CAITLIN READS: Book Bloggers’ Book Recommendations // ft. Scythe, Graceling, & more!

I’m sorry the second part of this blog series took so long to come.

As you all know, I’m a Mess™—and not the cute kind. I’m sure ya’ll don’t want to hear the same old lousy excuses, so let’s just get right into the post—because I’m so excited to unveil Caitlin Reads #2!! This time the theme is Book Bloggers’ Book Recommendations.

As I’m sure you know, recommendations and bookish lists are quite popular on the blogosphere. So I selected four books from four different book bloggers’ recommendation lists to read for this post. The aim of this Caitlin Reads will be to answer the question, “Can we trust book bloggers’ recommendations?“.

In case you missed it, Caitlin Reads is a feature I started in the beginning of 2020. For every post, I read a couple of books that fit a certain theme. I give updates as I’m reading the books, and also include pictures from my real life in order to give the post more of a “reading vlog” feel.

Book #1: Scythe by Neal Shusterman, recommended by Caro @ Book Cheshire Cat

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The first book recommendation I’m reading is from Caro @ Bookcheshirecat, one of the most wonderful human beings ever. Somehow, she manages to stay on top of blogging and reading despite being busy??? How?? Anyways, go follow her if you haven’t yet. (And buddy read a book with her, because she’s an amazing buddy reader. 😉)

For Black History Month in February (when I sadly wasn’t able to read any books by Black authors even though I really wanted to 😞), Caro shared with us Books by Black Authors 📚 #BlackHistoryMonth. And thanks to that list, I now know that Neal Shusterman is Black?? I don’t know how I never knew, but I’m super grateful to know now. Alongside his other books, she recommended Scythe, which I’ve seen a lot of hype for!

My history with this book is complicated. I’ve removed and added it to my TBR countless times. I’ve heard that it has insta-love, which is my mortal enemy, so that and some negative reviews have made me unsure if I’m gonna love it. However, I’ve only heard good things about the Arc of the Scythe series lately, so I think it’s about time I started it.

16%– I’m repeating what everyone who’s read this series says about it, but the world is so cool!!! I mean, how awesome is the concept of a future where humans have conquered death?? It’s such an interesting topic to explore, but I cannot begin to fathom the amount of brain cells you need in order to come up with a world like this, so Neal Shusterman already has my respect. I love how this world is a utopia in every sense of the word, yet the narrative is always subtly asking you whether it’s truly perfect or not.

I also love the writing style! And I’m very excited to learn more about the main characters! Right now, my favorite is Citra because she’s so feisty. But Rowan’s likable too—he’s coming off as a bit of a cinnamon roll.

37%– Not to keep throwing the word interesting around, but the scythes are so interesting! In a world without death, people called scythes are tasked to kill people in order to control population growth. The Scythedom is seemingly perfect and unbiased in the way it gleans (kills) people, yet there is still some corruption in the Scythedom. Some scythes even take pleasure in gleaning.

Citra and Rowan are taken on as apprentices by a single scythe, but only one of them will become a scythe at the end of their apprenticeship.

Sadly, I don’t find myself caring for either of them. I’m much more invested in this book’s worldbuilding, which, for me, is its strongest point. But right now I find myself more interested in Rowan than Citra. I find the way he views becoming a scythe more fascinating.

38%– Citra and Rowan kissed already?? They literally have zero chemistry!! I didn’t expect the insta-love to be this bad.

41%– The story just took an exciting turn, and I’m eager to see where it goes from here. Though I’ve already been spoiled for something regarding this plot point lmao.

FINISHED.

I rated Scythe 3 stars, which makes me sad because it could’ve easily been a 4 or 5-star read. The romance was the definition of underdeveloped. And though Citra and Rowan were fleshed out characters, I failed to truly care for them.

However, in my opinion, this book is worth reading for its worldbuilding alone! It’s also an easy book to fly through, and I’m very happy that I decided to read it. I have high hopes for its sequels!


Book #2: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, recommended by Margaret @ Weird Zeal

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The second recommendation I’m reading is from Margaret @ Weird Zeal, who gives amazing book recommendations! She’s just so good at convincing you that a book is good. One of my favorite recommendations of hers is Backlist recommendations: books from 2000-2009. This year, I’m trying my best to prioritize backlist books, so this list was perfect for me!

For the year 2008, Margaret recommended Graceling by Kristin Cashore, which I’ve had an unread physical copy of for years. Back then, I bought just about any book that caught my interest… and proceeded to not read most of them. I was a huge money waster as a child. At least, for the sake of Caitlin Reads, I’m finally gonna read my copy.

