Most Anticipated Ya Releases: August 2021

Hello and welcome back to one of the most classic posts on my blog that I haven’t done in ages. My monthly most anticipated releases! So without further ado, The Most Anticipated Ya Book Releases of August 2021!

The Perfect Place to Die by Bryce Moore 

“Stalking Jack the Ripper meets a YA Devil in the White City in this terrifying story of a girl trying to save her sister from one of the most notorious mass murders in history

When Zuretta’s sister, Ruby, travels to Chicago, and disappears, Zuretta leaves home to find her. She has a little bit of money from her Utah church, an abiding fandom of the legendary Pinkertons, and a deep hope and faith of finding Ruby soon.

After a series of mishaps, she claws her way forward, taking a job in the very place her sister Ruby last worked—a hotel owned by notorious serial killer Dr. H. H. Holmes.

But Zuretta’s efforts to find out what happened to her sister don’t go unnoticed, and before long, she finds herself up against one of the most infamous mass murderers in American history—and his custom-built death trap.” 

This book sounds like so much fun! I love the idea of it so much and it’s right up my alley. 

The Silent Unseen by Amanda McCrina 

“A mesmerizing historical novel of suspense and intrigue about a teenage girl who risks everything to save her missing brother.

Poland, July 1944. Sixteen-year-old Maria is making her way home after years of forced labor in Nazi Germany, only to find her village destroyed and her parents killed in a war between the Polish Resistance and Ukrainian nationalists. To Maria’s shock, the local Resistance unit is commanded by her older brother, Tomek―who she thought was dead. He is now a “Silent Unseen,” a special-operations agent with an audacious plan to resist a new and even more dangerous enemy sweeping in from the East. When Tomek disappears, Maria is determined to find him, but the only person who might be able to help is a young Ukrainian prisoner and the last person Maria trusts―even as she feels a growing connection to him that she can’t resist.

Tightly woven, relentlessly intense, The Silent Unseen depicts an explosive entanglement of loyalty, lies, and love during wartime, from the acclaimed author of Traitor Amanda McCrina.”

Sometimes you need a good wartime love story. This one sounds so intense and twisted too! I’ll love to read it. 

Dangerous Play by Emma Kress 

“Propulsive, electrifying, and high-stakes…

Zoe Alamandar has one goal: win the State Field Hockey Championships and earn a scholarship that will get her the hell out of Central New York. She and her co-captain Ava Cervantes have assembled a fierce team of dedicated girls who will work hard and play by the rules.

But after Zoe is sexually assaulted at a party, she finds a new goal: make sure no girl feels unsafe again. Zoe and her teammates decide to stop playing by the rules and take justice into their own hands. Soon, their suburban town has a team of superheroes meting out punishments, but one night of vigilantism may cost Zoe her team, the championship, her scholarship, and her future. 

Perfect for fans who loved the female friendships of Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie and the bite of Courtney Summer’s Sadie.”

This book sounds both heavy and fun. Females taking something difficult to deal with into their own hands and maybe messing stuff up a little, but doing the best they can anyway and that’s what matters. 

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino 

“Tess Matheson only wants three things: time to practice her cello, for her sister to be happy, and for everyone else to leave her alone.

Instead, Tess finds herself working all summer at her boarding school library, shelving books and dealing with the intolerable patrons. The worst of them is Eliot Birch: snide, privileged, and constantly requesting forbidden grimoires. After a bargain with Eliot leads to the discovery of an ancient book in the library’s grimoire collection, the pair accidentally unleash a book-bound demon.

The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot’s face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her… and he’ll have her, dead or alive.”

I can’t stress enough how fun this book sounds. I adore the premise. I want to see what trouble this book gets into. 

The Last Words We Said by Leah Scheier 

“Nine months ago, Danny disappeared and everything changed for his friends. Rae’s pouring herself into rage-baking. Deenie’s deepening her commitment to Orthodox Judaism. And Ellie—Danny’s best friend and girlfriend—is the only one who doesn’t believe he’s dead.

Because she still sees him.

Moving back and forth between past and present, the story of Ellie and Danny unspools, from their serendipitous meeting to Danny and Ellie falling for each other. In the past, they were the perfect couple—until it all went wrong. In the present, Ellie’s looking for answers. Her friends are worried about her mental health, but Ellie’s certain that the tragedy that’s rocked their modern Orthodox community isn’t as simple as they all believe. She’s determined to uncover the truth about what happened to the love of her life. But to do that, she’ll have to be more honest with herself.”

I’m so curious about this book. Is it a true ghost story that she’s still seeing him? Or is it more that it has everything to do with her mental health? Either way I have questions only reading could fulfill. 

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad 

“From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.

Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.”

This sounds like a fun superhero rescue story, but also intense too. The way these girls were hurt sounds painful to read about. 

The Dark Way Down by Chelsea Ichaso 

“A gripping new psychological thriller from the author of Little Creeping Things—can a grieving girl discover the twisted truth behind her sister’s hiking accident?

Piper Sullivan never should have been at Suicide Point the day she fell. Her older sister, Savannah, knows this with all her heart—just as she knows that Piper’s “accident” was entirely her fault. Savannah did something awful, something she can barely stand to think about, and now Piper is in a coma.

But just as Savannah’s guilt threatens to swallow her whole, she finds something strange in Piper’s locker: a note inviting Piper to a meeting of their school’s wilderness club…at the very place and on the very day she fell. Which means that there’s a chance Piper wasn’t alone.

Maybe it isn’t Savannah’s fault, after all. Someone in the club might know what really happened. Someone might have done something. But why? If Savannah wants to find out the truth about that tragic day, she’ll have to join the club on their weekend long camping trip…on the very same mountain where her sister fell. And with everyone in the club a suspect, she’ll need to be careful or she might follow her sister into the dark.” 

I have read and enjoyed ‘Little Creeping Things’ and I think it’d be fun to try this book out too. 

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould 

“The Dark has been waiting for far too long, and it won’t stay hidden any longer. 

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness. 

Courtney Gould’s thrilling debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places—and people—you didn’t expect”

This sounds so interesting! I wonder what the paranormal investigators have to do with the disappearances and if they will help or hinder Ashley’s quest to find out what happened? 

The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins 

“Stephanie Perkins returns with another blood-chilling contemporary horror novel, the perfect companion to her New York Times bestseller There’s Someone Inside Your House, soon to be a Netflix feature.

A traditional backwoods horror story set–first page to last–in the woods of the Pisgah National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Two girls go backpacking in the woods. Things go very wrong. 

And, then, their paths collide with a serial killer.” 

Since this is making its way to Netflix I’d love to read the book and watch the movie! 

Beyond the Mapped Stars by Rosalyn Eves 

“A sweeping adventure, set in the late 19th century, about science, love, and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Julie Berry.

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Bertelsen dreams of becoming an astronomer, but she knows such dreams are as unreachable as the stars she so deeply adores. As a Mormon girl, her duty is to her family and, in a not too far away future, to the man who’ll choose to marry her.

When she unexpectedly finds herself in Colorado, she’s tempted by the total eclipse of the sun that’s about to happen—and maybe even meeting up with the female scientists she’s long admired. Elizabeth must learn to navigate this new world of possibility: with her familial duties and faith tugging at her heartstrings, a new romance on the horizon, and the study of the night sky calling to her, she can’t possibly have it all…can she?”

The journey of a girl’s love for science! Count me in! 

House of Glass Hearts by Leila Siddiqui

“Maera and her ammi never talk about the Past, a place where they’ve banished their family’s heartache and grief forever. They especially never mention the night Maera’s older brother Asad disappeared from her naana’s house in Karachi ten years ago. But when her grandfather dies and his derelict greenhouse appears in her backyard from thousands of miles away, Maera is forced to confront the horrors of her grandfather’s past. To find out what happened to her brother, she must face the keepers of her family’s secrets—the monsters that live inside her grandfather’s mysterious house of glass. 

Seamlessly blending history with myth, HOUSE OF GLASS HEARTS follows a Pakistani-American teen’s ruthless quest to find her missing sibling, even if the truth would reveal her grandfather’s devastating secret and tear her family apart. In a narrative that switches between colonial India and present-day America, this ambitious debut explores how the horrors of the past continue to shape the lives of South Asians around the world.” 

I’ve never read a book about a Pakistaní American teen before. I know so little about the culture I’m very curious to see what this book could teach me. 

The Girl With the Hickory Heart by Lauren Nicolle Taylor 

“Luna, the girl with the hickory heart, can’t feel.

Lye, the girl with all the power, can’t forget.

Together, two teens from warring tribes hold the fate of their torn worlds. One is destined to destroy. The other is desperate for deliverance.

For Luna, the price of peace in a time of war is a heart of hickory. But to have a hickory heart leaves no room for love. When the lives of her three brothers are tied to refugee siblings from the warring tribe, Luna must test the limits of her wooden heart to trust those she’s been taught to hate.

