Today in #RomBkLove were talking about one of my favorite things: covers. I’m not gonna lie, covers are a big reason of my empty-wallet predicament. Yes, I read and add books from my favorite tropes or favorite authors, but I mostly find new authors when their pretty covers caught my eyes. Because Romanceladia covers are a work of art.
Couples in covers get to me every time; the looks! the sparks flying! the hungry look of their faces! the cared and fierceness with they hold each other!
What are your favorite covers? What are the things you love on your covers? What are the things you want to see more?
Tell us all about it using the hashtag #RomBkLove on twitter and instagram!
Some of my favorite couples
Cyclone by Courtney Milan is this wonderful series with the most wonderful people ever, who deserve the entire world. As always, Courtney wins me over with a couple of paragraphs and I fall for these heroines even faster than their heroes. Trade Me (m/f) follows Tina and Blake, who decide to switch places to prove a point, Tina is pissed but Blake is already falling, and their love is the greatest satisfaction. The story deals with eating disorder, feeling like you’re not enough for your family, poverty and immigration. Hold Me (m/f) follows Tina’s friend, Maria, and Jay, the man she despises. This is for me, the best enemies to lovers. Their relationship just works so well, plus they flirt with science which it’s one of my favorite things. I love everything Courtney writes and especially love the covers of this series. I mean, look at these couples, please!
AH these books! Hate To Want You was my first Alisha’s Rai book and what a wonderful trip that was. I love how these covers convey how sexy, passionate and lovely these books are. It doesn’t hurt that these people are too gorgeous. I’m going to be honest, I haven’t finished Forbidden Hearts, yet. Please don’t scream at me! I don’t have excuses because I absolutely loved the first book, following a second chance romance that it becomes a rivals to lovers (or more like, we can’t possible be together). The sparks flying and their love and wow I love these characters with all my heart. This book was also one of my first wow this depression rep makes me feel so seen. These covers are reason enough to get these books, but also, you know, these stories are the rollercoaster you want.
At this point, you have to have heard about Reluctant Royals series and seen these incredibly gorgeous covers. Following a group of women who don’t think they deserve the entire world and the heroes that workship the floor they walk on. The colors! Their faces! The dresses! I just love everything about this series, everything about Alyssa and everything that it involves fake relationship/marriages. I never thought I would be so in love with Royalty stories but now I’m rethinking my entire stand in this, because why wouldn’t you want more about these beautiful and messy royals?
Special mention to these books that I haven’t read (yet) but I did preorder/bought because of their gorgeous covers:
Rebel by Beverly Jenkins
My Imaginary Ex by Mina V. Esguerra
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
Each month we will posting a poll with four choices: 2 new release and 2 backlist titles, and you can pick what book we will be reading. We have planned tons of amazing and fun things (things that rhyme with interviews and discussions). We’ll be boosting and sharing, so be sure to follow us on on Twitter (@latinxbookclub) and Instagram (@latinxbkclub)
Also, be sure to use the hashtag #LatinxBookClub so we can see all your posts!
What are we going to be reading during Pride month aka June, you ask?
*takes deep breath*
We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Pub Date: 2019|Katherine Tegen Books|We Set The Dark On Fire #1
At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.
On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?
April is gone and we’re now a quarter done of 2019, which feels so strange. This year has gone fast but not fast enough (don’t pay attention to my rambling, me needs sleep). I have been struggling lately with blogging, I’m not sure what to post and I couldn’t put away this idea about yearly updates after I saw Jocelyn’s video. So here we are, yes, pretending that we care about this. Thank you very much.
I have divided this post in two sections: bookish stats and 2019 resolutions.
As of today I have read 128 books of my 300 goal, which it feels kinda surreal. I even broke my all time record in April and read 36 books in a month. I have DNFed and “paused” a quite number of books, which it was one of my 2019 resolutions. I don’t want to force myself this year to keep reading things I’m not enjoying or are not for me. Although my two stars rating is higher that I would like (10%) is way smaller than last year. And I haven’t finished any book that I utterly despised so far! I rated 64 books with 4/4.5 stars and 16 books with 5 stars, that’s 63% of my ratings. AMAZING. I have never done so well?? Like read so many books that I love one after the other and it feels so good.
One thing I do want to work on upcoming months is reading longer books. Many of these 130 books are comics, novellas or short stories, which are totally books and definitely count, but it’s because I feel very intimated with books with more than 400 pages. That’s something I want to do for the next months: read my big tomes.
