I was so incredibly excited to get this book! After reading All of Us Villains, I was hooked, and I needed to know how this fight-to-the-death was going to end! This is the final book in the All of Us Villains duology, and it is not a stand alone. If you haven’t read book 1, you need to because it’s amazing, and then come read All of Our Demise!
This story picks up right where we left off with Villains. The competitors have been pushed into two thought-processes. One group is fighting to bring down the curse while the other players are individually trying to become the victor. As the story progresses, there’s magic, danger, friendships, romance, and twists to keep you on your toes!
This coming-of-age novel was a thought-provoking story of being able to be who you are in front of, not only those you love, but everyone. I appreciated the difficult decisions that both Tanner and Sebastian had to face, and the journey they both go on.
When Tanner’s family moves to the heavily Mormon area of Utah, his parents ask him to keep his bisexuality a secret, even from his new best friend Autumn. Tanner is able to do this until Autumn pushes him into a creative writing class, where he develops a crush on a Mormon boy, and his creative writing becomes an autobiography.
Fairy Tale Retelling 💕 LGBTQ+ Rep 💕 Strong Female Lead 💕 Breaking Conventions
This is the second book in the Fracture Fables series, and I loved it just as much as the first one! I would absolutely recommend reading book 1 in the series, A Spindle Splintered. It’s fantastic, and it really sets up what happens in this book.
Zinnia is our MC through this series. She’s got a rare medical condition that she knows is going to eventually kill her, but when she falls into fairy tale versions of Sleeping Beauty, her health improves, and she finds that she gets to be the hero for the fated Sleeping Beauties. But something goes wrong one day, and she ends up in a Snow White story. Now she’s got a whole new set of problems to work out!
This book had all the things that I love in a magical book! When Emmy returns to her childhood town for a magical tournament, her plan is to get in, lay low, and get out. After a bad break up years ago, she chose to leave town and allow her magical powers to fade. Coming back home, she reconnects with two women who also had a bad experience with this guy. The three of them decide to join forces and get revenge. Mixed into this story of revenge is a magical tournament that Emmy must host, and three people from the other main families of the town must participate in.
This memoir is amazing! Maria Konner has provided the reader with such a genuine view of her life, and it’s an amazing journey. I’m so appreciative I had the chance to read this!
“We all create a huge impact that we can’t measure. Of course, when you’re changing your sex and entertaining folks, your presence tends to hit a little harder!”
Girl Shock! by Maria Konner
There were so many wonderful comments from Maria throughout the book. I really loved this one above. She’s talking about how a trans person impacted her as a child, and how in turn she may be impacting others. I loved that whole section.
Wow. This book was beautiful. Just absolutely, heartwarmingly wonderful.
This entire story was a feel-good heartwarming read that I just wanted to hug and say thank you to. Do yourself a favor and read this one!
“Sometimes,” Mr. Parnassus said, “our prejudices color our thoughts when we least expect them to. If we can recognize that, and learn from it, we can become better people.” Quote from The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
I felt that Attraction was filled with so much raw emotion. There is a lot of guilt and angst as the main character reflects on their relationships.
The narrator is actually unnamed making it a bit hard to connect to the book the way I would have liked. They are also not all that likable. However, I was still intrigued and wanted to know more about past relationships and history.
I loved the mixture of all of life’s emotions in The List of Things That Will Not Change. It felt like such a real-life story because Rebecca Stead chose to avoid sugar-coating situations. Divorce is a hard topic to write about and Stead balances the story perfectly with a well-balanced mix of heartache and happiness.
How I Felt:
The main character, Bea, is experiencing life-changing events in her family. Her parents are divorced and she is living in the aftermath. Her attitude is lovely. She’s joyful and upbeat, while finding herself troubled with times of anxiety and doubt. I found her to be a perfect middle-grade character that is relatable and real.
Get Off is written as though it is a conversation between the author and the reader. I felt like I was sitting down with Scott Alderman while he told me his story, and it was wonderful.
How I Felt:
I really enjoy reading memoirs because I find that they are packed with emotion. The author is telling their personal story, sharing secrets with the reader, and that experience is impactful for me, as the reader. Reading Scott Alderman’s book Get Off gave just the kind of experience I love.
The details in this book were so much fun! I loved the caves, reefs, and ship. There are amazing and dangerous fish. It was all so detailed and really made for a beautiful picture. I would have loved to have more of this added to the book. I felt that the second half of the book had less of this in it and it was one of my favorite things.
This book is a retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, which I found interesting as that is a book I have not read yet. There is mystery and murder and adventure. The main premise is revenge that is filled with difficult choices.
The Characters represent a wide variety of our melting-pot society and I was so happy to see it. LGBTQ is well-represented here as well as people of color.
The Writing was good. It felt rushed at times and I would have liked the story to slow down just a bit so we could enjoy the moment. I appreciated Tara Sim’s descriptive writing that helped to build the story out. I hope to see more of that in book two as I really helps the reader to understand this story.
Overall, this was a fun book filled with adventure and I look forward to the second story!
This book references to child slavery and abuse, sexual assault, mention of suicide, cannibalism, parental death, child death, descriptive gore and bodily harm, and kid-napping.
To Read or Not To Read:
Readers that enjoy high-action and adventure in their fantasy books will enjoy this one!
