Blog Tour | Black Wings Beating by Alex London Fan Art!

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Hello everyone!

I’m excited to be one of the blog tour stops to celebrate the release of Black Wings Beating by Alex London, which came out yesterday. Woohoo!

This was a super unique, soaring fantasy that I think many readers will be drawn to. It features a m/m romance (that’s #ownvoices), twins who have an ever-evolving relationship, hidden political schemes, plenty of action, and the graceful flight of birds of prey that you really grow to appreciate while reading the story. I really urge Young Adult fantasy lovers to pick this book up from your local bookstore or library!

36949994Black Wings Beating
Author: Alex London
Series: Skybound #1
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists. Brysen strives to be a great falconer–while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he’s long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother’s future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.

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Book Review: Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia

33158532Beautiful Broken Hearts
Author: Kami Garcia
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Imprint
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Her heart has to break before it can open.

When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.

He has to let someone in before it’s too late.

With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.

But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I enjoyed Kami Garcia’s previous contemporary, The Lovely Reckless, and this one was no different. Beautiful Broken Hearts follow the story of Peyton Rios, a biracial (half-Cuban, half-white) and talented soccer player whose dreams of going to UNC with a scholarship is wiped away after one incident with her abusive boyfriend. In the author’s note, Garcia wrote about how she was in a similar situation in her life, and discussed the importance of seeking out for help when needed (including resources such as Break the Cycle and the National Domestic Violence Hotline). I think this book was especially important in highlighting abusive/manipulative relationships, and above all, the fact that sometimes you need to just put yourself first, before anything – or anyone – else.

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Blog Tour: Revisiting A Lush World With Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Hello everyone!

Today I’m here with a review of Star-Touched Stories, the third book that takes place in the beautiful setting of The Star-Touched Queen (my review here and fanart here), and A Crown of Wishes (my review here and fanart here). Star-Touched Stories, however, brings forth three short stories that not only ties these books together, but wrap them in an epilogue that will leave readers brimming with love and emotions. Chokshi’s writing is always so passionate, and this master storyteller leaves not a thread hanging in these stories.

36396341Star-Touched Stories
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: Book 2.5
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Throughout these stories, Chokshi’s writing remains provocative and sensual – perhaps leaning towards the purple prose side for some readers. I for one really enjoyed her heady descriptions and imaginative metaphors, and any reader who has enjoyed her previous two books in this world will adore this one. It ties in so many stories and characters, as well as presents itself as a final kiss and goodbye to the stunning world that we have visited twice already.

Note: this review will contain slight spoilers to The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes!

Death and Night

“Love was extraordinary.
Extraordinarily spiteful.
Extraordinarily blind.
Extraordinarily misleading.”

This story is a prequel to Chokshi’s debut, The Star-Touched Queen. In TSTQ, Maya and Amar are given a second chance to revisit their love and correct their mistakes. But what happened when they first fell in love?

I love how Chokshi set-up Death and Night’s characters in this story. Night sold her wares at the Night Bazaar, which consists of this dream fruit that is coveted by many, but at a high price. She wants recognition. Death has been lonely these past years, and he needs to take a bride. The only catch is: he can’t fall in love with her. Despite obstacles and all odds, they meet each other and begin a sweet, sometimes snarky, but altogether delightful courtship that is tested through the threads of time. I loved this little insight to Maya and Amar’s past life, and seeing familiar characters! Continue reading

Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser Review: Magnificent Conclusion to A Quiet YA Duology!

34519536Whisper of the Tide
Author: Sarah Tolcser
Series: Book 2
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Caro Oresteia spent her life waiting to be called by the river god, as those in her family had been for generations. But when she’s swept away on an adventure to save the Akhaian royal prince, Markos, her destiny is sealed by the sea god instead.

For now, Caro is landlocked, helping Markos reclaim his throne after nearly his entire family was assassinated in a political coup. Without any financial or military support, Markos is desperate for allies, and Caro has fought off more than one attempt on his life. When a powerful Archon offers his army in exchange for Markos’s marriage to his daughter, Caro must choose: Her love for Markos, or the fate of Akhaia? And more importantly: How much is she willing to risk to defy the sea god’s wishes and chart her own course?

With shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and breathtaking romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing your fate.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to Song of the Current, which you can find my review here. It may contain slight spoilers!