Seventeen-year-old Lye is the Shen keeper. There’s only one. Ripped from her village as a child to perform the sacred task of awakening elements in every Shen soldier, she’s become an unwilling instrument of violence and death. And it’s starting to dismantle her conscience.

In an island nation akin to a wooden Hong Kong, two Asian girls from warring tribes must put aside their pasts in order to move forward.”

I mean look at that cover!?!? Couldn’t not want to pick this up. 

Take Me With You When You Go by David Leviathan and Jennifer Niven 

“From the New York Times bestselling authors of All the Bright Places and Every Day comes a story of hope, siblinghood, and finding your home in the people who matter the most.

Subject: You. Missing.

Ezra Ahern wakes up one day to find his older sister, Bea, gone. No note, no sign, nothing but an email address hidden somewhere only he would find it. Ezra never expected to be left behind with their abusive stepfather and their neglectful mother—how is he supposed to navigate life without Bea?

Bea Ahern already knew she needed to get as far away from home as possible But a message in her inbox changes everything, and she finds herself alone in a new city—without Ez, without a real plan—chasing someone who might not even want to be found.

As things unravel at home for Ezra, Bea will confront secrets about their past that will forever change the way they think about their family. Together and apart, broken by abuse but connected by love, this brother and sister must learn to trust themselves before they can find a way back to each other.”

This book sounds like a hard and emotional read. Sometimes those are the most inspiring and wonderful books. 

The Endless Skies by Shannon Price 

“Shannon Price’s The Endless Skies is a breakout standalone epic fantasy about shapeshifting warriors perfect for fans of Adrienne Young and Wonder Woman. 

Sixteen-year-old Rowan is about to become one of the famed Leonodai Warriors—the elite magical fighters who protect the floating city Heliana from the world of Men. Until disaster strikes the city’s children.

Against orders from the king, Rowan sets out on her own and tracks down one of the Warrior teams—only to find herself face to face with both the man she loves and the one who holds the dark secrets of their past. With time running out and Men on their tail, Rowan must risk everything to save her beloved city.”

There’s not too many stand-alone fantasies out there and I’d love to check out this one! 

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zetner 

“From the award-winning author of The Serpent King comes a beautiful examination of grief, found family, and young love.

Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He’s been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen.

But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind.”

Another heartbreaker I am very much interested in. 

Eyes of the Forest by April Henry 

“After a bestselling fantasy author disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger and has the courage to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery with a chilling psychological twist.

Bridget is RM Haldon’s biggest fan. His epic fantasy series, Swords and Shadows, created a lifeline between Bridget and her mom as she lost her battle with cancer. When Bridget met Haldon at his only book signing, she impressed the author with her encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy world he’d created. Bridget has been working for him ever since as he attempts to write his final book. Now, Haldon is missing, and Bridget is the only person who seems concerned. Can Bridget piece together Haldon’s clues and save him before it’s too late?

Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story that seamlessly blends suspense with fan culture. For readers of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.”

Haven’t read a mystery in ages! I would love this. 

Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis 

“For fans of Us and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comes a witchy story full of black girl magic as one girl’s dark ability to summon the dead offers her a chance at a new life, while revealing to her an even darker future.

Katrell doesn’t mind talking to the dead; she just wishes it made more money. Clients pay her to talk to their deceased loved ones, but it isn’t enough to support her unemployed mother and Mom’s deadbeat boyfriend-of-the-week. Things get worse, when a ghost warns her to stop the summonings or she’ll “burn everything down.” Katrell is willing to call them on their bluff, though. She has no choice. What do ghosts know about eating peanut butter for dinner?

However, when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go.

But magic doesn’t come for free, and soon dark forces are closing in on Katrell. The further she goes, the more she risks the lives of not only herself, but those she loves. Katrell faces a choice: resign herself to poverty, or confront the darkness before it’s too late.”

This books sounds like it has the most kickass disaster protagonist and I love it! 

The Great Destroyers by Caroline Tung Richmond 

Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston 

“In this heart-wrenching debut YA novel that’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown meets They Both Die at the End, a teen girl takes a trip to New Orleans with her estranged best friend to find a vampire to save her dying father.

Victoria and her dad have shared a love of the undead since the first vampire revealed his existence on live TV. Public fear soon drove the vampires back into hiding, yet Victoria and her father still dream about finding a vampire together. But when her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it’s clear that’s not going to happen. Instead, Victoria vows to find a vampire herself—so that she can become one and then save her father.

