Gush Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: Moxie

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Pub. Date: September 19th, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary/Feminism

Publisher:  Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Pages: 330

Formats: eGalley

Trigger warning: Sexual harassment & attempted rape

    

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Vivโ€™s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the โ€™90s, so now Viv takes a page from her motherโ€™s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. Sheโ€™s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked up Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu but what I got was all around awesomeness cover to cover! If you are a feminist such as myself, picking up this book is almost a no brainer but even if you’re not, this may be the book to change that. Much like our MC Vivianne, I was witness to many of the sexist games played by the opposite sex that are seen as harmless. Viv lives in a small town & attends the local High School where the schools Football team is the center of town life. Everyone down to the teachers & principal give the football team  much favoritism. This led to the blind acceptance of their treatment towards the females in the school & Viv has had enough.

Grabbing inspiration from her mother’s box of Zines where she’s stored memories of her Feminist activist days, Viv sets out to bring change to her school. She decides that anonymity is probably best in a school where the captain of the football teams father is also the Principal. What starts off as a Zine left inside the girls bathroom stalls, snowballs into a feminist movement no one in their small town Texas school would’ve imagined. We follow Viv as she slowly builds up her confidence & finds her voice through a movement she names Moxie. We see girls from all cliques start to answer the call to take a stand against age old “traditions” that are degrading to the females in the school.

Although most of the action takes place in Viv’s High School, we do also get to see her home life. Having lost her father at a very young age, it’s just her & her mom. I loved seeing Viv admire her mom without her knowing & how organic their relationship translated on to the page. There are also some really strong female friendships giving Viv the validation she needs to know she is doing the right thing. Moxie is all about fighting back the tired ideologies of women needing to behave “lady-like” or proper. It strengthens & uplifts women coming together & how powerful that can be.

Illustration from Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Our MC Vivianne is not at all the person you see portrayed on the cover of this book, not at first anyway. She loves listening to her moms stories of growing up and fighting back the patriarchy. Quietly wishing she had the courage to do something about the jocks and administration in her school who think it’s ok to objectify girls/women. Viv’s character development felt authentic for a teenager living in a small town in Texas. She didn’t voice her opinions right away, she found her voice within the other girls in her school. Viv is hands down a fave character for me because every time she felt like throwing in the towel she didn’t & instead came back harder! Viv’s mom is legit one of the coolest & hardest working moms I’ve come across in YA. She’s a nurse working long hours but who also has an amazing relationship with her daughter. She may not know it but she is also the source of inspiration for Viv creating Moxie. Viv’s grand-parents live next door & we often seem them around dinner time. LOVED the inclusion of grand-parents since that is very rare in YA books. Better yet, the fact that Viv loves them so much and can equally accept her own frustration at their old school mentality made her all the more relatable. A place of comfort for Viv, the scenes with her grand-parents gave the book a homely feel.

Lucy is the not quite so new girl but still pretty new to the school. She is taken aback by the things allowed from the male students having come from a more progressive school/city. At times she also gave Viv the motivation she needed to keep Moxie going all the while not knowing Viv was its creator. Seth plays the new guy in school & fits the mold of quiet-loner-mysterious-guy but there’s more than meets the eye with him. I was pleasantly surprised with Seth but I’ll be vague because I consider that spoilery. The Moxie Girls are not just from different cliques, they are also diverse in skin color and ethnicity. The inclusivity promoted by Viv spreads like wildfire throughout the school encouraging many to join. LOVED seeing the diversity bringing girls together to bring change!

Can you tell I LOVED Moxie to pieces?!?! I couldn’t flip through the pages fast enough, easily a 2017 top fave for the empowering message it sends across. United, girls/women are a force to be reckoned with! We don’t have very many books like these encouraging girls to stand together & fight for their rights. As I am writing this review, Twitter is ablaze with the mess that is Harvey Weinstein & the brave soul that is Rose Mcgowan standing up to an industry known for covering up sexual harassment. My first thought was, how appropriate that I am writing this review now. We need more Vivianne’s & Rose McGowans rallying the troops of women, together we are stronger & won’t be silenced. I cannot recommend Moxie enough to Feminists & those who have yet to find their voice…we all have Moxie in us ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ

*HUGE Thanks to Macmillan, Netgalley, and Jennifer Mathieu for the galley of Moxie in exchange for an honest review. The physical arc pictured below I won from a Twitter giveaway.

