September’s Monthly Gems | ft. screaming about the Kyoshi Novels

I think I found my favorite series of the year.

More on that later. But in case you couldn’t tell by the title, I’m talking about the Kyoshi Novels.

This month I actually read stuff!! So congrats to me!

Sadly, September is already over and this month actually flew away. This entire year has flown by but at the same time it feels like it’s been an eternity. I can’t believe it’s October- AKA spOokY sEasOn! Wasn’t it just July the other day?

But I’ve finally come to terms that it’s not summer anymore 😦 it’s fall, and while fall isn’t overall bad, it leads up to the winter and I don’t like winter at all, so fall is kind of ruined for me too.

Just writing this is making me sad. >:o I like summer!! I don’t want it to go :((

I’ve had a very busy/productive month so let’s get into the wrap-up! And yes, this is the first wrap-up I’ve done in over six months and I’m only doing it because I wrote it on my Notion and I won’t lie to my Notion.

Books

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NickALive!: Nickelodeon's 'Avatar: The Last Airbender ...Β  THE SHADOW OF KYOSHI Continues the Powerful Avatar's Story ...Β  Exclusive Cover Reveal: The House in the Cerulean Sea by ...Β  Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can ...

I read three books and am currently in the middle of a fourth book that I started in September! It’s not a lot but I haven’t been able to read a lot recently so I’m grateful for whatever I got. I also really enjoyed all the books I read, which is great!

THE RISE OF KYOSHI– β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I loved this book! It made me so, so happy to experience new content that is part of the Avatar universe, and this book even built on the existing lore and told us more about previous Avatars. It’s also sapphic (!!) and Kyoshi and Rangi are amazing girlfriends- the yearning and the tension were amazing and exhausting. But even above that, my favorite part of The Rise of Kyoshi was Kyoshi herself! In the shows, we picture Kyoshi as some badass warrior lady who loves murder, but that’s not completely true. (And even if it is true, we get to see her become that way. No, she wasn’t born like that.) I loved Kyoshi’s evolution and her character and she deserves the entire world. The poor thing faced so much pain in her life.

THE SHADOW OF KYOSHI– β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Also an amazing book! I honestly enjoyed the first book more than the second, but as you can see, I still loved it enough to rate it 5 stars. This book built the world more than the characters, and it also went more into depth of how Kyoshi got to the point where everyone thinks she loves murder (Which isn’t true. Don’t make up things about my girl like that!). While there was less of Rangi and the Flying Opera Troupe (sadly!), we learned a LOT about Kuruk’s backstory and Kyoshi herself which is obviously very interesting and cool to read. It was an excellent sequel!

THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA– β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I’m really glad that I liked all the books I read this month! THCS was a really sweet, feel-good sort of book. It did take me a while to get into it, though. I loved Linus, I loved Arthur, I loved Zoe, I loved all of the kids, and I especially loved Lucy! This book is filled with themes of found family, belonging, and love; not only romantic love but the love of friendship and family. Linus’s arc of learning to trust and not be afraid of the unknown is also so incredibly beautiful. I’m just really touched by this book.

WINNING THE GREEN NEW DEAL

I’m currently reading this book! Winning The GND is written by leaders of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led movement to combat climate change and push for electoral action against it. I’m actually a part of it (subtle plug lol) so obviously, I wanted to read the book that Sunrise published. I’m learning a LOT from it, and this will be super helpful to argue with trolls on the Internet πŸ˜‰ This book is kind of tough to read because it’s nonfiction and I don’t read a lot of nonfic (whoops) but I’m trying to read a few chapters every day before bed!!

P.S. If you’re not sure what the Green New Deal (GND) is, it’s a proposal/plan of dozens of policies and principles to combat climate change, achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, and create millions of just jobs in the process. The only way we can address the scope of the climate crisis is pushing for bold, sweeping action, and this is the only comprehensive resolution that even comes close. Learn more here!

Shows

SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER

During September I watched She-Ra, which is available on Netflix. It’s an animated cartoon show with tons of representation! I even mentioned it in my post about different diverse animated shows. I absolutely loved it and I really wish I could watch more :(( but all five seasons are over.

