Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Beast Boy Loves Raven, 9/28!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo! If you’ve read any past fast forward Friday’s, this may not be a surprise to hear. 😅
Expected Release: September 28, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • I was so excited for Raven and Beast Boy when they each came out, and I wasn’t disappointed! This is a wonderful duo tackling another wonderful duo and I expect more great things.
  • I’ve been watching the show Titans recently (which is hella good by the way) and was wondering if this aspect would ever float around. So far Raven has been gone for basically the whole season so… probably no time soon. But it made me crave it all the more!
  • Actually my craving started in January when I saw this fan art created of the teen titans, including some really cute ones of Raven & Beast Boy that I adored. I couldn’t find an artist for them, but they’re below!

Summary

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

Continue reading “Fast Forward Friday: Beast Boy Loves Raven, 9/28!”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Reasons for Avoiding Friends by Megan Leavell!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Reasons for Avoiding Friends by Megan Leavell published today! Check out the full review here, or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: Sure
For a quick contemporary read, for a female-friendship story, for a look at alcoholism and falling into patterns even when they don’t make you happy and how to break out of it

Summary

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Growing up, Gwen and Iris were the best of friends, even if they couldn’t have been more different. Now Gwen is living her hometown dream, or so she reminds herself while juggling endless parenting drama, an unemployed husband, and a neighborhood pyramid scheme. Never mind that at age thirty-nine, her social circle still resembles middle school. Her life is everything she ever wanted it to be, but nothing like she had planned.

Iris was never destined for the ordinary. When she moved to Manhattan, she shed her old life for a better one—but not without a cost. From a distance, Iris’s life couldn’t be more charmed, but no one knows about the cracks in the image she’s worked so hard to cultivate. No one knows the real Iris at all. Except for Gwen. But Iris and Gwen haven’t spoken for years. Until…

When Iris’s past catches up with her, she turns to the one person she could always count on—but she isn’t the only one keeping secrets, and as Gwen scrambles to preserve an illusion of domestic bliss, she finds herself wondering when they went from telling each other everything to sharing nothing. Now, a little wiser, and most certainly a little older, Gwen and Iris discover that the truest of friends accept you just as you are, and that loving yourself is sometimes the best way to find happiness.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Last Chance Library, 8/31/21!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson.
Expected Release: August 31, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • A book about libraries or librarians is catnip for a certain kind of reader: the kind who is me. And many other female contemporary-lit readers. (And probably many others because libraries are dope!) So honestly, even from the name I was giving this one a smile.
  • Classic plot of saving the piece of the town that’s historical and locally loved and maybe a little shabby but in a cozy way.
  • Plus enter an old flame? All the chances for redemption and starting over (yet with a delicious shared history) are June’s to embrace!
  • AND IT’S SET IN ENGLAND. A “sleepy English village” is practically required to host this story.
  • Honestly everything about this sounds not particularly unique or original, but like a new reiteration of a classic tale that I can’t wait to read despite knowing what happens at the end. It’s the journey and the comfort of a happily ever after type ending (I assume!! not a spoiler!!).

Summary

Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.

Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer’s feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won’t believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.

To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she’s determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: yup!!
For folks interested in historical Palestine, for a novel about embracing female sexuality and equality, for sparse language that says a lot

Summary

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee: A Family Saga across Ethnicity, Place, and Religion: A Novel

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee is a sweeping story of love, loss and the power of loyalty in the face of conflicting ideologies and religious beliefs. The story begins in 1940s Palestine where twins Rasheed and Rasheeda Dinar work in their family inns. Educated by a Jesuit priest about the essence of his own Muslim religion, relative to love and sex, Rasheed follows closely the teachings of his mentor and includes Rasheeda, so that she learns those teachings as well.

When Rasheed falls in love with Natalia, a Jewish woman, he is able to apply what he learned from the priest to his budding relationship. However, it is the 1940s, and relations between Arabs and Jews are tense. Before long, those tensions come to a breaking point. Natalia mysteriously disappears, and Rasheed and Rasheeda are chased out of Palestine to Beirut, Lebanon.

Years pass, and though Rasheed continues to miss his beloved Natalia, he gets word of a surprising visitor—someone he didn’t even know existed. Rasheed’s life is upended, but in the most wonderful way.

