Sunday, December 31

Let's Talk 2017 Triumphs: Two Stories, Many (Mis)Adventures (+ BTB Sign Up!)

Hello, everyone! With this year drawing to a close and the new year looming ahead of us, we at The Regal Critiques decided to interview each other about the year past. We'll be talking about everything, from blogging and reading, to everything else life had in store for us this year!

Thursday, December 28

Let's Talk 2017: 7 of My Favorite 2017 Movie Releases

As you might have seen, Ruz and I have been doing a series of "end of 2017" posts, and as I am a huge fan of movies and saw quite a few AMAZING ones this year, I decided to dedicate this post to 7 drop-dead-fantastic 2017 movie releases I saw this year. 

I swear to god, I tried to order them from least favorite to most favorite, but I failed. Miserably so. So while there is an order, it is IN NO WAY strict, and especially the first three movies were equally good. 

Tuesday, December 26

Let's Talk 2017 Releases, Part 2: The Incredibles

Hello, friends! You might recall if you are a regular reader of The Regal Critiques that a few days ago I ranted a bit about all the disappointing 2017 releases I read in the past year. If you're new here, (in which case, welcome!) or haven't seen it, but are interested in it, you can see that here. Today, I'm doing part two of the 2017 new releases posts, which means I'll be sharing with you all the absolutely fantastic 2017 releases I had the chance to devour. These books are 10000% worth reading and totally deserve to be bought, read and/or gifted to someone, so if you got some for Christmas? Hi, I have some suggestions for how you can spend it! 

On a side note, covers lead to goodreads, "review" leads to my reviews, and, "aes" leads to my aesthetics on twitter.

Saturday, December 23

Let's Talk 2017 Releases, Part 1: The Disappointments

Hello, friends! Veronika here, OFFICIALLY BACK from my hiatus, and I could not possibly be more excited to FINALLY be done with my classes for this semester. Still have two exams to tackle, but that's nothing compared to struggling with all the assignments, finals and exams I've had lately. *shudders* (I did rather good so far, for those of you who are wondering.)

As you might have seen from Ruzi's posts, - go to the main page and check them out when you're finished here, because they are REAL GREAT - we are doing a little end of the year series on the blog right now. I personally decided to share the best and worst 2017 releases I read this year, but because there are SO MANY I wanted to mention, I ended up dividing this post into two parts. Today, you'll be introduced to all the disappointments, while on Tuesday, I'll rave about the best of the best. 

Originally, I would have mentioned ALL the disappointing 2017 releases I read, but I quickly realized there are a lot, so that would be boring and tedious. As we are all about the FUN here - that is, if fun is spending 80% of your free time at home alone - I'm not going to do that. Rather, I made some fascinating sounding categories that make little sense when I could have just said "two star reads" and the likes, but let's roll with it. I'm going to list SO MANY books in each category. Like, four/each... so many, I know. The work I do for y'all is just... indescribable. 

Thursday, December 21

Let's Talk 2017 Quotes: Too Many Books, Ten Choices

This hasn't been a great reading year for me, like, at all. I legit changed my Goodreads reading challenge goal from 25 to a very (foolishly?) optimistic 50, and then back again to 40 since it was starting to look like I'd never reach my goal, and God knows I hate losing...and finishing the year on such a dismal note was not something I was looking forward to. So yay, I completed my Goodreads challenge? I guess? Anyway, while 2017 has been quite the disappointment reading wise, most of the books I did end up reading were freaking fantastic and I decided to revisit them now through some of my favorite quotes. So, let me present you with the list of my top ten most favorite quotes from books I read in 2017! 

Monday, December 18

Let's Talk 2017 Authors: One Year, Six Brilliant Discoveries

I recently talked about my favorite 2017 debuts and sequels in my past posts. Accordingly, there are three top authors I'm the most pleased about having discovered this year, namely, Angie Thomas, Jenny Han, and S. K. Ali. However there are a few other authors that made into my list of favorites this year apart from these three. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the top six brilliant talents I discovered for the first time over the course of this year! These are not necessarily debuts or authors of books published in 2017, but rather authors I read for the first time this year and would no doubt read more in the future- in no particular order.

Thursday, December 14

Let's Talk 2017 Debuts: Two Authors, Two Debuts

Trigger warning : police violence, racism, race hate crime

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Angie Thomas is an African American author who was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent.
She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed.
She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her first published novel, The Hate U Give, debuted at number one on the New York Times best-seller list for young adult hardcover books and continued to top the list for weeks after. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman directing and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg playing the lead. 

Trigger warning : sexual assault, microagressions, posting of MC's photos on the internet without permission

Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching.
A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S.K. Ali’s debut YA novel is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
She lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti. She is currently working on her second YA novel featuring an ensemble cast of diverse souls, as well as LOVE.

Monday, December 11

Let's Talk 2017 Sequels: Two Reviews, One Discussion

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Ever since Judge Crevan declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick, the only person she can trust. 

But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing. 

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her life to save all Flawed people.

Thursday, December 7

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

Hello, you beautiful hoomans! I've been meaning to talk about exactly what blogging means to me for quite some time now, and this short hiatus I've been on has given me quite some stuff I want to talk about here. Instead of opening up a discussion of sorts though, I figured this tag would give me a good framework to work around what I want to talk about and so here goes!