The Backstagers and the Theater of the Ancients by Andy Mientus & Rian Sygh

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5stars

Each and every moment of the show had been reimagined to highlight the overall message of the piece: how growing up feeling unseen and unheard can negatively impact a person for their entire life, but the things that makes them feel alien in the world can also be the very thing that ends up making them star.

Title: The Backstagers and the Theater of the Ancients
Author: Andy Mientus & Rian Sygh (Illustrations)
Series: Backstagers #2
Number of pages: 208 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The magic of the theater, and the inclusivity.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I enjoyed everything.
Do I recommend it? Yes, this series is great.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Read it in one go, because how could I not? Engaging from beginning to end, I’ve come to care for each of these amazing and unique characters. How they have grown! I’m impressed and proud of them.

This book doesn’t allow you to put it down to take a break because you need to know how it is going to end, if our beloved backstagers are going to end up victorious in yet an another weird magical misadventure.

The play in this book is simply marvelous; inclusive, diverse, emotional. This is exactly what the real world needs: more inclusivity, in order for kids all around the world to know they belong, that they’re not defective, wrong or whatever awful thing they hear people call them all the time. They need places to be “heard”! And the theater is one of these places.

I already knew about Andy Mientus and Deaf West, and I was so happy when I read this book’s dedication. My sister did her master’s thesis on sign language and, as much as there’s been a lot of progress since the past, there’s still a long way to go. Changing the so-called traditions is just one thing the world can do to evolve and be better.

The next book sounds great! October 1st can’t come soon enough!

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Dangerous Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Dangerous Spirits
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Spirits #2
Number of pages: 184 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Henry and Vincent and really sweet together.
Bad things about this book: I hate miscommunication and this book have it.
Do I recommend it? If you love Hawk’s books then you don’t want to miss this series!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love ghost stories and this one was great. Little drama and lot of sweetness. The vengeful spirit was scary as hell and I didn’t want the characters to be hurt by it. But there was so much more to the story than the one on the surface, and I love how many details were put into just a few pages.

New characters were introduced and I knew they were going to bring chaos to the romantic relationship of our main characters. One character in particular I hated from the start. Speaking poisonous words of my Henry, he who is only at fault of having low self-esteem.

I don’t like miscommunication. No, I hate it. There are so many things that could be avoided if people just told the truth instead of concealing it. You don’t things aren’t going to end well if someone is hiding something. It’s a situation doomed from the start.

Besides the dreaded miscommunication, the story was full of the things that made me like this series: ghosts, nice characters, twists, and new questions to be answered in the third and last book. I can’t wait to find out more!

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Timekeeper by Tara Sim

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5stars

“You’re everything. You’re… You’re chaos and order and everything between. Like sunshine kept back by clouds. Like the entire world’s imploded inside you, but all I see are the stars are sewn into your skin. You’re filled with soft, dark music. I hear it all the time. Your music.”

Title: Timekeeper
Author: Tara Sim
Series: Timekepper #1
Number of pages: 448 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The story was compelling and the characters likeable.
Bad things about this book: There were some confusing points that in my opinion needed more explanation.
Do I recommend it? I do!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I remember buying this book because of the steampunk setting and the lgbtqia+ main couple, and I remember buying it knowing there were more books in the series so there probably was going to be a cliffhanger. Luckily, there wasn’t one but the last chapter set the input for the next book. I can’t wait to read it seeing as the third and last book was released just a few days ago.

I had many theories but, weirdly, none of them were the one that actually happened. What a nice surprise! I like not really knowing what’s going to happen. I liked Danny as a character, and Colton is just so sweet. The side characters were just as interesting and I hope we get to see more of them in the future. I’m curious about what’s going to happen next!

The setting, the world building, the story, they all were great and gave the book all the elements I usually like reading about.  I’ve been failing at putting words into a coherent review. I don’t really know what to say, so I’ll just say this: give this book a chance and enjoy it!

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The Backstagers and the Ghost Light by Andy Mientus & Rian Sygh

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4stars

Title: The Backstagers and the Ghost Light
Author: Andy Mientus (author) & Rian Sygh (illustrator)
Series: Backstagers #1
Number of pages: 208 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Theater, musicals and ghosts!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing but now I want more and I’m impatient.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
How great is the backstage world? I didn’t know anything about the story behind the ghost light. Is it true? I didn’t investigate about it, but I want to believe it’s true and there are thousands of ghost lights on right now in theaters all around the world. This supernatural adventure was fun, a tiny bit scary, and sad since it dealt with loss.

CHARACTERS —
The same characters from the comics make an appearance showing more depth since there is more space for inner monologues. I loved being inside their heads and getting to know them better. They’re going through some changes and through hard times, but the good thing is they have each other and that’s beautiful. Also, new characters! Yay! Amazing addition!

THOUGHTS —
After reading the two Backstagers comics, I knew what to expect but this story just gave me more. In the comics there is so much to see, a lot of details, yet there are not enough pages to narrate a big story. They did it and I loved it, but with books, there is so much narration, more space for feelings, also more space for a little bit of heartache. I enjoyed how Andy Mientus portrayed the characters from the comics. It was a great beginning!

