Author Archives: victoria

How To: Fall in Love With a Book

These are usually the steps I take when I fall in love with a new book/series! Though this doesn’t happen with every book if you keep trying, I am sure you will find one you love. If you are in need of book recommendations, my blog is the place to start! I have a category of book recommendation posts here.

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Shadow and Bone Trailer: Thoughts & Theories

Hi everyone! With Rule of Wolves getting out before release day as well as the full Shadow and Bone trailer being leaked early, there’s been a lot of excitement in the Grishaverse this past week. Having seen the full trailer which has given us a lot more of an idea as to how the two series Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows will be adapted, I thought I’d share my thoughts and theories. (I will be going into detail about the plots and characters from Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows so warning for mild spoilers!) For brevity from now on, I will be referring to them as S&B and SoC. *Cover photo is from Shadow and Bone Netflix*

Theories:

So, before the release of the trailer, there was a lot of confusion on how these two series were to be adapted in one show. They are separated in time and space with S&B being set in Ravka while SoC is set in Kerch (among other locations) years after S&B. However, SoC does utilize flashbacks in order to tell each of the character’s backstories, including how Inej became a member of the Dregs and how Nina and Matthias meet. 

Being the namesake of the show, S&B has seemed to be the focus, with some kind of a prequel to the story of the Dregs in SoC. With the full trailer, it has become more evident how they plan to do this. I am crediting this to my friend Karli who sent me audio messages pointing this out after watching the trailer when I was still too excited to think coherently. 

The trailer moves from S&B clips to SoC clips with Kaz saying “she’s real” to Inej. It seems that at the Crow Club perhaps Per Haskell (?) is giving a mission to the Dregs to bring him Alina for “1 million kruge.” The clips at this time show Kaz, Inej, and Jesper who we know from SoC are already working together. In a few of the clips, it looks as if Kaz may be dressed in a Ravkan guard uniform and in another, it looks like a Ravkan flag behind Inej (heist time?). This also explains why Wylan, who has a large part in the novel SoC would not be cast yet, as he is the final edition to their crew.

Though Nina and Matthias have been cast, we have not seen too much of them except for a still of them sitting in a snowy location covered with furs. This would work with their flashback scenes from SoC where they must survive together after the shipwreck. There is a quick shot of Matthias in what looks like a cell which I initially associated with them breaking him out of Hellgate, but to work with this timeline, it could just as easily be the end of the flashback when Nina sends him there. So instead of the heist that they embark on in SoC to the Ice Court, it seems as if Kaz, Inej, and Jesper are on a heist to Ravka to find Alina.

Thoughts: 

While this is definitely a bit different than the original events of the books, I am excited for it. I like the idea of a prequel for the SoC characters as it goes along with their storylines and doesn’t interfere with what happens later on. Essentially, we are just getting more screen time with them! I also have faith in the changes they are making to the show as Leigh Bardugo has been heavily involved and I trust she knows what to do in her world to make this work. 

Although I am not as attached to S&B as I am to SoC, I am really loving the visuals, casting, and everything we have seen with the series so far. I can’t deny that it looks SO GOOD. Even though it is an interesting plot, I remember finding it a bit slow at times, so I think the visuals of the show and (addition of the crows) will leave me enjoying it a lot! With the show coming out on Netflix in just over 2 weeks, you bet I will be counting down the days until I can Netflix party it with my friends.

How are you feeling about the upcoming show? Any other thoughts or theories I should hear? Let me know! 🙂

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How do I Annotate my Books?

Journalling, sticky notes, writing in the margins? There are many ways to annotate your books and make them more personal to you. Here are some of the ways I have annotated books in the past!

 Sticky Tabs

The most frequent way I have annotated books is by using sticky tabs! This is the least permanent way as they come off easily and do not damage the pages, which makes it ideal for books you are borrowing from friends or the library. I’ve seen people who have an actual sticky note key and system (pink for romance, green for the plot, etc.) However, I usually am not sure what I plan to tab until reading so I tend not to go for a system and just tag moments I like – character interactions, quotes I like, or other points I think I might want to revisit later on. Sometimes I like to just reread my favourite parts of a book by going through the tabs in my copy!

Writing in books

This isn’t something I’ve done a lot, but I think there’s something so satisfying about seeing a book filled up with annotations showing how well-loved it is! The only books I have done this in are my copies of the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. As I was reading them I could already tell they were going to be favourites of mine (plus I didn’t want to disrupt the sprayed edges) so I decided to underline quotes and write some notes in the margins.

