Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE: A Tender Exploration of Love, Forgiveness, and Moving On

Relationships change and the past isn’t some static thing you could keep forever like a photograph. No one seems to understand that. Just because something happened, it doesn’t mean it will mean the same thing to you forever. It changes with you.

Looking back at my past self, I am so glad that I was still on my contemporary kick when requesting my summer ARCs, because they have truly been a light in the darkness of endless months of uncertainty and, honestly, anxiety.

And one of the brightest lights, to be sure, was Ciara Smyth’s brilliant debut, The Falling in Love Montage.

Continue reading “THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE: A Tender Exploration of Love, Forgiveness, and Moving On”
Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE HENNA WARS: A Powerful Debut, Exploring the Intricacies and Intersections of Identity

What I want more than anything else in the world is to feel like being myself isn’t something that should be hidden and a secret.

I have to be honest: in the time leading up to reading The Henna Wars, I found myself let down by a few of my anticipated releases. As in multiple. More than once. Which sucks, because few things hurt more than a book you were really, really excited about just…not meeting that excitement.

So it brings me a great amount of joy that when I picked up The Henna Wars hoping to break that streak of disappointment, it did just that. Exactly that. More than that, really. I absolutely adored every bit of this book.

Continue reading “THE HENNA WARS: A Powerful Debut, Exploring the Intricacies and Intersections of Identity”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

DATE ME, BRYSON KELLER: Undeniably Sweet, But One-Dimensional Approaches Leave a Sour Taste

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On this Friday night, we are just two boys kissing because we want to, because we like each other.

And there is nothing at all wrong with that.

Because love is love is love.

It pains me to say it, but I struggled with Date Me, Bryson Keller. I’m still not quite sure where I sit with it, because as I collect my thoughts and have looked at other reviews, it almost feels as if I read a completely different book.

Which is unfortunate, because I really would have loved for this to be the book for me that it was for so many others.

Continue reading “DATE ME, BRYSON KELLER: Undeniably Sweet, But One-Dimensional Approaches Leave a Sour Taste”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE FASCINATORS: An Enchanting and Magical Premise That (sort of) Lost its Way in Execution

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The word, it turned out, was not only a type of British hat but also an archaic synonym for magicker—to fascinate was to charm, enchant, beguile.

Oh, how I wish these were the sorts of words I could use to describe the experience that was reading The Fascinators. Unfortunately, there are a few others that fit more appropriately.

Heartbroken. Gutted. Sad. Think of any synonym for any of these words, and you’ll have the summation of my feelings when I turned the final page of The Fascinators—without even realizing it was the final page.

Continue reading “THE FASCINATORS: An Enchanting and Magical Premise That (sort of) Lost its Way in Execution”
#FourPathsFriends, Blog Posts, Look Book, Tours and Teams

#FourPathsFriends Blog Tour: The Deck of Omens Look Book

DOO Blog Tour
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Alas, the #FourPathsFriends Blog Tour and AAW is approaching its conclusion. There’s only a couple days left, but you can bet I’ll continue hyping up this duology (and honestly, any of Christine’s future books) for a long time to come.

How best to continue that hype? Well, it’s reached the point where being on a Street Team and not doing a Look Book feels very, very strange. So the easiest way to avoid that feeling, is to do a Look Book! Yay books, yay make-up!

Continue reading “#FourPathsFriends Blog Tour: The Deck of Omens Look Book”
#FourPathsFriends, Blog Posts, Guests Posts and Features, Tours and Teams

#FourPathsFriends Blog Tour: An Interview with Augusta Hawthorne

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The #FourPathsFriends Blog Tour continues, with exclusive character interviews! This may be my favourite part of the tour, because all of the answers have actually been provided by Christine! Which is great, because I’d seriously doubt my ability to convincingly pretend to be the inimitable Augusta Hawthorne.

