Reviews

Caster by Elsie Chapman

*Spoiler free*

Aza Wu knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. After all, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader that oversees her sector of Lotusland. If you want to operate a business there, you have to pay your tribute. And now with Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries. When Aza comes across a secret invitation, she decides she doesn’t have much else to lose. She quickly realizes that she’s entered herself into an underground casting tournament, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Real magic, real consequences. As she competes, Aza fights for her life against some very strong and devious competitors. When the facts about Shire’s death don’t add up, the police start to investigate. When the tributes to Saint Willow aren’t paid, the gang comes to collect. When Aza is caught sneaking around with fresh casting wounds, her parents are alarmed. As Aza’s dangerous web of lies continues to grow, she is caught between trying to find a way out and trapping herself permanently.

I first heard about this book when the cover was revealed. It has an absolutely stunning cover, and it definitely sets the stage for what this book is about. And then I learned it’s about magic and the price that has to be paid for it. There’s underground tournaments, secrets, and mysteries too. It sounded like something I would like to read, and I wanted to give it a shot.

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Other

Things I Want To See More Of In Books

I’ve been thinking about the books I read and the things I like to see. That got me thinking about the certain aspects that I’ve found are few and far between, but I would like to see more of. I thought it would be cool to talk about! I feel like there’s always room for more in publishing (expect for problematic stuff of course). People think it’s full/filling up, but I like to like that it can expand to any rate. Sure, changes might need to be made, but I think books have the capacity to hold whatever the world needs them to.

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Reviews

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you Edelweiss and HaperCollins for the e-ARC!

Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke never thought she would wish she’d failed a test until she finds herself holding a thick piece of plastic in her hands and staring at two solid pink lines. Even the most consistent use of condoms won’t prevent pregnancy when your boyfriend secretly pokes holes in them to keep you from going out-of-state for college. Veronica needs an abortion, but the closest place she can legally get one is over nine hundred miles away—and Veronica doesn’t have a car. Too ashamed to ask her friends or family for help, Veronica turns to the one person she believes won’t judge her: Bailey Butler, Jefferson High’s own little black cloud of anger and snark—and Veronica’s ex-best friend. Once on the road, Veronica quickly remembers nothing with Bailey is ever simple and that means two days of stolen cars, shotguns, crazed ex-boyfriends, truck stop strippers with pro-life agendas, and a limo driver named Bob. But the pain and betrayal of their broken friendship can’t be outrun. When their fighting leads to a brutal moment of truth, Bailey abandons Veronica. Now Veronica must risk everything in order to repair the hurt she’s caused.

A book about a girl taking a road trip to get an abortion. It’s definitely not something I’ve read before, but I was definitely ready to change that. One of my friends was over the moon excited for this book, so that amped up my own desire to read it!

Continue reading “Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan”

Reviews

Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

*Spoiler free*

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive. Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her. Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him. Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself. And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge. Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

With a title like this, I automatically wanted to read it. The synopsis confirmed it was different than what I thought it was going to be, but I was intrigued by the crooks and the ensemble cast. Plus, there was dark magic and revenge and survival were all involved, which is all the better. Continue reading “Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo”

Reviews

Harley In The Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Akemi for the e-ARC!

Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day. After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.

I enjoyed Starfish a lot, and while I haven’t read Summer Bird Blue yet, I was really, really looking forward to Harley In The Sky! I’m lucky enough to be apart of the street team for the book, and Akemi was kind enough to provide an e-ARC for us to read! And wow, this book is very wow. Trigger warnings: depression, mood swings, heart attack, references to suicidal ideation

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Reviews

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

*Spoiler free*

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

I love vampires. I was so thrilled when I heard that this book was going to feature vampires and hopefully be the start of their resurgence in YA! It sounded really dark and lush, with a setting that amps up everything the book is going for, and characters who crave things they shouldn’t. All that, with a good dose of murder. It sounded like something different than I normally read, but still something I would want to try!

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Reviews

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you Edelweiss and Macmillan for the e-ARC!

When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster. The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life. The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval. Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?

 

 

This was the first Emma Mills book I’ve read! I’ve seen so many people love her other books, but for some reason I thought she wrote heavier contemporaries and I guess I thought they were the types of books I wouldn’t like. I was wrong though haha. Plus, this one sounded really, really good. Complicated best friends-to-lovers and radio sounds like an amazing combination and it was enough to get me to want to try it.

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