Aces Wild – review

Author: Amanda DeWitt
Publication date: September 13, 2022
Genre: YA contemporary
My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Okay, so. The blurb on this one had me 100% sold–a heist in the vein of Six of Crows featuring an all-asexual cast? You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect intersection of my interests. The thing is, this marketing tactic really did the book a disservice. This is not like Six of Crows, minus perhaps the found family element and some teens engaging in illegal activity. It was a fun read, and the ace rep was wonderful, but I’ll admit, I felt rather let down. Were it not for my extreme soft spot for good ace rep, this would likely have been a lower rating. Read on for a better breakdown of my thoughts!

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Belladonna – ARC review

Author: Adalyn Grace
Publication date: August 30, 2022
Genre: Gothic YA fantasy/romance
My rating: 3.5/5 stars

A murder mystery featuring Gothic vibes and a romance with Death himself. A beautiful cover (seriously, look up what is under the dust jacket on the US versions of this one). An author with an impressive resume (including a stint interning on The Legend of Korra). This book is perfect in theory. And while it certainly delivered on all the vibes and atmosphere, I must confess that the book as a whole was just…okay. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t live* up to its full potential.

*pun about living (since this book deals with death so much) was not intentional, but now that I’ve noticed, I have to leave it in.

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The Dragon’s Promise – blog tour

Author: Elizabeth Lim
Series: Six Crimson Cranes (#2) (review of #1 available here)
Publication date: August 30, 2022
Genre: YA fantasy

After absolutely loving Six Crimson Cranes last year–it was in my top 10 reads of the 2021–I was beyond thrilled to be chosen as part of the blog and Bookstagram tour for the sequel. I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet–back-to-school season caught up with me–but I am so excited for it! My pre-ordered copy from my local indie is currently staring at me from my living room table, begging me to pick it up, so…that will definitely happen soon. In the meantime, here’s some info on the book for you, dear reader:

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Violet Made of Thorns – blog tour (ARC review + awesome quotes!)

Author: Gina Chen
Series: Violet Made of Thorns duology (#1)
Publication date: July 26, 2022
Genre: YA fantasy
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Fantasy politics. Morally questionable main character. Lies and prophecies and the blurry lines between the two. The girl who wants to kill Prince Charming instead of flirt with him. Enemies-to-lovers romance. Have I convinced you yet? Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen was one of my most-anticipated books of 2022, and reader, it delivered. This is the sort of debut that makes me incredibly excited about this author’s future works (and has me chomping at the bit for the sequel!). Read on for my review of this riveting title, along with a (somewhat lengthy) list of quotes I loved from it.

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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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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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Game On – blog tour (diverse short stories and more!)

Edited by: Laura Silverman
Publication date: January 18, 2022
Genre: YA anthology, short stories

Hello, friends! It’s ya girl, back at it again with another blog tour–this time for a diverse YA anthology that is all about games, from board games to sports to video games and more. If you’ve ever gotten a little too competitive, or if you’ve ever felt a deep and abiding love for your game of choice, this book is for you. I can’t wait to read it (seriously, it has some real rockstar authors on that lineup), but in the meantime, check out this post and the rest of the stops on this tour for more info on this book!

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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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