Summer 2020 Reading + Blogging Goals

Summer is officially just around the corner! I have been in summer for a few weeks now because my semester ended at the beginning of the month, but the weather is finally getting warmer so it really feels like summer now! As I begin to create my summer TBR, I realize there are many common themes/specific goals I want to do. So, I figured it would be fun to talk about them on the blog today! Let’s get started!


Reading Goals

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1. Read More Backlist Titles

Like many of you, I have an ungodly amount of unread books on my shelves. I have books that I intended to read back in 2016, and now it’s 2020 and they are still there. Many of them I’m not totally sure if I still even want to read, so one of my big projects this summer is to go through and read more of them (or donate the ones I don’t end up reading). 

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Book Recommendations Based On Majors at Emerson College

If you can’t tell by now, I LOVE my college. I go to Emerson College in Boston, MA for Writing, Literature, and Publishing (but you probably know that by now). One of my favorite parts about Emerson is the fact that we have such unique and narrow majors. I’m missing my college a lot these days, so I wanted to make a post where I give book recommendations based on some of the majors at Emerson College!

Writing, Literature and Publishing (my major!)

1. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

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Just on the description alone, this is a WLP’s dream book. Darcy Patel is publishing her first novel and goes head first into the world of New York City YA publishing. However, this isn’t all. The alternating chapters are from the P.O.V. of Darcy’s main character, Lizzie. Whether you’re a WLP who wants to go into publishing or to become a writer yourself, this book has everything for you.

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Happy COVID-19th Birthday to Me! A Reflection On My 18th Year of Life

It’s my birthday!! Weirdly enough, I actually look forward to birthdays. In my head, I usually break up my life in chapters so a birthday to me is a definitive close of one chapter and the open of another. This birthday, however, feels particularly odd as anyone with a birthday right now can relate to. On the blog today, I wanted to write about and reflect on some of the things I saw, did, listened to, etc. during this year of my life!


Five Places I’ve Visited

New York City, NY

To be fair, this isn’t exactly a peculiar location that I visited! If you know me, I love to go to New York A LOT. While I was 18, I went exactly nine times mostly just for day trips to see shows. It honestly kind of kills me that I can’t go into the city to see a show on my birthday, but my bank account is very thankful!

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Five Escape Hatches From Reality With Guest Blogger Christina Uss

Hello everyone! I’m super excited today to bring you a guest post by Christina Uss, author of The Colossus of Roads! There will be more information about the book throughout the post along with a giveaway! So, without further ado, let’s hear from Christina!


Hi, readers! I’m your guest blogger Christina Uss, author of the quirky middle-grade books The Adventures of A Girl Called Bicycle and my newest release, The Colossus of Roads. 

31394862. sy475 I define the genre of my books as Unrealistic Contemporary Fiction—they take place in the world the way I wish it was, where a ghost might haunt a bicycle or a kid might be able to decorate a traffic-jammed highway with paintings of mythical creatures. 
36901406I hope to emulate the books I loved most growing up, the ones that drew me into a world where I could get completely lost and forget what was going on around me. Now, when restocking my to-be-read pile, I am most grateful for those authors who world-build so well that I find myself sinking deep, deep down into their stories.If my family knocks on the door to ask what’s for dinner, I feel happiest when it takes effort to swim back to them, to my humdrum house without talking animals, dragons, trolls, magic spells, or martial arts ice skating. Let me share five suggestions of books and series that I think you’ll find make excellent escape hatches from reality. I’ve listed them from oldest to newest.

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Reading Habits Tag

I recently discovered this old tag while perusing YouTube and stumbled across Ariel Bissett‘s video. I thought there were some super fun questions in here, and it’s been a LOONNNGGG time since I’ve done a book tag. So today, I thought I’d dive in and reflect on some of my reading habits!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I don’t! I generally don’t read it bed because I LOVE napping, so the minute I lay down in bed I am out for the next few hours. I generally try to read outside, at my desk, or at my kitchen counter.

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Six Series/Trilogies I Still Need to Finish

Recently on Twitter, I have expressed just how bad I am at finishing series (specifically non-contemporary series). My issue is usually that I read the first book, and then I wait to read the rest of the trilogy/series. By the time I go to pick it up again, I have zero recollection of the world building or characters. After this realization, I realized just how many series I have unfinished on my shelf! So today, I want you to yell at me and tell me which series I need to finish. Peer pressure!

