I thought I’d make a special post for International Women’s Day. I found this tag from Dianthaa Dabbles. My tarot and astrological posts will be up soon they just require a lot of research. I was going to do research for my first Zodiac post (Aries) but I simply fell asleep. So the longer post will be up when they are up. Until then a little something for International Women’s day and remember to think of your sisters not just your cis-ters.
A book with a (closer to) gender-equal society
Skin of the Sea
A interesting world of mermaids gods and goddess this world is a lot closer to gender equality with its magic and monsters than our real world.
Lekha Divekar feels like she has to hide her authentic self at school because she’s afraid of being made fun of at school that is until Avantika moves in and she’s not interested in hiding her being Indian at all. Lekha wants to be friends with Avantika but will the social pressures of middle school keep them apart.
Two vastly different heroines on a treasure hunt for their own reasons. They end up encountering an old curse, a new dangerous woman, and all their own issues. It makes for a wonderful edge of your seat adventure.
The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy is a good book when talking about the role of women they literally shifted the women’s role in society and ended up with a problem that the main character has to face in this book. It’s all very interesting and the book comes highly recommended.
When Andra wakes from her thousand year sleep she’s surrounded by men, but she manages to get a good deal of information about her situation out of Zhade and quickly takes charge of the situation despite having little idea of the larger problems.
It didn’t say a matriarchal society you’d want to live in. This book had me wanting to half be really nice to Siri and half chuck my Apple products across to room, needless to say Ophelia, is in charge.
While it doesn’t start out as a romantic relationship these two hold each other up in ways that I haven’t seen in some other written couples, even though they are tied together at first it becomes clear very quickly that they want the best for each other despite the bond.
This book is definitely a flowers and cholate book, it’s also full of women making connections between the ghost and the girl who summoned her. The ghost and an old school mate, the girl and new friends the ghost helps her make, and all sorts of tea parties and food throughout.
The blog will be taking a break for a few days due to my laptop breaking and me taking time to get a new one. I look forward to being back by the end of the weekend, or the beginning of next week. I’ll see you all soon!
So this book has been super popular, did it live up to the popular. You’ve Reached Sam was a great book about grief and letting go and finding something beyond your grief, I can see why it had the hype, and I think it was well deserved. I don’t normally like romances, but this one wasn’t obnoxious and the protagonist, Julie spends time doing things other than talking to her boyfriend the whole time.
Seventeen-year-old Julie Clarke has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city; spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.
Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his belongings, and tries everything to forget him. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces memories to return. Desperate to hear him one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cell phone just to listen to his voice mail recording. And Sam picks up the phone.
The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes Julie fall for him all over again and with each call, it becomes harder to let him go.
What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?
Review You’ve Reached Sam
This concept has been explored in various media in different ways. Phones being able to reach each other through time and place isn’t a new concept, you’ve probably seen it before in at least one other movie or book. So what made You’ve Sam so buzz worthy, just because the concept has been done before doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a new twist. The connection between Julie and Sam is the heart of the book, it’s what makes it buzz worthy and the rest of the cast also rounds out the book perfectly. I love when Julie and Sam’s best friend Oliver become friends.
Oliver was secretly in love with Sam, Julie acknowledges this and the two become close because of it, Julie eventually giving Oliver one of Sam’s jackets so he’ll have something of his. I also like how and who Julie risks the connection for, they make perfect sense. Sam pushing her also makes sense but you can see even with the phone calls the Julie is growing through her grief with the help of Sam’s family and friends and new friends she makes. The final call is really a tear jerker, I didn’t cry because I’ve got a steel heart and it’s really tough to make me cry but I imagine make me cry. But I imagine people would tear up at the scene.
Overall it’s a great book worthy of the hype and that does an old trope well. Also it’s great to see more Asian writers and characters so there is always that as a bonus too.
I realized ya’ll don’t know much about me so I thought I’d do a profile the Meet the Blogger profile tag. Feel free to steal the tag from me, I should probably put some of this on the about section of the blog.
