Blog Tours, Book Review, YA Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction

Book Tour [Review]: The Edge of Summer

Title: The Edge of Summer
Author: Erica George
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 14th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Where to buy: Amazon | BookDepository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Indigo

Thank you TBR and Beyond Tour and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for a review copy and the opportunity to be on this tour.

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson will be swept away by this big-hearted novel about one girl navigating first loss and first love during her summer on Cape Cod.

Saving the whales has been Coriander Cabot and her best friend Ella’s dream since elementary school. But when tragedy strikes, Cor is left to complete the list of things they wanted to accomplish before college alone, including a marine biology internship on Cape Cod.

Cor’s summer of healing and new beginnings turns complicated when she meets Mannix, a local lifeguard who completely takes her breath away. But she knows whatever she has with Mannix might not last, and that her focus should be on rescuing the humpback whales from entanglement. As the tide changes, Cor finds herself distracted and struggling with her priorities.

Can she follow her heart and keep her promise to the whales and her best friend?

Review

The Edge of Summer is such a good summer read. It is also a story that talk about loss and grief in a way that feels okay. Ericka’s writing style with this story was concise and easy to follow.

We are introduced to Coriander who is staying with her Uncle as she prepares for a cool marine internship. It is part of a bucket list she created with her friend Ella. She is now checking things off on her own while dealing with the loss of her friend Ella. Throughout the summer Cor starts a romance with lifeguard Mannix and navigate loss and new love. When thinking of Cor and Mannix, their relationship was messy but the chemistry was there. The feelings didn’t feel forced or too perfect and it was something that felt relatable even to an adult like myself. While Cor can be a hard character to warm up to with some of her actions such as not responding, placing her anger or sadness on the wrong people, I still appreciated how much of a teenager Cor was. Teens are not perfect, and we’ve all been in some situation where our emotions are just a lot sometimes. I appreciated how Cor was written while also acknowledging that some of her actions were hurtful, especially towards Mannix.  Speaking of Mannix, he was a cool, carefree kind of teen boy growing feelings for a girl he just met.

When thinking of the setting of Cape Cod and the focus of whales, I felt like I was reading on a beach hearing the ocean sounds. The one things I enjoyed was how the story intertwined advocacy for whales while also connecting that to the main story. It made me as the reader feel inspired to want to keep those majestic sea mammals safe while learning more about them. Overall, I was a fan of the whale talk because it was not forced talk. Overall, this was a quick and fun read. If you are a fan of summer contemporary young adult romances, this is a go to read.

About the Author

Erica George is a writer of young adult fiction. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with degrees in both English and education, and is currently an MFA student at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She resides in scenic northern New Jersey, but spends her summers soaking up the salty sea air on Cape Cod.
Many themes in Erica’s writing rotate around environmental activism and helping young people find their voice. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring river towns, whale watching, or engrossed in quality British drama with her dog at her side.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

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Book Tour

June 13th
The Book Dutchesses – Promotional Post
Jen Jen Reviews – Review

June 14th
Kait Plus Books – Interview
Sadie’s Spotlight – Promotional Post

June 15th
Stuck in Fiction – Promotional Post
A Bronx Latina Reads – Review

June 16th
Lost in Neverland – Review
One More Chapter – Review

June 17th
Melancholic Blithe – Interview
Book lover’s book reviews – Promotional Post & Tik Tok

June 18th
Nine Bookish Lives – Promotional Post
Phannie the ginger bookworm – Review & Playlist

June 19th
Whispering Stories – Interview
Justice For Readers – Promotional Post

Instagram Tour

June 13th
booking.with.janelle -Promotional Post
booksandsnapshots – Review
tinybooknest – Favorite Quotes

June 14th
writingrosereads – Promotional Post
sadiesspotlight – Blogger’s Choice

June 15th
feliciareads11 – Blogger’s Choice
belle.bookcorner – Review & Favorite Quotes

June 16th
tbrandbeyond – Promotional Post
katiereads23 – Review
_leahreads – Blogger’s Choice

June 17th
bhaneereads_ – Top 5 Reasons to Read The Edge of Summer
bookloversbookreviews – Blogger’s Choice

June 18th
ninebookishlives – Blogger’s Choice
musfira._ – Promotional Post

June 19th
fangirlpixiebooks – Promotional Post
GryffindorBookishNerd – Review
atrailofpages – Review

Blog Tours, Book Review, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Game of Strength and Storm

Title: Game of Strength and Storm
Author: Rachel Menard
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy

Where to buy: Amazon | BookDepository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Thank you TBR and Beyond Tour and Flux Books for a review copy and the opportunity to be on this tour.

