Book Review // Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

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“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.”

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend and best friend since childhood, Charlie.

As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.

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My Rating: ★★★★★– 5 stars

[Edit: I rewrote parts of this review, and changed some of my graphics.]

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I’ve read so many reviews of this book, lauding it for how profound it was, but I never could’ve guessed at how truly heartbreaking it is. Girl Made of Stars is like a punch to the gut – it leaves you feeling winded, gasping for breath, and ready to cry all at once.

Continue reading “Book Review // Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake”

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Book Review // You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

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Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

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My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 star

I’ll admit, I was totally going to use the title of this book in a pun, but Becky Albertelli beat me to it: You Asked for Perfect and Laura Silverman delivered.” <– This line is absolute genius.

…But also, my opening line was robbed.

Image result for this displeases me gif Continue reading “Book Review // You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman”

Book Review // Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

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The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her rounds―and falls head over heels―in the contemporary romantic comedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak.

Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius―but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.

But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient: a cute teen boy who’s been diagnosed with cancer. And when she risks her brand new career to try to improve his chances, it could cost her everything.

It turns out “heartbreak” is the one thing she still doesn’t know how to treat.

In her solo debut, Sona Charaipotra brings us a compelling #ownvoices protagonist who’s not afraid to chase what she wants. Symptoms of a Heartbreak goes from romantic comedy highs to tearjerker lows and is the ultimate cure-all for young adult readers needing an infusion of something heartfelt.

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My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 star

TWs: homophobia (mentioned, cast in negative light)

We all make good decisions, and bad ones. Got to learn to live with both.

Symptoms of a Heartbreak (or, as my cousin dubbed it, the “medical book”) is ultimately about life: its fragility, its strength, its persistence in the face of tragedy. And Saira Seghal, sixteen-year-old doctor, may know a lot about life and death, but she’s about to discover she doesn’t know what it means to live.

Before I go any further: I’m an Indian reviewer, so it means the absolute world to me that a book featuring an Indian girl as the protag has been published. I relate to this book on so many levels, especially in the family department. Continue reading “Book Review // Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra”

Book Review // Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky #1) by Rebecca Kim Wells

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A determined young woman sets out to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor in this stunning fantasy debut that’s perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?Middle of Post Regal DividerHere’s the pitch: a PoC bisexual protagonist and dragons.

Not convinced? I’ll continue. Continue reading “Book Review // Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky #1) by Rebecca Kim Wells”

The Black Veins Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Ashia Monet

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Today, my friends, I’m extremely excited to bring you to my stop on the blog tour for The Black Veins by Ashia Monet, hosted by CW @ The Quiet Pond! I fell deeply in love with this YA urban fantasy and I now have a very serious book hangover due to the fact that whatever I read next will be inevitably disappointing. (Especially in terms of characters. I love the crew of The Black Veins so much, they own my heart and soul.)

So, as you’ve no doubt gathered from the title of this post, I’m going to be writing a review of this book! But also! I had the opportunity to interview the amazing Ashia Monet, the author of The Black Veins, and she’s absolutely lovely. So keep scrolling for more of that. Continue reading “The Black Veins Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Ashia Monet”

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”

Book Review // Timekeeper (Timekeeper #1) by Tara Sim

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25760792I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.

An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.

A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.

A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.

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Oh my gosh. 😭😭😭

Everyone, I’m warning you beforehand: I’m not in a state where I can be coherent. I was up until 2:00 a.m. last night (a school night, no less) because I started reading this book and felt this visceral, desperate need to finish. And the feelings it gave me wasn’t something I was prepared to handle that late (or is it early?) a time, so I went to bed, stewing. And when I woke up, my thoughts immediately returned to this book, just to process everything that was happening.

And after a whole day, I’m still at a loss for words. And even though putting all these thoughts down is a struggle, I’ve started typing something – anything – because a book like this doesn’t deserve to go unacknowledged and the least I can do is write down a few things about it. Continue reading “Book Review // Timekeeper (Timekeeper #1) by Tara Sim”