CORAL 🖤 REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

I love me a good fairytale retelling, especially when they involve mermaids. 🖤 (I skipped a lot through this book, though, because of trigger warnings—I’ve provided them in this post.)

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour.

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post! ✨

Coral by Sara Ella

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Mermaids, Fairy Tales

SYNOPSIS

book coverMultiple award-winning young adult author Sara Ella reimagines The Little Mermaid in a powerful and unexpected way.

Sixteen-year-old mermaid Coral has always been different, standing out from her stoic sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease. Said to be carried by humans, the Disease imposes emotions on its victims, causing them to commit unspeakable acts. The growing illness inside her, while terrifying, fascinates her very core. Where others see danger, Coral sees life. Could it be the colorless merfolk who are truly ill?

Above the sea, seventeen-year-old Brooke Jordan has nothing left to give. A homeless girl abandoned and forgotten, the only thing Brooke can rely on is the ocean. Her aching feet find refuge within the cool and comforting waves, while her broken heart grows harder with each passing day. When Brooke’s and Coral’s worlds collide, everything alters in an instant. From learning to stand alone, to discovering the strength it takes to rely on another, the girls find that living requires taking that first painful breath. Each must make sacrifices, and when it comes to finding true love? Let’s just say the boys in their lives must learn to swim if they’re ever going to survive the storms.

Battling the odds against them, the girls will do whatever it takes to survive. But what must end for love and life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, this modern-day story explores mental health from several perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “I am not nothing.”

🖤 “I helped you because that’s what you do when someone is in trouble. We’re both human. Both worth saving.”

🖤 “That’s the beauty of life, isn’t it? Every day is a new page, waiting to be written.”

Trigger Warnings

You can find Sara’s trigger warnings on this Goodreads comment.

Trigger Warning & A Note to My Readers:

(*You will find this note at the beginning of this book as well.*)

For my friends who have experienced trauma, a warning—this story may be triggering. I have done my best to approach the mental health topics addressed in this book in the most sensitive and caring way possible. But even all the research and sensitivity readers in the world would never make it so I could approach every aspect of mental health from every perspective. Your experience is unique to you.

Potential triggers include suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse, anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and unwanted/non-consensual advances.

With that said, while some of what I have written comes from research and some from the caring eyes of sensitivity readers who have lived through many of these experiences, other pieces come from my own personal experience with emotional trauma. If you have lost a loved one, I’m with you. If you face depression or anxiety, my heart aches with you in a truly personal way. If you have ever felt misunderstood for these things or simply wanted to escape altogether—I understand.

For the girl who is not okay. For the boy who wonders if it will ever get better. This story is for you.

My hope is that Coral’s tale may be a small pinprick of light in your darkness—a reminder that you are seen. You are loved. You are not alone. You are not nothing, my friend. And neither am I.

Sincerely,

Sara Ella

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHOROnce upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multiple awards, but none as rewarding as the love and support she receives from her readers every day. Her new story CORAL, a reimagining of THE LITTLE MERMAID, releases in the fall of 2019.

When she’s not on deadline, Sara Ella can most often be found fangirling on Twitter, Instagram, or her YouTube channel. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, and she has a serious condition known as “Coffee Snob-itis.” She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

Check out Sara on her website or over on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble Kobo | iBooks | Google Books

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Coral!

  • US only
  • End Date: November 28, 2019

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season of the Witch 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I’m a part of another gorgeous book tour thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, and let me tell you, I’m excited about this one. 🖤

I grew up watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch with my sisters, and I’ve loved Netflix’s new show. So being apart of this blog tour for the prequel to season two is such a chilling joy.

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Sabrina: Season of the Witch (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1) by Sara Rees Brennan

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Synopsis

43261389It’s the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She’s always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she’s also lived a normal mortal life—attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.

Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn’t sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey’s true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires…in a big way.

Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?

Our exclusive prequel novel will reveal a side of Sabrina not seen on the new NETFLIX show. What choice will Sabrina make…and will it be the right one?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sarah Rees Brennan is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have been long-listed for the Carnegie Medal and short-listed for both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award, as well as received multiple starred reviews. Her most recent novels include In Other Lands, Tell the Wind and Fire and the Lynburn Legacy trilogy. 