Continue reading “#FourPathsFriends Blog Tour: An Interview with Augusta Hawthorne”
#FourPathsFriends, Blog Posts, Fan Art and Edits, Tours and Teams

#FourPathsFriends Blog Tour: A Netflix Original Series

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Welcome back to the #FourPathsFriends Blog Tour and AAW! We’re going to step back in time and pretend that I posted this yesterday (instead of backdating it and actually posting today). So, originally when we were organizing everything, for today we’d planned to curate playlists for The Devouring Gray duology and/or the characters from the series.

Then time got away from me *gestures at everything* and I realized I’m…really bad at playlists because my music tastes are, in a nutshell: One Direction, Halsey, and film scores/soundtracks. Which does not a varied playlist make. So while debating whether to skip a post or not, the “Books as Netflix Series” trend exploded on Twitter…

Continue reading “#FourPathsFriends Blog Tour: A Netflix Original Series”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

VERONA COMICS: A Carefully Handled and Authentic Depiction of Anxiety and Codependency

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I wonder what it’s like to be like that, to fit so perfectly in the universe that you can disappear in it. I just want to fit. Somewhere. Anywhere.

Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny…

Okay, so obviously that’s not word-for-word how Verona Comics opens, but the R&J parallels are numerous and worth noting (in the way that my brain likes to jump to books that could compliment high school English coursework and aren’t 30+ years old).

What Dugan accomplishes with this story is just so much, and she does so with a lot of heart and care for her characters. This book is so much more than it appears to be on the surface, and the way in which Dugan introduces each element and weaves it into the larger picture is nothing short of commendable.

Continue reading “VERONA COMICS: A Carefully Handled and Authentic Depiction of Anxiety and Codependency”
#FourPathsFriends, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews, Tours and Teams

THE DECK OF OMENS: An Atmospheric Sequel Rooted in Family, Friendship, and Recovery

DOO Blog Tour
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And after years of people looking at him like he was broken, it was a relief bigger than words to know someone else understood that healing did not mean going back to the way things had been before. It meant transforming into someone new and accepting that person, sharp edges and all.

I’m so excited to be kicking off my posts for the #FourPathsFriends Blog Tour and Deck of Omens Spirit Week with my review for this simply stunning sequel. I love absolutely everything about the world that Christine Lynn Herman has created, so to say I’ve been stressed about this series following the massive cliffhanger we were left with at the end of The Devouring Gray is…an understatement.

However, I can also say with absolute certainty that Herman has crafted a worthy successor with The Deck of Omens. The stakes are heightened, the trees are creepier, and our favourite bisexuals are even more disastrous than ever before…

Continue reading “THE DECK OF OMENS: An Atmospheric Sequel Rooted in Family, Friendship, and Recovery”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU: A Celebration of Teens, Books, Community—Oh, and Cupcakes!

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I’m always so hung up on saying the right thing, on stringing the perfect sentence together. Maybe it’s okay for my words to come out messy and wrong sometimes, as long as they’re true.

If I was tasked with choosing one word to summarize What I Like About You, it would be this: adorable. There is so much to love within the pages of this story, and I ate it up in the same way I’d devour literally any and all of the cupcakes Halle bakes.

Continue reading “WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU: A Celebration of Teens, Books, Community—Oh, and Cupcakes!”
Blog Posts, Cemetery Boys Street Team, Debuts, Frontlist, Look Book, Tours and Teams

CEMETERY BOYS: Preorder Campaign + Look Book

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I don’t think it’s any secret that I tend to buy a lot of books. I do buy a lot of books. But you know what makes it even easier for me to decide to add a book to my shopping cart and place a pre-order (apart from Indigo’s amazing 30% off sales)?

If you guessed preorder campaigns, you would be correct!

And really, who can say no to amazing swag like bookmarks, postcards, character art, stickers, enamel pins, and more? I know I sure can’t. So when Aiden Thomas announced the preorder campaign for their debut, Cemetery Boys, I submitted my preorder receipt pretty dang quick. This book is one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year! I was also recently invited to join the Cemetery Boys Street Team, which was pretty exciting.

So to celebrate all of this good news, here’s to bringing back a blog feature that took a brief (albeit extended) hiatus: the Look Book!

