Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Release Date: August 6, 2019 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love.
Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.
Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?
Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.
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 ReleaseDate: June 4, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
PRIVATE 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 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 Stars, All 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.
As a BookTuber, I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about the first book in The Androma Saga, Zenith, by Sasha Alsberg—a way more popular BookTuber—and Lindsay Cummings. The second and final book Nexus exceeded my expectations. I’m glad I gave this story a chance and made up my mind for myself.
Check out my review below, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Release Date: May 7, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
#1 New York Times bestselling authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings deliver the dazzling finale to the acclaimed Androma Saga, where stunning betrayals and devastating secrets send an embattled galaxy spiraling into the ultimate nightmare.
Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.
Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.
Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.
Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.
About the Authors
Sasha Alsberg is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga.
When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland she is making YouTube videos on her channel Abookutopia. She lives in Massachusetts with her dogs, Fraser and Fiona
For her writing, she is represented by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary.
Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling co-author of ZENITH, along with her duology, THE MURDER COMPLEX from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. She is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary in NYC.
Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, writes full time from her home in the deep woods in North Texas, and loves to chat with fellow book nerds. Lindsay created the #booknerdigans hashtag.
She’s still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts–it was probably just lost in the mail.
Again, this book exceeded my expectations. The characters, the world building, the adventure, the pacing. I flew through this book because the story kept me engaged. I never felt bored. I just kept flipping pages.
So I have a confession: I never read Zenith. There’s a trigger warning for rape in Zenith, and with my current mental space, I didn’t want to spiral. With that said, if you haven’t read Zenith yet, you can still jump right in to Nexus. Sasha and Lindsay expertly engage the reader while also catching up the reader from Zenith.
My favorite aspect of this book was the character development and its multiple point of views. Each chapter focused on a different character, which developed and propelled the story forward. Even with the point of view changes, I still followed along and understood the story without having read the first book.
I’m so glad I gave this book a try—enter the book giveaway below and give it a try too!
Today they’re amazing because they gave me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for The Fever King by Victoria Lee.
I actually heard about this book through Pitch Wars last year when I had entered my manuscript Sleeping Around. Victoria had entered this book, and I had talked to her on Twitter.
So basically I was thrilled to join this tour and support Victoria. 🖤
And don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee
Publisher: Skyscape Release Date: March 1, 2019 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whisky.
Victoria writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work.
She is represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.
The themes, the characters, the magic, the discourse on immigration. And I love me some bisexual representation.
I had a hard time getting into the story at first. It’s a dystopian setting, and there was a lot of world building going on in the beginning. Once I got my head around the setting, though, I was hooked.
I needed to get to the bottom of the politics. I needed to know who Noam could trust. And, per usual, I needed romance.
There is something for everyone in this book, and I’m so looking forward to the rest of this new series. 🖤
So this post was supposed to be up 2 days ago. I got sick (again) and have been struggling with my mental health, but here it is. Finally.
Anyway, I was sent all three books in The Bone Witch trilogy by Rin Chupeco in exchange for an honest review in collaboration with the Fantastic Flying Book Club.
I had been eyeing this series for a while, and I feel so lucky I was included on this blog tour. 🖤
Also, don’t miss the playlist I created and giveaway at the end of this post!
The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Release Date: March 1, 2019 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
The Bone Witch
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…
Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2)
In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…
No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.
But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…
War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.
The Shadow Glass(The Bone Witch #3)
The dramatic finale to The Bone Witch series! Tea’s dark magic eats away at her, but she must save the one she loves most, even while her life—and the kingdoms—are on the brink of destruction.
In the Eight Kingdoms, none have greater strength or influence than the asha, who hold elemental magic. But only a bone witch has the power to raise the dead. Tea has used this dark magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass, to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world, threatens to consume her.
Tea’s heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. Her work with the monstrous azi, her thirst for retribution, her desire to unmask the Faceless—they all feed the darkrot that is gradually consuming her heartsglass. She is haunted by blackouts and strange visions, and when she wakes with blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience. Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.
