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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is synopsis.png

(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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Love Is a Revolution | A Review

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!

Love Is a Revolution : Watson, Renée: Amazon.ca: Books

(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!

Most recent post ➡️ The Holiday Switch | A Review

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The Holiday Switch | A Review

Merry (belated) Christmas to all those who celebrate! I hope your holiday season was filled with joy, and maybe some festive reads too. Speaking of festivity, today I’ll be reviewing The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo. Enjoy!

The Holiday Switch: Marcelo, Tif: 9780593379554: Books - Amazon.ca

(Synopsis from GoodReads)

Lila Castro is ready to take on her last winter break of high school. The snow is plentiful, the mood is full of holiday cheer, and she’s earning extra cash working at the cozy local inn. But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Veracruz, becomes her coworker. When they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they both realize they’ve been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets–and a dash of holiday spirit–bring them closer to love?

The Holiday Switch was the cozy read I was looking for this holiday season. It’s both fun and festive!

The main characters Teddy and Lila are strong characters, but only on their own. Their interactions were cute, but the chemistry just wasn’t there. One thing that made me uncomfy was that Teddy borderline threatened to spill Lila’s secret if she spilled his. Without spoiling too much, the issue wasn’t called out much. This also made me uncomfortable because Lila is in high school, and Teddy is not. Yes, she’s eighteen. However, this doesn’t excuse the fact that she was practically threatened by a college student.  

On a better note, I loved how family was represented in the book. Lila is the oldest sibling, and has a lot of pressure to do well in life. I think many teenagers will relate to her in that sense. Lila also has a book blog, which was so cool because if it wasn’t obvious, I do too! 😆 

“Books are an escape. Books are a reminder that opposites can exist at the same time, both good and bad, positive and negative.”
― Tif Marcelo, The Holiday Switch

In addition, the dialogue didn’t sound like something teens today would say. For example, phrases like ‘har har’ aren’t sayings kids use often. Fortunately, there was some great talk about the importance of representation in the media. I really liked that aspect of the book. 

Moreover, the writing was very clunky. I found myself frequently re-reading sentences. This unfortunately did decrease my enjoyment of the book. Luckily, the story was very cozy. From sledding to drinking hot cocoa, the warm-and-fuzzy vibes in The Holiday Switch were amazing!  


Overall, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I hoped. The Holiday Switch was cozy though, so if that’s your jam then I recommend this book!

Age Rating: 14 and up

Trigger Warnings: Blackmailing

Overall Rating: 7/10 or 3.5 out of 5 stars

⭐⭐⭐

What’s your favourite Christmas-themed book? Have a wonderful day!

Yesterday’s post ➡️ The Best Books I Read in 2021!

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The Best Books I Read in 2021!

Hi all! This year, or rather last year, I read almost 50 books, which is probably the most I’ll ever read in a year. 😆 Today I’ll be sharing my top 5 novels of 2021! However, I’ll be sharing some honourable mentions as well because I read so many amazing books this year. Also, if you’ve recapped your 2021 in any way on your blog, do share the link in the comments. I’d love to see all the lovely books you’ve read in 2021 too. Alrighty, let’s get into it!

(PS: Click on the book covers to add them to Goodreads.)

5. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

I loved loved loved Instructions for Dancing…until the ending. Unfortunately, it was too anti-climatic. However, the journey this book puts you through is incredible. The main characters are so lovable, and the writing was humorous yet heart-wrenching. Instructions for Dancing was the perfect mix of emotional yet funny, which in hindsight is an odd combination, but definitely a good one.

4. Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Made in Korea | Book by Sarah Suk | Official Publisher Page | Simon &  Schuster Canada

Made in Korea was my first physical ARC, so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I also interviewed the author, you can find that post here! The banter in this book was phenomenally done, to the point where I even want to re-read it, and I never re-read! The entrepreneurial aspect was awesome too.