My 2019 bookish resolutions
1) more romance books, 2) more SFF books and series, 3) Latinx authors, 4) more books featuring sapphic couples 5) read owned books
1. I have read 38 romance books so far, 22 of those are by WOC. And sure, I haven’t exactly loved the 38 books but most of them have been very enjoyable or absolutely perfect. I’m very happy this progress with romance, slowly diving into new authors and sub-genres, meeting awesome people on twitter and falling more in love with these stories.
2. Not so happy with my progress with SFF. I have read 11 Science Fiction or Fantasy books so far, a mix of YA, MG and Adult. But this exactly the reason why I have this resolution. I used to read Fantasy all the time a couple of years ago and then, I’m not sure, I kinda left it and went somewhere else. And the returning has been so hard. It goes along with me not feeling motivated to pick up long books and SFF books being super long. I did recently bought some books that I was super excited about, so yeah, going to tackle this resolution in the next months!
3. Ok, the progress of my ReadLatinx resolution makes me a little ashamed. If you follow me on twitter (yes, follow me there), you know I talk nonstop about my support for Latinx authors and their work. And although I have been showing that with my wallet, not really with my reading. And look, I know people are not going to get angry at me for the number of books unread I have, but I do feel guilty. I want to do better for Latinx authors, I want to actively and consciously read their work. Going to do better from here on!
4. I actually have been setting this goal for sapphic books for 3 years now. It makes me so sad how books featuring f/f relationships are often ignored or hated with a fervor that doesn’t go to m/f or m/m pairings. Not to say that books with these (or other) pairings don’t receive hatred! BUT the difference exists. And especially when we’re talking about sapphic WOC. Anyway, that’s why I’ve been working on reading more books by or about queer women. My goal was to read 50 books this year (that is like 4 books at month) and I have already read 40! So yeah, vivan queer women!
5. I get most of my books from the library, which it’s great because libraries are freaking amazing! But these books tend to become my priority then and I completely put aside the books that I have bought. So I’m trying to work on reading from the library, buying less (because saving money is also pretty great) and prioritizing my own shelf. I’m not doing as good as I’d like (I have read 24 of my books, ebooks and physical copies), but I did find the perfect trick: readathons. I try to make TBRs with my own books, and although it makes things way harder, it also is super fun.
Anyway, that’s all for today. I hope to make this post quarterly (duh) and I’m also working on a book haul, too. Hopefully would be up towards the end of the week? I really hope people actually want to read all this rambling, if not that’s totally fine, but I’m very sorry because I had the greatest time writing this post.
Let me know about your own stats, resolutions or just yelled at me about the ridiculous time I spent with spreadsheets (too much, that’s going to be the answer always).
Here it is my May TBR. This month I’m participating in 3 readathons; AsianLitBingo, Asianreadathon and RamadanReadathon. And of course, I’m also participating on Latinx Book Club, this month we are reading Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera, join us!
Let’s get to my TBR!
Asian Lit Bingo
Hosted by LitCelebrAsian, this bingo readathon goes from May 1st to May 31st. You can check out their post here. I’m super excited to participate because I do love bingos very much (even though I never get a bingo)
My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Kabi Nagata
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Game Of Stars by Sayantani DasGupta
You can follow their twitter and find out more about their challenges, guidelines and recommendations! This one also runs the entire month of May and it’s all about supporting Asian authors during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Although I’m planning to read as many book by Asian authors as I can, these are the four books I’m definetily reading:
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee (Chinese author)
My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Kabi Nagata (Japanese author)
The Kiss Quotient (Vietnamese author)
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman (anthology of Asian American authors)
RamadanReadathon runs from May 6th to June 4th. You can read all the info in Nadia’s blog. And yes they also have a bingo board!! For this one I decided to go with pillar Player, so here it is my TBR:
Part of a series: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Free space: Internment by Samira Ahmed
Contem fiction: Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
Recently bought: A Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
Number/name in title: Ms. Marvel vol.3 by G. Willow Wilson
Let me know if you’re participating in any of these readathons and what are you planning to read! Don’t be surprise if I end up reading anything BUT this tbr hahaha
I have read since I can remember, every childhood photo carrying a book under my arm. Reading has always been my thing, the thing that I do all the time, the thing that I love. And although I’ve read and reread many books in my life, there are some that I will never forget. These books, the way they touched me, the way they made me feel so seen and validated, has already shaped my life. These books, featuring heartbreaking, powerful and important stories, came to my life pretty recently. The truth is, what young Cande would have thought about these books, I can’t even imagine. I know I would have loved them, I know I would have treasured them in my heart, I know I would have felt full of love. But I can’t even imagine the way they could have shattered and reconstructed my world, I can’t imagine if they would have saved me from years and years of feeling so alone and wrong. I want to think they would have, I want to believe these books would have made young Cande feel less alone, that there wasn’t anything wrong with her, with what she felt, with what she wanted.
