Hey everyone! Long time no see. I hope your doing well! Today I’ll be talking about all the books I want to read during spring. I tried to pick out both winter and summer-themed books to match the ever-changing weather. With that said, onto the TBR!
(PS: Click on the covers of the books to add them to Goodreads.)
1. Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
Did I obtain a copy of this book in the winter?…yes. Did I forget to read it during the winter?…also yes.
2. Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
If you’ve read my Most Anticipated Releases of 2022, then you’d know I’m very excited for this book. I also have an ARC of this one, and cannot wait to read it! (Thank you Simon and Schuster!)
3. The Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow byLaura Taylor Namey
This book has been on my TBR for so long, and the synopsis sounds amazing too!
4. All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle
The cover is so cute, I hope to read it soon!
5. If You Change Your Mind by Robby Webber
Summer is only a couple months away! So why not crank out the summer-themed books now?
6. So This is Everafter by F.T. Lukens
F.T. Lukens is one of my favorite authors, hence why I’m so excited to read their new release!
7. By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
I have an eARC of this and love the premise. I mean, who doesn’t love a Beauty and the Beast retelling?
8. You and Me and the End of the World by Brianna Bourne
I’ve never read a book like this before, so I can’t wait to try it out!
9. The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
I haven’t read many mysteries lately, so I definitely want to read this one before summer.
10. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
I’ve been reading TikTok books lately, and so far they haven’t disappointed. Fourth time’s a charm?
And that’s the list! I’ll be back with a summer TBR in June. Also, if you’d like to buddy read any of these, do let me know! Buddy reads are always fun.
What are you planning to read this season? Let me know in the comments! Have a fabulous day!
Hey everyone, today I’ll be reviewing The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. If you’ve been on booktok lately, you’d know that this book has been trending for quite a while. But did it live up to the hype? Read on to find out!
(Synopsis from goodreads)
Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
I really adored the original premise! I’m very new to greek mythology, so I was intrigued to see how the book would play out. At first, the story was much too confusing. There were a lot of greek mythology terms used that I simply didn’t understand. Yes, I could have looked at the glossary. But in all honestly, I didn’t notice it until after I finished the book – which is entirely a fault on my part. However, I just wish the world was built in a way that readers could go into the book with no prior knowledge of Greek mythology.
Alright, so let’s talk about the characters. When reading the title, I assumed The Song of Achilles would be about, well, Achilles. However, it was told through Patrolclus’ point of view. Luckily, I loved that! Patroclus is such a likable character. He’s empathetic and goes through a lot of growth throughout the story. He also had such an intuitive nature. He was kind and determined in such a powerful yet quiet way. Unfortunately though, I was not fond of Achilles. He was selfish. Achilles did anything he could to protect his honour, even if it meant hurting the ones he loved. To me, there is nothing honourable about that. Also, I disliked the way women were portrayed in the book. They were constantly seen as ‘lesser beings’. It made me very uncomfortable, and definitely affected my overall enjoyment of the story. On a better note, I absolutely loved Briseis!! She was such a charming character, and is basically the female version of Patroclus, but much more inquisitive. Moreover, I loved seeing the different relationships Patroclus had with the characters. Achilles and Patroclus had such a unique dynamic, they worked so well together.
“Her safety for my honour. Are you happy with your trade?” “There is no honour in betraying your friends.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
Luckily, I adored the dialogue! It really tugged on my heartstrings. The dialogue carried so much emotion. One thing I loved about the story, was how intense the character interactions were. It could literally just be Patroclus and some random side character – but the way Madeline Miller executes these scenes elevates the book to a whole new level.
The writing in The Song of Achilles was impeccable! The prose was amazing. Madeline Miller’s writing style is truly captivating and beautiful. However, the pacing was very uneven. Within the span of a couple of pages, many years pass. This affected my overall enjoyment of the story, because it left no time for me to wonder what would happen next. Something minor that also annoyed me a teensy bit, was how often the words ‘swollen bellies’ were used. I believe it was used as a synonym for pregnant, but it was simply too repetitive.
“And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
Overall, The Song of Achilles was a unique experience. It was out of my comfort zone, so I’m really happy I read it! While I couldn’t overlook some aspects of the story, I definitely recommend this novel to new historical fiction fans. However, if you’re new to greek mythology like me, be sure to read the glossary at the back of the book. I’m sure my reading experience would have been better if I could connect more with the wold building. Also, the ending was also incredibly frustrating. Nevertheless, it sure is an unforgettable story. 🙂
Age Rating: 16 and up
TW: For the full list of trigger warnings, I suggest this site.
