Huge Announcement: My New Beta Reading Service!

Hey everyone! I hope your day is going fantastic. Today I’m launching my new beta reading service! This project is something I’ve been working on for months, so I’m very excited to share it with the world. Let’s talk a bit more about my service…

What can writers expect from my beta reading service?

For the last two years, I’ve worked on helping people create amazing stories. However, I’ve decided to expand my services to all. From general feedback to in-line notes, I’ve got you covered!

What I Offer

  • A detailed report on your manuscript featuring my thoughts on the character development, plot inconsistencies, writing style, and much more!
  • In-line notes and feedback
  • I will answer up to 30 story-related questions of your choice so that you receive a specific and concise report on your manuscript.
  • Minor typo fixes
  • Sensitivity reading; If requested, I will provide feedback on the accuracy of the representation I identify with.

What I Do Not Offer

  • Editing or grammar checks
  • Story re-writing
  • Harsh Criticism — Criticism should be given kindly and respectfully
  • Critique without an explanation

Your privacy is of the utmost importance to me, so I will never share your work with anyone, ever.

Preferred Reading Genres

My services are open to books from any age group. However, here are the genres I am most interested in reading.

Very Interested: Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy, and Mystery/Thriller books

Somewhat Interested: Historical Fiction, and Science Fiction books

Not Interested: Non-fiction or Memoir books

My Rates

Base Fee: I charge $1 USD/1,000 words, or $0.001 USD per word. Depending on my current availability, I will provide a complete report 30 days after your beta-reading request.

Rush fee: If you would like feedback as soon as possible, I provide a rush fee of $5/per day. For example, if you’d like a detailed report within 1 week, it’s an additional $35 on top of the base fee.

Time-Crunch Fee: If you need a report ASAP, I charge $50 for feedback wanted 3 days after a beta-reading request.

Payment Methods

Payments are done via e-transfer and must be sent before I begin reading your manuscript.

How to Submit a Beta-Reading Request

To submit a beta-reading request, please email me with the title ‘Beta-Reading Request’, and the following information:

  • Your name and preferred pronouns
  • The genre of your book
  • If you can, include a quick blurb or synopsis of your story
  • The word count of your manuscript

Once I receive your email, I will get back to you immediately regarding further steps. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at sunnysidereviewssk@gmail.com, or write it down below in the comments. I cannot wait to work with you!

Alright, that’s a bit about my service. I’m excited to read your amazing manuscripts. Talk to you soon!

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Blog Tour: The Honeys // Moodboard and Review!

Hiya everyone! It’s been a while, so how are all of you? Are you well rested? Drinking enough water? Well, I sure hope so. Anyways, today I have a special post because it’s a blog tour! I haven’t participated in one for a while, so I’m very happy about this. Alrighty, let’s get into it!

Book Info

Title: The Honeys

Author: Ryan La Sala 

Publisher: Scholastic Press

RELEASE DATE: August 2th, 2022

GENRE(S): Horror, Young Adult LGBT ContemporaryMystery Queer Thriller Fiction Mystery Thriller Boarding School

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Honeys-Ryan-Sala/dp/133874531X

Tour Schedule Link: https://turnthepagetours.wordpress.com/2021/11/23/tour-schedule-the-honeys/

Synopsis

From Ryan La Sala, the wildly popular author of Reverie, comes a twisted and tantalizing horror novel set amidst the bucolic splendor of a secluded summer retreat.

Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline’s radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who’d grown tragically distant.

Mars’s gender fluidity means he’s often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.

What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister’s old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying — and Mars is certain they’re connected to Caroline’s death.


But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can’t find it soon, it will eat him alive.

Book Review

Now it’s time for the review!

What I Liked

  • I absolutely adored Mars! I can relate to feeling like the shorter end of the stick, especially when you’re constantly being compared to others. However, with time those feelings faded away. Hence why I was elated when Mars finally came into their own.
  • The dialogue! Lately, I find that dialogue between teenagers in YA books is slightly cringy. They try too hard to be trendy, which I dislike. Luckily, The Honeys wasn’t like that at all!
  • The eerieness! Usually, I read mysteries set in fall or winter, never summer. So when I picked this one up, I didn’t expect the book to be this scary. It was the perfect amount of spooky.
  • The mystery aspect was perfect! I like a good mystery that doesn’t rely on shock value to wow the audience when the perpetrator is revealed. Moreover, The Honeys has a great-paced mystery. It’s not too predictable, but also doesn’t completely stump the reader.

What I Disliked

  • The only issue I had with the story was that it took about 20% of the way in for me to be fully invested. The Honeys is slightly slow-paced in the beginning, but the pace really starts to pick up as you read on.

