Salutations Chapterlings! August is here and with August comes a new tbr, and an update. This month will hopefully be an easy going month. Usually, I make my tbr packed with books I want to read or accomplish reading for the month, but I’m deciding to be more gentle with myself. And more gentle with my tbr. Hopefully I’ll be able to read all of these books! Also, in the month of August there are two big readathons happening right now, ARC August and A-spec August. I hope you end up participating in some of these and I can’t wait to see your tbrs!
As for the update, let’s rip the band-aid right off. Honestly, I was hoping to feel comfortable to come back into the book community stronger and better, but… that’s just not the case. I’m still going to be on lock down for the month of August and might even extend it into September. There’s a lot of things happening that have made me very unsafe, uncomfortable in the book community, and I’m not in a position where I feel comfortable talking about it right now. So as of right now, I’m taking it one day at a time and hopefully I’ll return. I also realize there are so many wonderful new people here in my little corner of the book community. I’m so glad you’re here and I appreciate you so, so much for supporting me. It truly means a lot. I promise, when I come back into the community, brighter and better, that I’ll have an introduction to the content creator post. For now, I love you all so much, I’m so happy you’re here, now let’s get into my tbr for August!
I feel like this list should’ve reflected my desire for spooky season just a little bit more. I’m just ready for fall to be here already, but for now we have to get through August. I’m so excited for my August tbr. As I’m making this post, I’ve started the audiobook of Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. Most of the books I’m reading for this month are arcs and some of them come out really soon. But that wraps everything up for my August tbr. I hope you enjoyed this list, maybe some of these books caught your eye. Let me know down in the comments below what you’re reading for the month of August or link your tbrs. Until the next time we chat, may the month of August bring you wonderful reading, I hope you continue to stay safe and healthy, I love you! 💛
Da’anzho (pronounced dah-ahn-zho) or Hello in Apache! For those who are new here, welcome and for those who have been here, it’s good to see you again. As you can tell, this is going to be a post a lot different than I usually do. For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m Indigenous, I’m Apache. I’m as open as I can be about my heritage and I take a lot of pride in it. I’m truly grateful for my friend, Michelle for creating this tag. If you’re not following Michelle and the amazing content she makes, please go check out her content HERE. To be honest, I’m really nervous about this tag, but I hope you learn something about me and maybe that will spark you to do your own research about the Apache. Without any further delay, let’s get this tag rolling!
🌻 Hoka Hey – Introduce yourself, clan/tribe (active or terminated, it all counts) 🌻
Da’anzho (pronounced dah-ahn-zho), my name is Autumn and I’m half Apache. I learned at a very young age about my heritage from my Aunt. Some things you should know is the majority of the members in my father’s family have rejected our heritage and the culture that comes with being Apache. Only three of my Aunts uphold Native American traditions, culture, and heritage. It wasn’t until I got into my teens that I really started to deep dive into my family’s history and heritage. While I know how far back in my family our heritage runs, I haven’t had any success in tracing what tribe our family originated from. I’m still searching to this day.
🌻 Native Things that just make sense – What’s your favorite book with Indigenous characters? 🌻
I’ve mentioned this a few times, but never went into details about it. I don’t have a favorite book with Indigenous characters… yet. I spent the majority of my upbringing reading books in my school libraries because of medical reasons, but those libraries never had any books with good or any Indigenous representation. It wasn’t until I was in 8th grade that I discovered the Twilight Saga, but even then (we know where I stand with that), most books I was encountering with Indigenous representation, it was done very poorly or stereotypical representation.
🌻 Regalia – Most colorful book/bookish aesthetic, and if you have regalia, can we see it? (totally okay if you don’t feel comfortable posting) 🌻
I think anyone who follows my bookstagram knows I had a major glow up with what I wanted for the theme and backgrounds I use now. I realized really quickly that while I liked wooded backgrounds, I really enjoy neutral color backgrounds, but still wanted it to have a texture to it. So that’s why you see more neutral backgrounds and themes with what I use. Plus, it allows the cover of the book to really pop!
I do not own any regalia. I’m not a dancer (there are many different types of dancers such as Crown Dancers, Devil Dancers, etc…) but I wish I was. Anytime I watch any Apache dances, it steals my breathe away every time. This is one of the more recent that I have seen that also provides some information, HERE.