I know this post is becoming way more personal than any other thing that I’ve written before, but this is what these stories deserve. These books don’t only bring me completely joy but they also are my heart. And right now, I’m offering you my heart open, all of me. So *takes deep breath* here we go
the five books young Cande needed in her life
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Oh, that sound? It’s me sobbing because Wild Beauty is the precious book of my heart. I grew up reading magical realism and it feels kinda magical that magical realism would give me the queer content that I needed. The book is perfect and I will never stop talking about it. McLemore prose is gorgeous, her world building fascinating and her characters? the very best. I feel like this book tugs me to my happiest childhood memories; afternoons spent reading about horrifying situations and hopeful endings. This was the first time, in a very long time, where I felt seen, really seen. The Nomeolvides girls are cousins but more like sisters, best friends, who share not only the cursed magic but such a powerful and deep love for each other. I struggle in YA to find books that show the kind of relationship that I have with my primas but this book? this book it is; the loyal support, the protective fierceness, the petty jealousy, the unconditional love, the complete trust… And yes, this story features a bisexual Latinx main character who is supported by her family AND finds the love she deserves. Could I ask for more?
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
A YA Fantasy + Latinx inspired world + F/F romance. Can you believe Zoraida did that? This book felt like Zoraida had read my deepest bookish dreams and made them all possible. I just love this book so much?? Not only the phenomenal world, but also these characters who feel so real and rounded. Alex doesn’t want to have anything to do with magic, but trying to get it rid off makes things worse: she vanishes her family to the magical and dangerous Los Lagos land. Alex is scared and angry and tired and she doesn’t know what she’s doing and honestly? I feel you, Alex. I felt in love with her from sentence one, her pain and guilt goes beyond paper. And so it does her strength and loyalty. She is so relatabled: she’s caught between what her family expects from her and her own dreams, living in a community that encourages family above anything else. I read this book just when I was figuring out how to tell my family ‘this is not what I want for my life’ and reading Alex’s journey made me cried so much, I was not alone in this. And I know this is not something only Latinx folks experience! Rationally, I get that. But it feels so different (and important) to see a Latinx girl coming to terms with her power and voice and telling her family ‘this is me, okay?‘ when we’re such a machista culture that refuses to listen to girl’s dreams. Plus Alex is bisexual, she just is and it melted my heart.
Like Water by Rebecca Podos
This book came at very difficult moment of my life, but I owned so much to it. Like Water follows Vanni, who after her father’s diagnostic puts her life on hold; she decides to stay in their town, she stops hanging out with old friends, she cuts short her dreams. Things slow down and Vanni lives with this constant fear and so many doubts bottle up inside her. Until Leigh and her brother moved into town, putting Vanni’s life outside down. They make her realize that there’s more, that is okay wanting more. Vanni is not perfect, she makes mistakes, she hurts the people she cares about. Her journey is equally painful and heartwarming, she’s such a relatabled character. She doesn’t know what to do, she isn’t sure how to figure out the rest of her life and I feel that so deeply. Like Vanni, when my father went to an emergency surgery I felt like I had to be the backbone of my family, there was not place or time for me to fall apart when my mother and brothers needed me. But I was not alone. I sit in that dark and cold hospital room holding Like Water like it was the only thing that could keep me going. Through the pain and fear, Vanni told me things that I didn’t want to hear but I needed and I’m so grateful to Rebecca for that.