Continue reading “CEMETERY BOYS: Preorder Campaign + Look Book”
Blog Posts, Reviews

SICK KIDS IN LOVE: A Light-Hearted, Hilarious, and Powerfully Nuanced Chronically Ill Anthem

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You either have to be overcoming it or you have to be completely disconnected from it. God forbid it be an important part of your identity that you’re just living with.

It seems obvious to say that representation in books matter, because it does matter. And yet somehow it still takes me by surprise the way my heart swells whenever I encounter the books that speak to and mirror my soul. But gosh, do I love those surprises. There are times, of course, when I’m expecting that reaction, but it still feels amazing to experience it.

I had a Very Strong™ assumption that I would love Sick Kids in Love, and I can happily say that my assumption was correct.

Continue reading “SICK KIDS IN LOVE: A Light-Hearted, Hilarious, and Powerfully Nuanced Chronically Ill Anthem”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE BEST LAID PLANS: A Light-Hearted and Enjoyable Teenage Flashback

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It’s the thrill of the chase, the thrill that someone might like you back. Getting that attention from someone is a rush. But that’s not love. Love is when your weirdness matches up with someone else’s weirdness. When you’re comfortable being exactly you.

Honestly, I’d like to give past me a giant hug for 1) requesting so many contemporary spring titles, and 2) falling behind schedule so rather than having them read well in advance of publication, they ended up being the books from my TBR landing into my hands these past two weeks.

Because, my gosh, there is nothing better to read during a global pandemic than several light-hearted, fluffy, romantic stories with (relatively) low stakes. Don’t get me wrong, I love fantasy, but rom-coms are what my soul needs right now. And luckily, that need continues to be filled with Lund’s exceptionally fun debut, The Best Laid Plans.

Continue reading “THE BEST LAID PLANS: A Light-Hearted and Enjoyable Teenage Flashback”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

WE ARE TOTALLY NORMAL: An Authentic and Poignant Exploration of Youth, Queerness, and Finding Yourself

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But people don’t want honesty. They don’t want mess. They don’t want confusion. They don’t want awkwardness or second thoughts or…or…or any of it. They want a simple story.

Have you ever encountered a book that felt as though it’s looking right into the deepest, (sometimes) darkest parts of your soul and seeing you—really, genuinely seeing you? And in doing so, reminds you that all those deep, (sometimes) dark things are normal? That they’re okay?

Because, yeah. That’s what it felt like while reading We Are Totally Normal.

Continue reading “WE ARE TOTALLY NORMAL: An Authentic and Poignant Exploration of Youth, Queerness, and Finding Yourself”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE STONE OF SORROW: An Intriguing Premise Marred by Distant and Disconnected Characters

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We don’t worry about things that have not come to pass. I’m just saying that nothing lasts forever. People change, move, grow, journey, and they die. We know this. We can’t be afraid.

I’m always sad when a book doesn’t work out for me. But not every book can be for everyone. What works for one reader won’t work for every reader, and that’s okay.

As individual pieces, Brooke Carter’s The Stone of Sorrow was made up of several things I love in the books I read: sibling dynamics, interesting magic systems, mythology, queerness! But together, the picture these pieces formed felt incomplete.

Continue reading “THE STONE OF SORROW: An Intriguing Premise Marred by Distant and Disconnected Characters”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE VANISHING DEEP: A Sweeping Exploration of Sisterhood, Grief, and Second Chances

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It was this place, it drew death toward us like the tide to the shore. And all we could do was wait for tomorrow, and hope it would be brighter.

Expect reviews a lot more frequently from me for the foreseeable future. Nothing gets you out of a reading slump quite like avoiding existential dread by escaping into books every chance you get.

And next up on that list of escapes is Astrid Scholte’s sophomore offering, The Vanishing Deep—a dystopian standalone featuring a watery world that is equal parts wondrous and terrifying, and a sisterly bond that outlasts even life itself.

