book chat: ratings + how I rate diverse books

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Hello, my fellow book lovers! Today, I am going to talk about book ratings. First, I’m going to discuss how I feel about them. Secondly, I’m going to talk about how I rate diverse books, since I’m reading such novels almost exclusively this year. This is not a post with advise on how you should rate books. I’m only going to talk about how I do it.

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At the beginning of 2017, I announced I would no longer rate the books I read. In my opinion, a star rating is a rather shallow way to express how you feel about something. There are so many things that a rating isn’t able to convey, such as whether a novel contains harmful content.

Another reason why I dislike book ratings, is because they mean something different to everyone. Especially three star ratings are tricky. People often consider that a low rating, while the reviewer might still recommend the novel.

However, I soon noticed that my Goodreads reviews didn’t receive as much love as they used to once I stopped rating the books I read. Furthermore, I started requesting e-ARCs on Netgalley, and you have to rate the books you receive there. That’s why I decided I would still rate books, but only on Goodreads and Netgalley. As you may have noticed, I don’t include my book ratings on my blog anymore. My reviews are more often than not very thorough, so if you want to know how I feel about a novel, my reviews are able to tell you that.

I won’t go into detail what my star ratings mean exactly. It’s mostly based on feeling, though, as you will find out soon, I have a different system when it comes to diverse literature.

I know that many people want Goodreads to had half star ratings, but I won’t bother with those anymore. I really don’t want my reviews to revolve around the rating, because my reviews convey my thoughts much better than a number of stars ever could.

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Confessing this might be controversial, but yes, I do rate diverse books differently. Like I said, ratings mean something different to everyone. If I were to rate a diverse novel three stars based on MY enjoyment and not whether or not it contains intentionally harmful content, a lot of people might not be interested to pick the diverse book up again.

As a reviewer, I think you have to be conscious of that. Especially if you have a lot of followers. A couple of weeks ago, a popular BookTuber rated a diverse F/F novella only one star, primarily because she disliked the writing. The author’s first language isn’t even English, but because this is the first review you see on the Goodreads page, so many people won’t buy this wonderful novella.

And that’s exactly why I rate diverse books much more mildly. If the novel didn’t contain much or any harmful content, I will rate it at least four stars, even if I personally didn’t enjoy it as much.

However, I don’t hide anything in my reviews. If I think a book contains hurtful material, I will discuss that. Diverse books are no exception when it comes to that.

I understand that some people might think that this is misleading, but there are enough trolls out there that rate diverse books harshly and unfairly just because they’re diverse books. If a book isn’t harmful, I don’t want to turn others away from reading it, even if I personally didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped to.


I’ve only been rating books like this for a few months now, so my opinion on book ratings might change one day. But this is how I feel about the matter for the time being.

Before I wrote this blogpost, there were many other things I wanted to discuss, but I forgot so many points I wanted to make 😦 I’ve been planning to write this blogpost for months and should’ve kept track of my thoughts better.

Anyway, what’s your opinion on rating books? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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T5W: books that aren’t inspired by the Western world

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Top Five Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Thoughts on Tomes ! Visit the Goodreads group if you’re interested in joining! This week’s topic is:

July 19th: Books That Aren’t Set In/Inspired By The Western World
I know this is a long title, but I couldn’t figure out how else to word it and still get the point across. Talk about books that are set outside of the Western World (so outside of North America and Western Europe) or if they are SFF, books that aren’t inspired by those places (so no medieval setting fantasy!)

So today, I am going to talk about five 2017 releases that aren’t inspired by the Western world and am exited to read! These are in no particular order. All books are written by authors of colour. I don’t know whether they’re all set outside of the Western world, but I do think all novels were inspired by the authors’ cultures.

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

A Crown of Wishes is the companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen, which I haven’t read yet either. But I’ve heard many positive things about this one especially, so I guess I’ll pick up the “sequel” first and then decide whether the first one is worth picking up. Anyway, I absolutely love the cover!

The Library of Fates by by Aditi Khorana

Look at that cover! It’s one of my absolutely favourites! The Library of Fates was released yesterday and is inspired by Indian folklore. Yes, romances aren’t usually my cup of tea, but this is a YA fantasy after all and I really ought to pick that genre up again!

