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The ghosts we keep by Mason Deaver-Hear our voices book tours

Hello and welcome to my stop for “The Ghosts we keep” by Mason Deaver! A huge thanks to Hear our voices book tours for the chance to be part of it!

Hardcover, 336 pages

Expected publication: June 1st 2021 by PUSH Scholastic

Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, this book will rip your heart out before showing you how to heal from tragedy and celebrate life in the process.

When Liam Cooper’s older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam has to not only learn to face the world without one of the people he loved the most, but also face the fading relationship with his two best friends.

Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam finds themself sharing time with Marcus, Ethan’s best friend, and through Marcus, Liam finds the one person that seems to know exactly what they’re going through, for the better, and the worse.

This book is about grief. But it’s also about why we live. Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should. 

Thank you so much, PUSH Scholastic, for the chance to read and review this book!

TW: death, grief, depression, self-harm, anxiety, panic attacks, misgendering

When their older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam is forced to face the world without one of the people he loved the most and seeing their relationship with their two best friends slowly fading. Feeling lonely and devastated, Liam finds a friend and a support in Marcus, Ethan’s best friend and have to learn to go through the pain and grief and to move on.

I was DEVASTATED while reading this book. I devoured it and I couldn’t stop reading it, while, at the same time, crying my eyes out and thinking how life was so unfair and cruel.
The ghosts we keep is wonderful, moving and heartwrenching. Told by Liam’s POV, it swings from before Ethan’s death and after it, showing Liam’s and their parents’ struggling to move on and facing their grief and loss, the moments with Ethan and Marcus, with Joel and Vanessa, Liam’s best friends, the fights, the sweet moments and the sad ones.
I loved the way it swings from past to present, letting the reader know Ethan and his relationship with Marcus and Liam and Liam’s bond with their friends and parents.

This is a book about grief, moving on, struggling, lost chances, lost loves, growing up and life in its complexity and unfairness. It’s harrowing, sad and so important. Liam is a wonderful main character and I love their energy and passion about music and their struggle is really relatable in their lashing out, being upset, trying to move on, feeling lonely and lost. I love his relationship with Ethan and how much they loved one other, fighting as all siblings do, supporting and loving each other. I was devasted while learning about Marcus’ pain and loss and it was so hard to read.
Mason Deaver wrote a book that will torn your heart out of the chest and leave you bleeding. A book about life and love, family and bonds, grief and pain and moving on.

I loved everything about it.

“I was foolish in my belief that grief was a straightforward thing. I thought the first wave would it, and gradually the feelings of sadness and desperation would slip away until I found myself normal again. But I was so very wrong. Because grief is a complicated, ugly, messy thing. And it makes you do complicated, ugly and messy things.”

“Fingers finding lost bodies-
floating along the surface, despaired, drowned, dead.
Keeping secrets lost on pale blue lips-
For this is the place the dead things go-
This is the home of the ghosts we keep.

“And I wish you were here,
but you’ve left me alone.
Gone off on a journey,
that’ll never bring you home.”

“Things grow old-
everything does.
But I promise you-
No matter the distance-
My hearts beats the same as yours
and you make it full.”

“But I have to learn to live alongside the pain, alongside this missing part of my life that I’d never get back.”

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

May the best man win by Z.R. Ellor – Turn the page tours blog tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “May the best man win” by Z.R. Ellor, organized by Turn the page tours! I’m so excited to be part of this tour, because this book was one of my most anticipated read of 2021 and I’m really happy to recommend it with all my heart!

TITLE: May the Best Man Win
AUTHOR: Z.R. Ellor
PUBLISHER: Roaring Brook Press
RELEASE DATE: May 18th, 2021
GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Contemporary, Romance


A trans boy enters a throw-down battle for the title of Homecoming King with the boy he dumped last summer in ZR Ellor’s contemporary YA debut.

Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president, won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdated school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King?
Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to break his heart and steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage Jeremy’s campaign.
When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering butterflies they can’t deny.

REPRESENTATION: Trans*, Gay, Autistic, Queer

TW: transphobia, misgendering, deadnaming, abuse, dysphoria, physical violence, ableist language, homophobic slurs and homophobia

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Roaring Brook Press, for the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated books of 2021!

Jeremy Harkiss is the cheer captain and student body president and he won’t let his coming out as trangender boy define him and ruin his senior year. He’s determined to be seen as he is, a boy and he’s ready to battle against bigots and the outdated school administration, so he decides to run as Homecoming King, challenging his ex Lukas for the title.
Lukas is a football start and head of the Homecoming Commitee and he’s struggling to put order in his life after being dumped by his long-term girlfriend, who turned out to be a boy and his own family falling apart and he won’t let Jeremy steal his crown, after having broken his heart.
So they start an intense battle, made of sabotage, cheating, involving their friends and, soon, the whole school, in their rivarly, while struggling with their own fears, doubts and wounds. But when they are forced to work together in order to save Homecoming, Jeremy and Lukas have to face the hurt they are hiding and their mutual attraction.

May the best man win is such an amazing novel and I loved everything about it. Told by two POVs, Jeremy’s and Lukas’, the stoy is intense, wonderful and heartwrenching, tackling important themes as transphobia and homophobia, misgendering, deadnaming, violence, aggression and so much more.
The story focuses on Jeremy and Lukas and their complicated and intense journey in finding themselves and one other, their places and community, facing family’s, school’s and society’s expectations.

Jeremy is struggling with the bigots at school, a complicated relationship with his mother, dysphoria and the desire to be finally seen as he is: a boy. Not Lukas’ ex girlfriend, not a lesbian, not a pretender, but himself, but he’s forced to face constant transphobia at school, above all from his ex friend Philip and to fight against the school administration, who doesn’t want to do anything in order to protect him, not wanting to jeopardize Philip’s father money donations.
His decision to run as Homecoming King is strongly connected with his desire to be seen as he is. At the same time Jeremy is acutely aware of how little the school is doing in order to protected the marginalized community and he’s determined to change things. His battle with Lukas is also complicated by unresolved feelings, painful and intense past and their profound wounds and bonds.

Lukas’ life is falling apart around him, since his older (and cruel) brother died and his family changed, stopping talking to one other. He wants to fix everything, to put order in his messy life and becoming a Homecoming King is the only way he’s seeing to attract college’s attentions and making his family proud of him, struggling to be seen by them. Lukas is autistic, even though few know about it and he’s under the costant pressure of being the perfect football player, the perfect son, the perfect student, carrying his family’s, his school’s expectations on his shoulder. The author wrote skillfully his complicated relationship with his family and brother, the pain of losing him, but also the relief of not being hurt by him anymore, his need to salvage what he can and to keep his family together.
His painful breakup with Jeremy, the pain of having lost him, after years and years together, the knowledge of not knowing exactly why it happened weighs down on him, filling both of them with anger and pain, pushing them in all-out war, threatening to burn down everything and everyone around them.

Their journey is messy and complicated by intrusive thoughts, like feeling unwanted and unloved, heartwrenching past and interactions, bad days. Both Jeremy and Lukas show the world a front, what people want to see, a fake Jeremy and a fake Lukas, in order to be accepted, loved and included, at school and at home. But slowly the pressure of not being themselves threatens to destroy them both and Jeremy and Lukas have to face themselves and one other and be finally honest and happy.
Both of them feel unwanted and unloved and keep thinking everything (family’s and their own’s expectations) will be solved with the crown, while the whole world is crashing around them. Slowly they are forced to accept the reality and start loving themselves for who they are and not what the others want them to be, realizing the love and support from their friends and family members.
On this note, I have to say I loved the side characters, above all Sol and their constant energy and jokes and Ben and Naomi, with their support and love, even though they all were “forced” in the middle of Jeremy’s and Lukas’ breakup, aftermath and fights.

