[Top Ten Tuesday] Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence

TTT

Social media can be a fun and mildly terrifying way to interact with the world at large. Through it, we as readers can connect with our favorite authors. The authors on my list today are authors that I find both fun, informative, and just overall enjoyable to come across when I’ve engaged with their prescences on Twitter (my primary social media).

 

TTT

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Upcoming & past topics can be found here.

 

1. Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire)

2. Victoria/V.E. Schwab (@veschwab)

3. Danika Stone (@danika_stone)

4. Elle Maruska (@ellle_em)

5. Paul Kreuger (@NotLikeFreddy)

6. Tara Sim (@EachStarAWorld)

7. Angie Thomas (@angiecthomas)

8. N.K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin)

9. Tiffany D. Jackson (@WriteinBK)

10. Claribel Ortega (@Claribel_Ortega)

Are any of these authors on your Top Ten list? What are your favorite books of theirs that you think I should have read (if I haven’t already)? Let me know in the comments below. 🤗

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Readathon] Animal Crossing Readathon Signup Post

Who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing game where you catch bugs to pay off the bank loan you have for a $400 house and stuff it full of a myriad of furniture & wild knick knacks? 😂 All while accomplishing tasks for your neighbors, visiting the beach, and whatever else you might desire in your New Town.

With Animal Crossing: New Horizons releasing in about two weeks, fellow Animal Crossing fans and I are celebrating by, what else, a readathon with cool AC themed challenges. 😊

 

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Thank you to the hosts @ambooklife, @medusareads, and @paperbackjedi for creating such a fun readathon. This is one of my favorite games and I’d forgotten how much I was looking forward to it until this readathon reminded me. 🥰  Now, onto the tbr and countdown until game day!

 

Resetti: read a book of your choice while using a bookmark

 

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Published: 4 June 2019

Publisher: Tor Books

Genre(s): Fantasy/Mystery

Sharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in this fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey.

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

 

 

K.K. Slider: listen to an audiobook or a book with musical elements

 

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Published: 24 March 2020

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre(s): Nonfiction/Memoir/LGBTQ+

From standup comic Cameron Esposito, a memoir that tackles sexuality, gender and equality–and how her Catholic upbringing prepared her for a career as an outspoken lesbian comedian in ways the Pope never could have imagined.
Cameron Esposito wanted to be a priest and ended up a standup comic. She would like to tell the whole, freaking queer as hell story. Her story. Not the sidebar to a straight person’s rebirth-she doesn’t give a makeover or plan a wedding or get a couple back together. This isn’t a queer tragedy. She doesn’t die at the end of this book, having finally decided to kiss the girl. It’s the sexy, honest, bumpy and triumphant dyke’s tale her younger, theology major self needed to read. Because there was a long time when she thought she wouldn’t make it. Not as a comic, but as a human.

SAVE YOURSELF is full of funny and insightful recollections about everything from coming out (at a Catholic college where being gay can get you expelled) to how joining the circus can help you become a better comic (so much nudity) to accepting yourself for who you are–even if you’re an awkward tween with an eyepatch (which Cameron was). Packed with heart, humor, and cringe-worthy stories anyone who has gone through puberty can relate to, Cameron’s memoir is for that timid, fenced-in kid in all of us–and the fearless standup yearning to break free.

 

 

Able Sisters: Read a book with strong family themes

 

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Published: 5 November 2019

Publisher: Avon

Genre(s): Romance/Contemporary

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

 

 

Tom Nook: Read a book you have recently purchased or checked out from the library.

 

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Published: 24 February 2020

Publisher: Independently Published

Genre(s): Romance

Since college, bookish and quiet Alyse Fox has longed for more. Stuck at the crossroads of change she finally sees her chance for an escape. She just wasn’t expecting her one night stand to be an executive at her new job.

Co-founder of a publishing house, Sawyer has it all, a great apartment, loving family, and a job he spends a little too much time at. He just doesn’t know he’s missing something until Alyse walked back into his life.

A chance encounter at a party, turned one night stand is all either of them thought their story would be. Fate had another plan. Together, they must figure out if their relationship is worth risking all they’ve worked for.

When Can I See You Again is a fun second chance, romantic comedy with a sexy CEO type who loves his family, a girl trying to change her luck, a whole lot of misunderstandings, and both going after what they want, set against the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. It stands alone with no cheating or cliffhangers at about 55,000 words.

 

 

Animal Crossing Gamecube: Read a book that has been on your TBR the longest or re-read an old favorite.