Armed with research, speculations, and desperation—and helped by her estranged best friend, Henry—Victoria travels to New Orleans in search of a miracle. There she meets Nicholas, a mysterious young man who might give her what she desires. But first, he needs Victoria to prove she loves life enough to live forever.

She agrees to complete a series of challenges, from scarfing sugar-drenched beignets to singing with a jazz band, all to show she has what it takes to be immortal. But truly living while her father is dying feels like a betrayal. Victoria must figure out how to experience joy and grief at once, trusting all the while that Nicholas will hold up his end of the bargain…because the alternative is too impossible to imagine.”

Adorable vampire novel! Hell yes! 

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride 

“A debut YA novel-in-verse that is both a coming-of-age and a ghost story.

Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.

Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.

Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.

Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.” 

I will always love a novel in verse. Always. 

Living Beyond Borders: Growing Up Mexican in America by various authors 

“Authors (Philmonel)

Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Sylvia Sanchez Garza, Dominic Carrillo, Angela Cervantes, Carolyn Dee Flores, René Saldaña Jr., Laura Perez, Justine Narro, Daniel García Ordáz, and Anna Meriano. 

In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican American. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today’s young readers.” 

This anthology looks so damn amazing! Would love to read it! 

Dagger Hill by Devon Taylor 

“Stranger Things meets One of Us Is Lying in this creepy paranormal mystery about four friends who find themselves hunted by a malevolent presence in their sleepy hometown.

It knows your fear…

Summer, 1989. Four best friends—Gabe, Kimberly, Charlie, and Sonya—are preparing for their last summer together before senior year, after which they’ll all be splitting up to start college in different parts of the country. They make a promise to always find their way back to each other, no matter how far away from their sleepy Pennsylvania hometown they get.

But their plans are destroyed when a plane crashes right on top of their favorite hangout outside of town—and right on top of them.

In the catastrophic aftermath of the incident, Gabe, Sonya and Charlie are plagued by eerie visions and messages from an unknown watcher. They soon realize that the plane crash was no accident, and now they are being hunted by a sinister presence. And everyone is still searching for Kimberly, who has been missing ever since Gabe saw somebody wearing a gas mask carry her out of the woods the day the sky fell down on them…” 

Not only would I cover buy this, but the description sounds awesome! It sounds so mysterious and so cool! 

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao 

“In a YA thriler that is Crazy Rich Asians meets One of Us is Lying, students at an elite prep school are forced to confront their secrets when their ex-best friend turms up deadand they’re the prime suspects in her murder. 

When Nancy Luo’s former best friend Jamie Ruan, the top ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing. Nancy is shocked. She’s even more shocked when Jamie is found dead. 

The police suspect murder, and Nancy and her three friends become the prime suspects-fhanks to The Proctor, someone set on publicdy incriminating them via the school’s social media app. The quartet used to be Jamie’s dosest friends – and she knew dangerous secrets about each of them that could ruin their reputations as the other top- ranking students. For Nancy, the stakes are even higher, because unlike her wealthy friends, she could lose her full ride scholarship, too. 

As the group struggles to dear their names while maintaining their perfect GPAS, they race to uncover Jamie’s true killer-before the Proctor exposes al of their darkest secrets. But Nancy can’t help but suspect that one of her friends is lying. Or is there a missing piece in her own memory that could expose the truth-not justabout Jamie’s fate, but also about herself?”

I’ve heard awesome things about this book! Plus, the description sounds so good! 

Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers 

“A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked. 

Magic always leaves its mark.

All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.

When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic – and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn’t responsible — at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth…before anyone else turns up dead.” 

Hell yes! A bad witch story? I can’t wait to pick this book up! 

A Lesson in Vengence by Victoria Lee 

“Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.

Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.

Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let 

her forget.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.

And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.” 

I follow Victoria on Twitter and she’s so cool! I’d love to read her book! 

Alright! After an hour and a half I finished this! So many great reads to look forward to! 

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 Sisters of Twilight website.

Watching Hush

I have had a wonderful day and I was having a little trouble thinking about what kind of post I wanted to write. So, I decided to end off the day watching a movie randomly recommended to me off Likewise.

Hush is about a deaf mute writer who has a killer attack her home. The killer himself is completely deranged and takes pleasure in drawing out the kill when he can. He wants his victims to suffer and it’s a mind game for him.