Jeremy and Lukas are intense, complex and amazing main characters. They are teenagers, they are messed up, desperate, filled with anger and pain. They make mistakes, hurt people, apologize, struggle to be better, to be and find themselves in a world, often, bent into put people in labeled boxes and in smothering them.

I loved how the author talked about Jeremy’s anger and fire and the wonderful and supportive queer community he finally finds, where he can fit and be himself, how Lukas, after struggling for so long under the pressure of being someone he wasn’t, learns to embrace and be himself.

Jeremy’s and Lukas’ relationship is truly intense, moving and heartwrenching, made of still open wounds, unresolved tension and questions, pain and desires. While facing one other in the battle for the Homecoming King, while struggling with their own problems at home and school, between lessons and friends and fights, Jeremy and Lukas slowly realize how much they still care and love about one other, under all the pain and misunderstandings. It was really beautiful reading how they fit, how much they are still in love and how to move from there.

“We fit together like puzzle pieces, my fire and his reason, my energy and his comfortable arms.” (quote from the earc, so it can be subject to change)

May the best man win also tackles how often the powers, as the school administration, can turn a blind eye only for monetary gain, refusing to acknowledge and listen to victims denouncing harassments, sexual, physical, hate speech and so on, leaving more often than not people alone and afraid to speak, because they are afraid they won’t get their justice. Even though it doesn’t solve the problem with the whole school system at Jeremy’s and Lukas’ school, I was really moved and impressed by the community’s support and love in defending their classmates and in their desire to change things for the better.

The novel also talks about stereotypical thoughts about being gay, trans and female, about what it means “being a man”, misogyny and harmful behaviour.

I really loved reading May the best man win. The story is amazing, brilliant and I enjoyed so much reading about Jeremy’s and Lukas’ journey and their incredible and intense bond.

Z. R. Ellor (he/him) is the author of MAY THE BEST MAN WIN and the forthcoming adult fantasy SILK FIRE (written as Zabé Ellor.) He holds a BA in English Lit and biology from Cornell University. When not writing, he can be found running, playing video games, and hunting the best brunch deals in Washington D.C.. Find him online at

There’s also a giveaway!

Up for grabs, we have ONE (1) copy of May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from May 16th to May 23rd at 12 AM CST. No giveaway accounts allowed.

Giveaway Link:

You can find here the tour schedule! Check all the other amazing posts!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Shadowhunters: The Last Hours – 2. La catena di ferro di Cassandra Clare- Blog tour

Buongiorno e benvenuti alla mia tappa per “La Catena di ferro” di Cassandra Clare! Un grazie enorme a Martina per aver organizzato l’evento e alla casa editrice per la copia in anteprima!

Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate!

Disponibile su:    

Genere: Narrativa Contemporanea

ISBN: 9788804734420

624 pagine

Prezzo: € 22,00


In vendita dal 27 aprile 2021


A osservarla da lontano, la vita di Cordelia Carstairs sembrerebbe perfetta. Che altro potrebbe desiderare infatti la giovane donna? È fidanzata con James Herondale, uno degli scapoli più ambiti di Londra, che oltretutto è proprio il ragazzo di cui da sempre è disperatamente innamorata. Ha iniziato una vita nuova ed eccitante a Londra, insieme alla sua migliore amica Lucie Herondale e agli affascinanti amici di James, gli Allegri Compagni. Per di più, sta per riunirsi con l’amato padre e ha con sé Cortana, la leggendaria spada che la sua famiglia si trasmette di generazione in generazione.
Purtroppo, però, la realtà è ben diversa, e certo molto meno entusiasmante. Per prima cosa, il suo imminente matrimonio con James non è altro che una farsa, organizzato soltanto per salvare la reputazione di entrambi. James, poi, è innamorato della misteriosa Grace Blackthorn, sorella inconsolabile di Jesse, un ragazzo morto anni addietro a causa di un terribile incidente. Per non parlare di Cortana: ogni volta che cerca di utilizzarla, Cordelia si ritrova i palmi delle mani bruciati. Suo padre, inoltre, è molto diverso dall’uomo che conosceva, ora è molto più amareggiato e incattivito.
Come se non bastasse, un assassino seriale sta prendendo di mira gli Shadowhunter di Londra. Complice l’oscurità, pugnala indisturbato le sue vittime e poi sparisce, senza lasciare traccia.
Insieme agli Allegri Compagni, Cordelia, James e Lucie percorrono in lungo e in largo le strade più pericolose della città per seguire le orme dell’assassino. Ma i segreti che ciascuno custodisce gelosamente rischiano di vanificare tutti i loro sforzi.

Sono legatissima al mondo Shadowhunters e mi sono affezionata da morire ai suoi personaggi, quindi attendo con ansia ogni libro della saga, sperando e pregando che stiano bene, che siano felici e privi di drammi e caos. Conoscendo la Clare, è praticamente impossibile, però.

Ecco a voi la mia recensione! Attenzione ai possibili spoilers!

Catena di ferro è il secondo volume di The last hours, l’ultima trilogia (per il momento) di Cassandra Clare e si concentra principalmente sui personaggi e i loro rapporti interpersonali. Devo ammettere che, in questo, non è molto diverso da Catena d’oro.

Cordelia e James sono sposati e hanno iniziato una nuova vita insieme, ma noi sappiamo quanto la realtà sia diversa e decisamente ingarbugliata. Dopo gli avvenimenti di Catena d’oro, James e Cordelia hanno deciso di sposarsi per salvare la reputazione di entrambi, ma lui è innamorato (anche se noi sappiamo che non è esattamente così) di Grace Blackthorn. La nostra Cordelia si sforza di nascondere i suoi veri sentimenti e come se non bastasse ci sono problemi all’orizzonte con il ritorno del padre, che soffre di alcolismo e di Cortana, che sembra respingerla.

Ritroviamo Lucie che, disperata e determinata, lotta per cercare un modo per riportare in vita Jesse, stringendo una peculiare alleanza con la misteriosa Grace e cercando di scoprire qualcosa di più sul proprio potere, mentre il suo rapporto con Jesse diventa sempre più profondo. Finalmente, tramite numerosi flashback, veniamo a conoscenza del passato di Grace e di come è diventata la donna che abbiamo conosciuto e, ammettiamolo, detestato, nel libro precedente. Anche se questi flashback hanno fornito parecchie risposte ai suoi comportamenti, non riesco davvero ad affezionarmi al suo personaggio, ma posso di certo ammirare la sua determinazione nel voler riportare in vita l’unico membro della sua famiglia cui è legata. Jesse, per l’appunto. Davvero dolce e commovente leggere dei loro momenti insieme e del loro legame e di come Tatiana fosse sempre stata affamata di potere e di vendetta.

Per quanto riguarda Alastair mi è piaciuto molto il modo in cui l’autrice abbia affrontato il suo personaggio, evidenziandone la crescita e come, dopo essersi conto dei suoi sbagli e di aver ferito alcune persone, tra cui Matthew e Thomas, stia tentando di migliorarsi e fare ammende. Palese quanto le tensioni familiari siano cresciute con il ritorno di Elias, facendo riemergere sofferenze e abusi subiti in passato. Il rapporto tra Thomas e Alastair è uno dei migliori, a mio parere. Mi è davvero piaciuto come finalmente si siano confrontati.

