Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie!

Hey everyone! It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday. This meme is hosted by the bookworms @ The Broke and the Bookish. You should definitely check them out! This week’s theme is a FREEBIE! Since it hasn’t been done yet for this meme, I will be doing ten LGBTQ books I’ve read.  Without further ado, here we go!


TEN LGBTQ Books I’ve Read:

  1. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

The main character is a boy who goes back into the closet when he starts a all boys boarding school.


2. The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg

One of the books I have to review. One of the main characters, a boy, has an alcoholic dad. The other is a lesbian. They go on an exciting adventure to find the grandpa of the boy. Will they find him? Read the book to find out!


3. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The main character is a boy named Simon whose secretly gay. He has an adorable email relationship with a boy named Blue. All Simon knows is that Blue goes to his school.


4. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun

The main characters are twins. One is in love with a biker. The other is gay and in love with the new neighbor. Something happens that makes the twins not talk to each other and avoid all contact. Do they make up and become close again? Read the book to find out!


5. Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day (Every Day, #1)

A book about a person who changes bodies every day. They live a different life everyday but are always in love with the same girl.


I could only think of five. I feel like I’ve read more LGBTQ books than that! Have you read any of these books? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Top Ten Tuesdays

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀

Book Review|Half Brother

Hey everyone! Welcome to Monday. I know most people dread Mondays. If I wasn’t on summer break, I would be dreading it too. Hang in there! Today I am going to be doing a book review. I will be reviewing Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel. I finished this book a while ago but am just know doing a review. Without further ado, here we go!


Title: Half Brother

Author: Kenneth Oppel

# of pages: 375
Genre: Fiction, Animals
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Goodreads Rating: 4/5 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Amazon Summary:

For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home Zan–an eight-day-old chimpanzee. Ben’s father, a renowned behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimps can acquire advanced language skills. Ben’s parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. At least now he’s not the only one his father’s going to scrutinize.
It isn’t long before Ben is Zan’s favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. His father disagrees. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be true–between obeying his father or protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate.”


Critic Reviews (Credit Given):

“Set in the simpler time of the early ’70s, this well-plotted novel weaves together themes of animal rights, family issues and the cost of animal research….There are no easy answers, just a thoughtful portrayal of real people grappling with tough questions.” – Kirkus


“Half Brother is highly recommended for all YA collections….a funny and exceptional story” – VOYA.


* “Deftly integrating family dynamics, animal-rights issues, and the painful lessons of growing up, Half Brother draws readers in from the beginning and doesn’t let go. The carefully crafted characters will be an easy connection for teens and the interpretation of the animal-testing controversies of the 1970s will provide an alternate viewpoint for animal-book lovers.” – SLJ, starred review

My Thoughts:

This was a great book. I took half a star off because it’s very similar to another book. Half Brother is about a boy named Ben Tomlin. When his mom brings home a chimpanzee from a zoo, Ben doesn’t like him at all. As Ben gets to know the chimp later named Zan, he falls in love. Unfortunately, Zan is part of animal testing. He is to be treated like a human and to learn sign language. Zan feels like more than a test subject to Ben. His dad feels otherwise. Ben’s dad feels that he is getting to close with Zan and tries to separate them and ruin their close relationship. Ben is outraged. His dad is rough and mean to Zan. To him he’s a chimp. To Ben, he’s family. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you can’t handle some harsh moments. This was a great read and really opened my eyes to how terrible animal testing really is.


That’s a wrap! Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If you haven’t, did this review make you want to? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more book reviews!

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀

1 Year Blogiversary!!

Hey everyone!! Yesterday (June 23rd) was my 1 year blogiversary.  Thank you guys so much for being on this journey with me. Whether your a new follower or have been with me since I started learning the ropes, you all mean a lot to me. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be here right now. To celebrate, let’s look back on what I’ve learned and achieved through out this past year.