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Some Sites Jennifer Mathieu included in her Author Note:

Feministing.com

rookiemag.com

bitchmedia.org

bust.com

thefbomb.org

scarleteen.com

therepresentationproject.org


Can you see yourself as a member of Moxie? I sure can! are there any lovely bookworms who’ve read Moxie or plan to? sound off in the comments below <3’s! 


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WWW Wednesday 10/11/2017

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted byย Sam @ Taking On a World of Wordsย and to participate all you have to do is answer the three Wโ€™s listed below. Once youโ€™ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Samโ€™s comments <3โ€™s!

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Vivโ€™s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the โ€™90s, so now Viv takes a page from her motherโ€™s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. Sheโ€™s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

*I started Moxie yesterday & am currently 53% head over heels in LOVE with this book! trying to stop myself from inhale reading it has been a challenge. The MC Viv is someone who knows she wants to be a part of the change needed in her school but fears being ostracized. Her mother is her inspiration for the creation of Moxie, a “zine” aka magazine calling all girls to stand united against the sexism & misogyny widely accepted in her school. Best part: getting to see the Zines Viv creates, LIVING for the illustrations! โค review to come this week.

On Monday I finished & reviewed the EPIC time traveling adventure that was Invictus by Ryan Graudin (my review). If ever I were to have a checklist of things I’d like to see in a YA Sci-fi book, Invictus sure came close to meeting them all. Fun, well paced, amazing characters you can’t help but get attached to…sigh…I miss this crew so MUCH!!! *sobs* while I wait for Graudin to bless us with news of ANYTHING else set in this world, I’ll console myself by reading her other books ๐Ÿ™‚

A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the worldโ€™s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her fatherโ€”whose obsession with building his empire is causing a warโ€”Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrifiedโ€”but as she tests its limits, sheโ€™s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom thatโ€™s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

Next I’ll be reading The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare #1) by Lauren DeStefano.ย I was lucky enough to get a Galley from Harper & can’t wait to dive in. From the synopsis I’ve gathered that this is sort of inspired by King Midas and his golden touch. I’ve also heard mention of mental health & disability rep being included in this story which makes this a MUST READ for me.ย 


What are you wonderful bookworms currently reading? planning to read next? any good ones? & if youโ€™re reading any of the ones I mentioned, let me know down in the comments what your 1st impressions were <3โ€™s!


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September Wrap-Up & Book Haul

Happy Tuesday in Fall Bookworms! I friggin LOVE this beautiful season to pieces but I can’t write a wrap-up without mentioning recent events that hit close to home. September wasn’t a easy month to get through with Hurricane Maria affecting the island of Puerto-Rico where one half of my family lives. That being said, I have a pretty pro-active family doing everything possible to make sure we are doing our part in helping and providing for our loved ones. Hoping for a much better tomorrow as our family here in New York continue to send relief in hopes that the basic needs are met. The world is hurting & I know I myself can’t turn a blind eye, it has definitely weighed heavy in my heart & thoughts each & every night. Reading has always provided a sense of comfort but once disaster hit, for the first time in a long time I had no desire to read at all. It took me about 2 weeks to get through my 6th book of the month Girls Made of Snow and Glass. I chose to push through seeing as it was the only thing allowing my mind to pull back a bit from the sadness. Fantasy will always be one of my top favorite genres for its very nature asks that you suspend belief in reality which was much needed. The stories I read this month only helped booster my need to help & do more. Heroines like Mira Minkoba from Before She Ignites helped me be more aware of my own anxiety & triggers when faced with a issue that seems like it can swallow you whole. This month has showed me the strength in family unity (ups & downs) and I have hope we can come back stronger than ever…

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoustย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…ย 

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadowsย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…1/2

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcettย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…1/2

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergastย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…1/2

Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylorย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Runaways #1 by Rainbow Rowell & illustrated by Kris Anka (no review for this 1st issue, will be reviewing trade paperback of Vol 1 when it’s released)

These weren’t small books my friends, I didn’t intentionally set out to read 400+ pg books but that’s exactly what happened lol. This is why I had to throw in a novella and a comic. Besides being thick books, they were also very slow paced (all of them) which contributed to the docking of stars. I love character driven stories which is probably why I still really enjoyed all of my reads. Night of Cake & Puppets let me re-visit some of my fave characters with the addition of awesome illustrations. Runaways managed to seriously stir my curiosity for this comic run, I’m already signed up with Comixology to receive each issue as they are released. Girls Made of Snow and Glass has to be the freshest most unique re-telling I’ve ever read. Before She Ignites gave us our first MC in YA Fantasy with anxiety & OCD. Zero Repeat Forever was so sad bookworms! *sobs* LOVED IT! & lastly, Even the Darkest Stars had potential however it fell victim to its Mountain setting. All in all, a quality reading month ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Snot Girl: Green Hair Don’t Care Volume 1

