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Diversity Spotlight Thursday | Multiracial Matters

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila and this week I decided to join in Diversity Spotlight Thursday! Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by a Aimal at Bookshelves And Paperbacks.The meme’s rules are simple; each week, you choose three diverse books that fall under a certain category of marginalization and you fit the books into three categories: 1) a diverse book you’ve read, 2) a diverse book which has already been released and which is on your TBR, and 3) a diverse book which has yet to be released and which is on your TBR. So let’s get to it!

This week, I chose a diversity category which is very close to my heart: multiracial main characters! This category means so much to me because I, myself, am multiracial and I love to see good portrayals of multiracial people in media. And let me tell ya: there ain’t many. While I have seen more books featuring multiracial protagonists lately, I’ve rarely seen #ownvoices stories written by actual multiracial people. I’ve also seen a lot of the “tragic mulatto” trope, a harmful trope which, in the words of Wikipedia, depicts ” an archetypical mixed-race person (a ‘mulatto’), who is assumed to be sad, or even suicidal, because they fail to completely fit in the ‘white world’ or the ‘black world’. As such, the ‘tragic mulatto’ is depicted as the victim of the society in society divided by race, where there is no place for one who is neither completely ‘black’ nor ‘white’.” For me, I view this trope as very harmful because instead of empowering multiracial people to accept all parts of who they are, it implies that we are simply fragments and percentages who will never fit in with anyone.

So this week, I wanted to focus on books that I a) know have gotten multiracial rep right or b) hope that they will get the multiracial rep right, based on what I know about the book and/or the author. So let’s jump right in!

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15749186Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Diverse Element: Multiracial (Korean/White) Main Character

#OwnVoices: Yes…And No. While Han is Korean herself, I do not believe that she is multiracial.

Goodreads Summary: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Why I Loved It: Aside from possibly being the most adorable YA contemporary series to exist, the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is also one that I think really gets multiracial life right. First off, the series doesn’t use the “tragic mulatto” trope. Lara-Jean, the main character, and her sisters never question who they are or where they belong, not once. Second off, Han never makes Lara-Jean and her sisters “choose a side.” Instead, Lara-Jean and her sister seamlessly integrates their Korean heritage and their White-American culture together, creating a unique blend tailored to them, accepting and nurturing all parts of their heritage. And finally, the series also perfectly exhibits how multiracial families integrate and honor the different parts of their heritage. The Song-Covey girls’ Korean mother died when Lara-Jean and her sisters were just children, so they now live with their White-American single father. Throughout the book, the girls’ father seamlessly integrates and honors the girls’ Korean heritage, without ever acting like it’s a big deal–because it’s not a big deal for them, it’s just normal. The girls’ father frequently takes them to visit their Korean side of the family, celebrates Korean holidays with the girls and their Korean side of the family, honors Korean traditions, and even makes (admittedly much too salty!) Korean food for the girls.

All of these things are normal, everyday aspects of being multiracial and living in a mixed race family. It’s the little details Han placed in the series with such care and respect that make the difference, taking the representation from average too superbly stellar, out-of-this-world amazing! If you want to learn what it’s like to be multiracial and to live in a mixed race household, then definitely add this series to your TBR!

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22838927Title: The Steep And Thorny Way

Author: Cat Winters

Diverse Element: Multiracial (Black/White) Main Character

#OwnVoices: No

Goodreads Summary: Scene: Oregon, 1923.

Dramatis personae:

Hanalee Denney, daughter of a white woman and an African American man

Hank Denney, her father—a ghost

Greta Koning, Hanalee’s mother

Clyde Koning, doctor who treated Hank Denney the night he died, now Hanalee’s stepfather

Joe Adder, teenage boy convicted of accidentally killing Hank Denney

Members of the Ku Klux Klan

Townspeople of Elston, Oregon

Question: Was Hank Denney’s death an accident…or was it murder most foul?

Why This Book Has Me Excited: A historical novel that’s a Hamlet retelling and which features a multiracial protagonist? Hi, there! Sign me up, like, immediately, please and thank you! I don’t think I’ve seen/read many historical fiction novels that have a multiracial main character. I don’t usually go for historical fiction but I like the mystery/thriller and potential paranormal aspects that it sounds like this one has. I don’t have much to say on this one as I haven’t read it (yet) and haven’t heard much about it, but I’m eager to read it and to see how the representation pans out.

