Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

30653853The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Published April 11th 2017

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

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I’d seen so much hype around this book and I was a little hesitant to pick it up because of that. I haven’t read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda so I wasn’t familiar with the author and didn’t know what to expect. I tried to not have a really high hopes going into this book but the hype definitely got to me.
I really loved how cute this book was. It was a great mix of fun, cute contemporary and dealing with serious issues. The main character, Molly, has anxiety and I really appreciated the representation. I personally felt like it was an accurate representation and it helped me relate to the main character a lot.
I loved the writing style. I think the writing is my favorite part about this book. There was just something about how Becky described everything that blew me away. It was so wonderfully written.
This is book is also really diverse (anxiety disorder, lots of PoC, LBGTQ) so that was pretty great.
The only thing that hindered me from giving this book 5 stars was the lack of emotional investment I had in The Upside of Unrequited. Even though I loved the writing and liked the characters, I couldn’t really become emotionally invested. I had a hard time loving Molly because the whole thing with her crushes was a little annoying to me. It felt repetitive and a lot like puppy love.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the writing style, diversity, and anxiety disorder representation. And even though I wasn’t completely emotionally invested in the characters, I still really liked them. If you’re looking for a great contemporary, I’d recommend The Upside of Unrequited.

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Review: One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

30658435One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

Published March 7th 2017

For readers of Mindy Kaling, Jenny Lawson and Roxane Gay, a debut collection of fierce and funny essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, “a land of ice and casual racism,” by the irreverent, hilarious cultural observer and incomparable rising star, Scaachi Koul.

In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of colour, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father’s creeping mortality–all as she tries to find her feet in the world.

With a clear eye and biting wit, Scaachi Koul explores the absurdity of a life steeped in misery. And through these intimate, wise and laugh-out-loud funny dispatches, a portrait of a bright new literary voice emerges.

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I’m so glad I picked this book up.
I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but this is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read. I loved it from the very first page and I never wanted to put it down. I thought it was incredibly funny and a few of the stories Scaachi told had me laughing out loud.
There was also a good deal of serious stories about Scaachi’s experiences as an Indian women with immigrant parents. I really appreciate the opportunity to read about Scaachi’s perspective and for her voice to be heard.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter is very unique and sincere. It’s one of the best books I’ve read and I absolutely loved it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to pick up a non-fiction read.

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Recommendation Friday

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This week I’ll be recommending a newfound favorite of mine.

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Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

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Making Faces has all the feels. I laughed, I cried, I had every emotion possible. This book has left a permanent imprint on my life.

The characters in this book are complex, well written, and each of them will teach you something.
Fern has bright red hair and was never highly favored in high school. She wasn’t outwardly pretty and she didn’t have a lot of friends besides her cousin, Bailey. Fern had some amazing character development even though it was subtle. She was an amazing character from the moment she was introduced so for her to have character development and become even better, I thought that was outstanding. Fern loves to read and write romance and there one poem she wrote towards the beginning of the book that has really stuck with me. It resonated with me very deeply and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Bailey is Fern’s cousin and best friend. He has muscle dystrophy, which is a disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle. For most of the book, Bailey is in a wheelchair and Fern cares of him and helps him a lot. There’s some flash back chapters so we get the chance to see how Bailey’s disease has affected his life and how it’s changed him as a person. Bailey is a one of a kind character. He’s extremely witty, caring, and is fully aware of his future. His voice in this novel is unique and I promise you’ll love him if you read this book.
Ambrose is a star athlete and he’s friends with Fern and Bailey. Ambrose doesn’t take a lot of notice of Fern and he’s caught up in his wrestling. His mother is near the towers during 9/11 and it’s not long after that he and his four best friends decide to enlist in the military. As the synopsis says, “five young men go off to war, and only one comes back”. Making Faces deals a lot with Ambrose’s PTSD, guilt, and pain. I felt like representation of Ambrose’s condition was very well done and much needed.

This book is nothing short of perfect. It’s complex, has outstanding characters, and diverse. Amy Harmon is such an incredible writer and even though I’ve only read two of her books, I’m so glad I have discovered her books. Both books that I’ve read have made a massive impact on my life and I’ll never forget them. Making Faces is a book that comes along once in a life time and I’m so glad I read it. I highly recommend reading Making Faces.

 

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #5

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday a weekly meme created and hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the goal is to come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. 

Book I have read

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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I’m blown away by how amazing this book is. I loved everything about this book. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a book and more.
From the first few pages of The Star-Touched Queen, I fell in love. The writing is so beautiful and poetic. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book with more beautiful writing.
The characters are so well written and the dialogue between Maya and Amar had me feeling all the feels. I could go on and on about Amar and how amazing he is. Seriously. He has a way with words.
I want to reread every scene with Maya and Amar every day. I want to make wallpaper out of their dialogue so I can look at it all the time. I just love them so much.  I read the whole book in one day and I’m so glad I have the sequel. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I kind of want to buy an ebook of it so I can take it with me everywhere and reread my favorite scenes.
I don’t often rave about a book to the point I’m annoying everyone around me but I can’t stop talking about The Star-Touched Queen. I highly recommend it.

