Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – Out Now: Queer We Go Again! by Saundra Mitchell @saundramitchell @inkyardpress #OutNow

Welcome to my blog for the blog  tour for Out Now by Saundra Mitchell! I was so excited when an opportunity came up to read this book! I was kindly sent an e-arc via netgalley to read!

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QUEER WE GO AGAIN! A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom, aliens run from the government, a president’s daughter comes into her own, a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer, a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots and barbershops, skateboards and VW vans, Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page!

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I love an anthology especially a queer one! This book sounded like it would be so much fun!

I am excited that we are continuing to see more LGBT content in YA. Also, we had more trans and non-binary characters in this volume, and even some mention of asexuality and pansexuality.

Like the first anthology, these stories were hit or miss for me. Some standouts were What Happens in the Closet, Lumber Me Mine, and One Spell Too Many. But just because I didn’t like some stories doesn’t mean other readers won’t!

Kick.Push.Coast. – by Candice Montgomery
Dustyn is an avid skater, and falls for a girl at the skate park, leading them to question their sexuality and labels.

What Happens in the Closet – by Caleb Roehrig
A very sweet story about two guys who are into each other – one is fully out, the other isn’t ready – oh, and vampires attack the Prom.

Player One Fight! – by Eliot Schrefer
A cute gaymer story.

Lumber Me Mine – by CB Lee
A girl who has just gone through a break-up with her boyfriend meets a cute girl in her Woodwork class. This is a cute story with some ace representation.

Follower – by Will Kostakis
A cute story about a young guy who meets a famous online influencer at a beach and finds out that reality is v different from what you see online.

Refresh – by Mark Oshiro
A really sweet story about two plus-sized guys who meet online, but one isn’t being completely honest about his physical appearance.

Victory Lap – by Julian Winters
A very, very cute story that centres around the relationship between a Dad and his son, with the Dad encouraging the son to ask a cute boy to Prom.

A Road of One’s Own – by Kate Hart
Eliza has broken up with her boyfriend and has gone on a trip to the woods with a group. She’s questioning her sexuality and falls for a girl at the camp.

Seditious Teapots – by Katherine Locke
Rory collects unusual teapots and meets Lane while buying one at a tea shop. Lane encourages Rory to meet up with a local group who help Rory to realise that labels aren’t for everyone.

Starcrossed in DC – by Jessica Verdi
The President’s bi daughter accidentally makes a public statement saying that she supports his enthusiasm for a harmful bill that will have an atrocious impact on the LGBTQ+ community.

Floating – by Tanya Boteju
Literally no idea what’s happening in this one, but the writing is dreamy.

The Soft Place – by Hillary Monahan
Kimber & Shyanna adore each other but their parents keep them apart. Kimber takes drugs to escape and ends up having a hallucination where she meets a woman at the centre of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

A Pound of Flesh – by Kosoko Jackson
Years ago, Theo made a deal with the Goddess Aphrodite to keep bringing him back from the dead to life a new life so that he can continue to be with his love, the God Ares.

One Spell Too Many – by Tara Sim
A very, very cute story about a girl named Anna who is a magical baker. Her friend asks her to cast a love spell, but she accidentally gives it to the guy she likes.

Far From Home – by Saundra Mitchell
Wade & River love each other. They’re on the run from someone who wants to catch Wade after discovering he has special abilities.

The Coronation – by Meredith Russo
A very sweet trans fantasy story where the new King and Queen must come to terms with their destiny and decide whether or not they are happy as things are, or if they can risk giving everything up.

Once Upon a Seastorm – by Fox Benwell
A beautifully written magical story set in the same universe as Harry Potter, featuring a trans boy who falls pregnant. Stunning writing.
I think that LGBT teens will be able to read these stories and feel like they are being represented here and that they are valid and loved.

 

 

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Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab @ajarzab @inkyardpress #BreathLikeWater

Welcome to my blog for my stop on the blog tour for Breath Like Water! I was kindly sent an e-arc of this title via Netgalley to read and review but all opinions are my own!