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31450960Title: Song of The Current

Author: Sarah Tolscer

Diverse Element: Multiracial (Black/White) Main Character

#OwnVoices: No

Goodreads Summary: Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

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Tolscer credits multiracial (Black/White) model Sabina Karlsson as physical inspiration for her main character, Caro.

Why This Book Has Me Excited: I was interested in this pirate fantasy before I knew it had a diverse element, but learning that the main character is multiracial (like me) has added a whole new layer of excitement. I’d made it five pages into the ARC and was already imagining the edits/graphics/aesthetics I could create, so I decided to check Tolscer’s Pinterest board for inspiration. I was giddy to find a ton of pictures of multiracial (Black/White) model Sabina Karlsson pinned and labeled “Caro” (which is the main character’s name in Song of the Current)! Just to check I decided to tweet Tolscer to confirm that Caro is mixed race and Tolscer confirmed it and added that she sincerely hoped she got the representation right.

I’m so, so, so excited to see a Black/White multiracial character and in a fantasy novel to boot! We have so little representation in fantasy unless it’s like “oh she’s half European-inspired elf and half European-inspired human–so fantasy multiracial, so diverse [despite the fact that the elves and the humans are both European inspired]!” *eye roll* But I digress. The point is that there’s a multiracial character (who looks like me! with the Black facial features, lighter skin tone, and big, curly hair!) and she’s in a fantasy novel written by an author who seems sincerely interested in getting the multiracial representation right! I have high hopes for this one!

So that’s all for this week’s segment of Diversity Spotlight Thursday! If you want to add some books with multiracial main characters to your TBR, check out my Goodreads shelf dedicated to the topic! And tell me in the comments–have you read any books with good multiracial representation?

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Obsession Confession | Dear White People, Put Wax Tarts in Your Castle on the Hill

Hey, y’all! Another week has sped by and we’ve come, yet again, to the time for your favorite segment of the week–Obsession Confession! Happy belated Easted to those who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Well, let’s not delay any longer! It’s time for me to “confess” all of my newest obsssions!

Music

I feel 100% certain that I am the last person on Earth to discover Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill.” But I did discover it eventually, which is the point! And once I heard it, I fell in love, of course!

Movies/TV/Trailers

Sense8 Season 2’s trailer was released and I am ridiculously excited! Sense8 was my favorite show of 2015 and after a two year wait, I am beyond ready to find out what’s going to happen to all of the sensates!

In other news, the Thor: Ragnorak trailer also dropped! It’s hilariously and delightfully 80s, down to the costuming and music. I have yet to watch any of the Thor movies, but I can still appreciate how exciting and funny this trailer is!

But wait! there’s more! Just the other day, we finally got a teaser trailer for The Last Jedi! Of course, the internet promptly exploded. The trailer has reignited my newfound love of Star Wars and has me buzzing with excitement for this winter!

Aaaand I’m still not done! Netflix’s new series Dear White People (based on the movie) got a trailer and, damn, it is on point! I can already tell that this show is gonna be hit with me and I’m hoping and praying others will put their judgments aside and give the show a try.

Other Stuff

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I’ve graduated from bookish themed candles up to bookish themed wax tarts! I decided I wanted to give wax tarts as try as they’re a cheaper addiction i the long run, so for Easter, my mom got me a tart burner and some wax tarts themed around Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones! The tarts smell absolutely heavenly and I ca’t wait to melt them!

News

The big news of the week was that Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle is coming to the silver screen! That’s right, folks, it’s being adapted for TV!

ALSO! The cover for Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales And Dangerous Magic was revealed and it is gorgeousThe Language of Thorns is a collection of fairytales from the grishaverse illustrated by Sarah Kipin.

So…erm…Jude Law will be playing a young Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Bests And Where To Find Them franchise? I’m not really sure how I feel about this…I’ve only seen Jude Law in that really kooky adaptation of Sherlock Holmes which starred Robert Downey Jr., and Law’s performance was…kinda weird? So yeah, I’m not totally on board with him playing Dumbledore, but we’ll see I guess!

About Me, fun, Lila

Lila Does The “Anything But Books” Tag

I’ve seen this tag floating around and I figured, since it’s been a while since I’ve made any posts with fun fun facts about me, I’d jump on this tag! Now, I must warn you…what you are about to read is very, very nerdy. You have been warned! Now let’s get this show on the road!

1. Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

Uh oh, it’s already confession time…My confession is that sadly, I’ve never really liked cartoons, save for Disney movies, which I’m not sure if those count? If they do, then my favorite Disney movies are Mulan and Pocahontas.

2. What is your favorite song right now.

I’ve had “Human Touch” by Betty Who on repeat for the past few weeks and, miraculously, I’m still not sick of it!

3. What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

I could spend ages just singing, making art, learning new skills, and/or socializing!

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Something that everyone (even my irl friends) save for my mom seems surprised by is that I enjoy listening to hip hop and rap, especially from 90s artists like Tupac, Arrested Development, and Digable Planets. I think this surprises people because I’m an opera and jazz/blues singer, so people think I only like classical music. But, no. I like all music, even rap!

5. What is something unnecessarily specific you like to learn about?

Anything science related! I love any and every branch of science and I love learning new science stuff! I can’t help it–I’m a nerd!

6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

I know how to do the lab parts of a basic paternity test, as well as how to analyze the raw data results of the test. Ya know, swab, centrifuge, gel electrophoresis, analyze gel? We did a live lab on how to do it in my IB Biology class in high school…

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year?

My long term project that I began in about February of this year is my journal. It’s a work in progress, but I’m really proud of how it’s coming along so far.

8. What is your most recent personal project?

Myself? Hah! I kid…sort of. I am working on being a bit more organized and put together.

9. Tell us something you think about often.

I often think about the physics of how the universe began and about uniting quantum mechanics and relativity.

10. Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific.

I love the feeling of singing a really heartfelt song–and, for me, there is a very specific physical feeling when I do this. I’ll sing a really emotionally pure sequence and I feel something in my chest, right above my stomach, pang and leap, like my heart is flying. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I know for sure the people who are musicians and who consider music more than a hobby can relate to what I’m talking about.

So Those Are All The Quirky Facts About Me That You’re Getting Today! Thanks For Sticking Around! And Tell Me An Oddly Specific Favorite Thing Of Yours In The Comments! SMuch Love And TTYL! 💗

 

book fashion, fun, Lila

Literary Looks | The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Title: The Sun Is Also A Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Goodreads Summary: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Song Of Anne’s Party

Hello, friends! How are you? What have y’all been up to? I’ve just come back from my journey around the world wide web, lol! And I’ve brought back with me many new obsessions to share with you! So let’s dive right in!

Books

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I began the eARC of Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser and am making my way through it at a painfully slow pace because #thatchronicfatiguelife, ya know? Anyhow, I’m really enjoying it so far! I tweeted Tolscer to ask and she confirmed the Caro, the main character, is mixed race (Black/White) and Tolscer imagines Sabina Karlsson as Caro. This made me totally squeal because asdfghjklzxcvbnmpoiuytrewq Caro is like me and looks like me!!! So if that don’t show y’all that representation matters, then i don’t know what will!

Movies/TV/Trailers

Netflix’s Anne of Green Gables adaptation (simply titled Anne) got it’s first trailer and it looks absolutely wonderful! As a child, I wasn’t a major fan of the book series, but I did love the Anne of Green Gables cartoon that used to air on PBS. This adaptation looks really adorable, though, and I can’t wait to see it!

Music

It’s been literal years since I last listened to Fall Out Boy, but I broke that streak the other day, when I discovered their song “Where Did The Party Go.” It’s your typical Fall Out Boy pop rock song that you can’t help but want to dance to. On a sidenote: as a classical singer, I must say that Fall Out Boy’s lead singer has a really good voice and A+ diction! Anyhoo, it’s a great, fun song that’ll have you singing and dancing along!

Other Stuff

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So, as y’all know, I’ve taken to journaling of late. It was during this new venture that I discovered a new obsession: washi tape. It’s colorful and fun and you can use it in collages or to spice up a plain page! It makes a great addition to my journal! I discovered washi tape because it was already quite popular in the journaling and bullet journaling community, and now I can totally see why. I ordered three rolls the other day and I swear I have to stop myself from sticking it all over everything in my vicinity, haha!

News

Alas, dear friends! I could find no news this week! So I’m turning it over to y’all–what’s one piece of recent bookish news that you’re excited about?

