Spotlight: Caitlyn’s Favorite Books of 2020

Well, everyone, we did it. We survived 2020! I am very proud of all of us. With the year coming to a close, I thought it would be nice to look back on all 147 books that I read this year (as of this post) and spotlight my favorites! Picking favorite reads is always incredibly difficult, especially this year, but I wanted to make sure that I took a moment to appreciate all of the amazing books that helped me get through this year. When I was choosing my favorite books of the year, I also wanted to make sure that I chose books that were new to me and not include rereads. That being said, here are my favorite reads of 2020.

  • ✼: ARC
  • ✧ Debut

I have done my best to list all trigger warnings that I can think of from my own personal notes, other reviews, and from websites like Book Trigger Warnings and Trigger Warning Database. That being said, there may be things that I have forgotten and if so I apologize! If you’ve read any of these books and notice that I’m missing some triggers, please please let me know so that I can update the trigger lists!

Continue reading “Spotlight: Caitlyn’s Favorite Books of 2020”

Review: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement.

She’s obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother disapproves, and when they get into an explosive fight, Kimi’s entire future seems on the verge of falling apart. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she’s met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her. She loses herself in the city’s outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival – and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. And what begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.

In I Love You So Mochi, author Sarah Kuhn has penned a delightfully sweet and irrepressibly funny novel that will make you squee at the cute, cringe at the awkward, and show that sometimes you have to lose yourself in something you love to find your Ultimate self.

  • Title: I Love You So Mochi
  • Author: Sarah Kuhn
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
  • Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Rom-Com
  • Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
  • Representation: Predominantly Japanese/Japanese-American cast, Black and lesbian side character
  • Trigger Warnings: Family estrangement, mentions of Japanese internment camps (chapters 8 & 15), racism (chapter 12), mention of cancer (chapter 15)
  • Rating:  ★★★★★
Continue reading “Review: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn”

Spotlight: Taylor Swift Playlistathon Wrap Up

Hello, yes it is another Taylor Swift related post on teatimelit. We really do love Taylor, folks, and you know what? She has blessed us in 2020. Today I’m posting my wrap-up of the Taylor Swift Playlistathon on Twitter, hosted by the lovely  Lisa (@lisamariereads), Daryan (@daryanreads), and Kasey (@kaseycanread). The read-a-thon took place from November 13th 2020-December 13th 2020, featuring prompts inspired by every song on Taylor’s eight studio albums from Debut to folklore (rip us we had no idea another album was coming). 

With a total of 121 prompts, there were lots of options and I personally am the kind of person who will pick a book to read and then see if it fits one of the prompts as opposed to picking the book because of the prompt. I’m big on mood reading, so if I’m not in the mood to read the book I just won’t finish it. That being said, I completed 25 of the prompts, which is actually way more than I had anticipated reading, so I’m really happy with that! 

  • ✧: ARC
  • ✬: An ARC but as now been released
  • ✢: Reread

I have done my best to list all trigger warnings that I can think of from my own personal notes, other reviews, and from websites like Book Trigger Warnings and Trigger Warning Database. That being said, there may be things that I have forgotten and if so I apologize! If you’ve read any of these books and notice that I’m missing some triggers, please please let me know so that I can update the trigger lists!

Continue reading “Spotlight: Taylor Swift Playlistathon Wrap Up”

ARC Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.*

*Summary from Goodreads

Title: You Have a Match
Author: Emma Lord
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
Representation: Filipino love interest, lesbian main character, Filipino side character, lesbian side character & minor character
Trigger Warnings: Grief, anxiety, injury (mild), death of a family member, adoption/transracial adoption, parental conflict
Rating:  ★★★★★

Continue reading “ARC Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord”

Blog Tour + Review: The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond for organizing this blog tour and providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?

San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.

The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.

Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?*

*Summary from Goodreads

Continue reading “Blog Tour + Review: The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West”

Review: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.

Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.

Moxie meets A Knight’s Tale as Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.*

*Summary from Goodreads

Title: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
Author: Jamie Pacto
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
Representation: Half Indian love interest, Black bisexual side character, transgender minor character, non-binary minor character
Trigger Warnings: Sexism, racism, underage drinking, underage smoking, mentions of sex, transphobia
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Continue reading “Review: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton”

Review: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.*

*Summary from Goodreads

Continue reading “Review: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong”

Review: In Tune by Yeyet Soriano

FIRST SET

Between fulfilling family obligations and navigating the tricky social climate at her private school, Sydney Mendoza tries hard to keep a balance.

Himig Raymundo, on the other hand, knows the feeling of living in the shadow of his successful parents and the agony of being with schoolmates who won’t let him forget it. 

When Sydney and Himig get “volunteered” to be the stars of High School Night by their batchmates who want to see them fail miserably, they band together to prove everyone wrong, and, in the process, find the one silver lining in the prank – each other.

SECOND SET

In the midst of college applications and entrance exams, Sydney finds herself at a crossroads: work abroad to earn money for her family or continue on to college on al all-expense-paid scholarship. Ironically, Himig, the school campus’s reluctant star, becomes the rock that anchors her so she won’t get lost in the fray.

No longer bound in anonymity, Himig gets a chance to finally step out of his famous parents’ shadow and show everyone who he really is, as Sydney reveals to him her most hidden secret*

*Summary from Yeyet Soriano’s website

Continue reading “Review: In Tune by Yeyet Soriano”

Blog Tour & Review: Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher

Thank you so much to The Book Terminal for organizing this blog tour and providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Poppy, Lily, and Belladonna would do anything to protect their best friend, Raven. So when they discovered he was suffering abuse at the hands of his stepmother, they came up with a lethal plan: petals of poppy, belladonna, and lily in her evening tea so she’d never be able to hurt Raven again. But someone got cold feet, the plot faded to a secret of the past, and the group fell apart.

Three years later, on the eve of Raven’s seventeenth birthday, his stepmother turns up dead. But it’s only belladonna found in her tea, and it’s only Belladonna who’s carted off to jail. Desperate for help, Belle reaches out to her estranged friends to prove her innocence. They answer the call, but no one is prepared for what comes next.

Now, everyone has something to lose and something equally dangerous to hide. And when the tangled web of secrets and betrayal is finally unwound, what lies at its heart will change the group forever.*

*Summary copied from Goodreads

Title: Lies Like Poison
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing)
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller, LGBTQ+
Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
Representation: Transgender main character, black main character, bi/lesbian main characters, black side character, gay side characters
Trigger Warnings: Parental death (on-page), forced starvation, mentions of drug use, homophobia, mentions of abuse (verbal and physical), implications of rape, mentions of suicide, kidnapping
Rating:  ★★★★☆

Continue reading “Blog Tour & Review: Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher”

Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

“I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they’ll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next.”

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame, and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.*

*Summary from Goodreads

Continue reading “Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan”