[Book Recs] Black History Month

To be quite honest, I’m always a bit uncomfortable recommending books about identities I don’t share. But these past couple of years I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more diversely, and we are halfway through Black History Month.

So although I can’t personally speak to the quality of the rep in these books, they all have diverse characters and engaging stories. Whether you’re looking for Contemporary or Fantasy, hopefully you’ll be able to find something that intrigues you.

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The Anti-Valentine's Day Tag

Why yes, I did do an anti-Valentine’s Day Tag last year. But that one was from Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts; I was also tagged by Haley @ The Caffeinated Reader, and Haley has some awesome questions.

Happy singles’ awareness day, y’all 💖

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Why Do "Book Boyfriends" Upstage Heroines?

It seems to me that I hear more about Rhysand than Feyre, Peter Kavinsky than Lara Jean, Will and Jem than Tessa, Gilbert Blythe than Anne Shirley, Peeta than Katniss … you get the picture. Whether we’re talking about books, movies, or TV shows, it feels like the love interests get more hype than the heroines.

Of course, I’m not saying that this is always the case — plenty of people stan Hermione Granger, Jude Duarte, Inej Ghafa; the heroines I listed above have ardent supporters, too. And maybe it’s just the online spaces I hang out in. Maybe it’s the “influencers” and friends whose posts tend to cross my feed. Maybe it’s exaggerated in my mind because it’s hard to stop noticing something once you pick up on it.

But I don’t think I’m totally imagining this fandom phenomenon, so here are a few of my theories as to why this is.

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Review: What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel

The girls at North Bay Academy are taking sides. It all started when Mike Parker’s girlfriend showed up with a bruise on her face. Or, more specifically, when she walked into the principal’s office and said Mike hit her. But the students have questions. Why did she go to the principal and not the police? Why did she stay so long if he was hurting her? Obviously, if it’s true, Mike should be expelled. But is it true?

Some girls want to rally for his expulsion — and some want to rally around Mike. The only thing that the entire student body can agree on? Someone is lying. And the truth has to come out.

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I Made A Playlist & Character Aesthetics for Genie Lo

Of all the books I read in January, it was surprisingly easy to pick out my favorite reads of the month. That would be the Genie Lo duology.

These books have been on my radar for a while, in no small part because they’ve been so passionately championed by my fellow Asian readers, including Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts and CW @ The Quiet Pond. But it wasn’t until Clo sent me a copy of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo that I finally got it together and read them.

And I can’t believe I waited so long! The Asian(-American) protagonists, the Chinese mythology, the SF Bay Area setting, the snark and the internalized stress … I felt right at home in Genie’s world. 

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[Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway] Selected by Barb Han

After a polarized nation was broken by the threat of civil war, States have now become countries. And in New Maine, things have gotten worse.

Giving my family a better life is everything. And my selection to attend an elite prep school suddenly offers my family a dramatically different life — food on the table, a roof over their heads, and a fighting chance at a future. 

Everything is going great until some of my friends begin ghosting me, and then disappear. Soon it becomes clear this “chance of a lifetime” isn’t the Holy Grail I was promised. And the attention from one of Easton’s elite has me questioning why a boy with a golden future wants to risk it by being seen with me. 

But when I find out why I’m really at this school, I may have to trust him if I want to live.

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February Preview

In February there is everything to hope for and nothing to regret.

– Patience Strong

After all the ups and downs of January, all I really want from this month is for my life to level out. Within a couple of weeks my schedule should be pretty well set — not just my classes and work hours, but also how I allot my free time — and that’ll hopefully allow me to just breathe and enjoy the ride.

Of course, that’s not to say I don’t have goals and plans for February!

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January Reading Report

I’m pleased to report that at least as far as reading goes, I’m starting the year off strong — this month I averaged a book per day, though it was only possible because I was on winter break for most of it and most of my classes have started off pretty slowly.

Since the theme for Devour Your TBR was January Jam Jar, I repurposed an empty hot cocoa tin and finally tried out a TBR jar! On the whole it went pretty well, saving me quite a bit of decision fatigue (and the overwhelm that came with looking over my owned-TBR); it’s definitely something that I want to continue with.

Probably the biggest surprise for me this month came from my decision to track how many books I added to my collection, with the goal of making sure I don’t totally undermine my #StartOnYourShelfathon progress: Not counting any books for class, I added 22 new books to my collection (between library checkouts, Gutenberg/Amazon freebies, and ARCs), which was much higher than I was expecting and also alarmingly close to the number of books I read this month. 

So in effect, I made only a small dent in my owned-TBR. But I did have some memorable reads and interesting stats, so let’s take a closer look at those.

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