Final Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 stars, or 8.5/10
Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for reading!
Hi everyone! Here are my most anticipated releases of 2022! There are so many new releases I’m excited for, so it was difficult to narrow the list down to just twenty. Anyways, let’s get into it!
(PS: Click on the book covers for the Goodreads links.)
1.Golden Girls by Reem Faruqi
If there’s any indication as to how I look like in real life, it’s the girl on the cover; Aafiyah! Well, at least they look like me as a kid. 😆
Publication Date: February 22nd, 2022
2. Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
I’ve actually been in Scrabble competitions before, and adore the game. So when I found out there’d be a Scrabble mystery with a Muslim MC coming out this year, I was extremely excited!
Publication Date: April 19th, 2022
3. Salaam, with Love by Sara Sharaf Beg
I’ve been in a bigbook hangover since SK Ali’s Love From A to Z. It was just too good! So I’m hoping this’ll be as amazing too.
Publication Date: January 4th, 2022
4. Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas
I’ve been anticipating Squire for over a year now, so I can’t wait for it’s release! It’s also a graphic novel, which makes me even more excited!
Publication Date: March 8th, 2022
5. So This Is Ever After by F. T. Lukens
After loving the author’s book In Deeper Waters, I was incredibly happy to know that F.T. Lukens would be releasing a new book. The cover is giving me major Merlin vibes, and I’m loving it! I also interviewed the author, you can find that post here!
Publication Date: March 29th, 2022
6. Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales, so I’m beyond excited for this YA retelling of it! Not to mention that it also had desi representation too!
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
7. Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney
Last year I read Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by the author, and I can’t wait for this one as well. Also, isn’t Joya Goffney the queen of book titles?
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022
8. You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See
This book has disabled representation, which is something don’t see very often in YA novels. I know I say this with every book on this list, but I am so excited for this!!
Publication Date: May 31st, 2022
9.As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh
This seems like such a heartbreaking book. I just know I’m going to love it!
Publication Date: September 2022
10. Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee
I mean, who doesn’t love books about books?
Publication Date: July 26th, 2022
11. Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey
Ahhh this looks amazing! We love seeing powerful women!!
Publication Date: June 14th, 2022
12. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
This sounds so heartwrenching. Akwaeke Emezi is such a unique writer, I can’t wait to read this one!
Publication Date: May 24th, 2022
13. Circling Back to You by Julie Tieu
This cover is everything to me! I’m always a sucker for a good contemporary, and this seems right up my alley.
Publication Date: July 12th, 2022
14. One for All by Lillie Lainoff
The Three Musketeers was my favorite story as a child, so I cannot wait to read this one! Also, just look at that stunning cover!
Publication Date: March 8th, 2022
15. Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson
Last year, I read Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson, and I still think it today. It was such an amazing book, so naturally I’m interested in this one too!
Publication Date: March 29th, 2022
16. Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood
I adore books set in winter, and this one seems perfectly winter-y~.
Publication Date: July 5th, 2022
17. The Girl in White by Lindsay Currie
I’ve read two books by Lindsay Currie now, so of course I have to read this one too! I adore their writing style, it’s so amazingly eerie.
Publication Date: September 2022
18. An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan
Retellings are my thing! So I can’t wait for this Romeo and Juliet retelling! Also, I’ve been wanting to get into different types of mythologies. So when I found out this book was inspired by Chinese Mythology, I was so excited!
Publication Date: April 12th, 2022
19. Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon
Any book with Sunny in the title catches my attention instantly. 😆 I mean, my nickname is Sunny — it’s also part of my blog name. Jokes aside, I’ve been warning to read more books with desi representation, and this one seems really fun!
Publication Date: February 8th, 2022
20. The Maid by Nita Prose
Mysteries and thrillers are one of my favorite genres, and The Maid just looks so intriguing. I also adore this cover! It’s so simplistic yet eye-catching.
Publication Date: January 4th, 2022
Alrighty folks, those are my most anticipated releases of the year! If you want to buddy read any of these, do let me know! Buddy reads are always so fun.
What are your most anticipated reads of 2022? Let me know in the comments! Have a fabulous day!