🌻 Auntie & Uncle: Favorite Indigenous movie 🌻
This movie was absolutely everything. It touched parts of my soul in so many ways and I don’t think I ever stopped crying during this entire film. This is a documentary that follows the life of ten-year-old Dujuan, as he learns two different systems of knowledge, what it means to learn history through public schools and to learn your history through the elders of your heritage and culture. There were so many amazing lines throughout this movie, but I think the one that really hit home was a statement Dujuan said…
“I want my future to be on land with strong language and culture.”
If you haven’t seen this documentary yet, I highly recommend it. I don’t usually watch a lot of movies or television, so this is how you know it’s good. You can watch the trailer HERE.
🌻 Frybread or bannock? What’s your favorite trope? 🌻
Um, frybread! Yum!
Oh no… I don’t know if I have a favorite trope. There’s a lot of tropes that I like or enjoy, but I’m not sure I really have a favorite. I guess if I had to pick one, I guess hate to love or enemies to lovers? I honestly don’t know for this one.
🌻 Gramma’s the best-What’s your favorite auto-buy Indigenous author? 🌻
I don’t know if I have one yet. If anything, I think Stephen Graham Jones is probably an auto-buy for me now. After interviewing him, having a great conversation with him, and then reading The Only Good Indians… I just have no choice but to stan!
🌻 All-Nations: What is a book that made you feel the most represented? 🌻
I think I mentioned this earlier, but I have yet to read any book with Apache representation. However, the author Darcie Little Badger is Lipan Apache and she is the first author that I’ve come across who’s Apache. She has a new release coming out August 25th, 2020, Elatsoe. I’m super excited about and I have no doubt that it’s going to make my list of top books for 2020!
🌻 They Say Native Girls Look Mean: Favorite female character/author? 🌻
I’m probably going to say Rebecca Roanhorse. She seems like such a sweet being and all I want to do is read all of her work. Race to the Sun is sitting on my shelf right now taunting me, but I’m trying to save it for November. She also has Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) coming out on October 13th, 2020 and I’m so excited for it! If you’re a fan of fantasy then please add this to your must read list! Plus, the cover is stunning!
🌻 Star Quilt: What’s something you hold dear from your culture (beadwork, handmade things) 🌻
As of right now I only have a few items that mean the world to me. The first item is a necklace with a piece of blue agate that has Kokopelli on it. Kokopelli is a fertility deity, but is also known as a trickster and a spirit of music. You can read more about Kokopelli HERE. I was given this necklace after I had joined my school’s choir. The next piece is more of a choker than a necklace, made from turquoise, and it’s another piece that features Kokopelli. I was given this necklace by my Aunt after I had received my first award from my school as the “song bird” of the school. And the final jewelry piece I own is a necklace of all turtles handcrafted from turquoise. It’s the crown jewel of all my jewelry, the most delicate, and one that holds the largest place in my heart. This piece was given to me by my Aunt and mother when I attended my first PowWow. In many Southwest Tribes, from what I have by told by my Aunt, represents precious water and if you know anything about Southwest Tribes, water is a true gift.
Of course, I have dreamcatchers throughout my home. You can learn more about dreamcatchers HERE and HERE. My very first dreamcatcher was given to me when I turned sixteen. My Aunt had taken a few months to relearn how to weave dreamcatchers and presented me with this red dreamcatcher with a bull skull in the center. The other dreamcatchers I have in my home have all been sent from my best friend. She’s also Apache and spends a lot of time going to PowWows, traveling back and forth from the reservations. Each one means so much to me, she and I have been friends for six or seven years now (she’s my ride or die), but the very first one she sent me was white with white and brown feathers, which now hangs over my bed.
🌻 Don’t Whistle at Night: Scary story as a Native? Also favorite book with horror/thriller? 🌻
I don’t really have any scary stories I feel comfortable with sharing out in the open.
Hmm… I grew up in a house where horror is the definition of Friday movie night. My mother loves horror. I don’t think I have a favorite horror book yet. I mean, yeah there’s Dracula by Bram Stoker, but I’m not a huge horror reader. The only book I can recommend (at least for now) is The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones.
