A Room Away From the Wolves Book Review and Giveaway

morganvega blog post headers (2).png

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

2741432web goodreads twitter instagram

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!

I MET AUTHORTUBER KRISTEN MARTIN 💖 | All About the Indies Vlog

morganvega blog post headers

I went to the indie book expo All About the Indies and omg. I met AuthorTuber Kristen Martin! 😍

Meeting Kristen was everything and more. I’ve been watching her YouTube channel for forever, but I never thought I would actually meet her.

She’s such a kind, positive, uplifting, high vibe human. ✨

Shoutout to my new writer friend and fellow BookTuber Books Are My Hart—and, of course, my partner in life Kelvin Vega.

Now to read her new book, Be Your Own #Goals! 👍🏼

Untitled design

Enjoy the vlog! 💖

BOOKISH BIRTHDAY VLOG 🎂✨

11

So this post is a bit late (my birthday was on June 30), but I still wanted to share my most bookish birthday ever. 🎂

It was a weekend to remember:

🖤 I dyed my own hair.

🖤 I went on a pre-birthday date.

🖤 I went to my fave book fair.

🖤 I did a book haul.

🖤 I got my first POP! Harry Potter figures.

🖤 And I got MY OWN CAMERA!

If this birthday is any inclination, 26 is going to be pretty fabulous. ✨

And yay for my first ever vlog! 💖

These Rebel Waves Book Tag

morganvega blog post headers (4).png

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch is a young adult fantasy that has pirates, magic, politics, and slooow-burn romance (which my heart is still craving more of). 🏴‍☠️🌊

And I’m a part of its blog tour! 🖤

Enjoy this ORIGINAL book tag inspired by the book—and now I tag YOU!

QUESTIONS

  1. Lu: a female character who’s a soldier.
  2. Vex: a character who’s a cinnamon roll but hides under a tough exterior.
  3. Ben: a character with a different outlook than their parents.
  4. Botanical magic: a book that understands the power of nature.
  5. These Rebel Waves: a book that features political intrigue and rebel forces.

these rebel waves ffbc.png

THESE REBEL WAVES BY SARA RAASCH

(Stream Raiders #1)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

29422091.jpg

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

6947727.jpg goodreads tumblrlogo twitter Pinterest-Logo-Vector-by-Jon-Bennallick-02.png instagram facebook

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. The novel followed three protagonists—Lu, Vex, and Ben—and though jumping to each made the story a bit trickier to read in the beginning, I was desperate to read more from each character by the end. The story took its time with each character’s development (and each character’s romantic subplot), but this made it all the more believable. I wasn’t expecting to be so invested in these characters. Now I’m desperate for more.

Also, this book combined a lot of different elements—politics, pirates, magic. At the start, the politics had me dizzy, but again, I had found my footing and was cheering for our main characters by the end. The combination of these elements were so well tied together and thought out, and it made for a very unique story.

Last, though I won’t give anything away, I LOVED the multiple plot twists at the end of this book. Everything connected, all the plot lines came together, and I kept speed-reading in awe.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re into fantasy with political intrigue! 👍🏼

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Better to wound your ego with compromise than feed your own pride with blood.”

🖤 “‘You’re sad. People do lots of things when they’re sad.'”

🖤 “But he hadn’t expected his mark to hit him. He’d thought she’d scream or struggle over her bag, enough to rile soldiers into arresting him—but he had not expected the girl to be so goddamn accurate with her fist.”

BOOK LINKS

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

BOOK TOUR

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

How We Learned to Lie Book Tag

morganvega blog post headers (3)

How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller is a gritty young adult contemporary—which I’m totally here for. 🔥

There’s secrets, there’s lies, so I couldn’t help but be along for the ride.

And I’m a part of its blog tour! 🖤

Enjoy this ORIGINAL book tag inspired by this book, and don’t miss out on the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!

