#BookReviewBlogChallenge Tentative TBR

#BookReviewBlogChallenge Tentative TBR

Hello and happy Tuesday. Besides being on quarantine until April 27th (and finishing school virtually), I am on vacation, so right now I’m focusing all my energy on this blog and on the #BookReviewBlogChallenge, even though it starts next week and I don’t know any of the prompts because they will be announced throughout the challenge. 

In my announcement post, I told you I would be prioritizing the short physical books I own, so naturally, I took them all and stacked them somewhere visible. Again, I don’t know what any of the prompts will be, so there’s a chance none of these books work, and the truth is, I only took them out for the challenge, so if they don’t fulfill a prompt, they’ll go back to where they were originally placed, both physically and in my TBR list. 

I hate disclaimers, but I think it’s better to clarify that this TBR is 100% a me-thing and not related to the official rules of the challenge or anything. Also, you can just take it as a short book haul since most of these books are under or around 200 pages long. Let’s get to what you came here for, okay? 

How are you doing right now? I’d really like to know how you’re holding up. I think I’ve said before that staying at home doesn’t bother me as it would other people since I am a homebody, but I understand that’s not the case for everybody. I hope you stay safe and stay busy during this time. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila 

NetGalley Reads: Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me

NetGalley Reads: Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me

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Hello and happy Monday. Trust me, I am as surprised as you about the date of this post, but I guess we’ll have the past me to blame. I don’t know what has happened lately with the books I’ve been sent so that I read and review them as part of blog tours, but I’ve either been indifferent, not liked them, or DNF’ed them. I know that sucks, but I am always transparent with my feelings and I’m not going to lie to you in a review so that the publishers continue sending me stuff. The last book I read as part of a blog tour (thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan and the author)  was Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner, and I didn’t like it one bit, so here’s my rant.

I read this book between April 2nd and April 4th, 2020 and gave it two stars. I think the very first chapters were misleading, and that infuriated me. The book opens with a letter the main character is writing to Aubrey, who we find out is her estranged best friend. I say misleading because the tone of that opening is so dramatic that you’d think Aubrey died or that something really bad happened between her and the main character.

Jean-Louise, JL, is almost sixteen years old, and that age just didn’t sit well with me. We get flashbacks to when JL and Aubrey were younger and there’s this one line that says something like “we were more than in love” which made me think this was a queer romance. We were going to see how Aubrey and JL grow together to realize they love each other as something other than friends, but that’s not what happens because it was just a dumb line.

If you’re thinking “oh, okay, this is a story about friends who have drifted apart,” think again, because that’s simply one of the many plotlines in this novel. Let me tell you: it was all over the place. You get JL, who’s no longer really friends with Aubrey but that’s kind of her fault because she’s dating this 19-year-old guy and spending all the time with him. We have the boyfriend who is openly pushing her to have sex with him or at least engage in sexual acts that don’t involve penetration. We have JL’s mom who suffers from depression and has dissociative episodes because her dad has been in California for months and doesn’t seem to come back. And finally, we have the butterflies that JL has raised.

I know that you’re probably wondering where the title of the book comes from. Naturally, the depressed dissociative mom writes love letters to Jack Kerouac. Everything makes sense now, right? Seriously, I don’t know what the point of this book was. I thought that if it had followed the friendship plotline I could’ve given it a solid three stars, but no. This is the kind of story that has so many subplots that in the end nothing gets resolved and I just don’t like that.

JL and her boyfriend Max made a horrible couple, but I will be talking more about their relationship in a NOTP’s post. I’m only going to touch on two points about it here. On one hand, I thought that making him nineteen years old was done only to make something in the plot make sense. I’m not telling you what because it would be a spoiler, but it was gross to read about him with this fifteen-year-old. The other thing that bothered me and that would make me not recommend this book to anyone was the fact that he was always pushing JL to have sex with him, or to touch him. He suggested touching her as well and looking at her naked and there was no conversation about consent. Again, that is gross, and that should not be portrayed in books that are being released in 2020 and that are intended for young readers.

Don’t read this book. It is totally not worth it. But also, recommend me something that features a wholesome friendship.

Happy reading!
Love, Miss Camila

How Long Does a Shampoo Bar Last?

How Long Does a Shampoo Bar Last?