I especially adore Adora (get it? adore adora? yes? okay good) and Bow, although I like most of the other characters too. Honestly, though, I couldn’t stand Glimmer in Seasons 3 and 4. But now she’s a better.

Life

I started getting assignments for school in September, which was hard. Last year I didn’t get a lot of schoolwork because my old school wasn’t very good at online learning. But this year it’s a LOT of work πŸ˜”πŸ˜…

I also had a music performance! Not sure if I mentioned it, but my last performance was in late August and before that I didn’t perform for several months, so it was kind of fun to sing again. I did end up crying after my performance because I messed up once, but everyone else said it sounded good so I don’t know.

This summer wasn’t… great on my social life HAHA. Everyone else probably had the same problem, but I didn’t see any of my friends at all. But the past week I got a chance to talk to and hang out with two of my friends and that was really fun πŸ™‚

World

RBG died this month, which makes me incredibly sad. Not only was she a trailblazing woman, but a lot of basic rights here in the USA hinge upon the Supreme Court. If we have a conservative majority, the next 20 to 30 years will be devastating for women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, immigration rights, and basically all marginalized people’s rights.

Also, the presidential debates were a dumpster fire lmao. Enough said about that.

The election here in the USA is in less than thirty days!! This is probably an election that will determine a lot about my life, and I can’t even vote. I’m nervous as heck.

But I still hold out hope, and no matter what the presidential election outcomes are, I will never stop fighting, and I’m proud that there are thousands of young people like me who will also keep fighting.

Here’s to October being a great month! I’m not sure how Halloween is going to go this year, given the obvious circumstances πŸ˜… which sucks, since it’s my favorite American holiday.

How many books did you read this month? Have you watched ATLA or She-Ra? How are you going to celebrate Halloween?

P.S. I got to 500 followers! Thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting me and thank you so so much for sticking around βœ¨πŸ’–

The 40 Most Popular YA Books: have I read them? | part 2

The only thing I could think about when I wrote this: Bob the Builder- Have I read this? Bob the Builder- YES I have!

In other news, hello!

How is everyone doing? I’m NOT doing great, and my mental state is currently ~chaos~. After RBG passed away, I’ve just been worrying nonstop and hearing anything (I mean anything) about the presidential election makes my heart race and makes me hyper-worried. Seriously not fun.

Thankfully, I’ve been keeping myself super busy with school, a music performance coming up (if you’re an OG you remember the times when I was always giving concerts- sadly COVID and school paused that but I’ve started to take more virtual opportunities!), and activism- especially focusing on local elections I can help with.

I promise to put out at least one more post this month!! I’m not gone, I promise!

Two posts ago I posted part one of this series where I see if I’ve read the forty most popular recent YA books (here’s Goodreads’ official list!). I got the idea from Elli @ AceReader!

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Renegades (Renegades, #1)   Sadie   The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1)

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Nope, βŽ the only book I’ve read by Marissa Meyer is Cinder and I never ended up finishing the series. I think this is a superhero book? So it might be interesting to read!

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Nope again ❎ this is like the peak of middle school YA for me- I used to read ONLY books like this. It was a rough time and I thought I was Not Like Other Girls.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Nope ❎- I looked through this list and I have read a lot less than I thought tbh. I haven’t heard of this as much as some of the other books on here but at first glance the cover looks really nice!

Continue reading “The 40 Most Popular YA Books: have I read them? | part 2”

tales of the yellow sky | writing and such

is the taste of the sky the color of ash?

perhaps, could it be the feeling of sitting in a tub of water after a long day, leaning your head back against the wall, lathering the shampoo into your hair? the feeling of washing off grime from the soles of your feet after a long walk with your mother, the feeling of your feet pressing on a bike’s pedals deep into the night, aching (but in a good way), the feeling of ignoring the baby pink journal that sits on your desk reminding you that you have one, two, three things left to do for the day, the feeling of a sky yellower than one could imagine, burrowing away deep inside of one’s soul.

one might say it’s all of these. another might say it’s none of these.

what would i say, you ask? well, i’m so glad you asked.

i would say that one night it could be one of these, and the next night it could be another of these. and last night it was something completely different.