As I reread Six of Crows in the summer, I also added to these along with putting bigger sticky notes with important plot points and names of the background characters/ gangs in the front of my copy to refer to. I decided to do this so I would be able to better understand the intricacies of the plot the second time around, and discuss it with my friends!

I usually am hesitant to write in my books in case I do end up giving them away or selling them later on, but there are a few like Six of Crows that I love and enjoy making my copies more personal. If you are looking for ways to personalize your books, try a book stamp or embosser! I actually got both for my birthday and they have been really fun to use on my favourite books in my collection, especially when I might lend them out! They both say “From the library of Victoria”. Here is what an embossed page looks like:

Personalized Embosser

Another way to “write” in your books is by using small sticky notes that you can leave between the pages! This is also a cool way to annotate a book for a friend. It can be a way to highlight parts that remind you of them and make it really personal or however you like. Kayla actually did this for my birthday with a beautiful edition of The Bell Jar, and I cannot wait to read it! It feels like extra little surprises waiting for me to read inside the book. I think I might try this method more in books as it is a way to jot down a short thought while also being removable if you end up wanting to take them out, or if it’s not your book. Right now, I am reading her copy of New Moon, so I decided to leave her some notes of my thoughts throughout which I hope she finds entertaining :).  Another great thing about annotations is that they can help you to organize and remember your thoughts and feelings about a book, especially if you plan to create a post when you finish. Which brings me to my next point about journaling…

Journalling

If you don’t wish to write in your books, you might keep a journal where you can write the page number along with your thoughts. While I tend to sticky note most of my books, I often do this with books I have to return to the library and do not have my own copy of! I’ve also gotten into creative journaling for books which is a whole other topic, but can be a fun way to display some of your favourite quotes or even write your thoughts on the book next to images (drawings, stickers, photos, fanart) of your choice!

My Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom Journal Pages

Digital/Ebooks

I don’t read eBooks a lot but when I do, one of my favourite things is the annotation function! You can easily highlight and leave comments on the text, as well as search up certain words or quotes which comes in very handy. I read the entire All For The Game trilogy in ebook format on my iPad a few years ago, and it’s cool to be able to look at the comments I left! While Goodreads allows users to do status updates for books they are currently reading, I often don’t want to constantly pause to update or include potential spoilers so those turn into more general thoughts. Another thing I’ve seen people do is share threads of the book they are currently reading on Twitter, along with screenshots of their eBook highlights etc, basically live-tweeting their reactions. I tried to do this last year with my copy of Chain of Gold, just taking pictures of my tagged quotes and adding my thoughts. It was fun, but this time when I read Chain of Iron, I might try making a reading vlog for BookTok or some other type of content (Let me know if you have anything you’d like to see!)

So it seems like my annotation style varies from book to book depending on the story, copy, and format. I know for myself, sticky notes are definitely here to stay, though I’d like to start writing and personalizing more of my own copies of books!

Please let me know what ways you annotate your books! Is there a way you think is the best? I’d love to hear them and get further ideas.

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Peer Review #3: Average Sam

Hi everyone! This post will be another peer review, this time on the blog Average Sam! Average Sam is a blog celebrating all things creative as reiterated with the tagline on her banner: “Staying Creative. Trying her best.” If you are looking for new creative adventures, Sam’s site is the place to be as she posts new activities each week and encourages readers to join in by sharing photos of their creations in the comments! As I will be providing feedback and suggestions in this review, I will be addressing it to Sam. 

Hi Sam,

First off, I love the visuals on your site so much! It feels very fun and artsy with your use of primary colours, graphics, and of course the egg cursor! I think the sidebar where you highlight the “Activity of the Week” is also a great idea to pique the interest of your audience and get them involved with your site. This definitely helps to develop a feeling of consistency for your brand. It has a carefree association with it, which I think goes well with the backstory of creating your blog. As you mention on your about page, Average Sam has been a way to celebrate and engage in creativity without judgment and comparison – it’s for fun and highlights how anyone can be an artist! Also on your about page, I loved reading about your work with the community centre and how that care and passion shows through your blog with your “Let’s Cook!” section. One thing I think that could help further solidify your brand is to include your mission statement on your about page too.