3. Rumaysa: A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza

This book surprised me so much! It’s a middle-grade novel that features beautiful illustrations inspired by South Asia. (It’s not a graphic novel though, in case you were wondering. 🙂) Nevertheless, Rumaysa was amazing! The heroine was spunky, and the story was absolutely hilarious! However, it’s the important lessons of following one’s heart and helping others that really stuck with me…and also the delicious descriptions of desi food. *sigh* I’d really love a hot cup of chai and a samosa right now.

2. Once Upon an Eid by A Collection of Authors (Edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed)

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices : Ali, S. K.,  Saeed, Aisha, Alfageeh, Sara: Amazon.ca: Books

Once Upon an Eid made my heart feel so full! It tells a variety of stories, all of which show diverse perspectives and traditions that happen during the month of Ramadan, and on Eid. I felt like I learnt so much about the world through this book. Overall, it was incredibly wholesome and very joyful. I highly recommend it!

1. A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier

A Castle in the Clouds: Gier, Kerstin, Fursland, Romy: 9781250300195: Books  - Amazon.ca

And now, in first place I give you 🥁*drumroll please*🥁 A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier! This was one of my first reads of the year, and it was amazingly cozy. It’s essentially a mystery set in the mountains, and I loved it! From the hilarious dialogue, to the warm writing, A Castle in the Clouds is the winter read you’ve been endlessly searching GoodReads for! You can read my full review here.

Honorable Mentions

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

Both of these books are adventure based, and are very easy reads. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens was a sweet book with lovely writing. I definitely recommend! Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne was such a fun and enticing book that I recommend to anyone wanting to get into classical novels.

Feel free to read my interview with the author of In Deeper Waters here! I wish I could also interview Jules Verne, but sadly time travelling back to the 1800s will be a difficult feat. You can however, read my full review of Journey to the Center of the Earth here!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favourite books of 2021. I’m grateful to have read such amazing books, and hope to expand my reading to new genres like fantasy and historical novels. What genres do you hope to read more of in 2022? Have a lovely day!

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Blog Tour: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss (Light the Abyss #2) // A Moodboard!

Hiya! Today I bring you a mood board for the incredibly atmospheric novel; Journey to the Heart of the Abyss (Light the Abyss #2). Enjoy!

Journey to the Heart of the Abyss by London Shah

Book Info

Title: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss (Light the Abyss #2)

Author: London Shah

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Synopsis

The sequel to London Shah’s thrilling futuristic mystery The Light at the Bottom of the World, perfect for fans of Illuminae and These Broken Stars.

Leyla McQueen has finally reunited with her father after breaking him out of Broadmoor, the illegal government prison—but his freedom comes at a terrible cost. As Leyla celebrates his return, she must grapple with the pain of losing Ari. Now separated from the boy who has her heart and labeled the nation’s number one enemy, Leyla must risk illegal travel through unchartered waters in her quest for the truth behind her father’s arrest.

Across Britain, the fallout from Leyla’s actions has escalated tensions between Anthropoid and non-Anthropoid communities, bringing them to an all-time high. And, as Leyla and her friends fight to uncover the startling truths about their world, she discovers her own shocking past—and the horrifying secrets behind her father’s abduction and arrest. But as these long-buried truths finally begin to surface, so, too, do the authorities’ terrible future plans. And if the ever-pervasive fear prevents the people from taking a stand now, the abyss could stay in the dark forever.

Find out more about Journey to the Heart of the Abyss with these links!

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

Here is the tour schedule link. If you have time, do check out the other lovely tour stops as well!

Moodboard

Here’s a moodboard I made for the book!

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About the Author

London Shah | Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

London Shah is a British Muslim of Pashtun ethnicity. She has lived in Britain’s capital for most of her life, via England’s beautiful North. On any given day she can be found daydreaming of a different past, an alternate present, or some surreal future. She enjoys drinking copious amounts of tea, eating all the sweets and cakes, strolling through Richmond Park or along the Thames, getting lost on an evening in the city’s older, darker alleyways—preferably just after it’s rained—listening to punk rock, and losing herself in a fab SFF book or film. The Light at the Bottom of the World is her debut novel. The sequel Journey to the Heart of the Abyss releases 26.10.21.

