Bookstagram
I’ve said this a lot: I’ve thrown a schedule out the window and oh my gosh, I have never felt so motivated. I like school, so it was pretty easy for me to change my mindset to being “I want to work on posting pretty photos of books” to “I need to focus on school because this is a critical year.” I think Twitter has been a bit detrimental because I do not have any drafted bookstagram posts right now, but that’s ok!! I am going to try posting everyday in December like I did last year because I love creating a theme based around the holidays I celebrate (also flatlays. I love flatlays!!).
I mean, if you want advice, here’s some: just do what you want and know that your life is your priority. I exist outside of the Internet and I have other priorities that take precedence over bookstagram and blogging. I have found that I create the best posts when I am motivated to do so for me, and not for others.
Overall, I have a lot going on right now, however, I do find blogging to be very soothing. I need to finish some of my ARCs so I can post some reviews.
What are you reading right now and would you recommend it?
Hello, everyone! I am so excited to be a part of the Spell Starter Tour for Elsie Chapman. Chapman is one of my favorite authors ever since I read her short story in the Hungry Hearts anthology (which she helped edit) and the first novel of her duology, Caster.
This year, I actually haven’t read many sequels. Some were pushed back and I’d started a lot of series last year because I read a lot of books. I had to prioritize which series/duologies/trilogies I would continue. At the top of my TBR? Spell Starter by Elsie Chapman. SPOILER FREE; SPOILERS FROM CASTER.
Let me just say that every single sentence in this book is captivating. I’m re-reading it right now and decided to annotate this time because I have a physical ARC (thank you, Shealea and Caffeine Tours!!!), and I already have so many pages marked despite being only a fifth of the way in.
First of all, I love seeing Aza’s point of view. While she’s been able to gain her magic back, the reader can see that she is still uncertain about who she is. She’s pulled into a situation she does not want to be in with Saint Willow.
Aza’s relationship with Saint Willow really captivated me. You can clearly see that Aza is afraid but also wants to exert some sort of control over situation, and recognizes Saint Willow for who she really is. Instead of joining magical fights on her own, Aza is forced into them because of Saint Willow. This power imbalance is striking to me, and the entire time I felt the same negative emotions Aza felt around Saint Willow.
Sometimes, sequels end up focusing on romance or a slow build up to a strong finish. Spell Starter is not like that at all: The writing in Spell Starter is strong the entire way through. I can honestly say that the ending of this book has me wanting to write fanfiction about [redacted] and [redacted] because the world Chapman creates feels so real. The atmosphere of Spell Starter pulls you in, and made me forget about my own life while reading. And that’s what my favorite books do: they make me feel a little less alone and more like I am walking or running on a journey with these characters.
Finally, as a teen girl myself, I relate to the fact that Aza so strongly wants control over her own life and powers. The outside world loves telling us what to do, how to act, and where we should go. However, this book made me think about how while it’s important to not walk alone, it’s also important to realize what we are truly capable of ourselves, and that in the end, our choices need to be our own.
Title: Spell Starter
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publication date: 06 October 2020
Age group: Young Adult
The Sting meets Fight Club in this magical, action-packed sequel to Caster by Elsie Chapman.
Yes, Aza Wu now has magic back. But like all things in her life, it has come at a great cost. After the tournament, Aza is able to pay off her parents’ debt to Saint Willow. Unfortunately, the cost of the gathering spell she used to strip Finch of his magic has put her permanently in the employ of the gang leader. Aza has been doing little errands using real magic — collecting debts, putting the squeeze on new businesses in the district. But that had never been the plan. Saint Willow is nothing if not ambitious and having Aza as a fighter is much more lucrative than as a fixer. Especially if she can control the outcome. Aza is going to have to put it all on the line again to get out of this situation!
Amazon — https://amzn.to/31ioSK6
B&N — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spell-starter-elsie-chapman/1135037083?ean=9781338589511
Book Depository — https://www.bookdepository.com/Spell-Starter-Caster-Novel-Elsie-Chapman/9781338589511
IndieBound — https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781338589511
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49090458-spell-starter
Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, Canada, and has a degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of the YA novels Dualed, Divided, Along the Indigo, and Caster as well as the middle-grade novel All the Ways Home, and the coeditor of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and Hungry Hearts. She currently lives in Tokyo, Japan, with her family.
Author website — https://elsiechapman.com/
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5441417.Elsie_Chapman
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/elsiechapman/
Hello, everyone! Originally, this post was supposed to be for September to December books that I’m excited for, but it is now October. Here is my list of my top 10 most anticipated books of October to December 2020:
1. BLAZEWRATH GAMES by AMPARO ORTIZ: One of my favorite bookstagrammers/bloggers/all around amazing person Kate @yourtitakate loves this book, so I am excited to read this!!! I might get my own copy because I love the cover and the fact that there are magical creatures.
2. THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT by AMINAH MAE SAFI: I’ve had so many positive interactions with Safi and I LOVE NOT THE GIRLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR!!!! Also, I have a personal connection to an element of this book, which is super cool.
3. CHARMING AS A VERB by BEN PHILIPPE: Definitely want to meet Philippe someday!! One of the first authors who followed me on my bookstagram, which is really kind. I love his writing style and cannot wait to read this.
4. THE EVER CRUEL KINGDOM by RIN CHUPECO: Chupeco is one of my #1 favorite authors of all time. Everything written by them is amazing, and I am definitely a part of their fan group. I am not ready to say goodbye to Odessa, Haidee, Lan, and Arjun.
5. RENT A BOYFRIEND by GLORIA CHAO: Chao is one of my favorite contemporary ya authors!! I have a signed ARC of American Panda, which is one of my favorite books of 2018. I cannot wait to line up all of her books together.
6. REBEL SISTERS by TOCHI ONYEBUCHI: OMG, please read War Girls. This is one of my favorite duologies and I don’t read a lot of books in the sci-fi/future genre, and this is definitely my favorite.
7. THE BURNING GOD by R.F. KUANG: I have no words for how much this series has changed me, and I am sure that I will cry while reading this.
8. SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG by DAVID YOON: I loved Frankly in Love. The cover of Yoon’s next book is so cool, and the synopsis is very intriguing.
9. A SKY BEYOND THE STORM by SABAA TAHIR: 528 pages, according to online sites!!!!! I fear that I will not make it through this book without crying because I am soooo excited for this one. I’ve had it preordered since May because the preorder campaign was amazing.
This is an older YA series (well, at least in regards to when I joined the fandom) that I love and will recommend for the rest of my life.
Thank you for reading! I know I do not have a consistent posting schedule, and I am happy people are reading my posts. If you would like to interact with me more, my bookstagram is @solaceinreading_. Mental health and my family and school are my priorities right now.
What are your most anticipated books of last quarter of the year?
September was wayyyyy better than August and July mentally for me. I finally like my blog and bookstagram again, I feel less pressure to post, and school is going really well (considering the fact that I am a junior).
I turned 17 on September 25. It went super well and I will have a birthday post up later (maybe Sunday or next weekend; I don’t have much time in the week for blogging). I am super grateful that I received some money from my family and family friends, so I did a book haul at one of my local bookstores: Grown, Maya and the Rising Dark, A River of Royal Blood, and Legendborn! I am sure that I will love all of these (CR: Legendborn. OMG, everyone!!).
- The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi: I read this all the way back in July in one day, and now I am re-reading slowly. OH MY GOSH, everyone!!! This is my #1 sequel of 2020. Chokshi is so skilled at writing, and here is my review: https://solaceinreading.home.blog/2020/09/22/review-the-silvered-serpents-by-roshani-chokshi/
- LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn: I started this on September 29 and am only a little over 100 pages in. Legendborn is my #1 book of 2020 and I love Bree and relate to her so much because of an event that happened to me earlier this year. I hope to meet Deonn someday because she’s so kind and this book is amazing.
- Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant: My first 2021 ARC, and it’s one of my favorite books of 2021 already. I don’t want to say too much, but just know that this is a book I would love to see adapted. (Also, Filipino rep!!! The MC’s best friend is Filipino.) Super grateful to Bryant and Harper Teen for providing me with a digital ARC that did not influence my opinion at all in the slightest.
- White Fox by Sara Faring: I am so grateful because I got to be on the street team for this book: The Faring Society was so much fun and I got some really cool items related to the book today, which is awesome!!! I highly recommend WF for ~Spooky Season~ if you celebrate it, and if you just want to read a mysterious book.
- Iron Heart by Nina Varela: OMG. Another amazing sequel!!! Crier and Ayla and Benji are some of my favorite characters and this finale is perfect. Here is my post for Caffeine Book Tours: https://solaceinreading.home.blog/2020/09/06/iron-heart-by-nina-varela-caffeine-book-tours/
- Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan: This was a just for fun read that I actually liked. I related to Lucie and thought the romance was very sweet. Would 100% watch a movie adaptation of this. It’s fun to read about fancy places. (I still believe billionares should not exist, though.)
- Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado: Another 2021 ARC I am so lucky to have! It was in the free downloads section of Edelweiss and is pretty good. Again, not saying much, but I know that if you’re trying to get into YA/have a younger sibling who you want to read more, have them read this when it comes out in February.