Continue reading “THE VANISHING DEEP: A Sweeping Exploration of Sisterhood, Grief, and Second Chances”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE KINGDOM OF BACK: A Brilliantly Composed Escape, Lyrical and Whimsical

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Help me be worthy. Worthy of praise, of being loved and remembered. Worthy of attention when I bared my heart at the clavier. Worthy enough for my music to linger long after I was gone.

If ever there were a time to need a book with a story and a world that’s easy to fall into—that steals you away from the world you live in as soon as you open it, whenever you open it—that time is now.

And if ever there were a book to meet that need, to provide the most perfect of escapes, it’s this one right here: The Kingdom of Back.

Continue reading “THE KINGDOM OF BACK: A Brilliantly Composed Escape, Lyrical and Whimsical”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Contests and Giveaways, Reviews, Tours and Teams

THE ELECTRIC HEIR Blog Tour: Review + Favourite Quotes

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Noam had crawled his way into Dara’s mind and planted himself there, a root system tangled into Dara’s thoughts and Dara’s telepathy.

Inextricable.

Welcome, welcome to my stop on The Electric Heir Blog Tour! There honestly aren’t enough words to express just how excited I am to be a part of this tour and continue to share my undying love for this book, this series, these characters, and literally anything Victoria Lee will ever write (I’m just calling it now).

You’ll find my favourite quotes sprinkled throughout the review, and a few extra special ones at the end that, when I read them, burst immediately into my head as fully formed images—and have since seared themselves into the back of my mind until the time comes that I am able to illustrate them.

Also, don’t forget to follow along to the rest of the tour stops and enter the giveaway for your chance to win a finished copy of The Electric Heir (US only).

Continue reading “THE ELECTRIC HEIR Blog Tour: Review + Favourite Quotes”
Blog Posts, Contests and Giveaways

HOLLIBRARY BOOKS: 500 Follower Giveaway Answers!

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To celebrate having recently reached 500 followers on Instagram, I decided to host a giveaway! However, I wanted to do things a little differently than usual… As a result, instead of liking, commenting, tagging, and sharing, you had to guess which books all of these letters were from!

Continue reading “HOLLIBRARY BOOKS: 500 Follower Giveaway Answers!”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges, Reviews, The Pondathon

RED HOOD: Fiercely Feminist and Unapologetically Uncomfortable (in the best way)

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The animal confronting you is both a wolf and not a wolf. And you—you are both a girl and not a girl. You are a hunter, and this wolf, though he thinks he is the predator, is your prey.

Holy shit. Holy shit. I keep trying to find a more eloquent way to express how I feel, but I can’t. This is the best I can do. It’s been so long since I last read a book in one go, but I could not put Red Hood down. It grabbed me from the very first page, the words sinking into me with tooth and claw, and wouldn’t let go until I’d finished.

This was a reading experience unlike any other. Red Hood was uncomfortable and dark and so, so powerful.

Continue reading “RED HOOD: Fiercely Feminist and Unapologetically Uncomfortable (in the best way)”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges, Reviews, The Pondathon

OF CURSES AND KISSES: A Fun, Contemporary Twist on a Classic Tale (although some pieces seem missing)

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Who was it that said, “Beauty is a weapon; a smile is it’s sword?”

Give me a fairy tale retelling, any retelling of any fairy tale, and I’m bound to eat it up. Inevitbly, there are some I enjoy more than others.

What Menon has accomplished in her twisting of Beauty and the Beast is original and makes for a unique take that stands apart from previous retellings of this tale I’ve read. Something about how all the pieces came together here, though, left me with a wanting I can’t quite put my finger on, both in terms of characterization and pacing.

Continue reading “OF CURSES AND KISSES: A Fun, Contemporary Twist on a Classic Tale (although some pieces seem missing)”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews, The Pondathon

STORM FROM THE EAST: A Soaring Sequel, Charting Courses of Love, Betrayal, and Hope

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Let it last forever and ever, this moment. The saffron-drenched air and the colorful city and nothing but peace as far as the eye can see—both of us high above, free.

