Echos and Empires

Title: Echoes and Empires

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Series: Echoes and Empires #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Science Fiction

Pages: 400

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)

*I received an ARC of Echoes and Empires through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.”

Review: What a great start to a series! If you’re looking for a fun fantasy that has some romance, drama, adventure, and some crazy plot twists, this is for you!

I love when stories catch me off guard and this one definitely pulled quite a few twists! I started the first few chapters thinking this might turn out to be too predictable, but by the end I had easily missed quite a few large plot twist which made this a much more exciting read!

The magic of this world is unique but seems to follow a familiar guideline. However, this magical world is definitely interesting and I can’t wait to see more details in following books! The same applies to the characters! They all present quite interesting personalities, but I can’t wait to see their growth and more of their complexities as the plot progresses.

The only reason this didn’t reach a full 5 stars was because it felt geared for slightly younger readers (as it should be with a 17 year old protagonist!) However if you’re a life longer reader of YA, like me, it can feel a little youthful (which is to no fault of its own!)

Cover: ★★★★★

The Excalibur Curse

*I received an ARC of The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “The gripping conclusion to the acclaimed Arthurian fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White finds Guinevere questioning everything—friends and enemies, good and evil, and, most of …

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The Gilded Cage

*I received an ARC of The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Kiva trades one cage for another when she leaves behind a deadly prison for a deceptive palace in this dark and dangerous sequel to The Prison Healer, which Sarah …

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Vespertine

*I received an ARC of Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: The dead of Loraille do not rest. Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; …

Continue reading Vespertine

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven

*I received an ARC of Teen Titans: Beast Boy loves Raven through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From #1 New York Times bestselling author KAMI GARCIA (Beautiful Creatures) and artist GABRIEL PICOLO, the creative duo behind the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, comes the romantic meet-up we have …

Continue reading Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven

Beasts of Prey

*I received an ARC of Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures …

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When Sparks Fly

*I received an ARC of When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, …

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The Excalibur Curse

Title: The Excalibur Curse

Author: Kiersten White

Series: Camelot Rising #3

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Retelling, Mythology, Romance

Pages: 278

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★☆

*I received an ARC of The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “The gripping conclusion to the acclaimed Arthurian fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White finds Guinevere questioning everything—friends and enemies, good and evil, and, most of all, herself.

While journeying north toward the Dark Queen, Guinevere falls into the hands of her enemies. Behind her are Lancelot, trapped on the other side of the magical barrier they created to protect Camelot, and Arthur, who has been led away from his kingdom, chasing after false promises. But the greatest danger isn’t what lies ahead of Guinevere—it’s what’s been buried inside her.

Vowing to unravel the truth of her past with or without Merlin’s help, Guinevere joins forces with the sorceress Morgana and her son, Mordred—and faces the confusing, forbidden feelings she still harbors for him. When Guinevere makes an agonizing discovery about who she is and how she came to be, she finds herself with an impossible choice: fix a terrible crime, or help prevent war.

Guinevere is determined to set things right, whatever the cost. To defeat a rising evil. To remake a kingdom. To undo the mistakes of the past…even if it means destroying herself.

Guinevere has been a changeling, a witch, a queen—but what does it mean to be just a girl?”

Review: The FINALE. After the ending of The Camelot Betrayal, The Excalibur Curse picks up where they left off and brings you right back into the chaos and drama of this Arthurian universe.

Honestly, I forgot a bit of the context of the previous stories, but it was easy to get back into the world as each line brought back memories and landscapes, etc. Like the previous, the plot is full of magic, adventure, and growth.

This is such a beautiful story of growth and Guinevere’s exploration of herself and her relationships. While it’s fun to get swept up with the adventure and magic of it all, I found this story so beautiful because of finally seeing the deeper thoughts and feelings of Guinevere.