and so it goes on. the sky tastes like amber and lavender, i would tell you. and sometimes it’s roses and sunflowers, too. but right now, the sky is like burnt caramel left on the stove too long. it’s the feeling you get when it’s too dark outside to feel at ease but too early for it to be an excuse. the sky right now does taste like ash.

quite literally, i mean.

you would say it tastes like ash because it has a soft glow, like the last embers of a fireplace flew far away and settled down outside, nestled into the snowy. or because it’s thick on your tongue, like the word you needed yesterday that was almost there- but not quite. you only remembered it today, and you cursed your damn self for forgetting it. oh! you thought, that was the word.

you would say it tastes like ash because of all the ways you think it does. i would tell you that no, it doesn’t taste like ash because of the fireplace and caramel and thick tongues and whatever antics you’re coming up with. it tastes like ash because it tastes like ash. it really does.

i mean, the sky is practically burning. it’s orange and lit on fire, casting a dusky glow (flame?) onto me and you and us all. it’s not actually on fire- not yet, at least- but it is a hundred miles up north, and it is a few hundred down south.

i sit at my desk tapping away at a hulk of metal with some wires in it, the window open and the lights off (it’s two PM on a summer afternoon, i say- why would i need the lights?). the ash rains down in small, soft layers. like it’s a cottony flower, a dandelion, drifting down as a gift from the heavens, settling down on my desk like a thin layer of syrup left out for the hummingbirds.

only, it’s ash. not syrup or sugar or caramel or amber. it’s ash, and there’s ash raining from the sky, aditi and there’s nothing we can do about it because what would we do? try and battle the ash, spear versus empty space?

so we do what we only know- we sweep up the ash off of my table and off of the walls of our house from the outside (“it could come inside, too- close the windows!”) and watch with the rest of the world to see if it’s the end of the world or not.

we do what everyone else does. sleep (or try to, at least), wake up, eat, go for a walk (“no! you’ll get sick!” “nonsense, they always say that. i’m fine.”), and log into school, listening to our teachers tell us how the sky is yellow. then we pull out our phones and see the pictures of an orange sky a couple dozen miles away. are they trying to one-up us?, we joke. but we’re helpless and there’s nothing we can do about it other than wait.

we’ve already waited. we waited two weeks ago and two weeks later, when they told us we were breathing in the ash and it was settling into our lungs, making itself at home, and we should be ready to leave everything we know in the blink of a moment. we waited now and tomorrow when the ash dusts our home like a thin layer of snow. toxic snow.

and we’ll keep waiting, in the dark, looking at the yellow sky, while messages and news and stories and anecdotes and pictures pour into the rest of the world.

what’s going on over there? they ask. oh, they’re burning, someone replies nonchalantly.

WE are burning! you reply indignantly. the city i grew up in is bathed in orange glow! you cry out.

but it’s all the same to them, and if that small difference means the world to you, it doesn’t mean anything to them.

so we go on, thinking this is normal, and no one tells us anything different. we go on thinking there’s nothing we can do about it, and so does everyone else.

but! someone says, and you hear a tiny voice somewhere far out. help us. the voice whispers. you have a voice. i do not. the person speaks for thousands more, a chorus of voices that grows in numbers to tens and hundreds of thousands.

you have a voice. i do not.

If you can, please donate to any one of the links here which are donation links for the fires based in California. Wildfire relief fund. CA natural disaster response. Individual family GoFundMe pages. Commemorating fallen firefighters and their communities. Incident updates (over 1.2 million acres have burned).

The 20 Most Popular YA Books: have I read them? | part 1

I have like no energy right now. At all. But at least I’m posting semi-regularly?

Since school started and all my other classes are starting up too, I’m finding myself with barely any time. As someone notorious for horrible time management, my solution has been writing daily to-do lists split in to morning / afternoon / evening so that I know what I have to accomplish each day. It’s tedious, but helpful.

Because I barely have any time to even get schoolwork + extracurricular work done, I also have like no time to spend on reading. Which sucks, because I’m kind of a book blog. In case you haven’t noticed. AKA, I have no content to write about.