//Website//Instagram//Goodreads//

Thank you so much for reading this tour stop! I hope you check out Journey to the Heart of the Abyss, and love this series as much as I do. Have a great day!

Twenty Spooktacular Fall Reads You Need to Checkout! 🍂

Hey everyone! Today’s post is a bit overdue, but will hopefully be a worthwhile one because I’m going to be giving you some books to read this fall season! I’ve separated the books into four categories; Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult, and of course, the Classics. I hope you enjoy!

PS: Press the book covers for the goodreads links. I also summarised most of the book synopsis’ myself. However some I took from goodreads.

If you’re a bit of a scaredy cat like me, than I suggest these middle grade titles! But don’t let their innocent demeanor fool you…

1. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces: Arden, Katherine: 9780525515029: Books - Amazon.ca

This is a gorgeously creepy story about a girl whose field trip to a farm goes wrong.

2. Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland

Ophie's Ghosts: Ireland, Justina: 9780062915894: Books - Amazon.ca

Set in 1922, Ophie’s Ghosts follows a girl named Ophie. She has no choice but to work as a maid in an old manor as her mother is tight on money. Little does she know that the manor holds secrets of its own.

3. What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie

What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie

When Ginny Anderson’s dad takes the family on a month long trip to a decrepit manor known as Woodmoor Manor, things take an uneasy turn. For the woods surrounding the mansion, hold a secret.

4. Thirteens by Kate Marshall

Thirteens by Kate Alice Marshall: 9780593117040 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

After the death of her mother, twelve-year-old Eleanor moved to a town called Eden Eld where an eerie Mr. January collects his payment of three thirteen-year-olds every thirteen years. The kids are sacrificed in exchange for the town’s unending good fortune. This Halloween, Mr. January is back, and has their eyes on Eleanor and her friends. Will they break the curse before Halloween ends?

I feel like Young Adult thrillers are harder to find than YA mysteries, so here are some to add to your TBR!

5. The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins

The Woods Are Always Watching: Perkins, Stephanie: 9780525426028: Books -  Amazon.ca


Best friends Neena and Josie spent high school as outsiders, but at least they had each other. Now, with college and a two-thousand-mile separation looming on the horizon, they have one last chance to be together—a three-day hike deep into the woods of the Pisgah National Forest. Simmering tensions lead to a detour off the trail and straight into a waking nightmare; and then into something far worse. Something that will test them in horrifying ways.

(Synopsis from goodreads)

6. Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

While this one isn’t entirely a thriller, it gives me such fall and back to school vibes!

Darcy Phillips gives relationship advice to her fellow students. However, one day she is hired by the popular guy at school who wants to get his ex back. What could possibly go wrong?

7. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

52339313. sy475

Cemetery Boys is a fall classic!

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

8. The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass: 9781984812537 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Sixteen year old Jake Livingston can see the dead. However, what happens when you become haunted by a ghost, and are able to see it?

9. Alice by Heart by Steven Sater

Alice By Heart: Sater, Steven: 9780451478139: Books - Amazon.ca

In this Alice and Wonderland retelling, Alice and her best friend Alfred must take refuge in a London Tube station during WWII. Alfred is gravely ill with Tuberculosis, and might not survive the night. So to cheer him up, Alice tells her favorite story; The Story of Alice in Wonderland. But what happens when wonderland is her only escape from the harshness of World War Two?

10. I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

I Hope You're Listening by Tom Ryan

In her small town, seventeen year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago, she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again. At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way. When another little girl goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers, with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much is she willing to reveal about herself in order to uncover the truth? Dee’s about to find out what’s really at stake in unraveling the mystery of the little girls who vanished.

