2018 Bookish New Years Resolutions/Goals || New Year, New Blogging Me!

New Years Resolutions. Everyone makes them, and then promptly breaks them on January 3rd or something. Anyway, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and in addition to making the generic oh, I’ll work out more and procrastinate less and all that jazz, make some for this lovely blog!

In addition, since it’s almost my One Year Blogversery (!!!!!), these will be the goals for my second year of blogging!! Perks of starting a blog in the first month of the year is how nicely it all lines up I guess haha!

1. Actually make blog graphics | I’m one of the few bloggers I know who has done so little in terms of branding myself haha. Recently though, I did make myself a Blogmas header, and I loved being able to put it on every post! I made it with Photoshop, which I have access to through my school, but I’m going to lose access to after June, so the time is definitely now to be making headers, before it’s too late!!

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2. Go blog hopping more often | I went blog hopping all the time when I first started my blog, but now I can’t remember the last time I did it! It’s very time consuming, which is probably why I stopped, but it’s genuinely so much fun to discover new blogs and bloggers, and it’s definitely something I should be doing to interact in the community more!

 

3. Rediscover old bloggers | I definitely used to be a lot more active, and I was friends with quite a few bloggers who I seem to have lost track of lately! I was certainly more busy at the end of last year than the beginning, which is why I couldn’t interact as much, but I’d love to check up on those old bloggers I’ve fallen out of contact with and see their lovely blogs!

 

4. Read 100 books again! | With another year over, it’s time to reset my Goodreads Reading Challenge! Last year I set my goal to 100 and surpassed it with 117! This year, I’m setting it to 100 again!

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5. Focus on quality, not quantity | For a while in the beginning of last year, I was blogging every single day! I was determined to get good stats! Since then, I’ve gradually started blogging less and focusing on better quality posts instead of just churning them out, and I’d like to do that more this year!

 

Let’s Chat

What are some of your blogging goals for this year? What did you set your Goodreads goal to this year? I’d love to chat in the comments below ❤

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On Separating Art From Its Creator || Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Johnny Depp

Hey friends! Another post this week! I’m on a total roll! And this is a post I really care about too so I’m going to be trying my hardest to respond to comments today instead of doing all the other responsible student things in preparation for 120942348uowiejkfsd tests in the next three days!!! It’s about (can you guess from the title?) the new Fantastic Beasts movie, Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald. (I think I made a pretty nice spoof title if I do say so myself lol).

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If you read my blog, I make no secret of the fact that I’m a HUGE Potterhead. I’m basically a slave to the series. Just take my money. Tell me your secrets. Take me to Hogwarts and give me my letter. I even made two Harry Potter related posts this week (shameless self promo), which was not even planned or in thought to the new movie or each other, it just happened to be so that should show you how much I love it.

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Anyways, that being said, I love and own all the books and movies and love them. I went to see Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them I think like 2 days after it was released in 2016 and I loved it and it was amazing. I adore Harry Potter lore. I really really want to get back into the amazing Wizarding World, explore more about Dumbledore’s backstory, return to Hogwarts, see the magic, EVERYTHING.

BUT. I would also call myself a proud feminist, and a huge supporter of the #metoo and #timesup movements. And as you probably know, Johnny Depp, who plays the titular character Grindlewald, was accused of abusing his former wife, Amber Heard. And the fact that JK Rowling and the FB casting director/team decided to keep him in their movie after this controversy came out is…very upsetting. I’ve heard arguments that it is a movie, and perhaps it’s important that Depp was the best man for the part. I disagree: no matter what

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Being a woman is scary. In one class last year, my teacher revealed that, statistically speaking, five of us girls in the room would be raped, and to have it said so bluntly like that was terrifying. The way that female survivors continue to be stigmatized and pushed to the side is not believed is scary. So with everything I stand for and believe in, supporting this movie, supporting Johnny Depp feels very wrong.

Still, I won’t lie, the movie with all its Harry Potter references looks amazing from the trailers and I really want to see it. And most of my friends want to see it, and I’m insecure and would probably feel sad if they all watched it and hung out without me.