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Only those without honor doubt the honor of everyone around them.”
  • “Sometimes we have to be false in order to be true.”
  • “It is hard to show something to someone who refuses to look.
  • “Kindness could be just as powerful, just as useful as force.”
  • “We may have come from them, but we are not like them.”
  • “please do not forget that if every life has value, yours does, too.”
  • “Things do not have to be perfect to be good,”

Echos and Empires

*I received an ARC of Echoes and Empires through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York …

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The Thousandth Floor

Synopsis: “NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough. WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118. A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone …

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Victories Greater Than Death

*I received an copy of Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders from Tor Teen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Outsmart Your Enemies. Outrun the Galaxy. Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’—she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, …

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Super Fake Love Song

*I received an ARC of Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon from Penguin Teen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the bestselling author of Frankly in Love comes a contemporary YA rom-com where a case of mistaken identity kicks off a string of (fake) events that just may lead …

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Frankly in Love

*I received a copy of Frankly in Love from PenguinTeen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule …

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The Dating Dare

*I received an ARC of The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Jayci Lee, author of A Sweet Mess, returns with The Dating Dare—her next witty, chemistry-filled romantic comedy. Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual …

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The Gilded Cage

Title: The Gilded Cage

Author: Lynette Noni

Series: The Prison Healer #2

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic

Pages: 448

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Rating: ★★★★★

*I received an ARC of The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “Kiva trades one cage for another when she leaves behind a deadly prison for a deceptive palace in this dark and dangerous sequel to The Prison Healer, which Sarah J. Maas called “a must-read.”

Kiva Meridan is a survivor.

She survived not only Zalindov prison, but also the deadly Trial by Ordeal. Now Kiva’s purpose goes beyond survival to vengeance. For the past ten years, her only goal was to reunite with her family and destroy the people responsible for ruining their lives. But now that she has escaped Zalindov, her mission has become more complicated than ever.

As Kiva settles into her new life in the capital, she discovers she wasn’t the only one who suffered while she was in Zalindov—her siblings and their beliefs have changed too. Soon it’s not just her enemies she’s keeping secrets from, but her own family as well.

Outside the city walls, tensions are brewing from the rebels, along with whispers of a growing threat from the northern kingdoms. Kiva’s allegiances are more important than ever, but she’s beginning to question where they truly lie. To survive this time, she’ll have to navigate a complicated web of lies before both sides of the battle turn against her and she loses everything.”

Review: I absolutely loved The Prison Healer so there was a lot of high hopes and anticipation for The Gilded Cage. Let’s just say, it didn’t disappoint!

Something I love about fantasy novels is the fact that they act as a safe space that allows for the fun of magic and romance, all while touching on heavier issues surrounding politics, ethics, death, and more. This book isn’t a heavy one, in the sense that it’s quite easy to escape into. However, there are still lessons to be learned.

If you’re back from The Prison Healer for more romance I would say there’s just enough in this one! Although I wouldn’t say romance is the main focus of this story, there’s is a perfect sprinkle that will have you waiting for the next book!

So, what is this one about if it’s not about romance? MAGIC, TENSION, SECRETS, and MORE. This plot is action-packed!! I don’t know want to give more away, but a LOT goes on so get ready for the ride!

My last thought of reading this book is much like for the first book of the series: I WANT MORE PLEASE!!

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Sometimes the people who act like they don’t care are really the ones who care the most. They feel so much that it overwhelms them, and to keep from falling apart, they hide behind easy smiles and quick laughter, acting like nothing matters. It’s a defense mechanism, a way to protect themselves from the world. A way to keep from getting hurt.”
  • “Trust is the first ingredient in a recipe for betrayal,”
  • “The best people have stories. Even if they wish they didn’t.”

A Sweet Mess

Synopsis: “Korean-American author Jayci Lee delights with this delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more. Bake a chance on love. Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When …

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These Hollow Vows

*I received an ARC of These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously …

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Cast in Secrets and Shadow

*I received an ARC of Cast in Secrets and Shadow by Andrea Robertson through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Game of Thrones meets An Ember in the Ashes in the second book in this action-packed fantasy from Andrea Robertson, the internationally bestselling author of the Nightshade series. Ara has …

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Forged in Fire and Stars

Synopsis: “Ara has always known about the legend of the Loresmith: the blacksmith who served alongside the kings and queens of every generation to protect the kingdom. It was her fate to inherit the title–though she never truly believed it would come to pass since the monarchy’s downfall years before. But when the lost Princess …

