Cursed 🖤 Review + Giveaway

Another retelling. My heart is content. 🖤 

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! ✨

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

39678996._SY475_The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller. 

Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.

But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?

Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…

That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.

Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.

But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

tom-wheeler-101162144Thomas Wheeler sold his first screenplay at age twenty-two to Twentieth Century Fox. He has continued to work on major Hollywood features for the last several years. Wheeler lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Christina, and his son, Luca. The Arcanum is his first novel.

frank-miller-101162161Frank Miller is an award-winning comic book writer, novelist, inker, screenwriter, film director, and producer best known for DaredevilThe Dark Knight ReturnsSin City, and 300, among others.

BOOK LINKS

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

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a hardcover copy of Cursed!

  • End Date: October 9, 2019

BOOK TOUR

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

THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT 🖤 BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

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
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis

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 meets her.

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.

Check out Tanaz over on her website and on Goodreads and Instagram!

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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. 🖤

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “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.”

Playlist

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.

BOOK LINKS

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

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a finished copy of The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena!

  • US Only
  • Start Date: February 19, 2019
  • End Date: March 5, 2019

BOOK TOUR

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

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!

ThisCruelDesign_TourBanner

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

EmilySuvada_AuthorPhoto

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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!

#CoralineReadalong Announcement 🕸️

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I shared in my last post that I am hosting my first-ever readalong, the

Let me know in the comments if you plan to join me in reading the book, graphic novel, and watching the movie. 👌🏻

Here’s my announcement of the readalong on BookTube! 🖤

July 2018 OWLCRATE UNBOXING 👻🔮

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No other theme for an OwlCrate box could do me better than the Strange & Unusual July 2018 box. 👌🏼

I am here for the ghosts and the witches and the fortune tellers. 🖤

My FIRST OwlCrate Unboxing! | June 2018 Summer Lovin 🍍💗

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I’ve watched BookTubers do OwlCrate unboxing videos on their channels for years now, so I was ECSTATIC to open the OwlCrate June 2018 Summer Lovin on mine. ☀️

I love being a BookTube newbie. 🖤

AuthorTube Newbie Tag 🖤

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Still a BookTube newbie. Now an AuthorTube newbie too.

I’m here to make new author friends! 🖤