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All Time Stats: (As of 6/23/16)

Posts: 263

Views: 4,051

Visitors: 2,076

Best Views Ever: 45 on May 15th, 2016

Followers on WordPress: 195

Followers on email and WordPress: 2oo!


How Did It All Start?

It was June 23rd, 2015 and I had just finished reading a book called Genie Wishes by Elizabeth Dahl. It’s about a girl who is appointed as the class blogger. She blogs around a theme and what’s going on. It was a great book. For some reason, it really motivated me to start a blog of my own. I had always loved reading, writing and books so that’s what my blog ended up being about. If you were here at the beginning, you probably remember that Random Reads wasn’t the original name. Just like the URL, it was readersandmore. I later realized that that name didn’t suit the blog. It was too simple. That’s how Random Reads got started.


What Are Five Things I’ve Learned?

I’ve definitely learned more than five things in this last year. These will be the five most important things.

  1. Don’t feel like you have to blog everyday.

At first, I felt like I had to blog every single day. If I didn’t my followers wouldn’t like me and then I wouldn’t gain followers. Those were my thoughts at first. Now I know that that’s not true. True followers and fans of your blog will stick around. Whether you have a schedule, randomly post, or rarely post, the true followers will stay. Even if you go on a hiatus for a lengthy amount of time, don’t feel ashamed or worried. Blog as much as you want.

2. Don’t blog if it feels like work.

If blogging ever feels like work to you, take a step back. Do you need a bit of a break? New content or ideas? Is this just not what you want to do? Ask your self those questions. Blogging should be a fun thing. Whether it’s a huge part of your life or not, don’t let blogging become a stressful chore.

3. Communicate with bloggers!

This is a huge thing that has really made my blogging experience. Interact with bloggers around you on WordPress. Find people who have the same interests as you. I have so many amazing book blogging friends who have made me smile and made me inspired. If you don’t communicate, you won’t learn new things and make new friends.

4. Stats Don’t Matter

Yes, I still look at stats pretty frequently. In reality, stats don’t matter. It doesn’t matter how many views you got that day. It doesn’t matter how many visitors you got. All that matters is that you enjoy what your doing. If you can look at the stats and feel motivated to continue and become better, go right ahead.

5. Scheduling is your friend!

Going away on vacation? Busy the next day? The scheduling option will save your life. I’ve learned that this option can seriously save you. All you have to do is sit down and crank out posts. It will save you the stress of wondering when you will have time to blog.


What’s Next?

Since I’ve reached 1 year of blogging, I’m obviously going to look ahead.

– I’m not quitting anytime soon 🙂

-More book reviews

-I will continue to do memes (ex. Top Ten Tuesday)

-More amazing things!

-Reaching 200 WordPress followers

-Reaching 1,000 followers!!

-2 years of blogging

-So much more!!


I know I’ve said it so many times but thank you for following me. Your love and support is what really keeps me going. I love you guys 😀 I hope this post wasn’t too long. I wanted to keep it as short and sweet as possible. On a side note, I REACHED 200 FOLLOWERS!! Well, including email followers. WordPress doesn’t seem to count that though. When I officially reach 200 though, I will be doing a Q&A. You can find the post here. Don’t forget to drop me any questions you want me to answer. I don’t have many yet and want a nice big post to celebrate the milestone.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more to come on Random Reads!

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀

 

 

My Favorite Fathers/Father Figures

Happy Father’s Day! I hope your showing your dad how much you love and appreciate him. If your dad has passed away, RIP to him. Stay strong. I’m sure this day is hard for you. Remember all the great times you guys had together. In honor of Father’s Day, I have decided to share with you my favorite fathers/father figures. Let me know if I missed any key ones. Without further ado, here we go! (These are in no order)


1) Mr. Weasley from the Harry Potter series

He is such a great father figure for Harry. Mr. Weasley is caring and always seems to look out for Harry.

credit to Makani

2) Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series

Yes there may be too many Harry Potter characters. All the characters mentioned impacted Harry in a big way. Sirius Black was his godfather who protects Harry and tells him about his parents.

credit to HitoFanart @ deviantart

3) Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series

I promise this is the last Harry Potter character. Dumbledore protected Harry, gave him advice and took him on a wild journey. Dumbledore was a major part of Harry’s life.

credit to Fanpop .com

4) Uncle Big in The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

He’s such a great character! Yes he is normally high. Yes he has been married several times. But he seems to want to listen to Lennie ramble on. He seems to care about her.

