Tag Archives: bookrecs

Big Summer Wrap-up 2021

Hi everyone, and welcome to my big summer wrap-up! What classifies as summer for me is a bit weird now since I’m in university, but I’ll be counting the summer months from about June-August. (Yes, I have been procrastinating this post for a while…) Overall, these past few months I have gotten to reconnect with some friends, experience the hottest weather ever, and consume a bunch of media. (Which is why I need a wrap-up like this to remember it all!)

Books:

Faves:

My faves were definitely Rule of Wolves and Chain of Iron! They were both exciting and frankly heartbreaking…

Least Fave:

I wasn’t a fan of The Summer I Turned Pretty, and I definitely care more for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. While I didn’t dislike Howl’s Moving Castle, I was excited for it after watching the movie and was hoping for a little more! I wanted to know more about how the magic worked, but the movie is actually quite different in terms of plot! I found the book also dragged on at times, so it took me a while to read it. :/

Special shoutout to fics:

I usually don’t read long fics, but since I’ve gotten so many recommendations on marauderstok, I’ve read a few really great ones! (on Ao3)

All my cards are here haey1

This is a marauders band au and it was just a great time. Now the acoustic version of “the one that got away”  is stuck in my head…

That’s the art of getting by by sarewolf

I wanted to read a wolfstar raising Harry fic and this one did not disappoint. It was written really well and it was hard not to fly through it quickly. There were so many painfully beautiful quotes. :’) I thought the author wrote the characters well and wrote them realistically with all the grief and trauma they’d been through.

Hauled:

Ninth House (I bought downtown as pocketbooks were 2 for $15 and I got .. for my mom and now she’s on a Louise Penny marathon!)

Such a Fun Age (I found in a free little library while walking around my friend’s neighbourhood!)

Life Updates

In terms of life, there have been some big changes!  I recently started a co-op job and I quit my part-time job working at a bakery which I was in for about 2 ½ years. I had been wanting to find a better job for a while so I am happy that I am moving onward! I did feel a sense of loss leaving the other day, I think partly because it has become so familiar to me and I’ve met a lot of great people there that I am going to miss it for a while. (Editing this: I def don’t miss the job but still thinking about the people!) Still, I knew it was a place I wasn’t really happy a lot of the time. I believe it was a necessary step on the way to gaining more confidence and independence in myself, but a lot of times it felt too stressful for a part time job. This could also just be that I’m generally anxious and seem to always find something to worry about… but that’s something I’m working on. Now, I am excited to work in a position where I can use my strengths in writing and creativity! I know this will also help me to gain an outlook on what type of job I might be interested in the future. 

Movies/Shows:

I was inspired by my friends to start a Marvel marathon this summer! We watched Captain America Winter Soldier together and most of the other movies I watched with my brother and family. I went to see Black Widow as my first movie at the theatre since covid and it was really good. I hope to see Shang-Chi soon too! Everytime I watch a Thor movie, I can’t help but think how fun a Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard adaptation would be 🙂 I’m planning to continue the MCU even though it’ll be limited to weekend movies now. My friends and I also finally got around to watching New Moon together which was lots of fun.

What did you read/watch/enjoy over the summer? I know for sure I’m missing the time that I had to read (now audiobooks are my best friend, though I really want to sit down with a book)

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Review: Taking on the Plastics Crisis by Hannah Testa

In this personal, moving essay, youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. Through her personal journey, readers can learn how they, too, can follow in Hannah’s footsteps and lower their carbon footprint by simply refusing single-use plastics.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

While trees provide us with some oxygen, most of the oxygen we breathe is actually produced from marine life in the ocean. Approximately every other breath we take is generated from the ocean.

I picked up this little pocket book about a month ago from my local library, and I’m so glad I did. While I don’t usually reach for non-fiction, this looked like a quick read to give me further insight on the plastics crisis. I worked at a grocery store and seeing the amount of single-use plastic packaging used made this problem plague my mind. This book was exactly what I was looking for: a quick read but packed with informative detail and insights on steps one can do to make a difference. 

I loved reading the prologue where Testa recounts how she has created change from a young age. She once organized a fundraising event with her friends to help a local farm. A viewer donated $10,000 to the cause after the event raising money for the farm (a viewing of the American Girl movie Saige Paints the Sky) was featured on the news.

Takeaways:

A line I hear often is that an individual’s lifestyle changes is not enough to make major changes to the climate crisis. While it is true that large corporations and businesses are the ones that have the most impact, ordinary people are the ones who bring up these issues and demand change. Testa mentions many other young change makers like herself who have contributed to making change on a larger level. While the problem cannot be changed by personal commitment alone, Testa and other activists’ work has reminded me of how one person’s idea can turn into a collective effort. Like how a 12 year old’s wish to create a better space for farm animals ended up with $10,000 towards the cause. 

As Testa mentions, it is up to consumers to speak up and hold big businesses accountable.

