Book Review: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

Hello everyone and I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday so far. Yesterday was Independence Day for us here in the US and I was able to spend some time with family and enjoy the day. Today, I wanted to talk about a book I read back in April, which seems like such a crazy long time ago. I loved this book, until I realized what it was seriously lacking. Let’s get into the review so I can explain a little more.

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Amazon.com: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me eBook: Tamaki ...Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Mariko Tamaki

Pages: 304

Audience: YA

Genre: Graphic Novel, Contemporary Romance, LGBT

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

TRIGGERS: Toxic relationships, abortion

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.

Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy’s best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever.

Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.

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  • Freddy’s Group Of Friends – I really loved Freddy’s group of friends. They seemed to be exactly what she needed at that time, and even though she wasn’t always to amazing friend to them back, and even at times rejected their help, they were still there for her, which is what I love to see.
  • Toxic Relationship – It sounds wrong that I “liked” the toxic relationship part, but let me explain. I think in today’s contemporary romantic YA, there isn’t a lot of relationships portrayed like this. But in reality, in high school these type of relationships was all I had seen, all that I knew. I grew up with thinking a relationship should be a certain way, but growing up I realized that is not how it is supposed to be at all. I think the YA community needs to shed more light on how toxic some relationships can be and really shed light on it for awareness, and I just think this book did a great job with showing a toxic relationship and making it known that it absolutely was.
  • Freddy’s Personality- I think Freddy’s personality was perfect. She was a little shy, basically just wanted to try and make everything work and have everyone be happy. Again, goes with the toxic relationship and how people with this personality can be pulled into these kind of relationships.
  • Friendship, Not a New Relationship – I loved how it ended with Freddy gaining new friendships and not just jumping into another relationship. I really appreciated that.

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  • Mental Health Portion of A Toxic Relationship – Okay, so the problem I had with this book is that… Freddy never seeks help from really anyone! She’s clearly going through a toxic relationship, and she never seeks therapy help, never talks to anyone really, she keeps it all bottled up inside. I think if that was really how Freddy was, her mental health would just have deteriorated! I think the book could have definitely followed Freddy try and heal and seek help. Teenagers can’t rely on other teenagers all the time, especially when this was a serious situation at times.

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                             ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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I would recommend this book to anyone, I think it’s a great book. Just make sure the trigger warning’s I listed above wouldn’t effect you in any negative way.

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July 2020 TBR

Hi everyone! It is my first post back and I am so excited to be back! Today, I am going to be sharing my list of books that I plan on reading this month, or at least will try to read. I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself to read, but I would like to at least try to get through some of these. Let’s just jump right into the list!

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Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

The Seven Deadly Sins (Vol. 1 & 2) – Nakaba Suzuki

The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 1

When they were accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy, the feared warriors the Seven Deadly Sins were sent into exile. Princess Elizabeth discovers the truth – the Sins were framed by the king’s guard, the Holy Knights – too late to prevent them from assassinating her father and seizing the throne! Now the princess is on the run, seeking the Sins to help her reclaim the kingdom. But the first Sin she meets, Meliodas, is a little innkeeper with a talking pig. He doesn’t even have a real sword! Have the legends of the Sins’ strength been exaggerated…?

All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

All Your Twisted Secrets

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Maybe This Time

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

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Where I’ve Been + My Plan for Coming Back and the Changes That Are Being Made

Hi everyone! Wow.. it’s kind of surreal writing this post honestly. A few months ago, if you asked me if I’d be coming back, I would most likely tell you no. Thankfully, I’m very happy to announce that I am indeed coming back. I think the last thing I did was a book review on Mothers Day? After that, it went downhill pretty fast.

To be technical, I’ve been gone since March 30th. It just happened to work out that I had posts scheduled until Mothers Day. In April I really struggled with everything going around me, and didn’t even post regularly in March/April. I realized a few things with myself and could see a change, so I wanted to be open with you guys about what’s been going on.

First, Corona really got to me. It unfortunately infected my great-grandmother, who after 5 weeks is still battling it, which is insane to me. It thankfully didn’t reach my grandmother who is in a nursing home, but we are still crossing our fingers that it never reaches her. Honestly, not seeing family on a regular basis for me has been difficult. Going to my grandparents house every weekend was a consistent thing for me. To go suddenly to not seeing them? It definitely put me in a negative head space.

