The Book Blogger Test | Tags & Misc.

The Book Blogger Test

Hey Bookworms!

Today I thought it would be fun to do a tag, but not tag anyone. Basically I just wanted to do something fun without the hassle of going through my follows and tagging others to do it as well. So if this interested you, then by all means and give it a try!

It all started at Laura from Laura’s Book Reviews!


The rules:

You must answer all of these questions truthfully and once you’ve completed this tag, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer the questions next.


What are your top three book pet hates?

  • Cover changes after I bought the first book!
  • Bending page corners to mark place in book.
  • Being talked to while I’m trying to read. Can’t y’all see the book in my face?

Describe your perfect reading spot.

Man I wish I had a cool reading corner/room/nook because that would be the most ideal reading spot. Sadly, I have either my bed or the rocking chair in the living room.

Tell us three book confessions.

  • I only just got a library card for the first time last month. (I’m 25 years old)
  • I go into book stores just to smell and flip through the books.
  • I reorganize my book shelves every month.

When was the last time you cried at a book?

Hmm… I don’t think I’ve cried while reading a book. I have come super close though.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The 5 Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

How many books are on your bedside table?

Five… yeah. I’m a book polygamist.

What is your favorite snack whist you’re reading?

I can’t eat and read at the same time. I find it too distracting and I don’t want to dirty the pages. So I will just brew some tea or have water/juice with me.

Name three books you’d recommend to everyone.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase.

I am way too lazy to snap a picture of my shelf, and they are overcrowded and messy at the moment. But here is a picture of someone else’s beautiful shelf!

Beautiful Book shelf

Write how much books mean to you in 3 words.

Couldn’t live without.

What’s your biggest reading secret?

I secretly love audio books. Why is this a secret? Because I used to trash them and say how horrible they are and how hard it is to focus while listening to them.

I was wrong.


Well there you have it, The Book Blogger Test! Like I said above if you guys want to do this too, by all means. I tag EVERYBODY!

Until next time,

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Top Spring 2017 Reads!

Top 2017 Spring Reads

Hey bookworms!

Spring has sprung and as quickly as it has come, it is unfortunately coming to a swift end. But on the bright side the weather will continue to warm up and it will be summer in no time!

Spring is a time for renewal and growth. Out with the old and in with the new! Same rules apply to books of course. Over the last three months I had the opportunity to read some awesome books that I wanted to highlight for you all today.

Let’s go into summer with our heads high, shades on, and splash into the deep ends of some more awesome books to come!


At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

At the Edge of the UniverseTommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.

More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.

Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.

When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.

But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • LGBT+ character representations
  • Metaphorical symbolism
  • Beautiful/real/raw writing

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing GirlsIt’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Wicked cool concept.
  • Has you guessing until the end.
  • Twists and turns around every corner!

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

The Love InterestThere is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Exciting story concept.
  • LGBT+ character representation.
  • Pokes fun at the YA contemporary genre.

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Spindle FireA kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Unique Sleeping Beauty retelling.
  • Strong lead heroines.
  • Fantastic world building.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the DreamerThe dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Out of this world concept!
  • Amazing visual storytelling.
  • Captivating writing.

Well there you have it, my Top Spring Reads of 2017! Let me know what books you really enjoyed this Winter or if you read any of the ones I’ve listed here.

Until next time,

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Here I Am, Back from Paris (and Other Countries/Cities)

Hey guys!

Today marks the day that I am officially back in Toronto after a long three week vacation back packing trip through Europe! Over those three weeks I was able to visit seven countries and ten cities. It’s suffice to say that I am exhausted and glad to be back to a regular routine.

The hardest part about being back is now I have to play catch up. I have blog posts to write, reviews to write, and more books and ARC’s to read. It’s going to be hectic over the next little while, but I’m going to try my best to get things done!

Bear with me for a little while guys!

Until next time,

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Introducing My New Guest Blogger: Nicole!

Guest-Blogger

Hey guys!

I hope your weekends are going well and you’re having a great time doing what you’re doing! I wanted to take this time to introduce to you guys a new guest blogger that I will be having on my blog for a permanent basis from now on.

She is none other than my big sister, Nicole! Just like me she is an avid reader that loves the mystery/thriller genre as well as historical fiction. From now on, Nicole will be posting reviews on the ARC’s and books that she’s reading. I’m hoping this will broaden my genre reach as I typically review books in the YA/Fantasy genres.

So if you enjoy adult fiction in the mystery/thriller/historical genres, then stay tuned for some awesome reviews to come your way!

Without further ado, here is my sister:

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NicoleMy name is Nicole Marques!

I am married to Richard, who is the love of my life, and I am a mother to two beautiful children, Gabriel and Emily. Without these three-amazing people in my life, I would have lost the battle a long time ago. We are currently living back in our hometown Toronto, Ontario after living two short years in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I love watching home renovations shows – I’m actually addicted! I enjoy watching TV in general, shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Blue Bloods, This Is Us, Two Broke Girls. And yes, I have some guilty pleasures, Talk Shows, all of them! OH! And who doesn’t watch Say Yes to The Dress?! GUILTY!

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag #2

unpopular-opinions-tag

Hey guys!

I’ve done this tag on my old blog 2 years ago and I thought that since the time has passed,and my opinions have changed I could do another one.

I was not tagged by anyone to do this. I just thought it would be fun to revisit it!


 1. A popular book or series you didn’t like.

I read the first book and it passed. Then the second book came and it flopped so hard I will not be continuing with the series.

2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love.