Maddie lives alone isolated in the woods. The movie never explains why she was isolated, but she does say she didn’t chose it for herself.

I am writing as someone who isn’t mute or deaf and I read reviews from deaf and mute reviewers to get a better since of if the movie handled deafness in a respectful way. From what I gathered most really wanted a deaf mute actress to play Maddies role. This would have made her feel more authentic and the sign language wouldn’t have been mixed in its versions.

There also was a moment where Maddie reads the killers lips from too far of a distance that wouldn’t be plausible for someone who was truly deaf.

For a more detailed review of this from a deaf reviewer click here.

As far as the horror goes, I did enjoy it. 100% I’d have loved to see this played by a deaf actress and movie makers need to start listening to the communities they are portraying in films and actually cast people from those communities to play them. I think it’s important for everyone to see an authentic representation of themselves on screen.

Watching Hush was scary. There was certain things I felt where they were trying to get the deafness part right, but couldn’t hit the mark because they didn’t cast a deaf person for the role.

That being said enjoyable as the movie was I think it just showcases how important it is to cast the community your portraying and go that step further (though it shouldn’t be the step further, but the default) and make a movie that sorta is a step forward and steps backward all at once into something amazing and way more worth the watch.

I did find the other interesting part of this movie is that she used her brain as a writer to fight the killer. As I writer that is a part that I really enjoyed.

All in all, I’ll be really excited to watch more movies that actually incorporate deaf actors for deaf roles, and trans actors in trans roles, and actors who are autistic to play autistic roles and so on. This movie highlighted for me that I want to start searching for movies and shows that make it a point to cast from the communities the show portrays. It makes a world of difference.

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.

In Another Life: A Review

In Another Life by C.C. Hunter

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Cover Rating: 3/10 stars, I’m not really feeling this cover. I think the only thing that would attract me to it is the color. It doesn’t feel like it’s truly connected with the story in any real way other then to say things get a bit fractured in the novel. I wish they had gone in a different direction.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: March 26th, 2019

Number of Pages: 352

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life?

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?”

Opening Sentence: ““What are you doing?” I ask when Dad pulls over at a convenience store only a mile from where Mom and I are now living.”

Musings:

Reading this book brought up a lot of emotions in me. It was a story way more intense then my own, but I was taken by the similarities in feeling. Chole was happy with her situation for most of her life. Living with the family that loved her and gave her all that she could have ever wanted, but her parents divorce changed everything. Then, Cash comes into her life and her world is flipped inside out and upside down. When he presents the idea that she was the kidnapped child of his foster parents and slowly reveals to her his own checkered past she is thrown into a state where she doesn’t know what to believe.

What I Enjoyed:

The action. It’s slow building to this point, but it has many tense thriller moments. I really enjoyed the way the events added up and built suspense as the story went on.

How suspicious Cash always was. Cash had constant suspicions to the 10th degree. Sometimes, I had no idea where they were coming from. But, I enjoyed how he began to trust Chole slowly as time went on.

Watching the two come together. I liked the relationship between them. It was complicated yes. It brought up a lot of baggage in them both, but what mattered was the love that was there and they decided to be there for each other and accept each other as they were.

That Chole had a good relationship with her parents. Yes at times due to divorce that the relationships were strained. However, at the end of the day the love was there. It was nice to read an adoption story where the parents weren’t abusive.

All and All:

In Another Life is a unique read with curious situations and some really great writing. You’ll keep guessing what the real truth is till the very end.

About the Author:

C. C. Hunter is the American author of the Shadow Falls young adult novels. C.C. Hunter is a pen name. Under her real name, Christie Craig, she also writes romantic suspense novels. Born in Alabama, she now lives in Texas.

Thanks for reading! I meant to write and post this review ages ago. I procrastinated on this one a ton and I no longer remember why, but better late then never! As always, let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

My Goodreads Year In Books: 2018

I started off the year really strongly with all the books I’d been reading. Then as time went on life threw a bunch of changes at me and my reading suffered for it. In the new year, I hope to get back into reading again. In 2018, I did get to read some incredible books. As far as that goes it was a great year. I’m excited to share them with all of you.

I look forward to the new year and what books will be coming my way. It feels good to look back and remember how wonderful it was to read all these books when I got to read them.

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

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-Till next time!

Watching: Hell Fest

Part of me not being able to fully get in the Spirit of Christmas this year was the fact that I Still was in a very halloween mood. So upon the end of the Christmas season I immediately felt myself shift back into the spooky spirit and found myself watching one of this years spooky features, Hell Fest.

