T10T: some books on my winter TBR

winter TBR.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

November 28: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

At the beginning of November, I posted a list of the books I wanted to read, which you can find here. Well, guess what: I’ve read ZERO of those books so far. I don’t know why, but I always get in a reading slump around this time of year. Seriously, I haven’t picked up a book since the beginning of this month! I’m incredibly disappointed in myself, because I know I won’t have the time to read them all in December. But because I borrowed some of these books from the library, I can’t keep postponing reading them.

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synopsis: Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Homegoing is only about 300 pages long, yet it seems like so much more! Each chapter is told from a different point of view, generation after generation. I think I’m about halfway through and I was loving it, but I haven’t picked it up in weeks 😮 I definitely plan on continuing it before I have to return it to the library. I’m certain this would’ve been a five-star read if I hadn’t been in a reading slump.

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synopsis: In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

I’m excited to read this Young Adult historical fiction novel! The Smell of Other People’s Houses has received many positive reviews and I have the feeling I might love this book. I borrowed this from the library as well, so I’ll have to pick it up soon, but thankfully, it’s less than 300 pages long.

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A Torch Against the Night is the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes, which I have read twice and really enjoyed both times! Unfortunately, however, I’m really struggling to read the second instalment. It’s by no means bad, but I’m never in the mood to read it. I started this in March, re-started it in October, but I’m still not even halfway yet. I really hope I will be able to finish this book soon, because I don’t think I’ll be able to give it a third try.

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synopsis: Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.
[…]
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

Meet Cute is a Young Adult anthology which is set to be released on January 2nd, 2018. I’m not the biggest romance fan out there, but I wanted to give this a chance nonetheless because it sounded diverse. So far, I’m disappointed. Out of the four stories I have read so far, three featured solely non-queer characters, and only one featured a protagonist of colour. I really hope the other stories will be more diverse.

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synopsis: The Big Redhead Book: Inside the Secret Society of Red Hair is an inside look into one of the most elite societies in the world–the real two percent. Well, you know, the two percent of the world’s population that are natural redheads, at least. This book has equal parts pop culture, ginger facts, and humorous stories about what it’s like to actually have red hair. It’s loaded with everything you’d ever want to know about us reds; how we’re scientifically different from the norms (non-redheads), how we’ve been stereotyped in pop culture, and the do’s and don’ts of having a red in your life, among other things!

I received The Big Redhead Book from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review back in September. I’ve been meaning to finish it, but I just can’t find the energy to pick it up. The Big Redhead Book is supposed to be funny, but I cannot help but think that the author kind of appropriates the experiences of people of colour and black people in particular, but puts a “funny twist” on it (e.g. “Only redheads are allowed to call each other “ginger” sounds very similar to “only black people can say the n-word”). Because I am white, however, I don’t feel comfortable to point that out, but I do see some red flags.

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synopsis: During the holidays, anything is possible—a second chance, a promised future, an unexpected romance, a rekindled love, or a healed heart. Authors Killian B. Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne share their stories about the magic of the season.

If the Fates Allow is an anthology filled with holiday-themed, queer short stories which will be released on December 1st. I don’t know any of these authors, nor have many readers reviewed it yet, but I nonetheless requested it on NetGalley because I certainly want to support a queer anthology and I want to check which identities are portrayed.


Because I’m in a reading slump, I don’t want to expand this list further. I’m already disappointed in myself for not getting to my November TBR, so I don’t want to set myself up for disaster again. If I don’t get to these books, I swear this was the last time I posted a TBR. I never manage to read any of the books anyway, it’s embarrassing.

In December, I also plan on doing SapphicAThon, if everything goes as planned. You can have a look at my TBR here.

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T10T: books with Muslim characters on my TBR

books with muslim characters on my TBR.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

September 26:  Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Today, I’m going to talk about some books featuring Muslim characters that are on my TBR!

saints and misfits.pngWhile I’ve heard some mixed things about Saints and Misfits, I’m still planning on reading this one! Apparently, it doesn’t have a real plot, but I really want to read more books with Muslim characters. I’m a bit afraid to read about sexual assault, though. I find that a very important topic, but it’s bound to make me angry while reading about it. I have the feeling Saints and Misfits won’t necessarily be an enjoyable read, but an important and diverse one nonetheless.

the gauntlet.pngThe Gauntlet looks like such a fun, fast-paced Middle Grade fantasy novel! I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and it’s only 298 pages long, which makes me even more intrigued to pick this up.

