Friday, July 3, 2020

Recently Approved Books




Hello Fellow Readers,

I just wanted to share with you all books I have recently been approved for. Also, if you all would like I can write a how to get approved for books on Edelweiss, Netgalley, or Any other site you want to here about. I can also write a guide on how to navigate these sites as well. Just let me know if that is something your interested in. Now, on to the books!

Netgalley



This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants.

WELCOME

From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today...journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah, from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey, from Fiji, America, Mexico and more... Come On In.

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands, who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL, give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question "where are you from?" and so much more, Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience.








Korean-American adoptee Siobhan O'Brien has spent much of her life explaining her name and her family to strangers, but her more pressing problem is whether to carry on the PI agency that her dead boss unexpectedly left to her. Easing into middle age, Siobhan would generally rather have a donut than a romance, but when an old friend and asks Siobhan to find her daughter who has disappeared from her dorm room, the rookie private detective's search begins in Llewellyn College. A private institution of higher learning in upstate New York, Llewellyn, for the first time in its two- hundred-year history, has opened its doors to men, causing a clash between the female students and their former fashion-model president. The financial reasons prompting the change seem like a ruse when fringe- group The Womyn of Llewellyn, aided by Siobhan, discover a newly built science center, which is under 24- hour surveillance. As Siobhan delves deeper into locating the missing girl and campus politics, she encounters vegan cooking that just might kill her, possibly deadly yoga poses, and politely dangerous billionaires. This first in a new series introduces an endearing PI heroine readers aren't going to want to put down.







How to Break an Evil Curse is the first book in a high fantasy series about a princess who may be cursed to live in darkness, but refuses to let her curse define her life. The King of the Land of Fritillary has incurred the wrath of his ex-bestie, the evil wizard Farland Phelps. Farland curses the King's firstborn to die if touched by sunlight, and just like that, Julianna must spend her life in the depths of a castle dungeon (emptied of prisoners and redecorated in the latest fashion, of course). A young woman of infinite resourcefulness, all she needs is a serving spoon, a loose rock in the wall, and eight years of digging, and Julianna is free to explore the city—just not while the sun is out! Warren Kensington is a member of a seafaring traveling theater troupe and the unwitting magical cure to the curse. When the pirate ship he's sailing on is damaged in stormy seas, he goes ashore and bumps into Julianna on the streets of the capitol. The pair accidentally set in motion a chain of events that uncovers Farland's plans to take over the throne. Julianna, Warren, and some friends they meet along the way are the only ones who can save the monarchy. But the farther they go along their increasingly ludicrous journey, and the more citizens they meet, the more Julianna wonders whether her dad's throne is worth saving. From an evil and greedy wizard? Well, sure. But from the people of Fritillary who are trying to spark a revolution? The people suffering in poverty, malnutrition, and other forms of medieval-esque peasant hardship? It doesn't take Julianna long to find that the real world is far more complicated than a black-and-white fairytale.





Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.


With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret 







Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does…

After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts—why, God, why?—she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list—a F*ck-It list.

1. Be bold—do the thing that scares me.

2. Learn to take a compliment.

3. Stand out instead of back.

She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv’s heart is interested in three different guys—and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she’s not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?

In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?”

A lot, apparently.


Edelweiss +

 




Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it's up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it's too late.


































A gorgeous original graphic novel from the best-selling creators of KILL OR BE KILLED, MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES, and CRIMINAL.

Max Winters, a pulp writer in 1930s New York, finds himself drawn into a story not unlike the tales he churns out at 5 cents a word - tales of a wild west outlaw dispensing justice with a six-gun. But will Max be able to do the same, when pursued by bank robbers, Nazi spies, and enemies from his past?

One part thriller, one part meditation on a life of violence, PULP is unlike anything the award-winning team of BRUBAKER and PHILLIPS have ever done. A celebration of pulp fiction, set in a world on the brink. And another must-have hardback from one of comics most-acclaimed teams.

 BookSirens

 



Samara is a ship wrecked at sea. She can’t seem to get anything right, especially her love life. Her former pirate captain, the famous Baz Blackwater, broke her heart and stranded her on an island of religious hypocrites. Samara wants nothing more than to escape to the freedom of the sea, so when her ex-lover shows up offering a chance at a magical treasure—and secret revenge—she jumps at the chance.

