Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: sure
For people who like to see the good in others, for a real story about human connection, for a story that makes you feel inspired and motivated

Summary

When Amy Daughters reconnected with her old pal Dana on Facebook, she had no idea how it would change her life. Though the two women hadn’t had any contact in thirty years, it didn’t take them long to catch up—and when Amy learned that Dana’s son Parker was doing a second stint at St. Jude battling cancer, she was suddenly inspired to begin writing the pair weekly letters.

When Parker died, Amy—not knowing what else to do—continued to write Dana. Eventually, Dana wrote back, and the two became pen pals, sharing things through the mail that they had never shared before. The richness of the experience left Amy wondering something: If my life could be so changed by someone I considered “just a Facebook friend,” what would happen if I wrote all my Facebook friends a letter?

A whopping 580 handwritten letters later Amy’s life, and most of all her heart, would never, ever, be the same again. As it turned out, there were actual individuals living very real lives behind each social media profile, and she was beautifully connected to each of those extraordinary, flawed people for a specific reason. They loved her, and she loved them. And nothing—not politics, beliefs, or lifestyle—could separate them.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Lesbiana’s Guide To Catholic School 5/17

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonoroa Reyes!
Expected Release: May 17, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • I don’t know much about Catholicism or Catholic school, but I do have a feeling non-straight-ness is not usually smiled at. I hope I’m wrong about that, but at least in Yamilet’s experience in this book, it’s definitely the case. So it’s probably going to be pretty uncomfortable navigating her Catholic school as a lesbian.
  • And also as a Mexican. Jeez, not only does this girl have to deal with the judgment of her outward appearance as a Mexican in a very white rich school, but her inner self as well (though can we all just get each other’s noses out of sexual preferences unless you’re being invited into those sexual preferences??).
  • Clearly she’s dealing with a lot, and I can’t wait to read the moment when she sheds her fear and is able to embrace her whole self without fear of repercussions. Plus that can’t-resist love is always a pull (though hopefully it’s not just a “she’s the only option” kind of scenario).

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way.

After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami.

The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do?

Posted in Chatty

My experience with Dune, via Pokemon Gifs

Today, I want to talk about Dune. It feels so known that even specifying that it’s by Frank Herbert feels unnecessary because honestly, what other Dune could I be talking about?

It’s this one. This Dune.

Y’all… I have been trying to read this book.

For over a year.

I bought a physical copy, to hold and enjoy and watch my progress through the pages.

I borrowed an ebook, to read a few pages any time I had a few spare moments.

I even got an audiobook — something I very rarely do — to listen to it, instead.

Current progress:

So it’s clearly not going well, and although I can sit here and tearfully shout “I don’t know why!!” I can probably think of a few reasons if I’m being honest with myself. And I think I need to be honest with myself.

Expectation

I thought this book would be one I would fly through because I enjoyed it so much. Here’s what put that thought into my head:

Continue reading “My experience with Dune, via Pokemon Gifs”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Once Upon a K-Prom by Kat Cho (5/17/22)

Once Upon a K-Prom by Kat Cho
Expected release date: May 17, 2022

Recommended: sure
For a light k-pop-y romance, for a normal girl + superstar pair that’s a bit easier to believe, for characters who you can root for

Summary

Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing – she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that’s always made her feel like she belonged.

So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven years ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love.

Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants – even if she can’t stop thinking about Robbie’s smile…right?

Thoughts

I liked that the premise of this book was a bit more believable than some of the other recent popular normal girl + kpop megastar romances. In this case, they actually were friends and knew each other before all of the kpop fandom started, so I could get more into it without having to totally suspend all disbelief and willfully shut my brain off to some of the more ridiculous stretches to validate scenarios. That was an extremely long sentence!

Continue reading “ARC Review: Once Upon a K-Prom by Kat Cho (5/17/22)”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters

Dear Dana: That time I went crazy and wrote all 580 of my Facebook friends a handwritten letter by Amy Weinland Daughters
Expected Release Date: May 17, 2022

Recommended: sure
For people who like to see the good in others, for a real story about human connection, for a story that makes you feel inspired and motivated

Summary

When Amy Daughters reconnected with her old pal Dana on Facebook, she had no idea how it would change her life. Though the two women hadn’t had any contact in thirty years, it didn’t take them long to catch up—and when Amy learned that Dana’s son Parker was doing a second stint at St. Jude battling cancer, she was suddenly inspired to begin writing the pair weekly letters.