Second, the want to read was just not there. Through all of this, being home, you’d think I would want to read! But honestly, it just wasn’t there for me. Between Coronavirus, the riots, working from home, not seeing family… reading was the last idea in my mind to make myself feel better.

Finally, I went through a really nasty break-up during all of this. I won’t go too much into detail out of respect, but it definitely was the final straw in my decision to take a break from the blog. It pushed me to my limit, and deteriorated my mental health. My mentality was at such a low, typing was not an option. Reading wasn’t an option. Talking about Disney wasn’t even close to being an option.

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But…. I AM COMING BACK JULY 1st! I’ll be doing my normal Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule. I am so happy and excited to be coming back to something I love so much! But, there will be a few changes to the blog as well.

The first change I am making is I am adding another segment to the blog, which is my Plan with Me sections. I have loved planning for a long time, and I really love being able to show off my Planner and what I’ve done for the week. Every Thursday I will be writing a short post about my current week planner, what stickers I used, and also showing the final product of the previous week. These will be short posts, but something different and fun that I will love to do.

Finally, I will be leaving links at the bottom of all of my posts to donate to organizations, sign petitions and so forth to spread the awareness for the Black Lives Matter cause. I want to keep up with the momentum and the continuation of spreading awareness of this issue in the United States, and if I can try and help even in the littlest sense by sharing links at the end of every post? I can easily do that.

Well, I appreciate all of you reading through this. I love every single one of you who have supported me through this and welcomed me back with open arms. We are all in this together guys! See you July 1st!

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Top Ten Tuesday #57 | Reasons Why I Love Adult Romance

Hello everyone! Today is another Top Ten Tuesday! I am loving today’s prompt because well let’s be real, I read a lot of YA books and review them on the blog… but I also love Adult books as well, especially romance! So I figured today we can make a list of why I love adult romance books so much.

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Reasons Why I Love Adult Romance

(1) The Humor

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In most of the adult romance books I read, there is a lot of adultish humor. Books like The Unhoneymooners, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and While It Lasts really showcase that humor. I remember reading The Unhoneymooners last year and was just dying laughing over some of the things that were going on and being said.

(2) Adult References

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I’m 21 years old, almost 22 and I have to say… I don’t always recognize the YA references in books nowadays, which honestly can make me feel old af. I do however get a lot of the references in adult romance books. I don’t get the TLC references, but the Destiny’s Child references I totally do.

(3) The…. romance *wink*

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I love me some good smut. I mean who doesn’t? In these books you don’t have to think hard, and yes the relationships tend to not be realistic or anything, but who doesn’t love some good ass smut, right?

(4) The MOVIES!!!

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If there is one thing I love more than adult romance, it is the adult romance books that get turned into MOVIESSSS!!! 50 Shades of Grey, The Notebook, After, basically all Nicholas Sparks movies. UGH! YES! I swear they are so good! Fifty Shades of Grey gives me life every time I watch them, I just love them so much. I need The Unhoneymooners to be made into a movie ASAP!

(5) The Covers 😍

I don’t know why but adult romance book covers just be so damn pretty!!! Some examples are The Unhoneymooners, The Kiss Quotient, and One Day In December. Just to name a few.

(6) The Relationships

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Obviously the main part of an Adult Romance is the relationships. I have so many relationships that I just think about before I go to bed at night and hope that they are happy and have families and living happily ever after. I know people, I know they aren’t real… but one can dream.

What do you guys like about adult romance books? What do you not like about them? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review | More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys

Hi everyone! Happy Mothers Day! I hope everyone is able to celebrate Mother’s Day today at least in some type of form even through all of the craziness. I bought my mom some goodies from Ulta a few weeks ago online, so at least I was able to get her something. She loves basically all Kylie Cosmetics products, so I was able to get her lip glosses, eyeshadow palettes, and a super cute blush!

Today, I wanted to share a book review with you guys, but I picked this specific book for this day because I thought it fit best with the whole Mother’s Day theme. I actually read Alicia Keys new book! I will admit, I mainly picked this one up for the star filled audiobook cast, which included Jay-Z, Oprah, Swizz Beats, and even more. But, after reading it, it really just showed me how much of a positive spirit Alicia is. Let’s get into the review!

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More Myself: A JourneyMore Myself: A Journey

Alicia Keys with Michelle Burford

Pages: 272

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook

Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, Feminism, Leadership

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

As one of the most celebrated musicians of our time, Alicia Keys has enraptured the nation with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache―over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.

