Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

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What you need to know about Rise of the Chosen:

  • This is not another zombie book

  • Action-packed

  • LGBT MC (#ownvoices)

  • Unpredictable page-turner

  • You will hate me when you’re done (in a good way…hopefully)

Reviewers are calling it ‘intense’, ‘gripping’, and a ‘fresh take on the zombie theme’. But don’t just take their word for it – get it on Amazon today and see for yourself!

And don’t forget to add it to your to-read shelf on Goodreads!

 

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

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Ok, so I know this is going to sound horrible, but I almost didn’t pick this up because of the cover. It’s really creepy and I’m taken aback every time I see it.

But, I enjoyed The Selection and the premise of this novel was everything I love in a guilty pleasure sort of way. A royal girl pretends to be a maid to avoid an arranged marriage and escapes to a place far away? Yes please.

And I loved it. I loved it so much, in fact, I’m going to pick up the next one. I loved that it broke away from the romantic couple only accepting love at the end Beauty and Beast style trope. I loved that we actually saw characters transform throughout it. And there is so much more to find out. So many intriguing details I can’t wait to sift through.

It’s a fairy-tale but without magic, which I wasn’t expecting since it was compared to The Selection. I really have nothing to criticize, it was that good for me! Now if only one came out with an F/F and I’d be in heaven.

Overall, a great book if you’re into this sort of thing like I am.

Quality DNA by Beth Martin

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It’s so cool to see books you read in the beta stage get published. This book was one of my first beta reads, and it was a well-polished novel then. I liked it so much, in fact, I re-read it in its final form (and I very rarely do that because reading time = precious!)

Plot: In the future, due to overpopulation, each person is only allowed to have one child. DNA is monitored and men are sterilized after fathering an offspring. Except for some reason, babies are being born matching the DNA of dead men of exceptional talents, and it’s up to the social department’s investigator Irene to figure out how it’s possible.

First of all, I loved the diversity of this book. The main character is a lesbian woman, married to a bisexual Korean woman. You want to read it already, don’t you? Race, gender, and sexuality is represented not only well, but in abundance, and with no negative connotation. A+ in my book!

The characters are another big plus. No one is perfect or pure evil, just like in life. The relationships in this book, be it friends, family, or romance, are very real. I had genuine feelings when things happened to them.

The story itself is quite on the sci-fi side, and more than a dose of suspending disbelief is required. For many of the main points, such as the reasoning for population control, you just have to take them as is and not try to pick it apart. Enjoy it for what it is and you won’t be disappointed.

You can pre-order Quality DNA on Amazon.

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs

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I told myself I was not going to read this book.

I love this series, but if there’s one thing that became a very strange procedural it’s that Mercy gets kidnapped, to the point of it now being comical.

So after finishing Fire Touched, I told myself that if the next book is about her getting kidnapped, I’m out.

And then, months later, I read the beginning of this book’s description:

“Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself ………..”

I stopped, wanting to bang my head against the wall. Why, Patricia? Why must you do this to me? I didn’t even bother writing down the release date.

Still, I couldn’t stay away – and I’m so glad I didn’t. This book was probably one of my favorites in the series. If anyone can make ten great books about kidnapping the same girl it’s this author.

We get sexy vampires, wolf POV (!!!), a little fairy magic, and a lot of cool scenery with it being in Italy and Prague.

Also: twists galore! So many wonderful surprises. I could not stop reading.

Overall, I’m really happy I continued on with this world because it’s awesome. And even if Mercy is kidnapped in the next one, I won’t let it stop me from reading it.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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It took me a long time to finish this book.

Not because it was bad, but because it was heavy. Very, very heavy. Hell, the whole thing was an avalanche of emotions, especially for someone who struggles with many of the things described in it.

I loved how real the characters were. No one was perfect and no one was evil. Everyone was human. Little things like wet socks and smelly armpits made it so genuine.

I loved the short chapter layout. It reminded me of Go Ask Alice, my first brush with the self-destructive teenager diary genre. I liked the writing, too, though sometimes the dialogue felt a little too mature for the maturity level of Charlie, the main character and narrator. Plenty of beautiful metaphors and rolling sentences, things that one might imagine but not say, and for how little she said a lot of it didn’t feel right.

As for the story itself, I enjoyed it a lot, but unlike most other books it didn’t have a typical plot. Usually, in a book like this, we’d get an overview of what we are to achieve by the end of the book, aka the big reveal. This book was a story of Charlie’s life post- suicide attempt and it was interesting, and heart-breaking, and intense, but I had no idea where it was leading aside from everything crashing back down at some random point. It made for an unpredictable, though at times random, read. And without spoilers, I have to say – the ending was the best part.

