Happy TUESDAY!! It's been a pretty good past week for me in general, but reading-wise I'm lacking again. Currently trying to find the internal strength to pick up a book again, and just sink into reading for a few hours. I think this is my first real reading slump of the year, and I am NOT enjoying it.
The light at the end of the tunnel is the Owlcrate package I've just received. I ordered a few exciting things, one of which contains a new book! Stay tuned for my unboxing and pictures of the goodies, which I will be showing off at every opportunity. Much love to you all, and keep warm!
One of my friends had a couple great milestones recently, so... I've come up with a list of twenty books she should read in celebration. Congratulations, friend! Much love always.
This list is comprised of books from five genres she likes, which I asked her to rate from 1-5. The number of books recommended accords with the rating she gave.
To the rest of you: it might seem like I recommend the same books over and over again. I assure you, I try to avoid this, but it is inevitable that I want to share books that make my heart scream. The following list of reviews for some of the books below explains my great love for them. I do not recommend books lightly. My recs are an honest compilation of my tastes.
Warcross by Marie Lu
The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta
Most Likely by Sarah Watson
We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan
All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
I haven't done a Blogging Mechanics post in so long, but I wanted to come back this week with some amazing apps I use all the time to run this blog and my bookstagram, in case anyone is thinking about getting a website in the new year! 2020 is the time for change, y'all, so get out and write!
Just to disclose, I don't have any partnerships with any developers of these apps. This is just my enthusiasm, not promoted content.
Evernote is my favorite writing app ever. Its free version is limited, but has great features and enough storage capacity to keep my articles organized month-to-month. The system is based on notebooks, which organize notes and can include content tags and media.
I use Canva to make all of my post graphics (including this one), because their massive image library and layout offerings are unmatched. I like that I can copy layouts for consistency, and save to my own library for future use. Canva also offers a business suite upgrade, but even without it I have the ability to choose a brand color palette that I can default to.
I promise this isn't promo! I just love this platform because it's super simple for beginners, and has a lot of great features such as drag and drop content creation, the choice of having an online shop, customizable themes, and... a great mobile app for managing a website on the go. I've used mine to post blogs, draft, and check my stats even when I don't have a computer.
Darkroom is the best mobile photo-editing app I've ever used. With subtle and beautiful built in filters, as well as the ability to save your own from past edits, Darkroom is a great way to go for bookstagrammers wanting feed consistency. One of the features that I've used often in the past is their frames tool, which pulls colors from your photo to create a solid border.
1Password is probably the most important app in my life. Often overlooked, it is a password manager that keeps my digital information safe in a personal vault. Encrypted, secure, and easy to access (offers fingerprint login for supporting devices), it's way better than a notes app or a stray sticky note. Most of the other apps I'm mentioning here require password logins, and 1Password is my favorite way to keep track of them.
I've been a bullet journalist for over a year now, but I appreciate the simplicity of a digital calendar to plan out my blog posts. I like my computer's default calendar because of its simplicity, but any app would do. Google calendar is particularly great for syncing between devices, especially when you're planning on the go.
For book bloggers such as myself, GoodReads is an essential organizing system for our libraries. I use it to catalogue the books I own, the books I've read, and to keep up with their annual reading challenge (this year, I am 93% towards my goal of 150 books). However, I would encourage non-book bloggers to use it as well because it contains almost every book ever published, including cookbooks, travel books, and business books. You can discover new reads, and titles to feature on your blog, or you can keep track of the books that have helped you the most.
Hi lovelies! Happy December... I live in Massachusetts and so I think it’s quite appropriate that on December 1st, it started to snow and since then it hasn’t stopped. I love winter weather because it’s the perfect excuse to stay in and read. Unfortunately yesterday I didn’t get to do much reading, but I did get to take some awesome photos for my bookstagram, which you should totally check out when you get a chance.
Happy release day also to Reverie by Ryan La Sala! I really wanted to post my review ahead of time, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day for writing! It’s coming soon, though. I gave Reverie 4/5 stars, and I hope you won’t wait for me to post my review before adding it to your cart or requesting it at your local library.
Have a great Tuesday, everyone!
Thank you to Little, Brown and my local public library for sharing a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha (listed in alphabetical order out of fairness) have been friends since kindergarten. Now they're in their senior year, facing their biggest fears about growing up and growing apart. But there's more than just college on the horizon. One of these girls is destined to become the president of the United States. The mystery, of course, is which girl gets the gig.
