Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon

Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose RardonStuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Pages: 144

Available Through The Book Depository: Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know

Cover Design: Elissa Flanigan

Summary: Tea is arguably the most popular beverage in the world, but there’s more to know beyond the colorful boxes sold at your local grocery store. Like wine and beer, each tea variety has its own distinct history, source, and flavor profile, from Darjeeling to matcha to Silver Needle. Tea is also embedded in the traditions of many cultures around the world and is shared with others through distinctive ceremonies that include unique customs, foods, and accessories. Within the pages of this pocket-sized guide, you’ll find information, how-tos, and trivia for tea lovers of all levels. Experts and newbies alike will learn about:

• Tea Bags vs. Loose Leaf
• How to Prepare Tea
• Tea Families and Common Varieties
• Tea Traditions around the World
• How to Host an Afternoon Tea for Adults
• How to Throw a Tea Party for Children
• And more!

*Requested a copy from the publisher*

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: A great pocket-sized guide for those wanting to learn more about tea, its history, different families, among many other interesting facts you may not have considered before! 

As an avid tea drinker, I just had to see what this book was all about and decided to request it. There’s a lot to discover in this charming guidebook! 🍵🌿🧡

Rardon’s packed a lot of detail into this and I loved how she continuously reiterated tea’s origins in China. As someone not too knowledgeable to tea history, I felt I really got a better understanding of all its different layers, sides, and overall its impact around the world.

There’s a nice highlight of tea history to start off the book, which I felt was a really great choice because its brief and pulls you right in.

Some of my favorite facts throughout the book included: Learning about a Matcha tea whisk (I never knew this was a thing!), the pros/cons of tea bags, and learning more about the specific tea families.

There’s occasional diagrams to highlight the anatomy of a tea plant, tea accessories, and illustrations near the end. Though I will say that this book is very text heavy.

It’s great Rardon focused a lot of the information on tea in Asia because, as mentioned above, that’s where a majority of its history originates. The overall presentation of each section is well thought out and offers a lot of information.

There’s lots of detail facts about the different tea families (which is one of the larger sections), there’s families I’d never heard of before. So again, it was a nice, light read for those interested in learning more about this amazing drink.

My only gripe is that although it can be quick to read, the information is all super fascinating, and Rardon has a nice writing style, it can feel a bit dense at times if you decide to read through a lot of sections in just a couple sittings. Again, the writing is good, but because there’s a lot of explanation packed into such few paragraphs, the pacing does drag.

The sections with the best writing included the timeline, parts of the ‘Tea Basics’ section, learning about the tea families and the ‘Tea Traditions Around The World.’

Another one of my favorite sections was the one about ‘Taiwan’s Bubble Tea’ aka milk tea boba. That’s probably my #1 favorite tea drink, aside from actual tea and I absolutely loved learning about its origins. That section was so much fun to read!

Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know is a delightful guide that’s packed with lots of great info and although the writing can feel a bit dense at times, it’s an enjoyable read that will also leave you wanting to make yourself a nice cup of tea!

I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation by Natalie Nourigat Review {Graphic Novel}

I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation by Natalie NourigatI Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation by Natalie Nourigat

Publisher: BOOM! Box (Boom! Studios)

Release Date: January 1, 2019

Pages: 96

Available Through The Book Depository: I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation

Summary: The story of one woman’s quest to move to Los Angeles and got a job in animation…and how you can too.

When artist Tally Nourigat left her life in Portland to move to Los Angeles and pursue a job in animation, she realized that despite her research, nothing truly prepared her for the wild world that awaited in the studios of Southern California. From grinding on storyboard test after storyboard test to getting a job at a major studio to searching for an apartment in…the Valley…this autobiographical how-to graphic novel explores the highest highs and lowest lows of pursuing a dream in animation. Brushed with a dose of humor and illustrated advice about salaries, studio culture, and everything in between, ‘I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation’ is the unique insider experience you won’t find anywhere else.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Natalie Nourigat’s graphic novel chronicles her journey of getting into animation all while providing informative knowledge + advice of understanding and getting into the industry! This story is informative, fun, and filled with humor!

This graphic novel begins as Nourigat shares that she started as a freelance comic artist in Portland. As her hometown became more expensive, she still longed to break into the animation industry!

Then, she gets an opportunity to move to LA when a friend offers to host her stay.

From there, Nourigat shares her journey into what it took for her to land her jobs in the animation industry. It’s very technical and from what I read, a fun and informative graphic novel that details the process of getting your work out there and providing an insider look at getting into the industry of animation.

What I loved a lot while reading this story, was that even for those not in animation, Nourigat shares wonderful advice for anyone on the hunt for a job!

Such as building your resume/portfolio, being persistent in applying to as many positions as you can, using free time to enhance your skills for the career your interested in, and the importance of connecting with others in the industry face-to-face!

The art mainly features warm pastel colors, the designs feel so animated and lively, evoking strong emotion. The art also explores the vibrant LA setting! I also loved all the humor thrown into this story!

