Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story… My Review

Victor and Nora: A Love Story by Lauren Myracle and Illustrated by Isaac Goodhart

My Rating: 4 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 it’s Gorgeous! It perfectly shows the essence of the story. It’s just so beautiful to look at.

Publisher: DC Comics

Publish Date: November 3rd, 2020

Number of Pages: 200

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle (ttyl, ttfn) and artist Isaac Goodhart (Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale) reunite in this gorgeous YA story about living life to the fullest, and how far one will go for love.

Seventeen-year-old Victor Fries has a cold heart. After his brother died in a tragic house fire for which Victor feels responsible, his parents have isolated themselves, and Victor has dedicated his whole life to one thing: science.

Nora Faria is full of life. She is suffering from an incurable illness that will slowly consume her, so she’s decided to live her last days to the fullest at her summer home outside of Gotham City until her birthday. On that day, she plans to take her own life.

When Victor and Nora happen to meet at the cemetery outside of town, they are astonished to find the connection they have each been missing in their lives. Their summer quickly spirals into a beautiful romance, and Victor’s cold heart begins to thaw, allowing him to enjoy life just a little more. But when Victor learns of Nora’s illness, he’s driven to try to find a solution to keep from losing another person he loves…by any means necessary.

Victor & Nora: A Gotham Love Story is a tragic tale about living life to the fullest and what it truly means to love…and to let go.

Opening Sentence: “You ever catch this many, Otto?”

Musings:

This comic was really cute. It had beautiful art work and a sad and blooming story and I wanted to know more after it ended.

What I loved:

Victor. He reminds me so much of my boyfriend while also being completely different. The intelligence. The want for a future that is totally different from the way things are now. The want to be right and the way Victor cares for Nora. It endeared me to Victor because of those qualities that feel familiar to me. Even while understanding there’s many things that made him flawed. He felt real and three dimensional and I loved that.

Nora. She was super sweet and full of life. That’s the biggest thread in this story. Nora is dealing with an unimaginable fate. Death in her face every single day. She continually chooses to cling to life and I loved to see it.

The clear DC elements. This felt like a clear DC story. Victor being so deeply focused in science and Nora with her illness giving her episodes that are purely fantastical. It made for a really fun read!

All in all:

I really loved this comic. I don’t want to spoil any of it. It’s really beautifully done and at times humorous and heartfelt. It’s very much worth the read.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Olive: By the Light of the Full Moon: A Review

Olive: By the Light of the Full Moon: Script by Vero Cazot & art by Lucy Mazel

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 this is beautiful! I love everything about it. When I saw this cover I knew I had to pick up this comic!

Publisher: Europe Comics

Publish Date: July 15th 2020

Number of Pages: 58

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: Olive, age 17, has a rich and vivid inner life. She has created an imaginary world that she’s able to visit whenever she chooses. But her daily life on earth is shaken up by the arrival of a new roommate at boarding school, who won’t leave Olive alone. And even more upsetting: a mysterious spaceman makes a surprise appearance in her imaginary world! A coming-of-age story that will take Olive far from her comfort zone, as she discovers unsuspected sides of herself and the world around her.

Opening Panel:

Musings:

This story felt so unique and beautiful to me. I’m in love with the art! I loved seeing this girls inner world as she sees it. The oddness of the rubber duck and the cool sciency blobs she used as beds and chairs. I got lost in all of that.

It is a really quick read. I got through it in less then 20 minutes. Yet, in that time I had so much fun in the world and I know there will be more to explore in future issues.

This comic is fun, short, and full of possibility. I am so excited to read more of it in the future!

About the Author:

Verot Cazot

Not very keen on oral expression, French writer Véronique (Véro) Cazot had to learn very early on to use a pen, then a keyboard, to write all kinds of things: love letters, letters of motivation, trailers for television, sketches for a one-woman show and screenplays of movies and series… She then spread into scriptwriting for comics as well. Author of the humorous two-part series “Et toi, quand est-ce que tu t’y mets?”, she continued her journey with two graphic novels: “Les petites distances” and “Betty Boob,” which won numerous awards including the FNAC BD prize in 2018 and a selection at the Eisner Awards in 2019. She was brought on by Dupuis in 2020 to give life to the series “Olive” (Europe Comics in English), illustrated by Lucy Mazel.

