My Impossible Fall TBR 🍂

Watch my Youtube video talking about these books here!

 

This blog post is gonna be a LONG one. My Fall TBR is never ending. I keep adding to it every day but as of now, here’s what I want to read this fall:

I’m going to start off with the books I’ve already read on this TBR!

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

★★★ ½ out of ★★★★★ stars (3.5/5)

★★★ ½ out of ★★★★★ stars (3.5/5)

★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (4/5

★★★  out of ★★★★★ stars (3/5)

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

★★★★½ out of ★★★★★ stars (4.5/5)

  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Scythe by Neal Schusterman
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca
  • Vanity Fair’s Women on Women
  • The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer
  • Shades of Magic vol. 1 by V.E. Schwab
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

If you want to keep updated with my Fall TBR and how I’m doing, here’s my Goodreads list!

What are you reading this Fall?

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTubeInstagram | Twitter

Feminist Friday | The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Feminist Friday Announcement!

Image result for the testaments margaret atwood marketing“More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –Margaret Atwood”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 432 pages
ISBN: 0385543786
Published: September 10th 2019
Publisher: Nan A. Talese / Double Day Books

 

Happy Feminist Friday! I decided there’s no other book that I can shout out this week than the sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale. I’m currently reading it (about 103 pages in) and I’m already enjoying it much more than the original. I love that she did this book in three different perspectives — it makes this book 10x more immersive.

It’s been in the news recently since Amazon broke the embargo and released this book a week before the release date. I’m not shocked that they did this but it definitely kills the release day hype when everyone’s already reading it. This is why you should shop indie instead!

It’s also been in the news recently because it made the short list for a Man Booker Prize!

Image result for the testaments margaret atwood marketing

You can see the entire list here. I think the winner will be announced in October!

If you want to follow along with me as I read it, I will be updating Goodreads while reading! I’m also recording an entire vlog of my reactions while reading. I’m sure that’ll be up in a few weeks! I’m aiming to edit and post it right when I finish but I have no idea when that’ll be.

Have you read this book? Are you planning to? Let me know!

 

If you would like, here’s a little button to add it to Goodreads: 

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Buy this book at your local bookstore

Things Not to Say/Do to Your Bookseller

I’ve been a bookseller for about a year now at two different bookstores (a chain and an indie) and there’s so many things I’ve heard that I wish I didn’t. As a bookseller, you learn a lot about your customers based on what they read and the endless conversations you have with them about these books. After a year of bookselling, there’s just some things that I want to advise you NOT to say to your bookseller.

  • “Are you sure you don’t have it? It says in stock right there.”

This was something that happened to me SO often at Barnes & Noble. The customer service desks faced out towards customers and this caused a lot of issues with customers thinking they know what they’re reading. Yes, while the computer says it’s in stock, that’s only at a warehouse. If I tell you we don’t have the book and we can order it, just order it and believe me.

  • “Don’t you have a cheaper version like a paperback of this new release in store?”

This was ALWAYS for new releases. Please understand that most of the time, publishers don’t release paperbacks until about a year after the release. This time frame mostly depends on how well the book is doing. If a book is flying off the shelves in a hardcover (For example: Where the Crawdads Sing), it’s less likely they’re going to release a paperback anytime soon. This is simply because they’re making more money off these hardcovers. So, if you don’t want to pay for the hard cover, you’re going to have to wait a year or so.

  • Please stop leaving your iced plastic cups on the bookshelves. You’re ruining our shelves and books.

Most bookstores with Starbucks or coffee shops attached know what I’m talking about. There were so many different occasions I’d find an iced drink leaking all over the shelf because someone decided just to leave it there. There’s trash cans, people. Also, maybe get a more environmentally friendly cup that you won’t leave everywhere? It’s just annoying when there’s rings on our bookshelves because of other people not having manners. I get it, sometimes you forget your drink and it’s an accident, but DAMN. This happened to often for everyone to be that forgetful.

  • You don’t have to whisper.

As an indie bookseller in a small store, it’s just awkward if you whisper. It’s not a library so you don’t need to be quiet. I can promise you I’m probably not even listening because I’m too busy reading my own book. It’s okay to talk to your friends or family while you’re book shopping!

  • While I do have an expansive knowledge on books, I don’t know that book that was mentioned on the news this morning or a magazine.