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The Summer of Lost Letters

*I received an ARC of The Summer of Lost Letters by Hannah Reynolds through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Ruta Sepetys, this sweet, summery romance set in Nantucket follows seventeen-year-old Abby Schoenberg as she uncovers a secret about her …

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The Cruelest Mercy

*I received an ARC of The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “In this sequel to The Kinder Poison–which People magazine proclaimed a “delicious high-stakes adventure”–the magical kingdom of Orkena is on the brink of war, and the only person who can …

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Vespertine

Title: Vespertine

Author: Margaret Robertson

Series: Vespertine #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal

Pages: 400

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*I received an ARC of Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface it, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Review: This story is filled with adventure, action, and a creepy/mystical experience. I didn’t enjoy this book, but not because the story itself was bad, but the combination of the plot, setting, and characters were not to my taste.

Before I explain how my taste didn’t align, let me point out why it would be worth it to pick up this book. First of all, it’s a world that uses spiritual aspects that results in a variety of tenses scenes and magical rituals. If that’s world you’re ready to immerse yourself into, than be excited for the detailed scenes that help you delve into the Vespertine world.

Now, the main issue of this story for me was the plot. I know that sounds bad, but it’s more an issue with taste. The spiritual magic of this world was interesting but not quite captivating and this led me to never really connect with the main character, Artemisia. The first word that comes to mind when reading this book is Halloween, and I have never been the biggest fan of Halloween, but for fans of fiction, a touch of fantasy, and Halloween I think this would be a fun journey to read about!

I honestly love Rogerson’s writing, so although this may not have been the book for me, I can’t wait to see what other stories Rogerson will create.

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quote: “Perhaps this was how history treated saints. It didn’t matter what was real, what had truly happened. Even as they lived, their lives passed into legend.”

The Kinder Poison

Synopsis: “Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown. Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s …

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Heartbreakers and Fakers

*I received an ARC of Heartbreaker and Fakers by Cameron Lund through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the author of The Best Laid Plans comes another fresh voiced, hilarious rom-com perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and The Rest of the Story. Penny Harris just ruined her life. As one of …

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We Are Inevitable

*I received an ARC of We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “‘I got this whole-body feeling… it was like a message from future me to present me, telling me that in some way we weren’t just bound to happen, that …

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Better Together

*I received an ARC of Better Together by Christine Riccio through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety. Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.They’ve both signed up for the …

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Slingshot

*I received an ARC of Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid …

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Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven

Title: Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven

Author: Kami Garcia, Gabriel Picolo (Illustrator)

Series: Teen Titans #3

Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Superhero, DC Comics, Romance

Publisher: DC Entertainment

Rating: ★★★★★

*I received an ARC of Teen Titans: Beast Boy loves Raven through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis:From #1 New York Times bestselling author KAMI GARCIA (Beautiful Creatures) and artist GABRIEL PICOLO, the creative duo behind the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, comes the romantic meet-up we have all been waiting for! 

It seems like years, but it’s only been a few days since Raven Roth recovered her memories, trapped her demon father, Trigon, into her amulet, and had her heart broken for the first time. But she doesn’t have time to think about the past…she has to focus on finding a way to get rid of Trigon for good.

Garfield Logan still can’t believe he has powers that allow him to change into different animals, but the price of knowing that his parents kept this secret hidden from him just feels too high. And what’s more, his difficulty controlling these abilities could have unexpected consequences.

Both are seeking answers from the one person who seems to have them all figured out: Slade Wilson.

When their paths converge in Nashville, Raven and Gar can’t help but feel a connection, despite the secrets they both try to hide. It will take a great amount of trust and courage to overcome the wounds of their pasts. But can they find acceptance for the darkest part of themselves? Or maybe even love?”

Review: I have been waiting for this book in the series!! I am so, so excited to see Beast Boy and Raven interact. As a 21-year-old reading a book meant for 13-17-year-olds, I do have to warn my fellow older readers to recognize that the plot is not as nuanced as some other novels, but that this is a perfect story for younger readers.