It was interesting seeing an outside and aspiring artist perspective on adjusting to life in LA!

Nourigat’s journey was one that featured many ups & downs, shows that the search for a job varies and isn’t the same for everyone. But reminds the reader that never giving up and continually motivating yourself to chase after your dreams is a big part of the process too!

Animation has always been interesting to me and looking up fanart and webcomics online in my free-time is always fun & leaves me inspired as an aspiring writer! So, though I’m not an animator/illustrator myself (though I wish) I loved reading about the details of breaking into the industry!

There’s a lot of little details and information that I never knew from my surface-level knowledge of the industry that was a lot of fun to learn more about.

I also loved how the ending features other artists in the industry, such as Angie Wang who works as a prop designer on Steven Universe and Kellye Perdue who’s a storyboard artist of one of my most anticipated upcoming cartoons, Infinity Train!

For me personally however, because this novel is very technical about the animation industry, I did find the story to be a bit text heavy at some points.

Overall though, I had such a fun time reading this graphic novel and learning more about Nourigat’s journey.

I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation is an informative graphic novel that’s above all a fun read that shares an animator’s journey of going after her dreams in LA! The art is expressive, Nourigat’s artistic style and use of pastel colors give life to this unique story! Anyone looking to get into animation or wanting to feel inspired by the journey of a fellow artist, should definitely give this a read!

January 2019 Wrap-Up

During the month of January I read 5 books! I’m really happy with this number & the books I read, because a lot of them were part of a TBR list I created for myself in my bullet journal!

Fierce Fairytales Poems And Stories To Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill1. Fierce Fairytales: Poems And Stories To Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

LibraryStarted January 1 + Finished January 2My Rating:★★★★☆ Fierce Fairytales Full Review

Overall Thoughts: I’d never read any of Gill’s poetry before, but after reading this book I definitely want to check out more of her collections in the future! I loved the modern twists and inspiring messages she wove into Fierce Fairytales! Gill transforms fairy-tales/classic fairy tale elements within each piece of the collection to turn it into something wholly unique and I loved that! However, there were definitely some elements that made me take off a star: You can clearly see the message and emotion she’s trying to evoke, but with the plainness in writing, it comes off as very direct and abrupt. The pacing did drag a bit too. However, there we’re definitely some poems & stories that I adored, which I found both showed the strongest writing and imagery: Badroulbadour, Shoemaker’s Son, Rapunzel Rapunzel & Moon Dragon! 

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi2. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #1)

ARC Started January 3 + Finished January 8My Rating: ★★★★★ The Gilded Wolves ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: Though 2019 has just started, I know for a fact that The Gilded Wolves is one of my all-time favorite books of the year! The dazzling setting & world-building, phenomenal characters (banter especially), plot, dialogue–I could go on & on–were fantastic!  This book was just too high quality and I’m not sure if I’ll ever recover. I adored this crew so much: Séverin, Hypnos, Enrique, Tristan, Zofia & Laila–I loved each of them so much!! Chokshi really builds their backstories, motvation, growth + vulnerability where you are left truly understanding these wonderful characters! There’s multiple heists, puzzles, a mysterious society, intrigue, and non-stop adventure! The Gilded Wolves is a masterfully crafted historical fantasy & not a book to miss! 

*Another one of my reviews for The Gilded Wolves was also featured on Bookish if you want to check it out! 

i hear the sunspot limit 1 by yuki fumino3. I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 1 by Yuki Fumino ( Sunspot #3)

OwnedStarted January 10 + Finished January 11My Rating: ★★★★☆ I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 1 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: It was great to return to the world of I Hear The Sunspot again! This is the series that got me back into manga again and I fell in love with the story and characters! Suspot centers around college students Kouhei & Taichi who become friends and fall for each other! Kouhei is hard of hearing and this series also goes into great length to discuss and explore hearing disabilities! The introduction to new side characters make the story even more interesting. Though I did find that Kouhei and Taichi’s relationship in terms of development does take a step backwards. But, I am so interested to see where Kouhei & Taichi are headed in this series! I highly recommend this manga because the story is impactful, the two main characters Taichi & Kouhei go through so much development, and there’s a lot of discussion about hearing/ hearing disability! Highly recommend this manga series, its SO underrated!

The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera4. The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendancy #2)

OwnedStarted December 22 + Finished January 25My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ The Phoenix Empress Full Review

Overall Thoughts: The Phoenix Empress is a phenomenal continuation to this epic fantasy series! The Tiger’s Daughter chronicled Shizuka and Shefali’s lives starting when they were born to their unfortunate separation later in life! However, in the end they are reunited, but not for long as we see in The Phoenix Empress–Shizuka is still haunted by events in her past as a soldier during Shefali’s absence and Shefali is attempting to understand the darkness that now runs through her! The detail, insight into the characters, and further development of the world are just some of the many things I loved about this sequel! There’s a cast of dynamic and incredible female characters, expansive lore, politics, and immersive plot made The Phoenix Empress such a fantastic sequel! I can’t wait to read book 3, The Warrior Moon!