Check out Sarah on her website or over on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram!

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | iBooks | IndieBound

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Sabrina: Season of the Witch!

  • End Date: July 31, 2019
  • US only

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

ALL EYES ON US 🖤 REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

I had never read a young adult thriller and now, thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, I have. Not to mention it has queer characters. 🖤

Don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post!

All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller

SYNOPSIS

44584622PRIVATE NUMBER: Wouldn’t you look better without a cheater on your arm?

AMANDA: Who is this?

The daughter of small town social climbers, Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. He’s kind, ambitious, the town golden boy—but he’s far from perfect. Because behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie.

PRIVATE NUMBER: I’m watching you, Sweetheart.

ROSALIE: Who IS this?

Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. After years spent in and out of conversion “therapy,” her own safety is her top priority. But maintaining a fake, straight relationship is killing her from the inside.

When an anonymous texter ropes Amanda and Rosalie into a bid to take Carter down, the girls become collateral damage—and unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives.

PRIVATE NUMBER: You shouldn’t have ignored me. Now look what you made me do…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kit Frick_© Carly Gaebe - Steadfast StudioKit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. She is the author of the young adult novels See All the StarsAll Eyes on Us (2019), and Windermere (2020), all from Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press). Her fiction is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr.

Check out Kit on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo| IndieBound

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of All Eyes on Us!

  • US only
  • Start Date: June 10, 2019
  • End Date: June 18, 2019

BLOG TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

MY YEAR IN BOOKS 🖤 best and worst books of 2018

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this post yet, but I want to recap my 2018 year in books.

I can’t thank you enough, reader friends, for supporting me here on this bookish blog and on my BookTube channel. 2018 was my best bookish year yet, thanks to all of you. 🖤

Here’s my bookish year in review, along with the best and worst books I read in 2018.

I have a feeling 2019 is going to be even better. ✨

How was your 2018 reading year? What was some your best and worst books? Let me know in the comments!

This Cruel Design Book Blog Tour | Review + GIVEAWAY

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So I received both This Mortal Coil and This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada for free in exchange for review and omg. 😍 I’m so happy I signed up for this blog tour.

I didn’t expect to be obsessed with this series but here I am. 🖤

And don’t miss out on the giveaway at the end of this post!

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This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

33876440SYNOPSIS

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?

38316465SYNOPSIS

Cat thought the Hydra epidemic was over, but when new cases pop up, Cat must team up with an enemy to fix the vaccine before the virus spirals out of control in this thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil, which New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman says “redefines ‘unputdownable.’”

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Both books. Five stars. Love, love, love. 🖤

For both books, I got swept away in the plot and the complexities of this dystopian world. (I’m trash for dystopian.) I kept thinking I knew what was coming, but plot twist after plot twist kept me rethinking and guessing and hanging on to each chapter. Plus, almost every chapter—not to mention book—ended on a cliff hanger, and I was desperate to know what would happen next. (I’m also desperate for the third book in this series.)

Dystopians, I love them, but they can end up feeling repetitive—but this was a unique take on the genre. Hacking, coding, cloning. It’s science fiction, but it’s also now, so the story felt more immersive and believable.

I also loved Cat, complex yet compassionate Cat. She’s likeable but not too likeable, which is basically my perfect protagonist. 👍🏻 The secondary characters are also so incredibly developed, particularly our love interest Cole and goofy brother Leoben.

From the world building to the characters to the plot, I’m honestly in awe of Emily Suvada’s writing style. ✨ This is such a big story and she keeps pulling it off. Fingers crossed I love the third book just as much! 🤞🏻

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

GIVEAWAY

  • PRIZE: 2 copies of This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada
  • US Only
  • Starts: 10/22
  • Ends: 10/31

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this book tour!

West Book Blog Tour

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So I plan to have my own review for both East and West (East #2) by Edith Pattou coming soon—but for now—here’s some information about this intriguing, whimsical, and fairytale-like story that I hope to pick up soon. 👌🏻

Are you planning to read either of these books soon? I would love to buddy read with you! 🖤 Let me know in the comments if you’re interested.