I wish that I knew these books that are promoted on TV or in the paper. But, unfortunately, I don’t have time to watch the morning news. I’m usually at work when that’s airing. I’m not mad if you ask about these books but it sucks when I’m not able to find them online when you’re looking for them. I really do want you to find this book! Try to take a photo of the news article or the TV screen whenever they’re promoting the book. I’ll definitely be able to find it then.

  • Print books aren’t dying and neither are the bookstores.

I hate it when people tell me this and remind me of their trusty e-reader they love so much. Don’t get me wrong, e-books are great. But, if you’re standing in the indie bookstore I work at, why would you tell me this? I’m aware of the popularization of e-books but it’s important to know print isn’t dying. If it was, we wouldn’t be a bookstore full of physical books. It is important to know that bookstores aren’t as busy as they were before but there’s new indie bookstores opening everywhere in America. In fact, there’s more newer indie bookstores than ever. That’s why it’s so important for you to shop at your indie bookstore. If you want to be able to linger around a bookstore for hours sipping on your hot coffee, you gotta at least get some books there!

  • “The last time I read a book was for high school reading. It sucked.”

I’m glad you’re bragging about being illiterate, Brad. Why are you even here?

  • “Do I HAVE to start with book one in the series?”

I can’t believe people really start in the middle of some series. Yes, I’m pretty sure if you want to understand most series: you should start with book one. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some series that you don’t really need to start at the beginning. But, if you ask me if you need to read the first book in Throne of Glass or A Darker Shade of Magic, I’m going to tell you: Yes. Definitely.

  • Please stop taking photos of our books to buy them somewhere else.

Man, I really hated seeing this because I knew most people do this to pick up the book somewhere else (Amazon, probably). Google exists for a reason! Don’t waste my time asking me to help you find a book if you’re not going to buy it here. I’m not an Amazon bookseller. I’m an indie bookseller! I could be helping someone who genuinely wants to read and buy the book they need help finding.

  • “The book you recommended me sucked.”

This hasn’t happened to me personally but it did happen to one of my old co-workers. I love giving recommendations to people but listen, I’m going to be bias. I’m going to recommend my favorite books to you if you ask, “What’s the best book you’ve ever read?” That question doesn’t let me help you find YOUR favorite book, it just lets me show you mine. If you’re going to ask for recommendations, please give us more on what you’re into. What was your last favorite book? What’s your favorite TV show? It helps us way more!

  • “Why would I read the book when I can watch the movie?”

I don’t know, why are you in a bookstore when you can just go buy some DVDs or something? Also, the book is ALWAYS better.

  • Don’t flip over or move a book that you don’t agree with or that you just don’t like.

I used to do this when I was a KID simply because it’s childish. It’s annoying when you turn over Donald Trump’s books or move them to an entirely different section. This causes customers to be mad at US for not being able to find the book you moved. I don’t like his books either but I’m also aware of the extra work that causes for booksellers. Not to mention, we don’t get paid enough to walk around the store looking for books customers moved. Also, even though I get bored, I don’t want to turn over a bunch of political books because a customer decided to be petty. It’s annoying so please don’t.

  • Don’t argue with booksellers if we say the book is in the back and we can’t get to it right now.

My first ever horrible experience at Barnes & Noble was with a dad who INSISTED on getting this book for his daughter. It was some obscure paperback that even I hadn’t heard of. This was during the holidays so we were so busy and the back was FULL of boxes. I couldn’t just go rip through all the 50+ boxes for this random paperback. He went to several booksellers about this saying, “Isn’t the title on the box?” like no, it’s not. If it was, I could’ve gotten it for you. Anyways, the manager had to rip through all the books to find it because this person couldn’t wait for the receiver to unbox it. RIP. Most of the time, the book is in the back and we can get it for you but you just have to be patient!

  • “I’m just going to buy it on Amazon. It’s cheaper!”

Why would you ever tell a bookseller that? Let alone, an indie bookseller? It literally hurts hearing people come in here and just say they’re going to buy it online. We can order any book you want, we offer discounts for teachers, our bestsellers are 25% off and we work much harder to help you than Amazon will. I know that books are cheaper on Amazon but don’t you want a bookstore near you to rely on? Don’t you want to have weekends where you linger around a little indie bookstore and end up finding your favorite book? I get it, some people will STILL shop on Amazon. But, there’s no reason to tell your bookseller that. I don’t think you’d walk into Wendy’s and say, “I’m just going to get food at McDonalds. BYEEE” like ??? I don’t get it. Have some manners, please.

