Not Good for Maidens – blog tour (review, quotes, and ace rep!)

Author: Tori Bovalino
Publication date: June 21, 2022
Genre: YA fantasy horror
My rating: 4/5 stars

A modern take on the Goblin Market fairytale. Queer rep galore. Themes of belonging, family, duty, bonds, and bargains. Old English villages. Witches. Creepy-as-heck body horror. You’ll find it all in Not Good for Maidens, a dark YA fantasy full of bargains gone wrong, temptations too strong, and yearning to belong, unfolding over two timelines and two continents.. Read on for more of my thoughts, including some favorite quotes of mine from the book!

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Game of Strength and Storm – blog tour

Author: Rachel Menard
Publication date: June 7, 2022
Genre: YA fantasy

Look, I may not have had time to read this one yet (if you knew how many hours I have spent on editing school- and work-related things this past week, you’d see why), but I am quite excited for when I do get the chance. I mean, come on–it is a gender-bent retelling of the labors of Hercules, featuring badass girls and cool magic. Plus, it has sapphic and demisexual characters (perfect for Pride month!), as well as anxiety rep. I’m tremendously looking forward to it. In the meantime, perhaps my posting here will encourage you to give this one a look as well. Read on for a synopsis and more info on the book!

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The Words We Keep – blog tour (ARC review + quotes + mental health rep)

Author: Erin Stewart
Publication date: March 15, 2022
Genre: YA contemporary
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

By turns painfully real and softly hopeful, The Words We Keep is a striking exploration of the effects of mental illness not just on an individual, but on an entire family. It addresses the pervasiveness of mental health struggles across all types of individuals–social butterflies, high-achieving academic types, and nonconformist artists. And it does so through the eyes of anxious girl doing her best not to come unraveled even as her world seems to be falling apart around her. I couldn’t get over how much this story resonated with my own memories of high school and college–through those years of my life, so much of this main character’s experience could have been my own–and I sincerely hope this book is picked up by students working their way through high school today, as the stakes and anxieties have only gotten higher the past few years. Read on for a full review, as well as some quotes from this book that I really appreciated.

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Sundial – blog tour (feat. giveaway!)

Author: Catriona Ward
Publication date: March 1, 2022
Genre: horror

As some of you may recall (at least those of you who follow me on other platforms–I’ll admit, I’ve been slacking somewhat on this blog, though my Bookstagram and Goodreads are far more lively), The Last House on Needless Street was one of my favorite books of 2021. With its creepy atmosphere, shocking twists, and psychological complexity, I was completely hooked–so, of course, when I heard that the author had a new book coming this year, I had to read it and promote it as widely as possible. School has been absolutely destroying me lately, so this is just a promo post, but it does have a giveaway at the end, and more info on what is sure to be a chilling, mind-bending read. Stay tuned for a review from me in the very near future, too–I just started the book, and I’m already hooked!

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All the Right Reasons – blog tour (ARC review + EDS rep!)

Author: Bethany Mangle
Publication date: February 15, 2022
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: 4/5 stars

Fans of Gilmore Girls, this book was basically made for you. A story of a single mother and her daughter, both struggling to find love, propelled by hefty doses of sarcasm and coffee, this is a great read if you’re looking for something sweet, fast, and fun. And, more importantly, it has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome representation! Read on for more about the book and my thoughts on it.

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Daughter of the Moon Goddess – blog tour (ARC review + quotes!)

Author: Sue Lynn Tan
Publication date: January 11, 2021
Genre: fantasy, mythology, YA retelling
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Come for the gorgeous cover and Chinese mythology; stay for the gorgeous writing and epic scope. This book has been on my radar since it was first announced, so naturally, I was thrilled when Turn the Page Tours presented me with the opportunity to read it for their blog tour! This book is romantic, heartbreaking, and beautiful, with lush details and a strong heroine who grows from naivete into her own person. Read on for my review, as well as a sampling of some lovely quotes from the book.

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Ace Reads 2: Electric Boogaloo (10 more books with asexual representation!)

Hello, friends! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything on here that is actually from me, as opposed to a review or tour. But with 2022 officially underway, I wanted to do a brief recap of some of my 2021 reading. Apparently, my list of all the ace books I’ve read so far got super popular near the end of last year (if anyone knows how/why it took off, please let me know, because I’m as surprised as you). This past year, I read ten more books with asexual representation, and so, staying true to the format of that old post, I wanted to share those with you as well!

Obligatory disclaimer: while I am ace (and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum–labels are confusing, man), and therefore am an OwnVoices reviewer for this type of content, the ace experience is not a monolith. I try to keep my assessments of these books as objective as possible, but in my final “notes” on each of them (especially on the quality of representation), I’m purely expressing my own opinion. If you felt differently about any of them, feel free to comment and let me know!

On a related note, part of my reading goal for 2022 is to read at least 15 books with ace representation (for any and all ace spectrum identities, including demi, gray-ace, and so on). If you have any I haven’t read yet and want to suggest some for me, I’m always looking for more.

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Blood, Fire & Mercy – blog tour

Author: Christina Davis
Series: Da’Valia Trilogy (#2)
Publication date: November 10, 2021
Genre: YA fantasy

Hello friends! It’s ya girl, back at it again with another blog tour, this time for Blood, Fire & Mercy by Christina Davis! I’m so happy to be helping the team at TBR and Beyond Tours to promote this indie title. While I haven’t yet had a chance to crack it open yet–gotta love the stress of finals season, right?–it sounds absolutely amazing, featuring some of my favorite things, including a thief-girl main character, dragons, betrayals, and revenge. Several of my friends read and loved the first book in this series, and I’m looking forward to getting to join their love of it soon as well. Now, read on for some more about the book and the author!

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Our Violent Ends – blog tour (ARC review + giveaway!!)

Tour banner reading:
Turn the Page Tours presents Our Violent Ends by New York Times bestselling author Chloe Gong
Blog Tour | Nov. 8th-12th
Depicting the cover of the book, against a fiery background.

Author: Chloe Gong
Series: These Violent Delights (#2)
Publication date: November 16, 2021
Genre: YA historical fantasy/retelling, romance
My rating: 4/5

Crackling with tension and filled with (surprise, surprise) violence, Our Violent Ends is a deliciously dark* conclusion to the These Violent Delights duology. The first book in the series smashed onto the YA scene with much fanfare, a loose retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in Shanghai in the 1920’s, substituting rival gangs for feuding houses and adding a mysterious, monstrous illness. (Also, the author was literally still in undergrad when she published it, so uh…what am I doing with my life???) In this second installment, the stakes–both personal and political–are higher than ever, and the result is an action-packed, emotional whirlwind.

*I feel obligated to point out that this exact phrase, “deliciously dark,” was also used by Natasha Ngan in describing this book. I wrote this intro before looking at her quote in the official blurb. So…if two independent minds both came up with those words, you can pretty reasonably assume it’s a valid assessment.

Like most tour posts, I’ve got a review for you, a smattering of excellent quotes from the book, and, if you stick around until the end, a giveaway that you can enter to win a copy of both books in the duology for yourself! Let’s get started.

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Untethered – blog tour (including a giveaway!)

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!

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