Summer Goals

Hello Readers,

How is your summer shaping up so far?
My summer has been a little plain with some sprinkles of fun now and then. I kicked off the summer with a little bay area exploring with some of my favorite cousins.

I wonder if this is the kind of clearing Edward and Bella like to make out in.

After coming home, I headed off to take my Drivers test which ended badly. I got sent home for having a broken brake light on top of having a near-expired permit, it was a disaster the rest of my summer will be spent starting the whole process all over. I am going to be very excited the day I will be able to buy boba on my own.

So far my June has been spent studying, binging the Good Place, watching Kdramas, and making plans to redecorate my room. Although, I did briefly venture out to a Brunch to celebrate a friend’s birthday and being able to witness my friends act like fools has been the highlight of my June.

In my downtime, I have decided to combat my own boredom by tackling my reading challenge. So far, I have read To All the Boys I’ve loved before, which I have reviewed, The Kiss Quotient, and Girls of Paper and Fire. I am currently halfway through my challenge, hopefully, I surpass my goal!

Although reading is super fun and a great distraction, I want to include other fun activities into my summer. Here are my goals for the rest of the summer

1.Writing!

I want to finish my current work in progress which is a fantasy story. Building the world in that story has been super fun and I can’t wait to write the conclusion. However, I have been stuck on a name for the Prince since the beginning so I am taking suggestions if anyone has some.

2. Walking

I want to be more active this summer and I miss exploring my neighborhood. Walking forced my mind to wander and get creative. I think starting it again will be good for me.

3. Crafting

I loved Arts and Crafts in high school. I was a polymer clay and plushie sewing Queen! However, College made me put this hobby aside and I haven’t picked it back up since. I miss creating things with my hands therefore, this summer I want to be able to do that again.

Those are my goals so far for the summer, do you have any goals for your summer?

Until next time friends,

Gaby

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Review

Dear Readers,

I’m Back! Same hot mess but now with a bachelor’s degree. I fell off the edge of the earth for a bit there, nothing wild happened I just needed extra space and time to focus on schoolwork.

I thought I kick off my new unemployed/ super free status with a review of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. For those of my readers who haven’t read this book or seen the iconic Netflix movie I will quickly summarize the plot. The story centers around Laura Jean Song Covey, a Korean American teen, living on the East Coast. Laura Jean is the 2nd of three sisters and she loves to stay at home, bake, scrapbook, and knit. For the most part Laura Jean’s life is pretty much sheltered, and her sisters are really her only friends. Laura Jean has never had a boyfriend, but she has had plenty of crushes who she writes love letters too with no intention of ever handing these letters out. However, Laura Jean’s letter are accidentally mailed out, and she ends up in a fake relationship with Peter, who she thought she no longer had feelings for.

This story is a slow. After her older sister, Margot leaves for college in Scotland; Laura Jean spends 30 pages sad about her departure. At this point I was tapping my fingers on the desk wondering when Peter would make his grand entrance and the plot would kick off. However, after the initial excitement of their fake relationship I was bored but I continued reading anyways. The book continues with not much excitement happening between Laura Jean and Peter’s relationship until their Ski Trip when everyone becomes super noisy about their sex life.

Unlike other readers on goodreads who were annoyed by Laura Jean’s personality, I found her to be more boring than anything. I have similar hobbies to Laura Jean, and I like staying home but not to the extent that Laura Jean enjoyed her alone time. On the other hand, I found Margot annoying she constantly caused Laura Jean stress about college and reminding her that she was doing things wrong at home. Kitty was more interesting than her two sisters she is sassy and can be a brat but at the end of the day she only wants to help her sisters.

So some of you may wonder how does this book compare to the movie? In my opinion the movie brought a lot of these characters to life and made them more interesting. Movie Peter and Laura Jean are the cutest! And I tolerate movie Margot. The Movie also made Kitty shine even more.

I would recommend this book to readers who are curious about the story behind the movie or if anyone is impatient and wants to find out what happens to Peter and Laura Jean after the events of the movie.

I would give this book 2.5/3 stars as it is a pretty average read and good world to jump into if you need a quick and easy read and a great distraction.

Until next times friends continue Living in Libros,

Gaby

PS.

I began reading the sequel and I had to put it down after 100 pages because I was so bored.

