Saturday, September 30

September Recap, Where I Share Songs, Shows and All the Books I've Read This Month

Original photo by James Pritchett.

Hello all of you beautiful unicorns! As you can see from the title, today I am here with a kind of post I have not done in a looong time - a monthly recap!! I know, I know, not very exciting, BUT I've tried & failed to be into these type of posts years ago, so trying it now - and being super-excited about it, too! - IS a big deal for me. 

I've been inspired by various amazing monthly wrap ups I've seen around the blogosphere, and I can't wait to show my own, a teeny-tiny bit messy version with y'all. I'll talk about books, music, movies, tv shows, and share ALL our posts from the last month + bookish news and a couple of truly-truly amazing posts by some cool bloggers. Ugh, SOUNDS TOO MUCH, I KNOW. But I truly put my all into making this post logical, clean and well-organized, so let's take a look at all that, shall we? 

Thursday, September 28

Mary Ann Rodman - Yankee Girl

"What a dumb idea, white people thinking they were better than black people." 

It's 1964 and Alice has moved to Mississippi from Chicago with her family. Nicknamed 'Yankee Girl' and taunted by the in-crowd at school, Alice soon discovers the other new girl Valerie- one of the school's first black girls- has it much worse.

Alice can't stand the way Valerie is treated, and yet she knows she will remain an outsider if she speaks up. It takes a horrible tragedy to finally give Alice the courage to stand up for what she believes.

Set in the deep South in the 1960s, Yankee Girl is a powerful, resonant and relevant story about racism and doing the right thing.

tw: racism and racial epithets used in line with the era and location

Received with thanks in exchange for an honest review from Usborne Publishing UK.

Tuesday, September 26

Top Ten #OwnVoices Novels I've Read in 2017

Original photo by Albertus Galileo

I know the title seems like I strayed a bit from the original topic - books that feature characters                - but, technically, I didn't. I think most of you know this, but for those who don't - #OwnVoices means that a book about a marginalized person (or group) is written by an author of the same marginalization(s). There's been an increase in diverse and #ownvoices novels lately - even though, that increase could and should still be much-much bigger - and I've read quite a few this year. 

On this list, I'm going to showcase my favorites - some are more popular, some are less well-known, but all of these are fantastic. So let's get right onto them, shall we? 

Saturday, September 23

Asexual Rep, Film-Making and Friendships in Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

“I know what I want and what I don’t want. I’ve never wanted sex. Never. I’ve never understood why it has to be in every book and movie and television show ever made. I never figured out why porn is such a huge thing. I'll be fine if no guy ever takes his shirt off for me. I’m not scared, I just don’t want it.” 

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

Thursday, September 21

10 Attention-Catching Opening Lines

Hello lovelies! Today - as you've undoubtedly guessed from the title - I'm going to share 10 opening lines with you that instantly caught my attention. I've done a post like this before (you can find it here) which wasn't only fun to make, but also was well-received by y'all, so I'm really excited to share these following first lines with you! 

Tuesday, September 19

Ten Classic Books I *WILL* Tackle This Fall

When the year started I had this huge aspiration - to read at least one classic after every 5th non-classic novel. Based on how many novels I usually read/year, I expected to read around 30 classics in 2017, but oh WELL, THAT'S NOT REALLY WORKING OUT. There are just so many exciting new releases and the blogs I follow mostly post about modern titles, which results in me being pumped for those.

BUT this fall, to catch up a tad bit, I want to read at least 10 classic novels, and, as today's Top Ten Tuesday (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) post is dedicated to our fall TBRs, I figured, this is the perfect time to share these ten books with you.

Thursday, September 14

Badassery, Schoolwork and Chinese Legends in The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee

"This is so wrong," he said, his words slightly muffled as I bit him in the mouth. "It's like King Arthur having feelings for Excalibur."

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo's every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

Tuesday, September 12

Would I Still Enjoy These Books I Loved Three Years Ago? Let's See!

Original photo by Scott Webb

Hello everyone!! After a bit of thinking, I decided to put a small twist on today's Top Ten Tuesday (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) topic. First, as the topics suggests I will go back and write down the first ten books I reviewed on the blog that I rated 4 or 5 stars. I will tell you how I felt about these books, even share quotes from my reviews.

Step 2 - and this is the part that has me excited! - will be me telling y'all if I still feel the same way about these books or no. I mean, nostalgia is nice and all, but let's be honest, it is very likely that some of the books I gushed over around three years ago will make me cringe real hard today.

Let's get started. 

Sunday, September 10

YA Series With Sucky Last Books

Photo by Aziz Acharki

Hello loves! Today I'm here with a bit of a negative post about series finals that left a lot to be desired. No, like, A LOT. These series have one thing in common besides the let down of the last book - they were among my favorites once upon a time, heck, I love two of these so much that, to this day, they are some of my favorites despite the disappointing finals. SO THAT SHOULD GIVE YOU AN IDEA ABOUT JUST HOW DISAPPOINTED I WAS BY THESE LESS THAN PERFECT FINALS. Gah, there's nothing worse in a bookworms life then being let down by our favorite series/authors. *curls up and cries*

I definitely think this is something we all go through once in a while, which is why I decided to create this post, rant away and then you can do the same in the comments and we can cry together. 

Thursday, September 7

Mini Review To Three Incredible Diverse Novels

Original picture by Brenda Godinez

I feel like I've been an absolutely sucky blogger lately, presenting tons of mini reviews posts and such, BUT I CAN EXPLAIN. In the past two months I've read tons and tons of amazing books and I want to talk about ALL of them, especially the more underrated ones like the following three novels, so it's been hard to concentrate on full reviews. 

I also know damn well I'll never have the time to write full reviews to all the books I want y'all to hear about, so mini reviews it is for today's three beauties. I brought you these three books in particular, because a) they were fantastic (duh), b) I only ever heard about one of these outside of twitter, so the rest might be new for those who aren't really active there and c) THEY ARE SO UNDERRATED AND THEY DESERVE ALL THE LOVE.

Tuesday, September 5

Books That Were HARD To Get Through

Hello darlings! Today the creators of Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) presented a negative topic to us, and because I love to rant, I, obviously, loved making this list. I was actually surprised to see how easily I found ten books that were hard to get through, yet I finished them. Some of the books on this list showcase perfectly why I should DNF more. 

Saturday, September 2

OMG This Song Book Tag - Where Music + Books Equal PERFECTION

Photo by Samuel Zeller

Hello everyone! I don't talk tons about music on The Regal Critiques, but still, you all probably know that music and books are two of my most favorite things in the world. Thus, when I saw the OMG This Song Book Tag for the first time, I knew I had to do it. I mean, it mixes music and books together??? What's not to like??

In the following, you'll find nine different topics and for each there are two "questions" - one you have to answer with a song, the other with a book. DOES THAT NOT SCREAM FUN? (Hint: the making of this tag really was awesome.)

Credits for creating this cool tag go to Katesbookdate!

Friday, September 1

New Releases - September 2017

Hello everyone! It's the first day of September which means that my next semester is starting in 10 days. *curls up in a ball* I am devastated, I tell you. This summer flew by incredibly fast and I can't believe it's over! Boy, how I hate the winter. *shivers*

THANKFULLY, September promises to be an excellent month book-wise, there are tons of new releases that we are both super-excited for, 
so that makes up for uni starting for me... at least somewhat, and for Ruzi, who's dying with uni stuff already.