We Made it All Up by Margot Harrison Book Tour Post

Book Description

We Made It All Up by Margot Harrison

Genre: Young Adult Mystery Thriller

Publishing Date: July 12, 2022

Synopsis:

Celeste is the talk of the town when she moves to Montana from Montreal, but the only friend she makes is Vivvy, the heir to the town’s name and a social pariah. Inspired by a passion-fueled school incident, they begin writing a love-story fan fic between the popular guy and the school stoner, one that gradually reveals Celeste’s past. While their bond makes Celeste feel safe and alive again, Vivvy keeps prodding Celeste to turn fantasy into reality. When they finally try, one drunken night on a dark mountainside, Celeste is the one who ends up kissing golden boy Joss. And Joss ends up dead.

Celeste doesn’t remember the end of that night and can’t be sure she didn’t deliver the killing blow. Could she still be that scared of getting close to a boy? Secrets are hard to keep in a small town, and even Vivvy seems to suspect her. Exploring the winding passages of the cave where Joss died, Celeste learns he had his own dark secrets, as does Vivvy. The town isn’t as innocent as it appears.

Content Warning: Mentions of past Sexual Assault, Talk of Homophobia (no slurs), Stalking, Slut Shaming

Book Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58363606-we-made-it-all-up

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09L818R2G/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/we-made-it-all-up-margot-harrison/1140500777

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/We-Made-It-All-Up-Margot-Harrison/9780316275767

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/we-made-it-all-up/9780316275767-item.html

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316275767

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I wanted to read this story from the minute that I read the synopsis and how fan fiction was going to somehow play a role in the story. Fan fiction was such an important part of my life as a teen so I enjoy books that use it to tell a bigger story. The way that fan fiction is used in this book is similar to the purposes in why I used to write before, sometimes fictional words on paper are easier to deal with than the truth.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book was the way that fan fiction was used to reveal things about Celeste’s past. I liked that she was willing to share pieces of herself through her writing but only if she got to be someone else in that story. I liked how this made it seem like it was detached from Celeste but as we get to know her you learn that this is her story that she is finding a way to tell.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with Celeste and through her memories of them. You get to meet her friend, Vivvy, Seth, Joss, and more. You also get glimpses into the Seth and Joss that are a part of Vivvy and Celeste’s world through their shared fan fictions.

I really enjoyed getting to know more about each of the characters and that some of these characters we only know through the memories that Celeste has of them. I thought the friendship between Celeste and Vivvy was done quite well even if I wouldn’t say it was a good friendship. I liked how we get to see a side of Vivvy that only Celeste can see because the others have been around her too long now.

Writing Style: This story is told in first person through the perspective of Celeste with bits of the fan fiction written by her included. I liked that everything was told through Celeste’s perspective because she was an unreliable narrator since she didn’t recall much of the night in question. I liked that we were learning things alongside her about the incident but that we were also learning about her.

About the Author

Margot Harrison has a lifelong habit of creeping herself out and now attempts to creep others out via her fiction. Her teenage dream was to see as many movies as possible and write about them, which she does as a Tomatometer critic for Vermont media company Seven Days.

She is also a Harvard grad, wrangler of calicos, speaker of French, native of New York City, and lover of horror podcasts and strong black tea.

She loves hearing from readers! Fill in the contact form to send her a message.

Representation: Jessica Sinsheimer, Context Literary Agency

She sometimes tweets, but mostly chronicles all her ways of wasting time on Instagram.

Author Links

Website: https://margotharrison.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargotFHarrison/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/margotfharrison/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14215617.Margot_Harrison

Tour Schedule

Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White Book Tour Post

Book Description

Hell Followed Us by Andrew Joseph White

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Publishing Date: June 7, 2022

Synopsis:

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.

A furious, queer debut novel about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.

Content Warning: parental death, graphic death, body horror, violence, religious abuse, discussions of genocide; instances of homophobia, transphobia, misgendering, and deadnaming

Book Links

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Indigo ~ IndieBound

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I was a bit skeptical of reading this one because of the trigger warnings that are included at the start of the book. I figured though since I was in a good place I could read it and I am glad that I did because I really enjoyed this one.

I love dystopian books especially ones that are focused on pandemic, viruses, etc. that are no where near anything that this world has experienced. I find that this focus allows me to escape into another world while reading even if that world is also not ideal.