About the Artist:

Luzy Mazel (sadly I couldn’t find anything about the awesome artist of this adorable comic)

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

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Flame in the Mist: A Review

Flame in the Mist by Reneé Ahdieh

My Rating: 4 stars!

Cover Rating: 8/10 I’ve always loved this cover! The Phoenix is beautiful. I was immediately drawn to this book because of this gorgeous cover.

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publish Date: May 16th, 2017

Number of Pages: 392 pages

Received: A bookish wish fairy granted me this lovely book!

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: “The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.”

Opening Sentence:In the beginning, there were two suns and two moons.”

Musings:

I had a great time reading this book and I’ll love to one day get my hands on book two! It was a wonderful Mulan retelling with a heroine I would never pick a fight with. This book left me wanting so much more.

What I Loved:

The increasing intensity as the book went on. I love a book that smolders and starts catching momentum. The beginning was fun, but as more started happening things spiced up and I couldn’t get enough!

That I’m not sure if I like Kenshin. Sometimes family aren’t always the best people and as some strange things happen with Kenshin I found myself disliking him and thats not necessarily a bad thing. What I don’t like about him intrigued me and I’m not going to spoil it, but what happened made my jaw drop.

At times it made me laugh. I love lighthearted moments in a story and this one had several. Put a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Especially the moment we meet Ōkami. That moment was so great. Had me screaming yes on the inside.

Ōkami. I really enjoyed his character and the banter he had with Mariko. There was such a fun tension between the two from the beginning even as he believed she was a boy. Also, the way he fights is so cool!

The encampment. I rarely have an appreciation for place, but there was something deadly magical about the encampment. The surroundings. Even the flavor of it. I really enjoyed it.

All in all:

This is a really fun retelling that is full of exciting fights, a growing in intensity kind of love, and a story that gets better as it goes along. If you haven’t already check this book out! It’s a book you won’t regret reading.

About the Author

Renée Ahdieh is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

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Little Creeping Things: A Review

Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso

My Rating: 4 stars!

Cover Rating: 5/10 the doll is a huge part of the story and it’s creepy, but I think they could have done a better job. To me it’s just a typical “spooky” cover and it’s nice, but it doesn’t wow me or draw me in very much on its own.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: June 2nd, 2020

Number of Pages: 352

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A compulsively readable debut with a narrator who can’t be trusted, perfect for fans of Natasha Preston. She never meant to hurt anyone…

When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day. She’s pretty sure she didn’t mean to do it. She’s a victim too. But her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down. In Melody’s eyes, Cassidy is a murderer and always will be.

And then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy think she may have information about what happened. She knows she should go to the cops, but…she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what’s really going on, before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.”

Opening Sentence: “ “Kill it, Cass!” Tina Robbins yells over the pulsing music.”

Musings:

I enjoyed this book. Parts of it were slow and it took a while for me to be super into it, but I liked it all the same. It was a fun read.

What I enjoyed:

The creepy descriptions. One of the creepiest parts of the book are how the main character Cassidy sees things sometimes. People turn into dolls with big blue eyes in her mind and it’s an unsettling part that peppers throughout the novel.

The twists. I should have expected, but did not expect the ending. The signs were there and I got distracted and ended up delightfully surprised at the end. Made the book more interesting.

The paranoia. I liked how mistrustful Cassidy was. It did make things interesting and with someone threatening her it kept me on edge a bit.

All in all

I enjoyed Little Creeping things. It’s a fun little thriller that gets better as it goes and it’s a fun read.