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
Rukhsana is a Mulism, Bangladeshi lesbian teenager who keeps in secret her girlfriend. Although things are not exactly okay, she knows they will get better once she lives for college. Rukhsana doesn’t live with the luxury of being out and proud, she’s terrified about what will happen with her parents, her family, her community if they find out. And then, they do and her worst fears come true. This story is incredibly painful and heartbreaking, I understand it’s not something everyone can read. But although things look terrible, she soon learns she’s not alone, that her community will stand with her, that her family will support her. The message is so important in this book: Rukhsana’s faith doesn’t invalidate her queerness by any means. There are many great things in this story (calling out racism and Islamophobia, beautiful sibling relationship, gay-lesbian solidarity), but my favorite thing is how utterly, completely hopeful this story becomes. Coming from a homophobic family that justifies their bigotry with religion, this book gives me hope. Maybe I am not alone in my family, maybe they will also stand by my side, maybe my community will not let me down. And I’m holding to this hope with everything I have.
We Set the Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
*takes deep breath* I just love this book so much!!!! This story makes my heart so full that I tear up thinking about it. We Set The Dark On Fire is so gay, so fierce, so powerful, so Latinx. Every small detail about this world makes me feel like home. Dani is so amazing and Carmen so freaking incredible, I just want to hug them forever. It’s everything I love from Fantasy (high stakes, corrupt governments, revolutions, politics) with everything that I thought I would never get to see: someone like me. I’m getting emotional again and I’m sorry bUT THIS BOOK FRIENDS. Dani’s queerness is NEVER questioned, she’s Latinx and she’s queer *sobs* I love how Tehlor makes you feel like 1) kissing girls/thinking about girls is 100% okay (and very gay), and 2) you’re never alone in the fight against oppression. Just… *clenches fist* feel so validated and loved.
Each month we will posting a poll with four choices: 2 new release and 2 backlist titles, and you can pick what book we will be reading. We have planned tons of amazing and fun things (things that rhyme with interviews and discussions). We’ll be boosting and sharing, so be sure to follow us on on Twitter (@latinxbookclub) and Bookstagram (@latinxbkclub)
Also, be sure to use the hashtag #LatinxBookClub so we can see all your posts!
Now, for our May pick…
ahem *takes deep breath*
Dealing In Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
Pub: 2019|Simon Schuster Books
At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.
Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.
Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?
As I was writing my March wrap up I realized that I’ve reading so many great romance books this year. I haven’t been reading romance for very long (3/4 years but it’s feels small compare to my 14 years in young adult), so every time I increase my number of romance in my life, it makes me so happy. I’m slowly diving into different genres and tropes, meeting new awesome people on Romancelandia and making my TBR grow.
Today I’m talking about four romance series that I’m falling hard for, reading one book after the other. Yes, already considering them favorites of the year because they are THAT good.
I want these kind of posts to be something regular, so let me know what you think! I wouldn’t be talking always about series but different sub-genres or tropes that I’m loving!
London Celebrities by Lucy Parker
Act Like It
The Austen Playbook
I read Act Like It last year and it was a favorite. Lucy really knows how to make us fall in love with the grumpiest, most ridiculous heroes. Her characters are always so sympathetic and the couple interactions? Hilarious! Plus celebrities! There’s also heartwarming friendship and very good puns. I snort aloud every chapter! Book four is coming out this month (April 22th) and I can’t wait! I just started Making Up (bk 3) and I know for a fact it’s going to be a favorite too. These books just bring me so much joy, they’re so delightful.
Ravenswood by Talia Hibbert
A Girl Like Her
Damaged Goods (novella)
That Kind Of Guy
OMG OMG OMG *takes deep breath* Talia Hibbert is such an amazing and incredible author, I feel like I’ve fallen in the best rabbit hole ever. These books!! THESE BOOKS. Yes, I read the first two (a novel and a novella) but already know this series will stay with me forever. Talia’s heroines are so complex, real, funny and awesome. I just want to be their best friend, we would have the greatest time together. And the heroes! Oh these men are so sweet, respectful, adorable and romantic. My heart hurts because I can’t take all these cuteness! Small town romances with very diverse and real characters. There’re many reviews articulating very well all the ways these books are excellent but I’m sorry, it’s not going to be here. I just have no words left after all the screaming I did reading this book. AND I REGRET NOTHING.
