The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs: A Review

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

My Rating: 5 stars

Cover Rating: 10/10 This a beautiful cover! Showcases Nadia looking powerful and strong in her wasp suit and encapsulates the feeling of G.I.R.L showcasing our strong and intelligent heroine.

Publisher: Disney Book Group

Publish Date: July 14th, 2020

Number of Pages: 272

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Bestselling author Sam Maggs brings Nadia Van Dyne (the Unstoppable Wasp) and her genius friends to life in an all-new original YA novel based on the world of The Unstoppable Wasp Marvel comics series.


Nadia Van Dyne is new to this. New to being a Super Hero, new to being a real friend and stepdaughter (to one of the founding Avengers, no less), new to running her own lab, and new to being her own person, far, far away from the clutches of the Red Room―the infamous brainwashing/assassin-training facility. She’s adjusting well to all of this newness, channeling her energy into being a good friend, a good scientist, and a good Super Hero. It’s taking a toll, though, and Nadia’s finding that there are never quite enough hours in a day. So, when she’s gifted a virtual assistant powered by the most cutting-edge A.I. technology that the world has to offer, Nadia jumps at the opportunity to “do less, experience more”―just like the advertisements say.The device works― really works. Nadia has more time to pursue her passion projects and to focus on new discoveries. But it’s never quite that simple, and not everything is as it seems. This thrilling adventure finds Nadia confronting her past as she tries to shape her future, and learning that sometimes the best way to effect big change is to think small―maybe even supersmall, Unstoppable Wasp-style. She’ll need the help of her genius G.I.R.L. (Genius In action Research Labs) squad and found family to save herself and (not to be too dramatic) the entire world as we know it. Along the way, Nadia discovers that when she teams up with the people who love her the most, they’re totally Unstoppable.

Opening Sentence: “She was going to force Nadia to hurt her, and Nadia hated when people forced her to hurt them.”

Musings:

I adored ‘The Unstoppable Wasp”! It caused me to nerd out completely throughout. I loved every part of it. It’s definitely perfect for that young Marvel lover in your life.

What I loved:

The fun facts! I find it really adorable how every once in a while Nadia would nerd out and explain a concept about science or technology to the reader. It felt like she really and truly adored science and enjoyed sharing little tidbits with the people around her.

The diversity of the cast. Nadia is Russian and gives little tidbits about Russian words and foods and each member of G.I.R.L. are all from different backgrounds and lend a bit of their culture through who they are throughout the story.

Nadia’s struggle with Bi-polar disorder. Everyday is a time-management struggle for Nadia. Managing her mood, being a cool American teen, connecting with the mother who died before she could meet her, coming up with ideas for her like-minds project. Nadia has so much on her plate at all times and managing her mental health at the same time is overwhelming and causes her to struggle with her personal relationships.

How real Nadia feels. Nadia may be a super hero, but who she is inside and her struggles, wants, and desires make her feel like a girl doing her best to follow her dreams and also just enjoy being alive even with life feels overwhelmingly hard.

All in all:

‘The Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope’ is a wonderful read that made my nerd heart very happy. It’s beautiful to me. Nadia isn’t 100% succeeding in every area of her life she’s doing her best and she wants to do great for the world. Sometimes you got to rely on the G.I.R.L.’s around you who only want you to succeed. Everyone in this book feels like a family.

As a side note: I super nerded out hard talking for the longest time to my boyfriend about the version of Hank in this novel. I got so much out of this book and it‘ll live inside my heart as one to remember.

About the Author:

Sam Maggs is a bestselling author of books, comics, and video games. She’s been a senior games writer, including work on Marvel’s Spider-Man; the author of many YA and middle-grade books like The Unstoppable Wasp, Con Quest!, Tell No Tales, and The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy; and a comics writer for beloved titles like Marvel Action: Captain Marvel, My Little Pony, and Transformers. She is also an on-air host for networks like Nerdist. A Canadian in Los Angeles, she misses Coffee Crisp and bagged milk.

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

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!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

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.

March Goals 2021

This month has already started well. I started on doing my Instagram posts again for my books. I’m excited about this month of reading! I have many books that I’m going to get to this month.

