Anthology, ARC, blog tour, Four Star Book, LGBT, ya

🌈 Out Now Blog Tour 🌈

🌈 Title : Out Now
🌈 Author : Saundra Mitchell
🌈 Publisher : Inkyard Press
🌈 Publish Date : 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.

Can’t wait to get your hands on Out Now? Order it here!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound
Books-A-Million | Apple Books | Google Play

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.

Until next time…

ARC, fantasy, Sci-Fi, three star book, ya

👑 Sisters of the Perilous Heart ARC Review 👑

👑 Title : Sisters of the Perilous Heart
👑 Author : Sandra L Vasher
👑 Publisher : Mortal Ink Press, LLC
👑 Publish Date : May 5, 2020
👑 Genre : YA, Fantasy
👑 Book Form : E-ARC
👑 Pages : 395
👑 Dates Read : May 4 – May 8
👑 Rating : 👑👑👑.5

Thank you to Netgalley and Mortal Ink Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What would you do to save a sister?

As the last mortal kingdom of Kepler resists the Immortal Empire, its young queen faces a devastating attack. Queen Vivian is two minutes into her reign when an arrow pierces her heart and infects her with the Immortality Virus. But she has too much magic to become immortal and not enough to survive. She must find more magic fast, or she’ll die.

Meanwhile, another young mortal faces an uncertain future of her own. Carina is fleeing for her life, but her magic is a tracking beam for immortals. She must learn to harness and control it, or she’ll be captured and killed. Then she meets the queen of South Kepler.

Vivian needs Carina’s magic, and she can offer safe haven in exchange. But can Vivian trust this common girl? Carina isn’t on the kingdom’s registry of magicians. What if she’s a Northern rebel? A spy for the Immortal Empire? And will the truth be revealed in time to save them both?

– Goodreads

I just feel kind of meh about this book and I hate that. I haven’t read a lot of fantasy lately, but this month has kind of fell flat for me.

Humans have escaped to the planet Kepler to escape those with the Immortality Virus – which is a mixture of influenza and AIDs. (This I thought was super interesting). Immortals are here though – and they’re fighting to take over the planet. This isn’t a cute immortality virus like vampires normally have. This makes you go crazy and lose empathy.

Queen Vivian has just been crowned. And less than an hour later, someone tries to take her life. She is infected with the immortality virus, so she and her two brothers go off in search for a cure.
Carina has been hidden at a convent for most of her life with her sister. She has magic, but isn’t allowed to practice. Someone figured out where she is, so they are trying to capture her to put her powers to their use.
Paths cross. Stuff happens.

I don’t remember much of this book. I’m thinking back on reading it, and I can’t really remember anything? There was a romance, but it’s not jumping out at me. I think the last 15% or so picked up. It was enough to make me want to read book two, but not like RIGHT NOW.

I know this review has like, nothing really but a synopsis, but I swear to you guys. Nothing is sticking out about this book. I’m so sorry!

I would say give this a try if you like fantasy/sci-fi. It wasn’t bad by any means.

Have you read Sisters of the Perilous Heart? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

ARC, blog tour, contemporary, Four Star Book, Romance, ya

🏊‍♀️ Breath Like Water BLOG TOUR 🏊‍♀️

🏊‍♀️ Title : Breath Like Water
🏊‍♀️ Author : Anna Jarzab
🏊‍♀️ Publisher : Inkyard Press
🏊‍♀️ Publish Date : May 19, 2020
🏊‍♀️ Genre : YA, Contemporary, Romance
🏊‍♀️ Book Form : E-ARC
🏊‍♀️ Pages : 416
🏊‍♀️ Dates Read : May 16 –
🏊‍♀️ Rating : 🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️.5

Thank you to Inkyard Press for an invite to the blog tour and a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This beautifully lyrical contemporary novel features an elite teen swimmer with Olympic dreams, plagued by injury and startled by unexpected romance, who struggles to balance training with family and having a life. For fans of Sarah Dessen, Julie Murphy and Miranda Kenneally.

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 Olympic 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.

This book so was so beautiful. It was lyrical, it was descriptive, it was heartbreaking and joyous. And it was so so real.

First let me get out these trigger warnings. I don’t do them often, and nothing is super graphic, but I do want to mention the book contains struggling with mental health and self harm.

Okay, so. Susannah is a world champion swimmer. The summer after she won, she hit a growth spurt, and hasn’t been the same since. Dave has always been her coach. He’s an Olympian, so he knows what it takes to get there. This year, he hires a new coach, Beth. Susannah swears she won’t swim for her, but after finally having enough of Dave’s abusive behavior, she swims for Beth and gets better. But does she have what it takes to make the Olympics?

Along with swimming, this book mainly features Susannah’s relationship with Harry, another boy on the swim team. It is her first love. I love books about first love. The feelings are all new and exciting, and you’re just fumbling around, and it’s just great. Their relationship turned out to be so much deeper than I expected. It’s nice to see a deep, meaningful relationship between high schoolers.