Book on my TBR

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The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

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I’ve heard so many great things about The Girl from Everywhere and I bought a Kindle copy just a few days ago so I’m hoping to start it within a week or two. I believe it has pirate ships, a historical Hawaii setting, and time travel which sounds like an amazing combination.

Book releasing soon

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Expected publication: June 27th 2017

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I’ve only seen 4 and 5 star reviews for this book and I’m very curious to read it for myself. I’m always on the hunt for historical fiction because I feel like I don’t read the genre very much, even though I really enjoy it. I’ve heard that it’s really funny and has a lot of diversity so I’m really excited to read it.

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Review: Ida by Alison Evans

30720860Ida by Alison Evans

Published January 1st 2017

How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

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I have some mixed feeling about this book.
The synopsis sounded amazing but the actual plot is kind of confusing. I really paid close attention, thinking I wasn’t reading it well enough, but it was just confusing to me. I don’t know if it’s just me or others have had the same problem but I just couldn’t follow along with the plot.
I loved the diversity of the characters. There was a lot of different aspects of diversity in this book and I thought that was pretty great. However, I couldn’t connect with the characters because the writing style is so plain and even a little emotionless at times.
I really wanted to love this book because it’s so diverse but in the end, it just wasn’t as good as it could have been. If you’re looking for a super diverse read, I’d say take a chance and pick Ida up. But this isn’t the highest quality of writing I’ve read.

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Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

25203675The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Published April 26th 2016

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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Where has this book been all my life?

I’ve had this book for about three months and I was always meaning to read it but it just got put off for one reason or another. The publisher sent me an early copy of the sequel, A Crown of Wishes, so I took that as a sign that I should finally read The Star-Touched Queen. I’m so glad I picked this book up.
I’m blown away by how amazing this book is. I loved everything about this book. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a book and more.
From the first few pages of The Star-Touched Queen, I fell in love. The writing is so beautiful and poetic. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book with more beautiful writing.
The characters are so well written and the dialogue between Maya and Amar had me feeling all the feels. I could go on and on about Amar and how amazing he is. Seriously. He has a way with words.
I want to reread every scene with Maya and Amar every day. I want to make wallpaper out of their dialogue so I can look at it all the time. I just love them so much.

Overall, there’s nothing about The Star-Touched Queen that I didn’t love. I read the whole book in one day and I’m so glad I have the sequel. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I kind of want to buy an ebook of it so I can take it with me everywhere and reread my favorite scenes.
I don’t often rave about a book to the point I’m annoying everyone around me but I can’t stop talking about The Star-Touched Queen. I highly recommend it.

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Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

27237358Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Published October 12th 2013

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

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Dig my grave because this book killed me.

I read one of Amy’s other books, The Bird and the Sword last year and it became a favorite of mine right away. Like, I read The Bird and the Sword three times in a month. I’m obsessed with that book.
I was hesitant to pick up another book by Amy because I didn’t want to hype myself up so much that I let myself down. The Bird and the Sword is very big shoes to fill and I didn’t want to be disappointed because I got my expectations sky high. However, I shouldn’t have siked myself out. Making Faces is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Making Faces has all the feels. I laughed, I cried, I had every emotion possible. This book has left a permanent imprint on my life.

The characters in this book are complex, well written, and each of them will teach you something.
Fern has bright red hair and was never highly favored in high school. She wasn’t outwardly pretty and she didn’t have a lot of friends besides her cousin, Bailey. Fern had some amazing character development even though it was subtle. She was an amazing character from the moment she was introduced so for her to have character development and become even better, I thought that was outstanding. Fern loves to read and write romance and there one poem she wrote towards the beginning of the book that has really stuck with me. It resonated with me very deeply and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Bailey is Fern’s cousin and best friend. He has muscle dystrophy, which is a disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle. For most of the book, Bailey is in a wheelchair and Fern cares of him and helps him a lot. There’s some flash back chapters so we get the chance to see how Bailey’s disease has affected his life and how it’s changed him as a person. Bailey is a one of a kind character. He’s extremely witty, caring, and is fully aware of his future. His voice in this novel is unique and I promise you’ll love him if you read this book.
Ambrose is a star athlete and he’s friends with Fern and Bailey. Ambrose doesn’t take a lot of notice of Fern and he’s caught up in his wrestling. His mother is near the towers during 9/11 and it’s not long after that he and his four best friends decide to enlist in the military. As the
synopsis says, “five young men go off to war, and only one comes back”. Making Faces deals a lot with Ambrose’s PTSD, guilt, and pain. I felt like representation of Ambrose’s condition was very well done and much needed.

Overall, this book is nothing short of perfect. It’s complex, has outstanding characters, and diverse. Amy Harmon is such an incredible writer and even though I’ve only read two of her books, I’m so glad I have discovered her books. Both books that I’ve read have made a massive impact on my life and I’ll never forget them. Making Faces is a book that comes along once in a life time and I’m so glad I read it. I highly recommend reading Making Faces.

