Welcome to my Weekly Wrap Up post! I link these posts up with The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimberly over at Caffeinated Reviewer, and Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene at Reading Reality. For my Weekly Wrap Ups, I’ll recap what I posted, read, and watched this week, plus I’ll let you know about any current giveaways I have up. I’ll also tell you about recent updates on my TBR and new books I received and/or bought. Okay, time to see what happened this week!
um… hi! I haven’t posted a weekly wrap up in… a while. But I’m back and hopefully this time I’ll stay on track and update weekly!
On the Blog
There was a lot that happened on the blog this week! I redid my blog aesthetic (again!) because I finally upgraded to Canva Pro and I LOVE the new look! I also finally finished my review for The Guinevere Deception (I think I had originally scheduled it to go up like November 15? and then I just kept moving the date), so that’s up! And since my giveaway is still live (until the 31st!) for Tarnished Are The Stars, I went ahead and redid the post with my new graphics! Oh! And I was tagged in both my first award and my first book tag! So both of those went up this week. Here are the links for everything that was published this week on Kait Plus Books:
- Recent Additions to My #TBR (Top Ten Tuesday)
- My First Blog Award! (Sunshine Blogger Awards)
- Make 2020 Get Here Faster! (Can’t Wait Wednesday)
- My First Book Tag! (Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag)
- My Review of The Guinevere Deception is (finally) posted!
- I Updated My Review of Tarnished Are the Stars with New Graphics! (+GIVEAWAY!!!)
Off the Blog
- I celebrated Christmas with my family this week! Most of my gifts this year were practical (yay, help with paying my health insurance premiums!), but I did get a new 2020 Happy Planner that I love! I picked it out a few months ago and then I actually forgot about it until a few days before Christmas, so it was a really nice almost surprise.
- This was my fourth year participating in the #TBTBSanta gift exchange, now hosted by Jana at ThatArtsyReaderGirl, and I LOVED all the gifts I received from Chanda at TheRusticBibliophile! I sent my gifts over to Nathalie at NatReviewsBooks and I had a lot of fun picking everything out!
- We recently got a Cricut at work and OH MY GOD IT’S AMAZING!!! I used it to cut out pieces of my Story Time crafts and it was so much better than cutting everything out by hand I CAN’T BELIEVE WE DIDN’T HAVE THIS UNTIL RECENTLY!!! it’s seriously a lifesaver and I love it so much.
Currently Reading: At the time of writing this (Thursday night), I’m bouncing back and forth between reading Linsey Miller’s Belle Révolte and Maria Padian’s How to Build a Heart. Both books were sent to me by the publisher(side note: !!!!!!) and I’m enjoying both but I need to just pick a book and stick with it. My plan is to spend Friday afternoon reading one of them from cover to cover, so I guess I’ll see how that goes and update this accordingly.
*Saturday Morning Edit: Okay, well I’m still reading both of those books, but I did read all of Jen Marie Hawkins’ The Language of Cherries the other night and wow was that good! Review to come closer to the publication date (February 11, 2020).
Currently Listening To: Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller, read by Deryn Edwards. I really like her voice for the series, and I’m glad both books (Mask of Shadows and Ruin of Stars) had the same narrator. I joked with someone that I was reading all the Linsey Miller books at once and I wouldn’t know what to do when I finish with them, but… it’s true! It’s going to be so weird once I finish Ruin of Stars and Belle Révolte and there’s just… no more Linsey Miller books!
Just Finished Reading: I read Pumpkinheads by Faith Erin Hicks and Rainbow Rowell cover to cover on Wednesday and I LOVED it!!! It was one of my #TBTBSanta gifts and I was so excited to finally be able to read it! I also recently finished Lucky Caller by Emma Mills (review coming January 8!) and The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin and they were both SO GOOD! I have more books by both of them to read, but I haven’t started any yet! Hopefully I’ll read more by these two authors in January!
Just Finished Listening To: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller, read by Deryn Edwards. I LOVED it!!!
Books: I just finished putting together my January #TBR, and first up are some graphic novels! I love starting the New Year off with graphic novels because I can read a bunch in a day or two and feel accomplished. I have The Okay Witch on hold at the library, plus Faith Erin Hick’s The Nameless City trilogy (which I’m cobbling together through library loans and Christmas presents!).
