Top Ten Tuesday: Random Quotes from Random TBR Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Book Quote Freebie.” Please tell me I’m not the only one who dreads when we have to do a quote topic for TTT. I am the worst at keeping track of quotes and have actually somehow gotten worse these past few years. So what can I possibly do with this week’s topic? How about something equal parts fun and chaotic? I am pulling ten random TBR books from my shelf, turning to a random page (a very early page because I don’t want spoilers) and sharing the first quote I see. Maybe this will motivate me to pick these up…Covers linked to Goodreads.

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1. No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

“Not that I’m not cute. Because I’m CUTE, okay? These brows? These curls? These eyes-so-brown they look like the rich soil of the earth? This melanated skin? This body?”

2. The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

“It was her or the rest of us. If I’d tried, we’d have all died.”

3. Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie

“I didn’t know bananas were good for roses.”

4. Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

“Forgive me, Father. You’re the first man I’ve seen in years.” When he only stared at me, I clarified, “The first living man. I’ve seen plenty of dead ones.”

5. Stormsong by C.L. Polk

“Is it true they can’t lie?”

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6. Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

“Why shouldn’t she be picky? You have to work for most of your life. Might as well find something she likes.”

7. Unbroken by C.L. Clark

“They’re making us live on the scraps of the city. The old Medina used to be beautiful. Look at this.”

8. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

“One day soon our ancestors will intervene to end this suffering. They will.”

9. Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

“Witchlings, prepare your amulets!”

10. The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton

“Children, say your farewells, and let us fly, shall we?”

Have you read any of these? Which of these quotes is the most intriguing? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: 2020 Books I Was Excited to Get But Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read.” I see that we are calling ourselves out today with this week’s post. Honestly, I could have made an embarrassingly long list with this topic, but for the sake of brevity I have narrowed this list down to ten and am only focusing on books I got in 2020 that I haven’t read yet. 2020 was the first year of the pandemic and so I spent more time than usual thinking about what could keep me busy. Books were the natural choice and so I probably spent way too much money on them that year. Turns out that this is actually the first year of the pandemic where it feels like I am getting more reading done. 2020 and 2021 were sort of meh reading years for me. Go figure. Covers linked to Goodreads.

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1. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

2. The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio 

3. The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, José Olivarez, and Willie Perdomo

4. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar 

5. A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

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6. The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

7. Prime Deceptions by Valerie Valdes

8. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

9. Into the Forest and All the Way Through by Cynthia Pelayo

10. Latinx Screams edited by V. Castro and Cina Pelayo

Have you read any of these? Which one should I pick up first? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!

Mini-Reviews: Where The Rhythm Takes You + Now That I’ve Found You

How far behind am I posting reviews? Both of these are reviews of books I read way back in February! One of these was my first five-star read of the year and while I’ve had a few since then, this one renewed my need for more Jane Austen retellings by BIPOC (if you have any recs, I will gladly accept them in the comments).

Title: Where the Rhythm Takes You Author: Sarah Dass Series: N/A Pages: 352 Publisher: Balzer + Bray Release Date: May 11th 2021

TW: death of a parent, cancer diagnosis, grief

"Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running. And that's when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort. Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them… Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances."

Sarah Dass debuts with an engaging YA romance about second-chances and learning to let yourself be happy. Where the Rhythm Takes You is a Persuasion-inspired novel that takes place in Tobago. On the cusp of adulthood, Reyna is grappling with her past and the uncertainty of her future. Her best friend is bound for London while Reyna stays behind, trying to keep her mother’s hotel afloat. Her father seems content to hand over the reins of the hotel to someone else, but Reyna can’t quite let go of the last thing she has of her mother’s. When Reyna’s first love returns unexpectedly, his presence throws her carefully curated world into disarray. She is forced to come to terms with her own life decisions and how she has let grief steer her away from her dreams. Easily in my top five Jane Austen retellings, Where the Rhythm Takes You is perfect for fans of second-chance romance. Reyna tries to keep old feelings at bay, but the more time she spends around Aiden, her old flame, the harder it becomes to deny those feelings. But she is also angry and hurt and it isn’t always easy to untangle all these emotions. Mutual pining and tension make this a compulsory read. I also really loved exploring Reyna’s relationship with her mother who passed away two years prior. A lot of the responsibility Reyna places on her own shoulders is tied to this relationship in particular. Reyna hasn’t allowed herself to dream beyond the hotel for so long and she isn’t sure she can when its fate feels so tightly wound to her mother’s memory, even if some of those memories are painful. Love, grief, and second chances each have their turn in this one and will keep romance fans engaged throughout.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(5/5)


Title: Now That I've Found You Author: Kristina Forest Series: N/A Pages: 336 Publisher: Roaring Brook Press Release Date: August 25th 2020

"Now That I've Found You is a YA novel about searching for answers, love, and your eccentric grandma in all the wrong places. Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . . Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears. With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself."

Kristina Forest delivers a winning sophomore novel with Now That I’ve Found You, a YA contemporary with a focus on a grandmother-granddaughter relationship. Evie Conoway has big dreams for herself. She wants to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother, Gigi, a legendary Hollywood starlet. After a video leaks of Evie mocking a famous director, her career is completely derailed. Unsure of her next step, Evie reaches out to one of her only constants, her grandmother, who she is hoping can help revitalize her career. But before Evie can find the courage to ask for her assistance, Gigi disappears. Now, with the help of Milo, a young musician who has befriended her grandmother, Evie embarks on a search to find her and save the tattered remains of her career. Now That I’ve Found You is a journey of self-discovery. Evie is forced to examine her own motivations and to reevaluate who she has become in recent years. The more she learns about her grandmother, the more she begins to realize that the loneliness she’s been feeling is reflected in her grandmother as well. This novel also deals with a friendship breakup and how a betrayal of a friend makes it harder to open up and trust again. Evie’s relationship with Milo is unexpected and sweet, even with its ups and downs. I really enjoyed getting to know Milo’s band and how it gave Evie a taste of what having a supportive friend group is like, something she has never had. Now That I’ve Found You really stands out amongst YA contemporaries as a novel that focuses largely on the main character’s relationship with her grandmother. Kristina Forest’s second novel is a must read for those looking for a coming of age YA that centers familial relationships.

★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5)

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

I am so excited for all the Latinx debut writers this year. I think I’ve been excited for The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes for at least a couple of years. I love that we are getting more queer coming-of-age novels by Latinx authors and love that queer Latinx teens will have so many books to see themselves in. Also, I am in love with this cover. It is so vibrant! This one is out next Tuesday! Cover is linked to Goodreads.

 alt=Title: The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School
Author: Sonora Reyes
Series: N/A
Pages: 400
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication Date: May 17, 2022

      “Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way.
      After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami.
      The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do?
      Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!