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Showing posts from 2021

Blog Tour Stop: Like Home by Louisa Onomé

  Today, I want to shine the spotlight on Like Home by Louisa Onomé, which came out this week. That means you don't even have to wait to pick up a copy of your very own. Thank you to Turn the Pages Tours and Penguin/Delacorte Press for arranging this. So let's get into what this latest YA is all about! Synopsis: Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil. Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good. Only, Kate’s parents’ corne

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le: YA Book Review

  A Pho Love Story  by Loan Le Overview: Cue up "Love Story (Taylor's Version)" because this book centers around a Romeo + Juliet like relationship- only this time the feud is based in rival pho restaurants across the street from one another. When Bao and Linh have a chance encounter, they start realizing the child of the "enemy" is actually... nice? As they get to know each other better, Bad finds a passion for the first time through writing and Linh gains confidence in her art. They bond over their shared life experience, both having Vietnamese parents who ran parallel restaurants. Over time, they unearth the painful past the feud is built upon, and both families have to reckon with the past to move on in the present. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 In the book, Linh and Bao are both POV characters in the book. Bao is clearly so kind hearted from the beginning. He's very empathetic and careful. He starts the book feeling quite lost. He doesn't know what he wa

Into YA with Rachel Lynn Solomon

Pardon me while I go fangirl for a moment. You'd think I'd get used to talking to my favorite authors after so many years, but of course, that never happens. That is especially true today as I'm taking to Rachel Lynn Solomon, brilliant author and nicest human. Rachel has been one of my favorite authors almost as long as I've been a blogger. Her first book came out about 7 months after I first started my blog, and almost four years later, I finally get to chat with her. I can't believe this didn't happen sooner, but I think I was always intimidated.  There's a lot to cover in this quick chat, so Rachel and I talk about keeping up with writing on a quick release schedule, wading into the romance world with The Ex Talk , working in public radio, plotting Today, Tonight Tomorrow , and what's next (luckily, there's quite a bit coming soon). I hope you enjoy our conversation.   1. You’ve been releasing books steadily since your debut in 2018, and this year

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas: YA Book Review

Concrete Rose  by Angie Thomas Overview: Maverick Carter is stuck in a big mess. Or two different big messes considering he's close to having two kids at 17. Maverick starts the book finding out he's actually the father of a baby with a girl he can't stand. To make matters worse, she gives him the baby and disappears after finding out he's the real father. Navigating school, his relationship with his girlfriend, Lisa, his new baby, and the politics of the gang he's in makes for a chaotic life. Maverick feels like the rug just keeps getting pulled out from under him, and he has to decide how he's going to cope with oncoming adulthood with far more responsibility than his classmates. Overall: 3.5  Characters: 3 I didn't feel like the character development here was as stellar as Angie's past books. Her last two were five star reads for me, and I was immediately immersed in them. This time, I struggled even though I already knew a little bit about who these

As Far As You'll Take Me by Phil Stamper: YA Book Review

  As Far As You'll Take Me  by Phil Stamper TWs: disordered eating Overview: Marty is escaping Kentucky on a lie. Thanks to his dual citizenship, he's off to London to try to get a gig playing oboe in an orchestra an ocean away from his homophobic, mega church going parents. They think he's at a prestigious music school when in reality, he's just running around the city with his cousin Shane. He does make tons of friends and even has his first romantic relationship. In London, Marty gets to remake himself, even if his first attempts take him farther from the person he wants to be. Overall: 5 Characters: 5  These character dynamics are some of the most realistic I've ever seen in YA book. And I've read a lot of YA books. Marty can't wait to get away from his parents, but he also misses them when he's away. He feels guilty even though he wasn't in a healthy environment. He misses his best friend even though he's starting to see her constant put-dow

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon: Romance Review

  The Ex Talk  by Rachel Lynn Solomon Overview: Shay Goldstein was born to be on public radio. She used to pretend to host a radio show with her dad when she was a little kid, and she was crushed when he passed away. Now that she's getting ready for her first hosting gig, Shay feels like she's making him proud. Well... mostly proud. He always loved the truth that radio brought out and her new show is built on a little white lie- the idea that she used to date her co-host Dominic Yun. Though they bicker like exes, they never actually dated (though they might be currently?). As the popularity of the show takes off, all of Shay's dreams are coming true, and she might actually have found her dream guy too. And then everything falls apart. But it's a romance, so I think we all know how this ends. Overall: 5 Perfect for: enemies to lovers fans  Characters: 5 I love Shay and Dominic and their show producer, Ruthie. They're all just great. Shay is super relatable. She's