Want by Cindy Pon

This novel is set in futuristic Taipei and was released last month. I bought a copy for my dear friend Laura (@ Green Tea and Paperbacks) but I haven’t to buy a copy for myself yet. I’ve mentioned a few times before that I don’t usually read sci-fi novels, but I’m always willing to give diverse authors and books a chance nevertheless 🙂

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

The Gauntlet is described as “a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair“. I don’t know what Jumanji is, so I’m intrigued 😀 This novel received a lot of hype when it was released, but unfortunately, that has died down. That always happens and I hate that about the book community. Not everyone is able to read or buy books as soon as they’re released. It makes me feel left out… Anyway, this is a middle grade novel and though I don’t read that genre often, I really should because it makes me even more excited to pick this novel up!

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Everyone’s excitement for Wild Beauty has made me really excited as well, even though I have no idea what this novel is about! I do know it features queer characters and that the cover looks absolutely stunning 😀


Are you excited for these novels? Have you read any of the books mentioned above yet? Obviously, I could have added many more books to this list, but it’s Top FIVE Wednesday after all 😉

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ARC REVIEW of Little Monsters: a YA thriller that got me hooked

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Little Monsters

by Kara Thomas

read in July 2017

format: e-ARC

release date: 25 July 2017

spoiler-free review!

I received an e-ARC in from Delacorte Press through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

Little Monsters is pitched as a psychological thriller for fans of Pretty Little Liars. So if that’s your cup of tea, you’ll definitely enjoy this novel.

Unfortunately, it was more like Mean Girls that I had expected. Girls being nasty for the sake of high school drama is a very overused trope, in my opinion. It certainly made the characters in
Little Monsters more interesting, but also more stereotypical at the same time.

Nevertheless, this novel had me hooked. As soon as my shift at work ended, I had to continue reading it. I even read it on my phone, which is something I never do! Unfortunately, the big reveal towards the end wasn’t as convincing as I had wanted it to be. I certainly hadn’t expected it, but the explanations that were given, didn’t exactly satisfy me.

Still, this book convinced me that I ought to read more thrillers! It’s hard to find ones that will satisfy all readers, because we all come up with different theories while reading such books. I suspected almost everyone at a certain point. I think some of my theories would’ve been more shocking and interesting!

Sadly, a lot of ableist language was used (such as cr*zy over ten times), there was a lot of unnecessary girl-on-girl hate and the formatting of the e-ARC was horrible. I hope that’s going to be fixed in the final copy. Furthermore, this book is extremely white and allocishet. This year, I’ve been reading diverse books almost exclusively and this novel is unfortunately not diverse, except for the main character’s stepbrother who is Korean-American and very few minor characters.


So while I found the ending a bit of an anti-climax, I still thought this was a decent Young Adult thriller! It has certainly convinced me that I should pick up this genre more often.

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The Nintendo Book Tag

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It’s Sunday, so time for another book tag 🙂 Thank you Nikki (@ The Night is Dark and Full of Books) for tagging me! This tag was created by Sam’s Nonsense on Youtube.

NES (NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM): A CLASSIC YOU WANT TO READ

and then there were none

I’m not a fan of classics, but And Then There Were None is on my TBR. I started it last year, but it was so confusing, I decided to put it down for the time being.

SNES (SUPER NINTENDO): A SEQUEL YOU LIKED MORE THAN THE FIRST

dream thieves

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love The Raven Boys, but The Dream Thieves is one of my all-time favourite books. I really want to re-read this series again soon and I hope I’ll enjoy The Raven King more this time around.

NINTENDO 64: A BOOK THAT REVOLUTIONIZED THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THE WORLD

salt to the sea

As a history teacher, I can honestly say that Salt to the Sea changed my life. Though World War II is one of the most documented events ever, there is still so much I don’t know. That’s the lesson I learnt from this beautiful novel.

GAMECUBE: A POPULAR BOOK THAT DID NOT GO OVER SO WELL WITH YOU

ramona blue

I was so excited to read Ramona Blue, but this book ended up hurting me very much. I’d suggest reading my review if you want to know why. I’m unfortunately used to books being biphobic, but when a bisexual author does this, it hurts even worse.