planting stories--the life of librarian and storyteller pura belpré5. Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise + Paola Escoba

LibraryStarted January 29 + Started January 29My Rating: ★★★★★  Planting Stories Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Planting Stories is a must-read picture book that chronicles the life and legacy of storyteller, librarian, and author Pura Belpré! She uses her power of storytelling to not only spark a love of stories, but also to get more Latinx (& especially Puerto Rican folktales) in the library! The art, with its use of warm colors evokes a sense of magic in this heartwarming story! She moves to New York from Puerto Rico and becomes the 1st Puerto Rican librarian in the city. Both the writing and illustrations bring Belpré’s story to life. From the impact of Belpré’s legacy to the importance of having diversity/representation among stories, this picture book is must-read!

Additional Posts From This Month:

2018 Wrap-Up & 2019 Book Blog Goals {Bookish Goals}

January 2019 YA Books I’m Looking Forward To!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi {Reading Diary}

Upcoming 2019 YA Book Recommendations From Book Bloggers
feat. Adriana, Jordan, Marie, & Sil

The Gilded Wolves {Reading Playlist}

YA Book-To-Movie Adaptations Releasing In 2019!

Empire Of Sand by Tasha Suri Optioned For TV! {Book Blog Discussion}

King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo {Bookish Theories}

Flyest Fables Podcast Review {Literary Listens}

~ It wasn’t until I was writing this wrap-up that I realized how many additional posts I created! If you have time, I’d love if you could give one of them a read–it would mean a lot! ❤❤ I had so much fun creating all my non-review posts this month & January left me inspired to create more! 😭✨📚

~ I also created a new banner for my wrap-ups & I really like how it turned out!

Plans For February:

~ More podcasts reviews! I listened to my first podcast of the year this month and really want to bring back my fiction podcast reviews! 🎙✨❤

~ Stay on track with my monthly bullet journal TBRs!

~ Create more non-book review posts! 😍📚✨

So that was my January TBR! Thoughts on what I read? What books did you read in January? 😍📚🎉🎉

Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Paola Escobar Review

planting stories--the life of librarian and storyteller pura belpréPlanting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise + Paola Escobar (Illustrator)

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: January 15, 2019

Pages: 32

Available Through The Book Depository: Planting Stories

Summary: When she came to America in 1921, Pura carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular stories into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and cuentistas continue to share her stories and celebrate Pura’s legacy.

This portrait of the influential librarian, author, and puppeteer reminds us of the power of storytelling and the extraordinary woman who opened doors and championed bilingual literature.

My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts: Planting Stories chronicles and celebrates Pura Belpré, her journey as a storyteller, bilingual librarian, and author! The illustrations are colorful, detailed, and evoke a sense of magic!

I’ve made it a priority ever since getting involved in Latinx Book Bingo last year to discover and read more Latinx books!

Planting Stories is a picture book I’d been wanting to read for quite a while and now that it finally released this month, I just had to read it before January was over!

Pura Belpré grew up in Puerto Rico as an avid storyteller and she shared the stories + folktales her abuela told her with her community! Then in 1921, she comes to America carrying those tales with her.

What started as a visit to celebrate her sister’s wedding, soon marks a new part of her life both for her and her stories when she decides to stay in New York!

Her first job is in the garment industry, but when the New York Public Library is seeking a bilingual assistant, Belpre takes hold of this opportunity and it changes her life!

When she notices the lack of Latinx stories on shelves, she uses her power of storytelling to bring those tales to the children of the library!

Belpre’s stories gather both children and families, which leads her from librarian assistant to storyteller/puppeteer, and soon–author! She publishes the folktales and other stories of Puerto Rico to allow them to reach many more readers.

Planting Stories is a magnificent picture book that reminds us of the power of storytelling and celebrates the legacy of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City!

It was so beautiful to see Spanish woven throughout this book as well!

I adored Paola Escobar’s art and illustrations! From the warm colors, detail, to the heartwarming emotions and magic it evokes!

The symbolism of flowers and trees really bring to the center how stories grow, flourish, and celebrates the power of stories.

Her art brings so much to this wonderful story!

Denise’s writing throughout this picture book, chronicles Belpré’s life in such a beautiful way! Her writing-style is also what brings a sense of magic to this story!

Those who are looking for a book that celebrates stories, influential storytellers, and the impact of stories in a community, Planting Stories is a must read!

Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré is a heartwarming picture book that celebrates the legacy of an influential storyteller, librarian, and author! Detailed and vibrant illustrations bring the story to life! Woven throughout the pages are the importance of storytelling, diversity among stories, and their lasting impact!

Non-Fiction Podcasts I’ve Been Listening To! {Literary Listens}

Literary Listens 24hryabookblog Updated BannerToday on Literary Listens, I’ll be chatting about nonfiction podcasts! If your familiar with this feature, you’ll know I usually talk about audio drama podcasts and mainly fiction podcasts!

