[ARC] The Thing About Alice by Jean-Luke Swanepoel

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3stars

Title: Aurora Burning
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Release date: May 5th 2020
Number of pages: 512 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: I think it conveys the hardness and hopefulness of life pretty well!
Bad things about this book: It’s very peculiar and I don’t think I understand it.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

I don’t think I understood what the book wanted to tell me. The writing was a bit hard to follow but I synchronised with it. Then the time jumps started and I got confused. I didn’t understand what was going on, who was who. And the last chapter is where the book lost me.

The story follows Alice, an old woman living with her husband, who knows everything about everyone and feels abandoned when her friends and neighbours start moving on and away. Each chapter focuses on a character important to Alice: it’s often raw, intense, you can’t catch a break, it’s rushed, things happen without you noticing.

I don’t know if I was supposed to feel like Alice, lost and having reality getting away from me, or it was just me who didn’t get what all of this was about. Nonetheless it was a very peculiar novella, one that left me wanting for so many information I didn’t get but wanted to know. I wasn’t expecting what I got, but the book has something that can’t be denied; life, crude life, with all it throws your way.

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[ARC] Eat, Gay, Love: A Memoir by Calum McSwiggan

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5stars

Title: Eat, Gay, Love: A Memoir
Author: Calum McSwiggan
Release date: July 9th 2020
Number of pages: 304 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Very entertaining, my very first memoir.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

I’m so very happy I lost my nonfiction virginity with this book, this memoir. It was emotional, funny, important and full of hope. From the very first pages you know you’re in for a very wild and queer ride. I’ve never read a memoir so I really didn’t know what to expect. I got a story of a young man trying to find himself in the world while traveling. He knows he’s privileged to be able to just leave everything behind after a break up, and just travel, working a bit, but mostly just experiencing all kinds of lives.

What I love the most is how each LGBT member of the community just kind of attracts the other. Wherever Calum went, he found someone dealing with coming out, finding out they may not be straight, being in a relationship, closeted because of their countries’ laws, lovely drag queen, and many more. It was like a videogame in which the character needs to complete certain tasks in certain places and he’ll be given advice or he’ll learn something new and important from the experience to just keep going forward.

At first I envied Calum so much, going around the world, meeting interesting people, gaining adventure points and stories he could tell others. I wish I did just that. Then little by little I realized he was also very lost, like many others, lonely even, in need of guidance. Aren’t we all? It hit hard, close to home. He also experienced something really bad and also something pretty scary, and I was so heartbroken.

I liked how Calum pointed out every single flaw in each countries’ system towards LGBT+ people. He talked openly with the locals and got insights he would never could have gotten otherwise. Even where you think all is very openminded, there’s something hidden. Huge steps forwards have been made, a few backwards, but the path is till very long and in need of everyone’s voices to be truly equal. I loved how he pointed out everything he learned during his travels. How much there’s still to achieve.

How awesome is to be bitten by a baby tiger during your first day of work? I truly liked this memoir. It’s both fun and sad, light and heavy, makes you feel lonely among people you know, but also widely accepted among strangers. It gives you a beautiful sense of community, even among people who barely know each other.

Highly recommended. To both nonfiction fans and not.

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[ARC] Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

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5stars

Title: Shorefall
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Series: The Founders Trilogy #2
Release date: April 21st 2020
Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Full of action and twists and mysteries.
Bad things about this book: I want the last book right now.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

Action packed rollercoaster from beginning to end. I don’t even know what to say, where to begin without giving anything away. Because everything, in every single chapter, is essential for the story, everything is part of something bigger. I love how all is connected and we’re given clues little by little, clues we don’t notice right away until it’s too late.

Old characters and new characters, a new very interesting baddie, new mysteries, flashbacks, heists, surprises around every corner: a wholesome plot in full Robert Jackson Bennett style. As complex as it is and sometimes a bit hard to follow, I love the magic system; both that and the world building are so detailed and mind-blowing.

The way the story was written, the plot unfolding, is just as I’m used from this author, and it never ceases to amaze me. There are so many details you can almost see the whole city of Tevanne if you close your eyes. And I think it’s refreshing how, even if the romance is not the main theme, the main love story is never questioned, it flows naturally and without drama. It seems the whole Founders world is a world where you can love whoever you like, and I think this gives the story more points in my eyes.

The next and last book can’t come soon enough. I need to know how the story is going to end. Every time one of this books gets to the last pages, I know my patience is going to be tested!

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[ARC] Starcrossed by Allie Therin

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5stars

Title: Starcrossed
Author: Allie Therin
Series: Magic in Manhattan #2
Release date: May 18th 2020
Number of pages: 282 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was just as great as the first.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

This was just a delight. So much cuteness, action, FEELINGS; all in the same amazing magical world I came to love. Arthur and Rory as still as adorable as in the first book. The slow burn from the first book, turned into a soft jealousy and coming to terms to what exactly their relationship means. What they are willing to do to make it work.

The relics mystery is super interesting, and the figure of the Baron as the bad guy is terrifying and he still hasn’t showed his face. He better stay the hell away from my boys because they need to have at least some time for themselves without all the kidnappings and torture.

The writing is still excellent and the magic system is phenomenal. Hyde? Wow! The characters and side characters are all very detailed. Arthur and his nightmares, my heart hurt. Rory being his temperamental self as usual, but understanding he needs to open up a bit and accept what the world is trying to give him, in the form of Arthur and his magnificent non-magical self!

The story, the characters, the magic. I loved it all!

I can’t wait for the next book in 2021!