The two books I’ll be finishing reading for sure are:

The Lamb who Slaughtered the Lion

And

Saints and Misfits

Both of these I have limited time to read so I’ll definitely be getting to them first.

Other Goals:

Writing. I want to start writing again at least 15 minutes a day. So that’s what I will start doing.

Exercise. My right wrist is completely shot right now. So I’m going to start doing some standing exercise videos at least until my wrist feels better. So tonight after I finish work I’m going to start my new routine.

Instagram. I want to do an insta post everyday this month. Doing a #Marchreads challenge.

To feel good. I want to enjoy everyday and so far today has felt good and I’ll love that to continue throughout March.

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

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!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

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.

Currently Reading Several Books at Once

I’ve done this in the past often thanks to Wattpad and I think part of me missed the feeling and so I’ve started reading a bunch of books all at once.

Starting with the longest standing reads to the most recent, here are my current reads:

Starting with Horns by Joe Hill

I’ve been reading this book one chapter every once in a while for over two years now, possibly three or four I have no idea. The story itself has stuck in my head as I’ve read it and it’s just something that can tank my mood so I’ve been reading it sparingly and I have no idea when I’ll finish it.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

One of my best friends got me this book two Christmases ago and a few months ago I decided to start reading it. It’s been another emotional read that I’m taking slow and reading sparingly so I have no idea when I’ll finish it.

Replica by Lauren Oliver

I started reading this a few weeks ago because I’ve been very much wanted to read it and due to focus on other books I’ve been reading this one sparingly as well, but I might do a greater focus on it soon.

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

This is my current Netgalley read I’ve also been reading for a few weeks. It’s been my main focus and I’m over half way through and already had a whole nerd out conversation with my boyfriend about it. I should be finished with this one in less then a week or so.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I started reading this last week. I’m only a few chapters in so it’ll be a while before I finish this one. However, I do want to finish it before the Netflix show comes out because I’m really excited about watching it.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

I started this two days ago. This one I started because I’ve had an e-library hold on it for months and it just became available. I plan on having a decent pace reading this book since I have a limited time to read it. Currently, I’m only a few pages in.

So in total six books as of right now. I’ll probably start “Always and Forever Laura Jean” soon too just cause the movie is already out and I want to read the book first before I watch it.

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

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!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

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.

WWW Wednesday!

Haven’t done this in ages, but I thought it would be fun today! What are you reading Wednesday!

What I just finished reading:

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

This book I rated 5 stars! It was fantastic! It was an intense read and I had such a good time with it!

What I’m currently reading:

Horns by Joe Hill

I’m reading this a chapter a day because it is pretty intense and I don’t care to get into the mind frame of the book for too long, but overall it’s fantastic so far!

Diamond City by Francesca Flores

I am almost finished reading this book and might get done with it tonight! Unlike Horns it is much lighter and tons of fun! If I finish it today my review should be up tomorrow!

What I’m Reading Next:

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald

I don’t know much about this book. This came as a random draw from the books I own to read next. It looks like a cool sci-fi so I’m definitely excited for it! If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought of it!

What are you currently reading?

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

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.

My Netgalley Request Spree

A few days ago I made a judgement call that would force me to get back into reading in a manic way. I went on Netgalley and requested a bunch of books. I’d banned myself from doing this ages ago. But, I’m not a depressed bean anymore. I’m excited about life and moving forward and I missed reading. It’s one of the biggest most magical parts of my life and I wanted to give myself an even larger incentive to read then ever.

I really didn’t know what I was expecting when I did this. I’ve been reviewing a bit lately and I just wanted to see what would happen and boy has it been an interesting line of approvals so far.

Also, I’m so incredibly grateful to Netgalley and all the publishers that approved me to read all these amazing titles. THANK YOU!!!

Books Requested and Approved:

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

That cover my goodness! I saw it and had to request.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

This was a Hail Mary request. Did not expect the approval, but ohhh yeah I’m excited!

Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos

Couldn’t resist these creepy vibes! This novel looks like a mystery I wanted to know about.

