BTAT 2017 Wrap Up!


This was my first year participating in the Booktube-A-Thon, and I don’t think I did half bad! If you don’t know what the Booktube-A-Thon is, it’s a readathon hosted by Ariel Bissett. Obviously this year’s Booktube-A-Thon has passed, but you can find more information on the official Youtube channel here.

ANYWAY, like I said I don’t think I did half bad. While I didn’t participate in any of the Instagram or video challenges, I completed five out of seven reading challenges which is much more than I was expecting to. Instead of adding these five to my HUGE June/July wrap up, I decided to give them their own post. Below is an overview of what I read and which challenges I completed!

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Book Chat: Knowing Yourself as a Reader


What should I read next? Yet another innocent question that stresses me out way more than it should. I’m a self-proclaimed “mood reader.” I don’t write TBR’s for myself, and I just kind of play it by ear as I jump book to book. Sometimes it’s really obvious what I should pick up if I’m itching to read a certain genre or a new book I’ve been anticipating has come out. That being said, sometimes it’s so hard to know what to pick up next. The whole point of reading is to have fun, but so often I can’t stop myself from worrying I’m going to suddenly stop having fun or I won’t be having enough fun or having as much as I could or having the right kind of fun. (I could go on forever.) Anxiety invades my life as a reader with the same loud mouthed casualness it barges its way into all the other parts of my brain. And frankly, it sucks. It sucks because it makes me question if I know myself as a reader.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Reads of 2017 So Far!


toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish with new themes each week! The information post can be found here with past and future topics. Also, check out the hashtag #toptentuesday on Twitter to see other bloggers’ posts!

Top 5 Reads of 2017 (so far!)

Okay, so I know this is Top Ten Tuesday and not Top 5 Tuesday, but for this week’s theme I’ll make an exception. I’ve only read 18 (I think?) books so far this year, mostly thanks to a busy school schedule this spring. That being said 10 is over half of those, and I would be straight up lying if I said 10 of the things I read this year could be considered favorites in any way. (Sorry, not sorry.) So, I’ll be listing my top 5 reads of 2017 so far instead! Keep in mind, these are in no particular order.

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Review: ‘Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter’ by Kate Clifford Lawson

24811683Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Lawson
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Links: Goodreads, Amazon
Pages: 302, Kindle Edition
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Joe and Rose Kennedy’s strikingly beautiful daughter Rosemary attended exclusive schools, was presented as a debutante to the Queen of England, and traveled the world with her high-spirited sisters. And yet, Rosemary was intellectually disabled — a secret fiercely guarded by her powerful and glamorous family. 

“Did Joe tell his daughter she was going to have the surgery? Did she ask him questions about it, and did he answer them truthfully? What did she think? We can only imagine.”

Rosemary was an incredibly tragic, jarring, fleeting look at the life of Rosemary Kennedy, who had a lobotomy at the age of 23 that left her permanently disabled for the rest of her life. More than anything this book felt important for the unforgiving lens in which it viewed our history of dealing with mental illness. Though it’s impossible to say what Rosemary would be diagnosed with today, her intellectual and emotional challenges felt eerily familiar, and reminded me how far we have come and how far we still must go.

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Review: ‘That Thing We Call A Heart’ by Sheba Karim

31449226That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
Publication Date: May 9th, 2017; HarperTeen
Links: Goodreads, Amazon
Pages: 288, Kindle Edition
My Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Featuring complex, Muslim-American characters who defy conventional stereotypes and set against a backdrop of Radiohead’s music and the evocative metaphors of Urdu poetry, That Thing We Call A Heart is a honest, moving story of a young woman’s explorations of first love, sexuality, desire, self-worth, her relationship with her parents, the value of friendship, and what it means to be true.

“It was unusual to see a man like Chotay Dada in our neighborhood, and whenever someone passed us, I made sure to smile and say hello, so they wouldn’t perceive us as a threat.”

I didn’t love this book. I appreciate what Karim was trying to do here, discussing romance and relationships through the perspective of a Muslim teenager. It isn’t something you see a lot in YA, and it is always great to see underrepresented stories being told by #ownvoices authors. That being said, this missed the mark on the whole for me.

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Review: ‘Since We Fell’ By Dennis Lehane

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
Publication Date: May 9, 2017; Ecco
Links: Goodreads, Amazon
Pages: 432, Kindle Edition
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself.

“We are not special. We are lit from within by a single candle flame, and when that flame is blown out and all light leaves our eyes, it is the same as if we never existed as all. We don’t own our life, we rent it.”

I was expecting a lot more out of ‘Since We Fell‘. The idea of a shut-in with a seemingly perfect life (considering) having her life flipped completely upside down sounded like a great set up for a thriller. I was excited to go into this blind, but it just didn’t really hold up as it went on.

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