There was no fan art so here is a great quote!

5) Hazel’s Dad in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

He wasn’t in the story/movie much but he sure seemed to love and care about Hazel.

credit to Pinterest 😀

Most dads in YA fiction seem to be absent or not good dads. I could only think of 4 wonderful father figures and one dad. Happy Father’s Day to all you amazing dads and father figures!

Thanks for reading!

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀


Book Review|Openly Straight

Hey everyone! It’s Thursday and that means it’s so close to the weekend! If you are still in school, I sure hope you’re getting a vacation soon! It’s time for another book review 🙂 Today I am reviewing Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg.

Title: Openly Straight

Author: Bill Konigsberg

# of pages: 320

Genre: LGBTQ

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Rating: 4/5 stars

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Amazon Summary:

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.
And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.
So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.
This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.”


Critic Reviews (Credit Given):

“Konigsberg’s lovely novel invites us to walk with Rafe through his season of assumed identity and his costly emergence into honesty. It’s beautiful. It’s a story of salvation.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW”


“Lambda Literary Award-winner Konigsberg has written an exceptionally intelligent, thought-provoking, coming-of-age novel about the labels people apply to us and that we, perversely, apply to ourselves. . . . Openly Straight is altogether one of the best gay-themed novels of the last ten years.” — BOOKLIST, starred review


“For a thought-provoking, creative, twenty-first-century take on the coming-out story, look no further.” — THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE


My Thoughts:

This was such a great book! This book definitely showed me the struggles of coming out and being “the gay kid” (no offense at all to anyone that is gay). At first I thought Rafe was a bit weird for “going back into the closet” as the story progressed, I realized he had made a smart choice. He was making friends, accepted, and he plays football with the jocks. All is well until he falls in love with his best friend Ben. Ben is straight supposeably. Let’s just say that quite a bit happens surrounding Rafe and Ben. Rafe’s friend Toby is gay so that and other things make Rafe want to confess to his peers. He stays in the closet for quite sometime. He confesses to his teacher who makes him write stories about being gay. Does Rafe come out again? Does Rafe and Ben’s relationship rise or fall? Read Openly Straight to find out! All I’m going to say is that I’m glad it’s the first book. That means there will probably be a sequel!!

(excited/freaking out face)


That’s a wrap! Kudos to those of you who stayed till the end. Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If you haven’t read this book, did this review get you interested? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more book reviews!

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀

 

The Desert Island Book Tag!

Hey everyone! It’s your lucky day. You get a WWW Wednesday and a book tag all in one day! This is a quick tag that I thought would be perfect to do today. I was unofficially tagged  by the wonderful My Tiny Obsessions. You definitely need to check out her book, music, travel and more filled blog if you haven’t already. Thank you! Without further ado, here we go!

Desert Island


Water: A Book You Can Simply Cannot Live Without.

That would have to be all my books obviously XD

Okay, I’ll answer this seriously. I would have to say Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This book changed my life. It started my love for Harry Potter and made me realize I am a Weasley. Without it, I wouldn’t be a Potterhead 😀


Food: A Book That Is a Close Second On Your Favorites List.

That would have to be Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This book got me hooked on contemporary books. It also gave me another author to love and cherish 😀


Shelter: A Book That Makes You Feel At Home And Safe.

Anything fantasy, humor, adventure or contemporary!


Flare Gun: A Book You Would Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read.

I honestly don’t know. The Harry Potter series would probably be good since it’s a pretty simple read that draws you in.