The Selection Series

Dear Readers,

I have been out of touch with the YA community for a long time and I am know just starting to catch up with the great stories that have been published since my absent.  One such story that knocked me out into the next galaxy was The Selection series by Keira Cass.

The Selection Series for those who were blissfully unaware like yours truly, are a series of books that follow a young woman named American who lives in a future dystopian version of the United States. In this dystopian society the U.S, now renamed the country of llléa, is basically governed by a caste system. The higher the number you are the poorer you live eight being the lowest and as America describes it those who are eights are basically homeless. Being a one of course means you’re living the good life and in the case of The Selection series you’re basically royalty. This fictional USA is also governed by a Monarchy and once the prince becomes of age women all over the country are invited to compete for him as part of the Selection. America, wanting to please her mother, submits her application to the Selection believing that her chance of being picked will be slim. Additionally, our girl America is dating this guy, Aspen, and they’re practically engaged when she decides to enter the contest. However, a stupid fight leaves America heartbroken and on the other side of the country where she meets Prince Maxon and her feelings about both of men become complicated.

Book 2 starts off with America and Maxon cuddling in the gardens their favorite spot in the palace. After an incidence involving America’s bff the two get in a nasty fight and spend the rest of the book detached from each other. In fact, both end up getting close to other people. America of course rebounds to Aspen, her comforting ex, while Maxon ends up getting close to Kriss, one of the remaining members of the selection.

Book 3 is a whirlwind. America comes to the realization that Maxon’s heart might not solely belong to her and decides to really fight for Maxon and breaks things off with Aspen. Additionally, in this book America and Maxon make an alliance with the Northern rebels after finding out that they want the same things. The King tries to get America to drop out of the competition by any means necessary. Moreover the tension builds when it is revealed that the King is abusing Maxon whenever he makes a mistake. America also decides to tell Maxon the truth about Aspen and her feelings for him. Some drama happens and Maxon comes close to marrying Kriss but alas another rebel attack occurs leaving Maxon the only surviving member of the royal family. Now that his father’s gone Maxon is free to marry America and ascend the throne.

So, let’s get to the tea.

I stayed up late to read all of these books and I have no regrets about binging this series.

What I loved about these books was that the writing is pretty easy to follow none of those loaded words that make you feel smart after looking them up in the dictionary. The plot itself is very lighthearted. Even though the world is dystopian nothing overly violent happens. Also, I really want to take a moment to appreciate Prince Maxon for not being a total jerk that was my expectation of him when I initial dived into this series. This is the perfect series to read when you just lose all your focus while studying and need a break.

The big thing that made me disappointed in these books was the lack of peoples of color. The history of this world is that the United States was taken over by China and then after few more world wars the U.S united with Canada, Mexico, and Central America to form Illéa. All of these countries that have formed to become llléa are diverse so where are the peoples of color in this series? Did these women of color not get chosen to compete?

However, after reading book two I discover that Elise, one of the remaining girls in the selection, is Asian! In addition, I also believe that it is briefly mentioned that Maxon’s mother is from a country that sounds similar to Panama, so I am unsure whether that means that Maxon is at least biracial. Regardless I wish the series gave me a more concrete answer for why peoples of color are absent.

Here’s is the map of Illea which I found in collection of short stories about the side characters of these series.

 I also felt it was a bit wack that Maxon and America decide to keep the fact that the King is abusing Maxon a secret between them as they do not want to worry the Queen. However, after being with Queen Amberly throughout this series I feel that if she would have known this was happening, she would have ripped off her husband’s crown so fast and forced the King to step down. Thus, making Maxon the king and putting an end to his father’s toxic reign. That would have probably been a more dramatic ending and more satisfying for me at least.

I did enjoy Celeste redemption arc. I overall enjoy when evil characters go grinch and have a change of heart. I loved that Lucy ended up falling in love with Aspen given that the poor girl has gone through so much. Plus, the way that America describes Aspen, the boy is a cutie.

Although my rant seems like I hated this series that is a stretch. For me these books were a page turner. I spent the early hours of the morning reading these books. And after writing this review I will most likely continue reading this series in order to find out what the sequel “The Heir” is all about.


Anyways continue Living in Libros,

Gaby

My trip to San Miguel de Allende

Travel Diary 1

Hello friends, book goblins, and wanderlusters!