As the Dinar family expands and enters the 1970s, their convictions are tested. In a dramatic final scene, the family reunites and proves once again that the thin line separating people because of their differences is powerless against the strength of family, love, and loyalty.

Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee: A Family Saga across Ethnicity, Place, and Religion: A Novel by Wagih Abu-Rish
Release Date: August 17, 2021

Recommended: yup!!
For folks interested in historical Palestine, for a novel about embracing female sexuality and equality, for sparse language that says a lot

Summary

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee: A Family Saga across Ethnicity, Place, and Religion: A Novel

Replenishing the Sea of Galilee is a sweeping story of love, loss and the power of loyalty in the face of conflicting ideologies and religious beliefs. The story begins in 1940s Palestine where twins Rasheed and Rasheeda Dinar work in their family inns. Educated by a Jesuit priest about the essence of his own Muslim religion, relative to love and sex, Rasheed follows closely the teachings of his mentor and includes Rasheeda, so that she learns those teachings as well.

When Rasheed falls in love with Natalia, a Jewish woman, he is able to apply what he learned from the priest to his budding relationship. However, it is the 1940s, and relations between Arabs and Jews are tense. Before long, those tensions come to a breaking point. Natalia mysteriously disappears, and Rasheed and Rasheeda are chased out of Palestine to Beirut, Lebanon.

Years pass, and though Rasheed continues to miss his beloved Natalia, he gets word of a surprising visitor—someone he didn’t even know existed. Rasheed’s life is upended, but in the most wonderful way.

As the Dinar family expands and enters the 1970s, their convictions are tested. In a dramatic final scene, the family reunites and proves once again that the thin line separating people because of their differences is powerless against the strength of family, love, and loyalty.

Thoughts:

Attracted by the historical aspect that I don’t know much about, and made all the more relevant by the forever present conflict between Palestine and Israel, I grabbed this book right up. I worried that it might be a little too literary and highbrow for me, but that was not the case. It’s a thoughtful story that spans a long period of time. I got to know the characters so so well, and I cared so much about all of them.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: A Midwinter Match, 8/19/21!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is A Midwinter Match by Jane Lovering!
Expected Release: August 19, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • This first reason is pretty hyper-local for me, but nonetheless: my town is in the middle of a heatwave. It’s been over 100 for a few days in a row which is EXTRAORDINARILY RARE and it’s even a bit too hot for me. 😅 So thinking about anything “midwinter” is actually not sounding so bad right now! The cover looks like it was drafted straight from Boston Gardens so I love it already! (It’s York, though, so… not Boston. But still!) xD
  • I assume it will end up being a to-lovers story, but I’m intrigued about the “enemies” bit! Since Ruby and Zac have to compete against each other to keep the one position remaining that they each currently have, it’s more of a circumstantial problem than a personal dislike of each other. That sounds much harder to navigate, and like it has options for exploring a lot of real-life difficulty.
  • Zac is being painted as the happy-to-cover-a-tragic-past character, which I’m a little bleh on, but I’m often drawn to women who have their life go wildly off plan and then change things up to recreate their own true happiness. According to books, this is bound to happen to me within about 5 years so I better get some ideas on how to handle it now from Ruby. 😁

Summary

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice. A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex. But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that. 

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.  Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another… 

Posted in Release Day!

Just published: The Tenets in the Tattoos by Becky James!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that The Tenets in the Tattoos by Becky James published today!

Recommended: yes!
For a lengthy, epic tale that grows and grows and grows, for emotional messages and themes carried throughout the book, for humour and action and reflection all nicely balanced

Summary

FYI: I wrote this blurb, because the one for the book is AWFUL, as I mention in my review! This one is better representative of what you can look forward to in this fantastic book. 😁

Thorrn is an accomplished swordsman desperate for his promotion, but he is considered only half a person until he finds his soul companion. Unfortunately, Evyn, Thorrn’s newly found soul companion, is… distinctly underwhelming. But when his king is deposed and the usurper demands Evyn to be used for the power of her Earthian blood, Thorrn is forced to fight against everything he’s ever stood for in order to save her.

Aubin is sick of missing out on happiness. Chafing at injustices piled on him for his position as an apothecary, he’s ready to quit. When Aubin’s timing takes him into the path of Thorrn, Evyn, and the new king, he has to decide what he will risk for a chance at what he’s always been missing.