Criminal Intentions by Cole McCade
Junk Shop Blues
The Man With the Glass Eye
Where There’s Smoke
Cult of Personality
A Single Bright Candle’s Flame
This series is freaking phenomenal! It’s everything that I love from police shows but better because this is 10000% queer. The characters are so fascinating, the relationship between the main characters is slow but great to see. They’re both so grumpy and stubborn and I can’t wait to see them falling in love. Oh yes, friends, this is the slow burn of my heart! I just finished episode four and they’re still fighting over their attraction! *eye roll* But I don’t care! I’m here for them and for the tension and all the small gestures of affection and the flirting and the evil stares… They’re so clueless! Falling so deep in and they don’t even realize (or refuse to see). Plus the mystery is great, slowing unraveling. And the side characters! I love them and I can’t wait to know more about them. It’s not only the normalization of queerness (characters are queer and that is just one part of their identities) that gets me in this series, but also the discussions about police brutality, corruption and trauma that I deeply appreciated.
The Spies Who Loved Her by Katrina Jackson
New Year, New We (novella)
His Only Valentine (novella)
Listen, this series is *chief kiss* Can you describe these books without screaming? I don’t think so! An spy erotica romance with queer, polyamorous couples and great dynamics. I started second book as soon as I finished Pink Slip because I’m fascinated by these characters. The tension! The stakes! The cuteness! I love every single character and I want a happy ending for the entire group friends, ok, thanks. It’s sexy, it’s fun and it’s sweet. The characters make me laugh aloud, the friendship is beautiful and these heroines!! I just love it okay? It’s so satisfying to read, brings me so much joy that I can’t even describe.
Another month is over and here we are again. After some thoughts I’m trying something new this time. The truth is, I read a lot in a month, and it’s just very tiresome (and I’m guessing, very boring for you) to list every single book. So this time I’m picking some books that made an impact on me, left me with tons of feelings and/or I need more people to know about.
Anyway, this month I read 32 of books. It’s like my best record ever and I’m so happy. I tried to make a TBR and somehow was successful (not really); I read 9 books from the list, DNF 3 and I’m currently reading 2 (Dragon Pearl and American Dreamer). Yeah, doesn’t look great but for being my first monthly TBR, I’m counting it as a success. What I mean, yes I read 32 books but only 9 of those were in my actual TBR. Ups?
I will stop rambling about my reading habits and just let you read my rambling about feelings and books…
🌻book by Latinx author
☀️book by Asian author for YARC Challenge (here to know more about it)
🐋backlist title (pub 2018 or before)
🦄new release (pub 2019)
cover goes to Goodreads page
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
🎧 🐋|Pub: March 2014
I buddy read this book with Laura from Green Tea and Paperbacks. It’s a YA thriller/mystery with a disabled bisexual MC. It’s phenomenal, okay? I love how nuanced and messy the characters are, how gay the story is, how beautifully written the book is, how great the mystery worked for me. Sophie has been drug free for nine months but when her best friend dies is so easy for everyone to not trust her, the recovering addict that fool them for so long. And it’s so painful to read, the distrust and disdain that Sophie goes through. But it’s, sadly, so real. As a society, we have zero compassion for addicts. Although the book is not by any means a happy story, there are hopeful moments that made me smile so much. I’m so happy I read this book and so happy that buddy read it too (sorry Laura!! I know it took me so long and I want to cry).
TW: recollection of drug use, drug abuse, homophobia, ableism directed to main character, death of a friend, biphobic comments (called out), statutory rape
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars
🦄🌲|Pub: March 2019
I’m part in love with this story and in part so irritated by it. If you didn’t watch Avatar, short recap; The Legend of Korra was an animated series by Nickelodeon that followed the new Avatar, Korra, a brown girl from the Southern Water Tribe and her friends, fighting all the baddies as Korra learned how to be the Avatar. In the fourth season, Korra and Asami walked together to the Spirit portal and before the screen gets black, they sort of kissed. Oh friends, how much we Avatar fans screamed!! Our two favorite women get together? And it was such a perfect ending because they used to be enemies (you know, competition) and then they became friends and now girlfriends!!! My sapphic heart can’t take all this cuteness.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I was expecting so much sapphicness here. And it was delivered! Oh the flirt and the kisses and the small gestures! Plus I really appreciated the small conversations with elders that show us that queer people has always existed in this universe. BUT it irritates how bad the plot is. Korra and Asami deserve better enemies than this! I mean, it not really terrible per se but it’s not something we haven’t seen before; oh he wants power, oh he was hurt, now he wants revenge and to take over the world. Okay??? Really not terrible, but after four seasons, this feels so flat and underdeveloped. Do better writers and give us a plot that queen Korra deserve!