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

This cover is UNIQUE. I wanted to know what the story was inside. I’m excited to get to find out!

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

This book is a mix up of so many things yet it looks so much like it fits. I am so so happy and excited I got approved to read it!

I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

Again a good Mystery and I couldn’t resist requesting! It sounded amazing!

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

I said so many prayers to get approved for this title. I have a fat crush on Sam Maggs and holy smokes I’m so so excited to read this book!!! I was happy all day when I saw this approval!

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

So I’ve always wanted to read Anger is a Gift and I already know that book is soooo well loved so I had to request this book! So happy to have the chance to read it!

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

This book has MAGICAL REALISM!!! Let me say that again MAGICAL REALISM alert!! Freaking will want to read every ya magical realism book I can get my hands on. It’s my jam! Plus omg that cover is chef’s kiss gorgeous!

Hush by Dylan Farrow

The magic in this novel sounds freaking amazing lemme tell you. I read the description and was like HELL yes sign me up for that thank you!

My Rejection:

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

That’s right this is the only book I’ve heard back as a no from and I get it. This is a very popularly requested book and I’ve gotten many many yes’s to many amazing novels! Still gotta appreciate that cover tho A+!

Pending Requests:

So all that looks like a lot of books right? Well when I say I went on a request spree.. I went on a request SPREE. Anyway here’s what I’m waiting to hear back on.

Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky

Soooo about this book. I kinda sorta got notified today that I won it in a giveaway sooo.. it may be pending, but like.. hell yess I get to read this book!!!! I have her other book Dive Smack on my shelves and I also won that in a giveaway way back. Apparently I’m meant to read Demetra’s books. I’ll be owning both books she’s written so far! Very excited!

The rest in a beautiful collage of ohh my gosh I hope I get to read these!!!!

That’s 18 more books I’ve yet to hear back on! All of them books I’d feel so happy to read! We’ll see what happens sometime soon! But, gosh I can’t wait to see if I get approved for any of these. Looking at them all together my heart swells. They all look so beautiful!

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

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.

Hello July!!

I haven’t done this sort of post in a long time, but this month is going to be a fun one and I’m really excited about it.

This month, I’m going to visit magic mountain for the first time in years! I’m celebrating July 4th and my sisters birthday this month so I’m really pumped about it.

As far as reading goes my goal is to read this beauty finally:

I meant to start reading it one of these past weekends, but I still haven’t reviewed ‘The Beholder’ and I’m focusing on getting that done first, but after that I’m devouring this book!

After ‘Escaping from Houdini’ I will probably finally finish reading ‘Wicked Saints’ and get that review done as well.

Of course, this month I will also be continuing on with the marvel-verse series. I plan on seeing Spider-man: Homecoming at some point this month and while I may not discuss it till well in the future I am definitely not going to miss out on seeing this film in theaters. (On a side note: I also plan on seeing Annabel Comes Home this month as well, which I will be posting about so I’m excited for that!)

Other then all that, I’m generally excited to see what July brings. It’s stacking up to become one of the best months of the year and I’m just happy to be able to discuss it with all of you!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

October Plans

Usually right now, I’d be writing a TBR post, but now that I don’t have Netgalley on my back making sure I read certain books is not something I can do. I mean I could try, but I want to live in my freedom for a while!

So instead, I want to talk about what I have planned for October.

It’s spooky month so.. of course there are a few things I HAVE to do. One.. read at least one spooky book.. it will probably be Merciless.. that pink witchy book has been calling my name for over a year now. Two.. I will be writing as much as I can towards my psychological horror novel. Three.. is to watch at least one horror movie/play-through of a horror game every weekend.. maybe I will do a post about what I watch each weekend.. that might be fun.. Four.. It’s my blogoversery month!!! On October 14th, 2018 my blog will be 2 years old!!!! I have a very very special thank you post discussing just how important this blog has become to me in the past two years.

Other then all of that, I don’t really know what to expect for this month. Life has thrown at me so many twists and turns recently that I really don’t know what to do sometimes other then go with the flow of it. Either way no matter what comes my way this month I’m determined to tackle it!