But recently, I’ve found myself on the look out for conversational + nonfiction podcasts surrounding different topics from writing, art history, paranormal + true crime stories!

I’ve found my interested sparked again for art & art history + after recently getting into a true crime podcast (which I will share in this list) & starting to watch Buzzfeed Unsolved!

So here’s a list of some I’ve recently been listening to! For most of them I’m only a few episodes in but am loving each of them! There are a couple (mainly the writing ones) that I’ve listened to more than a few episodes!

I’ll also recommend some I’m planning to start too!

Each podcast delivers its own unique style when discussing + going into conversation through each of the different subjects/topics and these in particular are some of my favorites!

Art + Art History:

ArtCurious Podcast by Jennifer Dasal1. ArtCurious Podcast
Created by: Jennifer Dasal
Episodes: 41 (+ 10 bonus/additional episodes)

Summary: Welcome to the ArtCurious Podcast where we explore the unexpected, the slightly odd, and the strangely wonderful in Art History. 

ArtCurious is art history for all of us. This isn’t like a college lecture, droning on about archaic art terminology (like chiaroscuro or contrapposto) or the importance of linear perspective (um, okay). We’re interested in the juicy stuff! Think art history is boring? Think again. It’s weird, funny, mysterious, enthralling, and liberating. Join us as we cover the strangest stories in art. Is the Mona Lisa fake? Did Van Gogh actually kill himself? And why were the Impressionists so great?

I discovered this podcast by browsing twitter & thought I’d give it a listen and fell in love with it! The first episode I listened to was: Episode #10 When Statues Cry! From the storytelling to the way Dasal explores the history, I loved every minute of it! Though I haven’t listened to it yet, I’m also looking forward to The Lonely Palette!

Paranormal + True-Crime

And That's Why We Drink Podcast1.And That’s Why We Drink
Created/Hosted by: Christine Schiefer & Em Schulz
Episodes: 89 (+21 Listener Stories)

Summary: Murder and the paranormal finally meet! Grab your wine and milkshakes and join us every Sunday for some chilling ghost stories and downright terrifying true crime stories. The world’s a scary place. And that’s why we drink!

I originally heard about this podcast through my sister, who basically introduced me to podcasts as a whole! She’s always listening to this one, telling me how amazing it is & now she’s gotten me obsessed with it too! ❤

Writing

88 Cups Of Tea With Yin Chang1.88 Cups Of Tea
Created/Hosted by: Yin Chang
Episodes: 100

Summary: 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang is a podcast for the aspiring and professional storyteller alike. On the show, Yin chats with international bestselling novelists, screenwriters, and filmmakers about their journey to success. They also discuss career advice and “how-to’s” for listeners to apply actionable steps towards their own storytelling careers. 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang is a safe space for listeners to learn, and to feel empowered, inspired, and motivated. Welcome to our tribe of storytellers!

I originally heard about this podcast when Victoria Aveyard was a guest on it and have loved it ever since! With my favorite genre of books being Young Adult, its always great hearing Chang’s conversations with well-known YA authors and hearing about their writing process, etc.!

And those are some of my favorite non-fiction + conversational podcasts! Have you listened to any of these? 🎨👻📝✨💕

Any nonfiction podcast recommendations based on the ones I’ve shared? 🎙✨❤

Audio Dime Museum Podcast Review {Literary Listens}

audio-dime-museumAudio Dime Museum created by the Just A Story team (Samantha and Jacob LeBas)

Release Date: March 23, 2016 (Trailer & Episode 1)

Episodes: 11 (Prolonged Hiatus)

Running Time: Episodes range from 10-37 Minutes

Summary: From the Just A Story team, comes a weekly, serialized experimental storytelling podcast which explores historical legends through the artifacts on display in the Audio Dime Museum. Part guided tour, part radio drama; each episode presents the curious story of one object from the collection. Meet your guide on this journey, The Curator, and learn her secrets as you delve into the world of possibility, magic and the unknown. Merging the suspenseful style of mystery with the conventions of ghost stories and the peculiarity that only historical fact can provide, this podcast is not for the faint of heart.

My Thoughts: Audio Dime Museum is a brilliantly crafted podcast which chronicles various tales throughout history as the mysterious Curator guides you through the curious artifacts she keeps within her dime museum!

Audio Dime Museum will forever hold a special place in my heart! It was the very first audio drama I’d ever listened to and to this day, continues to be one of my all-time favorites!

As a reader and aspiring writer, this fictional podcast just continues to inspire me and from its phenomenal storytelling, writing, characters, editing, etc. its a must listen to, if your looking to get into audio drama podcasts/podcasts in general or just want to hear fascinating stories from history!

The descriptive writing, ranging from 3rd person, 2nd to a direct POV style, where the Curator is speaking to you, makes you feel like part of the story as she chronicles various artifacts of history she finds within her shop & its Wonder Cabinet.

It saddens me that the podcast hasn’t continued since its last episode in September of 2016, but I’m constantly hoping it’ll make a come-back because following the Curator, her dime museum, and learning about different moments in history has just been such an amazing adventure for me and is truly unlike any other audio drama I’ve heard before!

