Miscellaneous

Percy Jackson Book Tag

Here’s the second part of that Greek Mythology Book Tag that I promised – this one is aslo by Flip That Page, but it’s more specifically about the Percy Jackson books. I really enjoyed doing the first one, so here we go again.

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31821390🐬 Percy Jackson || a brave, spirited natural leader with a sarcastic sense of humor, and a will to save friends and enemies alike || Favourite protagonist

Only one?! This is a difficult pick, but– I do like Xandri in Failure to Communicate, as well as Magnus Chase, and well, Chameleon Moon has several protagonists, but Regan is my beautiful lizard son whom I love.

🏛️ Annabeth Chase || intellectual genius with a strong mind, brave heart, and a love for architecture || Series/book with the cleverest plot

Honestly, there are many books with plots I love, but I’m not really sure what makes them clever. Twists I didn’t see coming? Those aren’t necessarily good, because it can mean that it just came out of nowhere without build-up. I suppose maybe Bad Girls With Perfect Faces had a clever plot — I read that book in one day for a challenge and I was left with a pretty “huh?” feeling, but it was certainly… intense.

38108325💨 Jason Grace ||  has a moderate sense of humor, but a strong sense of honor, justice and compassion, often described as perfect || Book with an epic finale

The Queen of Ieflaria was pretty good – it had a princess fighting dragons with soldiers fighting in the background, all while worrying about the perceived betrayal of her fiancée. That’s epic, right? Man, I’m bad at these.

🗡️ Piper McLean || aggressive and persuasive but down to earth, caring and loving towards Jason, her friends and family || A book you haven’t read, with a tempting synopsis

Oh boy, I’ve added so many books based on a tempting synopsis… I’ve had my eyes on Starflight for a while – I can’t put my finger on what’s tempting about it because it sounds a little cliché, and yet it grabbed me. I also love the synopsis of All Of This Is True – it’s not my usual type of book, but I just need to know what happens.

🐉 Leo Valdez || good-natured and energetic, funny but intelligent, honest and witty, and is skilled with machines || Book that made you laugh

I laughed a lot at Bogi Takács’s story in Dracula: Rise of the Beast. It had a clever plot and an incredibly loveable Hungarian Jewish character.

large🐎 Hazel Levesque || bright  and outgoing despite an unfortunate childhood, is mature for her age and has a love for horseback riding || Favourite character with a tragic past

I’m just going to cheat here a little and say Nico di Angelo, because I love my boy, and he definitely deserves a break. (Which he thankfully gets eventually.) ((Art by viria.))

🛡️ Frank Zhang || somewhat shy, cynical, and clumsy, though he possesses a strong sense of duty, loyalty, and love || Book you loved more than you thought you would

This would be Lost Boy, Found Boy by Jenn Polish, an all-queer retelling of Peter Pan with trans Peter – it had relatively low ratings on Goodreads when I picked it up, and I was a little skeptical based on the blurb, but I ended up loving it.

🎴 Nico di Angelo || grim, solitary, powerful and mysterious, highly unpredictable and selectively affectionate || Most mysterious character you’ve encountered

Nico probably fits this too. Also, Celeste in Chameleon Moon, though not anymore in The Lifeline Signal.

🌱 Grover Underwood || cheerful, upbeat and protective satyr who chews on furniture when he gets nervous || Book you won’t read due to warnings against it

There are several, but the most noteable is probably The Black Witch. Remember when b00kstorebabe wrote a super long review of it, complete with quotes and screenshots, and it was the most horrifying racist, homophobic, ableist mess I’ve ever seen? Yeah.

⚔️ Clarisse La Rue || arrogant and hot-tempered, but brave, strong and protective of camp || Most annoying character

I feel like this category is a little cruel, but… unpopular opinion? I actually really didn’t like Sumi in Every Heart a Doorway.

~ Alexa

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Miscellaneous

Book Blogger Confessions Tag

I totally stole this from Dorka, shh.

