MY FAVORITE SUMMER READS

hello & welcome to or welcome back to christina raquel!! i hope you’re all having an amazing day <33

recently I’ve been doing a TON of reading (like 10 books a week) and i’ve been loving it. without having school i’ve had so much more time and it’s been so nice to just relax with a book. even if you don’t like to read, these books are so good and you will for sure fall in love with at least one. today i’m sharing some of my favorite books that have lots of summery vibes and are perfect to read in the summertime!

Continue reading “MY FAVORITE SUMMER READS”

june 2020 recent reads

hey frens! today I’m sharing some of the books I’ve read this month and doing some mini reviews. I love reading but it’s so hard to find good books sometimes! if you have any recs share them below 👇👇


After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry. John enlists Nora’s help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past? 

true to you – going into this book, I assumed it would be a pretty typical fluffy, cheesy romance with zero depth. I was wrong. True to You surprised me with a couple plot twists and some depth to the story that I wasn’t expecting, but it still tied itself all up with a bow and had plenty of fluff. this book also had a lot of christian themes to it and was pretty clean (no explicit language, but some mature themes including rape/assault… these are a part of the story but aren’t described in detail at all.)

Willow Bradford is content taking a break from modeling to run her family’s inn until she comes face-to-face with NFL quarterback Corbin Stewart, the man who broke her heart–and wants to win her back. When a decades-old missing-persons case brings them together, they’re forced to decide whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

falling for you – this is the sequel to true to you (there’s actually four books in the series but I’m not sure if I’ll read all of them) and I ended up reading it all in one afternoon! i wasn’t sure what to think going into it but I actually loved it way more than true to you?? I could relate a ton more to willow than nora so I think that was part of it lol. again plenty of christian themes, a little bit of talk about premarital sex (not in detail at all) + a pregnancy scare and also this story centered around a mystery just like true to you. the mystery for this one did involve an affair but nothing was described in detail so I’d consider this book super clean and a great read!

Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say. Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home. There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

allegedly – I saw this on another blogger’s book haul and thought it looked interesting so I decided to read it. oh my gosh, you guys, I was not prepared at all for this book. it’s SO SO GOOD but also so messed up!! if you read this just know that you WILL cry haha. it’s so painful and I felt punched in the stomach after reading it. the writing is so good and I could not believe this is a debut novel?? like what?? in the middle I did feel like everything slowed down a bit but push through because the ending will shock you so much omg. this book literally stabbed me in the heart and I have no clue what to say. also this book is not a cotton candy rainbow unicorn book. it’s terribly unfair and it’s so hard to read. AND OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS THE ENDING. i was not expecting what happened ahhhh. to summarize: I feel so manipulated by this book but I would definitely recommend it! there is a lot of language/violence/abuse/some sexual content but the message is so good. and bring tissues you will definitely need them. if you want to talk more about this book after you read it dm me because I have so much more to say but I don’t want to spoil omg!!

What if America had a royal family? When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

american royals – haha this book is totally opposite of the previous one. full of soap opera style drama without a ton of depth to it. BUT I live for this type of story so I loved this book! I also love the royals so if you do too you might enjoy this read. there’s a sequel coming out in september and I CANNOT WAIT! there are a ton of plot twists in this story but honestly that just feeds into the soap opera style. content warning: there is some language (not peppering the pages but it’s definitely there) and some sexual content not described in detail. overall this was a good read and I’m pumped for the sequel.

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along. 

the summer I turned pretty – ahh I really, really wanted to like this book. but… I didn’t?? i think it could have been way better but here are the things I didn’t like

  1. there’s a love square. i don’t even know what it’s called. belly likes THREE people the whole summer just make up your mind girl!!
  2. also there were a ton of flashbacks which could have been good but they were super confusing? it was kinda hard to tell what was going on.
  3. also i loved belly but she could be really bratty and annoying sometimes.
  4. it was just… weird sometimes. i don’t know.
  5. drugs/smoking/sexual things mentioned/alcohol (not too much but it was there)

but there were some redeeming qualities

  1. susannah. i loved her so much!! I feel like her character personified summer and she was pretty much perfect.
  2. cam. he was weird but just the right amount of weird so i liked him.
  3. jeremiah and conrad. they annoyed me a ton but i still liked them. I kinda sympathize with belly tbh because how can you choose between all of them??? they’re all so different but they all fit belly’s personality.
  4. belly’s mom. she wasn’t perfect and there were definitely times where she wasn’t a great role model. BUT i feel like throughout the story belly really learned how much her mom loved her and I started to see that even though she wasn’t perfect she definitely loved her daughter a lot.

so, to summarize this rather long review – I really wanted to love this book and while it didn’t quite meet my expectations I’m still going to read the other books in the series and see if they’re good! I would recommend this book though, just be prepared for it not to be amazing i guess?


