Bookish Tattoos I Want to Get / Blogtober Day 21

I don’t have any tattoos. Yet. But there are so many that I want. Not necessarily all bookish, but there are quite a few bookish ones I’m interested in.

Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to finding tattoos, so that’s where all of these pictures are from. They are not my own!

Book

I would love a tattoo with a book incorporated directly on it in some way. These are some of my favorite examples:

Symbols

I think tattoos of symbols like “&” and quotation marks are adorable. I’m a fan of simple, minimalistic tattoos, so this is one I’m most likely to get.

book tattoo

Erin Morgenstern Related

I fell in love with Erin Morgenstern’s writing this year. I would love to get a tattoo dedicated to either The Night Circus or The Starless Sea. I would either get a symbol of some kind to represent the books (like a bee, a key, and a sword for The Starless Sea) or a direct quote from one of them.

erin morgenstern tattoo

Writer

As both a reader and a writer, I would like to represent both in some way. I like the idea of a typewriter. It’s pretty, but it’s simple. I also love the quote pictured below. I think it would be cool to get it tattooed!

let's chat

I have tons of tattoo ideas, but I’ll most likely only end up getting one or two during my lifetime. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they? If not, do you want to get some?

Jessica

Apps I Use For Bookstagram / Blogtober Day 20

I used to be an avid Twitter user. I mean, I still am. But as of a few months ago, I’ve been really dedicated to making my Bookstagram look nice. I love coming up with new themes, taking pictures, writing captions, etc.

For today’s post, I wanted to share some of the apps that I use for Instagram. Maybe you’ll even find a new app to use!

VSCO:

Almost everyone is familiar with this app, but if you’re not, it’s basically a filtering app. They have tons of filters to choose from (plus you can buy more packs). I’ve been using this one for years now, and it is a classic for quickly making any picture look great!

Some of my favorite filters are…

  • 04
  • A6
  • C6
  • HB1
  • HB2
  • M5

Here are some before and afters using just VSCO:

Lightroom:

This is another app that many people know. It’s the mobile version of one of the photoshop applications. This one is great for creating your own filters, or “presets.” You can play around with the color of the picture, edit the lighting, and do much more. It’s basically the advanced version of VSCO- like taking off the training wheels. But once you get used to it, it’s super simple to use!

You can also buy pre-made presets online on sites like Etsy, and from some Instagram users. You can apply a specific set of edits onto each of your pictures. I’ve purchased a couple, and they are really nice! Just choose carefully because you want to make sure the presets you buy are going to work with the type of pictures you take. You don’t want to spend money on a preset you’ll never use (like I’ve done before).

Snapseed:

This is the final photo editing app I have on this list, but it’s one of my favorites. I usually edit my pictures on here first, and then I put it through either VSCO or lightroom. There are so many tools on this app, from editing the lighting in one specific area of the picture, to adding filters, and more. It is incredible and kind of a hidden gem. It’s not as well known as the first two.

UNUM:

On top of editing my pictures, I also plan out my feed. I don’t want too many flatlays in a row or two pictures of the same book. Unum lets you lay out your pictures, add a caption, and even post straight from their app. I usually write my captions straight onto Instagram, but this is a great feature if you want to plan out many pictures in advance. There are a ton of apps similar to this one, but this is my favorite.

Nichi:

The last app on this list is a story editing app. It has so many cute stickers and pictures you can add. I use this one pretty frequently when putting updates on my story. Again, there are tons of story editing apps, but this one has been my favorite.

let's chat

Those are all the apps I used most frequently. I am having so much fun playing around with the editing of my Instagram, and I hope you guys are liking my current feed! Again, if you want to follow me, click here.

What are some of your go-to apps? Do you use any of the ones I mentioned?

Jessica

I Should Have Read That Book Tag / Blogtober Day 19

Hello, I’m back with another tag today! I found this one over at Paperfury, and I really liked it. I wasn’t tagged, but I decided I would answer these questions for you anyways!

A BOOK THAT A CERTAIN FRIEND IS ALWAYS TELLING YOU TO READ

six of crows

I can’t even tell you how many times people have told me to read Six of Crows. I plan on it, I swear. Now that I’ve read the Grisha trilogy, I can finally read this one. I’m just waiting until I have time to read it- aka probably not until January. I have some other higher priority books right now, so once I am free of those commitments, I will tackle this one.

A BOOK THAT’S BEEN ON YOUR TBR FOREVER AND YET YOU STILL HAVEN’T PICKED IT UP

Beholding Bee

Choose any of 70+ books on my TBR. But seriously, I have a bad habit of buying books knowing that I won’t get to them for at least a month. Probably more than that. If I had to go with just one for this, it’ll be Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco. I bought this one with my first every purchase from BookOutlet, and let me just say- I went a little book crazy. I added a lot of books to my cart that I had never heard of, simply because they only cost a dollar or two. I have curbed my impulsive spending since then, but this book has not yet made its way off of my TBR and into my read pile. One day.

A BOOK IN A SERIES YOU’VE STARTED, BUT HAVEN’T GOTTEN ROUND TO FINISHING YET

gemina

I read Illuminae in like 2017, but I haven’t continued the series since then. I really, really enjoyed it, but I don’t own the rest of the series. That’s pretty much my only reason for not continuing. I don’t want to borrow the e-book or audiobook from my library because of the format of the book, and I’m away at school most of the year, so I can’t borrow the physical copy. Maybe one summer I’ll find time to get it from the library!

A CLASSIC YOU’VE ALWAYS LIKED THE SOUND OF, BUT NEVER ACTUALLY READ

I actually just wrote a post about some of the classics I want to read. I’m trying to get better at reading classics, but I don’t pick them up that often because they usually require more time to read. Even shorter classics take more time than regular books because of the style of the writing. I just prefer to read them slower to actually absorb the information!

A POPULAR BOOK THAT IT SEEMS EVERYONE BUT YOU HAS READ

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. This one just came out, but it seems like everyone has already read it. This is a thriller inspired by the book The Turn of the Screw. I honestly have no idea what either of them is about, but I’m okay with that. I just know that most people loved this one and think it’s Ruth Ware’s best book.

A BOOK THAT INSPIRED A FILM/TV ADAPTATION THAT YOU REALLY LOVE, BUT YOU JUST HAVEN’T READ IT YET

Carrie by Stephen King is the first one I thought of. I really enjoyed the movie, but I haven’t found time to pick up the book. I think I’ve been a little worried about picking up King again because I didn’t like “It.” I do think I will enjoy some of his other novels, though, and Carrie’s a shorter one, so it’s manageable. Again, this is not a high priority of mine, but I will hopefully read it eventually.

A BOOK YOU SEE ALL OVER INSTAGRAM BUT HAVEN’T PICKED UP YET

the devouring gray

The Devouring Gray. This book is beautiful, so it’s no surprise that everyone has been photographing it. I think I will absolutely love it, so I definitely want to read it eventually. I’ve been eyeing this one ever since it came out. I’ve been very bad at staying on top of new releases, though because of my long list of backlist titles to read.

let's chat

That is it for this tag! These are just a few of the many books that I should have read by now but haven’t. This was a lot of fun, so I tag everyone to do it if you want to!

Be sure to leave a comment telling me what books you haven’t read yet but really should have.

Jessica

Almost Home by Madisen Kuhn- Review / Blogtober Day 18

I was recently sent an ARC of Madisen Kuhn’s newest poetry collection, Almost Home. The book came out at the beginning of the month, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested in it!

I have read both of Madisen’s previous collections, so I was already familiar with her poetry, and I was very excited about this book.