Ritroviamo, invece, Anna e Ariadne in una complessa situazione, Matthew sconvolto dai sensi di colpa e dal bere e un Christopher che, bontà sua, si vede e non si vede all’interno della narrazione.

Catena di ferro, come del resto gli altri libri della Clare, rende impossibile non affezionarsi ai personaggi, temere per la loro incolumità, tifare per le varie coppie ed essere assorbiti nel loro straordinario mondo. Un libro intenso e particolare, che ho davvero amato, anche se ci sono cose che mi hanno lasciata un po’…MEH.

Ho amato il modo in cui l’autrice abbia sviluppato il rapporto tra James e Cordelia da sposati, quello di Thomas e Alastair, Lucie e Jesse, i teneri momenti tra gli Allegri Compagni, le battute divertenti, gli esperimenti di Christopher, la relazione tra Anna e Ariadne, la presenza di Will e Tessa che adoro da morire, così come di Magnus e Jem (anche se menzionati davvero di sfuggita li adoro comunque). Ho apprezzato il modo in cui, finalmente, qualcuno sembra rendersi conto del problema di Matthew e provi ad aiutarlo e il rapporto che instaura con Cordelia.

Quello che non mi è piaciuto è stato il troppo soffermarsi sui rapporti tra i vari personaggi, ma, ammettiamolo, sulle varie coppie della saga, invece di amalgamarlo con la trama dell’assassino. La trama principale, credo, si sarebbe dovuta focalizzare su un misterioso assassino che sta prendendo di mira gli Shadowhunters e sui particolari sogni e sensazioni che coinvolgono James, facendogli temere di essere collegato agli omicidi. Detto ciò, la trama fa solo da sfondo ai rapporti tra i vari personaggi, interrompendosi per lunghi capitoli e riprendendo, soprattutto nella parte finale, in una conclusione piuttosto, a mio dire, affrettata e poco chiara.

Non ho apprezzato il modo in cui il personaggio di Christopher sia stato del tutto ignorato, se non in quanto macchietta del gruppo con i suoi vari esperimenti e mi ha davvero deluso questo trattamento, perché penso sia un personaggio complesso e dal potenziale, che non ci è dato modo di vedere, perché i personaggi sembrano essere sviluppati soprattutto se all’interno di una coppia, potenziale e non.

Detto ciò, Catena di ferro appare come un libro di mezzo, che prepara i personaggi e i lettori al confronto finale. Non posso dire di aver amato ogni cosa, ma lo consiglio assolutamente perché, come ho detto in precedenza, amo questo mondo e non posso non essermi affezionata ai suoi personaggi!

Avevo preparato una mia personale playlist dedicata ai personaggi e coppie di Shadowhunters! Fatemi sapere che ne pensate!

A thousand years di Christina Perri per Lucie e Jesse

Brave enough di Lindsey Stirling e Christina Perri per James e Cordelia

Take flight di Lindsey Stirling per James e Cordelia

What hurts the most di Kelly Clarkson e Rascal Flatts per Thomas e Alastair

Bring me to life degli Evanescence per Jesse e Lucie

Beyond the veil di Lindsey Stirling per Jesse e Lucie

Bleeding love di Leona Lewis per Matthew e Cordelia

Dancing on my own (Elle Fanning version) per Anna e Ariadne

Dancing with the devil di Demi Lovato per Matthew

Because of you di Kelly Clarkson per Alastair

All I need dei Within Temptation per Alastair

Anyone di Demi Lovato per Matthew

Sober di Demi Lovato per Matthew

Far away di Nickelback per Thomas e Alastair

Date un’occhiata anche a ciò che pensano gli altri partecipanti!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Sugar and spite by Gail D. Villanueva- Tbr and beyond tours

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Sugar and spite”! A huge thanks to Tbr and beyond tour for the opportunity and to Scholastic Press for the chance to read and review this book!

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy
Publishing date:  April 20th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

Can a bully be defeated by a magical love potion?
Jolina can’t take Claudine’s bullying any longer! The taunts and teasing are too much. Though Jolina knows she’s still in-training to use her grandfather’s arbularyo magic, she sneaks into his potions lab to get her revenge. Jolina brews a batch of gayuma, a powerful love potion.
And it works. The love potion conquers Claudine’s hateful nature. In fact, Claudine doesn’t just stop bullying Jolina-now she wants to be Jolina’s BFF, and does everything and anything Jolina asks.
But magic comes with a cost, and bad intentions beget bad returns. Controlling another person’s ability to love-or hate-will certainly have consequences. The magic demands payment, and it is about to come for Jolina in the form of a powerful storm…
Magic and reality mingle in this brilliant new middle-grade novel by Gail D. Villanueva that asks whether it’s ever okay to take away someone’s free will.

Thank you so much, Scholastic Press, for the chance to read and review this book!

TW: bullying, death

Jolina can’t take Claudine’s bullying any longer, so she decides to brew a batch of gayuma, a love potion, conquering Claudine’s nature. Not only the girl stops bullying Jolina, but also wants to be her best friend, doing everything she asks. While slowly getting to know one other, Jolina starts to regret her action. Controlling someone’s feeling will have consequences and maybe Jolina isn’t ready to pay them. Magic always has a cost.

I really liked reading this cute and funny middle-grade novel! In a wonderful island, with a really evocative setting, Jolina is a smart and brilliant main character, an arbularyo-in-training. She loves her family, she has a tight bond with her dog Kidlat, she loves learning from her grandfather’s magic, but, since she moved there from Manila, she feels like an outsider and Claudine, daughter of a rich family, isn’t helping her feeling welcome. She feels she doesn’t belong there, struggling to open up and making friends and when she decides to get her revenge everything changes. She’s forced to understand what it means taking someone’s free will, while, also, getting to know the real Claudine. I really liked how they start to become friends, away from their prejudices and insecurities.
I also loved Jolina’s relationship with her parents and grandfather and, above all, the connection between her and her dog. It was so moving and sweet! The food, too! I loved reading about the cooking and the magic!

Magic and reality are mixed in Sugar and Spite, in a loving story about friendships and prejudices, socioeconomic differences, love, family and free will.

“Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it’s cool to think that I’m the daughter of Rain and Sunshine.”

“After all, anyone who likes animals and can actually have animals like them is usually a good person.”

“Mom tells me that friendship is also a kind of love.”

“Like Lolo Sebyo said, there are people who have forgotten how to express their kindness even though they’ve always been kind deep inside.”

“Whatever you give, you’ll also receive. Do good, you get rewarded with with fortune. Do bad, you get punished with bad.”

Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipino author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer and an entrepreneur. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken. Her debut novel My Fate According to the Butterfly (Scholastic, 2019) was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, an Amazon Best Book of the Month Editor’s Pick, and a NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Gail’s next book, Sugar And Spite, will be published by Scholastic on April 20, 2021.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

One last thing!

One person will win an annotated ARC from the author. The giveaway starts on April 19th and ends on April 26th

Direct Link:

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Zara Hossain is here by Sabina Khan- Hear Our Voices Book Tours

Hello and welcome to my stop for Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan! A huge thanks to Hear Our Voices Book Tours and Scholastic Press for the chance to read and review this book!

Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: YA Fiction

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Book Depository |

Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.

