#Project14Lists: Best Books I Read In 2018

Welcome to another list! Wow, I actually continued posting. Yes, I’m aware that no amount of catching up can change the fact that I am failing this challenge. I’ve been a busy adult (huhu no I am not comfortable saying it) for the past few days. I had a hurricane of a Christmas, and I was basically depended on to do chores the entire weekend. Let me tell you, cleaning up dishes on Christmas is not fun especially when everyone seemed to just want to stuff themselves silly. Then after a long day, you just want to lie down and sleep. I just want to discuss about my favorite books gosh darn it. Where do I get the energy??

Anyways, rant over. It’s time to talk about books again, hooray! Since it’s already the 31st here in the PH, I decided that I will be posting two lists today for Project 14 Lists created by Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch. The goal is to blog about lists, but I’m kinda failing here haha. Though I digress, I think this project made me think out of the box. Hence, I have a lot prepared for the next year without hopefully burning out and I received a lot of positive feedback with the posts I put up in participation of this event. While I was not able to share the posts I planned to put up, I’m optimistic that those will kickstart 2019 with a bang. Now, where were we? Right, of course it’s going to be all about the books and I am genuinely excited to be talking about my favorites for this year.

Analyzing it real quick, I love that this list is generally diverse and each book is quite unique. According to my stats, I rated 5 books with a will-save-from-a-fire status this year. One of them is a read that I’m not comfortable in sharing my feels on… yet, so I will only be tackling four specific titles today. Also, since I’m so extra, I have some graphics prepared! I thought, “Hey, why not design CD covers inspired by these books?” Because when a book inspires you so much, it’s easy to shower it with love. Plus, it’s cool to think about the possible songs that can be associated with these titles. Here are the best books that I read in 2018:

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

33294200Have you ever read a book so powerful and capable of delivering such a beautiful story in the form most endearing to you? That was The Poet X for me. Not only was it written in verse, but it exuded a driving and riveting story that speaks magnitude. Xiomara’s hauntingly beautiful story about finding her voice amidst the chaos of tradition, rules, and conventions easily made this novel a personal favorite of mine. With the writing bursting with the raw and purest emotions, it’s groundbreaking and deserving of all the awards that it has received. Never have I ever felt so strongly connected to a book like this one. It just spoke to me on a personal level and at the right moment. This book has inspired me so much that I decided to write my review in verse as well. Check out my full raving here.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

What If It's UsI still end up in a puddle of feels whenever I see or hear about this book. I’ve been itching to reread it since I was done reading it. (Count how many times Bianca says read.) That’s how good this book is for me. Nothing like magnetic and unputdownable writing to save me from the abyss of craving for a book I want to save from a fire. 2018 was a better year when it came to reading romance, and I was thankful for the type of relationship that Arrhur and Ben had. For one, it’s not picture perfect with the montage and everything. Two, they leave room to grow for each other. Finally, the ending that made my heart swell. It’s ridiculously rare for me to finish a book in a day – let alone a love story that’s 400+ pages long. Yet here we are and this book definitely surpassed all of my expectations and doubts. Read my full review here, and maybe have some earbuds at hand because this one’s accompanied with actual playlists.

Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu

375345772018 really affirmed what I already knew about myself: I’m trash for stories as unique as Check, Please. It’s not common knowledge here on the blog, but I also love reading webcomics. They’re easy to read depending on the flow of the story, and you have a visual representation of what the characters look like. So when I heard that it was available online, I immediately jumped on the chance to read it. Now a public service reminder: Go do yourself a favor and update yourself with Ngozi’s fantastic work. Not only does it tackle hockey, but it also navigates through the topics of friendship, teamwork, and self-acceptance. Bitty’s pie-loving adorable self deserves all that is good in this world, and the slow burn romance makes you wonder if you should have been listening to Beyonce more. You’ll definitely fall in love with these characters faster than you can say “I can see your ha- YAAAAAAS THIS BOOK!” 😍😍😍

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau

29225589Yet another graphic novel about boys falling in love, this one easily got me hooked because of the gorgeous art style and the color scheme. Little did I know that I was breezing through it, and in every turn I fell in love. Honestly, what more can I say? It’s lightheartedly heartbreaking because for me, I felt for Ari as a teen discovering themselves. At the same time, I’m falling for Hector’s charm and perseverance. It’s a one-of-a-kind slowburn summer romance that can make readers giddy with the feels. Not only that, but all the talk about the family working and earning their keep from making bread is both a joy and a treat to read about, and the friendship dynamics ring true. Readers are in for a feast come 2019, because this will definitely be that one graphic novel that will send everyone in a frenzied hook.

