This month, I read 25-28 books. August is the first month where I have decided not to finish books – there were three that weren’t for me, but that others may like.
My favorite books were The Final Strife, The City of Dusk, and Siren Queen. I also re-read a few books, including the These Violent Delights duology which was just as amazing as the first time I read it.
I started university on August 29! I am so surprised because I like all of my professors, which is very lucky. My favorite class so far is Global Studies 101. I was worried that I wouldn’t like the readings, but I love them. I feel affirmed in my decision to have already declared my major. I don’t have a least favorite class; however, I do not like my ENVS 101 class because it is at 8:30 AM.
I need to give credit to students at my uni for following my #Bookstagram and getting me to 1.4k followers!! I have been hovering around 1400 for so long.
Life is pretty good. I am excited for my birthday in September, and I am glad I get to celebrate with my family.
Yesterday, I went to WorldCon for the first time. I cannot believe that I just found out about it a week ago! I met N.E. Davenport, Xiran Jay Zhao, Gene Ha, and Apara Verma. Later this week, I will hopefully have a post up about my first WorldCon experience (it was amazing and I really hope to go to the Hugo Awards the next time!).
I also took a lot of photos for my ##Bookstagram account before I left for university, and I hope I have enough to last me the semester.
My only goal for September is to get through my first month of college: go to every class, not get covid, read for fun, and make time for my own hobbies. I also have a few books I need to read and review from NetGalley: I am reading Study Break right now and I LOVE IT!! Being a first year college student, SB came at the perfect time.
I’ve been a part of the online book community since 2018, and I’m so glad to say that I’ve read a lot of great books. However, there are still a lot of books from years past that I haven’t gotten to yet. Here is a list of four books I’m hoping to get to this year:
Girls of Fate and Fury by Natasha Ngan:
The jaw-dropping conclusion to Girls of Storm and Shadow left the fates of Lei and Wren hanging in the balance. There’s one thing Lei knows – she can never return to the Hidden Palace. The trauma and tragedy she suffered behind those opulent walls will plague her forever. She cannot be trapped there with the sadistic king again, especially without Wren.
The last time Lei saw the girl she loved, Wren was fighting an army of soldiers in a furious battle to the death.
With the two girls torn apart and each in great peril, will they reunite at last, or have their destinies diverged forever?
*Update 7/26/2022: I finished this finale and oh my gosh, I wish more people would read this trilogy!!
A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy: Now on the run, Eva is desperate for answers about her transformation and her true heritage. Along with Aketo, a small contingent of guards, and the sister she could not kill, Eva flees Ternain in hopes of finding friends and allies to the north–not to mention Baccha–to help her decide what to do next. Princess Isa is a difficult, unremorseful captive, and Eva knows better than to trust her sister, but she wants to. Despite their history, Eva is convinced that to survive the growing unrest in the queendom, she and her sister must make peace. Since the Entwining ceremony, Eva’s and Isa’s lives have been bonded, and each can only die by the other’s hand. This perhaps provides an opening for a truce and a more hopeful future for both the sisters and the queendom, if only Isa would see reason and give up the battle for the throne.
With the two princesses on the run, the Queendom of Myre is on the brink of a revolution. And without Baccha to guide and train her magick, Eva must find a way not only to survive her own metamorphosis, but to unite all the people of Myre, including her sister, by finally taking the Ivory Throne.
Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray: Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures to pay off her family’s debts and secure their eventual freedom. But the night her loved ones’ own safety is threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand—and the consequences are dire.
As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six—an elite warrior—and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, a fire upends his plans. In its midst, Ekon not only encounters the Shetani—a vicious monster that has plagued the city and his nightmares for nearly a century—but a curious girl who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.
Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani down and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani and selling it for a profit could be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon—each keeping their true motives secret from the other—form a tentative alliance and enter into the unknowns of the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri: A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.
The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.
When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.
Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…
Update 7/26/2022: I read this one as well! I liked The Jasmine Throne better, but I would still recommend Empire of Sand.
