Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

La corte dei miracoli di Kester Grant- Review Party

Benvenut* alla mia tappa del review party dedicato a “La corte dei miracoli” di Kester Grant. Un grazie enorme ad Ambra per aver organizzato l’evento, le bellissime grafiche e avermi coinvolta. Grazie alla casa editrice per la copia in anteprima. Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.

Kester Grant
Editore Mondadori
Collana Fantastica
Formato Rilegato
Pubblicato 12/10/2021
Pagine 300
Isbn788804721482
Traduttore S. Brambilla

Dopo il fallimento della Rivoluzione e l’uccisione di tutti i rivoluzionari, Parigi è una città divisa in due. Accanto al reticolo di viali severi, fiancheggiati da bossi e frequentati dall’aristocrazia, prospera infatti una giungla tenebrosa popolata da sciami di mendicanti, ladri ed emarginati, teatro di crimini e miseria, un luogo oscuro e senza leggi. Qui il potere è gestito dai Miserabili, una formidabile corte di criminali divisi in nove corporazioni, chiamata la Corte dei Miracoli. Membro della Corporazione dei Ladri, Nina Thénardier può rubare qualunque cosa a chiunque. La ragazza, soprannominata la Gatta Nera, ha sfidato la sorte così tante volte da essere quasi diventata una leggenda tra i Miserabili. Eppure questo non sembra contare molto quando, ancora una volta, la sua strada si incrocia con quella di Lord Kaplan, detto Tigre, feroce capo della Corporazione della Carne. L’uomo ha messo gli occhi sulla sorella della giovane ladra e, si sa, nessuno è mai riuscito a impedirgli di ottenere ciò che vuole. Non ci è mai riuscita la Corte dei Miracoli, come potrebbe farlo Nina, sveglia certo, ma comunque una ragazza, minuta per di più? Di due cose, però, Tigre non ha tenuto conto. La prima è una regola inviolabile per tutti i Miserabili: mai, mai rubare a una ladra. E la seconda è che, quando si tratta di proteggere chi amano, le gatte sono capaci di mostrare denti e artigli e di diventare decisamente pericolose… Ispirandosi a due capolavori della letteratura di tutti i tempi, “I miserabili” di Victor Hugo e “Il libro della giungla” di Rudyard Kipling, Kester Grant tesse un’ammaliante storia di crudeltà, passione e vendetta che, attraverso le vicende della protagonista, condurrà i lettori nel ventre più oscuro di Parigi, passando per la sfavillante corte di Francia per abbracciare l’alba di una nuova rivoluzione.

Ambientata in una realtà alternativa, nel 1828, in una Parigi nella quale la Rivoluzione Francese è fallita, la città è divisa tra in due nette parti: i Viandanti Diurni, i nobili, la polizia e i Miserabili, che fanno parte di nove Corporazioni: i Ladri, i Mendicanti, gli Assassini, i Giocatori d’azzardo, i Mercenari, i Contrabbandieri, le Prostitute, i Mangiatori d’Oppio e gli Uomini di Lettere. I signori di ogni corporazione formano la cosiddetta Corte dei Miracoli, governata da leggi e regole ben precise. Eponine Thenardier, detta Nina, è la protagonista della storia, membro della Corporazione dei Ladri ed è una talentuosa ladra, conosciuta da tutti come la Gatta Nera. Nina vive in un mondo di criminali, ma regolato da leggi e regole che tutti i membri delle Corporazioni devono rispettare. Quando Ettie, sua sorella adottiva, attira l’attenzione della Tigre, il crudele e spietato capo della Corporazione della Carne, che si occupa di prostituzione e schiavitù, Nina è disposta a tutto pur di salvarla. Anche a scatenare una guerra tra le varie Corporazioni.

Ispirandosi a “I miserabili” di Victor Hugo e “Il libro della giungla” di Rudyard Kipling, Kester Grant crea un complesso e stratificato mondo criminale. Nove Corporazioni, divise dai Viandanti Diurni non solo da tradizioni, regole e differenze socioeconomiche e Nina, grazie alla sua testardaggine e determinazione si ritroverà a incontrare membri delle diverse Corporazioni, rivoluzionari e persino nobili nel tentativo di salvare non solo Ettie, ma anche sua sorella biologica Azelma, prigioniera e isolata.