In Almost Home, Madisen takes us on a journey through a home. At each location, we explore a different part of her life, and get to look deeper into her mind. This concept was so cool. I really loved the theme of a house; it was very unique.

almost home review

The writing itself was beautiful. Madisen knows exactly how to pull you in and keep you close. You feel like you are following her life through her eyes, like you have lived through It yourself.

I found myself relating to so many of the poems, even if the events she was describing are not ones I have gone through. The feelings they evoke are some we can all connect with. The imagery in each poem was beautiful. It made you feel like you were walking through a forest, strolling through a city, and laying in a field of grass, depending on the poem you were reading.

I honestly wish I could emulate her style in my own poetry because I love the way she can cause all of your senses to stir.

Her writing has also really improved since her first collection. You can see how much she’s grown as a writer and has found her voice.

Overall this was a pretty solid collection.

Rating: 4/5 stars

let's chat

If you’ve read this one, please feel free to share your thoughts with me! I would love to hear them :)

Jessica

24 Hour Read-a-thon Recap / Blogtober Day 15

Hello everyone! I recently did a 24 hour read-a-thon in order to get the amount of books I had on my TBR under control. I was in the middle of like 5+ books, so I needed to lower that number and work through some! Here’s a look at how it went:

12 am:

  • I stayed up for about a half an hour to read “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” I read the first “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” book a couple days before! I have a bind up of all three books, so my goal was to finish the other two during the read-a-thon. I got about 40 pages in before I called it a night. I am not a night person at all.

8:30 am:

  • I went for a run in the morning, I showered, and made breakfast. During the run and the making of my food, I listened to the audiobook of Frankenstein! I thought this would be the perfect read for this read-a-thon because it’s only a 7 hour audiobook (3.5 hours at 2x speed), and it is a spooky classic! I’ve never read it before, so I thought why not now? I was able to get about 2 hours into it, and I was enjoying it a lot!

scary stories

11:00 am:

  • I finished reading “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” It only took about another half hour or 40 minutes or so. The book is only about 100 pages, so it was definitely a quick read. I enjoyed this one a lot, it was better than the first in my opinion. I gave it 4 stars.

5:00 pm:

  • Then, I went to a few stores with my mom and grandma because I needed to buy some things for school. It took up a few hours, so we didn’t get home until about 3pm. I ate some food, and then I started the final book in the bind up of Scary Stories- More Tales to Chill Your Bones. I finished this one in about an hour as well. My favorite of the three was definitely the second one, but they were all pretty good!

8:00 pm:

  • I had four hours left to listen to 5 hours of an audiobook (about 2.5 hours on 2x speed). I tried to listen to as much as I could, but I honestly wasn’t in the mood to finish the book that night. I listened on and off until about 10:30 pm, and called it a night.

Final Stats:

  • Finished two and a half books.
  • About 300 pages total (I wasn’t keeping track, especially with the audiobook)

let's chat

I am happy with the amount of reading I did. And I finished Frankenstein the next day! So I definitely did a significant amount of reading over the course of the weekend, which is all that I wanted to do!

I love doing read-a-thons like this because I don’t usually get to spend a lot of time reading each day. This helps me make it a priority :)

Jessica

Get To Know Ya Tag / Blogtober Day 14

Tag

Hello everyone! I am here with another tag today. This is one I saw on May’s blog, and it looked like a lot of fun. I wasn’t tagged, but wanted to do it anyway :)

1. Favorite book of all time

 

 

This is too hard to answer with just one book. Here are my top 4 (not in order)

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

2. Favorite book five years ago

 

 

Again, I can’t answer this with just one answer, so I have 2 books that I remember loving back in middle school.

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

3. Favorite duology/trilogy/series

For this one I would have to go with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. This was my favorite series throughout high school, and it means so much to me.

4. The last book you read

It’s been a few days since I finished a book, but I think it was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley!

5. The last poetry book you read

This one was Maroon Daydreams by Cheyenne Raine. It was really well written and a pretty short read!