 

To find an indie bookstore near you, check out this link.

 

I love being a bookseller but there’s just some things that make me giggle or that I had to get off my chest. If you’re a bookseller, HOLD ON TIGHT. You can do this! If you have more to add to list, comment! I’d love to see how others feel as well lol.

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

HAPPY RELEASE DAY | We Are Lost & Found

43298077A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting, story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming-of-age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them, while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate.

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.”

Edition: Hardcover

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Source Books Fire

Happy release day to Helene Dunbar’s We Are Lost and Found! I have an entire spoiler free review for this book that you can find here.

If any of you remember, We Are Lost and Found was actually one of my ON MY RADAR picks and I’m so happy for it to finally be out in the world!

Find We Are Lost & Found at your local bookstore!

 

Are you looking forward to this book now as well? Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads to help the hype!

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September Book Releases | 2019

 

ADULT

  • The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood [September 10th] **
  • The Institute by Stephen King [September 10th]
  • The Water Dancer by Te-Nehisi Coates [September 24th]
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca [September 3rd, 2019]
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1) by Tamsyn Muir [September 3rd]
  • Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3) by Jay Kristoff [September 3rd]
  • the Dutch House by Ann Patchett [September 24th]
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson [September 17th]

 

YOUNG ADULT

  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar [September 3rd] ** My Review
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon [September 10th] **
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell [September 24th] **
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin [September 3rd]
  • Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzie Lee [September 3rd] **
  • Suggested Reading by David Connis [September 17th]
  • Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi [September 3rd]
  • The Lady Rogue by Jen Bennett [September 3rd]
  • The Infinite Noise by Laura Shippen [September 24th]

MIDDLE GRADE

  • The Tyrant’s Tomb (Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan [September 24th] **
  • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab [September 3rd] **
  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier [September 17th]

 

** books that I’m anticipating myself!

What I’m Reading During Hurricane Dorian

WELL, it’s that time of the year again. It’s hurricane season and since I live in Florida, we’re already being hit. This time, the hurricane is called Dorian and it’s set to make landfall at a category 4. This is obviously a VERY bad hurricane and everyone here is getting prepared. They’ve changed the day it’s supposed to hit several times so I’m not entirely sure but I decided to share with you all the books I’m currently reading and will probably be reading if I lose power lol.

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

“On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.”

I have this as a downloaded audiobook so I’m not sure if I’ll be listening to it a lot since I have to save my battery power but who knows! I’m hoping we don’t lose power but we always lose power. I’m actually already like 33% into this book and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve never really been a fan of thrillers/mysteries but I recently read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and I really love her writing style. I used to have a physical copy of this book that I thrifted but I got rid of it because I never thought I’d read it. I wish I kept it! So far, the audiobook is fantastic so I’m not too angry.

  • Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath

42980964 “Never before published, this newly discovered story by literary legend Sylvia Plath stands on its own and is remarkable for its symbolic, allegorical approach to a young woman’s rebellion against convention and forceful taking control of her own life.

Written while Sylvia Plath was a student at Smith College in 1952, Mary Ventura and The Ninth Kingdom tells the story of a young woman’s fateful train journey.

Lips the color of blood, the sun an unprecedented orange, train wheels that sound like “guilt, and guilt, and guilt” these are just some of the things Mary Ventura begins to notice on her journey to the ninth kingdom.

“But what is the ninth kingdom?” she asks a kind-seeming lady in her carriage. “It is the kingdom of the frozen will,” comes the reply. “There is no going back.”

Sylvia Plath’s strange, dark tale of female agency and independence, written not long after she herself left home, grapples with mortality in motion”

I also have this on audiobook and it’s only about 44 minutes long so there’s no doubt I’ll finish it this month! I recently read the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and really enjoyed it so I thought I’d pick up one of her short stories.

