June 2018 Wrap Up

JuneWrapUpHello, lovelies! I cannot believe the month of June is already over! But I hope you all had an amazing month and an amazing Pride! I read 16 things this month, and only four of those weren’t LGBTQIAP+! I had a few misses, but also so many all-time favorite hits! And I can’t wait to talk about them all with you! ❤️ 🏳️‍🌈


A lot happened in the month of June:
➽ I read so many queer books! 🌈
➽ I read the word pansexual in a romance book for the first time!
➽ And I found my favorite contemporary of all time!
➽ I got to buddy read for the first time with some of my favorite humans: May, & Lily! ❤
➽ I went to the Grand Prix Vegas 2018 and had such an amazing time!
➽ I got to write up my second favorite post of the year!
➽ The Steam Summer Sale started! (Recommendations here!)
➽ I received an ARC that also happened to be the very first book that I was in the acknowledgements for, and I’m not sure if anything has ever made me as happy in my book reviewing life. Such a damn blessing.
➽ I hit 20,000 followers on Goodreads, and I’m still in disbelief. But thank you all so much. I have no word combination to even begin to describe how much it means to me. But with everything I am, thank you. 💖


But on to what I read in June…
Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.


The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen – ★★★

“Now, cold and exhausted, a girl disguised as a boy, tottering after the losing end of a battle, I have to second-guess that assessment. It seems to me that I’ve made some choices—some very bad choices—that have led me to this moment.”

The Bird and the Blade is a completely enthralling and heart-breaking YA fantasy debut. I enjoyed this so much, and I was completely teleported and captivated every time I opened this book up. Plus, this is a story about the descendants of Genghis Khan’s sons, mixed with the Italian opera Turandot, and that’s one of the most unique concepts of any story I’ve read in 2018. And this might not be the most historically accurate novel out there, but I loved reading about the Song dynasty and the Mongol Empire.


Folsom (End of Men #1) by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster – DNF @ 50%

“I have impregnated two hundred and three women over the course of sixteen years. Five of those pregnancies have resulted in male children.”

Tarryn Fisher wrote one of my favorite books of all time, Mud Vein, which completely changed who I am as a person. And I’ve never read anything by Willow Aster before, but my friends have told me really good things! But I’m not about to read a book (especially during Pride) where there are only 12 adult men left to populate this dystopian USA, and the only main character that’s a lesbian is a villain that is forcing a probably straight woman to be with her. Miss me with all that fucking shit. Thanks.


We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson – ★★★★

“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

This is a really beautiful story about being a teenager, being gay, and not being accepted. This is a story about heartbreak, loss, grief, and trying to figure out who you are in the midst of it all. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love the start of this book, but I completely fell in love with the middle and end. And I totally understand why so many of my friends hail this as their favorite book of all time.


These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1) by Sara Raasch – ★★

“Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy.”

Friends, this just was not the book for me. And you know I hate writing “negative” reviews, so I’m going to try to keep this on the shorter side. But this book and the writing was just equal parts boring and daunting for me. Plus, the magic system was not explained, the characters were hard to like or believe, and I never cared enough to root for any of them. But I think what ultimately made me not love this book was because I went in thinking that we were going to see a crew of queer pirates, on the open sea, fighting battles, slaying monsters, and doing pirate things. This is not the type of book These Rebel Waves is. But on a positive note, this is a book filled with colonization, oppression, magical medical experimentation, religious hierarchies, political intrigue, betrayals, and what people are willing to do in the name of their God(s). And, it sort of has pirates.


Sunstone, Vol. 3 (Sunstone #3) by Stjepan Šejić – ★★★

“It’s all fun and games until someone falls in love! But the fun and games carry on!”

This is such a gem of a graphic novel series. And even though I didn’t love this one as much as Volume One, I still really enjoyed this installment and completely recommend it to adults who are interested in the BDSM lifestyle. Seriously, this is filled with very mature themes and explicit sexual content, so use caution if that’s not something you’re looking for.


The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne #2) by Myke Cole – ★★★

“I want to live in a world where everyone, no matter who they are, dies from growing old, and not because someone else killed them for their own good.”

The Armored Saint was my second favorite ARC that I read in 2017. It will still, without a doubt, make my best of 2018 list come December. But for some reason this second book just didn’t captivate me and wow me the way that book one did. I still really enjoyed this, and Myke Cole’s writing is so damn good that I could highlight half of this large novella, but I just didn’t love The Queen of Crows the same way I did The Armored Saint.


Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand – ★★★★

“Girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.”

Sawkill Girls is going to be such an amazing, atmospheric, spooky Halloween read for so many. The start of this book was phenomenal, and the first half was five star worthy in my opinion. I just, didn’t love the ending of this, but I think many of you will. And overall, I completely recommend this, and I had such an amazing time reading this creepy tale.


The Abyss Surrounds Us (TASU #1) by Emily Skrutskie – ★★★★★

“I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.”

One of the best book recommendations I’ve received to date is Elise recommending me The Abyss Surrounds Us. Friends, I fell totally in love with this story and it surpassed every high expectation I had for it. The writing is addicting, the story is so unique, and this book holds my now favorite enemies to lovers, angst-filled relationship of all time. Oh, and it’s between two girl pirates. Sold yet? You should be. This book was a gift.


Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns #1) by Bree Barton – ★★★

“Once upon a time, in a castle carved of stone, a girl plotted murder.”

I honestly feel like this is a solid 2.5 star read, but some aspects make me want to raise that rating and others make me want to lower it. I will say the end of this book is phenomenal. Like, easily the best part. And it was so good that I want to continue on. But the rest, especially the earlier sections, were some of the most predictable reading I’ve ever read.


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – ★★★★★

“…someone had climbed down and looked through our window: someone wearing strange boots with a long pointed toe.”

Spinning Silver is one of the best books I’ve read all year. I loved this story with every fiber of my being. And Naomi Novik is a master at storytelling and interweaving stories together. You all know that this is a very loose reimaging of Rumpelstiltskin but I’d stay it’s more of an empowering tale of three girls, all on three different paths, all promised to three different men, while all being looked over by three different mothers. Three is such a constant theme in this book, too, and it really helps reinforce that this story feels like a tangible piece of magic in your hands while reading. This book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

❄ And make sure you enter my GIVEAWAY for a finished copy of this on my bookstagram, which ends on July 1st at 11:59PM PST July 1st, 2018!


Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – ★★★★★

“This hardly qualifies as a distress call anymore—by gods, if anyone was listening, I would have heard from you by now.”

Radio Silence is the best contemporary book I’ve ever read. And holy shit did it blow all my expectations out of the water. I don’t feel like I’m the same person after reading this book. And I know I will cherish it forever. This is easily the best book I’ve read for Pride this year, and easily one of the best books I’ve read in all of 2018. This book literally took a piece of my heart and I will never ask for it back. I can’t wait to read everything else that Alice Oseman creates.


Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – ★★★★★

“A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”

Friends, I only picked this book up because it was on sale this month on Audible, even though I can never focus on audiobooks. I only started listening, because I decided to spend last night playing video games with my best friend. I only clicked play because he was telling me about his latest audiobook. I honestly believe with whole heart that the stars aligned to make me read this book, and I will be forever thankful because this is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life.


The Melody of You and Me (Lillac Town #1) by M. Hollis – ★★★★

“…when people doubt her sexuality. Or the times when she needs to explain why she just feels more comfortable using pansexual than bisexual”

Real talk, this is honestly a story about a pansexual music-loving girl, falling in love with a Filipina lesbian ballerina, while they both work at a bookstore together. This book even shouts out Melissa de La Cruz, Mina V. Esguerra, and Rin Chupeco! Like, does that not already sound like a masterpiece?


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera – ★★

“You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk.”

I’m so sorry! I really wanted to love this, but this just wasn’t a book for me. I think some of the lines were so beautiful, and I love the overall message of living your life, every day, to the fullest, but I just could never connect with this story the way that I know so many of my friends have.


The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie – ★

“Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.”

This is maybe the worst graphic novel I have ever read. I’m sorry, I truly am so sorry. Trust me, I don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings AND I absolutely hate wasting my time. But I honestly only liked the diversity in this. That’s it. But not even a pansexual lucifer was enough for me to like this. The full-page art openers of each issue were beautiful, but I didn’t even love the art of the regular panels. I just, I just really didn’t like this. It was not only confusing, but it was so damn boring too.


Cocktales by edited Penny Reid – ★★★

“And who does he think he is, having his lawyers send cease and desist demands to existing users of the title when we haven’t even made a cartoon yet?”

This anthology was inspired by a gross human being making poor choices, and I can’t wait to read and support this! Also, you only have until August 26th (a day before my birthday) to buy this collection of stories from so many amazing and beloved authors! Don’t miss out, loves! All net profits will be donated to the authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.


Okay, my loves! I hope you had a wonderful month, and that July treats you kindly! Remember that each and every single one of you deserve the entire universe and all the stars within it! I love you all, and happy reading! And please tell me what your favorite read of June was down below! ❤️

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June 2018 Book Haul

JuneBookHaulHey, friends! I hope you all had an amazing June and an amazing Pride! June was very chaotic for me, but I was able to add some amazing books to my never ending library that I will cherish forever and ever! 💕📖


PURCHASED BOOKS:

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The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan – ★★★★★
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman – ★★★★★
The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang
Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber – ★★★★


PURCHASED EBOOKS:

 

Cocktales by Penny Reid
soft in the middle by Shelby Eileen


AUDIOBOOKS:

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Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – ★★★★★


PHYSICAL BOOK FROM PUBLISHERS & FRIENDS:

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Small Spaces by Katherine Arden –  Sep 25th 2018 by G.P. Putnam & Sons
Bloody Rose (The Band #2) by Nicholas Eames – Aug28th 2018 by Orbit
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore – Oct 9th 2018 by Feiwel Friends
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco – March 1st 2019 by Sourcebooks
City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab – Aug 28th 2018 by Scholastic
Rule (Rule #1) by Ellen Goodlett – Sep 11th 2018 by Little, Brown
The Darkdeep by Ally Condie & Brendan Reichs – Oct 2nd 2018 by Bloomsbury
In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire – Jan 8th 2019 by Tor
Shoot Down the Wendy Bird: A Collection of Short Stories & Poetry by Julie Zantopoulos
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – July 10th 2018 by Del Rey – ★★★★★
Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor – ★★★★★


NETGALLEY ARCS:

 

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria – Oct 9th 2018 by Amulet
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – Sep 25th 2018 by Delacorte


KICKSTARTER:


I donated to this project after falling completely in love with Radio Silence by Alice Oseman in June! You have until Fri, July 20th, 2018, at 2:31 AM MST to donate to the Kickstarter and receive a printed copy of this beloved webcomic! (And it’s already been funded!) 💕


SUBSCRIPTION BOXES:

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Candles in Bookland – “THE THIRTEEN” – June’s Limited Edition Box
Use code: Meltotheany10 for 10% off!


Okay, loves! I think that is everything! I had such an amazing June! And I am forever thankful to all the wonderful publishers that send me things. Also, I’m even more grateful for my wonderful friends who think of me and bless me everyday with their friendships! Lilly, JulieLourdes, and Mia are confirmed angles, and it is an honor to call them my friends! I hope you all had a fantastic June that was filled with five star reads! ❤📚

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Candles in Bookland | “THE THIRTEEN” – June’s Limited Edition Box

Hey, friends! I just wanted to write up a little post about Candles in Bookland’s amazing June box! You all know I have a up and down relationship with Throne of Glass, but my favorite character is easily Manon Blackbeak! And this book is completely all about celebrating her and her coven!

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CANDLES

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These candles smell and look so damn good! Each one is so different, in looks and scent, but I actually was living my best life when I took the lids off of these while taking these pictures, because they smell so divine. Lourdes did such an amazing job on all of these! And you will receive five fantastic candles:


BOOK SLEEVE

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This is honest to God the best book sleeve I now own. 1.) It’s the most beautiful and soft red velvet! 2.) This thing is huge, and safely protects so many different sizes of my books! And 3.) Not only does it has a Velcro safety strap, but it also has a pocket for my page tabs and page flags! Seriously! I love this thing! This was made by Julie & Brittney at Baby My Book and you can use the code bookbox10 to save 10%!


ART WORK

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And this box is filled with artwork that is beautifully paired throughout!  Kaya at Kayadoodles did the beautiful Manon and Abraxos print! And Salome Totladze at Morgana0anagrom did the other three of Manon, Elide, and Asterin! And this gorgeous artwork is on a print, a bookmark, and on the candles, too!


Okay, loves! That is all of this amazing box! I hope you enjoyed this unboxing! I truly do think it is completely worth the money! There is so much to love inside of this! Again, thank you so much, Lourdes, for sending this to me! And make sure you check out her Instagram for more of her amazing candles and bookmarks! And if you all want to save 10% on this box or any other order you place, make sure you use my code (Meltotheany10) when you order! 💖🕯

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Upcoming LGBTQIAP+ Reads for the Last Half of 2018 🏳️‍🌈

Hey, my loves! I know that Pride is almost over, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop living our queerest lives for the rest of 2018! I just wanted to write up a quick post about some upcoming LGBTQIAP+ books that are being published in the last half of 2018! And I think you should all have these on your radar! 🌈


JULY

➽ Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie
July 17th 2018 by Delacorte

➽ The Descent of Monsters (Tensorate #3) by J.Y. Yang
July 31st 2018 by Tor.com

➽ Fence Vol. 1 (Fence #1-5) by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad
July 31st 2018 by BOOM! Box


AUGUST

➽ Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
August 28th 2018 by Dial Books

➽ Toil & Trouble edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood
August 28th 2018 by Harlequin Teen

➽ Bloody Rose (The Band #2) by Nicholas Eames
August 28th 2018 by Orbit


SEPTEMBER

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➽ Rule (Rule #1) by Ellen Goodlett
September 11th 2018 by Little, Brown


OCTOBER

➽ Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1) by Alice Oseman
October 2018 by Self-Publishing

➽ Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
October 2nd 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books

➽ Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria
October 9th 2018 by Amulet

➽ What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
October 9th 2018 by HarperTeen

➽ Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
October 9th 2018 by Feiwel Friends

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta
October 30th 2018 by Viking


NOVEMBER

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➽ Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
November 6th 2018 by Jimmy Patterson Books


And if you’d like more LGBTQIAP+ recommendations for books that I already love: click here! Also, these are obviously not all the LGBTQIAP+ books that are coming out in the last half of the year, these are just the ones that I plan on reading and that I’m super hyped for! But you all know how much I love book recommendations, especially queer book recommendations, so please let me know what your most anticipated LGBTQIAP+ book is for the rest of 2018! 🏳️‍🌈

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Top Ten Tuesday | Summer 2018 Book Releases That I want to Read

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Hey, friends! Okay, so the “real” topic this week is actually “Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish” but I feel like I just told you all the seven books I’ve DNFed in my book reviewing life. Also, last Tuesday I posted Summer 2018 Recommendations That I’ve already Read! So, this week I want to talk about ten books that also come out in Summer of 2018, but that I haven’t read yet and really want to! And without further ado, here they are:

Kill The Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell #1) by Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne
July 24th, 2018 by Del Rey

Fence Vol. 1 (Fence #1-5) by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad
July 31st, 2018 by BOOM! Box

The Descent of Monsters (Tensorate #3) by J.Y. Yang
July 31st, 2018 by Tor.com

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons #3) by Sarah J. Maas
August 7th, 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Monstress, Vol. 3 (Monstress #3) by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda
August 14th, 2018 by Image Comics

Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett
August 21st, 2018 by Crown

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews
August 28th, 2018 by Ace

Bloody Rose (The Band #2) by Nicholas Eames
August 28th, 2018 by Orbit

A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma
September 4th, 2018 by Algonquin Young Readers

Pride by Ibi Zoboi
September 18th 2018 by Balzer + Bray

I hope I love all of these, and I hope if you give any or all of them a try that you will fall in love, too! And I hope you all have the most amazing Summer, that’s filled with unconditional love, pure happiness, good health, and amazing books! Happy reading, friends! ☀👙🍦

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Steam Summer Sale 2018 Recommendations

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Hello, my loves! So when I did my “Top Ten Video Games of All-Time” post earlier this year, you all seemed to really enjoy! So, I couldn’t resist recommending you some more of my favorite games while they are on sale for the Steam Summer Sale! Also, this sale ends Thursday, July 5th at 10AM Pacific Time! 🚀

Every year, Steam has two huge sales where you can get games so dang cheap! This is especially helpful to PC gamers, like myself. All ten of these games I own and love (and have spent way more money purchasing them than what this sale is selling them for)! 💻

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Also, please feel free to add me on Steam! I’ll be honest, Dota makes me get so many random friend requests, so I have a big list of pending people. So, just make sure you let me know in the comments what your user name is! Okay, on to the games! And click on each title to see some gameplay of every game, and to learn a little bit more about them before buying! 👾


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➽ Stardew Valley – 20% off: $11.99
I play this every Thursday night with my best friend, and it hasn’t gotten old… ever. This is a such a masterpiece of a game, and I think there is something to love for everyone, honestly.


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➽ Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – 60% off: $23.99
Also, a ton of Civ DLC is on sale, too! Civ is a franchise that me and my friends have spent so much time playing. I will always have a soft spot for it, and I will always buy whatever they keep coming out with.


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➽ The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition – 60% off: $19.99
Not only is this an amazing game that I love with my whole heart, this bundle includes the Hearts of Stone and Blood & Wine expansions AND any other addition content that’s been released: side quests, weapons, armor, Gwent cards, and more!


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➽ Super Meat Boy – 90% off: $1.49
Forever and always one of my favorite platformers of all time. And it holds up so damn well. Completely recommend! And, like, its honestly a dollar.


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➽ Banished – 60% off: $6.79
This is the best city builder I’ve ever played in my entire life. If I could recommend one under-hyped game of all time, it would always be Banished. Masterpiece.


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➽ Transistor – 75% off: $4.99
But if I could only recommend one game from this sale? It would always be Transistor. My favorite Steam game of all time, and I wish I could put it in the hands of all of my friends. Also, the soundtrack is genius and perfection and worth every penny, too! And have you seen my Steam profile? I obviously love this game an unhealthy amount.


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➽ Tropico 4 – 80% off: $2.99
Yes, you read that right, FOUR! I have played five, too, but four will always be the one that stole my heart. I love this game so much, that my brother jokingly calls me El Presidente whenever someone brings the franchise up!


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➽ HunieCam Studio – 75% off: $1.74
First off, you all know I like sexy things. Second off, this resource management game is honest to God so fun! Look at my Steam profile above. That diamond penis? From this game. Best badge ever!


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➽ Child of Light – 66% off: $5.09
This game is one of the most beautiful works of art that I’ve ever experienced. The story is so perfect, the dialogue makes me feel every emotion, and the game is so very fun.


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➽ DARK SOULS III – 75% off: $14.99
The entire franchise and tons of bundles are on sale, but this series of games is a tier above so many games out there. Honest to God, this is a masterpiece. There is a reason why this wins so many awards, and that’s because it’s so very deserving.


Okay, loves! I hope this post helps you find a new game or two! Again, I love all of these games, companies, and franchises, with my whole heart! I’ve tried to be good this year and not spend too much money! But the games I’m planning to purchase during this sale are: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, Lethis – Path of Progress, Hollow Knight, Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked, and Town of Salem – The Coven! But please, recommend me more before the sale ends! Happy gaming and happy reading, always! 👾📚

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Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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“…please just call me Radio. Radio Silence. I am, after all, only a voice on a radio, and there may not be anyone listening.”

Radio Silence is the best contemporary book I’ve ever read. Full stop. So, buckle in, because this is going to be a full-gush review, because this book was everything. And holy shit did it blow all my expectations out of the water.

I normally give a brief synopsis about the book I’m reviewing here, but Radio Silence almost feels too personal for me to even type this review, to be completely honest. But this is a book about a boy and girl and the different stages of their completely platonic friendship. We get to see them bond over a fandom, and we get to see them discover who they wish they could be.

Frances – Bisexual, biracial (Ethiopian and white), head girl at her high school, and an artist.
Aled – Gay, demisexual, creator of a up-and-coming podcast and Youtube channel.
Daniel – Gay, Korean immigrant, head boy at his high school.
Carys – Lesbian, Aled’s twin sister who has been missing for a while now.
Raine – Indian, selfless angel, who is probably queer, too.

And these five characters come together in this book and create something so beautiful that I don’t even have words for it. But this book can get pretty dark in certain places, so please use caution. Trigger and content warnings for talk of mental illness, implied depression, implied suicidal thinking, parental abuse, physical abuse, extreme invasions of privacy on social media and the internet, very hateful comments to a creator on the internet, and death of a pet.

“This hardly qualifies as a distress call anymore—by gods, if anyone was listening, I would have heard from you by now.”

First off, I want to talk about how people always hail Fangirl as the book they related to going into college, but I think Radio Silence does everything Fangirl does, but a million times better and more relatable. Both of these stories are about kids going into college, unsure of what they want out of life, both feeling like outcasts that can never truly be themselves. Both of these books even focus on fandoms and hidden identities. Hell, they even break up the mainstream story with stories from the fandom they love. The parallels are endless, and I’m not here to be negative about Fangirl, but I only thought that story was okay, where Radio Silence touched my heart and spoke to my soul.

We live in a world where our society puts so much pressure on kids to go to college. And I’m going to be really real with you all for a minute. My college? My parents picked. They knew before I was born I’d go to that college. My degree? My parents picked because science degrees get you jobs. The job I currently have? Because of that degree, not because of my wishes or wants. And I’m very privileged to have the education I have had, to go the college I went to, and to have the job that I currently have. But those core parts of my life were picked for me, and they have and will continue to impact my life forever. And that’s not just a reality for me, that’s a reality for so many people I know. And I’ve never read a book that confronts that the way Radio Silence does.

Radio Silence is a book about living your life for you. It’s okay to not know what you want, or who you even are, but you have to live your life for you. Society’s expectations, your parent’s expectations, your academic leader’s expectations, all of this can feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders. And it can be so heavy. Like, I promise, it feels so heavy sometimes still. But this is a love letter about making the weight not feel so heavy. And I swear to God, I turned the last page of this book and felt lighter. I truly believe books can have healing powers, and Radio Silence healed some of my wounds that I thought stopped bleeding years ago.

“I was going to be happy. Wasn’t I? I was. Uni, job, money, happiness. That’s what you do. That’s the formula. Everyone knows that. I knew that.”

I do think that Radio Silence is a story about becoming who you want to be, even if you don’t know who that person is yet, but I also think it’s a story about living with mental illness. Obviously, I’m not going to pretend that my experience is the end all be all, but mental illnesses are something you have to live with and fight with constantly. Aled is such a realistic character, and his mental illness is something that I think is so relatable to so many younger people (I want to say millennials so badly) and this book is going to mean so much to so many people. I honestly wish I could put this book into every single high school senior’s hands. Because school isn’t for everyone, and college isn’t for everyone, but validity and acceptance are for everyone.

This book also shines a spotlight on how fucking toxic the internet, fandoms, and just human beings in general can be. The things people say to other people, especially the people they claim to idolize, not even thinking twice about how that’s another breathing, living, human being on the other side of the screen that is reading your hurtful words. You all, I could write an entire review on this part of Radio Silence alone. But instead I’m just going to encourage you to read this masterpiece of a book that realistically depicts it better than I ever could.

But my favorite thing about Radio Silence is probably how it is one, gigantic, love letter to art. All kinds of art, all mediums of art, but this book is truly a celebration of art everywhere. The world we live in constantly tells us how art should be a hobby, not a career, but when I sit back and think about the people who I admire most in the entire universe? Well, they are all artists. Instead of constantly belittling art and not encouraging ourselves to pursue it as a mainstream dream, Radio Silence comes along and makes you feel so hyped and excited to celebrate art and creators everywhere. This book is an honest to God gift to the world, I swear it.

My second favorite thing about Radio Silence was the depiction of friendships. The beautiful and light parts, the really ugly and dark parts, the comfortable parts, the hard parts, the selfish parts, the selfless parts, all the realistic parts. When I got a few percent into this book, I knew the author had to be around my age, because this book feels so real. I mean, every element of this book feels really real, but the friendship between France and Aled specifically felt really real to me. Frances and Aled’s friendship felt so much like me and a person I miss with all my heart’s friendship. But I wasn’t as good of a friend, like Frances was, but this book really made me wish that I would have been.

“People move on quicker than I can comprehend. People forget you within days, they take new pictures to put on Facebook and they don’t read your messages. They keep on moving forward and shove you to the side because you make more mistakes than you should.”

My third favorite thing about this book was Frances’ mother. Holy shit, talk about mom goals. Just thinking about how much better of a place this world would be if more parents were like Frances’! Especially when she is contrasted to Aled and Carys’ mom in this story. Unconditional love, support, and acceptance is such a powerful force, especially being wielded by a parent who has a child unsure of who they are. But that force can be just as powerful in the hands of good friends, too.

Overall, I don’t feel like I’m the same person after reading this book. And I know I will cherish it forever. This is easily the best book I’ve read for Pride this year, and easily one of the best books I’ve read in all of 2018. This book literally took a piece of my heart and I will never ask for it back. I can’t wait to read everything else that Alice Oseman creates.

“I wonder—if nobody is listening to my voice, am I making any sound at all?”

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Buddy read with Alexis at The Sloth Reader, May at Forever and Everly, & Lily at Sprinkles of Dreams! ❤