Page 170– In this world, there are people called Gracelings who are Graced with an ability. There are a wide variety of Graces out there, and no two are the same. Some are Graced with cooking, climbing trees, swimming, mind reading, and even holding their breath.

lol i’m still winning this quarantine season

We’re following Katsa, who’s Graced with the ability to kill. At the beginning of the book, Katsa saves the father of the king of Lienid (one of the Seven Kingdoms), who has been kept in the dungeons of a foreign king. Katsa and her allies are attempting to figure out why this Lienid grandfather was kidnapped.

Katsa also strikes up a friendship with Prince Po of Lienid, the only one who can match her fighting skills. While I think it’s obvious that there’s going to be a romance between Katsa and Po, I appreciate that there’s no insta-love. Katsa is still learning to trust Po. But I don’t like that Po’s character doesn’t extend much beyond being the soft and playful male love interest.

All in all, I’m enjoying this so far, but I can’t deny that I want more from the worldbuilding. The world is one of your run-of-the-mill fantasy worlds, and sadly, I think I’ve outgrown worlds like that.

Page 254– At first I thought that Katsa was too stereotypical. But I’ve just realized that Katsa is supposed to come across as the stereotypical badass female character. For almost her entire life, the whole point of her existence has been to be a killer. A big part of this book deals with her realizing that she can and should be more than a weapon.

Katsa and Po just confessed their love for each other a few chapters ago, and I’m not too happy about that because I LIVE for slow-burn. But I love how respectful Po is of Katsa!! He’s still too stereotypical for my taste, but better a stereotypical loving and gentle love interest than a stereotypical annoying and abusive one. Everyone needs a Po in their lives—he’s so dedicated to Katsa, and is always mindful of her needs and wants. 🥺

I’m also loving the concept of the Graces a lot more! A person can literally have ANY Grace, and it gets so interesting when you find out that someone is disguising their true Grace, or that someone’s Grace is not what they first thought it was.

Page 364– Child adoption trope!!! This book has the child adoption trope!! Katsa and Po ended up having to care for a child named Bitterblue during their journey, and I love Bitterblue so much. She’s so spunky and way more useful than you’d expect a child to be.

OMG if I didn’t think that Katsa was badass before, then I definitely do now!! I completely take back what I said about her being stereotypical. The chapters I just finished reading… Phew. My respect for Katsa and her survival skills is now 100x more intense. (If you’ve read the book, you probably know.)

FINISHED.

I ended up enjoying this book enough to give it 4 stars! The worldbuilding was lacking for me, but the plot was entertaining. Also, there was disability representation!!


Book #3: Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz, recommended by Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

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I got this recommendation from Malka @ Paper Procrastinators!! If you don’t follow her blog yet, you absolutely should! She co-runs it with Chana, and they’re honestly the best blogging duo out there. 🥺

A while ago, they posted the The Ultimate Recommendations Book Tag!. (They were kind enough to tag me, and sadly, I haven’t done it yet, BUT it’s because I love so few books. And when I give my ultimate book recommendations, I want to make sure that all of them are books I truly love.) It was filled with amazing-sounding books I hadn’t heard of, so please go check it out! For the question, “Recommend a book you don’t talk about enough”, Malka answered Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz.

I know few people who’ve read Sick Kids in Love, but all of them seem to love it. The representation is apparently really good (I’m pretty sure it’s #ownvoices; I’ve tried to confirm with research, but I haven’t found anything), and the blurb guarantees that the main characters won’t die in the end! I haven’t read a lot of books with chronic illness representation, so I’m excited to start this!

38%– This book is about Isabel and Sasha, two chronically ill teens. Isabel has rheumatoid arthritis while Sasha has Gaucher’s disease. And as the title implies, it’s a cute-ass story about them falling in love.

Right off the bat, this book called my healthy person self out. You know how this book’s title is “Sick Kids in Love”? Well, that made me think that Isabel and Sasha were being “”defined by their illnesses.”” And in the book, Isabel and Sasha have a conversation about how healthy people are always unnecessarily telling them not to define themselves by their sickness, because Isabel calls herself “sick girl,” and healthy people around her somehow have a problem with the name.

In reality, this book never defines Sasha and Isabel by their illnesses. It actually does the opposite—it’s simply a story about two people who happen to be sick falling in love.

What Sasha and Isabel have to go through because of their illnesses is sometimes hard to read about, but it’s truly eye-opening. As a healthy person (especially in the time of COVID-19), I’m more aware of my privilege than ever.

That being said, this book definitely isn’t written for healthy people, and if you’re sick, I’m sure it will resonate even more with you. There are probably so many nuances to the representation that I can’t catch since I’m so privileged.

FINISHED.

fun fact: i like eating taco shells—just taco shells

I’m so sorry I didn’t update more. 😫 I listened to this book on audio, and I’m not the best audio listener, so I probably missed some things. That being said, I loved this book—I’m rating it 4 stars.