🌻 He even drinks water, INDIGENOUS: List your favorite actor/actress, book, media, whatever you like. 🌻
You want my whole list? HERE WE GO!
Adam Beach, Irene Bedard, David Midthunder, Roseanne Supernault, Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman, Rodney A. Grant, Saginaw Grant, and of course Graham Greene.
🌻 It’s a Good Day to be Indigenous: Tag your Indigenous friends 🌻
And all my fellow Indigenous readers and reviewers who I didn’t tag! Ya’ll should do this tag! Also, if you’re non-Indigenous and you’ve never heard of any of these content creators, change that right now! These are only some of the amazing creators, with so many more I haven’t listed (because that would be an extremely long list), but they are all wonderful souls and I highly encourage you to spark up a conversation with them, to support them, and to boost their voices. I say this all the time; we are here, we review books, we want our voices to be heard, we want to have conversations with you about books we love, and even though we are small in this community, we are mighty.
Woo! I may have gotten a little emotional with this post and may have ended up with missing my Aunts, like a whole lot. So that concludes the Indigenous Bookworm Tag. Once again, if you’re not following Michelle and her content, go do that right now! She’s such a warm soul and is truly a gift. I’m so thankful to have her in my life and I get to call her my friend. And as I mentioned, make sure you check out the other content creators I listed above. They’re all amazing people and they have been so loving, so welcoming, and they’re all incredible in their own way. I hope you, yes you dear reader, enjoyed this post. I hope it moved you to go do research, to learn about Indigenous people, learn about the history, and I hope it encourages you to lift the voices of Indigenous readers in the book community. Until next time, may you continue to stay safe, stay hydrated, I love you. 💛
Salutations Chapterlings! Hell has frozen over because I’m finally bringing a book haul after what seems like ages! Plus, the sunflowers are back to make posts a little bit brighter this summer. Now, these aren’t all the books. I’m still waiting on a few books to come in the mail. So I might loop those in with my July book haul (if I do a July book haul). However, I have received some amazing books and I have to shout-out a bunch of amazing people because some of these books wouldn’t have come into my possession without their help. So a huge thank you to Stephen Graham Jones, Taylor, Eliza, Michelle, Dani & Erin (who were champions for the all of us Indigenous book dragons), Isabella at thefeministbookworm, Donna from Momsbookcollection, and last but not least, my spouse! Make sure you go check all of these amazing people out. Without out them, some of these books wouldn’t have been possible and wouldn’t be on this list. I’m truly grateful and a feel very blessed to have met so many incredible people and have so many wonderful people in my corner who support me. So if they’re seeing this, thank you and I love you, so so much!
Now that I got emotional, I have to address something very serious before getting into the haul. It’s more of an announcement. Those who have been following me for a while probably know that my last book haul was from Book Outlet. I already made public statements on all my other social medias when everything had come to light, but this is me making an official announcement on my blog. I will no longer be doing any hauls from Book Outlet. I will not be supporting them any further. I have since unsubscribed from their mailing list and blocked their email. I refuse to support companies who choose to make statements and handle things the way they did. If you don’t know what happened, just go to Twitter and look everything up. I don’t want to allow anymore of them into my space than what I already have.
On that note, here is the haul. There’s a lot of amazing books by some amazing authors here and I hope that all of you take the time to look into the authors, pre-order some of these from your local bookstores, and just look into the books themselves. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
Wow. Every time I look at these books I have received, I truly feel blessed and knowing that I have met some amazing people because of these books… absolutely priceless. I don’t think I say it enough, but I’m truly grateful for this community, for the connections I have made, and just… I truly feel blessed and I never thought all of this would happen. I know 2020 has been a wild year so far and I wanted to say for those of you who are still here, who enjoy my content, and allow me to be myself, I see you and I cherish you. I hope you enjoyed this book haul. I know it’s been a hot minuet since I did one, but I’m so glad that I was able to get this posted. How could I not post about this when so many individuals came together to make it possible. If any of these books caught your interest or if you want to hear my thoughts on any of these first, please let me know in the comments below. Until next time, stay safe, keep hydrated, I love you! 💛
Salutations Chapterlings! Yes, the theme has finally changed and brought back the sunflowers! Summer is in full bloom with never-ending heat, bees trying to sting my face, and the endless bumps on my skin that are bug bites. BUT! Despite all of this, I’m enjoying summer the best I can and I have been tagged by the lovely Lauren at Lala’s Book Reviews to do the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag! Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2020? Where has the time gone?
