Three’s A Crowd (Wondrous Covers Wednesday)

Hey everyone. I decided to start up Wondrous Covers Wednesday after seeing a new cover a few weeks months ago. This post has been in my drafts forever and I figured I’d pull it out and finish it.

This week’s feature is dedicated to crowds, an introvert’s worst nightmare.

Just kidding.

Partly.

~One~

The_Rest_of_us_Just_Live_Here

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – 

~My Thoughts~

I like the fade out effect that this cover has with almost all of the people on the cover. Not to mention, this book is supposed to glow in the dark, I’ve heard. They’re all just mostly ordinary people. The tagline here is absolutely everything, we’re not likely to be the “chosen ones” to save the world.

~Two~

The_Ones

The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker – 

~My Thoughts~

The Ones has a bit blurry effect going on. I kind of like it, but it kind of districts me from the actual main characters. I really like the tagline on the cover even if it seems a little in your face. I’d expect the “not” to be in bold rather than the reversal of what’s going on. The font color really pops which is nice, as far as I can see, it’s the only red on the cover.

~Three~

Here_We_Are_Now_Jasmine_Warga

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga 

~My Thoughts~

And here is the new cover that inspired the theme. I think this cover is a good combination between the other two. It’s also my favorite one. Like The Ones, there’s the focus on the main characters who are in color. I’m not sure how I like the title font color. I feel it almost loses itself? I’m wondering if a darker blue would have been better. 

Other Covers With Crowds:

Finally, I had to include these two because they are perfect for this theme.

My True Love Gave To Me Anthology Summer_Days_And_Summer_Nights

One thing I like about these covers is how they really emphasize their titles with “Us”, “Ones” and “We”. I think it could’ve been easy for a couple of the covers to just feature the main characters, but they didn’t do that.


What do you think about crowds on covers? I think they have the chance of seeming too busy but for the most part, I felt all these cover designers did a good job.


All The Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Hi everyone. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, they come up with new lists for the book community to participate in almost every week. You can read more about that here.

I decided to make a list of the books coming out this Spring rather than general books I want to read. You would be surprised how complicated this actually was and not because of the books. I was trying to figure out what months were considered Spring. The fact that it’s freezing outside and feels like it could snow any minute didn’t help any.

After talking to friends, I decided to stick with the standard Spring dates which is March 20th-June 20th. I picked fifteen books that I’m dying to have. I have quite a few of these as eARCs so I need to get to reading!

Top_Fifteen_Books_On_My_Spring_TBR

~March~

Dead_Little_Mean_Girl

Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows

March 28th from Harlequin Teen

I love the idea of Dead Little Mean Girl because I believe it’s a deconstruction of the mean girl trope. It doesn’t hurt things that the character Quinn is a bit of a nod to Quinn on Daria.

~April~

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold

April 1st from Carolrhoda

I think when a person gets in a relationship, it can be easy to lose themselves inside it and forget who they are after. What Girls Are Made Of seems like it will be discussing what exactly this means and how you get back to it, I can’t wait to read.

Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco (eARC)

April 4th from Philomel Books

I like how Speak of Me As I Am is going to deal with grief and the way two teenagers grieve. The aspect of the main characters being in the play, Othello also attracts me to this book. Interestingly enough, like What Girls Are Made Of, Speak of Me As I Am will also show who people are when they are on their own. I think that’s important to know, especially when a relationship is possible.

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett (eARC)

April 4th from Simon Pulse 

This sounds like such a cute, light-hearted version of You’ve Got Mail, which is one of my favorite movies. I read the first few pages and I was so into them.

Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (eARC)

April 4th from Bloomsbury

This is a sadder You’ve Got Mail-esque book. I’ve heard that Brigid Kemmerer is a really good author so not only do I have high hopes because of the plot, but also because of what I’ve heard.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

April 11th from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Don’t act surprised, this book needs to explanation. I love Hamilton, I love Alex and Eliza’s relationship, I need this book. I will never be satisfied until I read it.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (eARC)

April 11th from Balzer + Bray

I have to admit I have still not finished Simon, but I still remember how much I loved reading what I did read of it. It was such a well-written Contemporary that I have nothing but the highest expectations for Upside. I’m really wanting to read it because it features a girl who is fat and Jewish and yes. Need.

~May~

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (eARC)

May 2nd from HMH Books for Young Readers

I read Ashley Blake’s Suffer Love and I adored it the entire time. When I read a debut I love, I have to read the author’s next book, of course. How To Make A Wish sounds amazing with it’s hopefully deeper look into poverty and family dynamics. I love books with dysfunctional and/or unconventional upbringings and seeing how characters deal with that.

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (eARC)

May 2nd from Amulet Books

This book, I saw someone call it basically She’s The Man meets Pitch Perfect. I love She’s The Man and really any fiction that follows the girl main character who has to pretend to be a guy. I haven’t seen Pitch Perfect, but I’ve seen Glee so I think it’s kind of close? We’ll call it kind of close! So basically, girl dresses up as guy and joins a singing group, um, yes please. It sounds exactly as Glee now that I think of it.

Minus the dressing up as a guy thing.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

May 9th from Balzer + Bray

Ramona Blue is Julie Murphy’s latest book. Following the success of Dumplin’, I knew I wanted to read this. I haven’t read either of Murphy’s previous books, though I do own them. I like how Ramona has a bigger responsibility than some teens and how she has to be the adult. That reminds me quite a bit of I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. I can’t wait to see how Murphy deals with the sexual orientation in this book.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (eARC)

May 16th from Bloomsbury

I used to go to church camp and Youth Conferences in middle school and part of high school. I always looked forward to it. Well, mostly the youth conferences, to be honest. I love seeing books with characters dealing with faith and how the situations in their life affect that. Emery’s pretty much one to watch now as this is her fourth Contemporary. I am sad to say I have not read any of them yet, though I do own Open Road Summer, The Start of Me and You and yes, The Names They Gave Us.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (eARC)

May 16th from Feiwel & Friends

This book totally deconstructs the love-triangle trope on its head and I am just here for it. Like, yes please. That’s really all I have to say because what else needs to be said?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (eARC)

May 30th from Simon Pulse

I am trying to figure out how to phrase what’s in my head. I think arranged marriages are interesting. My first ‘experience’ with actually seeing an arranged marriage plot in fiction was with Degrassi. The characters in Degrassi were also indian. While they didn’t get married, they did meet each other. I’m interested in seeing Dimple and Rishi interact throughout the book.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

May 30th from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR) 

I wish I could say I love Korean Dramas but to be honest, I’ve only ever watched one. It was Autumn In My Heart and it broke my heart, I was in pieces. It was disturbing how much I still hurt from that drama. I’ve been meaning to watch more dramas but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Part of the reason is because I have to read subtitles and I already find it hard enough to read actual books. You see my problem then, yeah? Anyway, I am in love with this idea of this character studying Korean dramas and wanting to re-create her own sort of romance with that.

~June~

Bad_Romance

 

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

June  13th from Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

I fell in love with Heather’s last Contemporary, I’ll Meet You There in 2015. I loved how she dealt with hard topics. Thus I have faith she’ll be able to do justice for this story involving a girl who gets in an abusive relationship. 


Did any of these books make your Spring TBR? If not, what’s on your TBR? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments!


Review: Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson (Blog Tour)

piecing_me_togetherHi everyone! I’m very happy to be the third stop on the Piecing Me Together Blog Tour. I loved Piecing Me Together, so I’ll be sharing a review. I hope you check it out and enter the giveaway posted at the end.

25566675Title: Piecing Me Together

Author: Renee Watson

Published: February 14, 2017

Pages: 272

Genres: Contemporary

Themes: Family, Privilege, Race, Friendship, Coming of Age

Format: ARC 

Source: Bloomsbury

Rating: Four Stars

Goodreads Summary:

A timely and powerful story about a teen girl from a poor neighborhood striving for success, from acclaimed author Renée Watson.