But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

From the author of the “heart-wrenching yet hopeful” (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.

TW: racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, biphobia

Zara Hossain is the only Muslim student at her High school in Corpus Christi. She’s “used” to microaggession, while trying not to show her anger and true feelings, because she and her family are waiting for their green card and she’s afraid seeking justice would jeopardize that goal. But one day her tormentor, a star football player, Tyler Benson, takes things too far and get suspended. Tyler and his racist friends so decide to vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime and a consequences that could jeopardize their lives and Zara’s future.
Zara is forced to fight between staying in the place she considers her home, while her parents don’t feel safe anymore, or losing the life she knows coming back to Pakistan.

Zara Hossain is here is a heart-wrenching novel about what it means to be an immigrant in America, the struggles Zara and her family face, the Islamophobia, the racism, the feeling of don’t belong. It was so intense reading this book and it filled me with rage and sadness realizing how people can be so ignorant and hateful, how, sometimes, there’s no justice. The author talks about white privilege and the acute difference in the way the system (police, racial, social ones) treats and considers white people and people of color. Sabina Khan also addresses issues like homophobia and biphobia and how religions are often used as excuses to ignorant and hurtful behaviour.

I love the tight bond between Zara and her parents, who would do anything for her and her future and between Zara and her friends, Nick and Priya. Zara and her family are surrounded by a wonderful and tight community and it was so amazing to read, how supported and helped they were during these crazy times. Zara is a strong main character, stubborn, loving, ready to fight for the right thing. She’s smart and passionate and I really love her energy and her bonds with her family, biological and found.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s the kind of book that hurt my heart and made me think about how unfair are things in America, how spread are the double standards and the white privilege, how money can buy things and people. And also how important is to fight for the right thing, not to be silent and to seek justice and fairness.

One of the things I loved the most is how the author doesn’t sweeten the hard reality. Unfair things happened and are still happening, families are torn apart, people, who only tried to find a better place for themselves and their families, can find, and do find, racism and injustice. It’s not the kind of book with an happy ever after. Sabina Khan doesn’t lie and she shows how unfair, how injust the life can be. Zara Hossain is Here is a painful book to read, it’s about unjustices and racism, but also about family, endurance of hope, fighting for justice and against hate.

It’s heart-wrenching and hopeful at the same time and I loved Zara and her family.

Sabina Khan is the author of ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE (Scholastic/ April 6, 2021) and THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic, 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two daughters and the best puppy in the world.

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  1. Where did you get the inspiration for Zara Hossain Is Here?

I wrote Zara Hossain Is Here largely becasue of my own experience with the US immigration system. In the 90’s I lived there with my family and we were all awaiting our green cards. Unfortunately a clerical error by our lawyer derailed the entire process and we had no choice but to leave the country before our visas expired. It was a difficult time to move and start all over yet again. Luckily we were able to build a good life in Canada with our young children, but at the time the experience was quite traumatizing.

  1. Could you describe the book with one sentence?

A young Muslim immigrant fights back against Islamophobia, racism and the inequities of the US immigration system.

  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’ve discovered that my creative juices don’t start flowing unless I’m sitting in my favorite recliner with my puppy by my feet. And I need to have complete silence, as in even my husband’s breathing annoys me when I’m in the zone.

  1. Zara experiences Islamophobic harassments. What advice would you give to people in her same situation?

I think that every such situation is unique so it’s hard to give any general piece of advice. But I do think that it’s very important to consider all the variables such as safety, access to resources, a support network etc.

  1. Do you have future projects? Could you tell us something about them?

I do have a few things in the works. Right now all I can tell you is that my next book is another YA contemporary that plays with time and POV.

  1. What are five random things about you that you love?

This is a fun question! Let’s see:

I love that I don’t care where I am when there’s music playing and I can just start dancing.

I love that I finally found the courage to sing in front of people, because I love it so much!

I love that I sometimes laugh so loudly that I scare people, but I don’t care.

I love that I can make myself laugh, even when other people don’t think my jokes are funny.

I love that I still feel excited about what life will bring my way.

Thank you so much for these wonderful questions!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Rovina e ascesa di Leigh Bardugo- Review party

Salve a tutti e benvenuti alla mia tappa per il review party dedicato a “Rovina e Ascesa” di Leigh Bardugo. Ringrazio infinitamente Ambra per avermi reso partecipe e la casa editrice per la copia in anteprima. Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.

Ecco a voi il calendario del review party


Genere: Narrativa Contemporanea

ISBN: 9788804728757

288 pagine

Prezzo: € 18,90


In vendita dal 30 marzo 2021

“Disprezza il tuo cuore.” Era quello che volevo. Non volevo più essere in lutto, soffrire per qualche perdita o per i sensi di colpa, o per la preoccupazione. Volevo essere dura, calcolatrice. Volevo essere impavida. Fino a poco prima mi era sembrato possibile. Ora ne ero meno sicura.

L’Oscuro ha ormai esteso il suo dominio su Ravka grazie al suo esercito di creature mostruose. Per completare i suoi piani, gli manca solo avere nuovamente al suo fianco Alina, la sua Evocaluce.

La giovane Grisha, anche se indebolita e costretta ad accettare la protezione dell’Apparat e di fanatici che la venerano come una Santa, non ha perso però le speranze: non tutto è perduto, sempre che un certo principe, sfacciato e fuorilegge, sia sopravvissuto, e che lei riesca a trovare la leggendaria creatura alata di Morozova, la chiave per liberare l’unico potere in grado di sconfiggere l’Oscuro e distruggere la Faglia. Per riuscirci, la potente Grisha dovrà tessere nuove alleanze e mettere da parte le vecchie rivalità. Nel farlo, verrà a conoscenza di alcuni segreti del passato dell’Oscuro che getteranno finalmente luce sulla natura del legame che li unisce e del potere che l’uomo esercita su di lei.

Con una nuova guerra alle porte, Alina si avvia verso il compimento del proprio destino, consapevole che opporsi all’ondata di crescente oscurità che lambisce il suo paese potrebbe costarle proprio quel futuro per cui combatte da sempre.

“Rovina e Ascesa” segna la fine della trilogia iniziata con “Tenebre e ossa”, dedicata al Grishaverse. La fine di un’era, la fine delle avventure di Alina e i suoi amici, la fine delle guerre tra ship Malina e Darklina (che non mi mancheranno per niente) e una degnissima conclusione di un’avvincente saga.

La storia riprende poco dopo la disastrosa fine e fuga rocambolesca del precedente libro e ritroviamo una protagonista, benché stanca e provata e oppressa dalle cure dell’Apparat, determinata a fermare l’Oscuro e a proteggere Ravka. La ricerca della misteriosa creatura di Morozova, il terzo amplificatore la spingerà a scoprire cose sul passato dell’Oscuro e su cosa bisognerà fare per salvare il suo paese e la sua famiglia. Tra nuove e vecchie alleanze, fughe e ricerche, viaggi e nuove conoscenze, Alina, Mal, Nikolai, Genya, Zoya, David e altri alleati si preparano a fare di tutto per sconfiggere l’Oscuro. Anche se, forse, il prezzo da pagare sarà troppo alto.