So far this year has brought many hardships, many challenges, but I keep hoping that we’ll start to see change and something good will come out of everything happening in the world. Change is the only way for the world to grow for the future.
Anyway, if you’ve been following this blog, my social media platforms, then you know I’ve been very vocal about things happening in the world right now. And even though I’m getting back to a normal schedule and regular posting, I will continue to keep voicing those things on my platforms. As a quick recap, I have two blog posts that have specific links to help show support for the Black Community (Weekly Check-In & June 2020 TBR) and those posts don’t even scratch the surface. Please make sure you are signing petitions, using your voice and platforms, support Black authors and Black own businesses (like Black owned book stores), showing support and boosting the voices of Black LGBTQIAP+ organizations, etc… Things are far from over so please make sure you use your platforms and voices because that can bring about change.
Moving forward… I haven’t done a Mid-Year Freak Out in a really long, hot minute. So seeing Lauren tag me in this was like drinking a glass of ice cold water on a blistering hot summer day. And then it hit me. Have I had a good reading year so far? Did I read any books that I want to recommend to all the people? Where am I at with my goals, my personal challenges, etc…? Now, I get to unleash that chaos into this post.
🌻 Best book you’ve read so far in 2020? 🌻
This is a really hard answer. I had so many amazing reads so far for 2020 and I don’t know how to choose one. I think I’m going to choose Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. I was completely blown away by this book. From the chronic pain and illness representation to the way the main character and love interest fell for one another, my heart was so full because of this book.
🌻 Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020? 🌻
Hands down has to be Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa! I love The Shadow Fox trilogy (although I still need to read the third book in the series). I think I recommend this series to everyone all the time. I love it so, so much and I truly never stop talking about it.
🌻 New release you haven’t read yet, but want to? 🌻
I would have to pick Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon. This book sounds so sweet, so wholesome, and just a feel good time. This is a romance contemporary about two men who develop a slow burn romance for each other, but also brings back a slowly dying romance book club. Just do yourself a favor and read the whole synopsis because it sounds fantastic! Also, I believe a lot of his work is self-published. So if you haven’t picked this book up yet, go support this gentleman by purchasing his book and then tell me you bought this book so we can plan a buddy read!
🌻 Most anticipated release for the second part of the year? 🌻
Okay, ya’ll knew this was coming! You had to know it was coming! Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas for the win! I have posted about Aiden reading parts of their book, I have screeched about this book from the highest points of my social media, and I’m pretty sure Aiden is on the verge of telling me to be quiet with how often I’m telling them they’re making me melt with the constant overflow of fan art of Yadriel and Julian. Seriously though, I’m so excited for this book and Aiden is just a total cinnamon roll. September can’t get here fast enough. Plus, Adri posted an amazing reading vlog on their YouTube channel about this book that ya’ll need to watch!
🌻 Biggest disappointment? 🌻
I don’t think I’ve had one yet for this year. Keyword: yet. Most of the books that I’ve been reading haven’t gone lower than three stars, most recently the things I’ve been reading have been somewhere between four to five stars. I think the reason that my reading has been so good has been due to me really taking the time to ask myself these questions…
Does this synopsis sound like something I would really enjoy? If so, why do you think you would enjoy this or what elements stand out to you the most that’s similar with past books you’ve enjoyed?
Is this a book with diversity, ownvoices, or something you really feel drawn to or you’re excited to boost?
Have you read the reviews for this book? Have you talked with your trusted reviewers and friends? Have/has problematic content or issues been addressed or brought to attention? If so, do you still think this is a book to put your time and energy into?
What content and trigger warnings have been stated about this book? Are you in the right head space right now to read this book? If the answer is no, do your self-care and come back to this later.