  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Imaginary Friend “Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend. The epic work of literary horror from the #1 bestselling author of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground. “

I’ve been reading this for a bit now. I’m at like 17% through an e-arc that I have. I need to focus on it and only read this considering its like 800 pages but you know. I’ve just been reading bits of it at night. I’ll have a review for this near the release date!

If any of you are in the path of Hurricane Dorian, please BE PREPARED. Here’s a list of things you can get in order to be ready for this hurricane. I live in Florida and we got our supplies ready in case anything happens. Stay safe!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

ON MY RADAR → Only Mostly Devastated

On My Radar is a series I’ve been doing since I started blogging in 2016. I share with you books that may not have as much hype that I’m excited to read. I like sharing debut novels or books I just don’t think enough people are talking about. I usually find these books on Edelweiss and try to provide a review closer to the release date. I love doing these posts so I can boost some great books and help others find their next read!

 

SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease.

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most.”

Release Date:  March 3, 2020
ISBN: 9781250315892, 1250315891
Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 288 pages
I recently found this on Edelweiss and it looks so CUTE. Grease and Clueless? Hand it over.

Pre-order this book at your local bookstore! Pre-orders help books out IMMENSELY.

We Are Lost and Found [REVIEW]

43298077A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting, story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming-of-age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them, while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate.

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.”

Edition: Hardcover

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Source Books Fire

My Rating:  stars 5 ★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

 

I was kindly sent a physical copy of this book by Source Books Fire  in exchange for a review. Thank you, Source Books! Any opinion is my own.

 

This review is SPOILER FREE!

TW: homophobia (unaccepting parents)

We Are Lost and Found is one of the rare books that I found the day it was posted to Edelweiss and emailed the publisher immediately. It had everything that I love in the description — it was compared to Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, it’s a coming-of-age story, it’s set in the 80s and it follows LGBT+ teens during the AIDs epidemic. Not to mention, the cover is stunning.

Coming-of-age is one of my favorite genres for so many different reasons but I love how real the stories feel even if it’s fiction. There’s so much character development and personality throughout these types of stories. We Are Lost and Found was no different. As the reader, you follow Michael and his two best friends as they grow up in the middle of New York during the 1980s. Michael goes to this club often that’s called the Echo, where he finds himself always dancing and forgetting. He’s always hanging out with either Jamie — the performer and artist or he’s with Becky, an strong female character who’s going through a lot at home.

Helene Dunbar was able to write such an interesting and fully developed cast of characters in about 300 pages. I loved all of them — Michael, Jamie and Becky. They each had their own backstories and were nowhere near being flat side characters. They also felt incredibly realistic. I find that sometimes,  in YA specifically, friend groups just seem so unrealistic and have me thinking “these people would NEVER be friends in real life” but this set of characters makes perfect sense. Jamie and Becky are never toxic and are so supportive. They’re the most unproblematic side characters ever and I ADORE them.

Not only are the friendships in this book fantastic, but family is such a huge theme in this book. Michael’s relationship with his parents and his brother plays a big part in this book. His brother is such a great character and I feel as if I relate to both of them. A lot of the times in YA books, families are often nowhere to be seen or also just incredibly unrealistic. It was a joy to see his family play a part in this book, even if it wasn’t exactly for the best reason. I really enjoyed seeing Michael’s relationship with his brother. Seeing them grow and have a healthier relationship near the end of this book is so rewarding and refreshing. On the other hand, Michael has a tough relationship with his parents and he never knows where he stands with them after knowing what they did to his brother. He feels trapped and it’s so hard to read but it’s so well done. I think a lot of readers, especially LGBT+ and closeted readers, will appreciate this.

Since this was the first ever book I’ve read by Helene Dunbar, I had no idea what to expect in terms of her writing style. I opened this book and quickly realized, “There’s no quotations marks.” I had been buddy reading this with Amber and I texted her about it immediately because to be completely honest, I think this might be one of the first non-classic books I’ve read with no quotation marks. I love dialogue and I’m not going to lie, I find myself skimming pages and just reading dialogue. Since this had no quotation marks, I obviously couldn’t do that. This story is written in beautiful vignettes and yes, there’s no quotation marks but DAMN, is it wonderful. I quickly fell in love her way of writing. I ended up marking up my review copy with pencil everywhere. I underlined anything I found funny or lyrical. I have so many quotes that I adored from this book and can’t wait to like them all on Goodreads. Let me share some little quotes I underlined:

(please note that this is from an unfinished copy and that some of these quotes may be taken out, edited, or completely changed)

  • “Happy. And that’s the odd thing. Not being happy, but realizing it. Because how often, when you’re happy, do you have the chance to step back and notice?”
  • “Becky says to stay away. That sometimes wanting is better than having — Whatever that means”
  • In this scene, he’s talking about playing guitar. “Somehow, everything I play sounds like the same thing: longing.”
  • “It’s like I left some important part of myself at Pride, and I don’t know how to get it back.”