TW: biphobic/homophobic comments (called out)
The Moon Within by Aida Salazar
🌻🦄|Pub: February 2019
This book is a tender exploration of gender identity and culture. Celi is a Puerto Rican-Mexican American girl caught between feelings, crushes, friendship and her family. As her 12 years old birthday gets close, her mom wants to have traditional Mexica ceremony, but she refuses. Celi is horrified that her mom is making her period a public event. To get away from all the arguments and embarrassing conversations, Celi dances, her passion, what brings her joy and peace. Things get more complicated, however, as she gets close to her crush, Ivan, and her loyalty for her best friend is at test.
Okay, I’m making a mess of trying to describe this book but in summary; a story about finding confidence and love in your community. I really appreciate how Aida shifts our view about periods and menstruation, how the connotations of being gross or embarrassing are thanks to western culture. I also really appreciate the conversations about gender fluidity in Mexica culture. Don’t know, I just love the way Celi’s community are supportive and embraced queer and gender nonconforming kids, given them all the love they deserve. I stan supportive adults!! Celi messes up but still tries to do better for her best friend and I appreciate that too. She’s not trying to hurt them, but her silence and passive responses did hurt them, and this is something Celi has to do better next time.
TW: deadnaming, trans phobic jokes, trans exclusionary language (some of it is rectified towards the end), descriptions about periods and menstruation
You Don’t Everything Jilly P! by Alex Gino
🐋🎧|Pub: September 2018
I was very excited to read Alex Gino’s latest book. Their debut, George, is a beautiful, heartfelt story and I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed here. Jilly P is a middle schooler, a fantasy fan and very soon, a big sister. She wants to be a good ally, friend and sister, but she messes up. She says the wrong things, and although sometimes she has the best intentions, she still hurts her friends. But she owns her mistakes and always stands up for the people she loves. Alex Gino is such a genius; the characters are so delightful, so sympathetic and real.
TW: racist comments and microaggressions (called out in text), death of a Black, deaf teenager, ableist comments (called out in text)
Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
🦄|Pub: January 2019
I saw so many friends getting and gushing about this book so when I saw it on my library I had to get it! It’s a graphic novel about two boys that work in a bakery, one who loves it with all his heart and one who just wants to get away, falling for each other. The colors are so soft and the art delightful. The story is adorable and it’ll definitely make you very hungry! The ending was a bit rushed, after the Big Fight we don’t see much of Ari’s train of thoughts. But in any case, the ending is so hopeful and just perfectly sweet for these baker boys.
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
🐋☀️🎧|Pub: February 2018
This book is so fun and amazing. And the audiobook is narrated by the author! Which it’s so freaking wonderful. I truly love middle grade stories that center girls coming to terms with their identities and saving the world. Kiran has heard all her life how she’s an Indian princess, but that’s all lies! A tale that her parents maintain because they don’t realize she is all grown up now. Until she turns 12, her parents disappear, two very handsome princes come to pick her up and she ends up fighting an ugly demon. So maybe everything wasn’t just stories? The book is just so good, friends. The way it explorers Kiran feeling of otherness as daughter of immigrants, as a young brown girl is heartfelt and brilliant. Can’t wait to read the next one!
TW: racist comments and microaggressions by bullies
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
🌻🐋🎧|Pub: September 2018
This book is so freaking good! The best Pride and Prejudice retelling have ever read. Ibi captures the essence of the characters and the story and at the same time, it feels honest and from this century (sorry not sorry authors, but some of you really need to learn about teen slang). Zuri is an Afro Latinx teen whose whole world is changing, even if she doesn’t want it to. The love Zuri has for people is so clear from the start. I feel like many retellings miss this point of the Bennet’s sisterhood, that they really love each other ALL OF THEM, and it makes me so sad. I didn’t have that problem here at all, the sisters give me so much happiness. And all the small details that make me feel at home too, all these things that made up my Latinx community and it feels like a part of myself.
TW: Death of a family member, leaked of nude photos
Have you read or are you planning to read any of these books?
It’s the first time I’m trying this ‘write down your TBR and keep up with it for the month’. If I’m being honest, I have never tried it before because I know I will not ended up reading the books on the list. But last month (well, in March) I posted my TBR on twitter and keeping up with the thread was super fun. Plus I did ended up reading most of the books, so I’m counting it as a win.
I usually read between 15 and 20 books at month, but April is finals so I don’t see much reading ahead. Even when I know I will not have time, I can’t help myself and I ended up making a ridiculous long TBR.
