[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] 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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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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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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How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters

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5stars

“We have no control over what labels others give us, but we can define who we are by the ones we choose to give ourselves.”

Title: How to Be Remy Cameron
Author: Julian Winters
Number of pages: 340 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The characters are really sweet and the book deals with important issues.
Bad things about this book: It was nice just the way it was.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

So cute and adorable, it explores important topics while staying fluffy and unputdownable.

Remy is drowning in labels and in feelings, and he’s in high school. How much harder can it get? He wants to feel comfortable in his skin, to accept and to be accepted. He is surrounded by a tight group of supporting friends and his family is just adorable and loving.

Remy has to write an essay about who he is and this is messing with his head. Badly. Because who is he really? How can he write something so deep when he doesn’t know the answer? It’s so hard putting into words things like that, like when someone asks you for your favorite book or movie, and there’s just a blank canvas inside your head.

Remy has a lot going on; an ex that broke his heart is one of those, and feelings for another boy when he has decided dating was off the table for a while. And college! I really can’t relate to all the stressing for college in the US. It puts so much stress on teenagers when everything is already pretty stressing.

I loved the friendships and I really loved all the scenes involving his family; how they told him he was adopted (the whole story when they got to meet him was so sweet), how opened they were when Remy came out to them, how they are just great with both him and his little sister.

This might be a very short book but it wasn’t rushed, everything happened slowly but steady, and it felt refreshing and just plain nice. I recommend it!

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[ARC] Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

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4stars

Title: Yes No Maybe So
Author: Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
Release date: February 4th 2020
Number of pages: 448 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: A lot of diversity.
Bad things about this book: Too much politics for my personal taste.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

With everything going on in the world, this feels important. It’s just about a tiny part of the whole world, super tiny, but it tells you so much about what’s happening and the frustration, the anger. Both the mcs were plenty likeable and adorable. There was a bit too much politics but they got me involved in the narrative and dynamics. I didn’t understand much, though.

I’m a not jewish nor muslim, and I’m ashamed to say I don’t much about either, but I love how tv shows and books educate me and show me more and more. It puts you in their shoes for a bit, showing you the good and the bad parts.

People are so infuriating. They hate for the sake of it, being ignorant and just plain blind about why they’re hating. They just do. And it’s terrifying because they feel entitled to hate, like it’s their right to be physically and mentally violent towards someone. That’s not what this is about. It’s so frustrating it’s making me furious!!

As much as the political theme played a very wide and important part in this book, it’s the friendship between Maya and Jamie that wins it all. Love it.

Important, diverse, with queer rep, friendship, family matters. It has a bit of it all. I really enjoyed it.

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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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