Education: I’ve got a Bachelors in Film and Media Studies with a Minor in Asian Studies, and a Master in Film and Media Studies with a focus on Children’s Media
Location: Somewhere South ya’ll
A few of my favorite things: Books, Tarot, writing, baking, video games, RPGs, blogging. Twitter, witchy things.
Is there a story behind your blog’s name?
So let’s just say I like Buffalo Plaid, a lot. Before I had the blog and I was a bookstagramer (which I need to get back to, another story) I had a buffalo plaid comforter which would show up in the photos. So I though Plaid_Reader was a unique enough name and when I got the blog I added Reviews on the end and went from there.
What are you looking forward to right now?
I’m looking forward to the Chopped Readathon: Romantic Dinner Edition that I’m doing with The Blind Scribe in February. We go live on January 20th, come check us out and see more about us then.
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate Chipped Cookie Dough, I’ll eat most flavors with peanut butter and nuts but Cookie Dough is the top flavor.
Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it?
Coffee is disgusting bean water. I’d only drink if I had to stay awake to stay alive. Tea however is lovely but I find most American and British Tea too sweet when I was in school for my Asian Studies minor I got introduced to Chinese Tea. Now I love Pu-er tea, no sugar. But if I can’t have my Chinese tea I’ll take Chai, or Peppermint.
Favorite Thing To Do On a Rainy Day: Depends on how I’m feeling, either meet some friends and go out in the rain, (except for like two months it never gets cold here and the rain is pleasant especially in the summer.
During the winter though I like to curl up with books and a candle and a sweet treat, preferably something I baked and a nice thick book by either a favorite author or a new author.
Favorite Movies: Anything Marvel, but specifically Infinity War and Endgame, and all the shows after, most Disney but the ones that are getting tattoos are Frozen II and Encanto. Oh I love so bad they are good horror movies and Japanese horror movies.
Favorite Books: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Small Spaces Series, Vespertine, Starfish, Finding Perfect, Ghost Girl
One Item on Your Bucket List: To meet some of my favorite authors in person (after the pandemic is over of course.)
Scariest Thing You’ve Ever Done: Getting disability and talking to the judges about my disabilities so they would decide whether or not I’d get disability or not.
Fun Fact or Two: My leg is finally a little better after a year of recovery and I want to get back to baking bread.
This tag made me think about my answers so, maybe try it too. It was pretty fun.
I don’t think I have to tell anyone now I’m a fan of Saadia Faruqi’s stories. But I found Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero especially timely. I was about two years younger than Yusuf’s uncle when 9/11 happened but I had the white privilege to not be aware of it, plus I had raging untreated mental illness at the time.
However everything did change after 9/11 just something in the atmosphere. Most older millennials I think see it as the end of our childhood, the carefree atmosphere of the 90s we grew up with as false as it may have been just never returned. I think Faruqi does a good job express this when the adults are asked in the story about 9/11, its like everything has changed in 20 years but nothing has changed at all.
Yusuf Azeem is not a Hero
Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.
Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.
With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?
This is a great book for teaching kids about 9/11 and delving somewhat into the divided atmosphere inspired by Trump extremism. The Patriot Sons could just has easily have been the Proud Boys, and knowing that this was inspired by a real event saddens but doesn’t surprise me. I’m sure things like this are taking place all over the US right now. I just hope some of them have the same results as in the book. Finally I learned a lot about robotics reading the book, it’s amazing what can be done. I’d be really interested to learn more about that subject. Overall though it was a great and unfortunately timely book. Great work from Faruqi as always.
This is it, you made it to the final and toughest round, the dessert round it’s just you and your competitor can you make the winning dish and become Chopped Champion. You are presented with these ingredients as a challenge, what kind of dish can you make?
Sugar: A sweet book for dessert
This is a surprise sweet book as the protagonist at first doesn’t appear sweet but slowly embraces her sweet side. She was good all along she just had a dark chocolate outer layer.