CONCLUSION —
From the ending and the spine of the book, this is the first of a lot of Backstagers books and I really can’t wait to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes. These stories are simple, easy to read, and very interesting. Its simplicity doesn’t take anything from the overall experience and it leaves you wanting more. And I definitely want more.

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Hunter of Demons by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Hunter of Demons
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: SPECTR #1, Series #1
Number of pages: 153 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It has great elements and a lot of potential.
Bad things about this book: It was kind of insta-lust but in this case it was okay.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
Paranormal boy possessed by a vampire falls in love with an exorcist with a butt made in heaven, and they solve demon crimes together. That’s it, that’s the story and it was just the kind of story I usually love with a mix of different elements that I definitely didn’t hate. The story was short, so I didn’t have a chance to get to know the characters but there’s so many more books. There’s time to see if I like them or not.

CHARACTERS —
Caleb was difficult to picture at first but then I imagine him as a long-haired hottie, like one of the many male models I follow on Instagram and I was involved. John on the other hand, was like a buff male model, a bit like I picture Jacob from the Psycop books that I adore. Yes, I need to have a clear picture of the characters in my head to fully enjoy a book. Now that I have a clear picture and that I’ve really liked this first book, I’m curious about what’s going to happen right now that Caleb is in that dire situation.

THOUGHTS —
The story is quite simple but really nice. I got a sort of Venom feeling; a human (well, not entirely) possessed by another entity, in this case the spirit of a vampire, and they communicate through thoughts. And if completely possessed he turned into said entity. I loved it. I can already see the polyamorous love between them and John. I can’t wait.

CONCLUSION —
This was exactly the kind of book I like!!! Demons, spirits, possessions, vampires, exorcists!!! And love…more lust right now, but they’re soft and sweet and I expect great things from this series! I bought the whole set in ebook!

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[ARC] Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

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4stars

“I don’t care where I sleep as long as I get to wake up with you.”

Title: Surreal Estate
Author: Jesi Lea Ryan
Release date: November 5th 2018
Number of pages: 271 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: There is a psychic character who can sense the spirit of houses!
Bad things about this book: Nothing of relevance, it depends on you.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a very nice story.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

PLOT —
Homeless musician, who is also a house psychic, is called by an abandon house to live inside of it. Creepy? Not much really. Besides a few paranormal episodes with houses, the story is more focused on Sasha’s issues with his mom and his past, and Nick’s financial problems. The fact the Sasha could sense what houses wanted and felt, was really helpful for Nick and also for himself. It was a nice touch.

CHARACTERS —
The characters were likable and not annoying. I had a couple of tiny issues with Nick, thinking unnecessary things, but I can forgive him because he was figuring a huge thing about himself out. I liked Sasha and I liked how he was very optimistic even if everything seemed to go wrong in his life. I like them separately and I loved them together. That was some attraction at first sight and I liked it.

THOUGHTS —
I loved the lack of real drama. There was something weighting on them, with Sasha having his addict mom taking really bad decisions, and Nick having a loan shark waiting for him to fail just to punish him hard. I liked how things evolved between the two men. It felt natural even if quick. Nothing bad, just feelings and real life. It was a really nice read.

CONCLUSION —
This little book was so entertaining, and I was intrigued, I needed to know what was going to happen. Having real life mixed with just a tiny bit of paranormal, psychic powers, was just perfect. I missed reading about psychics and this is my first time reading about someone who can sense the feelings of places, houses to be precise. If you like paranormal books, easy to read, with nice characters, steamy and explicit scenes, and a nice ending, then this is a book for you.

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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5stars

I have one foot in winter and one in spring.
One foot with the living, and one with the dead.

Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Cassidy Blake #1

Number of pages: 285 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The way the city is beautifully described.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Well, now I must go to Edinburgh. I must! Last year I was contemplating going, but the only month I could maybe go was also the most expensive of it all. After reading this book, though, I just know that I need to find a way because that city sounds both magical and spooky. I want to see with my own two eyes these haunted places. The graveyard sounds promising for some ghostwatching.

I always enjoy books meant for younger readers because we don’t get the usual, often forced, love storyline. You get to enjoy the story and its characters and that’s it. It’s refreshing to stop worrying about who loves who, so my focus was all on the ghosts and on the very sweet main character, Cassidy.

Cassidy has a best friend who is a ghost! Can you believe that? Sometimes I think stories in my head that stay there, and one of them was about a medium woman who has a sort of sidekick best friend who was a ghost. Loved the coincidence, loved the story.

Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.

Victoria Schwab writes in a way that keeps you glued to the pages. I wanted to read and read and read until I reached the last page, satisfied and extremely curious about what was to come next. That beautiful woman hasn’t disappointed me yet, and I doubt she ever will. A woman like that will have my attention and my love for years to come.

With the details that went into describing Edinburgh, I’ll be surprised if the readers didn’t want to go visit. This book will boost tourism, and it certainly will contribute to the growth of young readers. The description of every single place, and people, had me daydreaming of me one day walking around those same streets with a hot beverage in hand and my eyes sparkling with curiosity and delight.

This book is an easy read, but don’t let that fool you. The story is deep, emotional, magical, a bit scary but not much, and no matter your age, you’ll be glad you gave it a chance.

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