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Reflecting on 2019 and the Decade

"It was the end of a decade, but the start of an age"- "Long Live"

I can't believe it's finally here. We're all getting ready to step into 2020 tomorrow. It always seemed so far away. We've all been talking about it so long that it's managed to creep up on me. I guess we're all getting a little extra sentimental because we're ending a decade (in terms of the popular view of decades). We're moving into the 20s. Seeing everyone's decade later comparisons has been weird because the 2010s were the first full decade I've ever lived. I started the decade as a six year old in first grade, so, even though I feel like I've accomplished far less than some people on Twitter, I have, in fact, managed to graduate elementary, middle, and high school and get into college in the last 10 years. I've also become a person.
Most of what's shaped me has happened in the last ten years. I've learned an incredible amount about mysel…

Top 10 of 2019: All the YA Love

We're winding down 2019, so it's time to get reflective on the past year. It feels like multiple lifetimes have happened in this single year. It was one of the best years for the blog that I've ever had. Even though I might have read less this year, I expanded my interviews and guests posts, got to work closely with some wonderful writers, and fell further in love with the YA community. A huge thank you to everyone in the Novel19s for working with me, being so kind, and putting out some of the best books I've ever read. In the next few weeks, I'll be posting more about the future I see for the blog going into 2020 and it's third year, but, for now, let's celebrate all the amazing stories 2020 has brought to us! I did my Reading, Writing, and Me book awards recently which honored over 20 books in tons of different categories so if you need last minute holiday shopping inspiration, check out this list and the earlier one!

1. Permanent Record
I have not stoppe…

She Said Review

She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey 
I don't normally talk about books that aren't YA on here. Actually, I'm not sure if I've ever reviewed a book that wasn't fiction. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I've started to read more widely across categories. A lot of that has been nonfiction books. I'm not sure how many of these kinds of books I'm going to talk about on here because I know most of you read this blog to hear me talk about YA books, but this book is super important, and I realized I had a lot to say.
She Said is the story of MeToo told by Jodi and Megan, two journalist from the New York Times that lead and first broke the Weinstein sexual harassment story. While we all know how that unfolded and have watched the subsequent news stories that have come out of it, you can't really understand its impact, the intricacies of producing it, and the internal obstacles until you read the complete story. The chronicles of private investigat…

More Than Maybe Review

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn (May 2020)
Overview: Vada works at a dive bar, scraping together money for college and learning about running from a show her soon to be step-dad to get closer to her future dreams. She also runs the Loud Lizard's successful music blog Behind the Music. Vada is about to head off to LA and start working towards her music journalism dreams, but she has to make it through senior year first. Luke Greenly is the son of famous British punk rocker, Charlie Greenly. The whole family has set down roots in Michigan where his mom works at the university, but remnants of his dad's past life still follow them. Luke loves writing songs but hates performing, and, because of his dad, he's been thrust into the spotlight more than he'd like. For now, he'd rather stick to making successful podcast The Grass Is Greenly with his twin brother, Cullen, and hopelessly pining after Vada through stalking Behind the Music. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Vada is a charact…

The Reading, Writing, and Me Book Awards 2019

I read so many amazing books this year. Tons of debuts, tons of 2019 arrivals, but also ton of backlist books. I've made a list of my favorite books every year I've had the blog at the end of the year, and I always make the list full of superlatives, giving each book a specific award. I always struggle, though, with my top of 20-whatever list with not being able to honor backlist books that I didn't discover until this year. I want to scream about books I didn't know about when they were brand new, so this year we're going to do things a little differently. This year, for my named awards, I'm going to include both new and backlist books. The only rule is that I had to read them in 2019 or after the 2018 list came out. But I do want to honor this year specifically, so I will be taking ten books from this list and in the next week unveil my Top 10 of 2019. This will allow me to celebrate more books than ever. Carrying on from last year's tradition, I'm k…

Goodreads Goals, Reading Records, and the End of the Year

So, it's almost December. We have a little over thirty days left to scramble around and scrape up a couple more books to fulfill our reading goals for a feeling of self satisfaction or bragging rights on Twitter. Maybe you want to read 100 books or maybe it was 50 or even 5. Different people have wildly different goals with their reading. Sometimes there are also more specific goals like reading more diversely or reading a certain number of books across a couple genres. Just like with every other resolution made in January, everyone aims high and few think about it again until the end of November when we start thinking about how the year will glow in our memories and achievement list when the year rolls over. On the other hand, I think December is a good time to define what success with these goals means.
While I don't use Goodreads cause I've never quite gotten its interface and chronically forget my password, I do keep a detailed spreadsheet with all kinds of random dat…

Foul Is Fair Review

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
TW: Sexual Assault
Overview: Elle walks into a party with her squad. She walks out a new person. She cuts her hair and dyes it black, she changes her name, and she makes her friends swear to help her get revenge. Now named Jade, she transfers to St. Andrews Prep to stalk and systematically take down each of the lacrosse boys who drugged and took advantage of her at that party. She will make them destroy themselves and then escape with her hands clean. She knows just how to play all the boys against one another and exploit their weaknesses to destroy their hierarchy. Overall: 4 

Characters: 3.5 The book is hard to break down and discuss because the style it's written in is very specific. I have a hard time figuring out the core of all of these characters because of it. The tone fits the story, but it also positions the reader very far away from all of the characters which makes it hard to see past their exterior. Jade is cold and calculating and feels like…

Planes, Trains, and... Books

It's almost holiday time, and that means traveling for a lot of people. Since I'm leaving this weekend to go visit family for Thanksgiving, I thought I'd make a list of books for you guys that'll be perfect reads while you're flying, waiting in the airport, or hiding from relatives. If you're taking a car trip, check out the audiobook versions. Or, I guess, if you're fortunate enough to be able to read in the car, do that. I can't even look at Instagram without getting carsick.
So, without further ado, here's my list of perfect travel books that are lighthearted, page turning, or perfect escapes. I'll link to my reviews of each of the books so that you can read my full thoughts on each of the books.
Crying Laughing  by Lance Rubin I picked a lot of funny books for this list because they're my favorites to read while traveling. Even when books cross into difficult subject matter, the tone can keep a book perfectly poised as a light read. I lov…