More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn – Blog Tour Review

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250231642

SYNOPSIS

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell. 

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out of this world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

In More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn’s swooniest book yet, Luke and Vada must decide how deep their feelings run and what it would mean to give love a try.


REVIEW

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If there’s one thing I’ve taken from reading both of Erin Hahn’s stories, it’s that she has THE KNACK, the powerful ability to write swoonworthy romance. Vada and Luke are cute, adorable, awkward, angsty All that good stuff that makes for a great teen romance. I enjoyed both characters together and on their own.

Vada is a confident, spunky teen girl with a path to music journalism that makes me feel so nostalgic because I also wanted to go down that path in high school as well. I even interviewed a music journalist for one of those kind of dumb and awkward as hell “interview a person in a career you want to into things” for school. But I can tell that Vada has the PASSION and that critical lens of a music critic that I appreciated seeing. Although I cannot tolerate Stevie Nicks slander (mostly joking) and some of her own music choices because I can’t help being a pretentious music snob.

And Luke is simply adorable. An introverted Brit who’s dad is a former punk rocker??? I feel like I definitely wrote this character in some of my own stories before because that kind of character is definitely my type.

Th side characters were quite likable. I really enjoyed the story with the Loud Lizard bar owner/Vada’s potential stepdad Phil and the dysfunctional relationship she has with her biological dad Marcus. It was a interesting side story that added some drama but not too much drama to drag down the romance. I was mostly okay with the side characters not having so much dimension since this story isn’t about them but I still wold have liked some characters to have been fleshed out a little more than a few personality traits. If I had to critique that.

Also I have to applaud the absolute power move of referencing characters and songs from your previous book because it was so good 😉

If I had anything else to critique it would maybe be the lack of diverse music choices? This is definitely a ME thing and it doesn’t affect the rating for the book but as far as someone who is interested music journalism I would think listening to an even wider variety of music other rock and sub-genres of that would be beneficial. I can see however since she’s writing for Rolling Stone she’d be more into that genre but I guess this was more focused on classic rock and alternative music which I can’t complain about.

My biggest takeaway is that MUSIC IS EVERYTHING. I’m listening to music as I type this review because of course I am. The passion found throughout the characters, the references, and writing was so fun to see. No matter what kind of music you listen to, who you listen with and where, listening and creating music is such an experience.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ERIN HAHN is the author of You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe. She teaches elementary, would rather be outside and makes a lot of playlists. So many playlists in fact, that she decided to write books to match them! She married her very own YA love interest who she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever
was at their age. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat named Gus who plays fetch and a dog named June who doesn’t.

Author website: https://www.erinphahn.com/
Author Twitter: @erinhahn_author
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17130322.Erin_Hahn
Author Instagram: @erinhahn_author

BLOG TOUR: Mayhem by Estelle Laure – Review

Thanks to the publisher Wednesday Books for giving me the opportunity to review this title via NetGalley.

A YA feminist mash up inspired by The Lost Boys and The Craft.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.

But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.

But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.


a note from the author

Dear Reader,

Like Mayhem, I experienced a period of time when my life
was extremely unstable. I can still remember what it was like to
be shaken so hard I thought my head would come off, to watch
the room vibrate, to feel unsafe in my own home, to never
know what was coming around the next corner. I wanted to
run. I always wanted to run.

I ran to friends, but also movies and books, and although
girls were more passively portrayed in movies like The
Lost Boys back then, that feeling of teenagers prowling the
night, taking out bad people, being unbeatable . . . that got
me through it.

I guess that’s what I tried to do here. I wanted girls who feel
powerless to be able to imagine themselves invincible. And
yes, I used a rape as the seed for that fierce lineage, not without
thought. For me, there is nothing worse, and I like to think
great power can rise up as a result of a devastating trespass.

Please know I took none of this lightly. Writing this now, my
heart is beating hard and my throat is dry. This is the first time
I not only really looked at my own past, the pain of loss, the
pain of the loss of trust that comes when someone puts hands
on you without permission, the pain of people dying, the
shock of suicide, and put all of it to paper in a way that made
me feel victorious, strong, and warrior-like. It is also
terrifying.I know I’m not the only one who had a scary
childhood, and I know I’m not the only one who clings to stories as salve to
smooth over burnt skin. I am so sick of girls and women being
hurt. This was my way of taking my own vengeance and trying
to access forgiveness.