 

 

6. What book most influenced your life?

This is such a hard question. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was definitely a very important read that touched me in so many ways. I also want to mention Turtles All the Way Down and Every Last Word because those are two books I really saw myself represented in. This one is tough, I feel like there are so many.

7. A book that made you ugly cry

The Starless Sea actually made me cry a couple of times, I really love that book. I wouldn’t say “ugly cry,” though. A couple of tears just slipped. 

the lady rogue

8. A book that made you laugh

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett definitely made me laugh over some of the witty banter! Jenn Bennett’s books always make me both swoon and giggle. She gives her characters so much life and depth!

9. A character you’d like to be for the day

I would love to be Celia from The Night Circus. That entire world is so incredibly cool, and to be able to live in it would be incredible. Also, she has magic powers, and that would be so fun. There really aren’t a lot of worlds I’d actually want to go to or characters I’d want to be because they usually go on some crazy and super scary adventures that I would not do well in if I’m being honest. I’m not meant to be a YA protagonist. But Celia is someone I’d love to be.

10. A book so good you dreamt about it

I’ve definitely dreamed about going to Hogwarts when I was younger. I can’t remember ever dreaming about any other books though.

Emma in the Night

11. A book you DNFed

I DNFed Emma in the Night by Alice Walker for now. I want to pick it back up, but I wasn’t in the mood for it when I first picked it up. I also DNFed The Diviners, but again, I’m going to read it eventually, I just picked it up at a time where I couldn’t focus on a super complex narrative. I am actually very excited to read both of those, though! I don’t truly DNF (abandon completely) that many books. If I don’t want to read a book I know it from the first page most of the time, so I don’t even consider it started.

12. What book are you most excited to read?

I’m really excited to read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. From the people who’ve read ARCs, I heard it was really good. I feel like it will totally be up my alley, so I’m excited to pick it up as soon as I can! I’m also excited to read Poemsia by Lang Leav, which is her second novel! I enjoy her poetry but haven’t had a chance to pick up Sad Girls, her first novel, yet. This one is about…you guessed it! A poet. I probably won’t get to it for a while, but it’s on my TBR!

let's chat

I hope you enjoyed this post! I tag…

Kim / Jordan / Vinny / Melanie 

See you tomorrow!

Jessica

Currently Reading / Blogtober Day 13

Hello! Today is a chilly day, so I’m snuggled up in a warm blanket, I made myself some tea, and I’m about to start reading a book. Sundays are the perfect day for this type of activity.

I thought I would tell you all about what I’m reading and what my thoughts are so far. I’m really proud of myself because I’m actually sticking to a TBR for once. It’s incredible. I am currently in the middle of 4 (technically 5, but I put one on hold for now) books, and it’s stressing me out just a little bit, so I thought I would tell you what they are! Maybe this will get me to read them faster (hahahahaha please send help).

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin:

This is an e-ARC I got a little while ago, but I wasn’t able to read it before the publication date. I am now trying to buddy read it, but it’s been a bit difficult to get into. That being said, I’m still only a few pages in, so I can’t really give my thoughts on this one yet. The e-ARC is also formatted a bit awkwardly, so that’s putting me off from it, too. I’m hoping to pick it back up over the next few days and get a little deeper into it!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert:

This is another e-ARC, but luckily I’m enjoying this one a lot more! I think it has actually helped me get out of a slump I was in for a few days. I’m almost done with this one now, so I think it’ll be around 4 stars for me! It’s a cute romance and it’s a quick read. I might even finish it by tonight if I have some time. It comes out next month, so I recommend checking it out if you like romances!

 

Disconnected, Volume 2 edited by Michelle Halket:

This is an anthology of poetry and short stories by a ton of different poets that I love! Basically, one person writes a poem, and another writes a story inspired by the poem, and so on! I love the concept so much. I have only read a couple of the stories so far, but I’m loving them! This book is already out, so make sure to pick up a copy if you’re interested!

