[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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[ARC] The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis

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4stars

Title: The Raven and the Dove
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Series: The Raven and the Dove #1
Number of pages:
 506 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Avian-themes and full of magic.
Bad things about this book: Instalove and miscommunication.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*Arc provided by NetGalley*

Avian-themed novel about starcrossed lovers and a King who will do anything to save the world as they know it. With 4 povs, this book had everything, from dragons, magic, to heavy pining. A bit of angst and relatable characters who didn’t speak their mind. JUST TALK, things are better if you communicate!!

You know when things could’ve been 1000% times better if the characters just told the other characters what was going on in order to avoid the unnecessary drama? Well, that’s exactly what happened here and what made me rate it 4 instead of maybe a bit more. The characters, even with the whole “I’ve spoken to you 5 minutes but I already love you” thing they almost had going on, were likeable and the 4 povs weren’t hard to follow, even if I still need to understand Cassi’s. She’s still a mystery and I’m angry at her, and at one other character who was the worst!

I loved the whole world above the clouds with different floating islands each inhabited by different bird people: doves, ravens, hawks, hummingbirds, and more. Everything was well detailed and it painted a clear picture of the above world in my mind. I can’t say the same about the kingdom beneath the mist, but I’m sure it’ll be cover in the sequel.

The last chapters were wild af! I expected almost all of it since the beginning; I still have so many questions, though. A couple scenes from the last chapters broke my heart, made me cringe hard. Being inside all of their minds, knowing their thoughts, following each of their journeys, made me more aware of their feelings, and seeing them in certain situations wasn’t easy.

The sequel sounds great! I read the synopsis and colour me intrigued!

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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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[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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[ARC] When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson

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3stars

Title: When Life Gives You Lemons
Author: Fiona Gibson
Release date: March 17th 2020
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It is hopeful.
Bad things about this book: It was a little slow and maybe a bit too long.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Cute. Maybe a bit slow the first half, but it was pretty sweet after that. I liked Viv, and her friends, her daughter and her cooking show, the evil kid neighbour. A nice story about getting yourself up again, stronger.

I don’t usually read books with mc a lot older than me. It’s about not relating a lot to them, maybe it’s just because I really hadn’t given these books a chance. I know I’m not going through menopause and I don’t have kids, but it was nice seeing this strong woman being fragile but at the same time doing something to be her best self, for her and her daughter.

Marriages can end, but you are still you, you have to move on and change your life as you knew it. It must be super hard, and Viv, even with the down moments, the menopausal symptoms, started living her life for the first time in first person: not as someone’s wife in charge of accommodating a fragile male ego, and being extra patient with a husband that was really awful to her.

People change, and I liked how this journey was portrayed here. The hope, the positivity, it was great.

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[ARC] We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

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5stars

And it isn’t like I’m really in the closet. But it isn’t as if I’m all the way out either; it’s more like I’m standing in the doorway.

Title: We Are Lost and Found
Author: Helene Dunbar
Release date: September 3rd 2019
Number of pages: 304 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Honest and important. Relatable characters.
Bad things about this book: Not bad but it took a me a bit to get used to how the dialogues were written.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This book is so important and showed us a young boy’s pov of the beginning of the AIDS pandemic in NYC in the 80’s. I loved Michael’s voice; wanting to be free but feeling guilty because he didn’t want to put life as he knew it in jeopardy. And how he couldn’t love as he wanted because he didn’t wanted to die of AIDS like so many people were. So many. Those numbers. The government’s silence. The press’ choice not to talk about it. People letting fear cloud their judgement.

But I don’t have a story, I respond. Everyone has a story, Michael. Maybe you just don’t know the plot of yours yet.

I loved all the characters. Micheal and his desire to be himself in a world who sees him as a monster who deserves to die, giving himself to the music and his friends. James and his fear, living as best as he could with what he had. Becky being an adult when she should’ve been a kid enjoying her last years of school. Connor and his life after he publicly came out to the world resulting in him being kicked out of his house, his safety. Gabriel and a life working to have a better life with his family.

I truly found this book honest and important. Everyone should read this.

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