Self/Made #1: The Final Contradiction by Mat Groom (Writer), Eduardo Ferigato, Marcelo Costa (Arist/Cover)

I went into Self/Made unaware of what it was about. The name caught my eye in the email I received from Image Comics and I thought to check it out because “why not”? That was a great decision because it turned out to be a great read from start to finish.

From the art style to the story telling, the team behind this comic is going to be one to follow because what they’ve crafted has got me hooked.

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Self/Made #1: The Final Contradiction

Published: 5 December 2018

Publisher: Image Comics

Introducing a new creative team everyone will be talking about—superstar talent writer MAT GROOM and artist EDUARDO FERIGATO. When chaos besieges the kingdom of Arcadia, warrior Amala Citlali sees it as her chance to escape her clearly-defined role—and to change her destiny. But she could never have predicted that it would also be her chance to confront her God. In his debut editorial role, comics veteran KYLE HIGGINS guides this intimate, worlds-spanning story of self-discovery.

Rating: 5 Stars

The concept of a character seeking to escape their role in life is a common enough one, but seeing the unique take that different creators bring to that idea is what makes reading fun. Mathew Groom is no exception, as his main character Amala surely finds out in this first issue. Where she starts is no where near to where she finds herself at the end. I can’t say too much about it because it would be incredibly spoiler-y, but it’s a JOURNEY.

There’s a lot to tackle, from figuring out one’s role to when you should speak up, especially in the face of oncoming danger. Some moral questions coming into play: would you change the outcome of a situation if you had the power to do so? Should you if you have that kind of ability? And just what does it mean to exist?

Issue two cannot come soon enough because Self/Made #1 has a doozy of a cliffhanger.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from Image Comics in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.
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A Rockstar Book Tour Double Cover Reveal & Excerpt Blitz: WITHER & WAYWARD by Jadie Jones

Today Jadie Jones, author of Moonlit & Windswept, The Parliament House, and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive content for WITHER & WAYWARD, the prequel and book 3 of her Young Adult Time Travel Fantasy Romance series which both release in 2019. Check out the awesome covers and enter the giveaway!

Time for the reveals!

 

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Title: WITHER (The Hightower Trilogy 0.5)
Author: Jadie Jones
Pub. Date: 2019
Publisher: The Parliament House
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads

For nearly a thousand years, Lucas, an immortal shapeshifter, has waited for Spera, his murdered human lover, to reincarnate. He has no way of knowing when or where she will return, or if she will even look the same in her new life. He must rely on his ability to recognize the actions of her fiery soul and her knack for attracting a killer king’s attention.

After his search leads him to a quiet Norwegian harbor town, a surreal encounter with his own kind leads to devastating consequences, causing Lucas to question his belief in himself and his quest. With his will and options quickly fading, Lucas is offered help from an old enemy who claims to have knowledge of Spera’s return. But it comes at a price: the assassination of the immortal king who took Spera’s life.

With an army raised and a strategy in place, Lucas is ready to attack, until the sudden appearance of a ghost from his past appears, forcing Lucas to take an even bigger risk than attempting to kill a malicious king…letting him live.

 

WITHER – Prequel to the Hightower Trilogy

Excerpt

 

Spera’s amber eyes appear first, burning two holes in the dark of my sleeping mind. She’s inches from my face, but she doesn’t see me. No matter how many times this happens, the utter lack of recognition is a knife in my chest.

“Spera,” I hear my voice rasp, her name echoing in my skull as she turns away, her black hair blending into the night that surrounds her.

Another dream. Always the same. Chasing this dead woman through the dark.

I know how it will end: I’ll wake up calling for her, begging her to stop, to turn around, to give me any sign she knows I’m there. She won’t. She never does. But I have to follow her. The ache in my chest grows deeper the farther she goes from me. So, I follow after her, Spera navigating shadows like a ship through still water. I follow in her wake, always trailing, always two steps behind. She startles me by breaking into a run.
She’s never run before. Her bare foot touches the ground, and the black surface turns white. In an instant, snow is falling, blanketing the ground at an incredible rate and speckling her hair with tiny white dots. Another step, and the world around us pulses as the snow gives way to the greens and browns of a forest, trees thick as houses. Another step and the shadows return. The side of her face appears. Her lips part and air rushes out. Her elbows pump as she strides faster, harder.