(Synopsis from goodreads)

11. The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

The Forest of Stolen Girls : Hur, June: Amazon.ca: Books

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest near a gruesome crime scene. Years later, Detective Min―Hwani’s father―learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared from the same forest that nearly stole his daughters. He travels to their hometown on the island of Jeju to investigate… only to vanish as well. Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village―and collides with her now estranged sister, Maewol―Hwani comes to realize that the answer could lie within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

(Synopsis from goodreads)

12. The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Something is off about Snakebite. Teens keep going missing, and Ashely Barton’s boyfriend is one of them. When Logan Oritz-Woodley and her family move in town, they aren’t exactly met with a warm welcome. Logan frequently wonders why the town hates her family so much. Could Snakebite be hiding a secret?

13. A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell

Separated by the rest of the world, Derry and her eight siblings live on a lake near a merciless forest. One day Derry’s siblings start to go missing, forcing her to confront the forest once again.

So maybe Middle Grade and Young Adult aren’t your jam. If so, then that’s totally okay! Here are some adult reads instead.

14. Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau

Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau

This book isn’t necessarily spooky, but it’s most definitely cozy!

Actor Ryan Kwok is back in Toronto after the promotional tour for his latest film, a rom-com that is getting less-than-stellar reviews. After the sudden death of his mother and years of constant work, Ryan is taking some much-needed time off. But as he tries to be supportive to his family, he struggles with his loss and doesn’t know how to talk to his dad—who now trolls him on Twitter instead of meeting him for dim sum. Innovative baker Lindsay McLeod meets Ryan when he knocks over two dozen specialty donuts at her bakery. Their relationship is off to a messy start, but there’s no denying their immediate attraction. When Ryan signs up for a celebrity episode of Baking Fail, he asks Lindsay to teach him how to bake and she agrees. As Lindsay and Ryan spend time together, bonding over grief and bubble tea, it starts to feel like they’re cooking up something sweeter than cupcakes in the kitchen.

(Synopis from goodreads)

15. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

The Ex Hex eBook by Erin Sterling | Rakuten Kobo

Nine years ago, young witch Vivienne Jones ‘pretended’ to curse Rhys, the guy who dumped her. Fast forward almost a decade, and he’s back in town to represent his prestigious family, and also to recharge the town’s ley lines. However, will the curse Vivienne thought she never placed on Rhys endanger the town she’s always called home?

16. Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia

Dead Dead Girls : Afia, Nekesa: Amazon.ca: Books

Harlem, 1926. Young black girls like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead. Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She’s succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie’s Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Manhattan’s hottest speakeasy. Louise’s friends might say she’s running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don’t tell her that. When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore–several local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a local police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or let a judge make an example of her. Louise has no choice but to take the case and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind. She’ll have to tackle her own fears and the prejudices of New York City society if she wants to catch a killer and save her own life in the process.

(Synopsis from goodreads)

17. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

The Empress of Salt and Fortune: Vo, Nghi: 9781250750303: Books - Amazon.ca

If you’re a fantasy lover, then this is definitely the book for you!

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully. Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for. At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

(Synopsis from goodreads)

Can’t forget about the classics!

18. Dracula by Bram Stoker

ARC CLASSICS DRACULA, Book by Bram Stoker (Paperback) | www.chapters.indigo .ca

Dracula is a story about the infamous Van Helsing, a guy named Harker, and of course, evil. Filled with incredibly atmospheric writing, and a deliciously eerie setting, Dracula is a classic you don’t want to miss this Halloween!

19. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

ARC CLASSICS FRANKENSTEIN, Book by Mary Shelley (Paperback) | www.chapters. indigo.ca

This is the insane story of Dr. Frankenstein and his experiment that lead to the creation of the iconically creepy monster Frankenstein.