This film was fun to watch. I liked the concept of it and even as some parts made me want to scream “Why-though?” I enjoyed my time watching this.

Hell Fest follows a group of teens having a night out at a horror nights in a theme park. The idea of real deaths happening in front of you and you not realizing it because in that situation your already meant to suspend your disbelief is terrifying. It made me question if I’d be able to tell a real death vs. a fake one should I go out to a horror nights for halloween in the future. It’s not something I had previously thought of.

Overall, what I really enjoyed the most was the visuals the movie had. It felt realistic to what a horror nights would look like. Although, there were times where I wondered how the cast kept getting into parts of the park where no one was around so often. Usually a place like that is packed everywhere. I don’t see how there wasn’t a ton of people around on a constant basis, but that’s me being a bit picky.

Of the deaths only one way overtly gore heavy and that death will be stuck in my brain permanently. I can still see it perfectly in my mind and it’s something I’d like to erase. Most of the horror I watch doesn’t typically have all that much gore. So for that one part this movie was not my cup of tea. It’s weird because most of the rest of the movie isn’t that overtly gore filled. There is Death sure, but it wasn’t the worst as far as horror deaths go. Then all of a sudden I was scared for life.

What I found to be really cool was that the situation didn’t come off as too far-fetched. In reality, a killer like that could exist and it could be really hard to catch him right away once he was set loose inside the park. Once the friends realized what was happening and got to talk with security about what was happening and security couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything to help especially because all the actors in the park are masked and they had no way of knowing who to take down felt pretty realistic to me. Even them downplaying the situation and saying that the missing friends were drunk or passed out somewhere made sense to me. At the end of the day no one wants the worst case scenario to be the true one.

I also liked that in between the moments of death there was some comedy. Maybe, a bit crude with the humor, but really it wasn’t in bad taste.

All in all, I enjoyed Hell Fest. I loved the visuals. I liked its darkness. I liked the realistic nature of the fear. If you like spooky cinema with flecks of comedic flavor you’ll enjoy this movie. It’s not perfect, but it was a fun time.

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

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-Till next time!

Watching: Bird Box

It’s New Year’s Eve and I want to talk about the movie that has been a very hot topic lately: Bird Box.

Bird Box is an intense and emotional thriller that brings you on the edge of your seat. However, I found it to feel like a metaphor for life. I know in my life in a much smaller way I’m just focused on survival first. Doing what I need to do so my family and I have food on the table and that the bills are paid.

Bird Box is very different from that or course. It’s far more sinister. The forces at play are much more malicious and the end result is something more then terrifying. But the characters essentially do as we all do when we as human beings are threatened: Anything and everything that can be done to ensure survival. They forget warmth. They forget truly living. They adapt to the difficult new reality and live on.

Sometimes, I think in all our lives we forget to enjoy life. We get lost in doing task after task and make our lives into one great big to-do list and suddenly we look back and realize we didn’t let ourselves enjoy what the world has to offer. I want to live my life in such a way that should I pass on tomorrow that I have no regrets. That I at least can say I lived my life the way I wanted to an lived it well. I hadn’t been doing that for a long time in 2018, but I’m remedying that now and will continue that into the future.

Either way, watching Bird Box made me feel very intensely. Watching people make sacrifices for each other and loose loved ones and live in a world of pure chaos all trying to find at least something or someone to hold on to was terribly beautiful. The deaths were terrible. Watching people kill themselves in such horrible ways broke my heart. Yet this story really isn’t about the death. It’s about those who live on. About finding meaning in what is now. That’s an incredible message.

I’m not going to talk about the ending or even the blind aspect of the movie. Which visually put me on edge the entire movie. Because even if those things are important and have technical affect on making the person watching feel a certain way it’s not what I got out of this movie.

I gained a new perspective. A reaffirmation to move forward in life full force. To take chances and not give up. Maybe, this isn’t the typical thing that is received from watching this movie. I’m not sure how much this aspect is talked about. Either way, this is movie that is a fantastic watch. It’s definitely my brand of Sci-fi.

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

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-Till next time!

Creating the Ultimate Halloween Playlist

I woke up this morning feeling so good.. Recently, I’ve woken up like that a LOT and it feels fantastic. Honestly, right before October I was in a huge Christmas mood and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fully get into the spirit of October, but I needn’t have worried. I am in such a horror mood right now and I am loving it!