 

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Susannah Ramos has always loved the water. A swimmer whose early talent made her a world champion, Susannah was poised for greatness in a sport that demands so much of its young. But an inexplicable slowdown has put her dream in jeopardy, and Susannah is fighting to keep her career afloat when two important people enter her life: a new coach with a revolutionary training strategy, and a charming fellow swimmer named Harry Matthews.

As Susannah begins her long and painful climb back to the top, her friendship with Harry blossoms into passionate and supportive love. But Harry is facing challenges of his own, and even as their bond draws them closer together, other forces work to tear them apart. As she struggles to balance her needs with those of the people who matter most to her, Susannah will learn the cost—and the beauty—of trying to achieve something extraordinary.

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TW: depression, in depth discussion of bipolar disorder, past and present on page self harm, underage drinking, and verbal abuse from an authority figure

Breath Like Water follows follows Susannah Ramos, a teenage competitive swimmer. After winning a medal at Worlds in the 200 Individual Medley at 14 years old, Susannah has a growth spurt that throws off her technique and speed, resulting in pressure from family, coaches, and peers since it seems her swimming career has peaked early. She works to get back on top while dealing with feuding coaches, injuries, and her complicated feelings for new teammate, Harry. As their romance develops, Susannah realises that she must choose between her swimming and her first love.

I liked Breathe Like Water very much. The characters were interesting and had realistic scenarios. This is the perfect summer read. There are sports, great friendships, a sweet romance and a diverse cast of characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult sports romance novels.

 

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Blog Tour – Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn @HoZ_Books @KatAliceDunn @_ZephyrBooks #DangerousRemedy

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn! I’m so excited to gush to you guys about this amazing book!

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Morts they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In a fast and furious story full of the glamour and excesses, intrigue and deception of these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

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Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn is a mixture of history and fantasy in one novel. Set with a backdrop of the French Revolution, a rag tag group of young people are saving people from being beheaded when suddenly they find themselves rescuing a girl with strange powers. They have to fight to keep her safe from both sides of the revolution as they hunt to find her.

On a mission to retrieve a prisoner, Camille, the daughter of a murdered revolutionary, discovers there is far more to this prisoner, this young girl, and the job than she was expecting. Caught between the Royalists and the Revolutionaries, Camille and her gang need to decide who gets the girl. Or maybe they can just blow everyone up? ⁠

I love this writer already! This book flew past me so quickly! I didn’t realise i’d read half the book within a few hours. The writing style is so easy to get lost in and you completely believe you’re inside the story. The story has so many twists and turns I didn’t see coming which as a reader I adore.

I loved how gay this book was. I loved the romance between Camille and Ada which felt so real and strong and like a committed relationship. I loved Al the most as he was the most relateable to me and would probably be me if i was in his shoes. I just loved everything about this book from the plot, the location, the characters and the beautiful writing. I can’t wait to see what happens next and Kat Dunn is now one of my favourite authors.

I rated this book 5/5 stars!!!

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Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – Venom by Bex Hogan @bex_hogan @teambkmrk @emilyhopeth #Venom #Viper #IslesOfStormAndSorrow

Welcome back to my blog for one of my most anticipated sequels of the year! I was kindly sent a copy to review by Hachette but all opinions are my own!

Marianne has never wanted to be a fighter, but with unrest and discord threatening the Twelve Islands, she will have to battle threats both inside and out in an attempt to attain peace for her homeland.

Marianne is now the Viper, but her hopes for peace in the Eastern Isles are being frustrated. The corrupt King remains on the throne, bandits are proving hard to stop and Marianne is not sure who among her crew she can truly trust.

For the islands to prosper, the invisible bond that once existed uniting land and sea must be reinstated. There’s only one way that can happen – the return of magic. To do that Marianne must put aside all her fears: she must return to her roots, the Western Isles, and call on the power that runs in her blood.

She must become a Mage.

Only then, can she possibly command the army needed to finally take down the King.

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I absolutely adored the first book last year and couldn’t wait to start this book when i received it. This book was even better than the first!!!!

Venom is an amazing sequel to Viper, it was full of more adventure and set in the amazing world i came to love in book one.  This book definitely seemed more dark and disturbing than the first book and the characters developed so much more especially Marianne.. she is my favourite female book character. She amazes me to no end.

Marianne got to discover more of her world and it was interesting to read the descriptions of these isles and let Bex bring them to life in your mind. All the excellent side characters are back which i loved except I wish there was more of Torin as he was one of my favourites from last time.

I’ve been in a real slump for YA fantasy for the last few months but this one really pulled me out of it. From the immersive world, relatable characters and beautiful writing you will love this book.

I rated this book 5/5 stars.

 

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Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – Night Of The Dragon by Julie Kagawa @hqstories @inkyardpress

Hi! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Night Of The Dragon by Julie Kagawa which is the 3rd book in the Shadow Of The Fox series!

All is lost.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of Evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.

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I’m so hyped for this book, the Shadow Of The Fox is one of my all time favourite fantasy series and I couldn’t wait to read this installment!

I adore this series. The medieval Japanese world-building with its mix of folklore and mythology is wonderful and has been a delight to read. Our beloved crew of misfits: a kitsune, shinobi demon-slayer, wandering ronin, royal samurai and shine maiden with her little dog too, expands to include a demon lord and a ghost! Just when Yumeko thought she was done when she gave up the last piece of the scroll, the scroll falls into the wrong hands and the Kami Dragon will finally be woken to awake chaos in the empire with only one wish.

Kagawa delivers a satisfying conclusion to their story. I have read now all of the books in this series of Shadow of the Fox and I must say, Julie Kagawa saved the best for last.

Overall, Night of the Dragon – and the series as a whole – is a rich, beautiful story. I highly recommend it to lovers of gripping fantasies, those who love Japanese culture and lore

I rated this book 4/5 stars.

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Book Review – The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth @hodderbooks #ChosenOnes

Welcome back to my blog to read my review of the brilliant The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth.

This book was kindly sent to me by Hodder but all opinions are my own!

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended

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Chosen Ones shows the reader what happens after the war is won. After the hero comes home, how do they return to life and can they return to that normal life. For Sloane, her youth was spent fighting the Dark One. When she and the other chosen ones succeeded, they were left unprepared for their life after their victory. Sloane chooses to isolate herself until another force intervenes. She and her two friends are transported to another world. Another version of Earth where magic is common and the Dark One still lives. Sloane is left questioning if she can claim victory again and is everything like it seems.

Chosen Ones begins slowly. My attention was grabbed as the tale progressed. I liked how the author used newspaper articles, government documents, etc. to give a back story.

The main characters were interesting. Each one handling their unexpected fame in a different way. Some good and some bad. Sloane was a tough, strong female heroine. One who wants the truth even though it will be painful.

I rated this book 4/5 stars!

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Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid @inkyardpress

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for We Didn’t Ask For this by Adi Alsaid!

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Central International School’s annual lock-in is legendary — and for six students, this year’s lock-in is the answer to their dreams. The chance to finally win the contest. Kiss the guy. Make a friend. Become the star of a story that will be passed down from student to student for years to come.

But then a group of students, led by Marisa Cuevas, stage an eco-protest and chain themselves to the doors, vowing to keep everyone trapped inside until their list of demands is met. While some students rally to the cause, others are devastated as they watch their plans fall apart. And Marisa, once so certain of her goals, must now decide just how far she’ll go to attain them.

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We Didn’t Ask for This started off promising. There’s a large set of characters that are introduced in small bits and pieces, which had me itching to learn more about them and their motivations. Told in a third person POV that I found very refreshing once I got used it, We Didn’t Ask for This’ narrator was so funny! The one thing I struggle with in books is too many characters and POVs, this book had like 15 characters and that was way too much for me. I struggle with 2 if i’m honest.

This is a novel about activism, standing up for what you believe in, and making a big stand. A high school is celebrating its yearly lock-in. While everyone expects games, movies, and a secret party, they aren’t expecting a group of students to chain themselves to the exits and swallow the keys.

 

Overall i rated this book 3/5 stars as it was a quick read and the subject was a good idea but it just wasn’t executed well.

 

 

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