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Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

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5stars

“Aren’t you going to say, I told you so?” Hadrian whispered.
“What would be the point in that?”
“Oh, so you’re saying that you’re going to hang on to this and throw it at me at some future, more personally beneficial moment?”
“I don’t see the point in wasting it now, do you?”

Title: Theft of Swords
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series: The Riyria Revelations #1-2
Release date: May 7th 2020
Number of pages: 649 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Action packed and hard to put down.
Bad things about this book: Nothing comes to mind.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It’s been a long long time since I last read a high fantasy book non focused on romance. It was refreshing and I didn’t know I needed it. At the beginning it surprised me that not all the chapters were from Hadrian and Royce pov, but I get how it gives us more perspective into the whole story. It’s complex, I don’t think I fully understand the mechanics of who’s who, the royals, imperialists, nationalists, dwarfs, elves, etc. I also think I’m mispronouncing all the names. But oh well, I enjoyed myself a lot reading it and I ordered right away volume two.

I went to Tumblr looking for fanarts and I think I stumbled onto a spoiler. It wasn’t really unexpected, and I looked away immediately so I don’t think I read it well, but if it’s the truth I think it wouldn’t have been something that my not Sherlock level mind would have missed. We’ll see how things go and if it’s really true what my spoiler magnet eyes saw on the hellish website.

I love love love Hadrian and Royce. The tall and the tiny, the ray of sunshine and the grumpy cinnamon roll. I knew I was going to love them from the very first chapter. How could I not? Now I know even more about them and I love them more. If that awful guy and the guy guy do something to harm my babies I will be furious!

I hope we’ll see more of the side characters of both book 1 and 2 in the next volume. Myrion was a delight. I want to see more of him and his love for horses! I’m not one to binge read a series, but if the shipping gods will give me the sequel soon, I’ll read it when I open the package!

Did I mention anything useful in this review? No, I didn’t! Why? I went in blindly, I didn’t know a thing about this book but the main characters’ name and I think that needs to be enough to enjoy the book fully.

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[ARC] The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

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4stars

Title: The Empress of Salt and Fortune
Author: Nghi Vo
Release date: March 24th 2020
Number of pages: 112 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Very well written and intriguing.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, worked perfectly the way it was.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

Pretty peculiar book, it read as a sort of fairy take giving you little pieces of a puzzle in the shape of stories in each chapter to show you the bigger picture.

It was a bit confusing at first with all the different terms I didn’t know the meaning of, but the more I read the more I was tuned to the story and its characters.

A non binary cleric, a talking animal with fantastic powers, and an old lady with a story. An incredible story.

I don’t think there’s a way to explain this novella. You have to live it.

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Prosper’s Demon by K.J. Parker

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4stars

Title: Prosper’s Demon
Author: K.J. Parker
Number of pages: 112 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: This was very different, in a good way.
Bad things about this book: At the beginning it was kind of confusing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

The first part had me confused for a bit, because where the hell was Prosper and where were his demons!? Then the second part came and well, this is still pretty confusing but not bad confusing, interesting confusing.

There was Prosper and the exorcist and a project, a big project. And yes, there were demons. Everything was proceeding as expected, at least as I thought was expected, and then EXCUSE ME wth happened??

And the book was over. Wow!!!

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Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale

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5stars

Title: Take Nothing With You
Author: Patrick Gale
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: This was such a sweet story, so well written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing! I loved everything.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s worth it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book was a journey, an immense journey. It’s not about first loves, it’s not about that romance that blinds you. This is a book, a sort of quiet and calm book, about a man going into treatment for cancer, having to be isolated for two days, and reminiscing about his life. The first time he realized he was interested in boys, his love for music and the cello, his friend and school, his family, his life after college, his first big love who left him too soon, his heart healing, second chances, disappointments, anger, hope, living his life. I loved how the author decided to end the book. It was just so fitting the rest of the story’s pace. I loved it.

It’s the journal of Eustace. And it was incredibly touching and personal, just like a journal usually is. It infused me with all the feelings in a sort of zen garden way. I don’t know how to explain it. I guess you should just read it and see for yourself.

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The Seep by Chana Porter

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3stars

Title: The Seep
Author: Chana Porter
Number of pages: 216 (ebook edition)
Good things about this book: Peculiar in a great way.
Bad things about this book: A bit rushed.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3.5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It was very interesting, very peculiar, and since it was short, we had to get used to the new reality of the aliens pretty fast. Many fast forwards through the story so we really didn’t see or were explained much about how the aliens started their silent invasion.

Trina has her world turned upside down not only because of the seep, this alien entity that it’s consumed through water and lives in you making you better, but because her wife decided she wanted to start over, to go back to being a child again, a newborn and grow up. Somehow resetting her life.

Of course Trina was devastated and she needed to move on, grief in a healthier way, and start seeing how to live her life without her wife. Took her a few years, a quest, a very nosy alien entity in the shape of a pamphlet (that Trina called Pam), and a random boy looking for trouble.

It was a very fast read and hopeful. I kinda liked the aliens Earth. No need for money, immortality, health. Nice!

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This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

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5stars

I have built a you within me, or you have. I wonder what of me there is in you.

Title: This Is How You Lose the Time War
Author: Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Number of pages: 208 (ebook edition)
Good things about this book: Complex and so so sweet.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book messed with my mind in the most peculiar and magnificent way. I found myself smiling a sweet sweet smile. The letters made me swoon and cheer for them to have a chance.

A different kind of sci-fi from the ones I’m used to read, but a good different. A great different, even!!

Two characters, one war through time, letters written in unconventional ways. A recipe for confusion you might think, but the result is one of the sweetest and most heartfelt love story I’ve ever read.

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