Honestly, there is one song in particular that inspired me to make a Halloween playlist for the first time.. it’s called ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ by Avenged Sevenfold. Anyone who knows me in real life would ask me what happened to me that I ended up listening to bands like this and started really enjoying them. I mean, EDM will always have my heart, but it really does feel good to rock out to some of these songs. Anyway, when I heard ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ for the first time I smiled from ear to ear, because it was perfect for Halloween. Absolutely perfect! I highly recommend giving it a listen..unless you don’t like songs that have strong language then don’t give it a listen, but you have to try and listen to those first few notes and tell me that it’s not pure halloween music.

Anyway, after that I had to make a playlist of songs that made me feel like I was in a Halloween experience. Songs that brought memories of going to freight night and dressing up as a kid trick or treating. Songs that brought to the surface what Halloween represents to me. A dark, celebratory time of facing fear in the eye without blinking. Of letting ourselves accept fear as a part of our lives that we shouldn’t turn away from. A time where we are a little bit braver. A time where there is a very real twisted magic in the air. Where our darkest imaginings walk free. A time where we are open with ourselves and each other that yes we are terrified. We are all terrified of something. Yet, we can express that terror and laugh about it and enjoy times with people we care about.

So this playlist is something special to me. I don’t know if I’ll be ‘done’ with it.. I don’t think I’m ever ‘done’ with a playlist. But, I will send you all the link to it here!

It has some classic Halloween songs. You can’t have a Halloween playlist without Thriller or This is Halloween. If you have any recommendations of some of your favorite Halloween jams to add to it let me know. Listening to this playlist makes me feel so happy. It feels so celebratory of a part of me that doesn’t come to life, but a very short time of a year. No matter what I want to enjoy this time. So I will. Because life.. life is far to short to let go of what’s good when it’s found.

Thanks for reading! I hope you all enjoy the playlist. I hope that it reminds you all of the joy of Halloween. A time where belief and reality have a very thin line. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! Have a wonderful spooky month ahead!

-Till next time!

All of This is True: A Review

All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not my favorite cover. I don’t hate it or anything it’s just too generic for me to be all that interesting. I wouldn’t have picked up this book based off it’s cover.

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publish Date: May 15th, 2018

Number of Pages: 432 pages

Received: got an e-arc opportunity through Epic Reads Insiders

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . .

Opening Sentence:

“So, tell me about Fatima Ro.”

Musings:

This mixed media novel was thrilling, unique, and full of meta. All This is True is a story I think we all should be excited about. It takes you on a journey with ups and downs like none before.

What I Loved:

It is something I could easily see myself being a part of. Who of us book lovers wouldn’t love to be personal friends of the authors we love. To be able to speak with them and ask them our infinite questions about their stories. Being able to let them know how deeply their words touched us in full. To pass time with them and be apart of their world. It would be the experience of the lifetime. Even if it ended the way it did in this book.

Mixed media. Books that are written in unique ways like this make me happy because it shows that there isn’t only one way of writing a novel. It’s fun to read the different formats and see how the story comes together with interviews and reading text messages along with excerpts from the book Fatima Ro had written. I loved this aspect.

You don’t really like anyone, but it doesn’t matter anyway. Some of these characters are downright awful. Some are annoying. Some just make you wonder how they could think that their way of thinking is ok. But honestly, because of how the book is written the interest becomes in the mystery and where the story is going to go. The action propels the story forward in a way that you just can’t stop reading.

Questionable morality. You have to wonder for yourself weather certain aspects of this book are ok or not. Writers get inspiration from the world around them, but was it truly ok for Fatima to write the story she did? Even actions from the other characters cause you to take a back seat and wonder, if I were them.. what would I have done?

Undertow. I loved reading bits and pieces of undertow and how it mirrored and pushed forward the events that were being talked about in the different formats. I loved that the writing styles contrasted so much. How writerly undertow was vs. how much of each characters individual voice was heard with the interviews. The sections were really well written.

It’s meta. Your reading a book about another book (the interviews) while also reading the actual book it’s talking about (the excerpts) but also getting the behind the scenes and it’s just so cool! More books should be meta like this one.

Final thoughts:

All of This is True is just one of those books that takes you by surprised. You can’t put it down and you have to love it for the fandom it creates. It’s juicy and an exciting read. I highly recommend it.

