All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir Book Review

Book Description

Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.

Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.

Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.

When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.

From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I had heard about this book all over bookstagram and booktok so when I got an advanced listening copy from libro.fm I was so happy to get a change to listen to it. I really enjoyed so much about this book regardless of the emotional roller coaster that it put me on. This book goes through grief, loss, betrayal, forgiveness, rage, and more.

Right from the start of this book, my heart was broken for Salahudin and Noor. This book makes you fall in love with a character to only take her away way too soon. This has to happen though in order for the rest of the events in this book to take place and go the way that they did.

Characters: There are quite a few characters that you get to meet throughout this book through the different interactions that they have with the main characters, Misbah, Salahudin and Noor.

I really enjoy the relationship between Nor and Sal and how that changes from the start of the book to the end. I love how these two trust each other over anyone else, and how that trust developed through their childhood and experiences that they share.

I like the relationship that you get to see between Misbah, her son, Salahudin, and Noor. I like how Misbah was like a mother figure to Noor, and what that meant for both of them. I really liked how Misbah allowed Noor to be herself and taught her about religion even if Noor’s uncle didn’t want that.

Writing Style: This book is told in the first person through the perspectives of Misbah, Salahudin, and Noor. The story goes back and forth from the past to the present. When you are hearing from Misbah, you are taken to the past and are in Pakistan, and when you are hearing from Sal and Noor, you are in the present in California.

I love how you learn more about each of the characters as you listen to the chapters that are written through each of their perspective. I also like that you not only learn about themselves but you learn about the past such as Sal’s childhood through Misbah’s section. I also like that hearing from each of them means you get to know more about this story than some are willing to share.

I really enjoyed how you got to see each of the characters feelings and while they tried to hide their feelings, you got to know them. I liked how in certain sections depending on who was speaking you couldn’t tell how the others felt in a situation but then you went into their chapter and learned exactly how they felt.

Author Information

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. 

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda Book Tour Post

Book Description

Title: Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster

Author: Andrea Mosqueda

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: May 24th, 2022 

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, romance 

Synopsis:

In this voice-driven young adult debut by Andrea Mosqueda, Maggie Gonzalez needs a date to her sister’s quinceañera – and fast.

Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends—and her future—aren’t as simple as she’d once believed.

As Maggie’s search for the perfect escort continues, she’s forced to confront new (and old) feelings for three of her friends: Amanda, her best friend, and first-ever crush; Matthew, her ex-boyfriend twice over who refuses to stop flirting with her, and Dani, the new girl who has romantic baggage of her own. On top of this romantic disaster, she can’t stop thinking about the uncertainty of her own plans for the future and what that means for the people she loves.

As the weeks wind down and the boundaries between friendship and love become hazy, Maggie finds herself more and more confused with each photo. When her tried-and-true medium causes more chaos than calm, Maggie needs to figure out how to avoid certain disaster—or be brave enough to dive right into it. 

Book links

Goodreads ~ Blackwells ~ Amazon ~ Book Depository ~ Barnes & Noble

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I was drawn to this book because of its title since it describes my life. I’m so glad that I got a chance to read this one because there was so much to love about this book.

I really enjoyed the way that this story was told, and how things unfolded in this book. I liked that this whole thing first starts as Maggie needing to find an escort to Alyssa’s Quincenera. I loved how Maggie uses her school project to express her feelings about the three people she is trying to select from to try and see if that provides any clarity.

I thought that the whole story was done really well and I love that Maggie talks about how she doesn’t want others to think she’s a bisexual stereotype because she can’t decide. I like that this book brings up biphobia in subtle ways and talks about how harmful it can be. I also really enjoyed how real Maggie’s feelings were and how you felt things along with her each time her heart was broken.

Characters: In this book you get to meet several characters through their interactions with your main character, Maggie. You get to meet her sisters, Alyssa and Veronica, her mom, her best friend, Amanda, her ex, Matthew, and some other friends, Dani and Jordan.

I really liked the relationship that Maggie has with each of the characters that you are introduced to in this book. I love how this book shows that you can love so many people and that love is felt differently and shown differently depending on the type of love.

I love how supportive Maggie’s family is of her sexuality and how they are always there to support her through whatever she is going through. I really liked getting to read about the relationship Maggie has with each of her sisters and see how that developed over time. I liked getting to know their past a little and why they were so close with each other. I also liked how Maggie and Alyssa both acknowledge the role that Veronica has in raising them and how they support her as well the best they can.

I loved Maggie’s relationship with each of the people that she is trying to choose from. I loved how she really did have feelings for each of them but she had to let go of past feelings to allow herself to have new ones. I liked that we got to see how those past feelings were still affecting her and how we also got a glimpse into why she may still be holding onto those feelings.