Seraphina prays every day for her wayward twin sister to stop chasing the pirate life and find the peace she’s discovered in her own quiet life at the convent. But Samara has nothing but contempt for her sister’s beliefs and religious rituals. Yet when Seraphina uncovers an ancient prophecy revealing the horrifying curse of the treasure Samara and Baz seek, she must leave her convent—risking the wrath of her Order—and search for the truth about Macario’s scepter.

In a world of friendship and betrayal, monsters and magic, seedy pubs and adventure on the high seas, will Samara’s magical powers, Baz’s cunning plans, and Seraphina’s unshakable faith be enough to slay a cursed sea serpent destroying everything they love?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

#CurrentlyReading July!



Hello Fellow Readers!

June simultaneously felt like the longest and shortest month, not sure how that happened but it did. It was also a weird month weather wise, with hot days reaching to 100, while the next day would be 60s with rain and thunderstorms. Of course, with weather like that it allows for perfect reading days! So, let's see what I'm finishing up and have started reading!

Title: Stake *Rollover from June
Author: Kevin J. Anderson
Genre: Supernatural; Mystery; Thriller

Vampire hunter or serial killer? That depends on whether vampires exist . . . 
Simon Helsing believes the only way to stop a bad guy with fangs is a good guy with a stake. He has devoted his life to ridding the world of vampires. He hunts them, finds their daytime lairs, and pounds a stake through their hearts. Lexi Tarada wants to believe. She's desperate to prove that the strange and impossible can be real. She runs a website for the unexplained and tries to sift through the crazy conspiracy theories to find out what is - or might be - real. Detective Todd Carrow is a skeptic. Haunted by visions of brutal killings from a previous case, he sees the latest gruesome murders as nothing more than the actions of a madman targeting innocents. Helsing is convinced he's doing good, but what if vampires aren't real and Carrow is right? 




Title: Redemption Grove
Author: David Rawding
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

 
Twenty-one-year-old Chris Olson has hit rock-bottom. His addiction to painkillers has left him homeless and ruined. Hoping to give him a clean start, his sister, Aida, convinces him to move to Anchorage to live with her.

But trouble seems to follow Chris, and he brings it right to Aida’s doorstep. Faced with having to kick her brother out of the house, Aida enlists the help of her friend, Doctor Max Fitwell. Max, haunted by a recent personal tragedy, wants nothing more than to be left alone in his misery. But he reluctantly agrees to allow Chris to stay with him and to help build a cabin.

Chris and Max, two men who are each struggling to find their own reasons to live, navigate the wilderness of Alaska, where they’ll either become better men or die trying.



Title: American Gods (Full Cast Audiobook)
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Mythology


 Days before his release from prison, Shadow's wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You'll be surprised by what - and who - it finds there...
 



Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Case of the Shinigami; K.C. Hunter

Title: Case of the Shinigami
Series: Kana Cold 0.5
Author: KC Hunter
Genre: Paranormal; Urban Fantasy; Mystery
Publication Date: November 10th, 2018
Publisher: AOE Studios

A young girl his haunted by a Death God. Her only hope is a rum-drinking, bar-fighting paranormal investigator with a bad attitude...

After dropping out of Harvard, Kana Cold started a business as a paranormal investigator. Most of her cases are hoaxes, much to Kana’s disappointment, until one case involving a little girl and her powerful demon–a Death God–opens the door to the real Paranormal Underground… changing Kana’s life forever.


*Thank you to BookSirens for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a honest and unbiased review*

Review

Hello Fellow Readers,

So this is the first book I've read in the Kana Cold series, which I really wanted to like, but now I realize that instead of starting with this book I probably should have started with the first book then came back and read this one. You must be wondering why, well since this is a such a short books (148 pages) you don't really get enough information to really get to know the characters.

As far as Kana goes, Hunter makes it obvious from the beginning that Kana had gone through some trauma but unfortunately we don't get too much information about this. Due to this, Kana seems cold and uninteresting. As far as the other characters went, I really liked AJ he seemed to be the only one who really seemed likable and fleshed out despite Kana being the main character.