She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to.
I loved so much about the series: the politics, the characters (particularly Tea, Kaled, Lihk, Khalad, Zoya, Shadi), the romances, the diversity, the magic. The story progressed over each book in the trilogy—told through two different timelines, the present and past—and each book was better than the last. 🖤
As a writer, I cannot begin to understand how Rin wrote this trilogy. The characters, the magic, the politics were all so complex and vital to the story. I’m amazed at how the character and world building served the plot progression.
While this was a dramatic and action-filled story, I wasn’t as emotionally involved as I had hoped. I didn’t cry when important characters died, I rarely felt tense despite scenes of war, and it wasn’t until the final chapters of the third book that I shed a few tears. My only wish is that the emotion would have been cranked up throughout this series. If it had been, this series would have been 5 stars.
🖤 “If there is one thing people desire more than a good story…it is when they speak their own.”
🖤 “Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves how bitterness tastes.”
🖤 “When people cut us, we are expected to do only two things: smile and bleed.”
🖤 “We can endure any amount of sadness, for the people we love.”
🖤 “People will never be what you make of them, but at least your own heart stays yours and true.”
🖤 “Then perhaps we should carve a world one day where the strength lies in who you are, rather than in what they expect you to be.”
🖤 “It’s not such a bad thing, to feel powerless sometimes. It teaches us that some situations are inevitable and that we should spend what little time we have in the company of the people that matter most.”
🖤 “But fear is a powerful motivator.”
🖤 “But grief means you have loved. To love opens up the possibility for grief. There cannot be one without the other.”
🖤 “People need someone to hate. And it’s easier to see that in others than to find it in themselves.”
🖤 “Patience is the long pause between action and its consequences. Lengthier silences open you up to introspection, and I’ve known a lot of solitude.”
🖤 “I don’t chase after people who don’t feel the same way about me as I do about them.”
🖤 “And you’re an ugly old woman hiding her mediocrity in expensive clothes.”
🖤 “Lies are sweet to the palate, but the truth is often spat out, bitter and rancid.”
🖤 “People tend to believe those who are in charge, no matter how ridiculous or corrupt they may be.”
🖤 “Have you ever loved anyone so fiercely you were afraid it might shatter you? It was a blessing and a burden I carried.”
🖤 “It is never wrong to wish for more happiness.”
Check out the Spotify playlist I created inspired by The Shadow Glass!
Okay, reader friends. I’m so excited to share this post—another book’s blog tour! 😆
I was sent The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena in exchange for an honest review in collaboration with the Fantastic Flying Book Club, and let me just say: I honestly loved this book.
I feel so lucky that I’m a part of this tour because I don’t know if I would otherwise have picked up this book. Now I can’t wait to tell everyone to pick it up! 🖤
Plus, my partner Kelvin also chose this book for me to read this spring in a recent video on my BookTube channel, MY LOVE CHOOSES MY SPRING TBR. One book down, four more to go.👍🏻
Also, don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux ReleaseDate: February 26, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Susan is the new girl—she’s
sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of
excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy—he started raising hell at age fifteen,
after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.
Susan’s parents are on the
verge of divorce. Malcolm’s dad is a known adulterer.
Susan hasn’t told anyone,
but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants—until he
Love is messy and families
are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each
other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to
family, culture, and being true to who you are.
About the Author
Tanaz Bhathena was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada. Her critically acclaimed novel A Girl Like That was nominated for the 2019 OLA White Pine Award and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Globe and Mail, CBC, Quill & Quire, Seventeen, PopSugar, and The Times of India among others. Her second novel The Beauty of the Moment releases on Feb 26 2019. Her short stories have appeared in various journals including Blackbird, Witness and Room.
A wanderer at heart, Tanaz can often be found travelling to different countries, learning bits and pieces of a foreign language, and taking way too many photographs. She loves slapstick comedies and any kind of music that makes her dance. She lives in the Toronto area with her family.