WII: A NEW FAVORITE

queens of geek

I used to think that fluffy YA contemporaries weren’t my cup of tea, but this year, my reading taste has changed completely. Queens of Geek is a wonderful story about two best friends who go to SupaCon, which was a lot of fun to read about, but on top of that, this book is also diverse!

NINTENDO POWER:  A SERIES YOU WANT TO START

 

truthwitch

I own both Truthwitch and Windwitch, but I still haven’t started this series yet. I have the feeling I’m going to like it, but I haven’t been in the mood to read YA fantasies lately, and especially not ones that aren’t diverse. If Truthwitch is indeed diverse, I haven’t seen anyone mention it.

SUPER MARIO: A CHARACTER THAT YOU’D LOVE TO SQUISH LIKE A GOOMBA

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Assuming this is a negative thing (I don’t know, I’m not overly familiar with Nintendo!), I have to go with Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire. Unpopular opinion,  but I absolutely hate him. He’s so overrated – he literally does nothing besides drink, talk and pay women to have sex with him – and on top of that, he’s a rapist and has done multiple horrible things. Look, Cersei Lannister has done horrible things as well, but at least she doesn’t think she’s the good guy, whereas Tyrion really believes he’s being treated unfairly. It amazes me that this series is filled with many amazing characters, yet people manage to hype up the most mediocre ones…

ZELDA: A NEWER FANTASY THAT YOU CONSIDER TO BE A MODERN CLASSIC

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Besides Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire, I believe the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan will one day be considered a classic (for children’s literature). I’ve only read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (I know, shame on me!), but I own many of Riordan’s books and definitely want to get to them… someday 😀

SAMUS-ARAN: FAVORITE SCI-FI NOVEL OR ONE YOU WANT TO READ

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Sci-fi is not a genre I usually reach for, but there are a couple of diverse sci-fi books I do want to read, such as Empress of a Thousand Skies and The Long Way To a Small Angry Planet. Whenever a book is diverse, I’m willing to give it a chance, even if the genre usually isn’t my cup of tea.

POKEMON: BOOK EDITIONS THAT YOU WANT TO COLLECT

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If you follow me on Instagram, it won’t come as a surprise that I own multiple editions of the Harry Potter series. I’d always like more, but I’m currently reorganising my bookshelves and there honestly isn’t much room left to collect more. But one or two additions won’t hurt, right?

DONKEY KONG: A BOOK WITH ORIGINAL CHARACTERS

dream thieves

I know, I know, why must I mention The Raven Cycle AGAIN? But there aren’t many characters that are as fleshed out as these ones. They seem so very real. They’re flawed, but I still love them all so very much.

NINTENDO FANDOM: FAVORITE NINTENDO GAMES

Nintendo wasn’t a big part of my childhood, nor is it now, so this question isn’t easy to answer. I did play the Pokémon games a few years ago and enjoy them. I got into the games because of the person I was dating at the time, but when we broke up, I lost my interest. Sometimes I want to pick the hobby up again, but I always choose to read or do crafts instead.


Thank you Nikki for tagging me! If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged by me! I’m serious! You can say in your post that you were tagged by me, don’t worry 😉

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recommendation: Lambs Can Always Become Lions

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34109079Lambs can Always Become Lions

by Charlotte Anne Hamilton

read in July 2017

format: Kindle

spoiler-free review!


I’m not familiar with Robin Hood. I know the name, that he steals to help the poor… but that’s probably where my knowledge ends. Thankfully, that wasn’t a problem while reading Lambs Can Always Become Lions. This retelling got me hooked right from the start!

I absolutely love that Lambs Can Always Become Lions featured an established F/F relationship. It’s hard enough to find books with established relationships, let alone F/F ones. Furthermore, the relationship between Robin and Marian is so adorable. This isn’t a New Adult novella, so is appropriate for anyone to read.

Besides the queer main characters, there is also diversity among the side characters. Little John appears to be asexual, Edda wears a hijab and is black, Will is referred to as they/them, etc. I know this author is often involved in discussion on diversity because I follow her on several social media, so it’s very nice to see that’s noticeable in her work.