Sharing their worlds and learning how to work together, Thorrn, Evyn, and Aubin have to figure out a way to save not only each other, but possibly the whole fragile peace of Thorrn’s world from the threat of magical war.

Posted in Book Talk

August TBR: Ahoy, ARCs!

Hey y’all!

This month I’m looking at a mix of ARCs that I requested and/or got approved for recently, after really not bothering with many for a while. I’m diving right back in to the fun! 🙂 I also have a couple that I’ve been craving a bit, particularly nonfiction. There’s so much great nonfiction out there, and I haven’t been reading enough of it!

Here’s the plan for August, although I’m sure as usual, it will change wildly in all the best ways. ^.^

Reading it early #ARC

All of these are books that I had never heard of before stumbling upon them as ARCs and deciding I’d give them a go. I don’t do enough of that lately, as I’ve been reading more of the popular, well-marketed and well-known books. That’s all fine too, but I miss out on some really excellent titles when I don’t explore on my own! I’m almost done with The Tenets in the Tattoos and y’all I am BAFFLED that I haven’t heard more about this book because it is so good!! Pub day for it is 8/9/21, so keep an eye out because it is FAB for a fantasy adventure with magic and cool worldbuilding and a bit of royalty drama, with plenty of culture shock!

Continue reading “August TBR: Ahoy, ARCs!”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch, 8/3!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch by Julie Abe!
Expected Release: August 3, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • s Well it’s a sequel, so it’s a clear connection that I’m just interested in returning to the characters, the story, and the overall world! Eva Evergreen, Semi Magical Witch was an unexpected delight that I heard of by recommendation, and I’m so glad I did!
  • I actually remember the first book fairly well even though I read it a while ago at this point, and that means I’m excited to see where the story goes from here! If I remember a book a time after, that’s a strong sign that something was done right with it.
  • Eva’s constant clever fixes and ways to work the physical in with magic are so fun to discover. It’s like watching a detective or magician work. I get a little thrill each time she solves a problem by thinking decisively outside the box.

Summary

From this day forward, we will believe in the impossible.

Eva Evergreen has fulfilled her dream of earning the rank of Novice Witch, and discovered the chilling truth behind the mysterious Culling — the violent magical storm wreaking havoc across Rivelle Realm.

Revealing the truth, however, proves to be a difficult task and soon the culprit is at large. To make matters worse Eva learns what might be the horrible truth behind her pinch of magic and her mother’s own mysterious connection to the Culling and rogue magic.

With her spirits at an all-time low, Eva must muster up the courage to prove her mother’s innocence and learn to believe in her own magic, if she wishes to put a stop to the Culling once and for all.

Posted in Reviews

Pre-Publication Review: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard (8/17)

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard
Release Date: August 17, 2021

Recommended: yes!!
For an actually mysterious mystery, for fascinating characters who grow a lot as you learn more about them, for whiplash-inducing twists that still make sense, for Covid as a setting but not a plot point (ie no illnesses)

Summary

No one knew they’d moved in together. Now one of them is dead. Could this be the perfect murder?

56 DAYS AGO
Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin the same week Covid-19 reaches Irish shores.

35 DAYS AGO
When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests that Ciara move in with him. She sees a unique opportunity for a new relationship to flourish without the pressure of scrutiny of family and friends. He sees it as an opportunity to hide who – and what – he really is.

TODAY
Detectives arrive at Oliver’s apartment to discover a decomposing body inside.

Will they be able to determine what really happened, or has lockdown provided someone with the opportunity to commit the perfect crime?

Thoughts:

WOW y’all, maybe it’s because I admittedly had low expectations for this, but DANG did it blow me away! I was iffy on all the Book of the Month Club options, but chose this because it was by my fav publisher, Blackstone. And I should have known to trust that. ^.^ They held up, as always!

First off: a lot of people side-eye this book because it’s set in 2020 in the real sense that it’s the start of COVID-19 and discusses lockdown and other protocols enacted as it spread across the world. The whole premise is that two almost-strangers shack up because otherwise they won’t have ANY contact for who knows how long. It’s all or nothing, and they change it going all-in. But that’s it — there’s not a lot of play with COVID beyond working from home and the unease going out in public. If anything, it was weird how often the characters say “well no one else was wearing a mask so I took mine off.” Anyway, point being, the scope of COVID in this book is probably fairly light all things considered.

Continue reading “Pre-Publication Review: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard (8/17)”