Monthly Wrap-Up: April ’21

Hello, friends! I feel like I’ve been more present in April, but am still struggling with the WordPress block editor, so I’ve been dragging my feet when it comes to sitting down and working on the blog. I will try to do better in May. I have several drafts that need to be rewritten with said editor and I’ve been procrastinating. Is there a WordPress block editor support group out there because I would like to join. I got my first covid vaccine shot earlier this month and am scheduled for my second next week. Crossing my fingers that I don’t have any side effects because the day after is my birthday. Speaking of my birthday, I really want to get to 900 followers on IG before then, so if you are into books by authors of color and florals, I’m your girl. You can follow me here. A little sample of the photos I take:

I didn’t read a ton this month (this is starting to become a pattern), but that’s because I picked up a new hobby. I got an early birthday present…roller skates! I have no experience, so this month has been really interesting trying to learn. I am such an overthinker and that does not always serve me well when I am trying to teach myself something where I could fall over any moment. A week ago, I went outside for only the second time and fell several times, but I got back up and that’s what’s important. If there are any fellow beginner roller skaters out there who want to start a DM group to support one another, hit me up. So I read three and a half books (I am counting this half because it’s a 500+ page book and it feels like it should count as two). Not a great number, but I am hoping to pick up the pace in May. I am still behind on my Goodreads goal and need to catch up. Wish me luck!

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season was heartbreaking and beautiful and one of the most unforgettable books I’ve ever read. My review for this one should go up this month. Cover linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book received lower than three stars from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

(Covers linked to reviews)

Notable Blog Posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Releases with Great Color Schemes – Take a look at some of my favorite colorful covers for 2021 releases.

What I Watched/Am Watching:

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Well this was such a fun ride! I really enjoyed the dynamics between Sam and Bucky. There were times when I wished the show would go a little further with its storylines, but it’s Marvel, so I don’t expect it to make revolutionary statements. Still, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing what happens next to these characters.

Teen Wolf – Like last month, I really wanted to watch something familiar. I haven’t seen Teen Wolf in years but really enjoyed the first few seasons and so I binged away. I am actually at the end of season 3b and am already crying knowing what happens at the end.

May Releases I’m Excited For:

Which releases are you looking forward to in May? Let’s discuss in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit!

Monthly Wrap-Up: March ’21

March was going fine and then I had the rug pulled out from under me. You might have noticed I was MIA the last couple of weeks and that was on purpose as I had things I had to deal with and I did not have the mental capacity to deal with the blog as well. Still not doing all that great, but I wanted to get back into the swing of things to give myself something else to focus on. Also it looks like WordPress has finally made the leap to this new editor (where is my classic editor, I need you, I miss you) and I am utterly lost. It’s going to take some getting used to, so if posts look a little wonky for the next few weeks, you will know why. I only read three books this month, but I am going to let myself off the hook because this month was just so hard to get through. Patting myself on the back anyways.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

My favorite read in March was Daka Hermon’s Hide and Seeker. I finished this at the beginning of the month which feels like something that happened a year ago. This had the perfect amount of horror for a middle grade and I know that younger me would have loved this one. Cover linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book received lower than three stars from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

(Covers linked to reviews)

Notable Blog Posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring ’21 Releases I’m Excited For – I am so excited for so many spring releases. Check out my top ten most anticipated releases this season.

What I Watched/Am Watching:

Crash Landing on You – I threw myself into my favorite comfort drama because I needed some comfort. Just in case you were wondering, Crash Landing on You is just as good the second time around and I got just as emotional rewatching it.

April Releases I’m Excited For:

What have you been watching lately? Do you have a comfort show or book? Let’s discuss in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit!

Monthly Wrap-Up: February ’21

February was going so great and then I hit a wall around the 20th. A combination of migraines and insomnia made it impossible to fully function for like a week. I still feel like I am not getting enough sleep but at least the migraines have stopped. So I only got through three books this month. I could have made it four, but I really didn’t want to force myself when I still wasn’t feeling great. This is also why this wrap-up is a day late and why there won’t be a Top Ten Tuesday post today. I still got to some great books this month and am eager to pick up the ones I didn’t get to soon.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

My favorite read in February was Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown. It was powerful and infuriating and an important read for teens to pick up. I have to edit my review for this one but you can expect the review very soon. Cover linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book received lower than three stars from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

(Covers linked to reviews)

Notable Blog Posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Fake Dating Trope Edition – I take a look at some of my favorite books featuring one of my favorite tropes as well as those on my TBR.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Are Fun to Read – I talk about ten books that were just so much fun to read.

Talk Chisme to Me: Ten Most Anticipated 2021 Debuts By Latinx Authors – Check out my most anticipated debuts by Latinx authors. There are so many amazing authors debuting this year. If you are able, please consider supporting them!

What I Watched/Am Watching:

Mr. Sunshine – I finally finished Mr. Sunshine. I am not okay. I have been watching this K-Drama since December and have been savoring it because I loved it so much. It is now my all-time favorite K-Drama and nothing will ever compare. I feel like I’ve kept talking about this one but that I’ve also undersold it. If you like historical dramas that tackle imperialism and classism, this is a must watch. There are two main leads (who meet and give chase on a rooftop after trying to assassinate the same person), but also three secondary characters who all get their own arcs. There are stories of love, camaraderie, begrudging respect. I loved every single one of these characters and you can’t convince me that there were not all in love with each other as well.

Also side note, I am currently looking for sapphic recs that have this kind of vibe^^^ Hit me up with your fav books in the comments where the female leads have a fighting scene. I have a mighty need.

WandaVision – Well, Elizabeth Olsen is an absolute delight in this mini-series. I really enjoy the direction this one has gone so far in addressing the devastation and life-altering pain grief brings. Looking forward to the final episodes.

