Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Spring Cleaning fever started a touch early for me this year and I started with my Goodreads TBR shelf. While I was culling books that I have lost interest in reading, I noticed that I had a lot of unfinished series on my list. I decided to jot them down and determine whether I was actually ever going to finish them or not. Below are the series that I've started and haven't finished... and might not ever finish.

- I started this series in October 2016 when I thought I was going to meet the author at YallFest. If you follow me on twitter, you probably already know what a disaster YallFest was for me and for whatever reason, when I got home, I put these books away. I do plan to finish books 2 & 3 sometime this year.


DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige
- My dad bought me the first book as a Christmas gift in 2015 (I'm not sure why... I was terrified of the Wizard of Oz as a child). It took until September of 2016 for me to actually read the first book and then I waited a little while before reading the second and third books. The final boo, THE END OF OZ, comes out in March and I'm SO excited to see how Danielle Paige wraps this series up.

- I read this one after watching Richard Denney give it a rave review on his booktube channel. This is a middle grade series that is full of mystery and spooky vibes. I haven't been able to get into Lauren Oliver's YA books but I do love this series.

CASTOR CHRONICLES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
- This is definitely one of those series that either you love it or hate it. If you look at any booktube video where the booktuber discusses series they won't be finishing, this is usually on it. I, personally, enjoyed the first book and after finding the rest of the series for about $9 at my local used bookstore, I will be (at least attempting) finishing this series this year.

13 TREASURE by Michelle Harrison
- Another middle grade series I want to finish. Again, this one came at the recommendation of Richard Denney, and really, who doesn't love a story about fae?

WILDWOOD by Colin Meloy
- I'll be honest- this was 100% a cover buy. I did enjoy the first one, even it's occasional pretentious Portland vibe, but I really struggled to get anywhere with the second book and ended up putting it down after the first 100 pages. I do plan to give this series another shot before I donate them to my library.

- There was a time in my life where I was painfully obsessed with the TV show Pretty Little Liars. When I found out they were originally a book series, I compulsively bought the first 5 books and then was hit with a brick wall of disappointment because the books and the show are nothing alike. I'm still really on the fence about finishing this series but since I have fallen out of love with the show... maybe the books will be more appealing now.

THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken
- I received this book as a gift in 2016 and didn't really pick it up until right before YallFest. On the way to Charleston, I finished THE DARKEST MINDS and stopped in Atlanta to buy the 2nd and 3rd books. I did start the 2nd one but was kind of overwhelmed with just how boring it was. I'm going to give it another shot this year but I kind of have the feeling I'll be donating this entire series to the library.

- I purchase SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER and SOMETHING LIKE WINTER when they were on sell on Kindle. I really enjoyed the first book but felt kind of iffy on the second book. It's definitely white cisgay centered and that's just not appealing to me anymore. I might pick up the other books if they ever go on sale.

(just a quick run through because these books have already wasted enough of my time)

THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman
- Sold as "adult Harry Potter", I barely finished the first book. The characters were flat and Quentin is definitely your typical douchebag who feels sorry for himself. All. The. Time.

- I tried to do a reread for the release of the third book, got through half of the first book and then questioned myself extensively on why I liked this series in the first place.

- No.

WORLDWALKER by Josephine Angelini
- This series is so problematic. Between the magically cured chronic illness, the Native "savages", and the white savior complex from the little blonde girl... yeah, this is a hard pass.

- Dude risks a girl's life because he wants a chance to have sex. Lol no.

FAIRYLAND by Catherynne M. Valente
- I wanted to love this book. It has dragons and an assortment of magical creatures but reading the book felt very much like talking to someone who tries too hard to be smart.

NEED by Carrie Ryan
- The only thing I remember about this series was that the vampires? fae? whatever left trails of gold glitter.

THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey
- The first book was good. The 2nd, not so much. The 3rd... I don't know her.

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver
- I didn't make it through the first 50 pages, to be honest.

13 TO LIFE by Shannon Delaney
- My niece was really into these books and I decided to read them as a "bonding" thing with her. She finished the entire series. I read the first two books and then some spoilers.

LEGEND by Marie Lu
- Those last 20 pages were the hardest I've ever forced myself to read.

- I thought this was going to be Alice in Wonderland with zombies. But this was just a girl named Alice and some zombies.

And that's the series I have started and haven't finished... and might not ever finish.