Moodboard

About the Author

Ryan La Sala writes about surreal things happening to queer people. Ryan resides in New York City, but only physically. Escapist to the core, he spends most of his time in the astral planes and only takes up corporeal form for special occasions, like brunch and to watch anime (which is banned on the astral planes). Ryan is the author behind the riotously imaginative Reverie, and the brilliantly constructed Be Dazzled. He has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Tor.com, and one time Shangela from RuPaul’s Drag Race called him cute. Right in the middle of the road downtown! So. Pretty big deal all around, yes?

And that’s a wrap! I hope you all enjoyed this tour stop, because I had so much fun making it. Have a wonderful day, and stay safe! ❤

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Made in Manhattan | A Review

Hiya! I hope your day is going great. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review. So here are my thoughts on Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne. Enjoy!

(Synopsis from GoodReads)

Violet Townsend has always been a people pleaser. Raised in the privileged world of Upper East Side Manhattan, she always says the right things, wears the right clothes, and never rocks the boat. Violet would do anything for the people closest to her, especially her beloved grandmother. So when she asks Violet to teach the newly-discovered grandson of her friend how to fit in with New York City’s elite, Violet immediately agrees. Her goal? To get Cain Stone ready to take his place as heir to his family company…but to say he’s not exactly an eager student is an understatement. Born and raised in rural Louisiana and now making his own way in New Orleans, Cain Stone is only playing along for the paycheck at the end. He has no use for the grandmother he didn’t know existed and no patience for the uppity Violet’s attempts to turn him into a suit-wearing, museum-attending gentleman.

But somewhere amidst antagonistic dinner parties and tortured tux fittings, Cain and Violet come to a begrudging understanding—and the uptight Violet realizes she’s not the only one doing the teaching. As she and Cain begin to find mutual respect for one another (and maybe even something more), Violet learns that blindly following society’s rules doesn’t lead to happiness…and that sometimes the best things in life come from the most unexpected places.

Made in Manhattan is the perfect read for die-hard city girls, and I loved every bit of it!

Now, I’m not going to lie. When I first picked up this book, I thought it’d be boring. Luckily, I was very surprised!

The main character Violet was kind and likable. Violet’s growth throughout the book was very refreshing to see! I loved how it was evident that she was learning from her mistakes, and recognizing things she needed to work on. One underlying message I loved is that it goes to show that developing as a person is possible without changing your physical appearance. The other main character Cain was interesting too. At first, I didn’t love his cold demeanour. But as the story progressed, my assumptions were quickly proven wrong. He was such an understanding person towards the end. It was definitely great to see his personality develop as well. Violet’s friends and family were also such great supporting characters!

Unfortunately, I didn’t always love the dialogue. Sometimes, Violet tried too hard to come up with a comeback or insult. It came off as cringy most times. Other interactions were genuinely funny though, which helped to balance out the cringe I felt. 

On a great note, the writing really hooked me! It was elegant yet hilarious. Made in Manhattan is also very fast-paced, which I adored. Because of its pace, I finished the book in 24 hours! The author also provided awesome insight into New York and Manhattan. It really added to the city-vibe of the story.

I really enjoyed this fun and swoon-worthy read! It’s the perfect book to read when you just want to relax and not think too much. Overall, I highly recommend Made in Manhattan!

Age Rating: 16 and up

Trigger Warnings: Death of parents (off-page)

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, or 9/10

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for reading!

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Spring TBR 2022!

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 by Laura 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!

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The Song of Achilles | A Review

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!

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Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World | An ARC Review

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, Anxietysome 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!

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When You Get the Chance | An ARC Review

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!

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January Wrap-Up!

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.

This was a picture I did for the Game On book tour TBRandBeyond Tours hosted!

Total Number Of Books Read: 11

Total Number Of Posts Published: 5

Average Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars or 7.5/10

Some of my goals for February include…

  • Finish two Netgalley ARCs
  • Read 5 novels
  • Drink lots of water

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed reading about my January in books, I’d love to know about yours too! Have a lovely day!

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Blog Tour: Game On // Author Interview with Laura Silverman!

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!

Game On by Laura Silverman

Book Info

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

Synopsis

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.

//Goodreads//Amazon//Barnes and Noble//Book Depository//Indigo//Indiebound//

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!

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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.

//Website//Instagram//Goodreads//Twitter//

Thank you so much for reading this tour stop post! I hope you decide to check out Game On. It’s an amazing book, and there’s truly a story for everyone. Have a fabulous day!

Vicious | A Review

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!

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(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.”

V.E. Schwab, Vicious

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!

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