There you have it! I had a blast making those covers and it definitely added to the overall feels that I have for these books. 2018, you’ve been a good reading year. The books on this list are definitely for keeps, and I truly hope you’ll have a blast reading should you pick up one of these reads.

What are some of your favorite reads for 2018?

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#Project14Lists: Recommending Movies Like My 2018 Reads

Welcome to Day 2 of Project 14 Lists, created by the one and only Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch. Project 14 Lists is a 14-day event where the goal is to be as creative as you can be with posting lists. Know more about the details of this event here.

Now despite having a scheduled post for today, I decided to throw caution to the wind and ditch it for the meantime. As I said in my previous post, I want you guys to leave with a smiling face after reading this list. What better way to do that than recommend movies? I know there’s this whole thing with books and movies – the debacle never ends. Yet sometimes it’s nice to just sit down, relax, and enjoy a good movie. Nothing beats an hour or two of anticipation and seeing beauty unveil on your preferred screen. So I thought hey, if I loved a particular book and then I could compare it with this movie, it’s a win-win right? The way this recommendation goes is that I have to have watched the movie and read the book in 2018. Now let’s get onto the list and have some fun!

Also I may have been too relaxed with updating my Letterboxd account with all of the movies that I watched this year. It was a lot. Stats to come.

If you liked Wildcard by Marie Lu but want more of the virtual reality experience, go for Summer Wars (2009).

Wait a minute there B… You didn’t like Wildcard right? Well, yes. But it doesn’t change the fact that I am all about stories that tackles the subject of virtual reality. It’s the real deal nowadays, and both of these stories present societies that incorporated their lives with a virtual world. Both stories also feature a main lead who deliver an impact to the world, causing a string of events to spiral down. Yet in the case of Summer Wars, chaos is unleashed when a virus called Love Machine infiltrates the system because of our main lead named Kenji. It’s thrilling, it’s funny, hijinks ensue with its large cast, it has heart, and it is downright entertaining. Not only that, but the various animation styles mesh well together and it compacts the story further. If you want a piece of virtual reality action, go for Summer Wars because at least this one packs just a little bit more of a punch.

If you were also rendered speechless by the fanaticism of All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor, then you’ll enjoy watching Black Swan (2010)

Both of these stories still gives me the heebie-jeebies when I remember what went down. Though All of This is True is not exactly a psychological thriller, but it delivered a story that rendered me speechless. The same thing can be said with Black Swan and its stunning… everything. The story messes with you – it makes you second guess yourself on where the story wants to go. While I don’t think you should watch Black Swan after reading All of This is True (because why would you want to fry your brain from all that processing??), it is a great movie to watch if you want to see a portrayal driven by being the best. Certain topics such as competition, obsession, and manipulation are both present in these thought-provoking pieces. (Trigger warnings for both the book and the movie: mental illness, self-harm, sexual assault, gore, and suicide.)

If you love the family dynamics and the self-exploration in Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X, there’s no doubt that you should go for Lady Bird (2017).

What I loved seeing in both The Poet X and Lady Bird is the way they find themselves and doing what they want to do. Xiomara finds herself in her poems, while Lady Bird wants to be her own person by proving that she can achieve what she envisions. Both stories also explore the protagonist’s sexuality, albeit what it means to become a woman in the environment that they grew up in. Equally powerful stories in their own right, the experience that these stories offer are heartfelt and worth all the great accolades that they rightfully achieved. I cannot stop talking about what a sensation The Poet X is, and I think Lady Bird also encapsulates that same incredible power.

That’s it for now, folks! It dawned on me that I also don’t watch a lot of fantasy movies. Even my movies consist of mostly historical and/or contemporary stories. Some things just never change. I do hope you enjoyed these recommendations of mine, nonetheless. It was fun to compare and contrast stories on both lists, but it also made me realize that I watched way too many movies and read a lot less this year. I hope to make more of these type of lists in the future (and maybe switch it up and insert some anime in there *wink* *wink*) which I hope you guys will also enjoy.

Now the question remains: What movies remind you of a particular book? Any recommendations for my ever-growing TBW pile?

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