When it comes to monetization, ads for craft stores like Michael’s or local craft stores come to mind. If you don’t want banner ads on your site, affiliate advertising could be another option to link to certain craft supplies that you use in the post or ones that are similar! Another option could be a Ko-fi linked on your sidebar. This way people who enjoy your posts and have maybe found a new craft idea, can make a small donation to buy you a coffee and support your work!

I got to take a look at your site near the beginning of the semester and remember loving your “cartoon yourself” post. I’m happy to see that you did the “What I would wear as a cartoon character” TikTok idea! It definitely goes along with the vibe of your content and your outfits are super cute! I think TikTok would be a great platform if you plan to make more content creation videos as there is definitely a space for crafty videos. I have seen a few “before and after” videos for creations that would be perfect for the type of content you make. (Here is a felting one that my friend made!) From making an account this semester, I can say it is definitely addicting and time-consuming though so I can understand if you’d like to stick to your blog.

Sam, I really love the idea behind your site as well as your branding. Your site is visually engaging and very refreshing with its unique graphics. I think your personality comes across in your posts which are written well and very nicely put together. Though you consider yourself to be “average” at most things, consider me impressed! (That 20 min corsage, wow!) You have also inspired me to try more creative projects just for the fun of it. I hope that you continue with Average Sam after the semester, as it seems like it has given you a much-needed opportunity to unwind from all the work you do and create some art!

– Victoria

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Reading Update: (How my March is going)

Hi friends! In this post, I will be chatting about what I have read recently along with what I hope to read next! So far, I’ve had a great reading year (I actually am 4 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads goal!) I have definitely spent most of my free time doing 1 of 2 things: reading or scrolling on BookTok… This has resulted in me not watching many shows lately, but honestly I have really been in a reading mood and loving it. Being further involved in the book community has really made me passionate and excited to find new amazing books to read and talk about! In the past, with school, I have often gotten into big reading slumps worrying about work and not having enough time to open a book. However, I realized that just trying to stay consistent and taking a bit of time out of the day (at breakfast, before bed) gives me a much-needed break and escape! 


What have I read so far this month? 

A way I’ve been keeping up with reading this semester, is by taking a class in which the required readings are all YA books. I have binge-read a few of the books now and I was happy to have an excuse to keep reading because “it’s homework!” The last book I finished was Jack of Hearts and Other Parts which I powered through as it really had me hooked with the mystery!

Another thing that has kept me reading is the casual book club I started with Kayla and a few of our other friends. Every week, we have been picking a page amount to read up to and discuss over Zoom or FaceTime. So far, we have just finished our third book, The Song of Achilles. This one had been on my list for a while and I have seen non-stop raving about it on BookTok. I did enjoy it but I think as I was familiar with the story from The Iliad, I just didn’t find it super heartbreaking and didn’t cry as many do while reading it! Still, I really enjoyed reading from Patroclus’ point of view and the action scenes like Achilles’ fight against the river god Scamander was really cool. It is a fast-moving book which I felt almost would’ve been better to read in a few sittings rather than drag it out as we did for the book club. However, I am looking forward to discussing it with my friends! Overall, I don’t think I fell in love with this book, but it was definitely worth the read. Miller has a very clear and beautiful writing style and there are so many iconic lines I have seen quoted from the novel, which were cool to finally read.


What am I reading now?

Currently, I am trying to get back into New Moon by Stephanie Meyer. I started it a few months ago, witnessed the most dramatic chapters I’ve ever read in a book, but only got about 100 pages in. To be honest, I’m not super into it at the moment compared to how I was reading Twilight... Maybe the fact that it’s a longer book and right now there isn’t as much of a hook as there was in book 1. I think I will try to power through though because something might interest me soon and I’d hate to DNF it. Also, during the reading break Kayla, another friend, and I watched Twilight over Netflix party which ended up being a lot of fun, so we are hoping to do the same for New Moon!



What am I reading next?

It was my birthday this month, so with the birthday money and Indigo coupon I received, I was bound for a book haul. I picked up a few titles from the store including Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare which has been a highly anticipated read for me since I read and LOVED the first book Chain of Gold, and of course it had to end on a cliffhanger! I definitely want to get to Chain of Iron ASAP (before I accidentally spoil myself on Twitter), but I might wait until the end of the semester as I did with Chain of Gold so I can read it over a few days. A book haul will be up soon on my BookTok, so follow me there to see what else I picked up!