I’m planning to take advantage of audiobooks because they’re great for driving and studying sections. Plus there’re some book clubs pick (yes Latinx Book Club!!) and some buddy reads with friends (that I still haven’t planned completely).
Anyway, let’s see how I go down with my overachieving self.
Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina. Adriana from Boricua Reads has been kindly yelling at me about how heartbreaking and beautiful this story is and April is my month. Middle grade stories that focus in family are my jam. So ready to meet Merci!(not really)
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee. It’s one of my goals to keep up with Rick Riordan imprint. And April is Dragon Pearl turn. I’ve been excitingly waiting for this one for so long. Family + Set in space + Shapeshifters. And YARC read!
On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden. I saw this book on Louise’s feed a couple of weeks ago and I was hooked with the description; queer characters in space plus sapphic couple. Sounds incredible and I’m very excited for it.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. I’ve been meaning to read Jemisin for so long, friends. And it’s time. I’m going to be honest, the series looks intimating but at least I want to start slowly with it. So yeah, wish me luck!
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman. I love anthologies so much and I’m so excited that I finally bought this one. So many of my favorite authors! And so many authors that I can’t wait to meet. Plus this book is for the YARC challenge
Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa. I love Mia’s first book, Acting On Impulse, and I’m so excited to dive into this second book with fake dating! So excited!! He’s her brother’s best friend and they’ve been crushing for each other for so long, they can’t be together! Can they? Oh I’m already smiling from the synopsis.
Tikka Chance On Me by Suleikha Snyder. My dear friend Mics loves this book with all her heart (you can read more about it in her guest post here), so yeah, for once I’m going to actually read the books she recommends me in the same year. She has a great taste in romance and I always ended up loving all her recommendations, so I’m ready to fall in love with Suleikha. Plus YARC read!
Making Up by Lucy Parker. I love this London Celebrities series and in April is coming out the latest book (you can read more about my feelings here). But first I have to catch up with Making Up, book three. I see many giggles and smiles in my future!
My TBR is kinda a stretch because I’m pretty sure I will not be able to listen to five books. But I love having options, and a small part of myself dreams reaching this goal. I’ll be probably updating about the readathon on twitter! Let me know if you’ll be participating and what are you planning to listen to.
My books are:
-Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
-The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
-Geekerella by Ashley Poston
-Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
-Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Book Club Love
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes. First book pick for Latinx Book Club! So excited for this one, not only because it’s my book club but because I’ll be rereading! And I had so much fun the last time. Follow us on twitter at @latinxbookclub to keep up with all the amazing plans my cohosts Jocelyn and Alicia are planning!
When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. I recently found the Dragon and Tea Book Club and I’m so excited! It’s moderate by Melanie and Amy and their April pick is one from my favorite authors, Anna-Marie. It’s really time for me to catch up with her backlist so yay!
Hold Still by Nina LaCour. This is The Book Bound Society April-May pick and I’m screaming! I have always wanted to participate in this amazing book club and now I’m going to do it! I mean, their picks have always been amazing but I always procrastinate and never get around to read the books. I know, I’m the worst. But not this time! Plus I really loved Nina’s Everything Leads To You and I can’t wait to read more by her.
These are some of my digital and physical ARCs that I want to go through this month, aka my April priorities really:
Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Rebel by Beverly Jenkins
American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera
Tell me, what are you planning to read next month?
Well, after the fiasco that was “RITASOWHITE” I was really angry and I’m still are. But I decided to make something productive out of it so here’s a list of ROMANCE BOOKS by Women of Color that you should read. Anybody that says that “WOC are not RITA finalist because of the quality of their books” haven’t bothered to read any of these books, and it shows.
Grace King needs to save her catering business by all means necessary. Even if it means striking a deal with the hot estranged husband she walked out on, but can’t forget despite her best efforts.
The bargain that will get them both what they want is put to the test by their sizzling attraction—stronger than ever, in spite of their rocky past. When the deal is over, will they be able to walk away from each other?
WHAT I LIKED: Second chance romance. It’s a short novella but the author did a good job at portraying their relationship, why it didn’t work in the past and why it would work in the future.
Priya Roy is back in Bollywood with a rock-hard body, a precious gem of a secret and a heart of ice. Producer/director Rahul Anand won’t waste this second chance at his first love. He’ll melt Priya’s resistance at any cost—even if it means returning to acting and negotiating his way onto her next project. Hell, if she’d give him half a chance, he’d write himself into every scene of her life.