Writing Style: This book is told in the first person from the perspective of Maggie. The story included the Instagram post that was a part of Maggie’s project along with text messages that she exchanged with her friends.

I liked seeing the caption for the post that Maggie was putting on her page. I kept thinking that they were a little obvious so I had to keep reminding myself that the only people who had access to this page were Maggie and her teacher. I liked that Maggie poured out her true feelings onto this page and didn’t hold anything back.

I think that this story is being told from only Maggie’s perspective which was a good choice because we don’t know how the others feel about her. We only know the feelings that Maggie is projecting onto them and is assuming about them. I liked that when things are wrapping up we really aren’t sure what direction things are going to go in. We are hoping for the best just like Maggie, but we are unsure about the future.

Author Information

Andrea Mosqueda is a Chicana writer. She was born and raised in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her partner and works in the publishing industry as an assistant editor. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found doing her makeup, drinking too much coffee, and angsting over children’s media. Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is her first book.

Author Links 

Goodreads ~Twitter ~Instagram ~ Tiktok

Book Tour Schedule

May 18th

Rampantreading – Favorite Quotes 

 Sanjariti – Instagram Feed Post

May 19th 

The Phantom of Booktube – Instagram Feed Post

@brittmariereadshere – Recommendations based on book

SheReadytoRead – Instagram Feed Post

May 20th 

Unconventional Quirky Bibliophile – Mood Board

Bookloversbookreviews – Reading vlog

May 21st

Purposely Unperfect – Playlist

Phobosxbooks – Instagram Feed Post

May 22nd

Mella’s Musings – Favorite Quotes

ReadWithKate – Favorite Quotes

May 23rd

Lemmi Bookmark That! – Blog Interview

cassiesbookshelves – Book recommendations based on the book

May 24th

Readwithatlas – Book recommendations based on the book

LadyReader – Instagram Feed Post

Books_and_Dice – Favorite Quotes

She Gets The Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick Book Review

Book Description

Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.

Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.

As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I was so surprised to see an arc of this book in my mailbox and was so happy to get a chance to read it. I decided to listen to it on audiobook since it was the first book on a readathon that I am doing. I followed along with the physical book though and really enjoyed the audiobook of this one.

I really liked the way this whole story begins with Alex trying to help Molly get with Cora in order to prove to her ex-girlfriend, Natalie that she isn’t just a flirt and cares about more than just herself. I love the way all of this unfolds and this whole story reminds me of my first relationship and how that all became a disaster.

This is definitely one that I am going to want to read more than once for so many reasons. There were just so many cute moments that occur throughout the story between our main characters. I love how the romance develops and love how what they thought they wanted was so wrong for both of them.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to both of the main characters, Molly and Alex as well as some of the people that they interact with. I really enjoyed each of the characters that you get to meet through this story and liked how we know little about some characters and a lot about others.

I really liked how different Molly and Alex are from each other and how unlikely their friendship is right from the start. I loved getting to know more about each character apart from each other and how their home life affects their college life. I also really liked getting to know more about their friendship and the things the similarities that they share.

I love Molly and how ridiculously naïve and dorky she is. There are so many moments in which I have second hand embarrassment for her or I’m screaming at her for something she isn’t saying. I just love watching her fumble as she tries to flirt with people and follow the steps that Alex has lay out for her.

I liked getting to see Molly and Alex’s relationship with their mothers and how different each of them are from one another. I also really enjoyed the relationship that develops between Alex and her boss at the food truck. I thought this was great to see and I love how he helps her out even though he has a tough exterior. I think because of how alike those two are their relationship dynamic works out and I like how we see them open up to each other.

Writing Style: This story is written in first person going back and forth from the perspectives of Molly and Alex. I really liked getting both of their sides throughout this book because it allowed you to get to know both girls independently of each other. I liked getting to see both of their lives outside of the university and how that impacts the way they interact with each other.

Author Information

Rachael Lippincott is the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart. She holds a BA in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she currently resides in Pittsburgh with her wife and their dog, Hank.

Alyson Derrick was born and raised in Greenville, Pennsylvania, a town where burn barrels take the place of recycling bins. After making her great escape to Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s in English writing, Alyson started her own food truck, but soon realized she much prefers telling stories over slinging cheesesteaks. She is the coauthor of New York Times bestseller She Gets the Girl and author of Forget Me Not. Alyson currently resides in Pennsylvania with her wife and their dog, Hank.

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes Book Review

Book Description

Seventeen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers drawing attention for her killer eyeliner, not for being the new kid at a mostly white, very rich, Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way. After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend, she could use the fresh start.

At Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: make her mom proud, keep her brother out of trouble, and most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami.

The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do?

Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: The minute that I heard about this book I was so excited to read it. I kept seeing this book all of the social media of some of my favorite authors which is also part of what intrigued me to read it, if they all loved it so much then I think I would too.

Thank you to Books Forward for the chance to read an advanced reader’s copy of this book.

There was so much that I really enjoyed about this book and it was really hard to put down once I started reading. I really enjoyed how Catholicism was tied up in this book, and how we have characters who are really connected to their faith and others who aren’t. I really liked how Catholicism’s views on Gay people are challenged by some of the characters in this story. Books that include queerness and religion, especially Catholic religion, will always have a special place in my heart . This books show me that the two can co-exist and how queer people have made this religion into something that serves them rather than letting it take away parts of them.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Yamilet. You get to meet some of her school friends, Hunter, Bo, Amber, and David, along with her brother, Cesar, her “boyfriend”, Jamil, and her mom and dad.

I really enjoyed getting to know all of the characters that you meet throughout this book and I really enjoyed the relationships that Yamilet has with each one of them. I really liked the connection between Yamilet and Cesar and how their bond is strengthened because of the secret that they share. I thought this was a great addition to this book as we see how two seperate characters are dealing with similar issues and have similar fears.

I liked getting to see Yami’s relationship with her dad and how much she relies on him throughout the book. I like how she finds him to be the only one she can trust and also how she believes he’s the only one who believes in her. I like how we get to know her dad through her thoughts about him and the brief conversations she has with him.

I also really enjoyed Yamilet and Bo’s friendship throughout the book and how that develops. I love how Yamilet is trying to keep her feelings from Bo a secret throughout this book and how we know exactly why she is scared of revealing those feelings. I also like how her reason to keep those feelings to herself changes throughout the book.

Writing Style: This book is written in the first person and told through the perspective of Yamilet. I really liked getting to see everything through her perspective because we get to see her feelings. I also liked that we don’t get to know what the others are thinking or get to see how anything is affecting them. I think this makes you a lot more interested in reading to know what is going to happen to those relationships. I also liked things being in her perspective because we get a chance to feel what she feels along with her.

Author Information

Born and raised in Arizona, Sonora Reyes writes fiction full of queer and Latinx characters in a variety of genres, with current projects in both kidlit and adult categories. Sonora currently lives in Arizona in a multi-generational family home with a small pack of dogs who run the place. Outside of writing, Sonora loves dancing, singing karaoke, and playing with their baby niblings.

Alyse Diaries by B. Danielle Watkins Book Review

Book Description

““The Alysé Diaries”, a riveting new series by acclaimed author B. Danielle Watkins, is a controversial drama vastly different from the previous “No Other Man” tragedy series. Volume one, befittingly entitled “Curious”, deals with Sentury’s innate yearning to being in sexual relationships with women. As a star basketball player at Montana College, Sentury is highly sought after, but not in the ways she previously envisioned. Plagued with the ideals of religion and society, Sentury is forced to submerge her feelings and move towards the life she thought she wanted. Juggling basketball, women, and a serious relationship with a man, Sentury has until the WNBA draft to figure out the ultimate life she wants to lead.

“The Alysé Diaries”, written as diary entries from begin to end. Every word, every description, every conversation will be depicted as Sentury saw through her eyes. This story is not only impeccable, but it details many things that women go through when battling within themselves. Touching on topics like religion, government, safe-sex, polyamory relationships and more. “The Alysé Diaries” proves to be not only a thrilling story, but an eye-opening experience to the world of down-low lesbianism.”

Review

Thoughts and Themes: This is one that I decided to read because I was drawn in by the description of the book when I was asked to provide a review for it. I am glad that I read it though even if it was different than my typical read.

Right from the very few pages you know how this story is going to end but I forgot about that as I was reading and was invested in the story and not so much the ending. I really liked how this story drew you in and you wanted to hear more about the main character and go along her journey with her.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with the main character, Sentury. While you are introduced to many characters, you dont really get to know anyone in depth. I really liked how you only get to know side characters on a surface level because that’s how our main character views them. I love that you only get to know side people if the main character is close with them and trusts them.

Writing Style: This story is told in diary entries which I found rather interesting. I liked that it was written through diary entries because it made for a unreliable narrator. There were times where I wanted to know things from the other character’s perspectives but I thought it was good that we didn’t get to know what others thought. The fact that all we know is how Alyse has experienced things makes it so that it is easy to sympathize with her.

Author Information

WHO IS B. DANIELLE WATKINS?