I really enjoyed how religion was tied into this story and the pieces of the bible that are included. Some of those pieces hit harder than others even if I knew they were in the bible. I really liked seeing how this book interpreted some of those pieces. For me, I’ve been reading a lot of books that include Catholicism and its been interesting to see how each book uses the bible verses to make their point.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Benjamin/Benji. You get to meet his ex-fiance, his mom, other people at the Acheson LGBTQ+ Center (ALC), and more. I really loved each of the characters that you get to meet throughout this story and even found the bad guys to be intriguing.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of each of the creatures that are introduced throughout this story and loved trying to picture what they looked like. I wish this was turned into a movie so that I could see these words come to life and see what Seraph looks like, what the Graces look like, and what the Angels look like. I loved learning about each of them and what they stood for and why they existed.

I loved the relationships that Benji had with each of the people involved in this story. I liked getting to see his relationship with his dad from his perspective and how that differed from his mom. I also really enjoyed getting to see his feelings for his fiancee, Theo, and how those feelings change throughout the course of this book.

I really enjoyed that this book included an Autistic character as the love interest and how we get to see some of those traits throughout the book. I like how Nick tries so hard to not show that he is Autistic to the rest of the group even if they are aware. I like how we get to see him stimming and also moments in which he is overwhelmed. I loved the relationship that develops between Nick and Benji and how complicated their feelings are for each other.

Writing Style: This story is written in first person through the perspective of Benjamin/Benji. There are bits and pieces that are told in the third person to give the perspective of Theo and Nick. I really liked getting a chance to see the story unfold through Benji’s perspective and only getting snippets of the others. I think that us being in their head allows us to see what he is thinking and how scared he is of some of the things that are happening to him and around him.

Author Information

Andrew Joseph White is a queer, trans author from Virginia, where he grew up falling in love with monsters and wishing he could be one too. He is a graduate student in George Mason University’s Creative Writing program and has a habit of cuddling random street cats. Andrew writes about trans kids with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back.  

He is represented by Zabé Ellor of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency. Author photo by Alice Scott.

Author Links:

Website: https://andrewjosephwhite.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajwhiteauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajwhiteauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19719767.Andrew_Joseph_White

Tour Schedule

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/04/26/tour-schedule-hell-followed-with-us-by-andrew-joseph-white/

Out of the Blue by Jason June Book Tour Post

Book Description

Out of the Blue by Jason June

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publishing Date: May 31, 2022

Synopsis:

Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the monthlong sojourn on land all teen merfolk must undergo. The rules are simple: Help a human within one moon cycle and return to Pacifica to become an Elder–or fail and remain stuck on land forever. Crest is eager to get their Journey over and done with: after all, humans are disgusting. They’ve pollluted the planet so much that there’s a floating island of trash that’s literally the size of a country.

In Los Angeles with a human body and a new name, Crest meets Sean, a human lifeguard whose boyfriend has recently dumped him. Crest agrees to help Sean make his ex jealous and win him back. But as the two spend more time together and Crest’s pespective on humans begins to change, they’ll soon be torn between two worlds. And fake dating just might lead to real feelings…

This sophomore novel from Jason June dives into the many definitions of the world home and shows how love can help us find the truest versions of ourselves. 

Book Links

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Indigo ~ Indiebound

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I really wanted to read this book because the cover looks so cute and the description made it sound appealing. I was so happy to get a chance to be on this book tour so I could read the book in advance but I decided to listen to it on audio.

When I first started listening to this one it reminded me instantly of the Disney movie, Luca just this one is obviously Gay. If you liked that movie then you will certainly enjoy reading this book because Ross’s first moments on land are so similar to Luca’s first moments on land. I love how confused Ross is about so many human things and how we get to see what they think about those things and how they try to make sense of everything.

There are so many moments in this book that I am laughing out loud just like Sean is laughing at Ross. I love how clueless they are but also love how innocent everything is because they don’t know about our world. I like how we get to see everything that we take for granted or things we are so familiar with in a different way because of the way Ross is experiencing our world.

I loved getting a chance to hear Ross and Sean both exploring the city of LA. I felt like they were just in my backyard and they made the city sound so beautiful when its my every day. And then this book sold me with the Grey’s Anatomy quote so you all have to read it to see what I mean.

Characters: In this book, you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with Ross and Sean. You get to meet Sean’s ex-boyfriend, Dominic, some of the people back at Ross’s home, and Sean’s best friend, Kavya.

I really loved learning about Ross and their world. I also loved that Ross is non-binary in the human world and love how we get to see them navigate this when introducing themself to others.

I kept being frustrated with Sean’s obsession with Dominic but I keep remembering that this whole thing is only happening because Ross wants to help him get his ex back. I love the way that Ross makes Sean see things so differently because they are experiencing so much for the first time. I loved the way that their relationship develops throughout the course of the book and how they were instantly friends.

I just really enjoyed how the relationship between Ross and Sean develops. I liked the way this all started and then what it becomes instead for both of them. I just love hearing their feelings for each other when they are in their heads especially since they don’t share their feelings out loud.

Writing Style: This book is written in first person dual point of view going back and forth between Ross and Sean’s perspectives. I liked that this book goes back and forth between both of the boys so that you can see how each of them navigates things. I also like how this back and forth allows you to get to know more about Ross and their world in the chapters told from their perspective.

I liked getting to hear both of their perspectives because it allows us to see how each of them feels about this whole scheme to get Dominic back. I also liked seeing both of their perspectives because it allows us to learn more about Ross’s world in the ocean during his section.

Author Information

You’ve come here wondering, “What is the meaning of life?” Er, I mean, Jason June’s life. Jason June (it’s a two-name first name, like Mary-Kate without the hyphen or the Olsen twin) is a genderqueer writer mermaid who loves to create picture books that mix the flamboyantly whacky with the slightly dark, and young adult contemporary rom-coms full of love and lust and hijinks.

When not writing, JJ zips about Austin, Texas. He loves dinosaurs, unicorns, Pomeranians, and anything magical that takes you to a different world or time. JJ is a tried and true Laura Dern stan, and he is actively looking for an Andalite friend.

​His picture books include WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE, illustrated by Jess Pauwels, and PORCUPINE CUPID, a queer-inclusive Valentine’s Day story, illustrated by Lori Richmond, both from Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster. For under-the-sea whimsical adventures, check out the MERMICORN ISLAND chapter book series from Scholastic! And get ready for JAY’S GAY AGENDA, Jason June’s debut YA, queer rom-com, coming June 1, 2021 from HarperTeen!

Author Links

Website: https://www.heyjasonjune.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heyjasonjune

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heyjasonjune/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15906433.Jason_June

Tour Schedule

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/04/23/tour-schedule-out-of-the-blue-by-jason-june/

Jordie and Joey Fell from the Sky by Judi Lauren Book Tour Post

Book Description

Jordie and Joey Fell From the Sky by Judi Lauren

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary

Publishing Date: April 19, 2022

Synopsis:

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.

Book Links

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

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I really enjoy reading middle-grade books so when I was given the chance to be on the book tour for this one I was quite excited. I really enjoyed this story and how so much is packed in not so many pages. This book touches on the foster care system, family, friends, belonging, and more.

This whole time you know that it is very unlikely that the boys are actually aliens but you are wondering what else could explain the things that Jordie is saying. I wonder if other adults may have picked up on the signs and knew what was coming before I did. I certainly didn’t see the explanation that happens at the end of the book and I was hurting right alongside Jordie as he learns information that was missing from his memories.

I really liked the adults that are included in the later portion of the book. I like how they show Jordie and Joey what it means to have a sense of belonging in the world and what it feels like to be wanted. I can’t give too much away but by the end of this story, you get a sense that Jordie and Joey both found what they were searching for at the start of this book.

Characters: There are several characters that you get introduced to in this story through their interactions with Jordie and Joey. You get to meet their best friend who goes along the journey with them in search of their birth parents. You get to meet their social worker who has tried her best to make sure they stay together. You get to meet some of the people whom Jordie and Joey cross while on this trip and more.