La Corte dei miracoli è un libro pieno di momenti divertenti e intensi, personaggi sarcastici e leali, una storia di amore, speranza, disperazione e rabbia. In un mondo complesso e oscuro, pieno di pericoli e violenze, Nina di muove tra le diverse realtà, incontrando e facendo amicizie con svariati personaggi. Ho trovato affascinante il modo in cui questo mondo è diviso, le varie Corporazioni con le loro regole, eroi e imprese, intrigante incontrare personaggi presi da “I miserabili” come l’ispettore Javert, una donna in questa versione, la sua ossessione per Jean Valjean, Eponine e così via. Mi sono piaciuti i rivoluzionari, St. Juste e le loro idee e il loro coraggio, così come le relazioni tra i vari personaggi, soprattutto quella tra Nina e la sorella Ettie, piena di affetto e fiducia.

Ci sono cose che, però, non mi sono piaciute. La corte dei miracoli è un libro molto ambizioso, ma, secondo me, non rende del tutto. L’ambientazione è apparentemente complessa, una Parigi alternativa, ma che non viene sviluppata in modo esaustivo. Pur essendo affascinata dalle diverse Corporazioni, spesso e volentieri sono solo accennate e non approfondite, cosa che avrei preferito, così come le relazioni tra i vari personaggi, un po’ troppo frettolose.

Nina, in particolar modo, è un personaggio che, sfortunatamente, non mi ha molto colpita. Definita come scaltra e coraggiosa, lo è, ma in modo piuttosto irrealistico. Nessuno è mai riuscito in questa impresa? Lei ci riuscirà. Nessuno ha mai rubato questo oggetto o entrato in questo posto? Ovviamente Nina ci riuscirà in tre secondi e senza sforzi.

Un vero peccato perché la storia ha molto potenziale, lo stile è scorrevole e è stato rapido e abbastanza piacevole leggerla, ma mi dispiace dire di non riuscire a dare oltre tre stelline. Spero davvero che il sequel sia migliore e sono curiosa di sapere cosa accadrà.

Vi lascio il calendario, date un’occhiata alle altre recensioni!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for the Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan book tour, organized by TBR and Beyond Tours! Thank you so much for this chance!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: October 12th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

Content Warnings: self-harm (gouging, eye horror; non-graphic), child abuse (physical, verbal, emotional manipulation/gaslighting), parent death (implied, off-page), character deaths mentions and descriptions of fantasy/magical violence (blood, war, political violence), mentions and descriptions of physical symptoms that might be triggering to those with emetophobia

Girls of Paper and Fire meets The Tiger at Midnight in June CL Tan’s stunning debut, inspired by Chinese mythology, with rich magic and an epic slow-burn romance.
In an empire on the brink of war . . .

Ahn is no one, with no past and no family.
Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.
When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her arcane magical abilities.
But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.

Ferocious action, shadowy intrigue, and a captivating romance collide in June CL Tan’s debut, a stunning homage to the Xianxia novel with a tender, beating heart, perfect for fans of The Bone Witch and We Hunt the Flame.

Thank you, NetGalley, HarperCollins Children’s books and HarperTeen, for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review.

Set in an empire on the brink of war, where the socioeconomic differences between wealthy and poor is stronger than ever, Ahn and Altan find themselves on a path to change their country. Ahn is no one, she doesn’t remember her family and her past. Adopted by an older woman, now her adoptive grandmother she tries to survive in their poor city, without hopes, money and work. When something happens that changes forever her life, Ahn discovers a new world, secrets and truths about herself and the world around her. Altan is the lost heir of the empire, willing to do anything in his power to avenge his family and reclaiming his throne. When they meet, Ahn and Altan are forced to work together, to protect their country and empire, innocent people, while trying to understand their own magical abilities and their roles.

I really liked reading Jade Fire Gold. I was so curious to read this book and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a debut work and it’s very good. The writing style is brilliant, the plot captivating and I loved the worldbuilding. I was really interested in the magic system, the socioeconomic divisions and how the main characters face one other, both with their own agendas, fears, hopes and dreams. The story is told by two POVs, Ahn’s and Altan, weaving together, while trying to understand what they have to do, what they want to do and how much they are meaning for one other. The story is captivating, well written and I liked this book.

There are some things I didn’t like, though I wasn’t so impressed by the enemies to lovers romance, I couldn’t like them so much together. I also felt like the final 20% of the book and ending were a bit too rushed. I would have loved to know more about the magic system and more about the worldbuilding, but it’s more of a preference than a criticism. I loved the characterization, main and side characters, but I preferred Altan’s POV to Ahn’s. I liked her characters, but with everything she’s been through, I felt she was a bit more passive than him, while I appreciated more his drive and determination.

Overall, though, Jade Fire Gold is a strong debut, the worldbuilding is very fascinating, the writing is amazing and very captivating and I definitely recommend it.