Also, if you’re wondering why she wrote her book this way, this is a great interview!

Now to talk about a significant part of this book, We Are Lost and Found is set during the 80s and the AIDs epidemic. I’m usually hesitant when it comes to books set during real life events that are as heavy and difficult to talk about like the AIDs epidemic. Let me just say this: This is such a well researched YA novel set during this time. Since I got to read this book so early, I’ve been able to talk to Helene Dunbar herself and she’s truly so passionate about this subject and the book itself. I strongly suggest you read both the Afterword and Acknowledgements when finishing this book. Also, read the interview I linked above. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know much about the AIDs epidemic besides the fact that it certainly did happen. This book exposes the most difficult and uneasy events that took place during the epidemic. There’s a few scenes in this book that I marked because they were truly excellent and captured the experience of a young, LGBT+ boy in the 80s. One of the scenes is near the beginning of the book when Michael is reading the newspaper and reading the statistics and result of AIDs. Throughout the entire book, Michael is so utterly scared of AIDs — whether it be him somehow obtaining it or his friends and brother. Another heartbreaking scene that captures the pure fear of the AIDs epidemic is when another side character ends up getting AIDs and his family doesn’t even visit him even though he’s dying because they’re scared they’ll get sick. These are such poignant scenes but they truly set the reader up for an eye opening read.

I’m planning to read more books about the AIDs epidemic since this one. I loved it even more than I thought I would. The writing was absolutely beautiful. Helene Dunbar wrote a book on such a complex topic and did it while being both poetic and light hearted at the same time. Don’t get me wrong — this book is a heavy read but it’s well worth it. There’s so much depth within this book that I didn’t quite expect but I really enjoyed it.

On a more random note, I think this would make the perfect book club book. I really love reading this along with Amber. It gives you so much to talk about and makes for incredibly interesting conversations! As a reader, you also learn so much about the AIDs epidemic from the point of view of an LGBT+ teen. Truly remarkable!

I can’t wait for this book to be released (I pre-ordered it right when I finished) so all of you can read it and hopefully love it as much as me! The description of this book seems quite accurate. I think this book has all of the things Perks of Being a Wallflower has so if you are a fan of that book, don’t hesitate to pick this one up! You might love it as much as I did.

Find We Are Lost & Found at your local bookstore! It comes out September 3rd, 2019.

 

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the “Lover” Book Tag

I have no idea if someone has already done this. I tried to check but didn’t see anything. So, here it is! A book tag based on Taylor Swift’s new album, Lover! If you end up doing this tag, please tag me. I want to see your answers!

Here are questions with no answers:

  1. I Forgot That You Existed ↠ What’s a book you wish you forgot?
  2. Cruel Summer ↠ What’s your favorite book set during the summer?
  3. Lover ↠ What’s your favorite romance trope?
  4. The Man ↠  Who’s your favorite feminist character?
  5. The Archer ↠ Since this song discusses being imperfect, what’s an imperfect book you love?
  6. I Think He Knows ↠  What character do you know very well?
  7. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince ↠ Favorite book set in high school?
  8. Paper Rings ↠ What bookish OTP you want to get married?
  9. Cornelia Street ↠ What’s a book set near or where you live?
  10. Death by a Thousand Cuts ↠ Who’s your favorite character who’s been through a lot?
  11. London Boy ↠ Listen, I can’t help it. Who’s your favorite British character?
  12. Soon You’ll Get Better ft. the Dixie Chicks What’s a book that’s made you incredibly sad?
  13. False God ↠  Since this song talks about her relationship being greater than them, name your ALL TIME favorite book?
  14. You Need to Calm Down ↠ What’s your favorite LGBT+ book?
  15. Afterglow ↠ What’s a book you think you rated too harshly the first time you read it?
  16. ME! ↠ What’s your favorite uplifting book?
  17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend ↠ What bookish character do you wish was your best friend?
  18. Daylight ↠ Since this song is already underrated, what’s your favorite underrated book?