The Cruelty

It’s not so much that people don’t like this book, it’s that they didn’t like the author. In his first interview after he sold his book he decided to trash the genre that he is writing. Not a good move. But it was a good book!

3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn people for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.

HP and the Deathly Hollows

You all know who should have ended up with who…

4. A popular genre that you hardly reach for.

Contemporary

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

Sorry Chaol fans. He just missed his mark on this one!

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

Victoria Aveyard

As I said above. The first book was decent. Then the author messed up with the second book and so on… girl bye.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing.

The chosen one trope is getting pretty annoying if I’m going to be honest. Why can’t someone be average or normal and still be able to save the day?

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

I can’t even remember what the names of the first two books are… HA.

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Riverdale

Does Riverdale count? It’s not that I don’t like the comics this show originated from… it’s just I love the direction the show is taking!


Well there you have it! My unpopular opinions. Sorry if you disagree, but that’s just me. If any of you want to do the tag, by all means. I would love to hear your unpopular opinions too!

I TAG YOU

Emma | Olivia | Flo | Maria | Lois | Deanna

AND EVERYONE ELSE!

Until next time,

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Diverse Books TBR 2017

diverse-books-2017

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to bring to your attention some of the diverse books that are on my radar and the ones I am looking forward to reading the most. I hope I chose a good variety; touching across genres.

Of course there are some that I may have missed. So with your help I would love to here about them in the comments below, or you can tweet them to me! I hope you enjoy my list! I’ve linked them to their GoodReads, Amazon, and Indigo sites where applicable.


FANTASY / SCI-FI

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Buried HeartThe explosive finale to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s captivating, New York Times bestselling young adult series

In this third book in the epic Court of Fives series, Jessamy is the crux of a revolution forged by the Commoner class hoping to overthrow their longtime Patron overlords. But enemies from foreign lands have attacked the kingdom, and Jes must find a way to unite the Commoners and Patrons to defend their home and all the people she loves. Will her status as a prominent champion athlete be enough to bring together those who have despised one another since long before her birth? Will she be able to keep her family out of the clutches of the evil Lord Gargaron? And will her relationship with Prince Kalliarkos remain strong when they find themselves on opposite sides of a war? Find all the answers in this beautifully written and exciting conclusion to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s debut New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy!

Reasons:

  • All characters are POC
  • LGBTQ+ character

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Flame in the MistThe daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters / Set in Feudal Japan
  • POC author

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

A Crown of WishesGauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Before She IgnitesBefore

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Forest of a Thousand LanternsEighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters / East Asian Inspired
  • POC author

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

The Library of FatesNo one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Reasons:

  • POC main characters / Indian Folklore Inspired
  • POC author

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Even the Darkest StarsSet in a fictional Himalayan kingdom, this is the story of a girl enlisted by a legendary explorer to help him climb the kingdom’s deadliest mountain – only to discover that his true mission may threaten her whole world.

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer every known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means cimbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters

Warcross by Marie Lu

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

WarcrossFor the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Empress of a Thousand SkiesCROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA’AN WANTS VENGEANCE.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

CONTEMPORARY

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

The Hate U GiveSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

When Dimple Met RishiDimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

They Both Die at the EndIn the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, this tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut the New York Times called “profound,” reminds us that there’s no life without death, no love without loss—and that it’s possible to change your whole world in a day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news is: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—an unforgettable day that will change both their lives forever.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • LGBTQ+ characters

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

I Believe in a Thing Called LoveDesi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life.

She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Ramona Blue By Julie Murphy

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Ramona BlueRamona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

Reasons:

  • LGBTQ+ Characters

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

American StreetOn the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Dear MartinJustyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In that media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

The Education of Margot SanchezTHINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

starfishKiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

It's Not Like It's a SecretSixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author
  • LGBTQ+ characters

Well there you have it. Let me know if you guys are looking forward to any the titles I’ve listed or suggest to me some of titles I may have missed. Hope you enjoyed yourself!

Until next time,

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Top Winter 2017 Reads!

Top 2017 Winter Reads

Hey guys!

We can all come out of our caves soon as winter will be ending in a few short weeks. I’ll pause here and let you all cheer! I don’t know about you guys, but I quite like winter to be honest. It might be the Canadian blood running through my veins, but I don’t find it harsh or oppressive in any way. The snow is romantic and beautiful to watch fall, skating is a fun activity, and not to forgot skiing! Who else likes to curl up with a book on the couch with some hot cocoa or tea?

But let’s make way for my favorite season and new arrivals! Spring is coming~ To end this winter I wanted to show you guys the best books I read over those cold months!


Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

Crystal StormThe ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Best series for: love, betrayal, breaking alliances, war, and magic.
  • One step closer to the final battle/conclusion.
  • Oh the poor characters are always getting themselves into trouble!

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine

The Cursed QueenAnsa has always been a fighter.

As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.

Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.

With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • LGBTQ+ characters.
  • Beautiful writing and storytelling.
  • Strong willed heroine.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U GiveSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • #OwnVoices
  • Tackles current issues that are occurring in present day.
  • Amazing story, beautiful writing, real characters.

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frost BloodThe frost king will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Amazing and cool mythology!
  • Brooding prince-type character.
  • Fantastic world building.

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

The Wish GranterThe world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Sinister villain.
  • Amazing visual storytelling.
  • Connectable characters.

Well there you have it, my Top Winter Reads of 2017! Let me know what books you really enjoyed this Winter or if you read any of the ones I’ve listed here.

Until next time,

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