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Hello and happy Sunday. A while ago, I told you why I had switched to shampoo bars, but I couldn’t give you an exact number of how many washes can you get out of a bar. Of course, I decided I would count every time I washed my hair and I would come to you with a number, which translated to a time frame so that you at home can compare it to how often you need to buy liquid shampoo. I had a lot of fun doing that and I hope you have as much fun reading this post. Let’s get started, shall we?

For reference, the shampoo bars I use weigh 51g or 1.8oz. Of course, the number of washes varies with the size of the bar. My shampoo bar lasted me 32 washes, so now I’ll break down to you what that represents in time according to how frequently you wash your hair.

  • If you wash your hair once a week, it will last you eight months.
  • If you wash your hair twice a week like I do, it will last you four months.
  • If you wash your hair three times a week, it will last you a little over two and a half months.
  • If you wash your hair four times a week, it will last you two months.
  • If you wash your hair five times a week, it will last you a little over one month and a half.
  • If you wash your hair six times a week, it will last you a little under one month and a half.
  • If you wash your hair seven times a week, it will last you a little over a month.

I hope you find this information useful when decided whether switching to a shampoo bar is a good idea for you. If you have any more questions, let me know in the comments.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

Unfinished Series: Pretty Little Liars

Unfinished Series: Pretty Little Liars

 

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Hello and happy Saturday. I’m not sure whether I’ve already done this post, so to be sure, I’ll just write about the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. I have only read one book from the series, but I own some of the books and my plan is to finish it. Let’s get started, shall we?

READ

Pretty Little Liars Pretty Little Liars (Book #1)

I read this book between January 27th and January 31st, 2016 and gave it four stars. If you don’t know what the story is about, congrats, tell me your secret. Basically, you have a group of friends and one of them has recently died in strange circumstances, which leads to the main characters getting sort of blackmailed. I read the first book and watched the first season of the show, and let me tell you, the book is way better, or rather, less bad.

TBR

Flawless (Book #2)

Perfect (Book #3)

Wicked (Book #5)

Wanted (Book #8)

Twisted (Book #9)

Stunning (Book #11)

Deadly (Book #14)

Vicious (Book #16)

WISHLIST

Ali’s Pretty Little Lies (Book #0.5)

Unbelievable (Book #4)

Pretty Little Secrets (Book #4.5)

Killer (Book #6)

Heartless (Book #7)

Ruthless (Book #10)

Burned (Book #12)

Crushed (Book #13)

Toxic (Book #15)

Have you read the series or watched the show? Are you interested in either? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

#BookReviewBlogChallenge Announcement

#BookReviewBlogChallenge Announcement

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Hello and happy Friday for the second time today. I have exciting news to share with you! Last night (literally…I was already in bed and all) I got an invitation to this event from a Goodreads group I belonged to, and I didn’t really read what it was about, but still was interested so I RSVP’ed. Well, this morning I read everything carefully and it turns out there is this book reviewing challenge. I’m sure there are lots of those held year-round, okay? What’s exciting to me is that it’s the first one I’ve been invited to and the first I’ll be participating in.

If you want to join me and other book reviewers, click here. You can read the rules and guidelines and see if that’s something you’d be interested in. I’ve already set up my calendar and filled a post-it note with everything I need to keep in mind so that I’m ready to start on April 15th, and although all of that is behind the scenes stuff, I wanted to tell you how that challenge might affect my regular content.

Obviously, because there are prompts that are not decided by me, my TBR list is going to change. I might still be able to read books I had in mind, but the order in which I read them will not be the same as I’d originally planned. That being said, I’m not really replacing any books, at least not for now, but rather adding more. Thankfully, since I’m working from home at the moment, that is achievable. I also have Easter break next week so I’ll be able to read books from my original TBR list ahead of time in preparation for the challenge.

You know that this year I’ve been doing themed months, and I will continue to do them. I will continue to read books with certain themes for the duration of the challenge and I will continue to post my reviews on Wednesdays for regular books and Fridays for ARCS. I will actually use that break I have next week to finish and schedule the reviews for the books I’m reading in April.

There are eight prompts in the challenge and they are announced every Wednesday and Saturday for the duration of the challenge, so really what I’m thinking is I’ll try to post my review as soon as I’m done reading the book that responds to the challenge. I won’t be scheduling those posts. That means that some days I will have two posts, the regularly scheduled one and the challenge one. The latter will have all sorts of links and hashtags so that you know what it’s about.

