Let’s Talk: Literary Heroines That Have Inspired Me

I love the month of March. It’s when spring begins, it’s Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day is the 8th, World Theatre Day is the 27th, and my birthday is the 12th. March is a fun month for me. As my birthday approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the stories that we read when we’re young shape us into the people that we become as adults. With that in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to pay homage to some of the brilliant women in literature that have inspired me. 

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do. I remember being a little kid and begging my mother to take me to the library or to Borders Bookstore (RIP Borders, I miss you) so that I could discover new stories and get lost in worlds that were not my own. I’ve always been a daydreamer and kind of had my head in the clouds (the Pisces energy is honestly very strong here) — even as a kid I wanted to travel and go to new places and meet new people. Reading was a way for me to do those things. I was able to go to all of these incredible places without having to leave my home. Reading has continued to broaden my horizons and provide a safe place to escape when things get hard.

There are literally hundreds of characters that I could’ve put on this list, so narrowing it down was difficult. In the end, I decided to go with characters that really inspired me as a child and teenager, and I think they had the biggest impact on who I am now.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk: Literary Heroines That Have Inspired Me”

Blog Tour + Spotlight: Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olsen

Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.

Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.

But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.

Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.

Continue reading “Blog Tour + Spotlight: Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olsen”

Review: A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen

For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking Show, A Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao.

To her friends, high school senior Liza Yang is nearly perfect. Smart, kind, and pretty, she dreams big and never shies away from a challenge. But to her mom, Liza is anything but. Compared to her older sister Jeannie, Liza is stubborn, rebellious, and worst of all, determined to push back against all of Mrs. Yang’s traditional values, especially when it comes to dating.

The one thing mother and daughter do agree on is their love of baking. Mrs. Yang is the owner of Houston’s popular Yin & Yang Bakery. With college just around the corner, Liza agrees to help out at the bakery’s annual junior competition to prove to her mom that she’s more than her rebellious tendencies once and for all. But when Liza arrives on the first day of the bake-off, she realizes there’s a catch: all of the contestants are young Asian American men her mother has handpicked for Liza to date.

The bachelorette situation Liza has found herself in is made even worse when she happens to be grudgingly attracted to one of the contestants; the stoic, impenetrable, annoyingly hot James Wong. As she battles against her feelings for James, and for her mother’s approval, Liza begins to realize there’s no tried and true recipe for love.

Continue reading “Review: A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen”

Blog Tour + Review: Like Home by Louisa Onomé

Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil.

Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good.

Only, Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends on Ginger East with promises to “fix” it. Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale.

Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything⁠—and everyone⁠—she loves.

Continue reading “Blog Tour + Review: Like Home by Louisa Onomé”

Book Recs: 7 Books to read when you’ve got the travel bug

As America is now well into its 11th month (!!!) of quarantine, I am currently having all of the wanderlust feelings. In non-COVID times, I didn’t have much time to travel with my work schedule. The extent of my travel consisted of weekend or week-long trips to visit my best friend in NYC a few times a year, or some day trips around Northern California. I love adventures and trying new things, and discovering new places, and while I’ve always had the desire to travel, I’ve been feeling it extra intensely lately. Though I can’t physically hop on a train or a plane and visit some new place, I can read about it which has definitely helped with this restlessness that I’ve been feeling. If you’ve also got the travel bug here are 7 books that you should read!

Continue reading “Book Recs: 7 Books to read when you’ve got the travel bug”

Blog Tour + Review: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard.

Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.

But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.

Continue reading “Blog Tour + Review: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado”

Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

Continue reading “Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas”

Wrap Up: January 2021

Happy 2021! We hope this has been a good reading month for you, and a good start to your year, despite everything that’s going on in the world. This month, Caitlyn read 15 books, Cossette read 17 books, and Mary read 15 books. 

January also marked the official launch of teatimereads, where we read These Violent Delights, and we’re extremely excited to see what’s next in store for teatimereads. For more information about our book club, click here

Continue reading “Wrap Up: January 2021”

Review: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised… and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

Continue reading “Review: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus”