What I’m Loving This Week: Emma Mills, Drag Race, and More

*waves shyly*

It is entirely possible I just took an unplanned hiatus from blogging for *checks calendar* almost four months. Oops?

There was no plan to quit or to go on hiatus. It just kind of happened for a host of reasons. At first, it was just that I went on vacation for a month, and despite as always having grand intentions to keep reviewing, obviously I didn’t.

Then, when I got back home, I discovered that Pinterest had locked me out of the account I use to keep track of new covers. Despite trying to get it reinstated, I’ve been unsuccessful, so this marks the official end of my cover posts. I’m sad about it, but I’m not sure what else to do.

Then there’s inertia. It’s so much easier not doing things than doing things, you know? After a month off of blogging, finding the desire to pick it back up was so hard. I wanted to intellectually, but the body just was not willing. Maybe I needed the break. In 2020, I’m trying to build some new habits and find the balance I need for where I am now in life. I have to exercise, write, read, and blog. Until I lay down a new routine, it’s going to be a struggle. Mostly because I am so. damn. lazy.

The final factor is that I read so much last year that I decided to shoot for a new goal: 500 books. I did it! But it meant that I had no time for anything but reading for the last couple months of the year.

Moving forward, I’m hoping to post a minimum of once a week, a post about what I loved during that week. The focus will obviously be on books, but I’ll also discuss books, movies, music, or whatever else comes to mind. I want to be able to continue to use this space to recommend things I’ve read, especially since I still get egalleys, but I cannot spend as much time on blogging as I once did. I hope you guys understand and like this new concept. I do hope to do a post or posts about favorite 2019 reads, so watch for that in addition to this series.

Look for these posts on Monday, covering the prior 7 days (Mon-Sun). From December 30-January 5, I read 10 books. This is high due to my hurry to hit 500. Here’s what I loved.

Caught my attention from the beginning and held onto it to the end. An understated YA about feeling normal when surrounded by geniuses. The romance is adorable, and the character arc is relatable, even thought the circumstances will not be for most readers (as they were not for me).

Recommended to readers looking for character arcs over plot.

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Book Depository
Buy it on IndieBound

Hattie Big Sky – Kirby Larson

Such an unexpected surprise. No romance and very much a day-in-the-life sort of book about a 16-year-old during WW1 who inherits a homesteading claim in Montana and goes it alone. Hattie’s irrepressible spirit and the unique history won me over.

Recommended to readers who appreciate understated historical fiction that focuses on realism. Low drama, but high on character.

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Book Depository
Buy it on IndieBound

First & Then – Emma Mills

Reread. Emma Mills is already a favorite, but that counts because not everything stands up to a reread.

Even on my second read, I still don’t see much Pride and Prejudice in Mills’ debut. Inspiration, sure, but any sort of retelling, no. It takes a moment to settle in to Devon’s acerbic POV, but before you know it, you’re sucked in and having ALL THE FEELINGS about her relationships.

Recommended for readers who love a judgmental heroine, a fabulous character arc, and found family feels.

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon (On sale now!)
Buy it on Book Depository
Buy it on IndieBound

This Adventure Ends – Emma Mills

Reread of the book with the most perfect cover ever.

A slow burn for every sort of relationship feeling. The ship, obviously, but the family feels really shine here too. You know Mills is a queen because she can write a character who is basically fictional Nicholas Sparks and make me love him with all of my heart. And oof does Sloane’s sense that no one really cares hit me right where it hurts.

Let’s repeat the one from her debut shall we? Recommended for readers who love a judgmental heroine, a fabulous character arc, and found family feels.

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Book Depository
Buy it on IndieBound

Woven in Moonlight – Isabel Ibañez

I spent all of 2019 on the strugglebus with fantasy, and I’m so thrilled to start 2020 impressed with a debut fantasy. Ibañez weaves a fantasy world and a magical realism magic system into something that feels fresh and original. The plot takes some unexpected turns, interesting twists on typical fantasy choices, and there’s a moral grayness and complexity I love throughout.

Recommended for fantasy readers who enjoy lush writing, magic, and the unexpected.

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Book Depository
Buy it on IndieBound

So I did read Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse this week, and I liked it (particularly the audiobook performance), but what I’m loving is Rick Riordan Presents.

This is a weird one, because I tend to only like/really like the books (which is fine, bc I’m not the target audience), but I love the existence of this imprint. So far, all the books I’ve read from this imprint have been perfect readalikes to Riordan’s own novels, making this imprint a gift to every librarian doing reader’s advisory for teens looking for something to read after Percy Jackson.

I also love that Riordan’s using his success to lift up voices of color to reimagine myths they grew up with. It’s cool how you can see Riordan taking in criticism and improving.

Check it out on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Book Depository
Buy it on IndieBound

RuPaul’s Drag Race

For the last month or so, I’ve been racing through RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’d never seen a single episode (though I did once watch a couple of the lip sync battles on YouTube), but when I saw it the first few seasons were on Hulu, I HAD to watch.

RuPaul blends the best aspects of America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway into a show that is funny, irreverent, full of references, and all about sisterhood under the drama.

Available to stream:
First 6 seasons on Hulu
First 5 seasons on Amazon Prime

That’s what I’m loving this week. Tell me what you’re into this week! Let me know what you think about this new format!

3 responses to “What I’m Loving This Week: Emma Mills, Drag Race, and More”

  1. Sam@wlabb says:

    I cannot get enough of Emma Mills. Her books are perfection for me, and always leave me happy and smiling. I liked Night Music very much. I would love to catch up with those two

  2. Bad Pinterest!! That’s a shame. I also don’t blame you for taking a long unplanned break, you deserve it! I relate so hard because I am inherently lazy myself… it’s much easier to scroll on my phone or mindlessly watch reruns on tv. I have to work at finding my motivation for my hobbies, which sometimes makes me sad because I love my hobbies! But yeah. The brain power isn’t always there.

    500 BOOKS OH MY GOD!!!!! That’s honestly incredible. I live for your duel with Jessie on twitter hahaha. And I really love this post idea!! I am tempted to borrow it, would that be ok with you? If I credit and link of course? I’m finding I need to shake things up and I find it draining to post even three times a week, it’s bad… but I don’t want to give up blogging altogether.

    I am not normally drawn to WWI or the frontier but Hattie Big Sky does sound intriguing! And I am always down for an Emma Mills rereadathon 🙂 I think Foolish Hearts might still be my favorite although I love the first two so much. Ahhh yay I have Woven in Moonlight heading my way soon!

    Loved this post, hope your 2020 is off to a good start!
    Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For The First Half of 2020My Profile

  3. Leah says:

    Welcome back, Christina! I’m so sorry to hear about your Pinterest account, but I’m glad you’re finding a groove that works for you. Happy New Year!
    Leah recently posted…{Review} A Constellation of Roses by Miranda AsebedoMy Profile

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