From the very introduction told through an aged/vintage record, accompanied by carnival-style music “Hurry, hurry step this way! The strangest sights from the island! Reach from the 4 corners of the world. One two nickels, one dime, & one-tenth of dollar! We’ve got the show if you’ve got the dime…” you get automatically sucked into this peculiar world of the Audio Dime Museum!

With each episode, chronicled as a chapter from Volumes 1 through 2, you get to know the Curator as you find your way into her dime museum and she shares with you stories of the interesting artifacts she keeps hidden within!

I’ve always been fascinated by stories and artifacts from history, but through The Audio Dime Museum from its descriptive, immersive writing-style, fantastic audio and editing, I’m transported to the world of The Audio Dime Museum in an instant and in a way, get a story within a story!

All of the stories she shares are either inspired or based on real-life artifacts and events, which was so fascinating, because a majority of these I had never even heard of before.

So above all, it was great to learn about these artifacts and the pockets of history from which they were from.

There’s also such phenomenal world-building! Through the little details, stories the Curator shares about her shop and the artifacts within it, this audio drama blurs the line with reality and the extraordinary in such a unique way!

For example, from Vol. 1 Episode 3 Myrtles and Oleander Don’t Bloom, the Curator discovers an artifact that doesn’t quite belong in the store.

“I can understand when things from the shop are showing up in the cabinet, but things from across the country?”

The little details she reveals about the shop throughout each episode just fuels the magic and mystery that makes Audio Dime Museum even more intriguing and captivating!

I love each and every episode! With each one, the dark secrets and mystery of the Dime Museum just builds and builds!

Another aspect I love about this audio drama podcast so much, is how much it really makes you think about history, storytelling, and how it emphasizes the power of stories!

Additionally, from the Curator’s introduction within each episode to her next artifact and throughout the story as well, the thought-provoking and philosophical words she shares, just weave their way into your mind and really leave you thinking!

There are so many quotes I can recall/find myself thinking about from this podcast, even though its been over a year since I finished it! 

That to me, just serves as a reminder as to how brilliant this podcast is and how the thought-provoking writing has really resonated.

The writing above all is not only descriptive and vivid, which from the very beginning pulls you into each story, but the presentation of the Curator as a character, from the quiet/soft tone of her voice, delivers each story with such weight and emotion!

I think that’s all I can say without giving away too much about the Audio Dime Museum!

So, please check out this audio drama if you’ve never heard it before! If your a fan of great storytelling, history, thought-provoking writing, and fascinating tales, the Audio Dime Museum is a podcast I highly recommend!

The Audio Dime Museum is an immersive audio drama that explores history in a brilliant and unique way! History comes to life through an outstanding writing-style as the Curator narrates tales of history with you from her curious dime museum, filled with mystery, wonder, and so much more!

Today’s post was definitely a different kind of review! This idea sparked in my mind after thinking more about Literary Listens, how I could expand it, and seeing a couple audio drama reviews out there already! ✨🎙

I hope my review inspired you to check out this amazing podcast! I’m definitely planning to do more of these podcast reviews very soon & can’t wait to share my latest audio drama recommendation! 📚🎙✨

April 2018 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 3

April wasn’t the best reading wise, but overall it did give me more time to come up with posts that I can’t wait to share this month!! ^_^

Legendary Ladies-50 Goddesses To Empower And Inspire You by Ann Shen1.Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses To Empower And Inspire You by Ann Shen

Owned | Started/Finished April 6 |Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ |Legendary Ladies Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Legendary Ladies is a beautifully illustrated book that chronicles the tales of goddesses from around the world! With a selection of goddesses from a variety of cultures, Shen not only shares their stories, but also a guiding sentence at the end to offer words of wisdom inspired by each heroic goddess. What I found while reading, was how goddesses tales across time and cultures seemed to weave together and connect! I just wish there were more stories, because Shen not only does an incredible job at summarizing their legends, but also accompanying them with such vibrant illustrations! This colorful and inspiring collection is a must read!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi2.Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Library | Started April 3 + Finished April 8 | Rating: ★★★★★ | Emergency Contact Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Emergency Contact was a book I knew I would go into really enjoying, but did not expect to love it as much as I did! I don’t usually read contemporary books that a very romance heavy/centered, but this one was just incredible! Choi delivers such a character-driven, raw, modern-day romance that is just so unique and moving! I found myself re-reading this book twice & annotating my own copy when I bought it late last month, because I just loved it so much! Told through dual POV, it allows you to really understand the main characters Penny & Sam, how they really escape their loneliness through one another, and seeing the development of their deep friendship & connection with each other. It was so interesting to see how their text messages with each other vs. real-life interactions differed. Overall added such a unique layer to their relationship/development. It has a deep and moving story, is romantic, and has such emotional depth! If your looking for a unique,modern-day romance, Emergency Contact is definitely a book to check out! 