Those are just some of the questions I’ve been asking myself recently when I’m purchasing books, making my tbrs, even when I’m pre-planning books I want to buy in the next year, I ask these questions and double check. I’m constantly editing, adding, or removing books based off these questions. Obviously, it’s not perfect and I’m sure there’s flaws, but this has really been helping improve my reading.
The Only Good Indians for so many reasons! This book is probably going to hold a very special place in my heart for a very long time. I interviewed Stephen and it was a truly incredible experience. Also, reading this book, it chilled my bones. I haven’t read a horror novel that chilled me the way The Only Good Indians did in a really long time. The reading experience alone is something I won’t be able to shake for a long time. And while I’m not Blackfeet, I am Apache and as an Indigenous reviewer, having an arc of this book… I can’t express how honored I feel, how seen I feel, and how grateful I am.
Emergency Contact was a book I had on my backlist for the longest time. I never picked it up because so many reviewers said they didn’t like it. Out of all my friends and all my trusted reviewers, only two seemed to enjoy it. So I was really hesitant to pick it up. So when the Backlist Readathon happened, I used this as an opportunity take a leap of faith and finally read it. It was so good. I can understand why many readers struggled with it, but to me, it felt like two very real teens struggling with their own issues. I have no idea why I put it off for so long.
🌻 Rereads this year? 🌻
The only books I reread for 2020 has been the InnBoons Boro trilogy by Nora Roberts. I promise I’m working on an overall series review because so many of you want to hear my thoughts on it as a whole. But I will link my review for each book down below.
Surprisingly, I haven’t found one yet. Keyword: yet. I have some theories on which books may hold a new fictional crush, but right now, those books aren’t on my radar at the moment.
🌻 Newest favorite character? 🌻
Ooooooohhhhh… this is a hard one. I’m going to go with… Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. I loved the side characters and our main three characters. Okay wait, when I refer to side characters, I’m talking the circus crew and Aros because they were fantastic. Even the wonderful and mysterious reporter we get introduced to near the end of the book, I loved her. It’s just a colorful cast and if you haven’t pre-ordered this book yet, please do so!
Despite the emotional moments in this book, I loved this book with my whole heart and it makes me so happy! If you haven’t read Check Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Stones yet, please change that right now!
🌻 Favorite book to film adaptation? 🌻
Sooooo… I don’t watch a lot of t.v. or movies… I think the last movie I watched was last year during the summer when my family was visiting…
🌻 Most beautiful cover you’ve bought this year (or received)? 🌻
🌻 What books do you need to read by the end of they year? 🌻
All of them. Literally all of them because they all sound amazing and some of them are part of series that I need to finish, but I can’t read that fast and I get burnout so quickly. Or worse, my mental health will take a nose dive and then I have to claw my way out of the reading slump void to get back into reading.
Anyone who wants to do this and that includes the lovely souls above!
Okay, readers! I think those are all the questions (unless I missed some)! I had such a fun time answering these questions and some of them were so hard to chose answers for. Please feel free to tell me in the comments below if you have a Mid-Year Freak Out post so I can go check it out. Until next time, may you stay healthy, keep hydrated, stay safe, I love you! 💛
Remember that one time where I said I was going to take a month off to rediscover my love for books and video games, feel safe in my space again, pull myself out of the horrible reading slump February put me in, and take that month to catch a breath and start fresh? Yeah…me either!
Salutations friends! If that introduction was any clue, I have done it once again! Back in the middle of February I made an announcement to all my friends I do buddy reads with that I was taking the month of March off. No buddy reads, a small tbr, feeling good and safe in my space again, and coming back in April feeling refreshed. Things didn’t go as I planned. Basically, I have a full March TBR and a Backlist Readathon TBR for the month of March. I talked about this in my February Wrap Up, February was (is) my worst month so far for 2020. A lot of things happened in my personal life that really affected me and there were a few things in the book community that really took a toll on me as well. I never voiced it, I never talked about it with my friends, but I will be making another post on my blog going into a little more detail. Essentially, a few people in the book community came into my space and was harassing me about a certain arc that I had received from a publisher. February ended with me feeling very unsafe in the book community, second guessing my reviewing process, and really put me in a negative head space. So I’m really nervous about having a ambitious tbr for the month of March and about a lot of things right now.