Even though it was a short book I found it to be a hearty book because I was really taken into the world with dragons, fairies and Jiho and Koko, there was a great villain, a wonderful Raman stand and a great array of creatures and people both magical and not.
The Last Windwitch is about a girl on the run from an evil queen because of her magic, before the queen took over there was a witch who wove the seasons with her magic and helped people. The main character Brida is going on a quest to find to learn about her family, her magic, and who she’s meant to be, this book reminds me of a delicate dessert maybe like a sponge cake.
Candy Canes: Something you’ve had to wait all year for.
I’m not normally waiting all year for summer but this book is an exception. I think it would represent something like caviar because of the monster so it would be a wild card ingredient.
From all of this I would make a cholate sponge cake with dark chocolate truffles maybe adding on some gold leaf in a dragon scale pattern and topped with caviar.
If you’ve liked this as a meme, come join The Blind Scribe and I for the readathon version of this in Febuary, all I can tell you right now is the theme will be a Couple’s dinner and each ingredient will be a reading prompt. There is also a signed book as a prize that is unfortunately only available with within the US due to shipping. However I’m also offering a $20 Book Depository Card to one of our international participants.
We all know I love book memes, blogs, tags and quizzes. Or at least you all should if you’ve stuck around this long.
1. “All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree? I’d really like to see some more of the Keeper of the Lost Cities Books as I’m trying to collect them all. But I’d also like to see some of the books I’ve read this year, especially some the arcs.
2.“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most? It’s a tie between Sweet and Bitter Magic and Vespertine. I know I shouldn’t say it’s a tie but they are seriously right there. One I enjoyed because of the sweetness of the story, and the other I enjoyed just because of the characters and the powerful story.
3. Elf – What book unleashes your inner child? The Tea Dragon Tapestry, I feel caught up in the illustrations every time I read it. They feel very childlike and happy even though they deal with serious topic, so I always feel relaxed when reading them.
4. “It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” – Which book has most festive look to it? The Christmas Witch, I loved it’s a picture book and the front illustration is stunning
5. The Holiday – Name your favorite TWO couples… The couple from Sweet and Bitter Magic and the couple from Luminous. Both fit together perfectly for different reasons and helped each other accomplish their quests while still retaining their own individual autonomy .
6.Whatbook would you like to give as a present to your followers? Starfish by Lisa Fipps, just because it’s the first fat positive middle grade book that I’ve ever seen and that I think everyone needs to read.
So it’s time to look back on November, how did I do on the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the month. Did I have any other big accomplishments that I didn’t foresee at the beginning at the beginning of the month lets see how things went.
First what were my goals
1) Read Down My NetGalley TBR
Well I didn’t do this, but all of my holiday readathons are focused on this plus any arcs I might have coming in the mail.
2) Try and Post 3 Times a Week in November
I didn’t do so well the first week but I’ve done well ever since posting a great deal in the last half of the month. I think that those are accomplishments but I need to better about posting the first part of the month since it’s become a pattern for me.
3) Engage on Twitter More in November
I did and I didn’t do this as I’ll explain later in the post.
4) Bake More
I made cake twice maybe not what I wanted but I’ve got to start somewhere, and with my leg still hurting I think those those are accomplishments as well.
I took part in the Pokemon Readathon and got all the major badges plus evolved my Pokemon to the first level. I did the Royal Readathon and did four out of six prompts. I did about four out of six prompts on the DesertAThon.
So far at the time of writing this post I’ve also read 9 books and anticipate finishing a couple more before the month is out. Now what I said about engaging and not engaging in Twitter, while I definitely still need to comment more on a personal level with my followers and those I follow I think the readathons serve a form of involvement.
I’ll share my goals for December soon. But overall I think I did pretty good for November.
So I might share some of the books for the 12 Day of Christmas Readathon with the Reindeer Readathon, however ideally I’d read 21ish books next month because that hit my goal of 100 books for the year.
