Publisher: Inkyard Press Release Date: October 8, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Books about Books
From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.
While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
Ahh, I loved this book about books. 🖤
The friendship between Darcy and her best friend Marisol made my heart soar—I love when books feature women who stand by each other and support one another through all of life’s messiness.
Darcy’s mom has a mental illness—she is a hoarder. I appreciated so much how this was represented throughout the book, and I appreciated even more that Darcy discussed how both she and her mom saw a therapist. If you want to learn more about hoarding, check out the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s article on the basics.
I could ramble about this book for ages, but I went into not reading the synopsis, and I definitely recommend picking it up and diving in.
If you’re a lover of books, this one is for you.
“Holding a real book is like holding something alive. There’s the grit of the pages between your fingers as you turn them. The edges get soft and worn. With a real book, you feel the weight of the story more.”
“I’d learned more about life from books than my own mom.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, The Library of Lost Things, will be published from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO SWEATERS AND STARS is coming fall 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster.
Publisher: HarperTeen Release Date: September 10, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.
Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.
When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.
Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.
I recently read Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, and after reading A Treason of Throns, I can now confirm that I have a reading soft spot for inanimate objects turned magical.
The sentient, magical Burleigh House in this book remained at the heart of the story—it drove the plot, it influenced our protagonist’s Vi actions, and it painted the atmosphere. Vi, her childhood friend and love interest Wyn, and the House are the main characters in this book. I never thought I would read a book where a house is a main character, but my gosh, I’m so glad I did.
There is one, and only one, reason why this book was not a 5 star read for me: the not-so-believable, lacking romance. I wanted to believe that Vi and Wyn had a romantic connection. It made sense. But it didn’t translate onto the page. I almost wish their relationship would have remained platonic because then this book would have been perfect.
All in all, though, I highly recommend this book, as it delivered in so many other ways. Especially if you’re not picky about romance. And especially if you love the concept of a magical house. 🖤
“I need to know that no matter what I’ve lost, I’ve lost it for the greater good.”
“In the labyrinth of my own mind, I count fears instead of stars.”
“…folk recognize a devil in fine clothes when they see one.”
“The world is full of men who want things, and never question their right to go after them.” Esperanza’s eyes spark, and she leans forward in her chair. “Why should we feel any less worthy than they do, so long as what we want does no harm?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, we belong to ourselves.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, an old soul of a dog, and an indeterminate number of chickens. She is represented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.
This young adult contemporary romance was a quick, enjoyable read—and I’m looking forward to checking out other books by this author.
Don’t miss my playlist inspired by the book + the giveaway at the end of this post!
Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen
Publisher: Amulet Books Release Date: May 14, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.
About the Author
Leah Konen is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. She’s the author of the forthcoming Happy Messy Scary Love, Love and Other Train Wrecks, The Romantics, The Last Time We Were Us, and The After Girls. She lives in Brooklyn and Saugerties, NY with her husband and their dog, Farley.
This book gave me what I came for: sweet first love, horror film enthusiasts, romantic tension, and a hint of adventure.
However, I never suspended my sense of disbelief about the plot. I found the chance meet up too unrealistic, which the writing and build up could have amended. Though I enjoyed the book overall, I didn’t enjoy the characters. For those reasons, I gave the book 3 stars.
I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick summer read! ☀️
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.