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!

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!

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

Finally Fall Book Tag 🍂

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The best time of year is finally here, reader friends! It’s fall, it’s October, and we’re celebrating this week with the Finally Fall Book Tag. 🍂

Questions

  1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!
  2. Nature is beautiful…but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic.
  3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.
  4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family that you would like to be a part of.
  5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!
  6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.
  7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.
  8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.
  9. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you would like to return to soon.
  10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories!”
  11. Spread the autumn appreciation and tag some people!

Tagging

🖤 booked
🖤 Jashana C
🖤 Sophie Reads
🖤 crescentpages
🖤 burtsbooks
🖤 Emma Rosen Books
🖤 cynthiaspaperbackheart
🖤 Leslie Cardix
🖤 Libri Labra
🖤 ReadbyLiv

TAG CREATOR

BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0 ✨

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It’s the BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0! ✨

I’ve been on BookTube now for about 4 months, and making bookish videos honestly brings me so much joy.

Books, new reader friends, what more could I ask for. 🖤

QUESTIONS

  1. What genres would you like to see talked about more on BookTube?
  2. What do you feel is the best way to make friends on BookTube?
  3. What will/ do you enjoy the most about making BookTube videos?
  4. What do you least look forward to when making BookTube videos?
  5. What videos other than tags, TBR’s, wrap-ups, reviews and recommendations would you want to see more of?
  6. What are some themes you want to see more of or less of in books?
  7. What advice would you give to a BookTuber that has just created their channel?
  8. What are some qualities or traits that you look for when it comes to watching other BookTubers?
  9. What’s a hobby besides reading and writing that people on BookTube might not know you have?

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BOOKTUBERS DOING THIS TAG!

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!

a room away from the wolves FFBC

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!