Furyborn by Claire Legrand:

I also have an ARC of this one (oops I didn’t realize these were all ARCs), but I’m actually listening to the audiobook of it. The physical copy was a bit intimidating, and it just happened that I got the audiobook from my library a few days ago. I really love the story! I’m so glad that I finally decided to pick it up, and I will most likely be continuing on with the series at some point!

let's chat

Those are all of the books I’m currently reading! I’ve had a pretty good reading month so far, especially compared to last month’s. Let me know what you think of these books if you’ve read them.

Bye!

Jessica

Books I Meant to Read Last Year / Blogtober Day 12

Hello! Today I am doing another post inspired by The Library Looter’s Blogtober list. I am going to share three books I meant to read last year with you guys, and they are all ones I still haven’t read.

I know, I’m disappointed in myself, too.

I actually have a post up about the books I want to read before this year ends, but I made one of those last year as well. These are 3 that were on that list:

 

The Diviners by Libba Bray

I initially planned on reading this at the end of last year, near the Halloween season. That didn’t happen. I tried to start the audiobook this year, but I felt like I needed the physical, so I stopped. I will read this eventually. I swear. It’s just a longer book, so I don’t have the motivation to start it. BUT, there are a bunch of read-a-thons happening for this book very soon, and I may possibly join one!

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

This book I will probably get to either this year or early next year. I really feel like I’m going to like it, but I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet. The goal is to read it in November if I can, but who knows what will happen. I need to get through my October TBR first!

My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

I’ve talked about wanting to read this one (and the second book) so many times. I’m actually embarrassed that I haven’t read it yet because of how I often I said I was going to. But I just haven’t been in the mood for it, even though I’m really interested in it. I will get to it eventually, definitely at some point in 2020, and I want you all to hold me accountable for that.

let's chat

What books did you mean to read last year and still not get to? I feel like I could make this list incredibly long because I am so bad at getting to the books on my TBR.

Jessica

The Sunshine Blogger Award / Blogtober Day 9

Tag

Hey, loves! I was recently tagged to do the Sunshine Blogger Award by Sofi from A Book. A Thought. and I thought it looked like so much fun (yes, I was tagged months ago. I’m late to everything, just ignore it.)! Thank you so much to her for tagging me, I’m honored!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions asked
  • Nominate 11 more blogs and give them new questions

The Questions:

What was the last book you strongly disliked?

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey. I gave it one star because I did not enjoy it at all. There were so many issues I had with it. You can check out my rant review on Goodreads here.

How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?

Again, you can find my rating system on Goodreads. I scale the books I read from 1-5 stars. I do not rate DNFs, and I do not rate (most) books I have to read for school. Here’s a basic rundown:

  • 1 Star- I really didn’t like this book and I would never recommend it to anyone. I had a really hard time finishing it, probably came very close to DNF’ing it.
  • 2 Stars- This book had potential but there were many things that made me dislike it. Usually, I liked one element of it, but not enough to enjoy the whole book (i.e. just the plot, characters, etc.)
  • 3 Stars- I enjoyed this book- It was well written and was solid structure-wise, just not one of my favorites! Probably wouldn’t read it again.
  • 4 Stars- This book is great. Nearly perfect and I would recommend it to many. I loved it so much, and it’s definitely well written. Might consider re-reading!
  • 5 Stars- Wow, I love this book. I probably finished it quickly because I couldn’t put it down. Flawless and perfect in my opinion. Absolute favorite book and can read it over and over forever.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

I actually only really like plain pizza! Occasionally, I’ll get a white pizza with broccoli or a ziti pizza, but that’s as crazy as I’ll get.

EE1B8357-B0E4-4298-9D66-D74147D2D08E.JPG

Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters or a boring plot with amazing characters?

I definitely prefer a boring plot with amazing characters. Characters always make or break a book for me. If I don’t care about the characters, I don’t care about the action in the story either. I need to be able to relate to or connect with the characters in some way in order to enjoy the plot. I also don’t need a book to be plot-heavy as long as the characters are great.