“History is never written by its victims”

“Children are not born with the fear of falling. It is life that conditions them to be afraid.”

“Alway remember, the heart is not a weakness.”

“You may not be able to change the past, but with each action, you can change the future.”

Life is but a dream, and death is returning home.”

Forgiveness is not weakness.”

June CL Tan grew up in Singapore where she was raised on a diet of classic books and wuxia movies, caffeine and congee. After obtaining three degrees, she decided she had enough of academia. Thankfully, those degrees were somewhat related to telling stories and now, she resides in New York City, writing under the watchful eye of her crafty cat. Jade Fire Gold is her debut novel.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads



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US ONLY

You can partecipate to the giveaway, too!

One winner will receive a finished copy of Jade Fire Gold. The giveaway starts on October 11th and ends on October 18th!

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59543/?

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Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone Book tour

Hello! Welcome to my stop for Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone book tour! A huge thanks to Tbr and beyond tours for this chance and to Netgalley, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and to Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for the opportunity to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: September 28th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

Content Warnings: Emotional and physical abuse by a parent, Body horror, Gore and blood (including description of wounds), Emesis, Discussions of death and grief (no on-page deaths), Descriptions of drowning and deep water, Drowning-related imagery Self-injury (in the context of a curse that requires regular physical sacrifices), suicidal ideation (from Tbr and beyond tours site)

A lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.
There are monsters in the world.
When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.
There are monsters in the woods.
As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…
There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.
Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.

“The shadows are only dreams”.

So Violeta keeps saying to her brother Arien, trying to protect him from his nightmares, from the darkness that spills from his body, from his black eyes. From their mother, convinced she can burn Arien’s darkness away. When the monster of Lakesedge discovers everything and offers Arien the chance to help him with these powers, Violeta won’t let them go away, not without her. Not after the rumors surrounding Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. In the creepy and mysterious manor at Lakesedge, Violeta discovers another world, made of magic and alchemy, made of monsters and gods and full of secrets and pain. Neither the monster nor the estate are what she thought they were. As she starts to fall for Rowan, trying to protect Arien, Violeta discovers a connection between Rowan and the lord of death, the Lord Under…and, also, a connection that bound her to the latter.

Told in first person by the main character, Lakesedge is intruing and Violeta is a stubborn and brilliant main character. She’s weighed down by losses, past and current traumas and she’s been through a lot, but she’s willing to do anything to protect her younger brother Arien, even from the truth. Taken away from abuse and bigotry, Violeta struggles to understand her new world, worried about what her brother could risk and lose, worried, slowly, about the other estate’s inhabitants. I loved how Violeta starts to free herself from others’s stories and rumors and makes up her own thoughts and ideas. In a world full of magic and where gods can answer your pleas of help, Violeta falls for , feels a connection to a monster…or more than one, maybe.

The setting is eerie and intruiguing, a crumbling manor, a battle against darkness and light, in a very real sense and this battle, Arien’s lessons to understand his magic, Rowan’s secrets and past traumas are interwoven in Violeta’s journey to protect the people she loves and herself. It was interesting realizing who and what is the real monster, Violeta’s willingness to do anything to save her loved ones, her connection with Rowan, first a complicated, then a loving one.

I loved the bond between Violeta and Arien, how they are strongly connected, struggling to do the right thing and save everyone and everything. Their journeys and growths are really moving to read. If the main character is really well developed, so Arien, Rowan, Clover and Florence, the other two estate’s inhabitants and I liked the way they slowly start to build a relationship and a family, how finally Violeta starts to see Lakesedge as a home.

I liked reading Lakesedge, even though I wish the author would have explained and developed better the magic system and the romance. The pacing is sometimes slow, others rushed, but, overall, the story is good and, after the ending, I can’t wait to read the next book.

“There are monsters in the woods, in the world. There’s a monster in the shadows and now it knows my name.”

I’ll not cower here, small and afraid. I am light and heat and fire.”

I thought I could burn myself down to save the world. But I never thought of what to do if the world burned itself around me instead.”

“I have been in those same shadows. I have faced the same darkness. And I would go there again if it meant everyone I care about would be safe.”

I have touched shadows and darkness before. I’m not afraid.”

Lyndall Clipstone writes about monsters and the girls who like to kiss them. A former youth librarian who grew up running wild in the Barossa Ranges of South Australia, she currently lives in Adelaide, where she tends her own indoor secret garden. She has a Bachelors in Creative Writing and a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Management.
Her debut novel, LAKESEDGE, will be published by Henry Holt, Titan UK and Pan Macmillan Australia in Fall 2021 with a sequel, FORESTFALL, to publish in Fall 2022.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Spotify

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/08/19/tour-schedule-lakesedge-by-lyndall-clipstone/

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Sidelined by Kara Bietz- TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour




Hello and welcome to my stop for Sidelined by Kara Bietz book tour! Thank you so much to the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tour, for the free copy in exchange of an honest review!


Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing date: September 21st, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

An emotional YA romance about small town secrets, high school football, and broken hearts.

Julian Jackson has a short to-do list for his senior year at Crenshaw County High School in Meridian, Texas: football, football, and more football. He knows he’s only got one chance to earn a college scholarship and make it out of his small town, and keeping his head down, his grades up, and his cleats on the field is that one chance. And then Elijah Vance walks back into his life, throwing all of his carefully-laid plans into a tailspin.

Elijah and Julian used to be best friends, maybe even on their way to something more than just friends. But three years ago, Elijah broke into the school to steal money from the coach’s office, and Julian was the one who turned him in. After that, Elijah and his family disappeared without a trace. And now he’s back, sitting at Julian’s grandmother’s kitchen table.

But time and distance haven’t erased all of their feelings, and Elijah knows that he finally has a chance to prove to Julian that he’s not the same person he was three years ago. But with secrets still growing between them and an uncertain future barreling towards them, it may be harder to lean on each other than they thought.

Julian Jackson knows what to do in senior year: get good grades, play football and hoping to get a scholarship and make it out of Meridien, but all his plans are upset when his best friend (and maybe something more) comes back in his life. Elijah Vance and Julian Jackson were best friends years ago, but when Julian caught him breaking into school to steal the car wash money and turned him in, Elijah and his family left without saying goodbay. Now that he’s back, Julian and Elijah realize time and space didn’t erase their feelings and Elijah is determined to show Julian he’s not the person everyone thinks he is. Between secrets, between them and in the city and the fear for their own futures, Julian and Elijah fight to be themselves and together.

Sidelined was a brilliant, sweet and funny read I devoured right away. The story is told by two POVs, Julian’s and Elijah, while they navigate high school, expectations from others, their history together, their past and present. Julian and Elijah are very different from one other. Julian is the son of the town hero, a town obsessed with football, traditions and history, while Elijah is, unfortunately, seen as the son of Eric Vance, who is in jail and who tried to steal money, three years ago. Both of them are weighed down by people’s, right and wrong, expectations and both are struggling to fit and escape them, to show the world and themselves they are more than their fathers’ sons. Elijah’s return to Meridien upset Julian’s plans and changes everything, unearthing secrets and so much more.

The story focuses on Julian and Elijah, on their journeys, getting more and more close to one other and facing the world and future together, understanding each other better, while, also, focusing on football, friends, town’s traditions and funny and moving moments.

Through Julian’s and Elijah’s POVs, the author talks about their feelings, attraction and love, their passions and friends, their struggles and fears. Julian and Elijah are teenagers, dealing with school’s pressures and expectations, unpredictable futures, friends and family and they are very realistic in their feelings and actions. They fight, laugh, they are scared, upset, in love with one other, afraid to lose each other in a windwhirl of emotions and beautiful and intense moments.

Their relationship is lovely, complicated by misunderstandings and secrets and I loved the way they are open with one other, talking and explaining, trusting, helping, supporting and loving one other.

The author also deals with people’s prejudices and preconceptions, expectations and how hurtful they can be, how often push others into boxes and refuse to let them out. Julian and Elijah are determined to be themselves, to be seen as they are, to be free from others’ expectations and be in love and together.

Here’s my interview with the amazing author!

1) 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤?


I lived in Texas for a few years and worked in a high school guidance office and later in the school
library. I learned so much about the culture of high school football and homecoming, and just how
important some of these traditions are to the students and honestly, the whole school community. I
also had a personal wish to see more joyful stories with queer characters falling in love, feeling safe
and respected in their neighborhoods, and being loved and celebrated by their families. These two
things were front and center in my life when I began writing Sidelined.


2) 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐪𝐮𝐨𝐭𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐞?


Ooh, that’s a tough one. I think I’ll go with a Maya Angelou quote: “In all the world, there is no heart
for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”


3) 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐲?


I think Julian and Elijah were both equally hard to write. There was never a point in which I felt
overwhelmed by either of them, though, and I think that’s important. If I absolutely had to pick
between the two of them, I think it was slightly harder for me to fall into Julian’s voice. He’s a rule-
follower and often sees the world in black and white. While I’m definitely a rule-follower, I think I
see the world a whole lot differently than Julian does.


4) 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐮𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐮𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐬?