Calling the representation in this book stellar is an understatement. It wasn’t just the absolutely superb chronic illness representation, but there was so much more diversity too! Isabel and Sasha are both Jewish, and there are multiple LGBT+ characters and people of color.

I recommend this book to absolutely everyone!! Reading it will undoubtedly open your eyes to how horrible it is for sick people at times. Public transportation isn’t that accommodating; some doctors treat them with disrespect; healthy people are insensitive to their struggles… The list goes on and on.

But besides the representation, this book is just a good book in general. The romance is so cute and healthy; a good chunk of the story actually follows Sasha and Isabel after they decide to be together. And if you’re not big on romance, this book follows female friendships too!


Book #4: Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore, recommended by May @ Forever and Everly

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I got the last recommendation I’m reading for this post from May’s list, 11 Ownvoices YA Latinx Book Recommendations to Celebrate and Read Beyond Latinx Heritage Month!. (Obviously, it’s not Latinx Heritage Month right now, but we should read Latinx and diverse books all year long.) May regularly mentions Anna-Marie McLemore’s books in her posts, and this time was no different!

I’ve wanted to read an Anna-Marie McLemore book for SO long. 🥺 Anna-Marie McLemore is a non-binary Latinx author who always writes magical realism books with queer and Latinx rep. I haven’t even read any of their books yet, but I already know (from what I’ve heard) that they have beautiful writing.

Page 161– I’m unbelievably sad, because this is turning out to be a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” Stories with great themes and messages aren’t for me. I read for the plot and characters, so even if a book has beautiful messages, it probably won’t be enough for me to love it.

mangoes, because of may’s brand!!

But besides that, this book has a lot of good. Even though I already knew that Anna-Marie McLemore’s writing was beautiful before reading this, I now know for sure. And the magical realism elements are so well-done.

The representation is also amazing. It’s #ownvoices for the Latinx rep, and there’s a trans boy named Page who goes by he/him and she/her pronouns. (I once read that Anna-Marie McLemore realized they were nonbinary by writing about Page too!)

I’m just a little… bored. I haven’t formed a connection with any of the characters. Plus, the excessive eye descriptions are kind of annoying me.

Page 285– Ahhh, I hate that there’s insta-love. I know this is a fairytale retelling, and fairytales are filled with insta-love, but I just can’t get fully onboard with how fast the relationships are developing.

Oh, and also, I forgot to give you guys a synopsis when I last updated. This is a retelling of two fairytales, Snow-White and Rose-Red and The Ugly Duckling. It follows two sisters: Blanca and Roja. Every member of Blanca and Roja’s family is cursed to bear two girls. Once the younger sister turns fifteen, a bunch of swans, who used to be their female relatives, will choose one sister to turn into a swan while another will get to stay human. Blanca and Roja love each other and don’t want to be forced apart, but they’ll soon learn how powerful the swans are.

I love the discussions surrounding skin color in this book!! Blanca is considered lucky to be white passing, but the fact that she doesn’t look like her family members alienates her from them. However, white people also won’t completely accept her, because her eyes are brown instead of blue, and her skin isn’t as pale as theirs.

Meanwhile, Roja is dark-skinned, which leads people to think that she’s the “evil” sister. While Blanca is the princess, she is the witch, and the majority of her family expects her to be the one who gets turned into a swan. I think this is why Roja is my favorite. People like her rarely exist in fairytales, and if they do, they aren’t the ones that get a happy ending. I love that, despite that, she’s still trying her best to be the one who stays human.

This book is making me hate swans. You’d think swans would have something better to do with their lives other than force sisters to compete against each other, but no. They won’t leave Blanca and Roja alone, and they’re hell-bent on turning one of them into a swan. 🧐

FINISHED.

The author’s note!!! This book has one of the best author’s notes I’ve ever read. 😭 I loved Blanca y Roja’s ending message so much, and I’d highly recommend you read it just for that. However, I still rated it 3 stars, because sadly, peculiar, message-heavy stories and insta-love are not my cups of tea.


So, can we trust book bloggers’ recommendations?

I think, based on this post, the answer is YES. Compared to the last Caitlin Reads, where I rated all the books I read 3 stars except one, which I rated 2, two 4-star books and two 3-star books is a vast improvement!

But I’m sure you can already tell that this post isn’t actually meant to answer the question—of course we can trust book bloggers’ recommendations!!! Every opinion is subjective, and every book has an audience.

I wanna say a big thank you to all the book bloggers whose recommendations I read for this post!!! And to all the book bloggers who give amazing book recommendations. ❤❤ Thank you so much for spreading the love for marginalized authors, life-changing books, and entertaining reads.