Today’s post will not be about books but about my recent trip to México. Unlike my previous trips to the motherland my trip to the pueblito of San Migeul de Allende was for a poetry conference sponsored through my Uni. The way this program was set up was through a a study abroad program but unlike a lot of study abroad trips this particular one was for a week rather than a full semester. Which I liked because I don’t think I could be away from Apollo for that long 😊. During my trip I got to participate in a poetry workshop with other U.S poets who have experience writing poetry and publishing poetry. In workshop we would collectively get together and read each other’s poems and express what was working and what was clear within our poetry. It was super awesome! I learned a lot about what I should look out for in my poetry and how to make my images stronger. I wrote a handful of poems during this trip which of course I’ll share on the blog after editing them.

Now if I were to describe San Miguel de Allende in three words these would be it. Flower crowns, Frida Kahlo, and color. Lots and lots of color.

San Miguel is one of the most visited cities in world and has been nicknamed the Venice, Italy of México. Instead of smooth concrete the roads of this pueblito are made from cobblestone which looks aesthetically pleasing but let me tell you these streets were not kind to my shoes. Since I arrived right after Christmas and during the week when Los Tres Reyes de Magos were set to make their grand appearance the town was still decorated with lights, Christmas trees, and nativity scenes, which made me feel like I was still home as my family does not begin to store the Christmas décor until after we have cut the rosca de reyes.

The Starbucks travel mug for this city

For a such a small town there was so much to see in San Miguel. Although the pueblo is known for la parroquia de San Miguel, named after the archangel Michael (you know the one that put Satan in hell) there were a lot of other churches named after various saints within walking distance.


Templo de San Francisco

At night in the jardín there were often mariachi men singing and playing instruments. There were also some people dressed in colonial style clothing, wigs and fake swords, giving history lessons and of course let’s not forget the stray dogs. There was one dog in particular that I continued to see throughout my trip here, a yellow colored lab who although looked a little dusty looked well fed. Anyways every time this dog saw my group of friends, he wagged his tail at us. On one of my early morning walks into town I found this dog trying to wife up another stray dog, this one was white and had brown spots. I think the two formed a pack but I’m not sure.

Now for the food! If I’m being honest, I was not very impressed with a lot of the restaurant food as a lot of it was either American or Italian cuisine. And when I ordered typical dishes from México such as quesadillas and enchiladas I was not impressed. Perhaps I have been spoiled by my mother’s cooking for too long or the restaurants have changed their menu in order to better serve the tourists and the local American retirees. However, the American and Italian dishes weren’t bad but I wanted to experience the taste of México. Luckily, restaurants are not all that this small pueblo has to offer there were various carts selling snacks such as elotes, chicharones, tortas, fruita, and tostilocos, all over the jardín. But the one cart that had me drooling the most was the one for ice cream. In case you didn’t know Mexican ice cream is whole different experience because it is made through a different process to be honest I don’t know how exactly it comes to be, but it’s really good. Like knock me into the next galaxy good. And it’s only 20 pesos, around 1 dollar. Not to mention there are some crazy flavors such as fresa con crema, elote, and horchata. I got to sample the chocolate and devour the elote ice cream. The chocolate ice cream tasted just like abuelita chocolate while the elote ice cream tasted like tamale de elote, if you ever had the pleasure to try those I highly recommend.

As for shopping there were a lot of stores to get souvenirs from. However, for the things that I wanted to buy coin purses, and handcrafted sculptures I found them to be a little expensive in the town square. However, after entering the huge Mercado in which they sell food, dvds, clothing, etc and following it down a few streets I eventually found the alley of artisanos where people sold a lot of handcrafted trinkets which is what I was looking for. If you are going on a souvenir hunt and want to get something with Frida Kahol on it, you won’t have any problems here.

On one of my last days in Guanajuato my class and I visited a pyramid just outside of town. And upon entering the small lobby of the arachnological site there was the cutest doggy walking around and seeking sunshine for her morning tan. Her feet were a little muddy too as if she had taken a dip in a river earlier.

The pyramid itself was super cool and unlike a lot of pyramids built in México this one faced the sun so that it was the first thing pilgrims who came to this religious site saw once they climbed it. Another interesting thing about this particular site was that not to far from the pyramid the Virgen of Guadalupe appeared on a disc. And so as a result this area was named after la virgen. It’s truly fascinating that religious site has a way of remaining religious forever.

