ARC Review + Interview: As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper

The author of The Gravity of Us crafts another heartfelt coming-of-age story about finding the people who become your home–perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli

Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval.

From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?

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Book Recs: 2021 Releases Based off of Your Favorite Schitt’s Creek Character

Just like everyone else we know, Caitlyn and I have rewatched Schitt’s Creek over quarantine (maybe even a couple times), and it’s really helped us cope during this time. In celebration of Schitt’s Creek first premiering on this day in 2015, we’ve teamed up again to bring you all a book recommendations post, based off of your favorite Schitt’s Creek character. Without further ado, here’s what 2021 release we think some of our favorite Schitt’s characters would pick up! 

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Blog Tour + Review: Every Single Lie by Rachel Vincent

In this gripping YA novel about social media bullying and half-truths, one girl’s discovery of a dead baby in her high school locker room rocks an entire community.

Nobody in Beckett’s life seems to be telling the whole story. Her boyfriend Jake keeps hiding texts and might be cheating on her. Her father lied about losing his job before his shocking death. And everyone in school seems to be whispering about her and her family behind her back.

But none of that compares to the day Beckett finds the body of a newborn baby in a gym bag-Jake’s gym bag -on the floor of her high school locker room. As word leaks out, rumors that Beckett’s the mother take off like wildfire in a town all too ready to believe the worst of her. And as the police investigation unfolds, she discovers that everyone has a secret to hide and the truth could alter everything she thought she knew.

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2021 Reading Goals, Notion & Reading Journal Set Up

I’ve been bullet journaling for over three years now, and have gone through waves of sticking to it for everything, and then not using it at all. Like many others, I’ve fallen in love with how I can keep everything in one space, how I’m not confined to a specific layout, and most of all, how it allows me to use my creative juices while staying productive and organized. Over the years, I’ve amassed a hoard of supplies – washi tapes, blank notebooks that I’ve purchased “for next year”, brush pens, markers, stickers, stamps… you name it.  With the pandemic, and not being able to leave my house aside from going to the grocery store, I’ve found my motivation to bullet journal has waned significantly. After all, there’s only so many things I can keep track of there. I’m pretty known for being incredibly Type A, and for my love of organizational methods. Since I’m trying some new ways of keeping track of my reading journey in 2021, I figured I’d share them with you! This post gets a little lengthy, so grab yourself a cup of tea (or whatever warm beverage you’d like), and settle in! 

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ARC Review: The Meet-Cute Project

Mia’s friends love rom-coms. Mia hates them. They’re silly, contrived, and not at all realistic. Besides, there are more important things to worry about—like how to handle living with her bridezilla sister, Sam, who’s never appreciated Mia, and surviving junior year juggling every school club offered and acing all of her classes.

So when Mia is tasked with finding a date to her sister’s wedding, her options are practically nonexistent.

Mia’s friends, however, have an idea. It’s a little crazy, a little out there, and a lot inspired by the movies they love that Mia begrudgingly watches too.

Mia just needs a meet-cute.

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Review: Rent a Boyfriend

In the name of Zoom quarantine birthdays, a few of my closest friends got together and created a powerpoint & playlist of Taylor Swift songs that reminded them of me. One of these songs was Love Story, which was accompanied by the message “you’re a hopeless romantic and bury yourself in stories.” I’ve always been a hopeless romantic and someone who just loves love, but it’s always been difficult to see the only people getting happy ever afters be cis, white, and straight. Which is why anytime there’s a new romance or rom com novel out where it isn’t centered around a cis white straight couple, I instantly add it to my TBR. I’m not saying that I won’t read books that aren’t diverse; just that I’m less inclined to, and when I’m going through my TBR for a book, it usually isn’t my first pick. When I first heard about Rent a Boyfriend, I was immediately interested — I mean, fake dating to appease your parents, mooncakes, an entirely Taiwanese cast, and that stunning pink cover? Sign me up. 

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Book Recs: 2021 Releases Based off of Your Favorite Taylor Swift Album

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan, and in honor of her birthday, and 2020 coming to an end, I wanted to take the time to combine two of my loves: Taylor Swift, and books! So without further ado, here are thirty one book recommendations for 2021 releases based off of your favorite Taylor Swift album. This list also doubles as a list of my most anticipated reads of 2021. I haven’t read most of these, and so I’m mostly going off of the synopsis and any reviews that are already out! 

I’m also doing a giveaway over on my Instagram, where I’ll be picking two winners (one international, one US based) to win a preorder of any book I’ve mentioned here, as well as a Taylor Swift bookmark from carlasalley on Etsy

  • ✩: I’ve read an ARC of this!
  • ♡: Author’s debut! 

To quickly access an era, and the books mentioned:

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Discussion: Trigger Warnings

When I get recommended a book, one of the first things I tend to do is add it to my TBR shelf on Goodreads. Usually, I won’t get around to looking at the summary or looking up reviews for it until much later, and sometimes, it slips my mind entirely, until that book is brought up in conversation again later, or until I decide to do my yearly Goodreads shelf-reorganizing. Or other times, I’ll simply be browsing Goodreads, or just going feeds on social media when I see books being recommended and promoted. More often than not, these recommendations come without trigger warnings. 

What are trigger warnings?

Trigger warnings are statements at the start of a piece of media that alert the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material.

An example of trigger warnings in books that come to mind is The Henna Wars, which has “This book contains instances of racism, homophobia, bullying, and a character being outed.” printed on the inside. I’ve often also seen them simply listed as trigger warning: [ list of triggers ] or tw: [ list of triggers ] on reviews as well. You can view an example of trigger warnings on my One Last Stop review here

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Blog Tour + Review: A Universe of Wishes (A We Need Diverse Books Anthology)

From We Need Diverse Books, the organization behind Flying Lessons & Other Stories, comes a young adult fantasy short story collection featuring some of the best own-voices children’s authors, including New York Times bestselling authors Libba Bray (The Diviners), V. E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic), Natalie C. Parker (Seafire), and many more. Edited by Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles).

In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.

  • “A refreshing anthology depicting worlds where everyone can belong.” –Kirkus Reviews
  • “A noteworthy collection brimming with empowering tales that confirm all readers deserve to have their stories told.” –Shelf Awareness 

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Feature: Interview with Denise Williams

Many thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read an ARC of How To Fail at Flirting, and to feature an interview with Denise Williams!

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup.  Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.

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