Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
An electric romance set against a rebel art scene sparks lethal danger for two girls in this expertly plotted YA thriller. For fans of E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver and Kara Thomas.
The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.
Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.
4.5 stars for this twisty thriller! Unreliable narrators abound, you never know who you can trust. Mick, Veronica, and Nico are all messed up. You could see any and all of them being the killer at some point.
I read Wendy’s Kill Club and loved it, so I was super excited to delve into her YA work! This is an amazing YA thriller. The character read at a teenage level. There’s problems with parents, friends, sports teams. All this on top of installation art – which happens to be illegal, and oh yeah, murder. Multiple murders.
I read this in less than a day, which is a feat for me. I could not put it down. I couldn’t figure out who to trust, and that just made me want to read it more and more.
The ending was great. It wrapped up nicely, but still left you wondering. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I felt it was the perfect ending.
Definitely recommend if you love unreliable narrators or ya thrillers!
Will you be checking out She’s Too Pretty to Burn on March 30, 2021? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you to Netgalley and Erewhon for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.
Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.
Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent on stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?
Rich with the urgency of feral youth, The Scapegracers explores growing up and complex female friendship with all the rage of a teenage girl. It subverts the trope of competitive mean girls and instead portrays a mercilessly supportive clique of diverse and vivid characters. It is an atmospheric, voice-driven novel of the occult, and the first of a three-book series.
4/5 stars for this new witchy series!
Sideways is the weird kid. She does magic under the bleachers for a can of coke. Then, the coolest girls of the school invite her to a party and pay her $40 to do some magic. Things get wild, and the girls get closer than they ever thought they would.
I loved the relationship between this new coven – The Scapegracers. It seemed so authentic to a teenage friendship. Sideways never really had friends, so while she relishes their attention, she is also questioning why they want her around. Do they really like her, or want her for her magic? It made me remember some of the teen friendships I had and how I felt. The language used in the book felt very authentic too. Just the slang and terms they used. It was very 2020’s teenager.
The magic system was very interesting. There were witchchasers, who aim to take magic, and girls who hunt witches, too. You don’t really know who you can and can’t trust.
I can’t wait to see where book 2 takes our new coven! Definitely recommend if you like witchy books, strong female friendships, and something spooky!
What’s your favorite witchy book? Let me know in the comments below!
🌈 Title : Out Now 🌈 Author : Saundra Mitchell 🌈 Publisher : Inkyard Press 🌈 PublishDate : May 26, 2020 🌈 Genre : LGBT, Anthology 🌈 Book Form : E-ARC 🌈 Pages : 416 🌈 Dates Read : May 17 – May 19 🌈 Rating : 🌈🌈🌈🌈
Thank you to Inkyard Press for an invite to this blog tour and a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.
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!
This essential and beautifully written modern-day collection features an intersectional and inclusive slate of authors and stories.
– Inkyard Press
Before I get into these stories, I just want to say you do not need to read All Out in order to enjoy this! These are all short stories spotlighting various LGBT characters and are all amazing in their own right! There were 16 short stories in this anthology. They explored so many sexualities.
My favorite story was a tie between What Happens in the Closet and The Coronation. What Happens in the Closet is about vampires who crash a homecoming dance. Austin gets locked in a closet with his arch-nemesis while hiding from them. They are not the sexy vampires we know and love. Of course, while in the closet, they find love. The Coronation is about a trans boy and girl who are being given to the Gods but they decide to fight back. This read very much like a fantasy that picked up right when the action started. Once it ended I was yearning for a whole book!
There weren’t any bad stories in this book. There were some that featured gods and goddesses, some that read like ya contemporary love stories, and fantasies. There is something for everyone in this book! It was 416 pages long, but didn’t feel like it. I flew through it!
I recommend this to anyone who is LGBT, loves their stories, is an ally, or who wants to learn more about different sexualities. You will be sure to find a story you love.
Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture deliverer and a layout waxer. She’s dodged trains, endured basic training and hitchhiked from Montana to California. She teaches herself languages, raises children and makes paper for fun. She is the author of Shadowed Summer and The Vespertine series, the upcoming novelization of The Prom musical, and the editor of Defy the Dark. She always picks truth; dare is too easy. Visit her online at www.saundramitchell.com.
Thank you to Netgalley and Orca Book Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In a land of myth and ice, seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdóttir is not the runecaster her clan has been hoping for. She spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells. The villagers consider her odd, in looks and in manner. She’s nothing like her talented sister, Sýr, keeper of the sacred moonstone that ensures the village’s continued survival. But when a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act. With a fallen Valkyrie by her side, and the help of a gorgeous half-elf Runa is not quite sure she can trust, the apprentice must travel to the site of an ancient runecasting competition to try to win back the magical gem. But the journey will not be easy; the three unlikely companions encounter malevolent and supernatural creatures at every turn. Somehow, Runa must summon the courage and strength to face her destiny, a destiny she never wanted. Or die trying.