- Skyhunter by Marie Lu: I am not done with this book yet, but know that Marie Lu constantly surpasses herself in how amazing her books are. Lu is one of the most versatile and creative authors I’ve read, and I 100% recommend this book. Thanks to Fierce Reads and Netgalley for the ARC which did not influence my opinion of this at all in the slightest.
I hit my Goodreads goal, which is awesome! I’ve never hit it this early (it’s probably because I set my goal at 100 books and not 300). Now I can read newer books a lot slower. Additionally, I am sort of on Twitter. I have a fanpage for TVD not connected to this blog or bookstagram, but if you want it, I’ll share my username on Instagram if you DM me.
This September was really good. It was a lot better than August because I threw out my blog and bookstagram schedules and started to focus on when my creativity flows naturally. Also, I need to commit more time to school now.
I am in AP Psych, AP Lit, AP Research, Strength and Conditioning, a TA for a junior English class, and Math 118 (my dual enrollment class). I like all of them. However, online school is pretty tough on my eyes, but I am trying to get off my phone when I don’t need to be on it (which is challenging but I am working on it, so that’s good).
I just realized that I read 20 books last month, which is a lot more than I thought!! Some of those were DNFs that I might return to, but I’d been reading some since July, so I gave up on them since I was wasting my time.
Did I meet my September goals?
- I finished 14/23 books that were on my TBR, which is so great!! A lot more than I expected.
- I didn’t post 2-3 times per week on my blog but I did post 13 times, which is awesome and again, a lot more than I expected. I also posted 21? times on bookstagram, which again, was so unexpected, but being at home has given me A LOT of time.
- I did relax more!! I feel less guilty about taking time for me and have completed all of my homework on time. I currently have a B+ in Math 118, but it’s ok because final grades don’t come out until December, so I have a lot of time. Last year, I was a mess because it was my first year of AP and I had three AP classes, and now I have 3 APs and a DE class, and it’s going well. I wish I could tell my past self to just breathe and find good coping mechanisms.
- Finish Skyhunter. Start Rebel Rose, Like Home, and Clues to the Universe. I’ve received quite a few ARCs from August to now, which is pretty cool.
- Tour for Spell Starter!! (Highly recommend Caffeine Tours.)
- Get creative with my bookstagram photos for ~Spooky Season~.
How was your September? Any goals or fun things happening soon?
Yesterday was my birthday!! It was so much fun, and this time next year, I will turn the age you need to vote where I live. I am super grateful to have such giving parents because in a book, I read that parents don’t care as much about celebrating as their children get older. I like birthdays! I learned that I just need to relax and go with life because the birthday is the day to celebrate you.
NOTE: I am very very very grateful to my parents and family friends and friends. I am very privileged to be able to receive money for my birthday because the $ I get from my birthday and Christmas almost entirely go to books and my bank account, which is why I am able to get so many books. During this pandemic, both of my parents have still been able to work, which is why I can celebrate events like my birthday and my sister’s birthday, etc. I know that I have a lot in life, and I am so fortunate. TW: mentions of food, birthdays
My cake was chocolate with buttercream frosting and red hearts, plus a red 17 on top. It’s sort of this rose gold brown color, which doesn’t sound the best, but it’s really pretty! Also, it tastes really good, which is the most important part to me personally. I also got 12 cupcakes made by a friend of a family friend from the family friend which was so nice. These cupcakes are gorgeous: chocolate with chocolate frosting and gold dust.
Once again, I am grateful because I got an Owlcrate box for myself and bullet journals, as well as $ to my favorite Independent Bookstore. Here’s a list of books I hope to get; the ones bolded are my top three choices out of books that have recently been released:
- A Thief Among the Trees
- As The Shadow Rises (maybe)
- Maya and the Rising Dark
- These Violent Delights (preorder)
- The Ever Cruel Kingdom (preorder)
- The Burning God (preorder)
- Rent A Boyfriend
This year, I’ve gotten around 10-12 physical books (including physical ARCs) compared to 20-25 physical books last year. I love all of them, but realized that I don’t need to feel pressure to buy every new release that I want because I have so many incomplete series on my shelves.
Overall, my birthday was fun. My family and I got food and ate it socially distant in a park, and then went to my Dad’s bike path/bridge downtown (socially distant! with masks!). The sunset and weather were so nice, and when we got home, I ate more cake and watched Enola Holmes with my mom. For what it was, it was a pretty good and engaging movie, and I hope that there is a sequel, although it doesn’t need one.
Today? I have to study for a DE math test on Tuesday, as well as for an AP Psych exam on October 5. I’m also going to the bookstore (very strict: only four people allowed in at a time WITH MASKS and socially distant!!!!!!), so hopefully I can find the books I want.
Have you received any books recently?
