I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by Colored Pages Bookish Tours. Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Goldy Moldavsky was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her family. She is the New York Times–bestselling author of Kill the Boy Band and No Good Deed. Some of her influences include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the esteemed works of John Irving, and the Mexican telenovelas she grew up watching with her mother.
New York Times-bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky delivers a deliciously twisty YA thriller that’s Scream meets Karen McManus about a mysterious club with an obsession for horror.
When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:
x Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.
x Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out.”
x If there’s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.
If only surviving in real life were this easy…
New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she’d preferred to keep buried.
Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can’t afford to lose.
Thank you to NetGalley, Colored Pages Tour, and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book so that I could participate in this book tour.
Thoughts and Themes: The minute that I started reading this book it was one that I could not put down. Lately I’ve really been into the Young Adult Horror genre and I don’t know if it’s because of the weather or just because I hadn’t read much before so I didn’t know how much I would love it. This book stole my heart right from the start and then it broke it into a million pieces by the end which is why it got 5 stars.
First, it is taking all of me to just not keyboard smash for this review because I am still in all my feelings because of this book. I do not remember the last time that I stayed up just to finish a book because I wanted to and not because I waited until the last minute to read it. I really just want to ramble on about this book but what I want to ramble on about is the twists that occur at the end of the book and for that I will wait.
I saw so many reviews stating that they saw the twist coming and either I saw it but didn’t want to believe it like our main character or I was that oblivious to it. That really was part of why I loved the book, I enjoyed that I was being strung along just like the main character was. I liked the aspect that as a reader I was just as fooled as she was and that was why the ending hurt as much as it did. I felt just as heartbroken as she did when everything was revealed.
The way that this story ends really makes you think about the rest of the story and made me want to go back and re-read to see if I could make more connections now that I know everything. The ending also left me wanting more because I need to know what happens now or is it just up to our interpretation.
Characters: This is honestly my favorite part of the book and also the saddest. These characters are the reason I wish I had a physical copy so I could throw the book across the room but throwing myself had to do because I couldn’t harm my kindle. These characters are just lovable right from the start and I am so disappointed in them by the end of the story but I can’t tell you why without ruining this book.
There are several characters that you get introduced to right from the start. Rachel, Bram, Freddie, Thayer, and Felicity who make up the members of the Mary Shelley Club. Then you meet the side characters who play a role in this story, Lux who is Bram’s girlfriend and Saundra, Rachel’s best friend.
I really liked that we got a Latinx main character and liked reading the difference between her and the others at the school. I liked that we got to see how she felt that she was living in a different world because of her social economic status and we see her connect with Freddie because of this.
I liked the way that Rachel develops a relationship with each member of the Mary Shelley Club and how though they have one goal in mind they all have distinct personalities. I thought that it was great to learn more about each character as time went on and what I really wanted to know is their motives behind being in this club. I wanted to know what was keeping them there and what they were so scared of because we only got to see Rachel’s initiation into the club.
I want to discuss my favorite character with you all and I will but I just can’t tell you who it is without ruining the ending. I enjoyed the development of this character and their relationship with others, and seeing the manipulation throughout this whole story. I found the character lovable right from when you meet them so I was really heart broken by how things had to end up. I was rooting for them the whole time and was hoping for a different ending while knowing it had to end this way.
Writing Style: This story is told in first person through the perspective of Rachel, our main character. There are moments that the story switches to third person during a fear test so that we are able to see what that character sees at that time. I really enjoyed the fear tests and how they were included into the story. I liked that they made you feel like you were that character going through the fear tests. Each of those fear tests were moments in the story that scared me even if I knew it was all a game.
I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by TBRandBeyondTours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
G.F. Miller can write 80,000-word novels, but ask her to sit down and write 250 true and meaningful words about herself and she is likely to have an existential crisis. Who am I, really? She ponders. What do I want to be known for? Does anyone even read the back flap or visit author websites?
But eventually she will pull herself together and tell you that…She married her college sweetheart and is mom to three littles who routinely make her heart burst and her head explode (it’s a messy business, love). There are puppies big and small residing at her house (you’ll be seeing a lot of them if you follow her on Instagram). She’s been to a dozen countries, but not nearly as many as she would like. She loves learning all the things. She cries at all the wrong times. She makes faces at herself in the mirror. She believes in the Oxford comma. And she’s always here for a dance party.