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoffย (no, I haven’t read Nevernight but I have every intention of doing so & Bookdepository is notorious for selling out of these editions *sobs* lol)

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwellย (gift from who who listened to me RAVE about this book every single time I put it down lol)

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maasย (a gift from my hubby who has already read & rated this installment 4 stars…he’s stingy with the stars so this is a good sign)

Wonder Woman (DC Comics #1) by Leigh Bardugoย 

Warcross by Marie Lu

September Owlcrate

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Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1) by Jodi Meadows

September Book of the Month

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Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Wardย (my pick for the month, the other 2 were add-ons)

The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugoย ย (a gift from my Soul twin Gretchen over at @ChicNerdReads, she’ll be making her return to book blogging this week so YAY!)

OHMYGOSH-THIS-SHOW!!!! I legit didn’t know just how much I LOVE Jason Bateman till’ I binge watched Ozark! for those who are fans of Breaking Badย this is one you’re going to want to watch. The pilot episode was ominous and slow yet I knew I’d be watching the 2nd episode to see where it was going. Marty Byrde played by Bateman comes across as if he were on auto-pilot after a life changing event puts him & his family in a very sticky dangerous situation. Unraveling bit by bit it almost feels as if our MC will lose it any minute but he perseveres. Laura Linney who plays his wife is a character who grew on me, I did not love her from the start but grew to appreciate her later on.ย I’ve always been attracted to stories set in small towns & the characters they produce, in Ozark everyone has their own agenda. I don’t want to give anything away, part of what makes this series so good is the mystery that surrounds it. ย There are many jaw dropping moments & an ending to knock your socks off lol.

Happy reading in October Bookworms!!! October is already setting itself up to be a goodย Bookishย month with some FAB reads. Comic Con later this week should be fun, let me know if you’d like a post on my 2 days there. Also, if you’ve read or watched any of these? drop your comments down below <3โ€™s!


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The Fall Book Tag!

Sundays seem to be the best time for a tag & since it’s finally beginning to feel like sweater weather, what better tag than The Fall Book Tag created by Shanah over at Bionic Book Worm! Shanah has a wonderful blog I’ve found to be a MUST VISIST! whenever I blog hop, with such creative content, book reviews, and book discussions there’s something for everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

The rules:

  • Please link back toย Bionic Book Worm, as the creator of this tag!! She wants to see your answers!!
  • Use the graphics โ€“ if you want ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Have fun!

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera…by now if you aren’t new to my blog chances are you know my love for Silvera runs DeeeeP! haha! & even though all of his book are notorious for their ability to rip your heart out & tear it to shreds…TBDATE with it’s Sci-Fi element took a different approach by giving you the inevitable outcome in its title. Yes, they do both die at the end but that’s not what this story is about at its core. Uniquely told it will keep you flipping pages while fearing the inevitable til’ the very end. I wrote a Gush Review here.

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Scwab & I’m guessing many of you who have already read this one may be giving me all sorts of raised eyebrows lol. The ending did leave me a sobbing mess but I seriously DID NOT see any of it coming! I can’t go into details because this is a sequel in a du-ology but *round of applause* to Schwab because although it devestated me, I now can’t see it ending any other way. I have a spoiler free review here.

I just finished reading Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor & OHMYGOSH Bookworms!!!! I’m not big into romance or easily get the fuzzies for any of the love scenes I’ve come across in the books I digest. That being said, Zuzana & Mike’s love story had me smiling all throughout! I’m talkin’ school girl moments of “awwwww” & “omg I wish my first date was this cute” haha! what makes this even more odd is that as much as I’m not into romance, neither is Zuzana & so seeing her outside of her comfort zone was like I was doing so right along with her. I have a GUSH review for this novella here, it follows book 2 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It does not spoil the trilogy & can be read alone, it will however spike your interest in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy ๐Ÿ˜‰

This one actually made me giggle lol. So in Shanah’s tag she mentionsย Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi as being one that she’s been talking about quite a bit. Whelp! it’s my pick for this prompt because I’ve been eyeing it these past couple of days to get my Diverse Fiction fill for the mth. I went as far as ordering the U.K. edition some time last year & it’s SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! High time I get to this book so thank you Shanah for the bit of encouragement your tag has given me <3!