Monday, February 20, 2017


In the later part of 2016, I had a confrontation with someone on twitter who claimed they were an ally to all marginalized people. I had been subscribed to this person on booktube beforehand but had quickly unsubbed when they created a video that featured them using lipstick as "war paint" in a video where they talked about Peter Pan. When I called them out on twitter about it, I was immediately met with resistance and the person even talked down to me, asking me if I understood what the video was "really about" because they were using "war paint to point out racism in the book". I'm 100% sure that's not how pointing out racism works. This rocked on for a few hours and ended with her sending a handful of her white male friends to harass me through DMs as she not so vaguely subtweeted me and lamented to her followers about what a bully I was.

In reality, I expect this from white twitter. I do. I'm not shocked by it. What I was shocked by was the absolute lack of response from the diverse book community. Literally no one came to my aid, no one stood up for me. And this happens a lot of with Native people, I've noticed.

Not only is the diverse book community content to stand by while Native people fight their own battles, there is an alarming lack of Native books and authors being recommended in these long diverse book lists. And it takes a Native person calling this out for even one Native book/author to be added. My timeline was filled with women's march posts but the only people I ever see posting #NoDAPL things are... Natives. It's just like when I posted about the problematic line in JULIET TAKES A BREATH about Native genocide, I was met with a smattering of replies but mostly silence. People are still recommending that book with absolutely NO warning or acknowledgement of the hurtful treatment of Natives. I have people I consider to be my friends who will RT every post about social injustice but NEVER post anything regarding Native/Indigenous lives.

I'm tired of giving my all and being given crumbs in return. I am currently on hiatus from twitter as I work out my complicated feelings for a community I love that clearly has no room for me or my relatives in it.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review: The Pants Project

The Pants Project The Pants Project by Cat Clarke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

***I received a free e-ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review***

THE PANTS PROJECT follows Liv, a transgender boy, as he navigates his first year of middle school and tackles his school's outdated gendered dress code.

I was initially hesitant about reading requesting this book because I couldn't find any information about the author and whether or not THE PANTS PROJECT was an #ownvoice book. Generally, I do not read books with trans characters that are not written by trans authors because cis people tend to make a mess and mockery of the trans experience. I did, however, end up requesting this book. There were a few lines that felt off to me (comparing being trans to being a transformer) but since that's outside of my experience, I can't speak on whether that language is problematic or not. While I am nonbinary, I have not had the same experience as Liv and so my review will not be focusing on the trans aspect until I hear from trans reviewers and what their thoughts on the language and terminology in the book is.

I did enjoy this book. The plot was solid and I enjoyed reading about Liv tackling a resistant intuition and forcing them to reevaluate their gendered dress code (pants for "boys", skirts for "girls"). I thought the reactions of everyone in the story was very true to real life. The characters themselves were wonderfully fleshed out, everyone had a distinct voice in the story, even the minor characters.

My favorite part of the book is that while Liv forgives his former best friend, he doesn't feel the need to accept her back as a friend. I think that's important thing for young readers to understand. Too many times we have books where the best friend betrays the MC in a terrible way but by the end of the book, they are best friends again. It's definitely important to remind young children (and even adults!) that we don't have to allow people back into our lives just because they are "sorry" that they treated us poorly.

A few things that I didn't like in this book: I wish the author would have explained more about Jacob's condition. This is a middle grade book and I'm guessing a lot of middle grade aged kids probably wouldn't really understand what hypermobility is. That was the second thing I didn't like about this book- sometimes it felt like the author forgot they were writing a middle grade book. The kids in the book are 11/12 years olds but sometimes it felt like the author was writing them as 16/17 year olds.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good 'sticking it to the man' story.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#DIVERSITYREADS 2017 (February Edition)

January was such a great month for new releases. While I didn't get everything that was released, I did pick up FLYING LESSONS, ALLEGEDLY, and LATIN@ RISING.

This month looks like it's shaping up to be another great release month... and another month of hard decisions on what to buy and what to wait on! Here's a small list of the books I'm looking forward to in February.


Summary:American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys. In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture.
On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?


WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour

Summary:You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

An intimate whisper that packs an indelible punch, We Are Okay is Nina LaCour at her finest. This gorgeously crafted and achingly honest portrayal of grief will leave you urgent to reach across any distance to reconnect with the people you love.



Summary: Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And she has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Except really, it's for black girls. From "bad" neighborhoods. And just because Maxine, her college-graduate mentor, is black doesn't mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.



Summary: Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

Things/People Margot Hates:
Mami, for destroying her social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
The supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.


DREAMLAND BURNING by Jennifer Latham

Summary: When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past... and the present.

Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what's right the night Tulsa burns.

Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham's lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important question about the complex state of US race relations - both yesterday and today.


THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas

Summary: Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.



Summary: Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?


What new releases are you looking forward to in February?