Book Tags

Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2018

February ended yesterday, so it’s time for a wrap-up post. It’s been an okay month for me. The news has been filled with the Winter Olympics, more school shootings, and #MeToo in the publishing industry.

Book Reviews

Can we talk about the fact that there have been so many school shootings and mass shootings over the last two months? It’s crazy for the fact that it seems to be happening more and for the fact that I chose to read and reviewed a book about a fictional school shooting.

Currently Reading


I’m reading Tell a Thousand Lies by Rasana Atreya, Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. The first novel is about twins with one wanting to get married and the other wanting an education. Ramona Blue so far has been about a bisexual girl’s break up and her desire to leave this town. For Hugo’s novel, we’re still in the volume titled “Fantine.”

An Award, Two Book Tags, and a Meme

Reading Challenges

Fanfiction Reading Challenge: 71/300 chapters

I haven’t been able to read fanfiction this month. There hasn’t been enough time since school started. How are you guys doing on this challenge?

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 7/30

I’m lowering my Goodreads goal this year because 60 is stressful to me right now. I’m lowering it to 30 for now. I’ll probably go well over it, but I don’t want to focus on the number of books I’ve read this year. Yes, it’s still kind of focusing on the numbers, but not as much as 60 does.

Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge: 3/12

The second volume of Ancient Magus’ Bride counts toward this.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke NijkampLibrary Love Challenge: 4/24

This Is Where It Ends was the fourth library book I read.

Platypire Diversity Challenge: 2/11

I’m finally in the Noob stage! The book that counts for this is This Is Where It Ends. It has two main Hispanic characters, a Muslim boy, a couple of lesbians, a gay character, and a disabled one. Some of these overlap. It’s a lot of diversity for one book.

I also read Take Your Medicine by Hannah Carmack, and the review for that book will post next week. It has POC characters, two of the girls fall for each other, and the protagonist has a fainting disorder.

YA Reading Challenge: 2/10

This Is Where It Ends and Take Your Medicine counted for this one too.

Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-Along: 55/365

I’m a few chapters behind on the reading. It’s been harder this month to stay on top of reading this book every day.

My second discussion post was about Les Mis again, but I like talking about it.

We also found out that Prof. Briana Lewis from Allegheny College started a Les Mis Reading Companion podcast around the time this read-along started. I’ve listened to a few so far, and they inspire new questions about the novel.

Language Learning Reading Challenge: 0/4

Interesting Finds

One thing that I love about the Les Mis Read-along is that we are talking about it in-depth. We’re talking about characters, naming, organizational choices, translation, adaptation differences, and more. We’re going in depth about parts of the book that we wouldn’t if we just stuck to writing reviews of the whole book. Shannon A. Thompson explores how difficult it has become to have in-depth discussions about books when we worry about it spoiling the book for someone else. I want to have more space to talk about the books we’re reading beyond a book review.

Adding to discussions about diversity in books, ER Murray from The Irish Times wrote about lower socio-economic backgrounds in YA books. She covers representation, authenticity, expectations from readers, and solutions.

Mother’s Basement made a video a few weeks ago about a racist anime director. He asks, “Should We Hate the Work, or the Jerk?” I think this question applies to more than just anime. I think this is something we have to ask ourselves in the book community too. What do you think? Should we hate the work or only the author who is doing the bigoted/criminal thing we’re upset about?

In case you missed it with all of the other news that filled the media this month, Anne Ursu opened the doors to talk about sexual harassment in publishing. I’m only linking to her original article and The School Library Journal‘s article, but there has been massive discussion on Twitter and other blogs.

Speaking of social media, Kate @ Parchment Girl wrote a guide to Twitter for book bloggers, and I think her tips are helpful. She explains types of tweets, their anatomy, and the Twitter profile. I think this information can be transferred to other subjects too.

Lastly, May @ Forever and Everly shared her WordPress tips and tricks for making your blog prettier. I particularly loved finding out that you can change the size of your text without making it a heading.

Social media is part of our brand, but branding myself vs. branding a business is confusing to me. Fortunately, Austine @ NovelKnight Book Reviews wrote a guide to branding yourself as a book professional.

Final Thoughts

First: I took the Inside Out Challenge at BookWormHole. Liam created this challenge last month. It requires you to think about the five emotions from the Inside Out movie that you’ve had about books.

Second: Thank you for your support as always. Reading, liking, commenting on, and sharing my posts is encouraging. Thank you.


11 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2018

  1. I love changing my Goodreads challenge numbers all the way up to the last day of the year so I say go for it! I love you participated in that twitter tag… I’m not even sure how I’d go about that… I’m actually intimidated 😅 The twin book sounds good and good luck catching up in LeMis! Now I’m off to check out some of those posts! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read over 130 books last year but I put my challenge on 60 since I just did not want the pressure of having to keep up at the moment. A minimum of 60 will be great(and it is looking like I’ll hit that in April or May). I’ve found that with a lower challenge I actually read more, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have so many challenges going–excellent! I really want to read This is Where it Ends, especially after the recent school shootings. We had first hand experience this year–my daughter sent me a text that I NEVER wanted to get: “There’s been a shooting. People are dead. I’m in lock down.” Scariest day ever. Thank God my daughter was safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve started seeing more active shooter warnings and lock downs in the news. The world is getting scarier. I’m glad your daughter is safe. I think This Is Where It Ends is worth reading because I think it does a good job of inspiring understanding and empathy for the people involved in these situations.


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