Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

Rating: ★★★★ | Release Date: 05/8/18 | Urban Fantasy | 376 Pages | HMH BFYR
The servants bound to the home of the Parisian witch Mada Vittora may appear human but are in fact beasties--animals enchanted into humans. When Mada Vittora is mysteriously murdered Anouk, her newest beastie and the other servants find themselves on a high stakes adventure across Paris to discover the truth of their origins and find a way to stay human before time runs out. 

I went into this book knowing literally nothing and was completely sucked in to this unique and thrilling urban fantasy. I think magic systems are so key to how believable a story is and Shepherd builds a complex and imaginative magic system with steep consequences and rules.

This book does the thing that I really like in YA fantasy where a girl gets hero jounrey’d , discovers she has more power than she thought possible and takes a level in badass along the way. I appreciate that Shepherd is able to write a female-centered fantasy without a lot of violence. One thing that has turned me off some YA fantasies lately is just all the sexual violence and abuse heaped on the (particularly female) characters before they can gain power. It’s one of the reasons Ember in The Ashes didn’t work for me and almost turned me off the genre.

I have read some critiques of Shepherd’s portrayal of the POC, gay and trans side characters. Pretty much everyone who isn’t Anouk has to give up something in service of her but I’m willing to reserve my judgment until the end of the series. I have a feeling Shepherd is setting up for a wider plot arc and will expand the world and characters.

And let me tell you, this book ends in one of the biggest cliffhangers I have ever read and I can't wait for the next one.

I hope HMH releases this as an audiobook, I feel like Rebecca Soler would kill it.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Rating: unrated | 288 pages | Little Brown For Young Readers| Contemporary | 8/07/2018 
Finding Yvonne is a small slice-of-life story of a formerly ambitious and passionate violinist who has lost her spark for music.  Losing her passion is a big struggle for Yvonne because to her father-- a  successful chef /restaurateur--and Warren, her potential boyfriend/ father's sous chef, passion is everything. Then a fateful meeting with a pair of talented eclectic street musicians in Venice Beach sends Yvonne spiraling down a path that leads to inspiration, heartache, and possibly love.

My first thought on this book was that this was totally a book teenage me would have liked. Yvonne is a black middle-class girl who is learning to bake and loves food. I've been reading a lot of books with black girl protagonist from all sort of background and it's made me realize just how limited the options were back when I was a teen.

One of my biggest pet peeves in YA is what I call the Jerk!Dad, where the Dad is a jerk for no apparent reason. Yvonne's father manages to straddle the line and I'm glad we are starting to see more nuance in the YA dad department. Yvonne's father is successful and supportive but he uses pot and work to keep barriers up between him and Yvonne.

Colbert does an amazing job of building the specific world and community her characters live with less than 300 pages.

Check out the audiobook review on AudioFile !

Sunday, December 9, 2018

New Cover, Who Dis

Wolf By Wolf y  Ryan Guadin

I was never wowed by the original cover for Wolf By Wolf but the new one makes this YA Speculative Historical look like a Steampunk novel.

The Near Witch by V.E Schwab (Victoria Schwab)

This cover change feels pretty inevitable. The new cover compliments Schwab's Shades of London, series, but the blurb on the cover is odd to me. I feel like it's a really obvious ploy to get readers to associate Schwab with Gaiman...also I noticed they used her gender-neutral pen name. So, yeah.

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

I think the new cover might appeal to an older audience. I'm definitely getting some Elsa vibes from the female figure. I like that they kept the original typography and I'm all for san serif fonts they just give a cleaner appearance.

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

When this book first came out I could never tell if it was adult or YA because the cover was so neutral. I actually really like the original design but the new cover tells you way more about the book and will certainly appeal more to teens.