While the stories she has brewing in her soul vary wildly from one another, there are three things they will always have in common: love, snappy dialogue, and happy endings.
Perfect for fans of Geekerella and Jenn Bennett, this charming, sparkly rom-com follows a wish-granting teen forced to question if she’s really doing good—and if she has the power to make her own dreams come true.
Charity is a fairy godmother. She doesn’t wear a poofy dress or go around waving a wand, but she does make sure the deepest desires of the student population at Jack London High School come true. And she knows what they want even better than they do because she can glimpse their perfect futures.
But when Charity fulfills a glimpse that gets Vibha crowned homecoming queen, it ends in disaster. Suddenly, every wish Charity has ever granted is called into question. Has she really been helping people? Where do these glimpses come from, anyway? What if she’s not getting the whole picture?
Making this existential crisis way worse is Noah—the adorkable and (in Charity’s opinion) diabolical ex of one of her past clients—who blames her for sabotaging his prom plans and claims her interventions are doing more harm than good. He demands that she stop granting wishes and help him get his girl back. At first, Charity has no choice but to play along. But soon, Noah becomes an unexpected ally in getting to the bottom of the glimpses. Before long, Charity dares to call him her friend…and even starts to wish he were something more. But can the fairy godmother ever get the happily ever after?
Finished copy of Glimpsed. The giveaway ends on January 12th. Click Here to Enter.
Thoughts and Themes: It took me a while to get into this story because I wasn’t really connecting to the characters right from the start. It took me a while to really begin to like the characters and want to know what happens to them. I wanted to know more about Charity’s family and their dynamic right from when you meet everyone in her family so for a while I kept reading because of that. I wanted to know if there was a reason that Charity’s mom and sister were keeping their distance, and why she was going to her grandmother for everything.
I really enjoyed this Cinderella retelling and the twist on the original Cinderella story. I liked that this story focuses more on the fairy Godmother rather than the Cindys that Charity was working on. I liked that you get a bit of the story of each of the Cindys that Charity has worked on and any that she was working on throughout this book.
I cried at the ending of this story because of how cute it all was. I don’t want to ruin the second half of the book so I can’t give too much away through my review. I really did love the way the story wrapped up though but I want more of the characters that I met through this book and their story.
Characters: While there are several characters you get introduced through their interactions with the main character, there are two main characters in this story. Charity and Noah are the two main characters that this story centers around. You get introduced to Charity’s grandmother, mother, Cindies, and friends throughout the story as she speaks with each of them or tries to get help from them.
I liked the relationships that Charity develops with others throughout this story and love the focus on friendship and family. I liked how the mystery of Charity being a Godmother unravels and how she finds out more about herself and her family.
Writing Style: This story is written through first person told through the perspective of Charity who is our main character. I thought this was great because you can see the hints of things other characters were giving off but if Charity wasn’t picking up on those things then you moved past it. Charity not picking up on a lot made it so that I wanted to keep reading to see if she would ever pick up on the things others were showing her.
I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by TBRandBeyondTours . Thank you for an advanced copy of this book so that I could participate in this book tour. Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Kristy Dallas Alley is a high school librarian in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, four kids, three cats, and an indeterminate number of fish. She studied creative writing at Rhodes College in another lifetime and holds a Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis. In an ideal world, she would do nothing but sit on a beach and read every single day of her life, but in reality she’s pretty happy reading on her front porch, neglecting the gardens she enthusiastically plants each spring, and cooking huge meals regardless of the number of people around to eat them. The Ballad of Ami Miles is her debut novel.
Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.
With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known, and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world… and about herself.
Thoughts and Themes: There is so much that I could say about this book and how I read it at just the right moment. The interpretation of my religion and what I chose to follow from it will always be something that I disagree with my dad about. If I ever needed a message from above to let me know that I was okay in what I’m doing then this book was that for me. Books that feel like a welcome home or that help me heal in some way will always be something that I remember. It’s not steeped in religion or faith the way other religious books are but it serves as the foundation and the upbringing for Ami.