THE ART. Every Teen Titans graphic novel so far has been stunning and this one is no exception. From the colors to the details, I adore everything about it. This was a quick read for me, but I read it over because the art is just so stunning it would be a waste not to take it all in!

THE PLOT. With the last two more focused on the individual backgrounds of Beast Boy and Raven, I felt like the plot really speeds up in this one. Not only do we get to see how Beast Boy and Raven interact and grow, but we also see them against the world. There are also some new fun characters introduced and with so much going on I can’t wait to see what’s in store in future stories!

Cover: ★★★★★

The Prison Healer

*I received an ARC of The Prison Healer through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer. When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged …

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Fireborne & Flamefall

*I received an ARC of Flamefall through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* FIREBORNE: Synopsis: “Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone–even the lowborn–a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Now they are both rising stars in …

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Renegade Flight

*I received an ARC of Renegade Flight by Andrea Tang through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Aurora Rising meets Top Gun, with the addition of cybernetic dragons, in this is the witty, romantic, and electrifying sci-fi novel by Andrea Tang. Viola Park’s life is over. She’s gone from …

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A Queen of Gilded Horns

*I received an ARC of A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “In this sequel to A River of Royal Blood, Eva and Isa must find a way to work together if they want to save their queendom in the thrilling …

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Our Chemical Hearts

Title: Our Chemical Hearts Author: Krystal Sutherland Series: Standalone Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Mental Health Pages: 320 Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received a copy of Our Chemical Hearts through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Henry Page has never …

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The Queen’s Secret

*I received an ARC of The Queen’s Secret by Melissa de la Cruz through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Lilac’s birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the …

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Beasts of Prey

Title: Beasts of Prey

Author: Ayana Gray

Series: (not confirmed but seems to be more to this series)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Adventure

Pages: 496

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Rating: ★★★★☆

*I received an ARC of Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures to pay off her family’s debts and secure their eventual freedom. But the night her loved ones’ own safety is threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand–and the consequences are dire.

As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six–an elite warrior–and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, a fire upends his plans. In its midst, Ekon not only encounters the Shetani–a vicious monster that has plagued the city and his nightmares for nearly a century–but a curious girl who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.

Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani down and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani and selling it for a profit could be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon–each keeping their true motives secret from the other–form a tentative alliance and enter into the unknowns of the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.

In this much-anticipated series opener, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the ancient creature menacing their home–and discover much more than they bargained for.

Review: This story was truly filled with magic and is a start to what I imagine is going to be a fast-paced adventure series.

There are so many different aspects I loved about this novel, where do I start? Well, first of all, I love the writing style. Not every novel is written so beautifully and I really enjoyed this author’s writing style. In addition to beautiful prose, you will easily get your fill of magic, adventure, and a splash of romance (which I can’t wait to see develop in later books in the series!).

This story is written in alternating perspective style, which almost always confuses me in the beginning, but once I got the hang of each perspective, I love to see what’s going on from all angles. This is just a warning for anyone else who also gets confused easily by different narrators, but just hang in there, this story is worth the patience!

What makes this fantasy so unique? The world-building and magic. While I’m sure the characters will become more layered as the series progress, the world-building and magic are really what catch my eye in this first novel. It’s wild and animalistic magic, but it already reveals a hidden depth that I can’t wait to read in the next book!

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • “A roaring lion kills no prey.”
  • “Sometimes things that seem dangerous are just misunderstood.”
  • “Nightmares hunt like beasts of prey, vanquished in the light of day.”
  • “A wise man keeps his weapons sharp, but his mind sharper.”

