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Welcome to “C.A. Hughes Book Reviews!”

Join me (a 20-something, bilingual, elementary school teacher) on my quest to tackle my ever-growing TBR pile and to search for stories with diverse representation that will broaden my horizons. Look below to learn more about my 2021 reading goals, the criteria I use to review what I read, and check out the “Blog” page to find my latest blog post documenting what I’ve been reading!

2021 Reading Goals and Review Criteria:

2021 Goals and Progress:
  • Read 72 books:
    • 12/72
  • Read (at least) 5 classic novels:
    • 1/5
  • Read more non-fiction:
    • 4
  • Read (at least) 5 books in Spanish:
    • 0/5
Currently Reading:
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Peak
Most Recently Enjoyed:
  • Friday Black
Review Criteria:

When I review the books that I finish, this is how I will structure the information and insights that I share:

  • Title:
  • Author:
  • Year of Publication:
  • Genre:
  • Summary:
  • Format: How did I read the book? (Paperback, audiobook, etc.)
  • Themes: What were the important takeaways from the story? What messages will stick with me?
  • Character Development: How did the characters grow and change throughout the story?
  • Plot/Pacing: Did the story hold my attention the whole time? Was it predictable?
  • Writing Style: Was there anything unique or especially engaging about the writing style or literary devices used?
  • “Bingeability”: How hard was it to put down? *Note: this criteria is not necessarily a reflection of quality, but an important characteristic to note nevertheless when describing the reading experience.
  • Emotional Investment: How connected did I feel to the story? To the characters?
  • Windows and Mirrors: This criteria assesses the diversity of representation (of people or experiences) in a book and is totally subjective. Was it a window into someone else’s experience or a reflection (mirror) of my own?
  • Overall Thoughts: My general thoughts on the book.
  • Recommendation: If I recommend the book and for whom I recommend it. For children’s books, if I recommend them for children and/or classroom use.

Latest from the Blog

Top 10 Tuesday: Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had

Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s challenge is about characters whose jobs I wish I had!

This was another hard one for me! I don’t know why I’ve been struggling so much with these lately. For this one, I read a lot of children’s and young adult books, and frequently the adults in these books are teachers since school is such an important part of adolescence. However, I can’t pick those because I already am a teacher! For this one, I decided to be pretty flexible with the prompt. I don’t have the skills to do the majority of these jobs, but if there is any aspect of the job that I like then I decided to include it in this list. With that being said, here are my top ten (in no particular order)!

February Wrap-Up

Happy March everyone!

February was a short month, but one in which I managed to do more reading than usual. I was in kind of a reading slump in January, but luckily I managed to break out of that in February!

I think part of the reason my motivation to read improved last month was because I was reading with purpose. Due to it being Black History Month, I decided that I wanted every book I read to be written by black authors. Of course, I’d like to note that I strive to read from a diverse selection of authors year-round, but I really wanted to focus some extra energy and attention on this during February.

And WOW! I really discovered some great books this month. I even read some genres that I don’t normally explore!

Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of all the books I read in February…

Book Review: “Punching the Air” by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

This was a really interesting book, and one that is taking me a little longer than usual to process my feelings about. It had so many important themes and was beautifully written in verse, but there was something that left me feeling a little disconnected from the story as a whole. Regardless, it’s still one that is well worth reading and one that I would recommend to any teen or adult reader.

Spoiler-Free Review: “Punching the Air” is a YA novel-in-verse that follows Amal, a black and Muslim teen boy who is wrongfully convicted of a crime that he did not commit. It follows his experience as he is…

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