I love fall and winter. My birthday is in September, my family has birthdays, there’s Halloween, fall weather, Christmas. It’s basically a time of food and and fun in my house. . .and also a time of great book releases!! However, I am a senior, so I have college applications. Here’s what my blog and bookstagram will (tentatively) look like this fall.
There’s a few ARCs I need to review:
Our Violent Ends
Fools in Love
The Bronzed Beasts
A Clash of Steel – for Colored Pages Book Tours – look out for my post September 10th!
The Red Palace
Within These Wicked Walls
Tbh, I DNF-ed OVE, FIL, and WTWW just because I was in a reading slump in August, but I really need to get those reviews done. I highly recommend all of the books btw!
I also want to make more lists of books with certain tropes/genres, maybe an article on why I don’t use online book tracker apps, my third year bookstagram anniversary post. I have a lot of ideas and hopefully can use my free time to work on something other than applying to college.
Ah, my main platform! Time to pull out the fairy lights and wayyyyyy more props. Another fun activity that calms me during the school year.
The main post I want to have up in October is a cosplay of Kallia from When Night Breaks – I cosplayed a modern version of her in 2020, and it’s one of my favorite posts ever.
And of course, 2022 has many great book releases in store (All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir comes to mind), so I will definitely be promoting those.
Additionally, I think J. Elle may have another street team for Wings of Ebony’s sequel, so I want to sign up for that. The cover for Ashes of Gold is out!!
Recently, I’ve gotten into online shopping. I am looking for clothes that I don’t have in colors I don’t have. As a shorter person, I fit in clothes from middle school, but then grow out of others, and I recently got some money, so that’s really fun.
I also am limiting myself to buying five books this fall, however, it depends on if I get anything for my birthday (September 25). I am grateful to have parents who support my book lovingness.
I am really hoping to buy more contemporary, fun books. I own a lot of fantasy series/first books in fantasy series, and I am realizing that I cannot own every single one because I am already having to double stack my books, which is not great. I actually got rid of a lot of books, or not got rid of because they are still where I live, but it feels good because I have friends who love books, so they are going to good homes. I also want to start a book collecting project at my school, but as a senior, I think I’m going to wait for myself to get into a routine before jumping into another project.
As for things other than books, I am looking to add a few new pieces to my fall and winter wardrobes that can work for both seasons AND for every occasion. There’s so many fancy pieces of clothes I have, so I’d like to add some casual clothes as well.
I am a high school senior. My first app is due November 1, and then I have an interview really soon.
I am taking two APs, Bio and Stats, and both go together, so I feel good about my AP classes. Stats is involved in Bio, and I love math, so I am excited to use math in bio!! I am also in Graphic Arts where we’ll get to use paper AND iPads. Art used to be something I wanted to do in college, and I want to take it as an elective because while I love talking, debating, and writing, art lets me use my thoughts in a different way!
Honestly, I have such great friends both offline and online, so I am grateful to have support! August wasn’t a good month for me except for Santa Monica and LA which I am glad to say were bright spots. I am doing better now and am so grateful for the support I received in August, not only from my family, but also from my friends and school.
Do I have any goals? One of my CA’s is due Nov 1, I want to be done with my apps by December 17, and I want to find some clothes I do not have – I’m getting into experimenting with my outfits, which is a lot of fun.
Anything you want to do in Sep-Dec? Book recs for me?
Recently, I’ve realized that there is a cycle that I go through on bookstagram that I think started in March 2020: first, I’ll feel really good about what I’m posting. I’ll feel so inspired. Then, the second part of the cycle is me looking at other people’s posts and comparing myself to them. Finally, I’ll start to worry that what I post is not good enough, and that I’m not being aware enough. This causes me to either 1. want to delete my account, or 2. delete Instagram off my phone. Then, the cycle starts again. How do I break the cycle? Here’s how I think I can:
First of all, the past two days, I’ve deleted Instagram off my phone when I start to do homework until my school day ends. This is really helpful because I’m becoming less attached to my phone in the morning. My eyes feel better and there’s more separation between my life outside my phone.
