MY YEAR IN BOOKS 🖤 best and worst books of 2018

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this post yet, but I want to recap my 2018 year in books.

I can’t thank you enough, reader friends, for supporting me here on this bookish blog and on my BookTube channel. 2018 was my best bookish year yet, thanks to all of you. 🖤

Here’s my bookish year in review, along with the best and worst books I read in 2018.

I have a feeling 2019 is going to be even better. ✨

How was your 2018 reading year? What was some your best and worst books? Let me know in the comments!

Books I Read This Summer ☀️

morganvega blog post headers.png

I read some of my new favorite books this summer AND I surpassed my Goodread’s reading challenge. 👌🏼

Thanks to everyone on BookTube for supporting and motivating me. 🖤

Check out my new reader friend Cynthia’s channel!

HOW HAD I NOT READ THIS BOOK? 🖤 To Kill a Mockingbird Readalong Vlog

morganvega blog post headers (3).png

First off, many thanks to Tom over at T.J. Reads the Stars for hosting this readalong of To Kill a Mockingbird! 💖

One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read this book—and reading it with new reader friends made the experience even better. 👍🏻

Meet Tom in his readalong announcement video:

Now check out my reading vlog of the readalong! 🖤

Image result for barnes and noble to kill a mockingbirdSYNOPSIS

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

To sum up why I loved this book, it comes down to how the characters and plot developed and thickened over the course of the novel. Plus, the book tackles heavy, important themes—racial inequality, gender inequality, poverty—through a young girl’s interactions and understandings of her small, Southern town.

Regarding characters, Scout was such an endearing firecracker. She grew immensely as a human, and by the end of the book, she finally understands her dad Atticus’ instruction and advice about empathizing with other people. Growing up in such a small, problematic, racist, sexist town causes her to confront a lot of upsetting and even dangerous situations, and there were a couple of instances where her reactions to these moments had me in tears. She brought hope. Hope that people can learn, people can empathize, people can use words instead of fists.

The second reason why I loved this book was the plot progression. Though I had an idea of how the book was going to go, I had no idea how all of the plot lines and people were going to wrap up and be significant. But they did. Everything mattered, every character mattered.

I’m so happy and proud of myself for FINALLY reading this classic novel!

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

🖤 “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

🖤 “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

🖤 “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

🖤 “It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”

🖤 “It’s not time to worry yet.”

Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you read it in school? What did you like or not like about it? Let me know in the comments!

5 Thoughts on Starting My BookTube Channel

morganvega blog post headers (2)

It’s happened. I’ve reached 100 subscribers on my BookTube channel👍🏼📖

Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 10.42.30 AM.png

Not to sound super extra—but from starting my channel—I’ve learned a lot about the BookTube community, about myself as a reader, and about the power and magic of books. ✨

Here are my 5 main thoughts from these past three, bookish months.

1. The BookTube community is the kindest community ever.

Like I mentioned in my first video BookTube Newbie Tag, I wanted to start a BookTube channel because I wanted a new, *digital* space to talk about books with fellow readers who also like to talk about books. 🖤

I knew the BookTube community was supportive.

But it wasn’t until I started posting my videos and engaging in the community that I realized how incredibly supportive it is.

To give an example, cynthiaspaperbackheart on BookTube mentioned me in one of her recent videos, gave me a shoutout on Twitter, and I genuinely lost my cool.

Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 7.17.46 PM.png

She is one of the many, many fellow BookTubers that has supported and welcomed me in to the community.

I’m proud of myself for trying something new—and scary (since sometimes it feels like I’m opening myself up for unwanted criticism)—but the response makes it a little less nerve-racking.

2. I read a lot of middle grade and young adult books. Like a lot, a lot.

I guess I never realized how many MG and YA books I read.

As a previous English major, I mostly read the classics and modern adult fiction. Not anymore, though.

Because of BookTube, I’ve started using Goodreads to track my books, which has totally revealed my preference for reading MG and YA.

Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 7.54.18 PM.png

3. YA books are more than just pleasure reads. Many are lifelines. 

Once I realized how many YA (and MG) books I read, I wondered why that is. And not only read, but why I also write YA books.

My answer? Because they’re lifelines.

I write books that I wish I had read as a teen. I read books that I wish I had read as a teen. Their message is helping me grow and heal and learn as an adult.

I’ll never get too old to read YA.

4. I read to escape.

You would think I would have known this about myself by now. Nope.

Starting my channel has held me accountable to my reading goals and prompted me to read more consistently. Because of this, I’m more in-tune with my reading habits and preferences.

One being that I read to get out of my head. I read to escape.

I talk about this a bit in my Mental Illness in Young Adult Books and Mental Health Book Tag posts, but I binge read my way through the Percy Jackson series when I recently was struggling with my mental health.

This middle grade fantasy series was everything I needed. Its sassy protagonist, its humor, its greek mythology—it all made for an easy, fun, adventurous read that helped me escape (even when the characters were stuck in the endless Labyrinth).

BookTube and the Percy Jackson series taught me—not only about myself as a reader—but that reading, especially MG fantasy, is a resource for me and my mental health.

5. Books connect us and inspire us to be and do good.

The BookTube community wouldn’t exist without books (obviously), and books—I believe—make this community one of kind, empathetic, and supportive people.

Books help us better understand each other. Relate to each other. Empathize with each other.

For example, reading YA books that feature mental illness helped me feel understood and to understand others better.

I’m proud, happy, fortunate, excited (basically all the good things) to now be a member of this community. I’m inspired by other people’s support and kindness on BookTube to be a positive force online with my channel. 🖤

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, with 100 subscribers, my channel is something that has just began, will continue to be, and will become an even more significant passion in my life.

I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in three more months!

What do you love about BookTube? Are you a member of the community or want to be? Let me know in the comments! If you have a BookTube channel, I would love to check it out! 👍🏼

Simon Vs. & Love, Simon Book and Movie Review

15
Update on my reading progress with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: I read the book in under 4 hours, watched the movie Love, Simon, and made a spoiler video of my lingering thoughts on both the book and movie. 👌🏽😍

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda | Morgan Vega | morganvega.com

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is definitely going to be on my favorite books of 2018 list. And. The. Movie. Was everything to me. 🖤

31180248
I can’t wait to read Leah on the Offbeat! It means the world that the #1 New York Times Best Seller right now for young adult features a bisexual protagonist. 😍🖤

Have you read it yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments! And let me know what you thought of the movie adaptation Love, Simon!