Reviews

Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales

*Spoiler free*

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

Darcy Phillips:
• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.
• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.
• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.
• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.
• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.
However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back. Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again. Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong?

Ever since reading and adoring Only Mostly Devastated, I was ready to read Sophie Gonzales’s next book. And then I found out it would be about a bi girl who secretly gives dating advice out of a locker at her school, who is also in love with her best friend, but starts becoming closer with the guy who catches her at her advice locker. It sounded like such an amazing book, and my jaw literally dropped when I saw that I was sent an e-ARC from the publisher. I was really, really looking forward to reading it.

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Reviews

Break The Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli

*Spoiler free*

40BD8F81-8828-4F87-AFEE-52CCB2D96679Audrey Lee is going to the Olympics. A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from a spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She’s made the United States’ gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She’s on top of the world. The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most–but not all the gymnasts are as supportive. With the team on the verge of collapse, the one bright spot in training is Leo, her new coach’s ridiculously cute son. And while Audrey probably (okay, definitely) shouldn’t date him until after the games, would it really be the end of the world. Balancing the tenuous relationship between her teammates with unparalleled expectations, Audrey doesn’t need any more distractions. No matter what it takes, she’s not going to let anyone bring them down. But with painful revelations, incredible odds, and the very real possibility of falling at every turn, will Audrey’s determination be enough?

Despite my rocky relationship with sports, I’ve wanted to give this book a try pretty much since just after it was announced. Gymnastics has always fascinated me. The way those people flip and throw themselves through the air? Incredible. Plus, the thrill of the Olympics and gymnastics, all packed into a YA book. I knew this book would deal with hard subjects, such as sexual abuse, but I felt like I could handle it. My friend even read and absolutely loved it and that just gave me all the more incentive to give it a try. Trigger warnings: sexual abuse (all off page), grooming

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Reviews

Namesake by Adrienne Young

*Spoiler free*

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

Trader. Fighter. Survivor. With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems. As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

 

After reading Fable, I was interested in reading Namesake. Fable had such a unique and cool feel to it, with diving for gems, gorgeous writing, and an interesting take on found family. I wasn’t sure when I would to try Namesake, since I didn’t fall head over heels for Fable. But, one of my friends did fall head over feels for Fable and was excited to read Namesake. I was craving more of Young’s writing, so I decided to kind of buddy read with her!

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Reviews

Muse by Brittany Cavallaro

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

The year is 1893, and war is brewing in the First American Kingdom. But Claire Emerson has a bigger problem. While her father prepares to reveal the mighty weapon he’s created to showcase the might of their province, St. Cloud, in the World’s Fair, Claire is crafting a plan to escape. Claire’s father is a sought-after inventor, but he believes his genius is a gift, granted to him by his daughter’s touch. He’s kept Claire under his control for years. As St. Cloud prepares for war, Claire plans to claim her life for herself, even as her best friend, Beatrix, tries to convince her to stay and help with the growing resistance movement that wants to see a woman on the throne. At any cost. When her father’s weapon fails to fire on the fair’s opening day, Claire is taken captive by Governor Remy Duchamp, St. Cloud’s young, untried ruler. Remy believes that Claire’s touch bestows graces he’s never had, and with his governing power weakening and many political rivals planning his demise, Claire might be his only and best ally. But the last thing that Claire has ever wanted is to be someone else’s muse. Still, affections can change as quickly as the winds of war. And Claire has a choice to make: Will she quietly remake her world from the shadows—or bring it down in flames?

Historical fiction and I have a rocky relationship. I’ve found a few that I’ve absolutely adored, but I tend to be really picky about which ones I liked. So, going into this one, I wasn’t sure where my opinion would land. But, it had such an interesting concept. A girl, perhaps with magical abilities, torn between helping her father or helping the Governor who’s taken her captive. Or finally helping herself. Plus, there was the intrigue of the World’s Fair and all the inventions it would hold. It sounded really, really interesting, and I wanted to give it a try. Trigger warnings: parental abuse (physical and emotional)

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Reviews

Witches Steeped In Gold by Ciannon Smart

*Spoiler free*

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

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom—and vengeance. Jazmyne is the queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power. Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain—except the lengths they will go to win this game. Deadly, fierce, magnetically addictive: this Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut is a thrilling journey where dangerous magic reigns supreme and betrayal lurks beneath every word.

 

 

 

When you see a cover like that, it’s hard not to be instantly intrigued. And that’s exactly what I was. Two witches, one a long time prisoner and one a princess. Sworn enemies to each other, but willing to come together to bring down a mutual threat. This book sounded dark, brilliant, and absolutely like something I would want to read. I was very much looking forward to giving it a shot. Trigger warnings: death, torture, blood

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Reviews

You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

*Spoiler free*

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Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

This is a book that stars a queer Black girl. That was enough for me to put it on my list. Then, a couple of my friends read and absolutely adored it and I saw so much love for it online, that it shot to the top of my list of books to read. Trigger warnings: racism, homophobia, anxiety, death of a loved one, chronically ill loved one, outing, panic attacks

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Reviews

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

*Spoiler free*

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It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . . This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

This book was one my radar because I knew it was queer. It was also on my radar because it sounded like a fascinating fairy tale retelling. But, it was on my radar on in a very quiet way, and I wasn’t sure when I was going to get to it. Though, some of my friends read and fell completely in love with it, so it got bumped up on my list! I wanted to read it and see if I would love it as much as they did. Trigger warnings: sexism, blood

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Reviews

Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Griffin and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.” High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy. Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn. As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about?

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since the deal announcement. Two people, with opposing apps about relationships, and they’re competing for in the same investment contest. And it’s by an author whose other books I’ve loved. It seemed like such a fantastic enemies-to-lovers romance and I couldn’t wait to read it!

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Reviews

Lightbringer by Claire Legrand

*Spoiler free, but spoilers for Furyborn and Kingsbane*
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Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be. In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay—and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter. But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation—or the destruction their world has been dreading.
I somehow managed to trade for a physical ARC of Lightbringer. Yeah, I can’t really believe it either. This has been a trilogy that’s set my heart on fire, set everything about me on fire really. I was so looking foreword to the conclusion, to seeing what would happen after the ending of Kingsbane that left me open mouthed with shock, to see where everybody would end up. I was scared what what this book bring, but I knew I wanted to know it nonetheless. Trigger warnings: grief, depression, torture, blood, gore

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Reviews

Agnes At The End Of The World by Kelly McWilliams

*Spoiler free*

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Agnes loves her home of Red Creek–its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town’s strict laws. What she doesn’t know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet. Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn’t a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek? As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn’t safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?

I found out that this book was about cults and was ready to give it a try. After reading and loving The Project, I was ready to see how this cult book could terrify or horrify me or make me feel any other kind of emotion. Then, I found out one my friends had absolutely loved it and that made me even more eager to read it. Trigger warnings: blood, sexism, gore, cults

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