amina's voice.pngAmina’s Voice is another diverse Middle Grade novel on this list. Even though I have loved big books such as A Game of Thrones, finding out a book is less than 300 pages long, is one of my favourite things! This novel is only 208 pages long, so I’m even more interested to pick this up than I already was.

written in the stars.pngWritten in the Stars sounds like another difficult read, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a story that needs to be told. I found trigger warnings for rape, forced marriage and drugged against one’s will, so that sounds very heavy! I actually bought a hardcover copy of it this month.

city of brass.pngThis fantasy novel is set to be released on November 14th, 2017. So far, only a couple of people had the chance to review this, but all have been very positive!

love, hate and other filters.pngLove, Hate and Other Filters is a YA contemporary which will be published on January 16th, 2018. There are hardly any reviews out yet, but as this book deals with islamophobia, I cannot wait to read it! I hate saying it, but this sounds like such an important novel, especially with everything that’s going on now.

a girl like that.pngThis is a YA contemporary that is set to be released on February 27th, 2018. I didn’t know much about this since all reviews date back from 2016, which I find a bit odd. Anyway, I really like the cover, even though I’m usually not a fan of real people on book covers!


So these are some books with Muslim characters that are on my TBR! Have you read any of them? If so, which ones would you recommend the most? 🙂

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T10T: some books on my fall TBR

fall tbr.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

September 19: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

I hesitated whether I wanted to do today’s topic. I don’t do TBRs. I’m a mood reader and as much as I want to, I just can’t stick to them. So I thought that maybe I could talk about some fall releases I’d like to read. But since I’m currently unemployed, I have no idea whether I’d actually have the money to buy those releases this fall.

That’s why I’m going to talk about some books I recently bought, that I’d like to read soon. Obviously, I’d like to read more than five books this fall, but like I said: I DON’T DO TBRs! These are in no particular order.


library of fatesI bought Library of Fates in August, which is a diverse Young Adult fantasy. Many of the people I trust have enjoyed this. Strangely, I haven’t read many fantasies yet this year, and I’d really like to change that in the months to come. As much as I like contemporaries these days, I really miss reading a good fantasy book!

eliza and her monsters.pngI also got Eliza and her Monsters last month. It initially wasn’t on my radar, but I’ve only heard positive things about it! Because it represents mental health (depression and anxiety), I’m very excited to read this novel.

the bone witch.pngThe Bone Witch has received many mixed reviews, but that still didn’t stop me from buying a copy back in April. I own the audiobook as well, but I think it’s best to actually read a complex fantasy novel myself. Apparently, this is kind of slow, but I’ve managed to read books like A Game of Thrones, so surely, I can get through this as well, right?

truthwitch.pngI bought both Truthwitch and Windwitch back in January. I was dying to start this series, but well, here we are: nearly ten months later and I still haven’t picked it up. Thankfully, I’m much more in the mood to read fantasies now, so I think it might finally happen!

the vegetarian.pngIt’s not like I’ve been dying to read The Vegetarian (which I got last month), but since it’s only 188 pages long, I will read this very soon.


So these are some of the books I’d like to get to this fall. Which books are on your TBR? Have you read any of the books I mentioned yet?

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T10T: books I used to love, but not anymore

books i used to love, but not anymore.pngHello, my fellow book lovers! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

September 12: Throwback Freebie: Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog, Favorite Books Published 5 or 10 or 15 Years Ago, Ten Older Books I Forgot How Much I Loved, etc. etc. Tweak however you want!

I’ve been reading books regularly since 2015. Since then, my reading taste has changed a lot. On top of that, I’ve learnt much more about problematic content and diversity in fiction. That’s why I’m going to talk about some books I used to love, but not anymore. These are in no particular order.

the helpI chose to read The Help for an assignment back in college. This novel definitely got me into reading much more regularly, which I’m very thankful for. Beforehand, I only read like one book a month. While preparing for my assignment, I came across negative reviews and I thought “Eh no, you’re being too sensitive, that’s not what the author tried to do”. Thankfully, I know better now. This novel is filled with the white saviour trope and it’s quite frankly not a story that should be told by a white person.

ugly love.pngWhen I read Ugly Love, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I did everything to make sure my partner loved me, even things I didn’t want to do. That’s why I could identify with Tate, the female main character in this novel. She did everything to make sure Miles loved her. They had a happy ending, so I could have mine as well! But in real life, it didn’t work out that way, which I’m thankful for now. All the reasons why I initially loved this novel, were so problematic. This novel made me wish that my abusive relationship could work out! That is incredibly harmful and dangerous and exactly the reason why I will never read another book by Colleen Hoover.

