Seven Life Lessons from Matilda


  1. If you are doing something important, go all in: “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable”
  2. Some people are not meant to be teachers: “I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me.”
  3. Like REALLY not meant to be teachers: “You ignorant little slug!” the Trunchbull bellowed. “You witless weed! You empty-headed hamster! You stupid glob of glue!”
  4. No on will love you like your parents (especially if youre horrible): “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
  5. Reading can help you learn about people from all over the world: “The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She traveled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
  6. And books can become some of your best friends: “These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
  7. But even though books are AMAZING, human friends can be nice too: “Sometimes Matilda longed for a friend, someone like the kind, courageous people in her books.”

Ten Reading Goals for 2018


Hi friends and happy Tuesday! This is a *very* special top ten, because it’s The Artsy Read Girl’s first time hosting the meme. Thank you so much for taking this over. It literally is one of my favorite parts of the week (hence the part of blogging that I *almost* never skip). I feel a little ambivalent on setting goals like this, because I LOVE reading and I don’t want it to feel like a job or like I’m checking off boxes constantly. But I do like the intention setting spirit of January. So in that vein, here are ten reading goals I would love to accomplish this year. But you know what? If I don’t, I’m giving myself permission to say no big deal.

  1. Read one hundred books – I already put this one on goodreads. Some years I make this, some years I don’t. But it still feels like a nice round number to shoot for.
  2. Read at least 50% 2018 releases.
  3. Read at least 40% authors of color.
  4. Read at least 10% authors that are LGBTQ.
  5. Read at least 10% debut authors.
  6. Read more romance novels – I love them so much, they are easy to read, and they make me happy. I don’t know why I don’t read more of them, honestly. But this year I’m going to stop denying myself.
  7. Read at least 10 books of poetry.
  8. Finish reading as many of the fat positive books from this list as possible.
  9. Read more middle grade books to talk to my students about.
  10. Write Amazon reviews for all of my 2017 five star books.

What are your reading goals for 2018? Also … do you have any recs that will help me achieve one of mine?


Three Mini Reviews: Warcross, The Gallery of Unfinished Girls, and Turtles All the Way Down

Hi friends! I have somehow not posted a book review since October. How did that happen on my book review blog? Ugh to all other commitments that take my time away – like teaching and writing and friends, etc. Anyway, here are some books I would recommend to pretty much anyone – especially anyone who likes YA books enough to still be reading this blog. So …

WarcrossWarcross by Marie Lu is set in a near future where pretty much all of society is dominated by a virtual reality game. Emika Chen would probably be amazing at Warcross, if she wasn’t so busy trying to pay off her dead father’s debts and keep a roof over her head as a hacker and digital bounty hunter. In a desperate situation, she accidentally hacks into the opening night of the official Warcross games. She expects legal trouble, but instead the game’s creator – the teenage and smoldering Hideo Tanaka – offers her a job. He will put her as a wildcard into the Warcross games if she will serve as his spy. I’m not *quite* finished with this book yet, but I feel VERY confident recommending it. The weaving in of Emika’s backstory is done masterfully. In books like this, I sometimes have trouble keeping track of all the different characters and technology in play. But from page one of Warcross, I’ve been riveted.

Gallery of Unfinished GirlsThe Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz is one of the more quiet young books from 2017 that I wished got a little more attention from the YA community. I interviewed Karcz in July when her book came out, but don’t think I’ve followed up with how much I enjoyed this debut. Filled with magical realism, the story follows Mercedes Monroe, a teenage artist with serious painter’s block. Her mom’s out of town taking care of her abuela, who’s in a coma, and she’s keeping a seriously big secret from her best friend Victoria. The answer to her artistic problems, seems to be a mysterious neighbor with an invitation to an enchanted empty condo building. In the building, Mercedes is able to do her best work – but it has to stay in the building. And eventually she has to decide what’s more important, her life outside the condo or the expression and invigoration she feels inside.

Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is a book that, by contras, has gotten lots of attention. Deservedly so. I had ridiculously high expectations after The Fault in Our Stars  and this book surpassed every one of those expectations. Every. Single. One. This was a stay up way too late to finish this book in one sitting kind of read for me. Part mystery, part chronicle of the difficult internal life of a character struggling with OCD, and part celebration of complicated friendships – I LOVED THIS BOOK. In case you can’t tell. It felt so nuanced and hard and true about knocking down the often used tropes and misunderstandings about mental illness. And it had the tight, exceedingly clever language that I’ve loved in Green’s previous books. It also made me cry all the tears and feel all the feels and remember how powerful and immersive reading a book like this can be.

What are you all reading these days (not that I need to add to my TBR, lol)?


Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To (Yet!)


Too many books, too little time. I know I’m not the only book blogger – or reader – who feels this way. There are so many books I marked, put on hold at the library, and even bought that I didn’t get to last year. Hoping to get to these ten ASAP, but let’s face it there are always more books coming out every week so … fingers crossed. What books are you hoping to read soon before the tidal wave of 2018 new releases hits your TBR list? Continue reading

Most Popular Posts of 2017

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My least favorite thing about January is the snow (which is falling in copious amounts in NYC today). My most favorite thing about January is the ability to reflect on the year that has just passed. Bahhh six years of blogging! If there wasn’t the actual proof on this website, I don’t know if I’d believe it. Thank you to all the people who are still reading and the friends I’ve made on this blog that continue to support my writing journey like whoa. Here are my most read posts of the year:  Continue reading