Today, I’m sharing my most popular posts for the season of Winter 2020/2021. In order to schedule posts ahead, I have decided to define the season by months rather than dates, so these posts were published on or between March 1, 2021 and May 31, 2021.

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10. The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold Review

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Gabrielle’s parents send her from Haiti to live in Brooklyn with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. Her parents plan to follow in some months, but want to send Gabrielle now. Gabrielle is so excited to move to America, but once she starts school, she feels like she will never fit in.

Then, Gabrielle meets a witch who offers her three wishes. If Gabrielle makes all three wishes, the witch will be granted her essence. Gabrielle plans to stop at just one – to speak English perfectly. But she soon realizes that not even speaking the language will make the other kids think she is truly American.

Gabrielle makes some friends along the way, including Carmen, a friend from school, and Rocky, a rat who wants to be a rabbit. These two help her on her journey to make her wishes come true, all while outsmarting the evil witch who wants her essence.

9. To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn Review

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On to the next one! After loving everythingggg about Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, and seeing a sneak peak of the premise of Book 5 in the Bridgerton series, I immediately downloaded To Sir Phillip, With Love to my Kindle. Book 5 in the Bridgerton series focuses on Eloise, the Bridgerton sibling I’ve found myself most interested in during my reading leading up to this book. With an interesting premise – arranging a marriage of convenience with one’s pen pal – and a character I’ve come to love already, I was really excited to dive into this one, and it did not disappoint.

8. 5 Controversial Characters I Love

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Lastly, there’s no way around it: Severus Snape is not a good guy. He bullies children, aligns himself with a wizard supremacist movement, and can’t stop creepily crushing on his childhood friend. However, he’s a complex character who will always have a special place in my heart. Snape does some terrible things, but also some amazing things, showing the duality of individuals. Now, if this were real life, I don’t think I could extend the same forgiveness to Snape, and I totally understand why he has so many haters. I just can’t count myself among them.

7. How Your Reading Has Changed This Year – Spring 2021 Bookish Blog Hop

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I am reading more now than I was in the past. I’m crediting the pandemic for that, though it’s not necessarily because I have more time. Rather, reading is something that kept me sane and distracted me. I really got into book blogging and picked up some more work tasks (I’m a librarian) that require me to read more. I first realized reading could be a form of escape when I was a child, after my grandmother died, and I’m finding that same comfort in it now.

6. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow Review

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Hamilton has always been one of my favorite founding fathers, and for much of his book I was pulled back to my APUSH days in 2006-2007. There were so many anecdotes and little parts of his life that I had once known and completely forgot about. I also learned a lot about the area I grew up in and where I live now. For instance, I had no idea Hamilton was involved in the founding of Snug Harbor or that Aaron Burr died on Staten Island, both locations in walking (or maybe not walking now, but perhaps I would have attempted in the 1800’s) distance from my apartment.

5. Top Ten Tuesday: Places In Books I’d Love to Live

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This week’s theme is places in books I’d like to visit. This was such an easy and fun prompt for me. I can’t wait to see what locations other bloggers chose!

4. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn Review

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Where do I begin with this one? Francesca was not a Bridgerton sibling that I particularly cared about leading up to this book. We see very little of her in the previous novels. But when we’re introduced to her, boy is she interesting. Francesca is not as cocky and loud as her other siblings, but instead has a lovely, quiet confidence. And then there’s Michael, her love interest, who is also spectacular. We first meet Michael as Francesca’s almost-brother-in-law. Francesca was married young to Michael’s cousin John, and they were genuinely in love. Francesca was close friends with Michael, and loved hearing about his scandalous escapades as a known rake. Michael, meanwhile, harbored deep romantic feelings for Francesca that he refused to act upon. John was his best friend, and he saw how in love the two were.

3. 30 Books to Read Before You Turn 30

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Toay I am sharing 30 books I read before I turned 30. This is a prompt I gleaned from “60 Blog Post Ideas for Book Bloggers” by Jo Linsdell. These were all books I loved and recommend to any other fans of the genre or who just think they sound interesting!

2. My NetGalley Shelf

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I wanted to share every single book on my NetGalley shelf with you, but truth be told – there are too dang many of them! Not only do I request books for personal reading and blog tours, but I also request books for my job as a children’s librarian. I decided to share the Top 10 I am excited to read with links to request them on NetGalley (if still available) and buy/preorder them on Amazon, as well as summaries.

1.18 Romance Tropes I Never Want to Read Again

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So many of the tropes I mentioned above touch on this: “it’s okay when a woman does it,” kidnappers and victims falling in love, being treated like property, and potentially some of the other tropes as well! Abuse is never okay and an abusive character should always be portrayed as a bad guy, or potentially a reformed side character who doesn’t get a happy ending.

Thank you for reading my book reviews and other bookish posts and supporting my blog!