La conclusione della trilogia, come ogni finale che si rispetti, è molto agrodolce e mi ha particolarmente colpito. Il worldbuilding creato dall’autrice è, come sempre, straordinario e intrigante e amo il modo in cui i personaggi, dal primo all’ultimo, sono maturati nel corso della trilogia, spingendomi a conoscerli meglio ed ad apprezzarli. Inutile dire che ho rivalutato molti di loro, impressionata dalla loro crescita e ho adorato moltissimo David e Zoya, mi sono molto affezionata ai nuovi personaggi introdotti. La storia è, come gli altri libri, piena di colpi di scena e di rivelazioni, sull’Oscuro, su Morozova, sul passato e il potere, sulle conseguenze di esso e i rischi e i sacrifici richiesti. Soprattutto Alina sente su di sé, acutamente, il peso di questa guerra, delle perdite e sofferenze ed è determinata a porre fine al regno de l’Oscuro, a lottare contro di lui e liberare Ravka dalla sua influenza e crudeltà. In un gioco di potere, minacce, perdite e scontri, Alina e l’Oscuro si incontrano, si scontrano, muovono pedine fino alla conclusione finale.

Ho amato leggere questa trilogia e mi ha lasciato moltissimo. Ho riso, mi sono commossa, ho sorriso nel leggere i battibecchi tra i vari personaggi, ho trattenuto il fiato nell’assistere alle loro fughe, alle morti e alle perdite. La Bardugo descrive perfettamente un paese in guerra, non disdegnando morti brutali e minacce messe in atto, sacrifici da compiere, ma è tutto, nonostante sia ambientato in un mondo fantasy, molto realistico nell’emozioni e reazioni dei personaggi.

So che la storia del Grishaverse prosegue con King of Scars e la duologia di Six of Crows, ma la storia di Alina è terminata e mi mancherà davvero molto. Lo consiglio assolutamente, è un finale davvero degno di una trilogia intrigante e piena di personaggi straordinari, impossibile non amarli.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Il rintocco di Neal Shusterman- Review Party

Salve a tutti e benvenuti alla mia tappa dedicata a “Il rintocco” di Neal Shusterman, l’ultimo libro della trilogia iniziata con “La Falce”. Un grazie enorme ad Ambra per avermi dato l’occasione di partecipare a questo review party e alla casa editrice per la copia in anteprima. Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.

Date un’occhiata anche agli altri blog ed ecco a voi la mia recensione!

Collana: Fantastica
ISBN: 9788804725435
492 pagine
Prezzo: € 22,00
In vendita dal 30 marzo 2021

Da tre anni Citra e Rowan sono scomparsi: da quando cioè la falce Goddard ha assunto il potere e il Thunderhead si è chiuso in un silenzio che solo Greyson Tolliver riesce a infrangere. La città-isola di Endura, il “cuore pulsante” della Compagnia delle falci, è perduta, affondata per sempre nelle acque dell’oceano, e con lei le Grandi falci. Davvero sembra che ormai nulla possa impedire il dominio assoluto di Goddard, nominato Suprema Roncola della MidMerica.

E, mentre gli echi della Grande Risonanza scuotono ancora il cuore della Terra, la domanda è una sola: c’è ancora qualcuno in grado di fermare il tiranno? Gli unici a saperlo sono la Tonalità, il Rintocco e il Tuono.

“Il rintocco” di Neal Shusterman è l’ultimo volume della saga distopica iniziata con “La Falce”. Come ogni volume finale che si rispetti anche “Il rintocco” porta con sé il peso di essere la conclusione di un’intera saga, il momento in cui tutti i nodi vengono al pettine e la storia si conclude, per sempre.

Ero così riluttante a lasciare andare alcuni dei miei protagonisti preferiti da aver impiegato parecchi mesi a leggere l’ultimo libro in lingua originale. Per mesi è rimasto a guardarmi in maniera accusatoria dalla mia pila di libri da leggere finché non mi sono decisa a prenderlo in mano e rileggerlo in lingua italiana non è stato semplice affatto.

La mia recensione sarà del tutto priva di spoilers, ma piena di scleri, quindi vi avviso prima di iniziare.

Sono trascorsi tre anni dagli eventi catastrofici di “Thunderhead” e il mondo è del tutto diverso da quello cui il lettore era abituato. Goddard ha il potere supremo, Citra e Rowan sono scomparsi, il Thunderhead è silente e, al tempo stesso, prepara il suo piano. Il lettore ritrova un mondo sconvolto e tra nuovi e vecchi personaggi si conclude un’avvincente trilogia, con scene mozzafiato, fughe rocambolesche, piani su piani fino a un finale sorprendente e agrodolce.

Come abbiamo potuto notare dai libri precedenti, Neal Shusterman ha un’abilità straordinaria nel wordbuilding e nel creare personaggi complessi e interessanti, il cui sviluppo, la cui crescita è sempre brillante e meravigliosamente scritta.

Citra, Rowan, Faraday e il Thunderhead sono solo alcuni dei molteplici punti di vista che sono stati usati ne “Il rintocco”, (amo alla follia il personaggio di Jericho) e la storia si compone, capitolo dopo capitolo, punto di vista dopo punto di vista, come pezzi di un puzzle fino alla sconvolgente conclusione. L’autore, il Thunderhead, compongono la storia sapientemente, facendomi ridere, trattenere il fiato per la sorpresa o la paura, sorridere, emozionare, fino alla fine, finché non ho capito tutti i loro piani.

La trama è colma di colpi di scena, spingendo, come sempre, il lettore, a porsi domande di natura morale, spingendolo a riflettere sulle azioni dei personaggi, sulle loro conseguenze, su cosa sarebbe successo se un personaggio avesse agito in un modo invece che in un altro e così via. Ho sempre amato libri come questa saga, perché suscitano interessanti discussioni e considerazioni sulla vita, sulla morte, su cosa significa sopravvivere e su cosa sia giusto e sbagliato.

I personaggi sono meravigliosamente grigi nelle loro azioni ed è stato intrigante poter leggere la loro conclusione, ma, poiché sono molto affezionata a loro (Goddard, no, no, grazie!) e temevo di perderli del tutto, avere le palpitazioni a ogni colpo di scena non è stato molto piacevole! XD

“Il rintocco” segna la fine di una delle mie saghe preferite. Ho adorato seguire le avventure di Rowan, Citra e Faraday, conoscere Greyson e il Thunderhead, Jericho e, tramite i vari punti di vista, poter conoscere le diverse situazioni in tutto il mondo creato dall’autore e notare quanto il mondo sia cambiato dopo ciò che è successo alla fine di “Thunderhead”.

Ho trovato impossibile non amare i personaggi creati da Shusterman, non sperare nel loro lieto fine e in una degna conclusione della loro storia e non nego di aver più volte esclamato qualcosa tipo “Ancora!? Ma poveri figli, li vuoi lasciare stare?”.

In conclusione, “Il rintocco” è una conclusione intelligente, straziante, agrodolce e perfetta.

Pubblicato in: Senza categoria

Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for the Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora book tour, organized by Tbr and Beyond tours! Thank you so much for this chance! I’m so in love with this book and I can’t wait to freak out with you all about it!

Please, check the tour schedule here!

TOUR SCHEDULE: Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publishing date: March 9th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

Content warning: addiction, violence, characters being held against their will, human trafficking and infertility, For full content warning please see the author’s website:

Sixteen-year-old Nate is a GEM—Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.

But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their GEMs—a flaw that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. As Nate’s health declines, his hard-won freedom is put in jeopardy. Violence erupts across the Withers, his illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay — and die — with the boy he loves.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review and I thank them and the publisher so much, because this book is really amazing!