Matchsticks: A Book That Warms Your Heart.

That would have to be Simon v.s. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Simon and Blue’s relationship warmed my heart throughout the whole book. They’re just so adorable 🙂


Compass: A Book That Directed You Towards Your Love of Reading.

That would have to be the first chapter book I ever read. That would be Junie B Jones Is Captain Field Day by Barbara Park. It really set off my love for reading.


I’m going to tag EVERYONE who wants to do this tag!


That’s a wrap! This was a short but sweet book tag.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more book tags!

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀

 

Book Review| I’ll Give You The Sun

Hey everyone! It’s Monday and that means the first day of my summer vacation. If you’re on vacation, welcome to paradise! If you’re not, hang in there! Today I am going to be doing another book review. As you can guess by the title, I am going to be reviewing I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. I finished this a while ago but was too busy to do a review. At least I’m doing it now!  Without further a do, let’s get going!


Title: I’ll Give You The Sun

Author: Jandy Nelson

# of pages: 371

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ

My Rating: 4.3/5 stars

Goodreads Rating: 4.16/5 stars

Amazon Rating: 4.7/5 stars


Summary From Amazon:

 

“A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways…until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant, fully alive novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing―often all at once.”


Critic Reviews (Credit is Given):

“Dazzling.” “The New York Times Book Review” 


“Have you ever wanted to put a book in all of your friends’ hands? This is that kind of book . . . Heartbreakingly honest.” “San Francisco Chronicle”


“This book is about many things: grief, sexuality, creativity, bravery, identity, guilt. But mostly it’s about love. Be prepared with more tissues than you needed for “The Fault in Our Stars,” a chunky notebook to scribble down all the quotes and a handful of witty responses when people ask why you’re chuckling to yourself in the corner. Because this book will make you realise how beautiful words can be.” “The Guardian” 


“This book is many things at once, all of them engrossing. It’s a book where teenagers think in almost indulgently poetic language while still sounding genuinely adolescent. It’s two separate but equally intoxicating love stories. . . . Most of all, it’s the mystery of what happened to tear Noah and Jude apart, and what if anything can bring them back together again.” NPR’s Guide to 2014’s Great Reads.



My Thoughts:

This book was amazing!! It kept me turning the pages once I got into it. There were parts of the book that were confusing or not very exciting. As the book progressed though, it really sucked me in. Noah is so amazing. He’s so creative and artistic. Noah is gay and follows in love with the boy next door. Jude is amazing as well. She’s not as artistic as Noah and doesn’t feel as loved by their mom. Jude falls in love as well.  When something major happens, Noah and Jude are torn apart. They go their separate ways and don’t talk anymore. You have to read the book to find out if they become close again. Overall, I loved this book. The writing just flowed and the characters were so well described, it felt like I knew them. I felt what they felt. Saw what they saw. It may not be for everyone but I enjoyed it for the most part.

Credit to the creator on the fan art/Pinterest


That’s a wrap! Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think about it? No spoilers of course 🙂 If you haven’t read it, do you want to now? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more book reviews 🙂

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Why I Love…

Hey everyone! I apologize for not being active during this last week or so. I had finals and lots of studying to do. It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday! This meme is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and the Bookish. You definitely need to check them out if you haven’t already. This week’s topic is:

Ten Reasons I Love Xcould be a certain book, character, author, your indie bookstore, a fandom, a tv show, reading, a hobby, a genre. Honestly anything you want to gush about..

This topic has endless possibilities. I have decided to do Ten Reasons I Love J.K. Rowling.


Ten Reasons I Love J.K. Rowling:

  1. She’s an amazing author!

What’s not to love about an author who knows how to write? The way she makes the words flow across the page blows my mind. I still wonder how the idea of Harry Potter came to her.

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2. She created the Harry Potter characters.

Without her there would be no Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley, Hedwig and all the others. Without her, the world wouldn’t be the same.