I can’t properly express how happy I am that I finally posted the second part of this new feature!! I feel really bad that it took so long to come—hopefully the wait won’t be this long next time.

I know I should be asking this below, in the “talk to me” section, but let’s be honest: you probably don’t read that section. So I’m asking you here: what are your honest opinions on this blog series? Please comment any suggestions for improvement you may have—it is genuinely appreciated. Please just voice your opinion nicely because I have fragile feelings. 🥺

Also, what theme do you want to see a Caitlin Reads dedicated to?

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What is the best book you’ve read because of a book blogger’s recommendation?

53 thoughts on “CAITLIN READS: Book Bloggers’ Book Recommendations // ft. Scythe, Graceling, & more!

  1. I haven’t read any of these but I am so happy your reviewed Scythe because I was the same as you, I kept putting it and then removing it from my TBR list. I can now make peace with myself and decide to let it pass. I am curious though about Graceling and Sick kids in love

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  2. HOORAY, I’m so happy that you enjoyed Graceling!! And I’m honored that you chose my recommendation for this post 😄 So glad it could live up to your expectations!! Ahhh I so agree with your thoughts – it’s fascinating how Katsa at first comes off as the stereotypical “strong female character” but then becomes so much more well rounded. And the child adoption trope is so good!!!
    Do you think you’ll read the rest of the books in the series? They’re all very different (Fire is like a slow burn war story that deals with abuse, and Bitterblue is like a murder mystery that deals with trauma), but they expand the world and are all fantastic in my opinion 😊
    All your pictures of food throughout are making me very hungry haha
    It was so interesting to read your thoughts on Scythe and Sick Kids in Love too, since both of those are also on my tbr! I think this is such a cool type of post and I look forward to seeing more of them 😄

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    1. thank you for giving such amazing recommendations, Margaret!!! I don’t think I’m gonna read the rest of the series though. :/ The worldbuilding in Graceling didn’t blow me away enough that I wanted to spend more time in the world. I’m sure the rest of the books are good—I just think that reading other books would be a better use of my time (ahhhh that sounds so mean, but imo, i’m good at telling when i’ll like a book or not, and my intuition is telling me that Fire and Bitterblue won’t be for me).
      haha, i’m sorry :(( i know how hungry food pics can make someone 😂 but eating is one of the only interesting things I do in quarantine, so there was nothing else to take a photo of :”)
      thank you so much, Margaret! i’m so excited to make more! I hope you enjoy Scythe and Sick Kids in Love!

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  3. Aaah I love this series of yours Caitlin! I’d love to see you read books with slow burns, thought not sure if that’s going to work since in my opinion the best slow burns are ones where it takes 2+ books for the characters to confess their feelings (and I’ve been spoiled by slow burns I read in urban fantasy hehe) but I’d love to see you do a Caitlin Reads themed around books with slow burns since I’m now curious, as to whether there’s a slow burn out there which just…doesn’t work?

    I’ve heard a lot about Scythe from the community but I’ve not gotten round to reading it but I do like the sound of the world building so maybe I’ll give it a try this year!

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    1. thank you so much, Clo! i’m so glad that you like caitlin reads 🥺🥺 wait, slow burn is one of my fave tropes!!!! and the BEST is when they take more than one book to get together OMGGG. send me your recs please 🥺 i might just read them for my own pleasure, not just for caitlin reads. but for me, a slow burn that doesn’t work is one that’s marketed as slow burn, but is actually just… medium burn or insta-love 😂

      yesss, the worldbuilding in Scythe is so interesting! i think it’s worth the read just for tha t<3

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      1. Eeeeek slow burns are my favs like there’s something so satisfying watching characters flirt and take their time dancing around the whole “do we have feelings for each other?” Ok so for recs a lot of these are erm longer series so…

        Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill – 13 books long and its an urban fantasy and one of my favs, it’s also adult which 11 year old me did not realise but I still fell for the world. It’s focused on vampires BUT we also explore so many other supernaturals and something I enjoyed was each book has a mystery to unravel and the characters are sassy and the series has made me laugh, cry and the slow burn is imo swoon worthy

        Sixth World series by Rebecca Roanhorse – 2 books are out but it’s confirmed to be a 4 book series and I am in love with the books. I started them because of Kal and they’re urban fantasy and dystopian, these books just leave me wanting more each time and I adore the characters and our MC is kickass.

        Guild Codex: Spellbound series by Annette Marie – 6 books currently out and it’s a confirmed 8 book series. I picked these up because one of my friends recommended them to me and again they’re urban fantasy focusing on mages and I adore the characters, their dialogue and just everything in the books. I’m thoroughly addicted to the series.