However, by great characters, I don’t mean that they have to be morally good. I love villains. I love morally grey characters. They just have to be fully developed and be done well!

How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?

I honestly couldn’t tell you because I’ve started and stopped a few books that I still plan on reading. If we’re going by Goodreads, it’s three. But this is subject to change at any minute. As far as favorite, I don’t feel like I’m far enough into most of them to be able to decide that just yet. I’d have to say The Secret History as of now, but that’s because I have read the farthest in this one!

What was the last book review you posted?

It was a review of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern and I’m kinda really proud of it, so you should check it out ;)

sunshine blogger

Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?

I don’t have a preference between YA, NA, and adult. I enjoy all of them equally. I do tend to read mainly YA, but I have definitely branched out to more adult and NA books in the past year. However, I don’t tend to gravitate towards MG. I’ve read a few MG books in the past year or so, but again, I need to be able to relate to the characters in a book, and as I’m past the suggested age for MG books, I do not really relate to them anymore.

Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)

Sarah J. Maas. I’ve read ACOTAR but never continued the series. I’ve just heard many problematic things about her and her books. I also don’t plan on reading anything else by Rainbow Rowell because of the racism in Eleanor and Park (which is the only book of hers I’ve read). Basically, whenever an author is problematic, I write them off from my TBR list.

What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?

I think any and all marginalized rep is important. There are still many minority groups that are not getting the recognition that they need and deserve in books. Race is obviously one that needs more representation, as well as sexual orientation and chronic and mental illness.

Do you listen to music while reading?

I technically can, but I usually don’t. If I’m in a really noisy environment where I can’t hear my own thoughts, I might put in headphones and listen to acoustic music. But when I’m just at home, I don’t.

Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?

bookstagram

If I answered this a few months ago, I would have said book twitter- I spent more of my time on there and have made most of my friendships because of it. I thought Instagram was nice for my creative side and for building an audience, I never really used it for creating friendships and actually meeting people. But I’ve been spending a lot more time on Instagram in the past few weeks, and it’s definitely growing on me. I’ve actually found that I spend less time scrolling on Twitter and more time on Instagram, especially recently!

You should definitely follow me on both Instagram and Twitter, though! I post a ton of updates on each platform :)

My Questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. Do you write in (annotate) your books?
  3. What’s your favorite tv show?
  4. What’s the last book you rated five stars?
  5. What genres do you read the most of?
  6. Do you buy books based on covers? If so, what do you look for in a cover?
  7. What are your favorite books tropes?
  8. How do you organize your shelves?
  9. Do you prefer paperbacks or hardbacks?
  10. What fictional world would you want to travel to the most?
  11. How many books do you own that you haven’t read yet?

 

I Tag…

Kerri // Nikki // Amanda // Kristin // Chloe // Holly // Tiffany // Avhlee

let's chat

Thanks for reading, and again thank you to Sofi for the tag! I had so much fun doing this.

Were your answers similar or very different to mine? Let me know!

Jessica

I Read 5 Books With Anxiety and OCD Rep / Blogtober Day 8

I’m always looking for books that I feel represent my anxiety and OCD in the most authentic, realistic way possible. Some of my favorite books are Turtles All the Way Down by John Green and Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone because I could truly see myself in the characters they portrayed. It’s so hard to find books that make me feel this way, though.

This summer, I set myself a challenge of reading books with these two representations to potentially find a new favorite read. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and I chose five books that I was the most interested in. I documented my thoughts along the way, and I was pleasantly surprised as well (mostly).

Here are my thoughts on those five books:

the rest of us just live here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness:

This was the first book that I read, and unfortunately, I started off at a not-so-great point. I gave this book 3 stars. It was just extremely average to me. I was actually even a bit confused during some points of the story, especially in the beginning, which also hindered my enjoyment.

