Bookish Academy Awards Tag

Finally getting around to doing some book tags! This one is called the Bookish Academy Awards, and I was tagged in it by Charvi at Not Just Fiction. Thank you!

Best Actor (Best Male Protagonist)


Pio Alvez from Like Nobody’s Watching by Tara Frejas. Bonus point: he’s actually an actor! I wish more male love interests were like Pio, to be honest. He’s sweet, friendly, family-oriented, and is very respectful of Audrey and her decisions. Let’s hear it for male love interests who genuinely care about women’s agency!

Best Actress (Best Female Protagonist)

I just couldn’t decide between the two, so I’m gonna say it’s a tie between Audrey Rose Wadsworth from Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and Princess Amari from Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. They’re both rich, pampered girls from privileged upbringings who sacrifice the relative safety of their lifestyles in order to do the right thing. I’m a sucker for that sort of thing.

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In Defense of Battered Books

I’m sure nearly every book blogger out there has very firm opinions on the physical appearances of their books. You’ve heard them time and time again, I’m sure. Tons of book bloggers will talk about how they hate dog-eared pages, smears, thumbprints, cracked spines, peeling edges, underlines and highlights, and just anything that makes their books look like they weren’t just purchased from the bookstore.

And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that! I’m not about to bash anybody’s bookish habits! (God knows we’re all broke-ass nerds anyway.) Instead, what I’m going to do today is simply talk about the alternative: battered books.

You know what I’m talking about. Books with dog-eared or wrinkled pages, thumbprints, cracked spines and curling edges, thumbprints, faded ink, and everything that most bookworms regard as unattractive in a book. They can be just as beautiful, Instagrammable, and just generally pretty to look at as pristine books. It all depends on how you look at them.

Let me start off with a story. Back in 2009, I had the privilege of meeting my favorite author Neil Gaiman and getting my books signed by him. I was quite embarrassed because all around him were people who had mint-fresh issues of Sandman, newly-bought paperbacks, and hardbound books still in their paper packages from Fully Booked. Meanwhile, my copies of American Gods, Smoke and Mirrors, Stardust, Fragile Things, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens, and Neverwhere had clearly been through the ringer: the edges of the covers were peeling back, the pages were dog-eared, the paper yellowed, and the spine cracked so much that the book could lie flat while open.

When I finally got to Neil Gaiman’s table, I almost wanted to turn tail and run away. In the end, I got up on that stage, handed Neil my books, and apologized because they looked so ugly. He laughed, signed my books, and said something I’ve never forgotten (although, let’s be real, great author like him? He probably already has):

“I love seeing my books all beat up like this. It means you really enjoyed them. You read them over and over again. It means my books became your friends.”

I nearly fainted from excitement, let me tell you. Imagine being sixteen years old, an aspiring author, and hearing that? Damn.

And that’s why I think it’s perfectly okay to have beat-up, battered, ugly books. Cracked spines, dog-eared and folded pages, faded ink, and smears and fingerprints are all testaments to how much a book means to a certain person. That person loved the story within those pages that they probably opened the book so much to read and reread it, highlighted passages they found poignant or meaningful, and carried it wherever they went. They also probably lent it out a ton because they wanted to spread that story around as much as they could – and it subsequently got a bit roughed up, passing through so many hands.

The point is, battered and beat-up books are just as beautiful as clean and pristine ones. Sometimes, they can even be more beautiful. They’re proof that an author really connected with a reader, a complete stranger who’s maybe thousands of miles away. They’re proof that a reader related so deeply with the vision in someone else’s head, that the same thoughts the ran through one mind run in another, that a person was affected so much by someone else’s words that they couldn’t wait to devour more.

For those who can’t stand dog-earing and faded ink and thumbprints and other hallmarks of the battered book – that’s totally fine! To each their own. Again, we’re all broke-ass nerds anyway. But just maybe, give it a rest when talking about how you cringe so hard when you see other people dog-earing or underlining their books. How they process a story and how you process a story are two different things – and both are a-okay!

Do you not mind battered books, or do you prefer them to remain squeaky-clean? Share your thoughts!

Never freeze,



Book Review || Secondhand Origin Stories – Lee Blauersouth (Part of the SHOSPH Blog Tour!)

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Title: Secondhand Origin Stories

Author: Lee Blauersouth

Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult

My Rating:

RATING - Five Stars


Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

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100 Thoughts While Reading Secondhand Origin Stories

Hey guys! I’m back with another edition of 100 Thoughts While Reading. As always, big thanks to Karina of Afire Pages for coming up with the idea in the first place.

As you can probably guess, I’m doing the Secondhand Origin Stories blog tour hosted – as usual, lol – by the lovely Shealea @ That Bookshelf Bitch. If you haven’t signed up for the blog tour, don’t fret! It’s available on Amazon, and I’ve included the link below!

Superhero Origins tour banner

There will be a more detailed review to follow, so please stick around for that. I’m so excited to tell you what I thought of this book!

As always, be warned that this post contains spoilery content!

Without further ado, here are my 100 Thoughts While Reading Secondhand Origin Stories

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Mini-Reviews: Update on Beach Reads Liwliwa Edition

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A few days ago, I wrote a post about the books I brought with me on a vacation to Liwliwa Beach. I actually managed to read all of them (SUCK IT, TBR) so I thought of writing a batch of mini-reviews, just so you’re not bombarded with an influx of reviews every time I write about knocking titles off my TBR!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Genre: Young Adult, Romance


RATING - Four Stars

My Review:

Stay tuned for a full review of this! I have a heck of a lot to talk about re: this book!

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Book Review || The Voting Game – Peter Gulgowski (Part of The Voting Game PH Blog Tour + A Giveaway!)

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Title: The Voting Game

Author: Peter Gulgowski

Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult

My Rating:

RATING - Four Stars


In the year 2084, Every Interaction Counts.

Darrius Young’s sixteenth birthday brings a harsh reality: It’s time to join the Voting Game. Playing is mandatory and each day may be his last.

In this bleak future’s society, citizens rate their interactions with one another. Highest scorers are members of an elite upper class. An average score means you can keep playing.

Fall below average? You are taken and killed by the government entity known only as The Bureau. Darrius has prepared his whole life for this challenge, knowing the reality he will soon face — especially after the death of his mother to the game.

But despite preparation, he’s losing — and not just the Game. Suddenly the people he loves are getting brutally downvoted and taken by the Bureau. It’s soon clear there’s a target on his back, drawn there by the Bureau itself. And Darrius has no idea why.

In a frantic race against time against a society that’s already sentenced him to death, can Darrius save himself and those around him before it’s too late?

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100 Thoughts While Reading The Voting Game

Karina of Afire Pages started this thing called 100 Thoughts While Reading, and when I commented on her post 100 Thoughts While Reading The Belles, she suggested perhaps writing a 100 Thoughts While Reading post as well. I thought of doing one for The Voting Game, since I’m on the blog tour hosted by the lovely Shealea.

The Voting game - blog tour header

My actual review will be up soon, so I hope you stick around for that! The Voting Game was an awesome book, and you should definitely add it to your TBR.

Fair warning. This is somewhat spoilery content.

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