I think that many audiences would enjoy this book, from teens to adults, because the characters were a variety of ages too. If you’re looking for a book about dealing with feelings of self-harm, this is a great read. But be warned: there are all kinds of triggers aside from cutting, from suicide, to abuse, to addiction. This is a book that doesn’t shy away from tough subjects, which makes it one of its greatest strengths.

Celebrate LGBT pride month with a diverse book.

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This month I see a lot of posts with diverse books in honor of LGBT Pride, and I love it! So here’s another one to add to your list, readers!
Rise of the Chosen is a dystopian fantasy where the main character, Samantha, is bisexual and in a relationship with another girl, Lena. It’s gotten a lot of positive reception on how they are portrayed and needs to be more on the LGBT radar (and it’s #ownvoices!). It’s been compared to Divergent, The Maze Runner, and is inspired by The Walking Dead. Here’s the blurb:
In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

It’s not a super long book so find the time to check it out!
Or, for more information, you can find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30553316-rise-of-the-chosen
And the author website is: http://www.annakoppauthor.com/young-adult

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

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You guys…I think I’m getting older.

Even a few years ago I wouldn’t have picked up an adult family drama to save my life.

And yet, seeing this on my NetGalley email, something told me I should.

And oh my God was it good.

I devoured this book. When I was doing other things, like working or cleaning or cooking dinner, I was thinking about the next time I can pick it up so I can see what happens. It’s that good.

Now, after finishing it, I’m still digesting all the wonderful and emotional feelings that it brought. The distinctly British-style writing, the twists and turns, the coincidences of a well-thought-out plot. I think I smiled through half of it just imagining all the big reveals, and the satisfaction they brought was perfect.

So what does this mean?

I think it means it’s time for me to expand my horizons. I’ve been missing out. And if you don’t read this book, you’d be missing out too.

 

A huge thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this ARC!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

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I’m not going to lie, the main reason I got this book is because I saw a bunch of people say it had great f/f bi representation. I’m more into traditional fantasy versus modern, but I still put it on my list, and finally got the chance to read it.

And it was…good. At least that’s how I would describe my feelings after finishing it. I’ll go into more depth here.

First off, it had an amazing diverse cast. Alex’s family reminded me a lot of The Raven Boys’ Blue’s family (which was my favorite thing about that series) but they weren’t your typical white witches. The entire book seeped that Latin American vibe and I LOVED it. I felt like I was immersed in that world, and not once did I see the characters as default-white.

Speaking of the world, oh my Dios, Los Lagos was incredible. It’s no surprise this was picked up for a movie. People compare it to Alice in Wonderland but I disagree. To me it’s more like OZ. There are witches and fairies and everything is alive and filled with magic but not insane or silly magic – real and dangerous and sorrowful. They aren’t mad, they’re surviving.

So then, what, might you ask, is the problem?

There is no problem. It was written well, the bi-love-triangle-that-wasn’t-really-a-love-triangle was fairly well done, and it paced itself perfectly well and wrapped up perfectly well. I liked the characters, there were some twists I didn’t see coming, and overall I enjoyed it.

So, once again, why did it take me a month longer that it should have to finish? I kept putting it down to do other things. At first I couldn’t figure out why. And then I did.

It was that the whole thing felt like a Pixar movie. Somehow, the way it was written, with its little sweet interactions and Alex’s innocence and the darkness and evil and death being so surreal that I saw it in my head like a beautiful animated film. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. I love Pixar movies. They have that darkness while still giving us hope and love and a happy ending. This book was about family and self acceptance, and that’s wonderful, but Alex could have been 13 and it would have still been completely appropriate. Actually, I think it would have been better. Made her a stronger character.

A lot of reviewers are saying they thought it wasn’t intense enough so they didn’t feel scared for the characters, but I think it’s actually that it was too intense. Every corner was life or death, every vision a mirage, every escape deemed impossible. The explanation of ‘magic’ just wasn’t enough to make up for the sheer amount of running and fighting and bleeding and still being able to give more. It was, as I said earlier, surreal, thus taking it into a whole new territory. Still, it’s not a -bad- thing. It’s how this book was laid out and it was great. I just think many of us readers couldn’t relate to the darkness because it’s too cartoony in a way.

All in all, a great story that would make a great Pixar animated film, but I think the target audience is middle grade/teen, not young adult+.