At first, I wasn’t too interested in any of the characters but once I got about 50% of the way I was invested in the well-being of Jordie and Joey. These boys have been through so much as they go from foster home to foster home and all they both want is a place in which they belong. Joey would do anything to protect his brother which includes keeping some memories locked away until he is ready to learn about them. I really liked how this book showed the love between these brothers and showed them being affectionate with each other. I also really liked how they were allowed to have feelings, they allowed each other to have real emotions and the adults in their lives also were prepared for that.

Writing Style: This book is written in the first person from the perspective of Jordie. The book also includes snippets from an online blog that Jordie follows regarding alien encounters along with information that he may have been searching for regarding other topics that become important later on in the story.

I really enjoyed this being told through Jordie’s perspective as he is missing memories from several years of his life. As he is missing those years so are you as the reader and that makes it so much more believable when he thinks that they came from aliens. I like how Jordie seems to be a lot younger than Joey and we learn why that is throughout the story. There are so many scenes in which my heart breaks for these boys and I just want to protect them the way so many others they meet want the same.

Author Information

Judi Lauren was born in the Midwest and misses those winters. She now resides in an area where the bugs are way too large. She has an unnatural obsession with Chicago, Dean Winchester, and Friends (the TV show.)

Judi is represented by Heather Cashman of Storm Literary Agency, where she writes books for kids and teens about family, friendship, and surviving impossible things.

In her spare time, she also works as an editor at Radish Fiction. You can connect with her on Instagram @judilauren.

Author Links

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Tour Schedule

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/02/03/tour-schedule-jordie-and-joey-fell-from-the-sky-by-judi-lauren/

Scout is Not a band Kid by Jade Armstrong Book Tour Post

Book Description

Scout is Not a Band Kid by Jade Armstrong

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Graphic Novel

Publishing Date: April 5, 2022

Synopsis:

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.

Book Links

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Indigo ~ IndieBound

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I love reading graphic novels as I find they are a great way to immerse yourself in whatever you are reading. I really liked how this book mixed academics, band, and fandom together to create the story. I liked how we get to see the expectations that Scout’s old friends have of her and how they expect her to like new things now that they have “grown” up. While Scout hasn’t let go of her favorite things, she does keep her interests away from her friend group and only lets her true self out while amongst her online friend, Lou.

Characters: This story introduces you to several characters as they interact with our main character, Scout. I really love the way each of them is introduced to the reader as it feels like you are playing a video game. I also like how we get not only their stats but name and pronouns for each character as well. I found that there was a lot of diversity among the characters that are included in this story.

I loved the friendship that develops between Scout and Merrin throughout this whole book. I liked how their friendship first was forced because they both played the same instrument within the band but then it became a choice. I loved how Scout is the first real friend that Merrin has and isn’t deterred by her personality, and how Scout is able to be herself around Merrin, unlike her other friends.

Writing/Art Style: I really enjoy the art style of this book and would love to see the whole thing printed in color. I love how you can tell which character is whom and there is no point in time in which I was confused about the character’s identities. I also really loved the variety in the clothes that all of the characters wear depending on their setting.

Author Information

My name is Jade Armstrong, and I am a non-binary cartoonist. I was raised in a little town called Almonte, Ontario, before heading off to Toronto to work in comics and animation. I’ve worked as background painter in television for 4 years. At the moment, I float between Toronto, Almonte and Montréal.

More than anything I love to make comics. You can check out my full CV here!

My debut middle grade graphic novel, SCOUT IS NOT A BAND KID, is set to be published by Random House Graphics April 5th, 2022.

I’m also a member of the comics collective HELLO BOYFRIEND. We are a bunch of pals who love comics and make comics together!

Author Links

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Tour Schedule

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/02/21/tour-schedule-scout-is-not-a-band-kid-by-jade-armstrong/

Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp Book Tour Post

Book Description

Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Publishing Date: April 5, 2022

Synopsis:

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.

Book Links

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Indigo ~ IndieBound

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I decided that I had to read this book as I loved the author’s debut novel. I was so pleased to find that while this book is also a romance like the first one it was significantly different but just as great. There are so many sections of this book that I highlighted on my kindle because of how these lines spoke to me.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book was how our main characters communicate with each other and the world through music. It reminded me of how I use songs to convey my feelings and sometimes only songs or books completely understand the way that I am feeling. I liked that these two main characters were able to pour themselves into music and how music shapes their lives.