all the bright places.pngI was in the middle of my exams when I read All the Bright Places, but I COULD NOT put it down! I devoured it and absolutely adored it. But since then, I’ve come to terms with my mental illnesses. I’m not quite there yet, I still have to seek help, but I realise now that this novel should not get into the hands of people with mental illnesses. It romanticizes them and the characters were defined by their MIs. Furthermore, Niven continues to write somewhat “diverse” stories (featuring fat character, disabled characters, etc.) but those are not her stories to tell, especially with a lack of research.

TFIOSLast year, I wanted to re-read The Fault in Our Stars, because I knew I wouldn’t love it as much anymore as I used to. I ended up DNF’ing my re-read. On almost every single page, cancer was mentioned. That’s what defined the characters. When the film was released, my friends and I were obsessed with it. They still are, but whenever they praise it, I think “Eh, it actually wasn’t that great…”. Furthermore, the way Augustus in particular talked, was so unrealistic. There’s not a single teenage boy out there that talks like that.

eleanor & parkThis is another book I initially loved, but since learnt how problematic it is. If you were to go on Goodreads and read some negative reviews, you will learn that Eleanor & Park is racist. Because I’ve also heard negative things about the bisexual representation in Carry On, I don’t want to read any more of Rowell’s books.


These were five books I used to love, but not anymore. There are probably more I could’ve added to this list, but oh well. Anyway, should I change my initial reviews? I didn’t do that, because I’d have to change every single one of my earlier reviews since there are so many things I disagree with now, but maybe it’s best to be as transparent as possible towards other readers. What do you think?

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T10T: books I struggled to get into, but ended up loving

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

September 5: Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving or Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through or Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down (the theme is…books you had a hard time with…tweak it how ever you need)

So today, I’m going to talk about five books I struggled with at first, but ended up loving! These are in no particular order.

we are okayI initially wanted to DNF We Are Okay. It’s set during a cold winter and as I picked this up in summer, I just wasn’t in the mood for it. Thankfully, I gave this another chance, because I ended up devouring it practically in one sitting. You can read my full review here.

the dream thieves.pngWhen I read The Dream Thieves for the first time back in 2015, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted continue reading it. I’m so happy I did, because it’s my favourite instalment in the series! Since, I’ve re-read it multiple times and every time, I end up loving it even more. I really should re-read this series again soon.

a game of thrones.pngNo matter how much I love this series, I struggle to get into every single book. They’re so huge, and therefore terrifying! I keep postponing picking them up because I don’t want to dedicate all my time to it. I thought about listening to it on audiobook, but I really don’t like the narration, so I have to keep pushing through. Thankfully, I know it’s worth it.

six of crows.pngI hadn’t read the Grisha trilogy before picking up Six of Crows, so I was very confused. I didn’t really know how the Grishaverse worked. Halfway through it got easier, as the heist became more important.

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It took me over two weeks to read And I Darken. Though it contained a lot of things I love (queer representation, historical retelling, bad-ass female character, etc.), I wasn’t ever in the mood to pick it up. It ended up as one of my favourite reads of 2016, however. But now, I feel kind of indifferent towards it. I do plan on reading Now I Rise, but I’m in no rush to do so.


So these were five books I struggled with at first, but ended up loving! Did you struggle getting into any of these books as well?

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T10T: diverse books with less than 3,000 ratings on Goodreads

hidden gems diverse books.pngTop Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

August 29: Ten Hidden Gem Books in X Genre: Pick a genre and share with us some books that have gone under the radar in that genre!