I was really excited to read this book as I really enjoy dystopian books and was pleased to find that it was also LGBTQ+. I liked how this book mixed a lot of different themes together and liked how the plot played out. I liked how you didn’t really get to know immediately if what Ami went there for was waiting for her but you really got to see her figure out who she is. I liked that this was a science fiction coming of age story because I feel that I haven’t read many of those. I liked that this story was a reminder that history repeats itself as Ami is taught that interracial relationships are a sin, and that to be worthy woman are supposed to produce children. I thought it was interesting to see that while the world around Ami had progressed her town hadn’t and they had gone backwards in time. I thought that the revelations that happen throughout the story are really well written and enjoyed the moments that they happen in. I think that these moments are shocking to the reader because your reality is very much what Ami has told us.
I really enjoy the old timey feel of this book and how it feels like you are going on an adventure with the main character. I think that the setting really added to making it feel like I was in the future with so many elements and rules of the past. I liked how this book was set in the future but it was as if society had taken several steps backwards. Something that I really enjoyed about it being set in the future is the scene in which they are talking about computers and record players as I thought it was a nice callback to our present times and the past.
Characters: While there is one main characters there are a lot of side characters that you meet throughout the book. I liked how this story takes the time to introduce you to Ami’s family before really getting into the story. I think that it is important that you know them and their role in her life so you understand where she is coming from.
Once Ami leaves her home, she meets a lot more people in the area that her mom is supposed to be at. I really enjoyed her interactions with each of those characters and how vulnerable she is with one of them. I really liked how the relationship between Ami and Jessie develops and the way that Ami struggles through this all. I like how this book shows that this goes against everything that Ami has been taught and how multi layered it is for her.
Writing Style: This story is written in first person through Ami’s perspective which I found to be great. I liked that we always know how Ami is feeling and what she is thinking but we don’t know the inner thoughts of anyone else. I liked that we didn’t know anything about anyone else besides Ami because it let you feel and discover things along with her.
I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by TBRandBeyondTours . Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy of this book so that I could participate in this book tour. Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Hannah West is the author of young adult books including The Nissera Chronicles series and The Bitterwine Oath. She’s been writing fantasy since kindergarten, when she penned her first tale about a princess who ran away and lived at the top of a flagpole with two loaves of bread. But it wasn’t until she studied abroad in Orléans, France during college that the premise for her first novel materialized. The fairy tale castles, the snowy winter days, and a Disney princess pencil that arrived in a care package from her parents provided the inspiration that allowed her to wrangle all her untold and unfinished stories into a novel.
Hannah currently lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two rambunctious rescue dogs.
San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.
Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?
The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.
Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?
Thoughts and Themes: This book takes off to a slow start but it picks up about 100 pages in and I really liked the slow start. I liked the amount of time that was taken in order to introduce characters and the back story to the plot. I really enjoyed the through description of the past and how that past plays into the present time story. Usually by the time that I am half way through the book I know enough that I can write a review but this time I didn’t know enough to form an opinion either way. I was happy that as you read on you find out more information and not everything is revealed all at once.
The action scenes in this book are great and I really love how they pick up the pace of the book. I like how one minute its all action and then there’s calm. I think the pacing of this book is really good and love how an action scenes sucks you into the story. These scenes made it hard to put the book down as I need to know whats going to happen. The last 100 pages were hard to put down because I was so invested in characters and relationships.
Characters: This story cycles through many different characters and you really have to pay attention to the first 100 pages to understand how they are all related. I really enjoyed each of the characters that are included in this story and how intertwined they all are.
I really enjoyed the relationships that were built between the characters and how those relationships changed over time. I like how secrets and lies feed into the dynamics of the friendships and how those secrets and lies brought some closer together and others further apart.
Writing Style: This story is written in first person and goes back and forth from current time and the journal of the past. I really enjoyed the way that this story gives you pieces from someone that lived during the first events. I really like the excerpts that are included throughout from Lillian Pickard from the past because it begins to explain current times and how they got to the place they are right now.
Thank You to Poetic Book Tours for allowing me to be on this book tour to let others know about this book coming out March 2021.
ARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, Black Pearl, Perfect on Accident, and “Fish Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife won the inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. Published by Virtual Artists Collective, her debut full-length collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was a finalist for the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards, 82nd California Book Awards, and nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Awards. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, inspired by the true-life story of Polly Mitchell, was published by Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press in 2012. Her latest full-length collection, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, was published by Augury Books and nominated for the 29th Lambda Literary Awards. Most recently, Arisa co-authored, with Laura Atkins, Biddy Mason Speaks Up, a middle-grade biography in verse on the midwife and philanthropist Bridget “Biddy” Mason, which is the second book in the Fighting for Justice series. She is currently co-editing, with Miah Jeffra and Monique Mero, the anthology Home is Where You Queer Your Heart, which will be published by Foglifter Press in 2021. And forthcoming in February 2021, from Augury Books, her poetic memoir Who’s Your Daddy.