There was one instance that made me upset and it was the confrontation between the child's mother and Kana, which never have a resolution or even a conversation, which that combined with the ending made the mother look ungrateful. The case was intriguing and interesting, so much so that I really wished it was longer and we got to see more of the investigation, given that it was good the resolution seemed rushed and anti-climatic.

Overall, it really needed more, but it did get me interested in the series to see how a longer story would be written. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Kingdom of the Gods; In-Wan Youn

Title: The Kingdom of the Gods
Authors: In-Wan Youn, Eun-Hee Kim (idea), Kyung-Il Yang (Illustrations)
Genre: Horror; Manga; Graphic Novels
Published: May 19 2020
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC

Years of war and famine and have plunged Joseon into chaos. Young Prince Yi Moon, after losing all his bodyguards to an assassination attempt, has no choice but to turn to the mountain bandit Jae-ha for help. But as the unlikely pair race to find safety in a world gone mad, it becomes horrifyingly clear that humans aren’t the only thing they must fear!
In a bonus story, a secluded island becomes a private battlefield as the notorious Japanese criminal Juu and the infamous Korean felon Han face off against each other. But they aren’t the only ones on the island…

*Thank you to NetGalley, VIZ Media, and In-Wan Youn, for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

Rating


Hello Fellow Readers!

So like everyone else I've heard of this being adapted to Netflix and before I dive into that I wanted to read the Graphic Novel. The premise of this sounds amazing, and it was...to a point. The first thing I would say is that it sort of starts and ends abruptly. I was looking to see if this was going to continue as a series or if this was a one-off but unfortunately, I can't find anything anywhere. If this was a series I would have rated it higher, because then I know I would be getting a conclusion to Yi Moon and Jae-ha's story.

I really liked Jae-ha and I really wish this was longer so I would be able to understand his character more, He definitely has the potential to be such a complex and great character, his banter with the other characters in the novel was one of the highlights. I also really like the way they created the undead in this, as well as showing the fact that in order to really stop this you had to heal the famine and resolve the war. This story had a amazing potential and if it was continued it could have become a favorite of mine.

The illustrations were also very good, I wished they would have been in color but it doesn't take away from the artwork that is just personal preference.

The bonus story was good, but a little too short for me to really give a rating on. It had a lot more violence and action than the first story, but I still found it interesting and would be willing to read more if it came out.

Overall, if this story had a conclusion or was a continuing series I would have rated it much higher, but as it stands I would need more. 


Friday, June 19, 2020

Blood and Silver; Vali Benson

Title: Blood and Silver
Author: Vali Benson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Tellwell Talen


What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother? If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out.

After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers that Miss Lucille has been drugging her. She and the kind doctor make a plan to try to save Lisette by dosing her down on the drug.

Doctor Henderson tells Carissa that the only source for the drug is a Chinese immigrant named China Mary, who lives in Hoptown, at the other end of Tombstone. Carissa has no choice but to go to the powerful woman for help. Many say that China Mary is the one who really controls Tombstone.

China Mary admires Carissa's brave spirit, and uses her influence to get her a job at the new Grand Hotel, which will free Carissa from her many duties at Miss Lucille's. She will work along with Mary's twelve year old niece, Mai-Lin. The two girls become fast friends.

Then, disaster strikes, and the two girls must work together to stay alive.

With a host of colorful characters and meticulous attention to period detail, Blood and Silver is a story of the best and worst of human nature, the passion for survival and the beauty of true friendship.


*Thank you to the author for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a honest and unbiased review*

Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

Today I have a historical work of fiction to review. It's been a long time since I've read historical fiction, even longer where the book took place in the wild west. Now I have mixed thoughts and feelings about this book that it is a little hard for me to focus my thoughts to review it. So I wanted to break it down a bit to hopefully make sense of my review.

First of all, the characters. I love Carissa, she is such a smart and intelligent child that you can't help but hop that she can get out of the terrible situation that she's in. You know that if she hadn't been so young with such a caring attitude for her mother, she would have definitely been a successful woman. The side characters on the other hand didn't do it for me. I just couldn't like or relate to them so their situations typicaly made me shrug, which in turn make me feel like a bad person. 