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Guys, I messed up. I meant to share my good friend Fadwa’s (at Word Wonders) post last week and I accidentally just shared the link. So I’m trying to make up for it ad sharing it now. Fadwa wrote a really great post on whether or not characters need to be relatable in order for a book to be enjoyable. In typical Fadwa style, the post made many great, thoughtful points. Go check it out!

Laughter Makes The World Go Round

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Obsession Confession | Cravin’ The Iron Fist At A Korean Spa…

Hello, friends! What’s up? How ya doing? Whatchya been up to of late? I’ve spent my week workin’, as well as discovering plenty of new obsessions! And of course I want to hare those obsession with you! So let’s get to it!

Books

I figured since it’s the beginning of the month, I’d share my TBR. Now, I am really a mood reader, but it’s gotten to the point where I own a crap-ton of books that I have yet to read and need to catch up on, that I need to start prioritizing books. The following are the books I might read this month. I want to stress that I am not going to read all of these books. Rather, these are just some books I can pull from this month.

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin–This is my current read and I am loving it, so I’m definitely going to finish it in April.

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor–This was my most anticipated read of…ever…So I’m getting to this ASAP after I finish Blood for Blood.

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer–I’m really looking forward to this book, so I’m definitely reading this too.

Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi–I had an extra Audible credit, so I bought this one, but The Star-Touched Queen wasn’t my favorite, so Crown of Wishes isn’t high on my list of priorities

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves–This is another one that I used a spare Audible credit on, so it’s also aother one that’s not high up on my priorities.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas–This book is all the rage and it’s a book that, as a young, Black woman, I feel I need to read.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff–I was so excited for this one and then I just…forgot about it?

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas–I am shocked–shocked!–to say this, but I just haven’t been in the mood to read this?

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid–I have been reading this since November 2016. Let that sink in. November 2016. I think it’s time to end the madness.

Empress of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza–I started reading this and was enjoying this, but for some reason I set it down? I want to finish it, though.

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton–I bought this then saw that it didn’t have great reviews. But now I own it, so I might as well read it…

Starfall by Melissa Landers (Library Borrow)–I’m excited for this book as the previous book, Starflight, was a super fun, light sci fi.

Long Way Home by Katie McGarry (Library Borrow)–I’m super excited for this book, but I’m also sad, cause it’s the end of the Thunder Road trilogy 😥

Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Ritchie (Library Borrow)–This is kinda my “intermittent read.” Ya know, a light, fun read that I read snippets of between heavier fantasy/sci fi reads?

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (Library Borrow)–I’ve heard this is the most palatable and enjoyable of Hoover’s books.

Vengeance Road  by Erin Bowan (Library Borrow)–This was a random borrow from the library, but I’ve heard good things so…

Music


Welp. It’s been a few months since Hidden Figures released and, yes, I am still obsessed with the music. I’ve been listening to “Crave” by Pharrell Williams from the soundtrack on repeat. It’s just got that good dancin’ groove!

Movies/TV/Trailers

I started watching Netflix’s adaptation of Marvel’s Iron Fist and, as is to be expected, I love it! It’s full of mystery and intrigue and is super fun! There is the issue of the Asian erasure and appropriation, though. To be fair, I’m not sure if that’s on Netflix’s part of Marvel’s or both because when I looked up the comic, Danny Rand, the main character, is white. That’s not to say that that fact makes it any better, just that I’m not sure how much Netflix’s hands were tied due to contracting when it came to casting. It is nice, though, that Colleen Wing is Asian because I believe that in the comics she’s white. I also appreciate that for a good part of the show Danny is homeless, as those of us who are poor and/or homeless desperately need representation and too have a major show focus on the issue of homelessness might bring some much needed attention. All in all, the show is very enjoyable save for the diversity issue and I can’t wait to see the next episode!

Other Stuff

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I visited a Korean spa with my best friend last week and it was sooooo relaxing! I’ve never been to a spa before, so I’m not sure how a Korean spa differs from a “regular”, American spa. What I can tell you is that there were baths and a pool, a gym, a massage area, and different saunas, along with a freezing room, with ice packed walls, that I fondly refer to as “the ice box.” The different saunas had walls made of different minerals, which were meant to do certain things. I realize that’s a vague description, but I’m not so sure how the process worked. They also had a courtyard with a fountain and mats and pillows, to relax and lounge on, and a restaurant. All in all, it was a great experience and very calming and I’m hoping to go again sometime!

