Anticipated Releases March 2022

So of course some of my anticipated releases are books that I already read because I want to have a finished copy of them but also because I want the world to get a chance to read them. This list is books that I haven’t gotten a chance to read but are some of my most anticipated reads for this month.

My anticipated reads that I have read this month include Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore, Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters, All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown, and Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass. Reviews for each of these books are to come throughout the month of March.

And They Lived . . . by Steven Salvatore 

From the author of Can’t Take That Away comes a sex-positive, fairytale-inspired YA novel that celebrates first love and self-acceptance, perfect for fans of What If It’s Us.

“My heart didn’t stand a chance. I loved it from once upon a time all the way to its joyfully complex ever after.” – New York Times bestselling author Becky Albertalli

Chase Arthur is a budding animator and hopeless romantic obsessed with Disney films and finding his true love, but he’s plagued with the belief that he’s not enough for anyone: he’s recovering from an eating disorder and suffers from body dysmorphia fueled by his father, and can’t quite figure out his gender identity. When Chase starts his freshman year of college, he has to navigate being away from home and missing his sister, finding his squad, and contending with his ex-best friend Leila who is gunning for the same exclusive mentorship. If only he can pull together a short for the freshman animation showcase at the end of the semester.

Then Chase meets Jack Reid, a pragmatic poet who worships words and longs to experience life outside of his sheltered world. But Chase throws everything into question for Jack, who is still discovering his sexual identity, having grown up in close-knit conservative family. Jack internalized a lot of homophobia from his parents and childhood best friend, who unexpectedly visit campus, which threatens to destroy their relationship. Chase will have to learn to love–and be enough for–himself, while discovering what it means to truly live. 

So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens 

Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this funny, subversive young adult fantasy about what happens after the chosen one wins the kingdom and has to get married to keep it…and to stay alive.

Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.

As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.

With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along. 

The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta

A stunning YA fantasy inspired by ancient Mesoamerica, this gripping debut introduces us to a lineage of seers defiantly resisting the shifting patriarchal state that would see them destroyed—perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir.

Indir is a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers; able to see beyond reality, she carries the rare gift of Dreaming truth. But when the beloved king dies, his son has no respect for this time-honored tradition. King Alcan wants an opportunity to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end—an opportunity Indir will give him if he discovers the two secrets she is struggling to keep. As violent change shakes Indir’s world to its core, she is forced to make an impossible choice: fight for her home or fight to survive.

Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer—she has never been formally trained. Her mother exploits her daughter’s gift, passing it off as her own as they travel from village to village, never staying in one place too long. Almost as if they’re running from something. Almost as if they’re being hunted. When Saya loses the necklace she’s worn since birth, she discovers that seeing isn’t her only gift—and begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully-constructed lie. As she comes to distrust the only family she’s ever known, Saya will do what she’s never done before, go where she’s never been, and risk it all in the search of answers.

With a detailed, supernaturally-charged setting and topical themes of patriarchal power and female strength, The Lost Dreamer brings an ancient world to life, mirroring the challenges of our modern one.

For the Record by Monique Polak

A middle-grade novel thoughtfully explores the realities of parents’ divorce

Twelve-year-old Justine’s parents are recently divorced. She and her little sister, Bea, go back and forth between their parents’ homes in Montreal. Their mother, whose anxiety manifests as the need to control, believes that their father and beloved half-sister are a bad influence on Justine and Bea. So, she enlists Justine in collecting evidence that would lead to getting sole custody.

Justine accepts her mother’s view of her father at first and begins writing detailed notes about his behavior: He doesn’t stick to Bea’s strict bedtime. He’s late dropping them off at school. He makes sandwiches with white bread. But when Justine crafts an outright lie for her mother’s court case, she starts to question her mother’s behavior, and her own.

This thoughtful, supportive look at parental alienation and its impact on children tenderly balances this difficult topic with moments of joy, love, and connection. Throughout the book, Justine’s clever, unique voice guides readers as she navigates complicated family dynamics and summons the courage to tell the truth, no matter the consequences.

March 2021 TBR

I had planned on finishing three of these in the month of February but didn’t get to them so I moved them to this month. I’m quite excited to get to read all of these and can’t wait to finish them. It’s hard to not just try and read everything at the same time.

City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynee Bertrand

“Guilders work. Foundlings scrub the bogs. Needles bind. Swords tear. And men leave. There is nothing uncommon in this city. I hope Errol Thebes is dead. We both know he is safer that way.”