Furthermore, I loved the writing style. I tend to enjoy dual point-of-views and third person perspective most of the time, and Lambs Can Always Become Lions is no exception. The writing seemed so mature, yet not dense or difficult to understand. Therefore I’m sure we can expect many more great things from this author!

Unfortunately, it did take me very long to read this short novella. It’s not the book’s fault, however. I’ve been in a reading slump for MONTHS. Once I get back into my reading mood, I definitely plan on re-reading Lambs Can Always Become Lions in one sitting. Having said that, I remembered everything clearly even though I didn’t pick this up for weeks at a time. There are novels I have finished and can’t even remember the protagonists’ names of anymore, so that’s a good sign.


I would recommend Lambs Can Always Become Lions to everyone. It’s a very enjoyable, well-written novella and on top of that diverse. I will definitely continue this series and plan on reading whatever Hamilton writes next!

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The Liebster Award

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Hello, my dear book lovers! I was nominated ages ago by

The Rules

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  • Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the Award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions

Jess’ questions

1. An item you can’t live without?

Let’s start off with a cliché answer right off the bat: my phone. I have tons of pictures on there from my cats and dogs I would hate to lose. Other than that, I wouldn’t be able to sleep without earplugs and a sleeping mask anymore.

2. Favourite children’s TV show growing up?

There are so many, though I’m not sure whether they’re well know abroad. Honestly, there are a thousand TV shows I could mention, such as The Smurfs and the Teletubbies.

3. A song you associate with a happy memory?

There are a lot of songs from a Belgian/Dutch group aimed for children that remind me of my childhood. My sister and I listened to their CDs every single day during summer! They even had a song about Leonardo Dicaprio!

4. How did you come up with your blog name?

I had been on Tumblr for many years when I decided to create an Instagram account dedicated to books. I knew it was impossible to get a canon URL, so I just switched the ‘n’ with ‘m’ and became ‘romweasley’ 😀 I sometimes wonder whether my username is relevant enough, since I surely do like Ron Weasley, but he’s not my all-time favourite character. But I’m ‘romweasley’ on almost all my social media, it’d be too much work to change it now.

5. Sunset or sunrise?

Sunset 🙂 Though sunrise can be very beautiful a well!

6. Current fictional character crush (if any)?

I honestly don’t get crushes often, but I have to go with Claire Fraser. I absolutely love her and she’s definitely under-appreciated. Jamie who?

7. Do you have any pets?

Yes, we have two Chihuahuas, Daisy and Sansa (named after the one and only Sansa Stark) and two cats, Harley and Ivy (named after Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy).

8. How do you usually spend your Saturday nights?

I spend them at home and usually watch TV, a movie, read a book or do crafts.

9. Favourite season?

Definitely summer. Though this year summer hasn’t been treating me well, because my allergies are out of control and I can’t go outside without my eyes hurting VERY BADLY. Still, I’ll take that over the constant cold during winter.

10. A novel or movie that moved you to tears?

My mind has gone blank. I cry all the time, yet I can’t think of anything right now!

11. Who was your best friend growing up, and are you still friends with them?

Nah, I’ve lost contact with as good as anyone I’ve ever been friends with. My sister is the only one I’ve stayed close with and I hope we will remain that way once I move out of the house.


Ellyn’s questions

1. What was the last song you listened to?

I’m currently listening to Halsey’s album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom and Sorry is playing.

2. Why did you start your blog?

I tried BookTube first, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing that. A few months later, I found out that a lot of readers blogged about books, so that’s when I decided to join.

3. Are you excited for the new Star Wars movie?

I’m a fairly new Star Wars fan (I only watched all the films one or two years ago for the first time) but yes, I’m excited! I’m a bit afraid they’re going to queerbait us with Finn and Poe though… :/

4. Did you enjoy high school?

I’d say no, but I recently graduated as a high school teacher, so I must have enjoyed it on some level. But other pupils could be very harsh. My fourth year was the worst. My parents had recently divorced and I had no one to turn to in my class. On top of that, they were making fun of the way I walk (I have scoliosis and I therefore don’t walk like most people do) and bullied me in other ways as well. I absolutely hate looking back on that time.