The area where I am standing is what these people called the Underworld

On our last day the professor took my class to the local hot springs where we proceeded to play marco polo in the warm pool. Of course, the hot spring had more to offer than just warm pools there was also a man-made cave that you could walk through in order to get to their hottest pool which they called the grotto. This cave had a small waterfall that poured hot water into the pool and guests got in line in order to stand under it. Free back massage! I visited the hot springs with a slight cold so my time in that steamy room just cleared up all my sinuses.

And that concluded my trip to San Miguel de Allende. It was a lot of fun and if given the opportunity I would definitely go again.


2018 Review and 2019 Resolutions

2018

Hello Friends,

Today I wanted to make a non book review given that 2018 is coming to an end I wanted to check on (and let’s be real roast myself) my 2018 goals as well as set new goals for 2019.

Here were my 2018 Resolutions

  1. Read More YA Books

Yes definitely! This year I set myself a reading challenge of 40 books and a majority of the books I read this year were YA.

2. Finish Writing one story

Ehhh. Kind of. I wrote a couple of short stories this year, which you can find here on my blog. But nothing novel length which was what I meant with this resolution

3. Write more Poetry

Nope! Although since I am going to a poetry conference in Mexico during this upcoming year I’ve been writing down some poetry fragments in preparation. Maybe next year.

4. Take more Pictures

Me amongst Sunflowers that were burnt by the California Sun

Yes! My whole Instagram was about taking pictures and getting the best angles. As well as my blog.

5. Get a Driver’s License

Close! Well this goal was a bit ambitious as I needed my permit first. However, I did get my permit this year and have been practicing. Hopefully next year I’ll be doing my library hauls solo.

6. Save More

-.- Nope. Can you say Treat yo’ Self.

2019 Resolutions

  1. Learn to Drive

Well now that I have my permit I want to continue practicing until I have the full confidence to drive on my own.

2. Write More

Unlike last year’s finish a story, for 2019 I want to be surrounding by all kinds of short stories, poems, and longer fiction works.

3. Travel

In 2017 I traveled almost all of the California Coast. From LA to Big Sur to Crescent City then onwards to Portland and Seattle. I visited Capitola hung out with my cousins in San Francisco and got to eat Thai food in Berkley. In 2018 I visited Big Sur and Big Bear and for 2019 I really want to go back to Portland and finally visit Santa Cruz. Hopefully 2019 it’ll happen.

4. Perfect that Skin Care Routine

I feel like I finally know what products really work well with my skin and I want to continue giving my skin all that goodness. But if I’m honest I slack on my skin care routine sometimes and fall asleep before washing my face. So for 2019 I want to have an active skin care regime.

5. Work on those Photography skills

I love posting on Instagram and on this blog but I don’t really know my Canon Camera as well as I should. And for 2019 I want to learn how to fiddle with all the settings in order to get the perfect shot.

6. Walk more

I really want to get back into the habit of walking again. I did it a lot in 2017 but slacked a bit in 2018, mostly out of fear. However, in 2019 I want to take back this hobby because it was honestly so relaxing and I really enjoyed being able to clear my mind and get fresh air.

8 of my favorite books of 2018

Hello Friends!

Today I thought I would recap my favorite books of 2018.

  1. Emergency Contact

I purchased this book, went to Mary HK Choi’s signing at the LA Festival of Books and then read the book a month later. And it was amazing. Definitely a book I would reread.


2. Labyrinth Lost

This book was amazing. Sure we got famous wizards such as Merlin, The boy who lived but were are our Brujas at? Look no further, Labyrinth Lost has a beautiful mix of different Latinx cultures and religions that make up this world. In addition, we also get a strong Latinx protagonist who is Bi!

3. Warcross

Warcross is amazing! If you were a Sword Art Online lover, like me. This book will blow your mind. This story had me at the edge of my sit and I loved that it was set in Tokyo, Japan.

4. Geekerella

Geekerella was so cute. I loved the way the fandom, cosplay, and the con was written. As a sometimes cosplayers I thought this story captured that aspect well. In addition, the characters in this book were awesome. Especially Fairy Godmother Sage.

5. The House on Mango Street

I had not read the House on Mango Street cover to cover until this year and I really enjoyed it! The collection of small poetic stories were really beautiful and Esperanza’s growth through the story was my favorite part of this book.