About the author

Chelsea Ichaso writes twisty thrillers for young adults, including LITTLE CREEPING THINGS (Sourcebooks Fire, 2020). A former high school English teacher, she currently resides in southern California with her husband and children. When she’s not reading or writing, Chelsea can be found on the soccer field.

Chelsea is represented by Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Glass Town Wars: A Review

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

My Rating: 2 stars

Cover Rating: 8/10 really love this cover. It is the reason I picked this book up. It’s honestly really beautiful in a weird way to me.

Publisher: Pushkin Press

Publish Date: September 8th, 2020

Number of Pages: 320

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

“The thrilling adventure story based on the writings of the Brontë children, by the bestselling author of Witch Child

When Tom is in a coma, his friend Milo decides that he can be a guinea pig for a new gaming device – a device that will take him to a troubled world where he meets the the warrior-like Augusta who is fighting to save her kingdom from takeover by her rival. With Tom at her side, she finds extra courage. Slowly but surely, Tom starts to leave his life in London behind as the two of them become ever more embroiled in a world of chaos and tension that encompasses the past, the present and the future.

But life in London won’t let Tom go so easily. His friends and family gather around him to try and bring him back – as does a girl from school he barely knows, who comes each day to his bedside to read to him from her favourite book, Wuthering Heights.

In this wonderful speculative fiction Celia Rees has created a meta-fictional world that will delight readers. This epic story, with Rees’s trademark strong female character and romance at its heart, is a compelling action-driven adventure with delightful twists and turns that thrill and surprise right up to the last page.”

Opening Sentence: “notHing is stRaigHtfoRWaRd. Nothing is as it seems… As in life, so in dreams.”

Musings:

So I didn’t like this book. I tried to enjoy it, but it isn’t the story that it says it is. It’s weird, but not the weird I fall in love with. It took a lot of old tropes and meshed it together to try and come up with a real story that seemed more of a ghost of something that many have written so much better before.

I’m not writing this in my usual format because I literally didn’t like anything about this book. Some of it was ok. Vaguely. But, even then I don’t remember a single name but Tom, and he was the only character I only vaguely liked, but even him I had problems with.

This apparently was supposed to be set in a video game world, but none of it felt like an actual video game. It felt like it was written by someone who knows nothing about them and didn’t even pick one up to get a feel for what it’s like. Even narrative driven video games aren’t like this.

I felt like she should’ve written a western themed novel and just left it at that, but she decided to bring it into another “game” completely negating pretty much everything about The Glass town narrative and to throw in some zombies? It felt sloppy. It was confusing and honestly I don’t even know what kind of story this even was?

It certainly wasn’t a love story despite Tom getting with another girl character. There was no real connection there. Literally the only thing was that Tom is from modern times and understands modern ideas and believes in the girls right to chose her partner instead of being arranged to marry. Other then that I did not see any other connection. It came off as very flatly written.

The only reason I didn’t give this book a one star is that I didn’t hate it and it’s bad but I’m mostly just indifferent about it. Anyway, I read it cause I’d heard nothing about it and now that my curiosity has been curbed I am happy to move on from it.

About the Author

Celia Rees has written over twenty novels and has become a leading writer for Young Adults with an international reputation. She says, ‘I like to write what teenagers like to read’.

She has written in different genre, from gritty realism, ghost stories and horror before focusing on historical fiction with the publication of Witch Child, its sequel, Sorceress, going on to Pirates!, Sovay and The Fool’s Girl.

Places to donate to Trans communities:

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Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

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The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea: A Review

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Candlewick press

Publish Date: May 5th, 2020

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas.

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers. 

Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.”

Opening Sentence: “Long after the sun had set, when the passengers were nestled neatly in their cabins, the crew gathered on the deck of the Dove.”

Musings:

I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved so much of it. The structure, the characters, the magic! It was so well-constructed.