Thanks for reading! What are your plans for October? What are your currently reading? What book do you think your going to pick up next?

-Till next time!

Freedom From Netgalley

I am finally.. finally free from my Netgalley obligations!!! That’s right.. completely and totally free!

I do not have a 100% feedback ratio. Because of the way I requested books at one point a lot of the books became unavailable because I took to long to get to them.. I am NEVER over requesting books again. From now on.. it’s one or two at a time.

Look at that 87% feedback rating… feels so good! I feel badly about the 15 novels that fell through the cracks.. some of them I didn’t review because they were problematic and I didn’t want to read them and others because I didn’t manage my time right and no longer had access to those books, but I got to a majority of the books and it feels like a true success!

I’m going to steer clear of Netgalley for a while.. I have quite a few books on my shelves and ebooks that I want to get to. I have some books on my shelves I should have read a LONG time ago, but now I am free to read what I want. Maybe I’ll reread a few things. Who knows? I might request the occasional Netgalley read, but for now my book shelves look really good to me.

This Netgalley clean-up took months! I kinda messed things up for myself when I did my book a day thing for the longest time.. it burned me out. Especially writing reviews all the time. It made me so unhappy with my blog and I just wanted to get back to writing posts the way I used to… daily, but whatever I wanted. It’d be nice to do some tags again. I have a couple of projects I’m thinking of doing. All I know is.. it feels good to be free!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

Check out my Twitter and Instagram!

-Till next time!

Special Interview/Giveaway with In Sight of Stars Author Gae Polisner

Hello everyone!

Today’s post is a special one, because I got to interview the author of one of my all time favorite books of the year and she offered to do an exclusive giveaway right here on my blog so that you all could have a chance to receive a signed copy of her beautiful book “In Sight of Stars”. *disclaimer* **This is a US only giveaway** (I apologize to my international blogging friends).

In Sight of Stars is an absolute gorgeous thing of a novel and if you haven’t already you can read my rave review of it here.

Anyway you’re not here for my words right now (or at least you shouldn’t be, I mean, I have a queen as a guest).

On to the interview!

1. Gae, you have written many books. How was the writing process for In Sight of Stars different from your other books?

Each book brings a totally different process for me, but IN SIGHT OF STARS was most tough for me to trust that I could bring the element of art to life, especially since I was dealing with VanGogh. My mother is an artist so she helped – and pushed me – on that, and so your next question makes me smile because this leads right to that. . .

2. In Sight of Stars has this beautiful mix of an ethereal beginning that bleeds into more and more clarity, how did you decide that that was the best way to write your story?

When the book opens, Klee is in the middle of a psychological break. He is not himself, and doesn’t have control over what is happening with, and to, him. I really wanted the reader to feel the disorientation and delusion (not to mention the desperation) Klee is feeling, and, I imagine from the reading I did, that it is much like Van Gogh felt at times in his life.

I was referencing Klee’s connection with Van Gogh in the opening of the original draft, but it was my mother – who is an incredible artist herself, and one of my best BETA readers – who suggested I might want to make the opening “like a Van Gogh painting come alive.” I had literally just watched my mother-in-law hallucinating from too-strong pain meds, and the minute my mom suggested it, it freed me in a way I was needing to be able to go fully there.

As for being the best way. . . we never know that, whether anything we’ve done is the “best way.” ☺ I’m sure I’ve lost readers with the opening, too. But I presume the readers who need the story, who connect, will find what they are looking for.

3. In the book, art is a tone setter for emotions that fly. What is a painting that you think best captures Klee’s emotional journey?

Oh wow, what an amazing question. I mean, obviously Van Gogh’s work would capture it. . . The most obvious: Starry Night.

I know for many it is simply a gorgeous painting, which it is, but for me, the painting feels tumultuous, and many have spoken to the haloed suns in his work pointing to problems with his vision, whether due to too much absinthe, lead in the yellow paints he used, or toxic but not lethal overdoses of the medication known as digitalis…

But VanGogh’s Wheatfield With Crows (and, of course, Daubigney’s Garden) were the two paintings that inspired the scene I tried to set in the first several days of the story. . .