Secondly, while the plot is interesting, it just didn't grip me like the synopsis did. I was hoping for a lot more disaster and danger and while yes, Carissa was in very real danger, it felt like everything just happened so quick and tidied up a bit too nicely. For such a short book of around 142 pages it took a while for the meat of the story to really set it, this is one of those stories that would have benefitted from being about 50 pages longer. I just really kept looking for me.

Lastly, I will say that I feel like Benson really did her research about the Old West. Now, I am not an expert by any means but Benson really did focus the on the nitty-gritty not just the glamorized version we see in Hollywood movies. This book did have a darker and realistic feel to it. 

Overall, if your a fan of historical fiction this book is for you!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Amazon First Reads June




Hello Fellow REaders,

We have another edition of Amazon First reads! Let's see the choices!



Convicted serial killer Benjamin Fisher has finally offered to lead San Bernardino detective Daniel Ellis to the isolated graves of his victims. One catch: he’ll only do it if FBI profiler Reni Fisher, his estranged daughter, accompanies them. As hard as it is to exhume her traumatic childhood, Reni can’t say no. She still feels complicit in her father’s crimes.

Perfect to play a lost little girl, Reni was the bait to lure unsuspecting women to their deaths. It’s time for closure. For her. For the families. And for Daniel. He shares Reni’s obsession with the past. Ever since he was a boy, he’s been convinced that his mother was one of Fisher’s victims.

Thirty years of bad memories are flooding back. A master manipulator has gained their trust. For Reni and Daniel, this isn’t the end of a nightmare. It’s only the beginning.




The body of an elderly woman has been found in the bowels of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames. As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. How are the two murders connected?

Before long, the secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves. There are rumours about underground bunkers and secret rooms, unspeakable psychological experimentation, and a dark force that haunts the ruins, trying to pull back in all those who attempt to escape. Urban explorer Connie Darke, whose sister died in a freak accident at the asylum, is determined to help Lew expose its grisly past. Meanwhile Lew discovers a devastating family secret that threatens to turn his life upside down.

As his world crumbles around him, Lew must put the pieces of the puzzle together to keep the killer from striking again. Only an eccentric former patient really knows the truth—but will he reveal it to Lew before it’s too late?



2009. Lindsey and Georgie have high hopes for their summer on Martha’s Vineyard. In the wake of the recession, ambitious college graduate Lindsey accepts a job as a nanny for an influential family who may help her land a position in Boston’s exclusive art world. Georgie, the eldest child in that family, is nearly fifteen and eager to find herself, dreaming of independence and yearning for first love.

Over the course of that formative summer, the two young women develop a close bond. Then, one night by the lighthouse, a shocking act occurs that ensnares them both in the throes of a terrible secret. Their budding friendship is shattered, and neither one can speak of what happened that night for ten long years.

Until now. Lindsey and Georgie must confront the past after all this time. Their quest for justice will require costly sacrifices, but it also might give them the closure they need to move on. All they know for sure is that when the truth is revealed, their lives will be forever changed once again.

From a fresh voice in fiction, this poignant and timely novel explores the strength and nuance of female friendship, the cost of ambition, and the courage it takes to speak the truth.




After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup.

Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina—why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

Before time runs out, Melina must catch not one but two serial killers, both ready to claim another victim—and both with their sights set on her.
 
 


When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.

At first just a hobby, this lit lovers’ haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors—and attract an exciting new romance.

But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie’s secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do… 




Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.
 
 


New York City, 1899. Tillie Pembroke’s sister lies dead, her body drained of blood and with two puncture wounds on her neck. Bram Stoker’s new novel, Dracula, has just been published, and Tillie’s imagination leaps to the impossible: the murderer is a vampire. But it can’t be—can it?

A ravenous reader and researcher, Tillie has something of an addiction to truth, and she won’t rest until she unravels the mystery of her sister’s death. Unfortunately, Tillie’s addicted to more than just truth; to ease the pain from a recent injury, she’s taking more and more laudanum…and some in her immediate circle are happy to keep her well supplied.