 

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Published: 4 October 2016

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Genre(s): Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

 

 

 

BONUS: Isabelle: Read one of the hosts’ choices

(I picked Diana @paperbackjedi’s selection)

 

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Published: 7 February 2019 (UK)

Publisher: Simon Schuster Children’s UK

Genre(s): Fantasy

Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse.

Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.

Will they be enough to break the curse?

Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? …

The enchanting new story from Michelle Harrison, author of the bestselling Thirteen Treasures Trilogy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Top Ten Tuesday] Books With One Word Titles

As a fan of fantasy and sci-fi novels, I’m used to some fairly long titles, especially if they’re part of a series because then that becomes part of the mouthful. 😂 This week’s TTT topic is interesting because it poses the question, what about one word title books? I had to have a good think after the first couple that sprang to mind, which was fun because the digging led me down some rabbit warrens of adding books to my tbr. 👍

Thank you to Kitty from Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner for suggesting this week’s topic. 🙂

 

TTT

 

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

 

1-2. Vicious & Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

 

I’ve read both of these books. Both of them are two of my favorite books because of the idea of near death experiences possibly producing ExtraOrdinary individuals, the murkiness of morality, the questions we have to ask ourselves about who is the hero and who is a villain. There is so much depth to both of them that they get richer the more you read them.

 

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Published: 29 May 2018 (originally published 24 September 2013)

Publisher: Titan Books

Genre(s): Fantasy/Science Fiction

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates–brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find–aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge–but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

 

 

 

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Published: 25 September 2018

Publisher: Titan Books

Genre(s): Fantasy/Science Fiction

A super-powered collision of extraordinary minds and vengeful intentions—#1 New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab returns with the thrilling follow-up to Vicious.

Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.

But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.

With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.

 

 

3. Slay by Brittney Morris

 

I recently check this out from the library. It’s a fascinating book that, as far as I’ve gotten, has touched on cultural appropriation, gaming, and the busyness of high school life. It’s getting exciting and I’m curious to see where it’ll go next.

 

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Published: 24 September 2019

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre(s): Contemporary/Fiction/Young Adult

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

 

 

4. Jackpot by Nic Stone

 

I was gifted a copy of this recently and from the peak I took into the first chapter, it looks so, so good. The tone is sarcastic & hilarious, just my kind of thing. 🙂

 

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Published: 15 October 2019

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Genre(s): Young Adult/Contemporary

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin–comes a pitch-perfect romance that examines class, privilege, and how a stroke of good luck can change an entire life.

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

Nic Stone, the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out, creates two unforgettable characters in one hard-hitting story about class, money–both too little and too much–and how you make your own luck in the world.

 

 

5. You by Caroline Kepnes, Narrated by Santiago Fontana

 

Recommended by a close friend, this has been one of the most conflicting books I’ve read in recent memory. It’s told from the perspective of a stalker and in a way where you’re not entirely sure that he’s a bad guy (spoiler: oh, yeah, he totally is). It’s such a well crafted novel and the audio book is a fabulous performance (Santiago Fontana also played Hans in Frozen, which seems so *chefs kiss* 😂).

 

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Published: 20 September 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Genre(s): Thriller/Mystery

When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works, he is instantly smitten.

But there’s more to Joe than Beck realises and much more to Beck than her perfect facade. And the obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences…

 

 

6-7. Slayer & Chosen by Kiersten White

 

I grew up watching the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When I heard that Kiersten White, author of my personal favorite The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, was writing a new in-universe series, I got very excited. These books look and sound amazing, I think y’all will agree. 😁

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Published: 8 January 2019

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre(s): Young Adult/Fantasy (Paranormal)

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

 

 

 

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Published: 7 January 2020

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre(s): Young Adult/Fantasy (Paranormal)

Nina continues to learn how to use her slayer powers against enemies old and new in this second novel in the New York Times bestselling series from Kiersten White, set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Now that Nina has turned the Watcher’s Castle into a utopia for hurt and lonely demons, she’s still waiting for the utopia part to kick in. With her sister Artemis gone and only a few people remaining at the castle—including her still-distant mother—Nina has her hands full. Plus, though she gained back her Slayer powers from Leo, they’re not feeling quite right after being held by the seriously evil succubus Eve, a.k.a. fake Watcher’s Council member and Leo’s mom.

And while Nina is dealing with the darkness inside, there’s also a new threat on the outside, portended by an odd triangle symbol that seems to be popping up everywhere, in connection with Sean’s demon drug ring as well as someone a bit closer to home. Because one near-apocalypse just isn’t enough, right?

The darkness always finds you. And once again, it’s coming for the Slayer.

 

 

8. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

 

The trailer for the film based on this graphic novel has played on a couple of preview reels in my DVD collection & I keep meaning to pick it up.

