What I Read in May

May was an absolutely fantastic reading month for me! Since I read 10 books this month, I kept my thoughts short and sweet, going from my least favorite read to my favorite read of the month.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs // 2/5 Stars

Even though this is a YA novel and the main characters are teenagers, Nemesis felt more like a middle grade to me. While the premise was exciting and had some Lord of the Flies vibes, the plot and characters just didn’t deliver for me.

The Cabin by Natasha Preston // 2/5 Stars

My sister loves Natasha Preston’s books, so I typically read them alongside her. I was unfortunately very disappointed, as The Cabin’s premise was exciting, but the story itself didn’t have any sort of spark and was WAY too long– it took us forever to get to some sort of “solution”

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // 3.75/5 Stars

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy ADSOM as much as I thought I would, being head-over-heels for Schwab’s This Savage Song and Vicious. I thought that the plot was a bit predictable and unexciting at times, however, I plan on picking up the next book soon!

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith // 4/5 Stars

While Windfall was over 400 pages long, it was a pretty quick read for me. I found it to be a little tropey and I didn’t completely enjoy the romance. I loved Leo and seeing Alice’s journey outside her relationship with Teddy. I teared up when she reflects on her parents’ lives with her uncle.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // 4/5 Stars

I finally read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and really enjoyed it! There’s a dog and Oreos!! I have a full review here.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston // 4.5 Stars

Geekerella was the fandom+fairytale novel that I didn’t know I needed until I started reading. My full review can be found on Fangirl Fury here.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr // 4.75/5 Stars

The One Memory of Flora Banks took me by surprise, as it was one of my favorite reads of May. My review can be found here.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas // 4.5/5 Stars

One of my most anticipated reads of 2017 finally delivered this month. I have a full review of ACOWAR here, including a mini conflicted rant about there being more books in the ACOTAR world.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // 5/5 Stars

My only 5/5 Star read of the month, Radio Silence was the type of book that I just fell into. There’s Tumblr and Youtube and fanart and friendship and family and school all rolled into one perfect contemporary read.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord // 5/5 Stars

From the moment I started The Names They Gave Us, I was hooked. Emery Lord’s latest release about family, friendship, religion, and grief was an emotion-filled story rolled into a summer contemporary. I have a full review here.

What did you read in May? Share in the comments below!

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Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Summary:

Elle is the biggest Starfield fangirl you’ll ever meet. She is super-excited about the space/sci-fi TV series’ movie reboot, until it’s announced that Darien Freeman is slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor. Yes, Darien Freeman, the teenage heartthrob from that soap opera, is slated to play one of Elle’s all-time favorite characters. While Elle is not happy about this news, there’s one thing she is more than excited for: the Starfield cosplay contest at Excelsicon. The winner gets tickets to the LA premiere of the movie, where Elle can finally put her evil stepmother and stepsisters behind.

Darien Freeman has a love for Starfield that rivals his love for orange Crush. Playing Carmindor isn’t just job for him: it’s his fanboy dream come true. But playing the Federation Prince isn’t a total happily ever. Instead of walking the floor of Excelsicon just like any other ordinary fan, Darien has to do meet-and-greats, signings, and judge the Starfield cosplay contest. And when Starfield fans start doubting Darien’s ability to play the Federation Prince, Darien questions how he’ll do the fandom and himself justice.

Star Rating: 4.5/5 stars 

Cover Lust?: Yes! There’s the Magic Pumpkin and Franco, what else could you need?

My Thoughts:

Geekerella is my new favorite Cinderella retelling because of how relatable this book was to me as a fangirl. Elle and Darien are such huge fans of Starfield, and they each have a special connection to the series. Elle’s parents met at a Starfield convention and shared their love for the series with their daughter, supplemented by the fact that Elle’s dad founded Excelsicon. Darien grew up watching the series with his dad, and this totally reminded of how I read and watched Harry Potter with my mom.

I really enjoyed how Ashley Preston mixed Cinderella elements with modern elements. My favorite combined element was the Magic Pumpkin food truck! I thought it was such a clever idea for Elle’s mode of transportation, along with the fact that it came along with Sage as her fairy godmother. Sage was my favorite side character in the book because she was always there for Elle. She let Elle bring her into the Starfield fandom, which reminded me of how I share my love for fandoms with my own friends. Most of my friends can’t hang out with me without me mentioning Hamilton or Harry Potter or books at least three times.