Audiobooks: I really want to do an audio reread of Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton before 2019 is over, so hopefully this is next!
Recent ARCsThe Language of Cherries by Jen Marie Hawkins
Published on February 11, 2020 by Owl Hollow Press
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
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When Evie Perez is cut off from everything she loves and forced to move to Iceland for the summer, she takes her canvas and paintbrushes into the picturesque cherry orchard behind her guesthouse. She stains her lips with stolen cherries in the midnight sun and paints a boy she’s never met.
Oskar is startled to discover Evie in his family’s orchard, and even more surprised to see himself on her canvas. Too ashamed to reveal his stutter, he remains silent as Evie returns day after day to paint, spilling confessions she wouldn’t even tell her priest.
As Evie’s life back home unravels, Oskar wants to comfort her with words, but he knows he’s waited too long, so he uses music instead. But when it all comes to the surface, he knows that if Evie can’t forgive him for lying, he may never forgive himself for surviving.
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
Published on June 9, 2020 by HarperTeen
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Queer
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Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.
But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.
It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti
Published on August 1, 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Science Fiction, YA
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This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more.
Only...there were no aliens.
Gideon Hofstadt knows what really happened. When one of his science experiments went wrong, he and his older brother blamed the resulting explosion on extraterrestrial activity. And their lie was not only believed by their town―it was embraced. As the brothers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep up the ruse and avoid getting caught, the hoax flourishes. But Gideon's obsession with their tale threatened his whole world. Can he find a way to banish the aliens before Lansburg, and his life, are changed forever?
Told in a report format and comprised of interviews, blog posts, text conversations, found documents, and so much more, It Came from the Sky is a hysterical and resonant novel about what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.
Recent Kindle BooksThe Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
Published on October 1, 2019 by Blink
Genres: Fantasy, YA
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In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.
Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal's" memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.
To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Published on February 5, 2019 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Contemporary, YA
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Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
Published on August 13, 2019 by Blink
Genres: Contemporary, YA
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Deaf teen Maya moves across the country and must attend a hearing school for the first time. As if that wasn’t hard enough, she also has to adjust to the hearing culture, which she finds frustrating—and also surprising when some classmates, including Beau Watson, take time to learn ASL. As Maya looks past graduation and focuses on her future dreams, nothing, not even an unexpected romance, will not derail her pursuits. But when people in her life—Deaf and hearing alike—ask her to question parts of her Deaf identity, Maya stands proudly, never giving in to the idea that her Deafness is a disadvantage.
The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman
Published on March 10, 2020 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
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A poignant and timeless story of friendship that twines together moments in underexplored history, like Ruta Sepetys for middle grade.
On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they've wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend's life? Would you risk your own?
Told in alternating perspectives between three girls--Valentina and Oksana in 1986 and Rifka in 1941--this story shows that hatred, intolerance, and oppression are no match for the power of true friendship.
Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova
Series: Hollow Crown #1
Published on April 28, 2020 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Queer
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I am Renata Convida. I have lived a hundred stolen lives. Now I live my own.
Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King's Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata's ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King's Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred--or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned "hollow" during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez's top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom--and end the war that has cost her everything.
Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
Series: Heartstopper #1
Published on February 7, 2019 by Hodder Children's Books
Genres: Graphic Novels, Romance, YA, Queer
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, TikTok
Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more...?
Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn't been too great, but at least he's not being bullied anymore, and he's sort of got a boyfriend, even if he's kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.
Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He's heard a little about Charlie - the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months - but he's never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner...
From the author of Solitaire and Radio Silence comes a bind up of the first two chapters of Heartstopper, an ongoing webcomic.
hi my name is kait, and just like every other millennial I’ve been rewatching Lizzie McGuire on Disney+. I also just started watching High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and so far I am loving it!
The giveaways widget is always the most current and accurate way to tell what giveaways you can find on my blog, but since you’re here…
So that’s everything! What have you been up to this week? Anything important happen? Do you like my new blog aesthetic? Did you have any posts that didn’t get a lot of attention this week? I’d love to check them out! Leave your links in the mister linky below and don’t forget to have a splendiferous week!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: