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 – 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.

thoughts

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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Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – The Five Year Plan by Carla Burgess @Msbear123 @HQstories @HQDigital #TheFiveyearplan

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Five Year Plan by Carla Burgess!

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Two people. One epic love story. What if?

Pre-order the fun and heartwarming romance from the bestselling author of Marry Me Tomorrow

Orla is a trainee reporter with a five-year plan: work her way up the career ladder, move to London and secure a job on a big national newspaper. She doesn’t want a boyfriend, he’s only going to hold her back anyway.

Aiden spends his life travelling the world and living in a tent. He knows his goal: to photograph animals and raise awareness of global warming and wildlife conservation. He’s definitely not looking for a relationship past the odd casual hook-up!

So when Orla and Aiden’s lives collide, they do everything to not fall for each other – with the opposite effect. But they stick to their plans, and go their separate ways…

Five years later, they meet again…

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I’m a huge sucker for second chance romances and this book was exactly that!

Orla meets Aiden during the summer when she’s sent to interview him for the newspaper. Orla has a plan for the next five years where she would like to become a real reporter, live in London and make herself successful.

 

The two characters start off as friends and eventually it becomes more.  Aiden travels the world photographing wildlife. He isn’t the marriage kind and doesn’t want to settle down, until  he meets Orla! Orla stays in London whilst Aiden travels the world concentrating on his career.

After 5 years he returns and the two rekindle their romance.

This book isn’t a fast paced romance read it’s a slow burn. I enjoyed watching their romance blossom and them starting as friends was cute. I love the fact that Aiden is a wildlife photographer as this was a dream of mine as a child! I feel like the break up was concentrated on a little too much but you can feel the heartbreak.

I love that they both didn’t ditch their careers for love and put themselves first and came back to one another when the time was right!

 

I rated this book 4.5 stars!

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Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – This Lovely City by Louise Hare @HQStories @LouRHare #ThisLovelyCity

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this lovely city by louise hare!

London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.

Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home — and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.

As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope

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Lawrie Matthews arrived in Britain on the Windrush in 1948. Lawrie and his friends and colleagues try to build the lives they imagined, but none of them expected prejudice, racism and the utter hostility and sometimes violence of the British people.

Lawrie and Eve are really well developed characters with flaws and quirks of their own. The story kept me engaged throughout and always had me on the edge of my seat.

These characters were treated appallingly and it made me so angry to witness what these people would have had to go through back then. Although the country and the world has come a long way we know racism isn’t gone and it is still rife today.

Lawrie falls in love with his neighbour Evie and loves to play jazz with his friends and these were the happy times in the book that made me breathe a sigh of relief.

I rated this book 4 stars out of 5! This book has had rave reviews all over the place so I definitely think you should check it out for yourselves!

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Blog Tours · Book Reviews

Blog Tour – The Slaughterman’s Daughter by Yaniv Iczkovits @CorinnaZifko @maclehosepress

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Slaughterman’s Daughter! Thankyou to the publisher for sending me a copy to review! This book is gorgeous!

The townsfolk of Motal, an isolated, godforsaken town in the Pale of Settlement, are shocked when Fanny Keismann – devoted wife, mother of five, and celebrated cheese-maker – leaves her home at two hours past midnight and vanishes into the night.

True, the husbands of Motal have been vanishing for years, but a wife and mother? Whoever heard of such a thing. What on earth possessed her?

Could it have anything to do with Fanny’s missing brother-in-law, who left her sister almost a year ago and ran away to Minsk, abandoning their family to destitution and despair?

Or could Fanny have been lured away by Zizek Breshov, the mysterious ferryman on the Yaselda river, who, in a strange twist of events, seems to have disappeared on the same night?

Surely there can be no link between Fanny and the peculiar roadside murder on the way to Telekhany, which has left Colonel Piotr Novak, head of the Russian secret police, scratching his head. Surely a crime like that could have nothing to do with Fanny Keismann, however the people of Motal might mutter about her reputation as a vilde chaya, a wild animal . . .

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I was initially put off by this huge book! I always get scared off by massive books that look like they’ll take me ages to finish but as soon as i got stuck into this read i was hooked and powered through it within a week!

The title does not do this picturesque and witty novel justice. It takes the reader through unusual adventures in the midst of curious characters in Belarus in the late nineteenth century. It is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary Jewish woman, who at some point in her life decides to give up family life, the village, the routine, to start looking for her sister’s husband, who fled years earlier. In reality it is an excuse that she tells herself: what she really wants is to be free, to discover the world outside the four walls of her usual life.

I loved Fanny as a character she was a breath of fresh air in quite a serious book. Her humour was uplifting.
I rated this book 4/5 stars.

 

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Blog Tours · Book Reviews · Wrap Up

Blog Tour – Sofa Surfer by Malcolm Duffy @HoZ_Books

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Sofa Surfer by Malcolm Duffy. Thankyou to the publisher for sending me a review copy!

15-year-old Tyler’s teenage angst turns to outright rebellion when his family leave London for a new life in Yorkshire. He’s angry with his parents about the upheaval and furious at losing his home. With only the dog to confide in, Tyler has no idea that a chance meeting with a skinny girl called Spider will lead him into a world he never even knew existed. Spider is sofa surfing and Tyler finds himself spinning a tangled web of lies in his efforts to help her escape her world of fear and insecurity.

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This is a heart warming story and an important must read!

 

This is a great book for teenagers which deals heavily with the topic of homelessness in a very thought provoking way. I loved how the homeless character was a girl instead of being a stereotypical man. It was eye opening and realistic and it will help teenagers learn about how hard life can be for some. It can happen to anyone around you e.g your friends or family.

The writing was easy to follow and engage with, I found the Geordie dialogue quite interesting to see in a book. The main characters Tyler and Spider were intriguing and very well developed. You could really see how much Tyler cared for Spider.

I also loved how there was panic attack rep in this book. Although, maybe it could have been covered just a little bit more.

Overall, I think this was a really good book that has such an important take home message.

I rated this book 4.5 stars!

 

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