I have a couple of (secret) YA projects cooking at the moment. I’m so excited to share details when
the time is right!


5) 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬?


I think most writers will tell you that there’s a tiny little bit of themselves in every character they
write. There are some things about Julian that are very much like me, and some things about Elijah
that I can relate to. Usually, my characters tell me little quirks about their personalities throughout
the writing process. I don’t know that readers would be able to pick out the pieces of either Julian or
Elijah that are me, even readers who know me really well.

Kara Bietz was born in New England but currently resides just outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her family. Her first novel, Until I Break, was a Texas Library Association Spirit of Texas Reading Program selection. Her newest release, Sidelined, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.
When she’s not writing, you can find Kara hanging out with her family, singing show tunes to her dogs, and adding to her impressive pen collection. 
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook


https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/08/19/tour-schedule-sidelined-by-kara-bietz/
Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Things we couldn’t say by Jay Coles- CP Tours Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for Thing we couldn’t say by Jay Coles! Thank you, CP tour, for the chance to read this amazing book and for the free copy.


Title:
Things We Couldn’t Say
Author:
Jay Coles
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Publication Date:
September 21st, 2021
Genres:
Young Adult Contemporary



From one of the brightest and most acclaimed new lights in YA fiction, a fantastic new novel about a bi Black boy finding first love . . . and facing the return of the mother who abandoned his preacher family when he was nine.


There’s always been a hole in Gio’s life. Not because he’s into both guys and girls. Not because his father has some drinking issues. Not because his friends are always bringing him their drama. No, the hole in Gio’s life takes the shape of his birth mom, who left Gio, his brother, and his father when Gio was nine years old. For eight years, he never heard a word from her . . . and now, just as he’s started to get his life together, she’s back.


It’s hard for Gio to know what to do. Can he forgive her like she wants to be forgiven? Or should he tell her she lost her chance to be in his life? Complicating things further, Gio’s started to hang out with David, a new guy on the basketball team. Are they friends? More than friends? At first, Gio’s not sure . . . especially because he’s not sure what he wants from anyone right now.


There are no easy answers to love — whether it’s family love or friend love or romantic love. In Things We Couldn’t Say, Jay Coles, acclaimed author of Tyler Johnson Was Here, shows us a guy trying to navigate love in all its ambiguity — hoping at the other end he’ll be able to figure out who is and who he should be.


Book links:

Goodreads
Amazon
Book Depository
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Indigo

TW: racism, homophobia, parental abandonment, parental abuse, side character’s death, suicide (prior to the story), depression, trauma

I love reading Things we couldn’t say. With incredible sensitity, the author deals with themes like grief, parental abandoment, homophobia and racism, telling Gio’s story in his complexity, struggles and hopes. I loved the way the author talks about depression and anxiety, in a very relatable way and his writing style is absolutely amazing, I was really in love since the beginning.

The story is told by Gio’s POV and he’s a fantastic main character, complex and intricate, brave and scared, upset and willing to fight for himself, to be who he is. In his life there always have been an hole, ever since his birth mother left him, his bother and father, when he was nine years old. Gio struggled and struggles with depression, anxiety and, thanks to his therapy, is trying to get his life back together, when his mother suddenly came back, crashing into his life and upsetting everything and everyone. Things are even more complicated since the basketball team has a new member, Gio’s new neighbour, David and when they start to hang together, Gio is even more confused about his feelings, what he wants from life and for himself.

Things we couldn’t say is a powerful and moving book, written beautifully and I felt really involved in Gio’s story, following his struggles, fears, desires and hopes. He’s a very relatable character in his feelings, thoughts and actions and it was incredible following his journey towards accepting and loving himself, learning more about love, family and forgiviness.

Gio’s life isn’t easy. At home he struggles with his drinking and preacher father, who doesn’t want to accept his bisexuality and wants to impose his ideas and thoughts on Gio. He battles with his anxiety and depression, his feelings of unworthiness, ever since he was abandoned, fighting against nightmares and bad thoughts. His mother’s return upsets his already messy life, forcing him to deal with his feelings, fears and hopes. At the same time, while dealing with themes like abandoment, depression, homophobia and abuse, the story stands out for its hope and love, because it’s clear, right away, how Gio is surrounded by people who loves him, from the beautiful and strong bond with his best friends, Olly and Ayesha, his relationship with his brother Theo, with his stepmother Karina and, also, with David, his new friend and, maybe, something more.

I loved reading Gio’s journey, his friendship with Olly and Ayesha, the sweet and intense story with David, how they meet, fit together and love one other in a wonderful and brilliant relationship, made of love, understanding and support.

