Looking Ahead: What’s Up in May Featuring My #AsianLitBingo TBR

Ok my pandas, this might be a long post, but bear with me here. This month is going to be super jam-packed because I have three main topics I have to cover: my YallWest wrap-up, the #AsianLitBingo along with accompanying shenanigans, and of course, my BLOGIVERSARY!!!! I can’t believe this blog is already almost one year old; how time flies!!! However, more on that and YallWest later. I will say though that all these things happening all in the month of May means that my blog schedule is going to be super jam-packed. Not only will I be posting everyday, you might even see two posts on one day: a review and either another type of post or another review. I’ll try to space it all out, but I make no promises. And of course, I chose to do this all during AP exam season. Ain’t I brilliant?

AsianLitBingo Banner

Anyway, let’s focus on today’s big announcement: the #AsianLitBingo! The amazing Shenwei has all the official rules and such on their blog, so please click here for all the official rules and such! This is going to be so much fun, from author interviews to Twitter chats, to of course, prizes. I will be reviewing all the books I read for this challenge this month and I will try to make as many posts centered around Asian rep as possible. Ooh and shout out to Aentee for creating all the gorgeous graphics! Speaking of gorgeous, here’s the bingo sheet:

Asian Lit Bingo Card.png

Being the ambitious Hufflepuff that I am, I’m going to try and do a blackout of this. Keyword: try. You never know though! Anyway, keep reading for my TBR. (I will try to keep this updated throughout the challenge by bolding the ones I’ve read.) Let’s go! Continue reading

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Shattered Heart, Numb Mind: Girl in Pieces

IMG_6613.JPG*Possible trigger warning* Welcome to another Mental Health Monday! As well as another ARC day! This book comes out on August 30, 2016. Is it just me or are there a ton of books coming out on August 30? Anywho, this book is on a topic that is in my opinion, not talked about enough: cutting. And if it is talked about, I feel like it’s usually either romanticized or talked about in a condemning way. Fortunately, this book does neither. Instead, it is very powerful and focuses a lot on the recovery process.

Charlotte Davis has been broken into pieces. She’s only seventeen years old, but she’s has lost so much more than most people ever will. But she has a way to forget it all. The mason jar’s thick glass cuts deeply, and and the pain takes the place of all the sorrow until only calm remains. No thoughts of your father and the river; of your best friend forever gone; of your mother with nothing left to give. Every scar petrifies her heart a bit more, but it’s still not enough. Everything just hurts too much. She just can’t care anymore. But sometimes that has to happen before you can find your way back.

It was extremely hard to rate this book. There were certain parts that I were simply wonderful, but others felt like they dragged on too much. I personally got a bit tired of some of the parts with the male love interest in the latter part of the book. Maybe because it made me sick to see how badly he was treating her. However, this book was just so heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. My heart hurt for her and all the trauma she had been through. I loved the writing style of the book, which contained bits and pieces of dialogue, memories, and eventually monologues. We were eventually able to piece together the whole story and it felt like we were really able to see into Charlotte’s mind. She was an immensely complex character, but perhaps the one constant was the trauma. This was a book about survival, about learning to breathe and heal, even after all the pain. It hurt my heart, but that made it all the more rewarding to see her start to recover.

I highly recommend this book. It is definitely a book you must read when it comes out, for you must experience this incredibly moving story for yourself!

Just One Bite: Letting Ana Go

IMG_6578.JPG*Trigger Warning* 30 million people. That’s about the number of people in the United States alone who will suffer from an eating disorder as some point in their life. Two thirds of that number is female. As you can see, anorexia is not just some far-off concept. It’s here, and it’s real. In fact, four out of ten people either suffer from an eating disorder or know someone affected by it. I am a former rhythmic gymnast and a current aspiring ballerina, both worlds in which skinniness is important. I’ve seen first-hand how devastating these eating disorders can be: I’ve personally known at least two people clinically diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. So for today’s Mental Health Monday, I’m going to be talking about an especially important read for me. Continue reading

Silence is Golden: The Problem with Forever

IMG_6533.JPGI’m soooooooo sorry guys! I know I disappeared again, probably for the longest time since I’ve had this blog. It’s been a crazy week, what with volunteer hours and long summer intensives, but hopefully this won’t happen again. Get ready for another onslaught of reviews! This post was set for Mental Health Monday by the way. Yep, I’m that off schedule.

“Dusty, empty shoe boxes, stacked taller and wider than her slim body, wobbled as she pressed her back against them, tucking her bony knees into her chest.”

While I’ve seen Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books floating around the bookiverse, I’ve never actually read them. However, I’ve heard so many good things about The Problem with Forever, and I was looking for a new contemporary stand-alone, so I gave it a shot. The hype was definitely there for a reason, and I really enjoyed this book. It’s incredibly powerful book, and I simply couldn’t put it down. Even when I got a headache from our drive down Lombard Street. Also, shoutout to the Harlequin Teen people at YallWest for the poster and pin! Continue reading

Just Once: Lucy in the Sky

IMG_5886.JPG*trigger warning* Since today is Mental Health Monday, I thought I’d talk about a book concerning drug addiction: Lucy in the Sky by Anonymous. Drug addiction is a nation wide epidemic, and many teenagers today try one taste and think, “I won’t get addicted. What’s the harm in trying it?” The problem is, you just don’t know. Maybe it’s the first time, or the second, or the tenth. You just don’t know.

The author of this diary began journaling on her sixteenth birthday. She lived a good life, with a caring family and a relatively well off lifestyle. Then one party, one taste, and she was hooked. Social drinking and drugs became the norm for her, and she tried to convince herself that she was fine. Soon enough though, she had different friends, and was disregarding everything else in search of her next high.

My mom once asked me why I read these types of books. I read them because it’s important to see what could happen. There may be drug talk after drug talk given to us, but it’s different than actually seeing the diary of someone experiencing the addiction and watching the roller coaster unfold before your eyes. That was the biggest attraction for me, and again, the first person diary style was much more effective and powerful. I don’t really have much else to say, but my main pet peeve was the girl herself. It really bothered me how boy crazy and popularity focused she was. I feel like that’s what got her into this whole cycle in the first place, and it made me wonder if things would have gone differently had she not had this kind of mentality.

In conclusion, I think it’s important to read such books. While it may be heavy and even a bit depressing, these types of narratives and stories really are crucial and have a huge impact.