Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin Blog Tour Post

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the LIKE OTHER GIRLS by Britta Lundin Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book

Title: LIKE OTHER GIRLS

Author: Britta Lundin

Pub. Date: August 3, 2021

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 384

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

“What if I played football?” I ask. As soon as it’s out of my mouth, I feel stupid. Even suggesting it feels like I’ve overstepped some kind of invisible line we’ve all agreed not to discuss. We don’t talk about how Mara is different from other girls. We don’t talk about how Mara is gay but no one says so. But when I do stuff like this, I worry it gets harder for us all to ignore what’s right in front of us. I direct my gaze to Quinn. “What do you think?”

“I think it’s frickin’ genius,” he says.

After getting kicked off the basketball team for a fight that was absolutely totally not her fault (okay maybe a little her fault), Mara is dying to find a new sport to play to prove to her coach that she can be a team player. A lifelong football fan, Mara decides to hit the gridiron with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Quinn-and she turns out to be a natural. But joining the team sets off a chain of events in her small Oregon town-and within her family-that she never could have predicted.

Inspired by what they see as Mara’s political statement, four other girls join the team. Now Mara’s lumped in as one of the girls-one of the girls who can’t throw, can’t kick, and doesn’t know a fullback from a linebacker. Complicating matters is the fact that Valentina, Mara’s crush, is one of the new players, as is Carly, Mara’s nemesis-the girl Mara fought with when she was kicked off the basketball team. What results is a coming-of-age story that is at once tear-jerking and funny, thought-provoking and real, as Mara’s preconceived notions about gender, sports, sexuality, and friendship are turned upside down.


Britta Lundin’s sophomore novel will give readers all the feels, and make them stand up and cheer.

Events

Tuesday, August 3
Like Other Girls🎉 Launch Signing
Skylight Books
7-8:30pm
more details

Saturday, August 7
Like Other Girls🎉Virtual Event
Britta Lundin in conversation with Carly Usdin (filmmaker, author The Avant Guards)
noon PT/3pm ET
register here to get the link

Review

Thoughts and Themes: It took me a bit to really get into this book because of the amount of football talk that was in it. I am really not a sport person so that kind of deterred me but when I was able to look past that I found this was a great story.

Something that I liked about this book was how Carly and the other girls do point out that Mara is being just as bad as the guys with the misogyny. I liked how this book does address this idea of how girls can perpetuate this as well. I really liked that this was discussed and it wasn’t just dismissed throughout the whole book.

I also really liked that this is a coming of age book where Mara is learning about who she is and how she can exist in this small town of hers. I liked that we got to see Mara have other queer people serve as her mentors because I found that quite important.

Characters: This book has several characters that you are introduced to through their interactions with the main character, Mara. You get to meet her brother, Noah, several of the guys on the football team and the Elkhorn Five.

I really liked watching how the relationship between Mara and Carly develops. I love that this story is enemies to lovers because you get the whole build up before anything happens. I also like how oblivious Mara is of Carly’s feelings throughout the whole thing and how angry that makes Carly.

I also really liked how Mara and her brother’s relationship shifts throughout the whole story. I like how his feelings about her being on his team change and how she calls him out for this. I also like how Mara realizes things about her best friend, Quinn and the type of person who he really is.

Writing Style: This book is written in first person through Mara’s point of view. I liked that things were told through her point of view because when conflict arises there is no one else’s side being seen. I think it is important that we don’t really get to see other people’s point of view and just see how Mara feels about everything.

About Britta Lundin

Britta Lundin is a TV writer and author.

She’s written for shows such as Riverdale, Betty, and The Big Leap and is the author of the young adult novels Like Other Girls (out August 2021) and Ship It.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she lives with her wife, kid, and dog in Los Angeles.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway Details

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LIKE OTHER GIRLS, US Only. Enter Here!

