Reviews

Love From Scratch by Kaitlyn Hill

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

This summer, Reese Camden is trading sweet tea and Southern hospitality for cold brew and crisp coastal air. She’s landed her dream marketing internship at Friends of Flavor, a wildly popular cooking channel in Seattle. The only problem? Benny Beneventi, the relentlessly charming, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing culinary intern–and her main competition for the fall job. Reese’s plan to keep work a No Feelings Zone crumbles like a day-old muffin when she and Benny are thrown together for a video shoot that goes viral, making them the internet’s newest ship. Audiences are hungry for more, and their bosses at Friends of Flavor are happy to deliver. Soon Reese and Benny are in an all-out food war, churning homemade ice cream, twisting soft pretzels, breaking eggs in an omelet showdown–while hundreds of thousands of viewers watch. Reese can’t deny the chemistry between her and Benny. But the more their rivalry heats up, the harder it is to keep love on the back burner… 

I mean, a romcom about two interns at a company that posts food videos online fighting it out for the one job being offered in the fall. Heck yes I wanted to read that book. And the cover is adorable!

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Reviews

This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Knopf Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

In the middle of Budapest, there is a river. Csilla knows the river is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most–safe from the Holocaust. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father’s legacy that she wishes she could forget. Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly, publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.

I’ve been looking forward to Katherine’s next YA since it was announced! They are one of my favorite authors, and I was siked to see what their next historical fiction would bring. And a story about a magic river, an angel of death, and a city that is deeply flawed, with a girl struggling to figure out if it is worth fighting for.

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Reviews

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

*Spoiler free*

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not. August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

After reading Darling, I was ready to devour all of this author’s other books. I had The Wicker King on my shelf, so that was the one I gravitated towards. Plus, a boy experiencing hallucinations of an elaborate fantasy kingdom and his best friend trying to unravel what is real and what is not. I knew this book would cause me a lot of pain and was ready to see what this book would have in store for me.

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Other

A Show For Two by Tashie Bhuiyan

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Inkyard Press and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Mina Rahman has a plan for her future: • Finally win the Golden Ivy student film competition • Get into her dream school across the country • Leave New York City behind once and for all Mina’s ticket to winning the competition falls into her lap when indie film star—and known heartbreaker—Emmitt Ramos enrolls in her high school under a secret identity to research his next role. When Mina sets out to persuade Emmitt to join her cause, he offers her a deal instead: he’ll be in her short film…if she acts as a tour guide to help him with a photography contest. As Mina ventures across the five boroughs with Emmitt by her side, the city she grew up in starts to look different and more like home than it ever has before. With the competition deadline looming, Mina’s dreams—which once seemed impenetrable—begin to crumble, and she’s forced to ask herself: Is winning worth losing everything?

After absolutely adoring Counting Down With You, I was ready to read whatever it was that Tashie was going to write next. And a book, inspired by Tom Holland going undercover at a highschool, about a girl who ropes the undercover celebrity at her school into being into her film project, even though they can’t stand each other, sound freaking amazing. And I was so, so eager to read it. Trigger warnings: emotional abuse, depression

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Reviews

This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so, so much to Emily for the ARC!

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches. Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her. Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

I have wanted to read this book for awhile. And if I’m being completely honest, the fact of three weddings, followed by three funerals, was basically all I needed to become incredible eager to read it. Then, finding out it has demons, and a girl whose touch can kill, but can be used to save her island, if stops killing her partners, made me want to read it even more.

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Reviews

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

*Spoiler free*

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality. Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths. Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods. The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

It’s an Alexandra Bracken book, of course I had seen it around, most usually surrounding with lots of excitement. I don’t know why I wasn’t completely drawn to this book when I first found out about it, but my desire to read it was definitely something that grew. The cover was gorgeous, I knew it was about Greek mythology, and I found out it featured the friends-to-lovers trope and was very dark. Those last two things got my attention, and I was totally ready to see what this book was going to be about. Trigger warnings: sexual assault, mentions of sexual abuse, violence, gore, blood

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Reviews

Portrait Of A Thief by Grace Li

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Tiny Reparations Books and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now. Will Chen plans to steal them back. A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son that has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a shadowy Chinese corporation reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago. His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine—or at least, the closest he can get. A conman: Irene Chen, Will’s sister and a public policy major at Duke, who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering student who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down. Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.

I’ve been excited for this book since the deal announcement. A book about five twenty somethings stealing art back that resides in Western museums even though it doesn’t rightfully belong to them. It sounded amazing, art, heists, found family. I couldn’t wait to read it.

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Reviews

Wake The Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away. After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.

Just from this title, I knew I wanted to read this book. I didn’t even need to know much else. I knew it would be about something dark and sinister rising from the earth, and a girl who is trying to stop the devil from coming after her like it did her mother. That’s basically all I needed to know to know that I wanted to read this book. Trigger warnings: mental and physical abuse, violence, suicide, blood

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Reviews

Accomplished by Amanda Quain

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence. But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone—Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself—that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:
– Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
– Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
– Distract Fitz Darcy—helicopter-sibling extraordinaire—by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)
Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is. 

A Pride & Prejudice retelling set at a boarding school, about a girl who wants to get her life back on track. Yes, I was interested to see what this book was all about. Plus, I had seen a lot of love for this one online, so I was eager to see what I thought about it myself!

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Reviews

Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Arlee Gold is anxious about spending the summer at the college prep Camp Rockaway—the same camp her mother attended years ago, which her mother insists will help give Arlee a “fresh start” and will “change her life.” Little does Arlee know that, once she steps foot on the manicured grounds, this will prove to be true in horrifying ways. Even though the girls in her cabin are awesome—and she’s developing a major crush on the girl who sleeps in the bunk above her—the other campers seem to be wary of Arlee, unwilling to talk to her or be near her, which only ramps up her paranoia. When she’s tapped to join a strange secret society, Arlee thinks this will be her shot at fitting in…until her new “sisters” ask her to do the unthinkable, putting her life, and the life of her new crush, in perilous danger.

With a cover like that, for a book about a summer camp that turns out to be a lot more horrifying than it seems, with a secret society that requires the unthinkable, and it’s sapphic, I was very, very eager to read it. It sounded like it was good to be weird and disturbing, and I love those kinds of books. Trigger warnings: blood, insects, gore, mentions of sexual assault/harassment

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