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So this poses the question: should we separate art from its creator? In this case it’s a movie and Depp is the actor, but this could also stand for a book and its author, a song and its singer, fine art and its painter, anything. It has me wondering if it’s morally right for me to enjoy the amazing world of Harry Potter and disconnect it from the real life people who made it, or if they are inseparable and to support the film is to support the actor. After all, when I give my money to support this movie, I am, in a way, giving my money to support the man I can not support.

I do want to bring up a little side note on JK Rowling here. I definitely have some problems with her (only Asian is Nagini, adding back diversity via tweets, siding with Depp), but ultimately Harry Potter was a huge part of my life before all of this, before all the books were even out and quite the magnitude they are today, and so I suppose I’ll always cherish that childish nostalgia. And while some of her actions are questionable, nothing is quite so bad as the actions of Depp. So I suppose I can continue to cherish the books that have their own life in my life apart from their author.

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Johnny Depp, on the other hand, I find vile and horrible. I heard arguments that he is an actor and may be the best man for the role, but I can’t quite agree that his skills should go above his actions, should be separate. And I’m sure with a franchise this beloved there were hundreds or thousands of other incredible actors who would love the part and perform it just as well or better.

So honestly…I’m torn. This movie just came out today (the day I’m writing it is Friday, so a couple days before I’m posting) and to be quite honest, I have not yet decided if I’m going to be seeing it. I’m thinking that I might not see it in theaters, but wait until it’s out on DVD and I can rent it so I can still see my amazing Potter Universe, but not contribute to the box office success that I’m sure producers are analyzing.

 

Let’s Chat!

Do you think you can separate the artist from their work? Will you be watching the Crimes of Grindewald? I’d really love to know because I’m definitely still torn on this myself and I’d love to chat in the comments below so I can get more perspective before making my decision 🙂

Should Bloggers Review All Books? || Discussion

I’m so sorry for the republishing!! I made a mistake and accidentally scheduled this one earlier than I meant to, and it wasn’t edited enough for me to feel okay putting it on the internet!! Here we are, a week later though!!!

 


 

Hey friends!! I’ve been thinking a lot about how many books bloggers are obliged to review lately, and so I wanted to write a discussion post about it!!

When I first started blogging, I reviewed literally every single book I read. Seriously. Something like the first 40 books I read this year (I started my blog in January) I reviewed. Dutifully. Every single one.

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But then it got to feeling like reviewing was more like a chore. When I finish a book, I usually don’t really want to review it, and put it off for a few days. Especially when I want to read another book, which I always want to do more than I want to review. And then it ends up that I’ve piled up 10 books I’ve read but not reviewed, and then it’s just overwhelming and none of them get reviewed.

So lately, I was thinking about whether bloggers are under an obligation to review their books. I feel like bloggers should definitely review every ARC they get. Those are marketing tools, given them for a review, not just for the free book! But what about the non ARCs?

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At first, I’m inclined to say that there’s no obligation to review the book at all! Of course this isn’t our job! But also, sometimes I constantly hype up books. I talk about them constantly on my Weekly Wrap Ups and how much I adored them, or how much I can’t wait to read them, listing all the great things I’ve heard about them! I’ve had several people comment on those posts something along the lines of I can’t wait to read your review, and can’t help but feel a tinge of guilt when that review never comes.

So in this case, I think that if bloggers are constantly hyping up and talking about a book, we should really make an effort to review it. Definitely prioritize it over other books not really mentioned. But, at the end of the day, if we don’t get around to reviewing it, that’s totally fine! We have to do what’s best for us, first, at the end of the day.

Let’s Chat

Do you think bloggers should review all the books they talk about? How about all the ARCs they get? I’d love to hear in the comments below 🙂

Morgan Matson Books Ranked || Is Summer Already Over?

This March or April or something (already off to a great start you see) I read my first Morgan Matson book, Since You’ve Been Gone. Funnily enough, I didn’t even read it because I heard of her, I just read it because the cover caught my eye at the library and the blurb sounded interesting haha. But since then, this summer I embarked on the task that was binging on her other books since, as they all say, Morgan Matson is the queen of the summer contemporaries! Here, in this post, I wanted to share my personal opinion of the best, the worst, and all the in between 🙂

Links in the titles to go my full length reviews of all the books!