In Things we couldn’t say Gio tackles relationships and love, between friends, siblings, lovers and parents, grief, rage, identity, struggling to accept and love himself for who he is in all his parts, fighting against those who wants only some of him, learning what love and family means, learning to accept and forgive. It was moving and interesting reading how much Gio grows in this book, realizing how is worthy of love, what family means, the importance of being oneself in all his parts. I loved the importance of talking and therapy in this book, how much people can change and grow, how it’s vital to fight for one’s happiness and freedom.

I totally recommed this book to those who are looking for a cute love story, a journey to love and accept oneself and amazing friendships!





JAY COLES is the author of critically acclaimed
TYLER JOHNSON WAS HERE, a composer with ASCAP, and a professional musician residing in Muncie, Indiana. He is a graduate of Vincennes University and Ball State University and holds degrees in English and Liberal Arts. When he’s not writing diverse books, he’s advocating for them, serving with The Revolution church, and composing music for various music publishers. Jay’s forthcoming novel
THINGS WE COULDN’T SAY is set to be released 9.21.21 with Scholastic! His novels can be purchased at Barnes and Noble or at Amazon.

Author Links:
Website:
https://www.jaycoleswrites.com/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/mrjaycoles
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/mrjaycoles/?hl=en
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11573940.Jay_Coles
Tumblr:
https://jaycoleswritesbooks.tumblr.com/


“Lately I’ve felt so much like all my emotions are exposed to the world and I feel like I’ve got no place to hide.”

Loss fucks you up, but it doesn’t change who you are. I have to believe that. It forces you to be brave and strong so you can hold your life together, and the lives of the people you love together- the ones who are still here.”

“It’s like grief is a backpack we wear through life and we’re costantly putting hard things inside it. Not to ignore those things, but to carry them with us as we go on.”

“The most powerful and insanely beautiful thing you can be is yourself.”

“Memories can be recycled and forgotten, but feelings cannot.”

“When I look into your eyes, I see constellations.”

“You make me brave.”

“And I’m tired of feeling like a prisoner in my own body every damn day. I guess sometimes we meet people who remind us of all the reasons why we exist.”

This world can be so dark and cold and cruel and lonely. I’m so glad that we can face it all together.”

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Le streghe in eterno- Alix E. Harrow- Review Party

Salve a tutt* e benvenut* alla mia tappa per Le Streghe in eterno di Alix E. Harrow! Un grazie enorme a Valeria per aver organizzato l’evento, ad Ambra per la grafica meravigliosa e alla Mondadori per la possibilità di leggere in anteprima questo libro. Le mie recensioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.

Ecco a voi il calendario con le varie tappe!

Disponibile su:       
Collana: Fantastica
ISBN: 9788804737674
576 pagine
Prezzo: € 24,00

“Sono terrorizzata e sono terrificante. Sono spaventata e sono qualcosa da temere.” Nel 1893 non esistono streghe. Un tempo sì, c’erano, negli oscuri giorni selvaggi prima che iniziassero i roghi, ma adesso la stregoneria è solo una questione di graziosi incantesimi e filastrocche e vecchi racconti per bambini. Se le donne vogliono avere una qualsivoglia forma di potere, devono cercarla nell’urna elettorale.
Ma quando le sorelle Eastwood – James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth e Beatrice Belladonna – entrano nell’Associazione per le Donne di New Salem, iniziano a chiedersi se, recuperando antiche parole dimenticate, non sia possibile trasformare quello delle suffragette da un movimento di donne a un movimento di streghe. Inseguite da ombre e morbi, perseguitate da forze che vogliono impedire a una strega di votare – e forse persino di vivere -, le sorelle dovranno immergersi nell’antica magia, tessere nuove alleanze e recuperare il legame che le unisce.
Perché le streghe non esistono, ma esisteranno.
Le streghe in eterno è un racconto potente che parla di sfide, sorellanza, e del diritto di voto.

C’era una volta un tempo in cui esistevano le streghe, capaci di potenti incantesimi, prima dei roghi, prima delle violenze, prima di essere quasi del tutto estinte. Nel 1893 solo semplici incantesimi esistono, passati da donna a donna, di generazione in generazione, incantesimi per rammendare, pulire, guarire, magia nascosta in filastrocche, rime e canzoncine, considerate per bambini. Nel 1893 non esistono più le streghe di un tempo e l’unico potere che le donne possono sperare di avere è la speranza di poter votare. E’ all’interno del movimento di suffragette, che le tre sorelle Eastwood, James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth e Beatrice Belladonna, iniziano a pensare a ciò che potrebbero fare e ottenere se quel movimento diventasse un movimento di streghe, se ritrovassero i poteri perduti e riaffermassero le proprie identità.

