REVIEW: Heartstopper Vol 1

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Title: Heartstopper Vol 1

Author: Alice Oseman

Pages: 278

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis

Review:

First off, I must thank my wonderful friend Amy for sending me this book for Christmas, because I honestly did not know how much I needed it in my life. I’ve never been a huge comic fan, but this warmed my entire soul and I could not put it down. Needless to say, I finished it all in one sitting and then immediately ordered volume 2.

This comic follows Charlie, a gay boy in year 10 at a British all-boys school. While last year was tough for him, the bullies have mostly laid off and he’s been meeting a boy in secret all around the school.

Enter Nick, a year 11 rugby player. When the new year rolls around, he and Charlie are paired up for a class. Obviously, since they are both adorable and wonderful and sweet, they become fast friends. Unfortunately for Charlie, he also starts to develop a massive crush on Nick – who is apparently straight. Just goes to show you never know what can happen…

Ok, first of all, let me just touch on these two previous cinnamon roll characters. Is it possible to be crushing on both of them at the same time? Yes? Ok good. I’ve never wanted to put characters in my pocket more – I can’t help it, I just want to protect them forever and ever. I was rooting for these two SO HARD from the very first page.

I also want to applaud Alice Oseman. She is using a comic to tackle some difficult topics in an adorable way. Watching Nick begin to question his sexuality, and seeing the roller coaster of emotions he goes through, is so eye-opening and relevant and real and raw.

In addition to all of these wonderful things, the art is also stunning, and the side characters are fantastic. There was so much diversity and representation of all kinds. This comic made you feel all kinds of emotions: I blushed, laughed, hurt, struggled, loved, right along with Charlie and Nick. This was an easy 5 star read – in fact, my very first of 2020. I cannot wait to read the next installment!

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

Hard to believe we’re over halfway through January already. I’ve been having a ROUGH time with TBR’s in general, but there ARE some books that I’m wanting to get to over the next couple of months. Here they are!

Here are some ARCS that I need to get through sometime before the end of March:

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A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Beyond those, I definitely have some books I’m hoping to get to:

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

This is actually our book club pick for the month of February, so I’ll be getting to it fairly soon. I’ve heard mixed reviews, and also that the twist at the end is WILD, so I am itching to dive in.

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I’m currently reading this one! This was one of my 2019 backlist books and I didn’t get to it, so I started it as soon as January began. I’m really enjoying it so far!

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Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman

I’m cheating – I already read this one. This was one of my 2020 backlist books, and I absolutely adored it.

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

I’m wanting to do a reread of Lady Midnight and then get to Lord of Shadows before Cassy Clare’s new book is released in March, but we’ll see how that timeline plays out.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

I’ll be starting this book the day it’s released. The end.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I managed to read the first two books in this series in 2019, but somehow fell off before picking up the last book. I’ve really enjoyed the series so far, and I’d like to finish it out!

Have you read any of these yet? What did you think?

xoxo

Jen

2020 Backlist Reads

Last year, I picked 12 backlist books that I’d heard fantastic things about, or had been sitting on my shelf far too long, with the goal of getting to them throughout the year. I reviewed my progress last year – I didn’t make it to all of them – in this post here. While I’ll still be trying to get to those this year as well, I’ve curated my list for 2020!

Here are the phenomenal backlist books I’ll be getting to throughout 2020!

The Sisters of the Winterwood by Rena Rossner

A Heart In a Body In The World by Deb Caletti

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Legend of The Golden Raven by K. Ancrum

Recursion by Black Crouch

Have you read any of these? What did you think?? I NEED TO KNOW!

xoxo

Jen

BLOG TOUR: Tweet Cute

Tweet Cute Blog Tour Banner

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Tweet Cute by Emma Lord! Thank you so much to St Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books for asking me to participate.

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Title: Tweet Cute

Author: Emma Lord

Publisher: St Martin’s Press – Wednesday Books

Pages: 320

Release Date: January 21, 2020

My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis

Review:

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

“Let the games begin.”

And begin they do, folks. First, I’d like to thank Wednesday Books for asking me to take part in the blog tour for this book. This ADORABLE book that couldn’t get enough of. I read this book in almost one sitting, and was when it was over I felt like I was saying good bye to friends. This one was an easy 5 stars, and I’ve give it more if the rating system went higher.

