The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

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5stars

“But your best is not good enough sometimes.”
“Sometimes… you have to stop trying and just let someone else try their best. In order to survive.”

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Number of pages: 305 (hardcover edition) + 40 pages (novella in ebook)
Good things about this book: Heart-wrecking, emotional, complex, raw.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I had also a novella and the ending was perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Yesterday after lunch I wrote a couple of reviews and then went to bed with the intention of reading a few chapters of The Wicker King. I couldn’t put it down: didn’t eat, didn’t go to the bathroom, didn’t blink. Long story short: the book was over before dinner time.

It wrecked me, this descent into madness of these two boys: one seeing the other losing grip of reality, and being overwhelmed by the weight of it all, the other seeing a different world he needs to defend and can’t do it alone. Jack living in both the real world and the fantasy world was portrayed in a way that kept me glued to the pages. I needed to know more, I needed to know he was going to be okay That they were going to be okay in the end. It was a freaking rollercoaster. I exhaled a long sigh of relief after I finished it.

August’s heart seized.
He didn’t … know he could have this.

I knew it was a queer book from all the Instagram posts, but it wasn’t immediately obvious, and I found myself both curious as to how they were going to face their not so subtle feelings, and bothered by the miscommunication that brought our August to not know he could wish for more, risk asking for more, so he fooled around a lot. It broke my heart, because the feelings were there, as twisted and complex, but they were there!

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

It wasn’t the easiest of books to read, their friendship was unhealthy, super codependent and the negligence of the adults was absurd and irritating, but it was surely a book that I’ll keep with me forever.

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The novella that was a sort of companion of the book, gave us Jack’s pov and a sneak peek into the fantasy world his mind was creating; I loved the way both the book and the novella ended. I’m so happy now. Five glorious stars for Jack and August, The Wicker King and his Champion.

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Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance by Eric Bell

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5stars

“You know what a good friend said to me once?”
“What?”
“He said, I’d rather have a hard time being myself than an easy time being somebody else.”
“Whoah.”
“Yeah. You’re being yourself, and that’s what matters.”

Title: Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance
Author: Eric Bell
Series: Alan Cole #2
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Fantastic, important, emotional.
Bad things about this book: I want more books now but I’m happy how this ended.
Do I recommend it? Of course. You need to meet Alan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Alan made me cry. He did it again with his innocence and good nature and his courage to be himself without having to endure bullism. Standing for himself and for all the people that don’t have the strength to do it. Defeating evil with kindness, with his art, one step at a time. To see the difference you want to see in the world, you have to start somewhere, right? If you don’t do anything, nothing will change, and that’s exactly what Alan thinks and why I love him so much. I adored this little book so much. I couldn’t put it down, finished it in one afternoon.

Alan is the sweetest of boys and Odin was a great addition to the narration. Odin and Alan were the cutest together; from “rivals” to art buddies. Smiles and laughter they didn’t share with anybody else, a past and present not so easy. Innocent and sweet. My heart couldn’t take all the adorableness. Alan’s friends, his family, things aren’t always great; they fight, because for things to get better, a little confrontation is necessary.

Having more queer books out in the world is the most amazing thing in the world and having more and more queer books for middle graders is even greater; this is the kind of book kids nowadays need, a book that normalizes their feelings because they aren’t wrong, they aren’t disgusting, their love is as much true as the ones of other people. They should never feel ashamed of who they are and books like this one give me so much hope they will have a safer world to live and be themselves.

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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5stars

“Never Flinch.’ A cold whisper in her ear. ‘Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle, #1
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Written greatly, never boring, never predictable.
Bad things about this book: You never know what to expect and you’re in edge, but it’s a bad thing only if you’re extremely anxious like me.
Do I recommend it? A 100% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There are books you more or less know what’s going to happen; you can see where the story it’s headed and what to expect. Well, this book certainly didn’t go where I thought it was going. It was one twist after the other. Nobody safe. I forgot to be on guard; I knew how sneaky Jay Kristoff could be, I’ve seen hearts broken because of him, so I should’ve been ready, right? I was not ready at all!! Help!

It took me a long time to finish the book because, as weird as it may seem, I was busy. I didn’t have time to read much. This gave me the rare opportunity to really get into the story and to have those moments you have with non-streaming tv shows, during which you can imagine where the story is taking you. My mind didn’t take where the book actually led. I was surprised, in a good and in a bad way.

“You’ve got the look of a girl who’s no stranger to the page. I can tell. You’ve got words in your soul.”

This is not a spoilery review, the summary says it all. The book is about a girl, Mia Corvere, whose family was murdered, so she makes it her sole goal to become a deadly assassin and avenge them. She enrolls into the Red Church, an assassins’ group where she can study and train to be deadly and fearless. Killers aren’t teddy bears, things aren’t all rainbows and snuggles. How could it be when you are there to murder people?

The book is written in a very interesting way, with lots of little annotations explaining things beyond the book’s narration. I loved them. They gave me more insight of how this weird world with three suns actually worked.

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.”

And the award for the most surprising sidekick goes to Mr. Kindly. What a cute little dark entity. The non-cat was an amazing companion to Mia; he (?) is a shadow creature, lives in Mia’s shadows and eats her fears, her nightmares so Mia is more fearless and can keep at bay everything that scares her and drags her down.

This book was highly recommended and it’s a sentiment I certainly share. The sequel will have to wait a bit but I’m not waiting years like I did for this book!

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The Bones Beneath My Skin by TJ Klune

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5stars

You make yourselves a home out of nothing. You carry each other until your knees give out and you stumble. It’s almost impossible to understand. None of us could get that. Not until they felt a heart beating in a chest like I have. Not until I felt the bones beneath my skin.