Recently I had the opportunity to read & review a eGalley copy of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee (review here)ย which was so much fun! for fans of the Percy Jackson series, this is the book for you. For those looking to diversify their reading, Genie Lo is inspired from the Chinese tale of the Monkey King. I LOVED the humor & action in this book and I’m looking forward to more from this author ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Hands down the honor goes to The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Ardenย ย which is the sequel to last years favorite The Bear and the Nightingale (see my review here). I was thrilled to be granted access to a eGalley & now I wait for the perfect Fall/Winter night to start this atmospheric lush read *eeeeK*

 

 


I TAG…

Larkin @WonderfilledReads

Beth @ReadingEveryNight

Sofii @A Book. A Thought

Darque Dreamer Reads

Sarah @TheCleverReader

Kourtni @KourtniReads

Kelly @KellysRambles

Fernanda @TheWanderlustReader

Sophie @BlameChocolate

No pressure to those I’ve tagged & if anyone else who comes across this post would like to participate please feel free to join in on the fun. Fall is my favorite season and this tag is a nice way to welcome the season on my blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Reading Bookworms! โค < 3 โค


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Book Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Author: Melissa Bashardoust

Pub. Date: September 5th, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy/Re-telling/LGBT

Publisher:  Flatiron Books

Pages: 384

Formats: eGalley

   

*Opted to leave out the Goodreads Synopsis this time as I usually do whenever it’s too spoilery. With so many unique twists, this is one you’ll enjoy unraveling yourself sans the blurb ๐Ÿ˜‰

Girls Made of Snow and Glass is THE modern Snow White  re-telling I’ve been waiting for since the day I realized I didn’t need a Prince Charming to come rescue me on a horse. When I started questioning fairy tales & the incompetence of Kings all the while they had a kick a** intelligent Queen sitting on the sidelines. With an almost entirely female cast, GMOSAG gives the classic fairy tale a unique and fresh spin that will leave you feeling empowered by the very last page. Perhaps most importantly it shatters the clichรฉd belief that women in leadership roles cannot co-exist. In our cast we get a new Queen to a widowed King, a female Surgeon in service to the King, and a court council run by women. The men in this re-telling play the role of secondary characters.

Told in third person POV, we get both Mina (new Queen) & Lynet’s (King’s daughter) stories in past and present times. Mina’s story unfolds in an earlier time when she first met the King at the age of 16 & decided she wanted to be Queen. Living in a village with her Magician father has been no easy feat, feared by the townspeople in the South for her father’s abilities. Mina herself is walking talking proof of his abilities. Having died & been brought back to life with a heart made out of glass, Mina has been raised by her father to believe she neither has the power to love or be loved & that her beauty is her only asset. Mina however proves to be resourceful & intelligent, always observing human behavior. She studies the King and soon realizes that his daughter is all that he cares about. Never once did she expect to get attached to the Kings young daughter Lynet or what that could potentially spell for her future as the present Queen. We follow Mina as she helps raise Lynet from toddler to young adult all the while thinking that their future rivalry is inevitable.

Each of these characters came to life on the page. Well fleshed out, complex, and flawed they rope you into this cold tale of love, loss, grief, and ultimately defining what family is to you…

Mina- I love my villains, they often bring the most meat to a story & such is the case with Mina. She comes from the South where everything is warm and lush with life & the transition to Whitsespring castle in the North is the total opposite. This however doesn’t stop her from fulfilling the role of Queen & stepmother to young Lynette. Although she lacks a beating heart, a part of her wants so badly to feel loved. Her marriage to the king isn’t what she expected but she never once takes it out on Lynette. I don’t want to give away too much but this is one character I really enjoyed seeing develop. She isn’t the evil Frost Queen we all come to expect from fairy tales but I can appreciate that since women in  power are already thought of as Frost Queens in real life & I can do w/out that in my books ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

The King- My least favorite of the characters for oh so many reasons! but the biggest one being that he’s down right selfish. Yes, he’s a wonderful doting father but once you read this book you’ll see a man who just couldn’t let go.