Hiya! I hope your day is going well. Today I’m going to be reviewing Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World (Ari and Dante #2). I absolutely adored the first book, however I do have some conflicted feelings about the second installment in the series. And yes, I’m aware this book came out in Septmber. In my head, I had already posted this review. Sorry about that! Without further ado, here is my review!
PS: Thank you Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
(Synopsis from goodreads)
Ari has spent all of high school burying who he really is, staying silent and invisible. He expected his senior year to be the same. But something in him cracked open when he fell in love with Dante, and he can’t go back. Suddenly he finds himself reaching out to new friends, standing up to bullies of all kinds, and making his voice heard. And, always, there is Dante, dreamy, witty Dante, who can get on Ari’s nerves and fill him with desire all at once. The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them. But when Ari is faced with a shocking loss, he’ll have to fight like never before to create a life that is truthfully, joyfully his own.
This book will fill your heart with joy and warmth, but will also break it into tiny little pieces.
Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World is a story about everyday life, the transition from boyhood to adulthood, and of course, discovering the secrets of the universe. While there wasn’t a particular plot, there is an abundance of character development. Moreover, character growth can lead to broken and mended relationships. This novel is a prime example of that.
Let’s talk about the infamous main characters of the book; Aristotle and Dante. Throughout the story, the two go through many changes. (No, not puberty.) They discover what it means to live, grow, and love. In this novel, Ari does all the things he was too scared to do in the previous book. He uses his senior year to reconnect with old friends and family. His journey to rediscovering the world around him is so incredibly beautiful and heart-wrenching. You can definitely see the difference between how he handled situations in the first book, versus in the second one. It’s truly refreshing to see how much he’s changed. Of course, some things will always stick — like Ari’s quiet nature, and his love for running. Furthermore, because of their growth and development, Aristotle and Dante’s relationship begins to shift. Without spoiling too much, many of their falling outs seemed out of place and sudden. It simply didn’t make sense to me.
In addition, the side characters were a delight. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World has by far the most well-crafted side characters I’ve ever seen in literature. They are incredibly unique, and even go through development themselves. I also love that the side characters don’t interfere much with Aristotle and Dante. They each go through their own personal journeys, which I found to be quite endearing.
The dialogue in Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World is absolutely remarkable. Almost every sentence in the book is quotable. However, some lines in the beginning of the story were a bit too cheesy for my liking. Nevertheless, the author gives us readers a huge stack of writing to ponder on.
Furthermore, the writing was done incredibly well. In comparison to Aristotle and Dante (#1) the writing felt more mature, which definitely added to Ari’s development throughout the story. It’s also quite engaging, which I absolutely loved considering the length of the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book! It’s snarky, emotional, and was an unpredictable finale to the series. While I disliked the ending, I still recommend Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World to all Benjamin Alire Sáenz fans!
Age Rating: 15 and up
TW: OCD, Depression, Anxiety, some us of alcohol
Final Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars, or 9/10
Have you read this duology? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for reading!
Hiya everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord. Enjoy!
PS:Thank you Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for an ARC of this book.
(Synopsis from GoodReads)
Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream to become a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super-introverted dad, who after raising Millie alone, doesn’t want to watch her leave home to pursue her dream. Not her pesky and ongoing drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not the “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm, always at maddeningly inconvenient times. Millie needs an ally. And when a left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mom.
There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, ethereal dance teacher who clearly doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant fifteen-year-old daughter (A possible sister?! This is getting out of hand). But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one, without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?
From the musical theatre references to an authentic look at New York, this is THE book for musical theatre fans!
When You Get the Chance is joyful, fun, and very hilarious. While I didn’t understand many of the theatre references made, I did enjoy the main plot! The book follows a teen named Millie, as she travels across New York to search for her long-lost mother. At times, it was difficult to keep track of all the potential moms she was meeting. However, I quickly found myself itching to see who would end up being her mother.
The characters in When You Get the Chance were a delight! Millie is such a bold person, but in the best way possible. In many books, bold characters are usually rude. This wasn’t the case here though. Millie is kind and eccentric, I adored her! Her family and friends were also very off-beat, and I loved that!
Furthermore, the banter between Millie and her ‘enemy’ Oliver was really funny! They got under each other’s skin without flat-out insulting one another. This made for some very interesting dialogue. 😆
Much like the dialogue, the writing was hilarious! There weren’t many pop culture references. However, the writing contained a lot of Gen-Z slang and quotes. Thankfully, it wasn’t cringy and was done very well!