Title: The Bones Beneath My Skin
Author: TJ Klune
Number of pages: 385 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Art’s view of people really got to me.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Another win for TJ Klune! This was such a lovely journey inside us as human beings with our flaws, hopes and loss. Everything that makes us. And meeting someone that society says you should fear and fight, but you will find that they will give you more than you’ve ever thought possible, when everything else was just hopeless. It was heartbreaking to see them so fragile, fighting ghosts inside them, trying to have a future full of hope.

I just loved the dynamics among the characters. Funny but not in the usual Klune’s comedy writing style, the over the top comedy I love so freaking much; the right amount of fun to fill a story full of emotions and self-discover. I found the characters full of life, trying to get to the other side of the tunnel after life tried to block their paths. So many hard lessons, so many sweet scenes, stolen moments in the middle of dangerous situations.

“Even if you think you have no faith left, I promise you, you do. All of you do. It’s easier, I think, to stay lost. But when you’re found, when you open your eyes, you can finally see the truth for what it is.”

While I usually read books with younger characters, I’m finding more and more books with older characters (as old as me or older) that I’m loving a lot. It has never happened before. Usually books with older characters all talk about the same thematic, and I can’t relate, and they often bore me. This is not the case here; I haven’t experienced what they had and I’m surely not like Artemis Darth Vader, but I have seen how the world can bring us down, how the void pulls stronger sometimes and it takes all of our strength to win the fight. Their journey softened my heart.

This is definitely a book to read without stopping. Get it all in, get the feelings, the truths, the raw love that grows slowly in time, and the one that grows all at once. You will love Alex, Nate and Art, you will love them so much it’ll be so hard to let them go.

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Black Wings Beating by Alex London

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4stars

Title: Black Wings Beating
Author: Alex London
Series: Skybound #1
Number of pages: 432 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The world building is promising and I love all the birds.
Bad things about this book: The characters don’t always use logic and reason and are immature.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course, it has plenty of potential.
Rate: 4-/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It was going to be a solid 3-star read but then Jowyn came along and it became 4. It felt a bit underwhelming, but by the end the potential started showing. Next book will be better, I just know it!!!

While there were some parts that left me dumbfounded, there were others that had a lot of potential and let me see how this story will continue. Brysen is a teenager boy who thinks he’s in love and that makes him dumb. He is kind of annoying, but you just love him and want him to succeed in whatever he decides to do. The “boyfriend” was everything but sweet to him; I didn’t like him from the start, there was no chemistry and I felt something was off!

On the other hand, Kylee is just plain annoying in my eyes. She knows how her brother feels, what he sustained during his whole childhood, yet she persists into making him feel like he can’t do anything by himself. Maybe it’s true and he needs help, but there are so many ways to show him you’re there for him, and Kylee’s way is just not the right way. I hope her character grows; I want to like her.

The world building is amazing, and I liked a lot the writing. I have more Alex London books that sound great and super interesting and I’ll be reading them as soon as possible. He is an author I want to keep my eye on!

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Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

5stars

Title: Last Seen Leaving
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 352 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I wanted to know more and more, I couldn’t stop reading.
Bad things about this book: Flynn’s lies were a little irritating.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As good as I expected it to be. I kept wondering what happened to January, Flynn’s girlfriend, and I kept being on edge about Flynn lying and keeping an important part of himself hidden, a part he just wasn’t ready to tell the world.

I kind of love seeing teenagers getting justice with their own hands because their truths can’t be shared with the police and they think they can do better jobs at finding the bad guys and get them arrested. It’s fun because, in reality, it can’t happen without real consequences, but in fiction it’s all allowed, and I love it. Give me teenage vigilantes!

Flynn is a flawed character, but he is so easy to love. Yeah, I’m aware of the age gap between him and Kaz, but things kind of evolved in a very natural way that I forgot at some point they weren’t the same age. He’s is 3 years older I think, not much but enough to have more maturity when it comes to life and things in general. I just hope that in this fictional world, they can build a safe relationship and if either of them feels it’s too much, they call it quits and move on.

The ending satisfied me, as the rest of the story. I’m not usually a fan of thrillers because I need to know who did it, how and when, so I skim read, but with this one, that had also coming of age, coming out, and romance, I was glued to the pages until the very end.

I recommend it and, after this second book by this author, I can officially say that I will continue reading his books in the future. There’s come coming out on January and I can’t hardly wait, it sounds great!

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[ARC] A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love by Arden Powell

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3stars

Title: A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love
Author: Arden Powell
Release date: October 29th 2018
Number of pages: 318 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was very easy to get into the story!
Bad things about this book: It dragged a bit in my opinion!
Do I recommend it? Yes, give it a chance.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

It was cute and infuriating!! All the miscommunication bothers me a lot! And here there was so much of it!! Kris kept postponing his coming out as bisexual because he didn’t want the dynamics of the band to change, but then by not coming out his potential relationship with Rayne, who he was falling hard for, was at risk.

I couldn’t have been hard for him to tell Rayne what he felt because he was surrounded by really supportive people. He was afraid, and he shouldn’t come out if he isn’t ready, but he had more than one occasion to speak his heart, to tell Rayne even in confidence, that he was feeling things beyond friendship. Without labeling it, without coming out, he could have been more honest with Rayne. You could see from miles away how smitten they were for each other, pining for no reason, just because they were stubborn and kept things to themselves.

I always kind of like books with music bands in them. Imagining what kind of music they do, how they behave on stage and out. This was really nice, it dragged a bit, though; I thought it was almost ending when it was only at 50%. Maybe cutting some things out it would have been so much better.

Nevertheless, it was a nice book, even with the weird cult and the random peacock!

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