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.

Cover Thoughts: I love the actual collage on this cover. It’s totally gorgeous and I love the Black POC front and center on there.

~Review~

For a Contemporary book, this is really magical. Piecing Me Together felt like such a personal story that could fit many black girls lives today. When we meet Jade, she’s living in poverty and fighting her way out of it by doing well in school. Unfortunately, due to her being black and also on the lower economic spectrum, she gets encouraged to join Woman to Woman, a mentorship for black girls who are labeled “at-risk”. From the outside, it’s a little easy to see why Jade would be chosen for the mentorship, she lives in poverty, is at her private school on scholarship and is raised by a single mother.

On the other hand though, Jade is anything but at-risk. She’s passionate. I really liked hearing about the mentorship program because I think it was good in theory. Like Jade though, there were some reservations about it, like how there was a focus on boys and superficial things at time. I wish there had been a little bit of a deeper look at the mentorship because I really thought it was going well at the end. Jade’s mentor, Maxine annoyed me quite a bit throughout the story. Maxine was a little self involved and prideful when it came to Jade. While Maxine is black, she grew up in a different kind of way than Jade. Her family was very proper and reserved. This made Jade uncomfortable and nervous at times given her background. I loved seeing these two woman interact with each other even if Maxine did frustrate me at times. I like how Jade spoke up about Woman to Woman and encouraged the mentors to cover different topics, topics that these girls should know, like finances and budgeting. I don’t often see financial aspects come up too much in YA, so I loved seeing how Piecing Me Together talked about finances a bit. When Maxine  One thing I especially liked was how Maxine and Jade’s mom’s interactions were written. As Jade begins to spend more time with Maxine, her mother is on the hesitant side. She also grows jealous at times over the relationship.

Jade is one of my favorite characters in all of fiction. I loved how driven she was, how she wanted more not only for herself but for the mentorship. She was determined to carve herself a space out whether that was speaking up about the mentorship or making a collage. Jade had two big interests in Piecing Me Together, Spanish and art. I really enjoyed seeing these incorporated. At the beginning of each chapter was a word in spanish, and it’s definition. These words would generally focus on what the chapter would be about. I thought it was an interesting way to showcase Jade’s passion for Spanish. I really liked how often Jade made collages and discussed art. Collages are one of my favorite formats for art because of how you tear things apart to put them back together. Jade’s collages dealt with her feelings and events that happened. Jade is a girl who is on the bigger side and I loved seeing how that also affected her life. I felt her thoughts and experiences were very realistic and I know I could relate to them at times.

Piecing Me Together is such a timely book that deals with so many serious issues of today, police brutality, white privilege, racial differences, and socioeconomic scales. There’s really so many examinations at different issues that makes this such a gem to read. One of my favorite parts about Piecing Me Together was seeing how Jade’s friendships differed between her black friend, Lee Lee and her white friend, Sam. It reminded me a lot of an on-going storyline in the middle-grade series, Three Girls In The City.

Sam, while from a similar financial background as Jade, Sam and her grandparents worry when Sam goes to her house. Later in the book, Jade hears about a girl their age who was a victim of police brutality. Sam, being white, doesn’t understand why Jade is so upset about it. In other instances, Sam doesn’t notice the difference in privileges that they get. Woman to Woman is called a privilege for Jade whereas Sam’s privilege at school is something Jade really deserved and wanted. I like how Piecing Me Together showed the stressful and difficult look at racial differences between friends.

~Final Thoughts~

Piecing Me Together is a book to read for this year. The issues it covers are so important today and I loved seeing how naturally they fit. I think Jade will stay with most people. It was really easy to read. The chapters are short, but I loved the spotlight each one of them had on different experiences. I do wish some chapters were longer and that the book was longer. I think Piecing Me Together will give a very insightful look at how black teens go through life and how their worldview lens differs from the usual white Young Adult protagonist..