March Releases I’m Excited For:

What was your favorite February read? What are you currently watching? Let’s discuss in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit!

Talk Chisme to Me: Ten Most Anticipated 2021 Debuts by Latinx Authors

Hope your TBR isn’t too full because today I am bringing you a list of my top ten most anticipated debuts by Latinx authors coming out this year. I am always excited that publishing is giving more opportunities to Latinx authors and though we still have a long way to go, it’s always worth celebrating and uplifting new voices. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

 alt=1. 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.

 alt=2. Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira

    Jenny Han meets “Jane the Virgin” in this flashy and fun Own Voices romcom from debut author Monica Gomez-Hira.
    Carmen Aguilar just wants to make her happily ever after come true. Except apparently “happily ever after” for Carmen involves being stuck in an unpaid summer internship! All she has to do is perform! In a ball gown! During the summer. In Miami.
    Fine. Except that Carmen’s company is hired for her spoiled cousin Ariana’s over the top quinceañera.
      And of course, her new dance partner at work is none other than Mauro Reyes, Carmen’s most deeply regrettable ex.
      If Carmen is going to move into the future she wants, she needs to leave the past behind. And if she can manage dancing in the blistering heat, fending off Mauro’s texts, and stopping Ariana from ruining her own quinceañera Carmen might just get that happily ever after after all.

 alt=3. Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp

    As an aspiring pastry chef, Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans — leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican-American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.
    Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that — a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his new found family and himself.
    Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong — both within their families and their fiercely loyal Chicanx community — in order to save the place they all call home.

 alt=4. Indivisible by Daniel Aleman

    A timely, moving debut novel about a teen’s efforts to keep his family together while his parents face deportation from the United States.
    There is a word Mateo Garcia and his younger sister Sophie have been taught to fear for as long as they can remember: deportation. Over the past few years, however, the fear that their undocumented immigrant parents could be sent back to Mexico has started to fade to the back of their minds. And why wouldn’t it, when their Ma and Pa have been in the United States for so long, they have American-born children, and they’re hard workers and good neighbors?
    When two ICE agents come asking for Pa, the Garcia family realizes that the lives they’ve built are about to come crumbling down. And when Mateo returns from school one day to find that his parents have been taken, he must come to terms with the fact that his family’s worst nightmare has become a reality. With his parents’ fate and his own future hanging in the balance, Mateo must figure out who he is and what he is capable of, even as he’s forced to question what it means to be an American teenager in a country that rejects his own mom and dad.
      Daniel Aleman’s Indivisible is a remarkable story — both powerful in its explorations of immigration in America and deeply intimate in its portrait of a teen boy driven by his fierce, protective love for his parents and his sister.

 alt=5. Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

      Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.
      When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.
      In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script.

 alt=6. Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi

    Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the ultimate date to homecoming in this heartfelt and outright hilarious debut.
    Parvin has just had her heart broken when she meets the cutest boy at her new high school, Matty Fumero–with an emphasis on fumero, because he might be the smoking hot cure to all of her boy troubles. If Parvin can get Matty to ask her to homecoming, she’s positive it will erase all the awful and embarrassing feelings He Who Will Not Be Named left her with after the summer. The only problem is Matty is definitely too cool for bassoon-playing, frizzy-haired, Cheeto-eating Parvin. Since being herself has not worked for her in the past (see aforementioned relationship), she decides that to be the girl who finally gets the guy, she should start acting like the women in her favorite rom-coms. Those girls aren’t loud, they certainly don’t cackle when they laugh, and they smile much more than they talk. Easy enough, right?
      But as Parvin struggles through her parent-mandated Farsi lessons on the weekends, a budding friendship with a boy she can’t help but be her unfiltered self with, and dealing with the ramifications of the Muslim Ban on her family in Iran, she realizes that being herself might just be the perfect thing after all.

 alt=7. Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa 

    A poignant, funny, openhearted novel about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self.
    Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life.
      Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self.
      Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone.
      Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.

 alt=8. Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins 

    This debut paperback original romance follows a Latina teen pop star whose image takes a dive after a messy public breakup, until she’s set up with a swoon-worthy fake boyfriend.
      Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
      Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
      Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?

 alt=9. Dreaming of You by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

    Dreaming of You, a genre-bending verse novel in which a young Latinx poet, grappling with loneliness and heartache, brings Tejana pop star Selena Quintanilla back to life through a seance, kicking off an absurd, uncanny trip narrated by a Greek chorus of Chismosas that involves a shadow self, a dead celebrity prom, and karaoke in hell; a macabre, moving love story and interrogation of Latinx identity, womanhood, obsession and disillusion, and what it truly means to be seen.

 alt=10. An Island Without You by Malulani Moreno

    A heartfelt and thrilling YA novel about two boys struggling to find their place amidst a tragedy that rocks their community in Hawai’i
      When Keoni’;s longtime bully Spencer disappears, he’s ecstatic: Life as a sixteen-year-old gay outcast in Wahiawā, Hawai’i just got a lot easier. But Keoni can’t seem to escape Spencer’s memory—there are missing posters everywhere, his best friend is spearheading a fundraiser, and some people think that Spencer didn’t actually run away.
      Aaron didn’t know what to expect when his dad uprooted them after his mom’s death, but it wasn’t that the first person he’d connect with in their new town would go missing. Still reeling from the loss, Aaron tries to make friends, but that’s hard with his selective mutism and the visions he’s having about Spencer.
      When their lives collide, Keoni and Aaron try to find the truth of what happened to Spencer. And as they draw closer to the truth, they also grow closer to each other. 

Are you looking forward to any of these? Which 2021 debut by a Latinx author are you most excited about? Let talk you in the comments!