West (East #2) by Edith Pattou

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

In the sequel to the beloved high fantasy East, Rose sets off on a perilous journey to find her true love when he goes missing in a thrilling tale of danger, magic, adventure, and revenge.

When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead. But Rose doesn’t believe the shipwreck was an act of nature, nor does she believe Charles is truly dead. Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake.

 

REVIEWS

“A wait of longer than a decade proves completely worthwhile in the case of Pattou’s continuing spin on Norwegian myth filled with fully realized human characters and adventures both fantastic and emotionally authentic.”—School Library Journal, STARRED review

“Necessary wherever the first is popular; a good addition to any collection where fairy-tale retellings circulate well.”—Kirkus Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edith Pattou is the author of several fantasy novels, including East, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. She is a graduate of the Francis W. Parker School, Scripps College (B.A., English), Claremont Graduate School (M.A., English) and UCLA (M.L.I.S.). She is married to Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. They have one child, a daughter.

   

 BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |Kobo | iBooks

A Room Away From the Wolves Book Review and Giveaway

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Here it is! Another book’s blog tour!

One of my fave genres is magical realism, so I was thrilled to receive an ARC of A Room Away for the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. 👌🏼

Bring on the strange and mysterious. 🖤

Also, don’t miss the giveaway details below my review!

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A Room Away From the Wolves
by Nova Ren Suma

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Mystery

Synopsis

37792722Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…

About the Author

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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as Harper Collins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing work-shops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.

Find Nova online at novaren.com and on her blog distraction99.com.

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

So I wanted to love this book, I really did, especially because I’m a fan of magical realism. And because the main character Bina is bisexual. (She doesn’t identify with that particular word anywhere in the novel, but we know she’s attracted to both boys and girls.) I wanted it to be a five-star read.

However, I needed more from this book, specifically more of the mystical and romantic elements. Basically the elements I most wanted to read.

More than anything, I enjoyed the mysterious atmosphere—and mysterious plot points—of this book. Greenwich Village, Catherine House, even Bina’s stepdad’s house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods. Each setting had creepy (and some super creepy) details that I was here for.

The atmosphere and setting (and the ghosts) honestly made this book for me. 👻

There were a lot of characters, but I didn’t get to know a single one of them well except for Bina and her mom. Even our sort-of-romantic-but-not-really interest Monet, another girl staying in Catherine House, wasn’t fully developed.

Mysterious, yes. Developed, no. Disappointing, definitely. 😢

But I did appreciate how flawed, seriously flawed, Bina was. She stole, she vandalized, she lied, she got together with her stepsister’s boyfriend, and the list could go on. She wasn’t exactly likeable, sure, but I’m not a fan of too-likeable characters anyway. And, like you’ll see below, there were lots of almost brooding descriptions of Bina’s thoughts that really resonated with me.

Last was the ending. I won’t spoil anything, but geez, it was not all I had hoped it would be. The magical realism elements took a confusing turn, and I didn’t get the on-the-page romance I NEEDED.

All in all, though, it was an okay, solid read that I do recommend. The elements I liked kept this at three stars, and the elements I didn’t kept this from being four stars.

Favorite Quotes

🖤 “One by one, in quick succession, these thoughts struck me: She thinks my mother sent me here on purpose. She thinks I talked to a dead woman on the phone. Get up. Get out of the chair. Walk to the door. Get your suitcase. Go. But my body didn’t move. Only my mouth did.”

🖤 “The way she spoke made the sunny street dark for a moment. I heard the whistle of wind, as if I were back inside that gated garden, down on my knees in the dirt by the grave, where the city didn’t seem to touch.”

🖤 “The girls who lived in this house didn’t really have Monet’s back, not like I did. There was a point at which you threw your lot in with someone. There was a point when you were all in, and there was no scrambling out of it when you got scared, or found morals, or wanted to save your own skin.”

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |Kobo | IndieBound | iBooks

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway to win a free copy of the book!

  • US only
  • August 8 – September 5, 2018

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!