6. Six Of Crows

I have been meaning to read Six of Crows ever since I had heard about the series but did not read it until this year. This duology honestly blew away my expectations. I laughed. I cried. (I cried a lot). And I will carry the characters with me forever.

7. Kill the Queen

This book was described as a mixture of Game of Thrones and Black sails and it did not disappoint. There was a lot of action but also betrayal and deception as well as the overall growth of the main character, Evie as she prepares herself to take back her Queendom.

8. The Princess Saves Herself in this One

Another collection of poetry I fell in love with. The poems were beautiful and heart wrenching but what I liked the most about them was the way that they filled me with both inspiration and love.

Compiling this list of favorites was a little hard considering there were other great books I read this year that did not make this list. So here are some honorable mentions.

  • The Victoria in my head
  • Alex, Approximately
  • Daughter of the Pirate King
  • The Girl from the other side (read my review for this here)
  • A Dash of Trouble

What was your favorite read of 2018? And what books do I need to check out for 2019?

Wildcard Review

Wildcard

Marie Lu

5 stars

wildcard
My copy of Wildcard came with some free pins


Hello readers and neurolink users,

lol just kidding I think we’d all swerve the neurolink after reading the events of Warcross and Wildcard. That’s the true tea. Anyways I spent my best week putting down my Star Wars fanfiction and instead picking up Wildcard which has been sitting on my shelf since it’s release in September. Now my first impression of this book and I mean page one impression was “dang I missed this world.” For those of you who haven’t read Warcross let me give you a quick summary. Warcross is a scifi ya novel that is mostly set in Tokyo, Japan and stars Emika Chen, a bounty hunter but also a hacker, who finds people that are doing shady shit in the game warcross, a virtual reality game that is popular in this world. Think Sword Art Online. However, the day that Warcross decides to have their championship game Emika accidently glitches herself into the game and leaves everybody shook but most important she impress Hideo Tanka, the creator of Warcross, who hires Emika to look for a particular glitch in his game. And the rest of that story is a crazy whirlwind and I suggest you add it to your Christmas wish list. Anyways now to the real review.

WildCard picks up right where Warcross left off and Emika is still trying to unravel her feelings for Hideo after he basically revealed himself to have a god complex. He would be such good friends with Light Yagami. Any who as Emi is pondering her next move to take down Hideo she ends up getting swept up into Zero’s crew to take down her ex-lover however, as the story continues everything get’s even more complicated.

I finished this book 20 minutes before writing this review and the story is still stuck with me. If you do not want to know my thoughts on the ending look away now. I thought the ending was a kind of bittersweet. Maybe I got a soft spot for villians but Hideo deadass thought mind control was the solution to world peace. However, I was also a bit satisfied that he ends up doing time for trying to mind control everyone and Emika becomes the new CEO of Hideo’s company what a plot twist but I loved it. Emi went from being hated at the beginning of this book to being the person to restart Warcross like what an icon. Additionally I have to say I found it weird that Hideo and Emika’s love story got wrapped in a newspaper blurb at the end. I don’t how long Hideo is under house arrest for but it’s pretty wild that the news is peachy with the idea that Emika is dating the guy that tried to mind control everyone. Like did they just forget or was Hideo’s name cleared?

Anyways my little shipper heart was pleased I just have one complaint. Hideo and Emika didn’t have enough fluffy scenes together it was mostly angst. Compared to Warcross the two were so cute together but in this sequel they’re always dancing aroud their breakup and wondering if the other still likes them. Y’all are both into each other can you make out now.

My final thoughts are that Wildcard was not what I was expecting. As I progressed through the story everything I thought I knew got twisted into a bitter truth. And things were never what they seemed but I enjoyed that and it really kept me guessing so for that I give Wildcard 5 stars.

Protip if you plan on reading this but haven’t picked  up warcross in a while I recommend a reread because there were times when I was like who, what, when? But if you a rebel and persist anyways can’t blame you I did the same thing.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

The Summer of Chasing of Mermaids

Sarah Ockler

399 pages

4 Stars

Summer of Chasing Meramaids.jpg

 

Hello readers and book lovers,

Today’s review is a little late. I meant to post it as soon as I finished writing it but I completely forgot I wrote it.

Honestly if you’re looking for that perfect summer book that will give you the sense of being at the beach everyday, and having beach bonfires, and a cute summer crush the Summer of Chasing Mermaids is going to be your book.