So today, I’m going to talk about some books I read in 2017 that have less than 3,000 ratings on Goodreads. All of the titles I’m going to mention below are contemporaries (New Adult or Young Adult), except for Lambs Can Always Become Lions. These are in no particular order.

lambs can always become lionsI absolutely love that Lambs Can Always Become Lions features an established F/F relationship. Besides the queer main characters, there is also diversity among the side characters. But it was especially the writing that took my breath away. 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. I certainly plan on re-reading Lambs Can Always Become Lions closer to the release date of the sequel. Read my full review here.

queens of geekQueens of Geek is a perfect book. There’s nothing I disliked about it. At first glance, this novel might seem predictable, but it absolutely wasn’t. I would recommend this quick and fun read to everyone! I also loved the diversity in this novel: Taylor is fat, has anxiety and autism spectrum disorder, Charlie is bisexual and Chinese Australian, Alyssa is a queer woman of colour and Jamie is Latinx. Read my full review here.

how to make a wishHow To Make a Wish was everything I needed: a bisexual main character (written by a bisexual author!) and a not-so conventional mother-daughter relationship. I absolutely loved that the word ‘bisexual’ is used, because a lot of authors seem to be afraid to use that term. Eva, the love interest, is biracial and gay. I initially didn’t love this book as much as I had hoped: it was emotionally very draining, because it was so relatable. Having said that, I will re-read this novel and be more prepared for its content the second time around. You can read my full review here.

coffee boy.pngI love diverse stories that don’t revolve around that aspect of the character. This isn’t a story about a closeted Kieran who is dramatically outed to his entire workspace and has to deal with the aftermath of that. No, this is a cute M/M romance about Kieran who is a trans man. Having said that though, he does have to deal with micro-aggressions at his workplace, such as people using the wrong pronouns. But the conversations about those micro-aggressions seem so very real. As a bisexual woman, however, I was kind of iffy about the way the bisexual character was represented as one point. There was one quote that didn’t sit well with me. You can read my full review here.

noteworthy.pngNoteworthy is a fun, original and entertaining Young Adult contemporary.  Though the general course of the story is quite predictable, this book still had me gasping out loud multiple times! Since reading this novel, however, I have learnt that it’s more problematic than I thought. Due to the lack of non-binary and trans representation in a book about a girl who cross-dresses, those readers were hurt, which you can read in these reviews: x and x. You can read my full review here.

under rose tainted skies.pngUnder Rose-Tainted Skies is about a girl named Norah who struggles with agoraphobia and OCD. Just like How To Make a Wish, I didn’t love Under Rose-Tainted Skies as much as I had hoped. But it has been months since I’ve read this and it’s still one of my favourite reads of the year, so I guess I was wrong in my initial review. This book also deals with self-harm, eating disorders and depression, so be aware of that in case that triggers you. Some of that was very relatable, and while I absolutely love representation, it can also be emotionally draining to recognize yourself in a book this much. I can’t really explain it, but that’s exactly why I love, but didn’t actually enjoy Under Rose-Tainted Skies and How To Make a Wish. Anyway, you can read my full review here.

the paths we choose.pngBoth The Melody of You and Me and The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis have less than 3,000 reviews on Goodreads. These New Adult novellas include F/F relationships and even if you aren’t usually a fan of New Adult fiction, you have to give these a chance! There are actually so many NA books out there that aren’t sexist, filled with clichés and problematic. Anyway, you can read my review of The Melody of You and Me here and my review of The Paths We Choose here.


So these were some hidden gems I read in 2017 and wanted to share with you! Which hidden gems would you recommend to others?

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T10T: on my reading wishlist

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

May 9: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist (topic originally done January 2014) — things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

female friendships

Even though many Young Adult readers are girls, I think books definitely lack healthy and supportive female friendships, and I can’t think of a lot of female friendships that are very important and prominent in books. Often we are told that two female characters are best friends, but we never get to see why they’re friends. I just want more interactions between female characters!

To be honest, I don’t have many friends in real life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading about them. I’m also tired of those best friends who couldn’t be more different from our sweet, innocent main character, and are described as “slutty”. That’s not the kind of friendships I want to see. I want girls who support each other, instead of compete with one another!

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(unproblematic) forbidden romance

I’m not often a fan of romance, but I have noticed that I’m a sucker for forbidden romances. It’s not like a pick up books because of that trope, but maybe I should. Unfortunately, a lot of those relationships are problematic (which I didn’t notice at first). I love it when two characters come from different backgrounds, yet can succeed despite their differents. Everyone seems to love the enemies-to-lovers trope or best friends-to-lovers trope, but I’m not a fan of those.

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multiple POVs / friend squads

It’s no coincidence that most of my favourite books are character-driven. I don’t care much about the plot, as long as the protagonist is likeable and relatable. Books like that, but with multiple POVs, are even better! Especially when the characters are friends, instead of enemies or each other’s competition. It’s definitely the reason why I love The Raven Cycle and the Six of Crows duology so much.