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars but rounded up to 4 stars

Synopsis

Victory is the only option.

Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir.

To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. They have to catch the fastest ship in the sea, slay the immortal Hydra, defeat a gangster called the Boar, and capture the flesh-eating Mares, among other deadly tasks.

Gen has her magic, her ability to speak to animals, her inhuman strength—and the help of Pollux, who’s been secretly pining for her for years. But Castor has her own gifts: the power of the storms, along with endless coin. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all.

Review

I have to say – this was a pretty enjoyable read. I enjoyed the focus of Greek mythology in the plot and scenery. I am not well versed in the Hercules 12 labors so IK had to do a bit of research to under this was a genderbent retold version of it. However, not having this knowledge ahead of time did not hinder my ability to enjoy this story. Game of Strength and Storm has multiple points of views, which is always a selling point for me. I like to dive into a story and hear the perspective of the main characters. Rachel Menard was bale to write POV’s well and create a storyline that did not feel disconnected. It was a fast paced read that didn’t feel too predictable.

There are ten winners and those ten winners can receive a wish. But there’s a catch – they have to complete/win 6 of the 10 tasks needed to have their wish granted by the Empress. The competition aspect of the story sold me heavily and was one of the main reasons I continued reading on. It gave the nostalgic feeling form the books I read as a teen of competitions and survival.

When thinking of the characters, I enjoyed Gen, Castor and Pollux for very different reasons. Gen has the ability to speak to animals and has a wish to free her father from prison. Gen felt like the character with the moral compass. Her storyline was similar to Castor because their wish to rule could feed their other wishes. What I admired most about Gen was her love towards her family. She was truly fighting for them and it showed. Castor is also a very strong character, but may be going about things in an unpopular opinion kind of way. Pollux, her brother is next in line to rule their island of Arcadia – the very throne Castor wants. Her mission is to dismantle the misogyny by having her wish granted to become the next ruler. Sounds great right? Well when you have a teddy bear, sweetheart of a brother, it is hard to focus or root for someone who wants to see his lineage disrupted to become Queen. Regardless of Castor’s not so altruistic wish, her determination and strong will make her a force to be reckoned with.

There was a small romance brewing between Gen and Pollux but I felt that it wasn’t developed enough to know if it would be a developing relationship or just a crush. I’d be excited to see overall how the story along with the romance pans out in future books.

About the Author

Rachel Menard was born in New Jersey, raised in Arizona, and then relocated to Rhode Island. Throughout her life she has been a barista, college radio DJ, singer in an alt-country band, marketer, designer, and finally, a writer. Her short fiction has been featured on the Cast of Wonders podcast and her non-fiction has been seen in Writer’s Digest. Her debut novel, Game of Strength and Storm, is coming from Flux Books in 2022.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Tik Tok

Blog Tours, Book Review, YA Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: No Filter and Other Lies

Title: No Filter and Other Lies
Author: Crystal Maldonado
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: February 8th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult contemporary romance

Where to buy: Blackwells | Amazon | BookDepository | Barnes & Noble

Thank you Colored Pages tours and Holiday House for the review copy and the opportunity to be a part of this tour!

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis

You should know, right now, that I’m a liar.

They’re usually little lies. Tiny lies. Baby lies. Not so much lies as lie adjacent.

But they’re still lies.

Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.

Except it’s all fake.

Max is actually 16-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teenager living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous in her existence–just sprawl, bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love. But while Kat’s life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and “Max” get–texting, Snapping, and even calling–the more Kat feels she has to keep up the facade.

But when one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, her entire world – real and fake — comes crashing down around her. She has to figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she’s created without hurting the people she loves.

But it might already be too late.