Ambientato in un mondo profondamente patriarcale, all’interno del quale le donne sono incastrate in una serie di ruoli, quali la donna del focolare, la donna di chiesa e casa, le anime perdute, come le prostitute e le streghe, Le streghe in eterno è un libro potentissimo, brillantemente scritto e con una caratterizzazione fenomenale, ambientato in un mondo dominato dal sessismo, razzismo e dalla violenza, all’interno del quale le donne sono costrette a muoversi lungo binari precisi e violenza e morte aspetta chi osa ribellarsi. In queste circostante claustrofobiche e soffocanti, James e le sue sorella danno il via a una ribellione, determinate a recuperare il potere perduto delle streghe, ad affermare se stesse nelle loro complessità e desideri.

La storia è narrata da tre punti di vista, dalle tre sorelle che sono profondamente diverse l’una dall’altra. James nel suo essere selvaggia e ribelle, determinata a bruciare il mondo per ottenere rispetto e libertà, Agnes, quieta e attenta in un mondo che ha denti e non ha paura di usarli, Beatrice con i suoi libri, il suo rifugio e la sua saggezza. Le tre donne sono legate da un legame di sorellanza che, a causa di traumi, violenze e incomprensioni, si è sfilacciato e quasi distrutto nel corso del tempo. Ritrovatesi dopo anni, saranno costrette dagli eventi a ricucire il loro rapporto, a sostenersi e a riscoprire il loro legame, ritrovandolo più forte e solido che mai.

Il libro ruota attorno alla loro crescita, al loro legame e a ciò che saranno costrette ad affrontare, lottando contro i demoni del loro passato, contro una stregoneria potente fatta di ombre e controllo e disposta a tutto per impedire loro, alle donne, di reagire, vivere ed esprimere la loro opinione, di essere se stesse, di amare chi vogliono.

Le streghe in eterno è un libro molto stratificato. In quasi 600 pagine vengono affrontate numerosi questioni, quali il sessismo, il razzismo, la violenza di genere, abusi familiari, il diritto al voto e, in particolare, i problemi legati all’essere una donna nel 1893, in una società patriarcale, all’interno della quale incombe l’ombra dei roghi e delle violenze della Salem originale. Sono rimasta piacevolmente impressionata dalla caratterizzazione dei personaggi. James, Agnes e Beatrice si muovono in un mondo pericoloso e dove la politica si mescola alla violenza e alla magia, dove il loro sviluppo personale e la crescita del loro legame in quanto sorelle e streghe avviene di pari passo con i loro problemi, i ricordi, i traumi passati, nuovi amori e avventure.

I personaggi principali e secondari sono interessanti nelle loro complessità e sfaccettature, non sono stereotipati, si rifiutano di aderire ai ruoli imposti loro dalla società. James, Agnes e Beatrice sono donne che non rientrano nei canoni (non dirò in che modo per evitare spoilers) e non cercano di rientrarvi, si rifiutano di adeguarsi, ma lottano per essere libere di essere chi vogliono, vivere la loro vita e amare la persona che scelgono.

Ho adorato il modo in cui l’amore è presente all’interno della storia, nelle sue varie sfaccettature. L’amore nei confronti di una sorella, di una figlia, madre, nonna, di un’amica, di un’amante. La rappresentazione LGBTQIA+ è dolcemente presente in una relazione, della quale non parlerò per evitare spoilers, ma che ho molto adorato. Inoltre, è anche presente un personaggio secondario trans, del quale ho amato lo sviluppo, determinazione e forza.

Il libro è costellato di filastrocche e rime, incantesimi e formule magiche e il lettore segue le sorelle nella loro ricerca della magia antica, connettendosi al passato e al presente, incontrando diversi tipi di magia, tra storia antica, libri e magia nascosta in canzoni e storielle. La parte fantasy è mescolata sapientemente alla storia personale delle protagoniste, all’ambientazione storica e ho amato leggere Le Streghe in eterno. Se

Gli uomini presenti nella storia sono stereotipi di uomini crudeli, padri violenti e possessivi, mariti malvagi, politici assetati di potere e disposti a tutto per schiacciare le donne che non rientrano nei loro canoni. Pochissime le eccezioni (solo una, probabilmente) e il libro ruota interamente sulle donne, sul loro trionfo e la loro lotta.

