I Read Four Volumes of Heartstopper And It’s Everything I Never Knew I Needed

Hello book nerds! Happy February!

Today I’m doing something different (but also fitting since it’s almost Hearts Day!). Today I’ll be sharing (or rambling about) my experience reading Heartstopper!

For those of you who are not yet familiar with it, Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is a serialised, ongoing webcomic. With four physical graphic novels (and a fifth one on the way), it features Charlie (a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker) and Nick (a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player) who meet at a British all-boys grammar school.

Now, I knew this was big. A lot of my friends on bookstagram LOVE this book/series. It’s always been recommended to me. I always see the books featured in photos everyday. And I know the fandom is big. It’s always been on my radar! However, I can’t find physical copies of the books, plus it’s not on the top of my TBR, so I just put on the back burner. But as I was browsing on Webtoon (I’m having lots of fun recently on this app by the way), I discovered the webcomic version of Heartstopper!

And thus, began my journey.

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Queer TBR for Pride Month 2021

Hello book nerds! First of all, HAPPY PRIDE! 🏳️‍🌈 It’s that wonderful time of the year again and I’m so so excited! To my fellow queer book nerds, sending you all the hugs! Be extra gay or be quietly queer, just make sure to be you and be unapologetic! And of course, a reminder that Pride is not just for those who are out. Let closeted and questioning people celebrate, too! We’re here for you always.

Okay, now onto the topic at hand: Queer TBR. Now, I’m not able to join or host any readathon for Pride Month (which sucks, I know, but this girl is getting busy. I do have a year-long reading challenge though: #QueerBookFun2021!). However, despite not joining readathons, I’m still very much going to be reading and featuring queer books (books that I’m really excited for AAAHHHHH). Here’s my Queer TBR for Pride Month 2021!

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Best Books of 2020 (Based on My Bookstagram Community)

We’re almost at the end of 2020! Can you believe that?! I certainly can’t. But there’s no going back now, and although we’ve had a roller coaster of a year, we’ve also been blessed with amazing books.

Now I know there are a lot of “Best Books of 2020” lists right now, and I wanted to do one of my own. But this time, I’m not just featuring my best books of the year. I invited my friends and followers over at bookstagram to come tell me their best books of 2020!

I wanted to know the books that truly left a mark for people this year and I wanted to feature them. Whether it be fantasy, contemporary, science fiction, or more. Anything!

So here you go: the best books of 2020 based on my bookstagram community!

Each of Us A Desert

#15 Each of Us a Desert

“From the award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life.”

All Boys Aren't Blue

#14 All Boys Aren’t Blue

“In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.”

Clap When You Land

#13 Clap When You Land

“In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.”

Written in the Stars

#12 Written in the Stars

“With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!”

The Burning God

#11 The Burning God

“The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.”

Raybearer

#10 Raybearer

“Nothing is more important than loyalty.

But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?”

Cinderella is Dead

#9 Cinderella is Dead

“This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.”

Aurora Burning

#8 Aurora Burning

“Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.”

Black Sun

#7 Black Sun

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.”

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

#6 The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

“A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.”

Felix Ever After

#5 Felix Ever After

“From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.”

The Extraordinaries

#4 The Extraordinaries

“Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.”

You Should See Me in a Crown

#3 You Should See Me in a Crown

“But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen . . . The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack…Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?”

Cemetery Boys

#2 Cemetery Boys

“A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas’s paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys, described by Entertainment Weekly as “groundbreaking.””

The House in the Cerulean Sea

#1 The House in the Cerulean Sea

“A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret…

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.”

And there you have it! I had so much fun knowing the best books people over at bookstagram have read. I hope I get to read these wide variety of titles soon! Also, it’s no surprise at all for me that The House in the Cerulean Sea received the most votes! This book was amazing!

I’m also including these books as honorable mentions:

  • Miss Meteor 
  • Crownchasers
  • Grown
  • The First Sister
  • Cute Mutants
  • Wicked As You Wish
  • Get a Life Chloe Brown
  • Mexican Gothic
  • Loveless
  • Plain bad heroines 
  • Slay
  • The Henna Wars
  • Only Mostly Devastated
  • Furia
  • We Are Not Free

How about you book nerds? What was the best book (or books!) of 2020 for you? Come tell me!

MrBookmarkPostcard Unboxing: Fandom bookmarks and postcards!

Hi book nerds! I have an unboxing post today and this time it’s a rep package from one of my favorite bookish shops on Instagram/Etsy, MrBookmarkPostcard!

I first talked to Benji (the owner) when I requested a custom order a few months back. I’ve seen his previous designs and layouts and I was impressed. So, I decided to request a custom order and he didn’t let me down. I’ve been an absolute fan ever since.