What I loved:

The discussion of gender. Flora is both Flora and Florian. Flora the girl who struggled alongside her brother Alfie to survive and Florian the boy who becomes a pirate of his own right. As far as I could tell reading Flora embraces both and I really loved seeing that in this novel. Also, The Pirate Supreme is non-binary and such a badass. They are also straight up called The Pirate Supreme and every-time their mentioned it’s full of badassery and I love them! I just liked that it’s there and that I’m seeing it so much more now then before. It makes me happy to see.

The way the story broke into parts. I loved the structure of this book. I rarely fall in love with pure structure, but this book does it so well. Each section was clearly defined and told the narrative well. It just fit neatly in a way I really appreciated.

Flora and Evelyn together. These two my lord! I love them together. They have this amazing bond that starts from Evelyn wanting to share books and stories with Florian and teach him how to read. To fighting together and loving each other later on not just as Florian but flora. This made my heart so happy. Especially, the ending which I refuse to spoil. It’s too good!

Rake. At first I wasn’t sure if I even liked Rake, but as the story went on I realized how much of a strong character he was. He’s one of the good guys as difficult as it is to be good in the circumstances of the novel.

The magic. I love a good magic system and I swear a magic system that uses stories to create magic is so beautiful. I loved the many stories the witch told in this book. I’m obsessed with it. It was amazing.

The mermaids. I loved how mermaids were portrayed in this book. I love what they eat. I love how Evelyn connected to the mermaid she wanted to save and saw how wrong it was for the sailors to take mermaid blood for their own. It was so cool. I don’t want to spoil the awesomeness of it.

All in All:

If you want to read a magical swashbuckling romance that is beautifully queer and just amazing in every way pick up The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. I loved every moment of it. So amazingly written.

About the Author:

Maggie Tokuda-Hall is the author of the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus, illustrated by Benji Davies, and the young adult novel The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband, son, and objectively perfect dog.

She has a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an MFA in Writing from University of San Francisco. 

She is represented by Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Lit.

You can follow her on Twitter, @emteehall
Or on Instagram @maggietokudahall

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

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Transgender Law Center 

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Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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What Unbreakable Looks Like: Blog Tour/ Review

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

TW: Sexual Abuse, Rape, Sex Trafficking, Abuse, Drug Addiction, grooming.

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 7/10 it’s a really great cover! The poppy on the front represents Lex’s name while she was being Trafficked. The cover i think also shows the strength of character Lex has. It’s really great for this book!

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: June 23rd, 2020

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: “Raw, unflinching, and authentic, Kate McLaughlin’s thoughtful What Unbreakable Looks Like carefully crafts a story exposing the vulnerability of underage trafficked girls and what it takes to begin the process of healing from sexual trauma.”–Christa Desir, author, advocate, and founding member of The Voices and Faces Project

Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again. 

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things. 

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.”

Opening Sentence: “Clean sheets. That’s what I’m dreaming about when something wakes me up.”

Musings:

First of all I am honored to have read a book like this one. It’s a hard hitter and I was in tears at so many points and yet it tells a truth of what goes on far too often. Yet, reading through it I never once feel like Lex is truly a victim. She comes out after everything standing tall and starts to figure out the kind of person she wants to grow up to be. Yet, the truth is she was given away to endure countless times of pure assaults to her person. What she went through. What so many young teens go through is an atrocity so foul I could never imagine what being in their shoes would be like. Reading through this book you can tell how much love went into it. How much research and care to write not only a story of a teen going through one of the worst things anyone could go through, but to also make it a story of hope.

I was in tears at the acknowledgments. Where Kate talks about the girl she’d spoken with who had gone through human Trafficking. Even re-reading it just now gets me teary eyed. No human being should have to go through this. Yet, I love that there is no brokenness to be found there. It truly is ‘What Unbreakable Looks Like’.

What I Loved:

The Friendship. Lex finds herself two amazing friends who support her and love her for all that she is. They don’t shy away from what she went through and they stand by her through it. They stay by her side and fight with her (and not just for her) to keep her safe and to lift her up.