Tillie can’t bring herself to believe vampires exist. But with the hysteria surrounding her sister’s death, the continued vampiric slayings, and the opium swirling through her body, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a girl who relies on facts and figures to know what’s real—or whether she can trust those closest to her. 




An unlikely duo star in a charming story about being different, finding courage, and the importance of friendship in the first book in a new series from an award-winning animation director.

Kat likes doing things her very own way, but sometimes she doubts herself. So when a bird named Juju arrives, Kat hopes he’ll be the best friend she’s always wanted. He’s outgoing and silly and doesn’t worry about what others think—the opposite of who she is. Bit by bit, with Juju’s help, Kat discovers her strength, and how to have a friend and be one—while still being true to herself.




I feel like there were a lot of good ones this month but ultimately, I decided upon Lydia Kang's Opium and Absinthe. The cover is just gorgeous and the synopsis sounds right up my alley. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Somebody to Love; Aurelia Fray

Title: Somebody to Love
Author: Aurelia Fray
Genre: Contemporary; Romance
Publication Date: March 30th, 2018

An unlikely pair, an impossible mission, and a hilarious hunt for Somebody to Love.

Henry only needed to fix the leaky office pipes. So, when a crazy woman barges in and turns his day upside down, then confesses all her secrets like a challenge, he faces two choices: Tell her he’s not the man she’s looking for, or roll with it.

Rachel knows there’s something amiss about her new shrink—he’s far too handsome for starters—but she’s desperate to straighten her life out. With only three weeks to find a date for her cousin's wedding, she’s willing to try anything. Even rely on a complete stranger to help her find love.



 Rating


 Hello Fellow Readers,

So I went to my kindle fully intent on reading a cozy mystery in between all of my requests I have been doing lately. I don't know what happened, maybe it's the cute cover, maybe it's the interesting synopsis or maybe my mind fully knew that I actually did not want to read a mystery but I ended up reading Somebody to Love by Aurelia Fray.

I liked the book, it was actually funny which surprised me because sometimes a book alludes to the fact that it's hilarious and I barely crack a smile. First off, I really like Rachel she's spunky but also vulnerable in a way that seems realistic, when authors write strong women they tend to forget that everyone have vulnerabilities which doesn't make a women less. Henry was also really great, although not at first but he grows which is what you want to read about in a book, no one has to start great as long as he ends that way.

The romance between the two was pretty cute and delightful, and not at all instalove which I enjoyed. Henry and Rachel had good chemistry and playful banter, they didn't argue excessively either, they acted like adults. The humor in this is pretty raunchy, FYI so if your looking for clean romance you won't find it here.

One thing I did not like was the girl-on-girl hate. Rey, was just an useless character I felt there was no reason to include her, especially when you have Cassy already. I was a little upset with the lack of support Rachel had in the first half of the novel, I just kept thinking 'are all the friends in this shitty?' I was happy I was proved wrong but they should have been introduced sooner. Overall, a great read for those who like saucy humor in their romance.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Current Book Wishlist


Hello Fellow Readers,

I don't have a lot of money, I have to rely on sites like BookBub, FreeBooksy, Libro.fm, and Chirpbooks or my local library to get books I want to read. I also review for Edelweiss+, NetGalley, and Booksirens but it's still not enough especially with so many great Books coming out soon! So, I decided to share my book wishlist with you all. This also allows me to keep track of books I want to purchase and read!

This poetic, genre-bending work—blending memoir with cultural history—from Whiting Award winner Nadia Owusu grapples with the fault lines of identity, the meaning of home, black womanhood, and the ripple effects, both personal and generational, of emotional trauma.

Nadia Owusu grew up all over the world—from Rome and London to Dar-es-Salaam and Kampala. When her mother abandoned her when she was two years old, the rejection caused Nadia to be confused about her identity. Even after her father died when she was thirteen and she was raised by her stepmother, she was unable to come to terms with who she was since she still felt motherless and alone.

When Nadia went to university in America when she was eighteen she still felt as if she had so many competing personas that she couldn’t keep track of them all without cracking under the pressure of trying to hold herself together. A powerful coming-of-age story that explores timely and universal themes of identity, Aftershocks follows Nadia’s life as she hauls herself out of the wreckage and begins to understand that the only ground firm enough to count on is the one she writes into existence.