Who’s Your Daddy is a lyrical genre-bending coming-of-age tale featuring a young, queer, black Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father.
Who’s Your Daddy?, a hybrid memoir combining poetry and creative nonfiction, is a meditation on paternal absences, intergenerational trauma, and toxic masculinity. Who’s Your Daddy? asks us to consider how the relationships we are born into can govern us, even through absence, and shape the dynamics we find and forge as we grow. White lyrically moves across distance and time, from Brooklyn to California to Guyana. Her book enacts rituals that plumb the interior reaches of the heart to assemble disconnected and estranged parts into something whole, tender, and strong.
Thoughts and Themes: This review was a little difficult to write as this type of story telling is one that I had not read before. I have read memoirs in the past but I had not read one that used the methods that this book has used. I really liked the way that this book makes you think about how relationships dictate so many aspects of our lives as we watch relationships change the narrative in this memoir.
Something that I really like about the way that this story is being told is how it feels like a conversation with someone. This memoir feels like the narrator is sitting down to tell you this story which made it so that this story felt a lot more relatable.
Characters: There is one main character throughout this book even as she talks about others that come along in her journey. The main character is the same person who is narrating this story and it was nice to be able to connect to the story teller in a different method.
Writing Style: I really enjoyed how each poem is kept on a separate page so that the story flows really well. I thought that the choice to have a portion of the first sentence in bold was a great way to give you a glance at what the focus of this poem was going to be. I thought that this was an interesting way to write a memoir and really liked the way that poetry was combined with creative nonfiction.
I recommend this to those of you who enjoy reading memoirs and may want a new way of reading them.
I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Leah Johnson (she/her) is an editor, educator, and author of books for young adults. Leah is a 2021 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow whose work has been published in BuzzFeed, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, and Autostraddle among others. Her bestselling debut YA novel, You Should See Me in a Crown was the inaugural Reese’s Book Club YA pick, and was named one of Cosmo‘s 15 Best Young Adult Books of 2020. Her sophomore novel, Rise to the Sun is forthcoming from Scholastic in 2021.
Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?
Thoughts and Themes: I read this book leading up to the election and finished it on election night instead of staying posted on those results because sometimes you just need some joy in your life. This book was such a cute, joyful story full of love and friendship. I really enjoyed how this story took me back to my high school day and a few years after as well. It let me look back on those moments as joyful moments rather than as something I no longer have. Books that make me look back on those moments of my life fondly will always get a special place in my heart because looking back on those moments usually hurts.
There were so many moments that I was laughing because of something that someone said or did. I also loved how I could be in the moments that Liz was in, I could feel the way that she was feeling through every word in this story.
Characters: I really loved all of the characters that are included throughout this whole story. How could you not root for Liz through this whole book. I loved the depiction of her anxiety throughout this book and the physical manifestations that you saw because I was able to see my anxiety on the page. There are so many times that I see anxiety presented in media but never with these physical manifestations so it was nice to see this and be able to feel like my response to anxiety wasn’t so strange.
I really liked watching Liz as she developed her relationship with Mack, re-establish a relationship with Jordon, and determine what type of friendship her and Gabi have. I really liked what each of these characters added to this story and how they each played a keep role in Liz’s character development.
I also really liked seeing Liz’s relationship with her family because that was another piece that was important to who she is. Everything that Liz does was done with her family in mind and I loved watching as the dynamic switched and they want to care for her. I liked seeing how this story points out how care goes two ways, you can’t just care about others without allowing them to care about you.
Writing Style: The story is told through the perspective of Liz and you get to see everything through her eyes. I liked not having the other’s perspectives included especially when something did not go according to plan.