Lynet- Besides Mina, I actually really enjoyed Lynet’s character. She knows her father sees her late mother in her & that he’s raising her to one day be Queen. Trying to fill her mother’s shoes however isn’t something she wants. Far from it, Lynet enjoys scaling castle walls & s spying on people…particularly the new Surgeon *smiles* there’s also more to Lynet than meets the eye but that would be spoilery so I’ll leave you to find out that interesting secret on your own ๐Ÿ™‚

Nadia- new surgeon in service to the crown, Nadia spends her days in her laboratory poring over her books. The friendship to romance progression with Lynet was on point! I was rooting for these two all along ๐Ÿ™‚

The Magician aka Mina’s father- Adding this guy to my list of most hated villains of all time! I’m beginning to see a trend with Magicians being this nefarious. This man seriously takes the prize though! playing all his cards close to his chest, he is one to keep an eye on.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass is easily one of my favorite Snow White re-tellings of all time. I was the kid who had no interest in Prince Charming. No, my interest was more with ingenuity…always asking why the princess had to wait in the tower instead of finding a way out. This is the Snow White story that I’ve been waiting for with messages of female empowerment & Queens that don’t need saving. I LOVED the fact that this was a mostly female comprised cast & that we got LGBTQIA+ representation. The only reason I docked GMOSAG 1 star is because of the very slow pacing all throughout. There aren’t fast paced action sequences, this is a story told primarily through dialogue and stream-of-consciousness. That being said, I was invested in these characters til the very end. The last line in this book is PURE PERFECTION!

*HUGE Thanks to Flatiron Books, Netgalley, and Melissa Bashardoust for the eGalley of Girls Made of Now and Ice in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Title:ย Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1)

Author:ย Jodi Meadows

Pub. Date:ย September 12th, 2017

Publisher:ย HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books

Pages:ย 400

Formats: eGalleyย 

ย ย ย ย 

Filled with political intrigue, betrayal, and well fleshed out characters, Before She Ignitesย is the start to what I’m sure will be a epic Fantasy. We get introduced to our MC Mira Minkoba who comes from a prominent family & whose father wrote the Mira treaty. Because of this she’s also been groomed to be the face of the treaty aimed at creating peace & unity among the 7 islands against any outside threats. On these islands, people co-exist with dragons who are respected and known as the children of the Gods. For their own protection against humans, dragons were relocated to the Sanctuary (large piece of land separate from civilians)ย & it is there that Mira and her two best friends go to train with dragons.

Mira is passionate about dragons & when she discovers some nefarious dealings concerning dragons, she takes it to the Ministry thinking they will get to the bottom if it all. When she is imprisoned without rhyme or reason and taken to the Pit, everything & everyone she thought had her back are no where to be found. Worse of all, Mira is left to deal with her crippling anxiety in a dark & lonely prison cell. Almost the entirety of this book does take place in prison & so, although above ground there is a lush & mystical world, below ground for Mira it is a completely different way of life.ย While the lover of dragons in me really wanted to see Mira bust out of prison, hop on a dragon & kick some a** haha! I understood by the end of this book that the time Mira spends in jail is crucial to who she will become in the next book. This essentially is the catalyst for her transformation, she is broken down & left raw. There were some scenes that were hard for me to read as a person who also deals with anxiety & mild OCD. The Mira we meet at first is no where near who she is by the time you read the last sentence.

Before She Ignites is Mira Minkoba’s story through & through. We do get a set of amazing secondary characters both before her time in the Pit & underground. However, the focus is Mira & I’m glad for this because never before have I read a book with an MC who suffers from crippling anxiety & seen it play center stage like it does for so many in real life. Also, our MC is a woman of color as seen depicted on the books cover, & as I am a proud advocate of diverse MC’s, this made me very happy.

A little bit about Mira…ย she is someone who prior to being imprisoned, was used to a comfortable life enjoying routine. She has a skin & hair routine in order to maintain her beauty and servants tending to her every want or need. The cushy life however, hasn’t changed her heart towards those around her. Mira at her core is someone who believes in the foundation of the Mira Treaty. She comes from the island of Lovers & as such values friendship above all. Having been sheltered all her life & treated as a puppet by her own mother, the Pit seems like the end of life for her. Seeing this character grow & really come out of her shell was so empowering! her episodes felt so real & my heart broke to see her be reduced to the littlest version of herself but the come up was so worth it. Her anxiety is very much a part of her & we see her continue to deal with it til the very end. Stand-out Secondary character:ย Aaru, a prisoner from a neighboring island known for its silence. This character is just as broken as Mira & he doesn’t speak, instead he communicates in a different manner. I’d like to see what becomes of him in this journey.

Although the time we get on the island is brief, the description of island life was so appealing. The reader most definitely does time in the Pit along with Mira, which now that I’ve had some time away from it, realize how much more rewarding the sequel will be. Although it may seem slow paced, there is always something happening with our MC. She is learning her new environment & we get to see a side of her that she hasn’t herself yet explored. There’s cruelty all around her but there’s also humanity in the darkest of places. The time she spent with the dragons although brief is enough to let us know they will play a much bigger role in the next book. There’s also more to Mira than meets the eye but first we had to see her transformation. This is a heroine I can get behind & root for!