Since her rise to fame, Alicia’s public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it?

More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path―from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, to the process of self-discovery she’s still navigating.

In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth―about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.

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  • Star-Studded Audiobook – What an amazing cast of people to not only be able to be included in the book, but the audiobook as well! To hear Oprah, Jay-Z, Swizz Beats, I mean just Alicia alone was amazing! It definitely kept me interested since non-fiction is not always one of my strong suits.
  • Alicia is such an incredible powerhouse – I never realized how incredible Alicia really is, and just how much she gives back into the world. Going through her journey and being able to read about her positive and mindful spirit definitely was something I enjoyed.
  • Mind, body, and spirit advice – Yes, this is a nonfiction book. But I feel like even though you’re reading about Alicia’s story, you’re still taking away some information from the book and can apply it to your life. There’s a lot of meditation advice in here and just positive thinking that everyone, not only women, should apply to their everyday life.
  • Uplifting during a difficult time – I read this during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think I definitely needed to read this. At a time like this, it’s nice to read about a positive story, one that isn’t so negative and so many up and downs, it’s a pretty solid positive read and I enjoyed that as I’m sure you can tell.
  • Music within the audiobook – I loved the fact that Alicia would play music and sing in between chapters, also when talking about a specific song in depth she would sing it. Ugh, what an amazing voice she has.
  • Not too long, Perfect length – This book was 272 pages long and I thought that was the PERFECT length. I don’t really care for nonfiction that’s 400+ pages, I like smaller books, I’m not going to lie here. It went by nicely, and I think if it was any longer I might not have gotten through it, maybe not even picked it up.

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  • Wanted more music details/backstories – I would have liked more details and backstories about the SONGS. The albums were described very well, don’t get me wrong. But I would have loved to have seen the songs and their stories go more into depth because Alicia does write her own music, and has some pretty powerful songs on some pretty power filled albums.
  • Wanted more depth going into 9/11 – She seemed to have a pretty big part of the healing New York needed after 9/11. I’ve heard stories, but New York is my home and I’ve known for a long time that Alicia was big into helping New York heal. I would have loved to hear her reactions to it and about her performance. She’s a New Yorker, and me being one myself I wanted to hear more about that.
  • Too Political for my tastes – I didn’t care for the tone the book was taking towards the end with the political talking. I understand, shit I would love to talk about Obama too. But about the whole Trump and Hillary thing… I don’t know. It just got too political for my personal tastes. That’s all.

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                          ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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If you’re an Alicia Keys fan, absolutely. You should read this immediately, and definitely the audiobook. If you know about her but aren’t necessarily a fan and don’t have any issues with her, I would also recommend this to you. If you don’t like Alicia Keys, and I don’t really know why you wouldn’t, then probably don’t pick this up, but definitely look at the decisions you’re making in life because Alicia is not a bad person or someone you should hate what-so-ever 🤣.

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WWW Wednesday #41 – 5/6/20

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is doing good so far this week! This week I am basically just focusing on the blog and reading, practicing healthy habits. Trying to get my overall mental health kind of back on track since things are starting to become a little more normal. 

Now, it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted over at Sam’s Taking On A World of Words page! Just answer the 3 questions below every Wednesday, and feel free to post your answers in the comments and of course check out the other participants and see what else they are reading for the week. The questions are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What have you finished reading?
  3. What will you read next?

So let’s get onto the post!

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What Are You Currently Reading?

 

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💚 So This Is Love by Elizabeth Lim – I started this one on Sunday and I am already in love with it! It is such a good story already and I can’t wait to finish this one soon!

💛 Light Filters In: Poems by Caroline Kaufman – I’ve been into poetry this month, and although this doesn’t exactly help me with my Asian Read-a-thon challenges, it definitely helps calm my soul a little bit, which is what I definitely need right now. 

What Have You Finished Reading?

The Sun and Her Flowers

💚 The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur – Like I said, poetry has really been my thing this month so far, so reading this on the first day of May was really nice. I actually enjoyed it and ended up giving it a 4/5 stars!

What Will You Read Next?

The Way You Make Me Feel

💛 The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo – I’ve heard a lot of good things about Goo’s writing style, so I can’t wait to pick this up next to continue on with the Asian Read-a-thon month! 

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