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sex-positive and/or take-no-shit female aracters

If I were an actress, I’d want to play the bad-ass, confident, sex-positive female characters. I definitely have a weakness for those ladies. This can either be in the form of Cersei Lannister, or Nina Zenik.

I’d really like it if more historical fiction and fantasy novels featured sex workers. I think this can be done in YA as well. Having more characters out there that aren’t ashamed of their sex lives, could be very positive. I only read The Assassin’s Blade and won’t read the rest of the Throne of Glass series, but Lysandra was probably my favourite character in the series because if this.

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diverse books

Last, but definitely not least, I think that every single book should feature diverse characters. I’ve been reading diverse books almost exclusively and it’s been going great! I’ve never enjoyed so many books in a row and it has re-newed my love for genre I thought I didn’t like anymore. I could write an entire post about why representation is important, but so many people have done that already. The Upside of Unrequited made me cry because I finally read about a girl who faces the same struggles as I do. Under Rose-Tainted Skies made me realise that my issues with self-harm are much worse than I thought. Queens of Geek showed me that my sexuality is valid, no matter who I have or haven’t been with. Like I said, I could go on about why this is so important.

How about you

What’s on your reading wishlist? I could add many more things to this list, but these were the first that came to mind. I’m way too busy to write down anything more decent anyway. Have a nice day!

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T10T: Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

April 25:  Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book – tell us all your book turn offs!

Oooooh, this is going to be a controversial topic! But guess what: I love expressing my unpopular opinions. I’m going to talk about reasons why I don’t want to read certain books. Of course, never say never. If a book receives a lot of hype, I might make an exception.

These are in no particular order:

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Y’all know that I am very opinionated, especially when it comes to problematic books. What you see in this screenshot below, is something I would never, ever say:

theblackwitch

The Black Witch is a racist, ableist and homophobic book, yet this is an actual screencap I took from Goodreads. I can’t believe that this person still wants to read this book “to see for themselves whether it is problematic”, even though a review (which is over 8.000 words long!!!) explains why this book is absolute trash. To make matters worse, this person wasn’t even interested in reading this book UNTIL she found out it was so problematic.

By the way, if an author is problematic, I won’t be interested in their books either. Of course, there are some exceptions like J.K. Rowling, but I will still be vocal about why they are problematic.

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Unfortunately, almost every single book features an allo cis straight white boy. Often he is the love interest. Though I’m going to focus on them as the protagonists right now. I’m so happy the majority of the books I read feature female protagonists. Just thinking about a book with a allo cis straight white boy as the protagonists makes me roll my eyes. Especially when they are written by male authors, those books tend to be sexist and problematic. And when I don’t like the protagonist (even when we’re not supposed to), there’s a 90 percent chance I won’t like the book.

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I’ve already talked about this a few weeks ago, but I think the YA fantasy genre lacks originality. I’m absolutely not looking down on the genre – it’s one of my favourite genres – but authors have got to stop using the same tropes over and over again. This might work for younger readers, but when you’ve read a number of YA fantasies, you know the drill already. The books become predictable and hard to distinguish from one another. You’ll notice this looking at the titles alone. I recently saw an amazing Tweet (though I can’t find it 😦 ) about how similar titles have become. Good luck finding one without queen, rose, kingdom, witch, blood, etc!

I can live with it when the story is diverse, e.g. a cliché F/F romance. At least the rest of the story hasn’t been done ten times already.

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Call me superficial, but when a book has a very ugly cover, I’ll be hesitant to buy it. Most e-books are incredibly overpriced, so I prefer to buy physical covers.

Recently, however, it has been brought to my attention that it’s often marginalised authors who get ugly covers (e.g. Warcross by Marie Lu), which leads to them selling even fewer copies. As much as I want to put a stop to that, I’m not exactly thrilled about spending my money on book covers I don’t even like. I do, however, hope that publishers will take this into account and realise they have to treat their marginalised authors better.

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This one comes with a bunch of exceptions, but generally, I don’t read romances. I’m talking about M/F romances with allo cis straight white characters. I hate it when I’m reading a synopsis and I suddenly read something along the lines of “But then [girl name] meets [boy name]. Even though they’re enemies, they feel drawn to each other” or some crap similar to that. Obviously, in a YA contemporary you might expect this, so this especially bothers me in YA fantasies. Some YA fantasies are actually YA romances set in a fantasy world. And I’m not here for the latter.