I’ve definitely read more books recently, but these are some of the main ones! currently I’m reading present over perfect, the third book in the bradford sisters series, christy miller (for the millionth time), and the outsiders (for school).

what are you reading? do you have any good book recommendations?

my top 10 books to read this year (ft. tbr)

top 10 books to read this year.png

this year, I really want to read more, and better books. I haven’t gone to the library much recently because my library doesn’t have the greatest selection, but I need to put more books on hold instead of making that an excuse. Do not get me wrong, I love to read (and I do it A LOT) but I want to make purposeful choices this year with the books I read.

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 books (and series!) to read this year!

Continue reading “my top 10 books to read this year (ft. tbr)”

My Summer Reading List//Free Printable

My Summer Reading List

Today I’m going to share (some of) the books on my summer reading list! It’s VERY long, so I decided to only share some of the books.

Also, I have some great news for y’all: Martin Legacy is out for beta readers!! I LOVED Martin Hospitality SOOO much and Martin Legacy is not a disappointment. It’s too late now to sign up to be a beta reader but I finished the book earlier this week and it’s amazing. Most of my comments (that were supposed to be critiques) were pretty much me squealing. I can’t wait for Abigayle Claire to release it 🙂 

I LOVE classic fiction books now (I blame Omnibus) but I also like good fiction (most of the YA books are soo bad – both writing and content) and pretty much anything. 😂 Several of the books on this list are rereads (xD) and they’re mostly classics that my teacher(s) recommended.

null

  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Christy – Catherine Marshall
  • Northanger Abby – Jane Austen
  • The Christy Miller Series – Robin Jones Gunn
  • Julie – Catherine Marshall
  • Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  • David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry – Mildred Taylor
  • Let the Circle Be Unbroken – Mildred Taylor
  • The Road to Memphis – Mildred Taylor
  • The Pushcart War – Jean Merrill
  • Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
  • Sketchy Behavior – Erynn Mangum
  • Roadside Assistance – Amy Clipston
  • The Story People – Heather Kaufman
  • Where you Lead – Leslea Wahl
  • Very Good, Jeeves! – P. G. Woodhouse
  • Rose in Bloom – Louisa May Alcott
  • Little Men – Louisa May Alcott
  • Eight Cousins – Louisa May Alcott
  • Interrupted: Life Beyond Words – Rachel Coker
  • Chasing Jupiter – Rachel Coker

null

I made a free printable in case you want to track the books you read this summer (or anytime!!) There are two versions (they are both in the SAME PDF though). The first one has columns for title, author, and minutes, but the second one only has columns for title and author. 

Printable Summer Reading Chart

Hope you enjoy!! ❤

null

 

My Favorite Book Covers

post featured image (1)

In this post, I’m going to do the complete opposite of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” and judge books by their covers. #sorrynotsorry because these book covers are literally the cutest!!

Do you always judge books by their covers like me? 😂
Also you guys should know that I judge books by their covers already… remember my tbr?

null

The entire Puffin in Bloom Collection

The Puffin in Bloom collection is made up of Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, A little Princess, and Heidi, and the covers are literally the cutest.

In Bloom Book Collection Set of 4 Books Published By Puffin in Bloom with Matching Bookmarks

Guys look at the spines!! 😍

Roadside Assistance

Related image

#sorrynotsorry

I seriously love this cover too much. It’s so cute!!! I haven’t even read the book yet though so.

Melanie Dickerson Books

Related image

Sorry for the weird picture, but it was the only one I could find where it showed part of most covers 😂

Anyway, I just love the dresses! They’re so cute 😍 If I ever show up in one of these dresses, don’t blame me! I love how all the covers are similar to each other as well.

This Changes Everything

Image result for this changes everything cover

Eep the cover is just so cute! I love how it tells a story, and the color scheme is really good too! I love this cover 😍 (also sorry most of these books are on my tbr)

Where you Lead

Image result for where you lead by leslea wahl

I love this cover. I haven’t read the book yet but the color and the cover in general make me want to read it right now! I love the sunset in the background 😍

Within these lines

Image result for within these lines

I love the cover!!! 😍😍😍 (I say this about every book tho so) I love how it goes with the story (even though I haven’t read it yet).