When I finally read Joanna Hathaway’s debut, Dark of the West, last month, something happened. It was a book I was sure I would enjoy, and my suspicions were correct. And it wasn’t just that I enjoyed it. In truth, I fell completely and entirely in love: with the characters, with the world, with the plot.

So you can only imagine the excitement and fear that gripped me as I picked up the sequel, because sequels—especially when that sequel is the middle of a trilogy—can be tricky things.

The trickiest thing now, though? Trying to string together enough coherent words to express how much Storm from the East took everything I loved from it’s predecessor and made me love it even more.

Continue reading “STORM FROM THE EAST: A Soaring Sequel, Charting Courses of Love, Betrayal, and Hope”
Blog Posts, Debuts, Lightbearers Street Team, Reviews, Tours and Teams

THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: Dive Into a Fast-Paced and Immersive Debut

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Hope isn’t measurable or conditional; it’s not for anyone to try and control. It’s ours—all of ours—boundless, as wild and unfettered as the waves.

I loved swimming as a kid. I have distinct memories of lake campgrounds during summer vacations, of grabbing my snorkel and rushing out into the water. And yet, there was always a fear. Those moments when your feet would step astray of the rocks laid down by humans for boat launches, sinking instead into the muddy bottom sprawling with seaweed.

Intriguing, yet terrifying. I can’t think of anything that better epitomizes this sentiment than bodies of water, especially the ocean. It’s vast, beautiful, and bursting with fascinating forms of life—and yet, it’s a mystery. There’s so much about the depths of these waters that remains unknown.

London Shah’s debut, The Light at the Bottom of the World, takes these fascinations, and these fears, and weaves them together in an imaginative and immersive story.

Continue reading “THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: Dive Into a Fast-Paced and Immersive Debut”
#FirstRiders Street Team, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Reading Challenges, Reviews, The Pondathon, Tours and Teams

HEART OF FLAMES: A Series Set Ablaze, Fierce in Scope and Full of Heart

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When a Phoenix Rider wanted to approach unseen, she flew under cover of darkness. Quiet as a shadow—soft as starlight.

But when a Phoenix Rider wanted to wage war, she flew under the sun.

I often find there are two ways my reading experiences will go. The first is that I love what I’m reading so much that I devour the whole story in a sitting or two. The second is that I love what I’m reading so much that I try my hardest to prolong the inevitable turning of the final page.

The third option is I don’t enjoy a book, but that isn’t relevant to Heart of Flames, so we’re going to ignore this option entirely.

Heart of Flames fell into the latter category, and I’m sitting here desperately wishing it wasn’t over.

Continue reading “HEART OF FLAMES: A Series Set Ablaze, Fierce in Scope and Full of Heart”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Keel Haul Sea Crew, Reviews, Tours and Teams

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH: Bloody and Magical, You Won’t Want to Come Up For Air

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I can see it in your eyes. A kingdom is too small for you, Princess. You should be ruler of the entire sea.

Oof. Oof.

I love when I stumble across a book that on the surface promises a lot of tried-and-true elements, and discover upon diving in that it delivers in every regard, above and beyond what I could have ever expected.

In other words: if you like determined princesses, stabby pirates, vicious mermaids, and lots of magic… All the Stars and Teeth is a book you want in your life.

Continue reading “ALL THE STARS AND TEETH: Bloody and Magical, You Won’t Want to Come Up For Air”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

INFINITY SON: Promising Pieces, Though They Don’t Quite Come Together

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Times passes, and the agony doesn’t go away. The faintest phoenix song begs me to survive, but I’m tired of the music and wish someone would put out my fire for good.

There are some books that seem as though they promise everything you love, and everything you want. On paper, in pitches, in a synopsis. You read it out, and you need this book in your hands. Now. And sometimes, it falls into your hands and you’re so excited by the premise and it’s promise that you actually put off reading it (or does this just happen to me?). And finally, you pick it up, and you begin to read.

But books are like puzzles, and sometimes: the pieces just don’t fit together.