Review

Imagine a full novel from the POV of the catfish. Now imagine understanding that catfish and still wishing they have as happy as an ending as they could given everything that has happened. Put those two ideas together and you get No Filter and other Lies. We follow Kat Sanchez as she create the heartthrob Max Monroe and navigates keeping one of the biggest lies yet as secret as possible. As the lies become bigger and the boy behind the photos becomes viral, making it harder to hide, Kat has to figure out how to get out of this bed of lies without losing everything.

No Filter and Other Lies focuses on some real themes that both teens and adults face today. You see how social media can be both a curse and an escape. How portraying someone else can feel refreshing. The themes are so relevant because we see them in our everyday lives. From shows, like Catfish, catfishing in many forms is something we just know is a part of navigating social media. Crystal writes into these themes so well that it almost makes it feel like a story many people can relate two, whether they were the catfish or not. Crystal is able to show how impactful social media can have on how one view’s themselves and how anxiety inducing clicking to check likes can be. In short, this story was so good. Crystal makes you like Kat even though she is doing some pretty hurtful things. She roots for Kat to give it up and see just how awesome she is and hope that she can repair the parts of her life that are not perfect. The story also notes the darker side of catfishing and how for the catfisher- it can be a mode of escape that they become addicted to when their reality is far from the perfect vision they want to see.

What I enjoyed most about Kat’s character was how creative she was. Yes, she may have created lies but I tihnk for Kat the lies she made outside of the Max Monroe profile were understandable. When you live in a society where your upbringing or who you are isn’t the ideal type, sometimes lying to fit in more eases some of the pressures and anxieties for wanting to be authentic but also wanting friends. Kat’s character hit what a teen exploring so much of herself can be. We see it in shows and other forms of media now where tens are figuring out their identity and their sexuality. Kat realizing that she may be bisexual and may have a huge crush on her friend Elena is an experience many teens are experiencing now. Although I couldn’t relate to that experience, I can appreciate seeing a character becoming more confident in who she is. Speaking of Elena, I honestly enjoyed how she was the friend who would call it as it is and let Kat know that her lies would get back to her. We see Kat face the consequences of her actions and then see Kat trying to build those pieces back up again to replenish the relationships her lies have tarnished but not completely break.

Overall, Crystal knows how to write a good story, so I wasn’t surprised when I read through this in one sitting. Crystal is spinning stories of teen experiences that are happening to the present. Teen readers will be able to relate to Kat in some for of way and understand how impactful the strive to reach that social media aesthetic can make you do things you will not be okay with in the future. It’s a quick read, it’s a fun read and really hones into important themes while still providing an entertaining story.

About The Author

Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is a 2021 New England Book Award winner, a Cosmopolitan Best New Book, and a POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel. Her next novel, No Filter and Other Lies, explores teenage life in the social media age—and the lies we tell to ourselves and others. By day, Crystal works in higher ed marketing, and by night, a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, spending too much time on her phone, and being extra. Her work has also been published in Latina, BuzzFeed, and the Hartford Courant.

She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Blog Tours, Book Review, Fiction, Legends, Myths & Fables, YA Epic Fantasy

Blog Tour [Review]: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

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TITLE: Daughter of the Moon Goddess
AUTHOR: Sue Lynn Tan
PUBLISHER: HarperVoyagerUS
RELEASE DATE: January 11th, 2022
GENRES: Fantasy, Mythology, YA Retelling

Thank you TBR and Beyond Tour and Harper Voyager for a review copy and the opportunity to be on this tour!

Star Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

Review

So, I have been really getting into Folklore, Mythology and legends retelling recently and Daughter of the Moon Goddess did not disappoint. Daughter of the Moon Goddess in inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess. The story follows the journey of Xingyin, daughter of the immortal Chang’e, who is currently banished and her fight to free her mother and live in peace. Overall, this is a fantasy novel that is packed with beautiful imagery, epic adventure and a heroine we love to root for.