        Erm I probably have some more recs but these are the ones off my top of my head, if you do read them and don’t write a post on them feel free at any point to just waddle into my twitter/insta dms shrieking about things hehe.

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      2. I know!! slow burns are *painful*, but if they’re done right, the pay-off is so freaking’ worth it 😭 & in my opinion, couples that take a while to get together have the best chemistry, because you really see their relationship painstakingly transform into something romantic!

        Oh, I’ve heard of Chicagoland Vampires! sounds good 😍 wow, that series is long, but i think it’s completed already? which is what matters. also, don’t worry. i was also reading adult books at 11 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

        Ah, Trail of Lighting is at the TOP of my TBR! i’ve heard such good things about it, and apparently it deals with Native American folklore—which sounds amazing. i hate waiting for books though, so i might wait until the series is finished/the third book is out before I start reading it!

        Okay, Guild Codex is one that I’ve never heard of, but if it’s slow-burn, I’LL READ IT. and considering six books are already out, i’m pretty sure they’re enough to occupy my time while i wait for the series to be completed. I also love mages!! ❤

        Thank you so much for the recs, Clo! You really saved my life, lmao. Slow burns are my FAVES, especially if they take place over multiple books. I'll definitely let you know my thoughts on them ❤

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      3. Yassss. Chicagoland Vampires is completed at 13 books, yes Trial of Lightning does deal with Native American folklore and it’s amazing! Guild Codex, I’m on book 4 when it arrives but so far I’m calling it a slow burn xD

        Ah no worries, I hope you enjoy the recs! Eeek yas same, slow burns over multiple books just have my heart and money at this point. Yayyyy ❤

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  4. omg MY HEART!!! i’m very happy to see that you trust my recs enough to read them 🥺🥺💖 i’m sorry blanca y roja wasn’t perfect for you, but i’m still glad you enjoyed it. (wild beauty is my favorite from anna-marie, and it doesn’t have insta-love if i remember correctly, so it might be worth checking out if you’re still interested in reading their books 😉)

    i’m also glad to see you loved graceling and sick kids in love!! seeing you talk about graceling has tempted me so much to reread it 😭 and i’ve had sick kids in love on my shelf for a while now, but i’ve heard only good things! i’ll definitely have to pick it up sometime this year ❤

    (and i enjoy your caitlin reads series!! it's a lot of fun — i love that you have different themes and i like seeing you talk about your reading experience more extensively for them)

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    1. of course!! you honestly give some of the best and most diverse recs ❤ ❤ yes, i'm so sad about Blanca y Roja, because i know that it was mostly a case of "it's not you, it's me." 😭 ah, thank you so much for letting me know about Wild Beauty! honestly, a lot of the reason why i didn't really like Blanca y Roja is because i absolutely despise insta-love, so knowing that Wild Beauty doesn't have it AND that it's your fave Anna-Marie McLemore book makes me very excited to read it ❤

      i feel like Graceling is worth the reread! some parts of it are very 2000's YA, but i definitely think that it's still good now! and i hope you can pick up Sick Kids in Love soon 🥺🥺 ahhh, it's so underrated, and more people need to be hyping it up, i swear :")

      thank you, May ❤ ❤ i'm so glad that you like the series!!

      Like

  5. Great post, Caitlin. It was interesting to read your thoughts on Scythe because everyone seems love it and it has been recommended to me more than once. I should check it out!
    And to answer your question, I think this post series is a fantastic idea and I love it. 🙂🙂

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    1. Thank you, Stephen 💖 I think that Scythe was really lacking character-wise, but the worldbuilding is so interesting that it makes it worth the read.
      Ahh, thank you so much 😭😭 i’m so happy whenever people tell me that they like this idea ❤ ❤ ❤

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  6. I loved reading this post and I’m still a big fan of this series. I definitely need to sign a petition for picture of you dog to be in every post 😉 also eating just plain taco shells in something I’ve never tried haha. Although on my box of taco it said try putting fruit and chocolate in them and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that.
    I’m so glad you liked the world of Scythe, I’m definitely curious to experience it as I love a good, unique world. I’m sorry the romance fell flat for you though !!
    Every time I see Sick Kids in Love mentioned I just want to read it even more. I’m so glad you loved it. I might get to read it in the next 2 months (I say might because if I promise it, it almost feels like a guarantee that I’m going to break that promise) but I’m excited. I’m so glad the representation is so good!!
    I love reading your thoughts on all these books and how you set it out as well!! *I’m sorry I have no recommendations on how to improve, you can’t. It is already amazing*.
    I’m glad book blogger recommendations are good *phew* !! Great post and of course, happy reading !! ❤