This book bounces between two POV’s: Pepper and Jack. Pepper is a total type-A perfectionist. Her mom owns a huge fast-food chain, Big League Burger, and Pepper has somehow found herself in charge of the company’s Twitter account, in addition to all of her responsibilities at school.

Jack is the class clown and never seems to take anything seriously at school. In real life though, he spends all of his free time working hard in his family’s small deli – even if he isn’t sure that he wants that to be his future quite yet.

Enter: DRAMA. Big League Burger releases a new menu item: a grilled cheese that is almost IDENTICAL to one on their deli menu, and Jack’s grandma’s very own recipe. And while he may be easy going at school, this is one thing he isn’t going to let slide. Jack launches a twitter war against Big League Burger, completely unaware that Pepper is manning the other end of the war.

“You know, for someone named Pepper, you’re pretty salty about losing.”

It gets worse, guys. While Jack and Pepper are (unknowingly) launching a viral twitter war, they are also (unknowingly) falling for each other on an anonymous chat app…that Jack secretly built. AND, in REAL life, as their swim team duties bring them together more and more frequently, they start to realize that the other isn’t so bad…

You guys, Tweet Cute was the YA contemporary I didn’t even know I needed. It was honestly the best I’ve read in a really long time. I loved both Jack and Pepper as characters, and they were such realistic portrayals of teens. Pepper was snarky and witty and pretty much my high school me on paper. Jack was adorable and funny and the boy I WISH I could have met in high school. Even with deeper themes underlying this story, most of it was so lighthearted with the witty banter that I LOVE. This book was so incredibly charming, and I can’t wait to see where this author goes from here. Pick this book up immediately. You will not regret it.

 Tweet Cute releases on January 21, 2020.

*All quotations are taken from an ARC and are subject to change prior to publication.

 

 

 

 

 

Review of 2019 Backlist Reads

If you’ve followed my page for a while, you know that last year, I started picking 12 backlist books to read. These were 12 books that were published PRIOR to that year, that I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a while or that I’d heard incredible things about and knew I had to read. You can see my original post here. Before I post up my 2020 list, let’s see how I did in 2019:

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ONE: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

RATING: ★★★★★

This actually ended up being my top non-2019 publication read of the year! I absolutely loved this one and will sing it’s praises to everyone who has not read it.

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TWO: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

RATING: ★★★★★

I read this and ended up loving it! I neglected to write a review on it (story of my life) but I can’t wait to read Angie Thomas’ next book (also still sitting on my shelf…whoops).

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THREE: Circe by Madeline Miller

RATING: ★★★★★

This one also made my top 5 non-2019 publication list. SO GOOD. In fact, you may see another Madeline Miller installment on my 2020 backlist book because of how much I loved this one…

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FOUR: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

RATING: ★★★★★

I waited way too long to read this. It is beautiful and hard and raw and real. I highly recommend you’re in the right headspace to read it, but once you are…pick it up.

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FIVE: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

RATING: ★★★★★

Hard to believe that after I read and loved Radio Silence so much, I still haven’t picked up these other two books. And I better get on it, because Oseman has another gorgeous novel coming out this year!

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SIX: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

UNREAD

Alright everyone shame me… I didn’t get to this one yet.

SEVEN: A Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

RATING: ★★★★★

This was way out of my comfort zone – I’m not a huge science fiction reader. But I ended up absolutely loving it, and already can’t wait for the next installment.

EIGHT: City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

UNREAD

SHAME ON ME.

NINE: Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

UNREAD

Yikes guys I’m not doing so great at this.

TEN: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

CURRENTLY READING

Ok I know it isn’t 2019 anymore but I’m currently reading this one so that kind of counts, right?

ELEVEN: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

RATING: ★★★★★

I loved this one so much that I immediately jumped into the second book, but haven’t read the third yet. I LOVED the audio so if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend listening along while you read the book!

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TWELVE: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

UNREAD

Someone needs to get on me about this.

 

Ok. So I ended up reading 7/12…man that is not great. BUT I will get to these this year!

Have you read any of these books? What’d you think?

2020 Backlist reads will be posted later this week!

xoxo

Jen

Top 2019 Publications

Hard to believe I’ve already had these platforms for almost two years. I’ve loved reading and reviewing books with all the wonderful people I’ve met over the past two years. It’s exposed me to so many beautiful stories I never would have found otherwise, and I’m so grateful to have the resources and the people in my life to be able to pursue my love of books and reading.