Continue reading “INFINITY SON: Promising Pieces, Though They Don’t Quite Come Together”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges, The Pondathon

To-Read Tuesday: The Pondathon Edition

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Nothing helps me accomplish goals better than a little accountability (and a deadline, somewhat), which readathons are great for! I’ve never actually participated in a readathon before, but the premise of Pondathon was just so adorable and unique that I couldn’t resist!


What is the Pondathon?

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest.

Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete ‘side quests’ during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Continue reading “To-Read Tuesday: The Pondathon Edition”
#FirstRiders Street Team, Blog Posts, Tours and Teams

CROWN OF FEATHERS: Book Tag Edition

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Hey everyone! I’m continuing to branch out with trying new things on the blog, and since Nicki Pau Preto’s Heart of Flames releases in exactly four weeks I wanted to celebrate! And by celebrate, I mean I wanted to do something fun, and different than anything I’ve done before. And so, behold: a Crown of Feathers themed book tag!

Feel free to participate in the tag, whether you’re tagged by someone or not. Everyone is welcome! I’d love to see everyone’s responses, so please link back to my blog in your post. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to do it on Twitter or Instagram. You can use #COFBookTag, or tag me in your posts (I’m @wordsbyholly on Twitter, and @hollibrarybooks on Instagram).

Continue reading “CROWN OF FEATHERS: Book Tag Edition”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

DARK AND DEEPEST RED: History and Fairy Tales Come Together in a Terrifying and Utterly Beautiful Dance

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I would find a way to make sure we never had to destroy something of ourselves just to stop other people from taking it.

Raise your hand if there are authors whose work you’ve meaning to pick up (for year after year, after year), and are only just getting around to it now—or soon. I’m plenty guilty of this, and one of those authors is Anna-Marie McLemore. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about their books and their writing.

And now, after having turned Dark and Deepest Red‘s final page, I’m kicking myself for having taken so long to get here. But, I’m immensely grateful to be introduced to their work with this particular book.

Continue reading “DARK AND DEEPEST RED: History and Fairy Tales Come Together in a Terrifying and Utterly Beautiful Dance”
Backlist, Blog Posts, Debuts, Reviews

DARK OF THE WEST: Planes and Politics and Perfection, Oh My! (and horses)

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We’ll just keep running. Just be quick enough to stay ahead. It’s what I’ll always do. Because I have you. And I fly for you.

I cannot put into words how much I’m kicking myself for not reading Dark of the West sooner. Within these pages I found so much of everything I love in Young Adult fantasy, and then some.

So really, this is the absolute epitome of better late than never.

Continue reading “DARK OF THE WEST: Planes and Politics and Perfection, Oh My! (and horses)”
Blog Posts, Reviews

GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN: Everything You Want in a Romance, PLUS Amazing Chronic Illness Rep (✔)

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“Life hurts,” he said fiercely. “It’s unavoidable. But I know the difference between torture and growing pains.”

Once upon a time, a girl who spent most of her life reading almost exclusively Young Adult fiction started selectively picking up Adult Contemporary Romance. And she discovered that—often to her surprise—she really enjoyed them.

Once upon a time, prior to the aforementioned discovery, this same girl was diagnosed with a chronic illness after eleven years of doctors telling her that she was exaggerating—even entirely making up—her symptoms. And she discovered that she desperately wanted to find more #ownvoices chronic illness rep in the books she was reading.

Once upon a time, this girl discovered Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

And it ticked off both those boxes.

Continue reading “GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN: Everything You Want in a Romance, PLUS Amazing Chronic Illness Rep (✔)”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE DEEP & DARK BLUE: A Charmingly Woven Tale of Identity, Family, and Acceptance

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In spinning blue, we know our true selves…and we find and weave the patterns of the world.

It’s no secret that graphic novels are one of my favourite storytelling mediums. They feature all the elements of any good story you’ll find in a book—characters, plots, and world-building—while also employing a vast array of artistic techniques, mediums, and illustrative styles to tell those stories.

So it’s also no secret that when given the opportunity to read The Deep & Dark Blue early, of course I dove in headfirst. And what a beautiful experience it was.