Girl of  Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I think this cover has that minimalist illustrated look that's pretty big with fantasy novels now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

AudioFile’s 2018 Best Young Adult Audiobooks

It's that time of year again to share AudioFile Magazine's 2018 Best Young Adult Audiobooks. Click the links to read the reviews. Visit the Audiofile Ezine to check out the rest of AudioFile Magazine's 2018 Best Audiobooks.
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi, read by Bahni Turpin

HOPE NATION by Rose Brock [Ed.], read by Michael Crouch, Kate Rudd, Bahni Turpin, Tavia Gilbert, Nancy Wu, MacLeod Andrews, Adenrele Ojo, Erin Spencer, Kyla Garcia, Mozhan Marno, Prentice Onayemi, Rebecca Soler, January LaVoy, Guy Lockard, Chris Andrew Ciulla

I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman, read by Sunil Malhotra, Michael Crouch, Nicole Lewis

THE LADY'S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY by Mackenzi Lee, read by Moira Quirk

THE POET X BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO, read by Elizabeth Acevedo

Follow #BestAudio18 to discover all of AudioFile Magazine's 2018 Best Audiobooks.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday Readathon Challenge: Romance / Ship Fancast

Welcome to my 2nd challenge for the Black Friday Readathon, please feel free to enter both !

To enter this challenge all you need to do is post fancasts for the couple in your current or favorite read. You can post on Instagram, Twitter, on a blog or in the comment section below, just let me know where to find it. Feel free to list names or images. If you use Twitter or Instagram be sure to use the #BFRaT !

Prize Rules
1. You must be a signed up as a participant in the Black Friday Readathon
2. US Only. However, my other #BFRaT challenge is international so if you are in the US you can enter that!

This is a romance centered challenge and the prize is....

(1) print copy of A Princess In Theory and maybe some other surprise romance novels!

Here are some fancasts of my current reads:

Amber West and Theo James. I think the audiobook narrator sounds like Amber West so that is how I picture Marlee and Theo James totally has the Mediterranean looks I imagine Gavin having.

This book has a stunning cover model who fits the character Bria perfectly, but I could also see  Chloe Bailey from Grown-ish for her and Kyle Bunbury from Pitch as Sully.

Willa in this book is described as having thick brown hair and I immediately thought of Jessica Findley Brown from Downton Abbey and of course any blue-eyed brown-haired hero in a historical setting is Zac Efron to me. 

Black Friday Readathon Challenge: Title Scramble

Welcome  Black Friday Readathon  (#BFRaT) participants to my title scramble challenge!! 

Each word below is a scramble of a 2018 book title. Enter your guesses in the comment section below (comments are being moderated) and the person who guesses the most correctly first will win (1) 2018 book of their choice.

Prize Rules
1. You must be a signed up participant in the Black Friday Readathon
2.You must be in the US or a country that The Book Depository ships to in order to win.

(hint: female author)

(hint: shortlisted for prestigious awards)

(hint: NYT Bestseller)


(hint: YA)


(hint: female author)

(hint: nonfiction)


(hint: nonfiction)

(hint: YA)

(hint: fiction)

(hint: nonfiction)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Join The Black Friday Readathon ! #BFRAT

It's that time of the year again ! Alysia @ Mocha Girls Read and Amber@ Du Livre and I will be co-hosting the third annual BFRaT! In the United States, Black Friday has been labeled a shopping holiday in anticipation of the Christmas season (although you'd think Christmas was next week with all of these ads). Whether you're up at 3 a.m. fighting the crowds or in your pajamas, we want to invite you to join BFRaT 2018! You can sign up for the readathon here !

BFRaT 2018 will take place on Friday, November 23 at 12 a.m. (your timezone) until 11:59 p.m. All participants will have the opportunity to join challenges, win bookish prizes, and of course, read! Challenges will be posted on Instagram and your hosts' blog, and Twitter throughout the day and winners will be chosen on Saturday, November 24. We highly encourage everyone to track their reading process on social media platforms (using the hashtag #BFRaT) and cheer your fellow readers on!

Believe it or not, I'm still not sure of my post -Thanksgiving plans. I may be at home or visiting family but either way, I'm getting some reading in. My goal this year is going to be to read novellas, short stories and finishing books I've started. Here are some books I'm thinking about reading for the readathon, what books will you be reading?


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