Giveaway Link for one (1) hardcover of Piecing Me Together


Dates:

2/14: Story Sanctuary

2/15: Reading is Better than Cupcakes

2/16: YA Indulgences

2/17: Awkwordly Emma

2/21: Dazzled by Books

2/22: Here’s to Happy Endings

2/23: A Little Book World

2/24: Random Musings of a Bibliophile


Top Ten Favorite Romance Movies

Hi everyone. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) is a Valentine’s Day freebie. I decided to feature my ten favorite romance movies.

Top Ten Tuesday

ttt_2_14_17

One Day

one-day

I remember renting this from Redbox over winter break during my freshman year of college. I was so fascinated by the idea of the movie going over the day two friends met over the period of 20 years.

Listen To Your Heart

listen_to_your_heart

This was a random indie movie I decided to watch on Netflix. It’s now one of my favorite romance dramas. The female main character is deaf and not portrayed by a deaf actress, which should be noted. I felt the movie did a good job. It is on the sadder side though, so beware.

Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind

This was a movie that I heard a lot about over the years. I eventually found it on sale, possibly and gave it a watch. Let me just say “Wow”. I love this movie. It’s really insightful and it’s a deconstruction of the manic pixie dream girl characterization.

Garden State

garden_state

This is similar to the above, I never really thought about it until I bought it. Then I fell in love with it. It also made me listen to The Shins due to a scene in the movie. The soundtrack is also very A +.

Definitely Maybe

definitely_maybe

I bought this without really knowing anything about it and fell in love with the way it was told. The father in the movie tells his daughter the story of how he and her mom met.

A Walk To Remember

a_walk_to_remember

This is my first and favorite Nicholas Sparks-turned-movie I saw. I love Mandy Moore in it.

Dirty Dancing

dirty_dancing

This is a classic which doesn’t need explaining. I like the look at different classes it had but it would’ve been more amazing had it some POC and expanded on the overall difference in economic classes.

Dear John

DJ_IT_1Sht_18

This is my second favorite Nicholas Sparks movie. I’m not a huge fan of Amanda Seyfried, but I liked her in this movie.

Things I Hate About You

10_things_i_hate_about_you

This is another classic which doesn’t need explaining.

Warm Bodies

warm_bodies

I remembered being really interested in this movie which actually came out on Valentine’s Day around seven years ago. I loved the music and the plot in it.


I have a list of romance movies I should watch, as I surprisingly haven’t seen too many. What are some of your favorite romance movies? Happy Valentine’s Day.


All Of The 2016 Books I Meant To Read

Hey guys. I know, I know, “Two Top Ten Tuesdays in a row!”. I’m working on a year long streak of them.  You can find out more about Top Ten Tuesday here.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is “Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)“. This is basically my kind of topic. Again.

I went through an absolutely ridiculous reading slump last year. I call it, the lost year. Let’s not talk about it anymore, it’s too painful.

How about I get to the books now? As usual, I have more than ten! I decided to pick sixteen in honor of 2016. And you’ve probably seen me mention all of these lovely, amazing, fantastic looking books before.

  1. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
  2. Be Good Be Real Be Crazy by Chelsey Philpot
  3. Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King
  4. Wrecked by Maria Padian
  5. Beast by Brie Spangler
  6. Into White by Randi Pink
  7. The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
  8. Whisper To Me by Nick Lake
  9. The Memory of Light by Francesco X. Stork
  10. Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu
  11. Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
  12. Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
  13. You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour
  14. Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi
  15. Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
  16. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

I have almost every single one of these books, so there’s no reason for me to not have read them. Absolutely NO reason. Minus work, home, slumps and sleep. No reason at all, guys.

Would you like to know which books I own? I’ll just tell you the ones I don’t have in one format or another: Be Good Be Real Be Crazy, Rani Patel In Full Effect, and Into White.