The Wide Starlight

*I received an ARC of  The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “The Hazel Wood meets The Astonishing Color of After in this dreamy, atmospheric novel that follows sixteen-year-old Eli as she tries to remember what truly happened the night her mother disappeared off …

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Stormbreak

*I received an ARC of Stormbreak by Natalie C. Parker through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “In this epic conclusion to the Seafire trilogy, which Booklist called “Mad Max by way of Davy Jones,” Caledonia Styx will risk everything–her heart, her crew, and even her life–to defeat Lir and …

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City of the Uncommon Thief

*I received an ARC of City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A dark and intricate fantasy, City of the Uncommon Thief is the story of a quarantined city gripped by fear and of the war that can free it. “Guilders …

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shine your icy crown

*I received an ARC of shine your icy crown by Amanda Lovelace through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “‘Make them rue the day they underestimated you.’ This is a story about not letting society dictate the limits of your potential. it’s time to take back your …

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Winterkeep

*I received an ARC of Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Something is rotten in the heart of Winterkeep… Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep …

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Crown of Bones

*I received an ARC of  Crown of Bones by A. K. Wilder through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Raise. Your. Phantom. For fans of epic fantasies and sweeping adventures, this ensemble cast will immerse you in a world of unique magic, breathtaking action and unforgettable characters. …

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When Sparks Fly

Title: When Sparks Fly

Author: Helena Hunting

Series: Standalone

Genre: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit

Pages: 320

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: ★★★★☆

*I received an ARC of When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.”

Review: Avery and Declan! So cute and so in denial. This was such a fun, short read that packed plenty of growth, romance, and chemistry. I honestly really enjoyed this and I loved seeing Avery and Declan grow and figure it all out. This was the perfect romance read for the summer, filled with a lighthearted, fluttery romance, but balanced with a deeper connection and growth.

If you love the friends-to-lovers trope then you’ll love When Sparks Fly. If you’re looking for a story that’s incredibly unique, this might not be what you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking for a cute romance that makes you bubbly inside and root for the OTP, then this is the one.

Cover: ★★★★☆

The Lost Manuscript

Title: The Lost Manuscript Author: Cathy Bonidan Series: Standalone Genre: Adult, Fiction, Romance Pages: 288 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received an ARC of The Lost Manuscript: A Novel by Cathy Bonidan through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Cathy Bonidan’s The Lost Manuscript is a charming …

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Lore

*I received an ARC of Lore by Alexandra Bracken through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption. Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past …

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The Camelot Betrayal

Title: The Camelot Betrayal Author: Kiersten White Series: Camelot Rising #2 Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Historical Fiction Publisher: Delacorte Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “The second book in a …

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A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse books Anthology

Title: A Universe of Wishes Author: Dhonielle Clayton (Editor), Samira Ahmed (Author), Libba Bray (Author), Zoraida Córdova (Author), Tessa Gratton (Author), Kwame Mbalia (Author), Anna-Marie McLemore (Author), Tochi Onyebuchi (Author), Mark Oshiro (Author), Natalie C. Parker (Author), Rebecca Roanhorse (Author), V.E. Schwab (Author), Tara Sim (Author), Nic Stone (Author) Series: Anthology, some short stories are connected to stories/series outside of this collection Genre: Anthology, Short Stories, Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Science Fiction, Romance, Retelling Pages: 416 Publisher: Random House Children’s …

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More Than We Bargained For

Title: More Than We Bargained For Author: Fiona West Series: Timber Falls #4 Genre: Romance, Contemporary Publisher: Tempest and Kite Publishing Rating: ★★★★★ Synopsis: ” Wanted: renter for rural Oregon mountain lodge. Single mom divorcees named Starla preferred. Starla Moore despises a mystery, and there’s no bigger mystery than Sawyer Devereaux. He comes into the …

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Pistouvi

Title: Pistouvi Author: Merwan, Bertrand Gatignol Series: Standalone Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Comic Book Pages: 192 Publisher: Magnetic Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Pistouvi by Merwan through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Jeanne is a little girl who lies with …

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The Thousandth Floor

Title: The Thousandth Floor

Author: Katherine McGee

Series: The Thousandth Floor #1

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Romance, Mystery

Pages: 448

Publisher: HarperCollins

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: “NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down…”

Review: Gossip Girl lovers, get ready. If you’re looking for drama, you’ll find plenty among characters of the The Thousandth Floor. The story starts with a scene of a girl falling to her death (I swear this isn’t a spoiler, it’s right at the start of the novel), and let’s just say I didn’t guess correctly because the plot is just so full of twists and turns.