When thinking of Daughter of the Moon Goddess, the setting and background compliments so much to the story. The mystical aspect of it allows the reader to dive into a beautiful world, watching Xingyin travel away from the moon on a cloud. It allowed me to escape into a world that felt like a song. It was lyrical and magical. It’s been a while that I devoured a story so quickly before diving into this story.  Back to the background, I was appreciative of how the author was able to create the kingdoms in a way where the reader could visualize it but still have a sense of mystery to fill in. The story flowed so naturally and well. It never felt like an info dump to me. The author did a fantastic job in creating a celestial adventure, rich in culture and enchanting realms.  

As mazing the setting and plot was, the characters, especially the main character Xingyin were phenomenal. I really loved how much Xingyin valued the value of honor. I also appreciated the relation she had with her mother, the Moon goddess. It added to the different forms of love and relationships a character can experience in a story. When Xingyin trained with the prince, and worked for the royal army, you knew she did it with the upmost value of honoring the promise she made to free her mother.  Xingyin’s relationship with her mother isn’t the only relationship that was executed well. Without much spoilers, there is a love triangle between Xingyin and two men that was *chef’s kiss* so good. To wrap up why I loved Xingyin as a character – Xingyin is loyal, honorable, takes chances, and is not perfect. Having a character that relatable in some sense is important and I tihnk readers reading Xingyin can appreciate how relatable she can feel.

About the Author

Sue Lynn Tan writes fantasy inspired by the myths and legends she fell in love with as a child. Born in Malaysia, she studied in London and France, before settling in Hong Kong with her family.

Her love for stories began with a gift from her father, her first compilation of fairytales from around the world. After devouring every fable she could find in the library, she discovered fantasy books – spending much of her childhood lost in magical worlds. When not writing or reading, she enjoys exploring the hills and reservoirs of Hong Kong, the temples, beaches and narrow winding streets here.

Her debut, Daughter of the Moon Goddess, will be published by Harper Voyager in early 2022, with a sequel to come. It is an enchanting fantasy of love and family, immortals and magic – inspired by the beloved Chinese legend of Chang’e flying to the moon upon taking the elixir of immortality.

Sue Lynn can be reached on Instagram @SuelynnTan, or on her website www.suelynntan.com.

Blog Tours, Book Review, Uncategorized, YA Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour [Review]: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

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Title: Vespertine
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and Jolly Fish Press for the early review copy and opportunity to be on this tour!

Where to buy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository

Rating: 3.5 stars bumped to 4 stars

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a thrilling new YA fantasy about a teen girl with mythic abilities who must defend her world against restless spirits of the dead.

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Review

Vespertine is a great read for spooky season! You get possession, magical fighting nuns, spirits and a girls trying to save them all. Margaret Rogerson did not fail to keep me intrigued through most of the story.

The plot was very focused on Artemisia, her relationship with her revenant and her path to fighting the demonic soldiers that have popped up. If you are coming for romance, this may not be the book for you. If you are coming for some banter between a girl and the spirit that possesses her, then this is the perfect read for you. Artemisia, a grey sister, is responsible for purifying and preparing of the dead. One night, after finding a new grey sister in a near death experience and fighting off a spirit, Artemisia worlds takes a shift and she is now on the frontline of a big spiritual battle.

Artemisia is an interesting character. We start off seeing Artemisia as a lone girl; always keeping to herself. As the story grows, so does Artemisia’s will to open up more. We see this most through her many interactions with the revenant that lives within her.  Those interactions open Artemisia up to new conversations and we are introduced to supporting characters that just as interesting as our protagonist. Artemisia continues to shine in the story as a fair, logical and powerful leader who will do what she can to save those around her.

In regards to the worldbuilding, it was pretty simple but it worked for the storyline. The attention was put more of the characters creating a well written character driven plot. The plot overall was pretty consistent, although there were certain points of the story where the dialogue dragged longer than I expected. However, once we got to the action, the scenes were executed well and still kept to the overall tone and consistency of the plot.

Vespertine has dark magic, nuns fighting the supernatural, great dialogue and an overall spooky feel to it all.

About the Author

Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at MargaretRogerson.com.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway

Up for grabs on the book blog tour is two (2) copies of VESPERTINE by Margaret Rogerson, one a physical finished copy and one a digital copy. Open USA only.
Giveaway starts: Monday, September 27, 2021
Giveaway ends: Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CDT

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d53/?