Aru Shah And The End Of Time by Roshani Chokshi3.Aru Shah And The End Of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Pandava Quartet #1)

Library | Started April 11 + Finished April 24 | Rating:★★★★☆ |Aru Shah And The End Of Time {Mini Review}

Overall Thoughts: Chokshi delivers a heroic fantasy adventure weaved in with Hindu mythology and folklore! Aru Shah And The End Of Time also emphasized family and friendship throughout the entire story, which is so wonderfully explored (And I loved that!). The 3rd person POV really allowed for the mythology, characters, and world to get such an expansive view and great development! Sadly the plot did get a bit slow for me as I read nearing the middle and the end. However, Chokshi’s debut into middle grade is not a book to miss! She brilliantly blends fantasy w/ the modern day, delivers a dazzling writing style, and immerses you into an unforgettable fantasy adventure!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes #10

Empire Of Sand by Tasha Suri Cover Reveal

Top 10 Tuesday: Podcasts I’ve Recently Discovered {Freebie!}

LA Times Festival Of Books Wrap-Up {2018} + Giveaway {INTL + Open until May 15th}

Plans For May:

~ Now that finals are close, I’ll be on summer break (finally!) and catch up on so many books!!

~Planning to finally post my SFF TBR! 😍💞✨⚔🚀💫📚

~Share the posts I spent time drafting last month!

Book Bytes I #11

Book Bytes is a monthly feature I created to share news in the world of YA!

Each month posts can contain anything from new cover/title reveals, book-to-movie news, even the latest book deals!!
I’ve now split up the news into categories, to make it easier to jump to whichever book news you’d like to read about!

If there’s any book news I missed or any you want to discuss, definitely leave a comment!

Adaptation News

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han1.To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Film Release Date

With the recent announcement that the adaptation for Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before would be coming to Netflix this summer, it was recently announced by Jenny Han herself & Collider that the film now has an official release date as of April 10!

The ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ film is set to be released August 17 on Netflix!

2.Dumplin’ Soundtrack

Announced in 2017, Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy had been picked up to be adapted for film with Jennifer Aniston attached to star. As of April 11, Dolly Parton tweeted + shared a blog post about writing new music for the upcoming film.

Dumplin’ has no released date announced yet.

The Prince And The Dressmaker by Jen Wang

3. The Prince And The Dressmaker picked up by Universal Pictures

Announced April 16 by Deadline, producer Marc Platt and Universal Pictures picked up the rights to Jen Wang’s graphic novel, The Prince And The Dressmaker.

No release date, etc. was announced.

4.The Hate U Give Release Season + First Look!

Announced April 26, EW shared a First Look at the movie adaptation to Angie Thomas’s novel The Hate U Give!

While no set release date has been announced, it has been confirmed for a 2018 (looking at Fall) release date!

Book Deals

1.Flame In The Mist by Renée Ahdieh 2 Free E-Novellas

As of April 2, through PenguinTeen’s website, Renée Ahdieh announced she would be releasing 2 free e-novellas as a part of her Flame In The Mist duology!

They are set to take place in between the ending of Flame In The Mist and the beginning to Smoke In The Sun.

The 2 e-novells are titled:

Yumi & Okami

Yumi is set to be released April 24, 2018 & Okami is set to be released May 15, 2018!

2.The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess

Set to be released in 2019 by Flux Books, Barthelmess’s debut The Quiet You Carry is about “17-year-old Victoria, who, after she’s kicked out of her toxic family, must contend with a chaotic foster home, dodge prying eyes at school, hang onto her college dreams, and somehow protect the stepsister she left behind” (Announced April 2).

3.Cacophony by Kelly Powell

Set to be released in Fall of 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books, Powell’s debut Cacophony is a “a work of magical realism, following a violinist working with a lighthouse keeper to ‘solve a murder on an island that is also home to deadly sirens who prey on the inhabitants.’(Announced April 10).

4. I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

Set to be released in Summer of 2019 by Scholastic, Kuhn’s YA Debut,“I Love You So Mochi, is about a Japanese-American fashionista who journeys to Japan on a quest of self-discovery after her college plans fall apart; along the way, she reconnects with her estranged grandparents and finds romance with a med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot” (Announced April 12)

5.The Candle And The Flame by Nafiza Azad

Set to be released in 2019, Azad’s debut The Candle And The Flame is “Set in a city along the Silk Road that has become a refuge for those of all faiths, the YA fantasy is about a young woman with mysterious origins and two clans of powerful djinn who threaten to destroy her peace, and the unlikely alliances she’ll make to survive” (Announced April 12).

6. Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan

Set to be released in Spring of 2019, Fan’s steampunk fantasy, Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon is “In a world inspired by Qing dynasty China, a warrior girl, Anlei, teams up with a young thief to save her village from shadow spirits. But, after arriving at the Courts of Hell, a discovery challenges everything they know about who the real enemy is” (Announced April 12).

7.Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Set to be released in Fall of 2019, Yoon’s debut Frankly In Love, is “a fresh and relatable take on identity and race as seen through the eyes of a Korean-American teen caught between his parents’ traditional expectations and his own Southern California upbringing” (Announced April 12).