1.Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

  • I had to check my Goodreads shelf for this, but I think the most recent would be Aerie by Jon Keys. I usually hate to DNF books, but sometimes it’s just a struggle to read and I feel like even if I finished I wouldn’t have anything to say about it, which is a good sign that maybe I should stop.

2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?

  • 8083945.jpgMost of my “guilty pleasures” are books that I really enjoyed when I read as a teen, but probably wouldn’t enjoy that much if I read them now because of the problematic aspects. E.g. The Host by Stephenie Meyer, or Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. They aren’t super bad, but they definitely have some creepy/possessive/misogynistic themes when it comes to the (allocishet male) love interests. (I actually re-read The Host relatively recently and I still liked it, but yeah, there are some wtf moments. Also, did I tell you about that time when I bought a second hardcover copy just to have the PAPER JACKET? Like, exact same book, not even a different cover, just a different paper jacket. My mother wasn’t impressed, but hey, I actually liked the actors, if not the movie.)

3. Which book would you throw into the sea?

  • Thirteen Reasons Why. There might be a few more if I thought about it, but that one wins by far.

4. Which book have you read the most?

  • Ehh, this is probably Harry Potter, although I usually just re-read certain parts and not the whole book(s). I actually very rarely re-read books, but there are a few I’m planning to re-read that I last read several years ago, e.g. the Bartimaeus sequence.

5. Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

  • I once received Twilight as a present, so there’s that. But I’ll second Dorka on this and say anything by Sarah J Maas or Cassandra Clare. Most allocishet YA books with a f/m romance, although there are certainly exceptions. There’s also tons of fetishistic m/m books that I’d probably hate to receive. It’s a long list?

6. Which book could you not live without?

  • 31821390Chameleon Moon is my biggest writing inspiration (which is unfortunately still not enough to inspire me to sit down on my ass and write, but IF I ever finish a book, I won’t feel guilty about having an all-queer cast. Thanks, RoAnna!)

7. Which book made you cry the most?

  • Honestly, I’m more likely to get pissed if something doesn’t go my way (e.g. character deaths or too much drama) than to cry, so I’m really not sure. I’d most likely sob if I ever read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, because I always sob at the movie.

8. Which book cover do you hate the most?

  • The most? Huh. I actually hate the covers of the Bartimaeus trilogy. I mean look at them. I also really don’t like the colours on the witch doesn’t burn in this one? The first one looked great with the black-white pair, but the white-red… less so.

I’m tagging: I’d probably end up tagging the same people as always, so anyone who’d like to do it? ❤

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous · Recommendations

Greek Mythology Book Tag

Remember when I read holy-shit-so-many-books back in March? Well, apparently the price of that is a major reading slump in April. It’s the 16th of the month and I’ve finished three books (one of them a short story/novella) so far. I also have work to do this month, which means I shouldn’t be reading at all… not that it’s going to stop me, since I have ARCs and book club reads and other plans to finish!

In any case, I saw the Greek Mythology Book Tag on Scorpio Book Dreams (created by Flip That Page), and I immediately knew I had to do it. I love Greek Mythology, mostly because of Rick Riordan but also partly because of Astoria: Fate’s Kiss in the Lovestruck app 🙂 And a book tag is the perfect bookish thing to do when you’re otherwise in a reading slump.

Since this survey has two parts, I decided to do them in two different posts – look forward to the second part in a few days!

(Note: Most of the links below go to my own review of the books I mentioned, so feel free to check those out for more info.)

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⚡ Zeus || God of the Thunder and Sky / King of the Gods || Favourite book

My favourite book is Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver – an action-packed goodness with a huge, diverse cast, PTSD and anxiety rep, characters of colour, literally everyone is LBGTQAI+, oh, and have I mentioned they have superpowers?

33623041🌊 Poseidon || God of the Seas and Earthquakes || A book that drowned you in feels

I’m going to pick The Lifeline Signal for this one, which is the sequel to Chameleon Moon, and in a way it had more feels than the first book. Dealing with the death of several characters (one recently, and one long ago), as well as the disappearence of another, on top of the usual Parole happenings… And yet it still has plenty of cute moments and good feels as well.