5. What’s your most anticipated movie for the year?

Justice League! I don’t care what anyone says: DC is amazing and I absolutely loved Batman vs. Superman, so I’m very excited. Except for the fact that Joss Whedon has now joined DC… Ugh, he’s going to ruin everything!

6. Are you a neat person or do you prefer organised chaos?

During teacher training, I was always told that I’m a very organised person. My bedroom and desk might not always look like it, but I bet there are people who are much more chaotic than I am 😀

7. Do you prefer reading tags or discussions?

Honestly, I rarely read other people’s blog posts… I know, I know, that’s absolutely horrible! It’s just not something that crosses my mind when I’m feeling bored.

8. What’s your opinion on candles?

I like them and I have quite a few candles in my bedroom, but I really don’t understand the hype surrounding bookish candles. They’re so expensive! I would never be able to spend so much money on a damn candle.

9. What did you read last?

The last book I finished was When Dimple Met Rishi.

10. How do you feel about bullet journalling? Would you ever do it?

I’m trying to get into it! I quite enjoy it, but feel like sh*t when I compare myself to other people’s work.

11. Do you enjoy writing reviews?

Yes! I usually write them right away, except for in April and May, when I didn’t review any books because of my busy schedule. While reading books, I take notes on my phone. The downside is that I usually only take notes of the things I don’t like though.

On the other hand though, reviewing books has made me even more insecure. I’m afraid people will attack me for expressing my opinion (you know those folks who just love defending problematic books? I’ve been attacked by those people on multiple occasions) or whether my feelings are valid.


I was nominated by a third person, but I can’t find their blog anymore… Oh well, thank you for nominating me!

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review: When Dimple met Rishi

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when dimple met rishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi

by Sandhya Menon

read in July 2017

format: hardcover

spoiler-free review!


I really wanted and expected to love When Dimple Met Rishi. I’m so sorry I didn’t. I’m disappointed this book didn’t make me feel giddy, didn’t make me laugh more than once or twice…

I liked reading about their culture, but if it had been about the competition a tad bit more, I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. But unfortunately, the romance was the main focus and at the end of the day, allocishet romances are not my cup of tea. I absolutely want to give them a chance when they’re diverse, but when the romance takes up 90 percent of the novel, it’s difficult for me to enjoy such a book. Dimple and Rishi attend a summer program in which they have to create an app, but we don’t find out any of the other groups’ ideas! If you enjoy romances, I’d suggest picking this book up, but don’t do it because the competition appeals to you, because you will end up feeling disappointed.

However, that wasn’t my main issue with this novel. I try to pay attention to ableist language, but in When Dimple Met Rishi, it would’ve been impossible not to notice anyway. I’ve only seen one reviewer mention the ableism in their review and I’m very disappointed. Because there are so, so many examples of ableist languages throughout the entire novel. Here are only a couple of examples:
“He was dressed pretty sanely for a psychotic attacker” [when Dimple thinks Rishi is a stalker]
“My parents are so deranged.”
“You’re driving me insane”.
“She’s depressed because…” Depression is a mental illness. It’s not the same as being sad! Smoothing things over with your boyfriend after a fight wouldn’t cure your depression, sweetie.
There is so much more where that came from. I wish I owned this as an e-book so I could search how often cr*zy was used. Therefore, I’m wary to pick up any of Menon’s future novels.

Sometimes, this book tried to tackle misogyny coming from men, but unfortunately, there was an unnecessary amount of animosity between the female characters. Besides Dimple, there are only two other girls at the summer program, who couldn’t be more different from Dimple and there’s a ton of drama surrounding them. Dimple had only met Isabelle and she already thought things like “a girl like Isabelle”, of course in a negative way. Throughout the entire novel, they never attempt to get to know each other better. Celia is looking fabulous and Dimple thinks “I wish I could hate her”. WHY? Why can’t female characters support each other?! Why do I have to read about such pettiness?!

At a certain point, Celia says she had a girlfriend last summer, but it was nothing serious. At first I was very excited to read about a bisexual or pansexual female character, but it might as well been a typo, because it’s never brought up again. Furthermore, if Celia is indeed queer, I don’t like how her sexuality is portrayed. She cheats on her partner and her relationship with a girl was “nothing serious”, implying that bisexuality is a phase. Unfortunately, I’m very familiar with reading such portrayals of bisexuality, and I wish non-bi authors would stop including my sexual orientation if they’re only going to rely on stereotypes.

The way Dimple discussed money really hurts me. She acts as if she’s poor, but her parents paid $1.000 for a camp just so she could meet her future husband. My mom doesn’t even have $1.000. Because she compares herself to Rishi who is rich, she thinks of money quite often. Reading that hurts, because it’s not even an issue for her!

Finally, I’m going to discuss the romance. Like I said, allocishet romances are not my cup of tea. However, that’s just my opinion, so I think there are plenty of people who will enjoy this novel. Having said that, there are some things about the romance I didn’t love.
First of all, I don’t think it’s romantic to push your partners boundaries. I understood the idea; Dimple and Rishi wanted each other to pursue their dreams, but I don’t like how they’re making the other person do things they specifically said they didn’t want to do. For instance, there’s a scene at a party where Dimple pressures Rishi into eating a brownie. He really didn’t want to because he was afraid it might contain drugs, but he did it because of her.
Secondly, I really don’t like how sex is portrayed in Young Adult. Penetration is always the first step for allocishet couples in YA and of course, it’s always perfect and painless. Which is, as far as I know, completely unrealistic. The first time doesn’t necessarily have to hurt, but the girl has to be prepared, if you know what I mean. But no, in YA, they just go right in there, because no other forms of sex exist.

Obviously, I had my issues with this novel. Having said that: y’all are so obvious. Why are the most liked reviews on Goodreads the most negative ones, which of course don’t even touch upon the ableism in this book? I know: racism. People just love hating on diverse books just because they’re diverse. I really hope people don’t interpret my review as “trolling”, because I absolutely expected to love this novel and do have some issues with.


Because I hadn’t expected the allocishet romance to be such a prominent part of the story, I didn’t enjoy When Dimple Met Rishi as much as I had expected. On top of that, I have some serious concerns, such as the ableist language. If you enjoy reading romances, I would recommend this novel, but please be aware of the ableism, portrayal of bisexuality, etc.

I wanted to include reviews from Indians or Indian-Americans who talked about the representation in this novel, but I couldn’t find any people who clearly stated in their reviews they’re Indians or Indian-Americans right away, but I haven’t heard any complaints when it comes to that portrayal. Besides, this novel is #OwnVoices.

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Spring 2017 reading update

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Hello, book lovers! Since I was inactive for almost three months, I’m going to talk about all the books I read in April, May and June today.

The Books I read

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During winter, I had read 14 books. In spring, I only read a total of 9. Because of my exams and teacher training, I was too busy to read. Even though I’m graduated now, I’m still having trouble getting back into reading. I do hope I’ll be able to read more books during the summer.

All the books I read were contemporaries, except for Salt., which is a poetry collection and Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, which I re-read by listening to them on audio-book.

Due to my reading slump, I DNF’d a couple of books, but I plan on picking those up again someday, so won’t discuss them today.

My Favourite

queens of geekLast time, I discussed my five favourites, but because I only read nine books this spring, I’ll only be chosing one novel that stood out for me. Of course, I’d be able to include Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire as well, but you already know how much I love the series.

Queens of Geek was the first book I read in Spring and it was my favourite. So cute, fluffy and adorable, yet still able to tackle serious topics such as fatphobia and anxiety. I would absolutely recommend this fast-paced YA contemporary! You can read my full review here.

2017 Reading Challenge

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I am no longer ahead on my 2017 Goodreads reading challenge. I really don’t want to rush myself like I had to last year, so I hope I’ll be able to catch up soon. Still, my life is very unpredictable at the moment. I just graduated, so I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to find a job, whether I’ll have time to read…

Diversity Bingo progress

To be honest, I kind of forgot about Diversity Bingo. I’ve been too busy to check which category each book qualifies for. Having said that, I’m not disappointed in myself, because I have been reading diverse books exclusively, with the exception of the Harry Potter series. Though I might not have ticked off every square by the end of this year, I’m still proud of myself and I will continue to pick up diverse books (as you can tell by yesterday’s book haul).

