Reviews

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

*Spoiler free*

Seventeen-year-old Megan Harper is about due for her next sweeping romance. It’s inevitable—each of her relationships starts with the perfect guy and ends with him falling in love . . . with someone else. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream college’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. So when she’s cast as Juliet (yes, that Juliet) in her high school’s production, it’s a complete nightmare. Megan’s not an actress, and she’s used to being upstaged—both in and out of the theater. In fact, with her mom off in Texas and her dad remarried and on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan worries that, just like her exes, her family is moving on without her. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright inspired by Rosaline from Shakespeare’s R+J. A character who, like Megan, knows a thing or two about short-lived relationships. Megan agrees to help Owen with his play in exchange for help catching the eye of a sexy stagehand/potential new boyfriend. Yet Megan finds herself growing closer to Owen, and wonders if he could be the Romeo she never expected.

After reading and loving If I’m Being Honest, I was incredibly eager to read another book by these authors! I didn’t think I would jump right into another one, but here we are haha. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try this one or Time Of Our Lives first, but this one was on my shelf. Plus, it’s theatre! Romeo & Juliet to be exact, so it’s Shakespeare theatre. And it’s about a girl who’s boyfriends find the love of their lives after, or even during, dating her. Really, it was another Wibboka book, so I was eager to read it.

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Reviews

A Dark And Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

*Spoiler free*

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

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret. For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world. Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way? Wish them luck. They’re going to need it. 

I have a complicated relationship with fae books. I’m undeniably drawn to them. Whenever I hear about a fae book, I want to jump on it. But, I find myself not liking a lot of them. So, of course, I wanted to jump on this book. I knew it was fae and I knew it could go either love or hate for me, but it sounded too good and too queer for me to pass up. The more I thought about it, four queer teens trying to stop a war between realms caught up in the mystery of gruesome murders, the more eager I was to read it. Trigger warnings.

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Reviews

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher

*Spoiler free*

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

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college. In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future. When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

I was nervous about this book. It seemed to be about multiple things that usually aren’t up my alley. I know, it’s weird that I would even want to read it or be looking forward to it. But, the line for it online is immense. And some of my friends take every chance they get to say how good this book is. So, I decided to take a chance on it. It might not be about things that I usually read, but there was something about it that I was drawn too. Trigger warnings: grief, anxiety

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Reviews

Wings Of Ebony by J. Elle

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Denene Millner Books/Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders. Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life. Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

I’ve been excited for this book since I found out the slightest inkling of what it was about. A girl who is half-god and half-human was enough to sell me on this book. Plus, along with the cover and the amazing marketing the author is doing for this book, I was completely drawn to this book. Trigger warnings: violence, racism, drugs, blood

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Other

If You Were Disappointed In That… Then Try This!

I’ve seen a lot of “If You Liked This, Then Try This” posts, and I always enjoy reading them. So, I decided to put my own spin on it! Sometimes I go into books expecting one thing, and getting the complete opposite. Or sometimes I am just disappointed in the books I read. If you’ve ever been looking for a book to replace one you were disappointed in, then this is the post for you!

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Reviews

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

*Spoiler free*

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen. When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe. It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

I remember seeing bits and pieces about this book here and there. I never quite knew what it was about, but the cover was stunning and I knew it was on my list of books to check out eventually. I wanted to support this author and this book sounded incredible. Accidental murder, girls becoming outlaws, cursed markings, and ghosts!. It definitely sounded like a book that I wanted to give a shot. Trigger warnings: sexual assault, addiction, violence, references to rape and suicide

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Reviews

We Are The Fire by Sam Taylor

*Spoiler free*

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

In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place. Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both. When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.

I came across this book because the cover knocked me off my feet. My friend is friends with the author, so when she showed me the cover, I was enthralled. It’s gorgeous and a little bit frightening and a kind of powerful. Plus, it sounded amazing too. Armies of children forced to undergo transformations to fight for a cruel king. It definitely sounded like something I would like to try out. Trigger warnings: grief, torture

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Reviews

10 Reasons You Should Read The Henna Wars By Adiba Jaigirdar

*Spoiler free*

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

I’ve wanted to read The Henna Wars since before it came out. It was a f/f enemies-to-lovers book and that was enough to seal the deal for me. Then, my friend (hi Tay!) read this book and absolutely loved it. Since we have very similar taste, it shot right up to the top of the list of books I wanted to try out. Trigger warnings: racism, a character being outed, homophobia

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Reviews

The Forest Of Stolen Girls by June Hur

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Feiwel & Friends and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask. To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well. Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

Historical fiction and I don’t always mesh that well. That’s why when I read The Silence Of Bones and absolutely fell in love, I was eager to read anything else that June Hur wrote. Two sisters found unconscious next to a crime scene, and years later, 13 girls and the sister’s father’s have gone missing. Hwani is determined to solve the mystery, no matter what secrets she uncovers. It was so ready to see what June Hur was going to do with this story. Trigger warnings: mentions of rape, suicide, grief, parental abuse

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Reviews

We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

*Spoiler free*

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme. On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

I knew this book was queer (f/f to be exact), so it was already on my list of books that I want read. Though, the absolute adoration and love I’ve seen from some of my friends about this book shot it right to the top of books to read. Marriage to rise above, secrets that need to be kept, and a resistance group needing Dani’s help made it sound like this book was going to be incredible and I couldn’t wait to read it!

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