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    1. Ahhh, you are the SWEETEST, Sophie! Thank you so much 💕💕 don’t worry, I have to many photos of Gordon to spare 😂
      Haha, I know it seems a little weird to eat *just* taco shells—but it’s so hard to eat them the right way okay!! The shell breaks and all the stuff in it comes out 😭 I don’t know if eating just taco shells is a good thing to do in general though. I just know that the brand my mom gets is DELICIOUS all on its own—it doesn’t need a topping! Omg I’ve never heard of tacos with fruit/chocolate! But if the box recommends it, maybe it’s worth a shot? 🤔
      I’m excited to see what you think of Scythe! I think that many people will enjoy it, actually. I just have super high standard for characters and romance. But the discussions around what truly makes a perfect world in Scythe were *mwah* chef’s kiss
      I really hope you’ll read Sick Kids in Love! Books with that kind of representation really need to be more hyped! (& Lol, it’s okay if you don’t get to it in the next two months, we’re all drowning in our tbrs 😂)
      Again, you are the sweetest Sophie 🥺🥺 thanks for all your support! Happy reading to you too 💕

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      1. Yay!!
        I agree eating tacos is a challenge, a messy challenge !! I can see how they would be tasty on their own though. I know I hadn’t either but it could be something I guess. Maybe one day I will try it !!
        Ohh… I’m intrigued !!
        I agree that representation is so important so I’m excited to get to it !!
        Of course !! ❤ ❤ thank youuuu !!

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  7. I love this post & series so much! 🙂 I’m so happy you enjoyed Graceling! I read it ages ago, but I love that book so damn much, and have been thinking of rereading it. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I’m really-really excited for Sick Kids in Love!! I was going to read it for a reading challenge, but picked something else instead – which I didn’t regret because that book was excellent – but I need to get to SKiN finally. Honestly, I really want to read something by Anna-Marie McLemore, but I don’t think the writing would be my cup of tea AT ALL. 😦 I do, however, like books with great messages, so they may work for me because of that. IDK. I’m glad you enjoyed Blanca & Roja to an extent, at least. Great reviews/thoughts! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so, so much, Vera! I hope you can revisit Graceling soon—it’s so nice to reread old faves and see what you think of them now! I’m glad that you enjoyed the other book you picked!! But I hope you can still read SKiL 🥺 it really deserves more love. Ah, I don’t think Anna-Marie McLemore’s writing is *that* flowery though! The only thing that kinda irked me about it were the excessive eye descriptions, but otherwise, their writing was the perfect combination of beautiful and bearable. And it’s good that you like books with great themes/messages, because I think that’s the heart of Blanca y Roja!

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  8. This is such a fun idea! 😍 I’m bummed you didn’t care for Scythe, because I love that book, but I’m glad to see that you enjoyed Sick Kids In Love! I really want to read some fluffy (and heartbreaking) contemporaries over the summer because that’s my tradition.

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  9. Caitlin, I love this series and I think it’s a super cute idea 💕 I love that you can trust other bloggers’ recommendations so much! I could never do that, haha

    I’m glad you read Scythe and enjoyed some of it – I read exactly 50% of it a few years ago and never picked it up again for some reason. I really liked it at that point, but I don’t remember the insta-love at all? Maybe I’ll have to try it again. (I bought it and I don’t want that money to go to waste 😅) I’m also SO glad you liked Graceling, because I’ve been thinking about reading it soon but I was afraid it wouldn’t work for me – but based on your updates I think I would really like it! (Also, what were you eating/making in the second Graceling section pic? It looks interesting!) I have also come to the conclusion that I should read Sick Kids in Love, and now my TBR is just a little bit bigger after reading this post. 😌 Anyways, great job with this series! I can’t wait to see if you do more!

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    1. Thank you so much, Xandra!! Haha, it was all for the post. But most of the books on my TBR come from book bloggers’ recommendations anyway, so I don’t think I was really doing anything different ^^

      Lol, sorry for the slightly less manageable TBR! But books like Sick Kids in Love are worth it okay!! (Sorry I just think that book needs way more love) I hope you enjoy Scythe and Graceling!! & we were making meat! Pretty sure it was rib-eye steak, haha—it was delicious :))

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  10. Scythe is one of my favorite books of all time, so it was really interesting to hear your thoughts on it! looking back, i can definitely agree that the insta-love wasn’t written that well lol! i haven’t read any of the other books you mentioned in this post, but i’ve been wanting to read Sick Kids In Love for a while, and i’m so glad that you loved it. 😀

    i missed the first time you introduced this feature, but it’s such a cool idea and i loved the pictures you included to set the mood! 😉 hope you’re well ❤

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    1. Hope you’re well too, Ash! I’m so glad that you love Scythe so much!! Haha, I’m super sensitive to insta-love, so I think I exaggerated how bad it was. The romance really wasn’t a huge part of the story, so it was mostly fine. Also, please read Sick Kids in Love!!! It’s so underrated 🥺

      Thank you so much 😭💖💖 I’m so glad that you think it’s a cool idea!