Okay, first. This cover! It is gorgeousssss. I love the pop of blue on her cloak and her white hair. I think I requested this off the cover alone.
This book had a lot of positives for me. It’s based on Icelandic mythology – which I know nothing about. It was so interesting to read a book based off this and I learned a lot! It made me want to research more Icelandic myths. Next was all the rep! There is a female-female relationship, along with an asexual character that uses they/them pronouns. I believe this is the first book I’ve read with an asexual character, too!
This was a pretty quick read for me. The story was fast paced and compelling. I did see some of the twists coming, but not all! I liked the magic system. It was well explained and thought out. The ending twist I didn’t see coming and I loved it!
There was a romance – a small one. I didn’t like the guy though. His personality reminded me of a wet noodle. I think she should have gone for the sexy Elf instead! There wasn’t much of the elf, but I’m hoping to see him again in future novels!
Runa, the MC, was interesting. She started out so unsure of herself and insecure, but grew along with the story. I really enjoyed her character arc and can’t wait to see what happens in the next novels!
The reason I gave 3.5 stars was because the story slowed down at points and it became hard to push through. Most of it was action-packed and interesting, though. The ending also kind of dragged to me.
I definitely recommend if you are a fan of fantasy, mythology, with a little bit of romance.
Have you read The Stone of Sorrow? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you to Netgalley and BOOM! Box for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.
Daphne Walters moves to Los Angeles and finds that the only ones who can help her find love and live life to the fullest are the ghosts of her new home!
In Los Angeles, finding an apartment is killer—unless you live with the dead. Daphne Walters moves to Los Angeles for her boyfriend Ronnie, ready to live her happily ever after. But when happily ever after turns into happily for a month, she’s stuck in a strange city with no friends, family, or prospects for fun. Desperate to escape the lingering ghost of Ronnie’s presence everywhere, Daphne sets out to explore the city—and ends up encountering ghosts of a more literal kind! Rycroft Manor is abandoned, beautiful, and haunted. Will the dead be able to help Daphne find the life she’s been missing in the big city? From GLAAD Award-nominated Sina Grace (Iceman) and illustrator Siobhan Keenan (Jem and the Holograms) comes a story about learning how to make friends, find love, and live life to the fullest with a little help from some friends whose lives didn’t end at death. Collects Ghosted In L.A #1-4
Ahhhhh! THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL WAS SO ADORABLE OMGGGGG! Okay, so I don’t normally read graphic novels. They just aren’t really my thing, I guess? But I am SO GLAD I ended up requesting this one from Netgalley. I loved it!
The story follows Daphne, who moved to LA with her boyfriend. Only to be dumped. She is wandering around LA one night, and comes across this beautiful house. The only downside is it is filled with ghosts. THey agree to let her live there, as long as she brings no other humans to the house. Of course, things go awry!
I loved seeing all the backstories of the ghosts that live in the home. We only saw three in the first collection, but they were so interesting! It was a perfect mix of past and present.
The art in this book is amazing! I love the illustrations and coloring. It really brought the story to life. When I read graphic novels, I usually just focus on the words and skim over the pictures, but this one I found myself gazing at the art and how great it was! Plus, Daphne had THE BEST style. Like, I want her closet for myself. I was drooling over those outfits!
I would recommend Ghosted in LA to anyone who loves a fun contemporary. I would usually pass since it’s a graphic novel, but I am SO GLAD I didn’t! I can’t wait for Volume 2!
Is Ghosted in LA on your radar? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s time to fight back in this second novel in a thrilling, subversive near future series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private high school that is far more than it appears to be.
Make me a girl with a razor heart…
It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.
The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.
And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.
I adored jumping back into the world where Innovations Academy is real. Guess what? It’s still just as scary as before.
Mena and the rest of the girls are trying to figure out how to stop the corporation – without knowing who is actually on their side. The book is over and honestly, I still don’t know who is good and evil.
The girl friendship and love was still very forefront in this book. I don’t think this series would work any other way. The girls disagree, yes, but they have a friendship and bond that cannot and will not be broken. While reading this novel, I kept envisioning me and my friends. I think it is so important, especially in times like these, for girls to see other girls loving, lifting each other up, and fighting back.
Another huge theme in this book was misogyny. Mena and Sydney enroll in a prep school where they think one of the investors has a child. The boys at this school are disgusting. Always touching without permission. Getting in personal space. They should be GLAD they are doing this. They never face any repercussions. It’s horrible and unfortunately true. It was great to see how the girls fought back against this type of behavior. The book also shows that there ARE good guys out there – and encourages them not to stand idly by.