Something else that I loved about this book was the way that it handled grieving and how we see different ways in which people are handling grief. I thought it was great to see both guys and girls dealing with grief, and how both Aaron and Mia lost their parents in different ways. I think because of the way that they lost their parents, the grief that they experience is different and while one of each of their parents is alive, they still are grieving because it is the loss of the parent they had before.

I really enjoyed how this book added the musician into the story and how he was an important part of Aaron’s life and grieving process. I thought it was a great way to show how everyone can have mental health issues and I loved the way he took care of himself. I don’t want to spoil that for you so I’ll let you read to see more about him.

Characters: There are several characters that you get to meet through their interactions with our main characters, Mia and Aaron. You get introduced to Mia’s siblings, friends, and family, and Aaron’s family and friends too.

I loved reading the interactions that Mia has with her brothers and how they try to heal each other. I liked getting to see how they raised her and also getting to see each of them show their grief in a different way. I really liked getting the chance to see how one of her brothers was healing through poetry but how he was still hiding and he only gets the courage to present to show her that it is possible.

I also really enjoy the theme of found family in this book which you really see through the people in the neighborhood. I loved getting the chance to meet Mr. Barrero who takes care of both Mia and Aaron when they need an adult figure in their lives. I really liked seeing how this man has shaped both of these people’s lives and how important he is to them. I also like how we get to see his back story as well to understand why he feels the way he does about Mia.

Writing Style: This story is written from a dual point of view that goes back and forth from our main characters, Aaron and Mia. I really liked getting to read this story from both of their perspectives since I think they both add different things to the story. I really liked getting to go back and forth between these two characters because they had things going on in both of their lives that weren’t intertwined with each other.

Author Information

Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her debut novel, Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet was a 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Recipient. In addition to writing she’s also the creator and host of the Author Pep Talks podcast, as well as a contributor to the Las Musas podcast. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health.

Author Links

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Tour Schedule

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/02/15/tour-schedule-heartbreak-symphony-by-laekan-zea-kemp/

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

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

Book Description

Book Info

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

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Publishing Date: August 10, 2021

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Book Links

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Information

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

Author Links

Website ~Twitter~Instagram~ Goodreads

Just Pretend by Tori Sharp Book Tour Post

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. 

Author Information

Tori Sharp is a Seattle-based author-illustrator and swing and blues dancer with a BFA in sequential art from SCAD. You can find her online at http://www.noveltori.com and on Twitter @noveltori. Just Pretend is her debut graphic novel.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Description

Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel
Publishing date: May 18th, 2021

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

Synopsis:

Fans of Real Friends and Be Prepared will love this energetic, affecting graphic memoir, in which a young girl uses her active imagination to navigate middle school as well as the fallout from her parents’ divorce. 

Tori has never lived in just one world.

Since her parents’ divorce, she’s lived in both her mom’s house and her dad’s new apartment. And in both places, no matter how hard she tries, her family still treats her like a little kid. Then there’s school, where friendships old and new are starting to feel more and more out of her hands.

Thankfully, she has books-and writing. And now the stories she makes up in her head just might save her when everything else around her—friendships, school, family—is falling apart.

Author Tori Sharp takes us with her on a journey through the many commonplace but complex issues of fractured families, as well as the beautiful fantasy narrative that helps her cope, gorgeously illustrated and full of magic, fairies, witches and lost and found friendships. 

Review

When I pick up graphic novels I have realized that I tend to pick up middle grade ones as the art style is cute and colorful. This one is great for younger readers who are in grades 5-8, and I think its a good one for adults to read as well. My review for this one will look a bit different since it is a graphic novel so there is different things to talk about.

There were so many things in the book that reminded me of being that age and just kind of dealing with the many adjustments that were happening. I like that the story wasn’t really linear and it was all over the place because it was very much like a 12 year old’s mind. I think that the characters were quite realistic, and the way the siblings acted with each other was fun to read. I liked how the siblings didn’t really get along but then there were also moments in which the sister was supporting Tori.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was the ending when the author shared some pieces about herself with us. I liked that we got to learn about the process in writing this story and also how the book is a lot of the memories that she has.

In this book there are several characters that are introduced to you as Tori interacts with them. You really get to know Tori’s family and her best friend through this book which was something that I enjoyed. I liked how real her parents were and how we got to see how their separation affected each of the children.