Continue reading “THE DEEP & DARK BLUE: A Charmingly Woven Tale of Identity, Family, and Acceptance”
Blog Posts, Wrap-Ups

Monthly Wrap-Up: End of the Decade

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Just like that, we’ve reached the end of another month, another year, another decade. Reading has been an interesting experience for me this year. I expanded my horizons in several ways, but I also suffered from some of my worst slumps.

Honestly, I haven’t done wrap-up posts prior to this because I averaged only one or two books. Sometimes, even though I started several, I finished none. And to do a wrap-up like that? Well, just the thought felt a tad disheartening. So I decided to wait.

Continue reading “Monthly Wrap-Up: End of the Decade”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

ONE OF US IS NEXT: An Adeptly Crafted Whodunit Full of Teens Being Teens

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It sucks when the person who ruined your life gets to walk around like always.

As if what they did doesn’t matter.

I beg to disagree with your conclusion, though.

There’s always something you can do.

—Darkestmind

I’ll be entirely honest: I know I was in the minority with my feelings for McManus’s debut, One of Us Is Lying. While I loved the concept—because The Breakfast Club but with murder (!) sounds like an inevitable win—I was ultimately let down by the execution.

But. I can happily say that this isn’t a problem with One of Us Is Next, which takes all the best parts of One of Us Is Lying and McManus’s sophomore standalone, Two Can Keep a Secret, to create a truly enjoyable read.

Continue reading “ONE OF US IS NEXT: An Adeptly Crafted Whodunit Full of Teens Being Teens”
ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews, Spellhacker Launch Crew, Tours and Teams

SPELLHACKER: The Perfect Blend of Fantasy, Friendships, and Feeeelings

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Today is a day for fixing things. That’s what we’re here to do. No point in dwelling on the rest.

One of my favourite things is picking up a book and finding, the further and further that I read, how glad I am that such a book exists. Glad because, while it wasn’t there for me when I was a teen (and teen me really needed it), it’s here for me now.

And it’s here for all the teenagers like me, too.

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ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

DON’T CALL THE WOLF: Visceral and Undeniably Beautiful (but not without flaws)

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They have such a capacity to change…and I think that is their real magic. They hold such darkness, these humans, but they still choose the light.

Sometimes you stumble upon a book that seems like it’s going to have pretty much everything you could ask for in your next read: a re-telling of a lesser known fairy tale, terrifying monsters lurking in the woods, a princess trying to save her kingdom and a hunter trying to save his brother, all wrapped up in the promise of a slowburn romance with a dash of magic.

And other times, unfortunately, no matter how promising something seems… it just doesn’t quite come together.

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Blog Posts, Frontlist, Look Book, Reveals, Spellhacker Launch Crew, Tours and Teams

SPELLHACKER: Pre-Order Campaign Launch + Look Book Edition

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I’m not going anywhere. Besides, I know this city better than anyone. If anyone can figure a way out of this, it’s me. I need to do this myself.

Just in case you’ve missed the exciting news, the amazing international pre-order campaign for M.K. England’s sophmore novel, Spellhacker, was revealed on Monday! I’m ridiculously excited to be part of helping spread this reveal far and wide—almost as excited as I am to read Spellhacker!

I’ve also decided to celebrate this announcement by doing what I do best: another Look Book!

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#FirstRiders Street Team, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Look Book, Tours and Teams

HEART OF FLAMES: The Look Book Edition

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You are a daughter of queens. Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire. Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin. I pray you are able to pass through the flames.

Hello, hello! As you can probably tell, I’m still a bit new to blogging. Particularly in regards to the posting regularly bit. One of my goals for the rest of the year—and definitely for 2020—is to work on creating more consistent content! I intend to have the Look Book become a regular feature, because I’m having a lot of fun with it.

In case you don’t remember, each Look Book post features two things: a book, and a make-up look inspired by the chosen book’s cover! Basically, it gives me an excuse to create looks I wouldn’t do every day, and to slowly work my way through my ever-growing collection of make-up.