In total, I have nine books on my tbr for the month of March with two new releases that I’m hoping to get to. It’s pretty big and pretty ambitious especially since I’m very aware of the number of pages for each book. It’s a lot of pages, but I really, really want to get to most of these books. Some of these books are anticipated reads and I’m really hoping that one of these books, if not the majority, pull me out of this reading slump and remind me how much I love escaping into other worlds. So, without any further delays or going off on a random tangent, here is my March TBR. Enjoy!
I can’t believe this is my TBR for the month of March! I’m excited, I’m nervous and anxious, and I just really want to read all of them this month. March is certainly going to be a wild and chaotic month, reading wise and I’m kind of here for it. But that is everything for my March TBR, I hope your tbr is just as wild and chaotic as mine. Plus, I’m super excited for the release of Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry! I have been telling so many readers about this book that I’m sure they’re sick of me talking about about it. Please feel free to tell me down below some of the books you want to read for March or if you read any of these books, come tell me your thoughts! Until next time Chapterlings, may March be kind to us all, I love you! 💚
Salutations Chapterlings! February has finally come to an end which means a new wrap up has finally arrived! I’m not going to lie, February was a really rough month for my mental health. There were a lot of things happening in my personal life that really took a toll on my reading. It became so bad that I ended up ‘dnfing’ a buddy read book and I didn’t get the chance to read two other books that I wanted to read in the month of February. My heart is a little bit crushed because I know I could have read at least one of those two books, but I reached a point where I was forcing myself to read. To which, in doing just that I caused even more strain on my mental health. So February really wasn’t the best month for me. And even now as we move into March, I’m still not in the best head-space, I’m trying to find the best way to be okay and move forward to happier and brighter things.
However, exciting and new things are coming to my blog! We are moving into spring and I wanted to spice things up a bit! So a new theme will finally be arriving onto my blog to welcome in the start of the spring season. I may also be introducing a new article to my blogged called “Weekly Check-In” to update on my reading, things that I’m up to, and just a place to chit-chat with all of you. I also have an exciting haul currently in the works that will hopefully be coming to the blog soon so make sure you keep your eyes open for that! So, lots of new things coming to the blog and lots of things in the works that will hopefully be coming sooner rather than later!
Enough of the updates, let’s talk about books! I only read three books in the month of February. Two YA Fantasy books and one Contemporary graphic novel. Even though this wasn’t my strongest reading month for 2020, I’m still glad that I got the chance to read the three books that I did. As always, my reviews for these books are linked down below if you wanted to check out my thoughts on each individual book.
Okay, readers! That covers all the books I read in the month of February! Thank you for sticking around enough for my chit-chat and updates, and to check out the reviews for these books. I’m hoping that I will have more books read and more amazing things to share with you. March in the month of anticipated releases and reads. Feel free to tell me down in the comments below how your reading month was and some of the books you were able to read, I would love to hear about. And until next time, may March bring lots of good reads, I love you! 💗
Salutations Chapterlings! It feels like it’s been a hot minute since I brought a book haul to you especially from BookOutlet! I believe the last BookOutlet I had for you was a Black Friday sale haul that came super late. However, this haul came even later because who doesn’t love throwing themselves down the rabbit hole of great BookOutlet sales when there’s a long processing time? Me, the answer is me. I ordered these books back in December and just got them around mid-January. I have been patiently waiting for my books to arrive and I’m happy to announce they’re here! It’s even more important because one of these books is a buddy read and a book I have been greatly anticipating especially since I read The Bone Houses and fell in love!
However, there are some really great books in this haul that I have heard many things of and have seen many readers rave about. Am I excited? Yes. Am I currently plotting all the ways I can work these books into my reading for 2020? Yes. More importantly, I just can’t contain my excitement because the synopses of these books sound like they’re right up my reading alley. Plus, one of these books has dragons and I’m all about dragons! Anyway, without any further delays, here is my Boxing Day BookOutlet haul! Enjoy!
