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}

The Poet X by Elizabeth AcevedoA 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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Happy Pride Month! Here’s What’s On My TBR:

Happy Pride Month! We’re technically ten days into pride month, but I suppose it’s better late than never! Every year for pride month, I make it my goal to have most (if not all) of the books on my TBR to be LGBTQ+ books. Let’s start talking about what I’ll be reading this month!

1. I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

Technically, I already finished this book when this post goes up. However, I started reading it at the beginning of the month. I’ve been following Mason Deaver since I Wish You All The Best was called #EnbyLoveStory, and it’s awesome to see how much this book has blown up!I would promise that a review will come soon, but I am awful about posting reviews hehehe.

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Are People Still Buying Books? My School Survey Results

During my first semester, I had Statistics class where we were able to choose what we wanted to research for our final project. I read on a few articles talking about how print book sales were up in 2018. However, everyone I talked to said that they believed reading was going down as a whole. Since I see the book hype first hand on Twitter, I thought the statistic wasn’t that unbelievable.

I wanted to explore if people truly do still buy books and where people choose to purchase their books if they do. I sent the survey out to some of my friends at school, and I posted it on my social medias (Facebook*, Twitter, and Instagram). In total, I received 170 responses. I asked the following questions:

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Where Have I Been? An Update on Senior Year, Drowning in AP Classes, & Reading (or Lack Thereof)

Long time no talk! Seriously, it’s been six months since I have blogged. SIX. MONTHS. That is insane. I’ve really missed being on here, but now that my life is slowing down I think it’s time to make this a priority again. I thought my ‘come back post’ can be me discussing just what I’ve been up to since my unplanned hiatus.


1. AP Classes Can Go To Hell

Okay so, I was not very smart when I enrolled in my classes. I decided to take four AP classes this year (AP Government, AP Psychology, AP US History, and AP Literature and Composition). This entire year has just been me DROWNING in work, especially in APUSH. I’ve really loved what I’ve been learning, but the workload is just so much. Thankfully, AP tests are on the horizon which means my classes will be pretty much over soon enough.

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Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich {ARC Review}

I read Dear Evan Hansen as an ARC borrowed from Axel! This in no way influences my opinions. 

Image result for dear evan hansen bookDear Evan Hansen,
Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.
Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?
No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.
A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

Before I begin, I’d just like to say that I was obsessed with Dear Evan Hanse. Like, obsessed. I listened to it non-stop during a really difficult time in my life, so I have a special place in my heart for it. With that being said, this book fell flat for me. And, for many instances, was quite problematic. But, I’ll get into that.

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Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzie Lee {Book Review}

35888416Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

Women are great, y’all. A few years ago I read a book similar to this one except it was about women in the STEM field. You can read that review here. However, Bygone Badass Broads was more up my alley simply because I am not a stem person. I am more arts/humanities oriented, so I found this one to be more appealing. Bygone Badass Broads includes women from all different career paths and backgrounds, though!

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Goals For The Rest of 2018: Personal, Reading, and Blogging

Hello friends! Long time, no talk! I recently attended a program in New York City for two weeks, and even though I wasn’t there long, I learned so much about myself! (I may make an entire post about my New York experience…Let me know if that would be of interest!) I also realized so many things I’d love to change/improve about myself. So, I’m going to talk about them on here!

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April and May Wrap-Up

Wow, hello everyone! Long time no talk! I’m sorry my blog has been pretty dormant. The semester just ended, but I’m buried under a mountain of summer work. At least I have a few months to do it! Also, Happy Pride Month! For now, I’m here to talk about my month of April and May! I read a few books, and I did all the things…Let’s talk about it!

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