If I’m being honest, drama doesn’t excite me, but I am the kind of person who likes to finish what she starts so I just couldn’t put this book down (curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back and all that). However, for anyone who wants to solve a mystery while following the crazy lives of those in a futuristic NYC, this is totally your book.

As a self-proclaimed romance lover, I love following characters as they discovered new relationships and more. The romance in this story is second to the craziness of the plot, but it’s still prevalent and fun to follow. However, if you’re picking up a book just to read a romance, maybe save this one for later.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and I can only imagine how crazy the rest of the series will be!

Cover: ★★★★★

Love & Olives

Title: Love & Olives Author: Jenna Evans Welch Series: Love & Gelato #3 Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction Pages: 352 Publisher: Simon Pulse Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the New York …

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A Golden Fury

*I received an ARC of A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: Set in eighteenth century England, Samantha Cohoe’s debut novel, A GOLDEN FURY (Wednesday Books; October 13, 2020), follows a young alchemist as she tries to save the people she …

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Breathless

*I received an ARC of Breathless by Jennifer Niven through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From Jennifer Niven, the New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places, comes an unforgettable new novel about a sensitive girl ready to live her bravest life–sex, heartbreak, family dramas, and all. …

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Secret Legacy

Title: Secret Legacy Author: Carissa Andrews Series: The Windhaven Witches #1 Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Suspense Pages: 289 Publisher: Author Revolution LLC Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received an ARC of Secret Legacy by Carissa Andrews through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Family Secrets Shrouded in Death. An …

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Somebody Give This Heart a Pen

Title: Somebody Give This Heart A Pen Author: Sophia Thakur Series: standalone Genre: Poetry, Young Adult, Romance, Empowerment, Relationship Pages: 112 Publisher: Candlewick Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A …

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The Four Profound Weaves

Title: The Four Profound Weaves Author: R.B. Lemberg Series: Birdverse Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, LGBTQ+ Pages: 192 Publisher: Tachyon Publications Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of  The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Wind: To match one’s body …

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Victories Greater Than Death

Title: Victories Greater Than Death

Author: Charlie Jane Anders

Series: Unstoppable #1

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi, LGBTQ+, Fantasy

Pages: 288

Publisher: Tor Teen

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*I received an copy of Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders from Tor Teen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis:Outsmart Your Enemies. Outrun the Galaxy.

Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’—she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She’s also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it’s going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina’s legacy, after all, is intergalactic—she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a human to give the universe another chance to defeat a terrible evil.

But when the beacon activates, it turns out that Tina’s destiny isn’t quite what she expected. Things are far more dangerous than she ever assumed. Luckily, Tina is surrounded by a crew she can trust, and her best friend Rachael, and she is still determined to save all the worlds. But first she’ll have to save herself.

Buckle up your seatbelt for this thrilling sci-fi adventure set against an intergalactic war from international bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders.

Review: If you’ve seen the books I’ve read, you’d notice there aren’t many science fictions novels among them. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy science fiction, but my standards for a good sci-fi is pretty high. Here’s what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy from this novel.

Enjoyed: The writing in the story is beautiful and complex, and the same applies to all the outer worlds and their people. As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of sci-fi novels, I often find myself drawn to the characters more than the plot, and the characters in this story don’t disappoint. They are such a diversely talented crew, each with their own backstory that makes them who they are.

Didn’t enjoy: This first point is unfair. I didn’t like the battle scenes, but I almost never do so if you’re someone who enjoys a good battle scene, please disregard my general distaste for battle scenes. I honestly found the plot a little predictable, and I don’t read enough sci-fi to have a huge library of sci-fi plot lines to guess form.

Despite all this, this is just the first book in the series, so I can’t wait to see what develops as the series progresses. I see a lot of potential for crazy adventures, romance, and more.

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • “You’re an artist. There is no greater valor than to create beauty where none existed.”
  • “People like a leader who tells, but they love a leader who asks.”

