Hello friends! It’s been a minute!
I’m currently in LA visiting family (i.e. snuggling and watching endless Kardashians episodes and Olsen Twins Movies) and getting ready for Xmas. This is supposed to be the first year Santa doesn’t come … but I’m not convinced he won’t sneak in a present or two with help from my mom the elf. The last few months have been busy busy busy, but also good. I went through a HARD summer, but fall and winter are looking up. I’m trying to think of good details since this is sounding super vague. Here are a few highlights:
- I dressed up as a Sand-Witch (because I always intend my puns) and sang Whitney Houston songs with my friends at Halloween Karaoke.
- I went camping in Joshua Tree with my sister and visited The Ripped Bodice for the first time (and bought approximate one trillion romance novels).
- I taught a Beyonce video in one of my college classes along with some Morgan Parker poems and it was EVERYTHING.
Puddin’ by Julie Murphy was a beautiful and hilarious follow-up to the now-Netflix-famous Dumplin’. It follows the pageant’s runner up, Millie Michalchuk who’s determined to skip fat camp this summer and go to a broadcasting summer program. Her dream is to anchor the news, but everyone – including her mother – keeps telling her that no one wants a fat girl in front of the camera. Sigh. She finds an unlikely ally and friend in pretty girl Callie Reyes, who has her popular boyfriend and the entire dance team turn on her after a prank goes wrong. This sounds like a lot … but it’s really such an aggressively feminist, body positive, friendship forward novel. Also there are cameos from Willowdean and all your favorite characters from Dumplin’.
What If It’s Us brings together real life author best friends Adam Silvera and Becky Albertali to tell the story of one sweet NYC summer between Arthur and Ben. Arthur’s a hopeless romantic from Georgia who’s only in town for an internship. He’s a big believer in fate and romance, despite his lack of relationship experience. Ben’s a cynical New Yorker who’s trying to get over his first really bad break up. But a swoony meet-cute in a post office brings them together, and something (whether it’s fate or coincidence) doesn’t let them break apart. Will they give into the mutual attraction and kismet-like feelings or will their differences be too much to overcome? Regardless of whether Arthur and Ben find their own HEA or not, you will fall in love with these two characters and their authentic voices!
Pride by Ibi Zoboi is the Pride and Prejudice retelling that I didn’t know we needed. But we did … do (what tense am I writing in?). It moves the beloved story from the English countryside to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Zuri Benitez hates the way her Afro-Latina neighborhood is changing. This gives her an immediate bias against Darius Darcy when he and his wealthy family move in next door, even though they’re also Black. Of all the Jane Austen updates – and I’ve read dozens of them – this setting makes for the easiest match with Austen’s original. It is also so so so romantic. I mean like whoa. And it also includes complicated family dynamics up the wazoo.
I’ve also been reading A LOT A LOT of romance novels this winter. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory and The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham are two favorites. And for “adult books” I’ve love love loved The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolizter, Eloquent Rage by Britney Cooper, and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green.
I’ve taken my love of Marry, Date or Dump over to Book Riot and have also made some fun listicles too. Here are a few of my favorites!
- Marry, Date, or Dump These Jane Austen Heroes and We’ll Give You A Romance Novel to Read
- 30 Fascinating Historical Fiction Books for Middle School Readers
- 20 of the Very Best Children’s Authors: An Unscientific List
I think that’s it for me! If anyone’s still reading this, would love to know what you’re feeling, reading, and/or writing. XOXO