Tour Schedule

Week One:

8/1/2021Tween 2 Teen Book ReviewsReview
8/2/2021BookHounds YAExcerpt
8/3/2021Rajiv’s ReviewsReview
8/4/2021Kait Plus BooksExcerpt
8/5/2021Lifestyle of MeReview
8/6/2021onemusedReview
8/7/2021booksaremagictooReview

Week Two:

8/8/2021EveryonesLibrarianReview
8/9/2021@curlygrannylovestoreadReview
8/10/2021BRITTREADSALATTEBOOKSIG Post
8/11/2021A Bookish DreamReview
8/12/2021Nonbinary Knight ReadsReview
8/13/2021Unconventional Quirky BibliophileReview
8/14/2021Fyrekatz BlogReview

Week Three:

8/15/2021@coffeebooksandmascaraReview
8/16/2021MidnightbookloverIG Post
8/17/2021A Gingerly ReviewExcerpt/IG post
8/18/2021The Bookwyrm’s DenReview
8/19/2021@drewsim12Review
8/20/2021Adrianna.readsReview
8/21/2021Mallory BooksReview

Week Four:

8/22/2021GivernyReadsReview
8/23/2021popthebutterflyReview
8/24/2021@pagesofyellowReview
8/25/2021My Fictional OasisReview
8/26/2021PerusewithcoffeeReview
8/27/2021The Phantom ParagrapherReview
8/28/2021Eli to the nthReview

Week Five:

8/29/2021@fictitious.foxReview
8/30/2021BibliosiniReview
8/31/2021Two Points of InterestReview

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with The Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland Book Tour Post

I am excited to be on this book tour for How Moon Fuentez fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland through TBR and Beyond Tours. Check out the rest of the tour here.

Book Description

Book Info

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliand

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Publishing Date: August 10, 2021

Synopsis:

The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country.

When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible.

Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen.

Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was.

Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?

Book Links

Goodreads~ Amazon~BarnesandNoble~ Book Depository~ Indigo~ Indiebound

Review

TW: Emotional abuse, Fatphobia, Physical abuse, Sexual content, Suicide, and Mental illness

Thoughts and Themes: At first it took me a big to really get into this book but once I did, I finished it in three days. There was so much to love about this book and I never wanted to put it down. I love a good romance story and this book has exactly that, we got enemies to lovers in here but we also have Moon learning to love herself and realize she’s worth so much more than what others made her believe.

I love a book where our main character learns to let others love them and more so learns their self worth. This is my favorite type of story because I feel like it’s something I’ll always need, I’ll always need to be reminded of my worth and want others to see how much they are worth.

I really liked each of the chapter titles in this book as they were unique and gave you a hint as to exactly what would happen in that portion of the book. I also like that each chapter felt like its own story in it of itself. I liked how through these chapters we got snort snippets of different parts of Moon’s life and her relationships with different people.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this book is that we get some queer side characters. I like the idea of queerness co existing with religion and I really liked the complexity of that in this story. Being a Catholic Queer isn’t easy ever and I love how this book touches a bit on that even if it isn’t a central plot point.

Characters: In this story you get to meet several characters through their interactions with Moon. You meet her sister, Star, the love interest, Santiago, other influensters on this tour, Moon’s aunt/Tia, and more.

Moon and Star’s relationship is complicated and made this way more so by the way the mom treats them. I found it interesting to read their dynamic and why Star sees Moon the way she does. I liked how the relationship shifts as Moon stands up for herself and starts to see how she isn’t just Star’s sister.

I really liked Moon’s relationship with Santiago and how this all started as them being enemies with each other. I liked how that developed but mostly I liked how he likes her for who she is. I liked how they both opened up to each other and learned to trust each other. I don’t want to give too much spoilers but just know that the relationship is cute and to die for.

Writing Style: This story is told in first person through the perspective of Moon. I really enjoyed having the story told through her perspective because when things go wrong we don’t get to hear what anyone else thinks. I like that we only get everything through her eyes because we don’t get things colored by any other lens.

Author Information

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican American poet, novelist and painter. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 2017. She’s most inspired by fog and seeds and the lineages of all things. When not writing, Raquel tells stories to her plants and they tell her stories back. She lives in Tennessee with her beloved family and mountains.

Author Links

Website ~Twitter~Instagram~ Goodreads

The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang Book Review

Author Information

Photo by Sean Culligan

Jen Wang is the award-winning NYT Bestselling author and illustrator of several graphic novels for young readers including Stargazing, The Prince and The Dressmaker, In Real Life (co-written with Cory Doctorow), and Koko Be Good. She is also a co-founder and organizer for Comic Arts LA. She lives in Los Angeles.

Book Description

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart. 