I am however no fool and know this might not be possible. So some of the books may count with other readathons I have to admit as a chronically ill person I just don’t have the energy to go through 21 books, I respect you if you can, but I totally don’t mind if you’re using books for other readathons to count one this one. With all that said. The TBR for 12 Days of Christmas.
A Partridge in A Pear Tree: A Standalone
Princess Delia knows her duty: She must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. Determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway.
All Aidan wanted was to “borrow” a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet. Okay, so maybe escaping on a royal ship wasn’t the smartest plan, but he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess!
Sparks fly as this headstrong princess and clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they inadvertently uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever.
(This could also fulfill my bonus Three French Hens Prompt since it’s a gender swapped Cinderella and Cinderella is believed to be a French story)
Two Turtle Doves: A Duo, a Duology a Pair of something
Winterbourne Home for Vengeance and Valor(1st Book in a Duology)
April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t the one who broke the vase. April didn’t ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don’t understand that April isn’t like them. After all, April’s mother is coming back for her someday very soon.
All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever
Amazon: Winterbourne Home for Vengeance and Valor
Three French Hens: A Trio, Three of Something a Trilogy
Room to Dream (Third Book in a Trilogy)
This had to be my 12 Days Trio book I love Kelly Yang and I’ve been meaning to read this for awhile.
Mia Tang is going for her dreams!
After years of hard work, Mia Tang finally gets to go on vacation with her family — to China! A total dream come true! Mia can’t wait to see all her cousins and grandparents again, especially her cousin Shen. As she roams around Beijing, witnessing some of the big changes China’s going through, Mia thinks about the changes in her own life, like . . .
1. Lupe’s taking classes at the high school! And Mia’s own plans to be a big writer are . . . stuck.
2. Something happened with Jason and Mia has no idea what to do about it.
3. New buildings are popping up all around the motel, and small businesses are disappearing.
Can the Calivista survive? Buckle up! Mia is more determined than ever to get through the turbulence, now that she finally has . . . room to dream!
Four Calling Birds-A book with a secret or mystery
I like this book for this 12 Days prompt, I’ve been wanting to read James Ponti for awhile since I saw him at a virtual book festival.
Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency.
Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t.
Before she knows what she’s doing, Sara is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school’s computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain…all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team.
(While it may not be diamonds and metallic writing, I think it works for this 12 Days Prompt because, in person it’s very golden, so I’m counting it.)
You know how in Bollywood when people are in love, they sing and dance from the mountaintops? Eleven-year-old Sonali wonders if they do the same when they’re breaking up. The truth is, Sonali’s parents don’t get along, and it looks like they might be separating.
Sonali’s little brother, Ronak, is not taking the news well, constantly crying. Sonali would never do that. It’s embarrassing to let out so many feelings, to show the world how not okay you are. But then something strange happens, something magical, maybe. When Sonali gets upset during a field trip, she can’t bury her feelings like usual—instead, she suddenly bursts into a Bollywood song-and-dance routine about why she’s upset!
The next morning, much to her dismay, Sonali’s reality has shifted. Things seem brighter, almost too bright. Her parents have had Bollywood makeovers. Her friends are also breaking out into song and dance. And somehow, everyone is acting as if this is totally normal.
Sonali knows something has gone wrong, and she suspects it has something to do with her own mismanaged emotions. Can she figure it out before it’s too late?
I’m a huge Katie Zhao fan but I hadn’t gotten to this one yet, I expect anything from her will be good for the 12 Days Readathon.
Last Gamer Standing
Ready Player One meets the action of battle royale video games in this middle-grade sci-fi perfect for fans of Fortnite.
In twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng’s world, gaming is everything. Professional esports teams are the mainstream celebrities. Kids begin training from a young age, aspiring for the big leagues.
Reyna is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players. But despite Reyna’s rising popularity and skills, no one knows who she is. Gaming is still a boys’ club and to protect herself against trolls and their harassment, she games the mysterious TheRuiNar.