Questions

  1. Joan: a female character in STEM
  2. Daisy: a character with a unique nickname
  3. Water and electricity: BFFs completely opposite of each other
  4. Officer Kemp: a shitty character that gets what they deserve
  5. How We Learned to Lie: a book that’s characters just won’t stop lying

TOUR BANNER

How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

HowWeLearnedtoLieSynopsis

A voice-driven and explosive novel about friendship, love, and letting go, from the author of Little Wrecks

Violence in the small, suburban town of Highbone, Long Island, is escalating, and best friends Joan and Daisy are finding themselves in the center of it.

Joan has always been fascinated by the inner workings of living things: dogfish, eels, stingrays. But the more she sees of life outside her microscope, the more she realizes that people aren’t as easy to read as cells on a slide, and no one, not even Daisy, tells the truth.

Daisy’s always wished he had a family more like Joan’s, and that desire has only grown since his dad went to jail. But not even Joan can help Daisy keep his deadbeat older brother from putting everyone close to them in more danger.

When tragedy strikes too close to home, Joan and Daisy need each other more than ever. But no matter how hard they try, their secrets and lies have driven them apart. It’s only a matter of time before their friendship, just like their town, goes up in flames.

Sharp-edged and voice-driven, Meredith Miller’s How We Learned to Lie is a keenly observed story about friendship, violence, and life in a town on the brink.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image_kjcqpe

 

  

Meredith Miller is the author of Little Wrecks and How We Learned to Lie. She grew up in a large, unruly family on Long Island, New York, and now lives in the UK. She is a published short story writer and literary critic with a great love for big nineteenth-century novels and for the sea. Her short stories have appeared most recently in Stand, Short Fiction, Prole, Alt Hist, and The View from Here.

 

 

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads. I appreciated the characters in the book—especially because they were all flawed—and I enjoyed its darker elements.

Joan and Daisy’s friendship was interesting in that they were so completely different. Though it wasn’t the focus of the book, I thought their conversations about these differences were important, and not just because Joan is into marine biology and Daisy is into phone-phreaking. Daisy is white and identifies as a male, and Joan is black and identifies as a female. Daisy is continuously ignorant about how Joan’s experiences are different than his own; he doesn’t think about his privilege, which Joan calls him out on occasionally, and the concerns and fears and struggles that Joan faces because of her race and gender.

Even though both Joan and Daisy both had positive qualities, Joan aggravated me to my core throughout the novel. At times I did not like her. She was judgmental and critical, even though she herself made decisions that were selfish and stupid. Ugh. But she was a well-rounded, passionate character, though.

I also did find the timeline of the book confusing, which made it hard to get into at first. For the first chunk of the book, there are flashbacks and the events are not in order, and I think the book would have been stronger if it followed a forward-moving timeline.

Last, I thought the darker elements in the book could have been further developed to make the terrible things that go down more believable.

All that said, though, I thought it was solid and appreciated its gritty (super, super gritty) elements.

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “What I learned that night when my family fell apart is that silence isn’t just the lack of sound. It’s distance. It’s weight. When things get heavy, people back away. the more something matters, the less people want to talk about it.”

🖤 “People use words as camouflage. Ink, though—ink never lies.”

🖤 “‘I don’t think being who you’re supposed to be means you get everything you want. It’s how you deal with what you get.'”

🖤 “You can’t open people up and see how they work, anyway. Everything they do is just the surface effect of some infinite, screwed-up mess…”

🖤 “The thing is, once your questions stop being the ‘why is the sky blue?’ kind and start to really matter, people panic. You might break the silence everybody’s using to glue their lives together. People either gave me a load of pointless advice or tried to make me shut up. Like the truth was just some problem I had. Some phase I was going through. They were all trying to calm me down and shush me.”

BOOK LINKS

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

GIVEAWAY

  • PRIZE: 2 hardcover copies of HOW WE LEARNED TO LIE by Meredith Miller
  • US Only
  • Starts: 8/2
  • Ends: 8/13

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Book Tour

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

25 Bookish Facts About Me

morganvega blog post headers

AHH!!!!! IT’S HERE!   My second BookTube video is up!!! 

Learn more bookish facts about me than you ever wanted to know.   

Let me know some bookish facts about you in the comments!