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  11. Caitlin, this series is such an amazing idea!! I love it.💗I tried not to read too much of your descriptions on some of the first few books, just because I haven’t read them yet but might- especially Sick Kids in Love, I think that’s on my TBR/I’m going to add it now if it isn’t already!!

    I had similar thoughts as you on Blanca & Roja! I don’t remember exactly what I ended up rating it, but while I enjoyed reading it, I don’t think I felt super connected with any of the characters throughout, which is definitely something I place great importance on while I’m reading. Anyways, I loved reading all your thoughts and I hope you’re doing well and yes that is all you’re the best!!🥺

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    1. Thank you so much, Olivia!! 💖😭 ah, I totally get that! I try my best to keep the updates spoiler-free, but considering the fact that I like going into books knowing next to nothing, I probably wouldn’t read the descriptions of the books I was planning to read if I came across a post like this too! I hope you read Sick Kids in Love though! It’s criminally underrated 🥺

      (Ahh, but *you’re* the best 🥺💖) Yes, characters really make or break a book for me, so I was really sad when I couldn’t really connect with the ones in Blanca y Roja. I especially feel bad, because I feel like it’s not the type of story where the characters are supposed to be the strongest point too ://

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  12. YAY! i will NOT talk AGAIN about how much i love this series, though i already am, so please excuse me. i’m glad i also can find out about other great bloggers through this one!
    scythe is a book i’ve also been on the fence about reading. i think the concept is really cool and i’m glad you mentioned how interesting the world is, but i tend to struggle with fantasy anyway. the fact the characters and the romance aren’t as good, though, doesn’t excite me, because i feel like i need the characters to very compelling in order for me to go through a fantasy book.
    i’d heard of the graceling before, but again, being a fantasy is one i’d pass. but i love that it presents a twist in the “badass female character” trope, by having the character figure out she can be more than that. i really enjoy whenever books can present such a trope twist. i think another book i can think of was the last installment in the magnus chase series, because it was set up to be this “chosen one” story but it wasn’t like that at all at the end. it makes a book so interesting!
    (there’s so much delicious food in this post, i’m living!)
    i love everything you pointed about sick kids in love. because i also listened to this one in audio and i wrote just a mini review for it, i feel like i ended up not having time to dwell in everything i enjoyed. but all the elements you brought up are amazing! especially the whole discussion on doctors not being respectful and actually hearing them. it made me think a lot about previous experiences i had with doctors that would simply call any symptom a consequence of me being overweight even if the two things were not related at all, lol. it was nice seeing something like that being brought up in a book!
    i feel like this comment is already super long, but i loved the themes blanca & roja discussed and i’ll definitely consider adding it to my TBR.
    this feature is AMAZING, caitlin! thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. ahh, i’m so glad you love the series, and that you’re finding out about bloggers through it!! i love all these bloggers so much, and they really deserve more love ❤
      Scythe is more dystopian and sci-fi than fantasy though, so maybe you'll like it more because of that? I don't know, I really get what you mean because I put a lot of weight into romance and characters while reading. but i think that Scythe brought up such *amazing* discussions about whether a perfect world is really achievable. i also finished almost all of it in a day, which is super rare for me, lmao. that said, i totally get why you don't think it'll be for you!
      ok, i love fantasy with all my heart, so it makes me a lil' sad that fantasy isn't your preferred genre 🥺 but hey, i feel the same about contemporary, and i pass on almost all contemporary books, so i feel you 😂 yes, i really love it when books are able to put a new spin on tropes! i never continued with the Magnus Chase series, sadly (even though I enjoyed the ones I read—wait—did i read past the first magnus chase book??). but it makes me happy to know that that one was able to subvert the chosen one trope, one of the most satisfying tropes to see subverted, imo. a big theme of the WIP i'm currently working on is actually about a subversion of the chosen one trope :")
      i know!! but sometimes i scroll through this post and hate myself because i'm hungry and can't taste these foods anymore :(((
      i'm just such a bad audio listener, lmao! but no matter, i loved sick kids in love anyways ❤ AH, I'M SO SORRY YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH THAT LAIS! i will literally fight with the doctors who told you that :((( i feel like society worships doctors and the idea of being a doctor so much, and while i get that, it's really hard to become one… i don't like the fact that many doctors are super rude and inconsiderate to their patients
      i really feel like you have a high chance of enjoying Blanca y Roja!
      thank you so much for the sweet comment as always, lais 🥺