I feel really connected to Still Life With Tornado, Girl In Pieces, Whisper To Me and The Memory of Light even though I haven’t read them. I feel like when I do read them, I’ll love them.


Have you read any of these books? How did you like them? What are some books you meant to read last year but didn’t?


Where Have I Been?

It’s no lie that I spent much of last year being, well, absent from my blog. A lot of things just kept coming up, I got a job and I just couldn’t balance both of them. I meant to post a lot of times, but by the time I got around to needing my post to be up (around midnight), I’d be too tired to finish it. I meant to do monthly recaps and a yearly review, but knowing how much time I spend on those, I just couldn’t. It was too daunting to even try. I’ve wanted to post reviews, but with my already being a procrastinator, nothing in my life made it easy to do that.

It’s made me so sad to see my blog almost slowly die and with it, my actual contribution to the blogging community. I’m hoping this year will be better, but I don’t know. I’m still shaken by events that have happened last year along with the results of the election.

I’m going to try to post regularly, one of my goals for the year is to post at least three times a week. So far, I’ve been handling that okay. I hope it continues too.

I guess this is just a post to kind of share why I wasn’t around last year. I want this whole…blogging slump to end. Maybe if I put it in writing, it will actually happen.


Top Eleven Debuts I Cannot Wait For

Top Ten Tuesday

It feels like it has been forever since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is done by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. They post a new list every week for people to participate in.  I couldn’t pass this one up because I love any chance to talk about the books I’m excited for.

~*~Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For~*~

~One~

the_hate_u_give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

I’m going to be hopefully reading this book this week. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it and it is so, sadly,

timely.

~Two~

its_not_like_its_a_secret

It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Suglura 

I love all the diversity this book has in it, so I’m hoping when it’s published that it is pretty good.

~Three~

aftercare_instructions

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin 

I love the format this is going to take with two types of narrative going on, including a play which fascinates me so much.

~Four~

(No cover)

Dear Martin by Nic Stone 

This is another timely book dealing with #BlackLivesMatter. I love that the main character, Justyce is going to be writing letters to Martin Luther King. I love when characters write letters so this should be interesting.

~Five~

when_dimple_met_rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon 

I am really interested in this dealing with arranged marriage and it’s going to be done with such care. It’s told in two point of views too, which I love in romance novels.

~Six~

(No cover)

You and Me and The End of The World by Amy McCellan 

I fell in love at…actually, I’ll just share the Goodreads summary.

Debut author Amy McClellan’s You and Me and the End of the World is a YA novel pitched as Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Eleanor and Park . In the book, the fates and hearts of two teen outsiders collide when they meet cute in the dark at a party to end all parties.

So much to love. I loved Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and I love seeing love interests meet. I’m hoping this takes place over one night because, yes, that’s my weakness. I’m actually not sure if this book is happening or not, but one can hope.

~Seven~

the_education_of_margot_sanchez

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera 

I’m super excited to read about this Latinx book as I haven’t read very many books with Latinx. Not to mention it also deals with privilege and it sounds so lovely.

~Eight~

after_the_fall

After The Fall by Kate Hart 

After The Fall deals with sexual assault and reputation. I’ve been wanting to read this since I discovered it last year when it was due to come out.

~Nine~ 

the_gallery_of_unfinished_girls

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz

I love that The Gallery of Unfinished Girls has a lot of creativity with painting.

~Ten

american_street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

I love everything about the summary here with Fabiola having to experience the United States essentially on her own. I’m interested in seeing what she thinks and what she deals with.

~Bonus~

speak_of_me_as_i_am

Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco 

Speak of Me As I Am is about grief and two teenagers connecting and a play. I really like plays in books though I rarely read books with them in it. I like how the main characters are going to connect with their common grief.


So that is it for my eleven debuts. I could have thrown in a few more, but I wanted to narrow it down. What books are you looking forward to? Have you read any of these?


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