Admittedly, I did a poor job of reading a large amount of 2019 publications – there were a lot of books that were released that I just didn’t get to, even though I desperately wanted to. That being said, here were my favorite pubs of 2019:

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TEN: The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco

Rin Chupeco was a new author to me when I read the Bone Witch series, and what a ride it was. The writing in this series is so descriptive and all-consuming, and the final book in the series did not disappoint.

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NINE: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

I struggled a little bit with YA fantasy this year, but this one had so much hype surrounding it. I had no reason to be nervous diving in – it was a total page turner. This was an incredible debut novel, and I can’t wait for the next installment.

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EIGHT: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

After falling in love with The Kiss Quotient last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. And I loved it just as much as I thought I would. I will forever and always read anything by this author.

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SEVEN: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Can you say STEAMY? This was one of the steamiest books I’ve ever read, and it was written so well – this was so much more than ‘smut’. It tackled some hard topics, and pulled no punches.

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SIX: The Wicked King by Holly Black

QUEEN. Do I even need to explain this one?

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FIVE: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

I loved everything about this book. The meet cute was unique, the premise is adorable, and I don’t know if I’ve ever fallen so in love with two characters before.

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FOUR: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Yes, Holly Black made this list twice. Is there a problem?

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THREE: Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I waited way too long to read this book, and I won’t make that mistake with this author ever again. This had everything I love: witty banter, enemies to lovers, and some humor thrown in. Pick this book up immediately, you won’t regret it.

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TWO: The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

After reading The Wicker King earlier in 2019, I had to get my hands not this book. The writing is so incredibly beautiful and the stories are all so heartbreakingly gorgeous.

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ONE: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

This book came a little out of left field for me, and looking at all the books on this list I’m still surprised it made it to the top. I wasn’t expecting anything special with this one when I picked it up, but man did it prove me wrong. This book is like the Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Handmaid’s Tale all rolled into one. This book made me feel so many raw, brutal emotions. There was no happy ending, but there was a hopeful ending. If you can weather the storm and all the horrific things that happen throughout this book, and if you can make it to the end, I promise you’ll be left with such a bright feeling of hope and strength that you won’t regret the journey.

What were your favorite reads of 2019??

xoxo

Jen

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated 2020 Releases (Jan – June)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

Wow ya’ll, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these, but I did want to go over some of my most anticipated 2020 releases, so it seemed like a good opportunity! I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure this is the right prompt…oh well. So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are some of my most anticipated 2020 releases for the first half of the year!

JAN 14 – Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

I have truly and deeply loved everything I’ve read by this author, and I will forever and always buy every single thing they publish. Blanca y Roja was one of my top publications of 2018.

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JAN 14 – Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

I read Fix Her Up last summer and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to read the next installment in this steamy series!

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FEB 6 – Heartstopper Vol 3 by Alice Oseman

I haven’t read Volume 2 yet, but I just finished Volume One this week and cannot WAIT to dive back into this world.

MARCH 3 – House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas. Need I say more?

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MARCH 3 – Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

If you had told me a year ago that I’d have a Cassy Clare book on this list, I would have laughed out loud. And yet…

MARCH 3 – Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Rin Chupeco is QUEEN. I loved The Bone Witch series, and her writing is so all consuming and gorgeous.

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APRIL 3 – Loveless by Alice Oseman

I’m definitely going to have to get the matching cover to the rest of my Alice Oseman collection.

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APRIL 21 – Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

I read The Right Swipe with Dragons and Tea Bookclub last year, and it was so cute and such a fun storyline! I can’t wait for the next piece.

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APRIL 28 – He Started It by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife was such a unique and fresh take on a thriller – potentially one of my favorite of the year. I can’t wait to see what this author does next.

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MAY 12 – More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

I read You’d Be Mine and absolutely fell in love with it. It has scenes in Michigan, which obviously grabs at my heart, and is one of the best Johnny and June – esque love stories. I am so excited for Hahn’s sophomore novel, which ALSO has Michigan locations!

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MAY 19 – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Yeah yeah yeah, I’m a sucker. It made the list.

What are some of your most anticipated releases for the first half of the year?? Any I need to add to this list? Let me know!

xoxo

Jen