Review

Thoughts and Themes: The minute that I opened this book and started reading it, I knew it was going to be one that I loved. When I finished reading it I cried and I’ll let you all read to see if those were happy or sad tears. I immediately wanted to re-read it over and over again but had to hold myself back because I have so many other books to get through.

There’s a scene in the book where the prince tells his mother “this is who I am. I’m a prince who likes dresses.” I paused when reading that and put the book down because this finally captured my gender perfectly. I’m a boy who likes dresses, like its that simple but also so complex for others to understand.

Characters: This story centers around two main characters, the prince and his dressmaker. I love each of the main characters and how supportive they are of each other’s dreams. There are some moments in which the way the prince treats Frances in a less than ideal manner and I both am annoyed with him but also sympathize with him.

Writing and Art Style: I loved the art style of this book and how clearly you can see the emotions on each of their faces. There is no need for words in some of the panels because the picture says it all. I liked seeing the difference in the prince and Lady Crystallia and how not only were they dressed differently but their personality, mannerisms, and feelings were different.

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfold, and Nicola Yoon Book Review

Book Description

Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark.

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.

Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city. Book Description

Review

Thoughts and Themes: Have you ever read a book that made you believe in love again? A book that made you feel like it was giving you a hug and telling you that everything will be okay. I’ve read several books that have felt like a hug, like someone telling me that it was going to be okay but none quite like this one. This book told me you can find love in the darkest places and that everyone deserves their chance at love even if it means getting that chance more than once.

It is hard for me to put into words how much I loved this book, right from finishing the first story in it, I knew I was going to want more when it was all done. I really enjoyed each of the short stories that were included in this book and how they built on each other. I really enjoyed how one story was split into different pieces with the other stories mixing with that one, it really tied everything together.

Everytime that I read a book about romance or love, I remember how much I really do enjoy this genre when I can get over how much I feel that it isn’t for me. The idea of love and romance feels so foreign to me now that it seems untouchable even if a book form. This book was different, it didn’t feel like it was far away or if it wasn’t for me, it felt like it was saying so much in so little words.

Characters: There are several characters in this book that you get to meet as each short story has their own set of characters. I loved each of the characters that you get to meet in the story as they are all unique from each other. There was nothing not to love about these characters and how they each fell in love. Throughout the whole book, you are just rooting for them to find happiness, with someone else or within themselves.

Writing Style: This book was quite different from the anthologies that I am used to reading but I enjoyed the way it was written. The main story centered around there being a blackout in New York City and the rest of the stories went from there. I liked how interconnected all of the stories are from one another. My only complaint is that there were stories I wanted to see more of, I mean they closed beautifully but I fell in love with the people in it and wanted more of them.

Author Information

Dhonielle Clayton

Born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Dhonielle spent much of her childhood hiding beneath her grandmother’s dining table with a stack of books. As an English teacher at a ballet academy, Clayton rediscovered her passion for children’s and young adult literature. To ground herself in the canon, she pursued her Masters in Children’s Literature from Hollins University before receiving her MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. She is a former middle school librarian, where she pestered children to read and curated a diverse collection. An avid traveler, Dhonielle’s lived in several foreign countries, but she’s now settled in Harlem, where you’ll find her writing late into the night, lurking in libraries, and hunting for the best slice of New York pizza. She is the COO of We Need Diverse Books and the co-founder of Cake Literary. The co-author of the dance dramas Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces, as well as the upcoming Rumor Game, Dhonielle is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA fantasy series The Belles. Find her on the web at DhonielleClayton.com or on Twitter @brownbookworm.

Tiffany D. Jackson

Tiffany D. Jackson is the New York Times Bestselling author of YA novels including the Coretta Scott King — John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning Monday’s Not Coming, the NAACP Image Award-nominated Allegedly, Let Me Hear A Rhyme, and her 2020 title GROWN. She received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University, her master of arts in media studies from the New School, and has over a decade in TV/Film experience. The Brooklyn native is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.

Nic Stone

Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.

Stone lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @getnicced or on her website nicstone.info.

Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.

Ashley Woodfolk

Ashley Woodfolk has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University and worked in children’s book publishing for over a decade. Now a full-time mom and writer, Ashley lives in a sunny Brooklyn apartment with her cute husband, her cuter dog, and the cutest kid in the world. Her books include The Beauty That Remains, When You Were Everything, and the Flyy Girls Series.

Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star. She is a National Book Award finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book recipient and a Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. Both her novels have been made into major motion pictures. Nicola grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist David Yoon, and their family.

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens Book Review

Author Information


F.T. Lukens is an award-winning author of Young Adult fiction. A sci fi enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Wars and Star Trek and is a longtime member of their college’s science-fiction club. F.T. holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.

F.T.’s urban fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations For Mediating Myths & Magic won several awards including the 2017 Foreword INDIES Gold Award for Young Adult Fiction, the 2017 IPBA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best Teen Fiction and the 2017 Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. It was also named to the 2019 ALA Rainbow Book List.

Book Description

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…

Review

I won this book in a giveaway from Turn the Page Tours so thanks to them and Netgalley I am able to provide a review for you all.

Thoughts and Themes: It took me quite a long time to be invested in this book as I kept going back and forth in my interest in it. The book starts off quite slowly which is the main reason as to why I wasn’t drawn in immediately to this story.

I really loved how this story is so much adventure and so much different layers kept getting added to this as I read more. I liked reading along as different things happen to Tal and trying to see what he would do next just to survive. I liked that this was a story about survival and the things that one is willing to do in order to survive.

I really enjoyed the world-building in this book and how that was part of the adventure in this story. I liked how there were things that Tal was figuring out about alongside the reader and liked how his family’s past played into the present times. I really enjoyed learning about the different types of magic that was in this book, not just the magic that Tal had but the mystical creatures that were involved and the powers that some of his family members possessed.

Characters: In this story you get introduced to quite a few characters through their interactions with Tal and each of them is unique in their own way. I loved all of the relationships that Tal has with each person who is important to him and I even liked the villains in this story.

I liked the way Tal and Athlen’s relationship develops and how it changes over time. I like how not only is Tal second guessing Athlen’s feelings throughout the whole story but as a reader you are questioning Athlen’s motives. This part was the best thing for me because I loved trying to figure out who was trustworthy in this story and who wasn’t. I felt like Tal who was also trying to figure this out for himself.

I also really enjoyed the relationships that Tal had with each of his family members and especially his siblings. I liked how supportive they are of Tal and how protective they are of him as their youngest sibling. I really liked the scenes in which we get to see all of them talking to him and getting upset with themselves for “allowing” him to have been harmed.

Writing Style: The story is told in third person point of view and follows Tal. I really liked the story being told in this way because it doesn’t seem to be an all knowing narrator. We still get Tal’s feelings and confusion even if he isn’t the one telling the story to us.

Fresh by Margot Wood Book Review

Author Information

Margot Wood is the founder of Epic Reads and has worked in marketing for more than a decade at publishing houses both big and small. Born and raised in Cincinnati, and a graduate of Emerson College, Wood now lives in Portland, Oregon and works in comic book publishing. She once appeared as an extra in the Love, Simon movie.

You can find her online at margotwood.com.

Book Description

A hilarious and vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new experiences––and missteps––of a girl’s freshman year of college

Some students enter their freshman year of college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. Elliot McHugh is not one of those people. But picking a major is the last thing on Elliot’s mind when she’s too busy experiencing all that college has to offer—from dancing all night at off-campus parties, to testing her RA Rose’s patience, to making new friends, to having the best sex one can have on a twin-sized dorm room bed. But she may not be ready for the fallout when reality hits. When the sex she’s having isn’t that great. When finals creep up and smack her right in the face. Or when her roommate’s boyfriend turns out to be the biggest a-hole. Elliot may make epic mistakes, but if she’s honest with herself (and with you, dear reader), she may just find the person she wants to be. And maybe even fall in love in the process . . . Well, maybe.

Review

Thank you to Amulet Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thoughts and Themes: From the first look at the cover and the description this isn’t the typical book that I would pick up, but I am so glad that I gave it a try since I winded up loving this story. This was a book that I just couldn’t put down once I picked it up.

This book instantly transported me back to my first year of college and while I was nothing like Elliot, I could still relate to the characters in this story. It was fun returning to this time in my life and also remembering what student’s lives are like when they are in college now that I work as an academic advisor. I thought that this story really captured the feeling of going away to college really well and all that comes along with being alone for the first time.

Something else that I really liked about this book was how sex positive it was. As an a-spec person, I tend to stray away from books that feature sex as I can find it overwhelming but I found this book wasn’t too much. I liked that we got a range of different opinions on sex in this book and how no one was shamed for their thoughts on it.