When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament, she knows she’s got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize. It’s a chance to make a step forward towards her professional esports dreams and to help her family with the costs of her mother’s hospital bills.
But when she’s blackmailed and threatened to be doxed by an anonymous troll, Reyna has to confront the toxic gaming community head-on.
With her dreams and the cash prize on the line, it’s game on!
Seven Swans a Swimming- A book you can’t wait to dive into
The Raven Heir
Cordelia and her triplets Rosalind and Giles have lived safely in the castle at the centre of the forest all their lives, protected by the spells their mother has woven. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is when she turns into a dragonfly or a blackbird and can fly beyond the great stone walls. But then one day the outside world comes to them. Two rival dukes and their soldiers have come for the triplets – because whoever is the eldest is the heir to the throne.
But their mother knows that since the Raven Crown was broken, no one has been able to rule the kingdom of Corvenne and live, and she will not give up any of her children to that death sentence. When she refuses to reveal which child is the eldest, she is taken prisoner, and Cordelia and her brother and sister find themselves on the run in a dangerous new world. And as they set out across Corvenne to rescue their mother, Cordelia begins to see that there is a deep magic at work, driving her towards a destiny that could tear her family apart, take away her freedom forever or, just maybe, heal a kingdom devastated by a war that has raged for generations.
I’m especially excited about this one because it can help me fill some of the 12 Day Bonus Prompts.
8 Ladies Dancing-Strong Female or Non-Binary Lead
Of A Feather
Great horned owl Rufus is eight months old and still can’t hunt. When his mother is hit by a car, he discovers just how dangerous the forest can be.
Reenie has given up on adults and learned how to care for herself—a good thing, since she’s sent to live with an aunt she’s never met. Yet this aunt has a wonderful secret: she’s a falconer who agrees to help Reenie catch an injured passage hawk in the wild and rehabilitate it.
When Reenie traps bedraggled Rufus, his eyes lock onto her heart, and they form a powerful friendship. But can Rufus learn to trust in the outside world and fly free? And can Reenie open her heart enough to truly soar?
Dealing with monster attacks and his missing father has been hard enough for Fort Fitzgerald in his first month at the Oppenheimer School. But there’s another school for magic, this one in the United Kingdom, that’s about to create even bigger problems.
Six of the Carmarthen Academy students found themselves lost in time when they first started learning magic. Now they’ve returned, with news of a coming war that the students claim only they can stop.
But their new plan for the world might lead to an even worse future, one that Fort and his friends are destined to help bring about, no matter how much they might want to fight it.
Can Fort change the future that the Time students have already seen play out? Or is he destined to pay for his past mistakes for all of time?
10 Ships a Sailing-A Book You DNFed But you’ll give another shot
The Radical Element
To respect yourself, to love yourself, should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced when you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs — whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.
I’m trying to get the Lord of the Rings read by the end of the year, so this will be a good excuse to start on that.
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
12 Bells A Ringing-Book You’ve Been Waiting to Read/Book You’ve Been Avoiding
Rise of the Dragon Moon
Princess Toli may be heir to the throne, but she longs to be a fierce hunter and warrior. Alone in a frozen world, her queendom is at the mercy of the dragons that killed her father, and Toli is certain it’s only a matter of time before they come back to destroy what’s left of her family.
When the dragons rise and seize her mother, Toli will do anything to save her—even trust a young dragon who may be the only key to the Queen’s release.
With her sister and best friend at her side, Toli makes the treacherous journey across the vast ice barrens to Dragon Mountain, where long-held secrets await. Bear-cats are on their trail, and dragons stalk them, but the greatest danger might be a mystery buried in Toli’s past.
So that’s my list for the 12 Days of Christmas Readathon, am I planning an ambitious December. Heck yes. But I’ve got to shoot for 100, I know I probably can’t make it. My broken ankle in January messed me up with getting started early in the year. So I will hopefully have better luck next year shooting for the same goal. However I won’t give up till the 31st on reading 100 for this year.