“Wait!” I bolt after her. My conscious wrestles with the dream, threatening to roust me from this place. My focus clings to the outline of her bare shoulders, to the glint of light from sources unknown playing off her dancing hair. I want to stay where I can see her.

Before my eyes, the color of her hair shifts from black to brown, and then to red. The length shortens, and then spills long down her back again, now changing to blonde.

“Spera! It’s me! It’s Lucas! What’s happening to you? What does this mean? Let me help you!” I cry out.

She veers hard to the left and a ray of light pierces the dark, illuminating her side. She runs toward it. Her image is reduced to an outline as she eclipses the glow. I scramble to keep up. We turn again and the light fades, revealing an inky blue backdrop. The ground turns cool and damp on my bare feet. A roar grows overhead. The scent of salt fills my nose. The sensations are so vivid I have to remind myself I’m asleep.

I force my gaze away from her for a moment and look up at the blue walls, which quiver with instability. Water. We’re standing between two bodies of water that stretch so high I can’t discern where the water ends and the sky begins. A single bead of ocean water trickles down the left side to the black sand at my feet and my heart begins to pound.

 

 

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Title: WAYWARD (The Hightower Trilogy #3)
Author: Jadie Jones
Pub. Date: 2019
Publisher: The Parliament House
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads

Tanzy’s journey races toward an explosive end in Wayward, the third book of the
Hightower Trilogy.

Tanzy Hightower has crossed the veil between the Seen and Unseen worlds. She is now
the only mortal in a land teeming with creatures who want her dead. To stay alive long enough to stop Asher and seal the door between worlds, she is forced to accept his marriage proposal and seek refuge inside his fortress. Tanzy is certain she can withstand any offers he makes to tempt her into opening the door, but he possesses a bargaining chip she could never have imagined.

On the Seen side of the veil, Tanzy’s allies are fragmented, lost, and leaderless. They must learn to work together as they gather more candidates and begin training to defend their world against unfathomable predators poised to strike should the veil holding them at bay dissolve. While Tanzy has accepted her own inevitable death in fulfilling her destiny, her closest friends refuse to stop searching for the impossible: a way to save Tanzy’s life.

A choice will be made. The veil will change. The worlds as Tanzy knows them will never be the same.

 

WAYWARD – Book 3 in the Hightower Trilogy

Excerpt

 

(Told from Tanzy’s point of view)

Asher’s realm stretches in front of me: a diamond tundra, the air a series of rainbows as light is refracted from the prismatic ground and reflected a million times over. The sight is impossible, glorious, breathtaking…

But my mind, my focus, my every nerve ending is centered on what—on who—is behind me; the king of this realm—Asher. His breath warms the base of my neck, and the heat from his body is near enough to send shivers up my spine. He baited me into a third kill by sending a phony candidate to attack Jayce. Jayce—who fought for me, and fought like hell for the truth—always the truth. Jayce, who might be dead, whose blood covered Reese’s shirt when she was forced through the veil with me after I killed Genesis.

In this moment, I have two truths: One—I must kill Asher, even though I have no idea how. Two—if I lose ground to Asher, I will not regain it.

My body explodes into motion. My heel aims for the dip between his thigh and his knee. Asher is faster, dropping his leg back. My momentum carries me too far forward. I stumble sideways and brace for the blow I’ve left myself open to receive.

It doesn’t come.

I fight the urge to back away. I can’t run from him—there’s no point, and I swore I would never again back down in his presence. A stupid oath, in hindsight, but it sounded good at the time, and I am roughly ninety-five percent certain he won’t kill me here and now. I also vowed to live long enough to seal the veil between our two worlds. In this moment, with that five percent feeling bigger by the second, I’m not sure I can keep both promises.

In white linen pants and a fitted t-shirt, Asher doesn’t look dressed for a fight. He puts his hands in his pockets and saunters closer, a smile on his white lips, sunlight gleaming in his black hair. “We both know you can’t kill me on my side of the veil, Tanzy. And if I wanted you dead, I’d simply leave you for the Taigo,” he says. “Any of them would be very eager to collect the bounty their leader has placed on your head.”