In a walled city of a mile-high iron guild towers, many things are common knowledge: No book in any of the city’s libraries reveals its place on a calendar or a map. No living beasts can be found within the city’s walls. And no good comes to the guilder or foundling who trespasses too far from their labors.

Even on the tower rooftops, where Errol Thebes and the rest of the city’s teenagers pass a few short years under an open sky, no one truly believe anything uncommon is possible within the city walls.

But one guildmaster has broken tradition to protect her child, and as a result the whole city faces an uncommon threat: a pair of black iron spikes that have the power of both sword and needle on the ribcages of men have gone missing, but the mayhem they cause rises everywhere. If the spikes not found and contained, no wall will be high enough to protect the city–or the world beyond it.

And Errol Thebes? He’s not dead and he’s certainly not safe.

The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore

When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown, in Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season

Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.

But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depend on no one finding out what really happened.

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anderson

A thrilling adventure set against an intergalactic war with international bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders at the helm in her YA debut—think Star Wars meets Doctor Who, and buckle your seatbelts.

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.

And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.

As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamer

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? 

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

Jayne Baek is barely getting by. She shuffles through fashion school, saddled with a deadbeat boyfriend, clout-chasing friends, and a wretched eating disorder that she’s not fully ready to confront. But that’s New York City, right? At least she isn’t in Texas anymore, and is finally living in a city that feels right for her.

On the other hand, her sister June is dazzlingly rich with a high-flying finance job and a massive apartment. Unlike Jayne, June has never struggled a day in her life. Until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Suddenly, these estranged sisters who have nothing in common are living together. Because sisterly obligations are kind of important when one of you is dying.

Bookish Goals for 2021

I really should’ve posted this at the beginning of this year but things got busy and I didn’t have time to write this post. It was a lot easier to go ahead and post things I had already written. I want to separate the types of bookish goals I have because I have some reading goals for the year and then I have goals for each of my social media sites. I want to share these with you all because I feel this makes it so that I am held accountable for these goals. I’ll make sure to update you all on these goals, for now I’m thinking I’ll do a mid-year update.

Reading Goals

At this time my plan is to complete 75 books this year, while secretly hoping that this is the year I can finally get to 100 books. I’m currently at 11 out of those 75 books and if I keep reading at this rate I should be able to reach that goal sooner rather than later.

I plan on reading 50 pages of a physical book each day, 15% of my e-book a day and 2 hours of an audio book per day. I am doing really poorly with 50 pages a day and 15% of an e-book. I wind up having to use all day of a weekend to complete my physical book and then all day of another day to complete the e-book. The goal is to have 1 of each type of book completed each week and so far I haven’t failed with that goal. Listening to 2 hours of an audiobook a day has been easier this year than last as I just do that while working. It does mean that sometimes I rewind and re-listen to pieces but that’s okay.

Something else that I really want to do this year is complete a buddy read. This one is really on me and I just need to stop being scared to participate in one. I always worry that I won’t be able to keep up with reading the book or I won’t like the book. I just need to get over this fear and reach out when others are seeking buddies to read with.

I also really want to complete a readathon this year and there are so many that I want to participate in. Some I just don’t know how to and others well I have tried and just can’t read fast enough to complete them.

Bookish Social Media Goals

This is the harder part of my bookish goals because I can only do so much to promote myself. I’m also really bad about promoting myself on social media. Something I had planned to do this year was revamp each of my social media sites but I had time last year so I did some of it last year.

For Instagram, my goal this year is to reach 2,000 followers which I am only 500 followers away from. I also hope to host a giveaway on my instagram but I am just working on what kind it should be and how to go about this. For instagram, I also want to start sharing more of my life outside of books, so start sharing more of me. I realized that I don’t share much of me beyond books and thought you all deserve to know me. I’m just trying to figure out how to intricate more of my interests on there.

Twitter- I am so surprised that I even got any followers there but I am so pleased. I love being able to engage with the book community on twitter and have found such a supportive community on there. I have 400 followers on there and the goal is to just keep the followers and to post more content on there. I have to see what others post on twitter and see how to continue promoting my blog post and insta posts on there while maintaining a balance of original content.

For this blog, the goal is to reach 250 followers which isn’t much more than what I have now. Thank you all for following me, it really means a lot that over 200 of you decided to follow me and stick with me. Another goal for this blog is to remain consistent with my posting so I currently am posting Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. This might change month for month but the goal is to always post 3 times. This means that I will need to figure out what else to post about weekly. Lately I’ve been watching one movie a week so I may be able to start my movie and book comparisons up again, or might just start a movie review page on here.