Second of all, I am someone who tends to overanalyze a lot and therefore, this causes me to think people don’t like me. I know this is a very convoluted way of reasoning. For example, if someone responds to a text with a period in their sentence, I’ve worried that they don’t want to talk to me.
Finally, I realized recently that I just wasn’t liking what I was posting, including what I was posting here on the blog. I didn’t like how I was just trying to maintain a certain aesthetic instead of contributing to educating others, and I repeated some of the same questions that I tried to use to talk to my followers. I think some of these feelings might be from me growing up in a competitive schooling environment where I was always second best from sixth to ninth grade. I get jealous of those who are so amazing at writing reviews, but I must realize that it takes time. I also need to accept that it’s ok to feel sad if I do put a lot of work into something and I get no response. I need to let go of relationships that are one-sided. Furthermore, I actually stopped talking about problematic books a while ago, but now, I feel like I should because white authors are still getting away with a lot. I don’t remember the author’s name, but she was harrassing someone who gave her book 4.5 stars on Goodreads.
Use my platform effectively.
Create work that I’m proud of.
I’ve seen this phrase many times and I did not come up with it: post with intention.
Recognize that I don’t need to post everyday because my main “job” right now is to finish the school year and to continue researching colleges.
Honestly, this goes for ALL parts of my life: recognize that stress is ok.
Overall, I think I do have to accept that analogy that “there will always be a car ahead of of me on the highway.” I feel like, as a high schooler, I’ve gotten caught up in the mindset that I need to have everything in my life figured out in addition to maintaining a certain image, but that’s not what I want this blog and bookstagram to be about. I wouldn’t want to monetize this hobby right now because my main concern is school, although it would be very cool to get paid to promote the books I love. I still get jealous of those bloggers who’ve been around for the past 5-6 years who have really pretty aesthetics and the perfect layout and sound so smart, while I’m over here with incoherant messes of reviews, which makes me think I’m not working hard enough to be taken seriously or for people to want to be friends with me, but I must recognize that comparing myself to others won’t help me make progress in where I want to be.
Hello everyone! If you’ve been following my bookstagram for a while, you know that I’ve had it since December 2018. I used to be @lives_in_ya_books, but decided to change my handle to @solaceinreading at the beginning of August. I don’t just read YA books anymore (because of The Poppy War), and I am getting older. It is time for a change.
What are my plans for Bookstagram?
My bookstagram is a product of work, time, and effort. I’ve worked it on since December 2018, coming up on two years this December!! I haven’t been as dedicated to something since rowing, which I participated in from September 2016 to March 2020, so about 3.5 years. I know I want to be a bookstagrammer longer because I can make friends (and already have so many amazing friends who I know are there for me), and love taking pretty pictures! I’ve developed real photography and writing skills. Here are five changes/updates I want to make:
Not following a schedule. “Wait, don’t you have to follow a schedule to be sucessful?” Definitely not. I literally did not have a schedule from January 2020 to nearly the end of June. I still retained about 1,050 followers in spite of my sporadic posting, and that’s what I need to do when (takes deep breath) dual enrollment starts tomorrow. I like taking pictures when I want to take pictures. (Right now, I have no inspiration since I am waiting for Where Dreams Descend, lol.)
Follow as many people as I want to. For some reason, I thought that I had to have more followers than people I was following. HOWEVER, I follow less people because now I can see that I have seen all the posts! I don’t see a million posts per day!
Use stories less. I don’t want everyone to swipe through 15+ story posts per day because I really don’t need to be on Instagram as much as I am. I am going to make it so that I don’t feel like I need to post on my stories if I am not posting on my feed. I want to change my mindset from “this is a place to gain followers and free books” to “this is a place to meet friends and make life long connections.” (Lili @utopia.state.of.mind, ty for this!)
Keep my Close Friends list limited. I like to rant there, and it is limited to people I’ve known for over a year.
Maintain a theme. I like having organization online and offline. (If you ever meet me, you can get on my good side by talking about how much we both love pens and notebooks.)
What is your bookstagram (if you have one)? Would you be interested in advice posts about bookstagramming?