Revenge. It was a simple word when spoken out loud, but it was so much bigger, like the hidden city under the atoll. It was a word of fire and blood, of a knife’s whisper and the priming of a pistol.
It was a word that consumed her, filled her entire being until she knew that she could no longer be Silverfish. Silverfish’s will was to survive, to simply make it to the next day, and hopefully the day after that. But that was no longer her will.
Now it was revenge.
Captain Zharo. Kamon Mercado. Moray.
They would all pay.
When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.
Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…
Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.
Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim
Series: Scavenge the Stars book 1
Page Count: 336 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: January 7, 2020
Tara Sim is the author of SCAVENGE THE STARS (Disney-Hyperion) and the TIMEKEEPER trilogy (Sky Pony Press) and writer of all things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.
When she’s not writing about mischievous boys in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.
Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
The realness of the characters written by Mia Kerick was just amazing. The struggles and fears that each of these characters live with was described so well. I appreciated that both Callie and Jayden had a physical thing that they were fighting with. Callie struggles with her weight and Jayden struggles with his female body. The author drew me into to both of their stories and I was in awe.
How I Felt:
Jayden’s need to hide his true self from his family is heartbreaking. He must continue to be Jada at home to hide the truth about himself. He did have a few family members that could be supportive, but overall, his family made me pretty angry. I struggled to read his story at times because it was just so sad.
The relationship that develops between Callie and Jayden was wonderful. I was frustrated when Jayden felt the need to hide himself from Callie, but I should have felt that. The truth is that people in real life are hiding their true selves every day and I appreciated a book that gave some light to situations like this.
Overall, All Boy by Mia Kerick is a beautifully written story and I highly recommend it.
To Read or Not To Read: This book is for anyone that is interested in an LGBTQ perspective on transitioning and romance.
Where To Find This Book:
Callie and Jayden are students at Beaufort Hills Academy, repeating their 5th year of high school. Callie is looking forward to stepping away from her past, while Jayden is looking forward to his future at their new school.
Callie and Jayden meet at their new school and begin to have feelings for each other. Jayden struggles with keeping his secret from Callie. How will she react when she finds out that Jayden is a transgender man? Will she still love him, or will she run away?
All Boy by Mia Kerick
Page Count: 373 pages
Genre: Young Adult Romance / LGBTQ
Publisher: Lakewater Press
Pub Date: June 25, 2019
I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
They have a good library here. I have come to measure every town and village by whether they keep books and how well they keep them.
The Book of Flora – Meg Elison
What I Loved: Oh, I loved this book. There were so many times I wanted to stop reading just so that I could start writing about it. My two MAIN loves were:
The reverence for books throughout the entire story. It’s a book-lover’s dream. This love of books is shown in Book 1 (The Book of the Unnamed Midwife) and Book 2 (The Book of Etta), however, in this book, I felt like that love of literature had evolved and was just lovely.
The LGBTQ+ stories were just so enlightening. The confusion and struggles that Etta/Eddie, Flora, and Connie go through give the reader such a wonderful view of the inner and outer struggles that a person could be going through.
How I Felt: I was so relieved to love this book. I still adore The Book of the Unnamed Midwife and it is my favorite, but I was less in-love with The Book of Etta. I was concerned that I would read The Book of Flora and realize that I didn’t enjoy the series any longer, but that was not the case at all. This book seemed to take us back a bit to the feeling of the first book. There is so much travel to different places, and meeting different people. The struggles of sexuality and sexual identity are there, and were more vast, than in the Unnamed Midwife, as there were more characters dealing with their own situations. The book is definitely more sexual than The Book of Etta was. There are some pretty detailed scenes, but what I loved about those scenes were the insight they gave to me about the character’s personalities and their struggles with their own sexuality.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend this book to anyone that has read the first two books in the Road to Nowhere series. If you haven’t read the first two, I wouldn’t start here. There are many characters spoken about in The Book of Flora that were introduced in Book 1 and Book 2. If you haven’t read this series yet, go read my review of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife.
The Book of Flora picks up where The Book of Etta left off, but now our narrator is Flora. Flora tells her story with chapters focused on the present and then jumps back in time to fill in the gaps from her time after escaping the Lion to the present. Her writings in the present speak about an army coming and about the danger this army brings. As we progress in the book, the story about the army takes shape and we begin to slowly understand more about it.
In the “past” story of Flora, Eddie (Etta), Flora, and Alice set out to find a place where they can be accepted for who they are. This is a big theme in the book surrounding the sexual confusion of some, the transformation of others, and the feelings each person has about their own sexuality. There were some great quotes surrounding this that really gave me pause and made me think.
“It’s no great crime to live as a man. Men are plentiful and everyone understands why you do it. Women lying with women is a waste, but you’ll hardly get killed for it. Living as a woman without being one is the thing that always stirs hate and violence. As if there is some great deception in it. As if it is the worst kind of fraud. Yet a woman who cannot breed or will not try is never the same sort of problem. And women past the end of their blood are no threat. I am no different from them.”
The Book of Flora – Meg Elison
This book’s plot surrounding the army is a bit understated, the main focus of the story felt more like a road to finding acceptance to be who they know they are. That said, I loved this book, and was so happy to have found it.