I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by TBRandBeyondTours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Hayley Krischer has been an award-winning journalist for over 20+ years. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times, where she has covered feminist roller skaters, Instagram obsessed moms, profiled Gabrielle Union, Tatum O’Neal, and S.E. Hinton. She has also written for many publications about women and teenage girls including Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Lenny Letter, and the Hairpin. Her YA debut, SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALI GREENLEAF will be released in fall 2020 from Razorbill. Hayley received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. Her first newspaper job was as an editorial assistant at the Boston Globe. She reads tarot cards.
Content Warning: Intense scenes depicting sexual assault and drug abuse, Reference to an eating disorder, Mental illness, Trauma, PTSD, Bullying, Victim blaming.
Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different. Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They’ve never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush, and the soccer team’s superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists–he rapes her.
Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean, she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she’s his best friend, his confidant. When he begs her to help him, she can’t resist.
So Blythe befriends Ali in her attempt to make things right with Sean, bringing Ali into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before.
In her searing, empowering debut novel, Hayley Krischer tells the story of what happened that night, and how it shaped Ali and Blythe forever. Both girls are survivors in their own ways, and while their experiences are different, and their friendship might not be built to last, it’s one that helps each of them find a way forward on their own terms.
Finished copy of Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf. The giveaway ends on October 13th. Click Here to Enter.
Thoughts and Themes: This book was a bit difficult for me to get through because of the subject manner but its a book that is needed. Though the book I was rooting for Ali to say something, to rely on her friends, and to turn away from Blythe so its hard to watch her do the opposite of all that.
I thought the contrast of consent between the rape scene with Sean and then the scene with the gynecologist was a good thing to include. I like how much the gynecologist made things about consent and made sure Ali was okay with things before continuing. I liked that this scene let’s Ali know she still has agency over her own body after what Sean did.
I just couldn’t stand Blythe through this whole story because she apologized for Sean. Then you think maybe, just maybe she understands and is done with it, turns out she just cares about herself. It was frustrating to watch as Blythe cares only about herself and how people will see her when there’s so much more to this story. I think that Blythe’s response is part of this story though, while frustrating I think it was important to see how everyone plays into rape culture. I thought it was important to see how Blythe plays into this too and how even when she wants things to stop, she doesn’t know how to do that or how to proceed otherwise.
Characters: I really enjoyed Ali as a character and the way she responded to so many things in the story. Her reactions and her emotions felt very real.
Blythe was a hard character to love and care about but there were moments that I felt for her. I felt for her as she wanted a life like the other girls, one in which she didn’t have to care for her mom. While I was angry at the excuses she made for Sean throughout the story, I could see her struggle to be okay with her feelings for him.
I thought the relationship between Ali and Blythe was well done. I liked that it was a relationship built around Blythe defending Sean but you get to see that these are the only moments Blythe is real with someone. I thought it was good to see this relationship in contrast to the friendship between Ali and Sammi, along with the friendship between Blythe, Sean and Dev.
Writing Style: The story goes back and forth between Ali and Blythe, giving you both of their perspectives on the events that take place. I thought it was great that we got to see both sides of this and we see Sean’s perspective a little through Blythe. I’m glad we never get his direct perspective and we get it filtered through someone who loves him but struggles with those feelings.
I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by Caffeine Book Tours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical.
Experience the World Cup with dragons in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which riders and their steeds compete in an international sports tournament.
Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.
But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.
Thoughts and Themes: The first thing that I thought when I saw this book and read the first few lines was this reminds me so much of How to Train Your Dragon which I love. Once I made that connection I was not able to put this book down even when I had to because sleep is something I need. This book also reminded me of the soccer world cup that comes every 4 years and while I don’t really watch it my family does so I have fond memories of the game.
I really enjoyed the world building that is not just done through the story but also in the passages that are included in between chapters. I loved getting to see how so many different countries were involved throughout this book and how their dragons were all unique. I thought it was great to see all of their differences and how these dragons would only bond with those that were from that country. All of the dragons included were amazing and you never got the sense that one of these countries was greater than the other, just that they all had their advantages.
I was quite shocked with how quickly an important aspect to the story is revealed to us all and was a bit worried that this revelation would make the rest of the story fall flat but I am glad I was wrong. I think this revelation coming early on really sets the stage for the rest of the story and makes it so that everything else that happens is more interesting.
Characters: I loved getting to know all of the characters throughout this book even if they are all shown through Lana’s perspective. I thought it was great that we not only get to meet her team mates but other team mates, and people from her life prior to joining the team. I thought watching her be torn between those two worlds really adds to the story and her background as a character.