“I’m an Unseen now. No one can kill me here but you,” I retort, clenching my hands so he won’t see them tremble. I wonder if they’re still stained with Genesis’s blood.

Asher’s brow lifts in amusement at my misinformation. “You’re not Unseen. You are very capable of dying.”

 

Grab book 1 WILDWOOD!
Grab book 2 WINDSWEPT!   

 

About Jadie:

Jadie
Young-adult author. Equine professional. Southern gal. Pacific Northwest Transplant. Especially fond of family, sunlight, and cookie dough.​​

I wrote my first book in seventh grade, filling one hundred and four pages of a black and white Mead notebook. Back then I lived for two things: horses and R.L. Stine books. Fast forward nearly twenty years, and I still work with horses, and hoard books like most women my age collect shoes. It’s amazing how much changes… and how much
stays the same.

​The dream of publishing a novel has hitch-hiked with me down every other path I’ve taken (and there have been many.) Waitress, farm manager, road manager, bank teller, speech writer, retail, and more. But that need to bring pen to paper refused to
quiet. Finally, in 2009, I sat down, pulled out a brand new notebook, and once
again let the pictures in my head become words on paper.

​As a child, my grandfather would sit me in his lap and weave tales about the Cherokee nation, and a girl who belonged with horses. His words painted a whole new world, and my mind would take flight. My hope – my dream – is that Tanzy’s journey does the same
for you.

 

Website | Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest| Facebook| Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details

One lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (Open INT)

 

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

A Rockstar Book Tour: Protecting the Wolf’s Mate by Sasha Summers – An Excerpt & Giveaway!

Fans of Sasha Summers’ Blood Moon Brotherhood series will be excited to learn that the newest entry in the series debuted earlier this week. Protecting the Wolf’s Mate tells the story of Ellen, her quest for vengeance, and an irresistible connection to Hollis, the man who rescued her from a maniacal captor and who her wolf calls to as a mate.

Rockstar Book Tours is running a fantastic tour with excerpts, reviews, and a giveaway (open INT) where one winner can win an Amazon gift card. Please be sure to check out not only the excerpt below, but all the tour stops on the Protecting the Wolf’s Mate tour.

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Protecting the Wolf’s Mate by Sasha Summers

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | iBooks

Published: 22 October 2018

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Covet)

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 346

Category: Romance

Ellen has one goal: vengeance. With little memory of her life before her imprisonment by a maniacal werewolf, her world has been full of pain, humiliation, and fear. But now that she’s been rescued, her need for revenge is challenged by the urge to be part of a pack… and the unshakable connection to, Hollis, the man her wolf claims as their mate.
Hollis will do whatever it takes to protect his pack, and that includes looking after Ellen, who doesn’t need or want his help. He’s determined to keep her safe, even though she’s hell-bent on revenge, even if that means sacrificing himself. And it might come to that when the big bad comes back for the one woman he can’t live without.

 

Excerpt

 

“What about your instinct, Hollis? The pull inside? You feel it, science or instinct, call it what you will.”

For an instant, he leaned into her hand, surprising them both.

“Go run.” He stepped away from her, the edge to his voice unmistakable. “I’ll follow.”

She lingered, staring at him, tempted to argue. But her wolf was done with arguing.

The change was quick. Years of practice eased each bone realignment, muscle dislocation, and shifting of internal organs. Giving in made all the difference. Anticipating, being fearful or timid, turned a perfectly natural event into something painful and traumatic. When her skin was covered with a thick grey coat and her claws sank into the ground beneath her feet, she stretched. It was so good.

“You make that look so damn easy,” he murmured.

She rubbed against him, throwing her full weight against his thighs and almost knocking him to the ground. He laughed, pushing her off of him.

She grabbed the waist of his pants with her teeth and tugged, hoping he’d follow her.

“I’m coming,” he mumbled, still smiling.

