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

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

My Rating: 5 stars!

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

Publisher: Europe Comics

Publish Date: July 15th 2020

Number of Pages: 58

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

Purchase: Amazon

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

Opening Panel:

Musings:

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

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

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

About the Author:

Verot Cazot

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

About the Artist:

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

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

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

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Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

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

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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Flame in the Mist: A Review

Flame in the Mist by Reneé Ahdieh

My Rating: 4 stars!

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

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publish Date: May 16th, 2017

Number of Pages: 392 pages

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

Purchase: Amazon

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

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

Musings:

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

What I Loved:

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

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

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

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

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

All in all:

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

About the Author

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

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

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

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

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

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

Little Creeping Things: A Review

Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso

My Rating: 4 stars!

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

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: June 2nd, 2020

Number of Pages: 352

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Musings:

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

What I enjoyed:

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

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

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

All in all

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

About the author

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

Chelsea is represented by Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency.

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

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Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

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

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

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

Glass Town Wars: A Review

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

My Rating: 2 stars

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

Publisher: Pushkin Press

Publish Date: September 8th, 2020

Number of Pages: 320

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Musings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

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

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

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

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

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

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Candlewick press

Publish Date: May 5th, 2020

Number of Pages: 368 pages

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Musings:

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

What I loved:

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

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

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

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

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

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

All in All:

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

She is represented by Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Lit.

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

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

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

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

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

What Unbreakable Looks Like: Blog Tour/ Review

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

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

My Rating: 5 stars!

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

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: June 23rd, 2020

Number of Pages: 336 pages

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

Purchase: Amazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musings:

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

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

What I Loved:

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

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

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

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

All in all:

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

About the Author

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

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

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

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

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

Ya Books by Black Authors that need to be read!

There are so many wonderful and incredible books written by black authors that deserve to be read and spread like wildfire.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

“Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.”

This book is AMAZING! It’s horrifying and so good. I loved every moment of it. Highly recommend this book.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys.

In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodouculture. 

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. 

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. 

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”

I have this book on my shelves and I can’t wait to dive into it! It sounds like a beautiful piece of writing that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. 

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.”

This book isn’t out yet, but I have a galley for it I will be reading in June. From the moment I saw it I knew I had to read it. It sounds absolutely amazing and I already know I will be recommending this one for ages.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons. 

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.”

This book sounds sooo good! All of Angie’s books should be read in classrooms everywhere. By now most know and love The Hate You Give, so I thought mentioning one of her other timely and powerful books would be great here.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela.

The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. 

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. 

Plus don’t miss Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land!”

A young mother trying her best to make it during difficult circumstances and pursue her dreams. This book sounds like it’ll be a beautiful and hopeful novel.

The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

“Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. 

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.”

I love the premise of this book. It sounds like it will be a heart-wrenching read.

I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

“When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast—two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.”

An adorable sounding rom com about a ballerina on the road to an audition. Too cute sounding not to pick up!

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

“Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?”

This book sounds so funny and sweet and I’d love to pick it up! Plus the cover is beautiful. Looks amazing!

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

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The Olympic Games Read-a-thon: TBR

Welcome everyone to the Olympic Games Read-a-thon hosted by

Nicole the Weapons Master https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfatiovNuLoBTjojCncpKvQ

Sasha the Monster Tamer https://www.youtube.com/c/thewildSasha

Ally the Activities Coordinator https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ-uWE9JeIGNj1OxizzRLaA

& Ishi the Oracle https://youtu.be/0ETUce-ypo4

I did this quiz https://www.readriordan.com/2017/10/12/what-god-are-you-descended-from/

And found that I am on Team Poseidon!

As a part of Team Poseidon I will be completing the following reading challenges in the month of June!

Mandatory Challenges

Read a book set at sea or on a coast: Replica by Lauren Oliver

“Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The two distinct parts of this novel combine to produce an unforgettable experience for its two young heroines—and its reader.”

Never knew this book took place off the coast of Florida on an island. Made this the perfect fit for this challenge and I’m so excited to read this!

A main character that uses a sword: Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

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

I’m pretty sure the main character uses a sword in this book if I’m wrong please correct me.. otherwise I’ll have to re-read Graceling..but I’m pretty sure there is sword use in this book. I’m hoping this is a good fit

Non-human main character: The Lost City by Amanda Hocking

“The storm and the orphan

Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the morning, she disappeared―leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find who abandoned her as a baby or why.

The institution and the quest

Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents, Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming colleague Pan Soriano.

The runaway and the mystery

But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who no memory of who she is but who possesses otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very deadly―but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she’s been looking for.”

I’m pretty sure the main character is a troll/fae the whole thing is about finding her heritage and the magic me thinks means she’s troll. I’m basing this on the description.