This book talks about the social difference between riches and poors (highlighted by physical separations), addiction, murder, death, torture, the importance and meaning of family, above all the one you can create, love and relationships.

Nate is a GEM (Genetically Engineered Medical Surrogate) and he was created by Gathos City. To save and give him a chance to live and not to be abused all the time, his parents smuggled him out into the Withers, a place separated from the elite city, a lawless place where he learned to survive as a Tinker, finding his own family with a scavenging gang. But Nate's days are threatened and counted, since the scientists of Gathos City built a failsafe, making the GEMs' bodies deteriorate with age, if they don't take regularly their medicine. When his saving medicine's supply is threatened, violence erupts in the Withers and Reed, the boy he loves, is badly hurt, Nate finds himself into a difficult position.

I LOVE Fragile Remedy. It's an AMAZING dystopian fantasy, full of incredibly relatable characters. The plot is intriguing and skillfully written, the worldbuilding is brilliant and complex, the themes and the way the author dealt with them superb, pushing the reader to think about relationships, love, science and life. The bonds between characters are intense and strong and I loved the trope of queer found family.
Reading through Nate's POV was an intense experience; he's an amazing main character, weighed down by his past. He was abused by cruel scientists and he's burdened by own lies, since he's scared to tell the gang what he is and he doesn't know who to trust. It was such a pleasure reading his POV. He's brilliant, stubborn and smart and one of my favourite character! I was really involved in this story!

I loved the characters' complex relationships. They would do anything to protect each other and to survive and when one of them is in danger they are ready to do the impossibile, against the cruelty of greed and people. Their creating a family with each other was a wonderful thing and their loyalty, their love was inspiring and absolute. It was comforting and sweet reading how they have each other's backs, how they support and love one other.

This book wrecked me, emotionally, because it was impossible not to love its characters. I loved the family they created, their fierce loyalty to each other. How their bonds are intense and complicated, beautifully written and it was a pleasure to discover their intricacies.
The writing style is superb and I felt so involved I cried and laughed with the characters, feeling sad, cheering for them, squealing in delight. The author got me hooked since the very beginning, pushing me to read more and more, because I needed to see them safe and sound, to see how the story would pan out.

I liked how, through a story about love, survival, family and relationships, the author talked about the abuse the riches inflict on poor people. The gap was clear through physical separation (the gates) and because the Withers were depending on the City's supplies (food, remedy and so on). It was interesting reading the way its inhabitants struggled to survive, how they choose to escape their reality and life and how Nate and his family fight to survive and be together. How the author dealt with sensitivity and care important themes like addiction, death, torture, pain and grief.

Fragile Remedy lays important questions about morality and science, pushing the reader to think the lenght the science should go.
If a clone was created to save people's lives, what should his/her/their rights be? He/she/they should be considered a human being? What exactly being humans mean? Should science appeal to humanity and decency or shouldn't? The end justify the means and so on.
I found the social message really important and on point. It was intense thinking about that, above all because the reader sees through Nate's eyes, his feeling trapped, used and hurt, his life created to be in other's service, his own life depending on medicine his captors created. Nate's reality was awful and incredibly complex and he wanted to survive and, at the same time, he was ready to do anything for the people he loved the most.
It was hard to read about Nate's story, because I felt acutely his feeling trapped, his hopelessness and also his love for his family, his fierceness and stubborness.

Fragile Remedy was one of my favourite book I've ever read and I'm so in love with everything. The characters are impossible not to love, the story important and I totally recommend this book to those who love a wonderful queer found family, the profound bonds of love and friendships, fights for freedom and love, against injustice and social differences and the strenght of love and protect one other.


Maria Ingrande Mora is a marketing executive and a brunch enthusiast. Her love languages are snacks, queer joy, and live music. A graduate of the University of Florida, Maria lives near a wetlands preserve with two dogs, two cats, two children, and two billion mosquitoes. She can often be found writing at her stand-up desk, surrounded by house plants. Unless the cats have already destroyed them.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

I’ve also had the pleasure to interview the AWESOME Maria Ingrande Mora! Here’s my interview:

  1. Where did you get the idea for Fragile Remedy?

I was driving and listening to music and had a vivid image of Reed and his gang sorting through tech. Nate slowly formed from my daydreaming about that scene, and I started playing with it.

  1. How many things changed from the original draft? And which ones?

Quite a bit changed! I fully rewrote the book twice. In the original draft, Nate was actually a fairy. Hard to believe now, right? The final 30% or so of the book was rewritten entirely twice.

  1. What is the easiest character to write and the most difficult one?

Alden was the easiest to write. He was the “loudest” in my head, and the most fun to write. I had the most difficult time with Nate, who didn’t want to be particularly forthcoming about his emotional state.

  1. In Fragile Remedy Nate is a GEM, he was created by scientists. Where did you get the inspiration for that?

I wish I could draw a line to one single point of inspiration, but I think this was the result of growing up watching Star Trek movies, Star Wars movies, and loving Anne McCaffrey’s books as a kid.

  1. Fragile Remedy makes the readers think about the length the science should go and lays important questions about morality, abuse and power. What do you think would happen if, in an hypotethical future, people like Nate existed?

I think that we’re already in dangerous territory when it comes to dehumanizing entire populations. It doesn’t feel particularly far-fetched to me that people like Nate would be mistreated and that complacency would win out over pushing back against this kind of unethical medical practice.

  1. How much of you is in your characters?

I relate to Nate’s issues with self-worth, and I relate to Alden’s tendency to deflect and attack before he allows anyone to talk about his feelings. I relate to Reed’s protective vibes. I relate to Brick’s exasperation and Sparks’s tenacity.

  1. Could you describe Fragile Remedy in three words?

Queer found family

  1. Do you have any headcanons post Fragile Remedy? Maybe about Reed and Nate? I love them so much.

I believe that Pixel grows up and becomes part of a group that upends Gathos City’s unjust government. Nate and Reed stay fairly under the radar in a support role and help young people develop engineering skills and safety nets.

  1. Could you tell me about your future projects? Do you think you will get back to Fragile Remedy’s world?

I am currently working on a fantasy set during an alternative industrial revolution. Surprising no one, all of the main characters are bisexual. It also features an m/m/f throuple. I am pumped.

  1. What are your favourite books?

Swordspoint is a comfort read. I read it every few years and it always devastates me. I loved Weetzie Bat as an older teen and it has a special place in my heart. More recently, I loved The House in the Cerulean Sea, Ember in the Ashes, We Set the Dark on Fire, and Sorcery of Thorns.

  1. Could you tell me five random things about you?

I love paddle boarding, I collect enamel pens, I’m 5’9″, I’m super scared of snakes, and I love anchovies.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Follow your arrow by Jessica Verdi- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Follow your arrow” by Jessica Verdi book tour, organized by Tbr and Beyond Tours! A huge thanks to Tbr and Beyond Tours, Edelweiss and the publisher for the chance to read and review this book!

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing date: March 2nd, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound Indigo

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is a riveting and irresistible take on love, life, and identity — both online and off.

CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals.

So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love, and now she can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her followers as well.

Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn’t surprised to be falling for a guy; she’s always known she’s bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts… but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way.

But when CeCe’s secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she’ll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth. 