One of my favorite parts in the novel is when Elle and Darien are at Excelsicon. My only complaint is that I wish Elle went around the show floor more. When she was describing all the cosplayers and the atmosphere, it reminded me of my own experiences at conventions, and I wished I was on the show floor with her. Overall, the fandom elements were so amazing in this book. If a crush tells me, “I hear the observation deck is nice this time of year”, I just might swoon over.

While the ending was a bit predictable, I absolutely loved it and gave me all the fangirl feels. Sometimes you just need a good happily ever after. My favorite part of Geekerella wasn’t even in the actual story– Ashley Preston’s acknowledgements made me cry! In her acknowledgements, Ashley Preston thanks the fandom community and the reader. I squealed when she writes, “So I want to thank you . You, the reader. You, who cosplays and writes fanfiction and draws fan art and runs a forum and collects Funko-Pops and must have hardcovers for all of your favorite book series and frames for your autographed posters”. If that’s not me, I don’t know who I am! Her acknowledgements were just so heartfelt, and I look forward to reading her other books!

What’s your favorite fandom(s)? Share in the comments below!

The Book Cake Tag

If there are two things that I love in this world, it’s books and cake. I was inspired by the release of Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han to do the book cake tag this week! Lara Jean is the ultimate baker, and in my opinion, she should have her own Youtube channel dedicated to baking . I’d be the first subscriber for sure! The Book Cake Tag was created by Booktuber suddenlylorna, I love her creativity with this tag!

Flour – A book with a slow start but really picked up later

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I actually DNF’ed this book when I first read it because of its slow start. ’m so happy that I gave it a second chance because it’s a great summer contemporary.

Butter – A book with a rich plot

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I’ll Give You the Sun is just so beautifully written, following the perspectives of twins Noah and Jude. I love how the plot interwove between Noah and Jude,  I was completely memorized by this book.

Eggs- A book that you thought was going to bad, but was actually quite enjoyable

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian. I was a bit skeptical of reading The Last Boy and Girl in the World because of the mixed reviews I saw on Goodreads. I ended really enjoying this story, and it made me consider what I would do if my town went underwater!

Sugar- A sugary, sweet book

In honor of my inspiration for the tag, P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I loved this book so a bit more than To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before because it put an even bigger emphasis on the Song sisters and Lara’s life. Lara also bakes some cakes that I wish came along with the book.

Icing – A book that has everything you enjoy

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Cinder has it all– action, humor (hello, Iko!), romance, politics, fairytale retelling, and more. I definitely recommended picking up the entire The Lunar Chronicles series if you haven’t already, as these elements are incorporated throughout the entire series.

Sprinkles- A book series that will pick you up when you’re feeling down

The Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins. Contemporaries are my go-to reads when I’m feeling sad, and between these books’ gorgeous covers and cute romances, Stephanie Perkin’s series is sure to please.

Cherry on Top- Your favorite book this year

Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I cannot stop thinking about this book about two college roommates turned arch nemesis (I have a full review posted where I have all the fangirl feels), and V.E. Schwab recently announced that a sequel is coming out in 2018! Prepare the rereading!!!

What would your perfect book cake be made of? Share in the comments below!

 

 

 

What I Read In April

April was the most demanding month of my life. Between classes and papers and finals and meetings and work and trips and friends, the month completely flew by. That being said, I’m so happy with past me for reading 5 books! My semester/freshman year ends tomorrow (internal screaming), so here’s to some much needed time off with ALL the books!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J.Maas (4/5 Stars)- This was my second time reading ACOTAR, as I was anticipating the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin, the final book in the trilogy (I know that there are more books coming out in the ACOTAR world, but I’m considering the first three books about Feyre a trilogy). While I enjoyed my reread, I was not as enchanted with ACOTAR this time around, especially knowing what happens in the second book. However, I was reminded of Feyre’s strength, and I also noticed more of the Beauty and the Beast elements this time around. I posted a reread review of ACOTAR a few weeks ago as well.

Wires and Nerve, Volume #1 by Marissa Meyer (4/5 stars)- As a fan of The Lunar Chronicles, I was so excited to get my hands on the series’ first graphic novel. I loved seeing the characters the way Marissa Meyer envisioned them, and I enjoyed having Iko as the main protagonist. I always wanted her point of view in the original four books (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter) to begin with. However, I wish Wires and Nerve had taken place after Stars Above, the TLC novella bind-up, instead of taking place before the final novella in the book. I’m also a bit disappointed about the next volume not coming until 2018.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (5/5 stars)- Between Angie Thomas rocking the New York Times Best Sellers List since The Hate U Give’s release in February and all the hype surrounding this book in the YA community, I was so excited to get my hands on this 2017 release. If there’s one thing (there were many things, don’t worry) that stood out to me while reading THUG, it is its contemporary relevance. THUG is based on the Black Lives Matter Movement, as our main protagonist Starr witnesses her childhood best friend die at the hands of a police officer. I haven’t rated a book 5 out of 5 stars in a while, and I have a full review of THUG up on the blog.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (4.5/5 Stars)– In addition to rereading ACOTAR, I reread A Court of Mist and Fury this month in anticipation of ACOWAR. I enjoyed my reread of ACOMAF a lot more than ACOTAR, as I loved being reunited with the Court of Dreams and Velaris. My biggest issue with this read was most of the romantic elements set in the novel, which I discuss in my reread review of ACOMAF.