So I won’t post my progress yet. I still have to decide whether I’ll try to complete the challenge, or whether I’ll just pick up whatever diverse book I’m in the mood for like I’m doing now. At the end of the day, I think that’s what the creators tried to make people do, so I wouldn’t feel to bad for not completing every square on the grid.


From now on, I plan on doing my monthly wrap-ups again. Spring was an exception because I was too busy to read, let alone to write a blog-post telling you how far I’m behind on my reading challenge.

Anyway, what was your favourite book you read in spring?

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May & June book haul

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Hello, book lovers! Today I’m going to talk about the books I got in May and June. Even though I’m combining two months, there isn’t much to discuss. I’ve been too busy to buy books and have been spending my money on craft supplies instead. Still, I’m satisfied with this haul because I only bought books I really want to read and all books are diverse 😀


all photos are my own!

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Hardcovers

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Let’s get this one out of the way first: I regret buying this book. As soon as I ordered it, the author decided to defend 1) a biphobic author and 2) a “reviewer” who has harassed many people and even went after a bisexual author. As far as I know, Heilig hasn’t apologised yet, but I probably wouldn’t know since I immediately unfollowed her on Twitter. I want to read this since I spend money on this, but on the other hand, I don’t want to support this author anymore.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

I already planned to read this book, but pre-ordered it right away when I learnt there was an international pre-order campaign going on! I’ve never been able to get any pre-order goodies, because they’re rarely available internationally.

Unfortunately, I ended up disliking this book (to put it mildly). The author said on social media the main character identifies as bisexual, but that’s not true. Read my review if you want to know why I wouldn’t recommend picking up Ramona Blue.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan, but I had to buy Empress of a Thousand Skies nonetheless. The cover looks absolutely stunning and it has received many mixed reviews, so I want to make up my own mind. In my opinion, some people are much more critical of diverse books (whether intentionally or not) and that’s not fair.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Of course I had to buy When Dimple Met Rishi. Everyone has been raving about it for months, even though it was only released on May 30th! I’m currently reading this one, actually 🙂

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

A lot of reviewers have called We Are Okay boring, but that’s somehow making me want to pick this up even more. I prefer character-driven stories anyway, so I have the feeling I’m going to love this one. Besides, I’m always looking to read more books featuring queer girls.

Paperback

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

I honestly don’t know much about this book, but it has received raving reviews! I follow the author in Twitter and she seems very nice. Unfortunately, the weather in Belgium is currently dreadful , and I’d like to read this one on a nice summer’s day.


Like I said, I didn’t buy many books this spring! Which books did you get? 🙂

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Cover reveal: Ripped Pages by M. Hollis + my fan art!

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Hello, my dear book lovers. I have some very exciting news today: I’ll be revealing the cover of Ripped Pages, M. Hollis’ new novelette! Ripped Pages is a F/F retelling featuring a lesbian main character, bisexual love interest and a side M/M ship!

This is the book’s summary:

Princess Valentina lives a reasonably comfortable life, but after her mother’s death, her father gets tired of taking care of her and locks her in a tower. She spends years on her own, talking to the birds on her windowsill, and reading books with adventures she will never experience. Her plans of running away are usually left for another day because she knows the vast forest surrounding her tower is too dangerous to cross alone.

Until one day, another girl passes by on her horse and Valentina wonders if she’s finally brave enough to seize her chance of freedom.

Make sure to add this book on Goodreads!  And now, of course, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: THE COVER REVEAL!

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ripped pages fanartI absolutely adore the blue tones and how whimsical it looks! It definitely suits a retelling of Rapunzel. Because I wanted to celebrate this opportunity M. Hollis has given me once again (we already did an interview together a few months ago), I decided to get a little crafty and re-create this cover using my watercolours and Tombow brush pens. On the right, you can see the result. It’s not perfect, but I had a lot of fun creating it 😀

Ripped Pages is set to be released at the end of 2017 and in the meantime, I’d really suggest checking out her other novellas: The Melody of You and Me and The Paths We Choose. Both feature F/F relationships as well. If you’re usually not a fan of New Adult, I’d still highly recommend picking up Hollis’ work!


I hope I was able to convince you to check out this wonderful author’s work. What do you think about the cover? 🙂

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