About the Author:

Lygia became a writer by writing letters to a friend she met on a cruise ship when she was 14. She is the author of UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD (Macmillan) and ALL OF THIS IS TRUE, which will be published by HarperTeen US, Bloomsbury UK, and translated in several countries in  summer 2018. Lygia also teaches child stars on television and movie sets. Her students have included cast members of Gossip Girl, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order SVU, I Am Legend, and others. She lives with her husband on Long Island where she rides horses and watches reruns of everything. Follow Lygia on Twitter @lygiaday.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. If your interested in poetry check out some of mine on Vocal.com Thanks so much for the support!

-Till next time!

S.T.A.G.S. : A Review

S.T.A.G.S. By M.A. Bennett

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 7/10 I really like this cover and the opulence meeting the image of a shotgun scope. It’s a fun cover that accurately portrays the essence of the story.

Publisher: Random House Children’s

Publish Date: January 30th, 2018

Number of Pages: 290 pages

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.

But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry’s parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports – hunting, shooting and fishing – become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school..

Opening Sentence: “I think I might be a murderer.”

Musings:

S.T.A.G.S. is a book that unsettled me, disgusted me, made me all kinds of uncomfortable, and turned my stomach. I loved it.

What I loved:

The pacing. I rarely say anything about pacing in a novel, because for me it never seems to matter that much and I feel like it can be kind of trivial at times, but this book is so nicely paced. It has its action and it’s mystery mixing between a fast and steady pace seamlessly and for once that is something I can truly appreciate.

It grossed me out. There are parts of this story that really made me physically uncomfortable due its description and the fact that it accomplished that shows how well it was written. Thrillers like this are meant to make your skin crawl and S.T.A.G.S. accomplishes that quite well.

Cult vibes. There is a cult in this book although they would call themselves a “prestigious organization” or “keepers of the old ways”. The mystery of this group and even that they were truly an order of some kind was fascinating.

Greer might actually be insane. The group that invites her on this trip to hunt, shoot, and fish are all pretty insane, but this isn’t killers going after a girl who is normal and is shocked by it all. Nope. It’s the insane hunting the insane. Some of this girls thoughts made me take a step back and wonder who should I truly root for here?

Simply a story well told. This boarding school thriller fest has all the makings of a brilliant novel. It is unique, well thought out, with a mixture of dark humor to balance it out.

Final thoughts:

S.T.A.G.S. Is a book that will stick in my memory for a long time. It’s a twisted thriller that I highly recommend to anyone that wants to get into or already loves this chilling genre.

About the Author:

M. A. BENNETT is half-Venetian, and was born in Manchester, England, and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as a historical source. After university she studied art and has since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer. She also designed tour visuals for rock bands, including U2 and the Rolling Stones. She was married on the Grand Canal in Venice and lives in north London with her husband, son and daughter. Follow her at @MABennettAuthor on Twitter and at m.a.bennettauthor on Instagram.

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

-Till next time!

Made for You: A Review

Made for You by Melissa Marr

My Rating: 3/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 5/10 starts it’s alright, but it’s not my style. This cover is the better of the two I know of. This one fits and it’s not the worst but I mostly feel meh about it.

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publish Date: September 16th, 2014

Number of Pages: 356 pages

Received: Got it for Christmas 2016

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Opening Sentence:

“”Did you see her?” Piper whispers, lifting the same plastic cup of wine she’s been holding the past two hours as if it hides her.

Musings:

Made for You is a book that’s all fun and games until things start happening and people start dying. At first we get the madman’s perspective and we find out the why of his madness, but we don’t know who and that is the great mystery.

What I Liked:

Having the killer’s perspective. Having the delusions of a madman laid bare for all to see was the most interesting part of this novel. You can see how sick minded the man is and fear starts to increase as you try to figure out who he could be.

The supernatural element. I enjoyed that with her injury Eva gets an ability to see others deaths. This becomes the main tool used to discover who the killer is and to try and protect the people she loves around her.

The romance was chill. The romance wasn’t some grand ordeal or anything particularly special. It unraveled pretty naturally and I respect a book that does that.

What I Didn’t Like:

The story in all was simply fun. The story was enjoyable, but that was all it was. Stories don’t really have to have anything special about them and this story proves it. It’s a fun story and there isn’t anything more to it.

All in All:

Made for You is a fun ya thriller to read to pass some time and not think too hard for a while. It’s a great book that I enjoyed and I hope others enjoy as well.

About the Author:

Melissa grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and other creatures. After teaching college literature and writing for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing her own books.

Melissa writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date and been bestsellers in the US (NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal) as well as various countries overseas. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens and Graveminder for adults.

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

-Till next time!