8.All Boy’s Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Set to be released in Winter of 2020, Johnson’s YA Memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue ” takes stories from his life growing up as a queer black teen to show readers how they can fight for themselves or be allies in the struggle for equity and equality” (Announced April 12).

9.Rebel Seoul Companion by Axie Oh

Axie Oh author of her 2017 debut Rebel Seoul, announced she would be working on a companion novel set to be released in Fall of 2019 (Announced April 13).

10.Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

Set to be released in spring 2019, Sarvenaz Tash author of The Geek’s Guide To Unrequited Love and Three Day Summer, announced she would be releasing a “futuristic rom-com” titled Virtually Yours, which is “about a college freshman who tries out a virtual reality dating app, only to be matched up with the high school ex she’s still not over” (Announced April 24).

Cover Reveals + Title Reveals

1.Girl Squads by Sam Maggs

As of April 9, Nerdist revealed the cover for Magg’s upcoming novel:

Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History

There’s also a Q&A along with the cover reveal going more in depth to the design of it!

Girl Squads is set to be released October 2, 2018!

2.Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Happily Ever After revealed the cover to Spooner’s upcoming fairy-tale retelling Sherwood along with a Q&A on April 9.

This Robin Hood retelling is set to be released in March of 2019!

3.Odd One Out by Nic Stone

Revealed on Nic Stone’s twitter as of April 13, was the cover to her upcoming YA Contemporary Odd One Out!

Her book is about “three kids of color trying to navigate the intersections of friendship and romance and figure out who it’s okay to love.”

Odd One Out by Nic Stone is set to be released October 9, 2018! + An excerpt of Stone’s book was also shared on EW as of April 20!

4.Outrun The Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

LGBTQReads revealed the cover for Tammi’s upcoming Queer, Greek-Mythology Fantasy, Outrun The Wind!

There’s also a discussion w/ the author on her inspiration for her novel!

Outrun The Wind is set to be released November 27!

5.A Map Of Days by Ransom Riggs

As of April 25, Penguin Teen and USA Today shared that Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Series will be adding a 4th book! A Map Of Days, according to USA Today, “kicks off a new trilogy in Riggs’ best-selling young-adult saga…”

Both a cover reveal and release date were announced!

A Map Of Days is set to be released October 2, 2018!

6.King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

EW revealed the cover to Leigh Bardugo’s upcoming novel in her Grishaverse, centering around Nikolai, titled King Of Scars as of April 30.

King Of Scars is set to be released January 29, 2019!

Publisher News

1.Epic Reads Bookmojis!

Announced April 3, Epic Reads revealed they launched an app for book-lovers called:

Bookmojis

Its a free app that ” includes a selection of YA emojis, GIFs, and stickers for us book nerds to use in all of our texts!!

According to their blog post, they’ll also be releasing new packs every month based off different book fandoms!

Its available through Google Play & Apple!

Tours

Anger Is A Gift by Mark Oshiro1.Anger Is A Gift Tour

Announced by EW April 4, debut author Mark Oshiro, will be touring for his upcoming book Anger Is A Gift!

“A story of resilience and loss, love and family, Mark Oshiro’s Anger is a Gift testifies to the vulnerability and strength of a community living within a system of oppression.

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.”

Anger Is A Gift is set to be released May 22, 2018!

A sneak peek of Oshiro’s upcoming novel was also released as of April 10! You can find links to download it through the publisher’s site Here!

Furyborn by Claire Legrand2.Furyborn Tour

EW announced as of April 18, that author Claire Legrand, will be on tour for her upcoming book, Furyborn!

Described as an epic feminist fantasy, Furyborn is one of the most anticipated new YA fantasy titles of 2018.

According to the publisher, Claire Legrand’s book “follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world… When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood… One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable ― until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world ― and of each other.

Furyborn is set to be released May 22, 2018!

And that wraps up the YA Book News for April 2018! ✨📚😄

Thoughts on April’s YA Book News? + Do you have a favorite piece of YA Book News from the month? 📚✨📰💻

Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses To Empower And Inspire You by Ann Shen Review

Legendary Ladies-50 Goddesses To Empower And Inspire You by Ann ShenLegendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses To Empower And Inspire You by Ann Shen

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Release Date: April 3, 2018

Pages: 128

Available Through The Book Depository: Legendary Ladies

Summary: From the beloved author and artist behind Bad Girls Throughout History comes this lushly illustrated book of goddesses from around the world. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess whose love overcame mortality. Mazu, the Chinese deity who safely guides travelers home. Lakshmi, the Hindu provider of fortune and prosperity. These powerful deities and many more are celebrated in gorgeous artwork and enlightening essays that explore the feminine divine and encourage readers to empower themselves. Ann Shen’s signature watercolors make Legendary Ladies a unique, gift-worthy homage to the mighty women within.