I really liked the art style of this story and liked the drastic change in reading the book and then going to the story that Tori was writing through this time. I really liked how this book uses writing as an escape from reality. I thought that was very real for a lot of people but especially for that age range. It reminded me of how much I used to write in middle school and early high school just to escape what was currently happening.

The Ballad of Ami Miles Book Tour Post

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. 

Author Information

A woman with dark brown bob length hair and a black tank top.

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.

You can find Kristy Dallas Alley at:

Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook

Book Description

Book cover with the back of a girl with ginger hair in a braid, a white shirt and the words The Ballad of Ami Miles going across her back.

Book Info:

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Publishing Date: December 1, 2020

Synopsis:

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.

You can find this book at:

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Indigo ~ IndieBound

Review

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.

Collage of images from left top to bottom right- open book, one bench in a garden, hanging question mark, record player, girl standing around trees,  mirror hanging on yellow wall, person in the dark bent in front of some lights, black and white tree, group of people in the grass

I Hope You Are Listening by Tom Ryan Book Tour Post

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. 

Author Information

Tom Ryan is the award winning author of several acclaimed books for young readers. He has been nominated for multiple awards, and was the winner of the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best YA Crime Book. Two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections, and three of his young adult novels, Way to Go, Tag Along, and Keep This to Yourself, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013, 2014 and 2020. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction.

Tom, his husband and their dog currently divide their time between Ottawa and Nova Scotia.

You can find Tom Ryan at:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~Goodreads ~ Facebook

Book Description

EVERY MISSING PERSON HAS A STORY.

In her small town, seventeen-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.

At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way.

When another little girl in town goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much of her own story is she willing to reveal in order to uncover the truth?

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~Indigo

Giveaway Information

Finished copy of I Hope You’re Listening. This giveaway is US only and ends on October 20th. You can enter by clicking here.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: This is a story that hooks you in right from the first few pages in which you meet young Sibby and Dee playing in the forest. From those first few pages you want to know what really happened that day, and want to know if this book is going to reveal that to you.

I wanted to know if the new missing person case had anything to do with the past and what really was going on in this small town. I really enjoyed the short snippets that we get of podcast episodes and really want to listen to this book on audio now because I feel that would really add to the atmosphere in this story.

I really enjoyed how quickly the pace picked up towards the end of the book and how quickly things changed for everyone. I don’t want to give you any spoilers though so I can’t tell you much about what happened except that this book wrapped up nicely. I thought the characters developed nicely throughout the story and really liked seeing how different events affected them and changed them.

Characters: You get three main characters through this story, Dee, Burke, and Sarah. Dee is the main character of the story whose best friend went missing 10 years ago and things have never been the same for her since then. That case is now resurfacing as a little girl has gone missing from the home that Dee lived in when Sibby went missing. I really like how she develops throughout the story from the start where she is closed off and secretive about her feelings to when she shares things with Sarah.

Burke is Dee’s best friend who is the only one who knows that Dee is behind the podcast, Radio Silence. I love how supportive he is of Dee’s podcast even if it isn’t something that he is interested in, and love how supportive he is of the relationship between Sarah and Dee.

Sarah is the new girl in town who knows nothing about what happened 10 years ago and has no clue why the media suddenly has interest in Dee. I really like how Sarah seems to come in and save the day when Dee needs her and is patient with her. I like that she never demands answers from her and gives her time to want to reveal any information to her.

Writing Style: This story is told through the perspective of Dee and through transcripts from her podcast, Radio Silence. I really enjoyed the way that the podcast was included in the story and how we got to read through some of the episodes. I thought it was a good way to see a different part of Dee’s personality and see the change in her.

I also liked how this story told both the present and the past through flashbacks from Dee as she explained things to others. I thought that the flashbacks were included at just the right moments and also thought that they were able to make you feel like you had gone back in time to those moments. I liked the way that you could tell that it was a younger Dee remember those moments and you could feel the way that she felt throughout those times.

Forest background with three images on top of it, boots in muddy water, gmail image, door with branches around it. Sticky note of I hope You're listening by tom ryan on lower left corner
image collage with a girl in a foggy forest, old style white house, door with branches around it, and a laptop in the dark. I hope You're listening by tom ryan in the left hand corner