I really love the ending of this story and just screamed so much in the last 50ish pages of this book. I can’t say much more about this without ruining it but it was just too cute for my heart to handle.

Characters: In this story you get to meet Elliot, and several of the people she interacts with on a regular basis and her family members. I really enjoyed getting to read the pieces between Elliot and her younger sister. I loved the way their relationship was easy but you can feel how much she cares about Elliot.

I also really like the friendship between Elliot and her roommate, Lucy. I love the different challenges that they face through their friendship and how they navigate those challenges. I really like how we get to see the reality of several students at a private school through Lucy when she points out the privileges’ that Elliot has. I also like how different they are from each other especially when it comes to relationship and sex. What I really appreciated was how Elliot and Lucy respected each others perspective on things and supported each other’s decisions.

Writing Style: The story is told in first person point of view through the main character, Elliot, and it includes footnotes throughout. I really enjoy the footnotes that are included because it makes the book feel like I’m reading Elliot’s diary. The footnotes allow you to get her innermost thoughts and it also gives a chance to explain things outside of the main story. I also like how we only get the story through Elliot’s perspective because it reads like a college freshman trying to figure out her life.

Flash Fire (The Extraordinaries #2) by TJ Klune Book Review

Author Information

TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories. 

Book Description

Flash Fire is the explosive sequel to The Extraordinaries by USA Today bestselling author TJ Klune!

Nick landed himself the superhero boyfriend of his dreams, but with new heroes arriving in Nova City it’s up to Nick and his friends to determine who is virtuous and who is villainous. Which is a lot to handle for a guy who just wants to finish his self-insert bakery AU fanfic.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley, Macmillan, and Tor-Forge for an advanced reader’s copy of the book in exchange for my review.

Thoughts and Themes: I really enjoyed book 1 so I was so happy to get a chance to read this one and this book did not disappoint. I rarely read series as they come out because I don’t feel the need to read the next book as soon as it comes out but this was one of those that I had to know what happens now.

It is quite difficult to provide you all with a review without ruining book 1 so if you haven’t read that book yet, go do that before you continue reading this review.

I love the way Nick finds out about certain things in this book, I also like the way he responds to the things that he finds out. It’s like his whole life is unraveling before his eyes and as he thinks he has it all together it only unravels some more. The way this is done kept me reading even when I guessed where the story was going.

Something that I was really hoping was going to change with this book or at least be brought up was the amount of police admiring went on in the first book. I am glad that this book did begin the conversation about police brutality especially as Nick’s dad did beat up a man. While I was quite upset that Gibby and her family were the ones to bring up the conversation, I am glad that it did happen. I also liked how we do see Nick struggle with what it means for his dad to be a cop and begin to ask questions rather than just having it be fact.

Characters: The characters in this book, Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz are just as great as they were in book 1. I just love how they formed a found family and watching as how their relationships develop through the course of this book. I really like how we get brief glimpses of each of their parents and see how those relationships are developed as well.

I liked getting to see Nick and his dad’s relationship develop throughout the course of this book, both as he questions his dad being a cop and also questions his dad keeping things from him. I liked getting to see how their relationship changed throughout time and I just like how casual they are with each other. It very much is a teenage child and parental relationship which is funny at times.

Writing Style: This story is written in third person through the perspective of the main character, Nick. I like that the story is told in third person because you get a glimpse at what the others are doing but you don’t know what’s going on unless Nick is around. I like getting things through Nick’s perspective because it feels like things are all over the place the whole time so you are for sure inside his head.

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass Book Review

Author Information

Ryan Douglass was born and raised in Atlanta, where he currently resides, cooking pasta and playing records. He enjoys wood wick candles, falling asleep on airplanes, and advocating for stronger media representation for queer Black people.

Book Description

Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA horror where survival is not a guarantee.

Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood. High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for the advanced reader’s copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thoughts and Themes: I had only seen negative reviews on this book so I went into this one suspecting bad and I wish I had’t. I actually really enjoyed this book and the multiple things that were happening in the story. I usually don’t like for there to be many side plot lines because I worry that they will be left unresolved but I liked the side things happening in this story. I felt that the side things happening helped move the story forward and also allowed you to learn about the characters.