UPDATE: I came up with these two guidelines for myself and I wanted to share them with you. The rules of the challenge state that participants can use reviews from books they previously read, but I don’t think there’s any fun or challenge in looking for old content and recycling it, so I will be reading a new book to fulfill each prompt. That means that for this challenge, I will read eight books that are new to me. Now, to choose the books that fulfill each prompt, I will give priority to my short physical books and to the ones that I have already saved on Scribd. Because I am already listening to so many audiobooks while I work, I will leave those for another post and focus on reading them with my eyes. Let’s recap: I will be reading books for the first time, preferable short physical ones I already own or those I have saved from Scribd. Okay, now we’re done.

I don’t think I have anything else to say other than I’m excited about this challenge and I hope that you join me, either by participating or by reading all my reviews.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

NetGalley Reads: All the Wrong Chords

NetGalley Reads: All the Wrong Chords

Hello and happy Friday. How are you? Are you taking care of yourselves? My routine hasn’t changed much, really. I mean, I am used to staying at home for whole days reading, so it’s not like I miss going outside. I miss seeing my students in person, but we can do videocalls. To keep myself entertained since the way I do my job has changed, I read, and I wanted to tell you about a nice, wholesome book I finished recently. I’m talking about All the Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso. I got this book via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, so I’d like to thank them, the author and the publisher for the opportunity. 

I read this book between March 22nd and March 25th, 2020 and gave it four stars. I know I already used this adjective to describe this book, but I think it sums it up perfectly: wholesome. Scarlett, the main character, is spending the summer at her grandfather’s house before leaving to university. Her relationship with her grandfather is beautiful and stays that way throughout the book. 

The story has some hard-hitting elements that we read about early on. Scarlett’s older brother has recently passed away due to drug overdose, and our main character is dealing with the guilt of thinking she could have done something to help him or prevent his death. Liam and Scarlett were very close, and he’s the one who taught her how to play guitar, which, judging by the title of the book, we know is going to be a recurring theme. 

There is romance and it is super cute but realistic in my opinion. I don’t want to give away too much about it because anything I say could be a spoiler. The only thing I’ll say is that there is a meet-cute to end all meet-cutes. Also, there’s again the love for grandparents and family in general. I don’t know about you, but if a potential romantic interest does not openly show love for his grandparents, he’s not worth it. 

I smiled a lot reading this book but I also cried a couple of times. I think it was perfect to keep me entertained and I would love it if it became a series and focused on the other members of the band. 

 What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila 

April 2020 Thankful Thursday Week 1

April 2020 Thankful Thursday Week 1

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Hello and happy Thursday. It might not feel like it but it’s been a while since I sat down and looked back on the things that made me happy two years ago. I finally have the time, and what’s more important, the right mindset to think about happy things.

Now, let’s remember that 2018 was a rough year for me, or at least, it was the buildup to a generally bad time in my life, so many of the things that I said made me happy then might not make me happy now. Today’s random happy thought is weird, and you’ll see why.

April 2nd, 2018: Getting tattoos makes me happy.

Remember those “bad tattoo” posts I published a while back? Yes, on April 2nd, 2018, when I was on the verge of an existential crisis, I got two tattoos, one of which was misspelled and I have already covered up. Here’s some advice for everyone, okay? Listen up (or read up). The first thing that you should know is that tattoos are never “the solution” to anything. Seriously, it’s like the breakup haircut, only it’s permanent, and also, since you’re probably not feeling 100% you won’t notice that it’s probably ugly or, like in my case, misspelled. Now, attached to that, please do not consider switching tattoo artists if you do decide that what you need in your life is some ink. Going to a shop that is a few blocks away because it’s less of a hassle than going to your usual artist is a bad idea, trust me. Finally, and again, I know this from experience, having any number of tattoos will not prevent you from getting one that you might regret. I covered up part of my eleventh tattoo because I was convinced that what my life needed was more ink, and I wasn’t responsible about it. And guess who I went to see when it was time for a coverup? Of course, it was “my guy,” the one who’s been tattooing me since 2014. And he was so nice and nonjudgmental about it…that made me super happy.

What is one thing you’ve done that you thought would make you happy but didn’t? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Thursday!

Love, Miss Camila