Thank you for reading and for those of you who can relate,
I see you and you are not alone.

Estelle Laure


Review + Thoughts

Before I start talking about what I enjoyed about this book I do want to emphasize that this is a heavy and darker read. I’m placing the content warnings that you can read from the author’s website about MAYHEM at the bottom of this review.

With that being said I thoroughly found this to be an excellent and nuanced exploration of these difficult experiences. I could feel the raw emotion in the writing and the anger coming off the pages. Girls being angry is the kind of thing I like to read about and MAYHEM fits so well into one of my super specific favorite genres, that is feminist revenge stories with magical elements mixed in.

I also love that MAYHEM contains complex, messy, and humanized characters. Troubled, messy, and hurt women such as her mother, Roxy, her Aunt Elle, her grandmother Julianna and Neve. Victims of the patriarchy wanting revenge and justice and peace. This also ties into a secondary plot of the story that revolves around the missing girls in Santa Maria.

This book is not for everyone but I think if you’re able to handle the content and want to read a story like this, you should check it out for yourself.


Content Warnings via Author’s Website

Rape: the Brayburn family’s backstory centers around the matriarch’s rape and explores the ensuing generational trauma and its effects on the women within its lineage. The rape is on the page but is not graphically depicted.

Suicide: a suicide takes place off the page.

Drug use: there is one scene in which multiple adolescents take hallucinogenic mushrooms. There is much use of pills and alcohol by one of the adults in the story as a coping mechanism for chronic pain and trauma.

Serial kidnapping and murder: part of the story centers around an active serial kidnapper and killer. There is also murder depicted throughout, sometimes on the page and sometimes off, including the murder of two of the children’s parents, which takes place in dialogue and is not explicitly on the page.

Child abuse: central to the story is a depiction of violence experienced by a child.

Domestic violence, intimidation, and emotional abuse: also central to the story is long-term domestic violence and its attendant cycle. This is mostly off stage, however there are several scenes of emotional manipulation and intimidation, and one scene that contains stalking and breaking and entering and a physical altercation.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Estelle Laure, the author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back believes in love, magic, and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and she lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her family. Her work is translated widely around the world.

Author’s social handles
o Twitter: @starlaure
o Instagram: @estellelaurebooks

BUY YOUR COPY OF MAYHEM HERE: https://wednesdaybooks.com/galaxies-and-kingdom/mayhem/

Out Now: Queer We Go Again! edited by Saundra Mitchell: Blog Tour Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Out Now: Queer We Go Again!
By Saundra Mitchell
On Sale: May 26, 2020
Inkyard Press
YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Diversity & Multicultural | YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Romance/LGBT
9781335018267; 1335018263
$18.99 USD
 416 pages

about the book

A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom…aliens run from the government…a president’s daughter comes into her own…a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer…a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots
and barbershops…skateboards and VW vans…Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page! This essential and beautifully written modern-day collection features an intersectional and inclusive slate of authors and stories.


As we enter the first week of Pride Month 2020, I recommend those of you that want to start reading LGBTQIAP+ books from queer authors read Out Now, which is in fact OUT NOW. This book contains short stories each with their own unique story set mostly in the modern day such as the first story from Candice Montgomery, Kick. Push. Coast about skateboarding, Julian Winter’s Victory Lap about finding a prom date and being on the swim team. Some with more fantastical and sci-fi elements in them such as Caleb Roehrig’s What Happens in the Closet which features vampires, Tara Sim’s One Spell to Many featuring Bi witches running a bakery and Fox Benwell’s Once Upon a Seastorm about trans selkies.

The diversity is a major plus for this anthology. We see teens that are trans, gay, lesbian, ace, bi, pan, demisexual, questioning, non-binary, Black, Choctaw, fat, Taiwanese, Pakistani, Latinx. It’s a beautiful thing to see so much diversity in not only the main characters of each story but the subtle representation of side or mentioned characters. I appreciated to see not only the stories where the characters are PROUD of who they are but also their struggle with their identities. There’s a big emphasis on romance, but also with friendships and family.

As with most anthologies, not ever story is going to be the perfect match. There were a few stories were a bit more fleshed out than others. Some stories i actually wished were full on novels. But I’m overall just satisfied to see these kind of stories in 2020. We need these stories and these authors to be flourishing.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES

Kick. Push. Coast by Candice Montgomery
What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig
Victory Lap by Julian Winters
Floating by Tanya Boteju
One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim


about the author

Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture deliverer and a layout waxer. She’s dodged trains, endured basic training and hitchhiked from Montana to California. She teaches herself languages, raises children and makes paper for fun. She is the author of Shadowed Summer and The Vespertine series, the upcoming novelization of The Prom musical, and the editor of Defy the Dark. She always picks truth; dare is too easy. Visit her online at http://www.saundramitchell.com.

Social Links:
Author website: wwww.saundramitchell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saundra-Mitchell/164136390442617
Twitter: @saundramitchell
Instagram: @smitchellbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52172088-out-now

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Out-Now-Queer-We-Again/dp/1335018263
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/out-now-saundra-mitchell/1133810272
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335018267
Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Out-Now/Saundra-
Mitchell/9781335018267?id=4861510030088
AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/out-now/id1481649552
Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Saundra_Mitchell_Out_Now?id=0SeyDwAAQBAJ


Thanks for reading!

May 2020 TBR + Goals

May is here and here I am, still making TBRs and goals despite not ever really following through with them. But I’m persistent and stubborn and I want to make them anyways because at least I’m making goals for myself. Even if I never achieve them!

I haven’t blogged in a while because of not only the COVID-19 pandemic and me having to work different hours and being stressed about that, but also because of lack of inspiration and energy for blogging and reading. My mental health over the years has been going through major ups and down, particularity these couple of months of 2020 have been huge down months where I was tired and unmotivated. I have had some terrible days. My struggle with my depression and anxiety is still a work in progress much like this blog and my love for reading. So I just didn’t do anything which made me feel worse but at the same time, I probably needed the break.

But now I’m hoping to get back into this and even If I’m not the best I’m going to do the best I can.

Now let’s transition to the blog stuff, I want to blog hop and comment more. Which is a goal I will always have set for myself. I also want to be productive by writing blog posts ahead of time that way I don’t have to struggle.

I also want to revive my bookish Instagram account. The one I’m barely active on and have only posted 3 things since making it. If anyone wants to give me some ideas on what I could post or some helpful tips let know. Link some blog posts or whatever! I’ll be glad to read anyone’s tips on IG.


TBR

I’m splitting TBR into groups. What I need to read (as in ARCs or books I’ve been given to from giveaways and publishers) and What I want to read (which obviously doesn’t need an explanation) I have plenty of older ARCs I still need to read as well as ARCs that I need to since they are coming out soon and some I’m a part of blog tours. I want to read ARCs so I can actually advocate for future releases and help promote them. Also I just really want to get my NetGalley ratio up so I can request more to read/never read.

Then for the books I want to read, since its Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month I want to read books from Asian & Pacific Islander authors. Then I have Spinning Silver which is a book I started in April, which HI want to finish and then start on Uprooted, because I really enjoy this writer’s work. I also have These Witches Don’t Burn on here because the sequel comes out this month and I want to be on board before I read that. Granted my TBR could change and this isn’t definite.

ARCS TO READ

PHYSICAL/DIGITAL BOOKS I OWN TO READ


Thanks for reading 🙂

My Must-Read 2020 Releases by Black Authors

Hey everyone! I wanted to share some books being released by Black authors this year. Also especially since this is Black History Month and I really want to hype up Black authors coming out with some of my most anticipated books of the year. Add these to your TBR because you don’t want to miss out on these amazing books. I mostly feature young adult but I do have a few adult releases that piqued my interest. Genres range from hit hard hitting contemporaries to

This post was originally going to come out earlier this month but there were many covers revealed. Covers that I think are important to highlight because of the visual representation of Black teens on covers.

YOUNG ADULT

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

ADD TO TBR

Aliens + Music + Demi-Ace Rep = A fantastic sounding book. Also I’ve been waiting for more alien books in YA.

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

ADD TO TBR

BLACK GIRL SIRENS!!! Like I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t think this sounds cool. But it sure fucking is. I’ve been in the mood for fantasy set in the contemporary/modern world and this fits the bill.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

ADD TO TBR

A queer black girl who decides to run for prom queen only to fall for the competition! This sounds fun and the representation sounds amazing. Add this if you want more F/F romance from Black sapphic authors!

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice C. Caldwell

ADD TO TBR

“Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals” This sells this whole anthology for me. I’ve been wanting to read more speculative fiction from black authors and I feel like this is a perfect remedy for that. Also the cover is out of this world.

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

ADD TO TBR

This is a West African inspired fantasy that deals with immortal people, demons, and powers. This is the first in a series and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Also the cover is so gorgeous!

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

ADD TO TBR

We have another West African inspired fantasy. This features one of my favorite romance tropes, enemies to lovers!!!

Now That I Found You by Kristina Forrest

ADD TO TBR

“A YA novel about searching for answers, love, and your eccentric grandma in all the wrong places”. You had me at eccentric grandma! I’m iffy on stories about famous people but this sounds super cute and also I think its important to support cute love stories featuring Black teens because we need to see Black teens in every kind of story.

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

ADD TO TBR

This is a Nigerian inspired fantasy. This one sounds like it has some found family stuff and dark magical stuff. Which are top notch things I like to see.

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

ADD TO TBR

Tiffany D. Jackson is known for writing stories that have twists and darker themes. This one sounds like its tackling an issue that has hit the music industry as of late, that of predatory men. I can’t wait to see what the author will do this difficult topic.

The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters

ADD TO TBR

I LOVE BOOKS ABOUT SUMMER. I LOVE BOOKS ABOUT BOOKSTORES. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this author’s other books and I’m here for any book about a black queer boy. As much as we need stories about hard topics and “issue” books about Black teens, its just as important and necessary to also have contemporaries with low stakes.

Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds

ADD TO TBR

A “smart, funny, and powerful stand-alone YA contemporary novel, with a speculative twist in which Jamal’s best friend is brought back to life after a freak accident . . . but they only have a short time together before he will die again” Speculative contemporary is one of my favorites and this sounds so good. I still haven’t’ read Opposite of Always yet but I really hope to read that one soon.

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

ADD TO TBR

I saw this on Twitter pitched as “Queer Black girls overthrowing the patriarchy” and that alone is enough to sell me on reading this. Fairytale retellings are so common nowadays but I think they’re still worth looking into especially if there is a unique and diverse spin on a classic one such as Cinderella. I like that this is taking a darker fantasy approach.

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

ADD TO TBR

Yay to books about teens voting! Yay to books set on one day. Yay to YA contemporaries by Brandy Colbert. I’ve only read one book by her, Little & Lion, but I instantly fell in love with her writing style. Her stories are very slice of life and that’s my favorite kind of contemporary.

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

ADD TO TBR

While its get to have a plethora of YA about romantic breakups, I think its refreshing to see one about friends breaking up.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

ADD TO TBR

Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut The Poet X gave me chills. It was so powerful and I’ll read anything she writes. This is about two half sisters whose father dies. I adore books that explore complicated family dynamics and I’m excited to see what this talented author does.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

ADD TO TBR

Do you want to read an Arthurian inspired YA story that doesn’t feature another white dude because society has convinced us Arthurian figures need to be white (they don’t because they weren’t REAL PEOPLE lol).? Then I think we should all look into this new YA series featuring Southern Black Girl Magic. I’ve also been following this authors twitter account I love her personality and taste (she’s a Loki fan). I decided to stan once I made that discovery.

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

ADD TO TBR

Through reading books like The Poet X and Blood Water Paint I discovered I really love novels told in verse. “Every Body Looking is a heavily autobiographical novel of a young woman’s struggle to carve a place for herself–for her black female body–in a world of deeply conflicting messages”. I cannot wait for this. Also this is apparently this is the first in a series and I kind of really want contemporary series to be bigger thing.

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

ADD TO TBR

Based off true life events, the Rodney King Riots during 1992 Los Angeles, this is also a coming of age story about a wealthy Black girl and the events that unfold during that period of unrest and injustice . Fun fact this had already been optioned for an adaptation!

ADD TO TBR

I feel like people are going to say that this is a “The Hate U Give” knockoff but I say that we’ll always need stories like this especially with the current state of America. We need to read about about stories about the racial injustices of the past and the ones happening now.

ADULT

ADD TO TBR

2020 is the year of the witches not only in YA but also in adult fiction. This is a dark fantasy about witches of course but also about living in a Puritan society that sounds very cult like (which is always something I’m weirdly interested in).

ADD TO TBR

This is described as part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Both of which explore the darker sides of the patriarchal and whiteness that is Western society. There looks like there will be some body horror as it deals with experimentation on humans.