 

About the Author

 

Sasha

 

Sasha Summers grew up surrounded by books. Her passions have always been storytelling, romance and travel–passions she’s used to write more than 20 romance novels and novellas. Now a best-selling and award winning-author, Sasha continues to fall a little in love with each hero she writes.
From easy-on-the-eyes cowboy, sexy alpha-male werewolves, to heroes of truly mythic proportions, she believes that everyone should have their happy ending–in fiction and real life.

Sasha lives in the suburbs of the Texas Hill country with her amazing and supportive family and her beloved grumpy cat, Gerard, The Feline Overlord. She looks forward to hearing from fans and hopes you’ll visit her online.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

1 Winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card (open INT)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Schedule

 

10/22/2018- Texan Holly Reads– Excerpt

10/22/2018- BookHounds– Excerpt

10/23/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

10/23/2018- Parajunkee– Spotlight

10/24/2018- Reese’s Reviews– Review

10/24/2018- The Hermit Librarian– Spotlight

10/25/2018- Cathy’s World– Review

10/25/2018- Jaime’s World– Excerpt

10/26/2018- Don’t Judge, read– Review

10/26/2018- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Review

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

A Rockstar Book Tour: Successor by Rae Miles – An Excerpt & Giveaway!

A striking cover, an intriguing story. Rae Miles’ Successor, out today, catches the attention of anyone who’s eye lands upon it. Today, courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours, I’m pleased to present an excerpt from this new novel as well as a link to a Rafflecopter giveaway for US entrants to win a copy of Successor, plus swag handmade by the author!

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AmazonBarnes & Noble | Book DepositoryGoodreads | iBooksIndiebound

Published: 24 October 2018

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Formats: Paperback, e-book

For seventeen-year-old Evan, graduation means the freedom to leave behind her small-town life and find where she belongs. She never expected it to be in a different world.

Across time and space, deep in a mysterious jungle, Evan discovers the hidden heritage of her mother’s people and her own legacy. She becomes their elemental, a protector gifted with the power to control nature. The role has its challenges, but the biggest is the inexplicable connection with her scarred bodyguard, Ren. Frustrated and fascinated by him, Evan resists the magnetic pull after realizing there’s more to it than simple attraction.

Claiming her birthright reignites the wrath of a ruthless enemy with a score to settle. To protect her new family, Evan will need to call on her formidable power. But embracing it could cause her to lose herself and the man who holds her heart.

Finding out about powers you never knew you had is one of my favorite story lines. It sounds like Evan is going to have a lot to learn, not to mention a love interest in the picture. In the excerpt I’ve chosen for my post, there’s a hint of danger, tension, and a glimmer of what may be the spark between Evan and Ren, her bodyguard. Will he be the person that Evan falls in love with or will something else happens further along in the story? What lead them to be in this frightful situation?

Successor is out today, so be sure to pick up your own copy to find out.

Excerpt

 

Panic swells in my chest. I can’t pull myself up. I do the one thing I can think of.

“Ren!”

Within seconds he’s there, lying on his stomach and reaching down to me. He snags my wrist, tugs my hand free of the roots, and pulls. “Climb!”

My feet dig into the soft earth, and I claw at the roots as he helps me toward the top. My knees and feet find purchase on the wood snarls, and my free hand sinks into the long grass at the edge of the pit. Ren pulls his knees under him for leverage, and with a hard yank he hauls me above ground. I tumble into him, and we topple to the ground in a heap of dirty limbs.

Several dazed seconds pass before I realize I’ve fallen on top of him. I’m lying flush against his bare chest, my face against his damp neck. The unexpected contact makes me jump, and I start to raise myself off him. He grasps my arms and pushes up…and stops with my face right in front of his. Like, right there.

My breath catches, and his gaze locks on mine. My lungs stutter back into gear with a noisy wheeze, my breath fanning his face. He stills, his eyes flaring wide and his stomach turning rigid. His hold on my arms tightens, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s holding me in place instead of pushing me away.

 

About the Author

 

Rae

 

I’m super excited to talk with readers and answer any questions you might have. My debut, Successor, is scheduled to release on 10/24/18, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

A little about me. I love reading, especially romance. I’m one of those people who needs a least a little bit of romance in a story for it to really catch my attention. I also love YA, and probably have more favorite authors in the genre than in romance.

