“Slayer” by Kiersten White

DF57BC13-4647-4A27-ADF8-9721CDEDD1C8It’s no secret to many who know me — I absolutely *adore* Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve watched it several times (PSA: It’s on Hulu!) and it never ceases to make me laugh, cry, laugh again, and cry some more. (I’m looking at you, “The Body”.)

So when I heard there was a Slayer book coming out, I knew there was no options. I was going to buy it, and I was going to buy it immediately. The stakes were high (pun intended) — would it hold up? Would it make me furious, another adaptation of my faves gone wrong?

Turns out, I LOVED IT.

Slayer starts out after the last season of the show ends, where Buffy rids the world of magic. Or something. But here’s where it’s different from the show, and a wholly awesome new perspective into the Slayer world. The story is told from the

 perspective of Nina, a teen girl who has grown up in the Watcher’s Academy and has spent her life learning how to become a healer. Her twin sister, Artemis, is also there, and she is more of the violent Watcher “type”, always feeling Nina like she is a bit of an outsider.

But then everything changes. Because (and the synopsis says it better than I can) “Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.”

Talk about pressure.

So you’ve got a Slayer, Watchers, teens and adults, demons, romantic interests, the works! And most importantly, the “who is the bad guy” trope. Is it him? Is it her? It’s her! No wait, is it him? I love this type of storyline so much — it keeps you guessing from beginning to end.

Anyway — If you loved Buffy Summers, you’ll love Nina and Artemis and all of their friends (and foes). There is supposedly more of this story to come, and I can’t wait for them to SLAY me like this one did. 😉

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Buy your copy here!

[Bonus: I listened to the audiobook of this book, and it’s killer!]

Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

Blog Tour: “White Stag” by Kara Barbieri

White Stag Blog Tour Banner.png

New release Tuesday!

I’m so excited to ring in the new year by participating in the blog tour for White Stag!

Janneke has spent 100 years as a thrall (basically a human slave) to the young goblin lord Soren. Previously, she “belonged” to Lydian, Soren’s cruel and sadistic uncle, and before that, lived in her family’s village before Lydian burned it down. When the goblin king dies, the hunt begins to have a new power on the throne, and Janneke is determined not to let Lydian become the new Erlking. The first to find the mystical white stag and kill it to claim the throne wins.

White Stag is a YA fantasy that takes a new spin on Goblins and changelings and adds a quest or hunt-like feel similar to Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and also feels like a better-written cousin of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas — a young human woman coming into her own and discovering that she is just as powerful as the magical beings around her.

(Also, I do want to note a few quick content warnings: Physical and emotional abuse, several graphic rape scenes/memory sequences, gore, mutilation. This list is not comprehensive and I urge caution if this content may negatively affect your well-being.)

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book by Wednesday Books in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

Blog Tour: “What They Don’t Know” by Nicole Maggi + Giveaway!

36449964I’m excited to be a part of the ~*Official Blog Tour*~ for What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi, out today!

When their high school teacher assigns journal entries as homework, Mellie and Lise find they have plenty to offload into their diaries.

Mellie is the daughter of the mayor, who makes it well-known that he is super conservative — plus, now he’s running for senate. Mellie’s family is in the spotlight all the time, and it becomes increasingly more urgent that she deal with her secret. She was raped. And now she’s pregnant.

Lise has always felt that she was intuitive to people’s feelings. When her grade-school friend, Mellie, starts behaving differently, Lise is the only one who notices. She’s the only one that reaches out. And to Mellie’s luck, Lise is just the friend that she needs during this difficult time in her life.

What They Don’t Know takes a good, hard look at what it is like for someone to go through the tough decision to have an abortion as an unwed teen in a conservative world. Plus, Mellie has the added trauma of her pregnancy being a result of a rape. Stories come out daily of these abuses against women (and others, too), so it’s a poignant topic.

In these political climes, with laws restricting the bodily rights of cis female, non-binary, and trans individuals, books like this will become increasingly important. Abortion is a difficult life choice to make, and Nicole Maggi explores the feelings Mellie has — the knowledge she obtains, that no one can know how this situation feels until they find themselves in it. The decision to control one’s own body, to be free to make their own choice.

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Buy the book here.

You can also click here to enter to win a copy in this giveaway sponsored by Sourcebooks Fire!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“Sadie” by Courtney Summers

IMG_0235It’s no secret to those who know me — I love a good mystery. I enjoy true crime books, shows, and podcasts (My Favorite Murder 😍), not to mention mystery books and detective stories, be they true or fiction.

So at BookExpo in May, when I heard about a YA mystery called Sadie, I was all in.

The story follows two threads:

The first thread is Sadie’s story, in which she vows to avenge her younger sister Mattie’s unsolved murder. Growing up in a trailer park with an addict mother, Sadie was neglected early in life. When Mattie was born, Sadie took over the role of mother, promising herself that Mattie would have a loving childhood to look back on.

The second thread follows a podcast called The Girls that reminded me of Serial and Up and Vanished. The host, West McCray, does his best to track down Sadie, doing research and interviewing those who knew her before, as well as those who meet Sadie on her quest for justice. Another cool thing to note: the podcast is actually real — it’s called The Girls: Find Sadie (find it anywhere you listen to podcasts). It follows the first several “podcast chapters” in Sadie, and man, is it chilling and well-done.