I think part of the delay with this second installment was the challenge of picking a book cover to inspire me. Not because there aren’t enough options—if anything, it’s quite the opposite! But, which book? Another new release? A backlisted favourite? An upcoming title?

It was tough, but eventually I managed to decide…

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Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Lightbearers Street Team, Look Book, Tours and Teams

THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD Street Team Blog Tour: The Look Book Edition

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Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop on the Lightbearers Street Team Blog Tour! We’re here to celebrate the upcoming release (only six days to go!) of London Shah’s immersive debut, The Light at the Bottom of the World!

Hope isn’t measurable or conditional; it’s not for anyone to try and control. It’s ours—all of ours—boundless, as wild and unfettered as the waves. And always has been.

Originally, this was going to be a review post. But I opted to do something a little different, because my blog thus far is almost exclusively reviews, and I want to start branching out… So, this is also my very first Look Book post!

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ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews, Uncategorized

CRIER’S WAR: Here, Queer, and Beautifully Capturing the Human Experience

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Always check their eyes. That’s how you can tell if a creature is human. It’s in the eyes.

I think there are few things that are more exciting and terrifying than picking up one of your most anticipated releases of the year. My heart and my stomach, fluttering like butterflies, as I turn those first few pages. There’s anticipation. There’s a little bit of anxiety, too.

Sometimes, the words between the cover don’t deliver. Sometimes, they do. And sometimes, they go far beyond what you thought you could have ever expected.

Nina Varela’s #ownvoices debut Crier’s War falls firmly in that last category.

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ARC August, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges, Reviews

THE SPINNER OF DREAMS: Moving, Immersive and Imaginative, Like All Dreams Should Be

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Never be sorry for showing the world who you are or who you wish to become. These struggles have brought you exactly where you need to be.

The older I get, the more I continue to find Middle Grade books that I desperately wish had been around when I was younger, because they would have made an absolute world of difference for younger me. But since I can’t go back in time, I’ll simply be grateful that these books are here now. Not only for me to read, but to be able to pass on to so many kids that remind me of, well…me.

The Spinner of Dreams is exactly this sort of book.

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#FirstRiders Street Team, Backlist, Blog Posts, Debuts, Reviews, Tours and Teams

CROWN OF FEATHERS: A New Epic Fantasy, Bright and Slowly Burning

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In Pyra, death was celebrated as much as life. Only through endings could there be beginnings. That was the lesson of the phoenix, and it was the lesson of my life as well.

I’ll admit it: I judge books by their covers. I have been known to buy books synopsis unread, simply because I’ve loved a cover. I’d turned around and bought books I originally took out from the library, because I loved the cover and want to have it on my shelves. So when I say that Crown of Feathers has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever, ever seen, these are the standards I hold it to.

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ARC August, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges, Reviews

WILDER GIRLS: Fierce and Unforgiving, as Growing Up Often Is

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It’s like that, with all of us here. Sick, strange, and we don’t know why. Things bursting out of us, bits missing and pieces sloughing off, and then we harden and smooth over.

Content Warnings can be found here.

Have you ever opened a book only to have the words jump off the page, grab you around the throat, pull you in, and never let you go? No? Well then, first: you’re missing out. Second, if you want to familiarize yourself with the experience, pick up Rory Power’s unforgettable debut, Wilder Girls.

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ARC August, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Reading Challenges

To-Read Tuesday: #ARCAugust Edition

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A new month means new books! To be perfectly honest, curated TBRs are usually my worst enemy in that making them almost always guarantees I never get through them. Or, at least, I never get through them on time. It might be because deadlines fill me with so much anxiety that I avoid whatever it is that has the deadline.

(Counter-productive, I know)

That said though, #ARCAugust—an ARC-exclusive readathon created by Read.Sleep.Repeatis exactly the kick in the pants that I need.I just have… so many ARCs I need to read, and I am so, so terribly behind. I mostly have Edelweiss and Netgalley and my request-happy library clerk fingers to blame for that.

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