When Parker died, Amy—not knowing what else to do—continued to write Dana. Eventually, Dana wrote back, and the two became pen pals, sharing things through the mail that they had never shared before. The richness of the experience left Amy wondering something: If my life could be so changed by someone I considered “just a Facebook friend,” what would happen if I wrote all my Facebook friends a letter?

A whopping 580 handwritten letters later Amy’s life, and most of all her heart, would never, ever, be the same again. As it turned out, there were actual individuals living very real lives behind each social media profile, and she was beautifully connected to each of those extraordinary, flawed people for a specific reason. They loved her, and she loved them. And nothing—not politics, beliefs, or lifestyle—could separate them.

Thoughts

Yes, 580 two page front and back letters is a lot. And that was the goal. What was also a lot were the often emotional responses Amy received back from folks.

As you might imagine, there are snippets of letters from the 580 with the stories behind them when there is something especially notable about it, such as a person important to Amy, a difficult letter to write, or a response that provoked thought. I’d guess there are maybe 50ish letters included this way, which might not seem much, but it is a lot!

Continue reading “ARC Review: Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters”
Posted in Chatty

May TBR: MAYbe I’ll read these! 😁

Hey y’all! It’s about a week into the month, so of course my TBR is now becoming my ABR (already been read? no?) as I finish books early. Still, here’s the plan I came in to the month with… even though some of these are already checked off. 😂 I do have a habit of this after all…

Those ARCs I said I wouldn’t request

Look. I usually have very good self control with ARCs and am always sure to only request ones I genuinely think I’ll enjoy and can commit to reading and reviewing before the publish date if it’s not out yet. This time… well, I’ll still do all those things, but I was trying to clear out my shelf books that haven’t been read yet. 😂

Of these, I’ve, uh, actually already finished A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin (FABULOUS, pub Jul 12 2022) and A Hundred Silent Ways by Mari Jojie (also FABULOUS). Luckily for you, A Hundred Silent Ways is actually already published, so you can go get a copy yourself which you totally should. I’m in progress with The Olympus Trinity!

The books I said I’d finish

And this is my batch of books that I’ve been in the middle of reading — some for a bafflingly long time that I planned to finish and… didn’t.

Continue reading “May TBR: MAYbe I’ll read these! 😁”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Ghosts of Rose Hill, 5/10/22

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero!
Expected Release: May 10, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • What immediately grabbed me about this title (besides the cover) is that it’s written in verse & prose. I’m curious to see how the poetic elements will be included, and if it will blend seamlessly or have sharp divides or maybe somewhere between. I love books that have a bit of both, though, like If I Tell You The Truth and Other Words For Home.
  • I don’t read many books with Jewish protagonists, and I’d like to change that. This story happens to focus specifically on the character’s Jewish heritage, as Ilana travels to Prague and meets a young ghost boy in an old cemetery. So far, this is giving me major The Graveyard Book vibes.
  • Definitely some kind of mysticism in this one! Obviously there are ghosts, but the apparent villain of the story has some kind of magic, and I’m getting the feeling that it’s not the most benevolent kind.

Summary

Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague and witness the humble life of an artist, Ilana Lopez—a biracial Jewish girl—finds herself torn between her dream of becoming a violinist and her immigrant parents’ desire for her to pursue a more stable career.

When she discovers a forgotten Jewish cemetery behind her aunt’s cottage, she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin, who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin’s grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth.

But Benjamin isn’t the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her and the music she plays. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him—forever.

Posted in Chatty

April 2022 Wrap Up: From Sh*t to Shine

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

I planned out 6 books for April, and I read 4 of them (and partially read one). I added a few others to the list, for a total of 11 books — wow eleven?? seriously?? WHEN?? — for the month.

The Plan:

I had planned on books that were a mix of books I owned but hadn’t yet read, and books I wanted to read and had from the library.

The Result:

Continue reading “April 2022 Wrap Up: From Sh*t to Shine”