I also have been dying to start reading All the Young Dudes which is a Harry Potter marauder’s era fanfiction by MsKingBean89 (or possibly Taylor Swift? There are some theories), which I learnt about thanks to TikTok. However, it is 500K words and there is a high chance I may become obsessed with it, so I have been waiting until I have a little more time to start it (which will hopefully be soon)! In book club news, it sounds like we will be picking up Little Women next which I have been wanting to both read and watch for a while!

And that’s pretty much it! With all these books, let’s hope I can keep this reading bug in me going. Soon, I hope to participate in a 24-hour readathon or some other fun challenge, so stay tuned!

How has your reading month/year been going so far? Let me know in the comments below!

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Press Release: Procrastireader has an Email!

Procrastireader now has an official email! If you are a publisher or author looking for a review of an upcoming release, feel free to send any inquiries to procrastireader@hotmail.com. Reviews will be posted on my blog as well as my Goodreads. Procrastireader strives to offer honest reviews on Young Adult and the occasional Adult Fiction book, focusing on diverse stories. Book businesses are also encouraged to reach out if they are interested in reviews of their products.

Song Lyrics as Books

Hi friends! This post is inspired by Drizzle and Hurricane books who came up with the idea! I knew I would have a lot of fun with this, as I often have narratives and images come to my mind while I’m listening to music. Without further ado, here are some song lyrics I think could be turned into books!

Overdrive – Conan Gray

Only met on the weekend
Said I'm not catchin' feelings
Oh, I guess I lied
Divin' off of the deep end
I can't think of a reason
We should take our time
Ah-ooh...
Yeah, I know you're a stranger
But I'm likin' the danger
Of the "I don't know"
Don't give a fuck about labels
Throw thе dice on the table
And just let 'em roll
Ah-ooh

This book would be about a girl who meets someone who she instantly falls for. They get along really well and the book follows their adventures as they get to know each other. They would be chatting about school, friends, their likes and dislikes, going on walks, late-night drives, and creating art together. It would be about being stuck on the rush of their feelings and not thinking about the challenges that might come up in their relationship. The twist, in the end, would be as these relationship doubts start to creep in, the girl wakes up and the readers realize that she’s just been daydreaming the entire time. This was actually my interpretation when I first heard the song and I was so happy (and a little sad) when I watched the music video which is very similar. 🙂

Chiquitita – ABBA 

Chiquitita, tell me the truth
I'm a shoulder you can cry on
Your best friend, I'm the one you must rely on
You were always sure of yourself
Now, I see you've broken a feather
(How it hurts to see you cry)
(And how it hurts to see you sad)
I hope we can patch it up together

This would be a story about two best friends who finally reunite after being apart at two different schools. When one friend visits, she sees how her best friend is actually struggling a lot and a shell of the person she used to be. It would be about how people’s images online are often not an accurate portrayal of real life. It would be a story about these two friends uplifting each other and forming a stronger friendship.

 

Sometimes – Phonovisions Symphonic Orchestra 

This is not a particular song lyric, but more of a vibe from listening to the song! Whenever I hear this song (on my study playlist) I end up a bit distracted, imagining a fantasy book with a scene that takes place in a fancy dining club. The main characters are on a mission to stop something before it’s too late while the performance goes on. (are they the good guys or bad guys? Let’s go with morally grey)

Say It – Maggie Rogers 

I knew it when you looked my way
That I'd be begging you to stay
I couldn't say it to myself
I couldn't say it to myself
I felt it burning in the way
I held on when you pulled away
I couldn't say it to myself
I couldn't say it to myself
I couldn't say it
I couldn't just say it

This would be a slow burn friends-to-lovers book, but it would be mostly dealing with the denial of their feelings for each other. I think a story from both points of view would be really great to catch that mutual pining. They start hanging out more together outside of their friend group, but aren’t really sure what it means for them.

 

Cough Syrup – Young the Giant

If I could find a way to see this straight
I'd run away to some fortune that
I, I should have found
By now
I'm waiting for this cough syrup
To come down, come down

This would be a story about two people in a relationship that has turned toxic. While the protagonists knows it, they have a hard time accepting that it should end as this person has been such a big part of their life. 

Wolves – One Direction

In the middle of the night when the wolves come out
Headed straight for your heart like a bullet in the dark
One by one, I gotta take them down
We can run and hide, ain't goin' down without a fight

This would definitely be a fantasy, enemies to lovers book where the characters have to run away together. The main characters realize that they’ll do anything in their power to keep the other safe when their lives are in danger. 