ADD TO TBR

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing is one of my favorite novels ever and I’ve been waiting so long for another from her. Pretty much an auto-buy author. “Transcendent Kingdom revolves around a young woman named Gifty, now studying to become a neuroscientist, who grapples with faith, salvation, and science after her brother, once the star of his high school basketball team, becomes addicted to opiods”.

ADD TO TBR

I take special interest in debuts novels that sound like an author whose written several books already. This take places during the Civil War in the U.S. and from three POVS; a mother, a daughter, and the daughter of a slave owner. The mother and daughter can heal so there’s a magical element.

ADD TO TBR

Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience” YES TO ALL OF THIS.

ADD TO TBR

This piqued my interest because it sounds similar to Nella Larson’s Passing which is a classic novel that is also about being a white passing black person. This one is about two generations of women. One side who live as Black women. and the other who live as White women.

ADD TO TBR

The synopsis for this is so vague. Ancient evils trying to take over New York City is still such a great premise. I have no clue whether this could be some Lovecraftian/Eldritch horror stuff or Mythology. But I love not knowing what I’m getting into (sometimes). Also NK Jemisin is such a prolific author and I know this is probably going to be amazing.

ADD TO TBR

Atmospheric Gothic mystery about an elite prestigious school? This sounds like it has dark academia vibes and I’m here for it.

ADD TO TBR

I’m not going to lie and say my interest in this book only goes as far as one of the protagonist is the young black babysitter rather than the white mom blogger.This is in fact as like all the books on here own voices and it seem like it will tackle the “whit savior” trope that is found in media about black women. Also if Reese Witherspoon puts her sticker on it there’s probably a good reason.

ADD TO TBR

I’ve seen this hyped recently. I also need to read more from queer black men so I’m up to read this.


Thanks for reading and y’all found some new books for your TBR!

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith – Blog Tour Stop Review

Don’t Read the Comments
Eric Smith
On Sale Date: January 28, 2020
9781335016027, 1335016023
Hardcover
$18.99 USD, $23.99 CAD
Ages 13 And Up
368 pages

SUMMARY

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.


I honestly won’t have too much to say but this book was so delightful and fun!

WHAT I LIKED

  • DIVYA AND AARON – Both of the main characters are truly likable and feel so much like the teen I used to be. Which is super nerdy and trying so hard. I liked that both of their stories centered around these wanting to achieve their dreams but also wanting to support their families because its harder than it looks.
  • Both Divya and Aaron are teens of color (Divya is
  • Divya loves her mom and I do too (love Divya’s mom and my mom that is)
  • I overall just really liked the family element in this story.
  • I also love reading about supportive friendships (my fave being Divya and Rebekah)
  • THE REFERENCES!!! I adored the video game references (shouout to Garrus the Cat!) There’s also references to bookstagram and some popular YA titles! Overall the references were well done, relevant, and not forced.
  • Also shoutout to the author for referencing the very good game Remember Me!!!!
  • Cute romance that isn’t a big focus but it still amused me
  • The conflict between Divya/Aaron and their harassers is well done and important given concern over racism and sexism within the gaming community which is something that needs to be addressed towards teens especially going into these communities and being bullied.
  • The video game itself Reclaim the Sun sounds so cool. It’s this open world sci-fi adventure game. I wish I could play it.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • I can’t play Reclaim the Sun in real life

Anyways that’s my review and if you like video games and want more YA about it, it’s OUT NOW!!!

BUY IT HERE:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Read-Comments-Eric-Smith/dp/1335016023
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dont-read-the-comments-eric-smith/1131303425#/
Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Dont-Read-Comments/Eric-Smith/9781335016027?id=7715580291810
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/don-t-read-the-comments
Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335016027
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Eric_Smith_Don_t_Read_the_Comments?id=Go6PDwAAQBAJ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Smith is an author, prolific book blogger, and literary agent from New Jersey, currently living in Philadelphia. Smith cohosts Book Riot’s newest podcast, HEY YA, with non-fiction YA author Kelly Jensen. He can regularly be found writing for Book Riot’s blog, as well as Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine, and Publishing Crawl. Smith also has a growing Twitter platform of over 40,000 followers (@ericsmithrocks).