Trident finish a book in exactly 3 days: What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin June 16th

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

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

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

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

I am on the blog tour for this novel so I’m going to get it read first and do it in the three days so I’m prepared to write my post about it and have it up on the 16th. This will be a hard novel to read. The topic is a difficult one, but a necessary one I think. I’ll divide it up evenly for the three days.

Read a book you haven’t heard much about before: Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

A new novel by the bestselling author of Witch Child: an adventure story drawing on the early writings of the Brontë children

All these Glass Town intrigues. No matter how long you’d been absent, how far you’d travelled, once you were back, it was as though you had never been away.

Tom and Augusta are from different places and different times, but they meet in a virtual world to combine forces in battle, to save a kingdom, escape a web of deceit and find love. In a place where fictions can be truths and truths fictions, learning who to trust is about more than friendship, it is about survival.

Glass Town Wars, inspired by the early writing of the Brontës, is a captivating, magical novel by the renowned Celia Rees.”

It’s safe to say I hadn’t heard a peep about this book before I saw the cover on Netgalley and requested it. I’ve not seen anyone talk about this book. Nothing. I was intrigued by its cover and so that’s why I requested it. I’ll be excited to discover what awaits inside.

Advanced challenges (can only be begun after the mandatory challenges)

A Book Featuring a character you would not get along with: Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso

“A compulsively readable debut with a narrator you just can’t trust, perfect for fans of Natasha Preston.

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

When Cassidy overhears what sounded like an abduction and Melody goes missing, Cassidy knows she should go to the cops, but… She recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. It’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened, because if she comes forward without a suspect, she knows people will point fingers at her. Again. And she can’t let that happen.

But the truth behind Melody’s disappearance will set the whole town ablaze.”

I don’t know if I’d get along with someone who jokes about and plans on how to get rid of someone else. In fact I’d probably not get along with them much at all.

A book shorter than 200 pages: The Stranger by Albert Camus

“Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.””

I was looking for a book to read under 200 pages and found this book. I don’t own really any books that are less then this so finding this classic was awesome. I’d never heard of it before and I’m super intrigued by it.

A book published in the last 5 years: The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy

“In the Forgotten Empires magic is forbidden, dreams are destiny, and love is the greatest power of all…

A PRISONER OF FATE
As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Lia will do anything to keep her people free―and her secrets safe―from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world―a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN
Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Lia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes―nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?”

Published September 24th, 2019 this book like a majority of the books on this list is published within the last 5 years.

A book featuring magical creatures: The Emporer’s Blades by Brian Staveley

“In The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it’s too late. 

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test. 

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor’s final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing―and risk everything―to see that justice is meted out.”

I think by the cover alone you can tell there is magic creatures in this book. I mean giant flying hawks sound pretty darn magical to me.

A book with a blue cover: Witchmark by C.L. Polk

“In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is. 

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.”

This cover is a gorgeous blue and inside it is a highly praised novel I can’t wait to read!

The next book in a series: The Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking

I’m not going to put the about on this one cause it’s book 2 to The Lost City. I thought it’d be perfect to read for this cause I’m reading the first book in my mandatory challenges.

One of your most anticipated books: The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

Ahhhhhhhhh! Ever since I learned of Sam Maggs existence I have stanned her hard. I haven’t read anything from her yet, but I got approved for this on Netgalley and I’m Soooooo excited!!!!! Literally going to finished all the mandatory challenges as fast as possible for the sake of reading this book!

That is all the books! I’m so excited about this read-a-thon and I can’t wait to share my opinions on all these books with all of you!!!

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

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

Diamond City: A Review

Diamond City by Francesca Flores

My Rating: 4/5 stars!

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

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: January 28th, 2020

Number of Pages: 400

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

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musings:

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

What I Loved:

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

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

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

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

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

All and all:

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

About the Author

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

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.

I’m Writing A Book!!!

Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of the Author livestreams and my lord nothing brings me into the need to write more then that. I finally can say that I’m ready to write again. So I’ve started on a story in the past few weeks on and off, but now I’m going to get into it a bit deeper.

My book is a ya paranormal romance horror and I’m so excited about it! I’m going for some darkness mixed with sweetness and it’s been so much fun to write!

I’m hoping to write 500 hundred words per day on it till it’s done starting tomorrow. It’s not too crazy of a goal and I’m pretty sure if I write for 30 minutes to an hour a day I can get 500 a day written pretty easily.

In a few months I should have it done and you guys will be reading a very different kind of post and a celebratory one. It’ll be fun to write about my journey and to go from writing this first draft to edits, to querying, and one day with this book or another being published. It’s a journey that I’m happy to be starting now and I can’t wait!

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.