20. The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo

In the winter of 1937, the village of Okamura is abuzz with excitement over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family. But amid the gossip over the approaching festivities, there is also a worrying rumour – it seems a sinister masked man has been asking questions around the village. Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi household are woken by a terrible scream, followed by the sound of eerie music. Death has come to Okamura, leaving no trace but a bloody samurai sword, thrust into the pristine snow outside the house. Soon, amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi is on the scene to investigate what will become a legendary murder case, but can this scruffy sleuth solve a seemingly impossible crime?

(Synopsis from goodreads)

🎃 Still not sure what to read this autumn? Feel free to check out my spooky book reviews below for some ideas! 🎃

Alrighty, that’s a wrap! I hope you found some cozy books to read this fall season. What’s your favorite mystery or thriller? Have a spooktacular day!

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The Dead and the Dark | An ARC Review

Hey everyone! I hope you’re doing well, and enjoying this lovely spooky season. Today I’ll be reviewing The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould. This book was definitely outside of my comfort zone, so I’m happy I received the opportunity to read it! Without further ado, here are my thoughts on it!

PS: Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

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

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

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

(Synopsis from goodreads)

I’m not going to lie, it took a while for the book to fully grasp my attention. The book was very complicating and repetitive at times. However, as the story progressed, I found myself becoming more and more enthralled!

The main characters Logan and Ashley are quite peculiar characters. They’re both morally grey, and you can never truly tell if they’re friends or not. But this only adds to the excitement you feel while reading The Dead and the Dark. Readers will never know if they’ll become close, or betray one another. In addition, Logan and Ashley’s parents are incredibly mysterious. This only adds to the eerie vibe of the story. Every character in the book has a story to tell, and it was such an amazing experience to see it all unravel.

In addition, the dialogue didn’t stand out to me. Since The Dead and the Dark is a mystery, I expected there to be more suspicious or nail-biting dialogue. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. 

On a more positive note, I adored the writing. While many scenes felt repetitive, the author described each setting a bit differently every time Ashley or Logan returned to that specific place. This was such a unique way to showcase the change in perspectives! 

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Overall, I really enjoyed The Dead and the Dark. It started off slow, but very quickly grasped my attention. I definitely recommend this novel for the fall season!

Age Rating: 15 and up

Trigger Warnings: Violence, death, drowning

Final Rating: 8/10 or 4 stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What’s a spooky book you adore? I’d love to know! Have an amazing day!

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Blog Tour: For All Time // Review & Top 5 Reasons to Read This Book!

Hi! I hope your day has been amazing. Today I’m bringing you a review, along with five reasons to read For All Time by Shanna Miles. Enjoy!

For All Time | Book by Shanna Miles | Official Publisher Page | Simon &  Schuster

Book Info

Title: For All Time

Author: Shanna Miles

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Fantasy, and Romance.

Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 28th 2021

Buy Link: https://bookshop.org/a/11727/9781534485976

Synopsis

“An unforgettable and artfully crafted romance right down to the very last page.” —Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’

“A romance for the ages. Fresh voices and original predicaments make this one perfect little novel.”

—Stacey Lee, award-winning author of The Downstairs Girl

The Sun Is Also a Star meets Outlander in this vivid, utterly romantic debut novel about two teens who relive their tragic love story over and over until they uncover what they must do to change their fate.

Tamar is a musician, a warrior, a survivor. Fayard? He’s a pioneer, a hustler, a hopeless romantic.

Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world build itself up from nothing only to tear itself down again in civil war. They’ve even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: their love and their fight to be together. One love story after another. Their only concern is they never get to see how their story ends. Until now.

When they finally discover what it will take to break the cycle, will they be able to make the sacrifice?

Tour Schedule

Here is the tour schedule link. If you have time, do check out the other lovely tour stops as well!

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Review

For All Time is a beautifully crafted story on one’s will to never give up.

What I love most about the novel is its eccentric time travel. Tamar and Fayard, the main characters, travel to the thirteen hundreds! I’ve seen few books pull off such old time periods so uniquely. 