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(The two pictures above are from Morgan Matson’s website, which you can see here!)

5. Second Chance Summer: 3.5 stars

  • Cynical Summary: Girl with second home at lake angsts about her ex boyfriend and best friend and some middle school drama while her dad is kicking the bucket.
  • Glowing Summary: A beautiful story about a teenage girl coming back to her summer home, old friends, and old life in the face of heartbreaking tragedy.
  • Favorite Moment: The showing of Casablanca. Here’s looking at you, kid ❤
  • Favorite Quote: “And I’ve realized that the Beatles got it wrong. Love isn’t all we need—love is all there is.”

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4. The Unexpected Everything: 4 stars

  • Cynical Summary: Irritating snobbish girl who goes through boyfriends like food has to deal with being a dog walker (including pooper scooper) instead of micromaneging everything.
  • Glowing Summary: An amazing coming of age story as a teenage girl learns the value of living in the moment and taking risks, filled with fun adventures of friends, loves, and dogs.
  • Favorite Moment: The ending with Malory and Karl in the bookstore oaseirjfkldasoijafsmd it was SO CUTE I went back and reread so many times and couldn’t stop smiling.
  • Favorite Quote: ““You have to try. You have to take your chances. Go and attempt and see what happens…And then later you can say, without regret or hesitation… ‘Once, I dared to dare greatly’”

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3. Since You’ve Been Gone: 4 stars

  • Cynical Summary: Barnacle-like girl who’s always clung to her bff is suddenly forced to get off her butt and actually do crap for herself.
  • Glowing Summary: Incredible story about a girl getting outside of her comfort zone and discovering all the things she’s capable of while making everlasting friendships in a magical summer.
  • Favorite Moment: Crashing a party and dancing all night long ahh why can’t this happen to me??
  • Favorite Quote: “Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what. The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home. And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.”

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2. Save The Date: 4.5 stars

  • Cynical Summary: Unrealistic story of all the possible ways something can go wrong while a childish girl won’t let go of her perfect image of the past.
  • Glowing Summary: A hilarious story filled with family and fun as a girl learning to let go of the past through her sister’s wedding.
  • Favorite Moment: The supermarket cake run!
  • Favorite Quote: “You don’t get to freeze the picture when you want it. It would have been living in the past eventually, you just start doing the same jokes over and over again.”

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1. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour: 5 stars

  • Cynical Summary: Girl is forced to spend way too many hours cooped up in a car with a stranger awkwardly.
  • Glowing Summary: Beautiful tale of a teenage girl coping with loss and growing up, accompanied by an incredible road trip across all the memorable parts of America.
  • Favorite Part: That part after Dairy Queen ❤ 😉
  • Favorite Quote: “The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.”

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Let’s Chat!

What’s your favorite Morgan Matson book? Least favorite (but still great of course haha)? I’d love to hear in the comments down below 🙂

Peter Kavinsky Is White And I’m Glad || On The Portrayal of Interracial Dating (Discussion)

So this is something that’s been on my mind a LOT recently, and I really wasn’t going to talk about it because this is my book blog, my place where I review and talk about books, and I felt it really wasn’t that relevant. Especially since I’ve been sort of spamming about TATBILB and CRA lately haha. But it’s honestly just made me so damn angry that I couldn’t resist writing this post.

So in the past month, Asians have been getting a lot of love in the movie industry with Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (two of my favorite movies!). Honestly, I’m thrilled about it, and so is what seems like the rest of the internet! But there are always the trolls, the people who won’t be satisfied, and apparently for some people this truly incredible amount of representation isn’t good enough.

Here are some of the *lovely* things I’ve read around YouTube comments, Twitter posts, news stories, and even Goodreads! (Not word for word, but pretty similar).