I liked how this book brought up the intersection of being Black and Gay and how that was very different than being just one or the other. I thought this was a important piece that was brought up. I can’t speak on the intersection of holding both of those identities so I suggest that you all read own voices reviews as well.

Something else that I enjoyed about this book was that there were moments in which I felt the characters were coming off the screen. I loved the scenes in which there are supernatural elements involved since I felt these features brought the book to life. It was like this book was a ghost in my own living room.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to quite a few characters through their interactions with Jake and through the journal entries that are provided from Sawyer. I liked the way that we get to meet the people who were in Sawyer’s life and get to understand Sawyer through the journal entries and not just his haunting of Jake.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book is that both Sawyer and Jake are gay males. I thought it was great to see how that identity played into their daily lives and also their interactions with each other. I thought that them both being gay added depth to the story and added more to the reason Sawyer was haunting Jake. I felt that this fact made Sawyer feel like he could relate with Jake, and slowly it felt like Jake was able to relate with Sawyer.

I also really enjoyed the brief romance that we got through this book between Jake and Allister. While the romance wasn’t front and center in this story, I liked the glimpses that we get of their relationship and how it develops.

Writing Style: This story is written in first person point of view through Jake’s perspective and it also includes some of the entries from Sawyer’s journal. I like that this book goes back and forth between Jake’s life and Sawyer’s journal entries. I liked getting to know who Sawyer was prior to the shooting and try to see why that event occurred. I also thought it was great to see that this journal was being read by Jake and it was informing him of why this ghost was now haunting him.

What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson Book Review

Author Information

Cory was born in Idaho and grew up an outdoor-girl in the rugged Middle Rockies. Her father, a park ranger, encouraged her to explore the woods and find “what beauty there is” in the world. He taught her to camp, and how to survive in the forest in winter. She later learned they didn’t have a lot of money, but as a child she never knew it. She had two best friends: Nature, and books.

All Cory’s life she’s felt the strong bonds of family and siblings. Her writing is based in these close relationships, and in the gritty experience of growing up in the wild Rocky Mountains. 

From an early age, Cory loved books. Her family often visited the library, where she discovered White Fang. Within its pages she learned about courage, and the power of kindness. She read all the time. By seventh grade, she was writing. For years, Cory underlined and dog-eared the pages of books, picking scenes and phrases apart until she could decently put them together again. She became fascinated with the mystery of the Great Story.

 Over time, Cory cultivated a writing style. Chief among them is her love of stark prose, which she attributes to Cormac McCarthy. The Road captivated her for years—and forever, she thinks. There are too many YA authors to mention, but she’s compelled to bring up Laurie Halse Anderson, Madeleine L’Engle, Markus Zusak, Patrick Ness, and Elizabeth Acevedo.

Cory started writing What Beauty There Is at a rough time. Her marriage had just ended and she suddenly found herself alone, with a son and daughter to protect. Within a month or so, she had an empty pantry and an eviction notice. She was desperate. The story of Jack and Matty arose out of this grief—and her desire to take care of her children, when she didn’t know if she could.

Ava’s story is also deeply meaningful to Cory. When she was Ava’s age, Cory was assaulted, and for a lot of years she believed a part of her had broken. She thought that she’d developed a cold heart, that she’d lost the ability to love. It took a long time to learn that this wasn’t true. Hard things can hurt us, but it doesn’t mean we’re broken.

Cory now lives in the Wasatch Mountains, where she spends countless hours writing, sometimes in the woods with just a pencil and paper. Always with a full heart.

She hopes you enjoy What Beauty There Is.

Book Description

Winter. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Jack Morton has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d do anything for. Even die for. Now with their mother gone, and their funds quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. He chooses the money.

Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Trust no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or help the brothers survive.

Choices. They come at a price.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan’s Children’s Publishing Group for the advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.

Thoughts and Themes: This book did take me a while to get into as it does start off slow, I’m glad that I stuck with it though because less than halfway through I didn’t want to put it down. Make sure to look into trigger warnings for this book before you start reading it, there is on page suicide, violence, murder, and abuse in this book.

I really liked how this book introduces you to the Jack and Matty’s story and walks you through moments of their past to explain the present. There are so many moments in this story that I just want to protect these two kids whose circumstances happen due to their parents. This book takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions as you hope for the best possible ending for these characters you can’t help but love.