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  13. Caitlin, I’m so honored that you read one of my recommendations for this post! ❤ And the fact that you enjoyed Sick Kids in Love make me so, so happy! You summed up everything that I loved about way more coherently than I did when recommending it in the first place! 😆

    I absolutely adore this series! I think the fact that you did it in a vlog style was so cute! I love how you updated at specific pages/percentages. I think that’s something that you often find in vlogs, but on blog posts I tend to only see overall impressions, rather than how someone felt as they were reading. I think the fact that you managed to translate something I’ve only seen in video format into a written format is so seamlessly is insanely impressive and I am in awe of your talents and creativity! I don’t have any suggestions for the next theme, but I can’t wait to see the next installment!

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    1. Omg, what do you mean I summed your thoughts on it better? While I was editing this post, I was cringing so much at how disorganized my thoughts on Sick Kids in Love were, haha! And of course!! I had to read one of your recommendations, because you and Chana give such good ones! And I feel like the books you guys read aren’t the typical ones that most people have probably already heard of!

      Asksjjsssj AHHHH I’m so honored!!! Thank you so much, Malka 🥺💖 Reading vlogs in blog format was really the goal for this post, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that you think I succeeded! I’m legit so glad, ahhh 😭❤️

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  14. I haven’t read any of these but really enjoyed this post. Some great recommendations and it was great hearing your thoughts as you read/listened to them!

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  15. Omg Caitlin, I’m so honored that you read one of my recommendations 🥺😭 You’re the sweetest ahh 💗💕 I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the worldbuilding of Scythe, it’s one of my favorite aspects as well – the world is so interesting and also haunting with some Scythes abusing their power 😱 I actually love Rowan & Citra, but I know that their romance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I think you might Thunderhead even more, as it’s got a focus on a lot more characters and I heard the third book is even more about a bigger character cast and the plot! 😊

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    1. of course!! you’re one of the most well-read people out there, ahhh. same! i really like how the worldbuilding makes you question whether a utopia/perfect world is really possible or not. i’m glad that you liked Citra and Rowan! they really are decent characters—I just have such a high standards for characters, haha 😅 yes, i always hear that Thunderhead is way better than Scythe—I’m so excited to read it! depending on how much i like Thunderhead, i’ll read The Toll, but i’m a little worried, because i’ve heard some negative things about it :/

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      1. Omg Caitlin, that means so much to me! 🥰 I always love Neal Shusterman’s worlds, they are really interesting 👀 I hope you enjoy Thunderhead, it’s definitely expanding the world! I haven’t read The Toll yet, but I have also heard mixed reviews, I’m hoping for the best! 🙏

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  16. I didn’t know that Neal Shusterman is black either! And Scythe has been HIGH on my TBR list – I really want to get to it before the end of the year! I guess I’ve been putting it off because of the insta-love, which is one of my biggest bookish pet peeves as well, and also you’re not the only one that’s said it’s hard to connect with the characters, and I love character-driven books. But the premise of the story is just so interesting that I can’t bear to pass it up!

    I really loved how you wrote this – it was like a reading vlog in blog post form! 😍 You should totally do more of these 💛💛💛

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    1. Same! i was mind-blown when i learned that from Caro’s post, haha. I hope you can get to Scythe soon! the characters and romance were really lackluster. but i think the book is worth reading just because of how well it makes you question whether a perfect world is really possible. i also think that the book is a great one to binge-read—i read almost all of it in a day, and that almost never happens for me 😂

      ahh, thank you so much, Ngoc!! 🥺 a reading vlog in blog post form is my goal for all of these posts, and i can’t wait to make more ❤

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      1. Well I own the first book on my Kindle anyway, so might as well give it a shot! 😛

        Awww yayyy I can’t wait to read more (I am hopelessly behind catching up with blog posts but I will get around to it eventually, I promise! 😅)

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  17. Whoaa I didn’t know Neal Shusterman was black either!! And I’ve actually had this book on my shelf since I got an ARC years ago but still haven’t read it, not really sure why? I think I should, though; and yes the idea that humans have conquered death is super exciting. I love Graceling and you just need to read the other books in the series :)) The other two books in your post I hadn’t heard of before but it sounds like I should check them out! And yay thanks for posting this I can’t wait for the next one!

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    1. I know right?! how did the fact that Neal Shusterman is Black escape us this whole time lmao. I really think you should read Scythe!! I feel like you have a really high chance of enjoying it more than I did ❤
      Honestly… there's a low chance of me getting to the rest of the books in Graceling, but maybe someday :") And yes!! you should totally check out Sick Kids in Love, hehe.
      Can't wait to post the next caitlin reads :))

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