 In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren't Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.







One of the most original performance poets of her generation, Melissa Lozada-Oliva has captivated crowds across the country and online with her vivid narratives. Humorous and biting, personal and communal, self-deprecating and unapologetically self-loving, peluda (meaning “hairy” or “hairy beast”) is the poet at her best. The book explores the relationship between femininity and body hair as well as the intersections of family, class, the immigrant experience, Latina identity, and much more, all through Lozada-Oliva’s unique lens and striking voice. peluda is a powerful testimony on body image and the triumph over taboo.





Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.




Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men.

It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light.

Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron.

Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.



An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic artistocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar).
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.





With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free





 It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy's best friend, their school's only out and proud teen. He'll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won't break Judy's heart--and destroy the most meaningful friendship he's ever known.




Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?



Monday, June 15, 2020

Music Monday



Hello my fellow music listeners!

It’s been a while since I was able to share music with you all. I've been in a sort of reviewing frenzy and I hope I continue to do so! Now let's listen to some music shall we?

I'm Blue - Kimmortal


Tease Me - Chaka Demus & Pliers

 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Dakota and the American Dream: Sameer Garach

Title: Dakota and the American Dream
Author: Sameer Garach
Genre: Satire
Published Date: December 25th 2019
Publisher: Mare Press

When ten-year-old Dakota becomes bored sitting next to his mother on a park bench, he drifts off and falls into a dream in which he follows a squirrel down a game of hopscotch until he finds himself in a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.
The satirical tale plays with many themes characteristic of America and its corporate culture as seen through the expert eyes of a child, giving the story popularity with adults as well as children. From a rudimentary perspective, the novella is about the trials and tribulations of growing up, or overweight, or old. But from another more complex one, it concerns ridiculous points of sharp humor, such as the American Dream, the rat race, racism in the workplace, the corporate ladder and hierarchy, office romance, an unhealthy love affair with body image, the obsession with prescription medication, the work and coffee culture, the constant fear of losing one’s job, the importance of golf in career success, happy hour and team-building exercises, age discrimination, and the diversity of dialect found in the United States.
To define the charm of the Dakota book—with those wonderful eccentric characters the Greenback Squirrel, the White Mouse, the Black Rat, the Bigwig, the Chairman, the Big Boss, the Westchester Whelp, the 800-pound Gorilla, etc.—as merely an adolescent arousal would convey a lack of proper understanding, for it really comprises a satire on language, a corporate allegory, a reflection of contemporary history, and a parody of twenty-first-century children’s literature.

*Thank you to the Author for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a honest and unbiased review*

Rating

 

Hello Fellow Readers,

I have for you Dakota and the American Dream, a book about a young child who falls into the land of corporate America. Honestly, I am not sure how I feel about this book, on one hand it handles a lot of sensitive topics that should be discussed, on the other hand Garach was a bit ambitious about it. Due to the fact that this is a book for children it just didn't have the the length to be able to discuss all of the topics as meaningfully as it needed to be covered.

The story itself is a bit fast paced, moving form scene to scene and chapter to chapter very quickly. Also, at first I did have a bit of trouble with the writing style. You can tell that Garach was trying to channel Carrol in his work. Once I got past the first chapter it didn't become an issue anymore. Considering that this book is inspired by Lewis Carroll's Though the Looking Glass, you can see many elements of that story throughout, just more modernized. Such as a green squirrel with a fitbit instead of a white rabbit with a pocket watch. I did enjoy the story but I will admit its not for everyone.

I do love Dakota, he is so innocent yet insightful. There's something in witnessing a child be put in situations that you have seen or be put into (You know, except for the people being animal parts) and him interpreting it in a child would, in a way you would never do. I also like how he relates each situation to one he's had (even if it is different) because that's what children do which is why children are so important.

Garach's writing is witty, intelligent and can easily paint a scene using a few words. I only wish the book was a bit longer so Garach could explore each topic further. Overall, if your into intelligent satire that really makes you pay attention and think then this book is for you.