Some of the other characters I was glad that were included were all of the political people that we met throughout. I was worried that the political storyline would be too much but I actually really enjoyed that being tied up with everything. I think that it made good commentary about athletics and politics and how everything we do is inherently political.
I also loved that there were so many queer characters in this story and how they were all amazing characters. This really added to my love for this book because I love seeing queer characters just living their lives and in this case being athletes and riding dragons. Seeing queer characters in fantasy books is always a plus for me because then I can see a little bit of me in a different world, one in which I could be among dragons.
Writing Style: This story is told through Lana’s perspective and while I would have liked to see what the others thoughts were throughout I liked that we didn’t. Us being given only her perspective added to the mystery of what was happening and made me feel worried for her at all times.
I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by Hear our Voices Book Tour . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Publisher: Imprint Release Date: September 22nd 2020 Genre: YA Paranormal Anthology
Eleven fresh vampire stories from young adult fiction’s leading voices!
In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.
Welcome to the evolution of the vampire―and a revolution on the page.
Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.
I normally review books by talking about my thoughts and themes, the characters, and then the writing style. This review has to be a little different thought as there isn’t just one story being told by one person, but a range of stories being told by different people, meaning the characters change constantly and the writing style varies from page to page.
I’ve always been a fan of vampires because of their mysterious nature and all the they can stand for that this book does a great job of exploring. I love how each of the stories that are included in this book talks about different characteristics about vampires and the different lore that is around about them. The vampires in this book all differ from one story to the next and that is part of what is intriguing about this book, you never know what you are in for.
While there were stories that left me wanting more from them, I did think that they all wrapped up well. Something that I enjoyed was the pieces that were included after a story that gave a slight explanation of the story. I really enjoyed these for the stories that I wasn’t sure if I got the message the author wanted me to but I also liked that each posed a question.
I thought about how to review this book and the best way for me to do this is by giving you a short review of each of the stories in this book.
Seven Nights for Dying by Tessa Gratton
This story talks about the transformation into a vampire and puts a different twist on it as the main character is given 7 days to decide if she wants to make the full transformation into a vampire. This story goes a little into the topics of grief, loss, and moving on. I liked that this story gave you a bisexual or pansexual main character, and also introduces a transgender vampire too.
Mirrors, Windows, and Selfies by Mark Oshiro
This story was one of my favorites and brought me back to my years as a teenager when I spent all my time on Xanga (blog site). I was brought back to those days where I felt alone and as if the only people who could understand me were the people I was blogging for or the people whose blogs I was reading.
I really enjoyed reading about the superstitions surrounding mirrors and also getting to learn about why vampires can’t see themselves in them. I also thought it was great to be able to think about Cisco’s parents keeping secrets from him and in a way hiding him from himself.
The House of Black Sapphire by Dhonielle Clayton
This is one of the stories that I was glad a explanation came after because while I liked the story I wasn’t sure what the messaging was supposed to be or what I was supposed to question. I liked that this story brought in other beings not just the vampires and we got to see how they interacted with vampires. I thought it was interesting to see the house reimagined as coffin as I did not understand that point until after the description and that made the re-reading of this story so much better.
The Boys from Blood River by Rebecca Roanhorse
This is another one of my favorite stories and this is one that I had to put the book down for because I made the mistake of trying to read at night and in the dark. I loved how spooky the setting of this one is and how these vampires appeared to be good at first but then things suddenly changed. I liked how this made you think about sacrifice and what you are willing to sacrifice.
Senior Year sucks by Julie Murphy
I was glad to be able to read a story in which we get a body positive character who is confident about themselves. I loved that this story centered around a vampire slayer who was not your typical slayer. I liked reading about her encounter with Alma as it was funny and cute. I wanted more of this story so that I could get more of these two.
The Boy and the Bell by Heidi Heiling
In this story you get a transgender main character who is trying to study in order to become a doctor. I liked how this story focuses on the ways people would try to ensure that the dead didn’t become vampires in the past. I thought this was a great take on the Victorian era when they would bury the dead with a breathing tube and a bell so that they can ask for help if they were not dead. I liked that it was a take on this gone terribly bad for the main character and how this time maybe he wishes that this way of burying people was not a thing.