Let me know if you have any ideas for what else I could write on here, what do you want to see?

YA BOTM- Best Deal of the Year

Subscribe Today

I’m always hesitant to subscribe to anything monthly because what if I don’t like it or what if I wind up getting too much of something? I’ve had monthly subscriptions to make-up boxes before and had to stop them because it wasn’t working out, same with clothes. When I found BOTM I had the same skepticism about it even with the ability to skip a month and not get charged, I don’t really read adult fiction so the chances of me wanting a book in their selection was slim.

You can imagine my surprise when they announced a new subscription box that was going to be focused all on YA books, now that was right up my alley. I loved this subscription box idea so much that I became an affiliate with them so that I could spread the word of this box to all of you.

Let me tell you all how it works, each month you pay $11.99 to select one book from the 5 choices that they give you, and if you like you can add more books to your box. If by any chance you don’t see something that you like then skip the month and you won’t be charged.

The best thing is right now up until December 31st they have a great special going on for new subscribers, just CLICK HERE and use the code YES5 . If you would like to get a 6 or 12 month gift for yourselves or someone else use code GIFTY to get $10 off.

Guest: A Changeling Story Book Review

Summary: Mollie knows better than to praise her brother because her whole town knows that the Kinde folk are always listening. Unfortunately Mollie forgets the #1 rule and speaks good words of her brother and the next thing she knows there is something else in his place. Mollie sets off with the changeling in hopes to exchange it for her brother. Will Mollie succeed in getting her brother back? Will the Kinde folk be willing to take their kind back? Why didn’t they want their own child?

Thoughts: Let me start off by saying if you are an adult who is going to read this go in knowing that it is meant for grades 5-7 so it is written that way. When keeping the audience in mind I thought this was a great book for plenty of reasons. I really enjoyed how simple everything was yet how there were still so many twists that I never saw coming.

I really enjoyed that the main character was naive and acted her age. I read too many books that are meant for a younger audience in which the protagonist seems like they are an adult and it throws me off. It was refreshing to read something different as Mollie gets into a whole lot of trouble for being a child.

Something else that I liked was the way that the twists unfolded, it seemed like there was no substance to them but as I kept reading I thought differently. I thought it was great that there was an element of surprise but it didn’t throw off the main course of the book. I also liked that the twists were simple enough for 5-7 graders to understand and still want to read more.

I recommend this to adults looking for a nice simple read or to those of you who might be looking for something that 5-7 graders might enjoy. This is one that I think can get boys to enjoy reading.

You can get this at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.

August Wrap Up

The Birthday Girl By Melissa De La Cruz

Upon completing this book my first thought was huh? what just happened? The fact that the ending left me with this was both nice and also frustrating. It’s frustrating because now I need to read more about this book or talk with others to process what happened, and it’s nice because it was all unexpected. 

Besides the ending something else that I found interesting about this book was how much the past and present not just contrast with each other but how important one is to the other. Without the past Ellie’s story would not have been the same and she would not have been the same person. I think if we didn’t see both stories we wouldn’t understand so many of her actions or her personality.

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

I was a bit skeptical as I started this book because it took me a while to really get into it. When I was in the mood to read it I couldn’t put it down but other than those times I just couldn’t pick it up. Once I got to the part where things started happening though I couldn’t put it down and finished most of it in 1 day. I really enjoyed the mystery of the whole thing and finding out the company’s secrets. I also really enjoyed getting to see the story from three different perspectives. I felt bad for all of the characters even the bad guys.

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

This was a really good coming of age story in which I loved all of the characters. I loved getting to know each of the characters and seeing their flaws. I thought it was great to see how the adults had flaws even if they wanted their children to be perfect and why they had set those expectations on their children. I also really liked the twist at the end because it was unexpected and something that I didn’t see coming.

The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen

I love the way that the author describes every scene and every item that you encounter, it made me feel like I was in the story. I loved the way the automatons interacted with the people and especially loved Eugene’s sarcasm and wit. It really added some light humor to a rather dire situation for our characters. 

Overall this book was a quick read with twists and turns and a great steampunk retelling of repunzal. I recommend this to you who love a great YA romance book or who like retellings of stories.