 

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Published: 1 June 2004

Publisher: Pantheon

Genre(s): Nonfiction/Autobiography

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

 

 

9. Starless by Jacqueline Carey

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Carey book (Kushiel’s Dart in high school, I think?), but this one sound neato. 👀 Gods schmods, the humans are gonna take the wheel in this story.

 

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Published: 12 June 2018

Publisher: Tor Books

Genre(s): Fantasy/Fiction/LGBTQ+

Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Times bestselling Kushiel’s Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces us to an epic world where exiled gods live among us, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Let your mind be like the eye of the hawk…Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him.

In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction.

If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.

 

 

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

 

Beloved has been on my periphery for a long time. Hopefully I can get to it this year.

 

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Published: 16 September 1987

Publisher: Vintage

Genre(s): Historical Fiction/Classics

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Waiting on Wednesday] A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.

I read Laura’s debut, The Library of Lost Things, earlier this year and was impressed with her characters and her writing. When her new book was announced, I knew I’d be reading it.

Then the COVER! The COMP to Don’t Date Rosa Santos! I mean! How much more do y’all need for me to want to read this! 😭🥰

A tea lover to the core, I can’t wait to see what sort of related knowledge we see in the book because if I know anything about Laura from her previous book, it’s that she’ll do her topic justice. Combined with MC Lila’s baking and there is no way I’ll be walking away from this book without snacking at least a couple of times. 😂

 

 

about the book - Copy

 

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Published: 6 October 2020

Publisher: Atheneum

Genre(s): Contemporary/Young Adult/Romance

Love & Gelato meets Don’t Date Rosa Santos in this charming, heartfelt story following a Miami girl who unexpectedly finds love—and herself—in a small English town.

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Waiting on Wednesday] Cinderella is Dead by Kaylnn Bayron

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.

 

Growing up I’ll admit that I saw Cinderella a ton and thought that it was fairly basic: she wanted to go to the ball, dance with the prince, and that was about it. Holy crap is there so much more to the story though? Disney does a number on you. 😅

Cinderella is Dead is a futuristic fairy tale retelling that sounds like a) a 👀 wow queer story (thank you) b) a kind of dystopian twist on the classic story? I’m curious how the original story, in this world at least, goes from something that is theoretically romantic to a place where girls are ostensibly being slaughtered if they’re not chosen by the man at the ball.

Does not chosen mean slaughtered? It says their lives are forfeit so that’s a little unclear at the moment, but it’s pretty ominous whatever it means.

Let’s talk for a minute about the COVER. The one I chose to feature in this post is the UK cover because it screams CINDERELLA just a bit more to me than the US cover. Both are 100% gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. I think the blue background and hair accents really tip it over the edge into 😍 territory.

 

 

about the book - Copy

 

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Published: 7 July (US)/6 August (UK) 2020

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Genre(s): Fantasy/Young Adult/LGBTQ+/Retellings

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.

Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball … are forfeited.

But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world …

An electrifying twist on the classic fairytale that will inspire girls to break out of limiting stereotypes and follow their dreams!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Review] That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy

Huda’s search for love combined with her absolutely adorable illustrations made for one of my favorite reads thus far in 2020.

 

about the book - Copy

 

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Published: 10 March 2020

Publisher:Andrews McMeel Publishing

Genre(s): Graphic Novel/Humor/Memoir

Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.

So relevant in today’s evolving cultural climate, Fahmy’s story offers a perceptive and personal glimpse into the sometimes sticky but ultimately rewarding balance of independent choice and tradition.

 

5 star

 

 

Representation: Muslim & hijabi characters throughout

 

 

what i enjoyed

 

Huda’s humor was infused in nearly every moment of this story, from when an auntie makes a snide remark about her age & marrying at that point (there was reference to a cat hotel 😬😲) to when she first sees/meet her future husband Gehad at a conference (🥰😍).

The callbacks to earlier times, earlier loves/crushes, etc., also had these asides that I’d call tea time episodes because Huda would come to us with commentary from her favorite seat with a warm cup of tea, dispensing the wisdom thindsightight had granted her.

Readers will also get insight into Huda’s experience as a Muslim woman growing up, learning the Rules as she puts them, that govern her life and interactions with regards to dating & marriage. Her confusion about finding The One may be familiar to readers who experience similar feelings and even if not, her journey is peppered with, as aforementioned, Huda’s brilliant handling of any and all material with signature humor.