News

We got news this week that there’s a standalone Batgirl movie in the works and that Joss Whedon is set to direct. Cue internet argument explosion over Joss Whedon. Okay, so I’m a newer fan of comics and I’ve never watched Buffy and don’t know anything about Whedon and his personal and work-related history, so I don’t feel qualified to comment on whether or not he’s the best pick. What I can say about my feelings are this:

  1. OH MY GOD SO MUCH FANGIRL EXCITEMENT AND SQUEES!!!…But also trepidation! Batgirl was the first real superhero comic I ever read and so it has a very special place in my heart. While I’m excited at the prospect of Batgirl being brought to life, I also really don’t want them to fuck it up.
  2. do agree with the internet on the point that the studio probably should’ve picked a female director, writer, and producer. I mean, come on, Batgirl is one of the ultimate symbols of #GirlPower and you choose a man to tell her story?! Especially when there are so many talented female directors out there who could tell this story so well??? Come on now. Not cool.
  3. Rumors that The 100‘s Lindsey Morgan will be playing Babs? Be still my rapidly beating heart! Lindsey would be perfect! Yes, yes, yessss!!! This is just a rumor at the moment, but if it turns out to be true, I think my heart would explode with joy!

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

https://wordwoonders.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/relating-to-characters-is-it-necessary-to-enjoy-a-book/

Prepare…For Your Hearts…To Be Melted!

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fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Blood for Blood Is Just Water Under The Bridge

Hello, friends! How are ya? It’s that time of week again! Time for Obsession Confession, my weekly segment in which I “confess” all of my latest obsessions! This week there’s plenty to get through, so let’s get going!

Books

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Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin was one of my last reads of 2015 and ended up coming #1 on my list of to books I read in 2015. So when Blood for Blood,the sequel and finale to the duology, was released, I snapped it up…Aaaaaand didn’t get to it…until this past week. I think I never got to Blood for Blood because I was waiting for the perfect moment. Anyhow, I decided to bite the bullet and get to it a few days back and…wow. I forgot how much I love this series and Graudin’s writing. Everything about Blood for Blood is perfection, pure and simple. If you haven’t yet checked out this duology, definitely give it a try!

Music

I listened to Adele’s latest pop  ballad,”Water Under The Bridge,” and, predictably, I loved it! There are so many things to love about Adele and her music. I love how she’s managed to evolve as an artist while still staying true to the spirit she began with. I also love that no matter how pop-y her music gets, she maintains that deep thread of emotion in her voice. “Water Under The Bridge” is no different in these respects and also happens to be incredibly singable, a ballad you’d belt out in the car on your way to work. I’m sure it’ll be another great hit under Adele’s belt.

Movies/TV/Trailers

Netflix released a new featurette for their upcoming adaptation of 13 Reasons Why. This short video definitely got me even more interested in the show!

Netflix dropped a trailer for their upcoming adaptation of the beloved manga, Deathnote. I’m not a manga/anime fan, but I do know that Deathnote is incredibly popular, so I figured at least one of y’all would be interested plus the show does look interesting. The only thing that kinda concerns me is the potential whitewashing as I think (And I want to stress that I don’t know and that I may be wrong on this count) the characters are Japanese and the series takes place in Japan? If you do know if the show is whitewashed, please let me know in the comments. Other than that, this looks like your standard A++ Netflix show and I can’t wait to check it out! Who knows, maybe watching the show will encourage me to read the manga series!

News

This is slightly old news now but I can’t believe I forgot to mention that the cover for Marie Lu’s new novel, Warcross, which releases in November, was released! I have kind of mixed feelings on the cover. Many people think it’s beautiful, while others think it looks too basic and simple. I’m pretty in between, but regardless of how the cover looks, I’m super excited for the book! What do you think of the cover? Did you enjoy the sneak peak of the book? Are you excited for Warcross?

In other, more “recent” news, the cover and synopsis for Maggie Stiefvater’s newest novel, All The Crooked Saints, which releases later this year, was released. The book sounds both magical and mysterious, as per usual Stiefvater, and I’m interested in seeing how it pans out.

LOLing

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