When I’m not writing or reading, I’m usually watching movies–I have probably 800+ in my collection by now. I’ve recently gotten into painting, which I’m quickly falling in love with. I tend to be a bit crafty, so if I’m doing a giveaway, chances some of my handmade items will be included! I’m almost always listening to music, and my tastes are pretty eclectic. I also have 3 cats, which Successor is actually dedicated to!

That’s enough about me for now. I’d love to hear from you! I can also be found on twitter and on my website.

 

Website | Twitter |  Goodreads

 

Giveaway

 

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of SUCCESSOR and handmade swag from Rae

(US ONLY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Swag

 

Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/15/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Excerpt

10/15/2018-Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

10/16/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

10/16/2018- Parajunkee– Spotlight

10/17/2018- Books,Dreams,Life– Spotlight

10/18/2018- Reese’s Reviews– Review

10/18/2018- For the Love of KidLit– Interview

10/19/2018- Jaime’s World– Excerpt

Week Two:

10/22/2018- Oh Hey! Books. Interview

10/22/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Excerpt

10/23/2018- TMBA Corbett Tries to Write– Interview

10/23/2018- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

10/24/2018- The Hermit Librarian– Excerpt

10/25/2018- Rockin’ Book Reviews– Spotlight

10/26/2018- Ace Reads– Excerpt

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Top Ten Tuesday: Villains

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Heroes are often the main star of the book, the person we’re following throughout the literary journey. While that’s all well and good, there’s someone else to consider: the villain, whether that’s an actual villain, an anti-hero, or a so-called villain when the hero is not quite who they seem to be, despite what the narrative would tell us.

This week’s TTT topic is about our favorite villains and I’m expanding that a wee bit to also include anti-heroes and ambiguous characters that might not quite fit the mold of villain but also aren’t heroes in the traditional sense.

I’ll also be abbreviating my list a bit, so please forgive the shortness.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Upcoming topics and past TTT topics can be found here.

 


 

AIDAN (The Illuminae Files)

 

While AIDAN might be viewed as a villain in Illuminae due to some of the actions it takes, I’d hesitate to call AIDAN an out and out villain. As the book and series progresses, that line blurs and AIDAN’s evolution make it hard to distinguish just what or who AIDAN is. I loved reading AIDAN’s thought processes and look forward to rereading this series at some point so I can revisit this fascinating character.

 

Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows duology)

 

Kaz would be the first person to tell you that he’s no hero. An anti-hero, perhaps? Whatever he is, his machinations were so much fun to watch unfold in the Six of Crows duology.

 

Xifeng (Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Rise of the Empress #1)

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Xifeng, an East Asian inspired Evil Queen, is given an origin story in Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. Reading about her history, about the reasons she becomes who she’s destined to be, deepened her character and I’m not sure what it’s going to be like in the next book in the series. Growing up thinking there’s one version of the Evil Queen, even knowing what Xifeng did as a young woman to get to where she was at the end of this book, there’s a level of understanding that I didn’t have before. I loved finding a new history, even if the execution of the novel wasn’t my favorite.

 

Victor Vale (Vicious, Villains #1)

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Is Victor a villain? That depends on who you ask, I think. Eli would certainly think so. Of course, others would claim that Eli’s a villain, especially considering his actions in Vicious. Victor does some things that are questionable, that’s for sure. If we’re talking a sliding scale, he’s probably on the slippery slope toward Villainy and I think I’m okay with that because it’s a weird kind of justifiable villainy. Does that make sense? *lol*

 

Joe Goldberg (You, You #1)

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Oh yeah, Joe’s a villain through and through. A no questions to be had about it bad guy. Stalker, murderer, etc. He probably wouldn’t agree with that assessment, but that’s not the point. The interesting thing about the book is that it’s told from his perspective and because of that method, and because of the genuine horribleness of the other people we come into contact with, the reader actually comes to sympathize with Joe. It was such a conflicting book to read, knowing that the narrator was such a terrible person at his core, but also agreeing with some of his points of view. The author was very skilled at her craft in this instance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2) by Mackenzie Lee

It’s been about ten months since I left off with the Montague siblings in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzie Lee’s novel featuring Henry “Monty” Montague and Percy Newton, with Felicity along as well. While Monty was fine and I liked Percy immensely, I was curious to hear more about Felicity. I had questions and she intrigued me. Now, in The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, there’s far more perspective given not only to her, but to two new female companions as well.