This book follows Elyse a teen who has moved from Tobago to Oregon because of an accident that robbed her of her voice. Since Elyse can not physically make sound with her vocal chords because it will end up harming her voice even more she ends up writing her thoughts down on paper, or on walls, or other peoples hands. However, the words she pens with her sharpie are deeply poetic. I loved this about her because it was like every time she had something to say it was always articulated in such beautiful poetry. Elyse meets Christian Kane, her landlord’s son, and the two end up fixing up the Kane’s boat in order to win a contest that will determine the fate of the town.

My review on this book is 4 stars. Whole heartedly. It didn’t feel like YA too me more of a new adult novel. And that’s probably because the characters in this book are older, well they acted older I’m not sure how old Elyse and her friends where. This book was rich in culture specifically Tobago culture, although the author acknowledged that she learned a lot of that history and culture from close friends she also realizes that some things could be incorrect. I personally do not know much about Tobago so every time Elise talked about her life in Tobago I was intrigued and I loved learning about it.

Beside the culture, this novel also tackled a topic I hadn’t expected which was confiding to gender norms. Sebastian Kane, is Christian’s younger brother who in the novel, is around 8 years old, and he loves mermaids. He loves mermaids so much that he wants to dress like one and march in the annual mermaid parade the town hosts. The only problem is they won’t allow him to do it because he’s a boy. I was so frustrated at this point because Sebastian is a kid and kids should be allowed to express themselves however they want. This scene really resonated with me on a personal level because I have people in my family who make jokes about not wanting their sons to paint their nails since that is seen as something feminine. But hello did you just snooze your way through the rock and roll era (especially glam rock)? And it’s not as if actors, male actors included, aren’t getting their makeup done on set. Anyways it’s a pretty ridiculous thing to get all butt hurt about and I’m glad Elyse and friends definitely were mad about it. But it something that still happens today so I can see why the author chose to include this scene.

Anyways this book was great, and I would definitely recommend it to people looking for a diverse read, for people looking for a story set in coastal Oregon, and those looking for a nice summer read. I highly encourage you to add it to your next summer read.

Geekerella Review

Geekerella

Ashley Poston

317 pages

4 stars

LRM_EXPORT_20181010_174222

 

 

Hello Bookworms and Book Goblins!

Today I am reviewing Geekerella, which if you’re a space obessessed Gal like me and you thought this book was going to be star wars-y you are half right!

Geekerella is about 17 year old Daniella who lives with her stepmom, whose mostly evil, and her two step sisters, who are evil most of the time. Geekerella follows the Cinderella trope evil stepsisters, evil stepmom while Cindy, this case Elle, has to tidy up the house. However, unlike the Cinderella trope Elle is also a huge nerd for this space show called Starfield. Starfield is similar to lots of space operas we know today such as Star Wars and Star Trek and like both of these real life fandoms Starfield gets a reboot. Which should make the fans happy right?

Wrong! A lot of the Starfield fans are straight up hating that this guy Darien Freeman from this overly romantic teen drama show has been casted as their beloved Prince Carmindor, Elle included. However, through a crazy turn of events Elle and Darien end up becoming text buddies and talk about all things Starfield. The only problem is they both have no idea they’re texting each others number 1 hater.

 

I loved Geekerella! Firstly the whole fan drama about whose being casted as your favorite character was super real. I remember the magician shade Whovians were throwing at the 12th Doctor. And the huge uproar that happened after Star Wars was sold to Disney. I mean I still encounter these salty fans online so I was very sympathic towards Darien.

And the whole Starfield Storyline was all up my alley. I love Space Princes and tragic love stories, cough star wars. And I was lowkey getting flashbacks to Ten and Rose when Elle brought up that scene where Princess Amara decides to save the world. I wonder if the author was inspired by them.

I also loved the whole convention aspect and the cosplay ball. Clearly I’ve been going to the wrong cons cause I’ve never heard of a cosplay ball but it sounds super fun! And I loved the moment when all the cosplayers decided to jump in and help Elle I though that was super cute and pretty accurate as cosplayers are usually super nice and supportive.

Lastly Sage was a badass! She’s kind of the fairy godmother of this story but with less mystery which was totally fine. Sage knew how to work her own magic via her sewing skills and her crazy swerving in the Magic Pumpkin.