But, I could also point to a few Paul Klee paintings – as you know, that’s who my protagonist is named after. . .

Paul Klee- Little Tree Amid Shrubbery

Bird Wandering Off

And by the end of the story, I believe his emotional journey forward could be more encapsulated by a VanGogh painting filled with light and hope like this version of Wheatfield with Cypresses.

I find it notable that both the starting and ending point of that emotional journey – a proverbial wheatfield – remain the same, but the light and hope of the setting (Klee’s own mind) can be seen as healthier and changed.

4. Books don’t appear from nothing. What was your inspiration for writing In Sight of Stars?

I’ve talked about it in a few blog posts . . . the first scene I ever wrote in the book was the one where Klee draws on Sarah’s paper:

[Sarah] works across from me. Her hair spills onto her paper like a shiny black waterfall, and her hand moves the charcoal in tight gray lines.

. . .I stare at her hair, then at her hand, then I reach out and trace the

strands with my charcoal.

“Hey! What the fuck, Alden?” Her eyes search mine, then dart back to my marks on her paper. “What the hell is your deal?”

I yank my hand back, burnt, but it’s too late, several kids have jerked

their heads around. And I’m already an alien for showing up here senior year.

Originally the first lines of the book, now, not appearing until pages 9 – 11, this scene was the catalyst for the whole story that came after, because, as the daughter of an artist, and a writer myself, I know the danger in touching someone else’s work. You don’t. Not without their permission. And, the thing is, Klee knows this too. And, so, in that moment I also suddenly knew a ton about Klee and who he was going to be when we meet him: a kid who knows better, but is in such a fragile place he can’t stop himself. He gives in to an impulse, feels utterly compelled. It’s literally the first instant when Klee is out of control. The first inkling we have that he is. And Sarah forgives him. More than that, there is something about his impulsivity, his compulsion, that draws her to him. Yet it will ultimately be the same thing that undoes them. To me, this interaction is one where love, pain, and art all collide.

The story evolved from there, from asking myself the question, “But, why?” Why was Klee in that fragile state? Why was it so intrinsically related to art, and specifically the art of Van Gogh?

5. Of all your books, which is the one you struggled to write the most and why?

Oh, hands down, JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME, the one that comes out next. It’s darker and maybe more commercial than my other books – a good thing – but I’ve struggled to make sure there’s a reason I’m telling the story other than, “Oh, cool, dark story,” that the journey my main character takes actually matters, that the readers’ reading actually matters. Plus, for some reason, I seems to struggle more writing female MC’s than male ones. Funny, huh?

6. Writing is a journey. What was the beginning of your journey to becoming a writer?

I still can’t believe I’m actually a published writer. The journey was long, checkered, and never seems to get too much easier to write a good book and get that book published (and see copies sell). If you want to get a sense, here’s a blogpost I wrote in 2014 called “Chutes and Ladders Redux” (and, yes, apparently I have a thing for Chutes and Ladders and board games from my childhood, as you know all too well from IN SIGHT OF STARS):

http://ghpolisner.blogspot.com/2014/10/falling-failing-and-chutes-ladders.html

7. One day I could only hope to write a book that shares as much truth as In Sight of Stars. What is your advice for an aspiring writer?

Oh, you know, all the usual: Read a lot, Rewrite a TON, expect your first few manuscripts to be practice runs. But maybe most of all, trust your own unique voice. There are no unique stories, only the way YOU tell them.

8. Not all must be serious. What is something you turn to that brings a smile on your face every time?

Oh, even in my darkest moments, I find humor, and hope that translates to my stories (although in JACK KEROUAC, I’m not sure…)

In IN SIGHT OF STARS, Sister Agnes Teresa brings that humor with her wry sarcastic exchanges with Klee over Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. In THE MEMORY OF THINGS, it’s why I chose Kyle to watch Cow and Chicken with the bird girl, maybe one of the stupidest, most ridiculous TV shows that ever was.

I think one of the biggest things that draws me to others is their sense of humor, so I try to impart that in the relationships in my stories – a repartee (?) in my dialogue, sometimes light, sometimes cutting, but always a sense of humor.