CeCe and her girlfriend, Sylvie, are social media influencer, with millions of fans and followers and partnerships, but when Sylvie breaks up with her, CeCe loses a piece of her. And she’s afraid to lose her followers, too, so invested in their relationship, so much they created an hastag with their names combined: Cevie. CeCe is forced to figure out who is she without Sylvie and CeCe, while navigating her heartbreak and keeping up her profile. Meeting Josh, funny, smart and Not Online isn’t something she was expecting, but slowly CeCe starts to have feelings for him, determined to keep him away from knowing how famous she is. But when secrets are revealed, CeCe has to face an online and personal crisis and she will have to decide who she wants to be. If she wants to speak her truth or keep the facade on and off line.

Follow your arrow is a captivating and interesting story, with a compelling main character. CeCe is both an Influencer, with an apparently perfect life on social medias, and a teenager, dealing with friends, relationships, romantic and familial, school and so on. Told in first person by CeCe, the story follows her through heartbreak, new relationships, friends, both on and off line, her thoughts, her rage, fears, pain and memories. The reader gets to know a brilliant main character, weighed down by her complex and painful relationship with her conservative father, her passion for politics and queer rights, the enviroment and, at the same time, her fear of being herself, of losing followers, of being forgotten if she decided to be outspoken and truthful to her beliefs. Through CeCe’s eyes, the reader is able to see how dangerous and obsessive social medias can be, how fake is the life many show the world, how difficult and draining can be keeping up a facade in front of everything. At the same time, though, the author shows how important Internet can be, the support and love and understanding people can get through it, the bonds it can create, the news it can share.

Between social media posts, messages and emoticons, partnerships posts, the reader follows CeCe in her journey and growth into being more confident of herself, her beliefs and identity, realizing the importance of being surrounded by people who loves her exactly for what and who she is and not from what other see on social medias.

I really appreciated how the author tackles the complexity of social medias, Internet hate and bullying and the conversation and definition of being bisexual, how CeCe isn’t less bisexual or queer if she dates a cisgender male, how there are infinite choice and not just two, how:

“Yes,” I say, turning another page “the labels, the letters in the initialism- LBTQIAP- are important. Owning your identity is powerful, and something to be proud of. But sometimes the letters also box people in, put margins and rules on what does and doesn’t qualify, and who is and isn’t welcome, and what someone who IDs a certain way is and isn’t allowed to do.” (quotes from the earc, so they can be subject to changes)

I really enjoyed reading this book. There were some predictable moments, but the story is very captivating, the characters are well written and relatable and I loved realizing how much CeCe grew through the story, becoming more confident, stronger and less focused on what other people think.

I definitely recommend this book. It’s funny, it tackles many important themes, like sexuality, being oneself, bullying, the good and bad part of social media, love, family and frienships.

Jessica Verdi is an author of books for kids and teens about identity, family, acceptance, and love.

Though she’s always been a bookworm (her childhood was basically defined by the philosophy that working your way through giant stacks of library books is far superior to playing outside), she remained convinced throughout high school and college that theatre and music were meant to be her creative outlets. After nearly ten years in the NYC theatre world, she got an idea for a novel. While that first attempt at a “book” will never see the light of day—nope, don’t ask—it was the book that started her love affair with writing. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.

Jess received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School and is a freelance editor of romance and women’s fiction. She lives in New York with her family.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Goodreads

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

La corte di fiamme e argento di Sarah J Maas- Review party

Salve a tutti e benvenuti alla mia tappa del review party dedicato a “La corte di fiamme e argento” di Sarah J Maas! Un ringraziamento enorme a Sylvia Gemma Herondale per aver organizzato l’evento e per avermi inclusa e alla casa editrice per la copia digitale in anteprima. Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.

ISBN: 9788804732327

720 pagine

Prezzo: € 22,00


In vendita dal 23 febbraio 2021

Disponibile su: 

Nesta Archeron non è quel che si dice un tipo facile: fiera del suo carattere spigoloso, è particolarmente facile alla rabbia e poco incline al perdono. E da quando è stata costretta a entrare nel Calderone ed è diventata una Fae contro la sua volontà, ha cercato in ogni modo di allontanarsi dalla sorella e dalla corte della Notte per trovare un posto per sé all’interno dello strano mondo in cui è costretta a vivere. Quel che è peggio è che non sembra essere ancora riuscita a superare l’orrore della guerra con Hybern. Di certo non ha dimenticato tutto ciò che ha perso per colpa sua.

A rendere ancora più irritante la sua situazione, poi, ci pensa Cassian, apparentemente dotato di una naturale predisposizione a farle perdere il controllo. Ogni occasione è buona per stuzzicarla e provocarla, rendendo però allo stesso tempo evidente la natura del focoso legame che, loro malgrado, li unisce.

Nel frattempo, le quattro infide regine, che durante l’ultima guerra si erano rifugiate sul Continente, hanno siglato una nuova e pericolosa alleanza, una grave minaccia alla pace stabilita tra i regni. E la chiave per arrestare le loro mire potrebbe risiedere nella capacità di Cassian e Nesta di affrontare una volta per tutte il loro passato.

Sullo sfondo di un mondo marchiato dalla guerra e afflitto dall’incertezza, i due Fae tenteranno di venire a patti con i loro personali mostri, con la certezza di trovare, l’uno nell’altra, quel qualcuno che li accetta così come sono e che li può aiutare a lenire tutte le ferite.

TW: sangue, violenza, morte, abusi sessuali, violenze familiari, PTDS, abuso di alcool

Sono una grandissima fan di Sarah J Maas. Adoro la sua fantasia, il worldbuilding, i personaggi che crea e quanto essi siano complessi e tremendamente umani nelle loro azioni e sentimenti. Da quando l’autrice ha iniziato a parlare di questo suo progetto, di una novella, che poi è diventata un libro enorme, su Nesta e Cassian, non ho fatto altro che pensare: “Datemi questa storia, subito!”

Nesta Archeron non è mai stata una dei miei personaggi preferiti. Ho sempre preferito Feyre a lei e il suo atteggiamento non è mai riuscito a farmela piacere, ma, dalla conclusione di A court of frost and starlight (che, a tal proposito, avrebbero dovuto tradurre prima di A court of silver flames, ma stendiamo un velo pietoso) sentivo quanto mancasse il “suo” finale. La storia di Nesta non era neanche iniziata e io conoscevo solo un personaggio fiero e spesso antipatico, all’interno dei libri precedenti. Per questo motivo ero sia entusiasta che titubante all’idea di conoscere qualcosa di più su di lei. E sul suo rapporto con Cassian.

Bando alle ciance, ecco la mia recensione!

“A court of silver flames” (mi rifiuto di usare il nome italiano, perché la traduzione è sbagliata) è un libro principalmente incentrato sul personaggio di Nesta e su come la giovane si ritrova costretta a vivere una vita che non ha scelto ed a affrontare i traumi della guerra con Hybern. Soprattutto ciò che ha perso. Il lettore trova una Nesta disposta a tutto pur di dimenticare e autodistruggersi, tra sesso occasionale e alcool, rifuggendo l’amicizia con Amren, l’affetto di Elain e il rapporto con Feyre e con il resto della sua Corte. Nesta si allontana da tutto e da tutti, provando a dimenticare ciò che ha perso e subito, rifiutandosi di affrontare il suo trauma e lottando per sopravvivere in un mondo nel quale sente di non appartenere.

“E così anche Nesta era diventata un lupo. Si era armata di denti e artigli invisibili e aveva imparato a colpire più in fretta, più in profondità e in modo più letale. Le era piaciuto. Ma
quando era venuto il momento di mettere da parte il lupo, aveva scoperto che quello aveva divorato anche lei.”