The puppy! The part of the book that made me cry the most was when Lex gets a little Pitbull puppy. It’s one of the sweetest most hopeful moments and yet Lex feeling like she didn’t know if she deserved the love that that little one gave her broke my heart.

Lex’s Aunt. Lex’s aunt is such a wonderful soul. She fights for Lex and loves her truly for who she is. She’s gentle approaching her and talks with her openly. She is the kind of woman I think every child deserves to have in their lives. As their relationship grew closer it made my heart soar.

It’s difficult to read at times. With all the hope and the soaring highs this book has it is not without the dark parts. Knowing with detail at times some of the things she went through. How she was groomed. The drugs given to numb them out and keep them complacent. The awful condition the girls lived in. The pain inflicted upon them. Then the truth that many are killed and will never make it out. In a lot of ways this book is as educational as it is difficult. So much I didn’t realize about human trafficking. The weight of it is something no human being should bear. Let alone teens and children.

All in all:

This book is a must read. It’s unflinching and full of love and yet shows what true darkness looks like. The writing of which was handled with grace and with so much love. It is a book I will never forget.

About the Author

KATE McLAUGHLIN likes people, so much so that she spends her days making up her own. She likes writing about characters who are bent, but not broken – people who find their internal strength through friends, strife and sometimes humor. When she’s not writing, she likes studying people, both real and fictional. She also likes playing board games with friends, talking and discovering new music. A proud Nova Scotian, she’ll gladly tell you all about the highest tides in the world, the magical creation known as a donair, and people who have sofas in their kitchens. Currently, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and four cats. What Unbreakable Looks Like is her debut novel.

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Monstress Volume 2: A Review

Monstress Volume 2 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: 5 Stars!!!

Cover Rating: 10/10 these covers are always stunningly beautiful. True works of art like the comics inside are.

Publisher: Image comics

Publish Date: July 5th, 2017

Number of Pages: 152 pages

Received: Purchased off Amazon

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: The Eisner-nominated MONSTRESS is back! Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat. Collects MONSTRESS #7-12

Opening Sentence: “ “Miss? I woke up last night, and you were gone.””

Musings:

I cannot say enough how much I love these comics!!!! They are so goooood!!! I could never hype them up enough. Sometimes the best things you can barely talk about cause you mind is shouting continually everyone must read this thing!!! It’s so goooood!!! Over and over. These comics are top notch in every way.

What I Loved:

THE ART!!! I will never not be obsessed with this art. I finish one of these comics and immediately want to go back and obsess over how god damn gorgeous it is. It’s glorious. Sana Takeda is a queen!

It’s dark. The story itself has this continued sense of foreboding and urgency with horrific tones throughout. I love for it. Even the adorable cat history parts always have grim stories and grim imagery it’s perfection.

The Hispanic influences. It’s the little touches too of mixing in Hispanic culture. Specifically the use of Spanish words and acknowledging that background context that Maika has in this unique fantasy world is beautiful I love to see it!

How invested I get. You can’t read this without wanting to know more or caring for these characters. It’s dripping with mystery and curiosity. Both at the larger world level and at the individual motivation and wants level. Every single facet of the story itself is interesting.

It’s so gorgeous! The writing is so good! The art is a *chefs kiss*. Both writing and art are so nuanced and work together seamlessly to propel the story forward. I LOVE IT!

All in all:

I don’t want to spoil this I just want everyone to read it for themselves. It’s soooo good!

About the Author

New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books. She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and she leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop.

Ms. Liu was born in Philadelphia, and has lived in numerous cities in the Midwest, as well as Beijing and Shanghai. Prior to writing full-time, she was a lawyer. She currently resides in Boston.

About the Artist

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

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Diamond City: A Review

Diamond City by Francesca Flores

My Rating: 4/5 stars!

Cover Rating: 6/10 it’s a pretty cover. It fits the novel inside it pretty well. I love the warm colors of the diamonds! It’s a solid cover.

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: January 28th, 2020

Number of Pages: 400

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.”

