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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

My Summer Reading Mission

I've been trying to get back into reading for a while now... to no avail. My goal to read 20 books in 2015 languished on Goodreads at the low measly number of 2 books.

Then along came Sarah Munson, who created the Fangirl Initiative Summer Reading Mission. Posted yesterday, it contains 15 awesome categories that will help you choose what to read this summer. (And there are prizes!) This challenge was 100% Sarah's idea and hard work, and it's a BRILLIANT idea if I say so myself. So I wanted to announce my intentions of participating, as well as invite you to join us. This summer reading challenge could be the thing to reinvigorate my reading this year. So in my best attempt at being a book blogger, here are my summer reading plans.

A book written by an author with your first name (or the same first or last initial as you.)

Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier
It's the Carnevale of 1750 and Venice's ballrooms, theatres, palazzos and squares are filled with delicious gossip, devilish fun and dangerous games. In this glittering masked world, everyone has a secret...
Set in an age of decadence made famous by Casanova, Masquerade uncovers the secrets of seven teens, from the highest aristocrat to the lowest servant – their dreams, desires, loves, loyalties ... and betrayals.
All the world's a stage. Let the show begin.
Why I chose it: While I go by Sky on my blog, my real name is actually Kylie. I found this book via Cait @ Paper Fury's awesome archive of book reviews. While I don't know much about this book, the atmosphere seems great and I'm excited to give it a try.

A book with a color in the title. 
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. 
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Why I chose it: This is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles, the first book of which I will also be reading in this challenge. It seems natural that I'd like to read it as well, so we're gonna go for it.

A book that's been sitting on your shelf for more than a year. 
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.
That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.
He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two.
We are a sensational team.
Why I chose it: While I don't actually own this book, it's been on my Goodreads shelf for over a year. I tried reading a while back but shamefully had to take it back to the library before I was finished with it. So I'm going to try it again!

A book that is historical fiction. 
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?
Why I chose it: Because I thought maybe if I enjoyed Code Name Verity, I'd want to read this one! This too is a sequel to another book in this challenge. I'm hoping reading the first books goes well because otherwise I have an unavoidable dilemma.

A book you picked for the cover. 
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.
Why I chose it: I googled Goodreads lists for pretty covers and there it was. Pretty simple. (I do have to say it was Brett Michael Orr's review that really convinced me, though.)

A book that's first in a series. 
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Why I chose it: This was one of Sarah's recommendations in the introduction post for the reading challenge, so I kept it! It's been on my TBR list for forever anyway, and I had recently put it on hold at the library. Win-win.

A book involving time travel.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger's dazzling debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry's unconventional love story. That their attempt to live normal lives together is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control makes their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
Why I chose it: I feel like I've heard of this book, but I don't remember what exactly was said. Regardless, I have a vague positive impression about it... and the cover was pretty.

A book featuring a love triangle. 
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Why I chose it: Apparently this has a love triangle, at least according to Goodreads. Maybe it doesn't surface till later books in the series--if it does, don't stone me! But seriously, I've been meaning to read this for a while.

A book set in the future. 
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.
Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
Why I chose it: I've wanted to read this book about the future for forever, so I feel that there is no time but the present. Seriously though, dystopic world involving books? Right up my alley. I hope it does not disappoint.

A book with more than 400 pages. 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Why I chose it: Despite being an extreme fangirl, I have not read this yet. Shamefully, this is another one I tried to read but put down because it didn't grab me... BUT! I'm going to do it again this time. I will not fail you, Rainbow Rowell. (I had to include this book, since this is The Fangirl Initiative's reading challenge.)

A book narrated by a guy. 
Paper Towns by John Green
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...
Why I chose it: I've heard a lot about this book, so in honor of the movie coming up, I'm going to give this a shot.

A book retelling a fairy tale. 
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Why I chose it: I loved the cover and I've heard good things about Sarah J. Maas.

A book that is a classic. 
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."
His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.
Why I chose it: I've been meaning to read this for forever. Let's do this.