Martin Hospitality

Image result for martin hospitality

The cover is so pretty! I love the painting aspect 😍 (also if you haven’t read this book yet HOW DARE YOU okay sorry but still it’s SO good and I 110% recommend it)

null

What’s your favorite book cover? More importantly: have you read Martin Hospitality?😂 Did you like it?

null

BOOK REVIEW: Andora’s Folly by Abigayle Claire

post featured image (1)

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Stellae Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.

I have really high hopes for this book… guys the author wrote Martin Hospitality (aka probably my favorite book in the universe!!) Josiah is the cutest and Gemma 😍 Plus FARRIS. Please. Before this turns into me fangirling over Martin Hospitality (wait it already has), let’s get started with the review.

null

A n d o r a ‘ s   F o l l y

by Abigayle Claire

The synopsis of the book is from Goodreads.

A Pandora’s Box retelling

Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, her life takes a drastically unromantic turn. Nothing makes sense—her arranged marriage, the gifts her parents bestow on her wedding day, or her new husband’s temperament.

As Andora begins to unravel the mysteries around her, she ignites a chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever. Only her new-found wisdom as a desperate peasant’s wife can save her from her folly.

I’ve really never read/heard a lot about Pandora’s Box (only a tiny bit) but I was still really excited to read the book! Plus the author had set my hopes very high 😂 (I love Martin Hospitality okay?)

As I read the book, I began to enjoy it more and more. Andora annoyed me so much at the beginning, but when she got married, I actually began to like her 🙂 By the time the novella was over, I was SO sad. I mean please can we have a sequel? SO GOOD.

C O N T E N T

Knowing Abigayle Claire, I excepted little to no content issues, and I was right. SPOILER At the end, there are a couple kisses between Theus and Andora (who are married), but they’re not detailed. SPOILER Quite honestly, I can’t think of anything questionable in this book aside from a few very non-detailed kisses. There was violence SPOILER And in the end, death SPOILER, but it was not detailed in a gory way.

R E C O M M E N D A T I O N

I would recommend this book to girls and guys over age 11. While I think the story would appeal more to girls, I can see guys enjoying it as well. It took me 30-45 minutes to read the whole novella (while taking some notes for the review), but I do read pretty fast so this may take around 1 hour. Still, it’s definitely worth it! I don’t think anyone 10 or under would enjoy the story very much, but some kids might!

F I N A L   T H O U G H T S

I loved this book. ❤

I already knew that Abigayle Claire was a great author from reading Martin Hospitality (!!!!), but Andora’s Folly confirmed that! I can’t wait for Abigayle’s next book, and like I said I’m hoping for a sequel to Andora’s Folly! It will probably never happen but a girl can wish right??

Anyway. Go buy this book! (you will not be unhappy with it!) Let me know what you think 🙂 It ends really quickly but you will enjoy it!

null

My TBR

post featured image (1)

Welcome back to C & C (Christina and Camera)! Today I’m going to be sharing my TBR list.

also if you didn’t know tbr is to be read. because i didn’t know that until recently so i thought apparently you guys needed to know that? ANYWAY.
also it’s official: i’m horrible at intros.

null

tbr sketchy behaviortbr suit and suitabilitytbr sense and sensibilitytbr roadside assistancetbr becoming mrs. lewistbr the story peopletbr this changes everythingtbr where you leadtbr within these lines

tbr riddle of agestbr summerhill secrets

null

Wow. This was so much longer than I expected… whoops!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know if they’re good! What’s on your TBR?

null

Desk Tour

post featured image touring my desk

post featured image (1)

This is the first post in a mini-series about my desk! The next post will be on Monday 🙂 Today, I’m going to be giving you all a tour of my desk! This was requested when I asked for post ideas- if you have any more, please let me know on this post.

null

img_3733

An overview of my desk

Note: the table to the left (which you can just barely see in the picture, oops!) is part of my desk too, but it doesn’t have anything on it and it’s really just a place to spread out when doing homework or taking notes.

img_3734

Closer shot of my desk 🙂

img_3735

This is the wall above my whiteboard- I generally keep encouraging quotes, calendars, and tools up here. (I also just realized that I still have my January calendar up- I cropped some of it out of the photo but it’s up there. oops!

img_3736

My current Verso de Memoria (Memory Verse) for Spanish class: Proverbios 3:1-8 (Proverbs)

img_3737

An adorable bible verse that a lady in our church made my mom- you bet I snatched it right up! (Actually my mom gave it to me, don’t worry)

img_3738

I honestly don’t need this anymore, but it’s a chart to remember the regular verb conjugations in Spanish. I made it toward the beginning of the school year when I was having a lot of trouble with them..

img_3739

Wow this is… not so cute? I made this a while ago, maybe I’ll make a new one to put up there.