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Legendary Ladies chronicles the heroic, inspiring, and empowering tales of goddesses from around the world! Through beautiful artwork, Shen illustrates these goddesses lives and what wisdom or guidance they can offer + inspire, if you choose to call upon them!

 If your looking to learn more about the origins and inspiring tales of goddesses from around the world, then I highly recommend checking out Ann Shen’s Legendary Ladies!

This was such a beautifully illustrated and inspiring read, that while chronicling numerous tales of heroic goddesses it also was very inspirational and moving.

Separated by sections: Creativity & Manifestation, Love, Power, Protection, and Reinvention, Shen recounts the legends behind goddesses from an array of cultures, while also explaining how each goddess can inspire or help you during certain moments in your life.

For example: If you are seeking good fortune, spiritual strength or inner strength, starting a new chapter in life, whatever the case may be, reading those inspirational messages with each goddess’s story, your left feeling hopeful and with a sense of guidance!

Another one of my favorite aspects of the novel was, with the more you read through each goddess’s tale, the more you see how threads between each of the stories, and across a variety of cultures as well, interconnect.

You see across differing eras and cultures how these inspiring ladies and their stories have such universal truths. Additionally, how their tales set up many integral and essential foundations for numerous cultures across eras!

It was great to see such diversity among each section! While many are familiar with the gods/goddesses of Greek Mythology, I loved seeing numerous cultures represented throughout the entire novel!

From Hindu, Chinese, Native American, Yoruba, Hawaiian, Egyptian, Shinto, Vietnamese, Japanese, Mayan, Aztec, and so many more, it was amazing to see such diversity throughout the sections!

It saddens me that there were quite a few goddesses I’d never even heard of before, but its so great a book like this exists because each of these goddesses has such an inspiring story to tell!

One of the most memorable goddesses that I read about (& who’d I’d never heard of before) was Nüwa, a goddess of Chinese origin. Half human & half dragon, her legend states that she molded people from clay and when crisis came, she created 5 stones (of differing colors) to create water, air, earth & wind.

Her’s was probably the story I re-read the most! And I especially loved the “Call” for the end of her story:

“Call on Nüwa when you want to create something beautiful out of the raw material of your life” (25).

+ It was so great to see rep. of Mayan and Aztec goddesses in this book too! I’m pretty familiar with the legend of Ixchel (Mayan goddess of fertility & healing) and overall it was just so great to see that representation in this beautifully illustrated book! I loved it!! ❤❤

The artwork is absolutely stunning! Each illustration beautifully captured each goddess and accentuated, I felt, each of their stories even more!

Shen masterfully highlights the stories of each goddess and the origins of their legacy.

I can’t speak highly enough about this book! The art is beautiful and each story is just inspiring!

Honestly, I just wish this book was longer! 50 seemed like far too little for me. I would read hundreds of Shen’s books about even more Legendary Ladies!!

Legendary Ladies is colorful, vibrant and has spectacular illustrations that brilliantly capture the triumphant and empowering spirit of each goddess! While allowing each story to stand on its own, Shen also manages to weave in common threads that link each of the stories so beautifully! If your looking for a bit of guidance, inspirational words, or just want to read about empowering goddesses, I highly recommend this book!

Wonder Women by Sam Maggs ARC Review

sam-maggs-25-innovators-oct-18Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors + Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 240

Summary: Ever heard of Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous”? Or German painter and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who planned and embarked on the world’s first scientific expedition? How about Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China?

Women have always been able to change the world, even when they didn’t get the credit. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts, and stickto-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive
bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: *I requested this copy from the publisher! This in no way influences my thoughts!*

An inspiring read filled with stories of women who made tremendous impacts in the name of science, espionage and exploration!

Separated into different sections: Science, Medicine,Espionage, Innovation + Adventure, Maggs gives a wonderfully researched account of 25 women (plus additional short stories in between) who come from a variety of ethnic/cultural backgrounds, sexualities, etc. and details their accomplishments and the struggles they faced to get there.

Having read Women In Science by Rachel Ignotofsky, I was already aware of some of these women in the Science, Medicine+Adventure section. However, through Maggs’s novel I was given a lot more detail into theses women’s lives which was fascinating to learn more about.

I didn’t know about a majority of the other women mentioned which saddens me, considering many of these women sacrificed so much for their discoveries/inventions that I’ve known about my whole life, but never truly given much thought to how it came about. (Like the brown paper bag! I had no idea it was invented Margaret Knight until I read this book!)

However its great that a book like this is now out in the world to share these stories and educate us about women who’ve sadly been forgotten.

As for the writing, you can tell Maggs really researched these women’s lives and her passion for this project really shows! She also uses a unique way of writing these stories, through a modern tone of voice + fandom culture/references. I really liked that aspect to her writing and felt it made the novel overall fast-paced and engaging!

Once I reached the end, I was so sad, because I wanted to learn even more about women’s inspiring accomplishments!

Overall a wonderfully researched and inspiring novel that will keep you reading till the very end. Women have accomplished so much and their stories are brought to light, through Maggs’s collection.