💎 Hades || God of the Underworld || Favourite book with a dark/ominous plot

This is difficult because I prefer not to read very dark books – but then again, most YA dystopian/fantasy books have some kind of dark plot going on in the background. I’m going to pick Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner for this one, which has a pretty dark plot and a lot of character deaths – a group of teenage girls being trained to go to war with mermaids to save their people. I really enjoyed this first book, although I’ve heard mixed reviews about the two sequels.

💍 Hera || Goddess of Marriage and Family || Cutest fictional couple

I’m going to pick Esofi and Adale from The Queen of Ieflaria for this one – both because they are the cutest couple I can think of, and because they get married in the book. Hononary mentions go to basically anyone in Chameleon Moon, including Evelyn/Rose/Danae (f/f/f polymarriage!) and Regan/Zilch/Rowan + Jay, because polyamory is great.

🦉 Athena || Goddess of Wisdom, Handicraft and Strategic Warfare || Series with the best world-building

Can I just say Chameleon Moon again? OH! I’m going to say The Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud. It’s an old favourite of mine and I absolutely love the trilogy (starting the Amulet of Samarkand), although I unfortunately haven’t read the prequel yet. I also want to reread the entire series, but I loved the characters, and while the worldbuilding might be a little cliché (wizards in London, big deal)… well, I still loved it, and I don’t read many series. (Honorary mention to the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire, otherwise known as Every Heart a Doorway and its sequels.)

22840182🕊️ Aphrodite || Goddess of Love and Beauty || Most beautiful cover

The Queen of Ieflaria could fit here, of course, with the beautiful dress on the cover – as well as the Life Within Parole Vol 2. cover, but that one is only public to Patreon subscribers at the moment, so I can’t post it here… just believe me when I say it’s beautiful. I’m going to pick The Summer of Chasing Mermaids for this one, because I’m in love with that cover.

🐍 Ares || God of War and Bloodshed || Most violent book you’ve ever read

The easy answer to this is Ice Massacre – the word “massacre” is literally in the title, and half the cast dies by the end. I was going to try to pick something that I haven’t mentioned so far, but yeah, I don’t actually think I can top that one. (Unless we count some of the short stories they made me read for literature class that I still have nightmares about… Fuck Csáth Géza, in all honesty. And whoever wrote that one with the gangrape.)

34216194🖖 Hephaestus || God of Blacksmiths and Fire || Scorching hot swoon-worthy character

(See what I did there with the emoji?) Huh. I am actually horrible at book crushes so I thought this would be difficult, but then I suddenly remembered Failure to Communicate, which had both Diver and Kiri, who are both definitely swoon-worthy. I can’t wait to read the sequel, since there have been hints that Xandri may end up in a polyrelationship with both of them 🙂

🏹 Artemis || Goddess of the Hunt and Virginity || Favourite Kick-Ass Heroine

I’d say that Xandri from Failure to Communicate definitely counts here – she might not be the traditional definition of kick-ass, since her talent isn’t mostly in combat, but she definitely deserves the title anyway. Also, do you remember when Danae from Chameleon Moon punched a tank in the face? Or when Esofi in The Queen of Ieflaria fought a duel in her dress?– But to pick someone I haven’t mentioned yet: Every single heroine from The Radical Element would count. This is a historical fiction anthology with twelve stories that all have female protagonists somehow rebelling or defying expectations. I adored every single story, which is rare with anthologies. (Special love goes to Lady Firebrand and Better for All The World!)

Alex_fierro🎼 Apollo || God of Light and Healing || Sequel book that redeemed its series

This is definitely The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series). Maybe “redeem” is a strong word, since the first book wasn’t bad by any means – but it was definitely lacking something for me, and that “something” turned out to be Alex Fierro, the most badass character Rick ever created.