Interestingly enough, although the majority of this book is set in prison, Meadows did a FANTASTIC job of world-building above ground. We get the history behind the 7 islands and the Gods they were named after. Each island has something they’re known for & it made for a richer world. I am really looking forward to continuing on with this trilogy & can’t wait to see what’s next for Mira…

*HUGE Thanks to Harper/Katherine Tegen Books, Edelweiss, & Jodi Meadows for the eGalley of Beforeย She Ignites in exchange for an honest review.

Hello Readers! has anyone read or plan on reading Before She Ignites? I’m really hoping for some more on the page time with the dragons in the sequel & have a strong hunch that it’ll be the case *fingers crossed* ๐Ÿ™‚


Top Ten Tuesday 9/19/2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten accordingly. This weeks topic is: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List (in no specific order). Fall is when I’m MOST excited to settle down with books that are mostly dark Fantasy, Magical Realism, and Psychological Thrillers. This year I’m throwing in a bit of Sci-Fi for a change of pace. Most of these books are also arcs that I either picked up at Bookcon or was approved for on Netgalley/Edelweiss.

* Covers link to Goodreads

September 19th 2017: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

1. Wild Beauty By Anna-MarieMcLemore

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. Theyโ€™ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but heโ€™s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

* I read When The Moon Was Ours some time last year & fell in love with McLemore’s writing! I’ve heard early reviewers speak highly of Wild Beauty, I’m SOOOO ready for this one ๐Ÿ™‚


2. The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency #1) by Arsenault Rivera

Even gods can be slainโ€ฆ.

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reachโ€•but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

* I caught wind of this one on Twitter & V.E. Schwab’s blurb immediately had me well on my way to Netgalley. As a Fantasy lover I was intrigued & to see that the author is Latinx was enough for me to know I had to give this one a go ๐Ÿ™‚


3. Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

* Historical Fiction in YA is one of my fave sub-genres & this one just has my name written all over it! maybe just maybe…it will fill the void the SHOWtime series Dexter left in my little dark heart *evil grin*


4. The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare #1) by Lauren DeStefano

A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the worldโ€™s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her fatherโ€”whose obsession with building his empire is causing a warโ€”Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrifiedโ€”but as she tests its limits, sheโ€™s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom thatโ€™s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

OK! confession…I’m just as guilty as the next bookworm when it comes to impulse cover lusting lol. I requested 1st & then read the synopsis but I’m so happy that It’s one I’m genuinely interested in *phew* I can’t resist a female heroine especially one with hidden magical abilities.


5. Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo

aughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon lawโ€”risking exileโ€”to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesnโ€™t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringerโ€”a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemiesโ€”mortal and divineโ€”determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

It’s Wonder Woman…Lol am I right?


6. The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Timesโ€“bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strangeโ€”to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

* When the Queen puts out 2 books in one year, they must be read at once! lol. Leigh is one of my fave YA authors & this illustrated gemstone (nod to The Glass Spare haha) of a book is one I know I won’t be able to put off reading.


7. The Alchemists Of Loom (Loom Saga, #1) by Elisa Kova

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guildsโ€™ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isnโ€™t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His familyโ€™s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragonsโ€™ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon Kingโ€™s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari canโ€™t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom

So I have had my eyes on this series for quite a bit now & it hasn’t been easy resisting the urge to just buy them all cuz would you just look at them! they have STUNNING covers (all 3) ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜. I’m also a sucker for all things Dragons or mystical creatures in general really. After having just finished Before She Ignites, this one went into my Amazon cart lol. 


8. Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itselfโ€”and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

* I didn’t read or watch The Martian although it is on my TBR, Artemis is a Netgalley approval though & so it will be the one I get to 1st & I’m pretty excited for this title ๐Ÿ™‚


9. Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

Long overdue, my twin bff Gretchen @ChicNerdReads has raved about this book & she knows my soul & IT’S TIME! + I pre-ordered Godsgrave smh…it arrived LOL…I have a problem. 