New York is not only known for its famous hot wings, its historical museums, and it’s beautiful

One World Observatory where you can see the skyline and the stars from high above, it is also the “City of Dreams”, and the place where rising star B. Danielle Watkins began her journey. B. Danielle Watkins, international award-winning filmmaker, and author is a native of Buffalo, New York. Watkins is on top of her game, rapidly paving her way to success with her many accomplishments.

Danielle began laying the groundwork for her career at the age of nine, not aware that her gift of writing would take her to higher heights in her future endeavors. By the age of 15, Watkins had her first poem published in the “Poetry Gems Collection”, presented by the Famous Poets Society.

It did not stop there, this tenacious young lady put her talents to work by publishing  a three novel trilogy entitled “The No other Man Three Part Tragedy” released in 2011/2012. In 2013, Watkins began working her way up the ladder to join the ranks of some of the greats when she was officially named the head of the Creative Writing Department for M Power Productions, LLC based out of Atlanta, Georgia, the same place that the great Tyler Perry studios is located.

Working with M Power productions allowed this fierce lady to advance her way onto stage and screenwriting. In 2014, Watkins produced her first sold out show respectively titled “BlacButterflii: The Saigon Ruse Story” which premiered in Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, she was also creating a name for herself in the industry. B. Danielle decided to try her hand in writing the Gender Diverse Digital Series, “Girls Just Don’t Do That”, giving way to a fresh new perspective of the LGBTQ community and the real-life circumstances that are addressed and often marginalized. This series portrayed an open honest common-sense view to relationships, hardships and intimacy.

In January 2016, Watkins made major power moves by launching her own production company named Dream N 1 Productions based out of Las Vegas, NV. Later the same year her newly found production company produced its first major production entitled “Parallel the Documentary” based on her true-life experiences as the first African-American Filmmaker at the first all lesbian film festival in Paducah, Kentucky. This documentary has since been screened internationally in two countries, winning awards such as Best Director and Audience Choice, and causing her name to circulate through the film festival circuit.

Taking her career to the next level Ms. Watkins became the first and only African American filmmaker to write, produce and star in a REVRY original series, “3030”. 2019 proved to be one of her most defining years in her film career. After winning four Telly Awards for the documentary entitled “GRRRL: The Beauty of the Beast” and launching the second season in her original series “3030”. She has earned a plethora of accolades and acknowledgements in the film industry, making her an alchemist in the game.

Adding to the list of talents Watkins added journalist to her resume when she became Staff Writer for MIM Magazine.  A graduate of the HBCU Winston Salem State University, and a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. B. Danielle Watkins gives new meaning to the saying “Black Girls Rock”; Author, Filmmaker, Screenwriter, Actress, producer breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings and propelling her way to the top. Watkins is a woman on the move, a rising star, and as Hip-Hop Artist Tobe Nwigwe would say it’s time to “EAT”!

Surviving Home by Katerina Canyon Book Review

Book Description

Concisely arresting and challenging the beliefs of family and the fantasies of tradition, the poems in Surviving Home show that home is a place that you endure rather than a place where you are nurtured. With unyielding cadence and unparalleled sadness and warmth, Katerina Canyon contemplates the prejudice and limitations buried in a person’s African American heritage: parents that seem to care for you with one hand and slap you with the other, the secret desires to be released from the daily burdens of life, as well as the surprising ways a child chooses to amuse herself. Finding resilience in the unexpected, this collection tears down the delicate facades of family. 

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I’ve been reading quite a bit of poetry lately so I was glad to get a chance to read this book. Each of these poems is filled with so much emotion and there were so many poems that I really enjoyed. So many of these poems captured the author’s love for their parents while also feeling betrayed by them, and expressing how those mixed emotions shaped her childhood and upbringing. There were two poems that really stood out to me and those were “My pain is sculpted into art for you to consume” and “I left out “bells and whistles” written with a little help from Webster’s dictionary”. I found that these two poems were really powerful pieces and a great addition to her story.

Writing Style: I like that Canyon used poetry to express her feelings about a lot of things from her childhood and what being Black means to her now and what it meant to her then. I like that while we are hearing about her childhood at no time do you believe that this could be told from a child’s perspective but it is rather an adult writing from painful memories. I really liked how this went from early years to later years and it took you through those moments in a chronological order. I think while each poem elicits different emotions and is a roller coaster ride, the story is tied together well.

Author Information

Katerina Canyon is an Award Winning Poet, Best Selling Author, civil rights activist, essayist, and poet. She grew up in Los Angeles and much of her writing reflects that experience.

Her first book of poetry, Changing the Lines, was released in August 2017. This work is a conversation between mother and daughter as they examine what it means to operate within the world as black women.