South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf (3/5 stars)South of Sunshine follows Kaycee, a high school senior living in Sunshine, Tennessee. Kaycee does her best to hide that fact that she is a lesbian in her small, Christian town, until Bren shows up and turns Sunshine and Kaycee upside. I really enjoyed the setting of this book, and it made sad that Kaycee felt that she couldn’t be herself around her friends and family. However, I felt a big disconnect with this book , as I did not enjoy the writing style and often grew frustrated with the characters.

Favorite Book: The Hate U Give. THERE ARE HARRY POTTER AND HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL REFERENCES PEOPLE!!!

What books did you read in April? Share in the comments below!

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Summary: Sixteen-year old Starr Carter leads two lives: the one in her poor, black neighborhood and the one at her predominantly white high school. Starr does her best to balance both worlds, until she witnesses her childhood best friend, Khalil, die at the hands of a police officer.  Contrary to the officer’s belief, Khalil was unarmed and innocent. Starr deals with the aftermath of Khalil’s death head on, as he quickly becomes a national headline and Starr’s community looks for answers. Starr must decide how she’ll prove to her friends, community and the nation that Khalil wasn’t the thug the police and media are trying to make him out as.

Star Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover Lust?: Yes! This cover is just so clean and I love the way Starr’s poster stands out in person

My Thoughts:

I admit, I was a little nervous to pick up The Hate U Give because of all of the hype it was receiving. Angie Thomas’s debut novel has been #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list for weeks,and so many bloggers and Booktubers are raving about it. I was afraid that I would end up not liking the book. However, within the first three chapters of The Hate U Give, I just fell into it.  When I’m completely memorized by a book in the very beginning, I know there’s a 99.99% chance that I’m going to absolutely love it and I did.

I was enchanted with many of the characters, especially Starr. She’s the side we rarely get in these horrific situations. I love how this book portrays what we don’t see in the media: what actually happened.While it was heartbreaking, I greatly appreciated Thomas for writing Starr’s breakdowns throughout the book. The tears don’t stop right after Khalil dies; they continue throughout the period after his death. Starr didn’t magically stop feeling sad and suddenly become this martyr. She struggles to prove that her friend wasn’t a thug. He was a human, he was her Harry Potter-loving best friend.

Sidenote: I loved the Harry Potter storyline in this book. Starr, Khalil, and Natasha were their own trio. I mean c’mon, “tighter than the inside of Voldemort’s nose”?? That’s genius! I also enjoyed how Seven and Starr find comfort in the series. One of my favorite moments was when Starr’s dad offered to watch Harry Potter with her, even though he didn’t understand why no one ever thought to just shot Voldemort.

The Carters soon became one of my favorite families in the YA world. They have such a strong family dynamic and each brought their own character to the story. Beside his humor, Starr’s dad was one of my favorite characters in THUG because of his love for his family. He refuses to be defined by his past and just wants a better life for his kids.. Also,can Starr’s mom be my honorary aunt or something?? She was just so extremely caring and gave Starr such great advice and support. One of my favorite quotes in the novel comes from Lisa, telling Starr, “Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr. It means you go on even though you’re scared”. I also loved Starr’s relationship with Seven and Sekani, as they go from giving each other wedgies to standing up for one another.

From the  #BlackLivesMatter movement to Starr’s use of social media, I love the contemporary relevance in this book. It feels like 2017. In relation to the political climate that is the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I like how Starr and Thomas make it a point that not all cops are bad, which is additionally exemplified through her Uncle Carlos. They want to call attention to police officers who are in the wrong and don’t take responsibility for their actions.

It was so heartbreaking and frustrating that Starr’s story wasn’t taken seriously in the eyes of the jury and other individuals. In relation to social media, I love how Starr’s Tumblr and Twitter reflect her activism. I even love how during her fight with Hailey, someone shouts “World Star”. While it was a small detail, the fight would be something that was posted to the“World Star” Twitter account. It made it feel like something similar could have happened in any high school or college.