Now, I’m a rep for MrBookmarkPostcard and I’m excited to share all the things I received in my rep package!

✨ Check out MrBookmarkPostcard on Etsy now! ✨
✨ Use the code OBSCURE20 to save! ✨

Here’s a closer look on the items:

There was a lovely postcard inspired by Love, Simon (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda), two bookmarks inspired by All for the Game (aka one of my favorite books ever), a bookmark inspired by Red, White & Royal Blue (which made my heart melt so much), and a galaxy bookmark (which has a quote that I adore!).

What I love about Benji’s designs is that even though the designs are minimalist, they have their own personality and beauty!

Benji has tons more on his Etsy shop—bookmarks, postcards, and pins that are inspired by different books, movies, and TV shows. Check out MrBookmarkPostcard on Etsy now! And you can use the code OBSCURE20 to get 20% off on your orders!

✨ Check out MrBookmarkPostcard on Etsy now! ✨

ARC Review: The Electric Heir

Title: The Electric Heir
Author: Victoria Lee
My rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Series: Feverwake #2
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, LGTBQ+, Bisexual rep, POC, Racism, M/M romance, OwnVoices
Content Warnings: Profanity, alcohol/drug abuse, mental health and suicide, non-consensual/rape, emotional abuse and manipulation, physical abuse. For a much more detailed list, see this content warning post from the author themself.
Publication date: March 17, 2020
Goodreads synopsis:

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Skyscape!

img_9282Okay book nerds. Strap in because this book may just be my top/favorite read of 2020.

I read The Fever King a couple of days ago and I loved it! I got sucked into the story and the world and the characters in no time. I was just so excited for the sequel to come! And so, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the sequel was available for request on NetGalley, and what’s even more surprising is that my request was approved! I dove right in.

The Electric Heir is one conclusion I will never forget. It’s powerful, it’s gripping, it’s intense, it’s heartbreaking, and above all, it’s beautifully done. I am truly in awe of this book.

Beautifully written

The Electric Heir is beautifully written. There’s no other way to go about it. Every sentence, every chapter, every archive part, every flashback—they were all there for a reason, they were all there to create a powerful story that will affect the readers. And boy, was I affected. My breath was knocked out of me; I was left feeling horrified; I cried; I felt all the anger, the frustration, the sadness, the angst, the fear, the hope; everything. I was so emotionally invested with the characters and the story because of the prose and how the author carefully built the story. I admire it so much.

I also loved the addition of Dara’s point of view. It was so great to know more of his perspective, his experiences, his thoughts, his feelings. He was an enigma in The Fever King, and here in The Electric Heir, we’re given the chance to peek into his mind. I loved it.

Complex characters

I loved how the author created such complex characters and explored each and every one of them. From Noam, to Dara, to Lehrer, and even the minor characters like Ames, Bethany, Taye, Leo, Priya and Claire. I applaud the author for such a great job with these characters.

Noam, my sweet boy, Noam. There’s a drastic change from the Noam in The Fever King to the Noam here in The Electric Heir. He’s braver, smarter, definitely more powerful, but there’s also a new kind of darkness inside of him—a mix of guilt, longing, trauma, secrets, wrong decisions, and more.

And Dara, my darling boy, Dara. There’s also a drastic change in Dara, all right. With him being no longer a Witching, we see him struggle and try to cope with being a normal person. We also see him try to deal with all that happened while he was gone, deal with the new Noam, and deal with the horrors Lehrer has imprinted on his mind.

And that brings me to Lehrer. Just when I thought I have an idea of what kind of person Lehrer is, I am proven wrong. Lehrer’s character is such a good villain, I have to admit that, even though I have a newfound hatred for him. Him being an antagonist is good because it’s so real, because his character exists in the real world—in the faces of abusers, of corrupt politicians, of tyrants, of manipulators. That’s what makes him so good, and so scary, and so frustrating.

Gripping storyline with significant themes

The author dedicated The Electric Heir to survivors. Because above all, this story is about surviving. Surviving abusers, surviving tyranny, surviving your own demons. I absolutely loved how the author focused on themes such as abuse, trauma, mental health, politics, relationships. There were already themes like these in The Fever King, but it’s in this book where these themes were such a distinct part of the plot. The author has woven them all together with such regard and, for me, it created such a powerful, gripping, and emotional story that will really stay with me as a reader and as a person. It was brilliant.


 

Overall, this book is just so, so good. Actually, it’s more than that, it’s magnificent, What a finale! I’m pretty sure this is my new obsession now, and I can say that Victoria Lee is now one of my favorite authors.

Sad to think about how this is the conclusion, but hey, good thing it’s been adapted into a Webtoon. Haha!

If I could give a million stars to this book, to Noam and to Dara, I would.