Katerina Canyon is a 2020 and 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her stories have been published in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Folks. Her poetry has been published in CatheXis Northwest, The Esthetic Apostle, Into the Void, Black Napkin, and Waxing & Waning. From 2000 to 2003, she served as the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. During that time, she started a poetry festival and ran several poetry readings. She has a B.A. in English, International Studies and Creative Writing from Saint Louis University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Katerina moved to Seattle three years ago. She is currently running a civil rights campaign against police brutality. More information can be found at www.vdaycampaign.org.

Jestin Kase and the Masters of Dragon Metal by J. Michael White Spotlight Post

Book Description

Mankind lost the battle for its soul without knowing. Evil won. And no Chosen Ones are coming to the rescue.

Enter Jestin Kase, a foster kid on the run in Chicago. He finds himself drawn into the underbelly of civilization, where the Three Great Schools of Magic are crippled by their own corruption and unable to push back against the Great Dark. Monsters from Babylonian myth, demons, and the enthralled thrive beneath the notice of everyone. Only one force of good remains: an ancient magic called Dragon Metal. And Jestin is determined to learn its secrets.

But how much of a difference can one person make in a world that’s already fallen?

There’s no fate.

No destiny.

Only Metal. And those brave enough to wield it.

Author INformation

An award-winning journalist and author of young adult urban fantasy action-adventure stories. His career as a newspaper reporter gave him deep glimpses into the challenges of the world, from the struggles of foster care to the tragedies of murder and war. His fiction often reflects these experiences. Instead of setting his stories in alternate, dystopian futures, he looks at the dystopia of the world we live in today, through the lens of urban fantasy and adventure, with a little dark humor. Like all responsible adults, he spends his time playing video games, reading books, and watching cartoons.

May 2022 TBR for Read Your Own Adventure Readathon

I tend to stay away from any reading challenges because of fear that I won’t be able to complete them but then I saw the Read your own adventure challenge on tiktok and I had to try. These are all books that I have been meaning to read so this gives me an excuse to go through them this month. The hardest part is that I have to read them in order and I tend to be reading multiple books at the same time.

She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott ,Alyson Derrick  

She’s All That meets What If It’s Us in this swoon-worthy hate-to-love YA romantic comedy from #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart Rachael Lippincott and debut writer Alyson Derrick.

Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.

Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.

As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other. 

Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White  

Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.

Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond 

A people-pleasing baker tries to find her place as a bridesmaid-for-hire . Will she finally find her happily ever after—and her own voice?

Amy, a semicloseted queer baker and bartender in mid-2010s Oklahoma, has spent a lifetime putting other people’s needs before her own. Until, that is, she’s fired from her job at a Christian bakery and turns her a one-off gig subbing in for a bridesmaid into a full-time business—thanks to her baking talents, crafting skills, and years watching rom-coms and Say Yes to the Dress. Between her new gig and meeting Charley, the attractive engineer who’s just moved to Tulsa, suddenly Amy’s found something— and someone—she actually wants.

Her tight-knit group of chosen family is thrilled that Amy is becoming her authentic self. But when her deep desire to please kicks into overdrive, Amy’s precarious balancing act strains her relationships to the breaking point, and she must decide what it looks like to be true to herself—and if she has the courage to try. 

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender 

From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

Iron Widow (Iron Widow #1)by Xiran Jay Zhao 

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

April 2022 Wrap Up

I didn’t think that I would get through as much reading this month because I had a week long vacation at the end of the month. I actually got through quite a few books though since I’m on a graphic novel kick and I can get through those rather quickly. I love how graphic novels and middle grade books can easily pull me out of a reading slump. Titles will lead to a full review of the book, some reviews are still to come.

Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World’s Worst Diseases by Lydia Kang, Nate Pedersen

A very timely history of disease outbreaks, from the authors of Quackery: stories of outbreaks (and their patient zeros), plus chapters on the science, culture, and cures for different types of epidemics and pandemics. Popular reading on a timely topic.

Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp

Clap When You Land meets On the Come Up in this heart-gripping story about navigating first love and overcoming grief through the power of music.

Aarón Medrano has been haunted by the onstage persona of his favorite musician ever since his mother passed away. He seems to know all of Aarón’s deepest fears, like that his brain doesn’t work the way it should and that’s why his brother and father seems to be pushing him away. He thinks his ticket out is a scholarship to the prestigious Acadia School of Music. That is, if he can avoid blowing his audition.

Mia Villanueva has a haunting of her own and it’s the only family heirloom her parents left her: doubt. It’s the reason she can’t overcome her stage fright or believe that her music is worth making. Even though her trumpet teacher tells her she has a gift, she’s not sure if she’ll ever figure out how to use it or if she’s even deserving of it in the first place.