3. She donates to charity!

J.K. Rowling gives the majority of her money to charities. She’s donated at least 160 million dollars to seven or more charities. She’s donated so much that it knocked her off the Forbes billionaire list.

4. She named a HP character after a fan who died from cancer!

Natalie McDonald was the a nine year old girl from Canada who died from cancer. She wrote to Rowling about how much she loved the books. Rowling wrote back but Natalie had already passed away. Natalie McDonald in the book was a Gryffindor. You can find her in The Goblet of Fire.

5. She interacts with her fans on Twitter.

Unlike some celebrities, J.K. Rowling interacts with her fans. She’ll even get into arguments if she doesn’t agree with something someone said.

6. In 2010, Rowling created a clinic in honor of her mother Anne who died of MS.

This is the sweetest thing ever! She turned 45 in 2010 which was the age her mom was when she passed away.

7. The “K” in her name is a tribute to her grandmother!

Her grandmother’s name was Kathleen!

8. Her battle with clinical depression led to the creation of the Dementors.

I put this on here because she used her real life struggles to get ideas for her book. That shows that she isn’t afraid to embrace her past and look to the future.

9. She started writing at age 6.

This has really turned into a J.K. Rowling fun facts post XD I love her for this because she started writing at such a young age. It was about a rabbit who had the measles.

10. Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling share the same birthday!

That’s just amazing. I love that she had Harry have the same birthday as her.


That’s a wrap! Do you know any other facts/amazing things about J.K. Rowling? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week’s Top Ten Tuesday!

~Makayla the Bookworm 😀

 

Library Book Haul (#2)

Hey everyone! This was such a hit that it’s back for another post. These will typically be on Sundays/Mondays and will not be every single week. These posts are to show off what I’ve gotten at the library and what I might be reviewing in the future. Without further ado, here we go!

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The white mark was editing. There is a little label for something that’s just for our state. I didn’t want to show it.

*Book Titles linked to Goodreads*

  1. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun

I have heard that this is a good book and am excited to read it. I will definitely be reviewing this as soon as I read it.

2. Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu

Rules for Stealing Stars

This seemed like a good book. I’m a tiny bit unsure about it. I won’t be doing a review on it unless it’s specifically asked for. It’s a Young Teen/Tween book that you guys don’t really seem to enjoy as much as the YA books.


That’s a wrap! Do either of these books appeal to you? Let me know!

This Library Haul consisted of one YA book and one Tween book.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Library Book Hauls!

~Makayla the Bookworm 🙂

 

 

Book Review: Everything, Everything

Hey everyone! It’s Monday and that means back to school and work. Sigh. It’s also time for another book review! This is a YA book review. As you can probably guess by the title, I am reviewing Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This is Yoon’s debut novel and boy is it a smashing hit.

Name: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

What a wonderful lady!

# of pages: 320 pages

Genres: YA/Contempory/Romance

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads/Amazon Summary:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. “

Credit: http://www.Twitter.com


My Thoughts:

Oh my gosh! This was such an amazing book. I felt so bad for Maddy because she was bored most of the time. All she saw was white walls, fake plants, her mom and her nurse Carla. Maddy and Carla have such an amazing relationship. Everything was pretty normal until the neighbors moved in. Right away, Maddy’s eyes were drawn to Olly. I couldn’t blame her. He sounded so hot!

The best part of the book (one of them) was the plot twist at the end. When it happened I saw like:

I had a hard time believing it. Overall this book was absolutely amazing. I loved from page one and held on tight until the last page. I recommend this 100%. Contemporary lovers especially need to give this a read. I have to warn you there is some parts that get a little inappropriate. Otherwise it’s fine. I honestly hope they make a film adaption of this book.


That’s a wrap! I hope I didn’t drown you in my love for this book. Have you read Everything, Everything? If you have, what did you think about it? If you haven’t did this review make you want to read it? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more book reviews!

~Makayla the Bookworm 🙂