Best. State. Ever by Dave Berry

This book was something that I read for my local library’s bookclub and it’s not something I would normally read. It was a quick read that just gave me some insight into Florida and the weird things in that state. I had no idea that people’s impressions of Florida were so poor and that so many interesting things happened there. It was a nice quick read that I couldn’t put down because of how fascinated I was by the way it was written. Normally I’m not a fan of sarcasm and irony because I don’t get the humor but this author does a good job with it. This book had me laughing from start to end.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

From the start, I had guessed what had happened and so I was taking my time reading it and thought I wouldn’t actually enjoy this book because I had solved the mystery. I was still taken by surprise when things were all revealed though. Something I really enjoyed about this book was the character’s perspectives. I loved getting to hear from each of the suspects and their side of the story. I also loved watching as they developed on their own and in their relationships with each other.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

I don’t read adult fiction much because I never can follow the story line but I gave this a try since thrillers are right up my alley. I was very pleased with this book and the way that events slowly unfold through the whole story. I liked seeing this story told in different perspectives and all the twists and turns that the story took you through. I actually saw none of those things coming and I didn’t know who was behind anything until the characters in the book found out. I loved learning alongside them and actually felt bad when things happened to the characters. This book allowed me to grow emotionally attached to all of the characters because I as you read it’s like you are watching them. I liked it going back and forth from first perspective and third because I felt like I was the main character in this story and I was just hearing about the others from someone else.

I’m a Gay Wizard by V.S Santoni

I really wanted to love this book because it was LGBTQ+ but I just couldn’t. There were too many aspects that I just wasn’t a fan of. I didn’t really like how sudden Hunter and Johnny’s relationship shifts and suddenly Hunter is a completely different person. I really liked their dynamic in the beginning and was hoping that it would stay that way even after they started dating. It turned into more of a love story than anything else and that threw me off. I also wasn’t a big fan of the action scenes since they just kind of speed through those scenes and were filled more with Hunter and Johnny being in love over anything else. 

Finding a Library

Whenever I move into a new city or am visiting a new location the first thing that I search for is a library. I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life besides the 3 years I spent in San Francisco and the 1 year that I spent in Fullerton.

Now you might think that the search for a library means looking for the library that is closest in location to your home, school, or work site. Convenience is always something that is beneficial and something that I consider when searching for a library yet I also look for much more than proximity. I’m going to tell you some of the things that I look for when finding a library and hope this helps you if you’re every looking for one.

San Francisco Public Library

When I first moved to San Francisco I was amazed by the architecture of the libraries and made an attempt to visit one library a week. During my time in that city the library was a place for me to distract myself from my homesickness and to feel less alone. You see the library was the best place to go because it was easy to get to and I could pick up a book and escape to a new world. The only thing that I was looking for in a library during my time there was a new place every week. I just needed a library that had a good selection of books and movies.

The Fullerton Main Public Library.

I was shocked when I moved to Fullerton and found that there was 1 library in the whole city and it was about 30 minutes away from where I lived and not at all walking distance from me. When I found this place, I was looking for a place that I could rent books at and that was easy to get to. I was sadly disappointed with this library since I didn’t really have other choices.

Living in Los Angeles has been the best in terms of finding a library because the Los Angeles Public Library has a large selection of libraries to choose from. I still have yet to visit all of them but there is something I am looking for when it comes to finding the perfect library.

Originally I wanted a library that wasn’t close to my house and chose the Central Library because they had the largest collection of books. During the time that I chose that library because I was into reading non-fiction about viruses and diseases and the Central Library was the place to go in order to get any non-fiction books. As my interests changed and the genre of books that I enjoyed shifted I knew that I needed to find a new library that wouldn’t overwhelm me with their selection of books.

Cahuenga Branch Public Library

The Cahuenga library is my choice of libraries now and it isn’t just due to the proximity of this library to my house. Some of the things that I looked for when choosing my library was the selection of young adult books that the library had and how accessible that area was to anyone. Some libraries have that area off limits to teenagers which I respect but I wanted a place where I wouldn’t feel judged for my reading selection.

Something else that I looked at were the activities that were offered at each library and the times that they were offered. For example some of the things my library offers is Yoga for Everyone on Saturday mornings and Loteria!Bingo on Mondays during the summer time.

Cahuenga Library Yoga for Everybody
Cahuenga Library Loteria!Bingo!

I encourage you all to make a list of some of the things that you need your library to have and then explore some of the libraries in your area. What are some things that you need from your library?