Two Year Anniversary Series: How to Get Started on Bookstagram

I’ve been on bookstgram for almost two years now. This is the earliest post I have on it right now; I’ve archived A LOT.

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 grown from the first post I posted on bookstagram. The biggest change for me was in my mindset (this will be for another post in this series). I also used to be @lives_in_ya_books and not @solaceinreading_ (another post will be about rebranding yourself/finding your “aesthetic”). I don’t consider myself to be an influencer: I am just a girl who loves books and wants to connect with others who love books as much as I do.

When I first started my bookstagram, I thought I knew what I was doing: I was going to post pretty pictures of books I liked because I like books. I wish I’d known that bookstagram can be SO MUCH MORE!! I’ve connected with authors, people who live in other countries, publishers, etc. My first piece of advice is to: Be willing to try new things.

This was my main location for most of my photos from December 2018 to May 2020. I loved this location because of the natural lighting and how the background complemented any book. Finding the right location is important if you want your feed to have a consistent “look” over time. I didn’t get proper bookshelves until this August, and now that is the main place where I take most of my photos.

It will take a lot of experimentation for you to find out what look you want your feed to have, which leads me to my next piece of advice: find a niche IF YOU WANT. Listen, at first you might find it a bit redundant because there are literally thousands of bookstagrammers and tens of thousands pictures of books. HOWEVER!!!!!!! It’s more important to show your personality and being yourself rather than worry if there are people reading the same books as you. After all, that’s what you want: for people to read books because you do as well.

Anyway, let me get back to the niche part: I used to post about the popular books because that’s all I knew about: examples include Red Queen, Six of Crows, The Lunar Chronicles. Then, I learned that these books are problematic, and also that literally everyone on bookstagram knows about these books or at least has seen these names. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t post about them. I just know for me that I did not want my platform to consist of books that are harmful and do not have good representation. So, I decided to post 99% of the time about books by authors who are people of color because I am a person of color myself. I also expanded my horizons by doing this and was able to read from POVs other than my own (I am Filipino American).

Which leads me to my next point: having a niche will help you find friends!!!! I can 110% verify this: I have made friends who are awesome and are people I know I can talk to because I trust them. Also, having a close friends list is the BEST CHOICE EVER. I am a part of the Asian Bloggers Directory run by Shealea @shutupshealea, and that’s how I’ve received free books from publishers. I really appreciate this because I’ve been able to find more Asian American authors and bloggers and bookstagrammers. This matters to me because I’ve been in quarantine since March (literally I have not hung out with anyone except for one time >six feet apart in my backyard with family friends), and it’s been lonely at times.

This next piece of advice is a little different: Take a lot of photos at the same time. I understand that you may not have time to do this, however, if you do, this is one of most important actions I’ve taken in order to post when I am busy. I will admit that this takes a lot of energy, but the payoff of having a ton of drafted posts will help you when you are feeling burnt out. This leads me to my final piece of advice:

Let ideas come to you naturally. I know for a fact that when I would try to post every day every month in summer, I ended up feeling burnt out and not happy with what I was creating. At the very beginning of my bookstagram, I would usually color coordinate a lot of my posts, or just post my current reads. I still do this, however, I’ve also been able to think beyond what books would look pretty together. One example is the below post: when the Mismatched trailer was revealed, I felt so seen because finally, brown Asians are being represented in a rom-com and not just used as the side characters.

What I’d wear if I was on the cover of a rom-com. : )

So, if you’re looking to start a bookstagram, I hope this advice helps you!! I know so much more than I did two years ago, and I can 100% say that I would not be who I am today without the community I’ve found through bookstagram. While Instagram has made a lot of unecessary updates, I can say that it’s still my favorite social media platform because of my friends and the amazing books I’ve been able to read.

What advice would you add to this list?

YA Rom-Coms to Brighten Up Your Winter

I am in a really good mood right now. I feel focused and like I know what I am doing, so here’s a fun post for today: YA rom-coms to brighten up your winter because my city’s had such great weather the past three days, I feel good about this FRQ I just took, and it’s the start of the second quarter at my school. #NewBeginnings

Anway, here are 7 YA rom-coms I highly recommend. Rom-coms are my new favorite genre (it used to be fantasy but now I want more happiness in my life).

I’LL BE THE ONE by Lyla Lee

I received an ARC of this from Edelweiss, and I absolutely adore I’ll Be the One. Skye Shin is one of my favorite characters in YA contemporary.

KEYWORDS: Korean American mc, bisexual mc, K-pop, competition, cute dates

NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU by Kristina Forest

Kristina Forest follows me on bookstagram, everyone!!!!!!! Authors don’t even have to do that, and I really appreciate it when they do. Anyway, I LOVE NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU!!!! It’s so good and takes place in NYC in summer.