When Aarón and Mia cross paths, Aarón sees a chance to get close to the girl he’s had a crush on for years and to finally feel connected to someone since losing his mother. Mia sees a chance to hold herself accountable by making them both face their fears, and hopefully make their dreams come true. But soon they’ll realize there’s something much scarier than getting up on stage—falling in love with a broken heart.

How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn’t be here but is. So Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was six. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface—normal okay regular fine.

But after what happens on the beach—first in the ocean, and then in the sand–the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears, and with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe—maybe maybe maybe—there’s a third way Biz just can’t see yet.

Scout Is Not a Band Kid by Jade Armstrong

A young girl in middle school will do whatever it takes to meet her favorite author–even if it means joining her school band! A contemporary graphic novel about making your dream come true–and the friends you make along the way.

When Scout learns that her favorite author is doing an exclusive autograph session at the end of the year, she’s determined to be there! She officially needs a plan…and when she finds out that her school’s band is heading to the same location for their annual trip, an idea takes shape. Being a band kid can’t be that hard, right?

As it turns out, learning how to play an instrument when you can’t even read music is much, much, MUCH tougher than expected. And it’s even harder for Scout when her friends aren’t on board with her new hobby. Will she be able to master the trombone, make new band friends, and get to her favorite author’s book signing? Tackling everything seems like a challenge for a supergenius superfriend supermusician–and she’s just Scout.

It Helps with the Blues by Bryan Cebulski

Jules leaves. Gabriel rages.
Estelle changes. Joshua hides.

In the aftermath of a classmate’s suicide, a boy embroils himself in a community of Midwestern teens, each doing what they can to cope as they stumble—together and apart—toward a life worth living.

vViIrRuUsS: I Never Forget by Jazalyn

A virus invades the lives of all humanity and causes a madness pandemic from the reminder of the past and the exposure of thoughts threatening to change everything, but then another virus attempts to erase the memories and recover the future, while a third virus scopes to save the new generations.

Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood


It will take the frosty terrain of the Arctic to show these rival scientists that their chemistry burns hot


Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn…

Hannah’s got a bad feeling about this. Not only has the NASA aerospace engineer found herself injured and stranded at a remote Arctic research station—but the one person willing to undertake the hazardous rescue mission is her longtime rival.

Ian has been many things to Hannah: the villain who tried to veto her expedition and ruin her career, the man who stars in her most deliciously lurid dreams…but he’s never played the hero. So why is he risking everything to be here? And why does his presence seem just as dangerous to her heart as the coming snowstorm?

Jordie and Joey Fell from the Sky by Judi Lauren

Twin brothers Jordie and Joey have never met their parents. Maybe it’s because they aren’t from this planet?

When another kid at school tried to force Jordie to show him the “crop circles” on his back that prove he’s an alien, it was Joey who took the kid to the ground. And when the twins got kicked out of their foster home because Joey kissed the other boy who lived there, it was Jordie who told him everything would be okay. And as long as Jordie and Joey are together, it will be. But when the principal calls their current foster mother about a fight at school, the boys know she’ll be done with them. And, from spying in their file, they also know they’re going to be separated.

Determined to face the world side by side rather than without one another, Jordie and Joey set off to find their birth parents. From Arizona to Roswell to Area 51 in the Nevada desert, the twins begin a search for where they truly belong. But Jordie’s about to discover that family isn’t always about the ones who bring you into the world, but the ones who help you survive it.

Atonement Camp for Redemption by Evan J. Corbin

Rick Harris finds himself back at a place he never thought he’d return—the Atonement Camp. With Marilyn now serving as camp director, Rick turns away from his empty home—and his equally vacant pursuits with headless online suiters—to accept a job teaching at the camp. With Garrett missing, Rick and his friends soon learn that there’s more to the jobs they were offered than they were led to believe.

Meanwhile, Missy Bottom seeks revenge against Rick and those who thwarted her plan: to invalidate the New Revelation and gain her esteemed Luminary membership. Caught in the middle of warring factions of Luminaries and camp spies, Rick and his friends struggle to uncover Missy’s plans while concealing their true purpose at camp from those who begin to suspect their teaching credentials are somewhat lacking.

Old enemies become allies as Rick and his friends are forced to choose between those who would seek to invalidate the New Revelation and sacrifice all the newfound LGBTQ freedoms that came with it, and those who would leverage the ancient teaching for retribution. Rick faces an equally intractable decision—whom does he truly love? And why? Rick soon learns that the answer to those questions may be the key to solving more than one problem.