Nothing stuck out, and the OCD representation was lacking for me. It just didn’t feel like the best representation, but I can only speak from my experience with the MI. One thing that I really appreciated was its diversity in the characters.

Rating: 3 stars

final draft

Final Draft by Riley Redgate:

Things definitely went up after that first read, though. I was initially really scared to read this book. I have wanted to read it ever since it came out because, duh, it’s a book about writing. I’m a reader, but I’m also a writer, so getting to combine those two? Incredible. But, my expectations were set really high, so I was worried that I would be disappointed.

Luckily, I wasn’t. I loved the writing style of this book. It was done really well, and I found myself underlining so many quotes that I enjoyed. The cast of characters is also so diverse. The main character, Laila, is pansexual, biracial, and plus-size, and she also deals with anxiety. I loved the representation of MI in this one. It hit very close to home, and I related to Laila in so many other ways, too.

What I really loved is that Laila has many flaws. She is not a perfect character by any means. She goes through many changes from beginning to end of the book as she struggles with her writing. I appreciate the way her character was done. It didn’t sugarcoat anything. But, this is definitely not a book for everyone, especially if you don’t like character-driven books.

TW: death, depression, anxiety

Rating: 5 stars

you asked for perfect

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman:

The next book I read was another really incredible one. I have never related to a book more in my life. I have been an ambitious person my entire life. I have always dreamed of my future college & career over boys & cool experiences like most of my friends.

But the pressure students face is insane. It can be extremely draining and stressful. I cried during this book because it got me thinking about my own high school experience & how much I hated it because of the expectations my school placed on its students. I was so unhappy for 4 years because I felt like I was suffocating the entire time.

The anxiety that Ariel struggles with as a student is SO RELATABLE. That feeling where “you think you constantly need to be doing work and if you’re not then you’re a failure” is very true.

I do wish this book had been a little longer so that some of the scenes could have been a bit more fleshed out. But it was so beautiful & very true to my competitive high school experience.

Rating: 5 stars

eliza and her monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia:

This book I’m still a little torn on. The anxiety representation was amazing. Again, it felt super realistic, and that is the main factor I look for in MI representation. However, it took me a really long time to get into. I have never been as big into fandoms as Eliza is, so the entire time I found myself struggling to connect to that aspect. And it’s the entire plot of the story.

But, I did really like the characters and I think this was a super unique story. Also, it has illustrations inside which just added so much life to story for me.

Rating: 4 stars

four weeks, five people

Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu:

The final book was actually suggested to me by EmmmaBooks. I’m sure you all know Emma on Youtube. She is one of my favorite booktubers ever. I trust her opinions and recommendations for books with MI representation, so when I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it.

I had actually never heard of it prior to this, so I went in completely blind.

There was so much representation in this one. It follows five different characters who suffer from different MI and are all taken to a camp for a “wilderness treatment experience” over the summer. This book gave me representation for OCD and anxiety, as well as depression, narcissistic personality disorder, anorexia, and dissociation.

While I can only speak to the OCD and anxiety, the rep was so realistic. I could truly feel the pain and emotions that all 5 of these teens were going through. It doesn’t sugar coat mental illness; it tells it how it is.

It also doesn’t have an unrealistic “everything gets better and they all live happily ever after” ending. I really appreciate the way this book handles the subject matter, and I’m so happy I got to experience it and these characters.

TW: the above mentioned MIs, panic attacks, suicide/self harm, and possibly more.

Rating: 4 stars

I’d say in order from my favorite book to least favorite, this is how it’d go:

  1. You asked for Perfect
  2. Final Draft
  3. Four Weeks, Five People
  4. Eliza and Her Monsters
  5. The Rest of Us Just Live Here

let's chat

That is all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found some new books to add to your TBR. If you have any recommendations for other books with mental illness representation, please leave them in the comments below.

See you tomorrow!

Jessica