But then the wonderful Elli @ AceReader who must have been sent from the heavens (I’m serious, I’m that desperate) posted on her blog about if she’s read the 40 most popular recent YA novels that Goodreads posted as a list, and I was like OH! Look- it’s content!!

So before you read this post, go check out Elli’s post because she wrote it first. Thank you Elli for saving this girl from disappearing without any content to write about.

Anyways, that was an awfully dramatic intro. Let’s get onto the actual post ;)) P.S. please don’t read this in the WP Reader!! read it on my actual blog. I spent a lot of time on formatting 😭

Basically, I’ll be seeing whether or not I’ve read the 40 most popular recent YA novels to see if I’m a true book blogger (jk, you can read whatever you want and still be a book blogger, I’m kidding lalala). The thing is, I won’t be able to get to all 40 of them, so I’ll just be doing 20, and next post I’ll hopefully do 20 more! Continue reading “The 20 Most Popular YA Books: have I read them? | part 1”

4 Shows To Watch If You Loved ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ | ft. diverse animated shows on Netflix

Hey everyone!

Β A lot of you have probably seenΒ Avatar: The Last Airbender since it came on Netflix back in June. It’s already broken several records and is the show with the highest number of days on the Top Ten list- I believe over fifty days! Which is crazy,Β and definitely well-deserved.

(to my credit, I liked avatar before it was trendy. but still. πŸ˜‚)

During my collab with Sophie, I made her watch Avatar because it’s amazing (here’s the link to my post, her blog is currently down for some reason!) and she obviously loved it as well. A lot of us have watched ATLA and after watching it, craved some more of the magic that’s in that TV show. It took me several months to find great TV shows with some of these qualities, and I thought I’d share it with y’all too, so you don’t have to suffer like I did. 😭

Also, all of these are diverse shows! These are all shows with BIPOC and some also have LGBT representation. They’re also directed to a younger audience, which means that there are no adult themes and all of these are also animated, which is great because animated shows are so underrated! πŸ˜‰

P.S. These are all available in USA Netflix and I’m sure some others are available in other countries as well!

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1. The Legend of Korra

The Legend of Korra Coming to Netflix in August – /Film

Yes, technically I’ve mentioned this before in previous posts, but it was added to Netflix about a month and a half ago and deserves a second mention! LOK is the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, which makes it the most obvious choice if you’re looking for another show that’s similar to ATLA. It follows Korra, the avatar after Aang, as she saves the world and masters the elements through four seasons. It’s not the same as ATLA but it has its own charm and I promise it’s worth a watch. It’s a little more mature than ATLA, though- I’d recommend it for 11+ rather than ATLA’s 7+, but I supposed everyone reading this is probably over that age πŸ˜‚

How it’s similar to ATLA:

  • Similar worldbuilding because it’s located in the same universe
  • Bending!! πŸ₯°
  • Art style is gorgeous as well
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • Diverse cast with BIPOC and LGBT representation

Continue reading “4 Shows To Watch If You Loved ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ | ft. diverse animated shows on Netflix”

‘Star Daughter’ by Shveta Thakrar | #OwnVoices review | beautiful writing & vivid settings

Hey everyone!

A few days ago I finished a wonderful book called Star Daughter,Β by Shveta Thakrar. It’s been a really long time (REALLY long time) since I’ve written a review, so I’m going to try my best to put my thoughts onto this page!

Before I get into this, can we just take a moment to appreciate be absolutely DISGUSTED by the current block editor? I would just like my classic editor back, please 😭 I have no idea how to use blocks…

Star Daughter

Star Daughter – Shveta Thakrar – Spoiler-Free Review

Representation:Β Indian MC and completely Indian cast of characters, sapphic side romance

TWs: multiple descriptions of cutting another character for blood (skippable & not condoned)

What I liked:

COVER

Regardless of whether you likeΒ Star DaughterΒ or not, everyone has to admit that this cover isΒ stunning. I would give this book five stars just for the cover. 😍 It’s also unapologetically Indian- we have a beautiful brown girl on the cover wearing a bindi and a chutti and it’s gorgeous. πŸ₯° Continue reading “‘Star Daughter’ by Shveta Thakrar | #OwnVoices review | beautiful writing & vivid settings”