Author: KayLynn Flanders Series: Shielded #2 (click here for my review of book 1) Publication date: July 20, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy
Hello, friends! Here we are with another blog tour for the lovely folks at TBR and Beyond Tours! Today’s book: Untethered by KayLynn Flanders, the sequel to Shielded, which was one of those “this is quite good, why is nobody reading it?” kind of books from last year. While Shielded followed the princess Jennesara, this sequel follow’s Jenna’s brother, as well as another kingdom’s princess whom Jenna befriended in book 1. These new main characters are quite different from Jenna, but they are no less lovable, and the back-and-forth of their dual-perspective narration lends a new dynamic to the story. With rogue mages, secret journeys, court intrigue, assassination attempts, and more, this is certainly a worthwhile follow-up. Stick with this post to the end for information on how you can win a copy of this book for yourself, too!
Author: Elizabeth Lim Publication date: July 6, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 5/5 stars
Six Crimson Cranes was one of my most-anticipated reads of this year–and, I am pleased to report, it exceeded my expectations. Taking the bones of Western fairytales (especially “The Wild Swans”) and reshaping them in an Asian-inspired world brimming with its own unique mythologies, Elizabeth Lim has created a tale that feels at once classic and wholly original. Read through for my review, info on the author, and some quotes from the book, as well as my latest Bookstagram post about this beauty!
Author: Sheena Boekweg Publication date: June 1, 2021 Genre: YA historical fiction My rating: 4/5 stars
Take everything you knew about the 1920s, add in a secret network of women who manipulate the men in power to achieve social change, make it a little bit queer, write it with so many highlight-able lines, and you have…something pretty darn close to this book. The best way I can describe this book is that it is exactly what it is pitched as, and simultaneously way more than I expected. With strong female friendships, body positivity, ace and trans rep, and plenty of badass women (fighting with words and manipulation mostly, but still capable of fighting!), this was a seriously cool book.
Author: Destiny Soria Publication date: June 8, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
It seems like dragon books are making a comeback, and folks, I am here. for. it. Fire with Fire blends a contemporary setting in rural Tennessee (complete with usual teenage relationship difficulties) with a hidden world of dragons and sorcerers. With strong themes of sisterhood, loyalty, and defining yourself, this was a captivating read with a pair of compelling protagonists. In this post, you’ll find a review, some quality quotes, and–you guessed it–a giveaway for a copy of your own. Let’s go!
Author: Naomi Kritzer Series: CatNet (#2 ) (check out my review of #1) Publication date: April 27, 2021 Genre: YA contemporary sci-fi
I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for this book, the follow-up to Catfishing on CatNet, which was one of my surprise favorites of last year. This is a series full of queer goodness, quirky AI, and themes that are darkly and disturbingly close to the reality we’ve all been living in the past couple years. Due to a combination of final exams and some assorted technical difficulties, I’m not quite done with this bad boy yet, but so far, so great, and I have high hopes for the ending. Stay tuned for a little more on the book and a chance to win a copy for yourself!
Author: Marina Lostetter Publication date: April 13, 2021 Genre: fantasy My rating: 5/5 stars
Magic masks. A serial killer. Political intrigue. Mysterious gods. Folks, this is my favorite fantasy novel I’ve read this year–a deliciously dark tale with intricate worldbuilding, memorable (and diverse!) characters, and a nuanced portrayal of the impacts of trauma on the human psyche. I’m so grateful to Jean Book Nerd for having me as a host on this tour. Stick around for my review, more info on the book, and a giveaway you don’t want to miss!
Author: Robbie Couch Publication date: April 6, 2021 Genre: YA contemporary My rating: 3/5 stars
Cute, diverse, and full of both the best and the worst of small-town life, The Sky Blues is an ode to friendship, young love, and the importance of being yourself. While I wouldn’t call it a perfect read, it is a fast, fun read that will certainly appeal to younger YA fans, especially fans of “leaked romantic feelings” stories like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Stick with this post past the review, and you’ll find info on how you could win a copy of this book for yourself!
In light of recent events in the US–namely, the shootings in Atlanta last week that resulted in the deaths of eight people, including six Asian American women–I want to make it unequivocally clear that I support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. There are many ways to show support, from monetary donations to attending marches, but for those of us who are readers, I wanted to also give some titles of books by Asian and Asian American authors, across a wide range of genres. The publishing industry has a history of failing authors of color, and that includes authors of Asian descent. Buying and reading their books sends a message to publishers that readers value these stories, and that these stories are important to tell. Of course, we should be reading diversely all the time, but if you find that Asian authors are not well-represented in your reading…well, this is a great place to start.
I’m breaking this post out by listing a book for each genre, along with its author’s racial/ethnic identity. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I’ll admit, there are some great titles that I left off mostly for space purposes–but each title on this list is one that I have read and wholeheartedly recommend. Also, the authors’ identities I have listed are what I could find from their website bios; if any of my information is inaccurate, please let me know so I can correct it.
As an additional note: if you are planning to purchase any of these titles, please consider buying them from an Asian American-owned bookstore. For a list of options, check out thisLIST from Libro.fm.
Author: Adrienne Tooley Publication date: March 9, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
Today is my stop on TBR and Beyond’s blog tour for Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley, a debut fantasy full of darkness, witchy magic, love bargains, and two girls who are polar opposites learning to work with each other to save their world–and fall for each other in the process. Read on for a brief review and some of my favorite quotes from this lovely slow-burn!
Author: Jessica S. Olson Publication date: March 9, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy, romance, retelling My rating: 4/5 stars
Phantom of the Opera phans, rejoice–this is the gender-swapped Phantom retelling we’ve all been waiting for. Dark, luscious, and full of twisted magic, this story offers a fresh twist on the musical (and novel) you know and love. It takes out the love triangle, adds in a magic system rooted in the buying and selling of memory, and doesn’t shy away from the tricky blend of monstrousness and humanity that is the Opera Ghost. In other words, it tells a new tale while maintaining the best parts of the original. The end result is magical–music to my ears, if you’ll pardon the pun.