9. Writers must always be readers first. What are some of your favorite books?

Yes, they must. YA: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork, and books from my childhood like A Wrinkle in Time, or Judy Blume YA’s (vs MG’s). Adult: OMG, anything by Barbara Kingsolver. Her writing astounds me. A book called To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal (he also writes YA). But so many. So many.

10. When at first you don’t succeed… The writing process can be difficult and knowing our weaknesses is invaluable. What is something you struggle with when you write your first draft?

Everything. Everything. Creating a story rather than just strung together moments. Figuring out WHO my characters are and why they ultimately matter. Finding enough stakes, enough drama. Everything. Did I say everything?

Again I want to thank you for writing a story that I have come to love so much! I am so happy that I had the chance to read your words. Especially during a time of struggle personally. It means the world that you reached out to me. Thank you! – Tiana (The Book Raven)

I’m so grateful for you sharing your book love, and so grateful to be connected. Hope this period of struggle passes quickly, and the period of pure joy that will arrive before the next struggle checks in (because they always do, don’t they?), is extended and rejuvenating, and fills your soul with hope to spare.

[END of Interview]

This is the first time on my blog where I ask myself “Did this really just happen?”. I’m a little star struck. I had just fallen in love with Gae’s writing and had been researching her other books so I could add them all to my tbr.. and she contacts me?! Because of my review!?! This has been one of the most surreal and wonderful experiences of my life!

Anyway… time to link what you really came here for the Giveaway!

Click the rafflecopter link HERE.

You all really don’t want to miss on one of my absolute favorite books of the year!

Thanks for reading! *internally screams* (my professionalism is slipping) You all have to check out this book! Anyway enter the giveaway and check out Gae’s books! Her writing is incredible!

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

June TBR: 2018

It’s June and that means it’s time to share a brand new tbr! I have a few roll overs from last month as well as some more Netgalley reads. I’m starting to dwindle down on the Netgalley books and I’m super excited about it. I’ve got 23 books to go till I’m finally back on track!

Currently Reading:

By a Charm and A Curse by Jaime Questell

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

I am loving this Netgalley read. It’s fun, magical, and quite a bit unexpected. I’m a bit more then halfway through it and I’m excited to see how it ends!

Once again…

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness?

What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results.

Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school.

Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

So the past few months I have included this book and each month I put it aside to read other things, but I swear I’m going to get through it in June. I’m not too far into it but I hope to at least get through it as much as I possibly can.

Netgalley Reads:

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Award-winning Rachel Hartman’s newest YA is a tour de force and an exquisite fantasy for the #metoo movement.

“Tess of the Road is astonishing and perfect. It’s the most compassionate book I’ve read since George Eliot’s Middlemarch.” — NPR

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose. Tess is none of these things. Tess is. . . different. She speaks out of turn, has wild ideas, and can’t seem to keep out of trouble. Then Tess goes too far. What she’s done is so disgraceful, she can’t even allow herself to think of it. Unfortunately, the past cannot be ignored. So Tess’s family decide the only path for her is a nunnery.

But on the day she is to join the nuns, Tess chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. She’s not running away, she’s running towards something. What that something is, she doesn’t know. Tess just knows that the open road is a map to somewhere else–a life where she might belong.

Returning to the spellbinding world of the Southlands she created in the award-winning, New York Times bestselling novel Seraphina, Rachel Hartman explores self-reliance and redemption in this wholly original fantasy.

Four starred reviews!

“The world building is gorgeous, the creatures are vivid and Hartman is a masterful storyteller. Pick up this novel, and savor every page.” — Paste Magazine

I’m so excited for this novel! I’ve been anticipating reading this since the moment I got approved and I’m sad to say I was approved for this months ago. I’m just grateful to finally be able to read this!

This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living took more courage than dying?

This is a highly rated novel that I can’t wait to take on! It sounds heartfelt and beautiful and a great addition to my tbr!

The Beauty that Remains by Ashely Woodfolk

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.

Another heart wrenching novel I am excited to read. It seems contemporary, unique, and delightfully musical.

Thanks for reading! What are you excited to read this month?

-Till next time!