Wayward Witch

Title: Wayward Witch Author: Zoraida Córdova Series: Brooklyn Brujas #3 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal Pages: 384 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Rose Mortiz has always been a fixer, …

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Fable

Title: Fable Author: Adrienne Young Series: Fable #1 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Adventure Pages: 368 Publisher: Wednesday Books Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Fable by Adrienne Young through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, …

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Teen Titans: Beast Boy

Title: Teen Titans: Beast Boy Author: Kami Garcia Illustrator: Gabriel Picolo Series: Teen Titans #2 Genre: Young Adult, Comic, Graphic Novel, Superhero, Fantasy, DC Comics Pages: 208 Publisher: DC Ink Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo through Netgalley, but this in no way affected …

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Vicious Spirits

Title: Vicious Spirits Author: Kat Cho Series: Gumiho #2 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal Pages: 429 Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: …

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Entwined

Title: Entwined Author: A. J. Rosen Series: Entwined #1 Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Middle Grade Pages: 288 Publisher: Wattpad Books Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received an ARC of Entwined by A.J. Rosen through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Sometimes love gets a bit twisted.Avery Montgomery doesn’t even …

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Pillow Thoughts IV

Title: Pillow Thoughts IV Author: Courtney Peppernell Series: Pillow Thoughts #4 Genre: Poetry, Mental Health Pages: 288 Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received an ARC of Pillow Talks IV by Courtney Peppernell through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “The final installment in this bestselling series …

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Super Fake Love Song

Title: Super Fake Love Song

Author: David Yoon

Series: Standalone

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

Pages: 368

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Rating: ★★★★☆

*I received an ARC of Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon from Penguin Teen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis:From the bestselling author of Frankly in Love comes a contemporary YA rom-com where a case of mistaken identity kicks off a string of (fake) events that just may lead to (real) love.

When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom—with its electric guitars and rock posters—for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.

Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.

Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.

Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.

But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.”

Review: Book –> teen rom-com movie, it’s so easy to picture this becoming a classic coming of age rom-com. It’s hard not to compare this story to Frankly in Love, despite the fact that they aren’t part of a duology. However, I just connected more with Frankly in Love, so while this was a fun story to read, It didn’t evoke as many emotions.

While I actually found the plot a little too straight forward and stereotypical, it was still amazing to see asian characters in these traditionally American (and usually very white) rom-com roles. However typical I found the plot, just having the character be an Asian American, completely alters the way Sunny develops and grows and picks up on nuances of life that I never usually get to see reflected in these kinds of stories.

So while this story in and of itself hasn’t changed my life, it also has because it reflects the kind of change happening the world that allows me to read a story like this one.

If you’re looking for a classic rom-com with Asian American rep, filled with romance, teen drama, and an identity crisis, pick up Super Fake Love Song to follow’s Sunny’s story.

Cover: ★★★★★

The Love Scam

Title: The Love Scam Author: MaryJanice Davidson Series: Standalone Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, New Adult Pages: 320 Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5) *I received an ARC of The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A sweet and sassy …

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Rules for Visiting

Title: Rules for Visiting Author: Jessica Francis Kane Series: standalone Genre: Contemporary, Fiction Pages: 290 Publisher: Penguin Press Rating: ★★★★☆ Synopsis: “A beautifully observed and deeply funny novel of May Attaway, a university gardener who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year. At forty, May …

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Belle Révolte

Title: Belle Révolte Author: Linsey Miller Series: Standalone Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Romance Pages: 384 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the author of the Mask of Shadows duology comes a …

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The Tea Dragon Tapestry

Title: The Tea Dragon Tapestry Author: Katie O’Neill Series: Tea Dragon #3 Genre: Graphic Novel, Comic, Fantasy, Children’s, Middle Grade Pages: 128 Publisher: Oni Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Join Greta …

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Again Again

Title: Again Again Author: E. Lockhart Series: Standalone Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction Pages: 304 Publisher: Delacorte Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Again Again by E. Lockhart through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “In this novel full of surprises from the New …

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Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life

Title: Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life Author: Marie Kondo, Scott Sonenshein Series: Standalone Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help, Business Pages: 320 Publisher: Little, Brown Spark Rating: ★★★★☆ Synopsis: Marie Kondo, author of the worldwide #1 bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and organizational psychologist Scott Sonenshein team up to bring joy to work. The …

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