Again in Girls With Razor Hearts, there were secrets, twists and turns. The story moved at a great pace and kept me guessing. I was so enthralled by the journey of these girls. I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up late reading and finished it in under 24 hours! That is a feat for me!
I definitely recommend the sequel to Girls With Sharp Sticks. If you haven’t picked that one up, I urge you to do so! You won’t be disappointed!
Have you read Girls with Razor Hearts? How did it stack up to Girls With Sharp Sticks? Let me know in the comments below!
🗝️ Title: We Didn’t Ask for This 🗝️ Author: Adi Alsaid 🗝️ Publisher: Inkyard Press 🗝️ Publish Date: April 7, 2020 🗝️ Book Form: E-ARC 🗝️ Pages: 352 🗝️ Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBT 🗝️ Dates Read: Mar 30 – Apr 4 🗝️ Rating: 🗝️🗝️🗝️🗝️
Thank you to Inkyard Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
From Adi Alsaid, the acclaimed author of Let’s Get Lost, Never Sometimes Always, and North of Happy
Every year, lock-in night changes lives. This year, it might just change the world.
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.
– Inkyard Press
FIRST OFF! I want to share this awesome preorder incentive that goes along with the book’s theme of being environmentally friendly!
Preorder ends tonight at 11:59pm so be sure to preorder now!! Here are the links:
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into We Didn’t Ask for This. I was very pleasantly surprised. I read my first Adi book last month. After reading this, I know I need to read all of his works!
This story is told from one all-knowing POV, but has a huge cast of characters. Thankfully, they are all introduced slowly and with a great background, so I had no trouble keeping up with who was who. I loved the one POV. It gave you little hints or glimpses of what was to come after all of this was over. That really elevated the story for me.
These students go to a private school who has a lock in for high schoolers once a year. This year, Marisa decides to stage a protest during the lock in. She is an avid snorkler and diver, and hates seeing the coral reefs slowly dying off. The kids are stuck in the school for a whole week. Four of them are chained to doors.
Marisa has a list of 30 demands she wants met before she lets everyone out. All the kids have connections – parents are celebrities or ambassadors or huge sports stars. She is banking on one of them being linked to the Lokoloko resort – the main place she wants shut down.
We Didn’t Ask for This isn’t just about Marisa though. Like I said, there is a huge cast of characters – 10 or more. You see them form bonds, friendships, and relationships during tough times. That gives you hope these relationships will last well beyond when this is over. All of the characters had very distinctive voices and actions. This helped to tell them apart. I want to applaud Adi because I think it’s very hard to one, have that many characters in a novel, and two, have them all have distinct voices! He did it so well!
This was a quick read. I know my dates read doesn’t reflect that, but yall, my kid refused to let me read this week. The 30 mintues to an hour a day I got to read I read about 10%-20%. The pace was great and it kept me hooked! I had to see how they were going to get out and what demands ended up being met!
I highly recommend if you are a fan of YA contemporary or Adi. I’m definitely going back to read the rest of his works!
Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City. He attended college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He’s now back in Mexico City, where he writes, coaches basketball, and makes every dish he eats as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas and Monterey, California. His books include Let’s Get Lost, Never Always Sometimes, and North of Happy. Visit Adi online at http://www.SomewhereOverTheSun.com, or on Twitter: @AdiAlsaid.
Is We Didn’t Ask for This on your tbr? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.
It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.
Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.
A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.
– Inkyard Press
I didn’t really know what to expect going into this book. I knew it was epistolary style, which is my favorite. Sharon and Tammy were randomly paired as pen pals during the summer. This story it told through diary entries and letters to one another.
Tammy is a closeted lesbian living with her ultra-conservative, Christian family. They have even joined political campaigns against LGBT people. Sharon is still trying to figure her life out. She lives in San Francisco with her closeted gay brother and her mom.
Tammy and Sharon both had very distinct voices. I loved that it was super easy to follow who was speaking. I loved watching their pen pal letters grow into a friendship and then more. All of the side characters were interesting and had their own voices, too. There were a couple I would love to learn about if they had their own novel!
Music from Another World was a super quick read that was easy to follow. I’d recommend it if you like LGBT novels or historical fiction – this was set in the 1970s when Harvey Milk was elected.
Thanks again to Inkyard Press for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour! This was a great read!
Robin Talley studied literature and communications at American University. She lives in Washington, DC, with her wife, but visits both Boston and New York regularly despite her moral opposition to Massachusetts winters and Times Square. Her first book was 2014’s Lies We Tell Ourselves. Visit her online at robintalley.com or on Twitter at @robin_talley.
Will you read Music From Another World? Let me know in the comments below!