So if you’re looking for something to read this fall season or something to hype you up for your next con. I definitely recommend Geekerella.

 

 

 

 

Girl Against the Universe

 

Girl Against the Universe

Author: Paula Stokes

Pages: 382

My Rating: 5 Stars

(No photo because I forgot to take one)

 

“I just wanted to wish you good luck again,” he says. “In fact, I found something for you.” He pulls a wadded-up tissue from his pockets and folds it back to reveal a four-leaf clover. “Put it in your shoe or whatever.”

I loved this book. Normally I don’t really connect very much with a character when they’ve lost a family member or are an orphan. I just find that trope very common among YA so I think maybe I have just come to accept it as a kind of standard for the hero story. However, with Girl Against the Universe, I connected with the story right away.

Girl Against the Universe is about Maguire Kelly, a high school student, who believes without a doubt that the Universe is out to get her. Maguire has a history of walking away from disasters without a scratch and she convinces herself that she is cursed. However after her neighbor’s house catches on fire and Maguire’s family moves to San Diego she begins to attend therapy sessions in order to overcome her fear of the universe. It is there where she meets Jordy, who in is his own way is trying to take back his life. The two decide to help each other overcome their fears while also mastering the art of Tennis. Although Jordy is hoping to go pro while Maguire just wants an outlet. There’s some romance and a lot of cute moments.

I loved this book so much because Maguire’s fears and her curse felt real. I found myself unable to blame the girl for not wanting to ride in the car with other people because of the car accident that took her father, her brother, and her uncle’s life while leaving her unscratched. Maguire’s little rituals, her five minute checks, her positive affirmations, and her good luck charms were I think what really sold me. And it really warmed my heart when Jordy, Jade, and Penn took her fears seriously and offered her good luck charms as well in order to comfort her. That support system was just so beautiful.

I also enjoyed Maguire’s family and how although her mother remarries and has more children Maguire’s stepfather, Tom still claims Maguire as his own while also understanding he only has this new family because Maguire’s previous one had to die. Maguire also loves her steps siblings and she is patient with them and I found that refreshing as other books I read in the past liked to use the evil step siblings trope.

Something that I noticed that seemed off is when Magurie walks in on her therapist in one scene he is describes as eating an in-n-out burger and maybe I was hungry but I was left wondering well what kind? Was it a double double? A cheeseburger? Was it Animal style? I was left kind of curious about that.

I recommend this book to everyone! It was a very cute read. I’m not a fan of sports but this book is still a favorite.

Review on Eliza and her Monsters

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I didn’t have many monsters for comparison but Rey called Kylo a monster in The Last Jedi so I thought close enough.

Eliza and her Monsters

Francesca Zappia

Genre: YA

Pages 385

Reviewing 4.5 stars

 

 

Whoa just Whoa.

 

Eliza and her Monsters follows, Eliza Mirk, a high school student who is the author of the very popular webcomic, Monsters at Sea. Eliza is just living her life as the super private author of Monsters at Sea when Wallace Warland transforms to her school. Wallace as she comes to learn is a popular fan fiction author for Monster at Sea and he starts to work on the transcription of the web comic into books with Eliza of course as the beta reader. However as the two grow closer together Eliza ends up being outed as the author for Monsters at Sea and lots of drama ensues.

These books was cute and fluffy but also brought some very serious issues. Throughout the book Eliza is always alone. Until Wallace transfers she only really has Monsters at Sea and her online friends. That loneliness and frustration that Eliza has through the book continues to fester until towards the end of the book Eliza contemplates taking her own life.

I really enjoyed the world of Monsters at Sea and by the end of the book I was low key a fan but I did end up having to flip back and look at the art in order to figure out which character was which and try to unravel the story. I am honestly still not sure how that story ends but I hear Zappia is working on it.

Okay now for the thing that kind of angered me with this book was after Eliza’s secret is exposed she ends up not wanting to write anymore. Which is understandable as her whole life was put into the spotlight. However Wallace ends up being offered a book deal if he transcribes the comic but only once it’s finish so he kind of pressures Eliza to finish it. Although Eliza explains to him many times that she cannot Wallace persists and makes her feel guilty about it. Honestly that was a very shitty move Wallace and I liked him a lot less after that.