Hello! I love giving advice and learning from others, so I decided to start this advice column for my blog. I just thought of this idea today: 9/23/2020 because school is getting more challenging and I want to use my brain outside of an academic setting.
What will be featured in this column?
Advice about: high school, dual enrollment, balancing life and book blogging, bookstagram tips and tricks, etc! This will all be from my perspective because I am a unique individual. Also, I am a teen and NOT an “influencer.” Although I do hope that my posts convince others to read more. I am learning more everyday and so not all of this advice will be helpful.
Who will be writing this column?
Well, I might consider opening this to other bloggers, however, I am a very small blogger. Sumedha has a great series called Blog Letters, which I highly recommend reading, by the way.
I might open this up to questions from people on bookstagram because that is where I know people. I don’t want to make a Google Form just yet because I don’t want to get weird or spam comments.
Why are you making this column?
Honestly? I am trying to use my blog and bookstagram equally. It’s so easy to get pulled in by social media because something is always happening, and my blog helps my mind slow down. Plus, I want to have a unique-ish feature on my blog that will help people who might not read as much as I do! I have a life outside of books and social media related to books.
Overall, I just want to help people find books that they will love and then tell their friends about. I need something to do in my free time.
What would you like to see from this advice column?
DISCLAIMER: I received an e-ARC from Netgalley. This did not influence my opinion of the book in any way.
DISCLAIMER #2: I also received a free copy from Wednesday Books as well as a finished softcover of The Gilded Wolves. This did not influence my opinion of the book in any way.
SPOILERS: will CLEARLY BE MARKED AT THE END!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU TO ROSHANI CHOKSHI because she literally made my 2020. I am not joking. This sequel blew me away and I will be waiting for Book 3. First of all, the plot is so tightly written that there are no plot holes, which is great! There is a lot more action compared to TGW, which I really enjoyed. I LOVE SEEING THAT IN A SEQUEL!!! The world is already set up, and I’ve read TGW multiple times, so I remember what happened.
I was slightly worried that the romance between the main cast would take over the book, however, this is not the case in the slightest. The romantic moments are sweet, heartbreaking, and at times, wow. Roshani, just let them be together. *sobs over blank and blank* Roshani excels at writing slow burn romances and ones that I actually care about.
As for the characters? I will say that a certain someone got on my nerves. I am still reeling from redacted’s actions and have not recovered. Enrique, my favorite, is still my favorite and he’s a historian awkward nerd bookworm like me, so I would love him even if his characterization was different. Zofia surprised me because she got a lot more page time in this one, and I love her because she’s so much more relevant than redacted. And LAILA!!!! Wow. I love her as well. Also Hypnos.
The villains? Honestly, I read this ARC in July in less than two hours, so I don’t really remember. I do remember that I felt very surprised where Roshani took the story, in a good way! I forgot the history of the Order, so I will definitely be looking for that during my re-read.
The worldbuilding just gets better. There is a lot more in Serpents than Wolves, which I again loved so much. I want to see more forging in Book 3. However, I read this two months ago, and I paid more attention to the plot and characters, so I don’t have many thoughts right now on this part of the book.
Overall, this is my favorite sequel of 2020 and will likely be in my top 5 if not top 10 books of 2020. Roshani solidifies herself as an age category bending author because this book gets pretty dark towards the end. I would love to see Roshani write an adult fantasy or adult romance in the future because she is definitely capable of it (I’d go as far to say that this series grows with the readers: I was a freshman when I first read TGW and I am now a junior, and I can say that reading this almost two years ago would have been pretty intense in terms of the action). Also, the setting is freaking gorgeous. This is a perfect book in terms of craft and how it made me feel and actually, everything about it is perfect. Highly recommend.
SPOILER SECTION: turn back now if you have NOT READ SERPENTS!!!!!!! TURN BACK!!!! YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET SPOILED!!!!!!!!
Seriously, go away and read it if you haven’t then you can read this section.
If you’re still here, get ready to be spoiled!
I am so mad at Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. WHAT THE —-!!! I swear that that ending and cliffhanger is the BEST. It’s better than the one in Mark of Athena, which I didn’t have to wait for HOH to release because the whole series had already released. BUT THIS? 2021?!!!!! Roshani, please take your time because I would wait five years for the last book. I need time to feel the things Serpents made me feel.
THE ROMANCE? Laila oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!! Why do I suddenly ship her and Enrique or her and Zofia? COme on, does anyone see it? Just me? Also Enrique!!!! He needs to live. Hypnos? needs friends!!!!!! needs a good romance with someone who will also be there for him.
Yeah. I will never be over the perfection that is The Silvered Serpents. Roshani Chokshi, you are the best author and I am just so amazed that this book can impact me months later even though I forgot most of the plot.