 

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Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound

Published: 2 October 2018

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Category: Historical Fiction/Young Adult/LGBT+

In this highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor—even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it. A must-have for fans of Mackenzi Lee’s extraordinary and Stonewall Honor-winning novel.

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

Rating: 4 Stars

CW: (highlight to reveal content warnings) derogatory slur against African people/directed at an African woman, homophobia, potentially aro/acephobic comments

 

The adventure that Felicity, Sim, and Johanna engage upon across Europe and Africa was intense. It was thrilling and felt like it could have bordered on madcap, but there was usually a reason to their journey, even if it was sometimes a somewhat reaching one. Whenever an obstacle appeared in their path, whether it be a poisoned injury or a dastardly man that wanted to ship them back to England, they fought with what abilities and tools were available to them to fight their way forward.

It was frustrating to read at times because there was, of course, the historical sentiment that women couldn’t do things that men could and the sexism that was dripping from many encounters was, frankly, uncomfortable at times. The frustration that Felicity felt, Johanna’s upset, and Sim’s discomfort, all of these feelings were realistic to the time, but worse still is that they’re relatable to current times because similar attitudes remain in various arenas to this day.

An angle that I thought interesting was when Johanna, at the beginning an estranged friend of Felicity’s, confronted her about why it was they’d become uncommunicative. As children they’d enjoyed similar pursuits, ones deemed unsuitable for their sex, but as they got older Johanna came to like more “traditional” things: dresses, cosmetics, ribbons. Felicity, on the other hand…

 

You refused to let me—or anyone!—like books and silks. Outdoors and cosmetics. You stopped taking me seriously when I stopped being the kind of woman you thought I had to be to be considered intelligent and strong.

 

Felicity really needed a strong talking to because she had this pigheadedness about what she thought was right and wrong, about how to be taken seriously and how to present herself. She thought that in order to get what she wanted, she had to be one way and that was the only way for anyone to be and that Johanna had betrayed her by enjoying feminine pursuits. Johanna disproves this several times and really lays into her in a scene that I cheered for:

 

You’re not better than any other woman because you like philosophy better than parties and don’t give a fig about the company of gentlemen, or because you wear boots instead of heels and don’t set your hair in curls.

 

The same or similar could be said about people in literary circles who have notions of superiority because they read only non-fiction and look down on people who read young adult fiction or romance novels. That’s ridiculous and I’d like to see Johanna have at them.

Johanna was so much fun to have around. She loved her dog, Max, quite a lot and at one point, when trying to run away, would’ve taken him with her if she could’ve managed it (he’s quite large so it didn’t, sadly, but he’s okay!). She’s a multilayered young person, as she proves to Felicity and while she shouldn’t have had to prove a damn thing, I think knowing her will be a good thing because she’s living proof that you can have multiple and varied interests, even if your friends don’t quite understand them. That’s fine! You don’t have to! So long as you’re not a serial killer or anything, right?

Sim, an African Muslim young woman that Felicity makes the acquaintance of over the course of the story, was an admirable person. She was dealing with some of the same problems that Felicity and Johanna were (because they were women) and she wanted to inherit her father’s holdings, but in the time they spent in Europe, she was also dealing with the prejudices and racist confrontations that came of being African.

Felicity acknowledged this in a very surface level way, so ick in that respect, but in regards to Sim: she was strong and despite the times, knew what she was about. She knew what she had to do, knew what she was against, and what she might have to give up in the end. When she had choices to make regarding personal satisfaction or familial duty, Sim was someone to admire because her convictions were her own, despite the difficulty she might have had in solidifying them.