 

Before I read this book I found myself in a writing slump. I gave myself the goal to finish a story by the end of the summer and so far I was not really making progress on that goal. But then while reading Eliza and her Monsters, Eliza reminded me that creating worlds that can be shared is cool and everything but what really motivates a writer or an artist is creating for themselves. Once I told myself that writing became easier as I was doing it for myself and crafting these worlds became something personal and much easier to do.

 

I would recommend this book anyone wanting a contemporary read with a healthy serving of teen angst and self discovery. This book is also recommend for people who want a story within a story as Monsters at Sea is an interesting one.

Hey!

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My name is Gaby and I’m obsessed with Penguins, Star Wars, and YA books. I am also the owner of the living in libros blog as well as the instagram page.  I will be posting book reviews and my musings about my childhood. In the future I hope to post more bookish content and maybe some of my own fiction.

Welcome everyone

-Gaby

Living in between two cultures

 

 

 

Growing up Mexican American #1

 

I use to call Corridos Mexican Polka music. It’s true I even wrote my college entrance essay on how my father always had these kinds of songs playing in his car while my mother was more a classic rock fan. Sometimes I wonder if my ignorance was what cost me admission into my number one UC. But I’m probably just overthinking it.

Anyways so why was I calling Corridos Mexican polka music? In short because the prominent sound that always came from my dad’s radio were the notes of an accordion. Especially on drives to my Tia’s house because she lived all the way in San Bernadino County. I remember looking out at the dry landscape and imagining myself in a desert, which California is so I wasn’t far off. Just to think if I was stranded here I’d have to listen to this weird accordion music until I got to safety.

Now a days I have educated myself on the correct term for this kind of music, corridos. However I’m still not a big fan. Interestingly enough though I have developed an ear for cumbias, shout out to Los Angeles Azules. That kind of music is pretty special for me a lot of people like to dance to but I do not even dance at parties only alone in my room where my dog can judge me. I think my new found interest in Cumbias has something to do with growing up this is the kind of music my family played at quinceneras, barbeques, dinners, and while doing housework. Never rock ballads or music in English.

I only half listen to the music on my dad’s radio. I had become a classic rock fan by the age of 11. Thanks mom. However, thanks to my dad listening to hits such as “La Camisa negra” and “Gasolina” I also became a listener of music in my second language. Although I definitely prefer Spanish love songs I will still put on the occasional Shakira song when I feel like moving. So I guess in a way my musical taste has become a fusion of both my parent’s radios. Did any of my readers have the similar experiences?

Girls of Paper and Fire review

Dear Readers,

For my third book of the Summer I decided to pick up Girls of Paper and Fire. Girls of Paper and Fire follows Lei, a 17-year-old, baker who lives in a remote village. Lei is a member of the paper caste which in a world run by demons means that humans are pretty low on their list of priorities. Every year, 8 girls are chosen to “serve” the demon King, a muscular demon who shares some features with a bull. Ever since a raid on her village took the life of her mother, Lei has been resentful of the demon king so when she is chosen to serve him, she puts up a fight. During her time in the palace, Lei makes friends and falls in love and it is because of that love that she is able to start a fire.

Girls of Paper and Fire is not the kind of book I would not normally read. I love to read fluffy contemporary and romance novels, but I really wanted to read Girls of Paper and Fire. This book discusses sensitive topics such as rape and sexual abuse and is a bit graphic when it comes to scenes regarding violence but overall was a fantastic read. Lei is an amazing character she is stubborn and not afraid to speak out no matter the consequences.

The Paper girls’ official job is to serve the King and learn how to become ladies. However, they are rarely given the opportunity to use the skills they learn in their lessons such as dances. In actuality, the girls are just sex slaves for the King. What most surprised me about this book is that Lei is told that the paper girls hold such high status in the Kingdom and families will do anything to have their daughters become a paper girl and these girls in the paper caste want this job too. Or that is what we’re told. None of the girls Lei lives with want to be there they were either forced by their families or were unfortunate enough to be chosen. However, because they cannot refuse the king, they must do whatever he wants, or they’ll be exiled and even killed. I think that is the most heartbreaking part aspect of this book.

When Lei begins to fightback, I rooted for her because she reclaimed her power.

This book is incredibly written, and the world of this novel is so twisted and evil it made me want to finish this novel sooner. This book made me uncomfortable, but I couldn’t stop reading so I give this book 4 out of five stars.

Until next time friends,

Gaby