KEYWORDS: Black mc’s, NYC summer, celebrities, running around and solving a mystery with a friend (or is he more?)

HAPPILY EVER AFTERS by Elise Bryant

Best rom-com of 2021, calling it now!!! Elise Bryant actually reached out and asked me if I wanted an e-ARC and she’s so generous!!!! Also, the preorder campaign is open and I highly recommend preordering HEA because it’s so awesome.

KEYWORDS: Black mc, cute dates at bakeries, LA, high school, best friend is Filipino, family matters!!!, self love

CHARMING AS A VERB by Ben Philippe

Ben Philippe also follows me, which is very nice!!! I loved Charming As A Verb because it takes place in NYC and because I love the dynamic between the mc and his friends.

KEYWORDS: Black mc, Black love interest, NYC school year, senior year of high school omg, college apps, the future is not always what you think it’ll be

the way you make me feel by Maurene Goo

Maurene Goo’s books are some of my favorite YA romances of all time. They are consistently good and all have unique characters with different motivations.

KEYWORDS: Korean American mc, summer love, working at a food truck, enemies to friends, food, travel

I LOVE YOU SO MOCHI by Sarah Kuhn

TBH, I read this a while ago so I do not remember exactly what happens. However, I have this marked as one of my favorite books of 2019. It’s very cute and I loved the atmosphere.

KEYWORDS: cute, travel, love the writing style, yes I need to re-read this

THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT by Tanaz Bhathena

Another book I read a while ago!! This came out in 2019 and I really enjoyed how Bhathena subverts the “bad boy” trope. It’s very cute and romantic.

KEYWORDS: subverting tropes, cute, mc has interesting motivations, yes I need to re-read this

Have you read any of these books? Any YA rom-coms by authors of color you recommend?

Author Interview: Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights)

Chloe Gong.

I read These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong from July to August. In fact, the day that I finished it, I finished it in one sitting. TVD is one of the most captivating books of 2020, and I was absolutely elated when Chloe Gong agreed to do an interview with me over e-mail. I am so happy that the first author I am interviewing is one of my favorites of all time ever. TVD will change the YA game forever, and I am so grateful to have been able to “speak” to Chloe because her journey is just getting started.

1. What impact do you hope your book has on Own Voices readers? As a reader, I am so happy to see more Asian representation in YA, and especially representation of Asians who are proud of who they are.

When I wrote These Violent Delights, I was thinking about all my fellow diaspora Asians, and the importance of seeing our faces on shelves—not just to be the center of an identity story, but to be a fully-fleshed protagonist who is allowed to rage and cry and fight monsters. Identity stories are super important, and the book interweaves a lot of Juliette’s musings about her place between the Western world and the East, but I wasn’t content with that being all we’re allowed to see. I needed a balance: delving into what it means to be Asian up against these forces of Western colonialism and imperialism, alongside the sort of plot that white protagonists in YA have been allowed to occupy. At the end of the day, that’s what I hope to do for Own Voices readers, to provide the sort of cool, adventure-filled stories that we’ve been lacking on bookshelves, without watering down the intrinsic part of our cultural identity which colors the way we see the world.

2. What has been your favorite moment (or moments) of becoming an author and why (besides getting your book deal)? How has this moment impacted your life?

I’ve been writing since I started high school, so long before I got my book deal, I had already been putting my stories online and seeing what real readers thought of my work. Some of my favorite moments were undoubtedly when people messaged me their reactions after I put a chapter up—sometimes it would be a paragraph about what they enjoyed, sometimes a whole big spiel to tell me that they’re so nervous about the fate of a character. I’ve chosen to be an author because I love telling stories, and storytelling isn’t storytelling if I’m only yelling into the void: I absolutely need an audience as well. So those little moments—when my readers made themselves known and reacted to my stories—were the best part of being an author. They’ve shaped my desire to continue pursuing this on a larger level, and go the traditional publishing route to put my books on real shelves.

3. Your book takes place in an urban historical fantasy setting. What research advice would you give to aspiring writers in this genre?

While historical facts are important in writing something with a historical setting, it’s also about atmosphere and feeling! The beauty of creating a fantastical or historical world is that you can choose what is relevant to your story, and which parts to emphasize in order to slice out the most compelling narrative. A setting can fall flat if you only throw true facts at a reader; what they want to know is how the air smelled, how the streets sounded, how the falling rain hit the character’s skin with just enough softness that it didn’t feel like rain at all. So my advice is to not get bogged down by research, even though it is important! The most critical part about creating a visceral setting is to close your eyes and use the research you’ve done to then trigger your imagination.