Okay, friends! I hope you enjoyed seeing the books I snatched up during Boxing Day! I am so excited and currently researching all the readathons coming up this year to work these into my year of reading. I also hope you found some books that interested you too! But please feel free to share with me in the comments below any books you picked up on Boxing Day or tell me below if any of these books caught your attention! Until next time friends, may February bring you many great books, lots of reading, I love you! 💙
Salutation friends! Okay! I thought I was going to be done with overdoing it with my TBRs in 2020, but apparently I just can’t help myself! February is going to be wild and my schedule is going to be jam packed. So I’m going to be pretty busy especially with my family coming to visit. It’s going to be crazy, but I will hopefully be getting to all these books this month. It’s going to be wild, it’s going to be fun, and I can’t wait to read all of these books!
February is also Black History Month in the United States, and I always want to boost ownvoices Black books and media, but I especially want to boost Black voices for February! And some amazing creators have made the Blackathon (hosted by Francina, Lauren, & Jesse!). So if you haven’t checked out that readathon yet, please do! While I’m not participating in the readathon this year, I have made sure that I included a few books with characters of color or have been written by authors of color, or both!
Yeah, I think that about covers it! I’m so excited for this month and this month’s books to be read! I can’t wait to read these books and I’m even more excited to share my thoughts with all of you! But let me know in the comments below some of the books you’re hoping to read this month and what readathons you’re participating in! Until next time friends, may February be a month full of great books, I love you! 💕
Salutations friends! Today I’m bringing you my January Wrap Up! I wish I could say I read everything I wanted to read in the month of January, but life happens and sometimes we don’t get to read all the things. However, I’m super happy with the books that I did get to read! I read some really great books in the month of January and even found my first favorite read of 2020! What an exciting time! But without any further delay, here are the eight books that I read in the month of January!
Okay, Chapterlings! Those are all the books that I read in January! I hope you all enjoyed seeing the books I read in the month of January. While it’s not a lot of books, these were some pretty great reads. But please feel free to tell me some of the wonderful books you read in the month of January or tell about the books that disappointed you. Until next time, may February bring plenty of great reads, I love you! 💙
ARC was given byInkyard Pressin exchange for an honest review.
This review is being published after the release date (January 28th, 2020)
“This is why you don’t read the comments!”
Oh wow, this book came at me hard and fast. Readers, I went into this book with no expectations and only the knowledge that the main character is a gamer girl who has to deal with cyber bullying and harassment, but I wasn’t expecting this book to take it to a whole other level. It made my soul quake and it touched topics that hit very close to home. How could I not love this? How could I not shout about this book at the top of my lungs when this touches on so many topics that I have personally experienced and witnessed that aren’t vocalized enough? This book means so much and our main female heroine means so much to me.
Don’t Read the Comments follows our main character Divya who is best known in the gamin world as popular streaming gamer D1V. Her main platform is Glitch where she constantly streams gaming of Reclaim the Sun which is the year’s hottest game! But while her virtual reality is very glamorous, in the real world she’s using every sponsorship and selling every piece of equipment to help out her single mother. And then one fateful night she meets Aaron. A fellow gamer who has zero interest in following the path of his mother to become a doctor and instead wants to follow his dream of writing video games. Together, these two will discover planets in the infinite world of Reclaim the Sun. However, things aren’t that peaceful as Divya battles for everything thing she loves and has worked hard for as an online group known as The Vox Populi threatens to destroy it all.
I loved Divya as one of our main characters. She is unrelenting force, a candles that refuses to go out, and I love her fighting spirit. She faces so many hardships and struggles (you can tell she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders), but despite it all she never gives up and keeps pushing forward. I also really loved the reason behind her streaming and how much she was willing to do for her mother. As a person who cares very deeply for my family, this hit all the right spots and I couldn’t help getting soft with how fiercely she loves her family and best friend. I felt like she did make some questionable choices especially when it came to withholding information that was vital to her and her loved ones’ safety, but despite that I still enjoyed her character.
I definitely had issues warming up to Aaron. Despite him being more soft spoken, more quirky, I didn’t warm up to him until I starting noticing his character development. However, the little sibling element definitely helped with liking Aaron’s character. I’m always here for sibling relationships and seeing Aaron interact with his younger sister especially while he was gaming just hit in all the right spots. And I have to mention Aaron definitely has some questionable actions and thoughts. I think without the author including his best friend in the mix to keep Aaron’s character in check, it would be very easy to dislike Aaron or even cringe at some of the moments in this book. He also never speaks up for himself until the last third of the book. And any time he does speak up, he never has a plan and he clearly hasn’t thought things through. So also contributed to why it more of a challenge to connect with him and full warm up to him.