There’s a point in this book that I just wanted to toss my kindle across the room but I can’t talk about that scene without ruining the whole story. Just know that your heart will be breaking multiple times for the boys.

If any of you read this please message me, that ending has me so confused and I need to discuss it. I don’t know what happened and I know its probably up to the reader but I need to know what others thought. Should I be happy crying or sad crying about that ending?

Characters: In this story you get introduced to a range of characters but our main characters are Jack, Ava, and Matty. I really liked that each of these characters read the age they were. Even though Ava and were going through things that teenagers shouldn’t have to deal with, they still responded to those things in a teenage manner. They handled themselves well and they managed the things happening well but it was done in a way that remained true to their age and experiences.

I enjoyed reading the relationship that develops between Ava and Jack , especially the trust that they establish between themselves. I liked seeing how their past affects the way they respond to others and how they put that aside for each other.

Something else that I enjoyed through this book was the relationship that each character had with Matty. This is one of the characters that you instantly adore because he’s an innocent child and much like everyone else you want to protect him. I liked that he read as a young kid but there were moments that he pointed out to others that he was aware of the things happening around him.

Writing Style: This story is told in third person through a narrator that seems to be watching as the story unfolds. I liked to think of the narrator as the boy’s mother watching them from above and hoping for someone to save her sons. I also liked to think of the narrator as Ava at some times, like was Ava ever real. This book made me question what was real at times because of the italic portions that are included as well as the epilogue.

Zombies for Everyone: A Jenna Sutton Supernatural Cozy Mystery

Author Information

Kimberly Wylie loves to write books about murder, mystery and mayhem. She’s especially fond of paranormal cozy mysteries, with some of her favorite authors being Adele Abbott, Emery Belle, and (non-paranormal cozy author) Joanne Fluke.

When not writing, you can find Kimberly enjoying the sunshine, the beach or the reef, from her home on Ambergris Caye, Belize. She lives there with her husband and the best English Cream Golden Retriever in the world—Coco.

Author Links

Website https://www.jennasuttonmystery.com

Book Description

Jenna Sutton is nothing like the iconic vampire slayer of TV fame.

She’s the antithesis of a cheerleader. She’s not peppy. And she sucks at gymnastics. She has nothing in common with the fictional Buffy, other than being blonde and in high school…
Oh, and occasionally she kills vampires for a living as well as other things that go bump in the night..

Following an attack on an English teacher at a nearby school, it becomes clear this wasn’t an ordinary coyote bite. The gray-green Lichtenberg-like webbing of streaks making their way up Ms. Pruett’s arm can mean only one thing—zombies.

But this isn’t a normal zombie attack. The victims seem to be hand-picked.

Can Jenna complete her investigation without the school administrators figuring out she’s actually a high school student from another school? Will Jenna be able to find out who’s behind these attacks before a full-scale zombie outbreak overtakes the town? And, perhaps most importantly…

Why did her best friend kiss her after all of these years?

Review

Thoughts and Themes: Once I started reading this one, I had a hard time putting it down as it drew me in. The story starts off slow as they introduce you to the role that Jenna plays in this town and some of the people that she works with. It picks up rather quickly though as you get introduced to the problem that the town is facing and Jenna’s new case.

I really liked how short each of these chapters are and how they flow well with each other. I really enjoyed the world-building that takes place as you learn about Jenna as a hunter and the different creatures that she is hunting. While I am familiar with the traditional story of zombies, it was nice for this book to recap what we know as zombies and then further explain what types of zombies they encounter.

Characters: In this story there are two main characters that the story centers around, Jenna and Kieran. I really liked getting to know each of the characters seperately and reading as they worked together.

Something that I wasn’t too fond of was the relationship that begins to develop between the two main characters. I felt that the relationship was a bit forced and was frustrated by all of Jenna’s internal thoughts about Kieron when they were trying to solve a case.

I like the side characters that you get to meet who work with Jenna on her cases. While we only get brief glimpses of these characters, I was happy to see the people that her world consisted of.

Writing Style: This story is written in first person through the perspective of the main character, Jenna. I like that this story is written through her perspective as the story reads the correct age for our main character. I thought that it was great to have the book written in first person and in Jenna’s perspective because there are teenage moments throughout the book that interfere with her doing her job.