Sadie is equal parts thrilling, tragic, fascinating, and horrifying. There’s a murder, all kinds of abuse, road trips, new friends, new enemies, and ultimately, a mystery that you won’t be able to put down.

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Buy the book here.
Listen to the podcast on Apple here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“The Book of Essie” by Meghan Maclean Weir

91nZ-OBPoRLTold in three perspectives, The Book of Essie is the story of what happens when a Christian reality TV family finds out one of the daughters is pregnant. They will go to any length to protect their reputation, celebrity, show, and ultimately — power and wealth.

Essie, 17, is pregnant. Her parents have decided that the best way to deal with the situation is to marry her off quickly and pretend the baby belongs to the husband. Essie doesn’t like her life in the spotlight and disagrees with what her parents are doing. She knows how fake everyone is in her world and is generally disillusioned with the world, ready to escape her small town.

Rourke, a year older at Essie’s high school, is “chosen” to be Essie’s husband. He is appalled at what his parents are willing to do to save their business and be set for life. But at the same time…he really wants to go to Columbia. And he wants his parents to be financially stable. But he really also doesn’t want to be a celebrity, and he really doesn’t want to marry Essie and be a part of the strict, religious family he’s grown up watching on television and in real life.

Liberty Bell, now a journalist, earned her spotlight for being an escaped member of a cult. The cult leader is not only in jail now, and has Liberty’s mom petitioning for his release, but Liberty hates him with everything she is because he is responsible for her sister’s death so many years ago. Essie knows about Liberty’s story, and she asks to be put through interviews on Liberty’s show to give an “inside look” to the viewers before her whirlwind marriage.

Full of twists, shocking moments, and horrifying revelations, The Book of Essie is one of the most bingeable books I’ve picked up this year. I initially got it as my June Book of the Month, but ended up listening to the audiobook. The audiobook has amazing narrators and I could not turn it off!

If you like celebrity drama, teenage angst mixed with real problems, journalistic investigations, and a real, down-to-earth American story, this one is for you.

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Buy the book here.

Sign up for Book of the Month here. I love it so much!

[It should also be mentioned that there are a few content warnings: rape, homophobia, murder, general bad treatment of children. However, these things are not condoned in the book.]

Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“From Twinkle with Love” by Sandhya Menon

81wu+v1CDsL.jpgNew release Tuesday!

Twinkle Mehra has big plans for her life. She’s going to get popular, get her best friend back, and fall madly in love with the mega-popular Neil Roy, and then she’s going to get into the film school of her dreams and become a famous filmmaker.

But lofty plans rarely are accomplished the way we want.

When Sahil Roy, Neil’s twin, approaches Twinkle with the idea for a gender-swapped Dracula film for an upcoming film festival, she is excited. She gets to make a film, and Sahil can probably get her close to her crush, Neil!

Twinkle is a Desi character, so reading this book, much like in When Dimple Met Rishi by Menon, I was excited to see a diverse family and to learn more about their culture. For instance, when Sahil comes to Twinkle’s house, instead of where I might call my friend’s parent “Mr. Jones” or by their first name, in this culture they call them “Uncle or Aunt (first name).”

(And yes, I know these diverse titles by WOC are not meant to educate white people, but instead so that all people can find themselves represented in books. However, I do take the opportunity to learn about different cultures and diverse reads like Twinkle help me educate myself.)

Beyond the awesome diversity in this book, the story is just adorable and squee-worthy. It’s a young adult contemporary, so you know it has a happy ending.

I liked From Twinkle with Love significantly more than When Dimple Met Rishi (which I did quite enjoy), so if you liked Dimple, you’ll like Twinkle! I can’t wait for the next installment, When Ashish Met Sweetie due out in 2019.

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Buy From Twinkle with Love here.
Buy When Dimple Met Rishi here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“Sky in the Deep” by Adrienne Young

34726469New Release Tuesday! Eelyn is a Viking warrior from the Aska tribe. Their mortal enemies, as decreed by the gods, are the Riki. Every five years the two clans must meet each other in battle to honor their gods.

Five years ago in battle, Eelyn saw her brother Iri fall in battle, rolling down an unreachable ravine. So when she sees her brother fighting with the Riki five years later, she assumes she’s seeing his spirit. The battle rages on, and Eelyn is shot through the he shoulder and taken hostage—by her brother and his new Riki family. There’s Fiske’s curious little brother, Inge, the village healer, and Fiske. The rude, bull-headed young man who shot Eelyn.

Eelyn must learn to survive while she waits out her escape once winter ends. Along the way, she makes new friends, new enemies, and realizes the Riki are much more alike the Aska than they are different. What follows is a great political and savage story where it seems like it may be hopeless—where everyone Eelyn knows might perish.

Another great thing about this story is that it is a standalone story. Everything is wrapped up at the end and you don’t have to wait tortuously for the sequel. If you like badass warrior women, Viking fierceness, and a fast-paced story, Sky in the Deep is definitely for you.

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Buy the book here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.