On To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before:

  • Oh, of course Jenny Han would made Peter Kavinsky white. Lara Jean just can’t date an Asian man.
  • Lara Jean should have dated an Asian. Asian women are always portrayed as exotic and beautiful, but Asian men get no representation and are seen as not masculine.
  • Oh, To All The Boys has been done so many times before. It’s not unique. What would be unique would be to have an Asian male.
  • I’m going to boycott To All The Boys because Lara Jean isn’t dating an Asian.
  • Jenny Han is just as bad as everyone else in Hollywood, whitewashing and perpetuating the stereotype that Asian men aren’t masculine.

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On Crazy Rich Asians (and the one that got me mad enough to write this):

  • They should have picked women who actually like Asian men, not just traitors who can act like it. I hope the film fails.

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All of these comments are basically saying that Asian women who date white men are fake/traitors, and all Asian women have to date Asian men? This is SO UPSETTING to me on a personal level. My mom is Asian and my dad is white, and these comments are basically saying that they shouldn’t have been together, that they shouldn’t be in love, that my mom is a sellout/traitor to Asians. That, by extension, I shouldn’t exist. How do people think it’s okay to say this?

It’s 2018. We’re at a time where Hollywood released a popular romcom about Asians, another about a lgbtq+ teen, where diversity is celebrated, and people are still against interracial dating? I think interracial dating is AMAZING! It’s a bringing together of two cultures, something that is just amazing and beautiful to me, to someone who has grown up celebrating Christmas and the Fourth of July and Chinese New Year and the Moon Festival, and can’t imagine life without them. Interracial dating means people are seeing past their skin color, their differences, and coming together as not Asians or Whites or Blacks or Latinos or whatever, but just as PEOPLE.

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Shouldn’t we be falling in love with people’s personality? With their reliability? Their honesty? Their sense of humor? They way they get us? The way they’ll go out of their way to drive their fancy sports car to the elementary school to make our little sisters happy? Or wake up early in the morning to get us the doughnuts they know are our favorites? Or should we ignore all that and only date people because they have the same skin color as us?

In the past, white people wouldn’t have wanted to marry people of color, because whites saw themselves as superior. And that is racist. I don’t see a single difference in saying Asians have to date *only* Asians. It’s just as racist and wrong and disgusting.

So let’s get back to Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. First of all, let me just inform you all that Lara Jean lives in Virginia. According to the last census, 5% of Virginia is Asian. Now, let’s say that Lara Jean’s grade in her high school has 200 males. Five percent of that is 10. So in other words, by saying that Lara Jean must date an Asian, you’re limiting her dating options to TEN PEOPLE!!!

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What? You’re telling me that white girls can choose from ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY PEOPLE to date, but Lara Jean has only TEN OPTIONS because she’s Asian??? Jeez! Lara Jean has to date one of these TEN GUYS even if she doesn’t like their personality, even if they’re mean or annoying or argue constantly, just because they’re the same race as her?

So now, this is what irritates me TO NO END is the fact that Lara Jean IS HALF WHITE!!! Yes, let me repeat that: SHE’S HALF WHITE!! So Lara Jean dating Peter Kavinsky, a white guy, ISN’T EVEN INTERRACIAL DATING because THEY’RE BOTH WHITE! Interracial dating would be if Lara Jean was dating an African American, which, by the way, I would be totally fine with. Not dating someone the exact same race as her biological father.

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It’s starting to feel like people are literally CANCELING OUT HALF OF WHO LARA JEAN IS, and I’m NOT OKAY WITH IT. My whole life I’ve struggled with never fitting in to one group or another, not being Asian enough for the Asians, being too Asian for the whites, and it’s total bullshit. Lara Jean and I are BOTH ASIAN AND WHITE. Being white does not cancel out being Asian, and being Asian does not cancel out being white. Does not cancel out the half of Lara Jean who is the exact same race as Peter Kavinsky.

So, in conclusion, I’m sick and tired people complaining that Peter Kavinsky isn’t Asian. Peter Kavinsky is white, and I’m happy. Just as happy as I would have been if he was literally any other race. Because I did not swoon over him because his eyes are larger than mine. I swooned over him because he’s him.

Let’s Chat!

What do you think of Peter Kavinsky’s race? On To All The Boys and Crazy Rich Asians? I’d love to chat in the comments below 🙂