My Feet Don’t Touch The Ground by W. Lee Baker

Snatched from the safety of her day-to-day life, young Crysalline wanders in search of the world she has lost.
Alone, she searches for refuge in a wild land of the 1840s.
When her own deep, yet undeniable, yearnings begin to surface, she sets off into her life adventure. The new path only reveals itself after she takes the risk and seeks what lies ahead.
This is the story of a life richly lived.

Manu by Kelly Fernandez

Set at a magical school for girls, a funny and heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel adventure about friendship, defying expectations, and finding your place.
Manu and her best friend, Josefina, live at a magical school for girls, and Manu is always getting into trouble. The headmistress believes that Manu has the potential to help people with her magic, but Manu would rather have fun than fall in line. One day, a prank goes seriously wrong, and Josefina gets angry and wishes for Manu’s magic to disappear… and it does. Manu uses a dangerous spell to restore it, but it makes her magic too powerful and nearly impossible to control. Great power comes at a cost, and it may be a price that Manu isn’t able to pay!

Hotel Transylvania Graphic Novel Vol. 1: “Kakieland Katastrophe” by Stefan Petrucha, James Silvani (Illustrations)

The debut Hotel Transylvania graphic novel based on the movies! Horror author Stephen Cling visits Hotel Transylvania to try and prove monsters are still dangerous. Dracula, his daughter and her family, and the Drac pack are anything but! However, when a human child goes missing, it is up to Drac, Mavis, and the rest of the Hotel crew to locate the child before their monstrous reputation gets them chased out of town.

Hotel Transylvania Graphic Novel Vol. 2: My Little Monster-Sitter by Stefan Petrucha, Allen Gladfelter (Illustrations)

Based on the all-new television series focusing on the earlier teenage years of Dracula’s daughter Mavis and her three closest friends, Hank N. Stein, Pedro and Wendy Blob. With Dracula away on “Official Vampire Business,” Mavis finally sees her chance to show her father what she can do. With the help of her friends, she decides to put her brilliant ideas of how to run the Hotel into motion, but—enter Aunt Lydia, Dracula’s older and authoritarian sister. While Mavis and friends are ready to let loose and have fun, Aunt Lydia pushes for even more order and tradition at the Hotel.

The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor

Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885.

Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman’s daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan–reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch.

Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in America.

The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff

In the mountains of Northern China ancient custom demands that every man have a wife to keep him company in the afterlife.

Deshi Li’s brother is dead—and unmarried. Which means that Deshi must find him an eligible body before the week is up.

Lily Chen, sweet as a snakebite, needs money and a fast ride out of town.

Haunted by the gods of their ancestors and the expectations of the new world, Deshi and Lily embark on a journey with two very different destinations in mind.

They travel through a land where the ground is hard and the graves are shallow, where marriage can be murder and where Lily Chen is wanted—dead and alive.

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

For fans of Caraval and The Night Circus, this decadent and darkly enchanting YA fantasy, set against the backdrop of a Belle Époque-inspired hotel, follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she uncovers the deeply disturbing secrets of the legendary Hotel Magnifique.

All her life, Jani has dreamed of Elsewhere. Just barely scraping by with her job at a tannery, she’s resigned to a dreary life in the port town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa. That is, until the Hotel Magnifique comes to town.

The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments, but also for its ability to travel—appearing in a different destination every morning. While Jani and Zosa can’t afford the exorbitant costs of a guest’s stay, they can interview to join the staff, and are soon whisked away on the greatest adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvelous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets.

With the vexingly handsome doorman Bel as her only ally, Jani embarks on a mission to unravel the mystery of the magic at the heart of the hotel and free Zosa—and the other staff—from the cruelty of the ruthless maître d’hôtel. To succeed, she’ll have to risk everything she loves, but failure would mean a fate far worse than never returning home.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them… and what they will leave behind.

Armadillo Antics by Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson, and Nathalie Beauvois Blog Tour Post

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ARMADILLO ANTICS by Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson, Nathalie Beauvois Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The Book

Title: ARMADILLO ANTICS

Author: Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson, Nathalie Beauvois (Illustrations)

Pub. Date: April 26, 2022

Publisher: Brown Books Kids

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 32

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&NTBD, Bookshop.org

Join the Armadillo on His Nightly Romp!

Children will love the rhythm and rhyme that are hallmarks of the beloved author duo of Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 as they follow the adventurous armadillo through nighttime fun as dawn approaches.

