Read-A-Thon | I’m Doing The #StartOnYourShelfathon

I’m participating in The Quiet Pond’s #StartOnYourShelfathon where the goal is to clear away some of the books that have been sitting on my mental “to read” shelf for ages. Here is a list of the books I’m (hopefully) going to finish during this challenge period, Dec 18-31st. This read-a-thon is super cool and it has a story you can follow: Castor the sloth needs help finding the stars he’s lost and as you complete the goals you can add stars to a star map and help him.

  1. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
  2. The Library of The Unwritten – A. J. Hackwith
  3. The Queen of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner
  4. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  5. Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor
  6. Red, White, and Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
  7. Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  8. Any of my Libby holds that come thru during this challenge period

The first two books on this list are library books so they take priority and most of the others have been sitting in my room for ever (actual years in the case of Strange the Dreamer … I’ve had it since it came out …). Honestly I don’t know if I’ll have the same energy for all 7 books, possibly 8 or 9 if my holds are downloaded, and actually complete my challenge goal but I’m going to try anyway!

What books are still sitting on your TBR list?

Review | Tell Me How You Really Feel – Amina Mae Safi

Summary from Goodreads:

Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.

Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsesssed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.

There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.

Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strongwilled young women falling for each other despite themselves.

My Thoughts:

A very loose goal I’ve had for the longest is to read more contemporary romance. As a kid I was a tomboy and romcoms were the bane of my existence, but it felt really hypocritical of me to support women and be a woman but actively avoid stories we’re shamed for reading. Also, when I was younger it was harder for me to find romance novels that I actually related to or found interesting and I can count on one hand the contemporary romance novels I’ve enjoyed.

That being said: wow. Wow! Wow, wow, wow. I haven’t loved a book like this in a long time, I absolutely adored reading this book and getting to know the main characters and seeing them deal with their problems. Sana reminded me so much of the girl I wanted to be when I was in high school and low-key Sana is one of the imaginary versions of Intisar that lives in my head. I did not expect to love this book the way I did, but the way this narrative treated its main characters and just how real each girl felt to me was irresistible. I tore through this book in 2 days and I haven’t done that since summer when I wasn’t taking any classes. With the attention paid to Rachel and Sana’s relationship with religion, culture, and their families, it shocked me how relatable the girls were. I’m not South Asian or Latina but I still saw parts of high school me, a young Black girl, reflected in their experiences and the pride they have in their respective cultures.

Beyond how much I loved each girl, I loved the romance. It was cute how much Sana liked Rachel and how Rachel was projecting too hard to see Sana’s crush on her. Also, as a Gilmore Girls fan myself I loved seeing the callbacks to the show and the Rory-and-Paris aspects of their relationship. The Gilmore Girls related parts of the book did not feel like fanfiction at all, which someone else might like, but I was afraid of it being too much like the TV show. It stands on its own as a story and the ways it did callback to the show, mostly in Sana’s family dynamics, still added to the experience for me as a fan.

This book is for:

  • people who like romance, especially F/F or WOC represenation
  • people who like flawed female characters


Hello world!

I’m Intisar M., a 20 year old college student, a Black girl (magical, carefree, natural, etc), a nerd, and a lover  of writing and of being obsessed with things. Welcome to a space where I just plan on expressing myself and hope to learn a few things along the way. I plan on posting about nerd culture, issues concerning the many intersections of my identity, and anything else that comes to mind.