Le donne sono le protagoniste assolute di Le Streghe in eterno. Donne come madri, sorelle, figlie, nonne, amiche, amanti, donne disposte a tutto per lottare per un mondo più giusto nei loro confronti, per proteggere se stesse e le persone che amano, per rivendicare il diritto di essere ciò che vogliono e amare chi vogliono. Questo libro è un inno al potere femminile, alla resilienza delle donne, capaci di trovare modi incredibili e fantasiosi per conservare e proteggere il loro passato e le loro conoscenze, in un mondo in cui uomini al potere sono disposti a tutto per schiacciarle e annullare la loro storia. Un inno alla sorellanza, alla speranza e alla resilienza e una storia che consiglio a tutt* coloro in cerca di un libro pieno di personaggi femminili nella loro complessità, trama avvincente e interessante e un bellissimo e coinvolgente stile di scrittura.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim- book tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim book tour! A huge thanks to Tbr and beyond tours for the chance to be part of it!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date:  July 6th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Random House Children’s and Knopf Books For Young Readers, for the chance to read and review this book!

Shiori’anma is the only princess of Kiata and she has a secret. She has magic, forbidden magic. Usually she’s able to conceal it, but on the morning of her betrothal cerimony, she loses control and the wedding, a wedding she never wanted, is forestalled. Her mistake also catches her stepmother’s, Raikama, attention. The woman is a powerful sorceress and she banishes the young princess, turning her six brothers in cranes and warning Shiori that she mustn’t speak, for with every word she says, one of her brother will die.

Alone, penniless, voiceless, Shiori is determined to find her brothers and break the curse and in her journey she discovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. In order to prevent it, she places her trust in her magic paper crane, Kiki, a mercurial dragon, in her brothers and in the same young man she didn’t want to marry. That also means facing and embracing her own powers. Six crimson cranes is a spellbinding fairytale, narrated by Shiori’s POV, full of intriguing characters, thrilling story and fascinating worldbuilding, where reality, gods and myths are woven together.

Drawing inspirations from “The wild swans” and East Asian folklore, this fantasy is original and really well written, focusing on Shiori’s journey, both physical and psychological in finding her brothers, breaking the curse and saving her kingdom. Shiori is a very complex main character and the reader follows her growth, from a young and careless princess, protected and loved by her father and brothers, to a strong and able woman, willing to do anything in order to protect her family and those she loves.

Her journey is intense and Shiori finds herself without money, voice and family, but she’s brilliant and resourceful and won’t let anything stop her. If the main character captures the reader’s attention right away, the side characters are also wonderfully written. Shiori’s brothers, Takkan, Seryu, Megari, Raikama, Zairena, Hasege add layers to the story, each of them complex and with their own stories and motives and intricacies.

I really enjoyed reading Shiori’s relationship with her brothers, because it’s wonderfully strong and moving. Also reading how slowly she gets along with, love and trust Seryu, Megari and Takkan, even though very different from one other, was so lovely to read. The worldbuilding is interesting and fascinating, with talking dragons, princes turned into cranes, gods and magic, demons and curses and in this world Shiori faces adventures after adventures, finding, in her quest, also romance and love.

The storytelling is absolutely brilliant and I devoured this book, because I couldn’t stop reading it and it was so compelling. Shiori, Seryu and Takkan are awesome characters and I can’t wait to know more about this world.



If anyone was a seer, perhaps it had been Mama— for naming me Shiori, meaning “knot.” A symbol that I was the last of her seven children, the one who would bring my brothers together, no matter how fate conspired to pull us apart.


The crane was a constellation of seven stars northeast of the moon. I traced it with my finger, the way I did when I was a child.


“No matter where life takes you,” he would say, “you will be like those stars—connected by the light you shine together.”


Between the death of my brothers and my own, I would pick mine with no hesitation.


My heart was with them, no matter where I went. No matter how different things would be when I returned.


“Our fates are linked,” I said tenderly. “How could I forget you?”








Elizabeth Lim is the author of the critically-acclaimed and bestselling The Blood of Stars duology (Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk), the New York Times bestseller So This is Love, and the USA Today bestseller Reflection. Forthcoming books include the Six Crimson Cranes duology, expected summer 2021 and summer 2022, respectively. 
Elizabeth grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English. 

Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and she turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel—for kicks, at first, then things became serious—and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in music and a secondary in East Asian Studies, and she completed her graduate degrees (MM, DMA) at The Juilliard School. She grew up in Northern California and Tokyo, Japan, and now resides in New York with her husband and two daughters.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Here’s the tour schedule! Go check the others’ amazing posts!

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/05/27/tour-schedule-six-crimson-cranes-by-elizabeth-lim/

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: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59526/

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 | Bookshop.org | 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

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.

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