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author website: https://www.ericsmithrocks.com/
Twitter: @ericsmithrocks
Instagram: @ericsmithrocks
Facebook: @ericsmithwrites

F is For Friday – January 24 2020 (aka Actually About Last Friday Edition)

How to participate in the meme:
1. Credit the creator of this tag and link back — Nomadic Worlds
2. Answer the four questions to the best of your ability.
3. Most important of all, enjoy yourself!

Questions:
F – Feature your latest book obsession (it doesn’t have to be your current read)
I – Indicate which book/s you are looking forward to reading this weekend.
F – Favorite quote of the week/day
F – Five things you’re happy or grateful for this week.


It’s been A LONG TIME since I’ve last participated in this meme and I’m excited to get back into it. However today’s edition will be a little different since I’ll technically be recapping last week since this week I haven’t read ANYTHING. I’ve been basically working and sleeping. I had one planned for the previous week anyways but I never got around to typing it up. So I’m here to make up for that.

F – Feature your latest book obsession

BOOK JOURNALS / READING JOURNALS!!!

So I decided to start one for this year to help keep track of books I read as well as for my blog. I’ve been looking up various BookTubers and other book bloggers who journal as part of their reading/blogging/writing and I love seeing how creative everyone is! It’s really inspiring. I hope to make a post one day to highlight some of y’all’s creativity and also maybe show off my journal one day.

I – Indicate which book/s you are looking forward to reading this weekend

This will be the only answer to actually change from what I had last week but I’m hoping to finish my arc of Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith as well as The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

F – Favorite quote of the week/day

Last week and the week before I read, The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum and Tweet Cute by Emma Lord so I thought I’d share two quotes from each book that I like.

“It’s weird, how you have no idea how far you’ve come until suddenly you can’t find the way back.”

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

“Fighting for yourself is another way of loving yourself.”

The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

F – Five things I’m happy or grateful for this week

  1. My job (sometimes) but mostly the money I get from it
  2. My family
  3. My pets
  4. Internet
  5. Audiobooks

That’s this week/last week’s edition stay tuned for more on some other Friday!!! Thanks for reading 🙂

January 2020 TBR

TBRs are hard for me. I like them but they are difficult for me to follow through with. Mostly because I’m a mood reader but also I lack motivation to follow through with a strict reading list.

But in 2020 I’m still on my bullshit and doing TBRs anyways until I can at least finish one.


THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA BY JULIA DRAKE

This is a YA contemporary romance that deals with mental illness, has a sapphic romance, and is a Twelfth Night inspired story set in a small Maine town called Lyric. Sounds like a whimsical start to 2020.

THE WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY BY KATHERINE ARDEN

The Bear and the Nightingale
The Girl in the Tower
The Winter of the Witch

A trilogy I’ve been DYING to read and I’ve actually picked these from my library so many times but I’ve never started reading them. Maybe its because they seem intimidating. But with all the greatness I’ve heard about this series and now that it’s winter (here in the States) I think its time for this.

THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS BY K. ANCRUM
Dragons & Tea Book Club pick for January

As linked above, this is the Dragons & Tea Book Club pick for January. If you’re interested in joining a diverse book club, you should consider joining the Dragons & Tea Book Club.

I read K. Ancrum’s The Wicker King last year thanks to this very same book club and I can’t wait to read this one. This one is space-y, slow burn sapphic romance, and K. Acrum’s writing is gorgeous.

CONTENT AND TRIGGER WARNINGS: alcohol and drug use, mention of parental death, mild violence, mention of suicide, mention of homophobia (challenged)

TWEET CUTE BY EMMA LORD

I’m going to be a part of the blog tour for this one and its sounds cute. From what I’ve read on the synopsis this is a rom-com style about two teens who run social media accounts for their respective restaurants and have an online Twitter rivalry and maybe…love??? I can’t wait to see what’s in store when I read this one.

DON’T READ THE COMMENTS BY ERIC SMITH

Another book I’ve received as an ARC for an upcoming blog tour! This one has been on my anticipated list for a while. It’s about video games and it sounds nerdy, fun and also relevant to issues that especially POC, LBTQA+, and women face in gaming community.

I KILLED ZOE SPANOS BY KIT FRICK

I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC from the publisher but also a murder-mystery that is inspired by Rebecca du Maurier’s Rebecca and also has been described as similar to Courtney Summers’ Sadie, a favorite of mine.


Let me know if you’ve read any of these yet and what’s on your TBR! Feel free to link your TBRs below. Happy reading 🙂