Moreover, the characters were such a delight! I’ll admit, at first, I wasn’t too fond of Tamar. I found her to be rather obnoxious. Fayard on the other hand, I liked from the start. While I didn’t particularly love some characters, there were quite a few I had a soft spot for. 

The writing was absolutely incredible! It was emotional and raw. Without spoiling too much, you could really feel the love Tamar and Fayard had for each other.

In addition, I really loved the dialogue. It was the right amount snarky, and heartbreaking. 

Unfortunately though, I found the time jumps to be rather confusing. At times they felt too sudden and out of place. 


Overall, I really enjoyed this book! While the book was confusing at times, it was simply too gripping to put down. If you’re looking for a speculative or emotional story then I highly recommend For All Time.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Top Five Reasons to Read For All Time

1. Diverse story

The main characters Tamar and Fayard are of African American descent!

2. A look at the thirteen hundreds

For All Time takes readers through a journey into the thirteen hundreds! It’s not a time period I’m 100% familiar with, so it was very refreshing to read about.

3. There’s Musician Rep!

Teens who play instruments are rare to see in YA, so I was very happy to see that Tamar plays an instrument.

4. Witty Main Character

Tamar is very witty. I liked how straightforward and blunt she was at times. It was nice to see her taking charge to achieve her goals instead of just sulking about.

5. A story where more than one character time travels

Now, this might be an unusual reason, but it’s definitely a meaningful one. I’ve only ever read books where one person time travels, not two people. This led way for such an interesting dynamic that you don’t want to miss!

About the Author

Shanna Miles is an author, reviewer and librarian who lives in Georgia with her two daughters, and educator husband and advocates tirelessly for appropriate representation for marginalized people in children’s fiction. Her passion is Paranormal Romance, but she also has a deep affinity for diverse Science Fiction like that of Octavia Butler and Sherri L. Smith. “Willow Born” is Shanna Miles’ latest work.

Alrighty friends, that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed. Have a wonderful day!

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Blog Tour: It All Comes Back to You // Author Interview & Top 5 Reasons to Read This Book!

Hiya everyone! Today I’ll be hosting a blog tour stop for It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi. This novel has been one of my most anticipated reads of the century! So I’m very excited for this tour. I hope you enjoy!

It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi

Book Info

Title: It All Comes Back to You

Author: Farah Naz Rishi

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Publication Date: September 14th 2021

Content Warnings: References to death of a parent, references to drug use, emotional abuse, anxiety, guilt

Synopsis

After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close. Then out of the blue, Amira announces that she’s dating someone and might move cross-country with him. Kiran is thrown.

Deen Malik is thrilled that his older brother, Faisal, has found a great girlfriend, even if it’s getting serious quickly. Maybe now their parents’ focus will shift off Deen, who feels intense pressure to be the perfect son.

When Deen and Kiran come fact to face, they silently agree to keep their past a secret. Four years ago–before Amira and Faisal met–Kiran and Deen dated. But Deen ghosted Kiran with no explanation. Kiran will stop at nothing to find out what happened, and Deen will do anything, even if it means sabotaging his brother’s relationship, to keep her from reaching the truth. Though the chemistry between Kiran and Deen is undeniable, can either of them take down their walls?

Find out more about It All Comes Back to You with these links!

//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 Farah! I’m super excited to have you here with us today. Before we begin the interview, do you mind sharing some random facts about yourself?

Farah: Hi hi!!! Thank you for having me—I’m so happy to be here! 😀
Okay, some random facts: I foster kittens (so I almost always have some random kittens running around my office while I write). I really like old movies (one of my favorites is Some Like it Hot). I have really bad social anxiety and my way to cope is weight-lifting for some ungodly reason. Oh, and my favorite desi dessert is rasmalai, with laddoo being a close second.

2. It All Comes Back to You is amazing, and I can’t wait for other people to read it as well! May I ask, what inspired you to write it?