In Kind by Kayla Whaley
TW: Caregiver Abuse
What I really liked about this one was the idea that even if the main character became a vampire it didn’t suddenly mean that she could walk. I liked that the main character felt that if that was granted to her it would take away part of who she is and she would not longer be herself. This story makes you think about people’s takes on disabilities and being disabled and how their lives are not any less valuable due to those disabilities.
A Guidebook for the Newly Sired Desi Vampire by Samira Ahmed
I liked this books take on colonialism and how to go about getting rid of those people but also being careful not to colonize a place as well. I thought that many of the pieces of this story were funny and light, and liked the way they were easing the new vampire into being a vampires. I liked the references that were made to Indian culture and how this story talks about tourists who come in and do not respect the culture.
Bestiary by Laura Ruby
I liked the way the main character in this story connected to animals. This one was a bit slower for me and one that I wasn’t as much enjoying as the others. I did like some aspects of it and liked the transformation piece about it and thinking about what animal I would transform into if I were a vampire.
Vampires Never Say Die by Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker
This story goes back and forth between two characters who are best friends. I really enjoyed the back and forth between these two and how she comes to the rescue of her friend. It really spoke on the value of friendship and what you are willing to do for others.
First Kill by Victoria “V.E.” Schwab
I loved the back and forth between the two characters in this one and the idea that they can both be the “bad guy”. I loved having both a vampire and a hunter in this story. This story left me wanting more from both of these characters. I want to know more and I need to know what happens, who wins?
Zoraida Córdova is the author of many fantasy novels, including the award-winning Brooklyn Brujas series, Incendiary, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and The Way to Rio Luna. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, Star Wars: Clone Wars Stories of Light and Dark, and Come On In. She is the co-editor of Vampires Never Get Old. She is the co-host of the writing podcast, Deadline City, with Dhonielle Clayton. Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. When she’s not working on her next novel, she’s finding a new adventure.
Natalie C. Parker grew up in a Navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan. Now, she lives surprisingly far from any ocean on the Kansas prairie with her wife where she writes and edits books for teens including the acclaimed Seafire trilogy.
Dhonielle Clayton was born in the suburbs of Washington, DC and spent her childhood Saturdays at the comic book store with her father and most evenings hiding beneath her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books. She earned a BA in English at Wake Forest University. She was an English teacher for three years and worked with educational curriculum. Being surrounded by children, Dhonielle re-discovered her love of children’s literature and earned a masters in children’s and young adult literature from Hollins University. Currently, she is working on both middle grade and young adult novel projects. She moved to NYC where she earned her MFA at the New School’s MFA Program. She is co-founder of CAKE Literary, a literary development studio committed to bringing diversity to high concept content.
Tessa Gratton is the author of adult SFF The Queens of Innis Lear and Lady Hotspur from Tor Books, as well as the YA series The Blood Journals and The United States of Asgard. Her most recent YA is the original fairy tale Strange Grace from McElderry Books and the upcoming Night Shine. Tessa’s novels and short stories have been translated into twenty-two languages, nominated twice for the Tiptree Award, and several have been Junior Library Guild Selections. Though she has lived all over the world, she currently resides at the edge of the Kansas prairie with her wife.
Heidi grew up in Hawaii where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City and grew up even more, as one tends to do. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko’olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in Africa while lions roared in the dark. She holds an MFA from New York University in Musical Theatre Writing, of all things, and she’s written books and lyrics for shows including The Time Travelers Convention, Under Construction, and The Hole. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and their pet snake, whose wings will likely grow in any day now. In her debut, The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.
Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time.
When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure.
Mark Oshiro is the author of Anger is a Gift (Tor Teen), winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award and nominated for a 2019 Lammy Award (in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category). Upcoming novels include Each of Us a Desert (Tor Teen), a YA Fantasy novel out September 15, 2020, and The Insiders (Harper Collins), a MG Contemporary with magical elements out Fall 2021. When they are not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters for their online Mark Does Stuff universe, or traveling, Mark is busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world.
Rebecca Roanhorse is a NYTimes bestselling and Nebula, Hugo and Locus Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Astounding (Campbell) Award for Best New Writer.