Can I take a moment to appreciate all the head nods to all the thing geeky in this book?! I can’t even express how much screeching I did when I saw the slight nod towards Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, The Dead Poets Society, bookstagram, Adventure Time, and so much more! It warmed my heart so much and I felt so seen as geeky, nerdy, girl gamer who gets full enjoyment out of this. And speaking of gaming, when Divya is streaming and exploring the world of Reclaim the Sun, the way the world is described will make any gamer who plays a lot of space games fall in love all over with those games. The detail was so beautiful and it truly felt like you were right there experiencing it. It was all so vivid and I feel like I keep saying this, but it truly touched so many of the right spots of my soul and personal passions.
“I don’t need to see you, to see you. I see you. I see all of you. With or without a headset.”
But my most favorite part about this whole book is that it addresses such an important and consistent theme of the sexism in the gaming community, constantly bring up privilege whether in the virtual world or the real one, showing the real threats and possibilities of becoming a content creator, and also showing what you allow into your space, your safe spaces. These are all things that exist, but aren’t often talked about or even properly addressed and when they are they’re brushed off like nothing will really come of it. I can honestly say that I’m glad to see more books like Don’t Read the Comments or Slay by Brittney Morris being released to speak about these important topics because these are very real and they impact so many.
My only real criticism with this book is two main things. The first thing being there was never any indication of taking proper time to self care or take extra precautions to protecting oneself. I mentioned before that I had some issues with a lot of choices Divya made and even though I still love Divya’s character, self care and protection are thrown to the wind and that just didn’t sit right with me. There are many reoccurring moments throughout this book where Rebekah tries to tell Divya take time away, the beginning of the book and near the end of the book Divya’s mother states multiple times how she’s worried and she wants Divya to be safe, and there are even moments the detective should have been made aware of information or the detective has told Divya to do something and it gets brushed off to the side. All of this didn’t sit right with me and I understand a lot of this was to help further the story-line in some way, but it doesn’t make up the fact that it can be triggering or even stressful just reading it especially if you have anxiety because you can tell there will be consequences. And it also sends the wrong kind of message as well because in these circumstances, yes you want to fight back, but you also need to take care of yourself as well as making sure you and your loved ones are protected. If you don’t have any representation of that and you have this constant theme of brushing the important stuff to the side, anyone who reads this and is going through something similar or has the potential to go through it, there’s that message of self-care needs to take the back burner or safety and protection aren’t that important, and that’s not the kind of message that you want to be stated especially under the circumstances in this book.
My other criticism is there were a lot of things happening in this book. There are a lot of subplots that never get resolved or explored. For example, there were multiple incidents where Rebekah and Aaron clash especially when Rebekah calls Aaron out on his privilege which is then followed up with Aaron retorting some really bad answers that cause offense. This never gets properly addressed or even resolved. We’re just given a statement of “well be more mindful” or “that means she likes you,” but these aren’t anything that address or challenge what Aaron said. We also get a lot of moments with Divya’s mother saying how she doesn’t approve of Divya’s streaming. Divya constantly plays it off, tells her mother she’s worrying to much, or she straight out lies to her mother instead of actually having a discussion with her mother. Once again, there’s two other moments in this story with her mother and still, this never get resolved of properly addressed.
Honestly, if these were never going to be addressed or challenged then I would have liked to see more game play, a deeper dive into the important topics being discussed, or more background detail with our main characters. I just wasn’t a fan of the subplots and I think they could have really made a difference if they were handled a bit better or even sacrificed for something else instead.
Overall, this was a really great book and I so glad I got an advance copy! I think this is going to be a book every content creator out there needs to read and I’m hoping this book will start so many discussions. I truly believe this book took a piece of my heart and if there’s anything you take away from this, it’s that this book is something ever content creator needs to read because the important topics are just that, important and we all need to take care of our spaces! I just can’t recommend this book enough!
The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.