🐢 Hermes || Messenger God of Thieves and Commerce || Book with the best message

I like books with diverse protagonists because they often send the message that you are valid, you are okay, and you are perfect – in this regard, Chameleon Moon would definitely be the best pick for this one. Seriously, there’s so many wonderful quotes.

  • Words are important. They let you know it’s real, you’re fine, more people like you exist. They let you know you’re not alone.”
  • They’ll use guns and they’ll use words, and the worst part of all is that you might listen when they say you’re a freak or a monster, and you might start to believe it. But they are lying.”
  • Love yourself, love the people around you, and never give up. If you need help, reach out. If you’re drowning, make some noise. There are people who love you, who will throw you a life preserver. That’s what it all comes down to, love. That’s how we’re gonna get through this. And we are gonna get through this.”
  • Remember, panic’s a guy, and we just punch him in the face.”
  • There is enough air.

🔥 Hestia || Goddess of the Hearth and Home || Book with the most relatable story

Hah… given that I mostly read fantasy and sci-fi, I don’t exactly read books for relatable stories (unless it comes to queer characters), and I have trouble relating to fictional characters most of the time. Perhaps Green Toes by Avery Flinders, where I related to the bisexual main character in a lot of ways – the way she feels out of place with both in the straight and gay communities.

🐖 Demeter || Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture || Favourite bookish setting

Although the books themselves didn’t age very well, I still have a nostalgic feeling towards the world of Harry Potter, and that of course includes Hogwarts. I would love to hang out in the Hufflepuff common room. I would also love to visit new planets with Xandri in Failure to Communicate. I probably wouldn’t like living in Parole, though.

🍷 Dionysus || God of Wine and Celebration || 2018 release you are most anticipating

I’m going to be honest here, I usually don’t keep up with release dates because I have so many things to read that I only get to new books months after they were released… But I’m definitely looking forward to Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault, which comes out in 2018, as well as Daughter of the Sun, which is the sequel to The Queen of Ieflaria.

That was long! And there’s another post coming! But I had tons of fun with it, and I hope some of you will too 🙂

I’m tagging: Everyone who reads this and feels like doing it, but especially Lia, Dorka and Laura.

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

How I Choose My Books Tag

I’m absolutely stealing this from Lia at Lost in a Story because it looked fun. I’m actually not sure who started this tag, but if you know then please tell me so I can link them too?

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1. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

Honestly, I bought this book forever ago because I fell in love with the cover, and because the title and the blurb both reminded me of one of my favourite original characters that I ever made. Which was probably a wrong reason to buy this book, because this way I have certain expectations that will most likely not be met… Anyway, I’ll get around to reading it… eventually.

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2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

I downloaded this book when the publisher was giving it away for free because I heard it has an ace character. I read the prologue, felt kind of meh, and didn’t touch it for months. Then, when I finally started reading it, I devoured it in one and now it’s one of my favourite book (series). Funny how that works.

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3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

I picked up this book because Carrie Fisher. I think I saw gifsets on Tumblr of her speech where she quoted the book (or the book is based on that speech)? I loved the quotes I saw from it and it seemed relatable, plus, with that cover and title, just how could I not? I actually ended up enjoying this book much less than I expected, unfortunately. (Partly because the quality of the pages was bad and it was a sensory nightmare to read… I’m sorry, Carrie.)

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4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

This is the only book recommended by this particular person that I’ve actually read… The others are still on my shelves unread. Oops. Anyway, I absolutely adored this book and I am still grateful that it was recommended to me and I decided to pick it up. It was a lovely summer read with romance, friendship, twins, a mute protagonist, and positive vibes. Read it please.
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5. Pick a book that you discovered through booktube/book blogs

This is pretty much every new release in 2017 and 2018, because that is when I got into Book Twitter… I’m going to pick The Reader, which I haven’t read yet but Laura over at Green Tea & Paperbacks seems really fond of it and it looks interesting. A world where reading is unheard of? How would we even survive there?

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6. Find a book with a one word title. What drew you to this book?