Is it Ava, the picture-perfect artist who's secretly struggling to figure out where she belongs? Or could it be CJ, the one who's got everything figured out...except how to fix her terrible SAT scores? Maybe it's Jordan, the group's resident journalist, who knows she's ready for more than their small Ohio suburb can offer. And don't overlook Martha, who will have to overcome all the obstacles that stand in the way of her dreams.
This is the story of four best friends who have one another's backs through every new love, breakup, stumble, and success--proving that great friendships can help young women achieve anything... even a seat in the Oval Office.
I am convinced that Sarah Watson brings the same warm energy to each of her projects, and I eagerly await the next one. Most Likely is her debut novel, but it shares the same focus on female friendship, advocacy, and fun that made The Bold Type—her hit TV show—a fan favorite. Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha “(listed in alphabetical order for fairness)” (a quirk I love) remind me so much of Kat, Jane, and Sullivan in a delightful way.
The friendship between the girls is the crux of the novel, which shifts perspective often to portray each of them. This is to great advantage, and they were all well-developed and distinct characters. I could see the similarities in the group dynamic between Most Likely and The Bold Type, so if you’re a fan of one, you’ll enjoy the other. I think Watson has a unique approach to developing bonds between friends, so that even though I did have a favorite character (Ava), the whole group dynamic made a mark on my reading experience.
All of these girls come together in a truly heartwarming way to support each other, even when it might hurt. They deal with the fact that life doesn’t come equally to all of them, and manage to rise above deep challenges. I love it. Girls supporting girls is exactly what we need, and Watson nails it. The blurb says it all: “great friendships can help young women achieve anything… even a seat in the Oval Office.”
They all make mistakes, some smaller than others, but they’re there to lift each other up with forgiveness and lessons for the next time. It’s so great to see that go unchallenged in a novel. I’m glad Most Likely takes this friendship as a constant positive, rather than something that’s up in the air. Yeah, I’m spoiling that. I think readers need to know going in that this novel doesn’t twist friendship, and that even when these girls fight, or something’s unequal between them, they know they’ve been friends since the 9th of August before they started kindergarten, and that bond's not going anywhere. Most Likely is a novel about friendship, but it’s about the joys of having best friends, not the struggle.
The backdrop for the whole novel is set by the prologue, which introduces one of the girls and her husband right before her inauguration ceremony as President of the United States. The only information given is the (admittedly unique) last name of the husband. This aspect kept me guessing throughout the whole novel, because each of the girls had moments in which I could clearly see them as being the “I” voice in that prologue. Given more effort, I probably could have guessed which one of them became President, but as it is, I was happy just going along for the ride. The reader only knows that one of the girls is going to end up married to a man with that last name, and the story unfolds from there. This was a fun way to frame the novel, and kept me on the hook because I knew all would be revealed in the end, and I wanted to get there! I was so curious in the beginning about Madam future President’s identity, but as I kept reading, I wondered more and more about the path she’d take to get there, no matter which girl it was.
Most Likely also does a deep dive into contemporary concerns, specifically disability advocacy and classism. CJ learns about bias and how to channel her activism energy when she starts to volunteer at an after school sports program for kids using wheelchairs, and all of the girls work together to fight a neighborhood park being razed for an office building while dealing with judgment (inside the group and outside) against the surrounding neighborhood, which is seen as “less than” because its residents aren’t wealthy.
Overall, Most Likely is a delightful debut novel involving the power of female friendship and local activism, that has more than earned its place on your shelf. 4/5 stars. Watch out for Sarah Watson: first The Bold Type, and now Most Likely—she’s on a roll. If it wasn’t clear, I’m an avid fan, and can’t wait to see what she does next!
I must say, there aren't a lot of YA books with orange covers, so I'd welcome suggestions in the comments!
Happy Turkey week everyone! Hope all of my US readers are big into preparations, and all those international folks looking at us aren't too surprised by our historically inaccurate eccentricities. I myself am creating portions of my family's dinner, including a citrus roast turkey and my signature fudge.
Last Thursday I introduced a new recommendation series, which is my Book Cover Color recs, starting with red! Red is such a bright color on books, and also conveys a mood of holiday warmth that I feel is appropriate for coming months. Check back soon for another one, dear readers, and have a wonderful holiday!
Hey, I'm Shreya! I love to read, write, travel, and drink coffee.