Overall, I enjoyed When You Get the Chance. While I found the plot to be slightly overwhelming, I’m sure that theatre fans would love this one!
Age Rating:14 and up
Trigger Warnings: Parental Abandonment
Overall Rating:3.5 out of 5 stars or 7/10
Have you read any of Emma Lord’s novels? Have a great day!
Dear White People meets Love, Hate, and Other Filters in this powerful, thought-provoking own-voices debut novel about three Black Muslim girls who create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths the country doesn’t see.
In this compelling and thought-provoking debut novel, after a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths.
Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.
Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.
Find out more about You Truly Assumed with these links!
1. Hi there Laila! I’m so happy to have you with us here today! Before we begin, do you mind sharing some random facts about yourself?
Laila: Hi Saniya, thank you so much for having me! Three random facts about myself is that my favorite animals are ducklings, I enjoy watching reality tv to relax, and lastly, I actually used to also be a book blogger back when I was in high school!
Saniya: That’s so amazing, I think it’s awesome you were also a book blogger!
2. You Truly Assumed is like no other story I’ve ever read. It’s so heart-wrenching and very powerful. What inspired you to write such a thought-provoking story?
Laila: I was inspired to write You Truly Assumed based on everything that was going on around me at the time. When I started writing the book, that was around the time where the Muslim Ban was in the news and people were talking about anti-Muslim hate because of how it was being used politically. I was also processing the results of the 2016 election and how that impacted me as a young Black Muslim woman. The blogging aspect of the story was inspired by the last fun fact that I shared above! I enjoyed creating content, so I brought that past interest to You Truly Assumed as well!
3. Congratulations on your debut novel! You Truly Assumed is amazing! I can’t wait for other people to read it. If I may ask, what advice would you have given yourself when you first started writing?
Laila: Thank you so much! In terms of advice, one thing that I wish I would’ve told myself when I first started writing is that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be written. I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and so I would often start stories and then lose interest when I realized I wasn’t able to get it down the way I envisioned it. But I’ve learned that getting it that way comes with through revising, and that the first draft is really just telling the story to myself.
4. The cover of You Truly Assumed is stunning! What was the cover design process like?
Laila: I absolutely love the cover of You Truly Assumed as well! The cover design process was super collaborative. I shared character inspiration to give an idea of how I envisioned the characters, and I also shared two cover artists whose style I really liked with my publishing team. One of those cover artists was available and interested in the project, which was so great! From there, I saw different cover sketches and was able to pick the one that I felt represented You Truly Assumed more. The hardest decision was deciding which color to go with for the cover, but I absolutely love the warm coral color in the background.
Saniya:I love the coral color too! It’s so beautiful.
5. Lastly, what do you hope readers will take away from your novel?
Laila: One message that I hope that readers will take away from YOU TRULY ASSUMED is that there’s no one way to make change! For example, with the blog, Sabriya writes the content, Zakat provides the illustrations and graphics, and Farah does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work with coding and web design. Each character is making change, but they’re doing so in a way that’s unique to them and that they’re passionate about. So, I hope readers take away the message that they too can make change in a way that’s true to who they are!
Saniya: I love this message so much!
My You Truly Assumed Mood board!
Disclaimer: The pictures in the mood board are not mine.
About the Author
Laila Sabreen is a writer of young adult contemporary. Raised in the Washington, DC area, she currently attends Emory University and majors in English and Sociology. Her love of writing began as a love of reading when she fell in love with the Angelina Ballerina series. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working on essays, creating playlists that are way too long, and watching This Is Us.
Hi all! It’s been such a long time since I’ve done a wrap up. I hope to continue them though, because I love reading them on other blogs. This month, I read 8 novels — which is great considering I was in a big reading slump in late 2021. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!
Novels I Read
(ARC)The Girl Who Ruined Christmas by Cindy Callaghan: (3.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was surprisingly good! It was funny and odd in the best ways possible. Review to come!
The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was really sweet. I’ll definitely be checking out more books by the author now.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I have so many mixed feelings on this book. I loved it, but also disliked it at times. Review to come!
The Double Life of Danny Day by Mike Thayer: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐The narrator of the audiobook really brought the characters to life! I highly recommend listening to it. Review to come!
(ARC) When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ I’m sorry to say that this book was a bit disappointing. You win some you lose some I guess. Review to come!
