[ARC] The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

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4stars

Title: The Henna Wars
Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Release date: May 12th 2020
Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s diverse and own voices.
Bad things about this book: The main character wasn’t always likable.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3.75/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

This is a diverse queer contemporary story about a Bengali girl living in Dublin, coming out, having a crush, navigating school while bullied by bigoted homophobes and racists. There’s a lot about family, her sister is very important to her and to the story. Nishat, the mc, doesn’t make the wisest decisions most times, and doesn’t speak her mind much since “it wouldn’t change anything”. The frustration was real. So, while I was angry at her for the miscommunication, I kind of understood why she chose not to say anything, but how can you know if something can make a difference if you don’t do anything?

The writing style was easy to get into, and all the info about the Bengali culture and food really made me see everything that makes it beautiful and fascinating. I must be honest, I don’t think I really know where is Bangladesh, but now I feel like a know a bit more about the culture. I love learning something new while enjoying a nice book. Mixing both things is perfect!

The love story might sound like the dreaded trope of instalove. It’s more of an instacrush and then we have a really slowburn kind of love story. It was a bit frustrating because it’s the first crush, all encompassing, and Nishat didn’t manage it very well. I admit to have been quite angry at her for most of the book, but the last chapters made up for all the anger and shakes of head. It was pretty cute in the end. The sum of all the parts of the book make it good! It was like a journey inside Nishat’s head with all the doubts, the sadness, the anger, the hopelessness.

This is a book I would certainly recommend to everyone.

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[ARC] Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster

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4stars

Title: Curse of the Night Witch
Author: Alex Aster
Series: Emblem Island #1
Release date: June 2nd 2020
Number of pages: 336 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: I really liked the magic system.
Bad things about this book: There wasn’t anything I disliked.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

Very interesting magic system, solid introduction to a series, likeable characters only a little whiny so it was perfect, and a lot of adventure!!

I love middle grade fantasy books because the characters are raw and genuine, they have just started to need independence and are ready for whatever life throws at them, even if it’s a quest to go to the opposite side of the world to defeat a witch who cursed them.

Tor, Melda, and Engle each has flaws, weaknesses, and strength, bringing something that will see them victors. It won’t be easy, they are 12 years old, first time away from home, facing all kinds of bad things! But they are lucky to stumble upon good people along their way and they will go back home different when the quest is over.

This is a book about finding what you’re good at, fighting what the world wants you to do with your life, not settling if you’re not okay with it. Maybe it’ll have horrible consequences, maybe not, but if you don’t take a risk, how can you change a situation that’s not good for you?

Love love love how the author used latin america’s myths to create the folklore this book is based on and the magic the people are born into and use in their everyday life. Being latin American myself (Ecuador here!), I love seeing these myths I didn’t know about until now represented one way or the other!

A great first book, a great start. Now I’m really curious to know what other adventures the trio will get to live in the future!

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Martin McLean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa Zaczek

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4stars

Title: Martin McLean, Middle School Queen
Author: Alyssa Zaczek
Number of pages: 272 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was very cute and positive.
Bad things about this book: The mc could be a little annoying but he was 12 so it was fitting.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

At first I was skeptic because I realized the book wasn’t own voices and it had an irish cuban boy questioning his sexuality as a main character. Can this author tell this story? It was enjoyable and I was happy to read in the acknowledgments how many different people helped her built this book.

I’ve been to a few drag shows and I’ve been present when the magic, the transformation, happened. And it’s truly magical. Drag queens are fierce and you feel it just being in the same room with them. I loved how our young mc found his calling after a show.

There were tons of mentions of delicious food I too eat since I’m Ecuadorian, but not so often since I live in Italy and italian food is much faster to cook, and my mom thinks ecuadorian food is really fat. Which it is, but that’s one of the reasons it’s delicious!! The random spanish in the conversation can be off putting but I realized that’s exactly how my parents talk. It felt like home.

So, I say you give this little book a chance even if you had your doubts. It can be a pleasant surprise. I will still try, as always, to support own voices. There are just so many books to read, I need more time!!

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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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[ARC] To the Flame by A.E. Ross

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4stars

Title: To the Flame
Author: A.E. Ross
Release date: February 3rd 2020
Number of pages: 72 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was really interesting even if short.
Bad things about this book: It was too short, I wanted to know more.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

What a cute little book that was more than I was expecting! I knew it was about cryptids, but I got also so many many feelings. My heart!! Emerson was such a sweet guy, and Morrie all mysterious, afraid, and also so so sweet! I loved all the diversity packed in only a few pages; it didn’t feel forced at all, it felt like it should feel in real life, pretty freaking normal.

I’m glad I requested this book and got to read it. Brought a smile on my face. So so cute!

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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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