10. The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingalecontinues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her homeโ€”but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasyaโ€™s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good gracesโ€”even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

My MOST prized arc (next to They Both Die at the End of course hehe), I am waiting for November to read this one because it’s so atmospheric that It begs for cold weather. The Bear and the Nightingale was one of my top 10 faves of last year, ahhhh! so excited to have this one ๐Ÿ™‚


Happy Tuesday Bookworms!!! I’m posting really late in the day but better late than never right? lol *sobs* if you’ve read any of the books on my list, please feel free to leave me some motivating words  if you think I need to boost any of these to the top of my TBR. Also link me to your TTT & I’ll swing by for some recommendations ๐Ÿ˜‰


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WWW Wednesday 9/13/2017

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted byย Sam @ Taking On a World of Wordsย and to participate all you have to do is answer the three Wโ€™s listed below. Once youโ€™ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Samโ€™s comments <3โ€™s!

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think youโ€™ll read next?


I tend to finish books in the middle of my work day leaving me stumped with the question of what to read next?ย NOT TODAY! I knew I’d finish my book in the morning & so I grabbed a arc from my shelves that I have been super stoked to get to!ย Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor!!!ย this will actually be a re-read for me since I read this a few years ago along with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. This however is the first time the Novella is published in print edition and it includes S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G black & white Illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo. Laini Taylor is one of my top 5 favorite authors and I’m excited to revisit Zuzana and Mik’s first date. I loved it the first time around, these characters are 2 of my faves & are total #relationshipgoals haha!


I also recently started Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer however, I haven’t had much free time to listen to this audio-book. Now that I’ve finished my current read I can focus more on this book. I can usually read and listen to 2 different books at the same time however, this last read was very slow paced & took a bit more effort on my behalf to finish reading.


This morning I finished Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett & gave it a 3.75 star rating. I will be writing my review tonight, I did enjoy the characters in this book immensely however, the issues I found with pacing/world-building are why I rated it a 3.75. Overall, I have so many good things to say about ETDS & I do plan on continuing with this series ๐Ÿ˜‰

 


Having just finished a book whose world had humans living side by side with dragons, I knew I’d be craving more! I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about Before She Ignites from my fellow blogger buddies which has me hyped up. I was approved for a galley on Edelweiss & will most likely inhale this read within the next 48 hours lol! Before She Ignites hit the shelves just yesterday & I can’t wait to see what the buzz is all about ๐Ÿ™‚


What are you wonderful bookworms currently reading? planning to read next? any good ones? & if youโ€™re reading any of the ones I mentioned, let me know down in the comments what your 1st impressions were <3โ€™s!


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Friday Reads 9/8/17

Hello Readers! I debated on whether or not to post today because of all the things currently weighing many of us down. Many have just experienced Harvey while others have been or will be affected by Irma. I live in NYC but my heart is in Puerto-Rico where the majority of my Dad’s side of the family resides & FL where my Uncle & aunt are. Many uncles, aunts, and cousins currently without electricity on the island of PR while others are prepping for Irma in Florida. My thoughts & prayers are with all of those affected…it’s been difficult to think of anything else. If you are a reader in Texas, PR, the Caribbean, or FL please stay safe ๐Ÿ’™

In times of high stress I go into overdrive googling in search of answers…basically trying to assess the situation. This however, is beyond me & I need to pull away from the weather reports & just speak to my loved ones. I’m also turning to reading my books while also offering support to those I know on Twitter who live in the areas. The Book community always shows up to uplift those in need & that is why I’m so proud to be a member.


Yesterday I finished reading Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) by Gabrielle Prendergast & was really surprised to have my opinion of this book do a complete 360. It’s a chunker coming in at 496 pages so I guess you can see it used it’s time wisely. I’m aiming to have a review up by this weekend but this storm is sapping all of my energy so we’ll see. I will say that this book went from a 3 star rating to a 4.5 ๐Ÿ˜‰


Today I started reading Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett but I didn’t get very far, I’ll def be hunkering down with this one tonight. I’ve heard such great things about the world building in this book with a very unique setting not yet seen in YA. Hoping to get sucked into this world ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผfollow me on Goodreads for my most random reader thoughts ๐Ÿ’œ

 


I’m also listening to the Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles)by Marissa Meyer Audiobook. This is the novella that followed the conclusion Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) & I’ve held off on reading it for some time now. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite YA series and as is the case with most of my faves, I always have a hard time letting go lol. It is time though since I’d love to get to Wires and Nerve soon which also takes place in this Universe. So far I’m really enjoying listening to Stars Above whenever I’m walking/commuting to/from work. The narrator Rebecca Soler is hands down a perfect fit & having met her at a Marissa Meyer event signing for Winter a while back, I was able to see why. It’s a special thing when the narrator to a audiobook loves the story they are narrating & Rebecca’s enthusiasm shines through.