Quando la sua famiglia decide di intervenire, provando a salvarla da se stessa, costringendola a prendersi cura di sé, a cambiare abitudini e “minacciandola” con una scelta impossibile, Nesta si ritrova ad accettare di venire allenata da Cassian e di lavorare in biblioteca. Il rapporto con Cassian è complicato dall’atteggiamento di entrambi, pronti sempre a stuzzicarsi e provocarsi, il loro legame e attrazione evidenti. Mentre Nesta lotta lentamente con se stessa, il suo passato e il potere del quale ha paura, una potenziale nuova guerra si affaccia all’orizzonte, spingendo nuovamente la Corte della Notte e i loro alleati a indagare e correre ai ripari. La chiave di sopravvivenza potrebbe risiedere proprio in Nesta e Cassian.

“A court of silver flames” conferma l’abilità di Sarah J Maas (non che ce ne fosse stato bisogno, eh), di costruire e narrare una storia avvincente, piena di colpi di scena, personaggi ben scritti e sviluppati e trattare tematiche importanti con sensibilità e delicatezza. L’autrice, infatti, affronta in maniera brillante il trauma subito da Nesta e il modo in cui la giovane affronta ciò che ha perso e ciò che è stata costretta a diventare. Secondo me Nesta ha la sindrome da stress post traumatico e di come il suo modo autodistruttivo di reagire sia stato scelto per cercare un po’ di pace e quiete contro la tempesta che sente dentro, fatta di incubi, rimorsi e sensi di colpa. Nesta non riesce ad accettare il corpo in cui è stata trasformata con la violenza, il mondo nel quale non riesce ad ambientarsi, la famiglia che fa di tutto per amarla e salvarla da se stessa.

Il romanzo è ben stratificato e il lettore si ritrova trascinato in questo mondo straordinario, tra tensioni politiche e diplomatiche, con la minaccia di una nuova guerra e il pericolo alle Corti. Ho amato da morire leggere stralci delle vite personali dei miei personaggi preferiti, ritrovarli poco dopo la fine di “A court of frost and starlight” e vedere le loro vite.

Nonostante ciò, però, tutte queste trame e sottotrame fanno solo da sfondo alla storia di Nesta.

La sua salute mentale, il suo percorso di guarigione e accettazione sono il fulcro del romanzo e “A court of silver flames” ruota attorno a Nesta, focalizzandosi, soprattutto, sui rapporti interpersonali, sulla difficoltà e la forza nell’affrontare i propri traumi, nell’accettarsi e volersi bene e di come ognuno merita l’amore, senza se e senza ma, come ha scritto l’autrice nelle sue note.

” Spero che alcuni di quei momenti risuoneranno in te, caro lettore, e ti ricorderanno che sei amato e che meriti l’amore senza se e senza ma.”

“A court of silver flames” è una storia principalmente introspettiva, in gran parte narrata dal punto di vista di Nesta, che compie un percorso, un viaggio, sia fisico che psicologico, che la porta ad accettare e amare la persona che è, a perdonarsi e a non rifiutare, ma ad abbracciare, l’amore che i suoi cari provano nei suoi confronti. Il romanzo permette, sia tramite i suoi ricordi, che quelli delle sue sorelle, di conoscere davvero Nesta, com’è diventata la persona che mostra agli altri, com’è stata costretta a comportarsi, come sia stata influenzata dalla madre, il suo rapporto con il padre e le sorelle. Il lettore viene a conoscenza non solo di come Nesta sia diventata Nesta, ma anche il suo percorso, la difficoltà e la forza necessari per affrontare il suo passato e i traumi subiti.

Il rapporto con Cassian è particolarmente sviluppato all’interno della storia, per grandissima gioia di tutti noi Nessian. Stavolta non fa parte dello “sfondo”, come nei libri precedenti, ma ha il suo spazio e tempo ed è un piacere poter vedere sia Nesta che Cassian mostrarsi nella loro vulnerabilità, riconoscere il loro legame, averne timore e desiderio. Non mancano le scene focose, i battibecchi, i litigi, i momenti in cui il lettore avrebbe voluto strangolare sia l’uno che l’altro, ma soprattutto ho amato il modo in cui Nesta e Cassian trovano l’uno nell’altro qualcuno disposto ad amarli, sostenerli, aiutarli ed accettarli senza riserve o compromessi. Ho amato leggere del loro rapporto, vederlo svilupparsi pagina dopo pagina, situazione dopo situazione, battuta dopo battuta, fino allo splendido finale.

Pur essendo, il loro legame, centrale all’interno della storia, non mancano le interazioni con gli altri personaggi e momenti teneri e splendidi, che ho amato alla follia, tra Feyre e Rhys e tra Rhys, Azriel e Cassian. Feyre e Rhys sono la mia OTP, non posso farci nulla e il rapporto fraterno tra Rhys e gli altri è sempre stato meraviglioso. Tutti i personaggi, ma soprattutto Nesta e Cassian, appaiono nella loro complessità e fragilità, con le loro paure, sensi di colpa, dubbi e speranze. Sono brillantemente scritti e sviluppati e ho amato poter imparare nuove cose su di loro e sui rapporti interpersonali. Il lettore ritrova vecchi personaggi, come Elain (della quale non sappiamo quasi nulla, soprattutto in relazione con Azriel e Lucien, oltre a frasi sparse qui e lì), Amren e la sua nuova vita dopo ciò che è successo con Hybern, Mor…insomma, ho bisogno di sapere tutto su di loro! Ho sempre la sensazione che manchi qualcosa e scommetto che l’autrice lascia fili appesi di proposito!

Pur essendoci figure maschili, come Cassian, Rhys ed Azriel, sono le donne le vere protagoniste della storia. Non solo, ovviamente, Nesta o le sue sorelle, ma anche due personaggi che vengono introdotti: Emerie e Gwyn. Tramite il loro rapporto con Nesta, il forte legame e le loro esperienze, l’autrice affronta con delicatezza tematiche come la misoginia, abusi sessuali, violenza in famiglia. Ho molto apprezzato il modo in cui l’autrice ha sviluppato il rapporto tra le tre donne, come abbiano formato una found family, sostenendosi, aiutandosi e supportandosi a vicenda. Il loro legame è davvero meraviglioso, perché, tramite l’aiuto l’una dell’altra, riescono a ritrovare la forza di andare avanti, affrontare i loro traumi e amarsi.

Il potere di Nesta è un altro elemento del quale ho amato leggere, soprattutto per l’importanza che ricopre all’interno della storia e del percorso della giovane, ma non dirò nulla per non spoilerare, anche se vorrei poter parlare di ogni singola cosa che mi è piaciuta!

Sono due le cose che non mi sono piaciute, anche se la prima è colpa della traduzione italiana, perché davvero “Fiamme e argento” non si può sentire. C’è un motivo per cui si parla di “silver flames” e non di “silver and flames”. Capisco il voler mantenere la continuità, ma almeno ad avere un senso all’interno della storia…

E poi…le copertine. Tra quella originale e quella italiana non so davvero quale sia la peggiore. Perché???

Scritto ciò, concludo la mia recensione dicendo che questo romanzo è imperdibile e non solo per i fan Nessian, ma per chiunque senta il bisogno di trovare la forza di andare avanti, di avere uno scopo, di amarsi ed accettarsi. Una storia magnifica, vitale e ho amato ogni singola pagina.

Sotto troverete i blog che partecipano al review party!