Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly. Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too. Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…
This book has been on my list for a long time. One of my friends, Cody, raves about it every chance he gets. I was interested before I knew his opinion, it sounded interesting, but I’d heard SO MANY people absolutely raving about this book. So, I knew I had to give it a shot sooner rather than later.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease. We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them. But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.
After reading Into The Drowning Deep, I knew I wanted try more books by this author (and books she’s written under her other name!). I stumbled across a thread the author did on Twitter about some of the books she’s written and it made it easy to get a quick overview of a lot of them. I wanted something on the horror side, so parasites and medical horror seemed like a great place to go!
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A flying demon feeding on human energies. A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down. And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw. The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates. She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.
When I first heard about this book, I was a bit unsure about it. I haven’t loved a ton of King Arthur retellings and I also haven’t loved the books I’ve read with magical elements in the real world. I knew I wanted to read this book at some point, I just wasn’t sure when. But, I feel like love Legendborn started to explode online. Everybody who had read it, absolutely loved it and had nothing but good things to say. I was lucky enough to win an ARC through SDCC (ah!), and decided to into it and see what I thought.Trigger warnings: racism, torture, implied rape, blood, gore
Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything. To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened. But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.
Gay fake dating. Was there really anything else that I needed to know to want to read this book? Not really, because that’s what sold me. There’s also enemies-to-lovers, having nothing in common, and a guy needed a respectable boyfriend to clean up his image. Yeah, I was ready to dive right in from “gay fake dating”, but now I was completely ready.
I am so thrilled to be apart of the Where Dreams Descend blog tour. This book is one that I love so much, that I pretty much flipped out when I got the email inviting me to sign up for the blog tour. And then when I found out I got to interview the author? Yeah, I’m so thrilled to be apart of this tour for this captivating book, this book that left me breathless, a book where danger lurks just behind the curtain. It’s truly amazing and getting to interview the author was just as amazing. Alright, let’s move on because I’m sure I could ramble for a long time!
Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship? But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne. Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.
A sci-fi book with a race that spans across its galaxy. Once again, I was drawn to a book simply by a few key things. But seriously, this book is about a reluctant girl competing in a race through the cosmos to find a seal on one planet out of 1,001. And the winner is crowned Emperor. Oh, the race also turns deadly. My sci-fi loving heart was ready for this book. Trigger warnings: alcohol use, blood/gore, death/loss of a loved one, emotional withholding from a parental figure, murder, guilt and trauma, science fiction-related violence (i.e., blasters, spaceship battles, etc.)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm. But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned. As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
This book sounded firey and that was basically enough for me to know that I wanted to read it. Honestly, I’m realizing it doesn’t take much to draw me into a book. I heard feathers and I heard flames. Firey birds. And that’s enough for me to become invested. But I found out there were sisters and a dead queen and magic that demands a price. All of which sounds amazing, and which had me incredibly eager to see what else this book would hold. Trigger warnings: abuse
Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents. Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him. When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community. But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?
I love Gloria Chao books. I fell in love with American Panda, and while I might not have loved Our Wayward Fate as much, I still enjoyed it. When I found out that she would be writing a fake dating book, a book where the main character hires a fake boyfriend no less, I was incredibly eager to read it! I even share a name with the main character!
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery. A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal. But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
I have a confession to make. I don’t think I’ve read Romeo & Juliet all the way through. I’m not sure if I’ve ever even seen a movie adaptation. I know the basics, but I’m pretty sure that’s it. (Don’t tell Chloe, I’m sure she would find me.) So, of course I wanted to read this Romeo & Juliet retelling! I knew it was set in Shanghai and I knew there would be knives and gangs. That was basically all I needed to be ready to jump into this book head first. Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, character deaths, explicit description of gouging self (not of their own volition), murder, weapon use, insects, alcohol consumption, parental abuse
Last year, I had the honor of interviewing Abigail de Niverville about her debut, I Knew Him. It was a great experience and I loved having her on my blog! So, when she reached out to me about doing another interview for her upcoming book, We Go Together, I was thrilled! Plus, this book features beaches, tough friendships, and music. It was just as fun to interview Abigail this time around as the last time, and her new book sounds just as good!