 

 

to sum it up - Copy

 

 

From Huda to Gehad to her parents, whether assorted side characters or Huda’s own asides, there is no shortage of content for laughs. Something for everyone to laugh with as you read alongside Huda’s journey, as I did, in That Can Be Arranged. 😊

 

 

 

 

 

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 belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

[Blog Tour] Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin – Review

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Retellings are a particular favorite form of storytelling. Among the ones I’ve read are typically fairy tales, such as Beauty & the Beast (Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark & Lonely) or Snow White (the Evil Queen’s story in Julia C. Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns).

Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair, however, delves into a darker, more delicious corner of retelling by taking up the mantle of a Shakespearean tale: Macbeth. One of the darkest of the Bard’s stories, the haunted threads of the Scottish play wind through time to a modern take that is Elizabeth Jade Khanjara and her Coven.

After a sweet sixteen when Jade is targeted by the boys of St. Andrews Prep, Foul is Fair becomes a book full of much darkness, deliciously full of vengeance, and depths the reader plunges to with Jade and the other girls in her Coven as they follow their wicked path.

Thank you to the Wednesday Books team for including me in the blog tour for Hannah Capin’s new book.

about the book - Copy

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Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 18 February 2020

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre(s): Young Adult/Contemporary/Retellings

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

5 star

 

Representation: Indian-American MC, trans SC, MGA SC, Korean-American SC

 

content warnings - Copy

 

sexual assault (including drugging someone’s drink), rape, rape culture, gender-based violence, abusive relationship, physical violence, gore, murder, bullying and transphobia, suicide, substance abuse, vigilantism and revenge.

 

From the author’s website: the primary thematic material of FOUL IS FAIR centers on sexual assault (not depicted), rape culture, and violence. additionally, the book includes an abusive relationship, a suicide attempt, and a brief scene with transphobic bullying. for a more detailed description of sensitive content, continue reading. these notes will contain spoilers for FOUL IS FAIR. <– follow the link for further details

 

what i enjoyed

 

Foul is Fair is interesting because Jade and her Coven are, by their own admission, not likeable girls. Before all the machinations, before all the deceptions, before the book even opens, they were what would probably be termed Mean Girls. There are still likeable things within their makeup, though. The tight knit makeup of their group, the way they are ride or die for one another. Mads, especially, embodies this quality as Jade espouses more than once. Since the four girls met one another as children, there are multiple examples.

As the Lady Macbeth character in this retelling, Jade isn’t really here to be likeable, though. It’s refreshing to have a book that has this dynamic of two unlikeable sides, but one that you can side with because no matter how unlikeable someone is, they don’t deserve what happened in the opener of Foul is Fair.

The vengeance path that Jade sets upon with the aide of her coven drew me in. I had to know more not only because I wanted to know that these criminals would get what they deserved, but because Jade and the Coven’s determination and game board style of planning was fascinating.

Aesthetically, Hannah Capin captures moments when her characters are enacting their machinations so thematically that it is easy to visualize each moment in your mind. From the descriptions of St. Andrews Prep, straight out of Scotland and settled into the landscape of Los Angeles, to the late afternoon sunlight the flashes across Jade’s eyes like a scene out of The Addams Family featuring Morticia, these all layout a beautiful scene.

 

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Fair is Foul is a thrilling retelling of Macbeth and something entirely its own. Hannah Capin’s sophomore novel is a story of friendship, vengeance, terror, and more that will entice the reader to stay up long into the night to see what wicked thing comes next.

 

about the author - Copy

 

hannah-capin

Hannah Capin is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

Twitter | Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

[Review] My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Welcome to Winnie Mehta’s world of Bollywood films, NYU applications, and a prophecy that may or may not be giving her more problems that she knows what to do with.

What do you do when the prophecy you believed in for so long seems to be breaking? Or, worse, maybe not be true at all? It’s a hard question to tackle with, especially considering how much it means to Winnie and her family.

With a catalog of films to call up for “advice”, Winnie is about to face a lot of questions that she’ll have to answer to live her life as best she can.

 

about the book - Copy

 

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Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 15 May 2018

Publisher: Crown BFYR

Genre(s): Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pundit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart, charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

 

To start, there were elements of Winnie’s story that I loved, that were warm and flash and that made the story better or enhanced, etc. The variety of films that she’d seen, whether dramas or comedies or more, gave her a support system to look back on. They were something that she and her father shared: a love of Bollywood films. Their playful arguments about modern vs. classic films was interesting and has encouraged me to look into finding some of Winnie’s films to view myself.  She, her mother, and her grandmother shopping for fancy clothing was insight into a beautiful aspect of lehengas and jewelry and what it meant to adorn themselves.