So I read this book in a day. I fell for our main characters Susan and Malcolm, their struggles, their messy and complicated relationships with their family and friends, their hopes. Ugh. It all felt real and brought me back to my own high school experiences.
Still, though I may have been nervous to drive and fought with my parents and not had many friends and fell in love in high school, Susan Thomas’ life experience is so different from my own.
Susan immigrates from Saudi Arabia to Canada, and I still live in the same small town I grew up in. I never changed schools growing up let alone changed the country on my address.
But I was with Susan as she started her new school. I was with her when she talked to her first crush. I was with her when her friend Alisha back home began to grow distant in their calls. I was with her when her parents didn’t understand or support her dream of going to art school. Her heartbreak, her disappointments, her successes, her breakthroughs—I was with Susan every page of this book. I empathized for her, worried for her, cheered for her. Susan was such a likeable, endearing main character. 🖤
Through the course of the novel, Susan works through adjusting to a new culture while confronting stereotypes, ignorance, and her own loneliness. I especially appreciated the following passages:
“He talks about becoming Canadian like it’s a destination: a utopia of privilege that comes with a first world citizenship, a house instead of an apartment, two cars, and a dog in the backyard.”
“We didn’t go to school on camels, if that’s what you’re wondering…I always get that look from people when I tell them I lived there. Like I was living in some primitive magic-carpet land and not a cosmopolitan city with beaches and highways and malls a population of nearly three million.
“It does not matter that Malcolm and I share skin tones. Everything about him screams Canadian, from the way he speaks to the way he dresses to the self-assurance with which he walks. Malcolm belongs here as much as I don’t and probably never will.”
“I have been called too Saudi for India even though I don’t have a passport from the Kingdom, and too Indian for Saudi Arabia even though in my birth country I am treated like a foreigner. For the longest time, I thought I didn’t fit in anywhere. Even at Qala Academy, among other kids straddling lines between two different cultures, there were times I felt like an alien. But here, in this moment, I wonder if fitting in is important after all.”
Like Susan, I rooted for our other main character and love interest Malcolm. Both he and Susan have difficult home lives for different reasons. Malcom is still working through the death of his mother and the abuse of his father, and he is trying to change his reputation after turning to drugs and alcohol his junior year.
He and Susan were such different characters, and both highlighted the other—the other’s best qualities and their worst. They challenged each other. And I loved it.
I could go on and on about Susan and Malcolm. And don’t get me started about the side characters. Basically, the character development in this novel was phenomenal.
And. The. THEMES. FEMINISM. RELIGION. IMMIGRATION. THE REPRESENTATION. The attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. 🖤🖤🖤
I wouldn’t change a thing about this book.
More people need to know about this book. More people need to read this book. Please enter the giveaway at the end of this post, but regardless if you win, read this book. Spread the word. 🖤
🖤 “Wounds only fester if you let them, I remind myself. If you let yourself like someone way more than they’ll ever like you.”
🖤 “The line between love and hate can be as thin as a paper’s edge.”
🖤 “I want to say something. Put words to the horror I’m feeling right now. But everything tastes inadequate. Sour like bile at the back of my tongue.”
🖤 “No one gets to pick what is right or wrong for anyone else. It’s always going to be your decision, Susan. Nothing that’s truly meant for you can be taken away.”
🖤 “But love isn’t easy…You just need to decide if it’s worth the trouble.”
🖤 “Nothing that’s worth having comes easy.”
🖤 “People always find ways to embarrass you if they can…You can’t control that, but you can control your reaction.”
🖤 “I’m a mess…” “So am I.”
I created a Spotify playlist inspired by The Beauty of the Moment! It even includes songs from artists mentioned in the book. 👌🏻
The playlist also includes Susan’s (“Here” by Alessia Cara) and Malcolm’s (“Something Just Like This” by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers) theme songs, which the author Tanaz Bhathena shared on the first stop of this book tour with The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club.
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
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.
“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.