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This book was so magical! Review to come.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden:(4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐I was itching to read a thriller, and this was the perfect read for me! It had a sweet message, but was still very scary. I hope to continue the rest of the series as well. Review to come!
Partly Cloudy by Tanita S. Davis: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ Unfortunately, I didn’t love this one as much as I had hoped. I think my expectations were too high. The cover is stunning though. Review to come!
Graphic Novels and Manga read
Children of the Whales Volume 5 by Abi Umeda: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐The illustrations are beautifully done. It’s such an interesting series as well.
Shortcake Cake Volume 10 by Suu Morishita: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The plot was a bit too confusing in this volume. It’s still a fun series though!
The Promised Neverland Volume 20 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the last volume in the series! I loved the earlier volumes, but didn’t particularly like the ending of the story.
Hiya everyone! Today I’ll be hosting a blog tour stop for Game On by Laura Silverman, as well as a collection of other (lovely) authors. I hope you enjoy!
Title: Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between Edited by Laura Silverman
Genre: Young Adult Anthology
Publication Date: January 18th, 2022
A charming and inclusive YA anthology all about games–from athletic sports to board games to virtual reality–from editor Laura Silverman and an all-star cast of contributors.
From the slightly fantastical to the utterly real, light and sweet romance to tales tinged with horror and thrills, Game On is an anthology that spans genre and style. But beneath each story is a loving ode to competition and games perfect for anyone who has ever played a sport or a board game, picked up a video game controller, or rolled a twenty-sided die.
A manhunt game is interrupted by a town disappearing beneath the players’ eyes. A puzzle-filled scavenger hunt emboldens one college freshman to be brave with the boy she’s crushing on. A series of summer nights full of card games leads a boy to fall for a boy who he knows is taken. And a spin the bottle game could end a life-long friendship.
Fifteen stories, and fifteen unforgettable experiences that may inspire readers to start up that Settlers of Catan game again.
Here is the tour schedule link. If you have time, do check out the other lovely tour stops as well!
Now onto the interview!
1. Hi there! I’m so excited to have you with us Laura! Before we begin, do you mind sharing some random facts about yourself?
Laura: Thanks so much for having me! Let’s see…random facts…I started my own Etsy shop a few months ago. I design candles, notebooks, and other cute gifts for writers! I also started playing chess during the pandemic and got pretty decent at it. And if I could afford it, I would eat sushi every day of my life.
Saniya: I think it’s so cool you have an Etsy Shop! Chess is one of my favourite board games, so it’s awesome to know that you took it up recently.
2. Your upcoming 2022 release is an incredible young adult anthology. What is your favourite part about creating short story collections?
Laura: My favorite part is working with so many amazing authors! It’s seriously been such a gift to collaborate with these brilliant writers. They are all so kind and creative, and I know readers will love these stories as much as I do!
3. Game On includes a variety of sports. As a child, was there ever a sports player who inspired you? If so, who?
Laura: *averts eyes with camera* I can’t say I had a sports idol as a child. I did love watching the Olympics and even got to attend the Atlanta Olympics when I say six. But that’s what I love about this anthology! There’s a type of game in here for everyone – from sports to board games to videos games and puzzles, there are competitions for everyone to get excited about!
Saniya: That’s what I love about Game On! There’s something for everyone.
4. Lastly, what is your favourite board game and why?
Laura: I love so many! Like I mentioned, I really got into chess this past year. I also loved playing a fairly new game called Wingspan. But my absolute favorite still has to be Settlers of Catan. I used to play it every week in graduate school with fellow anthology contributors Kika Hatzopoulou, Amanda Joy, and Anna Meriano! It was really special working on this anthology with them since we bonded over both writing and games. Quick pitches for their stories – Kika wrote a really fun Mafia story where our MC is unsure whether or not she’s on a first date with the girl she likes, Amanda wrote an incredible love/hate story about teammates on a cheer squad, and Anna wrote a delightful romcomedy of errors about muggle quidditch and crushing on your roommate!
About the Author
Laura Silverman is an author and freelance editor and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. Her books include Girl Out of Water, You Asked for Perfect, It’s a Whole Spiel, Recommended for You, Up All Night, and the upcoming Game On. Girl Out of Water was a Junior Library Guild Selection, and You Asked for Perfect was named to best teen fiction lists by YALSA, Chicago Public Library, and the Georgia Center for the Book. You can contact Laura on Twitter @LJSilverman1 or through her website LauraSilvermanWrites.com.