With regards to other characters:

It was hard to outright dislike Raj, Winnie’s ex, even though that was the setup when the book opened. As the antagonist (possible a strong word), the reader is given a picture that Winnie’s angry over the end of their relationship & how that relates to the prophecy she was given about her future. Claiming that he cheated was, I felt, a bit of an exaggeration. By her own admission and request they were on a break. She had expected it would take longer to move on, but that’s her “preference”, not Raj’s. So, while she was upset, it was difficult to hate him as much as I think I was “supposed” to going into the narrative.

The author changed my perspective when Raj’s inability to let go, despite his seeming to have moved on with a new girlfriend, became something of an issue that grated on my nerves continually. He couldn’t stand having lost once Winnie started figuring out how to move forward herself.

Clues to future developments were fun to stumble across, guesses that I could make as to plot points that I appreciated. Nisha Sharma didn’t quite smack you across the head with them, though they weren’t exactly in-depth either.

I was pretty upset that most of the boys in Winnie’s life expected her to drop her priorities, her life, to attend to them, to support them. Raj I already pointed out and, oy, he was just the worst (though not without some kind of redemptive arc). However!

With everything she’s had to do to secure her position in life (school, etc.), why should she have to dump these commitments for someone she’s been involved with for such a short period of time? That seemed so absurd to me that I wanted to shake several characters. NYU, the school Winnie has been working toward THE ENTIRE STORY and for YEARS, was so much bigger than certain people. Even though she’s known Dev (Love Interest #2) for a long time, it seems screwed up to throw away the festival, something that could get her into NYU (DREAM SCHOOL), when the connection is so tenuous as a couple of weeks. Sure a boyfriend is nice, but worth all that?

 

 

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There was a lot to see and experience that was lovely in My So-Called Bollywood Life, but I found some of the narrative decisions questionable and that let the overall experience down for me.

 

 

 

 

 

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 belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

[Waiting on Wednesday] Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which an anticipated title is highlighted. You can find their website here.

After reading Hannah Capin’s debut The Dead Queens Club and seeing the kind of power she could write for her cast of female characters, I was anxious to read her future stories. A Macbeth retelling of vengeance sounded epic and I am very pleased that I’ll be able to pen a review for y’all because I’ve got an arc of Foul is Fair.

What sounds good about this? The themes of taking back power, of not letting the elitist assholes win, of not letting the presumed storyline be it, of Elle and her friends not letting their stories be written for them.

With a little under a month to go until release, I’m going to be gobbling the rest of this book up, anxious to share my thoughts with y’all and see what you think upon release.

 

about the book - Copy

 

42595554

 

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 18 February 2020

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre(s): Young Adult/Contemporary/Retellings

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Let’s Save the Pond! It’s Time for the #Pondathon.

Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

What is the Pondathon?

 

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest.

 

Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete ‘side quests’ during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

 

Information about Joining the Pondathon

 

  1. To join the Pondathon, simply sign up anytime between January 18th 2020 to March 5th 2020.
  2. Choose a team, create your own animal character for the Pondathon and create a character card!
  3. Create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#Pondathon’ in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  4. Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.

 

Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond or @artfromafriend on Twitter or Instagram in all your updates! We’d love to see all of the beautiful and awesome characters that you create!

 

My Pond Character

 

 

Myfanwy - Pondathon Character

 

My Pond Character is called Myfanwy, a sailor of the Great Wide Sea. They’re a seeker of Stars (which you may remember from Castor and the #StartOnYourShelfathon) and Knowledge. Never one to shy away from trying out an accessory or a new book, Myfanwy is travelling to the Pond to help defend it from the encroaching darkness!

I’m joining Team Varian. As such, my reads will need to be from a range of genres. No subsequent read can be the same as the previous read. 👀 I’ve never kept strict track of this before, but now I’ll have to!

 


My Pondathon TBR

 

 

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Murder, She Knit by Peggy Ehrhart

I picked up a few mysteries a couple weeks ago and this stood out for being kind of cute (look at the kitty!), inspired-ish by Murder, She Wrote in the title, and somehow knitting related. It seems cozy and a good start to the Pondathon.

 


 

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Spellhacker by M.K. England

Mail call this week brought this book to me and it’s going to be hard waiting! 😂 Spellhacker is about one last heist in a world where magic is a controlled commodity. It sounds like it’s going to be very exciting and fast paced.

 


 

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Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Murderbot is one of my favorite characters in science fiction. It is super relatable because who doesn’t want to kick back with a good book/t.v. show/etc. when the alternative is work? Granted, it’s line of work is far different than anything we’re likely to come across, I hope. 😅 Anyway, Artificial Condition is Murderbot’s second adventure and I’m wondering where it’s going to go after the previous installment. So many options!

 

 

 

 

 

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.