4. (Bonus-ish) Is there anything else you want readers to know before your book is published? 

I want teens to know that this book is for them. That I conceptualized this book at 18 and finished writing it at 19, and though the world keeps trying to look down on young people, we deserve to have stories about us, centered around us, without influence from what grown-ups think we like.

Mini Questions:

1. Top three favorite underrated books of the past five years?

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, and Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

2. Dream place you’d go for an author retreat?

Venice, Italy!

3. I read your “YA Heartthrobs as Viral Tweets” article. It was very funny! Would Juliette and Roma be friends with anyone from The Gilded Wolves world?

Oh, absolutely. Juliette and Laila would be the bestest of friends. 

Cover + Synopsis + Author Bio

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: Cover.

Synopsis: Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule. 

Author Bio:

Chloe Gong is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and International Relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter @thechloegong, check out her website at thechloegong.com or email her at chloegongwrites@gmail.com. Her instagram is @thechloegong .

Once again, thank you Chloe Gong for agreeing to do this interview!!! I hope to meet you someday. My review of These Violent Delights will be up November 17 (the day TVD comes out).

Mini Life Update: November 4, 2020

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.

Whimisical Wrap-Ups #3: October 2020

my most liked post of October.

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

TOP BOOKS

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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

October Evaluation

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!!!!

November Goals

  1. 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.
  2. Read 5 new books and finish the 20 books I’m in the middle of reading.
  3. Write ARC reviews for Skyhunter, Like Home, Clues to the Universe, and Rebel Rose.

How was your October? Any goals?

The Zumra: Interabang Books – Signed Copies of WHTF and WFTS!!

THE WE HUNT THE FLAME HARDCOVER IS ONE OF MY FAVES.

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!!

Mini Life Update ft. School

September/October Book Mail : )

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?

Caffeine Book Tours Review: Spell Starter by Elsie Chapman

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“For a second, hope runs wild. Huge. I feel nothing else.” #SpellStarterTour for @elsiechapman ‘s Spell Starter. Every single line of this book made me want to keep reading. Aza Wu’s journey is astounding, and as soon as I reached the last page of the book, I knew that I wanted to read it again. There is magic in everything Elsie Chapman writes, and Spell Starter is up there as one of my favorite sequels of 2020. I will remember those last lines forever (no spoilers though for those who haven’t read it). In fact, I would for sure read a sequel to this book and also loved where Elsie Chapman ended the story. From Aza’s relationship with Nima to her relationship with Saint Willow to her relationship with her family, I was absolutely captivated. I loved the fact that I loved reading about. Finally, Elsie Chapman is an amazing human. She’s commented and liked my posts when I’ve tagged her in the past and I so appreciate it. It’s nice when authors see their fans, so after reading this, please read her short story in her Hungry Hearts anthology that she helped edit and participated in. It’s my favorite anthology of all time. My full review will be up in less than a day. Thank you to the amazing @caffeinetours for running such an inspiring and professional tour. I am in awe of everything you do. Once again, thank you for the ARC. I am honored every single time to be one of your tour hosts, and hope to do every book justice with what I post. Caffeine Tours is the best tour company I’ve worked with, and I’m not just saying that because @shutupshealea and I follow each other: it’s because I see the work Shealea puts into everything she does. She always puts 100% effort into everything and all that I know from the book community comes from her insights and wisdom and overall, she is one of my role models and inspirations. #SpellStarter #ElsieChapman #Bookstagram #2020Books #FaveBooks #Read #YABooks

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MY SPELL STARTER INSTAGRAM POST

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.

REVIEW

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.

BOOK INFORMATION

Title: Spell Starter
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: 06 October 2020
Age group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis:

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!

BOOK LINKS

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 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Bio:
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 LINKS:

Author website — https://elsiechapman.com/ 
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5441417.Elsie_Chapman 
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/elsiechapman/ 

Top 9 Most Anticipated Books: October – December 2020

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:

OCTOBER:

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.

NOVEMBER:

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.

DECEMBER:

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?

Whimsical Wrap-Ups #2: September 2020

Some of my August/September Book Mail.

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!!).

Top Books:

  1. 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/
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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/
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

September Evaluation

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?

  1. I finished 14/23 books that were on my TBR, which is so great!! A lot more than I expected.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

OCTOBER GOALS

  1. 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.
  2. Tour for Spell Starter!! (Highly recommend Caffeine Tours.)
  3. Get creative with my bookstagram photos for ~Spooky Season~.

How was your September? Any goals or fun things happening soon?