Thursday, August 30

Our July & August Favorites + News About the Blog

The fact that we're already at the end of summer is ri-damn-culous, I tell you... My semester is starting in eleven (!!!) days, and to say that I'm not ready to say goodbye to my vacation would be the understatement of the year. (Also, how weird it is that 2018 is ending in four months?? I feel like it's just started.)

But anyhow, as it's the end of August - there's one more day, but shh - Clare and I are here to recap our month... well, months, because we've grouped July and August together. 

The post couldn't be as detailed and info filled as usual, because it'd have been way too long, but to make up for that, we have some news about The Regal Critiques mixed in there, and while not all of it is good, we have some super-exciting stuff coming up that we cannot wait to share with you. 

Tuesday, August 28

Books That Should Be Required Reading

As an avid reader, I believe literature is an important part of our education... but the required reading list sure is imperfect, if you ask me. At least in my case, it definitely was. Throughout high school, there was one required read I remember enjoying, and a ton I just didn't care about.

I understand why classical novels are the norm - and I'm a fan of many a classical author, like Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens or Salinger - however, in many cases, it is the novels of today that have the power to make kids want to read more, want to debate current topics, and to feel seen.

Today, Clare and I've brought you some more recent (= 21st C) novels that, we believe, would be helpful for high school kids to have as required reading. 

Saturday, August 25

The Musical Theatre Book Tag

I've been feeling very down lately, and if there is one thing that never fails to perk me up its Musicals (also disaster movies but that's a whole different discussion). So I thought I'd combine my love of Musicals with my love of books and have a go at the Musical Theatre Book Tag which was created by SomethingLikeLydia!

Thursday, August 23

A Journey of Nothing, of Hope, and of Kindness: Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne

Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?

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

Trigger warning: depression, self-harm, sexual abuse and suicidal ideation.

Tuesday, August 21

Books To Fight Your Way Out of a Reading Slump

When in a reading slump, what kind of books do you recommend? 

Clare: Usually re-reads actually. Romances work perfectly, I just need to remind myself what I love most about reading whilst reading something that takes as little of my energy as possible!! 

Vera: Short, fast reads with a happy ending, and (if possible) a book you're fairly certain you'd love. Also, for those who enjoy rereading, I highly recommend picking up one of your favorite novels, that always works for me.

*click on read more to find specific examples from us!*

Saturday, August 18

MINI REVIEWS: Horribly Hyped Books I Did Not Like #UnpopularOpinions

The hype, as we call it in the book-blogging community, is a scary thing. Yes, it can help you find your new favorite - perhaps, pushing a book at you that you would never have read otherwise. But it can also push books at you that you'll detest. And the worst? You'll be suffocating in the hype afterwards, being one of the few who did not care for said book. *shudders*

The latter is what happened to me in the case of the following books, and it's noooot a pleasant feeling, so if you agree with me? FEEL FREE TO RANT IN THE COMMENTS, I like rants. 

Thursday, August 16

{Mini Reviews} Four 2018 Diverse Contemporaries

Recently, I've read quite a few spectacular novels - and knowing that I'll never have time to talk about each and every one individually, I have brought you a couple of mini reviews today. This time, I'm here with four diverse contemporary novels, all of which I adored a whole lot. 

This post includes books with characters of color and lgbtq+ characters, as well as a romance novel with an autistic heroine. Hope you find your next favorite here, or we can fangirl about these novels in the comments! 

Saturday, August 11

A Meticulous Exploration of Human Nature - How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller

Violence in the small, suburban town of Highbone, Long Island, is escalating, and best friends Joan and Daisy are finding themselves in the centre of it.
Joan has always been fascinated by the inner workings of living things: dogfish, eels, stingrays. But the more she sees of life outside her microscope, the more she realizes that people aren’t as easy to read as cells on a slide, and no one, not even Daisy, tells the truth.

Daisy’s always wished he had a family more like Joan’s, and that desire has only grown since his dad went to jail. But not even Joan can help Daisy keep his deadbeat older brother from putting everyone close to them in more danger.

When tragedy strikes too close to home, Joan and Daisy need each other more than ever. But no matter how hard they try, their secrets and lies have driven them apart. It’s only a matter of time before their friendship, just like their town, goes up in flames. 

Thursday, August 9

Flame in the Mist and Five-ish Disney Retellings I'd Eat a Cursed Apple For

Flame in the Mist: OK so it isn't actually a Mulan retelling necessarily. But there's no denying the similarities. Or the outright dedications to scenes from the film. I mean there is a literal scene where the men all sing about what they miss about women and our main character thinks "their minds". My tiny Disney loving heart was so happy.
The true brilliance of Flame in the Mist is in all its originality though. The characters are incredible and multi-layered and the plot is so twisty you'll get lost in it. I'd say like a forest of thorns but that's the wrong fairy tale... Also - if I were to get a proper Mulan retelling there'd have to be a Mushu character. 

Anyway, reading Flame in the Mist has got me thinking about what un-appreciated (or un-adapted) Disney stories really need their own YA retelling. 

Tuesday, August 7

Ten Series We Are Dying To Reread

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I personally love rereading for a multitude of reasons. The best of those by far is when I simply feel like revisiting a book or series, because it was too damned good to only read once. 

Even so, I have trouble committing to rereading series. There are always so many books I want to get to, and while I don't consider rereading in general a waste of time, I'll admit that rereading a god-knows-how-long series will take a long time. 

Thus, there are a ton of series that I adored when I first read them, would love to revisit them, but I'm not sure when that will happen, because omfg, why are there only 24 hours in a day!? Unfair as hell, if you ask me. 

Today, thanks to Heidi's wonderful topic-choice for Tell Me Something Tuesday, Clare and I brought you 5-5 of our beloved series we'd love to revisit.

why = why we loved it slash want to reread
possibility = the chances of us actually rereading

Saturday, August 4

How to Survive Conventions

As you might know, last weekend I attended YALC with my sister and had basically the best time. I saw Jason Momoa so many times we've agreed he's an honorary member of the family and has a standing invitation to Christmas. I met Sasha Alsberg who is basically the blogger who made me a blogger in the first place (and who was also the loveliest person I've ever met - no exaggeration), and Laura Steven who wrote my favourite book of the year - The Exact Opposite of Okay. And because I'm now obviously an expert on all things conventions I thought I'd write down my top tips! 

Thursday, August 2

Life Update - Still Alive and (Not) Blogging

Hello, you beautiful hooman beans! It's me, Ruzaika, and as my extremely creative post title indicates, this is going to be a general update on everything that's been happening recently and what to look forward to from me for the rest of this year. (Hint: not much!)