There are so many more songs/lyrics that would make great books but here are a few! Do you agree with any of these or maybe see them differently? Can you think of other lyrics that would work well for a book? Let me know! *Cover photo from Canva, other photos from on Pinterest*

Review: I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

I Wish You All the Best

It’s just three words: I am nonbinary. But that’s all it takes to change everything.

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hi everyone! Today, I’ll be talking about a book I recently read and loved: I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver. This was another book I read for the gender, sexuality, and women’s study course I am taking this semester focused on YA books, but it had actually been on my to-read list since it was released in 2019. So far for the course, I’ve read Cemetery Boys (read my review here) and The Black Flamingo which was great, but I have to say I Wish You All The Best is my favourite so far. I am usually not big on contemporary books, but I truly adored I Wish You All The Best. It had me so hooked that I finished it in about a day! Something I really enjoyed from this book was the mental health representation (which I talk about more in this review) and the ways in which I was able to relate to Ben. I recommend it for any YA lover, as long as you are aware of the content warnings: (Ben being kicked out of their house after coming out, misgendering, anxiety disorder & depression) With all that in mind, I braced myself to read a sad story and while it is sad, it is more than just a “sad story” and ends on a positive and hopeful note.

Why I enjoyed I Wish You All The Best so much:

(Warning for some spoilers as I discuss details from the plot!)

Ben’s internal monologue:

One reason I love reading is because of the way I am able to connect well with characters by reading their thoughts, unlike in shows or movies. This was absolutely the case with IWYATB. I felt like Ben was a lot like me because 90% of their thoughts stay in their head and they usually say about 10%. There were a few times I was reading their response to someone asking a question and I’d have to remind myself that the quotation marks were only on the first part and the rest were their thoughts. I think without being able to read Ben’s thoughts, a lot of their growth and character arc would not be understood the same. 

Their age:

 I like to say that I don’t have one favourite book, just a bunch of books I read at the perfect time, and while that’s a bit cheesy I think that it is true. Ben is 18 which as a recently turned 20-year old (whattt?) I am able to relate to as that wasn’t that long ago for me. I think this is a really interesting age for change because one is leaving the often tightly controlled environment of high school for university or time off school which allows them a lot more freedom. So with that in mind, I was able to find ways I related to Ben or used to and could imagine how they might change in the future. One thing I related to was Ben always downplaying their accomplishments when Nathan would compliment their artwork.

But I don’t think he realizes how difficult it can be to forget all the mistakes when I know they’re my fault. When I know I should’ve caught them. “It’s hard to be proud of something you messed up, even if everything around it is perfect.”

I remember doing this a lot in high school and even though I’ve mostly broken out of it, I find myself doing it in my self-talk from time to time. I guess being able to relate to Ben’s actions just made it very real to me, and also made me think of how a sequel to the story would be great to see how Ben is able to grow more comfortable in their identity after leaving high school and going on tour with Mariam. (I just learnt there is actually a short story that takes place after IWYATB, so I will be reading that ASAP)

Also, this age factor really highlighted how shitty it is for many LGBTQ+ teens who are not able to be themselves because school is often not a safe place. Another thing I thought of was fashion and developing a sense of style which I think goes under a big transformation after high school. I had worn a uniform all through high school, so at first actually having to dress myself for university was a little daunting, and it’s only now that I feel I have been able to develop a sense of style. In Ben’s case, they have a chance to start anew though there is still a lot of societal pressure preventing them from dressing how they would like to and Hannah mostly does their shopping. I’d love to see how their style evolves in a potential sequel… (Hey Mason Deaver??).

The mental health representation:

From reading lots of YA specifically fantasy, more often than not characters go through some type of trauma. However, they do not often get helped or have this treated, even in most of the contemporary books I’ve read. I Wish You All The Best was completely different in that Ben attends therapy as well as takes medication for their anxiety and depression. I think this is a very positive view on treating mental health which is something I needed to see represented in a book. The novel really captures Ben’s anxiety right from the beginning pages as they plan to come out to their parents, as well as in their interactions with people where they often wonder if they are telling them the truth, and they often apologize for things they don’t need to. Dr. Turner usually catches on in these moments and provides Ben with reassurance, which is sometimes all they need. It also seems realistic as Ben is not magically healed or anything, but instead finds ways to cope throughout the novel. 