Hiya!! I hope your day is going amazing. Today I’ll be reviewing Vicious by V.E. Schwab. It was definitely out of my comfort zone, so I really want to read more books like it. If you have any similar recommendations, send them my way. Anyways, enjoy!
(Synopsis from GoodReads)
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
Based on the synopsis, I wasn’t sure what I’d be in for. Luckily, I really enjoyed my time with Vicious! As the story progressed, I found myself constantly wanting to read on. The premise is just that unique.
The main characters however, were a whole other story. While I was fascinated by Eli and Victor, they weren’t particularly likeable. They were extremely self-centered and did more harm than good. But then again, I don’t know if Eli and Victor were even meant to be likeable from the start. They’re both morally grey characters. This may sound bizarre, but Eli and Victor heavily resemble anime antagonists. I’ve never been able to make this comparison in other books, so it was quite intriguing. Furthermore, there was no character development at all. This led them to feel dull and unlikeable.
“You don’t understand,” gasped Eli. “No one understands.”
“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”
In addition, the side characters were also very unique. Both Eli and Victor had allies who were related. Tween Sydney worked alongside Victor, while Sydney’s older sister Serena worked with Eli. I found this to be quite an interesting subplot as the two sisters were unofficial rivals throughout the story.
Moreover, the dialogue was done really well. It was gritty and full of wit. Which dare I say, is an awesome combination.
“The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequence.” ― V. E. Schwab, Vicious
The writing style was very distinctive. V.E. Schwab writes with such eccentricity and elegance, allowing their books to always be must-reads. Vicious is written in third person, but it feels like you’re reading a first-person novel. You can definitely feel the emotions the characters are experiencing as you read. Unfortunately though, I disliked the ending. Without giving away too much, it was very anti-climatic.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed reading Vicious. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and was incredibly gripping. If you love morally grey characters, urban fantasy, or superheroes, then I highly recommend this one!
Age Rating:15 and up
Trigger Warnings: Violence
Overall Rating:8/10 or 4 out of 5 stars
Have you read any of V.E. Schwab’s novels? Have a great day!
Hiya!! I’m back with another review. I actually assumed I posted this one, but I guess I forgot to. Nevertheless I am here with a review of the lovely novel; Love Is a Revolution by Rennee Watson! This was actually a buddy read with the (awesome) April @ Booked Till Midnight . Alrighty, let’s get into it!
(Synopsis from GoodReads)
When Nala Robertson reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani’s birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. He’s perfect, except . . . Tye is an activist and is spending the summer putting on events for the community when Nala would rather watch movies and try out the new seasonal flavors at the local creamery. In order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have enough in common with him. As they spend more time together, sharing more of themselves, some of those lies get harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and into love, she’ll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary.
Love Is a Revolution is a timeless coming of age that you won’t want to miss this year!
The initial premise of the book immediately intrigued me as stories regarding self-love aren’t very common in fiction. Unfortunately though, the message of loving oneself was too obvious for me. I usually like to look for a deeper meaning, but in this case, I was already presented with the message.
“I can’t stand when people don’t follow through. Make a plan, stick to it. Say what you mean and mean what you say.” ― Renée Watson, Love Is a Revolution
In addition, the characters weren’t very likable. While I can appreciate the different relationship dynamics the main character Nala has with others, she wasn’t a very kind person. She’s closeminded, and constantly lies to her crush in order to impress him. However, she never truly accepts that what she did was wrong. Furthermore, there was a lot of girl-on-girl hate, which I am not fond of. On a better note, I adored Tye, Nala’s crush. He was extremely likable and added a real spark to the book.
Luckily, I adored the dialogue in Love Is A Revolution.It was the right amount sparky and heartfelt.
“You two are family. Family. That alone ought to be enough for you to respect each other. You’re also two women. Black women. The most radical thing you can do is love yourself and each other.” ― Renée Watson, Love Is a Revolution
I was very conflicted when it came to the writing. It was done very nicely. At times it was beautifully poetic! Other times though, it was too simple. This unfortunately made the moral of the story seem blunt and on-the-nose.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Love Is A Revolution. While it didn’t exceed my expectations, I can definitely appreciate its message. If you’re looking for a book on self-love, then this is definitely the book for you!
Age Rating: 13 and up
Trigger Warnings: Lying
Overall Rating:6.5/10 or 3.25 out of 5 stars
Have you read a book with self-love themes? Have a fabulous day!