You may have noticed, since January, I haven’t really posted a single wrap-up, there’s a couple of reasons for that:
1: I was starting to feel burned out doing wrap-ups each month & though I loved my new format, it was just starting to get a bit tiring for me!
2: I’ve been working on some new blog projects, posts, etc. and that’s been taking up a lot of my time:
The biggest one, which I hope you’ll check out is a new bookish website I launched called The Booked Shelf!! 😆📚✨🎉🎊
The Booked Shelf was inspired by my Book Bytes feature! I explain more about my inspiration for launching it on the site, but basically if you want to stay updated on the latest YA book news from cover reveals, adaptation news, and more, I recommend giving it a look!
I also started The Traveling ARC Project back in May to get #OwnVoices ARCs to more #OwnVoices readers/reviewers! It went pretty well for my first time putting something like this together!
I am also planning one for the fall and I’m really looking forward to it! My next Traveling ARC Project will be for Sara Faring’s The Tenth Girl! 😍💞
and 3: I just haven’t been reading as much as I have in the past–which is fine with me because I get to spend more time focusing on the quality of book over quantity, but that meant I wasn’t as motivated to post wrap-ups either because I felt they would be pretty brief anyways!
For my future wrap-ups on the blog though, I’m planning on them being seasonal so I can take more time to talk about the books I’ve read over a longer period! I’m looking forward to sharing not just my thoughts on the book but other factors as well!
So with that said, so far in the year of 2019 throughout Winter & Spring, I’ve read a total of 23 books! 😍💞📚✨🌸❄
My first book of 2019 was:
With every start to the new year I always make it a goal to have my first book be a poetry book! I’d heard of Nikita Gill before, but Fierce Fairytales was my first collection from her! Within this collection she not only included poems, but short stories too. She weaves modern twists & inspiring messages into this collection that transforms classic fairy tales!
The first 2019 book that I rated 5-stars was:
The Gilded Wolves ∣ ARC∣ Started January 3 + Finished January 8 ∣ My Rating: ★★★★★
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: I could gush about this book all day–I adored it! From the lush and descriptive writing, immersive setting of 1880’s Paris, scheming & heists!! Also Séverin, Enrique, Tristan, Zofia & Laila captured my heart and I adopted them all from page 1! 😭🌸✨💞
With The Gilded Wolves, this was also the first book that inspired a new blog feature, Reading Diary! I hope to get back to this feature again with upcoming books, but essentially I tracked my reading progress each day and wrote my thoughts in real-time on what I’d read so far!
Also inspired by new/upcoming releases I created these new blog features too:
1. Bookish Theories:
I was inspired to create this feature while scrolling through twitter and seeing all the books people were excited for! Bookish Theories is a post where I list my thoughts or theories on what I think will happen in a book before its released–the book that started it all was: King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (which I still need to read 😂✨)
2. Bookish Buzz
This feature was created because I always find books that are upcoming/newer releases that need more buzz surrounding them! So through this feature I plan to share anticipated releases that I want to promote more and spread the word about them!
My first post was titled ↠ Bookish Buzz: Upcoming Books That Need More Hype!
Out of all the books I’ve read so far this year, here’s one with the lowest amount of Goodreads ratings, but I highly recommend checking it out because I think this book is really great!
↠ Its also diverse + #ownvoices (Latinx YA)
Told through a past & present POV, Marco Suarez in his senior year of high school, who has everything planned out. But, he wasn’t expecting his childhood friend Sally to return so suddenly after having disappeared since freshman year and he can’t seem to ignore his first spark with Sally!
I’d say out of all the books I’ve read so far in 2019, this book is probably the most underrated! It focuses on friendship, love, family, and is also such an impactful and moving story that reminds us its the little moments in life that can shape who we are!
The cast is not only incredibly diverse, with Dominican, Korean/Jewish rep., but also featuring the main character Marco & his family who are Cuban-American!
The Universal Laws Of Marco by Carmen Rodrigues is such a relatable YA Contemporary that stresses the importance of the little moments in life and the important people within it, that shape us into who we are!
I can’t recommend this book enough, please pick it up if your looking for a new YA Contemporary to immerse yourself in!
Out of the 3 sequels that I’ve read so far this year, my favorite has been:
This is the sequel to one of my all-time favorite epic fantasy The Tiger’s Daughter! As far as sequels go, The Phoenix Empress has to be one of the most memorable I’ve read so far in 2019! It expands on the world of Hokkaro, introduces a lot of great new characters, and delves deeper into empress O’ Shizuka! I don’t want to spoil much, but it expands on the lore, world, and if your looking for a series with a dynamic cast of wonderful female characters, this is a great series!!
I also read 2 books that could be categorized as nonfiction and of them, my favorite was:
This beautifully illustrated and heartwarming picture book, chronicles and celebrates influential storyteller, librarian, and author Pura Belpré! She moves from Puerto Rico to New York, while carrying the stories and folktales she grew up hearing from her abuela!
It also chronicles her achievements as she continued her work as the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City!
Planting Stories also emphasizes the importance of diversity in storytelling and its impact, and above all, celebrates the power of stories!
Also out of the 23 reviews I’ve written so far in 2019, my favorite review would have to be for Joanna Hathaway’s Dark Of The West!
I did a little bit of research about Hathaway’s inspiration for Dark Of The West and I felt it added something more to my review! Additionally, I just loved how I explored the different elements of the story, characters, setting, etc. alongside my personal interpretations of this wonderful book!
↠ I also wrote one of my first discussion posts back in June titled, Slice Of Life Fantasy + Book Recommendations, where I explain this unique genre of stories I particularly enjoy and offer some recommendations from manga , middle grade, even graphic novels!😍✨💞🍃
And to conclude this seasonal wrap-up, this is my most recent read & a book I HIGHLY recommend you add to your TBR:
Release Date: July 2, 2019
If you follow me on twitter, than you’d know how much I’ve been freaking out about how amazing this book is and that this a book that I need more people to check out!
Told through a past and present POV, The Best Lies is an incredibly introspective novel that explores friendship, love, and trauma. We follow our main character Remy, whose boyfriend Jack has just been killed, but here’s the thing—its her best friend Elise who did it, but she can’t remember exactly what happened!
Now, as she becomes part of an investigation into his death, she has to recount her memories with her best friend Elise as she uncovers the truth about what happened!
This novel explores a lot of heavy topics such as toxic friendship and abuse, however, I can’t put into words just how much I fell in love with the main characters Remy and Elise! They really came to life and this is easily one of my favorite YA Contemporary/Mystery debuts of the year & all-time!!
So I don’t want to spoil much more than that, but I hope you check out Lyu’s debut–its fantastic!! 😭💞✨
Thanks so much for joining me in my first seasonal wrap-up!! 😍💞🌸❄📚
What have been some of your favorite books so far this year? Any you recommend?