Her novel Trail of Lightning (Book 1 in the Sixth World Series) won the Locus Award for Best First Novel and is a Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy finalist. It was also selected as an Amazon, B&N, Library Journal, and NPR Best Books of 2018, among others. Book 2 in the Sixth World Series, Storm of Locusts, has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, is a Locus Award Finalist, and has been named an Amazon, Powell’s, and Audible Best of 2019. Her novel, Resistance Reborn, is part of Star Wars: Journey to The Rise of Skywalker and a USA Today and NYTimes bestseller. Her middle grade novel Race to the Sun for the Rick Riordan Present’s imprint was a New York Times Bestseller and received a starred review from Kirkus. Her next novel is an epic Fantasy set in a secondary world inspired by the Pre-Columbian Americas called Black Sun, out Oct 13, 2020.
She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pups. She drinks a lot of black coffee.
A two-time National Book Award Finalist, Laura Ruby writes fiction for adults, teens and children. She is the author of the Printz Medal Winning novel Bone Gap, as well as Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All. Other works include the Edgar®-nominated children’s mystery Lily’s Ghosts, the ALA Quick Pick for teens Good Girls (2006), a collection of interconnected short stories about blended families for adults, I’m not Julia Roberts (2007), and the York trilogy. She is on the faculty of Hamline University’s Masters in Writing for Children Program. She makes her home in the Chicago area.
Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”
Kayla Whaley lives outside Atlanta, Georgia where she buys too many books and drinks too many lattes. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Tampa and is a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. She was named one of Bustle‘s inaugural “Rule Breakers” in 2018.
Whether writing fiction, nonfiction, or the extremely occasional poem, she is fascinated by disability, sexuality, and the body. Among other venues, her work has appeared at Catapult, Bustle, Michigan Quarterly Review, Uncanny Magazine, Book Riot, and in the anthologies Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World (Algonquin) and Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux).
She has also appeared on the first season of Reese Witherspoon’s podcast How It Is and Slate’s popular Dear Prudence podcast.
Whaley spent four years as senior editor at Disability in Kidlit, an award-winning site dedicated to examining portrayals of disability in middle grade and young adult fiction, and she is currently on the Advisory Board for Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, a peer-reviewed journal published by St. Catherine University. She also holds a Master’s in Public Administration, which is languishing somewhere in her closet, so the less said about that, the better.
Dani Jansen is a teacher and writer who lives in Montreal. She should probably be embarrassed to admit that she has performed as part of her school’s Glee Club for eight years. She should probably also be ashamed to tell people that she named her cats after punctuation symbols (Ampersand and Em-Dash, in case you’re curious).
Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That’s her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she’s crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as “Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster.” Alison must cope with the misadventures that befall the play if she’s going to survive the year. She’ll also have to grapple with what it means to be “out” and what she might be willing to give up for love.
Pub Date: September 22, 2020
Two Finished Copies of The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life. The giveaway ends on September 15th. Click here to enter.
Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for allowing me to be a part of this book tour, and thank you to Netgalley,and Second Story Press for the advanced reading copy so I could share my review with you all.
I was a bit worried about reading this one because of the focus on Shakespeare and knowing how much I am not a fan of him. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book even if I’m unsure if this book resembles the Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night Dream.
Thoughts and Themes: I actually really enjoyed this book and liked the struggle that Alison has with being out but also being closeted. While she is out to her best friend and family, they are the only ones who know about this. I know one of the issues that people may have with this book is the lack of the use of the word lesbian but I felt that this is a choice that was made because of the main character.
I thought it was important that Alison never really referred to herself as a lesbian and just kept saying gay or referencing that she didn’t like men. I think that this really added to the complexity of her figuring out how to let others know and how her being unable to put the label on herself contributes to this.
Characters: In this book you get a range of characters and I thought that was great. I thought it was good to see that you had different races/ethnic groups represented through the different characters. I really like all of the characters that are introduced throughout the book and especially enjoy their interactions with each other. I liked the relationship that Alison has with her friends and how supportive they are of her in the thing that she enjoys.
Something else that I liked is the way that Alison has to deal with the mistakes that she makes with her friends and others. I like reading as she deals with this and grows as a person through these errors that she makes. I like how you get to see the complexity behind some of these characters anger towards Alison and how she doesn’t seem to always understand their anger.
Writing Style: This book is told in the perspective of Alison and you don’t really get to know anything from the others. I thought this was great because you get to see a lot of the things that are happening in her head as it is told in first person.