Posts in Reading Diary
Rereading Harry Potter . . . Again

It's been a while! I promise I haven't completely fallen off the map; I've been making videos and reading and such, but I have to admit, I haven't had the itch to write in quite a while.

Today, however, I'm inspired by the Twittersphere because it happens to be twenty years since J. K. Rowling first publishing the Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the Harry Potter series. #HarryPotter20 has been trending all morning, and I have to say, I've been a bit weepy thinking about the world's love for this particular Wizarding World.

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24-Hour Readathon

I'm joining in (last minute, of course) with thousands of readers today for Dewey's Read-a-thon! I won't be able to read all day, but I do have quite a few books I want to finish before May 1st (and the Do-a-thon!).

I'm treating today as a "wrap-up day" for all the books I've either (1) been reading forever and can't seem to finish or (2) put down at the beginning of the month and neglected to pick back up. Strangely, I've been enjoying all of the books on this list; life has just been in the way a lot lately.

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Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor

While I'm so grateful to have received this book from the publisher, I'm sad to say it wasn't for me. I can see how this book would be a favorite for younger (snarky?) readers, and the writing was decent, but I just couldn't stomach the YA cliches, bad attitudes/angst, pretentiousness, and other frustrating elements.

I really REALLY wanted to love this book, and I do think fans of John Green or "witty" romance will potentially enjoy this book. I did like, for the most part, how the author portrayed depression and how it can take many shapes in our lives and in the lives of people we love.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Like many other reviewers, I am astounded by this book. I don’t think the right words will come, but I’m going to try.

This book deserves all the hype it received. It was like a sucker punch to the heart in the best way. But it hurts, because it exposes everything.

I’m sure The Hate U Give wasn’t written so white people like me could better understand what it’s like for a black girl like Starr to live her life and experience the injustice she experienced.

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What I've Been Reading Lately

Hi, friends!

I haven't shared my thoughts on what I've been reading lately because, quite frankly, I haven't been reading a lot. I've been reading a ton for my job, and I think that's part of the problem. I edit stories all day (and sometimes night) long—and by the end of the day, my eyes are usually killing me and the last thing I want to do is read.

But lately, I haven't exactly been in a reading slump. In fact, I desperately want to read so many of the books on my shelves; I just don't have the time or eye muscle strength (that's a thing, right?).

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a touching coming-of-age story about a fifteen-year-old boy named Ari and his best friend, Dante, and their unique experiences in El Paso, Texas, as Mexican-American teenagers.

I listened to the audio version of this story, and while I do believe it was overhyped, I’m fully aware that my personal listening experience could have been completely different if I had physically read the book. Don’t get me wrong: Lin-Manuel Miranda was a brilliant narrator and I thoroughly enjoyed his voice for all of the characters.

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2017 New Year's Goals

I said on my BookTube channel that I didn't have any resolutions or goals for 2017, but I've changed my mind in, oh, a day? I'm just a sucker for resolutions, you guys.

I wasn't always this way, but I'm finally coming around to the truth that I am a goal-oriented person. My downfall, however, is always my all-or-nothing goals. I tell myself I'm going all in or there's no point to it all, which is just silly. Thankfully, I don't feel that way about readathons or monthly TBRs, and reading in general.

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A World without You by Beth Revis

I finished A World Without You by Beth Revis almost a month ago. It’s strange, but I found myself waiting to put words to how I felt about this book. It seemed like a monumental read for me, and a part of me didn’t want to face those intense emotions.

Immediately upon finishing the book, I gushed on Twitter—as I so often do—and eventually found myself private messaging with the author back and forth. Side note: I will always be grateful that Twitter fills the gap between author and reader.

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This is a rather quick review, but I couldn't skip over this enchanting book. Every Heart a Doorway was my kind of strange, and I don't think I've been this in love with a storyline/premise in a long time. As others have mentioned on Goodreads, it's dark, atmospheric, and heartachingly lovely. There was something so unsettling about these characters who have traded in their own families and "old lives" for other worlds—the worlds they truly belong to.

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Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

—Stephanie Danler, Sweetbitter

This book will forever leave a sweet-bitter, craving-it-always taste in my mind. I devoured it.

This coming-of-age foodie story is so much more than a young twenty-two-year-old girl moving to New York City on a whim, stumbling into a coveted job at a top NYC restaurant. It's about remembering, having experiences instead of just wanting them, and oh, every page aches with loneliness—truly.

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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

I can't even begin to sum up this weirdly stunning, magical book.

I absolutely loved everything about it. But then again, I seem to like most YA contemporaries these days with a little magical realism sprinkled in for good measure. Well, that's not entirely true; it's not easy to get it right. But when an author does get it right? Good gracious, I have GOOSEBUMPS.

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

I tend to believe that most people cannot easily come to grips with identity or the strange and beautiful sorrows of life until they unravel the stories of their family histories and peel away the layers of where they come from.

I also tend to believe that, like author Leslye Walton’s strange kinship with the daffodil, some people can achieve beauty only after a long, cold sulk in the rain.

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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

In honor of Banned Books Week, I thought it only fitting to talk about the one and only Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Every now and then you read a book that grips you so fiercely, you know you carry a chunk of it with you wherever you go. I’m not talking about book hangovers, I’m talking drunk-in-love, full-on-can’t-stop-won’t-stop-smiling-or-crying stories.

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily, the heartbreaking retelling of Peter Pan, still haunts me. It really does. This book was so refreshingly beautiful, I would recommend it to everyone—even those who aren’t typically drawn to young adult fiction. There’s a wildness to this retelling, as if we’re let in on this addictive secret. . . . Tinker Bell is the narrator, a fairy who never speaks or makes a ripple in the lives of the characters she follows. She takes “fly on the wall” to a new level, and readers get front-row seats to a monumental love story, but one that is so different from the “happy ending” love stories we all grew up hearing.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: A Twin's Perspective

Fangirl is a beautifully delicate coming-of-age story that I really resonate with—not because I am a fangirl like Cath, but because I am a twin and Rowell really nails the #twinning relationship. I may not be as delightfully nerdy as Cath, but I do identify with her in a lot of ways, and I am not the only reader to feel this way. Rowell taps into this new world and really brings it to light, making readers feel as though they are on the inside of this secret universe. She has an incredible ability to build complex characters and still make the pages turn. I’m serious, y’all. These characters came to life for me. I feel like I know them, and I was so sad to say good-bye.

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