What Happens When You Make Me The Enemy? | Discussion

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I guess this isn’t directed towards any book in particular, but the trend of books from loooong ago up to now, in the present day.

I’ve always been a proponent of diverse casts, whether it’s from sexuality to ethnicity in books, but what happens when authors make diverse characters the enemy? Or what about this: POC as the enemy for the white-casted main characters that the book follows? I’ve seen this in highly controversial books in the last year, but I hadn’t truly experienced it until recently. What I want to point out in this post isn’t just how bad or negative it is (those are just adjectives that barely cover the surface of things), but the emotion behind it. How would you feel if your culture was made the enemy of all-things-white? How would you feel if your already marginalized voice was made the enemy of the predominant race in a society that is still subject to racism, despite half a century since attaining equal rights? Continue reading

ARC Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series: First book
Release Date: February 28, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

If you want something done right . . .

When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Are you ready to go on an adventure with the daughter of the pirate king? She may be a looker, but she’s also highly skilled in combat and manipulation. She can be crass yet has class. She’s ready to do whatever she needs to do to get what she wants. And best of all, we’re reading from her first person narration in this quick and spicy read. Daughter of the Pirate King is extremely fun, has cool twists, and a scorching romance featuring pirates that have no mercy. I absolutely adored reading from Alosa’s point of view. She was a super refreshing character who has an armor of steel and yet is vulnerable in some places. It only takes a cunning pirate to poke at those spots.

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Week of Love | Twitter Valentine’s Giveaways + Discussion

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Young love, gay love, blind love, platonic love, family love… what’s not to love about love?

For the week of Valentine’s Day, 2/13/17 – 2/18/17, I’ll be doing flash giveaways on Twitter each day for ARC’s of books having to do with love, whether it’s a romantic love or the platonic love between good friends. These are all ARC’s ranging from January to April of 2017, so relatively new books. I’ll update each giveaway Tweet on this post throughout the week! Winners will be drawn after 24 hours of posting, and I’ll send everything out the following week. Best of luck! Continue reading

ARC Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton + ARC Giveaway!

Traitor to the Throne
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #2
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Disclaimer: Will contain slight spoilers to previous book, Rebel of the Sands; my review can be found here.

Thank you Penguin Books for the review copy!

What a lush, magical, and simply extraordinary sequel this book was! It was definitely one of my highly anticipated releases of 2017, and I screamed when I first got it in my hands. Following that, I stroked it for a while because it was so dang THICK. With up to 500 pages, Traitor to the Throne had almost double the pages and content than its predecessor. Alwyn Hamilton doesn’t waste any of those pages, however, as we are quickly pulled back into the heart of the story. It’s really rare for me to fall head over heels in love with a fantasy series, but this one has stolen my heart completely. From Amani’s grittiness to the sweeping world of Miraji and the mysterious Djinni, Traitor to the Throne is an epic sequel to an action-packed story that follows the Rebel Prince on his quest to free his people. Continue reading

ARC Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Harper Collins and Edelweiss for the review copy!

If contemporaries that are flirty, super sweet, and make you squeal all the squeals are your thing, then definitely don’t miss out on By Your Side! This is my first Kasie West book, but it will certainly not be my last – I immediately put the rest of her previous books on my TBR after reading this one! It was perfect for what I like in contemporaries: adorable and quirky romance that, although cliche at times, made me feel all the fuzzies. There were best friends and siblings whose vivaciousness just jumped out of the page, and extremely realistic characterizations that I really enjoyed reading about. All in all, a fairly quick read with characters that you can’t help but connect to, By Your Side was a definite hit with me. Continue reading

ARC Review: Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan (Reign of Shadows #2)

Rise of Fire
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Reign of Shadows #2
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.

Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.

Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler’s and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.

Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Harper Collins for the review copy!

Disclaimer: May have minor spoilers from previous book; you can find my review here.

It was super exhilarating to be picking this sequel up after the way the previous book Reign of Shadows ended. I really enjoyed the first book despite some common fantasy tropes pulled off, but ultimately it was so sweet and a fun Rapunzel retelling that I couldn’t help but enjoy it. Rise of Fire starts immediately after it as readers are thrown into the world that was affected by the eclipse. It follows the highly romantic aspect that the first book had, and continues with the limited world-building which leaves readers with unanswered questions. Objectively, the ambiguous world-building from the previous book continues, but subjectively, the conclusion was satisfying and sweet for such a short and easy read. Continue reading

Mini-Reviews: Romances with Bare-Chested Alphas and Unconventional Heroines, Bring It On!

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I love reading these romances that don’t make me think too much, so I’ve started reviewing more and more of them on the blog. I’ll probably keep them to mini-reviews though so I can still focus on YA! These ranged across the board in terms of rating, but the general consensus is that they’re LOADED with excellent chemistry from both leads. Continue reading

Be On The Lookout! | When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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Be On the Lookout! is a feature highlighting special five star books that I’m trying to convince people to preorder, add to their TBR, or just be on the lookout for. It’s mainly a way for me to fangirl about the merits of a book outside a review, and hopefully make more readers aware of books that are not to be missed!

Today I’m highlighting When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, which comes out on May 30, 2017 under Simon Pulse. With all the light, fluffy romantic comedies out there in the YA contemporary world, this one is NOT to be missed. I adored it from the first page to last, and was smiling about it hours after finishing. I also shoved it in my friends’ faces to read the blurb, but that’s neither here nor there.

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ARC Review: You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando (The Black Angels Chronicles #1) + ARC Giveaway!

You Don’t Know My Name
Author: Kristen Orlando
Series: The Black Angels Chronicles #1
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.

Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?

Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don’t Know My Name, from debut novelist Kristen Orlando!

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you MacMillan and Swoonreads for the review copy!

Teenage angst, meet espionage plot and cardboard love interest. While You Don’t Know My Name sounds like the light and fluffy read as advertised by the blurb, it also tries to explore weighty and important themes with serious undertones. Unfortunately, it falls short on those aspects and instead made me a confused reader on how I would recommend this. Let’s get to the basics: I separate this book into pre-action and post-action. The former part is lackluster, predictable, repetitive, and led by character angst. The latter part is full of action, adventure, and things happening at once. It would have been nice to have seen a balance of these elements throughout the story but each part was heavy with its respective tone. I felt like the book did a 180-degree turn from “My life sucks and I like this boy” to “I must kill this man and fulfill my goal.” Like – what?!

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