First Virtual Book Event: Seeing Jen Yen & Gloria Chao at Blue Willow Books

When I used to live in Houston, I went to a handful of book events at Blue Willow Bookstore. Before their YA events, my grandma used to take me to their American Girl events, which I absolutely adored. In the last few years since I moved to a very small town, I rarely got to attend a book event. Even though bookstores have been putting on virtual book events for almost a year now, I'd never taken advantage of it. I wasn't sure what they would be like, so I simply avoided it. Tuesday night, I was scrolling through Twitter and found out Jen Yen and Gloria Chao would be (virtually) at Blue Willow for Jen's book launch in about an hour, and I impulsively signed up to go, even though more Zoom is never high on my agenda. Gloria is one of my all time favorite YA authors and Jen has one of my most anticipated 2021 YA books that my grandma just happened to get me from Blue Willow. I figured it must be fate. I wasn't sure what to expect at all, and it was unlike any Zoom session

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman: YA Book Review

  I Was Born For This  by Alice Oseman  Overview: Ever wonder what it would be like to meet your favorite member of your favorite band while he's having a massive anxiety attack in a bathroom? Angel knows exactly what that niche experience is like. Angel's whole life has been leading up to this point because by the time she met Jimmy in the bathroom, she already knew everything about him (or so she thought) from running her stan account @jimmysangel). His band, The Ark, is her whole life. Before she gets to Jimmy, though, she meets her internet friend, Juliet, in real life for the first time and has to figure out how much of her IRL life to shove aside for a band and a fandom. Overall: 3.5 Characters: 4  This book is a 2 POV story alternating between Angel and Jimmy's POVs. Angel is the ultimate fangirl. She runs stan accounts on multiple platforms and is always up on what the boys are doing. Angel is very connected to her religion and devotedly does morning and evening pra

January 2021 Wrap Up

 I feel like I say it every month now, but this month wasn't my best reading month. Oddly, even though I read and post less than ever, I'm more in love with blogging than I've been in a while. I think that stems from the fact that I've stopped putting pressure on myself to read a certain number of books or write a certain number of posts. It stung a bit to see my lowest book total for the year yet in December, but also, the world didn't end. At the end of the day, reading is about having fun, and I do enough reading not for fun for school.  January has lasted a million years. I don't think I'm exaggerating. For the last fifteen days, I've been telling everyone, "How is it still January?". It's finally about to not be January which is lovely. Even with the seeming abundance of time stemming from the never ending January, I only read three books. And the third I still have 80 pages of, but I should be finished with it by the time this post go

Coming Up in February 2021: Can't Miss YA

It's almost February which means it's time for tons of brand new books. I picked the five I was most excited about to spotlight in this post! There's a mix of past favorite authors (like Courtney Summers and Phil Stamper) and some new authors I can't wait to read for the first time! I'm so excited to dive into these soon. A couple are on my ARC TBR, and the rest I put in library requests for. If you have a local library, placing a request for a book purchase from your library is a great, free way to get new books. You help the author with a sale, and the library also offers them more exposure to new readers!  If you do want to add some of these books to your personal collection, I will be adding purchase links that go to Bookshop to this post. Clicking the affiliate link means that the blog might get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Shopping these Bookshop links is a great way to support the blog, authors, and independent bookstores!  The Project by Court

ReRead Reviews: Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi

  Before I started this review, I wanted to preface it because I'm trying out a different review style. I read Emergency Contact back in 2018 when I first got the book from TeenBook Con, and I immediately fell in love with it. It was one of those books that I knew I was going to love from the second I laid eyes on the cover (which is still one of my all time favorites), and I was right. I've recommended this book nonstop for three years straight, so I decided that I should read it again to make sure I still loved it. Also, 2021 has not  been a great reading year, so after a couple DNFs, I decided to go right back to my comfort zone. I'm usually not a fan of rereading, but I actually had a great time.  For these reread reviews, I'm writing them in a more open format since I've already reviewed them in my usual style of characters, plot, and writing. I'll be giving them a new starred review and linking the original post about the book. But my goal for these new re

Fighting New Semester Fears With 12 College YA Books

  I haven't finished reading a book lately because I'm in a horrible reading slump, so no review yet, but I did throw together a blog post. I made a list of college YA (with a couple YA that are just set on college campus or that have college vibes because there isn't a ton of college YA). I haven't had a ton of ideas lately, and this one is inspired pretty directly from my life. I start my second semester of college tomorrow. I'm super nervous, so I don't know why I'm making content around it. Still, I've related to all of these characters on a very deep level, and I want to keep shouting about college YA so hopefully publishers accept more and more of it. Just like we need younger YA that creates a better bridge with middle grade, I'm hoping we'll get more college YA to bridge into adult. I haven't read or finished all of these books, but for the ones I have, I've linked my review. Just click the title to view it. Also, the purchase lin