Farah: Ahh, thank you, thank you! ❤
I’ve always wanted to write a second-chance romance story, and one day, it felt like Deen just strolled into my head. I adore characters who were kind of a jerk in the past—think Naveen from Princess and the Frog or Flynn from Tangled—but their behavior is simply a mask to hide their insecurities and fears. When Deen popped in my head, I began asking myself a thousand questions: who is he, what did he do in the past, what is it that he truly
wants more than anything else? The image of Kiran followed soon after, which of course then snowballed into this much bigger story.

3. The book features two desi characters (whom I love). Do you see yourself in Kiran or Deen?

Farah: I’ve asked myself the same question a thousand times and I’m still not fully sure the answer! At first, I thought I had more in common with Kiran: her stubbornness, her protectiveness, her willing to do anything to protect the people she loves. But there are parts of Deen that are just so relatable, too. I think almost all of us wear masks, and we all have some things in our pasts we may regret (or at least wish we did differently). I also think the shame of not being a “good enough” Muslim, whatever that means, is also (unfortunately) relatable for a lot of people—whether it be the pressure coming from our parents, or our community, or ourselves.  Short answer? Both 😊 But honestly, as the author, I relate most to Asher because he’s just so Done™. 

Saniya: I love how you relate to each character in some way!

4.  As a South Asian Muslim myself, I’m elated to see more authentic desi muslim representation in the media. What do you hope young desi readers will take from the book?

Farah: The crux of the story is about how broadly speaking, desi people suck with communication. We’re not good at expressing ourselves or showing our pain. We don’t know how to seek help when we should. And it makes sense; desi people are community-based—it’s how we’ve survived years of war and famine and colonialism—so we’ve internalized this idea that it’s better to hide our inner struggles in order to protect family honor. We don’t like showing weakness. But sometimes, like in the case of It All Comes Back to You, that can backfire. It can be detrimental to our collective mental health. Heck, I grew up with that same mentality and that’s partly why I have anxiety. 

5. To end off this interview, I have a very, very, very important question to ask you. Do you prefer Naan or rice? 

Farah: OH NO, WHY WOULD YOU ASK THIS?! Oh gosh. This one’s so hard. Hmm…….gosh, okay, if I have to pick…I’d go with rice. The smell of basmati reminds me of home. 

Saniya: I couldn’t agree more. 😆

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Top Five Reasons to Read It All Comes Back to You

1. The main characters are South Asian Muslims

The representation in the book is awesome, and diverse! It All Comes Back to You has a cast of desi characters with nuanced representation, which I think is incredibly important to have in the media.

2. It has all the wedding vibes

I love that the book showcases desi weddings, because they can be such festive times filled with fun, and joy.

3. The themes of mental health

Without spoiling too much, mental health is such a big part of the story. Whether one’s mental state is good or not can greatly affect the actions they take. And this novel is a prime example of that.

4. Will make you feel all the feels

It All Comes Back to You might look like a rom-com, but don’t let it’s gorgeous yet decieving cover fool you. This is such an emotional story, but in such an amazing way.

5. A+ Banter

I mean, who doesn’t love good banter?

Giveaway! (US Only)

One winner will receive a finished copy of It All Comes Back to you. The giveaway starts onSeptember 13th and ends on September 20th.

Click this link for more info!!

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About the Author

Farah Naz Rishi is a Pakistani-American Muslim writer and voice actor, but in another life, she’sworked stints as a lawyer, a video game journalist, and an editorial assistant. She received her B.A. inEnglish from Bryn Mawr College, her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, and her love of weaving stories from the Odyssey Writing Workshop. When she’s not writing, she’s probably hanging out with video game characters. You can find her at home in Philadelphia, or on Twitter at @farahnazrishi.

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

Thank you so much for reading this tour stop post! I hope you decide to check out It All Comes Back to You. Have a fabulous day!