A book outside your usual favorite genres.
Try Dying by James Scott Bell
Ty Buchanan is a rising star in his L.A. law firm, until the suspicious death of his fiancee forces him into the underbelly of the city to discover the truth behind her death. He soon has more than his career on the line, as he finds himself tangled up with a mysterious group of former gang members, and becomes the target of a killer.
Why I chose it: I loved James Scott Bell's books about writing (The Art of War for Writers and Plot and Structure in particular.) I've been meaning to read one of his books since I read his non-fiction. I also don't read many mysteries or thrillers, so it's a perfect fit. I'm reading this particular book because I liked it best out of the ones I saw, and because the world doesn't have enough characters named Ty.

A book recommended by a friend or fellow fangirl!
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last - inexorably - into evil.
Why I chose it: I planned to read this before the challenge began, because it was recommended to me by my friend Caroline. I've read a bit of it in eBook form but plan to get it as an actual book and finish it in earnest. I liked what I read, though.

Whew! Fingers crossed I can get through all of these awesome works of fiction. If you want to join us, click here for the details. Tag us in pictures of the books you choose at our Instagram! And if you want to keep up with my progress specifically, you can add me at my Goodreads here.

Okay, now I want to hear from you. Will you do the Summer Reading Mission with us? Have you read any books I mentioned? 


  1. Omg this is such a GREAT idea. WOW. I'm totally tempted except I'm doing a book challenge with my Aussie reading club too. Gah. AND trying to do more writing...but seriously they're such good prompts to fill! I really really love Paper Towns and and Scarlet/Cinder and ZOMG ELIZABETH WEIN MAY MAKE YOU CRY. I absolutely bawled in Code Name Verity. With the audio, that is, I couldnt' get into it with the book because of aaall the plane stuff. They're both 5-star reads for me, but I think Rose Under Fire is better. ;-) AHHH I hope you like Masquerade!!

    1. Thanks, Cait! Oh my gosh, yes. I'm SO looking forward to reading them. Thanks for the excited feedback! Also, the sad thing is, after I posted this I realized that my library doesn't carry Masquerade and the only way I can read it is to purchase the eBook version. So I'm trying to figure out whether I'll do that. Otherwise, though, I'm ready and raring to go!

  2. I'm thinking about doing this now. Maybe? I've already read a few books this summer that could fit into these categories. The time travel one would get me, though. I've already read The Time Traveler's Wife (and I love it! It's such a unique story and I could not image writing it because everything is woven together so intricately), so it might be hard for me to find another book for that category. The Catcher in the Rye is great and doesn't read like a classic at all. It has more of a YA feel to it. I just finished reading Cinder and loved it! I'm currently on Scarlet but it's been a slow start.

    Good luck with this challenge!

    1. We'd love it if you joined us! I know what you mean. Finding a time travel book was hard--I don't know why there aren't more out there? You'd think there would be a lot. I've heard similar things about The Catcher In the Rye! I'm looking forward to reading all of these! Thanks for the comment and the good luck wishes!

  3. Yay for readerly love - I'm cheering for you from the sidelines! :D (I feel you on the sad lack of reading - school has ensured that I'm way behind on my GR challenge as well, but I'm hoping to power through quite a few books this summer to make up for it.) By the way, FANGIRL is one of my favourite books in the history of everything, so I am ridiculously excited for you to read that one. Honestly, it's beyond lovely. <3

    1. Thanks so much, Topaz! Glad I'm not the only one lacking in my reading. It's so sad! I wish you much luck in your reading this summer! And oh my goodness yay! I'm extra-excited to read that one now. I'll have to post what I think. <3 Thank you TONS for commenting!

  4. You picked such fantastic sounding books for this, Sky! It's pretty sad that I haven't finalized my reading list yet. I may be a copycat and steal a few of your selections ;) I'm so excited you're taking part in this. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on all these lovely reads!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Oh, please, steal away! And thank you, I'm so excited you made this and that I get to take part! I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of your TBR pile, too. Thank you so much for doing this!

  5. I'm totally going to steal the one you picked for the cover. :D I've known about it for awhile, but I think my first impression was, "OOh, pretty cover!" I don't usually pick books solely on their cover, but I figure this is close enough. :)


    1. I would love that! We should compare notes. I agree, the cover is so gorgeous.

      And I'll be reading Paper Towns like you will, so I'm excited to compare thoughts on that as well!

      I'M EXCITED TOO. I'm so glad you're joining in!


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