1. Shadow and Bone/Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

10194157I feel SO BEHIND on the Leigh Bardugo hype train! I read Shadow and Bone this past fall, and I actually really did enjoy it! My school work caught up with me so I didn’t get a chance to read Seige and Storm, but I do feel like I would need to re-read Shadow and Bone before I continued with the trilogy because I have a horrible memory.

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Five Books I Loved When I First Became a Reader

When did you first become a reader? My love of reading first stemmed around 7th grade when I first read The Fault in Our Stars (I know…I know). Looking back, I remember loving it so much because it was the first time I read a book that wasn’t ‘PG’. It dealt with death and making the most out of the one life we had. To 12 year old me, that was life changing. It opened me up to all of the other books out there, and I’m honestly so grateful for John Green’s books for that.

In this post, I wanted to talk about the books after The Fault in Our Stars. The books that I discovered when I would beg my parents to drive me to Barnes & Noble so I could browse the shelves and choose a new one. I can’t guarantee that if I read these books now that I would enjoy them, but I feel like that’s one of the best parts! Let’s talk about some of the early books I loved!

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Four Boston Independent Bookstores To Support When Shopping Online (+Giveaway)

Many businesses and stores across the U.S. (and world) have been forced to shut their doors, and independent bookstores are no exception. Some independent bookstores have already had to lay off a majority of their employees in order to stay afloat while their doors are closed. As many of you know, I go to school in Boston, MA so I have seen what is happening with many Boston bookstores in the wake of this pandemic. I wanted to highlight some of these stores that have shipping options (many have inexpensive or free shipping as well), so you can support them even when their physical doors are closed.

1. Brookline Booksmith

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Five Books On My TBR While Social Distancing

When my college sent out the email that we were switching online for the rest of the semester due to COVID-19, I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t expect my college to be one of the first around the country to call off for the rest of the semester. Four days later, I drove away from my freshman year dorm with every single remnant of that room.

Since then, I’ve been trying to find ways to distract myself and cope with what’s going on around the world. Personally, one of the best ways has been reading again. I’m finally making reading a priority again for the sake of my mental health and overall well-being, and I do think it’s helped significantly. I’ve been working on making a solid TBR of mainly backlist books I’ve been meaning to read forever but haven’t had the chance to. So, for my first blog post back, I’ve decided to go through my TBR and tell you what I plan on reading for the next few months!

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Hold Still by Nina LaCour {Book Review}

42815543dear caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can’t.

Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself.

Before I begin my review, I would like to place a strong trigger warning on both the book and my review. There will be discussion of suicide, depression, and self harm. Please use precaution before picking up Hold Still or continuing with this review. It is totally okay to exit out of this review if there is a possibility of something discussed triggering you. You are most important. Now that we’ve discussed that, let’s get on to the review.

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I Need a New Bookshelf: 20+ Book ALA Haul

When I heard that people come home from conferences such as BEA and ALA with a ton of books, I didn’t truly understand the multitude of books there. Needless to say, I have A TON of books to read now, and I can’t wait to talk about them with y’all! I’m going to break down my haul by each day of ALA. Let’s get started!

Day One (Saturday 6/22)

1. His Hideous Heart by Dahlia Adler (and others)

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This book has two things I love: anthologies and retellings! His Hideous Heart is an anthology of Edgar Allen Poe stories. According to the synopsis on the back and Goodreads, this book is perfect for both new Poe fans or old veterans. No matter what, I am SO PUMPED for this book. His Hideous Heart will be released September 10, 2019 by Flatiron Books/Macmillian. 

2. Lovely War by Julie Berry44107480

I first heard about Lovely War in my friends’ (Olivia and Taylor) post giving book recommendations based on musicals. I will leave the link here in case you would like to go ahead and give it a read! After reading what they were saying about it, I knew I needed to get it at ALA. It has elements of WWI and WWII with Greek mythology which sounds like a dream come true. Lovely War was released March 5, 2019 by Viking Books/Penguin.

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The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo {Book Review}

33294200. sy475 A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

I first picked up The Poet X at the Strand about a year ago because it was only $8, and it sat on my shelf for the LONGEST time. However, I finally picked it up because I figured it would be a short quick read. However, I severely underestimated the impact of this book; it was so much more than just a “quick read”.

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