Okay, so the story behind this one is that someone on Discord recommended The Just City and My Real Children by Jo Walton. I read the blurbs of both of those on Goodreads and fell in love with this author without reading any of her books, because her ideas are just so incredibly creative that I cannot even. (Please read the blurbs of the above two books to see what I mean. I hope I get to buy and read them soon.) Anyway, after that I went on NetGalley, put in Jo Walton’s name, and requested the only book of hers that was currently available to request. I didn’t regret it, because Starlings is amazing. It’s a collection of short stories and poems, and while some of them were kind of meh (which is fine – you can’t expect to like every single story in a collection), several of them absolutely blew me away. Expect a review of this one soon.

7. What book did you discover through a film/tv adaptation?

I actually discovered City of Bones through the movie, and… uh… let’s just… leave it at that *nervous laugh* Don’t get me started.
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8. Think of your all time favourite book(s). When did you read them and why did you pick them up in the first place?

I’m really bad at picking all time favourites… An old favourite I have is the Bartimaeus trilogy (sequence?) by Jonathan Stroud that still has a special place in my heart, and I’m planning to re-read it eventually, but I have no idea why I picked it up. It was… long ago?

My most recent favourite is the Queen of Ieflaria, which I picked up because it had a beautiful cover and sapphic princesses in fantasy. I was sold. And of course, there’s Chameleon Moon. Came for the f/f/f polymarriage, stayed for everything but mainly the anxious ace-spec lizard.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

The A To Z Book Tag

I actually have no idea where this tag started, but I have seen it on several blogs before and I wanted to do my own. Let’s go!

A – Author You’ve Read the Most Books From

This would actually be Rick Riordan – according to Goodreads, I have read 19 of his books (some of those are short stories) and I am definitely reading a lot more in the future.

Alex_fierroB – Best Sequel Ever

I am going to stay with the spirit of the first reply here and say The Hammer of Thor (second in the Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan), simply because Alex Fierro makes everything 10000x better. By this logic, the best sequel ever would actually be the third book in the series, but I haven’t got around to reading that one yet. (Have I mentioned I wrote my BA thesis on Nico di Angelo and Alex Fierro?)

Art of Alex is by Viria and taken from Alex’s wikia page.

C – Currently Reading

I am currently reading The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver – the last thing in the Chameleon Moon series that I haven’t read yet, because I have read through all the other short stories and found them amazing.

D – Drink of Choice While Reading

Hah. Tea or water.

E – E-Reader or Physical Book?

I actually find it easier to read on my computer, mostly because I sit there all the time anyway. Plus, e-readers are great because you can fit so much more books on them! I love paperback books, I really do, but they are heavy and take up a lot of space, so e-books are amazing in that way.

F – Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School

Listen. I have a very complicated relationship with anything Cassandra Clare has written, but I totally would have dated Simon Lewis in high school. (Or would I? He does throw some fits about the friendzone in the first book.) I would also absolutely have dated either Magnus Chase or Alex Fierro, provided they’d been interested in me, but hey.

G – Glad You Gave This Book a Chance

Every Heart a Doorway. This actually took me forever to start, but when I finally did, I read it almost at once and it became one of my favourite books. Please read it (and its sequels). They are all amazing.

22840182H – Hidden Gem Book

Not sure how hidden it is, but I absolutely adored The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and I don’t see nearly enough love for it. It is a YA retelling of The Little Mermaid with a black disabled protagonist and a happy ending. Also positive female friendships, questioning gender roles, and plenty of other little gems. And an absolutely wonderful cover!

I – Important Moment in Your Reading Life

Probably when I started reading LGBTQAI+ books in English. Before that, I haven’t really read anything in years, but seeing all the wonderful LGBTQAI+ characters brought back my love for reading.

J – Just Finished

I just finished reading Life Within Parole by RoAnna Sylver, a short story collection in the world of Chameleon Moon – one of my favourite book series. I have read some of the stories in it in other formats before, but all of them were wonderful, and I loved the chronology they are arranged into in this collection.

K – Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

I don’t really read horror, although I sometimes make exceptions. I also don’t like alternate history novels that is about the Nazis winning/ruling in any way – and wow, there are so many books like this. And there are some heavy topics I just don’t want to deal with… for example that YA book that everyone recommends, and I’m sure it’s great, but it’s also about a school shooting and I just don’t need that in my life.

L – Longest Book You’ve Read

This is most likely The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. Not one of my favourites in the series to be honest, but it was still great, and everything is worth it for Nico.

M – Major Book Hangover Because of . . .

Every Heart a Doorway. I simply adore the world(s) it created, as well as the characters – and while I love the sequels, I am really said that some of my favourites most likely won’t return. (But I haven’t read the third book yet, so hey, everything can happen.)

N – Number of Book Cases You Own

I own two.

O – One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times

I have read Chameleon Moon twice, and I am planning to re-read some books I read years ago… but as of now, I actually haven’t read that many books multiple times. Some of the Harry Potter books, probably?

P – Preferred Place to Read

On my bed or at my desk – definitely at my desk if it comes to e-books.

Q – Quote That Inspires You / Gives You the “Feels”

The most inspiring quotes are definitely from Chameleon Moon:

“Words are important. They let you know it’s real, you’re fine, more people like you exist. They let you know you’re not alone.” This is basically my attitude towards labels. If you don’t need to use labels, that’s awesome and valid – but this is (part of) why they are important to me.

Love yourself, love the people around you, and never give up. If you need help, reach out. If you’re drowning, make some noise. There are people who love you, who will throw you a life preserver. That’s what it all comes down to, love. That’s how we’re gonna get through this. And we are gonna get through this.”  Which basically sums up the message of the first book.

My favourite quotes from Every Heart a Doorway (and its sequel) are less inspirational, but absolutely hilarious (and most of them involve Jack). I will only share one because this wasn’t really what the question asked for:

“I could give you children,” said Jack, sounding faintly affronted. “You’d have to tell me how many heads you wanted them to have, and what species you’d like them to be, but what’s the point of having all these graveyards if I can’t give you children when you ask for them?”

–Actually, there is one inspirational quote from Down Among the Sticks and Bones that I love, although you’d have to read both books to get the full context:

This will always, always be your home.

 

R – Reading Regret

I want to say like, anything Cassandra Clare has ever written, but I am actually still attached to some of the characters (mainly Downworlders), so maybe not?

I do regret trying to make myself read a third short story by a certain author after hating the first two. I don’t want to name the author because I don’t know them and don’t have anything against them as a person, but I really disliked the first two stories and actually left the third one halfway.

S – Series You Started, But Need to Finish

The third book in the Wayward Children series (Beneath the Sugar Sky) came out like a week ago and I unfortunately don’t own it yet. Other than that, I’m not really sure. I prefer to read standalones lately.

T – Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books

 

Three?? Uh.

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan (but Alexa, you haven’t even re— shut up, I already know it’s my favourite, for Reasons)

U – Unapologetic Fan for . . .

Everything Chameleon Moon.

V – Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Others

I am excited for Beneath the Sugar Sky, but also Let’s Talk About Love, which is a book with a black biromantic ace MC!! Give it to me right now immediately please.

W – Worst Habit

Buying books and then never reading them. Which I’m sure other people do to, but damn, half my shelf is made up of unread books.

X – X Marks the Spot: the 27th Book on Your Shelf

On my physical shelf: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (I swear I didn’t cheat, and also, I have books NOT by Riordan on my shelves…)

32968540Y – Your Latest Book Purchase

This would be Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. I saw it referred to as “the Nigerian Harry Potter” and it’s about a Nigerian albino girl who has magical abilities. I am really excited to read it, and also I love the cover!

Z – Zzzz Snatcher: Last Book That Kept You Up Way Too Late

I can’t remember, but Want by Cindy Pon, maybe? That one was definitely great, and I read it in a challenge on Rivetedlit.com where it was only available for 24 hours, so I had to stay up late to finish it. It was definitely worth it though.

~ Alexa 🐐