Opening Sentence: “ “Do you want to know the secret to survival?””

Musings:

Diamond City is a fun fast pace novel that flies by as your reading it. Every chapter leaves you wanting more. It’s such a great read!

What I Loved:

Assassin Queen! Aina is an incredible assassin. She’s so much fun to read about. She’s smart and does things quick and efficiently and it’s so cool to read.

Casual bisexuality. Aina is bisexual and it’s just part of who she is and I loved being able to have that and have her also be this kickass assassin and it’s all just how things are.

Open-ended Romance. There’s several people that Aina likes and connects to. Yet, she’s giving herself the time and space to feel her feelings and see what she wants for herself in a relationship. I find that admirable and really nice in a ya.

Adventure Adventure Adventure! Every moment spent in this novel is an Adventure. It’s incredible. There’s not a moment to breath most of the time it’s just on to the next exciting thing and it’s great!

Good friendship. This book is essentially a bunch of friends coming together and doing something together for the greater good.

All and all:

Diamond city is a book that will have your heart racing to the very end. With dynamite and knife fights and grappling hooks.. this book will hook you till it’s exciting completion!

About the Author

Francesca Flores is a writer, traveler and linguist. Raised in Pittsburgh, she read every fantasy book she could get her hands on and started writing her own stories at a young age. She began writing Diamond Citywhile working as a corporate travel manager. When she’s not writing or reading, Francesca enjoys traveling, dancing ballet and jazz, practicing trapeze and contortion, and visiting parks and trails around San Francisco, where she currently resides.

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The Grace Year: A Review

The Grace Year by Kim Ligget

My Rating: 5 stars!!!

Cover Rating: 9/10 I love this cover! It’s perfect for the novel inside it. The dead look on the girls face and the red ribbon devolving into blood is a perfect representation of the book itself. What you get in this cover is what you get in this book and that’s what makes the art of it so amazing!

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: October 8th, 2019

Number of Pages: 416

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. 

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive. 

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life―a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other. 

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

Opening Sentence: “No one speaks of the grace year.”

Musings:

‘The Grace Year’ is a fantastic novel. Just a chef’s kiss kind of novel. It’s got everything that makes a great novel great. I had such a wonderful time reading.

What I Loved:

Darker then Dark. The girls in this novel are vicious. They are deadly. They are girls that you want to stay very far away from. Kim Ligett swing for dark and hit a home run. It’s scary how mentally these girls get so attached to believing they have magic they must purge that they turn so savage. It’s a wonder anyone survives a grace year. The whole time I kept thinking am I really reading this? Did she just tell that girl what I think she told that girl to do? Is that really what that tree is for? It’s so dark.

Somehow the Romance manages to be adorable anyway. One light in all the dark is the love story. I loved it! Yet it’s a little bit later in the story so I don’t want to spoil anything about it. Just that it’s swoon worthy.

I didn’t know how hope could live in this world. If your a woman in this novel your life is good for either a. Being a wife b. Working terrible jobs or c. Being sent to the outskirts to be a prostitute. Also, if your husband gets tired of you he can just say that you’ve been harboring magic and then you get hung. The prospects for a woman in this book aren’t great. I was wondering for a while where the hope lied and there is hope in this novel it just took a while to get there.

It’s a nail bitter of a book. The entire time you wonder is this girl going to make it? Is it possible for her to survive the savagery of the Grace Year. It’s madness. There is no other way to describe it the Grace Year is utter madness. Getting through it with a bit of your sanity is a miracle.

I’m still thinking WTH.. I can’t get over this book really. What it says about women. What it reflects about society. How goddamn dark it was. I’m still in awe. What a fantastic book it was.

All in all:

I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Grace Year. If you love a strong heroine with bite you’ll love this book. If you love a good dark story you’ll love this book. If you want to stare up at your ceiling wondering about life you’ll love this book. What are you doing still reading this? Go pick up this book!

About the Author

At sixteen, Kim Liggett left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80’s.
Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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