You also won’t see me pick up any Adult or New Adult romances anytime soon. The only ones I read, are the diverse ones. I’ve had some bad experiences with that genre (sexism, slut-shaming, etc.) so I’m staying clear from it when it only features allo cis straight white characters.


What are some of your bookish turn-offs?

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T10T: Things That Will Instantly Make Me Want To Read A Book

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can have a look at the future topics here! This week’s topic is:

April 18: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

What intrigues me to pick up a book? What kind of books grab my attention? That’s what I’m going to talk about today! As usual, these are in no particular order.

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I hope you’ve noticed in my reviews and monthly wrap-ups that I’ve been reading diverse books more often than I used to. Some readers are worried that diversity doesn’t guarantee quality, but I disagree. I’ve loved almost every book I’ve read this year already. Of course, I’m primarily talking about books written by marginalised authors and #OwnVoices books, not books with problematic representation.

When a book has received mixed reviews because of the pacing, writing style or subjective things like that, I’m still going to read the book if it’s diverse. I always wonder whether those books are actually mediocre, or whether readers are more critical of diverse books and authors. I’m afraid it’s the latter.

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I think the lack of originality is definitely an issue in the YA Fantasy genre. Even the titles are starting to sound similar: thorns, roses, witches, crowns, queens and blood can be found everywhere. And look at these covers:

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I can’t even be bothered to read the synopsis of some of these YA fantasies because the titles and covers alone are so generic.

Therefore, I’m instantly intrigued by books that sound and looks unique. I hate it when you read a synopsis and you can already tell which tropes the book is going to include.

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There are some books that I can already guess I won’t like, but I’m still contemplating buying them because of the covers. If you’ve read my book hauls, you know I sometimes buy books without having any intention to read them. I definitely have to stop doing that, but sometimes, it’s difficult to resist beautiful covers.

Wink Poppy Midnight and Caraval are two examples of books I’m 99% sure I wouldn’t like, but are still on my Amazon wishlist because of the covers. Hopefully, I will be able to resist buying those solely for their covers.

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Everyone has those authors you’d any book by, regardless of what it’s about! The first auto-buy author that comes to mind for me is Becky Albertalli. The Upside of Unrequited is my favourite book and I loved Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda as well!

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I follow so many amazing people on Twitter and when they love a book, I’ll add it to my TBR without even researching what it’s about. I’ve added so many romance novels to my Kindle because of this, and that’s not even a genre I read often (or ever)! But I trust their judgement completely.

I’ve bought tons of books thanks to Novel Paradise’s recommendations. Whenever T enjoyed a book, I instantly add it to my TBR 😀


What are some things that will instantly make you want to read a book? I bet I could’ve added many more “turn-ons’ to this list, but I’m feeling uninspired today 🙂

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Book Chat: books I won’t read

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Today, I am going to talk about some books I won’t read. A couple of months ago, I created a ‘not interested’ shelf on Goodreads (you can have a look at that shelf here). Its purpose is to keep track of problematic books, which I therefore won’t read. Since there are already over twenty books on that shelf, I won’t discuss them all today. I decided I’m going to talk about the most well-known ones and will hopefully be able to convince you why you shouldn’t support these authors or books either.

If you want to read these books for yourself because you refuse to believe what others have said: I don’t care. I’ve made up my mind that I won’t read these books, so don’t try to convince me that I should.

Anyway, let’s get started! These are in no particular order.

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Love Is Love: a comic book anthology to benefit the survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting

Love Is Love is a comic book anthology dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting and the LGBTQ community. That sounds great, so at first, I was very interested in reading this. Unfortunately, this anthology was written by and for allo cis straight people, instead of the audience it’s supposed to be aimed at. Love is Love is an absolute mess: it’s is trans-, bi- and aphobic and much more and therefore fails to honour the victims of the shooting.

Make sure to read Mason’s and Leah’s reviews for more in-depth information.

The Graces by Laure Eve

The Graces has received a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads. While a lot of readers complain that this book is cliché and dull, The Bookavid seems to be the only one who discusses the blatant racism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia and biphobia. Niral, the antagonist in this book is the only person of colour. She spreads a rumour that a side-character is a lesbian, because in this book, that’s apparently a horrible thing to be.

I could go on, but you should read The Bookavid’s review instead.