img_3740

Now we’re onto the whiteboard! I copied this art (can you tell I’m not an artist at all?) from something I found that I liked. Great verse, but I didn’t do it very well 😦

img_3742

I’m trying to earn ~300 dollars for a Christian camp I want to go to this summer, and this is a super simple tracker I made for it 🙂

img_3743

I’m tracking the amount of practice time for piano in February, so I just printed out a cute calendar 🙂

img_3744

My handy dandy expo markers (which are totally crooked, oops)

img_3746

My little… storage tray? I normally keep books on it. Right now I have a notepad, birthday card (actually my birthday was not recent, I have no idea why that’s there…) The Scarlet Pimpernel, and a math book I got from the library.

img_3747-1

My planner!

img_3748-1

An ugly shot of my computer. Pretty self-explanatory, I guess.

img_3749-1

My random little storage thingys. The pencil pouch holds my brush pens, pens, pencils, and highlighters.

img_3750

The cute but falling apart folder holder my brothers made me. It holds all my school folders and stuff, haha.

img_3752

My random box of papers + craft supplies… it’s a mess but organized if that makes sense? I’ve had the box/drawer since age 5 which explains the stickers on the front… lol.

img_3753

This is the top drawer of that cube thingy. I put my bigger binders + books I’m reading for school in here.

img_3754

Currently reading for school:

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (actually we just finished this, on to The Silver Chair)

The History of the Kings of Britian by Geoffrey

Richard lll by Shakespeare (we just finished this one too, Ephesians from the Bible next)

img_3756

And this horribly blurry picture of my dictionary 🙂

img_3757

My Spanish and Science binders

img_3758

Below the drawer in the cube is where I put my textbooks/manuals.

img_3783

And ending with this awful self-timer picture of me writing in my planner 🙂

 

 

Thanks for reading 🙂 Happy (Belated) Valentine’s Day! Did you all read the story behind it in school? We did, every single class and then later at dinner, hahaha.

 

null

Recent Reads

post featured image recent reads

post featured image (1)

Wow! It’s a lot of work to blog twice a week, but so far (lol this is like the first week of doing this) I love it! Today’s post is basically going to be reviews of my favorite books that I’ve read recently. This is one of the categories of posts (book reviews) that you all really wanted to see when I asked– feel free to still comment on that post or comment what you’d like to see next on this post. Anyway, let’s get started with the post!

divider2

recent reads called for life

 

Related imageThis book. It’s certainly not fiction but I think everyone should read it. It’s the story of Kent and Amber Brantly, who were medical missionaries when an Ebola outbreak started. (Ebola is a super dangerous sickness that can be transferred through pretty much anything and almost always results in death). Spoiler alert: (don’t worry only the white text is a spoiler. Select it and then you can see.) None of the main characters die. This book is great (but it made me cry so much guys. like I NEVER cry when I read…) and I really recommend it. It’s very medically detailed (but pretty easy to understand, and not super gross-you-out, if you know what I mean).

recent reads fish in a tree

Image result for fish in a tree

The book cover for this is a little creepy (hello fish staring right at me) but the rest is ADORABLE. I love the colored letters (and I *think* they’re really significant in the book too).  The name is based on the quote by Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Agg this book is so cute. It’s geared for a younger (maybe upper elementary?) reader, but the story is so deep and sweet that it really doesn’t matter. Ally goes through such a transformation in this book and learns to live without a label. Guys just read this book okay? Seriously, you won’t regret reading it.

recent reads one for the murphys

Image result for one for the murphys

 

This book is great! It’s probably intended for like sixth grade (maybe? I guess?) but it’s another one of those books that is great for every age (at least 10, though). I wish a couple scenes were taken out (the bread//rolls scene, maybe all that extra stuff with Toni, and some of the scenes with Mrs. Murphy.) Other then that, this book was great- I would recommend it.

 

I recently discovered a video for this book that’s super cute. It’s a group of 8th graders acting out the book, and it’s certainly not professional by any means, but it’s *pretty* true to the story and doesn’t take out that much. Anyway, if you want to watch it, check it out on this link: YOUTUBE LINK.

recent reads the giver

Image result for the giver

This book. You’ve probably read it before (I have!) but it’s just so good.  While it’s intended for middle and upper grade readers, anyone 10+ can read it. It’s very clean, but I don’t think that anyone under 10 would appreciate or understand the story. The story is just the sweetest… I’m off to read the rest of the books in the series (again) now. But really, just read

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sooo… did you enjoy this post! I enjoyed writing (and reading) this.

 

 

null