Happy FriYay Readers! hope you’re all staying safe & in touch with your loved ones. You are all in my thoughts & prayers. Typically I ask what everyone is reading/watching but today I just want to send you love, strength, and hope ๐Ÿ’•


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Gush Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Title:ย They Both Die at the End

Author:ย Adam Silvera

Pub. Date:ย September 5th, 2017

Publisher:ย HarperTeen

Pages:ย 384

Formats: eGalley

ย ย ย ย 

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: 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 and to live a lifetime in a single day.

As some of you may have already noticed, the Goodreads synopsis for They Both Die at the End is pretty short compared to most. I personally found this raised my curiosity as a whole towards this book. I also was aware that this would be Silvera’s first YA Sci-Fi and being a fan of his first two contemporary books, I thought to myself…can he pull it off? now I know I should’ve never questioned his ability to deliver! One thing remains constant after I finish one of his books…I keep saying “This one is my favorite” smh, the truth is I love them all and he keeps evolving as a writer which makes him my #1 YA author ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

They Both Die at the End takes place in the span of a day in present day NYC. Although it is present day, Silvera added the Sci-Fi element by introducing Death-Cast calls. This call typically comes in at or around 12am informing you that today will be your last day. We start off with our main protagonist Mateo receiving the much dreaded call that will change the course of his life in just 1 day. From this point on we follow Mateo as decides to reclaim his life & step outside of his comfort zone…his bedroom. See, before the call Mateo took NO risks & lived his life in fear of so many things. We follow Mateo from the moment he decides to step foot outside his home to make one last connection with a “Last Friend” which is how we meet Rufus. Having also received the call, Rufus is pretty much set on going out with a bang. He is the ying to Mateo’s yang & their paths crossing almost feels like Life’s last gift to these two characters.

Weย also follows a series of side characters throughout the same day. Some have received the Death-Call while others have not, however each forms a piece to the puzzle that is Mateo & Rufus’ story. The only certainty is death, how you meet your fate is unknown to you. This is a story about living life to its fullest, hope, friendship, being true to yourself, love, grief, loss, and so much more!

One of the reasons i’m a fan of Silveras books are the characters he creates, they have a tendency to linger past the last sentence. This time wasn’t any different and I now have a full cast of characters to love & think about even now that I have finished this book…

Mateo-ย Our MC has pretty much lived a very low key life opting to stay indoors & browse the online Death-Cast forums. He follows others who have received the call & are documenting their last day online. His mother passed away & his dad is in a coma, he is very much on his own. As much as Mateo fears going out & just living his life, the idea of letting go & being free of all worry has always intrigued him. His best friend Lidia and her daughter (his Godchild), are the only people he really connects with.

Rufus- Complete opposite of Mateo, life hasn’t been easy on Rufus either. Always labeled as a bit of a trouble maker, things didn’t look good when he suddenly sees himself on his own in life with no family. Rough around the edges, Rufus is a character you can’t help but love. He is openly Bi-sexual and confident in who he is which makes for an interesting meet-up with Mateo who hasn’t quite figured out how to be his true self. Rufus also has a support system, he and 3 others make up The Plutos who I LOVED to pieces! #friendshipgoals

Friendship is always a strong theme in all of Silveras books & here we get introduced to characters from all walks of life. The way these lives come together delivered such a strong message, one that left me thinking of my own life path & those that matter to me most.

They Both Die at the End rocked me out of my comfort zone in the 48 hours it took for me to read it. It took me forever & a day to start living my life for ME, allowing myself to be as I am. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to come to this realization on the day I know will be my last. I’d probably also find myself in a mad dash to do it all with the fear hovering over my shoulder that anything could kill me. I was Mateo. I’m trying to find my inner Rufus lol. The thirst for life these characters feel on their final day is utterly contagious! it makes you want to get up & go outside eyes wide open to all the things beating with life around you. This is a book about LIFE if you’re willing to look past the title. There’s always a silver lining to Adam Silvera’s books, your heart will be broken by the end but you may also find yourself with a new perspective ๐Ÿ˜‰

*HUGE Thanks to HarperTeen, Edelweiss, & Adam Silvera for the eGalley of They Both Die at the End in exchange for an honest review

Hello Readers! I started off my day by ordering my copy of They Both Die at the End & can’t wait to give it a special place on my shelves. Anyone else have a copy in the mail they’re waiting for? I know I keep saying each of his books is my fave but this time I’m sure…THIS ONE IS MY FAVE!!!! lol…sure to be out done by his next book ๐Ÿ˜‰


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