The Color Project by Sierra Abrams

I won’t read The Color Project because of the author. Sierra Abrams made a Twitter thread last year in which she discussed how platonic friendships are much more important than queer representation. She refused to accept that her favourite book series queer-baits and said that people shouldn’t headcanon characters as queer because once a male character has been with a woman, according to Abrams, they can only be heterosexual and certainly not bisexual.  She even said that Adam Parrish from the Raven Cycle was straight in the first book, which is incredibly biphobic.

I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about this and I am begging everyone to not read this book when it comes out. I will do everything I can to spread the word on this, but I can’t do it all by myself.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I unfortunately owned Nevernight, but once I found it is racist, I unhauled it. It’s one thing to appropriate the culture of Indigenous people, but to refuse to listen to criticism… I’m so done with Jay Kristoff. He’s one of the reasons why I won’t finish Illuminae Files either. On top of this, he also wants to read racist books to see for himself whether or not they are racist. So this white man actually thinks he can judge racism better than people of colour!

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

Another book with the dark-skinned aggressor trope. What is up with all these racists books?! Anyway, though The Traitor’s Kiss is marketed as a Mulan retelling, it absolutely isn’t. First of all, it’s whitewashed. Secondly, the villains are people of colour. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this author supports The Continent by Keira Drake, which is another racist book (I will get to that soon).

Besides the racism, this book is also misogynist as there is an abundance of girl-on-girl hate.

Here’s my proof: x, x and x.

The Continent by Keira Drake

This review explains the racism in The Continent. Apparently, the release date of this book has been delayed to make revisions. That doesn’t mean anything, however. Harlequin Teen is also going to publish The Black Witch, which is yet another racist book. Harlequin Teen continues to promote that book on social media, even though it has received plenty of complaints by readers. So I don’t see how they are going to do better with The Continent. Clearly, this publisher doesn’t care about marginalized teens and continues to offer a platform to racist authors.

Furthermore, I think there are certain levels of problematic. Some books feature harmful lines. If those lines would’ve been taken out, the book would’ve been fine. Then there are some books that are build on harmful tropes. And The Continent sounds like the latter to me. No matter how much editing they do, the book is going to remain problematic unless they rewrite the entire thing.

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

I won’t go into detail, since there is a review over 8.000 words that explains why The Black Witch is harmful. You can read it here. This book is not only racist, but also ableist and homophobic. Read this blogpost for prove that these kinds of books hurt teenager. It’s not “just fiction” and that’s why you shouldn’t support this book or author.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The chances of me reading The Hating Game were very slim to begin with. It doesn’t sound like it would be my cup of tea. But after reading this thorough review, I’m certainly never going to pick this book up. I’ve only seen raving reviews, but The Hating Game is fatphobic, racist, ableist and sexist. I don’t want to say I told you so, but those are the exact reasons why I don’t read (New) Adult romances anymore unless they are written by diverse authors and/or feature diverse characters.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I didn’t include the cover of Carve the Mark in my banner because it’s very triggering to some people. Ever since some bookstagrammers decided to recreate the cover on their arm and therefore romanticise self-harm, I have trouble looking at the cover myself. As you certainly know by now, Carve the Mark is not only ableist, but also racist. You can read more information about the racism here. I decided to unfollow everyone who continued to support Carve the Mark. I’m sad I lost some friends over this, but I can’t handle it anymore that some people don’t care about hurting others. When did reading a book become more important than supporting other – and especially marginalised – people?

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot

Sad Perfect is a book about a girl with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). This reviewer, who struggles with eating disorders, found this book triggering. Furthermore, the author did not research this topic, as you can read in this interview. Just because her daughter had AFRID, doesn’t make the author an expert on this. This is not an #OwnVoices book! This book is written in second person, so I can totally imagine how harmful this book must be for people with eating disorders.

I also didn’t include the cover of this book as it can also be triggering for some people.


It’s absolutely appalling that this list includes less than half of the books on my ‘not interested’ shelf. On top of that, all these books were released in 2016 or 2017 (or will be released shortly). It saddens me that there are so many harmful books out there. Even though some readers continue to boost diverse authors and/or diverse books, problematic books are constantly being released.

You know what disgusts me the most, though? That there are readers who initially weren’t interested in these books, but once they found out they were problematic, they decided to add them to their TBRs.

Please, do not support these books and authors as they are incredibly harmful for some readers. Instead, I suggest you have a look at my diversity masterpost and pick up some diverse books instead.


How about you

What are some books you won’t read because they are problematic? Like I said, there are many more books on my list, but I’m not opposed to adding even more. We have to protect each other and discuss why books are problematic.

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