It was fun to see Monty and Percy again. I liked Monty much more this time around, partly I think because he was a side character and thus I got him in much smaller doses. The scenes that he and Percy shared were lovely and it enabled the reader to get a good sense of the sweet relationship they shared. It felt like it had been going well. They might not be rich or anything, but even so, they were happy. One point of evidence was Monty constantly wearing a hat that Percy knit for him.

 

“That hat is idiotic.” “I know,” he says. “Percy made it for me.” “I didn’t know Percy knew how to knit.” “He doesn’t,” Monty replies, and the brim of the hat falls into his eyes as though in emphasis.

 

The slight counterpoint to the sweetness of Monty and Percy is Felicity’s continuing homophobic commentary toward them, primarily inward as it is.

Considering the time period and the notions she’ll have had drilled into her head all her life, coming around to the idea of her brother being gay may have taken time. She admits herself that it did and yet it feels like, taking into account the time that has passed since the last book, that more growth would have taken place on Felicity’s part.  Calling relationships such as Monty’s & Percy’s perverse more than once was upsetting and I just couldn’t understand her, after all things.

There was a moment in the book as well that while I might get in the historical sense didn’t settle well with me and it’s the one I labeled potentially ace/aro-phobic. Sim, an African Muslim woman that Felicity meets in the beginning of the book and travels with, talks with her about relationships and whether Felicity might settle one day, particularly comment along the line of: how do you know? You just haven’t found the right one yet. Have you at least kissed someone? Those are lines that ace/aro people might find familiar and uncomfortable.

On the bright side, there were DRAGONS in the book. Far too few for my taste, but they were there. It was not something I expected to see and it was interesting to see the different ways they were viewed between Felicity/Johanna and Sim/her people. There were differing points of view regarding this discovery (new/not new, share/not share) and from a hindsight perspective, there was a sense of dread, knowing how those sorts of “discussions” would play out. Nobility of intentions, hypocrisy, there were so many angles to bring up that that portion of the book along would take up an hour long book club discussion and still not be finished.

The Montague siblings are, I think, not finished in their adventures, not by half. I wonder where their next voyage will take them.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.
All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

 

 

 

The Resolutions by M. Garcia Spotlight & Giveaway

Every New Year’s Eve the question of resolutions comes up. What kind of intentions do we want to set for ourselves as the calendar switches and the slate wipes clean? What if, though, the tables were flipped and our friends were the ones choosing those resolutions instead? Mia Garcia poses that situation for Jess, Ryan, Nora, and Lee, the main characters of her new novel, The Resolutions.

Senior year can be difficult and Jess wants to find security in returning to something comforting, like the tradition of the resolutions her friend group made…with a twist: making them for each other. What kind of trouble or amazing adventures will this kind of idea create?

Most of us can find out 11.13 when The Resolutions releases (preorder links below!) but for one lucky person an ARC and swag pack are up for grabs! 10/18-10/31 I’m hosting a giveaway of the goodies pictured below and a winner will then be selected to receive the prize pack directly from Mia Garcia herself.  Read below for more details.

 

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

Published: 13 November 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books

Category: Contemporary/Young Adult/LGBT+

New Years are for fresh starts, but Jess just wants everything to go back to the way it was.

From hiking trips, to four-person birthday parties, to never-ending group texts, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora have always been inseparable—and unstoppable. But now, with senior year on the horizon, they’ve been splintering off and growing apart. And so, as always, Jess makes a plan.

Reinstating their usual tradition of making resolutions together on New Year’s Eve, Jess adds a new twist: instead of making their own resolutions, the four friends assign them for each other—dares like kiss someone you know is wrong for you, show your paintings, learn Spanish, say yes to everything.

But not even the best laid plans can take into account the uncertainties of life. As the year unfolds, Jess, Ryan, Nora, and Lee each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heart breaks, and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.

About the Author

 

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García was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She moved to New York where she studied creative writing at The New School, worked in publishing, and lived under a pile of to-be-read books. She is the author of Even If the Sky Falls and the upcoming The Resolutions from Katherine Tegen books (an imprint of Harper Collins) coming November 13, 2018.

 

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Giveaway

 

One winner will receive an arc of The Resolutions and a swag pack

Open to US entrants only, 10/18-10/31.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PreOrderSwag

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.