[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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Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron

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4stars

Title: Last Bus to Everland
Author: Sophie Cameron
Number of pages: 325 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Relatable characters, deep story with a bit of magic.
Bad things about this book: It was nice, so nothing.
Do I recommend it? I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Bittersweet kind of story about not thinking you’re enough or have a place on earth for you to fit in. It tackles lots of hard themes, and it gives you realness mixed with fantasy. I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down.

I found Brody a bit too much sometimes like he was really exaggerating things with his moods. But then I thought of myself, and it happens. So often. You get into one bad day mood and even the tiniest of things make you want to wreck the world.

I just felt sad: about how he felt like he was a waste of space, like he wasn’t enough, like people didn’t even notice he was there. I cared about Brody’s wellbeing. He deserved to have the life he pictured in his head, with a boyfriend, his beloved cat, his friends, and I family who saw him and accepted him flaws and all.

Everland sounded pretty amazing. I would’ve used the time there to learn a new language, read a long book, learn to play an instrument. And I could’ve been brave enough to befriend people from around the world and maybe being their pen pals! It sounded like a great idea!

The side characters each had a well rounded personality and the more I read about them, the more I liked them. They seemed carefree even if that really wasn’t the truth. Nico was a rollercoaster: full of life but at the same time full of sorrow, of missed opportunities.

As I said, this was a very bittersweet book that ended in the most hopeful note I could’ve asked for. I really liked it and I would recommend it!

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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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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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Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

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4stars

Title: Her Royal Highness
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals #2
Number of pages: 274 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Scotland, private school, royals, tartan!!
Bad things about this book: I wanted at least one more chapter, just one more!
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s really cute.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This was a really cute book, without much drama. A quiet and sweet book set in Scotland with royals, friendships, romance, and rocks! Millie likes rocks and I love that she likes rocks because rocks…rock! I’m not sorry for that.

The not really enemies to lovers trope was perfectly adorable! I loved Flora’s character!! I thought she was going to be the mean girl, bully, but she wasn’t and I was pleasantly surprised!

It was really nice that there weren’t really bad girls in the school, and that Millie found real friends within the first minutes she got there. Going to a whole different country to finish school must be hard, but it also sounds like a very amazing adventure!

There wasn’t enough kilt talk for my taste since this was a book set in Scotland but I pictured them in my head so it’s okay! Everyone was wearing a kilt, and that’s my headcanon for the book!

I would never want to be a royal, though. It sounds like a pain in the royal buttocks!

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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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Bitter Pill by Jordan Castillo Price

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5stars

Barely nine and I already needed a nap.

Title: Bitter Pill
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Series: PsyCop #11
Number of pages: 257 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: VICTOR IS BACK!!
Bad things about this book: I need more Victor!
Do I recommend it? Yes, always yes to Victor.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I glanced down at myself. I wasn’t exactly a fashion plate, but I suspected there’d be subtle cues that I’d leveled up. My sleeves fit me now, for instance, and my haircut didn’t scare small children.

Welcome back, my beloved Victor!! And the gang!! This review will obviously contain spoilers from the previous books so if you haven’t yet started this magnificent series, stay away!! And go buy the books asap!

I was so excited about Victor and Jacob’s big news after how Murder House ended and, even if we of course didn’t have the event in this book, there were hints about the planning. I loved the catalogues and the “fiancé” and “future husband” just slipping into normal conversations; Victor has really come a long way from his grumpy self of the first book. 40 has really changed him, he’s a new man. Almost.

I’ve been called plenty of things in my life. “Adorable” had never been one of them. Until I’d started ingratiating myself to the backroom staff of The Clinic.

Old habits are hard to die, and with that new drug going around, our Vic is remembering the good (but also very painful) old times when he used to take pills at all times, every single day. I love how far he’s gone, and seeing him struggle was breaking my heart. I wanted to hug him!

It was nice seeing Caroline and Zigler. I was wondering what happened with her and Jacob and I hope things will get back a bit like they used to be. And Zigler may be quiet but he’s a valid member of the gang, even as a non psychic. He gives the dynamic a bit of chill, and they really need a bit of chill when everything is going to hell!

As usual, I didn’t guess who the culprit was and I tried real hard to understand the mystery! New characters were introduced in The Clinic and I liked them and the whole Victor making new friends by letting the clinic workers to feed him their desserts. Can I love Victor more than I do now? I didn’t think it was possible, but I love him more now.

The last couple pages were wild!! A revelation was made! But we still had another revelation of previous books to uncover. I want to know about Victor’s past. It seems there’s a lot to know! Can’t wait for the next book and many many more adventures!

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