Bill Martin Jr was the beloved author of more than three hundred books for children and teachers, including the classics Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

Michael Sampson taught kindergarten through fourth grade before meeting fellow literacy expert Bill Martin Jr at a conference in Tucson, Arizona in 1978. They established a lifelong friendship and collaborated on many bestselling and award-winning books for children, including Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

Reviews:

“A wonderfully musical nighttime romp with stunning illustrations.” –Matt de la Peña, Newbery Medal-Winning, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Beauvois, whose elaborately textured, highly dimensional surfaces recognize the paper collage legacy of Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, creates a series of striking contrasts to the repeating text’s simple rhymes. As the mammals appear, ready to “romp and play till the night is done,” they’re shown in deep jewel tones with patterning reminiscent of a Missoni sweater… tagging along with this self-possessed, graphically stylish critter and chanting its name as it leaps, digs, and dines makes for a memorable outing.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“For a romping night in the life of a roly-poly armadillo, pick up Armadillo Antics!”–Parade Magazine

“This short rhyming story about a night in the life of an armadillo is cozy and soothing. Beauvois’s collage-style art, especially the armadillo curled up inside its next, gives Eric Carle vibes. A collection of eight facts on the final page will fascinate kids and grown-ups alike.”Parents Magazine

Review

Thoughts and Themes: The minute that this book arrived and I started reading it I fell in love with this book. I really enjoyed all of the pictures in this book and found that they would keep a child’s attention. I also liked the rhyming in this book since it doesn’t seem forced but it went with the story. I thought it was a great bedtime story for children ages 2 and up but also a great read for adults looking for something cute and fun. This is one that I wouldn’t mind reading out loud over and over because of how fun it was to read the first time.

Writing Style and Art Style: The pictures in this book have so many different colors and they all go well with each other. I like how the colors take us from day to night and to different settings throughout the book.

About Bill Martin Jr.

BILL MARTIN JR was the beloved author of more than 300 books for children and teachers, including the classics_ Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, which was illustrated by his friend Eric Carle, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Bill was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame by the International Literacy Association. The Bill Martin, Jr Picture Book Award, which is the Kansas State award for best children’s picture book, was established in his name in 1996. Bill wrote Armadillo Antics with Michael Sampson when he moved to Texas, in honor of the fun, inquisitive creatures that roamed the woods outside his house. Visit Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson’s website at billmartinjr.com

Website |  Goodreads

About Michael Sampson

MICHAEL SAMPSON taught kindergarten through fourth grade before meeting fellow literacy expert Bill Martin Jr at a conference in Tucson, Arizona in 1978. They established a lifelong friendship and collaborated on many bestselling and award-winning books for children, including_Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3_and_Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? Sampson often speaks at schools, book festivals, and literacy conferences, where he is known for his high-energy, entertaining performances. Dr. Sampson is a Fulbright Scholar and a professor of literacy at St. John’s University in New York City. Visit Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson’s website at billmartinjr.com. You can also follow Michael on Twitter and Instagram @michaelsampson.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

About Nathalie Beauvois

NATHALIE BEAUVOIS has a graphic design background in advertising and has also studied industrial design. Nathalie started her career in the art departments of ad agencies and eventually transitioned into freelance illustrating. Since then, she has illustrated dozens of books and hundreds of magazines in countries all over the world. Her creations always start the traditional way — with paper and pencil. Depending on the visual task at hand, she mixes in techniques such as watercolor, collage, vector drawing and Photoshop coloring and texturizing. When not playing with the antics of armadillos, she is happily living and working in Argentina with her family. Visit her website at nathaliebeauvois.weebly.com. You can also find her on Instagram @tanebeauvois_illustrations.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive a finished copy of ARMADILLO ANTICS, US Only.

Enter Here

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/18/2022The book review crewReview/IG Post
4/18/2022onemoreexclamationReview/IG Post
4/19/2022Do You Dog-ear?Review/IG Post
4/19/2022Excuse Me, I’m ReadingReview
4/20/2022Girls in White DressesReview
4/20/2022Little Red ReadsReview/IG Post
4/21/2022Cindy’s Love of BooksReview
4/21/2022NerdophilesReview
4/22/2022@just_another_mother_with_booksReview
4/22/2022Just Another Teen Reading BooksReview

Week Two:

4/25/2022PickAGoodBookReview/IG Post
4/25/2022Jazzy Book ReviewsReview/IG Post
4/26/2022For The Love Of The PageReview/IG Post
4/26/2022BookHounds YAReview/IG Post
4/27/2022Unconventional Quirky BibliophileReview/IG Post
4/27/2022@mamaisbookedReview
4/28/2022Two Points of InterestReview
4/28/2022The Momma SpotReview/IG Post
4/29/2022Nonbinary Knight ReadsReview/IG Post
4/29/2022onemusedReview/IG Post