Review: If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich

  • Title: If This Gets Out
  • Author: Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich
  • Genre: contemporary fiction
  • Intended audience: young adult (16+)
  • Format read: eARC
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • Pub date: December 7, 2021
  • Content warnings: underage drinking, drug use, drug addiction, homophobia, forced closeting, toxic parents, car accident, eating disorders, racism
  • Rating: 4/5 stars

As a note to potential readers, I would say that this book straddles the line between young adult and new adult. The characters are 18, and while there is no explicit sex or even much cursing, there are lots of more mature topics. I would recommend it for readers 16+.

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Four Books by Indigenous Authors on my TBR

blue rectangle with a blue leaf doodle in the background. Text reads "four books by Indigenous authors on my t. b. r."

Hello lovely readers! Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S., which is an incredibly complicated holiday. While I love having a holiday that isn’t about presents but is instead dedicated to spending quality time with loved ones, the history behind Thanksgiving is rooted in settler-colonialism and the genocide of native peoples.

I know that one thing I can do center native experiences is to educate myself, listen to Indigenous People, and support them in their work. I know that the number of books by Indigenous authors that I have read is incredibly small, and one of the many things I can change about my habits is to read more books by Indigenous authors. So today I wanted to share four books by Indigenous authors that are currently on my tbr, in case you have similar goals. And I sincerely hope that if you know other Indigenous books, that you will share them with me so I can expand this list!

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How to Listen to Audiobooks (Without Supporting Amazon)

Listen (haha), I love audiobooks. They are great whether you are trying to multitask, want something to fall asleep to, or just can’t seem to focus on words on a page. Unfortunately, the mainstream source of audiobooks is Audible, the service owned by Jeff Bezos that has haunted every podcast ad-read in the last five years. Luckily for you, I know how you can avoid paying Amazon $15 a month and still listen to great audiobooks.

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October Wrap Up

Happy November! If you celebrate, I hope you had a fun Halloween. I went back to my childhood roots and was Kit Kitteridge for Halloween this year. I was in love with the American Girl books, I read all of them, and Kit was one of my favorites.

I would say that October was a good reading month for me! I read 12 books, which is average for me. I will say that 4 of those were for school, so I definitely read less for fun this month. But more important than the actual number of books I read that made it a good month is that I really enjoyed the majority of the books I read. Half of them were four or five star reads. I also read a lot of queer books this month, which I really enjoyed.

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Book Spotlight: 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

  • Title: 84 Charing Cross Road
  • Author: Helene Hanff
  • Genre: nonfiction/memoir
  • Intended audience: adult (could be read by anyone)
  • Format read: physical book
  • Publisher: Avon Books
  • Pub date: 1970
  • Trigger warnings: none
  • Rating: 4/5 stars

84 Charing Cross Road isn’t a long or complicated enough book for me to do a full review of it, but I did want to feature it because it is undeniably a book for book lovers.

84 Charing Cross Road is an epistolary story of the correspondence between writer and book lover Helene Hanff in New York and the employees of the bookstore at 84 Charing Cross Road in London. It covers their correspondence and eventual friendship over many years as Helene requests books and sends holiday presents to the employees there. Although she is never able to visit London, they develop a deep friendship, rooted in a love of books.

It is a quick and easy read, and incredibly charming. It isn’t an incredibly deep or difficult story, but it all revolves around books, human kindness, and love. I really enjoyed myself while reading 84 Charing Cross Road, it was a pleasant read that was perfect to wind down with before bed. And I do recommend finding a used copy somewhere, because the old book smell really enhances the reading experience. I think that if you are a book lover, you should definitely pick up this charming book.

My only note is do not read the Goodreads summary of the book, because it just summarizes the story. I think all you need to know is what I have already said: a short and sweet epistolary story for book lovers.

Six Great Audiobooks for your TBR

I only started listening to audiobooks two years ago. Before that, I always thought I didn’t like them. Not in a they-don’t-count-as-real-reading way but more in a I-don’t-like-when-narrators-voices-don’t-sound-like-I-image-the characters-would kind of way. My first audiobook that I listened to all the way through was Rebel Belles, and since then I have branched out a lot and I have learned to love audiobooks. I listen to them while getting ready, while cooking, while walking, and while falling asleep. They are great whether you want to multitask, or just want to sit down and listen to a great story.

I know that I am always on the hunt for my next audiobook, so today I want to share with you six of my favorite audiobooks, perfect whether you are a seasoned audiobook fan, or first venturing into the foray of audiobooks.

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Books for Spooky Season

The weather is cooling, the leaves are turning, and something is in the air. Halloween is creeping closer, and if you’re anything like me this means you want to curl up under a blanket with a mug of tea and a good book. Today, I’m sharing four books that are perfect for the occasion! And if you need more recs, you can head over to Saima’s post because evidently we have same brain on post topics, and they have even more Fall recommendations!

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Review: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

  • Title: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
  • Author: Crystal Maldonado
  • Genre: contemporary fiction
  • Intended audience: young adult
  • Format read: ebook
  • Publisher: Holiday House
  • Pub date: February 2, 2021
  • Trigger warnings: grief, fatphobia (external and internalized), mentioned death of a parent, mentions of sex, underage drinking, diet culture, strained/toxic relationship with parent, racism
  • Rating: 4/5 stars
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September Wrap-Up

Wow! It’s hard to believe that we’ve already reached the end of September; I feel like we just started. However, the weather has started to change. I know that I am certainly looking forward to my favorite fall activity: curling up with a mug of tea and a good book.

Despite it all, I did manage to fit in my standard ten books, even if two of them were for class. As promised in my Shadow and Bone review, I finally got around to reading Six of Crows! I will admit that I found it to be quite enjoyable, but knowing the characters and the elements of the fantasy world definitely helped me get into it. I also read and loved Fat Chance, Charlie Vega for TeaTimeLit‘s September book club. Those two books were definitely my favorites of the month. I keep trying to write a review for Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, but I’ve been having writers block every time I sit down to write it, so we’ll see whether or not that actually happens.

I will say that I peaked early in the month, and I have felt a little disappointed in some of my recent reads. Even though I have liked most of them, they have also felt pretty mediocre. However, it’s a good reminder to myself to be mindful about what I am choosing to read. It can be hard to remember that it’s in my best interest to read books I think I will like. My full list of reads for this month and my ratings are under the cut!

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My Favorite Bisexual Books

If you didn’t know, this week is bisexual awareness week, and Thursday, September 23rd is bisexual visibility day! In honor of this celebration, I wanted to share some of my favorite books featuring bisexual characters. It should go without saying that this is a very slim list of my favorites out of a wide range of bisexual books; and if these don’t sound interesting to you, there are plenty more to choose from!

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

I recommend this joyful, empowering young adult book to anyone and everyone. I cannot recommend it enough because reading it just made me so happy. I’ll Be the One follows the dazzling Skye Shin as she takes the K-pop world by storm. After nailing the audition for a new K-pop reality competition show, Skye is thrust into the spotlight. But while her singing and dancing dreams are coming true, she is forced to confront the fat-phobic standards of the industry. While the book tackles a lot of important issues like fat-phobia and queerphobia, it is ultimately a celebration of being proud of who you are. Skye identifies as bi on page, as do other characters.

Trigger warnings: fatphobia, queerphobia, mentions of diet culture, mentions of racism

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