ARC Mini-Review // Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino

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An intriguingly interwoven tale of four lives changed by a mysterious late-night radio broadcast that wakes them up from their mundane existences. Each tale speaks to different social issues without pandering to a political agenda: LGBT+ rights, racism, social network addiction, and the difficult decision between settling down versus following your dreams. Each tale is told in a vivid, polychromatic illustration style that flows from one character to another and back again in a uniquely identifiable fashion.

 

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I downloaded an arc via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Midnight Radio follows four very different people at very different stages of life: a man struggling with career choices, a teenager battling his addiction to social media, a woman struggling with her sexuality, and a delinquent trying to figure out what makes a right and what makes a wrong. At first glance, it would seem that their stories shouldn’t have a reason to intersect, but they do. And it’s through a single midnight message via a radio station. Continue reading “ARC Mini-Review // Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino”

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ARC Book Review // Aru Shah and the Song of Death (The Pandava Quartet #2) by Roshani Chokshi

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Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good.

But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone.

Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

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My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 stars

*I received an arc via Netgalley, which does not affect my opinion in any way.*

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Sequel syndrome. We’ve all heard of it. The dreaded disease that inflicts itself on most second novels in series, that makes them so terrible and all-around-bad that we’re ashamed to say we’ve even read it.

Suffering from sequel syndrome, this book is not. Continue reading “ARC Book Review // Aru Shah and the Song of Death (The Pandava Quartet #2) by Roshani Chokshi”

Books I Plan to Read for Aro Ace April

*clears throat* Hello humans. Today, I have something important to tell you all.

*pulls out megaphone and shouts* I’M PARTICIPATING IN ARO ACE APRIL!!!!

Aro Ace April is being hosted by these two lovely people, Ellie @ faerieontheshelves and Imi @ Imi Reviews Books, both of whom also hosted F/F February, which challenged people to read books that had f/f romances! With their newest challenge, Aro Ace April, they’re encouraging people to read books that feature “aromantic, asexual and a-spec characters”! This is a challenge that made me very very happy, for reasons that are dear to me, and I can’t wait to participate!

To find out more about this challenge, see Ellie’s post where she announces it and the bingo and social media challenges that go along with it. I’m personally not participating in the bingo or social media challenges, but you all should if you sign up! (There may or may not be a giveaway involved…😏) You all should also check out Ellie’s list of books with a-spec characters. Continue reading “Books I Plan to Read for Aro Ace April”

Book Review // Aquicorn Cove by Kate O’Neill

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When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a storm, the last thing she expects is to discover a colony of Aquicorns—magical seahorse-like residents of the coral reef. As she explores the damaged town and the fabled undersea palace, Lana learns that while she cannot always count on adults to be the guardians she needs, she herself is capable of finding the strength to protect both the ocean, and her own happiness.

 

 

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My Rating: ★★★★ – 4 stars

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Ever since I’ve read The Tea Dragon Society and Princess Princess, both by Kate O’Neill, I fell in love with O’Neill’s art style and the stories she told. Both The Tea Dragon Society and Princess Princess were filled with these adorable illustrations and wonderful, light fantasy elements along with LGBT+ rep that just felt so wholesome and natural. Aquicorn Cove was no exception to this trend. It wrapped a touching story about a girl finding her voice with the more serious topic of how we need to save our oceans and how even a small village can help. Continue reading “Book Review // Aquicorn Cove by Kate O’Neill”

Book Review [Rewritten] // The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R. F. Kuang

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35068705When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

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**Quick note: I’ve rewritten parts of this review and given it some updated graphics. Hope you all enjoy. 🙂

My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 stars

TWs: violence (a LOT – please don’t take this lightly), classism, racism, rape (not actually described, but extremely graphic descriptions of horrors leading up to it), animal death and cruelty, drug use and addiction, self-harm (by main character), sexism, death (very graphic descriptions of it), maiming

This is a very brutal and very dark book. Please make sure you’re in the right head-space to read this. These are all the trigger warnings I found, but I know this list is incomplete, so I recommend checking both Melanie’s and Fadwa’s reviews to see more complete lists of trigger warnings.

Thanks to The Poppy War, I got an average of three hours of sleep over the course of two days. Because I made a mistake. That mistake was reading the first few pages the day before I had to take two tests, turn in a bunch of homework, and try not to die. And then I added reading this book to the pile because it was so. Amazingly. Addicting. And thus the aforementioned lack of sleep happened.

So. It appears I have a new favorite book.

Continue reading “Book Review [Rewritten] // The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R. F. Kuang”

My Frequent Name Changes and My Final One

Greetings, humans.🛸🚀 Hope today has been treating you well. ❤️

Today…I’m talking about something that I was initially hesitant to address, but I feel as though I need to because it’s important. And that thing is the name I go by on this blog. I already feel a bit silly typing that out, but I have to explain why I’ve been changing it so often. (If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve changed the name I go by on this site multiple times. Which, I’m so sorry about!) It’s led to a lot of confusion for multiple people, so I’d like to clear what I can up and explain why I’m now going by my real name, Surina. Continue reading “My Frequent Name Changes and My Final One”

Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello everyone! ❤️❤️❤️

I’ve decided that this is the week that I catch up on all of the tags that I’m woefully behind on. I was tagged for this award by the lovely Lori @ Lori’s Bookshelf Reads, who is an absolutely wonderful and amazingly organized blogger. (She’s also an insanely fast reader as well, and posts many reviews!) If you’re not following her yet, head on over to her website and click on that follow button!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

Continue reading “Sunshine Blogger Award”