Overall, I loved The Hate U Give because I learned something. I learned about Tupac and Thug Life (by the way, Angie Thomas is a genius for coming up with the anagram, THUG!!!). I learned to not make conceptions about people based on their race, their class, their habits. I learned that it is important to stand up for what you believe in. To stand up for the truth and the people you love.

Have you read The Hate U Give? Share your thoughts and feels in the comments!

How to Read for Fun in College

Between classes, clubs, and coursework, college is a super busy time. As an English major, I’m constantly reading for my classes, and I do my best to read for fun. If you’re trying to improve your reading game while at school, here are some tips for lowering your TBR pile!

Read before going to bed

Instead of scrolling through Instagram or watching one more episode of Gilmore Girls (I’m definitely guilty of this with Friends) before going to bed, try reading instead . By not staring at a bright light and focusing on the pages, you’ll feel relaxed and hopefully you’ll fall asleep easier. Unless you’re reading Crooked Kingdom and are way too invested in those characters. I think I cried myself to sleep after staying up until 1 AM on that emotion-filled journey.

Always carry a book on you

Always having a book on you is perfect for that half hour between classes or waiting for your next club meeting to start. If you’re not meeting a friend for lunch, pull out a book if you’re talented enough to not get crumbs or spills on the pages.

Use Goodreads as a motivation tool

Goodreads allows you to keep track of your TBR pile and keeps you up to date on the latest bookish news. The website has a ton of other features, such as giveaways, interaction with readers and authors, and setting reading goals.

The books that I have at school are so aesthetically pleasing

A post shared by fangirlfury (haley) (@fangirlfury) on

Don’t stress out about reading or not reading

Reading for fun should be relaxing,not stressful. Don’t be worried about far along you should be in your reading goal. Don’t push yourself to keep when you have a paper to write or an exam to study for. While it’s hard to stop reading at times, my schoolwork is always my number one priority, even if it means not picking up A Court of Wings and Ruin the day it comes out.

Read books that you have a lot of interest in

Keep books at school that you are genuinely interested in reading. By doing so, you’ll be even more excited and motivated to read. Save books that you want to read purely for the hype or that you randomly picked up for breaks. If you start reading a book and aren’t liking it, put it down! You’ll have more time to pick up a book that you’ll actually enjoy.

What are some of your tips for reading during the school year? Share in the comments below!

What I Read in February 2017

February was my first full month back at school. While it was a struggle to find time to read in between classes and papers and life, I was able to read 4 books this month:

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (4.5/5 stars) Adam Silvera has once again written a novel that had me totally captivated from the start. I was obsessed with his first novel, More Than Happy Not, last year so I was excited to get my hands on History Is All You Left Me. Griffin’s heartbreak over Theo’s death is devastating enough, not to mention the fact the Griffin has to deal with Jackson, the guy Theo was seeing before he died. There were sad moments, cute moments, and some moments that made my jaw drop. What prevented me from giving HIAYLM a full five stars is that Griffin definitely makes some irrational decisions throughout the book. I understand that he is grieving, but there were moments where I wanted to pull him out of the story and give him a talking to.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (2/5 stars)There’s a reason why I never picked up this book before having to read it in my American Literature class. While I appreciated the book’s transcendentalist moments (what I’m focusing on in class), the only tears I shed came from my boredom of the writing style. It dragged on and on and that was only The Custom House. Leave this book about a woman and a minister having a child out of wedlock and her crazy stalker husband in the classroom kids.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer (4/5 stars): I was never really a Twilight fan, so I was excited to give another Stephenie Meyer’s book a go. While I wasn’t overly impressed with the writing style, it was fun jumping back into a classic dystopian with a love-triangle read.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (5/5 Stars)I loved We Are Okay. The book follows Marin, a college freshman who abruptly left her life in San Francisco and is now forced to face the tragedy she left behind when her best friend comes to visit. Going in, I totally wasn’t expecting how emotional I would get attached to this story and its characters. LaCour switches between the past and present (I think that’s becoming a theme I really enjoy in books) and focuses on family relationships, which is a subject that doesn’t get enough focus in YA.  Since it’s on the short side, I was able to finish it in one weekend, which made this reader and her TBR pile very happy.

Favorite Book: We Are Okay– From the cover to the characters to LaCour’s writing style, everything about this book is beautiful. AND IT HAS FOOD. Get a box of tissues and go read it now!

What was your favorite read in February? Share in the comments below!