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Saying Goodbye

Grief isn't something I do outwardly. I don't post about it on social media, I don't write about it anywhere. I don't even talk to my friends about it. When I was still with my husband, I didn't even share with him the feelings I dealt with after the passings of a few close family members. It's just not something I handle well or am open to sharing about.

Alexia and I blogged together since the end of 2015, but she was my friend for longer. She saw me through so many struggles. She was someone I could count on to always be there for me. I think she touched a lot of lives that way. She was just so thoughtful and so kind and so giving. Even when she herself was struggling, Alexia was there for her friends as a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. She embodied what it means to be a good friend. One of the last times we talked it was her reaching out to lift me up through this trying time with my family. She was always, always there for me.

After three years of blogging together, this space is just as much hers as it is mine. Her voice and her opinions and her ideas color this space thoroughly; it's impossible to be here and not think of her. I had almost all of June scheduled and ready to go but I had to take the posts down because it feels so wrong to keep writing here when Alexia can't anymore.

I thought about taking the blog down, but I couldn't do that either. So I'm leaving it up.

If you want to follow me on my new blog, my social media will have posts with the relevant info.

I still just cannot believe she's gone. Writing these words doesn't make it any easier to process. How can such a strong, shining light just... go out? It doesn't make sense to me. I know this isn't articulate and I do usually try to be clearer and more organized than this but I can't. I just wish this wasn't true.

April Wrap-Up and May TBR

Hi everyone! What a crazy few months it has been! It's been a struggle to adjust to being the sole caretaker of two little beans, and unfortunately, blogging kind of fell by the wayside. But I'm back! Maybe? In any case I've been reading a lot more now that I've developed a routine with the kids and a custody schedule with the ex. So now I actually have things to blog about. I read a really good amount this month, so let's get into it.

 Unfuck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman 🌟🌟
This was fine, I guess, but definitely not for me. It had been sitting on my shelf since it came out so I thought I'd go ahead and read it really quickly, just to finally mark it as Read, you know? Honestly, there wasn't even that much actual cleaning content. It was mostly about who needs this book. Seriously, it was so repetitive and there was very little information in here at all.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Listened to this on audio and it was excellent. The author herself narrates it, so we get to hear it in the actual flow and cadence she intended. I loved the story and thought the poems were beautifully written. I do wish there was more of the sibling relationship but that's okay.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Another audio listen. I've been anticipating this for ages and it really lived up to all my expectations! It was funny and thoughtful and witchy and the friendships were perfection. I can't wait to read more of Anderson's work because this was excellent. It's honestly PERFECT for Halloween if you haven't read it yet.
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke 🌟🌟🌟
Look at that, yet ANOTHER audio. I really, really liked the narration in this one and without it I don't know if I'd have even finished the book. I think I'm being pretty generous by giving it three stars. But the sense of dread and anticipation were great. I just wish I knew what the point was. Have you ever been there? You finish a book and you're just like, why? That was me.
Voices: The Finals Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott 🌟🌟🌟
It's cool that there are a few YA books about Joan of Arc coming out. I don't know why there aren't more, honestly. This was pretty good, but I didn't feel closeness to Joan or any kind of emotion from her. If it hadn't been written in gorgeous verse, it would have been pretty dry. But the writing was amazing, especially when you look at all the different poetry styles the author used. 
For Everyone by Jason Reynolds 🌟🌟🌟
 I rated this 3 stars, smack in the middle, because I really just don't know HOW to rate it. It was a quick half hour audio book that I listened to while nursing Lachlan. It was sort of motivating and did leave me feeling better about what I've accomplished at my age and my idea of "making it" but I don't know. There's not a lot here, even if it was well written.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
That's right! After having this on my TBR for like half a year, I finally, finally sat down and read this. I haven't seen any of the show and I was only ever spoiled on a single (significant) death in this first book, so it was especially exciting. Surprising no one, it was amazing, I absolutely loved it, and I've started book 2 already.
How to (Un)Cage a Girl by Francesca Lia Block 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
A quick reread of some of my favorite poetry. There's one at the end written for her daughter that just brings me to my knees every time I read it. I love FLB and will forever love this collection. I just wish I didn't relate to it half as much as I do.


A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
This is priority number one for this month. The ex takes the kids every other weekend and one of those weekends is pretty extended, like four days, so that's when I'll tackle this bad boy. I can't wait.
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Randomly picked this up because it was free Prime Reading. I am loving it. It's so good. I can't believe I put this series off for so long. 
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
With the recent release of The Princess and the Fangirl, my excitement for this book jumped up quite a bit. I'm listening to the audio here and there and really enjoying it. I just haven't had time to really commit to it yet.
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
I really, really did not like her first book but the premise of this intrigues me too much to pass up. I hope it's better because you all know how much I love a good YA thriller/mystery.

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
This week we're talking about things that make us pick up a book

1. Hate to Love Romances
If I know two characters hate each other but WANT each other, I am 100% there. It's my go-to romance trope and it always, always works for me. 
2. Vampires
I am what I am. I was 6 years old when I first watched Interview with the Vampire on VHS and I've been hooked ever since. It looks like vampires are making a comeback in YA this year and I am so pumped for it.

3. Witches
Witches of all kinds! Wicca practitioners, brujas, flying on brooms, eating babies, reading the stars, fantasy witches, real life witches, all witches all the time. They're my absolute favorite.

4. Lost Princesses
My favorite fantasy trope, whether it's the main character who is the princess herself or the main characters are searching for their monarch. I know so many people hate it but I love the romance of it all. Who didn't dream of actually being princess to a beautiful kingdom when they were little?

5. Bisexual Characters
Especially in SFF. If I find out the MC is bisexual I am like 99% more likely to pick it up, no matter the plot.

  6. Sisters
Especially twins. I guess it's that I'm a decade or more older than my siblings, so I didn't have that type of relationship growing up. Whatever it is, I find it fascinating. 
7. Retellings
Retell anything, I don't care, I'll probably want to read it. Especially Beauty and the Beast or Hades and Persephone. I also really love reading retellings of stories I don't know, so then I get to discover a new fairy tale or myth.
8. Alternative Formats
I love epistolary novels. Diary entries, files, emails, texts, pictures. I love it all. I am like a thousand times more likely to pick something up if I find out it's written in a different sort of format.
9. Fandom
I don't read a ton of contemporary anymore, but when I see that a contemporary novel has a fandom element to it, I get excited. I haven't read a ton of it though, so I definitely need more!
10. Written in Verse
I know it's not for everyone but I love it. If done right it can be so evocative and give such a sense of voice. I want mooooore. There's simply not enough.