“Businesses rely on consumers to buy their products, so if customers decide to no longer buy their products until they ditch their single-use plastics and eliminate their plastic packaging, businesses will shift to match the needs of their customers” 

This is something I’ve seen in action with the popularity of reusable bags, fees on plastic bags, and paper or reusable straws replacing plastic straws. I think this is a sign that it is possible and that we are moving in the right direction, though this is really just the beginning. Hannah also gives readers solutions on how they can live a life free of single-use plastics, including: using reusable bags and food containers, shopping second hand, seeking out products with little to none plastic packaging, and more. 

Plastic is Toxic

This was a very insightful and sobering read as well. While I, like many others, are aware of the ongoing climate crisis, we often think of the garbage that pollutes our waters and has devastating consequences on wildlife. But, still, I wasn’t quite as aware of the extent that plastic affects our health negatively. Plastic in our water means plastic in our food, which negatively affects many coastal communities that rely on the water for their livelihoods. Along with that:

“Plastic also releases toxins into the food and drinks it comes in contact with. So, yes, your plastic coffee cup is leaching toxins into your coffee. It’s no surprise that plastic is considered a potentially human carcinogenic material.” 

The 5 Rs?

While working at a grocery store, I experienced first-hand how although recycling is an option, a lot of plastic doesn’t even get recycled. There is a lot of confusion about what can get recycled or what could get a bag of recycling thrown in the trash. Testa addresses this recycling confusion, as policies change over time and also depend on your local jurisdiction. 

What is there to do about the plastic crisis? Testa introduces readers to a concept that goes beyond the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) taught in school. (With recycling being a last resort- did you know only that in Canada, only about 9% of plastic is actually recycled? ) The two Rs she includes are to Refuse and Raise Awareness.

Final Thoughts: Read this book!

While I did already know some of these things before reading, I was able to learn even more about the crisis. Now, I am more aware of the problem and what I can do to limit my use of single-use plastics, as well as inspire others to do the same. I highly recommend picking up this book if you are wanting to become more environmentally conscious. (Which really should be everyone because plastic affects our health, wildlife, and planet!) Testa’s words give a great understanding of this problem and show the power that everyone carries to make change. 

Check out Hannah’s website here! She is currently raising money to donate copies of her book to schools in marginalized communities.

(Cover image photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash)

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Book Recommendations for Pride Month

Hi everyone! Here are 8 book recommendations with LGBTQ+ main characters to read during Pride month or to add to your TBR to read throughout the year!

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

I will always recommend this book as it is one of my faves! If you like One Direction, or any other boyband, read this book!! I am a sucker for anything with musical content and I just wish I could listen to The Ark’s music irl.

Rep: trans & gay mc, questioning mc, bi side characters

green cover of "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is just a classic right here. In it, Evelyn Hugo recounts her life as a Hollywood star packed with twists and turns, and shares the story of her greatest love. *Just a note: this isn’t YA, but adult*

Rep: bi mc, lesbian mc

Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts)

Jack of Hearts (and other parts) by L.C Rosen

This book is similar to the show Sex Education in the way that Jack is a teen writing a sex-ed column for his friend’s blog. The mystery involved was my favourite part of the book. Jack is receiving threatening messages from someone who claims to love him and demands he acts like a “good boyfriend’. I actually read this all in one sitting as I was genuinely creeped out by the notes and had to see who was behind it all.

Rep: gay mc

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

This is such a beautiful book and is told entirely in prose, making it quick to read! It follows the mc Michael throughout his life from a young boy to university as he uncovers his identity and finds a passion of performing in drag as The Black Flamingo.

Rep: gay mc

I Wish You All the Best (I Wish You All the Best, #1)

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

I Wish You All The Best is my favourite read so far this year! Read the synopsis and my review of it here.

Rep: non-binary mc, bi mc

Her Royal Highness (Royals, #2)

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

This is a sapphic enemies-to-lovers, oh my god my roommate is a princess moment, and I’m here for it. Oh, it also takes place in Scotland. This is a really light, fluffy, and fun read. <3

Rep: I can’t recall if specific labels are used, but the main romance is wlw

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

If you haven’t read Heartstopper, what are you doing? Heartstopper is a graphic novel series of which the first four volumes are out in print, but they can also be read online on Tumblr or Tapas. It is a super quick read and is just so heart-warming. The series is currently in production with Netflix, and I can’t wait to see the show. Also, the cast is super adorable!

Rep: most of the cast in the books are LGBTQ+!

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Idk, can you maybe tell that Alice Oseman is my favourite author? I just had to mention Loveless as there are hardly any other books I’ve read with aro-ace characters, and I’ve only seen people say amazing things about this book! Read the synopsis and my (fangirly) review for it here.

Rep: aro-ace mc, wlw side couple, non-binary side character

Will you be picking up any of these this month? Have you read any already? Do you have any recs for me? Let me know in the comments below!

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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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