WHAT I LIKED: This is my favorite novella by Suleikha. It’s that kind of book that when the main couple has “the big fight” you SUFFER and you want them to be together so bad. Pree thought that she didn’t deserve to be happy and she rejects Rahul a lot of times but I LOVED that he ALWAYS fought for her. Definitely a MUST READ. And I also loved that they talked in their own language because even if I didn’t understand the words, I understood the sentiment.
Is she strong enough to seduce her greatest enemy?
Isaac Montgomery is a millionaire, a murderer, and high society’s latest novelty. After all he’s been through, it should take more than a prima ballerina with a cut-glass accent to get under his skin. But when Isaac meets Lizzie Olusegun-Keynes, he doesn’t just lose his cool. He f$*king melts.
After a recent diabetes diagnosis, Lizzie is losing control of her body, her career—and, it seems, her desires. She shouldn’t want a man as coarse and cruel as Isaac, but the lust between them burns just as bright as their hatred. And when Lizzie’s beloved brother is threatened, the issue is taken out of her hands.
Whether she wants to or not, she will pursue Isaac; her brother’s safety depends on it. There’s just one problem: she’s starting to fall for the brooding, secretly sweet ex-con. The ex-con she must betray.
WHAT I LIKED: Isaac was amazing, the perfect beta hero, tough exterior but he’s an introvert and he’s so sweet!!. And there’s a lot of diversity! The heroine is a Black woman who is also a diabetic. I LOVED IT. It was the first time that I read a book about a diabetic woman.
He’s the bad-boy biker. She’s the good girl working in her family’s Indian restaurant. On the surface, nothing about Trucker Carrigan and Pinky Grover’s instant, incendiary, attraction makes sense. But when they peel away the layers and the assumptions—and their clothes—everything falls into place. The need. The want. The light. The laughter. They have more in common than they ever could’ve guessed. Is it enough? They won’t know until they take a chance on each other—and on love.
WHAT I LIKED: Beta hero (he’s so sweet!), witty dialogue, confident heroine, Hot sexy times, a very enjoyable read. And a more realistic portray of small towns.
Graciela Rodriguez is determined to break her engagement to Ciudad Real’s most eligible bachelor—even if it means ruining her reputation.
Vicente Aguirre has been hired by Graciela’s aunt to keep her wayward niece from damaging the family name along with her future. When her charms prove irresistible, will he fall for the infamous Miss Rodriguez?
WHAT I LIKED: Rivals to lovers + marriage of convenience trope in this historical romance novella about a bold feisty Latina woman and an Argentinian man. I’m from Argentine so I was happy to read a book about someone from my country.
Let me be clear: I’ve been friends with Caitlin Ng for more than a decade, and I’ve had a crush on her for just as long. And I’ve known, all that time, that I wasn’t her type.
She asks to stay with me because her house is farther away and her power is out. Of course, I say yes. When the heat goes out in my apartment and she asks me to join her in bed to snuggle for warmth, I say yes, too. But being so close to her is dangerous for my heart…or could a weekend of Christmas fun actually lead to the romance I desire?
WHAT I LIKED: It was so cute, sweet, funny and fluffy. I adored it, it made me smile like an idiot. It’s the kind of book you read when you want to feel better about life after a hard day. And two words: Inflatable dinosaurs, they are so hilarious, omg, I’m smiling just thinking about it. Friends to lovers!, the heroine is a CEO! And the hero was such a nice and sweet guy.
Chastity Adofo knows a monster when she sees one. As soon as Luke Anthony wanders into her family’s coffee shop, she recognises the evil lurking beneath his charming smile and fantastic arse. The handsome werewolf is determined to have her—but she’s determined to cut out his heart.
Little does she know, Luke’s plans for her are far more pleasurable than murder. And when the full moon rises, all bets are off…
WHAT I LIKED: werewolf virgin hero, sassy heroine (she was so FIERCE), opposites attracts, well written steamy scenes and Luke is like “I love her, she’s the love of my life” (so cute!) but Chas is like “how can I kill this f*cker?. I had so much fun while reading it.
I’m Micaela (Mics). 20. Argentinian. I love reading diverse & feminist romance. My favorite tropes are friends to lovers, marriage of convenience, second chances and bodyguards. I’m also a full time ARMY (I love BTS!). So when I’m not reading romance books I’m listening or watching BTS content.