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Review: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

29960675Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Expected publication: September 5th 2017

Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

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The synopsis for Mask of Shadows says “perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo”. I think whoever wrote that set this book up to fail in comparison to those two writer’s books. Comparing a book to the likes of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo is a very bold claim and I feel like because of that claim and the epic sounding synopsis, I was let down by this book.

The plot is kind of boring and unoriginal. It felt a lot like The Hunger Games and by a lot, I mean almost an exact copy. I’m not really into reading books that are very similar so the plot really wasn’t for me.
I liked the writing. It wasn’t Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo level but I liked it. It felt like the writing of a debut novel but I think there’s a lot of potential for the author.
The diversity in the main character is what held this book together for me. I’d never read about a gender fluid character before and to be honest, I don’t know a lot about gender fluidity. I was very interested to learn about Sal and see a new perspective. If the main character wasn’t diverse, this would be a two star book for me.

Overall, Mask of Shadows was okay. I liked it for the most part but whenever I think about this book being compared to Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, I roll my eyes. That line is clearly a marketing ploy and shouldn’t be taken seriously. If you don’t mind books having similar plots, you might really like this book. Or if you’re on the hunt for a gender fluid character, Mask of Shadows would be a good one to pick up. But, if you’re looking for amazing writing and an original plot, you’ll want to skip this book.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #4

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday a weekly meme created and hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the goal is to come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. 

Book I have read

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Look Both Ways by Alison Cherry

LBGTQ characters

The story of a girl hoping she’s found a place to belong . . . only to learn that neither talent nor love is as straightforward as she thinks.

A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don’t know anything about her or her family of superstar performers.

Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into something more. Brooklyn wants to see herself as someone who’s open to everything and everyone, but as her feelings for Zoe intensify, so do her doubts. She’s happier than she’s ever been—but is it because of her new relationship? Or is it because she’s finally discovering who she wants to be?

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Looking Both Ways was definitely one of the best books I’ve read in 2016.
The plot was amazing and so different from any book I’ve read before.
I loved the setting of a summer theater camp and I really liked seeing how all the characters were very different from each other but they all had one thing in common, they loved theater.
I loved how the story focused on Brooklyn and her self discovery. She was so well written and I loved her character development.

Book on my TBR

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Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron

In this diverse, gritty survival fantasy, a girl warrior turns against her island clan to find the brother they claim died, uncovering secrets. Perfect for fans of Graceling and Snow Like Ashes.

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.

On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.

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I received a copy of Island of Exiles from the publisher a few weeks ago and I’m really pumped to pick it up soon. It says right in the synopsis that it’s diverse and I thought that was pretty cool.

Book releasing soon

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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

Expected publication: May 16th 2017

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Flame in the Mist is one of my most anticipated books of 2017. It sounds amazing and even though I haven’t read  The Wrath & the Dawn, I’ve heard a lot of positive things about it.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday a weekly meme created and hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the goal is to come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. 

I had so much fun writing last week’s Diversity Spotlight and I’m even more excited about this week’s post.

Book I have read

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City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

POC main character

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

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A diverse YA thriller set in Kenya? SIGN ME UP.

I loved this book so much. It was fast paced, had amazing writing, and complex characters.
This book grabbed me from the very first line and never let me go. I was so hooked and I never wanted to put this book down.
I really loved the concept of City of Saints and Thieves. It was unlike anything I’ve read before and was so exciting. It’s rare that a book will keep me reading past 10pm but I was reading this book until midnight. The writing style was wonderful. City of Saints and Thieves is one of the best written books that I’ve read in a long time.
I loved the characters, especially Tina. She was so fierce and has a ton of character development. Her determination was inspiring.
Overall, I loved this book so much. It was such a wild ride and I never wanted it to end. This book has everything. Diversity, character development, an amazing setting, a great cast of characters, and a thrilling plot. I can’t think of one bad thing about City of Saints and Thieves and I can’t  recommend it enough.

Book on my TBR

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I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

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I’ve had this book on my TBR for a little over a year now. I really wanted to read it but it wasn’t until recently that I started to take a real interest in non-fiction. I’ve seen a few people say that this book has a really cool look at Pakistani culture and I love being able to read about places I’ve never been, learn about cultures that are different from my own,  and see new perspectives. I have a feeling that I Am Malala will teach me a lot.

Book releasing soon

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

POC main characters

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Expected publication: March 7th 2017

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I don’t know if it’s cheating for me to pick The Bone Witch for my book releasing soon because I’ve already read it but the other books I wanted to choose are all releasing in the fall. But I really enjoyed The Bone Witch even though it was a little confusing at times.  loved the writing style and concept so much. Everything seemed very well thought out and very detailed. I really liked the alternating narratives and the world building was really cool. There is some info dumping here and there but it wasn’t terrible. I really liked all of the characters. They were all well written and developed.

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