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An ARC Discussion

ARCs are fickle things. They’re promotional materials, and yet they are highly coveted by people who love to promote books. They’re cool! You get to read a book early. You’re helping the author and the publisher promote it. It’s amazing when a publisher allows you to read a book early. It’s awesome that they think you will help promote the book by sharing your thoughts. But, along with all this comes a lot of other things. Like, what are ARCs really used for? Who should get them? How are they distributed? I’ve had some thoughts on ARCs and some other discussions around them, so I thought I’d talk about it a bit!

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Gravemadiens by Kelly Coon: Author Interview

I am so thrilled to be apart of the Gravemaidens blog tour and I’m also on Kelly’s street team! Gravemaidens is all about sisters, the sacrifices willing to be made for family, how beauty can be a curse, and secrets lurking in the kingdom. It’s a fantastic book and I loved being able to talk with Kelly about it and more!

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Reviews

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you WednesdayBooks and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

When Ollie meets his dream guy, Will, over summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself one prince short of a fairytale ending. To complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country—Will’s school—where Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted—and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk. Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship. But as Will starts ‘coincidentally’ popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening. The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again. Right? Right.

This book was pitched as queer Grease. I’ve never seen Grease and I barely even know what it’s about. Yet, I was overwhelmed with the want to read this book. Queer inspired anything is something I’ll jump on. Plus, it sounded adorable, with a good amount of angst thrown in there. I wanted to give it a shot! Trigger warnings: homophobia (called out), biphobia (called out), fatphobia (called out), cancer, grief

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A Treason Of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you HarperCollins and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm. Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding. When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain. Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.

I really wanted to read A Light Between Worlds, but I actually ended up not finishing it. It just wasn’t for me in a lot of ways. Nevertheless, I’m a big fan of the author as a person and her new book sounded really interesting! I was more than willing to give it a shot. Trigger warnings: gaslighting, anxiety, emotional and physical abuse (non-graphic), mild body horror

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All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you HaperCollins and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies. Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

Six teens are locked in a room and they must choose one of them to die, or they all do. Yes, that sounds like an absolutely brilliant premise and I definitely, definitely wanted to give it a shot. Mystery books like these are usually hit or miss for me, but this one sounded good enough that I was willing to give it a shot! Trigger warnings: suicide, drug abuse, PTSD, death, violence, bullying

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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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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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