Breath Like Water also showed some strong family bonds. The relationship with Susannah’s parents and sister was a huge part of the book and I loved it. I feel like I don’t get a lot of that in ya contemporaries, so it’s always a nice surprise when I do.

If you love ya contemporaries, with strong familial bonds and a backdrop of sports, this book is for you!

Want to read Breath Like Water right now? Buy it here!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound
Google Play | Apple Books

Anna Jarzab is a Midwesterner turned New Yorker. She lives and works in New York City and is the author of such books as Red Dirt, All Unquiet Things, The Opposite of Hallelujah, and the Many-Worlds series. Visit her online at annajarzab.com and on Twitter, @ajarzab.

Are you planning on reading Breath Like Water? Have you already read it? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

ARC, fantasy, Sci-Fi, two star book, ya

Second Star ARC Review!

Title: Second Star
Author: JM Sullivan
Publisher: Bleeding Ink Publishing
Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Book Form: E-ARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Sci-Fi, Retelling
Dates Read: Jan 12 – Feb 9
Rating: ★★.75

Thank you to Netgalley and Bleeding Ink Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

Wendy Darling worked her entire life to rise through the ranks of the prestigious Londonierre Brigade. Now as a Captain, she has everything she’s always wanted, including a ship and crew of her own. But when the Brigade receives a strange transmission from the legendary James Hooke, lost a hundred years earlier in uncharted space and presumed dead, Wendy is willing to risk it all to rescue her hero. She races to the planet known only as Neverland; her mission to find the long-lost crew and bring them home.

But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan–and she has to decide quickly…

Before the darkness consumes them all.

– Goodreads

I wanted to love Second Star. I really did. It came highly recommended from my friend Sarah. We have pretty much the same taste in books so I figured I would love it, too. I finally decided on a 2.75 star rating. I kept going back and forth between a 2.5-3 star rating. I’ll tell you why.

I spent a lot of the book confused. There were SO MANY characters. I couldn’t keep up with who was with what crew, what they did, let alone their names. And it was all important! But I guess I just didn’t care enough to go back and look?

I actually liked Wendy. I found her pov to be pretty interesting. She was strong and commanding and I loved that strong female presence! On the other hand, I hated Peter’s pov. I just couldn’t connect with him. I felt his parts just drug on forever.

The villain wasn’t a strong presence to me either. I felt it was just kind of thrown in. It was meant to be a big climax at the ending of the book, but I just didn’t feel the fear or worry for the characters I was supposed to.

There was some good in the book! I liked the little romance we got between Wendy and Peter. I thought it was sweet and it was a nice slow burn. The ending was also pretty interesting. It’s what really saved the book for me.

Now let’s talk about those read dates. I picked up and put down this book from Jan 12 till Feb 9. It took me forever. I just couldn’t get into it. I think it’s part of why I slumped so hard last month. It was an arc, so I didn’t want to dnf. But now I’m done, proud of myself for finishing and I’m moving on to the next!

Like I said, I gave it a 2.75 star review. The ending saved it from being a 2.5 star, but I didn’t like it enough to be a 3 star. I give a lot of books 3 stars, and it wasn’t on the same calibur as those books.

Have you read Second Star? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

adult, ARC, contemporary, Erotica, fantasy, Historical Fiction, retelling, Romance, Sci-Fi, thriller, ya

February 2020 TBR

It is FINALLY February! I don’t know about you guys, but January seemed to drag on FOREVER! Especially this last week. But it’s a new month, and I’m going to try to hit it hard with my reading!

Below I’ll show you the 15 books I have on my TBR and the criteria I’m using them for! Book Battle stars anew today, and I’m hoping to lead my team to victory! Come join in the competitive reading fun here!

  1. Book by an Author Named Jane – Harmony by Addison Jane
  2. House on the Cover – The Girl’s Weekend by Jody Gehrman
  3. Book Set in England – We are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo
  4. Retelling – Second Star by JM Sullivan
  5. Set in the Past – Chasing Starlight by Teri Bailey Black
  6. Club Read 1 – A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
  7. Club Read 2 – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  8. Criteria Choice 1 – Book by Tricia Levenseller – The Shadows Between Us
  9. Criteria Choice 2 – Book With a Dress on the Cover – Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
  10. Female Author – A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  11. Book That Has Been on Your TBR for Over a Year – Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
  12. Book About Love – Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Fibson
  13. Book You Keep Hearing About – Blood Countess by Lana Popovic
  14. Standalone – Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
  15. Black MC – The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis

So, eleven of my books are ARCs. I’d love to put a dent in my ARC pile! The club reads are sequels – we can read any books in the series! I received a lovely finished copy of Blood Countess so I’m excited to check that one out as well!

What’s on your TBR this month? Have any thoughts on mine? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…