Sibling relationships:

I think I loved Hannah and Ben’s “sib” relationship the most. It definitely wasn’t perfect but I’m glad they had the scene with Dr. Turner where they were able to finally talk about how her departure 10 years before affected Ben. Though a terrible situation led to it, I am glad they were able to rekindle their relationship and both leave their shitty parents behind. I love how Hannah and Thomas became Ben’s new “parents.” Also, Hannah helping Ben come out to Dr. Turner, and the painting nails scene both got me good.

Nathan & Ben (good ol’ friends to lovers)

Watching Nathan and Ben’s relationship develop was beautiful, but painful at the same time with Nathan often unintentionally misgendering Ben. I really got hooked reading to find out when they would finally confess their feelings (I was like this boy obviously likes you… I mean after that Troye Sivan song moment, are you still questioning it?) and for Ben to come out to Nathan. I really enjoyed reading about their relationship and how supportive Nathan was of Ben as a friend and finally, as their boyfriend. 

If you’ve also read I Wish You All The Best, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings in the comments below!

Review cover photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash

January & February Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

This week, I will be talking about all the books I read during January & February and what I rated them. So far, 2021 has been a great reading year for me and I am excited for the books I am planning to read next!

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I actually have written an in-depth review of this book that you can find here if you want to know more about my thoughts! While it was enjoyable, there were some parts that just fell flat for me. I read this book with a few friends including Kayla at Musings of a Middle Child and discussed it in our little book club over FaceTime! It was definitely worth it for the fun discussions we were able to have.

Parachutes

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

Rating: 5 out of 5.

To be honest, half of why I picked up this book was for the pretty cover catching my eye at the library and I was pleasantly blown away by the story! It follows two girls, Claire, a parachute – a student sent to study in America from China by her wealthy parents – and Dani, her host sister whose financial situation is a lot different. In the beginning, the book reminded me a little of Crazy Rich Asians, but while the story is quite different, it is still an interesting look at privilege, family, and power. The synopsis also relates it to Gossip Girl, and I could definitely see fans of the show loving this.

This book surprised me with how fast-paced it was despite being almost 500 pages, and I found myself flipping through it eager to learn what would happen. The book takes place in alternating POVS which I am a sucker for, especially when their stories coincide! If anything, I would have liked to see more of the relationship growth between Claire and Dani, but it was still really interesting to see how their separate stories and situations intersect.

TW: This book touches on sexual assault and rape so that is important to be aware of before reading (there is a trigger warning at the start of the book). I really admired the strength of the author who wrote a lot of the book using parts of her own experience which she outlines in the author’s note.

This was truly an incredible read and I would recommend older readers who are aware of the trigger warnings to pick it up!

The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I mentioned this book in my dark academia post! This was the second book I read with my book club. The Secret History is richly detailed, which made it a bit of a longer and more difficult book to discuss, but it was really beneficial to be able to discuss some of the more complex concepts in the book!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a super quick and easy read which was needed after finishing The Secret History! Read my thoughts on this book in my review here!

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m always a little hesitant to pick up classics, but I am glad I gave this one a chance! It was fairly easy to read and understand, plus the intro in this edition of the book gave a lot of context for the novel. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a really interesting look at vanity and narcissism. I also just loved the supernatural elements of the painting. As soon as I can, I will be watching the movie with Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray. I’ve seen so many Marauders fan edits on Tik Tok with clips from the movie as a young Sirius and I’m dying to actually watch it!

Julie and the Phantoms: The Edge of Great

Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1 Novelization by Micol Ostow

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I think I’ve mentioned my love for the show Julie and the Phantoms on here a few times already… So obviously when there was a novelization of the show announced, I needed to buy it. I was super excited when it arrived and it was still a fun read (basically like rewatching the show but reading), but there were too many good parts left out that it ended up being a disappointment. (I can’t believe they called it “The Edge of Great” then only alluded to that scene!)

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Black Flamingo follows Michael a mixed-race gay teen who finds his place in his university drag society. This novel is unlike any that I’ve read before as it is told in verse. As I am taking a poetry class at the moment, it made me more conscious of the pauses and spaces in the text and the additional meanings this brought to the story. Michael being a poet himself in the book made it feel like a natural choice for the novel, it couldn’t have been told in a better way. While romance is an element in this coming-of-age novel, I personally really liked how it didn’t take away from the focus of the book which is identity and the importance of a sense of self.

Here is a Book Tok video in which I rate all these books with the help of Hannah Montana’s singing:

How has your reading gone so far this year? Have you read any of the same books as I did?