Whisper of the Tide was a stunning sequel! I came in with high expectations, and was honestly ready to give it a 3 star midway through the book, no joke. What changed my mind? I could say that the events that happened were pretty awesome, or the resolution was sooo satisfying and lovely, or how the stuff that had me side-eyeing were properly addressed. But I think plain and simple, Tolcser breathed life into Caro’s character and made her resilient, flawed, and just great in general. I adored her from start to finish, mistakes and all. And I hope fans of the book come into Whisper of the Tide with an open mind and heart to Caro’s flaws. Continue reading

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix Review | Nonstop Action in this Alien-Infested Scifi

32855090Sanctury
Author: Caryn Lix
Series: Book 1
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I separate Sanctuary into two acts, and I’ll explore my thoughts on the story separating these two halves of the book. I really enjoyed the fast-paced, blood-rushing action, but the thing about large amounts of action (which is definitely fun and exciting) is that it sacrifices relationship exploration, characterization, and world/story-building to make up for everything else that’s going on. Because of this, I think certain interesting aspects of the story weren’t drawn to their fullest potential. Despite that, sci-fi lovers who are itching for an Alien-like story of survival will definitely devour this one. I certainly did!

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Girls Can’t Hit by TS Easton Review | Feminism =/= Telling, Not Showing

Girls Can’t Hit
Author: TS Easton
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A funny, feminist teen story about knowing when to train . . . and when to fight.

Fleur Waters never takes anything seriously – until she turns up at her local boxing club one day, just to prove a point. She’s the only girl there, and the warm-up alone is exhausting . . . but the workout gives her an escape from home and school, and when she lands her first uppercut on a punching bag she feels a rare glow of satisfaction.

So she goes back the next week, determined to improve. Fleur’s overprotective mum can’t abide the idea of her entering a boxing ring, why won’t she join her pilates class instead? Her friends don’t get it either and even her boyfriend, ‘Prince’ George, seems concerned by her growing muscles and appetite – but it’s Fleur’s body, Fleur’s life, so she digs her heels in and carries on with her training.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I was super excited for this book because, hello! Feminist story about a girl who, despite external protests, becomes a boxer? But unfortunately the execution of this premise made it a 2.5 star read for me, rounded down to 2 because I just don’t get Fleur’s humor. This book is also a revamp, as it was published last year already, so check out the cute new cover!

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Book Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer (Renegades #1)

28421168Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Renegades #1
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Superhero fans will definitely recognize Renegades as a book that calls to them. It’s a classic superhero book with villains, secret identities, and saving humanity. While Nova may be considered an anti-hero, I didn’t really think so. Her character isn’t morally grey as some (such as Adelina from The Young Elites for example.) She’s vindictive, for sure, but she also believes in a just world – and in the end, that’s what the Renegades are fighting for too. The whole 500+ page book is just one adventure after another, likening it to an episodic kind of vibe (very similar to Flash, the DC show). It was a fun, light sci-fi that explores what society really needs in a world of superheroes.

“Don’t worry about helping yourselves. You’ve got enough on your plate, what with all the hiding and moping you’ve been doing lately. You take a day off. We’re superheroes. We’ve got this.
Hope called themselves the Renegades.”

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Book Review: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

33876440This Mortal Coil
Author: Emily Suvada
Series: Book 1
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

We’re bringing back dystopian thrillers with this tight, action-packed, adventurous read! This Mortal Coil follows the first-person, present-tense POV of Catarina Agatta, a talented genetic hacker who can manipulate DNA the way coders manipulate data. The author takes a lot of the beginning to introduce the world (quite an info-dump that makes it drag a bit), and takes us on a road trip adventure to finding the cure of a contagious virus that’s ready to wipe out the human civilization. The science is super interesting in This Mortal Coil and Suvada does go rather in-depth. Nonetheless, the characters are constantly on the move through each twist (although I did find it a bit predictable since I’ve read so many similar dystopians). Continue reading

ARC Review: The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista

35796027The Boyfriend Bracket
Author:Kate Evangelista
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Publisher: SwoonReads
Get it Here:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of—starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan…right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I wish I liked this book more than I did! The Boyfriend Bracket is all the fluff of a marshmallow, but nothing past the sugary-sweetness. The fact that it’s a bit over 200 pages doesn’t help either, giving only glimpses of character and relationship development. Over the course of these pages, Stella goes through almost her whole senior year of high school. It’s a huge time frame that passes by really quickly, making for a hastened pace that makes the glimpses mentioned above even more scarce. Nonetheless, it was an adorable read that romcom lovers should consider picking up!

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Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (The Folk of Air #1)

26032825The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of Air #1
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review
So the most important question for this book to me is… hype – worth it or nah? For me, the answer is in the middle. There are some parts I liked about The Cruel Prince (namely, the main character), and other parts that fell very flat with me. This book follows the tangled politics and court intrigue of the High Court of Faerie and the human girl that resides there and is ready to rise up in the ranks. There is a bit of a romance (honestly, hardly anything and I’m disappointed that people place so much on it), an intriguing father-daughter relationship, and sisterhood that pushes past certain boundaries. It’s a pretty large book, but in the end I’d say it’s worth the read. Continue reading