And now for my answers:

Continue reading the “Lover” Book Tag

Required Reading that I Loved

School is back in session and I’m so thankfully not attending high school ever again! I decided I would talk about some of the required reading that I loved in high school because it seems as if most people hated the books they read in high school. For me, some of these books became my favorites.

I want to clarify that I went to school in Florida and I took mostly advanced English, AP Lang, and a dual enrollment college course in high school. This means my required reading might be a little different than what some people may have read in high school. For example, I never had to read To Kill a Mockingbird. I know, shocker right? I’ve never read Animal Farm either! So, if you’re wondering why I might’ve not mentioned one of your favorites or ones you remember, it’s most likely because I didn’t have to read them.

1. Hamlet by Shakespeare

329519“Among Shakespeare’s plays, “Hamlet” is considered by many his masterpiece. Among actors, the role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered the jewel in the crown of a triumphant theatrical career. Now Kenneth Branagh plays the leading role and co-directs a brillant ensemble performance. Three generations of legendary leading actors, many of whom first assembled for the Oscar-winning film “Henry V”, gather here to perform the rarely heard complete version of the play. This clear, subtly nuanced, stunning dramatization, presented by The Renaissance Theatre Company in association with “Bbc” Broadcasting, features such luminaries as Sir John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Christopher Ravenscroft. It combines a full cast with stirring music and sound effects to bring this magnificent Shakespearen classic vividly to life. Revealing new riches with each listening, this production of “Hamlet” is an invaluable aid for students, teachers and all true lovers of Shakespeare – a recording to be treasured for decades to come.”

Listen, I’m not a huge Shakespeare fan. But, I did read quite a few of his works throughout high school. I mean, didn’t we all? I’m pretty sure I had read: Romeo & Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet. Hamlet was the last one I read since I read it in my Comp I class senior year of high school. When I tell you I loved Hamlet, I LOVED Hamlet. It’s actually on my Favorites list on Goodreads. Hamlet is such a great character. The play is actually intriguing, family drama, literally everyone dies, and it’s funny. What more could you ask for? Oh, and I know what he meant by “To be or not to be” now.

I also remember my English professor showing us this scene from the Simpsons to summarize Hamlet and it was golden. “Nobody out crazies Ophelia!” made me laugh so hard.

2. 1984 by George Orwell

40961427. sx318 Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life–the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language–and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.

 

I wanna say that I read this book during sophomore year of high school but honestly, I can’t remember a damn thing about high school. I just remember we read a lot of dystopian and the only Orwell thing I ever had to read was 1984. To be quite frank with you, I loved everything about this book. I read ahead like I usually do and I remember being excited for the discussions. I’m finally glad to understand this book and all the references made in 2019.

 

3. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

17250. sy475 “I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history,” Arthur Miller wrote of his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller’s drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town’s most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminates the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence.

Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch-hunts” in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing, “Political opposition… is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence.”

We actually read this out loud in class as if we were the cast of characters. I remember being picked to read Elizabeth and my only other friend in that AP class read John Proctor. I wasn’t usually excited to read aloud but it was so fun reading this play. Even though this events took place SO long ago, they were so fun to read about. I think I would probably re-read this today if I felt like it.

4. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

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In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Out of all the books I’ve read in my life, Into the Wild remains in the top three. It’s funny because I originally only rated this book four stars and in my review, I mentioned not loving it. It’s been a few years since I read this book (I think I read in it 2016?) and it still manages to stick with me. I think about it often and I like to re-read a few passages of this book whenever I’m feeling upset. I left this book feeling so much and learning so much from Jon Krakauer and Chris McCandless. This is my bookseller rec at work because I just want everyone to read it. I’ve seen the movie and it was okay but I’ll never forget the feeling of reading it for the first time. I love this book for so many different reasons — it’s so atmospheric, it reads like fiction even though it’s not, it brings up the topic of transcendentalism, and some of the writing is just truly unforgettable.

 

What was your favorite required reading? Sometimes they’re hit or miss but I ended up really loving these!